Thursday, January 31, 2013

Common Sense

Of course, no amount of reasoning or facts will be sufficient to cut through the left's cognitive dissonance.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interesting Insight

A friend posted this to his Facebook page this evening.  I was a kid at the time this happened and I was definitely not pro-hippie or anti-war but the caption got me thinking.  I don't recall anyone blaming the guns or demanding that the National Guard give up its guns after this.  Seems like  they wanted to hold the troops responsible.  Funny how things change.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Fugitive

Getting ready for church this morning and discovered that the dog had dug out under the fence.  Looked in the usual places then got in the car to expand the search.  It was foggy when we started and the fog got denser as the morning grew older.  By 9:30 we couldn't see a hundred feet.

The Lovely Bride dropped me back at the house so I could log onto the AKC site and report the dog missing and also call the local animal shelter.  I got tired of waiting for her to come back so I requisitioned all the lawn mower gas and put it in my car so I could look too.  By that time the fog was burning off but there wasn't a sign of the dog  anywhere.

Met up with TLB and decided to leave my car at the house and search in one vehicle so at least one of us wouldn't be distracted by having to do the driving.  I kept thinking the dog had gone North so we started working in that direction.  About 2 miles from the house we decided to shift to going West and headed a mile or two that way until we got to a six lane highway.  At that point, I advocated turning left but TLB made a U turn instead.  I figured maybe she sensed something so I didn't complain.  We drove all the way back to where we had started working West and there he was.

The dog was loping down a 4 lane highway.  He crossed the intersection headed home maybe a hundred yards from us.  I told TLB to hit the horn to get his attention thinking he'd come to the car.  She stood on it and he stopped but wouldn't come.   I got out of the car so he could see it was me and he decided that meant we were hunting.  I got within thirty yards of him and he bolted.  I lost sight of him for maybe four seconds as I rounded the corner because there's an embankment at the corner.  I got there and he was just gone.  I looked into the woods and across the street but there wasn't a sign of him.  TLB drove past, stopped the car fifty yards down the road and got out.  I had to hoof it down to her just to find out if she stopped because she saw him.  She hadn't.  She had just stopped way the hell down there and gotten out of the car for no particular reason.  On the way back to where I had last seen him, I chatted with a helpful retired couple who asked if the dog was ours.  They had gotten him out of the traffic and to the side of the road.  He had been even further North than we had searched.  They said they'd look for him.

West seemed to be the only direction in which he could have disappeared so quickly so I climbed the embankment and picked my way through the barbed wire fence.  I found myself in a wooded corner of a pasture full of cows.  I found a dead cow skeleton just like in the movies when someone is lost in the desert but no dog.  I sent TLB a message suggesting she go home in case the dog had already gotten there but she didn't get it.  She drove up to the fence to get me and we decided to head West again.  The dog had to have headed West after he saw me.  We got about half a mile and saw the dog at the edge of the woods.  I told her to drive right up to him and when she did, he came to the car.   Just hopped right in when I opened the door.

When he had seen me the first time, he had gone up the embankment, through the barbed wire fence and out of sight before I could get to him.  He had continued casting about while I was getting to the car and talking to the retired couple.  By the time I got done with all that, he was through another fence and into the woods.

Got him home, repaired the trench where he dug out and hooked up my old electric fence.   He already has a collar that zaps him when he gets too close to the fence.  The difficulty with that is that TLB doesn't put it on him when she gets up and lets him out first thing in the morning.   She waits until the second time he goes outside.  Seriously.  That's why he got out in the first place.  He wears a regular collar 24/7 and she puts the shock collar on him when she lets him out for the second time every day.  His shock collar was on the kitchen counter.  That's not a small detail.  That's pretty much fundamental.   The logic escapes me.  Why not put the collar on the first time he goes outside?  Why is it better to wait and put it on the second time he goes outside?  I seriously do not get it.  I suspect that If I understood crap like that I'd either be rich or in an asylum somewhere trying to untie my sleeves.

With the real electric fence running, the dog will hit a real electric fence wire when he tries to get out.   Won't matter if its the first or second time out in the morning either.   The wire is between the fence and the wire for his shock collar so he won't get hit unless crosses  the "invisible fence" wire.    This way, the shock collar will actually keep him from getting zapped by a much stronger shock.  Who knows, maybe that will be incentive to put the collar on the first time he goes outside.

When I plugged the electric fence in,  I walked the whole fence line to clear pine needles, twigs and leaves off the wire.  I brushed up against it and it stung me enough to notice.  I kept on doing what I was doing until I got near a crepe myrtle tree near the gate.  At that point I could smell smoke.  Turned out that the wire was contacting the tree and it was burning itself into the tree.  It had stung me enough be uncomfortable even though the wire was half-grounded through the tree.   I cut a piece of PVC pipe to insulate the tree and it arced like a spark plug when I moved the wire.  With that ground gone, its going to be a hell of a jolt when somebody hits it.  I remember it as being something like the sting of a very large wasp.

Next we headed to Gander Mtn. to get a GPS collar so we could find him the next time he gets out.  Naturally they had exactly one on the shelf and there was no price on it, the shelf or the display.  At the register, we asked the girl to tell us the price.  It was six hundred forty-nine dollars. 

I just couldn't come to grips with paying six hundred forty-nine dollars for a collar that TLB wouldn't put on him until the second time she lets him out for the day so we said "thanks but no-thanks" and decided to shop on line.  We found the same collar for fifty bucks less but it was still a question of spending money for a collar that he wouldn't be wearing so we kept on looking.  I looked at other brands and I looked at telemetry tracking collars but everything required its own collar and TLB won't put the shock collar that we have now on him until the second time he goes out in the morning.  Would this collar require waiting until the third time every morning?    Your guess is as good as mine.

Eventually we found something called Traxx.  Its a GPS locator that will give you the dog's location and a map showing your position and the dog's.  It displays it on your I phone.  You tell it where "home" is and it alerts you by email and text message if he goes outside the boundaries of "home."   It won't work at all where I hunt because there's no cell phone service there but it had good reviews and for $100 I figured that even if it didn't work at home  it wouldn't break the bank.  The good thing is that I will be able to attach it to the dog's regular collar so he will be wearing it  the next time he tries to get out.  It should be here in a few days.

Then dusk fell on another restful Sabbath.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


German Shorthaired Porker?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Should Do It!

Why didn't we think of this years ago?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Messing With Perfection

Just about anybody that knows me will tell you that I absolutely detest people messing with things that are perfect.  I don't like almonds in my Hershey Bars, nutmeg in my coffee or pretty girls who think they have to cake on makeup to look pretty. Don't get me started on tattoos and body piercing.

In terms of firearms, I like the 1911 and the Glock.  I don't have a Glock but I have had two and couldn't hit a thing with either.  I grew up shooting a 1911 (way before anybody told me it recoiled too much) and my hand thinks 1911 even when its holding a Glock.  I shoot the Glocks low and left because my trigger finger pushes on the frame.  So, instead of unlearning years of 1911 shooting just to modernize I just keep 1911-ing along.

I don't think you should mess with what works.  Being a firm believer in all things Created by John Moses Browning, the 1911 is a natural for me.  Its just been working for 102 years.  So, somehow or other I wound up buying a Kimber Ultra CDP II a few years ago.  I decided I could live with a short frame, short barrel, beavertail, skeletonized trigger, night sights, opened ejection port, ambidextrous safety, alloy frame, double recoil spring, guide rod, no bushing, short magazine and melted corners.  Other than that, its  just as JMB designed it.    I still draw the line at almonds in my Hershey Bars.

My first trouble with the gun, in fact the only trouble so far, is that its too pretty to carry every day.  I have a Khar PM 40 for that.  If you think of the little Kahr as a mouse gun its one hell of a mouse gun but dangit, I bought the Kimber to carry.  The Kahr is my pocket gun.

