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Rudolph 8x42 laser rangefinder binoculars, performance & value

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DECOYING

WOOD PIGEONS

WE PICK THE TOP KIT FOR THOSE PESKY WOODIES

STOPS

HERE Scottish Roe deer STALKING

DUAL ROLE! FIRST UK TEST

Value Pack copy not for sale separately

BERGARA’S NEW B14 HMR SHOOTS LIKE A TARGET RIFLE BUT HANDLES LIKE A HUNTER

£3.99

NEW PUP ON THE BLOCK

The Kral Puncher Breaker Bullpup PCP


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Euro Vision

Even though we are leaving the EU (eventually) their dictates still seek to confound us! In this case, it’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals). Certain chemicals within reloading powders are on their list as ‘high concern’. Derek Edgar (MD) Edgar Brothers who imports Hodgeon and IMR propellants told me: “REACH started 1st June 2007 with various deadlines since. We had thought that we were OK to continue to import the powders until 1st June 2018. But Hodgdon contracted a UK company to go through the whole REACH process and they have advised they can no longer ship to the EU due a past deadline.” That’s the bad news, but there’s also good as Hodgdon has been working on replacements for some time and has given reloaders an improved product with their new IMR Enduron range (includes copper fouling eliminator, insensitive to temperature changes, ideal loading density and environmentally friendly). CE marking should be granted later this month or early October. For example, the new IMR Enduron 4451 is right in the H4350 burn speed, so ideal to change to with more benefits, like less cleaning! Equally, IMR 4166 and 8208 XBR are both in the same burn speed as the ever popular Varget, so would make good alternatives. Yes, a royal pain, but I reckon with the new powder range a lot of the old names would have been discontinued anyway, as better products replace them; such is the way of things. We will be looking at these new powders as soon as possible, as to what they offer.

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DECOYING

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HERE Scottish Roe deer

STALKING

DUAL ROLE! FIRST UK TEST

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6 NEWS & PRODUCT ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

 ew polymer-framed AR15 from N NWCP GSG Firefly, 22 semi-auto LBP LIMITED EDITION BSA R10 SE Sauer’s new SL5 semi-auto shotgun Mauser M12 Impact 22” 6.5x55 or 30-06

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1 1 771367 699077

P50

NEW PUP ON THE BLOCK

The Kral Puncher Breaker Bullpup PCP

£3.99

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

28 CONTRAST AND COMPARE Larry Fowles compares two digital monoculars

32 PRODUCT SIG Electro-Optics 2400 ABS laser rangefinder

AIRGUNS 36 WEIHRAUCH HW35

Jack Pyke fleece jacket

Bruce Potts investigates a new version of a modern classic!

12 PRODUCT

40 PRODUCT

Gerber Centredrive multi-tool

14 MTC OPTICS PRODUCT LAUNCH Mark Camoccio looks at some new scopes

16 A SMILE IN THE MIND Pete Moore visits Blaser Jagdwaffen

22 PRODUCT

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BERGARA’S NEW B14 HMR SHOOTS LIKE A TARGET RIFLE BUT HANDLES LIKE A HUNTER

ISSN

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42

Mora Kansbol field knife

24 PRODUCT Rudolph 8x42 laser rangefinder binoculars

Marksman airgun pellets

42 TOP 10 NV PRODUCTS Jules Whicker gives us his best NV recommendations for airgunners

46 PRODUCT

FT target gloves

48 SCOPE TEST

Aztec Emerald 5.5-25x50

50 KRAL PUNCHER BREAKER BULLPUP Pete Wadeson tests the latest Kral, multi-shot, Bullpup PCP


EDITOR

Peter Moore (01206) 525697 E-mail: peter.moore403@ntlworld.com pmoore.shootingsports@gmail.com

EDITORIAL ADDRESS

86 58

Shooting Sports, Aceville Publications Ltd, 21 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY Website: www.gunmart.co.uk

GROUP ADVERTISEMENT MANAGER

Vanessa English Gun Mart, Shooting Sports & What Gun! 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY T: 01206 506247 F: 01206 500226 E: vanessa.english@aceville.co.uk W: www.gunmart.net

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16 54 HFT DIARY Mark Camoccio explains the new chronograph rules for national events

86 ISSC MODERN SPORTING RIFLE MK 22

56 FT BLOG

Pete Moore reacquaints himself with a rifle he thought he’d never see again

90 WHITE STRIPES

Simon Evans cleans up at the Mendips!

58 AIRGUN HUNTER Andy Watkins takes us on a trip after dark for some covert hunting

62 HATSAN NOVA Rack & Load powers up with a 40 ft/lb PCP

64 WOOD PIGEONS  Pete Wadeson shows us top kit for decoying woodies

FIREARMS 68 BERGARA B14 HMR Pete Moore tests the latest multi-role rifle from Spain

74 SCOPE TEST

Konus AS-34 2-6x28 compact

78 PRODUCT

Storm Tactical Precision Rifle Data Books

80 PEST CONTROL DIARY Howard Heywood finally makes it north of the border for roe buck!

Michael Nitsch and Simone Helmich of Team Winz, hunt for Zebra in Namibia

94 PRACTICAL PISTOL III Eddie Putwain of Team Red Flag looks at Long Barrel Revolvers

96 PRODUCT

Barton Gunworks 10MOA Remy 700 rail

WORKSHOP 98 WILDCATTING

Bruce Potts investigates the 6.5x57mm

102 FAIRGROUND ATTRACTION Rack & Load checks out the old Browning Trombone pump-action rifle

106 RELOADING

Wheelwrite looks at some new propellants

108 CASE HISTORY

.25 WSSM

110 ANY OLD IRON Pete Moore considers the worth of iron sights

Ed Jackson (01206) 506243 E-mail: ed@shooting-sports.net

ADVERTISEMENT DIRECTOR Tony Phelps

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COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Pete Moore


News

NEWS & PRODUCTS

LIMITED EDITION BSA R10 SE BSA has just launched a Limited-Edition model of their flagship PCP the R10 SE, intriguingly named ‘FireFly.’ The action sits in an ambidextrous laminate stock (colour blended hues of red, browns, greys and black) while more cosmetic appeal is added by the charcoal grey buddy bottle. Only 120 have been produced (individually certificated) and it’s available in Standard or Super Carbine format in .177 and .22” making it one of the most collectible PCPs from this famous manufacturer. Seen here with the ‘FireFly’, are shop owners Tim McAvoy and his wife Jan who are said to be over the moon; so, they should be as in conjunction with BSA they decided on the cosmetics, spec’s and combo package. This includes a BSA Essential 6 – 24 x 50AO MilDot scope, BSA’s double-screw mounts, Padded Adjustable Neoprene Rifle Sling with

6

GOT THE

BALLS?

Super gun; the new limited edition BSA R10 SE Firefly

swivels, 2x magazines, plus a Hawke 6-9” Bipod. The whole kit is supplied with an Italian, ABS rigid rifle case. Individually, the combo is worth £1200 but it’s been given a special SRP of £999 and if certain ‘fixtures’ aren’t to a customer’s preference, then,

on discussion with the shop, ‘up-grades’ are available to suit. Pete Wadeson’s already had the opportunity to test one, so look out for a review next month. Contact: McAvoy Guns, 01257 426 129 www.mcavoyguns.co.uk

BASC INTRODUCES 500 SCOUTS AND GUIDES AT THE SUFFOLK MOOT The British Association for Shooting and Conservation introduced 500 Scouts and Guides to shooting at the recent Suffolk Moot. The event was an activity camp open to Scouts, Explorers, Guides and Senior Section from Suffolk. As well as taking part in activities such as abseiling, flight simulators and geocaching, visitors also had the chance to try shotgun shooting. Dr Peter Marshall, from BASC’s sporting services team, said: “It was great to see hundreds of young people experiencing shotgun

HAVE YOU

shooting for the first time. They really enjoyed the experience and we hope this is just a starting point for them.” Max Raffe, one of the MOOT camp organisers, added: “This type of activity was new to those involved and all thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. We were made aware of what BASC could provide after seeing a report about the activity at the Essex Jamboree in 2017. “The BASC team provided a very professional event. Suffolk Scouts and Guides are thankful to all involved and we look

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

forward to providing this activity at any similar events in the future.” Duncan Greaves from BASC Council added: “We are delighted that our presence at last year’s Essex International Jamboree has inspired other groups to get involved in shooting sports. We hope that this will form the foundation for a future in shooting sports for some of them”. BASC has also been involved with the Guides and Scouts at four other events over the summer, introducing a further 500 youngsters to shooting.

Norwegian high end men’s underwear maker, Comfyballs, is available in the UK. Solo Sports Brands Ltd is thrilled to announce their UK partnership with Comfyballs to provide the UK with the ultimate boxers. Designed in Norway, all Comfyballs incorporate the PackageFront™, an innovative use of elastic fabric seams, designed for ultimate comfort by reducing heat transfer and restricting movement. These boxer trunks are tailored using flat-lock seams and super soft oeko-tex certified fabrics for superior comfort and breathability. The Package Front™ is designed to keep your equipment in place, while being lifted away from the inside of your thighs, preventing unnecessary heating. Extremely curved panels combined with innovative use of elastic fabric seams lift the user experience to a new level! The size of the PackageFront™ is the same regardless of the size of the boxer trunk, and because it is made of an extremely elastic material, you can be assured that they will fit. This helps you reduce heat transfer that would usually occur from thighs to your equipment. Contact: Solo Sports, 015396 22322

Super boxers; the new Comyballs underpants will keep your package secure and in perfect condition!


WHAT’S HAPPENING

THE FIBRE PROVIDER Italian brand Nobel Sport Italia’s (NSI) excellent Fibre Heritage Super Felt cartridges offer pheasant shooters excellent value for outstanding performance. Exclusively distributed in the UK by Edgar Brothers, the Fibre Heritage Super Felt is finding enormous popularity with game shooters specialising in high, late-season birds. It’s available in 12-bore, 34-gram in shot sizes 4, 5 and 6, so fit for purpose. Tiffany Di Paola, marketing manager at NSI, commented: “the Fibre Heritage range has always been a popular one, particularly with the UK’s shooters; Super Felt is the 34-gram version of our high-end range fibre wad game cartridges. We renewed the line a few years ago, creating the Fibre Heritage cartridges, a top-of-the-range line. It has a 16mm brass head and uses our Vectan A1 powder offering an average speed of 1,378 fps.” Derek Edgar added: “though the Fibre Heritage Super Felt has a heavier load, there is very little recoil, so even on a day when you might have a larger bag; these are very smooth cartridges to use.

NEW SCOTT COUNTRY CATALOGUE Packed with all the latest night vision products including the much anticipated Yukon Photon RT, Pulsar Digisight Ultra and Forward F155 (forwardmounted), the new Scott Country digital Night Vision & Thermal Imaging catalogue is out now. Visit; www.scottcountry.co.uk

Z-BELLA

High in fibre, the new high pheasant load from NSI

They’re the ideal choice for the high birds you might get in Devon and Wales, and for the later season shooting that requires a stronger load for a cleaner kill.” RRP from £37.50 per 100 Visit; www.edgarbrothers.com Whatever next; Sauer are now offering a new semiauto shotgun; read on!

RAPID BEAUTY Instinctive speed, timeless elegance is the motto of Sauer’s new SL5 semiauto shotgun that has been launched in time for the coming fall and winter hunting season. The goal was nothing less than the ultimate combination of relentless reliability, perfect ergonomics and an elegant appearance. All of this was achieved in cooperation with the Italian gun maker Breda, who perfected the legendary inertia reloading system in cooperation with inventor Bruno Civolani. SAUER engineers have then designed the perfect

THIS MONTH IN BRIEF

balance around this well proven motor of a system. “Within the company we call it “Shootability” explains SAUER Product Manager Frederic Hanner, “meaning no less than that not only newcomers get excited about the great balance of the gun but also professionals being used to over & unders have no problem changing over to our semi-auto.” With the help of the Ergofit-inlays, shooters can furthermore adjust drop and cast of the gun and fit it individually. Satin finished coatings on barrel, receiver and bolt are features for the real hunter as they prevent

any reflections and provide best protection for the gun. The technical package is finished off by 5 multi chokes included at delivery and the typical Sauer sling swivels that can be removed at the push of a button. The laser grained walnut stock provides an elegant appearance and additional natural camouflage without any foil or print. SAUER’S new SL5 is delivered in a solid ABS-case and is available with 28” and 30” barrels. MSRP: € 1.795 Visit; www.sauer.de UK distributor; www.blasersporting.com

Italian Gunmakers Zoli have just announced their first over & under shotgun aimed at the female shooter. Called the Z-Bella it was specially designed and configured to meet the requirements of the female form. The butt is fitted with an adjustable comb as standard. Available in 12-bore you have the choice of 28, 29.5 and 30.75” barrels, with 5 x flush fit chokes along with the options of extended chokes and a parallel or tapered top rib. Visit; www.edgarbrothers.com

NRW FIREARMS REVIEW The much-criticised review of whether the use of firearms is appropriate on Natural Resources Wales (NRW) owned or managed land for third party activity and pest control is now well underway, with no fewer than 20 NRW paid employees involved in the process, excluding the team responsible for collating responses and elected NRW board members.

NEW M12 IMPACT Mauser importers have just sent us the latest version of their hugely successful M12 Impact rifle. Distinctive with its silver Ilaflon-coated and fluted barrel the new gun is chambered in 6.5x55 Swedish and also 30-06. Barrel length has been pushed up to 22”. Visit; www.blaser-sporting.com

7


News

NEWS & PRODUCTS

PLASTIC North West Custom Parts (NWCP) has just launched a new all-polymer AR15. This is not a Smith & Wesson 15/22 clone as the build is full Mil-spec as is its M4/CAR15 layout complete with buffer tube and Rock River Arms-type telescopic butt. It has a flat top with Picatinny rail, A-frame front sights stepped barrel with 1/2x28 Muzzle brake,

A2 pistol grip and oval plastic hand guards, ejection port cover, case deflector and forward assist. Barrels are available in 12.5 and 16” options. Made by Vulcan Arms, the upper and lower were originally designed for the 223 rifle, but are equally at home with a 22LR barrel conversion, running on Black Dog mags. We were told NWCP

Looking good; the all new polymer-framed NWCP AR15 and a steal at the money!

FANTASTIC!

is working on a 223 gun, but not with side cocking, just T-handle operation, which will suit more traditional AR fans. The picture shows the basic rifle in 22LR, with the optional Trinity force 1-6x24 scope and mounts. The base rifle will be around £645 and they are already working on a competition version with all the go faster bits we love.

SUPERFLY! GSG’s Firefly LBP adds more choice for modern pistol shooters!

A new long-barrelled pistol, the Firefly, has been launched by German Sport Guns (GSG). It’s based on the popular Sig Sauer Mosquito, which was originally manufactured by GSG. Exclusively distributed in the UK by Edgar Brothers, it’s built on a rugged polymer frame with black plastic grip panels. The single stack metal magazine holds 10-rounds of 22 LR, and has a safety system that prevents the slide, hammer and trigger from being operated when the magazine is ejected. A rail allows for tactical accessories to be added and it uses a blowback system. An adjustable rear sight is standard, so no problems with zeroing! It has been built to conform to the

8

dictates of a UK-legal, Section 1 Large Firearm, with its 30cm barrel and a grip extension that brings it up to the 60cm minimum length required by law. It weighs under 3lb, making it a light and practical option for those competing in tactical competitions. Derek Edgar (MD) of Edgar Brothers commented: “We’re delighted that GSG has agreed to make a special version of the Firefly for the UK market. This handgun has already proved popular in the US and with it being based on the classic Sig Sauer Mosquito, I’m sure it will prove a popular piece for UK shooters.” RRP: From £536 Visit; www.edgarbrothers.com

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

However, even then the price will be under what you might pay for a full custom, competition 22 AR15. The rifle is on test next issue, but so far we’ve put around 400-rounds through it with no problems, so it’s looking good. Contact: North West Custom Parts; www.nwcustomparts.com

CAMO COOK-OUT UK Fine Foods provides only the very best tools, appliances and products for the kitchen and outdoors. New, is the Apron in Realtree AP and AP Pink. With a versatile, one size fits all design, the stunning leafy pattern is available in two different shades to complement any taste. Traditionalists will appreciate the soft woody grey and brown tones of the more conventional camouflage print. However, if you want to really make an impact, opt for the bold and beautiful pink version. The attractive twig and leaf print is set against a backdrop of soft bubblegum pink. To make it even more special, no two aprons will be exactly the same due to variations in the pattern of the material. This is perfect for those who don’t want their camouflage to go unnoticed! The Realtree Camo apron is as practical as it is beautiful. Adjustable waist straps and two handy pockets feature. Made from 100% polyester, it is easy to care for. Price £25.00 either pattern. Visit; www.ukfinefoods.co.uk Just the thing for the hunter who cooks, a camo apron from Realtree!


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GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST JACK PYKE COUNTRYMAN FLEECE JACKET RRP:

£37.95 CONTACT:

www.jackpyke.co.uk

Snug as A Bug! Jack Pyke Countryman Fleece Jacket will be an essential for the winter

J

“All in all then, the Countryman Fleece Jacket is a highly versatile garment” snugness, there’s an elastic (toggleadjustable) cord running around the middle, so the waist can be drawn in and elasticated if desired. It’s worth mentioning the generous length of the body section, which, unlike others, does not come up too short! All in all then, the Countryman Fleece Jacket is a highly versatile garment, either to be worn underneath a winter coat in extreme weather, or smart enough to be worn in its own right, as a highly attractive, yet functional fleece. Fair value for money too when you look at the quality.

{ } TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Jack Pyke Countryman Fleece Jacket z Colours available: Navy, Light Olive, Burgundy z Sizes: Small- XXXL z RRP: £37.95 z www.jackpyke.co.uk

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ack Pyke Countryman Fleece Jacket is a great combination of style and substance! Using 300g thermal material, it’s certainly warm, but not overly heavy. It’s offered in three colours, Navy, Light Olive, and Burgundy. It’s also super cosy, but what sets it apart from cheaper products its fit and finish! For example their ‘Nubuk Piping’ adds a sumptuous feel and look. The jacket FOR is available in sizes from S to XXXL, so Well priced, just about everyone should be catered stylish and well made for. The central ‘double-pull’ zip runs AGAINST from hem to neck, allowing good protection from its stand-up collar. Not a lot There’s plenty of space in the arms, VERDICT and the cuffs are elasticated, so wind Top quality is kept out. Two lower large side garment for a pockets feature too; these have great price 27 - Nightforce_SHOOTING SPORTS full-length21/09/2017 zips, and a 09:40 strongPage re- 1 Well worth consideration enforced backing. For added

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE


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GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST GERBER CENTER-DRIVE MULTI TOOL Price

£124.99 CONTACT:

Thomas Jacks, 01789 264100 (for nearest dealer) thomasjacks.co.uk

It’s All There! Chris Parkin takes a look at a multi tool from Gerber with a helpful feature that’s great for shooters

I

seem to be a traveller who certainly likes to be prepared and when it comes to the emergency kit, so Gerber’s new Center-Drive Multi Tool immediately drew my interest. With all the usual suspects of 16 accessories of primary and secondary priority, a full external locking blade advertised to be 30% longer than the competitors with thumb support is always one of the first tools to be used daily. A second serrated edge knife folds within the handle alongside a saw and file and various smaller tools include an awl, Philips and flat screwdrivers next to ‘Cat’s Paw Pry Bar’.

Primary knife and spare bit on the top half with fold-out secondary tools on the lower handle, which also carries a generous thumb support for safely adding pressure

REGULARLY REQUIRED Given that pliers and cutters are regularly required items, especially if needed urgently with one hand, I loved the fact the pliers rapidly flick/slide out from the handles, which then automatically spring apart, rather than folding open to work the leverage. This makes them almost instant to access with long needle noses to grip and manipulate the smallest most delicate parts with excellent dexterity. Gerber offer a lifetime warranty with the Center- Drive which gives great confidence when coupled alongside ‘Made in the USA’, it’s virtually an invitation to attempt, and fail to break, the tool. The pliers have inner carbide teeth on the wire cutters that appear far

FOR

Quick fold knife Single handed pliers Center-Drive facility

AGAINST

Nothing really

VERDICT

Gathers all functions you really need in a multi-tool

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

more appropriate to a mainstream tool rather than just a backup accessory. They can be rotated to offer any of three cutting surfaces and made light work of the 3 and 4mm galvanised fencing wire I use day in day out to hang steel targets on the range.

MAIN ATTRACTION The main attraction of the CenterDrive for me was its headline feature, a standard 1/4” bit holder mounted on the mid axis for all those nuts, bolts, Allen and Torx fittings on a modern rifle, as well as the regular flat blade and Philips/Posi drive screws we find day to day. Although these need to be added by you, it There is plenty of handle to grip and apply 5 Nm of torque through this T25 Torx bit you won’t find applicable to any other multi tool

means you can customise what you carry precisely to your needs. Center Drive had no issue withstanding the day to day 5/6Nm I apply to Picatinny rails or action screws of a rifle with T25 and T30 Torx bits but it also means I can fit smaller 1-1.5 or 2mm bits on the end of the extension bar, either longitudinally or folded, to swap any parts I need in the field or make adjustments to things like scope turrets with their tiny internal grub screw fixtures. There is only space for one bit permanently in the extension, with a second folded into the handle but it’s no great hassle to carry what you need elsewhere. A nylon belt pouch is supplied and I have adopted this tool for my everyday carry item because of the extra versatility if offers me as a rifle nut.

{ } TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Features z Needle nose Pliers z Magnetic 1/4” Bit Driver z Serrated Blade z Awl z Wire Strippers z Ruler (Stamped into handle) z Flathead Bit z Dual-Mount Sheath z Regular Pliers z Fine Edge Blade z Cat’s Paw Pry Bar z Rotatable Carbide Wire Cutters z File z Phillips Bit z Bottle Opener


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GENERAL | MTC OPTICS PRODUCT LAUNCH 2017

Time For MTC

Viewing the new range on the lawns, it was a good day for it!

Mark Camoccio attends MTC Optics’ 2017 New Products Launch in London

T

ony Belas is no stranger to dramatic product launches, and the Daystate Wolverine in .303 calibre, pushing out 100ft/lbs, unveiled back in 2012, was perhaps his finest hour! Now, in his capacity as Marketing Director for MTC Optics, it was time to launch their new range of scopes. ‘Time For MTC’, was the strap line, the venue; the Royal Observatory, at Greenwich in London. The relevance of the Greenwich Meridian- a line where east meets west, established in 1851 to be the very centre line of the world’s time, was discussed, along with the link between the modern telescopic sight and the invention of the ‘Galileo’ refracting telescope in 1608. With the largest telescope of its type in the UK, sitting just up the hill in the Royal Observatory, it was indeed TIME to acknowledge what we owe to this groundbreaking technology.

LATEST RANGE With the intro out of the way, it was time to move outside, to the meticulously manicured lawns, for a personal viewing of the new scopes. Four new models spearhead the MTC launch. The new version of the popular MambaLite gets a makeover and now includes the SCB2 reticle with illumination. The Viper Pro 10x44 comes on the back of the success of the Viper Pro FT scope, and offers a smaller, more compact specification, that still features the new smart 3-1 geared turret design and side parallax. In addition, the lenses are given a special new multi coating that is compatible with digital camera use. This relates to the trend for attaching some form of digital camera/camera phone to the rear ocular lens via a special mount, and when this is done, the process has ironically worked better with poorer lenses. MTC have acknowledged the popularity of this aspect

Tony Belas from MTC, in full flow on their new range of optics

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

of modern shooting, and have taken a refreshingly proactive approach. The MTC Viper Pro Tactical gives a further option to shooters who like the original spec, but don’t need or want the smart turret. Side parallax is also retained. Finally, the MTC Mamba Pro2 offers the same benefits as the Viper Pro, but with low profile, finger adjustable turrets and a new matt finish.

DETAIL All of these models come with magnetic flip down lens covers, and a 2x magnifier in the rear cover, so glass is protected, and we should also be able to read the turret markings a little easier! Nice attention to detail, and a measure of the effort made by MTC to try and keep ahead in an ultra competitive market. Thanks then to Tony Belas and all at MTC Optics, for their hospitality on the day. TIME to get down to the nearest MTC dealer me thinks!

The new models get smart packaging too


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GENERAL | BLASER FACTORY VISIT

Pete Moore visits Blaser and discovers there’s a lot more to them than straight-pull rifles!

A Smile Mind! in the

All very minimalistic but with an air of assured quality

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

I

n the late 20th century, one rifle stands out as possibly the most radical design; Blaser’s R93. I say this for two reasons, as it was the most popular model in Europe and even in the more traditional UK it found favour with all types of shooters. Selling over 200,000 units worldwide, why? Well, its straight-pull (2-stroke) action was fast and practical, as was its ability to change calibres by the simple expedient of swapping barrels and bolt heads. However, I did not like it, sure it was accurate (always a bonus) and the ability to change calibres was genius. But it only offered a fixed magazine that had to be loaded/unloaded from the top (LRS version excepting), which just didn’t work for me! I recall at the IWA 1999 show being asked to leave the Blaser stand, as one of their staff asked me what I thought of the rifle and I said: “nice but I don’t like the feed system”; if you don’t want honest answers never ask me leading questions”


BLASER FACTORY VISIT | GENERAL

The R8 Professional Success, this one is in a carbon fibre stock with leather inserts, very nice!

CONVERTED Cast out into the wasteland, I soldiered on with my Mauser M03 and other turn bolts. However, in 2008 Blaser did the thing that many fans had been waiting for; produced a detachable magazine version of the R93; the R8. I was impressed; all the best things of the R93 but with a practical feed system, and when they brought out the thumbholestocked R8 Professional Success I actually opened my wallet and bought one. Great looking rifle with 100% ergonomics, I only wish I’d had the money for the version with leather inserts, as it looked the business. My daughter Chloe, who is at university doing design, also liked it and I asked her why? She said: “there’s an expression in the design business called a ‘smile in the mind’; meaning there’s just something right about some products, images or slogans that grab you.” Well, I was grabbed! However, and though the R8 is doubtless Blaser’s flagship product, there’s a lot more to the company than that, as I discovered when I was invited to have a look around by their head of PR Alexandra Baur. Based at

Normally, I’m no fan of engraving but check out the side plate of this custom K95; beautiful

Isny in South Germany I’d been there before about 9 years ago to visit Mauser. You may not know it but they are part of the L&O Hunting Group that also owns Blaser and Sauer, with Blaser originally sharing the factory with Mauser, Sauer were then still at their old premises.

ELEGANTLY UNDERSTATED Stepping out of the car, I was confronted by the modern and minimalistic grey office building with the simple Blaser logo; most pleasing. The main factory building is now all Blaser, with Mauser and Sauer sharing

Timber of every type for every Blaser gun, going up to grade 11 quality; too good for burning!

another within the complex. Ironically, Horst Blaser, the man who started Blaser in 1957 and designed the Diplomat drilling (multibarrelled rifle/shotgun) and also bolt-action, still lives on site. However, he no longer has any connection with Blaser, as he sold the company pre-1993 and also had nothing to do with the design of the original R93. The initial impression is one of a company that is totally aware of its worth and image; some might think arrogant, but that’s not the case, as they are passionate about all aspects of hunting and also consummate professionals! I recall, pre R8, when Blaser was handled by Beechwood Equipment many years ago, they had some issue with the material used for the trigger pins on the R93, which caused some problems. Blaser identified the guns that could have been affected and did a world-wide recall at their expense to replace them. As it was, the problem was not as big as foreseen, but they still changed them all, I can think of a few companies that might not have been so honest! They are not large, with just 350-employes, but command

CNC and robots – give them the raw materials and they’ll finish the job, but Blaser still retains the human touch when it comes to the finished product

s

17


GENERAL | BLASER FACTORY VISIT Not just rifles, the new Blaser F16 sporter, if you want a completion grade clay gun then try their F3

“To be honest, the factory could easily be mistaken for any modern production facility, as it does not look like it makes guns” s

a large portion of the firearms market, due to their products and reputation.

Blaser Active Outfits and accessories, they’ve got you and your gun covered!

I ROBOT! To be honest, the factory could easily be mistaken for any modern production facility, as it does not look like it makes guns. Everything is CNC-controlled and robotassisted, with machines producing actions and components to high tolerances, which we have come to expect from modern firearms. But there’s also the human touch at the other end of the production line, as all guns are hand assembled and checked for correct operation, fit and finish. All are also shot to confirm their ability and Blaser has its own proof range, which government inspectors come to put the final stamp of perfection on the various models. Alex told me that as such Blaser does not keep a stock of products, as say a company like Remington would do. The reason being, you go to your dealer and order your gun, which offers a deal of choice on barrel and stock options and decoration, then use their gun configurator programme to make your selections. This is passed onto the country importers/ distributors that place orders at the factory. For example, in the UK this would be handled by Blaser Sporting Ltd. I recall when I ordered my R8 Professional

Not just straightpulls; here we see the unusual, 3-barrelled, Bock Drilling BD14

18

Success in 270 Winchester with iron sights I waited a few months for it to arrive.

