Monday, August 31, 2009

Something Different

At this weekend's gun show a particular young woman thoroughly charmed me and managed to get some hard earned gun money right out of me.

She uses her grandfathers old lathe, formerly a treadle now motorized, in her work. What is her work? Jewelery! Not the normal stuff (click on the photo to go to her site)...

I bought a tie tack similar to these cuff links...

From her bio, "Jeni is also an avid shooter and supporter of the NRA. Shooting has been an enjoyable pastime for Jeni and after saving some old brass for a few years Jeni was struck with the idea for her Pistol Petals collection! This idea has led to more gun related jewelry as well."

She does cat and horse themes as well so there's bound to be something for your significant other. If I may, I suggest that you support another shooter.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Homemade Electric Bore Cleaner

I was "lead" to this on-line tutorial, Homemade Electronic Bore Cleaner by Deerwhacker444 on the Leverguns forum. A clean bore is sometimes an absolute necessity. This is one way, perhaps the only way, to get a truly clean bore. Outer's Foul Out is the commercial version.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some plinking fun...

After many weeks without any shooting I got to do some plinking with my Ruger Single-Six. I found that the Winchester 30 gr. HP .22 WMRF rounds would shoot to point of aim at 80 yards. I feel much better now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Modern Trapdoors

A fellow on a forum posted about this trapdoor. The Harrington and Richardson Trapdoors were a minor sensation, at least in my circle, when they were released. Unfortunately I couldn't afford them then. Now, I'd have bid on this one but the seller won't ship FFL to FFL and my FFL (or any others around here) will accept from a non-FFL holder. Neither am I a Curio and Relic FFL holder (cruffler). So it is a no go for me. Disappointing. It doesn't help that we had a 1877 (or later) carbine come in the shop the other day. It looks like it would be a fine shooter.

But it did cause me to start casting about for other reproduction Trapdoors. I found out that both Pedersoli (who bought Harrington and Richardson's's tooling) and Uberti make repros of the Trapdoor in rifle and carbine form. The prices are north of $550 though, way north! The cheapest I saw on sale were about $1000. However, there are some originals at about that price. Oh, sure, they may be parts guns...

The Harrington and Richardson, as shown above, was built on the 1884 design (low arch block, wider receiver, etc.) which might be the strongest Trapdoor out there although one shouldn't use loads over 18K PSI/CUP. The problem with these rifles is the locking cam and it can be dangerous if uncorrected!

The original cams are one-piece with the thumb piece on the shaft and locking cam with the bridle between the cam and thumbpiece that screws into the side of the block, holding it all together. The Harrington and Richardson and Pedersoli (Pedersoli boughth Harrington and Richardson's tooling) rifles don't use the bridle and the cam is separate from the shaft and thumbpiece and is held by a set screw. The Pedersoli rifles is square where the Harrington and Richardson is round. This means that on the Pedersoli rifles, when the set screw is tight, it won't move on that shaft at all since the hole in the cam is square to fit over the square section of the shaft. On the Harrington and Richardson, with the shaft being round, the set screw doesn't have that good of a purchase on the shaft and can (some say "will") loosen. One might either not be able to open the breech or the breech block can fly open under full pressure and eject the empty case back at the shooter.

There are three ways you to cure this problem.
- remove the cam and slide the shaft out, file a flat spot on the shaft where the set screw sits and put it back together. The flat spot won't allow the shaft to spin under the cam.
- remove the shaft and cam then drill a small hole where the set screw sits so you have a better seating surface for the set screw.
- if you want/must to keep the H&R original, loc-tite the set scew into the cam. It might still allow the shaft to spin.
I'm not sure if Pedersoli makes the trapdoor for Uberti. Both sites show the identical photo but, of course, there are slight differences in pricing. These would seem to be wonderful rifles being made on the Harrington and Richardson tooling with the exception of the aforementioned cam shaft change. Additionally, they have a more correct rear sight.

1. See exploded view, below. Always check first, of course, to be sure the weapon you are about to handle is unloaded. Grasp the rifle around the barrel and wooden forearm with your left hand and point the muzzle in a safe direction. Pull back on the hammer (#A) to place it in the loading position. (Depending on the internal lockworks, you’ll hear either one or two-audible clicks.) Then open the action by lifting up on the thumb piece (#18). This will unlatch the breechblock (#11), which you can tilt all the way up and open with your other hand.

