Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Moved to New Location. 12 Jun 12.

Due to philosophical differences with Blogger and Google, Rifles and Rants will henchforth be hosted at Wordpress.  All current content has been imported into the new site, including The Dragnet Saga.

Rifles and Rants

I've been on a blog roll lately, hopefully it will carry over to the new site.  Come see me.
Thanks for reading,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Water bottle recycling

Actually, more reusing than recycling.  But I digress.  In the first sentence yet, it's a new record.  Anyway, after last weekend's float trip, I was left with many empty, dirty, abused, plastic water bottles.   Coincidentally, I'm also blessed with an overabundance of old plywood, 2x4s, and random pieces of scrap lumber.  Hmmm.
The guys on Sword Buyer's Guide seem to have great fun placing water filled plastic bottles on wooden stands and cleaving them in twain.  I have a sword. ;-) 

Here's the first prototype stand.  Mini Tornado was over and the "fun thing to do in the shop" Saturday was paint the boards which would serve as tops for the stands.  That's why they're red.  If it makes my daughter want to hang out with me in the shop, I'll paint pink smiley faces on them.  Dads understand.

There's the five I decided were adequate.  Notice the stunning paint job on the shelf of each stand.  And, (I just noticed while proofing,) a pretty nice shot of my work bench, work area, and lawn mower.

The sword.  It's a Badger Blades carbon steel katana purchased circa 1994.  Blade 28 1/2", handle 10", 3" octagonal tsuba, handle wrapped with some kind of cord that's glued down or something.  It hasn't moved in 15+ years, very well done.  The pommel is hexagonal and suitable for striking, if necessary.  Probably about three pounds, but I don't have a scale.  Very stiff, extraordinarily strong, blade.  Balance about 4" in front of tsuba.  I like the balance, feels nice, but that may just be a personal preference due to lack of experience with other swords.

This was a 1/2 gallon and a gallon milk jug.  Sliced through cleanly and left the bottoms right there where they started.  The top pic is how it landed.  The bottom I just moved the gallon top half.
This was a bottle on the tall stand.  This would have been a decapitation shot on someone 6'7" to 6'9".  Not trying to start anything with tall people, just making sure I'm ready in case I'm attacked by...I don't know, an ogre or something.  Those were my best slices, btw.

So, my thoughts:
1) It was fun building the stands and slicing some bottles up.  It's always great when I find a project to use some of my scrap wood.  I had a lot of fun stretched over two days.
2) As expected (feared) this is not really a slicing blade.  Badger blades are built for strength, not speed.  Most slices went through, but not necessarily as cleanly as I would have liked.  It was probably a combo of me swinging, my sharpening job, and the sword's capabilities.  I'm sure I was most of the problem. 
3) In previous testing, this sword proved excellent in clearing saplings and brush along the drainage ditch out back. 
4) In short, it's a better hacker than slicer, and
5) I'll behead the holy hell out of an ogre if I ever see one.
MHI 1895

Good shooting,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

River Dogs - Float 2012

Nothing too exceptional happened this year and Bill's doing a great running blog on Facebook, so I'm not going into much overall detail.  Three things:  I promise.

1) We had to float a different section of the river(s) this year due to low water and consequently camped in a different area.  We floated the Jack's Fork from Alley Spring 15 miles until the confluence with the Current and then seven more miles to Powder Mill/Owls' Bend..  Nice, small campground with only 10 sites, but only about half were filled and we got on the end.  Good site altogether.
2) We went from Saturday through Monday instead  of the usual F-S.  The first day was insanely packed, as we were far enough down river to have rafts in the mix.  (We normally like to canoe before rafts can be used.)  However, we didn't see anybody Sunday morning until 11:00.  Big happiness, that.  Also saw very few all day.  Monday it was virtually all ours.  We passed the confluence on day two, so day three was just five miles on the current.  As that point, it was just floating along making good time.  No effort required as compared with the upper Jack's or Current. It was strangely relaxing to not have to work on the water before having to drive three hours home.  I felt better rested at the end of the float than I can ever remember, and I only got about six hours sleep.
3) GK1 and RT are apparently the only two who can still hang late night by the campfire.  Everyone else scurried into their tents at the sign of a little sprinkle and missed the glorious full moon, growing ever more clear, as the clouds faded into mist, and then into oblivion, leaving that celestial orb glowing over the mighty bluffs, looking down protectively over the beach, and casting shadow as if in daylight.
Good Shooting,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rifle Search

So.  Today (9 Jun 12) was national Take Your Daughter to the Range day.  I thought I might try to get Mini Tornado to the range, finally, but once again got bogged down trying to find the perfect first rifle.  And she had a birthday party, so it wasn't happening anyway.  There are several very good to excellent to 'no thanks' starter guns with a very short LOP for small shooters.  In no particular order:  Savage Rascal, Henry Minibolt, Cub, Crickett, Stevens Favorite, Marlin XT-22, T/C Hot Shot, H&R Youth, etc.  Since I was going to have a day in Memphis, I printed out a list of the five or six largest gun sellers in the town.

At the start of the day, I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I knew it wasn't a Crickett.  The T/C is the favorite, but the Henry, Savage or Stevens would have gone home...if I'd seen one. 
Bass Pro had a Marlin XT-22 (box mag) and a "Remington 514" which was just the XT-22 in a single shot version.  They both sucked mightily.  Damn you Freedom Group!
Guns and Assholes had two Cricketts and an H&R with the horrible sights. 
That's it.  That's all the starter rifles in Memphis.  Sad, right? Locally, Wal-Mart has a Crickett and the LGS has two Cricketts.  Oh well, even without handling one, I went ahead and placed the order with J&J Firearms for a T/C Hot Shot (Pink Camo) and a Tapco T6 Adjustable Stock for the 10/22.  MT will have a semi-auto available when she's ready to advance past single shot.

That's it right there.  19" barrel, 30" overall, peep and post, reports of dime size accuracy at 50 yards.  Niiice.  I'm probably way more excited than she is.
Good Shooting,