Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Petzal: Kenny Jarrett, in Perspective

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Gun Nuts
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

November 05, 2008

Petzal: Kenny Jarrett, in Perspective

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

I now write regularly about big-game rifles that break the minute-of-angle mark, and I’m still uneasy about doing it because for a very long time such guns did not exist at any price. You could shoot for years without seeing that kind of accuracy.

In 1985, I was hunting in South Carolina with the great knifemaker and die-hard Secessionist George Herron, who told me about a gunsmith named Kenny Jarrett, down the road in Jackson, who was building sub-moa big-game rifles. Yeah, sure, I said, so George went into his shop and brought out six benchrest targets  and a stubby 7mm/08 Improved that Jarrett had built on a Remington 700 action. Each of the six groups could be covered handily by a nickel. I was like to swoon, and had to grab a nearby canebrake rattlesnake for support. And down the road I went to  to meet Kenny.

Kenny Jarrett was a farmer (and still is) with no formal mechanical training who became interested in benchrest shooting in the 1970s. Being mechanically aptituded, it seemed logical that he should build his own guns, and so he did just that, and began winning. He was also a whitetail hunter who often shot at long distances across beanfields, and it seemed to him that if you could build a big-game rifle that shot to benchrest standards it would make the deer sweat.

And so he did. His first big-game rifles were crudely finished and heavy, but he got them to the point where they would shoot a half-minute of angle or better. At the time, this was unheard-of, but word got around, and so did the rifles, and eventually Jarrett found himself in the gun business.

Over the years he has gone from a shade-tree gunsmith who built rifles out of other peoples’ components to the head of a small factory that makes barrels and actions and assembles, finishes, breaks in, and develops loads for, completed rifles. (Jarrett’s Kevlar and fiberglass stocks are made by a separate contractor to his design and specs. He gets his triggers from Jewell and his scope bases and mounts from Talley.) It employs 11 people, and smacks as much of aerospace as of gunsmith. He is the only gunmaker I know of who has an EDM machine—and an employee whose sole job is to keep the EDM happy.

A number of years ago he developed his own bolt-action, a three-lug design which he calls the Tri-Lock, and since then his rifles have taken on a distinctive look of their own. There are six different models, but the representative one is the Ridge Walker, a gun that typically weighs 8 ½-pounds with scope, has a 25-inch #3 taper barrel, and almost invariably comes with a muzzle brake of Jarrett’s own design.

He has his own line of proprietary cartridges, the most popular of which (in a walk) is the .300 Jarrett, a fire-breathing .30 magnum based on the 8mm Remington magnum. Jarrett loads it with 150-grain (at 3,500 fps) to 200-grain (3,000 fps-plus) bullets.

Every rifle is broken in and has a handload (or loads) developed for it, and no rifle leaves Jackson with fewer than 150 test rounds through it.  They are very expensive guns, but from what I’ve seen they will outshoot anything else you can buy, when used with their tailored ammo. In .30-caliber and under, they will shoot a half-minute or less, and I’ve seen .300 Jarrett test targets—lots of them—that went under .200. There are plenty of factory rifles that will shoot MOA, and a great many custom guns will do much better than that, but I don’t know of anything else that will shoot to this standard.

And what Kenny will be remembered for is dragging everyone else along with him. The most influential rifle makers of the late 20th century are Chet Brown and Lee Six who pioneered the synthetic stock; Melvin Forbes of Ultra Light Arms designed and built the first truly light big-game rifles; and Kenny Jarrett, who said, in effect, “What you’ve got isn’t accurate; this is accurate.”
Long may he flourish.

from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

Good discussion on one of my favorite cartridges - .257 Roberts.I have never thought of using the .257 Roberts on elk. The .35 Whelen does such a magnificent job, I never thought of using anything else, except maybe my .30-06.The debate rages on.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Mr. Garcia . . .It would seem that you and I have both read Barsness's 257 AI article from years ago.Although I cannot attest as to the accuracy of Barsness's claimed group sizes with the 257 Roberts or 257 AI, I can say that with my daughter's 257 Roberts rifle (Model 70 Featherweight, 22" barrel) and my 257 AI (Remington 700, 24" barrel), moa groups with handloads are entirely possible, and if either she or I are having a good day at the range, sub-moa groups are possible with some of our carefully developed loads. Certainly not all of them, but some of them, yes.I recommend that you (and anyone else who is interested) take a look at Hodgdon Powder Company's online data site for handloaders, which includes loads for the 257 Roberts using H-100-V powder. Although (in my view) most of the data that Hodgdon publishes for handloaders tends to be pretty conservative, using H-100-V powder the company lists 257 Roberts 100-grain bullets going out the barrel at over 3200 fps, and 115-grain bullets going out the barrel at over 3050 fps, all with non-spectacular chamber pressures. I was skeptical about Hodgdon's data until I tried it in my daughter's 257 Roberts, and even with a 22" barrel the published data was right on the money or even a touch conservative. Using Hodgon's exact load data (and carefully building up to the maximum published load, using 1/2 grain increases in 3-round test groups for each respective hotter load), I achieved muzzle velocities with 100-grain bullets of around 3250 fps and muzzle velocitys of around 3060 fps with 115-grain and 117-grain bullets, all with brass that retained tight primer pockets and indicated no high pressure signs whatsoever. Impressive!As for the 257 AI, I recommend you take a look at Accurate Arms Company Smokeless Powders Loading Guide Number Two (Revised), which is available online (for free). The 257 AI loads in that guide, using AA4350 and AA3100, are loaded to the same chamber pressures as the 25-06, and equal or even exceed 25-06 performance. I have used the same load data in my own 257 AI and have found it to be conservative; e.g., my past and current 257 AI rifles have all shot 50-75 fps faster than the published Accurate Powder Company loads using the same exact data, all with no pressure problems. Reloader 19 and Reloader 22, as well as H-100-V, are also excellent powders for the 257 AI. With H-100-V (and now unavailable Norma 205)I have (safely) seen 3400 fps muzzle velocities using 100-grain bullets and around 3225 fps (or a bit more) using 115-120 grain bullets. (Oddly enough, 120-grain Nosler Partitions tend to go out the barrel of my rifle faster than most other manufacturer's 115-grain bullets, although why this is so remains a pleasant puzzle to me.)As for the 7x57 Mauser, the Nosler No. 6 Reloading Guide shows 140-grain bullets going out a 22" barrel at 2892 fps with 51.5 grains of Reloader 19, and a 150-grain bullet going out a 22" barrel at 2831 fps with 51 grains of Reloader 19. Both are accurate, non-high pressure loads. With a 24" barrel those same loads would have a muzzle velocity of around 2950 fps and 2890, respectively, which is only slightly behind typical factory 270 Winchester 140-grain and 15-grain loads.The 7x57 Mauser, when loaded up to snuff in a strong action, is an incredibly efficient, light recoil, yet wonderfully lethal round, every bit the equal of the 7m-08, particularly since the two respective cases have essentially the same total powder capacity. I believe Barsness's velocity claims for the 7x57 round (using strong rifles) are accurate.Questions of the day:If a handloader uses one of today's high technology bullets (such as the Barnes MRX or TSX, the Berger VLDs, the Nosler Accubonds, etc.) to hunt deer or hogs or even elk or moose, and if the handloader keeps his/her shots within 300 yards or less, and if the handloader is a conscientious shot who puts his/her bullet in the heart-lungs every time (or he/she doesn't take the shot at all), then what does it matter, if at all, whether the super bullet comes from a 257 Roberts versus a 6.5-284 versus a 270 versus a 7x57 Mauser versus a 7mm Mag, or even versus a 7mm STW or 300 Winchester Mag?If the bullet hits in the right area with enough velocity to properly and timely expand, what does it matter whether the bullet is .257, .264, .277, 7mm or .308 in caliber if all of them are lethal?How does, if at all, a bigger, faster, heavier bullet make any real difference in such circumstances?Thoughts or comments? DP? Anyone?T.W. DavidsonTyler, TX

