RIFLEMAN'S JOURNAL - NOVEMBER 2003


October 2003 | NOVEMBER 2003 | December 2003
331 - Saturday, 1 November 2003: Got up early enough I could have gone to Clark Rifles, but wimped out. Did a load of laundry so I could go tomorrow.

Blacksmith's birthday party this evening, picking up another SCA household member, whose vehicle needs work, from work. While driving around accumulating my traditional contribution of chocolate and sparkling cider, broke down and bought a brown felt cowboyish hat for $20 at Bi-Mart. I'll need a gray one later, for the Confederate uniform. May have to place an order with DGW for some stuff, but I don't want to pay $60-$80 for a hat, I'll sniff over the western-clothing stores locally.

Detected a couple anachronisms in The Wild Bunch, but only a hoplophile would. Specifically, the Springfield rifles were M1903A3s, with the aperture rear sight on the receiver - adopted 1942. The machinegun was a Browning Model of 1917. The film was supposedly set in 1913. Some of the M1911 pistols were probably M1911A1s (1927) too. But the film, the story, lives up to the jacket blurb. "Let's go...!"

Packed up for range trip tomorrow, should be able to just throw the rifles, spotting scope and range bag in the car and go. Will need to fill up on Mosin ammo at the next show.

It would seem, on this the first of the month when billing for server space and connection time would be due, that the rotting corpse of ShootersInet has finally crumbled to dust, taking my old website and email account with it. Good, now when my site turns up in a web search they'll get the one that actually works, and my current email address.

Fun party, chocolate and cider was well-received, planned a shooting trip for April with a structural-engineer friend who I don't see often as she lives way down around Eugene. Gave matching FRS radios to blacksmith and mechanic for birthdays, collected clues for Christmas.

Probability of rain and/or snow tomorrow, and really cold. I'll see what the weather's like when I wake up, then decide whether to climb the mountain to Clark Rifles - probably not. Forecast better for next weekend but that doesn't mean anything in Oregon.

332 - Sunday, 2 November 2003: Zzzz....

Weather doesn't look too bad, departing for Clark Rifles about 11am. Never got around to swapping stocks on the MojoMauser, I'll see how the commercial ammo does. Did swap forward barrel band for one that fit snugly instead of rattling. Found another 29 rounds of Mosin ammo.

Arrived about 11:40am. Started raining as I crossed the I-205 bridge, started snowing as I left the built-up area and started heading uphill. Brought gloves.

Damn! Grabbed the wrong bandolier of 7.92mm, the one in the range bag is TurKrap. Did bring charger pouch with last fifteen rounds of Czech and five rounds Greek, and all 60 rounds commercial.

Two Palma five-place targets at 25 yards on upper range. Using center hold throughout. Starting with the Greek, upper-left on upper target. Not very good. Upper-right, Czech surplus, a little better maybe, one hit. Center aiming point, Czech, a little better. Lower-left, Czech, a little more better but I don't have a great quantity of any one kind of Mauser ammunition today.

MojoMauser #1, Greek: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, Greek FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 2, Czech: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #2, Czech FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling
3, Czech: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #3, Czech FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 4, Czech: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #4, Czech FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling

Okay, six aiming points left, two strings from each of the three brands of commercial. Not sighting-in, really, just seeing if it groups regardless of where. The Winchester Super-X box is on top, catalog #X8MM. Saving commercial brass of course.

Upper target, lower-right aiming point, interesting, four in a nice group. Less recoil, commercial loads appear to be milder in this caliber, though I understand they're hotter in .308 as opposed to 7.62x51mm. Lower target, upper-left, no better or worse than I've been getting with surplus. ...Hmm. Save some of each brand for prone at long range? Or blow it all and splurge on more later? The latter, I think; I hope to be out here again on Saturday. Lower target, upper-right aiming point, about the same. Center aiming point, rather worse. Winchester gone.

5, Winchester X8MM: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #4, Winchester X8MM, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 6: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #6, Winchester X8MM, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 7: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #7, Winchester X8MM, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 8: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #8, Winchester X8MM, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling

Now the Federal Classic, #8A. Lower target, lower-left aiming point, first shot low, almost off the paper. Holding high, no windage, square aiming point "resting" in the bottom of the front aperture... hmm.

Nature break. Elevate rear Mojo. Lower-right aiming point, back to center hold - goodness. I think I'm onto something.

Fresh targets, upper range to myself, not many people out in this weather. Target #3, upper-left- relax! Use NPOA! -Not bad. A little more elevation. Upper-right, five shots in four holes, very interesting. Will definitely get more Federal 8A. Spendy, 75¢/round, but I want to compete in the match.

MojoMauser string #9, Federal 8A: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #9, Federal 8A, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 10: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #10, Federal 8A, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 11: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #11, Federal 8A, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 12: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #12, Federal 8A, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling

Federal gone, now Remington Express #R8MSR. Third target, center aiming point- doesn't seem to like the Remington. Also that fat round nose doesn't feed as well, and may be shaving some lead, affecting accuracy, unlike the pointier Winchester and Federal. Lower-left - no, it doesn't like the Remington. Burn it up anyway, what else will I do with it, and then the brass will be empty. Next two strings about the same, all 7.92mm gone except the TurKrap. ...Why not? Four aiming points left, 1:15pm, I'll try four strings of Turk. Hands starting to feel the cold, switching from plain leather to insulated gloves. -After two strings of Turk I see it's pointless. Swab the bore with window cleaner and case the Mauser. Fresh targets, Mosin 91/30 with bayonet.

MojoMauser string #13, Remington R8MSR: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #13, Remington R8MSR, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 14: 2 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #14, Remington R8MSR, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling

About 1:30pm, weather clearing, toes starting to chill. Target #5, upper-left, not too good but center hold seems to work now, sight at "1". Upper-right... it is sighted-in with the bayonet. Center aiming point, holding a little right, not bad. Lower-left, marginal but it feels better. Lower-right, an improvement over previous sessions.

Mosin string #1, bayonet: 2 November 2003, Mosin M91/30, string #1, Albanian FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 2: 2 November 2003, Mosin M91/30, string #2, Albanian FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 3: 2 November 2003, Mosin M91/30, string #3, Albanian FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 4: 2 November 2003, Mosin M91/30, string #4, Albanian FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling 5: 2 November 2003, Mosin M91/30, string #5, Albanian FMJ, 25 yards, bench, hasty sling

2pm, to lower range! Prone, with bayonet, at 100 and 200 yards, "SR-1" and "SR-C" targets respectively. First long-range string, 100 yards, pulled one left but I knew it. The rest in the black! String #2 at 100 yards, all in the black! String #3 at 100, one more off to the left which I didn't recognize, the rest in the black again!

Now let's try 200 yards. Sight at "2". Three out to the left but elevation good - and two X! Let's try that again! Another string, one just out of the black high, the rest in! More - long-range string #6, 200 yards, still in the black. String #7, 200, looks like another X.

2:45pm, one more string each at 100 and 200, then quit. Long-range string #8, 100 yards, first shot with sight at "2" but still all in the black. String #9, 200, sight at "2" again, looks like all black again. Cumulative score for 100 yards: three X, six 10, nine 9, one 8 and one called 7; for 200, four X, nine 10, eight 9, three 8 and a 7. All rounds on the paper and 87% in the black! With an unaltered 64-year-old Russian-surplus rifle and 18-year-old Albanian-surplus ammunition. That feels good.

Mosin M91/30, long-range strings #1-3 & 8, 100 yards prone:
2 November 2003, Mosin M91/30, long-range strings #1-3 & 8, Albanian FMJ, 100 yards, prone, hasty sling

Mosin M91/30, long-range strings #4-7 & 9, 200 yards prone (three shots not shown, to left):
2 November 2003, Mosin M91/30, long-range strings #4-7 & 9, Albanian FMJ, 200 yards, prone, hasty sling

But that's enough for today. Saturday, the 8th, after the Barberton show, more practice with both these rifles, all at 100 and 200 yards to simulate the match, with the bayonet for the Mosin and Federal 8A for the MojoMauser. Left about 3:15pm.

Blew $60 on four boxes - all Sportsman's Warehouse had - of Federal Classic 8A "8mm Mauser". Two for practice on Saturday, two for the match on Sunday. SW also had some hats, ~$35, but they weren't gray enough, will visit actual shopping mall later.

So! Productive session. Discovered the MojoMauser can group for real, and that both flavors of surplus ammo I've invested in won't. Discovered the 91/30 performs much better with the bayonet fixed, which means I also have a rifle ready for next year's PIG match. Whew! I was beginning to worry. Now I wonder how the MojoMauser will do with a bayonet? Find out after the match. Also, there's got to be a more economical answer than Federal 8A, maybe some Wolf brand if it's "bi-metal" (copper-washed steel) case instead of lacquered steel. I'll look at the Vancouver show on the 15th.

No, I didn't find 29 more Mosin rounds, I counted some twice. 139 remaining, plenty for another practice session and two relays at the match, and I hope to shoot one relay with the Mauser instead. May splurge on one more box of Federal 8A, if I can find some, for sighting-in at 25 yards on Saturday before using two boxes to simulate the match. Heh - putting the commercial stuff on chargers, heh.

Seventy-five cents a round! I've been intending to reload metallic cartridges, on principle, but now I'm getting active in competition I'll be seriously shopping for that equipment, a few paychecks from now. At least the Albanian 7.62x54R is adequately accurate.

Must visit hardware store, I've an idea to improve the Mojo sight - get a bolt or screw of the same thread size, with a head that can be grasped with fingers, and replace the elevation screw which requires an Allen wrench. Then make markings on the head of the new screw, and the sight itself, for repeatable elevation adjustments, for switching distances in a match like the Axis vs. Allies or PIG. The windage screw has been altered for use with the Mojo sight and I'd need a lathe to do the same trick there, but once windage is set you generally leave it alone anyway, and mine seems good.

333 - Monday, 3 November 2003: Apparently ten people, likely all temps, were let go from the company on Friday, so now the place is shorthanded. Also, "No overtime until further notice." Also, the tool woman's move to the warehouse, for better control of the tools, is off again.

Sigh. Oh well, even without overtime I'm still making more than I was.

So I take the elevation screw out of the Mojo rear sight and go to the hardware store and wander the aisles. Finally I find a matching thread - 6-40, as opposed to the common 6-32. The only selection is with a hex-socket head, but it is an actual head instead of the set-screw type I'm replacing. Selected 5/8 inch length, enough to grab onto without hanging up on stuff. And it's black, to match. Fits, but the head is too small to get enough leverage to raise the sight against the ~70-year-old rear sight spring. More work on this later, possibly cutting a slot through the head and epoxying a bar to make a crude wing nut. Hmm, maybe get an appropriate hex wrench, cut it appropriately short and JB-Weld that right into the socket. Silver solder would be better but I don't have any and have never done it.

Examining the commercial "8mm" brass. Every case has a slightly backed-out primer; the surplus stuff doesn't, so far as I recall. Also residue on the necks suggesting, what, a worn chamber? Duh, this rifle went through World War Two on at least one side. Eh, the MojoMauser will be good enough for the next match I think, and I have four more to rebarrel, maybe all five, in the future.

Forecast now rain for weekend. Of course.

334 - Tuesday, 4 November 2003: Tried a nearby mall, did not see Confederate-suitable hats, but did a little Christmas shopping. May brave a larger mall later.

Bi-Mart carries TVs and DVD players. $140 for a Magnavox 20" stereo TV, $69 for a Magnavox DVD, $70 for a Panasonic on sale, so much for the combo price. Also these are new-in-box; Fry's Electronics can beat these prices but only on refurbished, repacked items.

Also picked out a couple more Christmas gifts including one so cool I might have to get one for myself but the person who's getting it reads this ‘blog so I won't go into details. :) At library, got training videos, Lenny Magill's Handgun Workout: Dry Fire Training System and G. David Tubb's Long Range Rifle Shooting Techniques For Big Game Hunters. I agree with Cooper, who denounces long shots on game animals, but there are some targets you want to hit from far, far away and the skills are largely the same. Also got a Thomas Jefferson biography by R. B. Bernstein from the new books shelf, and Red River with John Wayne. Who needs cable?

Finished Five Fates, now reading David Weber's The Apocalypse Troll. Mmm, Weber. I wonder if he'll do more with Oath of Swords and The War God's Own? I don't normally like fantasy but those were tasty.

335 - Wednesday, 5 November 2003: More cutbacks expected at work but my position seems secure. In fact I was given the heads-up because they hope I will take up some of the slack when other people are let go, though at least some of that is supposed to be only temporary. A little mechanical aptitude goes a long way these days.

And that's sad.

Uh oh - new Shotgun News, the Dealer Warehouse ad right there on the back cover, FM (Argentine) Hi-Power (GP35) clones (external extractor, MkIII-style ambidextrous safety levers, black plastic thumbrest grips), $319 dealer price. Rock Island M1911A1s, same price. Albanian 7.62x54R, $50/440. Inside, J&G Sales has it at $39/340 or $62/680. Also, part 3 of Coffeild's series on sporterizing a VZ24 Mauser, cleaning up the receiver after the barrel is removed. He's keeping the charger guide too.

336 - Friday, 7 November 2003: Another payday, another $50 on the Dragoon, $100 left. Sportsman's Warehouse had not restocked Federal Classic 8A since I cleaned them out last week, I'll use 40 rounds to sight in with MojoMauser at 100 and 200 yards. Haven't got around to improving the replacement elevation screw, may have to use the 1/16" hex wrench that came with the Mojo Phase III set. This weblog is also a shooting log for my own use. Since I didn't buy any more ammunition I'll have more to spend at Barberton tomorrow, though I may not spend anything; that show doesn't have ammo vendors, it's mainly a bunch of collectors and some of the smaller licensed dealers. Not expecting to expand the collection, unless I find a splendid deal on a .22 revolver for luring people into the gun culture. Cruffler may help me pick out some used metallic-cartridge reloading equipment, now I've got/will have a bunch of commercial 7.92x57mm brass, and a mound of .38 and .357 of course.

I'm a Republitarian! Listening to KPAM, Victor Boc was doing another tax-referendum-petition-signing remote, on the east side again. He could get more signatures if he gave more advance notice of where he was going to be. I may stop by the Libertarian Party in Beaverton after work on Monday and get my own kit. Anyway after Boc's show is Larry Elder's, and he used that term and it feels at least partly appropriate.

337 - Saturday, 8 November 2003: Departing for Barberton about 8:45, arrived about 9:15. No yellowjackets for Cruffler today, but some wasp sightings. :)

Yak yak. Cruffler scored a nice P1917 Enfield, refinished but decently. Reportedly Alvin York did not like the long-radius aperture sight, preferring the traditional barrel-mount notch of the Springfield ‘03 he trained on, but I'm just the opposite. Anyway I wouldn't kick a P'17 off my gun rack.

Inside. Remington 11-87 gas-operated 12 gauge (Cruffler points out the old M48 has a recoilling barrel after all), $280. Mossberg 500 .410, $225. Lots of Winchester 1894s as usual, .30-30 for $200 or so. First temptation, used Traditions Deerslayer percussion rifle, .54, nearly-traditional sights (missing elevation screw), decorated Injun-style with brass tacks, $110.

Colt BlackpowderTM 3rd Dragoon in box, $380. ...No. Not really, no. Walther P1, $325. Winchester 1897, 16 gauge, $300, Good condition, some collector can have it. Marlin M39 .22LR lever action, some kind of limited edition, a little engraving on the receiver, higher-quality and checkered stock, $650. Ruger Old Model Single-Six convertible, .22LR/WMR, $250, fair I guess but not the splendid deal I'm looking for.

A few Krag sporters around $200. Remington 870 20 gauge, $265. Winchester 140 20 gauge semiauto, $260. Remington 1100 12 gauge, $335, I can beat that easily at pawn shops.

Next temptation, a regular Barberton vendor, a couple .22LR single-actions. One rather nice, a J. P. Sauer, blued, plastic fake-stag grips, marked $200. Inspected rather thoroughly, not a bad piece at all. Discussed with Cruffler, said $125 and that vendor never has decent prices. Tried to haggle a little, said he wouldn't go below $190, maybe next month. The other was a New Model Ruger and it was chewed up, pitting on the top strap, dropped at least once on the left side of the rear sight, mangled frame screws, looked like the forward frame pin was also imperfect, and more play in the cylinder than the Sauer. No price marked, vendor wanted $175 firm. I'll look at the Sauer again next month. Looking back through the ‘blog, I first noticed it in September at the same price. The same Ruger used to be marked $185 but has no tag now. If I ever do get the Sauer I'll have to replace the stocks, ick.

