Range day, August 12, 2017

Range day with a couple friends yesterday.

Very few pics, I didn’t take many, was having too much fun… 😉😆 Maybe more later, a friend took several,  if I can lay hands on them… (yes, you Weston!) 

Got to make sure of the sight in on my 30-06 for upcomming hunting seasons; still doing a 2.5″ ish group at 75 yards, peep sights, 3″ high with my hunting loads: good enough! .Also, played around with my 45colt Beretta Stampede; nice bullseye group at 75 yards! Like a 6″ group, but still, not bad for open fixed notch sights on a 3.5″ barrel, that I don’t shoot often!

 Played with a buddies Ruger Mini 14 223, (I REALLY need to finally get the 223 I’ve wanted for 5 years… such a nice light plinking round!)

And I was finally able to try some handloads I made for my 30-30 in late 2014. .30cal round ball loaded light, for small game. bunny busters I call them. Pretty accurate to 75 yards, with no sight change on the rifle, quieter than a .22lr too.  Only problem is you have to single feed them, they won’t feed into the mag tube. 

Got a couple rounds into the black(paper plate sized roughly) at 100 yards with the 30-30, also peep sighted… Been 3 or 4 years since I’ve shot that gun at all, nice to see how easy it was to get back close to where I was then(Used to make nice sub 2″ even 1″ groups at 110 yards with it… with the peep sight. 😎 )

The Remington model 25 has that new sight that you guys might recall I put on over a year ago. Finally got to try sighting it in.

Couldn’t get on paper at 50 yards, always low, even after coming up a LOT on adjustments… Was running low on ammo and patience, then got side tracked. Will have to try another day and start closer…

This is what we call 36 mile range… It’s at the 36 mile marker on my road, about 12 miles into the Chen River recreation area.. (22 miles east of me on a windy 2 lane blacktop)

It’s just 3 benches and about 125 yards max aaaallll the way up the back slope… 100 yards max applicable use unless your really ambitious 😉

My stuff, the 25-20 out. Some of you will (should) recognized that scope laying there, it’s the one that was on my 30-06 since my Dad got it new in the 60s.

 The one that had the elevation adjustment break during sight in several years ago… About drove me nuts!  Took it off and used the irons that season, then after that my buddy Swany gave me a scope to use. 

(It’s a little funny, Swany had the other scope on a .22 he used for squirrel. I used it one season and then gave up on scopes all together for serious use, and I now have it on a .22 for small game. Came full circle! )

Anyway, I now use the busted scope as a monocle/spy glass I call it, for a spotting scope at the range. I’ve even worn it slung around my neck hunting instead of binos!  The 3-9 magnification and focus rings still work great.

My buddy’s stuff, S&W 44 mag, S&W 45 auto, Ruger Mini14.. Sorry, I can never remember the model #s on the S&Ws.. 

Categories: 25-20-rifle, Adventures, Alaska-Life, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, Outdoors, Summertime | 1 Comment

Recovered slugs.

Recovered bullets from shooting Saturday. 

On the right a 210 grain JHP, or what’s left of it, from my 41mag. On the left, a, as I recall, 240 grain JHP from a 44mag. Might be a 220 though  (a friend’s gun/ammo). .

Both went into a heavy dell computer case, and through a DVD drive sideways, and stopped against the inside of the steel case(denting it deep), @ about 25 yards. 

 The 41 mushroomed out to 0.725″ average, 0.800″ on one axis… The 44 went to 0.600″ average. 

The 41 lost a lot of mass though. I need to weigh them both when I get a chance. 

The other smaller one is the lead core from a crappy russian TulAnmo surplus .308win that had 165 grain JSPs in them… It went clear through the computer tower, possibly through a hard drive or DVD drive, and a couple inches into a wet punky cottonwood log. Not much left of it, jacket totally gone, Really stripped the lead off too.  But it did manage to mushroom to about 0.40″

The 41 was my Ruger Blackhawk, the 44 a friend’s Ruger Redhawk, and the 308 another friends Rock River Arms M16 A4. 

What we were shooting at, after all was said and done;

One of these trips I need to take along a truck bed full of old phone books and newspapers, some cans of water and do the boxes of wet newspaper concept. Along with my cronograph, do some more serious velocity and expansion comparisons. 

Categories: Damages, Electronics/Media, Guns, Hunting, Outdoors, Reloading

Grip tinkering.

Pietta 1860 navy grip frame test fit on a Ruger Blackhawk. 😎  Saw someone else do a 1860 grip on a Blackhawk, but wasn’t sure if my cap and ball revolver was true 1860 spec. Looks like it is. 

Backstrap is a great fit. 

 Trigger guard would need the front hole filled and mover about 3/8″, and the slot for the trigger widened.  
Then of course the back strap would need supports for the Ruger style mainspring and trigger spring fabricated and installed.    

Honestly probably take me less than an afternoon to do the full conversion.  🙂

Why would I want to? 

Because I have small hands and this grip is a a different profile, it’s a Lot more comfortable.

 Also, I want to eventually strip and brown this gun, and the brass would look Sweet!   And I like to tinker…. Can’t seem to leave Anything stock. Lol. 

Now all I gotta do is snag another 1860 grip frame set online (not using these since I’m not giving up the use of my Pietta!)

Categories: Brass, Custom, Fabrication, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, old tools, Theory/Thoughts

New boots for spring?

New water boots for spring? 

Hell yeah! And free ones too. 

Amazing what you can get at “the free store”! That’s the name a friend has for the dumpster site / trash transfer site. 

At most of these there’s a platform where you can leave out useful items, instead of just throwing them in the dumpsters..  A buddy picked these up there. Too big for him, gave them to me. 

Solid rubber outers, neoprene insulated and arctic fleece lined. 

Just a little big on me, but that’ll be great for heavier socks in fall/hunting. And interesting, I wear a 12 Wide usually, these are an 11 regular (they figure on stretch for widths). And still a bit big on me. Muck has generous sizing. 

And I can’t find a thing wrong with them! Look hardly ever worn in fact. There is one tiny spot on one that looks like it has been silicone or epoxy sealed, but otherwise they really do look new.  I’ve had them on in water over the ankle, and nary a leak yet!

Ice traction ain’t great for now, but they’re water proof, and warmer than my regular rubber boots, a superb win/win! 

And yeah, I just had to go look it up…I cant get an exact match on the model, it’s an older style than whats on the Muck website. But, these are about $150 minimum to $200 boots when bought new. Eeek! 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Clothes, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors, Spring, weather and seasons

First ice fishing of the season!

Up at 4am, me a buddy at 530, little over an hours drive, short walk(100 yards..) to the spot, we were on Birch Lake and fishing by 7. 

Wasn’t too cold at around 0 to 5F but the steady breeze at 8 or 10 mph with gusts to 25 or 30 mph was COLD!!

An Eskimo shelter and double bottle propane buddy heater fixed that… 

in the 10 minutes from drilling the holes, till we got setup the holes started to ice over… an hour later we had it so warm in there, basically t shirt weather, we’d melted all the remaining slush from the holes… ha! 

yeah man, between the shelter, the heater, and the gas ice auget, we were really roughing it! LOL.  

My haul of rainbow trout and silver salmon. The biggest, the rainbows were a little over 12″. I’d caught about 7 total, kept 4, and my buddy let me have a couple of his, he’d gotten about 10, kept 7 or so… Not bad for first trip of the season! 😎👍👍
3 rainbows made dinner, the rest froze for later, first time I’ve ever gotten 2 meals from a single ice fishing trip!

 Also first time I’ve eaten rainbow trout; pretty dang good!  Good flavor, mild but not bland. Not as dreamy as the big Lake trout I had last summer, but still great! 

Don’t think I actually posted this knife here when I got it last month, but my new Case Cutlery 47 frame Muskrat pattern folder makes a fantastic fish cleaning knife! Long slim razor sharp blades are a dream to use. 

I normally use a Case Sodbuster Jr. but it was a little duller than I needed this time, and being already slimy and bloody, it was too much trouble to sharpen it. So I simply grabbed my recent edc, the Muskrat. 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, EDC, EDC/MT use, Fishing, Hunting, Ice Fishing, knives, Outdoors, Winter

Long range 22 plinker?

So, I haven’t gone Completely to peep sights… just on my hunting or field guns. 😉

But I didn’t want the scope that my buddy Swany gave me to go to waste, so I dug out a rail adaptor and some rings, put it on my Super Stock Marlin model 60.

This was my first 22, and actually my first gun, circa late 90s.

“Super Stock”, because it’s basically a standard rifle, just in a configuration Marlin never made, with some light tuning.  Based on a shooting class/style over at the rimfire cental forums, of which I was a member at the time.

A blued action on the black laminated stock was never sold by Marlin (at least at the time I built this, a decade ago). Action polished and tuned, bolt jeweled. Aluminum trigger guard from an older Glenfield 60 fitted. (stock is plastic on the later rifles)

I had to replace the stock after a mod failure, and went with the gorgeous laminate, but have never really carried or used the gun much since; these stocks are Heeeaaaavvyy…

The scope actually improves the feel and balance quite a bit! Amazingly since in my experience a a scope always ruins a rifles balance.

I’d done this, the scope on there,  to get some use from both, thinking of a dedicated 100+ yard plinker to play with at the range… I dunno now, with the balance improved, it might just see some field use. 😎 😀

Categories: Custom, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, Modifications, Outdoors, Sentimental

New cutter, again. 

More details to come later, but I just acquired this one rather unexpectedly, and in a REALLY good deal. 

These come in two flavors, the full custom from VoxKnives, and a factory made collaboration piece made by Boker Plus. 

This is the Boker.  I ain’t complainin’ though, it’s still a darned solid knife built on a great design! 

Categories: EDC, Hunting, knives, New Gear

200 grain bullets at 2000 fps in 30-30WCF

I was recently telling a friend about this loading I did a few years back (few? Eeek! It’s been 9 years ago! ), where I developed a fast and heavy 30-30 load for moose hunting.  Was thinking about it again today, and realized that, as far as I remember,  it’s never been posted here. Figured I should put it here, at least for archiving purposes.

This was originally developed, and posted durring this conversation;

Anyone interested in this really should go and read all of that thread, there is A lot of good information there,  and some more of my thinking and learning before developing this loading data,  is there in that conversation.

I hope you can follow this, its perfectly clear in my thoughts and the notes I took as I went along, but I had a heck of a time structuring it for reading at the time…

I got to adding and subtracting and extrapulating data one afternoon in early 2007, and this was the result.

The powder that I had, the (IMR)4064, I had decided was too fast for this aplication. Got some (IMR)4320 from a friend. From the data I have, it’s soposed to be slower. Slower, but comparable;

All Starting data used is from my Speer #13 manual.

Between the two powders, same velocity (within+/- 90fps), same charge, same bullet in the 300 savage, Aplied for both 170 and 200 bullets . Meaning that the powders were comparably in presure/velocity gained, one just gets there slower.

2 grains powder decrease for every 10 grains bullet increase, in both 4064 and 4320 for the 300 savage.

The same 2 to 10 ratio decrease/increase is also used for the 30-30 with the 4064, it just stops giving you data when it gets to 170grn bullets.

SO, I started with a 28grn (rounded from 27.5 for even numbers..) starting load for the 170 in the 30-30, and subtracted 6 grains of powder for the weight increase to 200 grandma of bullet. Subtracted 2 more grains for good luck/good measure.

Thats a load of 20 grains of 4320.

Components being; once fired, full lenth sized Federal brass(from power shok) CCI Magnum primers. Nosler partition soft point blunt nose 200 grain bullets.(weighed at 200.5 grns)

Now, these bullets are a bit pointier than I’d like in a tube mag, so I lightly taped the exposed lead tips with a hammer(2.5# shord sledge.  ) Just upset the curve and made flat noses out of them.

Also, with the seating depth that is needed, the case comes well above the crimp groove. Luckily, where it crimps is just a hair before the tip taper starts. Heavy crimp aplied, it actualy started to slightly indent into the jacket…

Loaded 2 rounds, prayed, and fired them. was like a .22LR from my marlin mod60. No recoil. Acurate at 12 yards..  NO high presure signs.(flattened primers, primers bulging into rim around them, hard extraction…)

I proceeded to load 5 more rounds, each with an increase of 2.5 grains;

22.5 grains; No difernce to the 20, slightly more kick, but not much. acurate at 50 yds.

25 grains; , No pressure signs, recoil like a 22Mag rifle… acurate at 50 yds.

27.5 grains, Slightly flatter primers.Kick like my plinking round of 28grns 4064, with the 170. acurate at 50 yds.

30 grains, No primer or pressure sign change. still extracts good. kick like federal power shock with 170s. Still quite acurate.

32.5 grains, same as 30 above, slight more kick. Yes, still acurate.

Acurate meaning they went where I aimed them, within 2″ +/- (off hand, standing, at pop cans/wood chunks…. or I would post a target pic)

I was extremely happy with finding a low enough starting point, especialy for fudged and adapted data from one powder to another, and from a diferent cartridge.

I didn’t blow up the gun. 

Happy that I ran it up to a recoil and sound that feels healthy, with no visual, or felt problems. 

I had then stopped at this point, until my chrony arrived, for actual velocity, partly to know, and partly for a better educated guess as to the pressure.

Besides that, when it gets to 37.5 grains, I would have run out of case and had a compressed powder charge. I wasn’t sure if that is something that is doable or not…. (hadn’t then read about compressing smokeless charges-and, if I have since, I’ve forgotten itd)

factory 165grn Federal round, 200grn bullet used, and 170 grn cast I usualy load. Seating depth comparison to factory round. Deep ain’t it?


Original tip, and flattened;


From left to right, progression of flatening(or lack there of) of primers, from 22.5 to 32.5 garins.


Recovered bullet from first shot with 20 grains, at ~12 to 15 yards(angled into a 2″x6″) Too bad I didn’t recover anything from the 50yds shots.


Later when my crony arrived,  I did fire several rounds through it, and as I recall, at around 27 grains, it hit 2000 fps.

At this time, that is from memory… I can’t find my notes now that have the recorded velocity data. I do know for sure that they hit 2000 fps, and did so before 30 grains of powder. I think it was at 27, but I’m only 90% sure.

I never did get to hunt with the load, and bullets and powder being expensive in this size, I never did any more range work with it… I remember I had it accurate at 100 yards, but that’s about all.

I was told at the time, that by the time a primer flattens in the 30-30, that you are WELL beyond max pressures. I depends on your definition of flat or not, whether mine ever were…

An acquaintance on a reloading forum ran a verry similar load through pressure test equipment some time after I did this, and it tested well out of the max range for my rifle.

But internet data, is, well, internet data… Use and trust at your own risk!  I wouldn’t trust pressure readings without seeing them for myself, or seeing them properly documented.

  BUT at the same time, if you give that guy any benefit of the doubt at all, then my data is NOT safe.  And the Same rules, both ways, apply to using my data… 😉 Again, use and trust at your own risk! 

Meaning, it works and shoots in my gun, and it didn’t blow up…. But I DO NOT recamend or condone it’s use in any other gun.  Use my data at your own risk, I am Not responsible for what happens with your loads in your gun(s).
I have the data, and trust it to be used sparingly in my rifle, and wouldn’t have a problem loading them again, to sight in with, and then hunt with a few rounds… But the possibilities of being unsafe are still there enough to keep me from doing it Often. 

It was a fun project, and I have the outcome I was shooting for, it’s nice to know, generally, that the velocity I wanted with the projectiles I wanted, Are possible to achieve.  but given other guns and cartridges I now have,  I have no need to use it.

Categories: Guns, Hunting, Reloading, Theory/Thoughts

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