CHOICES, CHOICES! However, it’s not all about the R8, as Blaser offers a comprehensive range of models that includes shotguns. Their F3 is a competition grade over & under and one of the top choices for professional clay shooters. Recently, they launched the F16, aimed more at sporting shooters, which has gone down very well! The R8 speaks for itself but there are other rifles too. The R93 has now been discontinued, but Blaser’s website urges owners to get in contact if they need spares etc, as there might be some availability. There are three more rifles, all based on more traditional, break-barrel actions; my favourite the sweet little K95, single shot Kipplauf! Next, an identical pair of combination over & under rifle/ shotguns the B95 and B97, they differ only in the fact the former needs re-cocking between barrels, whereas the latter fires the second with another pull of the trigger. Finally, the BD14 (Bock Drilling), this is a three-barrelled design, with an over & under layout with a third tube on the right side. The top one is a shotgun, the lower a fullbore rifle calibre and the one on the side a .22 centrefire option. Check out their website for calibre options. Like the R8, these guns all use a manual de-cocking mechanism, along with Blaser’s universal, QD scope mount system.

GOOD WOOD A big part of the attraction of Blaser’s guns is customisation, which can go from the sublime to the ridiculous, as

my next port of call was their custom shop. We went around the wood shop first and I have never seen such a massive collection of quality timber; OK, not a fan of expensive wood but I still appreciate quality when I see it and it was staring me in the face! Also, some unusual experimental furniture, made of resin with items like wood and metal shavings moulded in. Decoration is covered by many items, from metal grip caps with animal engravings etc. and of course there’s a fine choice of engraved and plated actions and components. Speaking to the shop manager, I asked what they were capable off and he said; ‘anything that is legal’. I asked could he make a double barrelled R8 and he smiled and said they had already done that for a client. Again, I’m not a fan of engraving but I was shown a K95 custom with the most amazing Roe Buck head worked into it. Money better spent elsewhere on barrels etc, but on reflection the chance to have a unique firearm is perhaps more attractive than I might have thought!

SUITED AND BOOTED Then on to the active outfits and clothing. Blaser really does make some nice gear, with product to suit all climates and conditions. Smart really, as buying into the brand makes you part of something special; so, you are well suited, booted and armed. But there’s more, as they now offer a series of moderators and their Carbon bipod, which was designed by Spartan Precision Engineering and is an off-shoot of their own Javelin product. Plus, their new binoculars and for the future rifle scopes! No visit to the Isny site would be complete without going to their magnificent cinema range. This 50m indoor facility projects films of every game species on the planet on to the back stop that you can shoot at with fullbore ammo. I naturally chose all the boar scenarios, as I never miss a chance to brush up on my driven pig shooting. Overall, an enjoyable and eye-opening visit, as it allowed me to get a look inside the mind and ethos that is Blaser Jagdwaffen GbmH. My thanks to Alex Baur for the invite. Visit; www.blaser.de UK distributor; www.blaser-sporting.com


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GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST MORA KANSBOL KNIFE Price: £40 CONTACT:

cotswoldoutdoor.com moraofsweden.se

Stay Sharp Mora offers another new budget field knife ideal for hunters

M

“Ideal for any form of game preparation, from rabbits to red deer” centre combined with an outer shell in TPU, a rubbery polymer that offers a firm, non-slip grip. There’s a lanyard hole at the rear and the general shape and texture offers a decent grip that will not shift in your hand, even if wet or covered in blood. Weighing in at 4.7 oz and 8.8” long, this is a most practical design that will not break the bank and ideal for any form of game preparation, from

rabbits to red deer. Typically, the sheath is a ¾-legth bucket-type that envelopes the blade and 2/3rds of the handle, so offering a secure and safe carry with its internal friction button. There are drain holes in the base and a removable, slide-on hanging socket that offers both a belt loop hanger and also has a button slot, so it can be attached in that fashion too!

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ora’s new Kansbol knife is an advanced design, combining a lightweight yet robust build, with simplicity and practicality. This typical Scandawegian design shows a slim 2.5mm wide drop point blade made from top grade Swedish 12C27 stainless steel with a ¾-tang design and a 4.25” working length. The flat ground edge is heavily angled, so makes sharpening easy, as you just FOR lay the stone on it; always a bonus! Practical and Unusually, the front section of the no nonsense blade is slimmer than the rear, which design should make finer tasks, like AGAINST skinning and filleting, easier. The Not a lot spine is ground, so it offers a good striking surface for a fire starter stick VERDICT 32 - Puretone Ltd_SHOOTING SPORTS 21/09/2017 09:58 Page 1 too. The green handle uses a At the money durable and robust polypropylene hard to beat

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GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST Pete Moore checks out the new Rudolph LRB and reckons it’s a winner

100%

30%

FOR

T

he modern, hand-held laser rangefinder (LRF) is a real boon for hunting and longer range shooting. I started off years ago with Leica’s LRF 900, which was probably the ‘don’ in its day! The flat, rectangular shape proved easy to hold two-handed; certainly for a monocular. Which is the trick, as stability on target is all; if you hope to get accurate and consistent readings, equally target shape, surface, colour and of course distance! With their 7x lens, the Leica’s gave a reasonable amount

of magnification and to a degree dispensed with the need to carry binoculars too. However, they could not compare to a set of 8x42 binos in terms of target ID and visual acuity, but more to carry in the field too.

TWO BARRELS Over the years, I have used and tested many LRF monoculars and most have been more than capable, regardless of price, with their spec really dictating ability. Speaking primarily as a hunter, I just want to know the Each barrel features its own dioptre adjuster ring, note the adjustable eye cups

The long, single bridge means solid construction, note the large focusing drum and decent rubber armour

FOR

Tough, great ability and cheap No questions asked lifetime warranty

24

Cost effective performer; the Rudolph 8×42 1800m laser rangefinder binos; a bargain at sub £900

AGAINST

Bit big and heavy Front lens caps easily lost

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

VERDICT

For the money, probably the best BRFs you’ll ever buy! Simple, practical and easy to operate

distance to my quarry, which will allow me to decide whether I shoot it or wait till it gets closer. Secondary, is the ability to spot animals at longer ranges, to determine gender and what they are doing. Here, I generally find that a 6x or 7x monocular, with a 24mm objective lens is a bit pushed. So, the releveation came when I tested a set of Leica Geovid BRF (binocular rangefinder) 8x56 binos. Not cheap but awesome and best of all combining the needs of an LRF mono with the ability of quality binoculars and good unsupported stability.

BOXES TICKED! Optics Warehouse has made quite a splash this year with a number of new products, not the least of which is Rudolph! Made in Japan with quality glass, the scopes are good, but when I saw their 8×42 1800m Laser Rangefinder Binoculars, I got really excited. Here was a product that appeared to tick most of my boxes for a BRF and at a price not that much more than a quality LRF monocular! In keeping with other Rudolph optics, the build is simple and robust. The sand/green body is thickly, rubber-armoured, which does make them feel a tad bulky and heavy, as they weigh a not inconsiderable 2.52 lbs. By comparison, my Swarovski 10x42 EL Range BRFs weigh 2.08 lbs and are slimmer. They


PRODUCT TEST | GENERAL come in a semi-rigid case with strap, and you also get front and rear lens protectors and a padded neck strap, a CR2-3V battery comes ready-fitted!

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

Simple controls: left – range/scan, right just press M to swap from yards to meters

that covers both eyepieces and loops through the neck strap, but the front ones just push on and are easily lost! Some sort of retaining loop would not have been hard to produce I’m sure!

IN USE

I compared the Rudolph’s to my Leica Geovid 8x56 BRF and Swarovski 10x42 EL Range. At all distances the readings were within 2m, if not less, of each other. Crispness of focus and colour rendition were better on the control binos, though not by much. Unusually, the black aiming circle of the Rudolph’s is etched onto the glass in the R/H barrel, so is focus-sensitive, but still easily seen and placed regardless. Compared to a full electronic display, this doubtless keeps things simpler and increases battery life. Equally, the readout does not appear under the reticle, but in a strip at 6 o’clock, which is not quite so instinctive to view, as you have to drop your eyes to it, but again no big deal. On a personal note, the range button is on the right, whereas both the Leica’s and Swarovski’s are on the left, which I do prefer. I’m right-handed and am used to using my left to range targets, with my right just controlling the binos; though in truth it was Belt & braces; the screw-off no hardship! battery cover is also protected The maximum quoted range is 1800m, if by an integral 42 - OPTICS WAREHOUSE_SHOOTING SPORTS 21/09/2017 10:09 Page 1 you need to see that far. I took them out to rubber plug 1000m with no real problems given that I

Objective caps just slide on and off all too easily; could do better!

held them still. At normal hunting ranges, 50-400m, they performed very well indeed, though the range button needs a double press to active the display then fire the laser. But for me the clincher is the price, as it’s just £845. OK, optical quality is not that of the top end makes, but not far off to worry about. On average, the Swarovski 8x42 EL Range is £2490 and the modern Leica Geovid 8x56 HD-R £2380, what’s not to like as the Rudolph BRFs do what it says on the tin and are around 60% cheaper!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

n Name  Rudolph 8×42 1800m BRFs n FOV @ 1000 meters 122m n Eye relief 16 mm n Nearest Focus 5m n Lenses Fully Multi-Coated n Weight 2.52 lbs n Scan mode Y n Water, Fog & Shockproof Y n Nitrogen Filled Y n Power 1 x CR2-3V battery n Carry case, strap and lens covers Y n Price £845 n Contact Optics Warehouse; www.opticswarehouse.co.uk

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Unlike most other BRFs that offer ballistic packages and angle adjustment etc. the Rudolph keeps it simple, which I liked, as 99% of the time I just want the distance to target and I’ve never been a fan of ballistic packages, as there are too many variables to confuse things. On top of the right hand barrel are two moulded buttons; nearest is range/scan and behind M (yards to meters). The deep and rubber chequered focus drum is positioned at the rear of the long, one piece hinge/bridge, so strength is not an issue at this critical juncture! Each barrel has individual dipotric adjuster (+/-) rings and typically the eye cups screw up and down to suit all types of eye sight. Below the left-hand barrel is an integral cover; opening this reveals the screw off cap to the battery compartment, all very belt & braces. Lenses are fully multi-coated but what I did not like was their objective caps! The rear cap is a one-piece moulding

25


SS NOVEMBER 2017 Master_SHOOTING SPORTS 21/09/2017 16:08 Page 26

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GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST Horses for courses – Pulsar’s XQ19 top, XP50 below, Larry Fowles makes the call

Larry Fowles considers two thermal Imagers for deer stalking

CHEAPEST BEST? OR

I

’ve had an imager now for 10 months, finding it helped enormously during the winter doe cull. My unit was at the lower end of the market, a Pulsar XQ19. I paid £2000 for it last year, now retailing at around £1200 and sold as the slightly updated XQ23V. The thermal market moves very quickly, as I have found to my cost! There are much more highly specced models out there right now, however. If I were to upgrade, would it be a sound investment or just a better mousetrap? To compare, Scott Country sent me the top of the range XP50 Helion. At £3670, is it worth the extra £2470?

TICKED BOXES Briefly, my XQ19 incorporated, for me, all the important ingredients. A 384x288 pixel sensor for fine detail with a 640x480 pixel large eyepiece screen, a 50hz refresh rate

FOR

640 x 480 sensor with suitable lens choice, superb

28

for smooth panning across a woodland, a quick start up time of 2 seconds, a variety of colour palettes for individual tastes (‘red hot’ is my preference) and a 650m detection range, all of which served me well. Now the next generation has arrived, in the form of the XP50. In computer terms, each successive generation incorporates ever faster chips, more memory etc. In the thermal arena, the new generation means a 640x480 sensor for finer detail still, enabling digital zooming without overly pixelating the image. Also, Wi-Fi connection to view on a smartphone or tablet in real time, onboard video recording or still images at the press of a button, picture in picture PIP), and a detection range of 1800m. Are all the add-ons really an enhancement, or does the technology get in the way of the job at hand: deer culling?

AGAINST

Units can have fiddly menus, expensive

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

VERDICT

Game changer, but will the price drop again?

LARGELY UNNECESSARY I plan to expand on the role and utility of the imager for the deer stalker in the next article, but for now, let me be clear that my experiences are in southern England, across woodland and arable farmland. I am not normally inclined to take images and shoot video of deer I come across, so for me, WiFi and remote monitoring of the imager is largely unnecessary. Besides, I already carry binoculars, rifle, sticks and a rangefinder etc, so yet more equipment around my neck better be simple and very useful! I took both the imagers out on a warm summer evening, looking across the fields to a maximum of about 800m. It was immediately apparent that the larger sensor of the XP50 gives a beautifully sharp, detailed image, but with a narrower field of view. Heat differential on the screen seems well controlled, allowing scanning across sunlit fields without the unit registering ‘everything hot’. The XQ19, by contrast, seems to be overwhelmed in very bright conditions. I have found that partially closing


PRODUCT TEST | GENERAL the iris-style lens cover allows the unit to be less sensitive in these conditions, so allowing continued use.

TARGET ID

through the menus to get used to the controls; a short press on the up or down button gave small incremental changes to the zoom, but a long press on the down button brought up the PIP, then further short presses scrolled through the 5x, 10x and 20x option. Phew. Could I remember that in the field, plus all the other menu options? So, as I left the truck, I had the XP50 set up as described, hoping I wouldn’t need to change anything. The only other thing to do was take some images, all controlled with a separate button. Long presses to scroll

through video - still image - video, then short to start or stop a recording, or take a picture if in stills mode.

WINNERS AND LOSERS As the evening progressed, I realised I was using the XP50 more than my XQ19, with which I was obviously more familiar. It dawned on me that the former’s highly detailed screen is much easier and more relaxing to look at for extended periods. By contrast, the XQ19 viewfinder was grainy, and I guess my eyes/ brain had to subconsciously work harder to

Roe at 320m, 20x PIP using Pulsar XP50

XQ19, IPhone shot through the finder to show FOV only, with roe at 320m (centre), to compare with XP50 FOV. Actual image through finder more detailed

XP50, downloaded via WiFi. 2.5x with 10x PIP

XQ19, IPhone shot to show FOV only. Actual image through finder is more detailed!

29

s

I saw a number of deer, both fallow and roe, the furthest at a maximum of 470m. Both units registered the roe at this distance, so even with the cheaper model I wouldn’t have missed anything over the other! The difference being that I could see it was a young roe through the XP50, as opposed to a smallish deer sized blob through the XQ19. I had the PIP function set up on the XP50, so the main screen was at 2.5x, with a smaller square to the top centre had a zoomed image in. I chose 10x for general viewing, but could have had 5 or 20x too, which I found useful for taking a photo. Thus, I could scan the field and, having found a heat source, re-centre; so, putting the hot spot in the zoomed area for recognition. It worked like a dream as, once set up, nothing needed pressing on the imager body, as it was all there. This I really liked, as I had earlier sat at home in the kitchen, a little deflated, running

n o i t a r e n e g w e n e h t , a n e , r l l a i t l s a l i m r a t e e h t d r e e h t fin r “In o f r o s n e s 0 8 y l 4 r x e 0 v 4 o 6 t u a o h s t n i a w e g m n i m o o z l a t i g i d g enablin ixelating the image” p

SAYS: LARRY FO W LES


GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST process the image. I stress, nothing escaped the XQ19, I could see deer, hares and rabbits, but as the distances got longer, they became hot blobs rather than bodies with necks, heads and ears. So, over the open fields, the XP50 is the preferable unit! Being summer, the woods were not really accessible, but a walk around a coppiced area showed up the restricted field of view of the XP50 compared to the XQ19. I really needed to move the unit around to cover the foreground and middle distance, whereas the wider view of the XQ19 took everything in in one sweep. The PIP feature wasn’t useful in the woods, as most things are close enough to identify shape and species without zooming, even with the less detailed sensor of the XQ19. Everything stayed in focus with the 19mm lens, but the XP50’s 50mm lens needed to be re-focused if you looked at anything at less than 15m away. In the woods then, the XQ19 won out.

Exposed lens of XP50 v XQ19

CONTACTS:

n Scott Country NV retailer; www.scottcountry.co.uk n Thomas Jacks Pulsar distributor; 21/09/2017 10:39 Page 1 www.thomasjacks.co.uk

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the cheaper unit, but I found the XP50 buttons were not placed well for my hands. The ON/OFF/screen OFF/calibrate button needed a press from my left hand and was not so intuitive to use overall. Summing up, the XP50 is an impressive imager for open fields, the hills, recording stills and video. For some countryside roles this would be ideal, including recording poachers from afar! Having been very happy with my XQ19, I now see the real benefit of the 640x480 sensor and would like to have one in my imager. Back in the real world, however, 70% of my stalking is in the woods, and the wider field of view and depth of field means that for me the XQ19 (XQ23v now) is the preferable unit. Plus, I could spend the money saved over the XP50 on a few trips hill stalking in Scotland or even an African safari - £2470 is a lot of money! Across the Pulsar range, I see there is an XP28, identical to the XP50 body but with a wider angled lens. It has the desirable sensor, SHAPE a 1000m range, and FOV of 39 x 29m at 100 The imagers are shaped differently, the XP50 meters, better still than my old XQ19, which longer and narrow, the XQ19 squatter. The has 34 x 25m at 100 meters (for comparison, large, relatively exposed lens of the XP50 is, the XP50 sees 22 x 16m at 100m). It is I feel, vulnerable to damage, whereas the £620 less than the XP50 at £3050, still a 60 - Ogdens_SHOOTING 57 - The Photon SPORTS 14/09/2017 12:18 Page 1 of money, XQ19s is Shop_SHOOTING smaller and well recessed. The good amount but more useful to SPORTS button controls are one-hand operated on me; that would be my ultimate preference.


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GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST The compact size of the Kilo 2400 is apparent

LONG

GOING

Chris Parkin tests a compact laser rangefinder monocular and finds a practical and feature-packed design

T

he Sig Sauer Kilo 2400ABS is not just any old laser rangefinder, it incorporates the highly respected Applied Ballistics System (ABS) to calculate and display firing solutions for shots at longer ranges. The Kilo will store multiple gun profiles that are all built and transferred using Android or iPhone Bluetooth compatibility (which is thankfully only needed to build and transfer your personal ballistics), but can also be used as a secondary element to the product by displaying real time data in ‘Head Up Display’ mode. This isn’t a feature I’m bursting for unless Bluetooth connectivity is absolutely guaranteed and as a simple fact, the Kilo is supplied with three CR2 batteries. This indicates even Sig Sauer know Bluetooth is fairly energy-greedy!

32

BACKED UP Four profiles can be saved, with 100 backed up on the App with familiar variables like muzzle velocity, BC, output values etc., some of which can be reverse calculated from known on-range data of others. AB developed their own B.C. library using Doppler radar and although not fundamental for shorter ranges, makes long-range first round hits more likely with honest truing of your exact ballistics curve more factual. It’s one less variable to worry about, as manufacturerled data is not always reliable or updated. The use of DSF or drop scale factor assists truing of results after actual test on target and I have full confidence in AB, which gave firing solutions better matching my real-world ballistics, when compared to

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

some other devices I use regularly that do not use AB. Custom Drag Models have proven themselves elsewhere to me to be more accurate than standardised G1/G7 BCs but for actual hunting needs, G1 still cuts the mustard! For the target and ELR shooters, Coriolis, aerodynamic jump and spin drift become of interest with the ability of the KILO to compensate for temperature/ pressure may be of specific interest to travelling hunters. The 4 Hz refresh rate of the LightWave™ DSP Technology for rangefinding is noticeably effective when you hold down the button for HyperScan™ mode. As you drift across a grassy field for example, the faster refresh rate helps to pick out and pinpoint small targets like a rabbits or magpies for longer range varminting.


PRODUCT TEST | GENERAL PLUG IN Lumatic™ OLED Display automatically adjusts brightness of the customisable reticle that you can change the look of by adding/removing hash marks of the milling/aim off grid. I was impressed with the sharply-defined red aiming reticle that never dazzled and blended smoothly with the ambient conditions quickly to ensure you retained the fullest possible low light capability. Shot inclination, up or downhill, is compensated for as well as more complex matters like target speed, which may be helpful if you engage in some real tough tactical comps with longer range moving targets that requires the app to program. The weather flow meter plugs into your phone’s audio jack for wind speed and direction that can also be input and run for immediate real-time application to range and direction settings. A bracket is supplied to slot the Kilo into and screw onto the ¼” threaded spigot of your tripod. Although this functionality is great, it does carry one weak link in the chain and that is your ability to keep the phone connected. I used the unit predominantly in separate formats as phone batteries last far less time than my days shooting. The ability to keep up to date with new factors and program with the phone is a godsend in more controlled conditions (near a charger), it’s far easier to intuitively build the firearms profiles without in-field distractions and extensive button pressing sequences within menus.

The OLED display could be instructed to automatically vary its intensity to suit ambient light and was correspondingly relaxing to use

Sadly, the processing is done on the Kilo itself and the app on your phone will not work unless connected. This might not seem to matter but being able to study ballistic data before live firing does help to spot and iron out any likely glitches but it’s easy to make changes in real time providing signal is retained. Make sure you disable or lengthen the sleep timer on your phone’s screen, as when it goes to sleep, it takes a few critical moments to regain Bluetooth connection, by which time a shot opportunity may have passed.

EASY Fitting batteries is easy, with a fold-up flap on the single lower battery door, so no coin slot or coin are needed. The eyecup rotates to extend eye relief an extra 8mm with a tactile rubber cup that seals well into your orbital socket. The dioptre focus collar has a tab in the centre and is quite stiff to turn but theoretically only needs doing once and certainly won’t get nudged and drift. I needed to open the battery compartment twice just to ‘power cycle’ the Kilo when it seemed to go dead. Doing this brought it back to life and like all electronics, even though solid state, it did appear to crash on those two occasions. The Kilo is expensive and the whole arena of rangefinders, wind meters, ballistic computers and optics are covered by several manufacturers, yet none cover all elements entirely. It covers range and ballistics, but with the wind being more of a secondary addition relying on your phone and limited ‘spotter’ capability for your wing man. Most serious long-range shooters will look at the budget and the number of items they need to physically carry and operate if they want to cover all these factors in the field! The Sig Sauer 2400ABS is a very worthy attempt, but to me, there is a very fine line between the compromises of carrying extra items or relying on smartphone connectivity! I admit I prefer stand-alone tools with this just pricing itself just a little too high for a rangefinder with ballistics!

POWERFUL Ballistic readout on the Head Up Display (HUD) on iPhone

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Sig Sauer Kilo 2400 ABS Laser Rangefinder, it can’t do everything but does the job none the less

The laser is powerful and I could get pings on a treeline out as far as 1506m with accurate repeat readings but never any


GENERAL | PRODUCT TEST s The eyecup twists up for eye relief adjustment with a dioptre/focus adjustment in front, depth of field in use is extensive!

FOR

Fast, accurate ranging on any surface up to 1000 metres with quick calculations

Precise, long-range work is aided with a tripod mounting bracket

further. Getting a return did require a bit of scanning to ensure the beam divergence with regard to the reticle’s aim was ensured to get a return. Out to 8/900 metres, the unit was 100% reliable and very fast compared to my RF Binos with a ballistic readout displayed 3 seconds from the initial pulse. Reading the clear alphanumeric display was also quicker too. With 7x magnification and such a small overall size and weight, for extreme long distances is better off a tripod. Although only a 25mm objective lens, the image was bright enough and optical quality was high with crisp, clear colouration and no grey or yellow hues. The aiming circle can be altered to project vertical and later hash markers too but at long range with only 7x mag, picking out even a man-sized figure 11 target needs the scan mode employed with the range button held down to ‘pop’ the target out of the background. If an object is enclosed by cover at differing ranges it is trickier still to range precisely, shooting the laser past obstructions. Don’t forget that the long depth of field that enables crisp focus without any mechanical optical adjustment does imply smaller apertures within, so you are never going to get magical low light performance. This thankfully goes hand in hand with the fact you are also hopefully unlikely to be shooting at unknown ranges in such low light conditions. You get a very enthusiastic 0.1 metre accuracy displayed, it does seem a little pointless given the critical nature of pinging your own exact target. I could get very fast accurate measurements

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AGAINST

Power-hungry

of reflective objects out to 1000 metres but again, target size and surface are critical!

CAPABLE PRODUCT There are some seriously high-end rangefinders for ELR shooting and although Sig Sauer has made a very capable product in the Kilo 2400 AB, it is not ideal for that market. But, it is very fast and accurate in the intermediate range game, but I feel it has a definite usage ceiling at 1000-1100 metres in full daylight, because few of us are likely to be ranging large hard targets with reflective surfaces to push the device to its intended 2400-yard maximum range. Dimmer conditions did improve on this, perhaps by another 100m, as there is always less light interference but you have to temper that against lower visibility of the target through the small objective. As

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

Easily opened battery compartment

VERDICT

Good but no LRF does it all

always, smart phone connectivity has its pros and cons. For fixed position, shooting it was nice to be able to use the head up display on the iPhone, but I didn’t feel this added to the Kilo’s capability. Wind reading is still always the key matter for long range and where I find a range finding binocular, with greater field of view, detail and more relaxed viewing of conditions like mirage far out on into the flight path has a definite benefit over any wind reading at the firing point for anything other than initial comparisons.

INCLUDED EQUIPMENT Free App for Android & iOS, One Piece Solid Machined Tripod Mount, TYR Water Resistant Molle Gear Bag, Padded Ballistic Nylon Case, Wind Meter, Sig Sauer Tactical Pen/Stylus, Lanyard, 3 Batteries.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

n Name Sig Sauer Kilo 2400 ABS 7x25 n Size 4.2 x 1.3 x 3” n Performance Deer (1400 Yards), Trees (1800 Yards), Reflective Steel (2000 Yards+) n FOV @ 100 Yards 35.67 ft. n Angular FOV 6.78° n Laser Divergence 1.3 Mils (4.4 MOA) round n Weight with battery 7.5oz n Exit Pupil 3.6mm n Eye Relief 15mm n Readings Temperature, Pressure, Humidity, Density Altitude, Direction of Fire (Compass), Inclination (Vertical Angel to Target), Range. n Bluetooth BLE Android/iOS/PC Compatible n Price £1776.99 n Contact Highland Outdoors; www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk


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AIRGUN | GUN TEST

IMPROVING

Bruce Potts investigates a new version of a modern classic!

PERFECTION

It’s great to see the old HW35 back again, as it truly is the old stalwart that started many a shooting career!

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his review is very close to my heart, as the HW35 was the first air rifle I ever bought with all my birthday, Christmas and odd job money. I have stayed true to that brand over the 40 intervening years and still enjoy a classic hunting trip with the iconic HW35! Now, Weihrauch have re-vamped this model from the standard version that has stayed in production from the start and now the HW35E (Export) version is now available again.

MORE MONEY The Export version was the priciest HW35 of the range, with the standard being the entry level option, with the deluxe oddly enough being in the middle! The Export, along with

The new HW35E, below, has a shorter barrel but longer length of pull than the original, top, still both are lovely guns

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE


GUN TEST | AIRGUN the Feinwerkbau Sport, Original 45, BSF 55 and BSA Airsporter were the top guns of their day, but the Teutonic flair for uncompromising build quality meant, to me, the HW35 was always the best. This version is true to the original, except for the re-vamped internals to run a synthetic piston seal and longer life coil spring. Also, the barrel length has shrunk to 18.5” instead of the original 22” and is pleasingly better for it!

OH THAT STOCK

The new forend wood is slightly shorter in the new HW35E (bottom) and has a newer style foresight also

AGAINST

Fixed front swivel on barrel band

a Bavarian/Bayern type. Now you have the classic, dropped cheekpiece that is slightly longer than the original with a little less definition but still very nice! You also have the original sling swivel attachment, which I must admit would prefer to be a swivel stud for universal fitment, but the brown recoil pad with white spacer is still good looking and grippy.