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Apologies again to DP for mentioning non-FS writers.I don't know Barsness' recent opinions about the 257 AI but I do recall an old article of him praising it for doing as much while having less recoil than the 25-06. My only problem with that of course, is that the .257 Rob. (on which the AI is based) isn't as popular as it once was, and a new gun owner will more likely go 25-06.In his later years with Wolfe, the one "change" I detected was when he indicated his growing preference for the .30 cal. magnums vs. the .338 (even though he had highly praised the .338 and other middle 30s in the past), mainly due to RECOIL, which became more intolerable as he grew older. But I think he made it clear that the .338 remains a great choice to those who can handle it.As for the Weatherby cartridges, in the only Barsness articles I've read praising them, he mentioned that the .270 Weatherby is one of Roy's masterpieces, but that it wasn't the only one. I think he also liked the .300 Wby.Although I'm skeptical about the velocities and groups he was wringing out of the 257 Rob. and 7Mauser, I liked Barsness, although he often opposed Ross Seyfried on where the Nosler Ballistic Tip stands. If Aagrd, Barsness and Seyfried are out of Wolfe, I'm not reading their mags anytime soon. Just my opinion.I also liked Ross Seyfried, unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have any 'active' gunwriting job. I think he now writes about ATV's.No matter what one can say about how he was kicked out of Wolfe, at least as far as the stuff he wrote, Ross made sense to me. He never subscribed to the "latest is best" philosophy (he won his pistol championship with Pachmayr 1911's, and he believes those pistols are still among the very best). Basically, if you told Ross your high tech rifle shoots minute of angle at 1,000 yards, he'd tell you that in the 19th century a rifle by Sir Joseph Whitworth did the same with black powder and open sights.And yes, he always advised (maybe quoting some older gunwriter he believed in) that "nothing, but nothing is more important than the bullet." How can one disagree with that? Of course, we know Ross is biased toward the Fail Safe, but the advice remains sound IMO.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DavidS wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

well, i for one, if i could afford it would be proud to own one of his guns. it is not about shooting all of your game @ 600 yards, it is about being ABLE TO, if the need arrises. how good would you feel if the buck of your life just would not come any closer tha 400 yards. the ovewhelming majority of us would HAVE to let it walk. if you knew that you had a rifle that was more than capable of the task, and you did your part( by practicing) then you would feel pretty darned great about that 400 yard shot. and rightfully so! when i had the place to shoot, i used to pracice @ 300 yards with my remington 700 300 win mag. i could shoot 4 shots in a 4" circle with factory ammo off the hood of my truck. it is not that big of a deal, it just takes practice and concentration. while 4" @ 300 yards isnt bad, it certainly is not up to Jarrets standards. i need to find a place where i can shoot 300 yards (or more) again, because now, i have the time. and i handload. so maybe, just maybe, i could do even better.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I've talked to barsness several times and had him claim the 30/06 was the cartridge he'd killed the most animals with,only to later have him claim the .270win.I like barsness,because he hunts the same game I do and also uses mostly stock rifles.He pimps Sisk a bit,but doesn't go overboard.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Hello, Everyone . . .Re John Barsness--Does anyone know what actually happened (if anything)between Barsness and Wolfe Publishing? I am very curious about this.I have read Barness's articles for a number of years. While in general I respect his writing, and while I believe that Barness is a very experienced handloader, shooter and hunter, in the last year or two I detected contradictions in his writings (in contrast to articles by him written years earlier) about certain cartridges and velocities and loads, but didn't know what to make of it. I could only hypothesize that either Barness did not keep track of his own articles about cartridges/loads/velocities over the years, or, for whatever reason, he had decided to disfavor a cartridge he had previously highly praised, and more highly favor a cartridge or cartridges he had previously been more neutral about. As to why Barsness would do this, I have no idea.Barsness wrote an article several years ago about the .257 Ackley Improved (AI), which article also discussed the .257 Roberts and 25-06. A year or so ago he wrote an article about .257 caliber cartridges in general, which contained in that article contradictory (and not particularly positive or even less than positive) "facts" about the 257 AI in comparison to the positive "facts" about the 257 AI he had listed in his article from several years ago. The older article, though highly complimentary of the 257 Roberts and its capabilities when handloaded (Barsness specifically mentioned 100-grain bullets going out the barrel at over 3200 FPS and 115-120 grain bullets approaching but not quite reaching 3000 FPS), positively gushed with enthusiasm about the 257 AI and its equal-to-or-better-than-25-06 ballistics when loaded to the same chamber pressure as a 25-06, particularly when using powders such as Accurate 3100 and Reloader 19.Here's the rub between Barsness's older 257 AI article as compared to his more recent .257 cartidges article: In Barsness's more recent article, he signficantly downplayed the 257 AI (he basically did not praise it at all), but highly praised the 25-06 and 257 Weatherby, and (somewhat) praised the 257 Roberts, too (but less so than in his article from several years ago). Given that Barsness is an avid handloader who appears to load for all .257 caliber cartridges he shoots, neither article seems to have a bias about whether any one particular .257 cartridge is "harder" or "easier" to handload versus another, nor did the more recent article mention "cartridge efficiency" (e.g., the fact that, as per P.O. Ackley's studies and tests, the 257 Roberts and 257 AI are far more "efficient" cartridges than a 25-06 or 257 Weatherby because the Roberts and AI cases produce more velocity per grain of powder than does the 25-06, and much more so than the 257 Weatherby) although the older article praised the 257 AI for being more "efficient" than the 25-06.Summary: In his more recent article Barsness now (heavily) favors the 25-06 and 257 Weatherby over his previous sweetheart, the 257 AI, the same cartridge he previously lavished praise about (while not praising or even disfavoring the 25-06) in his earlier article. Why this is so I have no idea.As we all know, the 257 Weatherby can put a 100-grain bullet downrange at 3500+ fps and a 120-grain bullet downrange around 3300 fps or so, but accomplishes these terrific velocities by inefficiently using a large case filled with a huge deal of powder (for the caliber size), with resultant reduced barrel life, increased recoil, increased muzzle blast and increased expense in terms of powder and brass. The 25-06, while a terrific cartridge in terms of performance, also uses more powder, a larger case, and a longer (and generally a heavier) action than does either a 257 Roberts or AI. Logically, then, Barsness should sing the praises of the 257 Roberts and 257 AI over the 25-06 and 257 Weatherby, but he does not.(As for me, I'm rather preferential about about using cartridges that give me excellent efficiency, excellent bang-for-the-buck performance, and which don't require a huge amount of powder, a big case, and lots of recoil, muzzle blast and expense. (Where's the fun in that?) And with modern powders like Accurate 3100, Reloader 19, and Hodgen H-100-V, a handloader with a good rifle can achieve velocities in his 257 Roberts and 257 AI that were once the sole domain of much larger (and far less efficient) .257 cartridges. In my shooting notebook, the 257 Roberts and 257 AI are the real winners in the .25 caliber rifle department.I hesitate to say this, but there are times where I sense (perhaps wrongly)"political" agendas or political publishing decisions behind whether a gun writer pushes a cartridge or disfavors a cartridge in an article, as if the relative merits of a cartridge (or lack thereof) shouldn't be the only thing that matters. I'm pleased to say here that I've never noticed this "politicalness" in DP's writings--could this be, perhaps, because DP is an old fart who doesn't give a sh*t about what rifle manufacturers and ammunition manufacturers think?--and I have always been pleased that DP tends to use (and praise in his writings) cartridges that have been around for many decades (or a century or more) for the simple reason that they are actual, real, proven, wonderful cartridges that don't kick much, cost much, and yet are perfectly deadly when a hunter puts the right bullet where he's supposed to. (Examples would be the 7x57 Mauser, the 6x55 Swedish Mauser, the Roberts, the Roberts AI, the 7mm-08, etc.)Thoughts, comments and analyses encouraged. Let the debates begin!T.W. DavidsonTyler, TX

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Only accurate rifles are interesting.One of Petzal's predecessors said that many years ago.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

It's tough to beat petzal as a writter.He doesn't pimp any cartridges really,if anything he promotes using enough gun for the shooter to handle.And his latest article on the 30/06 just reiterates what I told him in this blog when he was trying to push the .338win mag. Its all about the bullet.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Actually jack O said there was no differance in game performance between the 30/06,.270,.280 and 7mm rem mag.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

As to O garcia.I'm not angry about jarrett in the least.Just tired of writters latching onto these asswipes like they're royalty.The marine corp had the M700 accurized long before jarrett came along.If anything he copied them.Seyfried is very capable,he was world champion handgunner in 1980 and he's also one of the writters who hates the internet,because there's too many guys out there that shoot more then he does and test just as much gear as he does..Seyfried reminds me of Sundra.Guys who already have another income that supports them,yet write to have their names out there.The barrel break in process is bullshit on a custom rifle barrel.One of the whole reasons you pay out the nose for a custom barrel,is because its already lapped and "broke in".Jarretts in house barrels are probably on par with factory rough and do need to be smoothed out,which is why he charges you to do "load development".

