Blaser R8 In Large Calibers

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by TOBY458, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    Does anyone have experience with the Blaser R8 in something like a 458 Lott or similar caliber, with second barrel in something like 300 Win mag? Seems almost as fast as a double rifle, and very versatile.
     

  2. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 AH Enthusiast

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    I have a Blaser R8 Kilombero in .375 H&H and .300 Win Mag.
    I'd be happy to try and answer any questions.
     
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  3. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    Was just wondering how you like it, and how does it compare with mauser style bolt guns for reliability and accuracy. Most everything I've seen on them looks good.
     
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  4. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    This is a thread that cannot possibly go on without @Red Leg. He owns one, revers it, and has shot a number of buffs and plains game with the various barrels...

    I got a quote at SCI for a R8 Professional Savanna Big Bore Stock Receiver with .375 H&H "Selous" barrel (includes barrel band swivel and barrel band front sight) and .300 Wby barrel. I handled one and was flabbergasted at how appropriately heavy it was (10 lbs 13 oz). I initially did not even want to pick it up as it appeared small and light - and I have zero interest in a 8 1/2 lbs. .375 - but I was really impressed by the proper weight, balance and overall stock design.

    I am toying with a minimalist concept of a Kreighoff .470 (which I already own) and a R8 with two barrels (.375 H&H and .300 Wby), or maybe three (.257 Wby), all in one single Pelican of deep suitcase size..........

    I objectively do not think that any bolt action of any design can compare to a double in terms of second shot, and the R8 manipulations will certainly require getting used to, but the convenience is hard to argue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  5. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    I'm quite the opposite when it comes to rifle weight. I have a Kimber 375 that weighs less than 8.5lbs with the scope installed. The stock design is such that it is very easy to handle the recoil. Did the R8 you handled weigh over 10lbs without the scope?
     
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  6. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Yes it did. I am pretty certain that this was this rifle: https://www.eurooptic.com/blaser-r8-professional-savanna-big-bore-complete-rifle.aspx and they say that it weighs 10 lbs 13 oz as is. Very thick heavy barrel, and steel receiver + tungsten recoil reducer in the stock.

    There are lighter .375 barrels for the R8; the aluminum receiver is lighter too; and the recoil reducer is optional.

    Talking about second shot, keeping this barrel relatively low over the horizon helps a lot when time is of the essence. I never faced any real life charge, so I do not pretend to know, but I timed myself quite often with my Mauser 66 .458 Lott (8 lbs. 13 oz) and my Kreighoff double (11 lbs 6 oz) and "bolt vs. double" aside, with the light Lott I completely loose the sight picture under recoil (I even loose sigh of the target under the muzzle) which I do not with the heavier Kreighoff.

    To each his own :)
     

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  7. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    My 2017 Blaser catalogue lists the R8 Safari Models as
    Kilombero 11lb
    Selous 11lb 7oz
    Professional hunter 10lb 13oz

    those weights are without scopes. They have a steel receiver rather than the alloy of the normal R8. The steel receiver adds 550g.

    The normal R8 is about 7lb 4 oz, but the largest calibre is 375 H&H.
     

  8. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    When you guys say steel receiver, do you mean the rails that the bolt runs on are steel? As far as I can see, the bolt rides on a set of rails that are a part of the stock, and locks directly into the breech of the barrel. So essentially no receiver like a regular bolt rifle.
     
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  9. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Here you go! Thanks for the answer stug.

    This being said TOBY458, I would recommend you shoot a light .458 Lott before taking the plunge. Mine is 8 3/4 lbs with Docter III red dot, and it is brutal. Honestly, the rifle is simply too light.

    As for the receiver, there is a bit more involved than just the rail. There is - I believe - a sort of "box" that supports the rails and houses the magazine & trigger mechanism.

    PS: if you are looking for a light Lott, PM me, my Mauser 66 is for sale if someone wants it. I simply never use it anymore since I got the .470...
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019

  10. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    This video shows you what the receiver is

     
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  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I will admit that the R8 is indeed my current favorite rifle. I do not own one in a 40+ caliber, but do own one with .375, .300 WM, and 6.5x55 barrels (yes, I am aware that the last is somewhat eclectic). One of the neat things about the rifle is the ability to configure it in various weights primarily by the barrel contour selected. I personally prefer less weight on a rifle that I carry a lot more than I shoot, so I use the standard sporter barrel. I also housed mine in a "classic sporter stock" which follows the lines of a classic English rifle and shaves off quite a bit more weight. My rifle fully kitted out with scope and ammunition is a sub-ten pound rifle. However, the ergonomics are superb and recoil is a non issue.

