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Topics - gitano

TEST FORUM / Image posting test
May 10, 2024, 11:39:03 AM
Test picture loading
THE CAMPFIRE / The Earth is Flat, and I Can Prove It
December 09, 2023, 08:53:01 AM
Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is water. None of that water is carbonated. Therefore, the Earth is clearly flat.  ;D

BOWHUNTING / Number Crunching Archery Specs
November 20, 2023, 01:41:59 PM
Since I will be hunting at sakorick's with my bow this year, I've had to do some prep work. "You" know me, there's gotta be some number crunching in that prep somehow.

First, since I hadn't even drawn my bow (Matthews Rebel Solo Cam), in a good 10 years, and the string and cable were at least 20 years old, I thought it prudent that the cable and string be replaced. Got that done at the local Sportsman's Warehouse. Also, I had 18 Easton Gamegetter XX75s that needed new fletching. Got that accomplished at the local archery shop. I thought the $3/arrow was reasonable. I also have 8 Beman 65/80s. Unfortunately, 'parts', (i e. nocks and outserts),  for those arrows are scarce. I'll have to make do with the 5 that are in good repair. Nevertheless, I thought it prudent to buy half-a-dozen new (graphite) arrows. $12 each with nocks, fletching, and outserts. The new-fangled arrows are pretty spiffy. Finally, I bought s new sight. Not sure I like it yet. While I do shoot a compound (due to a a bad spur on my acromium (shoulder)), I shoot it as 'bare' as I can. I REALLY don't like a lot of 'stuff' hanging off my bow. I learned to shoot 'instinctive' when I was 10, and that has always worked better for me. You shouldn't be 'thinking' about 'stuff' when you're shooting - rifle or bow. I'm using the the new sight with just one pin. That's the way I like "it". I'll adjust for range and windage based on my knowledge of my bow.

So, with new string and cable and new, as well as refurbished, 'old', arrows, I knew there was plenty of tweaking that would be required. First thing was getting the draw weight set. 20 years ago I shot at 68 lb draw weight. With my shoulder spur and age, I adjusted the draw weight to 55 lb. I can draw that without 'grunting'.

Next was getting the sight 'on'. For Alaska hunting, I set the pin to be 'on' at 40yd. Moose and caribou are big targets, AND, they're not nearly as jumpy as Missouri whitetails. Missouri whitetails are smaller targets AND prone to 'string jump'. Therefore, I'm setting the one pin for 'on' at 20yd.
It took some fiddling, but everything was dialed in pretty good before too long.

I'd been watching a bunch of YouTube videos, and it seemed like everyone was shooting 'heavy' arrows. Heavy points (125 grains or heavier),  at least. Years ago. When I was hunting regularly with a bow, I did a bunch of chronograph work. The conclusion I drew was very simple: The heavier the arrow, the slower it goes. PERIOD. There's nothing complicated about 'it'. I shot, and shoot, the lightest broadheads I can buy that meet the legal requirements. I wondered what the current tendency to heavy was about? Talking with the local shop owners about it suggested that the belief was that heavier arrows penetrated, especially bone, better. Hmm... Sounded 'good on paper', but inconsistent with my personal experience. Having shot moose, whitetail deer, blacktail deer, dall sheep, and black bear, ALL WITH COMPLETE PASSTHROUGHS, I was a bit skeptical about the NEED for heavy arrows for 'penetration'. Furthermore, in MOST of the YouTube videos I watched, penetration was VERY POOR! Often much less than half the arrow! Hmm... I'd have to look into this further.

I dug out me CED Millennium Infra Red chronograph, and got it set up in my basement . (It's cold outside in Alaska right now.) After some stutter steps, I shot all my arrow types with head weights from 65 to 145 grains. From that, I developed a model of arrow speed as a function of arrow weight. Same result as 30 years ago: The heavier the arrow the slower it goes. LINEARLY, AND VERY PREDICTABLY. BUT.. That's not the whole story. In fact, most archery hunters know that it isn't kinetic energy that kills in arrows - it's 'penetration'. Here's the rub: Most everyone was equating arrow KE with penetration. I was surprised. Furthermore, my arrows with the lightest legal heads, had the  highest KE! So why on earth would you shoot heavy broadheads/arrows?  :huh2:

So, as I have pointed out 'forever' here at THL with respect to bullet penetration, MOMENTUM is what determines penetration, NOT KE! So I calculated the momentum figures of the heaviest and the lightest arrows I shot through the chronograph. Hmm... Same figure. Then the lightbulb went on. There is a LAW of physics called The Law of Conservation of Momentum.  Basically, in the "system" that the bow represents, every arrow, regardless of mass (weight) will get the same momentum from the bow. I calculated the momentum for all the other arrow weights: They were identical.  ;D Had to be.

