More on hunting/Shooting skills;
With the long range shooting epidemic still raging about us and big money being spent on bigger calibers and bigger scopes to reach out further and further, and it is a fine sport make no mistake, but when it comes to hunting I can only reiterate what I was told all those years ago re. hunting skills, fitness and most common ranges that you shoot your quarry. Y’know something? Nothing has changed. 200 meters and under is what you will still shoot 90% of your game at. You still need to be fit (at least here in NZ on public land) and if you can hunt the North Island bush with consistent results then you can hunt anywhere. Those words are etched in granite in my mind and I have seen nothing over the years that has proved otherwise.
I will digress awhile here re. L.R. shooting for there is always someone who will jump up with ” but what about that head of a lifetime out at x range?” Ya know that guy eh? He buys or reads every shooting magazine known to man, he is a big noise on the local hunting/ shooting forum and has blisters on his arse from watching too much you tube hunting channels. In short he ain’t hunted much and is far too influenced by advertising hype because of this. He will have the most expensive glass on his scope and like wise his binos, he will also have a bipod and sling permanently attached to his rifle and like most these days sport a suppressor as well…that is before he has even seen an animal in a lot of cases!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aha then comes reality… they actually go hunting
Okay back in line. These long rangers will spend hours perfecting their rounds and hours at the range practicing their shooting, they will mostly be sitting or lying prone and shooting in next to nothing wind . They will brag to anyone who is willing to lend an ear as to how far their last animal was shot at etc. 6,7,8 or even 900 meters. (how do they find their animals? I have trouble without a dog at a 100 most times). Trouble is these jam donuts influence the next generation and on it goes
A word to the wise…..
Ability to shoot at distance does not necessarily make a good hunter in my opinion. It is the ability to shoot fast in all kinds of positions and terrain that makes the all round hunter effective. Guys will practice one position (usually prone) shooting at long ranges and consider themselves “god” Give them a 150 meter shot on a quartering animal with little or no support and those same guys will more often miss. So where is all that time reloading super accurate rounds and time spent shooting them gone? Anyone really can shoot an animal from prone over a pack as support to any distance providing the wind is right, but give me the man who can shoot accurately when out of breath, sitting, kneeling, standing or in awkward positions out to 150 meters and I will give you a good and successful hunter.
“Hunting is about the journey not about the outcome”
Epitome of an all round rifle for NZ alpine/bush conditions
Sako L579 custom. .308 – 20″ barrel. Leupold 1-5x 20mm scope
Beware the man with only one rifle;…for he is likely to be able to use it.
Pick a cal.- .308- why? you can have a short barrel without losing out too much on performance. Also; you will never have to re barrel throughout your hunting lifetime due to shooting the barrel out. Admittedly a touch over kill in the bush though very well suited to the tops. Recommend 165 Nosler Accubond projectiles for knockdown in all environs.
Why a short barrel?- 18.5-20″ is lighter and more manageable in both alpine and bush scenarios. …Picture tight and heavy bush and running shots and also climbing amongst rocks with the rifle slung. Other words portability and balance
C.R.- Cheek Rest. A must for alpine shooting. A consistent cheek weld is imperative to accurate and deliberate shooting can also aid in taming recoil significantly. Not so important for bush hunting and really the hunter is better off removing the C.R. in such circumstances as quick target acquisition is of more importance.
Bolt.- A half cock is the only way to be effective in the bush, both quiet and efficient when used in the proper manner and totally safe. The safety catch can also be applied in conjunction with the H.C.to give a double layer of protection for those not entirely versed or experienced with the “half cock”and its machinations.
Magazine release button.- In a ridiculous position on Sako rifles of the L579 and L461 era and prone to being accidentally released, particularly so in dense scrub. Fit an after market stronger spring to overcome this issue if you own such a rifle.
C.D.S. Turret Dials.- A fast and efficient way to shoot quickly in alpine conditions where ranges are no more than 400-500 meters. These ranges are more than adequate for the efficient hunter.
Objective lens.- 20-24 mm is about all that is needed. On the tops the smaller aperture will restrict less the sun entering the lens and in the bush it will limit the amount of debris that enters the scope. It is also more streamlined and less likely to suffer contusions. It will provide all the light gathering needed to hunt any animal both bush and alpine in the vast majority of cases. In a lifetime of public lands hunting I have never wanted for an extra minute or so of light that a lot of so called x expensive and huge objective lens makers of scopes claim to demand you have to own- pure unadulterated hype!….I will concede other countries with different hunting techniques do not apply to my credo- NZ only.
