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

TOBY458

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I would have someone else fit the sights. I did not want sights on my barrel but did want a barrel band sling swivel. They did manage to make a Talley Band look like it was fashioned by a 6 year old with a 2# hammer.
Good to know! They told me they offer NECG sights as an option. Maybe I should pass?
 

TheWhitetailNut

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Good to know! They told me they offer NECG sights as an option. Maybe I should pass?
You'll have to make that decision for yourself.

IMG_2579.jpg
IMG_2578.jpg
 
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yhc

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I would have someone else fit the sights. I did not want sights on my barrel but did want a barrel band sling swivel. They did manage to make a Talley Band look like it was fashioned by a 6 year old with a 2# hammer.
Yikes.... The bbl looks good but your description is right on about the bbl band.
 

One Day...

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A concession to classic looks, or an oversight?

I find it fascinating TOBY, that Blaser decided to put a front swivel barrel band on their Selous barrels, and I have been wondering if it is a concession to classic looks, or an oversight? Neither seem to align with Blaser's resolutely new design/new looks philosophy, nor attention to details...

Back to the basics, the only reason why front swivels are attached to a barrel band on high recoil DG rifles, is to prevent a front swivel stud from cutting into the palm web of the shooter's hand during recoil.

Blaser has addressed this with the other way to deal with the issue, which is to locate the front swivel stud at the end of the forearm, out of the way of a shooter's hand sliding forward on the forearm under severe recoil.

R8 front swivel.jpg

R8 front swivel stud located at the end of the forearm, out of the way of a shooter's hand sliding forward on the forearm under severe recoil.

A front swivel barrel band is therefore not NEEDED on a R8 barrel in this configuration.

All R8 wood stocks in non-DG calibers (R8 Jaeger, Luxus, Attache, Baroness, Intuition); all R8 Success stocks (wood and Pro synthetic); and all R8 Pro synthetic stocks come with a front swivel stud located at the end of the forearm. The lone exception seems to be the R8 Classic Sporter (see Red Leg's rifle), now discontinued.

Interestingly, it seems that there is little consistency in front swivel studs being attached, or not, to Blaser Pro Big Bore synthetic stocks (Blaser now apparently call it the R8 PH). I have personally seen R8 Pro Big Bore stocks (steel receiver, 22 mm Selous barrels channel) with and without front swivel studs... For example, BeeMaa's rifle has one.

The Kilombero and Selous wood stocks appear to consistently NOT have a front swivel stud. Since other wood stocks do have front swivel studs, it seems that only a concern for classic looks would have motivated Blaser to make the Kilombero and Selous wood stocks without a front swivel stud... As a result, one on the "Selous" type barrel (with front swivel barrel band) is needed with those... I wonder how people do when they install a non-Selous barrel (without a front swivel barrel band) on a Kilombero or Selous stock that does not have a front swivel stud... The argument that they do not for aesthetics reason is weak, because even the .300 Win Mag Selous barrel shows a 1/16th inch gap on each side in the Kilombero and Selous wood stocks, for it is only 19 mm while the stocks channel is 22 mm...

Anyway... I would not bother with a front swivel barrel band on barrels going onto a R8 stock with front swivel stud at the end of the forearm. It is not needed :)
 
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BigSteve57

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A concession to classic looks, or an oversight?

I find it fascinating TOBY, that Blaser decided to put a barrel band front swivel on their Selous barrels, and I have been wondering if it is a concession to classic looks, or an oversight? Neither seem to align with Blaser's resolutely new design/new looks philosophy, nor attention to details...

Back to the basics, The only reason why front swivels are attached to a barrel band on high recoil DG rifles, is to prevent a front swivel stud from cutting into the palm web of the shooter's hand during recoil.

Blaser has addressed this with the other way to deal with the issue, which is to locate the front swivel stud at the end of the forearm, out of the way of a hand sliding on the forearm under severe recoil.

View attachment 381502
R8 front swivel stud located at the end of the forearm, out of the way of a shooter hand sliding on the forearm under severe recoil.

A barrel band front swivel stud is therefore not NEEDED on a R8 barrel.

All R8 wood stocks in non-DG calibers (R8 Jaeger, Luxus, Attache, Baroness, Intuition); all R8 Success stocks (wood and Pro synthetic); and all R8 Pro stocks come with a front swivel stud. The lone exception seems to be the R8 Classic Sporter (see Red Leg's rifle), now discontinued.

Interestingly, it seems that there is little consistency in front swivel studs being attached or not, to Blaser Pro Big Bore stocks (they know apparently call it the R8 PH). I have personally seen R8 Pro Big Bore stocks (steel receiver, 22 mm Selous barrels channel) with and without front swivels... For example, BeeMaa's rifle has one.

