F-Class shooting is becoming increasingly popular locally and overseas, and for South Africans the biggest hurdle has been acquiring factory-built rifles that enable them to compete at the highest level. Victrix’s F-class rifles do just that.
Most people I know who are interested in this sport are opting for custom-built rifles, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, buying a factory rifle that already has all the bells and whistles needed to be competitive makes life a lot easier, as there is no waiting period for the rifle to be built and no need to consider a plethora of barrels, stocks, actions, etc.
Rifle manufacturer Victrix, having recently become part of the Beretta group, introduced their high-end rifles at IWA in Germany only in 2016. In addition to their tactical rifles, Victrix offers off-the-shelf rifles for competing at the highest level of F-Class. The maker chose Benchmark as its exclusive barrel supplier.
The rest of the rifle is manufactured in-house. The action is similar in design to the Remington 700 only the bolt-head has three locking lugs with a 60˚ lift and 105°/105°/150° lug-geometry, which provides greater resistance to flexing than the more traditional 120°/120°/120° cloverleaf geometry. The target rifle has no ejector or safety system; each cartridge case must be removed from the receiver by hand, which, unlike a mechanical ejector, ensures that cases are not damaged.
The action and bolt are machined from 17.4PH stainless steel and hardened (the body to 48 Rockwell, the bolt to 45 Rockwell), then physical vapour deposition (PVD) coated with chromium nitride and nobium – for wear-resistance and smooth operation. I was told that the PVD coating makes the need for oil or grease obsolete; I used a demo rifle without any oil and the action was extremely smooth.
Tenon thread is M27x1.5 and, of course, tolerances are ‘benchrest’ standard. Picatinny rails (20MOA) are fitted to the receiver.
Victrix has developed its own trigger for the Victoria range, a four- lever target trigger with an adjustment range of 1 to 2.5 ounces (30–70g).
The target rifles come with stocks of various configuration, and most are adjustable for comb height and length-of-pull. The fore-ends are equipped with Anschutz rails and the actions are fixed to the stock with five screws (as distinct from the traditional hunting rifle’s two), ensuring higher accuracy potential.
To put the rifles to the test we asked Chris Coenen (using a Victrix Victoria Carbon Performance) and Ed Knibbs (using a Victrix Victoria Sport Series), both from Gauteng and who had just started out in F-Class shooting, to join us at the Sure Focus Shooting Range in Meyerton.
Read the full article in the May 2018 issue of Magnum.