May 20, 2009
Petzal: Stupid Moves
By David E. Petzal
In this blog and in my magazine column I try to project an aura of calm infallibility, making myself out to be sort of an aged Anti-Heavey. But the truth is, about once every other week, I screw up so badly that I recite a prayer which I composed especially for those occasions. It goes:
“Oh Lord of Hosts, who guided my namesake David’s hand so that he could put a rock right through Goliath’s pre-frontal lobes even though he played the harp in his spare time, I thank Thee that the readers didn’t see me do that.”
But I think it’s time to come clean. I do dumb s**t just like everyone else. Last week I forgot to tighten the front rings on a Leupold mount and the recoil yanked the rear rings right of the windage screws, sliding the scope forward and leaving me wondering why the hell I wasn’t on the paper any more.
The week before that I got a box of the brand-new 100-grain .257 Swift Sciroccos, and looked up my .25/06 load for 87-grain Nosler Ballistic Tips to use as a starting point. Since 100 grains is less than 87 grains, I added one grain of powder to the 87-grain load and then wondered why my primers were bashed flat until it dawned on me that 100-grain bullets weigh more than 87-grainers, not less, and I should have cut back by one grain of powder instead of adding.
We all do dumb s**t, and about all we can do about it is constantly check ourselves and hope that we catch it in time. By the way, the accuracy of the new Sciroccos, once I got my head right, was sensational.