Last weekend was our annual “guys weekend” hunting trip to North Texas and I wanted to share a few thoughts and observations…
The Ruger American Predator in .308 is a great rifle (for me).
The rifle is nice an light. Unlike some other rifles I have used, carrying it through the woods, mud and brush all day on was no problem. No wrist or shoulder pain like I have had carrying some other rifles. The “Claw” sling from Quake did a great job keeping the rifle in place so I didn’t have to worry and hold it in place all day.
Accuracy, as long as I did my part, was dead on and the Vortex Crossfire II 2×7 scope was perfect for both the the tighter shooting needs on a stalk through thick brush as well as longer ranges from a stand in an open field.
The first pig I took was in an open field but I had to stalk through some heavy brush to get to the field. The light weight and short length of the rifle made it much easier to make it close enough to take the shot without making enough noise to spook the pigs. We happened upon a small group of pigs while tagging along with my grandson and his dad while they were squirrel hunting. The light weight means I didn’t leave it back at camp and again the small size made it easier to sneak through the brush for an easier shot. The power of the .308 put the piggy down even with a less than stellar shot on my part. The third hog was across an open field from an elevated stand. The stationary, elevated position allowed for an easy and clean head shot even over the longer distance.
There is very little that can top a perfectly seasoned 16 ounce ribeye cooked over an oak fire with potatoes and onions on the side…
Fellowship with my son, grand son and son-in-law.
It was a great time and we were able to spend some quality time together without TV, Internet, iPads or any of the other distractions of modern life to interrupt. My grandson got to learn more about hunting and cleaning animals. He know where his meat comes from and what goes into killing and preparing it. He spent a lot of time practicing with his new .22 and is getting pretty good with it. I have a standing offer to him that if he can hit a soda can at 50 yards with open sights in five shots or less I’ll give him $20. He almost took it from me this trip.
Nikon scopes with exposed turret adjustments.
My son was adjusting the green light mounted on his AR and the light mount twisted on his scope turning the elevation turret an unknown number of clicks. I may be missing something but turret adjustments should not be exposed like that on a rifle, especially one that is used outside of the controlled space of a range. We were able to re-zero the next day but that burned hunting time and ammo.
Forgetful old men.
Between the repairs to the house, work, the holidays and everything else we have going on this old man forgot several things this weekend…including ammo for his rifle. If you’re going hunting, remember to bring ammo. It was thirty plus miles to town for ammo which also ate into our hunting time although we did find a good burger place.
Most of my shoes were lost in the flood including the boots I wear when hunting. I picked up a new pair just in time for the trip but didn’t have time to break them in. No blusters, but not very comfy either. The right one also squeaked when I walked making it tough to stalk quietly.
The hog I shot on the last night, from the stand, looked good in the scope and under the green hog light but once we retrieved her we knew something was wrong. A pig that size should have weighed in around 150 to 175 but I doubt she even made 100 pounds. Even in the dark we could see her ribs. No idea what was wrong with her but we took no risks and disposed of the carcass without bothering to get the little meat she had on her. On the good side maybe whatever she was suffering from won’t be passed along to any other hogs or deer.
No church or Sunday school this week. We were attending the birth of a wonderful blessing from God; a new grand baby. Wednesday night bible study did not happen either as I was tied up at work and with stuff for the house. Prayer time was OK. I will be out of town next weekend on a hunting trip to north Texas so I will miss again next week too.
Made another trip back to the range and burned through around a hundred rounds of .308 in the Ruger American Predator. My groups at 25 and 50 yards are spot on and pretty tightly grouped. The jump to 100 yards though turns that group into a pattern (3-4 inches). I am not sure what the issue is but I am pretty sure it is me and not the rifle. I think I may be cranking the magnification up too high (7x on a 2×7) and that is causing me issues. On the last few shots of the day I left the magnification all the way down and although the groups didn’t tighten up much I was able to acquire the target and shoot more quickly. The sight picture is much more stable so there is less desire to jerk the trigger. It could also be related to the scope height.
I also tested several brands of ammunition both full metal jacket (FMJ) practice rounds and hunting rounds and they all performed about the same. Which is a good thing. The Federal Fusion 180 grain rounds consistently hit higher than the other rounds tested (all 145-150 grain) and ididn’t group any better than the less expensive rounds. So, I will be sticking with the cheaper stuff although they have a lighter option as well and I may try that at some point.
The range I went too goes out to around 330 yards and I was pleasantly surprised that I could hit the 220 yard steel target almost at will and the 330 yard target at least half the time. Prior to this trip have only made one shot at that kind of distance before. A 200 yard shot on a deer with a loaner rifle that was sighted to be dead on at that distance so I was pretty happy about that.
