Tuesday 15 December 2009

OkOK, 338-06 AI it is ...

I hope  have bored everybody to tears by now ;) While looking at cartridges I kept returning to the .338-06 Ackley Improved and I think that'll be the one. Since I want a custom rifle anyway it is no major hassle and it gives a bit more oomph, especially with single base powders. These I want in order to avoid muzzle flash when shooting at night. why that? Well the problem with muzzle flash is not so much that you get seen, but that you get blinded and can't actually see your prey for a few seconds.

Also this gives me > 750 m/s out to more than 250 m which really should be sufficient. 750 m/s is the speed that the KJG needs in order to open properly.

Also the .338-06 AI uses a long action which means that since I want a Savage action I can simply get a 110 for which aftermarket stocks are plentyful.

Saturday 12 December 2009

more thoughts on the rifle

I am really beginning to think that I will be a Savage man (as opposed to a savage man). I like the ideas, the price, the reputed accuracy. And the Accutrigger. So when I get a full size rifle I am thinking a stainless steel action, left hand thumb hole stock, target or varmint trigger and in one of the endless selection of 338 cartridges. Have Steve Bowers install one of his over the barrel moderators and be done with it. That mod is probably going to cost more than the whole rifle, but ah well.

As for cartridges another one has joined the option list, which is the 338-284 again possibly as AI. I have not yet found cartridge data for my version of QL, so my usual data cemetery will haver to wait a bit.

Thursday 5 November 2009

cheap custom rifle

I actually handled a rfile of the same model as I have ordered for the first time this weekend, and got to dry fire it once. The Savage Accutrigger is sweet piece of kit. This has got me thinking. I have kinda made up my mind that I want a custom rifle as my first fullbore rifle. This was looking like 2,500 € from Mayerl with a blueprinted Remington 700 system, match trigger, Lothar Walther barrel (I think), Coate varmint stock and moderator.

After handling that rifle I started thinking. What if I were to get a Savage 116 action, a 338-06 barrel and a Coate or Ross stock? Then add a PES over the barrel moderator. Given the ridiculously low prices of Savage parts this should be affordable. I'm going to have to hand import a lot of this stuff though.

Sunday 4 October 2009

and the winner is: the .338-06 A-Square!

I get more muzzle velocity out of less powder:

**** Input data:                         Date: 4-Oct-2009     Time: 15:46:16
Cartridge................. = .338-06 A-Square
Projectile type........... = 8.58, 9., Möller 8,5 mm KJG S with boattail
Max.avg.pressure(Piezo A-S)= 448 MPa     Shot start / init pressure = 15 MPa
Projectile weight       (g)= 9.007       Groove caliber         (mm)= 8.59
Length of cartridge    (mm)= 84.84       Length of case         (mm)= 63.35 
Case capacity       (cu.cm)= 4.48        Length of projectile   (mm)= 30.48 
Length of barrel       (mm)= 560 
**** Values calculated:
Seating depth          (mm)= 8.99        Volume displaced    (cu.cm)= 0.52 
Comb.chamber volume (cu.cm)= 3.96        Projectile travel      (cm)= 50.56 
**** Input data:
Propellant type........... = ADI AR 2219
Charge weight...........(g)= 3.732       Load density......(g/cu.cm)= 0.942
Heat of Explosion   (kJ/kg)= 4000        Ratio of spec. heats cp/cv =  1.231 
Solid density     (g/cu.cm)= 1.57        Weighting factor...........= 0.50
Burning rate factor Ba(1/s)= 0.67        Pro-/degressivity factor a = 0.4497 
Burning limit ......... z1 = 0.5         Combust.Chamber Vb(m³)= 3.962779E-6
Factor.................. b = 1.6         X-S.Area of Bore A(m²)= 5.695E-5
Bulk density      (g/cu.cm)= 0.950       Projectile mass mp(kg)= 9.007E-3
Loading ratio           (%)= 99.1        Projectile travel x(m)= 5.0563E-1
**** Results calculated:
Maximum pressure ........ =  430 MPa     Way of projectile at Pmax =  37.1 mm
Muzzle velocity  ......Ve =  999 m/s     Muzzle pressure .......Pe =  60 MPa
Project. energy at muzzle =  4493 J      Fraction of powder burnt  = 99.7  %
Projectile travel time from 10% Pmax to muzzle = 0.88 ms

updates on own rifle

I have finished joining a gun club, it is Hilltop. I will probably not end up buying my equipment there, as I am particular about stuff and they don't appear to be good at accommodating stuff that is out of the ordinary. Also their prices are high. I got my gun safe 60 € cheaper elsewhere.

