« Two Cases Where Bigger Isn't Better | Main | Bourjaily on Goose Hunting with a Rake »

June 02, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Gun Nut at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut.

Odds and Ends

A correspondent of mine just came back from New Zealand where he killed a very big red stag with a single shot from a .308 at 200 yards. The stag dropped in its tracks, and I asked the hunter how he was able to do this with a 58-year-old cartridge whose ballistics are modest at best.
"Easy," he e-mailed back. " I simply put a piece of tape over the caliber stamp on the barrel. That way, the animals don't know what they're being shot with."

In 1978, I had the pleasure of hunting in Botswana with Ian Manning, then a South African PH. As we sat around a mopane-wood fire, toasting dung beetles for supper, the talk turned to the Carter administration, then in its second year and setting new records for ineptitude.
"David," said Ian, "you people [Americans] must stop electing these a******s president. This is quite serious."

It is quite serious; we have not listened to Ian Manning; and we are paying for it.

I've been reading Frederick Forsyth's novel The Afghan, which contains the following information:
"Some snipers like a really tiny bullet, like the Remington 700 .308, a slug so small that it has to be sheathed in a detachable sleeve to go down the barrel at all."

"Heaviest of all [sniper rifles] is the Barrett Light Fifty, a monster that sends a bullet like a human forefinger over a mile with enough speed times weight to cause a human body to explode."
"It [a .408 Cheyenne] was a bolt-action rifle, which he appreciated because the total lockdown of a closed bolt gave that tiny extra stability at the moment of detonation."

"He had burnished and buffed the nose tip [of the bullet] to eradicate the tiniest vibration in flight."
And of course the American SF sniper under discussion makes a head shot at 2,100 yards. Oddly enough, this is do-able. The record for the longest confirmed sniper shot is held by a Canadian sharpshooter named Rob Furlong, who hit a militant in Afghanistan with a .50 McMillan rifle at 2,657 yards. The first shot missed altogether; the second struck the man's backpack, and the third did the job.

Excuse me; I have to go and burnish some nose tips.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Odds and Ends:


Dave Petzal

To FH: You are referring to Colin Kearns, who is a actually 12 (or so he appears to me) but manages to carry it well. He sits in the cubicle next to mine and gets to listen in on my phone conversations, which consist mainly of: "SPEAK UP, WILL YOU FOR GOD'S SAKE? I CAN'T HEAR A WORD YOU'RE SAYING. GET THE MARBLES OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AND SOUND OFF LIKE YOU GOT A PAIR!"

To Jack Ryan: The full flavor of a dung beatle is brought out only when the insect is lightly toasted. You can eat them raw, but you lose out on most of the experience. Since you are obviously not a person of taste and culture, you couldn't be expected to know this.

Clay Cooper

Why are those so hell bent for shooting Accelerators/sabot rounds in 30 cal! Load up 130 grain and reach out and slap that Yodel Dog or knock that big bucks $%^&* in the dirt that has been giving you the hoof at 600 yards!!


Jimmy Carter said that energy independence should be treated as the moral equivalent of war. Apparently you, Petzal, didn't agree with that. The Republicans certainly did not agree with Carter, but since they are the party of Big Oil, no surprise there. And you call Carter an ass hole?


I was just studying the .308 when this blog came in over the wire...

Any chance there's a Browning BLR chambered in .308? If so, does anybody like it?

Yes, there is a .308 BLR, and yes, several people (including me) like it... very much.

It's a really nice, quick-handling rifle and quite accurate as well... probably one of the most accurate centerfire lever-guns you can buy. For the lever-lover who wants the longer-range performance of "modern" cartridges, the BLR is a really great choice.


Oops.. posted too quickly after my reply to Carney....

As to Forsyth's fabrications... he IS a fiction writer, no? The sad thing is, most people will never know the difference. Still, it's a major pet peeve of mine to read stuff like this. It's so easy to do research and get the facts... facts which are often just as "cool" as fiction.

Oh, and we used to have a lot of fun with the Accelerators, but I never saw much practical use for them.

Hmmm.. what else? Oh. The .243. Mine (in a BLR, by the way) has been responsible for many, many whitetail deer removed from the North Carolina herd. All were one-shot kills. But some did not drop on the spot. Oddly enough, the smallish pig I just shot with my .325wsm didn't drop on the spot either... sometimes [email protected]#% happens. It's still a very handy round for deer and antelope.


I killed my first deer with a .223 at just over 100 yards, it dropped with the 1st shot right where it was hit. Some years later when I learned how "inadequate" a .223 was, I asked my dad what he was thinking letting me use if for my 1st hunt. I'll never forget his reply which was similar to David's correspondent, in that it wasn't inadequate as I didn't know it should be.

Old Bull

Sat around last night burnishing and polishing tips......
Who da thunk it.....Now I know why I missed a gimme shot on a woodchuck the other night. I thought the wobble was from me shooting offhand. I stand corrected. It was the bullets fault!


