Monday, March 14, 2016

Win 24 Part IV

I took Friday off from work to go with a friend to chase his dog and some chukars. What a great day! Dad's Win 24 SxS 12 gauge ready to go, a Brittany Spaniel working ahead of you and chukars on the ground all make for a fine morning. I have been working out the shotgun by firing numerous time into the snap caps and was looking forward to some live rounds to try loosening that action since the cerekote refinish. It was still tight after all these years prior to the refinishing and it was really tight afterwards.

Two birds were put out to start with. I shot the first at about 25 yards. My friend shot the second about 15 minutes later. While waiting for a couple of more birds, I ran about 8 rounds through the gun to attempt to get it so that it would lock up easier. Seems to be working! Another box or two aught to about do it. After the other birds were put out, my friend shot the next one. My first shot missed the last bird but I still shot the bird on the second shot (full choke) at about 40 yards. A few times I got to borrow this shotgun for pheasant hunting in Michigan if Dad wasn't going and always found that combination of the Mod/Full choke great for larger bird hunting.

It may seem strange or silly to some but there a little wave of euphoria and sadness upon taking that first bird with the first shot with Dad's gun. Memories flow and dang I miss that man.  It is also the first shotgun I ever shot. I would tag along with Dad when he was hunting even when I was too young to hunt myself. I would also nag the crap out him for me to shoot it, even just once. I was usually told that it was bit too much gun for a little guy like me. This is nothing but a challenge to a small boy so the begging continued until one magical day Dad said yes. We found an old tin can and set it up. I could hardly hold the shotgun up but you were not going to get any help. Either you can do it or not. I missed the can and about sat in the dirt. Dad asked if I wanted to shoot it again and I answered that I did not want to right now but would the next time we were out again. He laughed as I expected that answer was anticipated. My shoulder was so sore. I remember Mom wanting to know how I got bruised and was told of the sterling event. She commented to Dad that I might be a bit young. I believe the rejoinder was that I was old enough and it didn't knock him down. What bragging ensued among my peers as I got to shoot the big gun and had the bruise to prove it!

It is interesting in that I have the first shotgun that I ever shot and the first one that I ever owned (Sears bolt action 16 ga.) Hmmm, might be some more ice cream in stories about the 16 gauge.

Winchester Model 24 SxS



Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Blogshoot

The 2016 Annual Central Arizona Blogshoot organized by The Smallest Minority was a fun time as always. Thanks to Kevin for going "early" to set up targets to share. It was a bit cold in the AM but a far cry from last years Blogshoot and Firearms Wind Tunnel Testing event.

I had the opportunity to test out modifications to the Yugo. It had some light primer strikes in the past which I associated with the replacement firing pin which changed it from free floating to having a spring. It was assumed that the trigger spring was too old and weak for the new assembly. A new spring pack was ordered with a couple of different strength main springs. That was not the issue. Upon dis-assembly, I discovered that I had not gotten all of the cosmoline out from inside the spring. It was apparently still compressed enough that the carb cleaner did not take it out and you could not see it until after full dis-assembly. The original spring was cleaned and everything re-assembled. Well, 140 rounds later and no light strikes. I guess I have a couple of spare new springs. Have I mentioned that I think the original iron sights on these are awful?

I had two 22 revolvers with me. The H&R 999 Sportsman (love those top breaks) had a touch of a light hammer strike on the rim of the cartridges and would sometimes require a second hit. A spring pack had been ordered from Numrich and the main was replaced. It is flawless in operation now. This is the second time I had this one apart as I replaced the ejector cam some time ago to allow for proper ejection of the 9 shells. 

The other revolver had not been shot and it is a High Standard Sentinel. This is a swing out 9 shot cylinder double action. It shot well without any difficulties. It was about time to try it out as it has been resting in the safe for about 6 months since I purchased it.

The Hawkins 54 cal smoke pole that was recently assemble from an old kit shot well. This was was purchased for a screaming deal from a fellow whose uncle had never assembled it over a lot of years. I do not know when Cabelas went from their kit guns being made in Italy to being provided by Traditions. I always want to provide some appropriate smoke on the firing line for the event so I tend to take a black powder weapon. You would think that everyone would thank me for using Pyrodex instead of the real thing! It was amusing to hit one of the steel gongs on the first shot seeing as this had just been assemble. I had thought that I would probably have to go to paper in short order however it seemed to be good on windage and touch off on elevation. Not too bad. I decided to wait for another time to actually paper it a 100 yards as I was having too much fun shooting and playing with the double trigger set.

There were no takers to shoot my little Leinad Cobray one shot derringer. Dang, they are crudely made and operate about the same. I had heard that the 410 shell kicked harder than the 45 Long Colt. This is true but not by much. What a handful! I shot 3 - 45s, 2 - 410 slugs, and 2 - 410 buckshot. It is a sure thing that I hit something (dirt) out there but I could never tell where. I had tried to shoot a dove earlier in the hunting season. It was put away after the first shot. I patiently waited along a brush row for a dove to fly close enough and one finally did. I shot behind it (big surprise) and had two thoughts. This thing kicks badly! The next one was that hearing protection is required as my ears rang for about a half hour afterwards! I will reconsider after I get another set of electronic muffs that have the back neck band as I want my hat on for UV protection while hunting. 

I would thank everyone that was there as all were pleasant to speak with. What a fun time and I look forward to next year. Be for-warned, I will bring the real deal next year for the BP guns so you should save me a space downwind of everyone else!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ugly Sweater 5K

Daughter #1 and I tend to find a 5k to walk when she is back around Christmas time. Two years ago was a Color Run which was a lot of fun but none were going on in this area.
Color Run

She found an Ugly Sweater 5k in Tempe for us this year. The charity this year is Save the Children. Samuel Adams was a corporate sponsor for the run, so my hats off to them for backing the charity.

Yes that is a banana suit along with muscle tights. Our thought was - why not!





Friday, December 25, 2015

Hawkins 54 Kit Gun

I mentioned earlier that I had picked up a kit gun for cheap from a fellow whose relative never assemble it. All the parts are there. I am took a few pictures along the way.
Unfinished, ready for 1st coat.

I an using Minwax Antique Oil Finish on this one also. I like this finish as it dries hard but is not glossy.








1st coat

1st coat drying
2nd coat

2nd coat

2nd coat












Quite a bit of sanding was done after the 2nd coat.
3rd coat

3rd coat

3rd coat





















4th coat

4th coat

4th coat

4th coat



















This is just about where I want to be. I think one more coat after a quick steel wool. and it is assembly time.

None of the brass got buffed and polished as it is planned to just let it tarnish naturally.
Assembled! The barrel is Mud Brown Flat Cerekote.

Finish is not high gloss nor was it desired to be so. This one is going out in the field.

I love the double trigger on this. You can set it so that the final drop is almost a hair trigger. Almost, as I won't set it that far!

Were the rear sights traditionally adjustable for elevation and windage? Hahaha!

I hate the way I did the ramrod. Needs a coat of walnut oil stain and will get one soon. This is attention grabbing and detracts from the overall looks.





I still hate it!



That is a white Cerekote dot on the front sight.


My trusty helper, AJ, has been assisting every step of the way. He actually belongs to daughter #2 who is in Okinawa with her Marine hubby. AJ has become my shadow and thinks that he is also my protector!
Finally got the ramrod a color that looks decent.



Now to get some loads together for the Blogger Shoot on the 10th!





Friday, December 11, 2015

Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills

I was drawn for a muzzle loading hunt in the Santa Rita Mountains which I have frequented for the last 34 years and have taken a few deer over the years.

Very little sign was seen where I usually hunted that coincided with not seeing much in the way of deer. I slow walked and glassed (not in that order) some of my super duper secret areas to no avail. Where did the deer go? It is no concerning that deer were not seen right away but it is of concern that little or no deer sign ( you know, poop and tracks) was there. Food/water was good in these area. One area I snuck up to the following day was a bedding area that usually looks like the deer had quite a party. No sign - none. I did find sign of illegal traffic in these particular areas. Looks like the illegals are busting the bedding areas on a regular basis.


Nice view out towards the Baboquivari range.

 






Might rain today.


My usual areas are between 6,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation where you have some nice pin oaks and other goodies for forage. Most of this was on the west slopes. The following day found me kicking around down in the washes and amid the ocotilla. There I found sign and did see a few does. The last days of the hunt were spent driving the Bull Spring Road (not maintained for public use) and hunting Josephine Canyon area. Very little sign. One area where we have camped previously was near the stream and every day deer would walk through camp on their way to water and forage the benches. We called them the 11 o'clock does as you could just about set your watch by them.

I sat a hillside above this area glassing, saw nothing and decided to try something different after a few hours. Coming down the hillside I had to take a leak, took of my gloves and noticed my wedding band was missing. I have lost enough weight that my ring was loose. Crap, I forgot to take it off and put in on my key ring! The next few hours were spent searching without accomplishing anything. Usually, when you are distracted doing something else with the rifle slung, you briefly see a nice deer without the opportunity to shoot. We call that luck - bad luck that is. Did not find the ring or get surprised by that turty point buck.

The next weekend after my season was over, I returned to the place with a friend. We both took discriminating metal detectors and searched the places I had been that particular day. We also searched down hill of where I was on that one steep hillside as a bounce could be possible that could put that ring 20 yards downhill. No ring. I may go back for another pass with the metal detector.

Thar's gold them thar hills but no deer!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Win 24 Part III

Well, the Winchester Model 24 SxS is finished or I thought it was. I found a slight crack in the forearm wood. It looks that it could be glued and clamped. I don't know if the glue will end up showing on the outside which would require refinishing the piece.
First coat of Minwax Antique Oil Finish. A bit of sanding was done after this coat to try to take out some of the scratches and dings. Probably removed about 80% of the marring on the stock but it is a field gun from 1939. I decided to not sand that much wood off for the scratches. The dings will remain until I decide that it is really needed to make this look that pretty. Dings will require some sanding, steaming, drying, sanding and recoating.


Time for coat number two.



















Back together again!













There will be a short wait while waiting for pheasant season!

I Hear My Name Being Called

I like to fish. I am sure that you asking yourself if that is supposed to be some grand revelation on a biblical scale! Well, it is probably not a revelation of any sort to those who know me. While working on the furniture for the shotgun and smokepole, this swam into view.
Note the boat in the background.







 These strange objects became visible through the murky depths while hanging things up to dry on the porch. This a fish cleaning board, stainless steel fillet glove, and an old scrub pad that seem to be reaching obscurity and overgrown by the Queen's Lace.

The view of these objects and implements brought a twinge of nostalgia as the fish have been without me for a couple of years. Life gets in the way sometimes.
In the evenings when the wind has dropped and it is almost dark, I hear faint voices from the darkness that was upon the face of the deep. I have I heard, "Don, where have you been? We are lonely. Come fish the tranquil waters."

Regardless of whether the voices come from the deep or from deep inside my head, we have lively conversations! Got to go fishing soon!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

O.K. Corral Goes Hot!

Two hurt when live bullets used in Arizona Old West show

Well that reenactment got a little more real when someone went with live ammo instead of blanks! Looks like the pre-show weapons check has to get a bit more serious.