Newfoundland – A Brief Vacation Visit! By Ed Hale

 

My wife, who has Newfoundland heritage, and I visited just few weeks back and landed in St John’s, in the northeast corner of the Island.  Ok, so I left my rifle home on this trip and took my Nikon D60 instead.

So we began our trip with some local micro-brewed beer and weekend cod fishing. Here are 2 market size cod that are about to become fillets for dinner. As you can see, I’m a happy man, and well fed too!

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Back home along Massachusetts fisherman are restricted to 1 cod fish per day due to the weakness of the fishery but no where near what Newfoundland encountered.

It was 1992 when Newfoundland shut down the Cod Fishery due to over-fishing. Today the Cod are back and Fishing for these delicious fish has returned under strict regulation.  Regulation has its place, eh!

Nestled on the shore side of St Johns is the fishing village of Quidi Vidi and carved out of the granite landscape. Photo’s by author Below.

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This photo I took with my Nikon D60 is very special as I waited for the sea gulls to congregate. Looks like a post card doesn’t it!

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We fished just a 1/4 mile off shore with hand lines and just red teaser worms and hooks.IMG_1137

While in St John’s my wife wanted to visit a local brewery called Quidi Vidi Brewery (photo by author below) where she fell in love with Iceberg beer brewed there. Icebergs which contain very pure water from around 20,000 years ago or so “they say”  break up and are harvested to make the Iceberg beer. Smaller bergs that can be taken on small vessels are called mini-bergs.

 

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At dinner in St John my wife Sue and I feasted on local fare and Iceberg beer and mingled with the locals. Somebody has got to do it, eh! As the Canadians say.

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We rented a Ford SUV in St Johns and me and the Mrs. drove to the the family cottage in Jamestown about 130 miles up the Trans Canada highway. The cottage is on the ocean, you see.  It was 30 years ago, when I visited Jamestown with the wife and pointed out this house and shoreline property for sale to my mother and father-in-law who have family nearby. It was affordable to them back then and in just a few weeks they purchased it and never looked back.

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The view from the upper deck overlooks Goose Bay, and inlet of Bonavista Bay. Breath taking! So now you know why I recommended this property to family. It was carved by God and Nature to create this splendid view of James Head and Goose Bay.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonavista_Bay

So the wife and I explored a bit and found ourselves at Bonavista Cove where John Cabot landed in the fourteen hundreds.

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We walked here in hopes of encountering a Puffin, a beautiful pelagic seabird at home in the north Atlantic. It was my wife that spotted the Puffin first and I proceeded to shutter my Nikon D60 to produce this photo of the only Puffin we saw.

puffin closeup

 

Some folks have a problem saying Newfoundland and mumble New Finland, or perhaps New Found Land. Just say this to say it correctly; understand Newfoundland. The “found” part is said as “fin” and you are good-to-go.

A great vacation adventure!

© 2016 Articles and Photos Property of the Author- All Rights Reserved.

 

The Ruger American Rifle – Like a Custom Rifle…by Ed Hale

Today’s hunter wants it all in a great rifle. Custom shops hummed in years past to make your trigger crisp and adjustable, your barrel float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. The custom shop or you the shooter swaps out your hard buttplate for a state of the art recoil absorbing rubber pad. All of this for say, $2400 in wood. But you can’t afford that…so… .

 

So along comes Ruger who with American know-how, engineers a rifle from the ground up with all of the same Custom shop attributes for under $500 dollars. Yes, you heard that right!!  Custom attributes are already there. Like the…

Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger

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Four shot Magazine

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Power Bedding Block System

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Crafted soft buttpad for Maximum Recoil Reduction

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Even a threaded barrel for future devices such as flash or noise suppressors.

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Easy to Actuate Tang Safety (shown in the Fire position)

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as above in an ergonomically designed synthetic stock and more with Patent Pending Power Bedding, Integral bedding block system which “positively locates the receiver and free-floats the barrel for outstanding accuracy.

The bolt is a one piece, three lug bolt with a 70° throw is part of the new Ruger American design and provides easy cycling from the shoulder. Even the bolt has a serial #.

