Blaser R8 for Dangerous Game

CoElkHunter

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@CoElkHunter & @Bert the Turtle :
I never sold a firearm for the benefit or happiness of my first wife and I thank the heavens for it everyday.
First wife: you'll spend a thousand dollars on a gun but not on a couch? Unacceptable.
Second wife: you got a second Ruger number one rifle in some giant caliber? I hope it makes you happy.
Well, I didn’t really buy the waterbed for her benefit or happiness. I had a couch that opened up into a bed and she had some small short bed. So we needed something larger and the new waterbed had the baffles in it so it didn’t move much and was heated. Anyway, getting back to this thread sort of. If someday I were to get a R8, one of the barrels will be a 26” heavy varmint barrel in .220 Swift. If it’s good enough for DG it’s good enough for varmints. Ha! Ha! Ha!
 

Forrest Halley

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Well, I didn’t really buy the waterbed for her benefit or happiness. I had a couch that opened up into a bed and she had some small short bed. So we needed something larger and the new waterbed had the baffles in it so it didn’t move much and was heated. Anyway, getting back to this thread sort of. If someday I were to get a R8, one of the barrels will be a 26” heavy varmint barrel in .220 Swift. If it’s good enough for DG it’s good enough for varmints. Ha! Ha! Ha!
@Ridgewalker 's tale was a refresher lesson for me as I have seen the same thing with Encores and Contenders before. When you buy an erector set gun, you'd better be very thoughtful and considerate about it. You can either make it your only gun or the second gun in the various power levels that you purchase. However, if you already have or end up with a bunch of different guns in various power levels like a lot of us do, you end up with a lot of money sitting there doing nothing in barrels and optics(also mounts, bolt heads and magazines for the R8). When it comes to a point that you decide to sell it off, you're going to realize very quickly that it was only one gun with a whole lot of accessories and that people aren't going to value it the same way you did when you bought it. Lots of folks are going to tell you that it's easy to change barrels and return to zero this and that. Ask them what their current configuration is and the last time they changed it. I have three erector set rifles. They haven't changed barrels in years. I found it was more convenient to have them stay as separate guns. This is of course cost prohibitive in an R8. If I had it to do over again, I would have avoided erector sets all together. They are but one rifle at a time and offer no redundant reliability or easy change at a moment's notice.
 
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BeeMaa

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@Ridgewalker 's tale was a refresher lesson for me as I have seen the same thing with Encores and Contenders before. When you buy an erector set gun, you'd better be very thoughtful and considerate about it. You can either make it your only gun or the second gun in the various power levels that you purchase. However, if you already have or end up with a bunch of different guns in various power levels like a lot of us do, you end up with a lot of money sitting there doing nothing in barrels and optics(also mounts, bolt heads and magazines for the R8). When it comes to a point that you decide to sell it off, you're going to realize very quickly that it was only one gun with a whole lot of accessories and that people aren't going to value it the same way you did when you bought it. Lots of folks are going to tell you that it's easy to change barrels and return to zero this and that. Ask them what their current configuration is and the last time they changed it. I have three erector set rifles. They haven't changed barrels in years. I found it was more convenient to have them stay as separate guns. This is of course cost prohibitive in an R8. If I had it to do over again, I would have avoided erector sets all together. They are but one rifle at a time and offer no redundant reliability or easy change at a moment's notice.
This is true...to an extent.

We find the the R8 to be a better mousetrap altogether over a conventional bolt action rifle. It's faster reloading for follow up shots and we both like the way the decocker safety system works. As a result, we've stopped using all other rifles in our battery and they are currently for sale. We are not collectors, just hunters with rifles to be used as tools to get the job done in an efficient manner. I will concede that the beautiful wood on my wife's rifle isn't completely necessary, but she wanted it...so it's what she got.

To your point...we currently we have 3 stocks used in the following manner.
One is dedicated to the 22lr for pest control because many times it's needed in a hurry and there is no time to do a barrel, bolt and magazine change.
The second in my 375 standard barrel, aluminum receiver and no kickstop. The only thing it shares is the bolt assembly with the 22lr and the bolt stays on the 22lr. When I take the 375 to the range, I change the bolt and when I come back...it goes back on the 22lr.
Third is my wife's Intuition stock, aluminum receiver with the kickstop. Currently set up for the 300WM safari barrel (it's still a 19mm semi-weight but has a barrel band sling swivel). She also has a 375 safari weight (22mm) barrel that mostly sits in the vault. She has shot it, but is scaling back to just use the 300WM for now.

