EYES ON | Sabatti Rover Tactical .308

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Can a good precision rifle be had for around 1,000 dollars? With the precision rifle series expanding quickly, and more and more people getting into long range shooting, more companies are releasing affordable options that offer a lot of bang for your buck. We tend to hear a lot about companies such as Remington, Savage, Tikka or other of the more widely brands. We do not hear a lot about companies such as Sabatti.

Roving Italian

Like Marcus Aurelius, Luciano Pavarotti, and of course Lilli Carati, Sabatti hails from Italy. The company  manufactures hunting rifles and shotguns as well as rifles made for competition or duty applications. I have been shooting their Rover Tactical Rifle in .308 now for a few months.

Retail for the Rover in the US sits right above 1,000 dollars. It can be had in .308, .223, 6.5 Creedmor and 6.5×47 Lapua, which of course presents a potential buyer with something of a quandary — what to buy? 

Sabatti Rover Tactical .308
The Sabatti Rover Tactical .308 bolt gun.

Sabatti Rover Tactical .308 Specifications

Translated (more or less) from Italian, and in the manufacturers words:

  • “Overboared barrels – between 22 and 27 mm at the muzzle.
  • more rigid shot – vibrations at higher frequency but lower range so as to reduce shot pattern dispersion on target
  • Our rifles barrels are less subject to temperature increases to begin with. That combined with the final stress relief process they undergo reduces shot group dispersion on target to the minimum. It is the vibration barrels develop when they overheat and the release of residual tensions that causes the dispersion.
  • Barrels in Chrome Molybdenum Steel:
    • The Chrome and Molybdenum added to the steel substantially improve its resistance to the wear generated by the incandescent ammunition especially to the first part of the rifling over that of traditional carbon steel.
    • The bars of steel we use in our bolt action rifles are all induction treated at the steel mill which then translates into a longer life cycle of our barrels.

Our bolt action rifles have cold hammer forging:

      • We rifle all our MRR barrels by cold deformation rather than simply by subtractive manufacturing, which results in improved dimensional consistency and allows us to use steels with better mechanical characteristics (harder).
      • Our frames and bolts are machined from solid blocks of high-resistance steel alloys. They undergo tailored heat treatments to optimize strength and durability.
      • Our frames undergo a Neutral Hardening Process to achieve strength and resistance. After this is complete, the areas in the frames subject to the highest levels of stress undergo additional spot hardening.
      • Our bolts with two front lugs undergo a case hardening and subsequent hardening operation which increases surface hardness and fatigue strength by creating a hardened surface layer and a hard core
  • The rifle comes with a stock in high resistance Nylon charged with fiberglass to increase strength and reduce the risk of breakage.
    • On request a fully adjustable cheek piece can be installed at the factory (up and down and left and right).
    • Spacers to be positioned before the rubber recoil pad to adjust stock length are also available on request.
  • Accessories
    • On request we provide Picatinny rails entirely machined from solid billets of steel. They come with either 0MOA, 20MOA or 30MOA depending on the required shooting distance
    • On request our stocks come with Picatinny rails from the factory to mount your rifle bipod or other accessories”
Magpul
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Breaking It Down ‘Merican Style

Long story short, the rifle comes with a:

• Fully adjustable stock

Rover Tactical stock showing adjustable features.

• Removable magazine

Detachable bottom metal which will take AICS or Magpul magazines.

• Side bolt release

The Rover Tactical Rover, seen here with a Vortex optic, features a side bolt release.

• Threaded barrel

Add whatever suppressor or muzzle brake your evil little heart desires. Except something you build from an oil filter. That’s frowned upon.

• 20moa scope base

• Large bolt knob (that’s what she said)

• Pic rail for bipod attachment

Including all of these options and coming in around 1,000 bucks seems like a great deal to me (Buds Guns has them in stock.).

I chose .308 just to keep things simple and for availability of ammunition, then selected a Vortex PST gen 2 3-15x scope ($1299 MSRP) for glass. Counting the scope and the rifle itself, sans any additional furniture or accouterments, the entire package can be had for around $2500. That could go up a a bit depending how fancy you get with bipod and scope rings.

This package puts a new shooter into a very solid package for a reasonable price.

I plan on using this rifle for a couple precision rifle classes in the coming months, and I’ll be putting some new shooters behind it to see how it does in the hands of someone less experienced. I’ll report on that soon.


Guns America did a good video review of the rifle, take a watch:

 

For more information from Sabatti direct you can visit their website:

http://www.sabatti.it/en/products/rover-tactical-bolt-action-rifles/

For their US importer (which is who we received this rifle from) visit:

http://www.italianfirearmsgroup.com/sabatti/firearms/rifle-target

Take a look at some Vortex Optics offerings here at Rainier Arms or on Cabela’s. The optic you see here is the Viper PST Gen II 3-15×44; it is on Amazon, and eligible for Prime.

More to follow soon.

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John Darwin

John Darwin (a pseudonym, and one we have vetted most thoroughly) has been a professional member of the noble profession of arms for over a decade now. Darwin is a patched Minionwho chose a career in the military when he found out Tubby's Golden Lantern wasn't hiring full-time dancers. He scribes for a number of publications and consulted with everyone from industry heavyweights and local LEOs. John is a POST/FBI certified firearms instructor, sniper combat veteran of several deployments, an experienced breacher and dive officer, freefall qualified rope master, accomplished RSO (CQC, breacher, demo, vehicle, airborne, et al), and PSD driver. For the last several years his primary focus has been the science and instruction of precision shooting in combat environments. He's instructed numerous active shooter classes, assisted on several of the best civilian ranges in the country, and left DNA samples (read, "jerked off") on at least 4 continents. He is a family man who enjoys working on his Bronco and farting in the bathtub with equal passion.


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