Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Meet Josiah Dean R-----

Here is a picture of my new grandson, Josiah Dean. I guess it is time to change my blurb at the top of this Blog, he is grandson number seven, grandchild number eight.
Those who care about such things he weighed seven pounds four ounces and was born at 8 38 AM, Central Daylight Time yesterday morning.

Mothers and those who expect to become mothers will be exceedingly jealous. The kids got to the hospital at six AM, the boy was in the outside world two and a half hours later. Mother and baby are well as is the father. Grandparents are all proud as peacocks.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Frustrating, But I Won My Class

I won my catagory at yesterdays shoot. Well, maybe I lost. It's hard to figure it out when I scored the highest in my class and the lowest. Yup. I was the only one shooting Frontrier Cartridge.

A better idea about how I did is that I was 18th overall, still down toward the bottom of the pack. I think I might have gotten closer to the top fifteen had I not blown the order in which I had to engage the targets. That mistake cost me a ten second "P" or procedural penalty. Other than that one disaster I managed to run the match with only one other miss, I think. I'll know for sure when the club puts the scores up on the website. My time is improving, too. Granted, the top shooters in Cowboy Action shoot a stage in twenty to thirty seconds and I am still just over a minute per stage but then the top shooters are not shooting .45 Colt with black powder loads, either. I am not going to cry about shooting ten rounds, from two handguns plus ten tounds from a lever action rifle and then four rounds from a starting empty mule ear double shotgun in a minute. I suspect that, as I practice I shall get the time per stage down to 45 seconds or so. I'm still having some problems drawing and holstering and picking up and grounding the long guns. The problems are more due to that stroke than poor equipment. Still, an hour or so of practice three or four times a week would help, too. Too bad I don't practice.

At least I managed the shoot without dropping a gun, that's something.

I need to put off road wheels on my guncart. It is so dry around here that there is a real danger of breaking an ankle stepping into the cracks in the black earth. It hasn't rained around here since Moby Dick was a minnow.

The Big Lube Boolits are a real success. I finally got around to shooting the .454 diameter 250 grain Pigeon Roost Slim slugs in the rifle. The .452s shot very well in my revolvers but poorly in the rifle. I have no idea why the revolvers are so much more forgiving than the rifle. It may be just a matter of expectations. I EXPECT a rifle with a 24 inch barrel and a Marble's Tang Sight to shoot a group of around an inch, inch and a half at fifty yards and two inches or so at a hundred. The .452s did not do so with the only load I tried in the rifle. Perhaps a different load would tighten the groups up. I suspect that a full charge of The Holy Black would cause the base of the bullet to slug up to completely fill the barrel. Then I'd have to put up with the complaints about my "hot" loads being hard of the steel targets. With the .454s I had no problem with my load of 28 grains of GOEX FFG, a .7 CC scoop of instant grits, uncooked of course and the bullet. Note that I fired sixty rounds, over six stages. There was plenty of time between the stages for the black powder fouling to harden and tie up the gun. In that heat it would have. The last round was just as accurate and chambered and extracted just as easily as the first.

The only differnce between the Big Lube Boolit and a regular cast bullet is that the Big Lube carries at least five times the lubricant as a bullet made for that newfangled fad smokeless stuff.With my home cast bullets I only get ten rounds or so until the fouling turns too hard and starts giving problems in the revolvers. In the rifle I started having problems right off the bat. Twenty-four inches of barrel is just way too much for two skinny grease grooves.

Of course my homecast bullets shoot just fine with a grease cookie underneath the bullet. That what I will be shooting when I run our of the Big Lubes, at least until I can afford the new mold. There are only two reasons for using the Big Lube Boolit instead of the regular one. The grease cookie takes a lot of room in the case that can be filled with powder. That is not important for Cowboy Action since I download anyway. The time spent loading rounds makes the Big Lube matter to the handloader. It is just so much faster to por a scoop full of dry grits into the case than it is to take a freshly powdered case, push a sheet of beeswax over the casemouth, making a wad. Then we have to push the wad down on the powder. Then put a dollop od soft black powder lube in the case and finally add a card or vegetable fiber wad on top of all that and now seat and crimp the bullet.

