By Lynx 94 rifle
Monday, 22 August 2011
Lynx 94 rifle review: The Lynx 94 is a remarkable Finnish rifle with outstanding accuracy and a straight-pull bolt.
Lynx 94 rifle review.
I first saw the Lynx on the Brown Trout of Harrogate stand at The CLA Game Fair in 2010 and knew that I should test this innovative rifle.
I met Harri Laaksonen, owner of Pirkan Ase at a show in Germany and he sent me over a Lynx 94 target rifle in 6.5x47 Lapua cartridge for testing.
The Lynx 94 action was designed by Torsti Laaksonen, a well-known Finnish master gunsmith, and it has proved to be the smoothest and most reliable straight-pull rifle available.
The Lynx is available in four models: the Target (on test) and Hunter are both straight-pulls; the Target with laminated stock and Hunter with three choices of walnut: standard, select or lux.
The XO and XXO models are conventional bolt-operating rifles, in standard action length and Magnum length respectively, again with a choice of three grades of walnut stock.
All Lynx rifles are handcrafted in small numbers and are therefore individually tuned to the client’s wishes, as well as being available in a wide range of calibres and a variety of feature specifications.
ACTION, TRIGGER AND SAFETY
What instantly catches the eye is the large gearstick of a bolt handle.
This is similar to a biathlon rifle’s, and it gives a really good grip and smooth, positive cartridge manipulation. A swift pull directly backwards unlocks the bolt’s twin locking lugs.
These traverse the action, which is made from chrome moly steel with a hardened surface.
These locks are directly opposed, a large square lug locks into the right side of the action, while a smaller coin slot lug keys into the action’s left side simultaneously.
I feel so much safer with straight-pulls when the action lockup uses bolts that traverse the action body.
The bolt is cylindrical in form and long, yet ultra-smooth to operate.
The bolt head has a plunger ejector and claw-type extractor that removes spent cases with gusto. The action has full length 17mm dovetails so finding scope mounts is easy and allows a diverse mounting length to suit the longest or shortest scopes.
To the left side is the simple safety catch: forward for fire and back for safe, and the bolt release catch drops through the action just in front of the trigger blade.
The trigger is also superb, adjustable for length of pull, weight and its instantly crisp let-off is between 0.5kg and 1.2kg in weight, as desired, though I’d prefer a larger trigger blade.
The Hunter model has three grades of quality walnut with Sporter styling, but the Target version was my favourite, with a laminated thumbhole stock that handles beautifully.
The grey black laminate looks good and is excellent for a sporting arm, as it shakes off the harshest weather, doesn’t warp like walnut, and therefore keeps its accuracy and zero, which is very important.
It looks heavy, but is well balanced with either a thumbhole or a thumb ledge. Left hand versions are also available.
The fore-end is deep enough for a good hold and the stippled areas (rather than chequering) suit the design.
There are two rails to attach a bipod and sling, so the rifle sits flat on your shoulder or back.
The cheekpiece is adjustable for height and the four locking screws that pinch the twin supporting stems also allow a degree of cant, so you can tailor-make the stock to fit your face.
Unusually, the butt pad is made from wood and has a stippled finish for grip.
ACCURACY AND TARGETS
Never have I had a rifle that digests a range of bullet weights and propellants with such consistent results.
The accuracy was incredible, and the barrel shot minute groups at 100 yards.
The 120-gr Nosler Ballistic Tip load of 36.5 gr of Vit N140 powder shot an impressive 2,722fps velocity for 1,975ft/lb energy.
All the three shot groups were below 0.4in at 100 yards, which is superb, and at 200 yards five shots clustered into less than 0.75in.
The 85-gr screamed over the chronograph at 3,057fps and would be a dynamite fox load when calling or lamping, while the 108-gr Scenar or 123-gr Scenar Match bullets with their high ballistic coefficients make excellent longer range Varmint loads thanks to the retained energy.
The 6.5x 47 Lapua struggles with the 140-gr bullet weights, but then Berger VLD Hunting bullets at 2,598fps and 2,099ft/lb are good deer bullets with excellent accuracy.
BARREL, CALIBRE AND MAGAZINE
Cartridge choice is as you would expect, with .22-250, .243, .308, 6.5x55 and .30-06 fitting the bill nicely and larger cartridges such as 9.3x62 and the new .375 Ruger all an option (.338 Lapua, .375 H&H and .416 Rigby available on the bolt-action XO and XXO only).
As the rifle is handcrafted, there are other calibres available, and barrel reamers can be ordered to suit your requirements.
The 6.5x47 Lapua has been with us for five years, and due to its higher operating pressure is similar to the old 6.5x55mm cartridge, but uses less powder.
The barrels’ blanks are sourced from Lothar Walther and are chrome moly in construction, rather than stainless steel.
Chrome moly barrels still offer superb accuracy and are often easier to “run in” or offer immediately accurate results.
The barrels are handcrafted and fitted to “their” actions, so a precise fit is ensured with all chamber reaming, threading being carried out in-house.
This is custom-house-build quality at superb prices. All exterior parts are finished in a tough matt bluing, and the muzzle is threaded for a 17mmx1 thread with spigot.
The standard magazine size is three shots, but the tested Target model came in a useful 10-shot due to the deep belly of the stock, very handy indeed for shooting vermin at longer ranges.
It is double stacked and is all steel construction.
This is the best rifle I have tested to date. It is a unique, high-accuracy sporting rifle ideally suited for vermin, fox or deerstalking.
The stock design and laminate are perfect for stalking, shaking off the worst of the weather.
That straight-pull bolt design is sublime and offers 100% reliability and precision.
The price reflects the handcrafted elements of the Lynx — no doubt its owner will cherish it over a productive life.
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