Whenever my wife and I go to Cora’s Restaurent in Peterborough, I choose the breakfast menu. Cora’s is a franchise across Canada (and maybe into some of the northern states) created by a French Canadian lady out of Quebec – and the very least I can say is: It’s gotta be the best breakfast this side of heaven! Well… anyway, whatever waitress/waiter shows up at our table or booth ALWAYS asks: “How d’ ya like yer eggs?” And I respond: “Over medium”…. or, “Over easy” from my wife.
Somehow the cracking of eggs has become symbolic of “cracking heads” or joints and bones in the underworld… and by times even in the “upperworld”.
<One of these 350gr TSX’s leaving the muzzle of my .458 Win Mag at 2780 fps generates 6005 ft-lbs of kinetic energy at the muzzle and 57 ft-lbs of recoil at the butt end! (In my Ruger with the brake, that’s reduced to around 48 ft-lbs. But still not for “the faint of heart”!)
When applied to the rifles I choose for cracking bones, the first test is what it feels like to my bones! Now don’t get me wrong… If it doesn’t hurt me it probably won’t break big bones! So I count on my rifles being very, very capable of rearranging the framework and anatomy of the beast in my crosshairs! The price, of course, is spite and fury until that’s harnessed!
Let’s put a face on this to make it more than ho-hum…
Confronted by a big bull moose with huge antlers still in velvet, in the northeast of our province – a true wilderness area miles from “civilization” – I was comforted by the knowledge that the rifle in hand had been kicking any apprehension out of me every time I squeezed the trigger at the range in load development and practice. It sure felt like the 40+ ft-lbs of recoil must have been at least cracking some bones! It was the notorious 1895 Marlin in .45-70 firing a 400gr at +2100 fps! But… amazingly, no thought at all was given to my bones in the mentioned incident, but, rather, to breaking some moose bones if he took another step in my direction!
<This is borrowed from the Internet, but very similar to what I saw, except the moose was closer and turned more towards me. It was also in the month of May, not October.
It was a spring bear hunt that didn’t include big bull moose! But there’s something eerie about the relationship that exists between the hunter after big/dangerous game and his rifle that comforts when needed and hurts when he’s maturing it for it’s job of coming to his rescue when a big hairy beast is staring him in the face! It sorta like a “love – hate” thing! As Solomon wrote: “There’s a time to love and a time to hate”.
Now, I don’t wanna put an ugly face on my sometimes beloved Marlins in .45-70, but I came to ignore the pain they inflicted when I fed them too much protein! Of course, you’re right… they can be wimps as well as wildcats depending on their diet.
But… I ‘ve come to “love”…naw, that’s not it.. to “appreciate”, naw to that too. It’s much stronger than merely “appreciate”… scratching my head and rubbing my chin here, I think I’ve got it! Admiration, mingled with a powerful respect! Something like my relationship with my dad… In today’s world of La La Land, where false expressions (like hugs and pats on the back, Hollywood style) of public affection are cheap and rampant, there are a very few that I deeply respect and admire. My father was one of them.
If I can’t both admire and respect what a rifle can do, I don’t want it in my gun cabinet! That’s who I am. YMMV. (And, BTW, big-bore handgunners also must have those same genetics!)
And did I ever mention my shotgun? Yeah, I guess so… Which one, you ask? Of course, the ONLY one! Many, many years past I was an inveterate bird hunter – well, not all kinds of birds, but grouse in the hardwoods, which we called “partridge”. I shot “scores”, probably. They were “good eatin'”, so my wife thought, and me too. (Yeah, that shouldabeen “I too”, but doesn’t sound proper.) Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve done much birding. Yet, my 12ga is a smooth bore that could fulfill such duties, but it was purchased to replace a real ol’ timer, the 12ga bolt-action Mossberg with the “polychoke” on the front end. Adjusted to “Improved” it shot Challenger slugs real well.
Those Challengers, out of Quebec, are loaded with the world famous Italian DGS slugs (“Dangerous Game Slug”) used by military and police in various countries. As said… they worked great in my “polychoked” 12ga Mossberg. But that shotgun sorta died under the “womph” of those Challengers, so I needed a new 12ga adapted primarily for “tactical” purposes. The primary tactical purpose being in the case of not a home invader, but a bear intrusion into my space, being that hunting bears has become somewhat of a preoccupation. In guarding my stash of those Challengers for said enterprises, I took my new Savage/Stevens “tactical” 12ga, 3″chamber, to the range, and “let one off”! That exclamation mark wasn’t a mistake… That Challenger from that short-barrelled, light-weight Stevens tactical 12ga “rocked me”, hard! I just fired one, and using the peep rear sight and front “glow” sight with protective “wings”, hit dead on – at the fifty yard target! That was good enough and I packed it in… until I suspect a big bruin will intrude into my space… or I into his if wounded and in a bad place! Do I resent that 12ga and want to get rid of it? NO WAY!!! It sent me a message of just what I want for a nasty black bruin wanting revenge! Especially if I need to get into his space…
That Stevens 320 pump gun is quick and powerful with 490 grains of hard lead leaving the muzzle at an actual1550 fps from the 20″ barrel (the 24″ polychoked Mossberg made 1620 fps), and three more in swift succession… if needed! Weight is 7 lbs within 39.25 inches of length. TE = 87 at five yards, compared to 67 TE from my .35 Whelen shooting the 225gr at 2850 fps, (and 125 TE from the .458 shooting those 350 TSX’s). I’ll notice the difference when I pull the trigger… but perhaps not if 450 lbs of black fury is coming my way at 30 mph! Either one should work… both the Stevens pump and single-shot Whelen are equal in length and nearly so in weight and recoil, but… no contest IF a repeat shot is called for at “in my face” range! That’s where “tactical” and “cracking eggs”… er “bones” may make a life or death difference!
Too much drama or fantasy? Maybe… but then again, maybe NOT!
Till the next…