JP Sauer is a manufacturer of fine firearms, with a history that goes back to pre-war Europe. Their firearms are imported to the US market through Blaser, and there is a great assortment of rifles to choose from. Today we will focus on the model 100 Classic, chambered in a classic cartridge the 30-06.
The Model 100 Classic
When I first opened the box, I was unsure what to expect. The Model 100 classic is a traditional style detachable box-fed sixty-degree bolt-action rifle. The exceptionally beautiful wood grain first caught my eye as I dug it from the packaging, my attention quickly turned to the elegant looking action bedded in the walnut. A handsome satin finish and the satisfying cuts and angles of the action seemed very European to me. Sort of reminiscent of a Sako TRG or something similar. It’s a classy look for sure, I wasted no time in feeling the action and trigger to see if they matched the looks of this rifle.
JP Sauer 100 Features
The Sauer 100 features a three lug design, but its double-stacked making it actually a six lug bolt. The two layers of three bolt lugs make the throw of the bolt shorter. It only needs to be lifted sixty degrees vs. the ninety degrees that two lug bolts require. This makes the bolt operation faster and easier. The bolt uses a sliding extractor mounted in the bolt-face, as well as double ejectors to firmly throw the spent cartridge cases clear of the action. It also features a bolt-mounted safety that is slightly different than most. The three-position safety is engaged by using your thumb to pull the selector down, where it is locked in place by a button detent. Removing the safety is accomplished by pushing in on the button in the center of the selector. Rolling your thumb out as it pushes the selector forward.
The bolt is easily removed by pushing a small button on one side of the bolt handle while pulling the bolt to the rear. The button must be depressed to reinstall the bolt as well.
The JP Sauer 100 features a detachable box magazine that in 30-06 holds five rounds. The magazine is made of polymer, as is the follower. The magazine fits snugly to the bottom of the rifle, with almost no room for wobbling around. The release button is just in front of the magazine, and was very easy to release.
So easy in fact that I thought it might be an issue with unintentional magazine releases. But I found that even trying to accidentally hit the button would not release it. I was also impressed with how little force was required to seat the magazine, loaded or not. Just a gentle press would seat the magazine, with a soft clicking sound.
The trigger on this rifle was just outstanding, a single stage adjustable trigger with a smooth shoe. My first impression was how light and short it was. I love good triggers whether they be single or two stage. This single stage is immaculate, with no creep at all. The only thing you notice is when it breaks. I tested the pull weight, and it averaged just over a pound and a half. Some may consider it a bit light for a hunting rifle, I do not.
Mounting a scope on the rifle seemed a bit sketchy at first, as I feared I would have to use some strange mounting system. But after a little research I was happy to find that the Sauer 100 action uses the same pattern scope mounts as the extremely popular Remington 700. So it was as simple as going to my local shop and picking up a Leupold long action 700 base. I mounted a Nikon Black 4-16X50 scope that I had kicking around in some Warne rings. It turned out to be a good fit, and near perfect height for me.
First things first, only accurate rifles are interesting to me. If a rifle can’t repeatedly shoot sub MOA or preferably sub 1/2 MOA its not one I’d care to keep around. I couldn’t wait to see what kind of accuracy this rifle could deliver with it’s great trigger and some good ammo.
Shooting the JP Sauer 100
The safety selector did take a bit of getting used to. The positioning of it is perfect if your the type of shooter that removes the safety as you bring it up from a carrying hold. If you are already in the shooting position it can be a bit awkward to try and remove the safety. That’s one of the reasons I don’t care for bolt or bolt shroud-mounted safeties. This is a minor detail, as I rarely use safeties much anyways. I prefer to keep an empty chamber until its go time.
The rifle performed what I believe most would consider to be average as far as accuracy, shot groups averaged under an inch. I certainly wouldn’t consider this the best the rifle is capable of. Perhaps if ammo wasn’t quite as scarce I could of found something that shot better.
The ejection pattern of the Sauer is very predictable, throwing spent cases well clear of the action with its double ejectors. And regardless of the speed at which you stroke the bolt.
Pros and Cons
Perhaps the only sincere complaint I could come up with is that the stroke of the bolt is not quite as smooth as I expected it to be. Everything about this rifle is slick and effortless, so I just expected it to be the same. I also have a couple similar rifles like a Sako 85 and a Tikka T3 which both have a smoother feeling bolt stroke. Perhaps it is the longer 30-06 cases and the friction they create. But regardless of what the cause is, it is not even close to a dealbreaker to me. I’ve certainly felt worse on more expensive rifles than this.
I think that JP Sauer has made a fantastic rifle here. While my style of rifle may be completely opposite to this one I found so much about it to be intriguing. Its a handsome rifle that most anyone would be pleased to show, and its function is just as clean as its looks. And it shoots as good as it looks, making nearly everything about it perfect for your next hunting trip.