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Jim Carmichel is a prime example of a writter thats trying to hold onto the past,to try and make himself into something he isn't.Jims .280 fixation,is nothing but the same crap Jack O did with the .270,Elmer did it with big bores and Page did with the mashburn.A while back a comment appeared in Outdoor life from a reader,after Jim did yet another article on his beloved .280.It said "Poor old Jim still latched to the .280,he's like a proud grandparent no matter how bad somethings run into the ground,they'll still hang it on the refrigerator.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

He's doing his own free lance and I believe sports afield has him doing work also.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flip wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Re Barsness:Anyone know where John landed when he left Wolfe? He wasn't listed as the Editor of HUNTING when the latest issue came out, so I assume he is gone from Wolfe permanently. Although, his wife still does the cooking column. John was one of the best writers Wolfe had. He really knew his s**t, so he's going to be hard to replace. If anyone knows where he landed, please post it here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Good stuff Garcia... I like Carmichael and everyone has their favorite caliber what the heck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I think Carmichaels opinion of the 280 over the 270 is legitimate as is his love and reasoning behind the 338.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

1st, my apologies to Mr. Petzal for mentioning way too many writers from other magazines. Now I'll do it again :)Just so you'll know I don't regard Jim C. a saint, I'll say he's "pushing" for a lot of stuff that I regard as "futile"(the pushing, that is)-1)the .220 Swift - wonderfully fast cartridge yes, but hobbled by that one problem we cannot argue around, that semi-rimmed case that causes loading and feeding problems for some (I said for "some", before anyone angrily calls me an idiot)2) the 6.5 caliber - enough already. a great caliber, yes, but just not the flavor America likes. America likes .243 Win., .270 Win. and .30 calibers. deal with it. some things are simply not meant to be.3) same thing with the .280 Rem. I think most here agree that the .280 is a great cartridge, and that the .270 and .280 are basically equal, but when one writer suggests that .280 is better, and does that once every decade, like Jim does, I think that's pushing too far (even if only once every decade). Especially when he uses a quote from a dead guy (O'Connor) that goes "have it made a .280 Remington, it's a better caliber."Again, as with the 6.5, enough already. Some things just aren't meant to be.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

O Garcia,I couldn't agree more. Never liked jarrets '150 round break in'. I'll do it myself.Anyone who wants to jump on Carmichaels ass is a never been there fool.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,I wasn't suggesting we buy Weatherby calibers, just saying that some factories actually make good stuff. Whether that was spurred by Jarrett or not is up to historians to judge. Personally, I'd also give some credit to Warren Page, Brown Precision, Shilen, McMillan, etc.Dick McPlenty,I'm skeptical about a lot of "custom" business going on around, including "Orange County Choppers" and Kenny Jarrett, but I don't quite share your anger (I'm assuming you are angry). Please let me make that clear. But I'm happy to see another guy posting a dissenting opinion.I didn't know about Barsness' recent affair with Wolfe. The writer I quoted in my first post ("if there's a need for load development, what's wrong with the rifle? A "really" good custom rifle should be able to shoot well with any reasonable load.") was the now vanished Ross Seyfried. Seyfried never bought into the "Jarrett barrel breaking in method" and all other "accuracy-centered" hype because he had (according to him) shot or witnessed shot, exquisitely accurate rifles of over 100 years old (usually of British or German make), with beautiful walnut stocks and blued steel, and none of them have had their barrels broken in by the Jarrett method. Seyfried also was skeptical about molycoating bullets (back when that was the fad), and never really bought into Lazzeroni. He's quite an opinionated guy, you could say.I think the reason Jim Carmichel disliked the online forums is because:1)there's way too much boorish behavior, as we witnessed during the crucifixion of Jim Zumbo2) Jim thought many of the posters are recommending what he thought were dangerous loads.Otherwise, I don't know how you could find Jim's experience lacking. Obviously he hasn't hunted in every country on earth, nor every game animal there is. Neither did O'Connor. Nobody ever has, not even Keith or Wooters.But Jim's known as a rifle shot of considerable skill, is an experienced handloader, works a ballistics lab at OL, has hunted in Africa, and just about everywhere people usually hunt. Maybe some of the guys on the online forums have more experience than Jim, but how much more experience does he need to have?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Billy wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I would like to comment on Mr Jarrett, I have never met the man, probably never will. But the man has made a living building guns. I find it hard for people to pass judgement on something they can't do themselves. People can say what they want, but he is, and will continue to be successful. Are there other options, sure. And I can assure you that I will never pay what it cost for a gun in his price range. There are several gun makers who make affordable sub-moa guns, but thats not what its always about. If a gun is only accurate with one load it is still accurate. Don't be a hater unless you can do better.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Just read the F&S buck in Wisconsin has been taken by a bow hunter. Go to Whitetail 365.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Thanks, Dave!I, too, met Kenny (1991), on my way home from the Gulf War. I found him to be a truly honest, Christian gentleman, and riflebuilder of the first order. He and his family entertained me for a day, I ordered one of his rifles, and still enjoy hunting with it, to this day. Thanks for giving credit where it is due, and for being who you are. I met you at Harrisburg a few years ago, and have followed your writing ever since. Hope to see you there again, someday, or out in the hunting field.... Give me a shout if you want to visit me in Alaska.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andrew wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

25 years ago Jarrett contributed much to the firearms industry and showed what modern technology could produce- so give him his props (notice I've adjusted my language for the new administration).In 2008, we can buy a MOA rifle from 3-5 different gun makers for $1000 or less. I am looking at a nicely constructed 308 for that price- with a decent scope.P.S. I would NEVER buy any gun that would shoot factory ammo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Come on, ClayYou know what I meant. Most hunters, present company excluded, are lousy shots - period. I am confident most of the regulars on this blog are competent marksmen.The once a year shooters are the majority of hunters. I don't know how many times I hear guys saying, " Yeah, deer season is next week. I guess I need to get to the range and zero my rifle."This year, we had three new hunters in our elk hunt group. One shot a deer up the hill above the cabin and I went up to help him bring the deer down. At the scene, I asked him how far the deer ran. He said it almost dropped in it's tracks. One shot, entry and exit wound. I asked him where he was when he shot and he pointed to a spot about 50 yards away. He turned white when I pointed out that he shot directly toward the cabin a scant 400 yards away with nothing between him and the cabin but a little brush. He turned a little red when I chewed his ass telling him what an unsafe act that was considering there were four of us standing outside the cabin, including his dad.Three were also spread out down a little valley one day and a herd of 15-20 elk wandered over the ridge from where I was sitting into their range. The ensuing 12-15 shots fired yielded 2 cow elk down. Geez, I thought they were in a firefight with each other! All three shooting big magnums. No shot taken past 250 yards.Those folks will not be back next year, period.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Sounds like no one's buying it Dave... Maybe a time line and a few more statistics pertaining to Jarrett's influence. Maybe even a factory rep who says they were dragged out of the dark ages by custom sub-MOA weapons. Maybe everybody just got better and it had nothing to do with your boy. I don't think working up loads to make a gun shoot counts the same as producing accurate weapons. I've seen a gun that shoots three inch groups with factory ammo become sub MOA with the right load. Is that an accurate gun or not?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Barsness isn't with wolfe,he may still have an obligation for a couple more articles but he was released this past summer.I'm skeptical of anything a gun writter pushes.Lefty Kreh summed it up best.You start this business wanting products given to you at cost.Then later you want them to give you their product for free,then in the final stages of the game you want them to pay you to use their shit.If Dave went around saying jarrett sucked donkey balls,how many freebee's do you think he'd get from jarrett? Not only that as writters,they run out of things to write about.So they latch onto names and write about them.Jarrett would be one of them.Throwing away perfectly good drill bits in the search of the perfectly phucked over rebuilt M700,just adds more mystique to an otherwise boring wicker built hillbilly and it obviously worked because you remembered it in the article.Carmichel hates the internet hunting forums,because there's too many people on them that have more experience then he does and shoot more then he does.The net has brought the era of big name shooting editors to an end.I do think Petzal is a class act and he's embraced the inevitable well with this blog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