Sling.- A sling is only needed in the event you have to pack out meat or need both hands to climb. The only sling practicable for all purposes is the buckle adj. type which allows you to keep it taught and out of the way when not in use but can be instantly brought into action when needed. Otherwise a rifle should always be in your hands and in your complete control. The so called strap is a problem waiting to happen, from a hunter being lazy and shouldering the rifle unnecessarily and therefore missing out on an animal to taking a bead on a target with the bloody thing dangling and swinging and putting the shooter off balance and then finally getting caught up in all and sundry.
Barrel Band.- The safest way to attach a sling in my opinion- absolutely bomb proof with no chance of a screw pulling out. It also shortens the barrel when slung so that which protrudes above your shoulder when climbing is of less length and therefore prevents potential snagging.
What I am seeing time and time again
Choose your gear carefully
Relatively experienced and also very inexperienced hunters alike purchasing rifles not designed for NZ conditions. I have said this before but will go on saying that most if not all European rifles are woefully short of being practical for these shores. In this instance I am concentrating mainly on the magazine or floor plate assembly. Now outside of a pro specialist area I feel a detachable magazine system for general hunting is inviting all kinds of disaster from the dropping and losing to the leaving behind and also recently on three occasions I have witnessed magazines coming lose and falling to the ground on crucial stalks and also just walking on the track.
An area that holds the rounds for your rifle should be integral to the rifle end of story to avoid this problem entirely.
An example of this non NZ worthy European rifle can be traced back many years and still even after all these years there is seemingly no improvement. Take my Sako Vixen L461 and Sako Forester L579 rifles as an example. These where/are two well respected performers in NZ to boot but both suffer from the same problem and this is the release button for the floor plate is outside and in the front of the trigger guard and so is easily depressed inadvertently whilst pushing through heavy scrub. I have been lucky and it has only happened to me twice throughout the years. Once is too much!
N.B. I have recently addressed this problem or rather Allen Carr has on my behalf by inserting a stiffer spring which cannot be depressed by hand unless with the use of a tool.
A much better choice would be the blind magazine type as shown in the Remington ADL or the new Forbes 20B. Yes you will have to cycle every round out of the magazine at the end of each hunt but totally worth the effort when compared to the above likely scenarios . Fine if you have a rifle with the floor plate release button on the inside of the trigger guard as per the Remington BDL or alternatively in an acceptable out of the way position that cannot be depressed easily. Also the blind magazine will save you some ounces with its no need for any metal work except for the trigger guard on the exterior of your stock. I have recently ordered a Macmillan stock for my Sako Vixen and stipulated the need for an internal magazine too, something I wished I had done when I first ordered a Macmillan for my Forester. At least though both actions came with a half cock- mandatory in N.Z. I.M.O..
The detachable magazine is just an incident waiting to happen…’nuff said.
Bottom line advice is always play the percentages… for what can go wrong – will eventually go wrong!
N.B. Europeans invariably hunt from high seats or stalk in say the likes of Scotland and with their rifles still in their gun slips- Now think just how the manufacturers of these rifles are thinking re. the way they set their rifles up. They are not taking in our scenarios I can tell you- Or if they are they are getting the wrong advice! We are the only true hunting country on the planet and no one provides for us…Just as well there is number 8 wire about.
Peace and stability defeat America’s agenda. Endless wars serve it.
Quote by John Lennon 1968
I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. And I think that’s what I sussed when I was sixteen and twelve, way down the line. But I expressed it differently all through my life.
It’s the same thing I’m expressing all the time. But now I can put it into that sentence that I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends, you know. If anybody can put on paper what our government, and the American government, and the Russian, Chinese … what they are all trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing.
I think they’re all insane. But I am liable to be put away as insane for expressing that, you know. That’s what is insane about it.’
Other Agendas outside of hunting but crucial to our Future
The Bamboozle; Cognitive dissonance
Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong . When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalise ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief– Franz Fanon
As this is my website and on it I put forth my hunting views from time to time I would be remiss if I did not state my general thoughts on the current economic and political route we are heading in with the U.S. second amendment under pressure and the bombing of yet another Arab country in full swing and the resultant hordes of migrants heading to Europe as a result. These are not isolated cases but more combined within an ongoing agenda the Western governments have of enslaving humanity and introducing the much predicted over the years “Orwellian” police state to run it. ( you won’t get this on the 6 o’clock news- remember all media is State owned and run)
Obama vows to stop any future atrocities with firearms in the U. S. and with crocodile tears coursing down his cheeks he declares he will not wait for congress and will act accordingly on attempting to dismantle the second amendment and start the process of disarming American citizens. My belief is when the U.S. loses its second amendment then the rest of us will fall like a pack of cards and face heavier regulations and eventually lose the right to own firearms as at the moment we are holding on by the skin of our combined teeth and are only owning guns now as a direct result of the U.S. second amendment.
