Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kill 'em All.

  I noticed a little scattered and gnawed deercorn so the last time I got a couple of sacks at the feedstore I added two cheap mousetraps.  1.45 or so.  Nothing.
  So far I have killed five mice.  One a day.   Two with catfood and three with the same dry and wrinkled corner of Velveeta.  I'm giving them Christian funerals on the leaf pile pyres at the lakehouse.
  Hardly any deer except a couple of button bucks on the cams.  I know they are around- big tracks coming and going but not to the cams.  Plenty coons.  Five in one frame.  Time to deploy the Havahart and go back to the Coon War.  
  For New Years we are keeping it low and slow.  I don't know if we will make midnight.  Going out to a bonfire/telescope/champagne thing.  As long as we aren't killed by a drunk driver it ought to be a laid-back evening.
  A happy and safe evening to all!

  Update:  Tomorrow the Redhead and I put pen to paper of what we want to accomplish in the next year.  She starts off with a big Pilates workshop at her place.  I'm going back to teaching a couple of sections at Tyler Junior College.  Besides the big picture we have some specifics.  2008 was wonderful.  We have much hope for 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Suppression Progression

 Now up to 3.5 grains Titegroup under a Sierra 77 Matchking.  No barrel sticking.  No sonic crack.  Need a chronograph to see how fast they are.
  The Yankee Hill suppressor and mount had to be slathered in oil to make sure they didn't rust.  Had the gun out in the rain and the contact points on the mount, kind of detents at the end of the screw-mount rusted with a little moisture on them.  Did the whole thing and a clean job, plus put grease down the buffer tube to cut spring noise.  I guess if I am noticing spring noise it must be pretty quiet.
  Sure wish I had a better dot sight.  A 4X power would be just about perfecto.  Haven't found it yet.
  Comments asked about a .22LR conversion kit.  Good idea, but the suppressor is going to also mount on a 10/22.  It's all about the learning.

  Oh, the bullets that came out of the barrel- the stuck ones?  I reloaded them and shot them today. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bottom in Black and White

  The Good Doctor and I hunted the lake this morning.  34 and still with overhead stars.  Near-perfect conditions.  I dropped off into a B & W creekbottom and ghosted my way across the gurgling creek and up a deserted log road without a light.  Picked out a huge pine to sit against and watched the hillside come to life.  I didn't crack a dry leaf or touch a twig coming in.  With these soft old rubber boots give you every familiar root and hollow underfoot.  Nothing moved through the morning except flashing birds and darting squirrels but it's a good spot.  Absolutely gorgeous, (though cool) as I sat through the morning hours.  I went up the hill and found it ringed with fresh rubs, big ones.  Prime habitat and probably the core area of some huge buck.  The moving neighbors piled plastic chairs on the curb.  One of them is going on the logging road.
  Corn gone while nothing on the cam.  Coons probably.  I could hear people talking, dogs moaning, doors slamming, a sizzling shot from across the road with a "whomp" on the end.  I was shivering with cold toes when I came out, glad to be moving.  Sneed blanked as well except for dogs and squirrels.  The rut is over and the deer have shifted behavior again. 

Update:  Checked cams today.  No deer for the third check on the close cam on one on the cam across the creek.  There are fresh tracks since the rain but they aren't hitting the cams.  If I was rich I would have ten cams.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Slowing things down

  Here's the stuck 77 grain Sierra Matchkings.  Probably could load and shoot them again.

 My suppressor is loud, or louder than you might hope, with my normal .223 match loads.  You could go without earmuff while shooting, but it's marginal.

  I looked on the Hogden site and found a subsonic load: 3.1 grains of Titegroup and a 55 grain bullet.  I tried 3.1 grains of Titegroup under a Nosler 69.  It works, doesn't cycle the rifle but it's quiet.  The gun kind of rattles a bit when it goes off.  Kind of a beefed up .22lr.  About six inches under the zero for my normal ammo.

  Learning.  Going to try 3.4 and a 77 Sierra Matchking.  Might go sonic.  
  Could have killed a roaming dog, one of three, graveyard dead today, with the suppressed AR. Had the red dot centered up and first stage of the trigger gone.  It's lake policy to shoot strays, since we get so many dumped dogs.  Three in this group, but I couldn't bring myself to break the trigger.  Let him go.  Perhaps they will move on.  They were looking for deer to run but I don't think the deer are in much danger.

