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American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2011 - Page 24
J.D. Jones HANDGUNHUNTING TIPS, TECHNIQUES AND POLITICALINCORRECTNESS THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT unting conditions and game size in the U.S. varies tremendously. Outfitting yourself for the conditions you are likely to encounter on a daily basis is the smart thing to do. First are your clothes. It isn’t much fun hunting if you are on the verge of freezing to death, or else you are as dumb and broke as I was when I was a kid and just couldn’t get enough of it. Evaluating guns, cartridges, game and how far you are likely to have to shoot is really pretty simple. Woods hunters, where a 50-yard shot is a long one, can get along with nearly any decent revolver of .41 Mag or more powerful. Yeah, yeah — I’ve heard of the .357 and probably killed more game with it than most have, and H I’ll stick with the first statement. Used “surgically” under certain conditions it will do the job on deer, but is lacking in power-versatility under less than optimum conditions. Optical sights of some sort are a big help in shot placement, and a big old red dot is hard to beat when looking at the hair on a black bear in dim light. Generally woods hunters have it made. Just about any type gun from revolver to single shot will do the job. The “firepower” of a revolver isn’t of much use in hunting anyway. The first shot is the one that counts and few succeeding shots are successful. Custom XP100 can be fitted with literally any caliber and sights and is capable of quickly changing them back and forth without the need to re-sight in. This short range .50 caliber bigbore blaster is good for about 150 yards on the largest game — not for the recoil-shy individual! Ruger Super Redhawk BEAST, easily converted from iron sights to optics and back to iron. Big brake, smooth DA, nice for pigs in the woods. ong ranges in open country definitely reduce chances of success when using a revolver. Optics are of vital importance and scopes on revolvers and XP ow that we have the hard type single shots have always felt awkward to me. The Contender is natural stuff solved what is actuwith a scope as is the Encore. For day to day hunting I’ll take the Contender as it ally a long or short range? is lighter and more dynamic handling than the Encore, which has the capability of Figure you and whatever you are handling much more powerful cartridges. A proficient shooter under good condishooting has to be capable of 5" tions should be capable of 300-yard shots on standing deer or antelope with a flat groups at whatever range a shot shooting single shot with good optics. presents itself. Take .309 JDJ with Most excellent revolvers are going to crap out at 100 to 150 yards. If you find a 165 Nosler Ballistic Tip at 2,450 one that will shoot a cylinder full inside of 5" at 100 yards you had better hang on FPS from a 14" Contender. It has to it as it’s a rare one. The Freedom Arms revolvers are probably the most likely to a trajectory to reach 300 with do that, with many of them doing better than half that. The S&W monster revolvers power to spare and will often cut in .460 and .500 caliber usually do well too. the 5" group in half off sandbags. The long barreled single shot works fine from a stand in the woods, but the short If you have just climbed a barreled revolver with its short, fat, ballistically inefficient bullet is at a great disadmountain, are half frozen with vantage in long range country. Hunting is a great deal different from shooting on a numb fingers, a runny nose, known distance where the targets will stick heavy snow being driven around all day for you to shoot. into your face by 35 MPH Three factors are of the utmost imporwind and the biggest buck tance. One: trigger pull — get it fixed if it you have ever seen in your needs it and most do need it. Two: sights — life parades 30 yards across if you can’t see the sight or the target you in front of you at a neat can’t hit it. Get something that works for 15 MPH trot — I’m going you. Three: you — practice, practice, practo bet on the buck, as you Rosetta with tice. Not just off a bench either. Offhand, probably won’t her Freedom Arms .375 Winchester in full in wind, in rain, leaning against a tree or hit him. recoil. A good 150 yard choice rock, poor visibility or whatever. And forget for a hunter in a blind or stand. bullseyes — shoot at something realistic. L REALISTIC SHOOTNG N NUMB AND NUMBER * 24 WWW.AMERICAnhAnDGUnnER.COM • JAnUARY/FEBRUARY 2011