Outdoors

Chest holster re-strapping V1.0. 

Thought I’d post an update. Been wearing the new holster I got a couple months ago off and on for some work, and short hikes.


Have some setup issues.

They have it, as set for left hand draw,
Holster sits basically horizontal, grip left, muzzle right.

Shoulder strap run from top of holster (by hammer) up over RIGHT shoulder, down across back, under Left arm to bottom of holster(behind grip/by trigger).

The the chest strap runs around you, through a loop on the back of the holster.

Holster free floats on the chest strap, held up by shoulder strap.

When you go to draw, to keep holster from sliding left, you have to grip with the off side hand. 

Also while walking/working, it naturally drifts left, rotating the shoulder stap on your torso, sliding on chest strap, till under the left arm. (To where you cant grip the gun to draw without sliding it back to center chest with the off side hand.)

Because of shoulder strap placement/tension it can’t slide to the right.

Basically, the tension is backwards.

While hiking with it like this, every time I repositioned it (about every 150 yards!) I thought about strap direction and buckle placement, being pretty sure I could reverse it to the left shoulder, but still be left hand draw.

It actually was as simple as I thought. (Amazing)

I now have the shoulder strap run from top of holster(by hammer) over my LEFT shoulder, across back, under Right arm.

Now it gets different.. that bottom right end of the shoulder strap I connect to the end of the CHEST strap.

Chest strap goes Left, and Down through the loop on the back of the holster, then BACK to the Right, and around my back, to the Left bottom of the holster. 

So the pull to the left is now resisted by the tail of the shoulder strap, and the chest tension. If it slides, it will be down to the right. So even if it does move, it could go a ways before I couldn’t draw.

Muzzle end is also held by the chest strap. And because the chest strap and shoulder straps tension each other, once set, it can’t really drift very far either way.

So far as I can tell anyway. Will walk a couple miles with it and see.

Still needs work, but it’s better!


It even ended up with the tension right so the lower end of the shoulder strap is lower away from my arm and arm pit, more comfortable and crowds my arm less when moving. On the other side it tended to pinch and pull at my underarm. 

The only problems I see, are if it does move around, the gun/holster is semi fixed in line with it all, and it tensions through one end of it… As it moves one strap will tighten as the other loosens. So it’s going to chinch/tighten around me in one place or the other, and be crushing… 

And there is the other problem. With this set so it works, the chest strap is pretty tight… and rather crushingly uncomfortable already. 

I know I should be able to set this up so the weight and tension is all on the shoulder strap, and the chest strap can just center/position the gun on me and hold it semi loosesly..

What I’d like to try is;
The chest strap run from muzzle end of the holster, or the loop on the back, but a fixed atachment, not slidding, and around to the lower left corner of the holster as I gave it now. And the shoulder strap as I have it now for top of holster run over my left shoulder. 

But then attached to the center back of the chest strap.

Either floating or fixed at that joint. I think fixed would get the effect I want.

Will have to play with it some more, and see… need to find the 2 or 3 Big safety pins I have so I can pin this up how I want it before I cut/sew/ add/modify anything.

But as it is, it’s a lot better!

Pics to follow in another post if I can find someone to take them while I’m wearing it..

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Categories: Alaska-Life, ATVing, Backcountry, Customized, EDC, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Guns, Holsters, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts | 1 Comment

For warm dry knees! 

Got a new item recently. Well, 3 items actually. 

After my moose hunting trip this fall, a sleeping pad I’d borrowed to take was misplaced. Wasn’t in my gear, and when the boat was unpacked, it wasn’t found. We figured it blew out of the boat on the long drive back, and hoped someone found it on that winding mountain road– If I lose something, I at least hope someone gets some use fromy it, that it’s not wasted.

And I’d just obviously get a new one for the guy I borrowed it from. 

I did go buy a new one. 
Couple weeks went by before I got to take stuff back to him. 

In that time, my buddy cleaned Everything out of the boat. 

He found the padd, said literally it was stuffed so far up under the front deck a hurricane wouldn’t have budged it! 

