Old Lever Rifle.

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,607
834
My Dad's old M71 that I have. He bought it new in the 50's when he was youngster. Only rifle he used and carried for over 20 yrs.

I got it out today and put a couple shots through it. I had picked up a box of the Hornady 200's recently so I feel better about shooting some of the partial box of those I had from before.

Had it sighted in with the Swift A-Frames last time I used it. Lowered the rear sight 1 notch for the Hornady's, but need to go 1 more lower. After a fouler it put 3 at an inch at 50. I can do better. Need practice. Ha.




Killed a couple with this rifle.........like the 35 calibers it makes short work of them. Last was with the Swift A-Frame and has been 2 seasons since I carried it hunting. Need to change that.

 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,013
1,399
The Model 71 is a beauty, and you handle it quite well. Excellent post.
 

Johnly

Beginner
Dec 12, 2020
51
16
My 71 is a Browning with a rifle length barrel. It doesn't get out much since I purchased a Winchester M88 in 358.
The 200 gr. FTX bullet is the bees knees if you need to stretch your shots.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,607
834
Thanks fellas. With all the different rifles I fool with, I kinda forget about this one sometimes. There's not another rifle I own that feels in the hand like this one, they are indeed a rifle unto themselves. I need to give it its due and put a couple more successful hunts in its history.

I'd have to look up my papers, but this load runs just north of 2500 if I remember correctly. I don't have a lot of Varget left, maybe 1/4 of a can. I don't use Varget in a lot of stuff so that can get me through for now, but I should work at coming up with an alternative load for these bullets with either Imr 4064 or 4350. Got a fair amount of both of those.
 

wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
1,295
348
Nice shooting. Wish my eyes could do that. Haven't looked at reloading data for 348 but H4895 and RL15 are close to Varget. Might see if they would work for you. Dan.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,607
834
Nice shooting. Wish my eyes could do that. Haven't looked at reloading data for 348 but H4895 and RL15 are close to Varget. Might see if they would work for you. Dan.
I gotta work at it with my eyes Dan. Wish I had 18 yr old eyes again to do some of these old rifles justice. Getting where about 75 yds in the woods is my upper limit with iron sights. And that depends how dark or open the woods are that I'm in at the time. I manage, but can't say it's easy anymore.

I have close to 9 lbs of H4895, got an 8 lb jug unopened yet so that would be the route to take as far as powder. Only thing is the 348 takes a pretty hefty charge.........that 56.5 charge of Varget sits below the neck a decent amount already. My brain tells me if I'm gonna change I need to head towards slower powders with somewhat heavier charges, not faster lighter charges. But you never know, it might surprise me.

I've read where guys like the accuracy of 59 gr of IMR 4350 with that 200 Hornady FP. 59 is a fairly mild charge with IMR4350 in the 348. Would run about 2400 and change. Don't know, might try it.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,607
834
Thought about trying glasses, but not sure how it would work out for me. I keep a cheap pair of readers on my bench for anything detailed when working on guns or loading. Closer than arm's length things can get blurry or fuzzy. Beyond that my eyes are sharp yet, or at least I think they are. If I wore glasses the rear sight would become sharp and detailed, but I'm afraid even a 50 yd target would be nothing but a blur. Might try it to see.
 

ScottinTN65

Beginner
Mar 15, 2022
62
65
The target is a little blurry, but the sights are sharp as hell and I can make it work. I use the lowest number readers I can get. I have better than 20/20 vision once things get about 3-4 feet from me.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,304
563
Very nice. They’re some great shooting rifles.

i use RL17 in mine. I’d think anything 4350-4831 would work fine as well ST.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,607
834
Very nice. They’re some great shooting rifles.

i use RL17 in mine. I’d think anything 4350-4831 would work fine as well ST.
Yeah I'll figure out something on the powder front. The local sporting shop that has been getting in quite a bit of powder and bullets, did have Varget in 1 lb cans, but not now. They have a few 8 lb jugs, but I don't use enough Varget to buy an 8lb'r. I'd hate to even ask what that cost at today's prices.

I pulled a few of my old targets from the M71, and that Varget load with the Hornady's has been steady. Never a tackdriver, but runs at an inch, with a few being down around 3/4" at 50 yds. 56.5 or 57, didn't make much difference. I got time for now to wait and see if more 1 lb cans come in.

I know me, I'll also try 4350 whether I get Varget or not. Curiosity is a powerful thing. Ha. I got a lot of magnum primers and no magnums I'd need them in, so would likely run some through the chrono with the heavier charges of 4350 and mag primers and see what I come up with.
 
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