In some respects peoples approach to rifles is similar to how we perceive cars.. Some of us actually don’t give a shit and are happy to drive something that sets no records but does the job sufficiently. Think mid 90’s Subaru legacy, they drive nice enough and have all the modern conveniences like air con and electric windows. But we all know there’s nicer rides out there.
On the other hand you’ve got for example the Audi RS8 with every optional extra box ticked. A huge amount of power, tuned suspension, nav system and an interior that would make you actually feel bad for spilling your coffee.
There’s a number of reasons that the more discerning buyer (or that mate with enough disposable to again not give a shit) might weigh up the cost Vs benefit and decide that the RS8 is for them.
One of the great things about hunting is that it doesn’t have to cost a bunch to get into, rifles these days are extremely good value compared to say 20 years ago. A good mate of mine shot his first deer (A cracker West Coast 12 pointer…..wanker!) with his grandfather’s old open sighted Lee Enfield. People really can get started with that 92 Legacy, although we might be talking a series one Land Rover in the case of my mates 12 pointer.
Over the years I’ve slowly become more interested in rifles that are designed for exactly how I want to use them. For me there’s not that many objectives, but those objectives can be a little hard to achieve. Weight and accuracy being the main ones….
Now I’m certainly no gun nut and would rather not dive into that black hole that precision shooting can be. Hence my approach was to enlist the help of a bunch of guys who are so deep in that black hole that there’s certainly no coming back out of it.
East Coast Arms have been fine tuning rifles for a very long time and the interesting thing with these guys is that they all (3 gun nuts in total) spend a huge number of days per year on the hill… actually hunting and not just punching paper. This gives these guys a huge amount of knowledge about how a specific caliber/projectile/load actually performs when it hits flesh and bone, not just steel or paper. Not to mention an understanding of what you’re asking for when you explain you want a “light weight tahr rig with no fluff, that’s a pleasure to carry on the hill”
East Coast Arms is the proud distributor of Proof Research Barrels. Now these things walk the talk and certainly have no fluff. Yip these guys (Proof and East Coast) are gun geeks, no question. But to me there is certainly something in combining actual hunting scenario knowledge with the finest components… Simply this means your hard earned dollar is getting what you asked for, a rifle that does x,y,z.
One of that trio of gun nuts is Mark Mcfarlane. Mark has a large amount of experience with more technical gunsmithing, having cut his teeth in the military then fine tuning his skills with a long stint at Gunworks in Christchurch. For a few years now he has been running Desert Guns and offers the full spectrum of gunsmithing services from his very well appointed workshop in Central Otago.
Now I’ve been quite content driving that 90's Legacy for a longtime, in fact I’ve owned a number of Leone’s. But I’m now 34 years old and have realised that the disposable I have is better spent on the passions I have rather than going down the urinal at the local. Epiphany? perhaps, Intervention? who knows.
What I do know is that my vision of dropping a bunch of weight and being more accurate and consistent past 400 yards is well within grasp, albeit with a bunch of practice and a lack of wind.
Over the coming weeks/months we are going to follow the transformation of a good old 30 06 Remington 700 into a lightweight 7mm Rem Mag mountain hunting rig. Again i'm no gun nut, so were not going to get super techy. But we will touch a little on the process and the reasoning behind selecting the main components.