Saturday, 31 March 2012

New sound moderator - A-Tec Maxim

Well after countless hours of research humming and hahing, and weighing up the pro's and con's between different models and styles, I have took the plunge and decided to get my Sauer 202 Classic XT 30-06 barrel screw-cut for a sound moderator. My initial concern was that the fluted 56cm barrel on my Sauer had an iron sight at the front and I was worried that by removing it to have a mod fitted would spoil the look of the barrel, well lucky for me the iron sight just sits on the profile of the barrel and is attached by one screw 3cm back from the muzzle. This means that I can remove the sight when wanting to use the mod and simply replace it when I don't....Happy days! =)

Barrel screw-cut M14x1
After much deliberation I decided to go for an A-Tec Maxim sound moderator after reading lots of positive reports on Internet forums, but also due to its light weight, telescopic / over the barrel design and modular construction which allows easy disassembly for cleaning or to add / remove baffles if desired. The benefit of using a sound moderator is that sound emissions and recoil are significantly reduced and muzzle flash is eliminated.

Here's some pics of the A-Tec Maxim





Here you can see the integrated muzzle brake which aids in reducing recoil & muzzle flip.
Here you can see one of the six aluminium modules with the steel blast baffle.
Specifications:
Name & Model: A-Tec Maxim (Norwegian 6 baffle version)
Total Length: 235mm / 23.5cm
Length over barrel: 80mm / 8cm
Length extended: 155mm / 15.5cm
Diameter: 45mm / 4.5cm
Weight: 450 grams with 6 baffles
Sound Reduction: Approx. 32 DB(C) ~ depending on caliber and ammunition!
Company website (in Norwegian): http://www.a-tec.no/

About: The A-Tec Maxim is a lightweight, over the barrel moderator deigned for use on centrefire rifles up to caliber 300 Win Mag. It is manufactured from 7075-T6 Aluminium and stainless steel for the components which come into direct contact with the hot gasses to prevent gas cutting.

I'm very happy with the look and feel of the rifle when the sound moderator is attached, I used it for the first time hunting during my recent muntjac hunting trip to England and I was very impressed with the sound reduction and also the lack of recoil and muzzle flip. I would highly recommend this moderator to anyone looking for a lightweight over the barrel design moderator.

If you look at my blog Muntjac Hunting in Livermere, England there are two muntjac kills I managed to capture on film using the moderator.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Flexible Camera Tripod

I like to take my video camera out with me in the hope of catching any action that takes place during my hunts and I managed to get some good roe deer and moose footage but the video has been a little bit shaky. To rectify this I purchased a flexible camera tripod, this enables me to connect my camera directly to my tree stand, shooting sticks or even a tree branch in the area where I'm hunting in the hope of getting some "shake free" footage. I have used it several times now and I'm very impressed with it, the rotating head makes it easy to pan and tilt and it's also silent and covered in foam which is a huge plus when your having to re-adjust the camera position

I managed to get my first kills on video using this tripod whilst hunting muntjac in England, click here for a link.

Here are some pics of the tripod:

Flexible Camera Tripod with removable camera shoe and rotating/ lockable head.

The red camera shoe screws onto the camera enabling a quick and easy attachment or removal from the tripod

This is the head of the tripod which accepts the camera shoe, notice the red quick release buttons and the locking head pan/tilt knob.

Here's an example of how you can attach them to some shooting sticks whilst waiting at a post.
I'm hoping to get some good footage during my spring beaver hunting trips, so stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Muntjac Hunting in Livermere, England.

After an early 4am start to the day, a train, a plane, another train, a taxi and a 2.5 hour drive we finally arrived at our hunting destination, Ampton Hall in Ampton Estate, Livermere. The estate is situated in the south east of England and has a good number of muntjac, roe deer and the occasional fallow deer. We didn't waste much time on arrival, we greeted the head gamekeeper and his staff and then it was time to get changed into our hunting clothes to firstly check our rifles before heading out.

In total I had 6 outings and managed to take 9 muntjac, the morning outings were from 5:45 - 9:00am and the evening outings were from 3:30-7:00pm and all outings were conducted from high seats.

Day 1 - Thursday PM
I was situated in a small forest block beside a crop field and looking down the forest lane, for the first couple of hours all I saw were squirrels and hare but no sign of muntjac so inside I was beginning to have doubts. Then, just as the light started to fade around things started to happen, I saw a couple of muntjac cross the forest track about 150 meters to my left so the excitement began to grown and I prepared myself ready to shoot if the chance should arise.

The forest track to the left of the high seat
Ploughed crop field to the right. 
About 15 minutes later a small muntjac doe appeared on the track and presented a perfect broadside shot, I lined up with my rifle and took the shot, the moderated 30-06 let out a crack and the muntjac slumped down onto the track and didn't move, my first ever muntjac lay on the forest track and I was ecstatic! =) About 30 minutes later another small muntjac doe appeared about 15 meters directly in front of my tree stand, I lined up the shot on her shoulder and fired, another muntjac on the ground! Two muntjac on my first ever muntjac hunt, a fantastic end to a fantastic day.

