Legendary fox shooter Robert Bucknell has spent years refining his go-to foxing rifle set-up – and he reckons he’s got it just about perfect. He’s been using his current rifle for a couple of years – it’s based around a CAM action set in a carbon fibre stock.
“It’s solid steel all the way through, which makes it slightly heavy,” he says. “The Picatinny rail is machined into the top of the receiver so it’s absolutely rock solid.” The barrel is fluted with a 1 in 8.5 twist, and it’s in Robert’s favourite calibre of .223.
He has been using the same 69 grain Sierra match round since he started with a semi-auto in 1980. “I’ve got quite used to how it shoots,” he says, adding that he recently shot two foxes with one bullet – a first for him.
The CAM rifle has an M16 style bolt with 22.5 degree throw, so the bolt handle stays well clear of the scope. The rifle takes M16 type magazines, which Robert says is brilliant: “cheap and cheerful, and works every time.”
He has been very pleased with the XM50 Thermion thermal rifle scope that he fitted 18 months ago. “I put it on the rifle and sighted it in, and haven’t had to touch it since. It’s absolutely deadly on foxes. It’s got 5.5x magnification and I don’t have to alter anything, I just use it on that all the time.”
Other additions include an M14 butt-plate on the stock, and an ASU sound moderator. Robert isn’t a fan of slings, preferring to grasp the cut-out part of the stock, or hold the rifle by the bolt handle vertically against his body when he’s walking.
All in all Robert finds it a robust and effective set-up that’s nice and compact for getting in and out of the vehicle. He reckons it’s just about perfect for the job, and has accounted for around 200 foxes so far.
“I do clean my rifle nowadays, but basically I just take it out and use it, and it shoots a one-hole group every time. It just works,” he says.