Loading your own ammunition
Author: Sam Thompson
Whilst factory ammunition provides perfectly acceptable accuracy when teamed with the correct rifle and enough practice, hand-loading your own can be both advantageous and rewarding.
For deer stalking purposes, where the average shot is rarely taken beyond 250 metres, and often much closer, modern factory ammunition provides perfectly acceptable accuracy when teamed with a reasonable rifle. Recent advances in ammunition and bullet manufacturing have increased the reliability and performance of factory loads substantially. Adapting to trend and technology, it’s now not uncommon to find one manufacturer offering four or five different loads of ammunition in each calibre....
Calling roe deer with a beech leaf
Forestry Commission wildlife ranger Glen Boxall has an extraordinary talent for calling roe deer. He explains how it works and shares some of his top tips for success.
Nicknamed the Pied Piper, Hampshire-based Glen Boxall is one of Britain’s foremost experts at calling roebucks during the rut. Generally speaking, he shuns plastic and wooden manmade deer calls in favour of a simple beech leaf, but he always carries a selection as back-up. Knowing when to call, how many times to ‘pheep’ and the exact pitch are essential if you’re to succeed. So how did you first learn to call roe? I started with the Forestry Commission 20 years ago when the chief...
How to get into deer stalking
We outline some of the most common quandaries among those just beginning their journey into deer stalking, starting with where to learn, Firearms Certificate application and a basic rundown on kit, with the help of Corinium Rifle Range.
After stalking your first deer, it will come as no surprise that deer stalking is rapidly growing in popularity in the UK. Fieldsports enthusiasts continue to explore – at an increasing rate – the wholesome opportunities presented by the six deer species that call the British Isles home. But just how easy is it to make the transition from shooting vermin, game or wildfowl species with a shotgun, to stalking deer with a large calibre rifle? I fall into the same category as many others;...
Visiting the rifle range
Author: Will Pocklington
Considering the key components of straight shooting from a range of positions applicable to real stalking situations, with the help of Corinium Rifle Range.
Firearms Certificate application, kit and courses – three areas which tend to raise questions aplenty among those new to deer stalking – were the natural place to start with this series, but how about after that, once one has a qualification or two under their belt, permission to stalk deer from a landowner, or a guided stalk in the diary? The enthusiastic will yearn to get out there, but with how much confidence will they lean into their shooting sticks with a deer in the crosshairs if...
Rifle moderators explained
Author: Steve Rawsthorne
Moderators are now commonplace on stalking rifles, and for good reason, too. But it is important to consider carefully which will best suit your rifle and the type of shooting you do.
Twenty years ago it would have been unusual to see someone with a moderator on their rifle. Today it is more unusual to see someone without one on their pride and joy. Indeed, if you are stalking commercially, many estates and stalkers will not take you out without a moderator – health and safety being what it is, they are worried about being sued by an employee for hearing damage. Protecting your hearing and that of those around you is one good reason for using a mod, but there are a...
Stalking or sniping
Author: Steve Rawsthorne
Modern technology is no substitute for good fieldcraft and marksmanship.
I recently met a charming gentleman at a rifle range. Having stalked all over the world for many years, he has shot the Big Five as well as chamois, mouflon and Marco Polo sheep. He was checking the the zero of his rifle before a trip to Sussex to stalk roebucks with a friend and professional stalker he had hunted with long and often. His calibre of choice was 7x64, in the form of a classic British bolt action, with a 7x50 fixed power scope, wooden stock and no moderator. He was a decent...
The .243 rifle calibre
Author: Steve Rawesthorne
Is one of the UK’s most popular stalking calibres the best choice available for a single-rifle owner?
There are many new and aspiring stalkers, as well as those who are more experienced, who already have their own kit. A large proportion of them will have a .243 Win as their stalking rifle. When asked why they chose that particular calibre, it often turns out that it was what their local Firearms Enquiry Officer (FEO) guided them towards as it is the ‘smallest’ calibre legal for all UK deer species. Or, some other stalker, probably similarly guided at some time in the past by their FEO,...
The perfect bullet
Author: Steve Rawsthorne
Accuracy is only part of the equation when it comes to choosing the right stalking ammunition.
Many of us who hunt or stalk spend a small fortune on the best custom-built or premium off-the-shelf rifles, top of the range scopes and binoculars, sound moderators, bipods, clothing and paraphernalia and then hardly think about what actually does the business... the bullet. Terminal ballistics - i.e. what happens when a bullet connects with its target, whether it be a fox, roe deer or elk - has become much more of a science in recent years, and the manufacturers of bullets have invested a...
The perfect deer rifle
President of Hornady Ammunition, Steve Hornady, shares his views on the perfect all-round calibre for deer stalking in the UK.
I hope it goes bronze,” said Steve Hornady as he sat outside a thatched 16th Century inn in Hampshire at the beginning of the roe rut. He had just returned from an early morning stalk that had yielded a handsome buck that had been called in with a beech leaf. Great start to the day, especially as it was shot using a bullet with his name on. Based in Nebraska, Steve has worked in the Hornady business his entire life. This means he has been involved in ammunition development and design for...
Purdey's new bolt-action rifle
Author: Marcus Janssen
James Purdy & Sons’ latest bolt-action rifle combines classic good looks and world-class craftsmanship with astonishing performance.
I will admit from the outset that I have always been a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to hunting rifles – I just don’t think you can beat the look and feel of a classic controlled-feed bolt-action with an oiled walnut stock. In fact, my three all-time favourite rifles have all been pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters in 30-06, .375 H&H and .458 Win. You get the picture. But when it comes to choosing a hunting rifle, accuracy should be the single most important criterion; the quick and...
The hot topic
Technology has come a long way over the past few decades; we’ve seen great change in the tools and equipment available to both sportsmen and professional countryside managers.
Technology has come a long way over the past few decades; we’ve seen great change in the tools and equipment available to both sportsmen and professional countryside managers. Examples abound, from moderators and optics to drones, pigeon ‘magnets’, GPS and trailcams – even shooting sticks have evolved from simple hazel poles to adjustable carbon fibre offerings. But perhaps the greatest advance – and certainly one of the most discussed – is that of thermal imaging technology in its...
Modern Double Rifles
Author: Peter Ryan
The fall and rise of the double rifle.
It’s Denys Finch Hatton in Out of Africa. It’s Jim Corbett and his Indian man-eaters. It’s Ernest Hemingway’s .577, the one that he planned to shoot German submarines with. It’s James Bond in Skyfall. It may be the weapon of choice for every khaki-clad PH that ever stalked out of a lazy Hollywood screenplay, but the double remains the quintessential adventure rifle. For history, charisma and romance nothing comes close.It’s remarkable that they are still with us at all. In I898 John...