Wolfe Publishing Group

    Rifle May/June 2017

    On the Cover: This Haenel-Mannlicher 9x57 Mauser was made before 1910. Photo by Terry Wieland. Inset photos: A new long-range stock by Stocky’s Stocks.

    Volume 49, Number 3 | ISSN:

    Article Bites


    Spotting Scope

    Ken Waters (1917-2017)
    column by: Dave Scovill

    When my wife, Roberta, came home and informed me of Ken Waters’ passing recently, a lot of thoughts raced through my mind, but it all boiled down to one: It was an honor to work with such a remarkable man. The breadth of his life’s work not only as a handloader but also as a student of sporting rifles covers an astonishing variety of cartridges and rifles, but it was his appreciation and respect for his readers that set him apart, including correspondence to followers around the world. ...Read More >


    Lock, Stock and Barrel

    Mossberg Rifles and Sheep Hunting
    column by: Lee J. Hoots

    About eight years ago, upon joining the Wolfe Publishing staff, Dave Scovill gave me an assignment to write a feature for this magazine titled “A Rifle for Mule Deer.” Essentially a cartridge story, I distinctly remember his suggestion that no punches be pulled with regard to cartridge selection. “Don’t dance around the subject; make a case for what you prefer,” he said, “as if you only had one choice.” ...Read More >


    Mostly Long Guns

    Leverguns and Varmint Cartridges
    column by: Brian Pearce

    Mention the term “varmint rifle,” and most shooters envision a heavy-barreled, bolt- action rifle in a flat-shooting, small-caliber cartridge. Leverguns, however, have been used for varmints and small-game hunting since the 1860s. They are not great choices for the varmint shooter firing a rifle from sandbag rests, as such rifles cannot be levered while resting on bags, and they require special technique and skill to shoot with top accuracy. That accuracy can rarely be compared to precision bolt rifles and cartridges. However, lever actions are excellent choices when calling coyotes where shot distances are close and shooting is often from a sitting position or offhand. ...Read More >


    Down Range

    Winchester Model 1873
    column by: Mike Venturino

    Personal preferences are hard to explain; they exist despite logic. One is that Winchester Model 1873s are my favorite leverguns. Most certainly the following points are true. Winchester’s Model 1892, when chambering the same cartridges as the ’73, has smoother operation, weighs less and is far stronger than the ’73’s toggle link lockup. Furthermore, Winchester’s Models 1876, 1886, 1894 and 1895 chamber more powerful cartridges. I have them all yet like ’73s best. ...Read More >


    Light Gunsmithing

    Big-Bore Plinker Project - Part 1
    column by: Gil Sengel

    Riflefolk are always on the lookout for another interesting rifle. A good friend and sometimes hunting partner was a perfect example. One fine day this chap learned of a double rifle for sale by its original owner. After looking at the gun, he bubbled and stewed for a week, like a pot of campfire chili that had been left a little too close to the fire. ...Read More >


    A Rifleman's Optics

    Varmint Scopes
    column by: John Haviland

    About the time the first green of spring appears, a hunter’s fancy turns to varmint shooting. In days gone by, preparing for spring shooting required little more than dusting off the modest scopes on rimfire and centerfire rifles and sighting in the rifles. Today’s scopes are not so modest, and choosing one is an involved matter. Decisions on selecting a scope abound from a variable’s magnification range, a plain or complex reticle and turrets to leave as set or dialed to mesh with a bullet’s trajectory. ...Read More >


    Custom Corner

    Ellis Brown .450 No. 2 Nitro Express
    column by: Stan Trzoniec

    According to Ellis Brown, this rifle started life as a heavy English 12-bore boxlock made for a gunsmithing firm in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia. When Ellis obtained it, he decided to keep the original shotgun barrels with the idea of an extra set to include the .450 No. 2 NE for his African safaris. When he was done, the rifle would launch a 500-grain bullet 2,175 fps with a whopping 5,000 foot-pounds of energy. ...Read More >


    Walnut Hill

    Hawkeye Borescope
    column by: Terry Wieland

    Sometime around 2002, wandering the SHOT Show, I came upon a booth operated by Gradient Lens Corporation. Laid out on the counter were a number of long, thin, polished steel tubes, with some attachments that looked sort of like eyepieces. It was sufficiently intriguing that I stopped and talked with the representative, a gentleman named Ken Harrington. ...Read More >


    Haenel-Mannlicher 9x57 Mauser

    One Unusual German Stalking Rifle
    feature by: Terry Wieland

    Long ago, the Sears-Roebuck catalog was the original wish book, and in those halcyon days before the Great War, the catalog carried page after page of guns – long guns, short guns, rifles, shotguns, handguns – American-made and imports of just about every description. Between 1905, roughly, and 1914, one of the most expensive rifles found in the Sears catalog was known, variously, as the Haenel-Mann-licher or simply the C.G. Haenel (pronounced HY-nul). It was a bolt-action sporter imported from Germany. It cost half as much again as a Winchester ’86, and it was the rifle to carry if you had pretentions to style. ...Read More >


    .25-35 WCF

    Field Testing Hornady's New Bullets and Loads
    feature by: Brian Pearce

    The buck antelope stood up and was not going to let me stalk any closer, so at 195 yards, I eased into a sitting position with elbows resting between my knees, clutching a Winchester Model 1894 lever-action .25-35 WCF rifle that was 110 years old and equipped with vintage aperture sights. This hunt was not about the taking of an animal but rather the skill and challenge associated with getting within range while using a genuine cowboy-era rifle chambered for a classic cartridge. In other words, it was about having fun. ...Read More >


    Stocky's Long-Range Stocks

    Field Testing a Pair of New Model 700 Handles
    feature by: John Haviland

    For years on end, Don Bitz has had a passion for refurbishing rifles but found few choices when it came to buying replacement stocks. The slim selection mostly included injection-molded stocks in basic black. That prompted him to start working with laminated wood stocks, synthetic stocks made by Bell and Carlson, and eventually selling stocks. ...Read More >


    Modern Rifling Twist Realities

    Updated Research on Twist Rates and Accuracy Issues
    feature by: John Barsness

    To understand the latest information on rifling twist, we need to understand why bullets fly point-forward. The spin imparted by rifling gives a bullet gyroscopic stability, the force that allows a spinning top to remain upright – but unlike a top, a bullet flies through the atmosphere, sometimes at speeds over 4,000 feet per second. As a result, air pressure pushes against the front of the bullet, like wind against a soda can lying in the street – a strong enough wind overcomes the can’s weight, sending it tumbling across the pavement. Much the same occurs when the “wind” on a bullet overcomes its gyroscopic stability; instead of flying point-on, the bullet tumbles through the air. ...Read More >


    World War II Semiautomatics

    Reviewing a Trio of Venerable Rifles
    feature by: Mike Venturino

    A study of World War II shows that the vast majority of all infantry troops were armed with bolt-action rifles designed prior to, or slightly after, the turn of the twentieth century. Examples of such were U.S. ’03 Springfields, German K98k Mausers, British No. 3 Enfields, Soviet Mosin-Nagant ’91/30s and so forth. Only three semiautomatic long guns were issued in significant numbers for ground combat – one each by the U.S., Germany and the Soviet Union: the M1 Garand, 4,000,000; G/K43, 400,000 to 500,000; and SVT40, about 2,000,000, respectively. Sources vary on these figures. ...Read More >

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