Shooting and hunting – post Christmas catch-up

This year we went out of town for Christmas, and while I am not exactly the most popular blog in the world, I’d still rather not announce to the whole internet if I am going out of town until I am back. Anyhow, preparing for Christmas the pole barn is coming handy, it now houses my daughter’s trampoline she got for Christmas so that she’ll be able to use it even with snow on the ground. Up here you need to take the mat off or it can rip from the snow, so that wouldn’t have been much of a gift if she couldn’t have used it for 3 or 4 months.

After our trip to Missouri at Christmas I still had 5 or 6 more days off, that was really nice to be able to have a relaxing time after all that travelling. Particularly since the day we got back was at 1pm, but we barely had time to get out of the car before we had to leave for a doctor’s appointment (sadly, after 9 months of my wife being in pain every time she walks we are still no closer to an answer). Just before Christmas I scored about 1500 free 12ga hulls (all quality ones), so that will be nice for continuing to load and experiment. In the next couple months (after we are caught up from the medical bills) I plan to get a pressure testing system so I can really start experimenting. In the mean time I’ve been combing all the loads I can find online and in old books getting ideas. Ballistic products has some great loads, they are just all over the map and using a couple hundred bucks of differing wads. I’d love to support them, but I’ve seen their buckshot 3 manual and would have been TICKED if I had paid money for it, so I am hesitant to spend the money on their other loading manuals.

While I’be done a tiny bit of shotgun reloading, I have also been working on getting a cast bullet load for my 22 hornet. I’ve wanted to shoot a few squirrels, but my 22 doesn’t have the scope on it right now but the hornet does. While this particular gun is pretty terrible (not super accurate, feeds VERY poorly from the magazine), I was able to come up with a load that at least is about 1.25″ at 50 yards, so I should be able to take squirrels with that pretty reliably. There are TONS of squirrels this year (probably because last year there were a TON of acorns), so I may as well take them while I can. This year there were not very many acorns, so I imagine the hunting will be a lot worse next year. I am wanting to get something that can do 1″ or so up to 100 yards so I’ll be able to more reliably do head shots, 1.25″ at 50 yards would put me at the extreme limit of what is good enough. Then again, 80% or more of my shots will be within 50 yards, so long as I hit the first shot since working the bolt will likely not strip a round like it is supposed to. I am considering using trail boss in a 223 for a reduced load and using an AR. A bare bones upper could probably be put together for not much money and would be a LOT less frustrating than this hornet. There may not be many deer on my property, but least I can get a couple pounds of meat from squirrels this winter!

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