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Ann's Corner





The past few weeks have reminded us that fall has arrived! One of our signs of approachin' fall and the deer season, is the annual deer feast at the plum trees out by the shop buildin'.

These two trees were here when we bought the place, and they had little tags on'em tellin' us they were some kind of Italian Prune. Now, even an Ol' Hillbilly knows that prunes have to be plums before they can be prunes! We've never dried any to see how they would taste as prunes, but we have tasted them as ripe plums. Won't try that again! Sour as all get out, and bitter too!

However, the deer love the dang things when they get ripe. We have spent lots of time watchin' the old does stand on their hind legs and flail at the branches with their front feet to knock 'em on the ground so the youngins can share in the feast.

It is fun to watch! They will pick the plums off the ground, waller 'em around in their mouths, slobber, and end up spittin' the seeds out on the driveway. We tell our city friends that we don't mind them eatin' the plums, but when they roll down the windows in the old pickup and spit the pits in the seat, it does tend to upset us!!

Speakin' of deer season, I worked up a deer load for my old 7MM Remington Mag a couple of weekends ago. The rifle is a Left Hand Remington Model 700 that I bought back in Omaha in the late 70's. (No, it wasn't the 1870's; I aint that danged old!!)

I was workin' with new Winchester Brass, Remington Large Rifle Mag Primers, IMR4831 Powder, and 150 Grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Bullets, all available at the Sportsmans Warehouse.  (www.sportsmanswarehouse.com)  As always, I will not print specific loads, but the recipes can be found in the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13.

I loaded 3 rounds with each powder weight, and began working up in one half grain increments. I was shooting over a Shooting Chrony chronograph placed 12 feet from the muzzle with a Redfield target at 100 yards for an aiming point. The first load ran about 2850 fps, and velocity progressed nicely for the next couple of sets of 3 rounds each. Then, something strange occurred. The next 3 rounds, again with a one half grain heavier powder charge, showed no increase in velocity, and for the next 3 rounds, velocity actually decreased a bit!

Back to the work bench! Close inspection with a bore light revealed that my routine cleanings had apparently not been removing all the copper fouling from the bore! After a couple of sessions with Barnes CR10 solvent and two good scrubbings with JB Bore Cleaner, I was back in business and things started developing as they should.

For some reason, this old Remington 7MM Mag has always thrown different powder charges/velocities, and even different bullet weights to about the same point of aim. When I took down the sighting target I noted that the 18 shots I had fired working up the load, had printed a 2 and one half inch group, about 2 inches high and centered!

After some minor adjustments on the Leupold VariX III, my last three shot group on a fresh target, printed 1 inch high, measured three quarters of an inch, and averaged 2941 fps. I think I'll just call that good enough, and see if the durn thing will kill a deer!

Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .

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

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