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Education / Training Ruger Model 3 32-40 schuetzen rifle: Part 1

Ruger Model 3 32-40 schuetzen rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Background
  • What is schuetzen shooting?
  • Ruger Number 3 schuetzen
  • Breech seater
  • Hand rest
  • Scope fixed
  • Range time
  • What this means

I’m writing this report for German blog reader Stephan and for all of the readers who don’t know what schuetzen rifles are. Today our superstars come from film, music or team sports. In 1900, they were all shooters — schuetzen shooters, to be precise. The sport of offhand target shooting took off worldwide when breechloading rifles came onto the scene around the 1870s, and offhand target shooting became the sport of kings. Names like Pope, Hudson, Neidner and Farrow were on every kid’s lips in those days, and prizes that totaled $25,000 were awarded at matches at a time when the average annual family income was under $500.


I read about the famous U.S./Irish match at Creedmore as a child, but it wasn’t until I was I was in my late 60s that I realized how close the favored Irish team came to winning! That was long-range shooting — not schuetzen shooting — but it all blended together. I wanted a schuetzen rifle of my own!

When I got my Ballard, I thought of it as my schuetzen, and I tried to make it into one — but that rifle lacks many of the important features that make up a schuetzen rifle. They are:

My Ballard from 1886 is not a schuetzen.

  1. A fine single-shot action
  2. A stock made for offhand shooting with a butt hook stock
  3. A hand rest for the off hand
  4. A marvelous trigger
  5. A heavy barrel to help with stability
  6. Either fine vernier match sights or a special long target scope sight
  7. An accurate rifle cartridge that shoots a lead bullet with little recoil
  8. A cartridge that can be reloaded on the firing line

My Ballard is a single-shot and has the right cartridge, sights and barrel — but nothing else. A vintage schuetzen chambered for an American cartridge (which are the most accurate calibers) costs $2,500 and up these days. A new schuetzen costs about the same — with the Stevens 44-1/2 action made by CPA being the frontrunner — both in 1900 and today. And the gun is just the beginning. You also need the scope or sights, the bullet mold, the powder measure and all the loading tools needed to support the rifle — easily another $1,000 to $1,500 worth of stuff. Where have we seen that before? PCPs, perhaps?

So when I found a schuetzen in 32-40 (perhaps the number one schuetzen caliber of the last century and a half) at a price I could afford, I overlooked the modern Ruger Number 3 action it was made from. It had everything else I needed, and I could afford it.

What is schuetzen shooting?

A classic schuetzen match is shot offhand at 220 yards or 20 rods. There are other distances, but 200-220 yards is the principal one. The match is shot offhand at a target that has 25 scoring rings. There are variations of this match for shooters who don’t want to stand and shoot offhand. One allows you to rest your barrel (only) on a beam to support the weight of the rifle, because these rifles weigh 12 lbs. at a minimum. Another is a benchrest version of the match where some of the smallest groups ever shot were made. Harry Pope’s 10 shots in 0.2 inches at 200 yards is probably the most notable, but that target was lost. So, the world record is one that was shot at 200 yards by C.W. Rowland in 1901, with 10 shots in a group that can be covered by a quarter.

That’s enough history. Let me tell you about my rifle.

Ruger Number 3 schuetzen

My rifle is a classic schuetzen that was built on a Ruger Number 3 single-shot action. The stock is custom made in the schuetzen form, and the trigger has been lightened to break crisply at 2 lbs. That’s as light as a Ruger Number 3 trigger can be taken safely. There are no aftermarket triggers for the rifle, and getting the pull that light requires gunsmithing skill.

Ruger schuetzen
The Ruger Number 3 made a nice base for a modern schuetzen rifle.

The barrel is a Douglas heavy barrel that’s 28 inches long. It helps bring the overall weight of the rifle up to 12 lbs., 12 oz. The caliber is 32-40, and the 1:15 twist is ideal for the 165-grain lead bullet I shoot.

