We had planned on taking a few rifles to the range Christmas day however by the time I had faffed around reloading we were out of time so we had a Boxing day trip instead and one of the rifles to come with us was the SR Model 1911. First job was load some ammunition and this was the part that delayed me. Not because it is difficult to load as it is a very easy process, instead it was my choice of reloading dies…
I knew I had some once fired brass on the shelf however it had been fired in the Vikings 1896/11 so needed to be full length resized and here was the problem in that the only dies we have are Lee collet type which means they size the neck only and do not bump the shoulder back which meant the brass was not chamber once neck sized, obviously the chamber of the 1896/11 was longer which had me scratching my head however the Viking soon put her hands on 35 shiny new Prvi cases that had been primed already and even by eye the difference in length from case head to shoulder/neck junction was obvious and more to the point the new unfired brass chambered perfectly.
Next step was choice of bullet and I opted for the 155 grain Scenar, I did have to hunt around for them as I mostly have the likes of 155 Type L and Berger Hybrids on the shelf and they were probably an overkill for the rife especially as it was a shoot and load test outing at best. I was tempted to load with the 170 Lockbase however given the factory COAL is 77,7mm I would not have a lot of bearing surface being held by the neck so Scenar it was.
With a choice of bullet I could select my powder which was Vihtavuori N140 which is always dependable in similar cartridges with this weight of bullet.
Quickload tells me 41 grains of N140 should give around 2580 fps with the 31.7″ barrel and my reloading book suggested 41 grains was indeed a safe load and good start point so 35 rounds were loaded and the rifle was good to go.
First round down a new to me rifle is always interesting and I always wear safety glasses along with ear protection. Initial reaction was wow, not a huge recoil and an intact rifle so after a quick inspection I completed a group of 5 rounds and checked the target, 5 holes in the same general area so all good however I had noticed two things. The brass is ejected vertically and was being thrown over my head and behind me and when retrieved was displaying some significant dents in the neck.
Even with a spotter to catch the brass before it hit the ground it was still showing dents so it was the rifle ejection process as opposed to the landing that was the culprit. I have since been advised to be less forceful when pulling the bolt back and this should be prevented.
I did entice the Viking over to the Schmidt Rubin and she put one round down range before pulling a face and handing it back, odd how I think it is a mild recoiling rifle and she says it thumps, could be down to padding and it could be a gender or anatomy thing. Of course it could also be that she was spoilt by shooting the 5,56×45 in the Dansk Army followed by heavy and/or mildly recoiling centre fire rifles and her recent time spent with Rimfires 🙂
What about accuracy? Well I did not measure the group however I would say around 7MOA shot off hand with impacts slightly high which would be down to my sight picture. Thinking about it, this is the first time I have shot a centre fire rifle since my eye operation and I had no issues whatsoever with a clear target and foresight blade although the back sight was a tad more blurred than I would have hoped for. Regardless of this I could see and hit the target 🙂
Regarding the 7MOA, I would hope to halve this off my elbows with some load development and some warmer weather. One thing that is worth mentioning is the trigger, it has an odd curve to the blade that when first used would suggest it has been bent at some point however this is normal and after a long first stage the second stage is remarkably light for a battle rifle, probably just under a couple of pounds although I would need to confirm this with the scales.
Whilst on the subject of accuracy, yes I do remember the famous Townsend Whelen quote “Only accurate rifles are interesting” however I would argue that this was an accurate rifle in its day and now 100 years later it will probably do quite well and I suspect working up to around 43 grains of N140 will give reasonable results and better replicate the issued GP11 ammunition at around 2680fps and regardless of if it shoots 3MOA or 1MOA it is a fine old battle rifle and certainly worthy of a place in the Armoury.
On a separate note I need a M1911 rifle sling so if anyone knows of such a thing please do let me know.
Well today is a sort of work day so I had best get on.