February 17, 2011
By J. Guthrie
The rifle comes with a Harris bipod, two 20-round MagPul magazines, and a soft case.
By J. Guthrie
The author tested the Army's new sniper optic on an exceptionally acccurate Les Baer Ultimate Match in .308. The rifle easily held its 1/2-MOA guarantee.
Before you go to the trouble to write my bosses a letter, let me save you some time. Les Baer doesn't give me free guns, and I don't own a Les Baer rifle. I can't afford one, yet. But the rifles I have shot have turned in performances worthy of their big, fat price tags. The new Ultimate Match Rifle, in .308 no less, was no different and frankly its stellar performance came as no surprise. I'm not so jaded that I can't appreciate a half-MOA guarantee with match ammo, but when you consider the fact that Mr. Baer and his talented gunsmiths try and improve every single detail, tweak every dimension, and make all their own parts to the most exacting standards, rifles that shoot the lights out just don't come as a surprise. You expect it, and so does Mr. Baer. My gun averaged 0.46 inch for three-shot groups at 100 yards with Federal Premium 168-grain HPBT Gold Medal and 0.72 inch with Hornady 168-grain TAP ammo.
Uppers and lowers are machined in house and then hand fitted. The LBC carrier, bolt, extractor, free-float handguard, gas block, among others are all made in house and hand fitted by one guy who assembles one rifle start to finish. Critical parts are hard chromed, which makes them tough and easy to clean. The rifle's crown jewel of precision is its 24-inch barrel, which is machined from 416R stainless and coated with a DuPont S finish. The rifling is cut with a single-point cutter, one tedious groove at a time, and has a near-mirror finish.
One of the few parts Baer doesn't make is the trigger and that's because he can't make one better than the Geissele two-stage match trigger installed in each Ultimate Match rifle. The rifle comes with a Harris bipod, two 20-round MagPul magazines, and a soft case. The price is $2,980. The Ultimate Match is worth every penny, and if my kids and dogs didn't have to eat, I would buy two.
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