Well the SHOT Show is happening right now in Las Vegas, Nevada and the US blogs are all posting cool stuff at a blistering rate, We’ll try out best to tell you about the things that are relevant to Aussies or just plain awesome. Or in this case a bit of an obscurity:
The Mossberg 464 SPX Tacticool Lever Action, coming with adjustable stock, picatinny rails, fibre optic sights and a flash supressor (Though if it ever lands here it wont have the suppressor).
The rifle will be available in 22LR with a 18 inch barrel and 13+1 shots as well as a 30-30 with 5+1 shots and a 16″ barrel.
I don’t know what to make of it, seems a bit strange to me but good to see the old workhorse of the west get a modern tacticool facelift anyhow.
The most popular type of rifle in Australia is the bolt action repeater. Reliable, strong and available in a heap of different configurations, it’s not hard to see why bolt actions are in such demand. For hunting Goats there are a few options available to shooters but it would be a hard argument to win if you said that bolts actions weren’t the most popular. However, this would be a short article if I only recommended the use of a bolt repeater.
I’m going to batch together the different styles of bolt action rifles as we all know there are a lot of options available. My personal preference these days is a Weatherby Vanguard for several good reasons. I like a 24 inch barrel on my bolt actions and most manufacturers are going with the shorter 22 inch tubes these days. I like the Vanguard action which is strong and reliable and has a good workable trigger. One brand of rifle that I’ve owned had a trigger that couldn’t be worked over to satisfaction and required an aftermarket trigger to be fitted. That’s an extra expense that is avoidable and not needed with the Vanguard series. Weatherby also includes a 1.5moa guarantee which is a nice touch, but I’ve found all the Vanguards that I’ve owned to shoot much better than this once they receive a good bedding and trigger job. In all honestly, for shooting Goats at practical ranges, just about any bolt action available today is going to do the job.
Magazine capacity of any rifle is going to be determined by which cartridge you choose to use. The larger the case, the less room you have to store the extra rounds. Detachable magazines can extend this capacity and will offer a huge advantage when it comes to culling operations. I prefer a minimum of four rounds capacity with five being just that little bit better. There’s nothing worse than opening up on big mob and just as you fire your last shot you notice that huge billy that was hiding behind some timber. Fumbling to reload whilst trying to keep an eye on the game only to have it disappear just as you re-shoulder your rifle is not a nice feeling.
Lever actions are another popular option especially for hunters that prefer to stalk the timber and scrub for trophy Goats. To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of lever actions for a couple of reasons. I’ve never liked being limited to only a few cartridge choices which some of the older lever guns require. If I had to pick an old style lever gun it would be in 30/30 as it’s really the only cartridge that would be suited to my style of shooting. I also dislike the triggers as a lot of them can’t be worked over and I find them too heavy and draggy for my liking. My Browning BLR was used to drop quite a few Goats and it was a nice rifle to use. Mine was chambered in .243 Winchester which is the big advantage with the BLR’s. Having drop magazines instead of tubular under barrel ones and a strong rotating bolt head action means that today’s higher pressure rimless cartridges can be safely used. The big draw back with my BLR was the trigger. Because the trigger comes away with the lever when working the action, not a lot can be done to improve it. Mine was pretty woeful and I never quite got used to it. There are advantages to using lever guns and they can be very useful when their strengths are utilised. Working a lever is quick and gives you that quick follow up shot when it is needed most. They are designed to be carried which means light weight and portability when hunting in the thick stuff. A friend of mine is a big lever fan and he uses his with devastating effect. The thousands of other lever fans out there prove that they can be a useful tool under the right situations.
Pump action rifles are something that I have zero field experience with. I’ll often daydream about getting a Remington 7600 in .308 which would make an ideal close to medium range Goat and Pig gun. Mounted with a low powered scope and detachable magazine, there’d be plenty of firepower and it would really shine when on a Goat cull. I’m not sure how the triggers come out of the box, but the few reviews that I’ve read say that they are an accurate rifle. Hopefully one day I’ll get my hands on one and let you know how they go.
Single shots are more of a specialty item. They are slower to reload (still fairly quick in the right hands) but they are usually very accurate. There is a saying that single shots make a better shooter because hunters are aware of the additional time it takes to reload, therefor they are more inclined to make that first shot count. Every hunter should be making sure that first shot counts so as long as that mindset is there, then I fail to see why there should be any difference in a hunter’s accuracy. Single shot rifles do have their fans but they’re certainly not my first choice when it comes to shooting Goats.
As for scope selection, there really is a heck of a lot of choices available. Goats can be hunted in so many different environments that it’d be foolish to recommend just one for all conditions. For this reason I prefer a variable in either 3-9×40 or 2-7×33. Anything close to this range is going to work just as well but be careful you’re not over-powered for those close range shots. With scopes in particular, it’s wise to buy the best you can afford and don’t be tricked into thinking there’s such a thing as a good cheap scope! You can only shoot as good as you can see so keep that in mind when you’re shopping around.
I hope this article has given someone new to the sport of Goat hunting something to think about. I try really hard to only write about my personal experiences or at least rely on someone else’s that I have total trust in. Everyone will have different preferences and they will change over time as I know mine certainly have. I hope the series of these Goat hunting articles have been an enjoyable read and possibly even educational.
The Rossi firearms company has been around since 1889 and during this time they have been providing quality firearms at an affordable price. Although they produce muzzle loaders, single shot rifles, shotguns and revolvers, they are perhaps best known for their lever actions rifles.
Among their line of lever actioned rifles, is the Rio Grande series. The Rio Grande is available in either blued or synthetic finishes and has a side ejection port which facilitates easy scope mounting. Barrel length is 20 inch’s which seems popular with traditional lever gun fans. Up until now the Rio Grande has been available only in 30/30 Winchester, which holds six in the magazine. However, Rossi has now released the Rio Grande in both 45/70 and the .410 gauge Shot cartridge. The 45/70 model will hold six in the magazine and the .410 will hold five.
This new release has only just made press in the states, so time will only tell as to when they will become available to Australian shooters.
Only becomes a firearm if used in commission of an offence (i.e. nail
guns used as firearms).
No licence / registration required.
Replaces ‘prescribed firearms’
Military type firearms, fully automatic firearms
Any firearm or firearm like device not falling under the other classes. Will also include certain firearms fittings and accessories, such as
silencers or ‘active’ laser sighting systems.
Intended for items requiring a higher level of probity or security.
We must act NOW to stamp out such irresponsible and ill-informed proposals from becoming law.
Please write to the SA police
Minister Michael Wright at: firstname.lastname@example.org urging him to release full details of the proposal and letting him know that you do not support any further restrictions on firearms ownership.
If you live in South Australia, you may also wish to contact your local Member of (State) Parliament, and ask them to follow this issue up on your behalf.