The Shooting Shed Støtteben F/TR bipod MkV – Another run.

I keep getting asked about our Støtteben bipod so it must be time to make another run of 25. For those of you who have not seen one, the Støtteben has a proven track record and is in use by multiple national teams and is well represented within the F Class league.

The SHED Støtteben bipod is manufactured from 6082 T6, A4 and 316 stainless with some Nylon washers thrown in for good measure so it is not going to rust!

This tried and tested super wide and super light F/TR bipod is the evolution of the original SHED ‘Plain’ bipod and is lighter, wider and sleeker, it has many new features such as the T Nut assembly and has a second fixing which is an M6 grub screw designed to screw into a dimple in the rail to give a second locking point and also act as a recoil lug, this means the bipod is always returned to the same position on the rifle when it is fitted. The elevation screw pitch has been reduced to give finer elevation control yet still with the left/right hand thread system so no more winding for 10 minutes to get the height you need. The feet are wider with added radiuses to give even tracking regardless of the width the bipod is set to.

Finish is vapour hone with hard anodising so a very flat black without any shiny bits to reflect light. The leg sections from the elevation fixings to the head are solid sided to give maximum rigidity and triangulation and this also gives somewhere to put the name of the bipod ‘Støtteben’ Which for those of you who do not read Danish means stabiliser. Støtteben are the stabiliser wheels children have fitted to their bicycles so now you know.

Vital Statistics:

Main bipod assembly: 6082 T6 aluminium.
Finish: Vapour honed and black anodised surfaces.
Screws: A4 Stainless Steel.
Elevations shaft: Stainless Steel
Elevation nuts: 316 stainless steel
Weight: Approximately 610 grams
Weight with optional toggle locks fitted: Approximately 674 grams
Weight of optional toggle lock 32 grams (1.15 Ozs)
Maximum recommended width: 785,0mm (31 Inches)
Maximum recommended height: 380,0mm (13.5 Inches)

Accompanying the bipod is a spares/options kit comprising of:

1x Elevation nut retaining clip.
1x Toggle lock and washer.

Price for the latest iteration MkV of the Støtteben will be £295.00 with the new version featuring some minor tweaks to improve tracking and aesthetics. Price for advance orders will be £265.00 and the bipods will be available Q4/2019

Triggers and trigger weights.

I am often asked to adjust and/or tune triggers and one thing often becomes apparent and that is people have no real concept of trigger weight.

Many years ago I was asked to service and adjust a sporting Sako trigger to 3.5lbs, which I did, the customer tried it when he came to collect the rifle and declared it was far too heavy. Well it was on exactly 3.5lbs and it turned out he wanted something closer to half that. Lesson learned for all of us.

In an ideal world I will make the adjustment whilst the customer is with me until we reach a weight that suits the customer.

The one thing that always worries me is when people make their own adjustments and fail to check the operation and safety of the rifle afterwards and I cannot over stress the importance of such checks. If in doubt, leave it alone or ask a grown up. Lighter is not always better!

I remember working on an F Class rifle a few years ago and commenting on just how horrendous the 2oz (55 grams) trigger was.The owner admitted later that it had failed in a competition and he shot the last few rounds by carefully closing the bolt to take the shot, so it was effectively slipping over the trigger sear as the handle was depressed. it reminds me of an F Class competition once when the competitor to my left was taking his first sighter, there was a shot followed by “Oops”

Anyway, this particular trigger job was an Anschütz 1807 and I was asked to increase the trigger weight and give it a once over.

First job always has to be to check the operation and confirm the existing trigger style and weight and this one was set to a scary 5-8 grams, I would hate to shoot it with cold fingers!

These days I use a Lyman trigger pull gauge, I misguidedly lent my old electronic gauge out and never got it back hence the Lyman. These are actually quite accurate and I sat down with a known weight and ran numerous tests when it first arrived and I would say it is accurate to +/- 1 gram which is quite an improvement on the more traditional spring gauges and tins of shot on a piece of string. Of course the accuracy is dependant on the way you use the gauge and yanking the trigger back with the gauge will give vastly overweight figures.

What I do like about the Anschütz triggers is the range of adjustments for sear engagement, first and second stages and trigger weight and these are one of my favourites. This particular trigger has now been cleaned and set to ~100 grams

What can you best do to keep your trigger in good working order? Well, avoiding contamination with bore cleaning solvents and oil is a good start. I always use a Cleaning rod guide/Bore guide (Obviously) and trap a piece of kitchen roll folded in half under the back of the guide to prevent the ingress of contaminants when cleaning.

