New For 2017: Strasser RS 14

May I not be struck down for the blasphemy I’m about to utter – I’m sick of AR 15s. Based on the tepid reaction to that statement from the rest of the TTAG crew at the 2017 SHOT show, I’m not alone with my thoughts. On the prowl for the sort of thing that would get my juices flowing, I stopped by International Firearm Corporation’s booth to check out their wares. 

There, I stumbled upon Austrian rifle maker Strasser’s RS 14. The RS 14 is billed as being “Safe. Fast. Precise. Modular. Elegant. And yet simple.” Sure as I’m sitting here, I think they’ve nailed it.

The RS 14 is a straight pull action, which is oh so very European. Fast as all hell too, so from that perspective, I think they can live up to their own hype. On the safety side, Strasser incorporates a locking mechanism in the bolt that prevents the action from being opened up unless the trigger has been pulled or a detent has been pressed. About that trigger.

As you’d expect from a finely crafted European rifle, the adjustable single stage trigger is superb with no creep, and almost zero overtravel. The vertical piece with a knurled bit you see above is the adjustment – simply slide it back and forth to adjust the trigger weight, no tools needed. But wait! There’s more. Push the shoe forward, and you’re rewarded with a trigger pull measured in mere oz, perfect for those precision shots. Both settings are a joy to squeeze.

Mounted to the short, quick pointing sporter profiled barrel is a set of dovetail sights, neon green on the rear, and bright red at the front. The set is adjustable to suit your desired point of impact and particular load. I’m normally not a fan of dovetailed, barrel mounted sights, but these are so damn fast to acquire that I think I might have to change my tune.

Up top, the scope mount is quickly detachable with a simple throw lever and a twist. IFC’s Technical Advisor, Paul tells me that he’s got no issue popping a scope off, putting it back, and having it drill the exact same point of aim with boring repetition. Included with the RS 14 is a scope mount of your choice, in either 1 inch, 30 mm, or 34 mm diameters and various heights. They also have a QD Picatinny rail for those who like to ruin the looks of a walnut stocked rifle. Speaking of things that pop right off…

The whole rifle can be disassembled into its constituent parts in a matter of minutes using a set of tools that are conveniently squirreled away in the stock. IFC’s man on the floor has clearly done it a couple thousand times as he broke the whole rifle down in about two minutes. Strasser also sells a red felt lined wooden box to hold all the pieces for presentation or discreet carry to and from the range.

From there, the barrel pulls off the end and can be swapped out for twenty-two different options from .222 REM to .375 Ruger – all made using Lothar Walther blanks.

The bolt face is just as easiy to swap as well. Pull the bolt from the back, flip up a lever, and swap the face. Put the whole rifle back together and you’ve gone from a zippy little prairie dog killer to a moose walloping magnum.

Each caliber conversion is geared to work from a detachable magazine, capacity dependent on cartridge. Extended magazines are available, but in my opinion, they ruin the look of a really pretty, dare I say elegant, hunting rifle.

MSRP on the Standard model runs $2600 with better wood commanding more money. If you’re dead set on the caliber you want, but still want the fancy trigger and the QD scope mount system, the RS Solo is for you, and it knocks about $1000 off the sticker price. IFC’s CEO happened to be in the booth and indicated that he’s already been in contact with our main man Dan about a test rifle so you should see this reviewed in the not too distant future.

comments

  1. avatar YAR0892 says:

    She’s beautiful. Looks like a great rifle, but I’m honestly not sure about the price point. I’m not terribly familiar with European style rifles, but I’m intimately familiar with my budget and she’s a fair ways out of range for now. I wouldn’t mind trying her out though…

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      I’ve been thinking about modern straight-pulls for a while for hunting. There’s also Blasers and this one rifle from Heym, but I think an American-made rifle could fetch a more reasonable (budget-friendly) price point.

      1. avatar Mark F says:

        The Heym sr30 is a fantastic gun (Straight pull) Browing make the Maral which is a straight pull but I don’t think it is available in the US (but I am not 100% sure) I fired one in Germany, nice gun but I prefer the Heym.

