August 2012 Journal

This month's wallpaper photograph was taken at the 2002 Winter Range:

For Sale:

Cimarron Big Iron, .45 Colt, 4.75" barrel, new in the box

This is a Pietta with brass grip frame and matte finish. I won it at a match. I haven't fired it. I worked the action enough to know I'd get an action job, but I would on any gun that isn't tuned. I talked to the Cimarron people at EOT, and they said they're selling them for $400. I got an ad from EMF advertising the same gun for $385+ shipping. So I'll take $350+ $35 shipping. It'll have to go from Diamond J Gunsmithing to your FFL unless you're able to pick it up in person. Contact me

July 30-31, 2012

The right ear went back to not working, despite a couple of months of steroid therapy. Very frustrating.

July 28-29, 2012

Went to the RGR match Sunday. The ears kind of worked.

July 27, 2012, Friday

Called Rugged Gear about this broken spring in the brake mechanism of my gun cart. They're sending the parts, but it's $10. I guess the warranty is over, and they're not Ruger or Dillon. I just can't understand why anything would break on it. It's not like I use it several times a week. Oh, I forgot. I do use it several times a week. Well, it's not like I use it on rough terrain. Well, unless you consider Founders Ranch and other desert gun ranges rough terrain. Oh, you do? Never mind.

July 26, 2012, Thursday

Don't leave home without it

It occurs to me that some readers won't see the context of this. There used to be a series of American Express Card ads, "Don't leave home without it." In the current world, you need a bit more than just the card.

July 25, 2012, Wednesday

ATTN: Rough Riders

A few months back I mentioned that the Weingarten Gallery, was going to produce replicas of the medal Teddy Roosevelt had struck for the 1200 Rough Riders. Here is the information on it from Mr. Weingarten in a letter he sent out to collectors:

" Spanish American War 1st US Volunteer Calvary Medal Rough Riders

This commemorative medal was commissioned and distributed personally by Teddy Roosevelt upon the regiment’s mustering out of service at Camp Wikoff, Long Island on September 15, 1898 and is mentioned in Colonel Roosevelt’s history of The Rough Riders as “the medal I gave my men.” Brigaded with the 1st and 10th US Cavalry, the Rough Riders were in service only 133 days, but left a colorful legacy second to none, having sustained more casualties – 26 killed, 104 wounded — more than any other unit in Cuba. The medal is rarely encountered with just over 1200 men receiving the token at muster out.

This is my reproduction of the medal because of the high value of the real ones I have made two slight changes to prevent them as being sold as real. The pin is not a T-bar and the planchet has a loop on the top. This is die struck to the same size etc.
I have been unable to locate the correct ribbon so I am using a wool felt for the background. The ribbon is 2 inches wide and very rare to be made today in natural fiber.

This an original medal that sold for $4025.00 at auction on April 28 & 29, 2010 at Cowan Auction.
Phillip K. Sweet was Sergeant in (Capt. Woodbury Kane’s) Troop K and gave his address at muster out as 221 W. 121st St. New York City.
Own a copy for a lot less.

As collectors of my items I am going to offer these to you for $60.00 before listing them to others. This includes free shipping. If you wish to order one please contact me. e-mail -
Phone 317-598-1026 or you can mail payment to:

Joe Weingarten

14066 Deer Stone Ln

Fishers, IN 46040

You can send payment via Pay- Pal to"

I would think that this would be a must have for someone wearing a Rough Rider uniform, especially if you're entering it in costume contests. Their online catalog lists it for $100.

July 24, 2012, Tuesday

Leathermakers, I'll make you famous

Like a lot of shooters, I've stopped wearing "trophy" belt buckles because they just don't work very well to hold on a gunbelt or shotgun belt. They don't "lock" in place like a standard buckle, and the effective length varies from buckle to buckle, altering the length of your belt. They make it very hard to get the belt as tight as I like it. I'm thinking the only solution might be a belt slide that will ha trophy belt buckle. It appears to be a pretty tough leather engineering exercise, and, as far as I know, nobody has done it.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to produce a belt slide that will fit on a Mernickle shotgun belt, that will securely hold any of the of "trophy" belt buckles shown below. It can't be custom fitted to one particular belt buckle so that the shooter can change buckles as desired.

The leathermaker who sends me the solution to this problem will get a review in Dispatches From Camp Baylor in The Cowboy Chronicle. In case there are multiple entries, the best solution gets the review, but there could be multiple winners. Positive reviews in Dispatches have proven profitable for several vendors, and products I've suggested have proven to be good sellers. I get nothing out of it but a working slide, and you get the profits of an item that will have a niche market.

The winning belt slide will need to work with all these belt buckles. There are, of course, trophy buckles that are bigger and smaller than this.

Back view of typical buckles. Note the effective length differences

Day By Day Cartoon

An Easier Task for a Leathermaker

Does anyone make a loading strip like this? It's double sided, 10 on each side, and fits in my belt pouch. I lost my .38 Special one at EOT, and the maker is in hiding. So I need one in .38. If you make them,contact me with pricing.

How do you empty a mis-loaded Percussion pistol?

One fairly painless method is to use a CO2 ball discharger from Buffalo Arms. It comes in a zippered pouch and with 3 CO2 cartridges. Buy more. It works on the SliX-Shot nipples with the little holes in the sides. If you have high pressure air in your shop, your air compressor can do it with the correct tip, but my little one doesn't reliably. Anyway, it's hard to push the gun cart with an air compressor in it, what with needing 2-3 miles of electrical cord and all.

