April 2016 Journal

This is a T-shirt. I found it at http://jrcompanyclothing.com/the-sheriff/ You still can't wear it at any official function at a SASS match unless the match director has, for example, suspended costume rules because it's 100°F and 100% humidity.

There are people that understand this. I lost the link for ordering it. Found it. https://teespring.com/aybdd?ad=TS_ad_1

March 31. 2016

A ufo hovered over Albuquerque this morning. It's probably a good idea to assume anyone in ABQ this morning is either an alien or has been remotely controlled by aliens.

VA visit, part 1

I have a primary care appointment Tuesday, so the nice lady on the phone told me I needed to get the blood work done this week. So we arrived at the lab at 0655. At 0740 my number was called, and I went into room #3. There the nice lady told me there were no orders. This was as expected. @#$!%!! So I went to primary care on first floor, where I was told I needed to go to the 6th floor. There I was told that "Dr. Roberts doesn't like getting many tests." My response was similar to a captain who has just been told someone decided his troops didn't deserve a medevac. We were then shuttled into a deserted waiting room and ignored a carefully calculated time designed to make me so glad to actually see someone that I would accept anything they said. They told me I could get my blood test, but it wouldn't have the PSA test or the lead test. My response was more like a drill sergeant after a hard day with recruits. I call it being assertive and using my command voice. The Redhead calls it Batshit Crazy. Back to the waiting room. Some hours later I was told I could get all of the tests, which I did without further delay. As usual, the lab lady was an expert and got the 1.5 liters easily.

March 30, 2016

Escaped from AZ. "Welcome to New Mexico."

Cheated death and destruction once more. Docked, jacks down, slides out, and Angeligue released from durance vile to harass George S. Patton. Unwinding with "Perfect" Margaritas.


Arrived without further incident.

One thing that lowered the pucker factor a little on the ride was the Awning Lock.

March 29, 2016

Spent a day at Holbrook awaiting the wind to get below Hurricane force.


Toured the Petrified Forest National Park mostly in the Jeep because of 50 mph winds and cold.

The Redhead in a high wind, either that, or she's mad at me.

Petrified car at the north end of the park


March 28, 2016

Left Phoenix. Made it to Holbrook KOA despite high winds. Dodged death and destruction once more. Uneventful trip. The Redhead only screamed aloud and covered her eyes once,

One of the last things to do before moving the bus is to disturb the queen and put her into her luxury crate. This is the "Before" picture.

McGuiresville Rest Area

At the rest area, Angelique was let out, and she tried to convince me not to put her back in the crate. I didn't. The Redhead did.

Then she wanted to drive.


March 27, 2016

The Redhead's Poker Winnings:

Cimarron Firearms donated a 1911 to the EOT Poker Tournament. The Redhead won it. Then the fun began. We're Texans. We were in New Mexico. The Feds have some silly rules in place. So the gun needed to go to a Texas FFL. But Billy Boots didn't bring his FFL. The Brisco Kid did, but he's in Oklahoma. Close, but no cigar as Monica said. The plan was he would get it to Billy, and we would get it from him. The Redhead kindly gave me the gun for my birthday. But we didn't get to Texas, and neither did the gun. So The Brisco Kid was going to bring it to WR. I have an Arizona ID and CWP, so I can transfer handguns there.

But the Briscos got to WR without the gun. Plan C, Brisco, actually Kiamichi Queen shipped the gun to Wild Bodie Tom after WR. He was going to work on the gun anyway. So, remembering Jeff Cooper's comment, "All you need is sights you can see, and a trigger you can use," I asked for good, big, WB Traditional legal sights, with the front sight dovetailed in place, and a good crisp trigger job. Note in the photo above the trigger is an aluminum match trigger. Without holes it's legal for WB. I like long triggers. The trigger is very crisp, and it breaks on my RCBS scale at a consistent 4-1/8 lb. My primary WB pistol, a Colt Series 80, has a very similar trigger. Hmm, Tom did that, too.

Things of note: The frame is a 1911 frame, not an A1 (despite the "M1911A1-FS on the right of the frame), no bevel cut behind the trigger. But it has an A1 grip safety with a long tang. Slide and frame are cast, and some parts are MIM. The grip panels are diamond checkered wood and look good.

