Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Hunting and Fishing

Things must be ramping up, two posts in the month so far. Last week saw me fettling with the stock of my sixteen year old bull-pup Falcon Pre-charged air rifle. Over time, 16 years by my reckoning, the stock has shrunk just a fraction. Over time this has allowed, a fraction of movement of the entire action (about 0.5mm) around a central fixing point. That sounds like nothing but take that 0.5mm of play in the barrel and then run it out over a twenty five metres, and you will find your shots going wide.

It took an evening of making snooker cue chalk dust, then carefully covering the under surface of the Inter-mount block (on my rifle that’s the bit that holds the barrel, cylinder and the scope rails all in one) and then rubbing the Inter-mount gently but firmly against the inside face of the stock to find the high points.

Once this was done several times, to ensure all the high  spots were visible by virtue of the absence of chalk dust and the glazed appearance of the timber where the Inter-mount block had created friction, and everything else was covered in a fine green dust, I had to gently rub the high-spots away with a very light sandpaper, and very light touch; while avoiding sanding any of the edges of the inner groove where the action should sit square.

When the stock felt tight against the Inter-mount, I applied a light coat of specialist stock oil to the inner face of the stock to encourage the timber to swell a little and to form the tight seal between the stock and it’s Inter-mount. And finally the stock was sat overnight to dry before final tweaks and re-mounting of the complete action and scope.

All that remains is to borrow a Black and Decker Workmate and do the re-zeroing of the scope… though I’m in no real rush, what with other activities going on. Once the rifle is zeroed and I’ve had some field target practice, I will add the rifle to the inventory of travel kit, and items that need to be covered by insurance.

The air rifle, the fishing rods, a proper shrimping net and a few foraging field guides will join us on our travels and hopefully they will all be put to good use feeding us.

It all sounds quite novel and romantic when you write it down like that, but the facts are, that if you set out in the morning or the evening to hunt bunnies for the pot, you had better be ready to fail and have bought a pack of bangers and a packet of Smash in the event of a hunting failure. Likewise with fishing, shrimping and even gathering plants, there are no guarantees.

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