March 2010 Journal

Ammunition Test February 2010

The new employee:

Charlie, a newly retired employee at the local B&Q store, just couldn't seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10 or 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean shaven, sharp minded and a real credit to the company, obviously epitomizing their 'Older Person Friendly' policies. One day the boss called him into the office for a chat.
"Charlie, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a great job, but your arriving a few minutes late so often is becoming quite a problem."
"Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."
"Well good, you are a team player and I like to hear that members of our team can recognize their shortcomings and tackle them. It does however seem odd to me that you come in late so very often when I know you recently retired from the armed forces. What did they say if you came in late there?"
"They would say, 'Good morning Admiral, would you like some coffee now, sir?'."

 

February 23-28, 2010

Winter Range

The Hat Wars:

Captain John Hughes' Sombrero

Colonel Baylor's Cavalry Brigade Commander's hat

8th Texas Cavalry Scout's hat

Bob Mernickle duplicated Hugh O'Brien's outfit from Wyatt Earp down to the last detail. He makes holsters, so the rig for the Buntline on the right and the 4-3/4" barreled Colt on the left holster was easy. The trousers match the stripes. The boots are tall stovepipes. The hardest item was the vest. The lady at Creations by Graham had the cloth of it made special. The shirt was custom made.

Crowds were pretty heavy during the whole event. The range charged $5/car for parking and provided trams to take people to and from the range.

Sweetshooter

Grand Canyon Railway supports Winter Range. They were hawking Railhead

 

Hedley Lamarr shot Frontier Cartridge. Got a buckle

Dawgtooth Dave shot Frontiersman. He didn't get a buckle

 

Judah Macabee shot Frontiersman clean and didn't get a buckle.

 

Larsen E. Pettifogger had multiple train wrecks but got a buckle in Frontier Cartridge Duelist.

Too busy to write on the blog daily. Picked up package Tuesday. Shot Wild Bunch and Warm Up Wednesday.

Wild Bunch—71 shooters. Cimarron 97 stopped working in mid-string. Wouldn't have won anyway, but...

Interviewed by the Shooting Gallery crew.

Took the offending '97 to Jim Bowie. He gave one of those looks, worked the action and hammer a few times, stuck a screwdriver into the ejection port and tightened a screw there and said, "Try it now." I've gotta buy his '97 DVD. It worked, of course.

The main match started Thursday, with us in the 10AM safety meeting, 11AM shooting. Wasn't doing very well, but that became moot when the rifle got a double feed with the second round trapped in the extractor. Lost 4 plus time spent trying to clear it. If that wasn't enough, the next stage the SKB100 became a one barreled shotgun. This effectively ended my match. If I could have shot the next 8 stages in 15 seconds each I might have made the top 10. The Frontiersman field was the toughest I've ever seen, 19, with several former champions, some people I've never heard of who shot very fast, and the usual suspects.

Pioneer Arms had a tent and was showing off their excellent hammer double. I was talking with the guy there. He was soliciting suggestions for improvements. They're already planning on a set of hammers that will be close together like the TTN 1878 Colt replica. I suggested a longer lever, too, so I could open the gun without shifting my grip or open it using the T-Bone Dooley over-the-top method. They're also talking about a lighter version. Not a big deal to me but is to others. I suggested he needed to get T-Bone Dooley to shoot one in matches, and they'd sell a lot. He asked who T-Bone was, and I explained, 5 times National Champion, 6 times World Champion Classic Cowboy, world record holder in hammer double shooting.

Thursday night was the night BP shoot. I took .45 Vaqueros and the .45 '73 and .45 Colt ammo with Goex Cowboy and CBR wads. CBR burns all the way to the target, making these BP tracers.

Friday was Red Shirt Friday to show support for the troops. The main charity this year was the Wounded Warrior Project. I shot clean but not particularly fast.

Went to Margaritaville for dinner with Dawgtooth Dave and Sagebrush Molly.

