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Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle

Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle

I love a challenge and Blaser’s new Bockdrilling (three barrelled gun) the BD14 has really been a test of my fortitude and tolerance to my fellow man and ammunition producers! So what is a drilling? The concept comes from the Germans (who else) and in essence incorporates three barrels usually in a combination of rifled and smoothbore shotgun tubes in a spread of calibres built around a break-barrel action. Traditionally guns are big and heavy, but the principle gives one gun that can do it all from red deer, roe and small game; birds rabbits etc. depending on how it’s chambered.

This design is very much part of the Germanic hunting ethos and tradition and I can see the rationale behind it. How many times have you been out and come upon quarry that is not suited for your single calibre rifle, or wished you had a shotgun or small centrefire? I certainly have.

LIGHTER, HANDIER

Blaser’s new BD14 strives to offer a far more practical field rifle and to a greater degree succeeds. It weighs 7.4 lbs (unscoped) and offers 22” barrels. When I say barrels they have where possible shaved weight and they are more slim, rifled tubes, though the shotgun is as you might expect. Equally they have done away with the traditional methods of soldering the three together and all the associated problems of regulation. Meaning the rifled tubes needs to be set up so they shoot to the same point of aim/impact at a given distance!

This uber skilful task was traditionally done by unsoldering and driving a wedge in/ out at the muzzles to divert the tubes accordingly. Today many doubles and drillings use mechanical regulators which makes the job less awkward. Blaser’s approach is typically elegant and efficient.

5.6 ON THE SIDE

From the side the BD14 looks like an over & under shotgun complete with top lever with a sliding de-cocker behind it on the tang. Called a kickspanner it (and like the R93/R8 straight-pulls) pushes forward to fire and springs back to de-cock (safe). From the front you get the idea of the layout; at 6 o’clock is the larger bore rifle barrel, above is the 20-bore tube and at 9 o’clock some form of 22 centrefire.

The lower barrel is fixed as is the upper shotgun tube though they are only attached at the muzzle and monobloc. The side barrel is semi-floating and passes through vertical and horizontal adjuster blocks midway and at the muzzle attached to the lower barrel. All you do is zero the lower barrel in the normal way then adjust the point of impact (POI) of the 22 tube to suit.

Literally speaking you bend the 22 barrel in both planes to change the angle that the bullet is launched. Don’t worry as the bullet is fluid to a degree when travelling down the bore so there is no problem! The adjusters are long/slim Allan-headed grub screws locked by a threaded ring.

RIMMED OR RIMLESS?

For me the rifled barrels of a drilling need to be of different calibres to make the gun as practical as possible. Blaser offers a reasonable choice with both rimmed (R) and rimless options: side barrel – 22 Hornet, 222 Remington, 5.6x50 R magnum and 5.6x52 R. These last two being some of the many fast and fl at .224” roe deer busting cartridges the Germans love. I thought it odd they don’t do it in 223 Rem! Main calibres are – 6.5x55, 6.5x57 R, 7x57 RS, 7x65 R, 308 Win, 30-06, 30 R Blaser, 8x57 IRS (rimmed) and the classic 9.3x74 R. The shotgun tube is a 20-bore only with a 3” chamber, which is lighter than a 12 yet still offering a good payload! Originally Blaser were planning to offer a multi-choke, however they settled on a flxed ½-choke instead.

When I first saw the BD14 I instantly liked it and asked to test one and I recall at the time asking for 222 Rem/308 Win, which seemed logical for the UK. No way; I got 5.6x50 R Magnum and 7x57 R, neither are mainstream but thought ammo would be available; FOOL! These two did test both my reloading skills and tolerance.

R-CALIBRES

You would be right thinking that rimmed ammo is old hat; certainly in the UK! However, they are ideal for a double rifle and seem to be more consistent than a rimless. Also a lot of these rifles are extract-only, meaning manual removal from the action and here the rim gives a bit more to get hold of! Initial enquiries on both calibres were met with a resounding ‘you must be kidding why would we bother importing that?’ Fair comment! Latter RUAG UK provided some RWS 7x57 R, but the 5.6x50 R Magnum totally eluded me, despite being told some was coming.

