A 30 CALIBER, IS A 30 CALIBER, IS A 30 CALIBER???

The 130gr Barnes all copper TSX bullet on the left works well when loaded in several 30 caliber cartridges: L-R .300 Savage, .30-06, and .300 Winchester Magnum.

The 130gr Barnes all copper TSX bullet on the left works well when loaded in several 30 caliber cartridges: L-R .300 Savage, .30-06, and .300 Winchester Magnum.

Although most of my shooting these days is with big bore handguns and heavy-for-caliber hard cast bullets at mostly sub sonic velocities, for some applications I do favor a lighter, faster bullet – and when I go this route, the Barnes line of all copper bullets with the plastic tip is my preferred projectile. Although I do like the Barnes all copper “Buster” line of bullets in my suppressed .44 magnum for hog hunting, as they seem to work similar to hard cast, again this is a “slow”, heavy bullet most noteworthy for penetration on game. The TSX is about speed – “shocking” speed – and accuracy.

I first used the 30 caliber 130gr TSX in the Federal factory loading in my .300 Winchester Magnum. I had read reports of the laser-like accuracy this round produced, as well as amazing killing power. The accuracy claim was quickly and easily verified, as my Model 70 Winchester in .300 Win Mag shoots the Federal loads better than any other round – sub, sub MOA groups at 100 yards as a norm. I had also guessed the lighter bullet would reduce recoil over a 180 gr bullet, and that also seems to be true – although my Model 70 is a heavy gun, and recoil is not really a problem. I don’t really have a “need” for a 300 magnum, except that I got a chance to buy a pre-64 Model 70 made in the first year that cartridge was available, at a good price – so why not? My first test on game with the 130gr TSX in .300 magnum was when I hit a 170 pound feral sow through both shoulders at 130 yards. The big sow simply dropped and was as they say, “dead right there” (“DRT”).

This big sow fell to a shoulder shot of a 130gr Barnes TSX tipped copper bullet from a .300 Winchester Magnum at 130 yards

This big sow fell to a shoulder shot of a 130gr Barnes TSX tipped copper bullet from a .300 Winchester Magnum at 130 yards

The next kill was not as impressive, though. I had taken the 300 on a trip to South Texas, hoping for maybe a longer shot than I normally get in the thick woods of Brazoria County. What I actually got was a chance at a tender young doe for the freezer at 50 yards. At the shot, instead of piling up dead, the small deer took off running! I found her maybe 20 yards from where she was hit, with both shoulders broken and her internals between them things of the past. How she was able to get even those two good jumps is a mystery to me.

This young South Texas doe went 20 yards after being shoulder shot with a .300 Win Mag and 130gr Barnes TSX

This young South Texas doe went 20 yards after being shoulder shot with a .300 Win Mag and 130gr Barnes TSX

For this season, hunting on my own property near Brazoria, Texas, I had decided to take a doe for meat, and if I saw one early, so much the better. Opening day was a literal wash-out, with rain all morning, but when I went to my stand Monday morning, I peeked around the front before opening the door, and there was a pretty doe about 40 yards away, almost facing me. The .300 I was carrying this day was not my magnum, but an old friend – my 1954 vintage Savage 99 lever action in .300 Savage. This has been a “lucky” rifle for me, and in the magazine were 4 rounds I had hand loaded with 130 gr Barnes TSX bullets, after again reading how well they have done for others using this bullet in .300 Savage. This doe did not run, she simply fell. The bullet entered the right (her left) side of her chest and exited behind the ribs on the far side. Since nearly all of my hand loading is for my revolvers, this was the first deer I have taken with a hand load of my own making.

This doe fell to a chest/shoulder shot from a Savage 99 in .300 Savage firing a 130gr Barnes TSX bullet.

This doe fell to a chest/shoulder shot from a Savage 99 in .300 Savage firing a 130gr Barnes TSX bullet.

My next TSX project will be using this bullet in one of my .30-06 Model 70’s.

Comparing velocity ranges with the 130 TSX, in the .300 Savage, the Federal “blue Box” 150gr load has an advertised muzzle velocity of 2630 fps. With the 130gr TSX and a “start load’ of 39.5 grains of H4895 powder, the published velocity is 2624 fps. Increase the powder charge to 41 grains and we should get 2727 fps, and with 43 grains of powder I saw 2867 fps on my chronograph. Higher velocities are doable, but considering the age of my rifle, this is enough for me!

Most 150gr .30-06 loads will be just under 3000 fps, really nearer 2800. With the 130 TSX, 3276 is easy to reach.

The .300 Win Mag, with a 150gr bullet, will usually “run” near 3300 fps (actually, 3250). I have not hand loaded for this caliber, because the Federal load has been so good, but Federal states their load with the 130gr Barnes TSX to be capable of 3500 fps at the muzzle! This is really zipping along for such a large caliber! Penetration for me has been impressive, meat damage really minimal, shock effect impressive. Besides being accurate, the down range trajectory is VERY good, making it a great long range load.

If I achieve my goal of getting a deer with the 130gr in a .30-06, I will probably next take a step back and load some in .30-30 to shoot out of my Thompson Contender hand gun in that caliber Four calibers of firearm all using the same bullet, even down to the bullet weight, is kinda special!

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COMMENTS REQUESTED ON NEW LAKE TAWAKONI CATFISH REGULATIONS

PRESS RELEASE

November 12, 2015

Media Contacts: Kevin Storey or Dan Bennett, (903) 593-5077, kevin.storey@tpwd.texas.gov or dan.bennett@tpwd.texas.gov

Anglers Invited to Comment on Proposed Tawakoni Catfish Regulation

ATHENS—Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has scheduled a public meeting to give anglers the opportunity to comment on a proposed regulation change for blue and channel catfish at Lake Tawakoni.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, November 30, in the Family Life Center of First Methodist Church at 1555 East Quinlan Parkway in Quinlan.

The regulation being considered is a no-minimum length limit, 25-fish daily bag limit in any combination (blue or channel) of which no more than seven fish 20 inches and greater may be retained and only two fish can be 30 inches or greater in length. This regulation is designed to increase the abundance of fish over 30 inches, or about 10 pounds, by reducing the harvest of fish 20 inches and longer.

Lake Tawakoni’s blue catfish fishery is the state’s premier trophy catfish fishery. Angler surveys suggest the harvest of blue catfish has increased in the past five years. Investigations indicate that almost 60 percent of all blue catfish kept by anglers from June 2013 to May 2014 were 20 inches and larger. Reducing harvest of this size range of fish is expected to ultimately increase the abundance of fish 30 inches and longer by approximately 14 percent.

Angler support for reducing harvest of larger blue catfish was evaluated through the Lake Tawakoni Catfish Angler Survey from June 2013 through May 2014. The vast majority of anglers (85 percent) favored reducing harvest of larger blue catfish in exchange for increased opportunities to catch more large fish in the future.

For more information about the proposed regulation change, contact Kevin Storey or Dan Bennett, (903) 593-5077, kevin.storey@tpwd.texas.gov or dan.bennett@tpwd.texas.gov.

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BRAZORIA LIONS CLUB ANNUAL GUN RAFFLE

Brazoria Lions Club Takes Aim on Annual Gun Raffle

The Brazoria Lions Club’s traditional, decade plus old annual gun raffle drawing (99 long guns and a new Polaris 4-Wheeler ATV) takes place on Thursday, December 10 with doors opening at 6 p.m. at the Brazoria Heritage Foundation Lloyd Thomas Gym, 205 North Nevada St., Downtown Brazoria.

The Brazoria Lions are currently selling raffle tickets for 99 long guns (shot guns and rifles) and a Polaris four wheeler. Only 3,500 tickets will be sold. Though winners need not be present to win, ticket holders are entitled to a barbeque sandwich, chips and a drink at the event for no additional charge.

The meal and social hour is from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. immediately followed by the drawing. There will also be a silent and a live Auction (with Jarrod Smith as auctioneer) for a very limited number of items and additional “Card” drawings at the event. Brazoria Lions Club members are currently soliciting live and silent auction items for the event. Items in hand at this point include: an antique cedar ice chest on wheels, a fire pit, a Havahart animal trap, a 9mm Ruger pistol, 10 barbeque plates, a twelve gauge shotgun, and dinner for 35.If you would like to donate an item to help a worthy cause, call Lion Bob Schwebel 979-236-0241.

The 100 prizes of the gun raffle are listed on the raffle ticket and all prizes MUST be claimed within 30 days of the drawing. Winners will have choices of calibers, and gauges on model drawn on hand – first come, first choice. All gun winners must pass a NCIS background check.

This is the major fundraising effort for the Brazoria Lions Club. Proceeds benefit Brazoria Lions Club Projects dispensing monies to West of the Brazos community such as the Brazoria Heritage Foundation, The Brazoria Community Library, the needy elderly, the Little League, Boy Scouts, sending handicapped children to the Lions camp in Kerrville plus many more initiatives as necessary. For ticket availability or more information, call: 979-798-4444.

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FLOWER GARDENS SANCTUARY ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING/”NAME A MANTA” CONTEST

Advisory Council Meeting November 18, 2015

The next meeting of the Sanctuary Advisory Council will take place on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at the sanctuary offices.

Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Location: 4700 Avenue U, Building 216

Galveston, TX 77551

The agenda will include updates about the latest happenings at the sanctuary, discussion about the development of a vessel permitting process, and a presentation about a research project on Ocean Discovery Day called “Impacting Communities Through Informal Science Education.”

This meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will take place at 1 p.m.

For more information about the meeting, contact Leslie.Clift@noaa.gov.

http://flowergarden.noaa.gov

Name a New Manta

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is home to over 70 different manta rays. Each manta has a unique design on its underside that allows us to identify it. Once identified, it is listed in our online Manta Catalog.

Keeping track of manta rays allows us to understand how many different animals are in the area and the different parts of the sanctuary they are visiting.

To the left is a photo of a new manta ray that has not yet been added to the Manta Catalog. She was spotted at East Flower Garden Bank in July 2015, and photographed by G.P. Schmahl.

Before we add this new manta to our catalog, we invite you to help us name her. Entry forms are available through the Angleton Library in Brazoria County where our Reef on the Road exhibit is currently on display. Stop by the library, check out the exhibit and enter the contest to win a Window in the Waves DVD.

If you are unable to visit the library, you can email your entry to laynal@bcls.lib.tx.us with “Manta Contest” as the subject. Be sure to include your name and mailing address, the name you have selected for this manta and an explanation of why you picked that name. Deadline for contest entries is November 30, 2015.

http://flowergarden.noaa.gov

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WEAVER MICRO RED DOT SIGHT

Finally got my Weaver Micro Red Dot sight in, and have begun to use it on the Ruger .22 LR semi-auto pistol. I have it mounted on the B Square receiver mount, and it looks like it will do what I want. I like the size of the sight. The view screen does have some “bloom” around the dot, but not so much as to make it unusable for a .22 pistol sight, and is very acceptable to me, considering the price of the unit, compared to a Burris Fastfire III. I really want to like this sight, since Weaver is not only a US company, but also a good Texas neighbor! The only other reservation I might have about using the Weaver is it would be nice to have a dovetail mount like the one I used on my Glock 10mm with the Burris sight. Such a mount would be much lower in profile and easier to adapt to a holster, unfortunately, Weaver does not offer such a mount that I am aware of for this optic. I do like the cover that protects the sight from scratching, or the “elements”, the adjustment screws can be locked in place, and the single mounting screw holds it securely to the mount.

A smaller red dot, like this Weaver Micro Red Dot sight, is lighter and maybe a bit easier to adapt to a holster.

A smaller red dot, like this Weaver Micro Red Dot sight, is lighter and maybe a bit easier to adapt to a holster.

A note on buying this sight from Amazon: I did not realize I was buying a used sight until it arrived.

A little thought can make a very workable holster for a pistol with an optics mount

A little thought can make a very workable holster for a pistol with an optics mount

This was an older Hunter holster fitted for a Ruger Standard .22 LR pistol with 4 – 6 inch barrel. I cut a slot in the top for the mount and sight to slide in, added an extra hold-down strap across the top of the gun, and installed an new snap for the strap that holds the pistol in the holster. Not as pretty as the $80 rig I was looking at, but much more cost effective – and gets the job done!

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ECO FUSED SD CARD STORAGE CASE

Game or trail cameras are just about a necessity for hunters these days, and keeping track of the SD cards that these devices use to store photos on can be a bit of a hassle at times. The small plastic boxes most cards come in do offer protection to the cards, but can themselves be lost or misplaced – and are especially hard to keep track of when traveling between several cameras in the woods. Instead of just piling a bunch of these boxes in the back pocket of my camera bag, I have recently begun using a nifty case from Eco Fused. A zippered bag just over 4 inches long with eight double sided “pages” of plastic sleeves which each hold 4-6 SD cards, depending on the card size, the Eco Fused case makes it much easier to manage multiple cards as well as protecting them from sunlight and humidity – even all but a hard rain. A very economical solution to your card storage problems.

This easy to handle and fairly weatherproof case from Eco Fused solves a lot of SD card storage problems.

This easy to handle and fairly weatherproof case from Eco Fused solves a lot of SD card storage problems.

With a zippered closure and 6 double sided pages of plastic sleeves, the Eco Fused SD card case carries all the cards needed for several game cameras.

With a zippered closure and 6 double sided pages of plastic sleeves, the Eco Fused SD card case carries all the cards needed for several game cameras.

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WET DEER SEASON OPENER FOR 2015/2016 SEASON?

No, these two deer are NOT feeding on the edge of a pond or lake!

No, these two deer are NOT feeding on the edge of a pond or lake!

This is what a section of normally high and dry ground in Brazoria County looked like after last week’s heavy rains! Looks like high top boots – preferably rubber boots -at a minimum will be required to hunt the season opener on November 7. Maybe a boat!

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B-SQUARE RECEIVER SCOPE MOUNT FOR RUGER STANDARD, MK I/MK II .22 LR SEMI-AUTO PISTOLS

Way back before I was born (1950!) Bill Ruger came up with a design for a .22 rim fire pistol that is still among the most popular firearms in that caliber – and still being manufactured with relatively few design changes. Although there was some “confusion” – possibly intentional – in that the pistol made by RUGER resembled the famous LUGER, the competition that lost sales to the Ruger pistol were not German military ordinance, but established .22’s like the Colt Woodsman and the Browning Buckmark. The Ruger was extremely dependable, unfailingly accurate, and more reasonably priced than other .22 semi-autos on the market – which really came to be the hallmark for most all the Ruger firearms to come. I have (so far) owned three of these fine guns – 2 of the original Standard model, and one very nice target model with a bull barrel, adjustable target sights, and nice wood grips. Luckily, I was able to get one of the Standard models back after it had been “gone” for over 25 years – and it is still as good a pistol as it was when I purchased it – used – all that time ago.

Of course, any pistol, as popular as the Ruger will spawn an entire industry selling accessories and modifications. Of particular interest to me were various sighting options, as I really do not care for the non-adjustable open sights on my pistol. In my opinion, the best option would be to replace the sight and mount a Burris Fastfire red dot sight with a Burris mount inserted in the dovetail slot. For now, however, I elected to try other options. B-Square of Fort Worth, Texas, makes a couple of mounts that can be fitted to the Ruger “with no gun smithing”, to mount either a reflex-type red dot or a conventional long eye-relief handgun scope. The one I chose is called a “Dovetail Bracket”, although it does not fit in the dovetail slot. Instead, it slides over the barrel and the receiver of the pistol, “anchoring” in the slot between the receiver and the lower frame, and is tightened with 3-4 screws placed above the receiver to hold the bracket together. Because the actual mount – which has normal Weaver style slots – sits a bit above the receiver, it is suggested that the open sights can be used if the mounted optic should have problems, but actually the screws holding it on block the view under the mount of anything but the very tip of the front sight.

I have a new Weaver red dot sight coming to try on this pistol/mount, but while waiting on it to arrive I mounted an old BSA sight I once had on a 12 gauge slug gun. It is larger and heavier than the Weaver will be, but should work – if I didn’t shoot its “guts” to pieces with the 12 gauge!

The Dovetail Receiver scope mount for Ruger Standard, Mark I and Mark II semi-auto .22 LR pistols allows mounting of optics like scopes and red dot sights without drilling or tapping.

The Dovetail Receiver scope mount for Ruger Standard, Mark I and Mark II semi-auto .22 LR pistols allows mounting of optics like scopes and red dot sights without drilling or tapping.

A smaller red dot, like this Weaver Micro Red Dot sight, is lighter and maybe a bit easier to adapt to a holster.

A smaller red dot, like this Weaver Micro Red Dot sight, is lighter and maybe a bit easier to adapt to a holster.

About the only drawback to using a mount of this type is that the pistol will not fit in a regular holster. Although I have modified holsters for optics before, There is a really nice looking leather holster on the market for this pistol with a scope or other optic on top by Classic Old West holsters of El Paso That I would really like to try.

One point I should mention is that the screws tightening and holding the bracket go in holes tapped into the aluminum bracket. I stripped one while trying to tighten it sufficiently, so I replaced two screws with stainless machine screws backed by nuts, and added a nut to a third original screw. The mount is a lot more secure after this change.

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CHANGE IN RULES FOR FIREARM SOUND SUPPRESSORS POSSIBLE?

According to a news release, Representative Matt Salmon, Republican, Arizona, introduced on October 22 a bill to be known as the Hearing Protection Act, which would remove firearm suppressors from National Firearms Act oversight.

