FIELD TEST

Field and Stream - - FIELD TEST -

1. SEEKINS PRE­CI­SION HAVAK PRO HUNTER $2,200 • seekin­s­pre­ci­sion.com

This new ri­fle from gun­maker Glen Seekins makes a bold vis­ual im­pres­sion. The deep spi­rals ma­chined into the bar­rel and bolt body give the Havak Pro Hunter a hotrod flair. Com­bine this with the racy lines of the stock, and you have a ri­fle that talks a big game.

Turns out, it per­forms as well as it looks. The Havak comes with a threaded muz­zle for at­tach­ing a muz­zle brake or sup­pres­sor, but even with­out ei­ther, the ri­fle is easy to con­trol and ac­cu­rate. Cham­bered in Hor­nady’s new 6.5 PRC (see next page), my test gun av­er­aged .75inch 5-shot groups and de­liv­ered some .5-inch­ers with cur­rent

6.5 PRC fac­tory of­fer­ings.

Seekins is a proven com­pet­i­tive shooter as well as a se­ri­ous West­ern big-game hunter, and the Havak is a smart blend of both those pas­sions. The stock ge­om­e­try—with its nearly ver­ti­cal pis­tol grip, sub­stan­tial palm swells on both sides of the grip, beefy fore-end, raised comb, and flush-mounted QD sling at­tach­ments—takes its cues from the world of tac­ti­cal field matches. But un­like com­pe­ti­tion ri­fles, which can weigh up to 20 pounds, the Havak tips the scales at a very por­ta­ble 7 pounds 3 ounces, thanks to those spi­ral cuts in the bar­rel and bolt and the car­bon fiber used in the stock and for the de­tach­able box mag­a­zine. For the price, you won’t find a bet­ter-per­form­ing ri­fle out there. —J.B.S.

2. SIG SAUER SIERRA3 BDX 4.5-14X50MM $840 • sigsauer.com

I’ve been told that the key to a suc­cess­ful mar­riage is com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Never hav­ing had one of those, I can’t say for sure—but I do know that com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the key to this in­trigu­ing new sys­tem from Sig Sauer.

With Blue­tooth tech­nol­ogy, the Sierra3 BDX scope works with Sig’s BDX-en­abled Kilo rangefind­ers to give the shooter an aim­ing point by il­lu­mi­nat­ing small OLED dots along the ver­ti­cal sta­dia of the du­plex ret­i­cle. The sys­tem also gives wind-hold in­di­ca­tions along both sides of the hor­i­zon­tal crosshair—the shooter just needs to use the one for hold­ing into the wind.

This alone makes the BDX

(for bal­lis­tic data ex­change) an in­ter­est­ing sys­tem, but Sig has aug­mented it with a cou­ple of other slick fea­tures. The scope is a sec­ond-fo­cal-plane op­tic, which typ­i­cally means that the holdover ret­i­cle needs to be used at a spe­cific mag­ni­fi­ca­tion level, usu­ally max power. This is a sig­nif­i­cant draw­back—but one that the BDX sys­tem elim­i­nates. Be­cause its aim­ing points move as the scope’s power is changed, you can use which­ever mag­ni­fi­ca­tion level the sit­u­a­tion calls for. The en­tire sys­tem is pred­i­cated on in­putting data about the ri­fle and am­mu­ni­tion be­ing used, in­clud­ing bul­let weight and ve­loc­ity. So, along with all the other fea­tures, it can cal­cu­late the ki­netic en­ergy of the pro­jec­tile at the tar­get dis­tance. If that num­ber drops be­low a thresh­old cho­sen by the shooter, the aim­ing point will blink, pro­vid­ing a good check on tak­ing a po­ten­tially un­eth­i­cal shot.

Our test model, a 4.5–14x50, goes for $1,080 with the Kilo rangefinder. But the sys­tem can be had for $840 if you get the base-model scope—a very rea­son­able cost for this de­gree of in­no­va­tion and util­ity. —J.B.S.

3. HOR­NADY 6.5 PRC $49 and up for 20 • hor­nady.com

The new­est 6.5 of­fer­ing is a short-mag based on the 300 Ruger Com­pact Mag­num.

Us­ing bal­lis­ti­cally ef­fi­cient 6.5 bul­lets of 140 grains or more, it is a flat-shoot­ing and hard-hit­ting car­tridge that is suit­able for every­thing short of thick-skinned dan­ger­ous game. Hor­nady is cur­rently of­fer­ing it with two fac­tory loads: the 147-grain ELD Match and the 143-grain ELD-X hunt­ing bul­let. Muz­zle ve­loc­i­ties from a 24-inch bar­rel are at 2,910 fps and 2,960 fps, re­spec­tively. Those sub-3,000 fps speeds will help pro­long bar­rel life.

I’ve shot sev­eral an­i­mals with the 6.5 PRC over the last year. For hunt­ing the West, it is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine a more well­rounded car­tridge. The bul­lets per­formed per­fectly, with good pen­e­tra­tion and ex­pan­sion at 400 yards and beyond.

—J.B.S.

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