Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle
Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle
- Match-grade barrel
- Aluminum alloy rifle chassis
- Insulated comb
- 3-chamber, detachable muzzle brake
- Selectable dual- and single-stage strigger
- Adjustable trigger weights
- Octagonal forend with M-LOK slots
- 20 MOA 1913 Picatinny rail
- 5-round box magazine
- Corrosion-resistant, FDE Cerakote coating
REVIEW: Victrix Armaments Rifles
By ALEX LUFFO FROM gunsdiscreetsupplies.com
Italy has long been known for making quality weapons, from sword-makers and some of the first firearms to today’s modern guns. Beretta, for example, was officially founded back in 1526 to make barrels for the arsenal of Venice. It’s now the oldest active gun manufacturer in the world. That history includes every type of firearm, including pocket pistols, rifles and shotguns, and each is a work of art. Just think about it: Beretta has been supplying military arms longer than some countries have existed, including the U.S.
Victrix Armaments Scorpio Details
Like any large company, Beretta has acquired and imported other products, too. A few years ago, Beretta acquired Tikka to offer quality duty and precision rifles. Military applications require something a bit different, though, which brought Beretta to Victrix Armaments.
Victrix is based in the Gandino Valley of Italy, northeast of Bergamo, and the company has over 45 years of experience in the precision engineering world. Its rifles are built using state-of-the-art CNC machines that were originally designed to manufacture high-tolerance medical devices. This means that each gun is meticulously machined with incredible attention to detail, and every component (aside from the Benchmark barrels) is made in-house. This allows Victrix to maintain tight tolerances using state-of-the-art measuring equipment.
Computer-controlled machining has reached a stunning level of precision these days, with tolerances hand-lapping and hand-fitting simply cannot achieve. This also saves on costs and eases production burdens, making it easier for shooters to get higher–quality weapons. Of course, some aspects still require the attention of a master machinist, and that’s why Victrix is staffed by people dedicated to creating the best precision rifles for hunters, competitors, enthusiasts as well as military and law enforcement personnel.
The Scorpio’s Sting
One of my assignments at Athlon Outdoors’ Rendezvous media event last fall was to cover the new Victrix Armaments Scorpio and Pugio precision rifles now being imported by Beretta. I’ve been in this world a while, so I was only mildly interested in testing more bolt-action rifles. But I was absolutely impressed when I got to shoot these guns. The European influence is obvious in the U.S. precision world today, and Victrix’s rifles represent the pinnacle of that evolution.
Available in .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and .300 Norma Magnum, the Scorpio is designed for longer ranges and moderately hard targets. It starts with the Victrix’s Minerva three-lug long action, which offers a 60-degree throw. Made from AISI 630 steel, it’s coated in PVD for smooth operation and protection from the elements. It’s also compatible with AICS magazines, and my test sample arrived with a five-round polymer magazine, though Victrix offers eight-rounders to law enforcement personnel.
The bolt is fluted to reduce weight, but it also helps give debris somewhere to go in harsh conditions, ensuring a proper lockup in sand, dirt, snow, etc. The bolt handle is knurled, with a slight bend for smooth, fast manipulations. The trigger can be used as a single- or two-stage unit, and both stages are adjustable. My test rifle’s trigger pull measured 3 pounds, which is perfect for me, so I didn’t have to alter it.
The test rifle was also chambered in .300 Norma Magnum, and it sported a match-grade 26-inch, AISI 416R barrel lapped for accuracy and capped with a large three-chamber muzzle brake. Surrounding the barreled action is a purpose-built chassis system using an AR-style pistol grip, an infinitely adjustable folding stock and an octagonal handguard with removable rails, though a version with KeyMod slots is also available. You’ll also notice a unique grip machined into the bottom of the forend. In short, this chassis is the epitome of European engineering, as it can easily be adjusted to fit just about anyone on the fly for the perfect match of rifle and shooter.
Glass, Bipod & Ammo
Factory 230-grain Norma loads require 20 mils of elevation at extended ranges. Handloads need a bit less. So, I needed a scope capable of providing at least 20 mils of elevation after zeroing, making Nightforce’s 5-25x56mm ATACR perfect for this evaluation. Using a 40-MOA mount allowed almost 30 mils of elevation on this rifle. The scope’s glass is incredibly clear, and the turrets are tactile, precise and easy to read. I also installed used my Modular Evolution bipod, which is light with a bit more height, making it a great fit for this rifle. Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle
Factory-loaded .300 Norma Magnum is sparse and expensive at a bit more than $4 per round. Handloading cuts that in half, but I’m hopeful that’ll change soon. This caliber is quickly becoming a favorite among Special Mission Units, and tons of backstage testing is going on, as it has for years. This might be the most versatile long-range, soft-target cartridge available. It also happens to be an excellent long-range hunting round.
