Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cousin Wallace shoots Nazi Garand.

Wallace got wind of an estate sale and picked up a nice Walther K43 semi-auto German WWII rifle with five magazines and a scope on it.  Here's his account:

Picked this up yesterday @ an estate sale here in Abilene. AC 45 ( Walther ) K43 w/original Zeiss 4X scope & mount. Got 5 magazines w/it. Top handguard is cracked and one little ding on stock but otherwise good wood. Metal has a bit of surface rust here & there but overall pretty good. Bore looks like it's gonna be OK. Patch slid down the bore smoothly. Bore shines but grooves look a bit dark. Wundering if a few shots down the tube will cure that. Has original sling but it's broke. Scope has the very heavy post and equally heavy horizontal post on each side. It's a bit hazy but still able to see thru it. Nothing in buttplate trap but it does have the cleaning rod. Is this cool or what? These dont come along every day!!! Pretty happy!

K43 8mm.

And his range report:

Got a chance to try out the Nazi K43 today. I had some very old (red & green box) commercial Remington 170gr RN soft-pt, and two very old surplus FMJ. One was 1945 vintage, the other 1952 vintage. Both were loaded with the 154gr flat-base FMJ. I'm unsure of the countries of origin. ( '45 possibly Greek & '52 possibly some arab country) Both were definitely corrosive. Believe it or not, every round fired with gusto!

First fired 3 rounds iron sight & 3 w/scope @ 25 yds to see if it was on the paper. It grouped low with both types of the surplus ammo but groups were about an inch.I made some elevation adjustments and began shooting @ 100 yds off the bench.I eventually got everything regulated fairly close. Groups were about 3" to as big as 6.25" with most in the 3.5" to 4.5" range. Scope made no difference in group size that I could tell. Of course, I'm used to using irons, The scope might help a shooter if they dont typically do well w/irons.

Function was not 100%. I fired about 40 rds and had 4 hiccups. Two were w/the RN Remingtons and it was fail to feed, prob due to the blunt SP bullet. The other two were when the bolt failed to completely strip a fresh round from the magazine. Prob could use a new/stronger recoil spring. I drew the bolt back & let it have a running start to then push to round forwar & out of the mag & into chamber. 
Trigger was pretty long pull, a bit mushy but not super heavy. Makes one appreciate a Garand trigger!
Recoil wasn't too bad. The rifle is heavy (especially w/the scope & mount which weigh about 1.5lbs) and the gas operated action probably helped too. Ejection was awesome! Most of the time empties were sent into orbit, landing @ 2:00 from 36' to 42' away! Nearly all the cases had their mouths boogered-up from hitting something or, maybe being struck by the bolt carrier? No biggie as long as it's berdan primed & not going to be reloaded anyhow. The extractor in the bolt is very wide which is prob a good thing since ejection is so powerful...prob rip off rims if extractor wasnt so wide.

Sight picture w/irons was pretty good. Front sight easier to see than the thin types on Springfields but narrow enough to be fairly precise. No windage adjustment. Had to set rear up to about 250 yd setting to get bullets to print proper elev @100 yds. Windage was close enough, especially w/the old poor ammo I was using. I was mindful to watch the scope while using it to sight with....didnt want to get cut by leaning too far forward. When using the scope, the cross hair post appeared to cover up about a foot @100yds. I used the point on top of post to aim with. I did make adjustments but was never able to get the point of impact far enuff to the left...close, but not quite enough. Oddly, the windage adj was on the top of scope & the elevation was on right side of scope.
Overall, this is an OK rifle. I could snipe a Russian out to 200 yds or so but better ammo is needed to see what potential it would have @ further distances. The ammo I used doesnt shoot all that well in my K98 so the K43 might be more accurate than observed today. Accuracy was comparable to the 1941 Johnson and Soviet SVT-40 Tokerev, other WWII semi-autos. I believe at this point, the Garand overall more accurate, reliable, shootable.