None the worse for wear, I returned that pad to my friend, intending to return the new one, get my much needed $45 back. I did think about trying to still give my friend the new one, but he wouldn’t have accepted it if the old one wasn’t lost.. 

After using the first padd in an emergency, sleeping on it on Cold front deck on the boat on the river one night, I was sold on it, figured I’d get myself one like it before next season. 

Just didn’t really want to spend the money now… Didn’t get around to trying to return it till after the return period had ended. Oops.

In that time period I’d been also looking at small foam pads, after seeing someone at BCUSA carrying a sitting pad in their day bag. Found something I never knew anyone made; kneeling pads! Some for camping, some for gardening, work etc. 

My dad used to cut sections from the old 1/4″ closed cell foam sleep pads for kneeling to work, but I’d never seen anything sold for that. 

I’d started carrying chunks of cardboard in my truck box for roadside, job site etc kneeling, sitting, laying etc on cold or wet ground. Realized I should have had a foam one like dad used to make in the truck years ago, just never thought of it! 


You can see where this is headed, right? 

Since I have it, but don’t need the padd for sleeping till next summer, and can pick up another one then if I need it (I actually use a Klymit V-luxe air pad the most); In the mean time I can save myself the cost of keeler pads. 

I’d also found another great use for that pad on the hunting trip, as a chair pad. Took my folding canvas camp chair along, and it was great. But as id found before, sitting too long in one of those in cool wet weather, especially with a breeze can freeze your back and butt; its just cold canvas your sitting on, stays cool and bleeds heat fast.. I laid the pad in the chair and with a light sleeping bag over my legs was very comfy for early and late river vigils waiting for bulwinkle. :)

I did this last week a few days before ice fishing… I use the same chair for that activity, and sitting in that chair even with winter gear on can royally freeze your ass in a wind on a lake @ 10F or colder… 

So 30 seconds laying the new one in a chair to measure length needed for seat and back, then another 30 seconds with a pocket knife, cutting along the thin fold line. One chair pad made! 

Then what was left I cut into two equal sections, also cutting on the folds. Go two kneeling/sitting pads, one for my hunting/camping/hiking gear, and one for the truck. 

It was so warm last week for ice fishing I didn’t bother to take the big chair pad along, just took a small one. Never needed it, it was so warm, and the fishing was so good I spent a lot of time standing anyway. 

Anyway, it was still in the cab of my truck last night, got home late, 40F out (!) light wind, clear sky, stars out and Lots of northern lights. 

I killed the yard lights, grabbed the pad and sat on the tailgate of my truck to watch the show. 40F ambient is great, but a metal tailgate will still be 0F or colder after a week if that and freeze yer ass off! But with the pad I was dry and toasty. Size was good too, enough to sit on comfortably, but not huge to store. 

Gonna need two more pads now… One to keep as a sleep pad, and another to make more kneelers, for other uses/places/vehicles. 

It is/was a Therm-a-rest Z-Lite pad BTW. 

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Thermarest does make a sitting pad, shorter than the sleep pads, and cheaper at $15. Same design, same materials. It would have been too small for the chair pad I wanted, but I might get a couple of those for making more kneelers. Think I can get two of this size kneeler from one of those. 2 for about $15 ain’t bad!

As it is now, two sit/kneel pads and a chair pad that could be used as a short sleep pad isn’t bad at all for $45! 🙂 

Categories: Backcountry, Camping gear, Custom, Customized, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Ice Fishing, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Preparedness, Truck gear | 1 Comment

New ice tent fix & first ice fishing of 2017

Last summer a buddy of mines neighbor gave him an ice fishing tent… Brand new, in box. The guy had got it as a gift or something, and didn’t need two.. something like that IIRC. But unfortunately the guy was a little drunk when he was giving it away, and insisted on showing my friend how to set it up. 


Uhuh. Broke two poles in the process. And I’m really not sure how… These tents are so simple and idiot proof.. well, I guess not drunk proof.. lol. 

