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  #81  
Old 11-02-2012, 11:25 AM
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Bob,

Our rifle deer season starts tomorrow. I’ll probably hunt the first day with my scoped 307 Winchester. After the first day or two then I feel I am free to experiment. I have to admit I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about the left hand Ruger Scout and the rifle has my interest. The Ruger carbine with a 3 round magazine and a 2 ¾ x forward mount scope looks like a handy little outfit. I spend quite a bit of time under cedar bushes and other cover so I seldom have a problem with strong back lighting affecting my use of the forward mount scope.

The folks at Scoutrifle.org have pictured a solid side, machined expansion chamber which replaces the slotted “flash suppressor” and removes some of the tactical look of the rifle.

Personally, I prefer the Whelen sling over a bipod and for my typical shooting distance when hunting in Texas; I remove for the sling, except when carrying the rifle.

Something about this little rifle has piqued my interest. I went back to the 38th Edition of the Gun Digest, 1984, and read the article by Jeff Cooper: “The Scout Rifle Idea.”

The tag line under the pictured Remington 600 is: “You may need single hits not volume fire.”

In his discussion of the selection of his rifle Cooper admits there are many specialized rifles and points out that if you have a specific task in mind there is a rifle made to fit.

Coopers answer to this was: "I don't know what I may want to do with it. I want a general purpose rifle?"

I don’t think of firearms as tools because I don’t make my living with them, but I like the term; “General Purpose Rifle.” A rifle that is at home bungeed behind the seat in a Super Cub, carried on a snow machine, four wheeler, or in a case in the Suburban, seems useful. The Scout will not replace any of my rifles, but it will fit in.



Cooper wrote; “The purpose of shooting is hitting” and that says most of what we need to know. The question of how accurate our rifle needs to be parallels the question; How accurately can we shoot from a field position.

Cooper established his accuracy goal with these words; “Thus the general-purpose rifle should be good for two minutes, and 2½ will do very well.”

“We are talking about accuracy we can use, for that which we cannot use is only theoretically interesting. “

“Let us proceed on the assumption that we need a two-inch-shooting 308 as a base. There are plenty of those. The next goal is compactness, and for that we think at once of a short barrel.”



When it came to iron sights Cooper was clear; “The iron sights for a scout should consist of a square front post, possibly red filled, and a large-aperture, small rim rear sight mounted on the receiver bridge-popularly referred to as a "ghost ring."



The iron sights on the Ruger Scout certainly meet the spec. I don’t need the wing protectors on the front sight but they will not bother my shooting. I am looking forward to shooting the Ruger’s iron sights and I may be better off not ordering a scout scope and rings until I have explored the iron sights.
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  #82  
Old 11-03-2012, 09:46 AM
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Bob,
Quiet start to the deer season. It is hot and I am getting lazy.
There is an old article by Francis Sell on offhand and snap shooting. I have not been able to put my hands on it for some reason.
In the back of my mind, I knew there was a newer article but I could not locate it either.
The Ruger Scout rifle is in my thoughts and I was looking for a comparison article I had seen in Shooting Times magazine which featured the Ruger Compact and the Frontier rifles. I found the magazine a few days ago, September 2006 issue.
The modern article on shooting off hand is “Better Marksmanship” by Richard Mann. This is a short and to the point article which covers all the high spots without being too technical. The article assumes you are already a shooter and you are attempting to improve your off hand shooting skills.
The article has an illustration of length of pull and the caption reads; “Proper length of pull is critical for optimal off hand shooting. It should be about an inch less than the distance from the inside crook of the elbow on your shooting arm to the first joint of your trigger finger.”
This measurement is 13 ½” for me and helps explain why my Winchester Trapper is so easy for me to hit with when shooting off hand.

Mann discussed rifle balance and wrote; “A rifle that balances behind the front of the action will handle smoothly and a rifle that balances forward of the action will hang on the target better. A compromise is a rifle that balances very near the front of the action, provides good handling characteristics, and a reasonable steadiness on target. The balance point can be adjusted by adding weight to the front or rear of the stock, or by shortening the barrel. A rifles balance is critical for good off hand shooting.”

One of the good things about a tubular magazine lever action rifle is the ease with which you are able to alter the balance of the rifle simply by the addition or deletion of ammunition in the magazine. It is rare for me to fire more than two shots at any deer.

Elmer Keith and Francis Sell both wrote that trigger pull weights for off hand rifles should not be too light and that a rifleman would know when the trigger was going to break.
Mann makes the same point in his article; “Cliché that is repeated by firearms instructors and others claiming to be masters of the art of shooting is, “It should be a surprise when the rifle fires.”
Not True. A shooter should know the exact moment when the rifle will fire.
Learning to dictate the exact moment the trigger will break and coordinating that moment with the instant the sight is properly aligned is the key to accurate shooting. It’s all about the eye and the trigger.”

