Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Well, I got a call from Cathy around 1:00 this afternoon with the news that the dogs had a run in with a porcupine. We've had this happen a few times with Jake several years ago but thankfully porcupines are not really common around here, especially up on top of the canyon rim.

Cathy was able to get the dogs loaded up and took them to the vet to get the quills removed. Theoretically you can do it by yourself, but holding down a 100+ pound Rottweiler while you are torturing it by pulling quills out of it's face isn't my idea of fun. The vet puts them under anesthesia and pulls them out while they aren't feeling a thing. If it was a matter of 5 or 6 or even 10 quills I might try it, but our dogs didn't just run into the porcupine, they tried to EAT the porcupine.

Here's Baby at the vet.
And Pedro.

We are babysitting a dog for a friend and he must not have tried to eat the porcupine, but he got close enough to get some quills in his face.
Well, the last time our dog Jake got into a porcupine a few years ago we took him to the vet and got them removed and within a month he had another run in and ended up worse the second time than the first. Our current dogs appear to have less intelligence than Jake ever had so I started thinking that it was pretty important to find that porcupine and remove it so the dogs didn't have another run in with it once they got back from the vet so I decided to head home and see if I could find it.

I got home around 2:30 and rode around on my 4 wheeler looking for it, but after about an hour decided I wasn't going to be so lucky. Eli woke up from his nap around 4:15 and we decided to go riding around on the golf cart to see if we could find it. We don't have just a ton of trees around the property so of course we were looking in the trees for a porcupine. Eli kept telling me that he saw a porcupine around every corner, but he was pretty adamant at one tree that there was a porcupine in it. I told him there wasn't one in the tree and tried to get him to show me where it was. I ended up getting out of the cart and looking and low and behold there was a porcupine in the tree! (Of course it wasn't anywhere near where he was pointing).

I had brought my .22 pistol so I shot the porcupine out of the tree and brought it back to the house. Here it is in the golf cart once we got back to the house.
I guess this is the first animal that Eli was actually out there with me when I shot it. He seemed to think it was pretty cool.
I pulled the guard hairs off and am going to try to find someone who wants them. There is a market for the quills, but I didn't think I had the patience to mess with pulling them out. As many quills as the dogs had in their faces you would have thought the porcupine would have been bald, but really it still had the vast majority of it's quills, just a few small bald patches.

Well that's about it for now I guess. Hopefully we don't have to mess with another porcupine for several more years.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rock River Arms Predator Pursuit is here!!

Picked my rifle up from my FFL this week! Took about 6 weeks from when I ordered it.

It's a Rock River Arms Predator Pursuit with a 20" heavy match grade barrel and a 2 stage national match grade trigger. It has the RRA Hi-Rise scope mount and is topped with a Nikon Monarch 4-16x 50mm scope with the BDC reticle. I had an extra stoney point rapid pivot bi-pod setup since I bought a prone and a kneeling version so I hooked that up on it too.

Here it is:

I was surprised at how compact it is. Just about the same size as my Ruger 10/22, just weighs about twice as much with the heavy barrel!

I was able to make it out this afternoon to get it sighted in. I spent a little over an hour sighting this bad boy in and I'm VERY happy with it.

Started out at 25 yards, then went to 100 yards and ended up shooting 40 rounds total. I was shooting the cheap 100 round Federal Value Pack 55gr FMJ from Walmart.

Here's the first 2 targets. On the left is shooting at 25 yards, then I moved out to 100 for the one on the right. I didn't even think about bore sighting it. I already had it assembled so I just shot it and luckily it hit the paper with the first shot (the one on the bottom). I adjusted the scope and it looked pretty much good to go. Moved out to 100 yards and shot 3 times and could easily see it hitting high with the Monarch scope on 16x so I adjusted it and then gave it 10 shots pretty in pretty quick succession. Next 2 targets. I cleaned it after the first 18 shots and shot my 7mm Rem Mag Browning A-Bolt while I was waiting for it to cool down with the copper bore cleaner in it. That's the target on the right. Then after I got it cleaned I shot a single with the PP on that target. Then I shot 5 shots with the PP on the left target.
Last 2 targets. I adjusted the scope and shot the first 2 rounds in the target on the left and could see it was off, so I adjusted it and shot 3 more times on that target. I guess the PP already lived up to it's accuracy claim because that 3 shot group ended up right at 3/4"! I decided it was good to go and shot 10 more shots at the target on the right. Nothing spectacular, but without the one on the top the group was under 2" for a 10 shot group, not terrible by any means for cheap factory ammo on basically a brand new gun.
Didn't have a single misfeed, and I could have put a 2' diameter shallow bucket and caught nearly every single piece of brass. I had 2 that ended up about 2' from the pile. The placement of the pile was perfect as well, about 6 feet to my right and 2 feet behind me.

