Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Scout Rifle Thoughts...

First, read Richard Mann's excellent post from his Empty Cases Blog:

In a description of the Scout Rifle titled, The Scout Rifle Concept, Cooper wrote, “The ‘Magnum Scout’ or ‘Super Scout,’ is in 350 RM.” This document was found in Cooper’s personal files. Additionally, in a 1998 article for Guns & Ammo titled, The Scout Rifle: Some Simple Principles, Cooper, speculating on Steyr’s introduction of the .376 Steyr or “Dragoon” as he often called it, wrote, “The ‘Magnum Scout,’ if it appears, will not make weight, of course.” In case some, as they have in the past, suggest this was an editorial change, I was able to uncover the draft for this article in the files Janelle Cooper provided me.
Never say never again…hmmmmm…sounds like suspiciously like the title of a James Bond movie. I'm fascinated by Scout rifles, use them for training, for hunting and as the "house gun", had input into the hugely successful Ruger Gunsite Scout and count Richard Mann as a very good friend. As I have mentioned before, Richard and I will be in Africa next June on the very first "Scout rifle only" plains
game safari. I'll be filming for SHOOTING GALLERY/SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE (SGO).

As you know, I've been working on the gun I plan to hunt with. I started with an ANIB Ruger Frontier bolt action in .338 Federal. The .338 Federal cartridge is enjoying something of a small renaissance these days. It's a necked-up.308, created by Federal and Sako in 2006, and for a while was "this year's blonde." Go back and read some of the adulatory articles on it in 2007/2008. The it cooled off like your grandmother's banana pudding in the dead of winter. The reason it's coming back is that it is an excellent "do everything" cartridge, which seemed to me to make sense in a "do everything" rifle. Bullet weights run 180-210 grains. There is still a very good selection of factory ammo from Federal (you know, Hornady, it wouldn't kill you to do a .338 with a 200-grain GMX, would it?).

The .338 showed up back on my radar while I was in Texas with Bill Wilson, working on his book, GUN GUY. Bill and I were BS'ing over adult beverages — as we have done for 30 some-odd years — and Bill mentioned he was bring out his superb .308 AR-10 platform rifle in .338 Federal. I mentioned that I'd had a similar conversation back when I was in Africa. Short story…the .338 Federal may be the perfect round for any North American game. Not to say there aren't better specific use cartridges, but the .338 will do well from coyotes to elk moose and bear. From a prepper standpoint, it's a necked-up .308, which is one of the most common cartridges on earth. Stock up on bullets, and you're good to go.

I bought one of Bill's .338 AR-10s, and it's a pretty spectacular rifle. I topped it with what I think of as maybe the best "do-anything" scope at a sane price, a Leupold VX-6 2-12 Illuminated. You'll see this gun on SGO as well.

My original plan was to mount one of the new Leupold VX-R 1.5-5 FireDot…I have shot that scope on a couple of rifles and I love it. I bought one, finally found the correct 30mm Ruger rings and mounted it on the Frontier. Uh-oh…I could not get the right eye relief for 5X; secondly, the scope is 12-inches long and blocked a big chunk of the ejection port. I just didn't like it.

So I pulled out my RGS, which is fitted with the Burris 2-7X Scout, a really nice set-up. I swapped the 2 scopes,and viola! Magic! The Leupold is perfect on the RGS; the Burris is perfect on the .338 Frontier. One problem solved.

The little Frontier is going to Bullberry Barrel Works for BUIS, New England Custom Gun's peep rear and banded front. Then it goes to CDi Precision Gunworks for new bottom metal to take AI mags. I'm going to keep the standard Ruger trigger — it is just excellent. And Andy's Rhodesian sling will wrap up the package.

I also plan to bring my Ruger Gunsite Scout…I just bought some of the new Hornady 178-gr ELD-X long-range hunters, and I'll see how they run through the RGS. My plan is to load up some Barnes TTSX 210-gr for Africa in the .338. It's still a 300 yard rifle, I think…maybe 400 if the oon is in the Second House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars. We'll see on the range. Our overall plan is me, Richard Mann and Producer John Carter will take Il Ling New's Africa hunt prep course at GUNSITE in May and make sure the rifles are hammered out.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Some More Thoughts...

…from Facebook. I linked to Kurt Schlichter's article on Townhall:
So what have we learned about ourselves? Maybe that many of us are snobs. There's a lot of class warfare going on here, a lot of backroom snark, with a lot of conservatives who want to believe that the only people who could ever support Donald Trump are knuckle-dragging morons who can't cut it when it comes to anything besides digging ditches. Too many of us choose cultural solidarity with the liberals we live among over political solidarity with the people we expected to vote with us. 
“Gosh,” we tell ourselves. “These people can’t even see what’s in their own best interest.” Except maybe they don’t like what they see. Maybe it’s because they decided we aren’t worth listening to. Maybe they don’t like us conservatives. And maybe we better figure out how to fix that instead of whining.
Read the whole thing.

