October 2010 Journal


September 30, 2010, Thursday

Took the ROAs to Office Solutions in Clarksville. They had me sign a form saying what was in the box. Then it got really exciting as I, fearing a drive to Dallas or Texarkana or Los Angeles to get to a FedEx hub in case they were as stupid as the guy at ABQ FedEx-Kinko, tap-danced and tight-rope walked metaphorically speaking in an effort to convince them that FedUp does, indeed, ship black-powder firearms. Of course, these ladies didn't know the difference between a handgun and a howitzer, much less understand the Federal rules on "non-firearms". Finally one lady read the FedUp handbook, and they accepted the package. Ain't life grand in the land of the over-regulated and the home of too many useless bureaucrats?

Shot 6 "stages" at the range using the spare ROAs and conversion cylinders. Used "practice" ammo in the shotgun, guaranteeing I'd have to pluck a few shells out of the shotgun. Had a squib in the rifle, a really, really rare occurrence with my ammo. Of course, if I were one of the SASS Wire regulars, I'd belittle anyone who had a squib and swear that I'd never had one with my perfect ammunition. These people are known as liars. If you load ammunition in any volume, you fit into one of two categories, those who have had squibs, and those who will.

September 29, 2010, Wednesday

Shot the engraved ROAs for 8 stages. Never duplicated the lock-up problem, and they worked perfectly. When cleaning them the "right" gun locked up. Called Rowdy Yates. He returned the call, and I'm going to send him the guns tomorrow. He knows what the problem is, and it isn't hard to fix, but, obviously, no gunsmith in English, Texas is a Ruger Old Army (or 3-screw) expert.

September 28, 2010, Tuesday

Today's best email:

Captain Baylor,

I enjoyed your Wild Bunch Class very much and wanted to thank you again for so graciously taking your time and sharing your experience. The Territorial Marshals are hoping to build interest in Wild Bunch and perhaps add a monthly Wild Bunch shoot.

Good luck in your travels and be safe.

Bois D’Arc SASS # 27951

September 27, 2010, Monday

Went to the National Cowboy Museum. Not much change since last time. Still dark rooms with explanatory signs down at ground level. Frustrating.

After that we went looking for a solution to our tire problem. Found an Auto Zone and got a Schrader valve tool and some inserts. I wanted to just change the extension, but they didn't have any. Found a truck tire store in between Flying J and Love's. Mistakenly got out of the car. Didn't go unarmed, which would soon be comforting. The Tire Store was populated by tattooed gang members. If I were from Central Casting, I would have given them all my card and guaranteed them a lot of work as extras. While asking about getting new extensions, I was mentally arranging myself so that none of them were behind me. There were 5 of them, Hmm, 8 rounds of .45 ACP + 1 8 round magazine...

They didn't have any extensions, and I got the hell out.

It turned out that tightening the Schrader valves and adding a little air to each of the problem tires solved the problem.

Recent RV Parks:

Amarillo Ranch RV Park

At Amarillo Ranch they put all of the big rigs that are just spending a day or two in one area.

Twin Fountains RV Park, Oklahoma City

I had no idea how hilly OKC was. This section of Twin Fountains RV Park was something out of Alice in Wonderland after a few joints. Everything was on a different level. The "flat" area of each spot was not one foot longer than needed. Then it went up or down hill on both ends. Well, some of them went almost straight down at one end. You pulled in, and if you went too far, you probably high centered or toppled onto your nose.

Our bus is level. Note that the site isn't. The step off the stairs is a doozie. Fore and aft the front jacks are considerably further down than the rear, compounding the problem. But the park is beautiful, and it's convenient to the Cowboy Museum. If you're not 65 feet long there are no problems.

September 26, 2010, Sunday

Moved to an RV Park. Before moving I checked and adjusted tire pressure on all the rig and trailer wheels. Front tires are beyond the capacity of the little shop compressor and tax the diesel's air compressor. I need 110 psi. 100-105 easy. Above that difficult.

