I had to determine again in my checklist of articles to remind myself how many Blaser firearms I have reviewed. What am i able to say, I’m historic and forgetful. With the present review, that number stands at four, sort-of. Let me clarify. The number reviewed contains an F-16 shotgun (see TTAG); the ‘form-of’ is because the Blaser R8 rifles I have reviewed are “modular.”
The chambering for the primary R8 I reviewed became .458 Lott. When Blaser requested me to review a 2d R8, this one chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, I nonetheless had the .458 Lott. They despatched me a second barrel, bolt face, and journal for that chambering. So I changed the .458 Lott accessories with the .300 Winchester Magnum elements and voilà…an R8 in .300 Winchester Magnum. So, maybe I may still declare to have simplest reviewed three-and-a-half R8s.
as a result of the miraculous efficiency of the old Blaser (mentioned “blah-zer”) firearms, i used to be drawn to reviewing the fairly new Blaser R8 model, the R8 greatest (released a little over a yr in the past, see interview on TTAG from Dallas Safari membership). The craziness that has been 2020 delayed the receipt of the R8 most reliable, however at last arrived at Shooters Den about three weeks ago.
When it arrived, the German-made rifle gave the impression of this:
no longer an issue. The R8s really are dead-effortless to assemble. right here we go . . .
Step 1 – attach barrel to stock with the aid of inserting the two barrel lugs into the holes internal the inventory channel . . .
then inserting the Hex Wrench despatched with the rifle into the holes on the underside of the inventory and tightening the bolts.
Step 2 – Slide in the set off/magazine meeting.
Step three – Slide the bolt assembly into vicinity.
Step 4 – attach rifle scope using the Blaser Saddle Mount device. location the pins on the right aspect of the scope into the insert aspects on barrel . . .
…and the catches into the connection aspects on the left facet of the barrel.
Rotate the left-side connectors ahead (counter clockwise) unless cozy.
shut the leaves to finished the mounting of the riflescope.
And, here is the completely-assembled rifle.
The R8 best is capable of chambering calibers from .22 LR to .338 Lapua with its interchangeable barrels, bolt face and journal followers. When the individuals at Blaser asked about chambering, i mentioned an upcoming hunt for a trophy whitetail on Dan Cabela’s ranch near Austin, Texas. I requested if they could ship the R8 most reliable chambered in .270 Winchester. i assumed it would be superb to are trying out Jack O’Connor’s favourite round on a whitetail.
For the range workup, I used Sig Sauer a hundred and forty grain, Elite Tipped searching and Hornady a hundred and forty grain, Interlock American Whitetail ammunition.
The R8 superior came geared up with a Blaser 4-20×58 iC riflescope.
Cocking the R8 prompts the illuminated dot of this iC (illumination manage) riflescope. Opening the action turns it off.
as soon as cocked, inserting the rifle on secure also turns off the illumination.
This characteristic has been attainable on R8 mannequin rifles for the reason that December, 2017. however, it requires a Blaser Infinity riflescope or other iC-appropriate scope. as an instance, the Zeiss Varipoint iC also links to this device.
Blaser’s description of their trigger states:
The desmodromic set off mechanism ensures your trigger will feature even when iced or heavily dirty. The mechanical potential of a simple lever will be certain success even within the most harsh conditions.” And, from their FAQ page: “The R8 facets an ingenious set off designed via Blaser that does not rely on spring tension by myself to be reset. It’s reset mechanically, upon biking the bolt, hence providing the highest quality elevated reliability, resistant from outside components corresponding to dirt, low temperatures and so forth…
The rifle arrived with the set off set to 900 grams or about 2 kilos of pull weight.
The Blaser R8’s journal is placed above the set off community. This reduces the dimension of the rifle’s motion and consequences in a shorter standard size.
Loading the magazine can also be achieved either from above, or by using comfortably shedding the set off/journal assembly the usage of the release buttons on both side of the receiver.
The R8 most advantageous inventory has a thumbhole that really works. not that each one different thumbhole shares I even have encountered have been complicated, but some looked as if it would have a thumbhole more as a fashion accent. The R8 most efficient’s thumbhole design equipped my hand and helped stabilize the rifle even if taking pictures from the bench, my 4StableSticks, or the leisure I used all over my whitetail hunt.
The R8 top-rated also comes equipped with a tool-less, adjustable inventory. That’s a large plus should you’re in the field. Having pulled other shares apart with all forms of hex wrenches and so forth to regulate the size of pull, pitch and top of the recoil pad, and the comb top, I discovered the lever and push-button controls on the R8 most desirable very clean.
Comb peak adjusts with the frenzy of a button (to left of comb in here images).
The comb adjustment mechanism also has a built-in reminiscence function in line with a two-stage button. it really works as follows:
- Push button fully in to discover the appropriate top of the comb for your construct.
- When able to shop the rifle, or elevate it in circumstances during which the comb might be damaged, push the comb all of the method down.
- When able to fireplace the rifle, push the button evenly and the comb will prolong to your pre-set top.
Adjusting the top and extension of the recoil pad is also simple. To exchange the extension of the pad, you raise the lever to the left (see under) of the recoil pad and pull/push the pad to the favored size.
Closing the lever locks the recoil pad into its new surroundings.
Likewise, the button on the recoil pad adjusts the height the pad and for this reason the stock pitch. urgent the button allows the recoil pad to slide up and down.
The R8 most excellent’s forend is fitted with two sling mounts.
