Petzal: Can You See the Fur Part?

This ambiguous phrase, "see the fur part," is used by intensely rural prairie dog hunters to describe the ability to see the actual impact of a bullet on a critter. It's considered desirable to be able to do so, because even if you don't hit the furry little plague host, you can see the bullet splash and make corrections.

I crossed e-mail swords with another writer on this when he claimed he could see an actual hit from his 7mm Remington Magnum. I said I doubted that unless said rifle weighed 20 pounds and had a hell of a muzzle brake, neither of which it did. Seeing the fur part requires steady nerves on your part so you don't blink in the instant the rifle goes off, a very low level of recoil so you don't lose the sight picture, and, in some cases, considerable distance between you and the target so you can re-acquire the sight picture before the bullet strikes.

I have only two rifles that let me see parting fur (or holes appear in a target). One is my .22 rimfire, and the other is a .22/250 that weighs 13 ¼ pounds with scope and doesn't go much of anywhere when you pull the trigger. Blinking at the instant the rifle goes off is not necessarily a problem. I know that I blink when I shoot something that kicks hard, or wears a muzzle brake that sends a blast of gas back into my face.

It's when you blink before the shot that you get into trouble. At the instant the sear lets go and the shot goes away you better have at least one eye looking at the target.