Blaser R8 for Dangerous Game

Forrest Halley

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Whether or not your opinion is unpopular (mine often are) is irrelevant. What is relevant is the mischaracterization of the rifle and your subsequent conclusions about what owners think, or should think about it. Since I actually own one, allow me to reiterate what is so special about the rifle, and why, to me at least, it is not overpriced. I can also tell you what actually goes on in the mind of at least one owner, so you don't have to make further "so you'll think" suppositions.

First, there is no real comparison with an Encore. Other than the refinement of the Blaser, which is light years ahead of an Encore, the Blaser system actually works. I can switch barrels between shots in three different calibers every single shot an produce three MOA groups on three different targets. The system is that repeatable (neither of the two Encore rifles I have owned had anything like that repeatability). If one is traveling with the rifle, which is the intent of 99.9% of the owners on this site, one can indeed travel with multiple calibers in a far more transportable format with no concern about re-sighting after caliber changes. To me, it is the ideal format for a DG/PG hunt or a PG hunt that may have specialized game or range requirements. In that environment, I am absolutely not "better off" with multiple dedicated rifles - particularly several airports and several thousand miles from home. And the barrel change is accomplished in seconds with a single allen type wrench - not a "few wrenches." Something you would know if you would actually learn a bit more about the rifle you are criticizing.

And how is it over priced - exactly? Everything is relative. It is a far more versatile rifle than say a Rigby Big Game or Highland Stalker (wonderful rifles) and can be found for less than half as much. It's quality certainly matches the quality of anything in its price range, and as @One Day... so accurately noted in comparing the 1911 to the modern polymer handgun, the competition with its deep blue and walnut grips may look more traditional, but that appearance has nothing to do with durability, functionality, or accuracy. Those three attributes are major contributors to the term "value." At least to me.

It also works perfectly right out of the box - no trigger, feeding, bedding refinements required. That too is an attribute of value.

So, actually use one a bit. Take it on an international hunt. Then let's have discussion about what I should think about it.
I have no use for an R8. I've already got two Encores, some Ruger No.1's, and a Model 70. Good for you that you enjoy having several barrels for the price of which you could buy a serviceable rifle. I get it that your happy with your darling and can wheel it through an airport with ease. I don't have care in the world about your opinion of your rifles. I'm talking to the poster who has the Mauser and is considering other barrels or starting over with an R8.

Most folks do not want to pay the cost of a new rifle(for most of us) for the privilege of owning another barrel and possibly bolt head. I have flirted with owning one several times and each time the cost of barrels and accessories come up as a deal breaker as does the lack of a second rifle.

A couple of wrenches away referring to a few turns of same said tool which you have already informed us all is a specialized size allen wrench.
 

Tanks

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...

Most folks do not want to pay the cost of a new rifle(for most of us) for the privilege of owning another barrel and possibly bolt head. I have flirted with owning one several times and each time the cost of barrels and accessories come up as a deal breaker as does the lack of a second rifle.
...

As others have mentioned earlier the cost of an R8 is not that much different than a CZ that has been made to work reliably. I doubt anyone that has spent tens of thousands of dollars for an African hunt is going to take a bargain shop rifle to Africa that has a chance of not working. An extra barrel is about $1,200 (standard barrel) or so. That cost of that is much less than a brand new rifle that needs to be proofed.

Now, I agree with the statement about having a backup rifle. @One Day... is taking his double rifle for DG and his R8 for backup/PG. For him it is a win-win.

BTW, which rifles did you take on your African hunts?
 
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dchamp

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A couple of wrenches away referring to a few turns of same said tool which you have already informed us all is a specialized size allen wrench.
There is nothing special about the Allen Wrench other than it has a molded in handle. It's just metric-5mm. Their scope mount uses a very thin flat blade screw driver but there are other after market scope mounts that are less money and use Torx Drivers for tension adjustment. You should try it.
 

Aussie_Hunter

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I see the Blaser R8 as a great option even just as a single rifle. At this point in time I have no intention of buying more barrels in different calibres and when I travel with mine I am not even going to bother taking it down. I think I may have mentioned this before but when I was looking for a rifle chambered in one of the 500's the Blaser was by far the best overall option available to me and believe me I did a lot of looking for quite a while here in Australia. An R8 chambered in 500 Jeffery for around 8k is a bloody hard option to beat IMO.
 

Commish

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I have no use for an R8. I've already got two Encores, some Ruger No.1's, and a Model 70. Good for you that you enjoy having several barrels for the price of which you could buy a serviceable rifle. I get it that your happy with your darling and can wheel it through an airport with ease. I don't have care in the world about your opinion of your rifles. I'm talking to the poster who has the Mauser and is considering other barrels or starting over with an R8.

Most folks do not want to pay the cost of a new rifle(for most of us) for the privilege of owning another barrel and possibly bolt head. I have flirted with owning one several times and each time the cost of barrels and accessories come up as a deal breaker as does the lack of a second rifle.