  2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    That looks quite nicely done. The Germans and Austrians, are constrained by their bizarre gun laws that assume you’re going to turn into a criminal when you purchase your ‘n’th gun, but not your first. So the gunmakers’ response is “one gun that can do many things,” such as this, or a drilling, which has both shotgun and rifle bores on the same frame & stock.

    The trigger, BTW, is called a “single set trigger.” They’ve been around for quite a while. They used to be available on some American guns, eg the Winchester 1873. They’re more commonly found on continental arms than in the US. CZ has a single set trigger as well.

    PS – thank you for seeking out something that wasn’t made of burnt & molded cheez-whiz.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Definitely a good looking rifle. If it shoots even close to it’s price point, well, I’ve got a couple of Mosins that a friend has been bugging me to sell him for forever. I just may…

      It is nice to see a gun made of something other than mainly plastic.

    2. avatar Mark F says:

      German gun laws allow hunters to buy as many rifles and shotguns as they like. Drillings were developed for use in drive hunts, not because of guns laws. Straight pulls also were developed with rive hunts in minds. In Germany you can hunt with a semi-auto but you can only have a 2 rounds mag. With a straight pull like my Heym SR30 you can use a 5rd mag plus one in the chamber. I can get 6 shots off petty quickly with the straight pull

  3. avatar bLoving says:

    Nah, I have to agree about being sick of ARs. That market is saturated. Much like the major differences between one bolt-action versus another can vary wildly but still function similarly, one MSR need not be IDENTICAL to every other one. Parts compatability only goes so far before we all start asking “so what the hell makes this one so special?”
    That’s why I’ve predicted the pending demise of so many young, small AR companies in the next year or two.

  4. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    Yea boy, with that $2600 price tag for the black plastic stock version I’m sure this Strasser rifle will be in high demand.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I think that that is black wood. Look at the fore end shot of the disassembled rifle.

  5. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    And my wife asks why I buy Powerball tickets

    1. avatar Pseudo says:

      So you have a one-in-something-like-three-hundred-and-sixty-million chance of buying one of these?

      1. avatar Rick Hess says:

        Damn, you had to go and ruin my fantasies. Here all this time I thought it was only 1 in 270 million chances. Damnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

    2. avatar Cole says:

      Think of how much you have spent on powerball tickets over the years. Depending on your level of devotion to the lottery, and how long you’ve been doing it, that amount you spent would have easily covered this rifle plus a nice optic. If you spend as much as some on the lottery you could have ten of these rifles all equipped with nice optics. Instead you are just throwing money away that statistically you basically have a 0% chance of ever winning back.

      1. avatar JK in TX says:

        I look at the lottery as a voluntary tax. I will say if paying my taxes on time gave me just a one in 500 million chance of winning the lottery I’d feel better about it.

      2. avatar RocketScientist says:

        I look at lotteries as an idiot tax. Have a friend who buys $1-5 a week in lotto tickets. Asked him once why he didn’t just go to Vegas and drop $15k on a single number bet in roulette. “Because I’d just lose my money. That’s a stupid bet”. When I showed him the math demonstrating that over 60 years of lotto playing, he’d spend that much money anyways, and his odds of winning that roulette bet were literally 5 MILLION times better than winning the lottery, he didn’t wanna hear it. But hey, its his money. If it makes him happy…

        1. avatar Cole says:

          One of my favorite descriptions of the lottery is that it is a tax on the mathematically impaired. Sounds a lot like your friend there.

  6. avatar Accur81 says:

    Looks beautiful, but I rarely convert my guns. Whether it’s an AR, Glock, or shotgun, I tend to stay with a given barrel length / caliber / configuration. I don’t own a single gun that I routinely convert calibers / uppers / barrel lengths. I suspect most shooters who own a couple of dozen guns are in the same boat. I build / buy a gun for a niche and keep it that way.

    The Solo looks sweet. The fit, finish and style are definitely accounted for. I like straight pull bolts with detachable mags. One of these in 6.5 Creedmoor, .308, or .30-06 would be a handy and classy do-anything piece. I’d rather have 2 Solos than one gun with tons of accessories.

    For Europeans, the multi-caliber is a great concept since gun ownership is such a PITA.