Saturday I didn't shoot well. That night was the costume contest. I went as General Robert E. Lee. It won EOT and the convention but came out second here. Prophetically Michael Bane had joked of a Captain George Baylor Lookalike contest. I said, "With my luck I'd finish second."

The Wild Bunch Awards were given out Saturday night. A Para Ordnance SASS Wild Bunch 1911 was given away along with a Kirkpatrick Wild Bunch rig. Wolf Bane won the Kirkpatrick rig. He wasn't there to tell them to draw again. I'm sure Kirkpatrick would give him all he wants. Earlier I saw him in Taylor's doing a TV piece on the Kirkpatrick wild bunch rig. I predict it will be given out again at another match.

Sunday morning I said, "I'm thinking of shaving off my m—"

"Yes!" said The Redhead.

So I did.

It was raining off and on and had been during the night. Winter Range was a soggy mess. I parked and walked in at the far end of the east vendors. I wound up walking with a man I didn't know, and, in response to his saying he was looking for something from a vendor, I said, "I need to look for someone to make a rain cover for my gun cart," thinking of the rain. He said, "That's what I do," and handed me a catalog of tents and tipis. He explained that he made them out of the same material. We went to the car, and I pulled the cart out and assembled it. He measured and said he'd call me with a price.

I went to Taylor's and picked up the test Runnin' Iron, a stainless steel .357 revolver with a Montado-like hammer, big sights, wide, smooth trigger, slim checkered grips, and action job by Cody Conagher. I predict it will be a big seller.

Went to 1880's Etc. to get more Sweetshooter (don't spill it. It costs about what a similar volume of cocaine would cost) and the tent maker called, "$150." I gave him the okay.

The awards presentation started at 11 and ended about 3 days later. As expected, I was allowed to remain seated during the Frontiersman category reading. I didn't win the SASS Rugers, with the Para Ordnance SASS WILD BUNCH 1911 given out last night, the ONLY GUNS GIVEN AWAY AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. Let's see, Comin' At'Cha gave out, what, 23 or so guns? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

T-Bone Dooley won Classic Cowboy for the 6th time. Nuttin' Graceful won duelist for the 6th. Buffy Lo Gal cratered and finished third in lady gunfighter but is now sponsored by Taylor's & Co. with a pair of Runnin' Irons. Ringo Fire had problems and didn't get a buckle. Billy Boots won Frontier Cartridge Duelist. Slick McClade won B-Western. Results

Master Guns Scott showed up. He's retired now after 32 years in the USMC. Had a bunch of people over for Margaritas.

Dinner with Dawgtooth Dave and Sagebrush Molly at Chili's.

February 22, 2010, Monday

Photos from High Noon At The Tombstone Livery

Whirlwind Windy

Omaha John

Went to Cowtown to shoot the Wild Bunch guns. Lassiter was there. Hells Comin, J. T. Wild, and other hotshots came and went.

Omaha John had been having trouble hitting anything with his open tops, so I had suggested he shoot the Evil Roy's. He did and hit more targets, still not perfect. Lassiter worked with him. He was shooting low. He tried the 4-3/4" Ruger New Vaquero Bisleys I have for testing from Jimmy Spurs. They're nice, half-cock hammers, transfer bars removed and the hammer welded up, 1-1/2 lb. triggers. Photos will be taken later. He liked them, shot them more, liked them more. He'll be either buying them or ones like them if Jimmy doesn't want to sell these.

See what good things happen if you let me test your stuff and write about it? I haven't even shot those guns but I've already sold a pair by just showing them off.

I also have the world's most pimped-out '73 and a pair of SASS Vaqueros for the test. I like them all, but I might have to change my alias if I bought the '73. Photos will be taken eventually... after Winter Range.

February 21, 2010, Sunday

Fire and Ice

Much better weather today. Still was slowed by smoke, but not as bad. One good stage, 26.
Second to Joe McGlue, who beat me soundly on the first day. Fewer people were shooting today, and some new people showed up today, including Lou Graham, the Soot Lady. Good stages, variety, very little memory contest distractions, some right to left, some ambidextrous.

