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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Last of Late Summer at LRDC

This is my favorite German Shepard, resting in the Far Ridge Plot...oh, just is a large Coyote resting, and then moving off to find supper.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ruger 1911 10mm Vs. the RIA 10mm Rock FS-Tac II - The Shootoff...

Above are several pictures of a recently acquired Ruger SR1911 in 10mm I had intended to do a stand alone review of it's performance when a work companion offered his new Rock Island Armory 10mm for a comparison review. More fun! These are essentially twin guns, both heavy steel (RIA carbon, the Ruger stainless) coming in at 40 oz.  Both have fully adjustable rear target type sights. The Ruger has a target black front
ramp, while the RIA has a fiber optic front sight. Both have bull barrels and are bushingless. They are disassembled utilizing a wire tool to retain the recoil spring and housings. As an aside I am a long time 10mm fan. My previous 10 mm gun was a Dan Wesson Pointman Seven. I loved it. It was as accurate a handgun as I have ever shot, bar none. I could shoot it, with the heaviest loads, all day in complete comfort. But, it was a dud. It just was not ever reliable. It wouldn't feed. Then it wouldn't eject. It was always something. I sent it back to the factory. They messed with it, and sent it back. Still unreliable. Took it to two well known area smith's. They improved it, but I could just never trust it. Just as I would believe it was finally functioning  it would cough. The extracted shells flew forty feet! Wolff Springs finally came to my aid and helped a lot! But for a very expensive handgun, this was a bust. Sold it some years ago, and have patiently awaited the arrival of a reasonable priced 10mm, my favorite handgun round. And here, we have two!

The Ruger specs are below.
  • Capacity8+1
  • Slide Material Stainless Steel
  • Barrel Length5"
  • Grip Frame Low-Glare Stainless
  • Grip Panels Black Rubberized
  • Model Type Target
  • Slide Finish Low-Glare Stainless
  • Width1.34"
  • Sights Bomar-Style Adjustable
  • Weight 40 oz.
  • Overall Length8.67"
  • Height5.45"
  • Grooves6
  • Twist1:16" RH
  • CA Approved No
  • MA Approved & CertifiedNo
  • Two magazines
Below is a picture of the R.I.A. and it's specs below that.

Manufacturer: Armscor;
Model: Rock Island Armory 1911 Tactical II FS
Action: Single Action
Caliber: 10 mm
Finish: Parkerized
Grips: VZ Grips G10
Sights: Fiber-Optic Front, Click Adjustable Rear
Barrel Length: 5”
Overall Length: 8.75”
Height: 5.5”
Slide Width: 0.94”
Weight: 40 ozs.
Capacity: 8+1 Rounds
Twist: 1:16” RH
Rifle Grooves: 6
Accessories: One magazine, lockable hard case, lock and manual

Check out this repair sheet below. After the first 50 flawless rounds through the Ruger, it had continual failures to feed, essentially becoming a single shot pistol. The ammunition was 180 grain FMJ factory new. I contacted Ruger, and they did send me a mailing label (though required me to drive 2 hours round trip to deliver the pistol to Fed Ex.) As a side, S&W has any repair picked up at your door. I got the repaired pistol back in about ten days with the sheet below. I am not sure whether they replaced the barrel or not, but apparently tuned the extractor.

Now we are ready for some informal range work, and a subjective comparison. Incidentally the R.I.A. only comes with one magazine as opposed to the two I got with the Ruger. I don't believe I have ever been able to purchase a new pistol with only one magazine. However the R.I.A does have a bumper pad on it's mag, and a flared magwell, both of which make a speedy reload much more comfortable. Also the RIA has an ambi safety, full sized on BOTH sides, making this gun, with the flared magwell a 1/4 inch wider than the Ruger. The R.I.A. does feel like a much bigger gun in the hand. Note the rubber grips on the Ruger as opposed to the G10 grips on the Rock. As it turns out, the Ruger is much more comfortable to shoot. The staggeringly aggressive grips on the Rock had my hand hurting and uncomfortable by 200 rounds, while the Ruger I could have shot all day. I did not note any real difference in rapid fire grip control between the two guns however.

 My first target was set at 15 yards.
Below are two 25 yard targets shot offhand.Neither gun is sighted in yet. I do not adjust the sights on other people's guns (unless they work for me), and I will adjust the Ruger sights with the carry ammunition I select. The first target is with 180 grain ball factory FMJ.

The target shot below was shot using hot hunting loads from Doubletap. 180 grains at about 1300/1350 fps. You hold ON, when shooting these loads. The Ruger definitely preferred these over the Rock.

These are off hand groups at 15 yards with cheap FMJ 180 grain factory loads. Not a lot of real life difference.

Rapid fire, one can say the same thing. Not a huge difference. The Ruger was a bit more accurate and a LOT more comfortable to shoot rapid fire.


These are both good, solid guns, and honestly made. Both are combat and hunting accurate, though I would have to give Ruger the edge. On the other hand, if you changed out those nasty G-10 grips from the Rock, you might find the same kind of accuracy I got from the Ruger. Truly, by 200 rounds with the Rock I was flinching like a 9th grader at his first prom. I neglected to bring gloves! On the other hand, if all you want is a safe queen, the Rock will shine!

The Rock has a full sized extended ambidextrous safety on both sides making this a wide and big pistol overall. If hunting is your only goal, perfect. But if you intend to carry this about town, watch for this safety to continually be bumped off if you are at all active.

Both guns have good sights. The Rock has a more combat/hunter ready sight, while the Ruger sights are geared more for paper target accuracy. If you want nuts and bolts, I'll tell you. I want the Rock front sight, and the Ruger rear.