TRIGGER AND SAFETY The Rekord trigger has become a bench mark amongst trigger mechanisms and certainly has withstood the test of time, as little has changed since its introduction. I took full advantage of its unique adjustability for both first and second stage pulls and honed the settings to my own preference, not to light for field use/hunting yet light enough to aid in producing tight groups. The aluminium trigger blade is generous in proportions with curved lines and first and second stage pulls are very smooth and last stage sear release is one of the best! After-market brass triggers make a nice visual upgrade and Rowan Engineering supply brass, aluminium or black triggers of flat, curved or set back, as well as brass or aluminium trigger guards to spruce up the looks and feel. The safety catch too is activated on cocking and a small button on the left rear of the receiver pops out to indicate

VERDICT

Classic lines with top performance

activation or safety ‘on’. This actually locks the trigger mechanism, so no nasty accidents happen and is disengaged when the button is pushed in fully. Without an anti bear trap, the rifle can be de-cocked at this stage, by carefully allowing the barrel to go to the closed position after releasing the trigger; do not let that barrel fly back unaided, otherwise a bent barrel and split wood will be your reward.

BARREL AND LOCKING ACTION Overall finish is still top notch German engineering, with a good deep bluing but the name and calibre stampings on the receiver are not as precise as older models. Also, while we are at it, the Hull Cartridge name and serial number are obvious on the side of the barrel and looks unsightly, as does the awful safety warning on the rear cylinder section, sorry but it’s true. Let’s face it, litigation busting information on modern firearms is a real pain visually! Build quality is hefty and that’s good, as it ensures durability as well as dampening recoil for better accuracy. Internals have the modern advantage too, with synthetic piston crowns to aid in consistent and smooth power delivery. The spring too has far less twang on firing than when I first owned my 35, and is designed to last longer, yet still provide full power- that could not be said for the older guns!

The HW35 is large and has that instantly recognisable finger grooved forend

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No doubt about it, that stock is outstanding. Not only for its look, hold and handling qualities, but the real walnut timber quality of yesterday still shines through. I love synthetics on my hunting rifles but truly there is nothing like a good piece of wood; it’s probably a getting old thing! There are a few subtle differences from the original that HW35 aficionados will notice, such as slightly longer and less defined cheekpiece and shorter wood at the forend around the locking catch. But the quality of walnut is still true to the original. This model, from CH Weston’s, had a lovely dark colour with an even grain pattern and that open grained semi oiled finish that felt and smelt right. The longer, deep finger groove forend is unchanged and although never the best looker, is classic to this rifle and works a treat. The pistol grip on the Export loses the rounded end and has twin chequered panels with a black plastic and white spacer tip. Best of all is the cheekpiece that the standard model is lacking and the Luxus has

FOR

A modern classic


AIRGUN | GUN TEST s

THICK!

RESULTS

The receiver walls are nice and thick and possess twin dovetails running well over half the length of the top section, 11mm, whereas older HW35Es were 13mm. Forward of the main body is the breech jaw area, which is where the HW35 differs from many of its contemporaries in that the solid barrel to receiver lock up is ensured via a locking latch system, rather than the more usual detent spring arrangement. This has two advantages, in that the initial opening sequence of the rifle is very easy to achieve with no hard, stiff sprung ball catch to disengage. Simply thumb forward the catch located on the left side of the receiver to its utmost and the barrel will gentle open without protest. Grip the barrel and continue the swing until the trigger sear engages with an audible click, as does the safety catch that automatic switches to SAFE at this stage, which is comforting.

Pellet Logun Penetrator H&N FTT Green .22 RWS Hyper Dome .22 RWS Hobby Z2 Paragon Powapell Diabolo Baracuda RWS Superpoint Bisley Pest Controls Bisley Magnum FTT Premiers Bisley Superfield Accu-pell Lazapell Air Arms Hunter Air Arms Field

Weight grains 15.8 9.4 10.8 11.8 12.0 14.2 21.0 14.4 17.8 21.1 14.6 14.4 15.0 14.4 15.4 15.8 16.0

Velocity fps Energy ft/lbs 566 11.24 741 11.46 655 10.29 648 11.01 651 11.30 599 11.32 468 10.22 588 11.06 502 9.96 436 8.91 588 11.21 597 11.40 564 10.60 592 11.21 542 10.05 568 11.32 564 11.30

Accuracy at 25 yards inch 0.85 0.55 0.55 0.45 0.85 0.75 0.65 0.55 0.55 0.75 0.45 0.50 1.0 0.70 0.65 0.50 0.50

TIGHT AS A… Locate a pellet in the rifling and swing the barrel back to the closed position, where the barrel latch will ride down the left side of the breech and securely reposition itself back in the locked position with the barrel and breech securely locked. This system works well, with the advantage of its solid lock up that ensures consistent accuracy and no air escapes from the breech seal if it’s in good order! The barrel is 18.5” long and has lost that typical pronounced HW35 Droop, but still has a little angle to it. The new Export still sports really good open sights, with interchangeable tunnel foresight elements and fully adjustable rear sight with a more enclosed body these days. You a have a rotating rear element for choice of U, V or squared aiming choices to match the foresight.

The barrel locking breech opened by the large lever is the HW35’s strong point, literally, which maintains consistent accuracy and velocity

CONCLUSION The HW35 is a real success story and adheres to the old adage of- if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! I still want to see a thumbhole stock version again, that would be lovely. Performance wise you can see the results for yourself. After the initial and essential running in process for any springer, the rifle soon settled down to smooth, non-dieseling performance, with minimal spring twang and very consistent and quite poky performance. Best velocity and energy figures went to the new lead-free H&N FTT Green pellets that at only 9.4-grains, light for a .22 cal flew at 741 fps for a generous 11.46 ft/lbs and really good 0.55”, 5-shot groups at 25 yards. That’s with a classic Nikko Stirling German post reticule scope too! This performance was

Fantastic Rekord trigger is the best, period. That inscription is not

almost mirrored with the lead Premiers that at 14.4-grains shot 597 fps for 11.40 ft.lbs energy and smaller groups at 0.50”. Best accuracy went to the Field Target Trophies at 0.45”, which is really impressive and that was consistently, not a one off! Velocity was 588 fps with 11.21 ft/lbs gives you a really good performing hunting pellet. Overall, the new HW35E does not only look the part but also out performs its predecessors, I wonder if Weihrauch would re-introduce the HW55? Many thanks to C H Weston’s 01273 326338 for supplying the test rifle.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

The Export version of the HW35 has the walnut stock with classic cheekpiece and white line capped pistol grip and butt as well as cut chequering

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

n Name Weihrauch HW35E n Action Break Barrel n Power plant Spring Piston n Sights Y cylinder grooved for scope mounting n Stock Walnut sporter n Length 43.5” n Barrel 18.5” n Trigger 2-Stage Rekord, adjustable n Safety Automatic n Calibre .177 or .22 (.22 on test) n Price £295 n Distributors Hull Cartridge Co, 01482 342756


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HW100 SERIES - SPORTER •

OILED WALNUT SPORTER STOCK

FAST FIRE SIDE LEVER ACTION 14 SHOT ROTARY MAGAZINE

HIGH EFFICIENCY SILENCER

DETACHABLE STAINLESS STEEL AIR RESERVOIR WITH INTEGRAL PRESSURE GAUGE - QUICK FILL

UNIQUE SINGLE PELLET LOADING MECHANISM

2 STAGE MATCH TRIGGER

AVAILABLE IN KARBINE & RIFLE LENGTH BARRELS

www.hullcartridge.co.uk *Scopes and mounts at extra cost model shown FSB with extras: FSB HW Silencer - Single Shot Magazine SS11.17/37/d


AIRGUN | PRODUCT TEST LINCOLN JEFFERIES MARKSMAN PELLETS CONTACT:

marksmanpellets.com

Home Made! We look at a traditional range of airgun pellets, still proudly made in Birmingham

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ost airgun pellets used in the UK are imported but we still have home-produced ammo, made in Birmingham by Lincoln Jeffries ltd, who makes the Marksman brand. They are traditionally–styled pellets, with ribbed bodies good for short-range pest control and good old fashioned back garden plinking, they’re just the job. In RT ADS 12/09/2017 15:33 Page 1 fact, for use in more modestly-priced airguns, they’re perfect; if the ranges are relatively short! The company is FOR owned and run by the descendants of Made in GB, George Lincoln Jeffries, inventor of traditional design the famous Lincoln air rifle and it’s AGAINST great that they are carrying on in the Old style face of foreign imports. Pellets are available in .177, .22 and .25 VERDICT calibres and they have been exported A cost effective all around the world with huge design

“They are traditionally–styled pellets, with ribbed bodies good for shortrange pest control” quantities being distributed to Canada, Australia and South Africa. In the 1970s, production figures of 25 million pellets a week were required; such was the popularity of the Marksman brand. Options include .177 Marksman Roundhead, in boxes of 100, 200 and 500, as well as tins { } TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS of 500. .177 Marksman Pointed in Lincoln Jefferies Marksman pellets boxes of 200, 500 and tins of 500: z Prices: 500 .177 pellets are around .22 Marksman Roundhead in boxes of £4-£5 and 500 .22s are around £5-£6. - Hydrographics 1.4_SHOOTING SPORTS 12/09/2017 15:26 Page 1 50056and tins of 500 and .25 z Visit; www.marksmanpellets.com Marksman Roundhead in tins of 200.

HydroGraphics

www.marksmanpellets.com

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We provide a complete refinish and gunsmithing services for Air Rifles, Pistols, Centre Fire Rifles and Shotguns as well as a wide variety of sporting goods. Bespoke and custom paintwork on all vehicles, from Light Aircraft and Cars to Scooters, Motorbikes and radio controlled vehicles.

If you can see it we will Coat it.

We have now moved to: Manor Farm, Mill Lane, Acaster Malbis, York YO23 2UJ

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

www.facebook.com/hydrographicsyork

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www.hydro-graphics.co.uk

Email: info@hydro-graphics.co.uk Tel: 01904 778188


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18 - Rainplay Creative dps (Pulsar)_SHOOTING SPORTS 20/09/2017 10:08 Page 2

AIRGUN | NIGHT VISION FOR AIRGUNNERS

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V HT ISIO

TOP 10 O DUCT

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PR

Yukon Photon RT, just one option in a world of NV optics for airgunners

NIGHT MOVES Jules Whicker rounds up the top ten NV products for airgunners

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE


NIGHT VISION FOR AIRGUNNERS | AIRGUN

SPOTTING YOUR QUARRY Day or night, it is always preferable to spot with a separate, hand-held device, rather than using your riflescope and sweeping the landscape with your muzzle in the process. I’ve picked both digital and thermal spotters here: two you hold at arm’s length and two you put to your eye.

The Nocturna Sentinel Ultra, is a new line of digital spotters from Nite Site. This is the topof-the-range Ultra model c/w on-board recording

Seek Inteliscope Compact Pro, standard Inteliscope models work with the camera on your phone, but this one gets its image from a Seek Compact Pro thermal imager

Pulsar Quantum Lite XQ23V, its lightweight lens system enables this unit to deliver great performance at a uniquely affordable price

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In the first category, is the new Nocturna Sentinel range by NiteSite. There are three models: standard, Pro and Ultra (£259.00, £359.00 and £459.00). At 50m, the claimed identification range (CIR) of the standard is probably too short, so go for the 100m rated Pro or Ultra and choose the latter if you want a recording facility. My other arm’s-length spotter is Seek’s Reveal Pro FF (£689.95). It has competition from Leupold’s LTO Tracker (£952) and FLIR’s Scout TK (£575) in the sub-£1K sector, though. Thus, the TK has the biggest LCD display (640 X 480) and the LTO has the fastest refresh rate (30 Hz). I even think the TK and LTO have better ergonomics. Nevertheless, the Reveal Pro has the biggest sensor (320x240) and this gives it a crucial edge when it comes to spotting small quarry at useful distances. You will get a bit more performance from Seek’s Compact Pro FF unit, which plugs into your smartphone and uses its much higher-resolution screen to display the thermal image, but check first that your phone is compatible (it must have a USB OTG port). Mine isn’t, so I’ve not yet been able to try the Compact Pro FF for myself.

Remember too that your phone can be a crucial piece of emergency equipment, so keep a spare (charged!) battery handy. When it comes to performance, ignore the manufacturers’ claimed detection ranges (CDR) of 100’s of metres: they are clearly based on something considerably bigger and hotter than a bunny! Actual detection range (ADR) depends on factors such as ambient temperature, vegetation, and terrain, but as a rule of thumb I’d say the TK and LTO have an ADR of around 50m, whereas the Reveal Pro can add another 20m to that. This means all three devices fall short of my 100m benchmark, making them marginal for bunny-bashing, though they still have a role spotting squirrels in woodland, or finding shot game, which is what they were primarily designed for, after all. A further consideration is your eyesight. If you wear glasses, and don’t like to shoot with them on, it can be a nuisance having to

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any airgun hunters spend as much, and often more, on quality rifles, optics, and kit in general, than their rimfire and centrefire counterparts. If this describes you, then take a look at my comprehensive night vision guide at gunmart.net. If, however, you are on a tighter budget, or simply prefer ‘just what I need’ to ‘the sky’s the limit’, read on, because this is for you! By day, the effective hunting range of a good legal-limit PCP can be as much as 50m, but it is wise to set yourself tighter limits at night, as it is harder to range your target, and even harder to read the wind. All the same, you do want to be able to see a good bit further than you can shoot. 100m ought to be far enough to locate and identify your quarry and to plan your stalk. Enough preamble, let’s see what’s on offer.

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AIRGUN | NIGHT VISION FOR AIRGUNNERS

s Nightmaster entry into the digital add-on market the rear-mounted Atom It is light, compact, easy to use and British-made, so there’s a lot to like!

dig them out each time you want to view the screen in your hand, in which case you’ll get on better with a device you hold to your eye. Which brings us to monoculars.

MONOCULARS In this class, the best digital offering is currently Pulsar’s Digiforce 860VS (£234.95) or the WiFi enabled RT version (£329.95). This unit scores highly on ruggedness, ergonomics, controls, software, on-board IR, smartphone app (RT only) and product support, but ironically, at 6x/13x the magnification is really too high for the sensor to deal with, which, combined with the unit’s light weight, makes it hard to get the kind of clear, steady image a 3x/7.5x might give. Magnification sells, but sometimes at the cost of real performance. If you really want to crack the spotting issue, then, you should seriously consider Pulsar’s new Quantum Lite thermal monoculars. There are two models, the XQ23V and XQ30V, and both come in

Ward-D-Vision 800 offers an effective, affordable, down-toearth -and continuallyevolving- range of digital night-vision addons and illuminators

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massively cheaper than previous Quantum devices (£1,199.95 and £1,299.95). Don’t be put off by the ‘Lite’ tag either: these are fully-featured units with a 17 µm, 384x288 px sensor, 640x480 px OLED Display 50hz frame rate, and a sensible magnification range of 1.8x to 7.2x or 2.5x-10x magnification. The price is kept down by a new flat lens design that uses less germanium yet gives a more even image. Having tested the XQ23V unit, I’d say it is everything you need.

PUTTING IT IN YOUR CROSSHAIRS There are still some excellent tubed NV units out there, such as the Pulsar’s Phantom and hybrid tubed/digital Argos, but digital offers more choice and lower prices across the board. First up are a couple of digital rear add-on options: the Atom (from £499.96) from Nightmaster and the Ward-D-Vision (£625.00), D-Mini (£350.00), or D-700 (£695.00) from Clive Ward at the Night Vision Store. Combined with a good illuminator and both companies can supply and advise on the best one to accompany your choice, any of these will give you the performance you need! An additional benefit of a rear add-on is that it leaves your regular riflescope -and its zero- in place for day-time use. The same is true of NiteSite’s system. Like the Atom and D-NV units, it places a low-light camera where your eye would be, but unlike them it locates the display in a separate module that also houses an array of IR LED illuminators. The final component is a choice of rechargeable Li-ion battery packs sized to go on your scope (2Ah), your buttstock (4Ah) or

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

NiteSite R-Tek variants of the NiteSite system offer WiFi connectivity and on-board recording. Note the NV-specific laser rangefinder (top right)

your belt (5.5Ah and 6Ah), depending how much run-time you need. The current range includes the airgunner-oriented Viper (£399.00) which is also available in an RTek variant (£599.00) featuring on-board recording and remote viewing via a WiFi connection to a dedicated app. The downsides of the NiteSite system are a unique head-up shooting position, the need for a bit of clever cable management, and less-thanrigid camera alignment, although a new aluminium mounting adaptor fixes this beautifully. As mentioned above, spectacle wearers may find it inconvenient to switch between near-eye and arm’s-reach displays, in

Yukon’s Photon RT adds recording, remote monitoring and streaming capabilities to an already impressive combination of performance and affordability


NIGHT VISION FOR AIRGUNNERS | AIRGUN which case I’d suggest complementing the NiteSite with the Nocturna Pro spotter. An alternative approach is to use a dedicated digital NV scope. A good Picatinny rail/mount system will let you switch between day and night scopes without losing zero, or you can dedicate a rifle to night work. The go-to choice in this category is Yukon’s impressively capable and affordable Photon series. The XT 4.6 X 42S (£399.95) or 6.5 X 50S (£419.95) is the place to start, but if a WiFi/app/streaming package appeals, then check out the new RT 4.5 X 42S (£549.95) and RT 6 X 50S (£599.95) models. All have capable, focusable and zeroable IR illuminators on-board, but for maximum performance you’ll want to boost these with an external unit. A very useful feature of the Photon is its built-in stadiametric rangefinder, which lets you measure the distance to your target (the ‘metric’ bit) by bracketing it between two horizontal lines (the “stadia” bit) based on a predetermined target height. Photons are hard to fault at night, but you wouldn’t choose one for daytime use. In fact, if you want an integrated day-night device there’s only one choice, and that’s the HD 3X-14X X-Sight II from ATN (£650), which offers a full-colour HD image by day, as well as a lower-resolution monochrome image by night, all delivered via a feature-rich, WiFi-enabled software/firmware package. The X-Sight offers stadiametric rangefinding too, but it can also interface via Bluetooth with ATN’s Laserballistics handheld laser rangefinder, combining either of these functions with automatic reticle adjustment. Yes, tell the X-Sight how far away your target is and it will ‘dial-in’ for you! More amazingly still, its built-in inclinometer and compass can factor-in the shooting angle and whatever wind value you enter, constantly monitoring where the rifle is pointing and correcting the point-of-aim accordingly. It will even record your shots automatically. The X-Sight II is heavier, thirstier on power and needs more external IR than the Photons, and ATN don’t yet have a record of reliability to set against Yukon/ Pulsar’s, but there can be little doubt that the X-sight II looks like the face of things to come! I’ll wrap up this overview of airgunoriented NV kit with one accessory and one ‘heads-up’. The accessory is NiteSite’s laser rangefinder (£249.00). Regular laser rangefinders

The new laser rangefinder, it’s the perfect companion to any NiteSite system. Its IR beam is visible in the display, permitting precise targeting

are virtually impossible to aim at night, so NiteSite’s doesn’t have an eye-piece, just a simple text display with the range and menu settings. To aim, you simply look through the sight for the flicker of the IR laser beam, adjust this onto the target, and read off the range. At present, it is only available for NiteSite systems, but a Picatinny mount is under development, you’ll soon be able to reap its benefits with the NV aiming system of your choice. The ‘heads-up’ relates to a collaboration between Inteliscope, who offer a neat hardware/software solution for converting your mobile phone into a rifle sight, and Seek, who make the Compact Pro, a plug-in unit that converts your smartphone into surprisingly-capable thermal camera. Not yet available at the time of writing, it could well be the first affordable thermal

The face of things to come? The ATN X-Sight II HD is an advanced digital day/night optic with many unique features

We all need good IR illuminators and Nightmaster Xsearcher is one worth considering, but they’re also a great one-stop-shop’ for the NV enthusiast

weapon sight to offer the precision airgunners need. Exciting times! Most of this equipment can be found in your average gun shop, but a major retailer is Scott Country who do specialise in this area.

CONTACTS: ATN Corp: www.atncorp.com (UK: ATN EU) ATN EU: www.atneu.com 0203 7446303 Leupold: www.leupold.com Viking Arms Ltd. www.vikingarms.com 01423 780810 Night Vision Store (Ward Optical Systems): www.nightvisionstore.co.uk 01233 635378 Nightmaster: www.nightmaster.co.uk 01535 611688 NiteSite: www.nitesite.com 01759 377235 Nocturna: http://nocturna.co.uk 03300 057 878 Pulsar: www.pulsar-nv.com (UK: Thomas Jacks Ltd) Thomas Jacks Ltd: www.thomasjacks.co.uk 01789 264100 Yukon Optics: yukonopticsglobal.com (UK Thomas Jacks Ltd) Scott Country, 01556 503587; www.scottcountry.co.uk

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AIRGUN | PRODUCT TEST

Sureshot Airguns, 01284 850941 sureshot-airguns.co.uk

Get a Grip! New FT Target Glove from Sureshot Airguns allows you to do just that!

T

arget gloves may not suit everyone, as the hand can feel a little restricted. However, the benefits of having a padded hand to support the gun in competition should not be underestimated! Indoor target shooters have used a glove for years, having realised the advantage of padding to reduce their pulse and help take the strain. Outdoor airgun competition shooters have slowly got

FOR

Great design with free fingers

AGAINST

Like all target gloves, can still be irritating to 33 - A C wear GUNS_WHAT GUN ADS 15/09/2017 14:28 Page 1

VERDICT

Great value and nicely made

AC GUNS NIGHT STALKER

FULL KIT PRICE RRP £250.00

KIT CONTAINS: MAIN CAMERA UNIT CAMERA/SCOPE ATTACHMENT BRACKET 2x CLAMPS LIPO BATTERY PACK (UK CHARGER) 4.3" MONITOR T50 LR VARIABLE ZOOM TORCH 1x 18650 3.7v BATTERY 1x 18650 CHARGER 1x CARRY CASE

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the message, and so target gloves are now common at FT and HFT events. This latest design from Sure-shot Airguns has the thumb and two fingers exposed, which means it’s ideal for FT shooting, where the competitor needs to be able to feel the parallax wheel as it turns, in order to accurately range-find. An added bonus is that air gets to the hand too, so it’s the best of both worlds. The gloves are made from 80% Amara leather and 20% artificial, and with a super grippy rubber compound covering external surface/ contact points, function and comfort is at a premium. The new FT Target Glove is available as part of a range, either from Sureshot Airguns directly, or from one of their dealers.

{ } TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS FT Target Glove z RRP: £27.50 z Colours: Blue/Grey, Olive Green/Grey and Red/Grey z Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL and XXL for left or right hand z Full finger and half finger versions are also available at £27.50 and £22.50 respectively. z Contact Sureshot Airguns, 01284 850941 www.sureshot-airguns.co.uk

SPECIFICATION: IDENTIFICATION RANGE / 10-200 YARD USABLE CALIBRE / AIR RIFLE / .22LR / .17HMR LR FREQUENCY RANGE / 850nm LR TORCH / T50 (VARIABLE ZOOM LENS) DISPLAY SCREEN SIZE 4.3

EMBRACE THE DARKNESS

Call today to order yours WITHOUT NIGHT STALKER

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

WITH NIGHT STALKER

MANUFACTURED BY: AC GUNS LTD HASTINGS, EAST SUSSEX TN37 7PP CONTACT DETAILS: 01424 752261 www.acguns.co.uk

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FT TARGET GLOVE CONTACT:


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AIRGUN | SCOPE TEST

BY & FOR! For! I

ncreased sophistication is everywhere in today’s airgun market place, and whilst it’s fair to say that downrange accuracy hasn’t dramatically improved over the last few decades, what has, is the level of refinement; not to mention the features and extras included. Of course it’s not just the guns that have benefited, and one look at the current crop of scopes available, shows just how far we’ve come.

Detail of elevation and side focus turrets, click values are ¼-MOA and elevation and windage lift to unlock

DEDICATED...

In a competitive market, it’s all about going that extra mile, and on test here is a scope from the brand new Aztec brand. It’s their Emerald 5.5-25x50 and first impressions when you open the attractive super padded box, is of a high quality product, beautifully presented. This model comes complete with a sunshade, 4” parallax side wheel, cleaning cloth, and elasticated lens covers. It will normally retail for £390, but there’s an introductory offer of £375; so, on the face of it, it looks competitive. The official marketing line is that this scope has been designed in the USA by airgunners for airgunners. Representatives from Airguns of Arizona went over to China with their own specification of what constituted an ideal airgun scope, and the Aztec is the result. The original spec apparently featured flip up lens covers but the elasticated ones supplied are fine.

PRACTICAL SPEC With the trend for ultra chunky, tactical-style turrets, I was surprised to hear the favourable feedback from distributors; Gilbert Distribution that shooters who had had a sneak preview were thankful for the relatively low style instead. It seems there could be a

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

kick back for common sense! Where FT shooters need large, easy dialling drums, to dial in the range for each target, there’s no such requirement for Hunter Field Target (HFT), since the main rule says we cannot adjust the scope for the duration of the match. The Aztec turrets are sizeable, but in proportion. So let’s just confirm the spec on offer here. For a start, we have variable magnification between 5.5x and 25x, which is versatile and a 30mm body tube. There’s a well marked reticle, in the 2nd focal plane. Turrets are the push pull variety- pull to unlock, adjust and then push down to lock. Click values are ¼-MOA. Windage and elevation are clearly and precisely marked up too, so adjustment and zeroing should be straight forward. The parallax drum is on the left of the saddle and if you want the 4” side wheel can be easily attached by three grub screws to extend the range markings, and in theory improve the accuracy. Markings start from 10yds, then 15,20,25,30, then 40, 50, 75, 100, 150, 300 and ∞.

RANGE REPORT The DYND1 reticle is impressive too, with a central floating dot, and four equidistant lines around. As an example of proportion,


SCOPE TEST | AIRGUN Mark Camoccio checks a new name in airgun optics that could be worth consideration

FOR

Well built, good spec

AGAINST

Not a lot

VERDICT

Overall a well made, versatile and well priced package Well worth a look

The Aztec has a minimum marked up range of 10 yards on the parallax drum, but I found this would actually come down to 8 yards which is handy. For the record, range markings over 20 yards came in around 5 yards less on the dial EG, 30 reads as 25 etc. Not a major problem, and fairly common. This will vary depending upon individual eyesight and conditions too.

Included is a useful 4” extension wheel for the parallax drum

USEABLE!

Aztec mounted on Brocock Bantam to give a size comparison

this central box was the perfect tool to bracket a 25mm kill when viewed at 8x at 25yds. It’s designed to offer ½-MOA values at 9x magnification, and 1-MOA at 18x, and this of course marries up nicely with the click values. Both are marked in red on the dial as a reminder. HFT is shot between 8 and 10x by the majority of competitors, and at this relatively low mag, most targets should appear reasonably clear!

The turrets are positive to open and close, and so are the clicks. The mechanism has the fairly common 60 clicks per revolution, and with 4.25 full revolutions on both windage and elevation, there’s plenty of adjustment range. I set parallax to just over 25 yards on the dial, and targets through the ranges were useably clear throughout. Having played around with usable magnifications 8-10x for HFT, and adjusting the parallax, I didn’t find the image differentiation that obviousas in blurring out at distance- a method used by some competitors these days, but clarity and the vibrancy of the image was marked. Edge to edge clarity with no aberrations is what we need, so perhaps a victim of its own quality! A pyramid of progressive windage dots is a nice touch, may be a little fine, but they all add to the wealth of reference points built in. That reticle is excellent, with bold enough stadia, yet precise in use- and the acid test- would I feel happy competing with it; most definitely!

Reticule pattern; lots of useful aiming marks, as can be seen

Red lines are marked on 9x and 18x denoting ½ and 1-MOA values; good idea!

CONCLUSION In short, I liked the Aztec. It feels well made, is nicely finished, and more importantly, it offers good glass for reasonable money, and an impressively clear, crisp image. It’s robust enough to be put on rimfire and centrefire rifles, and apparently one is currently being used comfortably on a Bushbuck .45 air rifle, which produces up to 600 ft/lbs; in the US, of course! Aztec Optics is planning another couple of models, but they’re in the pipeline and not expected for another 5-6 months. As for the spec on test here, it’s difficult not to be impressed; whether for hunting or HFT, especially with Aztec’s Lifetime warranty.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

The latest piece of airgun glass, the Aztec Emerald 5.5-25x50; from the box, it’s got the lot!

n Model Aztec Emerald 5.5-25x50 n Reticle DYND-1 n Weight 25.4oz n Length 14.4” n Click Values ¼ MOA n Clicks Per Rotation 60 n Number of 4.25 elevation Full Rotations and windage n Field of View 19.1-4.2ft@ 100yds n Eye Relief 3.94 -.54” n Body Tube 30mm n Min Focus 10yds n Turret Type Push/pull lockable tactical n RRP £375 introductory offer/ £390 normal RRP including lens caps, sunshade, sidewheel and cleaning cloth n Contact: Gilbert Distribution, 01953 860323 info@gilbertdistribution.co.uk

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AIRGUN | GUN TEST

BREAKING THE HABIT Pete Wadeson tests the latest Kral, multi-shot, Bullpup PCP with a truly tactical feel

I

t’s been just over a year since I tested the first PCP to be produced by Turkish gun manufacturer Kral Arms. That of course, as many know, is ‘The Puncher.’ A very nicely priced, multi-shot PCP that I’d certainly recommend people consider if looking to start on the pre-charged air rifle trail but without having to break the bank. Soon after, they unexpectedly followed up this release by launching the Puncher Pro. The promo blurb termed this rifle as the ‘deluxe’ version of its predecessor but if you saw my test of it, you’ll know it had little in common with the original, having a ‘modified’ action and a very well-designed and top

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quality Turkish walnut stock. Not content to have just the two models on offer, Kral have obviously noticed the airgun scene’s liking for Bullpup rifles, as they’ve launched what I feel will be very popular - The Breaker – and as you’d expect, is related heavily to the Puncher family.

