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Everything posted by VarmLR

  1. VarmLR

    IOR Scopes, your thoughts?

    I think you've made a decent enough choice there in the Vulcan. Vortex pricing and business model is such that it covers for returns in this way so unlike owners of Khales, Swaro or S&B who wouldn't expect any issues (that's not to say that there haven't been any) they can always send them back for a no quibble repair or exchange. Richard does present some good reviews...I bought a Delta Titanium based on one of his, but sometimes doesn't cover things that more long term ownership might bring up so like all reviews, take it with a small pinch of salt. His comments on the optics though seem pretty spot on. I know that some NF owners of the entry level models were having some issues not found on the (better) NSs and ATACR scopes so there is also the question of some manufacturers introducing models which may not be all in-house with the same QC, to try and get a bite ant the more entry level markets. From what I read of the Vulcan though it seems pretty sound. Best of luck and why not report back and give us the low-down on optics, dialling reliability (it might be fun do do a dialling test on it), use of the ret etc? The only issue I once had with some premium euro optics was with a set of Swaro Bins. I was the second owner. They returned them good as new, no charge 4 weeks after I sent them in, fully expecting to pay a bill for the repair works. Can't ask better of any company than that! I find that the "real world" reviews offered by owners, rather than reviewers, ultimately of greater value, especially if they've used them for an extended period. That takes nothing away from Richard as he's a good guy. He used to be a regular visitor to the gunsmith I use but don't know if he still is.
  2. VarmLR

    IOR Scopes, your thoughts?

    I compared the Recon with a PM2 and a Gen2 Vortex Razor, Khales, and Steiner top of the range model. The ergo on the Steiner was great but the optics were abysmal so I sent that one back..l.truly sencond rate with obvious edge distortion and a yellow fringe on the image. Their cheaper scopes were much better! The Gen2 Vortex was amazing. Good fov, superb bright, crisp image but I found the mass and the busy stadia ret off-putting. Of the lot, I think it had the brightest image. The IOR had a great contrasty image but the ret was quite thick on it and the colour cast from the coatings whilst making some darker objects better in contrast left a pronounced cast over things although the image was clear and bright. It seemed well made and rugged. The cast renminded me of the coatings that Leupold used to use for their hunting scopes a little. Great scope and I was tempted but that ret! I liked the optics on the Khales a lot but found the eye relief just a little too short for me. The PM2 I found perfect for my tastes. Crisp image, possibly 2nd best of the group, no obvious colour cast, a fab ret and I loved the simple, intuitive dialling with the double stack turrets. I much preferred it to the IOR tbh but that's my eyes and my preferences. You're best to try for yourself. One thing put me off the IOR and I know plenty on here love them and have had no issues but I do know someone who had to send 2 Cruisader scopes back due to turret issues, and the second one ended up with the same fault as the first. A quick google showed that this was not an uncommon occurrence and like the chap I know, others had to wait a long time for anything to be done and the scope to be returned. That put me off. For me, the top 3 choices for LR were the PMII, Khales and the Vortex. I would have bought the Vortex for the superb warranty and that amazing bright sight picture if it hadn't been for the open centre, very busy ret, so I ended up with the PMII and have been delighted with it ever since. It has been faultless and consistent on dialling. Love the optics too. VFM I think that the Gen2 Razor had it though. Good luck with your IOR Vulcan though. Hopefully some of the reliability niggles of the older models will now have been sorted, and they have a decent enough rep.
  3. Just dug out the 24.6 grn group: Velocities and consistency was better using RS50 though. I shot a load ladder and 24.6grn is shown as a plateau on the traph below giving an average of 2842fps: I'll dig out my load data later on but I seem to remember group sizes being oveall more consistent using RS50.
  4. I've used these extensively with mixed results using N140 but settled on 24.6gr with two seating depths producing similar results. Average, prone, still day using 3 shot gropups was .25moa, best was 0.18moa, then on 5 shot groups the average over time worked out at .4moa. It's ok but it didn't produce as good grouping as the smk for me. It works well with a longer jump too. In my chamber about 100 thou off the lands produced very consistent groups with a slightly compressed load of N140 compred with 15 thou off the lands. I found the 55grn sgks as good tbh launched at 3,200fps.
  5. RS50 is what I use with heavier 223 bullets and it is a very good match indeed. If you do a little searching on here you should find some of my data for the 77TMK and RS50. It outperformed N140 with lower observed pressure signs. As others have said, the fact your rifle was spitting 60/62grn bullets about is more to do with the load not being properly developed for your barrel. The bullet length and mass of just about any 60grn or 55 come to that will be just fine in a 1/9 twist. You just have to find the node that works. If not already looked at, I recommend you read about Dan Newberry's OCW (optimum Charge Weight) load development. You ideally need access to a chrony if intending on shooting more than a few hundred yards out but inside of that OCW should get you a good enough node.
  6. Not true! I use a tighter twist than you and mine shoots everything from 45 to 77grn perfectly well. My go to vermin bullets are 55 and 60grn respectively. Yours should shoot 60grn fine with the right load. Bear in mind that the use of double base powders like N540 or RS52 will wear your barrel out much quicker than single base loads if you are shooting anywhere near the top end loads. Even mildly warm loads with N540 can have a surprisingly detrimental barrel life effect on some barrels. I have shot mine with 77grn bullets to 1000yds using single base RS50 just fine but can't claim it's anything like competitive as it just isn;t a high enough BC bullet for 1000yds. 80 to 90grn dedicated LR bullets are better suited for the 223 at 1000 if you want more consistent results. I've found even at 600yds that the 69tmk can be very badly blown about in relatively light winds.
  7. RS50 is what I use withy 77grn TMKs and I get good velocities with that, certainly better than with N140 which has a similar energy, for some reason. You might struggle to stabilise a 75gr bullet with a 1/9. My 1/8 is marginal with some 80grn bullets but 77smks work well. Depending on the ranges you intend shooting you might be better off trying the 69TMKs and see which shoots better for you.
  8. VarmLR

