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Friday, June 29, 2012

Another Hot day

Leading into another Holiday. It is going to be HOT!.. So I have declared if you in good physical condition you may use the clothing optional approach. If your not (and you know who you are) summer attire is requested. Okay that does not mean speedo's and wife beaters- Daisy Dukes or tube tops unless your a size 5 or smaller and never for Men. Leave that for shopping at Wally World. Men an infraction will cost you your Man Card. Enjoy the weekend stay hydrated if you got to be out.

Don't forget to to support your local Fireworks stand

Free Marlin Rifle giveaway

There's still time to get in on this. Follow the link and enter. It's quick free and painless.

Tell 'm I sent ya.... no really! .... tell'm I sent ya.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chutin Wimmen Racin' and Likkar in a Jar: New Toy “Needs a name”

Chutin Wimmen Racin' and Likkar in a Jar: New Toy “Needs a name”:  Several years ago I found a couple of Cap and Ball revolvers in a Adoption Center near here. The price was reasonable for the pair so I ...

New Toy “Needs a name”

 Several years ago I found a couple of Cap and Ball revolvers in a Adoption Center near here. The price was reasonable for the pair so I brought them home. They were looking sad there at the Group Home. I played with them a bit and intended on using them for main match pistols. However I had never been able to complete an entire match with them. Sometimes even a stage was difficult. Finally one stopped working. It sat in the safe. So in a round about way it made its way down the South East part of Virginia in Ivor. (Don’t blink)  Where it met a master Cap and Ball gun hand.  Who would take on the task of repairing and tuning.  In the mean time I found a Reproduction 1860 Army Barrel and wedge, at a on line service. So I purchased it and then cut the barrel down to a inch ahead of the lug. Then sent it to Nate at Firearms Sales Inc. Nate was able to match up the barrel and modify the wedge.  Where I now have .44 C&B Pocket gun or a “Belly Gun”. Then in a few seconds I can switch it back to the 5inch barrel and return it to the Pocket Police style. I know Colt didn’t make them in .44 cal. This is a Spanish or Italian model, I won’t say clone. This morning after work I drove the 2 plus hours one way and picked it up, then left 2 more for a tuning.  Some pictures were taken and tomorrow morning early before the heat of the day gets here I will go test it out.
  Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

If you have any ideals for a name let me know

The how to reload; Brass Shotgun shells with Black Powder. Part II

Let’s get started. Part 2

  By now you have either gathered up the items you need or have them on order. So now you are ready to get started. So put your safety glasses on and let’s get going. (Author’s comment, If you have to be told to wear safety glasses then you might not want to do this on your own. I don’t want to sound like a smart ass. There are so many critical people who would comment on not using them, then there’s the Lawyer thing. That alone is enough said on the subject.) First my Brass has all been used. If yours has been used, then run them thru the Tumbler or Vibrator with what ever method you like for cleaning brass. That is a whole different subject.  For the sake of this article from here on thru we will intend the brass has been used. However if yours is new out of the box, then use what parts of this section you need and retain the rest for future use. After cleaning and running thru the media separator, I then begin removing spent primers. This can be done with a homemade tool and or a awl or a Lee replacement decapping pin, in this case I use the brass mandrill lower left of picture in Photo #1

Placing the cleaned hull on the on the depriming anvil (center) a 7/8” deep well socket will work.  I am able to drive the spent primer from the inside of the hull out thru the center hole in the anvil. A good solid blow from a mallet is required. This method also
Ensures the brass has not been deformed or smashed.  With the brass mandrill you can sometimes take a brass or rubber mallet and tap/shrink tap the hulls back to shape. Now that you have deprimed the hulls. It is time to clean all your primer pockets. This is a tedious task. It is not hard to do but takes a bit of time. Commercial primer pocket tools are readily available from any the companies that offer reloading tools and accessories, you can also use a pocket size screwdriver with a flat tip. Just give it a couple of twist and scrape any excessive build up out. Picture #2 I am using a commercial bought tool.

Tap or blow out any loose particles.  When you are happy with each piece. You’ll know.  Well move to the top end and give it a quick cleaning. I do this for one reason basically. I want to give a good clean surface for the glue to dry on the last step. So here’s how I do it. I use a ¾” plumber’s pipe fitting brush. Seen on the table above, with the wire loop handle. I give few quick turns of it in the mouth of the hull. You need not go all the way down unless you visually found something needing removed.
I must warn if you clean all the way down with a new brush you may really have to pull and twist hard to get it out. It will come out it just takes a little muscle. I will try to show a picture of how they look later when they are clean in the final chapter.
Picture #3 cleaning the mouth of the hull. Now you may substitute some fine 400 grit or finer sand paper or some 0000 steel wool. Just make sure blow out any fragments’ and dust.

