Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a rare one again this week.  It is a straight-pull bolt action (Not Semi-Auto) Mini-14 that was made for export to the UK. It was built in 2000, has a Zytel stock and fiberglass hand guard, bayonet lug, flash suppressor, folding rear peep sight, and scope rings.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid for this unusual Mini-14. It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 31, 2019.  $1625

Monday, July 29, 2019

Tuesday Torque: More Than Knowing What To Flip

Starting early gas engines and tractors can be tricky for a novice. You have to get your head into that four stroke cycle, and be thinking about when the mag is going to click over.


Yard Work Reward

Yard work in the country means brushpiles and then wienie roasts.



Back To The Old Grind!  Ready for S'mores?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

July 24, 1944

The USS Colorado was shelling Tinian prior to the invasion and was hit 22 times by Japanese shore batteries.  Remember these men.   Here is one of the survivors.  It is good to see one of Lloyd Bentrup's shipmates still up and going.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Lost Dog; Wild Week


Our friend Michele, who is one of the founders of Midwest Schipperke Rescue, had a pup escape this week.  Mina (Sister of Vinnie) got out on Monday and disappeared into a double-planted corn field.  Susan and I spent three days studying aerial photos, searching, and talking to lots of people who live in the area.  Michele spent most of her waking hours driving, looking, and giving her phone number to everyone in the area. The efforts paid off today when one of the families Michele contacted called her with a sighting.  Michele and a friend were soon on site and retrieved the little Schip.  Here is Michele's post on Facebook.  What a relief!  We have been sick thinking of the possibilities with storm drains, gullies, coyotes, and heavy traffic.  We all can sleep easy tonight.

Weekend Steam: Big Boy In The Midwest!

The Big Boy is on tour right now!  It will be on display in West Chicago this weekend and will be heading west again next week.  Click Here to see the schedule and take a day off!  This video shows the Big Boy in Wisconsin this week.




Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Seldom Seen Insect Treat


I think I have seen exactly three of these in my life.  It's a mole cricket. Not a bug you want to see in your greenhouse, but neat to look at.  I saw my first one fifty years ago.  I collected one for Entomology a couple years after that, but don't remember where I found it.  (I may still have it in a cigar box!)  This one was in the garage tonight.  Kinda like running into an old friend. Internet sources say that it is a serious pest of turf, especially golf courses.  Our yards do not come close to golf course standards, even for the Rough, so No Problem!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a used Police Service Six in .357 this week.  This firearm was returned to the factory for unknown reasons, and it is marked as used.  Go Here to see the photos on Ruger's website before you bid.  It appears to my eyes that someone thought Stainless Steel was impervious to corrosion and dings.  There are darkened areas and pits.  It looks as though someone liked salty foods and failed to wash their hands before touching the gun.  Oh Well, it is for a good cause, but this is a truck gun, not a collector, or one you will want to show off.  Click Here to read the entire description and to place a bid if you are so inclined.  The photos remind me of seeing used lawnmowers that are returned to stores at the end of summer.  Some people will abuse the good nature of others.  $655

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Swiper Has Left The Building!


Swiper is in his new home and reports are that he is adjusting well.  We will miss this special friend, but he is in the right place now.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cugnot's Artillery Wagon

The original was built in 1769, and holy cow, that is 250 years ago.  It was innovative at the time because it used pressure to move the pistons, rather than a vacuum from condensing the steam.  It used ratcheting devices instead of cranks to turn the wheels.  Much of the original machine is still in existence, but it never was put into use and is just a neat curiosity in history.  It should have been much more.  Thank You, Merle for picking this good video!


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Young Leader Pistol Shoot, Sponsored By The White County Farm Bureau

                                                        Click On Photos To Enlarge.

We had the 9th annual Farm Bureau steel shoot last weekend at the Carmi Rifle Club.  The weather was nearly perfect this year, and the heat held off until we were done picking up afterwards. We had a rules and safety meeting for all participants and split into three groups.  Everyone shot three stages; the plates were rearranged, and we shot three more stages before a fantastic lunch.  Here we see all of our shooters.



