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March 05, 2008

Paper Versus Meat

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Back when I was young and knew everything, I was convinced that a good shot was a good shot, period, and that anyone who could shoot well at paper targets had to shoot well on game, and vice-versa. Now I am not so sure.

Shooting well at targets and shooting well at game require different skill sets. The target shooter must be able to control his breathing and heartbeat, be able to read mirage and wind, have a perfect trigger squeeze, have his shooting positions down to perfection, and be thoughtful and deliberate at all times. Being a good game shot requires that you shoot quickly, from awkward positions, at ill-defined and/or moving targets, and above all, that you be able to kill without hesitation.

This last is a big thing. Taking a life does not come easily to many people, and I have seen many, many otherwise fine shots become completely unhinged when the time came to drop the hammer on something that was breathing. About the only thing you can do about this is shoot until you do everything automatically, but even that is no sure solution.

Probably the best example of the "bad target/great game" shot is an African PH. The ones I've seen shoot at paper can sight in a rifle OK, but that's about it. However, if you want someone to stick a big bullet up the nose of a Cape buffalo that is 10 feet away, coming at full speed, and has payback on his mind, he is the guy to see.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

ishawoowa,I did the same with my son. Drug him with me shooting and hunting. Now he's 17 and outshoots me in the dove fields but only comes close with handguns and rifles. Now he wants to join the Marines after H.S.Teach 'em young.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

Rockey Mtn. Hunter,Just read your post and you mentioned loaning a gun and not doing it again. I agree but for a different reason.I loaned a gun (for the first time ever) to a friend who thought he had a problem with unfriendly visitors to his property. A couple weeks later after he had bought his own gun he gave mine back and I drove home and put it in the gun cabinet. A few weeks later I took it out to shoot and when I checked the chamber it was fully loaded and ready to rock and roll.My stupidity for not checking it from the start but thats how people get killed and make the news. I never loaned a gun before nor since. Buy your own gun if you need one and if you can't pass the background check then don't come to me.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

When I hunt, I hunt, ready all the time. When I see a animal,I judge immediately if I want this animal or not. If i decide to take him, I put the rifle on the animal, wait till the animal is in a position I can kill it and fire. I don;t fiddle around all day waiting till he is 50 yds away or in a better location. I pratice a lot and usually know when the game appears and I see what it is if I plan to shot or not. Gun is chambered and trigger set at 3 l/2 to 4 lbs. i got a Custom Mauser set at 12 oz, way to light for hunting, but love to shot it at the range.I loaned one gun in my life, taught me a valueable lesson, l let the next guy buy his own as i did. He knocked about $300.00 worth of finsh off the gun. My firearms are setup for my style of shooting, no one else. And , i never shoot another guys gun unless he ask me to check the zero and see if its the gun or him . No 2 people position a firearm on their shoulder the same as I. A handgun is different, but long guns must be zeroed for the hunter, game he's hunting and distance. Buy a Rangefinder an take the guess out of distance. I missed a nice Lope in C0 some years back as the distance fooled me. Then and there I knew a Rangefinder was my next hunting item. Since that purchase, 2nd shots never required, within my long range abilty for a kill shot,.While hunting, concentrate on hunting, not on what you gonna do tomorrow.As for safety clicks, I made teh stupid mistake this fall on just that, I was using a 700 and Deerws l35 yds away, I just clicked the safety to fie and that deer heard teh click and did a l80 and was gone. He ran l00 or so yards, stopped to see what scared him, fatal mistake as I had tracked him in my scope and killed him at 270 yds. Hence forth,I will ease the safety off the 700. One reason I loved the cross bolt safety on my 742, could ease the safety off and no click.Now got to pratice the safety issue on the 700. The safety is a issue I love on Savage rifles, can slide the safety and no sound. I never knew a Deer could hear as well as this one could. Shoot often and straight.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

Ian, in my notion, the 7x57 is my favorite cartridge, I don't have one just now, but will if I find another to suit me.. I love the .308 win., on deer size game. Shooting at paper, one need to develope the smallest group as possible, but on game this group can be somewhat larger and get the job done.. If the deer or elk had a bright dot about 3" in dia. just over the vital area, wouldn't that be great?, but not so. The same is true with too much mag. in their scope, you can see the animal, but hard to pin-point the exact spot in a hurried up situation. I like any thing from 2.5x-4x power for deer here at home.. out west may be different.

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from Ian Manning wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

My friend, Bryan Smith, one of the finest PH's Africa has seen, who used nothing but a 7mm x 57 on everything - and in all conditions, also shoots for South Africa at long-distance target shooting. I on the other hand was of the 30 yard box variety, the distance one has to shoot something.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Has anyone tried Sierra 125 grain 30-30 bullets? Works great!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

SargI keep forgetting that hunting back East and in the South is much different than in the Mountain West. I suppose the .30-30 or any comparable load is adequate for deer. I guess I think it is a tad on the slow side for a long range deer rifle. I doubt any of our fallen comrades would question it's effectiveness, if they could.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Good post Dr.Ralph.... The 7.62x39 is a good round With commercial ammo. I like it myself..

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

I have a friend who started hunting with an SKS because he moved out in the country, lived in a trailer and deer were eating his garden. Can't remember if they were $69 or $89 back then but it was the cheapest gun he could find. Killed one of the biggest six pointers I ever saw with it off his back porch from less than 20 yards, and he killed something like seven or eight deer that first year. Somebody obviously forgot to tell the deer the 7.62 X 39 wasn't much of a hunting round...

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

WAmtnhunter, do you not like the 30-30Win. for hunting? The 7.62x39 can be loaded right up there with the "ole "30-30 shooting the .311 bullet at 130 gr. should be a good hunting round for anything you would use a 30-30 win. for...I loaded it with 150 gr. but forgot what powder, I believe it was H335 or H322 surplus .

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from KJ wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Great video, Clay. One day I'll have the kids out of the house and college and will be able to afford an Alaskan trip. I notice they said they were within bow range when they shot the boar.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

KJCheck this out!We don’t have critters that don’t have us for lunch?Then Check this out!http://search.live.com/video/results.aspx?q=cabelas+bear+charging&go=Search+Videos&mkt=en-us&scope=&FORM=LIVSOP

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

I agree with CJ. The 7.62x39 is not much of a hunting round. Too slow, too light a bullet. Nice plinker and truck gun caliber for a light rifle with iron sights.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

CJ-Aside from the difficulties with my own CZ carbine in 7.62x39, this is a really handy rig with sufficient power for yotes and whitetails. What we call in my country a "truck rifle". A handloader can get an honest 2500 fps out of a 130 grain bullet. Agreed brass cases and good components go a long way.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

KJAll due respect sir, you got it all bassackwards! Hunting skills gets you there to take that shot, take what necessary action to complete the hunt after the shot, then to get you home safely. It’s the shooting skill that takes the trophy! You can hunt and find game all day, but without the shooting skill, you might as well be shooting spit wads. The shooting skill consists of but not limited to, having the correct equipment, correct cartridge configuration for that particular game, having it sighted in at a known range 175 to 225 yards pending on ballistics and knowing the cartridge, equipment and your limitations and the equipment you use.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Hey any of guys know any one that was in Vietman with the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, co.C in 1967 around Jan. or Feb.? I would like to speak to them....Gary

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from There is good ammo out there for the 7.62x39.. wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

CJ, There is good ammo out there for the 7.62x39.. I know people who have some very nice Ruger 77's in that calibre. The rifles for this is quite expensive. SS with lam. stock.

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from CJ wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Why would you buy a nice rifle in 7.62x39? If you are shooting that steel cased cheap stuff, you are in for trouble in the long run. Causes excessive wear on the chamber and throat. There is a real good reason the U.S. military uses only brass. Aside from the cheap ammo, the 7.62x39 is anemic for anything other than an assault rifle.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

KJ,Back in '86 while stationed in AK yours truly stalked and shot a blond grizzly bear near Cantwell. The bear dropped and rolled dead 50 yds down the mountain at the shot. However my pucker facter was definitely raised to a higher level. In '73 killed a Florida hog that was bent on biting me at about10 feet. The hog was probably more dangerous but there was no time to get scared.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Amen KJ!Had an old rodeo friend that made the NFR several times. His statement was, "Them that can, do. Them that can't, talk about it!"Bubba

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from KJ wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Poking holes in paper, or in an animal 700 yards away is a test of shooting skill, but not hunting skill, and certainly not a test of nerve. I'd like to think that I'd have the nerve to make the shot at a charging Cape Buffalo. Alas, we have none of those roaming the hillsides of the Midwestern USA, where I live. The only dangerous game we have here are some wild hogs and black bear. I suppose the only way to know if you can make that shot is to actually face the situation and do it. My experience in law enforcement tells me that lots of guys can talk about it, because talk is cheap. Actually coming through is a different thing. Those that talk the most are usually the ones that perform the worst - beware the quiet guy.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

You're right Clay. That's what the GUN is capable of. Unfortunately, that's not what I'm capable of.Even bagged on a bench, there is a limit as to how far I can shoot both comfortably and reliably! To some folks, that is way "yonder"! I just have to realize that sight picture/hold over/windage and all that other stuff is, maybe not beyond me, but just not my strong point. Ergo: No shots over 200/250 yards on white tails. I would rather pass the shot than chance wounding or losing a deer!Bubba

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Laying all jokes aside, there are those that try to compare paper shooters to meat shooters. First of all you got to be able to hit the target wither its paper or meat in the same degree. For you target shooters like to call your accuracy MOA and that’s fine. Then there are the meat shooters that call their accuracy angle of pie plate and that’s ok too! So now what? Ok, if you shoot approximately a group just about 2 moa at 100 yards or just a little larger than size of the palm of your hand shooting sitting at 200 yards, you’re a very good shooter. Translate to angle of pie plate, that’s what? a quarter of pie plate which means you can theoretically reach out to say something like 800 yards!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Dr. RalphListen Doc, I pay just as much taxes as you do! In fact, the only way you got out of paying state taxes on your pay check is only if you were a nonresident and the state you are from didn’t have state payroll taxes such as Florida. So what source you got your info from, need to recheck it. I remember the first thing slick Willy did was retroact taxes in his first year in office. We paid out the yahoo on that one we did! By the way, Hi Doc! How are you? LOL!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

P.S.Alamo, have you called 1-800-955-4486, CZ repair. Probably have but if they won't help then take it back to dealer and let us know. Screw em.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Alamo,This is an issue you really should keep us informed of the outcome. CZ is doing one hell of a lot of advertising in all the gun mags I get. And I get alot. Without customer service I won't deal with any company.The only reason I came to this blog was to share experiences and hear others, good and bad. Sort of like a sportsmans Consumer Reports.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Alamo, the rifle does have too much headspace, If it had another chamber \, the case would probably split.. Have you looked at the case up close and personal.. I dont know of any other case that would fit the 7.62x39 chamber with out splitting the case. If you load for this round, go through the motion of loading,(No powder or Bullet) then just partially seat a primer. Load in rifle and extract to see if the primer is stil protruding.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Hey Shaky,I appreciate your concern. I had it pretty well figured that the rifle's chamber is oversized. I learned only after purchasing that although a SAAMI spec was established for American ammo, CZ apparently believed it was not necessary to adopt that spec for their rifles. Hence my eagerness to discuss that issue with them, and my frustration that they aren't very interested in communicating with customers.I purchased he rifle from a first-rate gun store and I'm sure I can return it. I was just looking for an explanation from CZ. Surely everyone who has bought this particular rifle is not having the same problem-or are they?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Hey Clay, if it weren't for civilians like me sending in thousands of dollars in taxes each and every quarterly payment Uncle Sam wouldn't be able to buy all those toys Devil_Dog can't get clearance to use... give us a break. By the way I would suggest Xanax, much better mood altering effect and anxiety reliever.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jeff OlsenWhy don’t you try a few NRA High Power Matches, it will make you a better shooter afield!You civilians, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!Mark1, I’ll take those two Prozac’s and glass of wine now!

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from Shaky wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Alamo; it sounds like your CZ has excessive headspace. It may be chambered for another round entirely. I would not fire it another time until I had it checked by a competent gunsmith, because that much headspace is a definate safety hazzard to the gun,you, and anyone standing nearby. I personally witnessed a Howa blow up, that scattered steel, brass, and the shooter's glasses and hat 30ft. from where it was fired. He was using Federal factory ammo in .243, and the rifle was clearly stamped .243 Win. He said it had been backing primers out from the very begining, and some didn't fire. This is the condition you describe, so please have that rifle checked, it could mean your life.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

All very, very good ideas.At this point in my life, I'm afraid these exertions would bring on cardiac arrest. But, that's almost what happens to me when a deer of either sex appears anyway. Large, mature bucks bring on a palsy along with elevated heart rate, respirations and blurred vision!!Thanks guys, I'll just try sitting in a stand!Bubba

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

All very, very good ideas.At this point in my life, I'm afraid these exertions would bring on cardiac arrest. But, that's almost what happens to me when a deer of either sex appears anyway. Large, mature bucks bring on a palsy along with elevated heart rate, respirations and blurred vision!!Thanks guys, I'll just try sitting in a stand!Bubba

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jeff Olson,I'll forgo the ice water on testicles thing but the running or jogging uphill and then trying various shooting positions is a great way to gain experience before hunting season and it will quickly let you know what you need to work on.