Currently suppressors are classified as NFA Class III “firearms”, just as are Short (under 18 inches) Barreled Rifles (SBR’s). This means to purchase a suppressor a potential buyer has to pass the same FBI background check as if he were buying a fully automatic machine gun, be fingerprinted and photographed, have a recommendation from the head of local law enforcement where he resides, pay a $200 Federal transfer tax, and normally go through around a 6 month waiting period for approval – and this is before purchasing the actual suppressor. Some of these requirements (fingerprints, background check, and LEO approval) can be waived if the suppressor is held in a properly executed Firearms Trust – which is another expense. Except for dealings with officers of the trust, suppressors can only be sold by dealers with a Class III license – and cannot even be passed on to the owners heirs without going through the same type of paperwork – and the same expense. The current permitting process would be replaced with an on-site NICS background check – probably the same one required now to purchase any firearm from a dealer. This would mean purchasing a suppressor would still be subject to a background check, so that persons prohibited from owning firearms would be excluded – just without the ridiculous wait time.

This bill would bring the US into a situation similar to most parts of Europe and some other countries, where suppressor use is actually encouraged, and the devices are much easier – and more economical – to obtain. Any shooter can benefit from the use of suppressors, from target shooters to hunters – if only for the fact that external, personal hearing protection is no longer needed for the shooter or anyone in close proximity.

Although it seems illogical, supposedly President Obama has said he supports this bill and intends to sign it if it crosses his desk. His reasoning, however, seems open to a bit of suspicion, as he says it would benefit inner city youths who ruin their hearing shooting without hearing protection, so they can better get jobs. Sounds like sarcasm to me. To this end, it seems he intends to attach a tag-along legislation to pour $400 million tax payer dollars into hearing protection programs directed at “Inner City Sportsmen”.

I have personally been on the verge of setting up a firearms trust for my current suppressor to protect my heirs, and this legislation would not only eliminate that need, but also encourage me in my desire to add a suppressor to my Ruger .22 LR semi-auto pistol. It would be a sad trade-off to have to see suppressors handed out like free government cell phones to certain groups to reach my goals, but I guess in the “new America”, we takes what we can gets!

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Alabama State Snapper reporting Numbers Half What NOAA Claims!

This is a press release from the Alabama Marine Resources Division, showing that believable red snapper catch records gathered by that state amount to HALF what NOAA claims Alabama anglers landed. If you don’t know, the numbers NOAA uses consistently show that recreational anglers in the Gulf catch more than their assigned quota, and leads every year to a smaller quota and shorter fishing season.

Press Release

October 19, 2015

Contact: Alabama Marine Resources, 251-861-2882

Alabama Red Snapper Reporting Again Shows Discrepancy with Federal Program

The final catch numbers for the 2015 Federal Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) again show a significant discrepancy with the numbers estimated by the State of Alabama Red Snapper Reporting Program. This is the second consecutive year that results from Alabama’s program and those of the federal MRIP program have been vastly different.

Chris Blankenship, Director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division, said the Alabama program, known as Snapper Check, estimated the red snapper catch for the 2015 season at 1,045,042 pounds.

NOAA Fisheries’ Federal MRIP estimated the red snapper landed in Alabama at 2,355,481 pounds.

The Alabama Snapper Check program is mandatory for anglers who return to an Alabama port. Marine Resources also uses cameras at the public boat ramps to count vessel launches to help validate its catch estimates.

For the first time, the private recreational anglers and the charter boats had separate seasons in 2015. The private recreational season was 10 days, June 1-10, while the charter season lasted 44 days, June 1-July 14.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering delegating some red snapper management authority to the states under Amendment 39 to the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Red Snapper Management Plan. A public hearing is scheduled for the Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile at 6 p.m. Tuesday night, October 20. The Gulf Council will consider Amendment 39 (Regional Management of Red Snapper) at its next meeting, which is scheduled for January 25-29, 2016, at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach.

“The reason Amendment 39 is important is evident in our red snapper reporting numbers,” said Blankenship. “For the second year in a row, federal landing estimates are more than twice Alabama landing estimates. Federal management uses federal landings, which we feel unfairly shortens the red snapper season by at least half. The Alabama Marine Resources Division is better able to accurately account for the red snapper landed in-state and we are better suited to manage the red snapper fishery off our coast.”

“We hope Alabama anglers and concerned citizens will come to the public hearing. Alabama currently supports Regional Management because we feel like we can do a much better job managing the red snapper fishery than is currently being done by the federal government and get our anglers more days to fish.”

For more information on the Alabama Red Snapper Reporting Program and the results please visit: http://www.outdooralabama.com/red-snapper-data-and-mandatory-reporting-faqs.

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