As a rule of thumb, the old saying “you get what you pay for’ is very true when it comes to buying a new rifle, but after reviewing the latest offering from the Spanish manufacturer Bergara, I wonder if that theory has been blown out of the water.
I know several full-time keepers who swear by their Accuracy International AE rifles in .243 Win and in .308 Win, which perform vermin- control duties flawlessly under sometimes quite extreme conditions.
Having previously tested the LA101 rimfire, Stuart Wilson gets his hands on the centrefire version
Thompson Center (TC) is not a well known brand in this country, so I was looking forward to receiving one in .204 Ruger from UK importer Viking Arms.
I knew Zoli made outstanding high-end shotguns, but in the UK, that esteemed name had never really been associated with rifles – until now. There was no question of Zoli’s fine craftsmanship, but it would be interesting to see how this would translate into producing a hunting rifle.
Sako has produced many excellent rifles over the years. There are few hunters around the world who will not be familiar with the brand, and the response is usually the same: ‘Sako makes some great rifles.’
Over the years I have owned a few American-made firearms, both rifles and shotguns, and I have always come to the same conclusion: American rifles are built to do the job, rather than please the eye of the beholder.
Zoli might not be well known within the UK, but in Italy, it has a reputation for its quality shotguns. When it comes to rifles, it boasts a beautiful range of doubles, but it is the bolt-action variety that takes my interest. Zoli acquired the Husqvarna 1900 action and since then, this reliable design has been the kingpin of its development for many years.
When I think of Spanish-made guns, my mind immediately jumps to AYA shotguns. I have had one for years, and my bargain £80 buy is still my rough gun of choice to this day. Although this may be something of a workhorse, there are some fine-looking guns to have come out of Spain, although they are still better known for shotguns than rifles. Asked to name a Spanish rifle, I bet that the best most people could come up with is Cometa air rifles.
Before you say it, I know what you are thinking. This model of Tikka T3 is not really a traditional hunting rifle, what with all its adjustable gizmos, heavy barrel and bright laminated stock, but the Tikka Sporter concept has been around for many years. In Scandinavia, they are used for a range of shooting disciplines such as target, biathlon and hunting.