This carbine has all the quality you'd expect from Unique Alpine and, with none of the showy bits, it's perfect for hard work, says Bruce Potts
I have always been a sucker for a carbine. The short stature and feel of such rifles makes great sense for most of my woodland stalking. A carbine balances reduced weight with enough barrel length to be ballistically efficient, yet doesn’t impede you stalking through foliage. That’s why when Unique Alpine (UA), a Bavarian company, sent the new Kodiak Scout version of its JPR-1 series rifle, I couldn’t wait to take it roe stalking.
UA has served the military and police with sniper rifles for years and has now branched out into more civilian-orientated rifles. They are designed for stalking and vermin but still utilise UA’s reputation for quality and bullet-on-bullet accuracy. This Kodiak Scout model is the archetypal practical all-rounder as it possesses all the necessary features real hunters want without the showy bits.
Key features include a controlled round feed bolt and controlled ejection too, both of which are impressively reliable. You also have a three-position safety, which is silent as well as a detachable 10-shot magazine as standard. The Kodiak Scout, as its name suggests, is designed for professional tough use, wears a super-strong laminated stock and has a near full-length Picatinny rail scope mount.
Add to this the fact that all Unique Alpines shoot below 1in groups at 100 yards with factory loads (less with reloads), and you’re left wondering “why buy another rifle?” If you’re old enough to remember the infamous Colonel Jeff Cooper’s original Scout rifle design, this UA Kodiak is better.
Need to know
- Manufacturer Unique Alpine
- Model Kodiak Scout
- Type Bolt action
- Overall length 36.75in
- Barrel length 16.5in muzzle threaded ⁵/₈-24 UNEF
- Calibre .308 Win on test, 6.5mm Creedmoor, .243, 6.5x47L and .308 available
- Finish Action and bolt are DLC coated and barrel is nitrided
- Weight 3.95kg (8.7lb)
- Magazine AICS-type magazine, 10 rounds
- Stock Laminate
- Trigger Two-stage, adjustable
- Safety Three-position wing-type
- Sights Open sights, integral Picatinny rail
- Importer Bench Grade Brands, 01604 686800
- Price £1,840
The Kodiak has a three-coloured laminate stock, in brown, burgundy and grey, glued together with a tough epoxy. It handles perfectly and strikes just the right hue for Scottish heather. It is also weatherproof while being practical for the field. There is no chance of warping, which can affect your rifle’s zero and accuracy.
The format is a Sporter profile with a long rounded fore-end, cut with large panels of good grippy chequering. The same is true of the pistol grip. There’s no cheekpiece, but the high comb is pretty straight for comfortable scope use. The open sights provided quite a short 13.75in length of pull.
The metalwork has a highly practical non-reflective satin DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating to the action and bolt, while the barrel is nitrided, offering scratch resistance and weather protection.
This Kodiak Scout handles excellently due to the short 16.5in match-grade barrel, which is perfect with a .308 Win. The ⁵/₈in UNEF thread and heavy hunter profile of 0.8325in muzzle diameter achieves great solidity. It balances perfectly and is free floated, as the extended Picatinny rail has a hanger that attaches through the stock.
I love the open sights with foresight and long ear protectors. A height-adjustable sprung blade and white dot insert align effortlessly with a height and windage adjustable large ghost ring rearsight.
The 8.5in action has a large loading/ejection port that gives usable access and the 60-degree bolt arc achieves a fast, smooth operation and primary extraction feature for stubborn cases. The three-locking lugs on the bolt forms the controlled round feed feature, ensuring the cartridge is pushed under the extractor claw during feeding and is held firmly. The result is total reliability.
The two-stage trigger has a crisp and fast locking time, contributing to accuracy, with adjustment from 1.9lb to 5.5lb. The three-point safety is a wing type. With the forward position for fire, midpoint is safe (bolt still operates) and rearward locks both the bolt and safety.
Magazines are AICS compatible, so a variety of magazines fit. I have no hesitation in saying this rifle would outlast me.
There is an undeniable X factor with this rifle. It looks, handles and operates how you want a hunting tool to do so. It’s rugged, without being crude, with design features that improve rather than impair. Its accuracy is superb. I bet it will outlast me and the next owner too.
- Accuracy Ballistically efficient and accurate 18/20
- Handling Good heft and superb balance 19/20
- Trigger Match grade on a hunting arm 18/20
- Stock Super tough and very comfortable 18/20
- Value Great carbine rifle for real hunters 18/20
- Overall score A stalking rifle with the X factor
I fitted the Kahles compact scope and new short A-Tec PRS-2 moderator, which befits this rifle. Factory ammunition shot exceedingly well in the .308 Win model with the most accurate being the Sako 123-gr Gameheads, which achieved 0.85in three-shot groups at 2,832fps and 2,191ft/lb.
I also had sub-inch groups with the Hornady 150-gr SST load, producing 2,803fps and 2,618ft/lb. Both the lead-free options from Norma and Winchester shot 1.20in groups. The Norma Ecostrike yielded 2,673fps and 2,380ft/lb while the new Winchester lead-free 150-gr shot 2,581fps for 2,219ft/lb.
This Kodiak Scout was very easy to reload and favoured lighter bullets of 150-gr and below.
Barnes TTSX 110-gr lead-free shot 0.5in groups at 3,107fps for 2,358ft/lb with a load of 41.5 grains of Swiss RS36 powder. The best 150-gr load came from the Hornady InterLock with 45.0 grains of RL15 powder, achieving 2,697fps for 2,423ft/lb and 0.75in groups. All excellent results for such a short barrel.
Keen to try some lead-free ammo, I used the reloaded TTSX Barnes and stalked in the early-morning Scottish mist around a lochside, where a young buck had been feeding.
The Kodiak, even with the sound moderator fitted, was lovely and handled superbly across the rough terrain, thick wooded lochside and salty reeds. I positioned myself so I was sitting on a convenient rock and waited until the buck emerged, as I’d expected, across the water and was feeding beneath the heather ridge. The Kodiak’s excellent trigger and defined shot sound from the Barnes dropped him instantly at 125 yards.
This carbine has all the quality you’d expect from Unique Alpine and, with none of the showy bits, it’s perfect for hard work