Look down into the Springfield’s action, checking to be sure there is no cartridge in the barrel’s chamber. If you can see a cartridge in the chamber, reach in and manually remove the round by pulling the cartridge up and out the top of the action. Remove all live ammunition to a separate location—somewhere well away from the area where you are working.

2. The next step is to remove the lock and the stock. If you’re working with a rifle, remove the ramrod (#32) first. For a rifle or carbine, leave the hammer still at the half-cock position, unscrew and remove the two side (or lock plate) screws (#21) from the left side of the stock. The lock (#33) assembly can now be pulled out from the right side of the stock. Be gentle and ensure that the edges of the lock plate don’t grab any slivers of the inletted stock as you remove it.

Unscrew and remove the tang screw (#20). Depress the band springs (#29) and slide the band or bands (#26 and 27) off toward the front of the barrel. The barrel and breech assembly (#2 and #1) are now free and they can be lifted straight up and out of the stock.

3. This next operation—disassembly of the breech and the breechbolt—frees the extractor, which is powered by a very strong coil spring. Hold your hand over the hinge area to prevent the loss of parts while performing this operation. With the breechbolt remaining in the open position, push out the hinge pin (#10) and lift the breechbolt out of its hinge in the breech (#1). The extractor (#7), ejector spring (#8), and spindle (#9) can also now be lifted out of the left-side hinge.

Make careful note of the relationship of these ejector/extractor parts for reassembly later. The point or tip of the ejector spindle has to be engaged with the detent at the rear of the extractor during reassembly. For this operation, it helps to have a long tapered punch to keep the extractor/breechblock holes aligned during the reassembly of the breechblock to the receiver.

When removing the barreled action from the wood, the tang screw and bands are removed and then the metal can be simply lifted out of the wood. Disassembling the breechbolt starts with unscrewing and removing the breechblock cap screw (#17). Then remove the following parts together: the cam latch (#15), the thumb piece (#18), and the breechblock cap (#16). These parts can be lifted out to the side.

The cam-latch spring (#14) is now free and can be lifted out of the breechblock. Unscrew and remove the firing-pin screw (#13) from the bottom of the breechbolt. Now the firing pin (#12) can be removed by pulling it out through the rear. Note: Some modern copies use a two-piece firing pin with a return spring.

5. To disassembe the lock, place the hammer (#A) all the way forward for this operation. Compress the mainspring (#D) using a mainspring vise, a machinist’s clamp, or a small C-clamp far enough so you can disengage it from the mainspring swivel (#EFG). Tilt the mainspring out to the side, removing it from the lock plate (#C).

Reassembly tip: Since the mainspring will have to be compressed for assembly, you may want to just leave the mainspring vise or clamp in place, setting the assembly aside until you are ready to reinstall the spring.

Unscrew the sear-spring screw (#J) and lift it and the sear spring (#H) off the lock plate. Unscrew and remove the sear screw (#L). The sear (#K) is now free and can be pulled off the lock plate. Unscrew and remove the bridle screw (#N) and lift out the bridle (#M).

Unscrew and remove the tumbler screw (#B) from the center of the hammer, and insert a straight punch into the hole in the tumbler. Be sure to use a punch that is smaller than the threads in the tumbler to prevent damaging them. Tap the punch until the hammer (#41) comes loose. Now the hammer is ready to be pulled off the tumbler. Lift away the freed tumbler (#E) from the rear side of the lock plate.

Reassembly tip: As you reassemble the lock assembly into the stock, be sure to set the hammer in the loading position. Also, hold forward on the trigger as the lock plate is being inserted back into the stock to avoid any interference with the sear.

Some items of note here: Some Springfields used a two-notch tumbler (1-safety/load and 2-full cock), but the majority seem to use the familiar three-notch tumbler (1-safety, 2-load, and 3-full cock.) On H&R reproduction Springfields, the hammer screw passes all the way through the tumbler, acting as the inside pivot point for the tumbler. Original Springfields had their pivot points forged as one piece with the tumbler.