One inside duallie wheel's tire pressure sensor had been rubbing against the outside wheel and had worn off a lot of the plastic cover. I put on Chinese duct tape to protect it. More will be done later. On the other side, however, I had more problems. The extension, which is about an inch too short, came off with the sensor. Once I got it back on (10mm socket, extension, ratchet drive), it was leaking through the Schrader valve. Leak stopped when i put the sensor on. Had the same problem with the right front tire. Finally got it inflated to 105 and got the sensor on. Gave up. I'll work on it tomorrow. Everything worked fine on the drive to the RV Park.

Since both of us were in German food withdrawal, and since there are several German restaurants in the OKC area, we went to the Royal Bavarian Restaurant and Brewery. They serve classic Bavaria cuisine. The Jaegerschnitzel was really excellent (veal, but they'll do pork for $1 less). Excellent spaetzel, okay salad, REALLY good apple struedel with Vanilla ice cream, and one serving was enough for 3 or 4, but we ate it anyway.

I'd love to be able to explore the rest of the menu, but the lady at the VA in charge of my weight loss would have me killed.

Letter of the Day:

Okay I failed bp sub for dummies. I loaded 777 fffg (3 grains weight) 130 gr rnfp in 38 spl. no fillers and no wads. Made lots of smoke. Hit the targets from pistol and rifle. However, I am told my other shoots that it didn’t have much umph and I needed to up the load. To what??? Not have any backing from the manufacturer is a real bummer. Do you or do you know someone that can give me a load table. Would the cartridges work better if I used if I used a filler like you described as the insulation stuff?

Clint Locke, SASS# 86527


The reason there are no load tables is the way black powder and substitutes work is you adjust the powder measure to throw a charge that almost fills the case, leaving enough room for the bullet. With 777 you don't want compression, but the .38 special case is too small to worry about small air spaces if you don't put in quite enough. Rocket science it isn't. This is the load I keep in my gun cart for knockdowns. It's a pretty warm load. If it is hotter or smokier than you want, you can go as low as 12 gr./weight and still make the smoke standard. No filler is needed. You can also get lower velocity by substituting FFg. Make sure it works in your powder measure as it is coarser.

September 25, 2010, Saturday

Second 5 stages. Left gun locked up when I short-stroked it, causing 2 misses. Got 2 more on the stage. Brisco had gotten a procedural, but he was still ahead. After that he got further ahead as I shot slow.

Nice banquet the local college. Good food for the money. Excellent service for a banquet. The bar didn't usually do Margaritas, so what they served as a Margarita showed it. The Redhead got me a Tanqueray and tonic. I don't remember much after that for a while. I believe they put alcohol in that drink. Brisco won Frontiersman. I was second. Didn't remember the names of the next 7 Frontiersmen. Also didn't remember who won WB Traditional. Brisco was second. I was third. There were several in Traditional. 23 shooters in all (2 posses). They ran the event by SASS rules, not some local kluge.

September 24, 2010, Friday

First 5 stages, then the 3 stage Wild Bunch match. Didn't shoot well in the main match. 2 misses, slow times. Good stages, good posse. The Brisco Kid out shot me. I think he was clean.

I knew the Wild Bunch match was lost on the last stage. Had to shoot it well to beat Brisco, who had already shot. It was all knockdowns except for one dump target. Brisco shot the first 5 plates, missed 3, but, when he hit the 4th one, the first 3 fell over. So he was clean. When I shot, I hit them all, but 3 didn't go down (low left hits). The gods of shooting matches are pissed at me for some reason.

September 23, 2010, Thursday

Side match day. At 4 PM I gave a Wild Bunch seminar. Around 30 attended. They gave rapt attention and asked good questions. Made it easy. Enthusiastic group.

September 22, 2010, Wednesday

Mary Lou Harvey died recently, too young. Her obituary,

September 21, 2010, Tuesday

Lone Rider Fort Parker Rig:

Jack Houston is donating this fabulous rig to "Defend Old Fort Parker." Makes me want to shoot there, but I can't make it.