THE T-WORD Quoted as having a synthetic tactical stock, the use of the ‘T’ word in relation to its overall appearance is in this case warranted, as it does have a more ‘military’ look than certain other Pups on the market. Obviously, it follows the standard Bullpup design of

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

having the magazine system at the rear behind the trigger/pistol grip, with the action doubling as the butt. But in this case, Kral have managed to configure the action and include a feature that really aids shooter comfort. Also, due to the design configuration, at the very rear of the butt section also ends in a generous full black rubber butt pad, allowing the rifle to come effortlessly, quickly and unhindered into the shoulder, enabling you to be on aim very quickly. I feel a ‘brief’ side-step here is needed to mention that the breech block stops short of reaching the very end of the gun, which


GUN TEST | AIRGUN There’s a spare magazine concealed inside the forend, which is a neat feature and useful too

The trigger is the 2-stage, adjustable Quattro unit and works well

HW100) and can be used for fitting a bipod. If unsure of doing any work on the gun - just ask Range-Right’s in-house gunsmith and he’ll fit one to order. Now, there’s a very nifty design feature built into the forend; this being a discreet spare magazine holder. As unique as it is useful, this hinged compartment is accessed by pressing a rubberised button positioned on either side at the front, which allows the end to drop open to reveal a holding bay for a spare magazine to be held very snugly and securely inside once closed.

MARINE VERSION

The butt section is relatively slim but deep, especially where the elongated thumbhole compliments the ergonomic pistol grip

gives it a more ultra-carbine feel! Plus, the addition of a raised, synthetic cover plate seen running alongside on the left and top, is a simple, yet highly effective cheekrest. Also, it can be adjusted laterally to suit your head position, by loosening a recessed hex head grub screw, to manually slide the ‘rest’ to the position you prefer.

NATURAL PROMOTION

DON’T TOUCH A few other features seen on the original are still evident on the action block! These being the rocker- style trigger safety lever found rear right and the serrated edged, brass dial (power adjuster) located at the front and configured to correspond to a small +/Vernier on the opposite side. Again, it only works on FAC-rated models, so keep it set to the highest, because even on 12ft lb legal limit guns it will have a small effect on reducing the power output – so don’t touch! A raised alloy scope rail is fitted for holding an optic of choice, it’s two attachment points from the rifle can clearly be seen to follow the contours of the air reservoir before disappearing past and below your ‘tank’, where they secure to the chassis. This secure and ideally positioned fitment doesn’t raise the scope too high

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s

The entire butt section is relatively slim but deep, especially where the elongated thumbhole compliments its ergonomic and steep pistol grip. Also, three broad and well-defined finger ridges combine with a

reasonable palm swell to give an assured hold. The forend is short (even for a Bullpup) but not to shooter detriment, as it naturally ‘promotes’ you to draw the rifle closer to your body, which made it one of the fastest handling and manageable Pups I’ve used. Its well-rounded underside also shows a good amount of depth, while centrally-positioned, lateral recessed finger grooves are found on either side for your leading hand, plus the underside has a generously sized stippled oval panel. The recessed threaded brass insert plug found centrally on the underside takes a sling swivel stud (as fitted to the Weihrauch

After much use, the overall stock design makes this one of the better Bullpups to use. Incidentally, there are actually four stock options, plus two further models that give you the choice to have all matt nickel finish metalwork - these are given the designation Marine and all prices and choices can be seen listed below in the relevant section. The slim air reservoir is set snugly into the stock and the end protrudes, so that you can access the fill point hidden under a rotating metal collar. A recommended fill charge of 200bar gives approximately 120-shots in .177. and 140 in .22 as per rifle on test. There’s also a forward-facing manometer/air gauge at the end for keeping track of your air status. The Breaker uses an action very like the Puncher, but the side-lever on the right of the block is shorter and sits neatly under the sliding cheek rest. It operates positively and runs a familiar, Perspex fronted, sprung auto-indexing magazine, as seen on the Puncher Pro. This functions precisely and is easy to load once removed from its housing. It has a unique, sprung inner rotor, because like its siblings, it holds 14-pellets in .177 and 12 in .22.


AIRGUN | GUN TEST The Kral Breaker MS PCP is a little gem, it’s light, well designed, handles and balances superbly and as accurate as some more expensive Pups!

The Breaker uses a side-lever action and runs a sprung, auto-indexing magazine. Capacity is 14 in .177 and 12 in .22, note the safety catch position

s

above the action; the top upper side having a lengthy run of Weaver rail. For test, I used a Richter Optik 3 – 9 x 50AOE in Weaverbased, 2-piece Sportsmatch mounts; once adjusted for correct eye-relief, it didn’t affect the rifle’s inherent handling characteristics in the slightest.

2-STAGE ADJUSTABLE The trigger unit is the now recognised Quattro design! This 2-stage, adjustable mechanism has certainly now established itself in the airgun industry, as it’s fitted to many springers and PCPs that come from certain overseas gun manufacturers. Those familiar with it will know it has an appropriate level of adjustment and breaks quite cleanly. The anodised blade is nicely curved and broad-fronted, so gives a sure feel for the pad of your forefinger to contact. The lengthy, semi-free-floating barrel comes with a cool looking, removable, muzzle weight that also protects the ½” UNF thread underneath, so fitting a can is simple. The tube is also well protected at the forward section by a solid barrel band. I used a compact sized silencer I had knocking around and there was no doubt this is a rifle that can easily be quietened to a mere whisper on discharge! After zeroing and getting used to the handling characteristics, taking freehand shots

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proved very enjoyable. The accuracy potential it displayed was impressive, soon showing its worth as it produced sub-¾” groups at 25 yards, which only expanded to 1” clusters as I pushed out to 35 – 40 yards. In a word; this would be a fine choice as a highly effective pest control tool in enclosed spaces, hide shooting or when shooting from a vehicle!

COME A LONG WAY Kral have certainly come a long way in the manufacture of air rifles (particularly PCPs) in a short space of time and due to the quality of the ones I’ve tested, I can only imagine there’ll be more interesting kit to follow. However, with three on the roster already, though all based on a similar action, they’ve cleverly managed to modify each model to cover all the bases and suit most tastes and usage. In that respect, the Kral Breaker MS PCP is a little gem; it’s light, well designed, handles and balances superbly and is as accurate as some Pups costing considerably more! I hope it doesn’t get over-looked, as although this sector of the market does seem to be slowing in the amount of new models being released, it’s up against some stiff competition. Some already now popular sellers and manufactured by well-established and

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

respected air rifle manufacturers. However, if you’re one who usually goes straight for top end brands, I recommend you try ‘breaking the habit’, because the Kral Breaker MS PCP Bullpup is a quality manufactured air rifle that’s well worth considering.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

n Name Kral Breaker n Type Side-lever action PCP n Multi-Shot n Stock Synthetic n Sights N n Scope mounting Weaver rail n Length 28.75” n Barrel 21” n Weight 7lbs un-scoped n Trigger 2-stage, adjustable n Safety Manual n Calibre .177 and .22 n Price £499 Synthetic inc 2x magazines, fill adaptor n Options £530 Turkish Walnut £560 Camo (Synthetic) £510 Army Green (Synthetic) £530 Turkish Walnut Marine (Nickel) £499 Synthetic Marine (Nickel) n Contact Range Right Ltd, 01423 881919 www.range-right.co.uk Accessories used on test Richter Optik 3 – 12 x 50AOE Scope – John Rothery (Wholesale) Co Ltd www.bisley-uk.com Sportsmatch Mounts - Sportsmatch UK 01525 381638 www.sportsmatch-uk.com


SS NOVEMBER 2017 Master_SHOOTING SPORTS 21/09/2017 16:08 Page 53

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AIRGUN | HFT DIARY

POWER PEOPLE

Mark Camoccio explains the new chronograph rules for national events, so keep it sub 12 ft/lbs guys!

TO THE

HFTY DIAR

Misfits staged a great practise range at the English Open

J

ust when we’ve got into the swing of things it seems, summer starts to slip away; and it really is hard to believe, that as I compile this report, we’re probably left with just a few key weeks to enjoy! OK; it’s all about having the right gear, and Hunter Field Target can obviously be enjoyed all year round, but the pleasure of being out, in a beautiful country location, bathed in

warm sunshine, whilst we navigate a target course, is for many of us, hard to beat. August has been particularly busy, and there’s been a host of events staged to keep us competitive types amused. Also of interest, is the new chronograph regime that’s being adopted at national competitions around the country- so I’ll cover that in a moment.

The tense shoot-off at Misfits

Sarah Pantling shot superbly, to take third overall at the English Open

ENGLISH OPEN, MISFITS, OAKHAM, RUTLAND, SPONSORED BY LEICESTERSHIRE AIRGUNS AND DAYSTATE

ENGLISH OPEN, MISFITS - RESULTS Open Class: z 1st Dave Hunter z 2nd Daz Taylor z 3rd Sarah Pantling Juniors: z 1st Megan Reed Veterans: z 1st Nick Yates Oddballs: z 1st Simon Howarth

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58ex60 57 57 54 54 51

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

The English Open hasn’t quite taken off as the high profile event that it could be, and remains a bit low-key. However, the Misfits gang are a great bunch, and with a lovely venue seeing a target course laid out over a hay field, and arcing around a pretty piece of woodland, it’s a hugely challenging and enjoyable competition. A stiff breeze in places had us all fretting over the swaying target up a tall pole, and others shot across water, and up into trees, kept everyone on their toes. Dave Hunter shot extremely well, finishing on a 58ex60, but Sarah Pantling drew large applause from the crowd, as she


HFT DIARY | AIRGUN secured 3rd place overall after a shoot-off, beating no less a tough nut than James McLachlan, one of the most ruthlessly efficient shooters on the circuit. Great shooting Sarah, and proof, if it were still needed, that HFT, truly is a sport where both sexes can compete on an equal footing.

UKAHFT NATIONAL ROUNDS 5 & 6- FURNISS MILL, KIDDERMINSTER, SHROPSHIREDay1 sponsored by Brocock Furniss Mill has to be one of the best venues in the country, with a network of fishing lakes, alongside a stunningly beautiful piece of woodland for the HFT courses. So with this as a backdrop, it was difficult not to enjoy a double header weekend of shooting action. Warm conditions, and just a gentle breeze, meant scores were always likely to be high, but Dave Ramshead, Jim Harney and Justin Grice, all finishing on 59’s was still brilliant shooting. Dave has long since given up being the bridesmaid, and stole another title here, to add to his recent haul, after a tense three-way shoot-off. Andy McLachlan walked away with a Brocock Compatto rifle in the raffle too, so he had a good day!

UKAHFT NATIONAL ROUNDS 5 & 6 - RESULTS Day1 sponsored by Brocock Day2 sponsored by MTC Optics Open Class: Open Class: z 1st Dave Ramshead 59ex60 z 1st Paul Kelly 58ex60 z 2nd Jim Harney 59 z 2nd Ian Clark 58 z 3rd Justin Grice 59 z 3rd Daz Taylor 58 Junior 9-13: Junior 9-13: z 1st Megan Reed 51 z 1st Megan Reed 54 Junior 14-16: Junior 14-16: z 1st Tom Willingham 57 z 1st Tom Willingham 58 Ladies: Ladies: z 1st Kathy Thompson 55 z 1st Michelle Parsons 54 Recoiling: Recoiling: z 1st Perry Broad 48 z 1st Gary Chillingworth 48 .22 Class: .22 Class: z 1st Edward Tandi 54 z 1st Simon Howarth 50 Veteran Veteran z 1st Ken Pothecary 55 z 1st Mike Burgess 56 Top Manufacturers Team: Steyr Top Manufacturers Team: Steyr Oakleaf Top Club Team: Top Club Team: M.A.D.

Shooting off that picturesque ridge at Furniss Mill

Day2 sponsored by MTC Optics I could only make the second day of this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the course, shooting off a high ridge, across a lake and up into trees; it was all here, and the quality of the course really was excellent. My 53 didn’t look too clever at the end, but with a usual strong first half, and a careless closing third, I wasn’t totally despondent- knowing what I’d missed, and how it could be worked on! Talk of the day was poor old Simon Vant, who had a clear round denied him, for apparently firing after the ceasefire had been called. Rules are rules as they say, but it still seemed harsh. Young Tom Willingham was perhaps star of the day, winning his Juniors class for the second day running, having posted a 57 and 58. Brilliant stuff, and he has to be a major threat next year, when he moves to Open class! All I can say is be afraid!

NEW CHRONO REGIME Regular HFT goers may have noticed the new chronograph regime now being implemented at national events. The new compact chronos feature a level line to line up the gun, and then competitor’s actual pellets are weighed, and a power calculation then made by the marshal, using that exact pellet weight. It seems a fair system, and seems to be working well. Each shooter is given a few shots in which to be below the legal limit of 12ft/lbs, but the best advice has to be to

The new chronograph regime works well Tom Willingham dominated his Junior class over the Furniss Mill weekend

aim to set your rifle to perform around 20 fps below your prescribed maximum velocity, with your given pellet. Shooters do actually get barred from the day’s shooting, so heed the warning! For pre-booking application forms and downloads regarding established UKAHFT events (where bookings are possible), and all the latest information on anything connected with Hunter Field Target shooting, take a look at the following websites: https://sites.google.com/site/ukahft/ and www.shooting-the-breeze.com https:// sites.google.com/site/whfta1/ In addition, details of HFT Masters events can be seen at www.hftmasters.com and www.whfto.com

2017 COMPETITION DATES REMAINING: 2017 UKAHFT National Series z R7 24th September Cambridge, Cambs z R8 14th October Emley Moor, Yorkshire z R9 15th October Emley Moor, Yorkshire HFT Masters Events 2017 30th Sep-1st Oct European HFT Championship 29th Oct MAD, Essex

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AIRGUN | FT BLOG

ComesTogether Simon Evans cleans up at the Mendips and he hasn’t done that for some time

I

t’s funny how things pan out. Plan ‘A’ this year, was to do as many of the 11 South West Field Target Association (SWEFTA) FT rounds as I could, and see how the national BFTA GP Series went; picking and choosing which GPs to attend. A badgecollecting first round GP result, meant my luck was in; I did all 7 of the GP Series and dropped a few SWEFTA rounds.

TOUGH COOKIE The GP series is the hardest FT competition in the world to win. Why? It’s eight rounds, and all 50-shot courses. That’s nearly three times what you have to shoot to win the World Championship! OK, only your best six Johnathan Noon with the future FT gun – let’s hope not!

rounds count, but that’s still twice what it takes to be World Champion, and in reality, you have to do all the rounds to give yourself a chance. The biggest thing however is your fellow competitors. The GP Series has the largest number of the world’s top 20 shooters competing, so you really are up against the best of the best, mainly from England and Wales. So who is the best? By some margin in FT terms, Welshman Jack Harris. He hit 379 targets over the eight rounds, 10 targets clear of runner-up, Neil Hague! That’s a pumping (not close) for all of us! It was also his third successive GP championship, and only Martin Hutchinson and Nick Jenkinson have done likewise, but that was over 15 years ago when the sport was different.

JACK’S GAME For me, Jack is the most accurate shooter there has ever been in FT! He just hits more targets than the rest! Still young in his early 20s, truth be told he could dominate the sport for the next 10-20 years! My money is on him for back-to-back World Championship wins, come September in Wales. Time I gave

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

BFTA GP SERIES 2017 TOP 10 n Jack Harris n Neil Hague n Reg Gallagher n Ian Taylor n James Osborne n Justin Wood n Dylan Varney n Simon Evans n Keith Gilyard n Mark Bassett

up anyway! I actually made the top 10 in the GP Series this year, 8th place! However, I only hit 350 targets, that’s an average of four less each round than Jack! Still, I can always remind him he has not won the Oaktree 60!

PLAN B The regional SWEFTA shoots are a more relaxed affair. SWEFTA is in the retirement area of the UK, stretching from Bristol down to Cornwall. It’s one of the reasons I have always enjoyed travelling down to the South


FT BLOG | AIRGUN GP Trophies up for grabs

West, a nice day’s shooting and I look young amongst most of my fellow FT shooters! SWEFTA courses are also a bit different; the region uses alternative BFTA course rules, so there’s some variation from the norm. Main differences are, there may be up to four targets per lane instead of two, (10 lanes equals less up and down for us oldies), and 25mm kills can be used for standing or kneeling to 20 yards, as well as 45 yards sitting. Tricky shots! It’s great to see a few youngsters coming through in the region this year however, none more so than my Air Arms team mate James ‘Chunk’ Head. Why Chunk? Well he is one, a real big lad. Reminds me of Hagrid, only without the beard! At 18 years old he is on the road to making AA grade soon, which when you take into account he takes his kneelers standing is a good show! A smashing young man that I had the pleasure of shooting with recently at Mendips FTC. I don’t normally like straight line courses, but Mendips is the best and trickiest straight I have shot! From lane 1 you head down a

The author- with a clear round at Mendips

“By half way, Ihwwains ds,tiallt clear. Not mucout of kill worst 20mm to read” but a tricky one steep-ish slope for the next 19 lanes taking on angled shots of varying sizes and ranges, keeps you thinking. Chunk and I started on lane 1, which were standers. On this occasion, I decided to ditch the ‘gimp’ coat for a less rigid and much lighter weight shooting jacket. As such, I started with a well-timed and to some degree lucky pair of shots! Indeed, about six lanes later I repeated the feat on the second and last lane of standers.

MAYBE.....JUST MAYBE.... By half way, I was still clear. Not much wind, at worst 20mm out of kill but a tricky one to

read, as to when you needed to come out or stay inside the kill zone? Another 10 targets down and I am now thinking to myself there is a chance I could clear this. I have cleared courses before in a practice session (which don’t count) and once at the easiest FT ground in the UK, Target FTC in Wales. That however left no feeling of achievement, as the course was too easy. Mendip’s targets 32 to 38 were long and tricky, it took all my skill to work out the shots, but when target 38 fell I knew it would not matter what the last two targets were, they were going down! Turns out target 39 (40mm kill) was about 50yards that needed edge of kill and Target 40 was indeed a 15mm mini, but at about 12 yards. Clearing the course felt great, the first time in the 15 or so years SWEFTA records have been kept that Mendips has been cleared, and only the second SWEFTA course in that time to be cleared. Really satisfying, and hopefully not the last!

Joanne Phipps - nice to see an Air Arms S400 still in use in today’s FT world. 2017 BFTA GP Champion, Jack Harris

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AIRGUN | AIRGUN HUNTER

Silent and

Andy Watkins takes us on a trip after dark for some covert hunting

Stealthy

The NightFox really was a great help on this hunt

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AIRGUN HIUNTER | AIRGUN

N

ight vision (NV) is one of the most useful tools for hunting and pest control. My first experience was with the Nite Site NS50. It was about two years ago when a friend loaned it to me, when he upgraded to the NS200. I soon got the hang of shooting with my head in an upright position and the rats on the chicken coup certainly didn’t like it. The only thing that I struggled with was range finding. It was next to impossible to gauge distance using the little screen. I carried on using this older unit for a few months until Nite Site kindly sent me the brand new Wolf R-Tek and rangefinder to test, which has made hunting at night so much easier.

All that gear adds a bit of weight to the normally feather light 200

LITTLE THINGS Over time, I have found little things that really help make a night shoot easier, more efficient and ultimately more successful. I was due to go and visit a local golf course with the NV; their greens were suffering, so I wanted to see if I could put a dent in the rabbit population. I had recently been focusing my efforts on daytime shooting, more trying to get the squirrels under control at the pheasant shoot ready for when the poults arrive. As I felt my ‘night game’ might be a little rusty, a few nights before I was due to visit the golf club, I drove down to the farm, just to get warmed up and to make sure all the gear was working as it should. I took my Air Arms S200, which is by far the cheapest rifle I have ever bought. Second hand I paid £225 and for that I dropped on one hell of a gun. The accuracy is astounding and possibly equals that of my Air Arms EV2. The only issue is that it is a single shot, so not ideal for fast fire action in the dark; I’ll trade that for superior accuracy at range any day of the week!

That hamster really is a great help

NIGHTFOX On test, I also had the NightFox 100v. This is said to be the cheapest infra-red spotting unit on the market. I was a little sceptical when opening the box, as the feel of the unit is very light and a bit ‘plasticy’ but for around £109, you do get a lot of tech for the money. The 3x magnification screen allowed me to spot rabbits with ease out to 100 yards. When trying to spot rabbits through a scope, there are a couple of draw backs. To start with, it is not as safe as using a separate spotting unit. I tend to spot with my scope but I am sure it’s not the best way. The same is true when out day time hunting.

Comfortable in my position, I prepare for a shot

Bino’s are always going to be the better option, even though it is just one more thing to be lugging around. Another advantage with having a spotting scope, compared to using the rifle scope, is the increased field of view! As I could see far more and had a much better idea of the lay of the land and even distances using the NightFox. Whist testing, I have been able to spot far more game than using the Nite Site Wolf alone. The Fox states that you can spot up to 100 yards with its integral infra-red illuminator set on full power and you can add an additional infra-red light source, if needed, to extend its capabilities. I managed to see over 300 yards with the Wolf illuminator.

PROS AND CONS

59

s

The NightFox is designed for two-handed use, as I would discover and sits nicely in the hands with all the buttons easily accessible and has a comfortable neoprene neck strap, for a first model its good! There are a few improvements I might suggest. I found the screen brightness too much, to the point of dazzling and a rheostat would be mandatory. Another thing I found to be more of a hindrance, was the welcome and goodbye screens. Each time it’s turned ON and OFF, a bright blue screen appears, which again is extremely bright and stays on for a few seconds and seems unnecessary! I did find I needed to take extra care when packing the unit in my bag, as it accidentally switched ON. A button lock or a press-andhold type might prevent having an unexpectedly premature flat battery. Other than those points, it’s a real help and I look forward to many more shoots using it. I headed to the farm to try out my set up and see if I was ready to take the rabbits head-on at the golf course. When I arrived, I took the spotter and had a quick look around to see if there was any movement out in the field. I could just make out some black dots in the distance, right on the usable range of the unit without an additional light source. Knowing that they were well out of range for


AIRGUN | AIRGUN HUNTER s The sling allowed me to keep both hands free

the air gun, I parked the car and continued on foot with the rifle and Nite Site in one hand and the Night Fox in the other.

and I had organised my brother to accompany me and take charge of photography. So re-scheduling was not ideal should anything crop up; like a completely still night with a full moon and no cloud cover. We arrived at approximately 11pm and I could tell that we were going to be fighting an uphill battle. There were plenty of rabbits but they were a long way away and they didn’t give us much chance to go get within even 100 yards. Even though we walked for miles, stalking in on the hedgerows, trying to hide in the shadows that were cast from the moon, we had little success. I was satisfied with the upgrades and improvements made to the S200, even though we didn’t have a lot of chance to try them out on the rabbits. The hamster was fantastic and very easy to use in the standing or kneeling position. The added height really allowed for a more solid shot. It will be no surprise for you to learn that the sling also was an essential addition. We were doing a lot of walking and not a lot of shooting and my arms would have been truly dead by the time the night

was up without it. Finally, the Javelin bi-pod. I did not need to use it on this occasion for shooting off, but when it came to take a rest, it was nice to have the option to drop the gun down, rather than it being wet, lying on its side or propped against a tree with the potential to fall. In the end, we had a couple of rabbits. This won’t be remembered for the numbers but won’t be forgotten either, because we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The unfortunate two were taken with clean head shot with the .177 S200; what a nice rifle! I am looking forward to going out on a cloud covered night with a little more wind to mask our approach. We called it a night at 4am – starving! The sky had firmly established its blueness, so we hunted down breakfast and bagged a Big Mac and fries each on the way home!

CONTACTS: Nite Site R-TEK Wolf; www.nitesite.com Javelin bipods – RUAG Ammotec UK Ltd; www.ruag.co.uk NightFox; www.laserware.co.uk

DOUBLE HANDER I soon realised that the spotter was not designed for one handed use, the buttons are located in such a way that it is impossible to effectively use single handed. I knew that a sling needed to be fitted to the rifle before the next trip out to free up both hands for spotting (which was exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to find out from this trip.) I struggled along and soon came across a rabbit sat in the field just off the track. It was bang on 25 yards. Prone would be ideal as this is far more steady than standing but I didn’t have a bi pod fitted, so standing was the best option. Lining up the shot I had another thought. Because the Wolf’s screen is positioned above the scope, it would be far easier for me to have a hamster attached to the bottom of the gun. This would raise the rifle and be more comfortable if a stander was needed. I remembered a spare one I had at home and decided to give it a try before the next shoot. Feeling solid enough, I took the shot. The bunny rolled over as the pellet struck in the sweet spot, behind the eye and under the ear. I walked to retrieve it and it was stone dead. It was fully grown, strong and healthy. Having felt I had learned all I needed to, I went home and began to get the bits and pieces together I needed to make the ideal night rig for me.

HANDICAP The time came to visit the golf course. It had been pre-booked with the green keeper

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

Two in the bag, could be worse!


SS NOVEMBER 2017 Master_SHOOTING SPORTS 21/09/2017 16:08 Page 61

1 YEAR WARRANTY

OFFICIAL UK IMPORTER 1977-2017

QUALITY THAT SPANS GENERATIONS

SS11.17/38/r

OFFICIAL UK IMPORTER 1977-2017

HW95K

HW99S

• • • • •

• REKORD TRIGGER • AMIBIDEXTROUS STOCK • TUNNEL FORESIGHT AND MULTI ADJUSTABLE REAR SIGHT • EXCEPTIONAL VALUE FOR MONEY

HIGH EFFICIENCY SILENCER MUZZLE BREAK OPTION REKORD TRIGGER LIGHTWEIGHT ACTION AMBIDEXTROUS STOCK

www.hullcartridge.co.uk ALL SCOPES, MOUNTS AND SLINGS NOT INCLUDED


AIRGUN | GUN TEST

HEAVY HITTER RACKNLOAD takes a look at the FAC-rated Hatsan NOVA!

Hey you’re just a big AT44? But in FAC-rated .25” calibre it’s pushing those pellets at 46 ft/lbs; sweet!

H

atsan really do come out with some very interesting guns, I’ve always said it, and the Nova is certainly no exception! Especially this one that is in .25 calibre and running at a huge 46 ft/lbs! As If the .25 calibre wasn’t pokey enough, even in a sub 12 ft/lb air rifle, although it throws a rainbow-like trajectory due to the power to weight ratio; but, in a hi power (FAC-rated) rifle, it certainly comes into its own. Now, for the record, I was using H&N Field Target Trophy 19.91-grain and out of this rifle they are like anvils going down range! Serious

The Nova’s pressure gauge located under the forend; better than looking down the muzzle to check the fill!

FOR

Serious knock down power, huge shot count, good price

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hitting power! My test range was 50 yards and I was getting around 1.5” groups most of the time, sometimes sub-1”. So, accuracy is not that bad, considering that it’s a .25 heavy hitter. And what I think is great is the immense shot count from that 500cc buddy bottle at full power, a huge 88 in fact!

UP CLOSE TO THE MONSTER Let’s take a closer look at this monster then? Now, it’s not the smallest of rifles and certainly not the lightest weighing in at 9.7 lbs! Total length is 49”, with a barrel length of 23”. The Turkish walnut stock is ambidextrous and has some nice chequering on the pistol grip and the forend. The cheek piece is comfortable and a nice height for good scope acquisition. I particularly like the pistol grip and the way Hatsan have taken a round hole out of the stock at the rear where it meets the meat of the butt. It looks somewhat different but I like it!

AGAINST

It’s flipping heavy man!

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

VERDICT

A great robust hunting PCP and reliable work horse that won’t break the bank.

As for the forend, it’s plentiful and like I mentioned, has good grippy chequering on either side. But me being me, I always like to look for weak points on wooden stocks, especially buddy bottle types. I did notice a slight difference in the thickness of the wood either side of where the bottle is attached to the action, but with it being a hard wood, I don’t think there would be any real weakness issues! While I mention the forend, there’s a handy couple of inches of polymer Picatinny rail underneath for throwing on a bipod. The butt pad is rubberised and is adjustable via an Allen screw. An added bonus with the stock is that it comes ready fitted with sling swivels, so no need to have to get the drill out when you get it home!

