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Topics - branxhunter

Parker Hale/BSA Rifles / BSA centrefire variants
March 31, 2024, 08:33:37 PM
A useful reference thread from a forum in New Zealand

So our daughter now has the shooting bug  :2thumbsup:  She looks forward to coming out spotlighting or fox whistling, and so far this year we have made a bit of a dent in the local population- I've shot 63 YTD, and she has shot 24.

She has claimed the Sako L461 HB chambered in .17-222, and I've mostly been using the Sako L461 chambered in .20-222, but the Rem700 in .22-250 annd the Brno 601 in .250 Myra have also been in on the act. Here are some pics.


Parker Hale/BSA Rifles / A tired old BSA CF2 .222
March 28, 2024, 04:46:46 PM
My friend Brad inherited his dad's BSA .222 when his dad died 5 years ago. He's been using it for foxes and four legged crop raiders under the spotlight but results have been inconsistent. 

I suggested that unless completely shot out .222s are usually accurate enough for his intended use so something is probably amiss. I said bring it around and I'll have a look.

Sooooo....... it's an CF2, and is a typical cockies rifle that hasn't been coddled.

AUSTRALIAN OUTDOORS / Another evening in the stones
January 14, 2024, 05:45:23 PM

Our daughter had one of her friends over last night and they wanted to head out for a hunt. We grabbed the Anschutz .222 and the Brno Mod 2 Myra Extruder, cammed up and headed into the stones to see if we could whistle up a fox.

No foxes seen at the first stand but daughter shot a rabbit, her first fur with the  .20 Myra extruder built on a Brno Mod2.  I was gifted the rifle by my friend Mark ( aka Camel) who succumbed to cancer last year. I think he would have been well chuffed.

It was a beautiful eveni g to be out and about.

The last stand was shooting over a stone fence. After whistling for a while I noticed two foxes sitting on a track about 300m away looking in our direction but another 10 minutes later they hadn't come any closer and light was beginning to fade. Not wanting to stumble through rocks on the way back to the Ute we called it quits.

FIREARMS & OPTICS / Mossberg 46B .22lr
January 14, 2024, 05:00:40 PM
A good mate of mine recently brought home his dad's old Mossberg 46B 22lr.

He ordered a Havlin side mount from Brownells:

Then removed the open sights, bought some Leupold rings and a Vortex Crossfire scope, and turned up this morning to zero it in.

The Loopy rings had the scope sitting way up in the air, so I offered him some very low old school Weaver mounts.

Over the last few months of his life a good friend of mine Mark Dureau aka Camel gave away some of his favourite rifles. He messaged me in February to say he wanted me to have his Brno 601 .250 Myra (.25-222, or 250 Copperhead).

I was flabbergasted and honoured, and ring him to tell him so. I said I was happy to pay for it.

"NO!, it's a gift"

I asked him why he chose to give me the Myra. "Well remember when I was asking you a few weeks ago about whether you kids were into shooting? I was planning to give them a couple of .22s. But you said that they hadn't really shown any interest, so I have decided to give you the Myra, because I know you like weird shit".

"That's why I like hanging around with you!"

He went on to explain where his other rifles were going. It was obvious that he had put some careful thought into it.

Mark wanted to hang onto the Myra for a few months to take it for a walk after some goats. Unfortunately I don't think he ever hit the chance.

A couple of months later he blind-sided me again be telling me to also organise a PTA for his new toy - the Brno Model 2 in .20 Extruder.

PTAs were organised and after a convoluted process (the wrong Brno M2 was sent down initially, then the messages from the NSW LGS didn't seem to tally with what was happening) I was able to pick them up, albeit a few weeks apart.

The Myra turned up first, here are some photos. I do need to organise a replacement butt pad as that ground off bottom edge annoys me.

SEND IN THE CLOWNS! / Extrapolation
December 08, 2023, 04:35:48 PM
Becoming more prevalent these days...

