This will be the musings/ramblings of a old man. Please excuse any grammar, spelling or structure issues. Random thoughts.
LA firearms season ends when the sun goes down. A good thing. Season waaaay too long. Limits too liberal and enforcement of tagging. non-existent. Just have to deal with it. The reason all you brothers in the midwest/west are the places we Southerners dream about is short seasons and limited buck tags.
On day four of a self-imposed quarantine. My hunting/reloading/shooting friend Craig popped hot on Thursday. We had spent the entire afternoon before reloading/shooting. He has minor symptoms. Triple vaxxed as am I. I have no symptoms. Laying low. Omicron is raging down here and I don't want to be accused of being a "Typhoid Mary."
Reflected on the 2021-2022 season. Four whitetails, one feral hog and a 325 yard miss on a coyote that still haunts me. All with the Alamo Precision 6.5 PRC, factory 143 ELD-X.
Cold and cloudy here. Not outside doing deep cleans but doing Rem-oil wipedowns. Several old reliable's that did not get to eat. Will remedy next season. Number one up is the Joe Collier 6.5 CM he built for me in 2019. Have only killed a feral hog with it. Will be my long poke stick next year.
The APR 6.5 PRC will get a break. Will get "real" with 7-08 and 6.5 CM in LA and TN where the shot is not over 200. The APR and old 700, 7mm Rem Mag held in strategic reserve in case I get the opportunity to go West.
Got our hands on some 156 EOLs. Loading 6.5 PRC. Sent e-mail to Berger. Had the data within 8 hours. Did some at min for H1000. 1/4" at 2660 MV. Told my buds need to crank them up to 2800-2900 to ensure the Berger "bang-flop." Side note: Ran the COAL out to 2.955 on the 140 Speer Gold Dots. SHAZAAM! Touching at 100. Reviews of this bullet very good. I am impressed. Holding some, but just ordered another 250 from MidSouth. $19.89 box of 50. No limit. Anxious to run this pill out of a Creedmoor.
Three of us have been pooling resources for the last several months. Most of the equipment is mine. Old, reliable stuff and some new tech upgrades. I used to reload years ago and just got away from it. Had a master refresh me and train the other two. Came up with two sub moa loads in my friend Jim's Tikka. 143ELD-X and 140 Speer Gold Dot. Ran some over my Magneto. Backed the ELD-X off to about 2800. Have several hundred Berger 156 EOL's but no data. Will call Berger tomorrow and try to get min, mid, max and COAL for the 156's. They were ragging me because I did not bring a rifle to play with. Told them bluntly. When I show up to bake mine, you will see OCD in it's full glory. They are dedicated and serious overall, but a little casual in with case management. Once fired factory and some reloads they got from a unserious reloader. After break-in and hunting season, have accumulated about 45 once fired Hornady's. Lost two cases in south Texas because I got caught up in the heat of the moment.
Spent most of this afternoon on the net trying to get on alert/wait list for Berger 6.5 156 EOL with anybody reputable. Had no idea Berger was based in Fullerton, CA. Love the product and probably great Americans working there. But good Gawd y'all, break through the Communist lines and move to a free state. TN, AL, MS, FL, TX, WV, AR.
Brief primer. Two Nikon engineers who quit, waited their requisite five years, then started TRACT. Was dyed in the wool 7mm of any flavor. Then in 2013 started to hear whispers of the 6.5 CM. Have a 3-15 Toric on the Ruger 77 Hawkeye Predator 6.5 CM that started me down the road to perdition. A happy history since with family and friends. Back to TRACT.. Been pinged since mid Dec. Pre order of the TORIC UHD, 1-8x24 30mm, LRVO. 2FP, MRAD or MOA. Spendy but save $120 with pre order. Will go on my Grendel.
Always try to reach out to folks who have done me right. Christmas season melancholy. On a whim, dialed up Alamo Precision. The smith that did a lot of the work on my 6.5 PRC answered the phone. Told him impressed with the rifle they built for me. Five for six in 2021. Missed a coyote at 325 in south Texas that is still haunting me. Told him ELD-X is killing the critters, but no blood trails. He brightened when I told him we were loading for the PRC. #1 bullet for what we are doing, 156 Berger EOL. #2 Berger 140 Hybrid. Said the Nosler AB and ABLR also get it done.
Still scheduled to start 18 Jan 22. Sig Sauer pulled out early because of covid concerns. Whole thing might fall apart at the last minute.
Have been cruising the web looking for new stuff. Checked the Browning site yesterday. Seems to me they are focused on long range rifles. Good with it, but I don't need one. However, showed a Limited X Bolt left-hand. Blued with brown laminate stock. Does not show specs. Interested in caliber offerings. Have a left hand 2015 Shot Show X Bolt in 6.5CM. Gray laminate and stainless. Probably my favorite rifle. Shoots small with just about anything you run in it. Light and handy. Even when I go somewhere and carry the 6.5 PRC as the primary, the Browning is cased up and ready as a back-up in case something stupid happens. Don't need another deer rifle but considering. Hate it that their X Bolts in 7mag have 26"barrels.
