Ruger released yet another cool rifle as part of their pre-SHOT Show blitz; the Ruger Precision Rimfire (link):
This is a pretty cool bolt action .22 LR that feeds from 10/22 magazines and features an 18 inch cold hammer forged barrel and an action that has a nearly identical throw to the centerfire big brother.
Although I think this one is interesting thankfully it is not a “have to have it” like the PC Carbine.
I heard from a friend in the industry that Ruger has more new releases in the pipeline so we could be posting a lot more Ruger announcements here.
As the weather starts to cool off a little along the Texas Gulf Coast the outdoor rifle ranges are starting to get pretty busy. A lot of guys are getting ready for deer season and the rest are just taking advantage of those rare times when you can get outside without suffering heatstroke. Although I probably won’t make it out to bag any deer this year, we will still probably make our annual hunting trip to north Texas to bag a few hogs. It looks like that will be in January or February again this year but it is never too early to start getting ready, especially when you will be carrying a new rifle into the fields.
The Ruger American Predator in .308 Winchester will be my “go to” rifle this year and last time out I ran into a bit of an issue. Ruger, by design or oversight, didn’t use any thread locker on the scope rail and under recoil from the .308 the screws backed out leaving my scope on less that solid footing and my shots were all over the paper.
With the rail re-attached (with a generous application of thread locker on each screw) I wanted to see how she would do.
A few shots at 50 yards showed I was at least on paper so then it was time to head to the 100 yard line (100-125 yards is about the outside distance for me when hunting). I was having some issues with consistency at first which had be rechecking the scope rail but after a bit I was able to settle down and she should be about zeroed in.
I spent quite a bit of time practicing with the Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 7.62×39. To be honest I really prefer the “short .30 caliber” to the .308 as the recoil is significantly less and the ammo is cheaper. Which was the plan after all, since other than caliber and color the rifles are identical.
One of the things I wanted to do was test some ammo other than the Brown Bear and see what the difference would be in reliability, point of impact and the groupings. My AR in 7.62×39 is very sensitive to different ammunition brands and types. There can be several inches difference in point of impact at 100 yards and significant differences in the accuracy of each round with that rifle and I wanted to see if that was still the case with the Ruger.
I tested super cheap TulAmmo, my standard Brown Bear, Fiocchi brass cased ammo, Hornady 7.62X39 123 gr SST® Steel Case and some reloads. The little Ruger hand no issues feeding or firing any of them. Picky, it is not and it was very consistent too. There was very little, if any, difference in the point of impact regardless of the ammo. The group did tend to spread out with the cheap TulAmmo resulting in groupings of around 2-3 inches instead of the 1-2 inches I could get with the other types of ammunition. I continue to be impressed with this little rifle.
Since the Ruger has no issues with the brass cased Fiocchi or my reloads that means I can use it at indoor rifle ranges as well which opens up a lot more of the year for practicing with a rifle. As much as I love shooting, outdoor ranges when it is almost 100 degrees outside with almost 100% humidity are a lot less enjoyable than sitting in air conditioned comfort…
I can’t wait to make it out into the field with one (or the other) in a few months time and back to the range sooner than that.
My walk with God is still going well. We went to church and Sunday school on Easter. It was a great and uplifting service. Our Wednesday night Bible study resumed this week after the break for Easter and, as always, I learned a lot. I was not 100% on my prayer time and personal Bible study. Work and laziness provided excuses to skip a day but I was able to pick it back up again and finish the week strong.
I bought a “lead sled” be Caldwell to help me sight in my rifles. I still haven’t made it out to the range but I was able to make short work of laser bore-sighting a couple of rifles out to 24 yards in my backyard.
I bought two more lower parts kits. I plan on building an AR for each of my grand kids. It will be a while before they are ready for them so I buy parts when I see them on sale for a good price. I am also considering another pistol build, possibly in 300 Blackout…
I reorganized my EDC. I’ll post the details later in the week.
My blood pressure is almost back to “normal” and the secondary infection I picked up is healing so I should be fit shortly. My strength and stamina are still not back to where I was before we got sick but it is moving in the right direction.
I did my stretches every day this week and only missed one day of exercise. I was also able to increase the number of reps I do this week. Wonder Wife wants to join a gym so we signed up for trial memberships at a small place around the corner. I hate exercising in those laces but Wonderful Wife thinks it will help her so I’ll go along to help support her efforts to get in shape.
One of the stocks we own paid a dividend and we requested a check for them. I plan on reinvesting the money in something more stable than the stock market or making a contribution to our IRA.
That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?
My walk this week was pretty good. My prayer time was consistent as was my Bible study. I was able to step in and lead our Sunday School lesson on Sunday. We didn’t have Wednesday night Bible study this week but we did have a Maunday Thursday night service and a Good Friday service.
The Thursday night service was extremely powerful. Our pastor gave a detailed overview of the crucifixion and the effects on the human body that had most of us in tears. It was a powerful message that showed, in detail, what Jesus suffered so that our sins would be forgiven, so that my sins would be forgiven.
We also attended the Good Friday and (of course) Easter Sunday services and even made it to Sunday school. It was a powerful and emotional week.
