Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Our Friend Sally Had Never Fired A Pistol!

We reached a good stopping point for yard work and were setting up behind the barn to shoot Mr. Completely's e-Postal match when Sally stopped by to visit.  Sally is a serious outdoors woman.  She gardens, plants trees, hunts deer, coyotes, and turkeys, so we invited her to come out back and shoot with us.  That's when we found out that she had never fired a pistol.  That was hard to believe, and easy to remedy.  We had the plates set up at 25 yards from shooting a few days ago, so all we had to do was load a Mk III and put it in her hands.  We got that New Shooter Smile from Sally, even though she is an experienced hunter.  .22 pistols have that effect on everyone it seems.


Remember to watch the hands closely on your shooting students.  Wrapping the off-side thumb behind the slide just seems to come naturally for anyone who is unfamiliar with semi-auto pistols, and it is the responsibility of the instructor to warn and correct students to avoid injuries.  A couple years ago I had a fellow who wrapped his hand around the front of the cylinder on a revolver as he was getting ready to shoot.  Disaster was averted because I had my eyes on him.  Pay close attention to your shooters and make sure they all go home with smiles on their faces.

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger® has a beautiful 12 Gauge Red Label ™ for us to bid on this week.  It was built in 1999, engraved, and stored away.  This design was not used in production, so it is a one-off example of this fine over-under model.  This exciting firearm will sell mid-day, Wednesday, June 1, 2016.  100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the USA Shooting Team.  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place your winning bid. $2470

Monday, May 30, 2016

Finally, A Little Recreation!


We spent most of the weekend mowing, cutting brush, pruning, hauling brush, and moving wood, but we did take time today to shoot the May e-Postal and do a little plinking behind the barn. One of the neighbors stopped by and we discovered that she had never shot a pistol.  We fixed that in short order.

Ishapore Enfield On Steel

Sunday, May 29, 2016

If You Are Able, Pay Your Respects


Bill Whittle On The End Of World War II

This video by Bill Whittle is making the rounds of blogs and Facebook since the remarks by the President in Hiroshima.  I first saw it again on Sondrakistan, and it is worth your time to go there and follow the links that accompany that post.  The bomb wasn't evil; it ended evil perpetrated by the Japanese Empire.  Japan did not surrender after the first bomb, and the military establishment was planning to murder Hirohito for deciding to surrender.  Untold lives were saved by the bombs and the heroes who delivered them.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Loading A Civil War Era Musket

This is an informative, brief video demonstrating the process of loading a musket, something that has fascinated me most of my life.  There is  a command and precise set of moves for every step.  They skip the method of checking for an empty boar, which is "Spring Rammer!"  You draw the rammer, flip it around and lower it down the bore.  You bring it down with force at the end of the stroke, and it will bounce in an unloaded musket.  The rammer will not bounce off of a load.

The load used in these weapons was 60 grains of powder, which sounds anemic in these days of magnumizing muzzleloaders, but it did the job.  I have shot and hunted with a repro Enfield in .58 caliber, and shot Minies in it.  I bumped the load up to 70 grains, and it shot well.  You don't want to push a Minie too hard, or you will blow out the skirt when it leaves the muzzle.  These weapons make a very effective deer hunting rifle, even if they are a bit long for carrying in the woods.


Close Call

Flipped on the kitchen lights and left the room for five to ten minutes, came back and smelled something hot. Flipped the light switch because it was dark, and nothing came on.  Whoa, those lights were on when I left the room.


Smoke residue deposited on the cover over the ballast, and where the ballast was spewing.  It was too hot to handle.  This fixture is just a few years old, and had been fine the day before.  If I had left this light on and left home, I know that I would have come home to a pile of rubble.  Now I suspect every little curly-cue fluorescent light with a ballast in the base is a fire hazard, too.  I know they get hot.  We have been switching to LED lights, and I wonder what they will do as they age.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's OK To Look, Isn't It?


We pass this little Studebaker Lark 2 door regularly and I always give it a look.  The six cylinder version would get 20 mpg around town.  It's pre-seatbelt, and if it smells salt on the road the front fenders rot out at an early age.  The AM radio plays songs like Mrs. Robinson and Both Sides Now, if I remember correctly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Soft Maples, 100 Feet


This is a normal call after storms.  A lady called and asked me if she should have her maple tree trimmed.  This silver maple has been topped twice in the past.  One of the multiple tops snapped off and speared the roof of her bedroom.


