Tuesday, 30 August 2016

S&W Model 69 Combat Magnum .44mag

I consider myself to be relatively inexperienced when it comes to revolvers.  My first was a single action Ruger in .44mag.  It was a lot of fun to shoot but it was quite slow to reload.  It reminded me of classic western films where the cowboys hid behind rocks whilst reloading their guns.  I found in the end that I wasn't shooting it as much as I should, so I sold it to my brother-in-law. 

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to purchase a Model 36 Chief's Special with a 3" Barrel. Its a lovely little gun to shoot but unfortunately I cant use it in any competitions thanks to Australia's oppressive gun laws.  I do however have a large calibre endorsement on my license for metallic silhouette shooting.  I knew I wanted another revolver for competition but I really didn't know which model until one day I walked to the letterbox and opened a big yellow envelope containing the NRA's American Rifleman magazine. On the front cover I saw the Model 69 and from that point, I knew exactly what I wanted.  

It has the classic look of the K frame Model 66 in .357, but this is one better. A .44mag squeezed into an L-frame can only be a good thing.  There is only one disadvantage, and that is the gun's reduced cylinder size. The capacity was reduced to 5 rounds in order to fit the smaller L frame.

The fit and finish on a new Smith & Wesson is excellent.

Everything about the pistol is typical of a new Smith & Wesson. A nice stainless steel finish, comfortable black rubber grips and black screws, trigger, hammer & cylinder release. I have not measured the trigger pull but I would put the single action pull at around 4lbs and the double action at around 11-12lbs. 

 5 shot cylinder means there is one less chamber to clean!

The sights are easy to use and are adjustable for windage and elevation. The red ramp front is very easy to see and line up with the white outlined rear.  Simple yet functional.

The 4.25" barrel is a 2 piece design and it seems to be very accurate at 100m with my favourite target load. I cast the Lee 429-255-SWC from wheel weights in front of 10gr of ADI AP100 and it works quite well.  I also fired some full house loads featuring the 180gr Hornady XTP and some 300gr Sierra JSP's.  Hot loads recoil quite heavily due to the short-for-a-44mag barrel but are easily manageable for experienced shooters.  This is definitely not the gun for a new shooter, especially with full house magnum loads.  All of the above loads carried more than enough energy to knock down the metallic pigs at 100 metres.

 2 piece 4.25" barrel

Its hard to beat the timeless look of a revolver

I paid a little under $1400 for this gun and I did have to wait some time for it to arrive.  I can say it was definitely well worth the wait. I could have purchased one immediately but it would have cost me $500 more.  That's money id prefer to have in my pocket!  

I do have a gripe!  Smith & Wesson don't clean their guns after test firing them. It was fired from 3 of the chambers as evidenced by the fouling that remained. A very good clean using JB's Bore cleaning compound had the barrel as shiny as a mirror.  This took around 30 minutes or so to get it to that point.  A clean barrel is easier to keep clean.

If you get the chance to shoot one, do it, or if you see me at the range, come and ask to have a go.  I like to share!

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Friday, 12 August 2016

Pedersoli Scout .32 Calibre Percussion Rifle

I am a lover of all things firearms. Be it a rifle, shotgun or handgun, I like shooting them all.  If there is gunpowder being burnt, I like to be the person pulling the trigger.
One type of powder that I really enjoy burning is black powder. I am by no means a purist, but I consider myself to be a casual black powder rifle enthusiast and presently own 3 percussion rifles. 

I am fascinated by early US history and like the hawken, trade and other rifles of the old frontier as well as rifles used in the civil war.

Earlier this year, I purchased a Pedersoli Scout in .32 calibre. The Scout is the short carbine version of the longer Pennsylvania rifle. The smaller Scout rifle is the black powder equivalent of a 22lr.  It's light, well balanced and easy to handle. Just like a .22lr, it has virtually no recoil whatsoever and its a real pleasure to shoot. The round balls weigh in at 40gr so its only suitable for small game hunting.

  Pedersoli Scout .32 - aka Squirrel Gun

Most Italian gun manufacturers make great products and Davide Pedersoli is definitely among them. Every rifle of theirs that I have handled has been finished to a high standard and feels like great quality, especially considering their very affordable price tag. This rifle was a little over $1k brand new.

