Just over a month ago, Kevin Estela was preparing for his “upcoming safari to South Africa” carrying “his Robar®-transformed Remington 700.”
In late July, I will be headed on a dream vacation, a safari in South Africa. I will be joined by friends of Fiddleback Forge, Justen and Liam.
We will be guided by the seasoned professional staff at Russ Field Safaris. This hunt has been a long time coming.
At one point, we even thought Andy was going to join us but with the new shop and knives to be made, we couldn’t pull him away from making the sharp tools you enjoy using.
With less than 2 months to go, I’ve been getting my gear tucked away in the corner of my office (ok, it’s more like a room with an explosion of gear and piles of awesomeness everywhere in organized messes). This trip is coming up soon and I think it is time to start talking about it more publicly. This is the first of a few blog entries about this epic adventure.
Now the long-anticipated trip and hunt are in the record books and Estela has given feedback worth knowing re the safari and the rifle.
First of all, forget any preconceived notions of the reckless trophy hunter roaming the planet to have endangered species taxidermied and mounted, hopefully gleaning some rare ivory while they’re at it. That misconception is propagated by ill-informed bleeding heart types that fail to do their due diligence and actually obtain the facts!
As I wrote in the May Robar® article, “Hunters and Shooters Support Wildlife and Habitat Conservation“:
Leftist gun-grabbers everywhere may be stunned to learn that the taxes collected from the sale of guns and ammo support wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Progressives perpetuate the lie which insists conservatives, and especially those who shoot and hunt, are, at best, apathetic to wildlife and the environment, and at worst, anti-environmentalists.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as most loggers are outdoorsmen who love the forests and actively re-plant stands, maintaining healthy trees of varying growth, even so most shooters and hunters love the out of doors, and their purchases support the very land and habitat they frequent.
Enter Russ Field Safaris. Kevin related:
The real emphasis should be that this trip is a game management hunt. We are culling overpopulated game and then donating the meat to local schools through a program called “Hunters Care“.
The schools receive the meat, bone in, that goes directly into what is served in the lunchroom.It’s a great cause and it silences the naysayers who are anti hunting.
When you ask if they would rather see malnourished children, they get thrown into the corner.
Note the history and philosophy of Hunters Care:
The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) takes it social responsibility seriously. In 2003, PHASA established the PHASA Conservation Fund. Initially, the aim of the Fund was to promote and directly fund worthy conservation projects. In 2005, the Fund extended its mandate, and its name was changed to the PHASA Conservation and Empowerment Fund.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day: teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Where and when possible the Fund promotes a hunting advocacy message while alleviating poverty by facilitating self-sufficiency programs to encourage people to fend for themselves, restoring peoples independence, pride and dignity.
Next check out the tremendous history of Russ Field Safaris:
Russ Field Safaris was founded in 1994 and has offered first class hunting to discerning clientele from all over the world since its inception.
The owner, Russ Field, is a qualified Wildlife Biologist with a Batchelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management and Forestry. He has been hunting for the past 30 years and has vast experience in all aspects of the hunt.
All hunting areas are personally overseen by him and all concessions are maintained on a “Sustainable Use” basis. He is ably assisted by his wife Caroline, who does all the administration and behind-the-scene planning and organization.
Assisting them are the trackers, skinners, cooks and camp staff that handle all the day to day meals, laundry and servicing of the lodge as well as the care of the trophies after the shot has been taken. Russ has some of the finest Professional Hunters available and all are experienced hunters with rifle, bow or handgun.
Russ Field Safaris offers hunting throughout Southern Africa, including Botswana, Namibia and Zambia as well as superb plains game in South africa. The home lodge is in the Eastern Cape set within a Big-5 reserve where Lion and Elephant roam free.
Once again we must note that “Russ Field is a qualified Wildlife Biologist with a Batchelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management and Forestry” and “All hunting areas are personally overseen by him and all concessions are maintained on a ‘Sustainable Use’ basis.”
Again the anti-hunting crowd, should they bother to learn the truth, will discover that it is most often the outdoorsmen and hunters who truly love wildlife and the environment, who live lives of actual conservation.
