Shooting sports enthusiasts are currently enjoying a kind of golden age in which some of the oldest rifle design concepts are being blended with the latest cartridges and up-to-date features. The Traditions Performance Firearms’ G3 Outfitter is just such a gun.
This break-action, single-shot rifle is manufactured by Ardesa of Spain and imported into the United States by Traditions. The Outfitter's external profile, stock configuration, materials and controls have clearly been lifted from Tradition's extensive line up of inline muzzle loaders like the innovative NitroFire. In a nutshell, if you could swap out the muzzleloading barrel of the Pursuit XT for a centerfire barrel, the G3 Outfitter is essentially what you would get.
The G3 Outfitter is manufactured in Spain.
These handy single shots are available with various barrel configurations chambered for several different centerfire cartridges. Revolver cartridge options include the .357 Mag. and .44 Mag. Popular AR-compatible cartridge options are available including the .300 BLK, .350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster. Other rifle chamberings found in the catalog are the .35 Rem., .35 Whelen and the venerable .45-70 Gov't.
Barrels are either 16.5" or 22" in length with rounded or fluted profiles. The muzzles are either plain or threaded. Threaded models ship with either a multi-port muzzle brake or a knurled thread protector installed. All G3s are drilled and tapped to accept a scope mount, while some models include a factory-installed optics package. The standard shoulder stock's length of pull (LOP) is 14.25" but this rifle series includes some Youth models with a 13" LOP.
This rifle’s profile is lifted from Tradtion’s lineup of popular in-line muzzleloaders.
This review takes a closer look at the G3 Outfitter configured with a standard-size stock, a 16.5" threaded and fluted barrel, chambered in .300 BLK and shipped with the factory optics package installed. The Outfitter G3 features a free-floated Lothar Walther barrel made of durable chrome-moly steel with an 11-degree target crown. The muzzle is threaded at 5/8x24 TPI for various accessories including muzzle brakes, compensators and sound suppressors. The bore is cut with six-groove, right-hand rifling. For the .300 BLK, the industry tends to use 1:7" or 1:8" rifling twist rates for production guns. The 1:8" twist is a better fit if the gun will be firing primarily subsonic loads topped with heavier bullets in the 225-grain or heavier range.
The stocks are made of a durable, weatherproof polymer.
Since the G3 Outfitter is more of a multi-purpose platform, it has a 1:7" twist favored for supersonic loads launching lighter bullets weighing between 80 to 125 grains. That being said, this rifle knocked out solid group sizes with both the supersonic and subsonic loads tested. The base of the rifle's chamber is fitted with a narrow extractor that will cam away from the chamber as the action is opened. It presses spent cartridges out about a quarter of an inch so they can be manually removed.
This particular rifle arrived with Tradition's in-house Rifle Hunter Series 3-9X 40 mm rscope mounted to the rifle with a set of aluminum rings on a Weaver-style aluminum base. This budget-priced optic (it sells separately for $118) features a one-piece, nitrogen-filled tube with multi-coated lenses and a compensation reticle with 50-, 100-, 150-, and 200-yard markings. Other features include a 3" eye relief, raised finger controls and a rubber fast-focus eyepiece.
The in-house Tradtion’s optics package is affordably priced and comes installed with aluminum rings and one-piece base.
It’s a solid, meat-and-potatoes optic setup that will certainly get the job done. But even though the Rifle Hunter is not heavy or particularly large for its class, I will admit that it appears to be oversized for the compact, 16.5" barrel rifle. It probably looks just fine with the 22" barrels or with an 8" to 10" suppressor attached. One nice touch that I appreciated with the optics package was that the rifle arrived with an ambidextrous knurled hammer extension installed and ready to use.
The barrel and carbon-steel alloy receiver are treated with a matte, Gun Metal Grey Cerakote finish. The other metallic components are treated with a matte black finish, which matches the color of the black polymer stocks. The relatively long fore-end is comfortably shaped and features molded-in diamond-pattern texturing, which is mirrored on either side of the shoulder stock's pistol grip.
The chamber is fitted with a narrow extractor to aid in reloading and the package rifle arrived with an ambidextrous knurled hammer extension installed.
At the front of the fore-end is a sling swivel stud whose mate can be found set into the shoulder stock. Located along the bottom surface of the fore-end, closer to the receiver, is a recess which contains a spring-loaded release. Pressing this release back towards the receiver allows the fore-end to be quickly and easily removed from the barrel in order to divide the rifle in half for more compact storage or for routine cleaning.
