February 2010 Journal

Hedley Lamarr posted this on the Open Range forum. The only thing wrong with it is the shooter is using 2 hands

January 31, 2010


Went to the range. Much work going on there due to the BLM claiming part of the range and shutting it down. They're building new stages where the parking lot was. But we were allowed to shoot. Judge Harshly had a Chrony Chronograph, but I didn't have the 5.5 gr. loads! Had some 5.0 gr. loads. Tested them. They averaged 811 on one 5 shot string, 823 on the other. Sounds like 5.0 is the Wild Bunch load. Took the chrono from the Judge by hitting him over the head with the1911. Will do more chronoing during the week and give it back when he gets out of the hospital. (Just kidding.)

January 30, 2010


Went with Old Short Tom and Two Sons to the Yavapai Rangers, up near Cottonwood, in the middle of nowhere on BLM land. Wandered around the desert for 40 years, er 40 minutes looking for it. Good match. Did terribly. Shotgun closed up, one safety. misses, a procedural. Then came the Wild Bunch match. Overloaded a magazine, came apart on last stage with multiple misses. Got more hammer bite from the 1911.

Nice time with Old Short Tom and Two Sons.

January 29, 2010


Made it to the range early. The Anthem VA called moving my appointment from 1300 to 1230. When I got there I learned why. The Nurse Practitioner had an abscessed tooth, thus wasn't listening to me. Didn't do much. At least she's going to schedule X-rays and did a consult to an orthopod who may or may not deign to see me. WHAT THE HELL DID VETERANS DO TO GET MEDICAL CARE LIKE THIS? Oh, I forgot. We were the good guys*. Never mind.

*Well, until the Vietnam War. Just ask Hollyweird.

Got the chrono off to Oehler. Bought Naproxin Sodium at Wal-Mart because the lady at the VA didn't give me a prescription for same. Never mind. I've already fumed over the medical care in AZ for vets.

January 28, 2010


Drove The Redhead to the medical center for her colonoscopy, Then we had breakfast as she had been on liquids only for 24 hours.

Made it to the range in the afternoon. The plan was to chrono the 5.5 gr. loads, but the chrono went Tango Uniform. Multiple calls to Oehler Research got very helpful Gary, but neither he nor Dr. Oehler could figure it out, so they want me to send it to them.

Shot the 5.5 loads, VERY HOT. Something is wrong. I suspect a misprint in the Hodgdon online loading data. Supposed to be 815 ft./sec. or so. I've been shooting 1911s since 1967. This is not a 800 ft./sec. 200 gr. load. I REALLY need to chrono this.

January 27, 2010


Was supposed to have an appointment with the VA clinic, but they called. The nurse-practitioner was off sick. Would I mind coming in January 10, 2012 instead? I'm exaggerating. Slightly. After half an hour of begging, pleading, cajoling, an blackmailing, the lady said she would work me in Friday at 1.

So I went shooting. Shot the Burgess. It works okay with 200 gr. bullets, but I didn't have many. Had a box of 160s. It jammed or jacked them out excessively with them. I guess it's cartridge length sensitive. Practiced with cowboy guns. Never could get my times down on the Hotel stage. One gun or another would glitch. My left hand hurts like hell and can slow me down if I don't grab it just right. Finally got a 27 then a 26 and went to individual gun drills. Worked on the pistols until I did 3 runs in a row of 5 double taps in 8 seconds. Rifle 5 shot nevada sweep in 3 something. But didn't get a good run with the shotgun. Nothing below high 6s.

Rebuilt the Dillon and made 100 rounds of .45 ACP with Trail Boss. 5.5 gr. It almost fills the case. No worries about double charging, but if I pull the handle down, and the round is tight in the sizing die, it jerks and spills powder. I weighed one after that. 4.4 gr. So I got very careful. When I make a big lot I'll use case lube to smooth things out. Then I'll tumble completed rounds for 15 minutes.

January 26, 2010


Went practicing. Several people were there. Shot from the jail. Had to put rifle targets out that had been brought in in preparation for Noah's Flood last week. I was there when the targets were washed down the creek that occurs when there's a heavy rain.