AUSTRALIAN OUTDOORS / A couple of foxes the n the stones
December 08, 2023, 03:46:46 PM
Nice cool sunny morning a few weekends ago so went for a walk and a whistle down in the stones.

Parked myself on a rock on a small ridge overlooking a flat and have a few whistles. A few roos and wallabies bouncing around but nothing seen coming in to the Silva Fox whistle.

Standing up to move to the next spot I spied a spot of orange in the grass out to the right - must have snuck in along the toe of the ridge. A 40gn Varmageddon nailed it, a young vixen.

Mooched along a bit further to the east and took a rest over the top of a stone wall

A few more piercing screams from the Silva Fox. Nothing out it front, but after about a minute I picked up a movement in my far left hand peripheral vision - one bounding down slope through the long grass.

I swung around to get a bead on it and it halted behind a patch of bracken. I could just see enough if it's head so squeezed off the shot. Another young vixen.

Didn't see anything else for the morning but a good way to spend a couple of hours.

THE CAMPFIRE / Branxhunter is back!
December 08, 2023, 03:15:38 PM
Hi all, thanks to some work by Paul in the background I'm back on THL - and the new layout looks terrific! Great to see THL is still going! I haven't read back through the posts yet to find out who has driven the changes and kept it going but I suspect Paul has had a big part in it - thanks to all involved.

Now to catch up with what's been happening. I've got a few updates to provid as well.

AUSTRALIAN OUTDOORS / A sunny walk in the stones
August 09, 2021, 01:39:34 PM
s been wet and cold down here for weeks, so with a beautiful sunny morning I decided to go for a walk down in the lava flow - the stones - just south of here.

I texted the landowner and he said that they had been having trouble from a fox taking lambs in a particular area right across the far side of the stones. With a westerly breeze the plan was to walk in a big anticlockwise loop, keeping an eye out for any foxes sunning themselves in the lee of any rocky ridges.

As I snuck up over one ridge a fox scooted out to the right. Knowing it would stop for a look I quickly sat down on a rock and was ready for the shot with the Annie .222 when it looked back:


I continued on and kicked out another three but no luck - a snap shot at a head in the bracken that missed (why do they pop up when I'm balancing awkwardly on stones?), another that blasted off through the stones without looking back, and the third that I rushed the shot as it was about to disappear into cover.

The misses were a bummer but it was good to be out with a rifle in hand.

THE CAMPFIRE / How is everyone?
April 04, 2020, 01:16:22 PM
Seems like it has been quiet here.

How is everyone? How hunkered down are you?

Here in Victoria, Australia the government brought in stage 3 restrictions about a week ago; must stay at home with only 4 exceptions, being medical needs, shopping for essentials, exercise, or work that can't be done from home. Social distancing of at least 1.5m from others. Groups of people of no more than 2, families exempted. As of late last week hunting, fishing and boating are not allowed.

We feel very blessed to live on 40 acres and in a rural setting so still can move around in the local area, grow some of our own food etc. Last Friday I set up my work laptop and dual screens in the reloading room and worked from home, will probably do so for 2-3 days/wk for the next few weeks/months with the rest of the time spent in the office (relatively remote from general population, small team, many controls in place).

What are you all doing in these strange times?

THE CAMPFIRE / Fires in Australia
January 03, 2020, 03:08:57 PM
I am not sure whether this is making news outside Australia but the eastern seaboard in particular is getting hammered by bushfires at the moment. There are plenty of online news feeds that can give details of specific areas, but the pages below provide a good overall summary for both NSW and Victoria:

FIREARMS & OPTICS / Sako L461 in .17-222
June 02, 2019, 01:18:42 AM
Well I finally got around to sending my old Sako L461 action and  a heavy .17cal Shilen barrel I picked up only 200 rounds through it) away a couple of months ago, and it returned three weeks ago. I spent some time doing some pressure tests with the variety of powders I have on the shelf, all in Lapua .222 brass with Rem 7 1/2 primers and 20gn v-maxes.

