Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The .327 Federal Magnum

The folks at Federal Cartridge reinvented the .32-20 Winchester a while back. They call it the .327 Federal Magnum and, like the .32 H&R Magnum and the .32 S&W Long it is just another lengthened .32 S&W. So, this new cartridge goes back to among the very first of the American centerfire cartridges.

I would submit that the .327 Fed is only a cartridge because the ammomakers are afraid of all those very old .32-20 revolvers and even the old '73 Winchester rifles and carbines. Some pretty savvy gunnies have had some of the limited production Ruger Single Action .32-20 revolvers loaded to hotter ballistics than the .327. Still, knowing about all those old Colt Police Positive Specials in .32-20 and today's refusing to read the label consumers, I can understand the new cartridge.

The main gun this newish cartridge is loaded in is Ruger's SP101, a small framed "hideout gun." I own one in .357 Magnum. In that guise it is a five shot revolver that, in spite of it's small size, is tough enough to take any load I have ever stuffed in it. I, however, am not that tough, so I keep it loaded with various midrange loads. Most often a handload with a 158 grain soft lead semiwadcutter hollowpoint at a measured velocity of 1000 fps. This recoils a lot less than the full charge loads yet is stout enough for any serious use. If I were going somewhere I did not wish to carry hand loads I'd use one of the +P or +P+ .38 loads.

The SP101 in .327 Federal Magnum, though, is a six shot revolver and even with the very stoutest loads, a 100 grain bullet at 1500 fps from a three inch tube, does not kick as much as the big loads from a .357. It is almost as LOUD, though. The muzzle blast from a three inch .357 or .327 is impressive, another reason for a somewhat downloaded round.

The handloader, of course, can load whatever (s)he wishes, from loads that barely get a single buckshot out going fast enough to pierce a tin can at seven yards to a load that strains the brass shell case. The person shooting factory loads has a lot of choices, too. The old .32 S&W is really hard to find and is kind of useless, although still good for very small game at close range or, perhaps, good for teaching someone who has never held a shootin' iron before how not to be afraid of the gun.

The next two choices are useful, though. The .32 S&W Long is wonderfully accurate. With it's light recoil and low report it is a great load for target shooting, plinking and small game hunting. If I were going out in the woods someplace I would feel quite comfortable with a cylinder full of those. The factory ballistics are a bullet of 98-100 grains at about 800 fps. This is plenty for snakes and small game, it's loud enough to discourage feral dogs and will put one away if it's put in the right spot. It's not the exact load I'd choose if I were going up against feral humans but I would not feel exactly naked, either. After all, when Teddy Roosevelt was New York City's Commissioner of Police, that is the cartridge he chose to arm police officers. This load is very close to the .32-20 black powder load and a lot of folks considered themselves well armed with one of those irons, back in the day.

Someday I shall write something about the myths of everyone in the old west carrying shootin' irons with bores the size of sewer pipes, along with a few other myths.

The next step up is the .32 H&R Magnum. This load is right up with the loads for the good revolvers in .32-20, say back before 1920 or so. A 100 grain bullet at around 12-1300 fps out of a six inch barrel. A stronger gun than those H&Rs could give a bit more, the term "Magnum " in this case is sort of false advertising. The .32 H&R could have been loaded in the .32 S&W Long case except for fear of the weak old guns in .32 Long. Not all those old .32s were weak. The old literature is full of handloaders loading it up to power past the .32 H&R levels in the stronger guns.

Notice a pattern? Each time the gun industry puts out a stronger gun, the cartridge companies make a longer cartridge case so the consumer cannot blow himself up. Meanwhile, the grand old .32-20 sits in the back corner, unloved except by those of us with long memories. When the grand old man of the shooting game, the late Elmer Keith bought his very first centerfire revolver, he bought a Colt Single Action Army in .32-20. That seven and a half inch Colt brought a lot of game down, although Saint Elmer of Keith thought it was too light for Elk.