The stock inletting holds the hinge pin in place. Once the barreled action is out of the stock, the hinge pin can be removed, freeing the bolt, the extractor, and the ejector parts.6. For disassembling the guard plate and buttplate, unscrew and remove the two guard screws (#35) from the (trigger) guard plate (#34), and carefully ease the guard plate down and out of the stock. Again, be careful with this step so that the edges of the guard plate don’t grab any slivers of the inletted stock as you remove it.

Unscrewing the two guard-bow nuts (#37) releases the guard bow (#36), which can now be pulled down and out of the guard plate. Unscrew and remove the trigger screw (#41) and the trigger (#40) will drop down and out the bottom of the guard plate. The rear sight can be removed from the barrel by simply removing the two screws that fasten the sight base to the barrel. Make note of the position of the rear sight for reassembly later.

The buttplate (#24) is easily removed by unscrewing and removing the two buttplate screws (#23). The buttplate is simply lifted off the stock to the rear. If the buttplate is equipped with a door to access a cleaning rod, remove the buttplate-door spring screw and lift off the buttplate-door spring. (Note that none of these parts are shown in the illustration.) Use a small pin punch and hammer to drift out the buttplate-door retainer pin, and lift off the retainer ring. The butt-plate door is now opened and removed by pulling it straight out the rear of the buttplate.

As always, you simply reverse the disassembly procedure above for reassembly.

- Trapdoors Galore
- Trapdoor Collectors

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lil'Gun Erosion Problems

I like Lil'Gun. I use it in .22 Hornet, .218 Bee, .357 Mag (rifle), .357 Max (rifle), and .41 Mag (rifle). I did try about 12 rounds in the .32 H&R. I have recently heard some talk about, not complain about, forcing cone erosion in revolvers when using Lil'Gun. This is the closest I've seen to documentation of the circumstance.

From Bob Baker of Freedom Arms:
We have seen numerous barrels damaged by using Lil Gun. According to customers, some had as few as 30 rounds using Lil Gun through them, some had several hundred. Before we figured out what was happening one customer had sent his gun in for a new barrel. Then 600 rounds later it came back for another new barrel.

A couple years ago we did a test with a M83, .357 Mag. using Hornady 180 gr. bullets. We loaded 50 rds. of three different loads. One was a heavy H-110 load and the other two both used Lil Gun in different quantities.

We fired the H-110 loads first, then cut off the threaded end of the barrel. Rethreaded the barrel and shot one of the Lil Gun loads then rethreaded the barrel and shot the last Lil Gun load.

We found even the light load of Lil Gun caused the gun to get extremely hot. The heavy Lil Gun load had the gun so hot the only place we could touch the gun was on the grips and they were very hot.

Under magnification the surface appeared to have heated to a point of flowing using the Lil Gun loads and the heavy load was worse than the light load. This is probably due to Lil Gun having about 10% more nitro glycerin in it than H-110.
I would think that Mr. Baker is as good a source as you will find. I still wonder if the same or a similar effect occurs in rifle barrels. I haven't experienced extreme heating but then, I don't shoot very rapidly. I'm familiar with the concept as I've noted it in shooting Pyrodex in the .45-75 Winchester.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daniel Ford Richardson

Today we moved the Rev. Daniel Ford Richardson Captain Daniel Ford to his new place in our home. "Uncle" Daniel (as he was long known to us) has come to us through the family. The Reverend Daniel Ford Richardson taught Ancient Languages at Wake Forest 1834-38 and died in Hanover, NH in 1884 after a long career as a Baptist minister.  We felt it was time to safe-guard him in our home lest something happen to him at Mom's.

Interestingly, the frame, which appears to be poplar (but then I'm no expert) is only gilt on the face and unfinished on all other surfaces.  It is marked "Ford" on the top edge as the painter likely had it in a box with others he had completed and this was a likely means of identifying the framed image without having to remove it from its carrier.

P.S. - After review of many family letters on this subject and a quick study of the practices of traveling portraitists of that period I've concluded that this isn't the good Reverend Uncle Daniel but rather his grandfather, Daniel Ford. While I've no doubt that the first/given name of Daniel was correctly passed down via the oral tradition, I do doubt that the traveling painter would use somebody's middle name to identify the portrait in his crate of framed portraits awaiting delivery. 

Daniel Ford served in the American Revolution and was later a ship's captain. 

