Becky McKenzie gets her hands on this week’s Gun of the Week, the Blaser F16 Sporting Intuition, and puts it through its paces.
I’m really enjoying doing these gun reviews. After reading many reviews over the years, and now being able to try some different guns myself, I feel that reviews are not always quite what they seem – so I’m trying to be as honest as I can, and tell you what I really feel about the guns I have selected to try out.
A few of my lady clients have been asking me to review a ladies’ gun, so I asked Emily at Orston Shooting Ground if I could use their demo Blaser F16 Intuition, Blaser’s ladies’ gun. Having already reviewed a Blaser F3 I was interested to see how this compared.
Blaser’s F16 models are the less expensive guns in their range, but still quality German-made clay busters. The day I tested this gun I was coaching a lady client, so I rather cheekily enlisted Joan’s help with my testing.
MODEL: F16 Sporting Intuition
RRP: From £3,046
BARRELS: 12 bore, 30 or 32ins
CHAMBERS: 76mm (3ins)
RIB: Tapered, 9-7.5mm
SAFETY: Non-auto. Barrel selector in front of trigger
STOCK LENGTH: 13 4/5ins
DROP: 34mm, 36mm, 50mm
WEIGHT: 3.3-3.7kg (7.3-8.2lb)
CHOKES: Blaser flush chokes ¼, ½ and ¾ as standard, extended Briley Spectrum chokes optional
Most ladies start shooting by being taken by their partner, so their first experience of shooting is with a large heavy gun that really doesn’t fit. They will find the barrels too long and heavy, making their front arm and shoulder ache. That’s certainly what I remember from my first time shooting, although I didn’t really care at the time as I was having fun!
Today we lady shooters have a good variety of guns available to us. As well as the Blaser Intuition reviewed here, there are also the Zoli Bella, Caesar Guerini Syren and Beretta Vitoria, to name but a few.
Generally a ladies’ gun will have shorter barrels, perhaps as short as 26ins. Most of these guns will have the same action as the standard model, but the stock will be designed for the female form.
That’s very important, as we ladies tend to have longer necks so we tend to need either a Monte Carlo style stock, or at the very least an adjustable comb. The neck of the stock needs to be much shorter, so we can reach the trigger without the hand creeping up the neck until it’s almost on the safety catch. Also we need a shorter length of pull, typically around 13½ to 14ins.
Having said all that, let’s look at the F16 Intuition. Blaser say they were one of the first manufacturers to make a lady specific gun, with a stock tailored to fit the female form. Sure enough, this one has a short stock, with a length of pull just a fraction over 14ins.
The newer ones in the gun shop at Orston actually had slightly shorter stocks of around 134/5ins, including the rubber recoil pad. I feel that measurement is ideal for most ladies. However, as with men, all ladies come in different sizes, so one size cannot fit all.
The drop of the stock on the F16 was 1.34in, 1.42in and 1.97in. Cast is 0.12in, 0.24in and 0.47, and pitch is 82 degrees (or 8 degrees depending how you measure it). The stock I tested also had a lovely Monte Carlo comb.
This lady style stock also has a short, slender pistol grip that really optimizes the Monte Carlo, so it naturally fits into your shoulder and ensures a positive trigger pull movement.
I believe that all lady style shotguns should come with adjustable combs, and that is available on request from Blaser, at an extra cost. It would be nice to see that sort of stock as standard on the Intuition, as well as the other lady guns.
Currently I believe that the only lady gun that comes with an adjustable comb as standard is the Zoli Bella. That one retails at around £6,250, with the Blaser Intuition coming in at £3,046 new, or £3,660 with grade 4-5 wood. I do like Zoli, having shot one and been sponsored by them for over seven years, but I can’t deny that the Blaser comes out as a bargain lady gun which is more than capable of doing a fantastic job for its owner.
The Intuition has a plain gunmetal grey action with F16 written on it in red. It’s nothing fancy, yet quite eye catching. The receiver is 60mm tall, which manages to keep the shotgun’s profile 1mm lower than the F3. This is achieved with the bifurcated underlug locking mechanism and a single cocking rod, as opposed to the two in the F3.
The F16 action is slightly rounded underneath, nice and smooth with no sharp edges or boxy feel to this gun. Blaser say that the low centre of gravity and a wider beam deliver extra stability with this gun. I must say that this little German marvel felt really good between the hands.