Breech seater

There is a stud on the left side of the action that serves as an anchor for the mechanical breech seater. When the rifle is loaded, a bullet is pushed into the bore and the pressed into the rifling by levering it with the breech seater. A loaded cartridge without a bullet is then loaded behind it. There’s approximately 1/16-inch separation between the end of the cartridge case and the base of the bullet. This type of seating was invented by Dr. W.G. Hudson, who was one of the main champions of early schuetzen matches. He developed special bullets with wider bases that completely fill the rifling grooves when they’re pressed into the barrel.

Breech seating stud
That stud on the left side of the receiver was added as an anchor for the breech seating tool.

Breech seating tool
The flat plate on the left hooks over the stud on the receiver, then the lead bullet is pushed gently into the rifling by the brass case that has a solid brass bar in its center.

Hand rest

Schuetzen rifles typically have hand rests to go with their hooked buttplates. The person who made this rifle made both the custom breech seater and the hand rest. The hand rest was made from an antique drill brace.


When I first received the rifle, I headed to the range — hoping it was as good as I imagined. It was not! The scope was mounted out of line with the bore; so, the rifle shot several feet to the right and the front scope base was so low that the rifle shot several feet low at 50 yards. Sounds like a lot of airguns, doesn’t it?

My “groups” were bullets that landed a couple feet from the aim point and 5-6 inches apart. This was not the experience I’d envisioned for a schuetzen.

Scope fixed

My shooting buddy, Otho, swapped the front scope base for a higher one, and he remounted the base to align the scope with the bore. This was done with a precision scope alignment fixture, so things were on the money this time.

scope jig
Otho reinstalled the front scope base using a precision barrel drilling fixture.

Range time

The next time I went to the range was last Friday. This time, I had a scope that was aligned, and I’d researched the powder load so I knew what was right. My results were much better.

schuetzen target 1
The first 50-yard target after all the fixes. There are 5 bullets in that one hole below the dime, with a total of 9 shots on this target.

schuetzen target 2
The second 50-yard target. The cloverleaf has 4 bullets in it, with a total of 8 shots on this target.

What this means

I took a custom rifle about which I had no information and did some research and testing and got it shooting where I wanted it. There are still many steps to be refined. When I get the loading down the way I want it, I plan to video the whole process so you can see what it looks like.

This is the same process as learning about a new airgun. You read about it, study what’s been written and then conduct your own testing until you learn the gun. It does take time, but I think it’s the best part of airgunning.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

130 thoughts on “Ruger Model 3 32-40 schuetzen rifle: Part 1”

  1. Aha! Another one to chase the accuracy down with. Wish that somebody would come up with an updated version of gallery shooting with airguns to promote accurate, easy cocking air rifles. Maybe the “Garage Games” would be a working title.

  2. Siraniko–At my club, we shoot sporter rifle with .22 cal rifles. The weight of the rifle and scope is 7.5 lbs. maximium. The NRA has an official target for these matches. They are fired offhand, at 50ft. Now that we have a shortage of .22 ammo, very few people are competing . It would be very easy to shoot these matches with air rifles.Most of my club members do not have air rifles for these matches. Now is when we need something like the Bronco (I have one) to convert to air gun sporter rifle. Trying to get my club members to buy an air rifle is not easy. They keep saying that the ammo shortage will soon be over. However, in your country it might be easy to start sporter rifle matches. You can contact the NRA for rules and targets, if you want more information. Good luck, Ed

    • Zimbabwe Ed,
      In my country (Philippines) we are very much into CO2 (being a tropical country) and more recently PCPs. For the most part benchrest competitions are at 25 to 50 meters but there are those who want to push the boundaries and go farther out to 150 meters even. Firearm ownership and use is heavily regulated which is why most turn to airguns which until recently was actively classed as firearms. Right now I am trying to get my compatriots to consider other forms of competition such as MS and four position competition. Although there are some clubs that actively do MS in area they are mostly focused on benchrest.
      I do like the sporter classification which is a scope and rifle that is equal or under 7.5 lbs. I am looking at the NRA rules as a basis though. Some rifles though will be operating under a handicap though as that the direct sear connection creates a very heavy trigger which is difficult to modify safely compared to other factory rifles which come out with feather touch triggers out of the factory
      I am always thinking up ways to promote Airgun use in an urban setting. Mini-sniping is something that comes to mind especially in backyards that only have 10 meters of space to use.

