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July 30, 2010

It has been almost a years since I first began this blog.  It has been something I have enjoyed doing, and yet because of the software I chose, it has been a bit of a thorn in my side.  So through some investigation I've discovered WordPress and have since been working on developing a new blog.  Dead_Nuts will continue to be displayed, however it will not be updated.  To view the new blog go to

thanks to all of you who have viewed this blog.  I hope to see you on my new webspace and hopefully share a few conversations. 

November 23, 2009

Haven't been spending much time with the airguns lately.  Mostly been working and doing a little bit of archery hunting for deer.  This past weekend was the firearm deer season here and illinois.  For my nephew Andrew, it was his first year to hunt.  For the most part the hunting wasn't real god.  Not many shots were fired, but Andrew manage to pull off a 100 yard shot with open sights on this doe.  Not bad for an 11 year old. 

The doe was shot a little far back, through the liver, but some good fortune and the doe was recovered the day following the shot.  He was one excited lad!!  And of course so were his dad, grandpa, and myself.

October 13, 2009

Cleaned out the gun cabinet the other day and came accross this little beauty.  It's a Winchester Model 416 in .177 cal.  My dad gave this to me when I was about five years old.  At the time, I was not quite big enough to cock it, and I recall letting the barrel slip from my hand.  It swung upwards and drove the needle like front site into my cheek just below the eye.  Guess god was looking out for me, cause I still have both eyes!!

     Anyhow, the leather seal at the barrel was dried out and depressed far enough that the gun no longer sealed up tight enough to shoot.  So I cut a small synthetic seal from a piece of icemaker tubing I had been using to make seals for my QB78.  With the new seal wedged in place, the gun locked up tightly.  My chronograph clocked it at 340fps with Beeman Crow Magnums.  The smooth boore isn't particularly accurate.  But it is very fun to shoot.  Here's a group of five at ten yards. 

What a lot of fun!  And good old memories.   I even took it out to the barn and managed to dust an english sparrow with it.

October 11, 2009

     Dad and my Brother-in-law invited me to go bowhunting for deer on some property my mother owns.  I hadn't bought an archery tag yet, but that didn't disuade me from an opportunity in the woods.  I agreed to go on the pretense I would take an airgun and do a little squirrel hunting.

     Fifty years ago this property was mostly pasture.  But since it hasn't seen hoof  in a couple of decades it is now a woolly mess.  Mature hardwoods intermixed with smaller trees, brush, and enough saw briars to make  briar rabbit feel at home.

     As you can imagine, with this kind of terrain, being quiet was near impossible.  Getting shots was quite another venture.  Out of the fifteen or so squirrels I saw, I managed to shoot four times and connect with just this one!!

October 6, 2009

     My day off this week and it has done nothing but rain.  I made a trip to the Buchheit farm store to get feed for the goats and chickens.  They had Red Ryder BB guns on sale at the register and I couldn't contain myself.  Memories fleeted back to child hood days and by the time I got to the parking lot I realized I was holding a brand new Red Ryder BBgun.
     It's not quite the same gun from my youth.  The cocking lever is plastic and so is the trigger and loading port.  As I recall, mine was entirely metal.  I've never been fond of plastic, but have to admit this seems to be a very tough material.
     One very nice feature is the antibeartrap cocking lever.  Mine didn't have that and I recall getting my fingers caught in it while I was a kid.  Though Sarah can't cock her new BB gun yet, that didn't diminish the enjoyment she had with it.  The wet weather wasn't a deterent as we shot from the open door of the garage

October 1, 2009

     I've noticed some discussion, particularly on the chinese forum, about how to hold a springer.  My thoughts have always been hold it the way that works for you.
     That being said, there is a lot of argument for the artillary style hold as instructed by Tom Gaylord.  Nine times out of ten this is the hold that works. I've had exceptional luck with this hold with various spring rifles I've owned.  Some responded well to it, such as the RX-1, RWS 48, HW97, B40 and a few others I've owned.  But for what ever reason, my R9's seem to like a good tight grip, with the gun pulled tight to the shoulder, much the same way I shoot my slug guns during the Illinois firearm deer season.
     Here area couple of groups I managed today before the rain came in.  The one to the left is an artillary hold with the R9 .20 cal.  The one to the right is with the same gun held snugly and pulled tight to the shoulder.  The square's are equal to a 1/4".  Groups shot from a sittign position, off the knee at a distance of 25 yards.

