RIA: CheyTec M200 Intervention

The CheyTac M200 Intervention is a massive precision rifle chambered for the .408 CheyTac cartridge (although it can also be had in .375 CheyTac). It uses an action made by EDM Arms, and is capable of sub-MOA accuracy out to 2200-2500 yards (2000-2300 meters). There are other rifles that fulfill those specs as well, but the M200 Intervention gets an exaggerated amount of attention because it has a pretty distinctive look, with its large under-barrel carry handle and collapsing stock (you may recognize it from the 2007 movie “Shooter”, based on a Stephen Hunter novel). Today I will take a look at some of the details of this rifle and its ammunition, and address the more common misunderstandings about it and long range shooting in general.

39 Comments

  1. Hey Ian ,

    in my opinion ,the strong point of your site is the presentation of old and rare firearms . Please do not spoil it by presenting brand new and modern weapons .
    Although your presentations are very good , such info can be found everywhere ,
    well almost . Please keep up the proper work , presenting guns we can see in no other sites .

    Cheers

    M.

    • I would normally agree; I much prefer hearing information about old and rare firearms.
      However, this was interesting. Amongst the shooters I know there is considerable interest in shooting at 1000 yards or thereabouts using rifles fitted with bipods and large telescopic sights. I’ve never seen the appeal myself and the few times I’ve tried at that sort of range I have not done very well with my iron-sighted service rifles, but such long-range shooting is still shooting and it was worth hearing a little information about the discipline and the capabilities of the weapon.

      • Although the CheyTac and Barrett rifles have been featured on more YouTube videos and cable TV shows than I could easily count, it’s always a rare treat to see a thorough, technical design-oriented presentation, instead of the usual “let’s see what this bad-boy can destroy”-type spectacles.

        I would have assumed that ‘benchtop’ displays of modern arms such as this one would have been a much better fit for InRange TV (though I’m not complaining in the least that they’re on F.W. instead) but it’s also possible that the Rock Island Auction prefers these videos to be on Forgotten Weapons, since it has more “bang for the buck.”

    • I thought the presentation of this rifle was done quite well. Ian skipped unnecessary discussion of obvious and/or modern-standard technical details while displaying a rifle I’ll likely never fire or see in person.

      Taking a look at a modern-but-rare firearm once in a while doesn’t bother me.

  2. I’ll take the other side in this. Put up whatever looks interesting…..’cause it is. Love this site and the variety of shooters that show up. Could be 500 years old, could be made last month. All of them get the same treatment.

    Keep it up, this is, by far, one of the best gun sites out there.

    • I agree, while most weapons are forgotten because they are old and obscure there are firearms like this which are forgotten because they are only known for being in movies (in the case of the M200) or for absurd mythical properties assigned to them by the general public (in the case of the Barret). I personally enjoy this slight change of pace and hope Ian does more modern firearms in addition to the old.

  3. I just looked the case up on wikipedia in order to find out what the parent was; .505 Gibbs

    12.7×70 Schuler was reckoned to be the better loading for game.
    (Kynamco has apparently altered the dimensions of the once identical (to 12.7 Schuler) .500 Jeffery in accordance with some drawings which they’re not showing to anyone, so now CIP spec .500 Jeffery loaded cartridge won’t fit into older guns proved for .500 Jeffery!)

    It looks like someone has copied the wikipedia article virtually word for word from somewhere like guns and ammo – all centrefire bottlenecked brass cases have a hardness gradient – due to the body and neck being annealed, while the case head is left in the fully work hardened condition.

    while I’m ranting about egregious errors (especially about long range) being passed off as received wisdom, one of my favourite books for spreading outright falsehoods; Frank Barnes’ Cartridges of the World, keeps repeating that larger calibre bullets suffer less wind drift…

    bullets of identical ballistic coefficeint (G7 BC for pointy boat tail spitzer designs at hypersonic velocity) fired at the same velocity and all else kept constant, will show identical wind drift and identical trajectory regardless of calibre

    with the same ratio of case capacity to calibre and the same length barrel and the same pressure – bullets of the same BC will also emerge with the same MV – regardless of calibre

    As Ian rightly points out the difference between different calibres firing the same BC bullet at the same velocity, arises when we consider how much energy and momentum is delivered at the target.

    • “.505 Gibbs(…)12.7×70 Schuler was reckoned to be the better loading for game.”
      Choice might be partially cause by rebated rim = bad idea myth (the rebated rim has bad reputation generated by .425 Westley Richards which has small rim thickness)

      • The “bad reputation” of the .425 Westley Richards stems from the post war low cost “white Hunter model” which was intended for African game departments.
        It usually lacked the arms which entered the action at the position of the thumb notch to allow the top round to be held for the bolt face to make solid contact with the case head,

        even without those arms, a an un damaged .425 on a mauser 98 action will feed from any angle including with the gun upside down

        Occasionally magazines were later incorrectly assembled, and in some cases ex military followers were substituted, instead of followers correctly shaped for the .425

        with a correctly assembled rifle, .425 feeds and extracts very reliably, and has the added advantage of stripper loading from standard mauser stripper clips through the normal stripper guide in the receiver bridge.

