Blaser -- What is all the excitement about?

friendswoodmatt

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I have been reading and doing my homework -- a common thread has appeared (at least to me) it seems many of the folks on here are going to blaser firearms-- I have never seen one in person, but I have seen the videos and have seen them on tv shows. Can someone please shed some light on what exactly it is that makes these guns so attractive to you?
Fit& finish? Some look like works of art, others are utilitarian and still command a high price
Shootability?
Recoil management -- do they recoil less?
Is it just about the interchangeability of barrels making travel easier?
Do all receivers work with all the different barrels or is it just model to model-- it appears they are model to model
I apologize if I sound like a simpleton, but if I dont ask I'll never know--and please dont hesitate to break this whole thing down into language a 5 year old could read--I am honestly interested -- I have been to a few forums and am still somewhat unclear on the Blaser mystique. If it is a super long explanation and a phone call would suffice pm me and Ill give you my number-- I am honestly asking here-- or maybe I just want some new toys... not sure yet
 

JPbowhunter

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Eliteness, granted they're not an expensive double but to most folks they're a dear gun. My brother had an R8 for a while. It was nice but didn't kill anything deader than my rifle 1/4 the price and bloody heavy. Not to mention I'd be bashing through the bush using mine to deflect sticks while my brother was spending a lot of time manoeuvring it around to not get scratched.

Ended up selling it and buying a sako. Don't believe he's looked back.
 

Bullthrower338

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I don’t think that the R8 is chosen because of eliteness unless you get up into the very extravagant, highly engraved luxury models, which if you have the greenbacks to buy, you really aren’t doing it to impress your equally wealthy friends and if you must scrape up the money to buy a base model, your friends probably don’t even know what the hell a Blaser is and you will have one of them say why did you spend that much on a gun, my 30-30 only cost me 400 bucks at Wal-mart. A “gun guy” can justify just about anything if he wants it, a guy that occasionally shoots a deer and a box of corelocts lasts him a couple years can not fathom the reason for such wasteful spending.
The interchangeable barrel/bolt head assembly versatility, smoothness of the straight pull bolt and very good ergonomics of the rifle I believe are the selling points. I do not own an R8 but have owned a R93 in the past and did like it(just not as much as the guy that bought it from me). The R8 makes a lot of sense to me for all of the reasons I previously mentioned. Also the way the rifle compactly breaks down for travel is another thing that adds to the Blasers curb appeal. The rifle can be had in the most beautiful wood desired or an ugly utilitarian composite that even a Neanderthal such as myself would have a hard time damaging in the bush.
As Peter Capstick’s father advised him “not to waste time trying to change folks’ opinion about religion, politics, baseball or red headed women”. Rifles would fall nicely into the mix.
Cheers,
Cody
 

TTundra

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One thing to add to what you said about compactness @Bullthrower338 , one of Blaser's claims is that they have an absolute return to zero when taking down and reassembling the barrel with their scope mounts. Quite a nice feature in a takedown package w/ optics.
@Red Leg , have you always found the zero to return every time on your travels?
 

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I looked very hard this past January at purchasing one. I handled @Red Leg Blaser, went to the Blaser USA showroom. They are very nice, the ability to have multiple calibers and stocks depending what and where you want to shoot. The reason that I did not "buy into" the Blaser is the plastic parts. When I asked the question as to what happens when the plastic breaks (and it will eventually will) and the R8 is no longer made will replacement parts be available. And the answer was I don't know, that was the end of my interest in purchasing one. I will stick with my all metal and wood SAKO's.
 

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I have a Blaser K95 single shot. I break it down and remove the scope when I am packing in to camp. Re-assemble with no loss of zero. My last two deer were shot at 360 and 390 yds.
In some counties in Europe they are limited to the number of rifles they can own. The barrel is not counted as a firearm, so by having a switch barrel rifle they can have multiple calibres.
The R8 is too heavy really, but most European shooting does not involve carrying your rifle too far.
 

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Longwalker

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Besides all the advantages previously noted, they don't leave the factory unless they meet the intended specifications. Far too many rifle makers depend on quick, shoddy manufacturing methods and then offer warranty to fix their mistakes. I have never heard of a Blaser with shoddy workmanship. It probably does happen, but far more rarely than with many other makes.
 

Red Leg

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I own two stocked receivers and four scoped barrels - not sure if that means I own four rifles or eight. (y)

Eliteness, granted they're not an expensive double but to most folks they're a dear gun. My brother had an R8 for a while. It was nice but didn't kill anything deader than my rifle 1/4 the price and bloody heavy. Not to mention I'd be bashing through the bush using mine to deflect sticks while my brother was spending a lot of time manoeuvring it around to not get scratched.

