Some guns at SHOT Show are genuine treasures, but you aren’t going to read much about them online. There’s something about the brand, possibly, or the gun’s intended use that doesn’t have a place in the mainstream SHOT Show coverage. Sometimes, as is the case with Blaser, perfection is the norm–and that normality has become routine–and routine doesn’t make headlines.
Blaser is making headlines this year, though. And it is easy to see why. They brought some guns to the show that are uniquely Blaser, but break the mold on which the company has built its elite reputation. Check out these stocks.
The photographs don’t do the stocks justice. The lens finds a focal point on the surface that neglects the translucent depth. If you are a pipe smoker, you may recognize a process that’s common in high-end custom pipe stems. I immediately thought of the depth of a swirly bowling ball.
The stocks are made by mixing a something like aluminum shavings or dried grass with a dyed liquid acrylic. This is compressed and cured. Once that is solid, a stock can be cut from the blank, just like it could from a piece of wood. They’re finished in the same way, but the finished product is different. As wood is finished, the surface shines through. Progressively finer grits and buffing make the surface texture stand out. As these stocks are finished, the surface becomes like glass and the depth of the textures beneath become visible.
But they’re still rifles. Even though I’d likely sit around in the tree-stand, staring into the stock as the sun comes up, they’re still Blaser rifles. The straight-pull action is incredibly smooth. But there’s something else that is unique. The R8 is chambered in a long list of calibers, from .222 Rem up to .338.
The magazine is built into the fire control group in a way. This is hard to explain. When you drop the magazine, the trigger comes out, too. You might think, as I did, that removing the trigger and putting it back every time you change the magazine would have a deleterious effect on the precision you expect from a Blaser, but that’s not the case. The working parts behind the trigger are still housed in the gun. Essentially this is just the trigger itself, the trigger guard, and the magazine. So if you had three of these (one leaded with soft points, one with hollow point, one with hard cast bullets, etc.), you would notice no difference in take up, break, or reset. The gun remains consistent, every time.
The prices on these rifles vary based on the features. Prices are starting in the low $3K range. There are a wide variety of caliber options, and everything on the gun is modular, so you can mix and match as you’d like. These are heirloom quality rifles, too–so I’d look at it as more of a long-term investment in the platform.
Additions to the F3 Shotgun line
And if that’s not enough, they’ve got a nice take on the sporting shotgun, too. This is one of the first truly modular systems I’ve seen that I’d be willing to invest in. The Vantage F3 builds on their already popular F3 line by offering modular barrel systems. Now you can go between the 12 gauge, the 20 gauge, the 28 gauge and the .410 without the hassle of refitting the stock, learning a new trigger, or adjusting to a new sight rail.
The prices will start at $7,900 and each barrel set will be sold separately.