Saturday, July 10, 2010

The packrat that came to visit.

One hundred yard target shot with my Browning 22 lever action with open sights.

25 yard target shot with my Ruger 22 semi-auto. These two are the best I've done in years due to the eye exercises suggested by Zengunfighter. I was almost to the point of giving up on using open sights on anything.

My shooting bench this morning. (And more guns to clean this evening.)

The back side of my 25 yard target backstop after this week's shooting sessions.

Susan cleaning house in preparation for a visit from some of our kids.

Mint and Oregano from our garden drying.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I stayed up late last night writing until I got the final rough draft completed on the article I‘m currently working on. I went to bed around midnight then before I got to sleep I heard a bunch of activity outside the door. The dog was looking things over pretty good behind the refrigerator so I figured the cat was back there then the cat came around the corner so I did some more checking. I got down low just in time to meet a packrat face-to-face. We both jumped back. I went back in the house to get my rifle and a round of 22 rimfire - #12 shot shell. When I got back out I couldn’t find the packrat so I walked out to where I had the live trap set for chipmunks and got the trap. Susan saw the flashlight beam outside so she got up to find out what was going on. I had set the trap down and got down to look under the back porch where I saw the PR hiding. I went in and got my 22 again and was getting set up for the shot when Susan came out the back door. She almost stepped on the rifle as I was trying to get a good angle for the shot. I just said “packrat” so she stepped back in the house while I shot it. Then I had to get the stupid thing back out from under the porch. I had Susan take a picture of me and my trophy before she went back to bed.

We haven’t had too many packrat problems since they tore down the old mobile homes across the road but we still get one through occasionally. They’re kind of cute but they sure make a mess of things so we have a “shoot on sight” order out for them. We use the 22 shells loaded with shot most of the time. It kills the rats well and does minimal damage to whatever’s behind the PR. We had one in the wood pile when we first moved in here that carted away spoons, forks, a watch, and a couple of small pans before we found it’s lair. My poor dog got blamed for all kind of things she didn’t do.

Went through my article again and did a little editing and sent it to Susan to go over on her computer. She found a couple of mistakes I missed, fixed them and sent it back. I still need to get the pictures together along with a caption page and cover letter and get it in the mail. Should go out Monday.

After breakfast I took some 22’s down to the range and checked their sighting. My 10/22 was shooting a little high so I adjusted it back down. I decided to try my Browning lever action 22 without the scope so I took it off and did some shooting. It shot a little to the right and about two inches high at 50 yards. I left the elevation as it was and tapped the rear sight over to correct the windage. I went too far and had to take it back just a little to get it right. It’s still slightly off but close enough for the things I shoot at. I tried a few shots at 100 yards with it. More about that later.

I got my 22 pistol out and did some shooting with it too. It’s a little low at 25 yards with my current ammo but I’ll just hold the front sight up a bit instead of filing it down. Most shot with it aren’t that far away anyway. I mostly use it on the trapline.

In the past few years I’ve had a difficult time with open sights. My eyes just wouldn’t work well enough for a good sight picture so I was almost to the point of putting scopes on everything. I haven’t used my muzzleloaders much the last few years for that reason. At DT 2010, Zengunfighter did his class on vision and gave me some exercises to try to improve my reading vision. I’ve been doing some of his exercises and my vision has improved remarkably. I took pictures of the targets I shot and while I’ve certainly done better shooting in the past this is the best I’ve done in the last ten years and much better than in the last five years. Five years ago I wouldn’t have been able to hit the plate at fifty yards with iron sights. This one was shot at 100 yards. The same with the handgun. My “pattern” (not tight enough for a group) would have been all over the target. I couldn’t even adjust the sights because there was no “group.” In the short time since DT my vision has improved remarkably. I’m hoping it continues to improve. So, thanks, Zen.

After lunch I spent some time running the weed eater. Susan mowed yesterday evening so it was easy to see where the trimming needed to be done. She also washed clothes today and did some house cleaning. One of our daughter’s and her toddler and husband are coming today and will stay overnight.

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