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I have shot rapid fire with my .243 Winchester version.  The rotary magazine is a synthetic and fits flush with the stock. I would opt to buy a second magazine as a backup if you misplace it.

All for under $500 dollars.

The rifle has exceptional balance and at 6.6 pounds a dream to carry all day long in the back woods as it has swivel studs for a sling.

Who is this rifle made for? It is made for young and old, expert and beginner. This Rifle was made for you and me! And its affordable!!

Ok so is there a downside to the rifle? Yes… If you don’t own one! That is the only downside.

Good Hunting!

© 2016

 

 

 

Ruger American – Predator 6.5 Creedmoor with Selected Bullet Performance Data by Ed Hale

The first shots out of the Ruger American™ Predator are just astounding in my last article as they were sub Minute of Angle. The engineering innovation that went into creating the Ruger American Brand is exemplary for its price point and accuracy and it is 100% American made! I am a believer and loved the chambering in 6.5 Creedmoor which was designed for extreme accuracy for target but right at home in the fields and woods of North America for deer, elk, caribou and black bear and most African Plains game…

I purchased a Ruger American in .243 Winchester a few years back and I love how it handles at just 6.6 pounds. Now to test a 6.5 Creedmoor in the Predator model.

Spec’s are listed below but more on the website. These Ruger’s are cold hammer forged and my sub MOA groups last week and today seen below attest to the ultra- precise rifling that provides exceptional accuracy. The Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ Trigger can adjust from 3 to 5 pounds and aids in the off-the-shelf accuracy like a custom rifle.

http://www.ruger.com/products/americanRiflePredator/specSheets/6973.html

predator spec.

I collected JBM data for two bullets that I own in the Ruger American; Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor with Sierra 120 grain Spitzer with 120 grain Pro-Hunter Spitzer with 43 grains of H4350 Powder at a fast speed of 2760 fps.My test bed scope is my trusted Leupold VX-6 3-18x44mm set at 10x for 100 yards.

http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi 

A 4 shot group measured 5/8 inch at 100 yards and delivers MPBR max at 265 yards and 1194 ft-lbs. The Ruger American was right there today with outstanding sub-MOA group of 5/8 inch off a Bench Rest at 100 yards.

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What a highly accurate rifle for the price of around 400 to 500 dollars Just a few years back it cost thousands of dollars to own a shooter with 1/2 inch groups. 

Ruger Predator 6.5

Later I shot the Ruger American- Predator with a slightly slower factory loaded 143 grain Hornady ELD-X Precision Hunter at 2648 fps far below to collect bullet performance data.

6.5 creed ruger american 143g 2684

The Ruger American- Predator shot the 6.5 Creedmoor Factory Loaded Hornady ELD-X Precision Hunter a bit slower but at 100 yards delivered over 350 more ft-lbs than the 120 grain head due to heavier bullet weight/speed and its Extremely Low Drag. This bullet shoots 1 inch groups at 100 yards with no noticeable recoil difference. Energy at Max Point Blank Range MPBR of 265 yards is 1663 ft-lb with the Hornady ELD-X vs 1194 fps for the Sierra. A difference of 470 ft-lbs in favor of the 143 g VLD-X in the Ruger American – Predator 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle. I love this Ruger American- Predator rifle and bullet Combo.

6.5 creed ruger american Hornady143 g ELD-X2684fps

Moreover, with with the 6.5 Creedmoor in the Ruger American Predator’s 22 inch barrel with 143 grain Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X load it maintains over 1000 ft-lbs at 600 yards to kill a deer. The Sierra at 1000 ft pounds can only reach to 350 yards.  Lesson Learned? I get it! I  shot the Ruger American with a t-shirt at the bench rest. The recoil pad is fantastic and absorbs recoil handily. The precision trigger on the Ruger is a blessing. I gotta get me one of these!

© 2016

 

 

 

TC Encore Pro-Hunter Complete Center Fire Rifle with Muzzle Loader set up. Coming Soon!

