Blaser R8 for Dangerous Game

Red Leg

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It also depends on circumstances :)

The .375 H&H rapier is great in orderly duels with clean deadly shots (spot & stalk), but not so great when things turn nasty and the focus shifts from killing to stopping, at which time the .45+ broadsword can become a lifesaver, just like the rapier never made it to the battlefield where cuirassiers wielded relatively heavy sabers.

Sure, as a client D'Artagnan you will have at least one PH musketeer to provide assistance, so you can adopt the perspective that YOU do not need the broadsword, although HE is most likely to bring one to the brawl...

Interestingly, there is ample evidence that the .416 occupies a somewhat ambivalent place: amply proven more powerful than needed for surgical killing, and also amply proven less powerful than desired for blunt stopping. I too had one when the mythical .416 Rigby was revived affordably by CZ, but I did not buy a .416 barrel when I transitioned to the R8...

I am sort of in-between. My largest barrel on the R8 is a .375 H&H (the rapier), but I love hunting the big stuff up close and personal with the double .470 (the broadsword) although I readily admit that I so prefer more for romantic than purely practical reasons. Oh well...

I was lucky to pick up a trophy bull elephant cancellation hunt in Zim this coming August at a price I can finally afford (dare I say Thank You COVID?), and I will have both rapier and broadsword. I will carry the .470 K gun with 500 gr persuasion in the thick jess around the irascible Zambesi Ladies, but one tracker will carry the scoped .375 R8 in case a dream 60 pounder walks across a wide clearing and requires 350 gr surgical attention...
Really happy for you!! Were I hunting a bull elephant instead Zambian PG in August, my rifle would be my .470. But as you say, the scoped .375 would be a step or two away.

And don't forget that while those Cuirassiers were making their ponderous way toward the enemy, Chasseurs and Lanciers were racing to the exposed flank.
 

One Day...

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Thank you Joe.

And don't forget that while those Cuirassiers were making their ponderous way toward the enemy, Chasseurs and Lanciers were racing to the exposed flank.
I am sure that you will recognize the blue uniform of the Chasseurs...

1616727421974.png

A very young OneDay..., platoon leader at the 8éme Groupe De Chasseurs Mécanisés in Wittlich, district of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, circa 1982.

And "Tout hussard qui n'est pas mort à trente ans est un jean-foutre!"
Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle
Général de Cavalerie
(10 May 1775 – 6 July 1809, Wagram)
 
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Red Leg

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Thank you Joe.


I am sure that you will recognize the blue uniform of the Chasseurs...

View attachment 394837
A very young OneDay..., platoon leader at the 8éme Groupe De Chasseurs Mécanisés in Wittlich, district of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, circa 1982.

And "Tout hussard qui n'est pas mort à trente ans est un jean-foutre!"
Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle
Général de Cavalerie
(10 May 1775 – 6 July 1809, Wagram)
Wagram was a hard won victory, but it crushed the Fifth Coalition. LaSalle's quote, in one form or another, is still heard among the better read commanders of our Armored Cavalry Regiments - though "jean-foutre" has to be generously translated into English. ;)

Had Napoleon resisted the impulse to invade Russia, he could have ruled Western Continental Europe until his death.

Fine looking platoon and platoon leader.
 

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Also posted on...
https://www.africahunting.com/threa...-joining-the-r8-cult.61015/page-7#post-761477

@TOBY458 and I have done some measurements, comparing his semi-weight (19mm) channeled wood stocked Jaeger to my wife's safari weight (22mm) channeled wood stocked Intuition. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. They are off by about .050" with the safari channel being just that much larger. It is enough that a safari barrel in a semi-weight channel would be touching the stock.

From the looks of things, the extra material could be hand sanded out to accommodate a safari barrel. However if you then wish to use a standard weight barrel the gap between the stock and barrel would be that much more.

The choice is yours, but now we know that there is a significant (however slight) difference in the barrel channel from semi-weight to safari.
 

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Also posted on...
https://www.africahunting.com/threa...-joining-the-r8-cult.61015/page-7#post-761477

@TOBY458 and I have done some measurements, comparing his semi-weight (19mm) channeled wood stocked Jaeger to my wife's safari weight (22mm) channeled wood stocked Intuition. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. They are off by about .050" with the safari channel being just that much larger. It is enough that a safari barrel in a semi-weight channel would be touching the stock.

From the looks of things, the extra material could be hand sanded out to accommodate a safari barrel. However if you then wish to use a standard weight barrel the gap between the stock and barrel would be that much more.

The choice is yours, but now we know that there is a significant (however slight) difference in the barrel channel from semi-weight to safari.
The way I see it, I have many more choices going down in caliber vs going up. So I doubt I'll modify the forend for a Safari weight barrel. If J Sip was reliable and would build me a semiweight 416 RM barrel, I'd be set. He says he can provide me a barrel in 5 weeks or so. But, I've heard so many bad reviews about his business practices I'm afraid to send him a deposit. Any new experiences out there regarding J Sip?
 