The Kilombero and Selous wood stocks appear to consistently NOT have a front swivel. Since other wood stocks do have front swivel, it seems that only a concern for classic looks would have motivated Blaser to make the Kilombero and Selous wood stocks without a front swivel... As a result anyway one on the "Selous" type barrel (with barrel band front swivel) is needed with those... I wonder how people do when they install a non-Selous barrel (without a front swivel barrel band) on a Kilombero or Selous stock without a swivel stud... The argument that they do not, for aesthetics reason, is weak, because even the .300 Win Mag Selous barrel shows a gap in the Kilombero and Selous wood stocks, for it is only 19 mm while the stocks channel is 22 mm...

Anyway, I would not bother with a barrel band front swivel on barrels going onto a R8 stock with front swivel at the end of the forearm. It is not needed :)
I think it would be a great option for me to add a front swivel to my Kilombero. Do you know if this is advisable and can be done on a Kilombero?
 

TOBY458

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A concession to classic looks, or an oversight?

I find it fascinating TOBY, that Blaser decided to put a front swivel barrel band on their Selous barrels, and I have been wondering if it is a concession to classic looks, or an oversight? Neither seem to align with Blaser's resolutely new design/new looks philosophy, nor attention to details...

Back to the basics, the only reason why front swivels are attached to a barrel band on high recoil DG rifles, is to prevent a front swivel stud from cutting into the palm web of the shooter's hand during recoil.

Blaser has addressed this with the other way to deal with the issue, which is to locate the front swivel stud at the end of the forearm, out of the way of a shooter's hand sliding forward on the forearm under severe recoil.

View attachment 381502
R8 front swivel stud located at the end of the forearm, out of the way of a shooter's hand sliding forward on the forearm under severe recoil.

A front swivel barrel band is therefore not NEEDED on a R8 barrel in this configuration.

All R8 wood stocks in non-DG calibers (R8 Jaeger, Luxus, Attache, Baroness, Intuition); all R8 Success stocks (wood and Pro synthetic); and all R8 Pro synthetic stocks come with a front swivel stud located at the end of the forearm. The lone exception seems to be the R8 Classic Sporter (see Red Leg's rifle), now discontinued.

Interestingly, it seems that there is little consistency in front swivel studs being attached, or not, to Blaser Pro Big Bore synthetic stocks (Blaser now apparently call it the R8 PH). I have personally seen R8 Pro Big Bore stocks (steel receiver, 22 mm Selous barrels channel) with and without front swivel studs... For example, BeeMaa's rifle has one.

The Kilombero and Selous wood stocks appear to consistently NOT have a front swivel stud. Since other wood stocks do have front swivel studs, it seems that only a concern for classic looks would have motivated Blaser to make the Kilombero and Selous wood stocks without a front swivel stud... As a result, one on the "Selous" type barrel (with front swivel barrel band) is needed with those... I wonder how people do when they install a non-Selous barrel (without a front swivel barrel band) on a Kilombero or Selous stock that does not have a front swivel stud... The argument that they do not for aesthetics reason is weak, because even the .300 Win Mag Selous barrel shows a 1/16th inch gap on each side in the Kilombero and Selous wood stocks, for it is only 19 mm while the stocks channel is 22 mm...

Anyway... I would not bother with a front swivel barrel band on barrels going onto a R8 stock with front swivel stud at the end of the forearm. It is not needed :)
Yes I agree. I wouldn't want a barrel band sling mount on a rifle which already has it in the forend. As for the somewhat botched job in the above pictures, I would have reservations about having them install iron sights as well. How pissed would you be if you spent all that $ on a new barrel, and the sights were marred up or not mounted straight?
 

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Interestingly, it seems that there is little consistency in front swivel studs being attached, or not, to Blaser Pro Big Bore synthetic stocks (Blaser now apparently call it the R8 PH). I have personally seen R8 Pro Big Bore stocks (steel receiver, 22 mm Selous barrels channel) with and without front swivel studs... For example, BeeMaa's rifle has one.

Anyway... I would not bother with a front swivel barrel band on barrels going onto a R8 stock with front swivel stud at the end of the forearm. It is not needed :)
You are correct, my stock did not have a front sling swivel stud.
Until I realized that I wanted one.
Van at TDGG sent me one and I installed it.

The barrel band sling swivel on the 22mm barrels is useless in my eyes.
As @One Day... stated, it simply is not needed.
There is zero chance of getting my hand bashed under recoil.
 

One Day...

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I think it would be a great option for me to add a front swivel to my Kilombero. Do you know if this is advisable and can be done on a Kilombero?

Hello Steve;

I know that it is easy to add (or remove) a front swivel stud at the end of a R8 synthetic stock, because it is easy to change the tip of a R8 synthetic stock. It only involves one bolt.

R8 forearm tip.jpg


I do not know how the ebony tip is attached to a Kilombero stock. I suspect that it may be glued permanently in place with wood dowel(s), the way it is usually done.

It would be interesting to see how the ebony tip is attached on the R8 Jaeger, Luxus, Attache, Baroness and Intuition wood stocks. I would expect that a swivel stud rod is drilled fairly deep into the forearm, lengthwise, to act as a dowel for the attachment of the tip AND provide strength to the stud to avoid splitting the forearm/tip with a shallow swivel attachment.