I am ending up buying not a .17 HMR, but a .22 lr, since not a lot of ranges in the country are actually certified for anything bigger than .22 lr. hence my rifle is the Savage Mark II BTVS. I have the serial number, most of the other stuff, 2 references - BTW they will likely be called, so one should warn them ;) I was bemused to read in the shooting boards how people were outraged that their references were actually called and. Guys it is called 2reference" not "names of parson or teacher I know the name and address of".

Oh and I am buying the gun in Norn Iron, since a) the guy could deliver faster and b) it is cheaper, £580 vs €800 from a shop in Cavan.

Cruelty to animals

I can't say this on the hunting boards but let me be clear on this: I consider hunting on horseback "par force" or coursing with hounds to be cruelty to animals. I despise it and I will not be solidarical with people who do it. I have recently been directly asked to be that and no. Just because you can't see the tortured creature I am not obliged to be solidarical with your actions. I despise this kind of hunting from the bottom of my heart.

This has got me thinking

I appears that Nitrochemie do not offer powders for reloaders any more. I will try and verify that tomorrow though. I have calculated two loads for the .338 Federal and the .338 RCM (which I had to fudge on the basis of the .300 RSAUM, since my QuickLoad doesn't have that cartridge yet).

**** Input data:                         Date: 4-Oct-2009     Time: 13:25:07
Cartridge................. = .338 RCM Fudge II - from .300 RSAUM
Projectile type........... = 8.58, 9., Möller 8,5 mm KJG S with boattail
Max.avg.pressure(Piezo SAA)= 448 MPa     Shot start / init pressure = 15 MPa
Projectile weight       (g)= 9.01        Groove caliber         (mm)= 8.59
Length of cartridge    (mm)= 71.76       Length of case         (mm)= 50.88 
Case capacity       (cu.cm)= 4.67        Length of projectile   (mm)= 30.48 
Length of barrel       (mm)= 560 
**** Values calculated:
Seating depth          (mm)= 9.6         Volume displaced    (cu.cm)= 0.55 
Comb.chamber volume (cu.cm)= 4.12        Projectile travel      (cm)= 51.87 
**** Input data:
Propellant type........... = IMR 4895
Charge weight...........(g)= 3.731       Load density......(g/cu.cm)= 0.905
Heat of Explosion   (kJ/kg)= 3860        Ratio of spec. heats cp/cv =  1.2431 
Solid density     (g/cu.cm)=  1.58       Weighting factor...........= 0.50
Burning rate factor Ba(1/s)= 0.61        Pro-/degressivity factor a = -0.15 
Burning limit ......... z1 = 0.6         Combust.Chamber Vb(m³)= 4.121772E-6
Factor.................. b = 1.6         X-S.Area of Bore A(m²)= 4.7291E-5
Bulk density      (g/cu.cm)= 0.890       Projectile mass mp(kg)= 9.007E-3
Loading ratio           (%)= 101.7       Projectile travel x(m)= 5.1871E-1
**** Results calculated:
Maximum pressure ........ =  430 MPa     Way of projectile at Pmax =  43.5 mm
Muzzle velocity  ......Ve =  978 m/s     Muzzle pressure .......Pe =  71 MPa
Project. energy at muzzle =  4310 J      Fraction of powder burnt  = 99.9  %
Projectile travel time from 10% Pmax to muzzle = 0.96 ms


**** Input data:                         Date: 4-Oct-2009     Time: 13:25:07

Cartridge................. = .338 RCM Fudge II - from .300 RSAUM

Projectile type........... = 8.58, 9., Möller 8,5 mm KJG S with boattail

Max.avg.pressure(Piezo Wil)= 440 MPa     Shot start / init pressure = 15 MPa
Projectile weight       (g)= 9.01        Groove caliber         (mm)= 8.59
Length of cartridge    (mm)= 71.12       Length of case         (mm)= 51.16 
Case capacity       (cu.cm)= 4.67        Length of projectile   (mm)= 30.48 
Length of barrel       (mm)= 560 
**** Values calculated:
Seating depth          (mm)= 10.51       Volume displaced    (cu.cm)= 0.55 
Comb.chamber volume (cu.cm)= 4.12        Projectile travel      (cm)= 51.93 
**** Input data:
Propellant type........... = Norma 200
Charge weight...........(g)= 3.031       Load density......(g/cu.cm)= 0.969
Heat of Explosion   (kJ/kg)= 3850        Ratio of spec. heats cp/cv =  1.239 
Solid density     (g/cu.cm)=  1.58       Weighting factor...........= 0.50
Burning rate factor Ba(1/s)= 0.555       Pro-/degressivity factor a =  6.5 
Burning limit ......... z1 = 0.3         Combust.Chamber Vb(m³)= 3.126928E-6
Factor.................. b = 2.2         X-S.Area of Bore A(m²)= 5.695E-5
Bulk density      (g/cu.cm)= 0.952       Projectile mass mp(kg)= 9.007E-3
Loading ratio           (%)= 101.8       Projectile travel x(m)= 5.1934E-1
**** Results calculated:
Maximum pressure ........ =  430 MPa     Way of projectile at Pmax =  32.1 mm
Muzzle velocity  ......Ve =  948 m/s     Muzzle pressure .......Pe =  46 MPa
Project. energy at muzzle =  4047 J      Fraction of powder burnt  = 100  %
Projectile travel time from 10% Pmax to muzzle = 0.92 ms

