Has Blaser created ‘the ultimate rifle’?
Cutting edge technology and ergonomic design make the R8 Ultimate the perfect companion, says top manufacturer Blaser.
The challenge was enormous. How do you improve the performance potential of a modern rifle so that it benefits every hunter? Well, Blaser feels that it has made the impossible possible (again) and this year at the Jagd und Hund show in Dortmund prsented the R8 Ultimate.
“The R8 Ultimate sets a new standard in terms of functionality and design,” says Blaser CEO Christian Socher. The two-piece thumbhole stock ensures a completely relaxed shooting position, as well as optimal control of the rifle when firing. New, modular stock options allow the hunter to tailor the rifle to his or her individual needs.
But, before diving into the details, let’s explore why Blaser has been so successful. The ideas for new rifle technology are not created on the drawing board, they are born while hunting. And as hunting is just as diverse as the demands hunters place on their rifle, the R8 has always been regarded more like a platform than just a rifle. This approach gives the hunter, for example, the flexibility to interchange calibres in less than a minute.
Many hunters are aware of this enormous advantage but shy away from using it for fear that their trusty rifle will not shoot to the point of aim after switching barrels. With the Blaser R8 these reservations are completely groundless.
Thanks to the ingenious Blaser saddle mount, the scope is mounted directly on the barrel rather than on the receiver ring. More specifically, the scope is mounted directly over the chamber so that the barrel is allowed to swing freely without being influenced by the scope or the mount. This allows consistent hits similar to those achieved with a scoped break-action rifle, allowing the hunter the comfort of the same trigger mechanism and settings, independent of the calibre used.
If you are expecting bad weather or rugged terrain, the wooden stock can be removed and replaced with R8 Professional synthetic stocks, which include the possibility to switch to the well-known thumbhole stock. The latter provides a fully relaxed shooting hand and arm in almost every firing position.
End of story? Not for Blaser. True to its belief that even the best rifle can still be improved upon, the Blaser team did not stop here but continued to search for ways that would support every hunter in becoming a better shot. When it comes to field marksmanship, there is a world of difference between dream and reality. With the R8 Ultimate, the concept of modularity has now been taken to another level: the stock can now be tailored exactly to the individual needs of hunters as it features an adjustable comb, an adjustable recoil pad as well as a recoil absorption system.
The multi-level adjustable comb, which is operated intuitively and without tools – thanks to the memory function – ensures the perfect mounting in every situation. With this system, the comb can be fitted to individual body proportions or different optics within seconds.
Adjustable recoil pad
Here you have the possibility to adjust length, height and pitch of the recoil pad, which can be done quickly and easily depending on different clothing situations or the weather conditions. It can be adjusted conveniently for different shooters, too.
Recoil absorption system
The quick and easily inserted recoil pad with recoil absorption system makes for a pleasant shooting experience. The internal absorption elements are available in different hardnesses, which can be adjusted to your preferences and produce a noticeably reduced muzzle climb while shooting. “All those features obviously give you much more choice to make your rifle truly yours,” says Christian.
Considering the changing hunting habits of its customers, Blaser offers the possibility to order the modular stock features at the same time as a rifle or at a later point in time. The actual fitting, however, has to be done by a gunsmith.
The Blaser team has also reacted to the growing popularity of its R8 Silence model that has an integrated silencer. The advantage is that the outer contour of barrel and silencer jacket boasts a smooth bull barrel design. As a result, there is an even mass distribution over the entire barrel so that the R8 Silence provides the first-class balance and ‘huntability’ experienced with every other R8 model.
The Blaser team has now developed a R8 Ultimate Silence conversion kit that allows the hunter to exchange the standard barrel with the silence barrel, including the silencer, by switching the Ultimate fore-end with the standard R8 fore-end.
“Blaser offers you everything you need,” says Socher, with a smile.