Thursday, April 23, 2015

Range day...

I had a great range day. Took the .17 HMR Contender to zero. Easy to shoot and quick to sight in, the .17 was right on out to 75 yards with both the 17 and 25 gr. bullets. I can see why some folks just love this cartridge. The factory Contender barrel was clearly accurate despite my shooting from a supported sitting position without a solid rest. This should be an outstanding pest killer. It is almost unfortunate that I have no pests I can use this to eliminate.

I also took the Browning 1911-22 out. I also had a box plus 10 of the old Russian Junior ammo (in the green box). This is not usually the best of ammo. Steel cased and subject to sometime contamination of the powder charge by the bullet lube, it is NOT known for accuracy particularly after all these years (at least 25 years since I purchased it). However, in the little Browning pistol it was surprisingly accurate and functional. There were zero failures to fire, feed, extract or eject which I sometimes have with this ammo from other pistols. I was able to hit fist sized rocks and dirt clumps very easily at 25-35 yards. I think this might be my ammo of choice with this pistol. A good thing because I have a couple of bricks of the stuff!

I also took the Tactical Solutions 1911 conversion with Burris FastFire. I was shooting both Federal and Winchester ammo in that gun but it is dirty and would not function with any reliability for the first 5 rounds in either magazine so I put it up.

Today's weather was not exactly what one would call shooter friendly. While the temperature was a relatively nice 51° at the range, the wind has been blowing 20-40 mph all day long. That really made it feel colder, particularly in shade at the bench.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Range day...

FINALLY got to shoot both the adjustable sight Bearcat and the Single-Seven .327 at the range today.

98 rounds downrange of the Federal 85 gr. load with somewhat mixed results. The gun will apparently group but not from the bench today, oddly I did MUCH better both for grouping AND for proper placement (horizontal and vertical) from standing! My eyes are not up to 50-yard sight target alignment, at least in today's light (overcast and some light rain) and groups ran from about 6" to about 2 feet (the later from the bench and those way to the left of the target in as much as one could determine the group center). I tried busting clay target parts on the berm but couldn't quite get the range and missed them all. One thing I noticed was the gun was rough, sometimes really dragging as the cylinder turned and the ammo seemed "uneven" as in chambering it seemed as if there were tight spots in the chambers or fat spots on the brass. After the 98-rounds there was NO turn ring.

The Bearcat suffered through some old Russian steel-cased Junior "target" ammo and did some better with Federal American. The steel cases ejected with effort but the brass cases slid out slick as snot. I did about as well on the clay pigeons on the berm with the little (should I say "tiny") Bearcat as with the Single-Seven actually hitting a piece or two from 50-yards. 50-rounds of each was fired and the old Junior ammo was obviously suffering from age.

All in all a fun time!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Recent shooting experience...

First thing, on the 21st I took my daughter shooting. Her favorite gun is the S&W M422. It is light and always works. Well, it always works when used with good magazines. I just bought a new magazine, OEM, and it was defective and not just in exhibiting poor feeding with ammunition every other magazine used AND new (I'd bought 2 new magazines) but in construction. The darn baseplate is "sprung", that is it's bottom half is out of the magazine body. Kinda disappointing. Yes, I'll be contacting S&W.

Burris Fast Fire
We also tried the Burris Fast Fire on the Tactical Solutions .45 to .22 conversion. OH YEAH! Your aunt doesn't much like the 1911 frame because it is large and heavy but she sure could hit with that sight. I have trouble seeing red but with the sight on the brightest setting I could easily see and hit targets on out there including some bits of clay bird at 50 yards! Darn impressive.

Aunt Deanna also shot the Webley MKIV. I had a partial box of OLD .38 S&W ammunition that apparently wasn't reliable in the gun for which it was originally purchased. 3 rounds were in the box with clearly struck primers AND their bullets. No, the primers hadn't ignited in whatever that pistol was. EVERY round went bang the first time in the Webley and did so with very good accuracy, easily hitting aforementioned clay target bits at 25-30 yards. My eldest particularly liked that it was light and that the recoil was light. However the DA trigger pull was a bit much for her.

I've also been busy helping our club with the annual youth shoot. We'll have to wait until next year for Kirk as the minimum age for participants is 11. This year we will have about 39 attendees, age 11-17, male and female as well as their parents who must observe as we teach. Every instructor is NRA certified. We even provide lunch as well as prizes including a Parker Bow (courtesy of Parker Bows).