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from Jeff Olsen wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I just had to throw in my two cents worth here. Range shooting and field shots are as different as night and day!!! To be sure, one absolutely must zero the rifle. I'm sure no one would argue with that. In this way, we can all be assured that the sights/scope will put a round on its intended target. That's where the two styles part ways. If you want a good range exercise that will come close to the hunting experience, try the following: 1. get a handfull of clay pigeons and place them at various, unknown distances 2. Before addressing the rifle do the following: run a few laps around the parking lot of the range while looking in the direction of the sun, immediately head to the firing line, stand barefoot on green pinecones with one foot on the ground and the other on the bench seat, fill your shorts with the ice water from the cooler, have a friend constantly flick your ear while dropping blades of grass in your face. Do all of these things simultaneously while trying to hit all the clays off hand, one shot after another. This is the closest approximation to a field scenario a non-hunter is likely to encounter. Have one of your benchrest buddies try this, and maybe they will learn to appreciate the true experience.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KSNO JOKE!That guy is a IDIOT!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I like Trae B.'s idea... pretend the animal was talking about your mama. It works! That's how I "get my mind right" when a big buck suddenly appears, I get mad and that emotion overrides the freak out emotion. Works for me.I don't like the side by sides either, too wide a sighting plane I guess? As for double triggers I liked them until we started getting Wild Turkey's around here. First time I fired off one of those magnum turkey loads it kicked so much harder than I expected it twisted my fingers and I accidentally fired again and this time the gun was not against my shoulder... ouch.What's this Cooper? Playboy models shooting full auto? Need a little harder kicking weapon to add to the jiggle factor is what I think...

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from sarg wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I , had a Win. Pump shotgun in the '70's that was a killer on birds, Never missing a Grouse or quail, but I could not hit a squirel or beer can with it, I believe it shot a circular pattern with a small hole in the center. It was hard to hit a stationary target. Lead good on birds Didn't keep it long.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dave,Don't look at the last one if you have a weak heart.Clay,Did you notice that fool point the burning AK at the cameraman right at the end.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jim in mo,It probably has something to do with what you grew up with. Side by sides just look a mile wide when you look down those barrels. I always endeavor to keep my eye on the target but somehow it doesn't work for me with a sxs.Charshooter,I can relate to what you said. After spending 48 yrs shooting (20 in the army) my hearing isn't too good anymore but it is obvious offhand is my best position relatively speaking. My best off hand shot was 8 yr ago in Macon co MO. Big 8 pointer was about to go out of sight walking on a wooded hillside (no leaves on trees). Just had time for 1 quick standing shot. Nailed him 242 yds with 6mmX284 win. Following year dropped into prone and made 355 yd shot across a pasture on 7 pointer with a 270 win. Checked the range after the shot on the first one and before the shot on the second (to estimate holdover). Bought the first laser rangefinder Bushnell made. Still have it and a Leupold. The old gunslinger is right. Rangefinders are worth their weight in gold. Don't leave home without one.Clay,My home 20 is in the suburbs of Kansas City on the KS side. We may have passed on the street.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Got thinking n the trip to Kansas City today, Mr. Petzal I truly believe that it is your job to lead this subject on how to be a better shooter!A few action footage you might learn something from Sports Fans!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVb0ZiNx7qY&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imKj19dMvcY&feature=relatedBurning 300 rounds AK-47!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNAohtjG14c&feature=relatedAnd David E. Petzal, the following is just for you!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k-XJHiShB0&feature=related

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from Trae B. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I have a solution for being jumpy when aiming at a live animal...I imagine that the animal was talking about my mama...lol

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from Charshooter wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I bench rest shoot mainly for fun; I shoot 223 and cartridges based on the 308 case. When it comes to hunting, it is a whole other thing. I have a natural attraction or drive towards killing game; it allows me to turn completely cold and emotionless when I see game. My shots at game have always been much better than what I can do at target shooting giving the same body position and the same necessity to shoot quickly. I practiced a good deal to see if I could improve my off hand target shooting, but it is never as good as it is at game. I think it is also true that the more dangerous the game is the better I shoot. When I was much younger, I lived for confronting dangerous game, perhaps not Cape buffalo or elephant, but bears and even cougars can be dangerous when they know they are being stalked. Sure, I shoot tighter groups on a bench with everything set perfect, but that is not how one hunts.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KS,Funny you should make that comment about the double barrel. Me, I'm the exact opposite. I've had two doubles, one stolen other stupidly sold, and I was pretty good in the field. The two barrels seemed to lead my eye to a vantage point. Now out in the dove fields with my single barrel I'm a disgrace. May have to look at the Bobwhite only cause I like double triggers.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Alamo:I wish I coud help with the CZ communications but I have had absolutely no experience with them. My friend only toured the factory and it is doubtful that these people knew any more about CZ than what they were stamping on the guns. They make them but do not market them. By the way back in the seventies CZ motorcycle customer service was just as bad. We had a saying that the CZ dirt bikes were "hell when they were well". The rest of the time you worked on them while Yamaha riders ripped around the countryside or moto track.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Sounds like an oversized chamber to me.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Hey Ish,Saw your mention of CZ and your friends visit to their factory. Probably not the right thread, but I've been itching to ask if anyone else has had any difficulty communicating with the folks at CZ America.I purchased a CZ carbine in 7.62x39 about a year ago. It's a nicely turned-out miniature mauser that I intend to use a calling rifle. The interesting thing is that high quality (WW) factory loads have given me problems with about 25% failure to detonate, and then backed out primers on those that go "boom". Three emails to CZ- no response. One phone call and I got a kid who didn't know the first thing about their products. I like their guns, but their service absolutely blows.Anyone else?

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Bubba,I know exactly what you mean about that MOA vs 8 inches or pieplate or whatever standard the person puting forth the argument wants to use. Old Ugly will shootthree 165 gr. '06s into a three in. Birchwood Casey target at 200 yds. Probably would do better than that if I had a sharper eye and a steadier hold. More accuracythan you need to kill a deer?Not hardly. I have had to shootthrough mesquite trees, broomweed,prickly pear patches, etc. at apatch that I knew was a deer, knewwas the right deer, but just neverwould pause long enough to offer ashot out in the open.I've had to take the occasionalrunning shot. Don't like to do that, but it is either shoot, or lose the deer, or worse, a cripplethat has already been hit. Havingfull confidence in the rifle takesaway half the worry, so you don'tover do it mentally, trying tocompensate. You just know that if the crosshairs are there, that iswhere the bullet will hit. All that is left is to put the cross-hairs there.Also read in this section orsomewhere on DEP's blog about someone who used a light trigger. Mostof mine are in the 2 lb. range. Idon't want a five minute triggersqueeze after I am on target. Still, you don't need all that to kill a deer. You need the abilityto hold offhand, or from awkward positions, in the cold, in the rain, hold for wind, improvise arest if possible, keep one eye on the deer, keep the deer in the scope, control breathing, triggersqueeze,"buck fever" AND STILL hit that shoulder, neck, or heart/lung area. Full confidence in the accuracy of the rifle is just the first step.

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from Michael wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I have 3 of the DeHaan S2 (made in Huglu Turkey) shotguns in 20, 28, & 410. The 410 has 30" barrels, the others 28". The fit, finish and attention to detail on these guns is superb; much better than on guns costing much, much more. They shoot extremely well. By the way, the $4-5,000 Kimber Valier is made in the same village of Huglu, Turkey.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

With all the yak about accuracy, I was once sitting on a private range sighting in a rifle. I went down to retrieve a 100 yd target with a three round group of probably 3/8 inch, 1 1/2 inches above the bull. Not bad for a .270. When I got back to the bench a gentleman walked up and said, "Nice group, but it ain't gotta be THAT accurate to kill a deer!""No," I agreed, "but if the gun will shoot this well, if a deer gets away, I'll know it was MY fault, not the GUN'S!"Exactly what you guys were talking about. MOA don't mean squat out of a blind or stand at 30 yards! Keeping 'em all inside a 8" paper plate at a hundred yards WILL kill a deer!Bubba

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Got to run to Kansas City, will give tips on how you can shot like a real pro later, C’Ya Sports Fans!

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

crm 3006,The Bob white is pretty but I couldn't fall out of a boat and hit water with a side by side. For me it would the the Woodcock with a wood upgrade in 28" 28 ga.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

crm3006My friend Dave, the superb shootist, is a petroleum engineer by profession. Last year he spent about 9 months somewhere in Turkey and had the opportunity to visit the factory that manufactures the CZ guns. He was very much impressed with the cleanliness, efficiency, and care that these Turks incooperated into each aspect of making these weapons. He said that the individual workers took great pride in whatever piece of the gun they were in charge of creating or putting togather. They often stopped as he approached and proudly displayed their work and demonstrated their role in the production process (apparently no OSHA there). He had numerous good comments and little in the way of negative findings regarding his factory inspection. I wish Winchester had modeled their factory and workmanship after this one, maybe we would still be buying guns from New Haven. When Dave got back to the States he immediately purchased a couple side by sides. We intend to do a little testing with them soon. They certainly are hard to fault per my casual examination of fit, finish, and workmanship. A 28 or 16 S x S would either make a fantastic upland gun. I bet DEP would even like the 28 CZ...in your dreams...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Chev JimThere’s no perfect solution for cover all scenarios such as what’s the best equipment to use. Know your rifle intimately and ballistically and it will deliver. Fine shot Sir!

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

ishawooa, Del, AWAI,Posting a link to CZ USA.If the Bobwhite in .28 gauge ain't the sexiest thing ya'll ever saw, I'lleat my Resistol! They also make aSxS in .16 gauge that gets me drooling. http://www.cz-usa.com/products_shotguns.phpHadn't thought about cattails asa target, but you can really getyour mind and trigger finger in sync shooting pecans out of trees with .22 shorts. In Oklahoma, they are never still, and it is a lot like shooting at a chicken'shead. Shoot where it's gonna be next!!

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawooa,The best is being in a field full of dove hunters, having a lone bird fly the guantlet, see 3 or 4 empty their 12's and fold him with one shot from my little Beretta. Yeah, did it with a Rooster too but smaller audience.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Clay,Good choice. When I bought the same gun for my nephew also looked at the 870 Rem and liked the mossberg better.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Chevjim,Another example of tooo much scope. I rest my case.

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from Carney wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I've been a "gunner" since I was a kid but I got a late start at hunting and just killed my first deer only last year. This was after 5 years of successfully discovering how not to hunt...By that time, my hunting knowledge and understanding had increased to at least "passable" but my personal determination was unbendable.I'm certain that in my mind's eye I had shot and field dressed at least a hundred deer! Almost every step through the forest equaled a mental review of what I would do when I finally out smarted a black tail.The moment came and the buck presented the shot. As the butt stock hit my shoulder everything went to some kind of mental "hyper drive" and the scenario I'd played over and over in my mind just simply played out in real life!I don't think I've ever been so steady without a shooting rest in my life!!

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

This target vs. game shooting reminds me of a deer hunt I was on. I hadn't even planned to go deer hunting, but I arrived at my brother-in-law's and he suggested we go. He lent me a rifle--a .257 Weatherby Magnum built on a Mauser action. The scope was a 4x12X. I wasn't really expecting to connect with a deer. Shortly after I climbed up the icy ladder to the tree stand, however, I saw a buck coming toward me. What amazed me was how quickly I swung into action . . . I saw the buck approach, and when he came out of a line of trees, I had the crosshairs waiting from him. It was hard to find him at 4X, as he was only about 25 yards away, but I quickly guesstimated the buck's body in relation to the reticle and fired. I hit the buck a little far back, and he ran 40 yards before piling up. If the scope hadn't been unnecessarily powerful, I'm sure the shot would have gone exactly where it should have. The point of this vignette is that on a deer, I shot quickly without employing surgical precision. The shot was a little off, but was nonetheless a telling one. If I had fired that quickly at a paper target, I would have probably hit the equivalent of the seven ring at 9 o'clock--and I would have been very dissatisfied with the shot. Game forces you to shoot quickly--at least in the dense woods of the Eastern US, and you don't have time to get into a sling or carefully arrange your jacket into a rifle rest. If you are hunting in dense woods and are waiting for the perfect shot, you will go home empty-handed virtually every time. The "tempo" of most target shooting and most game shooting varies markedly. If you shoot at targets like you shoot at game, you'll be a sloppy target shooter. And if you shoot at game like you shoot at targets, you'll most likely watch your game disappear back into the treeline!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Mark-1Just bought my Grandson Alex birthday present, a Youth/Adult Mossberg 500 20ga. doesn’t know it yet, even his mother ok’d it. I’m still in shock over that!

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Go with a 28-ga, Chev!The old, old boys will quip the 28-ga is only good for meadowlarks and bumble-bees, but that claim is nonsense. For me if there’s any actual field and target difference between a 20 an 28-ga I’m not good enough to tell. Both have available 1-oz hunting loads.28-ga shotguns are always “elegant”. Even a 28-ga built on a light 20-ga frame is still elegant. The small frame 28-ga…such as a Beretta o/u….is a dream to carry and shoot.Good luck and let us all know the purchase. We’ll light the candle.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Shooting well at targets and shooting well at game require different skill setsO’Really give me a break!That’s as “OXYMORONIC” as you can get!How about, a excellent game shooter be able to control his breathing and heartbeat, be able to read mirage and wind, have a perfect trigger squeeze, shoot quickly, get into setting or knelling shooting position within seconds, at ill-defined and/or moving targets, and above all, that you be able to kill without hesitation, know your rifle intimately and ballistics, be thoughtful and deliberate at all times!O’David Petzal, only if we knew each other when I was in New Mexico, you would be singing a different story for sure!

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from Scott wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Hey all,Been working day shift for a while now so I haven't been able to keep up as I'd like but it sounds like you all are still kickin' up dust! Try this for some snap shooting practice: If you have a spot in the country near a wet or low area where the cattails grow, try taking a .22 out and trying to hit the heads of the cattails as they wave in the breeze from the offhand position. It's easy to tell when you've hit one as they puff out seeds and just as easy to tell when you miss.Plus it's great fun!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

CRM3006A friend recently passed away who had 2 Model 41s, one short, one LR, the LR with two barrel lengths. I was hoping to buy them from the widow but his two non-shooting non-hunting sons came and got them. They are probably pawned in Cleveland and Columbus by now. I like the briquet idea and wonder why I never tried it. Dave, my expert shooting friend, also prefers M-41s to all others and has one that is still new in the box plus one that has probably had at least 100,000 rounds through it with one trip to the factory. They are a little pricy but will bring you as much happiness and satisfaction as any gun I know of.Del in KSDon't you love the look on your 12 gauge buddies' faces when you drop a rooster just as neatly with the pipsqueak 28 as they do with their 12s? Sure makes walking easier with the small shotgun and minature shells. Mine is a seventies vintage SKB (yeah the one with South American fence post grade wood but I don't care).