Update: 3.4 Titegroup stuck two 77s in the barrel after shooting one out.  77s have more bearing surface than the 69 Hornadys.  (More power!)  Got on the web for stuck bullet advice and found plenty.  Used Kroil and a fiberglass rod to drive the bullets out the muzzle without much problem.  Learning.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Worst Christmas Gift

  I'll open the nominations.  It's a pinata of a soldier.  So...we are hanging soldiers and beating them to bits?  Or what?

  And it's not mine.  It was a gift to a grown woman who has no soldiers in the family, no friends who are in the armed forces, nothing.   

  Out of the blue, apropos of nothing: a pinata soldier.  Kind of an ugly bad rendition as well.

Update:  maybe it's an Atlatl target!

UpdateII: Gave two prints from the Owens Archive as gifts.  Worked.  The Redhead got one instant regift, though it might just go in the Goodwill stack.  This soldier confusing.

Update III: So far, no copy of "Hell, I Was THERE!"  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Deadly Gunz in the Parkz

  Ignorance on display out of the Boston press.  This is particularly galling when you realize the founders were in Boston when they enumerated a list of human rights, including the right to arms.  Unbelievable.

  Wonder what Derrick Jackson thinks when he watches Saving Private Ryan, (illegal invasion of another country with regime change in mind), Open Range, (murder of all members of civil authority), Brave Heart or god forbid, The Patriot (riot and rebellion against established government.

  Jack Straw is rolling over in his grave at about 10,000 rpm.  Same with Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, to say nothing of Travis, Bowie, Crockett, Sequin.  Bill Tell can't be pleased either.

  I'll just leave him with the quote off the Democratic Underground, and one Christmas thought: human beings are born to be free.

East Texas Twang

  Tyler bow hunters ship gear to Iraq.

  Next:  Atlatl ambush.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

  Ho, Ho, Ho.  Deer from two years ago.  I used this for my Christmas card image.  Mixed results.  Some folks just have a hard time getting into the holiday spirit I guess.


  Same dog from a month ago.  One of the area landowners, an FBI agent, killed 11 coyotes by hanging chicken parts about six feet off the ground using strong line and treble stainless ocean fishing hook sets.  This is a coyote who won't eat chicken or recognizes stainless steel.

Update:  Might have been shot by a local.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Daily Deercam

  Panic.  God knows why.

  The Bent-horned buck has made it to late December.  Front feet in the scrape.  He's 1 1/2.

  Youngster checking the licking branch.

  Working the scrape.  1 1/2 year old.  Dumb.

  Healthy mouse-eating coyote.  Seen him on cam a couple times before.

  Across the creek cam hadn't been visited since December 4.  High water, darkness, schedule.  Things have been going on over there!  Too dark to read sign when I crossed.

  Cold and dark time of the year.  Long US Army undermawears, lit a cheery pile of leaves before leaving and carried a flashlight.  No wind so it was comfortable out.  Does on the close cam but boring ones.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If you don't like the law....CHANGE it!

  I hear that a lot.  It presupposes that the laws are affected by citizen input, or that laws COME from citizens demanding this or that.

  Interestingly, here's a laundry list that a state bureaucracy wants passed...not citizens- but a powerful subsection of the state itself.  Very little if any citizen involvement.  The bureaucracy wants this list so as to empower....the bureaucracy.

 You don't think they will put on uniforms and go testify as to what good ideas these are, thereby using their prestige and influence as to get their list passed do you?

Last Train to Clarksville.

  The good Dr. and I hunted last weekend and this weekend my brother and I went up.  Brother is a Dragonov kind of guy and shot two does with his.  I mostly watched tree lines and little bucks.  They are logging behind the farmhouse and we walked out to look.  It's a natural site for Precolombians and the logging scars were full of pottery, flint chips and village trash.  When it rains we are going to have a good look at it.  I found this freshly-broken point in a log-drag mark.  We actually took four big jugs of water back to the site and washed it looking for the hasp but no luck.

  This point looks like it was originally much wider but was sharpened several times, working the edge back but losing the angle.  The site is the end of a ridge 100 feet above the creek below.  Wonderful overwatch for wide flat riverbottom in three directions.  Folks lived here on and off for centuries.  

  Might be a knife blade, might be an atlatl point.  No native flint so the material got walked in.

  What a life.  Deer hunters and gatherers, farmers, living right here.  No Internet, no power, no written language.  You had to memorize everything.  You would know everyone within walking range, have an encyclopedic knowledge of your technology and a firm grasp of your religion and cosmos.  All those folks dead and forgotten. Language, culture, technology, all gone.

