Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ammo To Go, Coming Reviews and Other Meanderings

When I started this Blog around ten years ago it was mostly for my grand kids and friends.  It became a way to keep records of some of our life experiences along with being a journal of special hunts and activities.  I never expected it to become an award winning Blog and when it did it became difficult to keep up with the demand for writing articles.  Later I received requests to publish some of my articles in newspapers and magazines and the blog became more and more like work.  The only revenue from the Blog was Google AdSense which sent me a small check once in a blue moon which covered mostly cold drinks or some ammo for a hunt or two.  Google changed the way they calculate earnings and I have had no revenue from the Blog for over a year, they do serve to keep this Blog going and all the articles stored for my readers so I have no gripes.  This blog does not have sponsors or financial support and it gets difficult to get a hold of enough firearms and ammo to do the number of reviews I do on this Blog.  I no longer crank out an article a week but this old rancher will try and keep enough going for those of you that have been loyal readers. 

Most of my friends and relatives know that if they get a new gun they will have to let me review it.  When I have visitors that come on a hunt or shoot I always ask to shoot their guns and interview them about it so I can write a review.  I hit Wally World and Academy for all the ammo sales so I can shoot these guns with ammo at least bought on sale to keep the expenses down.  Imagine my surprise when I got an email from Maggie at Ammo To Go saying that she had read my latest review of the Stoeger M3K shotgun and would I like to review the new Winchester AA Super Sport Sporting Clays 12 gauge one ounce load.  I told her I would be more than happy to do so as I had reviews on two 12 gauge shotguns and one .357 revolver I was working on as time permits.  Two days later I had a package delivered at the front gate of the ranch by UPS.  Manna from heaven as they say, there were 8 boxes of 12 gauge Winchester AA shells along with three boxes of PMC .357 cartridges.  One day after delivery I got an email from Scott at the customer service department asking if my shipment had arrived and if everything was in order. If this is normal, customer service is alive and well at this Texas based company.  I will be reviewing this ammo along with a follow up on my very own Stoeger M3k, the MOA shotgun magazine extension tube, the Yildiz 12 gauge folding single shot shotgun and the Uberti El Patron Cowboy Mounted Shooting model revolver in .357 magnum. I wanted you to know in advance so you can watch for the reviews and so you could check out Ammo To Go as they have weekly specials.  They also have a good Blog page with lots of shooting information at The Lodge. Tell them Wild Ed sent you.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Stoeger M3K 3-Gun Semiautomatic Shotgun

I recently got to handle and shoot a Stoeger M3K shotgun and boy was I impressed.  The shotgun is based on the Benelli recoil system and is made in Turkey. Beretta owns Benelli and Stoeger thus the use of the Benelli patented recoil system. It may not be the quality of a Beretta or Benelli but it is plenty rugged and cost about half what you pay for the Italian models.  The shotgun is based on the Stoeger M3000 shotgun with some major improvements.  It handles both 2.75 and 3 inch shells which it fires and recycles with blazing speed.  It has an oversize safety, bolt release, bolt handle and beveled loading port making it perfect for night use as well as 3 gun competition.  Along with a 24 inch barrel that makes it great for swinging on a platform or in the back of a pickup.  I plan on using this shotgun for night predator hunting and the oversize controls will also work great for that.  Nordic and MOA both make magazine extension tubes for this gun so that you can load it with 10 plus rounds if wanted depending on tube length.  It comes with shim kit to adjust the stock so the shotgun shoots right where you look which is another plus for shooting at night and low light situations.  Most of the people buying this gun are planning on using it to shoot 3 gun competitions.  I believe it is probably the best shotgun available for the money for predator hunting or a self defense tactical shotgun.  The suggested retail is $699.00 but it can be found at most of the big sporting stores for about $100.00 less.  Take a look at it and see what you think.  Wild Ed

    • Stoeger’s famous Inertia Driven operating system
    • Red-bar fiber-optic front sight for easy target acquisition
    • Includes three extended choke tubes (cylinder, improved cylinder and modified)
    • Oversized bolt release, safety and extended bolt handle
Thanks to Stoeger's famous low-maintenance Inertia Driven® operating system, Stoeger's Model 3000 M3K 3-Gun Semiautomatic Shotgun outperforms every other shotgun in its class. The 24” vent-rib barrel has a red-bar fiber-optic front sight for quick and easy target acquisition, even in low-light conditions. Comes with three extended choke tubes (cylinder, improved cylinder and modified). Buttstock accommodates optional recoil reducer (not included) to tame the recoil of heavy field loads. Includes shim kit to adjust the fit of the gun for drop and cast. Oversized bolt release and safety with extended bolt handle and beveled loading port. Receiver is drilled and tapped for mounting a scope.

http://moaprecision.com/ and https://nordiccomp.com/pa_12ga-brands/stoeger-model-3000/ both have magazine extension kits to fit the Stoeger M3K. It is pretty much an order the kit and put it on type of job, just follow the instructions. I do recommend a barrel magazine clamp for hunting use.

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