Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tightening Barrel Threads

One of the things that I noticed when I bargained for my 25-35 Savage 1899 was that the barrel was a little loose.  The threads on the takedown rifles wear and you can't just screw the barrel in a little more until its tight.  For one thing, the barrel has a notch on it that has to line up with part of the bolt.  The sights are also on the barrel so, even if you could just screw it in until it was tight, your sights would be leaning of to one side.  Then there's the question of headspace changing when you screw it in more than you should.

The barrel wasn't bad; maybe five to ten degrees past where it should have stopped; so it didn't worry me much.  I had read a post on the 24 Hour Campfire about how to tighten the threads up and always wanted to try it anyway.

The Campfire Post  goes into plenty of detail so I won't here.  (You have to scroll down a few posts to find the one on this topic).   Really, all you do is take a flat-faced hammer and gently tap on the threads to tighten them up.  You also do the same with the outside edge of the barrel shoulder where it meets the receiver.  It sounds scary but it works.

The first order was to find a flat-faced hammer.  Kind of like a blacksmith's flatter.  The Campfire post says to get a small ball-peen hammer and grind the face flat.  I went to the local Lowes looking for such a hammer and they didn't have a ball-peen hammer in any size.  The only small hammer they had of any type was a carpet tack hammer.  From a distance, it looked like it had a flat face but on closer examination it wasn't flat at all.  One corner stuck out from the face like a cowlick.  

I decided to look elsewhere and wound up a Tractor Supply.  They had a smallish ball-peen hammer and it already had a flat face.  It was cheaper than the defective tack hammer at Lowes too.

I rounded up Great-Grandfather's anvil and went to work tapping on the threads as I rotated the barrel.  Progress came quicker than I expected and I was about half way through before I decided to film some of the process.  The sound doesn't follow the picture at all.  Its like watching an old Japanese movie with a bad dubbing job but it does show about how hard you tap on the threads.  I shot it from the wrong side so you can't see the threads very much but you can still get the idea.

When I got done, the notch lined up perfectly with the barrel tightened down nice and snug.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Often Wonder

When my sister was young, she went through the whole psycho-anorexic thing.  Still does to some extent today, mostly when she wants money from my Mother.  Back then, my Mother bought books about Karen Carpenter and others, trying to understand what was going on.  My sister once told me that she would read those books to get ideas on how to be more anorexic.

I read statements like the one above and think, "yes, that's how the left does it."   I often wonder if those on the left don't read the same things and think, "now there's an idea that could really help us destroy the country."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Whose Tank is That? Its My Own Tank, Actually

Back in the 1960s and 1970's my Dad was in the Army Reserve and got really interested in armored warfare while in Command and General Staff School.   He subscribed to a magazine that I believe was called "Armor."  Sort of a Motor Trend for armored warfare.  My bother and I read every issue over and over.

In one particular issue, the Editors ran a contest and the grand prize, in fact the only prize, was that you would win a particular Armored Fighting Vehicle if you could correctly identify it from their photo.

It seems that someone had stumbled upon a a few score tons of historic footnote at the warm end of a firing range and convinced the right people to rescue the vehicle in question because of its historical value.

The Editors of Armor picked up the story and decided to run a contest thinking that it was so obscure no one could possibly win.  

They thought wrong.

My brother and I had amassed a fairly large cesspool of worthless knowledge about armored fighting vehicles and had seen a drawing of the beast in question in one of our many books on the subject.

We fired off a letter explaining that it was a T-28.   A massive 105mm self propelled gun intended to punch holes in the Siegfried Line. 

We waited quite a few weeks for the tank hauler to show up and had just about decided that the whole thing was a fraud when  a manilla envelope from the Editors of Armor showed up in our mailbox.

Inside was an eight by ten glossy black and white photograph of the T-28 and a letter explaining that they had honestly thought that no one would know what the heck it was.  Since several responses were correct, and there was no provision in the contest rules for dealing with a tie, they had no option but to send all of the winning entrants a photograph instead of the real AFV.

That photo is still on the wall of my Dad's den and I still say that the Editors of Armor owe me one T-28.  I know that's the one that's mine because they only built two of them and its the only one that survived.  If the Editors would  like to redeem their honor, they can contact me here at the blog.

The photo above is from Theo Spark

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Little Trap Shooting

A couple of months back, I took The Lovely Bride along to look at some foreclosed houses in Dunnellon and made a short side trip to The Robinson Ranch Trap and Skeet Club.  She liked the place and said she'd go shoot if we joined.

