Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bernie's Plan

If you've been alive for the past decade, you know about Bernie Sanders, the aging socialist from Vermont who wants single-payer health insurance for everyone.  He claims it will save trillions, and the pie-in-the-sky is amazing.

All we have to do is:
• Force every doctor and hospital in America to accept Medicare reimbursement rates for all patients — these are 40 percent lower than the rates paid by private insurance — while assuming that this would have absolutely no effect on their capacity or willingness to provide services
 • Raise taxes by 10 percent of GDP — overnight
• Explain to the 150 million people with private insurance that the rules have been changed so dramatically that (a) they can no longer keep their plans, and (b) henceforth, tens of millions among them will be paying more in taxes than they were previously paying in both premiums and out-of-pocket costs
 Hey, disrupt everyone's medical plans, increase taxes, and piss off millions of people.  That sounds like a plan that Bernie should run on.

It's like I explain to my Democratic friends; if you want single-payer, look at the staggering success of the VA system in the US.  That's what single-payer looks like.

The Best Caliber for Grizzly

I've seen this story pop up from time to time, and Wirecutter is talking about it today.

For years, the world's record grizzly bear was one taken in Alberta, Canada by a native woman, Bella Twin.  She was  small game hunting with her partner and the bear got too close, so she shot it.  In the head, several times.  The bear became defunct and Bella joined the ranks of legendary hunters.

What caliber did she use?  .22 Long.  Not even .22 Long Rifle.

Seriously, the whole story is here, with pictures.

Back in the day, on the old usenet forums, someone would ask the question; "What caliber is the best for grizzly?"  I'd always say .22 Long and link to the story.  I thought I had talked about it on PawPaw's House, but I couldn't find it, so I linked it again.

Do I recommend going after grizzly with a .22?  No, not at all, but I've seen enough people shot with a .22 to know that it is one over-penetrating sonofabitch.  A .22 in the right hands will do things that you would think it could not do.  It's accurate, penetrates well, and easy to shoot. 

Hoplophobia Writ (But not Printed) Large

The hoplophobes are in a full tizzy.

Jazz Shaw reports that several states have moved to block the downloading of 3D gun printing files.
Those states were Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia. 
Those states are now on record as being against the free flow of information.

It's interesting that 3D printing is one of the most revolutionary advances of the 21st century, especially in the field of medical research. 

The left is going smooth crazy.
Imagine this: the convicted domestic abuser next door tries to buy a gun. He’s turned down because he fails his background check. When he gets home, he opens up his browser, and in half an hour he’s printing out his own undetectable, fully functional plastic gun, with no background check and no record of his purchase.
And, it will still be a felony.  Just like if he stole the gun, or had a straw purchaser buy it.  Whether or not he prints his own gun, simple possession of it is against the law if he's a "prohibited person"  This changes nothing.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Actuarial Tables

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says that she intends to work another five years.

Good luck with that, Madam Justice, although the actuarial tables say that you might be pushing it.

Of course, I wish her no ill will, but it seems a shame to work right up until the time you die.

And, she may have a long and happy retirement, but it wouldn't bother me a bit if she started it tomorrow.

Printing Guns

Like many of you, I've heard of the Defense Distributed and their case with the program data to print a 3D gun.  It's quite interesting, blending the 1st Amendment (freedom of the press), along with the 2ns Amendment (right to keep and bear arms)

Most of the hype is overbolown.  For several reasons.

If you believe that 3D printing is the wave of the future, you might be right.  It's certainly an emerging technology, and it is a lot better this year than it was last year, or the year before.  Bit is still an emerging technology.  A gun, especially one that is small enough to be printed, is a fairly complex device.  It requires several parts that have to work in complete harmony and contain pressures that over time, tend to wreck the material that is (today) capable of flowing through a printer.  From what I read, the printed guns, while cool, simply aren't durable enough to be considered practical.

3D printers are more expensive than the guns that they print.  If you're a criminal, who can't buy a gun legally, it's a heck of a whole lot easier to buy one on the black market, or simply to steal it, than to go to the trouble of printing in.

One of these days, inexpensive 3D printers may be available that use materials suitable for gun building, but today ain't the day. This is an emerging technology that will be very useful to lots of folks in the future.  Maybe the sooner future than any of us imagine, but not today.

But, if I've learned anything over the past 60+ years, it is that you can't stop the march of technology.  It's coming, whether you like it or not.  The best you can do is to try to co-exist with it.  Being afraid of it never helps.  One of these days, 3D printing may save lives, become a new manufacturing method, and benefit humanity in ways we can't predict today.  It may build hearts, or eyes, or yes, even guns.  But not today.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Face of Today's Democratic Party

Yeah it's this chick, and she's scaring the hell out of people.

Gateway Pundit has all the details.

Sunday Cooking

We had a hankering for meatloaf today, but we didn't want your standard, workaday meatloaf.  So, we took five pounds o good ground meat, added bell pepper, onion, bell pepper, onion, bread crumbs and tomato paste  We mixed the meat well and let it sit while we did our other preps.

We lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper and laid bacon out across it.  Then added a layer of the ground beef mixture.  Then, we got in the fridge and found some partial bags of grated cheese,  Mexican, and sharp cheddar, I believe.  We put the cheese on top, the wit the help of the paper, rolled the whole thing into a loaf.

I set the smoker on 300F, added a handful of wood chips, and put the meatloaf in the smoker.  Two hours later, I found this.

The family came over at noon, and w served it with beans and tater salad.

Ain't enough leftovers to make a good sandwich.

Peacemaker's Monthly Match

The Peacemaker's Monthly Match is in the record book.

Ladies: 1st Blue Eyed Belle, 2nd Ms.Linda, 3rd Ms Penny
Ms. Linda has shot with us before, and Ms Penny is a first-time shooter.  I think she'll be back.

Men:  1st Big Bill, 2nd Brother Fred, 3rd Akarate Zach
Big Bill shot the match clean.  Brother Fred has been practicing, and Akarate Zach had the fastest time, down n the mid 4s, but he wasn't hitting the target when it mattered.  You'll notice that Major D is not in the photo.  While I had a great day yesterday,  I wasn't hitting the target hen it mattered, either.

