And a Thirty Aught Six

Friday, May 19, 2006

Build something idiot proof...

...and they'll just build a better idiot. I am that better idiot. Mixing glass bedding epoxy consists of mixing a resin and a hardener. Simple. Sometimes a 4:1 ratio, but this is one of the "idiot proof" ones that uses a 1:1 ratio. But, being that better idiot, I put the measure of hardener in the mixing tub, then opened the resin container to add that one. Then, I put it down to make sure the measuring spoon was clean. Then I picked up the hardner again. Since I haveWell, as they say, build something idiot proof, and they'll just build a better idiot. I am that better idiot. n't done this before, I didn't think anything of the fact that the "resin" looked a heck of a lot like the hardener. So, then I mixed it a while, added the micro balloons, and put it in the stock. Then I set it aside overnight. In the morning, I twisted the guard screws to make sure they weren't stuck, they weren't. Then I started playing with the left over. And got a little worried that the epoxy hadn't hardened overnight in the open tub.

Anyway, I just spent quite a while cleaning the hardener and balloons out the stock and remixing it properly. I hope it works.

I'll have to take some pictures of the process next time.

Oh well, the rifle only cost $100, so, if I dork it up, I'll be bummed, but it's not exactly a family heirloom.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

W.E.C.S.O.G, here I come!

I noticed in disassembling the new mauser that the recoil lug is either missing, or the stock has the cut for the recoil lug shaped for a different rifle. The lug doesn't touch wood. So, I guess this would be as good a time as any to glass bed the rifle. And, while I'm at it, to install one of the Timney triggers with the safety. Midway had them on sale for $65. However, the package won't arrive until next week, when I'll be away on a business trip. So, when I get back, I'll have to post about how it works out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm a little aprehensive about bedding an action that has the guard screws screw into the recoil lug. It seems like that creates all sorts of new ways to screw up.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The new rifle

Guns and Ammo Warehouse in Manassas, VA is an excellent gun shop. One of my favorite things about it (other than the loads of 1911s, probably about 40+ on display at any given time, and about 20 are some very nice Wilsons, and the free coffee/cokes/donuts, and the nice selection of used rifles) is the "bid wall." The bid wall is a silent auction (think Ebay) where folks put up guns for sale, but one condition of selling is that the starting price has to be pretty good. (I think they use the rule of thumb of less than 2/3 the price of a new one.) Every Saturday at 5, they close the bidwall, and whoever's the high bidder at that point, buys the gun at that price. I make a habit of swinging by there most Saturdays to check out what's for sale, this week I found a mauser that looked like it was one of the same lot of Czech VZ-24 mausers that my two .30-06s came from. The opening price on the bid wall was $100, so I bid, and ended up as the high bidder. The barrel on this one is much shorter and lighter than the aught sixes, and it's chambered in 7mm mauser. I'm not quite sure where the barrel comes from, it's not so much contoured as stepped. Now I'll have to mount a scope and see how she shoots. Watch out bambi.

Meet Anastasia

Anastasia is a New England Westinghouse manufactured Mosin Nagant M1891, dated 1915. (Although I've heard that all Westinghouse M1891s are marked 1915, even those made in 1916 or 1917) During World War I, Remington and Westinghouse manufactured the rifles under contract for Czar Nicholas II. Not all of the rifles were delivered to Russia after the Russian revolution, and many of them were delivered to the US Government and rebarreled to .30-06. Anastasia, however, did make her way to Russia. At some point, the Finns got their hands on her, (probably captured during or before the Winter War) and put the tiger-striped stock on her, crossed out the old sight markings measured in arshins, and stamped SA (Finnish Army) and a few other proof marks on the receiver. The picture really doesn't do the stock justice, it's in perfect shape, hardly a ding anywhere. The rifle's a few inches longer than the M91/30, and noticeably heavier. Shooting this rifle has less felt recoil than shooting another of my Mosins with a slip on recoil pad. Oh, and I bought the rifle for $150 from an otherwise overpriced store. They usually sold ordinary mosins for at least that much.