Any silhouette shooter knows this, even if he has not given the matter a great deal of thought.
Mann’s next piece of advice is the most difficult to follow, “Practice, Practice, Practice.”
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  #83  
Old 11-04-2012, 07:10 AM
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Richard Mann on offhand shooting practice, His thoughts on target size mirror mine - although he knows more about all of this than I do!
I lost this yesterday and didn’t get it posted.

“Before you can improve your shooting you must establish your current ability. Zero your rifle at 50 yards then select a visible target about six to eight inches in diameter and place it at that distance. From the standing offhand position fire five shots. Take your time, lowering the rifle between each shot, but try to complete all five shots in 60 seconds. Do this three more times for a total of four five shot groups. The average group size is your score.
For the next week conduct daily dry fire practice. During weekly range secions woks to reduce your average group size by a half inch or a full inch each time out until you reach your goal - whatever it may be. Then double the range like Uncle Bud did to Ned and keep practicing until you are shooting groups no more than double the size you were shooting at 50-yards. Keep up the dry fire practice, and if your ability starts to fall off, go back to 50 yards and start over.

An excellent rifleman can put five shots inside a one-inch circle at 50 yards from the standing offhand position. A very good marskman will do the same inside a two inch circle, and f you can keep four out of five shots inside a two inch circle at 50 yards, consider yourself a good shot and ready to square off against old Ned Roberts.

Don’t overlook target selection. Select a target that is easy to see and not too small. Itty-bitty circles and squares are made for shooting from a bench, so use robust targets for offhand training. “
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  #84  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:42 PM
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using my grandfathers 97 yr old mod 94, and my cast 173 gr. FP bullets from wheel weights, i shot 2 two deer last week on the lease outside san antonio. at 70 and 90 yds. one ran in a 20 yd circle and dropped, the other hit the ground where he stood. no expansion and both exited. gonna start casting em w/a soft nose for expansion.. was extremely pleased w/the old open sight carbine though. it shoots the reloads 2" off a bench at 100 yds.
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  #85  
Old 11-16-2012, 04:15 PM
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This will put a grin on your face!
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  #86  
Old 11-16-2012, 05:50 PM
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yep, did too.
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  #87  
Old 11-26-2012, 03:32 PM
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Bob,
No secret I am not a big fan of Jack O’Connor. Some of JOC’s writing is right on the money and his immediate pre-WWII and Post WWII writing is very good.
Here is a drawing from Complete Book of Rifles and Shotguns. Good illustrations of open sights.

Allmost to hot to shoot deer if you put up your own meat. We will have two days of cool weather with highs in the 50’s and then back to the 80’s.
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  #88  
Old 12-23-2012, 04:35 PM
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Bob,

If you saw the thread on the 25-35 you saw the quotes from C. E. Hagie’s Book; The American Rifle, 1944.
Dr. Hagie was at one time, the best shot on running game in Montana and had a few other credits to be proud of.
There are parts of hs book which are not quite correct but the parts on hunting, taking care of game shotting are correct and that’s really what counts.
I have been looking at advertising “snippits” on the internet to ensure I am properly quoteing his book. I believe the copyright is still in affect but there are a lot of advertising quotes floating around with excerpts from this book and I certainly intend for my mention of the book and any quote to be taken as a book review and a recommendation to buy the book - which is not in print.
Hagie has a good, if short, historical perspective on the buckhorn sight and an interesting perspective on sights for the hunter. Hagie felt the average hunter was better off with a reciever or tang sight than he would be if equipped with a telescopic sight. Probably a fair assessment given the times. The picture of the buckhorn sight in the post above this one will be the reference for a Hagie quotes on the development of the sight.
Hagie felt the flat top post reticule was not appropriate for game hunting and felt the sharp pointed post was a better reticule. I have come to exactly the opposite conclusion but that what makes a horse race!
This book is only 175 pages long but is well worth a read.

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  #89  
Old 12-30-2012, 11:43 AM
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Slim,

You sure have put a great deal into this effort. With Christmas ramping down I am going to tie my field travel in the oil patch up hare with getting in shooting shape for spring break-up.

