The UPG-1 from Unique Alpine – the moniker stands for "universelles Präzisionsgewehr", or Universal Precision Rifle – is a surprisingly affordable lightweight aluminum alloy chassis based bolt action rifle, sporting quite a lot of interesting features, with a MSRP starting below 2000 euro.
This German firearms manufacturer needs really little presentation. all4shooters.com already reviewed and tested the UPG-1 in the past.
Here is the personal promise from the author of our test:
"In the above article you will find in-depth technical descriptions and details, as well as technical data tables – so I will not duplicate that here, rather I will go into detail of the specific configuration I received for my Range Report and give my personal and subjective opinion of this fine gun.
And it is also thanks to ZCO excellent glass and RWS and Norma's premium ammunition that I managed to achieve the results that you can read about, and see for yourself in my video, at 300 and 500 meters."
First of all, let’s take a look at the specific configuration of the rifle I received from Unique Alpine: the model UPG-1 UA
Featuring a 20”/508mm barrel, factory fitted with a TTA muzzle brake and chambered in .308 Winchester, this is a UPG-1 UA. "UA" stands for the proprietary folding stock that sports a length-adjustable butt plate and height-adjustable cheek rest, complete with the optional Buttstock Grip Extension. Also, the full floating MLOK forend has a conveniently placed bottom MLOK Picatinny rail to mount a Harris S-BRM bipod.
To complete the package, a ZC-420 Zero Compromise Optics 4-20x50 variable magnification riflescope is mounted using separate EAW quick release lever Picatinny rings.
These were the commercial ammo loads I used for testing the Unique Alpine UPG-1 at 300 and 500 meters:
- Target Elite from RWS with a 190 Grain HPBT Bullet
- Target Elite Plus Match from RWS with a 168 Grain HPBT Bullet
- Norma Diamond Line with a 168 Grain Moly Coated HPBT Bullet
I set off to the ATF Range in Italy, that offers a nice shooting stage with 300- and 500-meters lines; both distances are on the same firing lane, and therefore the target post is the same. I had the range all to myself, thanks to the courtesy of the local military that canceled off the training day.
I had already zeroed the UPG-1, using the Norma Diamond Line, at 100 m. The rifle manages to make 8-10 mm one-hole groups consistently at this distance, using the Diamond Line ammo, switching to the RWS loads at this distance makes little difference – it’s almost boring how easily I can get a good group. We will see what happens at the longer distances.
Weather conditions were excellent, temperature in the mid 20 Celsius, wind was present as a gentle breeze that measured an average of 1.2 m/s at the shooting lane. I started out testing the rifle at 300 meters, using a table and shooting off the bench with the Harris bipod.
I did not use a rear beanbag, and I had to adjust elevation for the RWS Target Elite as the difference in weight and muzzle velocity had the round hit quite low. Once I got the elevation adjustment dopes right (plus a couple clicks of windage) for each load on a practice target, I shot three round groups with each of the commercial loads I had with me on a Caldwell Orange Peel target; the diameter of the bullseye is 4”, so about 10 cm.
Let me tell you, the UPG-1 is a joy to shoot. So before looking at the groups, I’ll give you my impressions: recoil is really mild, thanks to the excellent TTA muzzle brake, the weight of the rifle (6950 g with glass and mounts, Harris bipod and 5 rounds in the magazine), and the nice LimbSaver rubber buttplate.
The trigger breaks like glass. It has a little slack (we could call it two stage because of this very little springy travel) and almost no overtravel after it breaks. It is set from the factory at about 1800 g, and I used it as such, but it can be made adjusted if needed.
Feeding is ultrapositive, the AICS compatible mag does its work, and – granted, I’m using Match ammo with the best possible profile for feeding in the breech – there’s absolutely no hitch in loading the round in the chamber and locking the bolt.
Plus, the Zero Compromise Optics ZC-420 riflescope. This is some exceptional glass, clear, sharp and with a great and very forgiving eyebox, plus a pretty accurate parallax side focus turret. Clicks are dependable and with excellent feedback. The elevation and windage turrets have a lock feature and need to be pulled out to adjust. Longer to describe it than actually do it.
So, at 300 m, I got a 37 mm group from the Norma Diamond Line, it’s the worst group but consistent with what I was getting from the practice targets on the side; next up, the RWS Target Elite, with their heavy 190 grain bullet, I had a flyer unfortunately that opened up the group to 3 cm. The best group came from the RWS Target Elite Plus Match, I achieved a nice 20 mm group – that was absolutely consistent with all the rounds shot on the practice targets.
All groups measured from center to center of the bullets, so it actually excludes the diameter of the hole.
At this point, I set up a couple of 48 cm steel plates on the side of the target to have a confirmation of the elevation adjustments (and yeah, just to have some fun, too), and I moved to the 500 meter mark, with my observer. I had to add another few clicks of windage, the bullets pass at a height of 15 meters above the 300 meter shooting lane bench, so a little wind was present across the range. I adjusted for the Norma Diamond Line first, and managed to hit with good consistency the steel plates.
Then I switched to the RWS Target Elite Plus Match load, as it was the ammo with which I had the best performance and accuracy at 300 m, to fine tune the elevation. I ended up with 41 clicks elevation from zero and 5 clicks left of windage on the ZCO turrets.
My observer told me I was hitting constantly the center of the plate with a radius of about 20 cm, so I decided to switch and try to shoot the paper target I had placed earlier. Time was running out…
I let the gun cool down a bit, and I shot the three round group – I could not see through the scope but my observer told me I got all three in. Time to go and check out the target, and pack up too.
Watch the video: I had a lot of fun making it, and please continue following all4shooters.com!
So in the end, I got a decent 14 cm diameter group, not really outstanding as it is a bit dispersed horizontally, I possibly did not read well the cross wind as the three rounds have an elevation dispersion of only four cm. Plus, I’m still shooting commercial loads, of excellent Premium quality yes, but still factory loaded ammo. Can I do better? Can the gun, and ammo do better? You bet!
So, the Unique Apline UPG-1 precision rifle delivers, and it’s a blast to shoot – literally. I hope to get some more range time with the gun, before having to send it back. The whole package I tested today passes easily 5k euro territory with the ZCO riflescope, mounts and accessories, but I’m getting the impression, experience and feeling of a gun that costs double that with the UPG-1. Would I recommend this gun? Definitely.