July 23, 2012, Monday

I have a large collection of cordless tools that all take the same 19.2 v. Craftsman battery. The 5 year old batteries won't hold a charge, and one I got last year isn't enough, so I went to get a new one. Lithium-ion is the new buzzword, and they're supposed to last longer, cause women to flock to you, and make your 401K double. They're $54.95 at a Sears store, where the old Ni-Cads are $39.95. BUT you need a new $44.95 charger for the Lithium. Or you can buy the battery and charger for $119.95.

Or, if you had gone online to before you drove to Sears, you knew that you could buy a 1/2" drill that comes with a Lithium battery and charger for $101. Fortunately I did.

July 22, 2012, Sunday

Another RGR match (4th Sunday), 2 posses, good match.

We learn that among the victims in the Aurora shooting some heroes emerged. They, not the deranged shooter, should be remembered:

Jonathan Blunk, 26: Blunk was a certified firefighter, emergency medical technician and a veteran of the United States Navy who served three tours in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea between 2004 and 2009. He also was a father of two small children.
Blunk would have wanted to die a hero, according to friends and family, and his friend Jansen Young, who was with him at the theater that night, says he was.
When shots rang out, Blunk threw himself in front of Young and saved her life, Young told the NBC's "Today" show.

Matt McQuinn, 27: As shots rang out in the theater, the Ohio native dove in front of his girlfriend Samantha Yowler, shielding her from the bullets, but losing his own life in the process.
Yowler was recovering from surgery after she was shot in the knee at the theater. Her 32-year-old brother, Nick Yowler, who also shielded his sister, was not injured.


Anything you do in combat can get you killed, including doing nothing. So you might as well do something.

July 21, 2012, Saturday

Site of the day: Murphy's Laws of Cowboy Action Shooting

Well, the idea of wearing the EOT belt buckle didn't last long. I wore it at the RGR match. It adds over 2" to the belt, which would not bother people who need it, but on the last hole it was loose after a while, and I tried to adjust it, That's when the belt fell off.

So I put the stock belt buckle back on when I got back to the shop.

July 20, 2012, Friday

What a terrible day for our country. Please excuse me, but I'm going to write about something else. Other people will write enough about today's horror. In case you're reading this some time later, and July 20, 2012 isn't seared in your memory, it'll come to you.

I got a wild hare to fix something I'd been putting up with for 5 years. My air compressor is in the front cabinet of the shop, and the air hose has had to come out one of the doors, which meant I've been putting up with that for 5 years. So I went to Ace Hardware and got a 1/4" x 4"fitting, that means 1/4" PT threads on a 1/2" tube. I drilled a hole through the cabinet and put air hose fittings on the fitting, running a hose from the compressor to that, and enabling me to snap the air hose in and out from the outside, door closed:

The new fitting

The hose, stored on the wall, at least for now, much better than on the floor with the door to the cabinet cracked to let it out

Inside the cabinet. You can't, at least at Ace or Home Depot, get a 6' air hose, so I got a coiled hose (hate them normally. They have all the durability of a canary in a coal mine full of methane, but this one won't be pulled, pushed, stretched, etc.) I'm sure someone who knew what he was doing would have plumbed it neater using something more durable. It uses the quick disconnects on each end.

Quick disconnect to the through-the-wall connector

This took a LOT longer than it should. I found the fitting at Ace, this particular Ace now forever being renamed in my memory as Half Ace, because, naturally, I needed the hose and quick disconnects. They didn't have any hose, but I grabbed one each of the male and female quick disconnects. Then I had to get the hose at Home Depot. Oh, if only I had waited until then to get the quick disconnects. Some of you have already figured out what comes next. What I got from Half Ace was AUTOMOTIVE quick disconnects, not INDUSTRIAL quick disconnects. Males come in AUTOMOTIVE and INDUSTRIAL, the difference being very small. The females come in AUTOMOTIVE, INDUSTRIAL, and UNIVERSAL.

When is INDUSTRIAL used? Well, air compressors normally come with them. The little Craftsman has one, and the AUTOMOTIVE male wouldn't work. There was nothing to do but drive 18 miles round trip to a Home Depot and return with a UNIVERSAL female and INDUSTRIAL male, both with female 1/4" PT ends. Home Depot has a nice display with an explanation of INDUSTRIAL, AUTOMOTIVE, and UNIVERSAL, and where each is used. They also have bigger fittings. Everything is COLOR CODED! I should know all about it. The compressor take off from the bus Cummins diesel has, I believe, automotive female, and an automotive male was attached. I made an adapter so I can use the fittings that my hoses had, not being able to find anything but industrial at the time. Sears apparently only sold industrial and scoffed at automotive.

Then the new one wouldn't go in the compressor. After about fifteen minutes of authentic cowboy gibberish, standing on my head, holding the flashlight in my mouth while using three hands on the compressor, etc. I gave up and removed the connector from the compressor. It just wasn't opening up properly. Break Free CLP, test, reassemble. Once reassembled, it wouldn't work again. Remove, attach to male connector on air hose, and screw the female connector back into the compressor. I promise never to remove that hose from the compressor again unless it leaks, which it will, in 368 days (1 year warranty).

