February 2013 Journal

January 30-31. 2013

Still basically horizontal, but the back seems to be getting a little better. ThermaCare heat packs seem to help.

January 24-29, 2013

Between bad weather and sudden lower back pain that started on the 28th, I only got to practice a couple of days. The bad weather revealed roof leaks in the shop, and I've been unable to get up there to fix it so far. I did manage to get the correct caulk. I'm going back to horizontal. It hurts less.

January 22-23, 2013

On Monday I practiced using the ROAs with cartridge conversion cylinders. When I cleaned them I found the worst leading I've ever encountered. Used up half a sheet of lead cleaning cloth on one. Went to Sportsman's Monday night and bought everything they had for the problem–not much. Even cleaning supplies are almost sold out. Got a another cloth and a bottle of lead removing liquid. There were no bronze bore brushes in .45, only stainless and nylon. Got a couple of them.

Then Tuesday I cleaned the other gun. It still took an hour, but the liquid helped. Took several applications and soaking. Then jags with patches over them made of the lead removing cloths took off sheets of lead, but it took several of those.

While I was doing this, The Redhead was winning another $500 (6th out of 110) at the poker tournament at Casino Arizona. That's 2 this month.

Then Wednesday I practiced, same ammunition, no leading. Thus I have no explanation for it.

After practice made some more .38-55, and I managed to break the primer dispenser on the RCBS turret press again. Called RCBS. 15 minute wait to talk to a rep, but another one is theoretically on its way. Fortunately I have an RCBS hand primer, so I'm decapping a batch, then priming, then running then through the other stations. Not too bad.

January 21, 2013, Monday

Today was inauguration day, or, as Republicans call it, Monday.

Two observations:

I never thought I would say nice things about Bill Clinton, but here are 3 nice things about Bill Clinton:

1. He can play the saxophone

2. If I were married to Hillary, I would have been seeking female companionship somewhere, too. (But I will admit that it does seem he has a lower "cull line" than an airborne ranger on the last night of R and R)

3. As a president, he was far better than our current one.

President Obama compares himself to Lincoln, and so does his followers. There is some room for a comparison. At the end of Lincoln's first term:

Much of the country was in ruins.

Unemployment was rampant, especially among veterans, youth, and minorities

Half of the country hated the other half, and vice versa.

Half of the country hated the President. Half of the country loved him.

He had spent more money of the treasury than any previous president.

He had just put in motion a plan to use a radical new transportation system nationwide.

A horrendous number of Americans had died in a war.

Large numbers of Americans were wandering aimlessly looking for someone to take care of them, and the Democratic party was plotting ways to maintain control over them and keep them in poverty.

January 20, 2013, Sunday

Roberts: I, Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear

Obama: I, Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear

Roberts: that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States

Obama: that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States

Roberts: and will to the best of my Ability

Obama: and will to the best of my Ability,

Roberts: preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Obama: pervert, shred, and suspend the Constitution of the United States.

Roberts: So help me God

Obama: So help me Allah

Planned to go practice today, but instead I got the broken end of the bolt holding the front axle on the cart out and went to Home Depot and splurged 31¢ on a 1/4" x 20 x 2" Grade 5 bolt to reattach the front axle and and wheel. The original is a knob with threaded rod. I'll get another one of those from Rugged Gear. Changed oil and filters, rotated the tires, and did a 100,000 mile checkup. Then I washed the entire gun cart and put everything back in. It looks pretty good for almost three years of full time use. I probably do 80 match days a year plus 100 practice days. Much of the use is at Founders Ranch, which, when not used for CAS matches, is used for survival tests and off road vehicle testing. It's a little known fact that Founders Ranch is a geological anomaly where it is uphill from the Belle Union to each stage, and it's uphill back to the Belle Union or the parking lot.

The arrow points to the new bolt

January 18-19, 2013

Worked in the garage Friday. Went to the Cowtown match Saturday. Beautiful day, mild temperatures. 4 posses. Yuma's annual match is this weekend, so that's where the 5th posse went. Another semi-disaster match. Had a split case on round 10 of the first stage. Didn't try to fix it on the clock. Missed once in she smoke and left an empty in the rifle, something that almost never happens to me. This might be the first time, in fact. Judah Macabee had a worse time, misloading the pistol for 2 and trying to shoot through the standing smoke at long distance targets. The BP posse should really be the first posse at Cowtown. The first 3 or 4 stages have the long range rifle targets, while the last, if they don't use the cowboy on the hill, have close rifle targets.

The gun cart collapsed and threw the guns on the ground. The front axle is held on by a knob with 1/4 x 20 threads into a captive nut on the mounting plate. That bolt had broken inside the nut.

Is the wheel supposed to be in the middle of the cart? The cooler is keeping the cart up for the last two three stages.

While I was working on the cart one guy leaned down to tell me how much he disliked "golf carts" at SASS matches. Then, when I put the above picture on my Facebook page with a funny caption, one guy used two posts to tell me how much he hated Rugged Gear carts. While I deleted my rant response, it boils down to "well, then don't buy one." There should be more, but it's unprintable. I've had a lot of gun carts. The good thing about this one is it is easy to push and light weight. It carries everything I need. I have had breakage on every cart, usually wheels. The 4-wheel cart used up 16 wheels, yep, 16.