So I had to go inspect a mobile home on acreage that had been seized by the gummint and I figured it would be a good time to take the Kimber for a test run.  This would only be the second time  I had carried it and I stuck it in a Remora holster so I could try it in different locations.

All went well right up until I got to the property.  Seems the gummint folks had forgotten to mention the plywood bolted over the doors.  Fortunately, I was able to climb in through a window and do what I was there to do but it seemed like every time I moved I was banging those beautiful rosewood grips on something.  When I got home I ordered a pair of slimline composite grips from VZ Grips in Tallahassee.  Slimline to conceal a little better and composite because they are tough.  Other than that, they're just as JMB designed them.   They got here in about 2 days.   That's when I realized that slimline grips take slimline bushings and screws so I ordered those from Brownell's.

The screws arrived today.

That's the screws, bushings and an allen wrench in the little yellow packet.  The box is what they shipped the packet in.  No wonder it cost five bucks for shipping and handling.  Les, are you out there?

The old bushings came out and the new ones went in easily enough.  I had been worried about the fit of the grips because they looked like they might take some fitting when I tried them on the gun with the wrong bushings on it but they were perfect with the slimline bushings.

They aren't as red as the rosewood grips but I  think they will do.  It didn't take long for them to start  to look "normal" to me.

The checkering is very sharp and it feels secure in the hand.  It still seems to point right where I think I'm pointing it so I am guardedly optimistic.  A little shooting to make sure about the pointing and a little more test carrying and I'll be good to go without quite spending twice as much as I would have on a comparable Glock.

Doggie Heaven

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Lord Giveth and Taketh Away

My fuel cut off valve finally arrived for the 4 wheeler.  I'm not puttin' the tank back on until I have the brakes working though.  Have a bid in on a master cylinder.  Like everything else that I own, my 4 wheeler is obsolete so ebay and such places are among my parts sources. 

The old beast did crank up when I gave it a snort of starting fluid so I know it wants to run.   Hopefully in the next week or two I will convince it to stop as well.

Was seriously considering a Powell in 10 gauge but I snoozed and I Loozed.  Somebody was quicker on the draw than me and they got it.

Oh well, there's a nice looking Parker in 10 gauge on Gun Broker.  If my questions get answered right, maybe it will be a good substitute.  My dog would probably become a snob if I hunted over him with too many Brit guns anyway.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dad's 410

I used to know how old he was.  Now I'm not sure if he said he was seven or eleven when "Pappa" bought him the little 410.  I know it was something that ended in "even"  so it had to be one or the other.  I could ask him now but he won't even know who's asking.

Back sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s, my Grandfather bought my Dad a Stevens 410.  Its a tiny little gun.  Single barrel with full choke and an extractor.  The ejector version retailed for fifty cents more.

 My Dad hunted with it when he was a kid.  In his case, there was more to the hunting than there was for most kids because his Mother was horribly abusive.  She came by it honestly.  If you've read my post about Mary Ann you can just imagine the torment she lived under but he didn't know the truth about Mary Ann for decades.  He couldn't understand why she treated people the way she did so hunting was a way to escape for a while.
When I was a kid, I was the only one in the family with an interest in hunting and I hunted with it too.   My best friend was a tall, heavy kid named Gettise and we'd get up early on Saturday Mornings, pile in the back of his Dad's truck and go hunting with his Dad and his Dad's best friend.  They'd drop us off to hunt squirrels while they went further into the woods after real game.

One particularly cold morning, we were huddled in the back of that truck freezing in the wind as the four of us headed out to the forest.  It was so cold, I put on an extra jacket.  They dropped us off in the usual stretch of woods and we stalked around for a while until Gettise got a little winded.

