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Old June 24, 2013, 06:41 AM   #1
Picher
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No more dumps to shoot rats in.

When I was a teen, we used to shoot rats at area dumps, but as they were converted to land fills and transfer stations, that opportunity is gone the way of the dodo bird. One day, three of us shot 97. That was the only time we counted. It was great practice for hunting and there were lots of bottles, cans and other junk to shoot at.

I had a Stevens semi-auto that wasn't very accurate at longer ranges, but was deadly on rats as they ran. Those days, we never shot much at targets, except for sighting-in. We shot mostly tin cans, and they were strong enough to roll around when hit. Shooting aluminum cans and plastic bottles isn't very satisfying unless filled with water, etc.

After many years, I decided to rest the Stevens to see how accurate it was and was surprised how badly it shot. At about 35 yards, it only grouped about 2 inches. Today, I'd have junked that rifle, but it was a lot of fun when I didn't care how accurate it wasn't. Ignorance is bliss. LOL
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:27 AM   #2
Jim243
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Thanks for the story, really like it. Funny how min. of tin can changes to MOA as we get older. That rifle served it's purpose, and did it well.

If you are keeping it, I would clean the heck out of that barrel, It has seen more lead than a major fishing store has sinkers. And have the barrel re-crowned. You would be surprised how well it might shoot.

Jim
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:28 AM   #3
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Today, one man's trash is another man's treasure, and there is big money and good jobs to be had in the trash industry. Sadly, the town dump has generally vanished. It is no more.

I get your point about the rifle, though. The fact is that the old Stevens is just as usable now as it ever was. It hasn't changed. What has changed is you.
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Old June 24, 2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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I grew up doing something very similar. We burned fields every year and we would go to the edges with .410 H&R's with birdshot and shoot field mice. It was our way to get warmed up for rabbit season.
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Old June 24, 2013, 09:25 AM   #5
tahunua001
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my thought process must be backwards...

when I was a teenager my buddy and I used to line up spent 22 casings on the wood pile and shoot at them with my marlin 60 at 35 yards. his personal best was 4 of 10, mine was 7 of ten.

now I'm happy if it hits a ground squirrel at 100 yards.
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Old June 24, 2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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Those were some great times !!!

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No more dumps to shoot rats in.
By gobs, another "Vintage" rat shooter in this forum. Not only did I shoot dump rats but we actually turned it into an event. When we ran out of ammo, we would use clubs. Find a mound, plug up the lower holes and pour water down a top hole. Rats ran out and we ran our butts off. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old June 24, 2013, 11:15 AM   #7
g.willikers
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Me too.
Shooting rats, that is.
Got started shooting them in my Grandfather's junk yard, with his Winchester pump .22.
A never ending supply of moving and darting targets.
Kids today don't know what they are missing, do they?
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Old June 24, 2013, 12:33 PM   #8
PetahW
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.

Ah-yessss ! The lost/arcane sport of dump rat shooting ! .

I used a Nylon 66, which I screwed the rear sight adjustment all the way "down", to zero for those extremely short ranges (feet, ILO yards - usually not too far from our feet).

An autoloader worked best, since there was either little shooting (but lots of audible scurrying under the trash), or fast/furious shooting.

My pard & I only quit after the local dumps got so popular on very early Sat/Sun AM's (aka: sunrise) that guys were atop the pile shooting down, and other guys were near the bottom shooting upward. .

Not too much later, along came the "sanitaty landfill" process - which effectively ended the sport hereabouts.



.

Last edited by PetahW; June 24, 2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old June 24, 2013, 01:13 PM   #9
Major Dave (retired)
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Blue Jays were my targets.

At age 11, after learning to shoot at Boy Scout camp, my father offered me a bounty of 5 cents for every one I shot.

He had 52 budded pecan trees, bearing massive amounts of "paper shell" pecans, and he told me that one jaybird would eat a peck (1/4th of a bushel) of pecans a year. Thus the bounty.

My rifle was a hand-me-down Rem Model 24 semi-auto, chambered for 22 Shorts, only.

We had about 8 acres of land, half a mile outside the city limits. A creek meandered through the full length of the property. I would spend hours and hours slowly still hunting.I would stalk to within 20 yards, generally, and seldom missed a shot.