The only bolt I own is a LE No.5, commonly called the Jungle Carbine. It is the Scout Rifle first introduced in 1945. I own it because of the LE historical significance to a Canadian military family. Except for the wrong side bolt for a lefty it is an amazingly capable combat rifle. If I'm not mistaken it has everything the Colonel speced except the Scout scope mounting.

http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/08/hw35e.html

To start testing with older vision and barrel sights I'll use my Weihrauch HW35E 22 air rife. It has a great sight that has a square centre plate that revolves to give 4 different style notches. I'll also add a Williams peep for the receiver grooves.
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  #90  
Old 12-30-2012, 12:35 PM
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Bob, Maroontoad and I were just discussing the No.5 in an e-mail. He had one for quite awhile.
I have shot the No.3 and No. 4 rifles quite a lot - still have custody of a P-14 that belongs to my brother.
Ihave the Hagie stuff ready to put up.
My dad and I collected quite a bit of writing on iron sights years ago and we tried everything would could afford - and rig up!
It will amaze you the fine shooting you can do even with old eyes - if the light is behind you!
I have the scout rifle coming, I guess Christmas shipping has delayed it. We can compare our iron sight groups.
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Last edited by William Iorg; 12-30-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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  #91  
Old 12-30-2012, 06:07 PM
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My little LE carbine kicks like a mule. The rear stock has a small buttplate originally in rubber but now the consistency of concrete. I've toyed with adding a No.4 rear stock with the brass plate in a long length.

I am not buying anymore rifles for awhile but the Ruger Scout in its Canadian version sure interests me. 18" barrel, no flash hider, and in stainless only, and available in a lefty. It is the only bolt I would consider but I would throw that scout rail in the bush.

Shoot and handle a No.4 and No.5 side by side and a guy really appreciates the good manners of a heavy rifle.

I always grin when the Lee Enfield is mentioned due to the old story. The German's made a target rifle, the American's made a hunting rifle, and the Brit's made a club! It served my family well through two World Wars.
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  #92  
Old 12-31-2012, 06:37 PM
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Bob,
Here is a picture of a Savage 99 with tang sight. The Savage 99 mounts the tang sight further away from the eye but when the rifle is elevated for an uphill shot the tang moves back toward the eye.
The Winchester Trapper puts the Lyman No. 2 tang sight close enough to my eye that the stem taps my glasses every shot. The Model 94 with 26” barrel has a just a tough longer length of pull - eben though I believe they are listed as the same length and the rifle does not tap my glasses except when fired prone.
I have some more stuff to put up but the slow dial up connection is defeating me tonight.
I wish Ruger had made the Frontier rifle in left hand but the Scout will do.
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  #93  
Old 01-04-2013, 07:10 AM
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C. E. Hagie was an expert off hand shot of great experience. Hagie has strong opinions and I do not agree with all of them. In his book; The American Rifle, Hagies discussed the difference between the target shooter and the hunter. I have read similar comments to the quote below and I have heard people comment they cannot shoot targets but have no trouble shooting game. I understand Snap Shooting is more similar to wing shooting with a shot gun and that times change - we primarily use telescopic sights and shoot at stationary grame. In my youth we walked the ridges and in the brush game was in motion when first seen and quite a bit of our hunting with the rifle was snap shooting.
E. C Crossman in his books; Book of the Springfield and Military and Sporting Rifle Shooting addresses this subject and uses Stewart Edward White as an example of a Hunter/Rifleman who could shoot both targets and game. Others ,such as Francis Sell, wrote often that you aim at a spot on the game animal and not the whole animal.
For close shooting I use sights with a large bead or a wide front post. Here are Hagies thoughts on the tartget shooter Vs. the hunter;

“Ihe difference between fine target shooting and shooting garme
is as great as that between day and night. The only relationship
between the two is that rifles are used in both. One strives for
results, the other for perfection; and the two objectives are
absolutely inconsistent with each other.
Snap shooting has destroyed my capacity to do fine targets,
and I believe that striving for perfection in target work
lessen one's capacity to do the most effective field work. If you
would be an expert at one or the other, choose between the two.”
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  #94  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:42 AM
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Bob, Here is the quote I wanted to put up on this thread from C. E. Hagie’s, TIIE AMERICAN RIFLE. I am having a disagreement with my scanner about converting a scanned object into text due to a conversion to windows 7. There is a quite a bit of good information in The American Rifle and a bit I disagree with! Hagie would have been an interesting man to write to!
This is a very interesting bit about front sights. There is more but this gives you a general idea of his thoughts.

