No shooting, just (web) surfing.

Things are much the same. I have still not done any shooting, although I am starting to perceive of a time in the near-ish future when I will. I have submitted my claim for the damaged items in my shipping, but have yet to hear anything about that, fingers remain crossed.

Although I am busy with the rapidly approaching start of my Masters degree I have begun thinking about replacing all the ammunition that I was forced to leave behind when I left Scotland. On the whole I think ammunition is cheaper here. The components for reloading certainly are cheaper, although not necessarily the brands I was using before, namely Lapua.

With cases it is possible to get some very cheap stuff, but I doubt it would all perform, and it is not immediately obvious what the direct alternatives to Lapua are at the match level of quality. So I cannot determine what the options are. That said the Lapua cases are only a bit more expensive than some of the stuff I am seeing (which may imply that those are the alternatives) and with the consideration of case volume variation between brands it may just pay to buy what I know.

Bullet heads are a little different. Here the Lapua Scenar I am used to is significantly more expensive than the obvious alternatives such as  Sierra Match King and Hornady A-Max that I know of. I know a bunch of people I shot with in Scotland used those bullet heads so I would be happy to try them out. When I am a bit closer to buying I will make enquiries of people who may be able to give me more advice.

The other issue is finding a source. In Scotland I used to buy from a couple of shooters who bought in bulk then sold on at very competitive rates compared to high street and on-line retailers. So far I have seen some good prices on-line (except for the hazardous materials handling surcharge for powder) but need to make enquiries to see where the people who know buy from.

On the subject of shotgun ammunition; in Scotland I was enjoying shooting clays with 21gram (3/4 ounce) 12 gauge loads. They were very nice to shoot with, and since I’m not in it for world records it is nice if I can avoid a broken shoulder. From the few places I have been to so far, the most common weight for clays seems to be 1-1/8 ounces or about 32 grams. 50 rounds of that would leave me without the use of my arm for a week, based on previous experience. I do have a recoil pad that I can add to my shotgun, but it changes the fit of the gun. I know 3/4 ounce loads do exist but I am yet to learn where it can be bought in this area.

I am confident I can get Lapua Center-X at a good price here so I am actually not worried about that.

If you read this and have any related suggestions feel free to comment. I would appreciate any pointers.


Crash testing a gun cabinet

The shipping has finally arrived, almost 15 weeks after it left, and it seems to have survived the journey largely intact.

It is still mostly in its boxes but even with only a couple of chairs and pictures unwrapped the place is already looking more like home.

Unfortunately one of the only things to get damaged was my gun cabinet, which was shipped with all of my firearms inside for security. In fact it looks more like it was involved in a crash test than just knocked. It must have been dropped from a height because the whole thing is twisted and I had to use a hammer and screwdriver to prise the door open.

Once I got it open however I discovered the contents were in better condition. The guns themselves are fine (they were well wrapped and padded), there is only damage to one scope and the butt-plate of my anschutz has taken a knock but is probably still mostly serviceable. The scope is a write off:

The scope from my hunting rifle is now U/S

I should have removed the scope from the rifle and folded the butt-plate down, but I was scared of losing the settings. That’s a lesson learnt. Now I have to keep my fingers crossed it will be covered by the insurance.

All in all though I am quite happy. The worrying and waiting is over and now I can start to make plans for my new American shooting adventures.