These things operate on a simple tension system, a X of poles, anchored at the outer corners of each wall, and the roof, a pivoting hub in the center attached to the wall. The X is a few inches bigger than the dimensions of the wall, so when you snap it out rigid it bows the wall out against the pressure, and it pops into place and stays under the tension. Super slick and easy. 

He managed to snap off two of the poles from one hub, snapped right at the end, flush with the metal pivot ends that fit in the hub. 

My buddy doesn’t ice fish(yeah, a weirdo, I know…), so he gave me the tent.  I just got around to going and getting it from him a week ago yesterday. 

New poles I found are $10 each plus shipping. They’re 49.5″ long, I hate to think what shipping to AK was going to be. But I figured there had to be an easy fix. 

My buddy thought PVC pipe over the breaks. I can’t remember seeing PVC that small. (3/8″ ID for the pole, 1/2″ ID for the end fitting.)

And I was hoping to not buy anything 😉  

I took it apart and took the end pieces out, headed to the shop. 

I had a plan, would just make a sleeve to join them, set screws to hold them in, long over the pole side for support against it torquing out, or snapping again. 

Didn’t have any aluminum big enough dia, that wasn’t 2″ Dia, so I used a scrap of bead stock brass. Ended up 5″ each sleeve, bored through at 0.375″ and counter bored on one end at 0.5″. Cross drilled, and tapped 6-32 for some brass screws I had. Cross drilled through the end fittings (aluminium), and ran the screws through instead of just against them. 

When you break a fiberglass rod, as you know if you have ever broken a ski pole or tent pole, it “blooms” on the end, sort of a spreading, or swelling to larger dia.

That made it perfect, I fed the fittings over from the opposite end, and it formed a press fit over the expanded area, I had to drive them on, down to the right length to end at 49.5″. Perfect! 

First assembly I had the end of the sleeve too close to the cross pin the ends pivot on in the hub, it wouldn’t fold. Went back and trimmedthem down a touch, now they’re fine. 

Sorry, only took pics after it was back together… In place, and in use;

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That was a week ago today. I’d been needling another buddy about going fishing some time soon on that Sunday. Day after I fixed this he sent me a message, lake name and date.  😀 This last Saturday. 

So, we’ll before first light we loaded up andheaded out;

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Two hour drive to the lake, short hike across the lake, we’re set up just after dawn. 3.5 hours of fun later; (yeah, so much fun I never stopped to take pics!)

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Little silver salmon. (Stocked lake). We had hoped on some big lake trout or pike that are usually easy in this lake, but they weren’t biting. I ain’t complaining! It was still great!

I came home 1 short of the daily limit! I’d caught 6, but put 1 back. Another guy caught 5 or 6 he kept. The other guy got 4 that he kept, but has a freezer full of salmon, so he let me have them. Had lots more bites we missed, and some that got off half way up etc.. Good times! 

We didn’t freeze either, and actually fished comfortably outside the tent, only setting it up with the buddy heater to wam up once. 5F with a 5 to 10 mph wind. Dreamy weather for a first trip of the season. (Always a bitch to acclimate yourself to the ice, wind, andfishing at -20F for the first trip out! 😉 )

I gotta say that little Victorianox paring knife is THE sweetest fish cleaning knife I’ve ever had. Thin narrow Wicked laser sharp blade, and a great grippy handle. Love it!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, Improviser, knives, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Winter | Leave a comment

New utility knife. 

Been having the idea lately,  related to having a couple Mora knives around, “just how much knife do I need?”

As in, I carry some pretty fancy traditional folders… but a blade is a blade.  In the past I’ve carried a folding razor knife for years, and been pretty happy. Did find that I prefer a longer edge though than that, generally.

Larely I’m also like the idea of carrying a fixed blade, right now opening a folder in the cold/snow/gloves is being annoying.

But the low cost Mora is too big for easy carry. So I want a Mora, only smaller…

I thought I’d see what I could find fixed, small, low cost, just your general disposable who cares type knife.

First thought was a small steak or boning knife from Old Hickory. They’re great steel, a popular knife to modify for woods use.

