The review below was performed in the 1990s, obviously, many things have changed since then… not the least of which is the quality and thoroughness of our reviews! Hopefully you will still enjoy it!
HS Precision (Thanks Patricia!) was kind enough to lend me a HS Precision Series 2000 HTR for evaluation while attending some additional sniper training. The three weeks in which I evaluated the rifle was both rewarding and exciting. The rifle was shipped with a Leupold Veri-X III 4.5-14x40mm Scope. Generally these scopes are of the highest quality, but for some reason this particular scope would not group worth a darn. I believe a serious drop or something happened during the shipment of the rifle. We were fortunate enough to have a second M24 on lone to our company for this training, and proceeded to replace the Veri-X III with the Ultra Mk4 M3A from the second M24. This corrected the problem, and the rifle shot beautifully for the remainder of the eval.
The stock on the Heavy Tactical Rifle (Referred to as HTR from here on out) is a work of beauty. It is fully adjustable for both length of pull and cheekpiece. The finish on the stock is a matte rough texture, and provides a very positive grip, and appears to be very durable.
The adjustment for length of pull is a much better design then the M24’s stock (also made by HS Precision). There is no lock ring, just a hefty amount of friction to keep the length fixed. With all the shooting over a 3 week period, I never had a problem of the stock moving out of adjustment. I cannot say that with the M24. In fact, the locking ring system on the M24 is cumbersome, I sometimes ignore it and shoot at whatever setting the stock is at. (I know, that is not good practice, but I’m tired of fighting the stock, and it doesn’t effect my shooting noticeably). Of course, there is no comparison when it comes to the cheekpiece. The number one complaint of the M24 is indeed the contour of the stock, which DEMANDS a cheekpiece in order to get the eye level with the scope. 95% of the shooters need to add some type of cheekpiece to the stock. I’m no exception, and as you can see in the pic below, we have taped a piece of poly pad (The standard practice in the Army). The HTR has an adjustable cheekpiece that works great. The adjustment is held by friction, and I had no problems with this system either. Below is a picture of the M24 (top) and the HTR buttstocks.
This particular rifle had the optional buttstock height adjustment. Its a rest that screws into the palm grip, and extends down to the ground, allowing you to make very precise vertical movements. Its intended to replace the small “sand sock” that we place under the buttstock and squeeze with our off hand. You can see in the following picture the “intent” of the design.
To be honest, I didn’t like the design. There is a small plastic bumper on the bottom that got chewed up very fast (from recoil dragging it along the ground) and the large circular disk would recoil into my off hand (drawing a little bit of blood), and adjusting it was awkward, not nearly as fast and easy as my sand sock, and I was just as accurate with the sock. So the pic below shows where this device remained after the first day at the range.
Besides the little vertical adjustment device (which is optional anyway) the stock design is absolutely great. Its very comfortable, and very functional. The adjustments of LOP and cheekpiece height are top notch. I can only hope that the M24A1 (if there ever is such a model) will use this new stock.
The action was HS Precision’s own Pro 2000 series of action. The tolerances were tight, with turn down on the bolt being stiff as you chambered a round. It is a short action for the .308 rifle, and the action has an excellent detachable box magazine. The magazine is of very durable stainless steel construction, and held 4 rounds or .308. The feeding was very smooth and positive.
The barrel is made by HS Precision and is their #10 Match Heavy Contour Stainless Steel barrel. It has deep flutes, is 24″ long and is the same contour as the M24. The flutes shave about 1.5 lbs off the total weight of the rifle. HS has a solid reputation for their match grade barrels, they are the maker of the barrels for the USMC M40A1 rifles. Below is a comparison of the barrel on the M24 and the HTR.
The trigger pull was smooth and broke with no over-travel at about 4 lbs. Of course it is fully adjustable, but was set up right about where I like it, so I left it as was. The rifle overall is lighter then the M24 by a noticable degree, and the rifle is not as barrel-heavy as the M24. This leads to quicker tracking, but also leads to more muzzle flip when shooting. The M24 is more suited for prone shooting, while the HTR is easier to shoot in alternate firing positions, more along the lines of what a Law Enforcement Sharpshooter would find himself/herself in.
So how does it shoot? VERY WELL! Over the extended period of time in which I shot the rifle, it averaged about .8 MOA, and that is with M118 Special Ball, which is not match grade ammo. (Yes, a lot better then standard ball, but not near the quality of any of the major manufacturers match ammo) I did have the opportunity to run some federal gold medal match 168gr through the rifle, but it was before we had figured out the scope problem, so I can’t report on it. A test target was sent with the rifle, and the computer readout indicated .17″ group at 100 meters. With custom handloads, in a vice, yes, I believe the rifle can shoot that. With good match grade commercial ammo, you are going to see about .4 MOA, and that is more a shooter and ammo limitation. This rifle can really shoot!
Is it better then my issued M24 ? It depends. Yes, I like the detachable box magazine and the stock a lot better then the M24. They are head and shoulders better. The lighter weight is not that much of a concern to me, as I am used to carrying the 14.1 lbs (loaded) M24 every where. I do like the solid platform that the M24 offers, its very stable in the prone, and that helps aid in long range shooting. I also prefer the M24 trigger, it offers a wider textured trigger, which allows for a more sensitive trigger pull, and its easier to adjust. Overall, the HTR would probably get the edge, primarily do to the awesome stock design. Put the same stock on the M24, and I would be in heaven.
For a list price of $1900, the HTR is every bit worth the money, in fact, I might consider it a bargain! Its one of the nicest rifles I have shot, and the stock is second to none. Would I use it as a primary sniper rifle? ABSOLUTELY! It shoots very well, handles well, and is durable. There are a few things I don’t particularly like, but they are minor. If your looking for a high quality sniper rifle you can depend on…. The HS Precision Pro 2000 HTR gets my recommendation.