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

mdwest

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you guys have definitely given me an interest in the R8 over the last couple of years...

I didnt realize until just a few minutes ago that there are some R8 variants that are < $4K.... the cheapest one I have seen prior to now was about $5500...

At $3700... I am incredibly tempted to take a much closer look at the R8 Professional Savannah

 

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Dr. Crack

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I do not know if I qualify , because I am not a professional hunter . But I have been partaking in plenty of Problem Animal Control work , ever since 1972 . And I have been hunting dangerous game for the last 48 years , under the appointment of our local forest departments .

I personally prefer a .458 Winchester Magnum , which is built on a Winchester Enfield Model 1917 action . I have the utmost confidence in this rifle , ever since I first purchased it in 1977 and it has seen more than four decades of use on dangerous game . That said , I HAVE hunted with a Blaser R-8 on enough occasions to form a fairly experienced opinion on them . I used one variant in .338 Winchester Magnum to hunt my largest Himalayan ibex ( to date ) . I have also hunted American black bear with a variant in .30-06 Springfield .

While I have not hunted anything more dangerous than a black bear with a Blaser R-8 , I would not hesitate for a moment to hunt marauding Royal Bengal tigers or rogue Asiatic jungle elephants or Gaur with one of these excellent rifles . Especially a variant in .458 Lott . I simply do not purchase one , because I am sentimentally attached to my .458 Winchester Magnum ( which leaves absolutely nothing to be desired ) .

Traditional , these rifles are not . But what they are , is :
- Accurate
- Dependable
- User friendly
- Versatile ( on account of the option for spare barrels )

Yes . It is not a control round feed actioned rifle . But they extract very reliably and smoothly , and ( in my view ) that is the only thing which should matter .
This is experience! Thanks sir
 

BeeMaa

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Red Leg

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you guys have definitely given me an interest in the R8 over the last couple of years...

I didnt realize until just a few minutes ago that there are some R8 variants that are < $4K.... the cheapest one I have seen prior to now was about $5500...

At $3700... I am incredibly tempted to take a much closer look at the R8 Professional Savannah

Get it in a useful North American / PG caliber and add a standard weight .375 barrel at some point.
 

mdwest

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That’s actually exactly what I was thinking...

300WM and 375HH would cover 90% of the international hunting I’ll ever do (other than quarry where a shotgun is more appropriate)..

Keep 1 additional “deer” caliber in the safe (7x57? 270?).. a rim fire.. and a shotgun... and there is little on the planet you’re not set for...
 

Tam Dl

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The late “ Ganyana “ / Don Heath ( towards the end of his life ) was a very outspoken advocate of the Blaser R-8 in .500 Jeffery , as a dangerous game backup rifle . This gentleman man used to be an assessor for the professional hunting examinations in Zimbabwe .


That was my reference point also but I wonder about the following:

1) Was he making money in the West at the time. In my part of the world, there are local shops all over the place selling 4K mountain bikes, and 8K electric bikes. The former are mostly bought for kids/doting parents. So the idea that someone living in the west is really going to be incapable of buying a Blaser is pretty far fetched, by the time you get to the point where the average person is traveling the world. Sure, someone is going to say they made their own rifle, and then sailed their DIY boat to Africa...

2) It is always unwise to put too much stock in what people like Don say because he was in a completely different stratosphere than average hunter/clients. He was happy with his 9.3 because he had used it his whole life, and as he would say, you need to be able to afford at least 30 rounds in case something comes up with poachers, or earlier in his life with bush wars around him when he was a kid just out hunting. He wanted the Blaser for one thing, and that was following elephants up. Not something I am ever going to get a chance to take a lead on. And how often would he be firing the thing. A Mauser is still probably more reliable, but would he solve a lot of those kinds of elephant problems with one shot anyway. He didn't want the dead bull to skid over him.

3) If this was the period when he was living in Europe, he might have wanted a gun that would be just one gun with several barrels as at least an optional thing. If he got to go on work hunts he might have been traveling to countries that required something like a Blaser.

4) Don got into some interesting exchanges when he dissed the Weatherby. From what I heard of that (I need a fact check) a lot of it seems to have been because the Weatherbys that PH candidates might show up with were in terrible condition much of the time. And there could be other problems like getting enough ammo to practice with and enough parts to keep them in tip top order. So buying a Blaser would have been hugely uphill for a lot of those folks.

But Blasers would seem to be the perfect gun for people who are coming into AFrica, and beware of the man with one gun. If you get something that is too much for you, all you need to do is trade a barrel, your basic set-up is probably still going to feel a lot the same. Less good if you want to hit the field like Harry Selby.
 
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Get it in a useful North American / PG caliber and add a standard weight .375 barrel at some point.
@Red Leg
Unfortunately they don't do it in a useful North American/ PG caliber.
That being the mighty 35 Whelen. If'n they did I'm sure you could even persuade @Shootist43 to get an R8 in 6.5x55 and a Whelen barrel to go with it.
Bob
 

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@Red Leg
Unfortunately they don't do it in a useful North American/ PG caliber.
That being the mighty 35 Whelen. If'n they did I'm sure you could even persuade @Shootist43 to get an R8 in 6.5x55 and a Whelen barrel to go with it.
Bob
It is great to have a place where an Australian can tell an American that only the 35 Whelen is a "useful" North American cartridge. ;) But for those so afflicted, we have at least two companies that gladly will build a Blaser owner a .35 Whelen barrel.
 