His concern over children dying however does not extend to Syria it would seem as he daily bombs the shit out of them. He is doing this to win the war against IS he tells us but hang on…..the terrorists have been armed and paid by the West to over throw Assad so the bombing is not going to be very efficient is it? and it is more designed to help the terrorists obtain their goal of over throwing Assad who has obviously stepped out of line somewhere along the line. Step in Russia who has also started bombing in Syria but the Russian agenda is to side for Assad and go for the IS terrorists instead (the supposed goal of the U.S. and Nato.) They must be having an effect because I hear now there are going to be U.S. and Turkish ( Turkey is another who funds IS activities and enjoys the oil that is smuggled over the border from Syria) boots on the ground in the near future. This will escalate things some more especially as the value of oil has dropped and oil just so happens to be one of Russia’s main economic commodities. Heading for WW3?
What is all this about? Apart from the U.S. wanting Iran, Libya Somalia and Yemen as well and supporting feckin Saudi Arabia….I mean Saudi Arabia? that should tell you something. Fundamentally it is all linked together alongside global warming fears and political correctness as well as a myriad other issues to basically control us all, we ( and by that I mean the masses which is the majority of the worlds population ) are increasingly being squeezed into a corner and very soon will lose all semblance of freedom.
Fear is the key to all this the fear of not being in sync with people around us, to be politically correct in all things, Religion and the fear imposed of not going to heaven etc…Religion being the most successful tool to impart fear/control that has ever been devised, the fear of global warming [Which does not exist in reality alongside religion too for that matter, Religion was concocted as a suppression weapon from the beginning], the fear of migrants storming the borders [designed to happen by the authorities so that we the masses demand action and they can in turn implement still more measures of control over us)…What’s this zero tolerance we have on speed on our roads? How the hell can you watch your speedometer 100% of the time etc etc, my view is it is not speed so much but more sheer bad decision making which I see day to day but hey you can’t fine decision making so lets go for speed….. speed cameras, C.T.V. surveillance, drones phone tapping, health and safety…have you seen guys wearing hard hats on road works?…what’s the go?- hailstones? In our schools we have compulsory vaccinations, sun glasses hats and sun cream guidelines….guidelines? the kids are sent home if they don’t comply…what is that all about? ….implemented fear and..CONTROL …School these days is more of a prison and the system is more interested in making the child conform and be a model “don’t complain and you will be fine” type of dummy than any pretense of education and true growth. There is the very real threat of micro chipping babies in the future. Polystyrene filled helmets for riding your pushbike (the ultimate put down) …for Christ sake! In Melbourne recently out for a meal at the Casino we asked the waitress to leave the wine bottle on the table…she replied she wasn’t allowed to do that and took it away…..What’s that about? ……rules rules rules. There are a host of forbidden words now that were freely exchanged not so very long ago…no I am not talking about expletives either so now they are after our speech and what we can say and not say next it will be free speech and we will not be able to protest or query anything and if that is not enough we seem to police ourselves voluntarily!!! and dob each other in.
Finance; The Rothschild family owns more than 90% of the worlds banks. Private banks run governments and influence laws. Governments rule countries. It is not the president or the prime minister that is all powerful…they are only puppets put there by money and directed to do the bidding of money. The main power in this world is money and therefore he who has it rules and the control of this very commodity is maintained by the banks. How is it we all work 9-5 a week at a time and don’t get ahead financially when all the big corporations hand out vast sums of bonuses and incentives to their C.E.O.’s- smell a rat?
The joke is we don’t need the commodity it is merely a tool to keep us enslaved. It is not real anyway they are just figures manufactured out of thin air with no sustainable background and the bigger joke is we receive a loan from the bank which is just numbers printed on paper and then they have the cheek to charge us interest on these conjured up numbers on top! The powers that be are working hard toward a cashless society and stupid countries like Sweden are already well on their way voluntarily down this track. How much control are we under with no cash to use as collateral at least now when our cards are declined we have the option to pay cash. Also the state will have the added control in our lives to dictate our finances and so our lives. You can’t stash meaningless numbers under your mattress for a rainy day!
