Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Double Barrel Coach Shotgun




I don’t want to take anything away from the revolver or rifle but if the truth be known the gun that won the west was really the shotgun. The double barrel double hammer shotgun was made in flintlock, percussion and later a break open for shotgun shells due to its popularity. More western lawmen and guards carried a shotgun than a revolver or rifle. Many of the settler wagons headed west had a shotgun under the seat ready to grab in case of Indians or a chance to bag supper.  The short double barreled shotgun became the gun of choice for stagecoach guards and other lawmen due to the deadly cloud of large shot it could throw at outlaws and bandits. Terry’s Texas Rangers were feared in the War between the States due to the fact the most of them carried short double barrel shotguns to fire as they rode across the battle field. The shotgun is capable of gathering game or defending the homestead. Almost anyone can hit a target that is not moving with a shotgun and with a little practice the fox will not even get close to the hen house.
In my younger years of riding fences and windmills in the Chinati Mountains of the Texas high desert I carried a revolver on my belt and a short shotgun in a saddle scabbard.  The shotgun got much more use on the trail than the Colt. If I had to spend the night out on the trail that shotgun often took blue quail or a cottontail to go with whatever can goods were in my saddle bags. When I put my bedroll out for the night that short shotgun was placed on my right hand side and gave me comfort for the night.

The shot shell can be loaded with modern smokeless or black powder as needed.  The break open can even be loaded with loose powder, wad and shot with a primed brass in place making it very versatile to keep it charged for survival.  Loaded with birdshot you can gather dinner, kill a poisonous snake or defend the poultry house from a predator. If you choose to load the shotgun with buckshot you can drop a coyote at 65 yards, stop intruders or add a deer to the winter food supply.  Loaded with slugs or round ball the shotgun can drop big game at a distance or humanely dispatch large livestock to butcher.  A twelve gauge shotgun can vaporize a block of ice at ten feet and remove a charging grizzly’s head at the same range if you ever had to face a charge from a dangerous animal.
Lately I have grown fond of a 12 gauge coach gun with 20 inch double barrels just like the old stagecoach guards carried.  It is handy from the truck and one barrel can be loaded with birdshot while the other can be loaded with buckshot leaving you ready for any situation.  Of course having to look at the bad end of a double barrel twelve would have a psychological effect on two legged intruders in my opinion. The biggest drawback to shotguns is the limited distance at which they can be used, the weight of the shells, weight of the gun itself and the cost of ammunition.  In our two seat UTV, the ranch truck or in a saddle scabbard on horseback the weight really doesn't matter as much.

I recommend #7 1/2 to #4 shot for snakes and night time vermin around the homestead.  I shoot standard 2 3/4 inch loads and save the 3 inch magnums for hunting large predators or big game.  If shooting one of the light weight short shotguns be sure and install a recoil pad even if just one of the slip on types.  Recoil from a light weight 12 gauge can be punishing.  My favorite buckshot is #4 buck as it has three times the pellets of #00 and gives a much better pattern.  I have made coyote and bobcat kills out to about 65 yards with that load and can't imagine 27 pellets of .22 caliber ball not dropping a two legged predator anywhere inside that range.  When working on  the ranch I carry a twenty inch double trigger side by side double barrel with bird shot in the left barrel and buck shot in the right barrel.  The front trigger fires the right barrel and the back trigger fires the left barrel.  This way I am prepared to solve rattlesnake to varmint problems on the spot.  If need be I can even fire both barrels at once, I don’t recommend it unless you really need the power as the recoil is pretty stout.  Stay safe, Wild Ed

