Thursday, March 26, 2009

Six hour canoes and chamber inserts.

Recently the book "Building the Six Hour Canoe" arrived at my local library. As promised I checked it out. It seems to be a viable project, however the instructions call for 4x16 sheets of marine plywood, not your average home center stuff. There is instructions on how to use 2 4x8 sheets with a seem in the middle. Also the completed canoe has a strict load limit of 250lbs. The 250lb weight limit rules out this project for me. I'm in the mid 240's on a good day and don't have room for something that can't at least carry one of my daughters with me. I also doubt the six hours in the title. A week of 2-3 hour sessions would probably be more like it. And I consider myself a moderately fast wood worker. The $65.00 project gun is in semi limbo until after either I buy supplies at this weekends gun show, or my Gun Parts Corp order arrives. I have already owned a 2.5" 410 adapter for 12 gage chambers. I have never used it due to 2.5" 410's costing twice what 12 ga shells cost. I may one of these days come accross some cheap 410's. Or I may get around to converting my stash of .444 marlin brass into brass 410's. Until then it will probably remain unfired. I did two weeks ago order a 12 ga to 9mm converter on ebay. It arrived within a few days. Made from aluminum by an outfit called Dina Arms. I was skeptical at first. Reviews I could find on the web weren't promising. Most claimed extreme inaccuracy. Because this project is meant to show that a practical survival gun could be built on a budget I ordered one anyways. Yesterday I grabbed a partial box of cast bullet mystery reloads. The thing functioned as promised, and at first the reviews seemed right about accuracy. First ten rounds were minute of garbage can lid at 25 yards. Shooting at a 3x5 index card with no markings everything went into a 12" area starting about 3" above the target. On the 11th shot I hit the target almost dead center. Carefully I opened the gun and noted that the 9mm stamping on the converters head faced down. This time I carefully reloaded the insert into the gun and made sure it went in exactly in the position it came out. This shot cut the edge of the previous one, the next two shots brought the group up to 2". I should add at this point it was raining a steady drizzle and my glasses were getting foggy. This calls for more tinkering. I am watching wear on the inserts rifling. I have a ton of cast bullet reloads to shoot, I am very skeptical about shooting jacketed ammo. Copper is much harder than aluminum and I suspect the adapter would wear out quite quickly. One other thing, I expected the report to be less due to the length of the shotguns barrel, it was actually quite loud. And, you'd be amazed at the amount of crud that goes out the end of a pistol barrel and stays in the shotgun barrel. In a few weeks I will order an all steel adapter from MCA and see how it shoots. I'm leaning towards a 32 H&R magnum adapter this time. I have a bunch of 32 S&W and 32 Longs kicking around. The other option might be .30 carbine, I have several hundred rounds of those. The other idea I'm toying with is .311 round balls meant for my muzzleloader thumb pressed into any of the above casings over a bunch of black powder. I've also considered and ruled out 30/30 or 45/70 adapters. I am leary of pushing the pressure in my guns frame as I'm pretty sure it's ductile iron like most cheap shotguns. Woods

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lessons on living.

Sidekick and Princess were out of school today due to administrators conferences or some other such bull. I worked all weekend so I get monday and friday off this week. Pelenaka had to take CJ to the Bufallo airport for his flight back to Texas at 4:30 am. This left me time to putter around and start getting the garage/shop ready for work that's been backing up. It's incredible the mess that can pile up in 4 months. Especially in a place that isn't being used for anything. Had several large coffee cans full of rusty nails and bolts, a few cast iron sash weights and a big box of old aluminum. I also had some Stainless, brass, and copper kicking around. But not enough to be in the way. I figure I'll wait to see what happens with the price of the SS,brass and copper. The steel and aluminum were in the way though. Asked if anybody wanter to take a ride out in the country. Pelenaka was napping from her morning at the airport and princess was typically being a princess and staying indoors nice and warm. Sidekick however sensed an adventure having never been to a junkyard and was all for a afternoon jaunt. So off we went, between the scrap metal and some deposit bottles and cans we had, we managed to make a whopping $6.00 and change,. Sidekick was a little disapointed at our meager take, so I decided to make a lesson of it. First it was an honest six bucks. We didn't steal anything, or do anything immoral to get it. We talked about all the places you could scrounge up scrap metal and what kind of money each would pay. The round trip from home to the junk yard and back used less than a bucks worth of gas. We stopped at a friends butcher shop. A pound and a half of lean ground beef was $4.00 and a trip accross the street for a pack of hard rolls was another $2.25. While we wandered the store I pointed out all the different ways six bucks could make a meal, or several for that matter. At the checkout I tossed another buck and a half in and got us a mounds bar and a diet dr. pepper which we shared there in the parking lot. Then we went home and cooked mom and the princess lunch. Hopefully the lesson took. The lesson that hard times are merely a state of mind that is. woods

Thursday, March 19, 2009


We had a big break in the weather this past weekend. Combine that with my stepson CJ visiting from Texas. The family needed to get out and play. A trip to Walmart to get CJ and Pelenaka fishing lisences also brought home a cheap box of 550 .22's and a box of Winchester 1 ounce deer slugs. Still short in the length of pull department. There is only one possible word for shooting the $65.00 project gun. That word is PUNISHING! The current buttplate is just a hair under 1" wide and exactly 4" tall. Recoil with slugs is so severe that the screws holding the fore end iron actually tore out of the wood. Upon arrival home I ordered a 1" thick rubber buttplate from gun parts corp and an accraglass kit from Brownells. When I dug up the lead ingot I'm going to weigh it down with I found a lace on sling from an old TC muzzleloader. On a possitive note. The gun has been dropped twice hitting it's front sight both times. The first time was enough to bend the sight slightly. Cosmetics ruined at this point I merely bent it back with a pair of pliers and touched up the anodizing with some site black. I have no doubt that the loctite black max will keep holding for a long time to come. The 9mm chamber insert has been ordered. I am going to have to find some managed recoil type slugs for this gun. My daughters are tough for girls thier age. But, I can't see at this point handing this gun to a 110lb 14 yr old to deer hunt with. I shot it five times saturday while wearing two shirts and a heavy wool hunting coat. Five days later I'm still bruised. I spent enough time at one point behind the butt of a 45/70 to have considered myself intimate with it's recoil. Also sent a few rounds down range with a friends Ruger #1 in 416 Rigby. Niether of those guns dealt anywhere near the recoil as this little 12 bore. Woods

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some times I think this stuff just finds me!

