Cooper Backcountry lightweight rifle in .300 winchester magnum
Preparing for my upcoming CA Desert Bighorn Sheep I bought a Cooper Backcountry lightweight rifle in .300 winchester magnum. My beautiful custom classic in .270 shot so well I was confident they could make a light weight and accurate rifle. The rifle is 5 3/4 pounds! Should serve me well on any sheep hunts. I topped it with my go to Leupold 4.5-14×40 scope with the compensation drop (CDS) turret system. The hunt requires using non-lead bullets so I bought Hornady Superformance GMX and Barnes TTSX. The fast Hornady rounds are slated at 3260 so was hopeful they would shoot well. My first chance to sight it in at Los Altos and while they looked promising they just did not cooperate. I cleaned it well saturday night and returned Sunday to try the Barnes loads. My first group was an inch. Second group one ragged hole. My six 3 shot groups averaged 7/8″ so happy it is shooting them well!
Cooper test target and my target behind (Barnes TTSX)
Next step is attending Kyler Hamann’s ‘Boar Sight Shooting School‘ Kyler was the guide on my first hunt ever in 2002 when I took a great trophy wild boar. He has an incredible set up with hanging 8″ steel plates at distances out to 600 yards to replicate ethical shots on game. He even has a 30″ plate at 1000. I brought all five of my rifles dialed in and hoping to see them shine at distances I might reasonably take shots at game. For the Sheep hunt the goal is to be able to shoot 400 yards. The guides at Dry Creek say most shots are around 200 but want to be ready. I did not have time to have a turret made for the Backcountry so I had to fish one out of my bag that looked close. My 30.06 for Hornady 150 SST looked close all out to 400 where it drops about an inch more. So meet Kyler at the gate and follow him to the bench and start off with the Cooper. Just resting it on bags it rings the 300 plate no problem. After a couple shots on it the plate is hung up. He also has a board next to it for a group. I shoot a group at 300 as he watches through the spotting scope. It’s about 1.5″ at 300 yards. So time to try the 400. I hit the 400. Ask him to video and see if I can do it again. So happy to hear the distant ting and know I just put a round into 8″ vital zone of a Desert Bighorn. (volume up to hear the hit)
This is a great day and I shoot all five of my rifles. The two the really did well are my Remington custom rifle. This rifle was the original bargain basement ADL I took that pig with in 2002 with a Simmons 8 point scope and factory trigger. Since completely customized. It had no problem hitting the 400 and even the 500 yard plate. I didn’t try the Backcountry at 500 knowing that turret would be off. My other Cooper with the beautiful presentation grade stock has been sitting in my safe for seven years. It also hit the 500 yard plate! I’m a Cooper believer.
300 yard group with Cooper BackCountry (shot in black .270)
After finishing shooting all my rifles we decided to try to hit the 1000 yard plate with my Remington. My dial only goes to 600 and we could not even get it to the point we could correct from. Kyler asked me if I wanted to try his Cooper XLR Long Range rifle. Also in .300 win mag. Sure why not. He has it topped with a great NightForce scope. My first shot is near target and Kyler makes corrections on the dial. I have a clear image and my second shot is a hit. And my third shot hits again! Incredible to be making accurate shots at 1000 yards. That is a long way. Kyler tells me I hit it, and near center, all before I even hear the sound. I finish up by putting a bipod on the Backcountry to prep for hunting pigs at sunset. It should be fine at hunting distances. I lay down and hit the 225 plate, the 250 plate, and then the 225 again. Call myself ready. Well we saw a couple small pigs but not the boar I was hoping for. My freezers are full of elk and deer so we called it a night!
Kyler’s Cooper XLR Long Range in .300wm
I have a Cooper Jackson Excaliber rifle on the way in .300 Weatherby. I’ll be bringing that to the range when it’s all sighted in with turret. I will definitely come back again one more time before the Cady Mountains sheep hunt which starts right after Christmas.
I added two upgrades to my Glock 21 in and am very pleased with the results. First, I had it Magnaported. I have a couple other guns ported and I didn’t realize they do Glocks. The effect is noticeable in the reduction of muzzle flip. The .45 is not that bad to begin with, the porting just makes it better.
The second mod is the addition of a Trijicon RMR red dot sight. I had it done with Suarez International. They mill your slide to mount the RMR for best fit and performance. They also add fixed sights, I ordered the night sights, and then co-witness the red dot with your iron sights. The result is a very natural adaptation to draw and sight acquisition. With practice it is very fast.
Red dot sights are definitely the fastest way for most humans to shoot a handgun. When a red dot was first used at the Bianchi Cup it was a winner and no one has won it since without using one. There is a good review on the Trijicon RMR on the Truth about Guns blog.
I tried it out at my local indoor range and it was not disappointed. At 10 yards I could put most through the same big hole. I’m looking forward to taking it to an IPSC practice session where I can try shooting fast. It won’t turn me into an open class shooter but I have no doubt I’ll be a lot faster than shooting my Production 34.