JFK In one famous speech declared his opposition to secrecy and secret societies believing information should be shared with the general public he was referring to such as B’nai B’rith which was Rothschild established in 1843 to prevent exposure of the global Zionist networks. The BB is an offshoot of the Scottish rite of Freemasonry and operates world wide to brand as anti semantic anyone who exposes the Rothschild operation.
He was eventually assassinated by the state for these views and for his views on finance
Abraham Lincoln too was assassinated by the state for his views on the green back as a no interest form of monetary exchange…thus by passing the Rothschild owned banks and their hefty interest fees.
These Rothschild Zionist groups are to be found at the top of most it not all power centers in the world…look at the people that surround Obama and Cameron for starters
Google the Zionist Elephant in the room for more information
It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled– Mark Twain
Say no to T.P.P.A.
“Trade agreements are not ‘stand-alone’ legal regimes, but must conform with fundamental principles of international law, including transparency and accountability, [Trade agreements] must not delay, circumvent, undermine or make impossible the fulfillment of human rights treaty obligations.”
indications that the TPP will come with a private tribunal system, or an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) process, in which multinational corporate entities will be granted broad powers to challenge sovereign nations’ government regulations, rules, actions and court rulings if those laws or policies are perceived as cutting in on intellectual property values and profits.
Any economic benefits of the deal will go to corporations, not workers in any of the participating nations. Labor unions, among many others, have lined up to oppose the TPP based on concerns over a number of issues, including currency manipulation, environmental and health protections, food safety, pharmaceutical monopolies, offshoring of jobs, internet privacy, government transparency, and local governmental control.
Hanging on to Kiwi know how
When I first landed here in 76/77 I was told by a culler by the name of Gary Hansen that if you can hunt here in NZ and I mean hunt well in the bush more than anything ( 90% of all deer live all the time in the bush and only the 10% venture out onto river flats and tussock tops at any one time) you then can hunt anywhere in the world. Those words resonated with me at the time and still do and I believe in them totally (over any 12 month period a good bush hunter will be the more consistent over any other form of hunting technique ). The fear I have is that we ( don’t get me wrong I am Welsh through and through!) as Kiwi hunters will over a short time lose this rare and enviable skill and that no other (except for some jungle dwelling tribes …so long as they keep away from American/European advertising) and certainly no western cultures anyway will have even a modicum of that skill so much so do I believe that…that I would say that even if they could go on tip toe they would still find it very hard to reach up and even touch our combined arses….. so far are we ahead.
The trouble as I see it is that we are being reeled in by technology and the U.S. in particular is whittling down our skills by glamorizing (they even change our English spelling to make it easier for them to spell themselves instead of acquiring the proper skills) long range shooting which is only another term for sniping. The trouble is again with the technology we have available to us now is that anyone can do this after a small bit of training. The scenario is to over- look a clearing or stretch of open ground up to 600-800 meters away and drop a wild animal that has no idea it is in danger or can know…Christ! you can even talk quite loudly to each other at this distance. This is not hunting in the true sense. Hunting is pitting your skills of noiselessness, concealment and movement-Stealth against those of your quarry at distances that are fair to the animal. ….in other words a distance that you can and will be found out if you stuff up. A deer for example has such poor eyesight it can not detect you at 50 meters and often less as long as you remain static… and yet hunters brag of their 500+ meter kills…WTF!….Mind you on the other hand if you were to shoot a rabbit at that distance I will be the first to congratulate you.
My fear is that the up and coming generations are going to miss out on what it really means to hunt Kiwi style as I can see them graduating to this boring style of sniping which in essence is a lazy and an unfair way of taking game. A short cut too in what totally by -passes a skill level of hunting that normally takes a whole lot longer to develop and for some people they never do get the hang of…..
Hunting in NZ is cheap a long shirt, some lace up rubber boots and an ole .303 used to do the trick not so long ago.
Movement too means clothes that are loose and do not make noise or chafe when wet. Trousers? in NZ? do me a favour…. and yet that is what I am seeing time and time again- expensive too! Some are designed as suits in matching cammo and the shirt tails are mean’t to be worn inside the waste band!!!! I would be going to church or out for a meal if I dressed like that! Our hunting dress code since time in memorial is long shirts aka Swannies or the like shorts or/and thermals ..end of story why? for that is what is most practical for THIS country. Bring out something expensive in that design and I would have little qualm. Buy traditional Kiwi gear because it is proven time and time again. I was talking to a guy not so long ago that is importing very expensive U.S. hunting clothes and accessories and he was adamant we as hunters in this country are old fashioned and need to change!…Yeah I can see his point we do need to change…. to line his pockets with change! Do we need to change for any benefits in our comfort or for any practicality on the hill? NOT A BIT OF IT.
