Tag Archives: hunting

Getting Ready for “This Season”

It’s that magical time of year when hunters start saying, “This Season” instead of “Next Season”.

Upgrade, try a new caliber.

Upgrade, try a new caliber.

Across the west every year when the big game draw results become public hunters start to plan for their fall trips.  Once you know the results of the draw it’s time to assemble the gear and goodies you will need for a successful hunting season.

The problem is eternal though, that for most sportsmen we are still fishing, boating, hiking, camping and doing all those summer time activities with family and friends.  It’s difficult to turn your attention to fall plans when you’re so busy having fun in the outdoors.

Doing just one small thing can greatly aid in your fall preparations and takes only a few minutes out of your summer.  Last season either you gun broke or you decided it needed an upgrade before next season.  Well, next season is now this season.  Grab that gun from the safe and get it to the gunsmith now.  You can avoid the seasonal rush and be much more likely to get your job done before the fall hunt is upon you.

Fall is just around the corner

Soon you will be glassing for that buck.

It takes time to get in parts or barrels to upgrade your firearm.  Leave time for the gunsmith to acquire the parts you want.  Many gunsmiths I talk to even offer specials this time of year to encourage bringing projects in early.

So drop your gun off now, so you can get back out there and enjoy the summer.  Then when fall hits you will have that new barrel, scope, stock, trigger or whatever you need to be more successful on you hunt this fall.

Now go have some fun!

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Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, hunting

Browning X-Bolt Eclipse Hunter, SHOT Show 2014

Browning X-Bolt

X-Bolt Eclipse Hunter from Browning as the name suggests is a bolt action.  It features a matte blue finish on the barrel and receiver.  Mounted in a gray laminated wood thumb-hole, monte carlo style stock, the barrel is free-floated.  The magazine is a detachable rotary design.

Other features include an adjustable trigger and 60 degree bolt lift.

Calibers available for 2014:

  • 243 Winchester
  • 7mm-08 Remington
  • 308 Winchester
  • 25-06 Remington
  • 270 Winchester
  • 30-06
  • 7mm Remington Magnum
  • 300 Winchester Magnum
  • 300 WSM
  • 270 WSM

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Filed under Firearms, Rifles

Mossberg MVP Rifles, SHOT Show 2014

Bolt action with AR magazine

Mossberg is offering five new models in their MVP line.  Calibers include 5.56mm and 300 AAC Blackout.

Barrels are 16.25″ long, medium bull contour, A2 flash hiders are installed.  The Trigger is the Mossberg LAB adjustable type.  This handy package is popular with anybody who hunts in a brushy or timbered area that makes a long barrel a pain to maneuver.

Ranch hands and farmers will be attracted to the convenience provided by the compact size.  That coupled with the AR magazines make this a rugged work horse of a rifle.

Mossberg is also offering six new variations on this rifle in their “MVP Flex” rifles.  Lots to choose from.

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Filed under accuracy, Firearms, hunting, Rifles, Shooting

Who Says She’s Not a Hunting Dog?

My Hunting Dog

Who Says She’s Not a Hunter.

 

When they were in velvet.

Just for Fun!

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Filed under hunting, Uncategorized

Can you rechamber my Rossi single shot, NEF Handi-Rifle or TC Encore?

Our friends at 4D Reamer Rental LTD. are now offering rechambering for single shot rifles with break actions. In other words if the barrel comes off, then they will work on it.Encore by TC

The staff at 4D tells me this all grew out of the Savage pre-fit barrels they are selling. They custom chamber these barrels for clients in any caliber that they have tools for, and boy do they have tools, well over 600 chamber reamers on hand. Fred said, “We have no desire to hold an FFL so we will not accept actions in the shop, only barrels. We can rechamber them to any cartridge that is appropriate for the barrel in question. Of course we respect the pressure limits of various actions and will not put a cartridge in a barrel that cannot handle it. Accuracy is normally as good as it was originally and in many cases it’s better because we are careful about proper set-ups and tool alignment.”

Things to consider when thinking about rechambering a single shot barrel.

1. The bore diameter must be the same for the new cartridge as it was with the original, unless you are willing to rebore the barrel as well. (Reboring is cheap).
2. You must pick a chamber that is larger than the original chamber, ideally, larger in diameter and at least a little longer. Sometimes the original neck diameter was on the large size in the factory chamber and when you rechamber it leaves a small groove or mark in the neck area. Normally this is not a problem for function, but it leaves marks on your brass.
3. Ackley Improved cartridges do now work well for single shot rechambers unless your starting from a much smaller case, like a 22 Hornet to a 22-250 AI. This is because of how they are headspaced.
4. If you working with rimmed cases then an Ackley design is fine in a single shot simply because the rim handles headspace.
5. The twist rate of the original barrel should be compatible with the bullet you will likely be shooting in the new chamber.

photo_Handi_Rifle

For ideas on rechambering options see this page at 4D that offers suggestions.

Almost forgot, they can rechamber your Savage barrel too.
Contact them at www.4-dproducts.com or call 406-752-2520
Monday through Friday, 9-5, Mountain time. Of course you can Email anytime.

