. . . first successful iron-sights hunt!
Thank you, Surplusrifleforum!
Although I am not a young man (and have the eyes to prove it) I'm still a relative newcomer to the worlds of guns and hunting (not how I was raised. Don’t hate me!). I had certainly never put any meat on the ground using iron sights . . . until yesterday.
Now I have done, and pictures are attached.
islandfieldhog.1.jpg [ 478.84 KiB | Viewed 1894 times ]
The first photo shows the sow hog I shot in my father-in-law's freshly planted green patch, and the rifle I used. The rifle is a Brazilian m1908 Short Rifle equipped (for my aging eyes) with Mojo Snapsights. The sights are fantastic, IMHO, and they basically made this hunt possible. That said, I am also aware that the rifle is a bit of an ugly duckling, but I'm pretty dang sweet on it right now....
islandfieldhog.2.jpg [ 361.14 KiB | Viewed 1894 times ]
The second photo shows the view back from the sow to the woodline I shot her from. If you draw a vertical line up from the stock wrist to the pine plantation, you'll get a sense of my approximate position. I was a good ten feet inside, concealed by brush. I stepped off the distance back to the woodline from the sow, and it's 120 paces (mine are roughly a yard when I set my mind to measuring). So allowing for measurement slop, I killed that hog from between 120 and 125 yards out. Using iron sights! (That sound you hear is me patting myself on the back).
progressivelens.jpg [ 213.48 KiB | Viewed 1894 times ]
The third photo shows the view through the right (shooting-eye) lens of the glasses I was wearing when I made that shot. As I said, I do not have a young man's eyes anymore. Don’t get me started on the manifold shortcomings of progressive lenses and how the only thing worse than using progressives is losing them….
I would never have attempted that shot with the m1908 Short Rifle's issue sights; I can't see them well enough to do so. However, with the Mojo Snapsights, I don’t have to focus on the sights; I focus through them, and concentrate on centering them on the target. I’d call this analogous to using a tiny, zero-magnification, and danged-near-weightless scope, or something like that).
During the hunt in question (which I was imagining more as an afternoon walk in the woods with a rifle than an actual hunt per se), I came up on the field through the pines. When I first saw hogs in the field, the hunt got real. I was still pretty deep inside the woods, so I stalked closer, using trees for cover at first, and then the brush at the field's edge. Getting closer gave me both a clear shot (no invisible twigs in the way), and a little more definition of the target (even so, she seemed just a little bit bigger than the apertures I was viewing her through). I centered her shoulder in the apertures and fired from a kneeling position with "hasty sling" support. She dropped where she stood. She thrashed around enough, however, that I went for a follow-up shot, after which she settled down.
I was pleased—with myself (that will wear off, I hope)—and, more importantly, with my gear. Good, field-tested swamp-and-woods gun.
By the bye, I handloaded that ammo, using neck-sized brass previously fired in that rifle, IMR 7828SSC, and the 139-grain Hornady Interlock SP. Used a powder charge at the low end of Hodgdon's online load manual; my guesstimation, based on the Hodgdon data, is that it should run at something like 2515 fps. [Note to lonniemike
: Still no chronograph]. However, having noticed that Hodgdon's stated velocities seem to run, in general, about 100 fps faster than the same load in the Hornady 7th edition manual (when comparable loads are available), I ran the load through Hornady’s online ballistics calculator assuming 2400 fps, and found it fell within my "I'd hunt with that" cutoff (delivering—on paper—at least 1000 foot-pounds at 300 yards). This load having been quite accurate with that rifle, I took it into the field.
The meat is on ice in a cooler, waiting to be put up.
Thank you, Surplusrifleforum, and everyone here: I’d never have reached this milestone without the knowledge I've gleaned from your contributions over the years!