Internet and the media in general are imposing their products (yes I know it is called advertising) on a gullible naive audience and it seems more and more fall under the influence of overseas countries and their ware who spend more time designing expensive gadgetry and clothes that are designed more for the wealthy dude hunter of their respective countries to wear/or specialty use on a dude ranch or on a shooting stand than they ever would spend real time on a remote mountain or soggy thick bush and scrub….I doubt these purveyors of this crap could even spell the word hunting ….yet the buggers are making a good living out of it just the same.
Thing too is that we do even produce the odd rifle actions and barrels and both are made in this country but again are they designed for this country’s hunting in any shape or form?…not a bit of it they are instead competing for the lucrative long range game all trued and tricked out for the utmost in accuracy regardless of weight…the term is called band wagon. We as a hunting nation should have our own brand hunting rifle scope etc. It is we who are at the cutting edge of world hunting as I see it and as with NZ rugby there is no one out there within cooey of us in both departments. WE DON’T NEED TO CHANGE OR ADOPT ANYTHING. If we could shrug off the constraints of a demented DOC regime and develope our wild game reserves and promote our hunting where it should be in the wild and on public land and not like every other country in fenced off areas and dude ranches then we could really push our chests out and be proud of what and who we are and how we hunt. The word I am looking for is Fecking unique.
They catch up with all of us at one time or another but it is how you deal with it that is so important. I came across this the other day…………..
Nobody grows old living a number of years, people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, distrust, fear and despair… these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust…….. Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder……..
Carrying your rifle in the half ready position.
I must have been in Denial!
Photo taken whilst testing out the Howa rifle some years ago
For a number of months I have had my Swazi Tahr anorak for sale in Trading post. The reason simply was I was not wearing it and it was going to waste and just hanging lifeless in my gun room. The reason I was not wearing it was because it was too big for me and Swazi could not alter it.
I perhaps have not worn the jacket for a year or two but I was out trapping for a week recently and decided to take the Tahr coat along simply because it is so light to carry if you are not wearing it.
Well I ended up wearing it because I was faced with snow blizzards and strong southerly winds and when they abated I was confronted with cold frosty mornings and then I indulged in a fair bit of bush stalking. I wore the jacket throughout it all and I had forgotten how bloody good it was.
The bloody thing hangs off me and looks a right dag. I usually fit a large size in most things so ordered a large from Swazi of course there was no provision to try it on until it arrived in the post and it was the day I was going on an alpine hunt so- bugger it! it’s coming.
Well Swazi large is somewhat bigger than other companies large so I found out to my cost!
Anyway too big or not it is staying with me.
I must have been in a right sulk over the years having shelled out so much money on something that didn’t feel right. Well! I am over it now and bloody lucky it did not sell.
3/12/2015 N.B. I have one that fits me now….Cons. I still feel they are an awkward fit they do not have a zipped compartment which I find is useful for holding spare rounds…cos they can easily fall out of the “in house” voluminous job..hate the stupid bullet loops cos they loosen up anyway and who wants the sun reflecting off your exposed rounds to boot and considering the huge price it is a long way from perfect! Main pros points though is the great hood and the general light weight and breath-ability of the garment although on a side note I think it breaths so well because the bloody thing is such an awkward fit with surplus space in abundance.
The overly big jacket in yet another pose!
My Sako Forester .308
In my heart I am a bush hunter through and through. By far the bulk of my experience has been the hunting of Red deer and sika deer in the bush.
I find as a result of this that I have a fondness for short barrelled rifles and fixed powered scopes. If there is but one place I have found that has no need for a high end variable power scope- then surely this is it.
I don’t even care if we are just talking the likes of the lower end 1-4 variable Sooner or later you will be caught out in the wrong power for the job at hand, or take too much time trying to change the power setting which could probably mean missing out on your quarry.
In my opinion the 4x scope is by far the most desirable for this purpose. I have shot deer at very short range with my scope set at 4x with no hassle. Equally shooting 200 to 300yards across gulleys at deer on slips is also in the frame for the very versatile 4power.
Most calibres will shoot flat enough so that a dead on aim is all that is required out to 300yards. That is all the criterea you need to make you an efficient hunter.
The huge majority of all animals shot in this country fall well within this distance. Ok in some circumstances you may have to stalk a hundred or so yards to achieve your 3oo yard goal especially on the tops…. I emphasise may.
