Archive for March, 2008

17 HMR’s, The Bushmaster AR-15 & My Dog

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I went to the range the other day to make sure my 17′s, the .223 and my new dog were dialed in for squirrel shooting season, and they all did OK. There was a quartering wind at 10 mph for most of the morning, but the guns still did pretty well when I remembered to breathe and squeeze the trigger instead of yanking it whenever the cross hairs on the scope got close to the mark.

The first thing we did (did I mention the Verminator went too) was to have the Verminator shoot some .17 HMR while I held the new puppy, who isn’t really that new anymore and hardly qualifies as a puppy. He’s around 6 months old, weighs about 60lbs and is an all black, Black Lab and Golden Retriever mix. He is by far the smartest dog I’ve ever owned, but that’s not saying much.

When the Verminator shot, I jumped and “Hunter”, looked at me like I was some kind of pansy. “I wasn’t ready”, I said, but he still kept looking at me like I was a wimp. I then had the Verminator fire off a couple more from the .17 just to make sure that his reaction wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t, he still looked at me like a pansy when I jumped the next two times.

“Well, that doesn’t seem to bother him”, I told the Verminator, “Why don’t you try the .223?”

“OK, but why don’t you let him go then, instead of hanging on to him, he’ll get jumpy if he feels you jump each time the gun goes off”, said the Vermin… ator.

I hate him sometimes!

So I let Hunter go, and he wandered off and started eating shell casings, gravel, cow crap and anything else that looked like it wouldn’t bite him back. That dog is a fricken goat, and will pack away tons of garbage, and then puke up this big pile of rocks and sticks and plastic bottle caps and stuff… he’s gross. But he is also soft, black and smart, so I’m willing to overlook a few small character flaws.

The Verminator then broke out the Bushmaster .223 Varminter and fired off a round. The dog, who was about 20 yards away, looked up with a look that said, “What the heck”? I told Vermin to do it again and the dog had the same reaction, but went back to eating whatever he was eating when the 2nd and 3rd shots were fired. After awhile, he came over and lay down under the bench where we were both shooting the .17′s and the .223′s. He is by far the calmest and coolest dog I’ve ever seen under fire… he doesn’t even look up while you’re shooting; unless you drop your doughnut or something, of course.

The first rifle I got out to get sighted in for this year’s sage rat season was my Savage .17 hmr with Accutrigger. I didn’t have any of my usual 17 gr. Hornady Ballistic Tips, so I used some CCI Hollow Points I had left over from last year. The first couple of groups were all over the place, until I remembered to squeeze instead of jerk. Then the groups settled down to a decent inch, with one group coming in at about 5/8th of an inch.

I then tried my Remington 17 gr. Ballistic Tips. The Remington’s shot about the same size groups as the CCI’s, but they shot like 2 whole inches to the right. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s a little weird don’tcha think?

The Bushmaster was OK, but I was still trying to use the Ammo I got at Wal-Mart last year, and it had a deviation of like 79, which leads to 2 inch groups at 100 yards. I need to go to the store and pick up a couple of different brands and see which does the best in my rifle.

All in all, I think I can hit some squirrels next month in Lakeview. I’ll also do some filming when I’m there, so look for some new squirrel shooting videos on Youtube in about a month.

ps. I shot the Henry Golden Boy in 17HMR, and it works fine, but none of the rings I took to the range fit it, so I will have to get some and go back and sight it in later… Sorry.

Henry .17 HMR Golden Boy

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

I got my new Henry Repeating Arms .17 HMR lever action rifle today, and will take it to the range tomorrow. It has a scope mount on it, so I will be checking it out with 2-3 different scopes to see which one works best. It’s a really nice rifle and the action is very smooth, but the thing weighs a ton (yea, I need to eat some more wheaties). My wife tried it out and was like, “Holy crap Squirrelman, that thing weighs a ton.”

When I picked it up from the gun dealer today, we both tried it out and it was a little short for a couple of grown men to just throw up to the eye in total comfort, but it still felt good. My guess is that it will become really easy to adapt my shooting style to take into account it’s shorter length, and that teenagers and women are going to be snatching this thing off the shelf. If I had it to do over, I would spend a little extra and get one of the “Big Boy” rifles from Henry, but that ‘s because I am a “big boy” at 6 feet tall and 300 lbs.

