Paul Leonard, president of P&R Sales demonstrates the .338 Xtreme Tactical Rifle on a range in Somerset County.
Did he hit the target?
.338 Xtreme Tactical Rifle on a range in Somerset County.Tucked away in Clearfield County, Grassflat may be a tiny town (pop. 750), but if Xtreme Machining has its way, it will become the center of the universe for precision tactical rifles used by military and law enforcement snipers, civilian target shooters and big-game hunters.
To that end, the company today will roll out its latest product, the .338 Xtreme Tactical rifle. It is touted as being accurate for up to 1.6 miles, with low recoil and light weight. About two dozen representatives of the military, federal agencies, southwestern Pennsylvania police SWAT teams and gun dealers are expected to attend the company's shooting event at a range in Somerset County.
"We want them to get their hands on it, to see the accuracy, to feel the recoil and say, 'Wow!'" said Xtreme marketing director Paul Leonard. "So far, everybody has said, 'Wow.'
"We can make any gun out there already, but our objective was to make the best. The serious shooter is always looking for something better."
And, he said, the .338 Xtreme tactical rifle is that "something better." Using an automobile analogy, he said the .338 Xtreme is to other weapons what a Mustang GT is to the family sedan.
"It's a custom-built rifle but it's not an assembly-line rifle. Everything is machined and tested. We make one at a time, but quite a few a day."
The company won't list all of its targeted customers, but two likely are the Army and the Marine Corps.
According to an article in May in the Army Times newspaper, both branches of the service are looking for a long-range "anti-personnel'' sniper weapon to complement the standard sniper rifle, which is effective out to 800 meters.
The Xtreme could fit the bill. The selling points of the rifle are fourfold, beginning with accuracy at a target 2,500 yards away and beyond, said Mr. Leonard, who acknowledged that company representatives have taken a prototoype to the Marine base in Quantico, Va.
"There are two other firearms out there that they say can shoot that far, but they weigh more and are less accurate," Mr. Leonard said, noting the Xtreme rifle weighs 16 pounds as compared to the 30 or so pounds a .50-caliber rifle used by snipers can weigh.
According to the Army Times, both the Army and the Marines use versions of the .50-caliber sniper weapon, which has a range out to 2,000 meters. But it is mainly intended to destroy targets larger than a man, such as light-skinned vehicles, the newspaper said.
The Xtreme is a light-kicking anti-personnel or game-killing weapon.
The recoil is like that of a much less powerful .22-250 rifle.
"It's almost unreal,'' Mr. Leonard said. "With other [rifles] in this class, after a couple of shots, your shoulder is done, but not with this. You can shoot all day long."
Additionally, the rifle can be fired 10 times consecutively without overheating. All parts are 100 percent machined; there are no forgings or castings.
Mr. Leonard said the rifle's high performance is enhanced by the .338 Xtreme cartridge. The Army and Marines haven't given details on the caliber they would want in a new sniper gun, according to the Army Times.
"This bullet was made for this gun,'' Mr. Leonard said. "A lot of guns are made for bullets, but we did it the right way."
Depending upon the model, the rifle will retail between $4,700 and $6,200. American Tactical Imports in Rochester, N.Y., is the distributor for the rifle, which has been in research and development since Xtreme Machining began business in April 2005.
The company, whose president, Robert A. Zelenky, has been in the machining business for 25 years, employs about a dozen people. But Mr. Leonard said more hiring will be necessary to keep up with expected demand.
While the rifle is initially being shown locally, it will have a wide-ranging impact, he predicted.
"We want to get it started from the grass roots. We'll start in our own area and spread out further and further," he said.
"This firearm not going to stay in Western Pennsylvania. It's going to go everywhere, trust me. This is a major breakthrough, one of best things to happen in the shooting industry in about five years."