It has been a busy time.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Trip to Alabama 2015

We got up the morning of the 19th of February to discover that it was 2.2°. We decided to wait to leave until it “warmed up” and once it got to about 10° we loaded Nana’s vehicle and left to go see your Uncle David. As it turned out, the temp varied from about 12° in Staunton to 7° at the Tennessee border to 15° when we got to Sevierville to overnight.

Lucy, has had quite the time. She did well riding in her crate, we had it arranged so that she could see us and she napped most of the ride. However, every time we stopped, she got to sniff for a bit, despite the bitter cold. Sometimes she was so excited about sniffing that she forgot (?) what she was there for. I had to cut things short a couple of times to ensure that neither of us got frostbite.

Frostbite has been a real concern with the temperatures in the single-digits and the wind blowing at 25+ mph. I’ve been in such weather before but that doesn’t make it pleasant!

It was supposed to get down to -7° the morning of the 20th. Actual temperature was 2° which is cold enough. By the time we left it was up to 9°. Note all the talk about how cold it was. We were afraid that we’d have ice on the roads. Apparently, part of I-75 north of Knoxville was still covered with ice and one lane closed but not on the southbound, south of I-40. We had clear sailing all the way albeit with crystalline trees (all covered with about ¼” of ice) down to Birmingham.

We did have a bit of excitement, the left turn signal bulb died AND we had a thump develop for some unknown reason. Detailed examination of the vehicle failed to determine exactly what was causing that and a trip to the dealer appeared to be necessary.
On Saturday we enjoyed 70° temps in Atmore and Cantonment while we visited with our son and got some things cleared up. Sunday was also gorgeous and while the women went shopping, Mickey and I went to see the sights going to Red Eagle’s grave, Hubbard’s Landing (and a bunch of other landings, i.e. fish camps), Fort Mims and Blakeley. That was pretty interesting.

Monday we were back at David’s and discovered that he hadn’t actually been paying rent since January 2014. Normally this is an automatic deduction from his weekly check but some small glitch had stopped the process and neither he nor we caught it. A trip to the credit union fixed that, lunch and some grocery shopping later, we left him for another dinner with friends at our every gracious hosts’ home.

Mickey and Sue go all out every visit. They don’t need to but they do. We always have a great time.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Winchester Model 47 in the basement...

It ain't got nuttin' to do with cool revolvers, doesn't involve a white-out, and no hogs were harmed but my Winchester 47 is a fun gun. This is especially so on a cold (for Virginia) day or night, in my basement with ammo the wife can't hear fire even though she is only one solid wood door and a floor away.

The penny is for scale. 5 shots each of Aguila Colibri and CCI Quiet 22 solids (not the segmented bullet) at 27 feet from standing using a Winchester Model 47 with the issue open sights and with light on the target and behind the shooter. There is one pulled shot but the gun is backyard squirrel-head capable with either load.

I mostly shoot the Colibri and this has deposited some crud at the front of the chamber. It is highly advisable to clean the chamber before shooting ammo with a "regular" bullet in it. For those who might not know, the Colibri bullet looks more like an airgun pellet and it is commensurately short compared to the standard 40-grain RN of the Quiet22.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Spring ahead...

No, it isn't the day we set the clocks forward for daylight savings time (an archaic response to old infrastructure deficiencies) but rather the time of year I change from my hunting guns to my range shooting season guns.  Out comes the varmint pistol and 50BR rigs and my summer time carry guns. The squirrel rifle, muzzleloader, etc have had their final maintenance and been safely locked away.  Another change of season has come and gone. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Grandchildren's military ancestors on their father's side...

I have a fairly good idea of my ancestors who served but hadn't made a list of those of my son-in-law's family. Thought I'd do that.

Of course, his dad served (as did his uncle Fred). I thought I'd go back a bit to see what I could document. I will make additions and corrections as I go along...

