Life is mostly about changes. Like the tides, with life there’s always some ebb and flow., especially in the natural world. It’s just the way it works, nothing is static for long. If you live long enough, you’ll live through many changes.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, even with scopes becoming the dominant hunting sight, no responsible hunter would have suggested shooting at previously unwounded game animals much past 300 yards. Bad form, don’t you know? Now we have unethical individuals who consider themselves hunters trying to assassinate game animals over 1,000 yards away because military snipers can make those type of shots. Discounting certain local farming members of the bureau politic, when did we go to war with our wildlife?
Even our modern practice of flinging bullets downrange at 2-foot square metal targets a mile away was unheard of 50 years ago. Back then the record for 1,000 yards was a 6-inch group. Now evolving firearms technology allows shooters to bang away at steel targets over 2 miles away and the record for that is 4 inches or so. You may not like it, but everything changes with time. Even common morality and virtues. Maybe especially when extremist social liberals are pushing their agenda on us and educating our children.
Leaving that, wasn’t it Einstein that proclaimed, “There are only two things in this life that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I’m not certain about the universe”
All of which brings up the recent referendum in Colorado as whether or not to introduce wolves into the state. It passed and most likely Colorado will soon be plagued by the hairy beasts destroying their elk and deer herds and munching on their livestock. Score for another grass roots movement in stupidity for the pot-smoking, cannabis-munching liberals.
One thought occurs to me, do you think we could give them our wolves? Or maybe even bypass the Canadian middle man and sell some to them for the $2 million each we paid the Canadians for those they sent down? Do you think maybe the Canadians saw us coming with our checkbook in our hands? Still, Wyoming has to have a large number of working trappers who would be only too happy to sell Colorado all the Wyoming-introduced, Canadian-strain wolves they want.
Changing saddles to a different horse, recently I wrote a column extolling the virtues of single-shot rifles. It has come to my attention that I left out one important reason to choose such an implement to work with: cartridge length. As in most repeaters, either bolt action, lever guns, semi or fullly automatic rifles and such, all actions must work within the constraints imposed by their magazines. Boattail bullets and heavier, longer bullets must often be deep-seated inside the case when using magazine-fed rifles, thus reducing the cartridge’s powder capacity. Not so with single shots. Cartridges can be as long as the chambers will accept.
It’s also a fact many rifles shoot their most accurately when bullets are seated within nano-inches of the rifling, nearly touching the rifling, as it were. Many times, especially when the chambering leaves a longer throat than usual, the overall length most accurate for the cartridge leaves it too long to fit in the magazine.
Purpose-built single shots suffer no such disadvantage. Bullets can be seated out from the cartridge case to engage the rifling and said rifle designs digest heavy bullets with aplomb, given a proper rifling twist and chamber length. In some cases, mostly dedicated disciplines of target shooting, the cartridge case, minus the bullet, was loaded from the breech, already filled with the desired powder charge. Bullets were inserted from the muzzle end of the barrel and using a precisely marked rod, seated upon the powder with an exact amount of pressure. Some extremely small groups have been fired by this method and many of those records stood for decades.
While useful for target shooting, it would be an inconvenient method to use for hunting, but the ability to seat the bullet and determine the most accurate overall length of the cartridge without suffering the constraints of cartridge length being imposed by the magazine of most repeating firearms could be yet another advantage hunting with a single shot affords.
Single shot rifle shooters can tailor their cartridge to the exact demands of their particular firearm while not being handicapped by length constraints.
Granted, the owners of bolt action repeaters and lever guns could load cartridges longer than the magazine would hold, or, as with lever actions, length being dictated by what the loading mechanism will accept, by loading them singly. They would essentially make their repeating rifle a single shot for all effects and purposes as those tailored rounds would require individual loading and firing, thus negating any advantage of the repeating capability of that firearm.