Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Things I am Jonesing for

Shorter guns are more convenient in deer blinds
A size comparison between a compact Ruger American and a Mossberg 500 with a rifled barrel.

The Mossberg has a cantilevered scope mount which is more vulnerable to bumps and the barrel-to-action joint is much more flexible than any bolt action rifle. The Mossberg also has a 9 pound trigger.

The 12 gauge throws a 440 grain, Foster slug at 1600 feet-per-second. The Ruger in .350 Legend throws a 165 grain, jacketed softpoint at about 2100 feet-per-second. The recoil energy of the .350 Legend is about 1/4 the 12 gauge if the firearms are of similar weight.

There are many factors that make shooting a 12 gauge accurately difficult.

The 180 grain Winchester Power Point on the left is tuned-in for large, tough animals like large, feral hogs. At 50 yards into ballistic gelatin it has minimal expansion and a huge amount of shank left. The polymer tipped bullet is much softer and tuned-in for deer and will give still give stellar expansion on them even at long ranges.
One of the big attractions is the ability to reload the ammo, something that is difficult for premium, saboted, 12 gauge loads.

Cases for .350 Legend are dirt cheap and the bullets run between $22 and $36 per hundred. In other words, between two-and-three times the cost of reloading a .223 Rem or 9mm Luger or less than one-quarter the cost of saboted 12 gauge slugs.

Inexpensive ammo means the hunter can shoot more and the firearm becomes a seamless extension of his/her body.

The Savage Axis II, Mossberg Patriot and Ruger American are all cost effective rifles available in .350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster.

Wild Rice

My part of Michigan has large numbers of wet spots that are not suitable for agriculture. Mostly, they have grown up into Silver Maple and Ash (dead and dying). There are also a few, scattered Swamp White Oak, elm and hackberry.

There are also large numbers of shallow ponds where the fish freeze out on a regular basis.

The plant communities are impoverished because of fires, running livestock in them and succession shading out a multitude of species.

What would be cooler than re-introducing wild rice?

Obviously, the Silver Maple would need to go. But imagine what a draw it would be for ducks and whitetail deer.

It is too late to pull the trigger for this year...but maybe next fall.

Diplomat Melon

Melons are a good choice for those corners of the garden that did not get planted.

This spring is shaping up to be a cold one. Virtually nothing will be happening in the garden for the next ten days as nights plunge into the twenties night-after-night-after-night.

The advantage of melons is that they sprawl and can cover a great deal of ground. Another advantage is that they need warm soil to germinate so there is no point in planting them before June 1st. By then, most gardeners are wiped out and just want to be done. Plant the melons and then have a beer. They will spread.

Russet Burbank after washing but before being cut into seed pieces. They looked a lot better than I expected.
I was caught flat-footed this year. Consequently, there were no seed potatoes to be found by middle of April.

So, I am planting potatoes from last year. I had the hots to grow Lamoka or one of the MSU chipping potatoes. Potatoes selected for potato chips are enormous producers of medium sized potatoes that keep AND have high specific gravity.

As the great philosopher Jagger said, "(we) can't always get what we want"

The new garden has seven rows of 60 feet laid out for potatoes. I am planting at 15" centers.

A typical potato from the table
Planting the hills far apart makes for larger, but lumpier potatoes. I like larger potatoes because they peel faster but are lumpier. They also become vulnerable to Hollow-heart when they get too big.


  1. That's a lot of potatoes. Russet is what I plant also. Sometimes with a small patch of reds for New Potatoes when the summer has progressed. What do you do to control the potato beetles? --ken

    1. Most years I use Sevin.

      Some years I use Imidan.

      I have been tempted to use Bifererin ( but I would NEVER use anything off-label, even if it gave three weeks of control and greatly reduced my need to spray. Never!

    2. I used Sevin for a few years and it began to loose effectiveness. I was also becoming concerned about killing pollinators and other beneficial bugs. Out of frustration two seasons ago I strapped a small Shop Vac to a pack frame and with two 100 ft. extension cords started vacuuming them off the plants. It worked very well getting even the eggs. It is more work but I make time between naps.--ken

  2. I don't know enough about the .350 legend to weigh into the discussion. But I'm going to check it out.

    We seem to have a perfect ability to pick any melon we've grown just before it is ripe. :)

    1. The .350 Legend was designed to thread-the-needle and be legal in as many densely populated states as possible.

      The template seems to be to allow straight-walled cartridges with cases less than 1.8" long and diameters over .35"

      The .35 Legend delivers performance very much like the 30-30 Winchester which was first sold in 1895. The 30-30 Winchester is plenty of gun for any whitetail deer within 150 yards. Within its range limitations, it also kills plenty of elk and moose every year.

      So why not make the 30-30 Winchester legal? Rhetorical question.

  3. Why not the .44mag or the .357 mag. I would not be afraid to drop the hammer on my Marlin .44 on a moose with 265 Hornady flat points although I usually carry the .444 marlin for moose. In 2018 I filled both of my caribou tags with with one shot with the .44 and this load at about 50 yards. Just wondering,and no I do not file the front sight off my backup revolver.

  4. Replies
    1. My mom likes mashed potatoes. They just aren't what she is expecting when they have the skins mixed in.


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