Just shot cowboy guns, about 75% of a normal session. Then I went to Dillon and got the parts. Cactus Cris talked me into trying Trail Boss for .45 ACP, I was going to get some Trail Boss anyway. Bought a 5 round bottle. Probably should have gotten a pound of WST, too, in case I don't like Trail Boss in the pistol.

Then went to Legendary Guns to pick up a Taylor's Burgess rifle. Beautiful rifle, light weight, reminds me of a '92, but came out in '83. I'll shoot it tomorrow.


January 25, 2010


Went practicing. Shot the Wild Bunch guns first. The layoff hurt. I distinctly remember getting 10 round strings from the 1911 with reload, of course, in 6 seconds. Today the best I could do was 8.2. And I was missing a lot. I got over the missing eventually, but couldn't get close to 6. Couldn't get 4 shotgun hits in less than 3.something, usually 4 something. Remember I start with it loaded. Badlands Bud does that with it starting empty. Best time at the hotel was 23 something or 22 something.

I wasn't getting any better times with the cowboy guns. Low 30s, high 20s for the hotel stage. Went to individual gun drills. Double taps of 5 pistol targets didn't get below 9 something, usually 10 something. 5 rifle hits were in the 4s. 4 shotgun was in the 6s and 7s. Worked to exhaustion and quit.

Took the Dillon apart in preparation for going to Dillon tomorrow.

January 24, 2010


Took The Redhead to breakfast at The Good Egg. I was vacillating about braving the mud to practice, so she took the car to the casino, about 33 miles away. I loaded .45-70 on the 650. Didn't use the case feeder. That would have been another $95 I believe. Didn't use the Dillon powder measure as I was using American Pioneer Powder sticks. I just inserted a stick when the round was sticking up through an empty hole at station 3. No need for a powder check die.

I was almost done when the slide spring pin broke off the platform. I'm still not sure how that happened. For those of you to whom this is gobbledygook, it means I have to pretty thoroughly disassemble the machine to remove the platform and install another. That means a trip to Dillon for parts.

It was too late to disassemble the machine, so I left that for tomorrow.

January 23, 2010


The rain seems to be gone, but everything is still wet, of course. Back to the garage because it has to be pretty nasty on the last mile to Cowtown. Sorting .45 Colt brass is one of those good ideas that doesn't seem so good after you've gone through 2,000 rounds or so. It took a lot of time, so loading 1,000 prime rounds took a lot of time. I'm left with about 600 rounds of LRNFP bullets to load some match .45 ACP ammo once I get powder and figure out a load. I have a partial box of 160 gr. .45 Colt bullets and 100 215 gr. I'll make them into practice rounds. Tired of carrying them around, and they'll work as well as 200s for that. 160s aren't legal for Wild Bunch competition.

The shop is in full chaos mode. It's been raining through the AC. The floor is wet, and some boxes are wet. I have 2 Home Depot 5 gallon buckets under the AC, sitting in a large cardboard box to catch what doesn't hit the bucket and keep it from bouncing around too much.

I'm ready for dry weather for many reasons, not the least of which is to be able to clean out the garage.

January 22, 2010


There was a break in the rain. Needless to say couldn't practice. Not only is Cowtown under a lot of water, but the Carefree Highway is closed between I17 and North Lake Pleasant Road. Drove to Sportsman's and Cabelas looking for smokeless powder. No luck. Went to the Apple Store at Arrowhead mall and bought a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Both work, but not as advertised. I'll have to make an appointment with the "Genius Bar" sometime.

Made more .38 ammo. effectively using up all of the empty cases (yesterday's shooting not included). Switched the machine to .45 Colt and started making 200 gr., 5. 7 gr. Trail Boss loads. 5.5 gr. makes major comfortably, at least in ABQ, 5500 ft. (823 ft./sec., power factor 164.5) So I made 5.7 gr. loads.

