Blaser R8 - Why do African PH’s and Alaskan Bear Guides Choose Not To Use Blaser R8’s?

BeeMaa

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I’m not going to say I have no concerns with the R8, mostly how the polymers will act in 35 years. Also the lack of initial extraction you get with a turn bolt rifle, but I don’t see that being an issue with a clean rifle and modest loads.
But I do like a lot of the about the system, and would love to play with one sometime. I don’t know if I will ever own one, I’m kind of nostalgic, but certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
If you find yourself in Northern Virginia, you have an invitation to shoot my R8.
 

Ilkay Taskin

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I own Blaser R8 , Mauser M03, CZ 550 Hunter all 300 win mag. So ı can easily compare all of them.
Blaser is a great gun especially for driven hunts. Bolt is lightning fast and smooth which is a must in driven wildboar hunts. But when you need to change the magazine you have to take out all the trigger group at the same time which means in case of a charge, you ll have a piece of steel and plastic in your hands. I dont know what is the idea behind this design. CZ is a good rifle with great shot groups but the bolt is not smooth enough. It can stuck sometimes when you need speed for following shots. So in close range with so much adrenaline it ll be very hard to operate. Mauser M03 is a real rifle. Smooth , lightning fast bolt with a very low angle. It has the same features with Blaser. You can change barrells and calibers. Great quality and no bullshit design faults. If i were a ph chasing dangerous game ı would go with a mauser or a double rifle.
 

Red Leg

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I own Blaser R8 , Mauser M03, CZ 550 Hunter all 300 win mag. So ı can easily compare all of them.
Blaser is a great gun especially for driven hunts. Bolt is lightning fast and smooth which is a must in driven wildboar hunts. But when you need to change the magazine you have to take out all the trigger group at the same time which means in case of a charge, you ll have a piece of steel and plastic in your hands. I dont know what is the idea behind this design. CZ is a good rifle with great shot groups but the bolt is not smooth enough. It can stuck sometimes when you need speed for following shots. So in close range with so much adrenaline it ll be very hard to operate. Mauser M03 is a real rifle. Smooth , lightning fast bolt with a very low angle. It has the same features with Blaser. You can change barrells and calibers. Great quality and no bullshit design faults. If i were a ph chasing dangerous game ı would go with a mauser or a double rifle.
The 03 is a fine rifle - no longer in production - but a fine rifle. I used one on my last hunt in Austria. My .404 is built on a CZ action, and I owned another for while.

I don't hunt with extra magazines with any of my rifles to include my AR feral pig rifle. In the military yes, but hunting? No. I don't do it for dangerous game either, and I know no one who does (not many 98's out there with detachable magazines). I simply top off through the top like any other bolt action. So magazine interchangeability is a non-issue.

What I do really like about the trigger group design of the R8 is that it puts the trigger below the magazine. It's a brilliant concept. The resulting rifle can carry a full length barrel and yet remain very compact. It is one of the advantages often cited, and accurately so, for single shots like the No. 1. That is the genius behind the R8 design.

Though a fine rifle, I have couple of issues with the 03. While barrels are indeed interchangeable, the scope is mounted on the action. The scope of a R8 is mounted on the barrel. Most R8 owners dedicate a scope to each barrel. Thus when I change calibers, no sight-in is required. With a scope on the receiver, the rifle should be re-sighted with every barrel change. Rather inconvenient on an African hunt. I also don't much care for the 03's cocking lever. For those who haven't seen one, it is small flag type left/right lever at the rear of the bolt. Unlike the R8, S2, or Krieghoff intuitive slide cocking mechanism, the flag is somewhat counter-intuitive and requires a very different manual of arms from any other rifle in the gun room. That would seem more of an issue to me following up DG than trying to switch magazines.

Apparently a lot of other people aren't that enamored with the design as well - Mauser ceased its production last year. https://www.mauser.com/en/mauser-news.html?tx_news_pi1[news]=29&tx_news_pi1[controller]=News&tx_news_pi1[action]=detail&cHash=d02f7c08f362899ae996b278b42a47b0

Perhaps you could go into a little more detail on the "bullshit" design faults of the R8?
 

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Ilkay Taskin

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The 03 is a fine rifle - no longer in production - but a fine rifle. I used one on my last hunt in Austria. My .404 is built on a CZ action, and I owned another for while.

