Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cowboy Action Shoot

I went to my first ever Cowboy Action Shooting Match yesterday.
I've no idea why these pictures are below the text.

At any rate, I've a lengthy set of lessons learned, number one is to try to find some suspenders for my gunbelt. Since I have no hips or butt, it's difficult to keep a belt with two revolvers, thirty-five rounds of .45 ammo and six rounds of twelve gauge from pulling my trousers off.

Another lesson is that I need to redo the kind of glue that holds the top wad in my brass shotshells. There isn't much fun in shooting at a target when all the birdshot has run down the barrel and all over the floor. I lost the shot of ten of my shotshells, fortunately I caught some of those before I tried to shoot 'em. Fortunately, I wasn't quite sure about those shotshells so I had a box of factory rounds along. Unfortunately, I didn't think to try them until the last stage. Oh, well.

I also had no round nosed bullets for my little .357 Marlin Carbine. it's primary use is as a house defense gun and I'd neglected to buy some lead round nosed flat points. That little carbine does not feed the lead semi-wadcutter bullets at all well.

My old .45 shot just fine, the new one needs a little action job, the trigger pull is awful and it has a hich in the cocking.

The important thing, though is that I had no safety violations, I did not shoot myself or anyone else. I can build on that.

Anyone interested can see the smoke from the black powder in my loads. It was a beautiful day with the breeze directly behind so the smoke driffed free.

I do beleve that I'll shoot my next few matches with smokeless powder loads and do a little practice with black powder, until I'm used to the drill.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Doctor Visits And Gun Shops, An Expensive Day.

Fun days yesterday and today. I started the day this that next visit with Lucy, my young and quite pretty family practice Doc, actually a physician's Assistant. Note to self, try nt to schedule anymore ( fasting) bloodwork visits for one fifteen in the afternoon. Lucy confirms what everyone but me things is my quick recovery for this stroke and how well my speech is coming back. So I guess it's just me that notices that I can talk for sour owlsh, um sour apples anymore well, at least this doctor visit I got to keep my trousers up. I got all my mountain of prescriptions redone and the blood drawn and we were out the door. Time for something to eat and shopping for a new revolvers. We don't often eat at Taco Bueno anymore since doing so seems to annoy the medics but there was one right near, fast and cheap......

First stop was Academy Sports and Outdoors, just because it was close, they had nothing I was shopping for, in and out, away in less than five minutes.

Next stop was B and S Gunshop, they had a few that looked interesting including one of the new Taurus Revolvers for $373.00. I filed that one away in my head for a closer look if the one at Cabella's wasn't acceptable. The iron was a five and one half inch barrel, matching my other revolver and while not quite as pretty was a nice looking piece. Still, the $289 price of the one at Cabella's was calling.

The next stop was closed on Mondays, so off we went through North Dallas on the LBJ Freeway. This road is well known for it's constant state of being under repair and a rush hour that lasts about 22 hours per day. We've got kinfolk scattered around Fort Worth, we'd go see them once in a while except that Dallas is in the way. If the World ever needs an enema the Lord would stick the hose in Dallas. Anyhow we fought our way through there and, just north of D/FW Airport we stopped in the Bass Pro Shop, another place with some nice shootin' irons, but not what I was looking for. Back on the road. Somehow we got turned 'round and were heading for the wilds of North Central Texas, not exactly where we wanted to be. After a small amount of cussin' and a few comments about my IQ from the passenger seat, we got headed right.

Folks, we've never been to Cabella's, the place in huge. They've an interesting way of selling guns. There's a manager that wanders 'round not helping anyone, a few harried salespeople and a platoon of other employees that do little or less. Once one salesman gets a customer, that's his customer, no one else will do anything. That sounds fine but that one guy wanders off and seems have have five people at once. So we look at the shootin' iron we came to see, we look it over, try the action, everything is fine. Salesman says he'll get us one out of the back, we tell him to get several so we can try the triggers and suchlike. Salesman says we can't do that, he can only bring one. Since an action job is only forty bucks we just bought what he brung.

Then Linda Lou spent more that what I saved not buying another $419.00 Cimarron. Sigh.

Anyhow, I have the last bit of iron for getting into the Cowboy Action shoots, now. This morning I jumped into the car and went to the range with both the revolvers. They both go bang, that's a start. The new one definitely needs an action job, the trigger has some serious hitch in it's getalong. Still, it shoots to more or less where it looks, that's the important thing. Actually, with that trigger, I can't tell how well the sights are regulated. I think it's just a hair low which is alright. It's easy to file down the front sight.

