Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The .308 Winchester, All The Cartridge (Case) You'll Need

In the years leading up to WW2 the Army wanted a new cartridge but with war fast coming, they stuck with the .30-06. Mainly because of the vast stock of cartridges and the fact that the M-1 rifle and the various .30 caliber machine guns were proven designs. Still, the fellers in the Ordnance Department were looking. The main reason was that the powder technology had improved between 1906 and the 1940s. This meant that they could use a more modern powder and get the same ballistics of the .30-06 in a smaller case.

A smaller case is a Big Deal to the Army. This means that there will be less cartridge brass used. It means that the loaded round will be smaller and lighter, and it means that the rifles and machine guns can be smaller. It also means that there will be a little less recoil.

Before anyone even thought of the .308, Savage brought out the .300 Savage, doing more or less the same thing, a smaller round giving about the same velocity as the original .30-06. This is a 150 grain bullet at around 2700 feet per second. This is a magic number for a rifle bullet. A spitzer (pointed) bullet at about that speed will hit about as far as a skilled marksman can aim. And a spitzer bullet with enough weight, say the 150 .30 caliber or the 154 8mm of the Germans can do everything an infantryman needs to do with a rifle. It can kill a man or a truck as far as the soldier can shoot. After than, call in the artillery.

So, by WW2 the .30-06 case had about a half inch or more of empty space that drove the Ordnance boys mad. Civilian hunters did not mind, the improvements in powder gave them more velocity. It was only fairly recently that civilian hunters learned that velocities above 2700 fps are wasted in about 99% of hunting situations, something the military learned back in 1906. This would be a separate issue but, offhand I'll just say that very high velocity is a special purpose affair, not a general hunting round.

Anyhow, the war wasn't over before the military started looking for a new cartridge. They wanted to keep the .30 caliber, after all, they had lots and lots of machinery to make .30 caliber barrels. They wanted the magic 2700 fps with a 150 grain bullet. I only know one name of the ordnance types involved with developing this round, Phil Sharpe. Philip Burdette Sharpe was one of the lions of the prewar handloading movement, writing one of the seminal books of smokeless powder reloading. This was A Complete Guide To Handloading, first published in 1937. As an aside, it's fun to read those old books, if for no other reason to see how folks took various things that today give the safety "experts" the vapors.

At any rate, somehow a bunch of Phil Shape's old notebooks came to the folks at Handloader Magazine, part of those notebooks was a long study of an obscure French Cartridge, the 7.5 mm. The .308 is very close to that cartridge case. Anyhow the .308, also known as the 7.62mm NATO is a pretty cool little round. It can easily beat the original 150gr. at 2700fps of the first .30-06. As a matter of fact several powders will beat 2700fps with a 175 gr. out of a 24 inch barrel.

Most .308s will not handle those long 220 grain round nose soft points, the one in twelve twist rates of the barrels will simply not stabilize them This is not a big deal, though. A lot of the newer, lighter bonded or all copper Barnes bullets will penetrate just as deeply. I would be very surprised if something like the 180 grain Hornady Interbond or that new Speer Deep Curl didn't do the job as well as, say, the old Remington 220 grain round nosed soft point out of the .30-06. Powder and bullet technology have advanced that far.

An open country hunter would be very well served with the Barnes 140 grain XBT slug, there are several loads that will give a muzzle velocity of over 2900 fps. Someone please explain to me exactly why I would need one of those real loud, real heavy Magnum rifles again. A hunter loaded with that bullet, at that velocity would have all the ooomph! needed to kill any deer, speed goat, or caribou way out past where 98% of all hunters should ever take a shot at unwounded game.

Something bigger out there? A 180 grain Norler Partition, Hornady Interbond, Swift A-Frame or Speer Deep Curl and you are up for Elk out to at least 250 yards. Moose? A little closer, although that's no problem, the only way to see a Moose at more than 250 yards is across a lake, Moose are not exactly plains animals.

With the exception of the Great Bears of North America, there is nothing but the Bison that I would hesitate to go after with the .308. To tell the truth, with a premium bullet, the Bison would fall but it just wouldn't be right. A Bison would deserve a Sharps or a Remington Rolling Block.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving At The Hospital

So I got up early and, after a couple cups of coffee I got in the car and drove to town, trying hard to get there by noon. I was only a few minutes late in spite of all those folks driving at forty miles an hour in a sixty-five zone. Sigh.

I got to Linda Lou's room just as they were serving her Thanksgiving dinner, and a tray for me, also. It was nice of them as I did not want to go to the big family shindig without her. It costs so much to go to the city that when I do, I want to spend that time with her.

The Thanksgiving dinner was the usual sort of institutional fare, not bad but, well, meh. We then sat around for a while and up popped Stephanie, her husband and their three boys. I did not have the camera, Linda Lou has forbid, under pain of a slow and painful death, a picture of her until she gets her hair done.