So reloading was the only route, but I could not get the rimmed dies I needed. It then occurred to me that both calibres have standard, rimless versions and the dimensions are near identical. Hornady came to the rescue with dies in the rimless versions and Lee shell holders were substituted with 303 British (#5) for the 7x57 R and a 357 Magnum (#1) the 5.6x50. Norma came to my aid supplying cases in each calibre. Data was Vihtavuori using N140 for both as follows: Sierra 140-grain Game Kings (7x57) with 40.4-grains of N 140 and Hornady 55-grain V-MAX at 27.3-grains of N140. However, I had to shave 0.015” off the bases of the sizer dies to ensure full neck length sizing!

Testing showed the 7mm producing 2339 fps/1710 ft/lbs and the 5.6 at 3060 fps/1153 ft/lbs. However, about this time the 139-grain RWS S/P load came through which was averaging 2528 fps/1990 ft/lbs which was more like it. The shotgun ammo presented no problems. A call to Browning got me Winchester SuperX ¾ oz rifled slug, #3 buck shot and DoubleX #4 shot turkey loads. I was then informed by Blaser that RWS would be sending some 5.6x50 R Magnum ammo, but it still had not arrived by the time of this writing. I will probably come the day after I send the BD14 back; typical!

THINK THEN PULL!

As I said the layout is very much that of an over & under shotgun with a tangmounted opening lever with the kickspanner behind. The mechanism uses a double trigger, which is selectable for the barrel you wish to shoot and needs some thought to get it right. The action extracts only raising the cases up about ¼” where they are pulled free.

story continues below...

Barrel selection is facilitated by a vertical plunger on the right of the action and it goes like this! The front trigger only operates the lower barrel, whereas the rear blade can be set for either the 20-bore or .22. The default mode (plunger down) selects the 22 barrel, pushing it up nominates the 20-bore tube. However, when the action is opened this automatically resets to the default.

As might be imagined you need to be 100% aware of the position of the selector at all times and which trigger does what, otherwise you could be sending the wrong round at the wrong animal! It only takes a moment of brain fade as we all know! The kickspanner is automatically de-cocked when you open the action, but in this mode the lever needs some effort to move it. I found it easier to manually de-cock first.

I like the BD14 as it offers a three gun/quarry system in an accurate and surprisingly handy package. I had big plans for hunting with it for a whole month, but the lack of ammo initially ate into the agreed loan time, load development took more and the fact my 4x4 blew up its engine put the kybosh on it. So all testing was range-based but it showed this combo to have a lot of potential! If I get another truck ASAP then I might have time to take it out for a few hunts before I have to send it back!

BABY STEPS

For the test I borrowed a Schmidt & Bender Exos 1-8x24, I figured its pure one to eight magnification would suit the BD14 and it did. The rifle uses the standard Blaser, QD saddle mount and it offers adjustable iron sights on the shotgun barrel. The Tyrolean-style butt shows the typical hogs’ back and angled cheek piece and is a tad high for the irons. The forend is a semi-Schnable type with well matched timber throughout and nice chequering. The action is hi-strength aluminium alloy in grey and the metal semi-matt blued, QD sling loops are fitted. You won’t get much change out of £6000 including scope mount and obviously more fancy wood and decoration will up that significantly! Zeroing is easy but requires a delicate hand. Starting off with the 7x57 you do it in the normal way and it was shooting 1” @ 100m. In 5.6 you check the fall of shot then move the tube according to your preference. I opted for an inch high at 100m figuring that would allow point and shoot out to 200m. The 5.6 shot tighter at ¾”!

In this case the impact was low and right. You need two Allan keys – the larger undoes the locking nut and the finer moves the adjuster. Windage is controlled by the front mount and elevation by the rear, the forend has to be removed to facilitate the latter. All it does is bow the barrel which affects the launch angle of the bullet (up/ down, left/right). Baby steps are required as just a ¼-turn will shift the POI 4-5” @ 100m. The adjusters offer little resistance so it’s easy to over compensate as you can imagine!

KEEP IT COOL

The rifled tubes are slim and get hot, very quickly. This causes ‘thermal migration’ which is the curse of multiple barrelled rifles. This means zeroing takes some time as if you fire four shots in quick succession for example and think you’re done; when the barrels cool down the POI will shift. I found two shots maximum is about the limit then let it cool and repeat. However, it’s no hassle and when property regulated I was getting the 1” + over the 7mm @ 100m I was looking for.