The dog is there to point anything I drop.

This process all done and you have visually inspected for cracks and any other deformities we can move on and prime the hull. Again I am not here to pimp any Name Brands. Anything you see me using is by choice, not product placement.  In the photo below #6 and photo #7 not a real good photo and I hope it will still help. I have placed the new primer on a solid block of steel. This came with my reloading set. However many other things can be used? I however don’t use this method and am only showing this because it is the most basic way of placing a new primer in a hull. I will show my preferred way of installing a new primer further into the chapter. Center the cleaned ready hull over the primer.

 Photo 7a Misc. tools and Measuring scoops etc.

Notice the recess in the end of the mandrill to go over the inner primer pocket,  I believe a deep well 5/8” socket could also replace this tool.

Now with the Mandrill and a Mallet I give the mandrill a good solid whack. Pushing the empting hull down over the primer, and into the pocket. Now check your work. This is a critical step and the most dangerous of all the steps.  Making sure you do not have a “Hi Primer”. This can be the slightest or to the most obvious. A small stiff strait edge drug across the bottom without restriction should indicate if it is set properly. If not set the mandrill in the empty hull and give it another good whack. The first couple of times take a bit of practice, till you gain a feel for it. Now let me give you the WARNING and my reasoning on why this is the most dangerous part of the process.  Primers react to a blow of a some what dull point of a firing pin causing a chemical reaction within. However a firing pin is not the only way to cause this reaction. Friends I have detonated several primers when setting them this way. I have suffered no injuries from it unless you count the stripe in my boxer’s. This said don’t disregard this as being okay or safe. There is a flash of flame. BTW that’s what they are supposed to do. So open containers of powers may flash up, you could burn your fingers and also cause small particles of junk to blow in your face. Wear your safety glasses!  I have found one devise I really like. Assuming you already has a loading press of some type. I have a found a 12 gauge shell holder. I use this to prime all my hulls now and feel much safer doing so. Well worth the 15 bucks or so it cost me. Seen in Photo #8/ #9 below.  I have in this case simply removed the tool head on the loader and use it with the ram and priming ram to seat primers.

The Primed Hull ready for your load. Now why you wait for the “Brown Truck” to deliver the rest of your goodies practice this. Watching for high primers; note here also. These can really impede your times in a time event. Causing your double barrel shotgun not to go to battery. 

Next I will discuss and go over the load process in the next chapter.

Saturday, June 23, 2012



Any one use their products?

The how to reload; Brass Shotgun shells with Black Powder.

Part One, Priming and hull prep.

   Back in the late 70’s and thru the 80’s I was a serious water fowler and upland bird hunter. Spent many days and much of my time shooting and reloading shells to save a few bucks. Never had an expensive reloading machine then, did most of them on a Lee Load All. I now have a Mec 600 and hardly use it. I do most of my shot shells regardless of powder type the slow old fashion way stage by stage. I enjoy it. It is relaxing and I have fewer mistakes, a progressive loader offer. I don’t nearly load the number I did back then.  However I do load several hundred every year. I also load some hunting loads with 00 and round ball.  In my Cowboy world I shoot mostly Black Powder shooting mostly double barrel “coach guns” reproductions of course. For these I started loading the MagTech Brass hulls. I have bought more than a hundred of them and maybe stepped on one and I believe ejected one in the cull bucket at one time. Over all they have lasted 6 going on 7 years for me. I must warn any who thing they would like the cool awesome I want to be like you factor. If you shoot more than 1 Double barrel you might want to have separate hulls for each gun. The chambers diameters maybe a bit different, from gun to gun. The brass hulls will fire form to the size. So you may find that they will be hard to chamber in one gun or the other. There are some commercial tools available for sizing and are pretty expensive. If your handy and have a shop available you can build most of what you need. I am not here to discuss which powders primers or shot that is best. I don’t have a dog in the fight over who makes the best loading equipment. None of the manufacturers are sending me items to review. I don’t have a big breasted wife that looks great in front of a camera opening the package to tell you how great the item is. I will share with you over the next few weeks the items I have found to work best for me. Believe me I am a tight ass I will buy things that make my life easier, but usual resort to my own devises first. I at one time made a power point on priming and prep but am unable to down load it here. So I will dissect it and add the photo’s with some additional ones as we go.
Items you will need:

Brass Hulls
Large Pistol Primers of your choosing
Shot- for cowboy action shooting, Reclaimed shot works well.
Powder (for this application FFg of any true Black Powder)
The following wads for 12 ga. Refer to your on line source in the reloading section. You will need what Darksiders refer to as a Nitro card. Normal a ¼” thick. You will also need ¾” fiber wads your preference if they should be lubed or not. I lube my own. Finally you will want top or overshot cards. These are just plain white stock card. You could stamp these out of recycled milk or juice cartons if you wanted. I have in a pinch but that’s one of those items that make my life easier and they don’t cost too much.
 You will need a Mandrill I have a brass one you could make one out of a oak dowel rod and a wood screw. Insert screw half an inch in rod and grind head to a dull point.
A mallet, a small dead blow will work;
An anvil will also be needed.  A 7/8” by ¾” drive deep well socket works great.  Spent primers will fall thru the hole and collect inside the socket.
A ¾” by ½” cooper pipe reducer will help you size the mouth of the spent case back in shape and you can also tap it with the mallet and but a slight roll to it.
Then a primer pocket tool/Small flat tip screwdriver again of choice and I also use a ¾” pipe brush Plumbers use them for cleaning cooper fittings and pipe found near the solder and torches in the stores. Some steel wool or 400 grit paper would also work.
You will need a devise to measure shot and powder. There are many available thru typical gun supply stores. I have a couple adjustable ones. Also the Lee Dippers work.

Again I am not being paid to pander any name brands or any particular product. The items in the photo’s are one I use because of my choosing. If you are interested in the Brass mandrill set contact Rocky Mountain Cartridge- Lolo Sporting Goods- in Idaho also has a kit and also Circle Fly Wads and I think the fine folks at both Track of the Wolf and Buffalo Arms can help you out with most needs. Google them.

De-priming mandrill and anvil sizer over brass hull

Misc. Wads and components

Priming mandrill note recess area for primer pocket

Misc. items I have found to make the best possible reloads
also note the rolled crimp shell in back ground I will touch on 
that late in this article

Next installment getting started.

Friday, June 22, 2012


"Summertime and the living is easy"     

  Hot here on the East Coast., as the first week of summer has arrived.  Been sticking to the AC as much as possible doing some online auto shopping. May have to bite the bullet both with the Heat and the buying a new set of wheels. In the meantime I have been practicing some loading from the belt with a Model 97 and the dummy loads I mentioned the other day. Getting some loading and other shooting projects worked on.  If your heading out take plenty of fluids, less clothes and if your as Irish as I am lots of Sunscreen. Get a cooling spell later this weekend I will work on some range time.  Enjoy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I was just told it is Tuesday

I was just reminded it is Tuesday already. So I leave you with your treats.

Come to the Darkside, "We Have Cookies"
Thanks Maxim

Need a Fund raiser ideal?

What? There is 2 pair there.

If you have any you would like to submit contact me here.

From the bench

  Been busy the past couple of days. My shotgun returned from the gunsmith this weekend. In returned I dropped a revolver off with him. In the mean time I am attempting to make some additional brass for the revolver, using some surplus .38 special I have stocked piled. By shortening them to the .38 colt length.  I have some 125 grain cast bullets I will top these off with. I am using a Lyman case trimmer. After a few cases with it. I remembered the last time I used it. So this morning I will makes some changes in how I use it. I also realize again that if you have any large amounts (more than 5 pieces) of brass to prepare you should bite the bullet and either buy a powered trimmer or the conversion kit. I have a limited amount of brass for this gun. Now I am hoping to have a bit more. I love these old hand guns and enjoy loading and shooting them also. Researching them sometimes is even a bigger endeavor than the actual loading them. I have also found that in some cases the what appears to be an extremely costly box of ammo is not bad compared to tooling up for some. A box of .41 colt ammo is a round $80 here locally. Yes for a box of 50. The cost on .38 colt is considerably cheaper, but by no means cheap. I have more invested in producing the first round in my old Colt Shop Keeper than the pistol it self cost. Is it worth it? To me it was. Anytime you can shoot a 100 year old plus gun, it's worth it. I am sure some of my followers may think it's a waste of time. If it's not black and made of composites it's not worthy of owning. They maybe right. Knowing certainly I won't be a round to re-create a .40 cal round for a Glock a hundred years from now. I'll continue playing with the ones that paved the way.
  1878 Colt "Shop Keeper" .41colt