July is almost over ad August is upon us.  The club made some decisions about Louisiana State yesterday, and even though it is nine months away, it's time to start thinking about it.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A State of MInd

In early June, Belle, Zach and I traveled to Amarillo, TX to shoot in the US National Championships of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association.  One of the side trips was a visit to the Paol Duro canyon to watch a play that the folks at the state park put on in an amphitheater there.  It's glitzy, cheesy, and a whole lot of fun, so we and forty of our closest friends went to the event.  We had a ball, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The production was filled with patriotism, Texas Pride, and told of the travails of the settlers who came to that region in the 19th century.

When it was over, and the lights came up, a very dear friend, Marshall's Daughter, turned and asked me something like this:  "I've always wondered how other states feel when they encounter Texas Pride?"

I smiled at her (mainly because it's hard not to smile when I'm with her) but I don't remember what I replied.  While i'm a Louisiana boy, shot through to the core, I've always considered Texas a second home.  In 1960, John Wayne starred in a movie, The Alamo,   My dad took me to see it, and I sat enthralled through the whole thing.   It's a story of emigrants, trying to build a new life.  Folks from all over the country who traveled to Texas to start over.  A story of folks who wanted freedom and were willing to put their lives on the line to find it.

Since then, I've studied a lot about that revolution, both the unwavering courage and the desperate tragedy of those people, both famous and un-named.  I've read the letters from the defenders of the Alamo, telling their families how great Texas is and encouraging them to come after the fighting was over.  I've visited the battlefield at San Jacinto, and stood on the spot where Houston received Santa Anna as a prisoner.   I've been to Goliad where Fannin was massacred, and I can't go to San Antono without visiting the Alamo.

I've gone to Fort Jesup, the jumping-off spot for the Teas revolution, and read the orders book there.  It seems that the US couldn't get involved in the revolution,but there are orders there that any soldier who wanted to go to Texas would not be charged with desertion.    A separate militia company, the New Orleans Greys fought and died at the Alamo.  Texas history is inexorably linked with Louisiana.

The story of Texas, probably more than any other, influenced my decision to become a soldier, to serve something bigger than myself, to seek adventure  and to stand on a wall.

In the late '90s, after my divorce, I spent a lot of time in Texas,  I was dating a lady who lived there, and I explored the eastern part that state, from the dense brush-woods of the Big Thicket to the hill country.  I actually had several job offers there, the most appealing was to s serve the people of Jefferson, TX, a charming historical community in the northeast corner of the state.

In fact, if I hadn't met Belle when I did, I'd probably be in Texas today.  Belle, of course, knows that fact.  I'm perfectly happy (deliriously happy) with her, and I often josh with her that she saved me from the floozies that I was chasing at the time.  Quite a few of them were Texans.

Today, when we travel to Texas, We will often cross the ferry at Burkesville.  Yeah, there's a bridge now, but we still call it Burkesville Ferry.  When I cross that bridge, I feel like I've come home, although there is a lot about Texas I try to avoid.  Houston traffic sucks.  Fort Worth traffic sucks, and  please, God, would ya'll quit tearing up I-35?  Y'all have been working on that road for 20 years and haven't fixed it yet!

But, those are minor quibbles.  I love Teas, exploring the back roads and the small towns.  I love the little museums, the tiny down-home restaurants, and the people.  Texas hospitality is legendary, and I always feel welcome, wherever I go.

So, to answer the question that my dear friend asked, Texas Pride doesn't bother me one bit.  It's a pride of family, and the land, and good friends.  It's an exultation of opportunity and freedom, and I feel it too.  Texas is, to me, a state of mind.  Even though my roots and my love are firmly set in Louisiana, a big part of my heart is Texas.  I'm always looking forward to my next trip across the ferry.


Younger son and his wife came drove up from Baton Rouge yesterday to reclaim their boy,  It was a turn-around trip, they has stuff to do at home today, so they could only stay for one meal.

I went to Guillory's, my local butcher shop and got some steaks.  Four little 1 lb ribeyes and two of their select filets.    We baked some potatoes, and called it good.

I'm still learning the griddle, but it does steaks just fine.

Nothing fancy, just steak and taters, but it seemed to fill an empty spot.

Friday, July 27, 2018

What-Her-Name Strikes Again

Yeah, the Democrat/Socialist our of the Bronx is once again proving meme-worthy.  We've talked about this broad before.  She's the Dimmocrat nominee for Congress.

Mary Jo Kopechne, of course, is still unavailable for comment.

Fishing Friday

The boys wanted to go fishing this morning, and I happen to have a boat, rods, and bait  And a pond on the property.  So, we went fishing.

I couldn't find my fiberglass cane poles, so we went out with rod and reel.  The boys need to learn to operate a Zebco.

Learning to cast is a skill set that these young'uns need to learn.  They did okay the first time out.  The bot has been in the family since the '60s.  Originally, owned by my grandfather, it's part of his estate.  With these grandkids, five (5) generations of family has used this boat.

No one got hooked on a back-cast, and no one got injured.

The fifteen acre pond is the central fixture of the subdivision  Many of the neighbors have boats or docks.  It's an old gravel pit that filled with water after the gravel extraction was abandoned.  Nowadays it's filled with ducks, geese, old men and young boys fishing in it.  It supports a pretty good population of largemouth bass and bluegill bream.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Adventures in Bouyancy

Several years ago, Belle bought a drink pirogue to use at gatherings.  The idea is to fill it with ice and cold beverages and let the guests help themselves.  That's all well and good, but before long, the grandkids had it in the swimming pool.  It does look like a boat, after all, but it won't support a kid.  That doesn't mean that they stop trying.

Yeah, these two are going to be maritime engineers, for sure.