Saw on a forum, a guy(in an amazing blast from the past, I knew this guy on another long dead forum about a decade ago!) using a Victorinox boning/butcher knife (sometimes called/sold as a “rabbit knife” ) as a small field knife.  Small, low cost but Vics great steel. Nifty!

(Guys name is Spork, now on BCUSA, his pic, stolen by me.)

 But it being a little bigger than what I’d like for a general use knife, I suddenly remembered some small Vic steak and paring knives we had when I was a kid. They were a great cutter, always wicked sharp, but small and light.

Turns out I’m not the first to think of them for out of the kitchen use. Someone had beat me too it in a way, they’re popular in some circles as cheap disposable self defense knives. 

I find a knife(any knife) for self defense, quite honestly a stupid idea, but this helped because it shows these in nice sheaths! Kydex sheaths! More on that in a second..

For $5(inc. Shipping!) I can’t go wrong!

Amazingly a Victorinox paring knife costs less than an Old Hickory paring knife!

I can buy a kydex sheath for these things for from $20 to $35…  For a $5 knife. I don’t think so Tim! ;)

These are stolen from various places on the net… I’d give credit but can’t really remember where.( Kydex sheath for victorinox paring knife can be Googled, and should show where… that’s how I found them. )




I REALLY hate pressing kydex, but for $10 max in materials I already have, I’ll do it for this. ;)  

So, semi modular neck sheath will be seen here soon. :) Meant to do that in the shop last night but got side tracked.

And yeah honestly this won’t change what folders or anything else I carry or use… I like them, and that’s reason enough to use them. :) 

 But the thought concept/experiment of “all I need is sharp steel, not fancy steel” is fun to play around with every now and then. :)   that’s how I got my first Mora years ago.

And I had previously been wanting a small light field fixed blade anyway, so I might be finding it. We shall see!

 This really does seem great so far for a general utility blade,  both EDC and woods.

3.25″ blade, 4″ish handle.  Honestly still a little bigger than I had in mind. Seems they’ve changed in the last 20 years, little  bigger than they used to be, maybe 10% or 15%?

 

With Spirit for scale;

Will see how it goes, I can always re-grind the blade, and trim the handle.

Blade is thiiiiiinnnnnnnn. 

I thought it needed a fob. :)

Had this chunk of shimmery green acrylic pen blank in the shop, had previously made a bead from it, seemed fitting, so I made it one.

And no, none of it is zombie green…I HATE that fad!   I just get tired of the cliche neon orange or red for outdoor visibility. Went with green for bright but Different. 😀  

Categories: Custom, EDC, knives, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts, Winter, Woods tools

ATV plow, first use. 

Got 4″ of powder last Thursday night, finally enough to try out the ATV plow! 

I built the mount, and had it all ready in early October of 2016. But the night I finished it, and went to test ride with it mounted, is the night the clutch went out. I didn’t know what to do with the clutch until spring of 2017, so the wheeler and plow sat unused all winter. I never got to try the plow until this weekend!

SO, Anyway, I used the Prairie to plow my yard and driveway Friday. Works great!

One small section of drive plowed;

Took about the same amount of time as it does with my truck… Truck moves more in one pass, but takes more time to maneuver…

The wheeler is smaller, easier to turn and has better visibility. But not as much power or blade size to move a lot at once. 50/50-90 kinda thing.  I’ll break it up from now on, truck for large bulk areas, wheeler for the tight spaces, trimming up. 

Did have one problem. The plow doesn’t have an upward stop for lifting the blade… Just where you stop the winch. So if you go too far, it just keeps pulling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have it all the way up or not. 

Broke some welds on the mount pulling it up too far.  Will need to re-weld that, and make some sort of positive stop that hits the bumper or something, so I can tell for sure when to stop the winch.. 

I’m thinking just a upward angled bar braced off the plow, that would hit the bumper, and be a solid stop I’d feel. Maybe have it high enough that I could see it… Something like that. 

Got the main mount piece with the breaks inside melting/drying out now, will get it done and back on in the morning,  so I can plow the new 2″ or 3″ tomorrow afternoon. 

I’m really not surprised it broke… I’m only semi professionally trained at welding, still not real good at it, and this was done with a rather light welder for steal this heavy… 

 And it was being torqued at this area by a 2000# winch, with about 3′ of leverage added… It simply tried to hinge on the welds and sheared them, and is now hinging/flexing others.

 Looks like I missed welding straight across the back edges too, which would be a lot of loss of strength against pull in this direction.. Whoops.  

I’m actually happy it broke where it did. This piece is a 2″ receiver hitch mount, that goes into a 2″ receiver tube mounted on the wheeler. Breaking at the female side on the wheeler would have been a Lot bigger of a pain to fix! 

And the plow itself hinges onto this piece. Breaking the plow side would have been worse too, mainly for being able to get it into my heated shop where the bigger welder is set up, and I’d probably have gad to do a lot more re-engineering if part of that broke.

All in all, if it was going to break, it’s the best area for it.

This time I’ll full box all 4 edges where the two pieces stack,  maybe drill a couple holes in one and plug weld it down to the 2″ square tube… Maybe add a cross plate above the tube. And use a much bigger welder for more penetrating heat.

Yeah, apparently forgot to paint it against rusting before I parked it last year too… 

Anyway, onward to custom plow mounting 2.0!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Damages, Fabrication, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding, Winter

Thrunite TH20 Headlamp 

I use a headlamp A LOT. They’re worth their weight in gold for most forms of mechanical and automotive work, and a lot of maintenance and carpentry too.  

Dimly lit places where you need both hands free abound in most of the work, and play that I do.

It’s also dark 1/2 to 3/4 of the day for a good 6 months out of the year here.  I never go anywhere without a flashlight year round. But in the winter I never go without a headlamp as well.  I really do get that much use from one in general,  and I’ve found that 9 out of 10 emergencies/mishaps/adventures happen in the dark. 

 I decided after my moose hunting trip this year that I needed a newer, brighter headlamp.  The one I have works great, and has for about 10 years now. It’s bright enough and has taken anything I’ve thrown at it. 

But compared to what the other guys were using, it’s a candle to a locomotive!   LEDs have progressed a lot in the last decade, and this light was the older style bubble LED lamps, the older tech when I got it.  

On the highest mode out of three, it’s a good 50 lumens at the most.  Enough for general work in pitch black, but at dusk it leaves a little to be desired. And sometimes more light is simply better in the deepest dark. 

So, I did some digging, research, and browsing but didn’t really get anywhere.  

Figured I’d post a thread @ the edc community forum soon, and ask for recamendations.   

I never got that far. 

In one guys thread a couple weeks later, he posted his new headlamp.  Two friends started asking questions about it, both also looking for something new. Within a few days they’d ordered theirs.   They both loved them. 

3 glowing reviews, and a feature set I liked, I couldn’t go wrong, I went ahead and ordered it!

Box contents;

With my older Browning light;

The specs on the Thrunite TH20;

Firely mode 0.3 lumen

Infinity low; 1.6 lumens

Infinity high; 230 lumens

Turbo high on an alkaline or Ni-MH AA; 250 lumens

Turbo high on an lithium ion 14500 rechargeable “AA”; 520 lumens (!)

The light is aluminum housed, and runs on a single AA cell, or a rechargeable 14500 cell. 

Now, you might be asking “what’s infinity mode?”  Put simply, the light doesn’t have previously set brightness levels for normal use. It has one main mode, and an infinite adjustment within it.  Lowest is 1.6 lum, highest is 230. 

 Press and hold the switch and it slowly ramps up through the range, simply stop at the level of light you want!

Operation is simple. 

From Off, long press to get the firefly 0.3 lum mode. Regular press to turn off.

Also from Off, regular press goes to infinity mode, and the memory puts it at the last used brightness (so you don’t have to re-adjust it every time). 

Long press in infinity mode ramps up till you stop. Next long press ramps down, and alternates every press.   Regular press to turn it off.

Fast double click from any mode gets Turbo. Double click from turbo gets you SOS flash. Regular press to turn off.

I really like the infinite adjuster! I can get just the light I want, and it’s easy to go up or down.  Sometimes preset modes are either too bright or too dim, depending on where you are, what reflects the light etc. This I can adjust easily,  up or down as needed. 

I gained some durability with aluminum over plastic (although the plastic has never been any trouble even in rough use, and extreme temperatures).  

It turns out just slightly heavier than the other light, being AA and metal, but the other is 3 AAAs which are the same or more bulk, and it was bigger overall.. It evens out very well between them. 

The Browning has a pad on the back for against the head, while the TH20 is rubber mounted, no pad, but just as comfortable.  

The Browning has 3 click set angle adjustments. The TH20 is an infinite angle, set simply by rotating it in the rubber holder. 

The Browning has a very “cool” light output, an blue tint.  A tint that bothered me at first, but I got used to it, hadn’t really noticed it for years.    The TH20 comes in either a warm, or cool tint emiter, your choice. I chose the warmer, more yellow, natural light tint, since I prefer not to have the blue tint whenever possible. 

One big gain is the change to one battery. AAAs are easy to find in general,  but if your scrounging them in an emergency finding three of them can be a pain. Most devices that take them only run two.   

Finding a single AA on the other hand is relatively easy! They are more common, and like AAAs, most devices run on two of them. 

Lots of subtle differences,  but all gains.

I have the infinity mode set at about the same light level, or a little brighter than high on the Browning, which was my most used mode. I’d guess around 50 or 60 lumens… It’s a distinctive jump to Turbo, but dimmer than 100 lum.   

Update; December 23 2017;

At first, when I first wrote this, I was running it on an Energizer Ni-MH rechargeable AA cell, the same voltage as a alkaline AA. Then the turbo was only 250 lumens.  Honesty,  enough light for 99.9% of anything, but to me it seemed rediculous to have capabilities I couldn’t use. And I just wanted more light. 😉  

So I ordered a single Olight brand 14500 cell, and a simple USB charger also from Olight.  Output on turbo is now extreme! And great if you need, or just want it. 🙂 

Review of the battery and charger coming soon. 

Overall, I’m extremely pleased.  An excellent light, especially for its cost. I’d have paid a lot more for the quality, build, and features. This is only a $30 light! 

http://www.thrunite.com/thrunite-th20-high-output-and-light-weight-aa-battery-led-headlamp/

Categories: EDC, Flashlights, New Gear, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Field Holster; chest carry. 

I’d decided that I need a new holster for my .357. (Vintage Ruger Security Six, 4″). Field holster I guess you’d say… I don’t concealed carry often anymore, just open carry for hunting/hiking. 


Until recently I’ve done belt carry, have a great pancake holster from Simply Rugged that works phenominally. 

But I can’t do belt carry anymore;
Problem #1, it kills my screwed up hips, and #2 at current weight loss level/clothing sizing, keeping my pants up is impossible with the weight of a gun…Hell, it’s hard enough without the gun. Lol. (belt tight enough to hold it all up, cuts into back/hips too much, back to problem #1)

I’ve tried regular shoulder holsters. No go. Got a leather Galco “miami classic” style for a full size auto, have had it a decade, worn it a total of maybe ten times. 

Borrowed a buddies Uncle Mikes vertical nylon job for hunting last month. Wore it once. Rode ok once adjusted, but where it was secure and somewhat comfortable, I couldn’t reach the gun to draw it! 

I’ve had nylon ones twice in the past before. Got a great vintage Bianchi leather job that a good friend gave me, but it’s too big for this gun(actually hoping to convert it to chest or bandoleer carry for my .41 mag Blackhawk ). 

Anyway, I can Never get any slight semblance of comfortable, or secure, at the same time, and never an easy draw either way… 

Add to that the layers of straps you get with the holster, a backpack, and a rifle sling while out and about in the woods… Just no. There’s too much of the world sitting on my shoulders anyway, don’t need to add more! ;)

I’ve thought about a bandoleer setup, but that ends up on the hip cross draw… hard to reach (yes, I still have a bit of a spare tire to reach around, and add a heavy jacket, forget it!) and in a place that would interfere with backpacks, pack frames, and I think a slung rifle.. 

So, my last ditch idea is to attempt to try a chest rig… 

They’re actually extremely popular up here in AK for bear country fishing, and some hunting. 

Yes it hangs on shoulder straps, at least one..but the weight sits on the chest, not under the armpits. And it should pull on the back more than straight down on the shoulders.. I think. I’m thinking it will be more secure feeling and more accessible. And probably more comfortable, leave me some range of arm movement without under arm binding. (Hopefully!)  

So, a couple weeks digging around, and some fantastic suggestions from friends on a forum, and I made a choice. 

I ordered a holster last week. I’d seen these before, and looked at them off and on, but wasn’t sure.

But I decided for the cost –About $40– I couldn’t really go wrong.. If nothing else I could modify the snot out of it. ;)

But really, I decided I needed something low cost to try, to see if chest carry was even the answer, without dropping $70 to $150 depending. Expensive risk, if it turned out chest carry wasn’t my thing.

So, the make is Skyball Mountain Holsters. Amazingly, made in USA. Only places I can find them are Facebook and Ebay, apparently it’s a small business, no dedicated website.

I dug around and found out that the current Ruger GP100 is super close in size to a Security Six, so I ordered the one for a 4″ barrel GP100.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262234099076

It fits the gun perfectly! 
(Being a open non formed holster, it actually fits All of my mid frame ~4″ hand guns almost perfectly!)

These are built a little different than the average chest harness. The average seems to be an around the body horizontal strap, then the holster sits on that or straps down to it. Then the shoulder strap goes over and attaches to the horizontal strap on your back.

This one is the horizontal strap, and then the shoulder strap goes around from the holster, and BACK TO the holster…

It works. But it adds another strap crossing under your arm, and for me it’s a bit uncomfortable crossing that high under my arm. (I’ve a bit of fat there and it presses in anoyingly)

But even having said that, this thing is SUPER comfortable!! 

I threw it on with the 357 over a light hoodie a few nights ago, and went out and split a days worth of firewood. 45 minutes swinging a splitting maul, lifting, moving logs, etc. and I only had to reposition it a few times. That’s pretty upper body active, more so than any average time I’d normally be wearing a gun.


My only little problem is the way it sits, all the tension is pulling to the left side… The straps don’t hold it to the right if it’s pulled left. But it’s a left hand draw. So it drifts left during draw. Grabbing it with the right hand durring draw fixes it obviously. But I might not always have that hand free, so it needs a hold down strap on the right.

There is a loop on the barrel end of the holster (probably for a hold down), so adding a short cord, I’m thinking shock cord for a little movement, should be easy, run down to my belt.

One other thing, not really a problem, is the chest strap, on me, is extended almost all the way out. Not a design flaw, I’m just a big guy. So I’ll have to get an extension strap for wearing it over a heavy coat. It’s all 1″ strap, and all ends are held with SRBs, so it’ll be easy/cheap to add/remove as needed. The shoulder strap on the other hand, oddly has like another 10″ of outward adjustment, it’ll be fine.

Overall, I really like it. It works, and is verry comfortable. 


As to mods, I’m trying to find the site I saw a T shaped side release buckle on recently… 

It was simple the male or female side of the buckle, but the strap side had the slots on it at a 90 to the buckle… So you can slide it to any place on a strap and have the buckle T off. It was for camping/hiking packs, like to add a sternum strap or similar. Just can’t find it again! 

Anyway, was thinking one of those or similar on the around the chest strap, put it in the back, and clip the shoulder strap into it, doing away with the under arm strap. 

I’ll wear it/use it a while as is and if I don’t get used to that strap there, I’ll look into moddling it. But for now it’s fine!

Fat guy in a holster;

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My view;

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And the bonus, I can pick and chose what I want to carry;

4-5/8″ Blackhawk;

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Ruger MK2;

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Beretta Stamped SAA;
(3.5″ barrel us a little short in there, but I think it’ll balance ok/hang ok)

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Browning BDM 9mm;
(Which is great for now since this is my usual winter woods carry gun. No bears then so I don’t need the .357 etc.)

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:)

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Backcountry, Clothes, GetOutdoors, Guns, Hunting, Life-Philosophy, New Gear, Outdoors, Woods tools

Grousing around, Oct 2017

Grouse hunting… 
My first time out.

A friend and I have been trying to get out to do this together for about 2 years now, finally got to go. 

Ended up with his teen son along, and got two other friends to go, one that has a fancy German hunting dog.

We even put it off a week, last minute plans from last Monday so to make sure one guy could go… Turned out great, we got a few inches of snow in the week, make the birds more visible on the ground!

I borrowed a buddies 12ga auto shotgun to take since I don’t have one.

2.5 hour drive south to a 70 acre private property plot we have access to(Church bible camp) just north of Mt. Denali, and the foot hills of the Alaska Range.

 2.5wonderful hours hiking around in clear  5F weather, fantastic company and country… 4,000 grouse tracks everywhere. Millions of rabbit tracks.
Some fox and lynx tracks.

We’d talked about other game, and unfortunately lynx is closed until Dec 1st, but fox is open, and rabbit, and I was hoping to see a rabbit.   

And I wouldn’t have argues with getting a fox pelt either to be honest!

 Hiked 2.5 to 3 miles in flat country trails, open forest and fairly thick brush/black spruce country.

$$$ fancy hunting dog tracking all over the place. Really cool to see that, finally. (Friend has been trying to get me out to see the dog for almost 2 years now.)

Never saw an (game)animal.
No, take that back… we saw one camp robber. Lol.

Now, it was mid day by the time we got down there after we worked out some issues, drive was slow because of hairy roads in places…

We honestly figure the birds were all up in the trees roosting by the time we got out there, and once a spruce grouse is in a spruce tree it’s invisible.

But it was a fantastic trip regardless of not shooting anything! Really was fun just getting good out and enjoying God’s creation with some friends.

I didn’t actually take the shotgun after all. Talking to my friend that I’d planned this with,  he didn’t have one either, so he and his son would be with .22 rifles.  

I remembered that last year when we started talking about going, I bought a new Skinner sight for my Dad’s(now mine) Browning SA-22.

 Figured it was a great brush gun, it’s super small, light, and short,  points fast, be a dream to carry. It’s also a take down gun, for easy packing.

Also knew we’d be in Super dense cover at tines, and that 12ga is Loooonnnggg. Be a bitch to swing in the brush..

So I took the .22.
And it did pack and carry marvelously!  Do need to get a sling mouth set on it to make it a little easier, in thrvthick stuff (bith hands free)and a dedicated short pack case for it.

One other friend was supposed to have a single shot .410 along, but couldnt find it, so he had a 12 ga. pump.  Figured the other guy would gave a 12ga. But he chose to just wrangle his do for us.  But we did end up with one shotgun in the mix, for any fast flight shots.

The country;

The group minus me and the dog;

Two friends;

Same two friends in this shot, if you can find them… even the relatively open forest was hard visibility beyond 20 feet!

Tracks;

The .22;

Something cool (I think) I started doing with another tube fed gun, a Ruger MKII magazine makes a great speed loader. Just push the rounds off one at a time. Easier than a hand full of loose ammo. 

Cutlery that I took for cleaning animals;

The red Mora fixed blade I bought that morning… Had to take one guy to grab a hunting license before we went.

I was walking around the sporting goods store while he got it, killing time,
and was amazed to see real Mora knives for sale with the fishing gear!  Never seen them locally before, just online.  Even stranger, it’s in a small home town shop (one of a kind,  not a chain store).  Even though I do have a couple already, I couldn’t pass it up for $9.99 😉 

Anyway, still a great day without the birds, and the season is open all winter. Thinking I’ll start taking a .22 along with ice fishing trips etc. Never know what you might see! 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors, Sentimental, Wildlife, Winter

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