Sabatti Tactical Mk2 Desert Rifle by Phillip Hayes

  • Monday, 06 August 2018 09:10
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Sabatti Tactical Mk2 Desert Rifle by Phillip Hayes: Accuracy meets good looks

Sabatti’s Rover 870 Tactical Mk2, with its stock finished in desert camouflage, is a striking-looking rifle, sporting a 28-inch bull barrel with an outside muzzle diameter of 24mm. The first impression is one of a big rifle, long at 48 inches, heavy at 6.4kg and it’s clearly made for long-range shooting.

The Mk2 is an update of the first generation Sabatti Tactical rifle, now having a long action for all calibres, including short cartridges like the 6mm XC and 6.5x47, and a detachable magazine with its release clip in front of the trigger guard. The action remains reminiscent of a Remington 700, with dual-opposed locking lugs, recessed bolt face and a spring-loaded extractor.

The barrel is cold hammer-forged from 416 R stainless steel with Sabatti’s Multi-Radial Rifling System (MRRS). The test model’s barrel was black cerakoted. The MRRS (see accompanying diagram) is said to deliver higher muzzle velocity, improved group concentration, fewer fliers, less copper deposit, reduced barrel wear and less need for cleaning.  

According to Sabatti, the actions and locking bolts are machined from solid blocks of high-resistance steel alloy and then heat-treated for maximum strength and durability. The bolt face is recessed, supporting the cart­ridge rim. The ejector is a plunger type and the extractor is a spring-loaded claw. The bolt-head has large dual-­opposed forward locking lugs and a vent to allow safe gas escape should this be channelled back through the primer pocket and through a vent into the magazine well. The right hand locking lug is grooved along its length to align the bolt with the corresponding rib on the receiver wall. 

The high-resistance composite stock features a desert camouflage finish and a cheek-piece which is adjustable both vertically and laterally. The stock can be lengthened by means of spacers ahead of the butt-pad. An aftermarket butt-piece can be adjusted higher or lower. The butt-pad is of soft rubber composite that grips onto other substances, ensuring non-slip shoulder contact. The stock is also fitted with a bag rider at the back and an Anschütz-rail in the front. 

The Mk2’s newly designed magazine-well accepts an Accuracy Inter­national detachable magazine. The test rifle, in  6.5x47 Lapua, came with a single-­stack polymer magazine of the AICS-type, marked .308, and appears to be made by MDT. I managed to get seven rounds into the 6-round maga- zine. Apart from the name, it looks exactly like the magazine on my Victrix rifle, which takes only five rounds. When test-firing the Sabatti, I initially had a couple of miss-feeds from the magazine because the cartridges would tip up, bullet first, and get stuck before entering the chamber. With use this seemed to sort itself out; later during the tests, I experienced no further feeding problems.

Read the full article in the September 2018 issue of Magnum.

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