Here are the big winners!  Raya Adcock, Youth Winner; Rachel Hast, Pistol Raffle Winner, Ruger Competition Mk IV donated by the Gun Room, Norris City; Lucas Lueke, Second Place Youth; Justin Aldrich, First Place Adult; Gordon Simpson, Third Place Adult; Lynn  Simmons, Second Place Adult.


Here's Dawn blasting away.  She hardly ever practices and still beats most of us.


Sheryl is shooting fire!  She is a serious shooter and always puts me to shame.  Hmmm, maybe I should switch to Browning.


Lucas has been shooting for just over a year, and has plenty of youthful enthusiasm. Mk IV pistols seem to be replacing Mk IIIs.


Matt Rhinehart was running a GSG 1911-22.  These full size pistols seem to run on any brand of .22 ammo, and they are a fine choice for a recreational .22 pistol.

Photos provided by Doug Anderson, White County Farm Bureau.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tree Falling Steps: The Importance Of Hinge Thickness And Placement

Here is an interesting chainsaw video to watch.  Anyone who has been through Game Of Logging training does things differently.  Loggers say that we only know one cut, and that isn't quite true, but we do some things consistently.  Once you have had good training on cutting trees you will make the cuts on the front and back of the hinge at the same height.  That eliminates twisting and shearing of the hinge wood.  We also watch carefully just how thick the hinge is.  If the hinge is too thick you are asking for a barberchair, with loss of control of the tree and possible damage and injury. 

I don't know why the faller is using a jack on this tree; it's not that big, and wedges would have sufficed. The extra power of the jack was part of the problem, but the high back cut combined with the thickness of the hinge were the real causes of this accident.  If you haven't had training, get it!  Learn to bore cut and to set up a tree so it goes when and where you want it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Ruger is offering a unique rifle this week.  It is a pre-production model (37104) of the M77 Hawkeye in 6.5 Creedmoor (37105).  This rifle was built in 2010, and Model 37105 appeared in the catalog in 2011.  This fine rifle can be a collectible, or a shooter. Either way, the successful bidder will be a winner! Click Here to read the entire description and to place your bid. It will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. $1050

Monday, July 15, 2019

Notable Numbers

This blog has been going since the Fall of 2007 and it has never had a huge viewership, but it does keep chugging along.  We have fun posting (almost) daily, and many of our viewers have become good friends.  I started my YouTube channel along with the blog and originally I thought that I would focus on my old record collection.  That was fun for a while, but old records don't get many views, and even records that are copyright safe (before 1923) cause troubles with YouTube because other uploaders claim copyright if they have shared the same records.  Then YouTube decided that they don't like guns, and that caused us to delete a big stack of shooting videos.  Chainsaws are safe on YouTube, and they make the channel roll along with nice numbers.  Here are the screen shots of our blog and YouTube stats today.  Pretty nice!  We hope to keep going for the foreseeable future, and we plan to keep doing chainsaw, old engines, and just a few shooting videos. Many Thanks to all of our readers for visiting True Blue Sam.



Tuesday Torque: Lanz Bulldog Starts After Restoration

The Lanz Bulldog was a popular German tractor, and according to Wikipedia, 220,000 were built.  These tractors have a hot bulb engine, and can burn low grade fuels. Merle spotted this one through all of the exhaust fog.  Cover your nose so you don't get your lungs all oily while you watch.  Thank You, Merle!


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Revisiting Wildcat Den Mill: A Post From Ten Years Ago

Last summer (2008) I visited Wildcat Den StatePark near Muscatine, Iowa, to look at the old mill I remembered from a childhood visit.
Even as a small child I noticed that the Pine Creek Grist Mill lacked a wheel. Here's why; this mill was powered by a turbine, which has recently been uncovered in the depths beneath the mill.

The first step of power transmission from the turbine was this wooden gear, which transferred motion to the lineshaft system to run all of the machinery in the building.


Here is why this mill made it to a Weekend Steam post. A steam engine from a boat was installed to provide a more dependable source of power than the creek. 'Friends of Pine Creek Grist Mill,' an organization based in Muscatine has been providing the labor to restore machinery in the mill, and it is now a great educational stop for tourists, families, and students.

The steam engine is the oldest one I have seen. Nearly all engines of this vintage either ended up in the bottom of the Mississippi or were scrapped.

It appears that the Friends of Pine Creek Mill intends to make this relic run again. The state of Iowa has owned the mill for many decades, and it is a rare survivor. It is a bit of a miracle that vandals have not looted or burned this treasure.

The displacement lubricator shows any steam fan that this engine came from the early, low pressure steam era. Tallow would have been used to lubricate the cylinder, since it will mix with water. The discovery that tallow could be mixed with mineral oil allowed steam engines to be run with high pressure steam.

This hand pump would have been used to pump tallow into the steam chest when starting the engine. Mechanical lubricators came along later, replacing the displacement lubricator for running. They had a crank to operate the lubricator at startup, replacing this little gadget.

Steam condensed in the displacement lubricator, floating the tallow out into the steam line to the engine.

The old boiler will not be used again, but it is a very interesting relic of the 1860's.

This mill has most of the machinery that was used when it produced flour and corn meal.  There are lots of elevators and chutes for moving product around to various bins, and there are rolling machines, plus quite large stone bur mills for making flour and corn meal.  Wildcat Den is worthy of your time if you ever are in the area near Muscatine, Iowa.  Back To The Old Grind!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tearing Down A Mk III Is Not All That Difficult...

...and reassembling is easy if you think about the hammer and strut.

There are lots of Ruger Mk III bargains out there now as people trade to get the newer Mk IV.  Don't be afraid of cleaning a Mk III!  We tear them down for you in this video so you can see how to do it.  This video shows an intact Mk III with the magazine disconnect, and also ones that have the Mk II bushing installed, which simplifies teardown just a bit.  Watch a couple times and then practice.  It is not difficult if you do this a few times.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


We have a great opportunity this week.  Ruger is offering an Old Army cap-and-ball revolver made in 2000.  You won't find many chances to get one of these, let alone a new one.  It looks really good, so be sure and place a bid if you are interested.  CLICK HERE to read the full description and to place that winning bid.  This fine firearm will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 10, 2019.  $800

Monday, July 8, 2019

Tuesday Torque: Sad Engine Magician

Gary Bahre has the scrapyard Hercules fixed up to his satisfaction now.  He picked this engine off a pile in a scrapyard.  Most collectors would not have even considered this project as a parts engine, but Gary is good at fixing lost causes.  Here is how it looked when he acquired it.


...And here it is running!


Sunday, July 7, 2019

It's Always Something

Sometimes it's more cats!

                                                       Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Blowing An Opportunity


We were gassing up at the Interstate, and this guy was, too.  Looks like he wants work, doesn't it?


This mess rolled in, and I got excited.  It looked like a match made in Heaven.


...And the junker left.  Holy Cow.  He should have been all over that.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Weekend Steam: More Big Boy Joy!

Here is the newly rebuilt Big Boy 4014 and U.P. 844 at Stowe Creek near Evanston, Wyoming, May 13, 2019.  Great Spotting, Merle!

Parts Are Ordered For The 346XP!

We have had this fine little saw for twenty years and I thought it was done for, but it's going to live on!  I have a new clutch ordered from Bailey's and it will be ready to cut again in a few days.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Ruger's Auction To Benefit The USA Shooting Team


Here's a nice one from Ruger.   It's a Laminated Mini 14 Ranch Rifle from 1991.  This was a distributor special and was not in the Ruger catalog that year.  This is New Old Stock, and the closeups on Ruger's site show it to be a very nice gun.  I can't see any shop wear on it.  This fine rifle will sell mid-day, Wednesday, July 3, 2019.  CLICK HERE to read all about it and to place your bid. $1078