Bought brass "CS" belt buckle, better-looking than the one I got on sale from DGW, and three little bags of about a dozen each .38 Special blanks for $1/bag. Escaped with well over $100 left! Which is just as well as I still have Christmas shopping to do.

Left Barberton about 10:45, arrived Clark Rifles about 11:15. Nice weather, some sunbreaks, not as cold. Starting at upper range, 25 yards, to finish sighting-in the MojoMauser, especially since I removed and replaced the elevation screw the other day. No wind apparent up here. Using the little set screw it came with for elevation, will work more on the replacement after the match. Firing two-round "strings" to conserve ammunition, brought 40 rounds Federal Classic #8A 170-grain Hi-Shok, 30 plus sighters required for match, 40 more at home.

Two Palma five-place targets. Upper target, upper-left aiming point, windage good, too high, disturbing difference between the two. Maybe the MojoMauser wants a fouling shot. Reduce elevation ½ turn. Upper-right, that's more like it! A little less elevation, ¼ turn, center aiming point, too low. Put the ¼ back, lower-left, a little high and somehow to the right. 1/8 turn down, lower-right, windage somehow back where it belongs, still a little high.

1: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #1, Federal #8A, 25 yards, bench w/hasty sling 2: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #2, Federal #8A, 25 yards, bench w/hasty sling 3: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #3, Federal #8A, 25 yards, bench w/hasty sling 4: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #4, Federal #8A, 25 yards, bench w/hasty sling 5: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, string #5, Federal #8A, 25 yards, bench w/hasty sling

Elevation just a touch down. About noon. 30 rounds left. I could do 100 yards here on the upper range, but I want to go to the lower range for the 200-yard line anyway, moving now.

Long target break, someone all the way out at 300. For the MojoMauser, using the smaller 100-yard "SR-1" target at both 100 and 200 yards, so I can better see the holes. If I can't see them easily through the scope at 200 yards, they must be in the black, but the SR-C target's black is twice as big and while sighting-in I want to know exactly where they're going. I would even use a smaller aiming point if the paper were still that large.

Starting at 100 yards, two-round strings again. Some wind now, little weathervane just past the 100 yard targets, somewhat left-to-right but mostly from uprange to down. Getting more comfortable in prone but still have a way to go. Long-range pair #1, a little high, a little right from the wind I guess. Reduce elevation a little more, watch weathervane, hold left. Long-range string #2, looks like hits.

Mojomauser, 100 yards, SR-1 target #1: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, long-range target #1, Federal #8A, 100 yards, prone w/hasty sling

Now try 200. No elevation change to start. Pair #3 (green), low and right. Wind doesn't seem that strong, adjusting sight a little left. Guessing ½ turn elevation.

Pair #4 (blue), that's a pretty good guess, still to the right but look at those two shots! Leave elevation alone, a little more left adjustment, wind coming and going. VZ24's left-side sling swivel smacking me in the lips from prone. Hah! Removed easily with the points of my Leatherman pliers in the notches of the nut on the right side of the stock! Coffield's articles made me worry it would be harder.

Pair #5 (red), low in the 9 ring, 5- and 7-o'-clock! Just a touch more elevation then, ¼ turn. Target break.

MojoMauser, 200 yards, SR-1 target #2: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, long-range target #2, Federal #8A, 200 yards, prone w/hasty sling

Now using larger SR-C target at 200 yards, as I will see it in the match, a fresh SR-1 at 100. Long-range pair #6, 200 yards-

Oh my- how did- that's... highly unlikely.

MojoMauser, 200 yards, SR-C target #1: Holy Crap!

How in the names of all the gods did I do that? With a ~70-year-old veteran rifle? Even with quality American ammunition? Now, do I want to try it again, or save that target for posterity? My gods. The latter I think.

Now let's see if I can reliably switch back to 100. Down ¾ turn for pair #7 (red). -Yes. Yes I can. This is getting spooky. Pair #8 (blue), really spooky. Nine (yellow), less spooky, kinda, but entirely acceptable. Ten (green), the MojoMauser is ready for the match! Wow!

MojoMauser, 100 yards, SR-1 target #3: 8 November 2003, MojoMauser VZ24, long-range target #2, Federal #8A, 100 yards, prone w/hasty sling

1pm, swab & case- er, I don't have to swab the Mauser with window cleaner, I'm using modern non-corrosive ammunition! And I've got 50 rounds of it left, plenty for one relay in the match. Nature break, target break, fresh targets at 100 and 200, appropriate sizes, haul out the Mosin. Event copy posted in R/O shack says the match is all prone, 10 rounds slow (15 minutes) at 100, the same at 200, then rapid (70 seconds) at 200 and that's it, not counting at least two required sighters (there's the fouling shot I think the MojoMauser wants!) in each of the first two stages. Judging by the PIG Match, the rapid-fire stage will be split into two, five-shot, 35-second strings in deference to bolt-actions so they don't have to reload on the clock.

So! Fix bayonet, sight at "1". Mosin string #1 at 100 yards, pulled one left and one low but three hits in the black. String #2, another left though I was holding right as I've learned to do with this rifle, four more hits. Score for simulated stage one, 89/1X. Hey, 89%, I'm already better than the PIG Match (74%)!

Mosin-Nagant M91/30, 100 yards, "Stage One": 8 November 2003, Mosin-Nagant M91/30, Albanian FMJ, simulated Stage One of Axis vs. Allies Match, 100 yards slow-fire, prone w/hasty sling

Now stage two, 200 yards slow-fire, sight at "2". First string, one left but I think I called it. Second string, another left and high but I think I called that too, the left part at least. Score 91/3X. Better still!

Mosin-Nagant M91/30, 200 yards, "Stage Two": 8 November 2003, Mosin-Nagant M91/30, Albanian FMJ, simulated Stage Two of Axis vs. Allies Match, 200 yards slow-fire, prone w/hasty sling

Target break, replace at 200, retrieve from 100. Stage three, 200 yards rapid-fire. First string, one low and right but time is adequate. Second string, one left, one high and right but just barely touching the 9 ring, time a little better. Score 91/2X, not bad at all for a Mosin-Nagant in rapid fire. Total, 271/6X of a possible 300, 90%! I'm getting better!

Mosin-Nagant M91/30, 200 yards rapid-fire, "Stage Three":
(Not shown: two in 8 ring)
8 November 2003, Mosin-Nagant M91/30, Albanian FMJ, simulated Stage Three of Axis vs. Allies Match, 200 yards rapid-fire, prone w/hasty sling

I could shoot another whole relay with the Mosin but that's enough for today I think. Packed up and left about 2pm. There are six awards available, for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place on each side (Axis vs. Allies). Last time I placed 9th in a field of 15, with what I've done today I am confident I'll win something! -Examining the official match report that was mailed to me, the highest "real" score for the PIG (not counting bonus points for the bayonet) was 371/7X of a possible 400, 92.5%. Yes, I feel pretty good about my chances tomorrow.

Will accumulate more Federal 8A, say one box per paycheck, for future matches, until I develop a handload with all this commercial brass I'll be emptying in the meantime. Considering cannibalizing the sear and cocking piece from the Hungarian M44 carbine to use in the 91/30, but that would require removing the stock, and that might Change Something, I'll try it later. Likewise considering an aftermarket trigger for the MojoMauser, again later.

Rifles cleaned, repacking range bag. All fifty rounds Federal, thirty on good steel chargers in leather two-pocket pouch. Enough for two relays with the Mosin but there will probably only be two relays. All on chargers including thirty in another leather pouch. I guess some people come to the Axis vs. Allies match in appropriate uniform, these pouches are as close as I can get.

Finished Weber, not as, ah, mature a work as his later but still satisfying. (If I expect to be a writer myself, I should learn how to critique others - and read everything that holds still, of course.) Now starting L. Neil Smith's The Crystal Empire.

