February 2012 Journal

January 30-31, 2012

Angelique hiding in the bedspread

George S. Patton, Jr. with the latest fashion accessory for really cool dogs, an inflatable collar to assist him in recovery from a skin condition that started in the summer and is now down to a small oval on one side.

Monday, physical from the VA in Anthem. In the PM put in the new Cylinder and Slide hammer, sear, and disconnector, allegedly drop-in. 3 lb. 6 oz. trigger with no adjustment, and it passed all of the safety tests. Also checked the 1984 vintage Wilson Master Grade (Colt Series 70) that Wild Bodie Tom just worked on for me. 2 lb. 6 oz. trigger, passed all of the safety tests. Hmm.

Test fired all the WB guns Tuesday. Everything passed. Reloaded in the PM.

It should be noted that The Redhead spent hours each day working on the carpet that had gotten wet. We'll get it replaced after WR, but that means putting the bus in the shop, living in a hotel, etc. Meanwhile she's done a fantastic job. We've managed to figure out the cause of the flooding, and, that, too, will get fixed. We talked to a technician, but, after going through the Sealand manual for troubleshooting and checking the parts list, it's something I can fix. There are 3 causes listed, and replacing the water valve and the spring cartridge and cleaning will cure them all. I think it's a worn spring cartridge, but, since I have to disassemble it to get to either one, I'll replace both parts. Otherwise the other one will fail. I have a lot of respect for Murphy's Law.

I just need to order the parts and plan on spending 7-10 hours for a 1 hour repair. We can prevent a recurrance by pulling up on the lever after flushing and watching the ball seal. Just to make sure, we turn off the water supplywhen we're out and at night, using the onboard pump and water supply.

January 28-29, 2012

Went to Cowtown Saturday only to discover a work party working downrange. Ran away lest someone tell me to pick up something heavy. Reloaded.

Sunday the range was available. Practiced, then reloaded.

January 27, 2012, Friday

In the mornings I make empty brass out of loaded ammo. In the afternoons I make loaded ammo out of empty brass.

New Word in the Dictionary to describe our current government:

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

January 26, 2012, Thursday

I get a weekly email blog, "The Tactical Wire." It's mostly shooting industry press releases with a short article. Rich Grassi, in today's article, wrote, '"Nobody ever needs a thousand bullets," I was once told.'

That kind of jumped out at me because I'm shooting that much or more every week, closer to 1300-1500 rounds counting main match, shotgun, Wild Bunch, and .45-70 for Plainsman. Expensive. Hard to keep up the loading, brass cleaning, and supply. Today the 650 had gotten far enough out of adjustment I had to take it apart enough to use the Dillon alignment tools to get it back into alignment. Then I could pop out 400-500 rounds an hour. The machine, of course, will work at a faster rate than that, but primer tubes, the powder hopper, and the case feeder have to be fed.

This morning I'd shot up 300 rounds of .38 Special and 50 rounds of shotgun, so I'm not getting ahead.

January 25, 2012, Wednesday

Practiced in the AM. Had the adjuster over from Progressive to look at the flood damage. No hassles. He promised numbers tomorrow.

An order of bullets, 70 lb. worth in a Priority Mail box, arrived, and The Redhead took them from the park post office to the car, about 25 yards. I was impressed. I figure next time she'll just come and get me.

January 21-24, 2012

Guncart at CCSA match

Went to the CCSA match Saturday. Excellent match. Didn't stay for results, and they're not posted at this time.

Sunday worked in the shop. Made .45-70 rounds. All of my .45-70 brass is made into loaded rounds. Slow. Practiced Monday and Tuesday. Made more shotshells Monday and Tuesday.

January 12-20, 2012

Mostly practiced, repaired guns, and reloaded. Shot the ACSA match (VERY badly). Found a replacement stock for the '73 pistol grip at Cimarron. I was looking for a blem/reject to save money. It's covered in a butt cover, and the parts that show get beaten to hell. Taylor's didn't have one. It arrived. The previous one was a little loose, which, I believe is why it kept breaking. This one is very tight, and the hole for the bolt didn't line up. Thus it took over an hour to get it on. Had to get a new hammer and sear for the Baer 1911. Couldn't find my spare parts packet for '73s, so I had to order $50 in parts to have the most critical. Got several hundred dollars worth of bullets and a case of STS 12 ga. I've used up a lot of ammunition so farT and will, if things work, shoot up another 3-4000 rounds of .38 and three or four cases of 12 ga. reloads and factory. I use the STS hulls to make my BP ammo. I had a huge supply when I started. Mostly gone now. I do have match grade .38s and 12 ga set aside for WR. I need to load more .45-70s, .45 Colt, and .45 ACP for the match. This practicing thing is expensive.

Both articles went to the CC on time.