MIDLAND PAW FRIENDLY I have to mention that it is full left hand friendly too (just to annoy the editor!) Moving on to the action, the Nova is basically an AT44 with a buddy bottle and a better stock. The same loading system is utilised and it works well. It’s a side-lever cocking affair with user-friendly rotary magazines. Very easy to use and load simply by pushing and seating the pellets in place. No awkward cassette-style system to


GUN TEST | AIRGUN Now that’s a big buddy bottle, but it gives 80, full power shots in .25 calibre

try and figure out! They are made from aluminium and have rubber O-rings to hold the pellets in place. The .25 mags can hold nine pellets, whereas the .177 and .22s take ten. To load open the action and leave it rearwards. By the way, the side-lever is smooth to operate with no wobble! Forward of the magazine well, there’s a spring-loaded bolt (mag catch). Push this forward and lock it in place. Insert the magazine in to the well and then release the catch and the bolt will lock the mag in place. It’s then just a case of closing the action and that’s it, well, apart from the automatic safety catch. I’m not really a fan of auto safety catches, as for each shot you have to stop and release it, which seems at odds with a multi-shot PCP like this. But this one can be quickly and easily released and its operation is fairly quiet. It is located at the top of the pistol grip and is in easy reach of your thumb. When it is disengaged, there are nice big red markers either side that clearly shows you that the rifle is hot.

DUAL DOVES Moving forward to the scope rail, the Nova has a dual dovetail, with a narrower 11mm integral with a lower Weaver-type width. If there is one thing that I do like when it comes to features, it’s versatility. And with one of these rails, you don’t need to worry

about what mounts your scope is wearing as can be appreciated, which can be seen from the pictures. As it happens, I scoped up with the more traditional airgun 11mm. The rest of the action is fairly chunky, I think it’s a Hatsan thing, but it looks good. Aircraft aluminium is used to keep things as light as possible and it needs to be kept light with this being a buddy bottled rifle. Pity it’s not one of those carbon fibre jobbies! But that said, I can put up with that bit of extra weight, knowing that I have 80 full-power shots at my disposal! The filler port is located at the rear of the barrel and is very subtle, because at first it’s hard to find. It has a plastic probe permanently in it to prevent dust getting in. The manometer is underneath the forend and is nice and clear, so you can easily keep an eye on roughly how many shots you have left. And like I

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

n Name n Type n Calibre n Action n Safety n Barrel n Length n Weight n Stock n Price n Contact

The side-lever feels good with no wobble and proved smooth in operation

Hatsan Nova PCP multi shot FAC rated .177, .22 & .25 (on test) Side lever Automatic (tang-mounted) 23” 49” 9.7 lbs Turkish walnut ambidextrous £595 Edgar Brothers www.edgarbrothers.com

Magazine inserted, forward is the sprung mag catch and note the double width 11mm/Weaver dovetail base

said, those shots hit the mark too, out of the fully shrouded barrel. The barrel is threaded with a ½” UNF thread and if you are a hunter, which no doubt you are looking at this FAC-rated PCP rifle, you will definitely need a moderator as it is a little noisy. But if not, that heavy duty knurled thread protector is nice looking left in place.

GREAT PERFORMER So, the Hatsan Nova is definitely a heavyhitter in the FAC-rated .25 format and has an amazing shot count for a 46 ft/lb PCP. The other calibres boast high shot counts too, with the 177 equalling 120 @ 29 ft/lbs and the .22 giving you 96 @ 39.5 ft/lbs. So, if you can put up with the weight out in the field, then it’s a win. So, all in all, the Nova is a great performer and looks quite elegant compared to most Hatsans with its great looking Turkish walnut stock. Yeah, it’s a little tractor-like, but it’s a tough work horse and I think the hunters amongst you will love it. Safe shooting! Rack.

The filling point is located at the front of the action and uses a nylon blanking plug to keep it debris-free

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AIRGUN | GETTING KITTED OUT FOR… DECOYING WOOD PIGEON

TOP 10 I C OY K

T

DE

With crops, already, or very soon to be harvested, Pete Wadeson advises on kit to help you target woodies that come to feed on the cut stubble fields…

S

hotgunners will now be out in full force, but airgun hunters can also grab a piece of the action, using the same decoying methods to attract woodies within range. Obviously, you need to build a suitable hide within range of an established flight line and feeding area. I also advise using a quality PCP air rifle

£97.90

BACKPACK

with silencer and certainly recommend using full camo wear, including covering the hands and face, so that nothing can ‘catch’ the eye of these very wary birds once they land amongst your decoy pattern. With that said - the following is a selection of peripheral kit that you’ll find very useful to have!

With enough room for all the kit you need and for carrying quarry off the field, Napier’s Advantage Timber Ranger 4 is a great option. Manufactured from soft, silent, and tough HUSHTEX™, it has a 60L carrying capacity accommodated for by two main compartments, a 15L zipped base with a 45L main compartment above. In addition, there’re two large side pockets, a top flap pocket and one smaller front one. These all have a heavy-duty zipped closure and add a further 13L bringing the total up to 73L. The main compartment has a double drawstring closure and secures externally with two adjustable straps with snap buckles. There are several accessory straps for attaching larger items. Due to the size - it doesn’t use the moulded rubber base as other Ranger models. It does however have a pair of well-padded shoulder straps, adjustable lumber panel, waistband and sternum straps. All fasten securely with QD buckles. Even when fully loaded, it sits high on the back and the padding and lumber support take the weight off the lower back, therefore making walking easier and you don’t over-burdened! Name: Ranger 4 Advantage Timber Big enough for all your deeks £97.90 and kit, Napier’s 73 litre Ranger www.napieruk.com 4 Advantage Timber

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FOOTWEAR

Walking to your shooting position will invariably mean you’ll cross over a wide variety of terrain, so correct footwear is important and the Ridgeline Warrior EXP Hunting Boot is a winning candidate. Manufactured from full-grain waxed leather treated to a waterproof outer, this high leg design has a Hydro Guard membrane and a generous Thinsulate insulating liner. All metal lace retainers are weather resistant and shows four sets of fixed, hinged eyelets with four pairs of speed hooks above. There’s also a ‘lace guide hasp’ set approximately half way up the generously padded tongue. A feature of the hinged eyelets is to allow the boot to articulate inwards and outwards, so when they are tightened they help draw the boot more securely and evenly around the instep and sides of the foot and gives extra flex for comfort. The rugged build transfers down to the thick and deep cut outer sole


GETTING KITTED OUT FOR… DECOYING WOOD PIGEON | AIRGUN

CAMO WEAR

Although the pattern of your hide netting should suit the backdrop it’s built against, many hunters prefer to wear camo clothing suited to the stubble fields when shooting over decoys. A pattern ideal for this is Jack Pyke Wildlands. It’s best described as a being a blend of ochre, fawn and even off white colours incorporated with a leaf and bulrush stem patterning. My favoured set-up would be the Hunters Jacket and Trousers, and Stealth Baseball Cap – not forgetting to add a full faceveil and gloves of choice for a complete cover up. Jacket and Trousers are manufactured from Stealth Fabric, which is breathable, waterproof and silent. The outershell is 100% Polyester brushed tricot with a laminated membrane. The lining is 100% Polyester with brushed mesh and taffeta. The jacket features a full-length, double zip opening with storm flap, concealed hood in the high storm collar, pockets consists of; two lower front bellows with cartridge holders, two hand warmers, 1

which also shows a full rubber rand. This gives extra protection at the toe and heel – just above this is a ‘flex panel’ for wearer comfort. The aggressive cleat of the rubber, composite, Hyper Grip outsole gives a high degree of traction on a variety of terrain and is easy to clean! Ridgeline Warrior EXP Hunting Boot £189.99 Sizes 6 – 13 UK (Whole Sizes Only). W: www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk

99 . 9 8 1 £

A decent pair of boots is always good and Ridgeline’s Warrior EXPs fit the bill!

internal chest and a fold down seat flap at the rear. The cuffs have elasticated weather shrouds inside the Velcro adjustable fasteners. The over-trousers have a reinforced, wide elasticated waist band with inner draw cord and toggle adjuster. There are two upper pockets with weather flaps, two more on the sides with flaps and press stud fastening. 14” leg zips allow you to easily slip into them without removing boots. Velcro adjusters allow you to cinch them at the ankle they’re reinforced at the seat and knee. Jack Pyke Hunters Jacket and Trousers, and Stealth Baseball Cap (Wildlands camo) SRP: Jacket £89.95, Trousers £64.95, Cap £9.95 (Sizes S – XXXL.) W: www.jackpyke.co.uk

5 £89.9

Suits you; the Jack Pyke Wildlands camo is well-suited to shooting over stubbles

HIDESEAT

While the shotgunner often has to stand to take shots at birds on the wing, the airgun hunter can sit comfortably as they wait for a bird to land. Therefore, an easy to transport shooting chair with a backrest is a much better option over the traditional style pigeon shooters ‘bucket-seat.’ Quake’s Stag All Terrain Seat (ATS) is manufactured from toughened ABS and weighs approximately 2.9 kg. It cleverly packs down forming an easy to carry package, as the backrest folds in and the four telescopic legs slide into the base. To assemble the ATS, you first detach the ‘sprungclip’ attachments at the top of the legs, which enable them to be slid out of their storage channels, then slotted into four integrated brackets, using the same ‘sprung-clips’ to hold them securely in place. The back-rest simply ‘folds-out’ and the legs adjust from 16 to 23 ½” giving a comfortable sitting position and compensating for uneven ground. The seat has a padded cushion and comprises of a lower and an upper disk with a silent swivel bearing in between, so you can turn noiselessly in any direction - the back rest is attached to the upper, so turns with you. Quake’s Stag All Terrain Seat Keep comfortable and SRP: £80 incl carry bag effective in the hide Contact: www.ruag.co.uk with the Stag ATS

£80

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AIRGUN | GETTING KITTED OUT FOR… DECOYING WOOD PIGEON

Always useful and Leatherman’s SuperTool 300 is one of the best!

5 £89.9

Short and sweet; MTC’s Viper C Connect, but see if you like the eye relief first!

£287

MULTI-TOOL

A multi-tool is always a useful piece of kit to have, especially a fully featured model, as you’ll often need to cut back undergrowth and the like while preparing your shooting position. The all-stainless, Leatherman SuperTool 300 weighs 272-grams and measures 11.5cm in the closed position. All ‘extensional’ tools are held on the inside of the handles meaning you have to open the ‘300’ to access them. This is no hardship, as once a tool is deployed, you close the tool back up and you have a very chunky pair of handles to hold. In plier mode, you have needlenose, regular pliers, replaceable hard wire cutters, electrical crimper and stranded wire stripper. The other tools are an 8cm, fine edge, clip point and serrated edge knife blades, wood/metal file, small, medium and large slot head screwdrivers, medium size Phillips head screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener, large awl (with thread loop), wood saw and a lanyard hole attachment point. All tools have thumb nicks or lugs for ease of deployment and it carries the Leatherman 25-year warranty and comes with a black ballistic nylon molle pouch. There’s also a Black Oxide finish model available. Leatherman SuperTool 300 £89.95p Stainless, £103.95 Black Oxide Finish www.whitbyandco.co.uk

RECOMMENDED SCOPE

For this sort of work you’ll welcome a compact scope that offers a wide field of view because you’ll need to quickly find the bird in your sights when it’s landed. The best by far is the MTC Optics Viper X Connect 3 – 12 X 32 famous for its amazingly wide field of view - approximately double that of a ‘standard’ optic set on 10x magnification. At 287mm long with a 30mm body tube, it features side parallax, low profile ¼” MOA cover capped turret adjusters, 12-level rheostat control, fast focus ocular with detachable rubber eye-piece extender plus an integral cap for the objective lens. Image quality is superb, and is available with either MTC’s multi-aim-point AMD (Advanced Mil-Dot) reticle or the SCB2 (Small Calibre Ballistic). Its nitrogen-purged, water, fog and shockproof. Hardly surprising with so many useful and unique features that it’s quickly become one of the most popular optics for close to medium range airgun hunting. The only downside is your eye is right on the rear of the focus ring, which might not suit you! MTC offers another version - the 3 – 12 X 24 SL. Which offers a smaller, 24mm objective, so giving a slimmer line (SL). MTC Viper X Connect 3 – 12 X 32 SRP: £287 for either model W: www.mtcoptics.com

SPECIAL MOUNT £34 If you want one of those then you’ll need one of these; the MTC ConnectaMount is essential for their Viper X Connect

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

Due to the saddle and rheostat control being ‘crammed’ onto the MTC X Connect’s short body tube, plus the optic having to be set on the rifle for ‘zero’ eye-relief; can cause mounting problems. However, there’s a dedicated mount designed for it called ‘ConnectaMount.’ Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminium, the black anodised one-piece design has a double screw front and single strap rear ring. The top cradle of the front double screw mount has a 30mm long run of Weaver/Picattiny style mount rail allowing you to fit a gun light or laser. MTC ConnectaMount SRP: £34 W: www.mtcoptics.com


GETTING KITTED OUT FOR… DECOYING WOOD PIGEON | AIRGUN

You can’t beat an insulated food/drink container in the hide; Stanley offers a good selection

9 £26.9

THERMOS FLASKS & MUGS It goes without saying that a hot (or cold) drink and food are necessities for any hunter in the field. Stanley offers a range of insulated flasks, food jars and insulated mugs. Flasks are available in 0.47L, 0.74L, 1L and 1.3L – the larger two having foldaway handles, while the smaller pair does not. For foods such as soup or chilli you can use their 0.5L Classic Food Jar. All are manufactured using 18/8 rustproof (BPA free) stainless steel, with a green hammered tough finish. Contents are kept hot or cold for 24hrs, while the Food Jar is capable of keeping suitable food items hot for 12hrs. Their Classic One Hand Vacuum Mugs can be

used one-handed; squeeze a button in the lid to open the mouthpiece, to allow liquid to flow through the top. Releasing it seals it again keeping your beverage and its temperature sealed inside. There are two sizes - 0.35L keeping liquids hot for 4 hours and cold for 20, while the 0.47L mug will keep drinks hot for 6 hours and cold for 24 hours. Stanley insulated containers Flasks £26.99, £29.99, 31.99 & 36.99 respectively Classic Food Jar £26.99 One Hand Vacuum Mugs £24.99 & 29.99 respectively www.bisley-uk.com

5 £30.9

PA LEVER

Anything that enables faster access to adjust the ‘side-focus’ dial of an optic is a very useful asset in any type of hunting scenario. This is where ‘retro-fit’ specialists Rowan Engineering Ltd.’s dedicated PA Lever comes into play. CNC machined using 6082 grade Aluminium it ‘slips’ straight onto the outer edge of the side-focus turret and secures with two, recessed hex head grub screws. The handle extends

Every little helps, Rowan’s PA levers allow easier operation of the side focus turret!

approximately 30mm out from the turret offering easy-operation, plus it also doesn’t hinder removal or replacement of the magazine system on any multi-shot PCP. Rowan produces similar levers to fit other specific models of MTC, Hawke

9 £11.9

Whatever guns and gear you choose, you’ll need a quality pellet and Webley’s Accupell fits the bill!

Sports Optics and Nikko Stirling models. Available in natural or black anodised aluminium. Rowan PA lever SRP: £30.95 and £31.95 respectively www.rowanengineering.com

AMMO

A pellet with a real pedigree for accuracy is needed for this type of hunting and at the top of many airgunner’s list should be the Webley Accupell. A classic domed (roundhead) design it’s available in the two major calibres of .177 and .22. The former weighing 7.9-grains, while the latter being 14.3-grains. A very accurate pellet, it flies true and hits hard at the target. Both are available in strong screw-top tins of 500. Webley Accupells .177 - £11.99, .22 - £14.99 www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk

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ULTIMATE FIREARMS | GUN TEST

Pete Moore checks out the latest ‘must have’ rifle from Bergara, the unusually named HMR!

VT Split personality; Bergara’s new B14 Hunter Match Rifle, it’s got the moves to shoot deer and targets

FOR

Well designed and a shooter from the box Quality adjustable stock

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SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

AGAINST

Might be too heavy for some hunters No 10-round mag

VERDICT

A great deal at the price Great shooting potential


GUN TEST | FIREARMS

I

’ve said this before; but now and again a rifle comes along that really impresses in terms of performance, and even sometimes, looks. For me, the last one was Mauser’s M12 Impact, a tad short in the barrel for my tastes, but accuracy potential was amazing, plus I do like this model regardless! But, let’s now turn our attention to the Spanish firm of Bergara; initially, in the UK, best known for their barrels. But, it was not long before they started offering rifles; the first being the BX11 switch barrel, which shot well but I found it a bit heavy and bulky and is now discontinued!

THE B14 About three years ago, they re-launched with the B14 series, very much Remington 700s but with subtle improvements that still used the same footprint; so, accessories, such as box mag systems and scope mounts, were common and readily available. Hand on heart, currently if given the choice between a comparable Remy 700 or B14 I would pick the latter! The B14 range offers three models - Sporter, Sporter Varmint and Hunter; same action, just different stock material and barrel options. This year, in the UK, Bergara launched two new guns in the B14 series; the HMR (Hunting & Match Rifle) and the BMP (Bergara Match Precision). Confusing initials, as the HMR is best known as Hornady’s 17 calibre Magnum Rimfire and a BMP is the Russian Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty - infantry fighting vehicle; but I digress! What really sets the HMR and BMP apart from the rest of the B14 family, is their configuration and roles. The HMR is what the Americans would term as a VT (varmint target), mating a standard action with a medium barrel and heavier stock that can be used for target work and also double as a hunting or varmint gun given the calibre. The BMP addresses the growing interest in chassis system rifles. Envisaged more for precision shooting, they use a fully adjustable, aluminium stock that gives 100% rigidity with a true free-floating longer/heavier barrel. Combined with a decent trigger and normally a box magazine system, they offer an off-the-shelf solution that you could only get before from a custom build.

6.5 Creedmoor, 1-8” twist, 24” barrel and in 308 Win you get the choice of 20 and 24” tubes in 1-10” twist. All barrels have an O/D of 21.2mm and are threaded 18x1mm. As more hunter than target shooter, I prefer the HMR with its quality moulded stock, with what Bergara calls a ‘mini chassis’, which is an integral, aluminium bedding block that the barrelled action bolts to. The action void is precisely finished and pleasingly the B14 action uses a fixed (Remy 700 style) recoil lug. I was surprised the action was not also synthetically bedded, which is something I would do as a matter of course!

NICE FURNITURE The stock is a good compromise between the HMR’s stated abilities and good looking too! The colour is brown with a black, splatter pattern over the top that also gives a deal of grip. There are also cast-in textured panels on the grip and forend too. The butt is under-cut

Love that butt with fully adjustable comb and LOP, which is spacer controlled, note the flushcup QD swivel socket

to form a rear grasping hook, which is excellent for prone shooting and the pistol grip is near vertical and fills the hand nicely. A height-adjustable comb is controlled by a simple thumb lever on the right side and length of pull (LOP) is by three, removable spacers and a thick recoil pad. Maximum LOP is 14.5”, so more than enough! The forend is medium width and seriously rigid, as it has a central strengthening bar and freefloats the barrel too. Bergara have done a

The stock is beautifully rigid and offers a full free-float of the barrel

BOTH

Bolt detail, it all looks a bit familiar but works very well, especially that extended handle

s

I was sent both rifles by importers RUAG AmmoTec UK Ltd and this month the HMR is in the slot. However, my new Editorial Assistant, Ed Jackson, who is also a keen rifleman, took one look at the BMP and immediately bought it in 6.5 Creedmoor. So, you can expect a full review pretty soon once he has got his head around it. But just to whet your appetite, here’s the spec’s: BMP -

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Looks good, feels good, shoots good; not bad with some change from £1150

s

good job here, as the tube sits dead centre in the channel, with no metal touching anything. Three QD sling studs are fitted; one under the butt and two up front, plus four, flush cup/sockets for QD swivels (two either side) at front of forend and rear of butt. Overall, this is a very nice piece of furniture and eminently shootable!

Moulded into each stock is Bergara’s aluminium ‘Mini Chassis’

just a matter of finding something it really likes, which has never been a problem.

CONSISTENT ES

PROVEN RECIPE In essence, the action is a copy of the Remy 700 with a twin lug, coned bolt that uses a Sako-style extractor and spring/plunger ejector. This last means no matter how slow or fast you cycle the action, ejection is positive. The bolt lever is extended with a large handle, which makes for some very slick manipulation! The trigger mech looks very 700 too and though set for a quoted 3 lbs is adjustable much like a Remy is. The blade is mid-width and well curved and comfortable on the finger. The safety is a 2-position rolling lever, rear right of the receiver and pushes forward to FIRE and reverse for SAFE. With the safety on, bolt operation is still possible and its position means little disturbance to the firing hand. Feed is from a polymer, 5-shot magazine, which is an in-house design and also AICS (Accuracy International Chassis System) compatible! For its range role, the option of a 10-shot version would be good, but as of yet, no sign! The release catch is a big, pushforward ambi lever at the front of the trigger guard and the clip falls free easily. Finally, and unsurprisingly, the receiver bridges are cut for 700 mounts, I fitted a set of Burris swing-offs. Barrel and calibre choice in the HMR goes to a 22” 6.5 Creedmoor (1-8” twist and 19mm O/D) and two 308 Winchesters, both 1-10” twist, a 20” also 19mm O/D and a heavy 24” (21.2mm O/D).

Box mag hold 5-rounds and feed is 100%

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The trigger comes from the box set at a pleasing 3 lbs, but it looks to be easily adjustable and is probably a Remy 700 clone

The latter is threaded 18x1mm and the two formers 15x1mm. My tester was the 20” 308, which size to weight and calibre-wise will pretty much do anything!

MOST PLEASING The overall feel of the HMR was most pleasing and to say it feels just right would be an understatement! It’s one of those rifles you wish you had, as I was comparing it to some of my favourites and it was hard to fault! Plus, as we shall see, the price is highly competitive; frankly, you are getting a lot of gun for not a lot of money! Along with the HMR, RUAG also sent a GECO Gold 2-15x50i scope, which showed good optics and quality. Ammunition went to Norma 170-grain TipStrike (ballistic tip), RWS 165-grain HIT non-lead BT and GECO 170-grain soft tip. Supported, off a bench, the HMR was shooting an average of 1” with all loads, including the non-lead RWS HIT. I feel sure it could do better with reloads, as my pet load of a 168-grain ballistic tip over 44-grains of Vit N140 would shoot ½” in my old Remy 700 Light Sporting Rifle. But saying that, an inch is still respectable and like any gun, it’s

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

Though the 308 Winchester is always a snappy cartridge, the weight of the HMR at 9lbs went some way to soaking it up. Bolt operation and general feed was 100% and the ejection port is big enough for easy single loading and unloading too. The maximum LOP from the box was fine for me, but it’s the work of minutes to take off some of the spacers to suit shooters with shorter arms! Though makes of ammo will show different speeds, I did note a common theme in relation to the extreme velocity spread (ES) over the three loads. The 165-grain RWS HIT averaged at 2641 fps with an ES of 27 fps, the Norma 170-grain Tip Strike did 2612 fps and an ES of 24 fps, finally the GECO 170-grain SP produced 2511 fps and 29 fps ES. So, just 5 fps difference, which must be down to barrel quality, which is the only common denominator! Well, that’s my theory! I have no beef at all with the B14 HMR, as it’s a super rifle with great accuracy potential. However, the dual role nature of the build makes it significantly heavier than a sporter, which might not suit some hunters. Conversely, if it’s more target you are doing, the heavier 24” 308 Win might be the better choice.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

n Name Bergara B14 HMR n Calibre 308 Win (on test) n Capacity 5-rounds (DM) n Barrel 20” medium width (19mm) on test n Twist rate for 308 Win 1-10” n Weight 9lbs n Stock LOP and comb height adjustable n Extended bolt handle (Inc VAT) £1127 n Prices Spare magazine £57 RUAG Ammotec UK LTD, n Contact +44 (0)1579 362319 www.bergararifles.com


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FIREARMS | SCOPE TEST

Pete Moore tests what might be the ultimate AR15 scope for both rimfire and fullbore rifles

BUILT FOR IT

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I

make no bones about it – I love military rifles and am quite a fan of AR15s, in both rimfire and centrefire options. Though my 223 Rem, SGC Speedmaster is more than capable off the bipod with a big scope up top for targets or vermin, it’s also nice to shoot it more seat of the pants; equally so my Smith & Wesson 15/22. Here, a smaller and perhaps more dedicated optic is the way to go and in the old days of ‘real’ Practical Rifle with self-loaders, my combo of choice was an AR15 A2 and the original carry handle-mounted, Colt 3x20 BDC scope made by Hakko.

PERFECT FIT? Over the years, I’ve tried a number of variations on this theme, but most have been a bit lacking. Without doubt a low spec variable magnification is best for close to mid-range work. So, when I was speaking to Luke at Range Right about another matter, he told me about their new Konus AS-34 2-6x28 compact. With its 34mm body tube (unusual for a compact), 28mm objective (4mm more glass than most in this class) and practical mag range, it seemed well worth a look! If you like the dictates of ‘tacticool’, then the AS-34 does not disappoint, as if nothing


SCOPE TEST | FIREARMS

Detail of the reversible, double-width dovetail rails, a bit different but it suits anything airgun width and Weaver/ Picatinny rails too

The Konuspro AS-34 2-6x28; features, design and price make it a good bet for any form of action rifle shooting

else it’s a looker! However, it also offers a surprising number of useful and novel features that have both curb and real appeal. It’s compact at 8.35” long, but weighs a noticeable, but not overly heavy, 19.75oz. From the box, it’s fitted with decent, flip-up lens caps and 11mm to Weaver/Picatinny reversible mounting clamp; more of that later!

KONUS SAYS Here’s what Konus says about it: “The Konuspro AS-34 has been constructed with quick target acquiring properties. Speed and accuracy have therefore been enhanced, whether at the range or in close quarter combat situations. A beefy outer diameter of 34mm will withstand the most extreme conditions, while an integrated tri-rail system will accept all of your accessories. Completely waterproof, this model features a dual illuminated Mil-Dot reticle and an illuminated level bubble for low light shooting. The base is reversible and will fit both the Weaver/Picatinny and .22 rails, while the field of view is especially wide for fast moving targets.” Starting at the back, we have a fast focus system and a large eyepiece bell, at the rear is an integral level bubble, which seems a bit over the top for a low power optic such as this, but, if you need to level for a shot, it’s there and not obtrusive at all! There’s a 5-button, control pad on top as follows: top C (reticle colour red or blue), left + (increase illumination), right – (decrease illumination), middle OFF. Operation is seamless; just select the colour and press the + or minus button and it decreases/increase smoothly. Below this is an ON button that illuminates the level bubble; not seen that before. In front is the magnification ring, at 12 o’clock on the body, is the rotary ON/OFF control, which looks like a drum-type rheostat. In

the middle is a short section of Picatinny rail, with longer ones on the left and right.

TINY TACTICALS Finally, before the objective are the turrets, which I would term as tiny tactical. They are quite slim at 0.870” and of the lift to unlock style. Click values are ¼ MOA @ 100 yards with surprising 48-clicks per turn and nine full revolutions. Drums are marked in ¼ and 1 MOA graduations. A small slot-head screw allows them to be set to zero; elevation is identical! A small silver dot on the ends of the 12 and 3 o’clock Picatinny rails act as a dialling reference point. The glass-etched reticle is in the second focal plane (SFP) and is a standard, 4-dot Mil-Dot type. I doubt if many will use it to range with, but for holdover on rim and centrefires, as well as airguns, they always work well. The ret is crisply presented and when illuminated never blows out or loses shape, even at the highest setting. Equally, the colours are good and not out of register to the pattern.

