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Strasser Solo

Strasser Solo

As an owner of two switch barrel rifle systems – Blaser R8 and Mauser M03 it has often occurred to me that neither company offers a fixed barrel option. Now that might sound stupid given the nature of the beast, but consider this; what if you like the build and shootability, but do not want the ability to swap calibres? You might be surprised as to how many shooters don’t really rate that idea! I would imagine making a fixed version of either would not be an issue and allow at a much keener price. Who knows they might sell a lot more units! But apart from Mauser’s M12, which is not a fixed barrel M03 but a normal rifle in its own right, there has been no movement in this direction.

STRASSER DOES

I was speaking to Dan Kingdom at Sportsman Gun Centre on the subject of gun testing for the mag and he said would I like to see the new Strasser SOLO Panther. Having tested their switch-barrel RS05 I assumed the cool name was just another model in that series, well it is and it isn’t. SOLO is the clue as what you have here is a dedicated, fixed barrel RS05 with all the advantages of their unique straight-pull action and scope mount, without the ability to swap tubes. Which to many shooters is no hardship, plus at sub £1500 it slices around £800 of the full spec RS05, making it an attractive proposition and near unique. The only other fixed barrel straight-pull is the Finnish Lynx 94.

Opening the box solved the mystery of why this model is called the Panther as it shows what appears to be a black, synthetic stock, more on that later. The rifle was designed by Horst Blaser who started up Blaser Jagdwaffen in the 1960s, just to set the record straight he had nothing to do with the R93 and later R8 straight-pulls, as he sold up in 1986 and moved on. However, the RS05’s locking system uses a similar, expanding collet design so let’s start there!

DIFFERENT STROKES

The build shows a reasonably standard one-piece, aluminium alloy receiver with twin ejection ports connected by a top strap that also serves as the locking area for the QD scope mount. The reason for this is you can elect for a L/H bolt if you are a southpaw. The bolt is large and facetted on either side with a big alloy shrouded section at the rear. The short handle sticks out on the right at 90° and is topped off with a polymer ball end. At the rear is a vertical sliding safety catch that and though similar looking and positioned is not a de-cocker as you would find on a Blaser R93/R8. On top of the shroud is a red pin that protrudes slightly when the action is cocked.

Locking is by four quadrants around the bolt head, which are forced out into a ring in the chamber extension similar to the Blaser’s multi-collet system. When cocked and locked the bolt handle sits forward at an angle and pulling it back allows the lugs to contract so the action can be opened. The head is fully supported and shows a plunger-type ejector. Though a fixed barrel, Strasser use the same removable bolt head as in the switch-barrel RS05. Seems pointless to make a one piece unit!

The action stroke is smooth and slick with just a short movement on the bolt handle. The safety has a small press-in plunger at the rear and pushes up to FIRE and reverse for SAFE. To move from SAFE to FIRE the plunger has to be pressed and also acts as an unlocking button too. The design does not incorporate a de-cocker! Bolt removal is controlled by a plunger on the rear left of the action, which is pushed down when the bolt is open.

THREE WEIGHT TRIGGER

Feed is from a single column, 3-shot (+1) clip that is controlled by twin buttons on the sides of the receiver where it meets the forend, both must be pushed simultaneously. This forces you to position your hand under the mag, which drops neatly into your palm. The catalogue shows a higher capacity (6+1) unit if you prefer; doubtless good for driven hunting!

Different is the adjustable trigger, OK hardly a novel feature it’s just the way the rifle does it! Remove the trigger mech housing (TMH) by first removing the bolt then pulling back the catch at the very rear of the receiver channel. The TMH now pulls free and you will see on its left side a large cut-out with a spindle and spring. This offers three weights/positions: left - light, middle- medium and right – heavy. All you do is lift the plunger and move it to one of these three locations. Strasser says the weight can be varied from 800 to 2500 grams, which translates from 1.75 to 5.5 lbs. There is also a single set option as you can push the trigger blade forward to give a very light let off; be warned! Set function aside, to be honest I could tell little difference between light and medium and not much on heavy either!

story continues below...

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

 

LOCK, STOCK AND…

The original RS05 uses a hydraulic barrel retention system that pumps oil into a polymer sleeve around the chase (parallel chamber section) when it’s in the receiver. This was accessed by removing the forend using the removable forward sling swivel stud. Inside was an Allan key that was used to de-pressurise/pressurise the oil to allow barrel removal/retention. In the SOLO Strasser have dispensed with this though retained the removable forend.

Barrels on the SOLO appear to be just 21” as opposed to the 22” of the standard RS05 in a light, sporting profile. They can also be fluted or plain and threaded, mine came plain and cut for 14x1mm. Iron sights are an option too. The Sportsman website shows the following calibre options: 223 Rem, 243, 308, 270 Win, 6.5x55 and 30-06. Strasser offers a lot more for the RS05 and I assume for the SOLO too, it looks like Sporty has wisely cherry picked those best suited to the UK market!