  Folks these days can't do a fraction, don't believe in God, can't gnaw a plastic chair or a ballpoint pen out of a root much less butcher a deer.  

  Who's the ignorant savage now?  

  Gas, whatever the heck gas actually IS, was 1.39 a gallon for the 4-runner, whatever a 4-runner is.  Maybe they are hatched from dragon's eggs.

Update:  Had a shot at a shootable doe last evening but mostly didn't want to be bothered and the light was nearly gone.  I painted her with the red dot and took the slack of out the trigger.  (AR carbine with a YHM forearm)  She was just over the hill crest but mostly exposed.  Sure wish those cheap red dots had a little magnification.  I heard the Dragonov and held off.  His evening doe went 100 live weight to 80 field dressed.  Teeth looked about 5 1/2, some of the oldest I have seen at Clarksville.

Update:  Have you hugged your atlatl lately?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daily Deercam

  Walmart had rechargeable lantern batteries on sale for 4.50.  Just in time.  Two dead rechargeables and one weak one.  Screw-in tree steps for a buck apiece as well.

  This guy is around.  Sign everywhere.  I didn't go across the creek because I had burned up the afternoon photographing nuns.  No kidding.

  Looks like he may have broken a brow tine.  They keep fighting.  A couple years back I had a buck go from an eight to a four.  He broke the crab-claws off both sides, fighting through December.  The rut is over.  I don't know what they are fighting about.   The next year I shot him when he was a ten.  He ought to be a good buck next year.  He's 2 1/2 in this photo.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Be careful what you wish for.

 Gun folks are always making the points that swimming pools kill more children than guns do, so why aren't they regulating swimming pools?  Well....they have, and the regulations will close nearly every pool and hot tub in the US.
  The Government:  Keeping us safe and broke whether we like it or not.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

M14 Petition

  The government is destroying M14 rifles that could be sold by the CMP.  Here's a petition to reverse that process.

  The CMP sells surplus military surplus arms to support its purpose of promoting civilian marksmanship.  I think, and hope they have made millions in the past decade selling carbines, M1s, 1903s, P17s and Krags.  So far they can't touch M14s because there is a full-auto capability.  It's easy to permanently disable.

  I like M14s and have shot a lot of them, both military and civilian rifles.  It's an improved Garand that shoots .308 ammo.  Never killed a deer with one but shot them in matches and while teaching Squad Designated Marksman Schools for the Army.  The only one I ever owned was stolen while it was at the house of the guy who co-owned it with me.  It was a Springfield Armory National Match in an Eagle case.  Leather sling.  Serial Number 056616.  I miss it.

Update:  January match at Panola is going to feature .30 caliber.  Nice time to shoot the old iron.  Probably going to break out the Garand, though I could shoot the 1903A3 or the Swiss.  Or the Swede.  Choices, choices...

Monday, December 15, 2008

How to Tell if you are being mocked.

  Once I had worked my way through shooting deer with my stack of old military rifles, friends popped up offering to help.  Rol has an old brassy Enfield.  Roger has a Krag.  John has a Springfield 45-70 Govt he bought when he was 13.  When John came up to Clarksville this past weekend he toted his 45-70 along with free ammo.  Here it is.  Since it was missing the rear sight and the front sight was a dab of copper wire he mounted the cheapest aimpoint American money could buy and zeroed it.
  Last year at the National Matches I shot Garand, Springfield 1903, M1A and Vintage without a hint of a recoil problem and 2/3rds of those matches are prone, where you really soak up the impact.  I shot John's 45-70 twice off a bench to check the aimpoint, or destroy it, and came away with a shoulder that felt like it had been sledgehammered.
  John still had some of his original ammo that came with the gun.  He's 60 now, so it's not a fun gun to shoot.
  Needs a window weight duct taped to the forearm to soak up some energy.
  Stock cut down, rear sight stolen, front sight bubbaed, no sling, tang and trigger guard screws replaced with wood screws, aim point added.  All I needed was some match hollowpoints.
    Actually carried it into the stand with me and watched a couple of little bucks and a tiny doe.  Put the gun on them to look at the sights.  Heavy trigger- must be 15 lbs or so.
  I can't believe people used to shoot each other with these things.

Update:  Looked at Numrich for replacement screws and they had some, but not all.  Amazing.

