Saturday, August 30, 2008


it had to happen

Some receiving this post are gunners, and well understand. Others are
not, so, gunners, bear with me, and try not to laugh too hard at my

The 7mm Remington Magnum is a punishing caliber to shoot,
particularly with heavier bullets. This picture illustrates what is
called 'scope eye'. I don't know what the spot in the middle of my
forehead is, almost certainly it's something unrelated to the scope
eye. It wiped away.

I've shot this rifle many times, and with heavy bullets. This time,
however, I was rushing to beat dark to get it zeroed. I do not have my
'regular' bench setup, with an 'owl ear' (front sandbag) and 'bunny
ear' (rear sandbag). I have one bag and a rickety card table and a
kitchen chair, all of which produces a very awkward, very low shooting
position. Rather than adjust things, I just hunkered down, which meant
that I was inclining my head forward and the gun was not well
supported. Rang my bell pretty hard. Two major headaches in a month...
this could get tiresome.

The classic way you get scope eye is to 'crowd' the scope with your
eye, which I was not doing. But the forward inclination of my head put my
eyebrow too close to the scope.

At least, bore sighting had put it almost dead on target. The impact
point (aside from my eyebrow) was 2-1/4 inches right, and 2-1/2 inches
high at 100 meters. I'm fairly certain that a second round to check
final zero is not required, but I will fire one anyway... tomorrow, if
my eye isn't swollen too badly. But I bet I will have a more proper
shooting position before I light off another round. Next time, piss on
this, I'll shoot off the hood of the truck.

Play with fire too often, and eventually you get burned. This is my
first ever scope eye. And I've shot some serious shoulder cannons...
just not in such an awkward position. Piss me right off.

I had forgotten how badly facial wounds (particularly on thin
skin over bone) bleed. Matter of fact, I'm still oozing, almost
dripping blood 2 hours after the fact. I'll almost certainly
have a black eye tomorrow. My head is still ringing
from the impact.

Prissy (my JRT) doesn't like really loud sharp noises. Sighting in the
'06 yesterday(3 rounds) had her hiding under the bed. But the 7 is nearly an order of
magnitude louder and very sharp... today, I found her scrunched in
behind the cabinet the TV sits on.... and she really didn't even want
to come out. I honestly didn't think that she would even fit where she
was. ;)

Michael sez: This is the first picture I have ever loaded on my blog. You are witnessing History in the making. This story has to rank up there with Sarah Palin!
Stay alive.


gott_cha said...

dude,...get some rubber cups for the scope or trade it for an long eye relief scope

Grumpyunk said...

Perfect job for a Super Glue repair. Probably not to late either. Just make sure it doesn't run down into your eye. Have your wife do the glue job. It'll heal quicker. Had to fix my hand last week after working with a sharp tool and got clumsy.

Phil said...


I've had my bell rung pretty hard before too.
That is going to throb like a sick chickens ass tomorrow.
My old man did that once with a borrowed gun and it cut him to the skull, a real scope shot.
Git ya some ice and a few beers to kill the pain,
Nice picture if ya get past the bleeding.

Handsome devil, no wonder the Handmaiden puts up with ya.


Natog said...

wow, even the guy on Alaska Experiment didn't get it that bad, and that was with a .338 Magnum.

The 7mm Magnum is not that popular around here, mainly because your not allowed to use a centerfire rifle to hunt with in Mass. Those that do travel to hunt, they all use the 30-06. I wonder what the differences in the ballistics are between them?

Every time I start rushing to finish something, I wind up causing more trouble then if I stopped and used my noggin. I've had a couple of close calls with my tablesaw, and I've learned the hard way just how important is is to slow down. Life's not a rush, it's a journey to be enjoyed.

Now post some pictures of those beans you're always talking about!

Staying Alive said...

Hey guys, uh, I hate to say this but that is not a picture of me with the scope cut. It is Mike Kemp. He wrote the text also. I guess I did not make that clear in setting up the post. I have gotten hit once with scope but never cut.

This is what can happen to a PRO. Kemp is no amateur at shooting a rifle. Not in the least. But he got in a bit of a hurry and shared the results with us.