I think this is a brilliant analysis. I like to think I've been on both ends of the "conservative" spectrum. I've lived in New York City among the elites -- the elite of the elite, the media (or so we thought). I witnessed firsthand the contempt with which they, and I'm embarrasses to say, I, viewed Flyover Country, the place I'd come from and, as I would eventually learn, the place I belonged.

The irony was that my friends went through amazing conniptions to separate the "good peckerheads" from the "hillbilly trash." Texas, especially Austin, was declared Occupied Territory, the home of cool people rather than…Texans. Nashville was, well, embarrassing…I mean, those rhinestone suits! Those big boat-like Lincoln Continentals...

Then one morning I woke up, looked around at my very successful celebrity journalism career — as my friend Hank Williams Jr. said, "I have seen my name at the top of the page" — and I left. Collapsed my career pretty much, but I figured if I'd built it up once, I could build it up again.

Moved to Florida, worked like a dog and took up something called "combat shooting." I'd always been a shooter; that's the way it works when you grow up in Tennessee. Shotgun at 6 years old; handgun at 12; whitetail hunting ASAP. But I'd left it behind when I moved to the City. Ironically, I missed it more than I thought I would. I applied for a permit to keep a handgun in my apartment in NYC and was ultimately turned down because I refused to pony up the $500 "unofficial cash tax, and we don't give no receipts neither!" to the cop in the basement of One Police Plaza.

When I moved out to Long Island to finish 2 book projects away from the clubs and the nightlife of Manhattan, I discovered a shooting range, where I began shooting bullseye with borrowed guns. Bought a small truck, finished the books, and started driving South. My favorite comment was fron a photograher friend of mine, himself from North Carolina, "You can't leave! You've adjusted so well!" Apparently not well enough...

I moved South, then West, to increasingly smaller towns. Shooting and competition became a bigger and bigger part of my life. More importantly, I figured out who "my people" were, and, of course, they were the same ones I started with. I am a son of Tennessee, unashamedly what some would call "white trash;" I have worked 40 hour weeks in factories and done hard manual labor in the blistering sun. I am not afraid or ashamed of work: I have called men and women of all colors, religions and gender identities my friends, but I don't give a tinker's damn about "diversiity;" I've worked side by side with illegals…nothing aginst them, but if I'm forced to play by the rules, and so should they. That's not a political statement; that is the heartfelt truth.

I'm sorry your ancestors had the misfortune to be slaves. So did mine, and it no doubt sucked as much for them and it did for your ancestors. And while I honor their struggle, they are dust and have no more to do with my life than the brainless talking heads of television news. I am a little tired of being the only racial/ethnic group that it's safe to slur, to discriminate against, to spit on. You should probably consider that before your next big BLM rally.

I admire John Wayne and Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Ronald Reagan. I wouldn't piss on Al Sharpton if he was on fire. I despise the Democratic Party for pretending they are not the Socialist Workers Party of America, and I despise the Republicans for their gutlessness and their willingness to throw us all under the bus to protect their dacha by the lake.

I carry a gun every day, and God help you if you try and take it away from me.

You should have listened to me, and the rest of us hillbilly white trash snake-handling deer-hunting funny talking clingers.

And we're not done talking. Think about it.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Even More to Worry About...

I should be doing the podcast for Wednesday, but in light of this development, I am instead worrying about the fate of the world:

Woman Jump-kicked by Kangaroo,
Rupturing Breast Implants

Yes, it has finally come to this...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Good and Bad Day at the Range

Good for my Sweetie…she'd had some trouble on 200 yard plates at her last 3-Gun match, so I asked her is the rifle was holding zero…that's why we were at the range. Just a note…the more you bang your rifle around, the less likely it is to be dead on when you need it.. A few clicks later, she was doing super on 200 yard targets.

I brought out a Glock I just finished building for a SHOOTING GALLERY episode in a couple of weeks. It looks cool, mostly Suarez parts on an FDE frame, with an RMR. I put a target out at 10 yards and shot a group…looked really good. Next group was not a group. I would have SWORN I Lock-tited the RMR! Clearly, I didn't.

Before the chorus of "I told you so" on those evil red dot sights, I'd like to mention I shot the rear sight off a 1911 at the SINGLE STACK CLASSIC some years back and launched at front sight at a big IDPA match. Stupid is as stupid does!

I shifted to my soon-to-be new carry gun G19 rebuild by Freddie Blish and  ROBAR. The G19 gripframe has been cut to G26 dimensions, and it conceals great. Right now it's fitted with an old Leupold DeltaPoint that was my test sight on how long a red dot battery will last. I left it on for more than a year (MUCH more than a year), and when I pulled it out there was the dot. I replaced the battery and have been using it ever since. I'd like to replace it with a DeltaPoint Pro if it fits the same mount holes. Leupold says it does, but we'll see. The ROBAR gun features their signature grip texturing, internals NP-3'ed and a superb trigger. Here's an example of their work from their website:

That gun is right there and a breeze to shoot. I was using a mixture of Wilson Combat match ammo loaded with the Hornady 125-gr HAPs and ARMSCOR ball. Small print issues...Hornady and ARMSCOR are sponsors, BTW and Glock advertises with OUTDOOR CHANNEL but does not sponsor SHOOTING GALLERY.

