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DTA SRS: Finally got to shoot one! (*Video update)
Well, I finally got to handle and shoot a Desert Tactical Arms Stealth Recon Scout. My buddy purchased one about 2 months ago, and I hadn't gotten to get together with him yet to shoot it. This weekend, we finally made it happen. He has the 26" barrel in .260 Remington, and the 16" barrel in .308 with the "covert" handguard. First, my assessment of the rifle is that it's pretty impressive. It's quite ergonomic, and while the pistol grip has a big larger palm swell then I expected, it's very comfortable, and I can see how it would be for most shooters. DTA is coming out with an adjustable cheek piece that will be an option later this summer. I thought the bolt being further back might take quite a bit of getting used to, but I didn't think it was much of a big deal at all. The bolt lift was nice (less force than my custom Remington 700), although you couldn't baby it when you were closing the bolt, she locks up tight. The raceway was pretty smooth, although not custom action smooth; but you also have to keep in mind that the rifle is brand new and has less than 200 rounds downrange. So I suspect that it'll smooth up quite a bit as she gets broken in. I was VERY impressed with how well the rifle balances for off hand shots, it's FAR better than a conventional heavy barreled rifle. Just a rough guess, I'd say the rifle weighs around 16 lbs the way it's currently set up.

I can tell you that the bolt likes to be ran pretty hard. I noticed that if you tried to baby it, you wouldn't get it to completely eject from the rifle, or it would try to flip back into the action. It could be a concern for some people, but every time I really ran the bolt, it ejected perfectly. The only kind of "complaint" or thing that I didn't like about the rifle was loading the magazines. They are blocked off at the rear to accommodate the short action calibers. The feed lips are pretty long, so you're almost ducking rounds down under the lips and sliding them back. While it wasn't an issue, the magazine followers do try to tilt a bit, but right themselves up. The spring tension is good and they never had any problems with leveling or binding, they just get a bit wonky as you load them. I can also tell you that if you want to shoot singles, make sure you actually slide them part way into the chamber because if you don't, they like to hang up on the feed ramp. This isn't really a surprise because DTA says flat out in the manual that even when shooting singles, they recommend loading them in the magazine. As long as you had the point of the bullet above the base of the feed ramp, I didn't have any issues feeding singles, and there was not even the hint of binding when stripping rounds off of the magazine.

Now the big question that I know most people will have is about the trigger, which is always the complaint on bull pup rifles. Honestly, you'd never know that it was a bull pup because the trigger was AMAZING. The trigger is adjustable for pull weight, pre-travel, and even when it's located in the trigger guard. This is nice because you can set the trigger to a place that's comfortable for your finger length and so you can get a true 90* pull on it. My buddy has his set at 3 pounds, and it has absolutely no pre-travel, breaks like a glass rod, and has very little over travel. Even though my buddy says it's set at 3 pounds, I'd say it feels like it's closer to 2 lbs, possibly because of how ergonomic the setup is, and where the trigger shoe is placed in relation to the hand. I've never felt a trigger that was necessarily any better than the SRS trigger, and that includes my custom rifle and many others I've shot. The rifle is VERY easy to shoot well, and it's dang accurate.

So how accurate is the rifle? We didn't take the .308 out for a spin, so we were shooting the .260 Remington with the 26" barrel. The ammunition was the 130 grain Berger ammunition from HSM. I'm not knocking their ammo because it's good stuff, but I suspect that some of the vertical disbursement would be eliminated with some good consistent hand loads. We managed to shoot a 5 round group off of a bipod at 535 yards that was 1.4" at the extreme, and it was all vertical spread. The rifle can flat out shoot. Another thing that we tested was DTA's claim that the barrels hold repeatable zero even after being removed. We removed the barrel from the rifle, put it back in, and then made a hit at 535 yards at the same point of impact that we had before removing the barrel. I was pretty impressed and after I finish putting a video together, you can see this for yourself in video that doesn't have any cuts in it.

Now I know what you're going to say, "Pics or it didn't happen." Well gentlemen, I have 2 photos I'm going to post up for you, and then after I finish putting the video together, I'll make sure to update the thread with it. This is at the range my buddy is a member of, and the farthest targets that they currently have are at 535, so that's as far as we could shoot out to. He'll be making a road trip sometime in the near future, and we'll stretch it out to 1,000 at least. My buddy purchased the rifle with only 120 rounds down the barrel, and the previous owner had a suppressor and for some reason didn't want to keep the mount. It makes the concussion pretty noticeable on the rifle. He will be getting a suppressor soon (not the same brand), so things will be changed up a bit. Just to give you an idea of how compact the system is, both rifles have a 26" barrel on them, and his is wearing a muzzle brake/suppressor mount as well. My apologies for some of the artifacts in the photos, they don't look that way on my computer but apparently there's some compression on the photo hosting website.

[Image: TomcatSRS1_zps168dfb19.jpg]
[Image: TomcatSRS2_zps10623ac6.jpg]
Tomcat088, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
Very nice review! Thank you. How much money are they going for around?
[Image: pa_zps59e4c512.png?t=1379682235]
Philadelphia Patriot;100557 Wrote:Very nice review! Thank you. How much money are they going for around?

The chassis (no barrel, magazine or bolt) costs around $3,100-3,600. So then you're left with choosing a caliber, and buying the kit. Depending on which caliber you'd like, they're between $1,400-2,000. So it's quite easy to spend $5,000 on just the basic rifle setup. So then you throw in the cost of whatever scope and rings you want to put on it, bipod, any other upgrades like different hand guards, rail accessories, magazines ($100-115 each), decent case, the price adds up pretty quickly. It's not necessarily that much more money than lots of people spend on a custom rifle, but you get the option to switch calibers and keep everything the same for another $1,400-2,000. Still, it's pretty steep.
Tomcat088, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
Here's some videos for you, which is usually better than pictures. In the first video, there's a little footage on the rifle, but most is of targets at 535 yards; rams and an 8"x8" plate. At 3:05 there's a comical remark by a gentleman who forget to bring earplugs to the range. While the trajectory of the .260 Rem. and my .300 WSM is almost identical, some may be interested in the rams later in the video and the difference in kinetic energy delivered on target. It's quite evident from how the rams go down. Description is available on youtube for the videos, but feel free to ask questions. I hope I didn't make these for nothing, and that some of you enjoy. They're available in hi def.

In the second video, the beginning footage is on the rifle. You can see the recoil, the rifle setup, how it cycles, and how the trigger breaks. There is no target footage in this video, but you can hear the hits. If you're only interested in how the barrel is removed, and/or how calibers are changed, skip ahead to the 4:24 mark. After that we reinstall the barrel, and shoot the target at 535 yards to confirm that the barrel returned to zero.
Tomcat088, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.

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