Whisker Biscuit Killshot, Octane Hostage, Bodoodle Zapper 300: Three affordable and super high quality hunting rests

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2012 by Clint Hardesty

I’ve tried all three of these rests over the past 6 months and I like all of them and think any one of them would work great for hunting.  That being said, the only one I’ve hunted with is the Octane Hostage and it has performed without a hitch.

Despite my previous success with the Octane Hostage, and my appreciation for the qualities of the Bodoodle Zapper, I have to say (like many before me) I prefer the Whisker Biscuit Killshot.

Here are some of my reasons.

1) Ease of setup:  Centershot and Vertical adjustment capabilities.  This makes the rest easy to paper tune.  You don’t have to adjust your nock, just the rest.  The Whisker biscuit has clear hash marks for keeping track of your adjustments.  Paper tuning is of course, not always the “final answer” when it comes to tuning.  That being said, on my G5 Quest Smoke a perfect bullet hole on paper, matched with G5 Montecs broadheads, has my field points and broadheads hitting within 1 to 2 inches of one another.

2)  Wide range of arrow use:  I have found that I can use a broader range of arrows with my Whisker Biscuit as opposed to the Bodoodle or the Hostage.  If I have a fletching that is odd or glued on imperfectly, it still seems to shoot nicely out of the Whisker Biscuit.  It seems that when I use the other two rests, not matter how much tuning or adjusting of nocks I do, I still have 3 or 4 arrows out of a dozen that always fail to group as tight as I would like.  However, this could perhaps be fixed with better more expensive arrows.

3)  Noise:  I’ve found the Whisker Biscuit is much quieter both on the draw and release, than these other two rests.  I am more concerned with noise on the draw than on the release and the Whisker Biscuit Killshot is super quiet.  The Octane Hostage is pretty good as well and the Bodoodle Zapper can be silenced using Plastidip or the rubber silencers you can purchase.

4)  Full Capture:  I’ve never had an arrow slip off my Hostage rest, but I’ve heard some stories about these rests failing if you let the brushes get too worn (so if you use a Hostage then change the brushes when they get worn…duh).  The Bodoodle Zapper holds the arrow better than a prong rest, but the arrow can be knocked out of the rest pretty easily.  Of course, in the Whisker Biscuit that arrow isn’t going anywhere.

5)  Durability:  Inevitably you will have to change out your Whisker Biscuit, but not as often as you will have to change your brushes on the Octane Hostage.  The Hostage brushes get a bad wrap I think.  If your arrows are tuned properly, I bet you can get at least a year out of one set of brushes, and that’s a year of shooting 3 to 4 times a week (50 to 60 arrows per session).  Replacement brushes are cheap and easy to come by.  That being said, there is still a lot more room for Murphy to rear his head when using the Hostage, as opposed to the Whisker biscuit because of the lifespan of these brushes.  The Bodoodle is super durable and if properly taken care of will last forever I bet.

Again, I like all three rests.  I think the Bodoodle may be the most capable of shooting super tight groups, but that is if you are shooting higher end arrows with great fletching jobs etc, etc.  I’ve also found the Hostage is extremely accurate and consistent.  But honestly, I’ve never seen much of a difference in accuracy with the Whisker Biscuit and it is very capable of 2 to 3 in. groups at 40 yards with G5 Montecs (I haven’t shot any further than that with broadheads).

Here’s a field test for you:  Grab a half dozen “entry level” arrows (Victory V600) and shoot all of them out of each of the three rests and see which rest gives you the most consistent groupings.

Any questions?

Kill Shot Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rest

BoDoodle Zapper 300 Arrow Rest, Right Hand, Black.

