The new Sauer 505 Synchro XT bolt-action rifle balanced on a post in a field.
The new Sauer 505 Synchro XT bolt-action rifle. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

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J.P. Sauer & Sohn, more commonly known as just Sauer, is part of the Blaser Group which also includes Blaser, Mauser, and John Rigby & Company. The 505 is the newest rifle from Sauer, who claim it was “[d]esigned to be the most beautiful bolt action rifle in the world.” Beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder, but still, you expect a new rifle from an iconic company like Sauer—the oldest gunmaker in Germany—to be something special. And the new 505 is just that.

The new Sauer 505 Elegance on a white background.
The new 505 comes in a variety of stock options, but if it’s classic beauty you’re after, the 505 Elegance is probably the one for you. Sauer

How beautiful you find Sauer’s latest bolt gun will have a lot to do with which stock you choose, and you have eight to choose from, including one carbon-fiber, three polymer, and four highly figured walnut options, several featuring thumbholes and adjustable combs. I tested the 505 Synchro XT model, which features a polymer thumbhole stock. I can’t say I found this particular model to be the “most beautiful” bolt, but I was still very impressive—partly because you can change the look and functionality of this remarkably versatile rifle with a single tool. Let’s take a closer look.

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Sauer 505 Synchro XT Specs

  • Length: 40 inches
  • Weight: 7.87 pounds
  • Barrel: 22 inches, threaded at 15×1 w/ protector
  • Action: Sauer bolt action
  • Trigger: 1.0 pound (as tested)
  • Capacity: 3+1 or 5+1 (detachable magazine)
  • Finish: DLC
  • Stock: Two-piece, polymer thumb hole
  • Available Standard American chamberings: 222 Rem., 223 Rem., 243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 270 Win., 270 WSM, 308 Win., 30-06 Springfield, and 375 H&H. Special order only chamberings: 6.5×55 SE, 7×64, 8×57 IS, 8.5×55 Blaser, 9.3×62, and 10.3×60 R
  • Price: $3500.00

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Sauer 505 Overview

A shooter test fires the new Sauer 505 bolt-action rifle from a bench rest.
The author tests the new 505 for precision from the bench. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

The heart of the 505 is a completely new action which offers modular versatility. Along with the eight stock options, the rifle can be had in 19 different chamberings. What is so unique about the 505 is that you can swap between these eight stocks and 19 chamberings on your own, and without any special tools. The key to this system’s unique versatility is one of the quick-detach sling swivel studs on the rifle. When you remove it, you’ll see it has a hex-head wrench that’s hidden in the rifle’s stock. This single wrench is the tool you use to swap stocks, change barrels, and adjust the comb height. It is simply ingenious.

The new Sauer 505 broken down and lying on a shooting bench.
The new 505 can be broken down and swapped out with a new barrel and stock using just one including hex wrench. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

The action is new, made of steel, and features integration with the one-piece Blaser saddle scope-mount system that allows for removal and reinstallation without loss of zero. It features a one-piece, six-lug bolt, with a Sako-style extractor and plunger ejector. The action does not have a traditional safety. On the rear of the bolt, there’s a sliding actuator that you push forward and serves as the safety. You noiselessly push it forward with your thumb to cock the rifle and depress a red button that becomes visible when the rifle is cocked, to uncock or “safe” the rifle. What’s amazing is that the 60-degree bolt operation requires nearly the same minimal force after firing as it does before.

Detail photos of the new Sauer 505 rifle's bolt, scope mount, safety, and magazine release.
Closer looks at the new 505’s bolt, scope mounting system, unusual safety, and magazine release. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

The action feeds from either a 3+1 (provided) or 5+1 (optional) detachable magazine, which is held in place by a recessed release button located just forward of the magazine well. Interestingly, this magazine-release button can be locked to circumvent accidental release. The Quattro trigger on this rifle is the best trigger I’ve ever pulled on any rifle. It’s user adjustable between 0.77, 1.65, 2.20, and 2.75 pounds, and when you press the trigger is does not feel like you’re pulling a conventional trigger; it feels more like you’re touching a button—a button that seems to move almost imperceivibly—that makes the rifle fire.

The stock is a two piece design that includes a buttstock and a forend. The butt stock is attached by a single hex screw and the forend is attached by a latch that clamps onto a spigot system on the action. At no point does the stock forend contact the barrel. Both stock sections are attached and removed with the hex wrench/sling swivel stud. Sauer offers a quick attach bipod adapter that replaces the front sling swivel, and it interfaces with Spartan Precision bipods and tripods.