THEREFORE... Shooting heavier arrows in order to increase penetration is wrong-thinking. If you want to increase momentum (penetration) in a given bow, you have to increase the momentum of the 'system'. The only way to do that with a compound bow is to increase its draw weight. Arrow weight has NOTHING to do with it. Can't do it with a recurve/long bow. What you see is what you get. (There are minor tweaks with string length and draw length, but minor is the operative word.)

Finally, in the context of 'tweaking'/arrow speed/arrow spine/precision, I needed to calculate the balance of the arrows. Just like in bullets, and all projectiles, they travel less erratically if more than 50% of the weight is forward of the center of form. In arrows, this is called "Front of Center %", or FoC. It has been determined by the "experts" that in hunting arrows, an FoC of 10 - 15% is "best". For target shooters, an FoC of about 5% is 'best'. I understand the rationale, and agree - sort of. Anyway, I calculated the FoC of all my arrow types, and found that the new ones had an FoC of 12% with my 82-grain, 4-blade, Wasp broadheads.  ;D Works for me.

Now... ALL OF THAT SAID... I have almost NO confidence that I will even SEE a shootable deer this year, let alone get a decent shot at one. You'll be the second to know!

THE CAMPFIRE / Ruger Introduces New Revolver
October 15, 2023, 12:04:46 PM
Ruger has introduced their latest new revolver. They're calling it The Senator. It doesn't work and you cant fire it.

September 06, 2023, 02:31:43 PM
As some may recall, I have been seeking Accubond bullets in various calibers for some two years. Primarily 225-grain bullets in .338, but also AB bullets of any weight in 6.5mm and recently, .270. I have also had on "notify me when back in stock" status a .257 caliber bullet: The 60-grain flat point from Hornady, #2510. An excellent bullet for the .25-20. Two years waiting on that!

Well, as you suspected, I got notified that the .2510s were in at a place in Texas. Got right on it, and ordered some. However, I was told "We can't send ammunition through the mail." IT'S NOT AMMUNITION YOU BLEEPING MORONS!" I expect this stupidity from Marxist idiots, but not from a gun store. IN TEXAS!  AND... They wanted to charge me SIXTY DOLLARS to ship it to me in Alaska! (UPS of course.) And that was after having to pay $45/100 for them. I politely (yes, actually), declined their 'offer'.

It occurred to me that if one place had received them from Hornady, maybe somewhere else had too. Voila', I found them for $24/100, and $10 shipping. I ordered a couple of hundred. :jumpingsmiley: Ha! Fie on you Texas gun store. :nana:

Next, I went to Nosler's site to renew my "notify me when back in stock" on the .338 caliber, 225-grain, Accubonds. Still not in stock. :frown: Neither the .270 ABs. But... They did have IN STOCK 6.5mm, 140-grain, ABs! FOR $25/50! Unheard of price, especially direct from Nosler! (They are 'blemished' though. ;) ) I got four boxes of those!

Fortunately, I found some 130-grain, .270 cal, ABs at another site a few days ago. I also got, (from an auction site), some 60-grain Partitions in .22 caliber to use in the .22-250.

So, with the exception of .338, I am set for reloading cartridges for the rifles Caitlin and I will be hunting with this year.

I guess all things come to those that wait. Except .338 Accubonds.

All of Alain's rifles were fitted with supressors. Since getting a supressor in the US is 'difficult', no suppressors came with any of his rifles. Instead, they were all fitted with muzzle brakes.  I don't like muzzle brakes. I don't like what they do - make muzzle blast uncomfortably loud for the shooter and those nearby, AND, to my eye, they're ugly. Sauer 90s come with muzzle brakes standard. The 90 I have in .338 Win Mag has one, and so does the .270. So I decided to make a thread protector for the .270.