AIR TO WEAVER The body is too crammed with Picatinny rails to allow conventional rings. Instead, Konus has gone for reversible, twin-width dovetails that bolt to the integral mounting foot. This allows it to be fitted to 11mm rails up to Picatinny/Weaver bases. All you do is undo the three cross bolts and decide what interface you need, slide it on and tighten up. I did find it possible to offset the scope; so, as you tighten up, you need to stop it rolling as it settles. However, this system means a low mount and on rifles like flat top ARs etc. you’ll probably need some form of riser. I initially used a pair of Sportsmatch RB5 and RB6 adaptors, which did the job. But Range Right told me they also offer a Picatinny riser block too, which they will be sending me soon, so I’ll test it next month. In use, the Konus seems to have it all; a good field of view and optics, a reticle you can aim off with, dialable turrets, easy illumination and colour choice and that level bubble. The price is excellent too and I’m more than a little impressed!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Whoa there, the key pad offers seamless, twin colour illumination and it even has a lit level bubble too

n Name Konuspro AS-34 2-6x28 n Body tube 34mm n Multi-coated lenses Y n Fast focus system Y n Reticle Mil-Dot SFP (glass-etched) n Illumination Y (red & blue) n Illuminated level bubble n Click values ¼ MOA n Clicks per turn 48 n Full turns –9 n FOV @ 100m/yds, 18m/54ft @ 2x, 7.3m/22ft @ 6x n Weight 19.75oz n Length 8.35” n Exit Pupil 14mm @ 2x, 4.7mm @ 6x n Price £149.95 n Contact Range Right Ltd, 01423 881919 www.range-right.co.uk

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FIREARMS | PRODUCT TEST STORM TACTICAL PRECISION RIFLE DATA BOOKS CONTACT: elementrifleworks.com

Send It! Keeping records of your shooting is a good thing and Storm Tactical can lend a hand

I

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f you take your shooting seriously, “Finally, then keeping records is essential. formulas for Equally so is noting how things went on the day, as to what you uphill/downhill encountered etc. Sure, you can use an shooting, along A5 note pad, but keeping it more professional, and for that matter with an angle and practical, is Storm Tactical with their cosine chart and a Precision Rifle Data books. Essentially they offer a way of accurately noting wind value clock” FOR and storing the information you have Useful field generated or learned. The most basic shooting aids is spiral bound and measures drag bag’s general compartment this AGAINST 3.5x5x.75”, so handy for your pocket one, as it measures 9 x 6.5 x 1”. Not a lot or butt bag. A bit more formal and Sampling the books shows; comeups, dedicated cold bore, technical VERDICT all-weather is the larger version that comes in a Coyote brown Cordura reticle hold, cold bore/zero, zero calls, Lots of data storage and nylon zipper case, with snap ring head, hostage, stationary torso, blank information binders allowing you to replace pages. target, movers, unknown distance, Good for the 1.2_SHOOTING SPORTS 12/09/2017 16:30 Page 1 43 - CUSTOM SHOP Also included, is a waterproof note long range, range card, field sketch, serious rifle shooter book and Sharpie pen. More for your observation log, round count, USMC

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info@elementrifleworks.com 01728685005 Suffolk, UK


FIREARMS | PEST CONTROL DIARY

Best Laid

Plans

Howard Heywood finally makes it north of the border for roe buck

A

fter all my previous well-made plans to travel north for roe buck failed, I finally made it; though the trip itself was not easy, travelling through the night after just finishing work. My friend and stalking companion Gary arrived right on time, we loaded my gear into the car and set off. We had moved 20 yards when we claimed our first, a wood pigeon; it came flying through the trees and into the front of his new car! I tried not to look at my wife’s face as we hit the pigeon; if there’s one thing she likes it’s birds, needless to say we didn’t stop!

TWO DOWN When travelling north, we normally only make one stop at Hamilton to fuel and coffee up, the whole trip taking 7-hours. But with travelling at night after a hard day’s work we made three stops, I must say I failed miserably at keeping my chauffeur entertained and found myself fighting to stay awake. The one thing that did the trick and woke me was Gary

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swearing to avoid a roe deer that ran from the centre reservation. colliding with the offside front, cracking the headlight and the spoiler- was the car an animal magnet? 50-miles farther on and we reached our destination and time to take a proper look at the damage; headlight cracked but still in one piece, while the spoiler looked like it had just unclipped. We part unloaded the car, taking out only what we needed (the rifles and a quick change of clothes) then proceeded on our first stalk. The crops being high meant we would have to, if need be, take neck shots and then only if they were near the edge of the fields. The last thing we wanted to do was to trample the crops looking for a beast, or lose one for the harvester to find.

HEAD & NECK Our best chance would be the deep drainage ditches; the hardest, getting within range with the crops and the grasses in the ditches being high makes

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

it very hard to approach. A belly crawl is impossible; all I could do is to stalk very slowly, hoping to catch sight of a buck before it sighted me. All kitted out and feeling a little worse for wear, after all I had been up 23-hours, we set off on one of the easiest stalks we know. Down the track to the end, where we could spy down a narrow strip of set aside, then from there cut across along a broken down dry stone wall to a small wooded area. Then along the drainage ditch back to the farm; in other words, walk around one 70-acre field. For this stalk, we would stay together, more of a reconnaissance, to see where the deer were, then plan which way to approach them later that evening. We were both tired, so not fully switched on when we walked onto our first buck, not 10 yards from our cabin, head and neck above the crops. I slid my Tikka 243 off my shoulder, lined the cross hairs on its neck, fired and missed, I could see the bullet strike the crops just to the left, a clean miss, as the buck moved on another few yards.


PEST CONTROL DIARY | FIREARMS

Buck rubbing the velvet off its antlers

Roe ofte nests in th n make e grass to sleep in

Roe Finally a good der buck for the lar

MEAT SLAP! I followed it in the scope and fired again when it stopped to look back at us, this time there was no mistaking the smack of the bullet as it hit muscle and bone. Gary kept his eyes fixed on the spot to guide me and I soon found my first buck; it was then that I realised I had left my camera- at home a very important bit of kit when writing about my exploits for the magazine. Cursing, I carried my buck to the edge of the field, where I field dressed and left it to pick up later. In total, we counted 11 roe, most of which were in a set aside and as always, all does when the bucks are in season. We picked up the buck and hung it in a derelict building, where there’s a consistent cool breeze blowing through and cover it over with a fly net, then get to work cleaning out our cabin and grabbing a few hours sleep. That evening, the plan was to follow the same stalk but then split up when we reached the small wooded area; Gary to the set aside, while I went further

down to a gate way, hoping to intercept any roe that are disturbed, but I saw nothing within range and Gary only saw does, again we made plans for the morning and retired to our beds.

WAKEY, WAKEY The alarm went; forcing ourselves to get out of bed, we got up, dressed, had a coffee and were out. We drove around to a broken-down gate, where I was to walk in from, while Gary drove back to the farm, to start his stalk from there. In our haste to get out I forgot my leggings and was soaked within 15 minutes, and with my wet pants clinging to my legs, I found my stride was restricted. We had both sighted bucks but had not managed a shot, our plan was if either of us heard a shot we were to meet up again, to help locate and deal with the beast. It wasn’t long before I heard Gary’s rifle direction, so I made my way back in the general direction from where the shot came from. When I came across Gary, he was

watching something down towards a corner of the field, so I stayed back. He noticed me and waved me on, I went slowly forward to where he was standing, he said he was watching a buck when he noticed a doe limping.

WIN AND LOSE He shot and connected but she still made it into the crops. Gary managed to track her as she ran through the crops and was waiting for me to go in, so we did not lose the marker. I soon found her and inspection showed the front leg was crippled and she’d been hobbling for I don’t know how long. She was in bad condition, so I guessed had not been eating well. I loaded her into my roe sack and started back, when I noticed movement on the edge of the field- a buck! I let Gary take the shot, which he did quickly and cleanly! Then I remembered he had a good camera on his mobile, so we managed to take some photos. He got a buck and doe with his Tikka 243 and one wood pigeon and a roe with his car and a £350 bill for repairs.

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FIREARMS | GUN TEST

T

o date, I think I have tested all the 22 rimfire, semi-auto military look-a-like rifles available in the UK and there has been some chaff amongst the wheat! Regardless of their tacticool looks, which is just window dressing, in essence they are all the same under the skin, as it’s just build quality and design features that separates them! Acceptable ccuracy with any 22 LR is pretty much a given, but; reliability is paramount given their main use.

MSR WHO? With this in mind, back in May 2011, I was sent the Austrian ISSC Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) Mk 22, looking like the FN S.C.A.R. (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) by CPG Designs. It looked the business

and was pleasingly not an AR15, but reliability was a big issue, as in under 200-rounds it was a ‘jamamatic’. An issue that went hand in hand with a very awkward stripping procedure. Suffice to say that when it came to selecting this class of firearm, the MSR was not front of house! Later, Anschütz announced a new semi-auto, 22LR for ‘dynamic shooting’ – the MSR RX 22 TM Precision, which turned out to be a slightly modified MSR. With their reputation for accuracy and reliability I was very surprised when they announced this model. However, I tested one and it was reliable and accurate with its new barrel and better trigger and certainly a bit different from the original. But it did not stay long in their catalogue and swiftly faded from sight.

PLEASANTLY SURPRISED So, I was quite surprised when speaking to Range Right, the Sabatti importers, that they now also offer what appeared to be the original ISSC MSR. I was told the rifle had been improved, but it says Oxo on the top of buses but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a hot drink there! The rifle looked identical with its aluminium alloy upper and polymer lower, so lets start there before we get into the nitty gritty. The MSR is a blocky looking rifle with a length-adjustable, side-folding butt with a two position comb. Controls are ambidextrous and very AR15-like, with a 2-position safety above the A2-style pistol grip and the mag button to the rear of the well on the right, with a corresponding lever on the left. The

THE COMEBACK KID Pete Moore reacquaints himself with a military look-a-like he thought he’d never see again

Though looking no different, the ISSC MSR seems to have been sorted internally, which is attested to by its improved reliability

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GUN TEST | FIREARMS whole 15” of the upper receiver/forend shows a flat-top Picatinny rail, three more sections on the forend at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock allow lights, lasers and grips to be fitted. There a fourth shorter section under the barrel too, I used it for a Javelin bipod with their Picatinny adaptor. The action is blow back, as expected, with the bolt running in a cage inside the receiver. Practical is the fact that the cocking handle offers six positions, forward, middle or rear of the upper/forend either left or right. It just pulls out and pushes in where you want it, for me forward/left worked best, which allowed me to keep control of the gun with my firing hand.

DUMMY OUTER

you’d find on an AR15. Instead, you have to pull back and release the cocking handle to allow the bolt forward. You can however push your middle finger up into the right side of the mag well where you’ll feel a small metal tag, which, with the bolt held open, pushes up to lock it rearwards.

FUNNY FURNITURE The butt offers a 1.5”, 3-position length of pull (LOP) adjustment, which is a tad short but workable due to the 15” Picatinny top rail, which allows flexible scope mounting positions. LOP goes from 12.5 to 13.75”. The butt folds to the right, where it pushes down then locks under a large hook that also acts as a case deflector. The ambi safety offers two position – lever up SAFE

FOR

Much improved reliability Good price

Butt detail showing the comb in its raised position and the full LOP

(white dot) and down to FIRE (red dot) and can be operated even when the action is not cocked. It’s not quite as handy as an AR15 but not bad. The comb is a bit odd; this horseshoe moulding is controlled by a press button on the left. Even when down and combined with the medium height Picatinny rail means getting down to low-mounted optics is a squeeze. For testing, I fitted the new Konus AS-34 2-6x28mm compact scope, which very much suits this type of rifle. I had to add some Sports Match Weaver to 11mm riser blocks to get it up for a comfortable eye/ scope position, as it sat too low in its integral base. With the comb up, your head is lifted about ½”, which requires some high bases, so not a lot of use apart from NV!

AGAINST

Stripping awkward

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Much like German Sport Gun (GSG) products, the barrel is not what it appears, as it’s actually a slim, steel, rifled liner with an outer tube to give it the heavy look. Stability is achieved by a screw-on muzzle brake that tensions the inner tube. As I discovered, a ½ x 20 UNF adaptor is available, if you want to fit a moderator. Feed is from a 22-round magazine (10-shot also available), with pull-down side tabs to facilitate filling. Without doubt the best design for a hi-capacity, 22 LR magazine, as it’s quick, less tiring and allows you to easily position the case rims for 100% feed reliability; another essential for this sort of firearm. Useful is the magazine safety; if the mag is not in the rifle the trigger does not operate. There’s an automatic last round hold open too; always a bonus! However, there’s no external manual hold open/release as

Controls are all ambidextrous and very AR15 like, note the safety selector and the LH mag release

VERDICT

For the money a good rifle Keep it clean and it should do well

The cocking handle offers 6-positions, three on either side and practical; clever!

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FIREARMS | GUN TEST

Based on the FN S.C.A.R. the MSR offers a non-AR15 .22LR, which might well appeal to you

“Keeping any 22 semi clean is essential for reliable operation, as these look-a-likes tend to get shot a lot and fast” s

LOAD UP I’ll be honest; I’d seen nothing on the MSR that made it feel any better than the original and I was expecting the same problems I’d had in 2011, but ‘nobles oblige’! Ammowise, I ran the new, high velocity, Winchester, 40-grain M22, average speed 1238 fps and MagTech 22 HV hollow points at around 1200 fps. Surprisingly, it also worked with Winchester 42-grain subs at 1091 fps, though not the sort of rifle I’d take bunny bashing. Things started as expected, with between 1-3 stoppages per mag full. However, all of them showed an empty chamber, which lead me to the magazine. Inspection showed it dry and graunchy and I cleaned it out and put a tad of oil on the slides, with feed improving dramatically! In all, I put 350-rounds through it and had three stoppages, one was a misfeed and the other two due to the MagTech ammo’s

The 22-round mag is easy to fill and allows proper positioning of the ammunition rims

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inconsistent priming. Live round extraction is possible, but it does not always come out first time. So overall, pretty reliable!

ACCEPTABLE! In use, the MSR feels a bit rattly in the butt and looks a bit plasticky, but mounts and handles easily enough; though none were supplied, you can also get iron sights. The left/forward mounted cocking handle proved ideal for me, but the ability to re-position will doubtless appeal. The forend is reasonably comfortable given you are gripping three rails, I fitted a forward grip and it improved control. The magazines actually fill to 24-rounds, but can give first or second round stoppages until run in. Trigger pull was mushy but workable and broke around 4-5 lbs, accuracy was around the inch at 50m, which is pretty much as expected and good enough for most uses. Keeping any 22 semi clean is essential for reliable operation, as these look-a-likes tend to get shot a lot and fast, so stripping is mandatory; both my 22s, a S&W 15/22 and GSG StG 44 take about 5-seconds with simple push pins to get the bolts out to access all areas. And it’s here the MSR falls down a little, as everything is screwed or bolted in! The body pins do not immediately push out, as they are a double-ended, screw and shaft design that requires two, thin bladed screw drivers to remove. With that off, two more Allen screws have to be taken off to remove the butt, then,

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

Detail of the inner barrel sitting in the dummy outer tube; with the muzzle brake fitted, the MRS shoots well

once inside, you need to remove another to take out the pre-packaged bolt assembly, which itself needs splitting to access all areas for a thorough cleaning. Despite the improved reliability of this model, your average shooter is probably not going to go that far every 300-rounds or so! Plus, steel screws in and out plastic and alloy tends to exacerbate wear. I’d recommend some form of solvent spray to blast the gunk out and maybe a strip down at longer intervals. I actually quite like the MSR, as it’s visually different and certainly an improvement over the original! The good news is the price as it’s £550 as opposed to £699 back in 2011; so, for the money, a half decent rifle, if you’re looking for this sort of hardware.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

n Name ISSC Modern Sporting Rifle Mk 22 n Barrel 16” n Length 35.16” n Weight 7lbs n Automatic last round hold open Y n Magazine safety Y n Scope rail Y 1” Picatinny n Folding stock n Adjustable comb n Price £550 Spare mags 22 - £45, 10 - £42 ½ UNF moderator adaptor £20 n Contact: www.range-right.co.uk


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SEARCH FOR ‘SOUTHERN GUN’ ON WWW.GUNMART.NET TO SEE THE NEW 308 AND OTHER VIDEO REVIEWS

SS11.17/14/s

Manufactured in Cornwall UK

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FIREARMS | HUNTING STORY

A Game of

Zebras!

Michael Nitsch and Simone Helmich of Team Winz, hunt for Zebra in Namabia

Up early for a check zero; always a must after a long journey with your rifle!

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very natural experience evokes emotions. Especially when hunting, it is completely different feelings. Given there are pro and anti hunting factions, the reactions are often very different, especially when it comes to Zebras! People feel differently when looking at the hunting of large game. One might react with anger and rejection, another enjoys it and perhaps envies the hunter. When it comes to a game of Zebras, the emotions drift far apart and even among supporters of the hunt, it creates a lot of discussion. So, before I tell you about this hunt in Namibia, we must ask ourselves the question, what is the reason?

FOR AND AGAINST A Zebra provides unbelievable culinary delights and the species are not endangered! Also, the hunting and control of the species is just as necessary in many parts of Africa, as is keeping wild boar numbers down in Germany. However, on the other side of the coin, they look like horses and also their exotic appreance is pleasing, so it’s easy to see why the anti-hunters feel the way they do. Other reasons do not seem plausible to us at all. If we take a

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closer look at the Zebra, we find out quickly that they do have their origin in the horse, but have already developed in a different direction. Today, we distinguish them essentially in the three types: Plains, Grévy’s and Mountain species. None can be ridden, nor trained to pull a cart though attempts in this direction have existed in the last centuries, but this has been achieved only with a handful of exceptions. As a supplier of valuable game, however, the zebra has served our ancestors and people to this day. It’s the Zebra’s exotic colouration that leads to discussions among the hunters, a subject that puzzles us and is open to conjecture even to this day. Why are they so strikingly marked, there are a few theories and there is probably a mixture of the following opinions? The stripes protects it from the dangerous tsetse fly, since these with their facet eyes cannot properly see the animal. They are used for recognition within the herd because it is proven that each pattern is unique, just like the human fingerprint. They help in temperature regulation, while the black attracts the sun, the white reflects and thus creates a cooling air turbulence. Or

even as a form of mass camoflauge, as it‘s impossible for predators to recognise a single animal in a herd.

WINDHOEK In February, my partner Simone and I flew to Frankfurt and then on to Windhoek, as it was high time to visit our dear friends at the Hummelshain farm. With a little luck, this season brings the much needed rain and you hunt in a colorful flowering landscape. Unfortunately, it had not yet arrived and fodder had to be supplied to the cattle and local game animals. Shortly before our arrival, it had started to rain and nature was bursting with energy. Sitting here in Germany, you can hardly imagine how important and life giving rain can be. In the faces of our Namibian friends one could read the relief. The water stored in dams would last for a long time to supply all needs. First thing the next morning we were on the shooting range to confirm our rifles were zeroed. Once done, there was the question from our guide; what did we want to hunt? Simone promptly replied Zebra, as she had always been fascinated by this species. They are not only graceful and difficult to stalk, they also deliver excellent game and a


!

HUNTING STORY | FIREARMS

We stalked in to 50 meters, luckily we were down and the wind was in our faces

Oops! Too much rain and mud and it’s easy to come off the road

wonderful blanket when the skin is cured. For a long time she had prepared herself by reading about their habits, species and ranking within the heard in the months before the hunt.

BOGGED THEN SECOND BREAKFAST!

with a fantastic sunrise and we could hardly wait to go.

LOOKING FOR SIGN Driving with a little more caution since yeaterday‘s accident, we reached the area where we wanted to look for Zebras. A great number of tracks attracted our attention, apparently, a large herd had

Game on the farm was plentiful; here we see warthogs

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s

Now the hunt would finally begin and the dream of Zebra become reality! In order to get into a promising area, the first step was to take the pickup to the slopes. Here we quickly felt the side effects of the rain. The ground was slippery, like a slurry and our driver had a hard time keeping the Landruiser on the track. In fact; as we slipped around the first corner, the car slid into a ditch and even the winch could not pull us out! Without help, there was no escape. We radioed the farm and they sent another 4x4 to pull us out. The driver came in for a bit of ribbing as is always the way, but we were on the road again. We wasted a bit of time getting unstuck and by that time the sun was up and burning the landscape and the animals were looking for a shady spot in the bush. So first back to the farm, and enjoy African hospitality in the form of a sumptuous second breakfast.

Smoked meat, salami, and ham, all made from local game, landed on our plates. When we started again in the late afternoon, menacing black clouds began to spread. Apparently not our day, because suddenly the sky opened and it tipped down. Within seconds we were completely soaked and just wanted to take a hot shower. However, the second day started


FIREARMS | HUNTING STORY Helmich What a rush; Simone t Zebra firs (Team Winz) with her

Though seeming to stand out, the Zebra’s black and white stripes are no impediment

s

crossed the road. Carefully checking the wind, we followed the trail. The imprints made it clear that foals were also in the herd and they had to be close by. Clearly we heard a snort right in front of our nose, but could see nothing. Who now believes that Zebra are easy to spot because of their black and white colour in the thick bush? The stripes also made the silhouette perfect for our eyes. Cautiously, we bent branches aside and freed ourselves from the ubiquitous thorns to get closer. As if in slow motion, we approached the noise, but had yet to see anything. 50 yards later we saw the first Zebra! Daring in the sun, it did indeed look in our direction but luckily we had the wind and froze into sweaty statues. Every hunter knows this moment when they hear their pulse hammering and hopes not to be recognised.

FIND THE STALLION Meanwhile, we saw the rest of the herd, which moved slowly to a free spot directly in front of us. Now it was about finding a stallion in the group. In a Zebra herd there is always an alpha stallion next to the lead mare and both should be spared, so as not to disrupt the group harmony. In order to get a better overview, we had to move only 50 meters to the left. On all fours we crawled through the almost waist-high

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and somehow we could not believe it. Our first zebra lay before us. For us, it was and will remain an unforgettable experience, full of excitement and emotions in front of a fantastic backdrop.

HUNTER’S TALES

Zebra meat is rated as some of the best venison ever; especially when cooked on an African brie!

grass, which offered urgently needed cover, but one could not help worrying about kneeling on a snake or scorpion in such a moment! We finally got there and Simone carefully got into her shooting position and a suitable young stallion was settled and now it was necessary to calm down and bring her pulse under control. A last breath, a touch on the rifle’s trigger and the shot crashed out. The herd took flight in wild gallop, the stallion was clearly hit and jumped in the opposite direction. He ran no more than 30 metres and fell, with it a great sigh of relief from our PH, Simone, and myself. Still in the grip of the hunt and its succesful result, we went to the animal

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

Of course, we had to share our details with the other hunters at the camp fire that evening until after midnight. On the following day, we killed an old Oryx bull but the highlight was for us the joint Zebra hunt and above all the grilled steaks of the stallion. In our opinion, the meat is one of the most delicious venisons in Namibia. To have hunted it yourself made it even more enjoyable. We took the time to visit another farm and landed at DL Safari. Julia and Divan, the operators of the farm, were waiting for us. And let us explore their land on horseback. Namibia already has a breathtaking animal world for the huntsman, to experience this on horseback is indescribable. An experience which we hope to repeat soon! To find out more about the equipment we use, please visit our homepage team-winz.eu n DD Optics target telescope 2.5-15 * 50 Gen 3 n Savage Hog Hunter in the caliber 30.06 n Hornady Precision Hunter 178 gr ELD-X


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FIREARMS | GUN TEST

LONG BARREL

REVOLVERS Eddie Putwain of Team Red Flag looks at Long Barrel Revolvers (LBRs).

L

BRs are available in rimfire and fullbore calibres; however, I’m discussing the latter. These are typically available in 38 Special/357 Magnum and 44 Special/Magnum. The Specials use an identical but shorter case to the Magnum. To be honest, 38 Special is the best bet, as it’s more controllable and potentially accurate and will do the job required. The two most common makes are the Brazilian Taurus M66 and the ALFA Pro from the Czech Republic. Both have been built to conform to the UK’s 12/24” (Large Firearm) law with a 12” barrel and fixed grip extension (brace) to make the minimum 24” required length! The first obvious difference when you pick up a fullbore LBR is it’s considerably heavier than it’s LBP (Long Barrelled Pistol) cousin, which is only available in 22 Long Rifle!

CHECK A point of consideration – it’s worth checking with your club for their rules on jacketed bullets and appropriate loads. It‘s not

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improbable that the range safety certificate does not allow the use of full patch ammo. So, you will need to buy lead bulleted loads or get into reloading. Financially, the 38 Special is starting to look the best bet! Don’t be put off by reloading, talk to club members who are loading for their own pistols and under-levers for advice. Back to the plot! On first inspection, both guns are well built, but take slightly different forms, the most noticeable are the barrels. The M66’s is slimmer with a ventilated top rib, with a short lug that protects the ejector rod, the ALFA uses a ‘full-lug’ as it extends for the length of the tube. It also has a removable wood forend, which is a result of the original being offered in carbine format too. This puts more weight up front and adds to stability in terms of recoil control, the downside is it’s a deal heavier! The grip on the Taurus is dimpled rubber, and I found it small and slippery, and I don’t have big hands. The ALFA’s is textured walnut and more substantial and comfortable, being target-like, so fits the hand better.

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

6S AND 7S The Taurus features an unusual, but useful, 7-round capacity in the 38/357 version, the Alfa is a traditional 6-shooter. The brace at the end of the grip takes two different forms; the M66s is made of steel rod and shaped a bit like an off-set fish slice. The Alpha’s is a simple, solid square bar, which was used in the carbine variant to attach the wooden butt. Once you get used to the M66’s brace, it does give a stable platform and good wrist support, however, it’s oriented to the right-handed shooter only! This can make life challenging in comps with offhand stages. You can have this altered, but only by a Section 5 gunsmith, and that’s another couple of bob. The ALFA’s bar is straight out the back, so ambidextrous, which is simpler and less hassle! Both guns use modern double-action mechanisms and offer the options of single (S/A) and double-action (D/A) operation. In S/A, you thumb-cock the hammer and press the trigger for each shot, which is more accurate due to its lighter release, but


GUN TEST | FIREARMS

The two top, double-action LBRs to date- the Taurus M66 and the ALFA Pro, note the ALFA’s full lug barrel and removable forend

slower. In D/A, the trigger does all the work, as squeezing it brings the hammer back and releases it – faster but less accurate due to the movement and more pressure required from your finger. However, triggers can be honed and there are a number of techniques that will produce better performance.

LOAD UP Sights are of good quality, with adjustable windage and elevation on the rear and sturdy blade up front. Controls are the same, just designed slightly differently. Behind the rear left shield is the cylinder release catch; push it forward and flip the cylinder out to the left. An ejector rod protrudes from the front, which is pumped to push the ejector star rearwards to remove the cases. Loading ammo singly is simple but a bit slow for action shooting. Speedloaders are essential, these consist of a plastic drum that holds the ammo en bloc with a release mechanism. This is offered up to the cylinder and the bullets aligned with the chambers, then the mechanism released so that the rounds fall in is the way to go. For this, the muzzle needs to be pointing down. However, you must not let the barrel wander out of the shooting box/safe angle, which is equally true on the unload. Open the cylinder, flip the gun up to 90° and pump the ejector rod and Mr gravity does the rest!

SKILLS AND DRILLS Drills are different for an LBR, particularly as you can’t use the normal 0/90 ‘fumble zone’ for loading and unloading an LBP. Why? Loading and unloading is done with the barrel up and down as I’ve explained. However, any revolver is rendered instantly safe as soon as the cylinder is opened, but

Adjustable rear sights make zeroing a lot easier, note the rubber and wooden grips

that’s still no excuse to wave it around and out of the safety arcs! So, practice to get it right. An LBP is slightly different as the magazine has to be removed and the action locked open to show safe. Due to the build, it’s possible to do all this from the horizontal position. One unpleasant aspect of any revolver is the mandatory cylinder/barrel gap, with firing gasses coming out sideways; called spitting. So, any two-handed grip needs to be hand-on-hand and not forward on the barrel. Equally’ do not wrap your supporting hand’s

Cylinder open on M66, which offers an unusual capacity of seven for a D/A revolver

The reload requires the muzzle down, note this shooter is using a speedloader, which speeds things up no end!

thumb over the top, as it could impede hammer movement. Stance and sight acquisition is the same as the LBP, but don’t forget that you need to obtain a good consistent degree of ‘positive resistance’, locking fists against each other. Strong hand as high as you can on the grip punching out, with the weak hand ‘drawing in! Your arms should be tired after pistol shooting; they are doing the job of the rifle stock. Also, being a fullbore gun, you now have considerably more recoil to contend with too. Both of these guns are well up for LBR practical disciplines. At the end of the day price and handling will be your deciding factors. The M66 is a bit lighter but the most expensive at £968.99. The ALFA is a bit heavier but cheaper at £787 (stainless) and £729 (blued), plus offers accessories Adjustable Palm Shelf Target Grips at £88.33 and Weaver Scope Rail for £65.00. Speedloaders cost – HKS £11 and JET £19

CONTACTS: ALFA Pro Merseyside Armoury, 07702 277791 Taurus M66 Highland Outdoors; www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk

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FIREARMS | PRODUCT TEST REMINGTON 700 (SHORT ACTION) 10MOA PICATINNY RAIL CONTACT: bartongunworks.com

British Rail We see what other Picatinny scope rails Barton Gunworks has to offer

T

he other month we looked at a new 10MOA Picatinny rail for the CZ527 from Barton Gunworks; they also make for Savage, Anschutz, Sako and Remington. On test here is the short action unit for the Remy 700, though we fitted it to a Bergara B14 BMP. British-made from high grade aluminium alloy and anodised in satin black, it features a true MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) build. It’s FOR for more longer range use where you Extends your long range might run out of elevation, inclining performance, the base, means you have to lift the precision made scope/rifle up to sight the target, AGAINST thus gaining elevation adjustment. However, the 10MOA inclination will Not a lot allow most scopes to still zero at VERDICT 100 yards. The rail comes complete Price and quality with four mounting screws and all manufacture 12 - Forge Consulting_SHOOTING SPORTS AD TEMPLATE 12/09/2017 Allen keys required. The fit is precise makes it a logical so it’s best to locate all screws choice

loosely before tightening them up; you can feel the tight tolerances as you cinch it down, which gives confidence in its ability. To prove this we used Tier One rings and they went on with ZERO movement; so good enough! The area around the ejection port is cut out to the right so ejection, single loading and access 16:24 Page 1 to the magazine is not affected. Plus there’s an inch of rail that hangs over

the barrel, which might suit some as to preferred eye relief. Both long and short action rails are available.

{ } TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Remington 700 (short action) 10MOA Picatinny rail z Price: £65 short or long action (Inc free shipping to mainland UK addresses) from Barton Gunworks z Contact: www.bartongunworks.com

Competition Rifle Stocks

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SS11.17/12/d

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WORKSHOP | WILDCATTING

Overlooked

The Sauer 202 and the classic 6.5x57mm cartridge are a match made in heaven and what a performer

or

Underrated?

M

etric cartridges have always interested me, but never really been on my radar, as the rifles chambered in them often are old or too expensive. Possibly the most popular metric in the UK is the good old 6.5x55mm Swedish. Though on paper not that powerful or fast, it will do everything from Muntjac to Reds and in Sweden is considered entry level for Moose, which has to tell you something! However, the more powerful 6.5x57mm, which in essence is a slightly longer 6.5x55 is an also ran, or not run at all! The 6.5mm is an excellent bore size, with superb ballistic coefficients across all its bullet weights, which translates into excellent down range performance. Bullet choice is good; ranging from 85 up to 160-grain torpedoes. Regardless, so long as the rifling twist rate and barrel length is correct, then the 6.5x57mm is quite a performer.

CASE HISTORY Its larger brother, the 7x57mm Mauser is a superb calibre that refuses to die, due to its really good all-round performance! The 6.5x57mm was never adopted by any military, as was the 7mm Mauser, so the lack of

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military surplus ammo was never available to generate any real interest. In Europe, it has been popular amongst hunters that require a cartridge that will ‘do it all’ for Fox, Roe, Red, Boar, Mouflon and Chamois, here the 6.5x57mm excels. It is also available as a rimmed case for double rifles, again popular on the continent but has not won enough hearts in Britain. The 6.5x57mm holds 59-grains of powder dependent on case used, whilst the 6.5x55 Swedish holds 57 and the newer 6.5 Creedmoor 53.5. So what’s the problem? The Creedmoor works at a higher max pressure around 60000 psi, whilst both the 55mm and 57mm cases still run at 55000 psi. In general, 6.5x57mm cases have very thick necks and can withstand a bit more oomph, but neck tension can be an issue! Also, if you look at the data between the 6.5x55mm and 6.5x57mm, there is little to choose from it, despite the 57mm having the greater powder capacity. Which can be attributed to the skinnier profile of the 57’s case with a 0.468” base and 0.431” body at the shoulder and a shallower shoulder angle of 18°. The shorter 6.5x55mm by comparison with two grains less body has a

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

greater shoulder angle that aids combustion. It also has a larger base and body diameter of 0.480 and 0.435” respectively. Much like the 6mm PPC, has the effect of better internal combustion and therefore more efficient transfer of energy to the bullet! You could also really go to town on this 57mm case and Ackley it, as it is screaming out for it, as that thick neck gives you a lot of margin to custom size your rifle’s throat diameter for a superb precision fit.

202 TOPS I found the Sauer 202s with the interchangeable barrels to be excellent performers in this calibre but also Mauser, Blaser, Schultz & Larsen are equally good. I shot a Sauer 202 Classic in 6.5x57mm and had loads of data for it and tried lots of reloads, as I was so impressed and was going to make a wildcat from it at the time, which re-thinking it I probably will. The .20 Blitzkrieg will become a reality! The Sauer sort of fits with the 6.5x57mm, as it is both elegant and understated yet performs when necessary. At the heart of the 202 Select is the all-steel action that combines strength and precise engineering,


WILDCATTING | WORKSHOP Bruce Potts looks at a 6.5mm calibre cartridge that deserves a lot more attention than it gets

although if you are weight conscious, then an Alloy version is an option. The barrel is retained by three cross bolts that transverses the front of the receiver and securely clamp it in place around its chamber end with the aid of a locating peg. It is not as fast a barrel change as say the Mauser or Blaser rifles but does offer a very tight, secure yet swift change option. I went for a 24�, slim, sporter profile barrel with a 15mm diameter muzzle, needed for medium/slower burning powders to get good velocities. The twist rate is equally important, as all 6.5mm bullets need a faster rate due to their length to weight profile, making them very wind-slippery with high

BCs. Although lighter weights down to 85-grains can be used, I would still check to see that the barrel has at least a 1 in 8� twist, as most people will shoot 100 to 140-grainers. I fitted separate bases and scope rings and I opted for a set of Apel, swing-off mounts from Sentry Trading. These suited the Sauer perfectly, whilst offering a quick take down and exchange facility for any situation. So, you could double duty this rifle for vermin and boar, with a quick scope and bullet change. Apel swing off mounts require a degree of precise set up, which is no problem and thus set offer a return to zero scope change design. I fitted a Zeiss rail mount 7x50T scope, which complimented the classic Sauer`s styling and was in fact a cracking scope.

FACTORY FIRST

Load data is not too hard to find and Quickload ballistic program really helps with this cartridge and its broad bullet weight choices

s

RWS factory 127-grain Cone Point ammunition worked very well in the Sauer and benefited from a little customising in the COL department!

As you might expect; factory 6.5x57mm ammunition is not just falling off the shelves, but I did manage to obtain some RWS 127-grain ammo from Norman Clarks Gunsmith, this then gave me some brass to reload with. Norman also supplied a Redding Full length die set (#80228) and some Hornady Custom Grade came from Edgar Brothers, Hanmam`s Reloading and Norman again supplied bullets and powder/ primers, as well as Sierras from Henry Kranks. Based on the venerable 7x57mm Mauser round, this 6.5mm calibre is really very good. Instantly you notice the lack of recoil from what is a good sized round compared to the performance you are


WORKSHOP | WILDCATTING s

achieving. This allows a good chance of spotting the shot and therefore allowing a speedy second shot if necessary. Muzzle blast is a little brisk though. The RWS factory, 127-grain cone point cartridges shot consistent one inch groups in nice symmetrical triangular groups, which in real terms from a stalking calibre is more than good enough! Velocity for a 5-shot string ran at 2780, 2786, 2746, 2807 and 2802fps for an average of 2784 fps and 2186 ft/lbs from the 24” barrel.

LONG The Sauer is chambered long, so these short-truncated bullets means a reduced cartridge overall length (COL). However, a quick couple of turns in the bullet puller to length the COL and then re-seat to seat 50 thou off the lands shrank groups to 0.750.80” and they still fed reliably in the magazine. I used this technique of pulling and re-seating a lot if the magazine will work OK, as with short factory ammo loaded to an average COL it often means bullets that are too far off the rifling lands are now much closer and certainly group better if you have no intention of reloading! However, I do reload and so I took the shot brass and de-primed and uniformed the primer pocket and flash holes with a K & M tool set up. The necks too benefit from a good deburr on both inner and outer faces and the reloading dies proved perfect for the Sauer’s SAMMI- spec chamber; although a neck die set would be handy for altering tension if you want to thin or ‘tickle up’ the necks, as we say. Reloading is easy and Quickload ballistic program and data from the factory ammo gave a good starting point for the bullets reloaded.

Bullet Weight Reload Sierra HP 85gr 48.0gr of RL15 Powder 45.0gr of H4895 powder 46.0gr Hornady V Max 95gr 45.0gr of RL15 powder 46.0gr 47.0gr Nosler Ballistic Tip 100gr 46gr of RL15 powder 47.0gr 48.0gr 48.0gr Vit N540 powder 48.5gr Sierra Soft Point 120gr 42.0gr of IMR 4007 SSC 43.0gr 44.0gr Hornady Interlock 129gr 44.0gr of Hodgdon H4350 powder 45.0gr 46.0gr

Muzzle fps 3460 3364 3431 3166 3229 3293 3156 3217 3276 3189 3216 2763 2825 2887 2706 2764 2821

Energy ft/lbs 2260 2137 2222 2114 2200 2207 2211 2298 2383 2258 2296 2034 2127 2221 2098 2188 2279

Bullet Weight Reload Hornady SST 140gr 41.0 grains of H4350 powder 42.5 gr 43.5gr Nosler Accu-bond 140gr 41.0gr of RL17 powder 42.0gr 43.0gr Hornady RN 160gr 40.0gr of Vit N540 powder 41.0gr 42.0gr

Muzzle fps 2543 2622 2684 2673 2728 2783 2441 2487 2534

Energy ft/lbs 2010 2137 2240 2221 2314 2408 2116 2198 2281

CONCLUSIONS If you look at the data from the test gun, it can be seen the 6.5x57mm is a great performer and should really be recognised for its merits in this country. But because we have the 6.5x55mm Swede, 260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmoor now, the sales of the 6.5x57mm is still looking dim. It’s a shame, as it’s a very capable cartridge and one that I am going to play around with, as the 7x57mm AK Imp that Callum Ferguson re-barrelled for me is a superb performer and a wildcat based on this round would be the same.

Left to right: 6.5x57mm RWS Cone Point, Hornady SST reload and empty 7x57mm case

The Redding full-length dies set ensures quality reloads, as do the Hornady Custom Grade I also used

Left to right: The 57mm family, 5.6x57mm, 6.5x57mm and parent 7x57mm cartridge

CONTACTS

n Norman Clark Gunsmiths 01788 579651 Reload supplies n Hannam’s Reloading 01977 681639 Reload supplies n Sentry Trading Apel Mounts www.st.uk.com n JMS Arms 07771 962121, www.quickload.co.uk Quickload n RUAG 01579 362319 RWS ammo Garlands Sauer rifles n Edgar Brothers 01625 613177 Bullets powder dies n Henry Krank 0113 2569163 Sierra bullets


SS NOVEMBER 2017 Master_SHOOTING SPORTS 21/09/2017 16:09 Page 101

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101


WORKSHOP | SECOND HAND FOCUS

60-years on and still going strong this is one sweet little 22

The magazine follower tube unlocked for loading

RACKNLOAD can almost smell the candyfloss, with a classic little Browning pump-action!

I

’m a massive fan of 22s and I always have been. There is such a variety of different guns out there, be it long barrelled pistols, tactical semi autos, hunting rifles or serious target guns. But there is one little 22 that I’ve always wanted and its quirkiness is what makes it so attractive. The FN Browning Trombone! This little beauty is a pump action .22LR rifle and it is so much fun! It was designed by John M. Browning in 1919. The patent was filed on the 1st of August 1922. The company Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal started production in 1922 and finished in 1974! My example I managed to date back to 1961, so it’s nearly as old as my beloved Editor!

Take down wheel, note the rear, cross bolt safety and the bolt catch

RIMFIRE DO IT ALL

Rack-N-Load is in hog heaven with his Browning Trombone and he’s not whinging about it being a right hander either!

102

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

We Brits perhaps see the Trombone as a gallery rifle on fairground stalls. But in the US it was a serious small game getter and often a youngster’s first rifle. The one I have here may well have earned its keep helping to win people prizes! I have never came across one until I happened to mention it on social media that I was looking. Bob Dunkley Firearms Ltd came to my rescue with this nice example. And it’s in pretty good nick, considering its age! The rifle is petite with beech furniture with a steel butt plate, rounded pistol grip and what I call a ‘corn cob’ forend. Pre-60’s stocks were prone to cracking, due to the shape of the receiver and the slim forend. Later rifles have dove tail grooves for scope mounting and seemed to have sorted the cracking problems. Hopefully this one is okay! The rifle feels like a miniature Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun. The receiver and metal work is blued and you will notice a large knurled screw on the left hand side. This is the take down screw; undo this and


SECOND HAND FOCUS | WORKSHOP

FAIRGROUND ATTRACTION! the Trombone will break into two halves, making it easy to store and clean! The trigger guard is sleek and the trigger is slim. Doubtless the many thousands of rounds this little rifle has had through it has smoothed up the trigger, on my pull gauge it broke at a very nice 4 lbs. In front of the trigger is a small lever that when pressed rocks backwards to release the action, so that you can cock the rifle.

PRETTY AND PETITE The Trombone is 39 ¼” long, so an ideal rifle for a young shooter, what with its light 4 lb weight too. While we talk specifications, the cold, hammer-forged barrel is 20”. The tubular magazine holds 11-rounds of 22LR, but can also handle 22 Longs and Shorts, which also ups the capacity a bit, so very versatile! Unusually, the tube magazine moves with the pump forend as you cycle the action! Let me explain- the Trombone is a front-loader, like most 22 repeaters of the time. At the end of the magazine, there is a small knurled button that you have to press to release the inner feed tube assembly. This is a brass tube with an integral spring that powers the follower and aids cycling when the rifle is cocked. It slides forward

The rear sight is a U-notch, elevator wedge and does the business

when released to reveal a small rimfire shaped loading port in the outer mag tube! Simply load your rounds through the loading port (rim first) until you cannot get anymore in, then slide the loading rod back into position and close it fully, until the knurled latch locks back in place. Cock the Trombone by pumping the action backwards and forwards in the usual fashion. As you cycle it, you notice that the tubular magazine slides with the forend in both directions within its barrel clamp to aid the feeding. It sounds complicated but it is so simple and it is so very smooth but again, I think that is down to the age of the rifle. It’s just something that adds to the magic of this little gun!

ACCURATE... ISH! As far as accuracy goes, I shot a nice little (ish) 2” group with SK subs off shooting sticks at 50 yards, in a bit of a wind, so not too bad for a rifle that is nearly 60 years old! Throw on a scope and take it to the range and watch those groups get tighter than a nun’s trumpet! Seriously though, I was pretty damn happy with the way it was shooting, especially with the basic U-notch and post iron sights. The rear uses a sliding elevator wedge for range correction, with windage by drifting either front or rear unit laterally. Once I had it grouping half decent, I then hit the steel gong with it that I had set out at 100 yards. I had a permanent grin on my face as I took the paint off that gong! But wait, the Trombone has a little surprise up its sleeve. It is able to ‘slam fire’! Basically, this means if you just keep your finger on the trigger and pump the action, and it fires as the bolt closes! Not overly recommended, as you will totally lose accuracy but never the less, great fun! A feature also found on the Browning-designed Winchester 1897 pump-action shotgun!

Take-down is quick and easy!

FLAWLESS FUN Summing up how the Trombone ran in one word; flawless! This little rifle still runs as good as the day it was made. The action feels silky-smooth, ejection is as good if not better than most bolt action rimfires that I have used and the shear cool factor is through the roof! I’ve never had so much fun with a rifle and this one is a keeper! I had just as much fun with this rifle than a lot of modern guns that I have used; it’s a keeper! The quality of the Trombone speaks for itself too. I’d like to see some of today’s rifles in 60 years and see how they have stood the test of time. So, if you are after something a little different, the FN Browning Trombone is certainly that! It’s a rifle that I almost find a little romantic to be honest. Hunt around and you will find one and when you do, the moment you hold it, it will make you smile! Safe shooting! – Rack

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS n Name n Type n Calibre n Length n Barrel n Price

FN Browning Trombone Pump-action rifle .22LR, .22 Long & .22 Short 39 ¼” 20” £120 - £300 (depending on condition)

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SS NOVEMBER 2017 Master_SHOOTING SPORTS 22/09/2017 10:07 Page 104

Wilson & Wilson (Fieldsports) Ltd. Telegraph Hill, Laundry Road, Minster, Ramsgate, Kent CT12 4HL

Tel: 01843 822242 Fax No: 01843 821162 Registered Firearms Dealer No. 276 Kent. www.wilsonandwilsonfieldsports.co.uk RIFLES .17 HMR CZ 453 20" S/C .........................................£503.00 .17 Browning T-bolt sporter 22" S/C.........................£473.00 .17 Browning T-bolt Varmint 16.5" S/C....................£585.00 .22 Browning BL22 L/A ............................................£568.00 .22 Ruger 10/22 deluxe S/C.......................................£520.00 .22 Ruger 10/22 Target S/C........................................£702.00 .22 Browning Buckmark ............................................£560.00 .22 Browning T-bolt sporter 19" L/H S/C.................£508.00 .22 Browning Varmint 16.5" S/C...............................£474.00 .22 Henry U/L.............................................................£385.00 .22 Norinco Mini Mauser...........................................£345.00 .22 Chiappa M1 carbine.............................................£360.00 .223 Browning X bolt SS stalker S/C........................£966.00 .223 Browning A bolt SS stalker inc boss.................£820.00 .223 Browning A-bolt 2 S/C ......................................£555.00 .223 Tikka T3 Lite SS syn S/C ..................................£919.00 .22/250 Browning Eclipse T/hole S/C.......................£990.00 .22/250 Win Mod 70 stealth HV S/C........................£878.00 .22/250 Ruger American ............................................£600.00 .22/250 Thompson Centre..........................................£810.00 .243 Winchester Extreme Weather S/C S/S................£1120.00 .243 Mod 70 Coyote Light S/C ......................................£995.00 .243 Browning A-bolt SS syn boss ................................£819.00 .243 Win Mod 70 Sporter inc rings & scope .S/Offer £588.00 .243 Browning X-bolt SS syn S/C.................................£938.00 .243 Win Mod 70 stealth HV..........................................£799.00 .243 WSSM Win Mod 70 Featherweight S/C..............£524.00 .243 WSSM Browning A-bolt Medallion S/C..............£620.00 .243 Win Coyote Light S/C.............................................£995.00 .270 Browning X-bolt SS syn S/C.................................£938.00 6.5x55 Zoli pro-battue muzzle break AZ1900 engraved....... ....................................................................................£2510.00 .308 CZ 557 Varmint 26" S/C ......................................£1077.00 .308 Browning TCT Tactical S/C fluted 1 in 8.............£985.00 .308Zolipro-battuemuzzlebreakAZ1900engraved.£2510.00 .308 Browning X-bolt SS syn S/C, fluted.....................£966.00 .308 Browning X-bolt SS syn S/C ................................£819.00 .308 Win Stealth HV kevlar............................................£945.00 .308 Winchester SPR.....................................................£1995.00 Berazai Syn S/C.....................................................................£700 .30/06 Browning X-bolt SS syn S/C..............................£763.00 .308 X-bolt Varmint GRS..............................................£1348.00 .308 Browning X-bolt Hunter Monte Carlo..................£985.00 .375 H7H Win Mod 70 Safari pre 64 claw.................£1017.00 .375 H&H CZ 550 Safari.........................................£1038.00 .44 Rossi ......................................................................£502.00 .450 Marlin Winchester Mod 94 Takedown ...........£1186.00 .38/50 Win Mod 74 Trailsend Takedown................£1050.00 50 BMG Macmillan M87, 5 RND, adj stock, B&L Elite 50 BMG scope, muzzle brake, transit case £5596.30

SHOTGUNS 12G Browning 525 Hunter Prestige G4 30".....£3862.00 12G Browning Ultra XT Hi Rib Midas G4 30" .............. ...........................................................................£2625.00 12G Browning 525 Ultra XS Adj comb Midas 30"......... ...........................................................................£2775.00 12G Browning 725 Hunter 30".........................£1999.00 12G Browning 725 Sporter 30" ........................£1948.00 12G Browning 525 Sporter LH 30"..................£1605.00 12G Browning 525 Black Gold Sporter 30".....£1711.00 12G Browning 525 Trap Advance 30"..............£1790.00 12G Browning 525 Sporter 30" ........................£1566.00 12G Miroku Mk38 G6 Sporter teague 30".......£3149.00 12G Miroku Mk70 Sporter 30" ........................£1345.00

SAFARI SPECIAL 338WM Winchester Mod 70 Rifle, custom shop, one of 125 in the World ...............................£3450 .416 Rigby BRNO 550 ..............................£987 8x57 Browning 525 Double rifle.............£2999 8x57 Browning CCS 25 double rifle with 30mm swing off mounts..........................£9999 470 Capstick Winchester model 70 safari custom house ..................................................£3999 306 Zoli Focus 3 Double ..............................£4500 NEW Merkel Safari Double rifle 470 NE Ejector Merkel 160 AEDA ............£17999 470 NE Ejector Merkel 140 AEDA ..............£9999 416 Rigby Ejector Merkel 140 AEDA..........£9999 375 H&H Ejector Merkel 140 AEDA...........£9999 (All above with swing-off 30ml apel ring mounts, and 1.25-4x24 Elite Illuminated scope) 12G Miroku Mk38 Sporter ...............................£1343.00 12G Browning 525 Heritage Hunter 30"..........£4999.00 12G 525 Heritage Sporter 28" ..........................£4999.00 12G Browning 525 Hunter Prestige 28"...........£3630.00 12G Browning 525 Sporting GS 1 millionth! 30"£3999.00 12G Browning Maxus Duck Blind 31⁄2" 28"..........£1185.00 12G Hatsan double mag camo 31⁄2" 33"...................£517.00 12G Browning Maxus G3 26" ...............................£1363.00 12G Browning Fusion 28"......................................£1170.00 12G Win Super X3 8 shot 30" .................................£972.00 12G Hatsan Escort Walnut 28" ................................£475.00 12G Hatsan Escort PS black external choke...........£345.00 12G Hatsan Escort marine 28".................................£435.00 12G Hatsan MOBU ..................................................£395.00 12G Hatsan 31/2" MODB ..........................................£465.00 20G Hatsan Muddy Girl...........................................£366.00 20G Hatsan Escort wood effect 24" youth ..............£369.00 20G Win Super X3 Camo ltd edition 28"................£905.00 20G Browning 525 Sporter Elite 30" ...............£1935.00 20G Browning 525 HTR Prestige 30"..............£3638.00 28G Browning 525 Hunter 28".........................£1666.00 28G Miroku Mk70 30" .....................................£1400.00

PISTOLS .22 GSG 1911 SA pistol available with a black, tan or polished slide.......................................................£489.00 .38/357 Turris LBR ..................................................£695 300 Win Mag Failsafe 180g.......................................£169.70 32.20 Winchester 100 gn LRN ....................................£63.50 AMMUNITION (RIFLE) IN 30.30 Winchester 150 gn PPSP .................................£114.00 STOCK............................................................................per 100 303 British Winchester 180 PPSP .............................£140.00 .22 Hornet Hornady V-Max 35g..................................£73.40 303 British S&B 180 G FMJ.......................................£64.40 .222 REM Winchester 50 gn SP..................................£73.75 .308 Match Federal 168 Gold Medal ........................£191.00 .223 Winchester 55 gn SP ............................................£79.00 .308 Winchester 150 gn PPSP ...................................£112.50 22.250 Winchester 55 gn Varmint ...............................£95.55 30.06 Springfield Winchester 180 PPSP ..................£113.75 22.250 Winchester 55 gn SP........................................£92.50 8mm Mauser Federal 170 gn SP .................................£90.55 .243 Winchester WSSM 100gm................................£158.25 8 x 57 JR (S&B) 196 gn SP.........................................£76.50 .243 Winchester 100 gn SP........................................£112.50 8 x 57 JS SMJ (S&B)...................................................£56.00 .243 Winchester 95 BST gn.......................................£127.30 .375 H&H FMJ, RWS ................................................£257.50 .243 Hornady 100 gn SP............................................£112.50 375 H&H 300g Nosler Solid Winchester Supreme.£674.75 .270 Winchester 150 gn PPSP ...................................£127.50 375 H&H Fed Prem Capeshot 300g£383.60.416 Rigby 7mm Rem Mag Winchester 150 PPSP.....................£180.00 Federal premium SP ...................................................£995.00 6.5 x 55 Swedish Hornady SST 140 gn....................£161.25 .458 Win Mag 500/SP ................................................£315.50 300 H&H Winchester 180 Silvertip..........................£183.20 470 NE Federal 500G Solid.....................................£1550.00 300 Win Mag Winchester 180 PPSP.........................£189.30 12 gauge Slug Winchester 1 ounce ............................£90.00

Opening Hours: 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday Open Saturdays 9.30am-4.00pm. Postage & Packing. Phone for Price. Manufacturers Brochures A4 S.A.E. ONLY

202 CHAPUIS ARMES HAVE ARRIVED. ALL SHOTGUNS ARE STEEL SHOT PROOF WITH 5 VARIABLE CHOKES Chapuis 12 Gauge Artisan C140 Over And Under £6,750

Chapuis 12 Gauge Artisan Rd Side By Side £6,995

Chapuis 12 Gauge Side By Side Rgp £2,800

Chapuis 12 Gauge C35 Rd Over And Under £2,800

Errors & Omissions Excepted

BAUSCH & LOMB/ BUSHNELL ELITE 3200 1.5 - 4.5 x 32 Firefly ..................£324.00

ELITE 4200 1.25-4x24 illuminated 4A ..........£468.00 4-16x4 Multi X ............................£516.00 6-24x50 Mil-Dot ........................£533.00

ELITE 6500 2.5-16x24 Mil-Dot ......................£720.00 2.5-16x50 Mil-Dot ......................£775.00 1-6.5x24 Illuminated A4 ............£775.00

TACTICAL 1-8.5x24 illuminated BTR2 (34mm tube) ..................................................£1263.00 3.5-21x50 G2DMR (34mm tube) ............ ..................................................£1273.00 4.5-30x50 Mil-Dot ....................£1274.00 1-6.5x24 illuminated BRT2 (30mm tube) ..........................................................£927


SS NOVEMBER 2017 Master_SHOOTING SPORTS 22/09/2017 10:08 Page 105

Wilson & Wilson (Fieldsports) Ltd. Telegraph Hill, Laundry Road, Minster, Ramsgate, Kent CT12 4HL

Tel: 01843 822242 Fax No: 01843 821162 Registered Firearms Dealer No. 276 Kent. www.wilsonandwilsonfieldsports.co.uk

Browning 8 x 57 CCS 525 Elite Double Rifle Battue Rib £2,999 Merkel 416 Rigby 140 AE DA Safari Ejector £9,999

Chapuis X4 30.06 Ejector, Double Express Rifle, Single Trigger £4540.00

Chapuis X4 9.3 x 74, Ejector, Double Express Rifle, £4340.00 UNUSUAL RCBS DIE SETS IN STOCK Ring for current pricing

6.5 Greater Hornady..............................................£85.20 .25 Auto primed S&B............................................£19.00 8x57 JRS S&B.......................................................£48.50 .30 M1 Carbine S&B.............................................£30.00 .30 M1 Carbine Winchester...................................£69.30 7.62x25 Tokarev ....................................................£20.61 32 Auto ..................................................................£24.60 32 S&W .................................................................£26.45 380 Auto ................................................................£20.50 38 Special ..............................................................£28.10 9mm Win........................................................................£19.40 9mm Luger S&B...........................................................£16.60 9mm Luger Winchester Brass ...............................£19.40 10mm .....................................................................£29.90 .357 Magnum.........................................................£24.95 .41 Rem Mag .........................................................£42.50 .44 Special .............................................................£21.95 .44 Magnum...........................................................£30.10 .45 auto ..................................................................£30.00 .17 Remington .......................................................£46.20 .22 Hornet S&B and Winchester...........................£36.15 204 Ruger Winchester ...........................................£38.50 .220 Swift Remington............................................£74.50 .222 Rem................................................................£41.80 .223 Winchester .....................................................£39.80 .223 WSSM............................................................£80.50 .22-250...................................................................£60.00 .243 ........................................................................£57.30 .243 WSSM............................................................£80.90 6mm Rem ..............................................................£49.90 6.5 x 55 Winchester ...............................................£70.25 6.5x55 S&B ..........................................................£38.90 6.5x57R S&B.........................................................£47.90 25.06 Hornady .......................................................£65.00 6.5 Creedmore .......................................................£85.20 .257 Roberts...........................................................£55.50 .270 ........................................................................£60.30 300 WSM...............................................................£86.70 300 Win Mag .........................................................£95.20 300 H&H Norma.................................................£104.55 .303 British S&B ...................................................£42.50 308 Lapua ..............................................................£57.00 .308 Winchester .....................................................£51.00 762 x 39 S&B........................................................£38.50 30.06 Springfield...................................................£58.60 30.30 Win...............................................................£50.10 32.20 ......................................................................£46.50 38.40 ......................................................................£45.00 38.55 Win...............................................................£61.00 338 Win Mag .........................................................£84.65 .338 Lapua (Norma) ............................................£170.00 348 Win..................................................................£97.35 358 Win..................................................................£76.20 375 Win..................................................................£65.70 375 H&H ..............................................................£85.00 .44.40 .....................................................................£38.30 .444 Hornady .......................................................£137.00 .45 Long Colt Starline ..........................................£29.80 45-120 Norma......................................................£189.90 45.70 Govt ............................................................£83.25 .416 Rigby Norma Brass .....................................£247.90 458 Win Mag .........................................................£88.30 .470 Nitro Express (Norma)................................£372.90 5.6x50 R S&B .......................................................£48.50 7.08 ........................................................................£65.00 7x57 .......................................................................£39.70 7mm Mag...............................................................£67.95 7x64 S&B ..............................................................£43.10 762x54r S&B.........................................................£44.80 8x57JR ...................................................................£44.00 8x57 JS S&B .........................................................£46.20 9.3x64 RWS.........................................................£130.20 9.3x74 R S&B .....................................................£122.80