Happy Bill of Rights Day

  I always thought it should be the same date as National Ammo Day just to make things simpler.

  Bill of Rights Day.  Humans have them whether they get listed or not but it was visionary for the American founders to actually make a partial list.  They couldn't get the Constitution ratified and it languished until they added this enumerated list of what everyone thought humans came with naturally.

  Tam has the update.  You actually don't have any rights these days that anyone in Government is obliged to recognize, but that's just the complexity and sophistication of modern life.  Have a diet coke!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daily Deercam

  Not much across the creek.  Tracks everywhere.  A big spike that needs shooting on the close cam.  A REAL spike.  Looks like bad genetics.  Not going to grow into anything.  He's already 2 1/2 with no forks.
  Maybe the neighbor visiting hunters will shoot him.  

Update:  The redhead says "Off with his head."  She wants those horns.  I don't understand women.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In the Camp of the Barbarians.

  500 hits on my deer skull boiling video.  In Valhalla, cannibals, Aztecs, and man-eating headhunters are going nuts.

Update:  540.  But there are 15,000 plus on my benchrest technique "Improving your Shooting" vid.  Holy Cecil B. Demille.

Ammo Whammo.

  The level of brass in my five gallon bucket has barely budged and I have 1000 rounds loaded.  Much fun.  Brass tumbling as we speak.  Going to switch to .45acp next and stock up with match grade ammo.  Need about 500 rounds of that.

  Folks still talking about ammo shortage.  Scary stuff.  Every time Academy has a sale on 9mm and .45 people go buy another five boxes.

  I get through deer season shooting about 30 rounds, including zero checking.  Um, that's using five or six different rifles killing five or six deer.  Most folks get through a whole season with 1-3 rounds.

  Shooting competition I run through a couple thousand 5.56.  Add another 100 rounds of 30-06,  60 rounds of M1 Carbine, 100 Swiss 7.5,  65 rounds of 7.62 at the Cap Perry Springfield match.  Not really that much.  Toss in pistol shooting and a junior shooter and you are looking at 4-5000 rounds a year.  Harmless rounds.  Paper punching.

  Soldiers waded ashore on Dog Green at Omaha Beach with a couple of basic loads in bandoliers of 30-06.  56 rounds per bandolier.

  Two criminal scumbags, Mohammed and Malvo, shut down the whole East Coast with one 20 round box.  For two weeks.  They had ammo left over when they were found asleep in their car.

  The moral?  If you are shooting paper in competition, you need a lot of ammo.  If you're shooting live targets, not so much. 

  If the government decides to destroy the gun culture, they easily can.   They have made it troublesome and expensive in plenty of places and wiped it out.  New Jersey.  New York City.  No problem.  No more paper punching.

  But it doesn't seem to take much ammo to have a big impact.  I'm not sure they can fix that on the way to utopia.

Update:  Got any .45acp WCC 04?

Update II:  Brass out.  LC91, 02, 04, Win.  All of it shot at least once by me and the Marine Reserve units at Mineral Wells.   Might be some US Army Squad Designated Marksman school brass from Ft Hood.  Recycling at it's best.  These cases get a lot of love.  They are like old coins.  You turn them over in your fingers and wonder where they have been.  Was this a 10, 9 or an X?  Or did some Pfc get whacked with a cleaning rod over this shot?
  When I started shooting Highpower Rifle it was a scramble to find ammo.  We shot Win white box, begged ammo and Black Hills reloads.  Hard to find enough and it was breaking the bank.  I started reloading for me and the Kid's dad with a box full of junk stuff I bought for 20 bucks at a gun show.  At one point I had 70 rounds of some off-brand brass that I found in one pile at the rifle range that I shot in practice, reloaded, then practiced again.  Usually shot twice a week.  Couldn't practice until I had all the reloading done.  I shot that brass about 15 times.  It was still good when I put it in the brass barrel.  Never split and always held the primers.  Some weird stuff with three letters on the headstamp.  No date.  Never seen it again.  Finally found enough LC and Winchester to start sorting by year and headstamp.  I did have a few pieces of old nearly black brass that I found on the range at Ft Polk, Louisiana.  That was where my brother took basic training before getting killed with the 173rd Abn in Vietnam.  Those black cases used to work themselves through the process and come by about once a month.  I think they were about LC 66.  Would have liked to hear their story but they stayed silent though I shot them more times than the army ever dreamed about.  Nice to have good brass.  Don't really need it talking while you are trying to shoot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Land of Lincoln

  There just aren't any honest politicians from Illinois.  Not for the last 100 years.  It's all who you know and whether you are connected up there now.  Nothing left.