One Day...

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@TOBY458 and I have done some measurements, comparing his semi-weight (19mm) channeled wood stocked Jaeger to my wife's safari weight (22mm) channeled wood stocked Intuition. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. They are off by about .050" with the safari channel being just that much larger. It is enough that a safari barrel in a semi-weight channel would be touching the stock.

This is logical. Per our previous posts:

... a semi weight barrel tappers outside of the stock from 21.5 to 19 mm, while a Selous barrel does not tapper and stays at 22 mm from fore-end to muzzle. Maybe BeeMaa can check that for us?
I checked both my 375 and 416 (Selous/Safari) and the exterior dimensions are identical. They are 22mm outside diameter from about 2 inches behind the rear sight all the way to the front of the barrel.

Per previous posts also, both BeeMaa's and my PH steel receiver stocks had from the factory a barrel channel widened by hand, with plenty of hand-tool marks and irregularities to prove it. If stocks are widened by hand on demand based on barrel selection, and since the semi-weight and safari barrel are 0.5 mm different at the fore-end tip, one would expect the channels to be slightly different. I also expect that they probably vary from one rifle to the next depending on how wide & deep which gunsmith went that day on that stock...

BeeMaa: does your wife's Intuition shows the barrel channel being enlarged to 22 mm safari width by hand-tools? TOBY, does your Jaeger show the barrel channel being enlarged to 21.5 mm semi-weight width by hand-tools? Or do they show the smoothness and consistency that you would expect from machining?

Also BeeMaa, you had initially indicated that your wife's stock would be shortened to 13" LOP. Did you have Blaser do it? On your last pic it seems to be the same length as yours. If it was not shortened, I am curious to know whether this affects her shooting? After all, this is not a shotgun, and there is a scope on it...
 
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BeeMaa

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This is logical. Per our previous posts:



Per previous posts also, both BeeMaa's and my PH steel receiver stocks had from the factory a barrel channel widened by hand, with plenty of hand-tool marks and irregularities to prove it. If stocks are widened by hand on demand based on barrel selection, and since the semi-weight and safari barrel are 0.5 mm different at the fore-end tip, one would expect the channels to be slightly different. I also expect that they probably vary from one rifle to the next depending on how wide & deep which gunsmith went that day on that stock...

BeeMaa: does your wife's Intuition shows the barrel channel being enlarged to 22 mm safari width by hand-tools? TOBY, does your Jaeger show the barrel channel being enlarged to 21.5 mm semi-weight width by hand-tools? Or do they show the smoothness and consistency that you would expect from machining?

Also BeeMaa, you had initially indicated that your wife's stock would be shortened to 13" LOP. Did you have Blaser do it? On your last pic it seems to be the same length as yours. If it was not shortened, I am curious to know whether this affects her shooting? After all, this is not a shotgun, and there is a scope on it...
My wife's Intuition stock looks like it was done by a machine, not hand. At least to my eye. It's very uniform. Yes there are some tooling marks, but to me they look like they were made by a mill, not a person. No I have not sanded them out. I'm not allowed to touch her rifle in that way.

The LOP on her Intuition from the factory was 13.75" and never altered. Her shouldering and shooting it has never been more comfortable according to her. She has settled into the stock quite nicely with proper head position for the scope. The results at the range speak to this as well. Not to mention that she's capable of shooting several 375 loads with no issues. I have to admit, that I can't take credit for this. She puts in the work at home doing dry fire practice and just mounting the rifle and looking through the scope. She's a trooper.

My Professional has a 15.5" LOP with two of the three stock spacers installed.
 
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Christot

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Blaser will make you all calibers you want as long as they make sense (magazine, bolt head, etc.) but only by their Custom Shop. Be prepared to pay a not insignificant premium compared to a standard configuration. Barrel contour is limited to the existing ones to my knowledge.
 

One Day...

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Noob question: Could one get a Rigby .416 barrel for the Blaser R8 or are you only limited to the calibers that Blaser sells for the rifle?

Yes, you can...

A few US and European custom makers offer third-party barrels for the R8. In the US the most well known are J. Sip & Sons and Palehorse Zero.

Like others, I have read of scope mounts notches machined in the wrong location, lack of communication, delivery lead-time extending multiple months, etc. And, like others I have also read reports from happy customers praising the quality of their barrel and the service they received... All my barrels are factory Blaser, so I have no personal experience with J. Sip & Sons and Palehorse Zero and will let people who have used them develop further comments...

The limiting factors are the same as usual: magazine well length, bolt head diameter, feeding rails of the spool magazine insert.

