Sauer 202 Rifle Review
Professional Deer Stalker Peter Jones reviews the Sauer 202 Rifle.
The Sauer 202 is a pretty, pretty rifle. There's no getting away from it, being the 'saddo' that I am I have found myself looking at it for long periods of time, gazing with a vacant look on my face in the same way as I used to look at Jenny Page when I was at secondary school!
(Sauer 202 Elegance Hunting Rifle in .243 Calibre, fitted with Swarovski Z6i Scope).
So pretty in fact that I just had to buy one. The rifle I bought was from FA Anderson Guns in East Grinstead, Sussex, who are one of the stockists for Sauer rifles. The model I bought was the Elegance in .243 calibre. My rationale for buying one, was that I would keep this rifle for myself for fair weather Roebuck stalking. It does in fact make a few appearances as an Estate Rifle from time to time, however, on the whole, I tend to use a harder wearing synthetic Sako rifle when out with guests.
(Above: The Sauer 202 rifle in action)
So we have established it's a good looking rifle, but how does it shoot? Well the truth is that it's excellent. In fact save for purchasing a bespoke rifle it is about as good as you are going to get in terms of mechanical tolerances. Beauty and brains, a rare combination, there must be a price, and there is, these rifles are not cheap. Current RRP prices for a Sauer S202 Classic with Grade 2 wood start from around £2275-00, and for an Elegance with grade 4 wood, prices start at £3060-00. If you need a left hander then you ll need to budget around another £500-00.
I spoke to Paul Shaw at Garlands, who are the main distributer for Sauer in the UK, to find out a little more about the rifle. According to Paul it seems that one of the main selling points for Sauer rifles is the ability to be able to interchange aspects of the set up, in order to allow customers to customise and create their own rifles.
(Above: Stalking Fallow Deer with the Sauer 202)
This feature is enhanced in the 'Take down' model which allows you to interchange parts and change calibres without the need for tools. There's no denying this is a handy feature and will appeal to many enthusiasts. Needless to say you have to pay a bit more for the take down version with a 'Take Down Elegance' costing you around £4695-00 however for many who are buying a Sauer with this feature in mind this will be the sensible model to have.
Sauer Rifles also benefit from having what they describe as a hammer forged barrel, this basically means that the rifle barrels are harder wearing than most and added to this they are also very mildly choked to improve accuracy. This is not something I had heard of but is apparently a relatively common feature amongst German and other European made rifles. Indeed I have certainly found mine to be extremely accurate.
(Below: The Sauer 202 bolt and action is about as slick as they come)
There is a choice of three triggers, Match, Set and Shotgun. My rifle has a set trigger which means that by pushing the trigger forward I can set the trigger to what is effectively a 'hair trigger'. Either way the trigger is a joy and breaks cleanly and crisply without any creep.
The walnut grade 4 wood stock on my elegance is a beauty to behold and the palm swell and Monte Carlo Cheek piece are both beautiful and perfectly fashioned for a sound grip and clear sighting. If I am honest the safety catch on these rifles takes a bit of getting used to. Several of my clients have voiced a dislike however personally I think this is something which simply takes a bit of getting used to.
The catch is somewhat unique in its design. The safe position is deployed by depressing the button at the top centre of the pistol grip which causes a button within the trigger guard just in front of the trigger to protrude. Switching it off is then achieved by in turn simply depressing this catch with the trigger finger prior to the shot. It is clearly designed in order that you can keep your grip on the rifle and operate the safety with a minimum of movement. However as I say it is not to everyone's taste but once you get used to it I have found it to be an excellent system.
All in all this is a great rifle, not only can it be an effective and versatile tool but it also has the potential to be a source of immense pride to its owner.
For more details about Sauer Rifles speak to Garlands, or for a possible purchase consider FA Anderson Guns: www.faanderson.co.uk Tel: 01342 325604.
If you d like to try using this rifle on an outing deer stalking then just let me know but please, please be prepared to treat it nicely it's my current favourite!
To see the Sauer 202 Elegance in Action take a look at our short films page and watch 'Fallow Deer in March' March 2014 short-films
For countless more Hunting Rifle Reviews click on the following link: rifle-reviews