As usual, the camera exacerbates microscopic lines in metal.  :stare: It looks better than the picture looks. One thing I don't like about thread protectors is that with the barrel heating up and expanding and contracting, they can get stuck on. In order to combat that the DoD puts "compression washers" between the flash supressors on M14s (AR-15s) and the shoulder of the threaded muzzle. I decided to just put an O-ring. I also milled a couple of flats in it so I can take a wrench to it if I need to.

I'm going to make one for the .338 next. Then work my way through all of Alain's rifles.

I 'colored' it in the kiln - 20 minutes at 650F - but I think I'm going to use some Birchwood Casey bluing to try and darken it a bit more.


BRITISH OUTDOORS / The Hunter's Life View of the World
September 03, 2023, 10:19:23 AM
The Hunter's Life (THL) is a place where people can enter and interact with like-minded people with an  expectation of pleasant conversation and exchange of ideas. THL will constrain people in the  way they speak, but only in the context of civility and common sense.  EVERYONE should feel uninhibited in expressing their viewpoints without  fear of condemnation or reproach as long as they maintain an air of  open-mindedness and congeniality. Public ridicule of members of THL will not be  permitted.

Criticism and ridicule of ALL elected and appointed  government officials is allowed within the confines of good taste. This  is part and parcel of being American and THL considers criticism of  public officials "healthy" AS LONG AS the critical language does not  violate THL's language policy.

THL is an "American" site. By  that, it is meant that it "resides" in the US, its owner is American,  and the majority of its members are American. That said, the  non-American members of THL are not only welcomed, they are sincerely  appreciated. IT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that EACH of us is sensitive to  offending members of another nationality, including the US. By that it  is meant specifically that members are NOT to:

1) Criticize the hunters and fishermen of other countries for the actions of the politicians of that country.
2) Criticize the legal hunting and fishing practices and methods and means of other countries.

A 'close eye' will be kept on any thread in which criticism of a  nation's politics or politicians is initiated by a member that is NOT of  that nationality. In other words; "I can kick my dog any time I feel  like it, but if you kick my dog, fists are gonna fly".

Simply  put, be respectful. Remember that we American members of THL are not  responsible for the actions of the president and his administration.  Neither are the members of THL from other countries responsible for the  actions of their politicians.

All public figures - authors,  actors, nationally and locally renowned figures - those that put  themselves on TV, radio, the Internet, published books or magazines, are  "fair game" for criticism and ridicule. They have chosen to be a  "public figure" and they must put up with the criticism of the public.

Personal  criticism of members of THL is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If "you" feel the  need to "have at it" with a member of THL, YOU MUST CONDUCT THIS  ACTIVITY AWAY FROM THL. There is a "zero-tolerance" policy with regard  to criticism of members of THL on the THL website.

THL is a "family friendly" site. Text or images designed to direct  attention to male/female sexuality or biological functions will be  looked at and edited if deemed to be of a prurient nature. As a  family forum, adults are supposed to represent role models for young folks, both as adults and as hunters.

THL is primarily a sanctuary where one can come and feel like they  are visiting the living room of a dear friend. THL is a place to lose  stress, not find it.

MAKING STUFF / .22-250 Resizing Die Expander
August 11, 2023, 10:13:51 AM
Sometimes its better to be lucky than good.  ;)

You may recall the hassle I had with getting the .22-250 resizing die set up. Part of the hassle that I didn't mention was that the expander ball was not original to the die. As such, during the various machinations of getting the die right, that expander ball got broken. (Since the original was gone, I assume it too was broken. Those .22 caliber expander balls are quite delicate.) No matter. "I'll just make another", he says casually. :stars: Four hours later, I have a new, excellent, expander ball for the die.

While I knew it wouldn't be trivial, it was more time consuming than I thought. And before someone tries to defend manufacture's pricing with the above comment, on a CNC lathe it would have been complete in 5 minutes. That's not an exaggeration. But, neither do I have a CNC lathe, nor am I a manufacturing machine shop. 

Lemme 'splain the process. (I was too busy 'paying attention to what I was doing' to take pictures of the process. Sorry.)

There are several critical details. The most obvious is probably the outside diameter. After all, this specification defines the ultimate performance of the thing. However, trust me when I say that's not the most important spec, and it is the easiest one to achieve. There is the hole in the distal end of the expander through which the decapping pin extends. Again, at first blush, no big deal. Just measure the pin OD and drill the proper hole. (1/16th of an inch.) Yeahbut... There are other holes that that hole has to coincide with.