On one "stand and deliver" stage we started facing up range, then turned and shot either the pistols (5 knockdowns, one dump) or the rifle, triple-tap 3 targets. Then the other gun. Then the shotgun (2). Everyone had shot the pistols first. Talking to Hells Comin, he said he was going to shoot the rifle first and gave me a good reason for it. So I turned, grabbed the rifle, chambered a round and had the front sight on the first rifle target when Lassiter yelled, "NO! STOP!" So I stopped.

He realized that the instructions allowed me to shoot the rifle first. By then I had a round chambered and had to clear that and make it ready again, which he helped me do as it wasn't on my list of things to do in that stage. I then shot the stage rifle first, clean, 26, all 5 pistol targets down with the first 5 shots. Not much compared to Hells Comin's 13, but he uses 2 hands and shoots smokeless cartridge revolvers... and he has talent.

After the awards presentation I went to the shop and cleaned the guns and got the Wild Bunch guns ready for practice tomorrow.

Went to dinner with John and Patti. The Horny Toad restaurant in Cave Creek. Put that on your list of restaurants to go to—if and ONLY if there are no other restaurants left in the entire world and you're starving and can't cook food yourself. The Margaritas came in shot glasses. The menu was lacking a lot, so I got chicken fried steak. If they served that in Texas the entire staff would be lynched and the restaurant burned to the ground.

February 20, 2010, Saturday

Fire and Ice

It's been beautiful for several days, so naturally it was cold and rainy for the first day of Fire and Ice. 240± shooters in the small area of Cowtown, very crowded, and rain off and on all day. I managed to keep the ROAs running, but I couldn't see through the smoke and didn't have a good stage. Low high 30s, high 51 (counting the miss). Clean till the last stage, 1 miss. Made up 3 shotguns in 6 stages, 2 because of smoke, one because of incompetence. Good match. Good posse, led by Lassiter with several hotshots in it.

Back at the shop got the guns ready for tomorrow. Weather report is more of the same.

On a happier note, Raquel Welch models her SASS outfit:

This looks completely authentic to me, and i can think of several shooters who should copy it.

February 19, 2010, Friday

Got to Cowtown before 0800. Lassiter was there. Practiced with Omaha John until they shut it down at 11 to add the 3 stages needed to replace the ones lost to the land-grabbing state. Lots of people showed up to practice, but not as many as I expected.

Got the guns ready for tomorrow. Margaritas at 5.

February 18, 2010, Thursday

From Arizona Rangers Frederikstad, a SASS club in Norway:

Wild Bunch for dummies
Howdy.
For dere som har lyst til å lese mer om den nye wild bunch sidematchen uten å lese igjennom den til tider kjedelige shooters handbook, kan bruke denne linken til en glitrende side laget av Captain George Baylor.
Her er det masse bilder og snacks hvis du liker 1911′n og 1897′n.
Sidene er under utvikling, men er virkelig bra laget.
Link til : Wild bunch for dummies

They don't yet have police permission to shoot Wild Bunch matches, but they're chomping at the bit do do so.

For those of you who still persist in the delusion that the SASS Wild Bunch Handbook rules "only apply to End of Trail," please note they're using the SASS Wild Bunch Handbook rules in Norway.

Made it to Cowtown about 0800. Hells Comin' was unloading. Practiced a while before Omaha John got there. Then we ran each other through stages. Switched stages with J. T. Wild and Twelve Mile Reb and did different stages. Did several exercises, too. Went till noon. Tired.

The Rugers still shoot to point of aim and have a better sight picture for what we do. Very nice.

Back at the trailer I made more shotgun practice ammo and cleaned guns. Then took a nap in the bus.

