To say 2020 is a year of unprecedented firsts would be an understatement. While society is forced to think outside of the box, many manufacturers are doing the same on their own volition. My new favorite example of this is Springfield Armory and its Model 2020 Waypoint — the company’s first bolt-action hunting rifle. Now I know that the typical reaction to this statement is, “Why do we need another one?”; this is where the Waypoint is unique.
Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Details
The Model 2020 Waypoint’s originality starts with its carbon fiber-wrapped barrel; this departs from the traditional continuous wrapping build process. It involves a thin-profile fluted stainless steel barrel that Springfield jacketed with a “roll” of carbon fiber, so to speak. Springfield torqued the roll in place by two caps and 95 percent of the barrel floats inside of it. This leaves some large gaps to enhance cooling and, in this writer’s opinion, obtain better harmonics. Together this provides less shot-to-shot displacement as the barrel warms up and increases overall accuracy. Springfield tends to agree, which is why it’s confident enough to include a .75 MOA guarantee.
Springfield set the barrel assembly set into its proprietary action that features a fluted bolt, dual locking lugs, and an EDM cut raceway that provides an ultra-slick bolt throw and a precise and repeatable lock up. On top of that, Springfield set everything into a 100 percent carbon fiber stock. It gives the user three-way adjustability. The connection of these critical components is solidified through the use of pillar bedding.
The last interface is the most important one of all: The trigger. Springfield spared no expense in this department, going all-in with a TriggerTech Field trigger. It’s adjustable down to 2.5 pounds. It also has one of the fastest lock times on the market.
Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Testing
I got to test the new Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint for the first time in late September at the 2020 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous in Idaho. I sent some rounds down range at up to 500 yards. This is almost a joke for the flat-shooting 6.5 PRC that my test gun was chambered in, but we’ll get into why this scenario was important in a bit.
After confirming a 100-yard zero, I ran the gun out to 500 yards in 100-yard increments with a 100 percent hit rate, merely by holding over, but never leaving the 4 MOA targets’ surfaces. The flat trajectory of the 6.5 PRC meant that little elevation was lost as the bullet traveled through this range of distances, making range estimation less critical. This is important because most animals refuse to stand still in perfect 100-yard increments. Rumor is that the European ones will do 100-meter increments, but I haven’t been able to confirm that for myself yet.
After several boxes of coveted Hornady Precision Hunter, it was unfortunately my time to move onto the next product. I left the booth pleased to find out that the gun is available in more than 32 configurations. Yes, 32. So what do those 32 configurations encompass? The Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint is available in two stock configurations, two finishes — Evergreen Camo or Ridgeline Camo — and a choice of carbon fiber or stainless steel barrels. You get to 32 when you factor in the four available calibers: 6mm CM, 6.5 CM, .308 Win., and the aforementioned 6.5 PRC. Barrels range from 20 to 24 inches, depending on the gun’s role and of course it’s chambering. For those of you wondering about price, the Model 2020 Waypoint ranges from $1,699 to $2,399, pending your build. So you basically get a custom bolt-action hunting rifle without much of a sticker sting.
As of its release, it is only available in a short action. However, Springfield promised a long-actioned version was also on its way. As we shook hands and exchanged information I am sure this is not the last time that I’ll get behind this rifle, as I look forward to getting one in a more personal setting with a little more time to spend with it. For more information, please visit Springfield-Armory.com. Also, watch our range test at Tactical-Life.com.