    • Ed : I don’t know where you are located, but I have had the same issues with others I have tried to get to try/buy an accurate air rifle. Most of these folks though wouldn’t buy decent .22 ammo anyways even if it was available. Some drive 4×4 pickups that have monthly payments ,where ONE of those installments would buy a Air Arms TX 200 and a very fine scope . Sad thing is ,most of them don’t even leave the pavement in those fancy trucks…

  3. I absalutly love these guns. Everytime you talk about them and show them makes me want one.

    And I totally like that type of shooting. 220 yards. Love that long range stuff.

    They have them different long range competion and challenges for airguns that I like also.

    Oh by the way what magnification is that scope?

    • Harvey,

      There is so much similarity between shooting this rifle and shooting a new airgun! You start out not knowing much and you build a book of knowledge as you go.

      There are many things I have not yet shown you about schuetzens. This is just the introduction.


  4. Pretty rifle.

    If the front scope base is low, would that make the front of the scope low? And wouldn’t that make the rifle shoot high? Maybe I’m missing something.

    200yds covered by a quarter? I start to lose concentration after 4 or 5 rounds- that is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    • Just as in a front sight if you wish to raise the point of aim you should lower the front sight. This also applies to droopers as in those cases we apply shims to the rear mount to raise the point of aim. If the front mount is high and the rear mount is low the gun point low (imagine a draftsman’s compass with its legs spreading), by lowering the front mount it brings the rear mount up raising the point of aim.

    • Sam,

      I think you are right. If the front base is too low, then the rear is too high. But my rifle shot too low at 50 yards.

      We installed a higher base up front and now the rifle is shooting where it should. I will have to consult Otho about this. I may have gotten it backwards. We may have installed a LOWER front base. It sounds like we did.



    • You can use either, but the 32-40 cartridge was originally a black powder cartridge and you had better be very careful if you use smokeless powder. When I was a tweeny I used to use a Remington pump rifle chambered in 32-20. I used store bought smokeless cartridges. The 32-20 is an old black powder cartridge also.

      • RR: Was that perhaps the very fine Remington Model 25? It is like a Remington model 12 or 121 pump in .22RF only a little bigger in size. Perfect small game rifle and cartridge for the hunter and handloader. You have to have used the .25-20 and .32-20 cartridges and the svelt rifles chambered for these to really appreciate them for northern and southern eastern woods small game hunting, where 50 yards is a long ways for a shot. The .22RF is a fun and useful round ,but is is inferior to these for actual small game hunting, A lung shot squirrel shot with a flat pointed lead bullet going 800-1200fps is not going to make it to ground, and be lost, like one shot with a .22 RF does ocassionally. Even deer are doable with careful shot placement and decent level of woodsmanship. The .32-20 is my favorite caliber, and one I’d pick if I could have only one.

        • I am afraid I really could not tell you what model it was. That was a looooooong time ago, like the 60’s. It belonged to my Grandfather. I sure would like to get my hands on it again. One of my uncles inherited it. Either he still has it or he gave it to one of his kids. If so, I hope they had the sense to keep it.

          Back in the 80’s I briefly owned a 32-20. It was a Henry-Martini Cadet rifle from Australia. It was originally chambered in 31-10 I believe and had been rechambered to 32-20. I kick myself every time I think about letting that thing get away from me.

