FN Ballista 338 Lapua Precision Sniper Rifle Review
In the market for a long-range, modular rifle, with multi-caliber options? Then you need to read this FN Ballista Rifle Review before you purchase anything else that is available on the market today. The FN Ballista Rifle Review below should help with your questions and we look forward to hearing your comments and questions.
The USSOCOM Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) was a project that started in 2009 and its goal was to solicit the best of the best to build and supply a modular sniper rifle with the ability to engage targets out to 1,500 yards, as well as, an accuracy that provided 1 minute of angle (MOA) for a 10 rd group. In addition to this, they also wanted the ability to switch calibers in the field with ease. Although no caliber was specified, .338 Lapua was selected by every manufacturer who participated in the project as the primary caliber for use in this rifle.
Before we get too deep into the FN Ballista Rifle Review we should point out that this was a well-participated field of manufacturers who submitted options to this project. The typical line up of characters such as Remington, Barrett, Sako, Accuracy International, and FNH submitted a PRS rifle for review. FNH USA chooses to partner with a German company, Unique Alpine, to develop what is now known as the Ballista. Unique Alpine is based in Bavaria which up to this point was largely unknown. Their TPG-1 bolt action rifle was what attracted FNH to them and it is the basis for the Ballista. The TPG is an excellent rifle by itself, but it did not meet the PSR requirement size, weight, and modularity that USSOCOM was requesting. So, here comes FNH to take the TPG and build it up to what is available now on the commercial market.
Although the FNH and Alpine collaboration were eventually beaten out by Remington, what came out of this collaboration is one heck of a sniper rifle, and possibly the most innovative and badass rifle that I have ever had the opportunity to put my hands on. I have seen and shot all sorts of PRS platforms and this one stands out as the one firearm I would grab if I could only grab one firearm in an emergency. You’re not going to protect yourself in close quarters with it, but who needs close quarters when you can step back 1500 yards and engage targets.
So, what makes this rifle that good? First, everything in and around this platform is adjustable. Starting from the buttstock, cheekpiece, trigger, rails, barrel, and muzzle break there just isn’t anything on this rifle that can’t be adjusted to the user’s style and preference. What makes it even better, which is hard, all the tools required can be stored in an optional forearm so adjusting the rifle in the field can happen without having to carry a toolbox or tool bag. How many times have you been on the range or in the field and the need to adjust your rifle only to remember the tools for that are at home? Not with the Ballista, need to adjust the cheekpiece height and/or angle, no problem, you are good to go.
Changing calibers, although not cheap ($2200), is a breeze. The Ballista supports caliber changes from the stock .338 Lapua this one comes with to .308, or 300 Win Mag by pushing six to ten pins at the base of the barrel and a quick swap of the bolt face. Just like that you just reduced your ammo cost from $5/round to somewhere between $.25 to $.30 cents a round. In a stroke of brilliance, FNH solved the moving of the .338’s long action to the .308 short action by creating a modified magazine to handle the switch. If this isn’t enough, the trigger can be set to a single or two-stage release with an adjustable 3-5 lb trigger pull, yep you read that correctly, this rifle comes with a trigger that can be adjusted from single to a two-stage trigger in the field. Combine this feature with a folding and adjustable buttstock to complement your length of pull it makes sitting or lying behind this rifle by far the most naturally fitting rifle I have ever had the opportunity to hold. It truly does feel like an extension of your body and your eyesight when aiming at the target.
Net Net, this is truly a thing of beauty and is ready for the serious operator, law enforcement, big game hunter, range, and competitive shooter who wants to stand out in the field and engage targets out to 1500 yards with ease and accuracy. The cost, which comes in just shy of $7000 is a steep cost for most folks. But to fair, this rifle isn’t designed for most folks, and those who are considering will find that it’s cheaper than many of the .50 Cals rifles or other PRS rifles available today. Barrel/caliber options come in around $2200 which provides even more shooting options, and it builds on top of your overall investment in the FN Ballista providing you with one platform, 3 caliber options.
Caliber: .338 Lapua Mag (converts to .300 Win. Mag and .308 Win.)
Mag Capacity: 5 or 8 Rd. (.338 Lapua Mag.), 6 or 10 Rd. (.300 Win. Mag.), 8 or 15 Rd. (.308 Win.)
Weight: 15.1 lb.
Barrell Length: 26″
Overall Length: 39″ – 50.75″
Change calibers in less than 2 minutes
The receiver is vibration-isolated from the aluminum chassis via elastomeric cushions
High-strength aluminum alloy with top-mounted MIL-STD 1913 rail
Accepts magazine for multiple calibers without further modification
Hammer-forged precision stainless steel
Headspace is preset within the barrel extension
Retains centerline alignment with the receiver
Retains zero with the same caliber
.338 Lapua Mag., .300 Winchester Mag., and .308 Winchester barrels utilize right hand, polygonal, constant twist rate
Accessory conversion kits are available in .300 Win. Mag. and .308 Win.
Ambidextrous, folding and fully adjustable for length of pull, buttplate height, cheekpiece height, and cast-on/cast-off
Single-lever side-folding stock to minimize the overall length
Ambidextrous magazine release forward of the trigger guard
The trigger system is fully adjustable for single- or two-stage release between 3 and 5 lbs.
Multiple safety systems include manual thumb safety, grip safety, and drop safety system
Advanced polymer construction
Stainless steel spring
Designed to protect the projectile during recoil
FN Ballista Website: https://fnamerica.com/products/rifles/fn-ballista/
Detail Purchase Information Here: https://www.tarriverarms.com/product/fn-america-338-lapua-ballista-fde-rifle/