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5 Hunting Rifles

Pete Moore considers some old and new rimfire and full-bore friends…

  • MAUSER M18

    The M18 is Mauser’s latest rifle. Cheaper than their M12, it has a decent, black synthetic stock with rubber gripping inserts and a removable rubber recoil pad with a storage space inside. The light/medium barrel is 21.5-inch and threaded 15x1mm, the bolt shows a 3-lug engagement with twin ejectors and a straight-down handle with low, 60° lift angle. The 3-position safety (forward FIRE, middle SAFE with bolt operation and rear SAFE bolt locked) is on the right and easy to operate by the firing hand thumb. Feed is from a 5-round DM (four in Magnum), the trigger is adjustable through the blade. Calibres are 243/270/308 Win, 30-06, 7mm Rem Mg, 300 Win Mag and soon 6.5 Creedmoor. They are all on a long action with the magazine using filler blocks to suit the individual COLs. The action cocks on opening and offers a smooth and fast movement. The forend is rigid and lightly free-floats to the barrel, QD sling studs are fitted, different is that the recoil lug is cast into the action void and engages with a slot under the receiver. Overall, a good quality, and practical modern hunter! Price: £936 Contact: Blaser Sporting Ltd www.blaser-sporting.com



    Sabatti’s latest model is similar to Sauer’s 202, as it’s a switch barrel. With three stock options – wood and synthetic (grey) standard and thumbhole, the 24-inch barrel uses Sabatti’s Multi Radial Rifling and comes threaded ½ x 20 UNF. With a butter knife handle, the bolt uses 3-lugs with a low lift angle. Feed is from a 3-round DM and there are two trigger options; Standard (1.2kg pull) or Set; the weight of 1.5kg can be reduced to 250g. Calibres are broken into three groups – A: 243 Win, 7mm-08, 308 Win and 7mm Remington SAUM, B: 6.5x55, 270 Win, 7x57, 7x64, 30-06 and 8x57JS and C: 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag, all on a long action. The top of the alloy receiver shows Picatinny bases as standard and the overall feel and handling is good. The barrel is retained by a split clamp and three cross bolts and changes do not take long, though the stock must be removed. Overall, a good move forward from their original Rover rifles. Price: £900 (synthetic standard stock) Contact: Range Right Ltd www.range-right.co.uk

  • CZ455 – 22 LR

    CZ455 – 22 LR

    CZ’s 452 bolt-gun has gone from strength to strength. The latest model is the 455, which looks identical to the original, but is a switch barrel. Apart from build quality, nothing has changed, with a push/ pull, rotary safety on top of the shroud, 5- and 10-round magazines and slim 11mm dovetail bases. The barrel is retained by twin grub screws and can be swapped from 22LR, 22WMR and 17HMR in about 5-mins. It takes standard magazines and a barrel kit will include a removable spacer that sits in the rear of the magazine well, to adjust for the different lengths of the Long Rifle and Magnum mags. Available in a range of models, barrel configurations, stock types and materials, CZ also offer a range of accessories, including their FlyWeight adjustable trigger and mounts. In the UK, the Varmint and American models seem to be favourite. There’s also laminate furniture in a range of colour options, if that’s your thing. Without doubt the thumbhole stock option is by far the most popular. Price: £465 (thumbhole Varmint) Contact: Edgar Brothers Ltd www.shootingsports.edgarbrothers.com



    The American Rimfire comes in three models and two stock options; a 22-inch Standard rifle in black polymer or wood, and the 18-inch Compact in the black. The polymers feature removable comb/butt modules (two included) that slide on and offer straight and raised combs for iron sight and scope use. Hi-Viz irons sights are fitted, the rear being a fold-down U-notch to allow scope mounting. Calibres offer 22LR, 22WMR and 17HMR and use the standard Ruger rotary magazines with an extended release catch. Capacity is 10 in 22LR and nine in 22WMR/17HMR. The Marksman Adjustable™ trigger is user-adjustable between 3-5lbs. Inside there’s their Power Bedding® system that the action bolts to and offers a free-floated barrel. Closer inspection shows twin, angled lugs moulded in that engage with cut-outs machined in the front lower sides the receiver. The bolt handle sticks out a bit and gives lots to get hold of, with a short, 60° lift angle. There’s a tang-mounted safety catch, that pushes forward to FIRE and reverses for SAFE, with minimal disturbance to the shooting hand. The steel receiver is cut for 3/8-inch dovetails and threaded. Prices: from £419.00 Contact: Viking Arms Ltd www.vikingarms.com



    The B14 really impressed me and the HMR (Hunter Match Rifle) is my choice. Based on an improved Remy 700 action, it offers 20, 22- and 24-inches medium and heavy barrel options in 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Win, with 1-8 and 1-10-inch twists accordingly. Feed is from a 5-round DM but is also AICS (Accuracy International Chassis System) compatible, it will accept all 700 accessories, like bases etc., and comes with an extended bolt handle. The synthetic stock is made of a rigid composite in brown, with a black web with adjustable comb and LOP butt spacers. The pistol grip is near vertical and the trigger offers a crisp and light break. With twin QD studs up front and detachable swivel cups on the sides, it’s threaded 15 and 18x1mm, according to barrel weight. Not much not to like and it shoots! If you want something a bit more targetoriented, then there’s the BMP (Bergara Match Precision). With its in-house chassis system and heavy 24-inch barrel, it’s a real tack driver and an easy 1000-yard performer in 6.5 Creedmoor! Price: HMR £1127, BMP £1500 Contact: RUAG Ammotec UK Ltd www.ruag.co.uk