After bagging 8 jaybirds, at 5 cents bounty each, I would break even on the price of a 50 round box of bullets. Then, it was pure profit after that.

Now, in my seventies, I discovered that the open iron sights on the little Rem are off about 2 inches to the left at 25 yards. Maybe my aging eyes are to blame.
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Old June 24, 2013, 01:17 PM   #10
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I too am an old rat shooter, man those were the days.

There was this one town dump along this old bluff road that had a pull off place to park that was a little higher then the dump.
We would park our cars and trucks so the headlights would shine across the tops of the piles of trash.

This dump was crawling with rats, we would shoot for awhile until the rats took cover.
The we would set quietly and wait for the rats to come out again.
By accident we learned that if we would wound a rat they would start squealing and the other rats would come out and attack them.

As I said this was the good old days, heck we even took our rifles to school, checked them at the principals office; picked them up when school was out so we could hunt on the way home.

I've told my oldest grandson about taking my rifle to school, he thought I was kidding him.
I told him things were a lot different when I was a young fella.

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Old June 24, 2013, 02:52 PM   #11
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No dump hunting but I am a country boy and we got to shot barnrats!

it was my best friends place and if we had helped out with chores and stuff we got a bag of 22s and if we had been really workin we got a bag of 38s to a snubbie used to kill the cattle, very short, only a single shot but helluva fun times.

If we ran out of bullets we got my mates grandmas Jack Russel terrier and let him get the rats, the ones that got away from that monster met our pitchforks. Had so many rats that I actually think that one of their cats ate himself to death, the cat was huuuuge, named Fat Nick mean old cat to, got into a fight with a grown lynx and was badly mauled but survived, that is until he ate himself to death
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Old June 24, 2013, 02:58 PM   #12
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Hunter Customs

being from Sweden we didn't have our guns to school but we did have knifes and it wasn't something strange about that, if we were going out in the woods, fishing after school or something like that. today with all the ADD kids we'd have daily stabbings

Also on the good old days, for years I didn't know if it was only my childhood dreams or something but I distinctly remember the cop who visited our school let us handle his gun, as an adult, shooter and teacher now I think that that would've been very strange but i met that old cop just recently and it was true unloaded of course but still
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Old June 24, 2013, 03:37 PM   #13
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Times they are a-changin !!!

Quote:
being from Sweden we didn't have our guns to school but we did have knifes and it wasn't something strange about that, if we were going out in the woods, fishing after school or something like that.
In part, I envied the country kids. They would bring their cased guns on the school bus. After school, the driver would stop, a mile or two and let the kids out so they could hunt the rest of the way home. .....

I had my first shotgun at 12. First rifle shortly their after and first handgun at age 16. Did not have any of that dumb Hunter Ed. back then and I guess that is why I got shot three times buy age 14. No Gangstas, just stupid friends. ......

Be Safe !!!
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Old June 24, 2013, 04:05 PM   #14
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Not even a bb gun for me whilst I was living under my parents' roof, so by the time that was no longer the case (1986), there was no such thing as a public dump anywhere about. The closest thing I had to such a thing was the "range" operated by Duffy's Gun Room near Hunt Valley, MD - their range was really just a deep pit that you dragged your targets into (I was young and strong and used to carry a large bag full of bowling pins up a very steep hill to get to the range). Given the rough-and-ready nature of the place, you could pretty much shoot at anything you cared to bring with you.
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Old June 24, 2013, 04:33 PM   #15
WIN1886
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I remember plinking and shooting rats and skunks at the town dump.....once in awhile you would see at least one black bear hanging around as well !
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Old June 24, 2013, 04:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
No dump hunting but I am a country boy and we got to shot barnrats!
Husqvarna,

Being a country boy myself I can relate to what you are saying about barn and chicken house rats.

There was this one gentleman I worked for that had a large chicken house and a large flock of chickens.
One of my jobs was to care for and feed the chickens, along with gathering the eggs.

When the rats would start getting to populated in the chicken house, we would run all the chickens out to the chicken yard, back his old Studebaker car up to the chicken house door, put a flexible tube on the exhaust pipe, with the motor running then put the other end in a rat hole.

