Haenel Jaeger 10 Timber LX Monte Carlo
This rifle’s covetable Grade 4 walnut stock, superb handling and instinctive accuracy make Bruce Potts double-check the price
Haenel Jaeger 10 Timber LX Monte Carlo
Overall Rating: 90%
Price as reviewed: £1,710
The German gunmaking firm Haenel has been producing rifles for almost 200 years. Its reputation in Britain is now on the rise, thanks to its attention to detail and its importer, Viking Arms. The Haenel Jaeger — or Hunter — range certainly lives up to its name; a bolt-action rifle built in the traditional style using old-world gunsmithing quality but with technology that is bang up to date.
This particular rifle – the Haenel Jaeger – comprises a slim lightweight Sporter with correct bedding for consistent accuracy, a Picatinny rail for universal scope mounting, a detachable magazine and a safety with bolt-open facility to unload. Add to this the precision barrel threaded muzzle for sound moderator, super-slick low-lift bolt handle, corrosion-resistant Ilaflon coating and superb walnut stock, and this is an attractive proposition at £1,710. (Take a look at our list of best stalking clothing.)
The Jaeger series is available in calibres from .243, .308, 6.5×55, .270 and .30-06 and, though I have tested the synthetic models, this time I am lucky enough to have my hands on the gorgeous Timber LX model with a Monte Carlo stock configuration. What immediately stands out is the overall fit and finish of the rifle. It represents such good value for money that I had to recheck the price.
NEED TO KNOW
- Manufacturer Haenel
- Model Jaeger 10 Timber LX
- Type Sporter Calibre .308 Win
- Action Bolt action
- Magazine Three-shot, detachable
- Finish Ilaflon-coated
- Barrel 22in, threaded 15mm/1 pitch
- Overall length 42.75in
- Weight 6.95lb
- Sights High-visibility open sights and full-length Picatinny scope rail
- Stock Grade 4 walnut, Monte Carlo style
- Trigger Direct, set option supplied
- Price £1,710
- Importer Viking Arms, 01423 780810
Haenel Jaeger 10 Timber LX Monte Carlo – In depth
Starting with the stock — what a beauty. The Grade 4 walnut possesses lovely depth of colour, with highly figured grain running through the whole stock, and it’s finished off with a warm oil finish of great lustre. Gone are the fixed sling swivels, replaced with three more convenient quick-detachable mounting studs as well as two cross bolts through the stock to dissipate recoil more evenly.
With a schnabel fore-end and small cast to rear stock, this Jaeger 10 has a typical Sporter profile, and the raised Monte Carlo cheekpiece (European option) helps to maintain good eye-to-scope alignment. The whole rifle points and handles so naturally. The aim is really instinctive.
The action is bedded to the stock via a separate large forward recoil lug, which ensures consistent accuracy in adverse conditions. The totally free-floated barrel also aids accuracy. The barrel, as with the action, wears a highly polished Ilaflon coating. It’s very traditional and perfectly complements the walnut stock.
You also have some good open sights with this model, including a sliding windage-adjustable hi-vis rearsight and red bead foresight that can be removed for sound moderator fitment via the larger 15mm/1 thread. There’s also a full-length Picatinny rail so you can mount your own scope.
The barrel is 22in long with a 0.676in muzzle diameter that contributes to the Haenel’s impressive handling. At less than 7lb, it’s the ideal weight for a Sporter rifle.
A bolt-to-barrel locking system provides extra rigidity and strength, as well as ensuring safety. The bolt locks via three large lugs plus three smaller safety lugs, facilitating a very low bolt lift. That, in turn, allows a swift cycling that easily clears any mounted scope.
A small claw extractor and plunger- type ejector handle function reliably, while the classy, rounded walnut bolt knob is a nice touch.
The direct trigger mechanism has a set option. By pushing the trigger-blade forward, it lightens the trigger-pull to 1.5lb from its normal 2.65lb setting. Both options had no creep at all, breaking cleanly and predictably. Haenel’s two-lever safety system is all the rage and allows the larger outer lever to disengage the sear and locks the bolt solid in the rear position. This exposes a smaller lever which, when depressed, allows the bolt to move freely to extract a round while still having the rifle on safe.
Reloading is via a detachable three-shot magazine with a very secure locking mechanism; an ambidextrous paddle-type release lever set into the trigger-guard needs to be pushed in one stroke so the magazine pops out cleanly.
Some rifles just have the correct weight and balance and this Haenel Jaeger 10 Timber is one of them — with a combined smooth bolt action and great accuracy. I really like the walnut stock. It’s very well proportioned for comfortable shooting from any position.
- Accuracy Good accuracy, consistent with factory or reloads 18/20
- Handling Instinctive and highly pointable in all conditions 18/20
- Trigger Reliable, predictable and crisp adjustable trigger with no creep 18/20
- Stock Gorgeous walnut and nicely profiled Sporter stock 18/20
- Value Excellent, given the quality of fit and finish 18/20
- Overall score An attractive proposition, visually and financially 90/100
In the field
Viking supplied a Leupold VX-6HD scope and I chose to shoot in a traditional way, without a moderator. This rifle’s handling brought a genuine smile to my face. I know some may say synthetic or Cerakote finishing is more practical, but this Haenel Jaeger is for people who still like stalking the old-fashioned way.
The best .308 Win factory ammunition was the Sako 123-gr Gamehead with lovely sub-1in groups at 100 yards and a velocity of 2,881fps for 2,268ft/lb energy. It’s a great all-rounder if you don’t homeload. A nice 150-gr load was the Hornady SST Superformance with 0.85in groups and 2,848fps and 2,702ft/lb — almost the same as the lighter Sakos.
The best lead-free option was the Federal with Barnes TSX 165-gr heads at 2,643fps and 2,560ft/lb. These would be ideal for big Scottish reds.
I was also testing some new lead- free reloads and the Haenel responded well to the 136-gr Peregrine, loaded with 48 grains of Ramshot TAC powder, for 2,779fps and 2,333ft/lb and just over 1in groups.
We had the last of the Chinese water deer to cull before the end of the season and stalking through the long fields and crawling along drainage ditches did not faze the Jaeger. A small buck was spotted slowly walking across a wide kale field and, from the sticks, the Jaeger Timber tracked him until he stopped at 125 yards. A perfect combination of handling, accuracy and a Peregrine bullet concluded the proceedings without any fuss.