I don't hunt with extra magazines with any of my rifles to include my AR feral pig rifle. In the military yes, but hunting? No. I don't do it for dangerous game either, and I know no one who does (not many 98's out there with detachable magazines). I simply top off through the top like any other bolt action. So magazine interchangeability is a non-issue.

What I do really like about the trigger group design of the R8 is that it puts the trigger below the magazine. It's a brilliant concept. The resulting rifle can carry a full length barrel and yet remain very compact. It is one of the advantages often cited, and accurately so, for single shots like the No. 1. That is the genius behind the R8 design.

Though a fine rifle, I have couple of issues with the 03. While barrels are indeed interchangeable, the scope is mounted on the action. The scope of a R8 is mounted on the barrel. Most R8 owners dedicate a scope to each barrel. Thus when I change calibers, no sight-in is required. With a scope on the receiver, the rifle should be re-sighted with every barrel change. Rather inconvenient on an African hunt. I also don't much care for the 03's cocking lever. For those who haven't seen one, it is small flag type left/right lever at the rear of the bolt. Unlike the R8, S2, or Krieghoff intuitive slide cocking mechanism, the flag is somewhat counter-intuitive and requires a very different manual of arms from any other rifle in the gun room. That would seem more of an issue to me following up DG than trying to switch magazines.

Apparently a lot of other people aren't that enamored with the design as well - Mauser ceased its production last year. https://www.mauser.com/en/mauser-news.html?tx_news_pi1[news]=29&tx_news_pi1[controller]=News&tx_news_pi1[action]=detail&cHash=d02f7c08f362899ae996b278b42a47b0

Perhaps you could go into a little more detail on the "bullshit" design faults of the R8?
Hello Red Leg. In my country most of these rifles are used for driven hunts. So Blaser are very fast on fallow up shots but that is all. Maybe you dont need to change magazines but we do. The semi or full auto rifles are forbidden here. So if one tusker comes close to you to cut you in half (which is very common) believe me you dont want to hold the trigger group in your one hand and the rifle in your other. Different countries different dynamics different scenarios ;) By the way great rifles for mountain game like ibex , chamois etc. Good hunting you all
 

Tanks

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...

btw: if you are going to bring 2 guns to Africa, for about $1000 more you can bring a Blaser and 2 barrels.
...

That defeats the purpose of having the two calibers instantly available. In an RSA game farm yes, you know where all the game is and can switch barrels before getting in the truck. In wilderness areas you don't know which game you are going to see first. I shot the bushpig below on the way to camp after looking for tuskless. I wouldn't have had time to switch barrels from a DG barrel (.458 Lott with a red dot ?) and due to distance involved a questionable shot. As it is instead of grabbing the .500 NE, I grabbed the 9.374R with a scope.

Don't get me wrong I will use an R8 in .300 RUM this August for PG, but I got the R8 due to it being an easy rifle to configure for a lefty (and backup rifle for leopard if my Hetm 9.3x74R did not get delivered in time), and if I need to loan it to a son-in-law all I need is a right handed bolt. There is an advantage to "leggo" guns. Will I ever use it for African DG? The answer is no, I have enough big bore bolts and doubles.

full
 

RTG

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Hello Red Leg. In my country most of these rifles are used for driven hunts. So Blaser are very fast on fallow up shots but that is all. Maybe you dont need to change magazines but we do. The semi or full auto rifles are forbidden here. So if one tusker comes close to you to cut you in half (which is very common) believe me you dont want to hold the trigger group in your one hand and the rifle in your other. Different countries different dynamics different scenarios ;) By the way great rifles for mountain game like ibex , chamois etc. Good hunting you all
If a mag change is required then an R8 is a poor choice. R8 is also a poor choice for skeet shooting. Those choices would say less about the weapon and more about the owner however.

Even under calm circumstances I can top load an R8 faster than switching magazines.
 

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Serious question. What is making you so upset?


Not upset, I actually have had a good laugh at your antics. You start out all big dog of the forum- I know more PH's and that fell flat. So you said good for you in true kindergarten fashion. We have now moved on to why are you so angry. What is next- getting the cool kids to come point and laugh. .
 