An Oregon woman came home to find a mountain lion in her house.  Really!
An Oregon woman who found a mountain lion in her living room says she relied on "frequency and attunement," "feline-speak eye blinking," and telepathy to calm the animal and safely guide it out after it took a six-hour nap behind the couch.
A six-hour nap?
The last video I shared below shows her leaving peacefully after calming down and napping behind the sofa for over six hours. I'm adding this here, along with the photos and videos of her snuggling and sleeping, because they've become buried behind other comments and I feel a responsibility to get this out so as not to sow fear. 
I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that if the animal took a six-hour nap behind the couch, it felt fairly calm.  She was lucky.

Lethal Injection

Louisiana, and many states who still have the death penalty, has adopted lethal injection as the preferred method of ending a predator's life.    There are problems with lethal injection, not the least of which is that manufacturers and pharmacies are loath to sell drugs to states that use them to end life.

The death penalty is a hot-button topic that comes up for discussion occasionally.  We've talked aout it before. During the first 20 years of my career, I was a parole officer for the state of Louisiana, both at the street level and as a manager.  I have seen evil, I am convinced that evil exists, and the only hope of a polite society is that we can identify and excise so that the rest of us can live our lives.  There are two ways to do this; incarceration or execution.  Some states have execution as an option, but it is increasingly hard to execute someone

So, our AG, Jeff Landry wants options.  Right now, lethal injection is the only legal way to kill a convicted felon.  Louisiana has 72 people on death row, and none has been added since 2010.  Think about that.  The newest member of the death row population has been there for eight years.
Attorney General Jeff Landry is pushing to expand methods for state executions from lethal injection to include nitrogen gas, hangings, firing squads and electrocution and to add more secrecy around carrying out the death penalty in Louisiana. 
Our governor, John Bel Edwards (hack, spit) is a Democrat who won't say if he is opposed or supports the death penalty.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has declined to say publicly whether he supports the death penalty, but his staff said he will consider Landry's proposal. "We will review his suggestions and hope to re-start a constructive dialogue," said Richard Carbo, spokesman for Edwards, in a written statement.  
I'd like to see a constructive dialogue as well.  I support the death penalty, but to keep someone on death row for decades is cruel.  Having it on the books ad not using it is political cowardice.  The governor won't tell us, but his actions are clearly obvious. 

The death penalty exists in Louisiana.  We should either use it or outlaw it.  Bel Edwards has done neither.  Hopefully, Landry's recommendations will move forward in the legislature, and more hopefully, next year we can elect a governor who won't waffle about this issue.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

You KNow, What's-Her-Name, Out Of The Bronx

SO there's this gal out of the Brnox, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won the Democratic primary for their 14th Congressional District.

This chick is a socialist, but doesn't even know what socialism is.  From everything I've read about her, and every reasonable interview I've seen, she's dumb as a sack full of hammers.  Really, she's unbelievably stupid.

And, she's become a meme.

Psycho chicks.  We've all known them.  Hopefully, the voters in the Bronx send this one back to wherever she came from.

More Frustration

After yesterday's fiasco with the chronograph, I went today to our local Ace hardware to see what they had in the way of inexpensive lights I could use on the diffusers to get better light on the chronograph sensors.

I found some small LED lights that I thought might work.  They came in a 3-[pack for under $20, so I thought I'd give them a try.   I also moved the chrony out from the bench, ten feet in front of the muzzle, to get away from measuring ejecta and muzzle blast.

With lights installed on the diffusers.  You would think that would be sufficient.
Evidently, it still needs more or better light.  I'm still getting spurious readings, or error readings.  I got several Err 3 and Err 9, which the chrony manual tells me are related to poor light conditions.

The view fro the shooting bench.
I got a few reading that might be useful, but with the number of spurious readings and error codes, I can't put any faith in them.  I may have to buy a set of accessory lights that I see in at least one YouTube video.  They seem to be optimized for light in the near-infrared spectrum that the sensors see best.

In a lot of cases (and I learned this when I was writing for The Frugal Outdoorsman) experimenting is often one-step-forward-and-two-steps-back.  But, back in those days, we didn't announce our failures publicly.  Here lately, this project has been a cascade of failure, but I know that once I break the code, success is just around the corner.

But, the brass is in the tumbler and I know what steps I need to take next.  We'll keep plugging away at this until we get it right.

Watching Grandkids

The name of this place is PawPaw's House, after all, and it's summertime and we're watching grandkids this week.  The older one lives in Baton Rouge and is spending a week with us, the younger one lives down the road, but PawPaw learned a log time ago that it is easier to watch two grandkids than it is to watch one.  They tend to entertain each other.

Of course, there is nothing like a refreshing morning swim, and we happen to have a pool.

We're inside now and dried-off.  The kids are playing with digital devices for an hour or so, then we need to go to the grocer and pick up a few things.

Zach is at band camp, which began today, so we'll need to pick him up later this afternoon.  This week this place is truly PawPaw's house.


Our President has caused the left-leaning politicians and organizations in our country to go full berserk with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy o the Supreme Court.  I'm seeing ads in places I normally don't see ads, from organizations I don't normally see, predicting that if Kavanaugh is confirmed, women will be cast back into the 18th century, will lose property rights, education rights, and most importantly, reproductive rights.

Most of it is over-the-top.  Senator Cory Booker eve went so far as to say that anyone who supports the Kavanaugh noiation is complicit in evil.

I admit that I haven't thought much about abortion in the past several decades.  It was one of those issues that didn't affect me, and I admit that I am surprised at the amount of invective aimed at a practice that I have mixed feelings about.  Years ago, I came to the conclusion that abortion was a necessary evil, and that we should limit it as much as possible.  For myself, I believed that abortion should be available in those instances where the life of the mother was in jeopardy, and in cases of rape or incest.  Beyond those circumstances, I believe that any woman seeking an abortion was in danger of losing her mortal soul.

From what I'm able to learn about Kavanaugh, he's a good judge who has complicated feelings on the issue of abortion, which is good because it is a complicated issue.  He seems to be very good on gun rights, which is my hot-button issue.  He's a Yale-trained lawyer, which doesn't tell me much, but I understand that the entire Supreme Court is filled  with Harvard and Yale grads.  Perhaps the President should have looked for a jurist with another alma mater, but we'll leave that for later.

