Both the rifle and the bullets are non-cataloged items.
I have been interested in the outdoors ever since I can remember. It is all I remember ever wanting to do, be out in the field; and if the hunting season was closed, then it was time to go fishing. In my spare time, I enjoy looking at product catalogs, searching the Internet, and in general just broadening my knowledge of the field. As a youth, I remember waiting to get my hands on the product catalogs for the new year, just to see what new product was available.
As times have changed, and we have so much information accessible at our fingertips, I have really noticed that manufacturers do a great job marketing their products. Even with all of the advertising they do, and the various media ways they happen, I was shocked to learn that manufacturers would produce items that were not even listed in their brochures/literature, or in today’s day and age, on their website. These small runs would be produced for a myriad of reasons – some would turn into regular production items in following years, yet some would go unnoticed except for the small market they were produced for.
For example, almost a decade ago Hornady did a limited run of .358 Winchester exclusively for the Canadian market. The following year, it was introduced as regular production and is still there in their current catalog. It’s funny to think that we Canadians had something before our neighbours to the south.
I recently ordered a box of .30-calibre bullets called the ETX, produced by Hornady. They are built for the European market and are not cataloged or available to the US market. With not being available in the US, they are not marketed or advertised in the manner we are used to and have gone almost unnoticed here in North America. I had done some research on them and was able to read some write-ups from Europe; however, I still didn’t know that much about them and I wasn’t sure the supporting photography was correct. When I received the bullets, I was very impressed; they are almost the exact opposite of what the current trend in bullets is right now (long, sleek and very low drag). These are built with a purpose, they are designed for the European style of rifle manufacturing (chambering and throating) and to be used at a relatively close range. It is a big, round nose, monolithic bullet design which has gained a very loyal following among the boar hunters over there.
I have not been able to get these loaded and put through a rifle yet, but with some calculation on what I have done with other bullets of the same weight and construction, I was able to estimate that these bullets out of my .30-06 would have an effective range of about 200 yards. I base this estimated effective range on velocity that I feel is necessary for a proper bullet performance on game. I will work up a load with these ETX bullets for next spring’s bear season. I make plans every year to hunt bear and really can’t think of a better game animal to try them on. A big, mature bruin will put the bullet to the test. These could be a great little gem, time will tell.
I am not sure if any of you will have the same enthusiasm for these bullets; however, I am looking forward to seeing them in action. Next time you are reading a hunting magazine from overseas or surfing the web and you find something that interests you, generally a quick call to your local gun shop will determine if they can get it for you or not. It might not be a life-changing discovery on your part, but expanding the product available to you may give you better experience in the field.
There are countless examples of these non-cataloged items throughout the firearm and shooting industry, and of course just by their nature they can be very difficult to find. In my time, I have personally come across a handful of rifles that don’t exist according to the all the books out there. I learned early on that you can never say never.
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