At this stage I haven't fired it from the bench nor have I sighted it in. There's been some great fun had with the rifle at the range so far and we have fired approximately 40 shots. Below is a short video of the rifle in action

 Black powder rifles are fun! If you ever get the opportunity to fire one, do it!

As seen in the video, the loading process is slow, they can be finicky at times and require different cleaning practices than conventional rifles, but that is all part of the black powder experience. You do get a greater understanding of the challenges that hunters and soldiers faced when these firearms were the state of the art.

 Colour case hardening, brass furniture, rich bluing, set triggers and buckhorn rear sight.

This rifle has a set trigger. The front trigger is the one responsible for the fall of the hammer and the rear sets the front.  The standard trigger pull is approximately 6lbs and after setting the trigger with the rear, the trigger pull is reduced to around 2.5 lbs. It feels extremely nice and breaks beautifully. Being a percussion rifle, the lock time is quite long so a good follow through is required for consistent accuracy.  Ignition is via #11 caps.  It is recommended to use FFFg powder with the smaller calibres but FFg still works fine.

Heed the warning! Use only black powder in black powder guns. Using smokeless powder can result in injury or death.

I do plan to hunt with this rifle in the future. Rabbits, foxes and cats would be no trouble at all as long as the shot placement is good, however I will leave the pig hunting for my larger .50 and .58cal muzzleloaders.

This rifle is certainly one of my favourites in the safe and will be for many years to come. 
Pedersoli rifles are distributed in Australia by Forbes Wholesale and they are very easy to deal with. The complete range of Davide Pedersoli firearms can be viewed by clicking here.

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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A Shadowy Government Group Is Planning To Take Your Guns, Again

If you thought that firearms legislation in Australia couldn't get any more ridiculous, you'd be wrong!

Tasmanian Police have sent out out a communication stating that any firearm that looks scary would be classified as a Schedule 1 Firearm and would not be registerable. This applies to all firearm categories.  

Lets look at what a Schedule 1 firearm is and how they are going to use it to screw over the licensed, law abiding shooter.

  1. Any machine gun, sub-machine gun or other firearm capable of propelling projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger. 
  2. Any self-loading rim-fire rifle. 
  3. Any self-loading centre-fire rifle. 
  4. Any self-loading shotgun. 
  5. Any pump action shotgun. 
  6. Any firearm that substantially duplicates in appearance a firearm referred to in item 1. 
  7. Any firearm to which there is attached any article or device capable of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm. 
  8. A pistol that is of a reduced or an abridged size. 
  9. Any firearm or part of a firearm which has a dimension less than the prescribed minimum dimension. 
  10. A prohibited pistol. 
  11. Any ex-military firearm that is a firearm in relation to which a firearm license may not be issued. 
  12. Any ordnance.

Tasmanian Police have released a "Guide to Schedule 1" document. This is what it contains:

In consultation with the Department’s ballistics experts, the following features have been identified as contributing to whether a firearm substantially duplicates a firearm as referred to in Item 1 of the Schedule:
Guide to Schedule 1(6) of the Firearms Act 1996 (Prohibited Firearms)
Advice from Tasmania Police on How to Categorise Firearms
Guide to Schedule 1(6) of the Firearms Act 1996 (Prohibited Firearms)

  •  Pistol grip
  •  Fore-end shroud
  •  Detachable extended magazine shroud or similar
  •  Skeleton/folding/adjustable stock.
The presence of one or more of the above features on a firearm will result in an assessment and may result in it being categorized as a prohibited firearm. To assist with interpretation of how such an assessment and categorization may occur, examples are provided below, depicting firearms that are considered to fall under the classification of Schedule 1(6).

Now lets look at their example of a firearm that would be categorized as a Schedule 1 firearm, and one that isn't.

 Above is the Ruger Precision Rifle. It is a standard bolt action rifle that has many features that shooters like including an adjustable ergonomic stock, ambidextrous safety catch, pistol grip that gives better control, detachable magazine and a rail system that allows for the fitting of torches and night vision/thermal sighting equipment. The proposed legislative changes will make this rifle illegal to own because someone thinks it looks like a machine gun.

 The rifle above is the Ruger American Predator rifle.  It is a standard bolt action rifle that uses the exact same action as the Ruger Precision Rifle. It also has a detachable magazine. The only difference is that it does not have an adjustable ergonomic stock and it does not have the pistol grip and barrel shroud. It functions in the exact same manner as the Ruger Precision Rifle, yet it will be 100% legal to own.