I have had a hankering to test a TC Encore® Pro Hunter™ Centerfire Rifle, not just the muzzle loader version!  Accordingly, I made some calls and we are going to test and evaluate one that is set up for Muzzle Loading and for a center fire rifle deer/bear/moose cartridge such as the 30-06 Springfield. I like the looks of this rifle (its just handsome as all get-out with the matt stainless look) without camouflage. We will get one hopefully in the next few weeks so those that want to consider one for this year can get first hand hunter information on it. That’s Me!

I hear the non-adjustable trigger is near 4.5 pounds so we will see if that works for me in the deer woods and at the range. I  like a very accurate barrel so we will see about that in Test and Evaluation.

There are so many options for this rifle that my head was spinning for a while. What I want to know is;

How it handles?

Ease of Cleaning?

Ease of Barrel Change?

Accuracy barrel to barrel?

Barrels offered in stock and special order?

Barrel Material/ Coatings?

Recoil reduction using Flex Tech?

Value?

 

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Best Chance For A New Hampshire Buck

This is the month in which Antlers will begin to shed velvet on whitetail bucks here in the Northeast. These bucks are for the most part nocturnal. I reflect and tell my hunter friends that whitetail bucks are most vulnerable to the hunter during New Hampshire’s Bow and Muzzle Loader season in early November. I took a few nice bucks a while back in southern NH on opening day of Muzzle Loader season. One of the bucks, I called with a grunt call and rattled him in too.

I had pre-scouted the area and new there was lots of deer activity. It was the early November, I entered the woods in the pitch black. Today I use a headlamp and swear by them. The air was still and the woods were silent.  I could hear me breathing shallow with my heart beat captured within it.  I took my time feeling the ground with my feet. Leaves are falling here and there as photons of light began to create a blue purple horizon.  The earth smells of musty oak, moss and sweet acorns amid the pungent spruce give way to my mouth salivating with a desire to drink the forest floor for its kaleidoscope of fragrances.  Near my hunting spot, I just remained quiet and still looking and listening to the sound of birds and morning arriving.

I had a back-pack with a small pair of rattling antlers. Around my neck was a grunt call that was mid-tone no tube attached. I have heard deep low grunts from man-made calls and do not like them. Cripe-sakes, you’d think Godzilla buck made that sound. So my thought was to tell the local deer population that I am small size buck on the prowl for a hot doe. A larger buck would step in to chase me off.  I would occasionally grunt softly once or twice every five minutes hoping that a nearby larger buck would want to check me out. As it turns out a doe came toward me and froze as she identified me as human. She swapped ends and walked away watching me over her back.

This was my chance, I thought to do a tending grunt sequence like, grunt, step, grunt and step as if I were tending the doe. At that same  moment I took out the small antlers and after 5 minutes or so I began to tine tick and fuss like 2 lesser bucks. Adrenaline was pumping as I believed that anything could happen like a buck charging in. I believed with all my being that I had the mojo of the moment but for several minutes I just sat in silence taking it all in.

Like magic, a dandy 8 point buck appeared at 25 to 30 yards and walking right at me. He swaggered toward me intent on a battle to chase off the lesser bucks messing with his doe.  He had to negotiate a small tree in his path and gave me a shoulder shot with my 54 cal. I raised and fired just as he cleared the small tree.

Smoke bellowed everywhere. I got on my knees to look under the smoke but no buck!

I have told this story before but not with the idea of mimicking a lesser buck which is important.  I marked my position and moved  forward to where I thought the buck stood. A tree behind the buck was covered with blood. Got him, my mind thought! The buck jumped to the left his tracks tell me, and made it about 30 yards and piled up. It was a great day for me in the deer woods! By the time I got the deer  gutted and to the road it was around 65  degrees and noon time. A hunter near his truck gave me and the buck a ride to my vehicle. The buck was not huge but respectable as an 8 pointer. Gonna want to do that again this fall! We shall see!

© 2016

Ruger American Predator Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor – Tests Begin

Yesterday I received the Ruger American Rifle® – Predator model chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The Predator is also offered in 223 Rem,22-250 Rem.,204 Ruger, 243 Win., and 308 Win.