Colt Army/Navy Civilian .38 colt

   Short of hunting I don't use a pump shotgun much. I decided I would like to try some Wild Bunch style shooting. So I put together some dummies rounds for the Shotty so I can work on some muscle memory drills. I have used some twice shot hulls that are in still re-usable condition. Mostly the Red Win AA's some of the Remington gray hulls also. Using a AA wad in the empty case I fill them with Grits and re-crimp. Then a drop of Duco cement on the center of the crimp. The Grits doesn't give the real weight of a loaded round.  Yet you don't feel like you are loading air. No sense wasting shot trying to create a dummy round. I fill the primer pocket with  a silicon, giving the firing pin a place to softly hit. Then finally I give all of them a generous coating of furniture polish. This will enable them to slip in and out of my shot shell belt and holders. It will also help with loading and ejecting your doubles if that's what you are using.  I see more Cowboy shooters polishing their hulls prior to the match. I see the box stores still offer the Federal and other brand bulk packs of a 100 rounds. For competition they are just not worthy. The ribbed casing tends to stick in the chamber after firing. Along with the pot metal bases that swell and become hard to extract.  They are a worthy product for other uses and I am not trying to totally discredit them. I am not sure what three gun competitors do to prepare I imagine some of this may cross over.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Long dry spell over?

Leap year has arrived for the Junior Nation. The 88 car pushed by in the last few minutes and finally ends the drought. After a 143 races and 4 years. Congratulations Jr. on your victory in Michigan.

This flag is for you

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The week is running away from me. My real job the one that pays the bills is getting a little extra from me this week. So I am running behind. I have been wanting to get to the range for some R&D work. Unfortunately I will have to delay that for a week or so. In the meantime enjoy the Thursday treats. Also visit Melissa at HotforFood's link She has post a couple of new videos and so have JMac and Ash at their video channel.


JMac and Ash

enjoy and support their efforts

In honor of flag day

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Pistol which one to buy?

New Pistol

  Over the weekend my shooting friend and I attended the Gun Show. The first table we normally stop at is by Taylor’s and Company. Since we both met shooting Cowboy matches and still enjoy the guns of the old west. Taylor’s has been a mainstay in the sport and has a great selection of reproduction firearms.  For a year or two now they have been offering 1911’s this being a popular class now in SASS. Known as the “Wild Bunch” category, I have shot this class and really enjoy the change. These models are mostly the no bells and whistles GI type 1911’s. I believe manufactured by Rock Island for Taylor’s.  In the same area of their display, they also had a 1911 framed .22 pistol by Chiappa. It felt really comfortable in my hand. Safety (hammer and grip) and other features were identical for muscle memory of the traditional 1911’s. Yet a bit lighter weight, but not significantly.
  Now at home for a couple of days and I feel the need for this in my collection. Price seems reasonable and I can’t begin to think of the savings on ammo cost.  So this morning I am cruising thru my favorite gun forums and run across a banner ad for Ruger. I clicked it. (Please click banner ads; you support your forums and bloggers this way) Uh ooh! I love my Rugers also. The link led to the Ruger Model SR 22.  Wow what a nice little gun, watch the video he will explain the features. This little gun appears to be across from many popular brands starting with a polymer frame. Ambidextrous features adjustable sights to mention a few. Again the saving involved with training and practice with .22 ammo the big plus. However this model comes with a heftier price. Come on Ruger does it really need to be that high priced?
  I liked both and am serious about purchasing one or the other. Which one do I really want? Anyone want to sway my opinion to one or the other? I like them both and I already shoot 1911's and Glock's.

Ruger SR 22 MSRP $399 From Ruger website

Chiappa 1911 .22 Listed at $299. Taylors and Company website

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Morning After

  It's the morning after the final chapter of this years Triple Crown Race. Was I disappointed in the out come? In short No. I did not have a horse in the bunch or was I connected to any of them in any professional way.  I was disappointed that "I'll Have Another" could not make it's bid for the title. Like I am sure millions of other fans were. ie: Remember Big Brown? It's all part of the game. There wouldn't be anything special about the title if it was won every year. It would be sort of like watching the Yankees play ball, calculated for results.
  Well today is another day and the horses will be loaded up at Belmont Barn #2 in the cool of the morning or last evening and hauled to the next track or back to the Owners farm. I know next spring to start watching and following the horse journals and start over. This is the part I like about it, watching these young horses develop and mature.

  In the mean time to get my fix on turning left and going fast, NASCAR action is still getting hot. I don't care for all the personal dramas that are associated with it. I do like the team work involved in winning and the craftsmanship of building the car.

  Today though, I am off to the Gun show. Where I do my best to stimulate the economy.  Then maybe some Wings at Hooters of some BBQ at Willards. Then off to work. Ya'll enjoy!