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- Last updated: 05/10/2020
Sabatti rifles have been available in the UK for some time now, yet they have not achieved the same mainstream status as some other brands. This is despite manufacturing a wide selection of modern, competitively priced and capable guns. However, after a conversation with Jake Peters from the distributor, Range-Right, this is set to change. With more stock entering the UK than ever before, this brand has a real chance of establishing itself. I decided to look at their range of bolt-actions to get a better insight into what they have to offer the end-user. I have just received their ST-18 for testing, so keep an eye out for that review next month.
Based in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy, Sabatti is a proud, family-run business and boasts an impressive history. They have been involved in the manufacture of guns for just under 400 years, from flintlock pistols to the modern precision rifles of today. As time has passed, the skills and techniques learnt have been passed from one generation to the next, helping to keep them all in house. Except for the stocks, all gun components have been made by them, using the latest technology and materials. However, tradition is important, so their classic, side-by-side hunting rifles are still built using the same techniques applied in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
They manufacture a wide variety of firearms for a global audience, these include bolt-action target/ hunting rifles, competition/ game shotguns and even over-and-under combination rifles. Although not all relevant to the UK market, the list of available calibres is impressive. One of their models is offered in 19 different calibres, from .222 Remington to .458 Win Mag, a serious selection indeed!
In order to be able to produce such an array of models, Sabatti manufactures three different actions. The first is the Rover, which was designed back in 1985 to compete with the popular American actions, by trying to incorporate all their best features, and 35 years on, it is still being used. It is manufactured using hi-tech casting and steel alloys, which are then CNC machined, and the same applies to the bolt. Afterwards, they are heat-treated for improved resistance and durability. The design features two lugs, providing a 90° throw, a proven configuration that is reliable and efficient.
The Saphire incorporates a switch-barrel design, based loosely on the proven Sauer 202 system. So, allowing the user to swap the barrel/ calibre by simply undoing three screws. The receiver is machined from a block of Ergal 55 aluminium alloy and includes two Picatinny bases. It uses a three-lugged bolt, that provides a faster 60° throw and a special, steel, floating head which is designed to improve accuracy by guaranteeing perfect contact in the barrel extension. The calibres are separated into Group A, B or C depending on what size bolt face is required.
The Blizzard is their latest action and was conceived in conjunction with BCM Europearms company, who are experts in custom long-range rifles. It is specifically designed from the ground up, for sporting and tactical shooting. It is manufactured from a high-end steel alloy using lathes and milling machines. It uses a threelug bolt with 60° throw, which is heat-treated and chrome-plated to provide silent, smooth operation. To protect shooters, they have incorporated a new guillotine-type extractor to help reduce the risk posed by unsafe, reloaded ammunition. It also incorporates their ‘suspended action’ bedding system, which means it is floated above the stock by a cradle at the rear and V-shaped block at the front, which also acts as a recoil lug. This eliminates stress and tension as well as ensuring the barrel is fully floated to maximise accuracy.
With the brand comes some unique qualities, including Multi-Radial Rifling (MRR).
This is a combination of traditional and polygonal forms, the aim being to extract the advantages of both types. Sabatti says: “two different radiuses alternate in order to positively grip the bullet geometrically without submitting it to extreme stress. As a matter of fact, the bullets are pressure formed following a circumference and not cut like in traditional rifling, which extends the life cycle of the barrel. Also, there are no sharp corners to fill like in the other rifling systems, therefore the barrel is cleaner and wears more slowly”. Perhaps the most important advantages over the cut types, is the claimed 12% velocity increase and better performance when using monolithic bullets. If true, and considering the move towards lead-free ammunition, this could be an important advantage.
I have cherry-picked a selection of the rifles that Range-Right have got in stock and have listed the most relevant calibres, though not all of these will necessarily be kept in stock, as there are so many choices. However, special orders can be made! I have also highlighted some of their key features.
The Rover bolt-action rifle is their longest established hunting rifle. It is strong, reliable and available in 19 different calibres, including all the most popular chamberings, so covers a wide range of uses and needs. The extensive list of options includes stock type, left or right-handed configuration, barrel length and different triggers.
Calibres and Twist Rates:
RRP: From £730
The STR has been designed for tactical field applications making it ideal for long range precision shooting. It comes with the Sabatti signature short action and includes a fully-adjustable, folding, tactical modular butt stock which is attached to an aluminium-alloy chassis. The heavy profile barrel shows a 0.8” diameter at the muzzle, is free-floated, includes MRR rifling and is threaded 5/8’’-24. The hand guard includes three Picatinny rails which can accommodate a variety of accessories.
Calibre and Twist Rate:
RRP: From £2300
The Saphire (Sabatti All Purpose Hunting Italian Rifle) is the first hunting rifle to use a barrel that includes MRR. It also uses their barrel change system, allowing the user to switch between 12 different calibres, separated into three groups.
Calibres and Twist Rates:
RRP: From £1050
The Tactical Scout is a compact rifle, which is fitted with a synthetic, thumb-hole stock, which is manufactured from nylon and includes 30% fibreglass for increased rigidity. It is designed to be fast handling, making it suitable for range, hunting and tactical environments. It comes with an anti-glare finish and includes a muzzle brake and a thread protector as standard.
RRP: From £950
The TLD (Tiro a Lunga Distanza) series are specifically designed for both traditional 300m and long distance shooting. Two important attributes are the perfect alignment of bolt and barrel and the precise fit of lugs and frame to maximize contact surfaces. They have also bedded it using their suspended action system, for maximum accuracy. The stock is manufactured from a new multilayer laminated material making it rigid, so improving overall performance.
RRP: From £1750
The EVO is their latest rifle and is a result of two years of work. It shares the same action as the ST-18 and TLD which is also suspended. The barrel is 27.9” long and has a very heavy profile. It uses a fibreglass-filled nylon stock which is rigid and includes a special finish, making it scratch resistant while providing a better grip. Range Right have specified the 10 shot AICS magazine for UK rifles.
RRP: From £1500
The ST-18 has been designed as a multi-purpose platform for tactical, sporting, hunting and professional applications. It uses a CNC-machined aluminium chassis system which includes an adjustable, folding butt manufactured from powdered metal-reinforced, Ryton PPS high strength polymer. It is attached via a thread which is compatible with AR15 buffer-tubes, allowing the attachment of aftermarket butt stocks.
RRP: From £1850
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