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A pleasant suprise
Old 05-11-2011, 05:39 AM
branxhunter branxhunter is offline
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Default A pleasant suprise

I subscribe to one of the shooting magazines here in Australia. It only comes out every three months, but is well worth the wait. Two of the long-standing writers I really admire and respect due to their even-handed and truthful reporting of equipment that they review. Both live on the land in rural New South Wales.

I particularly like one of these writers, as he has a very down-to-earth approach. He also makes a living as a pro roo shooter, and so I tend to trust and respect the equipment reviews he writes. As well as running his experienced and critical eye over the rifles and scopes he often field tests them as part of his pro shooting.

Now this fella is a great fan of the Sako L461 action; indeed he has a number of weird and wonderful wildcats that are based on an L461 action such as the .221 case necked up to .257, and the .223 case necked up to 6mm to name a couple. It was because of his experience with Sakos I decided to try the general email address on the website for the magazine to ask his opinion on what he regards as the best scope mounts I should consider for my A1 .222. I thought it might be a long shot that I would actually get a response.

Well after a few weeks the wife of the editor of the magazine replied to my email to say that they had been having trouble forwarding my email through to the fella in question, so she asked for my phone number, as she was going to print out my email query and mail it through. I was pleasantly surprised that she had taken the trouble to follow this through and reply to my email, and duly provided my phone number.

A couple of days later I received the phone call. Well, you couldn’t find a nicer, more genuine bloke. We talked about the scopes rings, we talked about his wildcats and his Sakos (a surprisingly large number), we talked about his pro shooting, we talked about his property. We talked for quite a while about how he and the magazine editor take the view that there are not enough people in the shooting industry who want to teach and pass on their experience and knowledge to younger or new shooters.

He lamented that too many in the industry were just looking to fleece unsuspecting buyers, selling them rifles far more powerful than they need. He recounted a story of a young bloke who was sold a .300 Win mag for pig shooting. Apparently he met this young bloke at a shot show and they got talking. He offered for this young bloke to come out to the property and try ANY of the rifles in his collection to help him decide what suited him – this is someone he had only just met!

As we discussed various scope rings to suit my Sako he mentioned that if I had any trouble sourcing rings or bases to just give him a call back and he would see if he could source the for me.

We also had an interesting discussion about fixed power versus variable scopes. He prefers fixed power scopes, and I laughed and said that I had noticed that when testing variable scopes in the magazine reviews he quite often shot better groups with the lower magnification (3 or 4) on a variable scope than the higher settings. He said that that was a very good mechanical reason for that, in that at the lower settings the erector tube is supported at both ends, while as the magnification increases the supports draw closer along the tube, and therefore the quality of the support decreases slightly.

So, in summary, after around 40 minutes on the phone I was highly impressed with the level of service and genuine interest shown by the magazine staff. Perhaps they are not all tarred with the same brush Paul???

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