There were only a handful of stalwarts at the Ravenshoe SSAA range today. The run of tableland’s weather continues with leaden skies, gusting winds and mizzle. My goal today was to double-check on the sighting of my hunting loads in 223 Rem and 243 Win.
The weather could have been a lot kinder for folks trying to shoot groups, but it was still okay for my purpose. I have found a mild but accurate loading for the Weatherby Vanguard HSP light varmint rifle in 223 Rem that is ideal for use on smaller farms close to town. The best accuracy for the Nosler Ballistic Tip and Ballistic Silvertip projectiles was at 24.5 grains of BM2 (Benchmark in the USA). This produces an MV of 2,860 fps which is a mild, low-pressure loading.
Today, that loading again turned in groups of 0.6 to 0.8 MOA in the windy and wet conditions. I tweaked the sighting on the Swarovski z8i 1.7-13.3 x 42 scope, just one click right and one click up, to place the POI at 1.5 inches above the POA at 100 yards.
The story is a bit different for the Sauer Classic XT 101 in 243 Win that I have been developing a hunting load for. It performed its best with a maximum loading of 38.0 grains of AR2208 (Varget in the USA) behind an 85 grain Nosler Partition. The persistent wet weather has prevented me from running that particular load over the chronograph. However, I would expect it to deliver 3000 fps, or a bit more.
Nosler Partitions are my favourite hunting projectile, in any calibre. While not quite as accurate as Nosler Ballistic Tips or Accubonds, they deliver an unbeatable combination of shock and penetration. The soft lead front half expands rapidly for great shock while the partitioned rear half holds in weight, no matter what, and produces exceptional penetration.
The 85 grain Nosler Partitions grouped between 0.9 and 1.6 MOA today, averaging 1.2 MOA, which is more than adequate for the hunting of boar, deer and wild dogs that it will be used for. Shown is the worst group of the day at 100 yards, with the group centre POI right on the 1.5 inch dot directly above the POA. This Sauer XT Classic 101 in 243 Win, using the Nosler 85 grain Partition is going to be the perfect stalking rifle set-up for Aussie hunting. I look forward to taking it out bush in the near future.
On the way home, I noticed my neighbouring farmer had left a gate open. That was not a problem. The only cattle in that paddock was a single dead cow that I have a trail camera overlooking. The farmer had been adding more wood to the pile over the carcass and is waiting for a bit of dry weather so that he can cremate the remains.
Feeling lazy and wishing to avoid a walk in the rain, I turned the car in and drove over to the carcass. She had blown up considerably, despite the cool weather. There was no sign at all of any scavenger activity on her. I reclaimed the camera and had a look through the photos. In the last 10 days, only a single carrion hawk had landed for a quick look and left without touching the carcass.
For the Latest News, Reviews and Stories
Signup for the Aussiehunter Newsletter
In order to keep my readers up to date with the top posts, gear reviews and news I’ve started the Aussiehunter Newsletter. No need to worry about spam and you can unsubscribe anytime. Its easy, just submit your email using the form below.
I use DMT diamond stones for all my knife sharpening. For removing metal quickly, I use the black 60 micron surface. I only do this infrequently, on well-used blades that need to have their shoulder edge cut back, or on badly damaged blades. As described in detail...read more
My hunting knife carry has evolved over the years. When I lived in the territory, I relied on a pair of Filicietti hand-forged custom knives. I used them extensively for butchering buffalo and wild cattle. Until recently, I continued to use these for my deer...read more
Over the last two days I have been busy processing the venison from our hunt. Tomorrow, we will finish off by mincing all the trimings and putting that into meal-sized bags for the freezer. We field butcher our deer and do not leave much for the scavengers. I use a...read more
The last three weeks have been hectic. I had to complete and write-up a number of reviews for the SSAA magazine. I also got in several extended camping-hunting trips. Between times, when at home, I was doing dawn and dusk hunts for wild dogs. Last week, I was...read more
Straight after my last hunting trip in mid July, I flew south for some weeks of family activities. While I was away I had a few calls from farmers experiencing wild dog attacks on their stock and pets. Since getting home mid last week I have been out and about...read more
This review of the Savage B22 VFSS was first published in the SSAA magazine in early 2018. When I was a young fellow, shooting pests with both air rifle and an old Lithgow single-shot 22LR, I was envious of my cousin and his 22WMR. I cannot now remember what make and...read more
This review of the Weatherby’s Vanguard HSP varmint rifle in 223 Rem was published in the SSAA magazine in March 2018. Weatherby’s Vanguard HSP rifle is available in 223, 22-250, 243, 308, 270, 30-06 and 300 Win. With the smaller cartridges, the magazine holds five...read more
My review of the Bergara BA13 Take Down Rifle was published in the SSAA earlier this year and is re-posted here. The ethos of hunting is the skilful stalk culminating in a carefully placed shot. Nothing epitomises that vision better than the single-shot rifle. ...read more
I have not posted for a few weeks. In that time I have done a plenty of hunting, but no shots have been fired! A couple of days ago, I got back from an extended hunt on a large cattle property in the gulf country. Not much short of 1.5 million acres, with two big...read more