American Rifle: Could This be the Lightest .338 Lapua?—SHOT Show 2014

Authors Paul Helinski Rifles SHOT Show 2014

American Rifle Company

American Rifle Company has been building and selling some great scope mounts, but the intent has always been to build guns. The company was at SHOT Show with the prototypes for these guns, most notably the M2 precision rifle. This is a multi-caliber platform that will handle everything from .308 Winchester to .338 Lapua Magnum. While their other rifle, the M5 Mausenfield, was built on a Remington 700 footprint, the M2 has a custom footprint. American Rifle paired this custom footprint with a Springfield ejector and a Mauser type extractor. It basically cherry picked the best features of the guns out there and then invented what the designers couldn’t find, like the toroidal bolt head. The bolt head has semi circular bolt lugs. The bearing surface of the lugs engages a spherical bearing surface in the receiver, creating very strong lock up, which means that the bolt is insensitive to its alignment in the receiver. This is just one feature that contributes to the gun’s overall accuracy. The unique chassis/action interface also prevents stresses on the chassis from being transmitted to the action. Some of its other singular features include a bolt handle that can be field changed from right hand to left hand, and a folding stock that can likewise be configured to fold in either direction based on the position of the bolt handle, making this the only ambidextrous bolt action rifle in the industry. At 12.9 pounds in .338 Lapua Magnum, including the bolt and magazine, the M2 is the lightest multi caliber gun in its class. American Rifle doesn’t yet have the guns on the website but plan to get them up soon. I don’t know how long it will take to bring the designs to market, but they’re not too far out. We’ll be watching closely.

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  • Diego Martin April 13, 2014, 11:33 am

    Wow, nice pics

  • Adam January 31, 2014, 4:02 pm

    The Savage LRH is only 9.25 lbs. . .

  • Victor January 31, 2014, 12:55 pm

    what was done to reduce the recoil? After 30 shots you need an orthpedic doctor for your shoulder.

  • Skydog January 24, 2014, 5:41 pm

    M2 design is awesome, I can not stop thinking about this rifle since I am a leftie…especially since I am leftie. When was the last time I had a hot piece of brass come out of a right handed bolt gun chamber, hmmmmm…NEVER! They are always cooled off by the time I cycle the bolt. And I’m fast too. Why do I like the chamber-breech-magazine area of a right hand Savage so much (since I am a leftie) cause I can drop a round in and slap it home without hesitation or deliberation. Would I want that feature on the M2 – HELL YES!!! please make it so. Make all the clock work just as a German, Austrian or Swiss would over engineer it, like titanium firing pin, Mauser full length extractor from the finest spring metal, harden the bolt face and lugs to the perfect mating hardness with the receiver. Make it right, no matter the cost – cause the glass I’m going to mount will cost as much as or more than the rifle. I use EGW and, mostly, Ken Farrell mounts and rings (they sell for more than most folks pay for a rifle) – please convert me to your rings and mounts with the perfection of your rifle if you can. How about a titanium internal frame (like JAE) for the stock and some Long Range Accuracy “legs” (read – Tactical Bipod) under that forend. Kelly is a great controlled rifle shot, maybe pull John Plaster in for some consultation and get James Owens to run the bolt action for you – if it’s butter like an SMLE, he’ll let you know (and his brass will be warm to hot).

  • Theo January 24, 2014, 8:37 am

    If y’all are worried about cost, you shouldn’t be buying high end things. You should be creating income and building a reserve for yourself, so money is not a obstacle.

    I buy what I want, when I want. I don’t let money dictate my buying habits.
    Oh and I am not rich, just wise with a dollar. 😉

  • Richard January 24, 2014, 8:01 am

    Christensen Arms Classic Carbon .338 Lapua weighs 6.7lb. Now I don’t think I’d wanna shooting more than a magazine’s worth of ammo at that weight but it’s certainly lighter than this gun.

  • Skydog January 23, 2014, 11:51 am

    I have waited 62 years for a rifle company to get all of the best features of a bolt operated gun onto one platform – well done American Rifle Company, too bad you could not come up with a way to incorporate the Collete Barrel arrangement like a Savage 10, 12 etc etc…to this platform ( and retain the accuracy ), that would make the barrel change outs “doable” at the squad level rather than involve the skill sets of an armorer. Well done, like noted earlier – test and refine before you put it in our hands. Keep the bolt knob reasonable in shape and size, personally I prefer smooth, it runs faster in a gloved hand.

  • Robert Burke January 23, 2014, 11:37 am

    It looks as if the bolt action lifts (left or right handed) and extracts directly straight down the back. That would mean a shooter must take his eyes off the target between shots!! Very dangerous to lose sight of one’s target!!

  • Nick January 23, 2014, 11:16 am

    The Desert Tech multi caliber SRS in 338 Lapua is 10.9 lbs. so obviously this rifle isn’t even close to being the lightest 338.

  • Rick Rosado January 23, 2014, 10:44 am

    im a lefty . im not a big fan of having an empty hot shell caseing flying pass my face

  • John January 23, 2014, 10:18 am

    The SRS from Desert Tech is a multi caliber and only weighs 11 pounds in 338 and it doesn’t look like a skeleton

  • Alan Robinson January 23, 2014, 9:36 am

    I think it’s obvious the roller is for faster maniputation of the bolt. Checkering would be unneccessary for the thumb & web method of reloading, and would abrade your thumb.
    I agree it looks cheap, a metal one would be better, but the design shows far greater thinking than many with it’s contour.

  • John Joe Bob Fred George January 23, 2014, 9:25 am

    I get so frustrated reading all these stories because none of them give any clue as to what new and upcoming products may cost. It’s very irritating and ruins the article for me. It’s like dangling a carrot in front of someone .

    • Mitchell Mccoig January 27, 2014, 12:09 am

      If u require to know the price tag then u cant afford it anyways. Go buy a savage.

      • Wise old man September 1, 2014, 9:28 pm

        Mitchell Mccoig, that is probably the most idiotic thing I have ever heard. We all need to know the price of something before paying for it. Just STFU if you got nothing to say.

        John Joe Bob Fred George, I agree with that. I hate not seeing how much it is. They should at least give us a ball park reading (let say $4,000.00 to $5,000.00). But I would still much rather just build another .338LM.

  • Keith January 23, 2014, 9:16 am

    Looks good. Only part I am concerned about is the ‘fishing rod’ type bolt handle. I would think this would cause a persons hand to roll off when in a fast past situation….just my perception.

    Is the young man tooting his own horn? 😉

  • f1 January 23, 2014, 7:03 am

    This new M2 looks very promising. Hope they do two things for it:
    1. THOROUGHLY test, debug, and refine it before releasing to the market;
    2. The biggest innovation will be keeping its price in the more affordable range, say about $2.5-$3.0k!


    • petru Sova January 23, 2014, 8:50 am

      If it is patterned after the Remington 700 with a claw extractor it is not also based on a Mauser action but rather a 1917 Enfield action.

      I think the bolt knob really looks cheap with that plasticky roller on it, yuk! You would think on a gun costing thousands they could have at least had a metal checkered bolt handle but checkering is verboten these days, even computer checkering, its not faster, faster, cheaper, cheaper to make.

      • sniperII January 23, 2014, 10:42 am

        You are confusing the two different rifles

      • DAVE January 24, 2014, 9:40 am

        You are so correct. It’s a gun not a reel. Shame on you Savage! You just lost my business and probably many more customers.

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