News Brief – 9/27

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Jul 2023

In this week’s gun news Beretta adds optics to the 92X Performance, Walt Berger heads to the benchrest in the sky, ATF asks for more time to work brace comments, Weatherby’s Backcountry goes 2nd Gen.

Beretta 92X Performance Defensive

18 round mags? Yes please.
18 round mags? Yes please.

Beretta really has been on a roll of updating their Model 92/M9 double-action 9mm pistols in the past couple of weeks.

The latest in this series is the new, IDPA-friendly 92X Performance Defensive.

The fortune cookie takeaway is that they took the already amazing 92X Performance that hit the market two years ago and gave it an optics cut while dropping weight from the slide and frame (sacrificing the Picatinny accessory rail) to put in within IDPA’s SSP, ESP, and CO divisions guidelines.

It also has 18-shot mags, which is nice. The bad news is that they didn’t release a price, and you know what that means.

Berger Bullets Founder Walt Berger Passes, Age 93

Berger Passes
Berger Passes

Bullet designer, champion benchrest shooter, and avid sportsman Walter “Walt” Berger passed away this week at age 93.

Berger began making bullets in 1954, notes the company that bears his name today, stressing “Walt’s influence in bullet-making and in his beloved benchrest shooting cannot be understated.” His desire to craft bullets to exacting personal standards led directly to founding Berger Bullets.

“His success led other shooters to inquire about purchasing bullets from him; after years of hand-making bullets in his garage, Walt’s wife Eunice encouraged him to turn his hobby into a business,” explained the company. “Even as the company grew and operations expanded, Walt determined to maintain the highest quality for his products, which meant that automated bullet presses had to produce at a quality comparable to his hand-made, custom bullets.”

In addition to shooting competitively for most of his adult life– which led to him being named Team USA Rifle Captain and competing as late as 2019 in the World Benchrest Championships while in his 90s, Berger was also a dedicated outdoorsman.

“Walt’s influence in bullet-making and in his beloved benchrest shooting cannot be understated. His firm handshake, his warm advice, and his steady presence will be missed,” noted Berger Bullets.

Brace Comment Period after action

The ATF closed out their public comment period for a new rule on firearms with attached stabilizing braces earlier this month with over 200,000 received, most of which are against the new rule and its companion ATF Form 4999.

In a federal lawsuit against the ATF that was brought by an FFL and brace owners, the agency disclosed it will take them until sometime in January 2022 to be able to process all those comments before moving forward.

While the ATF says at least a million are in circulation, others say this figure is way, way off, with the actual number probably being over 10 million. Stay tuned in 2022 for more on this, which is sure to come.

Weatherby Backcountry 2.0

Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0
Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0

In a second salvo to the company’s highly successful Mark V Backcountry and Backcountry Ti, Weatherby just announced a new Backcountry 2.0 line that drops the weight. At 4.7-pounds they say the Backcountry 2.0 Carbon models use a carbon fiber stock that is the lightest in the industry as well as a BSF tensioned carbon fiber barrel.

The line also sees the new .30-378 Weatherby Magnum chambering– which the company contends is “the fastest and flattest-shooting production .308 caliber cartridge.”

Weights/prices for all models depend on chambering:

Backcountry 2.0 – 5.3 lbs. (308 Win) to 6.2 lbs. (257 WBY MAG), MSRP $2499

Backcountry 2.0 Ti – 4.7 lbs. (308 Win) to 5.6 lbs. (257 WBY MAG), MSRP $3349

Backcountry 2.0 Carbon – 5.8 lbs. (6.5 CM) to 6.6 lbs. (257 WBY MAG), MSRP $2,999

Backcountry 2.0 Ti Carbon – 5.3 lbs. (6.5 CM) to 6.6 lbs. (257 WBY MAG), MSRP $3749

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