The Sabatti Urban Sniper w/Trijicon Review:  Tactical Precision Italian Style

By Brian McCombie

Sabatti S.P.A. was founded 400 years ago in the Northern Italy, and initially made flintlock pistols and rifle barrels. While the company certainly respects and adheres to the traditions of Old World craftsmanship, Sabatti itself isn’t stuck in the 1700’s. Today, Sabatti manufacturers competition shotguns, hunting and target rifles, and lately has entered into the tactical bolt action market.

Case in point on the later: the new Sabatti Urban Sniper rifle.

Sabatti’s Urban Sniper: a very accurate rifle for long-range shooting, at a third of the price of many tactical bolt actions.

 

Imported to the United States exclusively by the Italian Firearms Group, the Urban Sniper sports a relatively short (for a long-range precision platform) 20-inch bull barrel. Even with that shorter barrel, the Urban Sniper isn’t a lightweight at 8.75 pounds, though few of today’s long-range rifles are exactly nimble. It is also very accurate, has a great trigger and fits on the shoulder well.

Factor in a street price of right around $1,100.00? And the Urban Sniper is among the more affordable tactical bolts available.

I received a new Urban Sniper recently, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, and mounted a new Trijicon AccuPower 4.5-30x56mm scope onto it. For test ammunition, I used three brands of 6.5 Creedmoor: American Eagle, with a 140-grain open tip match bullet; Barnes VOR-TX firing a 120-grain TTSX bullet; and, Hornady’s Precision Hunter loaded with the company’s 143-grain ELD-X bullet.

Mine arrived with a muzzle brake attached. I left it on. Sabatti also includes a thread protector for those who don’t want the brake. A suppressor can be easily attached, too, as the barrel features 5/8×24 threads.

The Urban Sniper comes standard with a muzzle break and a thread protector. The 5/8×24 threading allows for easy attachment of a suppressor.

Sabatti’s instructions suggested a barrel break-in cleaning and shooting process, so I generally followed the recommendation, scrubbing out the bore after a shot or two. Every tenth shot or so, I let the barrel cool off for 10 minutes before shooting again. Accuracy with the Urban Snipe was very impressive. Eventually. But I ran into a real problem Day One: me.

I’d put together nice and tight three- and four-shot groups, get nervous, and then pull my next one or two shots and trash what was shaping up to be a 1/2 MOA grouping of five shots at 100 yards.

For example, three shots of the Hornady Precision Hunter pegged into a very nice .454-inch group–only to have my next couple shots jump the final measurement to over an inch

Barnes VOR-TX hunting rounds in 6.5 Creedmoor pegged some impressive groups, too, including this .65-inch string of five shots at 100 yards.

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Day Two, I was able to print some better 100-yard, five-shot groups. Interestingly, my best group was with the least expensive ammunition, the American Eagle, which pegged five shots right at .495-inches. Next best, the Barnes with a .650-inch group. More time with the rifle should equal more consistent groups; I’m sure the rifle is capable of ½ MOA or better all day.

American Eagle’s 6.5 Creedmoor with a 140-grain match bullet scored the best five-shot group, under ½ inch at 100 yards.

 

Sabatti employs what it terms Multi-Radial Rifling (MMR) on the Urban Sniper and other rifles. Instead of traditional lands and grooves, MRR uses two offset radiuses.  This means the rifling has no sharp edges. According to Sabatti, MMR seals the bullet more perfectly to the bore, reducing stress on the bullet and producing less copper fouling, better accuracy, and increased muzzle velocity.

Sabatti claims its Multi Radial Rifling or MRR produces better accuracy with less barrel fouling and increased velocity. The author feels more testing is needed to verify those claims, though the rifle is ½ MOA accurate.

Certainly, the rifle is very accurate. But the above claims about MMR are difficult to prove or disprove. I hope to do future work with Sabatti rifles and establish some objective measurements to see if, in fact, the MMR is a superior rifling.

Sabatti rates the Urban Sniper’s trigger as “match grade.” I’d have to agree. The trigger breaks very cleanly, with no creep. My Lyman Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge measured the pull at an average of just 3.08 pounds. The trigger isn’t going to go off with slight pressure; yet, any decent squeeze has lead moving downrange.

The bolt features a two-lug locking system, and it operates nicely, securing the cartridge without undue force. The tactical, oversized handle with a removable knob provides good leverage. However, when pulled fully to the rear the bolt has a slight rattle.

Initially, I thought the magazine release was pretty cool, a metal tab positioned at the front of and just below the trigger guard. But that set up, I discovered, was awkward to use. I had to put forward pressure on the magazine release tab with one hand while pulling on the magazine with the other hand. That’s not easy to do. I’m hoping future incarnations of the Urban Sniper will have a more ergonomic button-style release.

