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VOLUME 100-----------OCTOBER 2010

SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'

WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY

October 14, 2010

This is Volume 100 of this series of Newsletters!  My mental math says that's doing one of these things every month for eight years and four months!  When I started the website, I had no idea that it would progress beyond the typical 'flash in the pan' interest that I'm famous for.  But, I'm still havin' fun and hope you are too!

Extra long procrastination this month, wouldn't you say?  Just can't seem to get my 'stuff' together the past few weeks!

Conventional wisdom says that keeping busy and active is conducive to maintaining mental acuity as we age, but I'm starting to think that overdoing it might drive one nuts!  (I don't have that far to go anyway!)

We've begun to get serious about planning for next year's Hunter Education activities, we've been attending Jennifer's cross country meets around the area, modern firearm deer season starts Saturday the 16th, and I was dumb enough to say, "Yes" a couple of months ago when asked if I'd chair the Board of Trustees at the Elks Lodge!

Let's touch on Jennifer's cross country running and what I mean by trying to keep up.  September 15th a tri-school meet was held in Clarkston, WA  with the Mountain West Invitational in Missoula, MT set for the following Saturday, the 18th.  The in-between kicker was a charity golf tournament near Lake Chelan, WA on the 17th in which I've been invited to play for many years.  I wasn't going to miss that.

So here was our travel schedule for that time frame.  Home to Clarkston, WA and back on the 15th.  Home to Lake Chelan, WA on the 16th.  Play 18 holes, return home, pack clean underwear, travel to Missoula, MT on the 17th. Attend cross country meet and return home on the 18th.  Somewhere near 1100 miles and due for an oil change!  (Me, not the car.)

On September 25th the Erik Anderson Memorial meet was held at Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane Valley.  This gave Jennifer an opportunity to run a 5 K race for Frosh only, in which she finished second.  We missed that one, as we were on an outing with our RV Club.  Here are some shots Rick took at that race.

   

At the starting line with the East Valley H. S. Freshman Squad; On the home stretch with Coach Lazanis cheering her on

As reported last month, Rick was told that Jennifer had a good chance of making the Varsity squad.  Turns out she did make Varsity, and has been consistently running number 5 in the seven girl squad.

By virtue of a time of 24 minutes, 37 seconds in the 5 K Bullpup Invitational last Saturday, it looks like she'll get a Varsity Letter as a freshman.  Her hard work and dedication is paying off!  From a time of just under 28 minutes in Wallace, Idaho in mid August, to 24:37 in early October for a 5 K run is quite an improvement.

Approaching the finish line at the Bullpup Invitational 5 K

I think the girls have one more meet locally, and providing they finish ahead of Deer Park High School, will then move on to Regionals.

As I mentioned, our deer season opens here at the ranch on Saturday the 16th.  I've fired Ann's 7MM-08, Jennifer's 7MM Mauser, and my 7MM Magnum this past week to make sure they are still shooting where the scopes look.  All three are shooting 'minute of deer' so we should be good to go.  You might get the idea that we are 7MM fans around here.

Ann's Remington 7MM-08 and the old sporterized Argentine Mauser that Jennifer shoots both printed 4 shot groups of just over two inches, which is about what they've always done.

The 7MM-08 load consists of 139 grain Hornady SST's over a mild charge of Hogdon's Varget powder.  The 7X57 MM Mauser load utilizes IMR 4350 powder to push a conventional 'cup and core' Sierra boat tail bullet weighing 160 grains.

Both bullets have proven effective on our smallish whitetail deer when properly placed.  They tend to open quickly, leave a large wound channel, and provide a good blood trail.  Even when shot directly through the heart/lung area, most deer will run several yards before succumbing, usually into the thickest brush in the area.  An easily followed blood trail is a major asset to quick recovery.

The load I'm using in my Remington Model 700, 7MM Mag, is a new one I cooked up last fall.  This was my first trial of Alliant's Reloader 22 powder.  The bullets are 162 grain Hornady SST's.  This load doesn't want to shoot as tight as this old rifle is usually capable of, but three of the four shots fired were within an inch and a half, with shot number one being an inch outside that group.  Could be operator error or that first shot out of a clean, dry barrel can sometimes print to a different point.

Speaking of operator error brings to mind a new toy I purchased in mid September.  I haven't tried it out yet, but the new toy has the potential of removing that operator error when trying to shoot tight groups.

Hyskore professional shooting accessories is now marketing what they call a "dangerous game machine rest" for long guns.  This contraption was touted in a flyer insert in my last Cabela's Club Visa bill.  Regularly $249.99, on sale to Club members for $199.99!  Now who could pass up a deal like that?  I ordered one through the nearby Cabela's store.  (If you special order items and have them shipped to a retail store there's no shipping charge.)

