Australian Shooter

Australian Shooter is not only the flagship publication of the SSAA, it is also Australia’s most popular sports shooting magazine.

Australian Shooter is not only the flagship publication of the SSAA, it is also Australia’s most popular sports shooting magazine. Published monthly, it aims to create a better environment and community understanding of all forms of hunting and the shooting sports. It caters to SSAA members and the general public who may be recreational hunters, competitive or casual target shooters, those who use their firearms professionally or those who enjoy collecting firearms.

Australian Shooter discusses political, legislative and current event news, while our regular and freelance contributor offer hunting opinions and philosophies, outdoor and survival tips, and technical and practical ballistics information to represent the varied experiences of Australia’s recreational shooters and hunters.

The main point of interest for our readers is no doubt our product reviews and feature articles. Each month, our technical writers road-test and review a selection of new firearms, shooting accessories, knives, clothing and much more to help you choose the right product for your chosen activities. The magazine also features several members-only competitions!

Australian Shooter is not only the flagship publication of the SSAA, it is also Australia’s most popular sports shooting magazine. Published monthly, it aims to create a better environment and community understanding of all forms of hunting and the shooting sports. It caters to SSAA members and the general public who may be recreational hunters, competitive or casual target shooters, those who use their firearms professionally or those who enjoy collecting firearms.

Australian Shooter discusses political, legislative and current event news, while our regular and freelance contributor offer hunting opinions and philosophies, outdoor and survival tips, and technical and practical ballistics information to represent the varied experiences of Australia’s recreational shooters and hunters.

The main point of interest for our readers is no doubt our product reviews and feature articles. Each month, our technical writers road-test and review a selection of new firearms, shooting accessories, knives, clothing and much more to help you choose the right product for your chosen activities. The magazine also features several members-only competitions!

February 2024

As our membership continues to grow and more and more people head for the country, we’re asked on a regular basis for recommendations on binoculars for hunting and outdoor use in general. So for our cover story this month, Nick Rositano has done just that and ventured on a deer hunt equipped with the latest offering from Aussie firm ZeroTech in their flagship Trace 15×56 ED binos which won’t break the bank yet did everything our reviewer asked of them. Elsewhere this month, Daniel O’Dea has received the all-improved Taipan X rifle from Southern Cross Small Arms, an upgraded version of their Taipan Light which is now no longer just a pump-action but a straight-pull too. And sticking with firearms, John McDougall has been out and about with a nifty little shotgun from Turkish player Yildiz in their Elegant 20-gauge with its stylish lines, walnut stock and single-trigger ejector mechanical action, while for handgun enthusiasts Dick Eussen hails the Israeli-made Desert Eagle 1911 in 9mm Luger. We also run the numbers on scopes, swags, night-vision optics and personal locator beacons and, with all our regular columns and features, we’re off to a flying start in 2024!

December 2023

When Ray Dennis wanted to shoot his new Barrett rifle in .50 BMG he was told he wouldn’t be issued a Commissioner’s Permit unless he had access to an approved firing range. “So I built my own,” he told Australian Shooter. The end result is the Klondyke Range Complex on Klondyke Station, a vast sheep property in far western NSW with a series of five shooting ranges available to those with a need to wring out large calibre and long-range options and we were granted exclusive access.

Carrying out pest control in the dark using either thermal or night vision optics can certainly help boost your efficiency and the latest offering from Pulsar provides great flexibility at a reasonable price tag. The Pulsar DIGEX C50 is a digital day and night vision riflescope which gives you round-the-clock capability thanks to its different lens and sensor operating modes to generate great results at any time of day.

For its latest lever action rifle – the 1895 SBL – Marlin has taken a historic design and thrust it into the modern arena. Although not a new design to Marlin, gone is the sleek, non-existent pistol grip of yesteryear’s lever, replaced with a modern and more vertical grip which reflects shotgun design, promoting responsive and accurate offhand targeting without affecting the function of a smooth lever-action. And combined with a 1.5-4×20 VX-Freedom scope by Leupold, the pair make for a formidable hunting combination.

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November 2023

These days, shooters are spoiled for choice when it comes to scopes, but what characteristics most benefit hunters? Thomas Tabor explores the various riflescope components and gives some great advice.

Savage rifles have long enjoyed a well-earned reputation for producing accurate rifles and the 110 High Country is no exception. According to reviewer Mark van den Boogaart, “It’s a classy rifle, at a really affordable price point, and more importantly it’s a straight and accurate shooter.”

