Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sometimes They Fall In Your Lap

The Utah Youth Turkey season started yesterday. Due to some homework and other commitments we had a limited amount of time on this first weekend. I picked my daughter up after school and we walked into one of our two favorite spots with light backpacks and enough food for that evening and to hunt early the next morning. As we walked into the valley that we had planned to camp we ran into a flock of 5 feeding gobblers. By sneaking up a deep creek bed we managed to get just in range of the unsuspecting birds. My daughter scrambled up the bank but couldn't manage a clear shot without possibly hitting another bird before they ran out of range. Things were already looking up, sign was everywhere. We set up the tent, laid out our bags and then headed up canyon to see if we could located some other toms to hunt in the morning.

As we walked up the valley I'd yelp a few times every 1/4 mile in hopes of a reply to locate other birds. I am as deaf as an oak post nowadays but Lexi could hear at least 2 replies from different toms. As we're very familiar with the terrain I made a mental note of the locations but knew the birds would roost in a different area come sun down. At one stop I let go a string of yelps and was answered with a single gobble by a bird well above us on an aspen knoll. I yelped three other times with no reply and elected to continue another 1/4 mile up the canyon to a spring and call one last time before walking slowly back to our camp site. We reached a point in the canyon that was the highest I had ever gone looking for birds called a few times, scanned the hill sides and seeing nothing that resembled turkeys we began our decent back towards the tent.

When we again reached the area we'd heard the last tom I yelped a few more times and was answered almost instantly from what had to be the same bird we heard earlier. This time I could hear him quite well so he had to have been less than 300 yards away. I had 2 Avian X Hen decoys in my pack but decided to set up on the edge of a creek bed, call a few more times and then determine our next move as I have never had great luck in calling birds downhill on this property. We had about an hour and a half of daylight left.

Lexi got her Model 12 pointed in the general direction of the birds replies and I sent another string of yelps towards knoll. This time the tom answered immediately and was no doubt on the move down slope towards us. I elected not to set up the decoys, sit tight and just call. Every time I'd yelp the bird would respond, we had "incoming".

There were a couple of open shooting lanes to our left and our front but a mass of brush and cover to our right. If the bird came in through the brush we'd likely never have a shot. Nothing is ever perfect hunting these great birds so you roll with what your given. I kept up the conversation with the tom and soon saw him up the slope perhaps a hundred yards from our position. In full display and dragging his wings and now gobbling every 60 seconds. I thought I could faintly hear "Doctor Love, Paging Doctor Love!"

Lexi shifted her position and ever so slowly and moved the muzzle towards the oncoming bird. All the years of hunting with me for these gobblers was now showing in her demeanor. As the bird altered its approach, she countered her position. The bird now hung up at about 70 yards away straining his head, looking into the opening below him trying to locate the hen that had talked him down the ridge. As some are well aware this is a point where a lot can go wrong on a turkey hunt. I shut up and waited for the birds next move. He gobbled and displayed six or seven times in rapid fashion trying to locate and impress the unseen hen. The woods went silent for another 5 minutes as he looked things over very carefully trying to decided his next best pick up line. Then I hit him with soft cackle that he answered instantly, for every gobble I fired right back with another cackle. That was all he could take, playing hard to get wasn't working, time to meet her on her terms, he started down the slope and began walking towards the best shooting lane we had.

The heard the safety click off as Lexi tracked the bird into the open lane. I yelped just once to check his stride and softly whispered "now" before I finished the word she sent a load of Heavyweight # 7's into the area around his beak at just over 30 yards. The tom dropped into the grass never to regained his footing. Lexi had just taken her second gobbler. We admired the bird for quite some time, made a guess that he was a 3 or maybe a 4 years old and took a few pictures She finally took a moment to call her Mom and my cousin Jay, a true master among turkey hunters to share with them the news. She was all smiles, I was feeling pretty good myself.

As warm as it was that evening we now had to gut the bird, return to the tent, break camp and walk to the truck to get the bird home before it spoiled. We made it to the truck well after dark. This was by far the easiest bird that has ever come to call on this property. We'll add this afternoon into the journal. The general season hunt starts this Monday, you can guess where I'll be ?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Shipping 101

Over the years I have witnessed a number of unfortunate shipping disasters. Not to long ago I picked up what had once been a much better than average Pre-64, 375 H&H Super Grade from my Post Office. The case used to ship the rifle may have cost $30.00 at a big box store. The thin cardboard sleeve covering the case offered nothing in the way of added protection. When I signed for the package with my Post Master a casual look over the exterior of the box showed no visual signs of trauma. Every time I receive one of these cases containing a high grade rifle I feel as if I have just run into a mine-field. When I opened the case back at the shop my heart sank. A crime had been committed, the wrong case had once again been used for shipping! The phone call to the owner started out something like this " time of death for your Super Grade was 9:46 am ".

