Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

Hardy Rifle Engineering’s HYBRID switch barrel rifle was one of the coolest things I saw at SHOT Show, yet somehow it managed to slip through the cracks when it came time to writing up my coverage. Offering end users the ability to quickly switch barrels and bolt heads is slick and handy, but the rifle also includes some basic improvements that should make it a great shooter.

Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

As cool as the switch barrel capability is, I think the bolt lug design is likely the biggest functional improvement on the HYBRID as compared to nearly every other bolt action rifle in the world. Employing a corkscrew-like bolt lug system, all 90 degrees of bolt rotation actively close or unlock the bolt. In a typical rifle, only around 5 degrees of rotation moves the bolt forward or rearward.

What this means is significantly smoother primary extraction — that point where the bolt unsticks the brass from the chamber. Instead of a sudden pop, the force is spread out throughout the entire bolt lift, making for a stronger primary extraction and a smoother, lighter bolt lift. I dig it.

Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

Then, of course, there’s the switch barrel capability. Two lugs accessible through the side of the carbon fiber stock lock or unlock the barrel. A pre-set torque wrench is included with the HYBRID so the end user can’t mess this up and always torques to the same spec every single time.

Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

When unlocked, the barrel simply slides right out the front of the action.

Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

The Hardy HYBRID comes with a tool to make disassembly of the bolt very easy. The bearded hipster rep with the Kiwi accent was able to swap bolt heads in well under a minute at a normal pace. Even with what I assume was copious amounts of beard oil on his hands.

Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

Though we can’t verify this yet, of course, they had a few videos looping on their monitors showing an effectively flawless return-to-zero after removing and re-installing the barrels, and even after swapping to a new cartridge requiring a different bolt head and then returning to the original setup.

Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

The entire process was quick and easy enough that you could do it in the field no problem.

Hardy HYBRID Switch Barrel Rifle

We’ll try our best to get a review loaner, but with Hardy in New Zealand I’m not sure how long it will take before these are available from an importer in the U.S. and whether they’ll have loaner guns. The price point is definitely up there.

I can say, however, that I’ve shot a few rifles with Hardy carbon fiber barrels on them from 100 yards to 1,450 yards and they were absolute tack drivers. Without a doubt they make a nice product. Find out more at: https://www.hardyhybrid.com/ and at https://www.hardyrifle.co.nz/

 

All photos by the author. 

33 COMMENTS

    • Achievement unlocked….

      You now have stage 4 Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      Your stage 4 TDS now allows you to think about Trump, and only Trump, 100% of the time.

      You also have now completely replaced intellect with ignorance.

  1. Is there really a driving need to change caliber in the field during a hunt?

    Or is this geared for the hunter that wants to buy one gun and configure it before each hunt?

    • It would be handy for those states that require straight walled or specific calibers for specific animals and seasons. Likewise, I never saw the need to own a bow, then learned that some states are “bow season only”. Well, that explains that I guess.

      Tbh, I kinda want a good bow as of late…

    • I read an article yesterday of a multimillion dollar contract for the sale of new rifles from Barret to the US government called the MRAD, for multirole adaptive design. The MRAD is chambered in the traditional sniper calibers of .308 Winchester and .300 Winchester Magnum. However, it can also easily swap into .338 Lapua Magnum, .338 Norma Magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Norma, and .300 PRC. The cost, approximately $16,000 per rifle, includes a sound suppressor and a variable power rifle scope. The weapon will replace the M2010 sniper rifles and M107 heavy sniper rifles.

      So now you know.

  2. Geoff, I think you are closer to the correct. I never was much for switching barrels/calibers on rifles. Except, maybe the T/C Encore. Mine is a ML. Hunted with it this afternoon. Tomorrow is the last day to kill a deer in Florida. Bucks only. Primitive weapons. Saw 16. No bone. Anyway, never paid much attention to interchangeable barrels that used the same case head. After all, 7-08, 308, 30-06, 270, 280, etc. What’s the difference? Now if you can go from 308 to 300 Win Mag you may have something. If it’s reasonably affordable to do so.

  3. Googling about the interwebs, people quote $6600 to $7000 for this rifle plus another $1500 to import one from New Zealand. Guns like this are high end toys for wealthy people, not for the common gun owner or hunter.

    The multi-caliber thing could be useful in a lower priced firearm that actual humans could afford. In a wealthy person’s boomstick, it’s a fun gimmick but serves no practical need. A rich buyer can afford to buy guns of different calibers.

    The beard thing apparently makes some sense to a limited number of elite special forces operators who hunt down and kill very bad people in very Badassistan places. On other people that sort of display is tacticool bullshit.

    • enuf, I could pull just about any 2-3 rifles from my safe and be knocking on $7000’s door. The real question is how much the extra barrels and bolts cost.

    • No, wait, it isn’t fair to expect this without paying down the expense of this game-changing, pre-headspaced barrel / extension innovation . . .

      that Stoner accomplished in ~1955

      or Johnson in ~1940

      The only real question is why anyone in 2020 would make a rotating-locking bolt action that DOESN’T use this system.

      • Not a bad idea, claim a religious exemption on an SBR stamp.

        Or, make it a 5-dollar stamp and call it a ‘Bris’BR? 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing an article about this good rifle, not so much such high-quality information can be found about it. It would be interesting to know if it is possible to create some kind of your own business for creating interesting modifications with the help of such services like these, it would be great if this was possible.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here