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Sporting Rifle

Sporting Rifle February 2020

The first and market-leading rifle shooting mag in the UK, Sporting Rifle covers rifle sports of all kinds, from rimfire rabbits to big game overseas and everything in between. With the very best writers on board, we cover foxing and UK deer stalking extensively in every issue, with tips and tricks as well as stories from the field to help your outings be more successful.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

7 min
ask the experts

SPORT ABROAD Q What’s the most dangerous place to hunt, and species to hunt, in the world? A Pete says: Pretty much any location can be dangerous if you do not adhere to the key principles of hunt preparation, including familiarity with your kit, researching the destination and being physically fit. Likewise, you must listen to your guide and trust in his knowledge – if you treat him as a nuisance to be ignored, you take your safety into your own hands. This applies everywhere from Scotland to South Africa. Don’t think that just because your hunt is not in an ‘exotic’ location, you will be safe. That said, there are some species known worldwide as being particularly dangerous, particularly Africa’s ‘big five’ species. Which is actually the most dangerous is a subject…

1 min
sga backs grouse moors

Scottish gamekeepers have denounced a report produced by the campaign group Revive that advocates licensing or ending driven grouse shooting and replacing grouse moors with natural woodland and scrub. Revive, which is associated with a number of anti-field sports groups, launched its campaign at an event attended by Chris Packham and Mark Avery, and concludes that “management as grouse moors will maintain a large area of Scotland’s land in an impoverished state”. The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association was quick to respond to the report. It said: “Revive use neutral words like ‘reform’ but their real aim is to ban grouse shooting in Scotland, empty the glens and put gamekeepers and families on the dole. “Their wish-lists were effectively discredited in Scottish government’s own commissioned report into grouse moor economics and alternative uses of moorland. “We…

7 min
new arrival

If there’s one thing that’s always exciting other than gaining new shooting ground it’s gaining new shooting gear! At the end of November I was exceptionally lucky to acquire a new rifle in the form of a Savage BA Stealth in .223. The generous guys at Scott Country International kindly sponsored the 260rips YouTube channel with this stunning rifle to use to test their various night vision and thermal scopes, so I wasted no time in fitting it with an MAE moderator from JMS Arms and getting out to zero it. On top of that, I’ve recently been testing the Sightmark Wraith, which I’ve been pretty impressed with especially at its asking price of £700. So I was keen to mount that on the rifle and try it out. Something I really…

5 min
eight times the appeal

As the years and technology have rolled along, we have become more accustomed to higher magnification and higher zoom ranges on optics. Though magnification in itself is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to choosing a scope, the ability to span low magnification for wide field of view in some situations, then higher magnification for others, has made scopes more usable across seasons, scenarios and species. It’s important to remember that just pumping up the magnification ratio comes with compromises, and although 10x erector tube optics are available at both ends of the price range, some are distinctly better than others (whose manufacturers, frankly, would have been better off staying in the world of three and four-times zoom) so don’t be fooled by hype alone. Nikko Stirling’s well-named Octa scope…

2 min

For many shooting men, the season is over by February. In the game shooting world, it seems that one day we are preparing for another exciting pheasant or partridge season then the next it’s over! My keeper friends tell me that as far as the birds were concerned, it went well. What didn’t go so well was the weather, and this of course reaches across all field sports. Without a doubt the autumn was incredibly wet and in some areas shooting almost ground to a halt due to flooding. Even my wildfowling friends complained bitterly about the excessive water covering the fields, as their quarry could drop in almost anywhere for a feed. As far as the game went, I had one very good but very wet day at the pheasants…

3 min

BEDROOM ANTICS Dear Sporting Rifle, I watched the recent Shooting Show episode (2 December 2019) where Mark Ripley was shooting foxes with a .22 from his daughter’s bedroom window. The situation was presented as something of a rarity but I thought I’d let you know it may not be as rare as you think! I control the foxes and other vermin on the land around an old country house near me. It had a new occupant recently, and she decided to put some ducks in the pond in the back garden that has a walkway into the middle of it, and a 10-acre wood to the back of it. Inevitably, her ducks started disappearing, so she asked me to come and sort the situation out. It was clearly a fox attack. I knew I…