          • RR: the Martini Cadet rifle in .310 cadet cart. was rechambered to .32-20 by the big importers back in the 60’s, to sell them easier. They simply reamed out the chamber so it would accept the more readily available .32-20 ammo. The bores however were still .316 which meant the bullets from .32-20 ammo which are .311dia would keyhole at any distance. They were wonderful bargins though,considering they sold for like $15 .Many were rebarreled to other small cartridges, by amature home gunsmiths . If you shortened the .32-20 case and loaded the .316 bullet they were very accurate. RB loads with .320 dia buckshot were also very accurate out to fifty yards or so. You simply filled the case with FFF black powder and pressed a ball into the chamfered shortened case. I did that alot…

    • Christoph,

      Good question, as the 32-40 is a black powder cartridge. At least it started as one.

      Around 1895-1900 schuetzen shooters transitioned over from black powder to the new semi smokeless and eventually smokeless powders, because they didn’t have to clean the barrels between shots. I am shooting a small charge of smokeless powder.


  5. BB,

    thanks for the report. Much appreciated!

    It seems those rifles have influenced many shooting disciplines, including modern target shooting and field targets.

    Many of the typical features you listed seem to be ones we take for granted today.

    The world record you mentioned is incredible. Seems like these rifles were “sniper rifles”before that was even a thing.


    • Stephan,

      Sniper rifles? Don’t get me started on them!

      In the American Civil War (1861-1865) there were sniped rifles that had incredible confirmed kills. One was a general killed at a confirmed range of nearly a mile (1.6 km). Those rifles weighed 40-60 lbs. and were only shot from a benchrest.


      • BB
        I would like to hear more about the sniper rifles your talking about.

        Did they purposely make them guns weigh that much to keep them stable? What caliber we’re they and did they use some type of scope on them?

      • BB,

        that probably shows my complete ignorance once again. I didn’t really grow up with guns 🙂

        I read on Wikipedia that the term “sniper rifle” didn’t exist before WW1. I did know that there were precision rifles before that but I wouldn’t have thought they could hit things at such a long range.

        Still, those Schuetzen records are pretty amazing. I really had no idea that rifles were that accurate at the turn of the last century.


        • Stephan,

          They weren’t called sniper rifles back them. They were called marksman rifles, long-range rifles or sharpshooter rifles. Technically those names were not correct, either. They were technically called bench rifles and they were developed specifically with long range marksmanship in mind. What we call sniping today.

          That may be why the Wiki page doesn’t recognize them. But they did exist and they were famous.

          I will write about them next week.


          • To be fair, I think Wikipedia has it correct.

            Their “early history” starts with the American Revolutionary War.

            Interestingly “sharpshooter” is the word we use for “sniper” (Scharfschütze).

          • BB
            You just reminded me of some of the terms my dad used.

            Marksman and Sharpshooter. I don’t think they were useing the term sniper yet in the Korean war were they?

            I think that was the level of shooting they were rated at if I’m wording it correct.

            • GF1,

              Those terms are used by the Army as qualifications for shooting. You get a silver badge when you qualify. There is a Marksman (lowest level) Sharpshooter (middle level) and Expert. (highest level). Attached to the badge are bars with the names of weapons awarded to that person.


  6. BB, maybe my English is not that good, but I am not sure I understand the breech loading procedure… You seat a bullet into the chamber first and then load a cartridge with no bullet behind it, is that right? How do you prepare the cartridges? Is there a wad to seal the powder in the brass? Please, take a picture of that loaded cartridge if possible.

  7. B.B.,

    I really hope that as you refine your loads and try different bullets that the accuracy improves significantly. You never actually said what those group sizes are but they look to me to be over an inch. I would think this rifle should be able to do 1/2″ groups at 50 yards.

    I’ve seen those scope rings before. I believe it was on a post of yours. It’s interesting how the rings are used to center the scope reticle. I bet it’s no harder than with a conventional contemporary scope. RidgeRunner said the scope’s power is 12X. If so, for target shooting at 50 yards I would have been dreaming of having at least 18x – 24x power scope. More if I had it. I really like it to appear as though I am pressing the reticle against the bullseye. That is the kind of magnification that works for me when shooting benchrest and I am shooting very well that way. I’ve tried lower magnification but usually don’t do nearly as well with it.

