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Take my hat off for the Aussies.

HallBilly

Plastic
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
There is healthy solid rivalry between New Zealand and Australia.
I come from the one that is a little below and to the right of the other.
The Aussies used to make an excellent 7.62 target rifle called the Sportco Omark 44.
I just worked on one today and it reminded my as to how good these rifles are.
Regardless of where you are, if one of these comes available, don't overlook it.
Now I need to have a stiff drink, not comfortable giving Aussies an accolade. 😁
 

FredC

Titanium
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
Dewees Texas
I have customers in both countries. Since you brought up this rivalry thing, I will be careful of my words when communicating with them from now on.
And what ScottL said " Well good on you to be sporting about it."

Any pictures? A list of the good features that machinists/gunsmiths here could incorporate?
 
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NewGunPlumber

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
They shoot better than they should but not exactly something to preach about.

Single shot only. 3 lug, full diameter bolt with floating bolt head held in place with a pin. Actions are mild steel so bolt lugs engage into the back of the barrel extension.

Pros. Seems to be accurate due to their floating bolt head. Can adjust the head space by changing bolt heads. Ideal when issued ammo was a thing. At the time it was produced it would have been excellent.

Cons. Once the barrel is worn out you need a replacement barrel with lugs in the barrel OR you need to buy an adaptor with the lugs built in that the barrel can thread into. Because the actions are soft they tend to wear the primary extraction surface at the root of the bolt handle and camming surface on the action. Combine that reloaded ammo that old TR shooters don't like to FLS, a short bolt handle and a 3 lug action usually means that there is a small hammer or a cleaning rod floating around somewhere to remove sticky cases.

On the flip side to share the love the other way across the Tasman the new Zealand made BARNARD is one of the best actions made for single shot precision shooting. Again 3 lug with full diameter bolt but no floating bolt head and lugs engage in the action. These are machined, hardened then ground to final dimension. They can handle stupid amounts of pressure, very easy to disassemble and service without tools. They are 3 lug and don't have a huge amount of primary extraction so aren't quite as slick as some of the BR actions but you'd need to do something stupid to stop it.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
The Sportco 44s were designed in the mid 60s to handle the transition from 303 to 7.62 .......the NRA had tried No4s converted to 7.62,and also single shot SLRs ,but decided to subsidise the Sportco rifles.......I never bought one,as they were too dear IMHO,in the days when a mint M17 was $30.........one unintended consequence was that everyone was shooting possibles,so the targets had to be reduced in scoring area,as the 44s were probably 1/2moa guns,where the 303s were 2 moa on a good day......1965 is a long time ago..........anyhoo,last time I looked ,the NRA Range shop at Belmont had the 44s with worn barrels for $50..........the aforementioned barrel adaptor is also about $100 last time I looked.
 

NewGunPlumber

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Yes they were originally made in Adelaide SA by sportco that were later bought out by omark who I think we're actually Canadian company?

You might want to have a look at what they are running for at the moment. I bought my first beaten up one about 15yrs ago and it was $150 and they seem to have gone up in price since then even though it's even harder to get a good one. Adapter's are running up to $400 when MAB does a run and are so getting hard to find. I bought a virtually mint one probably 10yrs ago for $300 and I reckon I could get near $1000 now

For what they are and what most of them require to get set up properly to be competitive I'd rather put money into a new factory gun.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
My nephew works part time in a gunshop,and a relative of a decd brought in a 44 ,all the guys shooting gear,good quality spotting scope ,etc......the shop wasnt interested,even when the woman asked $50 for the lot.......nephew ducked into the carpark ,gave her the $50 ....included was a couple of new Central sights .
 

akajun

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Location
Brusly, LA
There is healthy solid rivalry between New Zealand and Australia.
I come from the one that is a little below and to the right of the other.
The Aussies used to make an excellent 7.62 target rifle called the Sportco Omark 44.
I just worked on one today and it reminded my as to how good these rifles are.
Regardless of where you are, if one of these comes available, don't overlook it.
Now I need to have a stiff drink, not comfortable giving Aussies an accolade. 😁
Yeah but now y’all have the Barnard rifles, pretty much top in the world imho
 

HallBilly

Plastic
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Yes they were originally made in Adelaide SA by sportco that were later bought out by omark who I think we're actually Canadian company?

You might want to have a look at what they are running for at the moment. I bought my first beaten up one about 15yrs ago and it was $150 and they seem to have gone up in price since then even though it's even harder to get a good one. Adapter's are running up to $400 when MAB does a run and are so getting hard to find. I bought a virtually mint one probably 10yrs ago for $300 and I reckon I could get near $1000 now

For what they are and what most of them require to get set up properly to be competitive I'd rather put money into a new factory gun.
Let's face it, it's all a pig in a poke.
Recently a bought a Ruger M77 30-06 with a busted stock for next to nothing.
Fixed the stock and put it back together and ludicrously accurate.
I'm no sharp shooter but this old girl makes it look as though I know what I'm doing.
All to do with where the parts are on the bell graph.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
The fact is that none of the subsequent owners of Sportco gave a toss about guns........I believe its now owned by ITW.........Sportco made really nice 22s,and their Cadet conversions in 22 Hornet and 218 Bee were beautiful guns........they made millions of conversion barrels for smellys ,and new Winchester 92 barrels ,round and octaqonal.
 

NewGunPlumber

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
The fact is that none of the subsequent owners of Sportco gave a toss about guns........I believe its now owned by ITW.........Sportco made really nice 22s,and their Cadet conversions in 22 Hornet and 218 Bee were beautiful guns........they made millions of conversion barrels for smellys ,and new Winchester 92 barrels ,round and octaqonal.

I think around when omark took over sportco, omark were making chainsaw chain and bars. So strange!!
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
.Sportco had patented a method of heat treating cheap steel to use in making concrete nails,and also had a product range of explosive powered nail and stud guns............thats all Omark were interested in.....The NRA had a contract with Sportco for the supply of the Model 44s.....Omark fulfilled the contract and that was it...........No consumer rifles were ever sold under the Omark name.
 

Kurt Learning

Cast Iron
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
For a full appreciation of the allowance of single shot rifles for the subjects see Zulu rifles and Indian trade rifles.
 
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