So you are right...we do not do much switching around on the platform, but it will allow me to have the EXACT same fit for any other caliber I want in the future. Having that is another great benefit of having the R8 platform.
 

Ridgewalker

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I will concede that the beautiful wood on my wife's rifle isn't completely necessary, but she wanted it...so it's what she got.
Wise move! LOL!
 

Forrest Halley

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This is true...to an extent.

We find the the R8 to be a better mousetrap altogether over a conventional bolt action rifle. It's faster reloading for follow up shots and we both like the way the decocker safety system works. As a result, we've stopped using all other rifles in our battery and they are currently for sale. We are not collectors, just hunters with rifles to be used as tools to get the job done in an efficient manner. I will concede that the beautiful wood on my wife's rifle isn't completely necessary, but she wanted it...so it's what she got.

To your point...we currently we have 3 stocks used in the following manner.
One is dedicated to the 22lr for pest control because many times it's needed in a hurry and there is no time to do a barrel, bolt and magazine change.
The second in my 375 standard barrel, aluminum receiver and no kickstop. The only thing it shares is the bolt assembly with the 22lr and the bolt stays on the 22lr. When I take the 375 to the range, I change the bolt and when I come back...it goes back on the 22lr.
Third is my wife's Intuition stock, aluminum receiver with the kickstop. Currently set up for the 300WM safari barrel (it's still a 19mm semi-weight but has a barrel band sling swivel). She also has a 375 safari weight (22mm) barrel that mostly sits in the vault. She has shot it, but is scaling back to just use the 300WM for now.

So you are right...we do not do much switching around on the platform, but it will allow me to have the EXACT same fit for any other caliber I want in the future. Having that is another great benefit of having the R8 platform.
I was hoping you'd reply. Your setup is an interesting one. That's a very expensive .22 for what it is. I could never see spending that kind of money on a barrel like that, but can see that for an Anschutz .22 instead. Do you use that at the range as well? Is it a shared gun that your wife also uses for pest control? How durable of a setup is it? Can it be run as fast and hard as the .375 or does it require finesse?

I seem to remember you had a .416 Rem barrel at some point, but alas no more?

I see you also have a streamlined bolt inventory with two of the same bolt heads plus the .22LR. Very nice. As you went with the .22 over the .223 barrel for your pest control gun and maybe practice setup, what are your thoughts on that?

I have considered that if I can get my wife into hunting I would consider streamlining my collection considerably and going to a nice .257wby for her and a .375 R8 for me as two separate rifles. I have little desire to build a training rifle and would not own another .223.
 
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BeeMaa

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I was hoping you'd reply. Your setup is an interesting one. That's a very expensive .22 for what it is. I could never see spending that kind of money on a barrel like that, but can see that for an Anschutz .22 instead. Do you use that at the range as well? Is it a shared gun that your wife also uses for pest control? How durable of a setup is it? Can it be run as fast and hard as the .375 or does it require finesse?

I seem to remember you had a .416 Rem barrel at some point, but alas no more?

I see you also have a streamlined bolt inventory with two of the same bolt heads plus the .22LR. Very nice. As you went with the .22 over the .223 barrel for your pest control gun and maybe practice setup, what are your thoughts on that?

I have considered that if I can get my wife into hunting I would consider streamlining my collection considerably and going to a nice .257wby for her and a .375 R8 for me as two separate rifles. I have little desire to build a training rifle and would not own another .223.
Some would call the 22lr setup expensive...we call it worth it. I bought the stock in nearly new condition from @Ridgewalker (thank you very much sir) so that saved a little bit. The barrel kit came from Top Dog Guns Global and was already threaded 1/2"-28 for my suppressor. The bolt gets run at the same speed and force, but at about half the stroke of a centerfire cartridge. It has seen range work for practice, but it's mostly a dedicated pest rifle for both of us. We prefer doing range work with full power centerfire cartridges. The 22 kit is very robust and I would not hesitate to have it in bad weather, rain or the muck & mud. The finish (not a coating) on the barrel is the same as on any other Blaser barrel...tough as nails.