Ended up selling it and buying a sako. Don't believe he's looked back.
"Eliteness" Seriously? - I suppose it is ok to denigrate a rifle you don't own, but everyone who does own one? So, let me state up front that the R8 is, in my opinion, the finest production rifle that I own, and it is my favorite African rifle. That is why I own them. Period. I would add that my other rifles are fairly representative, and I have been around a while. They run the gambit from Rugers at one end to lovely English and custom things at the other. The mid-range is scattered with the odd Steyr, Sako, and the like. Unlike many critics of the R8, I own, hunt and shoot with all of them - to include the R8. Most of my lower end rifles - say the typical Ruger - are reasonably dependable, and will get the job done. So will my pickup truck. But none of those Rugers is anymore "just as good" as the R8 than my pickup is a supercharged V8 Range Rover. For instance, I hunt two Sako 85M rifles in the "Arctos" livery. One is a 9.3x62 and the other a 30-06. Both are accurate and I have killed game with both here and in Canada. Neither is an R8. They are almost clumsy in comparison.

And "bloody heavy" - really? An owner can configure an R8 exactly how he wishes it. Use a steel receiver and semi-weight barrels and it is easy to put together an 11 pound .375. On the other hand, use an alloy receiver, and in my case, a classic sporter stock, and my .375, fully kitted out with scope and ammo is just under 9 pounds. That particular configuration has accompanied me across miles and miles of Mozambique and the Limpopo. Recoil is a non-issue due to the rifles ergonomics, but should someone want a heavier configuration - then get that instead.

I know of no production rifle with a trigger like the R8. One of my finest rifles is a 7x57 put together by Al Lind. He is a great rifle maker, and the mauser action on the little thing has to be felt to be appreciated. The trigger on it is as wonderful as can be safely done on a Mauser and makes the two Sakos seem like military hardware. The R8's trigger is almost that much better than the Lind.

The take down system works exactly as advertised. Take the rifle apart, dismount the scope, put it in a small case, fly to Bunga Bunga Land, and shoot a sub-MOA group in the exact place it shot when you left.

And only a double has a faster second shot - maybe.

What the R8 is not is a masterpiece of the gunmakers' art. Instead, it is, I believe, the best rifle that modern engineering can create (to separate it from what we would call, say, a London "best".) If you want art, call Mr. Lind. If you just want a gun, buy anything. But if you want the "best" firearm for our sport, I have yet to stumble across anything superior.
 
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Foxi

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Interesting what you write.
In Germany there are two camps:the one hate, the other love them (the Blaser products)
Who call one a too expensive weapon for so much plastic (R8+R93)
But the handling, the trigger and the precision of the barells, not even the haters deny that.
Foxi
 
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bruce moulds

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a question that remains unanswered is the extraction power of straight pull actions.
the very nature of their design suggests that they cannot extract a tight case as well as a turnbolt.
hopefully this is not an issue at a critical time.
as for speed of repeat shots, how important is this compared to a turnbolt?
focus should be on the first shot, not the next one.
bruce.
 

Foxi

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"the very nature of their design suggests that they cannot extract a tight case as well as a turnbolt".

No, in Europe this is not an issue at all and these weapons were sold in the six-figure range.
Concerning the speed I am full with you.
In autumn,when we have to reduce the females and shoot greater numbers,or at the driven boarhunts,lots of hunters are quick like the wind with a normal bolt action.
A weapon to carry relaxed(right word ?), but a cartridge in the chamber. It's an indisputable security effect.
No other (gun-)company is as innovative as Blaser, the others have slept everything.
And always newer and always further and always -supposedly -better - that's human nature.
Foxi
(an old-fashioned Drilling hunter)
 
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dchamp

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I have a few Blasers and some hot rod calibered barrels like the 300Wby running at high pressures. While I have had case separation a few times I have never had a problem with extraction or ejection.

As far as first shots are concerned the Blaser delivers as well as you would expect any well made rifle. But even with a well made first shot some animals just don't die easy. I think most people will find follow up shots to be faster with the Blaser.
 

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a question that remains unanswered is the extraction power of straight pull actions.
the very nature of their design suggests that they cannot extract a tight case as well as a turnbolt.
hopefully this is not an issue at a critical time.
as for speed of repeat shots, how important is this compared to a turnbolt?
focus should be on the first shot, not the next one.
bruce.
Well, certainly Bruce. I guess I failed to mention my R8's shoot everything I have fed them to date - everything - into a MOA or better - typically touching. I spend a lot of keyboard time here talking about that first shot - particularly on dangerous game. But having a second, third, or fourth almost instantly available is not a bad thing.