So this is pretty much 30m/s more muzzle velocity in exchange for a bigger cartridge, possible problems with sound moderation and maybe greater difficulties getting a licence. OTOH this increases the usable range of the KJG from 200m to just over 250m.

Saturday 3 October 2009

and more on cartridges - this time the .338 RCM

Well, me being me, when I had my rummage around for .338 cartridges, I stumbled upon the .338 Ruger Compact Magnum. Regardless of some silly marketing blahblah ("same power as a .338 Winchester Magnum, but from a 20" barrel" - yeah right) it turns out that it has basically the same volume as the .338-06, so we should still be able to use it with a 25mm over-the-barrel moderator, but it is a short action cartridge, which will not only potentially allow for a shorter barrel (which I am not usually a fan of, but let's not forget that a moderator adds something like 15 to 20cm to the length of the barrel), but also makes a "short, fat magnum", which means better combustion than in a long catridge. So quite possibly one can get a few more m/s out of it. And the added effective barrel length of a short action doesn't hurt my feelings either.

On  the other hand, the .338-06 gets a similar performance with lower pressures. This is from Hodgdon, since my version of QuickLoad doesn't have the .338 RCM

Sunday 27 September 2009

more reasons for the .338-06 A-Square

What are my other considerations for the .338-06 A-Square?

Well, there is brass available for it. That meas you don't have to either buy factory ammo and reuse the cartridges or fireform other cartridges. The first option leaves you with ammo you don't want and is expensive. The second option has problems when crossing borders as you are carrying ammo that has a different bottom stamp to the calibre of your firearm or to what it says on your licence.

And there is brass available from Norma, which has a very good name and does not have to go through any preparation stages before being loaded for the first time. This is not the case for the 3rd potential candidate: the .338 Ruger Compact Magnum (which is not in my version of quickload).

Saturday 26 September 2009

or maybe something a bit bigger? .338-06 A-Square

The fact that any kind of load that achieves decent speeds for the KJG leads to compressed loads in .338 Federal led me to looking for other options. Now I don't want a Magnum for 2 reasons.

1) I don't see any reason. I am not likely to shoot much further than 200m, so why would I need a Magnum?
2) I have found a full length moderator that basically looks like thicker barrel and has a diamter of 25mm, ie looks like a match barrel. This moderator at the moment can use a maximum of 30-06 Ackeley Improved, so I am hoping that the .338-06 will be usable. As that moderator involves drilling holes into the last 1.5" (make that 38mm) of the barrel the usable length goes down to 20.5", ie 520mm. Quickload still recommends Nitrochemie A/S 0300, so that is what I am using here.

**** Input data:                        Date: 26-Sep-2009     Time: 23:03:18
Cartridge................. = .338-06 A-Square
Projectile type........... = 8.58, 9., Möller 8,5 mm KJG S with boattail  

Max.avg.pressure(Piezo A-S)=448 MPa     Shot start / init pressure = 15 MPa
Projectile weight       (g)= 9.01       Groove calibre          (mm)= 8.59
Length of cartridge    (mm)= 84.84      Length of case          (mm)= 63.35 
Case capacity       (cu.cm)= 4.48       Length of projectile    (mm)= 30.48 
Length of barrel       (mm)= 520.7 
**** Values calculated:
Seating depth          (mm)= 8.99       Volume displaced    (cu.cm)= 0.52 
Comb.chamber volume (cu.cm)= 3.96       Projectile travel      (cm)= 46.63 
**** Input data:
Propellant type........... = Nitrochemie A/S 0300
Charge weight...........(g)= 3.592      Load density......(g/cu.cm)= 0.907
Heat of Explosion   (kJ/kg)= 3950       Ratio of spec. heats cp/cv =  1.2401 
Solid density     (g/cu.cm)= 1.62       Weighting factor...........= 0.50
Burning rate factor Ba(1/s)= 0.675      Pro-/degressivity factor a =  0.94 
Burning limit ......... z1 = 0.5        Combust.Chamber Vb     (m³)= 3.962196E-6
Factor.................. b = 1.7        X-S.Area of Bore      A(m²)= 5.695E-5
Bulk density      (g/cu.cm)= 0.944      Projectile mass mp     (kg)= 9.007E-3
Loading ratio           (%)= 96.0       Projectile travel x     (m)= 4.6634E-1
**** Results calculated:
Maximum pressure ........  =  420 MPa     Way of projectile at Pmax=  41.4 mm
Muzzle velocity  ...... Ve =  981m/s      Muzzle pressure .......Pe=  64 MPa
Project. energy at muzzle =  4336J      Fraction of powder burnt  = 100  %
Projectile travel time from 10% Pmax to muzzle = 0.85 ms