Good memory, I did have a 416RM with the steel receiver stock and kickstop. I sold that entire package to another member here. Because I bought only the barrel new from a dealer, I didn't loose any money on it. I kept the scope and use it on my lightweight 375 barrel.

22lr vs 223REM for pests...most of our pests around here are fox, groundhog, raccoon and smaller at less than 50 yards. 40 grain HP 22lr is more than enough for these critters and with the cloverleaf groups it shoots, very easy to hit. If the varmints were coyote and larger, I'd get the 223. However I'd more likely get a 257WBY so I don't have to change bolt heads and can still hunt deer with it. If a 223 is good than a 257 has to be better right? Yeah, I thought so too.
 

Hunting Hitman

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Well I went with the R8 synthetic stock from Mad Dog topped with a regular 375 H&H barrel that I had threaded to accept a suppressor for when my wife goes on DG hunts with me. Very easy to handle!
IMG_3615.JPG
 

BeeMaa

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Well I went with the R8 synthetic stock from Mad Dog topped with a regular 375 H&H barrel that I had threaded to accept a suppressor for when my wife goes on DG hunts with me. Very easy to handle!
View attachment 429617
Nice rig.

Do you (or would you) find the extra length and weight of the suppressor cumbersome for hunting? I had one on my 300WSM and after using it in the field (spot and stalk) decided it was better suited to hunting from a fixed position like a blind or shooting prone from a high vantage point. How does your wife plan on hunting DG?
 

Hunting Hitman

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It’s definitely longer than normal but not terrible to hunt with…actually not bad at all. As for my wife she is fortunate to have a personal gun bearer with her at all times (ME) and finds the reduced kick and increases hearing protection worth it.
 

BeeMaa

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It’s definitely longer than normal but not terrible to hunt with…actually not bad at all. As for my wife she is fortunate to have a personal gun bearer with her at all times (ME) and finds the reduced kick and increases hearing protection worth it.
You are truly a Gentleman for being such a gunbearer. ;) Is there a significant change in POI vs without the can or do you have it set up for specifically for this?
 

Forrest Halley

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Well I went with the R8 synthetic stock from Mad Dog topped with a regular 375 H&H barrel that I had threaded to accept a suppressor for when my wife goes on DG hunts with me. Very easy to handle!
View attachment 429617
Very cool.
A couple of questions:
What make is this suppressor?
Titanium?
Objectively or subjectively...how much does it reduce noise? How much does it reduce recoil?
I have experience with 300WM running suppressed and it is loud but not a full bodied roar. I wonder how much the body of boom is knocked down in a .375 given how big the bore is going through the suppressor and the fact that most shots are getting the first round pop.

Does anyone here really chase getting rid of the first round pop? Seems to me like it would be really important to mitigate this in these hushed giants.
 

Hunting Hitman

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Very cool.
A couple of questions:
What make is this suppressor?
Titanium?
Objectively or subjectively...how much does it reduce noise? How much does it reduce recoil?
I have experience with 300WM running suppressed and it is loud but not a full bodied roar. I wonder how much the body of boom is knocked down in a .375 given how big the bore is going through the suppressor and the fact that most shots are getting the first round pop.

Does anyone here really chase getting rid of the first round pop? Seems to me like it would be really important to mitigate this in these hushed giants.

Noise reduction is objective to say the least. For me you can comfortably shoot the rifle without hearing protection and have an enjoyable experience. If I had to guess at a number let’s call it 20%. As for the recoil I would place it around 35% reduction in kick. Very easy to shoot in this fashion. With the massive discharge of the caliber the first round pop is negligible.

Lastly this suppressor is a Bowers VERS 375
 

BeeMaa

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Noise reduction is objective to say the least. For me you can comfortably shoot the rifle without hearing protection and have an enjoyable experience. If I had to guess at a number let’s call it 20%. As for the recoil I would place it around 35% reduction in kick. Very easy to shoot in this fashion. With the massive discharge of the caliber the first round pop is negligible.