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Chev Jim,The ammo is much cheaper for the 20 but I do love my Beretta 28. You can save lots of $ on ammo with a MEC 9000G in 28 ga.

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from Brian T wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Paper and clays provide confidence and familiarity with the firearm. In the field, I can afford to ignore the gun and concentrate on my head.Love those herbivores. Please pass the peas.

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I really do believe that shooting at paper targets is like "test anxiety" for many people--call it "target anxiety," if you will. You know that the paper target will pitilessly reflect your marksmanship. On the other hand, you can hit a game animal less than perfectly and still get away with a fairly quick kill. Also, paper targets are boring for younger shooters--but I would advise against getting younger shooters into the "plinking" mentality, where they don't know or really care where their bullets hit, as long as they get a reaction from the target. You can mix "reactive" targets with paper ones--cookies or balloons will work, but clean up any non-biodegradable residue. Also, I want to resume skeet shooting, but I need to get a nice Beretta over-under in 20 or 28 gauge first!

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

ishawooa,Please, please do not tell sarge any politically incorrect stories. You might be responsible for bringing on an incurable caseof the willy-willys, or anothermelange of incoherent rambling, compounded by unproper English andtypos extremis.I'm glad to find another fan of the 41 Smith out there, I thought it the epitome of .22 autohandguns. Another trick you can use to practice shooting at thrownobjects is use charcoal briquets.They are a good size, and either give off a puff of dust, or shatter like a clay pigeon.

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from RipperIII wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Gentlemen,I am a rookie in the hunting and fishing arena.I am a good shot, not great but good,I can take no credit for my skills as I have very little experience and almost no practice, my skill is God given(and amazes me still). Two years ago a buddy invited me to shoot a round of sporting clays with he and another of our friends. My buddy loaned me his 12ga. Rem. 810? pump with a full choke...I broke 22 out of 100, but I was hooked, bought a cheap Stoeger 12ga. and started shooting Trap/skeet and clays, this is my 2nd "season" and I now average 20-23 trap, 12-15 at skeet and 70-80 at clays...not great but I have since been on 3 South Georgia quail hunts and I killed 20 birds this trip and only missed 2. I went on my first deer hunt back in February, got on stand with a brand new Tikka 3 .270 which a friend sighted in for me and which I had never shot(never shot any high power rifle) on the last morning I killed a buck at 130 yds quartering away dropped in his tracks...I didn't get the "fever" until several minutes after the shot, then I got very excited indeed, I had let several deer pass over the course of the 3 day hunt waiting for the one, I got excited but not gittery, had the hairs steady on many but didn't shoot, got busted by 2 big bucks and I froze waiting to see if they would settle down and let me get off an ethical shot...they did not cooperate, my rookie mistake I guess, I need to practice "field shots" such as quick drops and sight aquisition to prevent this in the future. I can put 5 rounds inside a paper plate at 100yds off hand, but I have not been able to attain 1" groupings from the bench rest. I find that with both the shot gun, rifle and my Sig 40 ca.I am a far more accurate shot when reacting as opposed to "aiming".I play golf the same way...Too much thinking kills my game.I really enjoy reading all of your posts , I learn a bit each time, and as rookie I need allthe help I can get,...I love this "new" hobby .

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Sarg:Back in the old days before it was politically and environimentally incorrect we used to shoot Coca-cola bottles using the "hang time" method you described. A guy can get pretty good at it with some practice. If you happen to shoot one straight overhead you had to run like hell to get out from under the falling glass. Anything smaller than a pop bottle was out of my league.I had a friend once, have not seen him in years, that could hit 8-10 pop or beer cans out of 10 at 100 yards shooting a Walther PP .22 LR. Give that a try sometime. I was lucky to hit the log the cans were sitting on once or twice with the same pistol. I could equal him using my Model 41 most of the time but not the little German gun with virtually no sights.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Bill Jordan(?) of Texas Border Patrol fame was known for the same type revolver magic. He would start with something like a watermelon. Toss it up and draw and shoot it before it hit the ground. Before the demo was over, he was shooting two or three asprins!He "wrote", I think, "No Second Place Winner!"(?) about handling his six gun! The story goes the only man he ever killed was a fellow BP agent. Seems he was practicing his fast draw in his office, dropped his gun and it went off, going through a wall and killing the guy in the next office!True? I don't know, it's just what I've heard!Bubba

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Thanks, Bubba,Ad Topperwein was the man I was trying to think of. The old Luke's Music Store in Ardmore, OKhad one of his Indian head drawings on display for a good number of years. Reading his bio, I learned that he fired an '03 Winchester .22 Auto, and hit the ejected hull! Amazing!Another gifted shot thatcame out of Oklahoma was the great Dan Combs of the OK Highway Patrol. He shot every thing from fruit to marbles out of the air with a .30-'06, and could draw and fire and put two .38 Specials (wax bullets) through a styrofoam cup dropped from waist level before it hit the ground. He was also a wizard with a Thompson sub, and a 1911 A1. I was privilaged to have a running aquaintance with Dan while he worked at a gunshop in Midwest City, OK that regretably went out of business.

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I shot a bb gun from the earliest I can remember, and loved shooting bugs, mostly crickets, we had alot of them! Never really enjoyed putting holes in paper, no challenge there. Even now I usually spend almost no time at the range, go out before hunting season to check the zero of the rifles and that's about it other than occasional handgun practice. But if I see a legal deer it's a dead deer.My oldest daughter shoots pretty good on targets but her first deer had the crap scared out of it and that's about all, at under 50 yds, she later said she "forgot to aim". So I'm guessing it isn't genetic.

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dave, you bring up an important issue here, as does one of the comments made here on the blog.I think some people just make better hunters. Call it karma, natural ability, or whatever makes sense to you. A friend of ours, a depression baby, used to say if his daddy gave him 3-4 rounds to hunt with he better come home with 3-4 heads of game!Target shooting during the depression was a luxury!

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from sarg wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

jim in mo, the trick to shooting any thing thrownup in the air is to shoot when the object has reached it height, stops momentary,before starting back down....

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from Jack Ryan wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Being a good shooter on paper doesn't make one a bad shot in the field.Not shooting in the field makes a person a bad shot in the field.They shoot on the range all year and think they can do the same thing on a moving deer at 100 yards they do on a paper plate from a bench at 100 yards and they have probably never even "proven" the attempt on the range.In the field most people couldn't even guess a hundred yards with in 5 seconds of when you ask them but they think they can snap a gun up and pull the trigger quick as a white tail flag ducks in the bush.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I will talk with David when he gets back from Arizona in a few weeks. By then the weather here should be nice. We'll try to do a better video of him shooting vegetables, nuts, berries, eggs, coins, and sand pebbles with various weaponry. Maybe I can get my kid to put it on YouTube for you guys to see. I promise no tricks...

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KS: Nowata is in the Northeastern part of our fair state. As a sidebar, there is a Lottawata Road near Lake Eufaula. From one extreme to the other, I guess.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Any of you Oklahoma gents ever hear of Nowata? Pronounced like no water. Not sure about spelling. That's where my friend Bill grew up hunting anything they could eat. He's 65 and enjoying retirement these days. Bill currently owns the best German Shorthair I have ever hunted over. Go Jayhawks.

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I would have more luck shooting into the air and then throwing a coin at the bullet.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ish,They're out there.Just like the UFO's and aliens. LOL!I've know a couple of people that had the same uncanny knack! It blows the mind, especially since as hard as I've tried, I can't even come close!I have had the opportunity, probably three or four, to take game with "snap" shots, each deadly as a mamba! If I could only figure out how to convert that to day to day hunting!Oh, well!Bubba

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jim in MO.No negativity detected by your statements plus I understand why people find the story difficult to believe as I felt exactly the same way when I heard about this guy. Then I saw him shoot. He has about 60 guns that I know of with most medium to high quality. I have never seen a cleaning rod or a bottle of Hoppe's in his house. I once asked him about his bore cleaning procedures since the exterior of most of his Smiths, Colts, Mausers, Remingtons, etc. looked worn and rough. I don't have any he replied, I don't clean bores, I just keep shooting. I didn't even want to look up one of his barrels...

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

crm3006I believe the fella you're talking about was Ad Topperwein(sp). Those guys were something else. Shooting thousand's of wooden blocks tossed in the air before missing one. One even shot glass balls like Christmas ornaments. He shot them in the dark because they would whistle when they were tossed!My grandfather lived through the Great Depression. He worked on a road crew that built Hwy 84 between Palestine and Rusk, Texas.Because all the equipment was still horse drawn, anybody that would stay the weekend and take care of the animals got an extra fifty cents a day. They would bring a brick of .22LR ammo and spend the weekend shooting .22's. He would not show off with a .22, but he was absolutely amazing with his old Remington Target Master single shot! It's in the closet and still shoots amazingly tight groups!Bubba

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

LowRecoil,Concerning the depression era shooters: When I was a kid after the crops were in there was alot of corn/soybeans left on the ground, corn pickers didn't do the job of the combines of today. So anyway in the fall grandpa and dad would go behind the barn and have all us kids sit beside them. When the blackbirds and starlings would gather to eat they would tell us to yell and clap our hands and when the black cloud of birds came up they would shoot into them with #11 birdshot that grandpa had on hand. We would do that two or three times. Then we'd go out and gather the birds for grandma to pluck and cook-up with home made dumplings.Later on, me my brothers and brother in laws would go into the same fields and shoot clay birds. Grandpa would just look and shake his head. He just didn't get it.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I must admit that I suffered from recoil "flinch" when I fired my first gun. My father was a practical man, and at a very young age I fired a 12 gauge that I believe set my beginning for flinchitus. Beginning in my early teens, better instruction for shooting was given me by dad's hunting buddies, and they help redeem me from flinch-HELL.I changed things for my boys, and I feel my mistakes help them to be better shooters. Now, I am a Big Bore rifle nut, and I like the way big guns kick and kill;Both with authority.

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

How about the old time shooter whocould shuck hulls out of a pump.22 and knock the out of the air?I think it was the same one who used to draw the Indian heads on apiece of tin. Concerning those Depression era shooters, again, they were shooting for meat on the table.

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from MidnightBanjo wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

When I go to the range, I try not to shoot from the bench. Last time at the range I had it to myself - just me and the range personnel. I asked if it would be alright if I took some shots from different positions and since there wasn't anyone else around it was permitted. I shot from normal standing position rotating my stance from shot to shot and did the same while sitting, these types of shots are what I get in the field - seems the deer don't like benches in their woods. I do sight in from the bench, never used shooting sticks, I'm more likely to use a tree than anything else.Aaron, buddy of mine, is a terrible shot at the range! But put him in the woods and everything changes. I've seen him make some shots that were well beyond my confidence limits.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawooa,PLEASE don't interperet my response as negative. I was simply relaying a true story about an idiot who thought he was PT Barnum reincarnated.

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from Brian wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

It is improbable that a hunter that once suffered with an extreme case of buck fever, will ever find themselves totally cool under pressure. They can learn to manage their anxiety with enough experience.

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from MPN wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

If you start your kids off young with hunt'n they have an easier time ending an animals life when they're old enough to hunt. I've seen it happen with my 3 sons and 1 daughter, now I see it with my grandson. If they can take an animals life without hesitation then they will most likely make a better shot.MPN

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph:I respect your opinion and know where you are coming from but I submit that other than ending a life there is not a lot of similiarity in "putting down" a sick horse or a cow and shooting a deer at 200 yards. I realize that I am telling you something that you are well aware of but others might not be so knowledgeable.

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I'm a better shot when I shoot quickly. That holds true whether I'm shooting at quail whirring out of the brush, or at a whitetail offering a standing broadside shot. When the gunbarrel covers the quail, I shoot. As soon as the crosshairs are where I want them, I shoot.The problem I have when I shoot at paper is that, in trying to squeeze my groups as small as possible, I strain and struggle and grip and relax, and breathe, and hold my breath, and think evil thoughts, and get sweat in my eyes, and become conscious of my own heartbeat, and compose curses aimed at J.M. Browning and Oliver Winchester, and think about all the ways I could miss, and FINALLY pull the trigger. Whew! I can only take so much of that.Concerning the depression-era shooters: My dad is one of those. He may shoot a shotgun only 20 times a year, but there will be 20 dead things as a result. Shooting clay pigeons to him would make as much sense as setting a pile of dollar bills on fire.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.David will shoot the change from my pocket or anyone else's with about 75% certainty of hitting the coin. When I first heard about him I figured it was a trick or gossip. He moved in down the road and after one trip to the desert I saw him in action. By the way the coins don't have holes in them merely dents. For laughs he often asks you to call "heads or tails" and he hits correctly about 50% of the time as you would expect. He recently made a video of shooting coins that did not turn out well because you can't see them. He added eggs, lemons, oranges, cabbages, and califlowers for a more vivid visual effect. I would put him up against Tom Knapp or Tim from Benelli. The guy has unnatural eye-hand coordination, years of practice, and as you would might guess is modest about the whole thing as if anyone could do this. I swear the above is absolutely true. On your next vacation to Yellowstone stop by and Dave will gladly give a demonstration. I promise you will be impressed and humbled.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I should add that my father was a veterinarian and I saw hundreds of animals killed as a small child simply for economics. Farming is a business and if it costs more to save an animal than it's worth it doesn't live.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dave you have described my brother in law to a tee. He is one of the best bench shooters I have ever met, sets .38 special brass up at 100 yards and shoots it with a 9 power scope and absolutely cannot kill a big buck. I have seen him shoot three times at an eight pointer less than 100 yards away without cutting a hair. Two years ago a ten pointer stood under his stand and he freaked out so much his nose started to bleed... he swears he could have thrown his gun at the deer and hit it but missed when he pulled the trigger. Doe's, not a problem. It's that ability to function under extreme duress, the man you want to give the ball to when there is 1.7 seconds on the clock and it's win or lose on the last shot. Concentrate, breath deeply and bury your emotions and you can make that shot when your heart beat has tripled and body parts are shaking for no apparent reason. That's pretty much why I hunt after all these years... just to get that rush and see if I can still get my mind right for the kill.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I haven't been hunting much, but I quite frankly struggle with the taking of a life. I love hunting/fishing etc. I am a decent shot at bench, and while hunting provided I don't have the opportunity to stop and think. When we are hog hunting, and you shoot on instinct, I am quite proficient. It is the slow calculated shots that mess me up as I know and am consciously aware of the life I am about to take. I realize the necessity of it and have killed plenty vermin as a result. But with something like a whitetail, I freeze. Any suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawoo,You said your friend had a trick to shooting coins in the sky?I was with a guy who tried to BS me that he could do it regularly, which I didn't believe because I new I was a better shot than him and thats difficult. He throws a coin in an erratic arc and shoots quickly and shows me a coin that had a pre-drilled hole in it!

