This is a general response to the calls by certain interest groups for greater gun control in the light of the tragic shooting incident in which Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

Nothing that can be said or written can take away the tragedy that both families have suffered and this letter is not intended to do so. It is an appeal for balanced reporting and balanced articles in the media.
Firearm owners have nothing to hide from or run away from and should not be    vilified in the media. There is legislation that guides and directs us in what our legal obligations are, just as there is similar legislation for the operation of a motor vehicle or the running of a newspaper.
Civilian firearm ownership is legal and is recognized by our legislators. When calls are made (often to further specific agendas) to limit firearm ownership these calls are long on emotion and short on fact. 
Firstly, any abuse of a firearm needs a perpetrator to use the firearm. It is a common tactic to paint all firearm owners with the same brush when there is a tragic incident such as the Pistorius incident. This ignores the simple logic that whenever a person chooses to use a firearm, that person and that person alone is legally responsible for the consequences of the use of that firearm. Group punishment is not part of our law.
It is sad that logic disappears and emotion takes over, particularly when fuelled by speculation in the media. We live in an evil and inherently violent society. To limit or ban firearm ownership will not eliminate violence. Violence vests in the heart of evil people and will be perpetrated by these people irrespective of whether they have a firearm at hand or not. There is absolutely no evidence that shows a firearm has the ability to influence when or whether a person perpetrates an act of violence. It is an inanimate object without any ability to operate independently of a human being.
Organizations and individuals are quick to call for limitations on firearm ownership, because of violence, but do not investigate, or if they do, only investigate superficially the root causes of violence in South Africa. We have a unique and tragic history. We had violence perpetrated by apartheid and liberation forces. We have a scarred nation of people, whether from the old defence forces or from the townships who were taught that violence was a means to an end and without legal consequence. This legacy has continued to this day. It exists within our police services (Marikana is a pertinent example) and it exists in violent service delivery protests (Sasolburg) and in strikes (the Western Cape Agricultural strikes).

Our violent past has not been healed in the past nineteen years and Government, due to its inability to confront and curb crime and violent protest through the police and through the courts, merely fuel the anger that exists in our population to accept and perpetrate violence. Many people in Government have violent pasts and serve as examples that one can perpetrate violence without consequence.

Our recent focus on the crisis of rape in this country is another example. Apart from a few extreme calls for castration, no one has seriously suggested that a cure for rape would be the surgical removal of penises. Why are firearms any different?

When we look at South Africa, our murder rate has gone down since 1994 and firearm ownership is again steadily on the increase. The logic of anti gunners dictates that with more firearms there should be more murders. This is not borne out by fact. 

Another reality that the anti gunners cannot escape is that in all countries that have banned or placed limitations on firearm ownership, crime has not decreased; it is on the increase, particularly in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia where violent crime and gun related crime have not been affected by legislative curbs. This proves that controlling guns does not eliminate evil and violence in the hearts of people.

In South Africa we all know evil people and we all know that they perpetrate evil acts. We do not want to confront their evil and to have them disciplined through legally acceptable societal means, such as the police and courts. We would all rather blame the amorphous group of people known as gun owners for convenience sake, than having to confront the reality of dealing with the evil in our own backyards and bring them legally to book to eliminate evil people from our beloved country.

It is about time that we all as South Africans said no to evil and no to violence in our society. Can any of us honestly say that we have reached the point where we will bring evil people to account?


Thoughts on hunting and conservation.

OK, so the non-hunting public seem to have difficulty in using hunting and conservation in the same sentence. The sad truth is that by knocking hunting, the most well meaning non hunter is unknowingly knocking the the biggest driver of the South African conservation success story. 

Peter Flack has an extremely good DVD on this very subject and I would recommend every hunter lay their hands on a copy of this DVD, and be in a position to not only defend our sport, but inform those around them not to be critical of an activity that does untold good for the conservation cause.

My friend Sean Murphy, of Black Powder fame, summed it up perfectly… “The biggest problem facing wildlife today is loss of habitat. Game ranching supplies this habitat. Game ranching is paid for by hunting activities…. Its quite simple really”

Be informed. Be in a position to educate those around you.

That is the world according to Evan for today.


FCA amendments implemented 1/3/2012

Backyard Ballistics would like to remind firearm owners, especially collectors, to take note of the new Firearms Control Act Amendments that came into force at the beginning of March 2012.

The National Arms and Ammunition Collectors Confederation of South Africa has issued a very helpful interpretation on the amendments. It can be found here.

or by following this link :


Hornady Lock-n-Load Auto Charge Powder Dispenser

Finally we have it !! 

At last, we have received a shipment of these neat powder dispensers. Initial reportbacks from Backyard Ballistic’s customers are very positive.

Hornady has designed this to be easy to use, fast and accurate. And certainly, from all accounts they have succeeded.


– Just 5 mins to warm up, calibrate and start dispensing.

– Maximum throw of 300gr (but much for my calibres).

– Auto repeat & overcharge protection.

– Backlit display.

– Three speed settings.

Here is one on a working reloading bench in Newcastle, KZN. Photo courtsey NvH.




Nosler 22/224″ 52gr SHOTS Accuracy

If you ever doubt the accuracy of the .224 Nosler 52gr BTHP SHOTS, this should go some way in giving some serious comfort. While I am getting consistent groupings of ± 20 to 25mm at 100m (a tad under MOA) from my Bruno .223rem, one of my fellow Bushveld Conservation Bureau ( BCB)  members, Peter S (otherwise known as “Proof-Load Pete”) produced this ± 7mm, 7 shot grouping at 100m.

I am humbled.

Groups measured as follows: outer edges less calibre (ie.  center-2-center of furthest rounds)


Date: Mon, May 2, 2011 at 8:23 PM
Subject: Group 22-250

Hi Ev

The groups shot today (01 May 2011)

It is a 7 shot group the first shot out of a cold barrel is the one that opens the group up – top right 6.1mm and 7.22mm

Rifle Ruger M77 VT
Caliber 22-250
Bullet Nosler Shots 52g HPBT
Case Sako
Primer CCI 200
Powder S335     34.8 grains  
Velocity 3850fps