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Colt has an uncommon historical past with regards to fashionable bolt-action rifles. From 1973 till l984, the corporate supplied what they referred to as the Colt Sauer rifle. These rifles had been made for Colt by Sauer and had been usually considered very wonderful. Across the shut of the century, Colt bought Extremely Gentle Arms from Melvin Forbes. However Colt didn’t truly construct what would come to be referred to as the Colt Gentle Rifle; as an alternative, they bought Titan Protection to do this, and solely round 6000 rifles had been produced. In the end, Forbes purchased his firm again. In 2021, Czech-based firearms producer CZ acquired Colt, and now, for 2024, Colt is once more providing a rifle whose design originated elsewhere. Colt calls this new rifle the CBX TAC Hunter, and it’s largely a unique model of a rifle in CZ’s steady—which is much from a foul factor. I obtained my arms on a brand new CBX TAC Hunter, put in a Trijicon Credo HX 2.5-15X42mm scope, and put the rifle by the wringer at my residence vary. Right here’s what I discovered.
Colt CBX TAC Hunter Specs
- Size: 39.88 inches
- Weight: 7 kilos, 3.2 ounces, with empty journal put in (on my scale)
- Barrel: 20-inches; 1-in-10 twist; threaded at 9/16-24
- Motion: Bolt-action with 60° throw
- Set off: 4.0 kilos (as examined on my scale)
- Capability: 5+1 (AICS suitable)
- End: Black Nitride
- Inventory: Artificial, modular
- Chambering: 308 Winchester
- Worth: $999
Colt CBX TAC Hunter Overview
Presently Colt solely provides this new rifle in 308 Winchester. The motion, as greatest as I can inform, is identical because the motion that CZ makes use of on their Mannequin 600 rifles, which is moderately distinctive. The bolt has three, twin lugs—six whole—and it operates with a 60° throw. Not like most three-lug bolt actions, that is kind of a hybrid control-round feed (CRF) design. The underside part of the bolt face is open to permit the rim of the cartridge to slip up behind the 90° extractor, which is positioned within the face of one of many lugs.
However management of the cartridge will not be realized till the bolt is pushed all the best way ahead, at which level the extractor grabs the rim. With frequent CRF actions the bolt takes management of the cartridge as quickly because it slips from the journal field. With push feed (PF) actions you have to shut the bolt for the extractor to take maintain. With the Colt CBX TAC Hunter rifle, for those who shove the bolt all the best way ahead, after which pull it to the rear, it would extract the cartridge and eject it. Ejection is facilitated by a plunger, however not like most plunger ejectors, the one on the CBX is mechanical, versus spring loaded. This implies it’s not exerting strain on the case head whereas the cartridge is within the chamber.
The CBX has a two-position tang security, and it locks the bolt deal with within the closed place. However there’s a bolt unlock button positioned on the motion simply ahead of the bolt deal with. This unlock button additionally serves because the bolt launch for bolt elimination.
The motion is drilled and tapped for scope set up, and the rifle ships with a 16-slot Picatinny rail. It additionally comes commonplace with a 20-inch button-rifled barrel that tapers to 0.625-inch on the muzzle, which is threaded for a brake or suppressor. Oddly, Colt threaded the muzzle with a 9/16-24 pitch, so that you’ll want an adapter in case your present suppressor has the extra frequent 5/8-24 pitch. The set off is a sophisticated wanting affair, however it’s consumer adjustable all the way down to about 2.5 kilos, and it broke very crisply out of the field proper at 4 kilos.
The CBX’s inventory is molded gray polymer, with stippling alongside the perimeters of the wrist and forend, and the forend has a little bit of swell to the underside edge. There are two sling swivel studs on the forend, and one on the stomach of the inventory simply ahead of its toe. There’s additionally a recess within the backside of the inventory for a bag or to your assist hand when capturing from a relaxation. Should you take away the gentle rubber buttpad, you may also take away or add spacers to regulate size of pull. And, whereas the butt pad is off, you may also exchange the straight comb with one which’s about ½ inch larger. The underside “metallic” that accepts AICS magazines is product of plastic, and there’s an ambidextrous journal launch simply ahead of the set off guard.
Precision Take a look at Outcomes
General, the rifle averaged 1.32 inches for a number of five-shot teams at 100 yards with three totally different hundreds. That stated, the rifle didn’t significantly like Buffalo Bore’s 150-grain TTSX load. Should you take that load out of the combination, the typical drops to a really respectable 1.14 inches. It did like Remington’s 172-grain Lengthy Vary load, and with it I fired one of many smallest teams I’ve fired whereas evaluating any rifle at Area & Stream. That group measured 0.447-inch. This rifle was a shooter, and will present all of the precision needed at any affordable vary. Right here’s a breakdown of bench-rest testing:
Stability, Dealing with, Performance, and Ergonomics
I did all of the capturing with a compact 5.7-inch Banish Backcountry suppressor put in. This pushed the rifle’s total size to 46.33 inches. But surprisingly, even with the added 7.8 ounces on the muzzle, and the 22.9 ounce Trijicon Credo HX 2.5-15X42mm riflescope put in, the rifle balanced fairly effectively, nearly an inch in entrance of the ahead motion screw. I mounted the riflescope in medium top Leupold Backcountry rings, putting it only a tad excessive for an optimum cheek weld. So, the next comb insert would’ve been appreciated. Given the inventory’s modularity, perhaps Colt will quickly provide one.
The bolt was easy and quick to function from the bench and from discipline positions. There have been no failures to extract or eject, however the journal did inexplicably unseat throughout recoil a pair instances. Nevertheless, the journal doesn’t drop free, so I didn’t discover its unlatching till I pulled the set off, and the rifle didn’t fireplace. This offers you an concept of how easy the motion is, it was onerous to inform if a spherical was chambering or if the journal was empty.
From discipline positions, I interfaced with the rifle fairly effectively, however the inventory felt extra like an costly canoe paddle than it did a rifle deal with. Recoil was additionally noticeably stiffer than a few of lighter 308 Winchester rifles I’ve examined that got here with a better-configured inventory.
Ultimate Ideas on the Colt CBX TAC Hunter
- Excellent precision
- Quick-operating motion
- Security locks bolt
- Strong worth
- Unappealing inventory ergonomics
- Unreliable journal latch
There’s no query this can be a fine-shooting rifle. It’s fashionable in seems to be and configuration, and it exemplifies the looking/long-range precision rifle crossover type that has turn out to be so well-liked with many hunters. It additionally outshot among the rifles we’ve evaluated that price twice as a lot. The adjustability inserts for the inventory are a pleasant contact, however to me the inventory lacked ergonomic attraction. That stated, I don’t assume my distaste for the inventory considerably hindered my capturing. Contemplating how effectively the gun did shoot, I’d say that whereas the brand new Colt CBX TAC Hunter rifle will not be good, it’s a stable worth—and for those who can’t hit what you’re capturing at with it, it’ll almost definitely be your fault and never the rifle’s.
Learn Subsequent: F&S capturing editor, Richard Mann, is busy testing the entire hottest new rifles for 2024. You’ll be able to take a look at his different evaluations right here: Aero Precision SOLUS Hunter Evaluation, Springfield Armory Mannequin 2020 Redline Evaluation, Ruger American Gen II Evaluation.