Mike Reeder,
Trust me I am not knocking the accelerator rounds. A friend and I were discussing the two highway terrorist that were shooting people from their car. They were using a Bushmaster or was it a armilite AR-15 .223. We were trying to put our self's in their shoes and what equipment would we use. We thought about the accelerator round because it was saboted and would not show the lands and groves on the actual projectile. That and the fact that it travels so fast that there would be next to nothing left of the bullet after hitting something. The only draw back was the range. We both thought that we would do it from a lot farther out then they were shooting at.

Tom the Troll


Okay Dave,
Good point, but it would still be great to see, "Dave Petzal's Commentaries" somewhere in F & S.

Your thoughts? You need me to ask someone at F & S? I am good to go on my subscription till about 2012.

Does that have any pull...



Del in KS


If memory serves they used a Ruger mini-14 (the 2 Muslim DC murderers).


Tom is right. The DC snipers used a Bushmaster and shot from the trunk of their vehicle.

Arrange the Meeting

Now we could snipe Muslim murderers and put THEM in the trunk of a vehicle.

Old Bull, i've loaded the plastic sabots/55gr. 22cal. bullets in my Rem.700-.308 many times... still have a few. Used to carry a couple while deer hunting until I thought about the scope adj. for the 150 gr. .308. couldnot have hit anything with them that way.


Sorry fellows. that's my post above..

Jim in Mo.

Just for fun I'd like to try some 130gr loads in my '06. Smallest I've tried is 150. For 165-180gr I use IMR 4350 and very happy. For 150gr use 4064 but not overly impressd. Got any recipies for 130?

Dr. Ralph

Uh, johnnydwson I think Ian Manning was the one in the story who called giveawaythecanal Jimmy an a$$#ole... but I have the feeling Jimmy was not the only president he was referring to.


The prairie dog shoot my friend and our sons participated in weekend before last included many rifles and calibers from .22 LR to .470 Nitro Express. We did not have a .338-378 and had to make do with a .30-.378 which worked out fairly well. We shot up almost all of our ammo and of course mostly had cartridges for the small stuff from .17 Rem to .243. All were fun but I have to admit the .470 NE was fantastic. The only bad part was the cost of the cartridges, even reloading is pricey. Oh it was not my double rifle and not my ammo as both belonged to a generous friend. I have never shot an Accelerator of any kind mostly because I always had little rifles and also figured I would have to resight my .30-'06 for the Accelerators to hit anything. Is this actually a concern for those of you who have used them? Do the small bullets hit anywhere near the 180's? Seems I also remember that the Accelerators were also made for the .30-30, maybe still are.


Toasting dung beetles for supper?
What the hell had you and Ian been drinking before dinnertime?
Off the subject slightly, but since you mentioned Ian, I wonder if you have read Brian Herne's "White Hunters-The Golden Age of Safaris"? This is an outstanding book detailing all the famous white hunters, early Nairobi, juicy gossip,etc. and some great photos. If you haven't read it, you are missing a good one.


Well, it now looks like the choice this year will be between McCain and Obama, aka Jimmy Carter Jr. Unfortunately, 2008 will be yet another year in which nobody listens to Mr. Manning.

P.S. Just for the record Dave, what exactly does dung beetle taste like? And please don't say chicken.


Last year, TN Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) changed the legal cartidge for whitetail from ".243 and above" to "any centerfire cartridge". I was immediately up in arms over the matter, but my hunting buddy was so excited he bought me and himself a .22-250 to use for the upcoming '07 season. He assured me that he had killed deer with it in PA and that it would do would do the same to TN deer. I found the biggest bullet I could find (64 grain) and went to the field. Sure enough, I killed a nice four point (dressed @ 107 lbs) at a distance of twenty yards from my stand. He made it only 20 more yards before he bit the dust. The .22-250 did the trick with one shot, but even so, I don't think it will come out of the cabinet this year.

Jack Ryan

To D.P.

Who eats dung beetles for taste? They are for cough suppressant.

We eat them when we've got an itchy throat. Every good hunter knows it's tuff when you've got a cough to suppress. Forget those doctor remedies. A couple lively dung beetles squirming in your throat will scratch those itchy spots for ya and help resist the urge to cough.

I thought every one knew that? Do you really get paid to write for those slick paper hunting magazines and never heard that one before?

Dung beetles for taste, eh?

Del in KS

Dung beetles for taste or cough suppressant? Thot that was the natural replacement for the blue pill.

Old Bull

Thanks. I was always intrigued by them. I just think that Forsyth was fed a pile of Dung beetles. Unless of course, the SF shooters are getting a little varmint hunting on the side. Afghan Rock Chucks?
My personal view on accelerators, power level ammunition, reduced loads, max loads, etc. is this: Why have half a dozen loads for the same rifle, just buy another one!
Any one know where I can get a gun bearer cheap? I need to take eleven rifles on my next hunt....

Dr. Ralph

Dave and Heavey are definitely not on the same literary plane... in fact I think Heavey missed the plane and took the subway.

John T. Jeffery

buckstopper posted:
"The DC snipers used a Bushmaster and shot from the trunk of their vehicle."

We need to stop buying into media-speak that fails to distinguish between murderers and snipers. These mass murderers do not deserve the honored title. True snipers should not be dishonored by being linked to such lowlife.


Our Blogs