For those of you who do not have time to read this post, a brief of the contents are as follows:
- 7mm Practical dies are now available for purchase from our site.
- 50% discount on videos, limited time only.
- I muddled my way through another podcast interview.
- David Manson (Manson Precision Reamers) came for a hunt - and he knows how to shoot.
- We went to the Sika Show (the NZ version of SHOT).
7mm Practical Dies
Hi to all and my apologies for the recent chain of blog post emails. This post is for those who asked to be notified when we had our 7mm Practical die sets ready for sale. The dies are now finally ready in limited quantities on our website. Please click here if you wish to be redirected to the die shopping page.
U.S readers are advised to source dies from Manson Reamers. Dies purchased from us will incur double shipping and import duties having traveled to New Zealand and back again so again, please utilize Manson Reamers to purchase your dies.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with the 7mm Practical, our online article can be found by clicking here. For more detailed information on using the 7mm Practical at long ranges, please seek guidance within my book series (click here to view full series).
Note that we only have a limited supply of dies as we test the waters for this. There is much we have to learn here so please be patient as we explore how we are to best meet customer needs.
Discount on our video learning series
As many of you are already aware, we are now offering video tutorials, ideal for those who need visual aids beyond what is shown in the books. Video rental is still very new to us. One of the more difficult aspects of this was trying to figure out a fair price for the standard 3 month rental. On the one hand, I am offering information not found elsewhere, sharing many years of experience. On the other hand, what difference does this make to a would-be buyer who does not know whether the videos will truly help - where is the proof? Does Nathan Foster really know what he is talking about? One thing I do know is that those who purchase the book series from hard earned income generally excel in their path while those who are given the books or have them on loan, tend to skim read and often flounder. Very interesting for sure. In any case, for this week, we would like to offer both the Ruger American Accuracy video and our Tikka set up video at a heavily discounted price (50% o ff) in the hope of generating further interest. If you have been sitting on the fence and are not sure about the entire Vimeo / video process, now is the time to give it a go. The funds from this help us to continue doing what we do. We would also appreciate any supportive comments in the Vimeo feedback tab if you have time to write something after watching the videos.
Links and codes (ends Oct 9):
1. The Ruger American - Accuracy and trouble shooting: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/rugeramerican
Please use promo code: RUGERSAVE50
2. The Tikka rifle - How to set it up, break it in and shoot it straight: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/accuratetikka
Please use Promo code: TIKKASAVE50
I managed to wade my way through another podcast interview. I am hoping that we will do this again soon as there are several subjects that I feel I could have answered better or in more detail (hind sight) so if the host is willing and if time allows, expect a part 2 at some stage in the future.
To listen to the interview, click here or cut and paste the following link:
To view this on Vimeo (free) with a slideshow, please click here or cut and past the following link:
Hunting with David Manson
Many of you will also be interested to hear that we had David and Ann Manson visit here this last week. David Manson took an interest in our work some time ago. Believing that we had something of value to offer the worldwide hunting community, David sponsored our trip to the SHOT show, kindly sharing his booth with Steph and I. Now finally we would have a chance to hunt together.
David has also for some time been interested in the 7mm Practical and has helped me to standardize the reamer design for batch production. While visiting New Zealand, Dave was very keen to have Grant Lovelock at True-Flite, build him one of our original style rifles featuring True-Flite’s spectacularly accurate 4 groove 9 twist barrel design.
With the rifle delivered to True-Flite for its reno, Dave, along with my hunting buddy Kelvin and I hit the hills. However, as my Kiwi readers will be well aware, the weather was hell to say the very least. Nevertheless, we got off to a great start and Dave was a very lucky man.
The first animal down was a feral cattle beast, taken with my beloved .375 RUM. However, before you conjure up any romantic images of this hunt, I must tell you that although I had hoped to hunt the bull in his native surroundings, he had been sneaking out each night onto regular farm land to steal cows and enjoy some farm fresh pasture. On this final day, he took it too far, thinking he might stay a while, certainly good for meat retrieval but not exactly a wilderness hunt. To the outside observer, the bull having left the thick bush he was living in and broken through the farm boundary fence, now looked like any bull in a farm paddock. The trick would be to take him down at the request of a neighboring land holder without having him completely tear down the boundary fence should he attempt to head back into the wilderness.
My favorite rig for scrub cattle is the .375 RUM loaded with either the 300 grain Woodleigh PP between 2950fps and 3000fps or a 270 grain Barnes TSX loaded to between 3100 and 3150fps. But for some time I had been using this rifle with another barrel and had only just refitted the .375 pipe, guessing that the bull would have to be dealt with but thinking I would have some time up my sleeves. I had only just finished making up some ‘soft loads’ to get started again, going around 2800fps, nice and easy on the shoulder without a brake, provided the rifle fits well. For you young guys who have yet to experience such things, yes - a 300 grain bullet at 2800fps can be easy on the shoulder if you combine a good rifle design of sufficient weight with good form. In any case, here we were with an unexpected feral visitor weighing a minimum 600kg (1300lb), 10 minutes notice, mild loads and no chance to stalk inside 150 yards. The impact velocity would be just below 2600fp s.