Looking over the mobile home at the tree you can see a bit of the blue tarp that is keeping the weather out until repairs are made.


It has multiple stems starting at about 8 feet, and then more multiples at about 15 feet, making for a heavy top on a stem that probably has rot in the center.  Silver maples are time bombs.  You know what I told her.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger® has a beauty for us to bid on again this week.  It is an early P85™ from 1990.  The only work this pistol has done is to pose for pictures with the publicist when this model came out.  It has been residing in the company safe ever since.  There is a good chance you might buy this one worth the money, so CLICK over and place your bid.  This pistol will sell mid-day, Wednesday, May 25, 2016.  100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the USA Shooting Team.  $615

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tuesday Torque: 600 HP Snow Engine

These engines were built 100 years ago, and I saw some of them in use in Eastern Kentucky during the 1970's.  I am sure they are all gone now.  This one is 600 HP, and you can see it at the Coolspring Museum.  There is an 1100 HP Snow engine featured in the current Gas Engine Magazine, and it will be running in Michigan in a few years.


Professional Grade Poop Scooper!

Policing the dog yard is a daily activity, and we have been looking for better tools for this necessary task.  One scooper we bought used tines for scooping, but it is flimsy and dropped a couple of poorly welded tines in the first couple weeks.  While preparing to repair the scoop my eyes fell on a trusty old fire rake, and EUREKA! It could function as a poop scooper, and it was sturdy enough for fire fighting.



You can spend $85 bucks for a new one that is built for a century of use, or you can buy a knockoff (with plastic hardware) that I think would be stout enough for the dog yard. Here is one I found on Amazon that should do the trick.  If you need to do industrial grade poop scooping, here is a good looking one.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Oh, The Humanity! Taco Shortage Hits Fairfield!

Bring burritos with you if you visit!

Steam Powered Machine Shop, Parts 9 & 10



Parenting Is Hard,

...and so is growing up.  It is a real joy to see kids growing up well and going down a path that will lead to a happy, productive life.  Dan and Brenda Butler's son Chris is a hard working, energetic young man, and a joy to watch from afar.



You all know Dan from his blog Sand Castle Scrolls, and Chris from The Smallest Conservative.
Chris, you make my heart soar like a hawk! Congratulations!

Dan and Chris visited Southern Illinois a couple years ago with the Rio Salado Target Terminators.

He Brought It On Himself

Our little nightmare faced the judge and made a good deal for himself yesterday (CLICK).  Susan, Pat, and I are all glad that we will not have to sit in the courtroom and testify.  I look at this as a golden opportunity for Eric Hall to read tons of book, take a multitude of classes, and to come out of Menard a changed man.  Had he stood trial and been found guilty he would have faced up to thirty years for the Home Invasion charge, so he is getting one heck of a discount.

Take your home and self defense seriously!  Criminals go everywhere, especially good neighborhoods; that's where the goods are!  Take a class, read books by Massad Ayoob, read the gun blogs, buy and practice with guns for home and personal defense.  Keep those guns in a safe when you are not using them.  Keep your phone on your body, and plan for defending your home with your family.




Again, Many Thanks to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, Illinois State Police, and the McLeansboro Police Department for rushing into the fray.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Check Back Tomorrow Night

We went to Pistol League at Carmi tonight and had a great time.  No pictures, just lots of shooting.  Pattie shot well.  Walked the dogs and going to bed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger® is offering a special edition Kittery Trading Post 50th Anniversary 10/22® Carbine.  Collector/Philanthropist interest is high, but go read all about it and maybe place a bid.  It's for a good cause.  This fine, collectible Ruger® rifle will sell mid-day, May 18, 2016.  Click Here to bid.

$1135

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Shumard, A Red Oak With Class


Shumard oaks are always a thrill to see.  They resemble both Northern red and pin oaks in some ways.  The bark of a Shumard has the dark color with gray ski tracks of a Northern red, but the tracks are narrower and have a finer appearance.  The leaves are more round like a pin oak instead of oval like red, but the lobes are filled out more than either of the other species.  The upper lobes on a Shumard leaf will often spread and have many tips.


Shumards prefer to live on creek and river banks, and the foot of river bluffs. (Not out in a bottomland, though.) Northern red oak will often be at the top of the bluff above the Shumards.


Shumards will grow a bit taller than the nearby red oaks, probably because of living on a site with a bit better supply of water late in the growing season.