Then chase leaks. I use teflon tape to seal the threads, but the through-the-wall fitting was still leaking. The solution is to tighten until it stops. Eventually it did

July 20, 1969

I was just reminded that another July 20 was the date of one of America's greatest achievements. Americans landed on the moon. It is one of those moments in American History where you always remember where you were when it happened. I watched it at the transient BOQ at Fort Lewis, Washington, where I was undergoing RVN training. It was a small B & W TV, and everyone watching was on his way to a jungle war. The word "irony" came to mind.

July 19, 2012, Thursday

In addition to the pain of cocking percussion pistols with one hand, the arthritic thumb punishes me for working on the computer. Thus, with several days put into the EOT article for the Chronicle, the pain goes from fingertips to elbow. So, why am I writing on this? Hmm...

July 18, 2012, Wednesday

Was loading 12 ga. when the SL900 started crushing shells slightly some of the time. This, according to the book, means the final crimp stage is too far down. Fiddled with that and still had the problem for some time. Drove me crazy. I'd had a long string of rounds that passed all of the "match ready" tests, then that. Eventually it stopped doing it. I'd run out of 1X fired STS hulls and was loading 2X fired. Don't know if there's a connection. Also was loading once fired Peters hulls and had no rejects from then. Drove to the bicycle shop and got more Peters hulls. Can't find STS, even online (okay, there are guys who will sell them if you send a cashier's check and wait for it to clear. Right.) Peters load the same. Steel bases instead of brass. But they will size to go in the shell checker. I don't even try to load them a second time.

It should be noted that the Bataan Military Academy missed a market when they threw away the 12 ga. after EOT. Sorting might have been too much for them, don't know. Even though past experience with WR/EOT hulls has indicated that my rejection rate is high and a lot of time sorting and cleaning is required, good hulls are getting hard to get. The trap/skeet shooters seem to be using cheap stuff that isn't suitable for BP reloads.

Then I ran out of APP. More on the way. I have over a case, now. It should last.

July 17, 2012, Tuesday

Was up working on the EOT article at 0500. You thought those articles just wrote themselves?

Went to put the EOT belt buckle on the Mernickle shotgun belt that had been shortened. In the past, with other belts, I've had problems with the Chicago screws coming apart. Apparently Mernickle has had that happen, well, not apparently. It's happened to every maker who uses them. His stuff is extremely well made, and he attends to the details. So the guy in the shop who puts the screws in must be very strong,* and it looks like he used blue Loctite. The screws were tight, imbedded in the thick leather so I couldn't grab the non-slotted end. It took probably fifteen minutes to get them apart. The EOT buckle makes the belt effectively 2 holes longer, so it's back in the inside hole with it on, but it works. I used blue Loctite, but I didn't tighten them quite as tight. If I lose any more inches I'll be back to the stock buckle.

*Maybe he hired the guy at Uberti who tightens every screw in new Ubertis so that if you aren't a gunsmith, you need a new set after disassembling the gun the first time. But I believe Mernickle's brass screws are harder than Uberti's steel ones because I didn't strip either one.

Cleaned out the upper cabinet in the trailer. Carried about 100 lb.of what had been stored there to the trash, including a bunch of plaques. No more place to put them. I'm not that good, but I'm shooting a lot of matches, so the blind squirrel occasionally gets an acorn. General Lee's picture went away, too, as I won't be showing it to costume contests anymore. No more beards. The costume, by the way, is for sale at Coon Creek Old West, complete with hat, General Officer's belt, and sash.

Began loading shotshells. Running out.

Wild Horse John sent an alternative caption for the photo of George and Angelique below in July 12, adapted from today's "Frank and Earnest" cartoon:

George Patton asks Angelique "Is it true all cats are free thinkers?"

Angelique replies "Yeah, we can't stand dogma."

John adds, "You should be hearing a rimshot about now."

July 16, 2012, Monday

This month's surprise $500 expense was a windshield for the Jeep. With the vertical windshield, rocks hit solid instead of at an angle, and we had already fixed several dings. Then it cracked. A "generic" windshield without the Jeep grill on the top center and the little jeep climbing the hill at the lower right corner would have been $300, but every time I looked through it I would have been pissed, so we have a new Mopar windshield. Having once had a generic windshield that seemed to be made of old Coke bottles, I tend toward getting the good stuff anyway.

July 15, 2012, Sunday

The RGR Wild Bunch survivors who were around to put the targets away after the match

RGR had their first Wild Bunch match, 1 posse. Texas Tiger was match director. She and English Lyn put a lot into it using both berms, lots of targets. Each stage took up all or most of the berm. Lots of running. Lots of transitions. First three stages each shot order was instructed to maximize transitions and gun handling. Ranged from tiny plate rack for pistol to medium distance, no really long range pistol like WR or Buffalo Stampede. Closer than EOT but right at home in overall feel. Lots of running. Next two stages were more freestyle, with starting from choice of position, shooting guns in any order as long as at the right targets from the right location. The last one was planned that way but switched to running from left to right when I mentioned a left-hander shooting it from right to left would be running up range with the 1911. (As a graduate of Handgun 3 at Thunder Ranch, I do know how to back up while shooting, but it's not a common SASS skill. Most of Handgun 3 is shot backing up, flat on your back, or with one hand in a 4" PVC pipe, that sort of thing). Lots of running. Did I mention lots of running? If you just shot all 6 stages, you probably only ran 100 yards, but if you were one of the timer operators... There were only 4 WBROs, so we all ran a lot. If you can't talk the shooter through, say, clearing a double feed in a 1911, you shouldn't be working the timer in WB. 4 TOs is enough, but did I mention there was a lot of running?