What I can say for sure, is that the R8 magazine well is long enough to take a .416 Rigby, and that the bolt head is large enough to be adapted for it, which is not a surprise because Blaser offers a barrel/magazine insert/bolt head for the .338 Lapua, and the .338 Lapua is just a necked down .416 Rigby...

R8 magazine well and .416 Rigby.jpg


R8 bolthead and .416 Rigby.jpg
 

BeeMaa

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Noob question: Could one get a Rigby .416 barrel for the Blaser R8 or are you only limited to the calibers that Blaser sells for the rifle?
The answer is yes...but with conditions.

If you want it from Blaser, you will be waiting a very long time. And as @Christot stated above, you will be paying a premium for this type of work.

Option 2 - Palehorse Zero or J Sip. From what I've read on AH recently, there are issues with both of these aftermarket barrel makers. Your money, your choice.

Option 3 - Buy a Blaser barrel in a stocked caliber like 416RM, 458LOTT or better yet the most versatile of them all...375H&H. FYI - The 375 is the only (factory) DG caliber available in all three barrel profiles. The Blaser made barrels are incredibly well made with a tough as nails finish that's evenly applied. Everyone that I've seen has been incredibly consistent with at least MOA accuracy. Most are better than that if you can do your part.

The options are endless, but these would be the big ones to look at. How do you plan to use the rifle?
 

rinehart0050

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It also depends on circumstances :)

The .375 H&H rapier is great in orderly duels with clean deadly shots (spot & stalk), but not so great when things turn nasty and the focus shifts from killing to stopping, at which time the .45+ broadsword can become a lifesaver, just like the rapier never made it to the battlefield where cuirassiers wielded relatively heavy sabers.

Sure, as a client D'Artagnan you will have at least one PH musketeer to provide assistance, so you can adopt the perspective that YOU do not need the broadsword, although HE is most likely to bring one to the brawl...

Interestingly, there is ample evidence that the .416 occupies a somewhat ambivalent place: amply proven more powerful than needed for surgical killing, and also amply proven less powerful than desired for blunt stopping. I too had one when the mythical .416 Rigby was revived affordably by CZ, but I did not buy a .416 barrel when I transitioned to the R8...

I am sort of in-between. My largest barrel on the R8 is a .375 H&H (the rapier), but I love hunting the big stuff up close and personal with the double .470 (the broadsword) although I readily admit that I so prefer more for romantic than purely practical reasons. Oh well...

I was lucky to pick up a trophy bull elephant cancellation hunt in Zim this coming August at a price I can finally afford (dare I say Thank You COVID?), and I will have both rapier and broadsword. I will carry the .470 K gun with 500 gr persuasion in the thick jess around the irascible Zambesi Ladies, but one tracker will carry the scoped .375 R8 in case a dream 60 pounder walks across a wide clearing and requires 350 gr surgical attention...
Good luck on your hunt. We're headed to Zim in June for the same- with the same battery of firearms. Chapuis 470NE double and Blaser R8 375HH!


Here's my newest DG addition. An R8 Jaeger with French grey receiver. Fluted Semiweight in 375 H&H. Unfired since bought new in 2014.

View attachment 394834View attachment 394835
Congrats! That wood looks very nice! Will you replace the side plates with engraved ones?
 

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Good luck on your hunt. We're headed to Zim in June for the same- with the same battery of firearms. Chapuis 470NE double and Blaser R8 375HH!



Congrats! That wood looks very nice! Will you replace the side plates with engraved ones?
Thanks! This is a Jaeger. Unlike the Luxus is doesn't accept side plates. I actually like the plain unengraved look anyway, so I'm good with it as is.
 

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This is logical. Per our previous posts:



Per previous posts also, both BeeMaa's and my PH steel receiver stocks had from the factory a barrel channel widened by hand, with plenty of hand-tool marks and irregularities to prove it. If stocks are widened by hand on demand based on barrel selection, and since the semi-weight and safari barrel are 0.5 mm different at the fore-end tip, one would expect the channels to be slightly different. I also expect that they probably vary from one rifle to the next depending on how wide & deep which gunsmith went that day on that stock...

BeeMaa: does your wife's Intuition shows the barrel channel being enlarged to 22 mm safari width by hand-tools? TOBY, does your Jaeger show the barrel channel being enlarged to 21.5 mm semi-weight width by hand-tools? Or do they show the smoothness and consistency that you would expect from machining?

Also BeeMaa, you had initially indicated that your wife's stock would be shortened to 13" LOP. Did you have Blaser do it? On your last pic it seems to be the same length as yours. If it was not shortened, I am curious to know whether this affects her shooting? After all, this is not a shotgun, and there is a scope on it...
Here's a look at my forend wood. Doesn't look to be hand done. Very smooth. I assume that when you send your gun into Blaser USA for modification, they have it opened up by a local smith, instead of sending it back to Germany.

