Precision rifles to subcompacts: 3 crowd-pleasers from SHOT Show

From ambidextrous tactical rifles to guns built for high-volume shooters, there is something for everyone


Greetings from SHOT Show 2015! After a day on the range and another on the show floor, I’ve rounded up a list of my favorite firearms thus far.  

Beretta ARX100 
The ARX 100 is a completely ambidextrous modern tactical rifle with a short stroke gas system. Beretta has taken this weapon to the extreme, including tool-free switching to left or right charging and ejection. It took me 30 seconds to learn how to change from right to left. It has a quick barrel dismount, allowing operators to adjust to a changing tactical situation.

Controls like the safety selector, magazine release and bolt catch are intuitively placed.The ARX100 has a polymer receiver that has an inherent lubricating quality. Beretta says that it can be operated with "virtually no lubricants.” Since I'm partial to lubricating my firearms, I’ll say that it will operate favorably under extremely challenging conditions.

PoliceOne Columnist Lindsey Bertomen hits the range on Media Day at SHOT Show 2015. (PoliceOne Photo)
PoliceOne Columnist Lindsey Bertomen hits the range on Media Day at SHOT Show 2015. (PoliceOne Photo)

The ARX100 balances well on the shoulder. It doesn’t have the “knock” of some piston guns. The telescopic stock has enough adjustment for shooters with long arms and others wearing additional armor. 

The cycle is not “snappy” like my direct impinged ARs and I think it would make a good fully automatic platform. 

MSRP is $1950.

SIG SAUER P320 Subcompact
When SIG SAUER developed the polymer framed, striker fired P320 platform, I predicted that they would get plenty of mileage out of the design. T

The P320 one piece steel frame is the serialized part. It can be removed from the grip portion and placed into another grip portion. Thus, the user can make nearly any sized gun by changing the grip length and slide length. The P320 Subcompact can take the full sized magazines. 

This is a great product for high-volume shooters as the moving parts are easily maintained. 

As a subcompact, it is 6.67” long and weighs 24.9 oz. with a magazine. It comes in 9mm, .40S&W, .357SIG and .45Auto.

Since all of the fire control components are in a small frame, one would think that this gun would have a stiff trigger, because of a short action and mainspring, butit’s quite the opposite.

The P320 Subcompact has a smooth trigger take up and a fairly clean break for a combat pistol. It also has great texture in the grip area. I didn't shoot practice ammo through this gun, but used the SIG SAUER ammo, which is the exact opposite of anemic. This was a great testing platform for the P320 and it excelled. 

MSRP is $713.

Barrett Model 98B
I punched some rounds downrange with a Barrett Model 98B in 7mm Rem. Mag. Ordinarily, only exhibitors who are confident about their products will man this portion of the range. You see, Barrett had us shooting this precision rifle at a 600+ yard target. 

With the swirling mirage at Boulder City, ringing steel can be daunting. I found this was fairly easy with this tool. 

The Model 98B is a purpose-built precision rifle with an anodized aluminum receiver, 10 round magazine and oversized bolt. It has several side accessory rails and sling mounts and comes with a bipod.

Barrett designed the Model 98B to address the heavy recoil of high-performance cartridges. The strategy includes their well-known muzzle brake design and muzzle-to-shoulder alignment. The theory is to tame recoil in a repeater to allow for an accurate follow-up shot. 

I fired accurate follow up shots. Yes, it works as advertised, but its real strength is the adjustable trigger, which is truly an extension of the shooter’s body. 

MSRP for the base model, 26” barrel, is $4849.

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