Preview – McRee G5 TMAG – 1,000 Yards. No Problem.
Photography by Henry Z. De Kuyper
This compact bolt-action folder is ergonomic, accurate, and adaptable
Scott McRee is a nationally ranked benchrest shooter, whose hobby is to make very, very small holes in paper. He and his wife spent the better part of a decade in the sport, picking up more than a few titles along the way, many of which were won using rifles he put together himself. So it’s safe to say he and his team know what it takes to build a gun that will shoot. After forming McRee’s Precision in the mid-2000s to serve the needs of the tactical long-range shooter, his benchrest experience was applied to rifles that are used in a more demanding environment. Instead of making very small holes in paper, members of the SF community overseas have used McRee rifles to make some very large holes in a number of high-value targets.
McRee began offering his chassis stock for the Remington 700 and other rifles to the public in 2007, after five years in service with the military. Following in the footsteps of Accuracy International, the idea of the chassis system is to eliminate the need to bed the rifle’s action to the stock, relying instead on a precisely machined interface to perform a job previously done by gooping epoxy in the space between those two major components. The G5 TMAG chassis quickly became the company’s biggest seller and is guaranteed to reduce the group size of any rifle to which it’s bolted. If it doesn’t, Scott McRee will buy it back.
Since then, they have worked to develop a line of complete rifles for the civilian market, which will be available January 2014. Reviewing prototypes is always a tough decision, as a lot can happen in a product’s development cycle between publication and launch. After speaking at length to the guys behind the project, however, we were pretty confident that any changes would be improvements, rather than cost-cutting exercises. But as Ronald Reagan was wont to say, “Trust, but verify.”
The test rifle was assembled in the Lesterville, Missouri, shop and shipped to Utah in preparation for its first shakedown. Although the bread-and-butter models will be in 7.62 NATO and 300 Win Mag, just to be a pain I requested a prototype sample in .260 Rem. I was teaching on a long-range hunting course organized by NRA Outdoors, and the class gave the opportunity to fling some high BC bullets at distant targets during downtime, while getting feedback from a wide variety of shooters, some of whom had brought monster 30-338’s and other assorted barrel burners. Bear in mind that this was a brand-new rifle, with no load development work or DOPE behind it. Using a firing solution from the free JBM Ballistics calculator (hey, if it’s free, it’s for me) I was able to hit a 3-Minute-of-Angle (MOA) target at 1,400 yards on the second round out of the tube, after center-punching targets from 500 to 1K. Yeah, that’ll work…
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