Took it out a couple days ago and it beat me up so bad I'm over it.
S & W 18" 12ga, weighs little and has a hard plastic butt plate. Shot three 2 3/4" #8s the other day. The 2 from the hip about tore my finger off in the trigger guard. The one I shouldered kicked like a mule.
Bought it pawn shop used 25-30 years ago when I was hauling pigs into east LA to the kill plant, just in case. Hardly any blue left on it then much less now.
Took it all apart and gave it a good cleaning yesterday and it's on to a new home.
When I came home last Friday night from my 3 week hitch up north to hunt my wife asked if we could go cut our own Christmas tree this year and I said sure. From my pics you guys are probably thinking "I don't remember seeing any trees" and you'd be right. Southwest of my SD home 60 miles as the crow flies, 80 by road are what's called The Slim Buttes. Located between Reva & Buffalo SD, the Slim Buttes are a part of the Custer National Forest system. Very rich in history and an amazing break from the endless grasslands the western Dakotas are known for.
So we had a Thanksgiving dinner yesterday evening with the youngest son and his fiance and the middle son. The oldest is now employerd by the USPS and couldn't get time off. Then the youngest and his fiance left for her family in Belle Fourche last night. This morning I hooked up the enclosed trailer with the RZR in it, put an edge on my ax and away we go.
Got to the campground and unloaded the RZR and started cruising the trails and parked it and walked out to the west rim and found a way down to the hills below the cliffs. Started working our way back south towards the highway and picked quite a few trees but needed to see what was over the next little rise. Ironically when we got down off the cliffs onto the lower hills we jumped a very nice whitetail buck with a doe but armed with only an axe and no tag for that unit I watched him fade away into the pines.
We settled on a tree within probably 800 yards of rough terrain from the highway and the pickup was 200 yards from where we carried it to the highway. According to the wife's fitbit watch we covered 3.7 miles by the time we got back to the pickup. Drove back up top and got the RZR then rode it to the tree and loaded up.
Stopped at the battle monument on the way out of the park. Pictures to follow.
First I don't hunt near as much as some people. I used to bird hunt, goose hunt, deer, antelope, prairie dogs etc.
I won't shoot what I won't eat except for varmints and predators so that limits me to deer and antelope.
We have another property where 4 landowners butt against each other and it is flat magic. We've taken many good deer there as well.
The 4 corners can only be accessed by a long 1-3 mile hike depending on the wind and cows. If you try to drive in you blow them out every time.
In these pics I'm hunkered down in a fence row 200 yards east of the 4 corners and this little buck comes straight east down the fence and sees me at 20 yards but doesn't know what I am so makes a quarter circle around me and wanders off north. He has a look over the ridge south of me then wanders back west and starts following a doe headed south who gets to the 4 corners and heads east down my fence line where she has the same reaction and they both make a circle around me.
I had many deer pass to my south and had many still coming my way from the neighbors that I ran out of light on.
Great way to pass an afternoon into evening even if you don't get to pull the trigger.
Well I scored a reamer and set of custom dies today. It's a 6.5x47 Lapua AI that's cut 3 or 4 chambers. Comes with dies and go gage. It's AI'd with a slight increase in capacity from a 40* shoulder and less taper to the side wall. Exactly what I've been searching for versus a dasherized cartridge that lengthens the shoulder by shortening the neck.
I'm going to try a couple 6.5s in the Panda and this will be one of them.
Picked up an old school NXS 12 - 42 recently with the NP 2DD reticle.
Put it on the Panda and shot 2 ladders yesterday. 78* & a right to left 10 mph late afternoon wind provided plenty of mirage so I couldn't pick out any bullet holes but I was impressed with the glass none the less.
Finally got the Savage Dasher running Sunday Gunday!
I got just over 200 pieces of mostly 1x brass with it LOL After priming it all it's mostly junk, most will barely hold a primer. There were maybe 30 pieces that were tight and another 30 that were decent, the rest is scrap.
Lesson learned I guess.
Any way I zeroed the scope with 4 then cleaned, shot 6 and cleaned, then shot 10 and cleaned and then shot about 4 sighters and the 15 shot ladder and cleaned.
I probably should have cleaned a little more frequently but I did not. The Rock Creek 28" 8 twist heavy varmint caught very little copper and the random 32g load of Varget and a 103 V Tacs was a little on the sooty side.
The new to me Sharpshooter comp trigger is nice but a little on the heavy side compared to my Bix & Andy or Jewell.
The gun shot well enough and it looked like the ladder was just getting to it's happy place where I left off. Unfortunately since the brass is junk I'll have to decide how many pieces of new Alpha I want to dedicate to the gun and "set" the heads with a lighter load to harden it up.