The serial # was selected for the poker tournament, 4 of a kind.

Cimarron guns always come "de-farbed" as much as possible. (Civil War reenactors will know what I mean). As many of the original markings such as patent numbers, etc. are stamped authentically as possible without violating trademarks.) (The adjustment hole in the non-stock trigger is visible. This is legal in WB Traditional, but you can't have holes or slots in the trigger.)

The rear sight has a wide notch, which I like. This one has a U-shaped bottom, which I haven't tried before. Tom likes it, so he put it on. I don't have any problem with it.

The front sight is big, tall, dovetailed, and serrated. It's a little tall so I can field adjust the height. It's easy to take metal off, hard to put it on. (That's oil that makes the slide look like it has the measles.)

The mainspring housing is a flat Colt checkered one.

Slide stop and mag release are factory checkered. This is legal in Wild Bunch Traditional.

Stock hammer is checkered, as were some originals. The rear sight Tom added is serrated. Both of these items are legal in Wild Bunch Traditional.

The mag well was beveled. All of these modifications are legal for WB Traditional. In addition, Tom adjusted the mainspring and recoil spring for functioning with WB ammo, meaning 150-170 power factor. He and I both try for 165 as a target power factor. Power factors aren't carved in stone. Ammo that does 165 in the summer at Founders Ranch, altitude 6950 ft., might do 157 at Cowtown during the winter. We both use WST (when we can get it), so his test ammo should be good.

The barrel is nicely beveled, and the feed ramp is polished. I forgot to ask Tom if he did it or it was stock. I think it was stock. Other Armscor guns I've tested were similar.

Tom noted he was doing about everything you could to a Traditional gun. The ejection port didn't need lowering for brass to clear undented, and flaring back is just cosmetic. It didn't need or get that. He could have put in a match barrel. Some smiths do. The need for that in a gun that is shot at speed is probably debatable unless there's a problem with the stock barrel, and you're going to put in a new barrel anyway (or at least that's a good excuse for the spouse). I'll put it on a Ransom Rest when I can, but I doubt intrinsic accurate is a problem. Previous Armscor made guns I've tested have been reasonable for accuracy. I'm not comparing them to my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special with 3" groups at 50 yds or my Earl Long 1991A1 which did 2" at 50 yards. Sadly it's not WB legal. Armscor guns are meant to be moderately priced. They probably won't last 30 years of hard use like my Wilson Master Grad Series 70 Colt from 1983, which is my WB modern gun now. But those guns cost a lot more than Cimarrons cost.

The plan, as long as wrist and elbow allow it, to shoot Traditional. Now I have 2 traditional-legal guns. Remember, 1 isn't enough. 2 is minimum. 3 is better.

LED Vs Fluorescent

This is an example of fluorescents versus LEDs. The fluorescents are visibly dimmer than the LED light, and, of course, they use more electricity. Everything involved in LEDs seems to be getting cheaper. I have 2 of those LED fixtures, and the second one was $20 cheaper. Replacing the fluorescent tubes has recently become reasonably priced. I'll be replacing the remaining fluorescent tubes in ABQ rather than getting more of the LED fixtures.

March 26. 2016

Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg

Springfield Evolution

Coyote Cap, the early days

The cowboy is a 6-3/4, The hat is a 7-7/8.

March 24, 2016

It's nice to have friends with skills. Two of my fluorescent lights had been out in the garage, It was my intention to replace some of the lights with LEDs. But there was no power to the 2 lights. Muley McCoy is a retired electrician. He fixed the lost power situation in about 30 seconds, then he remounted one light and put a new ballast in it. Then he replaced two other lights with LEDs. About 3 hours in all. Fortunately he works cheap. Thanks, Muley.

With my vision, I need all the light I can get in the shop. The LEDs definitely put out more light. I'll be replacing the fluorescent tubes on the 3 remaining fluorescents with LED tubes. 6 cost about what each of the new LED fixtures cost. Some rewiring is necessary as the ballast and starter aren't used. I've done that on a fixture in the bus. I'll get that handled in ABQ.

