Blaser R8 for Dangerous Game

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by BeeMaa, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    Hi Philip, can you share some details of this? Or link, if you have already written about it on the forum?
    Many thanks in advance!
     
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  2. TokkieM

    TokkieM AH Fanatic

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    Philip, you can jump as high as you want and try and give others a opinion that they should have, but the facts remain the facts and you owning a Blaser is simply a very small drop in a very big ocean of R8 owners. Now you can harp on about how great it is and how it is fine for you as a DG gun, but the fact remains that very very PH's carry them or want to carry them, each have their own reasons. Now as far as I can see, you are not the original OP and he is the one that asked a few questions. Your defense of the R8 although admirable is based on one gun, your own. To give you a little insight I train and have trained hunters for their hunting exams here, so I get to see, shoot and handle multiple guns a year. One session is around 450 rounds per gun per day, now I have seen both Tikka and Sako go 1500 rounds without a failure on a given day and for several days in a row without a clean. I can tell you that the Blaser did not make past 200 before it showed up some minor issues, which you will put down to poor maintenance, I put it down to extremely tight tolerance.
    Please, please enlighten us on how many gun scribes who have written a write up on a Blaser actually own one? I guess if the write up is good then you have no issue, but if it's bad they don't know what they are doing or talking about.
    You have taken it upon yourself to tell everyone they are wrong because you deem yourself a Blaser expert, I just see another keyboard warrior clinging to a gun that he believes is superior compared to anything else, which it is not. Now as a AH enabler I would have expect a little more respect for others options and experience, but clearly that is beyond you as you have bad mouthed anyone who has a negative thing to say about a Blaser. You Sir are one of the reasons I spend less and less time on this great forum and probably will share even less as you know everything already and everyone just needs to ask you.
    Knock yourself out with the reply, over and out.
     
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  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I haven't done a survey, but I suspect most PHs don't own one because they are prohibitively expensive on the average PHs income. I would guess most carry a CZ of some variety these days (at least from my observations) because they are relatively inexpensive and usually if not always work out of the box. Like Phillip, I have found the most outspoken critics of the R8, or Blaser products in general, don't own one. That is a little frustrating - particularly when prospective owners are asking questions. The critiques are usually a justification of why the critic didn't or couldn't buy one. Self-justification is an important thing, I am just not sure it is particularly helpful to someone asking about field experience with the rifle. So let me add to Phillip's small drop in the bucket - that I have used my R8 pretty extensively to include on dangerous game. It has performed flawlessly and that it is my current go to rifle. And like you, I have a lot of other choices in my gun room, and have been fortunate to own pretty much what I wanted (though I regret to say, a Rigby Rising Bite will have to wait for another lifetime). :cry: It is ideal for me, because no other rifle in my experience is as versatile, shootable (including ergonomics, accuracy and trigger pull), dependable, and transportable as the R8. But as you note, that is just one opinion - though it is an actual informed opinion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  4. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Tokkie...

    In all fairness to Phil what do you expect him to say?

    Are you looking for him to say that it's junk and ya can't hit a 5 gallon bucket of dog shit with it at 5 feet? :A Shades:

    I was going to say somthing earlier about it's very tight tollerances, but you beat me to it. A rifle of it's design must be tight or it wouldnt work.

    450 rounds a day from a high powered rifle is one hell of a test to go without cleaning. In a 12 day period you , depending on caliber, might actually have shot it to it' s past it's life cycle without a total rebuild.
     
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  5. TokkieM

    TokkieM AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for your reply, I have seen some pretty expensive guns in the hands of PH's myself included. Given not everyone right out of PH school can afford a top end rifle, but there are many more expensive guns in the hands of some PH's.
    Philip can say what he wishes, that is his opion, but he is not the only one to have shot and handled a R8, R93, Blaser Double or their exquisite single shot stalking rifles. As he points out who carres about an opion outside the US, but he misses the whole point. Blaser has sold more rifles in Scandinavia alone than the whole US, thus the people that would know of issues are the ones that have the largest amount of rifles going around. I don't know what the price is in the US, but here they are pretty much the same as Sauer or high end Sako, unless you need the fancy wood then yes they are a penny more. They are common guns here and if you have 10 hunters on a driven hunt 4 will most likely have a Blaser of some sort. So the US right now is a small market on Blaser compared to Scandinavia. Glad you are happy with your gun and honestly hope it stays that way.
     
