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August 18, 2008

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Petzal: A Sorrowful Tale of High Velocity

Once upon a time in 2007, there was a hunter who had done very well in phrenology and went to a Wise Custom Gun Builder (hereinafter known as WCGB) and said, “Build me a 7mm STW.”

“Why do you want a 7mm STW?”, asked the WCGB. “Unless you put a 28-inch barrel on it, an STW is just another 7mm magnum, and the only thing a 28-inch barrel is good for is pole vaulting.”

But the Wealthy Hunter (hereinafter known as WH) was like many other men who had done well in life. Because he knew from phrenology, and making money, he thought he knew about guns and hunting as well, and would not listen to the WCGB who had been accumulating knowledge for 40 years but who, after all, had to make a dollar now and then.

They compromised on a 26-inch barrel. The WH took delivery of the rifle, worked up a handload employing 140-grain Nosler Ballistic Tips at nearly 3,600 fps that went into one ragged hole, and went off to practice.

That fall, the WCGB got a call from the WH who said,

“I’m going on a mule deer hunt with an outfitter who guarantees me a shot at a 35-inch buck. It’s $14,000, and I’m taking the STW.”

“But what happens if you get a shot at 100 yards,” said the WCGB, “the Ballistic Tip is a peerless projectile, but at that kind of range with that velocity it’ll blow up. You won’t even break a rib. Use another bullet.”

“What do you know,” sneered the WH. “That rifle shoots ¼-inch groups and I can hit groundhogs with it at 600 yards.”

The WCGB sighed and went back to his lathe; he had heard it all before.

****
And so a month passed. Then the phone rang in the WCGB’s shop. It was the WH, back from the West.

“*&^*(*&*&&&#@^[email protected]#$,” said the WH.

“Let me guess,” said the WCGB, “you got a shot at 100 yards and you never even broke a rib. You lost your 35-inch deer and they couldn’t find him.”

“It took them three days to find the carcass,” said the WH. “It was completely rotted. They sent me the antlers. *#&^%&*()&^^%!”

This is a true story; only the names have been changed to protect the silly. I would point out what the morals are, but you can deduce them yourself. Unless, of course, you’ve made a lot of money at something and don’t need any kind of advice from anyone.

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Comments

Clay Cooper

I will agree to hear more about this line of ammunition and it would be great for deer too!...My problem is, I like to shoot a lot and the velocities will be less with the Barnes that probably change the point of impact.

Lone Star 45

JNorris, Do not be afraid to offer suggestions !!!!!!!
Clay isn't as harsh as it looks.Just misunder stood you!

I know this cranky Crusty O'NCO for many years!!!!!

Take it EEZZZYYY Clay!!!!

Lone Star 45

Clay have you shot anymore skunks with your 22-250?

UPWIND!!

Clay Cooper

LS45

Sure vaporized that critter!
I remember pieces parts flying and hair and moister floating in the air all around us.
O’brother was that a mistake!
Shooting a skunk walking away at 40 yards upwind with a 52 grain hollow point in a 22-250 is not the thing to do! I thought I never get that smell out of my hair, skin and sinus!

Ed J

Clay

Try the Hornady 75 vmax in your 25-06. Make sure the skunk is at least 150yds out. Yup did that.

Clay Cooper

Ed J

LS45 is telling off on me!

75 vmax?

That’s even nastier!!

YUCK!

Ed, I hope I didn’t run JNorris off?

After I found out what he was getting at, I feel bad about it.

Del in KS

Dr Ralph,

You might try giving that dog a pigskin chew once a day. They come in large packs that are cheap at Wally world. Worked for my pup.

Edward J. Palumbo

Dave's "Sorrowful Tale" reminds me of a WH who blew the cylinder on his Ruger .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk and asked gunsmith John Dewey of Millerton, NY, to make another cylinder of stainless steel. John told him he was able to do it, but it would take a while and would be significantly more expensive than a replacement cylinder from Ruger. The WH accepted the cost without hesitation, and John made the cylinder.
Some time after John completed it, the WH arrived at John's home & shop and told John that the stainless cylinder had blown. John was very skeptical and asked the WH, "What load are you using?" WH cited from memory a max load of Unique with a 240-grain jacketed bullet. John shook his head, "Stiff load, but it shouldn't have ruptured the cylinder." Reaching for a can of Unique, John pensively drew on his pipe and asked, "So-o-o, you used this powder and it blew the cylinder?" The WH shook his head, "No, not that powder," he pointed to another can on the bench and corrected, "that one." John reached for the can of Bullseye to which the fellow had pointed and asked again, "You used THIS powder?" Yes, the WH recognized it by the color of the can. John shook his head, "Well, no wonder you blew the cylinder! Even the Ruger's not built to take that kind of pressure!" John explained that Bullseye had a different burning rate and higher peak pressure than the same amount of Unique.
John passed away a few years later at age 56, but that topic (color-coded powder cans) came up from time to time. It pays to consult the wise gunsmith, a good reloading manual and/or other reliable references before courting serious disappointment.

