all4hunters.com had the opportunity to accompany a driven hunt equipped with the BRX1 straight-pull repeater from Beretta. Invited by Gert Mürmann of Waffen-Mürmann from Wittenberg, we went for two days on a movement hunt in Saxony-Anhalt. The BRX1 is predestined for driven hunts, because with the ultra-fast bolt action, a second or even third "quick" shot is possible.
The Steiner Ranger 6 1-6x24, a rifle scope for driven hunts
The optics we used was the Steiner Ranger 6 (1-6x24). This riflescope can be used very well at shooting ranges of up to 100 meters thanks to its magnification range. A real pro for driven hunts, then. More details, a complete test report and the prices of all models of the series can be found here at all4shooters.com. In Germany, the riflescope from this field test has an MSRP of €1,499. The model has been on the market for just under 2 years and has an excellent 4A-I reticle. The controls are also located where they belong. Edge sharpness and contrast also convinced us.
Let's talk briefly about the ammunition: in .308 Win. caliber, the lead-free Sako Powerhead Blade was used. The bullet is 100 percent copper and offers safe mushrooming thanks to an innovative terminal architecture. The bullet is quite effective, and with its excellent stopping power, it is a true alternative on medium-weight game during driven hunts. The Sako Power Head Blade is also very suitable for other hunting types. On light game, we have already been able to use the Finnish cartridge up to 200 meters in the mountains.
Gert Mürmann has been a bloodhound handler in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt since 2017. He is a member of the Hirschmann club. His Hannoverian tracking hound "Brösel" is a real powerhouse that has served him very well on many tracking hunts. We accompany Gert on the driven hunt because we want to put the Beretta BRX1 under the microscope in different hunting situations. In addition to buck driven hunting, it will also be used for tracking.
Isn't the Beretta BRX1 with the 57-cm barrel too long for dog handlers? We did a field test
Dog handlers love short barrels. That's why Gert initially raised his eyebrows when asked if he could imagine hunting with the 57-centimeter version of the BRX1. Nevertheless, he was taken with the task of testing the hunting rifle in two different situations. The BRX1 is also available in a 51-centimeter version, and here's a valuable tip for potential buyers: Gert Mürmann now even has a Beretta BRX1 with a 47-centimeter barrel in his armory. The BRX1 concept is rounded off with a 63-centimeter variant. Gert Mürmann says:
"In addition to the unbeatable price/performance ratio of just under 1,600 euros, the BRX1 is an incredibly rugged gun. The polymer parts of the gun are designed for the dog handler, because when the rifle goes into the thicket, its surfaces are very insensitive to scratches. The bolt is well protected from environmental influences. Dirt cannot do any harm if handled properly. You get a safe and insensitive action."
The first day of the hunt started shortly after the drive began, with a roe deer doublet for Gert. Both animals fell on the spot. And after the drive for the handler and scent dog Brösel came the first tracking of a wild boar. The chosen variant of the BRX1 with 57-cm barrel proved a bit too long for the handler.
If it goes through dense undergrowth, getting stuck is inevitable. The 51-cm barrel variant is better suited for this purpose. With the 57-cm barrel, you will also reach your limits in narrow raised hides. Especially if you sit on a hide with a roof, as we had to experience on the second day of the driven hunt, you will notice that. So it's good that Beretta also offers shorter barrels with the BRX1.
The second day of driven hunt – Our experience with the Beretta BRX1
Gert says: "On the second day we were assigned a new stand. The hide was closed and swinging through is actually always a challenge on such hides. Especially if the barrels are longer, you always have to adjust your aiming position and then lose valuable time. Short barrels are much better for that."
That the Beretta BRX1 is really fast in the repeating process could then be seen on two heads of wild boar, which chose to pass at about 70 meters from the driven hunt stand. Within a very short time, Gert was able to fire 3 shots in quick succession. The first shot unfortunately missed. The second or third must have been fatal, because one of the boars went towards the neighboring stand. There it then fell after a death run of about 150 meters. Just before the dogs came, there was suddenly another chance for a red deer, but unfortunately the distance was too far for a shot, the angle unfavorable and trees kept obstructing the view, so the trigger finger remained straight. After that came the dogs. At first we thought they were following the deer, but they were on the track of the wild boar. The dogs went straight towards the neighboring shooter. The dogs then stopped. After a short standing noise, it was quiet around us again. The boar was recovered after the shoot. Shortly before the end of the hunt, the dogs brought us another weak 2-year boar that was in the line of fire at 40 meters. Diana was well disposed to us on that day.
The conclusion from the dog handler: "If you are looking for a rugged hunting rifle that delivers highly accurate shooting performance, the BRX1 is the right choice. In addition to the attractive price, the following is particularly noteworthy from my point of view: with the synthetic stock, the rifle is also suitable for tough use in the undergrowth. However, I would go for the 51 centimeter variant if you want to buy it off the shelf as a dog handler. The 57- and 63-cm variants I see rather with the classical hunting blind or also for stalking. And don't forget, I still have a BRX-1 with a 47-cm barrel in my closet. You are welcome to take a look at it.”
And what does the dog handler say about the Steiner Ranger 6 and the Sako Powerhead Blade ammunition?
"The Steiner riflescope shows its strengths in driven hunts. However, it can only be used to a limited extent for tracking. With the simple magnification, however, you can manage very well in the undergrowth. As a dog handler, I actually prefer the classic red dot sight. But for the chosen combination I see the Steiner Ranger 6 in advantage. The ammunition from Sako is really powerful. I can recommend the Sako Powerhead Blade without many ifs and buts. Whether from a raised hide, driven hunting or even in the mountains, this cartridge impresses with good effectiveness and an attractive price. Where you have to shoot lead-free, it is a good choice".
You can find more information about the BRX1 rifle on the Beretta website; for the Ranger 6 series, on the web pages of manufacturer Steiner.