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Wanted by the Best - Israel Adopts H-S Precision HTR101 (permalink)

When the H-S Precision HTR (Heavy Tactical Rifle) was adopted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation several years ago, a lot of people sat up and took notice.

Now H-S Precision has scored another coup of sorts, with the adoption of their HTR101 by the Israel Defense Forces.

The HTR101 is chambered in what is fast becoming the preferred caliber for long-range sniper engagements--.338 Lapua Magnum. Developed specifically for sniper rifles, the .338 Lapua Mag can be used for both anti-personnel as well as anti-materiel missions, though the .50 BMG remains the preferred cartridge for the latter.

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The HTR101's 30-inch barrel is made of 416R stainless steel with a 1:10 twist. Six flutes are machined into the barrel and run from just ahead of the chamber to within a few inches of the muzzle. These flutes serve to reduce weight, increase barrel rigidity and also help the barrel to cool more quickly due to a larger exposed area. A SureFire muzzle brake is attached to the muzzle. The full length of the barrel is bedded with H-S's proprietary aluminum bedding block. The two front sling swivels are anchored into the bedding block.

Next to the barrel, the heart of a good precision rifle is the bolt. The H-S bolt is a one-piece unit made of 4142 alloy with an internal claw extractor, and the face of the bolt provides full support to the cartridge head. The bolt handle on the HTR101 is smooth and oversized. The surface is flat instead of round to ensure smooth manipulation of the bolt from the shoulder. The action cocks on opening and, when cocked, a small button protrudes from the rear of the bolt to show the rifle is cocked.

The composite stock, made of layers of a gel coat, fiberglass, Kevlar and unidirectional carbon fiber, is adjustable for length of pull (LOP). The cheekpiece is also adjustable, ensuring the stock will fit the shooter correctly.

The stock is painted in a pattern that is reminiscent of the Vietnam-era Tiger Stripe, but in more useful shades of tan brown and olive drab. The stock matches very well with the colors used in Crye Precision's superb MultiCam®. All steel parts have a dark gray, manganese phosphate finish.

On the top of the rifle is a McCann Industries aluminum mount. This mount has MILSTD-1913 rails at the rear to mount a scope, and forward of the objective lens area so that a night vision device--such as the AN/PVS-22 Universal Night Sight--can be mounted in front of the primary day optic. There are also short rail sections on both sides in the area just forward of the ejection port for attaching lasers or other devices.

A precision rifle needs a high-quality scope to live up to its potential. The scope chosen for the HTR101 is the excellent Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20X50mm LR/T M1 with Tactical Milling Reticle®. The LR/T M1 is secured in heavy, tactical stainless-steel scope rings.

With the included Harris bipod, the HTR101 tips the scales at 12 pounds.

As it will be shipped to Israel (or purchased by individuals or agencies), the HTR101 comes in a custom fitted Hardigg Storm Case and includes a full cleaning kit, Dewey chamber cleaning rod, coated Kleen Bore cleaning rod, torque tool, chamber guide and five, five-round magazines.

In addition to the standard stock, an optional folding stock is available that features the same adjustable LOP and cheekpiece.

Tom Houghton brought me an HTR101 to test, along with 100 rounds of .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition from both Lapua and Black Hills Ammunition. Loads from both manufacturers were loaded with 250-gr. match bullets.

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To be totally honest, I was not looking forward to the recoil generated by the .338 Magnum loads because I often have pain in my right rotator cuff, so I put off shooting it for as long as I possibly could. Now I wish I had taken it to my range sooner.

Between the weight of the rifle and the outstanding SureFire muzzle brake, recoil was not a factor at all. In fact, perceived recoil was less than that of most .308 bolt-action rifles.

As expected, the oversized bolt handle, along with a slick-feeling bolt, made manipulating the rifle from the shoulder a snap.

The rifle lived up to expectations, delivering minute-of-angle five-round groups out to 400 yards with the Lapua loads, and sub minute-of-angle loads with the Black Hills offering. A dime could cover one 100-yard group fired with the Black Hills load. All loads were fired in the prone position off the bipod.

How did the rifle function? It's a rugged bolt-action design. `Nuff said.

If you or your department is in the market for a .338 sniper rifle, the HTR101 is worth a serious look. If you don't need the capabilities of the .338 but are looking for a super-accurate .308, then H-S Precision is still a very viable source.

The suggested retail price for the HTR101 is $7,650 with the standard stock and $8,250 with the folding stock. Law enforcement agencies should write for dealer prices.

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