O GarciaTo pay over twice the price of ammo to only gain 175-200 fps for shooting Weatherby just isn’t worth it. I’ve shot more deer with my 22-250 than all my rifles put together!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

there was something in an old article written by Jim Carmichel about Kenny Jarrett that struck me as odd. this was still in 1990 or so, when Jarrett still used Remington actions. Jim C. wrote that Jarrett replaces his drill bits when they get dull with brand new ones, and would never use resharpened drill bits for his smithing operations because resharpening drill bits often leaves the bits "off center.My reaction to that, which basically fueled my skepticism today is this: here's a guy who tells a gun owner his factory rifle is basically crap and needs "truing", and that he(Jarrett) has just the skills to do the job, and yet he (Jarrett) would never resharpen a drill bit for fear that the bit would go "off center" and trusts that drill bits coming out of the factory are true and properly centered.If Kenny Jarrett can trust a drill bit manufacturer, I can trust Savage, Browning or Weatherby. Right?I hope I didn't confuse everybody. BTW, Jim Carmichel, who I respect a lot (and is probably one of the nicest guys around, or ever) is also a fan of Jarrett's.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Barsness is still very much with Wolfe.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

That writter wouldn't be John Barsness would it..He's had some good experiences with NULA.Jarrett really didn't do much other then market himself better then others.I've met more then one customer of jarretts that after buying one of his rifles found out it was nothing but hype.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

TylerTry the Ruger LCP 380 , sweet little gun

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

While we marvel at the Jarrett's technical prowess with custom loads, how about the 'mass-produced' Weatherby rifle that shoots 1.5MOA (or better in some models) with Weatherby 'factory' loads (and shoots it at incredible speed too)?Or the Howa, Browning A-Bolt, or Savage that does more or less the same thing with Federal or Winchester ammo?Basically, my opinion on Kenny Jarrett's rifles is the same as that of a former gunwriter (who left Wolfe under less than pleasant terms) who asked "if there's a need for load development, what's wrong with the rifle? A "really" good custom rifle should be able to shoot well with any reasonable load."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I bought a browning W/a BOSS in .300 Win Mag. (stock) read the book on the BOSS system, even though my buddy (Cert. Gunsmith)said "They ar'nt worth a damn" and told me I bought an over priced gun,(got it on sale for $675.00+ tax) then took it and him to the range and showed him and a Jarrett owner what a "Crap stock rifle" can do, sub-MOA with two sets of shoys with two rounds in practicaly the same hole. I'll take the moneysaved to buy more re-loader equip. Thanks Kenny.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Here we go again!WA MtnhunterMost hunters can't hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle out past 200 yards?Are you going to let Alex age 9 out shoot you and that Little Man has training and the confidence to do it!Instead of talking about MOA on the bench, how about MOP (Minute Of Pieplate) in the field!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

And I'm with Jim... don't buy anything at a gun show if you are depending upon it to save your life. Just not a good idea.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Jarrett did what Dave said he did... he showed everyone what could really be accomplished and it made the factories stand up and take notice and make their rifles more accurate. Give him a standing ovation and don't buy his overpriced masterpieces if you don't want one.Tyler are you serious? I'm assuming LEO is law enforcement officer and you're asking for information about handguns? Don't they make you shoot x amount of rounds a month? Don't they familiarize you with different weapons and how they work in case you take one away from a perp? Am I dreaming??? Okay, take a deep breath. If you are serious about a back up I guess you have a .40 semi auto. S&W makes the best revolvers if you don't want a Ruger .44 Mag in your pants and you don't. Try their super lightweight .357's and .38's and see what feels good in your hands and pants. Many LEO's prefer a wheelgun because of their dependability and ease of operation. If you get shot your mind may not be firing on all cylinders and you can use one with one hand if your arm gets severed... Kel-tec makes really small .380's that I've heard are excellent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Tyler (NC),If your gun shows are like those we have around here be very careful. If your looking at used guns expect to pay top dollar and you have no idea the condition they're in and no guarantee.Google Ruger or S&W and look at what they've got, prices, and which one suits your needs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tyler (NC) wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Red Flame:Saw this on Yahoo Thought you would be intrested since you thought stocks would surge after Obamahttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081105/ap_on_bi_st_ma_re/wall_street

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

It's (currently) a capitalist's market. If Jarrett can charge what he does, get buyers that accept the value, and stay in business, great! As for getting bargains in the aftermarket, I am not complaining. Buy and enjoy!I truly, truly appreciate accuracy, but also truly appreciated my old pie-plate MOA Model 71. Would get another to use in the woods, except the prices have gone the wrong direction. I am complaining about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Actually own a used jarret in .280AI.I paid right at 70%less then what it cost new.It shoots under an inch.Damn near a year before I bought the jarrett,I had a M700 action trued,trigger lightened,krieger barrel chambered for .280AI installed and a mickey classic stock installed.That rig cost me a little over 100 bucks less then the jarrett.It shoots and functions just as well as the jarrett,plus I got all new hardware.The bottom line is there's hundreds of smiths here in america that can build the same phucked over rebuilt M700 as jarrett,for a fraction of the cost.Yet still perform just as well.Mickey Coleman is probably in the top 10 of realistic riflesmiths,that cost a fraction of jarretts.Sisk gets alot of press,but you can buy a nula for less then one of his phucked over rebuilt M700.I also have two NULA's.One in .223 rem and one in 30/06.They are what a hunting rifle should be and cost a fraction of what Jarretts rifles cost brand new.Melvin Forbes is the working mans custom rifle maker and yet his quality is as good as anything costing 5 times as much.When melvins gone a true lose will be felt.I hope that hillbilly never comes to his senses and starts charging what his rifles are worth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from brian wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Who will care which rifle is the best after Obama takes them all away

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tyler (NC) wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Now that Obama has won, and there is conviently a gun show in town this weekend I want to buy my first hand gun. Any suggestions? Im thinking about a revolver but any and all suggestions are appreciated.FYI I work as LEO and am therefor paid as such so lets not go down the 1911 route. Id prefer something I can use as back up

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

To Mr. Mcplenty . . .Seems like you're being unnecessarily hard on Jarrett and his rifles. Have you ever owned one or shot one? I have not, nor have I ever met Mr. Jarrett, nor can I afford one of his rifles, but I appreciate a finely crafted, superbly accurate and beautiful rifle as much as anyone, and besides, no one is forced to buy a Jarrett rifle, and I doubt very much that Mr. Jarrett forces anyone to buy his rifles. It is a free market out there and a crowded one at that. Obviously, Jarrett's rifles are incredibly accurate, well-crafted and even beautiful, otherwise he wouldn't be in business today.Sure, I admit to you that the average $500 plastic stock Savage bolt action will shoot sub-MOA groups--I have a .270 Savage that ALWAYS shoots sub-MOA groups--but there is nothing beautiful or particularly well-crafted about such a mass-produced rifle either. It is one in a line of boring millions. On the other hand, sometimes we pay for craftsmanship and beauty, as well as superb accuracy, and find, with time, that our hard-earned dollar was well spent.T.W. DavidsonTyler, TX

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

LMAO eyeball!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Oh, and Red Blade, go easy on that Praise Allah stuff. The worst enemy a Muslim has in this world is another Muslim. If the USA went Muslim, we'd bomb the snot out of every heretic in the mideast (everybody) and claim we were doing it for their own good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

