Tuesday, November 29, 2005

BOOM! And A Giant Cloud Of Smoke.

I've been neglecting this blog, does not look it shall get much better until January. Between getting ready to spend December in Arizona, and learning cowboy action shooting I haven't had much time to even look at blogs, much less write in this one.

Saturday marked my third match and the first one with all black powder cartridges. Also the first match with my new rifle, a clone of the Winchester Model '92 in .45 Colt. I'll post a pic or two before the end of the week. Meanwhile, here in a word picture, it's the rifle version, meaning it has the 24 inch octagon barrel rather than the round barrel of the carbine or the short octagon tube of the short rifle. It has the full length magazine holding thirteen rounds, with one in the chamber it is one of those damn' yankee rifles that ye load on Sunday and shoot all week. And it is stainless steel, not period correct, of course, but then they didn't load .45 Colt into rifles or carbines back then, either. Since I am shooting black powder, with the propensity toward corrosion that it has, I'll just pretend it's nickel plated.

At any rate, Saturday's match got rained out, I only got to shoot one stage out of six. By the time it was my turn to shoot the rain was comin' down like a brown cow peein' on a flat rock. That was impressive, though, the more moisture in the air, the bigger the cloud of smoke. I didn't notice but the other folks said that the shotgun was shooting flame and sparks out some five feet. All I saw was big clouds of smoke, though. The recoil of those BP 12 Gauge loads pushes the muzzles up to where I don't see the shot strike until I haul the muzzles out of the sky.

We finished the match the next day, in a thirty plus mile an hour wind. The clouds of smoke aren't nearly so blinding in wind like that. The full charge black loads are still impressive, though. It seems that most folks in cowboy shoot very light loads in .38 or even .32 for the speed. It is much faster to shoot when one does not have to contend with recoil. There is a smaller subset of shooters who fire cartridges with numbers beginning in .40 or more. These folks are called 'warthogs'. And there is another smaller subset called Soot Lords, who shoot the original powder, black, or one of the replicas like Pyrodex or Triple Seven. I guess I'm workin' on becomin' a Soot Hog.

Well, I have to take Linda Lou's car to the shop, then her retirement party is tonight. Tomorrow night is Georges graduation from beginning obedience school and then we're leaving Friday for San Antonio. We'll shall spend a few days there and then off to Arizona for the rest of the year. I'll write some from the road, for now, though, I shall be lucky to post a few pictures. Anong with everything else I must load up every .38 and .357 case in the house so that Andy and his wife have sumpin to shoot. Plus a couple hundred more .45 and 12 gauge black powder loads so that I can go to a match or so out there. It is fast to load smokeless loads, the black loads are slow because I have yet to buy a powder measure that works with black. It is too explosive to use in a standard measure so I have to dip it out and weigh each charge. Then the grease cookies are a hand proposition, too. I can load a hundred smokeless in the time it takes to load ten BP.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Gunbelt Suspenders And Guncarts.

I forgot my camera yesterday so we snapped a few pictures when I got home from the cowboy action match. I almost had a top ten, until the eleventh person showed up. It was a smaller crowd, about thirty-five people.

My gunbelt suspenders worked. exactly as I'd hoped. Of course if I didn't have that giant gut pushing everything down it would be a different story.

Here is a picture of my guncart with my shotgun and my Marlin .357 Mag Carbine.

For some reason George has decided we need a giant hole in the yard, near the front steps. I swear I'm gonna break my leg stepping in that hole. Had to get a dog, couldn't get a nice guppy.

Anyhow my second cowboy match went a lot smoother, only two embarrassing mistakes. Somehow I loaded one of my revolvers with four, rather than five rounds on one stage and I forgot the sequence I was supposed to be shooting the rifle targets on another stage. I still have a lot to learn in this sport. The hard part is that each stage, or set of targets , has a different way that the targets are engaged.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Big Surprise.

I went out and voted yesterday, just like I had intended. I don't know how I got it into my head that the voting for the State Primaries was yesterday, that is in the Spring. By the way, the woman running against Perry for Governor is named Strahorn, not quite sure how she spells it. She was a Rylander a marriage or so back. I don't know who is advising her, the election is months away, each of her campaign commercials is more annoying than the last one. We've had months of her commercials already, each tells us that she is one tough granmaw and some alleged miscue by Perry, the Gov we have now. I could give a rat's patootie how tough a granmaw she is, it's been some decades since the Governor of a State has actually had to whup somebody.