Whew! I'm tired just writing that, it's worse doing it. What is even more fun is having to make the sheets of beeswax since no one seems to make sheets. Linda Lou does not much like me making the beeswax sheets since I always manage to drip wax all over her kitchen. Speaking of which, if I cook at least half the meals, how come it's her kitchen?

The other main advantage of the Big Lube Boolits is that it took four patches to clean my rifle and not much more than that to clean each revolver.

The Big Lube Boolits also come in full size rifle sizes, too. There are two for the .45-70 and other .45 caliber rifles, a 390 grain and a five hundred grain, and a 240 grain for the .38-55. These would be really good for long range rifle competion and for hunting. I have heard some rumblings about molds for cartridges like the .32-40 and the various .40 caliber rifles, too. If enough people are interested Dick Dastardly will be pleased to have to molds made. Big Lube Boolits.

Update: 8/20/06. Don't ask why I forgot to finish and post this all week. Too busy playing with a puppy, I recon.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I've been busy lately, busy trying to housebreak a puppy, busy with the grown dog and busy getting the ammo loaded for this Sunday's Cowboy Action Shoot.

Ming is sick, mainly seems to be abscessed teeth that will have to come out. It wouldn't be so bad except that she fights the antibiotic tablets that we have to give her twice a day to get the swelling down so that the Vet can do the tooth (teeth?) removal. She was refusing all food and water a few days ago, now, after some of the antibiotic pills she is eating food that we have soaked in water. Still, the pills are a battle. We've wrapped them in cheese and peanut butter and soaked dog food, it doesn't matter. It is going to be fun trying to shoot this Sunday with my fingers torn off.

I am having some luck with Eddie. He is peeing on the paper and outside. Unfortunately he enjoys firing the other barrel near the paper. I keep explaining to him that I have a perfectly good brick with which to beat him. Sill, he comes bouncing in from outside and runs right to the paper and then poops alongside it.

I have managed to load up enough ammo for the Shoot this Sunday. I ave loaded up one hundred rounds with the new Big Lube Boolits, the .454 diameter 250 grain Pigeon Roost Slim bullets.I already have quite a bit of ammo loaded with the .452 diameter bullets for the handguns. This is all loaded with GOEX FFG black powder, also known as The Holy Black and the One True Powder. The .452 bullets are as accurate as anything in my revolvers but very inaccurate in my rifle. I am hoping that the .454s will cure the problem. If not I shall go back to my home cast bullets and a grease cookie along with those Remington .455 swaged lead bullets.

I also have all my all-brass shotshell cases loaded up. I finally got around to weighing the shot charge, right around an ounce and three eighths of my mad scientist mix of number six and number nine birdshot. No wonder the recoil is somewhat sporty, that is a heavy load of shot. Three drams of Black Powder behind those shot charges. I am on my last bag of the now discontinued Winchester Red Wads in those shotshells. I have most of a thousand of the Circle Fly fiber cushion wads that work beautifully when I want a super open pattern, poorly when I want the patterns that work for the game I play.

It seems to have something to do with the way the forcing cones are cut in modern shotguns as opposed to the old shotguns. Old guns work best with the fiber wads, modern ones with plastic. Although my mule ear double looks old, it has the modern forcing cones.

I also filled up the rest of the box of .45 Caliber Shot Capsules with number nine birdshot for the blowing away of snakes. I have three more empty boxes for when I manage to buy some number twelve shot. Mike Venturino, a noted authority on the arms and ammo of the last half of the Nineteenth Century, swears by number twelve shot in handgun shotshells. This 12 shot is deadly on snakes at handgun ranges, trouble is that it has so little mass that it won't hold velocity for ranges for anything else. The shot caps hold just over 157 grains of number nine shot. There is the problem, fifty rounds of birshot shells is a lifetime supply. So, what to do with the rest of the bag of shot?

I have been following the War on Terror with great interest, in Britain, Israel and Lebanon as well as here. There are many, far smarter than me commenting. I have just one question, why can we not terrorise the Muslims a little bit? Say just enough that they have to stay home to keep us from killing them? Just a thought.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Edward T. Dog

The apprentice Pug has finally told Linda Lou his name. Eddie, he will be Edward T. Dog to those with whom he is not yet on a casual-friend basis. Assuming there is ever any such being.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Etowah River Leather

Here are the pictures of the new gunleather that I promised about two months ago. This rig is from Etowah River Leather in Baird, Texas. I try not to stay up nights trying to figure out why a one-man holster company in Texas is named after a river in Georgia.

