SHED 4-P+ Cartridge Comparator Set

We have decided to make our cartridge comparators available as a full set for individual centre fire cartridges from 17 Remington to .338LM which means you can order all the parts you would ever need for your chosen cartridge other than a vernier calliper in one hit and with a modest saving as well.

You can still buy the original 2-P Comparator set, 2-P bearing surface comparator, 2-P Bump Gauge and the 5-P additional lower tooling (shown here) as individual/sets if you prefer however with the SHED 4-P+ Cartridge Comparator Set you get everything you need and can even run two complete sets simultaneously if you have a spare vernier calliper which is what I tend to do when I am batching.

Our Comparator sets are our products, designed and machined by the Shooting SHED here in the UK and have been shipped right around the world to many different people including members of national shooting squads, top individual shooters through to club shooters and over land. This is not a mass produced item, this is an item machined by us for you and as ever, please shout if you have any questions.

Pigeons and a new permission

With our move to the Lincolnshire Wolds has come more opportunities to shoot over land and I was thrilled when a local farm manager recently asked me if I would like to shoot Pigeons over the land he manages.

Authority to shoot over such land has always been known to me as a ‘Permission’ and although this is not my first in the Wolds I was delighted with the unprompted offer which I would like to think is a nice reflection on myself and I resolved to do my level best to control the number of Pigeons currently damaging his fields of Rape. (Brassica napus)

To be asked to shoot over land is always a privilege, not a given and once an offer has been made it is important to do the job. One potential issue with shooting permissions is not having the time to get around everywhere and I have come across people in the past who happily reel off a list of places they can shoot yet never seem to actually get out and do anything about it, so with this in mind I was even more determined to do a good job. I sent a text to the farm manager asking if it would be OK to head out to the bottom wood yesterday evening. My check list for such an outing was remarkably simple, a shotgun in the form of my trusty Miroku 6000. I have owned this shotgun from new when it was purchased in 1994, it is the only new shotgun I have ever owned and although it is not the lightest of shotguns I do like it and it usually sits alongside a Stevens pump action and a Webley .410, between them they can get most jobs done. Along with the Miroku was a box of 12 Bore #6 30 gram cartridges (Fibre wad) followed by the trusty Labrador who was clearly keen to get out and do what he does best and finally and for the first time the trusty Viking joined us, she was going to be in charge of the game bag which looking back at the day was a tad optimistic.

With everything packed away in the car we headed off to my chosen spot which is easily accessed by turning off a reasonably busy road, down a track through a small wood and the plan was to park discreetly at the far end and then walk up to the main woods where I was to shoot. The moment I turned off the road I realised the track was distinctly muddier than when I had last seen it and I selected 4 wheel drive and carried on whilst being aware of a flashing 4×4 light as opposed to a solid light. By the time we had got to a suitable parking point out of sight of Pigeons and passing traffic I was starting to get a bad feeling however we were here to shoot and the Viking was very upbeat about the whole affair so with that we headed off, her carrying a shotgun slip and game bag and me with a pocketful of cartridges, a shotgun over my shoulder and a Labrador sort of at my heels, I say sort of as he is an excitable chap and it took a couple of prompts to get him out of the grass and back to my side however once there he stayed close. The Labrador is a very experienced working dog with a good nose for game however not always with me as he is often borrowed for a local shoot, he comes with me on the smaller shoots however for the big one I beat and he is with his brother, mother and breeder who is responsible for some of the picking up. It always seems odd to see the Labrador working yet not under my control however I am very happy with the way things work, he enjoys it and the person he is working with is a great sort and very capable. I look on it as free training and dog walking and it always makes me smile when people refer to the Labrador as ‘Rentboy’ although I have been asked on more than one occasion if he really is my dog!

Encouragingly a few birds went up as we arrived at my chosen position and we had loads of time however it was bitingly cold and I had no real idea of what to expect having not shot this wood before, I settled down for a cold hour or so with an incredibly attentive Labrador sitting to one side and the Viking behind me. Then it snowed, the sky was white, the air was white, I was turning white and the thought of the car languishing in the mud was nagging me, we waited a while without any chance of a shot and I called time, getting out was more important than a Pigeon or two for the freezer and with that we headed back to the car chuckling about the weather.