 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport





A Winchester .22 long rifle was the first real rifle I ever fired as a child and I have owned many different rifles in that caliber in my time on this planet.  If I could have only one rifle it would be chambered in the .22 long rifle cartridge.  Most near anything can be taken with it if need be and although not advertised as a defense round I often carry one exactly for that reason and do not feel under gunned.  One can carry hundreds of rounds of ammo in a pocket and the cost will not damage your wallet near as much as the cost of center fire cartridges.  I have always wanted a .22 long rifle in an AR-15 platform but have not found one I really like and preferred less weight than all of them I have previously tried out.  Some of the others .22 rifles look like an AR-15 but don’t really work or function like an AR-15 so are not really a proper training rifle for the AR rifle platform.
I recently got the chance to check out the new S&W M&P 15-22 Sport.  The gun is a lightweight reinforced polymer .22 long rifle that has a 25 round magazine or an optional 10 round magazine.  The sights are Magpul folding sights adjustable for windage and elevation.  It has a full top picatinny rail so that any preference of optics can be attached. The model I was shooting was in Krypetk Highlander Camo but they come standard in black along with Muddy Girl Camo and other options available.  It has a six position adjustable stock and fully functional charging handle.   A ½”-28 threaded barrel with removable flash hider/muzzle brake allows one to use a suppressor on this rifle if desired. This rifle weighs only 5 pounds which makes it a perfect training rifle for kids and women.  Once they have trained with this lightweight rifle they will be able to operate any of the AR-15 variants in center fire calibers as they work exactly the same just heavier and more recoil.  It has all the standard AR-15 operating buttons, safety and disassembles basically the same. The uppers and lowers are not interchangeable with AR-15 rifles but many of the same parts such as triggers, stocks and accessories can be used on the 15-22.  Accuracy seems on par with my other open sight twenty two rifles.  I did not bench test the rifle for accuracy but was able to bounce cans and rocks out to fifty yards with the peep sights with no problem. I have put around 500 rounds through this little rifle without any kind of hiccup.   This is pretty amazing considering I did not oil or clean this rifle as I wanted to see how it would perform right out of the box. This would be a great little rifle to grab when the wolf or any other varmint is at the door.  The suggested retail price is $499.99 for the standard black model but it can be found for less in the big box stores or on sale.  I think this will be a fun rifle for all the kids in the family, young or old.   I know the grandkids will love shooting this rifle if they can get it away from me. 
 Enjoy the outdoors and stay safe, Wild Ed
 



Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport Kryptek Highlander Features:

Built from the ground up with all of the standard operating features of a modern center fire AR-style rifle, the M&P15-22 Sport is chambered in 22LR and features a variety of product enhancements. These enhancements include the 10-inch M&P Slim Hand guard with Magpul M-LOK, Magpul MBUS sights (front and rear), a 6-position telescoping stock, and a 2-inch M-LOK Rail Panel.

The new M-LOK enhancements to the M&P15-22 Sport allows for a wide range of customization options for a variety of optics and accessories.

·         10” M&P Slim Handguard with Magpul M-LOK

·         Magpul MBUS Folding Sights

·         Easy to Mount M-LOK Accessories

·         2” M-LOK Rail Panel Included

·         6-Position CAR Stock

·         Functioning Charging Handle

·         Shell Deflector

·         2-Position, Receiver Mounted Safety Lever

Firearm Specifications

·         Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson

·         SKU: 10211

·         Model: M&P15-22 Sport with Kryptek Highlander Finish

·         Caliber: .22 LR

·         Action: Semi-Auto Blow Back

·         Capacity: 25+1 Rounds

·         Barrel Length: 16.5” (41.9 cm)

·         Front Sight: Folding MBUS

·         Rear Sight: Folding MBUS

·         Overall Length: 33.75” (85.7 cm) Extended 30.70” (77.9 cm) Collapsed

·         Grip: Polymer

·         Weight: 5 lbs. (2 268.0 g)

·         Barrel Material: Carbon Steel

·         Upper and Lower Material: Polymer

·         Finish: Kryptek Highlander

 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

One of My Favorite Texas Singer Song Writers, Sunny Sweeney


Sunny Sweeney is a great talent and writes some lyrics that hit home hard.  She is from Texas and can often be seen and heard on the Texas Music scene.  Here are a few of my favorites for you to enjoy.  Wild Ed