The first one is the diameter of the split, unthreaded, TIP end of the decapping rod. That's the part of the rod that holds the decapping pin. 1/8th of an inch.

Then, there's the threaded part of the expander ball. First a hole of proper diameter for cutting threads needs to be drilled, (#29 or 0.136"), then that hole needs to be threaded with a pitch of 32 threads per inch - #8 diameter.

"Piece o' cake" you say? Well sorta. Until you realize that each one of those holes has to be the 'perfect' length/depth.

The 1/16" hole is "easy", because being the smallest, it's the first. However, I broke two 1/16" inch drill bits drilling that 'first' hole, and I was being very careful, advancing no more than 1/16" before retracting the bit and clearing chips.

That second hole, 1/8" in diameter, had to be 1) exact depth and, 2) have a 'point' on the end of it to act as 'wedge' to close up (tighten) the split end of the decapping rod around the decapping pin. I had to use a drill sharpening device to 'point' the 1/8" bit. It couldn't be too deep or it would punch through the 'wall' at the distal end of the expander, and it couldn't be too shallow or there wouldn't be enough threads for the decapping rod to screw in as far as required to get hold of the expander.

Finally, the hole for the threads that screw onto the decapping rod. It needed to be deep enough for enough threads to grab onto the decapping rod, (remember, there will be great deal of 'pushing and pulling' on the expander), but not too deep to interfere with 'holding on to' the decapping pin.

Here's the perfect place to illustrate how a 'pro shop' would render all of the above into one simple step: A custom 'bit' that is shaped exactly for performing all three drilling operations at once. A 1/16" drill 'point', behind which was a 1/8" drill for the tip of the decapping rod, followed by a 0.1360" drill to make the hole for the threads. It's possible, that drilling all three of those holes with that bit, might take only 30 seconds. Followed, immediately by threading the 'outer' hole.

I had a 'bottoming' 8-32 tap, so threading was pretty straight forward for me once the other holes were drilled.

The only operation left was profiling the outside of the expander.

Which brings me to 'lucky' instead of 'good'. I knew that this OD had to be 'just right'. Too big, and the case neck wouldn't hold the bullet. Too small and the grip would either be too tight, or wouldn't even allow a bullet to be seated without crumpling the neck.

I measured the OD of other .22 caliber expanders I had; several times. I had the dimension I wanted down to a precision 0.0001". 

Remember, I've got hours invested in this thing by now. This was the last operation. Too big, doesn't work but I can probably fix. Too small, throw in trash. Recall too, how small this whole thing is: 0.2245" OD, and only 7/16ths long.  :eek:

Anyway, I parted it off and polished it up, threaded it in the decapping rod, and ran a case through the die. I then took a boat-tail bullet and, using my fingers, tried to push it in the case mouth. "No go." Good. Press harder. Hmm... Goes in. Maybe not so good. Pull the bullet out. Ain't happenin'. Good. In the end, it turns out that, at least for now, I'd call this neck tension almost 'perfect'. (Lucky). Tight enough to hold the bullet in, (little recoil in . 22-250), but not 'too' tight. We'll see how it works in the rifle. If it's too loose, I may be able to snug it up a bit, but I don't think it will be.


The above was on a blogger's page. While I applaud Nosler's willingness to admit that the BCs on some of their best-selling bullets were 'optimistic', it should be understood that there was quite a bit of 'talk' about them being too high before Nosler acknowledged it. Nevertheless, they've done more than some of the most egregious BC liars HAVEN'T done. You know exactly who I'm talking about.

Today was definitely a 'feathers' kind of day.

Started off with a call to a Small Engine Repair Shop, I had dropped off a 10KW portable generator a couple of weeks ago to have it diagnosed. (Blew its guts out on the driveway after only about 8 hours of use!) "Haven't looked at it yet" was the response. :Banghead: Got the current BS excuse for not doing your job; "Can't get good workers after COVID."