    Shooting on private land.

    We had similar with crows two years back, and gave up shooting them as it didn't bag enough. A Larsen trap was the answer and in one morning alone we must have had double figures inside the trap...probably one of most effective means of control where large numbers are concerned. The problem with them is using outside of the pairing season ( March to June) their mates can cotton on quickly and become trap shy. Using them early in spring I think is best as id disrupts the pairing and breeding for that year. I've tried shotgun, rifle, scaring and the usual methods but the two I favoured most were the crow call (under cover close to a perching tree) and the Larsen trap. Never seen as much as a 15% loss, that's quite devastating! We have lost about 3 to 4% of one very large wheat field due to deer though. Quite a few Roe got in and made circles to lay down to ruminate and within weeks a surprisingly large loss of crop ensued where big clumps had been randomly flattened.
  9. Vortex Viper Gen2 is a no-brainer....the glass imho is better than any sightron I've looked through. A used NSX is also a good shout and so is a new or used Bushnell DMR Elite....Plenty of those seem to find their way onto long range rifles and I know of a good few 50 cal users with one of those sat atop. Mechanically very robust and reliable scopes but not in the same league as top class Euro optics from the likes of S&B/Swaro/Khales. For mounts I'd recommend the Burris XTR Signature rings with a hefty amount of adjustment built into the design which will take you out to way beyond 1000yds. Details here: https://www.rifleshootermagazine.co.uk/kit-tests/optics/in-depth-test-and-review-of-burris-xtr-signature-scope-rings-1-5640068
  10. VarmLR

    Shooting on private land.

