27 February 2014

The Voyage Continues

The new Maxwell Saga book is out.

This Bayou Renaissance Man is quite the author, for a blogger. You should really check the whole series out if you haven't already. And if you haven't...why not?

26 February 2014

Impulse Buy

I went back out to the Merchant of Death to get some small rifle primers and a couple of cartridge boxes for reloaded .223 and, as is my wont, looked through the rifle rack they have there (mostly in a futile search for a Mosin Nagant M38).

I found a Mosin 91/30 for $179.99 (Reduced!) that I passed on, two Brit bolt actions in .303 (like I need another oddball military caliber that I can't find ammo for), some sort of Yugoslavian Mauser clone (?) a couple of Ruger Americans, one very pretty walnut stocked Mossberg 4x4, a Marlin X7, a Remington 770... and then I saw a Mossberg 100ATR in 30-06 for less than $300 that caught my eye.

The last few deer-slaying trips I've been on I have taken bolt action rifles, but they were both in calibers that you can't just walk down to the local MoD and buy ammo for. I was looking for something that wouldn't break the bank in a caliber that is carried by local gun shops and Marts of Walls, and this one seemed to fit the bill.

The bolt cycles nice and smooth, there is an easy usable safety right next to the bolt and it comes out with a simple press of the bolt release for easy cleaning. The trigger is adjustable (if I want to take the action out of the stock) and feels pretty good to me, but then again I'm no trigger snob; I think the one on the Mosin is just fine cause the bang happens and the lead slings out the far end ever time I activate it, so I probably wouldn't know the difference anyway. Plus, Boyds has a nice looking wood stock for it, if I want to go that route...and I'm thinking about it, I've always been a fan of blued steel and American walnut.

Topped with a Redfield Revenge 3-9x42 scope it cost me right at 500USD out the door, not a bad price considering. I have a play date range session scheduled next month so I'll put it through its paces then and see what I've got.

For what it's worth, I did an online review check of the rifle (after the fact, of course) and found mention of three lawsuits that were filed regarding the bolts on these rifles, but never did find any details except on the first one. Seems like Cletus took his bolt apart and put it together wrong, called his neighbor who said "It's put together wrong, don't shoot it" and in an alcohol induced rage installed the bolt anyway with the judicious application of hammer and nearby wall, and then was surprised when the bolt blew back in his face.

Of the other two I haven't been able to find anything except online exhortations on various gun forums to "Google Mossberg ATR lawsuits!" which results in return after return of various gun forums saying "Google Mossberg ATR lawsuits!" and precious little else.

So, going by the experience that happy people don't complain and the axiom that you get what you pay for, I'm expecting commensurate results out of my inexpensive 30-06 lead-slinger, IE I'm expecting to be able to consistently and decisively engage Bambi at ranges up to and maybe slightly exceeding 100 yards without being able to knock down Tally Beans at a mile plus...which is as much a function of skill set as equipment anyway, of which I have neither...but I do know people...

I did get the primers, too, by the way.

24 February 2014

Egon Crosses the Streams

and the world is a less funny place.

Thanks for everything Harold, say hello to Elvis.

22 February 2014


I received two new magazines for Grand-dad's High Standard yesterday, cycling ammo through it without actually firing suggests that they should work just as well as the original. I also got two 555 round boxes of .22LR to go along with them, for which I was glad to pay the once-outrageous price of 15.5 cents per round, shipped.

My loading bench efforts netted me 100 rounds of 115gr JHP 9x19 over 6.3 grains of PowerPistol powder, now I need to take them to the range and see how they compare with factory loads. I was not able to load any .223 because I don't have small rifle primers, but I did find 15 new pieces of 6.5x50 and fifteen 129 grain Hornady SST projectiles to go along with them, so I now have fifteen loads using 36 grains of IMR 4064 powder. I'm curious to see how it stacks up against the old H380 loads.

I have a range session scheduled for next month, so I should be able to take the new toys out to exercise them fully and get a good idea of what I want to do as far as loads in the future. I need to load some more 6.5x50 though because the only projectiles I was able to find this time were 123 grain instead of my customary 129 grain, so I need to see how they do.