And as Foxi notes, there is no safer rifle for a PH to have behind his back than a Blaser or K gun.
 

CAustin

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I looked very hard this past January at purchasing one. I handled @Red Leg Blaser, went to the Blaser USA showroom. They are very nice, the ability to have multiple calibers and stocks depending what and where you want to shoot. The reason that I did not "buy into" the Blaser is the plastic parts. When I asked the question as to what happens when the plastic breaks (and it will eventually will) and the R8 is no longer made will replacement parts be available. And the answer was I don't know, that was the end of my interest in purchasing one. I will stick with my all metal and wood SAKO's.
I have seen these rifles as discussed above but never used one nor even had the privilege of handling one. I think they look good and I have been told their precision craftsmanship is all that it’s cracked up to be. @wesheltonj I'm with you on the plastic parts. It would stop me as well. Then again we have people on this forum building rifles off of 75 and 80 year old M98 actions....and folks will make parts for them so I guess the plastic will be available in years to come for these.
I guess the other question is are they worth the money and some people swear by them and that is a strong endorsement. I can say that I have fired one of their doubles in 500 NE and found it to be well balanced and accurate! It was no doubt worth the money.
@Foxi is absolutely correct......as with all brands there are those who love them and those who hate them. I’m one of those guys for example who loves Rugers and nobody can convince me that they are cheap or just get it done rifles. I have the trophies to prove that.
So to the OP these rifles are innovative and dog gone slick in appearance! @Red Leg has used his with good results. The price is relative and begs the question do I want to put that much into one? If it is in your range go for it!
 

meigsbucks

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For my two cents worth: First let me state that I don’t own one... HOWEVER:
My interest in Blasers began years ago when I was in the Wheeling, WV Cabela’s years ago. The salesman showed me a R93. I was immediately smitten. I got up close and personal with the R8 at a SCI convention and the NRA meeting a couple of weeks ago.
Everything said about it above is true. It is geared toward the European market (one rifle/multiple calibers). It is a shooter’s LEGO set. Pick your stock, right or left hand bolt, bolt face, scope mount and about 50 chamberings in several barrel contours.
Add to that the extremely fast forward and back bolt throw. The cocking button rather than a safety. This last feature may take some getting used to. Especially decocking. Also the trigger is light and very crisp.
Once you swing the purchase of what you want your basic rifle to be, it is then just adding barrels which start at about $1400. Scope mounts are a little pricey too.
There are a couple of things I don’t like about the rifle or the concept.
On the rifle, as someone has pointed out, the magazine release tabs are plastic. I’d make sure I purchased a few of these. Also decocking the rifle was kind of a pain.
Next, If on a DG and PG hunt, unless I was just going to use a .375 for both, I’d prefer separate rifles. The fast bolt throw of the Blaser would be great for DG but I think I’d rather have a dedicated CFR .40+ cal DG rifle and have the Blaser, with numerous barrels, for PG and all my other hunting.
Truth be told, if I was starting over, I’d get an R8 in a heartbeat, with .270, .30/06, 6.5 (either Creedmoor or x55), 9.3x62 and magnums: .257 Wby, .300 Win, .338 Win and .375 H&H barrels. I think that should get me started.
 

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It is the best money I have spent on a rifle. I have two receivers with two barrels. I know cost is a relative thing, as a govt employee $4k per was my a drop in the bucket. That being said I have had 0 regrets in buying them. I tell everyone that asks, save up for a basic Blaser R8 and don’t look back. It shoots better than any gun I have and the trigger is amazing. Absolute return to zero and recoup in 9.3x62 is not bad at all. My 15 year old daughter shot it in .300 WM and just shrugged and said “not bad”.
 

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If I had to have a switch barrel rifle I’d go for the R8’s stablemate the Mauser M03 - I just prefer the look of a classic bolt action. I can see the benefit of straight pull for driven hunting in Europe but if I was shooting DG here in Africa I think I’d prefer a CRF bolt gun or a double.
 

friendswoodmatt

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Thanks for all the reply's now I just need to see one in person. One last question, do all the barrels interchange with all the actions? How does this work?
 

wesheltonj

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Thanks for all the reply's now I just need to see one in person. One last question, do all the barrels interchange with all the actions? How does this work?
No, in the USA they sell two different actions, in Europe three. The actions match to certain barrels.
 
 

 

 

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