Gettise was a big boy.  I don't mean fat.  I mean big.  He was a good four to six inches taller than anybody else in our grade and he's a big man today.   He wasn't particularly athletic so he got winded quicker than a scrawny little kid like me did.  Well, Gettise spied a broken tree trunk leaning against another tree and decided to sit down.   No sooner did he get his full weight settled on it and satisfy himself that it would hold than there was a loud crack and that broken tree trunk snapped and dropped him on the ground.

I was laughing my head off and he was cussing me and the tree and probably fate for all I know when my eye caught something moving in the tree right above him.   A fox had used that trunk as a ramp to get up into the tree and with all the commotion, that fox was working on a way to get the hell out of there but his ramp was gone.  All I knew was here was this rabid  fox (all dogs but our own, including wild ones had it.  Just ask my Mother) fixin' to jump down out of that tree onto the nearest soft landing place and that landing place was my best friend.  So I yelled "FOX!" and I let that fox have it.

Now a three inch 410 loaded with #6 shot isn't really the optimum gun on foxes.  It didn't kill him outright.  It just knocked him out of the tree right next to Gettise who was still trying to get up.  So Gettise starts trying harder to get up and is stumbling trying to get away from the fox and the fox has a broken back and can't use but his front legs so he's running around Gettise in circles.  Didn't matter what direction  Gettise tried to go, that fox wound up in the way.

By this time, I had figured out that I need to put another shell in the gun but I was wearing the extra coat and all my shells were in the pocket of the first coat. I had to get the second coat open to get to the shells and I was wearing gloves so it took a little more time than you'd expect a couple of great white hunters to take when dealing with wounded dangerous game (remember the rabies).  I finally got another round chambered and sent the poor beast to fox heaven whereupon Gettise promptly tossed his breakfast.  Gettise had a weak stomach and you couldn't so much as step on a caterpillar without him getting nauseated.  The sight of his first head of "game" in its death throes was too much.

Before too long, the grown ups showed up with nothing shot but the morning and asked us what we had been shooting at.  We told them about the fox and they confirmed from their vast experience in the woods that any fox that acted as this one had surely had rabies and I had done a heroic deed.   They wouldn't let us put it in the truck but had me cut its tail off and bury the rest.  I salted that tail and kept it in my room for years.  Funny how it was OK to cut the tail off a confirmed rabid animal.

Another time we were in the back of the truck when the "adults" hit the brakes and piled out with shotguns blazing hollering "QUAIL!"  A covey was feeding at the edge of the road and they just opened up.   I got one with the little 410 and we grabbed our birds and took off in a cloud of dust.  They hadn't noticed in their zeal to blast away at the birds but the covey had been in somebody's front yard.  When the shooting stooped and they realized where we were, they hauled ass.  I still wonder what the homeowners must have thought seeing four lunatics piling out of a truck with guns blazing thirty feet from their front porch.   

So I didn't have the greatest mentors at the start of my hunting life but that's the kind of memories that I have of the little 410.  I imagine that my Dad had some as lively.

Sometime, maybe ten to fifteen years ago, my sister saw a snake in her yard.  Since all snakes are poisonous (just ask my Mother), the little 410 went to her house where it stayed inside the Grandfather clock in the hall until needed for the snake.  The snake never went inside the clock so the gun was never used.  Eventually, I started asking about it.  Sister said she had taken it back to our Parents' but they had no idea where it was or whether she really brought it back.  My Mother searched the house and found nothing but a BB gun and we finally deduced that my sister's second ex-husband had probably sold it for beer money.   So I have been learning and looking for one ever since.

I suspect the little 410 was used when it came to my Dad.  Its built on a special 410 frame and Stevens quit building their 410s on a dedicated frame long before he was born.   Besides that, its not just a 410, its a featherweight 410.  Those were a special frame, smaller even than the regular ones, made for women and kids.  They didn't build a lot of those.

