Gun Test Blaser's R-93 can handle its recoil

One of my least favorite things to do is to repeatedly fire handguns chambered for high-intensity rifle cartridges. But when the handgun proves to be as accurate and easy to manage as the Blaser R-93, even an extended test becomes downright enjoyable.

The bolt operation on Blaser's firearms is a straight-pull mechanism, meaning that the handle is simply pulled straight back to open the action. The Blaser pistol's bolt handle is on the left side, so right-handed shooters can work the bolt with their left hands.

Also, unlike conventional turn-bolt locking systems, in which the bolt lugs rotate into locking recesses, the locking surfaces of the Blaser bolt lock into a circular recess in the barrel, which provides an even locking surface that, like the old "Chinese finger trap," becomes more secure as pressure is added.

The R-93's barrel is essentially "free-floating" and thus is not subject to the whims of changing fore-end pressure. This was evident during a rapid-fire phase of my field test when the barrel became too hot to touch, but still its group size didn't grow.

Accuracy testing at the bench was done with the Blaser supported at the forend on a Harris bipod and the butt of its grip held firmly on a leather sandbag. The scope used was a Leupold 4-8X pistol scope, and all testing was a series of five-shot groups at 100 yards.

Only factory-loaded ammunition was tested, but even so, not a single group exceeded 1.5 inches, which is exceptional for a handgun. And just as impressive, the three loads tested all printed at the same point of impact.

BY THE NUMBERS

Manufacturer: Blaser (Germany) Model: R-93 Type: Bolt-action pistol Caliber Tested: .243 Win. Magazine Capacity: 3+1 Weight: 5 lb. 5 oz. Finish: Matte Stock: Turkish walnut Barrel Length: 14 inches Rate of Twist: 1 in 10 inches Overall Length: 22 inches Trigger Pull: 2 lb. 5 oz. Bore finish grading (out of 5): 4.5 Suggested Retail: $2,795

HOW IT SHOT

Test Rifle: Blaser R-93 Average Group Size: 1.16 in.* Ammo Used: Winchester Supreme 55-grain Ballistic Silvertip, Winchester Supreme 95-grain Ballistic Silvertip, Estate 100-grain Speer Hot-Cor Silvertip

*Average of 5 five-shot groups

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