Month: October 2011

More on the 500 Jeffery

Posted by on October 27, 2011

I didn’t say who developed that 710 grain cast bullet load for the 500 Jeffery because I hadn’t asked his permission.   Now I can say it is Alistair Haig.   It was an unexpected experiment, because the mould should have been 625 grain, and is stamped 625, but the first results have been so promising that Alistair will be developing it further to establish its potential.

Being very heavy for calibre, it is similar in principle to the plated bullets developed by Frontier.   Frontier’s 458 bullet weighs 600 grains.   It has a very hard core, 11% antimony I think, with a thick plated jacket.   MV from the 458 Win is about 1800FPS, and penetration very deep.   If a 458 x 600 grain bullet at 1800FPS is so effective, imagine a 510 x 710 grain !!

For those who are interested, Alistair’s 500 Jeffery rifle was built by Danie Joubert, on an FN Supreme 98 action with a Shilen barrel.

For further interest, cast bullets are being used in 50 Browning rifles in the US, and I have a report of 900 grain cast bullets being fired from a 55 Cal Boys anti-tank rifle in Australia.    There’s not much that can’t be done with cast bullets, at relatively low cost.

Dunno where the guy gets brass for the 55 Boys.    Primers, either, for that matter.    Probably stretching the last ounce of life from the brass, and altering the pockets for 50BMG primers.    That’s why so many Boys rifles have been altered to 50BMG in that country.   Why so many there in particular ?   I may have mentioned it in an earlier posting, but if not, its an interesting story for another time.

Cast loads in 500 Jeffery

Posted by on October 25, 2011

I like to collect info about the use of cast bullets, especially in rifles.   Cast rifle bullets work a lot better than many shooters think, especially in big calibres, in which jacketed ballistics can be duplicated at low cost.   I just had some interesting info from the South African owner of a 500 Jeffery rifle.   His standard hunting load is the 570 grain Rhino bullet at 218oFPS.   He wanted a cast bullet for practice and recreation.   He purchased a NEI 625 grain mould, which actually casts a 710 grain gas checked bullet.   The mould is stamped 625 which is obviously an error.   Although the bullet is very heavy for the calibre, he went ahead (very carefully) and developed a load.   The 710 grain bullet chronographs 1730FPS with moderate recoil and no signs of high pressure.   As he says, shooting a 710 grain bullet from a non-black powder cartridge is a novelty !   At the modest ranges at which the rifle will be used, point of impact is quite close to that of his standard Rhino hunting load, so he is happy to keep the heavy mould and shoot the bullet.

Rifle Scopes-Selection, Mounting & Sighting In

Posted by on October 6, 2011

I have published a new book entitled “Rifle Scopes-Selection, Mounting & Sighting In.”    As an ex gunsmith, I saw a lot of badly chosen and badly fitted scopes.  Some seemed more suitable for artillery pieces than dainty little sporters.   Some were so big that they cleared the barrel only with the highest rings, and even then some lens caps fouled the metallic sight.

I saw every imaginable example of poor fitting.   Holes drilled and tapped out of line, badly fitted bases, whether mismatched, skew or out of position in some way or other, one base higher than the other, and even the wrong bases for the rifle.   If they had been occasional examples it might not be so bad, but it was not unusual, as I saw such faults often.

But even when the bases are the right ones for the rifle, and are properly fitted, manufacturing tolerances in rifles and mounts guarantee that the rings will always be out of alignment until they are lapped.   Of the many I have fitted, I have not found a pair that was not out to some extent.   The amount is usually too small to see, but one or two thousandths is all it takes to allow scope slippage, because the rings don’t grip the scope securely.    I have seen the finish scraped off by the sharp edges of the rings, and scopes dented by over-tightening misaligned rings.

The good news is that scopes can be properly fitted by rifle owners.   This book, and others I have written and plan to write, is characterised by the sort of detail missing from most published work, and is aimed at the independent, self reliant, hands-on guys who like to do things themselves, and do them well.

It is not a big book at 82 pages, but with 29000 words and 92 illustrations, it is packed with “how to” detail.   It explains the effects of size and magnification, field of view, the importance of exit pupil, how to fit various base and ring types, precision lapping for perfect alignment, workshop sighting-in, range sighting-in, and the point blank principle with trajectory charts.   Also, for added interest, how to tilt a scope to extend its range.   

It is a E book, available direct from me,, and will be sent by e mail.   I will gladly send sample pages to those who want to see the quality of content before buying.

Price is $25.   Payment will be credit card via   Payment instructions will be sent with the book.