KJG needs at least 750 m/s to open properly, so that needs to be achieved at whatever range one intends to hit. As the below ballistics table shows, this lets me do that to slightly beyond 250m:

 Muzzle velocity  : 981 m/s
 Crosswind speed  : 0 m/s
 Ballistic Coefficient(s) (G1):
 C1=0.362@V>800 m/s;
 C2=0.307@V>400 m/s;
 C3=0.335@V>340 m/s;
 C4=0.272@V>300 m/s;
 C5=0.253@V>0 m/s;

 Optimum trajectory information :
 Optimum sight-in range (X) = 190 m
 with max. ordinate above LOS at range (M)= 113 m
 and max. point blank range (P)= 220 m.
 Sight-in clicks, 1 click = 1.0 cm/100 m or 0.394 in/100 m
 Height of sight above bore axis = 3.6 cm or 1.417 inch
 Gun is zeroed-in at 200 m,
 by sighting-in at level firing
 Range  Velo Time of  Energy   Path    Deflection    Total  Sight correction  Target
        city  flight            to    at crosswind    drop   for setting new   lead
                                LOS    of 0.5 m/s              zero range     10 m/s
·Meter   m/s     s    Joule     cm     cm      MOA     cm    Clicks     MOA      m  ·
|    0   981  0.0000   4336    -3.6    0.0   -----     0.0   ------    -----    0.00
|   25   958  0.0258   4132    -0.6    0.0    0.02     0.3     +2.2    +0.76    0.26
|   50   935  0.0522   3936    +1.8    0.1    0.04     1.3     -3.6    -1.25    0.52
|   75   912  0.0792   3749    +3.5    0.1    0.06     3.0     -4.7    -1.61    0.79
|  100   890  0.1069   3569    +4.5    0.2    0.08     5.4     -4.5    -1.53    1.07
M  118   874  0.1273   3444    +4.7    0.3    0.09     7.6     -3.9    -1.36    1.27
|  125   868  0.1353   3396    +4.6    0.4    0.10     8.6     -3.7    -1.27    1.35
|  150   847  0.1646   3231    +4.0    0.5    0.12    12.7     -2.6    -0.91    1.65
|  175   826  0.1947   3072    +2.4    0.7    0.14    17.6     -1.4    -0.48    1.95
X  200   805  0.2255   2919     0.0    1.0    0.17    23.4      0.0     0.00    2.25
|  225   782  0.2570   2754    -3.3    1.2    0.19    30.1     +1.5    +0.51    2.57
P  229   778  0.2621   2727    -4.0    1.3    0.19    31.2     +1.7    +0.59    2.62
|  250   758  0.2892   2590    -7.6    1.6    0.21    37.7     +3.0    +1.05    2.89
|  275   735  0.3224   2433   -12.9    1.9    0.24    46.4     +4.7    +1.62    3.22
|  300   712  0.3570   2283   -19.5    2.3    0.27    56.3     +6.5    +2.23    3.57
M = Peak vs. L.O.S, X = Set Zero, P = Max. Point Blank Range
Elevation above Angle of Site (0.0 deg.)  = 0.0772 deg.

Thursday 17 September 2009

.338 Federal

The .338 Federal is a nice "against the trend" development by Federal. All tests seem to agree that it is quite a deadly little cartridge, which is basically a necked up .308 Winchester. I had a few doubts about usability with KJG, which demands rather high speeds, but it looks good:

**** Input data:                         Date: 17-Sep-2009     Time: 01:21:09
Cartridge................. = .338 Federal
Projectile type........... = 8.58, 9., Möller 8,5 mm KJG S with boattail
Max.avg.pressure(Piezo Wil)= 415 MPa     Shot start / init pressure = 15 MPa
Projectile weight       (g)= 9.01        Groove caliber         (mm)= 8.59
Length of cartridge    (mm)= 71.12       Length of case         (mm)= 51.16 
Case capacity       (cu.cm)= 3.73        Length of projectile   (mm)= 30.48 
Length of barrel       (mm)= 560 
**** Values calculated:
Seating depth          (mm)= 10.52       Volume displaced    (cu.cm)= 0.61 
Comb.chamber volume (cu.cm)= 3.13        Projectile travel      (cm)= 51.94 
**** Input data:
Propellant type........... = Nitrochemie A/S 0300
Charge weight...........(g)= 3.04        Load density......(g/cu.cm)= 0.972
Heat of Explosion   (kJ/kg)= 3950        Ratio of spec. heats cp/cv =  1.2401 
Solid density     (g/cu.cm)=  1.62       Weighting factor...........= 0.50
Burning rate factor Ba(1/s)= 0.675       Pro-/degressivity factor a =  0.94 
Burning limit ......... z1 = 0.5         Combust.Chamber Vb(m³)= 3.126347E-6
Factor.................. b = 1.7         X-S.Area of Bore A(m²)= 5.695021E-5
Bulk density      (g/cu.cm)= 0.944       Projectile mass mp(kg)= 9.007E-3
Loading ratio           (%)= 103.0       Projectile travel x(m)= 5.1936E-1
**** Results calculated:
Maximum pressure ........ =  400 MPa     Way of projectile at Pmax =  32.7 mm
Muzzle velocity  ......Ve =  949 m/s     Muzzle pressure .......Pe =  48 MPa
Project. energy at muzzle =  4053 J      Fraction of powder burnt  = 99.8  %
Projectile travel time from 10% Pmax to muzzle = 0.92 ms

This looks like a nice starting load for this cartridge and it only slows down to < 750 m/s beyond 225 m which strikes me as OK. The BC of the short 8.5mm KJG are not overwhelming but still the ballistics look sufficient. Wants!

1st moves

Ok, I have become a member of a rifle and shooting club and thus fulfill the necessary requirement to procure a gun. I have had a look around for gunsafes and will talk to the landlady about putting one up. I know which gun I want and will soon put down a down payment on one. A freind of mine who owns land has agreed to sign for me that I can shoot on his land. Things are coming together ... Rabbits here I come!

I will go with the Savage mentioned further down with a moderator and work on getting the licence for hares as well. That should prove entertaining, since it may well be the first licence in the state that says that. I hope my super can be talked to. I have contact persons I can name for him to ring ...

Time for a rant

OK, there is a German term "Waidgerechtigkeit" which is nearly impossible to translate, but encompasses doing things so that one's prey animals don't suffer needlessly and in general be humane and fair about one's sport. It has taken on a major flavour of tradition and "the way one does things".

The problem is now that this tradition of course will get in the way of progress, even if that progress might improve the chances for a humane kill. A couple of days ago I read on the German hunting forum on which I hang out two comments from the same experienced hunter:

  • He would never let anybody hunt on his hunt who used a rifle with a thumbhole stock. When questioned why he said "because this shows a mindset of wanting to push the envelope and trying to do things that are not good for the prey" - basically I think he meant wanting to shoot too far.
  • He said that he had never been on a shooting range since he took his hunting exam in 1973!
So let me get this straight mate. Not only do you not practice, you also refuse to allow others to use things that increases their chance for a good kill? And that is "waidgerecht" how ?!?! I honestly cannot believe this. In a lot of other areas the man talks sense but the bigottry displayed here is beyond belief.

Monday 14 September 2009

And again cartridge ...

Well, i spent the last few days looking around and reading and I found that there is company in New Zealand that makes over the barrel moderators. Now this I consider very useful since it keeps the length of the rifle at a reasonable level and also they can be made quite thin if the cartridge is not too massive. So I talked to the guys at JMS Arms (warning, use IE for this link) and they suggested that .338 WM needs a 32mm wide over the barrel moderator. I asked about .338 federal and 8.5x63 Reb and he said he'd ask. I have been looking at .338 federal, which is a necked up .308 winchester where he said he was reasonably sure it would work with a 25mm over the barrel mod.

Now that would be nifty :)

.338 federal means that i should likely not over 250m with KJG but from my current shooting I am not convinced that i shoud shoot that far anyway ;)

Sunday 13 September 2009

sighting in a rifle

There appear to be two schools in sighting in a rifle:
1) sight in your rifle to the optimum sighting-in distance, which assumes that your targets don't care whether you shoot them 4cm higher or lower than what you are aiming for.
2) sight in your rifle to 100m and use a ballistics table or a ballistic tower on your scope for adjustment of distance according to what you have measured.

The problem that I see with 1) is that you are basically adding those 8 cm to your own errors, so that your shot distribution is not going to look like this:

with the half circle at the top being your margin of error at the shorter range where you will be @ +4cm and the larger circle on the bottom your margin of error when you are at the longer range where -4cm applies. Whether you are prepared to accept that is IMO dependent on how good a shot you are and whether you'll be able to keep this in mind when you are shooting at a fox for instance where even the 8cm may be slightly pushing it.