So, my day starts like this. It's my day off and I'm laying in bed at 8:30 am. I'm listening to the rain fall and staring at the ceiling. A ceiling with very old dirty paint on it. Wouldn't be so bad, but, I painted the walls last summer and Pelenaka has been stripping and staining the woodwork on her days off. So this ceiling is out of place with everything else so nice and clean. Also there is a 2'x10' section that has been primed where I did some repairs. Pelenaka comes in from work and asks what I'm going to do today. "Maybe you should get around to paintting the ceiling" she suggests. And she's right, I hate painting ceilings and it's time to stop procrastinating. It's three days before payday and I have no pocket cash. I head to the bank and get $20.00 for another gallon of primer. Primed it will at least all be clean and white. On payday I'll grab some bright white and second coat it. Until then I need to prime over the dark paint in the hall too. So, that should keep me busy. So, I get my money from the ATM and head out. Worse than painting ceilings is going into work on your day off. Working for a home center has both it's advantages and disadvantages. So, the thrift store is a block from the bank and on the way to work. I was just there last thursday, but, I'm in procrastination mode. I wander about looking for wool clothes. I'm on a kick lately to replace my hunting clothes that are getting worn out. In the background I hear some snobbish woman make a comment about that homemade wood trunk being nasty and who in thier right mind would pay 10 bucks for it, blah blah blah. Homemade is one of those keywords that set me going. I've had a few wooden boxes on my to build list anyhow. Wanting them for camp gear and bug out kits, I head over to check it out. Needless to say when I saw it I headed for the checkout before anybody could recognize the pricing error. It just happens one of those wooden boxes I've had on my to build list, is a camp kitchen. A camp kitchen just like the one I happily paid $10.00 for!
I raced home and put a bunch of enamelware in it(also thrift store/garage sale finds). Pelenaka loved it when she saw it. Last weekend she found a mint condition very early Coleman cooler. The kind that the handle folds up and keeps the lid closed. Her only request is that I fit it with a piece of metal inside the lid. Her idea is a place to work that will be easy to clean. I have a piece of aluminum flashing that should work perfect. Now I suppose I should get around to building the cupboard to match it. Part of my wifes dowry was a late 1960's mongomery ward tent camper. Maybe this year will be it's restoration year.
If that's the case maybe a 1969 Dodge Power Wagon will find me. A red one, stepside, with a white cab roof. Just like the one dad bought new in the fall of 68.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Projects update.

Well after another serious cold snap. The weather may be breaking again. Temps should hit the high 40's here tomorrow. I have a serious need to hit the woods. Tomorrow morn I will hit the shooting range for a bit, then go visit a gun dealer in the next town over. A few months ago I picked up some guns from an estate. I had to take all of them or none of them. In the bunch was a Ruger Single Six. It's the third one I've owned and haven't felt affection for any of them. As much as I'm the type that was born 100 years too late, I am partial to modern swing out cylinder S&W revolvers. Well that dealer in the next town has a pair of S&W model 34's and a model 63. Both of the 34's are early flat latch versions. While the 63's stainless steel would be more practical, I will try to trade him out of one the 34's first. I have always wanted a "kit gun" and now might just be the time to do it. Last time I was there, he also had a pair of Savage 99's in the rack. One 50's vintage in 300 Savage and the other a 99A of 70's vintage in 308. Seeing I sold my last real high power rifle to aquire my daughters 22's a couple months ago, I may just try some wheeling and dealing there too. After a quick inventory today, I have decided to part with a total of 5 guns in order to aquire 3 more. The third gun will be a 45 caliber flintlock. A pair of 50 caliber caplocks will be leaving to make room for this one. The decision wasn't too hard. Back in 1988 when I built my first muzzleloader it had interchangable 32 and 45 barrels. I aquired bullet molds, patch cutters and every accessory you could think of. Back then I was buying Quality RWS and CCI percussion caps from a corner drug store for $1.19 a hundred. Now caps are $5.00+ a hundred when I can find them, and they are the cheap crappy ones. Flintlocks don't need percussion caps and 45 caliber balls use alot less lead. In the current political environment, I'm betting lead and powder are going to become scarce commodities. Small bore guns will be returning to the field. When I get back home tomorrow I will dig around and find the big lead sash weight I have hiding somewhere around here. While I'm at it, I will dig out a big piece of parafin that's kicking around too. If my days off next week are fair weather, I will start the buttplate for the project shotgun. Should the weather be not cooperating next week, I have another project I will blog about. I have found instructions for building a slate turkey call. I'm guessing they will only cost a couple bucks apiece to make. If I can find slates that is. If I find all the parts, we will build one, or many depending on how many I can get out of a floor tile. I have also ordered from my local library the book "Building The Six Hour Canoe". Expect a review and if it looks like a practical project, maybe next summer we will set out to turn two pieces of plywood into something to fish and hunt from. Woods