    Yes, I was backing up your situation, not arguing against it, so apologies if it came over that way. You are absolutely covered as are all those who undertake a similar role. You're right too about predator control and the larger the sheep numbers lambing, the more important it becomes. I get paid in kind to do all of the post control...my arrangement is that in exchange for helping out with the odd labouring work and pest control, I get to keep the sole shooting rights for the land and keep any deer that I shoot plus can shoot whenever I want once the pheasant season begins. I also cover a fair amount of arable for pigeon control. You can walk about and scare them as much as you like but unless you're there almost constantly, inevitably the numbers need to be controlled although we do follow the guidance to the letter with scaring and deterring. The past few years, we've seen more Ravens than in decades and last year they gathered in unbelievable numbers....big birds close up! Basically scaring them off the lambing fields is the only option. We had a caravan at one end of a large field pretty well hidden and used to take it in turns to monitor things at the start of lambing to discover where the worst threats came from and concentrate on controlling those. Worst thing I've witnessed was a badger coming out of the woods, grabbing a few day old lamb and starting to chew on it's back end before dragging it off. It had cleared off with the lamb before I could get to it but we discovered the remains of the lamb a short distance away. Those cuddly badgers did more damage than the fox that particular year.
  11. Must admit with my less than 20/20 eyesight I tend to do must of my hunting to around 200yds at 15 times. Anything under 100yds is closer to 6 or 8x for the field of view. For years, atop a 22LR I did my first shooting using a 4x40 WA Bisley De Lux scope and used that out to 100yds. Better eyesight in those days though!
  12. VarmLR

    Shooting on private land.

    Not true. If you are employed for vermin control, be that a professional gamekeeper or not, and you can show good reason, then how can restrictions apply? You would have to be sure of your good reason and it would have to stand up in court. An example is someone who undertakes fox control for a farmer who cannot do that himself and is experiencing issues and lost lambs or is in threat of losing lambs during this year's lambing season. Food production is an essential activity and so is anything that supports it. Too many sanctimonious arm chair warriors spouting BS on this across forums.....meet those conditions, check with your licensing department and have it recorded, plus advise local plod of when you intend going out so that they are not called unnecessarily to reports of shooting and you are acting within the law. The Coronavirus Act 2020 is available online for those who have not yet read it.
  13. VarmLR

    NSX 5.5x22x50 np2dd

    I bought exactly that scope a few years old, boxed with papers and paid £900 which at the time about 3 or 4 years ago was the going rate. It is worth not much less now..they hold their value well.
  14. Try it and see. It may be fine and no harm in trying. My money would never go on another Hawke though..once bitten twice shy...I had a rather pricey one a few years back and it developed a tracking fault. I noticed that the elevation turret was very graunchy and removed the top cap and dial top screw to remove the dial only to find another piece of alloy plate dial had been snipped roughly to act as a shim and crudely placed underneath it. Appalled, I sent that one packing and when offered another told them what they could do with it. Looked nice, glass was very average compared with just about anything Euro or American or Japanese and I'd never buy another. You can only say it as you find it and plenty are pleased enough to buy one...just not for me.
  15. I can't speak for anyone else nor do I claim what I use is the best wrt mag etc. What I can say is that for years I shot at 1000 yds with "just" 17x mag and that was plenty. For BR where the rifle is usually very solidly supported on some sort of fixed rest, and FOV is less of an issue, ditto shake, then higher mags (the higher the better) are more usual. However, I've found that once the weather warms up a little, you can start to have issues with mirage as distances go out and mag goes up, and also you compromise depth of field and field of view. With poorer quality glass you also have less light transmission and a poorer resolution image to start with so winding up the mag makes things often worse instead of helping. The real key is not just mag' but glass quality. Give me a really good 10x optic and I'd way rather that at 1000yds than a mediocre one with twice the mag. The other issue if you are using an all round rifle, not just one built for the range, is all up weight and the last thing you want is a 50x monster with a 34mm tube sat on your rail. It's all a compromise. After 35 years of shooting, I have settled on my own compromise which suits me and addresses all the issues above, with all my rifles shod with weights of extras that I can cope with in the field as well as on the range, which give me good image quality, and importantly, very good mechanical reliability and precision. That matters as much as image quality imho. My most "rangey" rifle is shod with a S&B PMII 5-25 which still cuts the mustard amongst the latest and greatest and I'd happily use it to 1500yds or more because the glass is up to it as is the mechanical precision and repeatability. My hunting rifles, also used on the range have respectively a Nightforce NXS and a Bushnell DMR Elite fitted to them. Both with modest upper reach but both easily 1000yd capable and with great clarity. Not in the PMII league but what the Nightforce lacks in transmission it makes up for in clarity plus with both those scopes you could bash a fencepost in with the things and they'd probably still work fine (don't try this on Dad's rifle at home kids....he won;t be pleased and would have to explain "turn of phrase" to you in probably painful terms....). You're spoiled for choice these days and best to do some in depth research and if possible try out the optics before you spend your hard earned. Good glass can be had relatively modestly with scopes such as the Gen 2 Vortex scopes. Where scopes are concerned I do think it's a case of buy once, cry once. Only a rich man can afford to buy cheap glass...
  16. VarmLR