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  6. TokkieM

    TokkieM AH Fanatic

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    I would actually prefer he says nothing, he has pretty much said the same thing over and over again.
    The tight tolerance is why it works, but it is also one of the draw backs when it comes to shooting many rounds per day, it becomes hard to operate as smoothly as at the start, residue build up takes its toll, same for the Sauer 202.They are smooth guns with tight tolerances which is great when clean, but hammer them a bit and carry them in the dust and dirt and you will notice it, and yes I have had a Sauer 202. The Tikka and Sako guns have a mechanical smoothness due to the under size bolt and just running on the locking lugs.
    The shooting is done with rifles in 6,5 and. 30 calibers they get replaced after 18000 to 22000 rounds when they can't hit a 6 inch target anymore (kill zone on a moose target)
    Only issue with the Tikka rifles have been their plastic mags, Sako never gave any issues for the length of their use, but I have owned a TRG that gave nothing but problems from day one until I eventually sold it, had it back to Finland twice and still a expensive paper weight.
     
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  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Curious your opinion of the S2. I should note that I own one with 30-06, .375, and 500/416 barrels. In 'o6 and .375 livery it has taken everything from Suni to Cape Buffal0 / from 25 feet to over 250 meters. It was generally despised in this country by the outdoor writing class. Terry Wieland pretty much led the torches and pitchfork brigade. I suppose a legitimate argument can be made with respect to decocking on opening - but to me it has merely been a different manual of arms to learn. The rifle doesn't go up without the thumb going forward. But the real complaint was that it wasn't traditional - not a "proper" double rifle. All three calibers of mine shoot MOA or better per barrel, and the worst composite zero at 100 meters (with scope in place) is around 2.5 inches. I sight in on the right barrel which gives me single shot accuracy to 250-300 meters and an instant second shot within a couple of MOA. Because of that phenomenal accuracy, I use it non-traditionally with a scope. Of course, being a Blaser, that scope is instantly dismountable for an open site follow up. The usual response is - "but that isn't the proper way to use a double rifle." Well yes, that is true. I own several traditional doubles in traditional calibers, but the S2 is something unique.
     
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  8. TokkieM

    TokkieM AH Fanatic

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    I enjoyed shooting the S2, as you state it is accurate and the gun I shot fit me well. The only negative in my opinion was the shroud that protruded over the barrels in the back making reloading a tad slower than it would be with a conventional double. I am however not a double rifle man, I appreciate their beauty, balance and purpose, but I grew up shooting bolt guns and after spending some time with a Krieghoff 470 NE I owned I realized I will not adapt to a double easy and thinking about operating the gun instead of relying on muscle memory to operate the gun was going to get someone hurt. I have great respect for those who can transition between a bolt and a double seamlessly, I cannot.
     
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  9. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    I personally would not use a R8 as a PH backup rifle as a PH, however I would have no issues guiding a client who wishes to use one and have done so in the past.
     
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  10. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Have you seen issues with client R8's in the field?
    If so, please explain.
     

  11. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    No offense taken Philip :)
    If the Pro S (non detachable trigger & magazine group) could be had with a mid weight .300 Wby barrel and a steel receiver (to add a little weight) for $3,500 I would have bought one. I like my rifles a little heavier... I do not mind carrying them and I shoot them better... Having to double the price to $7,000 for the steel receiver safari pro feels being taken advantage of. Maybe I have misplaced pride...
    Glad that we agree about the training. I will share an additional though in a PM.
    I do have a bit of experience with the R8 although I do not own one. I will share that in the PM...
     
