Muzzleloader Review: LHR Sporting Arms Redemption Rifle

October 30, 2013

LHR Sporting Arms, LLC, is a new name in the firearms world ,but the company, made up of four individuals, boasts more than 80 years of experience in the industry with Thompson/Center, including sales, research and development, operations, manufacturing and finance. LHR Sporting Arms introduced its first rifle, Redemption, in January of 2013.

The Redemption was developed with the concept of building a simple, safe and reliable firearm designed around accuracy, craftsmanship and innovation. The rifle is well-balanced and easy to handle and shoot. The total length makes it easy to shoulder and acquire a target. It is practical and adaptable to a hunter's wants and needs, providing the versatility that once was only achievable through the purchase of several firearms. It can shoot a variety of powders from standard to magnum loads, and the recoil is not overwhelming.

The Redemption rifle is a break-action .50-caliber muzzleloader. The action is opened using a thumb-activated release similar to a break-action shotgun. Slide the release to the side and the barrel drops down out of the receiver, exposing the breech. It snaps shut easily and protects primer and powder from the weather and elements.

The rifle was well-thought-out and shows the history of research and development within LHR's staff. LHR has the first external-threaded breech that puts the threads on the outside of the barrel, sealing blowback inside the barrel to eliminate seizing breech threads and simplifying cleanup. A primer adapter takes the place of the breech plug and, together with a retaining collar which creates pressure to keep the primer adapter in place, creates a tight seal. It is known as an "Adapt" breech system, which allows you to choose different primers. Simply select the best primer adapter for your preferred propellant — either loose or pellets — and lock in place with the retaining collar. The new and adaptable breech needs to be checked out to be appreciated, allowing you to use the same rifle to maximize and ensure ignition no matter what type of powder you shoot. With virtually no blowback, ignition is consistent and reliable.

Cleaning the breech plug on most muzzleloaders takes as much time as cleaning the rest of the gun. The external threads on the Adapt system prevent blowback, making it easier to disassemble and clean. It's as simple as removing the retaining collar so your primer adapter can be removed. No special tools are required, and you can remove the threaded collar holding the breech with your fingers.

Corrosion can be a problem with muzzleloaders and the propellants they use. To safeguard exposed metal, an Armornite nitride protectant covers the barrel inside and out, as well as other critical components. The Armornite Coating is a mil-spec coating that is infused under the metal's surface at a high temperature and creates no surface area when applied. Simply put, it doesn't change the bore size. It makes the rifle virtually rust proof and gives it a hardened coat that also helps prevent scratching and denting. The most important part of the coating is the fact that it goes inside the barrel with absolutely no negative effects on accuracy. The corrosion protection allows the rifle to be used in any weather conditions and, if your cleaning skills aren't exact, rust won't eat away your investment. The specialized coating will provide longer barrel life even with continuous shooting.

LHR Sporting Arms has teamed up with Green Mountain Barrels to design the Cloverleaf barrel used on all Redemption rifles for accuracy and durability. Green Mountain has a hard-earned reputation for accuracy. The barrel is 24 inches in length and fully rifled to maximize magnum load performance. The barrel has a 1:28 twist, optimized for bore size or sabot-style projectiles. Firm pressure is required with a ramrod to load the barrel, and tolerances provide consistency without difficulty getting the bullet seated. The Armornite coating helps to eliminate friction, making the gun easier to load. All barrels are fiber-optic bore-scoped to ensure quality. The rifling is distinct and flawless.

There is no external cocking hammer on this rifle. The modern Stealth Striker system looks like a slide-forward safety on most double-barreled shotguns, but it is a quiet and easy switch that cocks the gun with your thumb. It is extremely easy to use and provides more clearance for scopes. A de-cocking button, on the top of the slide, lets you quickly put the rifle back in the safe position by simply pushing the button down and sliding the striker down. The system is ideal for left- or right-handed shooters, as it is positioned for thumb activation from either side. The ease of operation allows you to slide the striker forward even wearing gloves, and you can feel when it engages. The one thing hunters will notice right away is the silent activation of the cocking system. It can be activated even when game is in close, ensuring you don't spook them. It is easy to use and will be a stand out feature for hunters.

Muzzleloader shooters know there is a slight delay from the time you pull the trigger until the primer ignites the powder and sends a bullet downrange. The key to consistent shooting is squeezing the trigger while maintaining a steady hold on target. The Redemption is equipped with an FT2 Match Trigger, set with a light trigger pull and zero over-travel with crisp and consistent results. The attention to detail with the trigger will help any shooter be more consistent with tight bullet groups downrange. The wide-blade trigger and oversized trigger guard makes it easy to use and access, even with gloves on.

Cleaning and loading can be done quickly and efficiently in the field with a single tool. A wrench, palm saver and range rod handle all built into one easy-to-carry tool rounds out the accessories needed and is included with the gun.

All rifles are put through a 10-point inspection before leaving the production facility, in which all the critical areas of the rifle are examined and double checked for quality and performance.

The most important part of any rifle is accuracy, and LHR tests its products until they exceed industry accuracy standards and can provide buyers with the loading data needed to get the accuracy wanted. There is also online support for Redemption owners wanting to play with loads and get the most out of their rifle.

The Redemption is USA made and includes a Lifetime Promise, which is a lifetime warranty that extends with the life of the rifle regardless of the owner. The first edition rifles are available and will be a unique collector's piece to commemorate the start of this new company.

All models come with fiber-optic sights and a scope base. The Redemption will be offered in camouflage, walnut and composite finishes, with a MSRP starting at $599. The rifle is great value for the price, being adaptable and easy to load, shoot and clean. It provides the accuracy most hunters rely on.

For more information: www.lhrsportingarms.com; www.facebook.com/lhrsportingarms