Started to see grumblings about this last night and today it dropped. Blaser has released a 10 round, detached, magazine design for their R8 Success / Thumbhole rifles. The Blaser R8 Ultimate X.
Having not spoken to Blaser, here are the observations I can see. And the engineering decisions I can surmise. Mind you this could be all wrong:
- The magazine is detachable.
- There are two 10rd magazine sizes: standard & magnum.
- 10 rounds includes both the 338LM and 338NM.
- The magazine is basically the same proprietary design they use in current R8 guns. Just a lot bigger.
- Existing 3-4-5 round inserts will work in larger magazine bodies. So no need to rebuy anything just to run your existing calibers.
- Why didn’t they use an AI mag? Two reasons. One, they are Blaser and want to own their customer. Two, they wanted mags to be caliber convertible like all Blaser rifles.
- While initially I thought this required a new receiver, looking more closely, It seems the R8 receiver block is unchanged. And the model / conversion is done on two-piece stocks in the rear. This is where room for the trigger comes from. Again…I am speculating.
- I do not believe this will work on regular professional setups like what I currently run.
- If the conversion is done with an extra part in the rear, it will be interesting to see how they engineered the mechanism for stability.
- This approach is exactly how Blaser handled the magazines on the LRS – LRS2 – Tac2 guns. As such, the firing hand’s position is further back and lower than on the standard R8. Zero issue using both, since we do same here; R8 vs Tac2 with zero manual of arms adjustment.
- It is still entirely possible, even though it’s a OEM Blaser conversion, they will require customers to buy a whole new receiver / rifle. Why? Because Blaser.
This is a pretty big development by Blaser. For those who don’t know, they have been fighting the magazine bug-a-boo since the very bad, old LRS1 days. So close to 30 years.
I know quite a few Blaser owners who should be jumping for joy this morning. Because now their R8 rifles can be firepower competitive in PRS like competitions.
If you’ve never fired a Blaser, they are crazy accurate. Which is insane when you think about them being a switch caliber. Imagine being a high volume competitive shooter who can burn out and replace barrels with zero gunsmith work. Hell, a PRS shooter could literally do it between stages. And I mean that…literally.
Blaser once again is showing the rifle world they are 30 years ahead of everybody else in design and engineering. The only real downside for the end user: cost.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”