I bought two more boxes of .308 ammunition. Another box of what will likely be my “go to” hunting round and a box of “premium” hunting ammunition. It will be fun to test them all out as soon as I can make it out to the range.
I also bought a sling for the new Ruger American rifle. Now I just need to get to the range to get it sighted in.
I was able to spend some time working in the garden tying up tomatoes, watering and planting some of the plants I should have gotten in the ground weeks ago.
I was pretty consistent about exercising this week as well. At least I did my own bare minimum each day (except one). I was also able to increase the number of reps I do in each exercise session. I am slowly regaining the strength and stamina I had before getting sick.
I made a list of food that can help bring down cholesterol (mine’s not high but Wonderful Wife’s is) and put together a shopping list based around those foods. Since I do most of the cooking I will make sure these get included in our diet.
My blood pressure and heart rate are still high. I have another appointment with the doctor next week. We’ll see what he says.
We put a little aside out of Wonderful Wife’s paycheck this week but, unfortunately, it will get used pretty soon. We spent a little more on the credit cards this month that we expected but looking over the receipts it was not frivolous.
That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?
I know I have probably mentioned this before on this blog but shooting is a perishable skill. You have to practice, regularly, if you want to have those skills when your life depends on them…or, the lives of your loved ones.
As many times as I have read this…
As many times as I have said this…
As many times as I have written this…
I still fall into the trap of neglecting these skills too. The Tuesday after Christmas Moose (my son in law) and I made it out to the range. Assuming I could pick up right where I left off on the rifle range (about a year ago) I was loaded down with three different rifles and several different loads for each to test out. Instead of groupings I was getting something that was more like the pattern from a shotgun. I wish I could claim that this performance was some awe inspiring distance…nope. All were within 100 yards.
As my frustration with my performance grew, the number of mistakes I made increased as well. Squeezing the trigger morphed into jerking the trigger as soon as the crosshairs intersected the bulls eye. Shots were rushed and breathing was ragged. At one point I had my .30-30 hitting dead on only to find my shots scattered across the paper after reloading because someone (guess who) had forgotten to properly tighten the screws holding the mount to the rail…
It was a great day with Moose and I was at a nice range with nice weather so the day wasn’t a total loss. Plus, I identified my skill deficiency on paper targets rather than live animals. (We have a hunting trip planned for February)
As is often the case, after finding my skills lacking, I looked to fix the problem with hardware. I was immediately shopping for a new rifle, with a different action in a different caliber. I almost convinced myself that a bolt gun in .308 would fix my problems and I would be right back on target. Fortunately, God was looking out for me and all the examples of the rifles that I had decided would fix my problems were out of stock locally after the Christmas rush.
To be honest I did spend some money on the problem. The trigger on the AR lower
I use for hunting is a cheap parts kit special and there was some creep and grittiness. For $69 the ALG Advanced Combat Trigger (ACT) is a great solution. The creep is gone and so is the grittiness. It is a standard (sort of) mil-spec trigger and hammer but everything has been polished and treated with a slippery coating. The kit comes with two springs. One a little lighter and results in a lighter than mil-spec trigger pull, probably around 4 pounds. The second spring is a bit heavier and results in a 5.5 pound trigger pull (on the light side but within the military specification of 5.5-9.5 pounds. The lighter spring works fine on the hunting ammo I use but does result in a light primer strike and FTF on about 1 in 5 rounds using cheap steel-cased Wolf ammo. This is a worthwhile trade off that I can live with for now.
I also ordered a Happy Trigger from Wild West Guns for my Marlin 336. This trigger eliminates the “floppy trigger syndrome” that affects later model Marlin lever guns. It also reduces the trigger pull to a consistent 4 pounds. Down significantly from the current 8 pounds (or so) that seems to vary with the rifle’s mood.
So, I did invest in some hardware upgrades to help me with my accuracy but these were upgrades I had been considering for some time and probably would have done, at some point, regardless of the issues I had on the range last week.
The more important investment I made was time (and money) on the range. I spent a few hours yesterday testing the new trigger and three different loads in my AR. Once I got a feel for the loads and how they performed (six to twelve rounds of each) I spend the rest of the time with my primary hunting load focusing on the basics; sight picture, follow through, trigger squeeze, and breathing. I also spent a little time dry firing to help with those things and to help avoid developing any sort of flinch. A couple of hours, $20 in range fees/targets and another $30 in ammo paid off.
The round in the bottom left was my first shot of the string and I obviously pulled it down and to the right. The four in the upper right were next with the crosshairs centered on the bullseye. The shot in the lower left of the bullseye was me (over)correcting the point of aim. That’s four shots within a two inch circle at 100 yards and all six within four inches. I still have some work to do but considering how bad my previous outing had been I am pretty happy with it. I am hoping to make it back out to the range again next weekend and at least two more times before our hunting trip.
I need to be able to pull this off each and every time without thought or drama. I need to be able to do this when the adrenaline is pumping and I have a big boar or an eating sized hog in the crosshairs. I need to be able to do this when I am cold, hungry and tired. This needs to be second nature. In short I need to practice and maintain this perishable skill.