For factory ammo, I used Norma’s 230-grain Berger Hyrbid OTM rounds along with some ABM rounds that used a lighter 215-grain version of the same projectile. I also created some handloads using the 230-grain Berger OTMs and Hornady 212-grain ELD-Xs in Norma brass.
Victrix Armaments Scorpio Range Time
Testing long-range rifles at “short” distances (300 yards and in) is interesting. This isn’t their sweet spot, and you’ll find many other calibers are better suited for close ranges. But it’s important to establish a baseline, and this rifle was very accurate. At 100 yards, my best group came from by Berger 230-grain handload at 0.47 inches. Four of the five shots were actually closer to 0.3 inches before a flyer opened things up. The 215-grain ABM rounds performed similarly. The least accurate was the Norma load.
At 300 yards, the rifle produced its tightest five-shot group—just 0.78 inches—with the ABM ammo. Every other group was right around 1.5 inches. The Hornady ELD-X handload produced the widest group at this range, but it only measured 1.47 inches, well below MOA. In fact, within 1,000 yards, the Victrix kept everything inside 1 MOA for three shots. The trigger was predictable, clean and crisp out of the box, making it pretty easy to stay on target. Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle
The bolt was also incredibly smooth and fast. The bolt handle and knob make it easy to run the bolt quickly. I performed a couple of drills by firing at 300 yards and moving out to 800 meters, and the Victrix is definitely fast. So fast that I can’t wait to run the .308 Winchester Pugio through the same speed drills.
The chassis was comfortable and easy to adjust. The Victrix isn’t heavier than any other magnum precision rifles fielded by the military nowadays, but at almost 15 pounds without a scope and bipod, it’s no lightweight hunter. On the other hand, it’s soft shooting, although the muzzle brake accounts for most of that. Used side by side with other rifles, the Victrix was always easier to control and softer to shoot thanks to its brake, especially with the slower factory Norma rounds.
The handguard allows you to add lights, night vision and other accessories, and the bottom rail accommodated several bipods. The stock locks into place solidly in the extended and folded positions. Releasing it requires you to push down on a lever and then pull up, then it’ll swing freely. This isn’t a quick-deployment rifle that you’ll pull out of a bag and use in seconds. So having a positive stock locking system is nice. Overall, the test rifle exhibits superb fit and finish.
.300 Norma Pros
Short of downrange energy, the .300 Norma Magnum will do anything a .338 Lapua will with less cost and recoil yet greater precision. Measured side by side, even the 215-grain Bergers match or exceed 300-grain .338 Lapua OTMs at everything except energy on target, although I’m not sure that really means much on a soft target. With a muzzle velocity of 3,150 fps, the 230-grain Berger will still have 1,100 foot-pounds of energy at a mile—the equivalent of a 240-grain .44 Magnum at point-blank range. No, this isn’t a direct comparison because the bullets are different, but I wouldn’t want to test the difference. Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle
Which brings us to shots at 2,000 yards—the limit for most similar cartridges. My 230-grain Berger handload was transonic at 1,900 yards. The 212-grain ELD-X handload was subsonic, and the Normas were on the edge of subsonic. You can reach 2,000 yards using a good scope with enough elevation and a normal mount. Beyond that and you’re moving into .375 CheyTac range and will need some specialized equipment.
Loaded up with the faster 230-grain Berger round, I got hits on a 3-by-3-foot steel target at 2,000 yards using 17.7 mils of elevation. After accounting for wind, I placed three consecutive shots on steel, with an overall vertical spread of about 25 inches. My horizontal spread was more like 10 inches, which is pretty tight for that range. The factory Norma ammo required almost 22 mils. The elevation for the ABM was about the same as my 230-grain handload, and the ELD-Xs needed just a bit more. But, in short, I got hits on steel at 2,000 yards within just a few rounds.
This rifle is poised to compete with the likes of Accuracy International and other high-end European precision rifles in the same price range. It’s expensive, but it’s an excellent long-range rifle whether you’re shooting targets or serve in a law enforcement or military position. Similar rifles sell incredibly well here in the U.S., and the Victrix provides another option. And getting one chambered in the .300 Norma Magnum gives you a ton of bullet choices, letting you create whatever you need for the task at hand. Lighter bullets will cut down on recoil while still being very effective at reasonable hunting distances.
