June 2009 Journal

Ammunition Chronograph Session, May 2009

The SASS Wire has a thread about the Stage Coach hammer used on the Taylor Smokewagon.

Taylor's Smokewagon with Stage Coach Hammer (used on 2nd Generation Colts in the 60s)

Stage Coach hammer and trigger


Evil Roy hammer, a standard Uberti hammer

Evil Roy hammer

May 31, 2009


Too tired to fight Zia to practice. Worked in garage and ran errands. Loaded more "super Match" ammo, new Starline brass, APP 3f, Federal 100 primers, 105 gr. LTC bullets, careful loading, and checking of each round when completed to avoid upside down primers and such.

May 30, 2009


Got permission to practice at Founders Ranch. Rio Grande Renegades had scheduled a 5th Saturday match and a 5th Sunday match, apparently not checking the range's calendar. An IPSC regional is taking up all the bays for 10 days. I was counting on those matches for practice. Couldn't go to Zia because of an action pistol club's

May 29, 2009


Dollar Bill and I went to the Renegades range to practice. He has keys to everything. It used to be that the target shed had a combination lock, and we all had the combination. Then someone did something to some of the targets the powers that be didn't like, so they put on key locks. The plan is to put several targets in another room and move the combination lock there. Bill and I were going to accomplish this, but that room is full of junk, and there is no room for more stuff.

Bill wanted to practice on the Texas Star, which is always good, but strenuous practice. But we could only find 4 target inserts. Oh, well. Good practice session. We worked well together. He's considering going to Classic Cowboy, so he's trying duelist. Improved very quickly. Kept me on my toes.

Two guys showed up interested in CAS. We gave them a tour and let one of them shoot Bill's guns. Spent an hour or so with them.

Had dinner with Tex and Cat at the Church Street Cafe in Old Town. Best Mexican restaurant we've found in Albuquerque. Great company and great food. Great evening.

I've now been assigned to write up EOT for the Chronicle. To make a long story short, I'm on posse 1 with several BP shooter friends and some very hot shooters. Should be great.

May 28, 2009


Went to the VA for oil change and 2.000,000 mile checkup. My warranty is expired.

May 27, 2009


Went to the Renegades practice session. Two of us started setting up targets. One showed up and helped. Then 3 more came in just in time to shoot. How convenient. Then they left early to avoid helping put the targets up. Lawless Lori Sue finished up before Dollar Bill and me, but she stayed to help us put things up. It should be noted that 2 of the 3 people who came late and left early do it frequently. Of course they're missing out on all of the weight lifting exercise that's helped me get into the fantastic shape I'm in.

May 26, 2009


Put your wife and dog in the trunk of your car. After a half hour, open it and see which one is happy to see you.

(Not my day. I had this day's journal written, and Dreamweaver crashed, losing everything. @#!#!@! Adobe product! If I can find a decent program to write this site in that isn't made by Adobe, I'll buy it. Their customer service is sleazy, and their products are crap.)

Took the bus into Aloha RV at 0900. The keyless entry system had failed. The manufacturer agreed to look at it for warranty repair, but it has to be taken out and shipped to them, leaving a hole in the side of the bus for some time to come. $50 to have it taken out, and not warranted. Can you imagine if Mercedes tried that? The lawsuits would kill them.

Then took the bus to Cummins for oil and filter change, air filters, fuel filters, etc., and chassis lubrication. $679!

We had a noon appointment. At 2 PM they hadn't started. I asked the service advisor if we had a problem. The RV tech had gone home sick. They were trying to get one of the truck techs to do the service, but they were all busy. One got free after 3 PM, and we were out at 5:30.

A couple was in the waiting room with a new truck that's been a basket case. It was in for its third turbocharger in 40,000 miles. The turbocharger is part of the new emissions system which includes a Rube Goldberg $20,000 exhaust setup that makes the exhaust clean and sweet smelling. The truck has spent as much time in the shop as on the road. The couple went from netting $150,000 in 2007 to losing money in 2008, and so far, they're losing money. The mechanic came out and told them they finished with it, but when they went to test it, it didn't work. They were on the phone with techs at Cummins, and the couple got another night in the motel.

