Friday, 23 September 2016

An Example of Extreme One-upmanship

We all know someone who just has to have the "biggest and the best".  The go big or go home mentality is definitely alive and well with this type of person. I know someone like this and he is my brother-in-law.

Both he and I participate in Handgun Metallic Silhouette matches on a huge 500 metre outdoor range with the closest targets at 50m and the farthest at 200m.  I use a .44mag and a .45acp and just go out to enjoy my shooting.  It's great to be at the range and burning powder.

I received a call from him last night and he needed to load some ammo for his newest purchase, A Smith & Wesson .460 magnum. He brought it along for me to have a look at. I have held the .460's and .500's at the NRA Convention in 2014 and a friend also has a .500 so I wasn't surprised by its dimensions. 

When you put it beside other model Smiths, you come to the realisation that these things are over the top stupid, but in a fun way.  

 Smith & Wesson X Frame .460s&w vs L Frame M69 .44mag vs J Frame .38spl

I get great pleasure from shooting my .44mag and can happily shoot it a heap because it's very manageable. The .38 is a gun that I can and have shot all day long. I think after about 10 rounds shooting the full house .460 I will have had enough, probably until next year, unless I am shooting softer loads in it.  The beauty of the .460 is that it can also shoot .45 Long Colt and also .454 Casull ammo.

I will be doing some videos with all three of these revolvers and I'll post them here along with a full range report.

Stay tuned for more...... 

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

1895 Spanish Mauser Carbine 7.62 Nato

Every now and then a rifle pops up that is very hard to resist. Especially if its a carbine that's chambered in a versatile cartridge like the 7.62x51 NATO. Its no secret that I have a soft spot for carbine & compact style rifles so when this particular Spanish Mauser came up I just had to have it. 

 Sometimes being short has its advantages

This rifle is still classed as an 1895 Carbine although it has the action from 1916.  The 1916 has the thumb cut-out in the the action and the large gas escape hole in the left side of the action. These Mausers have a cock-on-close bolt that functions similar to a Lee Enfield .303.  Everything on this rifle has matching numbers, even the timber! This is always a bonus when buying any surplus rifle.  These little beauties have a 17" barrel which is really quite short.  I thought that this fact alone would lend the rifle to have brutal recoil characteristics similar to that of the Mosin Nagant M44, but quite surprisingly, its a pleasant shooter with NATO pressure loads.  I had no problem hitting my 120mm steel plate repeatedly from 50 metres so it is plenty accurate for hunting in the thick country.

Whenever I buy a rifle, be it old or new, I always disassemble it and inspect it to make sure everything is in order.  The action is screwed into the stock through a metal pillar on the rear, but there is no front pillar. I am going to epoxy some decent sized aluminium pillars in the front and rear of the stock and then bed it to try and get more rigidity.  Larger pillars should also distribute  some of the force generated in a better manner that should stop the stock from splitting again.

The rifle is in reasonably good condition for its age but the timberwork really let it down.  It had a crack in the wrist that needed repair and the grain of the timber felt incredibly rough, almost like someone had tried to steam the oil out of the timber. 

The stock showed signs of a hard life
I know that the purists out there will curse me, but because of the sad state of the timber I decided to re-finish the stock. I used a wet tea-towel with an iron to raise some of the smaller dings out of the timber.  Out came the sandpaper and after an afternoon of sanding and finishing up with steel wool, I applied a little stain.  The true nature of the timber was starting to show.  It's no high grade walnut, but it is quite a nice piece of timber. I had decided that instead of using Tru-Oil, I would use pale boiled linseed oil for the finish.  I am so glad I did because it is a far superior finish.  The best thing is that it only costs $10 a litre at the local hardware store.

Linseed oil finish is easy to work with and touch-ups a breeze. Like always, the photos do it no justice! 

The bluing looks great in all of the visible areas, but there were some pretty rough spots on the underside of the barrel.  A quick clean up with some superfine steel wool and lightweight oil had the corrosion gone with minimal effort.