A generation later than Elmer's first CF revolver, a guy named Skeeter Skelton got out of the Service and. with his saved money, bought a personal sidearm, a seven and a half inch Colt Single Action Army in, you guessed it, .32-20. This famous old southwestern lawman became a gun writer himself, the whole shooting world mourned his (too early) death. Something else about these too men who bought the .32-20s early in their careers, both went on to be recognized in the yearly "Greatest American Handgunner" award. Now I cannot promise that you, the reader, will ever win high honors by choosing this, or any other, .32 but, it can't hurt.

This leads us to the latest .32, the .327 Federal Magnum. This is the first of the new cartridges loaded to true magnum handgun pressures. The .32-20 was, for a while, loaded to nearly the same pressures, the "High Velocity" shells were only supposed to go into the 92 Winchester and a very few handguns like the SAA. This round was discontinued for WW2 and never picked back up.

The .327 shoots the same .311-313 bullets as the other .32s. It's a long and old story why they are called .32s and not .31s, short version, the earliest of the .32s used outside lubricated heel type bullets of the same diameter as the ca'tridge case. This is the same kind of bullet now used in the .22 rimfires. Now this was back when all bullet lubes were soft and sticky, if you carried a gunfull or two of those cartridges in a pocket they got all kinds of crud on them, this was carried into the gun and didn't do much for the barrel. Plus, as anyone who has ever carried a mess of .22s in a pants pocket knows, they are easily bent, playing hob with reliability and accuracy. So, they soon went to bullets that fit the lube grooves inside the cases, the bullets were very slightly smaller so they would fit. Being soft lead, the black powder charge slugged the bullet up enough to fit in the larger barrels. Then, the new guns barrels eventually went from .32 to .31 but they never changed the name. Now you know more than you ever wanted about why .32s shoot .31 bullets, .38s shoot .357 bullets, .44s shoot .429 bullets. Oddly, .45s shoot .45 bullets, the same caliber as the muzzle loading .44 revolvers from the Civil War era. Try not to think on it too much. Every time I try I need a nap until the headache goes away.

At any rate, I mentioned that the first gun this new cartridge was chambered in was the Ruger SP101. This is a pure D defense and carry gun. While there are many who scoff at a .32 as a combat round I do not see many of the scoffers volunteering to sand in front of one.

The sights on the .327 Ruger are different than the sights on my .357 SP101. My sights are fixed. I did a little file work on mine and it puts my favored handload right where it looks. If I wanted to drastically change the load I'd have to order a new front sight blade and redo the work. The .327 has a rear sight adjustable for windage and you adjust elevation by changing out the front sight blade, an easy task.

Ruger also makes the two other revolvers to fit this cartridge, although they are hard to find. Their fine GP100 and their Single Action. Both of these carry more than six shots, one seven and the other eight. Both of these guns are, in my opinion, 'way too heavy for a carry gun. I'm not much on tellin' folks what to do but if you want either one of these guns, do carry it in some kind of shoulder holster. Either one, in a belt holster will lead to back trouble. Kind of like what happens to uniformed Police Officers with all the crap they now carry on their gunbelts.

There are some other gunmakers loading this round, unfortunately no carbines or rifles yet. This round would be just the huckleberries in a Marlin 1894, unfortunately they are going out of business. Winchester no longer makes guns. The only hope is the various foreign companies making 92 Winchester clones.

There are, so far, three loads for this ca'tridge. Federal has a load made as a combat load, the excellent Hydrashok hollow point at 1330 fps. All these velocities are clocked from that 3 and one sixteenth inch barrel. At any rate, the Hydrashok weighs 85 grains and it is somewhat downloaded from what it could be. This for lower recoil and muzzle blast. Although a lifetime of saying "huh, what?" is better than being killed, deafness is a pain best avoided. If I didn't already have the five shooter .357 I would look long and hard at this gun and load to defend my home and family.

The next load is the Federal American Eagle 100 grain soft point at 1400 fps. This load will shoot flatter than the 158 grain .357. A gun with about the same frame size as the SP101 but a six or seven and a half inch barrel would be a fine gun for the sports(wo)man.

The load I like best is Speer's 115 grain Gold Dot Hollowpoint at 1300 fps. This is a near copy of Elmer's fine old load with that weight bullet only hard cast lead alloy.This load and the same weight bullet, only cast, would be a great all around load for both carbine and handgun. The hollow point will, of course, penetrate less than a hard cast lead will. This load would be fine for anything up to and including deer. I would not choose this cartridge for deer hunting if I were a city feller, with only a short time to go a long way to land I didn't know. It's a cartridge, like the .32-20 for the folks who live where the deer live, who know where, and how, to get close and wait for the right shot.