Drove to the Oklahoma City Gun Club. 2 members of the Oklahoma Territorial Marshals were there to help me get the rig in. The entrance is tight, but doable. I'm parked about 25 yards from Stage 19. Very nice range. Individual berms, all heavily grown over with vegetation. Gravel RV spots with water and power (4 RV's to a faucet/power pedestal). Ours takes up 2 spots.

The stages look good. Haven't examined all in detail. Found one !$#!%~! aerial target, a flyer, not a popup. Gives me flashbacks to THSS 1999. Show me any legitimate documentation of anyone in an old west gunfight who took off and flew away, and I'll drop my objections to same in a sport that is supposed to be paying homage to old west gunfights.

Received the second letter complaining that my Wild Bunch for Dummies article in the Chronicle recommended an unsafe practice, namely tumbling loaded rounds for 15 minutes to remove case lubricant.

From: CV-2001 & CV-500 Vibratory Case Cleaner Instruction Manual,
May 2007

Tumbling Loaded Ammo
Some people have taken to tumbling their loaded
ammunition to remove the lube on the brass cases. While
this does work, remember to not exceed 15-20 minutes
of tumbling time. We have found that lead bullets or
exposed lead on jacketed bullets becomes dirty black and
are not easily cleaned.


September 20, 2010, Monday

The plan was to pick up a Taylor's 1911A1 from Long Hunter. However, he didn't have it. I called Taylor's. They said they were going to ship it tomorrow. Told them to ship it to T-Bone's shop instead. Still visited Long Hunter. The new retail shop is a long way from open. Old building. Lots of stuff to bring up to code, etc. The gunsmithy is up and running. Looks very good. Brad was working on a '73. Long Hunter isn't taking rifle orders at this time. Too hard, too time consuming, too difficult getting parts. Sticking to pistols. Rugers are easy to get. USFA at least 12 weeks, longer if you order engraved back strap, etc.

Went to Palo Duro Canyon. I'd recommend at least a full day, but I was glad to see it. I'd wanted to for some time. The roads are VERY twisty, but I saw some big RV's going in and parked along the way.

September 19, 2010, Sunday

Drove to Armadillo, Texas. Went looking for a restaurant. Olive Garden was full of people waiting for a table. We were the only patrons under 300 lb., and that includes the kids. Long wait predicted. We ran like rabbits. Then several restaurants in navigation were no longer there. Wound up at the Big Texan Steakhouse. Didn't get the 72 oz. steak. I figured the little filet would add 2 lb. (I was right.)

September 10-18, 2010

Got too busy to write on this, deadlines for the Cowboy Chronicle. Shot two matches over the weekend, a side match Saturday with RGR. Lots of fun. Needed more ammo and more time, not to mention more energy. Sunday with HDD. Shot badly again.

Got the vehicles ready to travel. Going east tomorrow.

Finally got to 165.6 today.

Today got the trailer as clean as it's been in a long time. Then went to service the battery tray. But I couldn't get it out. The latch wouldn't release. It's a common problem on Newmar's (and probably others) according to the Newmar Diesel Pusher Forum. But the car was in the trailer, blocking me from most of the things I needed. Got The Redhead to help, but we couldn't do it. By the end I was exhausted and dehydrated. Drank a gallon or two of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquid as an alternative to an ambulance ride. Methinks a dealer will have to be involved. They probably get the problem all the time.

September 9, 2010, Thursday

Weight down to 166.8. Took this long to get rid of the Reuben sandwich. There's probably a lesson there.

Dentist-check after the periodontal work. Everything is better. They cleaned the teeth. They worked in shifts from 0800 to 1900. Boy is my mouth tired.

September 8, 2010, Wednesday

RGR Wednesday match, 4 stages, all at longer than normal ranges, all P traps. I fell apart on the last one, getting a P and 2 misses. This is probably good practice for the people going to the New Mexico State Championship in Magdalena. I'll be in Oklahoma by then. But they might, who knows, have the targets way out, so I took it as useful practice. I don't think they're going to, but I haven't been to this club's matches before.

September 7, 2010, Tuesday

VA-urology. The PSA is still into the 0.00+ category.