If you need to clean a trigger in the field, remove the trigger, hold it in the same orientation as you would shoot the rifle and pour a liberal amount of lighter fluid in from the top, this will flush a lot of the contamination and gunk away and when the fluid dries it leaves a slight residue that aids in lubricating the trigger until you can get it checked and cleaned properly.

DO NOT dump the contents of a can of brake cleaner followed by a liberal coating of gun oil and certainly do not put WD40 near it as you will be back to square one.

Do not lighten your standard trigger excessively and always, always check the operation before use.

And why am I telling you this? Because you need to know.

Another rail for a 400 yard rim-fire.

This is a BSA international scope rail fitted with a 75MOA rail instead of the normal 0MOA.

Now believe it or not, sourcing a low profile 75 minute rail is probably going to be a lost cause. In fact I did not even bother to look for one. Instead this was machined in the mill.

First job was to calculate the cut in millimetres because, despite my age, that is what I always work in given the chance. I have a spreadsheet that I use and just enter the ring separation and the required angle in minutes and voilà, it comes up with a number. I wrote the years ago as it is so much easier than getting a pencil and paper out and doing it the long way, plus I can easily add or subtract the minutes required to see the difference to the depth of cut. Most I have ever machined for a rail was 125 minutes. Yes, It converts to milliradians as well because that is what I was brought up with. (Reminds me of a comp I shot one day at Bisley, as I stood up someone asked me how much wind I was putting on, ‘About 18 mils was my reply’)

Then out with sine gauge and try and get the rail clamped in the Bridgeport courtesy of the new machine vice. Finally check the end heights just in case and put a few cuts across the underside of the rail, remembering to take the material from the front and not the back!

So here it is, a BSA inter bracket and rail ready for 400 yards .22LR competitions.

Shotgun firing pin damage

This Browning 325 dates back to 1994 according to the serial number and came in for a problem when firing the second barrel so I expected an inertia block issue or similar.The gun itself was in staggeringly good condition for a 25 year old example and the issue was a combination of 25 year old grease and oil the had solidified and gummed everything up.

As part of the cleaning process the firing pins come out and they were equally gummed up so I suspect someone gave a liberal squirt of something many years ago.

 

 

During the initial inspection I had noticed one of the firing pins was quite badly pitted, in fact this image does not do the damage justice and this brings me to the subject of this post. Firing pins, over time the can become burnt and pitted. This is down to many factors including poorly set firing pin protrusion and mass produced cartridges, the primer cups are thin, the pin strikes the cup and pierces it and a load of hot gasses vent backwards, gas cut the face of the firing pin and force debris through the firing pin aperture into the important parts.

The issue gets worse now as that firing pin face, once burnt, becomes rough and this means primer cups pierce more easily and it becomes a vicious circle.

This is not an occasional issue either, we have had three shotguns come in this week and all with exactly the same story, purchased second hand elsewhere then to use for work of some sort and the firing pins are burnt, latest was a Lincoln 20 Bore and this really annoys me as the seller either knows and does not mention it, or is too lazy to check the gun over before it goes out.

Of course you can always replace firing pins however the damage is being done, so take a look when you next clean the shotgun, damaged pins are easily identified with a decent light or a torch, and take a look at the primer cups on the cartridges you shoot before you throw them in the bin. Pierced primers are easily identified and it might mean it is time to change your pins, or maybe change to a different cartridge. One final note, firing pins are a set length, shortening them to polish out the damage can lead to light strikes and is seldom successful as it is not an easy job to put the correct radius back. Get yourself a couple of new pins, change the spring(s) at the same time and you are good to go.

And why am I telling you this? Because you need to know.

Thread work.

Screw cutting, shortening or crowning are bread and butter sort of jobs for us and it is not just trade work that we undertake, we are equally happy to work with individual customers from all disciplines.

This is a beautiful .308Win Sako 75 destined for Deer work, it has been threaded 1/2″ UNF as agreed with the customer and is now fitted with an Accurate Shooter sound moderator from Barton Gunworks. We have known Will at BGW for many years and like his products so we use them whenever we get the chance when it comes to production applications. We still make our own for special applications and I am working on a really interesting project at the moment which I will share details of when it gets a bit closer to being finished.

We can screw-cut virtually any material in any thread from, as examples 6-48tpi through to M42x1.0mm on either manual or CNC so we have just about all options covered.

I have recently been making odd number tpi screws that were required for a specific application,so machine, thread, time the screws and machine the slots which makes for a time consuming yet very rewarding job. I will take some pictures next time I am making and fitting some.

Hmm…the copper slip does not do the thread picture justice, it is actually a lovely thread, gauged correctly and ready for Proof.  Eagle eyed readers may just about spot the flat crown, I do this for all rifles that will be wearing a sound moderator full time unless asked otherwise.