Post by oneshotike on Jul 27, 2020 23:41:45 GMT -5
I know i dont post much but im sitting here looking at my SML that Jeff built me over 10 years ago and the story behind it. Around 2006 i took a long shot with my knight ml. It was close to 300 yards in the middle of a bean field and i knew i should not have even tried but that 180 plus had me to tempted. I held high and came up short. I seen the bullet hit the dirt a few feet infront of him. So fast foward a couple years and im working on the railroad with this a$$hole Jeff and retelling my story. He listens and dosnt reply much. So the next night he comes in with a vhs tape and we watch this guy shoot deer out to 700 yards like its his job. Jeff tells me he can build me a ML that will make that 300 yards a chip shot. So i sell a few guns and hand him some cash and a few months later he had a breach plug design and a rifle built and put his scope on it and tells me to go hunting with it. I shot a 140 inch 10 point that year at 200 yards and dropped it. Well Jeffasked for the gun back cause he wasnt happy with some thing and came up with another breach plug.(HIS) So i have been shooting this SML for over 12 years now and that a$$hole Jeff has become one of my best friends and i have some great memories with him and even more with my SML. As i look at this gun and think that 1 missed buck and 1 guy with the for thought and knowledge has done more for the SML world then anyone else. Ps. I dont miss big bucks anymore.
yes Jeff changed the Smokeless world even though some will never admit it, I have been around for a good while to witness all the changes in the last several years, his plug and module system are the slickest thing out there, his load thru funnel is also a slick system, lots of people have went that direction including me.
Smokeless was a big deal in and of itself when Savage hit the market back in the early days. Cecil Epp and others upped the game.
Tom Post and the adjustable sizing die was another biggie, it mainstreamed custom sized bullets for the masses. Tom's guns are a work of art, the man is really to be commended.
Jeff's plug and module system brought us into the modern age of SML, a new pinnacle for what we do.
The tungsten bushing was another biggie IMO thanks to Earnhardt on the old board, we can now shoot loads without worrying about losing powder thru the plug and can shoot several hundred shots without fear of torching one.
No one person has the corner on the SML world, there have been a lot of contributors along the way but without a doubt Jeff has been one of the major ones.
Lets see: open flame ignition on holy black shooting iron and stone bullets in "handgonnes" - designed matchlocks - wheel and flintlocks - caplocks - somewhere inline type ignition - slamfires - 209 primer type slamfires - closed action primer ignition - easily removable breechplugs - super steel barrels and SML - modules and the list will continue.... Other advances and stuff tried like electronic ignition, lead balls, lead bullets, paper and metal jacketed bullets, solid copper and other metals for bullets... I've fired just about any type that has been used and not tried a bunch that seem too dangerous... evolution continues. I've been on the scene for the jump from caplock smokers to current status and it is eye opening.
Heck, in the early days about the only commercial source of parts for building or assembling a ML was Dixie Gun Works. I still have some of their "catalogs" from the early 1960s. How different it is now. Be safe and shoot straight. 10
No doubt, JEFF is "Da Man!" That A$$hole has cost me a lot of money:) OK, so now I have to go and make some potato salad and coleslaw to bring up to the semi annual Challenge! And yes Jeff, I have the "tote board" ready!
Jeff changed smokeless muzzleloading for the better when he put that 1st HIS system in Mike’s gun. Fast forward several years and Jeff had the idea of getting all of the muzzleloader Smith’s out there to show their builds and systems in “The Ultimate Muzzleloader Challenge.” The other Smith’s tucked tail and were no shows. Who did show were a good bunch of guys with common interest in muzzleloading who wanted to get the most out of their guns. From this first gathering in the west creek bottom became the one and only Kentucky Challenge. At the first Kentucky Challenge in August of 2014 there were 3 guys shooting the HIS system, the rest were shooting primarily 209’s. Fast forward 6 years and pretty much all are shooting the HIS system. Rewind back to 2014 - It took other Smith’s a few years to sell off their existing stock of other ignition systems and the like, many bashing the HIS system along the way. Then the consumer became educated through Hanks Message Board and they asked for the HIS system to be used in their builds. The HIS system has been proven effective in the field and in competition with BH209 and smokeless approved builds.
A couple years ago I was laying on the couch because I wasn’t feeling well and turn to the YouTube channel. Started watching some videos of people hunting Deer with Muzzleloaders. Then a video of smokeless muzzloaders. Some guy in Kentucky filmed a deer hunt I think it was called the last day of the Kentucky Rifle season. I saw this guy shoot 3 deer in about 10 minutes With one of the shots putting a basketball size hole in this Deer. Well I had to meet this guy and have on of these rifles. I made a call to Kentucky, I didn’t get a answer And didn’t want to leave a message so I hung up. 5 minutes later I got a call and this guy said This is Jeff Hankins and I missed a call from this number. I told him I watched his video and I had to have one of his rifles. I bought a CVA scout and drove to Kentucky to meet this guy. Fast forward to today I have 4 of his rifles , some very great friends that I met at the Kentucky Challenge and on the board. Thanks Jeff for calling me back and for all that you do for this SML sport that I have become so intrigued with. This is the 2nd KC that I have had to miss because of work and it makes me think a lot more about retiring. Have fun and be safe SML friends at the shoot.