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  12. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    One Day,
    I agree it’s crazy how much some of the add ons are. I would like to buy different stocks for mine but wow, may have to wait a while. And of course it would be ideal if there were some used ones for sale! For a deal you might call Mark at Mad Dog Guns as he might be able to put something together for a better price as he is the largest dealer. All his stuff is on Gun Broker. Here’s an idea, shop the gun without barrel and go to J Sip and Sons for a .300 PRC for only $1100.
    On the Pro S I just wanted folks to know you can get an R8 for $3K. I want to get my Pro Success set up and tested before I do a full report but I am itching to share it with y’all, it’s a sick rig! Waiting on one scope now.
    Philip
     
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  13. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Blaser will open up the channel on whatever stock you want to accept whatever barrel you want.
    I've spoken with Euro Optic about this specifically.

    Edit - Apologies, Blaser only offers the 300WBY in the 17mm diameter barrel.
    However, as Phil said, you can have J Sip & Sons make a barrel for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  14. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Yep, opening the channel is no big deal. The stock is not a kevlar etc. shell filed with fiber glass; it is just injection molded plastic with an hollowed out forearm :eek:. I would not even bother paying Blaser to do it. The good old trick of wrapping sand paper around a wood dowel would work just perfectly to open up the channel. I would do it myself...

    I have about 80 rounds through a R8 and, in addition to time at the Blaser SCI booth, and time on the phone with Euro Optic, I have met personally with both Mark Schraeder at Mad Dog Guns and Van Bethancourt at Top Dog Guns Global and spent about an hour with each one, putting together various combinations of parts to try to put together my dream R8. They are both in greater Phoenix (Scottsdale and Mesa), where I go for business at least once a week from my Flagstaff home, and I have explored every possibility with them. So, no, I do not own a R8, but I likely have at least as much (more?) R8 shooting experience and combining components experience as many an R8 owner, which is the reason why I felt qualified to share an opinion ;)

    My personal road-trip down the R8 path
    • Red Leg, convinced me that the 'almost' suitcase sized Pelican 1700 with two calibers is infinitely easier to "schlep" around (can't resist using his word :cool:) than the full length Pelican 1750. Not to mention putting in a car trunk! THAT was the beginning of the road for me (y)
    • I do not take nice wood stocks to wild places any more. I already paid my dues in airport damages and fly camp damages. So, the $4,000 R8 Pro would be it.
    • I would rather NOT have a detachable trigger/magazine group. It eliminates the risk of loosing it (yes, I know one can lock the removable system in place), and it eliminates the risk of dropping it accidentally on a rock or tile floor and breaking it. It happened to me with an "unbreakable" Steyr Mannlicher SSG69 magazine... So, the $3,000 R8 Pro S would be it. Happy to save $1,000 over the removable feature. So far, so good... ;)
    • This is where the dead end started for me: a Pro or Pro S in any caliber with standard barrel is 7 lbs. 2 oz. Mine would be in .300 Wby and .375 H&H. I know that I can handle recoil (been shooting quite well the infamous .340 Wby and .458 Lott for decades), but I LIKE heavier gun. They recoil less; they are more stable off hands and on the sticks; I shoot them better... I want 9.5 lbs before scoping in these two calibers. And I can't feel a 2 lbs difference on my shoulder when carrying them :giggle:
    • Add 0.75 lbs with the stock recoil reducer. Easy. Gets us to 7.8 lbs. :)
    • Add 0.5 lbs with a semi weight barrel. Ooops. No go in .300 Wby :(
    • Add 1 lbs with a steel receiver. Ooops. No go with the Pro or Pro S :(
    • No worries, forget the .300 Wby (hmmm? :() and go for the steel receiver Safari Pro (+ 1.2 lbs) & semi weight Selous .300 Win barrel. Gets us to 8.8 lbs. Add the stock recoil reducer and to get to 9.5 lbs. Jackpot! Ooops, now the price magically more than doubles to $,7000 !?!?! o_O:((n)
    At this stage, the "taking advantage of African safari rich clients" flavor is just a little too blatant for me: a "Tupperware" injection molded stock + a plastic injection molded trigger/magazine group + a basic steel bedding/receiver block + a steel tube barrel of whatever profile with two studs + a bolt carrier group - admittedly well engineered - is simply not worth $7,000... At least to me... $3,000? Yes... $4,000? Maybe, OK, make it a yes... $7000? No... Perhaps I have misplaced pride :mad:

