Nosler Model 48 caters to those dedicated to the world’s most arduous game fields and hunting challenges
The staff over at American Rifleman takes a look at the best hunting rifle that an owner will gladly beat up in the harshest conditions:
Nosler Model 48 Professional
This rifle mates form and function with protection from the elements and abuse.
Nosler’s diversification from bullets to loaded ammunition to firearm manufacturing has created a premium brand that’s unique in the big-game-hunting marketplace. While there is no shortage of competitive products for anything Nosler makes, no other single company offers the same combination of baseline shooting equipment. What has emerged is a brand-loyalty strategy that promises to earn the Oregon-based firm a commanding position in its targeted market segment, providing all of its products live up to the standard of iconic Nosler bullets, such as the Partition and Ballistic Tip.
Though the Model 48 rifle may not provide the degree of innovation that elevated the Partition—few products ever will—this semi-custom bolt-action series has nonetheless been widely acclaimed since it was first launched in 2006. One variant, the M48 Professional, is intended to be the best (and perhaps the most expensive) hunting rifle that an owner will gladly beat up in the harshest conditions on the planet. The rifle’s fiber-reinforced composite stock is nearly impervious to bumps, drops and rude weather, and is outfitted with glass-bedding and aluminum pillars to mate and function like carefully fitted armoring for the barreled action. The barrel is rust-defying stainless steel, and all the exterior metalwork wears a corrosion-resistant Cerakote finish. Internal working parts are treated with a dry lubricant called Micro Slick, originally formulated to prolong high-speed engine life.
The Professional boasts the same clean lines as its stablemates, but because the stock and metal wear matching matte-black finishes, the rifle has a decidedly no-nonsense persona. A sculpted cheekpiece gives form and function to the butt, and first-time shooters will note the relatively thick wrist, yet another bow to durability. The stock is lightly pimpled to promote a sure grip, but the rifle’s only other adornment is the Nosler name stamped prominently on the floorplate.
The action was developed by Nosler machinists over the course of decades of building house rifles to test bullets and ammunition. While the twin-lug arrangement is quite commonplace, it is also ingeniously simple and strong. However, the Nosler action differs from most in that it utilizes a flat-surfaced receiver that is more rigid than the round receivers currently offered by so many makers. The action’s fluted bolt rides smoothly via a left-side raceway coupled with a full-length guide rail that fits into a groove in the righthand bolt lug. The bolt face is recessed and the extended ring that cups the cartridge base incorporates a sturdy, Sako-style extractor. Upon lockup, that ring “nests” within a counter-bored breech to guard against case-failure issues.
The receiver’s bottom metal is steel, and the Professional now comes with either a hinged floorplate or a detachable-box magazine fashioned to match the appearance of floorplate models. The oval trigger guard houses the magazine release. Adjustable triggers from custom supplier Rifle Basix come as standard fare, and they are factory-set at Nosler to about a 3-pound pull weight.
Read the rest of American Rifleman's review of the Nosler Model 48 Professional rifle.