338 - Sunday, 9 November 2003: Match day! Arrived about 8:40 but still enough time to get signed in. No confusion about lanes this time. Tim Roark could not find the picture from the PIG Match last July, thinks it might still be in a camera.

I did not do as well as I'd hoped, not least because there is a difference between the SR targets I've been using and the MR targets actually used in the match. Specifically, while the blacks are about the same size, the scoring rings are much smaller and closer together, so nearly anything out of the black is, like, a 6 or a 5 or a miss.

Anyway. Nice day, sunshine, warming, little or no wind. Argh! Left in such a hurry I forgot my quart of juice. Eh, they have caffeine-free soda in the R/O shack fridge, 50¢/can. Argh! Left in such a hurry I forgot my earmuffs! Remembered plugs at least. Ah, loaner muffs in the shack. Lesson #1: More Preparation!

Lots of Garands, a couple M1 Carbines, an older ‘03 Springfield (with Pedersen cut in receiver!), one Lithgow 1942 #1MkIII SMLE, a couple other Mausers, P'17 Enfield, even an Arisaka (!). Mine is the only Mosin, but one of the Mauser guys sniffed it over, told him about Big 5, gave him a website card.

Change to the course of fire - here also is where the difference in scoring rings finally sunk in - originally planned to be two sighters and ten rounds for score in 15 minutes at 100 yards, the same again at 200, then ten rounds in 70 seconds at 200, but from prone the lower target at the 200-yard stand cannot be seen above the 100-yard backstop. So, the new COF is slow-fire at 100, rapid-fire at 100 (there are two targets, one above the other, at each distance at each firing point), then slow-fire at 200.

First relay, starting on "Allied" side with the Russian Mosin. In slow-fire stages today, different from how I remember the PIG, no break between sighters and fire-for-score, fire all twelve at once and throw out the two worst. Good thing I practiced yesterday.

Stage One sloppier than I had hoped, and those smaller scoring rings hurt some, 74 points. Diving right into Stage Two. Yipe! Starting on the clock from standing! Yipe! Reloading on the clock! Good thing I usually load with chargers. Still no loading or feeding problems with the 91/30.

Argh! Completely blew the rapid-fire stage with the Mosin, mostly low, several misses, only 28 points. Hope to do better with the MojoMauser. Stage Three, 200 slow-fire - damn! Only 70 points. And I was doing so well the last couple trips! But those smaller scoring rings have something to do with it too, I need to acquire those targets and practice on them. Lesson #2: Fight (or Shoot for Score) Like You Train, and Vice-Versa. 172 points, 0X as I recall, 57.3%, ick.

Second relay, MojoMauser for "Axis" side. Possibly the Mojo sights would be disqualified but I didn't mention them.... Stage One, 100 yards slow-fire, it is better than the Mosin, only one miss, 85 points. Stage Two, 100 rapid, damn, low again but at least this time they're all in scoring rings, 73 points. Stage Three, 200 slow, still not as good as yesterday led me to expect, 72 points. Total 230, I think I had one X in there somewhere, 76.6%. Dammit. Probably "out of medal contention." Lesson #3: More Practice. Replace the Mojo's elevation screw and mark it for repeatable elevation change without a 1/16-inch hex wrench, try to improve triggers on both rifles, and lots more practice on the actual MR31 and MR52 targets, which I may have to get at shows or from the net as I don't see them available in the R/O shack.

Sigh.

Back at the hovel, cleaning up. As long as I have the Mosin open, I'll tear it all the way down and swap those trigger parts. Don't think I'll blow ~$70 on that target trigger though. Damn, chewed up the stock getting the barrel bands off, oh well, I was thinking of refinishing it someday anyway, and looking closer, the arsenal that refinished it last time replaced the toe of the stock and laid on the lacquer real thick, it's a veteran piece of wood.

Holy crap! Suddenly I've got a really light (and short!) trigger on the 91/30, with the sear/trigger-spring from the Hungarian M44 carbine and the worn-smooth cocking piece from a spare bolt I got for a Polish M44 I used to have, which piece ended up on the Hungarian long before the PIG, which is one reason I actually won something that time. Now the 91/30's trigger is so light I'm a little concerned about safety, but I cocked it and thumped the butt on the floor a few times and it stayed cocked. Better dry-fire a bunch to get used to it, and get more live practice of course. So there's progress! Also seriously considering a Mojo sight for the 91/30, especially considering my improvement to the elevation screw, but the improved trigger alone should help a lot. -The M44's trigger is heavier now, maybe a little heavier than the 91/30's used to be. Also, the 91/30's new trigger is lighter and shorter when the bolt is cycled, as opposed to just pulling back on the cocking piece, interesting. There is still much art, as opposed to science, in gunmaking. Will shop for Mauser trigger, and alternative ammunition and reloading gear, at Vancouver show next weekend.

Received JPFO's Bill of Rights Sentinel the other day, considering ordering a copy of their pro-self-defense video Innocents Betrayed. -Speaking of critiquing other writers' work, reflecting on Zelman & Smith's Hope, advertised within. President Alexander Hope had no real crises to deal with in office, like a massive terrorist attack, foreign war, etc. He had some personal crises, like both branches of the American Socialist Party trying to assassinate him, but I wonder, how would Hope have handled September 11? Upon reflection, Hope seems less hopeful and more wishful thinking - Queen Hillary lost in a traffic accident, the national-socialist VP indicted for child porn, Hope winning by technicality and default after record-low voter turnout.

Sigh. Anyway, will probably replace my car's Ron Paul poster - he's not running, and hasn't been - with "Stop the Madness - Vote Libertarian" which is a not uncommon ‘net tagline. Democrats are treasonous commie scum and so is anyone who votes for them. Likewise Republicans are, largely, treasonous nationalist commie scum, though there may still be a few decent, or at least useful, ones left.

And Libertarians aren't winning any elections, so I'll just have to get more rifle practice.

SIGH.

I believe it was Democrat Zell Miller, who speechified at a recent NRA convention (!), who elsewhere said something like "The Democratic party is in danger of being taken over by extreme left-wing elements". To which many gunfolk's response was, "Where the hell has Zell been the last couple generations?"

SIGH.

After second relay (there was no third or I'd've tried again with the Mosin), was handed event copy for Foul Weather Matches, 3 January, 7 February, 6 March and 3 April. 100 yards on SR-1 targets. NRA High Power Sporting Rifle rules, i.e. like one would take hunting in the field, no Scheutzen or Camp Perry stuff, 9.5lb limit, etc. Description of COF a little confusing - "Match 1", prone slow-fire, 2 sighters and 8 for score in 10 minutes, "Match 2", same, standing slow, "Match 3" sitting rapid, two sighters in two minutes then two strings of four in 30 seconds each, "Match 4" the same prone. So is that one piddly little 10-shot match for each date, or are those actually stages in a more worthwhile 40-shot match repeated on each date? I'll email, and probably pre-register. Might rejoin NRA ($35) and get membership at Clark Rifles ($50) before then, might therefore actually attain official classification and standing in highpower competition. Would therefore qualify for a CMP Garand ($400-$500), but not through these matches as I understand it, which are "Approved but not Sanctioned". There will be more matches.

You know - some of those highpower shooters are, like many shotgunners and hunters, elitist "sportsmen" who do not believe in the individual right to keep and bear arms and will happily vote for commie Democrat traitors to outlaw "assault weapons" and "Saturday Night Specials" as long as their over-under Perazzis and custom Remchesters aren't banned for one more legislative session. Like that family, what's their name, the Gallaghers? High-level competitors, but they're on record as criticizing NRA for "letting all those cheap rifles into the country", i.e. the SKS. With Friends Like These. Don't think there were any, or at least many, such at the match today though, and I imagine That Kind doesn't participate in the PIG. Too bad that match is only once a year.

Yesterday, as I set up for my prone practice session, one of the R/Os hoped I wouldn't be bothered by brass from the other shooters. I said no, and he then commiserated with me about the alleged "sportsman" who threw a tantrum about brass the first time I tried my Marlin Camp Carbine, as he was there then too. His thoughts matched mine, that guy must not go shooting very often.

Shoulder a little sore, more accustomed to shooting from the bench than prone, which receives the recoil at a different angle of course, and in a different spot too really. I could probably use some position coaching. Interesting how I'm consistently low in rapid fire, with the same rifle, ammunition, target, distance, position and sight setting as the previous slow-fire stage - with two different rifles! Heard a couple Garand shooters talking about the same problem, how they'd go up a couple clicks on the sight for a rapid-fire stage, but they seemed to think it was a Garand thing. Hmm. Lots more practice.

339 - Wednesday, 12 November 2003: [ramble="on"]

Finished Smith's The Crystal Empire, and The Wardove too. I dunno, not bad I guess, though I perceived similarities between Crystal Empire and the Gary Cooper film version of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead - but of course Smith and Rand are on several of the same wavelengths. Also seeing disturbing themes in Smith's books, the mutilated protagonist (Sedrich Sedrichsohn's hand, Emerson Ngu's eye, Nathaniel Blackburn's foot) who suffer dreadful personal loss; brutal rape incidents (Princess Ayesha, Henry & Bretta Martyn) and a downplaying of rape as just a variety of assault which really jerks my chivalry chain. Sure he's using it all as a vehicle for the libertarian message but what's that old proverb about honey and vinegar? Maybe Hope was supposed to be the honey, and that's why nothing really dreadful happened in it.

Now starting Greg Bear's Darwin's Children, sequel to Darwin's Radio. Some of his other works have occasionally made my anti-commie knee jerk, and he has in print described himself as a "liberal", but anyone whom Poul Anderson (Sam Hall, Conan the Rebel) allowed to marry his daughter Astrid can't be all bad, and Bear did denounce the modern "fascism-for-your-own-good" (his words) brand of "liberalism". Probably Bear means "liberal" the way Bernard Goldberg (Bias) or Tom Jefferson do.

These things matter. These things count. There are sides to American culture, the two primary ones being people who want everyone controlled (especially if they're doing the controlling), and people who just want to be left the hell alone and realize that requires leaving everyone else the hell alone too. If you're not on one side, you're on the other, no matter how much you whine about just getting along or not caring about politics. "Moderate" is another word for "sniveling coward." Sez me.

Too many people these days just sit on the couch thumbing the remote soaking up the mainstream media's garbage. Weak, inferior people, unable or, worse, unwilling to think for themselves, who would rather have a pack of perverted totalitarian trash do their thinking for them, believing whatever they're told by the newsbarbies and MTV slut-du-jour. I hardly even watch the local weather anymore, because of the commercials and other news stories splattering out of the TV while I'm waiting for it.

And neoconservative talk radio is wearing thin in several spots too. Today Victor Boc was denouncing the notion of women in combat, apparently in response to a recent media circus over Pvt. Jessica Lynch, which I've been carefully not watching. Ahh, that's just a fabricated media mess no matter what direction you approach it from, there are few if any real-world lessons to be gleaned from the hype. Though, from the gunfolk lists, I understand Lynch's unit managed to neglect a Browning M2 to the point where it malfunctioned, which is quite an accomplishment in its own horrifying way. Of course I'm not surprised the M16A2s failed. The rifle can be made to work, and quite well, to judge by recent Camp Perry results, but it requires a gunfolk mentality to do so, especially in a desert, and there just aren't that many gunfolk in the military, nor ever have been really. After Boc, a substitute host for Larry Elder was going all semantically obsessive over gay married couples using the word "marriage". Though I must say his concerns over children adopted and raised by such couples were more valid - most of the world is heterosexual, and children should be prepared for that, most conveniently and proven-reliably by a stable couple consisting of a male and a female. Can a lesbian couple raise a heterosexual son to function in the real world? Or would they be so wrapped up in Socialist-voting, man-hating, straight-bashing bigotry that the poor kid OD's on Ritalin in the 3rd grade?

For the record, I don't give a damn what color someone is, how their epicanths are folded or what goes on in their bedrooms, it's how people vote that makes them my friends or enemies. Liz Michael, for example, the black Jewish lesbian Confederate running for Senate as a Democrat in Arizona (no, really!). Sometimes she thoroughly weirds me out, but she'd have my vote over Queen Hillary or even King Dubya any day.

[ramble="off"] That's it, I'm going to bed.

340 - Thursday, 13 November 2003: Match results in mail. What? WHAT? "Match winners for the Axis Powers were Karl Leffler...." I won! I WON 1st PLACE ON THE AXIS SIDE! With my scruffy old MojoMauser and a 76% score - 230/1X, as I figured - in my second-ever rifle match! The Allied winner also had the high score overall - with that #1MkIII SMLE! He also tied for second overall in the other relay, with an M1 Carbine (!).

With the Mauser I placed 6th overall in a field of 15, and 14th with the Mosin. All five above me were Allied rifles, both of the overall winner's, an ‘03 Springfield (the second-place Allied winner) and two Garands (one with the second-place winner in the other relay, the other with the third-place winner). Mausers took all three medals for the Axis! I did my part for das Väterland, heh. The lone Arisaka was 41 points behind my lone Mosin, though that same shooter got 196 with a P'17 Enfield. Five Garands, three Mausers, two Carbines, and the other rifles were all singles. Italy appears to be the only major power not represented. (France? The last time France won anything they were led by a Corsican. And they haven't had decent small-arms since the Charleville musket.) Eleven Allied rifles for an aggregate of 2,148, four Axis for 796.

OUT-BY-GODS-STANDING! Looking forward to the medal in a separate mailing like last time. WOO-HOO!!

So I've won something in both of the only formal shooting competitions I've ever attended. Hmmm.

Problem at work today. The woman hired to share my tooling workload... hasn't been. She was out with a family thing today and I had to go back to doing the whole tooling job and discovered that the hand-tool database/log she so carefully constructed on the computer was not up-to-date. Apparently, after going to all that effort to build the database, she rarely used it, just handing tools out to people without entering them in the log so no one else would know where they went. Also she'd log tools out and not log them back in when they were returned. Much of my time today was spent auditing the actual tooling shelf to see what was in, and hunting down what was out, and updating the log to reflect reality. I sincerely hope there will be some posterior officially chewed tomorrow.

Also in snailmail, beg-for-money from OFEF, a branch of OFF. A U of O student is suing the University for unlawfully prohibiting concealed-carry. I squeezed out $30. What have you coughed up lately?

Also a bank statement, Iguanasoft finally deposited the check for my first new ISP bill - there hasn't yet been a second - on 23 October. The check was dated 20 September. Hmm.

341 - Friday, 14 November 2003: Tool woman made excuses, expressed some small amount of chagrin, started rearranging tool area for improved security. We'll see.

Doing production work today, in between setting up the machines, I've still got it. Some limited overtime returning, some people coming back.

Changes to my W-4 went through, lost $100 per check but still making more than the shampoo warehouse and I shouldn't owe any tax. Unless the Oregon tax-hike referendum fails at the polls in February, which isn't likely if it gets on the ballot at all, which it should have enough signatures for already. At least one coworker signed at my passing-along of the news. Was going to stop by the Libertarian Party HQ and get a kit but blew it off and now the deadline is approaching. Might still guilt-trip myself into it next week. I signed and got at least one other person to sign, that's more than most folks right there.

No medal in the mail yet!

$49.99 left on the Dragoon at Sportsman's Warehouse, expect to pick it up on the 21st and probably try it on the 22nd. Bought Lee powder-dipper set, New and Improved with 15 dippers instead of 13 and cool cardboard "slide-rule", $7.99. So much for the antique set I saw at the Vancouver show for $10. Priced RCBS "8x57mm" dies, $25 brand-new, that seems reasonable. Federal Classic #8A 170-grain Hi-Shok soft-point no longer carried, at the same price they've switched to Power-Shok... #8A 170-grain soft-point. Probably just new packaging, the cartridge and projectile (16 live rounds left from the Axis vs. Allies match) looks exactly the same. Bought one box, will buy another next week and so on, will end up with a pile of quality Federal brass for when I start reloading.

Ballistic chart on new box! If zeroed at 100 yards (as the MojoMauser is), 7.6 inches drop at 200 (¾ turn up on elevation screw), 28.5 inches at 300, no drop data for 400 but velocity and energy (down around .357 Magnum at-the-muzzle). So, unless I'm making some geometrically-incorrect assumptions, I should go 3¾ turns up from 100 to 300 yards (i.e. the P.I.G. match), or three turns up from 200 to 300. I'll have to try that, once I find the correct MR targets.