Was not quite sure where to put this, but it is a hunting stick so it landed here. Received the CVA Paramount HTR .40 cal on backorder for three months. 225 grain ELR by Powerbelt behind 105 grains by weight of Blackhorn 209 equals 2740 MV. Zeroed 2 inches high, dead on at 200 and 8 inch drop at 300. Have watched all the videos and read all the reviews. Love my old Knight Mountaineer .50 but won't take a poke with it past 150. Shoots tight but if I have to weave one through a 6" hole in the brush, I pass. 20 MOA rail from Talley, check, .40 cal brake from Anarchy, check. Adequate supply of 225 ELR's, Fed 210M's, Vari-flame adapters and Blackhorn 209, check. Ordered the glass today. Vortex Razor HTR 3-15x42. Leupold chapped my a** a couple of weeks ago by closing the custom shop due to state "covid" restrictions. Not buying it. Not the first time custom shop has failed me. I will leave it at that. Has been a fire sale of Leupold products here at the homeplace. My friends/buyers are loving it. Never liked their mushy-a**ed dials anyway. So there. Seriously. Second week of November 2022 when those bucks are cruising the pasture edges on my place in TN looking for Miss Lovely, they are in extreme peril.
Killed a worthy mainframe 10 yesterday at 0633. One minute after legal shooting hours for Dover, TN. I had been locked down on him for 10 minutes. Fifty yards broadside in the fog. Alamo Precision 6.5 PRC with 143 ELD-X. Died where he stood. Have been after this old boy since late October. Have several day/night trail cam pics of him.
Counts as a 9 because his G4 on the right broken off. He was at least 4.5 years old. Huge body. Taking to the taxidermist this morning. Think he scores mid 140's. Probably would have pushed 150 if the G4 was not gone. Think this was the oldest/largest deer on my place. Best deer I have taken in several years. Getting pics of 5 or 6 young 8's. The investment in white clover and chicory food plots paying off.
Recovery was easy. Walked the 1/2 mile back to the house, got the side by side. Drove right up to him. Too heavy for me to load. Cinched him up to the hitch and did a slow, motorized drag to the skinning pole.
Took my time caping. Meat in the cooler. Once again, did it all by myself. What started as a OK kind of season in south Texas ended with a bang, no pun intended. Headed back to LA Wednesday. Twenty days of rifle left there. Will sit a few times hoping feral hogs or coyotes show up.
At 0700 had three bucks 100 yards in front of the ground blind. The 8, a 6 and a spike. Have faced reality and decided if I see a 3.5 year old buck on my property, I had better send one. Surrounded by neighbors that are "hair" hunters.
Rack nothing special. Maybe 120". Will put it on a plaque. He was large bodied and healthy.
6.5 PRC with ELD-X. 100 yard shot. Behind the shoulder. Ran 40 yards. No blood trail. Vaporized his heart and lungs.
A good day. Am old and broken. Did recovery, skinned, quartered and iced it down. Did it all by my tired old self.
But, I am whupped. Tomorrow will be a recovery day.
Have had a CVA Paramount HTR muzzleloader in .40 cal. on backorder for a while with Uncle Larry. 2740 MV with 150 grains of Blackhorn 209 and the Powerbelt ELR 225 grain pill. 2" high at 100, dead on at 200. Caught it several months ago on sale. Notified today that it shipped. Have already piled up the stuff required to set it up. Will wear a Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15x42. Legal in TN.
6.5 CM and PRC for life. Quality hunting ammo for our CM's not an issue. Not a hoarder but a smart shopper before the shortage hit. Holding enough 6.5 factory PRC. Set up to reload. Have it all but bonded bullets. 7 mm Rem Mag. The pretty girl that brought me to the long range dance. Have kinda stumbled into this. Holding 150 Scirocco's from Swift and Remington. 150 Berger Classic Hunters from Copper Creek. Yesterday, the blind hog found the acorn. Federal Terminal Ascent 155 grain. At a little Mom and Pop shop in a Ahearn building. Forty miles up the road from me in Olla, LA. Have read about and watched the TV "sports" and Terminal Ascent for the last couple of years. More likely to see a purple unicorn than this stuff. My Precious!
Ordered my Alamo Precision 6.5 PRC January 2021. Laid hands on July 2021. A hammer. Mid October killed a 10 year old management 8, a doe, and a nasty boar hog in south Texas. Stick of choice on all my sits in LA and TN. Have seen nothing worthy. Have enough meat and mentioned earlier, not mad at Bambi any more for this season. But, have pretend killed enough does, fawns, young bucks, gray squirrels, racoons, crows and hawks to fill up a tractor trailer. Old Army. Always working on technique. Other people on stand read/listen to the BS on their phones. Not me. I love nature. Wide eyed and not bored when I absorb my surroundings waiting for that monster to show. When the Christmas bills/property taxes are paid, will probably put down the deposit for a APR Maverick in 7 Rem Mag. 6.5 crazy but 7mm mag never let me down when I ventured forth to the plains starting in 2012. Wham! Bam! Thank you ma'am.