Kavanaugh is driving the left stone-crazy, and that's good enough for me.  Now, if Sotomayer or Ginsberg would retire, maybe Trump could really re-align the court for the next two decades.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Open Carry Protected by 2nd Amendment - Ninth Circuit

That's what Hot Air is reporting.  That the Ninth Circuit, a court nor normally seen as conservative, has said that open carry is protected by the 2nd Amendment.

Just damn!  There's more at the link above, but this is quite a pleasant surprise.

Chrono Fristrtions

I was outside in the shop, playing with loads for the cowboy shooters.  I set up the chrony to test data, and the data was all over the place.

CFDA publishes a handy data sheet, but there has to be more than one powder that's suitable and I was playing with some powders that are already on my bench. 

I've been a handloader for four decades and I'm pretty confident in my technique.  I understand SD and VMD, and I know how to interpret velocities  When you're working down in the low-pressure that wax bullets necessarily put you in, consistency is the key, and I know how to be consistent.

I'd load five cartridges, looking for an average muzzle velocity of 750, and those five would be all over the map.  721.2, 9715, 167.3, 50.61, and ERR.  Just dam, what's going on?  Just about the time i was about to lose my cool, I realized that lighting was the problem.  The sensor couldn't see the bullets.  I tried some known loads, and got the same type of data.  It was all garbage.

I went to YouTube and that data is all over the map, too.  Lots of low-cost alternatives, lots of high-cost alternatives, but it gives me some ideas.

It's frustrating as hell to set up equipment, run the very best test possible, and get data that is garbage.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Gonna Leave You With This

Some of the best blues music I've heard in a long, long time.

Junior and I used to drink PBR beer and listen to blues music, but that was a long time ago.

So The Guy Says

So the guy says he has an explosive device and on't show it to the cops.  they talk to him for a long time, bringing assets to the incident, then the guy rushes them.

It's intense.  But I don't know what the officers could have done that they didn't do.

This is the kind of thing that every police officer dreads.


I've got my work cut out for me, but so do they.  We're hosting two of the younger grandsons this week, along with two of the older.    So, I have teenagers and young'uns.  It's going to work out just fine.

There is this place in the house that we call The Toy Room, and the young'uns  mentioned that it was hard to move around in there.  Fifteen years of toys and detritus in there.  So, PawPaw figured they are the hands-on experts to sort through the clutter and tell me what we need to discard or retain.  They decided that Lego was too valuable to discard, but six large trash bags later ad they're sill sorting.  That room is getting much lighter.  And, it's their stuff they're sorting.

We decided Tex-Mex was the best option for lunch, so we went down to the local oint, one that Belle and I frequent. 

We're cleaning out the toy room and the kids are making the choices on what to keep or what to retain.  This is great stuff.  I may be able to walk across that room in another hour.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Cooking

We're doing "big cooking" out in the shop now.  It's set up really well for big meals, with plenty of room for everyone.

Yesterday evening, we made Philly cheese steaks on the grill.  I planned the  ribeye  requirements pretty close, and after it was over, Zach decided he was still hungry, so he made a Philly cheese burger.  What's that, you ask?  A big cheeseburger, with provolone and grilled onions and peppers.

The Philly Cheese Burger.  Looks pretty good, doesn't it.
This morning, we started the day with a huge breakfast.  Biscuits, sausage gravy, has browed potatoes, bacon, and eggs-to-order.

Bacon and has browns.  When the eggs were cooking I was busy.

Then for lunch, grandson Lucas asked for chicken and dumplings.  Belle made her signature, start-from-scratch, hand-rolled dumplings.

Belle, dropping dumplings into chicken stock
She even let me take a picture to show how much flour she get s on her hands and lothing while she's working her magic over the dumpling board.

Oh, yeah, it's a mess when she's through, but it's worth it.  My wife makes the very best dumplings I have ever eaten.  It's one o the many benefits of being harnessed in tandem with her. 

We fed the crew and we've cleaned up.  The house is full of grandkids spending the night,a nd Belle is happy as a clam.    Today was a very good day.

Two Videos

Two videos from 2nd Amendment Saturday

The first is video from the Peacemaker's practice Saturday morning.  We were video-ing draws so that folks could watch their draw.  We also caught Zach shooting his fastest time ever, a 0.418.

The second video is later on Saturday.  My sons and I went out to burn some powder with the 9mm carbines.  Younger son has a new Ruger PC carbine in 9mm and second son has a Hi-Point carbie in 9mm.  Lots of fun shooting with my sons.

Then we came home, fired up the griddle and made Philly Cheese Steaks.

Saturday was a very good dar.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Stoontn' Today

The temps continue to climb and when I awoke this morning, my phone notifications had heat advisories all over.  It's going to be hot, but we're shooting today.

Luckily, Belle and I have planned for just this scenario.  As soon as I finish my coffee, I'm going out to the shop and turn on the A /C units, get the fans going, and when the time comes for the Peacemakers to assemble, we'll have a comfortable range to shoot in.

Younger son is coming by later for a visit.  He's bringing grandson Elyas, who will spend the week with us for a late July visit before he heads back to school in early August.  Today's going to be busy, most of it spent in the shop, so I'd best put on my shoes and get started.

Happy Saturday, y'all1

Friday, July 20, 2018

Happy Hour

It's Friday afternoon at PawPaw's House and we're having happy hour.  A nice red moscato  for Belle, and I'm enjoying a distilled beverage rather than a fermented one.  Regular readers know my affection for bourbon and my respect for those who produce it. 

The car keys are hung on their respective pegs, and PawPaw does not intend to communicate with his on-duty brethren tonight. I ain't going nowhere.

One must careful of internet quotes, but I came upon this photo recently, and thank the good people of Kentucky.

I'll leave you with that factoid.  Y'all have a happy weekend.