“When it comes to the selection of a front sight there is a greater range of optical principles involved. The black iron inverted V is almost obsolete. The nickel, high, narrow blade front sight seems to be pretty well on its way out. The square post on the inside of a telescope is gaining favor for target work, and may gain continued favor outside target purposes; but its not likely to find much acceptance for general hunting purposes. I believe this is true even in the hunting cope. It is one thing to see a round target of concentric circles perched on top of a perfectly flat-topped post (in one's sighting) and to see a deer at 300 yards speeding past the same kind of a post. One can center a cross-hair or a pointed post on where a deers
heart or neckbone should be more accurately and more quickly than he can the flat-topped post.
Most of the front sights now used on sporting rifles employ a round bead mounted on top of a stem. The beads are made in black, white, red and gold. Some of them are rounded and some have perfectly flat faces. Each is designed for a particular kind of lighting. The optical principles involved in the flat-faced and
oval types are very different. The oval face is best in poor light of even illumination, as it gathers the maximum amount of light. Its disadvantage is that in direct sunlight it has a tendency to appear more prominent on whichever side the direct rays of light are coming from. At midday with a bright sun overhead, the sight is likely to appear higher than it really is and cause the shooter to aim Iow. If bright light is coming from the left, the shooter is almost certain to hold the rifle to the right.
Probably the most accentuated of these light-gathering sights is the Sheard gold bead, an elongated gold bead with a decidedly oval surface toward the shooter. I used one for years, because a great deal of my shooting was being done on dark cloudy days and in early morning and late evening. In bright sunlight I would gladly have traded it for any other sight I have seen.. The flat-faced beads are best in bright light.
The choice of color should be decided on the basis of the color of the average background against which one will do most of his shooting. The red is best adapted to bright light and light background. The gold is a general all-purpose sight and can be blackened in a flame, if desired. The ivory is best in poor light and against dark backgrounds. It is the one I would prefer for heavy timber and represents a good choice for a big game hunting rifle. The Marble Company manufacturers a reversible sight giving a choice between a gold bead and an ivory bead.”
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  #95  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:58 AM
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Bob,

I want to keep these separate to keep the topic separate. Back on the first page I pictured the Marbles V-M sightin post #12 and mentioned Paul Estey. I was trying to come up with C. E. Hagie at the sme time and could not. Here are Hagies thoughts on the Marbles V-M sight.

“My own preference for the hunting rifle is a front sight that has not found general acceptance, in fact, it is a sight that about nineteen out of every twenty hunters have never even heard of - the V-M (Vickers-Maxim) aperture front sight. It is a gold-faced circle of quarter-inch outside diameter wth an inside aperture of 5/32- inch diameter, and is used in conjunction with a rear peep sight. It is visible in the dimmest light, obviates the tendency which so many shooters have of overshooting or undershooting in varying types of light, does not obscure the target at any time, and is quicker for snap shooting than any other front sight built. In my opinion it is also more accurate than any other type of metallic sight. Although it does not magnify the target I would rather have it on a hunting rifle than any telescope I have ever seen. As far as I can see, it has only one serious drawback, it is more fragile than the average bead sight. If the rifle is dropped and lands on the sight the chances are that the rim of the aperture will be broken. It is strong enough, however, to stand rough usage. In a scabbard carried on a horse, and I have packed them for thousands of miles on horseback, under the hardest of riding conditions, without injury to them. The V-M is by all odds te fastest sight I have ever used on running game, and at the same time the most accurate.”
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  #96  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:04 AM
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One last quote from C. E. Hagie and TIIE AMERICAN RIFLE. This is an interesting little book. At the time it was written the hunting scope was fragile and expensive. The mounting systems were not easy to use, they were expensive and even with mail order, discretionary money for glass sights was not available. I know my Uncles did not switch to the scope sight until the late 1950’s.

Hanshi, I have intended to mention your flinter is stunning. What a nice rifle. Chris Cash, have you seen this rifle?

The telescope has the following disadvantages on the big-game rifle: Being a deliberate,
precision instrument it is not well adapted to the rough handlingit is likely to receive in the kind of rugged, slippery, brushy, rocky country where most game is found, and a fall is likely to
injure it beyond use. It is so constructed that snow, leaves, pine needles and other foreign substances are likely to get on the lenses and temporarily interfere with their use; and if kept capped it is not ready when needed. In sudden temperature changes it is likely to fog over, or even frost over. It is not verywell suited for carrying in a scabbard on horseback. Its fietd being limited, time is lost in picking up running game when time alone is the major element in whether or not the game is to be bagged. The telescope sight magnifies the degree of un-steadiness of the holding, slowing up the reaction time in shooting-even on standing game.
In spite of all that may be said against it the telescope sightwill continue to be used by a lot of big-game hunters, who like to put on their favorite hunting rifles all the fancy gadgets thatcan be procured. It provides that much more to talk about and brag about and coddle along on the hunting trip. Occasionally an animal hat otherwise might be missed at long range mav be killed with the use of a telescope sight. It also offers the fellow with a lot of money to spend an opportunity to put an additional $50 or $100 or $500 into his hunting equipment and thus think himself the envy of the less fortunate. But the bow-legged cow- puncher at his side is likely to outshoot him in every instance, using open sights on an old 'thutty-thutty, or a .250.
If a telescope sight is to be used on a big-game hunting rifle the magnification should never be greater than 2 ½ or 3 power; otherwise the field of vision is so limited and the magnification of the barrel's movements so great that the handicap is hard to overcome.
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  #97  
Old 01-04-2013, 03:13 PM
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One last thought and I'll leave this alone for awhile.
With iron sight shooting I think of under 100-yard shooting and certainly much of my shooting is under 50 yards. I hunt in thick brush and you cannot see very far.
Many of us have posted about the rather short ranges deer are killed throughout the country.
Here are Hagie's thoughts on the typical distance game shooting distance - based on 1940's thinking.