    The R8 also has the best trigger of any production rifle I have ever owned. It is quite light, but never ever a surprise. It is also phenomenally accurate in all the guises that I own. The scope pops off almost instantly should a follow-up in the thick stuff be required, and only my Blaser S2 has equivalent high visibility open sights. And of course, when one remounts the scope (five seconds), it is sighted exactly where it was before taking it off.

    .40+ calibers in the R8 include .416 Rem, .458 Lott, .500 Jeffrey, and 10.3x60R. Though the .375 is hard to beat! ;) And yes, it is blazingly fast.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    My baby as a .375, and a typical group.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019

  12. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I think I handled the same .375 R8. It had the heavy barrel which was too heavy for me. I was thinking of going with the mid weight barrel. Anyway I too drooled and schemed at SCI and DSC on what R8 I might get. I was dreaming of the Pro Success in black/brown with mid wt .375 barrel and .300RUM both with Swaro scopes
    Haven’t “pulled the trigger as of yet”!
     
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  13. ve7poi

    ve7poi AH Enthusiast

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    I have that exact combo in Safari weight barrels 300 win mag lightest kicking one I’ve ever fired the 458 Lott let’s you know you have pulled the trigger but honestly you never feel it shoot at game.
    Mine has become semi retired after using my double 470.
     
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  14. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    9 1/2 to 10 lbs is about right for a scoped .375 H&H. It will produce about 35 ft/lbs of free recoil. Non issue indeed.

    But TOBY458 talked about the .458 Lott. In a 9 1/2 lbs rifle it produces about 73 ft/lbs of free recoil. That is more than double that of the .375 H&H...

    Just saying... :whistle:

    No big deal when shooting 1 or 2 shots at game, but expect a mild headache after a dozen rounds or so when practicing...
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  15. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    When I was talking about a light weight rifle, I was referring to the 375 H&H that you mentioned that weighed over 10lbs. I definitely agree that a Lott should way a "Lot" more than 8.5lbs! Lol!
    I once had a Remington 798 in 458 Win Mag and it was around 8.5lbs and was brutal to shoot.
    The way I see it, with the R8, it looks like if you want a lighter rifle, with a combo barrel set, stick with 375 H&H paired with a 7mm or 300 Mag. If a Lott is wanted, maybe pair it with a 338 Win Mag to justify the extra weight.
     

  16. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    Is that your video? Kind of reminds me of taking a Glock apart. Lol! But I nearly lost it when the claw hammer came out!
     

  17. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    I am not a specialist of the R8, but the way it felt at SCI was that, truly, as Red Leg said, most of the weight is in the barrel. I asked the rep. to put a sporter barrel on that specific receiver to verify it, and it was night and day. They did not have a scale on the booth to measure the exact weight...

    I agree with Philip Glass that as a .375 H&H the one at SCI was a bit heavy. But it would be about right in .458 Lott. Sorry for having confused the issue: I should have specified that THIS specific rifle was in .375 but that I was thinking .458 Lott (same barrel contour hence ever slightly lower weight due to larger bore) in answer to your question. My bad.

    I have since checked on the web site https://www.eurooptic.com/blaser-r8-professional-big-bore-stock-receiver-savanna.aspx but they do not list the weight of the stock/receiver only... I have an email into them with that specific question as well as the specific weight of a couple different specific barrels.

    My thinking at this stage, if I do it, would be to get the "professional big bore" steel receiver, and to mount on it various barrels of various contours and various weights adapted to my notion of what they should be for various calibers. They are all cross compatible. The only thing is that a standard sporter weight barrel will seem floated very generously in the receiver/stock channel designed for the heavy contour barrel. It is noticeable when you look for it, but not offensive. Beside, it will favor faster cooling with increased air flow.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  18. dchamp

    dchamp AH Veteran

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    I have come to like Blasers a lot. I have the R8 Safari in Kilombero and the Professional Hunter ( synthetic) in both .416 Rem Mag, .458 Lott & 300WM Selous Barrels. All the Selous Barrels are from the same blank diameter, 600mm overall, the .300WM is the heaviest having the small bore. While not being quite as fast as a double they are faster than a standard bolt action rifle. As mentioned before their ergonomics are superb and I think mitigate recoil quite a bit.

    IMG_0726.JPG IMG_0727.JPG


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2019
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  19. TheWhitetailNut

    TheWhitetailNut AH Senior Member

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    I'm watching this with great interest. Are there examples of feeding issues specifically with the .458 Lott?
     
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  20. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    How bad would it hurt to lay out $1600 and not even end up with a bolt or barrel??? Lol!
     

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