I did something out of character. I shot first so I could relieve Tiger as TO. The first three stages were VERY complicated, so I wound up doing a walk through with the instructions and Tiger or Lyn, once realizing on the SECOND walk through that I'd missed that at one point you shot the plate rack with the pistol, then the rifle targets with the pistol, then the rifle targets with the rifle, then the rifle targets with the pistol again before moving to the next position. I only got one "Tex" procedural "for shooting the stage first," but in my defense, the shotgun order was, of 5 targets, center (not a knockdown), inside left knockdown, center, outside left knockdown, center, inside right knockdown, center, outside right knockdown. That is 8 isn't it?

The standard of shooting was high, with only one SDQ. a shooter on his first WB. He probably won't repeat the mistake. He wound up needing one more round, inserted another mag, fired the round, dropped the mag, and moved 2 steps before I could stop him. The slide was forward on a loaded round. Everybody eventually finds himself in the situation of having a malfunction that makes him need one more round. The solution is to keep a mag with one round in it. I use a blued mag, mounted backwards in the last pouch. The other mags are stainless and mounted frontward. I did see one shooter grab his "Barney Fife" when he needed a full mag.

One shooter had a pistol with, we think, a tight chamber. His ammo worked in another gun. The other guns all seemed to work when I was watching. In general the standard of shooting and gun handling has gone straight up since the first Buffalo Stampede WB match back when the earth was flat and dinosaurs ruled. The 1911s work. The '97s work. Fewer people are cutting the palms of their weak hands when loading the flat-based magazine. This was really evident at EOT, of course.

Tiger wanted to get it across that "Wild Bunch is not Cowboy Action Shooting with 1911s." Her stages were a good school in that regard.

Did I mention there was a lot of running?

The starting position was "not touching guns." This is Texas Tiger "Not touching guns"

Tiger "on the prowl" --photos by English Lyn

As expected, Tiger and Mica McGuire shot very well. Tiger is a multiple World Champion in LWBT, but the current Tiger would beat last year's Tiger handily. She has been working very hard on all aspects of this sport, and it shows. Hard work is still the secret to success in this sport. Well, first, you do have to have the talent and physical capabilities. I could spend twice as much time and ammo practicing, but I'm still 66 and out of warranty. The eyes haven't worked right since I was 49. This, of course, is why young men go to war, and old men send them.

We need a lot more WB shooters. There were very few of us putting the targets away, and Tiger used a lot, and multiple barrels and tables and fences.

July 13-14, 2012

Went to the HDD match Saturday. Good match. 1 big posse. Tex's granddaughter, Glorietta was there shooting Cat's guns. Buckarette. Very impressive.

The Mernickle rig sent off for resizing was in Saturday's mail. Perfect. Great turn around time. The 22" silk wild rag arrived, too. Seems like a good size for shooting. The scarf slide works with it, and the "tails" aren't too long. Plenty of length to tie together, too. SASS vendors have, for the most part, stuck with 36." But then, most of them specialize in band-collar shirts. Not wrong, just limited choice.

July 12, 2012, Thursday

Things are so crowded in the bus that Angelique can't find a bed of her own and has to share with George. Either that or she's a passive aggressive cat

Spoiled--Adj. 1. spoiled - having the character or disposition harmed by pampering or over solicitous attention; "a cat that is so spoiled he is waiting for the return of his second water dish before choosing one from which to drink" (Yes, the one shown has a fountain. Cats like fountains.)

Posse Marshal Mementoes

The folks at EOT give EOT Posse Marshals neat mementoes for doing that job, like a Colt SAA in .357*. Below are the 2010 and 2012 scarf slides. The 2012 is so shiny that's it's really difficult to photograph. The one on top needs polishing, making it easier to photograph. The bottom one just arrived, having been sent to my permanent address. Very nice:

Like other scarf slides from Lone Star, the loop on the back is very small, in this case about 1/2" x 1/4". The cotton scarf shown won't go through it.

This put me on a quest. I have a bunch of silk "Wild Rags," but they're all 36" x 36." Not being Tom Selleck's size, I find that a bit big. Redwing Trading obtained some 28" scarves for me, but they're cotton. They won't go through Lone Star's scarf slides. Fortunately I have friends who can find anything. Wild Horse John had met Terry Edwards at the Cowboy Christmas in Las Vegas during SASS Convention.

The company is:
Cowboy Images "Wild Rags"
Terry & Julie Edwards
141 East 50 North
Jerome, ID 83338
Ph. (208) 731-3621
Fax (208) 735-1594

They have 22" wild rags. So I've ordered one to see how that size works. They do custom sizes as well.

Joe Ming is on the left. His wild rag goes to the second row of buttons on his 6-button bib shirt. Mine, on the right, is 28" and goes to the bottom row. I'm pretty sure all lengths are "historically correct." I just don't like shooting wearing a 36" scarf because I have to tuck it into my shirt. Most SASS shooters solve this problem by not wearing a scarf/wild rag/bandana at all.

This reminds me I haven't seen any of my friends wearing their EOT belt buckles from this year, even though several won, and the buckles look spectacular. My excuse is my shotgun belt was on the tightest hole and was falling off at that, so it's off to Mernickle for resizing. It'll add at least an inch to the belt.

*No, wait, that was for the winner of the poker tournament. My bad. Actually over 40 guns were given away at EOT, by drawing except for that one. Yes, that is a LOT of guns.