For myself I have decided against this and am planning to get myself a Leupold scope with the bullet drop correction dials, which they will custom make for your load. This requires a rangefinder, but hey, that is a sensible thing to get anyway.

Saturday 12 September 2009

More on powders

Well, it turns out that the 8.5x63 is actually reasonably loadable with Norma 201. Not quite as fast a bullet, but I think trading 20 m/s for a huge fireball sounds like a good deal. I also had a look at the .270 Winchester, which I might have to get as a second barrel if I fail in arguing the 8.5x63.

Friday 11 September 2009


I have been remiss in my updates

I have done a lot of thinking about shtuff and I am getting clearer on what I want.

This first update will deal with powders. Reloading is not legal in Ireland, and the new firearms law has provisions that make the import of guns and ammunition impossible for a private indivudual, it has to be done by a licensed firearms dealer. But: This part of the law has been passed but not yet scheduled andI am having my doubts that it ever will. It would be just like the Irish to react to the public's comments by not scheduling part of a law that was passed. An example I can think of is the German law on cheques which has crossed cheques but those 2 paragraphs never got scheduled. So for the time being I will assume that one can import one's own ammunition. If that changes I'll have to talk to a dealer.

Why is that important? oh, sorry forgot to mention that. KJG is mostly a reloaders bullet, the is no mainstream manufactured ammo with it. And as it happens the guy we are moving next door to in Sweden is a reloader, so I'll be able to work with him.

So from what I can see from Quickload is that one gets the best results from dual base ball powders like the Winchester W748 or Hogdon BL-C2. These are prone to creating big fireballs since the nitroglyicerin contained in them leaves spare hydrogen when burning which of course will burn when in contact with air, ie. after leaving the muzzle. So for hunting at night (boar) this would be unuseful. At the moment I am trying to find out what the story is with moderators swallowing that fireball. i know they can swallow the fireball from not 100% combustion in the barrel, the question is quite simply how big the fireball from the hydrogen is ...

I'll report back when i know this.

Hmmpf. So much for 8 x 64S

Well, here goes that idea. Lutz Moeller just declared that he is discontinuing the  KJG 8003 which puts paid to havign a 9g bullet in 8mm from him. This drives the necessary calibre up to .338" or 8.5 mm. There is a new German cartridge there, the 8.5 x 63 Reb by Werner Reb. About the same amount of energy as the 8x64 S, so no big deal really. And actually a modern development.

More on the subject to follow.

Wednesday 24 June 2009


Now these look like an increasingly interesting species to hunt:

See this interesting article

yummy, small, easily handled, and astoundingly sturdy.

Sweden and hunting teams

Sweden seems to have a weird and very collectivist hunting culture: in order to hunt you need to be in a hunting team and in order to be in a hunting team you have to be local, for preferably at least 3 generations.

So far so bad. What makes this interesting is that Sweden is getting increasing problems with not enough meece (plural of moose, OK?) get shot, that roe deer and wild boar are on the rise and that the hunting teams complain about lack of new members. But still they don't accept blowins. I am waiting for the pressure to get strong enough to force change ...

Thursday 7 May 2009

What Rifle?

I think getting a rifle is a very personal choice and I have a certain fetish of making every piece of equipment I own an expression of myself and have it tuned to a t to my preferences.

Also I am left eye dominant hence need either straight shafts or left hand ones and also in repeating guns, left hand systems. Now there are some companies that supply left hand rifles, but usually the selection is not as good as for right hand ones. A good example is Remington, who don't offer a significant amount of their rifles in left hand. Also I want my own cartridge and a Southern German/Alpine look to the rifle. This means either a custom rifle (too expensive!) or a company that has no problem fitting a custom barrel. After some research I found Roessler in Kufstein, Tyrol, Austria who are a small manufactury turning out affordable rifles and who when ringing them had no issue getting a custom barrel made, if I had no problem waiting 3 or 4 months ... and I don't.

Here is what I am planning on getting:

Roessler Titan 6 with a 61 cm barrel in stainless steel (I am living in Ireland after all) in 8x64S and with Bavarian cheek and a hogsback on the stock, whcih also is in nice root timber. Bigger magazine for driven hunts and a muzzle break, since I am planning on using ear protection anyway and less recoil is always good. With the load mentioned below and a muzzle brake I am expecting a recoil energy of about 18 Joule. No sound moderator I am thinking since these are so far only really legal in Ireland, UK and Finland at the moment, current EU legislation nonwithstanding. Estimated cost for the rifle is around 1500 € maximum.

Wednesday 6 May 2009

Thoughts on which hunting cartridge

Like most men I am a bit equipment-obsessed and I have been doing a fair amount of research on this subject. Summarising this will likely take more than one post, but here goes:

1) What are my hunting parameters?