The owner, a great client and friend, had removed the bolt from this rifle, wrapped it in one layer of bubble wrap and placed the bolt body under the barrel ahead of the fore-end tip then closed and taped the latches shut. He slipped the plastic case into a cardboard sleeve and dropped the rifle off with his postmaster on his way to his son Lacrosse practice. The trip across the country must have been pretty rough. During that trip the bolt body had migrated out of the bubble wrap then back and forth from the trigger guard bow to the muzzle. The dents and dings in the barrel and fore-end while repairable required significant cost for these repairs. The Redfield receiver sight which had been in excellent condition before the trip now was bent beyond any chance of repair. The rifle itself was now positioned in one corner of the case and in contact with the hinge side of the case and not located anywhere the center of the case. Further proof the that the rifle was migrating on a quest of its own inside the case during it's travels west. To add insult to injury the package was not insured.

Over the years I have used and have received a serious selection of gun cases. Aluminum, molded plastic, fiberglass, regular cardboard boxes with and without foam centers, triangles, cardboard tubes you name it, I've seen it. As with many things in life generally the more money you spend on a case the greater the degree of protection you can expect. The heavier the case, the more you'll pay for shipping cost but the money spent for this protection is well worth the investment on the front end. I have used a variety of Aluminum cases over the years, some designs are excellent and can withstand a lot of abuse while keeping the contents secure. However I have had rifles shift in transit encased in aluminum and had both the recoil pad or muzzle damaged created on sharp inside edges of the case left over from the manufacture process. Once again not all cases are created equally despite the cost outlay.

I have sadly received more big box cases than any other model design. These molded plastic case are cheap and can be found almost anywhere. They typically come with an egg carton foam liner that is 1" thick per side but with the egg shell pattern the bottom of the cavities only offer on average a 1/2" of thickness. When these Big Box cases are purchased a cardboard sleeve is usually not included in the sale. I consider the best use of these type of cases is for going to your rifle range and traveling to a hunting area in or out of state in your personal vehicle. While this style case is used for shipping firearms across the country everyday by all the major carriers you are taking on a significant risk in using this type of case for interstate transportation. I would NEVER fly with one of these cases to any hunting destination.

If you insist on using one of these thin cheaply molded plastic cases to ship a rifle or shotgun it is best to roll up and tape linear sections of bubble wrap and lay these along the sides the firearm to help prevent the firearm from migrating in the case during transport. Wrap the bolt body in bubble wrap and surround the bolt body with these linear pads to prevent the bolt from coming in contact with the rifle.

Failure to do so is just asking for disaster.  Do what ever it takes to find a cardboard sleeve that allows for a minimum of  2" of padding on either side of the Big Box case as well as on either end. If you have less than 2" of additional padding around the Big Box case GOOD LUCK in claiming any insurance from the carrier. Typically your cardboard sleeve will need to be 54" to 56" in length. Then fill the cavity between the gun case and the sleeve with packing peanuts, really fill it, pack it, cram it and jam it so the plastic case can not shift, move and rattle during transit. I have used this method many times in the past to ship Legends, never a Classic. As of Jan 2015 I will never ship another Legend even re-enforced in a Big Box case and cardboard sleeve as the stakes have just gotten to high.

I mentioned aluminum cases, most of these cases protect a firearm very well. They are a quantum leap forward in protecting your firearm while shipping firearms across the state or country and certainly for air travel. Full length hinges are a good thing with these aluminum cases, look for them. Locking bars are another options as are retracting or flush mounted latches. Before you buy, open the case and feel under the edges of the foam inserts, are the edges under the foam sharp and ragged ? If the cases is tossed by baggage handlers and the firearm slips under the foam and up against any sharp edges you might have problems, I have seen this happen more than once. Unless your traveling to a hunting destination using a cardboard sleeve slid over the aluminum case is also a good idea. I'd rather have a potential thief have to ponder whats is in the sleeve than knowing he has a firearm right off by all the travel stickers and pro-gun propaganda logos plastered on the sides of an un-sleeved case. The cardboard sleeve will only apply for carrier shipping. Air travel of course requires easy visual access to the firearms for TSA and custom agents.

