Sunday, October 20, 2013
So, awhile back I tried a new FAL product created by Brian Brodhead out at J&TEnterprises in Idaho. Their Light Tactical Rail LTR scope mount for the FN FAL and L1A1 SLR has got to be the lightest weight FAL scope mount on the planet and yet seems to be solid as a rock. I’ve got two FALs wearing them and have been very happy with the LTR mounting and have encountered no problems after approximately a hundred rounds through each rifle, mostly surplus ball and a smaller percentage of factory ammo.
My favorite combination is my first & best FAL “Queenie”, a Century R1A1 that has become my Hunting FAL. The combination of LTR, A.R.M.S. Picatinny-to-STANAG adapter, and German Hensoldt ZF24 scope has proven a winner for me, cut a little weight off the rifle, and made shooting it much more comfortable. Anyone who’s tried the regular STANAG FAL mount knows why…with the latter you need a built-up cheek pad on the stock just to get a “chin weld”. Although an inch-pattern stock technically doesn’t “fit” on a Metric FAL, I made this British L1A1 Maranyl stock work on Queenie, with the only modification required being a small hole drilled for the tang screw. I never have really liked the standard Metric humpback stock, finding it a tad too long and the comb a tish too low for me personally. The British Army SLR stocks came with three sizes of butt pads; I use the shortest one and it makes the FAL very comfortable for me to shoot.
Queenie the Hunting FAL all gussied up in spray paint sagebrush cammo.
Queenie proved to be extremely accurate for an FAL right out of the box. With the FAL’s tilting block bolt system it just inherently can’t be quite as accurate as the rotating bolt lock system found on M1/M14 type rifles, ARs or bolt guns. Queenie somehow proved the exception to the rule. The only accurizing I did was a good trigger job and installing an Entreprise Arms Free Float Barrel Tube.
To my disgrace, even though I did put a new roof on the Man Cave Shed this summer, I still haven’t gotten all my reloading equipment set back up. Shamefully, I donned my Groucho glasses disguise and slipped into my favorite sporting goods store right before closing time to actually purchase factory ammunition for hunting. Oh, the horror! This situation has arisen once or twice before, however, so I’ve shot and been very happy with either Federal or Hornady ammunition over the years. Probably because of DHS buying 8 bazillion rounds of it, even though my favorite well-stocked gun store had all the .30-06, .270 or .300 Win Mag ammo you could possibly want, the .308 cupboard was bare. This being Montana, I was fortunate enough to find a nearby gas station that sold ammo. The only 150-grain .308 ammo they had in my above approved brands was Federal Fusion. Since antelope season was fast approaching and my options fast disappearing, I went ahead and actually tried something new since I've found it's hard to go wrong with Federal.
Of this new bullet, Federal’s website says, “This specialized deer bullet electrochemically joins pure copper to an extreme pressure-formed core to ensure optimum performance. The result is high terminal energy on impact that radiates lethal shock throughout the target.” In this day and age of self-censoring media electing fictitious persons to high office, I have become extremely jaded and skeptical about any and all advertising claims. But this was Federal speaking, not some snake-oil medicine show huckster like Tom Brokaw or Brian Jennings, so I thought I’d give these new 150-grain Fusion bullets a try.
Rather than drive forty odd miles to the Rod & Gun Club Range, I took Queenie out to a nearby state-owned section of land about five miles from home where I shoot safely into the bare dirt at the base of this big steep-sided butte. I set up a portable target at exactly 300 meters, lased with the Nikon range-finder. By zeroing at 300 meters I figured I would mostly average out the trajectory difference between the 150-grain Fusion and the German 146-grain FMJ the Hensoldt’s BDC is calibrated for. I was shooting under “semi-field conditions”, lying prone resting the rifle’s forearm on my pack and using a bean bag under the toe of the stock.
Granted, I was only shooting 3-shot groups rather than my usual 5-shot groups because I’m really cheap when it comes to factory ammo, but still…Holy Underwear, Batman! Is that really a 2-inch group? Yup. Actually a hair inside two inches going from center hole to center hole. I was pretty pleased with that but figured it was just one of those cases of what my Dad would term, “Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.” Adjusting the windage and elevation on the Hensoldt, I shot another three shot group. I was once more very pleasantly surprised. This blind hog was really going to town on them acorns! Another group hovering right there at 2 inches, a little over but only by a tish. That’s just some unheard of accuracy for a FAL…I can’t get a group that good at 50 yards with my DSA Para.
Federal Fusion 150-grain 3-shot groups at 300 meters from Queenie.
