2013 Convention Seminar–Youth And The Shooting Sports

Randy-Oitker-aiming-bow111412What: Getting Young People Involved in Shooting Sports
Speaker: Randy Oitker
Where: 2013 SCI Convention, Reno

Whether it is competitive shooting or hunting, studies have shown that if someone isn’t introduced to this sport at a young age, the chances of them taking it up as an adult are greatly reduced.  It is important that the youth get started with the proper equipment to ensure they have the best experience possible on their first hunt.

This seminar discusses whether to choose a gun or a bow, and the proper way to carry it, in and out of the field, and transporting it to a hunt.  We will discuss strategies that work best for young people hunting, such as using blinds, proper cover, the use of treestands, and keeping them occupied, yet quiet, while waiting on the game they are hunting.  This seminar will also discuss the importance of practicing with their weapon of choice, and to make sure that they are capable of making an ethical shot.  And finally, it is critical that they read and understand the laws that apply to the youth for the area, and for the animal that they are hunting.

Please join us for an interesting discussion on engaging the youth in a wholesome hobby.  A brief question and answer session will follow the seminar.



Trijicon Sponsors 2013 SCI Veterans’ Breakfast

Trijicon, long known for its “brilliant aiming solutions,” is sponsoring the 2013 Safari Club International Veterans’ Breakfast to be held Friday, January 25, 2013 at the Naples Ballroom in the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada.

The event runs from 8:00 am until 10:00 am with doors opening at 7:30 am.

The program includes presentations by CWO Brad Garfield, USMC, Retired–a wounded warrior, decorated veteran and hunter; Michael Petersen–country western singer and stalwart military supporter who has made numerous trips to the Middle East entertaining coalition troops; and Jim Shockey–TV personality, outfitter and hunter.

A very special memento will be given to attendees this year. RSVP is highly recommended. You can RSVP to Kristina Koeltzow, kkoeltzow@safariclub.org or by phone at (520) 618-3520.


SCI Northern Nevada Chapter Conducts Nature Club for Young Students

During the spring 2011-2012 school semester, the Jessie Beck Nature Club sprang into action again.  This year, 5th and 6th grade students met seven times to learn about many outdoor topics.  One session was dedicated to mimicking the sounds of wild animals: crows, coyotes, distressed rabbits, deer, elk, and more.  Each participant received a diaphragm call and four other reed calls, which they put together themselves.  In another session, students learned the basics about turkeys: analyzing a mounted turkey, determining how to age a bird from spur length and tail feathers, and even creating their own writing instrument – a turkey quill pen. Other sessions focused on finding animal signs, specifically scat and tracks.  Using the hoof of an elk, the students pushed it into wet soil and then made a mold of the hoof print using plaster of Paris.  After the meetings were concluded, the Club’s camouflaged T-shirts could be seen on at least one member on any given day.

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One can only imagine the impressions these students had during the Club sessions. For many, these are first time experiences, and the program has become one of the school’s most popular. The program is the brainchild of NNSCI Director Ryan Brock. With NNSCI Chapter support, Brock has developed this program into an ongoing annual event the students eagerly anticipate.– by Terrence Melby,  SCI Northern Nevada Chapter Director


Flat Base Or Boattail?

As hunters, we put a lot of thought into the tips of our bullets.  Roundnoses, spire points, plastic tips and such are all worried over to ensure that the bullet we’re using is right for the game we’re hunting.  But have you ever given as much consideration to the other end of your bullet–the base?

boattail and flatbase bullets 111412
Should you use a flat base or boattail bullet for your type of hunting? Does it even matter anymore?

In the scheme of things, the base of your bullet probably isn’t going to make any more of a difference between a hit or a miss, a clean kill or a wound, than the bullet tip, but it is something to consider if you’re on a once-in–a-lifetime hunt and want to eliminate as many variables as possible that could leave you standing there wondering what went wrong if a trophy animal bounds away seemingly unscathed.

jacket/core separation 111412
This boattail bullet was fired into a whitetail deer from about 20 yards. The core completely separated from the jacket, and the penetration was poor.

There are generally two types of bases on hunting bullets—flat base and boattail—and the practical differences between them may not be what you think. Both have their benefits, and their drawbacks. For example, when it comes to pure accuracy, flat base bullets are inherently more accurate than boattails, and that’s why you see the “short range” Benchrest shooters using them. The reason is because it’s easier to make their bases perfectly square

with the sides of the bullets than it is to make boattails perfectly concentric and on straight.