September 23 2009

     I got off work early this afternoon, and as I had some employment questions to mull over in my head (Currently working 2 jobs) I decided to head back under the hickory tree in the timber behind my house after I got home.
     I made the trip from Alton in about 45 minutes, changed into a pair of camo bibs and grabed the .20 R9 and a pellet pouch full of crow magnum pellets. It was about 430 pm by this time and as I headed for the back door I heard a little voice behind me, "Daddy can I go?" It was Sarah the oldest of my twin daughters. She'll be 4 in October.
     I tried to remember how old I was when I first started following dad in the woods, I think I must have been 5 or 6.
     "Daddy can I go Please!!"
     She was jumping up and down now and the only words being asked was can I go. So I figured it couldn't hurt nothing and would probably even be fun for the both of us. So we got her dressed and off we went.
      We started off walking along a gravel road bordering the woodlot. Had one squirrel jump across the road in front of us, high up in the branches and about 30 yards out. "Look daddy a squirrel," Sarah said, pointing up in the tree. Of course he had already spotted us and was running for high cover.
     We cut into the timber next, onto a trail I keep cut, walked about 20 yards and sat next to a big white oak tree. We talked about school (she's in a KRP program for 3 hours a day), and then we played the what's this game. "That's an Acorn sweet heart, that's a stick, that's a leaf, that's a bird making that noise," and on an on. I'm sure you guys that have children no this game. I was grinning ear to ear and having a wonderful time. I completely forgot the employment troubles I meant to sort out!!
    Then, as luck would have it, a pair of grey squirrels began playing on another white oak tree about 20 yards out. They chased each other in circles around and around the big white oak until one paused in the open on a downward trip of the trunk. That trip spead up some win the .20 Crow Mag caught him in the shoulder and he tumbled to the ground.
    The other squirrel disapeared into a hole in the trunk. We waited a long while but the second tree rat never showed himself again. So I collected the downed squirrel and headed back for pictures.
     Part of my purpose for the hunt was to test the effectiveness of the Crow Magnum Hollow point. I had used these to great effect from a .22 cal RX 1 about 8 years ago. And so I was curious as to how the .20 cals would perform. The shot was taken at about 20 yards and entered in the right shoulder, lodging under the skin just behind the left shoulder. He rolled out with little hesitation.

September 2, 2009

     August first starts off the tree squirrel season here in Illinois. I had been looking forward to the season, unfortunately life got in the way. A mass exitus at my job ment lots of overtime at the beginning of the month. Next, scheduled Oral surgery to remove my troublesome wisdom teeth ruined the week of August 21st as I developed a minor infection shortly after the surgery!
     September is finaly here, but now the kids (twin girls that will be 4 in October) are starting KRP school. Well, since there is not public transportation available for such, it means I have to drive them to school on my days off. At least they don't have to be there till 8:30 so I managed about an hour and a half under the hickory tree in the timber behind the house this AM.
     I was on location just as daybreak broke. Temps were cool, especially for CO2 55^ F. So I had my doubts on how well the shooting would go with the bulke'd 850. The first young grey to run out on a limb at about 25 yards just shortly after daybreak provided the test. A pull of the trigger got a very disapointing report from the muzzel and a missed shot.      At first I thought the miss was do to a change in velocity, but a quick inspection of the tactical scope showed I had left the elevation nob set for the fifty yard range I had been testing at the night before. I quickly adjusted the scope back to proper short range sight in.
     Seventy yards ahead I spotted the limbs of young hickory shaking. I moved closer and could here the tell tale 'rake-rake-rake' of rodent teeth on hard nuts. I picked a spot about 25 yards out and settled in for the last 45 minutes of my hunt.      I didn't have to wait long. A grey ran out on a limb with his new prize and began to chew away the soft green hull. The 850 came to shoulder, cross hairs settled on the ears, and snap - - pop, the grey rolled free.
     Just a few moments later a second squirrel came running down an oak limb immediately to my left. This one about twenty yards out. Again the crosshairs settled under the ear and snap - - pop, he rolled free.
     Things quited down after that and I sat for nearly 20 minutes waiting. Finally I decided it was time to head back, and take the kids to school. Just as I stood, a young grey bounded around the trunk of a white oak not fifteen yards from me. He didn't look no bigger than a chipmunk. Two more bounds and he sat straight up on a limb facing me.
     I decided to try something different. I usually take head shots, but this close range and the perfect shot opportunity I decided to center punch the chest and hopefull take the spine with it. snap - - pop, ker plunk. But it didn't end there, the tough little grey hit the ground running and went right back up the tree, making it all the way to the top. Luckily he didn't have the strenght left to jump to the next tree and I was able to deliver a finishing shot. Inspection showed the first shot to have been true, though it missed the spine by a fraction, it didn take out one side of the boiler room and part of the heart. He likely would have died and fell out. Still it amazes me how tough these little buggers can be. Think I will continue with the head shots!

.22 RWS 850 tuned with advice from the 850 forum. 703 fps avg at 75^ F with 14.3 grain JSB's.