Triggers on both guns are good. The Rock has a five lb pull, with very little creep. I liked it. The Ruger was a full pound less, but with a bit more creep. I liked it!

Grips. If you buy the Rock, dump the grips if you intend to shoot it a lot. 50 rounds, and back into the safe, keep the G10 nasty rough grips and look bad. But if you buy a gun to shoot, and buy the Rock, trade out grips first thing. They are way too nasty. Whoever designed them is NOT a shooter, I promise.

Both guns are utterly reliable (once the Ruger was repaired) and I would have no reluctance to carry either in the field, for defensive, hunting, or other serious work.

Quality of work.
I have to give the edge to Ruger. First of all, it is a stainless gun, and while I have nothing against all the carbon steel blue guns I own, they do NOT light a candle against stainless. Machining on metalwork was fine on each firearm, but I did note that the wear on the barrel of the Rock was decidedly uneven. On the Ruger, it was exactly even, everywhere. I do not consider 250 rounds per pistol adequate break in so perhaps another 500/1000 rounds would even the score. I do have to score the Ruger much higher on clearances. The front slide to barrel movement was very noticeable on the Rock, and non-existent on the Ruger. This probably accounted for the edge in accuracy of the Ruger.
The Ruger also has the plunger spring housing cast as part of the frame, whereas the Rock has a housing that is staked onto the frame. Point to Ruger.
Pricing of these two powerhouses are (at this time) a long way apart. Ball park, you can get the Rock for about 200/250 dollars less than the Ruger online. Which should you buy? If you only have 600 bucks, and HAVE to have a 10 mm, buy the Rock. Then spend 25 bucks on decent grips.If you have the extra 200/250, I say buy the Ruger. Both are heavy powerful handguns capable of defense against any North American mammal. The 10mm is a heavy hitting round on par with the .41 magnum. There are factory loads out there there pushing 900 foot pounds of energy. Both guns are reliable and strong, with fully ramped barrels for full case support. Both are big, and heavy. Not for every day carry. But both are 200 yard guns perfect for hunting, home protection or range work. Learn and get good with the 10mm, and you'll be a smooth shooting professional with any other defensive round out there. I like both these guns.
I am glad I chose the Ruger! So there you have it!

Comments and caustic opinions welcome!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pre-Archery at Long Ridge Deer Camp

This may be the biggest Bobcat I have on camera in several years! Handsome.

Oh, the irony! Eating apples in front of my bow target at deer camp!
 But Mom knows the camera is there,
 ...but doesn't care!
 Sees the archery target...
 ...but doesn't care!
 Apples take priority this time of year. And there are tons of them once again.
 Some are a real mouthful.
 Hey, we all eat apples!
 My guess is these spots will disappear in several weeks.
Far Field turkey.
Far Field duo.
This camera is at the base of an apple tree in the far Field..
More turks and no babes!
Not as many twins and triplets as last year, but still some out there!
Next two pictures are out on the East Plot

Full alert in the mist...

Bow season starts in two weeks, but I broke the peep on my string, so in it goes to the shop. I am satisfied with my practices though, still going out to 40 yards, but I do try to keep all my hunting shots not much more than thirty. I still use relatively heavy aluminum arrows and the 125 grain Montec broad heads. They never seem to fail. Almost all the deer I have shot with this combo (at 60 lbs.) fold up in sight, even in thick woods. Bear season opens today, and I am contemplating a bait. I'll keep you posted. Our camps are scheduled, and it looks to be an exciting season. Good luck to you all! Comment and emails welcome!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mid-Summer at Long Ridge 2017

Mid-summer has arrived here at Long Ridge, and cameras are starting to show great growth on this year's bucks and fawns' This yearling is doing fine, and I hope he lives to become a trophy some day.

This fawn is on the Far ridge, and has good size. lots of fawn around though I don't see the numbers of twins and triplets I did last year.
This would be it's Mom.
Another little buck.;
Fertilizing and liming the East Ridge.
I am using a very spreadable lime that I get from Agway. It spreads easily with a small fertilizer spreader. It is not pelletized but rather named 'granular' lime.
The next step of course is too rototill about four inches to mix it all in.
I do my math and footage ahead of time just as I do for food plot clients.
Without a lab soil test, the New England rule of thumb is 2-3 tons of lime per acre. Because clients food plots are rarely an acre (most of mine are not either) I put this table together for quick reference.
The BEST method of course is to have a professional soil test done.
The two pictures below are for organizing the fall food plot plantings. I believe in rotating types of planting, so I keep good records of what goes where each year.

Below is a sample of a laboratory lab test.

Caught by a game camera!
Look at who gets caught on camera the next day...
And a week later check out this handsome eight pointer. I had about twenty pictures of this dude...quite a curious guy. Hope he remains so during the hunt!

The doe and fawn shown are a bit blurry because I was on the John Deere and those diesels vibrate!
A different pair and little one racing around for fun...

A big mouthful of Prograze about 2 weeks after planting.
Tons of turkeys every day in the Far Fields but hardly any poults. I think we had a huge wet spring die-off.
Below are East Plot photos. Moms and playful fawns.

A closeup!

Exercise and health!
Can't leave out the Pork. Not a good night picture but far superior to the night pictures my Moultrie cameras give. They are so bad that the company should be embarrassed.
I do have my bow target set up and am practicing daily. My release gave out so I purchased a Cobra 'Serpeant' and like it a lot. All my releases have always been Cobras. Wait, I've only had one. My first release was bought in 1994 and it has served me well for 23 years until the velcro wore out! I figured the company deserved another chance!
Let me know what you are all up too!
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