Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle – it’s a lot of gun for the money
Bruce Potts looks at the Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle and concludes you get a lot of gun for the money
Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle
Manufacturer: Fierce Firearms
Price as reviewed: £3,740
I am more than a little interested in custom rifles both in their appearance and more so for the sheer performance a handbuilt rifle gives you. Sadly, these days a true custom will cost the earth but I have tested three new Fierce rifles (including this Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle) from Canada now and I have to say they are the nearest rifle I have shot to have the features and performance of a custom rifle two or three times its price.
Looking at the Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle
You have a comprehensive range made up of the two action types, first is the Rival model that mimics the old Remington 700-type footprint with a two-lug bolt system whilst the Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle (as tested) uses the excellent Sako 85 action design concept. All Fierce rifles are guaranteed for accuracy of three shots into ½ MOA (minute of angle) at 100 yards, and they come with a test target.
I prefer the look and handling of the Edge models over the Rival as you combine a light weight of 6.8lb, due primarily to the carbon-fibre Sporter stock and a three-lug bolt operating system for a low bolt lift and smooth action.
You also get a very good adjustable trigger, detachable magazine (Sako’s fit), slim fluted match-grade custom barrel and a very hard-wearing titanium Last Guard-coating, their Cerakote equivalent. Add to this a lifetime warranty and you have yourself an off-the-shelf ‘custom’ rifle that will put three shots in ½ an inch, weighs next to nothing and repels the weather and scratches with ease. It is just what the deer stalking doctor ordered.
The moment you pick up the Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle you realise it’s a nimble rifle at 6.8lb without scope. That’s largely due to the Tech C3 carbon-fibre composition of the stock that achieves a mere 0.785kg weight yet is integrally strong due to the carbon-fibre weave construction.
The action is precisely bedded-in for consistent accuracy with aluminium pillars and metal recoil lug and has a very typical exterior carbon-fibre weave pattern overlaid with a sprayed-on camouflage pattern. There is no checkering to the stock and it doesn’t really need it due to the textured and slightly rippled surface. It perfectly balances this rifle with its 13.75in length of pull and has that typical Sporter (again, Sako influenced) design with a very good recoil absorbing Limbsaver butt pad.
This stock is free-floated for the entire barrel channel for best accuracy with the slim-profiled barrel that is a hand-lapped match-grade stainless steel unit which guarantees that accuracy claim of ½ MOA. Externally, there is a very nice hard-wearing titanium-coloured Last Guard coating that matches the action and makes the Edge pretty much rustproof. Weight is reduced by six flutes cut along the barrel’s length of 24in and is finished off with a ½ UNEF thread for moderator fitment. The carbon-fibre model as the name suggests has a carbon-wrapped barrel for around an additional £800.
For the action there’s a choice between the stainless steel (on test) or titanium to save even more weight. They both follow the Triad three-lug bolt operating system to allow a shallow 70-degree bolt lift culminating in a smooth, reliable and fast cycling action with added security from the controlled round feed bolt head design. I like the fluted bolt in a spiral formation as it helps to stop twisting and saves a little more weight. Also, the large Sako-type extractor, combined with the plunger sprung ejector, takes care of efficient cartridge manipulation.
Feeding the Edge is via the detachable five-shot magazine, effortlessly popped out by the forward release lever in the floorplate. Being made of stainless steel it won’t rust and can be topped up with extra cartridges through the action if speed is of the essence.
Fire control comes from a trigger with a precise feel with adjustment from 2–4lb weight and was set at 2.55lb (this rifle) with perfect creep-free single stage operation.
A new fixed power 7.5 x 50mm GPO was supplied with an Evolve sound moderator yet the Edge still only weighed 8.6lb. The 7mm-08 cartridge is quite an interesting round being essentially a necked down .308 Win to 7mm (0.284).
It’s an efficient design and with factory Remington 140-grain (gr) Core Lokt bullets shot 2,792fps/2,424ft/lb and 1.0in groups. I then tried some lead-free Barnes 120gr TTSX bullets that grouped into 0.65 of an inch at 100 yards with a velocity of 2,995fps for 2,391ft/lb.
That is very close to the guaranteed ½ MOA with correct ammunition – Barnes – it seems a bit pointless reloading but two nice loads were apparent. The Nosler 120gr Ballistic Tip with a load of 44.0g of RL15 powder achieved 0.55in groups, close enough ½ MOA and 3004fps for 2404ft/lb. Very impressive. The lead-free options were the Barnes 110gr TTSX with 43.5g of Vit N135 powder for 3,122fps and 2,381ft/lb and 0.65 inch groups.
Out in the field after zeroing at 100 yards we had two nice roebucks, one in England the other in Argyll with the factory Barnes 120gr load. Only a smaller buck in Scotland but a great stalk as I had to crawl through tick-infested marram grass from 200 yards down to about 80 yards to get a clear shot before he dissolved back into the forest edge.
This Edge really stands out as just one of those rifles that feels right and does not hinder your stalk by being heavy or cumbersome. It’s as near as damn it weatherproof, and handling was great off sticks or leaning off tree trunks or knees with reassuring accuracy to boot.
A price tag of £3,740 might seem a lot but for the guaranteed accuracy, along with a lifetime warranty for a super-light great handling rifle with bombproof exterior and reliable action and magazine system may make you think again.
You are, after all, getting a custom-type rifle for a high-end standard rifle price.
Tech specs Fierce Edge 7mm-08 stalking rifle
- Manufacturer Fierce Rifles, Canada
- Model Edge
- Type Bolt action Sporter
- Calibre 7mm-08
- Magazine Five-shot detachable
- Finish Titanium Last Guard coating
- Barrel Fluted, 24in
- Overall length 44.75in
- Weight 6.8lb
- Sights None, drilled and taped for bases
- Stock Carbon-fibre Sporter
- Trigger Single stage adjustable
- Price £3,740
- Importer Raytrade 01635 253344
This Edge really stands out as just one of those rifles that feels right and does not hinder your stalk by being heavy or cumbersome.