So, this is an updated copy of an 1889 Winchester development. Unlike the .32-20, though, the .327 Federal is a straight case, not tapered. This does not mean anything to the folks shooting factory loads but is a boon to the handloader. A straight case needs no lube when sized in a carbide sizing die, the somewhat bottlenecked v=case of the .32-20 does need lube. The hand loader knows this, the factory shooter doesn't care.

If I were loading this cartridge I would shoot cast bullets in the 115 grain range and also size some double aught buckshot down from .33 caliber to .313 and seat it over just a tad of Bullseye or Titegroup. I'd seat that buckshot down far enough to slip a tad of bullet lube down over it,I would only seat the shot down far enough to where I could get the lube around the curved part. This would be a cheap plinking load, not much more expensive than a .22.

Anyhow, that's the newest .32. There is some controversy. Was it named after Chevrolet's finest engine ever, the .327 or was it called the .327 because it beminds people of the .357? While it doesn't have the power of the .357, it doesn't kick as much either. It does easily match the 9mm Luger. That makes it a pretty fair round.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Entering The Terrible Twos!

We drove up and ate hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as birthday cake for Karson's second birthday. Pele' the dog loved that, the kids mostly only ate about half a hot dog each. Pele' should have been on that I Haz A Hot Dog website.

At least William is finally old enough to know that other folks' birthdays aren't about him. Unfortunately now Josiah thought that all those presents should have been for him.

It was just a chance to see (most of) the kids. Too soon it was time to come home. Dunno when we'll see 'em again.

One Last Question About Rolling Stone Vs McCrytal:

Y'all don't get me wrong, I am not sure I am sorry to see McC gone. I have had some serious questions about how our forces are deployed over there and their rules of engagement. There was that small outpost in a valley with the bad guys running free on the hills overlooking it and no air or arty when they got pounded. Sorry, I'm old school. I know we are going to lose men (and now women) in war, I just want our guys to know that they will have the chance to kill the bad guys and if they get into a tight spot that a curtain of air and artillery goes around them until the bad guys are dead and ours are safe. I did not feel that with McC.

Still, here is something I don't quite get. That "reporter" was with the McC group in Paris, after the McC team had spent I dunno how long in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a major league Muslim country. Our troops, from Private to General do not get to drink anything alcoholic, including the fuel of the military, beer.

So, they get stuck in Paris, for longer than expected because of the volcano, and they all get a little chance to blow off some steam. Now it's been a long time since I wore the uniform and I never did wear one in a Muslim country. I did spend some time at sea, though, on some amphibious ships. No drinking, the durned ol' Navy is as bad as the Muslims. So, when we hit Okinawa, on the way to Viet Nam, we had more than a couple. Now, granted, I didn't have much truck with Generals or, for that matter, First Lieutenants, but I heard more than a few comments about LBJ and that bunch from Gunnery Sergeants (ie, Gods) and other NCOs.

It was then understood that what was said in the bars and cathouses didn't count for much. Today, not only do we have to go try to save the sorry backsides of a bunch that, until we got there, were getting killed en mass by a bunch of punks, meanwhile having to do it under rules of engagement that get good men killed, but we can't even have a beer when off the line. and then, when we have our guys out of theater, they get held responsible for bar talk at a party?

I dunno, gang.
seems like the Muslims we are trying to save might try being a little repectful of our culture. It also seems that troops should be allowed to blow off steam when out of the fighting. Lastly, I realise that civilian control of the military is all well and good. It's just that, from Private to General, our troops are US citizens, with First Amendment rights, the same as reporters and politicians. No one made then Senator Obama resign for talking bad about George W. Bush. How come our soldiers don't have that same right? Actually, they do. They just may not disobey lawful orders or advocate unlawful acts. Too bad the Pencil Neck In Chief does not understand, nor like, freedom of speech. Oh well, it's still the law of the land for us civilians, at least for now.