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Filed under accuracy, Firearms, Gunsmithing, Pistol, Rifles, Shooting, wildcat

Two Guns @ SHOT Show for the 17 WSM

Model_1885_17wsm

1885 Low Wall Winchester in 17 WSM

Only two guns were available at SHOT Show, 2013 for the new Winchester Super Magnum rimfire cartridge.  By next year there will undoubtedly be many more.

savage-bmag

Savage B Mag

The Savage B Mag has some new features that make it well suited for Winchester’s newest hot rimfire.  This is an all new platform for rimfires from Savage.  Rear locking lugs, cock on close, eight round rotary magazine, threaded barrel and an adjustable accu trigger TM.  MSRP is $349.

For more info see this link: 17-winchester-super-magnum-rim-fire

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Benjamin, Rogue 357 Air Rifle.

Benjamin Rogue, 357 air rifle..357 CALIBER, MULTI-SHOT, COMPRESSED AIR, ULTRA-QUIET, HUNTING RIFLE
While big bore airguns have been around since before Lewis and Clark, ePCP™ technology is NEW and exclusive to Benjamin! The various ePCP components include at the time of this writing, bullets are offered in 5 weights from 95 to 170 grains.  Muzzle velocity is similar to low power pistols ranging from 700 to 1000 fps.

The patent-pending eVALVE technology on the Rogue provides regulation of pressure in the air reservoir which guarantees more shots per fill, through the efficient control of pressure. There are two power settings, High Power for large game like hogs and coyotes or Medium Power for raccoons, bobcats and fox, then select your bullet grain weight, Heavy or Light. The Rogue will then release the amount of air you need to make the shot.

The Rogue features a 6-shot magazine that accommodates all shapes of .357 caliber bullets perfectly, whether they are the Benjamin eXTREME Pursuit flat nose or hollow points, Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets or your own cast bullets.  It’s important to note that this rifle uses dry bullets, no lube.

In many ways the Rogue is like hunting with a rimfire.  Recoil is low, even though knock down in much greater do to the larger diameter and heavier bullets used.  You might be surprised by the accuracy of this air rifle. If you hunt close to town or anyplace where the noise of a standard rifle might be an issue this rifle might be a good substitute.

A couple of things that some shooters will want to know: first it requires a pressure tank to fill the reservoir in the gun, Benjamin sells one or you can use a scuba tank.  Second, and this is a huge positive, the Rogue has a six shot magazine, so you can shoot about as fast as with any bolt action gun.

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Filed under Firearms, hunting, Rifles

Five Things that go wrong with guns on opening weekend.

If you have ever been hunting you know that there is a reason it’s called ‘hunting’ rather than ‘getting’. It’s inevitable that things go wrong. Thinking back, I remember vehicles getting stuck, flat tires, forgotten equipment, and much more.

There is one constant in the universe. No matter how well you plan, something unexpected will always happen. Especially when you’re going into the back country and can’t just run to the store to get something.

For hunters the problem is often that surprises with their gun are the game stoppers. There are a few common problems that you should check for before you leave on your back country trip. A few of them can be solved in the field. We will talk about both and how to best deal with them.

1. Stiff or sticky action. You would be amazed how often a gunsmith gets in a gun with the complaint that it will not cycle.

Solution: Nine times out of ten its just dirty and dry. The quick fix, use a product like Powder Blast™ from Break Free™ to blow out the dirt and dried lubricant. (This type of cleaning removes all oil and can damage finish on stocks.) That’s right oil can dry out, it becomes like a varnish coating parts and making them stick so they do not slide past one another properly. Don’t forget to oil when your done cleaning. You should have sighted in your gun before heading to the field, then you would have caught this problem at home.

2. Horse or 4 wheeler rolled on your gun.

Solution: This can be a game stopper for more than one reason. First, inspect carefully to see if the barrel is bent. If the scope is obviously damaged, it might still shoot OK, find a place, preferably away from your hunting area to test the scope. (You will have to shoot to see if it’s still sighted in.) This is one time that iron sights can be a life saver. You can prepare for this ahead of time by selecting scope mounts that allow you to easily remove the scope with either minimal or no tools. See thru scope mounts are a compromise to allow you to see iron sights at the same time as the scope, I avoid them at all costs.

3. Safety sticking, either on or off.

Solution: If you already in the field, the best fix is a little lube on the safety or trigger where the parts interact. Work the safety on and off many times to see if the problem solves itself. An empty chamber is the only safe answer if the problem persists. Safeties are only a mechanical device and should never be trusted to keep the gun from firing. (Safe gun handling rule: Never allow your muzzle to cross anything you do not want to destroy.) Obviously, if this happens during prep for the trip, take the gun to a gunsmith, or take the time to make sure the problem is fixed.