Cell Phones

Let me begin by saying I AM NOT A PHONE GEEK. The ONLY reason I have a cell phone is because of my mother. I NEED to be contacted if something concerning her goes awry. I am responsible. However, as a retiree, I don't want anything to do with any phone.

Nana, too, didn't want a cell phone, but she's got one. She got it because we were traveling and, again, were concerned about my mom. She kept it because of where she works. It is an isolated place and use of the facility phone is limited. With a cell phone she is now able to call whom and when she wants.

This isn't much different from anyone else. However, in our area, we have some limitations both in the infrastructure equipment and in siting of that equipment because of our proximity to the National Radio Observatory in Greenbank, WV.

We recently had an incident in which Nana took a short swim in salt water with her purse AND cell phone. That pretty much did in the cell-phone. Nana now "needed" a replacement. That necessitated some research on my part.

What I learned was that there are two or more systems. CDMA and GSM are those two which apply here. Nana needed a CDMA phone for her school area. My GSM phone is already known to be non-functioning. Unfortunately we couldn't find a CDMA phone locally. I ordered one. It came promptly and in coordination with our carrier the old number was transferred to the new phone. Nana is happy.

So why talk about that here? Because outdoorspeople might often be in rather remote, or MORE remote areas. A cell phone or other communications asset might very well be the difference in a successful evacuation should somebody be injured. You might also be able to use these to locate a late arrival at a link-up/rally point or coordinate last minute supplies and transportation.

I had to learn a lot to get Nana the correct phone. I took the time and did it and apparently made a good choice. Her new phone works well for her and she is happy. That's always a good thing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Flying with Firearms

Hunting season approaches, indeed it is already here in some parts of the country. Many hunters will be flying to their hunting destination, many for the first time. This video might help with your prep. As always, double check ALL information found on the internet!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Triple 7

My recent discussions about Pyrodex and incidents of corrosion associated with that powder spun off into another discussion about Triple 7 powder. Also made by Hodgdon (as most powders sold in the U.S. are), this is what the manufacturer says about it:
Triple Seven® is a revolutionary black powder substitute that cleans up with water alone...even your hands will come clean with just water. You won’t have to worry about any strong smells either...that and the time-consuming clean-up are both eliminated when you shoot Triple Seven. Triple Seven granular powder even delivers higher velocity for flatter, more accurate shooting. Triple Seven Pellets, are designed to have the same velocity as the famous Pyrodex Pellet, so switching over to the quick cleaning Triple Seven Pellet is amazingly easy. Clean up with water, no smell, and with the powder, flatter, more accurate shots. You get it all with Triple Seven. Now available in granulated powder; 50 caliber, 50 grain Pellets; and new 50 caliber, 30 grain and 45 caliber, 50 grain Pellets. Triple Seven Pellets provide the modern muzzleloader fast, no spill, easy loading with instant ignition.
Hodgdon also has this nifty chart (seen to the left) comparing velocities with Triple Seven and other muzzleloading powders.

My recent discussions about Pyrodex and incidents of corrosion associated with that powder spun off into another discussion about Triple 7 powder. Also made by Hodgdon (as most powders sold in the U.S. are), this is what the manufacturer says about it:

Triple Seven® is a revolutionary black powder substitute that cleans up with water alone...even your hands will come clean with just water. You won’t have to worry about any strong smells either...that and the time-consuming clean-up are both eliminated when you shoot Triple Seven. Triple Seven granular powder even delivers higher velocity for flatter, more accurate shooting. Triple Seven Pellets, are designed to have the same velocity as the famous Pyrodex Pellet, so switching over to the quick cleaning Triple Seven Pellet is amazingly easy. Clean up with water, no smell, and with the powder, flatter, more accurate shots. You get it all with Triple Seven. Now available in granulated powder; 50 caliber, 50 grain Pellets; and new 50 caliber, 30 grain and 45 caliber, 50 grain Pellets. Triple Seven Pellets provide the modern muzzleloader fast, no spill, easy loading with instant ignition.

In researching on-line I found a little information. Randy Wakeman writes,
Triple Seven and Black Mag3 are far hotter (or more energetic) than good old black powder, and produce higher velocities and pressures. Still burning carbon, the carbon-based fuel burned here is from the sugar family, not from wood (charcoal). These propellants are actually far more modern than nitrocellulose based powders. Triple Seven and Black Mag3 only become available in the 21st Century.

