With just the right number of options, this rifle is a fusion of Sauer build quality without the eye-watering price tag, says Bruce Potts
The Sauer 100 Classic XT synthetic is designed as a no-nonsense practical sporting arm and the XT models are the entry-level rifles — offering value but with the Sauer quality.
Alternative models have walnut or synthetic stocks, with classic Sporter stock arrangements or stainless steel finishes too. Perhaps the adjustable stocked synthetic Pantera or laminate Fieldshoot would suit? But the XT has just the right number of features and options to satisfy most shooters.
Calibre choice is from the .223 to the .308 Win Magnum on one chassis, so all British game is catered for, from foxes to red stags. It’s a fusion of Sauer build quality combined with practical finishes at a price that won’t make your eyes water. The Sauer 100 is as much about the stock as it is about the metalwork; both work in harmony to achieve a reliable, consistent and accurate stalking rifle.
Need to know
- Manufacturer JP Sauer & Sohn
- Model 100 Classic XT
- Type Bolt action
- Overall length 42in
- Barrel length 22in
- Calibre .308 Win
- Finish Matt black/blued
- Weight 3.05kg
- Magazine Detachable five-shot, polymer
- Stock Black synthetic Sporter (Ergo Max)
- Trigger Single-stage, adjustable
- Safety Three position
- Sights None, drilled and tapped
- Price £1,288
- Importer Blaser Sporting, 01483 917412
The black, slightly textured Ergo Max polymer stock has a dense solid form with a tough exterior, perfect for a hunting arm that needs to repel the British weather as well as the usual knocks and scratches incurred out stalking.
The Sporter profile is ambidextrous with little cast. It has a pistol grip with a palm swell to each side and the whole construction is far more rigid than most synthetic stocks I see. A reasonably low comb but sloping upward to the back still gives good sight alignment and the length of pull at 14.25in, terminating with a black solid rubber recoil pad, is comfortable to shoot.
This is complemented by the slender fore-end and Schnabel tip, aided by additional moulded-in grip of raised horizontal L shapes instead of chequering. In the bedding area, the action uses Sauer’s Ever Rest bedding method, where a slot in the action locates the aluminium recoil lug bedded in the stock for a solid union and thus consistent accuracy.
The barrelled action is well executed with Sauer’s cold hammer-forged steel barrel, and in this .308 Win calibre was offered in a 22in barrel length and threaded for a 15mm/1 metric pitch for sound moderator usage. A sensible length with a lighter Sporter profile makes for a trim and lightweight rifle to handle.
Finish wise it is matt blued, not Cerakote as on other Sauer models but that’s to be expected at this price point.
Operating the 100 is a joy. The smooth polished exterior of the bolt, with its low 60° bolt lift and fluted synthetic bolt knob, has an excellent feel for extra grip.
That low bolt lift is achieved using the three-bolt locking lug system that locates in a breech ring arrangement to ensure perfect alignment and head spacing for maximum accuracy and safety. The three-lug arrangement also guides the bolt in the action and the bottom lug picks up the cartridge from the magazine. The inset extractor claw is very positive and the twin plunger-type ejectors are very forceful and make sure the empty is ejected clear of the action.
This five-shot polymer magazine is detachable so there will be no rust and smooth feeding, and it is easily removed by a press-type release button.
Finally, the single-stage trigger can be adjusted from 2.2lb to 4.5lb via a small screw accessed through the trigger-blade itself, but at 3.35lb factory set, why bother when it’s crisp and predictable? Of interest is the three-position safety; forward position is fire, rear setting on first white dot is safe but the bolt can be lifted, while fully rearward on the second white dot means both trigger and bolt are locked.
The Sauer 100 in this Classic XT model is reliable, very accurate, has a great trigger and a weather-resistant stock. It’s one of those rifles you instantly feel comfortable with and know that a few knocks or inclement weather will not adversely affect its performance.
- Accuracy Good dependable accuracy from both factory and reloads 18/20
- Handling Lightweight and not worried about scratching this one 17/20
- Trigger Crisp let off and safe 18/20
- Stock Simple design and tough, and better for it 17/20
- Value Sauer technology at a realistic price point 18/20
- Overall score You’ll feel instantly at home with this rifle 88/100
Sauer 100 Classic XT synthetic field test
The Sauer came fitted with a Minox ZX5 3-15 x 56mm scope, quick-detach mounts and a Sauer Titanium Pro sound moderator that proved highly effective in the Scottish gloom.
For a cheap gun the Sauer shot very well. Hornady SST 150-gr loads shot a 1in group for three shots at 2,794fps and 2,601ft/lb, while the Remington Core Lokt 150-gr shot just over 1in at 2,771fps and 2,558ft/lb. The Barnes 165-gr TSX all-copper loads shot consistent 1in groups too at 2,644fps and 2,561ft/lb.
Reloads fared better as expected. The best load I could manage was the new Sierra tipped GameKing 150-gr bullets, achieving 2,785fps for 2,584ftlb energy with 43.25 grains of Vit N135 powder for 0.75in three-shot groups at 100 yards. A lighter load using 125-gr Nosler Ballistic Tips with 48.0 grains of RL15 powder shot sub-1in groups and 2,873fps for 2,292ft/lb. I like these for fox too.
I loaded some Barnes factory right at the end of the roebuck season and chanced on a small buck feeding along the shore line in Argyll. He was a bit scrawny and small antlered, so an ideal cull buck.
The weather was atrocious and the benefits of the Sauer’s light weight and synthetic stock came to the fore while stalking over and through heavy gorse and boulders, unseen downwind. Why is downwind always the muddiest option?
The smooth 100 bolt cycled a round silently as I glassed the buck’s movements until he dropped his head to feed. I released the safety at just under 80 yards and, despite a heart shot, he still ran 35 yards.
You’ll feel instantly at home with this rifle