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The .30-30 Ackley Improved Contender Strikes!

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 27,452 Senior Member
Got called yesterday from a Rancher friend of mine to come cull a deer off the ranch this evening. Who am i to say no to that?

Met him at the gate at 4:00 and he told me where to go. Got set up next to a food plot about 4:20 and the wait began.

I'd brought the Contender in .30-30 AI and a new rest I'm playing with.

IMG_4916_zps12013032.jpg

It's something I've had around for awhile and it's designed for rifles. Or.............it was. I slightly modified it to accept Specialty Pistols and................oh wow..........this thing is AWESOME!!!!! About as good as shooting from a bench. It's rather quickly adjustable and rock solid. Disadvantage..........it ain't light.

Anyway, I built a ground blind tucked back in the bushes to overlook the food plot and a feeder on the far side.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1412_zpsb1e8c090.jpg

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1415_zps46b4b8dc.jpg

Placed my Redhawk on my ruck..........just in case a deer decided to come out right in front of me. You know...........self defense.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1414_zpsa83de4fc.jpg

About 5:00, these two does came out. A big one and a younger one. Nothing had been said by my friend as to what he wanted me to shoot. But, I assumed it was the same as last year and that he wanted mature does taken. So, I planned to take the larger of the two does. Problem is.........she wasn't having any of that. See how she is rather intently staring off into the brush?

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1417_zps04048dbd.jpg

I don't know what she was looking at, but she wasn't too keen on it. She wouldn't stand still and kept going back into the brush. Of course, the smaller doe stood perfectly still forever. But, not the big one. They both finally disappeared into the brush and the wait began again. I was actually fine with it as I wasn't really in a hurry and honestly.........if I didn't get a deer this trip..........I'd get to come back again. That, is kinda what I wanted. I just enjoy being out hunting. Even if I don't take game.

About 5:35, this big boy walked out from my left and started walking across the field.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1418_zpsa5e46fb8.jpg

Nice buck, I thought. But, I'm not allowed to shoot nice bucks here. So, I just sat and watched him. Then he stopped and looked off into the brush.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1419_zpsaa21ef4d.jpg

When he turned to his left, I got a look at his off side antler. Hey wait!!!! He only has a FORK on his left side!! No brow tine and no other points!! With 4 on the right and 2 on the left.........that's a cull buck!

I quickly called my rancher friend and described the buck to him. "Take him", was his response.

Didn't have to tell me twice.

I quickly discovered what the buck was looking at as two does entered the field in front of him. He perked up and started following the does around in circles. I tracked him in the scope as the rest swivels flawlessly. Finally, with his left side presented and slightly quartering away............he stopped walking at 197 yards. I locked the rest and exhaled.............."BOOM!"

The Contender recoiled as it sent a 125gr Hornady SST across the field. Coming out of it's slight recoil, I reacquired the buck quickly as he came down from a jump and gathered himself to run. Turning to his right, he began what I knew was a frantic death run off into the brush. Not going around bushes, but plowing through them. Oh yeah, he was mine.

I gathered my Contender and camera, put the Redhawk in it's holster, and walked across the field to the point of impact.

No blood. I wasn't too worried, there were tracks and I was pretty darn sure it was a good hit. After about 10 yards, the faucet opened and the blood trail became a highway.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1421_zps9d1c9e38.jpg

15 more yards into the brush and..................

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1420_zpsb8bc60b0.jpg

D-U-N............Done. He's traveled a total of 25 yards before expiring................from a .30-30 AI............at 197 yrds. That's pretty cool.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1426-Copy_zps7cd5d761.jpg

As the sun set, I took pictures and smiled like a boy at Christmas.

See, I don't own property and don't have a lease. I rely on the generosity of friends to allow me to cull deer and hogs for them. I don't get to shoot big bucks. Those are for the owners, clients, and paying customers. There are some monsters on this place! But, I am tickled pink to take this buck. He is the biggest bodied whitetail I've ever taken. Later weighed on the scale at 204 pounds live weight. Not big by northern standards, but pretty good around my parts.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1435_zpsd308c8d2.jpg

He was 16" wide and not up to spec for the ranch. To big and old for so little headgear. But, he was JUST RIGHT for me!

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1434_zps691503b8.jpg

The rancher was exceptionally pleased that I'd gotten him off the ranch. One mans trash is another man's treasure.

30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1436_zpse26ba569.jpg

And that's a lot of "trash"!!!

