THE GREAT STRAIGHT R8

The test Blaser R8 Professional Safari is an inline bolt-action…

The test Blaser R8 Professional Safari is an inline bolt-action repeater. The bolt handle is mounted in an ergonomically perfect position. For follow-up shots, the shooter’s eye position never has to move.

Waiting for something to happen when you have game in sight means sitting still, paying attention and not much else. The boredom can drive a man insane. We were high on a kopje in Namibia, perched on the topmost rocks, which worked well as a reflector to intensify the sun’s rays. There was no shade, no escape and nothing to do but sweat and wait for the Oryx bull I had spotted to leave his shady bed and move enough to show me a target.

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Shooting the Blaser R8 Professional in .300 Win. Mag. at the SAAM shooting school in Barksdale, Texas.

I was hunting with a personable young man who was the first black licensed professional hunter in Namibia. He tapped my shoulder and with a grin indicated I should get ready. Then he started barking like a baboon. After a few minutes, the Oryx stood up and glared at us like an annoyed neighbor staring at a loud, late-night party.
It was a long shot, but I couldn’t have been more confident. I had a good rest, a Zeiss riflescope and a very accurate rifle.

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Towsley with his 2009
Alaskan brown bear. He used the Blaser R-93 rifle in .375 H&H, a Nikon Monarch scope and a Barnes 350-grain bullet.

This was my introduction to using the Blaser R93 straight-pull bolt-action rifle in the field. Since that African hunt, I have used the R93 on Alaskan brown bear, Canadian whitetails and on several domestic hunts. I have also used the tactical version for long-range work, including beating up an 18-inch plate at 1,500 yards with .338 Lapua Magnums.

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Blaser R8’s removable box magazine is integral with the trigger group. Also shown is another magazine insert.

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