Most of my brass is clean and deprimed, so I have that to play with next session. I need to get back out to the MoD and get some .223 cartridge boxes and small magnum rifle primers, and while I'm there I might just eyeball one of those 7mm Magnum deerslayers again...and then I may need another set of dies.

They also have pretty good deals going on M-4geries now that the panic is over, and there was that 7.62 Saiga for a pretty decent price as well, so maybe there would be room for another Evil Black Rifle, too. Of course with the Saiga I'd have to get all the pieces parts to move the trigger, but having done it once it should go OK a second time. It would then need a dogleg rail, a collapsible stock with pistol grip, a new set of foregrips...maybe I could duplicate the 4 rail system that's on the .223...and then I'd have to start looking for a Saiga-12 to go along with the collection...

I'm regretting not getting a bigger safe now, though, I'm beginning to run out of room for ammo.

Health Nazis

My place of employ has Decreed that We the Unwilling, henceforth to be known as Serfs...eh, that is, Employees, shall participate in a Wellness Programme I'm order to qualify for low rates on the Company sponsored Health Insurance Scam...pardon me, Policy.

This has been met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth by we Employees, as you might imagine.
There are two Parts to said Programme, the first being a Screening followed by a Remediation, as required. Did I mention that spouses must also participate? It's probably better that I don't have one any more because I have absolutely no doubts what she would say about it.

The screening consists of five parts; blood sugar (good the last time it was checked), cholesterol (OK the last time it was checked) blood pressure (good the last time it was checked), negative blood teat for tobacco use (there's a blood test for that??? Good thing I quit three and a half years ago) and BMI (what are you laughing about???)

It is required to pass three of the five to qualify for the low rates. I should be able to do this, we will see, but if not...well, I guess I'll get to pay a little extra.

One more reason on the list of why it's about time to move on down the road, I guess.

20 February 2014


I got some new toys in today.

In anticipation of the new toys I went out to get powder. I usually use H380 for the Arisaka 6.5x50, but since I was going to reload .223 for the Saiga with my new toys (one set of them anyway) I decided to use H335 since it can be used for both calibers.

Off to the Merchant of Death I went...only to find that they did not have H380 or H335.

One of the boons to living in this modern age is having the internet at my fingertips, so a little online researching and I found that H322, which according to their display they did have, was also suitable for both calibers.

Except they were sold out of that, too.

I ended up with IMR 4064 for the Arisaka (I had to find load data for that online since the insert that came with my dies didn't have it listed...and the online reference doesn't have 123 grain projectiles, either, so I had to calculate the load using the data for 120 grain and 129 grain...but I digress) and IMR 4198 for the Saiga. I don't really like the idea of having two different powders, but who knows, I might like the results.

I also did some drooling over a Saiga in 7.62, but couldn't talk myself into the asking price, although the asking price was pretty darn reasonable. They also had a Ruger American in 7mm Magnum that looked pretty good to me as well.  Choices, choices...oh well, I have to head back there tomorrow. Seems as if I have no cartridge cases for .223...

I left with just the powder (although there is always tomorrow...), and no powder for the handguns (I use Alliant Power Pistol in the .45 and plan to use it for the 9mm as well) since they were out. Good thing I still have most of a pound left.

When I got home I took all my new toys out to the reloading shed...with the exception of the .223 dies that I could not for the life of me find anywhere. I searched the gun safe, I searched the computer desk, I searched the counters, I searched the reloading bench and surrounding areas, no dies. I scratched holes in my head for a while and then went to do something else, and then of course I found them. (Note to self: order the factory crimp die.)

So now I have projectiles in .224, .264 (6.5mm), 9mm and .45 and brass for all of the above, I have primers and I have powder, and I have the dies for everything. I anticipate a fun-filled reloading session or a dozen in my very near future.

To that end I am tumbling 9mm brass. My last range session netted me more brass than I had come with, so I have almost 300 rounds to clean, which I do in 100 round lots. Out of curiosity I went online to see how long everyone tumbles their brass. Seems that "until clean" is the preferred answer, with times ranging from a half hour to overnight. Most were variations on the "until I remember to turn off the tumbler" theme.

