Mar 8, 2010

Is there a message here?

I listen to a lot of music. All types. My CD rack (yes, I still buy CDs occasionally) starts with Abba and ends around ZZ Top, making swings past the Highwaymen, Billy Joel, and Tupac along the way.

Here in the hill country, though, there's only four or five radio channels strong enough to listen to regularly. One classic rock. One country. One college modern/alt-rock. One rock with some other stuff. And the obligatory NPR. Since cancelling satellite radio last year, I mostly switch between country and classic rock, channel-surfing as ads get played.

Sunday mornings, the country station does a "classic country" show - older stuff, Highwaymen era and before, mostly. This morning as I was driving home, they punched up one I hadn't heard before: Marty Robbins' "Big Iron". (Link pops up short clip.) I enjoyed it. Good tune, solid traditional country story (Old west gun fights!), good voice. Filed away under "might buy an MP3 at some point".

Tonight, driving to work, whatever channel I was listening to started babbling crap advertisements so I punched over to the "rock and some other stuff" which plays a live-from-a-local-cafe folk music show on Sunday nights. Sometimes enjoyable, sometimes less. Tonight's act was Seamus Kennedy, a good Irish lad who tours the world with his music. He was just introducing his set in a thick Irish brogue, so I kept listening - I have yet to run across an Irish or Scottish act that isn't worth listening to for at least a few songs.

He started right in with "Big Iron".

Hang on. Obscure song, from someone I'd never heard before, played on two different radio stations (of two different genres!) from two different singers ... within sixteen hours? Weird, man. Maybe I should grab a lotto ticket on the way home... (Side note: the rest of the set that I heard was great, next time he swings through town, I'll try to go listen to him live.)

But, speaking of Big Iron, the last issue of "American Rifleman" has a cover story about the new Savage Model 10 in .338LM. It's not a cheap rifle, clocking in just shy of 2k without any optics or accessories to speak of, but that's still a bargain price for a 1,000-meter platform. I skimmed the article, and looked over the shooting results - and was stunned. They were talking about this thing being accurate, but were showing groups (perhaps "patterns" is more accurate?) of 3-4 inches, with one ammo (a 250gr match load, IIRC) turning in a "smallest" of 1.3 inches or so. I couldn't believe that this 1,000m-capable rifle, from a company known for accuracy, chambered for an accurate cartridge, was turning in such lousy groups.

Until I read closer. The standard distance for testing a rifle for accuracy is 100m(yd). The NRA tested this one at 300yd.

A 1.3" group at 300yd works out to a hair over 1/3MOA. From a $2000 rifle. You can spend five times that much on a custom-made target rifle that won't shoot as well.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: for the dollar, it's almost impossible to beat a Savage rifle for accuracy. Whether it's a Model (1)14 or (1)11 for hunting, or a 10 or 12 for precision shooting, or a MkII for plinking and small game, you can't beat the price, and they are competitive.

I'd put another Savage (114 American Classic in .270) in my safe before another Remington 7-series.

No comments: