Saturday, 17 February 2018

Is this a metaphor

for my life:

Gamekeeping

As some may remember I used to be a keeper. It was something I have always enjoyed doing and something I should have done on leaving the army all those years ago!
Anyway the opportunity has arisen to assist on a local shoot so I have been busy since Christmas getting stuck into the shoot routine.
The season is of course over (its currently at time of writing February) and whilst the current keeper takes a break I have been wandering around looking at jobs to be done for the summer work party.
We have several drives and one of them suffered from a flood when the stream that carries all of the run off away backed up.
The wood a couple of weeks ago:

I went out today and its dried out quite a bit below our dams but its still in need of some serious work to sort out the stream:

Its not all work though, there is a nice family of Roe on the shoot:


I will update as we go along but basically life is getting better even if my bank account doesn't!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

In the bleak midwinter

Some of us get to spend the morning shooting. 300 yards were booked and one target provided, for £5 to the club I managed two serials of fire and proved that the bullet drop at 300 yards for the 2650 fps load of 140 grain bullet has only a bullet drop of approximately 10 inches at 300 yards, this may seem a lot but when you consider the same drop for 150 grain .308 at 2700 fps is 8 inches this tends to level the playing field a bit.
Weather was good, despite seriously windy conditions and a wind switching between left to right and then head on I managed to hit 10 x 5 of which 8 were V bulls and four were fours with an initial sighting shot to gauge the hold over, yes I didn't adjust my 100 yard zero I just used Kentucky windage.

Afterwards I had the chance to test the 30-55 having had the chance to retighten the action in the stock and despite it being the worst Remington 700 trigger I have ever had it was banging in the V bulls and inners at 300 yards. I suspect the 2900 fps helps beat the wind. Anyway with it being almost acceptable I am now happy to take it stalking and christen it.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

The Empire strikes back

I am preparing to deliver a lecture in may to my peers on this subject. I may post some more info on here first but as most of the initial stuff is in the public domain courtesy of the firearms blog I thought it was fair to share with you what has kept me away from the keyboard these last two years.
My 5 minutes of fame stateside
Suffice to say that one day I will spill the beans on this bit:
"I haven’t actually explained the dramas we went through, unfilled reamer orders, invoices recharged, lost ammunition, stuck cases, range closures, land access and a big clock ticking which means that soon my friend Paul will be leaving the UK for an extended stay overseas and I will have to carry on load development without him."
The state of custom rifle building in this country is strange to say the least. Price is a big factor and when you spend £800 on a custom barrel you actually expect to get what you specified not what the smith thought he could get away with.
I have done some more development on heavier bullets and bagged some deer into the bargain, more of which later.
That's enough of a tease for now!

Friday, 5 January 2018

TAB Episode 10: Heckler & Koch HK53

This sexy toy was great fun, I carried one on OPs for a couple of years in the 1980's



TAB Episode 4: X11E4 Belt Fed Bren Derivative

Well that's hours of my life ahead spent glued to the screen!



Friday, 29 December 2017

A little post Christmas rifle and ammo testing

Yesterday being the lucky chap I am was spent over in Kent on a farm my good friend uses to zero his rifles. Permission granted we wandered over to test the last 40 rounds of .280/30 I had loaded in 150 grain loads to see if we could get a decent MV out of the case. Results were pretty much as predicted, we ran out of space in the case before we started to show any signs of over pressure. A shame really as it was starting to look promising. I have secured a few tubs of CFE223 and will look at using this, I am hoping we can get more into the case.

Here I am concentrating on getting the numbers recorded and not mixed up, when that shot has gone you cant replicate it!
 Later Steve had a go with some 140 grain loads I had in stock. I am sure that the 120 and 140 grain loads will become standard. Paul is looking at loading sub 100 grain loads to see if we can create a varmint load.

We took the opportunity to zero the 30-55 whilst we were out, the trigger is appalling and will have to be changed. Add to that the bolt bound in the receiver after we finished made for a difficult finish to the day. That said the various bullet weights are all printing within a few inches of each other.





The 30-55 is fitted with an 8x56 S&B which makes seeing holes at 100 yards fairly easy compared to the 6x42 on the .280/30 above but Steve's Leica binos solved that problem. If I get a decent trigger into the 30-55 I will be looking at a similar one for the .280/30 or maybe even swap them over?