In 2009, Steyr introduced the SSG 08 bolt-action rifle as the answer to those requiring top accuracy from an out-of-the-box rifle. Clearly police and military agencies equipping specialized units benefit from rifles that are simply issued, sighted in, and deployed without needing any tweaks that might vary from one gun to the next. And while many of us civilians enjoy the process of tuning a rifle or finding just the right load, there are those who want a high performance rifle that works at its best, all the time, every time, right from the start--a rifle such as the SSG 08.
Mike Powell receives a Steyr Half Stock Mountain Classic to test – and has a hard time giving it back. I have personally owned two Steyr rifles: the original Pro Hunter and a Pro Hunter Mountain. These were both synthetic models, and very good too. When the opportunity cropped up thanks to the Sportsman Gun Centre to try one of the latest half-stocked models, I jumped at it.
Our resident sniper trainer wrings out the newest bolt-action sureshot that’s packed with shooter-friendly features.
From the bench the rifle was accurate to just over 1 moa so long as we fed it the right ammo. Some loads, however, produced groups four or fives times that size.
Today, it seems everything can be deemed tactical—knives, vests, boots and even pants—as military and police equipment trickles down to civilian markets. This includes Integrated Tourniquet System pants and shirts, quick-attach mounts for optics and flashlights and adjustable, ergonomic firearms like the Steyr Elite 08
The new Steyr-Mannlicher SM 12 just may be the most conventional bolt-action sporting rifle coming out of Germany or Austria today. Compared to guns like the Blaser R93 and R8, the Merkel RX Helix and KR1, the Sauer 202, the Krieghoff Semprio, the Anschutz 1727 and the Heym SR-30 to name just a few, the SM 12 is downright pedestrian in its design!