Friday, June 10, 2011
I made it up into the mountains this past weekend and had a nice hike with the dogs.
The runoff is pretty impressive. I've don't remember seeing this much water coming off the mountain at this time of year. And looking at the mountain tops it looks like we have plenty more snow melt to come. We hiked about 2 miles in from the trailhead and we got into quite a bit of snow when I got deep into the pines and forested areas. I didn't see much wildlife but there were tracks everywhere. No grouse or turkeys though.
The dogs had a ton of fun. Hazel practically ran her feet off. She hasn't been out for a while (my fault) and she took full advantage. She was everywhere. Chief was in awe. It was funny to watch him just gawk as Hazel would rip past and dive into cover. He tried to follow but quickly realized that he wasn't going to keep up.
It was a warm day in the 80s and it was a little rough on the pup as we climbed up the hill. He stayed with it and I made sure he stayed hydrated and cool. Luckily there was a few stream crossings so the dogs were able to cool of regularly.
Overall it was a good time and Chief got his first taste of the mountains and loved it. He got his first look at snow and he really came to life. He was running and sliding and biting and growling at it. He was a hoot. He also crossed his first streams without a hitch. These were fast moving, freezing cold mountain streams that were up to his withers and he crossed without a problem. He is a brave, tough little guy. He was really using his nose and taking in all the new scents. He's going to be a good one I believe.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
This is my first side x side and my first 28 gauge. I love the gun and the gauge. But, you have to realize it is what it is. Its a lower end box lock made to look like a sidelock. It's made in Turkey by Huglu and imported to the USA by CZ. Overall it is well built but the wood and metal is nothing special and the finish on the metal (painted not blued) is pretty thin. The case hardening on the receiver is "color case hardened" not the real thing. You get what you pay for.
On the positive side, like I said before, it is well built and functional. I've owned this shotgun for 3 seasons and have used it a lot. I really enjoyed shooting it and its a dream to carry in the field. Weighing only about 6 pounds, with 28" barrels, it swings well and I seem to shoot well with it. I really like the sxs sight plane. This is my main grouse gun and I also have used it on quail and chukars and on preserve hunts. I also like to use it when I'm dog training. I use this gun more that any of my other guns. I guess that says it all. I really like it.
Before I purchased this gun I looked at all the inexpensive sxs shotguns I could find and I preferred the cz way over all the others that you can purchase for under $1000. The cz just felt much better and looked way nicer in my opinion.
This is a very nice gun to introduce yourself to the side x side format. It comes in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge. I would totally recommend this gun or the CZ bobwhite. The CZ bobwhite is basically the same gun but with double triggers and a straight english style grip on the stock. I've also heard good things about the CZ grouse but they are much harder to find and no longer in production. I looked hard at the ringneck and bobwhite before this purchase and concluded that I like the prince of whales grip more than the straight english style stock. It just felt better to me. I love the looks of the straight stock but fit and feel are important and this ringneck grip felt great where the other felt awkward. The double triggers on the bobwhite were tempting though. To each their own. I'm happy with my purchase.
Someday I would like to get a little nicer side x side shotgun. Maybe an AyA or Ugartechea. I also really liked the Franchi Highlander I believe they only made it in 20 gauge and I don't think they are importing them any more. Who knows what the future will bring. For now the ringneck is great. It can get beat up a little bit in the field and I don't feel too bad. I imagine I will have this gun for a long time.
The one negative I've read on this gun is that the trigger mechanism will sometimes breakdown. Some people seem to have this as a reoccurring problem and others have owned these guns for years without a hitch. I highly recommend using snap caps after each use with this gun to reduce the tension on the trigger springs. I use them each time I shoot this gun and have not experienced that problem. (knock on wood)
You can pick them up new and used between $700 - $1000. I paid $790 for mine and it was new in the box. Buy one, it's a ton of fun.