    Oh by the way, that easy-to-schlep Pelican 1700 can also accept a kevlar stock with full length aluminum bedding block (make mine a Bell & Carlson Medalist ;)) + two barreled actions Win 70, Sak0, etc. (make mine CZ 550 ;)). Hmmmmmm............... :whistle:

    So....... Triple River is currently putting together for me a custom barreled action with all the bells & whistles in my beloved .300 Wby on my beloved CZ 550 action (it will not be as pretty as Red Leg's custom Craig Libhart's mater piece - see https://www.africahunting.com/media/custom-404-jeffery-by-craig-libhart.76149/ - but it will be its full 100% functional equivalent), and it will nest happily beside one of its twin brothers in .375 H&H or .416 Rigby I already own, in my Pelican 1700 (make it a Storm 3100 for me)... It comes with a 1 MOA guarantee :) it has a fully adjustable 2.5 lbs Timney trigger :) it drops in the B&C great ergonomics take-down stock :) and there ain't no fly on a double square bridge 'Mauser' action in Africa :)

    It will also replace by beloved pair of Mark V .257 Wby & .340 Wby PG battery because a .300 Wby with both 130 gr TTSX and 200 gr TSX loads shoots as flat as a .257 Wby and hits dang near as hard as a .340 Wby ;) on any PG; and the second rifle can now be a DG rifle. What can I say, I LIKE bringing two rifles :D

    A second set of cut out foam will nest my Kreighoff .470 NE double beside either .300 Wby .375 H&H or .416 Rigby. Good to go for any PG/DG combo... The K gun butt stock will go where the scopes go in the Pelican 1700 case. The scope will go in my carry-on.

    Sorry, I got carried away and likely produced another "article" but at not time in my thinking, and this is what I wanted to illustrate, was there any criticism of the R8 :cool: I just personally find the Blaser pricing strategy ridiculous for the US African hunter market segment (steel receiver & Selous barrels) :(

    Long live the R8 and those who own it (y)

    PS: yes, even if they need to be cleaned every few hundred rounds. Shooting that much has never happened to me on a hunting trip yet! I only wish...
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019

  15. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Heading to Euro Optic first thing in the morning for a closer look at the R8 for my wife.
    As the title of this thread suggests, she may not be the only one walking away with a rifle.
    Pics to follow if things go well.
     

  16. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I can think of no better reason not to buy a rifle (or a car, or much of anything else) than if they don't offer it in a configuration you want at a price you are willing to pay.
     
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  17. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Yep, it was a bummer because you had me interested...
     
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  18. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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  19. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    After spending several hours going over the various configurations of the R8, I came away learing a few things.
    One of them particularly interesting if you plan on hunting dangerous game...

    First the good...
    1. The options are almost endless, we must have tried about 20 different configurations and we didn't scratch the surface.
    2. The wood options are beautiful.
    3. The engineering is everything I've been told it would be.
    4. Tolerances are tight and wood to metal fit is extremely good.

    Now the not so good...
    1. Some of those options you may want...you could be waiting to have them made, waiting for 3-6 months.
    2. If you want a LOP of less than 13 5/8" it will be a special order (again waiting) or a gunsmith/DIY project.
    3. There is no top loading of the magazine with the magazine installed, it must be removed.

    That last one surprised me, both in the fact that I had never heard it mentioned before and the fact it can't be done.
    I had 375H&H snap caps that I brought with me to try to do so, no luck...I had to remove it from the rifle to load.
    The way they slide into the magazine and the proximity to the barrel don't allow it.
    Add to this that I didn't have a scope mounted which would further hinder the operation.
    The only option I could find is to have a spare "fire control group" with a "magazine insert" already loaded and in your pocket.
    This will facilitate the fastest possible reloads, along with the redundancy of having a spare fire control group...but at a price.
    I won't get into the specifics of the pricing, but let's just say that it's not cheap.
    At the same time from what I've read, most R8 owners carry a spare fire control and magazine anyway...just in case.

    Is this enough to turn me off the R8 for use with DG, no it's not a deal breaker for me...but I thought others should be informed as well.
     
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  20. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 AH Enthusiast

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