Ruger Predator 6.5

I chose this rifle to test because I already have a Ruger American in 243 Winchester and it is a tack driver shooting sub MOA out of the Box and the retail price is just fantastic at around $430 or so dollars.

I chose the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge primarily because I believe this round to be superbly accurate and excellent for hunting deer and elk and have lots of new brass from testing another rifle. It is in the same energy and velocity league as the 7mm-08 and .270 Winchester for velocities and bullet weights such as 120, 130, and 140 grain heads.

To begin, I test fired some 143 grain ELD-X Hornady® Precision Hunter™  rounds yesterday as well as Sierra 142 grain HPBT Match bullets. My test bed scope is the Leupold VX-6 3-18 x 44mm. I had the scope already mounted on a Leupold Integral Mounting System for Picatinny rails but it would not fit the Ruger picatinny slot distances so I had to rummage to find a 30mm set of rings that would attach, and I did.

I ran a brush through the barrel at the range and sent some bullets at 25, 50, and 100 yards. Below is the target at 100 yards. The precision trigger is set at 5 pounds and too heavy for my taste but was able to provide these groups. I will adjust to 3 pounds and retest. The Sierra match ammo was sub MOA and if you take out the flyer at low left it looks to be a 5/8 inch group. Of course we will chrono these loads and do lots more with this rifle.

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© 2016

 

 

Nashua High Power Mid-Range Prone NRA Match 300,500, 600 August 7, 2016 by Ed Hale

It was a Sunshine day at the Match and not too hot. Wind conditions in the morning were ideal but worsened somewhat through the day thus attention to wind flags was essential. I was shooting F Class Open with the Savage Model 12 LRP- Long Range Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor which weighs in at 11 pounds and the Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20x55mm. I am very pleased with this rifle and scope that I am testing for Savage and Leupold at a retail price of around $1100 for the Rifle http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/12LRP and $1160 or so for the Scope. https://www.leupold.com/hunting-shooting/scopes/vx-3i-riflescopes/vx-3i-6-5-20x50mm-30mm-side-focus-cds-target/

A few weeks earlier I shot this combination at the Sig Sauer “Reach for 1000”  with the new Hornandy® 143 grain ELD-X™ Match bullets with the HEAT SHIELD tip and cartridges right off the shelf. I was popping balloons at 1000 yards with them.

The most common calibers used at these matches are 308 Winchester, 6mm and .223 Remington. For 600 to 1000 yards the 6.5 Creedmoor is making lots of friends these days as trajectory is much flatter with low recoil. My vertical drop setting for 600 yards was 9 3/4 Minutes.

I was using H4350, CCI BR-2 Primers with Sierra 142g HPBT. Match bullets.  Velocities were chronographed at just over 2700 FPS and Standard Deviation for a 5 shot group was under 10 with ES of 21 fps.  100 yard groups were around 1/2 inch. In an earlier article I sent out an email this past month and Brian Litz of Applied Ballistics fame chimed back that 1/2 inch groups are all you need with SD<10 and ES as low as you can get.

Jason and I waited till 8:30 AM to register for the shoot (cost $20.00). We hooked up with Barbara Lamb and her husband Art. Barbara is an avid and excellent long range High Power shooter. Art her husband graciously offered to do Pit duty for the three of us. Wow! A big thank you to Art for doing Pit duty. Since Barbara, Jason and I were the only ones shooting F Class Open we had our own little club to the right of those shooting open sights. See below open sight shooters all wearing shooting jackets.

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Setting up for open sights below.

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Rifles below are in 308 Caliber. The left is Barbara’s and the right is Jason’s.

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Using Barbara’s spotting scope, Jason scored for her.

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Jason shooting for score below. He has worked on his physical plant as he is on a special diet as well as his shooting form. Lookin’ good!