The way I usually do it is, when I get home from the range I sort everything into Ziploc bags, 100 rounds at a time for pistol and 40 rounds (two boxes) for rifle, and store them in an ammo can. When I reload I dump that dirty brass into the cleaner as I reload the brass that I already have clean from the last session. When I'm done for the session I take whatever brass that just went through the cleaner, dump it into my strainer, shake it a few times and bag the medium back up for the next time. The cleaned brass goes into another ziploc bag which stays in the strainer (which stays on top of the bucket) until next time.

When I start I take that clean hundred rounds of whatever caliber it happens to be, resize and deprime, clean the primer holes, prime, and put the cleaned and primed brass into my reloading tray if I want to load that particular caliber, into boxes for later reloading if I don't. That takes about an hour, all of this time another 100 rounds of pistol or 40 rounds of rifle has been running in the tumbler. That goes into my strainer and another batch goes in the cleaner.

Either I reload what I've already deprimed and cleaned or I deprime and clean the primer holes on the new rounds and put that into my reloading tray. That takes about an hour...more if I'm reloading as I go...and the cycle repeats until either I'm out of materials or I'm tired of reloading. At the end, the tumbled rounds go into the bag, the bag into the strainer, the strainer into the bucket, the media goes into the container, and everything goes on the shelf ready for the next reloading session.

So what's your preferred method?

12 February 2014

Snowpalooza 2014

The snow is falling in Raleigh for the third time this year.

Al Gore needs to be kicked in the crotch until his eyes bleed.

UPDATE: The snow has turned into freezing rain. Daughter came home early from work, Son In Law took the Scoobytruck to get her so we just went to get her car. The snow is about 3" deep and has not yet gotten a great deal of ice accumulation. Hopefully it stays that way. The roads were snow covered but not horribly slick. All in all, it's a good day to stay inside.

10 February 2014

Mixed Bag

Wintery mix forecast for today and tomorrow.

I have to work tonight.

I have a cold.

I'm tired of winter.

But on the plus side of the ledger, I got these in today.

08 February 2014

And It Means Nothing

I've gotten two emails in the past week that should have had pitchforks hoisted and torches lit. The fires should be burning merrily under bubbling vats of tar and the feathers should be stacked in neat bundles next to the piles of rails. But besides those directly involved in the proceedings nothing is being said by anybody, particularly anybody in the news (insert shocked face here).

The first email was a GRNC alert regarding Operation Something Bruin, in which N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission agents in collaboration with U.S. Forest Service personnel engaged in the usual tactics (entrapment, midnight "no knock" raids, etc) ostensibly to catch bear poachers, although very few convictions have resulted from the 4 year $2 million operation.

Even though I am a hunter and a shooter, I heard nothing at all about this operation until I got the GRNC alert. I'm not in the mountains, but you would have thought that such a thing would have gotten some attention at least, on the gun boards if nothing else. But there was nothing.

The second email was about yet another congressional "investigation", this one regarding the IRS targeting conservative groups, most notably True the Vote in Texas. Last week TTV President Catherine Engelbrecht provided testimony before Congress detailing the entire affair.

From the Email: "Catherine, her husband, her company and her nonprofit, have been repeatedly targeted, first in frivolous lawsuits by the Texas Democratic Party (which the Democrats lost, every single one, but they didn’t care, because it cost about $1 million for Catherine to defend – money fortunately provided by others as they are not rich), then outrageous, unprecedented demands from the FBI, the IRS and the ATF. Watch her testimony and share it. If you are a Democrat, don’t smirk. You are just as capable of being targeted as anyone if you defy any aspect of Obama’s despotic agenda. And sooner or later you will be forced to, because it IS despotic."

This one of course I have heard about, as has anyone else who has been paying attention, but there again, outside of a few mentions on Fox News the media has been strangely silent...one might almost say, complicit.

Two completely unrelated cases except for this: in both cases members of federal agencies engaged in tactics that they themselves would call terroristic if it wasn't them doing it. In both cases the enormous power of the federal government was brought to bear in order to intimidate, harass and terrify. And in both cases the agencies involved patted themselves on the back for a job well done, and no federal agents are going to jail for breaking the very laws they are supposed to be upholding and shredding the very Constitution that they have taken an oath to defend.

Gunwalker. Bengazi. Pigford. Solyndra. Voter intimidation and failure to prosecute even though there was clear evidence. ACORN. Blatant abuses of power. The list goes on and on and on.

