The Pickering Chronicles #3 – Building A Collection

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
― Frank Zappa

Having no firearm experience when I started to learn to shoot, I read everything I could find and watched as many YouTube videos as I could find. I learned a lot about how eclectic some firearm owners’ collections can be, and got some insight into the various categories of arms. Then I proceeded without prejudice to acquire guns in about as haphazard a way as is humanly possible. I figured if I watched my budget at the same time as I bought whatever caught my eye, I could try out this and that and, whatever I found not to my liking, I could always sell.

After I shot with my first 91/30 I bought several more: one to restore, a couple to sporterize. I did the same with SKSs. I bought one 22lr, then another one, then another one. I got a 30-06.

I took the additional firearms course so I could get a license (in Canada everyone needs a special PAL, i.e., Possession and Acquisition License) to acquire handguns. Semi-autos don’t appeal to me, but I’ve developed a real fondness for revolvers, so I’ve slowly built up a small collection in several calibres.

As noted, I was gifted a Winchester 94 built in 1981 and chambered in .375. Over several years I added a Winchester model 68 single shot .22 target rifle built in 1934 that is extremely accurate and fun to shoot, a 30-30 built in 1952 with an action as smooth as silk, and so on. I got the beautiful Uberti 1866 Yellowboy (gone now. . sob, sob) and several guns chambered in .44mag. My collection is split about half/half between Canada and USA.

My last acquisition was the CZ550 chambered in .458 LOTT which was stolen last week. Fortunately for me I was at least able to get 100 rounds through it in preparation for my trip.

I had a little trepidation about the CZ550, having seen all the “funny” videos about people knocking themselves backwards from rifle recoil and ladies whacking themselves in the forehead with a Desert Eagle. However, I never shoot from a bench and I do know how to hold a rifle now. I shoot the CZ either freehand standing or freehand kneeling and I do not find the recoil too bad.

Having said that, shooting the danged thing more than 4-5 times on a day, using Hornady’s DGX or DGS .500 grain cartridges quickly loses its charm. As noted, I bought dies and reloaded using a lighter bullet (230 grain 45ACP) and Trail Boss. Thus I was able to get out and practice with the rifle and shoot 10-20 rounds per session. I first started reloading .38sp. Recently I reloaded the .458s under supervision from someone who knows their stuff and then did the rest on my own. In future Chronicles I plan to go into details about my reloading efforts, etc.

All the time during the building of my collection I have been shooting, shooting, shooting, constantly working on improving my marksmanship with each different firearm. For that, I thank Thorsaxe and his advice regarding focus, attitude, mental approach to the challenge.

In the meantime, below is my first shot with the CZ550 using Hornady’s DGX 500gr at a paper plate propped up against a boulder in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. What you see is approximately the level of marksmanship competency I’ll take to Zim.

The Pickering Chronicles #3 - Building A Collection 1

This shot was taken from 50-55 yards standing. The tear at 1 o’clock is from a rock chip ricochet. The red circle is about 3” across.

To follow: Where I go to shoot. . .



Find the entire series here:  The Pickering Chronicles

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