The shotgun barrel was interesting as the ½ choke is a bit tight for buckshot and shreds the pattern at 25 yards. It handled the #4 turkey and #6 bird loads producing acceptable patterns. In slug mode expect it to shoot about 2” @ 50m, which is good enough. Here you can either use the iron sights (scope off) or watch the fall of shot in relation to your reticule. For me this meant aiming off left 2” at 50m to get on centre.
Payload is mission specific. For walk about work I’d have a bird shot up the pipe and the scope off ready to go back on. For the woods then a 20-bore slug would be more useful, even as a back up or deer dispatch round JIC. The S&B Exos offers a true x1 magnification so dialled down to that with the dot on if you know here the slug will shoot is yet another good idea for shorter range use. Plus wound up to x8 is more than enough glass out to 250/300m.

Would I buy a BD14? Yes if I had the money, as although it takes a bit of getting used to it offers a most practical, different and pleasing approach. Calibre-wise I’d pick 8 x 57 IRS for the main tube and stick with the 5.6x50 R Mag; well now I’ve got the dies sorted…

PRICE: £5404 Scope mount £393
CONTACT: Blaser Sporting Ltd, (trade only), 0207 6222116, www.blaser.de
THANKS TO:
Hornady and Fiocchi primers – Edgar Brothers Ltd 01625 613177

Lee and Sierra – Henry Krank & Co Ltd, 0113 256 9163

Norma brass and RWS ammunition - RUAG AmmoTec UK Ltd, 01579 362319

Vihtavuori powders – Hannam’s Reloading Ltd, 01977 681 639

Schmidt & Bender optics - Schmidt & Bender GmbH & Co. KG, www.schmidt-bender.de

Winchester ammunition - BWM Arms Ltd, 01235 514550

  • Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Name : Blaser BD14 (Bockdrilling)
  • Calibres: 7x57R, 5.6x50 R Mag
  • Type: break-action rifle
  • Barrels: al 22” (20-bore ½-choke fixed)
  • Weight: 7lbs 4oz Iron sights Y
  • Uses Blaser QD scope mount (extra): Uses Blaser QD scope mount (extra)
  • Twin selectable trigger mechanism:

0 Comments



Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle

Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle

I love a challenge and Blaser’s new Bockdrilling (three barrelled gun) the BD14 has really been a test of my fortitude and tolerance to my fellow man and ammunition producers! So what is a drilling? The concept comes from the Germans (who else) and in essence incorporates three barrels usually in a combination of rifled and smoothbore shotgun tubes in a spread of calibres built around a break-barrel action. Traditionally guns are big and heavy, but the principle gives one gun that can do it all from red deer, roe and small game; birds rabbits etc. depending on how it’s chambered.

This design is very much part of the Germanic hunting ethos and tradition and I can see the rationale behind it. How many times have you been out and come upon quarry that is not suited for your single calibre rifle, or wished you had a shotgun or small centrefire? I certainly have.

LIGHTER, HANDIER

Blaser’s new BD14 strives to offer a far more practical field rifle and to a greater degree succeeds. It weighs 7.4 lbs (unscoped) and offers 22” barrels. When I say barrels they have where possible shaved weight and they are more slim, rifled tubes, though the shotgun is as you might expect. Equally they have done away with the traditional methods of soldering the three together and all the associated problems of regulation. Meaning the rifled tubes needs to be set up so they shoot to the same point of aim/impact at a given distance!

This uber skilful task was traditionally done by unsoldering and driving a wedge in/ out at the muzzles to divert the tubes accordingly. Today many doubles and drillings use mechanical regulators which makes the job less awkward. Blaser’s approach is typically elegant and efficient.

5.6 ON THE SIDE

From the side the BD14 looks like an over & under shotgun complete with top lever with a sliding de-cocker behind it on the tang. Called a kickspanner it (and like the R93/R8 straight-pulls) pushes forward to fire and springs back to de-cock (safe). From the front you get the idea of the layout; at 6 o’clock is the larger bore rifle barrel, above is the 20-bore tube and at 9 o’clock some form of 22 centrefire.

The lower barrel is fixed as is the upper shotgun tube though they are only attached at the muzzle and monobloc. The side barrel is semi-floating and passes through vertical and horizontal adjuster blocks midway and at the muzzle attached to the lower barrel. All you do is zero the lower barrel in the normal way then adjust the point of impact (POI) of the 22 tube to suit.

