I am still here

A few people have started to comment on the lack of posts on my Journal and I was quite shocked when I realised it has been a couple of months, so this is just a quick albeit solitary post for the month of March to say I am still here and still incredibly busy with all sorts if projects and jobs running at present.

We also have these two things who are now 9 months old, growing steadily and for the most doing quite well. We are training them with the help of a couple of well known and regarded trainers plus as many 1:1 sessions a week as we squeeze in. This is not as easy as it sounds when you have four dogs around you with the three Labs and the Lurcher and they all have their own very special needs and requirements.

The picture is typical of the two, one had a piece of cardboard and the other a stone. I have a pile of stones by my desk and another pile of stones in the workshop and I must admit he is very good at spitting out such items when told to do so. Will they make good working dogs? Well right now my gut feeling is yes, they will do well however that is entirely down to us, certainly more so than the pups as they are sponges, they just soak up what they are shown and usually repeat it.

Right I am off to get some CAD work done for the morning however I will also be adding some new posts in the next day or so.

Take care all 🙂


They are growing.

The pups are growing, all of a sudden they take up a lot of space, especially if the two of them are lying on the floor outside the living room. I can no longer simply step over them and have to instead walk around them which is all well and good unless they decide to jump up and follow me, which invariably means the other two are going to get involved on the off chance that something interesting is going to happen, or they might get a treat.

The pups stop in the workshop with us during the working days, this means they become used to people and noises and they will happily sleep through a compressor running, lathes and Mills being operated and things being hammered or sawn. They have been exposed to gunshots however only from a distance as the exposure to such sharp noises is a very gradual procedure.

My goal is to get at least one of them out on the last shoot of the year although I may end up beating and keeping my distance from the guns when one is with me. Right now I think it will be the yellow one, his brother is slightly timid although he is the better trained of the two and he will walk to heel off lead for reasonable distances despite distractions.

At this stage of their development I have no real idea how either of them will turn out however what I can say is they are both a delight to be with even if they do wake us up early every morning, at least I do not have to worry about the alarm not going off.

Yesterday was glorious, the Wolds are a beautiful place to be regardless of time of year and I spent a very pleasant day on a local syndicate. Our shoot is a very informal affair which involves a lot of dogs, an equal amount of walking and for me the very occasional shot to keep my Labrador happy, he is more used to 250 bird days so our stuff is very low key for him.

I suspect he appreciates the more leisurely pace of our day. We had walked up from the woods way back in the distance of this picture, headed onto the edge of the woods to the extreme right and then up this track to the waiting vehicles and I paused at this point ostensibly to take the picture although it is fair to say my back was incredibly uncomfortable at this stage and the breather really was appreciated by myself. This is the downside of spending hours either hunched over benches or machines and I find myself having to resort to a couple of Paracetamol from time to time, something I try to avoid as much as possible.

Well my coffee is finished, time to get on with some cutting and welding or the HT oven project will never get finished.

Reloading and wet dogs

This lunchtime I have been reloading 6,5-284 (Again!)

I say again as these were for zeroing and load development however the first batch was not good so I pulled the bullets with the trusty collet puller and re-loaded again with 48 grains of N160 which hopefully will get the job done.

The rifle is a Schultz & Larsen M97-DL Sporter and this particular rifle stock is a bit unusual over here in the UK and probably not much more common in Europe. The stock is a fairly typical 300m competition type however it works well for sporting uses as well and can be shot thumb up or thumb down and has a nicely formed palm swell and adjustable cheek riser, all features that seem to fit and suit me well. Unfortunately it has always been my wife’s rifle however she has agreed to relinquish ownership to myself so she can acquire a particular Savage 99 she has been after for a while.

The rifle has a Kahles K312 fitted on Apel bases and rings and currently sports a turner all weather sling which is mine. So with some paperwork I am hoping to be the new owner hence the load development for a bullet to suit my needs.

Our reloading bench is a modest affair, to this day I still use a Lee Cast Classic that I purchased when I first started reloading many years ago. I had wanted a Redding press and eventually acquired one but soon parted with it as the Lee had become a firm favourite. I also use an RCBS Summit press for minor work such as de-capping and mandrel work. Adjacent to the Lee is a Dillon 1000 for repetitive carbine ammunition manufacture as it can churn out rounds by the hundred with very little user input other than a watchful eye. It is fitted with a Dillon case feeder and I do have a bullet feeder for it however it currently off the machine for some tweaks. Next along is a MEC Junior for 12 bore slug and I need to add a method of loading .410 slug at some point as well. Not in shot are the dies and I use a huge range of makes from Redding through Forster to Hornady and Lee with some real oddities in-between for the  esoteric cartridges we load for.

Every round I load is filled with an RCBS Charge Master 1500 and it is interesting to note that I am using a Sinclair run out gauge to test every single round I make on the LEE. Interesting in that I have manufactured dozens of our own design of gauge yet I no longer own one, the same goes for neck wall thickness gauges, I have built so many yet no longer own one however I did spot some parts for one on a shelf the other day so I had better make an effort to produce one for myself and stop using the Sinclair version which I have never been a real fan of despite them performing well.