March 21. 2016

Trying on the rain cover on the new gun cart

I did this in the air conditioned comfort of the shop, not in the pouring rain on a range

March 19, 2016—CCSA Match

Beautiful day. This is why Snowbirds come to Arizona

My cart, lightly loaded for smokeless.


Once more using Heathen Smokeless (almost out, and can't reload till I get to ABQ.) Heathen Smokeless Elder Statesman Duelist. Still getting my ass kicked. Need a Left handed ESD category.

Amazing! You can see the target after the first shot. You don't care which way the wind is blowing. Shot shells fall out easily. No shaking, no yanking. When you shoot a clean stage the timer operator calls "clean" rather than "Well, no misses." No one is coughing. Loading strip takes 30 seconds to fill. I can load both pistols in 30 seconds or less. After a stage, run chamber brush in SG, ready. Nothing to do to the pistols. Light spritz in the carrier of the rifle after 3 stages. Lots of spare time to run timer, drink Coke, actually use the john, talk to other shooters. I did get accused of not making the smoke standard, though.

Killer Tomato's gun cart

Earl Brasse's cart. Earl is always entertaining. He shot Colt SAAs 33-20 and a 32-20 '73, full loads APP, 118 gr. bullets. Very smoky. Loud.

Via Con Dios's cart. Looks like Rugged Gear, has Rugged Gear large gear bag, but the rest isn't like any I've seen. Big all terrain tires, different frame.

Things I picked up at WR for testing

ST Machining makes a Stainless Steel 1" and 1-1/8" 12 point box end wrench for Dillon dies. Yes, I know, Unique Tek sells a wrench looking much like this, but it's not Stainless steel.

ST Machining also makes loaded case feeders for both Dillon 1050s and 650s. This one is on my 650. This is for people that need a bigger case bin than stock. With this you could use PVC pipe to route the loaded rounds to a big bin on the floor. I'll be checking this out after the move.

I picked up one more item from ST Machining, a Case Feed Stop for the XL650. I remember saying that it was small, and I'd just had to chase down a cowboy screwdriver that fell out of the bag, that I would put it somewhere I wouldn't lose it.

That's the last I saw of it. I guess I'll buy one at EOT.

From Unique Tek

I have a Live Primer Chute that has a little bottle to catch live primers that don't get loaded. I unscrew it, put the primers into the palm of my hand, then put them in the RF100. Powder gets into the bottle, so dumping it into the RF100 isn't a good idea. Anyway, I like it, but I installed this one to test it out. I'll let you know which one I keep.

Other Stuff I picked up at WR—not for testing. I wanted these items.

SliX-sok-$45+10 for lettering (Pinto Annie)

I was going to get one for the Old Armies, which need a new 2-gun case, but this doesn't have pockets for conversion cylinders-which I admit there is little call for. So I put the Vaqueros in there. It works well. The flaps are heavy duty Velcro. No zippers to wear out.

All contestants were given these really nice gear bags. This is probably the best entrants prize ever. (Not to be confused with the items that were drawn for, one ticket per contestant that had to be put in one bottle for each contributing sponsor. One had one Navy Arms Winchester 73, a $2400+ prize, where others had several lower priced items.) With two side pockets and a center padded envelope type pocket, you could easily put 3 guns in. It also has several pockets inside, so it holds the conversion cylinders. It is, however, very big. This isn't a problem except people living in a Motor Coach towing a trailer, both being full to the gunnels. Anyway, the Ruger Old Armies are in it.

Pinto Annie did the lettering for $10. Heck of a deal.

Since Ruger provided the bags, it's appropriate that Rugers go in it.

If you entered enough WRs, and I have, you have 2 pistol cases, 2 long gun cases, and one big gear bag, all with Winter Range on them. Personalization is optional at extra cost.

March 14, 2016

Shot ACSA Saturday, smokeless duelist, Sunday CCSA Wild Bunch, shooting traditional.

March 6, 2016

Shooting Heathen Smokeless Duelist.

CCSA 1st Sunday match

Klickitat Bob has a Rugged Gear cart. It was red when it left the factory. Now it's sand colored. Unless you just washed it, out here they're all sand colored.

