Test: Unique Alpine UPG-1 in .308 Win. – Firing the affordable precision rifle up to 300 m

The Unique Alpine UPG-1 remains light and handy thanks to its special aluminum chassis.

The UPG-1 model family, available in four calibers – .243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5x47 Lapua and .308 Winchester – consists of four basic models with fixed stock and 20"/508 mm or 24"/610 mm barrel priced at 1980 euro, and with a folding AR-15 or proprietary Unique Alpine stock with 16,5"/420-mm barrel (only in .308 Winchester) at 2290 or 2490 euro respectively. The manufacturer wants to compete in the large segment of affordable all-metal rifles. While other brands often simply use aluminum chassis from suppliers such as MDT (Modular Driven Technologies) from Canada, the Unique Alpine UPG-1 lightweight alloy system is a proprietary design. 

The Unique Alpine UPG-1 in detail

In the Unique Alpine UPG-1, cartridge cases are extracted from the chamber with the unlocking movement, which should prevent jamming.

The modular construction runs like a red thread through the entire design of the Unique Alpine UPG-1 precision rifle. The dovetail connection between the chassis center section and the stock also relies on a solid material combination of steel and light metal. The steel prism block bolted to the rear stock section is pushed onto the middle stock section and secured with a screw. We can certify that the manufacturer is absolutely free of tolerances, because due to the minimum tolerances we already had problems pushing this stock section to the rear. The length-adjustable butt plate and height-adjustable cheek rest are integrated in the buttstock. Both adjustment mechanisms for butt plate and cheek piece are secured with eccentric clamping levers and are absolutely recoil-proof.

All components of the Unique Alpine UPG-1 are solidly manufactured and are held together by very sturdy M8 screws.

Since the butt plate position has been slightly raised in comparison to conventional bolt action rifles, no height adjustment was made here. But even so, sitting and lying firing positions are easily possible. However, the comparatively high butt plate position also has a disadvantage, because a quick glance down the barrel to align the barrel bore axis and scope only works if you loosen the locking screw of the eccentric clamping lever with a tool and remove the butt plate.

As far as the tool case is concerned, it should mainly be equipped with Torx keys, because the complete rifle is equipped with the Torx system. They spared no effort, because the connection between the receiver and the chassis consists of solid M8 threads and screws, where other manufacturers use M6s at most.

Here, too, we discovered minimal play and the receiver could only be removed from the light metal frame with great effort. The side surfaces of the receiver feature generous bevels to transmit torsional forces to the chassis. Recoil forces are absorbed by a steel lug mounted in the middle section of the stock. The perfect cut-out for this is located in the front part of the receiver. A type of bedding that has worked in this form for ages. The best example of this are the old Anschütz 54 systems, which already had a similar position of the recoil lug at that time. A short mounting rail on the underside of the buttstock allows an additional rear support to be attached. The butt monopod can be used either directly or indirectly as a support. When used indirectly, the collapsed monopod offers a long, straight surface to achieve maximum repeating accuracy during the bolt return travel. Combining this buttstock modopod with a low bipod provides the shooter with a perfect rifle support.

Butt plate and cheek piece of the Unique Alpine UPG-1 are adjustable in length and height. The mechanics of the various adjustment possibilities are secured by using eccentric clamps.

The receiver with integral MIL-STD-1913 mounting rail for optics, the bolt head with three massive lugs and the 20" / 508 mm long match barrel with 1-12" twist and 5/24 UNEF muzzle thread in the case of our test gun are made of special steel, which is also used in military weapon production. This guarantees maximum wear resistance as well as safety in case of gas pressure peaks when using ammunition that's too hot. The bolt head features special design details for maximum functional reliability. The cartridge is pushed under the extraction claw and held during the whole feeding process. This ensures safe, trouble-free feeding with all possible weapon positions. The spent case is already extracted from the chamber during the bolt unlocking movement, so that there should never be stuck cases. In the ejection process, the case is held by the extractor claw until it is ejected by the fixed ejector. Depending on the repeating speed, the shooter can slowly drop the brass out of the receiver or have it dynamically thrown out. AICS box magazines from various manufacturers with different capacities can be accommodated into the magazine well of the sleek aluminum chassis. 

The Unique Alpine UPG-1 with the Kahles K525i is particularly easy to transport when the stock is folded.

The double stage match trigger mounted on the underside of the receiver is weight-adjustable in a range from 1500 to 2500 g and we liked it in practice. Factory adjusted at 1730 g (as measured by us), on the firing range it was reduced of almost 1100 g to reach the preferred break point at around 600 g. Unique Alpine also solved this problem perfectly in order to provide the shooter with a first-class tool for hole drilling. The three-position safety at the rear of the receiver acts directly on the firing pin.

Unique Alpine had fitted the two UPG-1s with the sporty Kahles K318i 3.5-18x50i and the tactical Kahles K525i 5-25x56i riflescopes, which we have already presented to you on all4shooters.com.

Video: Unique Alpine UPG-1 with fixed stock

Unique Alpine UPG-1 at a glance: technical data

Model:Unique Alpine UPG-1
Price:from 1980 euro (price may vary in your country due to VAT and import duties)
System:bolt-action with three-lug bolt head, 60° opening angle
Barrel:20"/ 508 mm long match barrel with 1-12"-twist and M18x1 muzzle thread
Stock:light metal chassis featuring a buttstock with length-adjustable butt plate and height-adjustable cheek rest, AR-15 compatible, free-standing pistol grip, free-floating M-LOK light metal hand guard
Magazine:AICS box magazines with different capacities. Test gun with 5 or 10-round Magpul P-Mag magazines
Trigger:adjustable two stage match trigger, pull weight adjustable between 52.9 oz / 1500 and 88.18 oz / 2500 g. Test gun factory adjusted to 61 oz/1730 g
Safety:three-position safety at the rear of the receiver, acting on firing pin
Sights:none, with MIL-STD-1913 rail ready for optics mounting
Overall length:40.55”/103 cm
Total weight:12 lb, 5.53 oz/5600 g

Unique Alpine UPG-1: our test conclusion

The inexpensive Unique Alpine UPG-1 precision rifle for long range use is available with fixed or folding stock.

Let's make it short and sweet: in our humble opinion, there is currently no other light alloy chassis rifle in this price range that is better manufactured. The Unique Alpine UPG-1 is also distinguished by its 100% reliability, very good shooting performance and maximum flexibility in terms of adaptability to the shooter, so that you can play with this rifle in every sporting discipline at the very front. The Unique Alpine UPG-1 in the basic version presented here costs 1980 euro and is worth every cent. The price is based on German MSRP and may vary in your country. For more Information please contact your local distributor.

Further information about the UPG-1 can be found on Unique Alpine website.

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