        • hello all
          in 1980 my good friend and businesspartner asked mr.prechtel to built him 2 rifles in m98 action one was a 8x68s the other was a 425 westley richard with 25 inch barrel since then he used this rifles on 29 african safaris from hot wet swaps and jungles of west africa to uganda tanzania and southern africa without any problems bcz the 425 was made on a standard m98 action by an expert riflemaker the gun function 100% perfect it feed and eject perfectly and is very very accurate with big 410 grain bullets at 2380 fps.it give under 1 inch 4 shoot groups at 100 meters every time.when a gun is well made by an expert it will function perfectly even if cartridge is rebated rim like 425 WR.my friend have taken 27 bull elephants 17 lions 32 hippos and 96 bull african buffalo some at very close range.was charged both by elephants and buffalos 11 times yet the guns function every times under extreme preassures and hard use.old english mausers were often not well made had faulty bottom metals and magazines.thats why 425 WR have bad reputation.but today when experts riflemakers makes 425 WR it function and shoot perfectly.my friend also use his 425 WR with custom 350 grain bullets for leopards and big african antilopes as eland kudu waterbuks impalas this 2 guns was is dream guns and since 1980 he used it all over africa south of sahara and in australia for water buffalo banteng boars and wild cattle bulls.he even used it in siberia for brown bears and moose with custom 350 grain bullets.dont judges old romantic cartridges bcz of poorly made rifles of the past.thank you
          good hunting and best wishes
          walter oppenheimer
          berlin

    • “same ratio of case capacity to calibre and the same length barrel and the same pressure”
      I should understand length as a:
      length in calibers
      xor
      length in millimeters?

      Shouldn’t be also additional condition of same powder type or changing fast-burning powder to lazy powder will do nothing?

    • Actually, it’s the .500 Jeffery that is often confused with the 12.5 x 70 Schuler. And the two rounds were never identical, never interchangeable, and confusing the two is seriously dangerous.

      Neither one is interchangeable with the .505 Gibbs, nor were they ever intended to be.

      Both were developed by the Schuler firm in Germany, the 12.5 first. The Jeffrey round was developed from the 12.5 case, but has a longer and shallower-angled shoulder than the 12.5.

      If a .500 Jeffery is chambered in a 12.5 rifle, a dangerous excessive headspace condition exists.

      If a 12.5 round is chambered in a .500 Jeffery rifle, you can “crush-fit” it by briskly closing the bolt, but you will be reducing case capacity and creating a dangerous overpressure event on firing.

      A .505 Gibbs should not go into either a .500 Jeffrey or 12.5 x 70 Schuler chamber, at all. Among other things, its base diameter is .635″ vs. .620″ for the other two, and the case length is 3.15″ vs. 2.75″ for the .500 and 12.5 rounds.

      Bullet diameters are .505″ for the Gibbs, and .510″ for the Jeffrey and Schuler cartridges. So while you could probably get a Jeffrey or Schuler round into the longer Gibbs chamber with its larger base diameter, trying to fire a .510″ bullet down a .505″ bore will probably be even more dangerous than confusing the Jeffrey and Schuler rounds with each other.

      There’s also a serious excessive headspace condition, due to the shorter cartridges with shoulders that will not reach the Gibbs chamber’s shoulder. plus, there’s a good chance that the larger-diameter bullet will “wedge” in the leade’. This presents its own set of problems.

      If you somehow manage any of the above, don’t try to fire it. Take it to a professional gunsmith who knows heavy-game rifles, and have him remove the cartridge from the chamber. Very carefully.

      cheers

      eon

      • That’s a thorny one

        Vintage .500 Jeffery rifles have a chamber identical to the Schuler, and vintage .500 Jeffery ammunition is identical to the Schuler

        No one has come up with vintage rounds matching the version that Kynamco has registered with the CIP,

        and Kynamco is not showing the supposedly original drawings which their shape is based upon.

        I’m inclined to call BS on Kynamco
        and it is causing problems in the real world

        In recent years there has been some confusion created with the 500J cartridge. This came about when Kynamco started producing a 500J Cartridge which they claimed was to the original Kynoch and Jeffery drawings. It had a slightly different form to the case. They then proceeded to register this case with CIP in Europe making it ‘THE’ .500 Jeffery load. I have always felt this was wrong, and that the .500 Jeffery was simply based on the German 500 (12.7 x 70mm) Schuler round which I have no doubt was used. Nobody has ever seen an original Kynoch 500 Jeffery round that matches the drawings specs.