Referring to Triple Seven and Black Mag3, the only thing that they have in common with black powder is they can be volumetrically measured with old black powder measures. They are not as corrosive as black powder (Black Mag3 claims to be non-corrosive), have little in common chemically, and produce more pressure, heat, and velocity than black powder. They are considered smokeless powder by the DOT, and should be used with caution in older muzzleloaders, as there is no way that 100 grains volumetric charge of Triple Seven or Black Mag3 can be considered "the same" as traditional black powder. They are still relatively inefficient propellants, leaving behind close to 50% of their mass as non-combusted, solid residue.

Referring to Triple Seven, that 50% unburned material is substantially less fouling than black powder for the simple reason that a 100 grain volumetric charge of Triple Seven, though it produces more energy than black powder, is far less by actual weight. More directly stated, you still have about 50% of the garbage left, but you start with less garbage to burn in the first place.
and in an article specifically about Triple Seven,
One complaint, largely unfounded, is the hard fouling produced by Triple Seven residue. All blackpowder, Pyrodex, and Triple Seven charges leave behind a large percentage of solid residues. If you spit-patch between shots, there has been little issue with Triple Seven. Only one rifle has even given me a "Triple Seven Crud Ring," of any note, and that is the .45 caliber G2 Contender. When spit-patching that rifle, it really does have a hard sugary "crunch" when nearing the breechplug, and I don't know why.
and continues
Though Hodgdon touts the "easy water clean-up," I've not found Pyrodex clean-up to be all that stressful. I like the less felt recoil for a given velocity with Triple Seven loose powder compared to Pyrodex and similar, and I like the added performance from a 90 to 100 grain loose powder charge. Though Hodgdon does not claim Triple Seven as "non-corrosive," it is less corrosive than either blackpowder or Pyrodex. As I always hunt with a fouled bore for accuracy reasons, it is a little extra cushion not present with Pyrodex use.

I also found this article by Sam Fadala. I like Mr. Fadala's work and have found most of his results repeatable, i.e. believable. He says
Triple Seven is so close to non-corrosive that this new powder requires little additional after-shooting effort than modem cartridges demand. The only solvent necessary to remove Triple Seven fouling is [H.sub.2]O -- plain old tap water, preferably hot to promote drying.
I can say after purposely firing multiple consecutive shots without swabbing the bore (under test conditions) that hot water slicked the rifle up to brand new in a few short minutes. The effort required to remove Triple Seven fouling was little more than I lavish on my favorite smokeless powder cartridge guns.
This implies that corrosion isn't a problem with Triple Seven.

But what about pressures? After all, if velocities are noticeably increased, pressures must be higher as well, right? Well, that's about all anyone says. I haven't found any numbers on the subject yet. I will.

Unfortunately, I've yet to find more references. I'll update when I do.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dove Hunting

Some of the best times I had with my dad were while mourning dove hunting. Not that I was always on top of what was happening but I always had a good time.

Dad had a network of friends and contacts who were always more than eager (or so it seemed to me) for Dad and his snot-nosed kid to come by and hunt. Set-up on a big field you felt like a part of the gang but were too far away to really do anybody any harm (although I didn't quite realize that for a bit). Standing around the cars with my open double barrel cradled on my arm while the hunt was "organized" was enjoyable. Lots of side conversations were very interesting. One could learn a lot about a lot of things as you waited to go to your place.

Dove hunting is one of those things that you can do equally well alone or with a big group of folks. It doesn't involve much work. All you need is a field of naturally occurring feed of some sort (baiting is forbidden), a place to stand where you can safely shoot, a shotgun and a number of shells. If you take a cooler of cold drinks (preferably NOT alcoholic) you can use that for a seat while you wait. Get over a food plot enroute to or from a roost and you are in for some fast shooting. Depending on how you set up, all gauges of shotgun work, another plus for the sport. The hunt was organized when everybody had been placed where they would keep the doves inside the field once they had made their approach. The idea was often to have the doves move past as many hunters as possible. Hunters were close enough to have interlocking fields of fire but not quite close enough to present a real danger if a gun was swung a bit too far in the excitement of the hunt.

