No knives today but used some

Von Gruff

Well-Known Member
#1
I have had a longstanding invitation to hunt a local property of about 3000 acres but have been so busy enjoying making my knives that I have kept putting it off, so gave my friend in Invercargill a ring last week and set us up for this week after clearing it with the property owner to designate this morning as D day (that is Deer day)
The property is just 20 minutes from home so met Foster (who drove the hour and 40 min from Invercargill) at the turnoff to transfer his gear to my vehicle after which we headed down the gravel road and arrived at the first gate at just on 8am on a cold clear morning. A very still morning and as I had already decided on where two "older gentlemen" might stalk without the stress of hard walking, we started our stalk up a very long gully toward where the feed crops were on the top of the hill country. The morning air is constant in moving up hill as the day warms so we were hopefull of seeing one of the many fallow that have been seen coming from the forested areas within the proterty to feed on the winter feedcrops through the night and late into the morning.
There was a reasonable amount of mud and wet areas on the walk up so this made for some effort expended with the result that my glasses kept fogging up so it was a constant wiping off and after about a 1/2 hour of slow walk and glass we came toward the basin at the head of the gully and saw the herd hind coming quickly down off the hill through the gully and dissapared into the forest. There were about 10 in the group with her but ehre was no slowing down for them, let alone stopping so no shot was offered. There was an uprooted tree and I quickly layed my rifle over the dirt and root system but with a lot of underbrush there was very little time to get on to them and they soon dissapared from sight. A quick wipe of my glasses and another group of 4 with a very nice buck sporting a decent head, but again there was no oportunity to take a shot with any sence of certainty. After another minute or two three animals doubled back with two stopping in the middle of the cut over area at 169m -185 yds, so a quick wipe of the fog on my glasses and I was able to get a reasonably steady hold and touched off the 140gn privi bullet at 2800fps. I saw the animal drop at the shot with the second one making a beeline for the ridge so Foster was not able to connect with it but having the one to carry out was going to be enough for the day so we made our way up to find him where he had dropped. It was a very large bodied spiker in excellent late winter condition with all the easy feed he had been on. He was a decent weight so it required a number of stops on the way back down to the truck with Foster and I taking turns to carry but even then these two older gentlemen were in no hurry so there were a couple of rest stops as well. Two of my knives got to mix it with hair hide and meat today with the light hnter I carry on the hill doing the field work and my skinner doing duty back home in the shed. The boner and slicer will complete the work when the deer has hung for a week.





The rifle was one of the ones I have built for myself over the years and being the last one I did is rather special in that the walnut blank is one of the most spectacular pieces of wood I have had the priveledge of working on and with more complications in the stock tan any of the other 30 or more I have done was exceptionally pleaseing to get right. I have a Lee Speed I am about to start on a 1896 MLE action and it looks like I have a ZG47 to do toward the end of the year.

For those who may be interested in how a rifle stock comes out of a solid blank this is the thread on my other home forum showing this 6.5x57 build. Initially it was going to be a 7x57 but due to barrel issues I changed horses and went with the 6.5x57 which is a very good cartridge for NZ hunting up to the largest animal we have here in the wapiti (elk). There are a few ferel cattle in places but for them I would carry the 400 Lee Speed I built https://www.africahunting.com/threads/a-1916-erfurt-small-ring-project.26236/
 
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C Craft

Well-Known Member
#5
Great hunting story! Love the rifles and the fact that you built them is icing on the cake, so to speak!!

Gruff, is that a goat, or a native deer species?? I went back twice looking for that answer to that, and I may have missed it!!
 

Von Gruff

Well-Known Member
#6
I love the .303 rifle in your final photo. Was it a military rifle that was sporterised, or original sporter?
It is not a 303 now Johan. I started with the action from a 1901 Magazine Lee Enfield and rebarrelled it to 400 ( a 405 Win shortened case by .2 and with a 320gn cast bullet) It is in a copy of the original factory custom sporter Lee Speed styled stock that I made for it which I really enjoy making. It is a really nice styled stock to shoot and so I have done quite a few of them for myself and others with 5 or 6 going to the US..
 

Von Gruff

Well-Known Member
#7
Great hunting story! Love the rifles and the fact that you built them is icing on the cake, so to speak!!