For Margaritas we had John and Patti, Ole Short Tom, Deuce Stevens, and more. Deuce brought guns from Jimmy Spurs, 2 Ruger New Vaqueros with 4-3/4" barrels and Bisley grips and hammers. Very nice. 2 SASS Rugers, very nice. A '73. Prettiest '73 I've ever seen. Electroless nickel, lots of jewelling, superb short stroke action job. Pictures will get here sometime. I'll be doing an article, obviously. Unfortunately they all have to go back. I'd really like to have that '73.

February 17, 2010, Wednesday

Again was at Cowtown before 9. Hells Comin' was there already, hard at work. By noon the place was full. Good practice session. Left the new New Vaqueros with J T Wild to widen the rear sights.

Loaded practice shotshells in the shop. I'd run out. J T, Twelve Mile Reb, and his wife came over for Margaritas and brought the Rugers. Looked nice.

Wild Bodie Tom brought the SKB by. Looks good.

Both cats got out in the confusion of the crowd. I retrieved Angelique. The Redhead convinced Arthur to forsake his home under the bus and return to one with food, water, safety, and cat treats.

New Ammunition for USMC

(Back when the earth was flat and the bad guys on TV were American GIs, I remember a TV courtroom drama that attacked the ammunition we used for M16s in Vietnam. They said it acted like hollowpoints because it "tumbled." (Myth. It didn't.) It was easily knocked off axis, which meant it could be knocked off course by a weed. But when it hit anything solid it yawed and often broke up. The wounds I saw were horrific. Then the Army decided the 55 gr. round wasn't accurate enough at long ranges and replaced it with a better stabilized 62 gr. round that required new barrels in all of the M16s. When it was actually used in combat it was quickly proved lacking in stopping power. It would punch through leaving a small wound. The old round, in the same situation, would break up inside, leaving no exit wound, and destroying enough tissue to cause the bad guy to stop bothering you.

But the Army seldom admits its mistakes. (Examples: M4 Sherman tank, Beretta M9 pistol). So there are millions of those ineffective .22 caliber rounds out there. At least the rifles have 30 round magazines now. Reports from the Sand Box are you need all 30.

According to The Shooting Wire. the US Marine Corps has made a big step toward correcting this mistake. I'm not sure how they got it accepted, but they have a hollowpoint bullet for the M4s and M16A4s (the better of the current M16s. The Army took away the full auto capability. Most of the time you don't need it, but when you need it, like when you're ambushed, you NEED it.) Hollowpoints have been considered illegal in warfare since the Hague Convention.

Here's the Shooting Wire's article:

The United States Marine Corps is once again breaking from the norm when it comes to their equipment. This latest break is in their 5.56 ammunition. This latest change means the Corps will be using an "open-tipped" round as opposed to the heretofore standard M855 ball round.

The New 5.56 SOST a "couple million" are already in theatre, and more is on the way.
So what's the advantage? The new SOST round (Special Operations Science and Technology) is a more deadly and more accurate round - especially when fired in the Corps' shorter barreled rifles. Initially, the SOST was only cleared for use by the Special Operations Command troops (SOCOM) with their Special Operations Force Combat Assault Rifle (the SCAR).

This new round is essentially an open-tip round, similar to sniper ammunition. It's also supposed to be "barrier blind" - staying on target better than M855s after penetrating windshields, car doors and other objects. It's also reported to stay on target longer when fired and deliver increased stopping power through "consistent, rapid fragmentation which shortens the time required to cause incapacitation of enemy combatants".

In other words, the new SOST round is, ala-the high-tech hunting ammunitions which have existed for some time to quickly deliver the knockout punch to an enemy.

According to reports in the Marine Corps Times, the round at 62-grains, weighs pretty much the same as other NATO rounds, and have a lead core with a copper shank. Speculation is they are a variation of the Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw round.

Originally, the rounds were purchased for use in the SCAR, but its performances in penetration, accuracy and decreased muzzle flash convince the Corps to make it available to their general troops as well.

The standard M855 round has been around more than three decades and has long been the focus of complaints regarding its overall effectiveness. Today, troops quietly criticize the round as lacking enough "oomph" to stop typical adversaries. The Pentagon first asked for an improved round in 2006.