I’ll let you know more tomorrow, after I’ve tried it out.

17 HMR vs. 17 HM Mach2

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I found out this week that I can take my old 10/22, which shoots like crap after running 200,000 rounds through it over the years, and turn it into a 17Mach2 for less than $250. My understanding is that I just need a new barrel, a couple of bolt buffers and a new bolt handle.

The 17 Mach2 shoots at 2100 ft per second and is just a regular 22 long rifle cartridge that has been chambered for the Hornady 17 caliber 17 grain V-Max Ballistic Tip Bullet. Here’s What said about it.

From a rifle at 175 yards the .17M2 is still going faster than a .22 LR at the muzzle. The muzzle energy of the .17M2′s 17-grain bullet (166 ft-lbs) is 18 percent greater than a 40-grain .22 LR (140 ft-lbs). Its trajectory is flat! Zeroed at 100 yards, the .17M2 has only a 0.7-inch mid-range rise at 50 yards; a .22 LR has a 2.9-inch rise.

For $239.00, don’t you think adding a stainless fluted bull barrel in 17 calibre to your old 10/22 is worth it? Check out this Ruger 10/22 to 17 Mach2 conversion kit if your looking to really kill some squirrels, but would rather pay $5.00 per 50 rounds instead of the $11.00 per 50 rounds that it currently costs for 17 HMR ballistic tip ammunition.


Upcoming Squirrel Shooting Events

Friday, March 14th, 2008

I was going to put up a nice long post about when and where the 3 squirrel shooting events are going to be held over the next 4 weeks, but then I decided not to. If you’re too lazy to go over to the varmint shooting forums and sign up, then you’re probably too lazy to drive to the sage rat whacking competitions anyway, so why waste the time and effort? (Are you getting all hot under the collar yet? If you are, you can show how tough you are and how wrong I am about you, by getting over there and signing up… Com’on succumb to the peer pressure.)

For those of you going to the shoots, you need to get out your .17 hmr’s, .22 wmr’s and 22 lr and get them all set up for the Surprise Valley and Unity shoots. Those two shoots are rimfire only, so keep that in mind. The Unity shoot is full up, with 32 teams shooting and 32 teams on the waiting list.

Those of you going to the Lakeview can get their .223′s and 22.250′s out and get ready to do some long range varmint shooting.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Sage Rat Shoots, Roundups and Skwerl Massacres!


Squirrel Song Verminator’s Rendition

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Check the calendar, spring is here-
What a magical time of year-
Howdy ho its Squirrel Blasting Day!

Put your shooting glasses on-
Spread your gear across the lawn-
Dontcha know its Squirrel Blasting Day!

All the hunters with their toys-
Love that wonderful splatting noise-
You’ll know what this is all about-
When you blast a Squirrels guts right out-
So come along and have a laugh-
Snap their Squirrelly spines in half-
Grab a gun and blast your cares away-
Hip-Hip-Hooray its Squirrel Blasting Day!

Snipers and the guns they wield-
Blasting Squirrels across the field-
Why we do it who can say-
It’s like a festive holiday-
So let the blasting fun begin-
Blast their Squirrelly skulls right in-
It’s tradition that makes it ok-
Hey everyone its Squirrel Blasting-
Pick up your gun its Squirrel Blasting-
Hip-Hip-HOORAY its Squirrel Blasting Day!!!

Ruger .17 HMR Shooting Bunnies

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

I know this is a squirrel shooting website that drifts into shooting other varmints from time to time, but I just had to show you guys this bunny rabbit video that is posted over on youtube. I’ve never seen so many rabbits in one place. The rabbits in this video are almost as thick as the squirrels are when we go ground squirrel hunting in the Spring. If anyone knows where we can find a bunny rabbit infestation like this, let me know and I’ll see if I can get a couple of guys to show up for a bunny rabbit shoot off. LOL

Just click on the play button to watch what a .17 HMR Ruger will do to a rabbit, and then click on it again if it doesn’t start.