February 2015 Journal

American Pioneer Powder Winter Range Special

From APP Powder:

If you are running low on powder or want to stock up at a great price, we are offering special pricing for our Winter Range Special Pricing under the sales code Range 15 (expires 3/15/15) is listed below.

1 Case (12 bottles) at $19.25 per bottle delivered = $231.00
2 Case (24 bottles) at $17.25 per bottle delivered = $414.00
4 Case (48 bottles) at $16.25 per bottle delivered = $780.00
8 Case (96 bottles) at $15.75 per bottle delivered = $1,464.00

If you order early by 2/15/15, you will receive an additional 4% discount off the already low, special promotional prices listed above. Please see this early discount pricing listed below.

1 Case (12 bottles) at $19.25 per bottle delivered = $231.00 less $ 9.24 additional discount = $221.76
2 Case (24 bottles) at $17.25 per bottle delivered = $414.00 less $16.56 additional discount = $397.44
4 Case (48 bottles) at $16.25 per bottle delivered = $780.00 less $31.20 additional discount = $748.80
8 Case (96 bottles) at $15.75 per bottle delivered = $1,512.00 less $60.48 additional disc. = $1,451.52


Toll Free 888-423-2310 - Seven Days a Week

January 27-31, 2015

The company that handles my website is making some changes. This kept me from updating for a few days. I'll work on February.

January 26, 2015, Monday


Went back to Cowtown. Switched back to 2 strong side holsters instead of cross draw. Several reasons. Belt length is critical with the cross-draw if you want them as close together as legally possible (and you do), useful when you need to re-holster strong side gun with weak hand. A couple of inches makes a difference in the belt working or not--or you put the buckle in the back. Probably too complicated to explain here. And no one was measuring my strong side holsters for 30° rule. Plus there are a few people who really watch cross-draw shooters looking for 170 violations. Never a problem with 2 strong side. Lastly, I'm left handed, and most stages run left to right. It is difficult to draw cross-draw gun before you get into next shooting position. Yes, unless there are local rules prohibiting it, you may draw your pistol and run to the next position to shoot it as long as you keep it pointed down range safely. Decided I was spending too much time worrying about 30°, etc., something I don't have to do with 2 strong side. After an hour of dry-firing in the shop Sunday and 200± rounds of practice at Cowtown back in the groove.

January 25, 2015, Sunday

Cleaned the Vaqueros in the Lyman 6000 Turbo Sonic Cleaner. Easier than the percussion ROAs, of course. 15 minutes.

No scrubbing needed. Dried, sprayed with CLP. Reassembled. I also cleaned the ROAs, 25 minutes. Still had to do a little scrubbing of back-side of nipples, hammer, recoil shield.

Randall Knives

I'm not "into" knives, but I have 2 Randall made knives. While re-packing gear I came across them today,

The story starts in 1969 on July 20th, the day the Eagle landed on the moon. I watched that on a little black and white TV in the Transient Officers' Quarters at Fort Lewis, Washington where I was for RVN training..

Earlier that day a senior sergeant, while discussing equipment for our upcoming assignments, said to me, "Lieutenant, you need a Bowie knife, and we don't issue them."

Americans had landed on the moon, and I needed a Bowie knife.


Fast forward a bit.
The Randall #1 fighting knife epitomizes the modern Bowie knife. This one has a 7" stainless steel blade. I started in SASS at a club that had a lot of people really into the spirit of the game concerning costuming. Most men had knives on their gun-belts. So I got my Randall out of storage and got a proper cowboy sheath for it. Then someone reminded me that carrying a knife that big was a felony in Texas.

So I had Randall make me a Sportsman's Bowie with a legal 5" blade and nickel silver hilt. Polishing the brass one was a pain in the neck. It has a bone handle. I stopped wearing it after I searched the grass at Bar 3 Ranch for an hour looking for it. Since then Klickitat Bob put a retention strap on my cowboy sheath. I wear it on shooting costume contest days.

If you're just starting in SASS, I will note that you don't need a knife unless you're shooting Classic Cowboy.

January 12-24, 2015

Jeep after The Redhead had an encounter with hit and run 18 wheeler in San Antonio.

Jeep after body shop did a really fine job. New bumper, fender, and mirror cover. Took in Mon AM, received Tues 3 PM. Modern ceramic paints and computerized body shops are fantastic, said by a guy who dealt with body shops for 30 years in the car biz.

Further adventures with a Lyman Turbo Sonic 6000 Ultrasonic Cleaner.

Last month we cleaned guns. Now we're cleaning brass, starting with a badly corroded Shell lifter for a '73 replica

The other side

After 5 minutes:

After 25 minutes

This is effectively clean for use. Further time would be needed to make it purty, but that seemed unnecessary

Reinstalled in rifle

While we had brass cleaner in the tank we tried some brass cleaning

Brass used with American Pioneer Powder and left overnight with no pre-soaking

After two 5 minute sessions. As clean as 10 hours plus in a Dillon vibratory cleaner. Some staining remained on some brass. A longer time in the tank probably would have taken care of that. But brass was not polished, just clean. This is sufficient unless you're really anal or OCD about having polished, like new brass. If so:

Another load after 6 hours in Frankford Armory rotary tumbler with stainless media. 1-3 hours is sufficient for smokeless brass. Black powder brass needs more time. Two 3 hour sessions resulted in this brass. This was shinier and cleaner than 20 hours in a Dillon vibratory cleaner. If your budget limits you to one machine, the Lyman sonic cleaner will clean guns, gun parts, and brass. The Frankford Armory Rotary Tumbler does a better job with brass, but that's another expense. Both the Lyman and the Frankford Armory units offer less exposure to lead and are essentially dust free.

