Set to arrive here in the U.S. at the end of April 2016 is the new Blaser F16, a shotgun that will be priced considerably lower than the German gunmaker’s highly regarded F3, but which offers many of the same performance features. Both Game and Sporting model variants will be offered. The suggested retail price is expected to be around $3,750.
I’m part of a group that got a sneak peek yesterday afternoon, when Blaser’s Bernhard Knoebel stressed that the F16 was designed to prioritize natural pointability. To that end, it boasts the lowest receiver height of any 12-gauge over/under, just 60 mm. The resulting low center of gravity minimizes muzzle rise and aids speedy second-shot capability. Another top feature is its clean-breaking trigger, set at a 3.6-lb. pull weight, though the Sporting model’s trigger is user adjustable.
Blaser’s forte is innovative engineering, and this thing has it in spades. Its mechanical single trigger works with rotary hammers and angled firing pins, a system designed for fast lock time and maximum durability. The new model uses the same ejectors as the F3, which cock when the action is opened, and thus do not add resistance upon closing. For ease in maintenance (a concern to high-volume clays competitors) all lock parts are mounted on the lock plate and the firing pins are mounted on the breech block, both of which are readily accessible.
The stock dimensions are geared to American shooters (apparently we’re a bit longer than Europeans) with a standard length of pull at 14¾”. The samples on hand for a launch event at Joshua Creek Ranch in Texas were quite handsome, with marbled walnut and clean, simple lines.
The receiver has a semi-round-body configuration, is sculpted to mate with the barrels, and wears a gray finish that contrasts slightly with the blued barrels. Knoebel said F16 designers were very conscious about how the gun would look, and he cracked that, “We can now agree that German guns aren’t as ugly as they used to be.
A group of gun writers and sporting clays pros are present to shoot clays and released birds with F16s today, and so we’ll file a follow-up report tomorrow.