Review: Rowan Engineering single-shot loading system
PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:00 05 December 2017
The editor tries a single-shot loader in a sub-12 sporter
Last month, I tried out a Rowan Engineering, single-shot loading system in my high-power Daystate Huntsman Regal .22 to see if it could offer better accuracy than I was getting with pellets delivered through the magazine. Much to the amazement of the guys at Rowan, I was not able to see any improvement. All their previous testing had been done on sub-12 ft.lbs. rifles and, without exception, carefully loading one pellet at a time had shown appreciable accuracy improvements.
This intrigued me, so I asked if I could borrow another loader to fit my sub-12 ft.lbs. .177 Huntsman to run the trial again. Of course, I’d have to wait for some kind weather conditions because any significant wind would make testing close to meaningless.
I know the rifle to be supremely accurate and I used the most recent Daystate magazine I own to eliminate the chance that wear might become a factor and I also checked that it was cleaned and lubricated before use.
I arrived at our club’s 50-yard range and was delighted to see very still conditions so I quickly got on with the test before the wind picked up. I shot slow, deliberate groups of three, swapping from the magazine to the single-shot loader and back again, and slowly I began to see a pattern. I could only shoot for an hour, and a longer test would have been better, but what I saw was interesting and clear.
As with my first test, I was getting almost equal accuracy from both loading systems until … I got a very slight flyer of about 5mm, from the magazine feed. I carried on getting sub-15mm groups from both and then...got another tiny flyer from the mag’. There was no doubt in my mind that the single-shot loader eliminated frustrating flyers and added to my confidence.
Yes, I was shooting at way beyond the intended hunting range for the rifle, and the ‘flyers’ were barely noticeable, but if I were a competition shooter trying to hit small targets at such extreme distance, that loader would definitely earn its keep. It’s well made, easy to use, and simple to maintain. Better yet it’s bolt-on accuracy, even on my lightweight sporting rifle with its hunting scope. On a full competition rig I’m sure even more accuracy could be extracted. It looks like the chaps at Rowan Engineering were right all along.