I was also able to pick up a ton of brass in .308 (mostly my own) and 5.56 as well as a few odds and ends that I can reload as well.
I purchased another set of low rings. The scope rings on the .308 are mids and the lows on the 7.62×39 seem to fit me better and allow a better cheek weld. I will swap those once I get back from my hunting trip this coming weekend.
Restocked the first aid kid in my EDC bag. We’ve had a lot of little cuts and scrapes to deal with of late. I am being very careful with even small scratches picked up around the house due to the flooding.
We are having to drain down the savings to continue making repairs. Although this is why we saved (a rainy day) it’s still tough seeing the balances we worked so hard to build up getting smaller.
I NEED TO FOCUS HERE!
That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?
The mainstream media and law enforcement seems perfectly happy suggesting the motive for the Las Vegas mass murderer was related to his significant gambling losses and the depression associated with those losses. However, in the same breath they don’t mind sharing the fact that the man’s remaining estate with worth around five million dollars (link).
This just doesn’t add up for me.
Loosing $100K in a week would have me looking at bankruptcy (if Wonderful Wife didn’t kill me first) but that wasn’t that big a deal for a guy like this. He was a serious gambler and won and lost that kid of money for years without it causing him to go off the deep end. To be as poor as I am (not) he would have to lose this much money every week for almost a year.
I don’t get too caught up on conspiracy theories but at this point it really seems like we are not getting the truth or at least the full truth at this point.
This was a very busy weekend for us. We served Thanksgiving at an assisted living facility and then had a nice little Thanksgiving of our own. Fourteen of our clan showed up for that and I am very proud of them for doing so.
My oldest daughter went into labor on Friday and delivered a healthy baby girl on Saturday. Current code name for Papa’s littlest princess is Six. That will soon be revisited as her momma regains her strength and wins the naming discussion. She is truly a blessing from God as my daughter was told years ago that she could never have any biological children.
My oldest grandson also received an early Christmas gift from Wonderful Wife and I; his first rifle. It’s a little Savage Rascal single shot in .22 Long Rifle and, of course, that meant a trip to the range where he burned through at least a hundred and fifty rounds of his daddy’s ammo (as well as the box I bought him).
He still has a ways to go on his marksmanship but he showed he deserved our trust with a real firearm by being very safety conscious the whole time. A pretty awesome feat for a super-excited seven (almost eight) year old.
Way back when my grandfather bought a second hand Stevens .22 rifle. He didn’t buy it for fun or sport. It was a way to put meat on the table during some lean years. Before he passed away he handed it down to me. When we took my little man out to the range to shoot his first rifle we also took the old Stevens out of the safe and brought it with us. As of this weekend, five generations have shot this old rifle.
It has been a wonderful few days but I have to admit, I am worn out…
This was an OK week in my walk with God. I prepared for and taught Sunday School this week and then we went to church. I didn’t go to the Wednesday night men’s study because it was not held this week due to Thanksgiving. I spent a good amount of time in prayer this week and I think it is really helping. I think I am starting to see some direction and paths God would like me to take.
Our annual family hunting trip is coming up in a few weeks and so I made some time to get to the range and spend some time practicing with the rifle I plan to hunt with this year.
I did better than I thought I would but I am still not as accurate as I would like to be so I will try and make it out again before we leave.
For whatever reason, I am still a lot more accurate with the 7.62×39 version of this rifle than the .308 version. I don’t know if I am flinching with the .308 due to the greater recoil or if there is a slight difference in the triggers between the two rifles. The scope on the .308 is mount a bit higher than the one on the 7.62×39 but I can’t see that making much difference.
I also collected a fair amount of brass in .308, .30-30, 5.56 and 300 Blackout that I can reload.
Since the freezer is completely empty after the flood I am hoping to get a decent sized hog or two but we’ll see.
I realized I was walking around without any glucose tablets in my EDC bag and my work backpack so I picked up a couple of these to keep with me.
Spent money out of savings to repair the house. Shows the importance of being financially prepared. I also added the surgical masks I purchased last week to the first aid kit in my work backpack.
I removed the old tile in one of the rooms in the house so we can replace it with the same tile we are installing throughout the rest of the house.This was done manually with a 16 ounce hammer and a pry bar. So, that gave me a few days of really good exercise. However, this is an area Wonderful Wife and I both need to work on…really need to work on.
Our yearly cancer check was this week and all came back negative. Nothing even worth taking for a biopsy!
That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?