Bruce Potts is impressed with the accuracy of this Russian rifle, made with state-of-the-art technology
Development in rifle and shotgun manufacture has accelerated in recent years, with new strides towards accuracy and longevity, utilising new materials and techniques. Orsis rifles herald from Russia and are imported exclusively by Brock and Norris.
Orsis is a new name here but the firm is a highly regarded rifle maker, as all rifles are produced in-house on state-of-the-art Computer Numerical Control machinery. This allows the firm to offer a wide range of precision rifles from lightweight Alpine hunters to F-class target guns, varmint or benchrest models. I had the Varmint M model that was a typical varmint-style stock of laminate wood but with a semi tactical bias and adjustable cheekpiece.
Many varmint stocks now look a little “military”, but that is because shooters are more demanding these days and want an adjustable cheekpiece and properly fitting stocks on their rifles. The Orsis has a laminated design that is ergonomic and balances in the hand well, but is a little muzzle heavy. It has a full fore-end, a nicely pro led pistol grip and underside to the butt section with an adjustable butt-pad.
The cheekpiece has a thumbwheel that allows elevation of 1.5in on a central column supported by two pillars. This, along with the other adjustments and general design, really allows each shooter to custom- fit the Orsis to their own individual measurements.
It has QD swivel mounts and an Anschutz-type underside accessory rail to the fore-end, but there is no chequering on the black/silver laminate.
Beauty is not only skin deep — the Orsis has inner depths with the whole action being fully bedded. This bedding is well executed and is supported with twin aluminium pillars to the two stock screws that help contribute to good accuracy.
Action/bolt and barrel assembly
The barrel is 24in long and the whole barrel is free- oating in the stock, with a slow taper from 0.955in just forward of the receiver ring to 0.872in at the muzzle. It has eight straight flutes to reduce weight and the muzzle is threaded with an 18/1mm pitch. This model comes with a muzzle brake attached, but it is easily removed.
The best part is the incredible attention to detail of the barrel manufacture. The internal dimensions are held to an incredible maximum tolerance bore diameter of only 0.0005mm. They are made from match-grade stainless or chromium-molybdenum alloy steel (4140 grade) type using a single point cut rifling technoloy for accuracy.
The action, too, is equally precisely made with a large action and bolt, with two opposing locking lugs up front and a nice coned bolt front profile. It has a plungertype ejector system and long extractor claw. Best of all is the smooth, fast and precise cocking action, which is helped by the semi-tactical coned knob that aids grip — it just glides in the hand and locks up solidly with no binding on closing.
Externally, the action and barrel are coated in a charcoal grey Cerakote finish, which offers a superb tough weather resistant layer.
Trigger and magazine
The trigger is almost like a high-grade benchrest Jewell or Shilen trigger to use. The slim and smooth pro led blade has the best single-stage pull on any factory rifle I have tested. It breaks cleanly at 2.25lb with zero creep or backlash — just think about shooting and the fast lock time ensures instant ignition of the cartridge.
The detachable magazine is metal and in .308 Win cal (on test) holds three shots and pops out when the trigger-guard button is pushed forward.
The safety is a wing or bolt shroud mounted type with a typical three-position operation. Forward is fire, mid-position is safe (but the bolt can be operated) and back is safe and the bolt is locked.
Orsis accuracy and targets
Factory-wise, this Orsis shot well with the Winchester Ballistic Silvertips in terms of velocity at 2,935fps with good accuracy at 0.91in at 100 yards. But best accuracy went to the Federal Barnes TSX loads. These monolithic 150-gr bullets achieved 2,872fps for 2,748ft/lb energy and shot three shots into 0.35in at 100 yards. Reloads with some light 110-gr Bergers and 125gr Nosler Ballistic Tips are good for foxes. The 125-gr Noslers shot well at 0.55in groups consistently with a load of 41.25 grains of RL10X powder for 3,089fps.
The 150-gr bullets shot well too — 0.42in groups from the 150-gr Ballistic Silvertip with 44.25 grain of RL15 for 2,763 fps and 2,543ft/lb.
My old favourites, the Sierra Game Kings 150-gr, are always really good. The Orsis also liked a load of 44 grains of RL15 powder for 0.45in groups and 2,711fps.
Superbly accurate rifle and is good value for money