The Mysterious ROA Lockup

Figured out the cause of yesterday's clean-match ruining lockup of "Heaven." No, it wasn't the lockup that occurs if you short stroke a ROA that has a hammer notch that is too deep. That has been cured on all my guns. Contact Rowdy Yates at Lee's Gunsmithing if you encounter that. This was a confluence of cosmic forces because I had failed to sacrifice for the clean match gods. Now all 3 usable ROAs ("Hell" is still not match worthy despite the best efforts of several name gunsmiths. But it's pretty) are squeaky clean, with the clean Slix-Shot nipples reset in Anti-Seize. I've only had 2 lockups not curable on the line in 10 years or so, not counting the "deep hammer notch," which have all been modified.+

Found at Founders Ranch:

This is a SASS trouser button. I am told some years back an entrepreneur wanted to make official SASS buttons, but they were never mass produced. So there are not many of these buttons out there. If it's yours, and you want it back, contact me.

July 11,2012, Wednesday

The second Wednesday RGR match-Lawless Lori Sue did the stages. Excellent match. All stand-and-deliver, 10-10-4, close targets. Was shooting clean when, on the 5th stage one Old Army locked up irretrievably. Never had one do it that bad. Wound up casing the gun, taking it home, and shooting another. In the shop it was cleared in a minute or so. Needed the proverbial rubber hammer and knowing where to hit. Didn't retrieve anything (yet) but suspect cap jam small enough to get into hammer slot and into works. I'll do a more detailed strip today. I spent more time getting the unfired balls out. I have a ball discharger that was doing fine but broke. Got one out with the rubber tip on the shop air compressor, but the other one wouldn't move. The dinky little air compressor does 120± psi. Really need a 150 psi compressor, but, unlike my sad history with Porter-Cable 150 psi compressors, this little Craftsman just keeps on working. Only a small compressor will fit and is needed anyway.

Anyway, got the ball out.

July 10. 2012, Tuesday

As expected, I had an early email (thanks Reuben J. Cogburn) with Tombstone Leather's web address. I was an idiot. I was searching for "Tombstone Leather" using various search engines and variations, all to no avail. Of course, had I looked under KNIGHTS LEATHER, I would have found it. How could I miss something so obvious? Here's the rest of the contact information:

Knights leather products
7868 Silverton Ave Suite # E San Diego,CA 92126
Phone : 858-695-8100
Fax: 858-695-8184

BTW, when I was searching for "Tombstone Leather," two of the first ten results were from this website.

Also BTW, the Knights Leather/Tombstone Leather website handles the bandoleer/bandolier spelling debate by calling it the Tupelo Bando, without much explanation or credit to Tupelo Flash.

July 9, 2012, Monday

I'm working on an article on Tombstone Leather's Tupelo Flash rig (finally) and went to pull up the company information, and I can find nothing current about them, and one listing has them as closed. Here are some photos of the rig. Any contact information would be appreciated.

What makes this well-made CAS rig different, of course, is the ammunition bandoleer. You will note I'm wearing a sombrero. I would consider it semi-mandatory to wear a sombrero if you're going to wear a bandoleer. The sombrero is the Captain John Hughes model by D-Bar J.

Instead of one piece on the top, the bandoleer is two, laced together, so it will hang better and stay in place. It's backed with suede, so it doesn't slip around, and the bottom is rounded so as to avoid interfering with the gunbelt. Normally bandoleers do not work for CAS because...

...when you pull a couple of shells, the bandolier, which cannot be tied down, comes with it. Oh, No Mr. Bill!

but this one does. The loops are tapered. When you get it, put some rounds in for a few days to mold it, using a little hot water if necessary. Then insert the rounds enough so they don't fall out, but not in vise tight. When you grab 2 rounds for your double, with, in this case,weak side index finger on top, thumb on the inside, roll the rounds outward.

The rounds roll out easily and consistently. Now your ammo is less than a foot from the chamber. You've saved a couple of feet of hand/arm movement vs. navel mounted ammo .T Bone Dooley talks of inches and feet in his training, not seconds. Distance, in this case, does equal time.

Similarly rifle ammunition is rolled out with the weak hand (right in this case)

or pulled out with the strong (left) hand

Tupelo Flash Demonstrated at the 2010 SASS Convention

Tupelo shoots a '97: In one, he slides his hand up toward the shotgun shells.

In two, he grabs 3 shells, thumb parallel to his fingers.

In 3 he rolls the shells out, not pulling, rolling. The loops are tapered. so they pop out easily if you, when you get yours, put shells in half way and leave them there for a week.

Now he has 3 in his hands. That's all he can grab with one hand.

In 5 imagine the '97 is staged. He grabs 2 with his strong hand and three with his weak hand.

Now he can throw one into the ejection port as he reaches the '97 then feed 4 more in as fast as he can shoot. Rifle loops can be placed for either strong hand loads like Tupelo uses or weak hand reloads like I use (T-Bone Dooley's method).

The gunbelt and holsters are first class construction. The holsters are well-designed, with a generous roll of the top lip so you don't catch the cylinder on the edge, and the holster acts as a funnel for speed-reholstering, a requirement unique among shooting sports to SASS shooting.

Now, why did it take me so long to do the test? I didn't receive the rig from Tombstone until the SASS Convention 2011. It had been ready at EOT 2011, but it didn't have the Tupelo Flash stamp on it, so they wouldn't let me have it. I've searched it pretty completely, and there is no makers stamp or Tupelo Flash stamp. After that, it's all my fault, that and I can't demonstrate and take pictures of myself simultaneously, so I needed Tex and Founders Ranch (or equivalent) to get the pictures. I did attempt to get an appropriately undressed topless model to do the demonstrating, but they all wanted money, resisting my promises to make them famous in the SASS world, and that the nudity would be tasteful and integral to the story line.

