VOLUME 70-----------APRIL 2008
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
April 1, 2008
Spring began about 10 days ago. So why did we wake up to a foot of snow last Saturday? Will it never end????????
Saturday happened to be the 'live fire' qualification day for our latest Hunter Education class. We shoot at Center Target Sports in Post Falls, Idaho, so, given the amount of snow in our driveway, I questioned whether we would have either instructors or students in attendance.
Fortunately, the amount of snow in the valley was considerably less than here in the hills, so everyone made it to the range. Rick has been volunteering his assistance on range days, so I borrowed Little Heifer's GMC Jimmy, picked up Rick, and we made the instructor's breakfast rendezvous in good time.
Last month I left you with a blurb about the guns that Ann and I won at the Friends of NRA banquet. As of that writing, we were awaiting our opportunity to pick them up at the appropriate licensed dealers. They are now in our possession and I can share some photos.
First, a long stemmed red rose, with an accompanying ticket was purchased for Ann. When her ticket number was drawn the little dance around the table was a sight to behold!
Here's the Charter Arms 'Pink Lady,' the grand prize for this drawing. The gun was donated by Robin Ball, owner of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range.
The color looks different in these pictures. One was taken with flash and the other without, but rest assured the dang thing really is PINK!
Soon after the drawing for the Pink Lady, a 'special 5 minute ticket sale' was begun to purchase chances on a Kalispel gun case. This is not your run of the mill generic gun case. These cases are famous for their ability to absorb whatever punishment airline baggage handlers can dish out, and still protect the cargo. This one is sized for two scoped rifles.
As the tickets were being sold, we were told that the case contained a gun, but not whether it was a long gun, handgun, or BB gun. When MY ticket was drawn for this one I didn't dance, but I wanted to. I walked to the front, and when I unlatched the case the Emcee held the lid down and asked, "Are you excited?"
My response should have been, "If you want yer arm broke, just keep holdin' that case shut!"
But, being the kind, gentle person I am, I simply replied, "Does a wild bear . . . ?"
Here's what was in the case. The rifle was donated by White Elephant Stores' owner, Rich Conley
It's a Weatherby Vanguard in 7mm Remington Magnum. This is Weatherby's answer to the 'mid market price range' for rifles. Considerably less expensive than the Mark V flagship of the Weatherby line, the Vanguard is built in Japan on a Howa action with two opposing locking lugs, ala the old Mauser and its many near clones. The Mark V, you may recall, locks up with nine interrupted thread type lugs on the bolt head.
The Vanguards are chambered for a number of popular commercial cartridges as well as Weatherby's proprietary numbers. The regular production rifles are guaranteed to shoot within a one and one half inch 3 shot group at 100 yards. Selected Vanguards are marked 'Sub MOA' and are guaranteed to shoot under one inch at 100 yards, for a slightly higher price, of course.
Now only an old hillbilly's convoluted logic could come up with this kind of reasoning: Since we won two guns and a case, it follows that we saved enough money to go gun shopping!
With turkey season just around the corner, I thought it prudent that Little Heifer have a youth sized 20 gauge shotgun so she won't have to lug Rick's old long, heavy Winchester around. Besides, a youth sized 20 gauge would fit Jennifer June, so she could borrow it and have a little more firepower than her Dad's old .410. In fact Jennifer might get to use the gun before Grandma, since the youth turkey season opens a week before the one for us grownups.
A trip to the new local Cabela's turned up a Mossberg Model 500 Bantam with an adjustable butt stock. The composite stock has an extra recoil pad and a one inch insert that can be removed to convert the length of pull from 13 inches to 12 inches. Here's a picture of the gun and another that shows how the stock arrangement works.
To lengthen the stock you simply remove the small recoil pad and replace it with the insert and larger pad. Cabela's offered a substantial discount on this shotgun for Hunter Education instructors, we can always use extra guns in our classes, so we just bought two of these.
To continue the convoluted logic, I decided that Ann and Jennifer couldn't have a new gun unless I did, so further shopping became a necessity. A new rifle butt stock and fore end in Realtree Hardwoods camo was picked up for my T/C Encore at Cabela's. This then required the purchase of a new Encore rifle barrel in .204 Ruger caliber from Sportsman's Warehouse! (I thought I got a good deal on that one too.)
I discussed the Thompson/Center Encore back in the May 2006 newsletter. I bought this one with a .45 Colt/.410 shotshell barrel for my pocket gopher hunting. All Encore frames must be obtained under the rules for handgun purchases, even though they can be readily converted into a rifle with the appropriate accessories. Here's the pistol with the parts to convert to the rifle configuration.
Leave it to the Ol' Hillbilly to come up with ways to justify new, better, and more guns!
The next chore will be figuring out how to break the news to Little Heifer, that two new sets of scope mounts and rings, along with new scopes to go in 'em are required for the Vanguard and the .204 Ruger barrel. A new set of Hornady reloading dies for the .204 wouldn't hurt my feelings either.
The only test fire report I have on these new guns, is Jennifer's shotgun test on a turkey target I pinned to a snow bank last Sunday. If she prints that pattern on the head of a real turkey, we'll have meat in the pot.
I'll report on how the rest of the guns perform after I get them scoped and the snow melts enough that we can actually shoot them without freezing to death!
This month's hillbilly wisdom is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!