Brain-shot with a Norma projectile from a 9.3x62 Mauser, the bull begins to fall – its momentum brought it right to the feet of the hunter whose arm was broken by the flailing trunk...!
FLYING IN FROM SWEDEN RECENTLY FOR HIS FIRST VISIT TO NEW ZEALAND WAS NORMA’S SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR, JORGEN SANDSTROM. Here at the invitation of Norma’s New Zealand agents, the NZ Ammunition Co, Jorgen was gave a presentation to around 40 invited guests from the firearms trade, including teams from the hunting and shooting magazines. The afternoon/evening event was held at Wallaceville House in Upper Hutt, not far from NZ Ammo’s headquarters, and was followed by an excellent dinner at the same venue.
Jorgen’s presentation covered Norma’s ranges of both hunting and match/competition ammunition – including hunting loads that many New Zealand shooters are familiar with like the Vulkan and the Oryx. Also discussed were Norma’s Professional Hunter (PH) series and the Copper Solids designed for big, heavy-skinned game. Attention was also focused on two new “Strike” projectiles, the Ecostrike and the Tipstrike.
The Ecostrike is Norma’s response to the anti-lead hysteria sweeping the globe, which has resulted in moves towards banning lead projectiles in various jurisdictions, including California. The Ecostrike bullet is lead-free, comprising a precisionturned copper core with a silver exterior coating, plus a polymer tip (green, naturally!).
Features of this “silver” bullet include a uniquely shaped waist to reduce the bearing surface and increase velocity, an optimised cavity for controlled expansion, and a boat-tail for reduced drag plus improved long range performance. Currently calibres from 7mm to 9.3mm are catered for, with more to follow. The new Tipstrike projectiles have a different focus, they’re specifically designed for instant kills on medium game like deer and wild boar.
You could be forgiven for thinking that most bullets are designed for that, but with Tipstrike it’s more so. These flat-base, polymer-tipped projectiles feature a quick-opening fore-section with a thinner jacket zone for rapid expansion, followed by a strong, straight jacket section towards the base of the bullet – for penetration, plus an inner ring of jacket material that mechanically locks the jacket into the lead core for maximum weight retention.
Jorgen explained that Europeans do a lot of their hunting from tree stands right on nightfall, thus they need animals to go down fast. An animal that runs too far is easily lost in the darkness of the forest. The day after his presentation Jorgen was off to Ngamatea Station for a deer hunt, where it’s highly likely that these new projectiles were put to the test. One highlight of the presentation was an extraordinary series of photos showing a hunter standing his ground and shooting a charging bull elephant just metres before it trampled him.
The hunter carried a 9.3x62 calibre rifle loaded with, believe it or not, Norma cartridges. The elephant’s momentum carried it forward and its trunk broke the hunter’s arm as it fell! Another item of interest to competition and long range shooters was info about the new .338 Norma Magnum round. This is essentially a shortened version of the .338 Lapua, a cartridge famed for its long range performance.
Just as the hugely successful .308 is a shortened version of the original .30-06, the .338 Norma could be destined for a bright future. Its advantage lies in the fact that it will fit into standard magazine-fed Magnum rifle actions, unlike the .338 Lapua that requires a special action. Further, General Dynamics, a major developer and supplier of arms to the US military, is working on a new machine gun to be chambered for the .338 Norma.
Tests have shown that the .338 Norma has twice the performance of the .308 at extended ranges. The .308 begins to loose accuracy and penetration beyond 900 metres, especially when fired uphill, but not so the Norma that in tests has reportedly engaged targets successfully at 2000 metres.
“ANOTHER ITEM OF INTEREST TO COMPETITION AND LONG RANGE SHOOTERS WAS INFO ABOUT THE NEW .338 NORMA MAGNUM ROUND. THIS IS ESSENTIALLY A SHORTENED VERSION OF THE .338 LAPUA, A CARTRIDGE FAMED FOR ITS LONG RANGE PERFORMANCE.”
The new weapon will slot in between the .308 and .50 cal machine guns currently in service, and can be carried by foot soldiers, unlike the big Brownings that are vehicle mounted. But back to the event – also present was Mike Gould LLB, a partner in the Lower Hutt law firm, Gibson Sheat.
Mike handles NZ Ammo’s legal affairs, specializing in matters relating to the importation and classification of firearms etc, and in particular Police and Customs’ interpretation of the regulations. If you have a problem that falls into this commercial category visit: www.gibsonsheat.com Mike was also there to answer any legal questions raised by those attending on the day. Since acquiring the Norma agency the NZ Ammunition Co has dramatically increased sales of both loaded ammunition and Norma brass, long considered a premium product by reloaders the world over.
Jorgen’s visit confirms that the relationship between the Swedish company and its New Zealand agent is destined to flourish. Thanks to Paul and Jenny Clark of the NZ Ammunition Co for hosting this informative evening and the dinner that followed, and thanks also to Jorgen for his expertise. Pete.