Saturday, October 01, 2005

This week I've been busy.

First, I had a full "tub" of fired brass which had to be run through the polisher, first inspectioned and sorted by cartridge and stored. I bagged over 300 .38 Special, .30-30 and .45 ACP and a quantity of 7mm Rem Mag, .270 Winchester and .30-06. I may have to build additional shelves for my collection of ammo/brass.

Second, I've been trying to decide between a Ruger New Vaquero and a USFA Rodeo as my packing big-bore revolver and possible replacement for my S&W M629. The main considerations are quality, large caliber (.45 Colt), short barrel length (4-5/8" and 4-3/4" respectively), fixed sights, NOT stainless and single-action. The gun has to be within my budget as well. I can't afford more than about $500. I'm thinking (and a little bit of hoping) that one of these will do for what I'll carry a big bore revolver. Knowing that they are limited as to the power of the loads they can handle I'm more than willing to stick to loads in the 8 gr. Unique 255 gr. cast genre. Heck, that's what I've pretty much gone to with the M629.

The trouble is that you just can't find one of these guns around here. I've looked high and low and multiple times. Interestingly, nobody is interested in ordering one of these guns on spec. You'd think they would be hot with the CAS crowd but apparently not! However, I finally found a shop that would sell me a Ruger New Vaquero for $428. Now I'm waiting on it to come in. Fingers crossed.

As noted earlier, I'm waiting on my belt and holster rig from Levergun Leather Works for the M629. Although I was told the wait would be about 6 weeks, I'm still on tenterhooks. The anticipation is killing me. I ordered without carving though as I didn't want to put money into something that didn't thrill me. Dad used to carve leather and he was good at it but I never felt that I particularly liked it. The carved initials and animals were interesting, simple borders look good, but basketweave and especially the floral carving just didn't make me like the goods. Now I'll have to get a holster (or two) for the NV as well.

I also explored the possibility and feasability of ordering bullets from a new-to-me bullet caster, Mount Baldy Bullets. I was particularly drawn to the .45 Keith style SWCs at first. Those bullets will be loaded just for the NV. This will enable me to tell at a glance which loads are for the pistol and which are for the rifle! Necessary since the rifle loads will rapidly disassemble the revolver! Not a good thing.

Also interesting me were the .45 "collar button" bullets for the .45-70. These short cylindrical bullets are intended for light vermin and practice loads in the rifle (and for short ranges). This will make my two .45-70 rifles much more flexible when hunting. Should be fun to play with as well.

I also was lucky enough to be able to talk to a friend who has some 5.56 ammo cans that I might get from him. I store my ammo in these cans as they fit the shelves well and keep moisture, dirt, etc. from the ammo. I could now use some more cans.

I've also been loading some ammo. First, I loaded up some .38 Special 205 gr. LBT over 2.5 gr. Bullseye loads for silent loads for the .357 Max Contender. Of course I had to try them in the 1894C and then talk about it at the Leverguns Forums. If you follow the link you'll see that this topic generated quite a bit of interest.

I also finished loading all the .45 Colt bullets that I had on hand. This will give me more than enough for practice and to use during the deer season. I also have a quantity of plinking loads for the rifle (which might also be usable in the revolver).

I also started loading my collection of .44 Mag brass with 8 gr. Unique and the Hornady 240 gr. swaged SWC. This bullet doesn't do as well with 9 gr. and with 8, thus the load. This has become my general use load in the 629.

The Lee C309-113-F from Lee Precision

Next, I have to set up the bullet molding apparatus to cast some Lee C309-113-F (shown above). I figure this bullet will help me make a good small game load for the .30-30 and .30 Herrett. Thanks to a Leverguns Forum member who GAVE me the mold. I will probably also try this as a silent load.

This coming week I hope to get the reloading finished, bullets molded, make a trip to the range (or 2 or 3!), and get ready, more ready for deer season. As the weather cools, I hope that the hunting will improve.

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