Now, by Saturday I must join the Single Action Shooting Society and the local club so I can hit their last Saturday of the month shoot.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Going Shopping.

I'm going shopping today, we've a few bucks left and it's time for my next shootin' iron, the end of my shopping for a Cowboy Action Shootin' battery. We're going to the Doctor's first, it's time for our regular blood work and prescription update. (Be still, my beating heart)

I'm looking for the second revolver, it didn't occur to me that one would need two until I actually read the rules of the SASS bunch. Anyhow, I don't know that we'll actually buy the iron today, we're gonna have to go clean to Fort Worth to look at one at Cabella's. They have a very inexpensive copy of the old Colt Peacemaker, some $289.00 or so for the 4 and 3/8 inch in .45 Colt. It's got the dull blue job, no color case hardening on the frame and an unfinished brass frame on the grips. It's not the iron I'd really like, I personally like the balance of the 5 and 1/2 inch barrel and there aren't very many that wouldn't prefer good blue and nice color case hardening. Trouble is, that low price and that I already HAVE one nice primary gun. So, what we'll do is look 'round the used racks today and then, if we have the energy left, over to Fort Worth to Cabella's if there isn't a good used revolver for, say, $350.00 or so.

I do love me some gun shopping.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Accidental 9mm Luger Load

In my last post I mentioned going to see my pal Steve, which beminds me of when he was learning to load a little handgun ammo. Steve isn't a shooter like I am, he is a hunter. That's kind of a shame, if he would really apply himself he'd be in the top one per cent of pure shooters and could possibly be in the elite few. He isn't all that interested, though, so he practices enough to be deadly on deer and dove.

Anyhow Steve got himself the 9mm Luger bug and bought himself a Beretta, the civilian version of the new Army gun. I bought a set of Lee dies for it and started cranking out a little ammo so he'd have some practice stuff and then a pard in the scrap metal biz came up with several five gallon bucketfuls of fully jacketed 125 grain bullets. The 9mm shooters in our little club won't EVER have do buy a 9mm bullet for practice again. Anyhow we came up with a real nice practice load, pretty much near the max load of Alliant's Herco powder for the lead bullet worked fine. The load is hot enough that every one of our nine shooters could use it but still low enough that we don't have to worry about having an overpressure event from a change in cartridge cases or primers. It's a load I still recommend to folks, 6.2 grains of Herco behind any 125 grain bullet. I've never seen a nine that wouldn't shoot it.

Then came the day we were short on Herco and, since Steve lives in town, I sent him out after some. Somehow he ended up with a big jug of Blue Dot, instead. Blue Dot is a nice powder for heavy shotshells and magnum revolvers but I've never seen it used in small capacity handgun rounds, it's just too bulky. Since the name of the game with buying powder is, you bought it, it's yours, I started looking for a way to use it. One after another of my manuals failed until I finally went on line and found that Alliant's website has a listing. This was back before we had a computer at home.

All these years later, Steve is still loading Blue Dot in the Nine. The downside is that the case is so full that we have to be real careful until the bullet is seated for fear of spilling powder all over Hell's half acre. The good news is that velocity is fine and there is no way that the bullet could ever be pushed deeper into the case, raising pressure, the powder is just too compressed.

The lesson learned is to not give up on a 'wrong' powder until we have checked every bit of information. Today, of course, that info is right at our fingertips, via the 'net. Under normal circumstances I would never run out and buy Blue Dot for loading the Nine. I kept some around for some decades, though, for loading my .357 revolver rounds and when Steve first bought that Nine I had some on my shelf, it never struck my mind to use it.

George and the Old Fart

It's past time you all meet George. World, this is George. George, meet the world.

George had his second night in the 'Beginner's Class' at dog training last night. I'm not sure how much he's really learning about 'sit' and 'stay'. He is the champ at 'come', though. Well, sort of. He comes to me just fine, he flat won't come to the woman running the class, or anybody else. He just looks at her and says something along the line of "who are you? I don't work for you."

Jackie, the woman running the class says that that's not entirely a bad thing, he'll be much harder to steal that way. She says that German Shepherds are very often one man dogs. Of course, the real reason for this class is basic socialization around both other dogs and people. He had none of that at all in his first five months. THAT part of the plan is really working. He is quite gentle around the other dogs in the class and, although he won't really approach the other people, when they come to him he allows them to do some petting and suchlike. Most important, he is very gentle around strange children.

Afterwards we drove over to meet my best friend and their dog, Roxy. Seein' as how Linda Lou absolutely refuses to bring George on our next vacation out to Arizona, over Christmas, this is important. Steve is pal enough to keep the mess-dog while we're out of the area, assuming that everybody gets along. I drove away thanking the good Lord that they did all get along. That's some five hundred bucks we won't have to spend in boarding.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Strange Happenings in Computerland

Seems that both our desktop computers have blown a gasket and we are unable to access the internet. I'm not quite sure what is up, I'm rather unhappy about it, though.

Blogging will be near-nonexistent while we figure it out.

Anyone interested will be pleased to know that Linda Lou is soon to retire from her job at the Post Office. November 30th will be her last day. The good news is that she absotively and posilutely hates the job. The bad news is that we are going to be stone-cold broke for the next couple of years, until her social security kicks in. Her Postal Service pension will be barely enough to pay our good medical insurance and a few bucks extra. Between her little bit and what I bring in, about $1100 per month. Then sometime after two years we'll be up to some $1700 or so, that's just about enough to live on. All grown children, young grandchildren and broke blogpappies should be warned that birthdays and Xmases will be slim to none.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Columbus Day

Well, another Columbus Day has come and is just about gone. I don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about that long-dead Italian but every once in a while I do thank him. If not for Columbus I'd be stuck in some Euro hole or other waiting for the next batch of Cossacks to charge trough the Ville, slaughtering everyone.

I'm sure glad not to be a Euro.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Range and Bench Report

Apologies to all of my few readers, been busy lately. Don't imagine it's gonna get better soon.

I do have an interesting range report. I took the Son-in-law to the range with the new .30-06. This being a range with a real set of concrete benches we set the rifle up on a Harris Bipod and rear bag. I suspect he would have done better in a regular sitting position, he is simply not used to the recoil of full charge .30-06 rounds. Fortunately I had fifty of Hodgdon's 'youth' loads' along.

Handloaders should know about Hodgdon's 'youth' loads, they are an interesting concept. The idea is to take any big game cartridge for which H4895 powder is used. Take the maximum charge of H4895 and multiply said charge by 60%. Then, as your 'youth' grows and gets adjusted to the recoil, add a grain or two of powder until we reach the full charge. By careful bullet selection we can hunt deer out to about two hundred yards or so with the very beginning of these. At any rate I had a supply of Hornaday's 130 grain Single Shot Pistol Bullets handy and loaded a batch of these in front of 40.0 grains of H4895. The velocity should be right around 2500 fps, almost what a .308 gives in those fancy one shot pistols. As Dean and Stephanie get used to the kick I can increase the charge.

The interesting thing, of course, is how these critters shoot? I did not shoot any, on purpose. I don't much want the kids trying to compare themselves with me. Dean, though, had several groups in the inch and a half to two inch range. Given the two hundred yard nature of the ammo, plenty good enough. My next step is to load up a half box, fifty round boxes, of 42 grains and 44 grains each. If I can get him to about 2800 fps or so by opening day, with that light bullet, he'll be good as far as he'll be able to see the critters on this particular ranch.

I don't know of any powder but H4895, except maybe IMR 4895 and Accurate's 2495 that has a range of pressure with good ignition wide enough for these 'youth' loads. They may be out there, I just haven't tried. These loads are much like the 'midrange' loads that were popular when I was a kid except with a hunting bullet instead of a target pill.

I've loaded a few of those all-brass shotshells, the Magtech 12 gauge that I asked about in my last post. Thank you, Tres Equis, that was exactly the information I was looking for. I'm loading one box of 25 with the old original type of wads from Circle Fly and one box of 25 with one on Winchester's shotcup wads on top of a regular overpowder wad., just to see how that works. The shotcup type wad will, if it works out okay, be just what I need to go hunting. I'll try these sometime soon. I'm using 80 grains of FFG Black Powder, GOEX if that matters. I've some room to grow the charge. On the standard 'old fashioned' wad column I shooting an ounce of shot, on the 'shotcup' wads 480 grains since that what it takes to fill them.

Not much else to talk about, boring doctor visits and therapy, messing with this puppy that eats anything. The creepy dog ate my eyeglasses, I had to get new ones. I would've killed the mutt if it weren't for the fact that I've been putting off new glasses for over a year. ARRRGH! Had to get a puppy.