I've been busy last week on non-blogging stuff. I got myself a couple big heavy lead bricks from a defunct hospital, they were used to shield the X-Ray Department and were pure lead. I had to melt them down and add a little tin to make my ingots to cast bullets for my black powder loads. That done, I then had to spend hours hunched over my little electric furnace casting a bazillion bullets. The melted lead can cause fumes, and a spill ruins everything it lands on so this work is done outside, on the deck. Since it is way to hot to be cuddled up to a furnace full of melted lead six months out of the year I try to get all my casting done in the late fall to late spring.
Casting bullets is pure drudgery and this is why there are lots and lots of commercial casters out there, I use a lot of them myself, plus a ton of those swaged Remington 255 grain bullets, too. Now that we're both retired and sittin' on very skinny wallets, though, I am trying to save some cash when I can.
I got my last order of Beewax in, from a new supplier I found on the internet,
Southeast Texas Honey Co. Their filtered yellow beeswax is only $8.00 for a two pound block which is the best price I've found. So far, all I've used beeswax for is my wax wads to keep the gobs of commercial black powder lube from contaminating my powder charges. Of course, that was when I only knew of ten buck a pound beeswax. Now I am trying to use one of the big blocks to make my own lube, the simplest recipe I have found yet is a mix of beeswax and olive oil. The recipes vary, it seems that every Soot Lord, or Soot Lady, has his, or her, own. The olive oil and beewax recipes vary, too, as to the mix. Seems the hotter the weather, the less olive oil. Since I live where the summers are just a little hotter than the back gate of Hell I expect to run about 35-40% oil in the summer and maybe 50-50 during the rest of the year. The nice thing is that it ain't rocket science, if my lube is too thin I can add more wax, too thick, more oil.
In other news, my boots came in the UPS truck. I got those Durango Range Boots in tan. Actually after lookin' at them they're darker than tan and lighter than brown. I had to drive all over Hell's half acre to find the right color polish, I finally found some Justin Cognac boot cream that is perfect. I needed a new pair of walk-around, everyday boots, too so I bought a pair of Justin 'basic' ropers. These are the ones to replace the set that George, the German Shepherd puppy ate. I got them home and discovered that the new Justin Basics are made in China. It is a heck of a world when we discover that our own illegal alien Mexican labor is too expensive for the world market. Well, anyway, my next pair of everyday boots will be some other brand. Anyhow, both sets of new kickers are carefully covered in mink oil and then polished. I'm not sure when it became standard to not polish shoes or boots before first wearing them. I also don't know when the full shelves of boot and shoe polish at drugstores went. As expensive as shoes have gotten, I don't understand the lack of polish. Just a coat of polish every couple of weeks will double the life of a pair of kicks. Anyway, Linda Lou is giving me funny looks for wearing seventeen inch tall mule ear boots in my briefs. Who's briefs am I supposed to wear? I'm just tryin' to get 'em broke in before the next shoot.
We're leaving town for a short trip, tomorrow. We've never been to Fort Smith Arkansas and there is a lot of history, there. Just as important, Powder, Inc. is an hour out of Ft. Smith. I pay over $18.00 plus tax a pound for black powder, locally. Powder Inc is a supplier and charges ten bucks a pound, plus a $20.00 Hazmat fee for the shipper, a $20.00 fee for a ten pound order still makes it a lot cheaper. There is no good reason to make the drive instead of sending an E-mail except that as long as we've lived in the area we haven't seen that neck o' the woods. Plus, George has never spent a night in a motel. This trip is an experiment for later vacations. This trip is also making me popular in my home cowboy action club, I bringing back a case of 25 pounds for the other Soot Lords.
The last big deal last week was the arrival of my Marble's Tang Sight for my Navy Arms clone of the '92 Winchester. I don't know why but Midway had it for $25.00 off. The price of $99.99 is better than $125.00. Anyhow I got it on Thursday and installed it that night. I went Friday and shot the rifle off the bench. Group sized was cut in half over the semi-buckhorn factory site. My next match is March 14. I plan on shooting the rifle targets clean. With black powder. In new boots. Yee-haw.