Wednesday night a valve in the toilet stuck, causing it to fill and fill the 40 gal. black water tank, then to flood the floor. I discovered it after half an hour, but by then the floor was flooded, and the basement was wet. Water was running out the front door. The carpet was soaked. Now the carpet still hasn't dried completely, and the coach has that flooded carpet smell all Houstonians know.

Took the day off Friday to see Red Tails. Fabulous. The technology is there now for things that movies couldn't do before. I know most of those airplanes don't exist anymore, but every detail of the aircraft, their operation (except one turn that defies aerodynamic theory, but who cares), the sets, the scenery, the costumes, all were flawless. The story was highly fictionalized, but that doesn't bother me. If you make a realistic war movie, nobody would be able to sit through it. War is hours and hours of sheer boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror. Once I saw Avatar I started hoping that someone would use that technology to make a WWII flying movie that didn't make the technically astute groan. This one did it. It should also be noted that the good guys in the movie were American heroes, and the bad guys were Nazis. It was a patriotic movie like what Hollywood would have made during/after the war if they had had the technology and the money.

January 8-11, 2012

Practiced Tues-Wed-Thurs. I'm doing a review of Long Hunter's new DVD, so I tried some of the tips in there I had forgotten about or didn't know. Useful stuff. I do recommend the DVD.

Courtesy of Allie Mo:


I know this is supposed to be the smartest administration ever, but if I were running a campaign with a fairly unpopular incumbent, the last thing I would do is have a reelection slogan whose initials are "WTF"

January 7, 2012

Went to the Cowtown Wild Bunch match. 21 shooters from as far away as Flagstaff. 21 is a big posse, but not enough for 2, so we shot 6 stages in only 6 hours. The last one was interesting. There were 9 targets plus 6 shotgun targets, 5 knockdowns. The drill was to put 5 rounds on each of the 9 targets plus one on each of the shotgun targets, the 5 knockdowns having to fall. you had to shoot from 2 different positions out of 4. You could use any combination of firearms. You couldn't shoot the pistol/rifle targets with the shotgun, but you could shoot the shotguns with the pistol or rifle. I used the Maxim machine gun from the last scene of "The Wild Bunch" for all. Carrying it was a bitch.

Just kidding. I shot the shotgun targets from the rightmost window and one r/p with the rifle, moved a step to the door next door and shot the others with the pistol, which was as good a way as any and less movement than most. At least it was clean. Several used the pistol for everything. You could stage pistol ammo, so doing it all with the pistol wasn't unreasonable.

I believe I'll be spending much of my practice time on the long range targets.

January 5-6, 2012

More practice. On Friday Half-A-Hand Henry and Dirty Dan put together a mini-match, so we shot most of the stages. One shooter I didn't know, Kid Thunder, was shooting Frontiersman with ROAs and shot a 23 on a stage I did in 24 using both hands and cartridge pistols. No fair, his thumbs still work. Nothing like shooting with others to find out how mediocre you really are.

Dan Varner sent me a couple of useful emails. A retired Infantry officer, he corrected Google. Infantry marches (and thinks) at 2.5 mph. That made me feel a little better.

And about my #3 resolution (see January 1), he said, "Like your pics in partners, but when do you ever get the time to golf?"

January 4, 2012, Wednesday

Instead of running this morning I set up the chrono early to beat the crowd at Cowtown, then stayed to practice WB.


65-70°F, clear, 0-5 mph wind, low humidity. Location: Cowtown, 1400 ft. altitude

Firearm Caliber Bbl l

Bul Wt

Vaquero .38 spcl. 4.75 105 Tin Star 3.6 670 451 219 578 91 61
Vaquero . 38 spcl. 4.75 105 APP3f 10.0 778 550 178 651 73 68
73 Trapper .45 LC 16 200 Clays 5.5 961 797 164 888 66 178
73 Trapper .45 LC 16 200 Clays 5.7 964 898 66 936 28 187
73 Trapper .45 LC 16 200 Trail Boss 6.0 890 809 81 847 33 169
73 Carbine .45 LC 19 200 Clays 5.5 964 876 88 921 41 184
73 Carbine .45 LC 19 200 Clays 5.7 1000 826 174 917 75 183
73 Carbine
.45 LC 19 200 Trail Boss 6.0 895 769 226 870 86 174
Les Baer .45 ACP 5 230 WST 4.0 787 752 35 772 14 178
Les Baer .45 ACP 5 200 Trail Boss 5.3 870 836 36 855 12 171
Colt MkIV .45 ACP 5 230 WST 4.0 775 745 30 765 12 176
Colt MkIV .45 ACP 5 200 Trail Boss 5.3 882 801 81 862 30 172

Some notes:

The Tin Star load is part of a (slowly) working article on CAS loads using Tin Star. I started at 3.2 gr. based on Rattler John's recommendation. Too slow. Upped to 3.6. Still too slow. I'll go with more powder next time. I do like the way it loads. Very consistent. The APP3f load is my practice load. It meets the smoke standard. It's not as accurate as the match load of 12.8 gr. Still too much smoke for dead calm into the sun, but that's part of shooting Black Powder.

