Sunday, August 10, 2008

Coyote Summer I was sitting in the living room looking out the window pondering the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains, when low and behold, two mangy coyotes are sitting there pondering right back at me. In general, I'm a live and let live sort of guy...ask the bear in the back yard. I draw a lone at animals that are a real threat — last summer's lion, for example.

I blow hot and cold on coyotes...they haven't really been an issue here, because we're pretty high up and alpine environments don't offer a lot of opportunity for that niche of predator (why lions range so widely). We have lots of foxes, efficient little predators that they are, and not as many blunt trauma coyotes.

The coyotes are a threat to the Wonder Dog, of course, so we have to watch pretty carefully. If they insist on hanging around, I'll reconsider the Farmer Frank Solution. BTW, click the "Farmer Frank" link to read Frank James' blog, which is as quirky and authoritative as Frank himself. Only Frank could write a lede like this and make it work:
Sometimes things occur in such a way you have to give credence to a kind of slot machine like karma. Tonight I was reading the latest issue of Indiana Agri-News and a column by Alan Guebert on the collapse of the WTO Doha trade talks when I was called to supper. The wife and I watch the evening MSM national news at supper so I was hit by a 'coincidence', if you will, of China's part in the collapse of the WTO trade talks and the opening of the Olympics today. In some ways the pairing of these two events reminded me (I'm not sure why) of European history, Nazi Germany and the Olympics held in Berlin in 1936.
Ya gotta keep reading, don't you? Secondly, do you know anyone else who reads the Indiana Agri-News? On the subject of Other People's Blogs, I also want to refer you to my other friend Charles Riggs growing blog, Bloggo the Dog Boy (Did I mention Charles doesn't necessarily track cleanly through the curves?). Charles is one of the GUNSITE guys, and he and I go back to the earliest days of IDPA. Here's his take on the FNH Self-Loading Police Shotgun, a.k.a. a stealth Winchester X2:
But I wanted a semi-auto and couldn't find what I needed. I took a shotgun class using my brother's Benelli Tactical with ghost rings and 18 inch barrel and liked it, but wanted something with even less recoil IF and only IF I could find one that would hold up to hard use. That ruled out most of the Remington semi-autos, unless they'd been extensively customized or jazzed up (translation - EXPENSIVE!) and even then I wasn't sure how they'd do. The Mossberg never stuttered, so until something better came along I wasn't making the leap.

Then I read on their web page about the Winchester SX2, which was being used in USPSA events and according to that writer was holding up well, as well as being faster than a greased pig on meth. They have a video on their web page that shows their exhibition shooter emptying 12 rounds from an SX3 (later, improved model of this gun) in only 1.44 seconds! Ye gods! That's a cyclic rate of about 457 rounds a minute, kids!

So when I found out that Fabrique Nationale was marketing the SX2 as their Self-Loading Police shotgun with all the right parts and in that wicked black color, I went right out and bought the first one I could find.

Subsequent experience with it has proven that this was a good thing. The gas operation makes it shoot softer while still being able to handle all kinds of loads, from puffball promotion Walmart bulk-pack light field load stuff to those nifty Brenneke magnum slugs without having to change a thing. So far it's been completely reliable, even mixing all those loads in one magazine. I have several times filled it up with #8 light field loads and hammered them out as fast as I could snatch the trigger, which delighted the other folks on the range and, I'm sure, made those living nearby wonder who was running a rattle gun over there.

It has a six-round magazine which doesn't protrude beyond the end of the barrel, which I like. The gun comes apart for cleaning in a very simple basic manner, and swapping the gas collars that regulate it is easy. It has the Invector choke system so that you can change those out as it suits you, which would even allow you to shoot skeet or rabbits with it as you chose.

The ghost ring sights are made by LPA of Italy and are the same as those used on Benelllis and other fine shotguns, as far as I can tell. The front sight has a unique elevation adjustment and the rear is adjustable for both windage AND elevation.
In shooting this gun I've found nothing to criticize. The trigger would be good on a rifle. It's crisp and light enough for good precision, as you'll note from the group that I shot with it in the accompanying post. The gun mounts perfectly to my shoulder, presenting the sights to my eye as if it was made for me and it was this last note that sold me on it when I picked it up. It's balanced well and feels lively in my hands.
Since I bought it I've added a Tacstar side saddle to it so that I have seven rounds of buckshot in the gun with six slugs in reserve. A simple Butler Creek sling provides a means of carrying it when on the range, and from the African carry position, muzzle down on the left shoulder, it swings into action smoothly.

So to summarize its attributes - it's as handy and light as a Benelli with less recoil, has excellent sights for quick and/or precise shooting, perfect ergonomics for my build, excellent reliability to date and fast as all get out!
One of the FN autoloaders showed up here at the Bunker recently, and of course I like it...I shoot sporting clays with a garish red Winchester X2 and I love it to death. The Benelli is quick like bunny, but takes a toll on one's shoulder. I think I'll be sending some money to FNH and keep the shotgun...I'll still have to have the Vang Comp treat on it, but it's a semiauto you can love...


Anonymous said...

What a coincidence! Friday I finished my article for "Police and Security News" on the FNH SLP Mark 1 with 22" rifled barrel.

Everything Charley and you said is what I discovered as well.

The gun has a certain handiness and balance that is hard to describe and is better experienced.

There is only one problem, I now have a Remington 11-87
LE set up shotgun which I no longer care for.

Walt R.

George said...

But Michael, what happened to the coyotes?

Anonymous said...

Coyotes - as a rancher, they should be taking a dirt nap. Once they start sniffing around, they will not leave for very long, and Alf is absolutely in danger.

China's Olympics - great minds and all that. I made that very point, without having read Frank's blog, to a friend last night. She was going on about how great the opening ceremonies were, how wonderful and fascinating the Chinese are. I reminded her of the huge repression practiced by the Chinese on themselves and foreigners.

Then I reminded she was Jewish, and immediately tied this "festival" into the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. It really does have that feel to it.

I have a Mossberg 590, have to get competent with that before I think about going semi-auto. Although I do have a JC Higgins Model 60, does that count??

Walt, I'll take that 11-87 off your hands,just send her along. :-)

Anonymous said...

Click on the name for the name of this tiresome line of argument about China. This is a country that has trouble building a school building that's not a deathtrap, and has had a half century of heartburn digesting a province sparsely populated by monks and nomads. Puh-leez.

Anonymous said...

Geoff said, ".....and Alf is absolutely in danger."

Okay, we can't have "Alf the Wonder Dog" in danger.


Tim Covington said...

Michael if you want to run off the the coyotes, and not really hurt them, you can do like I did when I was 10. Four coyotes came after our dogs and I started shooting them in the nose with my lever action BB gun. They quickly lost interest and headed off over the hill looking for a friendlier location.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking PS-90 with an AAC M-4 2000 for "perfect" back porch coyote control using 40 grain Vmax.

Then I read about the FN shotguns.

Coincidence or Karma?

Frank W. James said...

Michael: Thanks for the bump.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

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Unknown said...

Nice post! Can’t wait for the next one. Keep stuff like this coming.

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