Since most of the ammo I shot today was corrosive, I had to see about field stripping the weapon for thorough cleaning w/ G.I. bore cleaner. I kinda had an idea of how it came apart so I managed to get the reciever cover, springs, bolt & bolt carrier to fly in all directions as it got away from me...pieces landed in about a 10' radius! Kinda reminds me of an SKS when the reciever cover is removed...the Russians are notorious for copying designs, wonder if the SKS was inspired by the K43? Obviously a different bolt locking method though. The K43 has retracting dual lugs...kinda neat to study how they work. Those Germans were pretty sharp engineers!

Gas port is at the end of the stock. A fixed piston looking thing, about 2.5" long is covered by a sleeve that is connected to a steel piece about 3" long which is then connected to a longer rod surrounded by a spring. This longer rod travels thru the rear sight housing & butts up to the front of the bolt carrier (again, reminds me of a SKS). Looks like the gas propells the rod rearward to tap the bolt carrier & cycle the action. I got it reassembled fairly easily and reinstalled above the medium weight barrel.
I'm letting the barrel soak overnite after swabbing several patches of the stinky G.I. bore cleaner to prevent the corrosive ammo from rusting the bore. I swear, my wife can detect one part of this bore cleaner to 283,000,000 parts of air...she's repeatedly expressed her displeasure at the smell, even though it was only on my fingers....I even showered & she still claims she can smell it. Guess females have a better smeller than men do....
Anyhow, these are a few things I learned/experienced with Hitler's "Garand"'s a long way from being as good as our genuine Garand in my opinion. However, it's probably a good thing the krauts dint have these in great numbers as they offered a much higher rate of fire than the bolt action Mausers. The 8mm Mauser cartridge is very powerful and effective. It's tamed to a tolerable level in this semi-auto, much like the Garand makes the .30-06 a lot more pleasant to shoot than it is in a Springfield.

As always, your comments/thoughts are welcomed,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Clarksville for second weekend in a row...

Still doe tagging up at Clarksville.  Shot two and hit them both a little 9:00 from where I thought the shot broke.  Nice does, already at processor.  Gotta check that zero or switch rifles.  Having great trips up.  Wonderful weather to be out and about.  Not muddy underfoot and no wind.  Cold in the mornings and perfect in the afternoon.  Most of the time, the weather in Texas is perfect.  The Good Doctor Sneed was along so the company was heavily armed and pleasant.

Making photographs.

8X10 standing by.

It throws a thick shadow.  

Had to sled-dog this doe about 150 yards up the firebreak.  Picked her out of a group of five that walked around the back of a tower I was in.  I carry an old piece of one-inch tubular rock climbing webbing that has sled-dogged a lot of deer.  I put a loop around the deers neck, make a loop to go over my shoulder, tie in a carabiner as an extra handle and started mushing.  Lotta work.  Slightly uphill dragging an undressed 115 lb deer.  Had to pause for a short break twice but it's like chopping wood: You can see the results of your effort at once.  Got her in the cooler so that I could load her in the back of the 4-runner without smearing blood all over.  

The Good Doctor Cooper-ized a nice boar.  Before I caught myself I observed that pig jaws are ONE PIECE and make nice trophies....and before you knew it we were wrestling this hog for his lower mandible.  Yug.  He was fairly attached to it, though it went back to College Station in a ziplock.  The evening that the Doctor had sent this fellow to hog heaven, we examined the carcass and then opened it up so the scavengers could get to it quickly.  It was buzzard heaven.

Washing out the gut bucket.  Amazing how busy you can stay, especially if you are running two operating systems....say, art and hunting, at the same time.

  Climbed a spectacular old oak at the site of a house ruin.  No house left- just some wire and a set of concrete steps.  The oak was so big and old that the outside limbs were down to the ground level.  When we were kids this would have been a prize tree.  I just climbed up to see the shadow and have a look around.  It was like being inside sculpture.

When I was a kid, a tree like this would actually be known by a name:  The hilltop tree, the corner tree, the yellow house tree, the Big Fort tree, Coke tree.  The Coke tree was so hard to climb that the legend had it that IF you could actually climb it, your parents would magically have bought you a bottled coke by the time you got home.  This was WAY before soft drinks became more popular than water.  We worked pretty hard to make that climb every chance we got and the legend never died.  