I asked the service writer if this was normal or abnormal. Apparently it's normal. Caterpillar got out of the truck engine business because of inability to meet the new regulations. Whatever Cummins is doing isn't working, and the new trucks are all hanger queens. "They'd better have a big train from coast to coast, because the trucks won't be able to carry freight whenever all the old ones are off the road."

He noted that the current administration is unlikely to relax the regulations to a point where machinery can be made to work.

Made me glad we have our 2006. Of course we had been warned about this by a couple of Newmar Techs. It wasn't all just a sales pitch. They told the truth.

We didn't have Margaritas till 1900. George S. Patton, Jr. and The Redhead are exhausted.

May 25, 2009


Memorial Day


As usual the Memorial Day Weekend leaves me quite depressed. This weekend is supposed to remind the American people of the brave men and women who died for their freedom. Instead the average American is reminded that it's a 3 day weekend, and Friendly Ford is having a sale. But guys like me are reminded of the guys they knew who have their names on the Wall and whose children never saw their fathers. Vietnam vets are also reminded that we came home to a hostile populace who hated us for fighting for them, and those most hostile are now in charge of our schools and our Federal government. And they still hate the United States of America and want to destroy it.

I knew about 60 guys whose names are now on the Wall, but I can't remember their names now. That depresses me, too.

The Redhead had rented a car for the weekend so she could go to the casino, and I could go to matches. We took it back to Budget in the morning, meaning I couldn't shoot early this morning at Zia, and I wasn't going to try at 10:30 or so on a holiday. The Redhead went to the casino, and I reloaded ammunition.

At least with all of the not being able to practice for one reason or another, I'm getting ahead on ammunition.

May 24, 2009


Went to the Rio Grande Renegades Sunday match, which doesn't start shooting until 1 PM. Aerial targets on stages one and two. Bowling pins with the pistol on stages 3 and 4. I believe the person who wrote the stages shot clean. I don't think anyone else did.

May 23, 2009


Went to the Zia range for an action pistol range. The wimpy action shooters didn't show up just because it was sprinkling a bit.

So I wound up working in the shop. The weather improved, of course.

The Redhead drew a Royal Flush playing Texas Hold 'em at Route 66 Casino. Yes, she won the pot. Yes she won the $300 bonus. It was a good day for The Redhead.

May 22, 2009


Another Pre-Memorial Day thought:

Went to Zia Rifle and Pistol Club and practiced until the looming rain got really close. Spent the afternoon in the shop.

May 21, 2009


Pre-Memorial Day thought:

Doc Barium took this at the awards ceremony at Buffalo Stampede. I forgot to post it with the journal entry

Took The Redhead to see Terminator: Salvation. That's 2 hours and 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back, plus the half hour of commercials before hand and the half hour of closing credits afterwards. The special effects were great. All it needed was a plot, a director, an editor, and actors. I promise never to see a Christian Bale movie again unless it has a lot of women naked that I'd like to see naked. Sam Worthington stole the movie while Bale chewed scenery and overacted as badly as he did in Rescue Dawn.

Much of it was filmed in New Mexico, including several scenes on the road to the Zia Rifle and Pistol Club. I drove through the filming areas daily going to and from Zia.

But that wasn't worth the rest of the mess.

May 20, 2009


Went to Rio Grande Renegades practice session. Took the Oehler chronograph and set up at range 2, chronoing Wild Bunch loads (that work quite well), knockdown loads for .38s, and various loads in the Ruger Old Army.

Ammunition Chronograph Session, May 2009

May 19, 2009


Went to Zia Rifle and Pistol Club to practice. Finally got a good practice session there. Still too much work to practice a little. First drive truck to target shed. Hook the little flatbed trailer there to the truck, then put targets on the trailer. Drive to range of choice. Unload and position targets. Shoot for an hour or so. Police up brass and hulls. Police up targets and place on trailer. Drive to target shed--Back up the trailer, which isn't visible from the driver's seat except in rear view camera and in one mirror at a time if it's about to jackknife. Unload and store targets. Lock up target shed. Disconnect trailer. Leave.

