View Full Version : Why am I grinning?....

Dave McC
October 16, 2001, 12:42 PM
It's a semi-long story, but if you've the time....

As some of you know, I had cataract surgery recently. Most adjustments were easy to make afterwards, but I had held off benchtesting. I've glasses for reading, but my new plastic lenses do not work well at the normal distance of a front sight. I can drive, read, and so on, but it was nigh impossible to get a front sight clearly in focus. Handguns and me seem to be history, darn it.

But, the early M/L season starts Thursday, Son has the day off from school then, and I needed to check my zero with the guns I want to use this season.

So, I loaded up my TC and the Deer 870, various ammo, and drove up to AGC, for the benching.

Setting one of Son's 'puter made 5 dot targets on the frame and at 50 yards, I sat down at the bench and went through the motions of loading up the TC.

I must be the last person in Md to use a sidehammer ML, the 6 or 7 other guys on the line all seemed to be all trying to get those $%^*( inlines zeroed, with varying results. I had the only peep also, scopes were as common as lawyers in DC.


I wore the PAST wearable pad you've seen me praise. 80 grains of FFF and 375 grains of lead do kick pretty hard in a ML weighing little more than 7 lbs.

Second Note:

When checking zero or resetting same, I shoot from my hands, with the front one supported on the bags. Load development and testing, classic BR position. They shoot to different places.

So, I had a one shot zero check. From the clean bbl, the single shot fired printed RIGHT at POA at 50 yards. I laughed loud enough to interest the guy next to me, I showed him the result and put away the TC.This has held POI/POA since I glass bedded the whole forearm, and that 2 lb trigger is sweet indeed. And while the front sight could have been sharper in my vision, it was sharp enough.

Then, it was hammer time with the Deer 870. This one was built from a police turnin, a cruiser gun from the Arlington Va Dept. Peep sight, mag extension, good trigger, and its load of choice, the KO Brenneke. If you didn't know it was a Deer gun, you might just think it was a "Serious" shotgun.

SO, I slipped into a hasty sling, chambered a KO, and settled into that long slow squeeze us old shooters know. Two more shots followed. All three were a bit to the left, so after a short break to let the bbl cool, I clicked the sight over a bit, hunched into my 870, and shot three more times.

These three were centered, right over POA, and formed an equilateral triangle of pleasingly small dimensions.

I measured the two groups when I could go and retreive the target. The first group was about 3 3/4",edge to edge, but shots 2 and 3 shared a hole. They measured 1 1/16" edge to edge.

And the second group came in with an extreme spread ETE, of a mere 2 1/8".

And that's why the title. I'll be able to hunt this season.With a low hold on a deer shoulder. all six shots would have taken a deer humanely and quickly.

Thank G*d....

Dave R
October 16, 2001, 06:35 PM
Wooo hooo!

Congratulations, Dave. Enjoy the hunt. We are all looking forward to the after-action report.

October 16, 2001, 06:51 PM
GL amigo!

Dave McC
October 17, 2001, 05:32 AM
Thanks, folks. It's nice to know I've got support (G)...

This had come down to a question of ethics. I wasn't going to hunt unless I was sure I could hit them in the right place.I've a long string of clean and humane kills. I wanted to be sure that would continue.

ML season opens tomorrow. Son's off from school for a teachers' conference, so he's going along.
I'll keep you posted, even tho it's not with a shotgun.

October 17, 2001, 09:30 AM
Familiarity and old fashioned reliabilty trump gadgets and gizmos every time.
Good luck and keep on hunting!
The Giant Maryland (grinnin') Possum was thought to be extinct but I have heard reports that one was sighted recently.

October 17, 2001, 10:55 AM
Patience and perserverance shall prevail. Goodonya Dave, and may the meat appear in your's and your son's sights.

Love those one shot sight ins.


Dave McC
October 17, 2001, 12:59 PM
Again, guys, my thanks....

Huntin' tomorrow afternoon and evening, I will give a report if lucky.

October 17, 2001, 08:09 PM
I hope your hunt goes well!!


Dave McC
October 19, 2001, 06:51 AM
Well, the only deer I saw during legal shooting hours was a bit too far. It figures(G). Lots of season left, and I'll hit it hard during the regular gun season post Thanksgiving.