Stevens built a whole bunch of related shotguns that were called Model 94 starting back in the late 1800s.  Most had a letter designation to differentiate them from the others and I can't keep track of all the variants but there weren't many like Dad's.   I know this because I have been on a quest for over two years to find a replacement for his little 410.   I have bought old catalogs and reference books.   I have communicated with people who collect all things related to Savage Firearms.  I have bought junk parts guns on Gunbroker thinking I'd assemble one whole from the pieces.    I have learned some by detective work and some by just plain dumb luck but I know what it was.   

The breakthrough came with my second parts gun.  I had bought a gun identified as a Stevens Model 94 that had been in a fire.  It was all there but the wood and my plan was to buy wood for it but the wood that I bought for a 94 didn't fit.  Most "94s" are built on a bigger frame than the originals.  OK, fine.  It didn't feel quite right but it had no wood so what should I expect?  I remembered it as a small gun so the wood not fitting made sense.  A few weeks later, I saw another one on Gunbroker and it had wood so I bought it.  It was a very used gun.  The fore end iron was missing and had been replaced with something made of epoxy putty and the front fight bead was positioned at eleven o'clock.  As I sighted down the barrel trying to figure out if a previous owner was cross eye dominant or something the gun just felt right and I knew.  You don't forget your first girlfriend's perfume or how it felt to hold her.  You don't forget your first hunting gun either.   When I got it home and compared it to the one from the fire it was smaller.   I got goose bumps on my arms.  This was one like my Dad's.  But what was it?

I bought a catalog reprint from around 1900 and found mention of the featherweight.  The description fit this one perfectly.  There was no picture but I knew. 

This gun and the one from the fire were the same basic design but the little one was shrunken.  Both frames were the same width and had the same number of screws and pins but the little one was not as long and not as deep.  They had taken the 94 and miniaturized it.

I studied the two guns to learn the visual clues that would tell me which one I was looking at when one would show up on Gunbroker.    The underlug and the extractor are the two most obvious differences.  The featherweight frame isn't as deep so the lug isn't as tall and the angle in the lug below the extractor is different.  There's other ways to tell but that's the easiest.  I set up my account to email me whenever someone listed a "Stevens 410."   I have lost track of how many times I have emailed sellers to ask for a picture of the extractor.  So far, none has been the Holy Grail.

At the Lakeland Gun Show, I told my brother that I really wasn't looking for anything in particular except for a 410 "Like Daddy's" and that I had some hope of finding one there because it  was the collector show.  We went through the whole show and never even saw a Stevens 410, much less a featherweight.

The Lovely Bride and I met my brother for breakfast Sunday Morning and afterward he told me to hold on a minute because he has something for me.   He opened his trunk and there lay a dainty little gun wrapped in a towel.  I knew. 

My brother is in town to visit and is staying at my Parents' house.  Our Mother had him helping her clean out a room that was used for storage.  It was mostly full of crap from my sister's house.  Old broken furniture, old clothes, old mattresses and crap like that.  Sometime after she turned all vegan and liberal on us, my sister had brought the gun back and put it in that storage room with all her other crap.  Nobody had found it when they looked for it because nobody thought it would be in a room full of junk.

So for the first time in almost 40 years I got to hold the old girl.  I cleaned it and sighted down the barrel.  I pointed it at sepia foxes in trees and quail in an old farmhouse hedge.  I mentally dropped squirrels  running flat out down branches high in oak trees.  I shot 'coons (that's raccoons for anybody that might wonder) out of trees at my Great Uncle's farm again and I didn't even leave my living room.

My Quest is over.

Gun Rights Day

I finally managed to get to the Lakeland Gun Show this weekend.  I decided that I wasn't going to let stupid stuff derail my plans mainly because I wanted to be part of one of the pro gun events that were going on this weekend.

There are really two different Lakeland Gun Shows.  One is the regular, run of the mill show that has a lot of regular  dealers who show up to sell the stuff in their shops.  That one has  fewer  collectors than the "Club Show" which has a lot more small collectors, reloaders and gunsmiths.  This was the Club Show.  Its big.  Takes up two exhibition halls and its much more oriented to the small collector.