It's hot in Louisiana in mid-to-late July, and this one is no exception.  We're in the dog days of summer, where the rain is sparse and the vegetation (and animals) sag in the heat.

100 degrees, with a wind chill of 110.  It's not as bad as north Texas, where Denton set a record yesterday with an official recorded temperature of 108, but it's still damned hot out there.

PawPaw intends to stay indoors as much as possible.  Thankfully, I had the foresight to insulate and air condition the shop.  The club will be shooting out there tomorrow ad the temps promise to be as brutal tomorrow as they are today.

Y'all stay cool.

Is It Worth It? Good Question!

Jonathan asks, in comments:
How much do you do precision shooting versus just plinking? I'm finding that cheap stuff for plinking is about the cost of reloading, even before I put the time into it, so I at this point I don't reload much. Have the higher prices for components, particularly bullets, changed how or when you reload?
I don't do much "precision shooting" any more.  I assume that you mean long-range  shooting form a bench.  Two years ago, I was diagnosed with macular degeneration and that has affected my ability to see anything with precision, including a scope reticle.   But, I see your point, so lets look at what a box of regular store-bought ammo would cost if we loaded it at home.

We'll use Midway USA as our resource, and look at some prices.
Sierra Matchking bullets cost $34.03 per hundred, or 34 cents apiece
Winchester large rifle primers cost $34.99 per thousand, or 3.5 cents apiece.
Reloder 15 powder costs $26.99 per pound.  My load is 43.0 grains.  That equals 162 shots pound (700043), which means 16.6 cents per shot.
If my math is correct, the component cost for one round of very good ammo is 54.1 cents per shot.  A box of 20 costs me $10.82.  That same box of ammo, at the same store, costs $23.39.

How much is your time worth?  That's a valid question, and everyone has to answer it in his own way.  How much minutiae are you willing to invest on uniforming primer pockets, turning necks, etc?   Some handloaders get very particular with their preparations and spend a lot of time prepping cases.  Sorting primers by weight, sorting bullets by weight, and marking cases so that they are always oriented in the chamber the same way.

But, if you start casting your own bullets, the component cost drops almost to zero.  As you amortize the initial cost of a smelter and molds over 100,000 bullets, the cost of equipment drops toward zero on a per-shot basis, but you're going down a wormhole that many shooters don't want to go down.  I once figured that the cost of my ammo for .38 special, or .45 ACP, (or .30-30 Winchester) was less than 5 cents per shot.

C.E. Harris,in this article, describes how The Load is safely assembled.   This load features 13.0 grains of Red Dot in military cases and is very accurate.  Mr. Harris did some fantastic precision rifle shooting with this load.  Mr. Harris is also the guy who invented Ed's Red, a bore cleaner that you can assemble at home.

But, each shooter has to answer the question; How much is my time worth?  In my case, and in the context of the posting you asked about, I used that time to introduce my grandson to handloading ammo.

Grandson, Brett, introduced to handloading.
With ammo I've assembled, I also get to spend time with my family over the shooting bench.

2nd son, stretching out the Ruger 77 in .25-06
Is it worth it?  For me the answer is a definite yes!  I get great ammo, spend time with family, pass along information, save money, and have the satisfaction of using ammunition that I have assembled on my bench, or inn my kitchen.  I'm sill using equipment that I purchased over 30 years ago, and I'm still having fun with family ad friends.  Oh and over the years, it's put a lot of meat on the table.

I hope that I've answered your question.  For more information on cast bullet shooting, go to the Frugal Outdoorsma and read some of the articles that Junior and I wrote at the turn of the century.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Compasses and Cowboys

I was raised using a compass.  My first was a Silva with a Boy Scout logo on it, and it became my standard for may years.  At some point I upgraded to a a nicer Silva, simply because the lexan backing on the original was all scratched up.

Got in the Army, and used a lensatic compass.  That was the standard for young navigators, but honestly, I always kept the Silva close at hand. 

There is a spot on the driveway where I live now.  Polaris (true north, the start)  sits directly over a pine tree in my neighbors yard.  Current declination where I live in Louisiana is -0-.  That is, a properly calibrated compass in central Louisiana should point directly at the north star.

I downloaded a couple of digital compasses this morning on the new cell phone.  Neither of them points North.  Oh, they're fairly close, one is out of alignment 12 degrees east, the other is out only four (4) degrees.

I understand that the engine in the car might be skewing the magnetic field, but a compass in a device that has a high degree of reliance on Google maps should be able to point to Polaris.  If I could find that old Silva, I'd digit out and see what it says.  But,  in this day and age, I shouldn't need a binnacle with iron spheres to correct for North.

Update and Umgrade

Back during my college days, I worked for the phone company, back when there was only one phone company.  Like everyone else in my generation, there was the Bell System, or nothing.  Phones sat on desks or hanged on walls.

I existed like that for many decades, resisting the cellular revolution until I met Belle.  She insisted that I get a cell phone, and one day even went so far as to go to her provider (Century-Tel) and add a line to her account so that she might have me more firmly on a leash.  As time went on, and as things progressed and we got married, we kept a landline phone with the Bell System, until the charges got so exorbitant that it was simply extravagant.

We still have what passes for a landline these days, but it comes through our cable TV account.  We do enjoy the landline, mainly because through mergers and acquisitions, our cell provider was Verizon.  When we moved from in-town out to the suburbs in 2004, we noticed that our cell service was "spotty".  When I put on the metal roof in early 2007 that we had big problems with cell service inside.  No problem, we could just step out on the patio, or use the landline

But, when we built the shop, (another huge metal building), cell service completely disappeared.  Nothing, nada.  I had built a complete dead-zone.  (Which may be either a bug or a feature.).  We decided that it was more of a problem than a feature, mainly because we spend time out there, and if we're entertaining, it's helpful if guests can call while we're prepping if someone needs directions.

We also noticed that guests with AT&T service had good reception while inside the building.  So, yesterday, Belle and I went over to the AT&T store and switched providers.  Bought new phones.  Added a line for Zach, because a high-school kid needs to be able to call PawPaw when he wants us to pick him up after a game or concert. 

