Outdoor Sporting Agencies got together a number of prominent dealers to try out their new products and Marcus O'Dean was invited to attend.
It was fine day in July when I rolled up to a beautiful NSW Southern Highlands valley to shoot OSA's new products. First up, let me say that I am no pistolero, nor am I a shotgunner of note, so my judgement must be tempered somewhat due to my amateur status in those areas.
I got to shoot a few nice, new mid-range hunting rifles, the subdued, but very attractive, Sauer 100 Cherokee, with the following features will be a standout choice for hunters wanting an attractive, businesslike, effective, but economical hunting rifle. I particularly like its availability in 6.5 Swedish chambering, which, loaded up for this modern action, will give the Creedmoor a shake-up.
Features include: *Woodland Digi Camo, *Tundrea Green CERAKOTE coating on barrel, action and bolt knob, *ultra-rugged ERGO MAX synthetic stock, *5+1 round mags in standard chamberings, *trigger adjustable from 1kg, *3-position safety, *handy 560mm barrel. *Available calibers: .223 Rem.; .243 Win.; .270 Win.; 7mm-08 Rem.; 6.5×55 SE; 6.5 Creedmoor; .308 Win.; .30-06 Spring.; 8×57 IS; 9.3×62, 6.5 PRC; 7mm Rem. Mag.; .300 Win. Mag.
By now, regular readers will have seen Nick Harvey's test report on the new, economy-priced Mauser M18 hunting centrefire. Having had the opportunity to shoot one at this day, I cannot agree more with Nick's assessment of this firearm, which he described as “One Helluva Rifle”. With one of the new stable of Nikko Stirling riflescopes on board, I was banging gongs off the bench with monotonous regularity at 550 metres and all ranges back down to 200. I had a crack standing offhand at 330 metres on some 12-inch gongs and gave them a real good scare too, such were the ergonomics and recoil absorbtion the Mauser's stock offered.
Another great “combo” which I took joy wringing out was The Sauer 100 Pantera with Sig Sierra3 BDX Rangefinder and Riflescope system with Bluetooth connection. With its adjustable-stock, this short heavy-barrelled target rifle in .308, was a cinch to whack all the gongs all the way out. When the US-based SIG Sauer Optics development engineer Brad Brumfield took a reading on the SIG KILO 1400BDX Rangefinder beside me, a red-lit dot would show up on the riflescope's vertical crosswire. When I placed that on the ranged gong and held off a smidge for any noticeable wind, a solid hit reliably followed. And all this was with Hornady's ultra-economy Steel-Cased HPBT ammo. This system system does the business all the way out to 800 metres and is designed with the average American hunter in mind, so its applicability in Australia is a natural progression.
Apart from having a great time shooting and learning about the rifles on offer now from OSA, we next moved on to the pistol range to wring out four different Sig Sauer pistols, three in 9mm Parabellum and one in .22LR. A favourite of Law Enforcement officers in the US, I soon found out why. I started with the .22 at 15 metres and scored regular hits on figure targets, with the tightest grouping I have ever attained with a pistol. Upon progressing to the 9mms, my deficient grip meant I was throwing my shots to one side. After one coaching tip from the pistol club coach on hand, I was consistently swinging the 4-inch hostage gong at seven metres and grouping very respectably at 15 metres. The pistols were so easy and intuitive to shoot that the learning curve is very easy for a beginner. I wish I had carried one instead of the Hi-Power in my Army days.
A most tasty spit venison lunch came just in time to fuel us for the afternoon and we then progressed to our next stand.
Now on to clay target shooting and while I did not disgrace myself, I was not far off. There were some very impressive displays of clay smoking from Gary Georgiou (Safari Firearms), John Dickey (Horsley Park GS) and Danny Galea, General manager of OSA. I think it was made considerably easier for all concerned as we were shooting the latest field and target guns from Miroku. The Japanese give nothing away to the Italians in building beautifully attractive, functional and durable shotguns. My mate Tony Pizzata has shot literally thousands of foxes with his U/O Mk10 and it is still tight as a drum and still rolling them. When I have shot it, it handles so well and mitgates recoil so successfully that it feels like a .243 on the shoulder.
Dusk rolled around and I gathered up my goods and chattels, loading them in my dusty old “Zook”. I said farewell to old friends and new and wended my weary way home, having had one of the best range days in memory. One thing I was certain of, OSA is kicking goals and taking names, with many very high quality, high-performance products available to the Australian shooter and hunter.
You can check out the products mentioned in this article by going to the Outdoor sporting Agencies website at www.osaaustralia.com.au and following the various product links.