If you can throw a bass fiddle 200 yards, you don't need a rifle, period!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Amen Clay!Get close + shoot straight = meat in the freezer.I get so tired of hearing the blah blah blah about energy, drop, etc. for the mythical 400-600 yard shots. Most hunters can't hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle out past 200 yards.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

The NULA offers you an action and complete rifle that will be the lightest in its class(which is important for those that actually still hunt on foot),capable of sub moa accuracy with a crummy douglas barrel no less and your great great grandchildren couldn't wear the SOB out.All for around $2800-$3000.A fraction of what jarrett gets for some phucked over rebuilt M700 action,a mcmillan stock and aftermarket trigger.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Kenny Jarrett rifles are about as overrated as you can get.I've seen a couple dozen of his rifles sold used over the last ten years and at best they sell for 60% less then new.They're also the most available used rifle of any custom maker,which clearly shows what little attachment their owners feel for them.Melvin Forbes of NULA,offers 100x the rifle for the least money.Noslers retired test action of melvins ula says it all. Jarrett would have to stand on his mothers shoulders,to kiss melvins arse.On top of this melvins stock design is so good,you don't need a halfassed muzzle brake.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

OK, I will give these guys credit for making accurate rifles for benchrest shooting, but I will also be critical of them for making hunters think that they now have the right to shoot at animals at 600 yards plus over beanfields or meadows. This is NOT something that we should be proud of. Shooting at targets is one thing, but shooting at game is something else. No reason why someone should feel the need to kill something at 600 yards when it can be done at much shorter distances and at the same time be a lot surer of a clean kill.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Funny thing?The most successful hunters I know shoot MOP (Minute Of Pieplate) at 100 yards!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Blade wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Praise Allah! A good El-Pres at last! Hope he bans Pork products & makes you all study the Koran!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Red Blade wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Praise Allah! A good El-Pres at last! Hope he bans Pork products & makes you all study the Koran!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 22 weeks ago

Good discussion on one of my favorite cartridges - .257 Roberts.I have never thought of using the .257 Roberts on elk. The .35 Whelen does such a magnificent job, I never thought of using anything else, except maybe my .30-06.The debate rages on.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Mr. Garcia . . .It would seem that you and I have both read Barsness's 257 AI article from years ago.Although I cannot attest as to the accuracy of Barsness's claimed group sizes with the 257 Roberts or 257 AI, I can say that with my daughter's 257 Roberts rifle (Model 70 Featherweight, 22" barrel) and my 257 AI (Remington 700, 24" barrel), moa groups with handloads are entirely possible, and if either she or I are having a good day at the range, sub-moa groups are possible with some of our carefully developed loads. Certainly not all of them, but some of them, yes.I recommend that you (and anyone else who is interested) take a look at Hodgdon Powder Company's online data site for handloaders, which includes loads for the 257 Roberts using H-100-V powder. Although (in my view) most of the data that Hodgdon publishes for handloaders tends to be pretty conservative, using H-100-V powder the company lists 257 Roberts 100-grain bullets going out the barrel at over 3200 fps, and 115-grain bullets going out the barrel at over 3050 fps, all with non-spectacular chamber pressures. I was skeptical about Hodgdon's data until I tried it in my daughter's 257 Roberts, and even with a 22" barrel the published data was right on the money or even a touch conservative. Using Hodgon's exact load data (and carefully building up to the maximum published load, using 1/2 grain increases in 3-round test groups for each respective hotter load), I achieved muzzle velocities with 100-grain bullets of around 3250 fps and muzzle velocitys of around 3060 fps with 115-grain and 117-grain bullets, all with brass that retained tight primer pockets and indicated no high pressure signs whatsoever. Impressive!As for the 257 AI, I recommend you take a look at Accurate Arms Company Smokeless Powders Loading Guide Number Two (Revised), which is available online (for free). The 257 AI loads in that guide, using AA4350 and AA3100, are loaded to the same chamber pressures as the 25-06, and equal or even exceed 25-06 performance. I have used the same load data in my own 257 AI and have found it to be conservative; e.g., my past and current 257 AI rifles have all shot 50-75 fps faster than the published Accurate Powder Company loads using the same exact data, all with no pressure problems. Reloader 19 and Reloader 22, as well as H-100-V, are also excellent powders for the 257 AI. With H-100-V (and now unavailable Norma 205)I have (safely) seen 3400 fps muzzle velocities using 100-grain bullets and around 3225 fps (or a bit more) using 115-120 grain bullets. (Oddly enough, 120-grain Nosler Partitions tend to go out the barrel of my rifle faster than most other manufacturer's 115-grain bullets, although why this is so remains a pleasant puzzle to me.)As for the 7x57 Mauser, the Nosler No. 6 Reloading Guide shows 140-grain bullets going out a 22" barrel at 2892 fps with 51.5 grains of Reloader 19, and a 150-grain bullet going out a 22" barrel at 2831 fps with 51 grains of Reloader 19. Both are accurate, non-high pressure loads. With a 24" barrel those same loads would have a muzzle velocity of around 2950 fps and 2890, respectively, which is only slightly behind typical factory 270 Winchester 140-grain and 15-grain loads.The 7x57 Mauser, when loaded up to snuff in a strong action, is an incredibly efficient, light recoil, yet wonderfully lethal round, every bit the equal of the 7m-08, particularly since the two respective cases have essentially the same total powder capacity. I believe Barsness's velocity claims for the 7x57 round (using strong rifles) are accurate.Questions of the day:If a handloader uses one of today's high technology bullets (such as the Barnes MRX or TSX, the Berger VLDs, the Nosler Accubonds, etc.) to hunt deer or hogs or even elk or moose, and if the handloader keeps his/her shots within 300 yards or less, and if the handloader is a conscientious shot who puts his/her bullet in the heart-lungs every time (or he/she doesn't take the shot at all), then what does it matter, if at all, whether the super bullet comes from a 257 Roberts versus a 6.5-284 versus a 270 versus a 7x57 Mauser versus a 7mm Mag, or even versus a 7mm STW or 300 Winchester Mag?If the bullet hits in the right area with enough velocity to properly and timely expand, what does it matter whether the bullet is .257, .264, .277, 7mm or .308 in caliber if all of them are lethal?How does, if at all, a bigger, faster, heavier bullet make any real difference in such circumstances?Thoughts or comments? DP? Anyone?T.W. DavidsonTyler, TX

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Apologies again to DP for mentioning non-FS writers.I don't know Barsness' recent opinions about the 257 AI but I do recall an old article of him praising it for doing as much while having less recoil than the 25-06. My only problem with that of course, is that the .257 Rob. (on which the AI is based) isn't as popular as it once was, and a new gun owner will more likely go 25-06.In his later years with Wolfe, the one "change" I detected was when he indicated his growing preference for the .30 cal. magnums vs. the .338 (even though he had highly praised the .338 and other middle 30s in the past), mainly due to RECOIL, which became more intolerable as he grew older. But I think he made it clear that the .338 remains a great choice to those who can handle it.As for the Weatherby cartridges, in the only Barsness articles I've read praising them, he mentioned that the .270 Weatherby is one of Roy's masterpieces, but that it wasn't the only one. I think he also liked the .300 Wby.Although I'm skeptical about the velocities and groups he was wringing out of the 257 Rob. and 7Mauser, I liked Barsness, although he often opposed Ross Seyfried on where the Nosler Ballistic Tip stands. If Aagrd, Barsness and Seyfried are out of Wolfe, I'm not reading their mags anytime soon. Just my opinion.I also liked Ross Seyfried, unfortunately, he doesn't seem to have any 'active' gunwriting job. I think he now writes about ATV's.No matter what one can say about how he was kicked out of Wolfe, at least as far as the stuff he wrote, Ross made sense to me. He never subscribed to the "latest is best" philosophy (he won his pistol championship with Pachmayr 1911's, and he believes those pistols are still among the very best). Basically, if you told Ross your high tech rifle shoots minute of angle at 1,000 yards, he'd tell you that in the 19th century a rifle by Sir Joseph Whitworth did the same with black powder and open sights.And yes, he always advised (maybe quoting some older gunwriter he believed in) that "nothing, but nothing is more important than the bullet." How can one disagree with that? Of course, we know Ross is biased toward the Fail Safe, but the advice remains sound IMO.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DavidS wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