American Revolution
Rel CodeNameYOB-YODRankCountryUnitDates of ServiceNotes
GGFMartin RupleUnknownWagoner?USAUnknownmay have been wagoner








American Civil War
Rel CodeNameYOB-YODRankCountryUnitDates of ServiceNotes
GGFGivens McDowell Kirkpatrick1848-1923PrivateCSACompany C, 14th Virginia Cavalry
GGFJames Henry Mohler1819-1877PrivateCSACompany H, 58th Virginia Infantry
UNCDavid Mathew Shelton1824-1865PrivateCSACompany G, 18th Virginia Cavalry- 7 Aug 1863FT Delaware POW camp
UNCThomas A Shelton1839-1863PrivateCSACompany G, 18th Virginia Cavalry- 29 Jun 1863KIA McConnelsburg, PA
UNCWilliam Henderson Shelton1824-1865PrivateCSACompany H, 42nd Virginia Infantry- 27 Jan 1865of pneumonia at Elmira POW camp
GGFBenjamin Reid Swisher1841-1893PrivateCSA1st Rockbridge Artillery3 Mar 1862 - 9 Apr 1865
GGFDaniel Brown Swisher1838-1884PrivateCSA1st Virginia Artillery
UNCAdam Shaner Trevey1836-1864PrivateCSACompany C, 1st Virginia Cavalry - 19 May 1864died of wound to right lung received at Yellow Tavern
UNCCyrus Augustus Trevey1840-1881PrivateCSACompany C, 1st Virginia Cavalry
UNCDaniel Jacob Trevey1827-1897PrivateCSACompany H, 14th Virginia Cavalry
UNCJohn Joseph Trevey1825-1865PrivateCSACompany H, 14th Virginia Cavalry- 9 Feb 1865POW at Camp Morton, Marion, Indiana
GGFJames Preston Tolley1816-1895PrivateCSACompany C, 58th Virginia Infantry
GGFJohn Bailey Wade1835-1870PrivateCSACompany D, 5th Virginia Infantry21 Mar 1862 - unknown
GGFWilliam Johnson Zimmerman1824-1880PrivateCSACompany C, 108th Virginia Regiment of Militia


Relationship codes:
COUa cousin, i.e. not an ancestor
GGFa great-granddfather, i.e. direct ancestor
UNCan uncle, i.e. brother of ancestor

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Reloading supplies...

I feel very fortunate today to be able to buy 8 lbs of Reddot and 4 lbs of Bullseye for $14.71 a pound. 12 lbs of powder, powder which will go a long way in pistol or certain rifle cartridges, for $171.26. What a deal! Many thanks to Bill M______ of The Stonewall Rifle and Pistol Club for helping out fellow club members on this club buy. Bill puts in a lot of hours working for the club.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Hunting so far in 2014

Not so good. Not enough time to hunt. Not the best hunting in the places I do get to go. Lack of time means not much scouting and thus I don't know where the game is when in the places I get to go. In short, not enough time to hunt. Much of this is due to time spent in training the new dog...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Five Nevers

Stolen from WeaponsMan are the 5 Nevers, 5 things you NEVER do.


#1: NEVER go with the assailant to a second location. Why do you think he wants you to go there? (There are actually several possibilities, but they’re all bad).

#2: NEVER give up your gun. This standard Hollywood trope, where the hero gives up his gun because the villain is threatening Sweet Polly Purebred or whomever, and then manages to free them both through some brilliant stratagem, only works in the hands of a trained and certified member of the Writers’ Guild. Don’t let him have your gun: just “Let him have it.”

#3: NEVER get in a car with someone threatening you with a gun, or even with someone who might threaten or harm you or who has an incentive to harm you.

#4: NEVER let someone tie you up. He doesn’t mean you well to begin with, and you have just made the decision to outsource your survival to him. Being bound is an intermediate station of the cross on the way to dusty death for many homicide victims.

#5: NEVER give up. Never give in. Never surrender. Run, fight, attack. In the aftermath of the Onion Field, LAPD Commissioner “Two-gun” Powers told his men to use any weapon they could, and pointed out that a #2 pencil can kill. (Exercise for the reader: how many ways can you kill someone with a sharp pencil? For extra credit: which way disables him fastest?).

This is a mindset that you have to make a part of your psyche, your spouse's psyche, your kids' psyche so that this is how they approach those who would challenge their right to life. Only when it is deeply ingrained in your system will it be a natural response. This is about survival, nothing less. Get with it.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bow hunting...

John A______ and I went out to a local farm to hunt last night. This actually was more of a scouting trip. The weather was beautiful the it was pretty windy. We had a good long walk of about 2 miles around the place finding scrapes, rubs, and crossing points. There is a good acorn crop, several corn fields, and other crops on which the deer have been feeding. We didn't see a single mourning dove and only a couple of squirrels. The groundhog holes were obviously long unoccupied. I need to take my laser range finder next time.

I carried my old Bear Grizzly bow and the arrows I've been using since about 1986 with the old Bear broadheads. I like the light weight and simplicity of the recurve. A new Bear Grizzly runs about $350.00. They have now returned to the shelf type rest. I like that best, one less thing to break and it seems more traditional. I like traditional.