The trigger is also adjustable on this model, and has a pull weight of around 1.65kg (3lb 10oz) trigger pull. The mechanism operates independently of recoil, which to you and me means a mechanical trigger, which feels nice and crisp.
The F16 has Blaser’s Ejection Ball System or EBS. It’s important to me how a gun closes, and this Blaser impressed me with a good solid locking system. Conventional ejector systems cock their ejector springs when you shut the gun. The EBS system, on the other hand, activates the ejectors when a shot is fired, and cocks them when opening the gun.
This means the ejectors are in the de-cocked position when you store your gun in the cabinet, which helps to prevent spring fatigue and potentially failure.
The F16’s barrels have a matt finish, so there’s no obvious glare off of them in bright sunlight. The one that I tested had 30in (76cm) barrels, but they are also available in 28in (71cm). There’s a nice illuminated red bead. Chokes are flush as standard, or as an optional extra you can have Briley Spectrum extended choke tubes, which can be changed by hand or with the choke wrench.
There are other optional extras for the Blaser Intuition, including a barrel balancer so you can add barrel weights up to 170g (6oz) if you really want to. For the other end of the gun you can have a stock balancer which incorporates a threaded rod that can be equipped with one or two weight cylinders.
This system allows you to adjust the weight distribution so you can make this gun feel exactly how you want it. Then of course you can upgrade the wood quality too!
The F16 Blaser Intuition is available in Sporting and game models, and of course I was trying the Sporting version. This little gun caught my eye from the start.
I prefer a plainer style on the action and I’ve never really been into posh engraving, although there are some fine examples of hand engraving that I can stare at for hours. The wood on Blasers is always very good quality, and this demo gun was no exception.
Shouldering this gun for the first time, it felt rather small compared to my absolute behemoth of a K80. However it did come up into my shoulder really well, smoothly and easily, with no fighting to get it under control. With the lady style dimensions of the stock, there was no snagging on my Skeet vest on bringing it up into my shoulder.
As we went to the first stand it was absolutely freezing and blowing a hoolie! The first targets were somewhat wind-affected to say the least, but the Intuition really coped with the wind. I acquired the target with ease, pulled lead on without whipping past my perceived lead, and smashed the target really well.
The barrels contained half and three-quarter choke, so I got excellent kills which was a good start! The visual picture this little gun gave me was pleasant, too. I like to see a bit of rib and, even though the stock was a tad too short for me, it gave me the correct sight picture. Despite the lack of an adjustable comb, I felt I was looking straight down the rib.
I never had any problems moving the Intuition, even though it weighs between 7.3lb and 8.2lb, depending on barrel length and weighting systems. Because of that I really expected to be way in front of the targets before I squeezed the trigger, and I was pleasantly surprised that didn’t happen.
After a few more stands, I asked Joan if she would mind having a shoot with the Blaser. Joan has owned a Beretta Vitoria for around 14 months and has been getting on quite well with it, apart from the fact it is still rather difficult to open – and yes, it does have grease on the hinges!
I have had a few shots with this gun myself and it patterns well. I feel a lot of recoil through it, although Joan does not. That was one reason I asked her to have a go, to see how she perceived the recoil between the two guns.
Her first few shots reduced the targets to puffs of dust, which had me in stitches. Interestingly, Joan told me she couldn’t feel any difference in the recoil, whereas I felt the Blaser had a lot less recoil than her Vitoria, so clearly we feel recoil differently.
Over the next few stands the Intuition continued to impress. Recoil became unnoticeable for me, and the barrels weren’t particularly bothered by the wind, unlike the targets.
This really is a gem of a gun. The only issue I had was getting it back off Joan; she was thoroughly enjoying shooting it. We discussed the main differences with the two, in particular the easier opening of the Blaser, and its better trigger pulls.
All in all I couldn’t find anything I didn’t really like about the F16 Intuition. It’s a stylish, well built gun. Later on I pattern tested it with slightly more open chokes, just to see what pattern it produced.
It shot around 70/30 on the pattern sheet, with 70 per cent above the centre. It was a good pattern too, with no fliers and a really good, even spread of pellets across the pattern. It’s worth mentioning that the barrels are steel proofed and chromed lined.
So, if your lady love is a lady shot, get down to your local gun shop and get the best present ever for your nearest and dearest! Well done Blaser, you really have made a fine gun for us lady shots out there. Joan certainly agrees.
She liked the Blaser F16 Intuition so much that she persuaded her husband, John, to buy it for her. Happy days!
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