I wore my new Molon Labe T Shirt from Angry White Dude  and my baseball cap with Robert E Lee's signature on it just in case anybody besides me or my brother remembered who's birthday it was.  I won't say we were lined up like cattle to get in.  They had cattle there and we weren't lined up like them at all.

Once inside and in line, this is how it looked for people:

The line went around the next corner to the check-your-guns station and then another twenty to thirty yards to the turnstiles.  Shortly after we got into the show proper they announced that no pictures were allowed by anybody for any reason and that they'd take your camera if you took any so that's as close as I got to a picture inside.

Let me tell you, Damascus steel and checkered walnut abounded.  I drooled over a 12 bore Forsythe while my brother, more into historical stuff, drooled over an early assault rifle.  The Hall was a flintlock breech loader that saw use in the Seminole Wars and the Mexican American War.  The breech was hinged and it popped up for loading.  You'd load the breech from the front like any muzzle loader but since only the short breech section needed to be loaded, you could do it flat on your belly.  I can imagine the liberals of the day:  "you can reload it multiple times while behind cover!  No civilian needs that kind of advantage..."

Shooting A Hall video.

Several people were selling old reloading stuff.  One guy had a box of brand new Lee Loaders for ten bucks each.  I didn't need one in 300 Savage but how can you not buy one for ten bucks?  I got a 10 ga Lee Shot Shell Loader for another ten bucks.  I tried to buy some tools from a machinist but he was too busy shooting the bull with somebody so I gave up and let him keep his stuff.

The show covered two full exhibit halls and we were about beat when we got out.  Using my incredible sense of direction and navigation skills I managed to put us out on the far side of the building from our car so we had more walking to do just to get back on the road.

Being past regular lunch time, we decided to hit the Wing House before heading back home.  A Wing House is like a Hooters except that the girls wear black, the food is better and the girls are prettier.  At least that was the case where I live until the Hooters closed.  Come to think of it, I guess that means its still the case where I live.

While stopped for gas, I had the great idea of finding a Bubba Ques barbeque place instead.  My phone confirmed that there was one in town and we managed to find it without "too much" trouble. 

Bubba Ques is a small chain of barbeque restaurants that has a good menu and a fun, tongue-in-cheek red-neckish theme.

Imagine a place decorated by Larry the Cable Guy and you are on the right track.

You get the idea.

The food was good and it was two-for-one on beer so it was worth the half hour we spent lost getting there.  Interestingly, several of the tables were occupied by people who were talking about having been to the gun show.  It was a good time for all.  Got home and had a check from my lawyer waiting on me.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Or Polaris.    Spent some quality time with my old 4 wheeler this afternoon.  Had it running really well a few years ago and then I got a dog with separation anxiety.  I go to work and he separates the stuffing from the furniture, the pages from my books and the wires and fuel lines from my 4 wheeler.  

Back & neck trouble has kept me from fixing it for years but I bought a lift table and some large jack stands so I don't have to stoop down to work on it.  I got my every-few-months shot in the neck this week and decided that I'd do some exploratory work on it while the steroids are working.

I figured out what wires used to go where.  Ordered a new fuel cut off valve and some air filter-related parts.  Bought it a new battery, fuel lines and fuel filter.  I'll have to get a trickle charger before I put the electrolyte in the battery but I may be able to turn the engine over by this time tomorrow.   If she'll fire on starting fluid, I'll know she still wants to run.  When the new fuel valve gets here, I'll put the fuel tank and lines on it and have the hard part done. 

While the battery is charging I'll be putting a new steering shaft on Ruth, the Jeep.  It will be a restful Sabbath. 


Never Happen Here?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Brass vs Steel Cased Ammo Test

The folks at Lucky Gunner   have done an extensive test on the subject.  Its worth a read even if you already have all you need of whatever kind you have.

Gun Show Fashion

I'm gettin' one of these:

Found it at Angry White Dude

Another Place to go Most Every Day

Just Added Genesis9:2-3 Ministries to the Places I go Most Every Day list.

Its less "gunny" and more "hunty" than most of the other places on the list.  The blog's subtitle is "Confessions of a cervid serial killer" if that makes it sound more interesting.

Theo Spark goes on the list too.  I actually do check his blog every day.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

.22 CCM Part 2

I didn't get to try out the little rifle on New Year's Day as I had hoped.  We just had stuff to do and its an hour to the super-secret range.  Besides that, I hadn't loaded any ammo.  Started working on that after the movie yesterday.

Its a straight walled case so it uses a separate expander die instead of an expander ball in the sizing die.    I sized and primed 25 cases from a bag of previously fired brass.  Then I champhered the case mouths and adjusted the expanding die to just start the slightest hint of a bell at the mouth of each case.

That's when the fight started.

I was weighing the propellant so I know there was no variation in my charges but some cases had powder  full to the mouth and others had the powder 1/16" or so from the case mouth.  We're talking about 7.5 grain charges here.  That's an incredible variation in case capacity and that was just the start of the day's festivities.

Seating bullets in cases that had some room tended to go fine but the ones that required compressing the loads invariably had no tension on the bullet when it came out of the seating die.  I mean you could pluck the bullet out of the case with your fingers.  A couple of them actually stayed in the seating die.  I seemed that compressing the powder expanded the cases enough to make them release the bullets.

I resized all of them and cut the powder charges back to leave room in the cases and I skipped expanding them.  It was very tedious work getting the bullets to sit on the case mouths for the trip up into the seater die but I got them loaded and retired to ruminate on the process.

At breakfast this morning, The Lovely Bride and I were talking about the new emoticons she put on my phone and I showed her that it even had a wild boar emoticon.  That led directly to talk about her brother, his kid and squirrel hunting.  Did somebody say "Squirrel Hunting?"

I sent him a text message about the three of us going squirrel hunting and he confirmed that it was a grand idea and I realized that I had this expensive squirrel gun that wasn't even sighted in and my ammo from last night most assuredly sucked.

Back to the reloading room this afternoon.

I decided to use new brass and opened up a bag marked .17 CCM.  The .17 CCM is exactly what it sounds like.  Its a 22 CCM necked down to .17.  The cases said .17 CCM on the headstamp but had no shoulder and I was able to slide a 22 caliber bullet into them so I guess this was some "basic" kind of brass to use for either. 

The very first case I took out of the bag had a bent mouth.  No problem.  I'll iron it out in the sizing die.  Only it didn't iron out.  The sizing die I was using didn't iron the case mouth out.  Holy crap!

One good thing about getting a gun from the buddy that I got this one from is that he's a little bit obsessive.  He bought a set of RCBS dies when he got it and then found out that CH4D made dies for it that cost less so he got a set of those too.  Then he saw another RCBS sizer die on Ebay so he bought that too.  All of that came with the rifle so I had another set of dies to play with.

I switched to the CH set and the case came out of the sizer pressed and starched.  The mouth was perfectly round.  I sized 25 of them in the CH die and then primed and champhered.    Before belling any of them, I decided to measure the expanders in each die set.  Both came in at .2235." So I'm loading a .224" bullet into a case that I've just expanded to .2235."   Ok.  There's some springback but both expanders are marked ".223" so they appear to me to be somewhat generic.  I imagine that the paper-thin case walls of a .22 CCM or a .22 Hornet don't spring back as much as thicker walled cases like .223 or 22.250 so maybe I'm not getting as much bullet pull as needed.  I turned the RCBS expander against some wet or dry sandpaper until I had it reading .2225" and used that to expand the cases.

With the new brass, all of the powder levels were the same.  All of the bullets seated and all stayed put when I pulled on them.  With some luck, I will be able to sight it in and see how well it does on squirrels within the week.