Despite determining the M855 no longer was meeting acceptable USMC performance standards, there are no plans to remove the millions of existing rounds from inventory.

In the document clearing the use of the new SOST round, the director of the Navy Department International and Operational Law Division recommends the use of the new SOST-formally known as "MK318 MOD 0 enhanced 5.56 ammunition".

"Based on the significantly improved performance of the MK318 MOD 0 over the M855 against virtually every anticipated target array in Afghanistan and similar combat environments where increased accuracy," Crisfield wrote, "better effects behind automobile glass and doors, consistent terminal performance and reduced muzzle flash are critical to mission accomplishment, USMC would treat the MK318 MOD 0 as its new 5.56mm standard issue cartridge."

It will be issued to both the short-barreled M4 carrying troops - the original users, and field forces carrying the full-length M16A4. There's only one weapon that won't be using the new round - the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, and that's temporary. Currently, the round isn't being produced in the linked version needed for the SAW.

Having cleared the international legal hurdles over using an "open tipped" ammunition, the USMC appears poised to go into combat with a more lethal round that is specifically suited to meet the needs of today's non-traditional combat.

February 16, 2010, Tuesday

Made it to Cowtown before 9. Good practice session, 300 rounds of .38 cowboy, and about 50 rounds of shotgun before the SKB100 broke the forearm lug again. Shot the new New Vaqueros acquired in a trade with Omaha John. Very nice. Shot the cowboy on the hill to test the sights, 10 out of 10. They're zeroed. Shot the WB guns. The '73 carbine wasn't digesting ammo. It seems somewhere along the way the seating die backed out .03 or so. Several rounds were 1.60. This would be fine in the Comanchero, but not in the old Carbine. Back at the shop I set up the .45 Colt dies and ran a couple of boxes through the seating and crimping dies again to get OAL of 1.57±.

Ole Short Tom came by, and we made phone calls about fixing the SKB. Finally reached Wild Bodie Tom, who agreed to TIG weld it. He picked it up that evening.

Went to an Italian restaurant in Anthem with John and Patti.

February 15, 2010, Monday

We actually moved the bus without blowing, cutting, or puncturing a tire. Made it to Pioneer RV by 1:50. Got everything set up by 3ish. Omaha John and Patti showed up about then. Margaritas at 5.

February 14, 2010, Sunday, Valentines Day

High Noon at the Tombstone Livery

Plainsman match in early morning. I was doing fine until my rifle fell off the table. SDQ.

Smoke was still a bitch. I noted it wasn't for some other competitors. They might have had better vision than mine, not surprising, but they also had less smoke. I was using 50 gr. .45-70 loads. Switched to 36 gr. Cowboy loads. Got the feeling I was competing against 15-20 gr. .38-55 loads. I'm going to have to work on some new loads after WR. Talked with Johnny Meadows about what can be done to improve reliability of the Handi-Rifle. I could do most, but one item he mentioned I need a gunsmith, so I'll give him the gun after WR.

The awards presentation was long. I won WB Traditional and Frontiersman,

Turquoise Jake always gives away a turquoise bullet to a worker at these events. This time he also gave turquoise earrings to Patti for her cheerfulness and friendliness and always dressing cowgirl even though she doesn't shoot.

Afterwards got the trailer ready to fly and put the ML in it for movement tomorrow morning.

February 13, 2010, Saturday

EMAIL:

We took out a Cadillac Escalade for a test drive, just to drive that sucker before they become extinct.

The salesman sat in the back seat describing the car and all it's wonderful options. The seats were of particular interest.

He explained that the seats directed warm air to your butt in the winter and directed cool air to your butt in the summer heat.

I stated the car must be a Republican car.

He asked why I thought it was a Republican car and I explained that if it were a Democratic car, the seats would blow smoke up your ass year-round.