Lastly this suppressor is a Bowers VERS 375
Noise reduction is not objective, it can be measured although it is specific to the caliber, firearm and ammo being used. Having the proper tools to do so is another story. The same can be said for recoil/recoil reduction but the tools are much bigger and more expensive.

Mr Guns N Gear review of this specific suppressor shows 24-26 dB reduction with some different ammo and firearms. Not 375H&H but still useful information.
 

Hunting Hitman

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Noise reduction is not objective, it can be measured although it is specific to the caliber, firearm and ammo being used. Having the proper tools to do so is another story. The same can be said for recoil/recoil reduction but the tools are much bigger and more expensive.

Mr Guns N Gear review of this specific suppressor shows 24-26 dB reduction with some different ammo and firearms. Not 375H&H but still useful information.

All true. Feel free to do the test on this caliber and let me know how close I was with my 20% estimate.
 

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@Ridgewalker 's tale was a refresher lesson for me as I have seen the same thing with Encores and Contenders before. When you buy an erector set gun, you'd better be very thoughtful and considerate about it. You can either make it your only gun or the second gun in the various power levels that you purchase. However, if you already have or end up with a bunch of different guns in various power levels like a lot of us do, you end up with a lot of money sitting there doing nothing in barrels and optics(also mounts, bolt heads and magazines for the R8). When it comes to a point that you decide to sell it off, you're going to realize very quickly that it was only one gun with a whole lot of accessories and that people aren't going to value it the same way you did when you bought it. Lots of folks are going to tell you that it's easy to change barrels and return to zero this and that. Ask them what their current configuration is and the last time they changed it. I have three erector set rifles. They haven't changed barrels in years. I found it was more convenient to have them stay as separate guns. This is of course cost prohibitive in an R8. If I had it to do over again, I would have avoided erector sets all together. They are but one rifle at a time and offer no redundant reliability or easy change at a moment's notice.
I have R8’s along with a lot of other rifles. A number of those others are more valuable than a R8. I did not get a R8 to replace anything. What the R8 is, in any configuration, is the most effective hunting firearm I have ever used. Period. Its ergonomics, trigger, and simple “shootability“ are superior to anything else in my gun room. That is, of course, a purely personal subjective evaluation, but it is, I think, an informed one. The R8 is also far and away the most effective rifle that I own for international travel.

It has almost nothing in common with an Encore.

That said, I rarely use one in North America. For deer and bear, I tend to use rifles because they give me pleasure to use, not because they are a better solution. I even do that internationally on occasion, as when I recently took my Rigby .275 to Zambia. But when a shot needs to be placed in exactly the right spot on an expensive international hunt, under any conditions, nothing in my experience is a better choice than a Blaser R8.

But if calling it an “erector set” helps persuade you that not owning a R8 is somehow wise, then fine. Do not purchase one. And I‘ll remain happy to offer anyone actual informed observations about the rifle based upon my fairly extensive use of it.
 

Forrest Halley

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@Red Leg I have no doubt you are an expert on the R8 and I enjoy you so often reminding us. ;)

Erector set is a term coined by another user but it suits the purpose in describing any firearm with end user modularity with an associated money pit. It applies to R8s, ARs, and all manner of interchangeable barrel single shots such as the Encore, Contender, CVAs, Knights, etc.

The real point of my post was a tale of caution that your unicorn is not my unicorn and when you go to sell your erector set, especially if you part it out, you'll likely take a bath so tinker wisely.
 

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I appreciated the advice I got from RedLeg ,Beemaa, Oneday and others before I bought my R8 and cannot understand all the snarky comments about Blasers from folks who don’t own the gun. I like mine a lot and bought one for my son . A great tool for international hunting and a straight shooting, cool rig in my humble opinion .
 

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I bet this guy is glad he had that lightning fast follow up shot that the R8 provides ;) and that scoped 375 (guess) looks like it performed admirably :A Stirring: :E Big Grin: :A Outta: . Granted the operator could’ve probably been faster and a turn bolt would’ve likely had the same problem.

In all seriousness it looks to me like Blaser perfected the straight pull action. The safety is as good as it gets and as a member so often reminds us, the CRF vs PF debate should really be about mute by now.

I’ve been tempted by the R8 myself but have withstood it so far.

This thread is never gonna die. :cautious:
 

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