The rig starts with a three inch wide, lined belt. Note to those considering wearing heavy iron: the wider the belt the better. A heavy shootin' iron worn on a narrow belt is an instrument of torture. Bemember those half to three quarter inch belts that were popular back when I had a full head of hair? Put an N Frame S&W revolver holster on one of those and the rig would slowly cut you in two. This particular belt has no cartridge loops. For one thing, the holstermaker, Brazos Jack, known to the IRS as Jim Simmons was making this rig to illustrate his pattern for a Single Six Rig and a row of heavy caliber cartridge loops would not fit the pattern. Instead he included a pouch on a clip That fits where I want to put it. It is easy enough to put as many rounds as I need for the rifle and handguns in. Most stages do not need a reload, anyway. I simply keep a couple of rounds in the pouch in case I miss a "must fall" knockdown target or accidentally eject a live round. There are other reasons for no cartridge loops, too. Such as Jim didn't know if I was shooting a .45 or a .38. I shall not complain, if I decide I'm desperate for cartridge loops I'll pay him for a belt slide like the shotgun slide that clips on the front of the belt. Assuming, of course, that I ever see any cash again.

Next on the lineup are two straight draw holsters. These holsters are lined with smooth leather. This is great for the finish of the revolvers. The rough leather of an unlined holster can catch dust and grit and act as if it were sandpaper. The downside is that we need to be more careful about engaging the hammer thong as the iron can fall out easier. I seldom stand on my head while wearing a pair of shootin' irons, though. If I must I'll slip the hammer thongs on.

There is still some controversy about straight draw verses a strong side and a cross draw rig. I have pretty much decided that I am a two straight draw man, primarily because of the "crossdraw shuffle" that CAS requires. This is so no one breaks the 170 degree rule as they draw. Oddly if one simply stands with the left foot forward he can draw from a left side crossdraw holster without violating that rule. It doesn't matter, though. If one tries the crossdraw without an exaggerated swaying of hips there is a whole lot of hooraw from people who think that to shoot a gun one must be a choreogpher. Without them I'd wear a strong side right holster and a cross draw on the left.

Brazo Jack is one of the few holstermakers I know of that does not believe in wet molding the holsters. I'm still getting used to that after some forty years, or more, of dunking a holster in the horse trough and letting it dry around a well greased gun. I can't complain about the speed, though. The irons come out of the leather like they were jet propelled. I should have taken a picture of my hideout holster for my Ruger SP101, it is wet molded.

A look at the very bottom picture shows how the top of the holster is slightly rolled out, this makes it a lot easier to reholster the weapon. A look at the pictures shows the border tooling done on this rig. Every one of those tool marks was put on by hitting a little chisel with a small hammer.

This rig is further embellished by a "State Of Texas" concho on each holster.

Brazos Jack does not keep a stock, each item is made to order. He is fairly fast, I would be surprised to see a basic rig taking more than six weeks or so, unless he was real busy.

One can also order the patterns and plans for several of his rigs if you are the kind of person who is handy.

Jim's website is and is well worth checking out. I also have his snail mail and phone number, a note will get it to you.


This issue of Shoot Magazine has a nice article with professional pictures. I don't know how much their website will give you but it is here.

Out Of Memory

I tried posting a couple of picures of the new, old Pug. This time the blogspot would let me upload them and I can see them on the preview. When I try to put the preview up on to the actual Blog, though, I get the same old post from day before yesterday. Then I hit the "refresh" button and I get a little message that says "out of memory at line two".

Line two of what? Which memory, the computer? Blogspot? Me? I will confess that my memory is really awful, since the stroke but I don't know that the computer knows about that.

Update: Whatever it was fixed itself. Good.

Here She Is, Miss America!

Blogspot seems to be over it's tantrum and is allowing me to post some pictures.

This is Ming. Linda Lou didn't much like that name but it seems to be growing on her. That's good since it's the name that Ming has had since she was seven weeks old.