Gruff, is that a goat, or a native deer species?? I went back twice looking for that answer to that, and I may have missed it!!
It is a fallow deer and in my opinion one of the best tasting of the deer species. I do hunt a lot of goat here in the mountains but we have fallow, red, sika, whitetail, rusa and wapiti in the deer species along with tahr, chamois, goat, pig, hare and rabbit as 365 day a year hunting oportunities.
 

Von Gruff

Well-Known Member
#10
Will sort something out later in the day Johan. Apreciate the interest as rifles in all thier aspects but particularly nice walnut and building the custom is a real passion.
 

Johan Nel

Well-Known Member
#12
It is not a 303 now Johan. I started with the action from a 1901 Magazine Lee Enfield and rebarrelled it to 400 ( a 405 Win shortened case by .2 and with a 320gn cast bullet) It is in a copy of the original factory custom sporter Lee Speed styled stock that I made for it which I really enjoy making. It is a really nice styled stock to shoot and so I have done quite a few of them for myself and others with 5 or 6 going to the US..
I am quite interested in the ballistics of this cartridge. What velocities do you get?
Perhaps you can tell us a little more of your loads as well (I assume you have to do your own loads. Doesn't sound like something you can buy off the shelf)?
A photo of a cartridge would be nice too...:cool:
 

Von Gruff

Well-Known Member
#14
I am quite interested in the ballistics of this cartridge. What velocities do you get?
Perhaps you can tell us a little more of your loads as well (I assume you have to do your own loads. Doesn't sound like something you can buy off the shelf)?
A photo of a cartridge would be nice too...:cool:
6.5x57
History
Like the 7x57, the 6.5x57 Mauser is based on the M/88 8x57mm case. Information regarding the development of the 6.5x57 is scarce however the suggested year of introduction, 1890, occurred at a similar time to Mauser’s involvement in attempts to develop a 6.5 caliber rifle for the Italian military (see 6.5x55 text). The 6.5x57 never saw military service although research no doubt helped later in the design of the military 6.5x58 Portuguese Mauser. Introduced as a sporting cartridge, the 6.5x57 was initially loaded with a 154 grain round nosed bullet producing 2400fps. Because of this long bullet, rifles chambered in 6.5x57 had extremely long throats, like the Swede. These specifications now CIP certified, are still used in Europe today.

I have been reloading my own ammo since the 1970's and never ever buy factory made. For the 6.5x57 I load the 140gn privi partisan bullet (a conventional softnosed boat tailed hunting bullet most suitable for deer sized animals) at 2800fps over 46.2gn ADI 2209 which is the same Australian powder sold elsewhere as H4350. I have the 120 gr TTSX that runs at 2970fps over 46.3gn H414 or Win 760.
When doing the ladder test with the 140gn bullet I loaded a 4 1/2 gr spread and there was less than a 2 inch elevation spread and the 3 loads that exited the barrel "at rest" were in less than a 1/2 in even though there was 1.2 gr spread in the loads so it is a very stabel load and not effected by minor variations and being temp stable (the powder) it matters not whether I am on a winter or summer hunt. 6.5x57.png
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#16
Von or Johan, am I mistaken that a Lee Speed was the favorite rifle of Lt. Col John Henry Patterson of "The Ghost and the Darkness" fame? A movie was made of this book starring Val Kilmer but as I recall they used various rifles in the movie. You might recall the movie- Patterson was brought in as a design engineer to complete the Uganda railway from Kenya. A pair of lions was killing his workers at night and Patterson successfully hunted the lions, allowing work to be completed.
 

Von Gruff

Well-Known Member
#20
Von or Johan, am I mistaken that a Lee Speed was the favorite rifle of Lt. Col John Henry Patterson of "The Ghost and the Darkness" fame? A movie was made of this book starring Val Kilmer but as I recall they used various rifles in the movie. You might recall the movie- Patterson was brought in as a design engineer to complete the Uganda railway from Kenya. A pair of lions was killing his workers at night and Patterson successfully hunted the lions, allowing work to be completed.
Yes Val Kilmer used a Lee Speed in 303 in the film. Great movie
 
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