well, i for one, if i could afford it would be proud to own one of his guns. it is not about shooting all of your game @ 600 yards, it is about being ABLE TO, if the need arrises. how good would you feel if the buck of your life just would not come any closer tha 400 yards. the ovewhelming majority of us would HAVE to let it walk. if you knew that you had a rifle that was more than capable of the task, and you did your part( by practicing) then you would feel pretty darned great about that 400 yard shot. and rightfully so! when i had the place to shoot, i used to pracice @ 300 yards with my remington 700 300 win mag. i could shoot 4 shots in a 4" circle with factory ammo off the hood of my truck. it is not that big of a deal, it just takes practice and concentration. while 4" @ 300 yards isnt bad, it certainly is not up to Jarrets standards. i need to find a place where i can shoot 300 yards (or more) again, because now, i have the time. and i handload. so maybe, just maybe, i could do even better.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I've talked to barsness several times and had him claim the 30/06 was the cartridge he'd killed the most animals with,only to later have him claim the .270win.I like barsness,because he hunts the same game I do and also uses mostly stock rifles.He pimps Sisk a bit,but doesn't go overboard.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Hello, Everyone . . .Re John Barsness--Does anyone know what actually happened (if anything)between Barsness and Wolfe Publishing? I am very curious about this.I have read Barness's articles for a number of years. While in general I respect his writing, and while I believe that Barness is a very experienced handloader, shooter and hunter, in the last year or two I detected contradictions in his writings (in contrast to articles by him written years earlier) about certain cartridges and velocities and loads, but didn't know what to make of it. I could only hypothesize that either Barness did not keep track of his own articles about cartridges/loads/velocities over the years, or, for whatever reason, he had decided to disfavor a cartridge he had previously highly praised, and more highly favor a cartridge or cartridges he had previously been more neutral about. As to why Barsness would do this, I have no idea.Barsness wrote an article several years ago about the .257 Ackley Improved (AI), which article also discussed the .257 Roberts and 25-06. A year or so ago he wrote an article about .257 caliber cartridges in general, which contained in that article contradictory (and not particularly positive or even less than positive) "facts" about the 257 AI in comparison to the positive "facts" about the 257 AI he had listed in his article from several years ago. The older article, though highly complimentary of the 257 Roberts and its capabilities when handloaded (Barsness specifically mentioned 100-grain bullets going out the barrel at over 3200 FPS and 115-120 grain bullets approaching but not quite reaching 3000 FPS), positively gushed with enthusiasm about the 257 AI and its equal-to-or-better-than-25-06 ballistics when loaded to the same chamber pressure as a 25-06, particularly when using powders such as Accurate 3100 and Reloader 19.Here's the rub between Barsness's older 257 AI article as compared to his more recent .257 cartidges article: In Barsness's more recent article, he signficantly downplayed the 257 AI (he basically did not praise it at all), but highly praised the 25-06 and 257 Weatherby, and (somewhat) praised the 257 Roberts, too (but less so than in his article from several years ago). Given that Barsness is an avid handloader who appears to load for all .257 caliber cartridges he shoots, neither article seems to have a bias about whether any one particular .257 cartridge is "harder" or "easier" to handload versus another, nor did the more recent article mention "cartridge efficiency" (e.g., the fact that, as per P.O. Ackley's studies and tests, the 257 Roberts and 257 AI are far more "efficient" cartridges than a 25-06 or 257 Weatherby because the Roberts and AI cases produce more velocity per grain of powder than does the 25-06, and much more so than the 257 Weatherby) although the older article praised the 257 AI for being more "efficient" than the 25-06.Summary: In his more recent article Barsness now (heavily) favors the 25-06 and 257 Weatherby over his previous sweetheart, the 257 AI, the same cartridge he previously lavished praise about (while not praising or even disfavoring the 25-06) in his earlier article. Why this is so I have no idea.As we all know, the 257 Weatherby can put a 100-grain bullet downrange at 3500+ fps and a 120-grain bullet downrange around 3300 fps or so, but accomplishes these terrific velocities by inefficiently using a large case filled with a huge deal of powder (for the caliber size), with resultant reduced barrel life, increased recoil, increased muzzle blast and increased expense in terms of powder and brass. The 25-06, while a terrific cartridge in terms of performance, also uses more powder, a larger case, and a longer (and generally a heavier) action than does either a 257 Roberts or AI. Logically, then, Barsness should sing the praises of the 257 Roberts and 257 AI over the 25-06 and 257 Weatherby, but he does not.(As for me, I'm rather preferential about about using cartridges that give me excellent efficiency, excellent bang-for-the-buck performance, and which don't require a huge amount of powder, a big case, and lots of recoil, muzzle blast and expense. (Where's the fun in that?) And with modern powders like Accurate 3100, Reloader 19, and Hodgen H-100-V, a handloader with a good rifle can achieve velocities in his 257 Roberts and 257 AI that were once the sole domain of much larger (and far less efficient) .257 cartridges. In my shooting notebook, the 257 Roberts and 257 AI are the real winners in the .25 caliber rifle department.I hesitate to say this, but there are times where I sense (perhaps wrongly)"political" agendas or political publishing decisions behind whether a gun writer pushes a cartridge or disfavors a cartridge in an article, as if the relative merits of a cartridge (or lack thereof) shouldn't be the only thing that matters. I'm pleased to say here that I've never noticed this "politicalness" in DP's writings--could this be, perhaps, because DP is an old fart who doesn't give a sh*t about what rifle manufacturers and ammunition manufacturers think?--and I have always been pleased that DP tends to use (and praise in his writings) cartridges that have been around for many decades (or a century or more) for the simple reason that they are actual, real, proven, wonderful cartridges that don't kick much, cost much, and yet are perfectly deadly when a hunter puts the right bullet where he's supposed to. (Examples would be the 7x57 Mauser, the 6x55 Swedish Mauser, the Roberts, the Roberts AI, the 7mm-08, etc.)Thoughts, comments and analyses encouraged. Let the debates begin!T.W. DavidsonTyler, TX

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Only accurate rifles are interesting.One of Petzal's predecessors said that many years ago.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

It's tough to beat petzal as a writter.He doesn't pimp any cartridges really,if anything he promotes using enough gun for the shooter to handle.And his latest article on the 30/06 just reiterates what I told him in this blog when he was trying to push the .338win mag. Its all about the bullet.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Actually jack O said there was no differance in game performance between the 30/06,.270,.280 and 7mm rem mag.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

As to O garcia.I'm not angry about jarrett in the least.Just tired of writters latching onto these asswipes like they're royalty.The marine corp had the M700 accurized long before jarrett came along.If anything he copied them.Seyfried is very capable,he was world champion handgunner in 1980 and he's also one of the writters who hates the internet,because there's too many guys out there that shoot more then he does and test just as much gear as he does..Seyfried reminds me of Sundra.Guys who already have another income that supports them,yet write to have their names out there.The barrel break in process is bullshit on a custom rifle barrel.One of the whole reasons you pay out the nose for a custom barrel,is because its already lapped and "broke in".Jarretts in house barrels are probably on par with factory rough and do need to be smoothed out,which is why he charges you to do "load development".