We finally made it back this morning.  Didn't shoot anything fancy.  Just my old hunting shotgun.  TLB has a 20 gauge Ithica.  Our guns definitely looked out of place lined up next to all the dedicated Trap guns that everybody else had.   I was using Vintager shells from Polywad and they did great.  Didn't beat me up like the cheap Wal Mart "Dove Season Special" shells I used the last time I was there.

Besides having Trap, Skeet, 5 Stand and Crazy Quail, they have great people.  I'm no great shakes with a shotgun and TLB was brand new to the whole thing.  The head guy stood right behind us and coached us.  He'd tell us when we were raising our heads or aiming or doing anything else (and there was a lot else) that we were doing wrong.   I'd say it was like getting a shooting coach for five bucks per round of Trap but it wasn't like it.  That's what it was.  

They have a bunch of members from the various retirement developments in the area.  Those folks are usually more than happy to offer advice or helpful hints too. 

That's me about to fire with the coach right behind me.   Turns out I knew the fellow on the left.   He has a MEC 9000 with the hydraulic system to run it.

Step on a pedal and it loads a shell. 

They had reclaimed lead shot for $28 per 25  pound bag so I bought one bag. 

WARNING - This Bag of Lead Contains Lead.  Only someone in government would think that might not be obvious.

I suspect this picture is a little dated because there's more stuff there now but it'll give you an idea of what the place looks like.

TLB has just the slightest bruise on her shoulder and I have none.  Chalk that up to a combination of the Vintager shells and shooting a double gun.  I had no recoil to speak of.  I suspect I'll have to bolt the MEC Grabber back down on the bench and get busy.

Got home just in time to see Carroll O'Connor run over Kirk Douglas and his horse with a semi in some old Western set in the early 1950's.  Apparently he had done something to piss off Walter Matthau, George Kennedy and William Schallert because George Kennedy was shooting at him and William Schallert shot his horse after Carrol O'Connor ran it over.  Walter Matthau seemed to be in charge.   Then Rio Bravo came on.  Rio Bravo is a lot easier to understand.  That was a good enough excuse to put off changing my car's  water pump until the evening.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Don't Think They're Doing This Just For Practice

The Military's New Power Grab, Preparing For Civil War?

The Pentagon has gone rogue and unilaterally declared that is has authority over "Civil Disturbances" now without approval from Congress.

On Monday, the Pentagon made a few subtle changes to the rules in the regulations in the U.S.Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies”.(Official document)
In doing so,

"  the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries."

Read the whole post at  The Vulgar Curmudgeon   and follow the link there to the original article.

Interesting times we live in.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Barbeque Gun Update

I looked up  the little new-to-me 1899 in Douglas Murray's "The Savage Ninety-Nine" and learned that its a Model H Featherweight.  They made them from 1905 to 1919.  The Takedown version was made beginning in 1909.  The 25-35 Winchester chambering was discontinued in 1917.

These Featherweights had light, twenty inch barrels and the buttstocks were hollowed out beginning about 1911.  I have not removed the buttplate but it definitely balances like its hollow.  The serial number checks out on line as being made in 1911 so that makes sense.

Murray doesn't provide a nominal weight specification.  My kitchen scales showed six pounds, three ounces with the 25-35 barrel.  He does say that, in his opinion, "the 1905-1919 Model H Featherweight is the epitome of function and design - and probably the most efficiently planned deer rifle of its day."  That's mighty high praise from a fellow who admits to being a Winchester Collector.

I ordered another hundred empty 25-35 cases.  I suspect that when I hunt with it I will use the 303 Savage barrel but I still like the idea of having a fair amount of ammo on hand for both.   I suspect that The Lovely Bride will like the smaller caliber better anyway.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Barbeque Gun

I've read about Barbeque Guns before.  The term refers to a fancy gun you take to social gatherings.   I accidentally came up with a new category of Barbeque Gun last week.

My brother and I had been talking about going to a Barbeque place that he had heard about on the internet so, when he came to town last week, I left work early Friday and we headed to  B C's General Store in Yalaha.  Yalaha is  a crossroad community between Leesburg and Howey In the Hills except that the side road doesn't actually cross the road.  It just comes up to the highway and stops.  The store is right there next to the Post Office where the side road meets the highway.

The place is somewhat famous for its barbeque.  The building  is old Florida.  You walk in past three smokers in that little screen room out front and find yourself in a place that looks like a cross between Sam Drucker's General Store and Sanford and Son's Salvage Yard.  The floors tilt and the walls sag.  You wonder it its weighed down by all the layers of lead paint.  There's a cupola in the roof for ventilation 'cause there weren't no air conditioning when it was built.  The ambiance is reminiscent of Nordic Pawn in Wildwood except there's no dead animals hanging from the ceiling.  The dead animals are hanging on the walls and posed on a wood stove in the middle of the store.  A fox squirrel holds a sign that says "Buy BBQ."  