Unfortunately, it is harder and harder to find such a field on which I can get permission to hunt. Fewer fields, fewer farmers willing to let strangers hunt (even asking permission). I don't have a dog anymore either. That made things a lot easier. Hunting alone I might get only 6 doves because I had to spend some time finding those I'd downed. The dog's nose is a BIG help in locating dead birds in grass or corn stubble.

Sometimes, in the poverty of my youth, I'd take the dog and walk up doves in fallow fields where they were feeding on "weed" seeds. They don't quite boil out like quail or grouse but there's some excitement and the dog allows one to actually find the downed birds. On a good evening of walking (after school) I might get a half-dozen birds in this way.

Dove season is nearly on us. Find your fields. Be sure to have enough ammo!

Friday, August 14, 2009

S&W M19-5 2½-inch Round-butt

The Smith and Wesson Model 19 can be described as the Military and Police chambered in .357 Magnum with adjustable sights. It is a neat gun and was the standard police revolver in my youth. I know several retired officers who still have theirs.

Built on what is now known as the K-frame (slightly modified), this .357 Magnum revolver was an answer to police demands for a revolver that was easy to carry for officers while still having additional "punch" over the .38 Special round nose ammo which was the standard for many years. Border Patrolman and ace shooter Bill Jordan lobbied for this revolver and after a year's experimentation by Smith and Wesson was presented with the first Combat Magnum (as it was known before model numbering by Smith and Wesson) on 15 November 1955. I was ALMOST 8 months old at the time so I know this was 54 years ago. Even after over a half-century, this model is among the most well-liked of the Smith and Wesson line. However, the company moved to the heavier L-frame to address concerns with the guns shooting loose or cracking forcing cones in using the more modern heavy 125-gr. bulleted .357 Magnum loads.

I have long wanted one of these revolvers in the 2½-inch version. This is due to how I see the .357 Mag/.38 Special +P loads' purpose. I see it as a concealed carry round. I personally prefer to carry .40-something if I am able to open carry on my belt. In that use the 2½-inch round-butt version suits better just as the fixed sight Models 13 and 65 3-inch have previously served.

This one came to me from a friend raising money for some family member. He gave me a good price and I gave him no hassle/haggle. It came to me with Pachmayr grippers but now has some unknown make/copy of the Secret Agent type grip that I got with the Jovino 25-2. BTW, because of the larger holes in the cylinder, I think these two guns, the M19-5 and the M25-2 feel quite a bit alike despite the N-frame start on the 25-2. It is almost a perfect understudy to the big gun.

I've already had to change the grips again. I put a set of Pachmayr Compacs on it but have the standard RB stocks with a Tyler-T grip adapter headed this way.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pyrodex Caused Corrosion

I have seen a number of references to Pyrodex and supposed corrosion attributed to it (all other variables having presumably been eliminated as the cause of the observed corrosion). Of course this made me a bit concerned. I've been using Pyrodex since it came on the market, notably Pyrodex P in my cap'n'ball revolvers and in my Thompson Seneca .36 rifle. All together many hundreds of rounds have been fired in each gun. The .36 is my squirrel/small game rifle of choice and my first BP handgun, Lyman branded Pietta, have been in use since 1975 and 1974 respectively.

Sometimes the Lyman goes several years in "standby" mode (as a test) being loaded with 5 and the hammer resting on an unloaded chamber with uncapped nipple. It usually rests in my safe but might come out for contemplation now and again. I live in a moderately humid climate, summers here often have temps approaching 98 degrees with 99% humidity. However, it does get a bit cooler in the house in winter as we have the thermostats set at 62 degrees. My house is anything but climate controlled.

Up until today, the Lyman had spent the last 7 years or so (likely 7 years 8 months) loaded and mostly untouched. I would think that this would have given the demons I call humidity and heat to work their deviltry through condensation and so forth. Because of the recent comments I was finally motivated to end the test (darn curious!) and see what horrible damage had taken place, unseen, over these many years. On my daily trip to a shooting place the short test was conducted with all 5 chambers firing the first time without hangfires or squibs. 5 rounds went downrange and 2 of the 5 hit the 80-yard target. That last surprised me as I wasn't taking much time to sight.