APS Strip Loader ..................................................£39.60 Autoprime Tool ...................................................£110.70 NEW Speer No 14 Reloading Manual .................£36.00 Lyman 1200 Auto Flow.........................................£59.00 Uniflow Powder Measure....................................£107.40 Powder Measure Stand..........................................£27.00 Powder Trickler .....................................................£23.75 Uniflow Micrometer Ad Just Screw LG or SM.......£53.40 Uniflow Small Cylinder ........................................£38.20 Lube Die................................................................£43.50 Trim Pro Power Assembly 220V Kit ..................£367.60 Scales 500 .............................................................£94.20 Scales 1000 .........................................................£152.90 Charge Master Combo ........................................£500.00 RCPS Load CD...................................................£112.50 Lock Out Die.........................................................£60.60 Accessories Base Plate..........................................£41.65 Primer Pocket Swager ..........................................£40.90 Case Master Measurement Tool..........................£144.95 Trim Pro Case Trimmer Kit ................................£178.40 Trim Pro ..............................................................£114.70 Scale Check Weights Deluxe ................................£62.40 RCBS RELOADING Primer Pocket Brush Combo ................................£19.00 EQUIPMENT EXAMPLES Lubra Matic Sizing Press....................................£213.50 Ring for current pricing Bullet Moulds Pistol/Rifle from ...........................£88.30 Pro Melt 22lb Furness.........................................£504.00 Mould Handles......................................................£45.20 Black Powder Measurer ......................................£168.25 Deburing Tool .....................................................£25.60* Pro 2000 Shell plate..............................................£35.90 NEW WINCHESTER Rockchucker Supreme Kit ..................................£412.50 BRASS CASES .....................................per 100 RELOADERS SPECIAL Piggy Back 3 Press Conversion ..........................£474.50 9mm Makarov S&B ..............................................£17.60 PURCHASE Rock Chucker Press ............................................£205.55 7x57 S&B..............................................................£37.35 .224 55 grain FMJ ....................................£64.00 per 500 Turret Press Reloading Kit..................................£586.00 762x25 Takarev .....................................................£21.90 .308 147 FMJ ...........................................£87.00 per 500 Tungsten Carbide Die Sets (Pistol) ..............from £66.55 Standard Rifle Die Sets FL...................................£44.50 Cowboy Action Dies .............................................£70.50 Competition Dies ................................................£133.00 APS Bench Prime Tool .......................................£127.80 Postage & Packing. Phone for Price. Manufacturers Brochures A4 S.A.E. ONLY APS Press Prime Tool ...........................................£82.00 22 PPC 5.45x39 5.6x57R 765x53BM 7mm-06 7mm STW 7mm WBY MAG 284 Win 280 Win 257 Roberts 30-338 Win 30.40 Crag 240 H&H Fg 7mm BR Rem 7mm 08 Rem 338-378 WBY Mag 375 Win 8mm Rem Mag 8mm-06 .33 Win 300 H&H

340 WBY Mag 8x72R 348 Win 9.3x62 Mauser 378 WBY Mag 32-40 Win 11x59 Gras 45-90 Win 40-65 Shiloh Sharpe 458 Lott 45-120 SS 31/3" 45-90 SS 30R Blaser 9.3x64 CFDS from 338 Win .30 Luger 38-55 WCF 38-40 WCF 450 31/4 Nitro Express 416 WBY Mag 470 Nitro 31/4 Express 470 Cap Stick

Opening Hours: 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday Open Saturdays 9.30am-4.00pm.

8 ml 196 FMJ .........................................£107.50 per 100 .308180 FMJ 180 BT Bullets.................£101.25 per 500

BARNES SPECIALS .224 36G AND 50G Varmint Grenade ....£12.50 per 100 .224 45g TSX ..........................................£28.80 per 100 .270 MRX ................................................£60.00 per 100 6ml Varmint Grenade ..............................£15.00 per 100 7ml TSX ..................................................£37.00 per 100 7ml MRX ................................................£62.00 per 100

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SS11.17/21/a

Merkel 470 Nitro Express 160 AE DA Sidelock Ejector £17,999

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RELOADING

Burning issues

Wheelwrite checks out a new powder and clears up some bullet confusion

The RS rifle powder family and 2016 data manual, a new source of quality powder is always to be welcomed!

I

t’s almost a year since I contacted Nigel Cole Hawkins, the UK distributor for Reload Swiss propellants and convinced him to ship me some samples for review. A few months later I started work on a revised long (‘ish) range target load in .308 but it has taken much longer than planned. So, let’s use this as an article on cartridge development.

NEED TO KNOW To start with we need to know a bit about the rifle to make sensible bullet choices. In my case the rifling twist is 1:14, OK for medium weight match bullets in the 140 to 170-grain range. Barrel length and chamber form are also important. My choice of the Sierra 155-grain HPBT Palma Match sits pretty much in the middle. Brass started as brand new standard Lapua .308 Win. (I’ve yet to do a ‘head to head’ comparison with the reduced flash hole diameter Palma Match

106

Lapua brass – although my earlier experiments with changed flash hole diameters have convinced me that this can be an important ammo tuning feature). Primers are Federal 210 and the powder choices are all from Reload Swiss, RS40, RS50, RS52 and RS60. To condition the new Lapua it was initially loaded with 150-grain PPU pills atop 40-grains of IMR 4895 (my current 308 ‘default’) and used for shorter range plinking. The cases were then de-primed, ultrasonically cleaned, tumbled and neck sized ready for use.

These Reload Swiss powders are all similar extruded rod designs

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

THE NEED FOR SPEED Ammo development requires a chronograph. From my Caldwell Ballistic Precision Premium kit to my Oehler 43 Mini Lab, the choice is huge. Basically, they are posh stop watches measuring the time of flight of the bullet over an accurately controlled distance. They turn this data into speed in either feet or metres per second (fps/mps). Many also offer a suite of extra features such as the storage of a string of velocity data, the ability to isolate the highest and lowest velocities from the string, calculate the average velocity of the string and determine a vital factor called the Standard Deviation (S.D.). Newer models such as my budget Caldwell also offer downloadable apps that enable the chrono to talk to your smart phone, tablet or computer. Whist the timing component in modern chrono’s are based and around quartz timing devices and is therefore extremely precise, the pitch of the


My favourite Lapua brass has excellent long-life properties

sensors represents a potential variable. It is therefore a good idea to run a comparative test of your new chrono with another of known performance before taking the readings as accurate. My Caldwell seems to read just under 0.2% low based upon comparison with proof data from the same rifle, but that’s more than good enough!

POWDER IMPRESSIONS Cracking the lids on the Reload Swiss powders reveals them all to be relatively fine, dark grey extruded rod designs. Lose the labels off the tubs and you would be hard pressed to identify the individual types. Metering qualities proved to be extremely good. Batch weighing the bullets gave extremes of 154.6 and 155.3, par for the course with Sierra products. A total of 28 x 10 bullet batches, each with less than a 1/10-grain variation, were obtained from the three boxes. That gave me seven batches per powder type. The Swiss reload manual did not quote data for the chosen pill, leaving me to interpolate between the 150 and 168-grain data. The seven loads for each type were incrementally spread between the quoted start and max figures from the

manual. From previous experience with the IMR 4895-based Palma ammo my default COL was 2.792”, a jump of 0.018”. Bullet runout/concentricity of the assemblies was checked on my Sinclair gauge.

BEST SD OF 6 WITH MORE TO COME The barrel was scrubbed after each 10-round batch. Throughout the various tests the RS52 felt the best, closely followed by RS40, borne out by the ES and SD figures. Given range limitations I was primarily interested in getting the lowest 10 round batch SD with a view to later attempts at group accurising around those loads. The best SD were with 41.7-grains of RS40 and 45.6 of RS52, both recording a very impressive 6. The RS52 average was 2629 fps with absolutely no signs of pressure, indicating that there is almost certainly more to come from further increases in the charge weight beyond those interpolated from the max figures in the manual.

I’M A BELIEVER Yes, I’m confident that I’m on the trail of an improved recipe based upon Reload Swiss

BULLET POINTS As a responsible scribe, I always endeavour to source at least one professional and independent corroboration of any legal issue that I cover. In the ‘Hollow Victory’ piece on the new law changes in bullet types I sought the wisdom of a couple of Firearms Officers as well as that of the advisor to a major shooting organisation. With regard to the use of ‘expanding’ projectiles for rifle target shooting I failed to get a consensus and therefore erred towards the negative advice. A couple of readers have challenged that interpretation, leading to me making further enquiries. Whilst the Home Office Guidance Notes are unambiguous, the actual legislation is drafted in a prescriptive manner that is open to interpretation. Following a written opinion from the highest authority I can now confirm that we ARE able to use ‘expanding’ designs for rifle target shooting purposes. However, some range standing orders still ban the use of hollow point projectiles so check before you shoot. Mea culpa.

RS52. Not only does it meter extremely well, it’s clean to use. Other scribes have likened it to Varget and I see no reason to disagree. As the new kids on the block I must say that the range of Reload Swiss powders has a great deal to offer both hunting and target shooting reloaders. More RS reloading experiments will follow, as will a ‘beyond the data’ conclusion to this test. Take a peek at the UK RS web site for further details about their products: http://www.propellants.co.uk/

Federal 210 Large Rifle, my primer of choice!

Caldwell hooked up to my phone; chronograph results in terms of ES and SD were impressive!

Sierra 155-grain Palma Match bullets, always good fodder for a 308

107


WORKSHOP | CASE HISTORY

CASE HISTORIES: .25 WINCHESTER SUPER SHORT MAGNUM

SHORT, FAT AND

DISCONTINUED!

Wheelwrite looks at the last child of a good idea that never really got it right!

I

recently took a peek at a member of the Winchester Short Magnum family or WSM. This month I examine the short lived final member of the super runt breed, the Winchester Super Short Magnums (WSSM). The last and ill-fated member of this family being the 25 WSSM. Given the modest performance delivered by this 2004 release it was best described as a nearly magnum. A trawl through the factory data for the cartridge revealed some pretty unimpressive figures. The .257 pill sat atop a chopped version of the .300 WSM case (a 404 Jeffery descendant) - and in 115-grain Ballistic Silvertip form delivered just over 3000 fps. Intended applications embraced small and medium varmints and game from prairie dogs and coyotes to small deer.

ANOTHER .25-06? In terms of development history it followed the 243 WSSM, released a year earlier, and can therefore be considered a necked up version. Apart from the fact that it could be chambered in very short actions, the 25

WSSM had no obvious unique selling points. The limited case capacity endowed it with less than magnum performance for a .257 calibre design, with the veteran .25-06 Remington delivering comparable performance, better case life and easier reloading properties, as well as a raft of suitably chambered arms from which to choose. Sources close to Winchester claim that the original intention had been to release a 25 cal version of the WSM family, but the resulting performance characteristics were deemed unsatisfactory. They then turned their attention to the extra truncated family of WSSMs, already comprising the lightning fast 223 WSSM of 2002 and rapid 243 WSSM of 2003. The .25 was a cartridge too far! Whilst ammo is still listed by the maker, it allegedly represents the residue of much earlier production activities. Whether the cessation is the result of technical/ performance issues, poor sales, the near absence of suitably chambered arms or a combination of all of these factors is unclear.

25 WSSM schematic, the dumpy nature of the round is obvious, the whole super shor t family did show hard extraction

108

The 25 WSSM a good exam wrong compa red to the la ple of a fairly good idea rger, parent WSM series gone

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

INDUSTRY INDIFFERENCE The industry never really embraced the WSM and WSSM formats, indeed, the Browning A-Bolt and Winchester Model 70’s were the only volume production rifles chambered for the 25, both from the same production organisation as the cartridge itself. This was symptomatic of a broader issue. The roots of the faltering health of the Winchester Short and Super Short cartridges going much deeper. Olin Industries, owners of the relevant brands were taken to court in the USA by gun writer, case designer/manufacturer and wildcatter Rick Jamison for infringements of intellectual property relating to the primary design features of short magnum cartridges. Jamison won his case, setting alarm bells ringing for any other company considering the production of either the ammo or arms chambered for it!

ON THE MAKE New Win 25 WSSM is listed on GunBroker IRO $1.75 to $2.00 per round. But if you’re minded to experiment with this calibre, then dies are listed by makers from Lee to Redding with load data available in many of the later publications including Hornady’s 10th Edition. Brass is cynically listed by the likes of Brownells and Midway but with the caveat that it’s no longer available! The only credible sources are a couple of specialist American makers reforming it from 300 WSM parent brass. HillBilly Brass listing 25 cases for $40 plus shipping. Large Rifle primers and .257 pills are common enough, as are the most suitable propellants. Pressure issues, limited case life and cooked barrels are all well reported, so be warned. This is not a beginner’s cartridge!

N EXT MONTH 222 RE M INGTON MAG N U M


SS NOVEMBER 2017 Master_SHOOTING SPORTS 21/09/2017 16:09 Page 109

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WORKSHOP | IRON SIGHTS

Redundant or

RETRO? Picture credit: John Rippin

Pete Moore considers the humble, or not so humble, iron sight and its place in modern shooting

The No4 Enfield rear unit uses a large fixed aperture for short range use and a micrometeradjustable flip-up ladder for long distance work

L

ike most shooters, I started with air rifles and iron sights were the only game in town! Basic by design, robust in construction and practical, they worked and we knew no better and I pulled off some good shots on vermin; well, if the rat died, it was a result! Summing it up, if I could see it, I could hit it at sensible ranges! It was not until the mid 1960s

110

that I got my first telescopic sight, second hand off my brother. It was an old, steeltubed Nikko 4x20 with a wire reticle; I had arrived!

NON-OPTIONAL When I got more into ‘real’ firearms, they all came fitted with irons regardless, as did military rifles, which in this case took

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

the aforementioned principles of ‘basic by design, robust in construction and practical in use’, which suited service requirements. It was not until 1975 that I saw my first optical sight, the old S.U.I.T. (Sight Unit Infantry Trilux), a fore runner of the modern S.U.S.A T. I did not like it, as its huge aiming pointer seemed to obscure most of the view and I stuck with irons on my L1A1 SLR.


IRON SIGHTS | WORKSHOP I left the Army in 1979 and started sports shooting and boy had things moved on, with telescopic sights pretty much being standard equipment on hunting rifles. Though the pure target shooters still used irons, albeit of a highly sophisticated nature and still do to this day. However, the same cannot be said of hunters, or in fact the military. Today and probably for the last 15-years certainly in the UK, though rifles still come with irons in ever reducing numbers, we all tend to slap an optic on. Which makes sense, as they offer the ability to shoot further and with more accuracy, making them near essential for hunting and a definite boon in some target disciplines.

This rather elegant tangent type rear sight is from a Mauser G98, optimistically cut for up to for 2000m

LOST ART

No4 front sight, which is windageadjustable and also comes in different blade heights to facilitate zeroing

improve your vision. You might be surprised how well they can shoot in the right hands! Some systems offer a multi-hole dioptre that you can dial to get the right aperture for the lighting and need.

GETTING IT ON Hi-vis sights are found on many modern rifles, the coloured fibre optic bars offer fast acquisition and good alignment

THE HOLE THING! Moving on, we have a similar set up but with an aiming hole (aperture) as opposed to a notch, which is now set on the rifle’s receiver to be nearer to the eye. If it was positioned on the barrel it would be too small to do the job. Aperture sights are easier to align, as your eye automatically centres the front sight in the hole. The downside; they reduce the amount of light going to your eye, which is a problem in dull conditions. Two examples; the British Lee Enfield No4 with flip-up ladder graduated for range, which when folded own offers a large fixed aperture for close range use 0 - 200 yards. The front again is a windage-adjustable blade; in this case various heights and sizes can be substituted to achieve a zero. More sophisticated and up to date is the M16A2 system. Here, the rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation by dials the latter being pre-cut for range/calibre. It has a double (L-shaped) flip aperture, a large hole for 0-200 and a smaller one for 300, 400, 500 and 600m, which is controlled on the elevation wheel. Up front is a heightadjustable post for zeroing. Pure target sights are very sophisticated and normally consist of a fully adjustable aperture at the rear with a tunnel up front (sometimes windage-adjustable) that will accept different patterns of interchangeable elements that can suit the shooter’s eyesight, conditions, or the target. It’s even possible to put in a corrective lens to

Zeroing changes a little given the position and type of sights used. First, we must recognise the rear sight is the pivot that the rifle moves around, so if you are shooting left you will move it out of the error – RIGHT. This will force you to swing the muzzle right to realign the notch or aperture so giving the correction. The same is true of elevation; rifle shooting low, raise the notch/aperture and you will have to raise the muzzle to realign. However, adjustable front sights, be they elevation or windage work in reverse! If you’re shooting left, then the blade is moved into the error – LEFT, which will make you swing the muzzle right in relation to the rear unit. In elevation raising the blade causes the muzzle to go down and up if you lower it. A lot of European hunting rifles with irons have a windage-adjustable rear, with an elevation-adjustable front.

SEE IT Visual enhancement is also available, with brass, or coloured, plastic tipped-blades and notches. Very effective are the fibre optics that transmit light, normally they appear as

s

So, have iron sights had their day, as they do not seem to stack up well against modern optics in accuracy potential or ease of use? Now, I’m a fan and feel that they offer the fundamentals of shooting and also still have their place. I have plenty of scoped hunting rifles, but some also have irons on for specific reasons and I even have a couple of iron sight only guns, as their discipline is pleasing to me. So, let’s see what’s on offer and how they work. The most basic system is the blade and notch. A vertical blade or post sits on the muzzle and further down the barrel is a sighting notch normally of U or V shape. The rear unit is sprung and has a movable wedge, or slides vertically in a plate, which raises or lowers the notch to give elevation correction. The front sight, normally a blade, can be adjustable for windage (left & right correction) if set in a transverse dovetail, as can the rear! An outgrowth of this and one favoured by the military, is the tangent system. The front is normally a windage-adjustable blade, but the rear (barrel-mounted) offers a calibre/ range-graduated arm with a notch at the back that is raised and lowered by sliding a block up and down a ramp. Perhaps best typified by the Mauser K98 and Short Magazine Lee Enfield!

Probably the most sophisticated military irons ever, this M16A2 unit offers dialable windage and elevation, plus a double aperture for long and short range use. Even the front post is elevationadjustable

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WORKSHOP | IRON SIGHTS

My Mauser M03 boar rifle, the low power, QD optic is the first choice, but the irons are tough and will work even in the rain where water would fill a scope’s lenses

PRACTICE & CONFIDENCE However, practice is the key, which will also breed confidence! For hunting I prefer a blade and U-notch; a rear aperture, though slightly more consistent, does not let a lot of light in in duller conditions, such as in woods or first and last light. With a U-notch, the sight picture you are looking for is the tip of the blade level with the top of the notch, with equal space/light either side. This is paramount, as even slight deviations will cause inaccuracy. With an aperture, centre the tip of the blade/post in the ring, here a larger hole is better as it lets more light in and does not obscure the target so much.

One thing to realise is that the human eye cannot keep three things in focus at one time; as in target, front and rear sight. So you need to decide what’s the most important! For me the correct sight picture is paramount and the deer for example can be a bit fuzzy as you can see the shape, so place the bullet where it needs to go. Granted, a scope is a lot easier, as you only have two things to focus – target and cross hair, which is optically possible. Which with the massive improvements in optics has contributed to the demise of iron sights. So, I say give iron sights a go, you might be surprised by the challenge and satisfaction offered!

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green dots either side of the U-notch and a red bar on the front blade. These colours give a good contrast. I do a fair bit of driven hunting in Europe, mainly on boar but also deer. I favour a low power telescopic sight 1.5-6x24 or similar, with an illuminated centre dot in QD mounts. At 1.5x they are fast to use and accurate, as in most cases shots are between 10 – 50 yards, occasionally 100. However, my three rifles I use all have iron sights fitted. The reason, when it rains or is foggy/misty etc the lenses can and do get obscured by water and moisture making the scope useless. A decent set or irons with a contrasted blade up front and a decent U-notch at the rear does not suffer from this problem. There have been a few times when I’ve taken off the scope and used the irons to good effect. Also, there is a deal of satisfaction in hunting with what many consider a redundant system. OK, for deer etc. you won’t be taking long shots, I limit myself to around 100 yards, closer if possible. But even a basic set of irons, properly zeroed can achieve 3-4” groups at 100 yards; drop that bullet behind the shoulder and its going down! I zero at 50 yards, as it’s easier and with the calibres I use, bullet drop at 100 is minimal, so it’s point and shoot.

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FROM

SS11.17/E/p

Hanging Rail System

SS11.17/D/p

£1,250

• WEBLEY PREMIER .22 AIR PISTOL. Very little use, virtually as new. C/W Box. Instructions, Spares. List £230. Browining X Bolt Talley Scope Mounts, 1” Medium Boxed £40. Millett Angle Loc 1” High Scope Mounts Unused Boxed £25, Plus carriage. Tel: 07740 724397. Tunbridge Wells SS11.17/s

• Extensive range of all leading Airguns, Scopes & Accessories • Shotgun Cartridges

• TOWER FUSIL (SHORT RIFLE) 1860 Marked to Australian Militia. V.G.C. Good bore, etc. with leather sling. £800 Collect only. Phone anytime to view. Mobile: 07711 956049. S. Yorks. SS11.17/s

TRADE MEMBER

• SIGHTRON 6-24x50 MILDOT RETICLE. M.O.A. Turrets sun shade, flip-up covers. Excellent condition. £680 Includes postage. Tel: 07973 183814. Greater Manchester. SS11.17/s

To advertise here please contact: Zoe 01206 506248 or Ed 01206 506243

MOOREDGES ROAD, THORNE, DONCASTER OPEN

6

DAYS A WEEK, CLOSED TUESDAY

9.30-5.30

DN8 5RY

SUNDAY

10-4

www.manchesterairguns.com

Fancy having Shooting Sports on the go? Download our app to subscribe for only £2.99 every issue!

Tel: 0161 681 7947 470 Oldham Road, Failsworth, Manchester M35 0FH info@manchesterairguns.com

LARGE SELECTION OF CENTRE FIRE AMMUNITION AND RELOADING SUPPLIES

Get it now! Scan the QR code with your phone or visit: http://bit.ly/shootingapp

Try before you buy, range on site

SS11.17/H/p

SS11.17/J/p

Tel: 01405 741706

www.mooredges.com

SS11.17/B/p

WARRINGTON GUNS Unit 7, Dunhams Court, Dunhams Lane, Letchworth, Herts SG6 1WB

53 Norris Street, Warrington, Cheshire WA2 7RJ

Tel:

01925 415901

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm Sat 9am-4.30pm Email: sales@warringtonguns.com

See our website for full details

www.diffcal.co.uk

SS11.17/F/s

01462 674861 info@adifferentcalibre.co.uk

Selection of air rifles including: BSA, Air Arms, Weihrauch, Cometa, Webley, Edgar, Walther and many more. Co2 Pistols & Revolvers Shotguns & Cartridges Rimfire, Centre Fire Rifles, Ammunition and Gun Cabinets.

113

SS11.17/G/p

www.warringtonguns.com

No Membership Fees ★ Pay and Play Up to 30 lanes available ★ Clubs and groups welcome Open 7 days a week ★ For all ages and ability


SS NOVEMBER 2017 classi master NEW_SS APR 2014 classi master 22/09/2017 10:31 Page 114

CLASSIFIED & PRIVATE AD PAGES • THIRD EYE 30MM MOUNTS BLACK. Excellent condition. £75 Includes postage. Tel: 07973 183814. Greater SS11.17/s Manchester. • 284 MICROMETER. Never used. £75 Includes postage. Tel: 07973 183814. SS11.17/s Greater Manchester.

SHOTGUNS • AIR RIFLES • SPORTING RIFLES LARGE STOCK OF NEW AND SECONDHAND An Excellent Range of OUTDOOR CLOTHING

• FOSTER FULL LENGTH. Re-loading die’s 223. £50 Includes postage. (Used) Tel: 07973 183814. Greater SS11.17/s Manchester.

stockists of SS11.17/I/p

BARBOUR • HOGGS • AIGLE WELLINGTONS CHRYSALIS • SEELAND • GRASSROOTS Visit our premises at:

64, CHURCH ST, MELBOURNE, DERBY DE73 1EJ

Tel: 01332 862091

• LEE ANNIVERSARY BALANCE. Beam scales. Boxed. £15 Includes postage. (Used) Tel: 07973 183814. SS11.17/s Greater Manchester.

SS11.17/K/r

CLASSIFIED

FREE

(This facility is for Private, not Trade) (max 40 words) Please include my advertisement in the next issue of Shooting Sports 1

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SS11.17/C/p

F O R M

My advertisement is both legal and honest signed ...........................................................................................

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Post to: Shooting Sports, 21 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY IMPORTANT You must include your name, address and telephone evenif you do not want them printed in your ad and you must sign the legal and honest statement. Advertisements that are not on the correct coupon, a photocopy or facsimilie of will not be published. All advertisements will be placed in the next available issue.

114

SHOOTING SPORTS MAGAZINE

• WEIRAUCH 97K THUMBHOLE STOCK .22 CARBINE 2-PIECE MOUNTS. 2.5-20X56 Hawk Endurance Scope. Illuminated reticle. Zeroed for use. Flip up covers. Rifle sling. Nylon gun case/mat. 1,400 Baracuda pellets .22. FACE TO FACE. £580 Tel: 07973 SS11.17/s 183814. Greater Manchester. • 4 SALE. 12g Miroku o/u, very clean and tidy gun. £225. Also brand new leather cartridge bag, cost £65, c/n 60 cartridges. Both for £50. Tel: 01244 349047. Chester. SS10.17/p

• SIGHTRON SII - BIG SKY. SIIBS 45144MB. One inch tube, 4.5-14x44m/m. Side focus, Matte black, Mil dot reticle. £699.95 when new. £450.00, No bids, No offers. Tel: 07856 706193. West Lancashire. SS10.17/p • NIGHT FORCE 4-14x56 ILL. Like new, hardly used. Still in box. £550 ono. Photon Digital Night Vision Scope, Night Master 400IR light force lamp and battery pack £250. Tel: 07775 771770. Wales. SS10.17/p

To advertise here please contact: Zoe 01206 506248 or Ed 01206 506243

G U 5)) 95 7 9 1 7 . 1 ((EEsstt. N www.leechandsons.co.uk S TEL: CHELMSFORD (01245) 465249 Email: leechandsons@gmail.com M ALL REPAIRS UNDERTAKEN OPEN TUES TO SAT 9 AM TO 5.30 PM I NEW & SECOND HAND SHOTGUNS, T RIFLES AND GUN CABINETS ETC 4A Church Road, Boreham, Chelmsford Essex CM3 3EF H S

Leech & Sons Ltd

SS04.17/L/d

www.melbournegun.com

O R D E R

• LEE HAND-HELD PRIMING TOOL. Boxed. £35 Includes postage. (Used) Tel: 07973 183814. Greater SS11.17/s Manchester.

• AIR ARMS TX200 HC. .177, Walnut. Venom internal rebuild. Airmax scope, brilliant. Sports match mounts. Owned from new. Reluctant sale. Too heavy for me at 75. Condition as new. £575. Mobile: 07748 228961. North Kent. SS10.17/p


SS11.16/2/r

SS NOVEMBER 2017 COVER MASTER_COVER MASTER 21/09/2017 14:25 Page 115


SS NOVEMBER 2017 COVER MASTER_COVER MASTER 21/09/2017 14:25 Page 116

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