I put some rounds through my Glock Open gun, which I love but which I still have trouble manipulating with my still-healing wrist working around the frame mounted Aimpoint — it's out of the cast but still in a brace. No issue with the G19 and G26!

One more note…on a previous post I mentioned that I wasn't crazy about Ruger rings, which indeed offer a great solution on attaching a scope directly to the rifle receiver. I had to explain that my dislike was based on availability…30mm Ruger rings can be hard to find, and most of the scopes I'm using are at least 30mm. To wit, I need 1 high 30mm ring and 1 medium 30mm ring to mount my Swaro 3.5-18X 50mm on the 6.5 Creedmore FTW Hawkeye for an SG episode on September. I have 2 mediums and 2 lows. After searching for a bit, I finally ended up calling Ruger and going through their store. Somehow, I NEVER seem to have the right combination of the rings on hand!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Another Sign of the End Days

The Ultimate Concealed Alligator

I am terrified…obviously Florida is where the Apocalypse will start:
Florida Man Charged With Picking Magic Mushrooms While Carrying An Alligator 
OVIEDO, Florida -- A Florida man was arrested along with three others last Sunday by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer for allegedly picking hallucinogenic mushrooms in the Little Big Econ State Wildlife Management Area in Seminole County, Florida while also carrying a 2-foot-long alligator in his backpack.
The carrying of alligators is strictly regulated in most states. By putting the alligator in his backpack, this gentleman was clearly carrying the 'gator concealed, which is illegal without a CCA permit in Florida. Under Florida law, if more than 60% of the alligator, measuring from either the tip of the nose or the ned of the tail, is not visible, that alligator is deemed to be "concealed." The irony of this law is that if 60% of the alligator is concealed, measuring from the tail, the other 40% can still bite off your hand, or, indeed, your head if the alligator is big enough.

Generally, the open carry of alligators is allowed, but discouraged. An alligator of greater than 6-feet in length is deemed a "destructive reptile," and can only be carried into Democratic Party gatherings and Sonny Crockett's boat.

The harvesting of "magic mushrooms," which are often found growing in cow flops, is also strictly regulated, with University of Florida students harvesting on even numbered days; Florida State University (my alma mater, BTW) on odd days, and all the rest of the state's colleges and universities on even odder days.

The exact nature of the psychedelic experience is poorly understood, but it is worth noting that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was elected in Florida.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bragging Rights Shot!

Damn deer! Spent all day today trying to get wire in place to keep the deer out. About noon, Newt went crazy, and low and behold a mulie doe getting ready to keep the fence over our patio. Newt ran her off, but she stopped downhill at about 60 yards and stood there. My Sweetie lobbed a couple of rocks, but the mulie — the bitch who'd obviously just eaten almost all my heirloom tomatoes — just stood there and stared.

So I hauled out my Gamo .177 Fusion and some of their light pellets. The doe moved into the scrub at about 70 yards (I have steel at 60 yards, so I had a really good reference). I held about a foot high and a bunch more to the left to deal with the wind and the light pellet. pulled the trigger and the doe launched out of the scrub, trying to figure out what just stung the hell out of her on the right haunch, then took off  like a scalded dog. Not a bad shot, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I Think It's Saturday

My Sweetie left me all alone today so she could go shoot a 3-Gun match. Sigh. I can't take a knee or get up from prone in less than a day, so no 3-Gun this summer. I'll probably shoot a cowboy match next weekend, and I'm looking forward to the next USPSA match. No running and gunning, but at least pulling the trigger.

(Courtesy OUTDOORHUB; read the article…it's funny…and may save your life!)

The damn deer have sacked our garden, twice today. Last year we had no problems until fall, and that was small stuff. So we got cocky. We'd got a bunch of various and sundry anti-deer stuff that we thought worked…HA!  So we've got temporary wire up, and we'll work on something more permanent tomorrow. Meanwhile, we left a surprise on a couple of sacrificial plants, jalapeno spray cut with ghost pepper salt. Lick it off, little fellows! That probably won't work, ether. I have several things here that I know will work, most of them beginning with a .4, but it's not season. Plus, my Sweetie has an "absolute prohibition" on annoying the mulies here on the Secret Hidden Bunker Ranch. There are a couple of pretty impressive bucks who live here. They'll probably be here long after I'm gone.

I'm agonizing a little bit over the .338 Ruger Frontier Scout project. It's got a typical Ruger forward mount using Ruger rings. I'm not crazy about Ruger rings, and the rail can be replaced with a Weaver/Picatinny. I'm going to mount the Leupold Scout and see how I like it on the Ruger rail. Also agonizing over bottom metal, leaning toward converting the Frontier to magazine-feed...