July 8, 2012, Sunday

Wild Bunch match at Founders Ranch. We need more people. Tex is putting on really good stages, his experimentation working well.

The gold plated front sight on the 1911 worked well, too. We had the 2 (hated) front-to-rear plated racks up at what would be rifle range in a CAS match, and I (slowly) took 10 with 10 shots.The rear target was about the size of the front sight at that range.

July 7, 2012, Saturday

The Bighorn Vigilantes moved their match to Founders Ranch, a good thing as Founders Ranch is a really good place to do SASS matches. It was a good match. They need more publicity--one posse, and a couple of people left early, so it went quickly.

July 6, 2012, Friday

Well, that's one way to lower CO2 emissions

July 5, 2012, Thursday

.45 ACP Wild Bunch Stuff

I've noticed that reliability has improved in the guns used in Wild Bunch. The 1911 is the most common culprit, and there are a few common threads when one fails. Generally ammunition is the problem.

The M1911A1, with a 16 lb. recoil spring, is designed to fire 230 Gr Full Metal Jacket ammunition at 800-850 ft./sec. This is a minimum power factor of 184. Wild Bunch only requires that ammunition exceed a power factor of 150. Compared to when we started, most contestants load legal ammunition. It is not necessary nor desirable to hug that 150 limit. Evil Roy's ammunition (and the people using his recipe) is usually around 170. This is a good target. You should load to achieve that at low altitude and cold weather, and then you won't have to worry about weather conditions. Hotter and higher altitude work in our favor.

If the 16 lb. recoil spring is sufficient for 184 power factor ammo, then there is no reason to put in a 18.5 lb. spring. It only makes the gun harder to rack at the start of the stage. It might also induce "stovepipe" malfunctions and/or failure to load the next round.

We can't use full metal jacket bullets, of course. We're shooting steel targets, so we need lead bullets. Many 1911 samples out there do not have throated barrels. The original barrel has a groove in the bottom of the chamber mouth to allow the FMJ bullet to enter smoothly. Those barrels will not feed odd shaped bullets such as semi-wadcutters or even round nose flat points or poorly shaped round nose. Any good 1911 gunsmith can cure this quickly and inexpensively. While he's there the chamber dimensions should be checked. A Series 80 Colt has a fairly tight chamber. A lot of match barrels have chambers made close to minimum specs for bullseye accuracy. My early 1980s Wilson Master Grade, with a Bar-Sto barrel, has always fed everything. Why? The gunsmith opened the chamber slightly with a chamber reamer. It is, after over 50,000 rounds, still fiendishly accurate. My Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special has a chamber that has either been reamed or made to a generous spec. It's very reliable, too.

While the gunsmith is doing those things, if your gun is denting brass, have him lower the ejection port enough to stop it. The original had a small ejection port to keep mud and crud out, and reloading brass after a firefight wasn't a consideration. Opening the ejection port doesn't improve reliability.

If the gun is "right," then having "right" ammunition is the next step. Some suggestions:

1. Use 230 gr. LRN bullets, not 200 gr. Semi-Wadcutters. 200 gr. Lead Round Nose Flat Point bullets meant for .45 Colt are a second choice. For some reason, if the power factor is the same, the heavier bullets seem to be more effective on knock-down targets. Most of the winners are using 230 gr. bullets. There are good and bad bullet molds for 230 gr. LRN bullets. Ones with a big, broad nose can be problematic with non-throated barrels.

The "Good" 230 gr, LRN bullet shape, offered by many bullet makers. These are by Bang N Clang Bullets (575) 853-3664, email: PO Box 797, Magdalena, NM 87825

2. Load them so that that "edge you see is exactly at the end of the case mouth. MOST MISTAKES ARE LOADING THEM TOO LONG. The .45 ACP case headspaces on the case mouth. In the photo above, the round in the center is correctly loaded. The one on the right has two problems. The bullet is seated very slightly too long, and there is a case bulge near the base (kind of hard to tell in the photo).

3, Use a Lee Factory Crimp Die. It will, properly adjusted, make a slight taper crimp and will re-size the case to the base. The case headspaces on the case mouth, so you don't want excessive crimp, where the brass digs into the lead. Then the round will headspace on the extractor, not the end of the world, but not as accurate and reliable. Most ammo problems cause a failure to go into battery. A bulge in the case will do that. There are accessories available to resize the case all the way to the rim, but if you haven't been shooting hot loads in overly-throated guns, you probably won't need them.

4. Weigh your bullets. The above Bang N Clang bullets were loaded to a Brinell hardness of 12, where 16 is considered "hard." The result is they weigh 235 gr. I have seen "230 Gr." bullets that weighed 225 in the past. I weighed a couple of batches of 10, at random from a box of 500. One batch had a high of 236.4 and a low of 235.0. Avg 235.9, They should, therefore, run a bit slower than 230s. This is no problem IF YOU REPORT THE CORRECT WEIGHT AT CHRONO TIME. All of their rounds run "heavy." 200 Gr. LRNFP .45 Colt rounds averaged 203.5, and 125 gr. .38 Specials averaged 127.9. These "overages" are no problem and are not undesirable. But a 235 gr. bullet only needs to go 638 ft./sec. to be legal, and a 230 has to go 652. I haven't chronoed them to see if they run slower or not. A problem could occur if your "230 Gr." bullets weighed 225, and you didn't know it, and they weighed them. Of course, running a comfortable velocity cushion is always a good idea.

