Over the next few posts, I’ll share the top few precision rifle products that caught my attention at SHOT Show 2018. As always, it’s impossible to see everything at the show, but these are some of the items I noticed that I thought my readers might like to know about.
The first product I’ll highlight is the Nucleus bolt action from American Rifle Company. ARC caught my attention at SHOT 2014 with their Mausingfield action (see full review). While most high-end actions are simply improved versions of the Remington 700, the Mausingfield was a refreshing design combining a couple of novel ideas with some of the best ideas from the past. But the uncompromising design came at a hefty price tag of $1,600, which is a couple hundred dollars above most other custom actions.
Ted Karagias and the crew from American Rifle Company introduced their new Nucleus action at SHOT Show 2018, which has many of the same features as the Mausingfield … but at a much more affordable price point. In fact, through tomorrow (Jan 28, 2018) you can pre-order the Nucleus action for just $850!!! Beyond that, the action will sell for $1,000, which is still $200-300 less than other popular custom actions.
Here is the product flyer I picked up at the show, which itemizes the features:
Here is a video of Ted giving an overview of the new Nucleus action:
I was told the first actions will ship in April, but I saw several people pre-ordering them just in the few minutes I was standing in the booth. In fact, the American Rifle Company booth may have been the most crowded booth I saw the entire show. They were getting so many orders that they said the wait time could vary by weeks based on what hour you put the order in! So if you want to see one of these anytime soon, you might put in your order ASAP.
New John Hancock Rifle with Nucleus Action
While in the booth, I also learned about the $1,999 complete rifle built on the Nucleus that Patriot Valley Arms is now offering. This rifle is designed to be match-ready out of the box, while still meeting all the requirements of the “Production Class” in the Precision Rifle Series. The engineer/gunsmith behind it, Josh Kunz, said the rifle was capable of 1/4 MOA groups with handloads. Josh is trying to give a shooter the most he possibly can while still staying under that $2k price point, and the Nucleus action is a big part of how he’s able to deliver on that.
Here is a breakdown of the components included in what they’ve named the “John Hancock Rifle”:
100% of the chambering and fitting work is performed using a full CNC process, and every barrel is gaged and inspected for threading, headspace and chamber profiles. This rifle is available in several of the most popular cartridges used in competitions:
- 6mm Creedmoor
- 6.5 Creedmoor
- 6mm BR Norma
- 6mm Dasher (optimized for either Lapua or Norma brass)
- 6.5 SAUM
- 308 Win
The 6mm Dasher made a huge leap in popularity among the top shooters in the PRS this year, and I believe this is the first production rifle to offer that as a standard chambering.
Another plus with this setup is after you burn out that first barrel, you can order a new one from Patriot Valley Arms without having to send in your action. That means you won’t be waiting months on a gunsmith to keep your rifle match-ready. Josh said he’ll be offering those replacement barrels for $500, which is a good deal for a chambered, match-grade barrel with a threaded muzzle.
If you’re looking for bang for your buck, the Nucleus action and the John Hancock rifle seem to pack a punch.
… stay tuned for a few more posts on new products I saw at SHOT Show 2018!