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.