Last range session was mainly about getting small groups out of my Vanguard
. The crappy groups I’ve been getting had nothing to do with the great glass on it. I’m using one of the new Burris Six-X riflescopes
with the ballistic reticle
. Nice piece of equipment. It’s in lapped Burris XTR rings
on top of Burris XTB bases
. All quality products.
I had some fun with other guns while the Weatherby was cooling off from my .300 Winchester Magnum shot strings.
Sometime in 1993 I got a call on a Saturday from the owner of the gun shop I managed. He said he had something I needed. I said okay, I need it. What was it and how much? Turns out, a friend of Bill Ruger wanted a barrelled action only in 220 Swift, and then he died or changed his mind or something. I doubly needed it because a barrelled action was never offered, nor was the .220 Swift cartridge at that time. So of course I bought it. I had visions of grandeur about a custom synthetic stock with double swivels and a flat bottom that would ride the bags well. Trouble was, nobody made a stock for the new heavy barrelled gun yet except the factory laminated Ruger stock that I didn’t want. McMillan and Six Enterprises wanted about 600 bucks to make me one. Rats. So I kept the thing in a cloth in a safe and did nothing with it for about 10 years. I was gooping up my guns in the middle of the Gunroom floor one day and My Shirley came by. I told her the story about the barrelled action and how I wanted a cool stock for it but wouldn’t pay that kind of money for one, and maybe I’d sell it. She said, “Why not get the one that normally comes with it?” I was flabbergasted. I’d had the gun for so long I didn’t even think of it. So I put in a call to my friend from Ruger for a cheap dinged and dented one, or one with a chip out of it or something just so I could shoot it. Nothing happened until one day a brand new stock arrived at my door. I guess they never had any banged up stocks they wanted to send, so they just sent me a new one. I shot it for the first time ever last Sunday. I topped it with an old Tasco World Class Plus straight 24×50 scope with 1/8″ adjustments that I use for load development. This is an old discontinued Japanese scope and it is an outstanding product. I had some Hornady Custom .220 Swift ammo left over, and after boresighting, my first shot was about 4 inches high and 4 inches left. I adjusted accordingly and put the next three rounds into a one inch target dot. Cool. So I packed her up and went on to another one.
My Martini has a heavy one inch Schneider barrel and is chambered for the sexy little .218 Bee cartridge. It has the most gorgeous wood you will ever see on a gun, and in fact is one of the most beautiful guns you can imagine, with highly polished metal and topped with a 12x 1.5″ Unertl scope. Put a few rounds through it and put it away.
My Colt Competition II H-Bar
has a Hogue floated forearm
with no goofy cheese graters on it. Hogue grip
, also. I installed a standard sling swivel so I’m not torquing the barrel when I sling up. I broke this gun in one round at a time with JB Bore cleaner
for the first 20 rounds, then sent it to 300 Below
for cryogenic treatment. With Federal Gold Medal
it’s a half inch gun all day. I changed a few trigger parts and scoped it with Burris XTR extra high rings
with the Burris Picatinny top
on one ring and a Docter mini red dot
on top of that. It has a Leupold VX-III 4.5-14×50
in the rings. It also has a Redi-mag
on it that I highly recommend. I shot some Federal LE only tactical loads
out of it and it shot them only fair, grouping around an inch or so.
I bought the metal from a best quality German drilling (correctly pronounced DRY-LING [drei is German for three]) made by a gunmaker named Edgar Keiss around the turn of the century. Just a small piece of the foreend was left. No other wood, and it was also missing some metalwork. I bought the gun because it was a work of art. I kept it in a cloth for years, until one day a friend showed up at the gun shop with a cheap Stoeger Coach Gun with the nicest chunk of wood ever to be put on a cowboy gun. I asked him why he would pay so much for nice wood just for a cheap shotgun. He told me he had an acquaintance with an autistic son that couldn’t hold a conversation but was a whiz with wood. He said the guy worked cheap and liked to keep his son busy. I went home and gave my friend the pieces and asked him to tell his acquaintance to just put a fence post on it and make it shootable. Nothing fancy, and keep it cheap. Months later I got the gun back and I was shocked. I said, “Oh my God, I wanted something cheap! I can’t pay for this!” Turns out the guy never saw a three-barrelled gun before, so chose a beautiful piece of crotch walnut for both the stock and the foreend, made it with a shadowline monte carlo cheedpiece, hand checkered them and even made the missing coined metal pieces. I paid him either $225.00 or $275.00, I forget. But it was gorgeous. Now I had to find out what cartridge the bottom barrel was chambered for. Turns out it is 8x57JR. Sellier and Bellot still loads for this cartridge. It is basically a rimmed 8×57 with a .311 bullet. The top barrels are 16 bore 2.5 inches that I reamed out to 2 3/4. I finally got a chance to shoot the gun and love it. What a creation, and beautiful.
I shot some other stuff, too, but those were the most interesting on that particular day.