Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Losing sight of the purpose

Sometimes i wonder about rifle designers. It seems that they often lost track of how the final product will be used and create something that is neither fish nor fowl.

Case in point: Remington with their Model Seven and their Short-Action Ultra Magnum family of cartridges.

When i went to buy a compact rifle i intended to get a Model 7 in 260 Remington. I switched to the Ruger 77 Compact for two reasons. The Ruger was over a hundred bucks cheaper at retail. But the more critical factor was that the Ruger was shorter by almost four inches. The Model 7 in 260 has a 20" barrel. The Ruger is a fraction over 16". If it was worth getting a new rifle to lose four inches in OAL compared to my 30-06, then saving eight inches made a lot more sense.

One of the reasons Remington came out with the 7mm and .300 RSAUM was that the Winchester Short Magnums would not work in the Model 7. Have to put the short mag in your short rifle, i guess, even if that means inventing a new cartridge.

The only problem is that even a short magnum needs a longer barrel to really out-perform a standard cartridge. So Remington put a 22" barrel on the Model 7 Magnum. Which means the compact rifle isn't very compact anymore.

Furthermore, the short magnums still kick. The recoil of the 7mm RSAUM is only 5% less than a 30-06 (comparing 140 gr. 7MM @ 3150 to 165 gr. .308@ 2930). The 260 Remington, in contrast, kicks 30% less. So the Model 7 Magnum ends up being a hard-kicking gun only marginally shorter than a Model 700 in .280 Remington.

Recoil is a problem in the Model Seven because many people buy it as a youth gun. It is a great one in 7mm-08 or .260 Remington. But in a magnum it punishes women and kids more than would a full-sized 7mm Mauser.

Adult men don't get a pass either. Because the Ruger Compact and Remington Model Seven have shorter stocks, it is easy to creep up on the scope when shooting. With the recoil of a magnum, you will eventually get smacked by the scope because you got too close.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Why I Like Revolvers

Pharmacist Shoots at Armed Robber

The bullet missed its target, but scared the robber. Police say the man fled on foot.

"The gun jammed after the first shot, you know, or we could have popped off ten rounds," Hadley said with a touch of regret.

This isn't the first time their store has been robbed.

But come on.... if i ran a business that was a robbery magnet, i would make time to clean my weapon and i would make absolutely sure my ammo feeds flawlessly.

HT: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Soon to be orphaned?

The 260 Remington came out around 1998. So it is not a good sign that ammo makers are cutting back on their offerings in this calibre. I just checked Cheaper than Dirt and they listed only four options from just two makers.

There used to be a Speer Nitrex offering that is gone now. And Remington has dropped their 125 grain Partition load.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

A Perfect Day

IMHO any day spent hunting is a good day. But looking at this picture and reading his entry makes me think that Weck Up To Thees! may have had a perfect day.
Handloading Primer

Publicola has a new post up at Shooters' Carnival called Handloading for Beginners. If you have thought about getting started rolling your own, read it. He packs in plenty of information.

As he points out, handloading doesn't actually save you money-- it just lets you shoot more for the same money. It's also a great hobby. Especially in the winter when nothing is in season. A couple hours at the reloading bench beats staring at the January repeats on TV.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


A grizzly end for man who liked to tell bears 'I love you'

A bear-lover who would creep up to grizzlies in the wild chanting "I love you" to prove that they posed no danger has been killed by them.

What remained of Timothy Treadwell, 46 - author, filmmaker and celebrity for his unorthodox views on the animals - was recovered from the Katmai National Park in Alaska this week. His bear attacker had buried part of him in a so-called food cache.

Bear Kills Bear Expert, Companion in Alaska

Treadwell was known for his confidence around bears. He often touched them, and gave them names. Once he was filmed crawling along the ground singing as he approached a sow and two cubs.

Over the years, Park Service officials, biologists and others expressed concern about his safety and the message he was sending.

"At best he's misguided," Deb Liggett, superintendent at Katmai, told the Anchorage Daily News in 2001. "At worst he's dangerous. If Timothy models unsafe behavior, that ultimately puts bears and other visitors at risk."

Wildlife author killed, eaten by bears he loved

Treadwell's films of close-up encounters with giant bears brought him a bounty of national media attention. The fearless former drug addict from Malibu, Calif. -- who routinely eased up close to bears to chant "I love you'' in a high-pitched, sing-song voice -- was the subject of a show on the Discovery Channel and a report on "Dateline NBC." Blond, good-looking and charismatic, he appeared for interviews on David Letterman's show and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" to talk about his bears. He even gave them names: Booble, Aunt Melissa, Mr. Chocolate, Freckles and Molly, among others.

A self-proclaimed eco-warrior, he attracted something of a cult following too. Chuck Bartlebaugh of "Be Bear Aware,'' a national bear awareness campaign, called Treadwell one of the leaders of a group of people engaged in "a trend to promote getting close to bears to show they were not dangerous.

"He kept insisting that he wanted to show that bears in thick brush aren't dangerous. The last two people killed (by bears) in Glacier National Park went off the trail into the brush. They said their goal was to find a grizzly bear so they could 'do a Timothy.' We have a trail of dead people and dead bears because of this trend that says, 'Let's show it's not dangerous.' ''

Monday, October 06, 2003

Shooters' Carnival

Two really good posts are up: both by Publicola: proper use of a rifle sling and the economics of handloading.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Big bore guys are never satisfied

Lt. Eben Swift in the Journal of the United States Cavalry Association, circa 1887:

"There are no fiercer fighters on earth than these Afghans, Zulus, and Arabs, who, armed with hand weapons entirely, were able to run over well-disciplined troops armed with breech-loading rifles. The officers were earnest in declaring that toy pistols would not do for such service; that there must be no doubt of the ability of the weapon to drop an adversary in his tracks. Many would not trust the caliber .45 and favored the double-barreled pistol caliber .577 and the four-barreled pistol caliber .476 on account of their stopping power."

In 1879 a British Major Edin Baker wrote:

"I saw Captain H. of the Bengal Cavalry, empty five shots from his revolver into the back of a Ghazi, who was running amuck through camp, at less than five yards range, without stopping him....I consider the service revolver should throw a heavy ball of .5 inch to .55 inch diameter.

The revolver they are critiquing is the British blackpowder .455 with its 250 grain lead bullet.

Both quotes from A. C. Gould, Modern American Pistols and Revolvers, 1888.