Worked in garage in the PM.

May 18, 2009


Took Arthur and George to the vet. The plan was to take George for his annual, but Arthur had an incident over the weekend. He stood on his hind legs and toppled over, then walked with a limp, confused. Second time it's happened. They did a full blood workup to see if it's there. It could be neurological. Don't know what they'll do then.

George got his shots without bloodying anyone, thanks to his muzzle.

Worked in the garage. I installed the Unique Tek Tool head Clamp Kit. According to their literature:

• Eliminates Loose Tool head-to-Frame Fit
• Reduces OAL Variation*
• Improves Crimp Repeatability
• Improves Bullet Concentricity from Seating Die
• Reduces Jams at Size/Decap Die

I loaded 500 125 gr. full charge 777 3f loads (for future knockdowns). Couldn't tell any particular improvement. Checked OAL on 50 rounds using Coal Creek 125 gr. lrnfp. Varied from 1.440 to 1.452. Ran out of those bullets and went to 125gr. LTC, and OAL varied from 1.435 to1.458. It doesn't particularly matter. All are in the acceptable category, but that's about what I got before. So far I haven't seen value in the clamp.

Had some problems at station 2 catching the case lip on the inside, taking a divot out and destroying the case. This had been cured for some time. Adjusting the lever at station 2 didn't seem to change things much, but then it seemed to go away. If it isn't gone, the next thing is to use the adjustment tools. When everything is in adjustment I get about 500 rounds an hour comfortably. Of course the RF100 has to work perfectly, and most of the time it does. I've learned how to adjust it.

May 17, 2009


Breakfast with The Redhead at Route 66 Casino, then she stayed and played poker while I worked in the garage.

May 16, 2009


Rio Grande Renegades match. The Mayor, J. W. Calendar, did the stages. The mayor likes gimmick stages. One had a 75 yard Wild Bill Hickok-Dave Tutt shot. One shooter got the bonus. One had 8 shotgun shots, 1 from position 1, shoot pistols, 1 more from position 1 (guess he shoots a '97), 2 from position 2, rifle, 2 from position 2, 2 from position 3. It was fun, though. 2 popup soda cans on one stage. I actually hit them both, wind and all. I shot v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y but had 2 misses anyway.

Took The Redhead to Texas Land & Cattle. Up to expectations.

May 15, 2009


The Redhead played poker. I worked in the garage. Terribly exciting.

May 14, 2009


Took The Redhead to Casino Sandia. Ran errands. Got a trimmer for the mustache. Tired of mustache wax. Don't need it now. Worked in the garage on .45 ACP rounds among other things. Apparently I'm not yet in condition to go shooting every day.

Wanted: Spur Straps for Robert E. Lee's Spurs:

At the SASS Convention Wimpy at Lindholm Brothers Spurs showed me a pair of spurs he had made to duplicate Robert E. Lee's spurs for a customer who provided him with photos of the originals. So I bought them.

Military spur straps won't work. They don't work with the little buttons on these spurs. Civilian spur straps do, but they're too fancy to put on General Lee's uniform. So I need a pair o black, plain spur straps, narrow like military straps, but with slots for the buttons.

May 13, 2009


Went to the Rio Grande Renegades Wednesday match. English Lynn did the stages, quite good. No P traps, nothing worse than a Nevada sweep. Still several people got Ps from getting too clever. I had 1 miss, otherwise decent stages for a guy recuperating from the Black Plague and the recurrence of all the rare tropical diseases that racked my body when I was younger and stronger.

Ordered 10,000 Federal small pistol primers. By the time they get here I'll need them. 5-6 week backorder, and that's only because I ordered from a place that's expensive and thus not as back ordered as the reasonably priced places. I hate to do it, but the others aren't taking backorders.

But I really hate price gougers, and I'll remember. You'll note I'm not mentioning them here lest someone buys from them because I just told you they have primers only 6 weeks backordered--But at $338/10,000.

