Saturday, November 30, 2013

Decking the Halls and All That

Got the tree up and properly trimmed.  Its a major upgrade over last year.  This year its set on the Edison.  Last year it was just on a book case.

The Lovely Bride put it on Facebook and a friend retaliated with this:

Yes.   That's a Cartridge in a Bare Tree.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Portable Reloading Setup Part 2

Finished the little stand for the reloading scale.    Not a big deal but it works.  Thumb screws will compensate for whatever angle the Jeep winds up parked at and the levels are glued in place so there's one less thing to forget when I head to the shooting place.

Nothing about it is particularly interesting or fancy.  About the only thing unusual about it is the wood.  Its plain old yellow Poplar from Lowes but I stained it with stain that I made from walnuts that came from a tree that my Great Grandmother planted on the old family farm well over a hundred years ago. 

If you've never messed with walnuts in the wild, they are sort of like cocoanuts in that the nut is surrounded by a tough, fibrous husk.   I used vise grip type pliers to pinch the husks off a little bit at a time.  When I had about five or six walnuts cleaned that way, I put the husks in a mason jar and poured ammonia into it.  Screwed the lid on loosely to let the ammonia evaporate and let it sit for a few weeks.  The ammonia evaporates before the water so you wind up with a thick soup.  Strain it through some cheese cloth or whatever you have for straining stuff and you have a dark water based stain.  The hardest part of the whole process was finding a place that had ammonia that wasn't sudsy or lemon scented.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Well, How DO you act like a Christian while holding a gun to someone's face?

In these days when it seems more and more that Police Officers must be getting taught that shooting is their first option, that civilians are the enemy and that they are above the law,    "Christian Soldier How do you act like a Christian while a gun in someone's face" " will give the reader cause to think that there are still some good apples left in the barrel after all.  You'll wind up thinking about a lot more too.

Ben Adams is a Marine, a Veteran of the Iraq War as an MP with the USAR and currently a Sheriff's Deputy on their SWAT Team.   If I heard correctly when he was introduced as a speaker at a meeting the other day, he's also interim Pastor of a small church.

The book has a lot about his life but it is really about his struggle to actually do what Christ would have him do in daily life.   For an LEO, that can obviously be difficult.  While you are thinking about how Jesus would want you to handle the guy with the tire iron, the guy with the tire iron just might start bashing your head in.

Its really uplifting to read an LEO's writing about the time that he could have justifiably killed a man but helped him instead.   That's a small part of the book but its in there.

Christian Soldier doesn't read like something you'd expect a Pastor to write.  Its written like something a soldier would write.  Its real.  If you are sick of reading about the unconstitutional road blocks collecting DNA, how many tanks your local PD now has it its disposal to better protect and serve you and how the 230 pound cop was "in fear for his life" so he shot somebody's Pomeranian, read this book.  It will show you that there are still some good guys out there.  More than that, it will challenge you to spend time thinking about how you might really act like a Christian while doing whatever it is that you do every day.

Its $3.03 on Kindle at Amazon.  Kindle for PC is free.

Portable Loading Setup

This really wasn't much of a project but  I have to do something besides post pictures of pretty girls once in a while so what the heck.

When we moved out of the dilapidated, spider-filled old farmhouse some twenty years ago, we wound up in a house in a subdivision of half-acre lots.  They frown on shooting off your back porch in such places but that  wasn't particularly troublesome at first because there was so much undeveloped land around that finding a place to shoot wasn't difficult.  Unfortunately, that changed.

I don't do as much loading or shooting as I'd like because Its a pain in the butt to load up a bunch of different combinations of components, drive an hour to my shooting place and hope one of them turns out to be a decent load.   What I needed was a way to take the loading bench to the shooting place.  I got around to making that possible today.

Ruth, the old Jeep, has become my portable reloading bench.  Big surprise. 

I have a few different presses and most are mounted on pieces of  2 x 6 that are drilled in a  common  three hole pattern so I can put any press I want on my loading table.  The length of the 2 x 6 varies with how much overhang the specific press needs but the hole pattern is always the same.  That gave me a starting place.  All I had to do was adapt the 2 x 6 to the Jeep and I'd have a portable loading bench.

What I came up with was pretty simple.  A piece of angle iron bolts to the back end of the 2 x 6.  It anchors the back of the 2 x 6 to the winch.

This positions the board cantilevered over the top of the bumper.  The U-bolts secure the board to the bumper.  Wing nuts make it  all easy to remove or install. 

 When its all installed, it places the press at a comfortable height.

The press itself is an old C-H press that I got at a Death Bazaar   Gun Show several years ago for fifteen bucks.  Despite its age, its in good condition and is still nice and tight.  It was one of those deals that was too good to pass up even though I had no need for it at the time.  Stuff like that usually comes in handy down the road.