The next four matches I expect to attend, the Foul Weather matches early in each of the first four months of the year, are all at 100 yards on the friendlier SR-1 targets like I chewed Hell out of back on the 2nd with the Mosin (20 rounds, 186/3X of possible 200 points, 93%). (Question: Why was my rapid-fire practice stage on the 8th so much better than the real rapid-fire stage in the match on the 9th, with the same rifle, ammunition and position? Of course I practiced rapid-fire at 200 yards and shot for score at 100, but slow and rapid fire were both going the same general direction on Saturday, not umpty MOA divergent like on Sunday.) Received email from match director Lee Sellers, apparently it's four little matches in a row in a single day, each in a different position or speed, each with two sighters and eight for score, and an aggregate awards category besides. So there's twenty chances to get more jewelry from January to April.

And I haven't even started competing with handguns yet. Gonna have to try Clark Rifles' next plate match, and also go up in the hills and try simulating some 3-Gun action. Seen at SW, Federal is getting into the bulk-pack game, offering 100-round boxes of Champion handgun ammunition: 9x19mm 115 FMJ $14.50, .40S&W 180 FMJ $19.50, .45ACP 230 FMJ $24.99. Another box of Winchester .357/110 on sale at Bi-Mart, 218 rounds on-hand now counting duty ammo. No such thing as too much. Lots of .38 and .357 brass, the latter mainly Winchester, much of that nickel-plated like they don't do for that load anymore.

Next project, Cruffler told me of a shimming trick that's supposed to improve a military Mauser trigger, will have to dig out that message and procure a chunk of a .22LR case.

Upon closer examination, the Bianchi nylon adjustable paddle holster, usable as crossdraw, isn't exactly what I'm looking for - there's no belt loop! The paddle is apparently held within the waistband by friction and the pressure of the belt but it might possibly be yanked out complete in a scuffle. Saw some Bianchi leather models that should work but those were more expensive of course. Might just make one, I'll see if I can make a decent one for the Dragoon first.

I think I'll do some Christmas shopping tomorrow and go to the Vancouver show on Sunday. After sleeping in of course.

Ooo, the Lee dipper set's slide-rule includes readings for all four granulations of blackpowder! And Pyrodex RS, P, and "CTG" whatever that is. Also Accurate Nitro 100, which I'm using to develop my low-power smokeless 12 gauge loads. "95 powders listed." Also this new set is metric, in cubic centimeters, instead of inches I guess for the old one, so that section of the chart that came with my Load-All shotshell press won't work, but the slide-rule looks plenty useful. -Um, I suspect the blackpowder and Pyrodex readings are by weight instead of volume. Will have to confirm that before using these on those powders. Got that nice scale Cruffler found, and a volumetric blackpowder measure of course. Yawn. Later.

342 - Saturday, 15 November 2003: It's here!

Holy Cow! It's bigger than the last one.

Greg Bear may harbor some Libertarian sympathies, to judge by his writing, I dunno. Perhaps of more import is his suggestion - at least three of his novels have had serious biological bents - that there is More To Learn about biology, just as James P. Hogan suggests there is More To Learn about geology and astronomy. A collaboration between those two might be quite interesting.

Wow. That's really cool. "Let's see that again!" :)

Also, finally, a picture of the Stevens .22, and a better picture of the GP100.

So I've got these shiny metal things - not those - that I want to get engraved for Christmas gifts. So I printed out the black-and-white equivalent of one of the designs I want on them and I go to a Shopping Mall.

Shudder. It ain't even right-after-Thanksgiving and it's already a mob. Anyway there's this booth, Fast-Fix Jewelry, "We Engrave Most Anything". They want $150.

:o

I only paid $16.95 for each of the things! Then I make my way through the throng to Things Remembered and they only want $50, and that only because the design isn't already in their computer, and if I understood right they'd do it free if I bought something else from them worth $50. Also it would take two weeks as they'd have to send it off to get scanned. So that's better, but better still the counter-lady suggested - duh - I try other engraving places to find one with an in-house scanner, said it might be as low as $10! Unfortunately she suggested downtown, ick. Eh, park at a fast-food place further away and hike to Broadway. Unlike some people I can walk more than a hundred meters in a single day without medical attention. Call around first. If this works I may have the backs of those medals engraved, for myself, after all! And on the front, both have big blank areas on top for, like, my name.

From library, viewing Lenny Magill's Handgun Workout. There's a problem with my grip, which I've noticed before, in that the GP100, and other handguns I've handled, end up pointing several degrees to the right by the time I get them up in my line of sight. Before I lost cable, I believe it was racegun legend Rob Leatham who was giving lessons on Jim Scouten's American Shooter, and he was emphasizing the grip as well. Lots of dryfire practice in my future, and holster practice too, likely even more important to start. Presentation is very important, fundamental even, but I don't carry the GP regularly and I want a semiautomatic for a primary carry piece, so a lot of practice with the revolver may be partly wasted effort, training myself for the wrong weapon. Hmm. My list is still four designs, the 1911, Browning Hi-Power, CZ75 and its derivative the EAA Witness. Any one of those, if I could afford it, would satisfy me, though the first two at least would probably need some adjustment (sights, trigger, etc). In The Art of the Rifle, Cooper suggests that getting a good trigger on one's rifle solves lots of other problems, and I imagine the same can be said of handguns. Cruffler emailed me that, as I recall, J&G Sales was having a price reduction on the CZ75B Tactical model with cool olive-green finish but it's not likely I could get that much money together in time. Regular price is still in the neighborhood of $400.

After each Magill video are trailers for his other videos. Many look very interesting. There's one on Bianchi gunleather, showing methods and secrets of construction, especially for western-style holsters! Of course my local library doesn't have it but it's one I might actually buy.

343 - Sunday, 16 November 2003: To the Vancouver show!

No major purchases, in fact all I bought was 75 rounds of Yugoslav 7.92mm on (good steel) chargers, $1.10/15. Things I noticed:

Arminius SAA clone, .357, 7½", $225

Henry .22LR slide-action rifle, $189

Marlin 39A .22LR lever-action with ¾"-tube variable power scope, $279

Winchester 1894, .45 Colt, $379; .44 Magnum, $299

Chinese SKS, with lug but no bayonet, $299

Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum, $249

Condition Good #4 SMLE, $159

Albanian 7.62x54mmR, $10/60 - passed

An actual G43! Marked $1500. Same vendor, an SVT for $550, many Arisakas and some other odd things.

Marlin Model 9 Camp Carbine, missing front sight hood like mine, more dings in the stock, less finish, $325 - heh. I feel better about that deal now. FEG GP35, one of the vendors Cruffler knows (that really talkative little guy), $350 with three magazines, case and low-profile adjustable rear sight, if I'd had anywhere near that much I'd've haggled.

IAB Sharps breechloader, single trigger, $525. Marlin .45-70 lever-action, straight stock, "1970", $399. Remington 870 20 gauge, $239. Remington 1100 20 gauge, $399. Winchester 1897 12 gauge, $299.

Lots of Winchester 1894s in .30-30, many under $200. "Olympic" FAL with scope, $820. Russian SKS, $325. Another SVT, $425. Romanian SKS, $199. Ruger Mini-14s, generally under $500. Hesse "R1A1" (South African?) FAL, $659. Marlin 336 .30-30, $165, missing the front magazine-tube screw and who knows what else. Albanian Mosin ammo, $3.50/20, passed again.

Heritage Rough Rider .22 revolver, LR and WMR cylinders, about 6½" as I recall, in box with nylon holster, $150, maybe some other time. Bushnell Yardage Pro Sport laser rangefinder, $165, don't like battery-dependence. Two-pocket leather charger pouches, $5.

A real temptation: older H&R Sportsman 9-shot .22LR top-break revolver marked $125. Decent shape, I've seen worse timing, adjustable sights (elevation front, windage rear), but the star was damaged and it would not index completely, if at all, on one chamber. Eh, probably just as well I saved the money, with the de facto pay cut from increased taxes from the adjustment to my W-4.

Lousy weather today, real Oregon rain, and wind too.