In more local news, today was my grandson Karson's second birthday party, I have pictures for a later post.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trying To Figure If Anybody In This Administration Knows What (S)He Is Doing.

On some levels it's a shame that I am not hep to popular culture. There seems to be some group out there doing something or other called Insane Clown Posse. At least I see that name as an aside in various stories. It would seem a good title for this Presidential and Congressional Administration.

The first thing I heard today when I started paying attention to world events, after local things like dog food, laundry, breakfast, etc, is that General McC is in trouble for some comments to a reporter from Rolling Stone. Pardon me for bein' a pore ignorant redneck but with a war to run, how come this guys has anything to say to a reporter from Rolling Stone but something along the line of "go cover rock and roll, I'm trying to run a war on the cheap".

Someone please explain to me how, in the midst of a shooting war, the top General has time to say anything but "talk to my PIO."

There is a big problem in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's not really with the military. It is with all these civilian agencies. Just as in Iraq, the State Department is failing it's job. USAID is failing it's job. The Peace Corps is failing it's job. So the Army, Marines, Air Force and even the Navy are trying to do what all the civilian agencies will not do.

Meanwhile that peabrain Gibbs is talking about McC and company being immature? The spokesman for an Administration that chose Joe Biden as number two? This Administration is the only outfit in the entire universe that would be improved by promoting Joe Biden.

It's funny, what the Puppyblender noticed, when it's a Republican Admin, like Shineski and Bush and Rummy, it was all "listen to your Generals!" Now, during a Democrat Admin it's "civilian control of the military!"

It is a clear sign that the government is clueless when we have the Navy serving in Afghanistan, take a look at a map. no ocean. For that matter, not much in the way of any water. This part is not the Administration, this has been going on since the beginning of the war. I could understand borrowing some Spec Ops SEALs in '01 and '02, along with some Seabees for the first year or so but, after that? Nah. When I'm king of the world the Navy will concentrate on that part of the map what is blue.

I saw a short piece in last nights Overnight Open Thread at Ace of Spades about how they want to change the roles of the Marines for they haven't done any over the beach landings since WW2. I wonder what those things were in February and May of 1965 in Viet Nam? Or that thing in Somalia? Or, for that matter, in the Dominican Republic during the Johnson Admin?

Anyhow, I'm working on a couple of pieces on some more rifle cartridges, the 7-08 and .260 Remington, as well as that famous old dual purpose cartridge the .32 WCF aka .32-20. I dunno which will come first.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ming July 25, 1987-June 20, 2010

Ming went to the bridge today. When she woke up with her Mama I took her outside and she could not even pee. I brought her in and she couldn't drink water or eat her pill wrapped in her beloved liverwurst. So Linda Lou held her and loved on her one more time while I prepared her way. Then her pain was over.

We didn't get her until she was eight years old, her teeth were poor, we think from a diet of canned food. She never did learn to like any man but me, the people at Pug Rescue weren't sure she'd take to me but she climbed right up into our laps.

We do not know what kind of life she had before us but once she was home with us she was a happy dog, for a grumpy old lady. She was a good girl and she loved her mama.

Update: Linda Lou didn't like the first pictures and so erased them and picked out these. In doing so she erased the text, so I rewrote it. No big harm there I reckon.

Summertime, Almost.

So, I finally downloaded the pictures from the camera's memory card, loaded about half a dozen here, pics of the grandkids and one of CAP in the recliner with me. She simply does not understand why the Pugs get up in the chair with us and she can't.

Then, as I was writing, somehow my finger hit a key and all of a sudden the pics were gone and the whole post consisted of a couple three letters from the middle of a word about the oil gusher in the Gulf.

So, since the pictures are all on Linda Lou's computer, she is the one with the fancy scanner with that port, I'll try again while I'm watching the NASCAR race out in the wine country. Meanwhile, here is the rest...

I notice that there is actually a little action down in the Gulf about trying to clean up the oil and to keep it from destroying the swamps and coasts. There is also a big try about preventing any action in the cleanup. Let's see, the Obama Administration stopped a mess of barges on their way to skim up the oil. Seems they were having trouble finding the paperwork about fire extinguishers and life jackets. So, instead of having the Coast Guard and Navy, or for that matter, the county sheriff's, excuse me, Parrish sheriff's dept, go on board and look, they stopped everything.

