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March 28, 2008

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More Nostalgia, and Rat Shooting

Continued from Dave's earlier post, On Dear Days Gone By ...

Shooting at a shooting gallery paled, however, when I went off to college and discovered the joys of shooting rats in a dump. A few miles from campus was an old-fashioned country dump, out in the middle of nowhere, that was the preferred habitat of Rattus norvegicus, the common brown rat.

This remarkable mammal actually evolved in northern Asia. It is prolific (a fertile lady rat can produce 90 ratlets a year), able to live anywhere, and eat anything. Rats are the only animals aside from man and a few primates to possess metacognition; i.e., the ability to think about thinking. This gives them an astounding learning curve and explains why the little bastards always seem to be a couple of steps ahead of us.

My brother and I would take our chosen rat rifles (I used a Remington Nylon Model 66) to the dump and have at it. In addition to the many funky smells available, there was no end of targets, either rodent or inanimate. If you saw something that looked like it needed a bullet, you gave it a bullet. No one cared. And if you heard the unforgettable bwooooo that a ricocheting .22 makes at it howls past your head, so what? We were at the Age of Indestructibility.

Now this is no more. All dumps are sanitary, and even if they weren't you couldn't shoot in them. I've gotten most forms of hunting pretty well out of my system. But if I had the chance to go rat shooting one more time I would grab my .22, a brick of ammo, put on a pair of shoes I no longer cared about, and have at it.


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Dr. Ralph

RipperIII, I would say you could expect the same. I shot a buck in the thinnest part of his neck maybe three inches thick at most, from under 30 yards and the exit wound was huge... ballistic tips explode on impact.


Dr. Ralph,
Thanks, I used that same round(from the same box) to take my first deer. Took the deer at 135 yards quartering away, hit in the right shoulder(no bone)exit at the base of the neck left side, entry wound was the size of the round, the exit wound was about the size of a quarter, deer dropped in its tracks, beaver ceased making a wake, but I was amazed at the difference in the size of the wounds.

Old Bull

We call them "Blasting Tips". Downrange, when they slow down a little they behave a little better.
Back to the topic, the good old days are not all lost. A friends father owns a high fence game ranch. He has a problem with coyote predation and newborn fawns and calfs. After demonstrating my .300 Whisper, (220 gr SMK's, subsonic) a new type of rat wars begins!

Dr. Ralph

The velocity has a great deal to do with the expansion on every bullet, particularly ballistic tips.

Dr. Ralph

My dad mounted a peep sight on his Browning A5 to hunt deer and he wore them out, and he always jumped the deer in corn fields and shot them on the run. I like the peep on my M1 Carbine but with open sights on a .22 I can hit tiny things very far away.


Dum PETA people, boohoo its a rat. Their right about one thing though-they are smarter( or at least smarter then them)

As for rat shooting-to bad I missed it. When time travel is possible< those are the things Im going back for.

Clay Cooper

You say, you don't think it is a great idea to be feeding that 270 a steady diet of "necked-down" -06 reloads. One-in-while is OK - but isn't this asking for some erosion issues??
How so? How would 30-06 necked down to 270 have a erosion issue? I have shot out two barrels in my Ruger 25-06 with no ill effects of necking own 30-06 Military cases!

Do what! Trim the 30-06 an .046!! The 270 is .046 longer than the 30-06, so where do you get shortening the 30-06 .046 to achieve the proper OAL of a 270? Or did you have an old timer brain fart like I do now and then, LOL!! Got to learn to laugh at ourselves!

Jim in Mo.
You say, Cause I (change that to we) have piss poor eyes anymore. Focus on rear focus on front but I can't use v sights and post and focus on all three, v, post, and game.
I here’ya Brother! My arms are not as long as there were a couple of years ago so I’d opt for 150 power glasses now and yes that “V” shape rear is a bet harder to see now days. My grandson Alex told his teacher that I ran 4 miles in 24 minutes and she looked at me and I said yes that is true but that was 100 pounds ago! LOL! Yes, when you get over 50, if it isn’t hurting? It’s not working! Just getting into a good kneeling position isn’t as easy anymore!
You might want to try going to peep sight, Sir Jim! I can still drill holes in Coke cans at 100 yards standing using that sight set up!


I didn't say trim it .046 or make it .046 shorter. In old fart language cut it off .046 longer.

reference old machinest joke,
Machinest walks into the engineer's office and says " here's that 1/2 bushing you wanted with a 5/8 hole in it" and proceeds to dump a hand full of metal shavings on his desk.

another one;

No matter how many times I cut it, it's still to short.


Rats are fun to shoot at no doubt, but shooting kittens make rats look lame and boring. I live out in a somewhat rural environment and my neighbor has an old bar with about a million cats who have about a million kittens each year. Once a month or so when he at work in the evenings I shoot a bunch of the kittens and feed them to the pigs. Kittens are fun because once you shoot one, the other idiots run over to the dead one to see what happened and then blammo!!! Another dead kitten. I would have to shoot 20 a day though to exterminate all of the dang things! Happy shooting!!!

Clay Cooper

Two points for EdJ!


I would love to see flying rat shooting ( seagulls )be allowed.To me they are one of the biggest pest around . They / goverment should allowed 1 month a year for hunting seagulls . I'm talking the seagulls , you see at in parking lots . That we have in Midwest .


Well we have a small lot of dumpsters/hoppers below our house about 400 yds. There are roughly 12 of them. Up until recently, there were a tremendous amount of rats, one actually made it up to our house once, only to be caught in a leg hold trap since the traditional mouse traps were no match. I digress. We could go down to the dump lot at night and sit and after about 10 minutes of sitting quietly in the vehicle the rats would come on out. The Ruger 10/22 would take care of them. Usually you could get 5 or 10 before they got wise. BIG FUN!


My dad passed away last year. He was my best friend and hunting buddy. Rat shooting at the dump brought back great memories of good times that occured about 50 years ago.


I shot rats a few times, but was also blessed with a farm full of black walnut trees. With a little practice you could look pretty good on a calm day. Add a little wind and things got interesting! CCI .22 hollow points were my poison pill of choice. No matter how many I shot there were always plenty left - we had a lot of trees!

Clay Cooper

I didn’t have the advantage of growing up around garbage dumps and rat infested places. I grew up where there is plenty of desert poodles and jack rabbits with high power rifles!

I don't have any rats around where I live, but chipmunks sure are fun! Me and my buddies use crossman airguns, a savage .22 and a marlin .22. Don't get much better than that!

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