Next, I got in my 2009 Toyota Highlander and drove to the local "lube joint". Two weeks ago, they had replaced the fluids in the trannsmission and both differentials. (To the tune of $360.) Now the rear diff was leaking. I was gonna give them 'what for' if they tried to weasel out of responsibility. They brought me out to the bay to have a look for myself. Turns out, it wasn't their fault. Right before having the fluids changed, I had the entire suspension redone, including 4 struts and 4 new CV axles. ($5700) Guess what was leaking. One of the CV axle-to-differential seals. :stare:  This meant that the guy that did that work was responsible. I really didn't want to have that conversation. I called him while still at the lube joint. "It's not my fault" Is the short version. I got an estimate of the work from the lube joint - $874. To replace a $35 part! I called the guy that did the suspension work. He said he'd do it for $150. "OK".

Little did I know, there were more feathers to come.

The following is why this post is in "Firearms and Optics" and not the Campfire.

I stopped at the Post Office on the way home from the lube joint and picked up the new scope bases for Alain's Sauer 90. I figured out (with the help of Jaeger88 and SmokeyJoe), that the original bases are EAW. These are the kind of rings and bases that if you have to ask "How much", you can't afford them. New EAW rings and bases (from New England Custom Guns - the American distributor), cost SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY DOLLARS! Rings alone are $310! Ain't gonna happen. So, I bought some made-for-Sauer 90 bases and rings. $52 for the whole kit-n-kaboodle. Anyway, with those in hand, I put the Sauer in the Tipton vise and commenced to take the EAW bases off.

The first three screws went swimmingly. However... Alain clearly Lok-Tite'd the fourth screw in. That screw would not come out. I even put some heat on it. No way. Ultimately, the slot-head screw stripped. :Banghead:  @(*#^*&%Q$%#! The only way to get it out was to drill the head off, drill a hole in the screw, and use an "easy out" to unscrew it. Hopefully. Sounds easy. Think about it. The screw is a 6-40. I have to drill a hole in the center of that screw, without boogering the scope base AND without boogering the threads on the receiver. To do so, I have to hold the rifle "wery wery still" AND perfectly horizontal. AND, I have to drill in the EXACT center of the boogered screw. Obviously, this is "doable", and any professional machine shop/gunsmith should have no problem accomplishing this. However, I'm neither a professional machinist nor a professional gunsmith. I'm not sure I've done anything on my mill that I was as nervous about 'getting right' as I was doing this work.

So I took the Tipton "gun vise" and the rifle into the shop. Then I had to make room on my mill's table for the gun vise. Or maybe not. After I got the dividing head removed from the table, I was preparing to remove my mill vise and really dreading that. It takes me a LONG time (half an hour at least),  to get my vise 'trued' on the mill table, and it's an unpleasant task. Turns out, I had some silicon jaws in my vise, and they're nice and soft. Soft enough not to harm the stock on the Sauer. IF I could get them to hold, and hold well enough to not move when I drilled. I tried it. It seemed OK.

I got a "drill point" installed in the quill, centered it on the screw head, and commenced to place a starter hole. It looked OK, so I continued as far as I dared, hoping to use the drill point to remove the head. However, I chickened out before the head was gone, but when I tapped on the side of the base with a small mallet, it popped right off. :jumpingsmiley:  Leaving the shank of the screw in the hole, and a nice dimple to start the drill into. (I didn't take any pictures until I got the base off.) Here's what it looked like at that point.

Whew! But I was still sweating. This was going to be the hard part. I COULD NOT booger those threads! The hole had to be dead center and small enough not to touch the threads. I think I used a 5/64ths. I drilled just shy of how deep I had measured the other front hole. Can't afford to drill through the receiver! I wouldn't know for sure if I had hit the wall until I tried the easy out. Here's the easy out 'easing out' the screw. WHEW! :COOLdude:

And out!

Here are the pieces in better light.

I thought I had a picture of the new bases mounted, but I don't. So next post.

So that was a bit of "chicken" after some serious "feathers". But overall, still 'feathers' because the one screw was destroyed, even if 'things' could have turned out worse, and I had to sweat bullets for a while. :eek:

Next up was taking all the brass out of the polisher, decapping, resizing, and recapping. The .223s went swimmingly. The .22-250... well, more feathers.

First off, the first two shots out of the .22-250 blew primers. The only reason there was a second shot, is because I didn't realize the first one blew the primer. It extracted "OK". Nevertheless, blown primer pockets, and those two pieces of relatively precious brass, ruined. On to the 60-grain Nosler Partitions.