A few days later, my wife and I were out for Montana’s antelope opener. We were within range of a couple of different bunches of speed goats in the morning, but they were bunched up tight and moving right along, so we never had an opportunity for a good shot. It was getting on towards about four in the afternoon when we went to one of my favorite antelope hunting spots and sure as heck there was what looked like a really nice buck bedded down out in the middle of the wheat stubble. I glassed him good with the Swarovski binos and Tasco spotting scope from better than ¾ mile away and could tell he’d probably already been hit. Even bedded down he had a kind of hunched-up look to his posture and, when I got closer, it looked like he was exerting a lot of effort just to keep his head up. It was also making him, I figured out later, lay his ears back which, in turn, made his rack look huge, especially when viewed from a distance and silhouetted against that light colored wheat stubble background. I thought I was looking at a 15-16 incher.
In years past I’ve filled my antelope tag on obviously wounded animals at least twice. There’s always some idiot out there trying a shot he (or she) has absolutely no business even attempting and they seem to assume every shot fired is either a clean miss or an instant kill. Just after lunch we’d seen one such idiot; resting the wood forearm of her bolt action directly on the top of a fencepost (harmonics!), she’d shifted her cigarette over to the other corner of her mouth and took what had to have been a 600-yard Hail Mary shot at a herd of moving antelope. Of course, I was young and dumb once myself. About 20 years ago I was still new in Montana and while antelope hunting I saw a young buck that somebody had busted one front leg on. He couldn’t keep up with the herd and was all by his lonesome. I didn’t think he’d make it through the winter anyway and I’d be doing him a favor shooting him, so I figured I’d just walk right on over there and whack him. After all, how fast could a 3-legged antelope run? Pretty darn fast, it turns out; a lot faster than I had thought possible. But he circled a bit and I did manage to get him running broadside at 125 yards or so. That was back when I had two fully functional eyes and used Scout scopes all the time.
Having long ago learned that lesson, I gave this buck the benefit of the doubt and the full stalk treatment. Antelope rely primarily on their sight for their best defense; their normal eyesight is equivalent to us looking through 8x optics. So they like to bed down in the big wide open where they can see trouble coming from a looonnnnggg ways off. I had to work my way down the far side of a brushy creek bottom for a quarter mile and then hunched over up a dry irrigation ditch for about another quarter mile. Then I had to low crawl the last hundred yards or so to get to where I could see over the stubble enough to get a clear shot. I was able to hit him with the range-finder; 298 meters. I adjusted the Hensoldt’s BDC to 300, looped up tight in the Langlois Ching Sling, and scooted ahead on my elbows just a little bit more because of the stalks still showing in the scope view. He had a single nervous doe with him who busted me at that point, but she actually did me a favor in getting the buck to his feet rather than lying down. I took the prone shot and heard a good solid hit. Leave it to the Germans, they actually have a word for that heavy, meaty slap of a bullet hitting solidly home; Kugelschlag. The buck took about two very unsteady steps and toppled over.
Installing an Entreprise Free Float barrel tube and a third sling swivel amidships allowed the use of this Langlois Leather Ching sling for a shooting aid.
He was DOA when I got to him. Field dressing him I discovered, sure enough, somebody else had already hit him earlier that day. A “California Brain Shot” we call it, a bullet up the ass. The top of one hind quarter was partially ruined and inside the membrane the body cavity already contaminated by both intestinal and gut content. So I was glad I put him out of his misery no matter what size his horns, which are a little over 13 inches.
The Federal Fusion apparently both held together well and mushroomed even at 300 meters. It took a chunk out of the back of a leg bone and a rib on the way in but still had enough oomph and had expanded enough to make a sizeable hole through both lungs. I’m definitely looking forward to deer season with this combination in hand.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Normal Government Function
Government Function During Shutdown
Anyone willing to scrape off a little bit of the golden patina left by the MSM (who themselves have spent billion of dollars trying over the past few years to disprove the old adage "No matter how much you polish a turd, it's still a turd.") can find the real stories behind the the Obongo Regime's "Campaign of Pain" Government shutdown. It really boils down to petty harassment and childish tantrums incited by the current administration aimed directly at annoying the hell out of John Q Citizen so Barry S and the Tax & Spenders on the Hill can get their way and keep right on behaving in the same fiscally suicidal manner that (along with a lot of that turd polishing) keeps them in power.
And what better harassment can the government inflict upon the average taxpayer than screwing with the National Parks? Yes, it's deliberate, spiteful and penny ante, but what else can you expect from Sodom on Potomac? About the best explanation I saw was an interview with an NPS Ranger who flat out said they had been given orders "to make life as difficult for people as we can." What? You thought government public servants were here to do something crazy like, oh, I don't know, serve the public? Get real.
Somehow I'm not terribly surprised that even the Taliban has a better grasp on the government shutdown than the MSM and the drooling, slack-jawed zombies who still listen to them. "In a statement released to AFP, the terrorist group accused American lawmakers of 'sucking the blood of their own people.'" I didn't even bother to go look at Pravda's or Putin's take on this, as I already knew it would be more accurate and realistic than all three major US networks and CNN combined. Geez, some days I almost miss the Cold War.
