Sad music ainít the only thing to come out of
Nashville. In addition to the rare really good song to rise
above the same old rehashed drivel pumped out by the big record
moguls, Sabre Defence Industries of Nashville, Tennessee
builds some of the best small arms in use by our military around
the world. Aside from their M2 .50 Caliber machine guns, they
also manufacture barrels for the electric Minigun. On a recent
visit to Sabre Defence, I also saw some interesting products
that I cannot mention. One product of Sabre Defence that I can
share is that they are producing an extensive line of AR-15/M-16
rifles for civilian and military use.
Sabre Defence (this spelling is correct, by the
way, regardless of what my spell-checker tells me) builds its
weapons using a combination of some good old vintage tooling
along with state-of-the-art CNC technology to produce weapons
and system parts to the highest standards. Featured here is a
variation of the AR-15 that they call their Light Varmint
The AR-15 system in general makes a very good
platform for a varmint rifle, if done correctly. Most builders
of AR-15 rifles have one or more varmint rifles in their lineup.
However, most just stick a bull barrel on a basic AR and leave
it at that. Besides a quality barrel, a good varmint rifle must
have a light, crisp trigger. Most manufacturers ignore this
fact, and put a seven pound trigger on a "varmint"
rifle. That donít cut it. Also, most makers build their rifles
too heavy for field use. They might be fine for a prairie dog
gun that is fired from one position all day, but they are a
beast to handle and carry. The Sabre Defence Light Varmint Rifle
uses a barrel that is of a smaller diameter than most, and they
equip the rifle with a match grade trigger.
The Light Varmint Rifle is set up nicely for
what is referred to as a "walking varminter", which is
a weapon that is actually carried in pursuit of vermin and
predators, such as groundhogs and coyotes. The rifle weighs
seven pounds and three ounces. It wears a twenty inch black
oxide finished stainless steel barrel with a one-in-eight-inch
twist that thankfully has no apparatus of any kind attached to
the muzzle. The muzzle is finished with a recessed target crown.
The barrel diameter forward of the hand guard measures .725 inch
in diameter. The ventilated aluminum tubular hand guard
free-floats the barrel, and is drilled and tapped to accept
accessory mounts, such as the bipod mount pictured. The
Light Varmint Rifle has exceptional balance, and the superb
two-stage trigger and ergonomic grip make it easy to shoot well.
The trigger pull measured just two pounds and eleven ounces. The
rifle is of flattop configuration with a Picatinny rail integral
with the top of the upper receiver. The receiver upper and
forged lower fit tightly, with no perceptible play between the
two. The upper has standard A2 features such as a round forward
assist and built-in case deflector.
For testing, a Leupold VX-1 4 to 12 x
40mm variable scope was mounted in Warne rings. This is
an excellent scope for the Light Varmint Rifle. It is not too
large, has very good optical quality, and ample power to handle
just about any varmint hunting need. The turrets are
low-profile, and the power ring operates very smoothly. It is
also reasonably priced, and has Leupoldís great lifetime
Shooting the Sabre rifle with a variety of
factory ammo, functioning was flawless. Every cartridge fed,
fired, and ejected perfectly. Accuracy varied depending upon the
ammo, with five-shot one hundred yard groups ranging from a
worst of one and five-eighths inches to just under one-half inch
for the best group fired. Again, the trigger made a world of
difference in the ability of this rifle to shoot well. Buying a
target grade rifle with a standard trigger, it is very hard to
realize the accuracy potential of the weapon.
In building the Light Varmint, Sabre Defence has
done everything right. They use the highest quality parts,
assembled precisely, to achieve the ideal walking varmint rifle.
Itís weight, balance, accuracy, and flawless functioning also
make it very well suited as a rifle that can do double duty for
social work. This is an AR-15 that handles exceptionally well,
and can precisely place its shots on target with ease. Whether
the varmint is a coyote raiding the hen house, or a felon intent
on ruining your life, the Sabre Defence Light Varmint rifle will
serve you well.
Check out the extensive line of Sabre Defence
products online at: www.sabredefence.com.
For more information on the full line of Leupold
optics, go to: www.leupold.com.
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