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@Red Leg
Unfortunately they don't do it in a useful North American/ PG caliber.
That being the mighty 35 Whelen. If'n they did I'm sure you could even persuade @Shootist43 to get an R8 in 6.5x55 and a Whelen barrel to go with it.
Bob
Que ? Either you haven't read the list of available calibers that @One Day... posted in his thread, or you have some very weird views on what constitutes a useful NA/PG calibre.

Scratching my head over this one Bob.
 

WAB

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Que ? Either you haven't read the list of available calibers that @One Day... posted in his thread, or you have some very weird views on what constitutes a useful NA/PG calibre.

Scratching my head over this one Bob.

It’s a joke! To Bob, only the 35 Whelen is a worthy caliber. The bullets of all other calibers just bounce off.
 
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Que ? Either you haven't read the list of available calibers that @One Day... posted in his thread, or you have some very weird views on what constitutes a useful NA/PG calibre.

Scratching my head over this one Bob.
@Newby
Had a quick look at it but didn't see the Whelen mentioned.
Bob
 

BeeMaa

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That’s actually exactly what I was thinking...

300WM and 375HH would cover 90% of the international hunting I’ll ever do (other than quarry where a shotgun is more appropriate)..

Keep 1 additional “deer” caliber in the safe (7x57? 270?).. a rim fire.. and a shotgun... and there is little on the planet you’re not set for...
That's just about what we have.
300WM, 375H&H and 416RM.
Added a 22lr kit with a threaded barrel as well.
Very happy with our decision.

Been considering a 257WBY for my sub .30 caliber.
Also because it uses the same bolt head.
Have yet to make the final call on it.
 

Tam Dl

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The only useful Canadian cartridge is the 9.3x62. My province has polars bear to woodchucks...

The problem with the barrels is they cost 2x what an accurate, complete, push feed bolt action costs. If you have to shift cartridge group, good luck to you.

That is why they are the perfect thing for small country, hunting all sewn up, globe trotters. Assuming nobody steals your gear.
 

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The only useful Canadian cartridge is the 9.3x62. My province has polars bear to woodchucks...

The problem with the barrels is they cost 2x what an accurate, complete, push feed bolt action costs. If you have to shift cartridge group, good luck to you.

That is why they are the perfect thing for small country, hunting all sewn up, globe trotters. Assuming nobody steals your gear.
"The only useful Canadian cartridge is the 9.3x62 ........." :unsure: I have "globe trotted" to Canada fairly often and I have used a 9.3 on bear a couple of times. Works wonderfully as a medium range thumper. But for a general purpose cartridge for Canada (or much of western North America), a .300 Win Mag would be my choice. And of course one could also make the case for the 7x64, 7mm mag, .300 RUM, .300 WBY, .338 Win Mag as pretty effective general purpose North American options as well. All of them are chambered in the R8 along with a number of other general purpose options.

And yes, one can buy a rifle for the cost of a R8 barrel. I can also buy three Ford Rangers for the cost of my F250. They both offer transport and they both haul stuff.

I am not sure what you mean by "small country, hunting all sewn up." I obviously get the "globe trotter" insinuation.
 

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"The only useful Canadian cartridge is the 9.3x62 ........." :unsure: I have "globe trotted" to Canada fairly often and I have used a 9.3 on bear a couple of times. Works wonderfully as a medium range thumper. But for a general purpose cartridge for Canada (or much of western North America), a .300 Win Mag would be my choice. And of course one could also make the case for the 7x64, 7mm mag, .300 RUM, .300 WBY, .338 Win Mag as pretty effective general purpose North American options as well. All of them are chambered in the R8 along with a number of other general purpose options.

And yes, one can buy a rifle for the cost of a R8 barrel. I can also buy three Ford Rangers for the cost of my F250. They both offer transport and they both haul stuff.

I am not sure what you mean by "small country, hunting all sewn up." I obviously get the "globe trotter" insinuation.
He lost me too, I do all of my hunting now with a 45-70 or a muzzleloader but a .303 or even a .30-30 would completely suffice for here.
 

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...

I am not sure what you mean by "small country, hunting all sewn up." I obviously get the "globe trotter" insinuation.

I think he means European countries like Scotland, Germany, Poland etc. where there are not much variety in the size of game.

If, like someone has mentioned, there are 100K+ Blaser rifles sold, I'd venture a great majority is in Europe.
 

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That's just about what we have.
300WM, 375H&H and 416RM.
Added a 22lr kit with a threaded barrel as well.
Very happy with our decision.

Been considering a 257WBY for my sub .30 caliber.
Also because it uses the same bolt head.
Have yet to make the final call on it.
I was reading the earlier posts about having .300 WM and a .375 H&H as being ideal. So I started to feel pretty superior and smug having come to the same conclusion (great minds tend to think alike) and then sipping a fine Merlot to revel in my smugness and superiority. But then I thought, I really need a .416 RM.

Then I saw your post.
Damn you. :LOL:
DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT. :LOL:
I'm soooooooooo jealous.

Oh well the cost of a .416 barrel isn't too bad.
The wife will never go for it.
She'll blow a fuse If I get it.
DAMMIT.
 

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