Action Shooting Club match again at Chabot Gun Club. First Stage is “Left or Right” with mix of paper and steel engaged through ports. I have a failure to feed with some new Slovakian ammo. Stage Two is “Movers R Us” another go left or go right stage with three different activated targets. Another failure to feed on my last array. Stage Three is ‘Left or Right’ variation without the steel and just five paper targets separated by two barriers. Thought I had nailed this one but a mike on the third array killed my score for the day. Last Stage is the Classifier “Melody Line”. I shot this one well although a little slow. You can hear my third round on each string is the ZVS ammo which is noticeably quieter. Will have to sort that out and just use the Remington from now on. Finished 8th in Production.
Back to The Action Shooting Club after being away for a year. I tried to ease into it going slow and of course my scores suffered for it but I shot safely finishing sixth in Production Division. Production has become pretty competitive with two production shooters finishing first and second overall in the match.
Stage One was ‘The Semi-Professional III’ another one of Len’s variations on a theme that has you contorting down to shoot through low ports. Second Stage is ‘Air Force One’ a fun stage with a nice mix of targets. Tricky movements on this one ended up in two DQ’s for the day. Third stage was ‘Accelerating Geese’ with two separate echelons of targets, paper and steel. And last was the USPSA classifier “Too Close for Comfort”. Great fun with a lot of great shooters. Am inspired to get back into it now!
Met Paul Roitz, Hunter Cutting and his son Dane up at Los Altos Rod & Gun Club today. We were there to teach Hunter and Dane to shoot clays. Dane is twelve and taking his hunter safety class so he can go duck hunting with his dad and sporting minded family. Dane was a natural. After breaking his first bird I don’t think he missed for another five or six shots. I managed to take some video with my iPhone. Was amazed at the quality and put this clip together. Viewed in HD and at full screen you can see him breaking the second bird on the doubles. Was a great time. Looking forward to more shooting and hunting with the Roitz and Cutting families.
I finally had a chance to shoot my Kimber Ultra CDP II. The Kimber Custom Defense Pistol in Ultra size is the smallest of their 1911 offerings. I had assumed these little .45’s would be extremely hard to shoot accurately. Then one day at Reed’s I noticed they had an Ultra Raptor for rent and I gave it a try. Much to my surprise it was not only easy to control but the excellent trigger made it fun to shoot accurately. They use a short captured two recoil spring system similar to my Glock 30 that seems to absorb recoil very effectively. I picked up my own Kimber Ultra in the CDP two tone model and gave it a try last weekend. This target is 25 shots at 10 yards. I was also able to rent the Commander size CDP II Pro model which was a pleasure to shoot but I really didn’t shoot it any better than the Ultra. Fifty rounds of 230 gr Hardball with no failures. Still need to try it with some defense ammo but so far I’m still impressed.
Enjoyed a great day shooting back at TASC Saturday. Instead of the usual structure they had two morning stages, one complex high round count with a lot of steel and a Classifier called “Life’s Little Problems”. Then we had a nice bbq and celebrated Len Fylock’s retiring from the Club’s Presidency. Len has been involved with the club since 1991 and I’ve always enjoyed his stages. Afternoon was a fun change with a round robin style steel challenge going heads up. I barley won my match with a tie breaker for best two out of three. I was then beaten handily in my next but at least by the guy then went on to win overall. The last stage Len had brought some pneumatic operated targets for a police training style scenario. A great time put together by the folks at this awesome shooting club.
Went To Reed’s Indoor Shooting Range to put the first shots through my Glock 21 Slim Frame in .45 ACP. I have a stock Glock light on it which slides right onto the rail. I like the controls which are right where you have your trigger finger before preparing to shoot. I put 50 rounds through it with no malfunctions. It is box stock. Easy to shoot and very accurate. The only thing I’ll change are the sights. Will probably put on some Meprolight night sights. It’s hard to go wrong with a Glock. Still need to try out Springfield’s XD. Maybe I’ll rent one next time.
Beautiful day in Castro Valley for the Action Shooting Club match. I’ve been so busy with the new job I’ve not been back since December. My goal is to try and shoot a clean match, no misses or ‘mikes’ or any penalties which I do despite it taking me way to long to clear an array of steel targets in the second stage. Some great new shooters are out today too so the competition should only get tougher in Production class. Today I finish Third yet again.
Stage One is called ‘Len’s Donut’ for the circle you need to shoot through at the start. Five hits on a small area in between no shoots. I did ok to start off the match on this one.
Stage Two is called “Which Way”. For some reason I choke yet again on the small steel and it takes like 12 shots to down 8 steel targets. I make up the rest of the stage shooting paper fast but still the time kills me.
Stage Three is called “No Donut” for the modifications made to stage one now sans donut. A fun stage I did ok on.
Stage Four is the National USPSA classifier. I think it’s just called ‘Six’. I take it slow and manage it in 5.67 seconds.