The Urban Sniper’s magazine release, located on the trigger guard, proved somewhat awkward to use.

The rifle came with a 10-round, polymer magazine. The people at Italian Firearms Group tell me this magazine was recently scrapped in favor of a better magazine made by VICTRIX, also an Italian company. This should be a good change.

Initially, the poly magazine fit into the Urban Sniper’s mag well tightly. But with use, it loosened to the point the magazine would shift ever so slightly from the recoil (about round four or five). At which point, the new round sat just a little too low for the bolt to pick it up.

Whether that problem was caused by the magazine itself or some design feature of the mag well? I can’t say. I requested a VICTRIX magazine and will test it out.

The stock on the Urban Sniper has a comfortable rubberized butt pad. It also had two spacers in place to allow a shooter to adjust for length of pull. The two-spacer set up was too long for me, so I removed a spacer (via Philips head screw holes in the butt pad), which made the length of pull and eye relief for my scope just right.

The carbon-infused polymer stock is very rigid. It also features a thumbhole that provides a very solid anchor, especially with the aggressive checkering around the opening. An easily-adjustable cheek piece rounds out the stock.

The Urban Sniper’s stock is adjustable for length of pull and cheek weld, plus features a thumbhole for added stability.

I was damned glad to see the Picatinny rail atop the receiver; I’m tired of trying to find rings and bases to fit onto various bolt actions. A good rail saves me all kinds of time—and frustration.

As I outfitted the rifle, my Urban Sniper rig is approximately 12-pounds, with the rather stout Trijicon AccuPower (36 ounces) and mounting hardware. Which isn’t a big deal for competitive long-range shooting, where most participants carry around a good 12- to 15-pounds of rifle (plus who knows how many pounds of accessories in their packs)!

For hunting, potentially of the longer-range variety? If you’re set up in a stable position like an elevated blind or a good seat on a hillside, the Urban Sniper and the experienced shooter can drop deer-sized game out to 400-yards with little difficulty. Potentially further in more-expert hands. But this isn’t the rifle you want to be lugging around in Western mountains.

With in-store and online prices of approximately $1,100.00, and available in both 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win, the Urban Sniper represents a real value for the newcomer to long-range shooting. With ½ MOA accuracy potential, I suspect I will be seeing a good number of Urban Snipers at shooting ranges and in competitions.

SIDEBAR:  Trijicon’s Newest AccuPower Scope

At the May 2018 NRA Annual Meetings, Trijicon unveiled its two newest optics, the AccuPower 4.5-30×56 and the AccuPower 5-50×56 riflescopes. I received the 4.5-30×56 model about the same time the Sabatti arrived, and it seemed like a logical fit: long-range rifle and high-magnification scope.

The AccuPower 4.5-30 delivers extremely clear images. I could see the very edges of the paper targets and backboard materials. The scope provides the option of a red- or green-lit reticle, with five power settings for each. For my eyes, the green worked especially well, putting me on target fast. The illumination is powered by a single CR2032 lithium battery.

The 0.25 MOA windage and elevation controls are very precise. I had to re-zero every time I switched ammunition, and the AccuPower 4.5-30 made that very easy. At 100 yards, I could take a shot, and then give the scope two clicks to the right, shoot again and see a new hole—a half-inch to the right. The exposed elevation adjustment knob allows 100 MOA’s of elevation, while the capped windage adjustment knob delivers 50 MOA of right to left adjustment.

Trijicon’s newest scope, the AccuPower 4.5-30x56mm, is a long-range shooter’s dream. But she ain’t cheap!

The scope features a side-parallax control and two different positions for the (included) magnification lever. The scope is built around a rugged 34-mm tube made of aircraft-quality, hard-anodized aluminum.

I chose the second focal plane model. The first focal plane model comes with an MRAD Dot reticle and a Christmas tree-like grid below the reticle center. I find that a little too cluttered, so I specifically requested the second focal plane with the cleaner MOA crosshair.

It’s one fine scope. But this level of precision and optic clarity doesn’t come cheaply. This second-focal plane model has a suggested retail of $2,600.00, while Trijicon’s asking price for the first focal plane model is $2675.00. Expect street prices at several hundred dollars less, when the scopes become available this summer.

www.trijicon.com/

SPECS: As tested, Sabatti Urban Sniper in 6.5 Creedmoor

Action: Two-lug bolt action

Barrel Length: 20-inch, heavy contour, cold hammer forged, blued finish

Rate of Twist: 1:8, with Sabatti’s Multi Radial Rifling

Magazine: Detachable. Accepts AICS patterned magazines.

Trigger: Match quality, 3.0 pounds pull

Stock: Carbon-infused polymer, black matte finish

Length: 35-inches with muzzle brake

Weight: 8.75 pounds

Included: One magazine, swivel studs, Picatinny rail atop receiver, rail section under barrel for bi-pod, muzzle brake and thread protector.