The Bodoodle Zapper 300 goes for about 40 bucks at http://www.bowhunterssuperstore.com/bodoodle-zapper-arrow-rest-right-hand-black-p-1866466.html?osCsid=bc2fd2d21d4086b052294ae5be73fdc3

The Octane Hostage goes for about 40 bucks at http://www.huntersfriend.com/products/arrow_rests/hostage.html

The Whisker Biscuit Killshot goes for about 50 bucks at http://www.lancasterarchery.com/trophy-ridge-whisker-biscuit-kill-shot-rest.html

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Samick Sage: A Good Way to Get Started

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2012 by Clint Hardesty

If you are looking to get into Archery or if you’ve been shooting Compound bows for years and are curious about traditional archery, then you might consider getting your hands on a Samick Sage:  http://www.3riversarchery.com/product.asp?i=2490X

Samick is a South Korean company and if you follow competitive archery at all, you know that the Koreans are arguably the best recurve shooters in the world.

First off, the Samick Sage is usually priced around 140.00.

Second, it’s a real nice shooting bow and I’ve put thousands of arrows through mine with no problems whatsoever.

Third, it’s a take down so it’s great for camping, long treks etc. It’s also got bushings for an elevated rest, sights, stabilizer and can be set up as a real sweet bowfishing rig.

Now, if you’re thinking of going hunting next fall with your Sage, you better buy it now and get to practicing, especially if you think you’re going to go traditional and shoot instinctively.  It can take years to get accurate enough to make a humane kill shooting instinctively and heck some people never attain the necessary skill.  So if by next fall you still can’t consistently group arrows in a pie plate at 15 yards then slap a sight on your Sage and shoot it that way (I can hear the purists gasping).

Finally, this thing is just plain fun to shoot.  First thing I do when I get off work (especially once deer archery season ends) is go out back and put some arrows downrange.

So again, if you are thinking of getting into archery or traditional archery, this may be the bow for you:

 

(Also check out the PSE Mustang http://www.pse-archery.com/products/category/445.5.1.1.16352.40945.0.0.0#.TyF-0KWmhIE)

PSE Stinger: Maybe the Best Deal Going

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2011 by Clint Hardesty

I used to shake my head when I heard of folks paying 1100 or 1200 dollars for a bow.  I guess I still sort of do, but I understand it and heck if I had the money I’d probably do the same.  In fact, if I could afford it I’d probably buy the top of the line bows from all the current bow manufacturers.  I could totally see myself collecting traditional bows and compound bows the way Jay Leno collects cars.

But you know what, I don’t have that kind of money and never will and chances are you won’t either.  Most of us are looking for a bow that shoots extremely well, doesn’t have to be tuned every month, and one that will hold up under normal use and abuse.  Oh and we also want this in a bow we can afford and be proud to carry into the woods or into camp.

Well, as some of you may know, the PSE Stinger is, in my view “that” bow:  http://www.huntersfriend.com/2011_PSE_Stinger_Best_Bow_for_the_Money/discount_bowhunting_compound_bow_package.htm

Of course, there are other great shooting and affordable bows out there (Diamond Outlaw comes to mind:  http://www.huntersfriend.com/2011_Diamond_Outlaw_Bow/best_bow_for_the_money_outlaw.htm), but most PSE Stinger owners will tell you there isn’t  a better bow out there…even if  you’re willing to pay 200 or 300 dollars more.

But don’t just listen to the biased owners, listen to the guys and gals that work in the Archery Pro Shops.  I’ve never heard a single one say a bad word about the PSE Stinger.

Now there is always the possibility that a certain bow will be great for one person and not for another, so I would highly recommend that you go and shoot the Stinger and see what you think.  I will say that I shot it and the Diamond Outlaw quite a bit, and while I love the Outlaw, I loved the Stinger more.

The PSE Stinger is about 14 FPS slower than the Diamond Outlaw, but for the vast majority of bowhunters this won’t make a difference in your ability to harvest game.

While the Outlaw is faster due to it’s aggressive cam (it’s also 100 dollars more), the draw cycle on the Stinger is smoother due to it’s less aggressive cam.

I have a bad shoulder so the smoother draw cycle was more important to me than the additional 14 FPS.

The PSE Stinger is by all accounts bulletproof.  Hunter’s Friend (hands down the best online retailer of Archery equipmenthttp://www.huntersfriend.com/) posted on their website that of the hundreds and hundreds of PSE Stinger’s they’ve sold, they’ve never had one returned for warranty service.

