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Rob’s Reloading Ramblings - A bit of hill time

By Rob Bedingfield

The grin on my grandson’s face after shooting his first red deer will remain etched in my mind, as will the memory of my son with his first duck. Nothing is more rewarding than hunting with your kids as they grow up. Unfortunately, life is loaded with people attempting to kick the confidence out from under us.

 

To dare to be an individual and run against the collective grain is fraught with knock-backs, but I believe that individuality is one of our most important assets and should be respected. Jordan Peterson (psychologist) says that life is tough and that you should stand up straight and tidy your room before trying to put the world right.

 

Peterson’s lectures should be shown in our schools, particularly those showing his views on socialist ideology. As a youngster growing up in Western Canada he hunted with his dad and knows the value of such quality time.

 

“On the loading scene I am pleased to report that my load for the Parker Hale No. 4, mentioned in my last article, with the addition of the Pecar 4x scope, proved successful. The group was a pleasing 1.1 inch which showed the worth of the Aussie scope mount.”

 

I started my working life as a science technician and if I learned one thing it was to question statements, particularly those of the politically correct left-wing news media who seem to pluck figures out of the air.  It is gratifying to know that I have successfully passed this on to my kids and that they have handed it on to theirs.

 

There is a world of difference between schooling in my day and the socialist indoctrination of today. Make no mistake about it, we are losing our rights and becoming a totalitarian state, and it all starts with the loss of our freedom of speech.

 

On the loading scene I am pleased to report that my load for the Parker Hale No. 4, mentioned in my last article, with the addition of the Pecar 4x scope, proved successful.

 

The BSA was retro-fitted with a .270 barrel by Hugh Bradley of Stager Sports in Alexandra.

 

The group was a pleasing 1.1 inch which showed the worth of the Aussie scope mount. The load was a 150 grain Hornady with 43 grains of 2208. Using Alliant RL15 I worked up to 43.5 grains for an almost identical result (MV 2460fps.)

  

Our son Mark and grandson Matt came over from Melbourne to celebrate a birthday and I was charged with providing a little hunting. They arrived, knocking on the door with their elbows, carrying suitable duty free bribes, so a good time was had by all!

 

Mark and Matt had one day available for a hunt and I had organised a good area. We arrived late afternoon and could see deer in the distance. My advice was to try staying just inside the bush.

 

“Our son Mark and grandson Matt came over from Melbourne to celebrate a birthday and I was charged with providing a little hunting. They arrived, knocking on the door with their elbows, carrying suitable duty free bribes, so a good time was had by all!”

 

This way you keep out of sight and clear of those honking parries. I then did what granddads do and sat on my bum, sheltered from the intermittent light rain under the bush edge.

 

I was carrying my .308 Norma Magnum, loaded with those wickedly fast 130gn. Barnes TTSX [3400fps], although it was not my intention to shoot a deer as the day was to be Matt’s.

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My grandson at 17 has grown into a fine young man. Matt is 6ft. 5in and like me and his father at his age loves the outdoors and wants to hunt.

 

He is not all that interested in reading but I try to encourage him to read the two books I consider the best on hunting in New Zealand; Barry Crump’s “A Good Keen Man” and Newton McConachie’s “You’ll Learn No Harm From The Hills”.

 

That first paragraph of Crumpie’s is a treasure and just shows how good his writing was. I have given Matt both books and I hope that one day he will enjoy them as much as I have.

 

Back to the hunt

Eventually two bedraggled creatures came into view. Matt was looking a little despondent but the rain eased and I told him to stay alert on the way back to the Tojo. Sure enough a couple of deer were soon spotted down in a large open gully.

 

I let Matt and Mark do the stalk and was pleased to hear the report of Matt’s .270 followed by the crack of my moderated Tikka. I almost ran down to them (remembering my age and delicate condition). Success, Matt had stalked to about 200 metres, laid down and used his day pack as a rest.

 

Matt and Rob with the red deer yearling.

 

The 130gr Speer hit front on and the administering of the “coup de gras” was probably not necessary but gave Mark a well-earned share in the kill.

 

And this is where I can be a little smug, having two strong lads to dress and carry out the carcass. I volunteered to see how close I could get the Tojo which was not very far as all the creeks were bogs. I received some good-natured stick but I knew that they could not take the venison back to Melbourne and this young animal would be great eating.

 

Matt had killed the deer using a lovely old BSA I had refurbished. Hugh Bradley had fitted the .270 barrel. The original scope, a Nikko Sterling 3–9x40, is still good and clear.

 

“All the planning and preparation paid off and I think we earned “a drop of the creature” that evening. With a little ageing and butchering, aided by our mate James, the freezer is now full of prime venison.”

 

My handload is 46.5gr of IMR4064 giving a MV of 2833fps. I look after the rifle but it is Matt’s to use whenever he is here in the shaky isles. At least I can claim that as my contribution to the kill.

 

All the planning and preparation paid off and I think we earned “a drop of the creature” that evening. With a little ageing and butchering, aided by our mate James, the freezer is now full of prime venison. Mark and Matt were at least able to savour the eye fillets before returning to the big smoke.

  

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As for reloading, my chronograph was being recalcitrant in the sunny weather. It was obvious that both windows needed similar light to function so I bought a sheet of honeycombed translucent plastic for $8. This was tied with freezer ties to the inadequate shades and worked fine until the wind caught it like a sail.

 

No damage and the Mk. III  version now has a large water-filled plastic bottle suspended from the tripod to weigh it down. You may well ask, “What if it still blows over?” Obviously it is too windy for shooting groups, so, go home!

 

Rob gets in behind the Thompson Centre .308. The scope is a Vortex 4–12x.

 

Load testing Russell’s .308 Thompson Centre bolt-action proved fun for those present. Why does there have to be an audience when, you guessed it, his Vortex 4–12x clocked me right on the bridge of my nose?

 

Despite the pain it inflicted it looks to be a good rifle and Russell shoots well with it, so he says, but the scope is mounted an inch too far back for me.

 

Apart from the fact that you need a PHD to remove the bolt the Thompson does have some nice features. I really like the three front lug bolt having a low lift which is great for modern scopes.

 

The Thompson Centre is a nice shooting rifle although Rob found the scope to be mounted a little too far back - see text!

 

The receiver is made of magnesium alloy; unusual, but Thompson has been around for a while so they should know what they're doing.

 

After the “whack” I felt a little like the dog that peed on the electric fence but I did resume shooting, managing a nice group with the 125gr Hornady SSTs. A load consisting of 48.5gr of AR2208 produced a .45-inch three shot cluster at 100 yards.

 

I think Russell can do the remaining load testing.                 

 

Rob

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