I have a Leupold 1-4 vari 11 scope [locked on 4x]
OK so we will move onto the rifle itself. Proportion wise I see no reason for a barrel to be longer than 20 inches. We are now moving onto the subject of balance and speed of follow through in particular within tight and confined spaces. Have you ever tried to lead a spooked deer and caught your overlong barrel up on supple jack or the likes? Have you ever crabbed sideways on a bluff system with your rifle slung as a necessity when feet and hands are all called to the pump, and had your barrel snag in an over- hanging rock and they both conspire to lever you off there? Sure you can modify your sling so that it slips high up your barrel and lessens its length but then you get the butt banging against your ankles!!! Your sling should always be on your rifle especially whilst chamois and tahr hunting IMO. To do so and avoiding snarl ups means having it taught as a bow-string under the rifle and then when you need it then all you have to do is just slide the buckle along to vary its length. I am also a fan of the barrel band as a very secure point to anchor your sling to avoid any mishaps such as screws pulling loose and again to shorten further the length of barrel when slung..
I have a barrel length of 18.5” on my Sako Forester.308 cal.
(Amended now to a 20″ S.S. Shilen Select barrel November 2015)
Hunting is a physically demanding pastime in this country and your gear is constantly being challenged by the terrain and weather so the stock of our rifle comes under scrutiny too. Personally I have never had a problem with a wooden stock warping on me.
I have been aware even with an oil hand rubbed stock the reality of it reflecting sunlight and possibly alerting game in the near or not so near vicinity.
I have definitely experienced the lack of strength in a wooden stock on a few occasions. OK hands up the Sako stocks of the Vixen and Forester era are pretty slim at the pistol grip and that is something that has always appealed to me, maybe as I have small hands myself but again i.m.o., the grip feels just right. Yet on both rifles that is where they have both broken. I remember an instance once on the head of a red merle cattle dog and the other on the side of a German Wire Haired dog’s head. I was left both times with a two piece stock.
Weight is also a huge consideration when building your ultimate rifle and a lot of ounces can be spared on the right stock.
I have a McMillan edge stock with a weight of some 20 odd ozs. And it is said to be stronger x3 than the wooden equivalent. [Bad news for future dogs heads]
Some believe the weight of trigger pull for bush shooting doesn’t really matter that much.
Trigger pull is a very personal thing and it is really a case of each to his or her/ own.
The trigger pull on my rifle breaks at 1.5lbs and it does so cleanly it is not after market [at this stage] but a stock standard Sako trigger that has been worked on. I find this perfect for my style of hunting. I.M.O., a trigger that lets off with a minimum of creep and backlash is a necessity and will improve your shooting whether it is to shooting animals on the run,or the deliberate longish shot and also for that small piece of identifiable animal half hidden in scrub and rubbish at close range.
I have been living in the South Island now for about ten years and have I found this rifle to be just what I need for tops hunting. Most important to me is weight and this rifle ticks that box coming in at 7 lbs all up. You will carry your rifle for a hell of a lot more time than you will ever shoot it. Secondly hunting to me would not be hunting without the stalk. With that in mind I have a personal maximum shooting range of 300yds., therefore I have no need for a scope of anymore than 4x. That is great news because now I can mount a scope of a mere 9ozs. When you have a barrel of only 18.5” the length of your scope is important to the overall look of the piece and again we tick the good looks box by only having a length of 9.something inches. I must admit though if the Nightforce 2-10 x24 had not been discontinued and the weight could have been reduced from a massive 17ozs. It would have certainly been a contender with a length of 10”. I am quietly pleased though not to be confronted with this problem because then I would have the extra burden of being on the right power and have unwanted extra weight to contend with and like I have said before…………..
I guess in some people’s eyes I can be seen as being more than a touch finicky in regard to my obsession with length in a scope…”beauty after all is in the eye of the beholder”
Also the objective lens being 20 mm means you can get your scope low in the mounts, it is slim line and mostly out-of-the-way for example a 50mm scope overlaps the barrel to both sides encouraging more scrapes and concussions. 99.9999% of my shooting over the years has been in reasonably good light. I am not one to tote a huge objective bell-like the Europeans do for the 00000000.1% shot. The Europeans do so because their style of hunting demands the ability for shooting at near dark from hides both morning and evening. I am pretty sure they wouldn’t do so if they had to climb as much as we do and lug that extra weight around. We should never be influenced by any hunters and their gear operating off these shores. Unfortunately so many of us are, and we bend our needs to accommodate their fashions.
