'Large Caliber' Restrictions in Australia

Discussion in 'Australia, New Zealand' started by No Style, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. No Style

    No Style Member

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  2. groper

    groper Well-Known Member

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    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....
     
  3. No Style

    No Style Member

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    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.

    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: Mar 20, 2010
  4. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. groper

    groper Well-Known Member

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    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...
     
  6. No Style

    No Style Member

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    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?
     
  7. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    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.:D

    Jon
     
  8. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    No Style, I respect your opinion but when you say "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)" I feeled compelled to at least let you know that IMHO I wouldn't have that mindset and give them one inch. Make every inch of restrictions they want to impose a battle.
     
  9. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely +1 Chas1, you poor guys are on the front lines of this crap! If it happens in Australia, sooner or later theyll tri it here too. Make em work for every fraction of every inch. It becomes an uncontrollable landslide if you start to slip. Good luck
     
  10. No Style

    No Style Member

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    I understand where your coming from, however the simple reality of the situation here is that adopting a hard line with no tolerance for moving from your point of view just as a matter of principle would achieve nothing, other than having other people write you off (correctly in my view) as a zealot, and ignoring you in the future.

    I understand why say you would want to make them fight for every restriction/control since its not like your ever going to have that situation reversed and regain the ground. The problem is that adopting the hard line just gives the people with the 'ban everything' mentality more ammunition since they will happily label you as a crazed, trigger happy gun nut and the majority of the ill-informed public will swallow it...then you've just become 'that crazy guy that wants to shoot ducklings with an anti tank rifle' or some other suitably media savvy title.

    What I want to see is proof that people are basing their decisions and/or legislation on evidence and facts. And for me, that applies to everything and cuts both ways, its a responsibility for myself to do the same. If the police have evidence that high power rifles have been used in a metric sh*tload of crimes then they're controls have validity in my view. However I'm not aware of any such crimes and I have seen no published figures or evidence. Heck I don't even know of any such crimes having occurred in the US where many states don't control the .50BMG and others. This would suggest to me that someone is freaking out about nothing more than their imagination.

    Its in cases like this where people are running around making up laws/regulations and getting their knickers in a knot about 'what-if' scenarios that really annoys me, without consideration for the realities of the situation that they fear 'could happen'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  11. groper

    groper Well-Known Member

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    dont sweat it too much mate, i doubt the PTA for my "375 gibbs wildcat" will have any dramas being approved :D Nice the CT case doesnt have any SAAMI recognition :)

    alot of what has been reported around the country is hear say chinese whispers.... most of it isnt true.

    Even if they do impose "bazaar" restrictions (and i dont see how they can cover all bases), you could always get a 338edge AI instead of a lapua magnum, or a 375RUM AI instead of a 375CT etc etc etc. The weapons licensing people are basically admin staff, they do not have the knowledge to know the difference between rifle capabilities, everything is black and white to them. The grey areas are the best places to live :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  12. No Style

    No Style Member

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    Yeah well there's always the hope that someone gets bored of pursuing it and the issue just fades away. Let sleeping dogs lie and all that.

    Like I said, just pisses me off that the noisy activists that wouldn't know a fact if it kicked them in the face have so much legislative and political clout. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    No Style, I respect your opinion but, disagree. Here in the US whether we make the Libs fight for every inch of compromise or cave in we're still gonna be labeled as you say "crazed, trigger happy gun nut" So bottom line the anti's here only want one thing and that's to take away every citizens guns. Maybe it's different down under but, here there's no compromise. As the saying goes...Give them an inch and they'll want a yard, give them a yard and they'll want a mile. Not me.
     
  14. No Style

    No Style Member

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    Yeah fair call mate, each to their own :)

    I see your point about the labeling, that happens all too often over here as well, no matter how much of a reasoned and evidence based argument you make, there's just no pleasing some people.

    I just continue to hope (exactly why, I don't know) that these types are a loud minority, and that the quieter majority can be engaged with reasoned discussion on firearms and other issues. I admit though, it often feels like your beating your head against a wall just for the hell of it :rolleyes: