Led torches have come along way, from humble beginnings using the mighty dolphin torch in a two man spotlighting team punching out a whopping 100lumin flood beam that barely shot out 40m and you relied on high end scope optics to get more distance to being able to spotlight hands free with a compact sleek commercial grade LED firearm mounted torches that rips out an impressive 1200lumins out to 1004 meters giving you an unfair advantage over your game!
So when we opened the supplied hard case we were presented with a well packaged layout, compartments for each of the push button accessories, rifle mount, spares and the chargers…….wait where is the charger?
So unlike other brands the Nitecore MH40GTR has an inbuilt charger, so when at home you can utilise the supplied wall charger to charge when your done and when in the field there is also a supplied 12v cigarette plug charger so you can charge the torch on the run! I can tell you that this feature is a lot more convenient than ripping out batteries and wall docking them! Save time – Hunt more!
Now we get onto the button switches, two types are supplied as standard with the kit. It has a rear button so the torch can be used as a handheld and a remote pressure switch that is utilised when fitted to your firearm via the supplied scope mount, what I like about both switches is that they have a half touch so you can burst a light beam without fully engaging the switch and a full press will engage the switch to keep the light on. I make note about the quality and feel of the buttons, they are very definitive and have a great high quality feel, snap on / snap off, may not sound like much but when experienced for yourself its rather satisfying much like a high end scope turrets that have sharp clicks compared to cheap turrets you can tell if it clicked or not!
Now lets look at the light beam itself, rated at 1200Lm and stretched out to 1004m through a CREE XP-L HI V3 LED is more than enough horsepower for the average shooter in dark environments. The light emitted through the 60mm reflector presents a very precise pencil beam with excellent side light, now the beam is one thing, but for me I rate the light quality on how well I can pick up game or objects in the light just outside the pencil beam as this is the light that you pick up additional targets or a target of greater interest….. many a night on the foxes has led to fleeting pig shooting from this very aspect.
The body, HAIII military grade toughness with a IPX8 rating, now in my opinion this light would be perfect for not only hunting but emergency/law enforcement applications as well, picking up the MH40GTR you instantly see that the light can be used as a striker for breaking glass or hammering bandits – joke….
Charging the two internal 18650 2600mHa batteries off the 240v wall charger we had an average charge time of 1 hour from dead flat to full charge, off the 12v we averaged a charge time of 1.5-2 hours. When placing the the torch on charge make sure to turn the torch on, this activates the internal smart charger and ensures a complete charging process.
Light modes, by slightly rotating the torch head you can access the light mode setup which consists of Turbo, High, Mid, Low, Strobe & SOS which are selected but pressing the button to the desired selection.
Overall I think that this torch is a serious contender compared to other models and brands we have tested in the past, combining long battery life and intense light output makes the MH40GTR the big dog of rifle mounted torches.
Technology has come along way when it comes to camera quality and size, we have gone from carrying compact cameras to capture our experiences to having the same quality lens optics and goodies built into our smartphones and a fraction of the size!
The same can be said for trail cams, starting off with bulky 4MP (sometimes less) we thought we had it made! We were able to track our game and plan a hunt based on game movement, we had a general grainy low res image of what the game looked like and knew its travel times. At best you had a reasonable image out to 10m from camera placement..
Today the cameras are next level and the DS4K from Stealthcam is certainly a game changer, boasting a whopping 30MP (3840×2160) camera that takes a 16:9 wide image for better FOV with the ability to record in 4K….. 4K. Most homes don’t even have a tv or monitor that can support this resolution yet so you can guarantee that the image technology wont be outdated for some time after your investment.
During our field testing we were pleasantly surprised with the performance of the DS4K over the previously used Bushnell Aggressor, the DS4K had a faster trigger speed (0.4s) and better light throw at night, we were able to pick up general game on a couple of occasions up to 26m at night and 39m on daylight! That’s a bloody long way when taking a night shot but is made easier with the integrated ‘no glow’ 42 IR LEDS.
- Write list…
The DS4K records all the basic weather and time stamps with Geo Tagging if required, there are 3 preset modes and a customised option so you get the content you want and supports SD cards up to 32GB
Powering the DS4K is 12AA sized batteries, upon our test we managed to get 1934 images and consumed only 50% battery life. Videos chew the batteries faster but for our test we were out to catch wild dog patterns and images were sufficient, in saying this there is also an option for a 12V battery box that can be purchased seperate for long stints in the field.
Thoughts, well we have to admit this is the ballsiest camera we have laid hands on, we had this camera in the field tracking wild dog movements on a sheep station where sheep were being attacked. Baiting and hunting weren’t effective in removing this dog so we went to the cameras to see when and where the dog was coming from, the DS4K came into its element and each time the dog popped up on a cam we moved the cam to a closer location till its den was located and traps were set ultimately sealing this dogs fate.
Safe to say that the DS4K has paid itself off this time, and if the dogs appear again it will prove a worthy investment!
When it comes to being bigfoot, im it….
For the past few years i have been trialing different hunting boots that accommodate for the serious big footed hunter, and with options being limited (US16) I had the option of cheap and nasty vs high end virtually custom boots out of my price range. Then recently at a trade show i caught up with the team at Lowa where they indicated that they have a boots that would suit my exact needs for the type of country i hunt, the Lowa Z6-S GTX.
Now i’ve always grown up with the expectation to get a new set of boots and spend the next few weeks tirelessly and painfully breaking them in, but not with the Z6-S, straight out of the box they Continue reading LOWA Z6-S GTX Hunting Boots
Introducing the new Nitecore SRT7GT tactical flashlight, one of the most exciting new LED flashlights produced by Nitecore.
The SRT7GT is built for the hardcore user being constructed of aerospace grade aluminium alloy and HAIII military grade hard anodizing so it can take the abuse of your profession and with its third generation Smart Selector Ring it can be easily operated while wearing gloves where conventional buttons cant be felt.
The Guts – The SRT7GT features a main CREE XP-L HI V3 LED that produces a powerful 1000m throwing 450m of light which was enough to see our target at 300m easily, during our test we found on full power it lit critters up very well out to approx 150m. But that’s not where the LED functions finish, because of its profession based design the flashlight features another four secondary LED’s (Red,Green,Blue,UV) for emergency services and military requirements. The lens itself on this model utilities second generation crystal coating technology which ensures that its peak intencity reaches up to 50900cd producing its 450m rated throw.
Waterproof? Yes, with its IPX8 waterproof rating it can effectively withstand submersion upto 2m, while during our test we only immersed the flashlight to 500ml for a period of 60min to which we ran out of battery power and the flashlight tested showed no signs of water infiltration.
Power – this flashlight can be powered two ways, our preferred way was through one 18650 3400mAh rechargeable battery however if required you can power the flashlight with two CR123 lithium.
Tactical & Emergency – While we cant show you in a text review, this flashlight has some cool emergency features. Starting with the police (red/blue) flashing beacon then followed by strobe and location pulse on the smart selector ring. (NB – it is an offence to use unauthorized police strobes in accordance with the Road Transport Act 2013)
Lifespan – we really only used this flashlight on full herbs as we were hunting with it and we found that with the above mentioned battery we had approx one hour of effective light, which we felt was more than enough life for our application and had a backup battery charging on the V-Series in car charger which we will get to reviewing shortly.
Accessories – The SRT7GT can be fitted with the following attachments and accessories for essential service or hunting.
Over all, this is a bloody good torch for any tradie, emergency service or hunter to bring light to their darkness!
Field cleaning your rifle is essential when hunting in the great Australian outback, especially if hiking through rough terrain or cleaning out the anti corrosion lubricant before heading off.
All sorts of nasty debris can also get caught in your barrel if you don’t take the proper precautions, for this you can tape the end of your muzzle with electrical tape.
We have tried many brands and methods of soft bore rod/cloths or commonly called the bore snake and while these are effective in each of their designs we have been testing out a new design that integrates the softness of a bore snake but the rigidness of a traditional cleaning rod through a rubberized memory flex SS cable called the Otis Ripcord.
The part that excited us most about the Ripcord was the fact that you could lay the rifle or shotgun on the table and feed the cord up the barrel with ease, unlike the bore snake which required pointing the rifle downwards and awkwardly yet precisely try drop the brass tip down the bore. Try that in low light situations on the side of a mountain….
Moving on to the cleaning aspects, we maintain that a clean with the bore snake is not as good a clean with traditional cleaning rods and cleaning fluids, having said this the Otis Ripcord will give you an immediate clean removing built up carbon and any potential unwelcome debris that may cause firearm malfunction. The braided material covering the rubberized helix formed flex cable is called Nomex® and can withstand temperatures of up to 700 degrees making it a perfect material for cleaning even if the barrel is hot from sending lead!
So next time your in your local gun shop, grab an Otis and check out how good these new cords really are!
At some stage in your hunting career you will have experience with a bipod on your rifle, there are literally hundreds of brands and cheap knock offs that you can purchase and if you’re not careful you can end up missing the shot of a lifetime, as I did.
I bought my new rifle from the gun shop and before paying the assistant said “hey want me to throw a bipod in for 50 bucks?” yea why not……. turns out to be the worst impulse buy to date…
After missing a solid boar in the NSW tablelands due to an arm spring falling off mid shot I was on the search for a bipod that provided a rock solid bulletproof grounding for my rifle that virtually weighed nothing… wanting the best of both worlds I searched far and wide but it wasn’t until a hunt with an American friend of mine that he introduced me to the Spartan Javelin Bipod.
At this point my hunting and fear of bipod failure started to change, I watched him pull it out of his sling and snap it to his rifle via the magnetic mounting system and hit the deck for a headshot on a fox on the run with the 6.5WBYMAG. All day we carried this rifle without it attached giving us the highest comfort satisfaction by not having the bipod digging into the upper shoulder.
After the trip I jumped online and bought the Javelin Bipod (long- 8” to 12”) for myself to add to my everyday kit, From the start the Javelin impressed us with attention to detail and the superior materials used, the unit came boxed in its own protective hard case featuring the Javelin, the bipod adapter, three fitted rubber stock washers to suit various stock types & three mounting screws for various stock threads. To extend the legs on the Javelin Bipod you simply rotate the extension leg slide out to desired height and twist to lock out, while some will critic this as too time consuming we believe that if you are back country hunting then you are putting in the time to stalk and prepare so a couple extra seconds to get the perfect shot will not matter.
The first rifle I attached the Javelin to was the Weatherby Vanguard MDTLSS-XL chambered in 308w, so far we have sent over 120 rounds through this rifle and bipod combination off hard surfaced benches with no signs of material fatigue or malfunction, the mounting screw came a little loose after 60 or so rounds but was easily tightened. We then moved the Javelin onto the Weatherby game rifle chambered in 375HH for a further 40 rounds with no sign of fatiguing. The Javelin is not only visually appealing but has to be seen to see the amount of attention to detail has gone into this product, everything fits with the absolute minimum tolerance giving satisfaction that shot failure is not around the corner. We figure if the Javelin can handle both the sharp recoil of the 308 and the power of the 375 after heavy use then it will handle everything else below.
With the Bipod being detachable we found that our rifles got less caught up in the undergrowth when moving through medium to heavy cover, in the past we have pulled up and found all sorts of small branches snapped off in the spring section of the bipod. Also not having the bipod on when hiking eliminated the sore red spot we all get from the side of the traditional style bipod digging into the upper shoulder, while some may say this reduces reaction time we found that the Javelin can literally be silently deployed in less than a couple of seconds.
With the amount of gear we tend to pack on hunts these days we need to consider every ounce of weight put into the pack and this is where the Javelin comes into its element, weighting in at a mere 160g (based on unit we weighed). This weight factor makes the Javelin Bipod a winner for back country hunters looking for any gram they can drop to reduce hiking fatigue. So far the Javelin has been tested in the hard hiking Victorian high country and carried for countless hours and kilometers in the harsh climates of the Northern Territory of Australia with no issues or regrets.
The feet of the Javelin come with rubber end caps for hard surface shooting which are removable to expose aggressive steel pins for soft surface scenarios.
Overall we are that happy with the Javelin that we sent it off to our good mates at Paladin Custom to test in the Victorian high country on the elusive Sambar deer species with deadly results, and this is what Matt had to say –
“We are constantly in search of equipment that integrates seamlessly with our designs and overall approach to hunting beyond perceived limits… Spartan Equipment ticks every box in every way and marries up with our overall design philosophies. With the integration of the Javelin Bipod into our APEX Modular Rig we can now retain our absolute freedom of movement by remaining as light weight and streamline as possible while at the same time having the ability to quickly and effectively setup for a long range shot. We have dreamt of building such equipment ourselves in the past… Now we use Spartan Equipment to enhance our long range shooting capabilities.”
View Matt’s Javelin introduction here
I must admit to being a gaiters skeptic. The most exposure to gaiters I have had in the past is making fun of my Kiwis mates who get around in the shortest of footy shorts, with knee high gaiters. To which I ask “Why don’t you just wear trousers? Then you won’t need gaiters, and I don’t have to look at your legs!”
But after trying a pair myself, I became a convert. I tried the Spika hunting gaiters, planning to test their key selling points…. Water resistance, protection from Continue reading Spika Hunter Gaiters