Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hunting prep.

While at Blogorado, new friend Joe mentioned hunting in Nebraska. As a guy who likes to see the world but has seen but little of it, I speculated that it was probably mostly beanfield hunting out there. He smiled and explained that in fact, there's some serious broken ground hunting out where he hunts, and while the deer are in fact corn fed (the farmers desperately want their numbers reduced) and heavy, they spend a lot of time in drainage woodlots, and the best way to hunt them is to walk them up.

Long story short, I begged an invitation, and have gratefully accepted that which I sought when it was proffered.

According to Joe, a 100 yard shot would be long, and somewhat unusual. So it was that this week, days before leaving to go to Nebraska to hunt, I found myself needing to check the zero on my stalking rifle-- a Springfield 1903 re barrelled to .35 Whelen. It's been awhile since I loaded for it, and frankly, I didn't recall where the zero was with the loads that I had on hand. And I was VERY short of hunting ammo.

This morning, I checked some handloads today (250g Hornady softpoint spitzer over about 53g of Reloader 15, if memory serves), and found that it was centered a couple of inches high, and maybe just right of, dead center, from 100 yards. I didn't cover myself with glory with my shooting today, and that was a shame, because I didn't have much ammo to practice, and still go hunting. I shot a group of factory 250g Remington, and was irritated to see that I shot it better. I'll carry the Remington loads, probably.

Every hunt needs a backup rifle, so I checked my 1953 vintage M7o .243 with our handloads. The first two shots put my 100g Nosler SP Spitzer into a 1/2 at 3" high.
Screw it. I wasn't going to waste more ammo. Hold dead-on out to about 300, which probably wouldn't be a problem (this is still blowing my stereotype of Nebraska.).

I checked the old cut-down Super Blackhawk and found that, as comfortable as Dad's 240g SWC Special loads are, I was frankly shooting the factory Remington 240g JSPs into a tighter group. Call it 3" at 25yds. With full Magnums, that tiny trigger guard, and that short (4 1/2") barrel, I'll take that. The group was about 2" right of where I want it, and about 4" high at 25. Something to remember. The sights will NOT come down any further, and I didn't have a screwdriver anyway.

Of humorous note-- in changing from my work clothes to run out with Dad to go sight in this morning, I somehow, um, sort of... forgot to put a gun on. Well, except for the Super Blackhawk that I had in the Thad Rybka holster on my belt. I got into Dad's car, realized that I had no carry gun on me, and shrugged and loaded it with 5 Magnum rounds. (It's an old model Flat Top). Let's all say it together, class: Load One, Skip One, Load Four, Cock and lower the hammer. I may have been a little slow on the draw, but I was not poorly armed. I had to run into the PD to pick up something that I had forgotten there, and I know my chief was mildly curious, but he just smiled and didn't ask. I let the mystery be.

Friday morning, I'll be in Omaha.

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At Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7:36:00 AM, Blogger Farmmom said...

Good luck and have fun. Venison is one of my favorite meats.

At Wednesday, September 29, 2010 8:26:00 AM, Anonymous JoeMerchant24 said...

Depending on what part of the state y'all are hunting in, the deer are plentiful.

Drop me an e-mail at JoeMerchant24(_at_) gmail(_dot_) com if you're interested in possibly acquiring an adult beverage during your time in the Table Top State.

At Wednesday, September 29, 2010 8:33:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

Happy hunting!

At Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:58:00 AM, Blogger Farm.Dad said...

Here is hoping you get a Buck that scores better than AD's " Blogarado Buck " and can point to the rack you get to keep every time he visits . LOL

At Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:25:00 AM, Blogger JPG said...

Casual Observations:

The action of your Springfield sporter was made in 1918, some 92 years since. Of course, you rebarreled it to .35 Whelen, a cartridge first introduced a mere 88 years ago.

Looks like your Model 70 action sat in a parts bin at Winchester plant for while before they installed the brand-new .243 barrel in 1955, over a half-century ago.

Ruger introduced your three-screw Super Blackhawk .44 in 1959 and discontinued it in '72. It's between 38 and 51 years old.

I just hope your creaky ole guns don't fall apart on your hunt.

At Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:15:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

FarmDad-- does only, for me this season.

At Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:34:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Go forth and bring home deer :-) Isn't sighting in just 'such' fun??? :-(

At Saturday, October 02, 2010 7:12:00 AM, Blogger John B said...

Good Luck Matt, 'Round here the deer are pesky outside pets. If I wanted one, I'd just stand still with a handful of cracked corn. not sporting at all. It is a standard joke in the neighborhood. Hold a bit of cracked corn in left hand. When deer is noshing, fire cap pistol in right hand. The deer doesn't even flinch anymore, just continues eating. Our Rottweiler slept between two deer camped one night, in the dog run. If they get any tamer, I'll harness them up around christmas, and have a sleigh towed by fat whitetails.


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