With everything loaded back in the car I reversed and moved forward as best I could however two things were becoming apparent, my 4 wheel drive was not engaging and we were rapidly becoming very stuck, time to drop the tyre pressures and pack the ground around the tyres with some towels we had in the car plus assorted bits of grass and dead wood. No joy, we were stuck, it was snowing and the biggest revelation of the day – Neither of us had a mobile ‘phone with us. Note to self, never ever leave home without a mobile ‘phone, eventually it became apparent we were not going to get out without some assistance, it would be dark soon and the weather was worsening so with that we locked the car and with a shotgun in a slip over my shoulder, a Labrador and Viking by my side, we started the long walk home. I know the land reasonably well and was able to point out the more salient features as we walked alongside the hedge lines, a solitary Muntjac scurried away at one point and Pigeons went up giving me a good idea of where to shoot next time.

We eventually hit the road back to the village however it was pitch black by now, luckily the snow gave a good contrast between verge and road and this part of the Wolds does not have ditches so no fear of falling down into icy water. Occasionally a car would pass and the headlights revealed snow being driven in virtually horizontally, good job we were both well dressed with multiple layers and breathable shells, I was in my normal beating/shooting attire, Seeland Woodcock jacket and trousers with a fleece under and Le Chameau Vierzonord wellies so I was not going to be cold, certainly not with light gloves and a flat cap (As one does!) The Viking had her own take on gear, namely black Gore-Tex jacket and trousers so she was fine albeit probably more suited to a tactical assault on an embassy than a stroll through the Wolds, the downside was we were certainly not going to be offered a lift given our current attire plus a Labrador and Shotgun on my shoulder so I was very pleased and slightly relieved when the distinctive and well known to me humming of tyres headed up the road, passed us and reversed back and that was the end of our walk.

As luck had it our rescuer, a good friend was driving a very capable 4×4 and after some chuckling drove us to our stranded car and very quickly pulled us back to a safe position, that coupled with a good run up and low range selected, albeit with only the rear wheels driving saw us back on the road in no time, after that it was just a matter of driving home, changing out of some rather muddy clothes, feeding the dogs and then off for a well earned pint and a bite to eat at our local pub, what fun 🙂

On a positive note the Viking seemed to enjoy the whole affair, we certainly did not mind the walk even if we still had another good hour or two to get home and I am looking forward to the next outing albeit I need to take a close look at the lack of front wheel drive before then.

Finally, what did I learn, well always carry a mobile for starters, a torch would be handy and always make sure you are correctly attired regardless of just how mundane the days drive may seem.

More Screw Cutting

Today I was continuing with the February theme of screw cutting. OK well it is only the second day of the month however it was another day on the lathe and one job was shorten a barrel and screw cut for a supplied sound moderator. The moderator was an over barrel type and the label said 5/8″X8 TPI – Now that is unusual and certainly not what I had expected so I checked my notes with the supplier emails and they were all a bit ambiguous however they did rather point to the 5/8 UNF so that is what it would be.

I tend to keep a few barrel stubs in the workshop to test threads with however I certainly did not have one for this size so first task was to find an old barrel, chop a few inches off the end and cut the thread, it would confirm the size and it is no hardship to machine two identical threads once the machine is set up so with that I checked the dimensions and made a start.

Yes the thread has been set at a tolerance class 2A as regardless of what the manufacturers say they seldom supply things to a true class 3B internal thread. Yes I am using metric dimensions because that is what I use 95% of the time, especially as it is just a press of a button to switch the DRO from metric to imperial. Whilst on the subject I know of a few people in the business who never stray from imperial dimensions despite being many years younger than myself. I was at school during the transition to metrication way back at the start of the 1970s and I have always been quite happy with either and as much as I talk about thousands of an inch I feel more comfortable with 0,025mm and always clock in with metric gauges.

Back on track again, I stopped at 14,15 and tried the moderator, nope that is way too tight so I went down a bit and tried again, still too tight although it seem to be trying to start, down a bit more. I checked with wires as I do not possess a 5/8 UNF ring gauge and confirmed I was at absolute bottom limit and still no luck so I did the obvious thing and rang the supplier who was not really sure either. Time for a coffee and a think. The thread was way too deep to get a gauge in and I really did not want to faff around trying to guess the thread when I received a call from a mate which gave me the opportunity to have a moan and discuss the options and his parting comment was ‘Screw a bit of wood dowelling into the thread, wind it out and cross my fingers that a thread was evident enough to measure’

I so hate it when I have missed such an obvious concept and it reminds me of a tip from an old Tool maker many years ago. I had been hand tapping some fine threads in stainless steel (M2 from memory) which is a truly daunting task and they were tight for the screws. He suggested a fine sliver of match stick pushed down into one of the flutes and tap again and the sliver of wood was enough to cause the tap to cut slightly oversize and it works! The same applies to a hole tapped with an unknown thread, screw a piece of wood in, remove the wood and compare it to a thread gauge, it might not be perfect however it does get you a bit closer to the answer.