Literally speaking you bend the 22 barrel in both planes to change the angle that the bullet is launched. Don’t worry as the bullet is fluid to a degree when travelling down the bore so there is no problem! The adjusters are long/slim Allan-headed grub screws locked by a threaded ring.

RIMMED OR RIMLESS?

For me the rifled barrels of a drilling need to be of different calibres to make the gun as practical as possible. Blaser offers a reasonable choice with both rimmed (R) and rimless options: side barrel – 22 Hornet, 222 Remington, 5.6x50 R magnum and 5.6x52 R. These last two being some of the many fast and fl at .224” roe deer busting cartridges the Germans love. I thought it odd they don’t do it in 223 Rem! Main calibres are – 6.5x55, 6.5x57 R, 7x57 RS, 7x65 R, 308 Win, 30-06, 30 R Blaser, 8x57 IRS (rimmed) and the classic 9.3x74 R. The shotgun tube is a 20-bore only with a 3” chamber, which is lighter than a 12 yet still offering a good payload! Originally Blaser were planning to offer a multi-choke, however they settled on a flxed ½-choke instead.

When I first saw the BD14 I instantly liked it and asked to test one and I recall at the time asking for 222 Rem/308 Win, which seemed logical for the UK. No way; I got 5.6x50 R Magnum and 7x57 R, neither are mainstream but thought ammo would be available; FOOL! These two did test both my reloading skills and tolerance.

R-CALIBRES

You would be right thinking that rimmed ammo is old hat; certainly in the UK! However, they are ideal for a double rifle and seem to be more consistent than a rimless. Also a lot of these rifles are extract-only, meaning manual removal from the action and here the rim gives a bit more to get hold of! Initial enquiries on both calibres were met with a resounding ‘you must be kidding why would we bother importing that?’ Fair comment! Latter RUAG UK provided some RWS 7x57 R, but the 5.6x50 R Magnum totally eluded me, despite being told some was coming.

So reloading was the only route, but I could not get the rimmed dies I needed. It then occurred to me that both calibres have standard, rimless versions and the dimensions are near identical. Hornady came to the rescue with dies in the rimless versions and Lee shell holders were substituted with 303 British (#5) for the 7x57 R and a 357 Magnum (#1) the 5.6x50. Norma came to my aid supplying cases in each calibre. Data was Vihtavuori using N140 for both as follows: Sierra 140-grain Game Kings (7x57) with 40.4-grains of N 140 and Hornady 55-grain V-MAX at 27.3-grains of N140. However, I had to shave 0.015” off the bases of the sizer dies to ensure full neck length sizing!

Testing showed the 7mm producing 2339 fps/1710 ft/lbs and the 5.6 at 3060 fps/1153 ft/lbs. However, about this time the 139-grain RWS S/P load came through which was averaging 2528 fps/1990 ft/lbs which was more like it. The shotgun ammo presented no problems. A call to Browning got me Winchester SuperX ¾ oz rifled slug, #3 buck shot and DoubleX #4 shot turkey loads. I was then informed by Blaser that RWS would be sending some 5.6x50 R Magnum ammo, but it still had not arrived by the time of this writing. I will probably come the day after I send the BD14 back; typical!

THINK THEN PULL!

As I said the layout is very much that of an over & under shotgun with a tangmounted opening lever with the kickspanner behind. The mechanism uses a double trigger, which is selectable for the barrel you wish to shoot and needs some thought to get it right. The action extracts only raising the cases up about ¼” where they are pulled free.

story continues below...

Barrel selection is facilitated by a vertical plunger on the right of the action and it goes like this! The front trigger only operates the lower barrel, whereas the rear blade can be set for either the 20-bore or .22. The default mode (plunger down) selects the 22 barrel, pushing it up nominates the 20-bore tube. However, when the action is opened this automatically resets to the default.

As might be imagined you need to be 100% aware of the position of the selector at all times and which trigger does what, otherwise you could be sending the wrong round at the wrong animal! It only takes a moment of brain fade as we all know! The kickspanner is automatically de-cocked when you open the action, but in this mode the lever needs some effort to move it. I found it easier to manually de-cock first.

