Saturday, January 31, 2009

The $65.00 project shotgun part 1

Here's the $65.00 project shotgun. That was the dealers price tag. I was out trying to find a new owner for a box full of old gun books when I came accross this gun. After selling the books my out of pocket costs are more like $35.00. It's a 12ga 3" Rossi single shot. Cut down to a youth gun of sorts. 19" barrel, 33" oal, 12.5"lop. Previous owner cut it down for his grandson to shoot. Shortening the barrel left it a cylinder bore, and sightless. The length of pull is so short my short armed teenage daughter even has trouble holding it. Though she did call it "kinda cute" when she first saw it. I shot it with trap loads and it kicks like a minature mule. Though it's bark isn't as bad as I expected. So, I suppose it is "kinda cute", pit bull puppy cute, that is. We're going to make it into a deer/turkey hunting machine. We're also going to play with some chamber inserts allowing it to shoot various rifle and pistol ammo. Future instalments on this project will include.
Installing a set of fiber optic sights purchased last summer for $2.00 (garage sale)
Making a cast lead buttplate to lengthen the stock and add some recoil absorbing weight.
Making a slip on leather recoil pad, to hide the lead buttplate and lessen recoil.
We will test several brands and types of chamber inserts.
We may also try our hand at installing screw in chokes, providing the expense doesn't take us out of the low budget category.

One mans junk is another mans treasure!

This is why I love junk shops! For those that don't know, this is a camp oven. It has legs so you can stand it in a pile of campfire coals, and a dished lid so you can put coals on the top. A person that is good can actualy bake in one of these things. It's not to be confused with a dutch oven, which has a domed lid and no legs. This one has never been used, still has the factory wax coating on it. When I aquired it a week ago it had a broken handle. Which is probably what caused the big 3" long chip in it's lid. Last weekend when my wife Pelenaka and I had a rare weekend off together, we went junk shopping. Last time I looked a 10qt deep camp over was bringing $85.00 + shipping in the mail order catalogs. And shipping would be quite steep, this thing weighs nearly 20lbs. It was right next to the door when we walked in. The chip isn't so bad, there is still some lip there to keep the coals from falling off. It was priced at $20.00, I walked it right over to the counter and told the lady to pack it up, I was taking it, but wanted to look around. The lady promptly informed me they were having a 25% off sale. so it ended up costing $15.00. For $70.00 I think I can live with the chip. The broken handle came out of my blacksmiths shop scrap pile. And this is why I love junk shops!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The weather has me thinking

It's been bitter cold here for weeks. The cold has finally broke and temps have risen into the 20's. That's a mixed blessing when you live downwind from Lake Erie. Bitter cold air won't hold much moisture. Just below freezing air will hold alot of it. For a little while at least. When that moisture travels a few miles from it's source it begins falling in the form of snow. It reminds me of a winter many years ago. I was old enough to hunt, so we are probably talking the winter of 77. One of the worst on record. Dad and I were out hunting with friends from church. Several hours into our hunt the elder brother Alan came by my stand and asked if I was cold. I sure was and told him so in a most colorful manner! At this point he said we should build a fire. We gathered wood and tinder and Alan pulled a small metal box from his pocket. Well I got a lesson that day. How easy it really is to start a fire with flint and steel. And I've been able to snap them off pretty easy ever since. I have a rare saturday off tomorrow. My stepdaughters age 12&14 both have licenses. Maybe we'll go squirrel hunting. I've got a small metal box over there on the shelf. It's right next to the .22lr cartridges. I'm sure at least one of the girls would like to learn the magic of it's contents.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tales of my passing have been greatly exagerated.

Or something to that effect, loosely quoting Mark Twain. Job changes and new years resolutions have kept me away from blogging for four months now. Hopefully this is my return to somewhat regular posting. Back in september I had many plans for posts that never happened. A new job at the end of september took away some of my energy for a bit. The early onset of a unusually severe winter here in western NY put several blacksmithing projects on hold. New years resolutions this year included spending more quiet time with my wife and stepdaughters whenever possible. I've also vowed to read more. The coldest january in years has helped with both of those endevors. I also vowed early to get back to my hunting/fishing/conservationist roots. This vow was made well before new years and has had mixed success. Both my lovely daughters spent a week at camp Rushford this past summer. While there they both competed the hunters safety course required here in NY. Mid october found me at a gun show with my old Krag sporter slung over my shoulder. I managed to make a nearly even trade for a pair of brand new scoped Marlin model 60's. This was my reward to the girls for thier effort. And it required some serious effort on thier part. At the last minute NY changed the hunters safety course to include hours of pre course homework. Of course we were notified about ten days before they were due to leave for camp. This was also at the very time they were cramming for school final exams. We did manage to get in a day of squirrel hunting as soon as deer season closed. Due to the bitter cold we didn't see many and didn't get a shot at all. We still have a month of squirrel and rabbit season to go, should we get enough warm weather to open the trails back up, we'll head out again. We have however managed to get a bunch of range time in. Both girls are becoming deadly shots. My 14yr old Rebecca has also informed me that we are going turkey hunting this spring. And the recent purchase of a project shotgun will probably help that happen. Yesterday I dug up my old call, chalked it up and showed myself just how easy sounding like a turkey isn't. Hopefully by spring the shotgun and the calling will be in good enough shape. I would hate to disapoint the young woman that has turned into my best outdoor sidekick ever. So, now a resolution to my readers. I will try to post more often. Future posts will possibly include: "Making a $65.00 shotgun shoot!" "A modern version of the classic great bellows" "Prepardness on $5.00-$10.00 per payday" "The Woodsrunner plan to save the American economy" "Building an muzzleloading rifle from an intermediate to advanced skill level kit" "Foraging and woodscrafting 101" "Foraging in the urban wilderness" "A kit built traditional english longbow, and learning to shoot it" "Home brewed wine (or vinegar, lol) on a budget" "Making knives from old saw blades, files and chisels" "Equiping the homestead shop on a budget" See you all soon and watch your topknot Woods