Info on some toys, and stuff.
I was recently fortunate to shoot several Browning and Winchester rifles chambered for the .223 WSSM cartridge, both on the range and on a very exciting coyote/bobcat hunt in southern Texas. One of the intents of the shooting was to dispell an internet fable that the .223 WSSM is a barrel burner.
We shot two rifles that had an exact round-count of every round shot through their barrels. A new M-70 Stealth ll and a Browning Varminter, both with heavy hang-tags attached to the trigger-guards and the exact number of rounds fired writen down. We stroked out the total and added each box of ammo we shot through them. We were asked to bring the rifles to a cleaning bench every 40 rounds - they did respond to this cleaning as would any rifle.
I shot both rifles extensively and they were very accurate. My best group went 0.335" for five shots at 100 yards, shot with the M-70 Stealth ll - the total shots through the barrel at that point was 1080.
Not sure if you guys are aware that Winchester and Browning are chrome-plating the bores of every WSSM barrel, seems to be working nicely.
I hunted with a new M-70 Coyote and ended the careers of three south Texas yodel-dogs, saw lots more but they usually did not offer decent shooting situations. My partners smacked several more, total for our group was about 25 yotes and three bobcats for two days of hunting in the cactus and mesquite senderos. The guides used Burnham Bros. electronic digital calls - they change predator hunting compared to the way we used to do it. No sweat, just find a good spot and turn the suckers on - then get ready to shoot. Sometimes a group of 3 guys would see as many as 15 yotes and a bobcat or two from dawn until we met for lunch. Not all of the critters bit the dust but a good number did. The place was crawling with coyotes and cats, we had a lot of fun since about 2 out of 3 setups resulted in predators coming in - some days it was much better than 2 out of every 3 attempts!
Not sure if anyone here has any experience with the WSSM's, I have shot several in all three calibers (.22, .24 & .25) and they have all been nice shooting rigs. Most accurate rifles have been Cooper varminters, unbelievable accuracy with factory ammo.
After the predator hunting south of San Antonio I drove up near Abiline to the Nail ranch to hunt hogs and predators with T/C. We killed a number of large hogs with a brand new bonded muzzleloader bullet - it is going to be a fine hunting bullet for this coming hunting season. Shots on pigs ranged from 11 FEET to 305 yards - I recovered 7 bullets and the retained weight was excellent (have not had time to weigh them yet). Also spent several hours on the range with some fun-shooting rimfires. The new Mach ll 17 caliber rimfire really surprised and impressed me - this is one hot little package. This cartridge is working at much higher pressures than the standard rimfire - we are talking a CRACK when it goes off. Accuracy was excellent, several one-hole groups at 50 yards. Compared it with the standard .22 rimfire in identical rifles, the little 17 is a lot of fun. Also shot the larger 17 HMR and it is a step-up but so it should be with the larger case. T/C makes the larger 17 in their G2 Contender rifles and they are very accurate, nice handling little rifles. I did not get to do any hunting with the rimfires, too busy hunting hogs, but I am confident that the Mach ll would be nasty on rabbits and vermin.
Not trying to sell anything here, just sharing some info on new toys.
Anyone ever heard of Matt Martinez? (Owns a restuarant or two in Dallas..., has a t.v. show on cooking, couple of cook-books on Tex-Mex cuisine). He cooked for us at the Winchester hunt and he is incredible. How good is he? He is being considered for the next White House chef position - if GW is smart he will grab ol' Matt. I hunted with Matt and he is also a heck of predator caller - and about as nice a guy that you could ever hunt with.
A fun story for you guys. At the T/C hunt we had another incredible cook. Fellow named Bill who specializes in cowboy cooking, makes everything on a bed of coals and it is unbelievable stuff. Anyhow, Bill made up some hordoerves (no idea how to spell that sucker either [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]) featuring some kind of large Halopino. I have never eaten a Halopinio, so choked one down - we are talkin' losing all feeling in the lips, tongue and lower pallat... Then an incredible meal featuring more spicy stuff. I knew I was going to pay for it but what the hell,, couple of cans of beer should have calmed down the infernos, right!
The next day we stalked into the midst of a bunch of sleeping hogs. I mean one step at a time, tippie-toe! Only one problem - every step that I made my stomach rumbled, growled, and gurgled so much that we were all fighting breaking out laughing. I have NEVER had gas, groans and gurgles like that morning in my friggin life - ever. Not the flatulence type, we are talking raging gutt-volcano with very good volume and variations of liquid vocalizing! BUT - all that noise seemed to reassure the piggies and we got within a few yards from one big hog. We are talking close enough to see the flees crawling on his butt! I called it my Halopinio Hog Calling experience - worked like a damn. Would I do it again - in a heartbeat, even tho the guys were smirking, grinning and biting their tongues. Bring on the halipinios! Should have had a recorder, those sounds were excellent cover [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]