Another mainstream gunwriter going after long range hunting....
I just finished reading an article in the latest issue of Handloader magazine. I still read this mag because I feel it is one of the few left that offers at least some usible information.
Came across the article by John Barsness titled "7x57mm Mauser".
Since John is a Montana boy I generally read his stuff but will admit lately he has been taking the same path as Jim Zumbo giving long range hunters a jab here and there. I do not mind the occasional ribbing but in this article I read something that bothered me more then normal.
To set this up, John is trying to say that the 7x57 mauser will do anything you need done on any non-dangerous game animal out to 400 yards easily. And then he starts talking about the percentage of game he has taken and witnessed taken over the years and what range these animals were harvested at. This is where he made some comments that I wanted to bring to your attention. John lists a graph telling the percentage of animals taken at the various ranges over his hunting carreer:
under 50 yards..............8.0%
50 to 100 yards.............32.3%
101 to 200 yards............37.5%
201 to 300 yards............14.4%
301 to 400 yards............6.1%
401 to 500 yards............1.6%
over 500 yards..............0.003%
I did not have a problem with this. These numbers are from Johns personal hunting carreer and from someone that feels 300 yards is a long shot on game, what else would you expect from his hunting results.
Then I read the following paragraphs:
"So 92.3% of all animals taken were shot at 300 yards or less, and 98.4% at under 400 yards. Yes, there are "experts" out there who pride themselves on shooting animals at longer ranges.
I have been around several of "these". One(who accounted for the 0.003% of animals-a single pronghorn-shot past 500 yards) took several shots at various pronghorn bucks in a herd before finally killing a buck around 700 yards.("Various" means he started shooting at what he thought was the biggest buck, but ended up killing a 12incher.)
The last "long-range wonder" I ran into had both cow and bull elk tags on a hunt in Colorado. He was a number-doubler, meaning that he bragged by citing two numbers: "I shot a 327" bull in Arizona at 403 yards, and a 358" at 587 in New Mexico." In Colorado, that week, he shot a 5 point bull at about 100 yards, missed a cow at around 300, and wounded(and lost) another cow at around 150 yards. Somehow the failures never make it onot the list of long-range successes."
Now I marked some key words in this portion of article with "" so that you can see what I am concerned with.
TO start with he lists those of us that hunt at ranges over 500 yards as EXPERTS and them associates us with some incompetent hunter that obviously knows less then John about long range hunting from HIS account anyway. We all know how gun writes twist conversations and events to prove their point however. Is John doing this?????
Then it takes a cut at us by labeling us "long-range wonders" in the last portion of the clip. And then pointed out that this long range hunter could not kill a cow elk at 300 yards and did even worse on a cow at 150 yards.
Then he goes onto list three occurances that he says were the only missed or lost animals that occured over 40 years of hunting with the 7-57 mauser.
A pronghorn that he shot over and missed by shooting high at 300 yards because the 7-57 shot so much flatter then he thought it did. My question, why the hell are you hunting pronghorn with a rifle that you would need to hold off hair with at only 300 yards!!!! Proof of his expertise!!
The second failure was an elk that was wounded and lost but this was not his fault, it was because the bullet hit a ponderosa pine branch and was deflected into a non vital part of the elk. THis is OK and ethical to not pay attention to obsticles in your shooting lane and loosing a wounded elk as a result but to shoot past 500 yards is simply listed as nonsense.
THe third occurance was a a Kudu that was shot "in the wrong place". BUT, it was recovered after a couple hours of tracking the poor wounded animal and since it was the same 7-57 that wounded the animal to begin with that finally finished off the animal, it was alright and acceptible from what I get from Johns writings. Sounds like the Kudu was to far away for John to be shooting at if he could not put that bullet in the right spot!!!
Point being he, like most mainstream gunwriters hammer others in the sport and then justify their mistakes that occur for the same reasons.
Personally I am getting sick of this crap. I just wish there were more dedicated long range hunters to boycott these magazines so that they would notice the drop in sales.
Maybe John needs to come to my place in Montana and I can show him what can be done with the right equipment as far as hunting past 500 yards.
Anyway, just wanted to point this out to you. This will be the last magazine I buy that has john Barsness as an author. His holier then thou attitude is taking him down the same path as Zumbo. Hopefully it does not take John so long to get there!!!
Anyway, your opinions wanted.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.
Web Page: www.apsrifles.com