A couple of wrenches away referring to a few turns of same said tool which you have already informed us all is a specialized size allen wrench.
For those interested in Blaser, let me be clear — there is no secret, proprietary multi-wrench set that is needed to switch barrels. You have the wrench in your toolbox at home. The only difference is the Blaser wrench has ‘Blaser’ written on the handle (there goes their shrewd advertising again). Your PH will probably have a wrench in the correct size if you lose yours, and there are a number of PHs that have a Blaser or two as camp guns, so they may even have an actual Blaser wrench (their advertising has even begun fooling the professionals!!!)

As far as having a serviceable second rifle, I can carry a second barrel, second receiver, second scope with mount, second trigger system, and second bolt head with ease. I can replace everything with no adjustment except a broken stock. Is it a standalone second rifle? No. Is it much more than just a single rifle? I would say so.

I too carry another rifle in a dangerous game cartridge without much trouble since Murphy is never too far away.

I cannot tell if the misinformation put out about Blasers is done solely out of ignorance or if it is just so much easier to blow down a straw man than the actual rifle system itself.
 

Red Leg

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I have no use for an R8. I've already got two Encores, some Ruger No.1's, and a Model 70. Good for you that you enjoy having several barrels for the price of which you could buy a serviceable rifle. I get it that your happy with your darling and can wheel it through an airport with ease. I don't have care in the world about your opinion of your rifles. I'm talking to the poster who has the Mauser and is considering other barrels or starting over with an R8.

Most folks do not want to pay the cost of a new rifle(for most of us) for the privilege of owning another barrel and possibly bolt head. I have flirted with owning one several times and each time the cost of barrels and accessories come up as a deal breaker as does the lack of a second rifle.

A couple of wrenches away referring to a few turns of same said tool which you have already informed us all is a specialized size allen wrench.
I am talking to the same guy Forrest - except I actually have considerable experience with a R8. That you don't "have a care in the world" about my opinion or rifles is irrelevant to me - I hope the OP would find find that actual experience of value.
 

Red Leg

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I am talking to the same guy Forrest - except I actually have considerable experience with a R8. That you don't "have a care in the world" about my opinion or rifles is irrelevant to me - I hope the OP would find find that actual experience of value.
I have no use for an R8. I've already got two Encores, some Ruger No.1's, and a Model 70. Good for you that you enjoy having several barrels for the price of which you could buy a serviceable rifle. I get it that your happy with your darling and can wheel it through an airport with ease. I don't have care in the world about your opinion of your rifles. I'm talking to the poster who has the Mauser and is considering other barrels or starting over with an R8.

Most folks do not want to pay the cost of a new rifle(for most of us) for the privilege of owning another barrel and possibly bolt head. I have flirted with owning one several times and each time the cost of barrels and accessories come up as a deal breaker as does the lack of a second rifle.

A couple of wrenches away referring to a few turns of same said tool which you have already informed us all is a specialized size allen wrench.
In fairness should expand on those comments.

I fully understand that you have "no use" for a R8. Expense is an absolutely justifiable reason not to own anything. However, expense has nothing to do with the perceived "value" another may place on the attributes of the rifle. I am blessed to own quite a few different firearms. I have been equally blessed to use many of them pretty extensively. I suspect I could engage you in useful and informed dialogue about any number of them. The only point that I would make to @VertigoBE is that the R8 has become my "darling" the last few years after reflecting on that extensive experience with other rifles - particularly, when international travel is involved.
 

BeeMaa

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I am talking to the same guy Forrest - except I actually have considerable experience with a R8. That you don't "have a care in the world" about my opinion or rifles is irrelevant to me - I hope the OP would find find that actual experience of value.
As the OP, I do find the experience and knowledge you bring to the table very helpful. And I'm not talking only about the R8 platform, but just about any firearm I'd consider owning.
 

Rickmt

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Red legs advice is solid and a I appreciate hearing his posts
 

TTundra

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As others have mentioned earlier the cost of an R8 is not that much different than a CZ that has been made to work reliably. I doubt anyone that has spent tens of thousands of dollars for an African hunt is going to take a bargain shop rifle to Africa that has a chance of not working. An extra barrel is about $1,200 (standard barrel) or so. That cost of that is much less than a brand new rifle that needs to be proofed.

Now, I agree with the statement about having a backup rifle. @One Day... is taking his double rifle for DG and his R8 for backup/PG. For him it is a win-win.

BTW, which rifles did you take on your African hunts?
I'd wager there are quite a few that take 'bargain' rifles and do quite well. A stock cz550 in 416 Rigby was coming with me this year on a buff hunt until it got bumped to next year. Same stock cz550 will still come.
Lots of Rugers, sako's, cz's, m70s that are stock take game and DG every year...

That said, I do understand your point about the people whom spend $3-$4 on custom rifles then condem the R8s price tag. I still battle with myself everytime I check this thread to purchase one or not. o_O
 
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BeeMaa

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I'd wager there are quite a few that take 'bargain' rifles and do quite well. A stock cz550 in 416 Rigby was coming with me this year on a buff hunt until it got bumped to next year. Same stock cz550 will still come.
Lots of Rogers, sako's, cz's, m70s that are stock take game and DG every year...