Bar none the best cases I have used to date have been the Pelican 1750 and the Storm-Case im3300. I prefer to ship every Classic or Legends that leaves the shop today in one of these cases. These two cases come with three separate solid layers of foam.
If this style case is to be devoted to a particular rifle then the center section sleeve of foam can be cut to fit that rifle and scope further preventing the rifle to migrate in the case during the transit. The cut outs can be done so the bolt is removed from the rifle or installed in the rifle, cavities can be cut for small tool containers as well. Done properly the protection allowed in this type of case to the firearm is excellent. You can also invest in additional middle foam sleeves cut for different rifles to extend the use of this style case. One case and two extra sleeves can cover a lot of hunting around the world.

The Storm and Pelican cases are not expensive when compared to the protection they provide. I buy the 1750 Pelican case locally from a dealer that knows I will not pay for the case unless the cardboard sleeve comes intact with the new case. When I ship a rifle back to the client I advise them to save and store the sleeve in case the rifle ever needs to be returned for cleaning or maintenance.

Choice of carrier depends a lot on your location. I continue to use UPS, FED-EX and to a minor degree the US Postal System for all my shipments. Knock on wood, I have very, very few shipping issues over the last 30 plus years when I have shipped a firearm from this shop. However as stated in the beginning of this text incoming parcels have not always arrived in good nick. I can say that anytime I have had a problem the support to resolve the issue by both UPS as well as FED-EX has been very professional. With the exception of my local Postmasters dealing with USPS can be interesting to say the least.

You can get two scoped bolt action Sporters into one 1750 or im3300 but you will most definitely have to cut a cavity into the center foam section when flying to any destination. Even with weight restrictions today concerning air travel you are still only touching about 31 to 32 pounds with a single scoped rifle and approximately 10 more pounds with two scoped rifles in one of these cases.

If the unfortunate does happen and a firearm is damaged while in transit the "step and fetch" procedure to rectify the matter is not for the faint hearted or those with a limited amount of patience. The claim must be handled by the original shipper and not the recipient. Documentation of the shipment and any insurance coverage must be produced, pictures of the damage along with inspection by an agent representing the carrier will need to be carried out. The rotation of the earth will seem to stop as the wheels of compensation are considered by the insurance and shipping carrier. It is a slow painful death that can be avoided with the right case and some up-front expense.

The next time you get set to ship a firearm for any reason, sale, repair or for a hunt you might want to give some serious thought to the "what ifs" before you reach for that old $30 Big Box special with the broken hinge and the Scotch Tape.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

After School

My daughter and I went to the range this afternoon. The weather was perfect and the afternoon sun felt good. Even though we made an effort to do a lot more upland hunting this last season Lexi hadn't been to the rifle range since before Christmas. So today I gathered up a handful of gun cases and locked the shop behind me.

Recently Lexi had been kindly given a Winchester 52C Silhouette Rifle by the first paying client I ever had. Decked out in a loud Green McMillan off-hand stock, sporting a target barrel and barrel tuner it visually gets your attention, sort of like seeing a blue elephant at a stop light. This rifle was assembled by an old friend, Walt Predovich (sadly deceased) a gunsmithing class mate of mine.  There is a sentimental thread to all of this. As requested, Wally had modified this repeater into a single shot, barreled, and stocked it for the owner. It has been a veritable hammer in his capable hands on steel pigs, chickens and rams ever since its conception.

Lexi sat down and fed the rifle a few German SK Match rounds to confirm the rifle's approximate zero and to get a feel for the old Canjar match trigger. Then she settled in behind the butt and sent 5 rounds down range. Needless to say this barrel is still a drill. This rifle has become an instant favorite.

The next rifle out of the case was a beautiful M2 Springfield with the metal work assembled by the late Tom Burgess, then stocked and finished by Jerry Fisher about 12 years ago. The owner of the rifle apparently never could decide on what to use for the front sight until last year. I was then pulled into the picture to doctor up and install a Lyman Globe sight to blend with the efforts done by my mentors. This M2 came dressed in a Huey Case, equipped with a scope, a Lyman 48 and all the other finery you could possibly want. As the owner will retrieve it soon I wanted Lexi to have a chance to shoot it before it left. She was at a slight disadvantage as the owner has yet to supply any inserts for the front globe sight. So she just held the round bull in the center of the empty front globe and in turn centered the globe into the center of the Lyman 48 aperture. To date she had never shot any type of peep sight and following my half baked instructions sent 10 rounds into the bull.

