Sunday, March 30, 2014

A bit of a teaser

As I mentioned earlier, the biannual Safari Match at Phoenix Rod & Gun Club was held today.  It was a rousing good time, despite the wind playing havoc with our target stands.  We got to see (and shoot!) some incredible rifles, from 1870s-vintage .450 Black Powder Express doubles to a brand-new .500 Jeffrey rifle (which nobody had the courage, or perhaps insanity, to shoot).  This is really what it's all about:  shooting some classic African rifles with a bunch of good-natured and affable folks who share the same interest.

The above photo shows the moment of truth as one of the competitors fires a .470 Nitro Express during the open shooting session after the match's conclusion.  Banging steel from about 75 meters with the various light cannon was just awesome.  It's so awesome that I don't want to really go into detail until I get all the photos and video collected and edited.  Expect some great images over the next few days!

I ran my shooting sticks hard for the first time, and I was very pleased with them.  I've worked out a peculiar grip on them that works well for me.  I need to take a picture to really describe it, but essentially I grip the left-hand stick with my pinkie, ring and middle fingers, while using my index finger and thumb to create a little V-rest for the forend, palm facing towards the target.  I can pinch the stock with those two fingers and get a pretty good push-pull going, while simultaneously controlling the sticks and insulating the weapon to prevent it bouncing up and shooting high.

I shot my reloads, and had one bad primer out of 23 rounds fired.  Fortunately, it occurred on one of the stages that was not timed.  Further testing resulted in four solid primer strikes with no ignition.  Now I've got to pull the bullet, recover the powder, reprime and reload the cartridge to fire again.  I'm going to do a more thorough investigation and see if the primer was seated more deeply than my other reloads, or if any other causes can be identified.

And lastly, I leave you with a taste of what we saw and shot today, to whet your appetite:

Photo credits to Michael Novack

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