The road leading to the R93 was first walked by Horst Blaser, a mechanic who drove a milk truck for his father. That might well have remained his path, except he fell in love. The young lady’s father did not approve of Blaser’s profession, as he believed that it would not provide well for his daughter. The man bluntly told Blaser that unless he studied to become a gunsmith, like himself, he would not allow them to marry. Luckily for the hunting world, Blaser became a gunsmith.
Blaser took to the profession, but rather than accept the status quo he questioned the order of things. He looked for ways to lighten the guns. But most of all, he wanted to design a gun that was safer than those available at the time.
Introduced in 1957, the Diplomat over-under rifle/shotgun was the result of his efforts. That design, in which the gun is uncocked and safe until ready to fire, defines a Blaser hunting rifle even today. Blaser introduced its first bolt-action, the SR 830, in 1983, and it was the rifle that helped to open the American market when Gerhard Blenk contacted Blaser about importing and selling rifles in the United States. The rifle was “Americanized” by using a conventional cocking system and safety. It was called the “Blaser Ultimate” until 1986, when the name was changed to the R84. This story is significant because in 1985 Blaser sold the company to Blenk.
Through the next 15 years Blenk built the company until it was Germany’s largest hunting-rifle manufacturer. Blenk was a passionate and experienced worldwide hunter. He had a concept for what he believed to be the ultimate hunting rifle. He worked with the head of research and development for Blaser, Meinrad Zeh, to develop this idea. Zeh was a master toolmaker with a deep knowledge of firearm technology, and the two formed a strong team.
Using the latest developments in CAD, they created a new, completely “outside-the-box” bolt-action rifle, the R93, introduced in 1993. Blaser has undergone some huge changes in the years since, including a few changes in ownership, but the rifle remains. Today the company is owned by Michael Lüke and Thomas Ortmeier and run by Bernhard Knöbel. Knöbel is a trained gunsmith with sharp business skills and is a passionate hunter, and the Blaser USA division is being run by Norbert Haussmann, who also is a trained gunsmith.
The R93 is the company’s flagship rifle. Like most great ideas, it was ahead of its time. It’s a straight-pull bolt-action. There is no need to turn the bolt up or down; instead, you simply pull straight back on the bolt handle to open the action, and push it straight forward to close the action. The modular design allows for swapping parts to create anything from a long-range precision tactical rifle to a dangerous-game gun to a varmint hunting rifle. You can have a rifle with a pragmatic synthetic stock or one with Grade 11 Turkish walnut. The R93 is accurate, reliable, fast for use in the field and it can handle just about any modern cartridge. Switching from a .416 Rem. Mag. to a .223 Rem., or any cartridge in between, takes only minutes.