And That’s How I Got That

Written by Sierra Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz

I got my first crescent (scope eye) from a pre-64 Model 70 Featherweight 270 Winchester that belonged to Russell Green at the gunshop behind Englemann’s Shoe Store in Chillicothe, Missouri.  It was a overcast misty/rainy day and we were out cruising the countryside looking for varmints.  In those days it was legal to do that.  It was also legal and desirable to rid the country of any and all hawks, commonly referred to colloquially as chicken hawks.  We didn’t have any coyotes in my part of Missouri in the late 50s and early 60s and few deer, so if you saw something animate chances were it was fair game.  As I turned off the highway onto the old highway, I spied the unmistakable profile of a big bird in a tall cottonwood standing sentry in the field border.  I was shooting off the top of our old 51 Chrysler at the hawk about 250 yards off old 36 near Bear Lake.  At the shot the gun slipped off my shoulder but my forehead caught it before it hit the ground.  Thought I had cut my eye brow out!  I was sure I might need a transfusion before it was all over and I have no idea if I got the hawk.  I gave the gun back to Russell the next day and never borrowed another.  He didn’t ask for and I didn’t offer an explanation as to why I didn’t buy that gun but I’m pretty sure he could tell.

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1 Response to And That’s How I Got That

  1. Rich and I went cruising for varmints on many occasions during our coming-up years. He mainly used a .30-40 Krag back then, and I had a much-massaged .270 with a 10x scope. Fortunately, it was so heavy I avoided a “crescent” of my own. But later I bought a cool rifle from the local Army/Navy store. It was cut-down ’03 Springfield. Shortened, lightened barrel, lighweight Birds’ Eye Maple stock and a 4x scope. Believe it or not, the whole Magilla weighed on 6 pounds. And, with a 180gr. bullet in front of about 50 grains of Dupont 4350 powder, it kicked like a .505 Gibbs. The very first time I shot I got one of those “crescents.” I dropped the gun and dropped to my knees. I took a t-shirt and an hour for the bleeding to stop. I nearly three the damned gun into the nearest stream. I kept remembering how much I paid for it, however, and decided to make some alterations: I moved the scope forward about an inch and thereafter never shot bullets over 110 grains. Problem solved!

    Good to hear from/about Rich. Brings back old memories of very, very good times…

    Chuck Cassity,
    Temecula, CA


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