Our Gibbs rifle has been successful in international long range shooting matches for many years. A shooter friend of us now took the performance of this rifle to a higher level. Replicating a legendary shot, Johan van Wyk from South Africa seized the challenge to test his own and the rifle’s capabilities at 2 km distance. Here is the report of the shot from Lee Shaver:
“Hi Guys, I received this email today from a customer friend of mine in South Africa. He had been in contact with me several times over the last year about wanting to shoot one of your Gibbs rifles to 2000 yards. I helped him out with what information I had on some extreme shots made at Sea Girt in the late 1800’s, and built a special sight riser for one of my tang sights. He warned me this week that he was finally ready and would be soon attempting the shot. As you will see below, they were quite successful and put a very nice shot on the target at 2000 yards. I do not know any further details at this time. I just thought you might be interested. I have met two of the team previously. Johan who made the shot helped run the match for us in SA the last time we had the world match there. Wallace is the big guy with the wild hair and he is the one that organized it. He is a doctor there in SA if I remember right, but he loves buck skinning and historical shooting. Have a great weekend, Lee”
A young and enthusiastic Italian shooter was so kind to share with us his expereinces with his first ever muzzleloading gun: a Pedersoli Gibbs .45 long range rifle. Here is his story of success:
I am Gianluca Frison, 41 years old, I live at Enego, a small mountain village located on the Sette Comuni plateau (Vicenza). The passion for hunting, harboured since childhood, was passed down from my grandfather to my father and for more than twenty years I have been reloading for several calibres, both rifles and shotguns, I also attend many target shooting competitions with winning results.
For some years I have been curious about the mystical world of muzzle loading and I took the time to research to learn more, consulting specialty magazines and the web to understand which gun could satisfy my expectations.
Having obtained great satisfaction with rifles, looking for best accuracy, I wanted a muzzle loading gun that could have the best accuracy with the possibility to perform at long range shooting.
The choice was just so easy, I wanted a Pedersoli Gibbs rifle, 45 calibre! After considerable research I had the opportunity to purchase a used rifle, with impatience I started immediately to experiment with different loads, typical for the Gibbs rifle, downloaded from published information and from the web.
I almost got frustrated during the firing tests with 80-95 grains of Swiss powder #2, with the classic, greased bullet of 535 grains, until I thought about the well-known adage when reloading modern guns “if the reloading formula (bullet type and weight, powder type and weight, primer, etc.) is the Holy Grail for one gun, the same cannot occur for another gun even chambered in the same calibre, even of the same model. This should also be the case of muzzle loading”. I therefore decided to try a new strategy. I gradually reduced the loads to 60 grains and finally I started to have the desired results..
As it can be seen from the photos, I tried different lubes, but I also experimented with semolina as wad filler. This practice is quite widely used among the shooters, it seems that semolina has the ability to absorb the inertia at the bullet base, due to the deflagration of the powder, semolina also has a cleaning effect on the barrel.
After the initial promising results, having seen other interesting ones on the web, I decided to have a bullet mould made by Brooks’ (www.brooksmolds.com). I chose a bullet design, the New Postell weighing 552 grains in pure lead. With the increased bullet weight, I increased the powder load by 5 grains… I did not have to wait for the results for long!
I tested at 200 metres and I was happy with the result!
As you see I experienced an unusual lube!! The citronella candle. When I published this news on one forum in USA, the members were shocked and exclaimed: “It does not matter what you use, what is important is that it works, not what it looks like”
Many thanks for your report Gianluca! Keep up the good work!