We still have the landline, and intend to keep it because Belle is an RN and is sometimes on call.  The landline rings in the bedroom, and it is next to her pillow.  But, we now have good cell service, and upgraded capabilities.  I still refuse to give Steve Jobs a penny, so we didn't buy his phone,

And, I doubt I'll ever use all the features on the new phone.  In a lot o ways, I'm an analog guy in a digital world.  I do have Zach to help me if there is a problem in this new, digital era.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Reflections on Powder

Flugelman says in comments: 
I had some good results with IMR3031 and Sierra Matchking 168 grain
You're not the first person to report that, but I've always considered 3031 to be a bit fast for the .308.  I've always considered 3031 to be perfect for the .30-30 WIn, and for years, the chant-mantra for reloading was "30 grains of 3031 in the .30-30."  But, even this load will get you in trouble nowadays because about the turn of the century, 3031 changed.  It got a little aster.   We learned that we had to back down to 29 grains for a standard .30-30 load (here, I'm talking about the lever gun load with the 170 grain RN jacketed bullet.)  Of course, the .30-30 shines as a cast bullet cartridge, but we're opening a whole 'nuter wroms when we talk about cast bullets.

I cam to the .308 Win late in my career, simply because I shot so much o it when I worked for Uncle Sam.  It was a commodity, not worth study or reloading.  I simply shot what my Uncle gave me.  But, about 2004 and after finding my pet load, never looked back.  It simply works.  Every rifle I've tried it in gives MOA accuracy as long as the shooter does their part.  Everyone loves those little bug-hole groups, and the .308 will deliver them, time after time.

But, as my interests change over time, I've come to realize that bug-hole groups, while interesting are not the end-all.  Many of the shooters that I know are perfectly capable of shooting tiny groups on the bench, but when you take them away from the bench, simply can't shoot the rifle.  Groups on the nature of 4"-6" are more common.  There is a difference between bench accuracy and field accuracy, and most shooters don't spend enough time away from the bench.  But I digress.  Where was I?

Powder.  We were talking about powder.  3031 is a great, old-time powder, but we have to be careful when we're exploring the limits.  When we're working with a powder as fast as 3031, one grain might get us in trouble.  I like to stay on really conservative ground.

My go-to hunting rifle is an old Savage 110 in .30-06 and when I began reloading for it, I used IMR 4895 exclusively.  4895 is a fine old powder, and very versatile.  I could dig out my old loads, and my readers probably can too.  But, several years go, I decided to simplify and stumbled upon a load for the .30-06 using Reloader 22.  Many hand loaders consider 22 to be too slow for the .30-06, but I've found that if I load it to the base of the neck , then seat a good 168 grain bullet,   I've found that 60.0 grains o RL22 will fill any .30-06 case to the neck, and gives about 2700 fps when it pushes a 165/168 bullet with very good accuracy, better than most of us can use in the field. 

My Savage 110 in .30-06
Roloder 22 is very versatile in a rifle cartridge.  It gives great results in the .243 Win, and is my got-to powder for that cartridge. (100 grain Hornady, 45.5 gr RL22 and WLR primer for over 3100 fps) It's also good in the .25-06, pushing a 115 grain bullet over the 3000 fps mark.  My son uses it in the 7mm Rem Mag, and my brother-in-law uses it in the 270 Winchester.  It's a little slow for the .30-06, but still gives great results with low pressure and great accuracy. 

Which is all to say, I'm done experimenting.  I have my loads, and while other folks may want to push the limits, and make ground-breaking discoveries, I'm past all that.  I have my loads.

My pet loads are here.  They reflect a decade or more of experimenting, and I'm satisfied with the results.  This is not to take anything away from anyone else's favorite loads, and I know that there are a lot of good powders that I don't talk about. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Back to Basics

I started reloading back in 1976, and quickly became hooked.  With three boys and one daughter that likes to shoot, we lived in the country, and my ammo bill was .. interesting.  So, I started reloading for shotgun, then pistol, and finally for rifle.  For a time, back at the turn of the century, I was the managing editor of a webzine called The Frugal Outdoorsman.  In 2003, I penned an article about reloading on the kitchen table.

Today, I recalled a conversation with my daughter.  It seems that the hunting season is approaching and she was inquiring if I happened to have any spare .308 Win cartridges laying around.  the kids have been scamming ammo from me for years, and I make batter ammo than most of what is on the shelves at the stores, for a whole lot less money.

So, I was digging through my scrounging stocks, and found a bag of once-fired brass, .308 Federal Gold Medal Match, that I found at the local Sheriff's office range.  So, I found my hand press, brought tem inside and decapped them.  Then took them out to the tumbler and gave it a two-hour spin in walnut media.  Shook it all out, inspected it, then dug out the priming tool and went back in the house.

The  garage is currently 96F with 80% humidity.  The house is 70F.  It's much more pleasant inside than it is in the garage.  The priming tool doesn't know the difference, but I do.  It's a lo cooler indoors.

Tomorrow morning, I'll get the scales, powder, funnel, trickler, etc and set up on the kitchen tale.  I'll charge the cases then set up the hand press to set bullets.

For the record, our preferred hunting load for the .308 Win is good brass, seated with WLR primers.  43.0 grains o Alliant Reloder 15 and a decent 168 grain bullet.  Tomorrow, it will be Sierra's good Game King bullets, some I bought several years ago and still have in stock.  But, it could just have easily been Hornady or Nosler.  I've used all three at varying times, and the smallish whitetail deer we have in these parts can't really tell the difference.

I haven't really reloaded any ammo in the past three years.  I've been playing the CFDA game and that reloading is very easy.  It elt good to use my tools on the bench again. 

Monday, July 16, 2018


Zach and I have been experimenting with burgers on the new griddle    We've eaten (different) burgers for both lunch and dinner.  Excellent both times.

Tomorrow, Quesadillas.  We'll have another grandkid over here, and I don't know anyone who doesn't like quesadillas.

