I just came back from the range after zeroing the 308win barrel on my new Blaser R98 professional.
My 1st impressions on the system were that it is more engineered then made, as I started to play with it putting on the different barrels, saddle mounts and swapping the bolts it really came to me just how much thought went into creating this rifle system, it's trully a remarkable feat of engineering.
it's the 1st factory rifle that I have taken home that I didn't want to tinker with, not that it's needed as it's perfect strait out of the box.
Everything about this rifle is is like nothing else, Z Germans had an idea of what would make the perfect hunting rifle, not the most classy or artistic (probably beyond them anyway) and went about redesigning the whole concept of a rifle from the ground up with typical German precision, functionality and anal retention.
The bolt, it is like nothing else not just because it's a strait pull and by far the fastest that I have ever used, it's bigger for one and it sits on guide rails, there are no locking lugs as it has a series of 14 arms sounding the bolt head with fat ends around the bolt so as it chambers the bolt compresses them up into a grove in the chamber forming a 360 degree collar, it's cocked as the bolt lever is pulled back unlocking the collar allowing the bolt to slid rearwards.
Then their is the safety, wow while it is heavy you have to expect that as it doesn't just lock the sear etc but it decocks the firing pin and cants it is that it cannot strike the primer whatsoever, it is 100% safe.
The trigger while looking like any other trigger from the outside is different still it is crisp if a bit heavy but that will be fixed by getting a 2lb spring for it, but it feels mechanical and it dose not work in the traditional way.
It has a pin that comes up the floor of what would be the reviver in any other rifle and holds the sear up, by pulling the trigger the pin lowers letting the sear travel down and releasing the firing pin.
The stock is solid with no flex and it has the most amazing aluminum and steal bedding system in it, with two screw points to hold the barrel in, a rubber insert in the magazine well that you can replace and the trigger unit, it bolts right into the stock due to their being no receiver, even the saddle mounts are solid easy to use and fit perfectly, there's no reason to lap the scope rings either as they just fit perfect.
All in all the only bad points about it are that the trigger is not as crisp and clean as other high quality European rifles and the outfit feels very sanitized and practical and it hasn't got that feel of class that you get from other high end European rifles.
But then what you do get makes up for that, it's not an old world hunting rifle it's a precision engineered modular hunting system designed by a fastidious, up tight, anal retentive perfectionists that had the desire to build the ultimate hunting system that would be the most safe, most reliable and the most practical that could be built, and these boring, monotone, white coat wearing technicians have actually done it,.
All I can say is well done to Z Germans.
The Rifle with the 3 barrels, 308win with a 2-7X36 Kahles scope, 270wby (3.5-10X42 Swarovski scope on it's way) and the 9.3X62 barrel that will be used with the open sights.
3 round groups shot at 100m with factory Highland 150gn 308win ammo
3 round group shot with 165gn Nosler BT's with Ar2208 in Lapua cases.
I didn't have much time to shoot groups today as I was just zeroing the scope for Tuesday night but it shows a lot of promise, I'm looking forward to seeing what it can do with a proper rest and no wind.