Day 2 - Friday AM
We awoke on Friday morning to a cold and very foggy morning, so hopes were slim from the offset and when I got to my post the visibility was about 20 meters but during the morning this slowly increased to about 75 meters. As the visibility increased enough to the point that it was good enough to identify the animals, I started to see some muntjac moving in the distance but too far away and too fast to take a shot. Then from nowhere a muntjac appeared right in front of me about 20 meters away! I quickly got my rifle ready, got the muntjac in my scope and made a little squeak to stop it, the second it stopped I released the shot, another muntjac on the ground, this muntjac turned out to be a young buck with small antlers and small fangs.

Young muntjac buck.


My buck and the two does from Thursday PM.
Day 2 - Friday PM
Friday evening found me in a high seat called "Chicken Extension" situated on the edge of a forest block overlooking a crop field and about 115 meters away were a small lake and beside it was a pheasant pen. I didn't get to take a shot on this outing but managed to get some footage of several different muntjac.

Small Muntjac Buck


Running Muntjac


Large Muntjac Buck with one antler


Day 3 - Saturday AM
Saturday morning I was situated on a high seat called "Cricket Extension" situated down a forest track with a crop field to the left. Just as the light was good enough to shoot I glanced to my left and there was a muntjac doe who had walked out of a small maize crop, I lined up the cross hairs and when she put her head down to feed I took the shot and she dropped on the spot. For the next 30 minutes all was quiet but then I saw three muntjac run across the forest track about 200 meters down the track, I got my camera ready in the hope that one would appear a bit closer but nothing showed, I looked to my left and there in the maize was a roe doe so I took the opportunity to get some camera footage.



Just as the roe doe had disappeared into the forest I glanced down the forest track and noticed a muntjac doe coming from the right hand side toward my high seat, I set up the camera and prepared for the shot.



Two muntjac does on the ground and my first ever kill captured on video! =)

Day 3 - Saturday PM
My post for the Saturday evening hunt was "Follo T" this was situated deep in a forest block and on the T-Junction of a forest track, with a shooting lane straight in front of me and a nice open area to the right. It wasn't long before I heard shots ringing out from around me but I was seeing nothing and was beginning to get impatient, then suddenly to my right a muntjac sprints across the open area but didn't stop to present a shot. A nice Reeves Pheasant stepped out into the clearing and started to feed so I decided I would get a little footage.



I saw several muntjac over the course of the evening, but either they were too far away or would stop long enough to present a shot.



Then over to my right just before final light a small muntjac appeared from nowhere in the middle of the clearing, unfortunately it was too dark for the camera but not for my scope =)




Day 4 - Sunday AM
Follo South" this had been a good post on the previous evening so confidence was high. It wasn't long before the muntjac began to move and very early on I had a small doe on the ground, unfortunately it was in a position where I couldn't capture it on film. Not long after the first kill, another doe stepped into the clearing to my left, I got the camera ready to capture the shot, then the muntjac ran and I thought my chance was over, but luckily it stopped right between two trees which presented me with a shot, I didn't hesitate!



Two on the ground and the morning was early! Then to put a cherry on the top and make my outing the most productive of my whole trip another doe stepped out, I lined up the cross hairs and took the shot, she dropped instantly and that was the end to a fantastic day =)

Hat Trick!



The trip was absolutely fantastic, I had never seen a muntjac before this trip and here I was with nine under my belt! This is definitely a hunting experience I would recommend, the muntjac are totally silent and just seem to appear from nowhere and there constant moving and twitching makes them an exciting quarry.

Yours truly (me) with the result of my first two outings.
One of the Americans on the trip, Gerry had a very productive weekend and managed to take four nice bucks.



Thursday, 1 March 2012

Going Muntjac Hunting in England! =)

Well... I have been counting down the days for a number of weeks like a child waiting for Christmas and today is finally the day =) Yippee!

I'm going back to the Motherland (England) for a long weekend with a Norwegian friend and this time it's purely hunting. We have both arranged to participate in the annual Accurate Reloading, (An American Hunting Forum: click here for forum link) England Hunting Trip where we will be participating in some Muntjac hunting on a private English estate. I have never seen, let alone shot a Muntjac so I'm really excited about the trip and also about meeting like minded individuals from all over the world.

Muntjac are an Asiatic species which were released into Woburn Safari Park in England in the 1920's, they managed to escape and now we have healthy populations in the southern counties which are slowly moving northwards, with sightings in some areas of Scotland and even in Ireland, but surely this was with some "illegal" human intervention!?!

Muntjac Buck
Image courtesy of Margoz - Wikipedia 
For more information on Muntjac: click here

I will try my best to post up daily reports and pictures of the hunting as the trip progresses, I will also be taking my video camera with me in the hope of getting some footage, so stay tuned and watch this space!!!