May 12, 2009


Worked in the garage some. Feeling somewhat better. Not ready for a combat assault on a strongly defended hill, but then I haven't been in years, if I ever was.

May 11, 2009


Feeling better, but had to spend the morning with Discount Tire because of a bubble in the sidewall of one of the new Michelins. Covered under road hazard warranty $69.95. It's been a long time since I've seen road hazard warranties. They went away during a tire makers strike in the 70s. No complaint, though. I do not buy the Discount Tire road hazard warranty on the Michelins, $32/tire. About every 30th tire needs replacing for road hazard damage. Now the trailer tires, that's a different story.

Went the Zia Range in the afternoon to practice. Too hot, too dry. Got dehydrated really quickly despite constant hydration. Too much work to shoot at 1 pm at Zia. If I can't do it first thing in the AM, I just won't do it.

Tried the Unique Tek Brass Wizard. I bought this after seeing it at Winter Range. Can't say I'm impressed. The surface at Zia Rifle and Pistol Range is sand with gravel on top. Rolling the wizard lightly over the brass, per the instructions, wound up burying the brass. I wound up sweeping the area with one foot and kicking brass out and trying again. There were times that I had to pick up the brass, and, then, stupidly, instead of putting it in the can, laying it carefully on the top of the sand and trying again. Eventually I got where I could pick it up, but not 100%. Maybe if I shoot on a perfectly flat carpeted surface, it'll work fine.

Additionally, the instructions are pretty complex, and they include warnings about how delicate the basket is, and how it can't be repaired. This means I won't be taking it to matches and letting other workers use it, because I'll get it back broken.

Talked to Hipshot. He hadn't gotten my email begging off the NRA Convention because I'm not in good enough shape to drive a bus 400 miles and then work a convention, then drive back. Found the failure notice in my deleted items folder (where they all go automatically--long story). Correct address, but AOL says it isn't.

May 10, 2009


Stayed home and rested, maybe 2 hours in the shop. Hip/groin still hurts like hell. If it's no better tomorrow, I'll risk the VA emergency room.

Due to H1N1/Swine Flu the need for men to wash their hands more often has resulted in the installation of men's rooms designed to encourage men to wash their hands:

May 9, 2009


Went to the Zia Fun Match. 5 people there. Canby did good stages, but the exertion in the heat left me in severe pain. I've had pain in the hip/groin area since a bicycle accident in 1994, but it had been almost eliminated by Fosamax treatment. Then I got sick last weekend, and all of my old injuries hurt. This one still does when I get active. I know there's a pocket there where a lymph node used to be before the cancer surgery. It shows up on CAT Scans, and the urologist says to ignore it. I don't remember if he called it a cyst or what. Nothing visible. Anyway, I spent the evening getting the pain down to a dull roar.

The SKB still doesn't work for pop-up birds. Needs a bit more spring, I suppose. Must call Briley's. They convert to mechanical for $95 + shipping.

May 8, 2009


Took The Redhead to see Star Trek. I give it 8.5 out of 10. I think her score was higher, but old line Trekkies will have some historical complaints. You'll either understand when you see it, or it won't matter.

Additionally I have a complaint that when Kirk and the green lady were having sex, they were doing it with shorts and, in her case, green bra. Maybe sex is different with green women, but I doubt it.

The Spock actor did a good job, as did Leonard McCoy (who stole the show). The Redhead liked Chris Pine as James T. Kirk. Maybe he'll grow on me. And yes, I'm still cringing at his destruction of the classic Corvette.

I just learned the author of the dictionary for Adobe Dreamweaver, the program I use to write this, is a serious nerd. He wants me to change "Trekkies" to "Trekkers." I remember that someone decided "Trekkies" was derogatory, and "Trekkers" wasn't.