With the call ended I scanned the workshop for a suitable candidate for the dowel and spotted a length of 20,0mm natural (White) Delrin so chopped a few inches off, machined the end to a diameter of 14,0mm and wound a couple of layers of white electrical tape around the end. It was loose so a couple more winds and it screwed in perfectly. I removed the Delrin length and was greeted with a neat line of black witness marks suggesting a very fine thread, certainly not 18TPI. A check with the thread gauge told me what I should have been working to: 5/8 x24TPI.

I should have a test thread in 5/8 UNEF however it is ages since I have cut this thread as I am not asked to cut such a thread very often, maybe if I was an ar15 builder things would be different however these days it is either 1/2 UNF or something metric the majority of the time, so I headed off to machine the correct thread and confirmed fit with the supplied Sound Moderator. That left only one task, bore a couple of new blocks for the barrel so I could hold it securely in the hydraulic press and as a final task finish machine the aluminium spacers blocks I have had sitting next to the press for the last couple of weeks. I might even post a picture or two of them in use at some point.

With the barrel in the vice the received came off very quickly courtesy of the correctly sized action key, some Rosin on the blocks and a meter length of scaffold pipe on the end of a breaker bar. I would guess at approaching 175Nm/130 ft/lbs or more so a bit tighter than I had expected and the thread was clean and lubricated so I will take a close look at the receiver in the morning and check the head space when I reassemble everything in the morning.

As an aside I had 5 tonnes pressure on the press so loads to spare and I find I see virtually no slippage with correctly sized blocks and some Rosin on the contact surfaces of the blocks to barrel.

First job of the day

It seems like an age since I wrote anything on this Journal and looking back at the last month or so we have been incredibly busy however hopefully normality has now resumed.

First job was a simple one, screw cut and crown a couple of rifle barrels, one for a local shop and one to get ready for Cerakoting. Do the easy one first, a simple 1/2″ UNF and what I will say is no matter how simple something might appear it still has to be done right so I spent some time clocking in. As the barrel was not coming off the receiver this does mean some extra time needs to be spent however it is no hardship.

With everything clocked in I machined the diameter to plus 0,2mm, made the undercut and swapped to a new cutter for the screw cutting processes, took a cut and confirmed the diameter and took the first light cut to confirm the pitch wound the slide out and crashed into the stop which I had pushed to the left as opposed to removed. There was a brief twang and the timing belt was ripped in half, I hit the stop and cursed my stupidity. It was at this point that we discovered we did not have a spare belt in stock so a quick call to Colchester spares revealed that neither did they nor did they know what I needed.

Blast, time to do it the old way, so I measured the length, width and pitch of the old belt, counted the teeth and started the hunt for a a replacement belt.

HINT – If you ever break the screw cutting toothed belt on a Colchester Chipmaster you will need a 345L050 to replace it, going price is around GBP7.50 with VAT for a decent one and I managed to track one down in Grimsby so off we went (Grimsby + Rain is is never good), unfortunately they only held one in stock so I will need to get a spare in sometime soon even though I have no plans to repeat my error. The belt is a simple matter to fit however it did take some tweaking to get it to the correct tension and I diligently tested a variety of feeds and speeds to make sure everything was good before cutting a superb thread, I do like Winchester carbon steel barrels, they always seem to machine exceptionally well. I was getting close to size so I checked with a ring gauge and oddly it was quite tight, in fact it would not even start to go on. Check the OD, yes it was 12,7mm grab a pitch gauge which was still open on 20 TPI and it was nowhere near, during my testing operation I has swapped from No4 to No6 or from 20TPI to 24TPI so I now had a superbly crisp and shiny 1/2″ X 24TPI thread however the note said 1/2″ UNF (20TPI) So I parted off the now redundant 15,0mm of thread and started again this time with the correct thread that as ever cut superbly and the rifle is ready to be assembled and dropped shipped end of the week.

So here I am at approaching 18:00 and I still have another barrel to shorten thread and crown if I am to get it out on time with a sum total of one days work being screw cut one rifle, certainly not what I had expected when I got up this morning. 🙂


BSA Martini International Scope Bracket Info

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