J.P. Sauer & Sohn’s own website describes their new Model 100 as “The entry into the world of Sauer.” Probably, but despite its great name the Model 100 stands tall on its own. It’s true that the time-honored Sauer name is best-known for premium firearms, and equally true that their other two bolt-actions, both the Model 101 and Model 404, are very much premium rifles…but once one has spent time with the Model 100 the biggest question seems to be “how they can market it at such a low price?”
The Sauer 100 was obviously designed for simplicity of manufacture, with oversize three-lug bolt and compact detachable polymer magazine which, in standard cartridges, holds an astonishing five cartridges. The safety is the common sliding lever behind the bolt handle recess…except, for a safety of this type, it’s an uncommon three-position safety. The Model 100 is offered stocked in either walnut or synthetic, with a good, straight buttstock with slight rise from pistolgrip to heel, giving it an exceptional feel with perfect height for scope use.
So far so good; except for the famous name, just another nice mid-priced bolt-action, right? Remember the old adage, “Only accurate rifles are interesting?” First attributed to Colonel Townsend Whelen, it’s been used by just about every scribe who writes about rifles, including me. Take a Sauer Model 100 rifle to the range and I think you’ll find it interesting!
The Model 100 I’ve been shooting, chambered to .270 Winchester, has not produced the tightest groups I’ve ever seen from an out-of-the-box production rifle. However, in my forty-odd years as a gunwriter I think it’s the most consistently accurate production sporting rifle I’ve ever seen! It shoots everything quite well. Considering three-shot groups, its initial average of five groups, four different loads, was .77-inch. The best, with 130-grain Hornady GMX, measured .306-inch; the worst strayed to 1.04 inches. Five-shot groups open up a wee bit, with barrel heat and “operator error” starting to creep in—but still stay solidly around the one-Minute of Angle (MOA) mark with just about everything.
It’s a production rifle, so I can’t guarantee that your Sauer Model 100 will do that…but some are certain to do better. I love the good old .270; it’s a versatile and effective hunting cartridge. But of the dozen cartridges the Model 100 is initially chambered to there are probably some others likely to be on-average more accurate. If I were a betting man I’d bet on the .222 Remington, 6.5mm Creedmoor, and both the .243 and .308 Winchester before I’d bet on the .270!
Accuracy, however, is more about the barrel, the action, and how they’re mated together and bedded than cartridge design. Sauer barrels are hammer-forged, which I believe to be the barrel-making technique that creates the most consistent results. The three-lug bolt and rigid, partially enclosed action are contributing factors. Action bedding is sound, and the barrel is free-floated, which also tends to work well with hammer-forged barrels. The trigger is easily adjustable with an Allen key just ahead of the extra-wide trigger. Sauer designed the rifle for simplicity of manufacture, clearly to reach a price point unprecedented for this company…but they also designed it to shoot, and it does.
The scope mounts I’m using are the Sauer “Hexalock” detachable mounts, sturdy and repeatable, but the receiver is drilled and tapped to take standard Remington Model 700 bases, available in all types of bases. So far I’ve had two scopes on the rifle, first a Leupold VX6 2-12, and second a Leica Magnus 1.8-12X. Accuracy has stayed consistent. So far, the only hunting I’ve been able to with it is wild hogs but, hey, I like hunting hogs and I’ve taken several with it. Shooting distances have varied from quite close to out there a good distance. So far it hasn’t mattered; the Sauer Model 100 performs just as well in the field as it has on the range. At any price it’s a very fine bolt-action hunting rifle…at its price point, it is amazing: An extremely accurate, and thus very interesting rifle!
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