American Hunter - June 2017 - 56

hardware
RIFLES

By Adam Heggenstaller,
Executive Editor

J

eff Sipe is the kind of guy you want
building your next hunting rifle.
Sipe is the CEO of Montana Rifle
Co. and we'll get to his technical
expertise later, but most importantly, Sipe
is a fervent hunter. He lives near Kalispell,
Mont., and spends three or four days a
week hunting mule deer and elk while
sneaking around grizzly bears during the
state's months-long rifle season. Throw
in antelope, black bears, scouting trips
and hunts in other states, and Sipe is in
the field more than 100 days a year. With
that much time in the woods, he's learned
things about rifles and how to build them
that aren't apparent on a factory floor or
in an office. Sipe builds hunting rifles
from the perspective of a hunter, and that
makes all the difference.
The Extreme X2 from Montana Rifle
is a palpable example of Sipe's mindset. It
is a rifle built to be dependable. Ask any
hunter why a certain rifle is his favorite,
and his response will either begin or end
with something like "it always works" or
"I know it will get the job done." Likewise,
Montana Rifle Co. focuses on producing
bolt guns that are trustworthy in the field.
It starts with the action. Designed by
Jeff 's father, Keith, a gunsmith and barrel
maker who grew his custom gun business
into Montana Rifle Co., the Model 1999
action combines the proven features of
the Mauser 98 and pre-'64 Winchester
Model 70 actions. Dual-lug bolt with
one-piece handle, full-length claw extractor, three-position wing safety-it's all
there. In addition, the receiver contains
the internal cone-shaped collar that aids

The Model 1999 action combines a
pre-'64 Winchester Model 70-style
trigger with a Mauser 98 bolt design.

in feeding, and it includes a cut for the
extractor. Making the collar a part of the
receiver instead of the barrel promotes
strength, since material doesn't need to
be removed from the breech to form the
cone or the extractor recess.
The stainless steel, flat-bottom
receiver of the Extreme X2 is investment
cast with a flat bottom and a thick recoil
lug. Also integral to the casting, a housing on the side of the receiver contains
a push-button toggle for removing the
bolt. It is the smoothest and most positive bolt release I've encountered on a
hunting rifle.
There's more-features Sipe learned
that matter to hunters. He started hanging around his father's gunsmithing
shop in 1990, and over the years he was
june 2017 ❘

surprised at how many hunters would
want actions trued, lugs and raceways
lapped, triggers tuned and custom barrels installed.
"These guys would start out with a
$600-$1,000 rifle, and then put another
$1,000 into it," he recalls. "I thought, why
don't we do that to our rifles before they
go out the door? We learned how to massproduce a match-grade, hand-lapped
barrel and turned that into producing
semi-custom rifles that are completely
trued, squared and lapped, with a trigger
job and a hand-lapped barrel, all individually bedded into their own stocks."
For the Extreme X2, Montana Rifle
mates the action to a button-rifled stainless steel barrel (hand-lapped, of course).
You have a choice of 17 chamberings in
the short-action version and another 16
in the long-action variant. The list covers
quite a selection, from tried-and-true
game-getters like the .257 Roberts and
.30-06 Sprg. to upstarts like the 6mm
Creedmoor and .33 Nosler, in addition
to cult formers like the .338 Federal and
.264 Win. Mag. Plus, the rifle is available
in right- and left-hand versions.
Although Montana Rifle Co. offers
bolt guns with pretty stocks of American
walnut, the Extreme X2 is the "all-weather"
model in the company's lineup. As such,
the barreled action is glass-bedded in a
carbon-fiber stock. Areas that require
extra strength, such as around the aluminum pillars that support the action and
the sling swivel studs, are reinforced with
Kevlar. The stock is coated in hardened
epoxy to resist scrapes and gouges.
The Extreme X2 I received for testing was chambered in .280 Ackley
Improved, another cartridge that has a

56 ❘ americanhunter.org

Photos: Forrest MacCormack

Montana Extreme X2


http://www.americanhunter.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2017

Contents
American Hunter - June 2017 - Cover1
American Hunter - June 2017 - Cover2
American Hunter - June 2017 - 1
American Hunter - June 2017 - Contents
American Hunter - June 2017 - 3
American Hunter - June 2017 - 4
American Hunter - June 2017 - 5
American Hunter - June 2017 - 6
American Hunter - June 2017 - 7
American Hunter - June 2017 - 8
American Hunter - June 2017 - 9
American Hunter - June 2017 - 10
American Hunter - June 2017 - 11
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 13
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 15
American Hunter - June 2017 - 16
American Hunter - June 2017 - 17
American Hunter - June 2017 - 18
American Hunter - June 2017 - 19
American Hunter - June 2017 - 20
American Hunter - June 2017 - 21
American Hunter - June 2017 - 22
American Hunter - June 2017 - 23
American Hunter - June 2017 - 24
American Hunter - June 2017 - 25
American Hunter - June 2017 - 26
American Hunter - June 2017 - 27
American Hunter - June 2017 - 28
American Hunter - June 2017 - 29
American Hunter - June 2017 - 30
American Hunter - June 2017 - 31
American Hunter - June 2017 - 32
American Hunter - June 2017 - 33
American Hunter - June 2017 - 34
American Hunter - June 2017 - 35
American Hunter - June 2017 - 36
American Hunter - June 2017 - 37
American Hunter - June 2017 - 38
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 40
American Hunter - June 2017 - 41
American Hunter - June 2017 - 42
American Hunter - June 2017 - 43
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 45
American Hunter - June 2017 - 46
American Hunter - June 2017 - 47
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 49
American Hunter - June 2017 - 50
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 55
American Hunter - June 2017 - 56
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 60
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American Hunter - June 2017 - 62
American Hunter - June 2017 - 63
American Hunter - June 2017 - 64
American Hunter - June 2017 - 65
American Hunter - June 2017 - C1
American Hunter - June 2017 - C2
American Hunter - June 2017 - E1
American Hunter - June 2017 - E2
American Hunter - June 2017 - MW1
American Hunter - June 2017 - MW2
American Hunter - June 2017 - S1
American Hunter - June 2017 - S2
American Hunter - June 2017 - SW1
American Hunter - June 2017 - SW2
American Hunter - June 2017 - W1
American Hunter - June 2017 - W2
American Hunter - June 2017 - 68
American Hunter - June 2017 - 69
American Hunter - June 2017 - 70
American Hunter - June 2017 - 71
American Hunter - June 2017 - 72
American Hunter - June 2017 - 73
American Hunter - June 2017 - Cover4
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