There’s a lot more I could say about this fabulous bow, but instead of reading about it, you should go out and shoot one.  Now, there is the possibility you may have a hard time finding one.  If they don’t have one at your nearest Archery Pro-Shop, Cabela’s, or Bass Pro, then you should look into getting one at Hunter’s Friend.  They are amazing; amazing customer service, free-shipping on all orders over 200 bucks.  Hunter’s Friend also has a “Ready to Hunt” package that will set you up with a fully tuned and outfitted bow, custom built and fitted arrows, mechanical release, bow case, broadheads, field points and more for a hundred dollars above and beyond what you would pay for just the bow package.

I have the 2011 Stinger, and while I still love my old PSE Custom Built Bow (Custom built for some guy that pawned it), the Stinger is becoming my favorite bow.

But look out, the 2012 Stinger is out and word is it’s even better:  http://www.huntersfriend.com/2012_PSE_Stinger_3G/best_compound_bow_for_the_money.htm

Benjamin Sheridan 392: When your favorite .22 is a pellet rifle

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2011 by Clint Hardesty

I absolutely love this rifle.  Is it my favorite .22?

I first started looking into this rifle after I read a blog about survival weapons.

As I’ve stated elsewhere and as been stated ad infinitum elsewhere, the Ruger 10/22 is a great weapon for a survival situation.  So there I was, reading this survival blog about how great the Ruger 10/22 is when I came upon another entry that was talking about what a great survival weapon a pellet rifle can be.  I won’t bore you with the details (quiet, cheap cheap cheap ammo, can take squirrels, rabbits, ducks).  You can check them out here:  http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/featured-wilderness-survival-blog-entries/4-reasons-to-add-a-pellet-air-gun-to-your-survival-gun-arsenal/

Anyway, I pondered the purchase for a couple of weeks (which is pretty good for me).  However, an Academy gift card pushed me over the edge and I got one (they go for about 120-130 dollars).  “120 dollars for a pellet rifle?”  You say.  I say “Yes, and worth every penny!”.

If you can’t tell from the picture above, this thing is beautiful.  Beautiful wood stock and brass barrel (all wood and all metal…quite an anomaly these days) and if taken care of it should be the kind of rifle you can hand down to your kids.

This thing is accurate and packs a punch.  You need to put some rounds through to get it broken in as well as get your arms used to pumping the thing.  I promise you it’s worth every pump and every hand callous.  You should also clean out the black paint overspray at the end of the barrel with some nail polish remover or acetone as this will keep the black paint from messing with your accuracy.

I have found that 4 or 5 pumps is perfect for backyard plinking.  I haven’t been out squirrel hunting with it yet but I’ll be sure and provide a report.

Did I mention it’s a .22?  You can get a 500 count tin of the .22 Caliber Crosman Premier Hollow Points for 7 bucks at Wal-Mart.  Academy has the Benjamin pellets for 10 dollars.

This thing is a real hoot, especially if you live within city limits and can’t walk out on to your back porch and shoot your .22 rifle….legally.  That being said, this rifle is not a toy.  If you are going to be shooting this rifle in your backyard, build yourself a thick back stop and get yourself a good pellet target/trap.  Be careful!

So…is it my favorite rifle?  Right now it’s definitely in the hunt.  I took it out to the Lexington WMA and walked around with it.  It was too late in the 108 degree day to see much, but I had a blast shooting cans and it was fun as hell to be walking around in the woods with a kick ass pellet rifle.  I can’t really explain with words why it was so cool, it’s just something you’ll have to try out yourself.

 

Ruger 10/22 Carbine: The #1 Semi-Automatic .22 Rifle For All Occasions (Part One)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2011 by Clint Hardesty

First of all, it’s pretty affordable:  $197 dollars at Wal-Mart or Academy.