Photo grid showing how the rear swivel stud acts as a hex wrench to break the gun down.
One of the swivel studs doubles as a hex wrench used to break the gun down, swap out the stock or barrel, and make other adjustments. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

With the forend removed, you’ll see three hex screws located at the front-bottom of the receiver. When you loosen these screws with the supplied wrench, you can rotate the forend spigot mount 90 degrees and remove the barrel. This is how you swap between different chamberings. If you opt for a cartridge with a different rim diameter than your current chambering, you’ll need a different bolt, which will cost you $600. Extra barrels retail for between $1000 and $1300, and the Blaser scope mount with 1-inch, 30mm, 34mm, 36mm, or 40mm rings, costs $526.

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Sauer 505 Synchro XT Shooting Results

A rifle target showing five bullet holes in the center, with a box of ammo and two loose cartridges.
My test rifle’s average five-shot 100-yard group size from three different hunting rounds was 1.18 inches. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

Let’s be clear about one thing, this rifle operates with the precision of a Swiss watch. No matter what control you attempt to manipulate, part you try to adjust, remove, or attach, there are no hitches, glitches, or hang ups whatsoever. As you would expect of a finely crafted German-made rifle, everything works to perfection and with utter smoothness. With most any bolt-action rifle, you can apply torque to the bolt in a way to make it either not work or drag a bit. Not with this rifle. The bolt glides inside the action as effortlessly as poking your thumb in a warm bowl of pudding. The trigger was also fantastic, allowing you to almost think the rifle into firing.

Regarding the rifle’s precision performance, I shot multiple five-shot groups with three different hunting loads from the bench and the average group size for all three was 1.18 inches. This is good but not great for a $3500 rifle. But remember, this is a switch-barrel rifle delivering near-MOA performance.

Though generally not a big fan of thumbhole stocks, I was surprised I liked this one as much as I did. I do not wrap my shooting thumb around the wrist of a rifle’s stock, and even with the thumbhole design, I could comfortably keep it on the right side of the stock just above my trigger finger. There was a sort of shelf there that provided a comfortable reference for thumb placement. I also adjusted the comb so it allowed for a perfect cheek weld while aligning my eye with the riflescope. This helped while shooting from the bench and off-hand.

The sliding safety/cocking button took some getting used to, just because it is so different from your average bolt-action rifles. The more I shot the rifle, however, the better I liked the system. What really stands out, and maybe cannot be repeated enough, is just how smooth the safety and everything else about this rifle worked. The rifle is a bit butt heavy, balancing about 2 inches behind the front of the action, which explains the nimble handling. But with the Banish Backcountry suppressor attached, the rifle balanced perfectly for field work. A carbon-fiber stock is available for the 505, and it will cut a pound and a half off the weight. Here’s a breakdown of the precision-testing results.

Chart showing the accuracy test results of the Sauer 505 rifle.

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Final Thoughts on Sauer’s New 505 Synchro XT Rifle

A shooter test fires the new Sauer 505 rifle from the off-hand position.
The author shoots the new 505 with suppressor attached from off-hand to test balance and handling. Sabastian “Bat” Mann

Pros

  • Fantastic trigger
  • Extremely versatile
  • Excellent workmanship

Cons

  • Pricey

In the interest of full disclosure, the rifle I tested was the German version of the rifle that will be sold in America. This is why the muzzle was threaded at 15×1 and why I needed an adapter to 5/8×24 for the suppressor. American rifles will have more conventional and varying muzzle thread pitches depending on the chambering. For example, the American 308 Winchester will have a 9/16×24 thread pitch. Also, this rifle had the black stock that will be on the 505 as sold in Germany. American rifles will have a Titanium Grey stock. Other than those differences, the rifle I tested will be the rifle you can purchase in America, along with a version with the carbon-fiber stock ($6500) and a grade 5 wood stock ($4500). There’s also the least expensive ($3200) version with a traditionally styled synthetic stock. The other stocks along with all 19 chamberings will be available on special order.

This is not the most-precise shooting rifle I’ve ever tested, nor the lightest. However, this is clearly one of the best-made, most versatile, smartly configured, and innovative rifles I’ve ever seen or evaluated. Admittedly, the cartridge and even stock interchangeability may not be appealing to hunters who like a different rifle for every pursuit. But this is a very practical one-rifle answer to about any hunting question, from prairie dogs to Cape buffalo.

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