There have been some changes in the boys since I last saw them, William is now more interested in reading his book that conversing with the old folks. Josiah has abandoned the "run, hide!" phase of his development and is friendly again. Karson is still a stinkerpot. He just goes from lap to lap when he isn't running everywhere.

Then they left and we went back upstairs. Soon it was time to come home.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

At least we now know the germ critters that have infested Linda Lou's leg, they sound rather difficult to get rid of. The one with the short name is Enterococcus. The other one is called Acinetobacter Baumani. Both of these critters are highly resistant to antibiotics.

I made the mistake of looking these critters up online. This leg thing has now gone from a pain in the kazoo to something that is really frightening. I am now left to wonder, with no reliable source handy, are the intertoobz scare stories about these bugs merely a worst case thing that only happens to people in backwater places like Cameroon or New York City or if the worst cases can happen to a somewhat overweight Grandma in a modern hospital in Dallas, and not the county hospital. (Sorry, Parkland, in Dallas, has a world class rep, it also has half of the third world running, unchecked through the place, spreading God knows what.

The last time Linda Lou was in that hospital she felt good, except for the broke laig. Now she is feeling sickly and can't get warm. I'm praying that she is simply coming down with a cold.

At any rate, things ain't exactly brimming over with joy here on the Poorfarm. I can't even go see her every day, we just can't afford the gas, it's a sixty mile trip, one way. And it looks as if she will be in the hospital until at least February, what with trying to knock out this infection, then the surgery to actually try and fix the break (that happened at the end of February 2010), then enough work with PT and such to let her come home. Sigh.

Between now and Thursday I shall find something to be thankful for, I imagine, right this second I'm feeling bleak. At least the Medicare has finally kicked in, until the beginning of this month the co-pays were building up. Or, at least they built up until we hit the "catastrophe level" There, that's something to be thankful for. Now, if she ever walks out of these damned hospitals...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Women Of Courage! Join The Resistance!

Well, Linda Lou is going back into that other hospital, at least for a couple of weeks. Seems that she has two bunches of germs that are resistant to the antibiotics they have been feeding her. Not that MERS thing, thank you, God, but two I have never heard of. One seems to be resistant to the oral antibiotic they have been feeding her and one seems to be resistant to all known oral antibiotics.

So they are sending her over in the morning sometime, it seems that they will let me take her over instead of making her ride in an ambulance. Taxpayers, thank me as now that we have both our Federal Employees Blue Cross and Medicare, the poor beleaguered taxpayer would be stuck with every penny.

Doc Buch is on his way to a vacation so we do not know if Linda Lou will need a full six weeks of IV antibiotics or a shorter course, of course I suspect that is more up to her culture tests than any Doctor's wishes, which is one of the things that makes me wonder exactly why we are inserting a mess of lawyers and bureaucrats into the healthcare system.

At any rate it does not matter if the Doc is on vacation as it seems that the minimum course of IV antibiotics will last until he gets back. So, I have to be in North Dallas in the morning. Good night.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who Knew We Were So Cultured?

Sigh. Well, Linda Lou's surgery went okay, I guess. She lost a lot of blood, seems she had this humongous blood blister thing on the back of her calf and so it either burst or they drained it, I'm not quite clear on that. Anyhow it took so much blood out of her that it somehow lowered some important blood component and so they did not let her go home the next day. So, the day they were supposed to go home they were giving her an IV and feeding er things to build up the blood.

Then the next day they found something growing in her culture, some germ or other. So, she didn't go home Sunday, either. Monday there was more growing. It seems Linda Lou is a very cultured woman.

So, now they're trying to figure out what kind of a germ critter this is, what kills it and does Linda Lou need another six weeks in that cross between a Nursing Home and a Hospital where she was before. Or will some oral antibiotic kill it?

In other news the Physical Terrorists have me pretty well worn out, I'm up to three hours per session with them, three days a week and the list of exercises they give me for the days I don't go there only takes about eighteen hours per day. Of course, that's with the dogs helping.

I'm pretty sure the PT ladies are in cahoots with Linda Lou, they all want me too tired and sore to go steppin' out.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Muddling Through.

So, now is the time I apologize to Doc Buch. The piece of hardware that was coming out was not something left in by mistake, instead it was the rod keeping the loose, broken bones from flailing around, cutting up everything inside, and eventually outside, of her lower leg. Seems that he told me he took everything out and then put that rod in. Well, they sometimes just lose purchase in the bone and start working their way out.

The good news is that there will be no long stay in the hospital on IV antibiotics this time. She will be coming home tomorrow, with a new rod in place, then we will see about a Final Solution. Sometime in December the Doc will either be able to actually fix those bones or fuse the ankle and fix those bones. The whole problem is that the bones were shattered, just barely above the joint. I do not know exactly why it's so much harder for them to heal so close to the joint instead of a couple more inches away and if someone were to tell me I do believe my eyes would glaze over and I'd either fall asleep or start thinking about something else.