And until someone holding a federal ID goes to PMITA prison, it doesn't mean a damn thing.

Got It...

So I went the "responsible adult" route with my bonus and put a windshield in the Baja instead of buying reloading supplies. It really needed a windshield, it had a chunk of glass out of it right behind the rear view mirror button; the button was actually mounted over the hole. Two cracks had radiated from that hole, one to the left and one to the right, and the one to the left neatly bisected the drivers FOV.

A little over 2 bills later and the crack was magically gone, but there was something...different. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I won't say I obsessed over it, but it did kind of niggle the back of the mind every time I got in the trucklet. So this morning I got in and reached up to pull the sunshade down and it hit me...the new windshield does not have the tinted strip across the top like the old one did.

And now, that mystery is solved.

07 February 2014

Bank Shots

Last week I reached into my pocket to get my checkbook and it was gone.

I looked everywhere, in cars, all the places I had been, and it was not to be found.

So all week I've been going through the lengthy process of getting all my cards canceled and such. The bank I'm with recommended closing my account and opening a new one. This was easy enough because I already had two accounts; one of them was a joint account and one was my private account.

This was easier said than done at the beginning of the month, I pay my bills through the banks online bill pay service and the money comes out of my account. The first thing I did was verify the account would stay open long enough to get this done, and I was assured that it would.

Of course they closed the account right away. My bills DID get paid, but the account did not get debited. I called and they said they would issue a stop payment and...that's when I said STOP! Pay the bills out of the account that I left money in for that reason!

So they had to re-open the account and pay the bills.

It looks like this has now been done, and I've switched everything over to my new account. I've changed my company direct deposit and am waiting for DFAS to send me the information I need to change that direct deposit online. I've got all my debtors set up with my new account, supposedly, and I'm now waiting for my replacement credit card to arrive.

If I find that checkbook now I'm going to be really pissed.

05 February 2014


For roughly $180 I can convert my Mosin Nagant into a modern polymer stock magazine fed shooting machine. A bolt action EBR, if you will.

This price gets you the AA9130 Archangel stock and a 10 round magazine for the same from Midway. Unfortunately it looks like Midway is backordered on everything and to order the stocks direct from Promag ups the price from $159.99 to $201.57 and the magazines up from $17.29 to $25.25, so that puts the total up to roughly $227. Adding shipping puts it up even further.

A Timney trigger for the Mosin runs about $100, give or take a few bucks, and if you are going to put a scope on it there are options from a scout mount for around $10.00 to a receiver mount that requires a gunsmith to install for $50-60, depending on where you get it. That doesn't include the scope, of course, and a scope can run up to a couple of hundred dollars depending on which one you get.

Some would question the wisdom of sinking $2-300 on a $100 rifle, especially one that you can't just go to your local Mart of Walls to get ammo for. On the plus side, ammo is readily available for it through mail order and a polymer stock would lighten it up enough to be more user-friendly come Bambi slaying season.

Of course, you can get a Savage Axis in 7mm for not much more money than just the stock and magazine (and for less money than the stock, magazine, trigger and scope mount), and 7mm ammo has consistently been on the shelf all through the recent unpleasantness, but that Archangel stock sure is a looker.

02 February 2014

February ROTM

Courtesy of our friends at The Chive.

This Bob fellow is obviously a man of refined style and taste.

Carry on.

Charity Wheels

When the Mustang guys do a thing, we really do a thing.

 And sometimes...we get noticed...

 There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 of us, I don't think anyone really stopped to count. We met up with our escort and rolled down the main street of Gastonia NC. It was a pretty impressive sight, we stretched in a line along several blocks down Franklin Street.

There were more Mustangs at the event than all the other cars combined, and we really tied things up coming in. I think there were more of us than the show's organizers expected, which was all to the good. They managed to rally well and got us all parked and signed in without too much fuss.

Of course there were cars other than Mustangs there as well.

We couldn't have asked for better weather, warm enough to be comfortable and the sun shone most of the day. Not much like Tuesday night at all, but that's wintertime in the South for you. All of the convertible drivers had their tops down for the roll down Franklin Street.

I can't say what the final tally was (because I don't know, not because it's a secret), but it was a well attended event.