About the Art (if you recall one of my past Boar Hunt illustrations was a Roman era mosaic discovered in Tunisia. In that mosaic, the hunters pursued game with dogs and constructed fencing and obstacles "funneling" the game to the "dead end" where a spear or lance would finish the job... Fair Chase Indeed!)
The illustration above is from "the Devonshire Tapestries. Description below: Derb reference in bold.
They were acquired by the museum in 1957 from the estate of The Dukes of Devonshire, and probably belonged to the Countess of Shrewsbury, known as 'Bess of Hardwick', a celebrated, four-times married noblewoman who had the grand Derbyshire house Hardwick Hall built in the 1590s. The tapestries were hanging at Hardwick in the 19th century.
...Another pig hunt is scheduled for this weekend and I have been busy with some prep work. I prefer my low-budget set-up and am thoroughly satisfied with the ballistic performance of the 7.62x39mm round on the Saiga platform. It's a good "brush gun" and the Hornady Zmax bullets have been true enough on paper. The main complaint with the sporterized AK platform is consistent accuracy. In boar hunting, especially inside of 70-yards, the hunter will only get one shot and a follow-up shots are usually dictated by the terrain. The Saiga is not a precision instrument. If you want a long-range tack-driver look at something else.
A good friend of mine and hunt organizer has been attending long-range shooting classes. A point of discussion was cleaning the bore of the rifle after range sessions. The instructor, a retired SF Operator, stated that removing the bore buildup will affect accuracy. He advised not to clean your rifle's bore after the range session and held the belief that the fouling is part of the way the rifle finds zero. (Debatable, have at it!).
Same instructor led me in the direction of the Bushnell Red Dot site which I bought for $55 and mounted on a $19 version of the UTG dual detachable rail. Surprisingly, this detachable rail with the red-dot fixed to it still holds zero in between shooting sessions and removing and replacing the hardware! My experience with optics is limited, but I've had enough experiences with scopes going out of whack merely from transport.
Because the last hunts saw me in a ladder stand in the pre-dawn hours, my ability to see game at any distance was greatly diminished. To address low-light to no light, I purchased a $20 green LED flashlight with pressure switch. The light is attached to the side rail and does not interfere with the red-dot or the action of the rifle. The pressure switch can be placed anywhere as log as it doesn't impede your vision or shooting. Pigs can't see green light and having the option improves my odds of connecting. I have place the pressure switch in the fore-end of the rifle where I can activate the light with my thumb. The box says it can throw light out to 200 yards. I was satisfied with the 75-yard test I conducted. My neighbors never contacted me about the strange green lights at the odd hours... so maybe "pigs of all breeds" can't detect green light!
Finally, my rifle is wrapped in a non-adhesive, reusable camouflage tape. If you've ever seen the movie "Uncommon Valor" my Saiga now resembles one of the surplus rifles that Gene Hackman purchased from the gunrunners!
The range test was good. The LED light did not crap-out from the recoil and the Red-dot held zero.
Excluding the Tapco adjustable stock, I have outfitted my Saiga with all the bells-and-whistles for under $100.
Additional items: Like usual, I will bring the Buck 119 Special for the coup de grace (last two pigs were taken this way). I almost purchased a Cold Steel Italian Dagger since it has all the properties of good pig-sticker, but decided to stick with the Buck. Finally, I will pack either my .357 mag Ruger GP100 revolver or my HK USP 40.
This brings me to EDC and firearms care.
I carry different firearms per the situation. I was recently shooting a Beretta PX4 storm that had not been cleaned or stripped since purchase (yeah - I know, the stuff they put on the guns for shipping and export are worse than tar!). Unlike the S&W Shield or the USP, the Beretta is finicky and like most Italian products, they are prone to fail if they are not used. After 100 rounds of FMJs, I cycled a few hollow-points. The action failed to lock open on the empty mag. It appeared to be frozen shut. I had hold the slide (cover) with my weak hand and slam open the action with my strong hand - open palm engaging the back strap of the grip with a force similar to throwing a punch! After 5 sessions of punching open the action it was time to field strip. My house smelled like I had bathed in Hoppe's no. 9 solvent. Gunk removal was almost at a microscopic level, so I broke out the Dremel with the buffing attachments. Took about an hour to clean up and re-lube. Good as new!
Yes, its true you can use too much oil on a firearm, but if you assume a big name polymer pistol will endure without routine attention, lets hope you don't experience a failure at a critical moment. If you carry, forget about Glock and H&K torture tests, your EDC weapon will never experience those conditions. Pay attention to your tools; neglect will cause more damage than hard use. The slightest hiccup can be catastrophic. Routine cleaning and servicing will vary per firearm. My GP100 does not perform well after cleaning and oiling. I need only apply the smallest bit of lubricant and wipe off loose particles. My Sig, Beretta and other polymers vary in the amount of oiling and detail. Spend and hour with each of your firearms and note points of internal wear and tear. This will go along way to achieving peace of mind.