When you think of world-class hunting opportunities, I’m betting Australia doesn’t come to mind. America and Africa are probably at the top of your list. Though, I suspect Australia’s hunting tradition does not run as deep, wide or thick as ours, there are still many Australians who hunt. In fact, there are 2.75 million registered guns in Australia and 730,000 license holders.
Like in the States, hunting seasons, Australia’s states and territories determine bag limits and regulations. Australia protects the majority of its native animal species and do not allow hunting them. However, Australia has plenty of invasive species that have no season. Similar to here in the United States, predators—what the Australians call “pests”—are allowed to be hunted all year. Rabbits, fox, feral pig, and in the Northern Territory—Arabian camel—are examples. Most hunting done in Australia is for controlling pest populations and protecting livestock, as opposed to sport and food.
I reached out to some of my Australian mates and asked them about hunting traditions. One answered, “Gun tolerance and ownership is regional. Out west (country), people love hunting and most will hold a gun license.” A female Aussie friend, much like many of my women friends in America, answered that her grandfather owned a gun and her brothers were raised shooting hunting rifles.
However, Australia is cracking down on where it allows people to hunt now, “Australia is definitely a lot more regulated than the states, with the ‘buyback’ scheme that occurred in ’96 being a prime example of pushing to reduce gun ownership.” Since firearms are heavily restricted, many choose to purchase bows. One of my friends who lives on a large farm chooses to own a bow mainly for target shooting.
Australia certainly has stringent restrictions regarding how and which firearms citizens can own. Australia bans all semiautomatic and pump-action long guns. Australia does not have any particular large or dangerous game, except camel and water buffalo. Therefore, there is not much demand for calibers larger than .308. Most Australian hunters favor calibers that use a .22 caliber bullet.
Reloading for hunters is popular in Australia and one of the most reliable and best propellants in the world surprisingly hails from Australia. Hodgdon has been importing Australian Munitions powder for over 25 years. Over seven million kilograms of powder to be exact! And now, Australian Munitions plant is exporting ammunition. However, making ammunition is nothing new for Australian Munitions. They have been producing ammo since 1888 and provide the Australian military with all its small and large munitions.
Imported by DKG Trading, Inc., Australian Outback ammo has only been available in the United Sates for a few months. Using U.S.-manufactured match and hunting bullets with Australian Munitions-made powder and cases, the ammo is currently available in .223 Remington and .308 Winchester.
Using a top-secret combination of powder that Australian Outback Ammo calls “Ballistic Temperature Independence” (BTI), the company claims that extreme temperatures will not effect the bullet’s velocity. The point of impact supposedly hardly varies from -20 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Curiosity got the better of me due to the claims and affordable price per box. I decided to give a few boxes of the 55-grain Sierra Blitzking a try. Packed 20 rounds per box in two 10-round black plastic cases, the Australian Outback ammo is bright and shiny. The entire round is clean as a whistle. Made by Sierra, the green polymer tipped bullet is specifically for varmint hunting. Though not marketed as such, this bullet is of match-grade quality.
Designed for longer ranges than I was shooting for this test, the 55-grain Blitzking has a whopping 3,264 high-velocity. This ammo hits a bit heavier and harder than the Ultramax reloads I shot for comparison. The rifles I selected for this test were a Daniel Defense V7 with a 1:7 twist, 16-inch barrel and a Kel-Tec SU-16C also sporting a 16-inch barrel, but with a 1:9 twist. Given my time constraints, limited range, hot conditions and shooting off-hand, I had zero complaints with the way the ammo was grouping. I had two fliers, but those were easily attributable to factors other than the ammo. The Daniel Defense was shooting low and left, but the EoTech and magnifier I was using was not sighted in. It would have been an easy correction, but I was more worried about the groups than the gun. Despite that and the fact that I did not have a bench rest to shoot from, the groups were tight and consistent.
The proprietary powder means you get consistent velocity and reliability from the moment you sight in on the bench in the hot sun to fall hunting.
This competitively priced ammo from Australia gives you match-grade accuracy, consistent tight groups, and power required for the quick takedown of varmints. If you are serious about your target shooting, you will be completely satisfied with the match-grade accuracy with the 55-grain BlitzKing bullet.
Have you tried Australian Outback ammunition? Describe your experience in the comment section.
[suzanne] This article originally published on September 13, 2013.