Lastly, this wasn't shot at a range with a fancy benchrest setup. I shot it on my property in a caliche pit. I have a wooden bench made out of an old picnic table and I was using an old futon type pillow for a rest. The wind was light and variable so that was nice.

I'm VERY happy with this gun so far! I've got a few more different brands of ammo that I want to try, and I need to get a badger tach latch put on it sometime as well.

I guess I'm an official card carrying black rifle owner now! That's my initial report.


P.S. - It really was fun to shoot!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Trying to pattern a shotgun for Turkey.

Well, Turkey season starts Saturday so I've been trying to get things ready to do a little Turkey hunting. I have a Mossberg 835 12 gauge shotgun that I'm wanting to pattern to be able to shoot effectively out to 40 yards. It came with a full choke already so I was hoping that it would work without having to change anything else.

Monday evening I went out and shot some paper plates at various yardages hoping I could get out to 40 yards with a good pattern. I should have used a larger target, especially after seeing what happened when I did use a larger target, now I probably need to go back and shoot the stock choke again just to make sure. Anyway here were the results. The top left was at 25 yards and the bottom 2 were at 40 yards. The top right was the last shot and it was at 35 yards and was pretty much a clean miss. Shooting 3 1/2" Magnum 12 gauge shells at paper targets actually hurts. So after researching several different chokes, I bought a Primos Jellyhead and a Truglo Gobbler Stobber to try out. They have colorful names if nothing else! I also bought another box of shotgun shells to try out as well. Some Remington NitroTurkey shells that were also 3 1/2" Magnums.

I used some packaging paper from work to give me a larger target so I could see the hits better and drew some 8.5" by 11" squares on it and put tape in the middle. The packaging paper is 24" tall. I thought I was going to be able to shoot 3 times on each target, but I changed to only 2 times on each target after seeing how wide the spray of the pellets was. All shots were at 40 yards measured with a rangefinder.

This is with the Truglo choke. Winchester Supreme 3.5" #5 shot on the left and Remington NitroTurkey 3.5" on the right. Both shots with the Remington NitroTurkey in the Truglo choke ended up pulling left. Could easily have just been poor aim though, I was mimicking actual conditions using shooting sticks and the wind was blowing pretty good.I didn't bother to draw a circle or a square on any of the other targets, just the tape where I was aiming. I think you can still get a pretty good feel for the pattern though.

This target was both with 3" Hevishot 1.5 oz. Left was the Truglo and right is the Jellyhead. Again, not a for sure because I wasn't on a bench, but every shot with the Jellyhead ended up a little high. Both of these shots are with the Jellyhead. Winchester supreme 3.5" #5 on the left and Remington 3.5" NitroTurkey on the right. Both shots were a little high.
On this one, I used the Jellyhead with the Winchester supreme 3.5" # 5 on the left and the Truglo with Remington 3.5" NitroTurkey on the right. Again the Jellyhead was a little high and the Remington NitroTurkey out of the Truglo was a little to the left.
Last target I stuck with the Truglo and shot Winchester 3.5" #5 on the left and the 3" Hevishot on the right.
When it is all said and done I think I'm going to go with the Truglo with the Winchester 3.5" #5 for now. I'm probably going to try a few more with a better target and make sure it is hitting where I want it, but it seemed to be the best pattern out of all of them. I might try a couple shots with the stock choke as well just to make sure my first test shots with the paper plates were actually showing the true pattern and weren't actually misses in one direction or the other.

I also put a Limbsaver recoil pad on the shotgun and while it still kicked like a mule, I don't think I could have shot 10 times at paper targets with the factory recoil pad on there.

Not very exciting, but hey, no one ever said this blog was exciting!

That's it for now, who knows, maybe I'll have a Turkey on the ground Saturday.