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12/17/2011

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Hey Rivrdog -

The original design came from a request out of the specwar community, which is why the design ended up where it is. They wanted something that fit in the M4 or the Mk18 and would fire a heavy (500-600 gr) projo subsonically from a small package.

It just ended up turning out to be a really useful "brush" cartridge as well - great for hog hunting and bear defense, which is where most of the sales are these days.

The $3K price tag, that is one particular outfit and their pricing is something I don't understand either. Right now I am on assignment overseas but back when I was building uppers, a hand built custom upper with top tier materials (PacNor SS barrel made to customer specs, Troy freefloat handguard, flash hider, A3 flat top upper) would come in right around $1000 shipped... which is what it would cost someone to build the same in .223 using retail prices.

Suppressors are not available to everyone due to various states and counties having restrictions. We are delighted to see TX now allows ALL hunting with suppressors for the hearing safety of all! Muzzle brakes for the .458 are not very effective as the muzzle pressure is low and the bore large (the chamber pressure is already about 1/2 of the typical modern cartridge, considering the parent case for the .458 is a pistol case....)

Thanks!

Marty, if the intent is to produce what used to be called a "gallery gun", then Teppo Jutsu's offerings are overpriced for that.

Also, if you're producing a "gallery gun", then offer it as such, complete with can, and sell it as a gun you will not offend your near neighbor at the range with. To make those sales, you don't need and shouldn't use the SpecOps mystique.

When I'm at the range, if it's a busy day, I'm used to not having a choice of whether I'm situated next to some thumper-boomer guy with some be-jeebus Magnum rifle with a rear-slanting muzzle brake on it, or a nice quiet guy who I never hear with my earplugs and mickeys on. Them's the breaks, but building a gun for that quiet purpose and charging three Large? Well, that seems a bit much to me.

Just my $0.02

Rivrdog -

I was a little surprised to find your posting and hope that I might explain a little more. Hype was not what we were looking for. Rather, we wanted to honor our various Sensei and refer back to martial arts, among which marksmanship can be counted. Plus, we wanted a name that would distinguish itself from "Bob's Gunsmithing" or "Super Tactical" or similar names.

There is a common misconception that all samurai dismissed firearms (firearms were held in disdain as even the most untrained person could easily take the life of one who had devoted his life to training and service). Various (some prominent) samuarai embraced the use of firearms, as evident from the woodcutting shown along with other documents. These samurai thus were teppo-ka, meaning particioners of firearms. Indeed, they were not the first to do so, but they are part of the generations that came before us and to which the users and practicioners of today can trace their lineage. The same goes for practicioners in other countries, be it the game wardens from the British isles (where the term ghillie is said to originate) or the "Schuetzen" of Germany, with their marksmanship festivals held in town. This was the concept that we intended to convey, not that samurai were the first "special forces snipers" as you stated.

Regarding the comparison to other cartridges, I am not sure why the .338 Spectre gets compared to the .50 Beowulf, as the .50 Beowulf and the .458 are truly "kissing cousins" and both were developed for the exact same reason... both have exceedingly similar ballistics and both were developed in the same year. The Spectre was a by-product that sat lingering until an interest in .300 Whisper brought it back to the forefront.

The external ballistics are somewhat misleading when simply looking at the numbers. The amount of penetration from a moderate velocity 300 grain .458 spitzer or a subsonic 300 grain .338 MatchKing is tremendous. Do they do something better than other cartridges? No, not really. Indeed, other cartridges can do the same (or better) in terms of pushing bullets downrange. What set the SOCOM (and the Beowulf) apart was that they could do it in the AR-15/M-16 platform. That was the "new and improved" aspect, the velocity of the bullets, well, yes, Sharps rifles will do the same job in that regard.

As to the use and need, especially in a suppressed role - the intent of suppression is not to make it "Hollywood quiet", as that only exists in Hollywood. Suppressing a large diameter, low pressure cartridge is difficult to do well. The intent is to reduce the muzzle report to hearing safe if possible, or to such a level as not to deafen the shooter or bystanders. This is the intent for all the cartridges used in semi-auto platforms, as you pointed out, other rifles and calibers are better suited for the "low signature" role (leaving no casing, removing the noise from the action, etc).

I hope this sheds a little light on the choice of name as well as the intent behind the cartridges.

Marty ter Weeme
Founder, Teppo Jutsu LLC

Jeff Cooper, when asked about the newest latest-and-greatest replied "What's it for? Why to sell rifles, of course!"

If I wanted someone to go away quietly, I'd have my Ruger standard pistol threaded for a can and do him at arms length. Plenty quiet and the .22LR is perfectly suitable.

If I wanted a little stand-off, I'd lay on a nearby hill and pop him with my .308 then egress through a pre-planned route. Either of those old cartridges are perfectly suited to the task.

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