Cutting edge technology, innovative German engineering and a strong hunting pedigree. Marcus Janssen is left wondering what's not to like about Blaser.
After more than 30 years of producing hunting rifles and drillings, Blaser finally launched their first ever over-under shotgun in 2004. Since then, the F3 has established a solid reputation and keen following, particularly on the German and American competition circuits, but also here in the UK. John Bidwell has won five FITASC World Championship titles with the F3.
With their latest model, the F3 Game, Blaser are attempting to emulate Perazzi by taking a proven competition gun and tailoring it to the premium end of the game shooting market. Available with game scene or fine English scroll engraving on the action and optional side plates and up to grade 11 walnut stock and fore-end, there is also the option of custom fitting and engraving through Blaser's custom shop in Isny. Their standard stocks come with either 1.6" or 2.2" drop at the comb, 1.5" or 2" drop at the heel and either .12", .24", or .32" cast.
But, like the R8, the most notable feature of the F3 is its genuinely innovative design. In many ways, it is unlike any other shotgun on the market. For starters, the noticeably low action frame, which is CNC milled from a solid piece of steel, is made possible by the unique inline hammer system and, as a consequence, the linear guidance of the strikers and firing pins allow for the direct use of the kinetic energy and thus very fast ignition. Indeed, the F3's purely mechanical selective single trigger, set to exactly 1,400g (3.08lb) is incredibly crisp.
The other unique thing about the F3 is its ejector system. Unlike conventional ejectors which cock when the gun is closed, the F3's ejectors are cocked when you open the gun, making the closing of the action extremely smooth. And, although not entirely unique to the F3, the barrel selector is located directly in front of the trigger, thus operated with your index finger.
The Blaser F3 also comes with a unique balancing system, allowing you to adjust the weight distribution and hence fine-tune the balance of the gun by adding, removing or moving backwards or forwards two separate weights, one in the barrels and one in the stock.