18 Aug

TV Guns, Scooters, and Food!

Steven K. Ledin,

I filmed 5 Midwest Outdoors "Tips of the Week" last Wednesday. It went great. It was a special day because everything went according to plans. Everything, the whole day. From the lack of traffic during the couple hour trip down, to the filming itself, and the trip home. I treated myself to a couple of strawberry daiquiris and an extra large pizza afterwards. The following pictures are the guns I used for four of the spots.

I shot a nice elk with the above setup a couple of years ago.

Below is one of my favorite guns, my Bicentennial Ruger 77, rechambered for a favorite cartridge, the superb .270 Weatherby Magnum. It shoots as flat as a clothesline, hits as hard as a 300 Winchester, and doesn't beat me up when firing it or carrying it. It was a wedding gift from a former employer. It's taken dozens of big game animals. Early model with top tang safety. On it is a Leupold VX-3 4.5-14×40 with Duplex reticle and CDS dial, ballistically matching my favorite 130 grain load. I did an experiment a couple years ago on parallax error without a side focus or adjustable objective, and I determined that it wasn't necessary, even at 14x, at least for hunting purposes. Here's the article: "Actual Maximum Parallax Error In Inches Regarding Leupold Riflescopes Viewed From 50 to 400 yards".

I used another Ruger, as well. Interesting story on this one. The same employer that gave me the .270 Weatherby called me at home on my day off and said that he has something I need. I said, "OK, I'll buy it. What is it and how much?" It was a barreled action only, first year of production. A friend of Bill Ruger ordered this and never took it. Ruger never sold the barelled actions only, and never had that year in the Swift. It was also the only year they had the polished stainless barrel instead of the later Target Grey. So I bought the barelled action, and would buy an aftermarket stock. Problem was, nobody made a stock for this newly introduced rifle. Six Enterprises and McMillan would make me one, but they would each cost hundreds, which I didn't have. So it sat in a gun safe for years. I was putting some lube on it once and My Shirley came downstairs and I told her the story. I said I was going to sell it because I never used it. She said, "Why don't you just get the factory stock if it's available, so you could shoot it?" Silly me, the thought just didn't cross my mind. So I called a couple contacts at Ruger, asking for a dinged and dented or damaged stock for cheap. I asked a few times in the next couple months, and I guess the just got tired of me, and since they didn't have any banged up stocks, they sent me a new one! So after 15 years or so I fired the gun, and the first three rounds went into a group a bit over 1/4"! I shot it with an old Tasco World Class straight 24x scope that I use for load development. Very happy with the outcome!

For Midwest Outdoors I installed one of their great classic scopes, the Weaver T-36, a simple and rugged fixed power silver scope that I think looks great on the gun. The fine crosshairs have a 1/8" dot, and the adjustments are a very certain 1/8" also.

Ruger 77 Mk II Target in .220 Swift

The last gun I used was my Freedom Arms Model 83 in .454 Casull. What a precision firearm! The cylinder locks up on this gun so tightly you'd think it was just one piece and nothing moved. My 240 grain Hornady XTP Magnum bullets are moving at about 2000 fps and the muzzle flip is fierce! A lot of gun to hold onto.

And since I had to return the Leupold and had already lapped the rings, I installed a Thompson Center scope, a 2.5-7×32. A good scope indeed, but not in the same league as the strongest pistol scope ever made, the previously installed Leupold.

Got a mulie back from Montana that I took on the EOTech Millionth Sight Elk hunt. That damn magnifier, with it's 2" eye relief, gave me my first ever bloody scope eye while shooting my elk. Damned embarrassing, and it was also filmed. After decades of warning students of scope eye, here it is, and I have a scar to show for it. Mulie turned out good, though. I just need a place to put it. Actually, I wish I had half the money back I spent on taxidermy. I'd be driving a new car.

Tinker likes sitting in my chair in The Gunroom while I work. She's a good helper!

I installed a Pelican 1450 case on My Shirley's scooter. Now it's lockable. She rides that bike a lot and has so much fun! When we ride together I think it's one of the most fun activities I've ever had with another person.

The Battlescooter in VDV mode. Vegetable Delivery Vehicle.

Out garden is going crazy and I'm giving away loads of zucchini, yellow squash, and cucumbers. Tomatoes and peppers are just coming around. All the herbs are gorgeous. Squash boats are awesome. It's like pizza bread with elk meat, and instead of bread you use squash. Delicious. I also cut some zucchini into shoestrings and tossed that into a hot pan with toasted slivered almonds and garlic. Yum! We've been eating a lot of kale in salads, and sauteed Swiss chard. All of it so good, and healthy, too!

Hope you are all faring well! Thanks for reading, and be patient with backseat drivers!


About Steven K. Ledin

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country’s largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy gunners mate, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek (pronounced “Train Wreck”), and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor not yet ready to cash in his chips.

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