In case you were wondering how we got to the point where our poor, starving, bedraggled little Federal government cannot afford to keep the National Parks open (except, of course, for special cases like Immigration Reform Rallies protesting that the government isn't giving away enough money to non-US citizens), The Waste List is a terrific help in showing us the subtle differences between "essential" and "non-essential" government spending. The following handful of examples is just a microscopic portion of what our own Washington royalty deems as "essential government spending" which cannot possibly be cut.
1. The IRS is about to pay out $70 million in bonuses even though discretionary bonuses are supposed to be cancelled due to the sequester. And if these reward "bonuses" are distributed in any way like the Forest Circus does theirs, the might as well call it, "Worthless Quisling Bureaucrats passing big wads of money back and forth to stroke each others' fragile egos and assuage their guilt for never having done any actual work during their entire careers."
2. The Obamas have to take another trip to Africa because...well, they need to, just trust us. Cost to the US taxpayer; $100,000,000. You could buy an entire country in Africa for that. On the bright side, at least the First Family is too chintzy to tip the help. If they did, it would cost the taxpayers half again as much. As it is, we taxpayers already shell out $1.4 billion a year to keep the Obamas in the royal style they've become accustomed to, although Michelle still thinks the Whitehouse is a bit like a prison. I say "royal style" because the Brits only spend a trifling $58 million on their entire royal family.
3. Hat's off to "Shotgun Joe" Biden for his frugality with the taxpayers' money in these times of crises. When he and his staff spent a single night in Paris, the hotel billed the taxpayer $585.000.50. Joe and his posse then really tightened their belts and got the cost of their single night in a London hotel down to a mere $459,388.65. Way to go, Joe!
4. The US Senate has been doing their part all along. For the past fifteen years, they've only spent a miserly $5.25 million on haircuts.
5. To make sure America's domestic animals are as neatly coiffed as our politicians, in 2012 Congress alloted over a half a million dollars "to promote specialty hair and beauty products for cats and dogs."
6. We can't afford a single new metal folding chair in the waiting room at the VA hospital, but the Obama Administration is giving his homies in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt sixteen General Dynamics F-16 Falcon fighter-bombers (window sticker price $19 million a pop) and two hundred M1-series Abrams main battle tanks ($8.5 million apiece). The new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has at least expressed his grateful appreciation for the gifts "Thank you Infidel Yankee Pig Dogs for these wonderful killing machines that will help us slaughter all non-believers with impunity. Today we butcher the few remaining Christians in our midst, tomorrow the Jew Devils in Israel. Although we may have to ask for more of your Yankee Imperialist weapons before we come to eradicate you, the Great Satan, as well. Allah Akbar!" With friends like that...
7. Speaking of expensive military gear, we're planning to abandon 7 billion dollars worth of it left on Afghanistan's plain. Much of this involves million-dollar MRAPs that are being reduced to scrap metal and sold to Afghan versions of Sanford & Son for pennies on the dollar. This is in perfect keeping with the Obama Administration's policy of keeping "high-powered military-style assault weapons" out of the hands of those violent drug gangs; unless, of course, it's the US Government itself giving high-powered military-style assault weapons to violent Mexican drug cartels. Just think, if not for our current administration, those vicious gangstas might be legally purchasing .30-40 Krags or Model 1903 Springfields from the CMP to use in their drug wars and drive-by shootings.
8. Last but certainly not least, and a prime example of why satirists, humorists and snarky bloggers who have to try to make up outrageous shit on their own are rapidly joining the ranks of the unemployed..."The National Institute of Health has spent more than $5 million on a website called Sexpulse that is targeted at 'men who use the Internet to seek sex with men'....the website 'includes pornographic images of homosexual sex as well as naked and scantily clad men' and features 'a Space Invaders-style interactive game that uses a penis-shaped blaster to shoot down gay epithets.'"
Talk about unfair. I could have eaten the mushrooms off of half the cow pies in Park County Montana and washed them down with a gallon of tequila and still not have been able to come up with something that ludicrous as a high dollar fed.gov program.
So the next time your elderly tour group gets bludgeoned, maced and handcuffed by Park Ranger SWAT Gestapo working overtime because "we" can't afford to have the National Parks open, I urge you to call the President. Tell him you support his petulant bullying, demand that he raise your own household taxes by at least 50%, and encourage him to spend, spend, spend with no restraint. It's not like the government is just going out and pissing away your hard-earned money. No sirree, Bawb; it's for the future, for the parks, and, of course, for the children. Think about it. If the government doesn't pay for them to have video games where they can shoot giant laser penises at gay epithets, who will?