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Jim Carmichel is a prime example of a writter thats trying to hold onto the past,to try and make himself into something he isn't.Jims .280 fixation,is nothing but the same crap Jack O did with the .270,Elmer did it with big bores and Page did with the mashburn.A while back a comment appeared in Outdoor life from a reader,after Jim did yet another article on his beloved .280.It said "Poor old Jim still latched to the .280,he's like a proud grandparent no matter how bad somethings run into the ground,they'll still hang it on the refrigerator.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

He's doing his own free lance and I believe sports afield has him doing work also.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flip wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Re Barsness:Anyone know where John landed when he left Wolfe? He wasn't listed as the Editor of HUNTING when the latest issue came out, so I assume he is gone from Wolfe permanently. Although, his wife still does the cooking column. John was one of the best writers Wolfe had. He really knew his s**t, so he's going to be hard to replace. If anyone knows where he landed, please post it here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Good stuff Garcia... I like Carmichael and everyone has their favorite caliber what the heck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I think Carmichaels opinion of the 280 over the 270 is legitimate as is his love and reasoning behind the 338.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

1st, my apologies to Mr. Petzal for mentioning way too many writers from other magazines. Now I'll do it again :)Just so you'll know I don't regard Jim C. a saint, I'll say he's "pushing" for a lot of stuff that I regard as "futile"(the pushing, that is)-1)the .220 Swift - wonderfully fast cartridge yes, but hobbled by that one problem we cannot argue around, that semi-rimmed case that causes loading and feeding problems for some (I said for "some", before anyone angrily calls me an idiot)2) the 6.5 caliber - enough already. a great caliber, yes, but just not the flavor America likes. America likes .243 Win., .270 Win. and .30 calibers. deal with it. some things are simply not meant to be.3) same thing with the .280 Rem. I think most here agree that the .280 is a great cartridge, and that the .270 and .280 are basically equal, but when one writer suggests that .280 is better, and does that once every decade, like Jim does, I think that's pushing too far (even if only once every decade). Especially when he uses a quote from a dead guy (O'Connor) that goes "have it made a .280 Remington, it's a better caliber."Again, as with the 6.5, enough already. Some things just aren't meant to be.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

O Garcia,I couldn't agree more. Never liked jarrets '150 round break in'. I'll do it myself.Anyone who wants to jump on Carmichaels ass is a never been there fool.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Clay Cooper,I wasn't suggesting we buy Weatherby calibers, just saying that some factories actually make good stuff. Whether that was spurred by Jarrett or not is up to historians to judge. Personally, I'd also give some credit to Warren Page, Brown Precision, Shilen, McMillan, etc.Dick McPlenty,I'm skeptical about a lot of "custom" business going on around, including "Orange County Choppers" and Kenny Jarrett, but I don't quite share your anger (I'm assuming you are angry). Please let me make that clear. But I'm happy to see another guy posting a dissenting opinion.I didn't know about Barsness' recent affair with Wolfe. The writer I quoted in my first post ("if there's a need for load development, what's wrong with the rifle? A "really" good custom rifle should be able to shoot well with any reasonable load.") was the now vanished Ross Seyfried. Seyfried never bought into the "Jarrett barrel breaking in method" and all other "accuracy-centered" hype because he had (according to him) shot or witnessed shot, exquisitely accurate rifles of over 100 years old (usually of British or German make), with beautiful walnut stocks and blued steel, and none of them have had their barrels broken in by the Jarrett method. Seyfried also was skeptical about molycoating bullets (back when that was the fad), and never really bought into Lazzeroni. He's quite an opinionated guy, you could say.I think the reason Jim Carmichel disliked the online forums is because:1)there's way too much boorish behavior, as we witnessed during the crucifixion of Jim Zumbo2) Jim thought many of the posters are recommending what he thought were dangerous loads.Otherwise, I don't know how you could find Jim's experience lacking. Obviously he hasn't hunted in every country on earth, nor every game animal there is. Neither did O'Connor. Nobody ever has, not even Keith or Wooters.But Jim's known as a rifle shot of considerable skill, is an experienced handloader, works a ballistics lab at OL, has hunted in Africa, and just about everywhere people usually hunt. Maybe some of the guys on the online forums have more experience than Jim, but how much more experience does he need to have?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Billy wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I would like to comment on Mr Jarrett, I have never met the man, probably never will. But the man has made a living building guns. I find it hard for people to pass judgement on something they can't do themselves. People can say what they want, but he is, and will continue to be successful. Are there other options, sure. And I can assure you that I will never pay what it cost for a gun in his price range. There are several gun makers who make affordable sub-moa guns, but thats not what its always about. If a gun is only accurate with one load it is still accurate. Don't be a hater unless you can do better.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Just read the F&S buck in Wisconsin has been taken by a bow hunter. Go to Whitetail 365.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Thanks, Dave!I, too, met Kenny (1991), on my way home from the Gulf War. I found him to be a truly honest, Christian gentleman, and riflebuilder of the first order. He and his family entertained me for a day, I ordered one of his rifles, and still enjoy hunting with it, to this day. Thanks for giving credit where it is due, and for being who you are. I met you at Harrisburg a few years ago, and have followed your writing ever since. Hope to see you there again, someday, or out in the hunting field.... Give me a shout if you want to visit me in Alaska.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andrew wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

25 years ago Jarrett contributed much to the firearms industry and showed what modern technology could produce- so give him his props (notice I've adjusted my language for the new administration).In 2008, we can buy a MOA rifle from 3-5 different gun makers for $1000 or less. I am looking at a nicely constructed 308 for that price- with a decent scope.P.S. I would NEVER buy any gun that would shoot factory ammo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Come on, ClayYou know what I meant. Most hunters, present company excluded, are lousy shots - period. I am confident most of the regulars on this blog are competent marksmen.The once a year shooters are the majority of hunters. I don't know how many times I hear guys saying, " Yeah, deer season is next week. I guess I need to get to the range and zero my rifle."This year, we had three new hunters in our elk hunt group. One shot a deer up the hill above the cabin and I went up to help him bring the deer down. At the scene, I asked him how far the deer ran. He said it almost dropped in it's tracks. One shot, entry and exit wound. I asked him where he was when he shot and he pointed to a spot about 50 yards away. He turned white when I pointed out that he shot directly toward the cabin a scant 400 yards away with nothing between him and the cabin but a little brush. He turned a little red when I chewed his ass telling him what an unsafe act that was considering there were four of us standing outside the cabin, including his dad.Three were also spread out down a little valley one day and a herd of 15-20 elk wandered over the ridge from where I was sitting into their range. The ensuing 12-15 shots fired yielded 2 cow elk down. Geez, I thought they were in a firefight with each other! All three shooting big magnums. No shot taken past 250 yards.Those folks will not be back next year, period.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Sounds like no one's buying it Dave... Maybe a time line and a few more statistics pertaining to Jarrett's influence. Maybe even a factory rep who says they were dragged out of the dark ages by custom sub-MOA weapons. Maybe everybody just got better and it had nothing to do with your boy. I don't think working up loads to make a gun shoot counts the same as producing accurate weapons. I've seen a gun that shoots three inch groups with factory ammo become sub MOA with the right load. Is that an accurate gun or not?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Barsness isn't with wolfe,he may still have an obligation for a couple more articles but he was released this past summer.I'm skeptical of anything a gun writter pushes.Lefty Kreh summed it up best.You start this business wanting products given to you at cost.Then later you want them to give you their product for free,then in the final stages of the game you want them to pay you to use their shit.If Dave went around saying jarrett sucked donkey balls,how many freebee's do you think he'd get from jarrett? Not only that as writters,they run out of things to write about.So they latch onto names and write about them.Jarrett would be one of them.Throwing away perfectly good drill bits in the search of the perfectly phucked over rebuilt M700,just adds more mystique to an otherwise boring wicker built hillbilly and it obviously worked because you remembered it in the article.Carmichel hates the internet hunting forums,because there's too many people on them that have more experience then he does and shoot more then he does.The net has brought the era of big name shooting editors to an end.I do think Petzal is a class act and he's embraced the inevitable well with this blog.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

O GarciaTo pay over twice the price of ammo to only gain 175-200 fps for shooting Weatherby just isn’t worth it. I’ve shot more deer with my 22-250 than all my rifles put together!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

there was something in an old article written by Jim Carmichel about Kenny Jarrett that struck me as odd. this was still in 1990 or so, when Jarrett still used Remington actions. Jim C. wrote that Jarrett replaces his drill bits when they get dull with brand new ones, and would never use resharpened drill bits for his smithing operations because resharpening drill bits often leaves the bits "off center.My reaction to that, which basically fueled my skepticism today is this: here's a guy who tells a gun owner his factory rifle is basically crap and needs "truing", and that he(Jarrett) has just the skills to do the job, and yet he (Jarrett) would never resharpen a drill bit for fear that the bit would go "off center" and trusts that drill bits coming out of the factory are true and properly centered.If Kenny Jarrett can trust a drill bit manufacturer, I can trust Savage, Browning or Weatherby. Right?I hope I didn't confuse everybody. BTW, Jim Carmichel, who I respect a lot (and is probably one of the nicest guys around, or ever) is also a fan of Jarrett's.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Barsness is still very much with Wolfe.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