  Got more than one friend, all good men, really enamored of Obama.  They fell for those early speeches about new ways of doing things.  I've cautioned them, but it's like talking to folks who are high.  They are going to have to detox first.  Rough to watch, no point in arguing much about it, anymore than you could argue a drunk out of inebriation.  Just takes time and the experience of the world.

  Pretty cold showers on the way.  Too bad though, he's the President of all of us for at least the next four years, probably the next eight.

  This isn't a political blog.  It's about what interests me, usually stuff like boiling deerheads and trying to figure out a load for 600 yards.  Deercams.  Old guns.  Art.  The Redhead.  The Cat.  The neighbors.  Tracks in the dirt along Butler Creek.  The myriad joys of life.  I get the uneasy feeling that the government has ruptured in a way that's going to swamp the kind of life I aspire to live and leave for my daughter and get between me and happiness.  Hope not.  We'll certainly get to see.  I'm not going to let it make me unhappy but keeping a wary eye on it. 

It Ain't Just Plaxico

  Now Brandon Jacobs, NY Giants running back has issued a statement about his 2nd Amendment stance.  Wonder what state he lives in?  

  Nice to have folks standing up for their human rights!

My Flabbergastion Continues.

  Lawdog is from another planet.  That's the only explanation.  Most LEOs don't have a comment about illegal orders- happy, (as in Katrina) to go along with them.  Now he's actually advocating open carry in Texas.  This is unheard of in his circle.

  I hope he has 1000 children.  He's a rare human being and a formidable, nuanced advocate of human rights.  My respect grows.  Everyone ought to read him every day.

  Full disclosure:  I've got a LEO friend who WAS a sniper at Ruby Ridge.  He didn't get to shoot.  He complains that Horuchi is a hell of a guy, got a raw deal and that they ought to have been allowed to kill everyone on the top of that hill.  I've got another close LEO friend who watched FBI folks load both metal doors on a truck and drive away at Waco, then testified to the same in front of the judge, (not jury).  I've heard personal accounts of lots of this stuff. 

Update:  Make that two folks with commissions: Cowtown Cop is on the side of the Angels.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reloading Obsession

  The redhead asked me when I was going to be finished loading ammo.  Ha!  The answer is: Never.  Hard to stop when this scratches my obsessive itch so well.  You sort, clean, size, trim, load.  Many steps in a certain order.  I just pile my shoes in one area, don't lay out my socks, iron my jeans or count my staples but when you need twelve more LC 04s to make a box of 100 it's like playing Go Fish.

  Lotta ammo on the table.  Need more.  Got any WCC 05s?

  The Kid came home last night from his first overnight visit to his dad in four years or so.  He borrowed a rifle from me and shot a coyote and a 450 lb hog.  As revenge his dad sent the coyote hide and most of the pig meat home with him.  Divorce is an ugly thing.  God only knows what lice, ticks, fleas and vermin a December hide has on it and pig meat?  He called me looking for a freezer for a hind leg.  I passed.

  At the coffee shop we saw Trish the Dish.  She gave me the bit of shocking news that a mutual friend- Joanna Jones, had been shot to death by her boyfriend at her job.  Jones was a pixie-like Englishwoman, mother to a 10 year old girl and a delightful person.  And it's not just the accent and laughing at my jokes- she really WAS a wonderful person with disastrous taste in men.  She'd been in my studio as a stylist for several photoshoots.  Her boyfriend, Michael Scott Hudnall, killed her and then botched killing himself, shooting off his jaw instead.  I wonder who he thought he was killing when he shot my friend?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Daily Deercam

  New face.  Wandering buck probably pushed out of territory by bigger animals.  Probably a nice, big 2 1/2 year old.  Nice genetics, wide rack.  Easy to recognize with those browtines.   Next year.  Or the next.

Update:  Some of the new faces may be due to me shooting the previous buck that held this territory.  Makes the whole system flex when you take out one of the major players.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Twist Rate.

