February 28, 2011
Recovered, did things I'd put off until after WR.
February 22, 2011
Taught the RO1 course with Blackjack Zak, who was one of two guys evaluating me. The other was Snakebite. Big class. Lots of questions. Used the new ROI PowerPoint Presentation Zak did, with input from the other members of the RO Instructors committee. Very good presentation, but very detailed. The day of the 4 hour ROI class is probably over. If the instructor covers everything in the PPS, it'll take longer. We started at 0800, had a 40 minute lunch, and finished before 1700. I figure I could, with practice, finish by 1500, but I would have no slack. Everyone graduated, and Zak was happy.
February 21, 2011
Went to Winter Range, got my packet, made contact with the range office re having the classroom over in the morning at 0700. The cute little blonde swore it would be open. I'll expect to have to hunt down the dude with the key.
Talked to Bob Mernickle. I asked him if he made a shotgun belt for Plainsman matches. He said he had custom made some, but would like to do one for a catalog item So, in 15 minutes we designed a prototype, and he called the person who will make the prototype and the person who will set up the procedures for making production models, and they'll start on it today. Impressive. He knew exactly how to solve the problem I have now with my Plainsman belt, not being able to pull four .45-70 rounds at once because of binding.
More when it shows up.
Picked up my new 1916 cavalry officer's uniform from Coon Creek. Really nice. Of course, now I don't have a place to wear it for a while since tomorrow I have to teach an RO class instead of shooting this WB match.
February 19-20, 2011
Fire and Ice
After 2 years of rain at Fire and Ice, I move we rename it Fire and Rain. The weather was pretty bad, both days. On Sunday my entire posse wimped out, and I shot the rest with another (by then very small) posse. By the time I got home everything was wet or muddy and wet. I had 2 cap only ignitions, probably due to wet powder. One was the first round, and neither I nor the timer operator thought STOP, RESTART. A round hadn't gone down range. By then I don't think I cared. Totally exhausted after the first day, less so the second. Didn't get everything done. More for tomorrow.
Really too bad considering all of the work they put into making a good event. A shame.
February 18, 2011, Friday
Today I should have been at Cowtown shooting the Wild Bunch Warm Up, but the VA finally condescended to see me. It was a physical. When I talked about my need for ulnar nerve and thumb surgery and the problems I'm having with the VA in ABQ, the doctor gave me the phone number of a local civilian hand surgeon of some fame.
February 15-17, 2011
Day by Day cartoon (Feb 3rd. Just now got around to posting it.)
A case of APP 3f arrived (Hooray!!) My distributor friend came through! It was, as anticipated, packaged in bottles with Sticks labels. Avery Labels were placed over the center of the label with APP 3F in large letters. But inside was all 3f. It's black now, not grey or brown. It's mostly small particles with a few larger ones, pretty much like before.
So Wednesday I went to Cowtown and shot it in the engraved guns for 40 rounds and the plain guns for 100. No problems. No cap jams. I cleaned the guns less than I would have in a match and did some other things I wouldn't in a match, like shoot without popping caps first.
Tuesday and Wednesday we had several people over for Margaritas and went to dinner with Omaha John and Patti. Now I've been eating 1400-2000 calories a day for some months, and the meals were a little more than that, maybe by a decimal point. I don't know if I got a bug or just reacted to 2 nights of big meals, but Thursday wasn't too pleasant. I had planned to go to Cowtown to shoot and did, but I just shot the HR Plainsman Handi-Rifle. I need to shoot it about, oh, 10,000 rounds to get rid of the fumble factor before the next Plainsman match, and I need a better shotgun/rifle ammo belt for those monster .45-70 rounds. The slide I'm using just isn't cutting it. It can bind when I try to pull 4 rounds at a time. I'm also finally convinced that Larsen is right that I need Round Nosed bullets, not Round Nose Flat Point. That means going to 400 gr.(!)
It should be noted that when I was talking about finally finding something to clean the nipples and nipple cutouts, an experienced shooter said, "When I was shooting Black Powder, I just used Coleman fuel, and they cleaned right up." I hadn't tried that, kerosene, or gasoline because of the flammability problem. With our situation, using flammables is really not a good idea. It's not the using it, because I can do that outdoors. It's the storage. Let's see, store flammable liquids and black powder together. What could possibly go wrong?
