Over the Easter weekend the New Zealand Service Rifle Association held its annual national service rifle competition. Coming first in the Classic Bolt Action class was Wellington Service Rifle member Nicole McKee. Nicole’s Rifle was built for her by her husband Duncan, who has a vast knowledge of the .303 British cartridge. This holds especially true in regard to shooting and accurizing the No. 4 and SMLE actions.
Nicole’s Rifle was fitted with the Criterion test barrel supplied to John Herbert of the New Zealand Repeating Arms Company. Nicole is also an NRA Palma shooter, and had the following comment regarding her new rifle that was built mere days before the match:
“Once the rifle had settled down and the action and barrel had bitten into the wood the rifle held waterline all day. At 600 yards it was only a few wind changes that caught me out. Its shooting very well and I very happy with it.”
Nicole’s load for this rifle included a Hornady 174 FMJ over 47 grains of ADI 2209 (H4350). ADI 2209 has recently become the top go-to powder for .303 British shooters in New Zealand.
Criterion personnel and barrel testers have been very happy with the accuracy results submitted by our sample barrel shooters. Plans are in place to begin running the first batch of No.4 barrels as soon as a some minor design changes are finalized. The completed blanks should be entering production by the end of the quarter, at which point pre-orders will be accepted through select Criterion distributors.