Australian Shooter Letters
Thank you readers!
I’d like to thank all those who responded to my letter in the September 2012 issue of Australian Shooter, asking for photo evidence of damage caused by feral animals. I received some very good pics that are extremely helpful. If anyone else has more pics, I’d still love to receive them. A special thank you to Associate Editor Kaye Jenkins for helping me get my letter out there.
In the October issue, on page 6, President Bob Green wrote of the ‘half truths’ generated by the anti-gun lobby. He’s 100 per cent correct. It’s time to get the whole truth out there in the public domain. My objective is to gather facts and evidence to prove that hunting is a viable and humane way of removing feral animals, then to try and get these facts out there in the public arena. I’m not sure how that will go, as I believe there are a lot of greenies out there in the media world. That’s why the more you guys help, the better our chances.
There was an excellent article by Leon Wright in the September issue, which highlighted not only the enormous problem Australia has with rabbits, but the negative effect poisons can have on native species such as goannas. This is only one of many examples of why conservation hunting is, and should always be, an important part of reducing the number of feral animals.
If anyone has more photographic evidence, you can still send them to me at email@example.com I’m also interested in hearing from farmers, who we all know are at the ‘front’ in the battle against feral animals and have the most to lose. I’d like to know what you feel are the most effective ways of feral animal control and why. Are there any adverse effects in different methods of feral animal control?
Vic Adams, email
One Planet pack review
Just a quick thank you for a great review on the One Planet pack by Mark Benns in Australian Hunter 40. I have been an owner of a One Planet pack for the past six years. The choice to buy One Planet was based on a review such as this and the old story that a satisfied customer sent a picture of his pack that was some 15 years old which had finally died due only to his toddler attacking it with scissors, sending him a new pack. In that time, the pack has seen punishment from the ute tray on my hunting trips, baggage handlers and the jungles of New Guinea and Burma, and it is not showing any signs of wear. It’s great to see the magazine reviewing great brands outside what most shooters see in the gunshops.
All I can add to the review is the first thing anyone must do after buying a One Planet pack, or any canvas product for that matter, is fill the bathtub up and soak the pack for a long time, which will allow the stitching to swell. Through doing this, the only time the inside of my pack has gotten wet is through river crossings, where I dropped it in the water.
I look forward to seeing more great reviews such as this one.
Jason Callan, email
I am very impressed by Bob Green’s President’s Message in the November edition of Australian Shooter. I have been a blood donor until health forced me temporarily to retire. This is an enjoyable exercise and I recommend donating blood.
Would it be possible to arrange a contest between shooters and ‘greenies’ as to who can give the most blood during a period? I suggest one year. The bragging rights would be the prize.
Barry Croker, NSW
Oil and stones don’t mix
I write in regards to Peter Bindon’s February Bushcraft & Survival column in which he mentions reading in a book on knife sharpening that oil should never be put anywhere near a hone. As a saw doctor for nearly 40 years, sharpening everything imaginable from 48' bandsaws to scalpels, I have, as you would imagine, heard, read and seen all sorts misinformation regarding sharpening. Normally I don’t bother answering, but this time, someone’s got it right, so I thought I’d encourage them.
Yes, oil should never be put anywhere near a honing stone. The stone is like a grinding wheel; it has fine cutting edges and in between those edges are hollows that fill up with the stock material that is removed during sharpening and cutting edges that break off as they become blunt. This needs to be flushed, so the stone can continue to cut. Add oil into this mixture and the waste material will clog up the stone and reduce its cutting capacity. The oil then soaks into the stone, taking fine waste particles with it, further ruining the stone.
When I started my apprenticeship, the head saw doctor taught me the correct methods of using and caring for my tools of trade including hones (sharpening stones). I still have my first stone, one of my father’s and one of my grandfather’s; they are all clean and straight/level, even after years of heavy usage. I used to use kerosene, but found that it too clogs up after a lot of use and needs constant cleaning. Nowadays, I only use a mixture of dishwashing detergent and water; it provides all the cooling/lubrication needed and flushes out the waste material, keeping the stone clean, which, in turn, provides a far superior finish. Every now and then, I clean the stones with a scrubbing brush, hot water and detergent, then dress them by honing them on a level slab of concrete with lots of water.
If your stone is clogged and badly worn, don’t throw it out, as you can clean it by soaking and scrubbing it in petrol then methylated spirits and then detergent. If you dress it as mentioned above and scrub it, you will have a stone that could well outlast you even with a lot of use. Mine have outlasted two generations so far. Happy honing and keep that oil away from the honing stone!
Brian Pickrill, email
In reference to the May Australian Shooter’s Basic Ballistics column about plating, I would advise anyone who regularly shoots a shotgun, whether it be for game or clays, to take a visit the pattern plate, if only to verify the point of impact (POI) to the point of aim (POA). Depending on the discipline you shoot, the POI can vary up and down 70/30 (70% above and 30% below the centre of the plate) for Trap, 60/40 for Skeet and 50/50 for some sporting/game guns.
If there is some slight side-to-side discrepancy, it can be brought back to centre by adjustments to the stock or by changing your technique. Without a visit to the pattern plate, the shooter can be unaware of large discrepancies. In my case, I had a gun that was shooting 200mm the left at about 30m on one barrel. It turned out to be a badly machined choke tube thread.
Rifles will produce different groups with different manufacturers of ammunition. Shotguns are no different; some cartridges fired through a barrel with full choke can produce improved cylinder patterns and vice versa.
Experiment with cartridges while you are there. A good alternative to counting the shot marks is to mark each plate with choke used and cartridge type and take a picture with a digital camera of each plate. In the comfort of your home, you can flick through them. The results will be easy to see.
For more information on the velocity of the shot string, I recommend reading Shotgunning: The art and science by Bob Brister.
David Roper, Vic
Send us a letter
|Write to the Australian Shooter at
PO Box 2520,
Unley, SA 5061
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Names, addresses and membership number must be supplied.