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Texas Sportsman
New For 2005: LONG GUNS
A first look at the latest rifles and shotguns

For many hunters, new rifles and shotguns comprise the heart of the batting order when it comes to new-firearms introductions. This looks to be a pretty good year, with new models, intriguing variants and new chamberings. So, without further ado, let's get down to cases.

From Morgan, Utah: Browning's Cynergy O/U is now available in 20- and 28-gauge versions. Field models are with 26- or 28-inch barrels. The 20-gauge Sporting model can be had with 28-, 30- or 32-inch ported barrels. The 28 Sporting model is available with 28- or 30-inch barrels. Both Sporting guns feature Grade III/IV walnut in oil finish and are supplied with new Diana Grade choke tubes. In the Citori O/U lineup is the Super Lightning Grade I featuring a blued receiver with gold border, Grade II/III walnut Lightning-style stock and Schnabel forearm. This one's available in 12 or 20 gauge with 26- or 28-inch barrels. Other new Citori O/Us include the new Grade IV Lightning and Grade VII Lightning high grades with new high-relief, sculpted engraving. The new Grade IV will have a grayed receiver, and the Grade VII model will have either blue or grayed receiver options with 24-karat gold with gold plating and engraving. They're available in 12, 20, 28 gauge and .410.

Browning cynergy 28-gauge Sporting

Auto-wise, the company offers the Gold Fusion High Grade semiauto with Turkish walnut and a silver nitride receiver. There's also a new BLR Lightweight lever-action rifle with pistol-grip stock in both short- and long-action versions. Calibers include all WSMs including the new .325 as well as the .450 Marlin. The rimfire BL-22 is now available as the BL-17 in .17 Mach 2 in both Grade I and Grade II versions. Finally, the five-pound, four-ounce A-Bolt Mountain Titanium is now chambered in .223, .243 and .25 WSSM. It features a fiberglass Bell & Carlson stock in Mossy Oak Break-Up and a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad. And, of course, various iterations of the A-Bolt are now available in .325 WSM.

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Varmints, big game, birds: Charles Daly is importing a Zastava-made stainless steel Mauser Field Grade bolt-action rifle in several standard and magnum chamberings. The company's Superior Grade rimfire sporter is now available in .17 HMR. The rifle features a 22-inch barrel, detachable five-round magazine and a hand-checkered, oil-rubbed walnut stock. In addition, Daly's also got four new Italian-made O/U shotguns in a Limited Edition NRA Commemorative Diamond Grade. For auto lovers, there's a synthetic-stocked, left-handed Field Hunter VR-MC-LH 12 gauge that can be had with a 24-, 26- or 28-inch barrel.

Czech this: CZ-USA is now the exclusive importer for Turkey's Huglu shotguns. All O/Us and side-bys in the CZ/Huglu line are built on a frame proportionate to the specific gauge (12, 20, 28 and .410). All are available with 26- or 28-inch barrels and with single or double triggers. In addition, the company's CZ 527 American 22-inch-barreled sporter is now available in .204 Ruger in field or fancy grade with American black walnut, maple, brown laminate or sunset camo laminate stocks. The 527 series features controlled-round feed, claw extractor, single-set trigger and hammer-forged barrel. Scope rings are included (American model only). Finally, the CZ 452 American is now available in .17 Mach 2 and features a 22.5-inch sporter-weight barrel (the Varmint model features a 20.9-inch heavy barrel).

CZ 452 Varmint .17 Mach 2

Two new: Franchi's got two very interesting new smoothbores. First is a serious clays gas-operated auto called the Raptor. It can be had in 12 or 20 gauge with a 28- or 30-inch barrel, respectively. The Raptor features an extended forcing cone, shim kit for adjusting length of pull and a very attractive WeatherCoat-finished Turkish Walnut stock that contrasts nicely with the satin nickel receiver. Next is the 12-gauge 912 Steadygrip, a dedicated turkey auto with a 3 1/2-inch chamber, Realtree Advantage Timber HD synthetic stock and, of course, an extra-full turkey choke featuring Benelli/Beretta threading. All German: Heckler & Koch is now the exclusive importer of Merkel side-by-side shotguns. The news for this year is a live bird gun and a heavy duck gun. Details are sketchy at presstime, but they are said to have been designed with American tastes in mind.

Franchi Raptor

Big and little: The news from Kimber is, of course, the company's .17 Mach 2 bolt-action sporter. But on the larger side of things, the company now offers its Model 8400 bolt-action sporter in the exciting new .325 WSM.

Think globally: Lazzeroni is offering a new rifle--the Model 2005 Global Hunter. It's lighter in weight--six pounds, one ounce--than the previous 2000 series and features a diamond-fluted bolt shaft, titanium firing pin, Vais muzzlebrake and slim graphite composite stock. It can be had in any one of Lazzeroni's short-magnum calibers. In addition, the company's got a long-action magnum rifle weighing just over seven pounds called the L2005LLT.

Lazzeroni Global Hunter

Cowboy action: The big news for lever lovers is that Marlin's got an octagon-barreled Model 1894 CB in .32 H&R; Magnum, which should be just the ticket for recoil-sensitive Cowboy Action types.

New directions: Nosler Inc., long known for premium bullets, is now offering a premium, limited-edition (500 units) bolt-action rifle called the NoslerCustom.

NoslerCustom .300 WSM

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