    Where are all the hardcore Varmint hunters gone ?

    Nice one Kev. They do shoot well. I find them better than the 69TMKs in my own rifle but others find they're not as good as the 77SMKs for target. I use RS52 with them and have some great results with that.
  17. VarmLR

    Not Shooting is expensive..

    Yes..classic 1970's dual concentric Tannoys...something of a passion of mine.
  18. VarmLR

    Not Shooting is expensive..

    Managed to bag a pair of vintage Tannoy Cheviots in need of restoration so drive units will be whipped out for a refoam and voicecoil gap clean before I rebuild the crossovers and see to the cabinets. As I'm usually busy building things for other people, it's nice to have some time to build a few things for my own audio system. I have a populated valve phonostage board here now so awaiting the right transformer to be made up, and raiding RS Components parts bins to build it into a top notch valve preamplifier for one of my turntables. Yikes, this lockdown's getting expensive!
  19. VarmLR

    Not Shooting is expensive..

    Managed to get more powders just in time so reloading for all cals for hunting/vermin control. Should see me through the year if this lock down is finished. Also attempted to measure my own pupilary distance and bought a coupe pairs more specs online saving me a fortune over opticians...after getting the first pair s bit wrong (hadn't realised I had different PDs for each eye), specsavers kindly released my measured data. I was spot on overall but 2mm off to one side! Bought more stock for the business and for upcoming jobs. Got a list to do for the cars and bike. Deep clean, polish the car bodies after cutting back and a three step fine coat polish before applying sealer. Service the bike ready for summer (hopefully) and if my arm injury heals up any time soon, build a retaining wall above the river flowing past our back garden as the existing wooden one's about to collapse (been saying that for years LoL!). Oh, and picking uyp a new pup next week so will have an 8 week old pup ready to start training...starting with house training! (I think I'm allowed a pick up under animal welfare reasons).
  20. VarmLR

    Barrrel life

    Using N140 and now RS50 in my 308 I have just under several thousand rounds down it and checking the lands it's still as good as new...they've moved back fractionally but the bore looks great. The 223 has had some hot loads through it, mostly N133 and RS50 and on my new barrel I'm up to around 1200 rounds on that with slightly more throat erosion than the .308. I'll dig my notes out but I think the throat had gone back about 5 thou. I may load back a bit as I want at least another 5,000 rounds from that barrel. 6.5CM...moderate loads for SRP brass using RS62 and no discernible wear after about 700 rounds through that. Hopeful for at least 4000 rounds out of that barrel as long as I keep loads moderate. I won't touch any double base powder with a long bargepole as I don't shoot comp and can't justify a new barrel every season at £750 a pop!
  21. VarmLR

    Where are all the hardcore Varmint hunters gone ?