After driving around in today's humidity so that I could complete my chores, I finally got home and took a few minutes to clean the old girl up. I got out the bore light and examined the bore. No pitting. No surprises as it is very easy to clean the bore. I then examined the chambers. No pitting. Ok, so that might be attributed to a thorough cleaning every time the old girl goes out with me. Let me see between hammer and frame, places I likely miss in my rapid cleaning mode. Ummm, there is a little bit of gunk there let me scrape, er, wipe it away. Any pitting underneath? Nope.

I'm thinking it will take much convincing to get me to blame Pyrodex for corrosion damage on my firearms.

Well, I'm not a chemist but John Kort tells me that Pyrodex contains potassium perchlorate which, you may recall, was in the old corrosive primers. Prompt cleaning with plenty of hot water, which I do, removes the corrosive element.

So, it isn't the Pyrodex, it is lackadaisical cleaning. This is the apparent view of the manufacturer based on this response to an inquiry on the subject.
Pyrodex is no more corrosive than black powder and no harder to clean than black powder. This has been proven by our testing as well as the Department of Defense and NASA as both have investigated the use Pyrodex for their uses.

The only way that there was corrosion on your firearms is that there was residue left on the metal of there was a lack of metal protectant on bare metal and the gun rusted.

There is no other explanation I can think of.

Mike Daly
Customer Satisfaction Manager

The Hodgdon Family of fine propellants:
Hodgdon Powder Company
IMR Powder Company
Winchester Smokeless Powders
GOEX Powder Company
Triple Seven
White Hots

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ruger Stainless Security Six 4-inch

When I was stationed in Korea for the second time in 1977 I had been and was old enough to purchase a handgun. Unfortunately, money hadn't been available for the purchase of such, at the time, a luxury as a handgun. However, in Korea the second time I was able to accumulate some "real" money. I managed to save enough to send to my father in 1979 to buy a handgun I could have when I returned from Korea.

Of course this entailed a long and detailed look at all the options available at that time. Lacking experience I thought that I could handle the recoil of the .38 Special and/or .357 Magnum cartridges. While I'd saved my money, I wasn't going to be profligate about spending that money and I wanted value. Looking at Colt and S&W products of the time gave me pause every time I got to the Fair Trade Price (the MSRP of the time). However, Ruger had a good product with their dash Six line and I'd already had experience with Dad's Speed-Six.

Other considerations were portability, durability, and appearance (yeah, it had to LOOK good, too!). As to portability, the 4" barrel seemed the best to me. It still provided adequate ballistic output but wouldn't keep me from wearing most holsters while driving. I'm not a big person, only 5' 8" tall, and a large/long barreled gun wouldn't have been appropriate.

The Ruger dash Six series already had a wonderful reputation for strength and were widely carried by police departments. Also, in my mind, durability was resistance to rust and stainless steel was a new and wonderful thing at the time. I had to have stainless. Colt didn't even provide that option then (as I remember it). Smith and Wesson had a limited number of models and charged a premium. Ruger's price for their stainless guns was less than S&W's comparable blued steel model. Of course, at that time, wonderful qualities were assigned to stainless steel. So, stainless was the choice. It also LOOKED cool/attractive. Eureka! There it was! Appearance!

So the choice, made after much thought, was made, money sent to Dad, and the waiting began. In the meantime I chronicled my search in Handgun Hunter, edited by J. D. Jones. It was heavily (and rightly so) edited by Mr. Jones but I was published.

I returned home in February 1981 to find my revolver waiting for me. It was a Ruger Stainless Security-Six with 4" barrel chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge. I was pretty excited. There was one problem. When shooting .357 Magnum ammo, cases would stick in one chamber. The gun was returned and then came back with the problem, a misfit ejector star, fixed. The gun shot well with .38 Specials and .357 Magnums. I did take a couple of squirrels with wadcutters, it was that accurate. I also carried it when deer hunting. It was easy to carry, recoil wasn't bad, but I usually left it in the house with the wife.

Sadly, there came a time when the wife left and the revolver did the same being sold to pay the lawyer bill. I really regret that. It was a good gun and it was my first cartridge handgun purchase. I'd like to find it again. Unfortunately, I can't find the serial number. That's a real bummer. I'm sure to record serial numbers now. Should one be found, I would take another. It was that good.

Ammo for these guns is a simple thing. Any .38 Special or .357 Magnum ammunition loaded to SAAMI specs is safe in these revolvers. I think they will stand up to repeated use of the .357 Magnum cartridge much better than the S&W Model 19 (although I know of one Model 19 that locks up just fine after 30K rounds of .357 Magnums!).

The following photo, taken from, is of "my" revolver in the configuration in which I bought and used it.

So, guess what happened, I found another. I have the serial to my old gun but despite looking at every one that I find locally, have yet to find it. However, this one is here! Hurrah. These are great guns. Some LEOs preferred it to the S&W M19s. This one is about 4 years newer than the old one being built in 1983.

You might note that my gun has the scalloped right recoil shield.  The highest serial noted without the scallop is 158-31335. Also, it has the later high-back frame. The difference between the earlier 150-series frames and the later production is shown in the photo at bottom left.

Monday, August 03, 2009

R. Lee Ermey's new show, "Lock and Load"

I like Gunny R. Lee Ermey. Can't help myself. In "Full Metal Jacket", "Fire Base Gloria", on "Mail Call" or his new show, "Lock and Load" I'm just darn glad he's there. Sure he's a Marine but I like him. I'm not the only one either. His popularity is reflected in his many acting and spokesperson roles.

His latest show is "Lock and Load". I saw the first episode, on artillery, twice and it was enjoyable both times. Production values seem to be excellent, I really enjoyed the slo-mo depiction of the various pieces firing. Gunny is just as good as always. I think he genuinely relishes what he's doing. The military folks working with him clearly do as well.

If you haven't seen it, make the time to do so. Currently playing on the History Channel Friday nights at 2200 hours Romeo or EDST it is worth your time.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Fortune Williams Music Festival

Even shooters like to listen to good music (if they still can). Towards the end of September Jimmy Fortune and Robin & Linda Williams will have their 2009 Music Festival at the Frontier Culture Museum.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Learning Experience

Just the other day I was ridiculing the President for lecturing us how his treatment of the arrest of a black Harvard professor by a white Cambridge police officer was a teachable moment. It seemed to me that he hadn't learned about his own racism. But, as often happens, I did something to humble myself and provide my own learning experience.

Yesterday was a day finally home from much travel. I was back among friends both in person and via the internet. I'd been able to personally check on my mother and I'd been talking about my trips, politics and concerns myself and others had about problems large and small. I became comfortable and relaxed. In so doing, I forgot where I was and in responding to a question thoughtlessly mentioned something about a friend. It matters not at all that it wasn't something of which that person should be ashamed, nothing at all that was illegal, that it was in a place not widely known or among other trustworthy folks who knew. What matters was that it was a matter about which I had tacitly agreed not to speak. It certainly gave me an opportunity for an introspective examination.

It is a gut-wrenching thing to dissappoint a friend and I should know better. I had the first lesson at age 4, Christmas 1959. Mom asked me if I was excited about Christmas and I said that I was and she should be too because we'd gotten her stockings for Christmas. The rapid, unanimous, unmistakable disapproval by all the gathered relatives of this disclosure of a "secret" made an impression on me that I've never forgotten. Until the next time I forgot myself I did very well. My parents never heard what happened at school, bad or good, and I have no close friends from that period of my life. I simply didn't speak to anyone about anything of consequence outside of studies or work.

The second time was sometime after I was in service. Military service creates bonds between people who either have entered service because they have much in common or come to that point during their service. This tends to relax the normal barriers to personal conversation. One day one fellow looked a bit down and I asked why. He told me that his mother had died but he wasn't going home because he wouldn't get home in time for the funeral and he'd likely be recycled (go to the next class) if he took the time to go home. Later, somebody asked me why he seemed so down and I said, "you would be too if your mother had died." Of course, word spread throughout the class. After everyone had expressed their condolences he came to me more than a bit upset that I'd betrayed his confidence. The point was reinforced.

I should do well to remember this. Everything posted can be mined for information which could leave somebody vulnerable. That another has posted something about themselves doesn't give me leave to bring it to the attention of others or confirm it to them.

In a broader sense, we might do well to be more circumspect in our postings. Each of us has different concerns among which are family, work, and friends. There is no need to feel that one is acquiescing to a life of fear while maintaining some discipline in posting content. Remember that you are responsible for what you say.
If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. Khalil Gibran
The wise man has long ears and a short tongue.

I hope that I have learned my lesson.

- The coming-out stories of anonymous bloggers