"My observation leads me to believe that of all the big game animals killed annually inn the United States at least three out of every four are shot while standing, and at comparatively short distances. To affect a clean kill on these it is merely necessary that the hunter select a vital spot, and keep his head until he has squeezed off the shot."
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:58 PM
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The comments about scopes caught my eye. I've shot two big game animals with a scope. A deer in Saskatchewan prairie country with a 243 BLR and a Redfield 1.5-4X variable and moose in the Alberta Rockies foothills and a Leupold 2.5X Ultralight scope.

I found the scopes worked best for me in low power. The variable just seemed too fussy and delicate and I'm not a fan of the 243. The 2.5x was like an optical peep sight and small enough to not ruin the lever action hand carry too much and FOV to find a target at muskeg distance. If I wasn't so stubborn it is probably the ideal choice for me. The straight forward tube allowed low mounts as well.

The post on being good with targets or hunting as two separate skills that don't really support each skill set is a good one. I used to think benching a rifle was good for load development and tuning the sights while 22 plinking and small game hunting was best for hunting training.

I've been busy with my air rifle and will have a basement 10M range finished this weekend. My version of dry fire will be basement shooting and once the deep freeze lets up I will settle in at 25M outside using the practice schedule for offhand like the one mentioned.

I think I'll use blank paper sized for each range and try to both tighten groups and hit the center without an aim point. I'll report soon on my success. I'm no target shooter so this might be best for dedicated shooting training for a guy with my needs. If I could consistently shoot 3" groups offhand at 100M I'd be some proud. Right now I would be happy with a group on an 8.5X11" sheet of paper!

I know I'll never match the guys new to the sport dropping Elk at 500 yards with monster magnums though. My only bragging shot involved a 444, 175 yards, one shot, and a big moose. I wish I was young enough to work like that still.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:35 AM
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Bob,
We are kindred spirits with regard to scope power. I prefer a straight tube scope of low power on all of my hunting rifles. I don’t mind the 1.5 - 5X variables, my current favorite for lever-actions is the Weaver V-3. For bolt guns I prefer an upper power of 5X. I grew up in New Mexico and we could see quite aways out. For varmints I prefer a 6X or 8X. I don’t need to shoot the little guys at a ¼ mile.
I don’t have a complaint if someone wants to carry a high power, large objective scope, I just don’t feel the need.

There is no doubt hunting and plinking with a .22 hones your hunting skills. We must shoot off-hand and from field positions to develop our skills. At the time Hagie was writing he was thinking of target shooting as Military high power match shooting and the NRA .22 Match shooters - “Belly Crawlers” as E. C. Crossman dubbed them. Inded there is little in common between hunting in a heavily wooded forest and shooting .22’s at 200- yards, prone.

Robert Ruark wrote of his backyard, air gun safari’s in Florida. Ruark felt the target (rats and mice) may be more wary then larger critters and with the shooting often from bright light into shadow, or in the low light of night, the hunter/rifleman was highly challenged.

Shooting standing, unsupported, can be a humbling experience.

“My only bragging shot involved a 444, 175 yards, one shot, and a big moose. I wish I was young enough to work like that still.”

You may have seen a post or two years ago about my father and brother when they lived in Alaska. My brother said every time he raised a rifle at a moose he could hear my father hissing in his ear; “Don’t drop him in the water.”
Moose are plenty of work on “dry” ground, boning out a critter that big in knee deep, cold water, is real work. A good reason to “Hunt Close.”
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:22 AM
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You made me chuckle on the moose and water comment. My uncle raised on a homestead north of Lessor Slave Lake in Alberta was fond of saying, we don't shoot moose around here unless they got at least two hooves in the pickup box!
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