When I ordered, the lady at the order takin' counter took a big slab of pork out of a cooler and commenced to mash it with a meat cleaver.   It was so tender the cleaver just cut right through almost on its own weight.  No need to chop!  She piled it high and poured the sauce on thick.

We paid our money and took our food across the street to the open  air dining room.   The store is on the Southwest corner where the side road meets the highway and you eat at picnic tables on the Southeast corner.  It would be a sidewalk cafe kind of thing if they had a sidewalk.

There's something about eating good BBQ and sipping on a beer in the shade of a nice oak tree.  The BBQ was even better than we had heard.   I'm not the biggest fan of baked beans but their's were good.  I don't think I've ever had better baked beans. 

We finished lunch and found we still had much of the day ahead of us and no plans beyond the now-completed  BBQ eating so I suggested that we make a slight detour to Mt. Dora and A.W. Peterson's Gun Shop.

 I really just wanted to see if they had any ammo or powder in stock (they did) but my eye caught the curve of a Savage 99 receiver on the used gun rack.  I was thinking I'd look at it and it would be in some mundane chambering like 300 or 303 Savage and that would be the end of it.  I did have the thought that I'd really have something to worry about if it was chambered for something less common like 22 Savage High Power or 375 Winchester but, come on, what are the odds of that happening?

I saw right off that it was an 1899 takedown model.  I like takedown models.  Twenty inch barrel.  Nice.  Light as a feather.  Wait.  Light as a feather?  A Featherweight.  Sweet!   The action is buttery smooth.  Almost sensual.  Then I read the barrel:

 "25-35 Winchester."

Is there no mercy?   That's a whole heap rarer than one in 22 High Power. Savage didn't make any in 25-35 after 1917.  It came with an extra barrel in 303 Savage too.  I thought about it for a while and then walked around the store trying not to think about it for a while longer.  I actually made it back to the car without buying the thing.   It bothered me all the way home.  When we got back, I began to ponder how I might trade into the little rife without spending a pile of cash.  Of course, this line of thought was purely academic.  I wasn't actually planning to go back and buy the rifle. 

I  didn't start out to go back the next morning but the dog was pitching fits every time he saw squirrels.   Crazy dog sounds like a cross between a run over dog and a chimpanzee when he gets wound up.   I couldn't get a thing done at the house and then my brother sent a text saying he wanted to go someplace.  I suggested the Bubba-Ques in Jonesville with a side trip to Pickett's Weaponry in Newberry.  He suggested Yalaha again so I suggested Peterson's again.

I still think it was a setup.    I'm always having to tell friends and family things like "it's not my fault that guns like me better than they like you" or "its not my fault that guns want to go home with me more than they want to go home with you" and "you talk about me and my guns but its just because you're jealous."  I suppose that I have become a somewhat predictable old  gun slut.

I took a gun that didn't like me  for trading fodder. The counter man conferred with the boss and we worked out  a deal.  Bottom line is that with my trade, I paid $194 out the door for the little rifle and the extra barrel and they threw in a Lyman tang sight that's worth pretty close to the cash out of pocket that  I paid for the whole deal.  Its like I bought the sight and traded into the rifle for free. 

The little gun was built in 1911.   It has about two lifetimes of dings in the wood and somebody varnished it.  Thankfully they didn't sand it.  The finish is gone from the receiver but there's no rust.  The 303 barrel looks like new inside.  The grooves in the 25-35 barrel are dark but the lands are sharp. 

I suspect it will shoot.  Brass and dies arrived today.  Mr. Lee's manual  has a pretty fair amount of data for it and there's some in Ken Waters'  "Pet Loads" too.  I really like the little thing.  The Lovely Bride held it and wants to shoot it.  Its nice when you set out to eat barbeque and come home with a new to you rifle and your wife likes it.  Reckon I'll be keepin' 'em both.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Magpul's New Promo Sticker

Nice touch with the 20 oz "Coke" bottle.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cat Sh!t One

 I wish I had remembered this was out there in time to post it for Easter.

The Microsoft ad doesn't last long.  Its worth watching.  The link goes to the whole episode, not just the trailer.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Niece

The one on the left side of the phone.  She's sixteen.  They let her drive.  She will vote in two years.  She wants to be a teacher.  I think she will do well.

Blogroll Addition

Added the Adaptive Curmudgeon to the blogroll.

As with most, I should have done this a long time ago.  His blogging about his old tractor got me to thinking about blogging about my old tractor and was one of the things that made me decide to see if this old blog was still out there. 

If I ever grow up (not likely), I want to blog like him (about as likely).

Here's an example