Nipples, before and after:
After a day's practice, but before cleaning
After cleaning with Captain Baylor's Magic Powder
3 Days worth of Brass and Hulls:
This is 3 days of main match rifle brass. Remember the pistols are percussion, and I'm shooting them in match configuration right now, no conversion cylinders. The plan was to clean them in iosso Brass Cleaner, then rinse, then tumble as usual but with better than usual results because of the Iosso, but the water was off at the park. They'll be there tomorrow.
This is part of 3 days worth of hulls. Some were thrown away at the range, mostly non-reloadable ones. These haven't been sorted yet.
The New Gun Cart:
Purple (Limited Edition, now sold out) Rugged Gear 4-Gun Cart, in use, with $8 Wally World table for the Percussion Pistol work station
It gets crowded at Cowtown on good days. I need a big footprint
Larsen E. Pettifogger, who has multiple gun carts he has built himself, uses this Rugged Gear 2-Gun cart with the guns pointing up. His Percussion Pistol work station (in the cart) requires a flat surface, a problem at crowded Cowtown with their crowded unloading tables
The cart folded up and stored in the back of the SUV. It's longer than my old cart when folded, but it fits with a few inches to spare. It's officially 41" long. It's bungeed in front and back. Not too many points to run the bungee over, especially in front.) Stored outside of the cart is the worthless Rugged Gear 6 can cooler. Like all soft-sided coolers, the damn thing leaks. I've tried putting the ice in baggies. THEY leak, too.
February 3-14, 2011
Tex and Cat wanted the May column early this month because of Winter Range. Thus writing went to something worthwhile rather than this. Let's see, went to Rio Salado Saturday. 8 STAGES!!!!! Very cold at first, but warmed up. 8 is one or two more than the can stand. Didn't have my little Wally World stool or Gunsite director's chair with me, so the back gave out, too.
Sunday at Cowtown was better. The next Saturday at ACSA I had some cap jams on the last 2 stages, so Sunday morning I was out testing the guns trying to duplicate the problem. Naturally a kibitzer said. "You know, Captain, they make cartridge conversion cylinders for those."
This is what happens when Cowtown gets crowded before WR.
I've been to Cowtown every day since for a couple of hours.
Learned, finally, a way to make dirty percussion nipples like new in about 2-3 minutes per gun. It involves a secret cleanser. Photos when I have time.
Getting an iPhone a couple of weeks before WR wasn't bright. I need a lot of time to try to figure it out. It interferes with this blog.
The damn iPhone woke me in the middle of the night to tell me someone wanted to be friends on Facebook.
That's about all I have time for. I'm not dead. I'm not sick. I'm getting ready to teach an RO course Tuesday and shoot from Wednesday through Saturday. More when I catch up.
February 2, 2011, Wednesday
We actually got a mobile repairman out to work on the furnace. He brought a bunch of parts, thinking it was a board.
Naturally it wasn't. Some sort of safety switch is presumed to be the culprit because the furnace lit up for him. So he'll be back with one of those switches when he gets one from his distributor, and he left me instructions on how bypass the switch in case it fails. At 0300, When the outside temperature is in the 20s.
Used some of the 777 2f to make shotshells with more heat for when needed.
Too windy and cold to practice, even if I wasn't waiting for the mobile repairman. He did an excellent job, keeping us informed of when he would be here and when he was delayed.
February 1, 2011, Tuesday
Went to test out alternatives in pistol powder to APP 3f, specifically Pyrodex P and 777 3f (because I have enough of them).
Pyrodex was consistent, not too dirty, and mild enough for the hand. The same load with 777 3f was painful with the current hand situation, but would be useful for knockdowns without increasing the smoke too much.
Pyrodex requires lubricated wads, or it would be the cheapest BP/sub because of its light density.
If I had Goex Cowboy, I would just use it, but I'm about out, and they aren't making it anymore. I'll switch to 3f when I get another batch of black.
The weather was cold and clear, but wind started getting to the annoying stage in the afternoon and got higher and higher at night.
The furnace quit in the middle of the night. It was in the low 30s at the time.
RVing is so much fun.