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The straight-pull bolt-action rifle Blaser R8 has been commercially available since 2010. It is based on the manual cocking model R93 of the Allgäu armoury, which has been manufactured since 1993.
Back then the R93 attracted attention due to its innovative radial band lock. This type of lock does not interlock with locking lugs, but with expansion claws that run around the chamber in a circular seam in the barrel.
With the R8, Blaser reinforced the lock additionally with a support sleeve and enlarged the contact surfaces of the locking elements. Two cam disks additionally support the closed lock towards the rear. The chamber can only be opened when the rifle is cocked or the cocking slide is slightly pressed forward. In the case of the test rifle, this one could only be cocked with relatively high amount of force and with a quiet “click” sound.
Another difference to the R93
The magazine and the trigger group form a single unit. If needed, it can be detached from the rifle, which is to make the weapon safer against unauthorized use. As the magazine is now firmly attached to the trigger group – or vice versa, the price for a spare system climbs considerably. It gets even more expensive with the new Atzl trigger that is changeable from hunting to match.
For this special issue, Blaser sent their R8 in the Black Edition with an elegant nut wood stock in wood grade 6 that costs more than 5000 euros. The lowest priced Blaser models with synthetic stock are already available for just over half of that. When the customer forks out some more money, there are also diverse thumbhole stock versions available in the meantime. The agony of choice you have among others also with the barrels and a rather comprehensive range of calibres.
With the extravagant Black Edition version apart from the chamber head (1) Blaser also covers the trigger blade with a 24-carat gold layer. On locking, the lamellar claws behind the bolt head spread apart into a ring seam in the barrel. The “Blaser contrast sights” owe their name to the white inlays in the rear sight (2) and front sight (3).
Range of use for BLASER R8 Black Edition:
The BLASER R8 Black Edition fulfils every expectations on a good Hunting Rifle. The R8 Black Edition is not intended for Sporting or LEO use.
The BLASER R8 at a glance:
|Model||BLASER R8 Black Edition|
|Capacity: ||4 + 1 cartridges |
|Barrel lenght:||580 mm|
|Overall lenght:||1.034 mm|
|Trigger weight:||790 g|
Outfit: Straight-pull bolt-action rifle with radial band lock, nut wood stock, Bavarian cheek piece with double rabbet, detachable trigger/magazine group, prepared for the installation of mounts.
Shooting Test BLASER R8 in .30-06 Spring.
|No.||Factory cartridges||Covering Circle|
|1||150 grs Remington UMC MC||41 mm|
|2||165 grs Federal Prem. Nosler BST||63 mm|
|3||168 grs Sellier & Bellot HPBT||38 mm|
|4||180 grs RWS H-Mantel ||24 mm|
|5||184 grs RWS Silver Selection Evo||33 mm|
Comment: Covering circle = five-shot groups, fired in a sitting position bench rest from a bench rest support at a distance of 100 m, indicated in millimetres, measured from bullet hole centre to centre. Values in brackets after deduction of a stray shot. Abbreviations see annex.
Annotations: MC Metal Case, BST: Ballistic Tip (Hollowpoint with Polymer Tip), HPBT: Hollowpoint Boat Tail
VISIER-Evaluation of Blaser R8 Black Edition
|Precision (50 points max.)||50 Points|
|Stock work (10 points max.)||8 Points|
|Trigger (10 points max.) ||9 Points|
|Magazine / Handling (5 points max.)||3 Points|
|Sights (5 points max.)||3 Points|
|System / Function (10 points max.)||8 Points|
|Workmanship (10 points max.)||10 Points|
|Total score (100 points max.)||91 Points|
|Rating||6 of 6|