So I stop at Jantzen Beach shopping center on the way back because the phone book says there's an engraving place there, On the Spot Engraving. So I talk to the counter-creature - or try to. I walk up and stand there waiting for her to finish gossiping with some guy. Finally she deigns to notice a potential customer and I take out the printout and ask how much to have it engraved on the metal thing, "I dunno." Who would know? "Boss would know. He's not here. Back tomorrow. Left me in charge. I got no clue." Between the substitute's utter lack of professionalism and the owner's demonstrable lack of judgement, they're not getting my business.

[Insert rant on Public Education.]

Workin' my way through the phonebook now, something over a dozen listings, I should find something.

344 - Thursday, 20 November 2003: Getting some overtime again, four hours this week, should put a dent in the Christmas shopping. Zeroing in on an engraver, awaiting an email quote, still some places I haven't called. Might get one of those things for myself, with a Gadsden rattlesnake.

Finished Bear's Darwin's Children, all right I guess. Starting Bernstein's Jefferson biography.

Time for another oil change. Weather's terrible, gravel-and-mud driveway, ick. Have a coupon from snailspam, $18 and extras besides.

Ugh. Will claw my way across the city tomorrow in Friday afternoon traffic, to bank to deposit paycheck (may activate direct deposit, will ask temp-service lady about it), then to Sportsman's Warehouse to pick up the Dragoon and another box of Federal #8A. And this overtime pay doesn't show up until next week's check. Actually I may postpone the trip to SW, as the big Expo show is this weekend and I hope to score another can of 340 or 440 rounds of Albanian 7.62x54R. The big ammo vendor(s) will be there too, maybe I can beat SW's price on the Federal.

345 - Friday, 21 November 2003: Yup, postponed the Dragoon. About $100 for the show this weekend, hoping to park in the park-n-ride at a nearby not-yet-open light-rail station and hike in to save, what, six bucks now?

Finally a second billing from Iguanasoft. Invoice dated 1 October, postmarked 20 November. Hmm.

New (renewed, they hope) auto insurance policy from Nationwide, if I'm reading it right my monthly payment has gone down from ~$106 to ~$77, I'll call later and clarify.

Benelli/Franchi/Stoeger/Uberti catalog bundle in mail, cool! Want to add 1851 and 1860 Colts to the collection someday, and if I get really fiscally irresponsible, maybe a second 3rd Dragoon.

Just about finished with the phone book's list of engravers, will try to visit one downtown Monday evening. Still waiting for a quote from the one I emailed, though I got an acknowledgment.

346 - Sunday, 23 November 2003: To the Expo Center Show! Wimped out, paid $7 for parking plus $7 for admission. Met Cruffler at 10am, started working the aisles.

Springfield 1911A1, WWII repro, $389, hmm. Kahr E9 - a friend has a Lady K9 and I'm jealous - $389, stainless slide, black frame. I've read the front sight is known to come off the E9 economy model, the only bad thing I've ever heard about Kahr Arms.

SKS: Romanian $225, Chinese $179; Yugo, with grenade launcher and free year's supply cosmoline, $185. Romanian "1969" .22 5-shot, $81; "1955" single-shot, $189 (huh?). The 1955 did have better sights but not that much better fercryinoutloud, and I've got the Stevens now. Winchester 140 12-gauge gas-operated semiauto, very scruffy, $125, Cruffler may have gone back for that. There's always pawn shops and I already have the Mossberg for 3-Gun. Saw footage of someone doing 3-Gun with a very plain-looking Remington 870HD, in the trailers on a Lenny Magill tape, I just need to load up a mess o' low-recoil #6 and practice. Still haven't started development of a low-recoil OO load.

$1 in the VFW coffee can.

Colt Blackpowder 1861, $600 with case, yipe. Scored mine for $100 at another show, "Replica Arms", probably another Armi San Marco, derided as the lowest quality of the Italian reproductions but mine works all right. Hogue grips for GP100, $17, maybe next year. Winchester/USA white-box 9x19mm 115FMJ, 100-round box, $12. Argentine GP35 clone, $249, um. Century L1A1, thumbhole, $550, probably all inch including the magazines (metric FAL magazines are everywhere). CZ75B, $379.

Imbel/CAI FAL, $645. Q4204, my preferred Winchester .357/110JHP load, $9.95/50, two bucks less than ever, have to come back for that. Same brand, 9x19mm 115JHP, $8.95, not today. UMC 250-round MegaPack, 9x19mm, $38 (!), Bi-Mart's got that beat. 7.62x54R, $48/440, not today.

Poor selection of 7.92x57mm! Some Winchester X8MM for about what I paid at Sportsman's Warehouse, some Sellier & Bellot for rather more than that, and TurKrap everywhere, no Federal 8A in evidence. Pile-o'-holsters, no scores.

Dubya ‘04 booth. Shoulda asked ‘em, loud, why I should vote for someone who supports renewal of the "assault weapons" ban. NRA booth. Shoulda asked ‘em, loud, why I should join an organization that's writing more gun control than it's fighting. Oregon Gun Owners booth, shoulda asked ‘em the same.

Mantis magazine loader, $9, demonstrated, more versatile design than the more-expensive HKS, got it. Steel Mosin chargers, 75¢, shoulda cleaned ‘em out but passed, still have Christmas shopping. About half a box of Speer .454 roundball, oxidized, $2, neither the Remington nor Dragoon should care how it looks.

CVA Bobcat muzzleloading .50 carbine, wood stock, $135 new-in-box. Marlin 1894, .357, $325, Big 5 can beat that. .22 m/l pepperbox, $75 with box, Dixie Gun Works used to sell it for about $100 but it's not in catalog #152 and I don't have the next one yet (which just came out a couple weeks ago). Wow! A Type 94 Japanese pistol, the Chauchat of sidearms with an exposed sear known to discharge with rough handling. Couple collectible Nambus too.

Percussion derringer like mine, scruffy $50, non-scruffy but not as nice as mine $95. I paid $35. Rossi 92 .357, $325 - might as well get a Marlin, lawyer-safety and all, from Big 5 for $308.99 counting gun-tax. Straight-line capper purported to work on the Remington revolver (seems to - CVA #AC1407), $8.25, but only holds 15. Well, that's three cylinders, by that time it's all gunked up with residue and spent cap bits anyway. Cabela's still beating percussion revolver prices on the models they carry. Did not see an authentic, steel-frame, .36 1851 Navy.

Arcus Bulgarian GP35 derivative, styled different but interchangeable inside AFAIK, $299. CZ97 .45, $499, lowest yet seen for that model, still too big for my hand. EAA Witnesses around $400; full-size, all-black 10x25mm, fit better than the CZ97, $339.

12:30, through once, lost Cruffler. Back through the aisles again, can't find him. Bought two boxes .357/110, left about 1pm.

Kinda disappointed in this show. Can't believe I didn't find a set of gunsmithing screwdrivers, or a 30-round S&W magazine, or a better selection of 7.92x57mm ammunition. Hmm. Next show Hillsboro next weekend, will likely pass; then Centralia, too far, Central Point, too far, then the Expo again on 20-21 December. Will want a practice session soon, and preferably another on or about 27 December, to prepare for the first Foul Weather Match on 3 January.

347 - Monday, 24 November 2003: Augh! Icky downtown people! Visited an engraver downtown, she wanted $40 or more to engrave the designs on the things. Still no word back from the other place.

Atlanta Cutlery catalog in mail, they've got their share of the same antique British Imperial Enfields, Sniders, Martinis, etc. that IMA got from Nepal, about the same prices, sigh.

Four-day weekend coming, not sure when I'll get paid by the temp service, guessing Wednesday, that will include last week's overtime pay but probably still won't finish off the Dragoon yet. No overtime tonight, which was just as well as I wanted to get a quote from that downtown engraver. I'll take O/T tomorrow if there is any, figuring on not getting paid for Friday and not sure about Thursday.

Mail ordered part of one gift last night, $40, have another on layaway, sigh. Well, these people fixed my car. That's important. -Those little 5-liter fuel cans, filled, should also make nice gifts.

348 - Tuesday, 25 November 2003: Called the engraving place I'd emailed earlier, "Glad you called," has computer virus and didn't want to email me, says $20 each if they're not plated which I think they are so now I may have to look for a different kind. The place is on the west side, closer to where I work than my apartment, I'll swing by tomorrow with what I have so far. I was planning on three of these things but if necessary I'll just do one, for the blacksmith-who-fixed-my-car.