  Most people.....OK, SOME people know that there is rifling in the barrel of their rifles and pistols which causes the bullet to spin, stabilizing it.  The twist rate varies from model to model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer.  ( rifling is twisting grooves cut into the inside of the barrel)  I recently had my AR rebarreled with a Douglas stainless 1/8 twist barrel.  It won't stabilize 80 grain Sierras.  Not enough twist.  (The twist rate 1/8 is one complete revolution of the rifling every 8 inches, hence: 1/8.)  My previous Douglas barrels have been OK, but this one isn't.
  All I have ever shot at 600 is 80 grain Sierra Matchkings.
  I've been struggling with this for almost a year, shooting good scores up close at 200 and 300 yards with 69 grain Sierra Matchkings then watching my score crash with some lousy groups at 600 yards with the 80s.
  I'm not happy when I shoot lousy scores.  The sensation was that I was shooting very well, but the 80s were never where you thought they should be.  I would break a shot I thought would be in the middle and it would be a 4:00 8 ring.  Then I would break the next shot down the middle and it would be a 9 at 2:00.  A couple of times I shot donut shaped groups AROUND the 10 ring.  Very frustrating.
  Today, I shot some Lapua 77 grain bullets that we got as samples on Commercial Row on Camp Perry at the National Matches.  I only had 20, and the match calls for 2 sighters and then 20 rounds for record, so I shot two Sierra Matchking 77 grain bullets for sighters.  The sighters were a 10 and an X.  First Lapua 77 just missed the nine ring for an 8 at 12:00.  I came down three clicks on the rear sight and started shooting up the center.  Result: 194X8 (out of a possible 200)  Everything on call.  Much fun when things work.
  Overall 485X16.  95X1 standing at 200, 97X3 sitting rapid at 200 yards, 99X4 at 300.  Beautiful day at Panola.

Update:  Yeah, if I had a 1/7 twist barrel there wouldn't be a problem.  Same thing with my 1/8 twist match rifle barrel- it's 24 inches long instead of 20 on the AR service rifle, so it seems to shoot 80s OK.  Those extra four inches or more twist rate make a big difference.

Free Plaxico!

  I'm with Dave on this one.  New York and New Jersey have immoral, unjust, unconstitutional laws.
  I like the idea of Plaxico defending himself (plenty of money, time on his hands, personal freedom at stake) as well as I liked using President Bush as the plaintiff for the Heller case.  Bush has an illegally imported pistol in his office.  (Saddam's Browning Highpower)  It's illegal for anyone to have one there.  Plus there is the further question of the numerous Federal importation laws, none of which have a wave-off for POTUS.  He had enough money to mount a stiff defense against immoral, unjust and unconstitutional laws.  He should have been arrested as the scofflaw he is and been tried.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Brass gods.

  One of my favorite companies, RVO, has gone kaflunkt so I'm having to do my own brass work.  It's hand work like knapping your own arrowpoints fom river cobbles.  Many steps.
  Plenty of brass on hand.  I have 5 gallon buckets of mixed brass, mostly .223.  Got the little factory set up.

1.  Size and deprime case.
2.  Tumble clean overnight.
3.  Punch out the walnut chunk in the primer hole and clean inside for any burrs.
4.  Trim to overall length.
5.  Champfer and bevel case mouth.
6. Prime.
7.  Measure and load powder.
8. Seat bullet.

  I sort by headstamp so there are cut off milk cartons all around filling up with enough brass to make a box of bullets.
  It's fun like anything: doing it yourself.  I make some custom loads for other rifles and .45acp match ammo.  I'm making my match .223 loads plus enough for the kid.  I'm bad about passing out ammo to new shooters as well.  Get 'em hooked.  You have to handload to shoot serious rifle match scores.  You just can't get good enough ammo cheap enough without doing it yourself.
  Using a Harrell powder thrower, a Lyman scale, a Harrell press with rotating top and Sinclair hand priming tool.  Once you get rolling you can crank it out, though I am weighing every load and using single stage equipment.
  Thinking about adding some dies for the Swede Mauser and shoot it in Vintage matches.  Just need sixty Norma cases and some 107gr Sierra 6.5 Matchkings.  I already load 7.65 Argentine and 7X57 for my deer rifle.  Killed a lot of deer with handloads.
  I miss River Valley Ordnance.  Maybe they will come back to life.  I haven't had completely clean hands in a week.  Either the gunpowder and brass grease mixed with Universal Wax lube or the jewelers rouge in the tumbling media get you.
  Then you put them in the rifle, there's a CRACK! and your uncleaned, unprimed, unsized, untrimmed, unloaded brass is there in the grass waiting to go around again.
  Wonder if my little factory is going to be a felony offense in six months?