    I would like to add that you have yet another beautiful rifle in your collection. How do you like the feel of the butt hook? It looks like it would be uncomfortable but tell me, is it?

    Speaking of beautiful rifles I finally got the Air Arms S510 Limited Edition Anniversary Model. It is gorgeous and I now have my S510 with a walnut stock that a lefty can use. It’s not the tack driver that some of my other rifles are but it is a tack driver. I’ve only shot it at 25 meters so far and the groups average between 0.2″ to 0.35″. It’s in .22cal. I did have one 5 shot group that was .126″. Almost a single hole.

    Well. I hope everyone has a great day. Especially you and Edith.


    • G&G,

      Yes, these groups are all larger than one inch. These are just my first attempt at getting on paper after correcting a lot of technical problems.

      I hope this rifle will put 10 bullets into an inch or less at 100 yards and into less than 2 inches at 200 yards. That is the goal. But there are many steps before we get there. Ultimately I hope to shoot the rifle offhand, as it was designed.


    • On your comments about the S510. I benched my S500 in.177 this saturday(nearly windless) shooting 10.34 grain at 900fps and managed a .347″ 5 shot c-t-c group. Your .22 should do as well if not better than that at the same yardage. It was also shot at 20x with my Aeon 6-24×50.

      I know B.B. likes ten shot groups but I don’t shoot benched often so I didn’t want to muss things up after that.

    • Feinwerk,

      I showed the “group” several years ago. What happened is Pope lost the target when it blew away and landed in a river. So there was never a photograph of it. We only know the size because he measured it before it blew away.

      You can see an approximation of that group in this report:



  8. B.B.

    I don’t see how a bullet that size makes such a small hole in the target paper…?…

    Speaking of target paper, can i buy unprinted target paper or the equivalent somewhere?


  9. I can definitely see the similarities in learning the secrets of the Ruger Model 3 32-40 and a new airgun. Unlocking the secrets to getting both to shoot accurately is the dimension of gun ownership that I enjoy most.

    I’m looking forward to joining B.B. on this trip with the Ruger 32-40. What an interesting gun.

    A shooting buddy of mine and I took a trip yesterday and got to see and shoot some interesting airguns.

    We traveled to RL Airguns and got to see the new JKHan Krosa & Majesty (options include .357 caliber), the new Vulcan, new Taipan Mutant, the Kricket rifle and bullpup and others.

    We got to shoot most of these guns on their outdoor range. The JKHan Krosa was very impressive and so was the .45 cal condor with aftermarket regulator and valve. I think the Krosa will be a game changer in the airgun market since they’re all being fitted with a newly designed regulator and valve. Hope PA will consider carrying the Noblesse line of airguns.

    Very impressed by Randy’s knowledge and commitment to airgunning. I didn’t buy an airgun but did buy an Omega compressor. I now have unlimited air and couldn’t be happier.

    B.B., Randy said his invitation for you to visit is still open.


    • Steve,

      I stand corrected!

      And that trigger is cheap for a set trigger. The only problem is it only goes down to one pound. Most set triggers go much lighter than that.

      Thank you for this information. If my Ruger turns out to be a good shooter I will install this trigger.


  10. A bit off target (pun intended). Last week, my 25 yard Bullseye League had a short competition for air pistols. If you didn’t have an air pistol, we allowed your air rifle (I ran the competition). Everything was 10M off-hand. I had a stock of 10M pistol and rifle targets. In addition to my S & W 78G, I brought my HW 50S and FWB300 for those who didn’t have any airguns and wanted to try it. It was most enjoyable to be able to shoot with no ear protection plus those who shot the FWB all had a big smile on their face from experiencing the match trigger. Others would stand and watch just to see the action recoil. The winner with a Walther LP53 (yes, James Bond’s photo op pistol) ended up being a retired Colonel who taught history at West Point. He’s a pretty good shooter to begin with and it showed. Everyone wants another event and one person was heard to say he had no idea how much fun this could be or how accurate some of the rifles and pistols were.