The .45 Colt Clays loads in my quest to find something better than Trail Boss because I'm tired of its loading difficulties. I used the new 16" barrel '73 and the 19" carbine to see what effect barrel length had on it. I planned on using the 24" Marlin but forgot it after getting it out of storage. It appears that 5.5 gr. is the preferable of the two loads. That's what I'll make next batch. 5.3-5.4 would probably be safe, too.

The .45 ACP loads with WST look really good. 3.6, tested earlier, was too close to the 150 minimum. 3.9 is probably safe.

All of the Wild Bunch loads are acceptable for competition, with enough of a safety factor to avoid a MDQ at the chrono station.

January 3, 2012, Tuesday

Managed to do 2.093 miles in 34.19 minutes, 3.7 mph. Not good, but at least faster than marching speed.

Timermania again:

The Jail stage at Cowtown, 2 Nevada sweeps at 3 pistol targets-6-7 yds. This would be a good time if I were shooting Frontiersman. For Frontier Cartridge it's mediocre.

Stand and deliver, 2 Nevada sweeps at 7-8 yd targets with pistols, 2 with the rifle, then 4 shotgun knockdowns, you know, the kind of thing Hells Comin' does in 12-13. But I hadn't shot 24 rounds with 4 guns in 19 seconds before.

Yesterday afternoon I put yesterday's brass in the tumbler with the walnut media, no vinegar soaking or Iosso Brass cleaner, and nothing in the media other than dryer strips, and ran it for 9 hours. Looked better than I've been getting lately with corncob even with all of the tricks.

January 2, 2012, Monday

I've decided my old age hasn't helped my running abilities. I hated running in my youth. One of the graduation requirements from the Armor Officers' Basic Course was an 8 mile uphill run in full field gear called military stakes. Yes, at Fort Knox you can run uphill for 8 miles. You stopped at each stake and solved a problem then continued. I remember one guy passing me three or four times. He could run, but he couldn't solve problems apparently. Your grade was the average of your time as a percentage of the fastest guy in the class + your score on the practical problems in percentage. We were lucky. The previous class had a smart marathon runner who ran fast enough to fail the rest of the class. Now I don't have to do it in full field gear and have much better shoes, but 2 miles walking/jogging/running/wheezing is taking 35-40 minutes. Today it was 3.1 mph, 40 minutes to go 2.095 mi. If I remember correctly marching speed is 3.4 mph, so I'm not even up to that. I'm blaming the Pedometer program.

After that went to Cowtown and shot for an hour or so. The new rifle shoots and handles very well. It's a 3rd Generation C & I kit, pretty smooth, but no shorter than my Codymatics. It has a 16+" barrel but holds 10 rounds of .45 Colt. Larsen said it was tight with 1.57" OAL rounds so he countersunk the magazine spring plug 0.10". Plenty of slack now. I'll be chronographing some ammo soon, and, for obvious reasons, that's the rifle to use for it. Might use both '73s and maybe even the 24" Marlin to see what barrel length does.

Opened up a 5 gallon bucket of polishing media from Sportsman's Warehouse and noticed it didn't look like corn cob. Checked the label. No, it's walnut. Picked up the wrong bucket. I guess I'll be using walnut media for a while. I have 30 lb. of it.

Took The Redhead to El Encantos Dos on Carefree Highway for dinner. Probably won't go back. Sometimes it's okay, sometimes it isn't.

January 1, 2012, Sunday, New Years Day

Went to the Cowtown monthly match. 4 posses. Some missing. They must've been really short because they made me a posse marshal. Good stages. I've got to work on those rifle targets across the "navigable waterway." Missed 3. 4 misses in all. Only 3 clean stages. One 24.70 clean stage. Everything else in the 30s. Minor (to major) glitches on everything. If the 24 sounds good, note that Larsen E. Pettifogger shot a 22 in FCD. His pistols were in the 6 second range--Duelist. Sigh. Catlow was 1st FC, beating me by 26,3 seconds.

Traded a gun for a .45 Colt Uberti/Cimarron '73 trapper carbine Larsen had put the right toys on. 3rd gen short stroke, big bead front sight. Now I have 2 WB '73s, both with carbine buttstocks.

Looked at the January 2011 Journal. January 2nd's entry was: "Shot the match at Cowtown in Frontier Cartridge. Slow. One stage in the 20s. Good match, though."

Sounds like nothing's changed. Looks like I didn't make any resolutions for 2011, so I'll make some for 2012:

1. Win first overall at Winter Range and End Of Trail.

2. Win at least $30,000,000 in the Powerball or Mega Million lotteries.

3. Have a threesome with Ann Coulter and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Now, I've gotten the resolutions out of the way. They probably make as much sense as yours and are as likely to be kept.