That makes it effortless for people that need to connect a sling as well as a bipod to the rifle.
taking pictures with sandbags and an Armageddon gear Waxed Canvas Optimized video game Changer assist Bag, I fired 5-shot organizations from the bench using Hornady and SIG Sauer ammunition at distances of a hundred, 200, 300, and 400 yards.
For my upcoming whitetail hunt, I needed to acquire the bullet trajectories. For each ammunition forms they had been +2″, 0″, -7″ and -20″ at 100, 200, 300, and 400 yards, respectively. I determined trajectories from the goals, in place of laptop application.
To simulate container conditions, I fired 5-shot businesses at one hundred, 200, and 300 yards from my 4StableSticks‘ optimum leather-based, standing relaxation. once once again the test involved both the Hornady and SIG Sauer ammunition.
starting with the accuracy considered from the bench, both ammunition forms, in any respect distances offered 1 MOA accuracy or greater. the vast majority of the groups cautioned just a little more desirable accuracy when the use of the SIG Sauer ammunition.
This target indicates the neighborhood fired from the bench at 200 yards.
Turning next to the effects from the 4StableSticks relaxation, once more accuracy was magnificent. The SIG Sauer ammunition all over again looked as if it would give greater accuracy relative to the Hornady ammunition at most distances.
despite the fact that i used to be unable to replicate the sub-MOA, bench results for many of the distances, the rifle + ammunition mixtures still gave no higher than three.6″ groups, even at 300 yards. In different words, the community sizes have been smartly within the dimension of the coronary heart-lung area of large-game animals.
Saddle Mount and Reproducible Zero
The last analysis i wanted to run worried right here claim via Blaser regarding their Saddle Mount scope mounting device:
each Blaser rifle or combination gun can also be outfitted with an long-established Blaser Saddle Mount. After being zeroed in as soon as, the rifle scope will also be removed and changed in just three steps, with out a need for equipment, as regularly as favored, with one hundred% return to zero.
So, I fully disassembled the rifle. Yep, i do know they pointed out to just pull the scope, but I figured i would basically make it complicated on the R8 and scope to live as much as Blaser’s declare. I reassembled the rifle and remounted the Blaser scope and fired 5 photographs the use of the SIG Sauer ammunition at a 100-yard target. right here is the ensuing target:
So yes, as soon as it’s zeroed, you in reality can disassemble the Blaser R8 top-rated, put it back collectively and it’ll area in the past sighted-in ammunition to the identical aspect-of-influence, with the identical accuracy. (not shown is a five-shot group the usage of the Hornady ammunition. It too reflected the same point-of-influence and accuracy as earlier than.) That reflects real precision engineering and assembly.
The true proof is in the trophy whitetail. I should be telling this story in much more element in yet another outlet. Suffice it to claim that this Texas Hill country buck changed into weaving in-and-out of a cedar tree line at 190 yards.
He in short confirmed just a little of shoulder and went simplest 15 yards after the influence of the SIG Sauer bullet. The rifle, scope, and ammunition performed flawlessly.
specifications: Blaser R8 most useful in .270 Winchester
Caliber: .270 Winchester
action class: Blaser Straight Pull
Saddlemount: Blaser (Blaser four-20×fifty eight Riflescope; MSRP $four,354)
capability: 4 + 1
overall size: 40″
Barrel: usual (without open sights)
Barrel length: 22 1/2″
Weight: 7 lbs 8 oz (with out riflescope)
stock: Black-brown synthetic, device-less, Adjustable inventory with black elastomer inlays – purchasable alternate options: Adjustable Comb and Adjustable Recoil Pad, Recoil Absorption system (Adjustable Comb and Recoil Pad on overview Rifle)
MSRP: $5,668 (about $4000 retail)
ratings (out of 5 stars):
trend and appearance * * * *
I even have slowly, but most likely, come round to appreciating the look of synthetic and metallic. like every of Blaser’s products I have reviewed, the lines and aggregate of parts items a kit it truly is effortless on the eyes. notwithstanding now not a thumb-hole fan on many rifles, the Blaser design provides in place of detracts from the seem to be of the inventory and rifle.
Ergonomics * * * * *
The R8’s inventory adjustments imply the rifle can be completely adapted to very nearly any shooter. The ability to make these alterations right away within the box without equipment is a tremendous plus.
Reliability * * * * *
not a single misfeed, magazine subject, or linking difficulty between the iC riflescope and the action all over the entire latitude work and the hunt. also, the ‘reminiscence’ surroundings on the comb worked as marketed. finally, as shown with the aid of the ‘Saddle Mount’ evaluation, i will ascertain the claim so you might eradicate a zeroed riflescope and remount it and acquire the same aspect-of-have an impact on and accuracy.
Accuracy * * * * *
The Blaser R8 ideal changed into correct with two very various kinds of ammunition. It became accurate from the bench (all MOA or more desirable), the 4StableSticks standing relaxation, and, eventually, the usage of a field leisure to take a whitetail buck at about 200 yards.
universal * * * * *
The R8 ideal is a remarkably smartly notion-out looking rifle. With its caliber interchangeability, it’s an accurate, smartly-balanced and very easy to shoot online game-taking machine. At that expense some will argue whether it’s the greatest looking rifle, nonetheless it’s darn close.
Mike Arnold writes for a few shops; that you can find hyperlinks to different articles here.
[All photos courtesy of Mike Arnold.]