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Several of the above comments havetouched on the secret of being a great game shot, but DEP and Del in Kansas nailed it. The African PH shoots out of necessity. Something large and nasty is about to stomp a mudhole in either him or a client, or a great trophy is about to be lost.I can really see the man who grew up poor and is like Scrooge with his ammunition. I was taught to spot squirrels in trees and rabbits in brushpiles by just such a man. Also quail, coons, armidillos, bullfrogs, possums,jacks and anything else that we could cook and eat. My grandmother regularly took me to the chicken pen at an early age to shoot the heads off whichever chickens went into the pan that day. My father and both grandfathers lived through the Depression, and a box of .22 shells meant the difference in meat on the table or not. I still kill my deer each year, usually with one shot, but am regularly out-shot on the range by a friend, who sometimes misses a deer. We have shot and hunted together for the past seven years. It is all in the mind-set, no hit, no eat.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

The proof of the shooting skill is usually on the meatpole. I hear all the MOA marksmen talk trash all summer and after the season is over, guess where they are eating an elk roast? My house.My son is a terrible bench shooter. He can keep all his shots in a minute of pie plate with a rifle that I can shoot MOA groups with. But in the field, it's a different story. Not MOA, but DOA!I have a casual friend who I hunt with often that can shoot sub-MOA with his 7mm Weatherby Mag at the range, but has trouble hitting 'a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle' in the field.The fellow who can do both is exceptional in my opinion.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I've been in more than a few deer camps where it was easy to come to the conclusion that bench shooting and being a proficient game shot are two distinct skills. One is much more difficult to master than the other, and too often some "hunters" believe that shooting from the bench and producing a decent group is tranferrable to shooting for blood.Making sure your rifle is properly sighted in is commendable, but hardly sufficient. Shooting offhand and under field conditions will start to build the skills of a true game shot.Animate targets go a long way. I was fortunate during my formative years to have access to ranches that literally teemed with jack rabbits, and became a handloader at an early age so I could afford the ammunition.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

My dad had a Win Modl 59. It's in my safe and has not been fired in many years. He passed in 1984.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

That old friend that I mentioned earlier about deer hunting is pure poison on geese and ducks. He shoots an old Rem 1100 with a pistol grip stock he made long before benelli came out with them. He refuses to take a shot that he isn't sure he can make. Bill always seems to have lots of old shells because he doesn't shoot many. He grew up a poor black kid in rural OK. When he got a few shells he had to make everyone count for something the family could eat. Now days he has a 500K house, new Hummer, lots of guns, etc but he still is like Scrooge with his ammo.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

A fellow I used to hunt bobwhite quail with down south decades ago only shot from the hip at the covey. He used a Model 59 Winchester labeled IMP CYL. The guy probably hunted every day of "bird" season from Georgia to the Rio Grande. I don't think I ever saw anyone kill more quail in a day than Sim. I often wondered what a fantastic shot he would have been if he put the gun to his shoulder, but then this probably just would have messed him up. I've never witnessed anyone else utilize this strange shooting posture. Another claim to fame is that his wife did the last remodel of the interior of Graceland before Elvis passed away. The color schemes and choices were insisted upon by Elvis. As it turned out that she mostly just provided contractors and materials.

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from NH Philosopher wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Killing paper only allows for one to develop a feel for the rifle - not the kill or the Hunt. Hunting is an alignment of random variables that you cannot "predetermine".Those of us who are "Born to hunt" or 'whatever' have a natural predisposition for it. An internal mechanism that time/evolution/society has not turned off (yet)...some freeze due to environmental pressures like HSUS and Bambi. Others - gladly execute.Spend some time with the Yup Ik or Inupiaq natives of Alaska - and you'll witness what I am talking about....no paper dies...Other organisms do though. Every day.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawooa,Thats quite a son you have. My son went hunting and shot a few squirrels and rabbits when he was young. Since about age ten he refuses to hunt and only goes fishing when it involves a business deal. He's 29 now and very successful in life but we never share the outdoors anymore.He currently lives in Houston and comes home often but not to shoot or hunt. Fortunately my daughter lives close and she goes to archery 3d shoots with her old dad. We plan to order her a new bow later today.

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

There is something to what Dave suggests. In the early 1970s I hunted with a guy who was a decent shot on ducks and geese. A couple times we went to a trap range and this fellow struggled to break five or six birds out of 25. He simply could not shoot quickly enough, allowed the birds to start dropping and shot over most of them.My 90-year-old father hunted until he was almost 87 years old. He was an expert at finding an improvised rest to make long rifle shots, and he had an uncanny ability to hit running whitetails and pronghorns--shots that I wouldn't even attempt. Yet he never was a "position shooter", and I suspect if he had ever fired something like the National Match Course he would have been pretty unimpressive.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Over the years it has been my experience that a good quality Variable power scope is hard to beat. Most people use too much scope power for big game and frequently they put a POS scope on a nice rifle. Just last fall I took an old friend on his first deer hunt. He failed to get a shot off at a nice buck because he never got his scope on the deer. It was a 4x12 Bushnell Banner POS. He would not take my advice to make it into a bullet mold hammer and get a Leupold VXIII. The man has plenty of $ but refuses to spend hundreds for a scope.For my taste a rifle that feels slightly barrel heavy is the easiest to hold steady. I too like a light trigger with no creep or overtravel (about 3 lb). If you get a shot (and have time) get in a prone or sitting position. Many guys will see a deer, pig, etc and blast away offhand. As soon as you ID a big buck,bull, bear,etc that gives you the shakes stop looking at the horns and think about making the shot. Pick the spot on his shoulder you want to hit. A good set of shooting sticks is a plus. Know your rifle and your own limits and you won't miss very often. This has helped me take over a hundred head of big game from AK Moose and bears to FL deer and pigs.With a lower powered scope (1.75-5X, or 2.5-10X for example) you won't be able to look Bambi in the eye when you shoot him. You will also have a wider field of view that makes it easier to find your target fast.Jason,The same applies to archery only more so. Pick a spot and concentrate on hitting it. A quiet bow is much more important than a fast bow. Rangefinders made blazing speed even less important. Practice with and use quality broadheads. They are expensive but nothing in my experience works as well as Rage 2 blade mechanicals. They make a large wound that results in good blood trails that are short. In the last 2 seasons my take was 5 deer with a bow. The best was a 10 pt. The bow is a Mathews Switchback XT with Winners choice strings and cables set at 62 lb with Carbon Force Maximum Hunter arrows. Practice, Practice, Practice.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KSBeing one of those guys who rarely breaks 21-23 at trap (with a fitted trap gun no less) I think I might drive down to Kansas this fall and burn your dove fields. Obviously just kidding. I am more consistant at upland bird shooting than on the trap range. Part of this is that when chasing pheasant and chukar I am there for pure enjoyment and pleasure. Trap on the other hand is a constant challenge more for myself than against others. I honestly believe that I make work out of fun when I pick up the trap gun. Oddly enough I won the first skeet tourniment that I ever entered years ago. I probably did everything wrong but broke every bird since no one told me I was supposed to miss every now and then. I have never won a tourniment since. Yep a considerable part of shooting is mental...

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from jstreet wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Good quote from Mark-1.Some folks just can make shots under pressure, some can't.Jim

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

ishawooa,I can relate to your friend getting bored with the pistol match. It was my luck to break 25 straight and 72 out of 75 the first time I ever pulled a trigger at trap (with a field gun no less). It got boring fast after a 98/100 and a couple 50/50's my shooting began regressing and I quit after shooting a few times each year for 3 years. Nowadays shoot a few rds of skeet with my Barreta O/U 28 ga. to warm up for Dove season. It's a little harder to break 25 that way for me.

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

You’re referring to “pucker factor”?Anyone can and does “pucker” under pressure and within drama. Gifted individuals handle it better than others and swim in environments where the average drown.. That’s why there are “pro’s” in every field, champions, and top guns.

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from Steve C wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I've always been a better shooter with iron sights than a scope - at least out to 200 yards. This is because for every one shot I've made with a scope I've made one thousand with iron sights.Scopes are wonderful for targets far away that are stationary. But far away and/or stationary doesn't describe 95% og the game I've shot in the last 45+ years.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Phillip is it your opinion that "target panic" is inherent or acquired? Can it be easily overcome? On the other hand my kid (the trap shooting, long range magnum hunter and motocrosser) has been hunting with me since age three. Yep he went antelope hunting with me at 3 and again at 5. Over the years, he is 17 now, he never has experienced buck fever. He seemingly does not understand his friends who freeze up at the trigger or blow the shot at a nice buck. I think all the game he has seen fall over the years probably immunized him to this fever. He will bust a cap on a buck or a rooster in a heartbeat and never blink. Yet he is a very kind hearted and generous kid in his associations with other people so don't get the impression that he is an assassin.

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from Phillip wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I don't think there's a lot of mystery around this one. As someone mentioned, one problem is that too many people shoot from the bench and call it good.I do feel, strongly, that a lot of time shooting from the bench is a real good thing. It builds confidence and consistency, two things that a real marksman absolutely has to have. But practice from field positions is critical too.The other issue is target panic. I'm pretty familiar with this one when it comes to archery. I can plug arrows into the kill zone on my targets all day, and I can kill small game with aplomb... but give me something like a hog or deer, and my arrows seem to take on a life of their own.Fortunately, I don't seem to have the same problem with firearms. I know plenty of folks who do, though, and it can really get them down. It's a major psychological leap, I think.

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from Jason N. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I wonder how many people have gone to the range when the weather is perfect. Then go hunting with terrible weather(wind especially) and make a bad shot then wonder whats wrong with their firearm,caliber, bullet,etc.I live in Wyoming and the wind seemingly never stops and is tough to figure out.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

This topic usually brings up shotgunners in my mind moreso than riflemen. I know many trap and skeet shooters who are absolutely terrible in the upland fields or duck blinds. Yet they can shoot 98-100 x 100 all day long on the trap range. One older shooter beat me every time we shot trap, every single time. He was almost twice my age. However when we went dove hunting each September I always managed to get my limit but he would usually only killed about half that many. By the same token he was an expert rifleman on prairie dogs, deer, antelope, and elk but I never saw him shoot at the range other than to sight in a new rifle. Another neighbor can hit a dime tossed into the air by his own hand. He can accomplish this feat repeatedly with a Model 41 Smith, a Model 29 Smith, or a Marlin Guide Gun .45-70. He has a 5 gallon bucket full of shot coins. I can't even see what he is shooting at when he pulls the trigger. He shoots trap with a Beretta holding it with one arm and hand. Usually get 20-25 birds per round. He can hit a 5 gallon bucket at 700-800 yards with the open sighted Marlin or his scoped .25-06 until the bucket is only chips. I have never seen him kill a buck or bull. He has shot a few does over the years. I have opinions on these guys and their abilities/skills which I will not reveal presently since I am more interested in your views.Another neighbor who happens to be on a outdoor TV series at this time can do it all with great efficiency and precision, field or range, rifle or shotgun, he is near perfect in all aspects. I was amazed a few years ago when he went to one of those combat type (IPSC??) pistol shoots in Montana. He took his dad's old Browning P-35 Hi-Power box stock. He shot against guys with Ed Browns, Les Baers, Clarks, and all sorts of stock and modified semi-autos. I was not very surprised to see the trophy that he won when he came home. It was so boring for him that he never shot in that type of event again.

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from jack wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

One of the best practice tips I've read came from F&S. It was for bows - but would also apply to guns with minor modification. It essentially said:1. Set up target in backyard.2. Duplicate your stand or post.3. Wear gear you will have in the field.4. Slowly, noiselessly, draw and hold for a few minutes.5. Release.6. Go back in the house.7. Repeat in 2 hours.Practicing with a couple boxes of ammo over a period of 45 minutes is all well and good, and should be done - but it's not field conditions.I won't do the following, but perhaps someone else could and report back. Go get yourself jacked up on 5 pots of coffee to replicate the "fever" and practice one shot on a deer target.Volunteers?Anyone?Heavey?

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from Chris H. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Bubba, a buddy of mine likes a really, really light trigger. He loaned a gun to another buddy one time and he said that as soon as he thought about putting his finger on the trigger the gun just went off. Of course you and I know that didn't happen. It drives home the point that you should shoot a gun at the range before you ever take it to the field and that you always have to be very conciense of where you finger is in relation to the trigger and where the muzzle is pointing.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Aaahhh!!!So that's the problem!I do fairly well on a bench with a rifle, do all my own sight in work and have rifles that are accurate enough that I can take out prairie dogs at 100/150 yards with pretty fair consistency!When that big ol' hairy, horny buck steps out, my heart rate increases to twice normal rate, my breathing fails to a short, raspy gasp and I shake like I've got the DT's!I kill deer every year. I can do it. I seldom miss. Boy, talking about concentration! It's all I can do to calm myself to be able to hold everything together until I can get the shot off!My big secret! DUH!! I ain't got one, and when I stop getting excited, that's when I stop hunting!One of my biggest tricks is a very, dangerously light trigger. For this reason, I WILL NOT loan one of my rifles.The reason? If I can ever get the crosshairs to target, all I gotta do is caress the trigger!I DO NOT suggest this for anyone else. I must at all times be aware of my trigger. I do not load my gun until SETTLED in my blind/stand! The safety is checked constantly!That's just me!BubbaP.S. You marksmen/safety experts can chastise to your hearts content, it's just the way "I" do it!

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from John B wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

The way most of us practice is exactly the problem. We shoot off a bench in perfect conditions. The trigger doesn't get pulled unless everything is exactly right. Too often in the field you just don't have that kind of opportunity and the majority of hunters simply don't get enough shooting time in the field to learn how to react quickly and (reasonably)accurately.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

ishawoowa,I did the same with my son. Drug him with me shooting and hunting. Now he's 17 and outshoots me in the dove fields but only comes close with handguns and rifles. Now he wants to join the Marines after H.S.Teach 'em young.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

Rockey Mtn. Hunter,Just read your post and you mentioned loaning a gun and not doing it again. I agree but for a different reason.I loaned a gun (for the first time ever) to a friend who thought he had a problem with unfriendly visitors to his property. A couple weeks later after he had bought his own gun he gave mine back and I drove home and put it in the gun cabinet. A few weeks later I took it out to shoot and when I checked the chamber it was fully loaded and ready to rock and roll.My stupidity for not checking it from the start but thats how people get killed and make the news. I never loaned a gun before nor since. Buy your own gun if you need one and if you can't pass the background check then don't come to me.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

When I hunt, I hunt, ready all the time. When I see a animal,I judge immediately if I want this animal or not. If i decide to take him, I put the rifle on the animal, wait till the animal is in a position I can kill it and fire. I don;t fiddle around all day waiting till he is 50 yds away or in a better location. I pratice a lot and usually know when the game appears and I see what it is if I plan to shot or not. Gun is chambered and trigger set at 3 l/2 to 4 lbs. i got a Custom Mauser set at 12 oz, way to light for hunting, but love to shot it at the range.I loaned one gun in my life, taught me a valueable lesson, l let the next guy buy his own as i did. He knocked about $300.00 worth of finsh off the gun. My firearms are setup for my style of shooting, no one else. And , i never shoot another guys gun unless he ask me to check the zero and see if its the gun or him . No 2 people position a firearm on their shoulder the same as I. A handgun is different, but long guns must be zeroed for the hunter, game he's hunting and distance. Buy a Rangefinder an take the guess out of distance. I missed a nice Lope in C0 some years back as the distance fooled me. Then and there I knew a Rangefinder was my next hunting item. Since that purchase, 2nd shots never required, within my long range abilty for a kill shot,.While hunting, concentrate on hunting, not on what you gonna do tomorrow.As for safety clicks, I made teh stupid mistake this fall on just that, I was using a 700 and Deerws l35 yds away, I just clicked the safety to fie and that deer heard teh click and did a l80 and was gone. He ran l00 or so yards, stopped to see what scared him, fatal mistake as I had tracked him in my scope and killed him at 270 yds. Hence forth,I will ease the safety off the 700. One reason I loved the cross bolt safety on my 742, could ease the safety off and no click.Now got to pratice the safety issue on the 700. The safety is a issue I love on Savage rifles, can slide the safety and no sound. I never knew a Deer could hear as well as this one could. Shoot often and straight.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

Ian, in my notion, the 7x57 is my favorite cartridge, I don't have one just now, but will if I find another to suit me.. I love the .308 win., on deer size game. Shooting at paper, one need to develope the smallest group as possible, but on game this group can be somewhat larger and get the job done.. If the deer or elk had a bright dot about 3" in dia. just over the vital area, wouldn't that be great?, but not so. The same is true with too much mag. in their scope, you can see the animal, but hard to pin-point the exact spot in a hurried up situation. I like any thing from 2.5x-4x power for deer here at home.. out west may be different.

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from Ian Manning wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

My friend, Bryan Smith, one of the finest PH's Africa has seen, who used nothing but a 7mm x 57 on everything - and in all conditions, also shoots for South Africa at long-distance target shooting. I on the other hand was of the 30 yard box variety, the distance one has to shoot something.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Has anyone tried Sierra 125 grain 30-30 bullets? Works great!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

SargI keep forgetting that hunting back East and in the South is much different than in the Mountain West. I suppose the .30-30 or any comparable load is adequate for deer. I guess I think it is a tad on the slow side for a long range deer rifle. I doubt any of our fallen comrades would question it's effectiveness, if they could.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Good post Dr.Ralph.... The 7.62x39 is a good round With commercial ammo. I like it myself..

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

I have a friend who started hunting with an SKS because he moved out in the country, lived in a trailer and deer were eating his garden. Can't remember if they were $69 or $89 back then but it was the cheapest gun he could find. Killed one of the biggest six pointers I ever saw with it off his back porch from less than 20 yards, and he killed something like seven or eight deer that first year. Somebody obviously forgot to tell the deer the 7.62 X 39 wasn't much of a hunting round...

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

WAmtnhunter, do you not like the 30-30Win. for hunting? The 7.62x39 can be loaded right up there with the "ole "30-30 shooting the .311 bullet at 130 gr. should be a good hunting round for anything you would use a 30-30 win. for...I loaded it with 150 gr. but forgot what powder, I believe it was H335 or H322 surplus .

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from KJ wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Great video, Clay. One day I'll have the kids out of the house and college and will be able to afford an Alaskan trip. I notice they said they were within bow range when they shot the boar.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

KJCheck this out!We don’t have critters that don’t have us for lunch?Then Check this out!http://search.live.com/video/results.aspx?q=cabelas+bear+charging&go=Search+Videos&mkt=en-us&scope=&FORM=LIVSOP

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

I agree with CJ. The 7.62x39 is not much of a hunting round. Too slow, too light a bullet. Nice plinker and truck gun caliber for a light rifle with iron sights.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

CJ-Aside from the difficulties with my own CZ carbine in 7.62x39, this is a really handy rig with sufficient power for yotes and whitetails. What we call in my country a "truck rifle". A handloader can get an honest 2500 fps out of a 130 grain bullet. Agreed brass cases and good components go a long way.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

KJAll due respect sir, you got it all bassackwards! Hunting skills gets you there to take that shot, take what necessary action to complete the hunt after the shot, then to get you home safely. It’s the shooting skill that takes the trophy! You can hunt and find game all day, but without the shooting skill, you might as well be shooting spit wads. The shooting skill consists of but not limited to, having the correct equipment, correct cartridge configuration for that particular game, having it sighted in at a known range 175 to 225 yards pending on ballistics and knowing the cartridge, equipment and your limitations and the equipment you use.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Hey any of guys know any one that was in Vietman with the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, co.C in 1967 around Jan. or Feb.? I would like to speak to them....Gary

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from There is good ammo out there for the 7.62x39.. wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

CJ, There is good ammo out there for the 7.62x39.. I know people who have some very nice Ruger 77's in that calibre. The rifles for this is quite expensive. SS with lam. stock.

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from CJ wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Why would you buy a nice rifle in 7.62x39? If you are shooting that steel cased cheap stuff, you are in for trouble in the long run. Causes excessive wear on the chamber and throat. There is a real good reason the U.S. military uses only brass. Aside from the cheap ammo, the 7.62x39 is anemic for anything other than an assault rifle.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

KJ,Back in '86 while stationed in AK yours truly stalked and shot a blond grizzly bear near Cantwell. The bear dropped and rolled dead 50 yds down the mountain at the shot. However my pucker facter was definitely raised to a higher level. In '73 killed a Florida hog that was bent on biting me at about10 feet. The hog was probably more dangerous but there was no time to get scared.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Amen KJ!Had an old rodeo friend that made the NFR several times. His statement was, "Them that can, do. Them that can't, talk about it!"Bubba

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from KJ wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Poking holes in paper, or in an animal 700 yards away is a test of shooting skill, but not hunting skill, and certainly not a test of nerve. I'd like to think that I'd have the nerve to make the shot at a charging Cape Buffalo. Alas, we have none of those roaming the hillsides of the Midwestern USA, where I live. The only dangerous game we have here are some wild hogs and black bear. I suppose the only way to know if you can make that shot is to actually face the situation and do it. My experience in law enforcement tells me that lots of guys can talk about it, because talk is cheap. Actually coming through is a different thing. Those that talk the most are usually the ones that perform the worst - beware the quiet guy.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

You're right Clay. That's what the GUN is capable of. Unfortunately, that's not what I'm capable of.Even bagged on a bench, there is a limit as to how far I can shoot both comfortably and reliably! To some folks, that is way "yonder"! I just have to realize that sight picture/hold over/windage and all that other stuff is, maybe not beyond me, but just not my strong point. Ergo: No shots over 200/250 yards on white tails. I would rather pass the shot than chance wounding or losing a deer!Bubba

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Laying all jokes aside, there are those that try to compare paper shooters to meat shooters. First of all you got to be able to hit the target wither its paper or meat in the same degree. For you target shooters like to call your accuracy MOA and that’s fine. Then there are the meat shooters that call their accuracy angle of pie plate and that’s ok too! So now what? Ok, if you shoot approximately a group just about 2 moa at 100 yards or just a little larger than size of the palm of your hand shooting sitting at 200 yards, you’re a very good shooter. Translate to angle of pie plate, that’s what? a quarter of pie plate which means you can theoretically reach out to say something like 800 yards!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Dr. RalphListen Doc, I pay just as much taxes as you do! In fact, the only way you got out of paying state taxes on your pay check is only if you were a nonresident and the state you are from didn’t have state payroll taxes such as Florida. So what source you got your info from, need to recheck it. I remember the first thing slick Willy did was retroact taxes in his first year in office. We paid out the yahoo on that one we did! By the way, Hi Doc! How are you? LOL!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

P.S.Alamo, have you called 1-800-955-4486, CZ repair. Probably have but if they won't help then take it back to dealer and let us know. Screw em.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Alamo,This is an issue you really should keep us informed of the outcome. CZ is doing one hell of a lot of advertising in all the gun mags I get. And I get alot. Without customer service I won't deal with any company.The only reason I came to this blog was to share experiences and hear others, good and bad. Sort of like a sportsmans Consumer Reports.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Alamo, the rifle does have too much headspace, If it had another chamber \, the case would probably split.. Have you looked at the case up close and personal.. I dont know of any other case that would fit the 7.62x39 chamber with out splitting the case. If you load for this round, go through the motion of loading,(No powder or Bullet) then just partially seat a primer. Load in rifle and extract to see if the primer is stil protruding.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

Hey Shaky,I appreciate your concern. I had it pretty well figured that the rifle's chamber is oversized. I learned only after purchasing that although a SAAMI spec was established for American ammo, CZ apparently believed it was not necessary to adopt that spec for their rifles. Hence my eagerness to discuss that issue with them, and my frustration that they aren't very interested in communicating with customers.I purchased he rifle from a first-rate gun store and I'm sure I can return it. I was just looking for an explanation from CZ. Surely everyone who has bought this particular rifle is not having the same problem-or are they?

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Hey Clay, if it weren't for civilians like me sending in thousands of dollars in taxes each and every quarterly payment Uncle Sam wouldn't be able to buy all those toys Devil_Dog can't get clearance to use... give us a break. By the way I would suggest Xanax, much better mood altering effect and anxiety reliever.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jeff OlsenWhy don’t you try a few NRA High Power Matches, it will make you a better shooter afield!You civilians, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!Mark1, I’ll take those two Prozac’s and glass of wine now!

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from Shaky wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Alamo; it sounds like your CZ has excessive headspace. It may be chambered for another round entirely. I would not fire it another time until I had it checked by a competent gunsmith, because that much headspace is a definate safety hazzard to the gun,you, and anyone standing nearby. I personally witnessed a Howa blow up, that scattered steel, brass, and the shooter's glasses and hat 30ft. from where it was fired. He was using Federal factory ammo in .243, and the rifle was clearly stamped .243 Win. He said it had been backing primers out from the very begining, and some didn't fire. This is the condition you describe, so please have that rifle checked, it could mean your life.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

All very, very good ideas.At this point in my life, I'm afraid these exertions would bring on cardiac arrest. But, that's almost what happens to me when a deer of either sex appears anyway. Large, mature bucks bring on a palsy along with elevated heart rate, respirations and blurred vision!!Thanks guys, I'll just try sitting in a stand!Bubba

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

All very, very good ideas.At this point in my life, I'm afraid these exertions would bring on cardiac arrest. But, that's almost what happens to me when a deer of either sex appears anyway. Large, mature bucks bring on a palsy along with elevated heart rate, respirations and blurred vision!!Thanks guys, I'll just try sitting in a stand!Bubba

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jeff Olson,I'll forgo the ice water on testicles thing but the running or jogging uphill and then trying various shooting positions is a great way to gain experience before hunting season and it will quickly let you know what you need to work on.

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from Jeff Olsen wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I just had to throw in my two cents worth here. Range shooting and field shots are as different as night and day!!! To be sure, one absolutely must zero the rifle. I'm sure no one would argue with that. In this way, we can all be assured that the sights/scope will put a round on its intended target. That's where the two styles part ways. If you want a good range exercise that will come close to the hunting experience, try the following: 1. get a handfull of clay pigeons and place them at various, unknown distances 2. Before addressing the rifle do the following: run a few laps around the parking lot of the range while looking in the direction of the sun, immediately head to the firing line, stand barefoot on green pinecones with one foot on the ground and the other on the bench seat, fill your shorts with the ice water from the cooler, have a friend constantly flick your ear while dropping blades of grass in your face. Do all of these things simultaneously while trying to hit all the clays off hand, one shot after another. This is the closest approximation to a field scenario a non-hunter is likely to encounter. Have one of your benchrest buddies try this, and maybe they will learn to appreciate the true experience.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KSNO JOKE!That guy is a IDIOT!

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I like Trae B.'s idea... pretend the animal was talking about your mama. It works! That's how I "get my mind right" when a big buck suddenly appears, I get mad and that emotion overrides the freak out emotion. Works for me.I don't like the side by sides either, too wide a sighting plane I guess? As for double triggers I liked them until we started getting Wild Turkey's around here. First time I fired off one of those magnum turkey loads it kicked so much harder than I expected it twisted my fingers and I accidentally fired again and this time the gun was not against my shoulder... ouch.What's this Cooper? Playboy models shooting full auto? Need a little harder kicking weapon to add to the jiggle factor is what I think...