This M2 is the epitome of functional elegance and a superb example of gun-making talent at its finest.

Last but not forgotten she finally set her 40XBR on the bags, got everything like she wanted and fired 2 rounds into the target at 100 yards. Both holes cutting the 12 O Clock position and 5" above the 1/2" orange dot. It was then she remembered she had zeroed this rifle for 300 yards last fall and was using it to dust clay pigeons before her Antelope hunt. 20 clicks of adjustment placed the next group into the orange dot which promptly disappeared. Satisfied with the afternoon we gathered our kit and headed in for dinner. I never fired a round.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Revisiting My Scope Ring Alignment Tools

This product was recently mentioned in John Barsness's newest book, Modern Hunting Optics that was reviewed on this Blog and I felt this was a good time to revisited the subject.

More often than not I am required to develop a tool for my own use and sometimes find others just might benefit from the same tool or fixture. This is the tale of such a tool. Both these 1" and 30 mm alignment tools are made from precision ground steel round stock. Rigidity is the name of the game here.

These 1"and 30 mm alignment tools were originally developed for the specific task of aligning both the front and rear scope rings that I install on the given receiver after the fabrication of these rings. The ID of both the front and rear ring is bored to the specific scope diameter + .001 They also serve to re-align the finished scope mounts whenever they were removed and or re-installed on that receiver.

Since my ring and base are integral I wanted a way tighten the base screws to the action and keep the rings in alignment. These tools allow access to both the front and rear sets of scope base screws. As the screws are tightened down the tool aligns the front and rear mounts in the same plane as the screws are drawn up tight. Even with a precision fit set of rings made to exacting tolerances I wanted a simple way to prevent one ring from possibly leaning to the right and the other to the left or twisting under the torque of the screw driver during the installation. These tools have been used in my shop for many years now and shipped to many clients that have both a set of 1" and a set of 30 mm rings for a singular rifle. Having both the 1" and 30 mm tools allows them to switch out and reinstall either set of rings  simply and accurately when required.

Over the years we also found a number of other scope mounting uses for these tubes that are very practical for the home enthusiast or professional gun smith using both custom and  conventional industry mounts. These tubes like any other bar type tool can be used to rotated the front ring 90 degrees into position and by having the rear ring attached to the tube as well will allow you to snug the rear ring into place with the scope base windage screws. The rigidity of the tube will insure that the rear ring is inline with the front ring and that the scope will not be put under and undue stress laterally.

However this tool and method will not correct any vertical misalignment issues in height between the front and rear ring. It will instantly make obvious the amount of height deferential and allow you to determine if you will want to install a shim under a base to correct the height issue. I recommend always placing the shim under rear base so as to prevent elevation correction in the scope to be compromised.

Once you have installed a set dual dovetail rings and labored over getting both rings in-line with the typical assortment of tools for this job such as using apposing flat or pointed rods placed in each ring to turn the rings into alignment. Then lapped the rings to gain as much contact with the ID of the rings and the scope. The thought of then removing this set up and ruining the fruits of all that labor can cause you certain amount of mental grief. If base arrangement will allow you access to all 4 of the base screw holes. You can remove the lapped rings and bases together and mark the forward edge of each ring and then send the paired rings and bases assembled together to be blued.

This prevents rust from forming over the years in the lapped ID of the ring and yes this does occur even with completely blued rings as seen in the pic below. With lapped but unblued rings this rust occurs at a very rapid rate.

Done in this manner maintains the necessary friction required to hold the rotary dovetail firmly in the base. Every time you rotate ring in and out of a rotary dovetail it degrades the fit on both the male and female contact area of the set. In short the interference fit of both the rings and bases degrades to the point that renders the set up as loose as a goose and keeping the rifles zeroed is like accurately predicting when the Congress and Senate will vote on any issue together.

Here is another example of where this alignment tool also comes into its own. If the set of rings you've installed and invested all this work into allows you access to all the base screws without removing a ring, leave the lapped set of rings assembled and unscrew them from your receiver for future use or to install a higher set of rings for that 56 mm Hubble sized scope you have always wanted. When the time comes to switch the scope back to a 3.5-10x40mm use the alignment tool to reposition both the lapped lower set of front and rear base/ring combination back onto the same rifle. This is simply done by placing each base/ring back on the receiver, drawing up the scope base screws just enough to take any excessive slack out of the screws but still allowing the mount to wiggle around ever so slightly. Place the alignment tool into both bottom ring halves press the tube firmly towards the receiver and snug up each base screw through the tube body and the slots provided.