This seems to be legislation just for the hell of it. It's not going to make any difference in the real world except to the licensed law abiding citizens.  Who is it that makes this crap up? The mentality of these gun grabbers is just ridiculous. It's just as stupid as banning a HSV performance car because it has aerodynamic styling and more comfortable seats than the base model.

It is being proposed that all Australian states adopt these standards as a part of the NFA review. 

The talk suggests that those who already own these firearms will be forced into another compensated confiscation scheme, aka buyback. If you don't comply, its off to jail for you. 

Now to the rest of the NFA review

A leaked 2005 document from the Firearms Policy Working Group (FPWG) further confirms that police and un-elected bureaucrats have been conspiring in secret to ban more of our guns. We have been in possession of this document for a while and it seemed like it had no support from the various state governments, until now. 

The push for these changes is coming from the various state police representatives and the Attorney General's Department.  We also believe that changes to Customs legislation will be used as another method of restricting certain firearms in much the same way the 7 shot Adler was. This is a sneaky way of restricting a firearm that is legal to possess under current laws. 

Their plan is to re-categorize existing Cat A&B rifles that they deem to be a risk to public safety, or if they have a "military style" appearance. It doesn't matter that these firearms aren't used by licensed gun owners in the commission of crimes. Whatever happened to evidence based policy?

We know they wish to re-categorize the following types of guns to Category C or D which will put them out of reach for all licensed Australians:
  • Rifles that have a 'tactical' appearance like the Ruger Precision Rifle, Barrett rifles, Warwick WFA1 straight pull etc. Basically any black rifle.
  • Pump action rifles such as the Remington 7615 & 7600 and similar
  • Lever action rifles with a capacity of more than 10 rounds (integral or detachable magazines)
  • Bolt action centrefire rifles with a magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds
  • Bolt action rimfire rifles with magazine capacity over 5 rounds
    (integral or detachable magazines)
There are many more in the list including "belt fed shotguns". It's pretty darn obvious that these changes are proposed by people that have no idea when it comes to firearms.

The FWPG meet and discuss changes to the National Firearms Agreement in secret and their agenda is hidden. There are consultations with industry and firearms groups but it's nothing more than lip service.  

Prominent groups such as Shooters Union Australia and Dr Samara McPhedran have all lodged freedom of information requests at both state and federal levels seeking the FPWG meeting minutes and draft changes to the NFA, but have been refused on multiple occasions.  This shadowy group is hiding behind "national security" clauses in the FOI act to prevent the information being released.

The Lindt Cafe siege and the threat of terrorism in general is going to be used as the justification to push further restrictions against us, the proven, law abiding citizens.  

No amount of legislation will stop those that are evil or criminally insane, and punishing those that obey the law will not make one iota of difference

How do we know this? Because Man Monis, the Sydney siege gunman was unlicensed and used an already illegal pump action shotgun that was illegally modified.

Contact your State & Federal MP's and let them know that you are unwilling to accept these legislative changes, and that you will actively campaign against them if they support these ridiculous changes.  

Thanks to Nioa Australia for permission to use the images in the above article

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Monday, 1 August 2016

Video - At The Range With the Mosin Nagant M44

Recently I wrote a tabletop review on the Mosin Nagant M44 carbine rifle but was unable to get any spare time to take it to my range and test it until now. You can read the review by clicking here.

Watch the below video to view the rifle in action.

Having fun with the M44 out at the farm. Watch for the muzzle flash!

These rifles are renowned for their harsh recoil characteristics and mine is certainly no exception.  Even after a full 24 hours after shooting this rifle, my shoulder is still quite tender. I only fired 30 rounds over 2 days!

I can say that I am not a fan of the sights at all as they obscure too much of the target. I cut my teeth shooting fullbore target rifle with peep sights, so I will be looking to purchase a peep that replaces the rear leaf. Even the front sight leaves a little to be desired. After looking around I have found a company that makes sights especially for the Mosin Nagant. These look like they will do the job quite well. http://www.mojosights.com/sample-page/n/ 

That's about the only part of the rifle that I don't like. It's certainly a lot of fun to shoot and you definitely feel it when you pull the trigger! 

If you haven't got a Mosin Nagant, get one. They are great fun!

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