I just finished reading a column in Bugle magazine by Wayne van Zwoll, and was delighted to find that there is someone else who does not use a GPS. Wayne feels, as I do, that you go hunting to escape technology, not to root and wallow in it in the outdoors. In my case, I also don't use GPS because a) I can't figure it out; b) I don't want to figure it out) and c) when I've been around someone who had a GPS, it worked about half the time.
So there I was in the rifle pit pulling the old elephant target up and down. This was the first stage of the African shoot, and the rules called for five shots, offhand, at the old tembo target in 90 seconds. Now 90 seconds is a lot of time for 5 shots, even with a big rifle, but the very first shooter went bambambambam………….bam. In a pants-wetting panic, he cranked off the first four shots as quickly as he could, then realized on some dim, primate level that he had tons of time left, and fired the last one.
Every August, the only club that will have me as a member stages an African Shoot. We blaze away at a standing-elephant target, a rising (out of a rifle pit) buffalo, and a running (via electric cable) lion. It's all offhand, and all at 100 yards. The smallest cartridge allowed is the .375 H&H, and most people use that, but you see bigger rifles, and one intrepid competitor uses a Greener 8-bore black powder double rifle.
For the last year or so I’ve been shooting Barnes’ Triple-Shock X-Bullets (or Triple-Xs as their friends call them) and have gotten such remarkable groups that I’ve been hesitant to write about them for fear of developing a credibility gap, or Hansen’s disease, or something.
For example, the average group that 225-grain .338 XXXs print in an Ed Brown Savanna rifle average .630. And others groups, in other custom rifles, have been about the same. So I’ve held off, because these are not typical rifles, and accuracy of this order is not all that unusual—it’s what you pay all that money for.
In 1920, a wildcatter named A.O. Niedner necked down the .30/06 case to .25, and pronounced it good. He was right. The world was not exactly crawling with high-velocity rounds at the time, and his was a quick and easy way to produce one. The .25/06, as it was called, remained popular enough over the years for Remington to legitimize it in 1969. Today, several companies load it, and numerous manufacturers offer rifles chambered for the .25/06.
This is one of those items that I thought was a gag, but it's apparently real enough. eBay believes that a gun part (it never says which or what) bought through it was used in the Virginia Tech massacre, so it has now extended its list of banned items to include any part of a gun that might be involved in the firing of a cartridge, whatever that means. They are also banning "bullet tips," whatever those are. I think they mean bullets.
We are putting this little drama up for your consideration because I saw something similar happen on a smaller scale a few years ago. A bunch of the boys was firing their M-1s (military ball ammo) at a mild-steel gong 100 yards away. Under the merciless pounding, the steel became brittle, and finally a chunk about the size of a thumbnail broke off and made the trip back to the firing line where it hit one of the shooters in the forehead. What he got was a cut; an inch lower and he'd have lost an eye.
The same thing seems to happen here. Whatever the .50 BMG guy is shooting at bounds in the dirt and smacks him in the head.
If you want to do this stuff, take a tip from Siluetas Metalicas competitors who shoot at iron targets, but their closest target is 200 meters away. At a range where I used to shoot, we tried to hit a gong that was 300 yards away, and there was never a problem with stuff flying back.
Or you can blast away at hard objects at close range … but have a glass eye handy. You'll need it.