Guest post by Ricky.
There are two things I usually look for in a rifle when I am purchasing a new gun, first is a wooden stock, I love the look of a wooden stock the classic image of a rifle, the second is that the rifle must shoot at least a 1 inch group at 100 yards. One day I was wandering around Webers gun shop in Temple, Texas when I noticed on the barrel of a gun a sticker that said Sub MOA ( minute of angle) which intrigued me so I took a look at it. It was a Wetherby Vanguard S2 with a varmint barrel in 308 Winchester. The price was right on the gun and the owner of the store said if it did not shoot under 1 inch at 100 yards I could send it back to Wetherby. Well I bought it and put a Zeiss Conquest 3.5-14 X 44 scope on it and took it home.
I had some Federal 168 Match ammo which is the best factory target ammo on the market in my opinion. I usually reload all my ammo but gave this a shot first. I ran three rounds through it with no break in, all I had done was clean it with a bore snake and wow, it shot a .430 in group.
This gun has a nice synthetic stock with all the right stuff on it and a new trigger. Its a two stage trigger which I though would be hard to get used to but was not at all. There is a 1/2 a pound of slack then 2 and 1/2 more pounds to set it off.
So far every hand load I have tried has shot better than the ones before. I have some loads that will put 5 in a 1/2 inch ad the bad loads are 5 rounds in a 1 and 1/4 inch pattern. It so impressed me I have purchased two more in normal weight barrels a 7-08 and a 243. They shoot very good but not quite as good as the varmint barrel. They both shoot under a an inch. One of my friends bough one in 243 and he is shooting Hornady 100 G SP and it is putting all of the shots in a 3/4 in group. For the money I don’t thing you can go wrong with this Wetherby.
I recently took my first steps into the world of black powder shooting with the purchase of a Pietta 1858 New Army brass frame revolver. This is a brass frame replica of the Remington 1858 New Army revolver.
A little history. The Remington revolver was patented in 1858 but most were produced after 1860. It was not the first choice of the Union army as it was 50 cents more per unit than the competing colt revolver. But after the fire in the colt production plant in 1864 large orders of the Remington were put in to keep up production for the war. The pistol was very popular with those who used it and was stronger than the Colt and faster to load as you could switch out the cylinder much faster on it than you could on a Colt. The “top strap” solid frame design gave it much of its durability. The cylinder can be switched in 12 seconds or less after a little practice, making this the first of the revolvers to have a “speed loader’ which also helped with its popularity. The revolver also had one of the first safety features with with milled safety slots in between the loaded chambers this way you can have the hammer down and locked in position between the primed chambers.
The model I have is the brass frame model and while it is true that many pistols were built in the confederate states of america using brass frames none of the Remington’s were made this way. I don’t mind that its not historically accurate because after shipping and on sale from cabbalas i paid 200 dollars for the revolver. Thats a great value for a revolver that normally sales for around 300 plus tax and shipping. I figured as my first experiment in black powder that was a good price point to start with. The gun came in and was lovely. It needed to be cleaned as it had a layer of oil on the revolver to protect it from rust but after it was cleaned it was a beautiful pistol.
I had to wait a little while to shoot it as Christmas was coming and the holidays are a busy time at home and at work. And lucky for me I waited as I received everything I needed to shoot the gun for Christmas. I have a brass powder horn, a adjustable powder measure, pyrodex FFF powder, caps and balls. I was able to finally get out last weekend and shoot it and it performed beyond my expectations. At twenty feet it shot a 1 inch three shot group not bad for a pistol with fixed sights shooting round ball ammo.
I have to say overall I am very pleased with the pistol. It does take some time to load and I would not want to have to load it in the field, but I am planning on getting a spare cylinder to carry when I am out and about with it. This is going to be a wonderful plinking gun and I am going to use it as a side arm when I am out trekking on my parents land. We have the occasional snake and such that needs to be dispatched.
Overall I would greatly recommend the pistol if you have any interest in black powder shooting. It is not very expensive and is a great and reliable way to get started.
Well Guys I want to give you a report on how the rifle performed during this years Deer season. I took it out several times and used it to bring down one deer this year. Yes I have only gotten one but it should have been two but a little more on that later.
The rifle is 1 for 2 this year but it was not an accuracy issue with the weapon. The first time I took it out it misfired. I had chambered a round and it dropped the firing pin but not enough to discharge the weapon. I believe it is because I had not pulled the charging handle back as far as it needed to go. I have not been able to reproduce the issue so I am chalking this one up to user error. I was trying to be quiet when I loaded the weapon and while it is many things it is not quiet in any way. Lesson learned when you take it out make sure your run the charging handle back all the way and that it fully seats forward so you don’t get a misfire.
The second time I took it out that I had a good shot, I had a shot at a spike about 100 yards out. It put the shot right on the money, a clean hit in the neck and the animal went down right away.
Overall the rifle worked fairly well. The magazine did not get in the way at all in the deer stand as I thought it might. The shorter stock also made moving the gun around in the stand easier than I expected it would be.
Overall I found the gun worked as a hunting rifle but I still prefer my bolt action rifles as they are quieter and have a much smoother trigger pull. If I was going to be out for several days or in a rugged environment I would recommend this rifle. Also if I was hunting something like hogs where I expected to take several shots quickly then this would be my go to gun. However in the future I think I will be taking out my trusty Remeington 700 in the future for deer. I still love the rifle and will keep playing with it to see how it works.
Hope the little review helps guys. I hope to hear your feedback.