Red Leg

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That defeats the purpose of having the two calibers instantly available. In an RSA game farm yes, you know where all the game is and can switch barrels before getting in the truck. In wilderness areas you don't know which game you are going to see first. I shot the bushpig below on the way to camp after looking for tuskless. I wouldn't have had time to switch barrels from a DG barrel (.458 Lott with a red dot ?) and due to distance involved a questionable shot. As it is instead of grabbing the .500 NE, I grabbed the 9.374R with a scope.

Don't get me wrong I will use an R8 in .300 RUM this August for PG, but I got the R8 due to it being an easy rifle to configure for a lefty (and backup rifle for leopard if my Hetm 9.3x74R did not get delivered in time), and if I need to loan it to a son-in-law all I need is a right handed bolt. There is an advantage to "leggo" guns. Will I ever use it for African DG? The answer is no, I have enough big bore bolts and doubles.

full
That is one hell of a bushpig!
 

TOBY458

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All this banter makes me want to buy another R8, just so I can defend it! Lol! They are very nice rifles, and I really found nothing to complain about in the three that I have owned. I got a screaming deal on the first one I owned, and wish I had held on to that one at the price point I paid for it. It came with a 7mm Rem Mag barrel and Zeiss scope, in a Blaser 1700 hard case. I added a 375 H&H barrel later and really had the perfect set up for most anything. But....you know me....
 

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So if one tusker comes close to you to cut you in half (which is very common) believe me you dont want to hold the trigger group in your one hand and the rifle in your other.
If you are changing a magazine, you HAVE to insert it into the magazine well. So how exactly are you doing a magazine reload with two hands on the rifle and none on the magazine? The R8 trigger group (that includes the magazine) serves the same purpose as a removable magazine on any other rifle.

And I'm still wondering about those design flaws you mentioned.
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Well Bob, I’m a non PH and have never hunted with a PH as I’m not rich, but I would take a Blaser if someone gave me one? Preferably one with a nice walnut stock and without a .35 Whelen barrel? And don’t cringe when I show up with one. Ha! Ha! Ha!
@CoElkHunter
Make sure you get a 9.3x62 barrel then. If'n y'all turn up with a 243 tho you will be in for a world of hurt.
Bob
 

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If you are changing a magazine, you HAVE to insert it into the magazine well. So how exactly are you doing a magazine reload with two hands on the rifle and none on the magazine? The R8 trigger group (that includes the magazine) serves the same purpose as a removable magazine on any other rifle.

And I'm still wondering about those design flaws you mentioned.
Ok BeeMaa . Now take your R8 rifle. Put a bullet in to the chamber. Now imagine you are hunting.This is your last bullet and the hunt is still on. But you need extra bullets. So you have to put another magazine. You ejected the empty one and put it in to your pocket . Because you were thinking now you have time and calm situation. So now there is a bullet in your chamber but no trigger to pull. At that moment you are in the very thick bush. A big male wildboar attacked you. You have no time to put the other magazine even you dont have time to fear because it happens in 1sec. So now you have a very expensive stick in your hands with lots of great great features but not a rifle. This may happen every hunting day here in Turkey. In this scenario if you are lucky your friends will take you to the nearest hospital for the stitches. Another rifle with removable magazine can shoot the last bullet at the moment that you really need and save your life . Because it still has a trigger to pull. As i said before different countries different dynamics different scenarios.
 

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Ok BeeMaa . Now take your R8 rifle. Put a bullet in to the chamber. Now imagine you are hunting.This is your last bullet and the hunt is still on. But you need extra bullets. So you have to put another magazine. You ejected the empty one and put it in to your pocket . Because you were thinking now you have time and calm situation. So now there is a bullet in your chamber but no trigger to pull. At that moment you are in the very thick bush. A big male wildboar attacked you. You have no time to put the other magazine even you dont have time to fear because it happens in 1sec. So now you have a very expensive stick in your hands with lots of great great features but not a rifle. This may happen every hunting day here in Turkey. In this scenario if you are lucky your friends will take you to the nearest hospital for the stitches. Another rifle with removable magazine can shoot the last bullet at the moment that you really need and save your life . Because it still has a trigger to pull. As i said before different countries different dynamics different scenarios.
Why not top load? Just press rounds into the magazine without disassembling the weapon. That is the only way I have ever loaded my R8
 

