The M86 utilizes McMillan engineering throughout, including the McMillan-based action, McMillan McHale adjustable fiberglass composite stock with recoil pad and the McMillan match grade heavy contour precision barrel. The rifle was eventually available in a variety of calibers that included 7mm Remington Magnum, 7.62x51mm NATO, .300 Winchester Magnum, .30-06 Springfield and .338 Lapua Magnum cartridges. Depending on the selected caliber, magazine counts differed from 3- (.300 Win Mag), 4- (.308 and .30-06), 5- and 10-round detachable magazines. Magazine types offered were either an internal magazine or a conventional detachable box. Optic options proved plentiful and included flashlights, low-light and night vision scopes. Despite its size, the M86 enjoyed a relatively light operating weight thanks to its fiberglass composite stock. An adjustable bipod (featuring full tilt and swivel control) was optional as was a detachable buttstock. Interestingly enough, no iron sights were afforded to the base weapon.
Externally, the M86 sported a simple and clean design. The near-vertical pistol grip was integrated into the stock and body. The bolt-action lever was set to the right side of the body with the segregated trigger group located just underneath. The barrel was seemingly featureless and extended forwards from the squared-off body while optics of virtually any type could be fitted onto the gun. The optional bipod could be folded backwards and up against the gun body for increased portability.
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