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Topics - African Leadwood

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I'm pretty sure many of you have seen this, but for some reason I had not. Some of the footage I've seen elsewhere but I still enjoyed it very much. It is always clear to me that modern hunters owe a great deal to Mr Weatherby. His influence was far broader than most like to admit and he kept much of the industry innovative and on its toes.

I absolutely love the Weatherby story which really is one of triumph over adversity through exceptional ability, vision, determination and most likely sacrifice. Many in the world could learn a lot from that today....


« on: July 08, 2020, 05:36:36 AM »
I guess I'm a little behind the curve these days with some of the latest developments as I just can't frequent many forums and sites. Yesterday in conversation with the gentlemen who is probably our most knowledgeable and experienced QuickLoad user (having made videos and written articles instructing on the use threof etc.) he told me that I should check out this great and free resource. He indicated to me that he used GRT a great deal and that is is an excellent resource as an alternative for modelling for reloading.

I've not had time to take a proper look, but I thought I would give you a headsup, particularly in light of the recent questions about QL.

The webiste address is wwww.grtools.de

Most reloaders use several resources; manuals / websites / Quickload etc. A recent experience reminded me again of how important this is.

The Lyman Pistol and Revolver Handbook is a great resource for loading data, which also mostly includes pressure numbers for the loads. I've had mine a while and now that we have imported propellants available and our local producer is closed / not producing, following a very unfortunate incident at their plant, I revisited some of the data.

We've always been told about barrel length and whether the barrels are vented etc. for universal test receivers with handgun data, but often this information is not all provided. This is no exception.

Well imagine my surprise to see that the max load for a 300gr in a 44 Mag with H110 and 296 producing MV below 1000fps (jacketed bullets). Well part of the reason is that the test barrel length is 4" but it still seemed low and I was surprised to see that by comparison the 4" data for the 41 Mag seems more in line with my expectations. I compared the loads to Hodgdon's website data where there is also some pressure data (8.375" barrel) and looked at loads and pressure. Whilst the Lyman data seems sound it is also in some cases 200 to 300fps slower than data for a 7.5" Blackhawk in some of my other manuals with similar bullet weights and sometimes the same bullet (i.e. exactly the same; manufacturer etc). I then noticed that the loads for the TC's were exactly the same charge and I could compare that to my Sierra and Hornady manuals with which it correlated extremely well.

This just reminded me again of how wrong you can go by assuming things, for example that loads were too low just because of the velocity and for example start at a max, when in fact it is the platform used to test, so it would seem that accounts for the difference from my expectations. Fortunately we are spoilt for resources now and I have access to data in books and articles by John Taffin, John Linebaugh, Brian Pearce, Glenn Fryxell and others, in addition to my manuals. It also shows you how important it is to take note of things like barrel length and other factors and how relevant a chronograph can be if you intend to approach top loads.

Another recent experience was my finding with IMR7828 in the 340 Weatherby, where my QL data was quite a bit below that in the manuals and where it seems that the manuals were closer to my experience.

Strangely with the examples that I looked at the 44 Magnum really stood out and I'm still a bit surprised by it.

According to several news reports the British-Canadian-American (should have added "resident"), Harry, has sold his 60k US$ one of a kind hunting rifles because the boss who doesn't like "bloodsports". 

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / Bullet "tests"
« on: April 30, 2020, 05:40:21 AM »
There are many ways to do this and I recall some years ago, someone mentioning that most test results were important to note only if you were expecting an attacked by a wet telephone directory.

Anyhow, there was a recent post about competition bullet for hunting and eford suggested Scirocco II and I replied and also indicted that I would post some pictures if I could find them.  I'm sure others here have done a great deal of their own testing, but here is a bit of feedback which supports the comments regarding the SCII.

As the South African importer and distributor of North Fork bullets (a manufacturer from Oregon in the USA which recently shut down) I did quite a bit of testing with some guys who shoot rifles at game to survive and as part of their jobs. What we generally did was to soak telephone directories which I had saved over more than a decade, for 4 days and to then squeeze out excess water with a board and by stepping on top of the board and then stacked them on a table and shot at them. In the big rifles we added two dry books to avoid shooting right through 3m of wet books, which the big stuff will do with well designed flat point solids.

Attached are results of 30 cal 180 grain bullets shot into the wetpack at about 30m from a 300 Win Mag with a muzzle velocity of 2850-2900 fps.

Left to right - Hornady Interlock / Hornady Interbond / Nosler Accubond / North Fork SS (solid shank bonded core) / Swift Scirocco II. Penetration was 310mm / 303mm / 360mm / 390mm / 432mm.

The SCII has an extremely thick jacket and performed well and maintained integrity of the shank and also with a large well supported mushroom.

I also have penetration data and some results for other bullets including some solids etc.  We shot many rifles over the course of some of this - up to the 450 Rigby Rimless Magnum which is essentially the 460 Weatherby Magnum without the belt. I'm not suggesting that this is particularly scientific or a perfect test, but we found it useful in making some deductions and decisions about performance. If you intend to shoot at longer range you also need to consider the risks of no expansion and that a bullet may just pencil through with a small wound channel. We also investigated different bullet weights in the same calibres etc. which informed some of our bullet choices and recommendations for certain applications.

