Simple Definition

Reader Mike S. sends me this article:

Even Texas Has Communists
May Day is commie day. A bunch of them gathered in a downtown park in the rain in Austin, Texas.
Not a lot of them, but more than there should be. They got very wet. Some of them tried to take over a public street and got arrested.

…with the question:  “I thought ya’ll had an open season on varmints?”

Simple answer:  Austin isn’t part of Texas.  Once you understand that, everything falls into place.  There’s a reason that it’s called “Moscow-On-The-Colorado-River” or more simply, “Moscow” by actual Texans.

Monday Funnies

What day is it?  I declare this Monday to known as “All About Women Day”.  But as befits Monday, it’s not going to be about ones we love, right Hillary?

I know, I know:
Wait a second…

So let’s continue:

And a warning that things are not always what they seem:

But to make up for that Hillary pic, and before someone does something drastic, here are a few of those “bra-less” pics that didn’t make the cut last week:

Have a nice week, y’all.

Replacement Options – .308 Win

(For those who missed the earlier post on this topic, go here first — and read the comments too.)

The general consensus, both in Comments and by email, suggests that 1.) I should wait for a CZ 557 Varmint to become available, and 2.) if not that, stick to the .308 Win chambering but in a rifle of similar quality to the 557.  I have no problem with any of that.  I’ll talk to my Merchant of Death and see if they’ll even take an order for the 557 (remember, that’s where I lucked upon its predecessor);  and if so, I’ll go ahead and order one.

Assuming that no FFL might be willing to commit to that action, or that the wait could be close to a year (!!!), let’s take a look at some of the options that are available right now (with all the usual caveats).  Before I go on, I should point out that none of the guns that follow have wood stocks;  the CZ 557 seems to be an outlier in this regard.  Here are some interesting .308 Win choices, culled from various online outlets and ranked from low- to high price (rounded).

Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range (Cabela’s, $1,100)
I was frankly amazed to find this rifle as cheap as listed (Browning is not known for inexpensive rifles, and Cabela’s ditto for its low prices).  I like it, Longtime Friend and Rifleman Combat Controller swears by his, and Browning is seldom a bad choice, whether handguns, rifles or shotguns.  Here’s the Ewww Choob video.)

Howa 1500 HS Precision (Bud’s, $1,100)
I love Howa (a.k.a “the Japanese Sako”) rifles, have shot several and been impressed with all of them).  I’m pretty sure that this would be a MOA/all day gun.  My only reservation is that this is more a hunting rifle than a bench rifle — or perhaps that’s a feature, not a bug…

T/C Performance Center LRR (SWFA, $1,200)
This is one of those “chassis” stocks (which I’m not especially partial to, but they do work for bench-type shooting).  The gun is actually a collaboration between the “performance centers” of T/C and S&W, so it’s going to be a good ‘un (I think — here’s a Ewww Choob test).

Christensen Arms Mesa Black (Sportsman’s Warehouse, $1,300)

I’m not that familiar with Christensen rifles, but a lot of the cool kids like ’em, especially their triggers.  Here’s the Ewww Choob review.

Those four rifles, assuming a scope costing around $750, will push us right up to the $2,000 budget, but I don’t think that any one of them would be a bad buy, at all.

If I get a rush of blood to the wallet — it’s been known to happen — here are a couple more (pricier) options:

Savage 110 Precision (Cabela’s, $1,400)
My earlier problems with the cheaper Savage Axis notwithstanding, I would have no problem picking this rifle because it’s a different breed from Savage’s budget lines.  Like the T/C LRR, it has a chassis stock.  Here’s Ewww Choob.

Finally, there’s the Sako S20 Precision (Sportsman’s Warehouse, $1,700)
Its price would put me waaaayyy over budget, but hey… it’s a Sako.  Here’s a long Ewww Choob review.

So there you have it.  If no vendor/FFL is prepared to commit to a CZ 557 Varmint order, these are the options available today (unless one of them sells out over the next couple hours grrr grrrr grrrrrr….).

Your thoughts are welcome.

Afterthought:   although not set in stone, I’ll most likely be looking at the Meopta 3-18×50 Optika6 FFP:

That is, unless I end up with one of the “cheaper” guns above, in which case I’ll step up a little, say to the Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50:

But it’s early days, yet.

Replacement Options

After the Great Gun Robbery, and following a very pleasant discussion with our insurance claims person, it appears that I will be getting full (i.e. replacement value) payout for both the (raffled) Boomershoot CZ 557 Varmint .308 Win rig (including scope) and my own CZ 550 (ditto), but this discussion will ignore the latter, as it’s my personal gun (whereas the Boomershoot gun belongs to someone else, so to speak).  The payout will come soon after the insurance company receives the police report, so figure on a week or two from today’s date.

Replacement cost for the Boomershoot rig looks like about $1,000 for the rifle, $725 for the Vortex scope and $200 for the hard case (which I added, for shipping to the eventual lucky winner).  If we can all agree to leaving off the case — shipping it in the manufacturer’s box — then we’re looking at about $2,000 for the rig in total.

Here’s where the discussion begins, and I’m going to need the input of the ticket holders here.

I am perfectly willing to get a “straight” replacement rig — CZ557 Varmint .308 Win + Vortex Viper 6-24x50mm, and if the general consensus seems to favor that package I will do so. Here’s what it looks like:

Remember, it’s a monster and I was getting sub-MOA groups with relative ease.  The only problem — and please correct me if I’m wrong — is that the damn 557 is out of stock pretty much everywhere I look, which means I’d have to order the thing and wait, and wait, and wait.  (The scope is not a problem — it’s available pretty much everywhere.)

If we (and I mean we) decide to get a substitute rifle of similar appearance, ability and cost but immediately available, a couple of options present themselves.

Here’s the first:  do we stick with .308 Win, or go for a different chambering, e.g. 6.5 Creedmoor ?  Here’s one such gun, from Europtic:

(They also have the S20 in .308 Win and some others, for a couple hundred bucks more, btw.)

I don’t know about y’all, but that Sako turns my crank, big time.  (They also have the “Hunter” version, which has a thumbhole stock, in several calibers, for about the same price):

Nothing wrong with that, either.  Add a similarly-priced scope to the Vortex, and we’d be right at the $2,000 budget.

Over at Sportsman’s Warehouse, there’s the same gun I got last year (Ruger Hawkeye Long Distance), also in 6.5 Creed:

…and I think my local Merchant Of Death has it in stock for about the same price.  I have to tell you, I have no problem whatsoever with the Hawkeye — I loved shooting last year’s gun, even in the magnumthumpenblitzenboomer [sic]  .300 Win Mag, and it was as accurate as all hell.

Anyway, that’s the principle of the thing established.  The question remains:  straight copy of the original offer (and wait until the gun gets back into stock), or something slightly different “immediately”?

People who already have stocks of .308 Win ammo, for example, might have a different opinion from whose with 6.5 Creed on hand — or people who might just want to try this new wonder-boolet.   Or, the prospect of that excellent Sako S20 Precision might just be too much to refuse….

I will accept all thoughts, queries and suggestions, as always.  If there’s an overwhelming response for one particular option, then we’ll go with that.  If there’s no real consensus, then I’ll make the decision.  Fair enough?