Some mounts position one or two of the scope base screws actually under a ring, usually the rear ring. This is fairly typical with older style 2 piece Redfield or Leupold windage screw rear mounts or most vertically split mounts system such as the Talley, Warne, etc. In this case you will not benefit from the use of these alignment tools during an installation or re-installation. The tools will work equally well with the Leupold QR and QRW style rings and Weaver or Picatinny style rails and rings as long as the ring placement does to obscure the base screws. Below a set of Talley Aluminum horizontally split rings are being installed using a 1" Alignment tool.

For those that might be interested in acquiring one or both of these tools I keep and quantity of these in stock and can be order directly from the shop by calling 435-755-6842 or from my Web Site at The cost is $112.00 per tool plus the shipping cost. Please note that USPS will always be cheaper.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Modern Hunting Optics by John Barsness

Here is another heads up on a book worth adding to your personal collection. Modern Hunting Optics is filled with a mother load of in-depth information that any novice and experienced hunter will want to read. The practical and technical advise in this book come from an expert that has made a career testing, freezing, submerging, breaking, using and evaluating hunting optics from every major manufacture in the game. As optical technology for the hunter seems to morph every couple of years it is hard for even the seasoned hunter and rifleman to stay on top of what is truly fact and what is current marketing BS. 

I think John has done his best to stay on the cutting edge of this optical maze by ferreting out anything with a lens when it pertains to hunting industry then giving it the critical eye ball. This text does its best to steer the reader towards making the correct choice for their next purchase or how to better utilize what optical equipment they already have. With 20 chapters and 197 pages it is certainly well worth the price of admission. 

Shameless Marketing Alert: My scope base alignment bar was also given a mention as well and its always nice to know that you have an idea and product that makes the grade with others.

This book can be ordered directly from John Barsness at Deep Creek Press, PO Box 579, Townsend Montana, 59644 or by www.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

High Lights From SCI 2015, Outfitters and Professional Hunters

This year I elected to participate the SCI convention as a patron rather than an exhibitor. I have held a booth for over a quarter century and felt it time to view the event from the middle of the carpet for a change and spent Wednesday and Thursday walking the isles visiting old friends and meeting a few new ones. I had the notion that this means of doing the show would be less stressful and a layed back way to see friends but was always at a dead run between stops both days.

Shorty after getting my bearings I ran into the Phil Shoemaker his son Taj and later daughter Tia. Phil's wife Rocky had wisely chosen to give the convention floor wide berth for the time being. Over the next two days we re-grouped a couple of times and had a few laughs and discussed more than a few subjects. Gin somehow became the required lubricant during these brief encounters. Tia mentioned a possible opportunity that my daughter Lexi might be interested in so we'll see what transpires in the future. Being one of Alaska's few women Brown Bear guides she does indeed know where the bear craps in the woods and how to deal with the situation.

As many of you know Campbell Smith of Campbell Smith Safaris and I have shared a booth for well over a decade and a half and it was great to spend time with Cam and discuss his plans to start hunting In Mozambique along with his other opportunities in South Africa. Always at the top of game he was in prime condition and ready to engage anyone that stopped by. This year he was teamed up with  Graeme Pollock and the two of them together form a wicked combination of wit and humor. Cam was eager to have a good show and then get back across the great blue as he had a Lion hunt looming on the immediate horizon.

John Oosthuizen of Hunters and Guides and I saw each other briefly and caught up on what his plans were for the up and coming Safari season. His company is spread throughout a variety of countries and offer diverse destinations and Safari packages. Cautiously optimistic he was looking forward to the convention season and then heading home to do what he does best.

I got to spend some time with Joe Coogan and discussing his new venture. As many are well aware Joe has spent most of his life involved in the African bush as a professional hunter, writer and celebrity. He is now teamed up with some old hands and collectively have formed Africa Allways who's business model is to plan, organize and outfit African Safaris in an all encompassing package to suit all taste. I understand these services will include Fishing Safaris, Photographic Safaris, Climbing Kilimanjaro, Bird Watching, Bird Hunting and Big Game Safaris as well as a broad spectrum of other travel opportunities and offered in a variety of destinations. If Joe is involved the company has a bright future.

