Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ruger Finishes One Series (Carrying Concealed), and Begins Another; Handgun Hunting!

Lori Petoske and Il Ling New finish up their concealed carry series in the first video, and then Ruger treats us to an entirely new topic in the second one. This is a great set of videos, Lori,  Be sure to tell Mr. Fifer that we really like what you are doing on YouTube!

Nearly forty years ago I read an article about the Thompson Center Contender. The article told about TC's .44 Magnum barrel, a removable choke, and TC's Hot Shot cartridges which were supposed to be equivalent to .410 shot shells. I lusted after one of these, and bought one in a gun shop in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Hot Shot cartridges might have been OK for using on rabbits and Midwestern fencerow squirrels, but I bagged only one Appalachian gray squirrel to figure out that this was not a good combination for little squirrels in tall trees. I popped a gray that was way up in a beech tree, which anchored him to a limb, and then I used over half the box of .44 shot shells to make him fall. I had to finish him off after he hit the ground. That .44 barrel was a light 10" octagon barrel, and I also learned that factory 240 grain .44 Magnum rounds delivered brutal punishment to the shooter. That was one reason I learned to load my own ammo.

I soon bought a 10" octagon .222 Remington barrel for the Contender frame, and scoped it with a 2.5 X Bushnell Phantom. This was a great combination, and I still shoot it today. The .222 barrel accounted for a lot of groundhogs in Kentucky, and it has dispatched several skunks down on the farm. The Contender also has a .22 LR barrel with a scope, and it is good for squirrels, possums, and coons.

My current favorite for dispatching errant wildlife around the homestead is a Ruger Mk III Target model, with a red dot scope on top. It does brain shots quite well on possums, which is no mean feat given the small brain in a possum's skull.

There has been lots of discussion about the suitability of the .357 for bagging deer over the years. Out of a rifle, there is no question that the .357 will do the job on deer sized game, but many people hesitate to recommend it for deer. It will shoot all the way through a deer at 100 yards when launched by a pistol, so I look at it more from a standpoint of the accuracy that the firearm and hunter can deliver while hunting. If I decide to go hunting for deer with a pistol, I would take my .44 Redhawk rather than my .357 Blackhawk because of the longer sighting radius, and the tighter groups I shoot with the larger gun. The bigger hole made by the .44 is a bonus, but would not be necessary if I keep my marksmanship limitations in mind.

Anyhow, watch the intro to this new Ruger series, and stay tuned here for the next video.

BONUS!!!  Actual groundhog bagged with the Thompson Center .222!  Long, Long time ago.

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