Fierce Carbon Edge 6.5 PRC
Fierce Carbon Edge 6.5 PRC
Manufacturer: Fierce Firearms
Price as reviewed: £4,530
I was unfamiliar with Fierce Firearms until recently, but the manufacturer has been causing a few ripples in the gun trade with its high-specification stalking rifles and ‘guaranteed’ accuracy at 100 yards. Based in Quebec, Fierce has hidden its talent for producing high-precision items for the firearms industry for decades and now has branched out on its own. This has resulted in interesting rifles designed from customer feedback on what makes a proper stalking arm.
To this end, Fierce has produced an extraordinary range of rifles with guaranteed accuracy of ½ MOA (minute of angle) at 100 yards, accompanied by recommended ammunition and load data.
Fierce Carbon Edge
You can opt for the Rival model, which has a Remington 700-type footprint and a two-lug bolt, while the Edge model on test has a Sako 85 footprint, so accessories for these rifles can be used if necessary. But Fierce actions and rifles handle and operate like hand-crafted custom rifles. The Edge has a lightweight yet super-strong, carbon fibre-constructed stock and the barrel is a match-grade, hand-lapped, stainless steel. It is offered in straight or spiral flutes or, as here on test, with Fierce’s proprietary C3 carbon-wrapped barrel technology.
Ultimately, you have a lightweight yet sturdy rifle that can take absolutely anything the British weather can throw at it, can shoot ½in groups at 100 yards, has all the refinements of a custom rifle but at a factory price and comes with a lifetime warranty. As they say, what’s not to like?’’
NEED TO KNOW
- Manufacturer Fierce Firearms, Canada
- Model Fierce Carbon Edge
- Type Bolt action
- Calibre 6.5 PRC
- Magazine Four shot; detachable
- Finish Carbon fibre and Cerakote
- Barrel Carbon fibre wrapped, 24in
- Overall length 44.5in
- Weight 6.6lb
- Sights None, full-length Picatinny rail
- Stock Carbon-fibre Sporter
- Trigger Single stage; adjustable
- Price £4,530
- Importer Raytrade, 01635 253344
Fierce Carbon Edge in depth
The Fierce Edge is available with either a stainless steel (on test) or titanium action. The latter option is obviously lighter, but both have a tough black Cerakote finish, making them impervious to the elements.
The three-lug bolt action allows a shallow, 70-degree bolt lift for fast operation and good strong lock-up, as well as a reliable controlled-round feed of the cartridge. The spiral fluted bolt keeps weight to a minimum and prevents binding in operation. Extraction is via a large Sako-style claw, with the ejection performed by an inset spur in the floor of the action. The bolt handle is quite short but manageable; it is hollow to reduce weight and the large serrated handle offers a secure grip.
I like the one-piece Picatinny rail for scope fitment, and the large ejection port also allows you to feed individual cartridges through the action if you don’t have time to change the magazine. A detachable stainless-steel unit, the mag fits four rounds of fat 6.5 PRC ammunition and pops out easily with the forward release lever in the floorplate.
The safety locks the bolt closed when operated, but a small secondary lever, when compressed, also allows the bolt to be opened to remove a cartridge. The Edge uses a match-grade single-stage trigger unit. It’s adjustable from 2lb to 4lb to maximise accuracy, and I found no creep to its travel.
Best of all is the Edge’s fantastic barrel; 24in with a 1-in-8in rifling twist, a straight taper and 0.900in-diameter muzzle and 5/8 UNEF thread.
The interesting part is the fact that the barrel is 416R stainless steel, match grade, hand lapped and cryogenically treated. It is machined down in diameter then wrapped with carbon fibre to give both strength and stiffness. This culminates in a lightweight barrel that delivers varmint barrel accuracy and consistency, along with reduced heat build-up and thus less heat mirage. Add to this Fierce’s ½ MOA guarantee and you have yourself a pretty special stalking rifle.
The stock uses Fierce’s Tech C3 carbon-fibre design. It weighs 0.785kg and takes the profile of a Sako Sporter, with a length of pull of 13.75in. Again, it is lightweight and strong for even the most rugged conditions.
All surfaces are finished off in an effective camouflage pattern, which looks rather smart. Finally, the Limbsaver pad dissipates recoil effectively and its soft, grippy nature maintains a steady-sighted aim.
I fitted the Edge with a new GPO Spectra 4.5-27×50 scope. The optical quality and magnification range were perfect for the fast and flat-shooting 6.5 PRC round. I had 2,862fps and 0.65in groups with the Hornady Precision Hunter 143-gr ELD-X loading. Meanwhile, the ELD Match loading managed 0.55in three- shot groups at 3,009fps.
I did find the ejection to be a little weak, which meant I needed to bring the bolt right back for a strong ejection.
Reloads were magical in this Edge rifle, with a light 120-gr GMX lead-free bullet travelling 3,204fps for 2,736ft/lb energy with a load of 58.25 grains of Vit N555 powder, achieving ½in groups. The same was true of the Barnes LRX lead-free 127-gr bullets with 58.0 grains of RL19 powder, producing 0.45in groups at 3,091fps and 2,695ft/lb. Superb.
A heavier bullet such as the Hornady SST 140-gr shot best with 61.0 grains of H1000 powder for 3,011fps and 2,819ft/lb and 0.55in groupings at 100 yards.
Testing this rifle in mid-March, just before the roebuck season opened, I took it to Argyll for a licensed out-of-season red deer. This proved fortuitous as the stalking ranges were long, so a lightweight rifle with a semi-magnum cartridge was a real benefit.
I crawl a lot when stalking, so I was grateful for the lightness of the Edge coupled with the total weather protection of the carbon-fibre barrel and stock as well as the Cerakote metal coating. At 302 yards, the 127-gr Barnes lead-free LRX bullet poleaxed the big woodland stag and it simply collapsed on its feet as it left the safety of the forest canopy.
I was impressed with the field tests, as this rifle is clearly built by stalkers for stalkers. As such, the Edge is designed with everything you need to achieve pinpoint accuracy, including great handling and overall superb build quality. It’s a real stalkers’ rifle, this one.
- Accuracy: I can confirm Fierce’s claim of ½ MOA — accuracy is superb 19/20
- Handling: Excellent handling characteristics for what is quite a long rifle 19/20
- Trigger: The trigger offers a good blend of lightness, no creep and safe let-off 18/20
- Stock Lightweight and strong, the stock is ideal for real- world stalking 18/20
- Value: Good value considering the Edge’s features and price tag
- Overall score: Hands down, one of the best stalking rifles in its class 92/100
A real stalker's rifle