Next week, we'll have yet another grandkid who likes veggies and seafood.  I can't want to try something like Brussels sprouts (for example), and maybe cook a nice piece of salmon.

I can see that this griddle and I are going to become very good friends

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Truer Words

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

That's been my experience.  When Belle says, "Oh, Hell No", I've already gone too far.

I try to avoid that.

Blackstone Grilll

On Friday, I cooked a few steaks on the new flat-top gill,  as kind of a road-test.  Yesterday, we were busy entertaining, and the grill didn't even get hot, but today, I went to the grocer and bought hamburger stuff.

I cooked a dozen good burgers on the grill, then rolled them into a crock-pot with beef broth.  This is a trick I learned at the church, running the concession stand at the rodeo.  (Yeah, our church has rodeos/).  If you're not sure when the customers will show up at the window, you don't want your burgers getting dried out, so one trick to keep them moist is to put them in a crock pot with beef broth.

Then, I put some sliced mushrooms and sliced onions on the grill to saute.

About the time they finished getting a good caramel color, the kids showed up.

Mushroom, Swiss, suteed onions, on a burger grilled, then soaked in beef broth.    With leftover baked beans and 'tater salad.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

UPDATE**.  Thanks, MIelissa for catching the error.  The "bee" both is beef broth and it's been corrected.  This keyboard is getting twitchy and I didn't catch the omission.

Oh, The Horror!

It seems that while I was entertaining family this weekend, our President was on a state visit designed particularly to insult the reigning monarch of Great Britain.   He inadvertently stepped in front of her while they were inspecting the Guard (an ancient and elite unit).  And, apparently, he failed to bow to her upon meeting her.
It was over in less than 20 seconds, but even some casual followers of the monarchy were aghast at the uncomfortable interaction. Yes, it is a royal no-no to walk ahead of the queen.
Did Donald Trump forget to bow to the Queen?

As to the walking-ahead incident, from everything I've read about the Queen, she is a gracious and gentle hostess.  I'm sure that the lapse was momentary (from all reports, under 20 seconds), and I'm quite sure that Her Majesty didn't give it a second thought.  Tradition and courtesy go both ways, and I'm sure that they include giving visitors the benefit of the doubt.

As to the failure to bow before the Queen, our President was quite right.  Americans don't bow to anyone.  We put an end to that nonsense in 1776, and again in 1814.  Unlike the Lightworker's embarrassing compunction to bow to everyone with a title,   Americans bow to no one but God.  The Queen should know that.  Everyone knows that.

The entire outrage from the media is quite amusing. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Memaw's Party

Today, we celebrated the birthday of Belle's mother, Memaw, on the occasion of her 97th birthday.  She still keeps her own house, and is sharp as a tack.  We hosted them in our shop.

Memaw herself with her cake.
We had about 30 people in attendance, all family, from all over the state.   The menu was eclectic, with everyone bringing something.  From pizza to pulled pork, to shrimp salads, we had more food than anyone could possibly eat.

The tables are laden with food
Everyone thought that the shop was a resounding success.  It did get a little warm inside during the heat of the afternoon, but the A/C units were pumping as hard as they could. 

Of course, for those unable to walk on broken ground, we were opening the bay doors so that they could enter the festivities on solid concrete.  It's hard to fault the A/C when the bay door is open.

We had a great time, visiting with family, hugging necks and talking with each other.

Oh, we had a heck of a time, and even the dawg got in on the fun.  I think that he ate as much pulled pork as I did.

All-in-all, the day was a great and resounding success.  The shop project performed as palnned, and everyone left here safely. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Flat Top

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had purchased a flat top grill today.  I was walking through my favorite lumber yard today and saw one that I liked, the Blackstone 36" grill  I had looked at them on Amazon, and other places, and the local store had it for about what I expected.  And, it was ready to load into the truck.

We loaded it, then when I got home, Zach helped me assemble it.  No problem at all, about 30 minutes.  I was showing it to Belle and she mentioned that she had some little filets in the freezer.  In just a few minutes, we had them thawed and seasoned.

That's one way to season a grill, by using it.  Everyone knows that I love to cook and this thing is ust too handy.  I have to go to the store tomorrow morning, early, to get some last minute supplies for the party.  I suspect that a pound of good bacon and a dozen eggs will find their way on to the buggy.  Maybe some link sausage.


The project is almost complete.  We still have some decorating that Belle wants to do, but we can function with what we have now.  My drop-dead, must-be-finished suspense date is today, and we started prepping for Miss Reba's birthday party.

Miss Reba is Belle's momma, born on July 16, 1921.  Tomorrow, we're gathering to celebrate her 97th birthday.  Miss Reba still keeps her own house, she loves to dance, and is known to take a shot of whiskey on an afternoon.  We love her, we do.

Belle has been decorating, out in the shop, and I bought a flat-top grill today, only because I wanted one, and the lumber yard had it on sale.

I have a small list to accomplish tomorrow morning, and we have some pork butts to put into crock pots tonight before bedtime, but I think we're ready for the family to descend on us tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets are little buzzing, stinging insects.  We had a couple of nests several years ago in the back yard, and I set traps or them.  WHY traps, just like these at Amazon.  This stuff murders t hem.  In a short while, my yellow jacket problem was solved.  It's a pheromone trap that lures them in, then drowns them.  Works great.

This morning, mowing the front yard, I got wrapped up in yellow jackets.  They hit me twice, once on the shoulder, once in the middle of my back.    the one in my back feels like he hit me with an ice-pick.  I was considerable pissed.

After mowing, I had to run to Lowe's, so I picked up another of those WHY traps.  I'm getting ready to show them a little trick, and they ain't gonna like it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Coca-Cola Clock

In every shop, barn, or garage I've ever owned there has been a Coca-cola clock.  My grandfather worked for the Coca- Cola bottling company for as may years as I knew him, and he always had a Coca-Cola clock in his shop..  Because of all the things I learned from him, watching and helping at his elbow, I've always thought that a shop needed a Coca-Cola clock.