    N133 is widely available here and great with 223 bullet weights of up to 60grns. I use RS50 for 223 heavies. Got better velocities using that than N140 as well as better groups.
  22. VarmLR

    N140 and .260Rem

    N140 won't be ideal.. N160 would be the better Vhit choice really. The listing on the N140 load data sheets for Vhit only list a couple of the medium/heavier 260 bullets being the 130grn Berger VLD and Swift Scirocco II, and the lighter 120 gr Barnes TTSX. The trouble with reading off bullet weights if you intend on replicating any of those loads (as you're probably aware) is that you may not be comparing like with like even for the same weights, so for example the VLD may have a shorter wall length than a more tangent or hybrid bullet shape of the same weight. Using the latter could well result in higher pressures for the same comparative loads, so if you must use just one powder, you have answered your own question really, with the caveats in mind, start light and work up. You could ask someone with QL to run a check for you based on your barrel length and bullet details. That probably wouldn't be a bad place to start if you must stick to just N140. If it were me though I'd use the more suited powder. I use three different powders for three different cals and the only thing you have to be careful with is mixing them up! There's a good reason not many people use N140 for the 260...it's just not the ideal powder, and unlike the equivalent TR140/RS50, the velocity's from my own tests with using both are that Vhit tends to concentrate most velocity gains in the last few grains of load, whereas the RS is a lot more uniform with more of a straight line gain in velocities so you may end up disappointed. If you have some, why not give it a try and see for yourself though? The nearest powder to Hodgons popular H4350 is likely to be RS62 which is a very common replacement for both 260Rem and 6.5 CM and that will see you safely up to the heavier 6.5mm bullets but also work well with the lighter ones. Personally, I'd use that or the N160.
  23. VarmLR


    I wonder though if that will be the case? I used to buy RS powders for about £70/kilo but that source has dried up and I'm now paying closer to £80 for that and £88 for Vhit which seems to have gone up from last year. I can get Hogdon for about the same cost per 2lbs, so around 10% more expensive. The gap used to be more than that but price increases for the European powders are probably down to the £ falling on the $ this past few years which has levelled things up a lot.
  24. VarmLR

    Where are all the hardcore Varmint hunters gone ?

    Thanks chap but really I don't claim any expertise and am always humbled by the depth and spread of knowledge on here and what a valuable resource it has become for many. You're always learning something new and I find to keep an open mind and listen to the experience of others has prevented me making errors of choice in the past and no doubt will do in the future. It's good to hear what other folks use on a day to day basis and what they might like or dislike about it. The mistake I made from the off (before being hampered with injuries) was building up platforms that were too heavy really for lugging about all day in the field and if I've learned one thing about field work where plodding the miles is involved, best to travel as light as possible. I still plod on with my two principle long range rifle set-ups and really it's the scopes which drag me down. The Nightforce on the 223 and a long barrel mean it weights in at 11 3/4 lbs but that's lightweight compared with the Tik-Tac A1 Creedmoor shod with a S&B PMII. That's a bit of a beast for lugging around so I tend to use it where I'm targeting specific quarry that I generally shoot from fixed points involving no more than a mile's walk. My stalking these days is generally focused on controlling the local growing Muntjac population and I do favour the 223 using 55gr SKGs or Sierra 69gr TMKs. For most of my sub 300yd work on corvid control I use 40grn Vmax flat base bullets (only because I bought 600 of the things and need to use them up!). I do still use the 308 for more woodland stalking and that's got a DMR sat atop which I may change for a 6x42 at some point. I stick with one bullet, the SGK 155 soft point. For up to 400yd crows and magpies plus the odd squirrel I use the Creedmoor and wind bucking high BC 140gr SSTs which also come in handy for the odd muntjac although they tend to make a right mess at close quarters and after having to lug a heavy rifle an 18 Kilo buck back last outing will think again about doing the same for any length of walk!
  25. VarmLR

    Where are all the hardcore Varmint hunters gone ?

    Thanks brown dog, and thanks to you for your hard work on this forum and very balanced moderation. I appreciate that you won't tolerate what some others might which helps make this place what it is.

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