They all shot fine in terms of pressure, but the four-shot group was about 3". :-X  Furthermore, the MagnetoSpeed DID NOT CATCH A SINGLE BULLET. Therefore, NO velocity data. :frown:  However, the really bad 'feathers' came today. I couldn't hardly close the bolt on FULLY RESIZED CASES. For all it seemed, they were too long. In other words, the shoulder hitting the front of the chamber. Remember FULL LENGTH RESIZING.

The shell holder was fully engaging the bottom of the die, so I measured the height of the shell holder to see if maybe it was too high and preventing the shoulder from being set back. Nope. Turned out that that particular #3 shell holder was the shortest of the five I measured! Shiite Muslims. The only thing left was the die itself. (I bought it used off Ebay.) I took it to the lathe and removed 0.007" from the bottom of the die. No help. I measured a case that  fit "ok" - still snugger than I liked, but not too tight. The 'tight' one was about 0.010" longer. Back to the lathe, and another 0.015" off the bottom of the die. STILL JUST AS HARD TO CHAMBER AS EVER! All of this has taken the better part of 3 hours. Finally, I quit. I can not figure out the problem, and I don't want to "keep cutting" when cutting doesn't change ANYTHING. Something else is wrong. Either the rifle has a short chamber or the die has a long chamber. Or both. Tomorrow, providing it's not another 'feather' day, I'm going to cast the chamber and get some precise measurements of both the rifle's chamber and the die's chamber. Something's wrong.

Unfortunately, those are only the 'suitable for publication' examples of feathers. I tell you the truth, it's been a LONG time since I've had a day like today. Here's hopin' tomorrow brings more chicken and less feathers.


The above article presents some interesting information regarding seating depth and precision loads. I have over the years found that "jammed into the lands", (or even "on" the lands), is a "bad idea" for HUNTING loads. The above suggests it's also a bad idea for target shooters. In the same vein as Optimal Charge Weight, (where the best load is one in which the group size varies least WITH CHANGING CONDITIONS), this idea is that seating depth too has a "sweet spot". In other words, there is a seating depth range that provides the MOST CONSISTENT precision regardless of small changes in throat length etc.

Interesting to me is that their findings that a seating depth of 0.070 to 0.080" off the lands is the most stable. For as long as I can remember, I have always started at 0.050" off the lands and moved "in", (to the case), to find my precision sweet spots. And I found them in "nodes" of ROUGHLY 0.050" increments. While 0.050" is not 0.070" it IS 'close' when considering how the authors of the above measured "on" the lands.

Anyway, if you're interested in the "whys and wherefores" of precision reloading, AND you can put up with a long read, I enthusiastically recommend the above.

MAKING STUFF / More Stoney Point Pieces
July 20, 2023, 11:56:40 AM
Commensurate with gearing up to reload ammo for the rifles from Alain, I needed to make some components for the StoneyPoint bullet/chamber comparator. I did not have "custom cases" for the .270 Winchester, the .22-250 Remington, or the .444 Marlin. Since I don't have any cases for the .22-250 yet, (and attempts to make them from .308 cases have been futile :Banghead: ), I could only make the ones for the .270 and .444. Here's a brief essay on making those two 'custom' cases and the caliber-specific mandrel for the .444. I already had a factory anvil for the .270.

Starting with the anvil for the .444, here's one of the factory anvils. (This one is for the .416.):

Here's that factory anvil sitting atop the billet I am going to use to fabricate the new one:

The billet 'dressed';

First, centerpointing to drill through hole;

After centerpointing and cutting collar. (I forgot to take pictures;)

Drilling the through hole. Turned out, I had a drill that was exactly the size I needed - 0.424":

After the through hole is drilled, before the anvil is parted off:

After the anvil was parted off, cleaning up the chip left on the 'back side', (actually, the part that rests against the bullet ogive), after parting;

Here is the newly fabricated one alongside the factory version:

Now on to the "custom cases".