I feel I am lucky to have the preferences I have for it means I can transition from tops to bush and feel very comfortable with my rifle in both environs. lastly my scopes have 20mm objectives which also means less diameter to clog up with twigs and other debris, compare with a 40 mm or larger and they are a veritable magnate for crap.
My Sako trigger lets off at 1.5lbs and is probably at its limits re.,safety. A Timney trigger is somewhere on the list of improvements. I am also considering having a picatinny rail added to Sako’s receiver to give me a bigger degree of choice re., scope rings. Of course it will be alloy and the rings will be the same. Maybe Low Burris tactical or similar. I also have a new scope ordered and it is a Leupold Vari 3 1-5 with a custom ballistic reticule added in a 25mm tube maybe extending my range to 400?. Then I might flute the barrel and…………………………
N.B. My pick off the shelf rifle? Model 7 Remington short action any caliber for all round use. get a gunsmith to do a “half cock” and you won’t find a better rifle for general use for New Zealand conditions. It also creates a fantastic base to develop any customising you want to do in the future.
The .222cal. emerged on the scene in 1950. It beat me by two years! I owned my first in
1972 it was a Brno Fox. The premium .222 rifle at that time though was the one
above-the Vixen and it took me a further couple of years before I owned one. I
still have it to this day and would never ever part with it. I put medium
height Sako rings and a Leupold vari 11 1-4 x 20 scope on her and they have not been parted in near on 40 years.
The bulk of its work was done in the Kaweka ranges in the early eighties. I was
hunting for the forest service and found the rifle to be the perfect bush tool. Also I was meat shooting in the Tararuas and Haurangis with it and its lack of
recoil was a prime consideration for my choice coupled with its comparatively
low sound signature.When shooting at a small part of a deer’s anatomy that is mostly obscured by bush it is extremely important to know your shot has found its mark as quickly as possible-the low recoil of a .222 caliber virtually guarantees it.
Bullets are a very important feature for anyone contemplating using this small caliber. When I was with the F.S., I used Nosler 50/55grn solid base boat tail spitzers and
swore by them. Today they are obsolete and instead I now use Barnes 53 grn TSX
FB. The few alterations I have made to the rifle include cutting the barrel back to 19″,a barrel band and a canjar single stage set trigger.
It mostly enjoys a life of semi retirement these days and is called on mainly for “day”bush
work and occasional mountain forays trips when the Forester is at the gunsmiths
getting a face lift.
The Buller Gum Boot
There simply is no better way to be shod than to encase your trotters in a pair [see below]. They excel in all forms of river work and bush stalking. They are light waterproof and extremely quiet. The tread does not clog up like conventional soles so therefore gives the wearer a more stable platform on slippery slopes.
There are two things that need to be done when you buy your boots new I.M.O.and one of them is to change the laces to a set more durable and the other is to make two holes each on the inside of the boots just above the rand in the middle of the boot. This is usually done with a heated piece of the good old no.8 wire or something similar. This enables water to leave the boot without that horrible squelchy carry on associated with all boots with water trapped inside.
For comfort I add a good quality orthopaedic foot pad and wear two pairs of socks to help negate the jarring. I used to use two pairs of the heavy greasy wool type socks and buy my boots a little larger. Nowadays I use just the one pair of greasies with a thinner sock next to the foot. Two pairs also help absorb the sweat and any water ingress.
A pair of gaiters completes the perfect foot kit. I use horse bandages because I can wrap them around my ankles a lot tighter than your average gaiter so giving me a good deal more ankle support which is much needed in rugged country. These days they seem to come with velcro fastenings. I feel to get the most out of them you need to fit ties instead.
I have a stock of these ready to go in black, email me to order yours now.
I have little use for a fixed blade in my kit. I have used plenty over the years and their downsides are many. When worn on the outside of garments they snag on every thing in sight, the sheaths fill up with debris and then you find you cannot re-sheath your knife cos it won’t fit and the retaining strap cannot hold it. They are also heavy and as I alluded to earlier cumbersome. They are quick to draw but why would you need speed the animal should be already dead !
A three inch blade will get anything in New Zealand skinned and boned out so having said that we or at least I now look for weight saving and blade edge retention. I believe the above pair of knives are close to the perfection I am seeking. They are light, strong, rust proof, look good and have a good ergonomic shape, the blade locks securely holds its edge and they come with a robust holster.
Why 2? well for one reason you don’t have to take any sharpening gear on short trips, if you lose one you still have another, they are light enough to afford you taking two. You can use one for boning out your meat and the other for the skin and cape. Or more to the point when you find the perfect knife you tend to want another one in case the first one miraculously disappears on you !!! might be something to do with a deprived childhood.