I can't express how pleased I am with the performance of the Contender. This is the first animal I've taken with this gun and the first I've taken with a Contender in about 20 years. The love has been rekindled.........................
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    I'm not a hunter, and know almost nothing about hunting/shooting animals.....but I do always love reading these stories Zee.
    Keep up the great work brother.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    That's pretty cool. Thanks.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,364 Senior Member
    Eli wrote: »
    I'm not a hunter, and know almost nothing about hunting/shooting animals.....but I do always love reading these stories Zee.
    Keep up the great work brother.

    I am a hunter and I love reading your posts about hunting Zee. Once again a flawless performance and an enjoyable read. Looking forward to the autopsy.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,545 Senior Member
    May not be a trophy but it's a damn nice buck for sure. And as other said, you tell a nice story. Thanks for sharing.

    Sako
  • will-jwill-j Member Posts: 50 Member
    zee; How 'bout some specs on the load? Have a...and don't snicker...H&R Ultra w/ an extra .30-30 barrel itchin' to get reamed out to A I. Got one load w/ standard .30-30 at 2716 avg., 16 ES & 7 SD. Anywhere close? Will
    :confused:
    [email protected]; I need my meds.
    THE WINDS OF TYRANNY ARE BLOWING FROM OUR OWN CAPITOL.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Yeah, trash, right? I'd say that's a pretty nice-sized buck in general! Very nice job and great work with the .30-30 AI
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,040 Senior Member
    That is a nice size buck. Great story, and greta hunt!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,134 Senior Member
    First off, Congratulations on another successful hunt. Like the others I always enjoy your reports and pictures. That may be a cull deer for where you hunt, but compared to what is found anywhere near here, he is huge.

    If that was me I would be grinning like a school girl with a kitten!

    You Sir, have re-awakened my desire in a Contender, AGAIN!

    Thanks for Shaing the experience
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    I am a hunter and I love reading your posts about hunting Zee. Once again a flawless performance and an enjoyable read. Looking forward to the autopsy.

    I'll get the autopsy pics up this afternoon. Thanks.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    will-j wrote: »
    zee; How 'bout some specs on the load? Have a...and don't snicker...H&R Ultra w/ an extra .30-30 barrel itchin' to get reamed out to A I. Got one load w/ standard .30-30 at 2716 avg., 16 ES & 7 SD. Anywhere close? Will

    From a 13" barrel.
    30-30AIHornady125grSSTLoad1_zpsfc0c985d.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,321 Senior Member
    In the SoCal mountains, we would call that a "moose". I have relatives in Illinois and Tennessee. . .I have GOT to get into these whitetails! That's a lot of hamburger my friend!

    The .30-30 was the round Ackley got the biggest performance boost out of when he improved it. The Little Voice in the back of my head sometimes says I should give my Springfield/Stevens/Savage 840 the treatment, but I bought the thing to be a $250, short range hunting rifle, and I have .30-06's galore if I want more horsepower - just can't bring myself to do it.

    And yeah. . .Contenders. I have never owned one, but handled a bunch when I was selling guns. They're a bit like Freedom Arms in that you have to look REALLY hard to find things that are that well made.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    Diver43 wrote: »
    First off, Congratulations on another successful hunt. Like the others I always enjoy your reports and pictures. That may be a cull deer for where you hunt, but compared to what is found anywhere near here, he is huge.

    If that was me I would be grinning like a school girl with a kitten!

    You Sir, have re-awakened my desire in a Contender, AGAIN!

    Thanks for Shaing the experience

    Oh, I was quite giddy.

    I love the Contender Pistol. Very compact and a joy to carry around. Not a long range endeavor, but it can handle most hunting situations specific to the chambering.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    Sako, Six-Gun, and Bullsi.............

    Appreciate the kind words.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    In the SoCal mountains, we would call that a "moose". I have relatives in Illinois and Tennessee. . .I have GOT to get into these whitetails! That's a lot of hamburger my friend!

    The .30-30 was the round Ackley got the biggest performance boost out of when he improved it. The Little Voice in the back of my head sometimes says I should give my Springfield/Stevens/Savage 840 the treatment, but I bought the thing to be a $250, short range hunting rifle, and I have .30-06's galore if I want more horsepower - just can't bring myself to do it.

    And yeah. . .Contenders. I have never owned one, but handled a bunch when I was selling guns. They're a bit like Freedom Arms in that you have to look REALLY hard to find things that are that well made.

