The NSC is supporting a fight in WA over the use of .300 Win mags (.308 Winchester Magnums) against an officer who believes he knows more about pest eradication than those who do the work.
In fact he has made some startling statements that we are confident will expose WAPol’s lack of knowledge about firearms.
Adrian is a pest controller. He has a .270 rifle which he uses up to 200m and .338 that he uses for his work at longer distances, but has applied to the WA Police to use 300 Win mag with his Remington 700 for shoots out in the middle range to 500m.
The problem is WA Police believes that his .338 is suitable for distances less than 500m.
As Adrian argues, the 338 is not suitable for close range, and in any case is considerably more expensive at $18 a round, to shoot than the 300 calibre at $3 a round.
However, the WA Police do not see it this way.
Up against a confident expert
Adrian’s case is being fought on the police side by an officer who believes he knows what he is saying.
He has told Adrian that he knows what he is talking about, because he (the officer) is or was a military trained marksman. He also told Adrian that he doesn’t need a .338 because a .270 is deadly at 1,000m and is used in Afghanistan…
Less funny is the belief that a regulator charged with firearm safety would somehow think it is safe or prudent to use a large calibre at close range.
NSC brings in its legal team
Adrian’s case is at its early stages, however the NSC has brought in its barrister to advise Adrian and offer support.
Adrian has done his homework, including obtaining a statement on the use of the 300 Win Mag from Victorian armoury expert, Len Steele.
Len is someone well known in Victorian circles, having given evidence in Victorian and Tasmanian courts on firearm matters since 1983 and 2017 respectively.
On Monday 8 March, the parties were required to attend a mediation session, where a resolution with WAPol seemed unlikely.
They didn’t disappoint. There was no resolution, but this may turn out to be a good thing, because we are about to find out exactly what WAPol knows about ballistics. So far it would appear that the officer in charge of this case has no idea about long distance shooting.
It is our understanding that among the problems is that the officer thought there were places against which you could ‘rest’ a rifle when taking a shot when you are in the scrub, and an apparent lack of appreciation about what happens when a barrel gets hot. This is consistent with the idea that a .270 is deadly up to 1,000m, which we understand was repeated at the session.
That’s why we’re excited about this case. We’ll keep an eye on it and continue to help Adrian as much as possible.