Most of us who are interested in guns and shooting are familiar with the Ransom Rest for handguns.  Although I've never owned one, they've been around ever since I learned to read a gun magazine.  This is the first consumer product that I've seen, that purports to do for long guns, what the Ransom Rest does for handguns.  That is, hold them firmly for firing, allow for recoil, and return to battery pointing to the same spot.

Here are some pictures of the rest, and then I'll try and explain how the thing is supposed to work.

       

Right and Left views of the rest with close-up of the dampening cylinder (see arrow)

As you can see the buttstock fits into the padded box on one end with setscrews to hold it firmly in place.  Dense foam sheets are furnished with which to wrap the end of the stock to avoid scratches.  The forestock rests in the V shaped pedestal while a strap with velcro fasteners holds it in place.

This entire cradle moves backward under the force of recoil, and returns to battery by virtue of the nitrogen filled cylinder that is pointed out by the arrow in picture three.  Hyskore calls this a 'compression damper.'   You may also note that there are similar looking cylinders attached to both sides of the lower frame.  These cylinders are of differing resistance and are interchanged according to the force of the recoil of the firearm you are shooting.

According to Company literature, by using the correct damper, the rest will accommodate anything from a .223 to a .416 Rigby.  The included dampers are rated as follows:  #1 is 3 to 20 ft/lbs, #2 is 20 to 50 ft/lbs, and #3 is 50 to 85 ft/lbs.

Of course, this means that we need to know the approximate recoil energy of the gun we want to fire.  Recoil is calculated by formula, plugging in the weight of the bullet and propellant, muzzle velocity, and the weight of the gun.  I won't go into the specific calculations here, but as an example, a .30-06 rifle weighing 8 pounds, firing a 150 grain bullet at 2850 feet per second, will have recoil energy of approximately 20 ft/lbs.

Once the recoil energy is known, the correct damper is attached to the cradle and frame for firing.  The unit must be bolted to the bench top for use, and obviously the bench needs to be sturdy and heavy enough not to move around because of the recoil.

The two long bolts atop the little platform with multiple holes hold the remote trigger release.  This utilizes a hydraulic mechanism that extends an arm with an extension that presses the trigger.

This is the feature that I hope will contribute most to allowing me to actually test the accuracy potential of a rifle without factoring in my shooting ability.  When bench rest shooting, no matter whether from sandbags or a shooting cradle, that moment when the trigger breaks is the time human error is most likely to occur.  Mounting the gun solidly in the cradle and releasing the trigger remotely should remove 'human contamination' from the accuracy equation.

Hyskore claims that after compressing under recoil, the mechanism will return to battery within 3 minutes of angle.  (One minute of angle equals approximately one inch at a range of 100 yards.)  Now that doesn't sound too impressive, as I can hold inside that parameter when bench shooting from either sandbags or a cradle.  But, by using the fine elevation and windage adjustments on the unit between shots we should be able to have it sighted precisely in the same spot each time the trigger is tripped.

Hopefully this will become a lot more clear when I get time to set up the rest with a gun in it, the trigger release assembled, and actually try it out.  Also, hopefully, the thing will work as advertised when I do so.  Either way, I'll let you know how it works out.

Bet you thought you'd get by without the soapbox this time, didn't you?  No such luck!  With election day coming up I just had to throw this in!

A Joe Heller cartoon from the opinion page of our Spokane newspaper caught my eye a few weeks ago.  One head was captioned 'Before Labor Day' and was filled with brain cells with such things as taxes, recession, elections, bailouts, Obama, 401K, oil spill . . . well you get the idea.  The second head was 'After Labor Day.'  All you could see in place of the brain was a football, saying 'football season.'

The cartoon, in turn, reminded me of a study reported by Fox News back in July.  This study looked at the impact of college football on the results of elections as part of an effort to determine if 'irrelevant' information has an effect.

The researchers looked at races for president, governor, and senate between 1964 and 2008, and found that for 62 major college teams, wins in the two weeks before the election favored incumbents for those offices by from 1 to 2 percentage points in the counties where the schools were located!  Folks, that's enough to decide many close elections!

The researchers said this tends to be a subconscious response with people acting on their mood, and the effect tends to disappear when the bias is brought to people's attention.  No wonder we often elect or re-elect idiots to public office!

I recently received an email from Steve Kemp, a friend from my working days as a Federal Mediator.  (I do not want to hear any comments about 'Federal Worker' being an oxymoron!)  Steve found a list of 'paraprosdokians' (I'll let you look that one up.) that he passed along thinking some might make for good hillbilly wisdom for my newsletters.  I guess maybe someone besides my brother Ed, does read these things!

Anyway, this month's hillbilly wisdom comes from that list.  Thanks Steve.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!

THE OL' HILLBILLY
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