High Noon at the Tombstone Livery

There was a little breeze in the afternoon. The smoke was still a problem, but it was a 5 second problem instead of a 20 second problem. I shot clean. The next to last stage was the first I considered decent, 28 seconds. Someone said, "Why haven't you been shooting like that all weekend?"

"SMOKE!" I replied.

One poor guy fumbled his second pistol on the last stage, his last gun to be fired, and dropped it, loaded. MDQ. Bummer.

Another shooter managed to holster a cocked, loaded pistol in midst of some confusion on his next-to-last stage. At first he was given a MDQ. Much conversation and bringing of match director in. Eventually sanity prevailed, and he was given the correct penalty of SDQ.

Went with Omaha John and Patti to the Depot for dinner.

February 12, 2010, Friday

High Noon at the Tombstone Livery

Shot morning flight. The smoke was horrible. Stages I shot in 30 something in the warm up—actually more complicated stages in the same sets—I shot in the 40s. 20 seconds probably on the rifles. 3 misses, 2 shotgun do-over's, only one in the 30s. But every other BP shooter had it at least that bad. Johnny Meadows started with a 54. I was 42 I think on that one. Made another $3 from Omaha John. This may be a new career for me—if I can get him up to $5000/stage.

Johnny Meadows gave himself a stage DQ for putting a cocked pistol down. No one saw it but him. Impressive. CAS is that kind of sport. Most of our champions are champions.

Chuckwagon dinner for the morning flight. We brought three 1.75 liter bottles of Margaritas, salted and unsalted cups, etc. Brought back empties, of course, and I didn't get much. Of course one was for Laylow Curly.

Brims & Trims sold a Bret Maverick hat like the one I profiled in this month's Cowboy Chronicle. Omaha John bought 2 cattlemen style for "civilian use," a 30X and a 100X!

Jack Houston sent these pictures of Mineola, Texas. No, that is not normal for East Texas.

 

February 11, 2010, Thursday

High Noon at the Tombstone Livery

Shot the 4-stage WB match. Had shotgun problems. Missed a couple of times. Everybody on my posse at least had disaster after disaster. Note to self: PRACTICE '97s. Practice with both guns. Had trouble with each.

Got my shotguns back from Johnny Meadows. Both work well. There is a hold-open notch in each, so that you have to push to close it. Good for vertical staging, which we'll have at WR.

Gunz Brokus and wife came over for Margaritas.

February 10, 2010, Wednesday

High Noon at the Tombstone Livery

Shot the warm up match. One match, 4 stages in the 30s. Thought I had one in the 20s and the last pistol hung up requiring the other hand and a foot to cock it, 32. Omaha John and I had a dollar side match on each stage. I made $3, which is the most I've made all year.

Dinner with John and Pattie at the Longhorn Cafe. That wasn't the target, but the Depot was closed.

The match looks good. Targets are close but small compared to Bordertown. Probably good practice for Winter Range.

February 9 2010, Tuesday

Drove to Tombstone. Going down I10 during a long section of construction, with ho shoulder and no place to pull off, the left front tire on the trailer blew. We heard the noise, and the tire pressure monitor went bananas. Slowed to 15 and put the flashers on and looked vain for a place to pulloff. Thought I found one and pulled off. No, it looked like gravel, but it was quick-gravel at a 45° angle. The bus came to a halt. Got out. It looked like the right front tire was flat, but no, it was up to the wheel in asphalt gravel. Had to back out to get out of it, but, of course, the trailer was still on the road. Traffic was going 75 in the 55 mph zone. Many honks and angry fingers from truck drivers, not 18 wheelers, 1-tons. Got back on the road. Next exit, according to the sign, was at 219. The first mileage marker I saw was 214, and I missed one or two. A mile at 15 mph takes 4 minutes. The emergency flashers went dead.