Well, I'm old enough that I saw some episodes of the original Star Trek when it was first run. I was out of the US for most of them. I remember being in the rear for something, and AFVN TV was showing the same episode I'd seen in the States. When I got back to the US they were in reruns at 5 pm where I was stationed, and I watched the entire series. I even went to an early convention in Houston, where they showed the pilot episode, which, by then, only existed in B & W form. They showed it at the Houston Coliseum, I believe, and 20,000 or so of us watched it. This was before Trekkies/Trekkers started showing up at conventions in costume. I vaguely remember a later convention in Houston where some of the minor cast members showed up to huge adoring crowds. But basically the convention was boring, and I stopped going. My point is I can call older Star Trek fans any damn thing I want to, because I was there.

May 7, 2009


Went to the shop and cleaned guns while The Redhead was at the casino. Used Simple Green. Won't do that again. Throat feels like I've been doing CS Gas training. I'm short of breath enough up here.

May 6, 2009


The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools~~~Herbert Spencer

Are we there yet?~~~Bart Simpson

I told The Redhead I wasn't going to the Renegades Practice Session. She said, "That's good, because I wouldn't have let you anyway."

Got a lot of writing done.

May 5, 2009



(stolen from an e-mail)

1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

4. When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

5. Let others know when they have invaded your territory.

6. Take naps and stretch before rising.

7. Run, romp, and play daily.

8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

9. Be loyal.

10. Never pretend to be something you're not.

11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close, and nuzzle them gently.

13. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

14. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

15. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

16. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

17. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

18. No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

19: NEVER bark-let alone growl-unless you're prepared to bite.


Assault weapons

The next time some nimrod on the idiot box or the internet starts railing about evil Assault Weapons, please feel free to use this to give them a clue, because they don't have one:

1. Remind them of the National Firearms Act of 1934

The National Firearms Act ("NFA"), 73rd Congress, Sess. 2, ch. 757, 48 Stat. 1236, enacted 1934-06-26, currently codified as amended as 26 U.S.C. ch.53) is an Act of Congress passed in 1934 that, in general, imposes a statutory excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of all Title II weapons and mandates the registration of those weapons.

To put that into words of few syllables, this act forbids the selling of fully automatic weapons, silencers, and short-barreled shotguns to members of the general public. Only people who pay a $200 transfer fee and go through an FBI background check and have the signature of the chief law enforcement officer of their residence may purchase fully automatic weapons.

2. But, in 1934 there were no assault rifles. During WWII German industry came up with a fully automatic rifle that, in order to work, was built around a shorter, weaker round than the issued bolt-action battle rifle. Hitler vetoed it out of hand because his troops, being real men, could handle full-charge rounds. His generals, who, by now, knew they were dealing with a maniac, could only mumble, "We elected this maniac" and do what he ordered. So some smart person suggested they go back to Hitler with the same rifle but call it an "Assault Rifle."

He approved it, and it was used in the last days of the war, fortunately not in great numbers.

3. But in 1947 the Soviet military accepted the AK-47, Assault Kalashnikov. This is one of the best military designs ever made. I picked one up one time that had been buried for an unknown amount of time, cleared the barrel, and fired the magazine to empty. Its key feature is that it fires fully automatic, meaning if you hold the trigger back, in a few short seconds you will have an empty weapon and up to 30 rounds downrange.

4. America adopted its own assault rifle, the M16, during the Vietnam War. It was inferior to the AK in many ways, but, like the WWII Sherman tank, we kept making them because stopping to change weapons in mid-war would leave us short. Instead a long series of improvements made a silk purse out of a sow's ear. By 1969 it worked pretty well.

I have a little experience with the M16A1. By 1969-70 the M16A1 and XM177E1Colt "Commando" I used worked pretty reliably, but I kept them as clean as possible and heavily oiled.

4. They meet the criteria of ASSAULT RIFLE:

  1. Selective fire, both semi and full automatic
  2. Reduced power RIFLE cartridge, as opposed to sub-machine guns, which fire PISTOL cartridges in full automatic. (Examples: Thompson, Uzi)
  3. They are designed to be controllable in HAND HELD FULLY AUTOMATIC FIRE. This might involve pistol grips and/or forward vertical grip handles (never liked them).


