Informative Article No.3
The duckshooting season for 2001 is now over, at least we’ve still got awhile to go yet for pheasants, quail, and geese. ( And pukekos, but who eats them anyway, just need thinning out!!). Most shooters have reported a fairly average sort of season. Most of the people I spoke to that had a really great opening weekend shot around the Reporoa area, or down south. For pretty much everyone else it was a case of ‘just too much rain!!’. Yes someone was praying too hard. Oh well, hopefully you got a few anyway, and there’s always next year to look forward to.
While on the subject of shotguns I have had a lot of enquiries from shooters worried about the “steel shot issue”, or more correctly the phasing out of lead shot. In most cases we have been recommending to shooters who use older double guns for their duckshooting to change to one of the modern pump-actions or semi-auto shotguns as these actions are comparatively stronger and better able to handle the pressures of steel shot loads. Also the barrels are generally thicker and stronger. The main problems with older or lower quality doubles is that the increased pressure will overstress the action, causing breech gap and ‘play’ in the action to occur. Added to this is the choke constriction in the end of the barrels, which will need to be checked that it is not too tight, or you risk the serious possibility of a ‘ring-bulge’ in the choke area. This can be compounded on doubles in the fact that it may also cause the ribs to separate or even push away from the other barrel. The chokes can be ‘opened up’ to prevent this fairly easily, you can have the forcing cone lengthened to ease the recoil/improve the patterning, and if necessary install a new recoil pad, but the lower quality (or lower pressure proof-tested) double-gun actions of older or more recent vintage will only have a limited amount of use before the wear begins to show. Good quality doubles of more modern manufacture can be adapted to handle steel shot in most cases with the earlier-mentioned alterations quite satisfactorily, however the use of the longer, more gradual-taper steel shot choke tubes would be best fitted if possible. However, each gun must be examined on it’s own merits/condition and the judgement call left to the gunsmith concerned. If you are looking at getting a new gun anyway there are modern double-guns like the Browning wildfowl special available, which are specially proved for steel shot, just in case you can’t bear the thought of going to a pump or auto!!
As for the pumps and autos already out there, we have had a reasonable amount of interest in converting to ‘screw-in’ chokes some of those fixed-choke or cylinder bored barrels. Our Tru-choke style tubes can be fitted to most single barrel guns, at a very reasonable price too. Especially when compared with the cost of a replacement barrel (which may be unavailable), or with other popular name aftermarket choke tube installs.
The tubes we will most likely be supplying with installations on most hunting guns will be the extended type ‘super steel’ tubes, which are stronger, thicker, and have the constriction past the end of the barrel, so that there is virtually no chance of the tube expanding and locking the threads into the barrel. These are available in four sizes only at present. Rifled tubes are available for slugs also. The regular ‘flush mount’ tubes are still available however, for lead only, or ones for steel & lead. These are available in eight sizes. We will have the tooling soon for the Tru-choke Thinwall series tubes, and an extra reamer to enable us to overcome the obstacle of chrome-plated bores. So if you are interested in getting chokes installed at some stage soon then get in touch with us. Present prices are available in the FAQ and Pricelist section.
Other things of interest in the workshop are the addition of a new, purpose built beadblasting cabinet with a working area of 1200x600x950mm. This new cabinet allows unrestricted movement for surface finishing even the longest barrelled-actions.
We have had a few runs of bluing and parkerising since installing the new cabinet and it sure makes things easier with a much larger flow rate of blast media and better control over the surface finish to be obtained. ( Should have had it years ago!!).
Well that’s about all for now. The workload has really picked up again in the last week or so, after having a brief slow period in which we managed to get a few things sorted out in the workshop. A bit of an electrical upgrade with a few more lights and power outlets where we needed them means a few less adaptors and power leads around the place, and a bit of extra light always helps too.
Another busy day ahead tomorrow, so I’d better leave it at that for now. Good luck with your hunting and shooting over the next few months. Be sure and say Hi at our stand at the Tauranga gunshow, August 18 & 19, 2001.