Reloading / Lee Collet Neck Dies for Weatherbys
« on: April 13, 2020, 12:26:41 PM »
I've had very good results with these dies in various calibres and in fact the ammo for my best shooting rifle is loaded on Lee dies and sized with a Lee collet neck die. In fact this is a 6mm Rem AI for which loads are loaded on Lee standard 6mm Rem dies (including the seater). This is an honest 0.25 - 0.3 MOA rifle.

While I don't believe in continual neck only sizing, I wanted to see how stable the Weatherby brass was with the double radius shoulder etc. and I wanted to use a Lee collet die for my 340 instead of my RCBS neck die.

I found some washers that just slip over the case and which can rest atop the shellholder and used this spacer to activate the sliding sleeve in 338 Win Mag die to size the neck on my 340's. I then removed them one at a time until I had sized the neck to the desired point. The stack of washers measure 7.28mm and I will have a squared sleeve of that thickness made at some point to enable me to use the 338 die for my 340.

I also intend to try this for some of the other Weatherby chamberings for which Lee does not make the dies, such as mt 224's. This is unlikley to be a unique approach, but  thought I would share it nevertheless.

Ammo / 224 Factory ammo / production countries / box "variants"
« on: April 13, 2020, 12:12:07 PM »
Been a while since I've posted anything...

I had a bit of time with the long weekend to go through some stuff. Factory ammo that I have for the 224 is quite old (I guess 70's to maybe early 80's). As I've mention to 224 King, there are two different printed boxes that I have on hand with a slightly different fox picture (it's all in the eyes  ;)).

What I noticed now however was something I was not aware of.

I have one box of ammo that has "50 Grains" printed across the tab and not in the usual spot where it would read "55 grains". This box also indicates that the ammo is "MADE IN WESTERN GERMANY" and the primers bear an RWS stamp mark (tough to see on the pic).

The other ammo is indicated as being made in Sweden. I also have what appears to be one of the "MADE IN WESTERN GERMANY" boxes with this blacked out and "Made in Sweden" printed in black below it.

I was certainly not aware of German manufactured ammunition, or that there was a 50 grain factory load. Does anyone have any info on these, 224 King?

Pics attached.

All the best

Rifles / Browning BBR
« on: October 31, 2019, 07:47:38 AM »
The comment on the WSM thread about being sued for copying a design reminded me of the Browning BBR. I've read in the past that production of the BBR was halted due to legal action by Weatherby, instituted because of design infringements, but I cannot confirm that.  Possibly someone here is able to?

I recall handling one as a sub teen in the 80's and have only seen two others here in SA since. They were a 9 lug design like the MkV from what I recall and yes the similarities seemed obvious. I do remember that there was a short action version (although I've never seen one of those) which is probably quite a nice to have; like a short action MkV. I did find them very heavy.

Does anyone own both the BBR and a MkV? What are your impressions and comments about the similarities and quality?

Reloading / Weatherby Brand Dies (wanted)
« on: October 29, 2019, 04:05:09 AM »
My gunsmith friend has a set of Weatherby dies, by Weatherby. I've attached some (pretty poor) pics of his set.

He was asking if I would help him locate a set in 224 Weatherby Magnum, so if anyone has a set in a good condition that they are willing to part, with please let me know and I will put you in touch.


Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / The best calibre
« on: October 25, 2019, 04:36:23 AM »
I know Weatherby no longer offers one but isn't the 22LR just the best thing ever?

I'm very fortunate to have my first rifle in my safe again; a 1981 Brno Model 2 22LR. When my dad became very ill the rifle went to a dealer for storage as he still had the permit and it took me a long while to get it back to me. I shot it again a while ago and it shoots one hole at 25m with several of the brands of the ammo I tried. This rifle always shot well.

I will stretch its legs on the next range visit. It is so special to be able to get that rifle back in the safe. I recall where it was bought and when and that Dad paid R190 for it from Dacol Guns in Claremont, Cape Town.

It is probably true that more game has been wounded and lost with the 22LR than with any other cartridge, but correctly applied and for a fun day at the range they are simply unbeatable. Now Weatherby needs to bring one back!

In this post I undertook to revert with some feedback when I had the chance.


The OP commented that the better groups with a brake are about harmonics and some said about recoil control etc. There was also a question about POI on the target.

I've commented before, as I have a Model 70 with a BOSS brake system. It certainly works and mine reduced groups from around 1.75 moa to below 1 moa - as I recall - with a little twist (hit and miss at that time). There have also been posts about the Sims / Limbsaver products in the past (the slip on rubber ring - you put it on the rifle barrel guys  ::)).

So getting back to what I said I would post. The rifle is a .270 Win M70 SS (extremely long throat etc. as posted before it shoots really well). I loaded the same ammo as last time with 130gr Sierra PH. The rifle shoots 200fps below the expected velocity by the way, due to the shot out throat.