    Fred DPRoNJ

    • Congratulations, Fred, on striking back at the DPR… Sounds like you had a great time. What is this about James Bond’s pistol. Are you saying that he was posing with an air pistol? I have thought that my Daisy 747 does resemble a James Bond gun. I take it this pistol was for Sean Connery. I actually have been reviewing James Bond clips on YouTube with great enjoyment. The older ones hold up well, but Connery was brutal with villains and women!


      • Matt,

        thought for sure someone would give you the details by now. When Connery went to the photographer’s studio to pose for those iconic images, everyone looked at everyone else and realized no one had brought a gun. The UK and it’s tyrannical gun laws you understand. The photographer did have an air pistol and brought it out and asked if it would do. If you go to Google and type in Sean Connery images, you will see that pose with the Walther by his face, muzzle up, finger in the trigger guard. Some appear to have been retouched but the black and white photos clearly show the LP53 in all it’s glory. I’ve told the Colonel if he ever wants to sell the pistol, I’ll buy it.

        Fred DPRoNJ

  11. BB: Enjoyed today’s blog and look forward to more on this rifle of yours. The #1 and #3’s are my favorite rifle actions, and they are getting expensive and will become scarce in the future. I believe the #1 has been dropped from production now , and the #3 was dropped a while ago .Wish i had bought a #3 in .30-40 Krag back in the day as it is the ultimate .30 cal cast bullet cartridge, and another favorite of mine. Cartridges with rims are the best for cast bullet shooting.

    • Robert,

      From what I have read, the Number 3 action is the better one because of the single piece cocking lever. Apparently it is more positive than the Number 1 lever? I don’t know — that’s just what I’ve read.


      • BB : have used both styles.I have never noticed a problem ? The tropical rifles in .375H&H and .458 which I’m very familar with in #1 configuration , have never had an issue with extraction of even heavy loads. Then again , I’m not worried about being chased by Cape Buffalos either. Personally I like the looks of the #3 lever better and it would be easier to modify. The barrel band on the factory stock #3 has to go though, and the forend on both can cause issues with accuracy.

        • Robert,

          Ahhh! That handguard screw! I haven’t mentioned that yet — have I?

          When Otho drilled the new scope base holes he removed the handguard and had to replace that screw. I told him it was a problem and he tried to get it the same as when he removed it.

          I have so much to learn!


  12. I thought schuetzens were for the short distance indoor gallery shooting with a .22 short. That must be a different sport although I thought it had a German name. I think I may have been born too late as this indoor shooting is almost exactly what I do with my airguns.

    Overall, I’m amazed how the more things change, the more they stay the same. I believe that 200 yard offhand shooting is part of the service rifle competition. At my 100 yard range, I use a bull that is scaled to be equivalent to 200 yards. While I can generally hit the paper, hitting the bull is very iffy. In reading about German sniping innovations from the World Wars, I have seen pictures of scout style scopes and bolt-action rifles with extended magazines, exactly like the scout rifle trend that is thriving now. Given that shooting was much more prominent then than now, it seems reasonable to conclude that the skill level was higher. It is part of my thesis on the superiority of earlier peoples! The quality of boxing, I believe, was superior when it was the top national sport. A look at the old films will show that the technique was superior. And as for training, heavyweight great, Jack Dempsey, said that working for 14 hours with a pick was tops for physical and mental discipline. I don’t know of any modern athlete doing that. The group sizes that B.B. mentioned, done without scopes, would seem to confirm the higher skill level.

    B.B., does your gun use blackpowder? The chambering has that form. And what exactly is the sight picture of the iron sights used to achieve those fantastic groups?

