Transitioning To A Blaser R8 - A Two Months / 500 Rounds Review

Christot

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They do. Take a look into blaser's download section and search for the current catalogue. They weigh all the same (except the safari versions of course). The steel receiver would result in a different weight.
 

BeeMaa

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One question I have for you guys. Do all of the Jaeger and Luxus rifles have aluminum recievers? It would appear that that they would just about have to be aluminum to me. So in that case, if a person wanted an even more versatile set up, you could use all of the available barrel profiles with a simple forend swap, and not have to contend with the heavy steel receiver, and or multiple receivers. Am I wrong?
I think the problem would be finding wood to match.
Having 2 forends that match the butt could be difficult.
Because I know how you are about liking the pretty wood.
Probably a custom order directly from Blaser.
Doesn't that sound inexpensive.

I saw a video of a guy removing the receiver from his synthetic stock.
Didn't look like something I'd want to do.

Couldn't find a video of someone doing it on a wood R8.
Not sure what special tools would be needed.
If it were being done regularly, I'd think there would be a YouTube video on it.
Maybe you can start a YT channel. ;)
 

TOBY458

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I think the problem would be finding wood to match.
Having 2 forends that match the butt could be difficult.
Because I know how you are about liking the pretty wood.
Probably a custom order directly from Blaser.
Doesn't that sound inexpensive.

I saw a video of a guy removing the receiver from his synthetic stock.
Didn't look like something I'd want to do.

Couldn't find a video of someone doing it on a wood R8.
Not sure what special tools would be needed.
If it were being done regularly, I'd think there would be a YouTube video on it.
Maybe you can start a YT channel. ;)
It would definitely probably be more cost effective and simple to just buy another whole stock/receiver assembly in the Safari contour in the synthetic stock version. But with the wood stock rifles with the two piece stocks, the forend would simply come off by taking the screw out that holds it onto the receiver. Would be quite easy I would think. I've watched the video you posted before, and always cringe when he gets the claw hammer out! Lol!
 

BeeMaa

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This is the Allen bolt holding the forend to the receiver.
I don't know what they used to tighten it.
I'm sure it's some special tool and there has got to be LokTite involved.
1611417119474.png
 

TOBY458

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This is the Allen bolt holding the forend to the receiver.
I don't know what they used to tighten it.
I'm sure it's some special tool and there has got to be LokTite involved.
View attachment 385425
Nah. A simple Allen wrench is probably all. It looks like they used a lock nut. So once you break it loose, it should spin right out. Why don't you try it for us?! Because I GUARANTEE I WOULD!!! Hahaha!
 

BeeMaa

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Nah. A simple Allen wrench is probably all. It looks like they used a lock nut. So once you break it loose, it should spin right out. Why don't you try it for us?! Because I GUARANTEE I WOULD!!! Hahaha!
On, Mrs. BeeMaa's rifle...yeah, OK...I'll be right back.
Right back on the next edition of Investigation Discovery.
It will be titled "He Had It Coming".
 

Tra3

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Good video. It gives an idea of just how quickly a barrel can be changed. I like being able to swap calibers at the range. It takes less time than another person would rest a gun for the barrel to cool.
 

Ridgewalker

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In the video either I missed it, or they said nothing about needing to change stocks between different barrel diameter groups. He implied you could go straight from 222 to 500 Jeffrey with only a barrel, bolt and magazine change. I guess so as we’ve mentioned if you don't mind the gap.
Typical sales pitch leaving the details out! :cry:A couple of mm per side doesnt seem like much. Id like to see one up close.
Hmm...maybe half the flat on top of the stock. Maybe it is a lot?:unsure:

41918582-BF31-4D05-9544-35653F5F99E8.jpeg
 
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BeeMaa

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Bonk

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I finally got to handle a new R8 yesterday at a LGS. It had the plastic thumbhole stock and was a dual caliber combo of 6.5CM and 300WM. $5400. Gotta be honest. I can't see it. To be fair I've never shot one but it would have to shoot amazing to convince me to buy one because the aesthetics/ergos are not my cup of tea. I'm sure it's well made but it felt cheap in my hands. If I ever seriously considered an R8 it would have to be a wood stocked version. I can see why recoil is always a consideration with these rifles because it was very light. I can't imagine shooting a 375H&H with that plastic stock. The trigger was very good but not $5400 good. YMMV.
 