I've got more cases than bullets by far, so I did something I don't do. I sorted the brass, Starline, Top Brass, and Ten-X in group 1, other head stamps in group 2, and nickel cases in group 3. There's some method in my madness. Starline, Top Brass, and Ten-X are most likely to be once fired. I haven't bought nickel cases in a long time, so they're all veterans of several reloads. They split all the time. The rest is mostly Winchester.

I lube the cases lightly with Dillon case lube, so I like to tumble finished rounds 15 minutes to get the lube off. It doesn't hurt to leave it on, but it doesn't look good.

January 21, 2010


The average rainfall in Phoenix is 8.9 inches a year. Today's the day. Stayed in the garage. A torrent came through the AC. Didn't have buckets, so I used a big box and a lot of shop towels. Loaded a lot of .38 ammo. Would like to be able to clean out the shop, but not likely in the rain.

January 20, 2010


Really good practice session. Started with 1911. 10 hits in 6 seconds starting from condition 3, with a reload after 5. If the reload went well, the time was as low as 5.7. 6.0 was repeatable. Then went to cowboy guns. Did the hotel stage in 25. 5 pistol targets 2 each position 1, 5 rifle targets 2 each position 2, 4 shotguns position 3. Not bad for a one-eyed fat man. One handed, BP.

Came back to the shop and worked there loading .38s.

January 19, 2010


Email Wisdom:


I became very confused when I heard

the word "service" used with these agencies:

Internal Revenue 'Service'
United States Postal 'Service'
Telephone Service'
Cable TV Service'
Civil Service'
City, State & Public Service'
Customer Service'

This is not what I thought Service' meant.

But today, I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to Service' his cows.

BAM!!! It all came into focus.

Now I understand what all those agencies are doing to us.

Practiced, had the place to myself. Shot up 150 rounds of .45 ACP, no weak rounds, but one very loud one. Got some good times. Put 2 boxes through the new '97 with no problems. Came to the conclusion that getting the bead on target was a good idea. Could shoot .1 seconds per round faster but with the expected results. Around 5.9 for 6 rounds. Shot the cowboy guns in stages. Got some good times and quit. Worked in shop about an hour in the PM. Loaded 300 rounds .38 Special. Very tired. Left arm hurts like hell.

Big brouhaha over Trijicon working Bible verses into their model numbers on ACOG and sniper sights used by the military in the sand box. Might hurt the feelings of the crazies fighting us.

Good Grief! The model number ends in JN8:12 (John 8:12-look it up.) How can our Marines live with this on their sights!

Methinks they'd be in less trouble if they'd used Old Testament verses. I suggest Ps109:8. It is a prayer for Obama.

Look it up.

I'd suggest a special model for lieutenants with the lieutenant's prayer written out:

Oh Lord, please don't let me fuck up again today.

Late night addition:

Just witnessed a drunken bar fight at the Kitty Kat Catnip Bar. Both Arthur and Angelique were under the influence. Angelique was generally the attacker, but Arthur defended himself handily, or pawily. George was an innocent bystander. Angelique attacked him, charged with assault with razor claws. He's licking his wounds.

January 18, 2010


Rained. Worked in the shop loading .38s and made a trip to Sportsman's looking for smokeless powder useful for a .45 ACP. Don't know what's happened to HP-38, but this inconsistency isn't acceptable. Considering Clays, Bullseye, WST, N320. Online research narrowed it to Clays or WST. N320 is expensive, and the velocities on the VV website make me wonder what the hell barrel they used. I have Evil Roy's data, but his load is 5.3 gr, which is over maximum for a 200 gr. bullet. I'll have to do chrono testing for any of them before making much. Sportsman's had nothing. Said their powder comes in on Thursday, so I'll go there then. Considering ordering from Graf & Sons, but to make that reasonable with shipping and hazmat I'll need to order 4 or 8 lb. Hate to do that without having an established, tested load down. Emailed Happy Jack, the WST expert. He uses 230s. I'm hoping he's tested 200s and has a load worked out. No response yet, but his computer isn't in the house, but the computer isn't in the house but in his man cave, and they could be snowed in.