The bull was lightly quartering on, head towards us, no good for a neck shot, the land holder also wanted the head undamaged. The shoulder would do nicely. Dave lined up and took the shot, the bullet struck dead center of the shoulder, the bull jumped but did nothing more than face up again. We waited for a moment to see if he would collapse then Dave took yet another shot. He jumped again, then bolted a short way. It was about now that I started to curse. I was playing back up with the .358 Norma but again, I did not have the loads on hand that I would have preferred. Instead, I was loaded with the 225 grain Sierra just on 2900fps, a load that Steph likes to tote around once in a while. I had to do something so I zig zagged in, never making eye contact or making a direct approach. After some distance I was able to flank him. A quick glance let me know that he was hit well but the result was more like a broadhead shot when bow hunting due to the low impact velocity. I need ed this guy down now. At around 30 yards I could see his neck and so I dropped to one knee and pulled the trigger on him. The Gameking bullet (not designed for such things) just managed to reach the spine. Finally - he was down.
A little less gore in Sepia.
Following this first round of excitement, we finally managed to get into the hills to spend a couple of days with the 7mm Practical. But due to the weather, access to the back valleys was impossible and game opportunities few and far between. At one point I sunk thigh deep in mud while trying to find a pass through to the areas both Kelvin and I were so keen to explore. Yes, it gets that wet and muddy here. Still, Dave was a champion, taking the cold, wet spring weather and mud in his stride. Kelvin spent a great deal of time glassing for pigs… while also managing to describe my epic fails at track clearing with home made dynamite in the old days and how it was a miracle that I ever managed to father a daughter after one exciting episode. Not long after this, Kelvin spied a small mob of pigs way out in a basin from our ridgeline position. Dave managed to take a single well placed head shot on a porker pig at 670 yards, shooting the Practical over his day pack. The s ecret to his shooting technique was a portable Amish style tactical beard. He kept this in the side pouch of his day pack.
A clean 670 yard shot with the Practical and 180gr ELD-M.
David also took a few feral goats which when hit with the Practical, went down so quickly that he thought he had missed.
“Are you sure I hit that, I think I missed”
“What do you mean missed - how dare you insult the Practical”
(Sarcastically) - “oh, so it completely vaporizes them into thin air”
“No, he’s down, he fell into the dead ground out of view… cheeky bastard”
It’s a funny thing, a difficult hunt with a good dose of mud, rain and cold really allows you to get to know a guy. You know what I am talking about, away from the internet, social masks and all of the fanfare. David Manson is simply a great guy to spend time with in the hills, a gentleman, down to earth. He guts his own kills, is serious about accuracy yet with a great sense of humor. He has endless energy and a contagious enthusiasm for all that he does. Both Kelvin and I very much enjoyed this time with him as did Riley (I had to tell both Dave and Riley off several times). David’s wife Ann is also a wonderful soul though not so keen on the knee-deep mud side of things. Fortunately, Steph and Ann worked out their own series of adventures which I am sure were just as exciting as our “hell I can’t stop shivering” experiences.
Good friends. David Manson (left) with my regular hunting buddy Kelvin and my dog Sarge.
The Sika show.
Following our time in the hills, we hit the road and went to the Sika show in Taupo. This was a great chance to meet up with readers and shoot the breeze. We did not have a booth (I remained a moving target) which allowed us to mingle in a more relaxed manner. The Sika show also rounded off David’s visit, where we met Grant Lovelock with the rebarreled 7mm Practical, the rifle finally coming together with the purchase of one of Clive Judd’s Precision Platforms stocks - the assembled rifle now very much a Kiwi build.
Left to right, Grant Lovelock, Clive Judd, David Manson.
I suppose one could say that I am a bit of a black sheep within the industry, always was and probably will be forever more. Clive Judd is following an equally difficult path. I watched as customers came to the booth, held his stocks in the most awkward of manners and asked their many questions. At one point, I simply had to intervene. “Sir, what you think you want and what you need in order to achieve what you want are two completely different things. There are many gun and stock makers that will cater to what you want, but this man is making what you need, even if what he appears to be doing is quite different from the crowd.” And being the utterly terrible salesman that I am, I ended with, “perhaps you might want to go for a walk and think about this”.
The market for rifles (or any product) must at some stage reach a peak, after which there is little room for innovation. At that point, you may find divergence away from the central concept or the epitome of the design. Different = new = sales. In some cases, the design of a rifle never even reaches its peak before it is changed. The product is not better, it is simply different. After this, other manufacturers see that they are losing sales to those manufacturers who have made something different and then suddenly, everybody is hell bent on this one direction in design - away from the optimal. And because everybody is doing it, the buyer believes that this direction must therefore be the right direction. This completely galvanizes the market and sets new norms.
Then along comes somebody like myself, the elephant in the room, attempting to teach the ‘optimal’. But within the context of the current market, this simply appears to be grossly alien. Such is the path that Clive has chosen and good on him for doing so. Speaking from experience, this is no easy thing. But every punch he takes in the ring will fuel that fire in his belly. Just keep on poking that tiger.
Well, enough bull dust from me.
All the best in your endeavors, and remember, if you are having problems with a gun but are sticking it out, then you are learning. We learn by doing and by making mistakes. The more mistakes we make, the more we learn. As people, we are at our happiest when we have overcome challenges. To be sure, there are tough days when we want to give up, but the feeling of triumph when we finally achieve a successful result is a truly great thing. You cannot buy the shot. Those that do will never experience that true feeling of success. In this game, the results of your happiness depend purely on your efforts.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who have been supporting us thus far. Your kindness is truly and fully appreciated. Steph and I are so very grateful to each and every one of you for helping us along. Without you, none of this would have been possible so thank you.