Coyote Cap's latest shotgun

Coyote Cap was showing off his latest '97 made by IAC to his specs.

Now you know everything I do, at least until I can do a proper test. Please direct all questions to Cap. Yes, it is as good as he says it is.

January 6-11, 2014—SASS Convention. Menger Hotel, San Antonio

If you understand the history of the Alamo, you understand Texas and what make it different from the other states. "Remember the Alamo" is not just a slogan. It's a warning about tyranny and an exhortation to resist it at all costs

Arriving at the Menger Hotel

Established 1859, the Menger has been the scene of a considerable amount of Texas history. Captain Richard King is one of the ghosts haunting it.

The Menger Bar reeks of Teddy Roosevelt. The bar is a copy of a bar in the House of Lords in London. Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders in this bar.

Among the bar's famous patrons, Justice Lily Kate and friends, Tuesday afternoon.


The Redhead and Wild Horse John. If you drink enough bourbon you'll see some of the ghosts.

Welcoming party in the main lobby

Breakfast Thursday morning included a trailer for the Gun Gurus episode covering End of Trail 2014. It'll be on TV soon,

What a costume! That looks so much like early Texas (up to my grandmother's clothing) it stopped me in my tracks. Cheyenne Kay

The Victorian Lobby was the original lobby when the hotel had only 2 floors.

Victorian Tea

Black Powder for Dummies

Teddy Roosevelt was seen by many in the bar. He successfully recruited most of the conventioneers into the Rough Riders, including the oath of enlistment

Sometimes it's good to be the Captain

Allie Mo, Queen of the SASS Wire

People we met on the way to the Pajama Party

Several 80s country and western stars made an attendance



Cathouse Kelli in a stunning outfit stopped traffic

Pajama Party

I still have nightmares about those slippers

More nightmares

Tex, ever the fashion leader

Mica McGuire and Cat Ballou

O Bar Freddie. He shoots Grand Patron.

Cat Ballou

Capt. Dan Blodgett

Joe Arpaio provided the shorts

EzGz and Tex


Kid Rio did an excellent seminar, "the Gunfighter, Man or Myth"

The exhibitors were in the Convention Center 2 blocks away

SASS Mercantile

Cowboy Carving had some exquisite carvings.

As a man who has broken the stocks of all his SASS long guns at one time or another I can only drool.

Mernickle Holsters Buttstock covers display

Nevada and Texas


Long before it was cool Texians defended their guns against tyrants

Earthwalker Boots

Cimarron Firearms. They had planned a big display for the December convention. They're about 100 miles away and intended to go all out. The move to January meant that it conflicted with a distributors meeting, and they could only send a skeleton crew. Pietta had a booth but no display. To make things worse, the previous San Antonio mayor got an ordinance through banning the sale of firearms on city property (costing them a lot of money they used to make on gun shows, Texas sized gun shows). The Cimarron folks could only take phone numbers of prospective customers.

Major Photography's Sexie Sadie

Major Photography's license for prostitution

In Memory of General U.S. Grant SASS #2, at Major Photography's booth

Buckaroo Hatters, one of the 73 remaining hatters in the US. They make hats by hand, using antique machines. It's a dying art. I'm of the opinion that, if at all possible, SASS shooters should support hat makers who make them by hand, not by stamping them out like cookies, to preserve this art.

Old Scyene

Cowboy Coffee Saloon

Redwing Trading Co,

Back at the Menger

Whiskey Seminar in the bar with samples for tasting

Militaria at the Menger


Costume Contest

Victorian Ball

January 2, 2015, Friday

Just a suggestion: Never, never, never go to a Walmart on the day after New Years Day.

Unique Tek's Dillon Die Wrench

Unique Tek sent out an email announcing this, a thin 12 pt. 1" and 1-1/8" wrench for dies on the Dillon Tool Head. They're hard to get to, and Dillon's 1" wrench is only mildly helpful (If yours doesn't have an "H" on it call Dillon. There's a hardened replacement, but I've already spread the jaws on it.) This tool handles the "old" 1-1/8"nuts, and the "new" 1"

It does what it's advertised to do. I ordered mine within 5 minutes of opening the email and mentioned it on my Facebook page. The first person to comment said they were already sold out. Now if they'd make a similar 7/8" wrench to fit the die inerts, maybe with 9/16" on the other end, they'd probably sell out with them, too.

January 1, 2015

Quiet day getting ready to drive to the SASS Convention. Make the wrong screwup, and no seminars or screwed up seminars. Or I get there without boots. Wait, been there, done that, got the T-shirt.