DEER STALKING

George Wallace

Lead-free bullets have actually been around for quite a while ? you may be familiar with the Barnes X-bullets ? and they work perfectly well.

In the early days, some rifles would shoot them accurately and some would not because the bullets were much harder than our ?normal? ones and did not perform well if the rifle?s bore size was slightly larger or smaller than the diameter of the bullet.

That problem has now been overcome and the current offerings seem to work fine.

RUAG have kindly sent me a box of 136 grain RWS ?green? .308 ammo to try, and that has proved highly accurate in the Tikka test rifle.

We have not had an opportunity to hunt with it yet but on the range it put five rounds at 106 yards into a group which could be covered by a 2p piece, with only the edges of a couple of the holes showing outside the coin.

No problem there, then!

The rifle belongs to the headkeeper and he will take the rest of the ammo to Scotland in February to help another ?keeper with his Red Hind cull.

I?ll let you know how it performs. Having used a previous generation of such bullets to hunt Plains Game in Africa, I expect it to do very well.

I haven?t asked about the cost – but unless you do a helluva lot of shooting, that really isn?t a factor.