Old Timer's Bum Shoulder
Q: I've been reading your articles virtually from day one - Old Betsy, goats, Hill End etc and always enjoyed them, particularly those of a technical nature, Due to an accident years ago my damaged right shoulder can't stand heavy recoil. I need a rifle capable of good accuracy up to 300 metres for shots at ferals, including dogs and even pigs at much closer ranges with heavy projectiles. Viewing recoil tables it appears a .22-250 might be the answer topped with complimentary scope. I do not reload and would appreciate your advice on my choice of a .22-250 and if you could suggest a better alternative. The rifle: basic/functional preferably with a two-stage trigger. Scope: variable-power to say 12x with good optics and Dual Plex reticle (not illuminated). I have never used a Swarovski which are expensive and among the best, From your articles I gather you like Meopta which are more reasonably priced and provide adequate performance. Another thought: would a 72cm barrel (as expected on a Drilling) be counter-productive to speed/accuracy/energy due to extended friction for light calibres such as .222, .223, .22-250?
I have had previous experience with a Drilling and once submitted an article about my hunting experiences with one to your magazine. Evidently it was not acceptable and was returned.
A: Sorry to hear a bum shoulder limits your choice of calibres. The .22-250 is accurate and powerful enough for dogs out to 300 metres, but lacks power for larger ferals like pigs, In my experience, however, few shots are taken as far away as 300 metres, so a .22-250 might suit you. All the "complimentary" scopes I've seen accompanying budget-class rifles have been cheap 3-9x40s. You'd do better to buy the rifle and scope separately. One of the best buys would be a Meopta Meopro 4-12x50 with Z-Plex II reticle. Another option would be a .243 with muzzle brake and thick, soft recoil pad
. It would be powerful enough for 300 metre shots at pigs and goats. I don't know of any production rifle with a 72cm barrel, most have the standard 550 or 600mm length. Most .22-250 rifles have a 1:14" twist which won't stabilise long, heavy .224 bullets and most factory ammo is loaded with frangible 55gn varmint bullets. You might think about a .223 Rem. as Winchester loads a 64gn bullet and OSA loads a 63gn bullet. I used the latter to take four good-size boars. One was running flat-out at about 150 metres and the bullet went clean through its chest and exited. The standard twist for the .223 is 1:12" but there are rifles available with faster twist rates which will handle 75 and 80gn bullets. Come to think of it, I used to load the 70gn Speer bullet and 30gn of Benchmark 2 in my old Mauser .22-250 for a muzzle velocity of 3110fps. It was sheer poison on goats and pigs. Another good load used the 60gn Nosler Partition and and 35gn of of AR2208 for 3520fps.You could try submitting your Drilling article to Marcus via the internet. Accepting articles isn't my department.