Finally we saw an actual paved shoulder, and I took it. I got out and started putting out the warning triangles, and a highway patrol car pulled up. A muscular kid with a flat top and a Glock on the left side, P C Harding, told me he had been sent for me. I thanked him. He asked what I needed. I told him I had everything to change the tire. I just needed him to keep anyone from hitting me. Half an hour later the new tire was mounted. The flat was on the spare mount, all the tools were put up, and we were on our way. I'll probably remember that incident when I've forgotten the guy with the machete in the middle of the night.

 

Naah...

Parked at Tombstone Territories. Dinner with Omaha John and Pattie at Big Nose Kate's.

February 8, 2010, Monday

Got the trailer ready to travel.

February 7, 2010, Sunday

Went to the CCSA match. I've offended the smoke gods. Judah Macabee would shoot a stage in 40 mph wind, and I'd fire one round, and it looked like Gettysburg for30 seconds. 4 misses, 2 really bad stages as a result. Getting a cold.

February 6, 2010, Saturday

Went to the CCSA Wild Bunch match. Good match. Didn't do that well.

February 5, 2010, Friday

This came in the email today. Haven't checked it for truthfulness. Good story either way:

 

At the range at 0815 again. Hells Comin was there shortly after. Good practice session. More transition exercises. Shot up 300 cartridges and 100 shotshells by 11. Cleaned guns for 2 matches this weekend in the PM.

Happy Jack's phone was working. He called. The latest WB rules are online. He mentioned that the 2011 contracts for state championships and regionals will require the use of the handbook if a WB match is included. Sounds good to me. They're also going to keep the WB rules out of the hands of the TGs. Sounds better!

February 4, 2010, Thursday

Got to the range about 0815. Had the place to myself until Hells Comin' showed up. Watching him practice is always worthwhile. He spent a considerable amount of time starting up range and running on the beep, drawing a pistol, and firing one round at the window.

I spent a lot of time on exercises instead of stages. Shoot one rifle, move to shotgun window, shoot 4 shotguns. The SKB 100 broke, however. I've had trouble with the hook on the barrel that holds the forearm on breaking and had fixed it with JB Weld twice. This time it bent the under-rib. Called Johnny Meadows. He'll silver solder it. Old Short Tom has the same problem on his. Johnny's also going to weld-up and lengthen the extractor rods on the SKB 200. It works about 95% of the time, then a hull hangs up big time. He's seen the problem before.

February 3, 2010, Wednesday

Got to the range at 1000. Lots of people there. Good session, though. The Handi-Rifle works.

February 2, Tuesday

Went to the range, chronoed several loads. Ammo Test 0210

The Hodgdon website lists 5.5 gr. Trail Boss as max load with 200 gr. bullet. It shows 816 ft/sec. I thought that looked a bit strange.The max load for 180 gr. is 5.0 and gives 852 ft/sec. When I shot the 5.5 gr. loads I KNEW something was wrong. The first 5 rounds averaged 868. I figure they meant 916. 5.0 averaged 818. Others have told me they've gotten legal loads at 4.8 gr. I believe it.

Went to Larsen E. Pettifogger's house for him to replace the broken firing pin on the Handi-Rifle. The Handi-Rifle is held together with splined pins not designed to be easily removable. They're put in with a hydraulic press. He made quick work of it, though, and had the new, better designed pin in place in just a few minutes and left the key pin indented enough to get the pin punch in next time.

Larsen has a brand new 2009 Harley Davidson Electra-Glide in Black Denim. 2009 is the last year without catalytic converters. The 2010's exhaust pipes glow red from the heat buildup. He said something about this being his new hobby.

His shop is incredibly neat and well lit.

We photographed the Burgess. He examined the workings as much as possible without disassembling same. It has to be very precisely fitted to work properly. This one was. He took some good photos. He emailed me same.

Had Old Short Tom and friends over for Margaritas, then had spaghetti and Bluebell Ice Cream (not together) at their place. Conversation until too late for tomorrow's plans.

February 1, 2010, Monday

The Redhead needed the car, so I worked in the garage, some loading, some cleaning up the garage. I have to be able to move the garage to Tombstone next week.