October 28, 2019
Gypsy, a one-year-old wirehaired pointing griffon, stopped dead in her tracks. Her eyes and nose were set on a spot at the edge of a row of pine trees. Her right leg bent at the elbow and her tail stood at attention.
Trusting the young pointer, I quickly made my way to her. Pushing through tall switchgrass, I readied the Blaser F16 GAME Intuition I carried. A flash of brown and gray erupted from the base of the pines as a lone quail flushed in an attempt to escape dog and hunter.
Raising the Intuition to my shoulder, I swung and fired. The bird fell—my first Iowa wild quail. Elated, I placed the bird in my vest. I loaded another shell and hadn’t walked 50 feet before another quail flushed from the brush.
The Intuition met my cheek and the quail dropped. Lincoln, my Lab, brought it to me, placing it in my outstretched hand. There was something about this over/under that I liked.
A Shotgun Is Born
The “shrink it and pink it” mentality for women shooters seems to be going away—Hallelujah!—as manufacturers recognized the demand for shotguns tailored specifically to fit females. In fact, Blaser was one of the first to acknowledge this a few years back, when it introduced the Blaser F3 Ladies Sporter as a first step into the women’s market.
The F3 Ladies Sporter featured an adjustable comb, drop and cast. Additionally, the pitch was also changeable, as was the length of pull. In short, the F3 was a shotgun designed to be completely customizable to fit the female form—but with a hefty price tag. However, from the F3 was born the more affordable F16 Intuition.
This time Blaser didn’t provide women with just one option. This new itezration was designed for female shooters who like to chase upland game or bust clays. Two different models of the over/under were developed: the GAME and the SPORTING, each featuring individual weight and characteristics.
For last hunting season, I opted to test the GAME Intuition, hoping to put it through its paces on wild birds. I was hesitant when I was first asked to review the GAME Intuition. Not for lack of desire, but rather because my stature—5 feet, 10 inches tall, long arms—tends to find female-specific stocks too short for a proper fit.
My hesitation was quickly dispatched after a day at the range proved undeniably that the F16 GAME Intuition fits and performs as promised.
It’s all in the details and the measurements. A low-profile receiver provides a low center of gravity for balance, while a slim, English-style forearm and pistol grip allow for a secure hold for slender hands. Although not adjustable like the F3, the Monte Carlo stock on the Intuition was designed with precise measurements to fit the female form.
Because women sport higher cheekbones and longer necks than men, the Intuition has a high comb to accommodate both. This small adjustment goes a long way to provide a perfect fit that helps reduce recoil and promote perfect eye alignment.
An 82-degree pitch, rather than the 84-degree pitch on the standard F16, adapts to the female anatomy and assists in reducing felt recoil. A short length of pull aids in a smooth mount for smaller-framed women and helps with trigger control.
Although the trigger pull is not adjustable, it’s smooth at 3.6 pounds, and a barrel selector button sits inside the trigger guard for easy activation. The barrels are available in either 28 or 30 inches and have a nickel silver front bead and a tapered rib.
The F16 GAME Intuition is available only in 12-gauge. It weighs 6.6 pounds, not unreasonable for a 12-gauge, but I am anxiously awaiting the development of a 20-gauge option.
Internally, the F16 GAME Intuition shares a key feature of its F3 predecessor. The ergonomic Ejection Ball System (EBS) cocks the automatic ejectors only after the shot is fired. The ejectors release tension after ejecting spent shells, which aids in longevity of the mechanism. It also causes the Intuition to close easily since the ejectors are cocked when you open the action, rather than when you close it as in other over/unders.
Typically, female-specific products are distinguished by their pink logos and feminine engravings. Blaser understood the importance of keeping things streamlined, and the F16 GAME Intuition is no different than the regular F16. For the GAME Intuition, a standard Grade 2 wood stock is paired with a Gun Metal Grey receiver marked with a silver F16 logo.
This over/under focuses on fit and functionality rather than frills.
A True Test
My three days spent carrying the F16 GAME Intuition across the rolling hills of Iowa in search of wild pheasant (Iowa’s bird numbers are up, but you didn’t hear that from me) were well spent. I usually carry a 20 gauge, but the 6.6-pound, 12-gauge didn’t wear my arms down, even after I hiked more than 14 miles.
It shouldered smoothly on the flush, and the Monte Carlo stock molded to my cheek seamlessly. I left Iowa with three wild roosters and two bonus wild quail—all without a bruised shoulder.
I’ll leave you with this. When coaching two new female shooters at the trap range one Saturday afternoon, I had them start with my personal 20 gauge, thinking the recoil would be more manageable.
That was a mistake. The stock was too long and cumbersome for the new shooters. When they struggled to bust clays, I switched them to the F16 GAME Intuition, and both dusted the first clays out of the trap house.