When it comes to manually cycled rifles, one company has more than made a name for itself.
Blaser has gained world renown for producing some of the fastest bolt-action guns available today. And the German gun maker is once again mating its speedy straight-pull action with one of the most popular long-range cartridges available today.
Blaser has expanded its R8 line of rifles to include .338 Lapua Magnum and has been titled as the R8 Long Range. And while this chambering is new for this particular series, it is not for the company.
The gun maker has had a long history with the precision round, perhaps best known example being its Tactical 2 model. But the company has gone quite a different direction with its most recent venture into .338 Lapua.
The new R8 is a break from the Tactical 2’s tactical design. This is most notable in the rifle’s stock options; the Professional Success is a thumb-hole stock designed for hunting and the GRS has a modified pistol grip and is tailored for competitive shooting.
Blaser has outfitted its new rifle with a 27-inch barrel, long enough that it should help the .338 round achieve its full ballistic potential. It has also been optimized in balance to ensure that the gun is responsive and easy to hold on target.
Like all R8s, the new long-range rifle is receiverless, a function of being a straight-pull. This makes some of the rifle’s layout a bit different that most are use to particularly the scope mounts, which are located on the barrel.
The new rifle also features the line’s removable magazine/trigger and cocker/decocker. The latter is a fairly handy safety addition, which — when used properly — all but makes a negligent discharge impossible.
One of the neater aspects of the R8s are their versatility, given the rifles are switch barrels. This is a popular design in Europe, which allows shooters to quickly swap out the barrel and bolt head to configure the rifle into a new caliber.
The R8 Long Range, however, does have a bit of a price tag attached. Presently the MSRP of the base model is $5,100.