Ed J

Edward J Palumbo

That reminds me of what a freind of mine did many years ago.
Bill had an old Krag Jorgenson in 30/40. He cast some bullets for it and hand loaded them. Only problem was they couldn't hit the target until he got within about 20 yds. The holes were just ragged tears with brown edges. He quit and went home. couple of days later some of us were visiting him and he showed us his targets, and the bullets and powder he was using. You know you don't use the data for IMR4831 when you have IMR4198. He lived to the ripe old age of 83.

Ed J

Clay

I have also been known to open mouth- insert foot.

JNorris

Keep on reading, but be careful you might learn something about human nature. We enjoy misunderstanding each other.

Clay Cooper

Ed

Is this part of getting old?

Clay Cooper

I have a 9mm cylinder for my Ruger 357 mag and thinking of modifying it to
357 Bain and Davis

Dr. Ralph

I don't know why everyone's complaining about the price of Weatherby ammo. I can still get the plain jane round noses for $34.99 a box and they're covered in dust because no one else buys them... last box of Federal 30-06's I bought were over $30.

JNorris

Back at the computer, no hard feelings toward Mr. Cooper or anybody.
I enjoy this blog too much to get ran off by anything or anyone.

Clay Cooper

Jnorris
Praise God your back, NO JOKE!

Clay Cooper

Hey Ralphy!

If you shot 100 rounds every weekend like me, you would! LOL!!!

Clay Cooper

Just got off the phone with Gary at

Reeder Custom Guns
2601 E. 7th Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Going to take my 357 Blackhawk 9mm cylinder and rechamber it to 356 GNR! Gary said it will have the power of a 41 magnum and if I had the old model Ruger I would have to watch my loads. $150.00 for rechambering and $90.00 for the dies. I can live with that!!

Dr. Ralph

I shot 100 rounds last weekend Clay. Two boxes of the cheapest of the cheap FMJ American Eagle .40 S&W's $16.99 a box. Two years ago I was buying Winchester hollow points for half that... bricks of .22's aren't even cheap now. Used to pay $8.99 at Bass Pro for the Rem Golden bullets now they're $19.99!!! Shooting a lot less now I have to admit but really because gas, food, and everything else has gone up and I'm buying it all for five people with two in college. In five years I should be on easy street with the kids gone and the house paid off. Probably die about that time with my luck...

Del in KS

Dr Ralph,

It don't get much better after college. My kids finished college 7 years ago. Now it's buy buy buy for the weddings, and grand children and trips for visits. Heck I just had to buy 3 tickets to London for my son's wedding. Daughter is due with first G-child next month.

Lone Star 45

Del in KS

If they don't make it illegal by then. Just remember a big bag of M&M's and Mountain Due before sending them home.

Called, PAY BACK!

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Just purchase a 700 CDL in 06 and a CDl in 25-06 wil be the only two guns you will ever need in the lower 48. If the Beautiful Walnut is not you cup of tea, then go with the Syn stock. The new Marlin XL7 is a very nice gun, love my 270 for log shots that the 25-06 is a tad light on. Stick with the l50 gr on teh 270 and you on,even for Elk. Plan to try both this Oct. in the Bitteroots. With teh prices of ravel, hunting, this will be my lst trip west unless a rich uncle leaves me a ton. Cost are up about 40% from 2 ys ago. So I plan to make the most of this trip, then just hunt here in the deep south as long as possible. Has ben a great ride, sadly time slips by. So if you plan on a trip SOMETIME, best you do it. After becoming disabledi l990, figured my huns were over, but the man above made a excetion for me and allow me to take the game I wanted out west. Now I will just try to improve and enjoy one final view of the country from up about 12K feet. Shoot often and straight. Once zeroed to your liking,leave be till your hunt is over. I do take a test shot once I land in MT just to make sure the baggage handlers forgot to drop my gun down at 40K feet.Appears they try their best to ruin what is inclosed in that new gun case, Luggage is costing a ton this year, but how you gonna get it there,? UPS, Fed X higher and no guarantee's on either way. O for a safe, successful trip and vist long ago made new friends in the Rockies. Take care guys, after Nov. we may not own any guns, so best you hunt hard in 2008.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

