By Lewis Potter
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Heym Precision SR21 rifle: Modern German precision engineering combined with old world values.
Heym Precision SR21 rifle review.
The German Heym factory produces stalking rifles of the first order, made to old-world values using modern techniques.
Its bolt-action rifles — be they 0.308 stalking or large-calibred African versions — always have one thing in common: when you pick up a Heym, you can feel the quality of manufacture instantly.
No plastics, just plain old good steel, machined well and made within the factory, so quality control is tight.
The barrels, too, are made in-house from forged steel blanks, and so accuracy can be maintained to the highest level.
With this test rifle, the Precision, every aspect of manufacture has been scrutinised.
The blued finish is excellent; the styling and finish of the classically profiled stock is fabulous; and, with the added benefit of the high-precision barrel, it is also very accurate.
The Precision uses the latest Heym bolt-action arrangement — that of the SR21 — with attention to detail in the stock, action-bedding, bolt-locking lug engagement and tight barrel tolerances.
The action body is very solid, with a small ejection port keeping the bolt almost fully shrouded, and with the bases of the scope mounts directly attached to the rounded action top.
The blued satin finish is deep and lustrous, and highly practical on a sporting arm. It is 8.75in long and has been bedded professionally around the recoil lug area, so the wood-to-metal fit, and therefore the accuracy is maintained.
It’s a good-looking action with a faceted left side and twin gas ports to the front bridge section. The bolt — 7.25in long with a girth of 0.78in — is also well engineered.
The shaft has five straight flutes down 4in of its length, which reduces weight, helps to prevent the bolt from binding in operation, and looks attractive.
The Heym’s bolt has an arrangement of three locking lugs, but with the lugs arranged so that there is one at 6, 10 and 2 o’clock.
The bottom lug removes a cartridge from the magazine, the lug at 10 o’clock has a large sprung extractor claw inset and at 4 o’clock there is a plunger-type ejector button.
The bolt action is very smooth, with a 60-degree arc movement, and the bolt shaft has a very nice wooden knob, which aids grip but also contrasts nicely with the metal and wooden stock.
If there is one thing that Heym does well, it is producing great-looking and handling sporting
ACCURACY AND TARGETS
This Heym shot very well after a short running-in period up to the first 20 shots, during which I cleaned the bore after each 10 shots, then after every two shots.
All the factory ammunition shot less than 1.25in at 100 yards, except the 180-gr Partitions, which achieved only 2in groups.
The RWS KS shot very well, at 1in with 2,624fps and 2,603ft/lb energy; it would be a great round for deer.
Similarly, the Winchester Ballistic Tip load shot a fast 2,791fps and gave two shots touching and then one off.
The Ballistic Silver Tip was equally good; with a load of 44gr of Vit N135 powder, I achieved 2,786fps from the 24in barrel and 0.75in groups.
The Hornady InterBond bullet is a nice dependable deer bullet and when loaded in front of 46gr of RL15 powder (my favourite), it shot 0.5in groups with the odd flier at 2,916fps and 2,833ft/lb.
Surprisingly, the 130-gr Soft Point Hornady bullet shot accurate 0.45in groups consistently when loaded closer to the rifling lands and achieved just shy of 3,000fps velocity at 2,924fps.
SAFETY AND TRIGGER
The safety is a wing-type model (similar to that on the Winchester), operated by a lever on top of the shroud, and with three positions.
When it’s forward (red dot), the rifle can be fired; when it’s fully rearward (large white dot), the bolt and trigger are locked.
In the halfway position (small white dot), the trigger is safe and the bolt can be operated if you need to remove a cartridge.
I was expecting to find the usual set trigger on this Heym, with the trigger pull set very light.
In fact, it was a standard, single-stage pull, but I have to say it was beautifully crisp with no creep whatsoever, and the sear broke like glass at 1.85lb — just right for a sporting arm of this accuracy.
The trigger is adjustable via an Allen screw through the front of the trigger guard, so you can fine-tune the pull and weight as desired.
The magazine is a straight-feed system of all-metal construction, holding three rounds in 0.308 Win, released via a large external button recessed into the right bottom side of the stock.
A firm push and the magazine pops out into your hand, under pressure from a wire plunger. The barrel is where the work has really gone into this new rifle.
It is free-floated along its entire length, apart from 2.5in from the receiver, where the action is bedded. It is 24in long (actually 23.75in), with a muzzle diameter of 0.714in, and is medium-heavy in profile.
It is threaded for a sound moderator with a 5/8 18in pitch. The word Precision is stamped on the top of the barrel — Precision barrels are specially selected for their trueness, tight tolerance and lack of imperfections, which will ultimately result in better accuracy on the target.
A very fine-looking sporting arm. The accuracy from its select barrel makes it a cut above your usual stalking rifles.
Run in that barrel with the shoot/clean regime and accuracy is assured.
It’s a tad front-heavy with a sound moderator fitted and a cheekpiece would be more scope-friendly, but it would spoil the classic lines of this stock.
I would also like a set trigger option. But you have to admit what a great-looking and shooting rifle this is.
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