Cull shooting is a decisive and scientific moment that does not allow for approximations or uncertainties. When culling the hunter plays a fundamental role in the control of wildlife. That's why the error margin must be reduced almost to nought, leaving room for the safety and the accuracy that the management of the territory and of the wild species require. The gun at this point becomes an instrument of paramount importance in order to achieve a safe and immediate slaughter of the selected or assigned game. Easy to say, less easy to do when you are confronted with wild game with crepuscular and nocturnal habits, extremely elusive and – last but not least – sturdy like wild boars are.
For this reason, in an evening trip in the middle of autumn, I chose to rely on a classic of Sabatti production, the Rover bolt action rifle designed by the company for accurate shots even at long ranges. A gun that’s available in different versions and hunting calibers, in my case in a classic wood stock configuration and in .308 Winchester, a flat shooting caliber, accurate and with the right stopping power when used on even medium and large size game. One of the strong points of Sabatti rifles is definitely the barrel, made of cold hammer forged molybdenum chrome steel. Thanks to this process, the grooves obtained by cold hammer forging instead of cutting, ensure great dimensional uniformity and allow for the use of steels of great hardness. The Sabatti barrels also have excellent heat absorption capacity, they heat up less than other barrels and the final stress relieving treatment minimizes shot dispersion on the target even during prolonged shooting sessions.
It is certainly not the case of selective hunting, where you fire just one or at most two shots. Available barrel lengths for the Rover are 22 in / 56 or 24 in / 61 cm. Receiver and bolt, machined from high-strength alloy steel, are treated through differentiated heat treatments to ensure great solidity and durability over time. The bolt head with a handle integral to the bolt body features two Mauser-type lugs. This typical dual-lug action with 90 degree rotation despite being less fast and fluid to operate than more modern three-lug types, brings with it the experience gained in 120 years of use by the military, hunters and sportsmen, guaranteeing absolute reliability. Wide contact surfaces between the lugs, the bolt and the receiver, and the long striker travel make this action suitable to even the most hostile weather conditions.
During our trip weather conditions are instead optimal: temperature is still mild even if it’s already late November. We are in a hilly area and at dusk we observe a group of four wild boars nervously coming back and forth from the edge of a pine forest to a valley meadow where they usually stop looking for food. I’m on high ground above the wild game at the upper limit of the forest and well sheltered from the weak wind that seems to annoy the animals. I wait for them to calm down still having a few minutes of light available and relying on the brightness of the optic I have with me. A few moments later in fact the small herd is busy grazing, and it even advances a few meters in my direction. The backpack is the best support I have at my disposal and judging the range accessible I prepare for shooting. An adult male moves more than the others, asserting his size on the younger ones, while a female is in a more covered position protected by a depression in the ground. I clearly see a young male no more than 115 meters from me. Night is falling, so I turn on the red dot of the Swarovski Z6i riflescope, leaving the magnification to the minimum necessary to see clearly the target and holding my breath in a flash the shot aimed to the cerebral area of the animal surprises me as it should do, leaving me the time to see the boar collapse in on itself. I stay observing, promptly reloading the possible coup de grace, but it is not necessary. The final reflex movements fade out in a few seconds and the wild boar is now immobile on the ground. The other wild boars disappear in the pine forest and I can therefore move in the direction of the game for recovery. It will result in a beautiful specimen of 78 kg.
I am extremely satisfied with the accuracy of both of the rifle and the Swarovski optics that in the Z6i concentrates many of the characteristics that have made this brand famous in the world. In fact, the last moments of light are the decisive ones in selective hunting and having a perfect brightness makes the difference, with parallax correction to optimize the light by offering a clear and crisp image of the wild game and giving the hunter full awareness of the point of aim, thanks to the red dot too. The riflescope mounted on the Sabatti Rover rifle I use is actually the Z6i 2.5-15x56 P, a really versatile optic. Thanks to the 6x zoom it offers a wide range of effective features, from a field of view – suitable for driven hunts – to a 15x magnification which is particularly useful for firing accurately over long distances. HD optics and lateral parallax correction guarantee a flawless image. It is possible to adjust the scope for different distances that thanks to fixed marks on the ballistic turret provides the certainty of shooting at 100, 200 and 400 meters. Because shooting at wild game cannot and must never be just an attempt.
For more information please visit Sabatti website.