So, that's the deal. We'll either get a complete recovery although she'll still need a cane (the better to shout Get off da lawn!), a fused ankle and a more pronounced limp or a weight loss that nobody really wants. No one is willing to bet or even quote odds. Well, there are a lot of things I did not learn as a boy, the one indelible thing was "eat what's put in front of you." A glance at where my belt buckle would show twenty+ years ago proves that. So, we'll muddle through this, just as we've muddled through everything else. If I were to write a saga of our marriage or an autobiography, that would be the title. As short as my attention span is, though, we'll have to just make it the title of this post. Sooner or later, though, a post on shooting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Keep Their Heads Down! We're Going In!

Just a quick note, the surgeon is going into Linda Lou's leg at four PM today. I don't have time to write about it now, I have to clean up and head for the hospital. Medical City in Dallas if anyone cares. I hope that this time when the guy takes all the metal out it means that all the metal will be out.

Enjoy any Veteran's Day items you had planned and, if you have a little time for a good wish...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Well, if it is November the Tenth it must be our anniversary again. Seems like only yesterday that Linda Lou told me I was pregnant and that we had to get married to avoid me looking like a slut or something.

In other News, the then Continental Congress authorized a Corps of Marines to add some muscle to the landing parties of the sailing ships of the day. This has since evolved into a section of the Navy Department. We like to call it the men's section. So Linda Lou wanted a wedding date that I could not forget, she chose this one.

In other news Linda Lou has another piece of metal sticking out of her. This after that third surgery on that leg that the Doc alleged to have removed all of the hardware from in there, then six weeks of twice daily IV antibiotics in a hospital. The six weeks of IV antibiotics were because of the screw that stuck out, somehow the Docs knew there was an infection. Oddly, when the bones stuck out of my leg during that unfortunate incident when I was in the Service, they did not find that six weeks of IV antibiotics were needed. Perhaps an almost twenty-year old does not need as much germ protection. Perhaps our legs were less valuable then. All I know is that I am not real happy, the Doc promised that all the metal was coming out. This ain't right.

So we get an Anniversary Trip this year. We will start by going to Dallas to see the wound care doctor that treated Linda Lou for this last trip into the hospital. From there?

Some women will do anything to avoid having a sex party for their anniversary.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Partial Victory

If I gambled I would never go to a Harrahs Casino after their virtually naming their employees who hadn't voted early and ordering their lower level managers to get them out to vote for that scum Reid. Reid's victory is among the most heartbreaking loss in this election.

I would have liked to see O'Donnel win but it seems Delaware still likes to burn witches.

Grayson out in Florida, great news. Col. West in, Rubio in, more great news. Not much excitement here in Texas, my Congressman, Ralph Hall won handily. It was only today that I learned who his Democrat opponent was and I've already forgot her name.

The biggest news is out of the Waco area where Democrat Chet Edwards finally lost. I know little or nothing about Flores, the Republican that won. The only thing I know about Waco is that sometimes I used to stop at the Elite Cafe and Truck Stop when I was traveling north and south on I-35. It used to be pretty good. Oh, and I once stopped at the Texas Ranger Museum (the law enforcement bunch, not the baseball team). Since the Flores-Edwards fight was not in my district I paid little attention to it, but I expect that since Edwards was, if not a Blue Dog, not a Pelosi lap dog, little or no money came in from the big Dem slush funds. After all, Edwards was a friend to Veterans and the military, can't have that in today's Democrats.I doubt it will happen this election cycle but with Pelosi out as Speaker, it would be nice to see the Donks return to a center-left position. Of course, with Obama as the titular head of the Party, that won't happen soon.

Funny, though. West Virginal has been a reliably blue state for some years now. Yet, to win Bob Byrd's old seat, the Donk had to run harder against Obama than he did against the Republican. Now was that because it was the seat of Byrd, (D-KKK) or just because W. VA is a center left State? I don't know enough about W.VA to know.

Anyway, we know that we won a partial victory, now we see if we have enough real patriots in the House to defund the idiocy that Pelosi brought. If not, the next election will be a bloodbath.

There will be more on this later, right today I have to try to prepare the house for Linda Lou. She will not come home today like we thought, but tomorrow. Seems she had a hema-something, some fancy medical name for a big ol' blood blister that she broke somehow in her bout with the physical terrorists and she ended up bleeding all over the floor They were then scared that they'd have to send her up to Medical City Hospital for more surgery right then but the wound care doctors took care of it and so now she'll come home on Thursday for a while, 'til around Pearl Harbor Day, then more surgery.

This more modern medicine is nice, I suppose, but they used to put us in a walking cast, a couple of weeks to a month or two we were on crutches, and then when the bones were healed they'd cut off the cast. In early February of '67 my leg got badly dinged in nearly the same place. I was back on full duty by late December. Linda Lou will be recovering from her fourth surgery by late December. Sigh. Progress. Of course I was a lot younger then.

Update 11/05/10: Linda Lou is home. She can (barely) move from her wheelchair to the couch or recliner, depending on which she chooses to sleep on and to the bedside commode. I shall be busy for a while.