Shooters like precision rifles. Sometimes
referred to as sniper rifles or tactical rifles, the term
usually applies to a bolt action rifle that is set up to be both
portable and accurate. Not as heavy nor as cumbersome as a
benchrest rifle or dedicated varmint gun, but still wearing a
heavy barrel and an overall dull or matte black finish. These
rifles were developed for police and military designated
marksmen or snipers, and they have become very popular with
shooters who want a precision rifle, but are not interested in
benchrest competition. The rifles also are portable enough to
serve well as a hunting rifle, and accurate enough for the
occasional long shot. There are many such good rifles on the
market, and one of the best is made in South Carolina by FNH-USA.
FNH makes some of the best machine guns, rifles, and other
equipment in use by our US Military, and are well-equipped to
build accurate weapons. The Patrol Bolt Rifle (PBR)
reviewed here is one of their precision bolt action rifles that
is marketed to law enforcement, and is also available to the
rest of us as well.
The PBR is built on what is basically a Winchester
Model 70 action. FNH is the parent company of Winchester, and
they are also now producing that legendary Model 70 Winchester
in their South Carolina plant. The action of the PBR utilizes
the controlled round/push feed bolt. This is a variation of the
Model 70 type bolt face, and was used in some of the latest
Model 70 rifles that were produced in New Haven before the
closing of that factory. The bottom of the bolt face is cut out
to allow the cartridge to slip from the magazine onto the bolt
face, but has an extractor that will snap over the cartridge
rim, allowing the cartridges to be either fed from the four-shot
detachable box magazine or dropped into the receiver from the
top like a single shot, which is very handy when shooting from
the bench. The PBR has a very good trigger, again like the Model
70. It is easily adjusted, and releases crisply and cleanly. The
pull weight on the sample rifle released at about three and
one-quarter pounds. The barrel, receiver, trigger guard, and
small metal parts are all matte finished steel. No plastic or
aluminum bottom metal on this rifle. It is built to be tough and
durable. The sample rifle is chambered for the 7.62x51 NATO
(.308 Winchester) cartridge, which is a favorite of police
marksman and other sniper types, and is a dandy cartridge for
use on game animals and vermin of all types, including the
increasingly prevalent urban felon variety.
The stock on the PBR is made by Hogue,
and is their over-molded style, which has a somewhat tacky
feeling surface. It offers a good positive hold under any
weather condition, and has an aluminum bedding block insert for
added rigidity. The barrel is free-floated in the stock, and the
action is held with two bolts through the one-piece trigger
guard/magazine well. The stock wears two swivel or bipod
attachment studs on the forend, and another near the toe of the
stock. The PBR is a hefty rifle, weighing in at about nine
pounds, but that weight makes for a very solid hold while
shooting the gun, and working in conjunction with the muzzle
brake, makes the .308 PBR have very little felt recoil. The
muzzle brake makes the rifle a bit louder from the shooter’s
position, but not enough to be bothersome at all.
The PBR comes from the factory with an excellent
Picatinny compatible one-piece steel scope base. I mounted a
superb Leupold Mark 4 8.5 to 25 power scope atop the PBR
in Leupold rings. The Mark 4 has side focus, and a thirty
millimeter main tube with target turrets. I use this scope often
for accuracy testing, and it is perfectly suited to such a rifle
as the PBR. The excellent ranging reticle combined with
brilliant optical clarity makes seeing distant targets easy, and
even the smallest bullet holes at 100 yards are no problem to
see at all.
I tested the PBR for accuracy using Buffalo
Bore Sniper Match ammunition, and also with Federal
Power-Shock 150 grain hunting ammo. The Buffalo Bore load uses
the Sierra 175 grain match bullet, and even out of the
PBR’s short eighteen inch barrel, still clocked 2612 feet per
second at twelve feet from the muzzle. The accuracy was very
good from the PBR’s short barrel, with both loads tested
shooting into five-eighths inch groups at one hundred yards,
over and over again. Occasionally, I would get a smaller group,
but five-eighths was the norm. With a better shooter firing the
rifle, I am sure that it would do better.
The FNH PBR proved to be an excellent precision
rifle that would serve very well as a police marksman’s
weapon, a long range informal target rifle, a stationary hunting
rifle, or as a primary rifle to protect the homestead. It is
built with precision, built tough, and built in the USA. I like
Check out the entire line of FNH rifles,
shotguns, and handguns online at www.fnhusa.com.
To order the Buffalo Bore Sniper ammunition, go
To find an FNH dealer near you, click on the
DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the PBR online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
Leupold's excellent Mark 4 scope.
Leupold's Alumina scope lens covers are both effective
Buffalo Bore's excellent sniper ammo.
Jeff tested the PBR using Target
Shooting Inc's Model 1000 Rifle Rest.
As usual, LaserLyte's
bore sighter was a great aid in sighting-in the
The Patrol Boat Rifle proved to be a stellar
performer from the bench.
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