I need a new rifle. I have access to the old Lee-Enfield .303s that I've used for years, and more recently I've been using a Lee-Enfield that has been converted to fire the 7.62 x 39 cartridge. These certainly do the business, but I have a hankering for a gun that has a moderator fitted, and which I'd feel confident using for dropping a deer at 200 yards.
I'd like a rifle that uses common, readily available ammo. Not something strange, expensive and rare. So I'm leaning toward either a .223 or a .308
A stainless steel version would be nice.
I've been looking at Tikka, Savage, Mossberg Maverick, Rossi and Baikal. A single shot would be adequate, although I think I'd rather have a bolt action repeater.
I don't know much about Rossi, although they do seem to get mixed reviews. The single shot 'Pomba' can be bought for under $400 new, and I would be mighty tempted to buy one to get me going. But perhaps I should save longer to get something a bit more elaborate. I certainly want a good moderator, and a reliable telescopic sight.
I'd be interested to hear comments from anyone who knows anything about Rossi rifles (made in Brazil I think).
While I was researching the topic, I came across this really good NZ website. It is a new site, but the information there is very useful and interesting. The guy that runs it has a very forthright manner, but he is really helpful and heckuva knowledgable. Here is the link:
So I'm looking out for suitable second-hand rifles already fitted with a moderator.
If you have any comments or ideas, I'd love to read them.
Best wishes from Nelson... Stephen Coote
Gidday Stephen, how did you get on?
After spending quite some time looking at rifles on Trade Me etc, I discovered a Mossberg ATR .308 on sale at Stirling Sports in Richmond. It was already fitted with a full-length moderator. I've only shot a goat with it, but I like it a lot. Very accurate. The only problem I have with it is that it doesn't feed flat-nosed ammo very well.
I have loaded some low-powered cartridges for it. While these have a relatively short practical range, they are quiet. Here is a link to a You Tube video showing my new rifle in action:
Happy new year. Coote.
Great choice, your loaded rounds definitely sound (or more accurately lack it) the goods, have you considered using pointed cast boolits?
Heres some pointed ones for sale:
The great thing about cast is when cast soft they will expand much easier than conventional jacketed bullets and will retain more of their mass while the point will allow better feeding.
At the extreme you can really doctor up the boolits, probably more than you want to do but here is an interesting thread from my mate Heath:
Ah... Te Hopo.... I now see that you have more than a passing interest in the subject.
Thanks for the links to the auction and the 'sledgehammer' thread.
There is more to my story..... I decided that lead boolits were what I wanted to use. "Tertle" and another guy at fishnhunt.co.nz took pity on me and sent me some samples. Tertle sent me some particularly nice flat-nosed, 174 grain boolits. I used one of these travelling at a subsonic speed to bowl a goat. I wrote about this experience at Tertle's (Mark's) website if you want to see pictures:
I then decided that I wanted my own boolit moulds and a rifle dedicated to lead. I discovered Titan Reloading where Lee moulds were being sold for about 20 bucks US$. I got a mould designed for the 30-30... 170 grain with a nice flat nose. A mate working at Hamills here in Nelson gave me a deal on a .308 Rossi Pomba. And eventually I bought a Hawke mil-dot scope for it. It doesn't have a moderator yet, but maybe one day I will get one. I figure that meanwhile I can still shoot subsonic loads from it to become accustomed to low-powered shooting.
I scrounged some wheel weights and some lead scraps from a leadlight window maker. I have several hundred cast boolits on hand.
I've shot goats, pigs and one deer using a .22 (not that I recommend the .22 for big game). And many of these shots were taken using Winchester subsonic cartridges. So if I have the self-control to only take good shots at sensible ranges I should have outstanding success with the Pomba.
I now need to get out and actually hunt.
I have skimmed the Sledgehammer thread, but I must go back over it when I have some time and check out the links etc. When I was researching this whole topic I spent a lot of time at the Cast Boolits forum and the fhnz reloading forum. There is a lot of good knowledge out there.
Have a great day.... Coote.
I spend a fair bit of time at Garage Gunsmithing I linked you to before as well as Cast Boolits, those guys all really know their stuff.
I have also frequented All About Enfields, only the articles side though due to the fact I have both a LE Mk1No3 hunting rifle and an Omark 44 that I have been looking into suppressing.
Sounds like your well and truly on the right track, how have you found the Rossi so far?
My mate has one of the 1892 lever actions in .357magnum, but he mainly fires subsonic .38Special in it and damn is that quiet!
Hmmm. That is a nice rig in your photo. I like the idea of using .357 or .44 magnum for subsonic loads because of the big diameter bullets ('pre-expanded'!), and the relatively small case capacity.
I haven't used my Rossi for hunting yet. But I have sighted it in and played around at the range with it. I love it. I like the simplicity. I've also had some fairly encouraging groups using my lead loads.... certainly good enough for the maximum practical range for my subsonic boolits (maybe 80 or 100 yards).
If/when I get a suppressor fitted to it, I'd like it to be about as quiet as the Lee Enfield that I've recently made some loads for:
I like those Handi Rifles. I'd like one in .44 Magnum.
i have hand two .223 handi rifles and had a bit to do with others. Nice outfits but i had difficulties
Both triggers need to be improved,
I could never get the first one to shoot respectable groups,tried different bedding systems countless handloads
The second one shot well but started perforating primers , This was traced to an enlarged fire pin hole, replacing this would have cost as much as the rifle.
Both guns had case extraction difficulties with hand loads( they have ejectors not extractors)
In my opinion budget rifles are pot luck affairs some turm out good and other need work.
I have switched to baikals which have been very accurate and yet to cause problems
interesting. I'm glad you told me that. I think the Baikals are cheaper too.
I built up a Handi Rifle for a mate who got all the parts together, it was a coal to see how cheap we could make a sub MOA rifle and we did it,
Started with an H&R Handi Rifle SB2 in .243 Heavy Barrel, I adapted the .45Colt/ .410 Survivor stock onto it (required a bit of work with epoxy)
Topped it off with a Tasco 6-24x50 scope, Remington bipod, slicked up and lightened the trigger and it was good to go.
Started shooting it and had the same extraction difficulties with certain types of ammo, it only liked to reliably feed and extract Sellier and Bellot rounds.
The cases weren't marred suggesting a burr so I polished the whole chamber until it gleamed converted the ejector to extractor.
Problem sorted, it ran like a champ, printing little clover leafs on the target with and of the better brands like Federal blue box.
We regularly used this on rabbits, hares and goats out to 400m and all for $600 total.
Blake ended up selling it when we all chipped with his family and got him a brand new Tikka for his 21st birthday.
As to the Baikals, I love mine in .270.
It's been extensively refined, both the internals, wood work and scope mounts, not so much because it needed it but I like to tinker and make things mine.