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'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

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Old 03-20-2010, 04:53 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

I'm sure most of you who are interested in long range shooting (be it hunting or target) or paying attention to this issue.

Seems to me that its going to be effectively impossible to own anything larger than a .308 very soon:

SA Police’s Response to Large Calibre Rifle issue. | The Hunt & Shoot Network

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Old 03-20-2010, 05:17 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 327
Re: 'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

well my thoughts go somthing like this...

recently, all the shared military/sporting ranges in QLD were effectively restricted to 5.56mm until the new range inspector went thru every range and inspected them all and was happy enough to lift the restriction provided the range satisfied the requirements. Thing is, my local range, (and most others) now have the following limits in place;

1. the muzzle velocity of any permitted firearm on the range must be no greater than 1000m/s (3280fps) and;
2. The muzzle energy must not exceed 7000 Joules which is calulated by - 0.5 X (velocity squared in m/s X projectile weight in kg)

To put this in perspective, my 300SMK load in my 338 edge = 7200 J. if i back off the powder charge by 1 grain or 2, it will be permissible.

The thought that occured to me is that they are systematically indirectly reducing the means with which we can justify our genuine reasons to own our firearms...
sux to own guns in australia....
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Re: 'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

So you can't fire a .22-250 on a range in QLD? Hell even a hot loaded .223 would be pushing that muzzle velocity, especially with lighter bullets.

The thought that occured to me is that they are systematically indirectly reducing the means with which we can justify our genuine reasons to own our firearms...
sux to own guns in australia....
Correct there, thats exactly the impression I got by reading the response from the SA police. In their opinion:

* Powerful calibers can't be used safely: I can understand this point if they are not treated with respect and common sense, but surely anyone shelling out $3,000+ would have an understanding of its energy, ballistics and safe use. I could even settle for them making a course on basic physics and ballistics a neccessity for owning a high energy caliber (Heck, I'd support the idea if it was a good course).

* Have no use for hunting:
This is, strangely, the reverse logic of most American laws regarding minimum calibers for taking game. The Australian police have looked at it and said that since professional shooters can take a water buffalo with a .308 theres no possible reason for anything larger (for any body). I can part way accept this point, because I've long believed that people should focus more on shot placement than using energy as a substitute, however they're ignoring the issue of superior external ballistics that can massively aid accurate shot placement.

* No ranges are suitable for their use:
What measures need to be taken to make a range 'safe and suitable' for large calibers? I've seen some that are fairly impressive setups yet seemingly nothing will suffice...

This campaign just strikes me as another knee jerk reaction based more on someones personal opinion (*crusade*) which is probably in turn based on a lack of understanding. I would also suggest there is the lack of an evidence base (or atleast published evidence) to justify their concerns. Furthermore, there has been no public discussion forum for the issue(s) to better explained and understood by all concerned parties.

I'm really losing what little faith I had that Australia was a country that would base policyand legislation on evidence and reason.

Last edited by No Style; 03-20-2010 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:12 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,538
Re: 'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

It's a bunch of crap. They just keep chisling away bit by bit by any means. You Assie's need to ban together and fight this stuff.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:16 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 327
Re: 'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

well the SA police response didnt really alarm me nearly as much as what happened to our rifle range... the police response doesnt contain anything new IMHO, .50 BMG derivatives have always been difficult to obtain here, so there is nothing new in what they have said there.

However, i did have plans to build a 375/408 and these plans are now on hold because i cant legally shoot it at my local range even tho this is not a 50BMG derivative.

As far as obtaining a permit to aquire for a 408CT, this may or may not become more difficult from now on, it remains to be seen. So long as there is a range that CAN handle the energy and velocity requirements in your state by having an adequate safety template and certificate, we could go there to shoot it and therefore we have a geuine reason to own it. Later down the track, safe to say they would probably make it compulsory to shoot it x number of times per year to prove your genuine reason same as they already do with pistols.

As a means of maintaining our rights, our club has tossed a few ideas around... one of such ideas included starting a "Large Caliber Tactical Rifle Class" competition. The allowable rifles within this class must have a muzzle energy greater than 7000J. The purpose and difference of this shooting class to all other classes, is a test of the shooters skill in "managing heavy recoil" whilst still being able to shoot accurately at long range.

If we can start a new accepted class of competetion, then we can have a genuine reason. Biggest issue is getting the ranges to satisfy a new safety template allowing rifles over 7000J. Not all ranges will be able to do this due to their location and ability to obtain sufficient land over shoot rights. This is regardless of how well setup the range is with regard to bullet catchers, gigantic backstops etc etc.... alot of ranges simply wont be able to get this upgrade period.

We need to do somthing or even my .308 will be illegal in the not too distant future...
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:50 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Re: 'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

Interesting idea, would be good to get a large calibre long range competition going regardless. I would definitely be interested. Maybe float the idea with these guys:

Long Range Hunting | Australia rifle training and Australian long range shooting

They might be able to contact other interested shooters and circulate the concept and build up some momentum for it.

From what I understand though, these restrictions aren't just .50BMG or its derivatives (which as you say have always been controlled), there seems to be quite a bit of talk about other cartridges being controlled/restricted such as .460 weatherby, 408 CT and .338 LM as well.

I'm not neccessarily against higher power rifles being somewhat 'controlled' (such as the police knowing who owns them, or perhaps having a genuine reason condition attached to their ownership) but I'am against the idea of them just being outright banned or restricted without due process of public consultation. It's driving me nuts how they're 'restricting' everything in such a way thats it practically impossible to satisfy the conditions for ownership &/or use (which invariably cancels out the other factor).

Do you have any links to some of the specifics of the range safety templates for different cartridges or classes?
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:47 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,388
Re: 'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

Dam and we think we have it bad sorry guys! I have heard of the laws changing in your country it stinks your all welcom here in my opnion.

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