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from sarg wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I , had a Win. Pump shotgun in the '70's that was a killer on birds, Never missing a Grouse or quail, but I could not hit a squirel or beer can with it, I believe it shot a circular pattern with a small hole in the center. It was hard to hit a stationary target. Lead good on birds Didn't keep it long.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dave,Don't look at the last one if you have a weak heart.Clay,Did you notice that fool point the burning AK at the cameraman right at the end.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jim in mo,It probably has something to do with what you grew up with. Side by sides just look a mile wide when you look down those barrels. I always endeavor to keep my eye on the target but somehow it doesn't work for me with a sxs.Charshooter,I can relate to what you said. After spending 48 yrs shooting (20 in the army) my hearing isn't too good anymore but it is obvious offhand is my best position relatively speaking. My best off hand shot was 8 yr ago in Macon co MO. Big 8 pointer was about to go out of sight walking on a wooded hillside (no leaves on trees). Just had time for 1 quick standing shot. Nailed him 242 yds with 6mmX284 win. Following year dropped into prone and made 355 yd shot across a pasture on 7 pointer with a 270 win. Checked the range after the shot on the first one and before the shot on the second (to estimate holdover). Bought the first laser rangefinder Bushnell made. Still have it and a Leupold. The old gunslinger is right. Rangefinders are worth their weight in gold. Don't leave home without one.Clay,My home 20 is in the suburbs of Kansas City on the KS side. We may have passed on the street.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Got thinking n the trip to Kansas City today, Mr. Petzal I truly believe that it is your job to lead this subject on how to be a better shooter!A few action footage you might learn something from Sports Fans!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVb0ZiNx7qY&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imKj19dMvcY&feature=relatedBurning 300 rounds AK-47!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNAohtjG14c&feature=relatedAnd David E. Petzal, the following is just for you!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k-XJHiShB0&feature=related

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from Trae B. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I have a solution for being jumpy when aiming at a live animal...I imagine that the animal was talking about my mama...lol

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from Charshooter wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I bench rest shoot mainly for fun; I shoot 223 and cartridges based on the 308 case. When it comes to hunting, it is a whole other thing. I have a natural attraction or drive towards killing game; it allows me to turn completely cold and emotionless when I see game. My shots at game have always been much better than what I can do at target shooting giving the same body position and the same necessity to shoot quickly. I practiced a good deal to see if I could improve my off hand target shooting, but it is never as good as it is at game. I think it is also true that the more dangerous the game is the better I shoot. When I was much younger, I lived for confronting dangerous game, perhaps not Cape buffalo or elephant, but bears and even cougars can be dangerous when they know they are being stalked. Sure, I shoot tighter groups on a bench with everything set perfect, but that is not how one hunts.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KS,Funny you should make that comment about the double barrel. Me, I'm the exact opposite. I've had two doubles, one stolen other stupidly sold, and I was pretty good in the field. The two barrels seemed to lead my eye to a vantage point. Now out in the dove fields with my single barrel I'm a disgrace. May have to look at the Bobwhite only cause I like double triggers.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Alamo:I wish I coud help with the CZ communications but I have had absolutely no experience with them. My friend only toured the factory and it is doubtful that these people knew any more about CZ than what they were stamping on the guns. They make them but do not market them. By the way back in the seventies CZ motorcycle customer service was just as bad. We had a saying that the CZ dirt bikes were "hell when they were well". The rest of the time you worked on them while Yamaha riders ripped around the countryside or moto track.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Sounds like an oversized chamber to me.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Hey Ish,Saw your mention of CZ and your friends visit to their factory. Probably not the right thread, but I've been itching to ask if anyone else has had any difficulty communicating with the folks at CZ America.I purchased a CZ carbine in 7.62x39 about a year ago. It's a nicely turned-out miniature mauser that I intend to use a calling rifle. The interesting thing is that high quality (WW) factory loads have given me problems with about 25% failure to detonate, and then backed out primers on those that go "boom". Three emails to CZ- no response. One phone call and I got a kid who didn't know the first thing about their products. I like their guns, but their service absolutely blows.Anyone else?

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Bubba,I know exactly what you mean about that MOA vs 8 inches or pieplate or whatever standard the person puting forth the argument wants to use. Old Ugly will shootthree 165 gr. '06s into a three in. Birchwood Casey target at 200 yds. Probably would do better than that if I had a sharper eye and a steadier hold. More accuracythan you need to kill a deer?Not hardly. I have had to shootthrough mesquite trees, broomweed,prickly pear patches, etc. at apatch that I knew was a deer, knewwas the right deer, but just neverwould pause long enough to offer ashot out in the open.I've had to take the occasionalrunning shot. Don't like to do that, but it is either shoot, or lose the deer, or worse, a cripplethat has already been hit. Havingfull confidence in the rifle takesaway half the worry, so you don'tover do it mentally, trying tocompensate. You just know that if the crosshairs are there, that iswhere the bullet will hit. All that is left is to put the cross-hairs there.Also read in this section orsomewhere on DEP's blog about someone who used a light trigger. Mostof mine are in the 2 lb. range. Idon't want a five minute triggersqueeze after I am on target. Still, you don't need all that to kill a deer. You need the abilityto hold offhand, or from awkward positions, in the cold, in the rain, hold for wind, improvise arest if possible, keep one eye on the deer, keep the deer in the scope, control breathing, triggersqueeze,"buck fever" AND STILL hit that shoulder, neck, or heart/lung area. Full confidence in the accuracy of the rifle is just the first step.

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from Michael wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I have 3 of the DeHaan S2 (made in Huglu Turkey) shotguns in 20, 28, & 410. The 410 has 30" barrels, the others 28". The fit, finish and attention to detail on these guns is superb; much better than on guns costing much, much more. They shoot extremely well. By the way, the $4-5,000 Kimber Valier is made in the same village of Huglu, Turkey.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

With all the yak about accuracy, I was once sitting on a private range sighting in a rifle. I went down to retrieve a 100 yd target with a three round group of probably 3/8 inch, 1 1/2 inches above the bull. Not bad for a .270. When I got back to the bench a gentleman walked up and said, "Nice group, but it ain't gotta be THAT accurate to kill a deer!""No," I agreed, "but if the gun will shoot this well, if a deer gets away, I'll know it was MY fault, not the GUN'S!"Exactly what you guys were talking about. MOA don't mean squat out of a blind or stand at 30 yards! Keeping 'em all inside a 8" paper plate at a hundred yards WILL kill a deer!Bubba

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Got to run to Kansas City, will give tips on how you can shot like a real pro later, C’Ya Sports Fans!

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

crm 3006,The Bob white is pretty but I couldn't fall out of a boat and hit water with a side by side. For me it would the the Woodcock with a wood upgrade in 28" 28 ga.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

crm3006My friend Dave, the superb shootist, is a petroleum engineer by profession. Last year he spent about 9 months somewhere in Turkey and had the opportunity to visit the factory that manufactures the CZ guns. He was very much impressed with the cleanliness, efficiency, and care that these Turks incooperated into each aspect of making these weapons. He said that the individual workers took great pride in whatever piece of the gun they were in charge of creating or putting togather. They often stopped as he approached and proudly displayed their work and demonstrated their role in the production process (apparently no OSHA there). He had numerous good comments and little in the way of negative findings regarding his factory inspection. I wish Winchester had modeled their factory and workmanship after this one, maybe we would still be buying guns from New Haven. When Dave got back to the States he immediately purchased a couple side by sides. We intend to do a little testing with them soon. They certainly are hard to fault per my casual examination of fit, finish, and workmanship. A 28 or 16 S x S would either make a fantastic upland gun. I bet DEP would even like the 28 CZ...in your dreams...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Chev JimThere’s no perfect solution for cover all scenarios such as what’s the best equipment to use. Know your rifle intimately and ballistically and it will deliver. Fine shot Sir!

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

ishawooa, Del, AWAI,Posting a link to CZ USA.If the Bobwhite in .28 gauge ain't the sexiest thing ya'll ever saw, I'lleat my Resistol! They also make aSxS in .16 gauge that gets me drooling. http://www.cz-usa.com/products_shotguns.phpHadn't thought about cattails asa target, but you can really getyour mind and trigger finger in sync shooting pecans out of trees with .22 shorts. In Oklahoma, they are never still, and it is a lot like shooting at a chicken'shead. Shoot where it's gonna be next!!

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawooa,The best is being in a field full of dove hunters, having a lone bird fly the guantlet, see 3 or 4 empty their 12's and fold him with one shot from my little Beretta. Yeah, did it with a Rooster too but smaller audience.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Clay,Good choice. When I bought the same gun for my nephew also looked at the 870 Rem and liked the mossberg better.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Chevjim,Another example of tooo much scope. I rest my case.

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from Carney wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I've been a "gunner" since I was a kid but I got a late start at hunting and just killed my first deer only last year. This was after 5 years of successfully discovering how not to hunt...By that time, my hunting knowledge and understanding had increased to at least "passable" but my personal determination was unbendable.I'm certain that in my mind's eye I had shot and field dressed at least a hundred deer! Almost every step through the forest equaled a mental review of what I would do when I finally out smarted a black tail.The moment came and the buck presented the shot. As the butt stock hit my shoulder everything went to some kind of mental "hyper drive" and the scenario I'd played over and over in my mind just simply played out in real life!I don't think I've ever been so steady without a shooting rest in my life!!

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

This target vs. game shooting reminds me of a deer hunt I was on. I hadn't even planned to go deer hunting, but I arrived at my brother-in-law's and he suggested we go. He lent me a rifle--a .257 Weatherby Magnum built on a Mauser action. The scope was a 4x12X. I wasn't really expecting to connect with a deer. Shortly after I climbed up the icy ladder to the tree stand, however, I saw a buck coming toward me. What amazed me was how quickly I swung into action . . . I saw the buck approach, and when he came out of a line of trees, I had the crosshairs waiting from him. It was hard to find him at 4X, as he was only about 25 yards away, but I quickly guesstimated the buck's body in relation to the reticle and fired. I hit the buck a little far back, and he ran 40 yards before piling up. If the scope hadn't been unnecessarily powerful, I'm sure the shot would have gone exactly where it should have. The point of this vignette is that on a deer, I shot quickly without employing surgical precision. The shot was a little off, but was nonetheless a telling one. If I had fired that quickly at a paper target, I would have probably hit the equivalent of the seven ring at 9 o'clock--and I would have been very dissatisfied with the shot. Game forces you to shoot quickly--at least in the dense woods of the Eastern US, and you don't have time to get into a sling or carefully arrange your jacket into a rifle rest. If you are hunting in dense woods and are waiting for the perfect shot, you will go home empty-handed virtually every time. The "tempo" of most target shooting and most game shooting varies markedly. If you shoot at targets like you shoot at game, you'll be a sloppy target shooter. And if you shoot at game like you shoot at targets, you'll most likely watch your game disappear back into the treeline!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Mark-1Just bought my Grandson Alex birthday present, a Youth/Adult Mossberg 500 20ga. doesn’t know it yet, even his mother ok’d it. I’m still in shock over that!

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Go with a 28-ga, Chev!The old, old boys will quip the 28-ga is only good for meadowlarks and bumble-bees, but that claim is nonsense. For me if there’s any actual field and target difference between a 20 an 28-ga I’m not good enough to tell. Both have available 1-oz hunting loads.28-ga shotguns are always “elegant”. Even a 28-ga built on a light 20-ga frame is still elegant. The small frame 28-ga…such as a Beretta o/u….is a dream to carry and shoot.Good luck and let us all know the purchase. We’ll light the candle.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Shooting well at targets and shooting well at game require different skill setsO’Really give me a break!That’s as “OXYMORONIC” as you can get!How about, a excellent game shooter be able to control his breathing and heartbeat, be able to read mirage and wind, have a perfect trigger squeeze, shoot quickly, get into setting or knelling shooting position within seconds, at ill-defined and/or moving targets, and above all, that you be able to kill without hesitation, know your rifle intimately and ballistics, be thoughtful and deliberate at all times!O’David Petzal, only if we knew each other when I was in New Mexico, you would be singing a different story for sure!

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from Scott wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Hey all,Been working day shift for a while now so I haven't been able to keep up as I'd like but it sounds like you all are still kickin' up dust! Try this for some snap shooting practice: If you have a spot in the country near a wet or low area where the cattails grow, try taking a .22 out and trying to hit the heads of the cattails as they wave in the breeze from the offhand position. It's easy to tell when you've hit one as they puff out seeds and just as easy to tell when you miss.Plus it's great fun!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

CRM3006A friend recently passed away who had 2 Model 41s, one short, one LR, the LR with two barrel lengths. I was hoping to buy them from the widow but his two non-shooting non-hunting sons came and got them. They are probably pawned in Cleveland and Columbus by now. I like the briquet idea and wonder why I never tried it. Dave, my expert shooting friend, also prefers M-41s to all others and has one that is still new in the box plus one that has probably had at least 100,000 rounds through it with one trip to the factory. They are a little pricy but will bring you as much happiness and satisfaction as any gun I know of.Del in KSDon't you love the look on your 12 gauge buddies' faces when you drop a rooster just as neatly with the pipsqueak 28 as they do with their 12s? Sure makes walking easier with the small shotgun and minature shells. Mine is a seventies vintage SKB (yeah the one with South American fence post grade wood but I don't care).

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Chev Jim,The ammo is much cheaper for the 20 but I do love my Beretta 28. You can save lots of $ on ammo with a MEC 9000G in 28 ga.

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from Brian T wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Paper and clays provide confidence and familiarity with the firearm. In the field, I can afford to ignore the gun and concentrate on my head.Love those herbivores. Please pass the peas.