The Marlin 795 ($129) and the Marlin 60 ($139) are less expensive and many will tell you that the Marlin, with it’s micro-groove barrel, is more accurate.  However, I will tell you the accuracy differences, in my experience, are negligible especially if you are using your rifle for plinking (recreational shooting of cans, bottles, and other targets), varmint control, or small game hunting.  Now if you are doing some bench rest shooting with your stock Marlin you might see some more marked differences, but the last time I checked there aren’t too many competitive .22 Caliber bench rest shooters using stock  Marlin 60’s or 795’s or stock Ruger 10/22’s (and of course the Ruger 10/22 is incredibly modifiable: aftermarket stocks, triggers, barrels if you want to make it into a competition rifle…you  name it where as the Marlin rifles…not so much)

Check out this guy shooting a silhouette at 200 yards with an out of the box Ruger 10/22: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds0IOBjF_FQ

So again, as far as accuracy is concerned most marksman, small game hunters, and plinkers are likely to see little difference in accuracy when using stock out of the box Ruger 10/22’s or Marlins and yet, if you want to make your Ruger 10/22 into something you could use to compete in bench  rest competitions (target barrel, new trigger group), or tactical run and gun competitions you can do that.  But you can’t do nearly as much with the Marlins or any other Semiautomatic .22 Rifle for that matter

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The Ruger 10/22 Carbine is extraordinarily dependable.  It’s construction, in my opinion, seems far more durable and solid than that of the Marlin 795.  Take down and reassembly is also simple and straightforward.  Ruger also has loaded disassembly, cleaning, and reassembly videos on You Tube.  This is a great plus for the first time Ruger 10/22 owner.

The Ruger 10/22, in my experience, is far less finicky when it comes to Ammo than just about every other semi-auto out there.  My Ruger 10/22 will eat anything I feed it.  I use Federal 550 for most of my shooting, but I’ll use CCI Minimags for zeroing and hunting.  I’ve yet to experience any misfires, failures to feed or eject…nothing zero nada.  I’ve also used Remington Golden Bullets with a lot of success.  They are a little dirty however and leave gold dust on everything.

On the other hand the Marlins can be quite a bit more picky when it comes to ammo.  This is a big issue for me.  If I’m going to the range I definitely prefer putting 550 rounds down range for $15.47 over putting 550 rounds of CCI MiniMags down range for $36.  Now I’m not saying Marlins or other .22 rifles won’t shoot the cheap stuff, but in my experience and from what I’ve heard and read from others a clean Ruger 10/22 will perform more reliably and consistently on the cheap stuff, than any other semiautomatic .22 out there.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the Marlins.  They are outstanding rifles and they are outstanding rifles for the money.  However, in regard to what I want, look for, expect in a .22 caliber rifle I prefer the Ruger 10/22.

Good accuracy, dependability, and the ability to shoot inexpensive ammunition make the Ruger 10/22 a great survival rifle.  An enormous capacity for modifications and upgrades also makes the Ruger 10/22 a great survival rifle.

A Butler Creek folding stock combined with the easy removal of the Ruger 10/22 barrel makes for a great “takedown” rifle that be stored easily inside a backpack or bugout bag.  What’s more, with the plethora of aftermarket parts available for the Ruger 10/22 there are probably more spare Ruger 10/22 parts floating around than any other .22 Rifle ever made.  This will make getting spare parts for your Ruger 10/22 during the Zombie Apocalypse much easier.

To be continued….

#1 Thing to Do When You Can’t Shoot Your .22 Rifle

Posted in Uncategorized on July 11, 2011 by Clint Hardesty

Full Image

Okay….maybe it’s not the “number one” thing to do, but it’s up there.  “What are you talking about?” you ask.  I’m talking about shooting your BB gun.

I really miss living in the country.  Granted, my current residence is not located in a heavily urban smog infested city hell, but I still am not able to walk into my backyard and shoot my rifle or walk half a mile to a farm pond for fishing.  No, I have to drive about 30-40 minutes to my folks property to do that (Thank God in heaven they’ve hung onto that land.  I should shut up with my complaining and just be thankful).