It's amazing. The Democrats ran on restoring competence to government. The only thing I can say about that is that they have certainly been competent at removing the money from the people who do things and giving it to their friends. Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal, the guy excoriated for giving a poor speech, is actually doing something about the Gulf. Or trying to, against massive Obama Administration resistance.

Funny how that works. It wasn't very long ago that the Bush Administration was trying to send help to New Orleans while the Democrat governor and the Democrat Mayor dithered. Meanwhile the Feds cannot come into a disaster like that without being requested, unlike this disaster which happened in Federal waters.

We cannot use the term Chinese fire drill anymore for fear of being called raaaaacist! I suggest the new term would be a Democrat return to competent government. Which reminds me, how come the economy didn't really start to go south until after the Democrats took over Congress in '06? Since Congress is in charge of taxation and spending, how is the whole economic mess Bush's fault? Oh yeah, because it's Democrats doing the talking.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wore Plumb Out

I don't know persactly how today became Baking Day here at the Poorfarm, I thought it was supposed to be Flag Day. Still, Linda Lou was out of her cookies and I had a hankering for some yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting. I didn't dare make my cupcakes without I made Linda Lou's cookies, either, not if I wanted any of my cupcakes.

I was going to make the cupcakes before I went to bed but got too sleepy so, instead had to light the oven in the middle of the afternoon. I am not such a baker that I bake stuff from scratch, instead I use the good box mixes. I do make my "choclit frostin'" from scratch, using the recipe right off the Hershey's Cocoa box. When they say it's "Perfect Chocolate Frosting" they mean it. One box of cake mix makes 24 cupcakes, too many for just us two so I have a few to take to our neighbor who is still missing her husband.

From there it was time to make cookies, Gingerbread cookies out of the Betty Crocker pouches. Linda Lou likes these when she can't have her made from scratch oatmeal raisin cookies because, like the oatmeal raisin, they keep her regular. Once we passed our fifties, things like this increased in importance. Still, we need say no more about it.

This was the first time I ever tried sugaring the cookies according to the directions on this bag. I dropped each cookie out of this widget like a teeny-tiny ice cream scoop, they dropped down in balls and then I smushed each ball down with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. I had no idea how well this would work.

As the reader can plainly see, Linda Lou is riding this broke leg thing as far as it will take her. When she is recovered I'm going to break something and make her handload my ammunition!

Then it was time to clean up the kitchen, I got half finished and then it was naptime. Bingo T. Pug helped with the nap. He's good at helping with naps.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The .30-06, America's Cartridge

It was the aftermath of the Spanish American War, the US Army had some bad luck against the 7mm Spanish Mauser with those .30-40 Krags. The Reserve outfits and the Black Regiments were desperately out ranged with those old Trapdoor Springfields in .45-70. Those Buffalo Soldiers got a disproportionate share of the casualties, too. Another raw deal in our history, but a separate post, if I could ever do it justice (which I doubt).

The men of Teddy Roosevelt's First Volunteer Cavalry were no slouches, of course. Westerners in a day where life in the west was tough, they were hard men with a life on the saddle behind them, they were not the only tough men going up to Kettle and San Juan Hills, the men of the 9th and 10th Calvary and 24th and 25 Infantry were just as tough. They didn't get the same publicity, of course, they were the Buffalo Soldiers.

At any rate, the Spanish troops with their 7mm Mausers outranged the US troops and killed and wounded many before they could manage to shoot back accurately. The search was on.

First came the .30-03 a cartridge with a neck a tenth of an inch longer than what we have now and a 220 grain round nosed bullet at around 2200fps, just about matching the trajectory of the 175 grain round nose of the Spanish Mauser. Just about that same time the Germans changed their 8mm Mauser from a round nose heavyweight bullet to a somewhat lighter pointy or "Spitzer" bullet at a higher velocity.

