Blaser New innovations
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 24/05/2019
There’s little doubt that a new stock can often breathe new life into your guns and these days with more after-market adjustable and factory custom furniture available, it’s good to see Blaser getting in on the act. I remember when Mauser launched its green PH stock; I got one for my M03 complete with the adjustable cheekpiece and it both looked cool and improved shootability. As we shall see, their radical new furniture is quite the thing, and one of the rifles chosen to wear it might seem unusual. But first!
I’m starting with the more run of the mill items, then building up to the big finish and it really is a big one. Gun covers for rifles come in two sizes. Distinguished by a special design that offers a lockable side pocket for optics and accessories. Equally, the new shotgun covers can be locked. These are available in two-colour Cordura or the more up market Loden and leather materials, along with a matching sling. Plus, there are ammo storage items too.
One of Blaser’s more traditional rifles is the K95 Kipplauf, single shot; ‘the rifle nobody needs but everybody wants’! Its break-barrel action features a de-cocker and, given the calibre, is a sweet and effective hunter. Up until now, it’s been all traditional, with Bavarian cheekpieces, Schnabel and Stutzen forends, quality timber and decoration. Continuing this theme, is the new higher, straighter comb that adds to shootability. The slim receiver is even more elegant, and the de-cocker features the illumination control (iC) which automatically activates the illuminated dot in all Blaser rifle scopes. Open sights are an option, if that’s your thing, along with the continued use of the other K95 barrels. Wood quality starts at Grade 4 with a grey receiver and rises to Grade 7 with a black action.
Blaser has stood the single-shot world on its head with the K95 Ultimate Carbon version.
The two-piece stock is made of carbon fibre and shows a modern thumbhole layout like the R8 Professional Success series, but now offers the options of a number of adjustments; comb height, butt pad length of pull and height and a recoil absorption system. All these come as separate modules that plug in to the butt and or comb section. Thinking about this new system, puts me in mind of what Krieghoff did for hunter and YouTuber MAX HUNT, when they made him a one-off gun to his design. He picked their Hubertus, single shot Kipplauf and added a similar looking, custom stock but in wood laminate. I will explain the stock modules later, as we are not finished with them!
Many years ago, Blaser offered a rimfire conversion for the R93; clever, I suppose, as it’s the logical conclusion to any switch barrel/calibre rifle, so allowing it to be used for any sort of game. Due to the R93’s existing feed system, the rimfire magazine was positioned at 2 O’clock on the chamber area and stuck out at 45⁰. I’ve seen one, but never got the chance to pull the trigger. However, with the advent of the box mag R8, the possibility of a more practical rimfire conversion has been realised.
The feed system is a drop-in, 6-shot rotary insert that replaces the fullbore unit in the standard magazine housing. Calibres will be 22 Long Rifle and 17 HMR. The kit consists of the new magazine, and a replacement, calibre-specific, extended bolt head and barrel. The one I saw at BSS was about 22” long with iron sights and unthreaded. Discussions with Blaser Group Ltd, indicate that for the UK a barrel length of 16” is probable and it will be threaded, most likely 15x1mm. I hope that they take into account that a 17HMR would need a longer tube, also for us it’s important that it can take a moderator, a realistic price of around a grand is likely, but hey ho, it’s a Blaser and will complete the set for the serious aficionado. Could be interesting in 17HMR!
Harking back to the Ultimate Carbon furniture, Blaser is now offering it in the heavy polymer material, the same as you would find on my R8 Professional Success. This creates two new models, the R8 Ultimate standard barrel and Ultimate Silence (fully moderated). The only difference being from the original one-piece stock of the Success, the Ultimate is a two-piece build.
The stock material is brown with a choice of black rubber elastomer inserts on the forend, pistol grip and comb or cocoa leather, which I think looks really cool. Visually, this separates the rifles, as the rubber has the subdued words; R8 Ultimate moulded in on the side of the butt. The leather gun has a plain aluminium plate with the words in black.
If you know your R8 Professional Success, then the original thumbhole butt shape has been modified, with the underside scalloped out behind the pistol grip. However, they have not touched the actual cut-out, which is reassuring, as it always worked well for me and doubtless others. The rear section is modular, with the choice of three options.
As standard a fixed recoil pad, or the LOP-adjustable unit, which is locked by a lever on the left; the recoil pad can be moved up and down. So, offering a totally tailorable shoulder fit. The adjustable comb is horse shoe shaped and 2/3rds the length of this section and has a memory function. The recoil absorption unit uses interchangeable, internal elements of different resistances, so you can set them up to your personal recoil tolerance and calibre used.
Blaser Group Ltd. has a rimfire conversion unit, which I hope to be getting to test at a later date in UK spec, for that read sensible barrel length, no iron sights and threaded. I have seen the adjustable length of pull (LOP) and cheekpiece units and had a little play. The latter offers a dimension I like on a hunting rifle, which makes scope choice and use far more practical. I have never really found my R8 suffers from a short LOP but can see the practicality of the system. The only way to test the recoil absorption unit is to shoot it, which I hopefully will, and, on paper, it looks like it will bring something to the party.
The Ultimate Carbon K95 model will be expensive, as this little single shot is not cheap already. And although a hi-tech sort of guy that would want some form of Ultimate stock system on his R8, I would not on the K95, as I just love the classic lines of their Stutzen model.
Harking back to Krieghoff, who made the bespoke version of their single-shot Hubertus for MAX HUNT; when I saw this rifle on their stand, I asked a number of their staff what they thought and to a German they all said that they did not like the end result. MD Peter Brass’s face said it all. I don’t think the K95 is really a presence in the UK, and I wonder how the more traditional Europeans will react to the Ultimate Carbon? Others see the K95 as traditional and more an anachronism in today’s hunting scene, however, in this modern world, I feel this new configuration could cause many a hunter to stop and reconsider this handy little rifle!
So, what’re the options and prices? If you are buying a whole R8, tell your dealer what you want and Blaser Group Ltd. will make it happen, by adding your barrel/ calibre of choice to either the elastomer or leather stock unit; plus, the butt and comb options. If you just want to upgrade your R8, then you can buy a replacement stock unit, as above. The bad news is that there’s nothing for the R8 Professional and Success guns, as they have a one-piece stock, but then again, I reckon my Success is just about perfect!