Loaded 1,000 rounds of APP .38 Specials. Looks like about 1,000-1,500 empties left. When I get effectively caught up, I'll do .45 Colts, then .45 ACP. I have the parts to do .45-70 on the XL650 now without using the case feeder. Since I use APP sticks I think I can make it work. Has to be better than the damn RCBS Turret press. I mention the APP sticks because it simplifies things. Decap, size at 1. Station 2 bells the case, drop the stick in at 3, seat at 4, crimp at 5. I'll manually insert the case at 1. If you get all the parts to convert to .45-70 using the case feeder, you might as well get a 550 for it.

January 17, 2010


A Sign of the Times:

Adam and Eve Co. has already come out with a porno DVD based on Tiger Woods' exploits.

CCSA Monthly Wild Bunch Match

Terrible match. .45 ACP ammo was inconsistent, too light to function the gun 2 or 3 times, one very LOUD round. Brain fade on one stage got a procedural. The new shotgun wouldn't let me load the second round in the tube. Shot the Winchester. Justice B. Quick had chest pains, chewed aspirin, and went home.

January 16, 2010


CCSA Monthly Match

I'd better shoot better at WR. Cap only ignition, first stage, shotgun redo, second stage, just slow, third stage, procedural fourth stage, okay fifth stage, good sixth stage. Joe McGlue whopped me like a redheaded stepchild, 184 to 207.

January 15, 2010


Mallard Filmore was classic today

I put that in because at least once a week I get some email that I can debunk in 30 seconds of going to Snopes.com. It usually has 23 copies of the body in it because it's been forwarded 23 times to large numbers of people, so all of the email addresses are shown, making all of us show up on more lists to send SPAM to. I'm still getting the Jane Fonda one from 1999. If you're reading this and want to send me something on Jane Fonda other than nudes from "Barbarella," check it with Snopes. It's probably false, and the bitch did enough treasonous things in real life that we don't have to make anything up. No, I'm not in a particularly good mood while writing this. The Redhead is still sick, and I haven't recovered yet.

Spent the afternoon finishing and sending to Tex and Cat the March Dispatches column and chapter 3 of Wild Bunch for Dummies.

January 14, 2010


Began eating mild solid foods. Continued to goof off. Fox News too horrifying to watch. I know what piles of dead bodies smell like. Fortunately we have a lot of bad TV recorded on the DVR.

The Redhead started vomiting in the evening. I think she has a worse case.

January 13, 2010


Friday the 13th done came on Wednesday this month, to paraphrase Pogo (you kids can look it up.) Was able to keep Gatorade down. Otherwise left the gastric system alone to recover. It's a great new weight loss program. Of course it's just a coincidence that I was at VA Hell Monday. Goofed off the rest of the day.

January 12, 2010


Got the lab tests done at 0800 and went to practice. Didn't go well. Didn't make any of my time targets, and I was getting exhausted. Gave up and went back to the bus feeling terrible. Slept. Still felt terrible. At night vomiting started, then diarrhea.

January 11, 2010


Wasted half a day at the Phoenix VA. The Phoenix VA is a hell hole of biblical proportions, an absolute disgrace to a country that should treat its veterans with some semblance of humanity. It reminds me of the VA hospitals in the 70s when they reminded one of hospitals in horror movies. To make a long, boring story short I left in a huff (well, actually in a Mercedes) and went to the Community Based Outreach Clinic in Anthem and registered for primary care. It's a branch of the Prescott VA hospital, so I'll have a drive to get any hospital services, but it has to be better than the Phoenix VA. Scheduled for lab tests in the morning.

January 10, 2010


Practiced. Good session. Left arm and hand burt like hell, though. The ulnar nerve compression problem is overdue for more treatment than it's been getting.

An Angelique Gallery

It was a romance that they tried to hide, but the Paparazzi found them anyway

They pretended they didn't mind being photographed and showed their best sides

We've been telling people Angelique climbs the walls, and no one believed us. If she didn't climb the wall, how did she get up there?

January 9, 2010


Went to the ACSA match. Big group. Good match. Nothing to complain about. Some close targets even. It would have been nice if I could have shot decently. I did have one stage in the 20s (29). Another should have been except for a hull. (33).