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from Chev Jim wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I really do believe that shooting at paper targets is like "test anxiety" for many people--call it "target anxiety," if you will. You know that the paper target will pitilessly reflect your marksmanship. On the other hand, you can hit a game animal less than perfectly and still get away with a fairly quick kill. Also, paper targets are boring for younger shooters--but I would advise against getting younger shooters into the "plinking" mentality, where they don't know or really care where their bullets hit, as long as they get a reaction from the target. You can mix "reactive" targets with paper ones--cookies or balloons will work, but clean up any non-biodegradable residue. Also, I want to resume skeet shooting, but I need to get a nice Beretta over-under in 20 or 28 gauge first!

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

ishawooa,Please, please do not tell sarge any politically incorrect stories. You might be responsible for bringing on an incurable caseof the willy-willys, or anothermelange of incoherent rambling, compounded by unproper English andtypos extremis.I'm glad to find another fan of the 41 Smith out there, I thought it the epitome of .22 autohandguns. Another trick you can use to practice shooting at thrownobjects is use charcoal briquets.They are a good size, and either give off a puff of dust, or shatter like a clay pigeon.

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from RipperIII wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Gentlemen,I am a rookie in the hunting and fishing arena.I am a good shot, not great but good,I can take no credit for my skills as I have very little experience and almost no practice, my skill is God given(and amazes me still). Two years ago a buddy invited me to shoot a round of sporting clays with he and another of our friends. My buddy loaned me his 12ga. Rem. 810? pump with a full choke...I broke 22 out of 100, but I was hooked, bought a cheap Stoeger 12ga. and started shooting Trap/skeet and clays, this is my 2nd "season" and I now average 20-23 trap, 12-15 at skeet and 70-80 at clays...not great but I have since been on 3 South Georgia quail hunts and I killed 20 birds this trip and only missed 2. I went on my first deer hunt back in February, got on stand with a brand new Tikka 3 .270 which a friend sighted in for me and which I had never shot(never shot any high power rifle) on the last morning I killed a buck at 130 yds quartering away dropped in his tracks...I didn't get the "fever" until several minutes after the shot, then I got very excited indeed, I had let several deer pass over the course of the 3 day hunt waiting for the one, I got excited but not gittery, had the hairs steady on many but didn't shoot, got busted by 2 big bucks and I froze waiting to see if they would settle down and let me get off an ethical shot...they did not cooperate, my rookie mistake I guess, I need to practice "field shots" such as quick drops and sight aquisition to prevent this in the future. I can put 5 rounds inside a paper plate at 100yds off hand, but I have not been able to attain 1" groupings from the bench rest. I find that with both the shot gun, rifle and my Sig 40 ca.I am a far more accurate shot when reacting as opposed to "aiming".I play golf the same way...Too much thinking kills my game.I really enjoy reading all of your posts , I learn a bit each time, and as rookie I need allthe help I can get,...I love this "new" hobby .

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Sarg:Back in the old days before it was politically and environimentally incorrect we used to shoot Coca-cola bottles using the "hang time" method you described. A guy can get pretty good at it with some practice. If you happen to shoot one straight overhead you had to run like hell to get out from under the falling glass. Anything smaller than a pop bottle was out of my league.I had a friend once, have not seen him in years, that could hit 8-10 pop or beer cans out of 10 at 100 yards shooting a Walther PP .22 LR. Give that a try sometime. I was lucky to hit the log the cans were sitting on once or twice with the same pistol. I could equal him using my Model 41 most of the time but not the little German gun with virtually no sights.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Bill Jordan(?) of Texas Border Patrol fame was known for the same type revolver magic. He would start with something like a watermelon. Toss it up and draw and shoot it before it hit the ground. Before the demo was over, he was shooting two or three asprins!He "wrote", I think, "No Second Place Winner!"(?) about handling his six gun! The story goes the only man he ever killed was a fellow BP agent. Seems he was practicing his fast draw in his office, dropped his gun and it went off, going through a wall and killing the guy in the next office!True? I don't know, it's just what I've heard!Bubba

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Thanks, Bubba,Ad Topperwein was the man I was trying to think of. The old Luke's Music Store in Ardmore, OKhad one of his Indian head drawings on display for a good number of years. Reading his bio, I learned that he fired an '03 Winchester .22 Auto, and hit the ejected hull! Amazing!Another gifted shot thatcame out of Oklahoma was the great Dan Combs of the OK Highway Patrol. He shot every thing from fruit to marbles out of the air with a .30-'06, and could draw and fire and put two .38 Specials (wax bullets) through a styrofoam cup dropped from waist level before it hit the ground. He was also a wizard with a Thompson sub, and a 1911 A1. I was privilaged to have a running aquaintance with Dan while he worked at a gunshop in Midwest City, OK that regretably went out of business.

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I shot a bb gun from the earliest I can remember, and loved shooting bugs, mostly crickets, we had alot of them! Never really enjoyed putting holes in paper, no challenge there. Even now I usually spend almost no time at the range, go out before hunting season to check the zero of the rifles and that's about it other than occasional handgun practice. But if I see a legal deer it's a dead deer.My oldest daughter shoots pretty good on targets but her first deer had the crap scared out of it and that's about all, at under 50 yds, she later said she "forgot to aim". So I'm guessing it isn't genetic.

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from Black Rifle Addict wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dave, you bring up an important issue here, as does one of the comments made here on the blog.I think some people just make better hunters. Call it karma, natural ability, or whatever makes sense to you. A friend of ours, a depression baby, used to say if his daddy gave him 3-4 rounds to hunt with he better come home with 3-4 heads of game!Target shooting during the depression was a luxury!

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from sarg wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

jim in mo, the trick to shooting any thing thrownup in the air is to shoot when the object has reached it height, stops momentary,before starting back down....

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from Jack Ryan wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Being a good shooter on paper doesn't make one a bad shot in the field.Not shooting in the field makes a person a bad shot in the field.They shoot on the range all year and think they can do the same thing on a moving deer at 100 yards they do on a paper plate from a bench at 100 yards and they have probably never even "proven" the attempt on the range.In the field most people couldn't even guess a hundred yards with in 5 seconds of when you ask them but they think they can snap a gun up and pull the trigger quick as a white tail flag ducks in the bush.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I will talk with David when he gets back from Arizona in a few weeks. By then the weather here should be nice. We'll try to do a better video of him shooting vegetables, nuts, berries, eggs, coins, and sand pebbles with various weaponry. Maybe I can get my kid to put it on YouTube for you guys to see. I promise no tricks...

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KS: Nowata is in the Northeastern part of our fair state. As a sidebar, there is a Lottawata Road near Lake Eufaula. From one extreme to the other, I guess.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Any of you Oklahoma gents ever hear of Nowata? Pronounced like no water. Not sure about spelling. That's where my friend Bill grew up hunting anything they could eat. He's 65 and enjoying retirement these days. Bill currently owns the best German Shorthair I have ever hunted over. Go Jayhawks.

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I would have more luck shooting into the air and then throwing a coin at the bullet.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ish,They're out there.Just like the UFO's and aliens. LOL!I've know a couple of people that had the same uncanny knack! It blows the mind, especially since as hard as I've tried, I can't even come close!I have had the opportunity, probably three or four, to take game with "snap" shots, each deadly as a mamba! If I could only figure out how to convert that to day to day hunting!Oh, well!Bubba

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jim in MO.No negativity detected by your statements plus I understand why people find the story difficult to believe as I felt exactly the same way when I heard about this guy. Then I saw him shoot. He has about 60 guns that I know of with most medium to high quality. I have never seen a cleaning rod or a bottle of Hoppe's in his house. I once asked him about his bore cleaning procedures since the exterior of most of his Smiths, Colts, Mausers, Remingtons, etc. looked worn and rough. I don't have any he replied, I don't clean bores, I just keep shooting. I didn't even want to look up one of his barrels...

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

crm3006I believe the fella you're talking about was Ad Topperwein(sp). Those guys were something else. Shooting thousand's of wooden blocks tossed in the air before missing one. One even shot glass balls like Christmas ornaments. He shot them in the dark because they would whistle when they were tossed!My grandfather lived through the Great Depression. He worked on a road crew that built Hwy 84 between Palestine and Rusk, Texas.Because all the equipment was still horse drawn, anybody that would stay the weekend and take care of the animals got an extra fifty cents a day. They would bring a brick of .22LR ammo and spend the weekend shooting .22's. He would not show off with a .22, but he was absolutely amazing with his old Remington Target Master single shot! It's in the closet and still shoots amazingly tight groups!Bubba

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

LowRecoil,Concerning the depression era shooters: When I was a kid after the crops were in there was alot of corn/soybeans left on the ground, corn pickers didn't do the job of the combines of today. So anyway in the fall grandpa and dad would go behind the barn and have all us kids sit beside them. When the blackbirds and starlings would gather to eat they would tell us to yell and clap our hands and when the black cloud of birds came up they would shoot into them with #11 birdshot that grandpa had on hand. We would do that two or three times. Then we'd go out and gather the birds for grandma to pluck and cook-up with home made dumplings.Later on, me my brothers and brother in laws would go into the same fields and shoot clay birds. Grandpa would just look and shake his head. He just didn't get it.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I must admit that I suffered from recoil "flinch" when I fired my first gun. My father was a practical man, and at a very young age I fired a 12 gauge that I believe set my beginning for flinchitus. Beginning in my early teens, better instruction for shooting was given me by dad's hunting buddies, and they help redeem me from flinch-HELL.I changed things for my boys, and I feel my mistakes help them to be better shooters. Now, I am a Big Bore rifle nut, and I like the way big guns kick and kill;Both with authority.

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

How about the old time shooter whocould shuck hulls out of a pump.22 and knock the out of the air?I think it was the same one who used to draw the Indian heads on apiece of tin. Concerning those Depression era shooters, again, they were shooting for meat on the table.

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from MidnightBanjo wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

When I go to the range, I try not to shoot from the bench. Last time at the range I had it to myself - just me and the range personnel. I asked if it would be alright if I took some shots from different positions and since there wasn't anyone else around it was permitted. I shot from normal standing position rotating my stance from shot to shot and did the same while sitting, these types of shots are what I get in the field - seems the deer don't like benches in their woods. I do sight in from the bench, never used shooting sticks, I'm more likely to use a tree than anything else.Aaron, buddy of mine, is a terrible shot at the range! But put him in the woods and everything changes. I've seen him make some shots that were well beyond my confidence limits.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawooa,PLEASE don't interperet my response as negative. I was simply relaying a true story about an idiot who thought he was PT Barnum reincarnated.

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from Brian wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

It is improbable that a hunter that once suffered with an extreme case of buck fever, will ever find themselves totally cool under pressure. They can learn to manage their anxiety with enough experience.

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from MPN wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

If you start your kids off young with hunt'n they have an easier time ending an animals life when they're old enough to hunt. I've seen it happen with my 3 sons and 1 daughter, now I see it with my grandson. If they can take an animals life without hesitation then they will most likely make a better shot.MPN

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph:I respect your opinion and know where you are coming from but I submit that other than ending a life there is not a lot of similiarity in "putting down" a sick horse or a cow and shooting a deer at 200 yards. I realize that I am telling you something that you are well aware of but others might not be so knowledgeable.

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from LowRecoil wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I'm a better shot when I shoot quickly. That holds true whether I'm shooting at quail whirring out of the brush, or at a whitetail offering a standing broadside shot. When the gunbarrel covers the quail, I shoot. As soon as the crosshairs are where I want them, I shoot.The problem I have when I shoot at paper is that, in trying to squeeze my groups as small as possible, I strain and struggle and grip and relax, and breathe, and hold my breath, and think evil thoughts, and get sweat in my eyes, and become conscious of my own heartbeat, and compose curses aimed at J.M. Browning and Oliver Winchester, and think about all the ways I could miss, and FINALLY pull the trigger. Whew! I can only take so much of that.Concerning the depression-era shooters: My dad is one of those. He may shoot a shotgun only 20 times a year, but there will be 20 dead things as a result. Shooting clay pigeons to him would make as much sense as setting a pile of dollar bills on fire.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Jim in Mo.David will shoot the change from my pocket or anyone else's with about 75% certainty of hitting the coin. When I first heard about him I figured it was a trick or gossip. He moved in down the road and after one trip to the desert I saw him in action. By the way the coins don't have holes in them merely dents. For laughs he often asks you to call "heads or tails" and he hits correctly about 50% of the time as you would expect. He recently made a video of shooting coins that did not turn out well because you can't see them. He added eggs, lemons, oranges, cabbages, and califlowers for a more vivid visual effect. I would put him up against Tom Knapp or Tim from Benelli. The guy has unnatural eye-hand coordination, years of practice, and as you would might guess is modest about the whole thing as if anyone could do this. I swear the above is absolutely true. On your next vacation to Yellowstone stop by and Dave will gladly give a demonstration. I promise you will be impressed and humbled.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I should add that my father was a veterinarian and I saw hundreds of animals killed as a small child simply for economics. Farming is a business and if it costs more to save an animal than it's worth it doesn't live.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Dave you have described my brother in law to a tee. He is one of the best bench shooters I have ever met, sets .38 special brass up at 100 yards and shoots it with a 9 power scope and absolutely cannot kill a big buck. I have seen him shoot three times at an eight pointer less than 100 yards away without cutting a hair. Two years ago a ten pointer stood under his stand and he freaked out so much his nose started to bleed... he swears he could have thrown his gun at the deer and hit it but missed when he pulled the trigger. Doe's, not a problem. It's that ability to function under extreme duress, the man you want to give the ball to when there is 1.7 seconds on the clock and it's win or lose on the last shot. Concentrate, breath deeply and bury your emotions and you can make that shot when your heart beat has tripled and body parts are shaking for no apparent reason. That's pretty much why I hunt after all these years... just to get that rush and see if I can still get my mind right for the kill.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I haven't been hunting much, but I quite frankly struggle with the taking of a life. I love hunting/fishing etc. I am a decent shot at bench, and while hunting provided I don't have the opportunity to stop and think. When we are hog hunting, and you shoot on instinct, I am quite proficient. It is the slow calculated shots that mess me up as I know and am consciously aware of the life I am about to take. I realize the necessity of it and have killed plenty vermin as a result. But with something like a whitetail, I freeze. Any suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawoo,You said your friend had a trick to shooting coins in the sky?I was with a guy who tried to BS me that he could do it regularly, which I didn't believe because I new I was a better shot than him and thats difficult. He throws a coin in an erratic arc and shoots quickly and shows me a coin that had a pre-drilled hole in it!