Another benefit of flat base bullets is that for a given caliber and bullet weight, they’re shorter overall, so are more easily stabilized in a slower rifling twist. That shorter length, however, puts their center of gravity more toward the rear of the bullet, and that tends to offset stability gained from the shorter length.

roundnose mushroom 111412
This is a 180-grain roundnose fired from a .35 Remington. It mushroomed well and retained most of its weight–a good choice for close shots on medium game.

Finally, flat base bullets generally experience less jacket/core separation on impact. If you think of the bullet jacket like an ice cube tray and the lead core as the ice, it should be obvious that the right angle inside of a flat base jacket holds onto the core better than the tapered inside of a boattail jacket. On big game, you want a bullet that penetrates, and that means using a bullet that stays together and retains its weight instead of coming completely apart during expansion.

I’m not suggesting standard cup-and-core boattails are the wrong bullet to use for hunting—they have their place and their advantages—such as at very long range on light-bodied game. Boattails increase the ballistic coefficient of bullets, which helps them overcome air resistance and wind deflection. The difference in the amount of bullet drop between flat base and boattail bullets won’t amount to much until well past the range at which most of us shoot, but the boattail’s better ballistic coefficient makes errors in wind deflection correction and range estimation more forgiving. Whatever loss of accuracy there is from the boattail’s inherent manufacturing flaws are more than offset by their ability to overcome adverse or unknown shooting conditions. And if you’re a handloader, boattail bullets are simply easier to start into a case mouth and seat with less chance of crumpling or bulging a case neck.

Nosler Partition base 111412
This is the base of a Nosler Partition bullet. It shows that on impact, a bullet’s core tends to shift forward in the jacket. In this design, though, the partition retains the base core.

Thankfully, bullet technology is at a point where we really don’t have to choose between a flat base and a boattail for good terminal performance. There are plenty of bullets that give you the benefits of both without some of their drawbacks.

From a design standpoint, Nosler has its Solid Base boattails that retain their cores during penetration better than standard cup-and-core boattails. With the Solid Base design, the entire boattail base is solid copper, so instead of being tapered inside the base, the lead core bottoms out against an all-flat surface.  It’s like Nosler made a flat base inside a boattail so there’s less a chance of the core popping out as it impacts and passes through game. That design also shifts the bullet’s center of gravity forward helping with stability.

Nosler Solid Base Bullet 111412
Nosler’s Solid Base bullet has a solid copper boattail base and the lead core bottoms out against a flat surface like on a flat base bullet.

There are also bullets that mechanically retain the core such as Hornady’s InterLock boattail bullets. An InterLock is essentially a raised edge inside the bullet jacket that grips the core solidly when it’s swaged into place during bullet forming. I’ve shot a lot of big game with Hornady InterLock bullets and I can’t recall an instance of jacket/core separation.

Another technique to help boattail bullets perform better is by bonding the jacket and the core.  Often, this bond is so strong that it’s not uncommon to recover expanded bullets with significant amounts of lead still bonded to the petals instead of being ripped or wiped off. Swift Bullets uses bonding in its Scirocco II line, and if you section one you’ll also see that the lead core sits in a flat-bottom cavity much like Nosler’s Solid Base bullets.

Bullet jaket and core 111412
If you think of the jacket like an ice cube tray and the core as the ice, it’s easy to see how boattail cores separate more easily unless locked or bonded into place.

Of course, we can’t forget all-copper bullets such as Barnes. They offer the sleek design and high ballistic coefficient of boattail bullets, and expand reliably without any lead core at all.

There are continuing efforts being made in the Benchrest shooting community to make boattail bullets that behave like flat bases at all ranges,

and flat base bullets that behave like boattails at long range. Those efforts include rebated boattail designs that have an abruptly reduced bullet diameter before the boattail is formed, and FBVLD, or flat based very low drag bullets that have an extremely long nose, or ogive (pronounced o-jive), for minimum nose drag to compensate for the greater base drag. I also understand Berger Bullets has been working on a method of forming boattails so that they are more concentric. If those efforts prove successful, it’s likely that we’ll see them adapted to hunting bullets in some fashion. Until then, if using standard cup-and-core bullets, you’re probably better off with flat base bullets on heavy game at close to long range, and boattail bullets on light game at very long range.—Scott Mayer


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