We would have been again outclassed but for a shooter in the White House, Teddy Roosevelt. The Army went back to the drawing board and came up with the finest general purpose rifle cartridge on this planet, the .30-06. With it's 150 grain spitzer at 2700 fps the round was the equal of every battle rifle in the world. Also used in Machine guns the Army discovered that with a few changes to the round they could add a lot of range to the round by going to a 172 grain spitzer boattail bullet. In those days they thought that by massing machine guns they could use them like artillery, point 'em up and let fly. The new round could deliver aimed fire at 1500yards and "barrage fire" at up to 5500 yards. Of course, by the next war we had given up on that, after all, one field artillery piece could do just as much as a couple-three dozen machine guns at those (and longer) ranges.

Those were the days of the battle rifle. A rifleman could kill a man or a horse, or a truck as far away as he could hit him. Try not to get me started on those poodleshooters our troops are saddled with these days.Seems some real smart people decided it's better to wound a bad guy than to cancel his ticket. Oddly, some of these smart people wear uniforms, one would think they'd notice all those Corporals ans Sergeants, not to mention officers, with one, tow or even three oak leaf clusters on their Purple hearts.

A wounded enemy can sometimes still shoot. A wounded enemy may recover from wounds and return to the fight. Nor can these M4 Carbines and M16s be depended on to stop a car or truck, but, I digress. At any rate I've been a civilian for a lot of years now so let's talk about hunting. Er, wait. One last thing. A trooper armed with a rifle can draw a circle around himself, everything within that circle lives because that is the way he wants it. The guy with an M1 rifle or the M14 can hit and kill an enemy at four hundred yards, the expert rifleman can reach out a couple hundred yards more. The guy with the 5.56? Not so far.

The .30-06 has benefited by improvements in powder technology since it was a new cartridge, the 150 grain bullet doesn't have a muzzle velocity of 2700 feet per second anymore although that is the velocity of the 150 gr. slug from the .308 Winchester/7.62 Nato.That is because the .308 was designed around modern powders to match the early '06 ballistics.

The .30-06 is still the premier hunting round in the continental United States. It's a little more than is needed for Deer and is just fine for Elk and Moose. It is just about the most powerful cartridge the casual shooter can handle, recoil-wise. If I had an unlimited budget the aught six would not be my first choice for Grizzly or Alaska Brown Bears, with the right premium bullet I wouldn't hesitate, if I was mad at a big Bear, which I'm not.

With the lighter bullets, the 110-130 grain bullets the '06 can be pressed into service as a varmint rig or those Remington Accelerator rounds with the 55 grain .22 bullets in the discarding sabots at 4100 fps.

The hunter after deer, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain goats, that sort of critter will do well with bullets in the 150-165 grain range. If I were after Mountain Goat or Bighorns I'd use a premium bullet, it's not that those critters are so tough but they live in such difficult terrain, why take a chance. Elk, Moose and suchlike will get the 180-200 grain bullets. I would not use anything less than the Nosler Partition on those, plain Jane bullets can and do work but few of us live in Moose country, when the average hunter has to go that far, the cost of the bullet is such a small percentage that it simply does not matter.

There is one more bullet weight, a holdover from the days before the Barnes Triple Shock, the Swift A-Frame and the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, the 220 grain bullet. These are the bullets from back when if you needed penetration, you had to go to a heavy bullet. This weight is no longer needed except for the deep woods hunter. In the woods the ranges run a lot shorter, if only because we cannot see as far. This is where the traditional woods cartridges shine, the .30-30, the .32 Winchester, the .35 Remington and the grand old .45-70. The advantage to these old cartridges is their lower velocity. A deer hit with a .30-06 or worse, one of the magnums, will have a lot of blood shot meat. This is where that old 220 grain round nose shines, the velocity is low enough to where there is little blood shot meat. In the phrase made famous by that grand old man of shooting, the late Elmer Keith, "you can eat right up to the bullet hole." While of lower velocity those old bullets have weight, enough weight to reach the vitals from any angle. One thing few people know about those long round nosed bullets is that they are often the most accurate bullets a rifle can shoot in the first couple hundred yards. It has to do with those long straight shanks, the bullets start their flights true. Of course the better areodynamics of the spitzer bullets means that thy have the advantage at longer ranges.

