One of the benefits of going to a large rifle competition like the Sniper's Hide Cup is that there are frequently representatives from some of the biggest names in the shooting industry present with all kinds of toys available to try out and get some demo time with. Our Review of the 2013 Sniper's Hide Cup will be posted later this week. We will also be posting some articles with impressions of some different gear we were able to try out. One such company was McMillan. McMillan produces some of the most widely used rifle stocks in the world, along with their own custom rifles for a variety of applications.
McMillan has a new rifle on the market they are calling the ALIAS rifle. The McMillan ALIAS rifle is designed to be a modular rifle that the user can customize for the task at hand. There are configurations available for tactical rifle competitions, military and law enforcement applications, and target shooting. The rifle comes in three basic configurations; the CS5, the STAR, and TARGET. The applications are pretty obvious, the CS5 is designed for ultra compact size, portability, and concealment. The STAR is the standard tactical application configuration. Obviously, the TARGET model is to be used in a target shooting environment.
The McMillan ALIAS STAR rifle was nice. It really was. It has a very light and nimble feel to it and that is part of the idea, its supposed to be compact and minimalist. Only what you need to get the job done and nothing superfluous. McMillan specifically says they worked on keeping the bolt lift light and easy to manipulate. I can say its one of the easiest bolts I've had the pleasure of running with my own hand. Very light lift, very smooth action. This particular ALIAS rifle was presented with the STAR configuration. The hand guard is very nice. It has a similar look and quality to the POF hand guards you see on their AR10 platforms.
This particular McMillan ALIAS rifle came complete with a Suppressor. I was offered the choice of firing standard supersonic or subsonic ammunition. I opted for the subsonic ammo to get a feel for the rifle in its destined role...a compact and quiet tactical rifle. I can say that the recoil with the can on the end of the barrel and the subsonic ammo was negligible. I would put it about on par with a 22LR like the 10/22 you shot as a kid.
Since guys were bouncing back and forth with ammunition types there was some holdoff and holdover involved in shooting the McMillan ALIAS rifle. I was dancing around a steel target at about 600 yards. I didn't get a hit but I don't really blame the rifle, or the rep for his calls. I wasn't able to adjust the cheek piece of the McMillan ALIAS rifle because we didn't have the tool handy and the bipod interface with the front of the rifle was loose. As a result I had issues getting consistent and proper eye relief and sight picture behind the scope and I firmly believe I could have hit the target if I'd adjusted the rifle to me. This does point out a potential weakness or issue in the design. The ability to adjust rifle fit to the shooter is nice if you can do it without tools. With tools is fine, but what happens if you knock the rifle off a door jam and screw up the cant of the butt pad? Better have the tool handy to fix it. Not a huge gripe, but if you can forget something, you probably will.
The trigger on the McMillan ALIAS STAR was very crisp and light. Its one of the nicer triggers I've had my finger on as far as a factory rifle. I'm told its an Anschutz trigger and it certainly was nice. The reason this is appearing in our Articles section and not the reviews area is this was by no means a full review. Its really just a quickie set of our impressions in the time we had to put some rounds through it. We haven't had the rifle in our possession so we can't really claim to know enough about it to really speak to all of its features or its durability. However, with a name like McMillan behind it I can't imagine many issues presenting themselves.