5, Run ALL match ammunition through a chamber checker:

EGW chamber checker from Dillon. Each round should go in all the way and fall out when the checker is turned upside down. It you have to tap them out, this is okay. Despite the horror it causes Birdshot, a Hodgdon exec, I tumble my match ammo for 10-15 minutes to get off case lube, bullet lube, etc., and then, as a nice extra, all of the ammo will fall out. While the ammo is in the case checker, you can catch high primers and bent or gnarled rims. Note the second round from the left on the top row will not go all of the way in.

The round that wouldn't fit in the case checker. It has a case bulge that would probably pass visual inspection. The bullet is seated slightly long, probably not enough to interfere with going into battery. Running the round through the Dillon seater die and Lee Factory crimp die again solved the length problem, but not the bulge. One bulged case out of 500 is not justification for getting the Lee "Bulge Buster" dies, but it is justification for chamber checking every round.

6. Use the "Michelin" solution to bad ammo, not the "American Tire Company now Michelin owned" solution. Way back when, in the 70s, when Michelin was revolutionizing the tire business, on the American tire production line, when they discovered an out-of-spec situation, they pulled it aside into a repair lane and tried to fix it. Michelin pulled it off the line and shredded it. If it's iffy, you can put it in your practice box with a big red mark on the end, but if it gets into your EOT ammo you might hate yourself in the morning.

7. Matches now are going to the "remote" ammo checking method. They're collecting ammo without warning to prevent you from slipping them "special" ammo, and they're chronoing it in their guns. If it fails, then they use your gun with the next 5 rounds. Thus your ammo needs to make it in your gun, which might have a tight chamber, and "their" gun. At EOT my 1911 ammo had a PF of 172 on "their" gun and, the week before, 168 on mine. ALWAYS test your ammo.

8. FYI, I use 4.0 gr. WST, and had these results: Hi-741
Avg 730
Extreme Spread 24
Standard Deviation 9
PF: 167.9

The extreme spread and standard deviation are both low numbers. Usually low SD goes with good accuracy. At the same session Garrison Joe was using 200 gr. LRNFP and 4.7 gr. WST and had about the same PF and SD.

9. Every part of that cartridge affects the Powder Factor, bullet design, shape, and weight, the length they're seated, amount of crimp primers, and powder. Change one, and the PF changes. If you're loading to 170± and something lowers it by 10%, which is a lot, you're still legal.

Gold Front Sights

Mose N Bella gold plated the sights of all of my competition revolvers, and, with my terrible eyesight, has made a big difference. This is LEGAL in Wild Bunch MODERN, but not TRADITIONAL. So I had them do my modern 1911s at EOT.

My 1980s Wilson Master Grade Series 70 Colt with the front sight plated by Mose N Bella. We shoot black targets, sometimes white targets. Gold shows very well on both. I look forward to the first major match with all gold targets. I have a black Sharpie and know how to use it.


July 4, 2012, Wednesday

Happy Independence Day

July 3, 2012, Tuesday

No wonder the post orifice is in trouble. Went to the "nearest" post orifice. Walked in, line of 20 people, one clerk. Wanted a medium Priority Mail box. They didn't have any. Found one that would work. Went to the car to tape it together and discovered it was for APO/FPO use only. Got on Siri and found another post orifice. I put that one in the nav memory. They had the right box. (I'm sending the gun and SG belt to Mernickle because they're both too big. I stopped working about my diet and lost 2" in waist and pants size.) Was treated well, no line. But the clerk mentioned they just got the proper boxes in this morning.

I have TV in the trailer using a cable from the outside TV outlet in the bus. A cable had failed. I thought it was the one connecting the TV to the counter plug. No, it was the one that required emptying the storage under the counter to get to, then disassembling the external connection box, threading the cable out, and the new one in. BUT the new cable has more insulation and no longer goes through a 1/2" hole. To top things off, all of the 19.3V tool batteries were dead and only hold a charge for a short time, so it was hard to use a drill. I have 2 chargers and multiple batteries in the shop. Time to go lithium, which requires a new charger. 2 hours to get the TV working and everything put back up. It's about 100°F outside. Kind of ruined my plans of getting much done in the shop.

July 2, 2012, Monday

Worked in the garage.

July 1, 2012, Sunday

Went to the BRR match at Founders Ranch. Shot 3 EOT stages, including my nemesis, stage 6, with 9 rifle knockdowns, 3 little-bitty cowboys and circles at 700 yards or so, at least that's how they looked after 10 clean stages and the fatigue factor on the last day of what had been, for me, 8 days of shooting, 5 as PM (no stress there). I hit the first one on the base, and the white buffalo flew over the berm. Today, no problems, of course, clean and much faster. Nothing like shooting with no pressure.

Photos that arrived too late for the EOT page. I added them to the page, but some of you had already read it, so I reprinted here for people who missed them.

Texas Tiger with 2 World Championship globes

Texas Tiger, Ladies Wild Bunch Traditional World Champion (again) and Ladies Wrangler World Champion (again). shown with the new trophies given to World Champions. She and husband and gun cart driver English Lyn also received well-deserved Regulator badges.

