The Blaser R8 Professional Success might be the last rifle that you ever buy

A review of the Blaser R8 used by many professional hunters around the world. Will this be the last rifle you ever need to buy?

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Blaser rifles are well known on the continent and have a very popular following with the R93 straight pull system selling over 250,000 units. The rifle was so popular because of its speed of loading, manual cocking system and build quality that it became the staple for professional hunters on the continent and Africa.

The next innovation from Blaser is the R8, this is also a straight pull system rifle that if you are used to a conventional bolt does take a little getting used to but once you master it is one of the most efficient ways of using a bolt action rifle. Because of the straight pull system the rifle not only looks and feels much more compact than a conventional bolt action but Blaser have retained the barrel length at just under 23 inches. It is indeed shorter because the unique design of the R8 magazine above the trigger which allows the overall length of the R8 to be significantly shorter than any conventional bolt action rifle. Because of the shorter overall length fitting a moderator does little to affect the balance of the rifle unlike some longer conventional systems.

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It may seem odd that Blaser are only producing one mainstay model of rifle for the UK market, but don’t be fooled the R8 comes in so many different varieties Heinz haven’t got a patch on Blaser. The model we have been testing is the R8 Professional Success in .243. This is a synthetic thumb hole stock rifle which is perfect for the keeper and stalker. It comes in both right and left handed and pre threaded to take a moderator at M15x1 with spigot.

Out of the box the R8 looks different, it is quite hard to love at first sight but once you pick up the professional success you start to get it. The rifle comes into the shoulder perfectly each time you mount it and it just feels well-built and it is. The stock is made of top grade plastic and comes in very dark brown , dark green, savannah and black and is robust and tough yet comfortable to handle. It has elastomer grips (or weather-proof leather inlays) to stop your hands slipping in even the wettest conditions and the barrels are hardened to prevent scratches and marks on the metal.

All the R8’s have detachable barrels so changing calibre is a simple task of undoing two screws and removing the barrel from the stock, the scopes are mounted on a special Blaser system, the Blaser saddle mount, that clips off quickly and when they are put back on remain true to zero each time. We tried it and it works, every time! This quick system makes these rifles truly versatile, especially with so many keepers heading off on hunting trips abroad these days you can make your .222 into a .30-06 in a matter of seconds and still have that same familiar stock in your hands that you have been shooting foxes with when you get the chance at that wild boar in Hungary or the Antelope in Namibia.

blaser r8 break through

The combinations of stock, material, barrel length, mount type, grade and calibre is nothing short of astounding. From a .222Rem. to a .500 Jeffery the Blaser system allows you to shoot them all from the same stock, all you need to do is at a bare minimum change the barrel, bolt head and magazine. This can all be done in under two minutes. With other options available such as a tracking barrel, which is even shorter than the standard for those of you who go out on wounded deer tracks to a heavy target match barrel the choices you have are almost limitless.

When shooting the R8 .243 we tested we found that it liked pretty much any ammunition we used, from Sako 95gr to Winchester Varmint X at 55gr the test shots were all sub 1 ½ inches at 120 meters. In the field to the rifle has performed really well in all weather conditions, proving reliable and accurate. Cleaning is a doddle after a wet stalk, you take off the scope and barrel dry, clean and reassemble and it shoots as true as it did before. As an all round keepers rifle the R8 professional success will take some beating, it is versatile, light, short, accurate and synthetic. If you are looking for something smart then the R8 has a whole range of wooden stocks to choose from but the R8 Professional Success must be considered as a serious contender if you are looking for a new rifle – you never know it might be the last you ever buy

4 thoughts on “The Blaser R8 Professional Success might be the last rifle that you ever buy

  1. My wife and I love our Blaser here in Australia.

    We have the .243 barrel on it with open sights for use in the scrub on pigs out to 50m, (Hornady Whitetail 100grn), or put a Leica Magnus scope on it for small deer up to fallow adult size If we wanted to hunt Sambar, Rusa or Reds, we could easily add a .308 barrel.

    For foxes, using the .243 Hornady SP Varmint in 65gr and the Magnus, it will shoot near MOA at 300 metres in the day, or we have an ATN infrared scope, which combined with a FLIR spotter means we get close enough at night to not ever miss hopefully. The .243 isn’t much good for skins tho.

    Then we change the bolt head and the barrel to a .223 fluted match, which has a 26x Leica target scope for feral goats, or sniping foxes, (55grn Australian Outback Blitzkings) but is mostly used in target comps (with 69grn target ammo) where it gets us up in the field in benchrest (it won’t beat a custom 6br) but does as well as we can shoot in field rifle, (prone, kneeling, standing offhand) type comps. It is a very nice gun to hold even with the heavy barrel and scope.

    Have Spartan tripod and bipod to go on it, and their sling to round out an incredibly flexible package, which can be pulled apart to travel compact. The Blaser case also is a gem if we ever want to take the whole kit to New Zealand!

    We do have to have other rifles tho, contrary to your ‘only gun’ idea. My wife has an Anschutz BR50 in .22 for target comps, and we still love our Australian made Lithgow LA01 .22 for rabbits and quiet fox shooting, and for Metallic Silhouette comps which are big here in Australia. If Blaser made a light rimfire tho, with barrels from .22 to 17hmr, we might be tempted …

    And we will eventually have to have their F16 shottie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wayne – you really do have all of your bases covered. In the UK it is really quite hard to get a firearm at all. You have to show to the police that you have good reason and you are a sound and proper person, which is fair enough. So if you can have a one rifle fits all then that is so much the better.

      Would love to hear more about hunting in Australia – have you thought of doing a blog?

      Like

  2. Hi Wayne – you really do have all of your bases covered. In the UK it is really quite hard to get a firearm at all. You have to show to the police that you have good reason and you are a sound and proper person, which is fair enough. So if you can have a one rifle fits all then that is so much the better.

    Would love to hear more about hunting in Australia – have you thought of doing a blog?

    Like

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