6. But there are semi-automatic lookalikes that have passed various BATF hurdles. Semi-automatic means self-loading. Pull the trigger once, and the gun fires and loads the next round.

7. One major hurdle is they cannot be readily converted to automatic fire--by law and regulation.

8. The market being what it is, thousands and thousands of ugly black semi-automatic rifles have been sold to the general public in accordance with federal firearms regulations. Assault weapons bans have come and gone with absolutely no effect on crime.

9. The assault weapons bans have tried in vain to define an assault rifle on the basis of specific parts, such as detachable magazines of X rounds, pistol grips, bayonet lugs, flash suppressors, collapsible stocks, etc.

10. Manufacturers and importers have wisely built guns that fit into the regulations as sold, such as with 10 round magazines or thumbhole stocks, without flash suppressors or bayonet lugs.

11. All of these efforts have had no effect on crime. I've done several internet searches and can find no instances of drive by bayonetings before these bans came into effect.

12. When you see a gang banger on TV firing his AK on full automatic for 2 minutes without reloading the magazine, be aware:

  1. It's TV. It is probably using a propane torch to make the muzzle flames.
  2. An AK 47 firing at 850 rounds/minute uses up 30 rounds in 2.1 seconds if I've figured correctly. It does seem longer if you're the intended target. On the other hand, 2 minutes on TV is a little excessive.
  3. He didn't buy it at Mom's Gun Shop.

13. Automatic weapons are almost never used in crimes in the US, especially if you factor out Mexican drug gangs, who get their Chinese fully automatic AK47s from China and most of their weapons from the Mexican Army or nearby armies. This is obvious to the trained eye if you look at the photos of confiscated guns attributed to the US. These piles include RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers) and many other weapons never sold in Mom's Gun Shop.

14. Legal, registered Automatic weapons have been used in crimes, as far as I can determine, once, over twenty years ago, and the perpetrator was a cop.

15. So when you hear hysteria over Assault Weapons, be aware it's all just a ploy to remove another sort of weapon from the public, in this case, whatever they decide is an assault weapon.

16 Once these guns are gone, the next target is "sniper rifles," you know, like the Winchester Model 70 Carlos Hathcock used in Vietnam--a hunting rifle. Anything used to hunt deer can be used to hunt people. (The opposite isn't necessarily so. Mule deer and similar sized animals are awfully big for 5.56 NATO-AR15 ammunition). Then there's "Cop Killer" bullets, meaning all bullets, because all kinds of bullets have been known to kill cops, bullet resistant vests or not. Then next will be concealable weapons, etc. etc. They did stop going after "Saturday night specials," meaning anything cheaper than what Ted Kennedy's bodyguards used, after drug gangs upgraded to Glocks and Berettas.

17. When we get down to only being able to buy Airsoft guns, then someone will introduce a bill in Congress to ban them.


Feeling a little better, but I can still tell time in 4 hour increments because that's when the VA 800 mg. Ibuprofen needs replacing. Temperature variable, but not as high as yesterday.

May 4, 2009


Temperature went over 100. Zycam, 800 mg Ibuprofen every 4 hours, and lay on the couch, watching mostly bad TV.

May 3, 2009


Big mistake. Went to the Buffalo Range Riders match at Founders Ranch. Felt bad all day. Shot bad, of course. Got to feeling a little bit better near the end, so I could drive back to the bus. Picked up The Redhead. She drove back. One of those situations. I feel too good to want to sit in the emergency room at the VA hospital, but also feel too bad to want to sit in the emergency room at the VA hospital.

May 2, 2009


Went to Founders Ranch to demonstrate CAS to Boy Scouts encamped there. Cold, windy, sometimes rainy. Started feeling bad about noon. Hung on until 4ish. Picked up The Redhead from Route 66. Still felt awful.

May 1, 2009


Took The Redhead for a drive. We went up the Turquoise Trail, then went up to the top of Sandia Peak, stopping by Tinkertown along the way. Tinkertown is an eclectic private museum of wood carvings and oddities. $3.

Nice Drive. Then got the truck ready to go to Founders Ranch tomorrow.


April 2009 Journal