Guys like options, every day its Product A vs. Product B, which is better? It’s more than just opportunities; some people like the diversity when it comes to choices. An option out there for guys looking to get into a multi-caliber rifle system is the Ritter & Stark SX-1
Ritter & Stark
The company Ritter & Stark is out of Austria and is looking to make their mark on the US Precision Rifle market. Entering the US market is not easy for a new company. My first meetings with them were at the famed Felix Canyon Ranch in New Mexico. Ritter & Stark hosted an ELR Event using their factory rifle to shoot factory ammo at ranges beyond 1 Mile.
Initially, they were off to an ambitious start, trying to tag at 40” plate at 4000 yards with this combination. While the conditions were not very favorable to the endeavor, we came awfully close with Ray Sanchez of Thunderbeast Arms showering the Target with debris. Moving into more practical ranges through, the SX-1 proved itself very capable with factory 300gr 338LM Prime Ammo.
The biggest take away from the event was their willingness to sit down and understand the US market more and where their rifle fits into it.
Addressing the Obvious Upfront
I foresee the biggest point of contention in the US is going to be the Picatinny Rail as part of the barrel. It’s the only point of pushback I can find. The rifle itself is extremely comfortable to shoot and has all the requested features from guys looking for multi caliber options.
Ritter & Stark highlight their barrel making technology. It’s an Electro-Chemical process that is CNC Controlled. The highlight of the process is to avoid the thermal variations along with mechanical stresses found in traditional methods. Being controlled by a CNC, it also helps with consistency from barrel to barrel. The rail mounted on the barrel is unique. I can’t predict the acceptance of the design. But we did talk about options, and the nice part of this rifle is, options are available. Because it is modular, they can make adjustments.
It’s easy to operate, and equally as easy to change caliber. I stripped this rifle down several times and going back to shoot it was easily within 1 MOA when returning to the same caliber. If the end user does not switch out the scope, you can easily be back on target with next to no effort.
The upside is its simplicity and returns to zero very well. The downside is you either need to re-zero when switching calibers or you need to have more than one scope. Optimally speaking putting a scope on each caliber conversation would be a best practice. What I like is, it uses one and only one Allen Key to change it out. The SX-1 comes as a 338LM, 300WM, and 308. It follows the model of the PSR program in this way. It is super easy to switch and its comfortable to shoot. I found the configuration very comfortable.
Triggers and Options
The nice thing about this rifle is, it uses Remington 700 style triggers. This particular rifle had a Bix & Andy trigger in it. Others had Huber Triggers. This gives the end user a familiar feel and allows for future upgrades.
3 Position Safety typical of most military grade sniper rifles.
The Handguard is an MLOK variant and lets you choose a variety of mounting options.
The folding stock locks up strong and has both a release button as well as an unlock button. So you know you have positive engagement.
On the Range
In the video above, there is a combination of shots both locally and at Felix Canyon Ranch. I successfully engaged targets from 1500 to 2600 yards using factory Prime Ammo. In my mind, because Factory Ammo tends to run a bit slow, it was my only limitation.
At the supersonic range, the rifle was easily sub MOA accurate. In the transonic and subsonic regions, I did notice a bit of vertical. I attribute this to the spin rate of the factory barrels. They need to add the bit to the twist rate. The 338LM Is a 1 – 11 Twist, the 30WM is a 1-10, and the 308 is a 1-11. Moving the 338 to a 1-9 would be a better option, and the R&S crew was very open to this idea.
I have no complaints regarding accuracy. For a uniquely built barrel, it performs well given the bullet vs. twist limitation. Guys saw much better results with the 250gr Bullets out of this combination, but they did work with 300gr pills.
Going the Distance There is a very big interest right now in ELR Shooting. We can define ELR as ranges beyond 1000 yards, but most start counting after 1500 yards.
In reviewing this rifle, we focused a lot of our effort beyond 1000 yards. Inside that distance, it was impossible to tell this rifle from any of its competition. Even up to 1500 yards it completely capable. It was when transitioning into transonic I say any variations in my hits. Again, twist rate, something easily corrected with other barrel offerings.
Nathan Grove who handles the company in the US is doing an outstanding job staying on top of everything. I see him being super supportive of US Customers. He has a long history in the US Gun Industry and being a Ranger; he knows a sniper platform.
I like giving people options just as much as I love reporting other options.
The Ritter & Stark SX-1 is a lot of rifle at a competitive price. The complete kit is show worthy; I like the way the case is thought out and put together. There is a US Support System in place which helps gives a potential buyer peace of mind. 100 Yard accuracy was around 5/8th of an inch, ending with a sub-MOA group at 1500 yards. Two groups, in fact, both being under 10”, all shot with factory Prime Ammo. I suspect shooting 250gr bullets would yield better results, but still, this is nothing to look down at when you consider the success they had with them. It’s quite respectable.
Fit and Finish is excellent, and the Brown version is pretty darn sexy in person.
For those who do not always follow the crowd, here is another option for you to consider.
Visit the Ritter & Stark Website for more!