I am likely to hunt in two jurisdictions, Sweden and Ireland. Sweden demands at least a 9g bullet with 2,700J for mammals bigger than roe deer. Ireland allows anything from the 22-250 upwards to be used on mammals bigger than a hare. Ireland also has an inofficial legal limit of .30 as a maximum calibre. Now usually that would not be a problem. But: I have been seriously convinced by the modern breed of non-lead bullets like KJG, Impala and Jaguar. Especially KJG seems to make a lot of sense and those bullets are light! The smalles calibre a 9g one is offered in is 8mm. So this will make getting a 'rifle of all trades' which basically KJG seems to make possible if one doesn't shoot into bone, ie. the shoulder, but behind it. But 8mm is bigger than expected in Ireland and might need more arguing than I am capable of.

OTOH if I can argue it I would like a rifle in 8x64 S, which is an old German cartridge invented by Brenneke between the wars. I shoots a bit flatter than the 8x57 IS without being such a magnum monster as the 8x68 S. With the 9 g KJG and a reasonably hot load I could get it to shoot like this (data out of QuickTarget):

Optimum trajectory information :
Optimum sight-in range (X) = 213 m
with max. ordinate above LOS at range (M)= 125 m
and max. point blank range (P)= 248 m.
Sight-in clicks, 1 click = 1.0 cm/100 m or 0.394 in/100 m
Height of sight above bore axis = 3.61 cm or 1.421 inch
Gun is zeroed-in at 210 m,
by sighting-in at level firing

Range(m) V(m/s) Energy(J) Path to LOS(cm) Drop (cm) Elev (MOA)
0 1000 4509 -3.6 0.0 4.6
25 981 4335 -0.6 -0.3 5.4
50 962 4166 1.8 -1.3 3.4
75 943 4003 3.5 -2.9 3.0
100 924 3846 4.5 -5.2 3.0
125 906 3694 4.8 -8.2 3.2
150 887 3547 4.4 -11.9 3.6
175 869 3406 3.1 -16.5 3.9
200 852 3268 1.1 -21.9 4.4
225 834 3136 -1.9 -28.1 4.8
250 817 3007 -5.7 -35.2 5.3
275 799 2878 -10.4 -43.2 5.9
300 780 2742 -16.0 -52.2 6.4
325 761 2611 -22.5 -62.0 6.9
350 743 2484 -30.1 -72.9 7.5
375 724 2363 -38.9 -85.0 8.1
400 706 2246 -48.9 -98.4 8.8

M = Peak vs. L.O.S, X = Set Zero, P = Max. Point Blank Range
Elevation above Angle of Site (0.0 deg.) = 0.0760 deg.

I think that should do and if I ever want to shoot a bit further that is what ballistic tables are for.

OTOH if I end up not getting a permit for this calibre for Ireland I will need either 2 rifles or 2 barrels for the same rifle (saves money in scopes if nothing else). In that case I may well give in to the temptation to get magnums: .270 WSM for Ireland and .338 WM for Sweden. But it would be silly.

And the nice thing about the KJG is that I can basically shoot the same cartridge, load and rifle on anything between hare and elk/moose.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Friday 3 April 2009

Hares in Ireland II

Well, I have now spoken to a conservation officer and to a ranger. Both have made inquiries and they both concur with my own findings. It is perfectly legal to shoot hares in Ireland with a rifle. If you want to use a rifle that is not deer legal, as I would recommend, unless you are using something like KJG or Impala bullets which require reloading or having ammo shipped from Germany or Austria and on which I will expound later. The smallest cartridge legal in Ireland for shooting deer is .22-250 which from a humanity POV I'd abolish, but it will still make quite a mess out of a hare.

So if you want to shoot hare with a .17 HMR or .22 Hornet, you'll need to have it stated in your cert.

The origin of this myth appears to be that the law says that it is legal to shoot hares with a shotgun. Since no other protected species can be shot with both shotgun* and rifle, only 'vermin', somebody must have deduced that the inclusion of the shotgun is an automatic exclusion of the rifle and the myth stuck and got perpetuated.

*birds only with shotgun (why?) and deer only with rifle (I effin well hope so)

Thursday 2 April 2009

On binoculars

One of the things one needs for hunting is a good binoculars.

Now there are options. First there are the big three which happily will set you back a grand for a stalking binocular (8*42 or similar). Then there is a second rate where you'd expect to around 300 € for those same binoculars. Now contrast and clarity especially when it is getting dark won't be quite as good, but your rifle scope won't show you all of that anyway - partly because you're only looking through it with one eye.

Or one can look for Carl Zeiss Jena 7x50 Binoctem on Ebay where one can get them for maybe 50 € ...