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from crm3006 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Several of the above comments havetouched on the secret of being a great game shot, but DEP and Del in Kansas nailed it. The African PH shoots out of necessity. Something large and nasty is about to stomp a mudhole in either him or a client, or a great trophy is about to be lost.I can really see the man who grew up poor and is like Scrooge with his ammunition. I was taught to spot squirrels in trees and rabbits in brushpiles by just such a man. Also quail, coons, armidillos, bullfrogs, possums,jacks and anything else that we could cook and eat. My grandmother regularly took me to the chicken pen at an early age to shoot the heads off whichever chickens went into the pan that day. My father and both grandfathers lived through the Depression, and a box of .22 shells meant the difference in meat on the table or not. I still kill my deer each year, usually with one shot, but am regularly out-shot on the range by a friend, who sometimes misses a deer. We have shot and hunted together for the past seven years. It is all in the mind-set, no hit, no eat.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

The proof of the shooting skill is usually on the meatpole. I hear all the MOA marksmen talk trash all summer and after the season is over, guess where they are eating an elk roast? My house.My son is a terrible bench shooter. He can keep all his shots in a minute of pie plate with a rifle that I can shoot MOA groups with. But in the field, it's a different story. Not MOA, but DOA!I have a casual friend who I hunt with often that can shoot sub-MOA with his 7mm Weatherby Mag at the range, but has trouble hitting 'a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle' in the field.The fellow who can do both is exceptional in my opinion.

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from Alamo wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I've been in more than a few deer camps where it was easy to come to the conclusion that bench shooting and being a proficient game shot are two distinct skills. One is much more difficult to master than the other, and too often some "hunters" believe that shooting from the bench and producing a decent group is tranferrable to shooting for blood.Making sure your rifle is properly sighted in is commendable, but hardly sufficient. Shooting offhand and under field conditions will start to build the skills of a true game shot.Animate targets go a long way. I was fortunate during my formative years to have access to ranches that literally teemed with jack rabbits, and became a handloader at an early age so I could afford the ammunition.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

My dad had a Win Modl 59. It's in my safe and has not been fired in many years. He passed in 1984.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

That old friend that I mentioned earlier about deer hunting is pure poison on geese and ducks. He shoots an old Rem 1100 with a pistol grip stock he made long before benelli came out with them. He refuses to take a shot that he isn't sure he can make. Bill always seems to have lots of old shells because he doesn't shoot many. He grew up a poor black kid in rural OK. When he got a few shells he had to make everyone count for something the family could eat. Now days he has a 500K house, new Hummer, lots of guns, etc but he still is like Scrooge with his ammo.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

A fellow I used to hunt bobwhite quail with down south decades ago only shot from the hip at the covey. He used a Model 59 Winchester labeled IMP CYL. The guy probably hunted every day of "bird" season from Georgia to the Rio Grande. I don't think I ever saw anyone kill more quail in a day than Sim. I often wondered what a fantastic shot he would have been if he put the gun to his shoulder, but then this probably just would have messed him up. I've never witnessed anyone else utilize this strange shooting posture. Another claim to fame is that his wife did the last remodel of the interior of Graceland before Elvis passed away. The color schemes and choices were insisted upon by Elvis. As it turned out that she mostly just provided contractors and materials.

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from NH Philosopher wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Killing paper only allows for one to develop a feel for the rifle - not the kill or the Hunt. Hunting is an alignment of random variables that you cannot "predetermine".Those of us who are "Born to hunt" or 'whatever' have a natural predisposition for it. An internal mechanism that time/evolution/society has not turned off (yet)...some freeze due to environmental pressures like HSUS and Bambi. Others - gladly execute.Spend some time with the Yup Ik or Inupiaq natives of Alaska - and you'll witness what I am talking about....no paper dies...Other organisms do though. Every day.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Ishawooa,Thats quite a son you have. My son went hunting and shot a few squirrels and rabbits when he was young. Since about age ten he refuses to hunt and only goes fishing when it involves a business deal. He's 29 now and very successful in life but we never share the outdoors anymore.He currently lives in Houston and comes home often but not to shoot or hunt. Fortunately my daughter lives close and she goes to archery 3d shoots with her old dad. We plan to order her a new bow later today.

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

There is something to what Dave suggests. In the early 1970s I hunted with a guy who was a decent shot on ducks and geese. A couple times we went to a trap range and this fellow struggled to break five or six birds out of 25. He simply could not shoot quickly enough, allowed the birds to start dropping and shot over most of them.My 90-year-old father hunted until he was almost 87 years old. He was an expert at finding an improvised rest to make long rifle shots, and he had an uncanny ability to hit running whitetails and pronghorns--shots that I wouldn't even attempt. Yet he never was a "position shooter", and I suspect if he had ever fired something like the National Match Course he would have been pretty unimpressive.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Over the years it has been my experience that a good quality Variable power scope is hard to beat. Most people use too much scope power for big game and frequently they put a POS scope on a nice rifle. Just last fall I took an old friend on his first deer hunt. He failed to get a shot off at a nice buck because he never got his scope on the deer. It was a 4x12 Bushnell Banner POS. He would not take my advice to make it into a bullet mold hammer and get a Leupold VXIII. The man has plenty of $ but refuses to spend hundreds for a scope.For my taste a rifle that feels slightly barrel heavy is the easiest to hold steady. I too like a light trigger with no creep or overtravel (about 3 lb). If you get a shot (and have time) get in a prone or sitting position. Many guys will see a deer, pig, etc and blast away offhand. As soon as you ID a big buck,bull, bear,etc that gives you the shakes stop looking at the horns and think about making the shot. Pick the spot on his shoulder you want to hit. A good set of shooting sticks is a plus. Know your rifle and your own limits and you won't miss very often. This has helped me take over a hundred head of big game from AK Moose and bears to FL deer and pigs.With a lower powered scope (1.75-5X, or 2.5-10X for example) you won't be able to look Bambi in the eye when you shoot him. You will also have a wider field of view that makes it easier to find your target fast.Jason,The same applies to archery only more so. Pick a spot and concentrate on hitting it. A quiet bow is much more important than a fast bow. Rangefinders made blazing speed even less important. Practice with and use quality broadheads. They are expensive but nothing in my experience works as well as Rage 2 blade mechanicals. They make a large wound that results in good blood trails that are short. In the last 2 seasons my take was 5 deer with a bow. The best was a 10 pt. The bow is a Mathews Switchback XT with Winners choice strings and cables set at 62 lb with Carbon Force Maximum Hunter arrows. Practice, Practice, Practice.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Del in KSBeing one of those guys who rarely breaks 21-23 at trap (with a fitted trap gun no less) I think I might drive down to Kansas this fall and burn your dove fields. Obviously just kidding. I am more consistant at upland bird shooting than on the trap range. Part of this is that when chasing pheasant and chukar I am there for pure enjoyment and pleasure. Trap on the other hand is a constant challenge more for myself than against others. I honestly believe that I make work out of fun when I pick up the trap gun. Oddly enough I won the first skeet tourniment that I ever entered years ago. I probably did everything wrong but broke every bird since no one told me I was supposed to miss every now and then. I have never won a tourniment since. Yep a considerable part of shooting is mental...

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from jstreet wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Good quote from Mark-1.Some folks just can make shots under pressure, some can't.Jim

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

ishawooa,I can relate to your friend getting bored with the pistol match. It was my luck to break 25 straight and 72 out of 75 the first time I ever pulled a trigger at trap (with a field gun no less). It got boring fast after a 98/100 and a couple 50/50's my shooting began regressing and I quit after shooting a few times each year for 3 years. Nowadays shoot a few rds of skeet with my Barreta O/U 28 ga. to warm up for Dove season. It's a little harder to break 25 that way for me.

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from Mark-1 wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

You’re referring to “pucker factor”?Anyone can and does “pucker” under pressure and within drama. Gifted individuals handle it better than others and swim in environments where the average drown.. That’s why there are “pro’s” in every field, champions, and top guns.

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from Steve C wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I've always been a better shooter with iron sights than a scope - at least out to 200 yards. This is because for every one shot I've made with a scope I've made one thousand with iron sights.Scopes are wonderful for targets far away that are stationary. But far away and/or stationary doesn't describe 95% og the game I've shot in the last 45+ years.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Phillip is it your opinion that "target panic" is inherent or acquired? Can it be easily overcome? On the other hand my kid (the trap shooting, long range magnum hunter and motocrosser) has been hunting with me since age three. Yep he went antelope hunting with me at 3 and again at 5. Over the years, he is 17 now, he never has experienced buck fever. He seemingly does not understand his friends who freeze up at the trigger or blow the shot at a nice buck. I think all the game he has seen fall over the years probably immunized him to this fever. He will bust a cap on a buck or a rooster in a heartbeat and never blink. Yet he is a very kind hearted and generous kid in his associations with other people so don't get the impression that he is an assassin.

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from Phillip wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I don't think there's a lot of mystery around this one. As someone mentioned, one problem is that too many people shoot from the bench and call it good.I do feel, strongly, that a lot of time shooting from the bench is a real good thing. It builds confidence and consistency, two things that a real marksman absolutely has to have. But practice from field positions is critical too.The other issue is target panic. I'm pretty familiar with this one when it comes to archery. I can plug arrows into the kill zone on my targets all day, and I can kill small game with aplomb... but give me something like a hog or deer, and my arrows seem to take on a life of their own.Fortunately, I don't seem to have the same problem with firearms. I know plenty of folks who do, though, and it can really get them down. It's a major psychological leap, I think.

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from Jason N. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

I wonder how many people have gone to the range when the weather is perfect. Then go hunting with terrible weather(wind especially) and make a bad shot then wonder whats wrong with their firearm,caliber, bullet,etc.I live in Wyoming and the wind seemingly never stops and is tough to figure out.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

This topic usually brings up shotgunners in my mind moreso than riflemen. I know many trap and skeet shooters who are absolutely terrible in the upland fields or duck blinds. Yet they can shoot 98-100 x 100 all day long on the trap range. One older shooter beat me every time we shot trap, every single time. He was almost twice my age. However when we went dove hunting each September I always managed to get my limit but he would usually only killed about half that many. By the same token he was an expert rifleman on prairie dogs, deer, antelope, and elk but I never saw him shoot at the range other than to sight in a new rifle. Another neighbor can hit a dime tossed into the air by his own hand. He can accomplish this feat repeatedly with a Model 41 Smith, a Model 29 Smith, or a Marlin Guide Gun .45-70. He has a 5 gallon bucket full of shot coins. I can't even see what he is shooting at when he pulls the trigger. He shoots trap with a Beretta holding it with one arm and hand. Usually get 20-25 birds per round. He can hit a 5 gallon bucket at 700-800 yards with the open sighted Marlin or his scoped .25-06 until the bucket is only chips. I have never seen him kill a buck or bull. He has shot a few does over the years. I have opinions on these guys and their abilities/skills which I will not reveal presently since I am more interested in your views.Another neighbor who happens to be on a outdoor TV series at this time can do it all with great efficiency and precision, field or range, rifle or shotgun, he is near perfect in all aspects. I was amazed a few years ago when he went to one of those combat type (IPSC??) pistol shoots in Montana. He took his dad's old Browning P-35 Hi-Power box stock. He shot against guys with Ed Browns, Les Baers, Clarks, and all sorts of stock and modified semi-autos. I was not very surprised to see the trophy that he won when he came home. It was so boring for him that he never shot in that type of event again.

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from jack wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

One of the best practice tips I've read came from F&S. It was for bows - but would also apply to guns with minor modification. It essentially said:1. Set up target in backyard.2. Duplicate your stand or post.3. Wear gear you will have in the field.4. Slowly, noiselessly, draw and hold for a few minutes.5. Release.6. Go back in the house.7. Repeat in 2 hours.Practicing with a couple boxes of ammo over a period of 45 minutes is all well and good, and should be done - but it's not field conditions.I won't do the following, but perhaps someone else could and report back. Go get yourself jacked up on 5 pots of coffee to replicate the "fever" and practice one shot on a deer target.Volunteers?Anyone?Heavey?

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from Chris H. wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Bubba, a buddy of mine likes a really, really light trigger. He loaned a gun to another buddy one time and he said that as soon as he thought about putting his finger on the trigger the gun just went off. Of course you and I know that didn't happen. It drives home the point that you should shoot a gun at the range before you ever take it to the field and that you always have to be very conciense of where you finger is in relation to the trigger and where the muzzle is pointing.

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from Bubba wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

Aaahhh!!!So that's the problem!I do fairly well on a bench with a rifle, do all my own sight in work and have rifles that are accurate enough that I can take out prairie dogs at 100/150 yards with pretty fair consistency!When that big ol' hairy, horny buck steps out, my heart rate increases to twice normal rate, my breathing fails to a short, raspy gasp and I shake like I've got the DT's!I kill deer every year. I can do it. I seldom miss. Boy, talking about concentration! It's all I can do to calm myself to be able to hold everything together until I can get the shot off!My big secret! DUH!! I ain't got one, and when I stop getting excited, that's when I stop hunting!One of my biggest tricks is a very, dangerously light trigger. For this reason, I WILL NOT loan one of my rifles.The reason? If I can ever get the crosshairs to target, all I gotta do is caress the trigger!I DO NOT suggest this for anyone else. I must at all times be aware of my trigger. I do not load my gun until SETTLED in my blind/stand! The safety is checked constantly!That's just me!BubbaP.S. You marksmen/safety experts can chastise to your hearts content, it's just the way "I" do it!

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from John B wrote 6 years 6 weeks ago

The way most of us practice is exactly the problem. We shoot off a bench in perfect conditions. The trigger doesn't get pulled unless everything is exactly right. Too often in the field you just don't have that kind of opportunity and the majority of hunters simply don't get enough shooting time in the field to learn how to react quickly and (reasonably)accurately.

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