    I look forward to the review, but I hope you guys don’t neglect the Solo version. I think that would be a better sell stateside.

  7. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    I’m sick of ARs too. A new AR is like a toilet: at best, you’ve created an interesting variation on something that’s been around for generations.

  8. avatar John says:

    Wow that looks gorgeous and interesting! Can’t wait for the review as this may have just moved into my top 5 list for this year’s SHOT so far!

  9. avatar jsf001 says:

    Hmm, I saw the picture and thought it was an updated MAS-36 until I read the description.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Yep. Not that the mas-36 was a bad weapon. It had .308 level power in a package about the same length as an m1 carbine.

  10. avatar Mark N. says:

    I’ve always been a fan of straight pulls, and have wondered why almost all the ones you see are European. Do Americans have something against them or is that most of the rifles (e.g. Blasers) have atmospheric prices?

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      I just got a K31, which I’ve had on my wish list for years. Wow, I love this action. The only drawback I can see is the danger of not pushing the bolt forward all the way.

  11. avatar Holdfast says:

    I was sick of AR’s after my first road march. I was double sick after my first 4 hour cleaning session.

    1. avatar RocketScientist says:

      “AR”

      “four hour cleaning session”

      Ummm, methinks you’re doing it wrong.

      1. avatar JeffCville says:

        Three ways to do things:

        1) The right way.
        2) The wrong way.
        3) The Army way.
        I think that’s the point he was making.

  12. avatar Hobbs says:

    I think a huge segment of the population is suffering “AR Fatigue”, and judging by the market, AK Fatigue is right around the corner. I’ve been hitting the social media pretty hard hounding major manufacturers who have their own unique designs, but also push AR’s out the door at a strangely more brisk pace (FN, HK, Ruger, Springfield, SIG Sauer, etc) to cut that crap out and focus on their own unique designs. Partner with third party manufacturers to get the accessories market up and going, and release more of their designs at sane prices. Economy of scale will handle the rest, and the market will be varied and bountiful, and the villagers will rejoice.

  13. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Very interested. There’s a lot of history there in some of those features. I hope to see it reviewed soon.

  14. avatar Allen says:

    Nice rifle! But if the rifle cost $2600 what is the cost to covert from one caliber to another?

    1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

      Gun manufacturers like this do not build guns for the average hunter and sportsman, they build them for the rich guy that goes on canned hunts or collectors who rarely shoot. $2600 and you still need to buy a scope, sling, ammo, gun case ……..I’ll stick with “cheap” American rifles that may be ugly but get the job done just fine!

  15. avatar justaman says:

    I wonder what it’s weight is?

  16. As a gunsmith of 37 years, I too spent an hour with Paul and the very rifle pictured. I was allowed to disassemble and critique any faults I could find,( which were basically none) and offer any suggestions for improvement which were noted in writing, I might add.
    This rifle is a marvel. It is the right weight for its’ calibers. Precision engineered and robust. Elegant and just down right interesting, something no ar15 could ever be.
    Expensive? In its Sunday best yes. Isn’t most everything?
    The only note Paul gave me was that in long strings of fire, groups would open up, as is common with most light barreled hunting rifles.
    Picture this rifle with synthetic stock,plain side panels, extended magazine, fluted barrel and pic rail?

    They already make a precision rifle, however you can then purchase a standard barrel, wood stock, have your extra side plates engraved to your taste and you have a drop dead gorgeous hunting rifle.
    Ruger precision rifle AND another rifle besides or just a Strasser? The price is not high.
    The interior is incredibly difficult to find a machine mark. I know, I’ve built hundreds of rifles, it was hard to find ONE in an hours time.
    I am told this companies mainstay is actually the aerospace industry, it shows.
    This is an awesome piece of work. I know Blaser, Heym, Sako, and Steyr. I have owned, own or have shot all of them. If this rifle performs as well as it looks and handles, ( I was breezing through working and dry firing very rapidly within a few minutes and I’m over 60) it is a winner. I look forward to owning this.
    I’ve been coming to SHOT for years and this little number was highly overlooked.

    Thanks for getting your review out there. It deserves the praise.

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