Price: Approx. $1,100, in-store and web prices.

To learn more about the new Sabatti Urban Sniper rifle visit Sabatti by clicking here.

***Shop GunsAmerica for your next Sabatti rifle***

 

 

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • jOHN May 1, 2020, 1:03 pm

    I OWN A SABATTI URBEN SNIPER, IN .308. I FIND THAT IT POSTS SUB MOA GROUPS CONSISTENTLY. IT DOES LIKE THE LIGHTER BULLETS I USE 150GRN FMJ FOR TARGET WORK AND 165 HORNANDY SST’S FOR GAME. AS FOR THE MAGAZINE ISSUE IT WILL ACCEPT THE MDT METAL MAGS WHICH I USE RATHER THAN POLYMER BUT THATS JUST ME.

    I DID HAVE AN ISSUE WITH A WEAK EXTRACTOR SPRING BUT MY LOCAL DEALER FIXED THAT SAME DAY OTHER THAN THAT I REALY ENJOY USEING THE RIFLE.

    HOPE THIS IS OF USE TO OU ALL.

  • _james mccrory June 25, 2018, 6:37 am

    Thanks for the info.

  • OldOutdoorsGuy June 21, 2018, 9:32 am

    With the trend to very “catchy” words and phrases like “Urban Sniper” and so many more, to describe a long range TARGET rifle, don’t these manufacturers KNOW that they are only feeding into the frenzy of the Anti-Gunner agendas?? What happened to the basic generic “Model XXX” or “Varmint King” or some such non-terrorist type of name for a long gun such as this one? We just seem to shoot ourselves in the foot with each new innovation in the sports of target shooting and sport hunting and generally leave more fodder for the Anti-Gun nuts to fling back in our faces.

    The fancy smancy name has not a single thing to do with the performance of the weapon for its INTENDED SPORTING use. And those with ill intent, wanting to use a new model for their mentally deranged activities, will probably figure out a way to come by one of these new weapons without any encouragement with the inferred name definition.

    Just sayin’ …….

    • alan July 18, 2018, 8:59 pm

      yeah oldoutdoorsguy i couldn’t agree with you more..did even the snipers call their WEAPONS sniper rifles??? urban indeed just shut the F-XK up to whom ever came up with that name. imagin walking into the gun shop and saying I WANT TO LOOK AT YOUR URBAN SNIPER RIFLE< DUDE..ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Winston June 18, 2018, 6:49 pm

    The rifle and Trijicon scope are $3700.00 plus the cost of the fancy riser mount, and this is for for ‘urban sniping’? I have a byf 43 K98 with a 2.5 power EER scope and scout mount for such that I spent just over $400 to outfit . I will take 8mm over this pricey 6.5 for ‘urban’ targeting complexities and gladly pocket the cash savings.

  • Percival June 18, 2018, 6:26 pm

    What’s all you country and hill folk need an ‘urban’ sniper fer anyhow? Anytime this place talks about a city, it’s with contempt and never gets any pushback so that means non-a-yaz live in a city or go into a city fer a purpose anyhow! So whatcha gonna use it fer?

  • steve June 18, 2018, 3:04 pm

    Looked at these rifles at the NRA show in Dallas. Talked to one of the sales guy who also does precision shooting. Have never heard of them before but apparently Craig Boddington is a big fan of them. Anyway.. I am not sure about their service or reliability.. It would be good for more testing and proof that the MRR works better than conventional barrels. I am not the kind to be on the leading edge.. but if there aren’t any sharp edges to wear down, then I wonder if it increases barrel life too..

  • BOhio June 18, 2018, 10:44 am

    You mounted the scope WAY too high, and making excuses for the accuracy performance is not reassuring. Authors of such info should simply follow the American Rifleman magazine protocol of five consecutive 5-shot groups with various ammo, and publish the results. Called flyers, nervousness, whatever is all bogus.

    Even so, it would be neat to try one of these, but I doubt my local gun stores will carry them.

  • Pseudo June 18, 2018, 5:57 am

    Good luck trying to contact them if you need any support or other information. I tried multiple times trying to find out some information regarding a what seemed to be a nice over/under 12 gauge I had obtained and I am still waiting, I just gave up. Then there is also the issue of practically no information anywhere about their guns. The gun seemed quite nice, but with not being able to find any information, I quite looking and have lost interest in Sabatti.

    • Norm June 18, 2018, 11:00 am

      Many thanx for your input. That’s all I need to know.

      • alan July 18, 2018, 9:06 pm

        yeah to all the above, norm. oh and by the way, shouldn’t a sniper rifle come with a mag. that works, is replaceable, generic in nature. and even if you could find em how much $$$$$$$$$$$$ ohhhhhhhhhhhh my head hurts

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