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Steyr CL II SX

Steyr CL II SX

Steyr Mannlicher for me really means three sporting rifles – the SSG 69, the Scout and the ProHunter; of these it’s the last that is perhaps the most general product. The SSG is more a sniper/ precision option that used to be the preferred bolt-gun for those shooting Practical Rifle pre-1988. The Scout well probably one of the most radical designs ever offering a number of features that made it in some ways a go anywhere do anything bolt-action. I owned one for six years and really liked it. The ProHunter; sadly a design let down by its synthetic stock, which was far too flimsy, as it uses the exact same SBS (Safe Bolt System) feed and action as the Scout.

Steyr apparently tried to beef up the stock a bit but with limited success and though liking what the ProHunter offered mechanically and having tested a few versions I would not bother. Well things have changed considerably as what is pretty much the same gun as before is now fielded with vastly improved furniture that makes it the design it always promised to be. Now called the CL II, which is the wood-stocked version it’s also available in a synthetic option - the SX - which is where we really see the differences between it and the old ProHunter!

BETTER BY FAR

On test is a CL II SX in 243 Winchester, which really impressed me no end! In truth nothing has changed apart from the stock, but that is the thing that makes the real difference. However the SBS action is just that bit different from say a Remy 700 or similar as we shall see!

The SBS action and look blends both old and modern aspects of Steyr rifles in general. The closed-topped receiver shows a generous ejection port that allows reasonably easy single loading. The barrel is distinctive with their trade mark, spiral, cold, hammer-forged finish, this the Standard model shows a light/medium, 22” tube and no iron sights. I imagine that this has been done for the UK as we do not use irons that much, and it’s ready threaded ½ x 20 UNF with a thread protector.

Calibre choice in the Standard is: 243 Win, 6.5x55 Swedish, 270 Win, 7x64, 30-06, 308 Win, 8x57 and 9.3x62. Model options include: Magnum calibres, Mountain, Semi Weight, Light/fluted and Stainless steel. Rifles are identical with the exceptions of weight and barrel length; for example the Magnum weighs 7.5 lbs with a 25” barrel, whereas the Mountain is 7.3 lbs with a 20” tube. The Standard’s is 22” and well suited for popular UK calibres 243/308 Win.

ROCK-N-ROLLER!

The SBS action shows a big bolt with cut-outs to stop the build up of dirt etc. binding the action. It locks by a 4-lug (twin-opposed) bolt at the front, which engages directly with the chamber extension, which takes all the pressure. At the rear is a shroud with a cocked action indicator pin that protrudes. The handle is called a ‘butter knife’ style due to its shape, as such is has no knob just a flattened/widened end, which works very well. It also stands proud of the side of the stock so is easy to grasp even with heavy gloves on.

The safety is tang-mounted and consists of a roller wheel, which is ideally placed for firing hand thumb operation without disturbing the grip. It goes like this – red dot FIRE, roll it back and a white dot appears - SAFE with bolt operation, roll it back again and a grey catch flicks up – SAFE bolt locked. To disengage this you have to push the button down and roll it forward, in this position it also allows you to push the bolt handle down to lock it out too as well as bolt removal. It’s a clever system!

story continues below...

The trigger is a ‘single set’ mechanism and as standard offers a break of around 4 lbs, which is firm without being too heavy and good for most needs. At the front of the blade is an Allan screw that adjusts the weight should you wish. However, this can be further reduced by cocking the action and pushing the blade forward to ‘set’ it for an ultra light pull. This is scarily light and once with my Scout I nearly came a cropper as I was waiting for a deer and forgot I had put the set on. The animal appeared and as I was coming up my finger brushed the trigger and the gun fired! Luckily for all concerned I did not hit the deer or anything else, but it scared the hell out of me. Now I restrict using any set facility to on the range and for zeroing only; be warned!

TAKING STOCK

Feed is from a polymer, 4-round, detachable box magazine with integral/ambidextrous caches in the base plate. Typically it’s marked as to calibres in this case 243/308 Win, 7mm-08, 260 Rem and 338 Federal all using the same generic 308 head size and cartridge overall length. The magazine has twin engagements hooks so if you want to single load the mag can be lowered about 1/8” in the well where it won’t feed but will be locked. To re-engage the feed just slap it fully home.

Now on to the CL II’s defining feature - the SX stock. At first glance it has a more modern and sleek look to it than the original ProHunter design, though now has black rubber gripping panels on the pistol grip and forend which counter points its olive green colour. At the back is a generous recoil pad. The butt shows a straight comb with a slight, R/H palm swell. The forend is rectangular in section and tapers towards the angled tip and offers a decent free-float on the barrel. It flexes a bit, but then again don’t they all? But off a bipod, stick or high seat rail the barrel is not influenced in any way. The integral trigger guard is massive, which I really like as there’s no problem getting a heavy gloved trigger finger inside!

Inside is another pleasant surprise as the CL II has an integral, aluminium bedding block. All of this combining with the better stock design offers a significant improvement in consistency and accuracy potential over the original ProHunter. All metal work shows a phosphate-type grey finish which is both non-reflective and suits the green/black furniture.

SHOOTER!

For testing I teamed up the rifle with a Zeiss 3-12x50 Duralyt scope in 30mm Warne rings and bases, a Harris BRS bipod and a Hardy Gen IIII reflex moderator. Ammo went to three choices – Hornady’s 80-grain GMX and 70-grain SST (super shock tip) both in the higher velocity Superformance loadings. Plus GECO’s 105-grain soft point; generally speaking in most sporting 243s weights above 100-grains don’t stabilise well in the twist rate, but if they do then it would have some potential.

From experience I have found that a 22” barrel in 243 Winchester is the entry level length as this calibre is quite velocity/length sensitive, certainly with lighter bullets. Figures were most pleasing with all loads used! The GECO was averaging 2932 fps/2013 ft/lbs and shooting ¾” @ 100 metres. Though the slowest of the three it retained energy better down range at 300 yards it was producing 1343 ft/lbs.

The GMX can be funny as it uses a non-lead, hollow point with a ballistic tipped monolithic build that does not stabilise that well in some barrels. In the Steyr it proved good averaging 3273 fps/1916 ft/lbs and shooting under the inch. At 300 yards energy was 972 ft/lbs. Finally the 75-grain SST at 3377 fps/1913 ft/lbs again just under the inch an at 300 it did 963 ft/lbs. 300 yards is probably a sensible distance for the 243, certainly for deer and goes to show the difference between the medium/fast loads and the heavier/slower options.

Ballistics’ aside, which I thought good for a 243; the CL II SX impressed me as a rifle no end. Well made, bags of accuracy potential and great ergonomics, it’s a tad heavier than some guns in this calibre, which I liked as it offers more stability. Truth is there’s not a lot to dislike!

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

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Steyr CL II SX

Steyr CL II SX

Steyr Mannlicher for me really means three sporting rifles – the SSG 69, the Scout and the ProHunter; of these it’s the last that is perhaps the most general product. The SSG is more a sniper/ precision option that used to be the preferred bolt-gun for those shooting Practical Rifle pre-1988. The Scout well probably one of the most radical designs ever offering a number of features that made it in some ways a go anywhere do anything bolt-action. I owned one for six years and really liked it. The ProHunter; sadly a design let down by its synthetic stock, which was far too flimsy, as it uses the exact same SBS (Safe Bolt System) feed and action as the Scout.

Steyr apparently tried to beef up the stock a bit but with limited success and though liking what the ProHunter offered mechanically and having tested a few versions I would not bother. Well things have changed considerably as what is pretty much the same gun as before is now fielded with vastly improved furniture that makes it the design it always promised to be. Now called the CL II, which is the wood-stocked version it’s also available in a synthetic option - the SX - which is where we really see the differences between it and the old ProHunter!

BETTER BY FAR

On test is a CL II SX in 243 Winchester, which really impressed me no end! In truth nothing has changed apart from the stock, but that is the thing that makes the real difference. However the SBS action is just that bit different from say a Remy 700 or similar as we shall see!

The SBS action and look blends both old and modern aspects of Steyr rifles in general. The closed-topped receiver shows a generous ejection port that allows reasonably easy single loading. The barrel is distinctive with their trade mark, spiral, cold, hammer-forged finish, this the Standard model shows a light/medium, 22” tube and no iron sights. I imagine that this has been done for the UK as we do not use irons that much, and it’s ready threaded ½ x 20 UNF with a thread protector.

Calibre choice in the Standard is: 243 Win, 6.5x55 Swedish, 270 Win, 7x64, 30-06, 308 Win, 8x57 and 9.3x62. Model options include: Magnum calibres, Mountain, Semi Weight, Light/fluted and Stainless steel. Rifles are identical with the exceptions of weight and barrel length; for example the Magnum weighs 7.5 lbs with a 25” barrel, whereas the Mountain is 7.3 lbs with a 20” tube. The Standard’s is 22” and well suited for popular UK calibres 243/308 Win.

ROCK-N-ROLLER!

The SBS action shows a big bolt with cut-outs to stop the build up of dirt etc. binding the action. It locks by a 4-lug (twin-opposed) bolt at the front, which engages directly with the chamber extension, which takes all the pressure. At the rear is a shroud with a cocked action indicator pin that protrudes. The handle is called a ‘butter knife’ style due to its shape, as such is has no knob just a flattened/widened end, which works very well. It also stands proud of the side of the stock so is easy to grasp even with heavy gloves on.

The safety is tang-mounted and consists of a roller wheel, which is ideally placed for firing hand thumb operation without disturbing the grip. It goes like this – red dot FIRE, roll it back and a white dot appears - SAFE with bolt operation, roll it back again and a grey catch flicks up – SAFE bolt locked. To disengage this you have to push the button down and roll it forward, in this position it also allows you to push the bolt handle down to lock it out too as well as bolt removal. It’s a clever system!

story continues below...

The trigger is a ‘single set’ mechanism and as standard offers a break of around 4 lbs, which is firm without being too heavy and good for most needs. At the front of the blade is an Allan screw that adjusts the weight should you wish. However, this can be further reduced by cocking the action and pushing the blade forward to ‘set’ it for an ultra light pull. This is scarily light and once with my Scout I nearly came a cropper as I was waiting for a deer and forgot I had put the set on. The animal appeared and as I was coming up my finger brushed the trigger and the gun fired! Luckily for all concerned I did not hit the deer or anything else, but it scared the hell out of me. Now I restrict using any set facility to on the range and for zeroing only; be warned!

TAKING STOCK

Feed is from a polymer, 4-round, detachable box magazine with integral/ambidextrous caches in the base plate. Typically it’s marked as to calibres in this case 243/308 Win, 7mm-08, 260 Rem and 338 Federal all using the same generic 308 head size and cartridge overall length. The magazine has twin engagements hooks so if you want to single load the mag can be lowered about 1/8” in the well where it won’t feed but will be locked. To re-engage the feed just slap it fully home.

Now on to the CL II’s defining feature - the SX stock. At first glance it has a more modern and sleek look to it than the original ProHunter design, though now has black rubber gripping panels on the pistol grip and forend which counter points its olive green colour. At the back is a generous recoil pad. The butt shows a straight comb with a slight, R/H palm swell. The forend is rectangular in section and tapers towards the angled tip and offers a decent free-float on the barrel. It flexes a bit, but then again don’t they all? But off a bipod, stick or high seat rail the barrel is not influenced in any way. The integral trigger guard is massive, which I really like as there’s no problem getting a heavy gloved trigger finger inside!

Inside is another pleasant surprise as the CL II has an integral, aluminium bedding block. All of this combining with the better stock design offers a significant improvement in consistency and accuracy potential over the original ProHunter. All metal work shows a phosphate-type grey finish which is both non-reflective and suits the green/black furniture.

SHOOTER!

For testing I teamed up the rifle with a Zeiss 3-12x50 Duralyt scope in 30mm Warne rings and bases, a Harris BRS bipod and a Hardy Gen IIII reflex moderator. Ammo went to three choices – Hornady’s 80-grain GMX and 70-grain SST (super shock tip) both in the higher velocity Superformance loadings. Plus GECO’s 105-grain soft point; generally speaking in most sporting 243s weights above 100-grains don’t stabilise well in the twist rate, but if they do then it would have some potential.

From experience I have found that a 22” barrel in 243 Winchester is the entry level length as this calibre is quite velocity/length sensitive, certainly with lighter bullets. Figures were most pleasing with all loads used! The GECO was averaging 2932 fps/2013 ft/lbs and shooting ¾” @ 100 metres. Though the slowest of the three it retained energy better down range at 300 yards it was producing 1343 ft/lbs.

The GMX can be funny as it uses a non-lead, hollow point with a ballistic tipped monolithic build that does not stabilise that well in some barrels. In the Steyr it proved good averaging 3273 fps/1916 ft/lbs and shooting under the inch. At 300 yards energy was 972 ft/lbs. Finally the 75-grain SST at 3377 fps/1913 ft/lbs again just under the inch an at 300 it did 963 ft/lbs. 300 yards is probably a sensible distance for the 243, certainly for deer and goes to show the difference between the medium/fast loads and the heavier/slower options.

Ballistics’ aside, which I thought good for a 243; the CL II SX impressed me as a rifle no end. Well made, bags of accuracy potential and great ergonomics, it’s a tad heavier than some guns in this calibre, which I liked as it offers more stability. Truth is there’s not a lot to dislike!

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Steyr CL II SX - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

0 Comments



guns for sale

Buy & Sell Online. Advertise your guns and accessories and be seen by 1000’s of buyers..... Buying a Gun or Accessory, Choose from 1000's of items for sale....

Helikon-Tex Training Mini Rig for Serious training session - see more
Helikon-Tex Training Mini Rig for Serious training session - see more
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