    Yogi, I didn’t mean to sound disparaging about your groups with the Les Baer and the details you give make all the difference. Two inches in 20mph wind sounds very good to me, but even more impressive is your first time out, both with this high a caliber and without hearing protection. What have you been shooting without hearing protection?! I would recommend it under all circumstances. On the firing range, I use triple protection starting with deformable foam plugs, then cotton, then the biggest, heaviest earmuffs I can find and could not function without them. And larger calibers take plenty of adjustment. The first time I shot my Winchester 94 in 30-30, I was amazed at the violence. But after shooting surplus military rifles, it seems like nothing. So, it appears that the Les Baer makes good on its reputation after all.

    Mike, I forgot to say that I’m not surprised at your great results with the 70 grain load out of a 1 in 9 twist. My understanding is that you want the heaviest bullets that your twist rate can stand, and I saw a chart that said that the high 60s are the limit for 1 in 9. My preferred load for my Savage 10FP in .223 is 69 gr. Black Hills BTHP, and it is stunningly accurate. Way under MOA every time. 70 grains is close enough. I’m actually surprised you did as well with the 52 grain as you did.


    • Matt,

      What you are thinking about are rifles called Zimmerstutzens — not schuetzens./ Although most people today now mistakenly call them zimmer schuetzens — a term that has no meaning. Zimmerstutzens are 4mm (nominally) and are definitely indoor rifles here is an article I wrote about them:


      I believe that is the longest English-language article that’s ever been written about them.

      The rifle in this report uses smokeless powder. I will show you how I load it in the next report.

      Matt, those groups aren’t good. They would be good if they had been shot at 200 yards. At 50 yards they are very poor. I’m just learning about this rifle and there are many things I don’t yet know.


      • Thanks, B.B. I see I was confusing. The fantastic groups I was talking about were the ones achieved with the Pope barrel which were something like 0.1 MOA. And I gather that they were achieved with the Vernier iron sights. What kind of sight picture unassisted by magnification could produce groups like that?


  13. Robert from Arcade–I live in Orange county, New York State. Near Middletown. Many of my clubmates only shoot thunderbolts, and think that it is the finest .22 ammo on the market. They shoot it in pistols , and when they shoot rifles , they shoot offhand . At one time most of the schools in NY had indoor ranges (even some elementary schools). The liberals caused the closing of these ranges, and today, smallbore target shooting is dieing out in this state. Ed

    • Ed : As you may have guessed I’m in NY as well, upstate, and you know how tough it’s been for gun owners here, Un SAFE and all… We had a rifle team when I was in high school . Even brought the empty gun to my school on the bus back in the 1970’s, and stored it in my locker. Ammo and targets were provided at the range we used at another school . We shot once a week ,after school. This was near Buffalo near were I grew up. Today that would be unthinkable. At my son’s school in my very rural county,they can’t even mention the word gun or even have an archery club .Thankfully the local church lets them shoot archery 3-D, and 4H has a air rifle shooting.

  14. BB
    I have been noticing something. It seem like alot of the .300″ up caliber bullets seem to be used for longer range shooting. Airgun and firearms.

    Is the mass or size of the bullet in that caliber more balistic efficient than the other caliber sizes? And really to narrow it down more to like.300″ to 357″.

    I got a idea why the smaller diameter calibers ain’t used but I may be wrong. The bullet or pellet gets blown of course more if the weather conditions ain’t right.

    Why did they choose the caliber you have and why did some guns get resized to different calibers?

  15. The Kepplinger trigger advertises 1 lb as its lower weight. The gunsmith who put one in my No.1 set it so low that it wasn’t good for hunting. It was down to an ounce. He said it is simple to adjust down very low for a good gunsmith. I raised it, and have never needed the single set feature. I’m told and believe from my experiences that the Canjar version, goes even further. One sold on ebay recently for $280. I just missed getting in on the bidding for it. There are several things available to improve the No.1/3 trigger setup, including a match hammer which is lighter and decreases lock time…

  16. BB
    I just thought of something and I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.

    You mentioned above that your gun is not getting the groups it should and you said it was alot like learning about how airguns perform.