CoElkHunter

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Ok BeeMaa . Now take your R8 rifle. Put a bullet in to the chamber. Now imagine you are hunting.This is your last bullet and the hunt is still on. But you need extra bullets. So you have to put another magazine. You ejected the empty one and put it in to your pocket . Because you were thinking now you have time and calm situation. So now there is a bullet in your chamber but no trigger to pull. At that moment you are in the very thick bush. A big male wildboar attacked you. You have no time to put the other magazine even you dont have time to fear because it happens in 1sec. So now you have a very expensive stick in your hands with lots of great great features but not a rifle. This may happen every hunting day here in Turkey. In this scenario if you are lucky your friends will take you to the nearest hospital for the stitches. Another rifle with removable magazine can shoot the last bullet at the moment that you really need and save your life . Because it still has a trigger to pull. As i said before different countries different dynamics different scenarios.
Wow! If I were ever lucky enough to be able to hunt wild boar in Turkey, I think I'd want a semi auto Browning BAR in .338WM? It sounds like the hunting of those giant boars there could be fast and furious!
 

BeeMaa

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Ok BeeMaa . Now take your R8 rifle. Put a bullet in to the chamber. Now imagine you are hunting.This is your last bullet and the hunt is still on. But you need extra bullets. So you have to put another magazine. You ejected the empty one and put it in to your pocket . Because you were thinking now you have time and calm situation. So now there is a bullet in your chamber but no trigger to pull. At that moment you are in the very thick bush. A big male wildboar attacked you. You have no time to put the other magazine even you dont have time to fear because it happens in 1sec. So now you have a very expensive stick in your hands with lots of great great features but not a rifle. This may happen every hunting day here in Turkey. In this scenario if you are lucky your friends will take you to the nearest hospital for the stitches. Another rifle with removable magazine can shoot the last bullet at the moment that you really need and save your life . Because it still has a trigger to pull. As i said before different countries different dynamics different scenarios.
All you have to do is top load the magazine like @RTG and others have mentioned. I also fail to see how this is a fault, it's just how it is. By using your logic your CZ550 has a fault by not having interchangeable barrels.
Wow! If I were ever lucky enough to be able to hunt wild boar in Turkey, I think I'd want a semi auto Browning BAR in .338WM? It sounds like the hunting of those giant boars there could be fast and furious!
Can't use a semi-auto in Turkey for hunting.
 

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That defeats the purpose of having the two calibers instantly available. In an RSA game farm yes, you know where all the game is and can switch barrels before getting in the truck. In wilderness areas you don't know which game you are going to see first. I shot the bushpig below on the way to camp after looking for tuskless. I wouldn't have had time to switch barrels from a DG barrel (.458 Lott with a red dot ?) and due to distance involved a questionable shot. As it is instead of grabbing the .500 NE, I grabbed the 9.374R with a scope.

Don't get me wrong I will use an R8 in .300 RUM this August for PG, but I got the R8 due to it being an easy rifle to configure for a lefty (and backup rifle for leopard if my Hetm 9.3x74R did not get delivered in time), and if I need to loan it to a son-in-law all I need is a right handed bolt. There is an advantage to "leggo" guns. Will I ever use it for African DG? The answer is no, I have enough big bore bolts and doubles.

full
Valid point. Another reason why I “need” a double.
 

Ilkay Taskin

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Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately ) semi or full auto rifles are forbidden in Turkey. But you can find BARs or 7400 Remingtons and some HKs easily but you must keep them in your house (Laws)
Coelkhunter even ı assume your 338wm suggestion is sarcastic, yes you have to be fast and furious :)
But if you come here i can take you to a wild boar driven hunt ;)
RTG and BeeMaa as you all know you have to open the bolt for top feeding. So if you open it you ll eject the last bullet in the barrel. But at that moment you need it in the barrel to stop the charging animal. But anyway forget it. Blaser is the Best :)
 

Wyatt Smith

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Having the bolt open while reloading, when you need a bullet in chamber is a problem that nearly all rifles used in the World Wars suffer. Even the M1.
The good part is that you don’t drop your magazine in the snow rendering it a single shot.
A lot of dangerous game, and enemy solders have been dispatched with fixed magazine rifles.
Just close the bolt.
 

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