        One time I sent a .500 Jeffery to proof and they told me the chamber was wrong for the round. I said it wasn’t and took the 2 original Jeffery 500’s we have and the original .500 Schuler we have to the proof house to prove my point. If the same chamber was right when the people who introduced the round, why is it now wrong? Now there are 2 proof codes one for the Jeffery and one for the Schuler, a very stupid, confusing and dangerous scenario in my opinion.

        https://www.theexplora.com/the-mighty-500-jeffery-in-a-westley-richards-droplock-double-rifle/

  4. I think showing this exot (and which is not in its way) is worthy deed. Now we have more complete scope leading to better understanding.

  5. Smooth Bore Rifle? Not really. A term way beyond oxymoron.
    Best to call it what it is and generate less trouble downrange. Literally and figuratively .
    How about “”PMM,” AKA “Precision Molded Musket?”
    Oh, but then folks will think it something from AirSoft…
    There’s more to camouflage than funny paint.
    But really, good points, Ian.

  6. Speaking of the movie, I believe that in both film and book that the hero rigged his rifle with a firing pin slightly too short to hit the primer of any chambered round (and in fact you would need a micrometer to tell the difference). Actually, all the other rifles in the house were left with custom-made shortened firing pins just before the “operation.” He did this because of the strange advisory role he was given to supposedly prevent a presidential assassination. The bad guys left the hero’s rifle at the scene of the assassination of a clergyman (masked as a botched attempt to kill the President of the United States) to frame the hero, and in the end the “murder weapon” backfires on the villain when it is shown that the rifle could never fire a shot in its condition when retrieved from the “crime scene.” Ballistic information from a murder is useless if your supposed murder weapon CANNOT ACTUALLY SHOOT ANYTHING!!!

    Did I mess up?

    • No, the filmmakers did.

      Most firearms other than revolvers, open-bolt slamfire SMGs, or single-shots with hammer-mounted firing pins have what are known as “inertial” firing pins, which actually “bounce” forward against spring pressure to hit the primer and are immediately shoved back by the spring. This is to prevent the firing pin impacting the primer before the breech is fully shut, thus preventing a dangerous premature ignition, as well as preventing the firing pin from “sticking” in the indented primer and possible impeding ejection.

      If you measure such firing pins, they are invariably shorter than the distance between the “uncocked” and “firing” positions. Usually, the actual “pin” part up front is deliberately left up to .040″ shorter, specifically so that the pin tip can only hit the primer when being batted forward by the hammer, whammed forward by the firing pin driving spring, or etc.

      Bolt-actions generally have such firing pins, specifically to prevent somebody from inadvertently firing the weapon by being clumsy in uncocking it over a loaded chamber. See “ease springs maneuver”, which you’re not supposed to do with a round in the chamber to begin with, but Murphy’s Law prevails, especially with Private Snafu.

      The only way the guy in the movie could “shorten” the pin enough to prevent firing with such firing pins would be not to shorten the tip almost imperceptibly, but to remove the tip entirely, by cutting or breaking it off about 1/4″ (6-7mm) back from the firing tip. Which someone is bound to notice if they’re servicing the rifles properly before the op. (Never try this trick on a Marine, for instance.)

      Screenwriters generally don’t know much about firearms, and their screenplays repeatedly prove it.

      cheers

      eon

      • Good point.

        If we were to duplicate this “scapegoat prevention” in real life, I assume that the hero might actually mess with the chamber instead. What would happen if I had messed with the chamber using a weird chamber insert so that the “proper” cartridge wouldn’t feed? Any bureaucratic moron unaccustomed to maintenance attempting to use the rifle as planted evidence against me wouldn’t know that it would not actually feed properly. In essence, there’s no way I could have shot the bishop, since the projectile fetched from his head could never have been shot from a rifle unable to chamber a round! Or, perhaps one might replace the bolt firing spring with one too weak to set off a cartridge primer (think of it as duplicating the problem associated with the striker spring of the Nambu Type 14 pistol)…

        Any better ideas?

        • “Any better ideas?”
          Disconnection trigger? It is possible to do in way that trigger is still linked with its spring (will go forward after releasing) but do NOT activate firing mechanism?

      • Actually it’s worse than that. Full Disclosure; I love Stephan Hunters books, he’s a great writer and knows more about firearms than 99.99% of the novelists out there. But…in the book “Point of Impact” from which the movie “Shooter” was made, the hero pulls the special custom made titanium firing pin out of his Remington M700s bolt and with a few swipes of a file makes the pin inoperative. Titanium. Good luck with that Bob Lee, I’ll be back in a couple of hours with lunch. I have to wonder if Mr. Hunter didn’t intentionally put a false data point in the book just to be on the safe side. W. F. Buckley did that in one of his Blackford Oakes novels; if someone makes the bomb described in the book it won’t explode.