20210326_154041.jpg
 
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This July I plan to stick with the .375 on my R8 because i can manage the recoil. Reading this thread leaves me convinced that a .375 is enough gun.
The July hunt will be Hippo for sure, now buff has entered the conversation. (That suggestion was politely placed and may be hard to resist.)
Depending on what happens with summer trips, I anticipate there might be some very good deals that come up last minute.
Mid-trip in 2018 I was offered to fill a last minute cancellation ele hunt for $6000. I declined. In hindsight I’m glad I did because I (we) had a lot to learn about PG hunting.
 

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This July I plan to stick with the .375 on my R8 because i can manage the recoil. Reading this thread leaves me convinced that a .375 is enough gun.
The July hunt will be Hippo for sure, now buff has entered the conversation. (That suggestion was politely placed and may be hard to resist.)
Depending on what happens with summer trips, I anticipate there might be some very good deals that come up last minute.
Mid-trip in 2018 I was offered to fill a last minute cancellation ele hunt for $6000. I declined. In hindsight I’m glad I did because I (we) had a lot to learn about PG hunting.
Buffalo should never leave the conversation! I'm not sure I could plan a hunt in Africa that didn't include Buffalo. Maybe an Elephant hunt would change my mind, but so far I haven't had a chance to test the theory.
 

BeeMaa

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Here's a look at my forend wood. Doesn't look to be hand done. Very smooth. I assume that when you send your gun into Blaser USA for modification, they have it opened up by a local smith, instead of sending it back to Germany.
When I was ordering the Intuition for my wife, Euro Optic said that Blaser Germany would have to open up the channel to accept the safari (22mm) barrels. The salesman said that he felt confident in opening up a synthetic stock to the semi-weight or safari channel, but didn't want to take the chance with a wood stock opening up to the safari diameter.

This leads me to believe that Euro Optic is doing the channeling work themselves, however I did not ask specifically. I can not speak for other large volume Blaser dealers, but this is what I experienced.

After doing the comparison with @TOBY458 with his semi-weight channel and my wife's safari, I don't see why the salesman was so concerned. The difference is so minute, it's almost laughable. Although the price of screwing up a wood stocked R8 is much more expensive than a synthetic.
 

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It's too bad you sold your .416 Rem. Mag. it's a great caliber, but I get it, the .375H&H makes more sense. It's kind of like the Bastard Sword or Hand and a Half Sword. Bigger than a Rapier but not as big as a Two Handed Sword.

I could be wrong but I think Blasers are sent to Blaser USA in San Antonio for modifications like channel opening and I think Andre from Blaser Germany does or did their gun smithing.

I can only surmise the reason Blaser doesn't offer the .416 Rigby is because of overall cartridge length. Max for the .416 Rigby is 3.75". I have some Kynoch factory ammunition with 410 Woodleighs which has a 3.715" overall length causing its nose to land on the bumper of the magazine well. I guess you could get an after market barrel for it and remove the bumper but I am not sure it would feed properly even though they offer the .338 Lapua which has a max overall length of 3.681".
 

One Day...

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Yep, clearly, it seems that:

1) Some wood stocked R8 are produced from inception with wide barrel channels, and the work is likely part of the original stock pattern CNC programming. It looks like TOBY's is one of them. One can see the two machine runs, one on each side, perfectly centered and regular, and at full depth:

1617134663710.png


2) Some wood stocked R8 are modified in Germany by Blaser to wide barrel channels, and the work is apparently also performed on a machine. It looks like BeeMaa's wife's is one of them. One can see that the machining is clean but the pattern is different;

1617135217089.png


3) And the plastic stocked R8 seem to be all produced from a single mold, with stocks delivered with a steel or alloy receiver as needed, and with semi-weight or safari barrel channels being widened as a subsequent operation when needed:

--- by American dealers or the American importer, in which case I do not expect they would invest in machinery to do this, and it can be done without any tool mark if using sand paper on a dowel - but this is time consuming; or with a coarse wood rasp to go faster, then some polishing, in which case care should be exercised not to go too deep with the rasp to not leave tool marks despite polishing...

--- by the German factory - I am thinking about the steel receiver R8 PH, which are all supposed to have a 22 mm barrel channel - either by machine or hand. But if they are machined, the tooling and/or the jig to hold the stock are less than perfect because it seems that a number of us here on AH have observed tool marks, and in my case there was a tool gouge deep enough on the left side that even after polishing with sand paper on a dowel, one can still see that there is a bow on the left side (and believe me it looks much better now than it did before I polished!)

1617135923899.png


I am happy for you TOBY and BeeMaa that your wood stocked R8 look as perfect as they should :)
 
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