Shumard acorn caps are a bit smaller in diameter than Northern red, and they are a bit taller, and very slightly domed, where the nearby Northern red caps are flat as a tabletop.  These are details that take a bit of looking to learn.


Neither Northern red or Shumard should ever be confused with a black oak acorn cap, which is highly domed, smaller in diameter, and wearing unattached scale tips.


The darker, coarser bark of upland black oak is rarely confused with either Northern red or Shumard oak....but black oak on a very good site can be confused with a Northern red oak on a very poor site.  Not often, though.  Check those acorn caps for positive I.D. if you are ever unsure.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Women On Target, at the Carmi Rifle Club

Last Saturday was one of our big days of the year at Carmi.  There was a whole lotta shooting going on, and everyone had a safe and fun day.  Here is a memorable target.


I believe this one was shot with Pattie's 22/45 with the Bushnell red dot on top.   Click Here to see Carmi Rifle Club on Facebook.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Are You Prepared?

The boss sent out an e-mail to the field people today because a desperado is loose in Southern Illinois.  This guy is a genuine bad man and he is evidently in deep Southern Illinois now.  He has been wounded, so he is probably as desperate as a desperado can be.  Click Here or on the wanted poster to see the news report about him.


Our boss sent us information about the man, and cautioned us to be careful in the field.  I wrote a response and replied to All.  Then I realized it was a pretty good post, so here it is.

"There are precautions that many of us neglect.  We spend most of our time at home, so our homes should be secured as well as possible.  When you come home from work assess your house to make sure it has not been invaded while you were gone.  If you have been broken into, don’t clear the house yourself.  Call 911 and have police clear your house.  Avoid confronting burglars if at all possible.  Use deadbolts on all entry doors.  Close your garage if you are not working there.  Lock the man-door between the garage and house if they are attached.  Have a visible 911 address sign at your driveway for emergency responders to see.  Keep your guns locked in a safe when you are not using or carrying them.  There was a recent burglary in Franklin County (Illinois) where the burglar stole a firearm and had a rolling shootout with police.  He was shot and killed by police, but that shootout would not have happened if firearms had been secured.  Get firearms/concealed carry training if you have not already done so.  You must stay within the law in your own home if you use deadly force to protect yourself and your family.  Know how quickly you can reach weapons from anywhere in your home. Discuss these things with your family in advance and know what everyone should do during a home invasion. 

Lock your work truck when you are away from it.  Be alert when you return to it.  Do not get in the truck with a carjacker.  You might survive if you resist/run/fight.  You will be killed if you go with a carjacker/kidnapper.  That’s what they do.  Always carry a walking stick or substantial Biltmore stick when you are away from your truck.  Don’t let an attacker get his hands on you unless you want to do hand-to-hand combat to save your own life.  Alertness is a huge advantage. Escaping/deflecting/avoiding an attacker is preferable to fighting for your life.  Your responsibility for your family changes the dynamics of an attack, so do your research, training, and preparation for those possibilities."

We are having big, bad T-storms tonight, so maybe this guy will feel like surrendering tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a 9mm Speed Six  from 1983.  This fine revolver features a 2 3/4" barrel, fixed sights, and a round butt with walnut grips.  100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to the USA Shooting Team.  This little beauty will sell mid-day Wednesday, May 11, 2016.  Click Here to place the winning bid.

$2500

Monday, May 9, 2016

April e-Postal Scores

Color me disappointed.  Susan, Pat and I all shot a target, and Merle shot several.  We were the only entries for the April target.  Merle should get a medal for his consistent participation and for his marksmanship skills.  I have said it many times before; we all need the practice, and these monthly contests are one of the activities you can use to stay sharp as a shooter.  They are a fun family activity, too.  Thank You for your support, Merle!

Class 1; Air Pistol, Iron Sights/Non-magnified red dot
Firearm
Distance
Score
No Entries



Class 2; Air Pistol, Magnified optical sights  
Firearm
Distance
Score
No Entries



Class 3; Rimfire Pistol, Iron Sights\ non-magnified red dot

Firearm
Distance
Score
David aka TBS
Ruger Mk III Billll’s Ghost Ring Sight
25 ft
3
Susan aka Mrs TrueBlueSam
Ruger Mk III/ Bushnell
25 ft
4 – 1 = 3
Merle
Ruger Single Six 22 mag
25 ft
2
Pattie Ann
Ruger 22/45 Lite/ Bushnell
25 ft
1 – 2 = -1
Class 4; Rimfire Pistol, Magnified optical sights



