In my long association with firearms and ammunition, I've come into the knowledge that some fof then are very accurate. I've got a couple of rifles that shoot with surgical precision. I've got a Ruger Mak II, that when I do my part, it places the little .22 bullet exactly whee I want it. Every shooter has a couple of those guns in his memory.
Wax bullets ain't like that. The standard for sighted fire is 1.5 inches at 21 feet, and that's with a pristinely clean bore. But, wax bullets do have a purpose. They're generally non-lethal, much like a paintball. They'll sting, they'll leave a whelp, and they will put an eye out, so we're careful with them. You still have to be careful with them.
Belle and I feed a couple of cats. They keep the mice nervous, and we like them, so we tolerate them. But, they are outdoor cats. Occasionally, a stray will show up to enjoy the larder that we provide for our cats, but we try to discourage the homeless foragers. We've found that wax bullets tend to send a message. Being kind souls we don't want to hurt any living thing needlessly. The wax bullets we use tend to shatter when they hit concrete, so a wax bullet at the feet of a stray cat showers him with wax shrapnel and normally lights a fire under him, reminding him of another appointment. He tends to depart without formal good-byes.
But, wax bullets ain't accurate. They tend to group loosely. Which leads to a story about a white stray that showed up last week. He was getting bolder, and showing himself more frequently, and on Friday we "scatted" him a couple of times. But, he persisted. So, on the third "scat", I sent a wax bullet out to punctuate the denial. I sent it toward his feet, but was astounded to see fur fly off his right hip. The impact spun him around, and he departed post-haste. Even grandson Zachary, who saw the shot, commented. "Oooh, that had to hurt."
But, that shot bothered me. I don't want to hurt any living thing needlessly, and that bullet had to hurt. That white cat crossed my mind several times yesterday, and I wondered if I had caused any lasting physical damage.
This morning, I walked out to get the morning paper and noticed a white flash, a blur across the front yard. I watched him depart, cross the road and into the woods across the street. That cat ain't hurt, but his boldness has diminished considerably. He got the message, and I don't believe that he'll challenge me again in my own backyard.