Let me start with a simple statement. I hate mosquitoes. Period. When I croak, if I've been good enough to get to Heaven, it's the ONLY question I want to ask - WHY MOSQUITOES?!? They got me today, more than once, but ya know what? It was worth it!
I decided to take an old favorite out that hadn't seen much range time recently, with all these new-fangled "self-loading" rifles and such...
My little backwoods baby, my CZ 527 M/CSR.
Not your father’s bolt action rifle, by far. The CZ 527M started life as a stock CZ 7.62x39mm carbine with stock iron sights and a 5-round magazine, but I couldn't leave well enough alone. I hinted to a buddy of mine that wouldn't it be cool if such a useful little backpacking gun could have both a pistol grip and a spare magazine? Since he's old school, he works with wood, and this chunk of mahogany came out nice. There is even a hidden rod of the pistol grip for reinforcement. The spare mag holder in the stock is completely handmade, and completely reliable. I just love the idea of a light carbine, in a serious caliber, that carries its own ammo but stays out of the way on a non-shooting trip. Hence the name I gave it, the CZ 527M/CSR, for Camp/Scout Rifle.
The stock was also bedded and pillared by him. All of this he completed on his own time for about eight months, but oh joy, was the wait worth it! The VERY nonstandard ten round mag, (If you look carefully, you'll see it's Mad Maximized with two stock mags stuck together), works perfectly, which is why it's my primary magazine. The rear sight is also not stock, as I didn't like the stock fixed one. Enter gunsmith magician again, and Marbles adjustable was silver soldered on bar stock and installed. Yes, that's him - if you give him three banana peels, two flapjacks, and a kitchen sink, he'll build you a '65 Buick.
The only complaint this go around was the range only 5 round magazine which sometimes didn't want to let the bolt pick up the next round, This is why this magazine is a range only - it lets me practice failure drills, too. The ten rounder is for more serious work. Other than that,...COWABUNGA!
There's T.U.B at 160 paces. That is ROUGHLY 150 yards...roughly. Oh, T.U.B. stands for Thugly's Ugly Boy, Thugly being the previous steel target that got target napped off this very line. T.U.B. got paroled and needed a job. Now that the intros are done, let's move on.
So, naturally, I gotta get cocky and shot from the standing position. I like doing that with some of the AR shooters we have, who load up their plastic whiz bangs with every device known to man, scopes that let you see a bug’s left nostril at 500 miles, and shoot from a bipod, prone, while somebody dutifully records the heroic event. This while they shoot at a steel target at 50 yards, and miss half the time. I call them Tactical Tommy. When I hit my steel at better than twice the distance with a BOLT ACTION rifle, IRON SIGHTS and from the STANDING position...well, the glares I get warm me all the way down to my cloven hooves...I mean, "feet", yeah, feet.
This time, this time I was glad I wasn't in show-off mode - things didn't QUITE click.
Don't let it fool you - that was the best group I got standing! I have a BEAUTIFUL group...in the wood...under the target...gah.
But I was bound and determined to make this baby sing for me, and she did. Note that the trigger on this rifle is 100% stock, not even adjusted. The classic CZ single set trigger is a joy to me, push forward for the set trigger and the featherlight touch on release is crisp like a breaking glass rod. Absolutely stock. Absolutely awesome. Absolutely wish I was a better shot!
Nope, no applause, that was kneeling, braced. Nothing to write home about, but fun, and I think I am safe in saying this will work wonders on ol' Wile E. Coyote if I can ever get my hunting license/time to learn from someone who has been there, etc. We are lousy with 'yotes down here, and they have been plaguing my rancher and farmer friends for some time. Don't let the cute doggie looks fool you - pure vermin.
I had some fun with the various colored cast bullet powder coated loads. I've been using the Lee 155 and 160 grain home cast bullets in a slightly harder lead than Lyman #2, and powder coated, for great effect, but my best success comes from my NOE mold, 129gr .314 bullet sized down to .311 after powder coating and gas checking. The cleanup after shooting a box or two of these is practically nil, and by "box", I mean box of 50.
She's one of a kind, my 527M/CSR, and there's been more than one how have offered cash and red geld for it, but it will be likely the last one to go, as in passed over to my son as they shovel dirt over my useless corpus. In the meantime, I'm going out to the range again!
Sweat, bugs, and lead. This was a good day.