We are in the middle of a solid 3-4 week run on gun work and slowly getting through the jobs however that does not stop us from our customary visits to the Salt Marsh with the dogs and yesterday saw six of us Myself, the Viking, two adult dogs and the two pups) splashing around in the last of the Sea Lavender after a reasonably high tide. The pups are at the stage where we can let them run free and they, for the most stay near my side along with my Labrador, the Viking’s Lurcher is usually in sight doing whatever he does, probably looking for things.

Last week was the pups first time at the Marsh and they discovered water, this week they are happy to splash around and the black one was very close to swimming at one point however the water was not quite deep enough. His wiser brother tends to try and jump such obstacles if at all possible.

I note also that the black one watches the adult Labrador like a Hawk and emulates his actions which has to be a good thing unless he finds another dead seal and also rolls on it.

The yellow one is turning out well and seems to almost instinctively know what is expected of him, his black brother not so much so however he also shows a keen independence. They are truly poles apart when it comes to character and traits and it is always a joy and a privilege to be out with them.

Back to work 🙂

Rifles and Chillies

What a week, I have no idea where it went however things went out and things came in so I guess normality continues. The range of things that come in for repair never cease to surprise me and even now after many years of working with firearms I am still learning. The other day I had a front sight of a Ruger Redhawk fly off, when I inspected it the platform had been glued to the barrel however closer inspection revealed that is exactly how it comes from the factory, the only difference being this revolver had been re-barrelled at some point and the front sight stuck on with an epoxy rein. It is now held in place with JB Weld which should do a better job.

This morning was trigger adjustment time on a 22BR that is unusual in that it is built on a Carl Gustav Mauser type action bedded into a blonde PH Cadet stock with additional beech spacers and I must admit it looks pleasantly unusual. The trigger is a Timney which had been set to around 4.5lbs/2kgs which was just too heavy so I have set it to 750 grammes which although still heavy by BR Standards is more than adequate for vermin shooting and the 1:14 20″ twist barrel which the bore-scope showed to be in remarkably good condition should work well with bullets in the 50-55 grain range.

The rifle was originally built by Norman Clarke and he can certainly put a good rifle together, it was later refurbished by TVR and has come to us to be sold.

As well as the trigger I also stripped and cleaned the bolt, polished some of the internal surfaces and put a slightly lighter spring in so next job is to test it.

The ‘scope is a massive IOR 6-24×50 IOR with illuminated reticle. I believe they are fitted with Zeiss Schott glass as standard and this one came off the Viking’s 22C (22-6,5×47) which she used for 1000-1200 yard stuff so I know it works well. I will get it out for a test firing some time in the next few days. It is provisionally spoken for however I rather like it so it will have a new owner over the next few days regardless of what happens 🙂

I picked a good handful of Chillies this morning and they are now in the dehydrator, it is the first time I have tried drying them in this manner and I am cautiously optimistic as they do appear to be drying out nicely in a quite corner of the workshop. These chillies were marked up as ‘Fire Ghost’ which I suspect is a made up name however they are pleasantly spiteful and we should have enough with what is still on the bushes to keep us going right through until this time next year.

Today is a combination of work and reloading as I have a load of 6,5-284 brass to stuff full of powder for some load development plus some 6,5×47 that needs to be put through the LEM stainless steel tumbler and on a plus side I can probably dry the cases in the dehydrator, let’s not mention it to the Viking though!

Back to business.

Shooting Shed USA Distributor

We are delighted to announce SG Precision 

This means US customers can order our OAL Gauge locally and SG Precision also offer a case tapping service to suit our 8mmx0.75 thread, additionally the US Specification OAL Gauge has a removable rear section to enable a custom rear bushing to suit you particular action to be fitted. Speedy and Greg can supply these bushings to suit your needs.

OAL Gauges – The signature range

Firstly the OAL (Overall Length) gauges. We made some changes to our OAL gauge design earlier this year and this is an example of our new ‘Signature’ version, all but impossible to photograph and looks like it could do with another polish however you should get the idea. It is now exclusively manufactured from stainless steel and measures around 355,0mm in length, threaded 8mmx0,75 on the nose section. The advantages of such construction are longevity and precision, with a stainless steel body it is going to last a lifetime with normal use and the stainless pusher will not flex so you get a precise measurement every time you use it.

Why signature? We have been looking at some additions to our product range for a while, both new items and upgrades and we decided the new items would be described as our signature range as they will be, dare I say even better than before.

The metric thread is not the same as some alternatives and for good reason, it means people usually come to us to have their cases drilled and tapped which means we can control the quality of the whole system.

Our OAL gauges are shipped right across the world and we have many customers on all continents however if you live in the USA you will need to contact Speedy or Greg who hold stock for immediate shipping.