Since 1957, Blaser Jagdwaffen GmbH of what was then-West Germany found its niche in producing several hunting-and military-minded shotguns and rifles. The company, founded by Horst Blaser, was under private ownership until a 1997 merger with SIGARMs. Despite this, the Blaser brand was allowed to continue manufacturing its long guns and grew to include the "R93" series tactical bolt-action sniper rifle.
The R93, as its designation suggests, was developed in 1993 and brought into a crowded bolt-action rifle market. The line eventually grew to include the related Blaser "LRS2" ("Long Range Sporter 2") and "Tactical 2" rifles as well which have found homes across many police and special forces groups around the world - favored in countries from Australia and Brazil to Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
One of the unique qualities of its design is the "straight-pull" bolt-action mechanism in an age when traditional bolt-handles are "turn-bolt" - i.e. these handles must be turned up and to the rear of the receiver to eject the spent shell casing (and subsequently introduce a fresh cartridge into the chamber). The straight-pull action simply sees the operator pull the bolt to the rear without needing the upward motion - providing for quicker successive shots on the part of the shooter. The primary drawback of such a design is having the bolt-handle seen as a protrusion hanging over the rifle's right side - snagging can become an issue. Straight-pull bolt-action rifles were seen in widespread use throughout the late-1800s but fell largely out of favor during the last century. The straight-pull mechanism is used in all three of the mentioned Blaser models.
Depending on the model in question, this rifle family is chambered for a variety of popular cartridges to suit both hunting and military function -available chamberings include 7.62x51mm NATO, .338 Magnum Lapua, .300 Winchester, and the 6.5x55mm round.
In terms of its overall design it is quite conventional - the shoulder stock is adjustable for user comfort, the optics set is fitted over the receiver in the usual way, and the barrel is capped by a multi-slotted muzzle brake. A hinged, folding bipod is affixed to the underside of the forend and collapsed when the rifle is in transport (a two-hex-bolt "break-down" feature also allows the rifle to be taken down at speed to a more compact form for travel and reassembled just as quickly). The straight-pull bolt handle is set over the right side of the receiver within easy reach of the off-hand. Iron sights are detachable and the feed system consists of a 4-, 5-, or 10-round detachable box magazine (depending on chambering).
The special forces arms of Bulgaria, Malaysia (PASKAU) and Slovenia both rely on the R93 family of sniper rifles.
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