@BeeMaa's wife has an Intuition. Maybe we can ask him to show us a picture of the forearm channel showing how the ebony tip is attached. My speculation is that there is not bolt to see, but I could be wrong...

I see no reason why a front swivel stud rod (or long screw) could not be drilled lengthwise and epoxied in place in a Kilombero forearm, but I would only have a very qualified stock-smith do that, or maybe Blaser could retrofit this for you. I suggest calling or emailing Andre Gorjup, their US Gunsmith and Technical Service Manager, at (210) 377-2527 / andrej.gorjup@blaser-group.us. Andrej is very competent and very pleasant to deal with :)

... As for the somewhat botched job ...

I looked into the custom barrels possibility when I bought my .300 Wby barrel. Initially I wanted a true 26" barrel (and I toyed with the concept of a 28" barrel)...

FYI, after discovering that some folks had issues with either J. Sip and Sons and/or Palehorse Zero barrels, I decided to ONLY use Blaser barrels, because loosing 1" of barrel length to the R8 barrel locking recess was not worth running the risk of getting an after market barrel that may or may not live up to my expectations as surely as a Blaser barrel would.

Maybe those issues were early teething issues and maybe both makers have things under control now... The machining (likely CNC) on TheWhitetailNut's barrel seems well done...

Considering that Blaser offers both a .416 Rem and a .458 Lott barrel, the safe path would be to go with either of these to make a R8 a .40+ rifle.

However, the Blaser $3,000+ pricing for these barrels is ridiculous in my view. It is hard to see in this anything other than Blaser taking advantage of their Safari-going customers (assumed to be wealthy I guess...). As I said before, call it misplace pride on my part...

Thank God, I did not need one of these barrels because my .40+ is a Krieghoff .470 NE double...
 
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BeeMaa

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On my wife's Intuition stock the bolt goes through the ebony forend tip and wood.
The sling swivel stud hole is used to tighten it against the square nut.
And her channel was opened up to handle the 22mm barrels.
1609190198854.png

1609190219990.png
 

One Day...

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Thanks BeeMaa (y) :giggle:

IF the Kilombero forearm is machined the same way (???) this is good news for BigSteve57, as it would make it much easier to retrofit a forearm tip stud in his Kilombero...
 

TOBY458

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On my wife's Intuition stock the bolt goes through the ebony forend tip and wood.
The sling swivel stud hole is used to tighten it against the square nut.
And her channel was opened up to handle the 22mm barrels.
View attachment 381513
View attachment 381514
How does the forend attach to the receiver? I assume you can get different forends with the appropriate channel for your barrel? But I guess matching the wood could get tricky, and I bet the price is lofty.
 

BigSteve57

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Thanks BeeMaa (y) :giggle:

IF the Kilombero forearm is machined the same way (???) this is good news for BigSteve57, as it would make it much easier to retrofit a forearm tip stud in his Kilombero...
Yes indeed - the job is one for a professional. I could see the stock cracking due to recoil.
The reason I am asking is that I would like to shoot with a sling and a sling just does not work (well it hasn't worked foe ME LOL) when the front swivel is attached to anything but the stock of a rifle with a free floating barrel. Maybe the stud can only be mounted facing downward which has disadvantages mentioned in earlier posts.

I'll contact Blaser. I will no doubt have to ship the stock to Blaser USA or maybe even Blaser DE.
 

BeeMaa

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How does the forend attach to the receiver? I assume you can get different forends with the appropriate channel for your barrel? But I guess matching the wood could get tricky, and I bet the price is lofty.
There is a stainless cap bolt holding the forend to the receiver.
I wouldn't be taking it apart, but that's just me.
1609193776234.png
 

Brian Rothhammer

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These inserts are injection molded polymer, and use the acclaimed original Mannlicher Schonauer spring loaded rotary spool design. They feed smoothly and flawlessly. And the bullet tips are even protected by a rubber bumper at the front of the magazine. Some serious thinking went into this magazine...

View attachment 377475

That is not exactly "The acclaimed original Mannlicher Schoenauer spring loaded rotary spool design", though it is close.

The Mannlicher Schoenauer's spool rotated around a central axis, not from one side as with the R8, and could be unloaded by the press of a release button which allowed cartridges to spool outward.
Early models of MS could be fed rapidly via five round 'stripper clips' as with the Mauser 98.

MS 1900 Rifle.jpg


MS Features (2).jpg
MS MS Stripper.jpg


MS magazine unload.png


MS Schoenauer Magazine.jpg
 

BeeMaa

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What's that metal clip looking piece in front of the stainless bolt head?
Not sure, but it looks like some type of guide.
Possibly used in manufacturing, but not useful afterwards?
It's made of black polymer, not metal.
 

TOBY458

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Not sure, but it looks like some type of guide.
Possibly used in manufacturing, but not useful afterwards?
It's made of black polymer, not metal.
If it sticks up a little above the wood, it could be there to create a little barrel tension, while insuring everything else is free floated. Just a thought....
 

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