For many years we didnot haveW-tails where I lived. We had to drive south 300 miles to the flatland to hunt. They only allowed shotguns and BuckShot to hunt with. Some years later we didget Deer in our area and being in the Mtns, any gun was legal. For several years I used a 30-30, then a 30-06, loaded with plain Jane Core-lokts. I continued to use that type bullet until I had a oportunity to go to the Rockies. After talking with the guys in Colorado they suggested a tad different round. I bought some Remington l68 gr Extended range in 06 for several trips and had great success. The Rem started this WAR of FPS and deleted teh extended range round. A few years back Rem came out with the Scricco;s Bonded in l50 and l80 gr bullets. My hunting Elk and Deerout ther I chose the l80 grs. The past 3-4 yrs I've killed many animals in the Rockies using this round adn to this day not recovered a bullet. 2 ys ago I killed a Lope in Wy at 325 yrs and a Deer at 345 yds all l shot and fell in their tracts. Then this past year here at home I shot a large w-tail at 270 yds,the bullet entered the right shoulder about l/2 way up,continued thr his lungs and thru the left shoulder. Both holes about size of Dime. This lst year that 270 yrd shot, the Deer was standing broadsided to me near scrub pines and a 5 ft wire fence. That deer jumped the fence, ran 70-8o- yds and piled up,with blood ozzing out both holes , mouth, nose, etc. With both front legs broken, lungs gone,I cannot how he ran so far. Lke most hunters I prefer the bullet to go thru the animal, as you got 2 bleed holes for tracking. Many want a bullet to stay midway thru and do the damage inside, suppose its ok, but I feel different. All I ask for is a makeable shot and put the bullet in the correct spot. Yes, I tried the Mag. jobs andafter a clip full shot thru the gun, traded it back for another 30-06. This year i will tae my 30-06 and a 270 to the Rockies and use teh 30-06 to begin with.If get the Elk first,then will switch to the 270 for Deer. For Lopes in Wy,the 700 25-06 with Winchester ll7 gr Ballastic tips will get your Lope and damage lots of meat.I do prefer a quick kill as do not care to watch a animal to try getting up. Pratice and pratice never hurt any hunter, as where I live, litle other than W-tails and a few Coyotes is about all we got to hunt.Hopefuly in N.C. we gonna get a longer season in 2009.Was at a gun show yesterday,ammo and firearms have increased by about 20% in a year and even more on some Ammo. So better stock up on Ammo. At 73 I think I got enough, but just to be safe gonna buy a few more boxes before I head to the Rockies in late Oct. Back to bullets, I love the polymar tips on bullets now, will surely open up a good trail and will penetratr bone as well. Shoot-um-straight and often. The Old Gunslinger down south.At my age, few trips westward left, so gonna make the best of this trip in Oct. Being disabled/handicapped, I'm lucky to even hunt here in my back door, but I love the Rockies and smell of sage and beautiful fall colors. If you never been, go. Can always pay later. You don;t need a cannon to hunt out there, 30-06 is ample, other than for the big old Bears. Jack OcConnor thought the 270 ample, but I don;t agree l00%, depends on animal, where hit and distance away. I bet if truth be known, he now and then slipped in a 06 or 300 win mag on some hunts. My 06's all weigh about 10 lbs and have little recoil, about like a 243.Good luck to you hunters this fall, hopefuly we will fill our tags, and I know will have a enjoyable outing at 10-12K feet, The Screenry is out of this world. Take lots of film if your first trip. I always got a disposble camera in my day-pack.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

I got a Custom built 30-06 on a Mauser Action. Made in Germany. Is a Beaut. not scoped and do not plan to as want orig. My problem is it shoot too high at l00 yds. The rear sights are 3 leaf fold downds with a slide in the solid rib on top of bbl and the sight is a blade type, held in place by a screw. What do I need to do to get this rifle to shoot lower ( on target) at 100 yds, raise or lower the rear sight? I;ve lowerd the rear sight as lw s it will fold down, what tions are left for me? Do I have the Gun Smith make a taller front sight???? Any suggestions appreciated. I cannot lower the rear sight any lower as all the leafs ae layin flat on top of the rib which runs from the breech to the muzzle.Rib is about l/4" square. I can;t believe it left the builder shooting as high as it does now. It's a good 12" high at l00 yds. Rifle hasa a dble set rigger with a 12 oz pull,very touchie indead, not a great hunting rifle with that light a trigger. PS; Love my new MArlin XL7 in 270. First syn stocked gun I;ve seen that the stock really fied the metal as it should. Lks as if the stock ws hand tooled for the metal. Any you guys tried Bshnells Dusk to Dawn scope witth 6" eye relief with eye focus on the eye end? It has a 4 power when adjusting for focus and urned up to 10 x can see the animal as if was in your lap. Not a high dollar scope but pratical and clarity is equal to som high dollar scopes I have. This is my 4 wheeler/pickup gun for deer and Cyotes. he Rem 700 in 06 or 25-0 are my hunting guns herer and out west.Do use the 336 in 30-30 for woods hunting here un-scoped. All advice appreciated. SA i;m73 and yet lots to ler about guns, ammo,scopes and bullets. But do like the Scricco's for long range shoting. With a Boattail and plymar tip the bullet flies straight/flat with little drop out to 350 yds, zeroed for 200 yds.You younger guys ca have the magmums, I only weigh l28 lbs and can;t handle them. The 06 with weight to near l0 lbs is just rigth for me,. Thought about reducing the triger pull, but the 6 animals I've killed with it even ou to 345 yds, the pulll gave me no problem. As old saying goes, if ain't broke do try to fix. THe old Southern Gunslinger




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