That writter wouldn't be John Barsness would it..He's had some good experiences with NULA.Jarrett really didn't do much other then market himself better then others.I've met more then one customer of jarretts that after buying one of his rifles found out it was nothing but hype.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

TylerTry the Ruger LCP 380 , sweet little gun

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

While we marvel at the Jarrett's technical prowess with custom loads, how about the 'mass-produced' Weatherby rifle that shoots 1.5MOA (or better in some models) with Weatherby 'factory' loads (and shoots it at incredible speed too)?Or the Howa, Browning A-Bolt, or Savage that does more or less the same thing with Federal or Winchester ammo?Basically, my opinion on Kenny Jarrett's rifles is the same as that of a former gunwriter (who left Wolfe under less than pleasant terms) who asked "if there's a need for load development, what's wrong with the rifle? A "really" good custom rifle should be able to shoot well with any reasonable load."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

I bought a browning W/a BOSS in .300 Win Mag. (stock) read the book on the BOSS system, even though my buddy (Cert. Gunsmith)said "They ar'nt worth a damn" and told me I bought an over priced gun,(got it on sale for $675.00+ tax) then took it and him to the range and showed him and a Jarrett owner what a "Crap stock rifle" can do, sub-MOA with two sets of shoys with two rounds in practicaly the same hole. I'll take the moneysaved to buy more re-loader equip. Thanks Kenny.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Here we go again!WA MtnhunterMost hunters can't hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle out past 200 yards?Are you going to let Alex age 9 out shoot you and that Little Man has training and the confidence to do it!Instead of talking about MOA on the bench, how about MOP (Minute Of Pieplate) in the field!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

And I'm with Jim... don't buy anything at a gun show if you are depending upon it to save your life. Just not a good idea.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dr. Ralph wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Jarrett did what Dave said he did... he showed everyone what could really be accomplished and it made the factories stand up and take notice and make their rifles more accurate. Give him a standing ovation and don't buy his overpriced masterpieces if you don't want one.Tyler are you serious? I'm assuming LEO is law enforcement officer and you're asking for information about handguns? Don't they make you shoot x amount of rounds a month? Don't they familiarize you with different weapons and how they work in case you take one away from a perp? Am I dreaming??? Okay, take a deep breath. If you are serious about a back up I guess you have a .40 semi auto. S&W makes the best revolvers if you don't want a Ruger .44 Mag in your pants and you don't. Try their super lightweight .357's and .38's and see what feels good in your hands and pants. Many LEO's prefer a wheelgun because of their dependability and ease of operation. If you get shot your mind may not be firing on all cylinders and you can use one with one hand if your arm gets severed... Kel-tec makes really small .380's that I've heard are excellent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Tyler (NC),If your gun shows are like those we have around here be very careful. If your looking at used guns expect to pay top dollar and you have no idea the condition they're in and no guarantee.Google Ruger or S&W and look at what they've got, prices, and which one suits your needs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tyler (NC) wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Red Flame:Saw this on Yahoo Thought you would be intrested since you thought stocks would surge after Obamahttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081105/ap_on_bi_st_ma_re/wall_street

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

It's (currently) a capitalist's market. If Jarrett can charge what he does, get buyers that accept the value, and stay in business, great! As for getting bargains in the aftermarket, I am not complaining. Buy and enjoy!I truly, truly appreciate accuracy, but also truly appreciated my old pie-plate MOA Model 71. Would get another to use in the woods, except the prices have gone the wrong direction. I am complaining about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Actually own a used jarret in .280AI.I paid right at 70%less then what it cost new.It shoots under an inch.Damn near a year before I bought the jarrett,I had a M700 action trued,trigger lightened,krieger barrel chambered for .280AI installed and a mickey classic stock installed.That rig cost me a little over 100 bucks less then the jarrett.It shoots and functions just as well as the jarrett,plus I got all new hardware.The bottom line is there's hundreds of smiths here in america that can build the same phucked over rebuilt M700 as jarrett,for a fraction of the cost.Yet still perform just as well.Mickey Coleman is probably in the top 10 of realistic riflesmiths,that cost a fraction of jarretts.Sisk gets alot of press,but you can buy a nula for less then one of his phucked over rebuilt M700.I also have two NULA's.One in .223 rem and one in 30/06.They are what a hunting rifle should be and cost a fraction of what Jarretts rifles cost brand new.Melvin Forbes is the working mans custom rifle maker and yet his quality is as good as anything costing 5 times as much.When melvins gone a true lose will be felt.I hope that hillbilly never comes to his senses and starts charging what his rifles are worth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tyler (NC) wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Now that Obama has won, and there is conviently a gun show in town this weekend I want to buy my first hand gun. Any suggestions? Im thinking about a revolver but any and all suggestions are appreciated.FYI I work as LEO and am therefor paid as such so lets not go down the 1911 route. Id prefer something I can use as back up

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

To Mr. Mcplenty . . .Seems like you're being unnecessarily hard on Jarrett and his rifles. Have you ever owned one or shot one? I have not, nor have I ever met Mr. Jarrett, nor can I afford one of his rifles, but I appreciate a finely crafted, superbly accurate and beautiful rifle as much as anyone, and besides, no one is forced to buy a Jarrett rifle, and I doubt very much that Mr. Jarrett forces anyone to buy his rifles. It is a free market out there and a crowded one at that. Obviously, Jarrett's rifles are incredibly accurate, well-crafted and even beautiful, otherwise he wouldn't be in business today.Sure, I admit to you that the average $500 plastic stock Savage bolt action will shoot sub-MOA groups--I have a .270 Savage that ALWAYS shoots sub-MOA groups--but there is nothing beautiful or particularly well-crafted about such a mass-produced rifle either. It is one in a line of boring millions. On the other hand, sometimes we pay for craftsmanship and beauty, as well as superb accuracy, and find, with time, that our hard-earned dollar was well spent.T.W. DavidsonTyler, TX

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

LMAO eyeball!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Oh, and Red Blade, go easy on that Praise Allah stuff. The worst enemy a Muslim has in this world is another Muslim. If the USA went Muslim, we'd bomb the snot out of every heretic in the mideast (everybody) and claim we were doing it for their own good.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeball wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

If you can throw a bass fiddle 200 yards, you don't need a rifle, period!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Amen Clay!Get close + shoot straight = meat in the freezer.I get so tired of hearing the blah blah blah about energy, drop, etc. for the mythical 400-600 yard shots. Most hunters can't hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle out past 200 yards.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

The NULA offers you an action and complete rifle that will be the lightest in its class(which is important for those that actually still hunt on foot),capable of sub moa accuracy with a crummy douglas barrel no less and your great great grandchildren couldn't wear the SOB out.All for around $2800-$3000.A fraction of what jarrett gets for some phucked over rebuilt M700 action,a mcmillan stock and aftermarket trigger.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dick Mcplenty wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Kenny Jarrett rifles are about as overrated as you can get.I've seen a couple dozen of his rifles sold used over the last ten years and at best they sell for 60% less then new.They're also the most available used rifle of any custom maker,which clearly shows what little attachment their owners feel for them.Melvin Forbes of NULA,offers 100x the rifle for the least money.Noslers retired test action of melvins ula says it all. Jarrett would have to stand on his mothers shoulders,to kiss melvins arse.On top of this melvins stock design is so good,you don't need a halfassed muzzle brake.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SL wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

OK, I will give these guys credit for making accurate rifles for benchrest shooting, but I will also be critical of them for making hunters think that they now have the right to shoot at animals at 600 yards plus over beanfields or meadows. This is NOT something that we should be proud of. Shooting at targets is one thing, but shooting at game is something else. No reason why someone should feel the need to kill something at 600 yards when it can be done at much shorter distances and at the same time be a lot surer of a clean kill.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Funny thing?The most successful hunters I know shoot MOP (Minute Of Pieplate) at 100 yards!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from brian wrote 5 years 23 weeks ago

Who will care which rifle is the best after Obama takes them all away

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment