A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

First hunt with the scoped 17HMR revolver

A few days ago with the help of a B-Square scope mount I mounted a 2X fixed magnification scope on my Ruger Single Six 17HMR revolver. Today was my first opportunity to shoot it. After mounting the scope, I used my LaserLyte bore sighter to get the revolver on paper at 50 yards (where it's set for parallax). There was no time to hit the range prior to this hunt, but I couldn't resist taking it out to see what it could do. I brought a piece of paper, set it out about 50 yards and pinned it to a tree. I shot two rounds and was amazed that both bullets hit about 1-2" low and dead center! Not bad LaserLyte! Since I don't believe in target practicing in the woods, I decided to hunt with it as is.

The day started out dark and drizzly, which didn't help with that tiny scope. I hate to report that the mosquitoes were back in full force so the camo netting had to go back on. I was amazed to see quite a few squirrels today through my foggy glasses considering the lousy weather. I'm sure that if I was carrying my Varmint Express I would have nailed 6-8. My fear is that at this rate, I'll hit the season limit of 40 by next month. Hunting with the revolver makes it unlikely that it will happen unless I start getting really good with it.

A reminder not to put your cylinder up against a tree to steady yourself when you take a shot unless you want to get burned by the cylinder flash. 

As the day progressed it became darker and rained harder. I did bag one squirrel, which was my first handgun kill. When I get this gun sighted in and get used to hunting with it, I think it's going to shoot as good as a rifle out to about 50 yards.

Here's a few things I made note of:
• If the squirrel is at any distance, you'll want to steady yourself by leaning up against a tree. Be careful that if you rest your gun against the side of a tree that the cylinder isn't right up against it. I did that once and the flash came back to my hand, peppering it with gunpowder. I'm sure that if the position had been a bit different I could have been burned as well.
• The small scope I'm using has a narrow field of view. That means that unless my head and the scope are in correct alignment, the scope is black. You might want to consider getting a scope with a wider field of view so you can acquire targets quicker.
• The small scope also makes it difficult to see in low light and a few drops of water on the lens obliterates the view. I missed numerous squirrels today because of this.
• Be sure you have hearing protection on. This revolver sounds like a cannon in the woods compared to my rifles of the same caliber. My ProEars did a great job of reducing the gunshots while amplifying the sounds I needed to hear.

This is a scope for a bright, clear day. When I get the sights nailed down and get used to acquiring my targets faster, this revolver will be a blast to hunt with.

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