Mounted in the lathe, and drilling the 9/32" hole in prep for tapping with 5/16-36 tap;

First starting the tap using the tail stock to ensure perfect alignment:

Then, once in three threads, finishing by turning the tap, instead of the lathe chuck:

Close-up of thread cutting:

The two new 'custom cases':

Here's the anvil installed in it's holder, flanked by the new 'custom cases':

And finally, the new pieces 'deployed':

There's actually a .444 bullet in the 'custom case's mouth. That's the actual distance from the case mouth to the lands in the rifle. Not much 'throat'. But, that doesn't matter too much to me. If it becomes an issue with reloading, I'll get a throating reamer and extend the throat. Wouldn't be the first time. If I had used the .270 to take the pictures, the use of the comparator would have been more apparent. I suppose I should put together a tutorial on how to use the Comparator when reloading.

FIREARMS & OPTICS / j0e_bl0ggs guns
July 16, 2023, 04:06:08 PM
As most of you know, Alain, AKA j0e_bloggs here at THL, died last January. Also as most know, Great Britain has some onerous firearms ownership laws, (and they're getting worse. :-X :Banghead: ) Alain had a significant, for GB, gun collection. Unfortunately, because of the gun laws, it's essentially impossible for any Brit to inherit the firearms of a deceased relative or friend. All the heirs can do is turn them over to a Registered Firearms Dealer (RFD - equivalent to our FFL), where they immediately incur a per firearm "transfer fee", and begin accruing "storage" fees. They then can be sold (usually to the RFD - funny how that "works" for RFDs), usually at significant discount. OR they can be "turned over to the police". Incredible. Almost. But, GB, at least the Powers That Be, HATE firearms in the hands of the public. New law will require you to have a "mental health status checkup" performed NOT by your regular doctor, but by one chosen by The State, before you can get a license, renew a license, or procure a new firearm. :frown: :frown: :frown:

At any rate, Alain's brother didn't want the police to get Alain's guns, and he didn't want to incur the costs associated with giving them to an RFD, so he asked me if I wanted them. I said "Yes". Tentatively. I didn't know what rigmarole I was going to have to put up with to get them to me, and, I didn't have a clue what the ultimate cost might end up being. (Consider this: If a Brit wants to go to Germany to hunt wild boar and he intends to fly to Germany, he has to hire a "firearms transportation company", (FTC), to take the firearms he intends to use in Germany, FROM HIS HOUSE TO THE AIRPORT. When he returns, he has to hire an FTC to take his firearm(s) TO HIS HOUSE FROM THE AIRPORT. Of course, this ain't "cheap".) As it turned out, I had to use an FTC to move the firearms from the RFD that 'received' them from Alain's brother, to the RFD/exporter that sent them to me. Not being sure of ALL of the costs associated with importing firearms from England, including shipping fees, I wasn't certain I wanted all of his firearms, so I just picked the ones I really wanted - a couple Alain had promised me plus a few others, and started "the process".

That process included finding an exporter WITH AN EXPORT LICENSE in England; getting the BATFE Form 6 "Importing Firearms" approved; and finding an FFL with the proper license for importing firearms. Skipping the gory details, I ended up paying the English exporter $1200+ to pack and ship the 7 rifles to Anchorage. When they arrived, the FFL and I went to Anchorage to pick them up. Silly us. We thought that was 'it'. Au contraire! If you import ANYTHING worth more than $2500, US Customs REQUIRES that you have a "broker". Guns had nothing to do with it. I knew there was going to be "import duty", but I also knew that it was going to be 3% of declared value. That meant about $250. I was fine with that. HOWEVER, the broker, for doing nothing more than filling out a Customs form, charged me $450, plus the $250 Duty. I feel so fortunate that the broker was there to 'help'. :frown: NO ONE, not one person, inspected the packages. They could have been full of cocaine for all Customs knew.

Nonetheless, THREE WEEKS after they arrived, (and another $500 to the FFL), I got 7 of Alain's rifles in my hands. They were worth the wait and the cash.  :COOLdude: Here's a picture of them. I'll do better pictures when I start reloading for them.

Rifles on Chair-s.jpg

Starting from the top, (or the "back"):
1&2) Tikka Model 595s - Two of them, both chambered in 17 Remington with the black plastic stocks. They're interestingly different. One has a "shiny" receiver and British Proof Marks on every pressure bearing part. The other has a "matt" receiver, and NO proof marks whatsoever.

3) Remington Model 700 chambered in .22-250 Remington. It has a factory bull barrel on it.

