August 2006

Short-Barreled Tactical Rifles: Remington Noses Out Savage

The LTRs accuracy, reliability, smooth action, and quality stock were just the right elements to beat out the Savage 10FP .308 bolt gun. But all in, wed be happy to own either one.

The 1960s were a trying time for law enforcement in America. Radical anti-government groups were popping up, and drug use began its long-term intrusion into everyday life. Shoot-outs with police were becoming more common. Criminals were starting to take more hostages during the commission of crimes. It became clear to law-enforcement leaders that they needed officers with specialized training for these situations. The days of using military surplus weapons, .38 revolvers and shotguns had changed.

Chief Daryl F. Gates of the Los Angeles Police department has been credited with starting the first SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team in 1967. It was composed of sixty of the department’s best marksmen. Now most large departments have a well-trained SWAT Unit that is capable on being called into action 24 hours a day. To supplement SWAT and to secure crime scenes until SWAT can arrive, ERTs (Early Response Teams) have been developed in the ranks of the regular patrol officers. This is where there is a great need for less expensive and easily transported tactical rifles, such as those with 20-inch barrels.

Why a short-barreled rifle, you ask? In urban situations a short-barreled rifle is easier to handle in close quarters. Since the size of today’s police cars are shrinking, a short-barrel rifle is much easier to carry in the trunk or even in the front seat. Departments need trained officers with rifles capable of sub-MOA accuracy. For the civilian, these rifles are handy, easy to carry, fun to shoot, and make great hunting rifles.

We recently tested two guns that fit in this class: Remington’s Model 700 LTR (Light Tactical Rifle) .308 No. 5739, which usually sells for about $850, and the Savage 10FP .308, $621.

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