Sunday, April 23, 2006

Big Lube Boolits And A New Gun

Sorry for the lack of posting, it rained. If there is so much as a cloud in Oklahoma or wind in New Mexico, I lose my internet. I wrote two long post, both got eaten by the Internet Monster before I could publish them. Someday I shall learn how to write offline and post that.

It has been an expensive couple of weeks, I made the mistake of reading the SASS Wire Classified. This can get costly. I did manage to save some money, though. I bought a loading strip, that is a piece of leather with bullet loops sewn on each side, loke a two-sided cartridge belt. These are handy because of an oddity in the SASS Match Rules, once the shootin' irons are loaded we are not supposed to go anywhere but the firing line and then the unloading table. This makes it difficult to carry a box of cartridges back to the guncart. The loading strip eliminates the problem, we can put the cartridges required for that stage right there and we can hang the srip off the belt. A loading strip usually cost anywhere from $25.00 to $50.00, debending on how fancy, I got one for $13.00.

I also bought a batch of "Big Lube Boolits". A feller with the handle of Dick Dastardly up in the land of cheese and Lutefisk spent his 401K money starting a business providing supplies to black powder shooters, one facet of this business is molds for some bullets designed by BP shooters. Most people do not know that modern bullets do not do real well with black powder, they do not carry enough of the soft lube that BP requires. I have been making my home cast bullets work by putting a grease cookie under them, that is a beeswax wad, a dollop of my homemade BP lube and a fiber wad.

These bullets were designed by several people, the ones I bought by Pigeonroost Slim. This bullet is made in a Lee custom mold, it is a roundnosed bullet with the point flattened and one very wide and deep lube groove. The lube groove is pretty much the only difference between the ordinary RNFP bullet I cast and the Big Lube bullet.

If these bullets shoot as well as they look, I will buy a mold myself. These bullets cost considerably more to buy, already cast, than the usual hardcast bullets. The ordinary cast bullet is not really designed to shoot, rather it is designed to ship. They are cast of alloy that is so hard that they do not slug up to an oversized barrel at less than magnum pressures.

The Big Lube bullets, excuse me, Boolits are not bulk packed like the hardcast bullets. Instead of being thrown loose in a box, each bullet is placed nose down in a styrofoam 'plank' like in a cartridge box. It actually costs more to buy 250 Big Lubes than it does 500 of the Remington swaged lead.

The big deal on these bullets is that it is much faster to load, without having to fool with making the grease cookie. Now for full loads, I just drop a powder sharge and seat the bullet. For a lighter load I drop the powder charge, then I add a 0.7 cc scoop of dried grits and seat the bullet. This is a whole lot faster.

I have a couple of boxes loaded up, this weekend I shall see how they shoot. We have a match Saturday.

Last, but certainly not the least expensive, I found a new revolver, another Cimarron Single Action Army with a five and a half inch barrel. This one, though, is stainless steel. A Pard from Ablilene had this iron sitting in the back of his gunsafe, he wasn't shooting it. Well, he advertised it, I offered to buy it on a face to face deal and drove out to get it on Saturday.

I didn't have to go all the way to Abilene, intstead he had sent the revolver home with his son, who lives in Eastland, TX, a town some fifty-sixty miles closer to my piece of the rock. It was a nice drive, it is wildflower season. Plus, the diet rules are relaxed on long drives, everybody knows that calories don't count a hundred miles from home. So I stopped at Baker's Ribs for lunch. Mmmm! Ribs.

Well, it turned out that the owner of the gun had not told me the whole truth. Sure, he told be that it was a clone of the old Colt thumb buster and he told me that it was made of stainless steel. What he did not tell me about was the aftermarket spring kit in the gun, nor did he mention that the awful varnish had been removed from the grips. So, I now have my third .45 revolver, two five and a half inch Cimarrons and that four and three quarter inch Uberti Millenium that is officially now my back up revolver. I have my Marlin 1894 .357 for a backup for my '92 Winchester clone, the only cowboy action gun I have no backup is my mule ear double barrel shotgun. Fortunately, there isn't much of a simpler shootin' iron than an exposed hammer double.

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