4. Accuracy has evaporated, can’t hit the broad side of a barn. You pull down on that 1000 pound 14 point buck at 75 yards and totally miss him. Later you take a poke at a doe at 50 yards and miss.CC copyright Bill Ebbesen

Solution: In the field, switch to iron sights, or a different gun. Many hunters keep a spare gun in the truck “just in case”. First chance you get, hit the range and check your scope for accuracy and to see if it’s still sighted in. Either you will prove the gun is OK or you will find out you had buck fever. Scopes can go bad without notice, if your scope fogs up, then assume it is time to replace it or send it in for service. It is possible that some other factor is causing accuracy issues, ie check the trigger guard screws to make sure they are tight, and check the muzzle for damage. Cracked stocks can cause sudden changes in accuracy or point of impact as well. Copper fowling of the barrel can cause accuracy problems too, take care of this before the season.

5. Misfires.

Solution: Many possible causes. First look to see if the firing pin is leaving a mark on the primer. Remove the firing pin assembly from the bolt, clean it and the firing pin tunnel to make sure there is not powder, brass, or other blockage. Some guys think if a little oil is good that more is better. Not true, just a drop or two of oil on the firing pin is normally all you need. Too much oil can become thick enough in cold weather to cause a misfire.

Clearly this is a fairly general list. What it points out more than anything else is that preparation is the best way to avoid problems. Another thing that jumps out is the need for some simple tools in your field kit. A set of screw drivers and a field cleaning kit can take care of a surprising number of simple problems.

Good Hunting!

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Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, hunting, Rifles, Sights/Scopes, tools

For 75 Years Sportsman Have Been Green!

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Act, hunters, shooters, and sportsman all  play a vital role in funding wildlife management and conservation through the funds provided by this act.   Nevada Senator Key Pittman and Virginia Congressman Absalom Willis Robertson sponsored the legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law on Sept. 2, 1937.

Contrary to the belief of  “animal rights” extremist groups, hunters and sportsmen have been and continue to be the primary players in the effort to protect the game which they hunt. Conservation tactics including carefully regulated hunting, habitat acquisition and species transplants contribute to maintain populations at healthy levels.

The Pittman-Robertson Act took over a pre-existing 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition.   Under the old law the moneys had gone to the general fund, under the P-R Act the money is kept separate and is given to the Secretary of the Interior to distribute to the States.  Funds are distributed to each state based on a formula that takes into account both the area of the state and its number of licensed hunters.

States must fulfill requirements to use the money apportioned to them. All money from their hunting license sales must be used only by State’s fish and game departments, no diversion of funds is allowed.  Plans for what to do with the money must be submitted to and approved by the Secretary of the Interior.   Once a plan has been approved, the state  pays the full cost and is reimbursed up to 75% of the cost through P-R funds. The 25% that the State must bear generally comes from its hunting license sales.  If, for whatever reason, any of the federal money does not get spent, after two years that money is then reallocated to the Migratory Bird Conservation Act.

During the 1970s, amendments to the act created a 10% tax on handguns and their ammunition and accessories as well as an 11% tax on archery equipment.  It was mandated that half of the money from each of those taxes be used to educate and train hunters through the creation and maintenance of hunter safety classes as well as public shooting ranges.

“Hunting is conservation! There is no greater proof of that than hunters who successfully lobbied government so many years ago to tax themselves—all for the benefit of wildlife,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “That continuing and ever-increasing funding remains the lion’s share for today’s conservation efforts, too.”

It was at the request of the hunting community that the P-R Act came into being.  The Act raises more than $280 million a year for wildlife conservation, and raised more than $2 billion since its inception.  Revenue from state licenses and fees adds up to about $275 million a year, which goes exclusively to state fish and game departments for conservation purposes.  President Ronald Reagan stated it best at the Pittman-Robertson 50th Anniversary when he said: “Those who pay the freight are those who purchase firearms, ammunition, and, in recent years, archery equipment.”

For more info: read this article

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Filed under ammo, hunting, politics, Rifles

Elmer Keith, a Lifetime of Memories

Imagine you reach the end of your life and you have saved a few mementos of your favorite memories.  You were an avid hunter all your life, and you saved the recovered bullets from each trophy you took.  From your first mule deer when you were just a lad, to the bullet that stopped a cougar from munching on you.

Now with  sense of history, you decide to pass this material along to a friend, another gun writer who will perhaps use the material for future articles.  But, more important, he appreciates the lifetime of experience represented by your little collection.

Fast forward, Elmer Keith has long since left the hunting fields, his writer buddy who I was unable to discover by name, passes away too.  His family decides to donate all his reloading gear to the gunsmith program at Murray State College in Oklahoma.  In the box is discovered the collection of Elmer Keith hunting bullets.  For unknown reasons the bullets were not immediately donated to a museum.  A decision that the current director of the program regrets.

The entire collection disappeared a couple of weeks after these pictures were taken.  I feel lucky to have seen these items and to have been able to photograph them.  It is my sincere hope that the person who has this bit of history will realize how wrong it is to keep it locked away from gun lovers everywhere.  There is an Elmer Keith Museum in the Cabela’s in Boise, ID that is the natural resting place for these items, along side many other items from the Keith collection.

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Filed under bullets', hunting, Pistol, Rifles