A second part of the plan is to make a little platform with adjustable feet for a powder scale.  I can use a powder scale because Ruth has a hard top and wind won't be much of a problem.  The adjustable feet will make it possible to level the platform as long as the Jeep isn't parked on too much of a slope.  I looked at electronic reloading scales but I don't really need one to make this work.   I'd be done with the little platform by now but I bought two different sizes of the nuts that make the feet adjustable so it only has two feet right now.  I 'm not going to make a special trip to get the right ones so finishing that will have to wait for tomorrow.

In the mean time, I suspect that I have the only reloading bench in town that gets eleven miles to the gallon.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blue Monday Again

That last one Came from Oleg Volk.  I suspect that most of the better Pro-2A posters that you see on the internet are done by him.  He really has exceptional talent.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Better Late Than Never

I had planned to post this for the opening day of General Gun Season but just plain forgot.   I always liked Calvin and Hobbes and this is one of my favorites.  The site where I got it was touting it as some masterful denunciation of hunting.  I never saw it as anything but more of Calvin's uninhibited imagination.  People see what they want to see.  Calvin did the same thing with politicians, TV commercials and a whole lot of other things.   Heck, the deer know we are out there.  Frank didn't suspect a thing.

Maybe I just like it because Frank looks like a certain foul-mouthed, abusive, egotistical liberal that, for a short time, ran a company that I worked for back in the mid-1990s. 

Either way, its funny.  Funnier on opening day but still funny. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Range Report of a Sort

One of my brothers in law called last week.  He has kids in Little League Baseball and  frequently finds himself driving through unfamiliar cities with the whole family going to the games and then playoffs.  It goes on for  a good part of the year.   He was never particularly a gunny sort but had decided it would be wise to have something in the car besides baseball bats in case trouble found them while on the road.  

He had just sent of the paperwork for his CWP and had been doing his homework on the internet.  He had narrowed his choices down to a Glock 19 or a Springfield XD 9mm and wanted to know what I thought of them.   I told him that either would be an excellent choice.  We met at Gander Mtn. the next morning and he picked the Springfield.

Not having his carry permit yet, he had the three day wait.  With his schedule and distance from the store, that meant a six day wait so it was Friday evening before he picked it up.  We headed to the Hernando Sportsmans Club Saturday Morning to see how the new gun met his expectations.

This particular brother in law hasn't done much shooting.  The XD is actually his first gun.    His first shot was high and left.  His second shot was dead center.  Most of his following shots were pretty dang close to the second one.   The targets were pretty close so its not like he was ringing steel at a hundred yards with it but he shot as well or better than I did with my .45 or my .40.  

Eventually, I was given a turn behind the wheel and I liked the thing.   I've barely evolved enough to accept that guns without cylinders are worth having but I liked the thing.  A 1911 is about as modern as I get except in special cases like something smaller for concealment but I really liked the XD.  It shot well.  The top-mounted extractor made a nice loaded chamber indicator.   The ergonomics were perfect and even with ten rounds in the magazine it didn't seem to weigh much at all. (He didn't know what the loading gizmo was and left it at home so it was difficult to get more than ten in the magazines) .   I honestly caught myself thinking "well, John Moses Browning (PBUH) couldn't think of everything."  I did eventually come to my senses and decide that he would have designed the XD if the polymers had existed back in his day.

Bro-in-law talked about maybe getting something smaller for actual concealed carry and possibly becoming hooked on guns.  The younger of his two sons remarked that he could have stayed at the range shooting all day.  We talked guns and ammo all the way back to his house.  He raved about the gun to his wife.  She will go the next time.  I wound up with 100 shiny new 9mm empties to reload for them.  Even my sucky shooting worked out well because it made them feel that much better about their gun.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday Morning.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Danger of Shopping At Home

The Lovely Bride has gotten hooked on QVC. She doesn't buy a lot of stuff from them so I guess the disease hasn't reached the terminal stage yet but she follows some of the QVC sales people on Twitter and is always talking about this or that being on "Easy Pay."

One thing she did just buy is some high dollar shampoo for the dog. The guy that makes it has dogs. We know this because he puts pictures of them on Facebook. Dogs plus Facebook plus QVC means it must be good. Its supposed to do all sorts of great stuff and has none of the ingredients that hurt dogs that you find in regular dog shampoo. I don't know how much it cost but it was on Easy Pay so it couldn't have been cheap. I didn't say anything. Dogs plus Facebook plus QVC plus Easy Pay was just too much for her. I understand.   Gunbroker has gotten to me before. We all have our  weaknesses. 

She gave the dog a bath a couple of days ago. It seems to be good stuff. He's clean and isn't scratching. There's just one little problem. The stuff is Maple-scented. It smells like Maple syrup.  I go to pet my dog and he smells like this:

I'm not kidding.

Maybe I should invent a dog shampoo that smells like Hoppes No. 9.