    I went the AI route with this one to make up for the shorter barrel's loss in velocity. It seems to have done well. I can get this bullet out to 300 yards and stay above 1,800 fps.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Nice cannelure.

    Shut up, you.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    Autopsy:

    .30-30 Ackley Improved
    125gr Hornady SST
    Muzzle Velocity: 2,550 fps
    Estimated Impact Velocity: 2,041 fps

    Entrance Behind Shoulder Quartering Forward:
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1446_zps1890b876.jpg

    Entrance / Hide Removed:
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1450_zps158d607f.jpg

    Entrance / Meat Removed:
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1453_zps2cb1d320.jpg

    Entrance / Ribs Removed:
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1459_zpsdfe5a292.jpg

    Entrance / Vitals (Left Side):
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1460_zpsdfa15724.jpg

    Exit / Vitals )Right Side):
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1461_zps9787c2a6.jpg

    Exit / Ribs (Broke 1 Rib):
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1463_zps99a3521b.jpg

    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1469_zps3aa7b267.jpg

    Exit / Hide Removed:
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1465_zps15ce6b0c.jpg

    Note: The blood clotting you see at the lower part of the chest in the above picture is likely from "transport" and just blood moving under the skin. It is not directly related from the bullet impact. It just wiped of basically. Never seen it travel under the skin like that. Weird.

    Exit:
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1448_zps07f2e991.jpg


    This boy was in rut!
    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1449_zpsfc19545b.jpgHe had that smell of........well.........sex.......I guess. And his neck was rather swollen.
    My daughter had a good time helping me and playing with the parts.

    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1464_zpse1f1f5c5.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,112 Senior Member
    I'm not much of a horn hunter and that is a really nice meat buck...big bodied old boy...and yeah, it looks like he was rutting hard. Nice job!
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • USUFBUSUFB Senior Member Posts: 830 Senior Member
    Like others have stated, I thoroughly enjoy your hunting stories. Great write ups and great pictures. Well done. That's a nice deer.

    I'm surprised he only ran 25 yards. Considering the relative lack of damage to the lungs, and no damage to the heart, I would have expected that buck to run much farther. I assume the heart is undamaged as you didn't show any pictures of it individually.
    Sometimes, I lie awake in bed at night wondering "Why the heck can't I fall asleep?"
    NRA Life Member
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,183 Senior Member
    Nicely done, should be a good set of antlers for rattling purposes.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    USUFB wrote: »

    I'm surprised he only ran 25 yards. Considering the relative lack of damage to the lungs, and no damage to the heart, I would have expected that buck to run much farther. I assume the heart is undamaged as you show any pictures of it individually.

    I am too. Like I said, there was no blood the first 10 yards or so. Then......drop...drop...DROP....POUR.......FLOOD!!! There was less coagulated blood in the chest cavity as I normally experience. But, he didn't run far at all. Just another reason why the science of death is interesting. Just when you think you have it figured out, it surprises you.

    Conversely, I've seen deer with more internal damage to the heart/lungs run further than this buck. You just never know.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    I forgot to mention, he was blind in his right eye. It was all clouded over like a cataract.

    I wonder if that had anything to do with the "reduced" antler on his left side.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,123 Senior Member
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,040 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I forgot to mention, he was blind in his right eye. It was all clouded over like a cataract.

    I wonder if that had anything to do with the "reduced" antler on his left side.

    That could be. After observing all the city deer back home that get hit by cars and survive, there does seem to be a correlation between having an injury on one side, and having a deficient antler on the opposite side.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,491 Senior Member
    Excellent!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,032 Senior Member
    Nice deer, thanks for the story and pics. I'm a meat hunter and would have taken him in a heartbeat.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,573 Senior Member
    Good deer and a good story. Lots of sausage there. Looked like his neck was swollen.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,496 Senior Member
    You do not disappoint in any way with your shooting, photos and detailed report!! Very awesome!! I always enjoy your field reports!!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,452 Senior Member
    Alright. Here is the action board.

    A - Buck Entered Field

    B - Second Two Does Entered Field

    C - Shot Buck Here

    D - First Two Does Entered Field

    *
    - Feeder

    30-30AIContenderHunt11-20-1412-Copy_zps79f83267.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,245 Senior Member
    Dude you are on a serious sucking roll right now. 200 yards with a pistol is impressive. Congrats! :beer:
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,112 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Looked like his neck was swollen.

    That's because he's in rut.....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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