TOBY458

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I finally got to handle a new R8 yesterday at a LGS. It had the plastic thumbhole stock and was a dual caliber combo of 6.5CM and 300WM. $5400. Gotta be honest. I can't see it. To be fair I've never shot one but it would have to shoot amazing to convince me to buy one because the aesthetics/ergos are not my cup of tea. I'm sure it's well made but it felt cheap in my hands. If I ever seriously considered an R8 it would have to be a wood stocked version. I can see why recoil is always a consideration with these rifles because it was very light. I can't imagine shooting a 375H&H with that plastic stock. The trigger was very good but not $5400 good. YMMV.
While I have not fired an R8 with the thumbhole stock, I will say that my standard R8 Professional with the pistol grip is a pussycat to shoot in 375 H&H. Even at 7lbs 8oz unscoped. I have several other 375s to compare it to, and it and my Kimber Talkeetna are the two lightest of them, yet have the least recoil. I think it has a lot to do with the lack of drop in the stock. Also the longer LOP of the R8 when compared to the standard 13.5" LOP we normally see on most American rifles, helps quite a bit.
As for the price tag. Even though I ponied up the money for an R8 with two barrels, scope mounts and scopes, I do tend to agree they are a bit overpriced. Especially the accessories. In my mind, the extra Safari style barrels and scope mounts are terribly overpriced. If a person could buy the synthetic stocked rifles for around $2K and then ALL of the different barrel contours could be had for no more than $750-$1000 each, and the scope mounts were no more than $150 each, I think they would sell way more of them.
 

Ridgewalker

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Anyone ever had warranty/repair work done?
 

Tra3

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@Bonk I have a thumbhole stock and shoot the .375 barrel. The more vertical grip is nice for recoil moderation. I don’t find the grip awkward in any way. It actually feels more natural than the more straight gripped rifles I own. As for recoil, I find the recoil to be less on the R8 than in my sako AV in .375. And the sako is at least a pound heavier. My son has the professional with a kick stop, which works well for recoil.

@TOBY458 i agree that the they have a premium added in. I think the machining is truly top end. Much like the difference between the tolerances built in to a Mercedes and a Ford. In my opinion, the best combo of value, build and function is probably in a $700 Kimber Hunter. But I can’t take the Kimber apart and put it in my backpack, or change caliber, etc.

I still don’t own a double. I find the price tag to be shocking. I guess it is the same idea. But... the 48 days I hunted in 2020 would pay for a double if I deleted some of those days and worked more. While it isn’t a good idea to add up one’s yearly hunting expenditures (for the purposes of deniability) the cost of a Blaser is not much in comparison to the total, even if you do all DIY hunts as was 2020 for me.
 

Red Leg

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I finally got to handle a new R8 yesterday at a LGS. It had the plastic thumbhole stock and was a dual caliber combo of 6.5CM and 300WM. $5400. Gotta be honest. I can't see it. To be fair I've never shot one but it would have to shoot amazing to convince me to buy one because the aesthetics/ergos are not my cup of tea. I'm sure it's well made but it felt cheap in my hands. If I ever seriously considered an R8 it would have to be a wood stocked version. I can see why recoil is always a consideration with these rifles because it was very light. I can't imagine shooting a 375H&H with that plastic stock. The trigger was very good but not $5400 good. YMMV.
Aesthetics are indeed in the eye of the beholder. I would agree that a synthetic anything will never make the top half of my most attractive things. But with the classic sporter stock, I don't think it is entirely ugly.
63841-070632a6be16f00b2ff486d51e6376f1.jpg

With respect to recoil, configured either in synthetic or wood stocks with a .375 standard barrels in place, my R8 has less perceived recoil than either of my other .375 bolt action rifles despite lower over all weight by nearly a full pound in both rifles. In .300 WM guise, the perceived recoil is significantly less than it's .300 WM Sako stablemate. I should add, I do not have a pistol grip Blaser stock. As @Tra3 suggests, part of the innovation in the design was to start over with stock design rather than lean on traditional drop and LOP. I think that is critical in the rifle's perceived recoil mitigation.

And @TOBY458, I wish my wife's Range Rover had been $40K. Bet Land Rover would sell a bunch of them. ;) Just saying.
 
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TOBY458

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Aesthetics are indeed in the eye of the beholder. I would agree that a synthetic anything will never make the top half of my most attractive things. But with the classic sporter stock, I don't think it is entirely ugly.
63841-070632a6be16f00b2ff486d51e6376f1.jpg

With respect to recoil, configured either in synthetic or wood stocks with a .375 standard barrels in place, my R8 has less perceived recoil than either of my other .375 bolt action rifles despite lower over all weight by nearly a full pound in both rifles. In .300 WM guise, the perceived recoil is significantly less than it's .300 WM Sako stablemate. I should add, I do not have a pistol grip Blaser stock. As @Tra3 suggests, part of the innovation in the design was to start over with stock design rather than lean on traditional drop and LOP. I think that is critical in the rifle's perceived recoil mitigation.

And @TOBY458, I wish my wife's Range Rover had been $40K. Bet Land Rover would sell a bunch of them. ;) Just saying.
If you indeed come across a new Land Rover at that price, let me know.....
 

Ridgewalker

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I’m still not understanding how you guys think its as easy to reload a Blaser with the magazine installed. I have been playing with my 223, 6.5, and 30-06 configurations. When you have to insert the cartridge half way into the chamber, press down and back to get it in installed. It’s much more difficult IMO&E than simply laying it on the magazine and pressing it straight down into the magazine Of conventional bolt guns.
1st a 30-06 into a Blaser R8.
D83EB65E-D9D6-46DD-B489-799C163F167B.jpeg

2nd a30-06 into a Remy 700.
5CA0722B-60C8-40EB-B94E-8F5691BBE79A.jpeg

3rd a 30-06 into a Winny 70.

994D1C3F-61C7-4093-8243-6CBB2F0662BA.jpeg

To my way of thinking, if you run out of your 4 shots on DG, it would take substantially longer to reload while being charged. Again, JMO from my minimal experience.
If there was no scope in the way, it would obviously be easier than with scope, but still extra movement in different directions requiring more dexterity.
The 223 in particular (the 6.5 a bit less) can actually be dropped ahead of the magazine stopping all loading until the rifle is turned upside down to get it out. Another oddity in the “all cartridge” design.
 
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One Day...

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We do not do it this way, "insert the cartridge half way into the chamber, press down and back", Ridgewalker, we simply put the cartridge on top of the magazine on press it down. The flexibility to the magazine walls allows the lips to spread and the cartridge to go down vertically just like when loading a AR15 / M4 magazine :)
 

Ridgewalker

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Actually the shorter the cartridge, the more difficult the loading. I havent played with the 375 barrel much yet because its not as useful here to my learning the new rifle.

Well One day... I was failing at that. Maybe its another weakness issue with this old codger. Hmmm...sounds like I need to add hand exercises to my program.:cry:

Just tried again, but my old hands...ugh...it takes 2 thumbs for me to get the -06 in. Maybe I just need more practice. I’ll try the 223 again and see if i can keep from dropping them.
Thanks! Practice, practice, practice!
 
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Ridgewalker

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OK, forget the ”floppy” thumbs! I used all 4 fingers and it works! Maybe I should just cut my old thumbs off to keep them out of the way! No, then how could I pick my nose!
Thanks One day... for making me think my process over!
Now I‘ll just practice, practice, practice my newly learned 4 finger method!
 

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