Becky McKenzie is impressed from the moment she closes the action of the legendary F3 Supersport.
This month I’ve had the opportunity to review a Blaser F3 Supersport, all thanks to Orston Shooting Ground in Nottinghamshire, who offered to loan me one to test.
This gun comes in various formats. There’s a ‘Professional’ or Competition model with a standard height rib; then the F3 Vantage comes with a slightly higher rib. The Supersport has a higher rib again, this one adjustable; this gun is popular with Fitasc and Olympic Trap shooters. Then there’s the F3 Supertrap, which has an even higher rib, and is formulated for the Trap disciplines.
The obvious choice for me was the traditional F3 Supersport with 30 in barrels and a mid-height tapered rib. The F3 Supersport is used by many a Sporting shot, Fitasc too. This style of Blaser can also be used successfully in the Trap disciplines.
The F3 Supersport comes in a variety of grades, offering different levels of engraving on the action, all the way up to the Baronesse which has elongated sideplates with a choice of ducks and pheasants or fine scroll arabesque.
The gun I tested was the basic model, with a plain black action with a discreet ‘F3’ picked out in gold just in front of the trigger guard. This one had some real quality looking walnut – it comes with grade 4 wood, but can be upgraded if required.
All the Supersport models come with an adjustable trigger, a Sporting style rubber butt pad, and a stock balancing system which allows you to adjust the weight distribution to your requirements.
There are a plethora of add-ons available so you can fine-tune the gun with barrel weights, competition barrels, interchangeable coloured high-vis beads, different fore-ends such as English style, semi-beavertail and schnabel, just to name a few.
MODEL: F3 Supersport
RRP: As tested £7,660
BARRELS: 30 or 32 ins
CHAMBERS: 12 bore, 3 ins
RIB: Ventilated, raised, adjustable
WEIGHT: 8lb 6oz. Balance weight system in stock and barrels
STOCK: Various grades available, adjustable option, rubber recoil pad as standard
CHOKES: Multichokes as standard; Briley Spectrum chokes optional
Bling up your Blaser!
There are also various upgrades available including Briley Spectrum chokes, which I can highly recommend as I use Briley titanium chokes in my own guns, and have done for years.
Other options include an adjustable stock in left or right hand, straight or Monte Carlo, and you can choose ‘superior’ wood, all the way up to grade 10.
If you go to the Blaser website at blaser.de you’ll find a ‘configurator’ that allows you to build your own gun online. I had a little play around and my bill did rather get high, as I got a bit carried away with all the choice.
You can choose your model, grade of action, calibre and barrel length, which chokes you require, and stock grade. Grade 4 wood is standard and it’s tempting to upgrade, but if you go up to grade 10 it will add another £5,500 – it is seriously stunning though. Essentially you can build your own Blaser F3 Supersport and bling it up as much as you like!
One point worth noting about the F3 is that it has a special ejector system known as the Ejection Ball System or EBS. Most guns have a conventional ejector system, where the ejector springs are cocked when you close the gun.
This means there is increased resistance on closing the gun, which can interfere with your smoothness of movement when shooting, and break your concentration. With this type of ejector the springs inevitably lose power over time, and ejection becomes weaker.
The Blaser EBS system avoids these problems by activating the ejectors in a different way when the shot is fired, and cocking them as the gun is opened. This means the ejector springs are always decocked when you put your pride and joy away in the cabinet after a weekend of shooting, thus preventing spring fatigue.
I have never owned a Blaser myself, but I have been given a try by various clients of mine who shoot this particular model, so I was keen to spend some time with this bit of German engineering.
I was immediately impressed with the good looks of this F3 Supersport. The walnut really stood out as a nice bit of wood, even though it was only grade 4. The action was plain black, with a gold F3, which looked simple but tasteful.
I have a thing about how a gun feels and sounds when it shuts. I really hate it when you close a gun, and you get a bit of a clanging sound. This doesn’t happen with the Blaser; it shuts with a solid smoothness, like an expensive car door. Quite simply, this gun shuts like a Bentley.
When I first shouldered the gun I really did notice the higher style of top rib. It does stand out and I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to hit a barn door with it.
It’s important to remember, though, that you always look at the target when you’re shooting, never the barrels. The Supersport’s rib is adjustable higher or lower, to suit your personal point of aim. Orston had their demo gun set to around 60/40, changed from Blaser’s factory setting of 70/30.
So I decided to forget about the unfamiliar sight picture and venture out to tackle some of the tasty Orston targets. This gun weighs in at around 8lb 6oz and feels fairly well balanced in the hands – it certainly didn’t feel at all heavy or cumbersome despite what some people expect when they look at this style of gun.
Smoothly does it
The barrels moved with ease on the first crosser on stand 1, with a nice follow through after I pulled the trigger. Sometimes when I’m reviewing different guns I find that the gun stops quite quickly after squeezing the trigger. The F3 Supersport was smooth enough just to keep going, but I didn’t have to wrestle it back for the on-report second target.
This Blaser has an adjustable trigger which is set at around 1,400g of pull weight, just over 3lbs in old money. Perceived recoil is very low, which is good for me. Having experienced a herniated disc in my neck some years ago, I find I am quite sensitive over recoil, but I’d award the Blaser ten out of ten for its low recoil.
I found that the stock sat a little low in my shoulder, and was a little bit long. Mind you, coming from a custom stock, all standard stocks feel like a poor fit to me, and this one caused me no problems. It’s long in the grip, so with my smaller hands I found that my hand rode up the neck of the stock to reach the trigger, but again that didn’t bother me.
This Blaser has a particular feel and handling quality to it. I really liked it, but I realise it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. That is true of most shotgun manufacturers of course. They each have their own distinctive feel and it’s a question of each to their own.
Considering this gun looks quite chunky with its higher style rib, it can move as smooth as you like, or as fast as you want it to, with fairly little effort. It went to the point of aim, with exceptional kills from the F3 barrels and Briley chokes.
All in all, there is just something about this gun that I really like, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think I would like to try a F3 Professional as well, to compare.
Somehow this Supersport just felt right; I felt comfortable and at home with it. It was very pleasing for me to shoot, and made me want to go out and shoot it again – something I cannot honestly say of all the guns I’ve tested.
The F3 feels like quality, and well engineered. Is it value for money? Well, using the configurator the price tag on this model, with 30in barrels and grade 5 wood, is around £7,660. That’s not cheap by any means, but worth every penny I reckon.
To sum up, I was really rather impressed with the Blaser F3 Supersport. There was a lot I liked about this gun, and I’d be happy to shoot it again. If I had to rate it, it would certainly come in second place behind my own gun – and that is saying a lot!
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