September 6, 2010, Monday, Labor Day

The ROA returned via UPS. Looks really good!

Finished making .45-70 rounds. I have 149. That's a good supply for Plainsman since I can't practice much.

September 5, 2010, Sunday

Went to Founders Ranch for the Buffalo Range Riders match. Didn't do too bad. Missed one on the first stage. No white buffalo. The 6 stages with lunch took from 0900 to after 4 PM! Good posse. Fun stages. Just LONG.

September 4, 2010, Saturday

I came to the conclusion that I was low on .45-70 rounds. There is, allegedly, a Plainsman match at Comin' At'Cha. So I started loading them. Gary Kieft of Dillon said of loading .45-70 on a XL650 is like watching a monkey play football. It's not how well he plays football, it's the fact that he can do it at all that is amazing.

If I had my old shop, I would put a Dillon 550 on the 20 ft. long countertop (!) and dedicate it to .45-70s. But I don't. I don't try to feed them with the case feeder. I just put the large tube up and load 9 at a time into the tube. Most of the time getting the round to feed correctly to station one without nudging (or more) is rare. Station 1 is full-length resizing and decapping (RCBS). I use case lube and have the resizer screwed down as low as possible to make sure the rounds will go into the chamber, and, after firing, come out(!) Station 2 is a Dillon powder measure. I have the big, but not magnum, powder bar, so I can make fairly strong rounds or wimpy close-up rounds. I have a reasonable number of 50 gr. APP stick loads, so I was making semi-wimpy rounds. I used Goex Express 2f because I still have some. It's overkill for Plainsman. At Station 3 there is no die, and I can fill the case with ground corn cob. Since I'm using smokeless bullets (because that's what is on hand), I put a Wonder Wad clone on top. Station 4 expands the case mouth and compresses the corn cob (RCBS). Station 5 seats nd crimps the bullet (RCBS).

Before I could get any loaded, however, the die at station 1 broke the decapping pin and the threaded rod it's attached to. I have another decapping/sizing die, but there's a .45-70 case stuck in it. If it were a Dillon die, I would unscrew the decapping pin portion and put a screwdriver or something through the hole and hammer the round out. But RCBS didn't design their dies so well. It requires a stuck case extractor kit.

So I had to go to Sportsman's looking for parts. I came home with enough to get both dies going again and made a few rounds. Ran out of time to do them all.


September 3, 2010, Friday

Weighed this morning: 168.8. That Reuben sandwich for lunch yesterday was a killer.

We went to see The American. Quick review: "The ads were better than the movie." The Redhead.

Playboy called it a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. One is showing on a TV in one scene. That's about as close as it gets. It is an Italian movie with actors from different countries, but with subtitles instead of dubbing. George Clooney plays an assassin who wants out of the business but has a bunch of Swedes trying to kill him. (Yes, Swedes are the bad guys. They're so dangerous, you know.) For gun nuts there's some gun work. Clooney carries a Walther PPK, you know, that gun that's very useful if you're afraid of being attacked by a chihuahua. I have one, an absolute work of art by Earl Long...

Welded on beavertail to prevent one of the PPK's worst features, the slide ripping your hand apart if you hold the gun a little high. Smith and Wesson J-frame sights.

Hand Cut checkering on the front and back of the grip frame.

... but I don't carry it very often and never as the only gun.) Of course, Clooney can make impressive shots with his. The PPK does have advantages if you're in anti-gun europe and need full concealment. He keeps it in a pocket most of the time. He is tasked with providing a sniper rifle that will fit into a Samsonite briefcase. A mailing tube shows up at the post office (at a little Italian town on a mountain, Castel del Monte). A disassembled Ruger "M-14" arrives. Yes, I know it's a Mini-14. He assembles it, then threads the barrel and makes a suppressor in his hotel room, a small drill press and vise being apparently standard equipment in Italian hotel rooms. There are a few semi-exciting gunfights and a little suspense, but you can figure out the ending about 15 minutes in. The love interest (Violante Placido) is a local prostitute. There is nudity and a sex scene.