This one is a repo, not the original advertising that Coke gave away log years ago.  Still, I feel like it needs to be there, to pay homage to the old man, and to remind myself of his shop, where I spent so many pleasant and educational hours.

My mom bought the clock at a local auction and brought it to me today on her way to an appointment.  Thanks, Mom!


Universal Basic Income is one of the pipe-dreams of the socialists.  Everybody gets enough money to live on, to drag them kicking and screaming out of poverty.  Where this income is supposed to originate has always been a mystery to me, because it must come from the government, and government has no money except what it extorts through taxation, yet this pipe dream continues to rear its ugly head.

The latest example is Stocton, CA, who wants to give its residents a whopping $500 per month so that they won't be poverty stricken.
Now, Stockton, California, a city nestled in the shadow of Silicon Valley, is experimenting with a UBI project. The city will give 100 residents a stipend of $500 a month for 18 months with no strings attached. The goal behind this $900,000 gamble is to see if free money will lift people out of poverty.
Wait...what??  100 residents?  Stockton has something over 300,000 residents.  Picking 100 at random isn't universal.  100 residents is a minuscule  portion of the population.  And who is going to pick the 100 residents?

This scheme seems like a perfect opportunity for graft, which is what Democrats excel at.  But, lets not kid ourselves.  This is not a noble experiment, this is not universal  It makes a mockery our of basic welfare.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Day

Yeah, this is the way my day has gone so far.  A fifteen minute job turned into three hours, with two trips to the small engine guy.

I lose it when he rips the mailbox out of the curb.

I'm gonna drink a Diet Coke, take a shower and start over.   Hopefully, the afternoon will go more smoothly.

Monday, July 09, 2018


From Bearing Arms:
I opened my glove compartment, took out my Glock 17, and flipped off the safety
What?  The one between your ears?  Because that's the only safety on a Glock. (Yeah, I know about the trigger dingus...  that doesn't count).

I'm us' sayin'.  If you're going to write about guns, please try to let it not be total bullshit.

Old West Saloon

Over at Wirecuter's we find an intriguing photo from the Old West, which turns out to be a saloon in Randsburg, CA, circa 1900.

You can click on it to make it bigger, but it's fairly intriguing.  We notice the mill marks on the overhead joists, and the place actually has a wood floor.  Yeah, the place is a tent, but they brought the bar in from God-knows-where, and the rest of the furniture is cobbled together locally.  The fellow in front-center is sitting on a box.

It always amazes me when I see a movie and the set looks old.  These places weren't old, they were brand new.  Erected in a hurry, to take advantage of an opportunity.  Sometimes they lasted, but more often they didn't.  They were abandoned just as quickly as the opportunity faded.

It's a great photo.

Functionally Complete

The interior of the shop project is now functionally complete.    The door is on the bathroom, all drains and sewers are installed, the electrical installation is complete, and Belle has painted the place.

Zach and I installed the door this morning, finishing at about noon.  I spent some time straightening ad putting away tools, and feel good about this phase of the proect

I also found time to build a small counter-height table with lumber that was left over from the carpentry.  Belle says she can work with it, but she will probably cover it with a table cloth  I wanted to give my amused readers another chance to see those pink pre-cut studs which seem so odd to y'all, but are perfectly normal to those of us who grew up with such things.

This portion of the project had a hard-stop, drop-dead completion date of 0001, 14 July.  As this is noon, on July 9, I have beat the deadline by four days.

I suspect that some decorating will commence shortly, but that is beyond my scope o expertise.  I will leave such things to the distaff side.

Door Swing

When you're planning a room, or doing a remodel, it is important to consider door size and swing.  Doors come in a variety of sizes.  Most of the standard residential doors in the US these days are 80 inches tall, but widths vary from 24 to 36 inches. in standard sizes. 

One thing the handyman should consider is door swing.  When you get to the store, you'll encounter the choice between left-hand and right-hand doors, so it is important to consider.  The easiest way to explain door swing is to look at thus:  Put your spine against the hinge side of the door.  Whatever hand is convenient to the doorknob will decide whether the door is left-hand or right-hand.

Consider the photo of the lady.

Her spine is toward the hinges and the door knob is in her left hand.  Thus, we have a left-hand door.

I'm glad I could clear that up for you.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Sunday Music

I hope everyone is having a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Trip Pics

Belle and I met in 2001, both of us having lived lives before we decided to form a partnership.  One of the things we agreed on early, is that there would be no step or half children.  Whatever the circumstances that a child finds themselves in, it is't their fault.  A kid is a kid and deserves to be loved, so her grandchildren are mine and my grandchildren are hers.  It doesn't matter.  A kid is a kid and we'll love whoever they bring us.

Belle's first husband was in the service (I don't know the branch), but when he was in  Vietnam, Belle lived with his parents in Knobknoster, MO.  Her father-in-law was stationed at Whiteman AFB near there, and Belle (as a military dependent) spent time on the base  She wanted to go there  to use the Exchange and to see how it's changed in the past 45 years.  So, we drove out to Whiteman.  It's changed a bunch, according to her.

Belle and Zach, in front of the BX at whiteman AFB, MO.
After checking out the commissary and BX, we went to pick up a great-granddaughter who wanted to spend time with Belle.  We had visited the night before, ad she wanted more time with great-grandma, so we picked her up for lunch.

Belle and Brooklyn chatting while we wait for our order.
The barbecue was excellent, even if it was Kansas City style.  I believe that the pit-master may have studied in Texas for a while.  The brisket was excellent.  Zach found two bottles of BBQ sauce o the table, one labeled MILD, the other labeled HOT.  We tried the HOT one and found the label amusing.  When we go to Missouri, Belle always cooks an etoufee for the gathering.  She tones it down quite a bit, using almost no spice at all, but the more fragile palates find it challenging.  Missouri palates seem to be fairly delicate.

Belle and Lori, in Lori's kitchen
Lori is Belle's daughter (legally, step-daughter, but we don't care).  She was our hostess for this trip, providing everything we needed while we were in town.  I miss her already, and look forward to seeing her, and the rest of the family soon.