Got the guns back from Johnny Meadows. All fixed, $155, cheap. The '97 is smoother. He said it was a little rougher than he was used to, but no real problems. He worked on whatever it is that does lockup in order to lighten same, since it took a slam to get it locked. Now it doesn't.

January 8, 2010


Went shooting early using the GLK. Hells Comin' and Arizona Gambler were there when I got there circa 0900.

In the PM the MB store called. The ML was ready. Went and got it. This MB store, new, built to MBUSA's specs, is quite nice and efficient.

Another $500 shot to hell. But the hatch seems to work.

January 7, 2010


Took the ML to MB of Arrowhead. Got a GLK loaner ($12.45 in lieu of refilling the tank)

Went practicing after I got back. Smoke definitely a problem in the PM at Cowtown. Shot a couple hundred .38s and BP 12 ga., then switched to WB guns. Got several stages in the low 20s (23±) and got reloads of 1.65-1.9 shot to shot. Shot 5, reloaded 1 to most replicate loading on a stage.

In the PM the MB store called. They got it to malfunction. It's the switch itself. They quoted a price equal to a new ML. We negotiated. Still almost $500 + the $417 I say wasn't necessary, having had no signs the battery was yet a problem. Batteries are a 4 year± item on a Mercedes, longer on the ones, like this one, with the battery in a cool location, like under the seat.

January 6, 2010


More practice. Running out of shotshells. Loaded up a case of red AA hulls and APP.

January 5, 2010


Went to Cowtown and practiced. Could not do a good stage. Lots of smoke, no wind. When I got finished, the hatch wouldn't open, the one I spent 4 hours in ABC Daytime TV Hell and $417 to get it fixed.

Back at the bus called and scheduled a "Come back" appointment for Thursday, with loaner car. #$%@!!&!

Then went to Happy Valley Mall to the Verizon store to get another charging plug for the cell phone. The wonderful new kitty, Angelique, bit the cord of the old one in half last night.

Got my hair cut at SuperCuts next door. The girl doing the cut needs to move to an Army base where her talents will be appreciated.

January 4, 2010



I want Single Payer, Government Run Health Care to become law so that every citizen can suffer as much as veterans do.

Took the MB in to Mercedes-Benz of Arrowhead, new showplace dealership, everything built to MBUSA's specifications and staffed by kids who work cheap. Gorgeous, huge showroom, nice torture chamber, er waiting room with huge big screen TV tuned to ABC so we got to see THE VIEW and ALL MY REALLY GOOD LOOKING PLASTIC CHILDREN WHO CAN'T ACT ENOUGH TO MAKE UP FOR THE RIDICULOUS PLOT. Watched carefully waiting for Susan Lucci's face to crack, but it didn't while we were there.

The hatch, you might remember, had been sticking closed. I had guessed it wasn't getting enough voltage as it worked sometimes, not others. I was right to the tune of $417. The battery needed changing, not totally out of the question after 39 months and 56789 miles (no kidding) of use. But it's a $230 battery and apparently 2 hours of diagnostic/installation time to try to help pay for the Taj Mahal facility.

Called the VA, trying to get an appointment to get my left hand and arm looked at for considerable pain, numbness, and weakness. Waited fifteen minutes to get through the "Help" line to a "scheduling nurse." Talked to a lady that sounded like a scheduling nurse, but she transferred me to the real nurse. Waited fifteen minutes for her to answer the phone. She told me I had to go to Albuquerque. I reminded her that I had gotten treatment here and really needed treatment before April. Then she told me to call Albuquerque to get permission for them to treat me here. i contended that was ridiculous. Apparently I'm the only snowbird in the VA System. She told me I would have to talk to eligibility. Waited for fifteen minutes for them to answer the phone. Gruff male voice. Explained my problem, and he said, "What the hell are you doing talking to me? You need a nurse to schedule an appointment. He transferred me back to the "Help" line. I gave up. I'll go to the emergency room.