Security Breach

This morning at breakfast I sent a text message to my brother in law about going squirrel hunting.  He wants to show his daughter how its done and I need to sight in the new Cooper so it seemed like a good idea.  In the text I mention having a "high dollar" squirrel rifle that needs sighting in. 

Then I promptly sent the text to my Lovely Bride instead of to him.  Yikes!  That could come back to bite me.

No. The picture doesn't really have anything to do with the story except that it says "Security" in the caption.  Seriously.  Why else would I use it?


Watched it yesterday while cleaning a shotgun that probably hadn't been cleaned in my lifetime. Its not your every day Western.

The good guys are bad guys who decided to be good but change their minds to do one last bad thing because somebody they don't know did something bad to somebody else they don't know and the people who are supposed to be the good guys won't do the innocent victim justice because the innocent victim is a prostitute and not worthy of them giving a damn.  There's also a $1,000 bounty.  The drunk cowboy that did the first bad thing to the innocent prostitute when she innocently giggled at his tiny “manhood” is another victim and so is his partner who seems to have done nothing worse than ride in to town with “Tiny.” The people who should be the good guys turn out to be the most despicable, violent and sadistic and the good guys who just came to town to murder the cowboys in cold blood for a $1,000 bounty are the heroes even though one is a half-blind faker and the other is dead.

Makes perfect sense

To top it all off, Clint Eastwood winds up cleaning house with a double barreled shotgun and a borrowed Smith & Wesson and goes home and opens a dry goods store.   At first you think “of course; Eastwood, Smith and Wesson; they go together.” Along about 2:00 AM you wake up thinking “but it was a Western. He uses Colts in his Westerns.”

And you stare at the ceiling until dawn.

That is a good movie.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Minor Details

My brother bought an old Damascus barreled, hammered double 10 gauge shotgun last month.  The picture is one like it that was on Gunbroker a while back.  I told him that I could keep him in low pressure ammo without too much trouble.   Shortly after he relied on my promise and bought the thing, I priced a 10 gauge conversion kit for my old MEC press and about had a stroke.

My next bright idea was to go on Ebay to look for either a press that was set up for 10 gauge or an antique tool that I could use to assemble a few boxes of shells.   Searching "10 gauge" brought up about 3 pages of stuff with none of it related to shotguns.  I tried a few other combinations of words and eventually gave up and just searched "reloading." 267 pages of stuff with over 13,000 hits showed up.  

I waded into the project with high hopes of finding something among all those returns but what I found was that at least a quarter of the listings for MEC loaders or any other shot shell loading tool don't bother to mention what gauge shell the things are set up to load.  Seriously.  People are listing all kinds of shot shell loading stuff without mentioning what gauge the stuff loads.   Lots of people. 

If I was going to list a MEC press for sale and hope to get a hundred or a hundred and fifty bucks plus shipping out of it, I think that amount of money would be enough to induce me to look at the friggin' die and read what size it loads.  Its just a minor detail but its kinda important unless you're just listing the stuff to waste everybody's time.

Finally, along about page seventy, like Chief Inspector Hubbard,   I "had a brain wave."   I don't need to resize a hull until its been fired so what I need at the moment is loading equipment, not  RE-loading equipment.  Another minor detail.

I hit  Ballistic Products' site and ordered some 10 gauge hulls, a hull trimmer, wads, a roll crimper and a couple of data sheets on loading low pressure loads for vintage shotguns and loading in shortened hulls.  They were out of 10 gauge over shot wads but I may be able to find a substitute before my brother visits this month.  I need to support Hobby Lobby anyway.   They may have some kind of card stock and a punch set that would be suitable for making the wads.  If they have no punch set, perhaps my old lathe could help me make one.

The only problem, if it be one, is that I presently have no 10 gauge shotgun to use for test firing the loads.  I suppose that I'll have to remedy that sometime this week.   Just another of those minor details.