By Kevin Reese
SHOT Show, January 2016
Six part series: Part 4 of 6 : Sharps .25-45 AR-15
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- As an 8-year Marine Corps veteran, I’m fed up – fed up with the hordes of Washington thugs who have deemed time and time again that we’re too stupid to know what’s best for us when it comes to the Second Amendment.
By all appearances, their sole strategy to disarm law abiding American citizens is to simply lob ill-educated, naïve and often ignorant opinions, mandates and proposed legislation into the air hoping enough anti-gun rhetoric will stick and finally reveal the mosaic of a socialist society populated by subjects. Well, I have troubling news for those who deem it appropriate to tell us by what means we can defend ourselves.
The segment of our industry they hate the most continues to grow by leaps and bounds, especially with respect to production of those scary black rifles.
Anyone walking the SHOT Show floor with an ounce of brain activity can see that our tactical segment is alive and well… and I couldn’t be happier! With that in mind, I’m in the mood to really piss some people off by talking about a handful of the “scariest” black rifles at the 2016 SHOT Show had to offer. And by scariest, I mean exceedingly bad ass!
(This will be a series of Six(6) linked articles, the following is number 2 of 6. Click the Next button below for more.)
While not presented in any specific order, take a look at a handful that deserve some serious respect and lots of trigger time!
Sharps .25-45 AR-15 – Rich History Meets A New Age And High Performance Ammo
“One of these is NOT like the others” in a long and storied line of Sharps Rifle Company firearms people have staked their lives and livelihoods upon for generation after generation. Of course, I’m talking about the Sharps .25-45 AR-platform modern sporting rifle.
The Sharps .25-45 cartridge, named so as a hat tip to SRC history, consists of a .223 casing necked up to a .25-cal and is available in both 70-gr and 87-gr. options. So, why did it make the list? First, the name Sharps alone commands respect. Second, Sharps’ .25-45 demonstrates the type of quality, master craftsmanship and precision truly representative of the company’s illustrious reputation. Finally, this modern sporting rifle just plain rocks!
Reflecting back on my days in the Corps, I would have happily chosen this round over the M855 5.56 NATO every day of the week and twice on Sundays. The .25-45 delivers up to 40% more power over .223 and M855 5.56 NATO ammunition; in fact, while the muzzle velocities of a Sharps 87-gr .25-45 and 62-gr 5.56 are exceptionally comparable, over 3,000 fps out of a 20” barrel, the .25-45, with its heavier bullet, packs more than 400 ft-lbs. of energy over that of the 5.56. And, since many state hunting regulations require the use of calibers greater than .22, the .25-45 meets that requirement; even better, .25-cal has always been regarded as a phenomenal caliber for deer, hogs and other mid-sized game species. You want to hunt with an AR-15? Problem solved! Truly as a Marine Corps veteran, I am most comfortable shooting AR platform semi-automatic rifles reminiscent of my ol’ trusty M16-A2. While they are certainly entirely different rifles, they look and feel similar, giving me that added level of comfort.
*As a side note, because the .25-45 is comprised of necked up .223, you can use standard AR magazines, receivers, bolt carriers, bolts, etc. Even if you don’t purchase a Sharps .25-45 rifle but like the caliber, all you really need is a .25-45 barrel!
The rifle itself is quite an awesome eye-catcher. No matter how many times I passed the SRC booth, I couldn’t help but throw hard glances its way, soaking it all in. The sharp contrast of the coated matte black upper and lower receivers, .25-45 stamped dust cover, ultra-cool Diamondhead handguard and aggressive muzzle break, against the sleek shine of a NP3 PLUS electroless nickel-base finished SRC stamped bolt carrier and stainless steel 20-in. barrel, had my heart coming out of my chest.
It was scary just the way I like it – straight-up sexy; my trigger finger twitched as I groped it.
True to Sharps’ attention to detail, the rifle I spent way too much time gawking at hid even better features designed specifically for worry-free reliability and match-grade performance. That beautiful 416R stainless barrel hid a precisely machined 1:10 polygonal twist while SRC's perfectly balanced bolt carrier hid an industry leading bolt complete with rounded, tapered lugs to prevent one of the AR-15’s most common malfunctions. Both the carrier and Relia-Bolt boast hardcore S7 steel and NP3 PLUS coating. NP3 PLUS itself consists of an electroless nickel-based finished that essentially co-deposits Teflon into the finish for self-lubricating corrosion-resistant performance. NP3 PLUS protects up to 10-times better than standard electroless nickel. The bolt carrier and Relia-Bolt also undergo a proprietary heat treating process resulting in a 75 percent increase in tensile strength and nearly 60 percent improvement in yield strength.
While the outside of the Sharps .25-45 looks amazing, Sharps intentionally focused significant effort on what you don’t see to legitimately produce reliability you can stake your life on… or just your next meal.
Click the next button to read part five:
A Not-So-Scary Wrap-Up
As an obvious disclaimer, AmmoLand is poking fun at scary. While antis bounce around using loose terms like “scary”, “assault” or “clip”, generally because they are ill-educated and have no business discussing topics they know nothing about, or care to learn about for that matter, we had fun using the terms “scary” and “black rifles” as descriptors, by our definition, synonymous with super cool modern sporting rifles! They hate, we love! In fact, we want to see more! I can’t wait to see what the amazing folks hard at work in our firearms industry have in store for us down freedom’s road.
As rifles go, were there others worth talking about? Plenty! But, you’ll have to read about them in another AmmoLand feature in the 2016 SHOT Show series, 5 Rifles that Rocked the 2016 SHOT Show – a combination of more scary-cool rifles, including the mind-blowing FN M249S Semi-Automatic Saw and other phenomenal classic-style bolt actions. If anything was clear at the 2016 SHOT Show it was that tactical is still alive, well and booming;
…however, I also noticed greater separation between the scores of we’re-just-assembling-parts-and-branding guys and those who are laser focused on improving, innovating and pushing tactical performance limits with rifle systems truly worthy of serious recognition.
Stick around. There is more to come in my 2016 SHOT Show wrap-up…
About Kevin Reese:
Kevin is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, speaker, host of Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips and a Marine Corps veteran. He owns and administers www.mainbeammedia.com and Main Beam Blog at blog.mainbeammedia.com. The Main Beam Blog offers great articles, press releases, outdoor industry news and reviews.