    Have you ever chronyed this gun to see if your loads are making consistent fps. And maybe you might need more or less powder in your charge for that bullet you use.

    I guess you would need to keep the gun back away from the chrony a bit though to keep the blast from damaging the chrony.

  17. Gunfun1
    Yea I am interested in how well that parallax adjustment works as well as how it is adjusted as it does not appear to have an adjustable end bell or side focus, but then I may just not be clear in the pictures of it.

    Those old scope mount setup remind me of a three point dead centers used in a lathe when you are turning a long piece of metal .

    Cannot wait for the report on the scopes.


      • Gunfun1
        Yea I am looking forward to the report and especially just how the scope recoils and then get reset in the scope mount to rezero it for the next shot.

        That what has me curious about how it hold true when the scope move in it mounts.


        • Buldawg
          I got a few ideas on how the scope sets back in position but I think I should wait for BB’s review.

          And everytime I see one of these scopes it reminds me of the movie Dances with Wolf. When they sneak up the hill to look at all the buffalo and Dances with Wolf pulls out his spotting scope.

          I just wonder how many old scopes were out there that we don’t know about today. And you know maybe that scope BB is talking about would be a good scope for a springer. But maybe not though because of the double recoil that the springers have.

          Hopefully BB will do the blog on the scope pretty soon.

  18. I had its near twin a dozen years ago but chambered in 32 special. I scrounged up the parts and put it together pretty cheap. It was never is accurate as a pure Schutzen gun but would shoot 1.5″ at a hundred.
    Are those bullets shown hard lazer cast bullets? If so they must be a bear to breech seat.

    • George,

      Welcome to the blog.

      Those bullets are cast with lead and tin but no antimony. They measure 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, with pure lead at 5. If they were hard cast they would be very difficult to seat.


  19. The blue lube made me think they were lazer cast. You would need a sledgehammer to get them hard bullets started.It’s amazing how was those dang things can shoot .That’s a great gun makes me wish I wouldn’t have sold mine. Not too expensive and just kind of a hoot to shoot off hand. with the breach seater/single case affair it slows you down to just the right pace.

    • George,

      The lube is actually brown. It was the light filter that gave it a bluish cast.

      “… it slows you down to just the right pace.” How profound! There aren’t many people who get that.

      I’m going to write another blog about this rifle soon and I hope to show the loading process, because a lot of my readers want to see it.

      So, you had a schuetzen? What action and what caliber? Did you compete?


  20. I’ve competed in cast bullet matches in the Cast Bullet association for 20 or so years. I’ve owned a couple of schuetzen guns but never dedicated myself to them enought to be competitive. I’ve had the luck of shooting around a couple of the top guys in the West Coast though.Bev Pinney and Tommy Mason.
    I actually load my 30-06 schuetzen style with one case and a replica Pope capper. I can fit all of my kit in a little metal box enough to shoot a couple 100 rounds ,it’s just relaxing.

    • George,

      Okay, now you have my attention! I have an 03A3 Springfield that is very accurate. I would love to try it with cast bullets. I have several, but I have never taken the time to cast for schuetzen shooting with that rifle. What bullet do you use and what load?

      I use a replica Pope capper with my Ruger and I also have the decapping pin for my Ballard, if I want to switch.


  21. This writeup reminds me of a legendary rifle that came with a bullet mold to match it’s proprietary rifling, I have virtually no knowledge of them other than their existence and would like to expand my knowledge but don’t have any better idea than to ask here.
    Anybody know what I’m trying to learn more about?


  22. I use the 308403 pope mold by ideal. You can buy a copy of it from Tom at accurate molds. I use either bullseye or unique. I’ll have to dig up data but it’s about 8 of bullseye and 9 of unique with pistol primers.my best mold is a rare pointed modern bond 190 plain base. But I have found many 30 designs shot well with the gc shank machined out.Erik Ohlen of hollow point mold service does this for a very small fee.

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