VOLUME 44-----------FEBRUARY 2006
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
February 2, 2006
We're experiencing warmer than normal weather here at the ranch. Also wetter than usual. Lots of snow in the mountains, making the skiers happy, but mostly rain at our elevation. The last count I saw was over 4 inches of rain in Spokane for the month of January. This is about twice the normal rainfall. Some of the precipitation was snow at our house, which required plowing the driveway 3 or 4 times, but if it had all been snow we'd be butt deep!
Not much excitement around here. Too wet, windy, and miserable to do any serious shooting, so I haven't tried my new Christmas chronograph yet. Heck, I haven't even fired up the powder dispenser and scale. Just lazy I guess.
The January 18th reloading seminar I mentioned last month came off without a hitch. (Except for the fact that hardly anyone showed up!) The word was, that the email announcements for the seminar schedule got sidetracked somehow. Anyway, the North Idaho Coordinator has me rescheduled to do the thing again in July. I think this will need to be changed though because it conflicts with our Hunter Education Class that month.
Speaking of Hunter Education, I did attend the Instructor Development and Leadership Conference in Ellensburg that was also mentioned last month. For details on that, check the Hunter Education page.
Our teaching team's first Hunter Education class of 2006 begins February 20th at the Sportsman's Warehouse. This is the first of six classes we will hold this year. Our January enrollment weekend filled more than half the available openings and the store's customer service staff has continued the signups. As of a few days ago, all classes were full except August, and there were only seven slots left for that one.
I did manage to do a bit of gun work last month. Ann's little Ruger .243 fits her well and shoots accurately, but the trigger pull was really bad! The factory trigger on this model is non adjustable too. I didn't realize how bad the trigger was until I tested it with a Lyman digital trigger pull gauge before starting the project.
The testing revealed an average trigger weight of 4 pounds, 11.4 ounces, for 10 pulls. Even worse, the spread ranged from 4 pounds, 0.9 ounces to 5 pounds, 3.5 ounces! Additionally, it exhibited varying amounts of creep from pull to pull. No wonder Little Heifer kept bitchin' about the trigger!
One of Ann's Christmas gifts was an adjustable Timney replacement trigger and sear from Brownell's in Montezuma, Iowa. The Brownell's Catalog touted the 'drop in, adjust, and shoot' ease of installing this replacement trigger, but it wasn't quite that simple. The most difficult chore was fitting the new trigger to the factory safety mechanism.
The instructions indicated that the trigger lug that engages the bottom of the safety is purposely made oversize so that it can be precisely fitted to the safety by grinding or filing. The caution is, that removing as little as .005 of an inch too much metal, may allow the gun to fire with the safety on!
The installation and adjustment was completed successfully, resulting in a nice, crisp trigger pull averaging 3 pounds, 2.3 ounces. This trigger has an adjustment screw that allows for changing the pull weight if desired. The gun won't fire with the safety on either!
The details of this project, along with photos of each step, should appear in the next issue of Outlook Magazine in late February. I'm assuming they will continue to post each issue on their website, and if so you can download the pdf file and see the trigger replacement project in its entirety if you'd like. The link is: http://www.spokaneoutlook.com/
I guess I'll have to break out the coyote calling stuff soon. We haven't seen any for several months, and have only heard them howling occasionally. About 4 nights ago, however, they serenaded us very well. Of course two or three coyotes can sound like dozens, but these sounded as though they were in the back yard! I tooted on my howler a few times and shined the spotlight around, but didn't see anything. At least they shut up after that!
Most experts say that calling coyotes can be more effective during mating season, and that time will be upon us before we know it. In fact, Ann and I witnessed one such session in late February last year.
The next season for edible game will be Spring Turkey. I suspect that things will go as they normally do. Turkeys will be all over the place through April 14th, at which time the Toms will vanish like cash from your wallet!
Little Heifer and I will celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary on Saturday the 4th. Talk about an understanding spouse! The date happens to coincide with the annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet, and Ann has agreed that that will be our anniversary dinner. (An overnight stay in the Emerald Suite at the Hampton Inn after the banquet may take some of the sting out of this arrangement.)
Since I've made reference to our anniversary, for this month's
hillbilly wisdom I'll quote the late Red Skelton's Recipe For The Perfect
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!