PRACTICALLY PERFECT

The scope mount is both elegant and practical! It locates and stabilises by three, ball-ended lugs (2-rear, 1-front) either end of the action. Locking is achieved by a central, steel T-lug that engages with a slot in the receiver strap. All you do is drop it on and locate it then swing the centrally-mounted side lever forward where it’s locked by a separate catch. Fast, simple and secure and quite the best QD system I have seen to date! Mounting options include a Picatinny base, 1” and 30mm rings and European rails. However, it’s hardly required on a fixed barrel rifle and rather than shelling out £300+ the cost of fitting a pair of Weaver bases could work out cheaper!

The two-piece stock is very European with a deep/square forend with a semi- Schnable tip and a hog’s back butt with Tyrolean-style cheek piece. Length of pull is good at 14.5” and the comb height well suited to scope use, equally the deep grip positions the trigger finger for an easy first pad position and chequering aids the hold. Sling swivels show front and rear. The furniture is wood with a black rubber coating to give an all-weather ability and it feels grippy in the hand.

243

For testing I fitted the new 30mm, Weaver European 3-15x56 scope. The tester was in 243 Win and ammo consisted of GECO 76-grain Express (BT), Lapua 100-grain MEGA, Hornady 75-grain SST and Winchester 58-grain Varmint X. A SONIC 35 (Highland Outdoors) moderator completed the package.

Handling was good; the bolt is smooth and operation easy and I love that straightpull movement! The safety works well and there’s little disturbance to the firing position as you push in the plunger and nudge up the lug with your thumb. Equally setting back to SAFE if you do not shoot. The dictatorial position of the mag buttons means it’s not easy to lose the clip as it ejects.

Accuracy was well within limits – with nothing stepping outside the inch however the 21” tube struggled in some cases to make large deer legal as I expected! Here’s what they produce: GECO 3183 fps/1698 ft/ lbs, Lapua 2830 fps/1789 ft/lbs, Hornady 3255 fps/1777 ft/lbs and Winchester 3404 fps/1505 ft/lbs. I think the SOLO will appeal to the British and do well, so we might see more companies follow suit; you never know!

PRICE: Standard £1426 (Inc VAT) Scope mount £328.99
CONTACT: Sportsman Gun Centre, 01392 363824, www.sportsmanguncentre.com, www.hms-strasser.at

gun
features

  • Name: Strasser SOLO Panther
  • Calibre: 243 Win (on test)
  • Action: straight-pull
  • Barrel: 21” plain
  • Weight: 7lbs (un-scoped)
  • Length: 44”
  • Iron sights optional:
  • Trigger set and 3-way adjustable:

0 Comments



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Strasser Solo

Strasser Solo

As an owner of two switch barrel rifle systems – Blaser R8 and Mauser M03 it has often occurred to me that neither company offers a fixed barrel option. Now that might sound stupid given the nature of the beast, but consider this; what if you like the build and shootability, but do not want the ability to swap calibres? You might be surprised as to how many shooters don’t really rate that idea! I would imagine making a fixed version of either would not be an issue and allow at a much keener price. Who knows they might sell a lot more units! But apart from Mauser’s M12, which is not a fixed barrel M03 but a normal rifle in its own right, there has been no movement in this direction.

STRASSER DOES

I was speaking to Dan Kingdom at Sportsman Gun Centre on the subject of gun testing for the mag and he said would I like to see the new Strasser SOLO Panther. Having tested their switch-barrel RS05 I assumed the cool name was just another model in that series, well it is and it isn’t. SOLO is the clue as what you have here is a dedicated, fixed barrel RS05 with all the advantages of their unique straight-pull action and scope mount, without the ability to swap tubes. Which to many shooters is no hardship, plus at sub £1500 it slices around £800 of the full spec RS05, making it an attractive proposition and near unique. The only other fixed barrel straight-pull is the Finnish Lynx 94.

Opening the box solved the mystery of why this model is called the Panther as it shows what appears to be a black, synthetic stock, more on that later. The rifle was designed by Horst Blaser who started up Blaser Jagdwaffen in the 1960s, just to set the record straight he had nothing to do with the R93 and later R8 straight-pulls, as he sold up in 1986 and moved on. However, the RS05’s locking system uses a similar, expanding collet design so let’s start there!

DIFFERENT STROKES

The build shows a reasonably standard one-piece, aluminium alloy receiver with twin ejection ports connected by a top strap that also serves as the locking area for the QD scope mount. The reason for this is you can elect for a L/H bolt if you are a southpaw. The bolt is large and facetted on either side with a big alloy shrouded section at the rear. The short handle sticks out on the right at 90° and is topped off with a polymer ball end. At the rear is a vertical sliding safety catch that and though similar looking and positioned is not a de-cocker as you would find on a Blaser R93/R8. On top of the shroud is a red pin that protrudes slightly when the action is cocked.

Locking is by four quadrants around the bolt head, which are forced out into a ring in the chamber extension similar to the Blaser’s multi-collet system. When cocked and locked the bolt handle sits forward at an angle and pulling it back allows the lugs to contract so the action can be opened. The head is fully supported and shows a plunger-type ejector. Though a fixed barrel, Strasser use the same removable bolt head as in the switch-barrel RS05. Seems pointless to make a one piece unit!

The action stroke is smooth and slick with just a short movement on the bolt handle. The safety has a small press-in plunger at the rear and pushes up to FIRE and reverse for SAFE. To move from SAFE to FIRE the plunger has to be pressed and also acts as an unlocking button too. The design does not incorporate a de-cocker! Bolt removal is controlled by a plunger on the rear left of the action, which is pushed down when the bolt is open.

THREE WEIGHT TRIGGER

Feed is from a single column, 3-shot (+1) clip that is controlled by twin buttons on the sides of the receiver where it meets the forend, both must be pushed simultaneously. This forces you to position your hand under the mag, which drops neatly into your palm. The catalogue shows a higher capacity (6+1) unit if you prefer; doubtless good for driven hunting!

Different is the adjustable trigger, OK hardly a novel feature it’s just the way the rifle does it! Remove the trigger mech housing (TMH) by first removing the bolt then pulling back the catch at the very rear of the receiver channel. The TMH now pulls free and you will see on its left side a large cut-out with a spindle and spring. This offers three weights/positions: left - light, middle- medium and right – heavy. All you do is lift the plunger and move it to one of these three locations. Strasser says the weight can be varied from 800 to 2500 grams, which translates from 1.75 to 5.5 lbs. There is also a single set option as you can push the trigger blade forward to give a very light let off; be warned! Set function aside, to be honest I could tell little difference between light and medium and not much on heavy either!

story continues below...

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Strasser Solo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

 

LOCK, STOCK AND…

The original RS05 uses a hydraulic barrel retention system that pumps oil into a polymer sleeve around the chase (parallel chamber section) when it’s in the receiver. This was accessed by removing the forend using the removable forward sling swivel stud. Inside was an Allan key that was used to de-pressurise/pressurise the oil to allow barrel removal/retention. In the SOLO Strasser have dispensed with this though retained the removable forend.

Barrels on the SOLO appear to be just 21” as opposed to the 22” of the standard RS05 in a light, sporting profile. They can also be fluted or plain and threaded, mine came plain and cut for 14x1mm. Iron sights are an option too. The Sportsman website shows the following calibre options: 223 Rem, 243, 308, 270 Win, 6.5x55 and 30-06. Strasser offers a lot more for the RS05 and I assume for the SOLO too, it looks like Sporty has wisely cherry picked those best suited to the UK market!

PRACTICALLY PERFECT

The scope mount is both elegant and practical! It locates and stabilises by three, ball-ended lugs (2-rear, 1-front) either end of the action. Locking is achieved by a central, steel T-lug that engages with a slot in the receiver strap. All you do is drop it on and locate it then swing the centrally-mounted side lever forward where it’s locked by a separate catch. Fast, simple and secure and quite the best QD system I have seen to date! Mounting options include a Picatinny base, 1” and 30mm rings and European rails. However, it’s hardly required on a fixed barrel rifle and rather than shelling out £300+ the cost of fitting a pair of Weaver bases could work out cheaper!

The two-piece stock is very European with a deep/square forend with a semi- Schnable tip and a hog’s back butt with Tyrolean-style cheek piece. Length of pull is good at 14.5” and the comb height well suited to scope use, equally the deep grip positions the trigger finger for an easy first pad position and chequering aids the hold. Sling swivels show front and rear. The furniture is wood with a black rubber coating to give an all-weather ability and it feels grippy in the hand.

243

For testing I fitted the new 30mm, Weaver European 3-15x56 scope. The tester was in 243 Win and ammo consisted of GECO 76-grain Express (BT), Lapua 100-grain MEGA, Hornady 75-grain SST and Winchester 58-grain Varmint X. A SONIC 35 (Highland Outdoors) moderator completed the package.

Handling was good; the bolt is smooth and operation easy and I love that straightpull movement! The safety works well and there’s little disturbance to the firing position as you push in the plunger and nudge up the lug with your thumb. Equally setting back to SAFE if you do not shoot. The dictatorial position of the mag buttons means it’s not easy to lose the clip as it ejects.

Accuracy was well within limits – with nothing stepping outside the inch however the 21” tube struggled in some cases to make large deer legal as I expected! Here’s what they produce: GECO 3183 fps/1698 ft/ lbs, Lapua 2830 fps/1789 ft/lbs, Hornady 3255 fps/1777 ft/lbs and Winchester 3404 fps/1505 ft/lbs. I think the SOLO will appeal to the British and do well, so we might see more companies follow suit; you never know!

PRICE: Standard £1426 (Inc VAT) Scope mount £328.99
CONTACT: Sportsman Gun Centre, 01392 363824, www.sportsmanguncentre.com, www.hms-strasser.at

gun
features

  • Name: Strasser SOLO Panther
  • Calibre: 243 Win (on test)
  • Action: straight-pull
  • Barrel: 21” plain
  • Weight: 7lbs (un-scoped)
  • Length: 44”
  • Iron sights optional:
  • Trigger set and 3-way adjustable:

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....

Military 1st - Father's Day Sale! 15% Off! Use code DAD18 - Shop Now!
Military 1st - Father's Day Sale! 15% Off! Use code DAD18 - Shop Now!
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