It did not take long for that chicken house to come alive with rats, we would shoot until we ran out of 22 shells and always had big pile of rats to throw in the hog lot.

Best Regards
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Old June 24, 2013, 05:35 PM   #17
g.willikers
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Thanks for that reminder.
My Grandmaw kept chickens behind her neighborhood grocery.
(Can you imagine doing that right in town these days?)
With houses all around and a shared wall with the next door business, my cousins and I could only protect the chickens from rats with our trusty Red Ryders.
It still worked pretty good.
Had to be careful not to hit a chicken, though.
Grandmaw didn't care for that much.
If we did, we had to run and tell her, so she could butcher it right away.
She never once got mad or yelled at us for shooting them by mistake, though.
If it didn't get sold by closing, guess what we had for dinner.
We ate a lot of chicken.
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Old June 24, 2013, 05:39 PM   #18
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I actually worked at a dump as a kid in the 1960s. I had a provisional drivers license at 14 to drive the 5 miles from our rural home to the dump by the Salinas river. I signed people in and collected dump fees. Some days it would rain and few people would come... so I had permission to shoot any rat and there were plenty. I remember my brother taking over the job when he turned 14 just because of the rat hunting perk. I used and still have the Remington 12A .22 pump. I loved that gun but rarely shoot it now.

Good times in another era.
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Old June 25, 2013, 09:51 AM   #19
Picher
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Quote:
If you are keeping it, I would clean the heck out of that barrel, It has seen more lead than a major fishing store has sinkers. And have the barrel re-crowned. You would be surprised how well it might shoot.
I was brought up to make sure every gun was cleaned before the sun went down that day. I still do that for centerfire guns today, but don't clean rimfires nearly as often. Rimfire bores, if they don't foul, tend to last longer without so much cleaning rod damage.

The rifle had very soft parts and became unreliable, so it was traded for something better. The best was a Marlin 39A Mountie, which I still miss today. It was unbelievably accurate and killed lots of pests/cans and other targets. I have a new 39A rifle, and though it's pretty and not as well made as the first one, still quite accurate.
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Old June 25, 2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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We had pigs growing up and pig food equals rats. Between my single six and my 10/22 I had many fun times.


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Old June 25, 2013, 09:38 PM   #21
TomL
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No more dumps

Ha! I too remember my teen years of nighttime rat shooting at the local dump. We hardly ever hit any but fun it was. Under the light of the one-eyed beagle the aim point was mr rats glowing eye(s)which was it seemed, about nano second! Ah those were the days!
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Old June 26, 2013, 02:14 AM   #22
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Ha this sounds so damn fun! Shame... I never got to experience it. need to get some drums for a 10/22 and rock and roll.
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Old June 26, 2013, 02:16 AM   #23
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There's a dump about 20 miles from here but my nose burns just driving by. Also I seriously doubt they'd let anyone shoot there.

I've always seen coyotes there and if they allowed shooting there, I would consider it. I suppose nose plugs would work...

Tony
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Old June 26, 2013, 03:18 AM   #24
shurshot
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A compost pile and or bird feeder will often attract rats (and squirrels). The dump hunting days are gone for good in most areas.

As far as dumps, although I was too young to shoot myself, I vividly recall riding to the dump (a desolate wasteland, a stinking, smoldering set of mountains comprised of rural trash), on several occasions with my father and "uncle", as they drank Shlitz beer and blasted away at rats and seagulls from the jeep with a 4" S&W .357 (Uncle Dick used .38's in it) and an old J. Stevens Autoshot .410 shotgun pistol. They even hit a few too!
Nixon was in office and Elvis was on the Radio.

Now we have "Transfer stations", "Zero Tolerance" in schools and "Gun Free Zones"...
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:11 PM   #25
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Staying Alive !!

My apologies but just having too much fun with this thread to let it die. By now we all know how much fun rat shooters can have and sad to see the dumps go away. Rat shooting is great fun and very challenging.

Well, how about one of the greatest wing shooting experiences? I'm talking about Barn-Pigeon shooting. At first they come out fairly straight and then get smart and start diving down and flying up. They roll and pitch and present a real challenge. Hogs down below like them as well. Fortunately, we only shot the door to the hay loft, once. ....

Be Safe !!!
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