Rifles in the UK
Introduction
FIREARMS AND SAFETY
Hearing protection
How a rifle cartridge works
Recoil
Which rifle calibre?
Bullet types
Rimfire cartridges
Magazine loading
Barrels and barrel making
Reloading ammunition
Case trimming
Target marking
Deer stalking

Odds and ends

This page is a place to put all the things that, frankly, I can't think where else to put. If you have anything that you think belongs on here, email me at: guyrwood at googlemail dot com, and I'll put it up.

How well machined is your crown?
Photo of barrel crownThis image shows the end of the barrel of my 6.5x55 Tikka after 30 shots have been fired. The symmetricality of the powder marks on the end of the barrel is a very good indication of how well crowned the barrel is. If this mark was less even it would indicate that the rifle would benefit from having the barrel recrowned.
Shooting at 1,000 yards
Photo of side of Farrell 20 MOA railThe click adjustments on the vertical turret of most scopes have a problem when trying to shoot out to 1,000 yards; they simply run out of elevation clicks and the bullet doesn't reach the target. The simple solution to this problem is to give your scope a head start. My target rifle, on the left, is fitted with a 20 MOA (minute of angle) scope rail. If you look carefully, you can see the scope tilts downwards by one third of one degree or 20 MOA. This means that when the scope is pointing straight at the target, the rifle is already pointing upwards by 20 MOA.
Photo of top of Farrell 20 MOA railOn a scope where each click represents one quarter of an inch at 100 yards, this equates to having an extra 80 clicks of elevation to play with enabling you to get the rifle on the target at 1,000 yards. The only slight downside is that the minimum distance the rifle can be zeroed at is now around 200 yards.

The rail pictured on the left was bought from Ken Farrell in Montana and simply screwed to the top of my receiver and forms a 20 MOA picatinny rail.
Flattened primers
Photo of flattened and normal fired primersThis image shows the primers of two fired .223 Rem cases. The one on the left shows a case that has been loaded too hot. It was 22.0 grains of Vihtavuori N530 under a 69 grain Scenar with a Winchester small rifle primer. There were no other signs of dangerous pressure such as stiff case extraction but this load definitely needs reducing. The primer on the right shows no signs of pressure and the primer still has it's radiused rim.
Working out ideal seating depth
For a cheap method of calculating the distance to the land in a particular barrel, you need a junior hacksaw, a bullet of the type you are loading and a fired case from your rifle
Preparing to insert cartridge
Use the junior hacksaw to saw a single slot down the case neck down to the shoulder. Use your press to seat a bullet about 2mm into the neck and carefully insert the round into the chamber of your rifle.
Inserting prepared cartridge
Now insert the bolt into your rifle and carefully close it on the round. Carefully lift and withdraw the bolt and catch the round as it is ejected. Measure the length of the round with a micrometre and you have the COAL with your bullet just touching the lands. Remember: If you are planning to load your bullets touching the lands, or even jammed into the lands, be aware that this will generate more pressure than if the bullet was away from the lands. Bear this in mind when developing loads and think about starting a grain lower than normal.
How big is a .50 BMG round?
Photo showing a .50 BMG cartridge next to a can of PepsiPhoto showing size of .50 BMG round next to a can of PepsiThis excellent photo was sent to me, as part of a very nice email, by a chap called Dave Sattar. Dave has been to the States a couple of times to and was lucky enough to 'have a go' of some rather nice rifles and pistols, including the mighty .50 cal. He said it was hard to describe just how large .50 BMG rounds actually are but I think the photo sums it up nicely!
Safety with .303 and .308 bullets.
.303 and .308 bulletsAlot of rifle cartridges are known as '.30' calibres, rounds such as the .308 Win, .300 Win Mag and the .30-06. These all use bullets that are actually .308" in diameter and the bullets can be used in any of these cartridges. The .303 British rifle, although classed as a .30, actually uses a bullet that is .311" in diameter. Using .308" bullets to load a .303 British rifle cartridge will result in a loss of accuracy but isn't particularly dangerous. However, loading .311" bullets in a .308 Win or .30-06, for example, is exceedingly dangerous. The bullets will form a much tighter seal in the barrel leading to far higher pressures being generated in the chamber. This risks blowing up the gun and could result in the loss of fingers, loss of eyes or even the death of the shooter. To the eye, .308" and .311" bullets look exactly the same; make sure you keep them in separate, well labelled, containers.
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