That said, I do understand your point about the people whom spend $3-$4 on custom rifles then condem the R8s price tag. I still battle with myself everytime I check this thread to purchase one or not. o_O
You think reading this thread gives you pause? Then you definitely should not handle or shoot one.

BTW - I know a guy in your area who has at least 2 R8's. He might even let you take one for a spin.
 

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in my opinion. i think they are first class. i came close to having EUROPTICS PUTTING TOGETHER ONE WITH beautiful wood with a fluted barrel. Ever watch "Under Wild Skies" tv show /? he shoot the Blaser in .375. His signature rifle

i think Nogales Prairie on this forum has has the Blaser rifles'

Check out the Sauer 404 too WOW !!!
 

bowjijohn

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I wish I'd had access to the R8 research, outlined on here by One Day; Red Leg and BeeMaa a couple of years ago.

I've owned an R8 pro success for about 4 years

I spent the best part of $4000 each on a 9.3 x 62 and a 404 Jeff FN Mauser 98 rifle build(s)

I love them to bits - however a 9.3 x 62 barrel and the 404 Jeff barrel (for sale here on a different thread) would have given me a superb 3 barrel traveling set-up and $5000 in the pocket (which of course would have inevitably been blown somewhere else ...
 

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I wish I'd had access to the R8 research, outlined on here by One Day; Red Leg and BeeMaa a couple of years ago.

I've owned an R8 pro success for about 4 years

I spent the best part of $4000 each on a 9.3 x 62 and a 404 Jeff FN Mauser 98 rifle build(s)

I love them to bits - however a 9.3 x 62 barrel and the 404 Jeff barrel (for sale here on a different thread) would have given me a superb 3 barrel traveling set-up and $5000 in the pocket (which of course would have inevitably been blown somewhere else ...
Clarify something for me please. Do you still own a Blaser R8, or did you own it for 4 years then sell it?

You currently own a 9.3x62 and 404J FN Mausers custom builds and those sound like a perfect 2 gun safari combination. I see nothing wrong with this set up. Even if this thread is about the R8, I'd enjoy seeing a couple pics of them.
 

bowjijohn

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Hi BeeMaa

Still own the R8 - in 6.5 x 55 se

Pics of the 'magic twins' below - 404 is the lower one

pair of African rifles.jpg
 
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Red Leg

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Hi BeeMaa

Still own the R8 - in 6.5 x 55 se

Pics of the 'magic twins' below - 404 is the lower one
Nice looking pair of rifles. What actions did your gunmaker use? FN/Browning?
 

BeeMaa

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Hi BeeMaa

Still own the R8 - in 6.5 x 55 se

Pics of the 'magic twins' below - 404 is the lower one
Beautiful Mauser rifles and the 6.5x55SE is a wonderful cartridge for the smaller African game.
 

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You think reading this thread gives you pause? Then you definitely should not handle or shoot one.

BTW - I know a guy in your area who has at least 2 R8's. He might even let you take one for a spin.
Oddly enough, what's holding me back is my experience with them. I've shot them on 2 different occasions at SHOT show media day. I had 2 failures, in 2 different rifles. Same issue on each, a failure to feed. I mentioned once before, media day has a lot of shooters blowing thru mag after mag, round after round, in a desert setting. Not the most optimal testing situation, but nevertheless, an evaluation.

Is 20rds or so a fair test, likely not. At least I have had some trigger time behind one (2) which keeps my interest and I can relate to a certain degree and not one with 0 experience berating one.

That said, I've had failures on the 700, m70, and mauser rifles. If its mechanical, it's not perfect, just reality. Who knows, I have found I'm preferring a o/u DR so my sxs may fund a R8 soon enough. The compactness is reason enough for me! :LOL:
 

bowjijohn

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Nice looking pair of rifles. What actions did your gunmaker use? FN/Browning?

They are both FN

One is a Columbian action

Can't remember the other though I'll check and report back

Both actions came from RM Poole armoury

Don't ask - I didn't
 

dchamp

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I thought I would tell how I came to purchase my first Blaser. You see, I have a thing for 8mm calibers. I have 8x57 and a 8mm Rem Mag that I love. I was looking at getting a .325WSM but had concerns with feeding issues I had heard about with the WSM's.
My son suggested I look into the 8x68s. I did a little research and decided look for one. I found some brass and dies but couldn't find any rifles. I was getting ready to purchase reamers to build myself one when I stumbled onto Eurooptic and Blaser. Eurooptic happened to have the Blaser R8 in 8x68s in stock. They had a package deal of rifle, case and I think scope (Zeiss Conquest ???), scope mounts, etc. for around $4,200.00. I cringed at the price and went back and forth on whether it was worth it. I ended up placing the order and immediately had a case buyers remorse thinking I would not like it and have to sell it at a loss. Happily that was not the case. To this day the 8x68s in the Blaser R8 is my favorite combination.
It surely had nothing to do with slick advertising. Personally I just don't have time for those who suggest that anyone who purchase's something, like a Blaser R8, must be dimwitted and have fallen prey to obvious slick advertising.
I think I have used the R8 for about 10yrs now and have had nary a problem. I find their design and engineering intriguing and they're manufacturing quality superb.
 

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