Kelbly's New Black Bear Action

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by natdscott, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. natdscott

    natdscott Silver $$ Contributor

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    I am pretty excited right now about all of the new and innovative options available from the various manufacturers of bolt action receivers. We are truly in an era of "first world problems" in terms of the sheer number of makers and features that are available. You can go from the medical grade precision to no-holds-barred battlefield functionality with no more than a phone call, and you'll have experience and knowledgeable people on the other end of the phone.

    Such was the case when I called to speak with Kelbly's about their new receiver. Ian Kelbly picked up the phone, and we had a good chat about it to answer some of my questions, so I thought I'd pass it on to you.

    --The new Black Bear Tactical action is a 1.400" width flat-bottomed receiver very similar to a Kelbly Kodiak.

    --The Black Bear is monolithic Stainless Steel and it is finished in black nitride, I am assuming via the same processor as is their Atlas Tactical. Subjectively speaking, it is a very attractive receiver.

    --It has an integral recoil lug, same as a Kodiak, and it is designed with a moderately extended tennon length as compared to a Remington 700. The rear of the action also has ~1/4" of bedding surface as a secondary section of "recoil lug". Due to the massive flat bottom, these receivers have more bedding surface and resistance to torque than any equivalently sized round receiver can possibly have. Kinda like a Winchester 70, but better. And modern.

    --For scope mounting, the action has an integral 20 MOA sloped Pic Rail. Unclear at this time whether or not it will have other elevation options at a later time.

    --As with the Atlas, the Black Bear is equipped with mechanical ejection via Kelbly's TG ejector. Mechanical ejectors are preferred by some shooters as they are less prone to failure (no springs), they don't fling your casings into the dirt 5 feet away (unless you want them to when you work the bolt), and mechanical ejectors do not exert any force on a round in the chamber (they can't...)

    --The bolt has a clip-style extractor, similar to a Savage or Post-64 Winchester. One advantage to this design is the fact that the action can be easily shut over a chambered round, or fed off a single load block (like a BobSled) where a claw extractor is not really SUPPOSED to be closed over chambered rounds....ie, a Mauser-style CRF needs to be fed from mag only.

    --The Black Bear features a side bolt release, and they do offer an upgraded "Extreme Duty" bolt release that is built more or less as an "indestructible" option (as far as that could ever be done).

    --The bolt handle comes equipped with a knurled tacical bolt knob, but if I understand correctly, it is threaded 5/16-24, so it will accept most other industry-standard knobs, as you prefer.

    --The Black Bear has Remington-pattern bolt spacing, so with some modification of existing bedding, can work in most stocks that accept a Remington 700 or similar receiver. The deal is, it has to be milled flat, and about 0.050" wider, then bedded, if applicable. For a do-er, it's not much do-ing.

    --It accepts Remington-pattern triggers via a trigger hanger for ease of maintenance.

    --The receiver is cut to accept AICS, AW, and ARC magazines, and will function fully with your existing M5, etc. bottom metal. I didn't ASK, but I doubt it would work with hinged "BDL" bottom metal....same as most of it's DBM-intended peers.


    The issue I always had with a Kodiak, Panda, etc. is that I want the rifle to be bad-condition durable, and I always felt that the aluminum receivers on those target-grade actions were a bad idea for a field/precision rifle. The Black Bear solves all of that in a big way, all while keeping the best features of the Kodiak.

    Action price is to be $1,300.

    Delivery starts along-about mid-March.

    The first set is apparently coming off the machines, and headed for nitride, and other than some that are backordered and set back for rifles in-house, the action will be ready for delivery.

    If anybody is a FB user, here's a link to some photos:

    https://www.facebook.com/kelblysinc/photos/pcb.1981960015390903/1981959885390916/?type=3&theater

    I think that's all I know.

    -Nate
     
  2. eddief

    eddief

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    I talked with Ian at Shot while I handled this action. It is VERY nice and slick as snot. Kelblys did not disappoint with this action. The PRS guys especially, will love this action.
     
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  3. natdscott

    natdscott Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have been asking that "Steel?" question of the Kodiak, Panda, etc. since I first became acquainted about 10 years ago.

    The rigidity of the cross section of this action should be spectacular compared to a R700, and even compared to the various target-ported R700 clones, it will still come out way ahead. I'd guess along the lines of a sleeved 40X.

    Way heavier than a Kodiak I am sure, but in games where weight is not as much a factor, aluminum BR receivers aren't really as much an asset.

    Should be awesome.
     
  4. carlsbad

    carlsbad Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. Silver $$ Contributor

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    Flat bottom.
     
  5. natdscott

    natdscott Silver $$ Contributor

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    Eh?
     

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