Tuesday 31 March 2009

New species to hunt in Ireland

We seem to have 2 new species to hunt: Wild boar and muntjac. The former I would suspect has escaped from the farmers farming them, they have been seen in Wicklow. The latter are clearly being criminally introduced. Yes, introducing an alien species is a crime in Ireland.

If you ask me I am of two minds about this. On the one hand I dislike the criminal disregard for the law and the danger of introducing diseases into Ireland. Also they will eat the undergrowth in the forests, albeit probably not as much as people fear since it is their cover. On the other hand I welcome the addition of new species to a rather poor eco system. Germany for instance has wolves and elk coming in from the east, but in islands this is impossible.

There is a shoot on sight order out for the muntjac but given their breeding habits and ability and small size I don't think they can be eradicated. I just hope there were enough introduced to create a genetically stable population. And the wild boar? Long may they live :)

Monday 30 March 2009

What can one use to shoot hares in Ireland?

I recently got told on boards.ie that it was illegal in Ireland to shoot hares with a rifle. I had a browse round the Irish Statute Book and found this:

(3) It shall be an offence for a person to hunt or injure in the course of hunting with a shotgun a protected wild animal other than a hare otherwise than under and in accordance with a licence granted in that behalf by the Minister.

Now this seems to say that it is legal to shoot hares with a shotgun, but not that it is illegal to shoot hares with rifles. I have asked in the forum and got told to ask my local ranger or the Ministry for the Environment. I have asked a ranger who is on boards.ie via private message and I rang the ministry who took my details and promised to find out and ring back. The guy actually sounded interested. My current impression is that this may well be a well perpetuated myth.

I am admittedly finding it bizarre enough that one cannot hunt protected wild birds with bullets in this country (doesn't apply for vermin such as crows as far as I can see) and would be surprised if one could not hunt the smallest protected mammal with a bullet - on earth why? But we will see ...

Sunday 29 March 2009

Further on the subject of cheek weld and solutions to the issue

Having found out about cheek weld I am seriously wondering why a lot of scopes appear to be mounted even higher than necessitated by the big lenses. As far as I can tell this appears to be a case of lazy gun smithing? I would consider mounting a scope as low as possible the ideal.

Interestingly enough Leupold have come up with an attempt to at least ameliorate the issue and that is the VXn-L family of scopes.

as we can see they have a little cutout in the front lens and thus can be mounted lower. Given that most stocks are still made in such a way as to be ideal for the use of iron sights, this strikes me as rather a major improvement in the situation. Leupold seems to be in general a bit below the big 3 of scope manufacturers (Zeiss, Swarowski and Schmidt & Bender), albeit they are attacking that field with the VX-7(L) scopes that at least according to Chuck Hawks are as good as the big 3.

In general one wonders a bit why in this day and age where at least varmint rifles are being made without iron sights at all the stocks, at least of hunting rifles, are still shaped like they were made for iron sights. Interestingly enough target rifles are not upholding this tradition, as seen for instance here:

This is a Savage Arms varmint and target rifle and we notice the straight stock, built for people who are not planning to use iron sights on this gun ever.

Friday 27 March 2009

And so it begins ...

A few months ago I decided that I wanted to be able to shoot my own meat and take up what was a rather early interest in hunting. I read a lot about this while I was still going to school, but never got around to doing it. I took one look at the hunters in my hometown and ran for dear life.

Now that I am married and feel like I can start on my dreams I have decided to revisit the issue. A few friends were interested when I posted on LJ about this and we went to the Courtlough shooting grounds and killed a few clays. I rather disliked the place, there was too much money expected and people weren't very friendly.

So I did a bit more research and found Hilltop Quad and Shooting Club in Co.Wicklow. Sadly a bit of a drive but much nicer people and loaner guns available for members. Last time I was there and shot the guy dealing with me was a metalhead. Fun guy. he claimed that I did well and I think I did when paper punching. That was the first part, shooting a bench rest rifle over 50m. 10 practice rounds and 25 'competition' at 25 small targets on a big sheet. The targets only had the 5 inner rings, so 6 was the lowest score. I scored 210 out of 250 possible and found that plenty of times I shot a 6 or 7 when I was of the firm opinion that I had the scope right in the center.

We then went and shot clays. On the way there I told him that I wasn't there so much for the craic, but in order to actually learn how to shoot. So he taught me a little bit of style and I began to see the importance of a good cheek weld. It is like the anchor in archery. When we went back to the shop we talked guns a bit and I picked up a CZ in .22 and for the first time in my life I had the iron sights in perfect alignment just from bringing the gun to my cheek! Now that I know what went wrong with the paper targets I actually can imagine shooting a 'possible' in that  discipline because I know I suffered from freefloating cheek there. This is rather a cool feeling :)