I like the BD14 as it offers a three gun/quarry system in an accurate and surprisingly handy package. I had big plans for hunting with it for a whole month, but the lack of ammo initially ate into the agreed loan time, load development took more and the fact my 4x4 blew up its engine put the kybosh on it. So all testing was range-based but it showed this combo to have a lot of potential! If I get another truck ASAP then I might have time to take it out for a few hunts before I have to send it back!

BABY STEPS

For the test I borrowed a Schmidt & Bender Exos 1-8x24, I figured its pure one to eight magnification would suit the BD14 and it did. The rifle uses the standard Blaser, QD saddle mount and it offers adjustable iron sights on the shotgun barrel. The Tyrolean-style butt shows the typical hogs’ back and angled cheek piece and is a tad high for the irons. The forend is a semi-Schnable type with well matched timber throughout and nice chequering. The action is hi-strength aluminium alloy in grey and the metal semi-matt blued, QD sling loops are fitted. You won’t get much change out of £6000 including scope mount and obviously more fancy wood and decoration will up that significantly! Zeroing is easy but requires a delicate hand. Starting off with the 7x57 you do it in the normal way and it was shooting 1” @ 100m. In 5.6 you check the fall of shot then move the tube according to your preference. I opted for an inch high at 100m figuring that would allow point and shoot out to 200m. The 5.6 shot tighter at ¾”!

In this case the impact was low and right. You need two Allan keys – the larger undoes the locking nut and the finer moves the adjuster. Windage is controlled by the front mount and elevation by the rear, the forend has to be removed to facilitate the latter. All it does is bow the barrel which affects the launch angle of the bullet (up/ down, left/right). Baby steps are required as just a ¼-turn will shift the POI 4-5” @ 100m. The adjusters offer little resistance so it’s easy to over compensate as you can imagine!

KEEP IT COOL

The rifled tubes are slim and get hot, very quickly. This causes ‘thermal migration’ which is the curse of multiple barrelled rifles. This means zeroing takes some time as if you fire four shots in quick succession for example and think you’re done; when the barrels cool down the POI will shift. I found two shots maximum is about the limit then let it cool and repeat. However, it’s no hassle and when property regulated I was getting the 1” + over the 7mm @ 100m I was looking for.

The shotgun barrel was interesting as the ½ choke is a bit tight for buckshot and shreds the pattern at 25 yards. It handled the #4 turkey and #6 bird loads producing acceptable patterns. In slug mode expect it to shoot about 2” @ 50m, which is good enough. Here you can either use the iron sights (scope off) or watch the fall of shot in relation to your reticule. For me this meant aiming off left 2” at 50m to get on centre.
Payload is mission specific. For walk about work I’d have a bird shot up the pipe and the scope off ready to go back on. For the woods then a 20-bore slug would be more useful, even as a back up or deer dispatch round JIC. The S&B Exos offers a true x1 magnification so dialled down to that with the dot on if you know here the slug will shoot is yet another good idea for shorter range use. Plus wound up to x8 is more than enough glass out to 250/300m.

Would I buy a BD14? Yes if I had the money, as although it takes a bit of getting used to it offers a most practical, different and pleasing approach. Calibre-wise I’d pick 8 x 57 IRS for the main tube and stick with the 5.6x50 R Mag; well now I’ve got the dies sorted…

PRICE: £5404 Scope mount £393
CONTACT: Blaser Sporting Ltd, (trade only), 0207 6222116, www.blaser.de
THANKS TO:
Hornady and Fiocchi primers – Edgar Brothers Ltd 01625 613177

Lee and Sierra – Henry Krank & Co Ltd, 0113 256 9163

Norma brass and RWS ammunition - RUAG AmmoTec UK Ltd, 01579 362319

Vihtavuori powders – Hannam’s Reloading Ltd, 01977 681 639

Schmidt & Bender optics - Schmidt & Bender GmbH & Co. KG, www.schmidt-bender.de

Winchester ammunition - BWM Arms Ltd, 01235 514550

  • Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Blaser BD14 Bockdrilling combination rifle - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Name : Blaser BD14 (Bockdrilling)
  • Calibres: 7x57R, 5.6x50 R Mag
  • Type: break-action rifle
  • Barrels: al 22” (20-bore ½-choke fixed)
  • Weight: 7lbs 4oz Iron sights Y
  • Uses Blaser QD scope mount (extra): Uses Blaser QD scope mount (extra)
  • Twin selectable trigger mechanism:

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