Wednesday, 22 November 2017

In the spirit of Rigby (after a fashion)

Yes my 1911 built Rigby has moved home, it was a superb and much missed rifle but it deserved a new home. As I stated before I have been busy with a couple of custom rifles. I will discuss the 7mm one later but now I am interested in talking about this one;
At first glance you would be correct in assuming its a Remington 700 with a stiff barrel fitted. You would be right but think about that Rigby, it was after all only a standard Mauser 98 receiver with a slim barrel, yes I asked for a slim barrel, I wont be going back to this gunsmith again, the list of howlers is long and painful.
Quite a few years ago I sold all of my military rifles to fund something (maybe the mortgage) and I was left with loads of brass and bullets for various calibres but one I missed most of all and I decided to retain it as an option on my Firearms Certificate.
I missed not the rifle (for that was an ugly French girl) but the cartridge the M1929 7.5 French for the MAS 1936.
Actually the rifle was fun even if the trigger pull was measured in days and not pounds and the best sight picture meant a bruised check or nose from your thumb.
The cartridge was what I felt was missing from my life
The cartridge was never developed after acceptance, it was a steady eddy performer right up until it was phased out. Does that mean it was right first time?
Who knows, looking at what could have happened if WW2 had been later in starting the cartridge may have been more widely accepted.
In the spirit of Rigby I decided that the cartridge could be anglicised. I had after all originally had to make brass by necking up the 6.5 x 55 Swedish Brass and it was a good performer in the military chambers.
I felt that we needed to be honest and rather than Anglicise the round just stating what it was made from: a .30 calibre bullet from a 55mm Mauser case.
Thus was born the .30 x 55 or 7.62 x 55.
One of many of the dramas was the reamer. The suppliers in the US failed to use the measurements provided and subsequently any left over brass from my MAS is too fat for the tight chamber.
This meant fire forming 6.5 x 55 Swedish Factory ammo to get the cases right. This means we have mainly used PPU brass as they are the cheapest for the quality of case makers of this round.

Way back in the mid 1990's when I was loading for the MAS 36  managed to get a 148 grain NATO bullet to do 2700 fps using 48 grains of IMR 4895. This was easily on par with the much later 7.62 x 51mm Nato round.
At about the same time the 155 grain Palma bullet was accepted for .308 (I'm going to irritate the cousins as the cartridge is the same, its the loadings that may differ) but when this was being issued to the Military teams some of us were already hand loading 220 grain bullets to stay supersonic at 1000 yards.
As can be expected the Palma match ammo lasted a while before being superseded by 168 grain which seems to be the current load of favour.
Do keep up the Military you are still so last week.
My point has been what would have happened if the M1929 C cartridge had been developed, would it have been a heavier loading and would it still be used in sniping and machine guns?

As for Mr Rigby and his anglicising of the 7x57 Mauser into a 140 grain bullet loaded .275 seemed to have worked. He didn't use the same Mauser action as the 7x57 which was an earlier one so I feel happy by not attempting to source a MAS 36 action for this.
The Remington 700 has become the action of its time, it is the Mauser 98 of this era. A big plus is the BATF don't want to ban its import and its well known by most gunsmiths.

As with Mr Rigby I felt that the original loading isn't what I want, I am still unsure of what that is and as I type the round is still being developed. I have only managed one short testing session so far.
The results are interesting and using my standard load that usually produces 2700 fps the tighter chamber has pushed the same load up to 2900 fps delivering 2780 foot pounds of energy. A lighter bullet of 130 grains with the same powder amount delivers 2960 fps and 2878 foot pounds of energy.

This is more than enough for any game animal on this Island and possibly enough in Europe too.
There is plenty of work still to be done but effectively it is a superb pig or deer cartridge.

Going forward I will be loading it up to 168 grains and beyond. Fitted with the 8x56 Schmidt and Bender it should reach out and touch those I am aiming at!
More details and pictures to follow

A short clip from testing day

Not sure what its like where you live but

Here in Gods Waiting room its a bit different to anywhere else I have lived and also it still surprises me.
What's dumped near where you live? Cars, shopping trolleys?

Meanwhile the kids have grown up but still fail to leave the nest, this of course means the recycling has altered significantly;
Caviar, that must be my Brother in law the deviant.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Apologies again, I know I have been remiss and lazy however

I have enjoyed some personal hurdles to cross this last couple of years and I have been really busy with a couple of project rifles. Whilst all of this has been happening life and death of dear friends and former colleagues have been occurring far too frequently.
 This last weekend saw me pounding the gravel from Horse guards to Whitehall and back again;
I have been busy trying to earn a crust and also pay for my addictive habits such as firearms.
I have managed to get built a pair of custom calibre rifles, more about these rifles will appear in a later post on each one, in the mean time I will pop a pic or two up as teasers;

Both are fairly mundane looking externally built on Remington 700 actions but its the chambering that's important.
As said above I will post separately about these cartridges, one is undergoing further development work at the moment and the other is in the early stages of load development.
I am doing this work in the tradition of Rigby, that will become clearer later.

Stalking and game shooting, writing as I am now at the peak of the UK game season I am as busy as a blue arsed fly around a cow pat on a summers day. My team of gun dogs is sadly depleted by retirement and the grim reaper, our little pet cemetery is getting larger every year!

So yes all in all a busy couple of years, I will update on those calibres later this week.

Glad to be back

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

truth and reconciliation may get in the way of peace?

yes it was a dark time and some very bad things were done but surely the truth should be allowed out for its moment in the sun?

Monday, 28 March 2016