We were also anxious to hear Kevin’s review of his Robar® Precision Hunter. He gave us a nice mention at Fiddleback Forge prior to the trip:
I’m very fortunate to have great friends in the firearms industry. For a trip of a lifetime, I wanted to use a rifle that will last a lifetime. This meant going to one of the best in the business, Robar. My rifle started life as a Remington 700 stripped action. This was sent to Robar to be built into one of their Precision Hunter models chambered in 300 Win Mag. The rifle sits in a McMillan stock and features a 24” Lilja barrel with a Surefire suppressor/flash hider (I won’t be traveling with my 7.62 SOCOM Suppressor but I will use it here in the states).
Everything about the rifle is customized from the crisp trigger pull to the NP3’ed bolt to the texturing they do to the stock and then coat it with a distinctly green finish. Since this rifle would serve multiple purposes after the hunt, I elected for a bombproof Badger Ordnance optics mount and rings. My optic is a Schmidt Bender Zenith with crystal clear glass and a heavy duplex. I’ll eventually purchase a more dedicated optic for long-range marksmanship and this rifle will be able to do it all. I said I wanted one rifle that will last a lifetime and I wasn’t kidding.
As for ammo, I’m running Hornady ELD-X in 200 grain loads. Freddie Blish at Robar sent me the test targets from the factor sight in and the 3 shot group at 100 yards was .498”. It is sighted in slightly high at 100 yards for a near perfect zero at 200 yards.
But how did the rifle perform real time? Did our Precision Hunter meet and/or exceed his expectations?
The Precision Hunter as described on its page at RobarGuns.com:
The Robar® Precision Hunter is an all weather rifle that is absolutely unbeatable! The same techniques that have made us the leader in precision technology are used in our Precision Hunter Rifles. Take your Precision Hunter anywhere in the world and be assured of reliability and 1/2 MOA accuracy.
Robar® Precision Hunter Rifles are built on a custom basis only, ensuring that you get what you want! We use only match grade barrels with contours and twists to suit your favorite bullet and caliber. Muzzle brakes can be fitted to tame the recoil of big magnum calibers. All actions are fully accurized and blueprinted prior to barrel installation. All chambers are cut with the best reamers available on the market today.
The Precision Hunter is a true custom rifle, the list below represents our are standard / suggested specifications. Items can be added, deleted, modified and the rifle built to meet your exact needs!
- Caliber: Any standard caliber.
- Action: Remington 700-style, BDL, completely accurized, machined, ground and lapped. Includes hex head action screws.
- Barrel: Fluted stainless steel match grade with Robar’s® exclusive contour. Match grade chamber and crown.
- Stock: Any standard McMillan hunting style stock (others available at extra cost). Includes pillar bedding, free floated barrel channel, non-slip texture to pistol grip and forend, Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad and sling stud in butt stock. Available in black, gray, tan or green.
- Trigger: Modified, with a recommended 2.5 lb. release.
- Finish: Roguard or Poly-T2 on receiver and barrel. NP3 bolt and all internals.
- Accuracy: Guaranteed 1/2 M.O.A. (*test fired at 100 yards, 3 shots with appropriate ammunition). Note: some configurations/chamberings are not included in the accuracy guaranty.
- Weight: Approximately 8.5 pounds depending on barrel length.
Estela reported back and sent some more terrific photos:
Just wanted to reach out to you with some good news. The Robar PH has been incredible here in South Africa on Safari.
All told, it harvested 4 impala, 2 black wildebeest, 3 blesbuck, and 6 warthogs. It is an incredible rifle and I will have an excellent review with phenomenal photos in a magazine soon.
Again, this rifle served me well and I’ll continue to show it off in my travels. Thank you sir! Robar rocks!
All of us at Robar® are exceptionally pleased by the performance of our Precision Hunter: while we aim for excellence, the proof borne out in the field/on the hunt/at the range is beyond satisfying.
Thanks for not only entrusting us with your rifle, Kevin, but beyond that, for reporting back and taking the time to write about your tremendous success on the Russ Field Safari!
You, Kevin Estela, are the embodiment of our motto: Semper Vinco!