Merle
TC Contender .22 LR  2x
25 ft
4
Class 5; Centerfire Pistol, Iron Sights/Non magnified red dot
Firearm
Distance
Score
Merle
Enfield 38/200
25 ft
7
Class 6: Centerfire pistol, Magnified optical sights



Merle
TC Contender 9mm 2x
25 ft
5 – 1 = 4
Class 7; Rimfire Rifle, Iron Sights/Non-magnified red dot
Firearm
Distance
Score
No Entries



Class 8; Rimfire Rifle, Magnified optical sights (25 yds)
Firearm
Distance
Score
Merle
Marlin M 39A, SK ammo, 4x scope
25 yds
6
Class 9; Centerfire Rifle, Magnified optical sights (25 yds)
Firearm
Distance
Score
Merle
Russian M44, 2x scout scope, 1946 ammo
25 yds
8!!! Way To Go Merle!!!

Click Over to the Smallest Conservative for your May challenge!

Tuesday Torque: Vintage Sterling Trucks

Here are a couple of Sterlings from Ron Waltenspiel's collection; A 1948 and then a 1947 logging truck.  Note the chain drive!


And here are some more shots of the 1947 beauty.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Do Things The Easy Way...

I can beat this guy.  I tip up the mower deck and grind the blades in place with an angle grinder.  Easy Peazy!


Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Not My Victrola: Ted Lewis

This record is in great condition, and it is played with a cartridge for 78s. That great Ted Lewis sound comes through in spectacular fashion. Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me, Andy LeMaitre.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Weekend Steam: More Steam Powered Machine Shop


Little Brother's Birthday

Google is celebrating Freud's birthday today. After Freud most entertainers quit singing about Mother. Not Al. He was a good guy. Freud didn't like America, either. This post also serves as a reminder that an important day is coming up this weekend.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Private Annual Show


We have a large assortment of peonies that are blooming now. They are thriving .



The poppies are losing ground with iris all around them.  We will have to gather seed this year and tear up part of the flower bed to re-establish our orange beauties.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Don't Even Admit You Own A Saw!


It's good mental exercise to size up trees you see when you are out.  This big northern red oak would be a challenge to work on with the stump several feet above grade and no place to stand.


It has forward weight, so you would need to bore cut it to keep it from splitting.


But, from another angle we see that it is already split, and you have to wonder why it is still standing.


Was it lightning, or a wind storm that did this?  I don't know, but it looks like it is ready to collapse anytime, and I did not hang around after shooting these photos.  This tree is seriously looking to come down around somebody's ears, and I don't want to be there when it happens.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger had another Number 1 Rifle stashed away that had been engraved for Mr. William B. Ruger, and it is on the block this week. It is chambered in 7 x 57, but I don't think the caliber is important to collectors.  This is a very fine rifle with Bill Ruger's initials on it, so it will sell well.  Click Here to read all about it and to place the winning bid.  This rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, and 100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to benefit the USA Shooting Team.

$2925

Monday, May 2, 2016

Tuesday Torque

Turbo Is Good!  The old Pratt and Whitneys are great to hear, but the turbo prop rigs are faster, they climb better, they turn tighter, and they are safer.  There is lots of torque and a snappy response.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

May e-Postal Is Up At The Smallest Conservative


Christopher of the Sand Castle Crew has posted the target for May, and it looks like curtains for us.  You get to take ten shots to knock out the bombers and the incoming ICBM H-bombs, which number more than ten.  Holy Cow! We're Doomed! Welcome to life in the 1960's.  It looks hopeless to me, but we all have to give it a try.  There are a whole bunch of heroes from the Cold War that nobody ever hears about, and the younger generations today don't have a clue when it comes to A-Bombs and H-Bombs.  In the Nineteen Fifties one of the descriptions was the Ultimate Hell Bomb.  For the uninitiated, A-Bombs are the ignitors for H-Bombs.  A-Bombs were described in Kilotons of TNT; H-Bombs were described in Megatons of TNT.  The pilots who trained for H-Bomb delivery were practicing suicide missions.  Their planes could not be far enough away from the flash after they delivered their payload, and their control surfaces were going to melt.  No Matter; if they flew those missions they would have no place to come back to.  Tough times, tough target!  CLICK HERE to go read the rules and to download your target.  Get your April targets in soon, and we will be posting the results here and on Susan's blog.

Sniff...



Back To The Old Grind!