1916 Captain

The judges for the Wild Bunch Costume Contest reverted to roving for contestants. This is a tough way to be a judge. I did it once at Winter Range, while shooting, too, and decided quickly I'm not up to both. But here they limited their roving to one day, so contestants knew when to "dress up." Cat Ballou, Captain Cooper, and, of course, Copper Queen were the judges. Cat was the photographer for the group, but Tex's camera went down that morning, so he gave her his iPad. If you have used an iPad or iPhone as a camera, you know that you can't see a damn thing on the screen in the bright sun unless you're 17 or so. After many attempts to photograph me, Cat enlisted one Cadet Sanchez, who took this photo in front of the Alamo Saloon. This is a 1916 Eleventh Cavalry captain's uniform from the Mexican Punitive Expedition (General Pershing's fight against Pancho Villa.) The uniform is the M1916 uniform with flap shirt pockets and officer's trousers, which had front pockets. The hat meets the Army regulations of the time which were pretty broad, allowing 3" to 4" brim, and crowns up to 6". This one has a 4" brim and 5" crown. The brim stitching is per the regulations. It has a gold and black officer's hat cord and civilian goggles. Goggles were no issued but became common, especially with personnel riding in 1914 Dodge touring cars and motorcycle couriers. Leather puttees are over M1905 Marching Shoes. The shoes were spit-shined before the match, a total waste of time. Period correct collar rank insignias, unobtainable in antique form*, are made by the Weingarten Gallery. ( Photos show officers wearing their ties much of the time. The leather gear is a combination of civilian and military gear. Officers could do that, and the US Army didn't issue left-handed holsters. 2LT George Patton bought a holster for the engraved, ivory handled, nickel plated SAA that he had bought in Tombstone, AZ at a leather shop in El Paso.** The upper belt is pure SASS (Mernickle), while the lower belt is close to the garrison belt of the day and has a M1913 leather mag pouch. The holster is Mernickle. This won the costume contest.

*I have 2 sets pf antique insignias, but they were the correct size for epaulets on the tunic. They're very delicate. Smaller collar rank was used, I'm guessing because the maximum effective range of a Mauser rifle was over 300 meters, and officers were good targets.

**Faced with the right-hand only holster problem I bought a left-handed holster that looked much like a Patton holster for my 1911A1 in An Loc, Vietnam in September, 1969. I believe it wasn't properly tanned. I could clean the pistol, put it in the holster, and count to ten and pull it out. Rust would be on all of the edges. Very embarrassing when a COL asked to see it. But then everything was corrosive there.

Curt's Newsletter

This web started as Curt's Newsletter, a monthly newsletter I sent to customers. I've removed most of it to leave room for current stuff. I'm no longer concerned with Mercedes-Benz sales. I left in the last year. That was the genesis of going full time RVing and going to SASS matches full time. A few tidbits from some of the deleted issues:

His master wondered what fluffy did all day while he was at work until he received the $750 bill for Pay-Per-View for the month of May. He didn't even know there was a Playboy Channel for Cats

Words to live by, from my favorite philosophers:

"A man ought to know his limitations." Harry Callahan

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" Yogi Berra.

"An armed society is a polite society." Robert A. Heinlein

"And vice versa." Curt Rich

"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

"It's useless to step on the brakes when your car is upside down." (Stand on it, by Stroker Ace)

"Semper ubis, sub ubis." Plato's mother

"Taxation with representation ain't so hot, either." Anonymous.

"You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time," Abraham Lincoln

"You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, and those are pretty good odds," Beauregard Maverick.

"Everybody dies," sign in a barracks at Phu Loi, South Vietnam.

"There are atheists in foxholes. They're the enemy," briefing at orientation at MACV, Saigon, 1969.

"It's better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick," anonymous.

"Eat dessert first. Life is uncertain." Graffiti.

"A Smith and Wesson beats 4 aces," Canada Bill

"This side toward enemy," sign on the front side of Claymore mines.

"Follow me," U. S. Army Infantry School motto. Sums up leadership in 2 words

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little effect on society," Mark Twain. (Twain lived before the time of Madonna or Kim Kardashian.)


No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

"A man can never have too many red wines, too many books, or too much ammunition."

Jeff Cooper

"I believe a self-righteous liberal with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's Angel with an attitude."

Ted Nugent

"Don't be a deer caught in the headlights of the Kenworth of life!"

Clint Smith

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast." - Unknown

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this." - Anonymous

"Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow." - Jeff Valdez

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

"As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat." - Ellen Perry Berkeley

"One cat just leads to another." - Ernest Hemingway

"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later." - Mary Bly

"Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia." - Joseph Wood Krutch

"People that hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life." - Faith Resnick

"There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats." - Anonymous

"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." - Hippolyte Taine

"Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God." - Unknown

"Time spent with cats is never wasted." - Colette

"Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well." - Missy Dizick

"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats." - Colonial American proverb

"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want." - Joseph Wood Krutch

"Cats aren't clean, they're just covered with cat spit." - John S. Nichols

With Tequila filming an episode of Cowboys TV some years back. Yes, I weigh a lot less now. I had tested the Taurus Thunderbolt. Tequila asked me on camera if it would change Cowboy Action Shooting. I said, "If it works, it will." It didn't. The scene of him emptying the magazine of black powder rounds at the end required several takes. It's out of production now.

Sometimes being the Captain is good--with The Carolina Belles at Tin Star Ranch filming Cowboys TV



The Redhead a few years ago. If you're wondering how I got an angel like that, so am I