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My Savage M12 LRP in 6.5 Creedmoor with McMillan Stock below and Leupold’s VX3i 6.5-20x50mm. Recoil was easy on the shoulder! I was testing some Nosler Custom Brass and loaded them out of the box with the Sierra 142 g HPBT at 2700 FPS. I knew that I should have shot them first to fire form the brass and establish a better neck tension but time was short. I encountered a few shots that shot low believing that neck tension was insufficient in the Out-of-the Box Brass thus my score was a miss for those rounds. Lesson learned! I shot very well otherwise scoring lots of 9 and 10’s and an occasional X. As a new prone target shooter here I was otherwise pleased. I have written and tested big bore for Africa years ago such as the 416 Rigby and the 375 Ruger which I own and hand-load down for deer.

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Most shooters here were older but I noticed a few young shooters. Here below is Elahh Peterson (age 21) shooting with an AR-15 with Open Sights with a shooting jacket.Elahh began shooting at Nashua with Sea Cadets once a year but Nashua F&G stole her away to shoot regularly.

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All had a good time with friends sending bullets down range!

Good Shooting!

 

Ruger American Rifle – Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor Coming Soon

Just in time for deer, bear and moose Season, the Ruger American Rifle® – Predator is part of the Ruger American Series of no nonsense MOA accurate, light weight and cost effective! The 6.5 Creedmoor is perhaps one of the finest hunting and target cartridges ever developed for both short and long range shooting. I will begin testing soon.

http://www.ruger.com/products/americanRiflePredator/specSheets/6973.html

 

Civilian Rifle Marksmanship and Hunting Essential to Freedom by Ed Hale

It was during the American Revolution that the first guns with rifling were put to the test. It was George Washington who enlisted the service of Daniel Morgan, a rough and tumble marksman, hunter and Indian fighter to create our first Military “Riflemen”.  Later to become General Daniel Morgan under General George Washington and famous for his Revolutionary war “Battle of the Cowpens”

http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/battle-of-cowpens

Image result for daniel morgan in battle of saratoga

 

Many folks haven’t a clue who Morgan is and I neither did I till I did this research of this American Hero with a Rifle. Amazon sells a book on him you may find fascinating.

First and foremost he was a civilian marksman with a Pennsylvania Rifle who had intimate knowledge of the trails and mountains as a hunter and Indian fighter.  Morgan was among a long list of Civilian men with such skills.

Before America was born, families of the 13 colonies, for survival sake, needed to be skilled at hunting, reading sign, and shooting of wild game, predators and fend off native Indian attacks. It was the Pennsylvania Rifle that gave them an edge for  long distance, a tool to  maintain their Freedom. It was the Mountain men of the 13 colonies territories in the mid 1700’s that embraced the Pennsylvania Rifle many call the Kentucky Rifle. It was created for Mountain men headed to new land called Kentucky. The first rifle that had grooves or “rifling in the barrel.  It was the civilian marksmanship skills and the Pennsylvania rifle created by German and Dutch immigrants which led to such a long range rifle.

It was from the Civilian ranks from birth that Marksman that made the difference in Battle. Do you remember Alvin C. York who with his marksmanship hunting skills and courage given him by God, handily used his marksmanship to aid in defeating the German Army of WW I.

It was from civilian marksman hunter ranks that Rob Oneill of Seal Team 6 below was created. It was Rob Oneill that killed Osama bin Laden.

 

It was from civilian marksman hunter ranks that Marcus Luttrell of Seal Team 10 was created.

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Luttrell

In time of war it was Civilian Marksmanship that brought a rapid end to battles in the Revolution, WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanisan and today to kill Osama Bin Laden.

Below American Sniper Chris Kyle

Chris Kyle January 2012.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Kyle

 

So Civilian Marksman and Hunters be proud and if you enlist or are called to the nations service you will add those civilian hunter and marksmen that have stood tall in behalf of the nation in times of war. In the meantime learn your marksman, woodsmanship, hunting and survival skills as they will serve you well in this ever changing world.

Leupold VX-3i Riflescope – World Class Performance!

Last week as you know, I shot at the Sig Sauer Academy using the Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20 50mm CDS Riflescope (Target). I was shooting 8 inch balloons at 1000 yards. The clarity and crispness of the balloons at that distance was unbelievable. It is easily one of the finest scopes on the Planet and it is made in the USA. More below on the VX-3i. The add is very cool. Check it out!