Blaser R93 Long Term
Pete Moore starts looking at Blaser’s R93 rifle from the ground upwards as he forsakes all others for a bit of straight-pull action
I have to admit to liking long term gun tests, as you have the time to really get under the skin of the rifle. I first did this with a Mauser M03 Extreme, with 30-06 and 223 Rem barrels I took the combo hunting in the UK and Europe over the next six months and found an ideal companion. I recently reviewed Blaser’s latest model the R8, which also impressed.
But it occurred to me that the R93 is still massively popular and will doubtless stay so, but I have had little hands-on experience with it. A call to importers Open Season sorted that out as they liked the idea of a long term test and loaned me a package to use exclusively for the next few months. As before I will go through the process of learning and using the system, and report back regularly with my findings. So what did I get?
In many ways the design is a dichotomy, as it all looks very German and traditional, but at its heart is a modern, straight-pull mechanism built for purpose. The two calibres I decided on where a bit unusual but would easily cover any UK species from fox to red, with the larger equally capable for the majority of European deer species. For my big hitter I went for 25-06 Remington, which uses bullets from 60 to 120-grains. This is a flexible cartridge as it’s a flat shooter and with the lighter weights is an excellent if slightly over the top foxer, but if the range is long and the wind blowing not a bad choice.
For the smaller option I went for 222 Remington. This calibre is still popular in Europe though has lost ground to the 223 in the UK. The reason; Open Season had a 22”, match/fluted tube and I was keen to see how this old timer would perform. I already reload for 25-06 and picked up dies, bullets and brass for the 222 from Henry Krank & Co. I would also be checking out factory fodder for both calibres.
For scopes a call to Swarovski got me a 1.7-10x42 Z6i, which is a model I have long been meaning to test and will be using this with the 25-06 tube. For the 222 side of the equation I am undecided, as I have a Swarovski 3-18x50 Z5 (1”) which could well suit, but also a new Night Force, so we shall see.
Stepping into the unknown is always exciting and I’m looking forward to trying the R93 exclusively as well as 222 Rem. Locking away my trusted hunting companions is less easy, as I know they work 100% as I have made them so over the years. However, I have high hopes, certainly after my time with the R8.
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