Veradium Air tuned AT44-10 .25 shooting JSB Heavy MKII @ 44 ft. pounds meets eye and brain cavity of tree rat at 30+ yards - pics *Graphic*
I had just finished a little arts and craft project on the Veradium tuned Hatsan AT44-10 in .25. I made the simple yet effective and functional single shot tray from a clothes pin. It was very easy to make and I enjoyed the process of removing some material and test fitting then remove some more etc. I must say that it works quite well. That leads us up to the moment that I was shooting single shots of some Beeman Kodiak heavys (the AT44 is sighted in with the JSB KING HEAVY MKII 33.95 gr). They loaded nice and easy with the clothes pin. I had filled the rifle to 200 bar and taken ten shots already.
Imagine the delight to come back out side and , while getting ready to single load another Kodiak, I spotted what I thought was a squirrel making its way across the tree tops of my shooting area. I stopped moving. I watched the tree rat make its way across the canopy of the trees then start coming down to the high level branches that are about an easy 40 feet from the ground. I knew the Kodiaks were dead on with the windage, however, they shot high on elevation by about 1 1/2 inches at 30 yards. Since I had the single shot clothes pin in my hand I opted for the JSB MKII 33.95 and loaded one pellet.
I debated standing for the shot. I turned the scope to around 24 power (down from the 40 I shoot paper at) and found that bugger sitting along a branch that ran the same direction as the barrel of the rifle. So what I saw through the glass was the rear end of that bushy tail critter and a slight view of its left shoulder blade. I knew I had plenty of power as I had run a few strings the day before with the same pellet and here is what I got from an 18 shot string :
Average: 755.17 StdDev: 13.69 Min: 728 Max: 771 Spread over 18 shots: 43 True MV: 755.60 @ 42.98 FT-LBS
All I needed as I patiently watched that animal was for it to turn its head. I knew any shot I took would be a glance off or into its left side. Not a kill shot. I was aiming out to right at 30 yards and aiming up about 90 degrees.
Then , as if on Que, it happened. The squirrel turned its head to look my way. Since I was already aimed at the tip of its shoulder blade. I simply rotated slightly to my left to align with its eye and squeezed the trigger with the tip of my finger pad. The rifle launched the 33.95 grain projectile straight and true. I saw and heard the hit - not a rib thunk but more of a lighter sounding hit with a dead fall that happened immediately. I laid the rifle on its side.
Walked into the woods and , as expected, at the base of the tree was a good sized male. I took him up to the yard and took these shots before starting to dress him out.
As I removed the pelt for tanning I decided to take a closer look at the shot placement. The pellet entered in the left ear and (as I was shooing upward) traveled quickly out the top of its skull. I only peeled back the fur for the pic. I did not cut anything to enhance the wound. The skull felt like a dozen pieces as I moved back the fur...
I have been making small adjustments to this rifle since I got it many weeks back. Only get to shoot it on the weekends so that makes adjusting and testing a once every 5 days kind of thing. I am in the 40+ ft-LBS range consistently for 18 shots. I think I am satisfied with the set up.
By the way the rear legs were mighty good - nice and meaty!
Squirrel is delicious!!!!!!!! Fry the younger ones (don't overcook) and boil the older ones for about one hour then make gravy and let them simmer about another hour. Eat over rice or either mashed 'taters!!!!!!!!!!!!
They are delicious this time of year if you dress them our right and depending on how you will prepare them they don't taste too "gamey".
Boil and pull the meat off with a fork and make dumplings to go with the meat and broth from the boiling.
For many years I shot them for sport, then this year I decided to at the very least skin them and tan the hide/fur or go the full gambit and skin, tan, eat!
I can dress one out in about 20 - 25 minutes. Not the fastest, however, I enjoy the full circle process.
To each his/her own. I will say the head shots make the best dining as you get the whole body to eat! Quick and humane kill too...
Squirrel hunting is my favorite small game to hunt. At44 are great squirrel rifles. My favorite .25 I own is my uber accurate AT44Long qe. I love this gun more than any Ive ever shot and mine prefers H&N Grizzly 31 grain hollowpoint slugs. If Your at44 can shoot them accurately then Your gun will shoot much flatter and better long distance than shooting skirted pellets. Really with this setup the gun magically just hits most anything Ive pointed it at!