Anastasia was made in America, shipped to Russia, captured by the Finns, and eventually returned home, named for an emporer's daughter who was rumored to have survived execution, showing up in various places around the world.

Ground Control to Major Tom...

I'm here... somewhat. I just picked up another one of the Mauser's friends. This one has the same stock and action, but with a different (and much shorter and lighter) barrel and is in 7x57, a.k.a., 7mm Mauser. So, now I have to buy another set of dies, more brass, probably some new powders, and a new diameter of bullets. Awww, shucks. I'm hoping I can find a load that works, with a decent hunting bullet in the 120gr range, that's moving under 2500 fps or so. I figure that'd make a nice deer rifle if my wife decides to come hunting with me this year. Any advice for bullets that would work well at this speed, or loads that would get me there would be greatly appreciated.

Pictures to follow. And you won't believe the price I paid. Also, pictures of the Westinghouse M1891 are also coming. I'll probably take the pictures tonight and post them shortly.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Just a piece of friendly advice

You know how every political scandal gets "-gate" affixed to it? Well, if you're a politician who's going to do something shady/illegal/immoral/unethical please make sure that it in no way involves "gate" or "water". Don't be like Hillary and make shady deals in the Whitewater Development Corp., ("Whitewater-gate" writes itself) Don't be Richard Nixon. And, if you're going to procure bribes and hookers to a congressman, do not, under any circumstances, do it at a little hotel called the Watergate. Please. Thatisall.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

How cool is this?

I'm the #2 result for "Ain't many troubles that a man can't fix, with seven-hundred dollars and a 30-06" on google. Oh, and #1 is, of course, Jeff Cooper's Commentaries.

And more fun from the referral logs: Georgia defines a machine gun as "any weapon which shoots or is designed to shoot, automatically, more than six shots, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger." So, I guess that means Dr. Strangegun might be able to build his automatic revolver in Georgia and not run afoul of Georgia law. He'd end up making some new friends at the ATF, but Georgia wouldn't mind.

Picture, pictures

Continuing the theme of bandwidth doesn't cost me anything...

I missed the Cherry Blossoms this year, but here's a picture from there last year of a rather plump duck. (I had just gotten a quasi-macro lens, so I had to play with it)

Next up is a picture of the folks who run the bed and breakfast my wife and I stayed at for a good portion of our honeymoon in Montana. They run Elijah's Rest in Laurin (pronounced "Luray" with the accent wherever you darn well want to put it), near Virginia City, the local army surplus store, he's on the search and rescue squad--he got a call while we were there and borrowed my little GPS unit-- and he's the local pastor. The picture is of the two of them immediately after church. The tent is the church. And yes, he does dress like that for church. If you look carefully, you can see his holster and belt. The cartridges are real (they're his bear loads) but the gun is a pellet gun, at least when he goes to church. Sorry for the poor picture, it was bright and sunny out, and the background is blinding white... it's the best I could do.

This next one is from "North America's only bed and breakfast and wolf sanctuary" err... in the wild, yeah... that's it...

The last picture is of Jackson lake my wife took on our honeymoon.

Shooting helps with shooting

The picture below is one of my favorites that I've taken with my digital camera. It's of the inside of Hoover Dam, of the Nevada side turbines. It's an 18mm lens, (an 18-70mm, zoomed all the way out) at 1/10 second, hand held. I'm pretty pround of the picture, too. It's got a little blur to it, but considering it's at 1/10 of a second, shot "offhand," I'm pleased. My aunt (a rather gifted photographer) didn't believe I could take a picture like that without a tripod. I explained it was from shooting rifles, and since she doesn't really like guns (she's become quite the Manhattanite), the conversation ended there.

To help with holding your camera steady, practice offhand with a rifle. Anyway, without further ado, here's the picture (click for ginormous size):

And, because I'm not paying for bandwidth, here's a picture my aunt took that I rather like:

Oh, a photography/shooting story involving my aunt: When I was a little kid (probably four--that's how old I am in all my aunt's stories about me), I, well, resembled Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes. I was talking to my aunt about hunting, or something like that, and she said that she likes to shoot animals, too. But she used a camera. I replied very matter-of-factly, "but that's not as good."