Do things properly and safely. You can see the possible results if you don't.

I want to thank Mike for sharing this with us. A lot of guys would not have had the balls to show it.


scoutinlife said...

Ouch Nice tatoo that had to smart a bit! Heal fast friend it a painfull when a rifles bites us!

My bulldog is the same way gunfire goes off she squezing somewhere she usually can't fit but does then!

Dragon said...

long eye relief....once you get up in caliber and shooting heavier loads. Its a must have.

Unknown said...

I'm Mike Kemp. I'm the idiot with the busted eye. I will add a few comments to the comments here.

The 7 RemMag with a 160 grain bullet launches near 3000 fps, the '06 with a 165 grain launches at 2800. This produces considerably more felt recoil.

The 7 is actually 'too much gun' for eastern deer. Properly, it can be considered elk or black bear medicine.

The real advantage of the caliber, aside from considerably more velocity for comparable bullet weights from an '06, is the fact that the bullet is naturally considerably better at maintaining velocity downrange, being smaller diameter. Both these produce a much flatter trajectory downrange, and much more energy at impact for comparable weight bullets and comparable distances when compared to the '06.

As for 'changing scopes', that ain't gonna happen. I LOVE my Bushnell 4200 Elites in 6-24x mildot. This was MY mistake, not the fault of the scope. I allowed myself to shoot from an inappropriate setup. And paid the price.

This is NOT a 'cut' in the pic, it is a 'tear'. There is a plastic insert on the eyepiece, no doubt there specifically so that the scope cannot 'cut'. I've shot hundreds of rounds from the rifle (Rem 700), it doesn't need a new scope, it was simply operator error. And it tore pretty much to the underlying bone.

Yes, it hurt like hell, and my bell was still ringing for some time afterwards. You can likely tell from the pic that I was not a happy camper when I took the pic.

Yes, it was an appropriate wound for superglue repair. But, I don't have any. And don't have no wife, neither. My tom cat, in my household courtesy of the blog owner's handmaiden, laughed at me, so he was no help. And I mentioned that my JR Terrier was hiding, so she was no help either. So I dispensed with the ice and went straight to the beer.

I took the pic so my sons, who are not the rabid gun nuts that am I, and who do not have the experience with the heavier calibers as do I, would see why their old man constantly harps and preaches at them about safety and taking your time in ALL things. Ya'll, the blog readers, are just incidental beneficiaries of my momentary lapse of reason.

There are some technical reasons behind this, as well as the simple inappropriate shooting position and lack of proper attention to detail.

I am very long armed. I cannot afford custom stocks, so for me, a 'standard length stock' is much akin to more normally proportioned people shooting a carbine. If I am not very careful, which I was not in this case, it places my face too close to the scope. Normally I just take special care to maintain proper eye relief, to the point of usually placing my eye far enough back to actually produce a black ring around the view through the scope. It helps me maintain 'center'.

But all this also tends to make the rifle too loose against the shoulder, which contributes to rifle movement during the recoil event. It was a 'perfect storm', and was entirely my own fault. I have fired many hundreds of rounds from this rifle, and many thousands from other heavy-caliber centerfires. Before this, I have never been touched by a scope. And I betcha it will be a long time before I am touched by another one.

Regardless of my busted eye and bruised ego, this presents a perfect opportunity to illustrate to those whose lives may depend on safe and competent use of a centerfire rifle what can and WILL happen if for even a moment you neglect the cardinal rules.

Less than a week later, the wound is completely and nicely closed. In a survival situation, you may not have the luxury of proper wound cleansing, and such a wound could easily result in a runaway infection. So take the lesson to heart. Shoot, you may not even have the comfort of high-proof homebrew ale to console yourself after the fact for the completely predictable results of your own carelessness.

So... always be careful, NEVER get in a hurry, NEVER get complacent, no matter how familiar the task... and stay alive.

plainolebob said...

how funny, sorry but know the feeling of this one and relate all too well.
even a pro can get hurt when in a hurry.
nice lesson, hope his eye is better