Monday, April 22, 2013

Barber principal # 1. "why waste good ammunition"

Today we were visited by Allen Barber. He is a local in the valley and stops by from time to time to make sure we're not getting complacent. It was also time to preform the once a year cleaning of his Legend. Not just the bore but a down to brass tacks complete strip and clean. Allen acquired this 7mm Remington Magnum 12 years ago. When we built it he ask me if it were mine what bullet I would use ? Without a moments hesitation I said my choice for that caliber has always been the 175gr Partition driven as close to 3000fps as I could safely get it. So that's what he has used from day one.

Allen is not against hunting in a little weather. In fact some of the pictures he has forwarded portray less than ideal conditions even for a Yeti. Enclosed is a picture of a buck he took last fall. Curious I asked him today how many animals he had taken with
this Legend ? His reply "3 Elk, 7 Deer and 2 Antelope, I only shoot one bullet per animal per year, I haven't shot a box of bullets in the field yet". He does practice in the off season and has used this rifle at some extended ranges when it was necessary.

It's hard to argue with success.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Keeping the goal in sight

Here are a few pics of our peep sight system being installed and regulated to give us the proper point of impact for this Legend chambered for 404 Jeffery.  No matter how well we have done the math I have never found a better way to do the preliminary work other than shooting the rifle. This procedure is done when the rifles stock work and scope mounts have progressed enough to allow us to break in the barrel first. Breaking in the barrel also allows us the find out how well the barrel shoots and with what loads is it most accurate.

Brian will then determine the approximate height for the front and rear sights from the centerline of the bore and then choose his components based on these calculations. He then drills and taps a 6x48  hole at the muzzle end of the barrel, cuts the proper radius on the underside of the ramp and then tightens the ramp in place with a 6x48 screw. A piece of safety tape is also wrapped around the ramp to keep it from flying off a heavy kicker and damaging the ramp. Then he machines the underside of the rear sight base to match the rear bridge radius. The rear base is screwed in place and the aperture is slid into the dovetail. The rifle is then shot at 50 yards with the most accurate loads we found while breaking in the barrel.

You'll note on the target below that the 1st group is way to high. Using a trig function we then determine the amount of correction required to both the front ramp height and rear base. We typically have 3 aperture heights for rough elevation corrections. We use a NECG Universal front ramp and front sight blades as this system offers a wide variety of bead styles and sizes. Once installed this combination allows for simple and accurate elevation corrections.

Based on the point of impact of the first group Brian made the second height correction by choosing a lower aperture slide and some additional machine work on the underside of the rear base. I then went back to the range and shot the rifle again at 50 yards, note the group in the middle. A third and final height calculation and correction was made and a cross section of 4 different loads were assembled for the final range trip. These loads were put together with 4 different bullets and in this case 4 different powders. The velocities of these loads were to approximate the intended final
velocities. This is done to insure that the point of impacts with the different bullets and powders are relatively close to one another so any fine adjustment is still within the elevation limits of the front sight blade adjustment range. The lowest group finds the point of impact for all 4 loads where we want them to be.

With this work complete it is now time to permanently screw and solder the front ramp in place and finish up the cosmetic detail work on the sights.

Test driving our first Stainless Steel Legend

Today I was at the range test driving our first Stainless Steel Legend. Built on a Left Handed G series Model 70. The action was fit with a medium weight 24" Schneider SS 7-mm barrel and chambered for 280 Remington. The scope mounts, floor-plate, trigger bow and follower are made from 7075 Aluminum. The stock is one our Left Hand Legends with a fiberglass shell and a standard fill. It was also topped with a new Zeiss HD5 with a RZ6 Reticle. This 1" variable looks very promising and should be an excellent hunting scope. As is it tips the scale at 8.5lbs. With an Edge carbon fiber shell and a  22" lighter contour barrel it might come in just under 8lbs. We are currently working on two other stainless Legends as well.

 We will up-date this post later on in the month.

Dr. Skinner stops by

This week we were visited by Dr. Ben Skinner. Ben had purchased a Legend from us 13 years ago. Over the years we kept in touch and finally got to meet one another last August while I was giving a Power Point Presentation in Maryland. He arrived at the shop with his Legend so we pulled it apart to inspect, clean and oil it.  The barreled action had never been out of the stock since he took delivery of it in 2000. He has the used this rifle every fall in Virginia for deer as well as for deer and bear in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It was evident he really took care of his kit as the rifle was in excellent condition.

The range that was our next destination. In the future he plans to hunt in the Western states and wanted to do some shooting beyond the yardage limitations of his range in Virginia.  He confirmed his zero off the bags and then began shooting from both the sitting and prone position for the next couple of hours at 300 yards. Some of this shooting was done while wrapped up in the sling, off shooting sticks and over a padded rest to duplicate a day or fanny pack. Not only did he shoot at paper
but also our life size Antelope target. There was little doubt he learned a few things and became much more familiar with that rifle.

All of his hunting to date has been in typical forested environment that have never required a shot beyond 100 yards so this session was educational for him to say the least. When his ammo was depleted we called it good.  It is always a pleasure to have past and potential clientele come by to pay us a visit whenever possible.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Who says Dogs have no class ?


         Athol and Jack about to make a recce run. Jack as always is dressed for success