January 3, 2010


Went to the CCSA match. Good match. Did terrible. 2 caps failed to fire first time first stage, one on third stage. Then the rifle jammed on stage 5, where, additionally, I got a miss, blowing the clean match. Gave 3 guns to Johnny Meadows, the '73 with the split stock, the SKB with the bent extractor, and the '97 that really doesn't need much since it works quite well, but he works cheap. Lunch at Chili's with Larsen E. Pettifogger and M T Stetson.

The hatch worked, more or less, but with enough problems to make sure I show up on time for tomorrow's appointment with MB.

January 2, 2010


Last night Garrison Joe posted on the SASS Wire on a thread about SASS calibers:

Being the Assistant Scoutmaster that ran the EOT brass pickup in 2006 (first NM year), and helping with 2007 and 2008. The numbers stay pretty constant -
55% .38 special
20% .45 Colt
10% .44 Mag + Spl + 44.40
5% .357
2.5% .38-40
2.5% .32 mag
5% other

Spread that word. Manufacturers bring out guns in .45 Colt first. Hello?? 55% is .38 Special, 5% .357, usually because some Marlins won't work with .38 Specials. That means at least 60% of SASS EOT competitors use .38/.357. 60% vs. 20%.

Another poster noted .32 mag is underreported because it's usually used in pistols, which don't leave brass to be picked up.

Went to the Rio Salado match. Good match. But I sure didn't shoot well. 5 misses, 4 clean but slow stages. Had a lot of sticking hulls in the shotgun and had to make up 2 shotguns. I wasn't the only one with problems. The first 4 or so shooters got stage DQs on our first stage (Stage 3)

Just to top things off, when I got back to the car, the hatch wouldn't open again.

January 1, 2010


Happy New Year

We had our usual wild bacchanalian orgy to celebrate the New Year last night and slept in all the way to 0800. (Dogs still have to be walked, wild bacchanalian orgy or not.)

You'll remember we left our hero in a pickle. His truck's hatch wouldn't open. His favorite rifle had a beautiful rifle split asunder. His favorite shotgun wouldn't let go of the left hull.

This morning when I got to the shop the Gorilla Glue on the '73 stock had done its thing, and I've finally learned how to use it without putting on too much (wet one side. Put a thin film on the other side. It grows about like you'd like to when you get aroused. It will also turn hands black and ruin clothing, so I did the work in full hazmat suit. The seam shows to close examination, but I'm just going to throw it on the table 12 times during a major match, and it doesn't look brand new anymore.

Then, in my continued cleaning binge, I took the grips off one of the Evil Roy pistols. Big mistake. The coil hand spring bit me in the ass several times. I was careful to take it out and put it in a magnetic bowl, but when I went to put it back in, it went to tiny spring heaven. I started searching for spares. The one similar spare joined this one in tiny spring heaven. I found my spare set of Evil Roy springs, and it had one of the original springs. The original springs are shorter, but a set screw both gives them tension and makes them captive. So to use that spring (replaced by Gunslinger by a longer spring he favored), I had to put the spring in, then insert the set screw, the tiny, tiny set screw. I believe it only took 134 hours to accomplish that. The gun works in dry firing. Will test live soonest.

So, after getting the gun cart boxes ready for a match or two, I went to the car to put the stuff in it, though not sure how with the hatch closed. As I walked up to the truck I pushed the button for the hatch, and it opened. There was no obvious cause of the problem. I tried it several times, and it worked perfectly, so I put the stuff in the truck.

We'll see if I can get it out when the hatch fails at a match.

The shotgun still needs a gunsmith and will get same.

2010 Resolutions:

Last years were:

I will:

1. Drink at least 5 Margaritas a week.

2. Attend the SASS matches that are in range that I want to attend.

3. Practice when I can.

4. Play with the dog, the cat(s)* and The Redhead as often as possible.

5. Not eat Vietnamese food, or Thai food.

6. Remember--Don't sweat the small stuff.

7. Remember--It's all small stuff.

8. Be nice to waiters and waitresses and overtip.

*Now that we have 2 cats, I had to add the pluralization.

For 2010 I'll repeat all of those and add:

9. I will stop having sex with supermodels, porn stars, and high priced escorts, no matter how much they offer to pay me. I don't want to lose my sponsors.