Each year, I try to leave the strife of the working world behind and spend a few days with my three sons on the prairie. This year two of them had to work, so only my youngest and I made the trip, but we had a blast of a time (no pun intended).
Since I recently sold my Powerstroke, I rented a 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (Sahara Edition) and will post a separate review of it a little later. We headed out from Houston at 05:30 on Thursday with waypoints in Fort Worth, Amarillo, Raton, Trinidad, to finally stop in Fort Collins, CO for the night arriving at about 22:15. Struck out the next morning for Sheridan and arrived around 14:00 and grabbed a bite, then was off to check out the hunting site to find it in good order with a moving carpet of varmints.
Hunted all day on Saturday which started with a low of 39°F and calm wind warming to a high of 55°F, but a constant crosswind (that seemed to follow us as we shifted). It was quite cool, requiring jackets and our faces were wind burned by the end of the day. The hunt continued on Sunday with similar conditions, but started with a low of 43°F and calm wind warming to a high of 65°F with puffing gusts later in the day. We wrapped up about 16:00 leaving only our tire tracks and dead prairie dogs (which were scavenged either by other prairie dogs or larger varmints) to show that we had been there. Drove down to a hotel near Denver International to stay the night, then rose before the sun to leave by 04:30 towards Houston, but venturing across eastern Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and into the Dallas area to arrive home at 23:45 last night.
For those interested in the hardware that Erik was using it is a Remington 700 VSSF which began its life as a .220 Swift in 1995 with a HS Precision synthetic stock. It is custom built rifle by Pete Pieper (http://www.precisionbarrelwork.com/
) chambered in 6MM BR Norma and includes:
-- Hart 26” 1:10 twist custom profile heavy fluted stainless barrel with Teflon coated flutes
-- Fully blueprinted action and bolt
-- Magazine block (converts to single shot)
-- Fully fiberglass bedded and custom reinforced barrel channel in the Remington laminated varmint stock complete with Pachmayr 1” Decelerator pad
-- Jewell trigger set at 1 pound
-- Pacific Tool & Gauge Remington 700 firing pin assembly with aluminum shroud (the assembly lowers lock time and eliminates the ISS (J Lock)
-- Ken Farrell 10 MOA full slot picatinny scope base
-- Ken Farrell 30MM extra high sope rings
-- NightForce 8x32x56 Precision Benchrest scope complete with mil-dot reticle (no longer offered in that scope)
The ammunition are my custom handloads loaded on a Dillon RL550 or XL650 consisting of:
-- Lapua 6MM BR Norma brass (factory annealed) with .060" flash holes which are back bored and the primer pockets trued (I do not neck turn as I had the rifle custom chambered so that I would not have to neck turn)
-- 58gr Hornady V-Max or 55gr Nosler Ballistic tips which are seated to 1.713” BTO (base to ogive)--about .004 from the lands
-- 33.5gr of AA2230
-- Federal 205GM Gold Match primers
-- Velocity is typically 3600-3700fps
A few photos and shortly after these were taken, Erik managed a shot just over 500 yards--not too shabby for a crosswind and a target the size of a 20 ounce soft drink bottle. Enjoy!