The rounded trigger guard is made of black polymer. Its front edge is fitted with a grooved metallic lever that, when pressed back towards the shoulder stock, it releases the hinged barrel and allows the action to be opened. However, the barrel is blocked from opening when the hammer is cocked. The rear of the trigger guard is fitted with a round crossbolt safety. When pressed to the right, this safety blocks the steel bow trigger from cycling. When pressed to the left, a ring of red is exposed to indicate that the safety is in the "Fire" position.
This particular Outfitter G3 is compact and handy thanks to its threaded 16.5” barrel.
This version of the Outfitter features the Elite XT trigger configuration. Because the hammer must be manually cocked for each shot fired, I expected more of a single-action style trigger pull. Instead, the Elite XT is unmistakably a two-stage trigger. The first 0.25" of this trigger's arch of travel is a light, clean take-up before reaching a firm stop. The trigger then breaks nicely with 3-lbs. 9-ozs. of pressure and only travels about 1/8" after the break. It proved to be an enjoyable trigger to use with a just-right trigger weight for most applications.
This rifle can be divided in two to fit into smaller storage spaces.
The hollow shoulder stock has a slightly elevated cheek rest and is capped off with a soft textured, rubber recoil pad. This G3 Outfitter has a listed weight of 6 lbs. 4 ozs. As configured, with the factory-installed optic, it tipped the scale at 6 lbs. 10.6 ozs. unloaded. With no muzzle devices attached, this little rifle exhibits quick handling and swings nicely. Its balance, weight and the moderate levels of recoil produced by the .300 BLK cartridge make it a good fit for a variety of body shapes and experience levels.
The G3 Outfitter's single-shot, hinged barrel lends itself to a more sedate rate of fire when target shooting from a bench rest. The rifle's utter reliability and smooth operations contributed to an even more relaxing and enjoyable shooting experience. There were no malfunctions of any kind, gun, ammunition or optic related, throughout the entire course of testing.
The G3 Outfitter proved to be utterly reliable and enjoyable to shoot.
Formal bench rested accuracy testing was conducted at 100 yards by firing five, five-shot groups for three loads. Here are the performance results for test loads manufactured by Black Hills, Hornady and Sig Sauer:
One notable bit of data not reflected in the table is that the subsonic Hornady load exhibited a 3.5" drop at 100 yards when compared to the supersonic Black Hills and SIG Sauer loads. But I was honestly surprised by the group sizes of the SIG Sauer option. On average, groups were about double the size of the other two loads.
Test ammunition included supersonic and subsonic loads.
I've used this same SIG round in other guns with groups that were roughly equivalent or better that the others for accuracy. Neither the bullet weight nor shape is particularly exotic. And since the five groups were consistently larger, it can't wholly be shooter error. All in all, there's not much to be said other than this particular gun does not care for that load. This is, once again, a good reminder of the importance of testing a given load with a particular gun before heading out into the field.
This version of the Tradition's G3 Outfitter provides an enjoyable and useful blending of the traditional single shot rifle configuration, modern materials and finishes with the flexible .300 BLK cartridge. This rifle is well made, reliable and it can easily be separated in half to be stowed in more compact storage spaces.
Shown here is the 100-yard, five-shot group, the tightest of the test at 1.10", tapped out using the Black Hills’ supersonic load.
Although I certainly enjoyed working with the factory configuration shown here, this particular rifle is one that has left me with an itch to tinker. How about working it into more of a survival rifle by making it as compact as possible with a 13" LOP stock and a more svelte optics option? Then add a braided paracord survival sling, a storage pouch cuff wrapped around the shoulder stock. I'd take a look inside the stock's hollow to see just how much survival gear might fit in there. Finally, these modifications could be rounded out with some quality range time with a lightweight, .308-cal. compatible sound suppressor. That's a follow-up I would like to pursue!
Traditions Outfitter G3 Specifications
Manufacturer: Ardesa, Spain
Importer: Traditions Performance Firearms
Chambering: .300 BLK
Action Type: break-action, single-shot, centerfire rifle
Receiver: carbon steel, Cerakote finish
Barrel: chrome-moly steel, Cerakote finish
Sights: none; drilled and tapped for optics
Trigger: Elite XT, two-stage; 3-lb., 9-oz. pull
Overall Length: 32.25"
Weight: 6 lbs., 4 ozs. (without optic)
Accessories: factory-installed optics package, owner's manual
MSRP: $664 (as configured)