Years of hunting have taught Derek Nugent how to gear up for a successful hunt. He’s developed a three-tiered hierarchy around not only what to carry on a hunt, but also how to efficiently do so, saying, “there is little benefit in carrying gear which in all likelihood is simply along for the walk”.

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October 2023

The ever-growing popularity of long-range shooting disciplines has brought with it a greater array and availability of rifle optics and we’ve laid our hands on a superb top-end example in the Zeiss LRP S5, with reviewer Daniel O’Dea reporting “This would be an ideal choice for those in the target market if the budget extends.”

How light can a hunting rifle realistically be Well, John Rutkay has taken a deep dive into that very subject and researched it from top to bottom. Next month he’ll outline what he found, highlighting the pros and cons and reveal which rifle best suited the criteria and how it performed in the field.

To anyone who reloads their own ammunition, a chronograph is an essential piece of kit for precise load development and one of the latest options to hit the market is the Bulletseekeer Mach4. Senior correspondent Rod Pascoe has put it to the test and reckons “The ability to document numerous details provides a complete picture of your day’s testing.”

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September 2023

In November 2021, the Woodleigh Bullets company suffered a devastating blow when a fire destroyed through their production facility in Victoria. Sam Garro charts the recovery and rebirth of an Aussie icon and what it took to put one of the country’s premier ammunition manufactures back on the map.

The new Howa Super Lite rifle really lives up to its name, tipping the scales at a fraction over 2kg, being based around a newly-designed reduced scale short action. We put the rifle to the test with reviewer Con Kapralos reporting: “This is a superb option for the stalking hunter looking for an affordable ultra-lightweight rifle.”

The Springfield Armory XD-M Elite in 9mm Luger is a polymer-framed, striker-fired self-loading pistol which comes with three stainless steel double-stack magazines. The gun has been carefully and impressively designed both in terms of safety and functionality and, as reviewer Geoff Smith assessed, is: “Well balanced, looks attractive and points well.”

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August 2023

Of all the current Benelli Lupo models the Walnut is cream of the crop. It looks beautiful with its glossy BE.S.T. barrelled action and AA-grade walnut with subdued satin finish and the rifle’s inherent design features give it the utmost in form, fit and function for the discerning hunter.

Our Hunter’s Mancave series continues as Scott Heiman salutes his heritage and more in a purpose-built space, including reference to Trial Bay Gaol where his family was interred during World War One and even though they were all born in Australia, it happened because of their German heritage.

Sam Garro has been puzzling over unpredictable rabbit cycles, one of the mysteries of nature where only the creatures themselves sense or know when it’s the right time to procreate and/or adopt predator-evasive behaviour. As hunters it can be tricky trying to figure out what’s going on with rabbits in an area when one time there’s plenty of them and a few months later virtually none.

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July 2023

For all its modern features and challenge to traditional design, the Sako S20 rifle upholds that company’s well-deserved legacy of building some of the best practical rifles on the market and if long range is your thing, be that hunting, precision shooting or both, the S20 is well worth a look. There are also several factory accessories available including a dedicated scope mount, larger capability magazines, muzzle brakes and extra length of pull spacers.Defence company Thales, which manufactures the Steyr rifle and Minimi light machinegun for the Australian Defence Force, has developed a pair of rifles for when Australia follows the US and adopts the new 6.8 calibre cartridge and John Maxwell has been given access to the all details.The Stellar SQ50 thermal scope by Hikmicro, from its traditional-looking styling to technical features, provides the user with loads of functionality in an easy-to-use package, the peace of mind warranty extending 10 years for the sensor, three years for the body and 12 months for the battery.

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June 2023

The Australian-inspired Wild Boar rifle by Tikka is based on the ever-popular T3x platform and is a lightweight stalking rifle designed purely with Australian pig hunters in mind, providing a fast-handling, slick-cycling rifle with 10-shot capacity. As our reviewer noted: “The Wild Boar shouldered and cycled beautifully with that extra magazine capacity providing peace of mind.”

Leon Wright recalls his early shooting days when fox whistles, duck calls and the odd quail call were the only ones available. He never goes hunting without some sort of game call whether chasing foxes or even sambar deer and says if you’re a new hunter looking to improve your chances, then think seriously about game calls.

If you remember our SSAA/Beretta Australia custom rifle build project from last year, next month Mark van den Boogaart will tell the tale of how he and Gemma Dunn took their respective custom rifles on a successful hunt at a private property in the Bathurst area of New South Wales in search of deer and feral pigs.

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