Going boldly where only possums, raccoons, bats, owls, poison ivy and sparrows have gone before, plus the long-dead kids that lived in the house that isn't there any more.  They wouldn't have missed this.  I get a Dr. Pepper.  No Coke.

Hardly a cell tower in Red River County.  ATT users don't get many bars.  I forwarded a little bit of info to Sneed's home base:

The Doctor, readying his Cooper .270 for some zesty hog shooting after I dropped him off in the pre-dawn light.

Hope to get one more trip up hunting, and maybe another visit in the Spring when the white trees start going off.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Daily Deercam, January 2013

Deer certainly marked up.

Both sides.  Wonder if there is a cougar in the area?

Little buck.

I'm sure they were missing the corn by this time.

Two little bucks.

More hot buck action.
 Hadn't been out in a couple of weeks so the corn was long gone.  They get used to it.  Leaves really down and you can see a long ways through the bottom this time of year.  One cam, this one, still was at 30%.  Other one was dead and the card unreadable.  That's never fun but the whole lash-up is a miracle.  hard to complain.  Maybe the little Moultrie hand-reader will be able to display them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rare Grand Canyon Skunk

Last weekend when I spent the night up at Clarksville, there was an Armadillo bumping around under the house....and also a skunk.  The two go crosswise, or at least the skunk did, and I could smell a little gassing going on even through the new floor up there.  Yug.

  Here's a story about a skunk far off what was considered the beaten path.

  Skunks at the ranch are in some danger.  The guys next door shot one the same night at their camp.  THEY got gassed from under their cabin as well.  Dr. Sneed and I will set the trap with some cat food this weekend.

And speaking of the Grand Canyon:  Somebodies daughter has gone missing on a boat trip in the inner canyon.  It doesn't look good.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Garand Rapid Fire at the TSRA Championship.

There's a Vintage Military Rifle for you!  Cannon off a Union Gunboat sunk in the Houston Ship Channel, in conservation at A&M.

Springfield, Swiss K31, Garand.

Did I mention I won the TSRA Vintage Rifle Championship for the 4th time?  No?  Well I didn't win the Garand Championship.

Ken Gaby calls the line for the prone rapid.  We had a great turnout for folks shooting .45acp in a Pistol LEG Match, M1 Carbine, Garand, 1903 Springfield and Vintage Military rifle.

Just getting the video up.


Was shooting doetags but after I got out of the stand I took the Deardorff over to a nice barn.

Great Horned Owl, Red River County, Texas, 2013.

La Brea Tar Pits.

Here's a cool little story.  Wonder where the teeth went on the Giant Jaguar Skull?  Someone make a necklace?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TSRA Calendar photoshoot video up.

HOT photographic action at Coyote Sam's Bar and Grill while we image the guns for the 2013 calendar.  Dr. Sneed, Greg Jackson and I shot the calendar for this current year out of Sam's gun collection at the restaurant.  It's a pretty good calendar.  Available at the TSRA website.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year starting at Panola.

James Pennington drove all the way down from the Wilds of Minnesota to shoot with us before he goes to the Marines.  That's going to be fun....for the Marines.

Mitchell Hogg shot a nice 5X clean at 200 yards while I was in the pits pulling his target.

Randy Robertson on the line with his Reble Rifle.

The shaven chin of Clay Hefner.

Dave Keys at 300.

Utley spent the day placking away with a .308 Garand.

My day went well.  600 was a 194X8 or so.  Won the match with match rifle.

Rick's scope.  I had to flip it over to right-handed from left-handed.

Zack shooting well.

Mitchell Hogg shooting Xs at 600.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How much trouble could this be?

I'm going to call Rep Louie Gohmert's office and see if he will insert a one-page piece of legislation in the next omibus that floats by making me the official depository for all these guns.  Whatever they are doing with them probably isn't constructive and needs to be corrected.  Since the government is just about carving out niches and doing favors for folks, I think I would serve a worthwhile need!

For the Children!