4) Custom made ("bespoke" in the Queen's English) by Norman Clarke Gunsmiths of Rugby, chambered in .444 Marlin. Alain had this gun made so he could hunt wild boar in Latvia, his father's homeland. The action is a Mauser - ala Parker Hales. Really nice engraving on the floorplate! Alain had been trying to figure out how to get this rifle to me for some time. Too bad he had to die for it to happen.

5) Steyr Classic Model II chambered in .223. This one I wanted. These have been discontinued, and they are classic Teutonic design and engineering. Wait til you see this one close up!

6) Anschutz Model 1422 (the desired model) chambered in .22 LR. Sweet rifle, as all the Anschutz's are.

7) Sauer Model 90 chambered in .270 Winchester. Any of you that know me know that I have a serious 'thing' for Sauer Model 90s! This one is a beaut! But then, they ALL are!

You'll notice they all have muzzle breaks on them. That's because ALL of Alain's rifles had suppressors on them. The Powers That Be in GB couldn't care less about suppressors, but we in the US, with the most liberal gun ownership laws in the world, are "evil, ne'er-do-wells" if we want a suppressor. Anyway, I certainly couldn't have any of Alain's suppressors, no matter how bad I wanted them. So, to protect the threaded muzzles, 'breaks' (or brake)were screwed on. As soon as I get thread protectors, I'll replace the breaks (brake).


I'm ready! (Almost. Waiting on .22-250 brass. :smile: ) More, close-up pictures when I start reloading for them.


PS - All have set triggers except the Tikkas and Norman Clarke. The Anschutz has double set trigger.

MAKING STUFF / Stoney Point Organizing
July 16, 2023, 01:25:26 PM
Also known as Hornady Chamber-all. I bought my first one before Hornady bought out Stoney Point so I still think if it as Stoney Point. Hornady didn't seem to "break it" after they bought it, and I don't think they stupidly upped the prices for components, but I quit buying components and started making my own when I got my lathe and mill, so don't hold me to that assumption.

Anyway, until today, I kept all the pieces in plastic zip-lock baggies in this Tupperware-ish container.
(You can see the 5/16-32 tap and die used to make the 'custom cases' that fit on the gauge.) After many years of fiddling with that arrangement, I decided, ala Popeye,  "That's all I can stand, I can't stands n'more", and broke down and made something to hold all the pieces in an organized fashion.

The container is a 2.5lb coffee can.
In which are two platters. One holds the 'custom cases' the other, the caliber-specific mandrels. Since pictures are worth thousands of words:




Since I'm doing all of this from my phone, I'll break off here with this terse - for me - explanation. When I get back on my desktop computer, I'll flesh it out a bit more.

THE CAMPFIRE / First posted February 16th, 2015.
June 30, 2023, 12:17:50 PM
At least FOUR YEARS before "the plandemic".

TEST FORUM / Test notifications
June 28, 2023, 07:29:19 AM
Here's a copy of a broken link

I've drawn a line through what needs to be deleted.

Heres what that link would look like when it's fixed. Added text is in yellow

Here's what to change: (OR DON'T if you don't feel comfortable doing it!)

1) Add "forum." between "www." and "". (Don't forget the "dot" after the "m" in "forum".)

2) Delete "forums/showthread" between ".com/" and ".php?" .

3) Add "index" right before ".php?" where you just deleted "forums/showthread".

4) AFTER "php?t" ADD "opic".

After editing, it should look like like the following. DO NOT USE CAPS. I only used them below for clarity's sake.*****
I used asterisks (*) instead of numbers, so no one thinks they have to put in the specific numbers I might have used. Put in the numbers from the ORIGINAL/BROKEN link.

REMEMBER - copy the number down BEFORE editing.

THE CAMPFIRE / Annual Whine About the Solstice
June 25, 2023, 08:06:53 AM
It's that time of year again, Summer Solstice.  :'( Everything is downhill from here. Except for the members in the Southern Hemisphere!

THE FISHING LURE / Annual Missouri Trip, 2023
May 05, 2023, 06:17:03 AM
I'm still in Missouri, so this is just a teaser: We caught  at least 250 pounds of blue catfish. There is a slot limit for blue catfish on Lake of the Ozarks, (hereafter LotA). You can keep fish under 26" and over 34", but fish 'in the slot' between 26 and 34 inches in length must be returned to the water. We caught five fish over 34". One was 42".

Pictures at 11. (When I get back to Alaska on Sunday.)