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Old 04-29-2019, 12:53 PM   #1
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Back from The Outback

Wasn't sure where to put this, as the rifle in question (this time) is a Cooper and not a Kimber. Love 'em both, but my Cooper went for a walkabout this time. My Kimber 84M Varmint in 204 was left whining in the safe.

It's that time of year again, and when I wake up and it's a perfect sunny morning, I'm jonesing to grab a rifle and go for a rockchuck walkabout, yesterday was one of those days. Rancher friends call me for "rodent removal", so I try to do my part (wink). I've been doing a lot of rat shooting with my 20VT, so decided to take another 'small-case' caliber rifle, and as ranges are not over 300 yards at this particular local ranch, my Cooper Phoenix 221FB (Fireball) was my 'rifle of the day'. My Kimber Ultra .45 frame wore it's .22LR Compact Conversion. I always have a handgun on me no matter where I am.



This property has pastures bordered with 'islands' of lava rock and juniper. For a rockchuck, it's pretty much heaven, as they don't get shot much (except by me), have all the food they can eat, and great rock piles for denning. It's also great terrain for sneaking about with a rifle trying to not be seen by the chucks inside of 200 yards.



These chucks are wary enough to know not to let a human see them exposed, so in all the years I've shot here, it's been 90% head shots only. My typical shot is an eye and ear peeking over a rock....no body shots here, so it's been interesting and challenging in the accuracy department.

This rock pile/den has been a chuck condo for as long as I can remember:



These two were taken off this rock pile from 228 yards, prone with bipod. Both only offered 'peeker' head shots, and the little "Furball" shooting Nosler 40gr Varmageddon Tipped over A2200 at only 3,100 fps was mucho plenty for the task.



I really don't want to post excessive carnage, but I'll mention that the chuck on the left in the above pic offered me a head-on shot, my POA was right under his nose. Bullet impact was also right under his nose. What the pic shows 'looks' like it has a head, but trust me, it's completely empty, just skin. Even I was surprised at the performance of the bullet, and I've killed countless sage rats and chucks with it in this rifle and my other .224" rat rifles.

Took this walking back to my truck......



I sure do enjoy these morning walkabouts, and a sweet shooting rifle just makes it better. Love my Furball! (AND my Kimbers! )

Just wanted to share a good morning in the field with the crew.
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Old 04-29-2019, 01:05 PM   #2
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RIO, man that' awesome. I bet you did have fun. I'm proud you are still well enough to do that,
And did I mention pictures, you always take great pictures and I enjoy looking.
Congratulations buddy.

Jim D
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Old 04-29-2019, 02:00 PM   #3
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Good on ya mate. You are living my dream.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:08 PM   #4
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I like it!
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:15 PM   #5
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Nice shooting Rick, I'd love to do that. IDK, that might be above my shooting level of ability. (eyes)
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:03 PM   #6
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Thanks you guys. I don't take any of it for granted, and remember well all the years I spent under a welding hood, then stuck in an office wishing I was "elsewhere". Now I find myself "elsewhere", and try to take advantage of it (and whatever time I have left )

Just for fun, here's Ruby, one of my hounds checking out some rock chucks taken last year:



I've shown this before, but here's one reason I like to have my hounds with me in the outback....they can scent a cat in short order long before it may decide to pounce. My buddy Stacy with one his hounds treed on his property near here:



Another reason to always have your EDC handy. Another reason to have a good dog(s), besides the endless entertainment.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:16 PM   #7
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Looks like a good time, nice shooting.
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:53 PM   #8
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Great post Rick, you make me jealous and have reminded me that I have a .221 Fire Ball barrel for my Thompson Contender that I haven't fired in way too long.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chuck43 View Post
Great post Rick, you make me jealous and have reminded me that I have a .221 Fire Ball barrel for my Thompson Contender that I haven't fired in way too long.
Thanks Chuck, when you do take your Furball out, what do you do with it? Targets or hair?

Here's how mine shoots when I pay attention.....



I'll gladly share my load info if you have a need, just let me know. This caliber can be wicked accurate. The targets above were shot with Nosler seconds. My wife retired from there as their PA, so I've laid in a good stash of 'em.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:04 PM   #10
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About 10% ground squirrel eradication and 90% paper punching but I haven't shot it in a decade.
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