Update:  Comments asked about where to learn reloading.  I'd start looking at some Youtube videos and buy Glenn Zedikers book.

Update II: I'm a simpleton who is made happy by the sight of a cut off milk carton full of shiny clean brass!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Daily Deercam

  A trophy buck I don't recognize yet.  Only stayed for one file.  Flabbergasting genetics in this bottom.  Notice how short his legs look and how rounded his belly is.  Mature buck.  5 1/2- 6 1/2.  Cruises in.  Gets one photo made.  Gone.  What else is out there?  Bigfoot?

  This 1 1/2 will be nice next year, and better in 2010 if he makes it.  Probably an eight point next fall about eartip wide.  He's peeing in the scrape.  Deer this age are dumb.  The big bucks run them off, the does run them off and they wander around until some new shooter sees them. 

  Doe still smelling the licking branch.  Mature doe.  Big body.  No doe tags in Smith County so ladies like this one get old and experienced.

  Deercamming today when my Alpenflage chest pocket rang.  It was my daughter, and we chatted along as I strolled out to cam one with a gallon of corn, a card and an AR carbine.  I rounded the corner and could see deer backs floating along in the grass.  Hung up.  Spilled some corn.  Dropped my cell phone down inside one leg to my rubber boot.  Very exciting.  It was the big doe and her two button buck fawns.  All together.  Rut over for a bit.  I had the wind and they never figured me while I watched them off one knee.
  I knew it wasn't one of the big bucks because if you can't see the horns with your eyes, right off...then there aren't any horns worth seeing.
  Scrapes still being worked.
  Across the creek I cleared the cam and then took a little off-trail line to see some of the habitatup the creek.  Perfect for deer.  Not a sign of a person- I don't think anyone ever goes up in the brush.  I pushed some deer ahead of me up a sandy bottomed deep-cut creek keeping one eye on the gravel banks for arrownheads and pottery.  Rubs, tracks, sign.  Perfect cover, abundant food.  I would never come back here during summer months.  With the leaves down you can just find your way.  God help us when a fire comes through.
  I ought to cut a trail into one of the flats along the deep creek, put a feeder and a cam back here with a nice discreet tree seat.  Or just improve some sight lines on the seat I have near the cam.  Cut out a tree so I can see the scrape.

Update:  Alan sent jaw teeth photos of my deer to the local state biologist.  4 1/2 years old.  He was a fawn in Spring of 2004.

Don't go Plaxico.

  In the fine tradition of DEA agent Lee Paige, here's another guy with an aching leg. 

  This isn't funny.  Our local County Judge shot himself the same way.  Must happen all the time. 

  BE CAREFUL!  Observe the Four Rules of Gun safety.  Don't shoot yourself or others!   

  Maybe it's just something about those Glock .40s.

  Here's Lee Paige again.  Don't know why he isn't pitching HS Precision.

Update:  Instapunk sums up the rational and emotional argument to save these victims.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Open Carry in Texas

  This isn't a TSRA action item.  Alice Tripp, the TSRA lobbiest, thinks its a little extreme and she is right on one count: the states that have it have it as a hold-over from an earlier era or something government overlooked.  NO state has established open carry in the modern era, say, 1920 to present.
  It would be an uphill climb.
  LEO's open carry in civilian clothes all the time.  They hang a badge next to the gun and that is supposed to ID them enough.  These days though, when the FDA meat inspectors and the Fire Chiefs building inspectors and city lawyers all pack openly, it's hard to make a case for the peasants not having the same opportunity.  Heck, just issue some badges to unwashed scum.
  I'd like to open carry.  Sounds fun.  Smells like freedom.
  Story in the Dallas paper today.  Petition here.  No chance in hell of getting someone to carry a bill this session.  One thing Alice mentioned- when this is rolling around the legislature it gives the anti-gun folks something to concentrate on and keeps them from doing real damage.  That might be worth the fight right there.

Update: Jeff at Alphecca is talking about it as well.

Update II:  Jacquelline Floyd wrote her column about this in the Dallas Morning News but I can't find a link yet.  Hard to tell if she was for or against.

Acorn Crop

  Not any good on the East Coast but for the record, damn good here.  You could skate on acorns through the woods in Smith County.
  I've noticed how cyclical the pecans and acorns are in town and the deer hunters always talk about it.  I've never seen a NO-acorn year though.