If this works I'll get one for myself later, with a Gadsden rattlesnake. :) Got most of the Christmas shopping figured out and some of it done.

Also learned, only working half day tomorrow, getting off at 11am.

Argh! So many things, so little money! Still need to stockpile Federal 8A ammunition, and burn some of it, and range fees, for at least one practice session before the first FWM (Foul Weather Match). Need at least one more box for the full match, if the new packaging is the same load, with the same ballistics, as previously so I can use the 16 leftover rounds in practice. Really want two more boxes because I don't know that. Four more paychecks ‘til Christmas, five ‘til the first of four monthly matches, all of which I want to attend. And that doesn't count rent (shouldn't be a problem, except for the problems paying it will cause elsewhere), electric and phone bills (which I might slack for a month but not if I can help it) and car insurance.

...Immigration. Now, if I had a fabulous career opportunity in, say, Mexico City, I'd be learning Spanish; in Seoul, Korean, etc. So why can't people who come to this country learn the local language for crying out loud?! Of course some of them, like the pure-blooded Amuricans at the shampoo warehouse, just don't have the cerebral horsepower to begin with. Others, like the one young Asian woman previously mentioned, are inherently intelligent and responsible and professional and, if not easy to communicate with, are at least more pleasant ‘cause you know she's at least for gods' sake trying.

Some folks just don't try.

Sigh. In some Conan novel, a supporting character - Sigurd the Red, as I recall - says "There are princes and curs in every folk and nation." Likewise it was (the late?) Keith Laumer (Reteif, Bolo) who said something like "People can be divided into only two meaningful categories: decent humans and sons of bitches. These are equally distributed among all races, colors and nationalities." I'll give eyewitness testimony to support either statement. Especially the "curs" part.

Hope to try the shimming trick on the MojoMauser trigger during the four-day weekend, and maybe load up some low-power 12 gauge #6 too.

349 - Wednesday, 26 November 2003: Paid today after all! Off at 11 as advertised, credited with full day, probably not paid for Thursday & Friday, forgot to ask the temp-service lady.

Swung by the engraver, Creative Resources on Betts Ave. in Beaverton, good news (and free advertising for him)! He called a techie and learned the laser process will work on the metal thing in question. Now I have to find more appropriate metal things, I've only got two and one has a small scratch so I'll get that one done for myself, later.

Gary Peterson, who runs the place, is at least peripherally gunfolk! I mentioned (and explained) the SCA (the designs I want engraved are SCA devices), and he jumped the conversation to Cowboy Action, which an acquaintance of his does. Looking at the videos, CAS is just like SCA with guns instead of swords. They even got shtick.

Braved two westside malls, ick. Looking for the particular metal things, not the exact variety I had in mind, have a list of retailers from the manufacturer's site, should get that done this weekend, then drop the whole package off at the engraver's Monday. Did visit a Centerville western-stuff store, might take a closer look if/when I get into CAS but it's probably mostly line-dancing Urban "Cowboy" stuff. No Confederate-suitable hats noticed, others at $70. Might end up spending that much at DGW after all, at least it'll be authentic.

Probably use Confederate uniform bits for a CAS costume. Light-blue piping on the trousers or elsewhere to signify Infantry, if I remember right (red for Artillery and Engineers, yellow for Cavalry, green for Medical, etc.; largely the same for both North and South).

Tailed by Beaverton blueshirt (or do they wear black in Beaverton? They do in Vancouver) on the way back to Highway 26, followed me through three turns, which I made to see if he would. Damn revenooer. Near the end of the month, has to make his extortion quota. Guess my little green ‘88 hatchback's not snobby enough for Beaverton, and the Gadsden decal on the back probably set his little fascist nerves a-tingle.

Any cops reading this? Justify yourselves. Tell me you don't have quotas. Tell me you don't go around looking for innocent citizens to shake down - especially if their cars have anti-authoritarian decorations, and especially if it's near the end of the month with the city and county budgets due. Tell me you don't get your pick of whatever's found in a car you've impounded, or that you don't get a de facto percentage from the property you seize.

Yeah. Right. La Cosa Nostra's got nothing on the Gang in Blue. You get medals and paid vacations for shooting your victims. What a racket!

More Christmas shopping done besides, back on the eastside, a couple of those 5-liter fuel cans, plenty of time to get them filled. Got the whole list figured out now but still some spending to do. Also got a new butane mini-torch for soldering, hope to finish repairs to the defroster grid soon, running the cabin blower works but not quickly, and burns more fuel.

Took an X-Acto to my bicycle pump, now it works, kinda, on the car's tires, which beats running the engine while the little lighter-socket compressor rackets away. Still need an oil change, maybe this weekend. I'll do it myself if the weather clears. Never did get around to changing the coolant, looks like the shops want $50 or so.

More good news yesterday: nearly three times the required number - 147,000 vs. 50,000 - of signatures for the tax referendum were delivered. So much for "it's just a few activists, mostly from out-of-state." Now we see how many laws are broken by Demmunist Governor Kulongoski and Commucrat StateSec Bradbury trying to invalidate them.

350 - Thursday, 27 November 2003: Happy Thanksgiving! Dinner with some of the SCA circle, woodworker, mechanic, blacksmith's daughter & her husband, etc. (Blacksmith visiting other relations elsewhere.)

Rent paid, electric bill paid (only $35 with those little heater-fans!), ahead on phone and car insurance bills. Won $30 in Washington's Lotto game last night!

Long drive to and from the party. I hate tailgaters. Loath and despise them. Really. Thinking of making a sign to mount in the back window, saying "BACK OFF ASSHOLE" in big red lights.

Or maybe mounting paintball guns as stern chasers. Or flamethrowers! Grr!

Blacksmith's artist daughter expressed some mild interest in shooting. Also if the wheellock project ever flies she might get in on the value-added end with embellishments. Will be sharing some of my books, with pictures, to further both goals.

351 - Friday, 28 November 2003: Got the last metal things, the package is ready for the engraver Monday. Got the last details of my Christmas list figured at the party last night.

Oil change done! I think it was overfilled with five quarts last time, only used four. Ripping out the interior panel trying to figure out the third brake light - nah, now it's raining.

That "CHECK COOLANT LEVEL" light is damned annoying, maybe it's a bum sensor, will try to squeeze in a trip to U-Pull-It sometime.

352 - Saturday, 29 November 2003: Broke down and went to Sportsman's Warehouse, put a little more money on the Dragoon, picked up another box of Federal 8A, browsed reloading stuff. Planning on another box each Friday and a practice session on the 27th or 28th. They've got a dozen boxes on the shelves this time, I'll make it worth their while. Oh, the HKS magazine loader is less expensive than the Mantis but you need different models for different magazines, and it won't work on extended models like I want for the Marlin carbine.

I don't get the commie-run paper so I don't usually see the ads. Stopped at Bi-Mart, learned that yesterday and today they had a DVD player for under $40, and a couple TV deals too, but no room for them in the budget. May/should skip December Expo show.

353 - Sunday, 30 November 2003: Argh! Renewal request from The Liberty Committee. $20, argh. "Ron Paul, Honorary Chairman." And they paper-clipped a 37¢ stamp to the return envelope again too. Definitely $kipping the next Expo show. This Friday's paycheck will be light, too, will take some overtime.

Visited blacksmith's place today, left some firearm books with his wife for their daughter. Also yakked with woodworker about availability and use of firearms in a story he's writing; his lead character uses a Colt's 1st Model Dragoon, and I'll have a 3rd Model, only cosmetically different, when I can spare the last $29.99.

Argh! Quicksilver, first of Neal Stephenson's Baroque trilogy, prequels to Cryptonomicon, is waiting for me at the library. Good thing I'm nearly finished with Bernstein's Jefferson biography, I likely won't be allowed to renew Quicksilver and will have to jump it to the front of the queue.

As for Bernstein, fair and balanced I guess. Several pages Post-Ited for reference for the story I'm writing. Of course Jefferson was no angel - "The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I." (To Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin, 1807.) But his good points, and deeds, still outweigh his bad - here we all are in the most-free nation in Human history, even in these troubled times, thanks largely to him.


October 2003 | NOVEMBER 2003 | December 2003
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