[A pair of Buck Omni hunter folders-they sit well on the waist straps of my Eterlou Alpine day pack and are close at hand]
When I was pro shooting the Mercator was the knife to fill the “back up” knife category, they were around $6.00 to buy and were and I guess still are good value for money, but with modern technology forever producing lighter and stronger materials I am afraid for me at least the day of the Mercator has long since gone.
What I carry in my Main Pack for [Alpine] Winter
The Macpac Cascade has four compartments; I think this ideal for then there is a specified compartment for all of your gear
lower; In this goes my sleeping bag and bivvy bag also down jacket. They all have waterproof bags [some not shown] also in the sleeping bag I put a pair of socks for each day of my trip.
Outer Middle compartment; Here is everything I need to make a brew or meal. Stove/fuel/Billy/cup [stowed inside billy] spork. Two containers with tea bags and coffee. Dixie with small tube of cooking oil. I also have spare batteries, pull through, painkillers, toothbrush/toothpaste/dental floss. fire lighter and rubber hose
Top compartment; Camera/tripod/binos/rangefinder/ammo/head torch/two knives/waterproof bags for all. Meat bag, beanie for bedtime. Tape for barrel etc. Roll of plaster, toilet roll and soap. Everything I might need while traveling so right at the top and easy to access
Main compartment is for food and of course meat /trophy on the way out.
Breakdown of meals as follows;
Breakfast is porridge usually served with the left over hot water from my brew.
Lunch on the hill is x4 rounds of bread/tin of sardines or ham and an energy bar/chocolate
Dinner is freeze dried of my choice and dehy mashed potatoes and usually after the first night it will be added to with fresh venison or Chamois steaks
I like to take some cheese and beer sticks for snacks. Bread is heavy but it is a must for me personally One loaf will do me x3 days. I repack my gear as soon as I finish a trip- clean dixie thoroughly, top up tea bags coffee, cooking oil replace ammo, check gas cylinder etc etc. Then I find all I need to do is pack my food for the next trip
I wear a Monsoon II Ridgeline or Swazi Tahr smock Under that goes Under Armour poly prop L/S top and heavy weight poly prop longs, underpants are Jockey “performance” which reach to just above the knee- I don’t bother with shorts anymore and find this combo perfect for winter and in summer I just lose the poly props and the Jockeys fill the shorts role. Hun tech gaiters long for winter and short for summer. A Casio Pathfinder with alarm is my watch of choice and ridge line glacier gloves and of course my favourite Scottish bonnet. Winter day pack is the Eterlou and this has to ride piggy back with three very light carabiners as attachments on my Macpac and of course when winter really hits an Ice axe and crampons are added. Meindl boots used for all alpine work summer/winter and good ole Bullers with horse bandages for all bush work.
If I was starting over……………..
I would be looking at the above rifle whether it be the 700 or model 7.
In my day it wouldn’t have got a second glance because it did not have the half cock and therefore relied only on its safety. Nowadays “some” gunsmiths do this alteration as a matter of course.
What I mostly like about it is the action and how it has never changed from the outset in design surely proof for itself that it is a proven winner, so with that in mind it follows that every conceivable part is readily available and “not out of stock” or “obsolete”. Young guns don’t think of these things when they buy their first firearm but businesses change hands and products undergo up grades, faults are found in existing products and a lot of changes occur over say a twenty or thirty years period with most products.
Like a man/woman that chooses their partner for a lifetime so should the hunter be just as diligent with his firearm purchase and if you look at all the various firearms manufacturers and all the different models they have produced over the years you will find there is no equal to the Remington 700/7 in its manufacturing consistency. Nor can they as a brand be accused of having been in anyway complacent and stayed in one place admiring their success but instead are constantly evolving and producing new rifle configurations and after market accessories. Though throughout these changes the heart of the rifle which is the action has remained true to itself. There is no greater compliment than to be copied and Remington actions have been copied. Look around the custom actions of the world and a hell of a lot are based on the Remington 700 action.
Many years ago I based my own Sako rifle on the Remington model 600 Mohawk which I had always thought to be the epitome of the “NZ hunters rifle” being light, short and well balanced. Nowadays a hunter can actually copy that 600 appearance with the Model 700 action and improve upon it with all the vast accessories available.
There is one gunsmith in NZ who has seized this initiative and is now offering a delicious menu of customising especially for the 700 and with the hunter in mind.
Check out Robbie Tiffen at www.gunworks.co.nz for accessories and look no further than Dean Maisey at www.gunsmith.co.nz for your half cock.