A little about me and the Hornet

I was born and raised in Missouri. My first rifle was a lever action saddle gun was found under the christmas tree at the age of 6. It had plastic bullets, not ballistic tips, but you had to push them into a little brass case against a spring. I don't recall now what caused them to leave the case and barrel other than the trigger. Must have been a firing pin of sorts. Wish I had that gun back, it probably would be worth a pretty good chunk now.

At 14, in 1975, I bought my 1st coyote call, my parents were confident that I had already lost my marbles at such a young age. When I played the rabbit song for them they all but ordered a straight jacket.

They just chuckled when I came in time after time, empty handed, cold, wet and tired. I was packing an old single shot 30-30; it was either that or a 22. It was about 15 months before they stopped laughing as the big dog dropped off my shoulder and onto the porch. Then the questions started in, "Where did you get that?" " What do you mean you called him in?" $33 dollars for the fur, and they began to realize I was serious about this.

Life trodded on, marriage, kids, houses, and so on. Coyote hunting kind of took back burner until the mid 80's when I realized how much I missed the cold winter treks. I started buying calls and playing with loading down my lever action 30-30 that had been purchased along the way. The 22 rimfire that came as a gift in the late 70's could be used with the Hyper velocity shells, but I wanted more power.

Having heard of and read about the 22 caliber centerfires a little, I started watching for something to come along that would work for me. An ad found in the local paper said "Gun Collection For Sale", I was out the door before the paper hit the floor.

The individual had several guns, I don't recall what all he had now but among the guns laid a beat up old Savage 342 Hornet. Honestly, I knew little or nothing about the Hornet but the price of $125 was something I could work with. Remember the marriage, kids and house, I really should not even have been there. I talked him down to $115 and walked away with a gun I knew nothing, about and a caliber that I had only heard of.

After a heavy duty cleaning job on the barrel, I hurried to the gun shop and purchased 1 box of Winchester Hp which was the only thing the shop had. Since I can't hit a barn without a scope, I had to take care of that, too. I have shot it so much with a scope, I really don't remember if I ever shot it without one.

Took the little Savage to the range, fired the first few shots through it, and knew that this cartridge and I would spend a lot of time together. I purchased 1 more box of shells and have never bought any additional factory ammo. The hundred rounds from the initial 2 boxes gave me enough brass to last a little while.

My closest estimate puts the Hornet rounds fired somewhere around 2500. I have killed lots of hedge apples and a few coyotes, 1 squirrel. It has taken prairie dogs in Montana and South Dakota. When I die, the old Savage is to be put in the box with me. I am certain that regardless of my direction of travel at death, there will be coyotes there.

Found a vintage leather scope cover and it seemed appropriate for the Hornet.

UPDATE December 2009


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Last Modified: Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:02 AM