The handloader has even more choices. Lead .32 handgun bullets are great for small game and plinking. There is simply no other way to gain shooting ability than to shoot. A big box of Hornady 90 grain semi-wadcutters over eight or ten grains of Unique or around seven and a half grains of Red Dot makes for an almost recoil-less load that will flatten a bunny or tree rat. Or ventilate tin cans and paper targets.

The big game hunter who handloads can do pretty much everything with three powders. Hodgdon's 4895 for the lighter bullets and practice ammo using their 60 per cent rule: Take the max load for any bullet and multiply it by sixty per cent, that's the minimum load. This is enough for close range light big game if we have a beginning hunter. Use the bullets designed for the .30-30. As our new shooter gets accustomed to the recoil, work up toward normal maximums.

The other two powders are H4350 and H4831, The 4350 is for bullets up to 180 grain, the 4831 is for over 180. There are many other powders of course. I love these two because a maximum load is just about all we can get into the case and still seat a bullet. This probably kept me from blowin' my fool head off back before I gave up beer. There are at least a dozen of other powders that work very well in the aught six, and a couple of dozen others that will work for one or another purpose. Unless your rifle is either something along the lines of the old M-1 Garand with a gas system that requires a somewhat faster burning powder, the only real reason to try these other powders is to satisfy curiosity and, of course, to search for that last teeny-tiny crumb of accuracy. Be warned, though. The handloader willing to try every bullet, powder and primer in the .30-06 had best have very deep pockets. Not only for bullets, powder, primers and cartridge cases but for new barrels. I would wager that it would take two or three new barrels to exhaust all the possibilities.

The aught six cartridge case is parent to a bunch of other cartridges, both factory and wildcat, the .270 Winchester, .25-06, the .35 Whelan to name three adopted by the factories, along with the .280 Remington. The newest slow powders make the .22-06 Easling almost practical. The 6mm-06 is a beltless copy of the .240 Weatherby for the feller that wants to shoot Antelope at impossible ranges, and on and on. Millions of words have been written about this cartridge and now I have, too.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Stupid Phone Lines, Part 852

Friday night we started getting cut off the Internet, sure enough it was staticky telephone lines. There are only a couple of drawbacks to living out where we can't hear the neighbor's stereo, one is few choices in internet connections. There is still no DSL service, nor a cable TV and Internet setup. Nor are there many choices of dialup, for that matter. There is supposed to be one fast wireless setup that might, repeat, might reach us, it's over a hundred smackers per month, plus Lord only knows how much to set up. So, we have the choice between AT&T and aol dialup. Every year since we moved out her in '98 the phone company has promised, next year you'll get DSL. Yeah, and next year in Jerusalem, too.

Well, anyhow, when there is static on the line we gots no Intertoobz. Ad the nearest supermarket is still 9.6 miles off. Grump. So, I missed a D Day post, among other things, plus I don't much know if anything important happened over the past few days. I did drive in to pick up a couple of refills on my prescriptions and saw no dancing in the roads so, it seems, the Pencil Neck in Chief is still in power. Grump.

Linda Lou is now allowed to put weight, as tolerated, on her leg, still on the walker, though. The nurse and the physical terrorist that come out here both say she should be able to send the wheelchair back to the rental place after she sees the Doc next. We did a little experiment her last visit to our family practice doc, we left the wheelchair here and just took her walker. It worked. Good thing, taking that wheelchair in and out of the van was wearing me out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Stuck In My Craw

I have a little something stuck in my craw, let's see if I can make sense of it. The United States Armed Forces are designed to kill people and break things, preferably until they beg us to stop with an unconditional surrender. When they aren't engaged in killing and breaking they have two jobs, the first to train for killing and breaking, the other is to stand around looking so frightening that other countries simply faint at the thought of crossing the USA.

Here is what I don't understand: We have a government filled with agencies and departments which have nothing whatever to do with killing and breaking things. Yet we have the military working overseas doing all kinds of things having nothing to do with their area of expertise. We had the Navy and the Army, as well as the Air Force down in Haiti passing out food, medicine and tentage awhile back. Why wasn't the peace Corps doing this?

Why wasn't the State Department and USAID doing all that nationbuilding in Iraq and Afghanistan? Isn't that their job? Oh, yeah, they are too busy being superior to those guys and gals in uniform.