The data:

17.2gn AR2207 - 3590 fps

20.0gn - 3727 fps
20.2gn - 3686 fps
20.4gn - 3768 fps
20.6gn - 3798 fps

19.7gn - 3489 fps
19.9gn - 3526 fps
20.1gn - 3518 fps
20.3gn - 3542 fps
20.5gn - 3673 fps

21.0gn - 3857 fps
21.2gn - 3953 fps
21.4gn - 3948 fps
21.6gn - 4000 fps
21.8gn - 4033 fps

20.4gn - 3408 fps
20.6gn - 3418 fps
20.8gn - 3461 fps
21.0gn - 3508 fps

The idea was to check for pressure and velocity. For most of these powders there is no listed loads so I looked at 17FB, .17Rem and .222 listed loads for guidance. All were easy to extract with no pressure signs, and could be loaded with heavier charges. I have tried more increments for BM8208 and BM2, with the latter being the clear winner:


April 24, 2019, 03:30:22 PM
Yesterday morning I had just put on a pot of coffee and looked out the back window to the neighbors stubble paddock that was burnt the day before. With the black background and morning sun the fox looked like it was on fire. I grabbed the 20-222 and snuck out behind the shed and over a couple of fences. I ran out of cover but as it was beautifully crisp and still I was confident of taking the shot out I the second paddock behind our sheds; I paced it out at 237 paces:


AUSTRALIAN OUTDOORS / Spotlighting for foxes
April 24, 2019, 03:26:01 PM
I occasionally head out spotlighting with a fella down the road who has access to many properties in the district.

He can't work due to lingering health issues following 2x surgeries and radiation treatment for a brain tumour, so supplements the family income through shooting. In addition to scalp money some of the landholders pay $20 per fox, some fill his Ute with diesel 2-3 times a year, some buy his ammo (he shoots factory Hornady super performance .204 ammo in his Tilka T3, and the same in his Sako 85 .22-250), some give him a sheep or two per year to hang and butcher, some buy boxes of meat.

He has been getting some impressive hauls in foxes lately - since we went out in late December (we got 7 foxes and a nice little eater fallow) his tally is up around 350. I usually give him the scalps from any foxes I shoot as the are more use to him and his family than me.

We have headed out the last two nights onto some new properties, and after couple of relatively quiet nights the haul of 9 takes Troys tally since the last scalp day 13 days ago to 56. Rifles used were a Sako 85 stainless laminated varmint .22-250 with Nightforce SHV scope, and my Sako L461 .20-222 with Zeiss HD5 5-25x50 scope.

Here is the fist lot of just over 200 scalps from earlier in the year:


FIREARMS & OPTICS / .25 cal double rifle
January 25, 2019, 11:17:22 PM
AUSTRALIAN OUTDOORS / A sunny afternoon stroll
September 30, 2018, 04:23:41 AM
It was a beautiful sunny spring afternoon here and I went for a walk down in the stones with the Annie .222 and fox whistle. I ended up calling one in to this stand I had behind an old rock wall fence.


RELOADING / 22lr centrefire
April 30, 2018, 04:42:26 AM
Saw this on Saubier - 25ACP brass swaged down to create a 22lr centrefire that uses a small (I assume pistol) primer. It is in the 'Project Guns' section I n the thread titled '77/22 bolt conversion'.

Photos of the cases here:

THE CAMPFIRE / A busy night on the fire truck
March 18, 2018, 02:27:57 AM
Our fire brigade got a call out to a big bushfire at around 10pm last night, got back home 10.30am this morning. Slept through to 4pm and still feel shattered. ... rt/9560098

The wind down here was horrendous last night. Trees down across roads, powerlines down. Hit one tree across the road last night while responding - the headlights on the truck are pretty ordinary. Luckily not too much damage.

Ours was the western fire, mapped extent is around 3,400 hectares.


The eastern fires have been dairy country and devastating. I heard of one farmer who lost his entire 700 cow dairy herd and all this years calves.