Even when you first pick up Sabatti's Rover G2 Pathfinder, you notice the difference in weight compared to the hunting bolt-action rifles of most competitors in this price segment. This is thanks to the action. While other manufacturers usually rely on steel here and also for the mounting rails, Sabatti on the other hand mills the system, together with the integrated Picatinny-style mounting rails, from a solid Ergal 55 aluminum alloy billet and then also gives it a protective hard anodizing. The cold-hammered barrel of the Pathfinder, which is still 18 mm thick in the muzzle area, is 51 cm long and is fluted with four longitudinal grooves. This not only saves further weight, but also increases the barrel surface and ensures faster heat dissipation, which is particularly advantageous during high-intensity shooting or driven hunts.
More technical details about the Sabatti Rover G2 Pathfinder
The barrel surface is protected by a matte silver Cerakote finish that matches the color of the receiver. The three-lug bolt has a 60° throw and houses a solid extractor claw and opposite to it, in the recessed bolt face, the spring-loaded ejector. On the Rover G2 Pathfinder models, Sabatti provides the bolt cylinder, which is turned and milled from a solid round steel billet, with a high-gloss hard chrome finish. The bolt shroud and bolt handle, on the other hand, have a matte black finish. The barrel features a 5/8 "x24 UNEF muzzle thread on the front end and a barrel extension on the other end, which is screwed into the action.
The latter leaves open the option for a quick barrel change on Sabatti Rover models. The Rover G2 Pathfinder is currently available in several calibers including the .308 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield. The caliber chosen does not affect the price. All versions are priced at 969 euros each (RRP in Germany – prices may be different in your country due to VAT and import duties).
A closer look at the Sabatti Rover G2 Pathfinder
If we had to describe the Sabatti Rover G2 Pathfinder in terms of just two of its attributes, they would be "supple" and "handy". The brown polymer stock conveys the typical warm soft-touch feel. On the pistol grip and fore-end contact surfaces, a fish-skin-like texture gives the hands more grip. With 345 mm between the trigger and the butt plate, the Sabatti rifle fits medium-sized shooters perfectly. In addition, the experienced hunter advises every beginner to think about thin summer as well as thicker transitional or winter clothing in terms of stock length. The rifle should be able to be easy to use in any case. In addition, the length of the Pathfinder's stock can be varied using optional stock shims. Cheek rest is not adjustable, but it is replaceable and thus variable in height. A kit for adjusting cheek rest and butt plate is available.
On the Rover, Sabatti leaves a reassuringly wide gap between the stock and barrel, allowing the latter to float freely inside. The de-oiled bolt may have been a bit rough at first, but it wasn't at all awkward. Sabatti does not use open sights at all on the Pathfinder, and their absence naturally contributes to the weight savings. And let's be honest: apart from dog handlers and a few expert shooters, who did last use them to take down game? After all, the rear and front sights are now rarely part of everyday hunting.
Recessed into the underside of the forend, next to the sling swivel release, is a short M-Lok multi-purpose rail with two slots, such as for mounting a bipod. The two-position safety acts on the trigger and bolt. However, even when carefully guiding the lever protruding upward from the right of the stock and despite a good deal of gun grease, it continued to emit a perceptible clicking noise. The fine trigger pull weight can be adjusted downward to about 1,200 g. The trigger was so crisp that it fully impressed us. The magazine holds three cartridges and drops out freely after release. To insert it, it needs to be angled a bit. The release lever for the magazine, which is entirely made of plastic except for the feed spring, is located in the front of the trigger guard. Thanks to its appropriate size, the magazine release can be operated comfortably even when wearing gloves. If the magazine capacity of three cartridges is too little for you, you can get a similar replacement magazine for 59 euros or one with a capacity of five or seven cartridges for 69 euros (still, check the prices at your local dealer).
The Sabatti Rover G2 Pathfinder on the shooting range
For our accuracy test, we had equipped the Rover G2 Pathfinder with a riflescope ideally suited for this purpose. The Meopta Optika 6 4.5-27x50 RD SSP with 4C reticle in the 2nd image plane, a crosshair thin in the center with finely dimmable illuminated dot. Price point 889 euro. The Meopta glass with 30 mm center tube diameter was fitted on the rifle by means of a two-piece tip-off mount from Recknagel with convenient, lever-type cl amps. Thus equipped, we took the Sabatti Rover G2 Pathfinder to the 100-meter line. There, too, the Sabatti rifle did not miss a trick from a hunting point of view. We managed the best 29-mm 5-shot group using the inexpensive GECO Express hunting cartridges with 165-gr (10.7 g) heavy bullet, closely followed by the lead-free RWS HIT (165 grs) and Sako Powerhead Blade (162grs) loads. The average grouping for all five cartridge types shot in the test was 33.8mm, which is absolutely usable for hunting. During our entire test-fire, not a single malfunction occurred, all cartridges were fed flawlessly, reliably fired, and the empty cases were extracted and ejected without a hitch. The fairly soft rubber butt plate absorbs much of the recoil, making the gun quite comfortable to shoot overall.
Sabatti Rover G2 Pathfinder specs and price
|Model:||Sabatti Rover G2 Pathfinder|
|Caliber:||.308 Winchester (test gun)|
|Magazine Capacity:||3 rounds|
|Overall Length:||1,060 mm|
|Barrel Length:||20”/51 cm |
|Twist Length:||12"/305 mm|
|Trigger Pull Weight:||1,200 g approx.|
|Price (RRP in Germany):||969 euro|
|Features: three-lug bolt, Picatinny rails on action top,
5/8"-24 UNEF muzzle thread, rubber butt cap, adjustable fine trigger,
two-position safety, Picatinny base on receiver bridge and head,
5/8"-24 UNEF muzzle thread, rubber butt plate, replaceable stock cheek rest.|
Sabatti Rover G2 Patfinder wrap-up
With the Rover G2 Pathfinder, Sabatti not only provides young hunters with a very rugged and reliable hunting tool. We were particularly impressed by the excellent trigger characteristics and the very fair price-performance ratio of the Italian bolt-action rifle. We did not like the somewhat too loud safety quite as much. The bottom line, however, is that the hunter gets "a lot of gun for little money" here.