January 17, 2013, Thursday

Went practicing. I got a new tripod for the Nikon just for videoing practice. The camera battery died after 2 stages. Practiced with the .38-55 first. The secret, of course, is loading the sucker. Finally got where, most of the time, I can pick up 3 rounds at a time. 2 is easy. If the stage calls for 4, 2-2s works better than 3-1. Picking up 4 guarantees either fumbling or dropping one. If the stage calls for 5, 1-3, 1-2. For 6, 2-3s. More work needs to be done, but getting semi-consistent. Shot the ROAs with the cartridge conversions. This is a little harder on the arthritic thumb, but gives better practice than using the new Vaqueros.

Then went to Sportsman's Warehouse. Parking lot packed, gun department packed. Found this sign:

Now this doesn't mean they actually have any of those things, primers especially. Another sign said mags, ammo, etc. would be in on Friday instead of Thursday. Definitely no Federal, Winchester, or Remington primers on hand today. They did have Speer .457 round balls, and I bought them. Getting close to a year's supply of those. Can't say that about primers, (or powder, or bullets, but I don't get bullets or APP from them, just smokeless).

Went to Wally World but got a really creepy feeling realizing that my primary match grade guns were all in the car, and, if they were stolen, would be hard if not impossible to replace by WR, especially the ROAs. Decided I could do without the things I went for and went back to the car and drove away.

January 13-16, 2013

The reloading bench has been modified. The RCBS Turret Press is for loading .38-55 for Plainsman. I raised it 3 inches in order to allow the door below to open. Previously, when loading .45-70, I would mount it, load up a bunch, and take it down. I intend to do that with .38-55, but until WR I'll be shooting .38-55 every time I practice, so the Turret Press will stay mounted for a while.

The RCBS Turret Press

Practiced Monday and Tuesday. The Redhead got the Jeep for poker tournaments Sunday and Wednesday.

January 11-12, 2013

The Redhead won $500 at a Poker Tournament Friday.

The Redhead in her poker playing outfit

ACSA match Saturday. Good match, but I didn't have a good stage all day. Very cold. I believe that's what made it so exhausting. Heavy coat, multiple layers of clothing.

Revised SliX-Shot Nipples

The only problem I had with the SliX-Shot nipples was they were 0.040 longer than stock Ruger Nipples.

Original SliX-Shot nipple on Ruger Old Army. They are 0.040 longer than stock Ruger nipples. Sometimes this meant that the cap had to be firmly seated in order to rotate the cylinder to cap the next nipple.

The original SliX-Shot nipples caused the hammer to stick out slightly when down. This wasn't a problem, per se

New production SliX-Shot nipples are 0.020 longer than stock Ruger nipples

Now the hammer goes almost all of the way down. The hammer hits the nipple before it bottoms out on the frame, but just barely

I received two sets from Big Iron Buster at Bordertown but didn't try them until recently because the guns were working so well. I just tried the new ones, and they worked flawlessly.

January 7-10, 2013

Managed to practice Tuesday and Thursday. Also managed to screw up an order for 500 bullets for the .38-55. Punched the wrong button and got .376 dia bullets instead of .380. Called Desperado. They're sending more bullets (my $ for the shipping), and I'll return the skinny ones at WR. Shot up all of the completed rounds.

Follow up appointment on the "civilian" hearing aids. Still some problems with them. Nothing's perfect, and my hearing is really bad. 90 day trial period... tick... tick.

January 6, 2013, Sunday

Cowtown First Sunday match, 5 posses, 38°F when this picture was taken early in the morning. Once it warmed up near perfect day.

George S. Patton showed me some pictures he had taken while I was gone.

January 5, 2013, Saturday

Beautiful day, cold in the morning, 60s in the afternoon, clear. Wild Bunch match at Cowtown. Back to normal as far as round count. I can still use my left hand. Tomorrow a Cowboy match. Switched everything in the car back to Frontiersman. I now have a checklist on the iPhone.

January 2-4, 2013

Practiced a couple of days at Cowtown. I have a .38-55 Buffalo Classic (Johnny Meadows' Plainsman rifle), so I've been loading .38-55s. I've decided in the future Winchester primers should be relabeled "Obama Supporter Primers." They cost too much and don't work. I got a box of Winchester Large Rifle Magnum primers for the .38-55 ammo to keep the rifle primers separated from large pistol primers. Big mistake. 5 out of 30 wouldn't fire with repeated strikes. Shot up all of the ammo made with them and started making it with Federal Large Pistol primers. They go bang.

My .45-70 Handi-Rifle will remain as the back up, but I probably can be convinced to sell it and the dies and 100 rounds of ammo, 200+ bullets.

I tried loads from 42 gr Express FFg (1/8" compressed charge) to lighter loads with filler. They all worked. Then I loaded APP FFFg to contacting the bullet with no compression, about 35 gr. volume, 28 gr. wt. I'll try shooting them next week. 245 gr. Chey-Cast BP SPG lubed bullets. I've ordered 260 gr. Desperado Cowboy bullets, which are also soft-cast, appropriate for BP, but with a lube that's friendlier to APP. The full-charge Express loads shot very clean, as did the lighter charges with walnut hull filler, which usually helps keep fouling down. The bullets are all .380, at both Tex and Johnny Meadows suggestions. Normally the chambers on H & R's are too tight for that, but Johnny reamed it. Everything hit the rifle targets at Cowtown with no problems. The RCBS Cowboy dies still don't quite expand the case enough for the fat bullets, even though they are designed to work with lead bullets. I managed to make them work by using the Dillon powder measure to add just a hint of flare to the case. The seater-crimper takes it out without problems and leaves a slight roll crimp on the crimp groove.

January 1, 2013

Recovered from last nights bacchanalian celebration. Having cats with hangovers is a bitch.