Blaser K95 Single Shot Rifle Review
- Wednesday, 23 September 2020
James Cartwright explains why, when hunting deer with his single shot Blaser K95 Stutzen rifle in 6.5 x 55 calibre, one shot is enough.
I guess anyone lucky enough to own more than one rifle always has a favorite. The word ‘favorite’ usually arises from a combination of factors that have included comfort, reliability and the trust that you put into your rifle. When I first started stalking, like many stalkers, I tended to take far too much gear with me. Over time, I have cut this down to the bare essentials, which I consider to be my mobile phone, ‘gralloching’ kit, drag rope, 1st aid kit, binoculars, and quad sticks. I quickly found that less weight made me more mobile, and with less to think about, I became more effective as a result. My go to rifle a Blaser K95 single shot Stutzen in 6.5x55mm has similar attributes.
Single shot rifles aren’t that common in the UK, for those that are unfamiliar with the concept, think top lever, hinged opening and break-action, the same style as you have with a shotgun. No ejector though, you’ll get used to flicking the spent cartridge out with your finger.
So why is this my rifle of choice? Well as explained, I really like to keep things simple. I still find the temptation of adjusting a ballistic turret, or worrying about the magnification on my scope, far too tempting and often an unnecessary distraction. Less time thinking about my gun means more time thinking about the target and its surroundings. Likewise, modern rifles with a moderator, can end up being far more cumbersome, especially in dense woodland. I’m sure I’m not the first to knock a long-rifled moderator on a corrugated roof stand or metal rest, only to see the rear end of your game bounce out of sight.
Now I’ll be the first to admit I’ve got a real soft spot for the Bavarian style, hogs back, squared Germanic style cheek piece, grade 8 wood and the fact it packs up in 2 pieces to a total length of 20 inches. But more than that, I just seem to shoot better with it compared to other rifles.
Being so light and compact, it’s in the shoulder in a snap or on the sticks in a flash. Being a Stutzen, with the wooden stock covering the entire length of the barrel, I can also rest the barrel on supports or between branches in dense woodland. Moreover, knowing I’ve only one round in the chamber has a profound effect on how I approach a stalk. Sure, I’ll always carry sufficient ammunition with me, but I think the knowledge that I only have one shot means I’m especially careful of my approach. Its quick to bring to action if needed, but one shot means you’re less likely to hurry. I find all of these attributes mean that my shots tend to come together better.
I always remind myself we’re only ever one shot away from a poor shot, but it’s the simplicity of the single shot, absent of any bells or whistles, that I find incredibly pure and rewarding. I should add my Blaser K95 is no cabinet queen either. The pics here are a little old. She’s picked up some decent patina, barbed wire and the odd scrape recently, nothing a little CCL can’t fix and in any case, each scar has a story to tell.
As for the optics? Well as a last point, I should add, I’m a huge fan of my Leica 1-6.3x 24mm Magnus scope. It’s very bright, compact and partners perfectly with the rifle. It hardly ever comes of 6.3 power and I know I’m always 1.5inches high at 100m. It’s plenty good in twilight conditions as well, as long as you can cope with the muzzle flash from a 19.5inch barrel! Perhaps one day I’ll take the scope off and set the K95 up for use with its built-in iron sights…or maybe I need to add a slot for a .303 Enfield. In a complex world, sometimes simplicity rules.
Our thanks to James for explaining why he loves his single shot Blaser K95 rifle so much. In fact, James has been putting his single shot rifle to great effect on the Capreolus Club Plus scheme, where as part of the club’s deer stalking syndicate, he has consistently shot a number of excellent Roe.
If you’d like to go back to basics you may enjoy reading about deer hunting with a .303 Enfield follow this link: a-blast-from-the-past
Or alternatively, maybe you’d like to try shooting with opens sights? In which case watch the following film: youtube.com/watch
To read more rifle reviews simply follow this link: rifle-reviews