Victrix Armaments Scorpio Specs
- Caliber: .300 Norma Magnum
- Barrel: 26 inches
- Overall Length: 40.2-50.8 inches
- Overall Weight: 14.8 pounds (empty)
- Stock: Aluminum
- Sights: None
- Action: Bolt
- Finish: Flat Dark Earth
- Capacity: 5+1
8 Great Centerfire Rifles for Under $1,000
By FRED TOAST FROM gunsdiscreetsupplies.com
Several new centerfire rifles were launched at SHOT Show 2017, and this year’s class of guns is more diverse than at any time in recent memory. A handful of lightweight mountain and predator rifles debuted this year, along with several dedicated long-distance bolt guns. There were a handful of ARs, and surprisingly a fair number of new walnut-stocked rifles. Regardless of your discipline or quarry, there’s a rifle on this list for you. If you have a grand and you’re looking to add a new rifle to the stable, here’s what $1,000 will buy you in 2017. Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle
There’s a lot to love about this little rifle. For starters, it’s built on the 527’s compact .223-sized action, and it’s chambered in .300 Blackout and 7.62×39. With a 16½-inch barrel and an overall weight of just 5 pounds, 14 ounces, you can carry this gun all day, and the 5/8×24 threaded muzzle makes this gun suppressor ready. Other features include a detachable box magazine, American-profile black synthetic stock and a single set trigger, $750.
Remington 783 Walnut
The Remington 783 has always shot well, but it wasn’t exactly a beautiful rifle. The new wood-stocked 783 looks considerably better with its checkered black walnut stock. It still utilizes the 783 action with its reduced ejection port, CrossFire bladed trigger and detachable box magazine. Available in .308, 7mm Rem. Mag, .30-’06 and .270 Winchester, this budget bolt gun should be priced well under $500.
Springfield stepped out with a new AR rifle this year. Known as the Saint, it comes with a 16-inch chrome moly vanadium barrel with a 1:8-inch twist and Melonite finish, a mid-length direct-impingement gas system and Springfield’s Accu-Tite tension system that joins the upper and lower receiver. This 6–pound, 11-ounce AR is chambered in 5.56 NATO and comes with a pair of iron sights (folding rear), a buttery NiB-coated trigger and Bravo Company furniture all around. The Saint is a lot of AR for the money, $900.
The T3x actually debuted at the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting, but this was the first SHOT Show appearance for Tikka’s refreshed budget bolt gun. Synthetic versions of the rifle have modular inserts in the grip and forearm that can be swapped out to suit the owner’s shooting style and hand size. The synthetic stock also gets a foam-lined interior to reduce noise and a fully enclosed bolt shroud. The receiver is now drilled to accept either standard Tikka bases or a Picatinny rail, and the crisp single-stage trigger is adjustable from 2 to 4 pounds. Additionally, a wider ejection port makes single loading simpler, $575. Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle
Ruger American Ranch.450 Bushmaster
The Ruger American Ranch rifle offers a short (70-degree) bolt lift thanks to a three-lug bolt that rides in a one-piece receiver with a reduced ejection port for maximum rigidity. The new .450 Bushmaster version has a 16.12-inch barrel with an 11/16×24 thread pattern, and an attached Ruger muzzlebrake helps keep this pig-punching rifle from pounding the shooter too badly. There’s a rail up top for mounting optics, and the Ranch rifle comes with a detachable box magazine that holds three rounds. For the money, you get an accurate rifle that has plenty of knockdown power and short overall length — a budget hog slayer that will leave enough cash leftover for a solid optic and a few boxes of ammo, $600.
Mossberg Patriot Predator
The Predator is an extension of Mossberg’s Patriot line, and it shares familial features like a fluted bolt with dual locking lugs, LBA trigger and a two-position safety. The Predator model comes with a standard contour 22-inch free-floated fluted carbon steel barrel with 5/8×24 threads and a protective muzzle cap. The flat dark earth synthetic stock has textured grip panels for a secure hold on the rifle, and there’s a Picatinny rail on top for mounting an optic. The Patriot Predator is chambered in .243 Winchester, .308 and the ultra-popular 6.5 Creedmoor. This Mossberg is a great bargain and is a versatile rifle that will work for a variety of hunting applications without complaint, $440.
Winchester XPR Sporter
Here’s yet another example of a budget rifle that gets a walnut stock this year. The well-figured stock on the XPR gives this rifle more visual appeal, and caliber options extend from 6mm Creedmoor all the way to .338 Winchester Magnum, so you can hunt everything from groundhogs to grizzlies with this gun. As with all XPRs, there are separate safety and bolt release controls, and the MOA system is simply one of the best trigger offerings in an affordable hunting rifle. Accuracy from earlier XPR models has been exceptional — don’t expect anything to change here. This is a limited availability SHOT Show rifle, but if you can get your hands on one, you won’t be disappointed, $600.
Savage MSR 15 Patrol
Savage is betting big on the black-gun market with the unveiling of four new AR rifles. The most affordable option in the Savage MSR family is the new MSR 15 Patrol, which comes with a .223 Wylde target chamber, a 16 1/8-inch barrel with 5R rifling, a Melonite QPQ finish, Blackhawk Knoxx pistol grip and Axiom carbine stock. The Patrol also features an A-frame gas block front sight and a flip-up Blackhawk rear sight. The Patrol weighs in at 6½-pounds, making it a versatile and affordable AR worthy of your consideration. It can be used for a variety of applications, including competition, target, defense and hunting, $850. Victrix Armaments Gladio Mille FDE Centerfire Rifle