The pics are the right way up and aiming point is the bottom corner of the diamond. Range is 100m. I had the moderator on for the first group - spot on and about 13mm. The second group shows the POI moves up around 2 inches and the group opens to around 32mm. Possibly I pulled one a bit, but I think this was more about the weight on the barrel; i.e. harmonics, than the recoil (130gr at 2680 fps really doesn't recoil much but the moderator does reduce it).

My experience with my other silenced rifle is similar - lower point of impact with the weight on the end. This in my post is more about POI.

As I've said you can have a replica of the brake made without holes in it. These are available for the BOSS but I can't import one and cannot figure out the thread on that barrel! That will prove how much is harmonics and how much recoil reduction. Anyway for what it is worth....

Around the Campfire (General Discussion) / ANOTHER LAZERMARK THREAD
« on: July 31, 2019, 11:28:15 AM »
All of the recent Lazermark posts reminded me of something I wanted to ask.

I have two Lazermarks, both Japanese. This .340, 5 panel in the pics and a 7mm Wby Mag. The 7mm has the very sharp cut out "chequering" with the almost tiny cross hatched look where the wood has been cut away - a lot like Brett's rifle. The .340, however looks like in the pics, also Japanese but caramel coloured and light coloured also where the cutting is done on the panels. There are almost horizontal lines feintly apparent. And the panels are more filled with lacquer. The checquering is not nearly as "grippy" as on my 7mm.

Was there a change as to the timing of cutting the chequering at one point (i.e. lacquer before / after etc.) or were more layers of lacquer sprayed afterwards and did the process change as my .340 is not nearly as sharp edged as my 7mm or the one Brett posted pics of and is not cut as deeply. Imagine if it is actually not a Lazermark!

Thanks for any input. I'm sure someone who has owned Weatherbys longer than I have can add something. Thanks for any comments. I need to check my manufacturing dates of the rifles again and can post that.

Unfortunately I had to lengthen the stock on the .340 as the rifle has too much recoil for such a short stock. It was done with a piece of ebony and matches the rosewood tip well. Unfortunate, but if I intended to shoot it I had to do it. Maybe a slip on was a better idea... so be it. The Weatherby stocks are very short for me at around 13.5".

Reloading / Barrel "Shot Out"?
« on: June 24, 2019, 09:27:20 AM »
I like a Model 70 for a CRF Mauser style rifle and picked up a secondhand New Haven SS in 270 Winchester a while ago. I really like the SS since getting a 375 H&H some years ago.

This weekend was the first time I was going to shoot it. First time out I load at the range to save on expensive components and to avoid shooting groups of ammo that's too slow etc. So I shoot over the chrony from the beginning.

I made up the pill bottles of powder and packed it all. Then I went to determine the seating depth. I use a Stoney Point AOL gauge (now Hornady L n L). Well the bullet fell out of the mouth of the modified case before engaging rifling and another bullet design did the same.

I had cleaned the rifle well, but never borescoped it, so I looked with the Lyman. No bad firecracking, but no lands and grooves for quite some way and then not a nice delineated start to them, so really a shot out bore I guess. I'm not really sure. These borescopes are a bit of guessing when like me you have limited experience with them. 

I was understandably disappointed, but I decided I would try to see if the rifle had any potential. I sized new (i.e. not fireformed Sako brass) and loaded up flat base Sierra 130gr - the SP. Flat base bullets give the rifle a better chance in my opinion and these are cheaper than the bonded bullets I have. I loaded a mild charge a powder much like IMR4350 and a CCI200; I guess velocity would be 2850/2900 fps. The rifle is threaded and I had bought an Aimzonic Predator (actually for 30 Cal) some time ago and so I screwed it on.

I bore sighted and fired a few shots to get it on the paper at 100m.... Imagine my surprise - first group 7mm.... so I shot it again.... 2nd group 9.5mm (2 clicks scope adjustment between the groups). What on earth were the chances of that? I've seen "bad looking" barrels shoot well before but this one really surprised me. Groups are three shots at 100m. This could be one of the most accurate rifles I own if this repeats.

It just goes to show that I probably spend a lot of time overthinking things. If I had not tried to determine jump or AOL and hadn't pulled out the borescope I would be none the wiser and just think I had bought a great rifle! I'll see now how it shoots with some hunting loads. No velocity as I left the chrony at home, although I had the screens and mounting rail. It is a 55 mile drive so I wasn't going back.

The 375 Weatherby Mag South Gate is ready to go.

It's now fully bedded - it had been refinished so was not a "hands off" rifle and there was an old crack at the pistol grip which was well repaired, but I figured a full bedding job would help prevent future damage. There also seems to be a piece of wood inletted as a repair at the mag well (visible on the pic).

Whoever initially refinished the stock did a very good job compared to other attempts I've seen here in South Africa to get that type of shine and sheen.

The serial number points to 1954 manufacture. I'm not sure if this is the original recoil pad but it still has the old "pay off line" of "Tomorrow's Rifle Today"

I mounted a Leupold 2.5-8X36 and planned on using Weaver rings, but those on hand were too low to allow for the bolt to operate, so for now it has a set of Warne rings, which doesn't really suit that era of rifle at all.

I'll let you all know how she shoots now once I get to it. There is no 375 brass around here, so I will either fireform 375 H&H which is a bit short, or neck up 340's.

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