Unfortunately, I could not convince my wife to relocate to the country and for better or worse I simply do not have the time or the permission to drive out to my folks every night.  So what do I do when I really really want to feel the satisfaction of a well placed shot or the joy of proper execution of marksmanship fundamentals??  I walk into my backyard with my Marlin Cowboy Lever Action BB Gun and light up some empty beer cans and retired action figures (I hope that stuff in Toy Story is make believe).

Maybe I’ve grown old or uninteresting or both, but there are fewer things more fun than to me than lining up a row of empty PBR Cans and some Happy Meal toys my kids never play with and doing some cowboy action bb shooting (I like to keep some full PBR cans with me as well…not to shoot though).

What’s more it’s a great way to spend some time with my boy.  He with his Daisy Red Ryder and me with my Marlin makes for some great father son time.  Shooting a BB gun with Dad is how I and who knows how many others learned to shoot.

Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to set up a safe little BB Shooting Range in your back yard, especially if you’ve got a wooden fence.  There are also some  good BB/Pellet Traps you can purchase for relatively cheap:Gamo Cone Pellet Trap

Depending on your house, you might even be able to set up a safe and fun range inside.

If your in the market for a good replicaesque BB Gun but don’t want a Red Ryder or already have a Red Ryder check out the Marlin Lever Action BB gun.  They have them at Academy for 34.00 dollars or you can get them at Amazon for about the same price:  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B003XDYZIO/arjibakoh3-20

It’s almost entirely made of wood and metal and it’s a little more powerful than the Red Ryder and seems to be a tad more accurate.  It is very cool and makes for some good cheap fun.

2 Bolt Action .22 Rifles: Savage Mk II vs. Marlin XT-22

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2011 by Clint Hardesty

So you’re in the market for a reasonably priced .22 Rifle.  First question:  “What are you going to use it for?”

If you are looking for an extremely accurate reasonably priced rifle for hunting small game or for pretending you are a sniper, then you should consider the Savage Mk II or the Marlin XT-22

First things first….price.

Savage MkII F Synthetic Stock with Accutrigger (more on this later) is going to run you about 180.00: http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/models/

The Marlin XT-22 Synthetic Stock with Pro-Fire Adjustable trigger (more on this later) will probably run you about 189.00:  http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/xt/XT22.asp

Model XT-22

The Savage has a 21″ barrel.  The Marlin has a 22″ barrel.  This means you may sacrifice a little portability for increased accuracy (The Ruger 10/22 has an 18.5 inch barrel and it is very accurate).  Of course there are other things that contribute to accuracy, one of the big ones however is trigger pull.

Both of these rifles offer an adjustable trigger ranging from around a 3 pd. pull to a 6 pd pull.  A lighter trigger pull lessens the likelihood that the force of your “squeeze” will move your sight picture.  The adjustable trigger will not completely make up for bad fundamentals, but add this technological innovation with the application of good trigger pull principles and you got yourself something pretty special.  The trigger feature on both of these models is a real asset particularly when it comes to hunting and/or impressing your friends with your decimation of a empty beer can from 225 yards away.

Both rifles come with sling mounts, a feature often and unfortunately overlooked when considering the purchase of a rifle.  The proper use of a sling can greatly increase your accuracy when shooting from various positions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Y67Jkfu48  Also, the sling mount make it easy to add a bipod.  A modification that is worth the cost just for getting your rifle zeroed.

Both rifles are magazine fed (Marlin also has a tube fed model XT-22R).  The Savage magazine will hold ten rounds.  The Marlin mag will hold 7

There is a whole lot more that can be said about each of these rifles.  Both Marlin and Savage are industry standards when it comes to firearms production and they’ve both been around quite sometime.  It’s hard to imagine anyone not being pleased with the purchase of either one of these fine weapons, in fact I’ve yet to read/watch a negative review of either.

I’d probably give the Savage the slight edge, just because the Mk II with the Acutrigger has been around for several years, where as the Marlin XT-22 Pro-Fire Trigger just came out in 2011 (The XT is basically the Marlin 925 with the Pro-Fire Adjustable Trigger).  But again it’s hard to go wrong with either one.  The best thing to do would be to find a retailer and hold each rifle in your hands for a while and let em speak to you….you’ll know what to do.