Athol Frylinck of Luwata Safaris was again in attendance. Zambia as we are all aware has been closed to concession hunting for over a year and a half and Athol was patiently awaiting the Zambia Government to complete their tender allocations so he might get on with the business at hand. When I left the convention the situation in Zambia was still fluid and I hope is sorted before to long. Athol has a Legend chambered for 375 Ruger and has grown fond of seeing it the rack and reaching for it when its services are required. I only hope the powers to be come to their collective senses and allow the Zambian Pros to step back into the bush soon with the same quota they have had in the past.

The Bucks and Bulls booth was neck deep in potential and past clientele every time I walked by. Having guided for this Outfitter for many years myself I was not at all surprised at the traffic jam around their booth. Specializing in Trophy Mule Deer, Elk and Antelope their quota of slots is quickly filled every year. I managed this pic early Thursday morning before crowd control was required. Somehow I got sucked back into another year guiding for Antelope in New Mexico and look forward to going down again in August. The Antelope on their New Mexico leases are worth the long round trip drive and effort.

I stopped by had a chat with Martin Nel and we instantly got into discussion about his 450 Ackley Magnum. I met Martin while on a hunt in Tanzania and we have stayed in touch ever since. Martin has the distinction of having survived a Buffalo pounding while carrying a double and seems to have gone back to a magazine rifle. As he now feels having more than 2 rounds in reserve is better. Martin has been hunting in Zimbabwe's Bubye Conservancy for a number of years and his photo album proves that he certainly knows the lay of the land and how to pull the best trophies out of his area.

I ran into Rich Guthrie late Thursday afternoon as I was about to exit the convention hall and we caught up on his recent Brown Bear hunts in the short amount of time we had. Rich is a premier Alaskan Brown Bear Outfitter and his expertise spans many decades. He has the distinction of owning one of my Classic Rifles and we have hunted Antelope together in the past and are both Whitetail Deer Fanatics. Our conversation on Thursday ended with him detailing his exploits in Ohio and Illinois to me. It's always good to spend time with Rich. 

Two full days did not allow enough time to see everyone I wanted to. You do the best you can and run like hell.

SCI 2015 High Lights-Swift Bullet Company Break Away Solids

While attending the SCI convention this week I spent quite some time speaking with Bill Hober the owner of Swift Bullet Company about Swifts new Break Away solid. This bullet has been in development for a number of years and I have anticipated its release with more than a casual interest. The bullet is made from a proprietary jacket material that houses a traditional lead core. This design allows the overall length of the bullet to be shorter than an identical weight mono-metal bullet of the same caliber and does not overly limit powder capacity. Bill also states that the composition of this bullets jacket and core design is completely forgiving in early production Classic doubles rifle barrels.

The Break Away features a radial shaped polymer tip that is attached to the nose of the bullet just ahead of typical parabola ogive section. By design the shape of this ogive and radial polymer tip will allow the bullet to impact the feed ramp at a higher position and enhance the geometry or path of a loaded round as its stripped out of the magazine. I see this as being a huge advantage over some of the current flat meplat bullets despite their performance potential once they leave the muzzle. We need to remember that the rounds must cycle through the magazine before the bullet is sent on its way. On impact this polymer nose breaks away for the bullet hence its name.  To date I have not loaded a single Break Away into any dummy cartridge cases nor have I tested this theory but I can tell by looking at the Break Away nose that getting this bullet to feed will be very simple.

This bullet does not feature any driving bands. The Shank of the bullet from the base of the bullet to the approximate cannelure position is bullet diameter and then steps down in a diameter reduction that appears to about .010 per side. As I had no micrometer to measure this I could not confirm the actual diameter. Exhaustive wet lap penetration test have proven to Bill that the Break Away delivers extremely deep and consistent in-line performance. These bullets have already been used in the field on just under a dozen Elephant and Buffalo with predictable results. I have been told that approximately 1000 of these have been sold to clients and Professional Hunters to date and I'm sure more field data will begin the trickle in from the veld as the 2015 Safari season unfolds.

The Break Away Solid is an expensive bullet to make and the retail price reflect Swifts efforts to bring it to market. Mr. Hober says that regulating the Break Away to shoot into the same point of impact as the A-Frame has been very easy with the rifles used for testing to date. Having said this the Break Away will not be for everyone but I do believe it will soon become a familiar subject around a Mopani fire ring like the legendary A-Frame and round out the Swift product line completely. I will use and test these bullets in an up and coming 450 Rigby Magnum Classic I have begun and will report my finding as they become available. As usual the Swift Bullet Company is not sitting on its laurels.