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By now, you probably already know that the Barrett MRAD recently won the Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) solicitation from the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

Enter, the Accurate-Mag AMSR

The ASR program had a number of requirements. USSOCOM dictated that the precision rifle needed to be a complete system that came with a sound suppressor, as well as three caliber conversion kits and the tools necessary for the task. USSOCOM originally listed the calibers as the .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum and .338 Norma Magnum. There were also accuracy requirements for each caliber.

On top of that, the rifle could not weigh more than 17 pounds unloaded and without the suppressor installed, with 13 pounds being preferable. The rifle also couldn’t be longer than 50 inches with the stock fully extended and 40 inches with the stock folded or collapsed.

Black Hills was contracted by the military to supply ammo for the solicitation. However, other details on the program are hard to find, including the names of the companies that submitted rifles. Except for Accurate-Mag, which entered the contest with its Advanced Multi-Caliber Sniper Rifle, or AMSR. And though it didn’t win in the end, it’s still worthy of a closer look.

Humble Beginnings

Founded in 2005, Accurate-Mag was started to manufacture .308 magazines for the U.S. Marine Corps due to a shortage of Accuracy International magazines. Since then, the company’s product line has steadily grown to include more than 60 different calibers and magazine types. Bottom metals were quickly added and have been used as the OEM standard by Savage, Remington and Ruger for the past decade.

Accurate-Mag developed its first rifle chassis system in 2012 for many regional police departments. It also took form in many OEM offerings, including the Colt M2012, Kimber SOC and Howa HCR. That same year, Accurate-Mag also formed a partnership with Rangemaster Precision Arms (RPA) of the UK, which manufactures some of the finest military rifles in the world. The Accurate-Mag AM40-A6 rifle was then retrofitted with RPA’s barreled action and trigger, making it an instant success in the police marksman world. This partnership was also the foundation of the AMSR rifle.

In 2014, with the release of the USSOCOM Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) solicitation, Accurate-Mag developed the Multi-Caliber Magazine System and Fire Control for the Remington PSR entry. The company worked very closely with Remington’s engineers to develop the rifle that won the competition. It also helped Remington with the XM2010 rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum for the U.S. Army.

Truly Modular

When the ASR program was announced, Accurate-Mag started developing a new rifle design to submit. The AMSR is the result of two years of work. Two of the rifle’s primary features are its Quadlock bolt face and ball-bearing trigger, which come from RPA and have been in service for 30 years around the world.

Accurate-Mag’s submitted kit includes the rifle with the three required barrels, .308 and .338 Norma Magnum bolts, a SilencerCo Harvester suppressor, a Leupold 5-25x56mm Mark 5HD scope, .308 and .338 magazines, standard and large bipods, a tool kit, cleaning tools and a soft case/drag bag. Everything comes in a large Thermodyne hard case with custom-cut foam to cradle the rifle and accessories.

Accurate-Mag machines the AMSR’s action and bolt in-house from 4140 hardened steel. The 718 stainless steel barrels, made by Proof Research, help reduce the AMSR’s weight. Carbon-fiber-wrapped barrels with a special, high-tension, bi-directional weave designed specifically for Accurate-Mag are also available. The company boasts that there is almost no point-of-impact shift between suppressed and unsuppressed groups.

The .308 barrel measures 20 inches long and has a 1-in-10-inch twist rate. The .300 Norma barrel is 26 inches long with a 1-in-8-inch twist rate while the .338 Norma barrel is 27 inches long with a 1-in-9-inch twist rate.

Impressive Features

The heart of the AMSR’s interchangeable barrel system is Accurate-Mag’s patented Bar-Lock mechanism. Accurate-Mag states that the system locks the barrel in place with ramps machined into the receiver. This transfers the pulling force of the barrel-locking screw to a vertical pushing force on the bottom of the barrel extension, which locks a cross pin into slots on the barrel extension.

Accurate-Mag designed the chassis especially for the AMSR’s action. Made from 7075-T6 aluminum, it features an ambidextrous magazine release, M-LOK attachment slots, an Ergo pistol grip and the Stratum folding stock, which is adjustable for comb height, length of pull and recoil pad height. Accurate-Mag specifically designed the stock to meet the requirements of the ASR solicitation. It will soon become available for Accurate-Mag’s other chassis systems.

The AMSR sports RPA’s Blue Trigger, which features three ball bearings for a smooth pull and five points of adjustment, including bent weight, travel stop, pull weight, creep and stop adjustment. The weight is user-adjustable between 1.5 and 6 pounds. Another RPA feature is the action’s unique camming bolt release, which allows the shooter to softly eject the case or throw it out to 10 feet depending on the amount of force applied to the bolt handle.

Accurate-Mag tested suppressors from nine companies and picked the SilencerCo Harvester because it provided the best performance-to-cost ratio. I didn’t get to test the submitted silencer, but Accurate-Mag apparently modified it to help regulate the gas so it’d be the same for the different calibers.

Personal Testing

After installing the bolt, I dry-fired the AMSR’s trigger. The very smooth movement and crisp pull was impressive. In fact, it was so smooth that I had a difficult time feeling both stages. I measured the pull weight to be 2 pounds. I was equally impressed with the bolt’s movement within the action.

Since the AMSR is a long-action rifle, Accurate-Mag designed a long-action magazine with a special follower to stabilize and feed shorter .308 cartridges. I found the system worked as advertised, smoothly and easily gliding the .308 cartridges into the long action.

Barrel changes are done with a single torque wrench, which is supplied in the tool kit. Once the barrel-retaining screw nut is loosened, the barrel is simply pulled out. The barrel installation is almost as quick. Simply insert the barrel, making sure the post on the barrel is in the 6 o’clock position. As the barrel nears the action, rotate it until the post fits into the action’s groove and set the barrel with a final push. Insert the bolt and lock it to the barrel, then tighten the barrel- retaining screw. It took me longer to type this paragraph than it takes to install the barrel.

My accuracy tests were performed with standard, commercially available ammunition from a few different manufacturers because Black Hills was unable to send me its contract ammunition due to government restrictions.

I really got a feel for the trigger on the range. As impressed as I was dry firing, I was even more impressed when it came time to shoot live ammo. With its light touch and very smooth travel, I would rank the trigger among the top—if not the top—bolt gun triggers I have ever used.

Results & Final Thoughts

The accuracy results were equally impressive, as I shot 0.5-inch groups at 100 yards with all three calibers. The minor differences in group sizes among different loads had more to do with my shooting than the rifle’s accuracy. I found the AMSR to be very consistent with different loads from different manufacturers.

The AMSR’s 0.5-MOA accuracy is extremely impressive coming from a commercial rifle with factory ammunition. Usually that level of accuracy can only be obtained by a custom gunsmith. It’s also worth noting that Accurate-Mag offers the AMSR as a single- or two-barrel kit. The company also offers a caliber-change kit.

The Accurate-Mag AMSR impressed me with its sturdiness, barrel-change capabilities and accuracy. This is especially impressive for a multi-caliber rifle. I would definitely put it on top of my buy list. For more information, visit accurate-mag.com.

Accurate-Mag AMSR Specs

  • Caliber: .300 Norma Mag, .308 Win, .338 Norma Mag
  • Barrel: 20, 26 or 27 inches
  • OA Length: 43.5 inches
  • Weight: 13.8 pounds (empty)
  • Stock: Folding, adjustable
  • Sights: None
  • Action: Bolt
  • Finish: Cerakote
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • MSRP: $5,650

This story is from the 2019 Precision edition of Ballistic Magazine. Grab a digital or physical copy over at OutdoorGroupStore.com.

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