20 October 2010
Rimrx, Blindeye and Codarnall,
Thanks for all your input which I will endeavor to put to good use. Purchasing factory ammo for a test drive as suggested by Codarnall is a good idea, but - ouch - this requires some cash. I have some Hornady 200 gr jacketed that I might try first, loaded to +/-2400 fps to see what happens, if groups get no better, I'll bite the bullet and buy some factory.
Rimrx - I can walk out my door to hunt elk but it makes for a long walk. For this hunt I had to drive about 3 miles (none on paved roads) and then hike another 4 miles before the elk were jumped. This made for an invigorating afternoon of boneing out and hauling elk meat. Hard work, but can you think of a better way to spend an afternoon?
I feel very fortunate to have used the Model 71 for what it was intended - shooting big animals in heavy timber at close range; with my own cast bullets. Life is good.
As an aside, I went along with my oldest brother on Monday and he shot a young cow elk, which also required a long pack out. He used a 'sporterized' 8x57 mauser with Speer 175 grain bullets. Hit the elk twice in the ribcage/lungs at about 125 yds and neither of the bullets went through. We recovered one of the mushromed bullet jackets, without any lead in it, in the diaphram, and a few fragments of lead under the skin on the opposite side. Aside from ribs, no major bones where hit, and the elk ran more than 50 yds with a double lung shot.
By contrast, both of my cast bullets went right through a much larger bull, one of them hitting two major shoulder bones, the elk went no more than 20 yds after the first shot, and dropped in a heap on the second.
Cast bullets are great!!
Good luck Rimrx on your late season hunt - looking forward to hearing about the excitement.