By The Ole Hedge Creeper
I keep getting asked to write some technical articles about rifles ammo and ballistics etc, but quite simply that’s not my bag at all, it’s not because I can’t write them it’s quite simply I get bored to tears writing them, when Greg said er mucker how about you write an article about the 17HMR and get a bit technical with it I said nope not on your Nelly as I would get bored not finish it and well just bugger off out shooting.
I decided I would write one about the 17HMR but in my usual train of thought whilst out actually doing the job and using it, well it all started off when farmer called me and said the weather has held the harvest back and they can’t get up on the hill ground to finish the spring barley harvest, that coupled with combine harvester trouble has really held them back.
Now being the very last seed crop in the area and the fact that the rain and the wind had flattened it the pigeons and corvids were playing havoc with it, I have been so busy with the many other farms (14,000 acres) I look after this small crop of no more than 30 acres had slipped under my radar, when farmer requested my services saying his crop had turned blue I jumped straight into action.
Now many of you know I am a champion of the young sports and indeed head up Pass It On Young Sports, this was also the perfect time to get two of my young sports out in the hides etc and get their eye in with the shot guns, young sport David with the 20 bore little Jen, I tell you that boy is a surgeon with that little gun and for a left hander shoots brilliantly and naturally too, young sport Jake many of you will know as my little protégé he loves it all from ferreting to shooting from air rifles to fishing, the boy is a pure natural no matter what field sport he takes part in.
Jake did exactly what I taught him right down to the letter, it was like watching an old pro shoot as the dog and I sat there all wide eyed as each bird dropped in to the decoy pattern, bang then a puffs of feathers after each bird fell the bag began to grow as he took a jackdaw in fine style, even a squirrel made the mistake of coming out on a branch Jake bagged that too, well Jake had fired his 2 boxes of cartridge’s and had accounted for a fair few birds, for a young man who has only been shooting for a year he shoots remarkably well.
The dog and I cleared up the shot birds and the squirrel whilst Jake packed the hide up and collected the decoys in, we picked up 15 pigeons 1 jack daw and a squirrel, there were other heavy hit birds that fell in the wood but alas the vegetation was so thick neither I or the dog could get to them so the foxes and badgers will eat well this night I thought, Jake was over the moon and was smiling like a Cheshire cat, and so he should be he shot very well, farmer pulled up to check the crop as he was going to cut it the very next day, I don’t think he could have been more happy, he also took some pigeons for the pot so a good day all round.
HMMMMM I know let’s use the 17HMR and take the birds at 200 yards and to make it more of a challenge and not use decoys and shoot from the truck not from a hide, yes that’s the sort of challenge I was looking for, you see I am not really a fan of the 17HMR I much prefer a 22 rim fire, quieter the rounds are cheaper and I like to test my stalking skills so you have to get much closer, the 17 also does not like the wind much so this I thought would be the challenge as the wind whips through that valley on the hill like a wind tunnel.
I pulled on to the first of the 3 fields the odd pigeon here and there nothing to write home about, farmer also said I should shoot with a magnum with that little pee shooter so I went and got a mint magnum and munched that, not sure if that’s what he meant but it did freshen me up with a minty fresh flavour.
All in all a great day but my verdict is still out on the 17HMR as I am still a 22 rim fire fan but the 17HMR is growing on me slowly, I just wish it was more quiet and the rounds were cheaper, please keep the letters and emails coming in Greg and I try to get back to you all, until the my next offering of scribble’s and rambling’s may I wish you all a proper job muckers.
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
Aka Rob Collins