        Sua Sponte.

      • eon,

        I don’t know of any center-fire striker-fired bolt-action rifles that have a rebounding firing pin, firing pin return spring, or inertial firing pin. All the ones I know of have positive firing-pin protrusion when the striker is down off the sear. Also, as far as I know, even cock-on-closing actions have a small cam-back of the striker to clear the firing pin tip from the bolt-face for feeding.

        All the ones that I know of would not be drop-safe if you lowered the striker onto a live round in the chamber, (by pulling the trigger while closing the bolt).

        Most also have a mechanical limit on firing pin protrusion to prevent primer piercing, so they could have their pin filed down a bit and prevent firing. And, since the pin is always cammed back from the bolt face for feeding, when you pull the bolt you wouldn’t know if it was filed short if you didn’t check it by lowering the striker off the cocking cam.

        Which designs are you thinking of?

        • I was probably thinking of hammer-fired systems like semi-autos. MAJOR brain fart.

          Oops.

          Still, to disable the firing pin as described, more than just “slightly shortening” it would be required, as you point out. You’d need to remove enough of the pin’s striker end that only someone completely unfamiliar with the weapon’s internals wouldn’t notice it. Which means the movie version is as usual completely wrong.

          I’ve seen people lower the striker on bolt-actions over a loaded chamber by carefully easing it down with thumb and forefinger like the hammer on a cocked self-loader, on rifles like the SMLE and military Mausers. I’ve never thought it was a good idea.

          An “Ease Springs” done slowly can theoretically lower the striker without hitting the primer hard enough to set it off, especially with harder-than-average military primers. I’ve never tried it; I’m chicken.

          cheers

          eon

        • This may have been carry over from revolvers which necessitate FP withdrawal due to drum rotation.

          On semi-auto/ select fire rifles it is not clear cut. While some older and larger calibers have FP return spring, some newer models (small bore typically) do not. If we look at AR15 development as axamle, there was one time consideration to prevent slam fire of free floating FP, but this was later left out.

          • If the firing pin strike is off centre relative to the bolt rotation, then that causes a lot of resistance to bolt unlocking, and the sooner the pin tip can be cammed back into the bolt and out of the way, the better.

            of course that comes after the firing pin tip has done its job of sealing the firing pin hole and supporting the dent in the primer during firing.

    • I believe you are referring to one of Stephen Hunter’s books with Bob Lee Swagger as the protagonist.
      One of the plot twists involves a recovered bullet from Swagger’s rifle which is rejacketed in paper and fired by the real killer through another rifle which has a slightly larger bore diameter.
      Supposedly the killing projectile only shows rifling marks from Swagger’s rifle thus proving he is the assasin.
      It’s a fun read like most of Hunter’s books.

      • That trick also surfaced in one of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. I think it had its genesis in one of the loopier JFK assassination conspiracy theories.

        If they knew how inaccurate sub-caliber saboted bullets tend to be, they’d think of something else.

        As for paper-wrapping, unless the bullet was so much smaller than the bore that the paper was basically a thick-walled “tube”, you would still get imprinting of the rifling on the bullet through the paper as the latter was compressed. Look at a fired paper-patched bullet from something like a .40 Sharps sometime.

        With a previously-fired bullet, you’d probably end up with either “smeared” rifling marks or even a “double” set of marks, one less distinct than the other and showing different characteristics. Which would tip off forensics people (like me) that something fishy was going on.

        You might fool a lawyer. But comparison microscopes are a different story.

        This is yet another reason I rarely read “mystery” novels written much after WW2. At least the authors back then knew they didn’t know much about firearms and tended to avoid the subject for that reason.

        cheers

        eon

        • The bullet in question was mangled on impact with the victim, unless I’m totally wrong… And the bad guys didn’t plan on Swagger’s weapon staying in custody long enough for an inquiry involving a living defendant. The plan was “kill target, kill scapegoat, fake crime scene, close case.” In their rush to fake the evidence the bad guys picked a weapon and matching bullet without checking the condition of the weapon. They faked up the ballistic evidence and lab report through proxy or bribed lab technicians so that the lawyers would believe the bogus story. It’s been done before. Did I mess up on this?

  7. As far as I know, and according to old firearm terminology, “Inertia” firing pins do not have any springs, they do retain their locations through their inertia, like M1 Garand rifle or Vz50, Vz52 or Makarov pistols. Firing pins being shorter then their recesses and reaching to the primer with blows transmitting motion enery themselves to acchieve their mission, are called as “Floating”. However, some may think vice versa.

  8. Great video, but how many inches in a minute of angle at 100 yards? Try 1.047…

    That’s why your still better off rounding it off to an inch for every hundred yards until you either have to dial 22 moa or shoot out to 2200 yards (significant error occurs).

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