What there isn't is dialogue. I think I'll add "Dialogue coach for The American" to my fake resume. The character is a man of few words, indeed. Beautiful scenery. Good looking naked Violante Placido. Ladies, Clooney is also nude in one scene.

The first reviews in IMDB:

Same old assassin story badly executed........save your 1 hour 40 min, 3 September 2010
Author: hobobobo2010 from United States
OK, so we watched this movie about 20 minutes ago and I normally don't write movie reviews. But after watching this one I consider it my duty to warm my fellow human beings...so here it goes:

George Clooney is a great actor.....no doubt about that.........but this one is his worst movie I have ever seen. The story line is unoriginal and poorly executed.......the movie is excruciatingly slow and is no thriller.....it felt like someone reading a bad novel to you and trying to put you to sleep...except that you can't even sleep.

It is 1 hour 40 minutes of torture and waste of you time...It is the typical I am the best assassin there is, I can't trust no-one, I keep looking over my shoulder, and I want out of this profession movie........no twists, no turns, no mystery......just flat out straightforward boring story. If you must still watch to find out for yourself.....you have been warned !!

The Redhead left depressed. I guess Italians and Swedes will like it, well, probably not Swedes. I'll give it 3 (out of 5) stars for having gun work in it, 3 for nudity and a sex scene that wors), 3 for scenery,1 for everything else,-5 for using a @#$$!%! Fiat for the car, -10 for depressing The Redhead,

September 2, 2010, Thursday

Weighed first thing: 166.2. Spent most of the day at the VA. 0900 Primary Care. Weighed 174.5 on their scale, but BMI was still 26. Apparently I've shrunk in height since the last time (68.5"--no real surprise. We all shrink with age, and I sure abused my spine during my misspent youth. I'm sure all of the disks are pounded thin.) Finally got a referral to neurosurgery for the ulnar nerve compression and to the hand clinic for the thumbs. After refusing to authorize a cholesterol test last week the doctor realized I hadn't had a cholesterol test in a year, and I needed one. At least he had his nurse draw the blood. Otherwise I'd have gone through the horror of the lab waiting room again. After getting the arm and hands x-rayed I went by the lab (the only place I've found selling soft drinks) and bought a Diet Pepsi (turned out to be a cherry Diet Pepsi!) The waiting room was full and at least 10 people were standing up. One guy was auctioning off a number only 5 away. I believe the bidding reached 4 figures before I could get out of there.

1100 was nutrition. which means visiting Mistress Nora, Mistress of Pain and Suffering. On 4-22-10 I weighed 190 on a VA scale. On 5-21 it was 191.5. On 7-22 185.0. On 8-10 180.5. Today it was 173.5. Mistress Nora and I discussed Top Shot. (Actually, Nora isn't her real name, and she is s very nice girl. No whips have been seen yet, but then I've been losing steadily.)

At 1400 Physical Therapy officially threw up their hands and said they'd see me after the hand surgery. They described it. I think I'll have to get a lot worse to go that route. Anyway, that'd kill a SASS season.)

September 1. 2010, Wednesday

Went to the Rio Grande Renegades "practice session." It starts at 1000. You can't shoot unless 2 members are there. At 1015 I gave up waiting and headed home. I made it all the way to Paseo Del Vulcan and met Wheelin' Dealin' Don and Sweet Becky Sue's long wheel base van (very identifiable). Turned around and went to the bay and started setting up targets. Then, while I was at the ML, a minivan drove up, and the driver said, "Is this where we can get training on shooting Single Actions?" Boggus Deal had sent him when he visited Petersen's gun store.

I invited him and the lady with him in. One of his 2 SAA clones wouldn't work. It was 10 years old and unfired. Insufficient clearance between the cylinder and the recoil shield prevented rotating the cylinder with a round in. The other one worked. The lady had an American Arms .22 semi-auto that she hadn't shot. It didn't work very long. Both of them pointed guns at all of us about 40 times. I'd give the "Don't do that" lecture, and they'd be pointing at one of us as soon as I finished. I'm much calmer about this than I used to be. I still don't recommend it.