John brought his crossbow, I have forgotten the make, but he forgot his cocking device crank. Neither of us could cock the thing with out the aid of the cocker. I personally think that crossbows are too awkward. They weigh about the same as a firearm but also have the limbs extending left and right to get in the way. Excellent for the tree-stand hunter, they don't suit my preferred combination of ground-stand and still hunting. They are fun to shoot though. Heck, just about everything is fun to shoot.

In all our walking we didn't jump or see any deer. We did see deer come out in the middle of the field right at sunset. All that I could see I thought were does.

John is going to take his grandson, Daniel, out this weekend.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Reloading projects continuing...

First thing for this fall/winter's reloading projects I loaded 500 .380/200 rounds. Now I'll be able to enjoy my Webley MKIV with the correct period ammo.

Second project was to load about 1000 .32 WCF cases. They are all primed now and turns out that there are 910. These should all fit in a .30 Cal ammo can and will keep the 1894CL hunting for a long time to come.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Notes from the gun shop...

Well, I don't have a lot of news about the gun shop except that we seem to be getting more .22 LR ammo and that we had some really exceptional Shiloh Sharps rifles come in on consignment, and we have some really top notch shotguns (one is a Winchester 21) for sale, and we have been busier than all get out since the move and it doesn't seem to stop.

I did help a customer put together a Barnett crossbow and installed the cranking bow cocker. That was interesting. We don't sell Barnett, we sell Parker crossbows. But, I figured it out. We can help with anything, given time!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Witch Trial Connections Don't End

I thought I'd found all the connections to the Salem Witch Trials of 1691-92 but I hadn't.

William Dounton, father of Thomas Flint's wife Mary, was the Salem jailer during the trials. He is our 9th great-grandfather.

Then there is Joseph Herrick (1645-1718) was constable in Salem during the period of the trials. He is our 8th great-grandfather. Henry Hericke, progenitor of most of the Herricks in America, migrated to Salem in 1629 as a member of Higginson's fleet. Joseph, Henry's 4th son, was married to Sarah, the daughter of Richard Leach, on February 7, 1667. He was referred to as Governor, which means he had probably been at in command of a military district at some point, or perhaps he had been the magistrate of a West Indies colony. His descendants were large in number, and have held many important positions.

Joseph Herrick was a soldier during King Philip's War. In 1692, at age forty-seven, he was a corporal in the village militia. He was the constable of Salem, and, as such, central to the proceedings in the witchcraft trials. At the beginning he was persuaded by the accusers; but by the end he had become a skeptic. In one of the cases, he became an advocate for an accused person, which was probably quite dangerous; and in the end he was a leader in the opposition movement. His parents are mentioned in a court record to have been fined "for aiding and comforting an excommunicated person, contrary to order."

Joseph had brothers Ephraim, Zachariah, Henry, and George (who was constable of Essex county). Ephraim had a son John (1662-1729). John Herrick's wife Bethia Solart was Sarah Good's sister. Sarah Good was one of the executed witches. Her full name was Sarah Solart Poole Good.

11th Great-grandfather Samuel Appleton (1586-1670) had a son (our 10th grand-uncle), also Samuel (1626-1696) who was a Major (later Colonel) in the militia and a member of the Court of Assistants which tried the first accused but he had no part in the Comission of Oyer and Terminer which condemned so many and he had no further involvement with the whole sad episode.

Mary Leach Ireson was an 8th great-grand aunt, daughter of Richard & Sarah Ann Fuller Leach 9th great-grandparents. Mary Ireson became involved in the Salem witch trials when a complaint was sworn out against her on 4 June 1692 by Edward Putnam and Thomas Rayment, alleging that Mary had afflicted Mary Warren, Susanna Sheldon and Mary Walcott. She was arrested and examined on 6th June. As soon as she entered the room, several of the "afflicted girls" fell into fits. Susanna Sheldon testified that Mary's specter had brought her the Devil's book and if she didn't sign it would tear her throat out. No further information is known beyond the initial examination.

Apparently there are a number of reports of 9th great-grandfather Francis Wyman of Woburn and Billerica testifying in the trials but it seems he has been confused with Francis Wycombe, a woman, who testified in the trial of Margaret Scott. There is no other mention of Francis or his immediate family of which I am aware at this time.

No doubt there will be more connections discovered as I continue my research and I'll note them here.