March 4, 2016

The Brisco Kid's Rifles

The Brisco Kid is one of my oldest friends in SASS. I bought Codymatics because he recommended them. Now he's building his own rifles. I know him well enough to know he doesn't recommend things that don't work. So when he recommends something I listen. Among the parts he uses are the SliX-prings hammer spring and lever springs. He also uses their straight trigger. We'll talk about that later, because I'm also doing an evaluation of Slick McClade's "No Bite" trigger system as well. I have one on one rifle, one on another rifle.

Anyway, I had no interest in the SliXprings. I've been using stock springs tuned by gunsmiths since 2000 or so. I tried his rifle, and it felt good. Then he mentioned that it would stay that way. I have had to adjust a mainspring just before a major match before. And lever springs have worn out. But he told me the mainspring had been tested for 100,000 cycles. (There's a story behind this. A technical college was involved. These aren't products developed in somebody's garage.) That got my attention. SliXprings talk about lock time in their literature as the main advantage. I'm probably not fast enough to benefit by that. But Joe talked about durability. After WR I decided to have him put them in my #1 rifle.

If you read the instructions for the SliXprings, assuming you're not Larsen E. Pettifogger or a gunsmith, you'll probably say, "That needs to be installed by a gunsmith." The good news is if you buy the parts from Brisco, he installs them FOR FREE. So I'll say it. Don't buy them from SliXprings. Buy them from Cowboy Shooters Supply at a match, and Brisco will put them on for you. Got that?

Here's the blurb from the TK4B website:

TK4B Enterprises, makers of “SliXprings” and “SliXpins”, has produced a newly designed “SliXpring-Main” replacement Mainspring system that is designed to complement an already properly tuned and short stroked Winchester style 1873 rifle or carbine. Its sole purpose is to provide a faster lock time (faster, more positive hammer travel), a more dependable primer strike and a more durable, longer lasting, smoother cycling competition grade spring operation. It, in most cases, will feel a bit more brisk in the initial cocking action of your rifle, but be assured it will respond much more smoothly throughout the hammer cycle than a normal leaf style spring, plus it is at least 30% faster than your competitively adjusted leaf spring. The “SliXpring-Main” kit requires competent installation with minimal stock fitting and is completely reversible to your existing arrangement.

I have both straight stock and pistol grip stock rifles. The straight stock have straight trigger tangs. The pistol grip rifles have a curved trigger tang. As you can see, the new spring's platform does not fit. The trigger tang needs to be flattened.

Brisco used a file and a Dremel to flatten it.

This cross pin goes in the middle of the spring. It will fall out easily, so Brisco puts on 2 O-rings to keep it in place. There are SEVERAL more steps I didn't photograph.

Now the stock will not clear the new spring platform, so...

Brisco marked the area to be opened up...

and used a Dremel. The instructions say to use a file or rasp, but he didn't like the result. This works for him.

When finished the spring action is different from before. There's a little more effort needed at the beginning of the stroke, not enough to bother me, and then it's smooth and fast. The lock time is faster, and the hammer hits hard even with the light pressure.

The lever springs were installed, too. Joe trims the ends of the wire slightly for perfect fit.

It should be noted that I paid for these parts. They weren't given to me for an article. I recommend them, but only if you get them from Cowboy Shooters Supply and have The Brisco Kid install them.


Added note: There are already people telling me these springs don't work. I'll find out, because I'll use them until they break or stop working. But a little story is appropriate. A few years back my Winchester 97 went Tango Uniform. I gave it to a gunsmith and got it back at EOT. I paid him. It still didn't work right. He said it didn't work because I shoot it left handed.

So I took it to Brisco, and he said he could fix it but would have to take it with him. Would Winter Range be good?

At Winter Range he gave me the gun. It worked. It had taken him a while to figure it out. He tried replacing several parts to no avail and finally replaced the action slide. It worked fine. He charged me less than the other guy did. It's been a few years, and it still works.

The guy who told me it was because I shoot it left handed told me these springs don't work.

March 1, 2016

According to a SASS Friend in Northern Italy, my doppleganger is singing in a chorale there. I swear I've been in Phoenix all month.

In fact, right after WR I came down with the respiratory ailment that The Redhead had gotten at the Poker Tournament (just a guess). I was out for 4 days. She was below par for 2 weeks.