The rifle tidied up nicely - I'm very pleased

Add a sling from a French MAS that I bought at a gun show and its ready to take hunting

There is a lot of conjecture out there on what maximum pressure loads can be used safely in these small ring Spanish Mausers re-chambered in 7.62x51. They were proofed to handle the pressure of the NATO F1 ball ammo, so that should be an indication of the pressure it can handle safely. From reading the ADI Handloaders Guide, I came to the conclusion that a 150gr Hornady Interlock SP with a charge of 43gr of AR2206H runs at the same pressures as the NATO round. Provided you don't go beyond what these rifles are proofed to handle, all will be well in the world.

I have a feeling that this will be my go-to rifle for daylight feral pig hunting. Its very well balanced and comes up into the shoulder nicely and the sights are actually quite good.  I have thought about a no drill & tap scout rail that attaches to the rear sight hardware and fitting a 2.5 power long eye relief scope, but I will wait until its first field test which is on Saturday. 

I will post the results of my Saturday hunt and also the range test of this rifle.  I will also do a video on this rifle for my YouTube Channel. Get on over to and check out some of my other great gun videos.

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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Ruger American Ranch 300 Blackout - Update

I'm a big fan of Ruger firearms. I currently own four and I have a fifth on it's way from the land of the free. So naturally when Ruger announced the American Ranch rifle in 300BO, I placed an order and as it turns out, I was one of the first in Australia to take possession of one.

I'm not going to go into specifics about the cartridge, except that it was originally developed for use in AR style rifles and is able to be suppressed with subsonic ammunition. In the police state that is Australia, suppressors are illegal so the subsonic part doesn't mean much here. (We can touch on this subject some other time)

When I got the rifle home, I disassembled it immediately. I removed the rail from the action and the action from the stock.  Typical of most factory rifles, there was oil between the mating surfaces of the action and bedding block. Why oh why do manufactures feel they have to give their rifles an oil bath before they leave the factory?  

The RAR utilizes a v-block bedding system to enhance accuracy, but having oil on the mating surfaces will reduce the accuracy of any rifle.
A quick de-grease of the action, bedding blocks and also the rail was required and then I reassembled the rifle. I fitted my Leupold LR/T to the rifle and it looks a little odd, perhaps even crazy with the shade fitted. I do shoot under a spotlight quite a lot and the shade is great to remove the glare.

I am a hand loader and rarely buy factory ammunition except for rimfire.  I had some Hornady 110gr V-Max, Nosler 150gr Ballistic Tips and Hornady 150gr Interlock SP's sitting on the shelf. A quick check of the ADI hand loaders guide and I was in business. I also popped into one of the local gun shops and bought some Remington UMC loaded with 220gr match projectiles.

The following Sunday, I took the it to the range to see what this little rifle was capable of. Initial results are quite disappointing to say the least. The best group was around 3 inches but most were about 4.  The conditions were really crappy, with a strong wind but it still should have done a lot better than what it did.  

The 110gr and 150gr loads all produced groups.  The Remington UMC on the other hand, I could not get it to group at all. It would throw one round 6 inches high of the aiming mark, the next, 2 feet lower.  The folks that I have spoken to about this think that I have run out of elevation with the scope and adding a 20moa rail will solve the problem, however I think the scope is broken. Ill try it with another scope soon, or I might just use my Vortex Sparc II red dot and see how it goes.

I plan on taking the rifle out to the farm in the very near future to try and get it sorted out. Time will tell just how good it is I suppose. 

UPDATE Sep 2016

I changed scopes on the rifle just in case the Leupold Mk4 was faulty but it turns out that it wasn't.  I fitted my trusty old dinged up Japanese made Bushnell Banner just to be on the safe side.

I have managed to find a subsonic load that works extremely well with the Ruger.  A 208gr Hornady Amax with 10gr of AR2205 (equivalent powders are H110 and IMR4227 - please check your loading manual before using this load)

At 100m with a not so steady rest produced a group of .75 MOA. Once I get a proper bench set up I will tweak the load to see if I can get it shooting better. 

Once again, Ruger has produced a rifle suited to the budget conscious that performs brilliantly. I can see myself hunting pigs with this rifle during the stinking heat of the upcoming Australian summer.     

Nioa is the Australian distributor for the full range of Ruger firearms.  Visit to view the full lineup of Ruger rifles and handguns.

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