Had some minor errands to run afterwards and during them I dropped into Koenig's Gunshop in Terrel to check on the progress on the action job of my new revolver. It was promised to be ready this coming Friday and I was going to jog their memory a little in hopes of having the job done in time to go to the Cowboy Action Shoot this coming Sunday.

Imagine my amazement when they told me that my shootin' iron was already finished. Even more amazing is that the job came through at the quoted cost! Now you non-gunnies or new gunnies out there might be going ho-hum over this, let me put this into perspective. A gunsmith is very much like an auto mechanic, no job ever happens on time or on budget, period. It's just an automatic assumption to add at least half of the quoted price and a week or more to the time period. I had actually no expectation to go the this Sunday's shoot unless I borrowed the second gun. I was only really hoping to make the shoot on the last Saturday of the month.

The creep is out of the trigger and the hammer is nice and smooth coming to full cock. He swears that he did nothing to the weight of the trigger pull, it sure does FEEL lighter.

In other good news my two pair of suspenders came in the mail. I ran some leather thongs through the buttonholes on one pair and now I have suspenders for my gunbelt. Now, Linda Lou offered to give me a few inches of her surplus hips and butt, trouble is, I don't think we can afford a whole wardrobe of new trousers, though. So, I'll just see how these work, if they work well I'll take the gunbelt to the Mesquite Saddle and Shoe Repair Shop and have the Chinaman sew some suspender buttons on the rig. I'm ordering some old west type trousers tomorrow and a duster coat, too. I want to order the coat before the sale is over.

I also have to see if my new guncart will fit into the back of my car, it fits easily into the back of Linda Lou's minivan, we'll see how it fits into the back of my PT Cruiser.

If anyone cares, it's Linda Lou and my anniversary tomorrow. Yes, we got married on the birthday of the US Marine Corps, she wanted an anniversary that I couldn't forget. Pray for war.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Not Much Going On

Not a heckuva lot going on right now, mostly just waiting for Linda Lou's last day at the Postal Service so we can start that loooong vacation. Tomorrow is primary election day down here, we'll be votin' on the Governor, I'm voting for Rick Perry. Carol Keating Rylander might have got my vote but her radio commercials have been so annoying.

The big deal is the marriage amendment in the State Constitution. I'm voting for it. Oddly, if there was a state constitutional amendment being voted on to allow some form of civil union, I'd most likely vote for that, too. What I don't want is some bunch of judges deciding for me based on some odd emanation of a penumbra in the constitution that nobody has seen in all these years. It's kind of like the sodomy statutes. When the Constitution was ratified there were still jurisdictions that executed gays, none of the framers said anything. Then a bit over two hundred years later, it's a right, there it is! Right there in the Constitution! Actually, the Constitution is written in fairly simple English, I'm rather tired of having some Judge having to interpret it for me.

My new revolver is at the gunsmith, having an action job. My other Single Action Army is in pieces on this very desk, getting the chambers of the cylinder polished. This is one of those deals that cost a bunch of money, for no good reason. All one has to do is chuck a cleaning brush into the electric drill, put a cleaning patch over the brush and put a dollop of Flitz metal polish on the patch. I also must do this on the double barrel 12 gauge so the cases fall free there, too. Actually, there is a good reason this operation costs money, when we hire a gunsmith we hire his whole shop for as long as that operation takes. It costs almost nothing to polish the chambers myself. Once that is done the empties just fall out, without using the ejector rod.

I've loaded some two hundred rounds of light .38 loads with a different bullet, a 158 grain round nosed flat point. Hopefully that will take care of my problems with my carbine. The semiwadcutters gave a lot of trouble feeding that last match.

The .45 loads are going to be the light Tite Group loads. I'll go back to the black powder once I'm a little more used to the course of fire.

I'm going to shoot factory shotshell loads my next couple of matches, I have a batch of black powder loads in the old-time brass cases, I'm gong to carry them around in my new guncart and see if this new glue holds the overshot wads in place. If it does, I'll try them, if not I'll figure something else out What I'm not going to do is stand there at the firing point looking at the birdshot running out the end of my barrels anymore.

With a little bit of luck I'll have everything together, with a little extra ammo, to carry out to Arizona in December. There are some clubs out there with some awfully good shooters, if I make it to some of those shoots I should be able to learn a lot.

Well, Linda Lou is too lazy to cook tonight, she wants a Sonic burger. So, off I go..