VOLUME 50-----------AUGUST 2006
SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'
WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY
August 1, 2006
I see this is the 50th newsletter since I started this nonsense. Hard to believe that anyone can be that full of B.S., isn't it? Oh well, I'm bettin' there's a goodly number of these things in me yet! At least I hope so!
Yesterday Jennifer turned "double digit." Doesn't seem like she should be 10 years old! Saturday was party time for Jennifer and 3 friends. The afternoon began with swimming in our neighbor Larry's pool. Ann and I stopped by for a few minutes and took some pictures as we were on our way for a prime rib dinner in Rathdrum, Idaho.
Mary, Rochelle, Jennifer, and Mariah
After the swim party, it was on to Jennifer's house for a backyard cookout. Games and "girl talk" carried into the night, with the 3 friends "sleeping over." (I'm not sorry to have missed that action!) Moms picked up the extra girls by noon Sunday.
On Monday the 31st, Rick and Christi took some time off, and we had the major gift openings with homemade ice cream and cake at Jennifer's house. Mom, Dad, both Grandma's, and I filled ourselves with goodies right along with Jennifer. The major gift was a Nintendo DS game that does things that this Ol' Hillbilly will never understand!
Jennifer now has her own website. Little Heifer and I bought her a domain name and Microsoft Frontpage software so she can manage her site. Not much there yet, as she needs a few lessons on using the software, but we got her started yesterday. If you want to take a peek, go to: www.jenniferjune.net.
Our hot weather finally moderated in these parts so I broke out the Winchester 1895 last Saturday morning. This is the rifle, in .405 Winchester caliber, that I bought a few months ago at the NRA banquet and auction. I paid way too much for it, but most of the money is used for NRA grants that fund any number of shooting programs around the country. In fact those grants have funded numerous audio/visual equipment purchases for Hunter Education classes here in Washington state.
I had only fired the rifle a half dozen times during one session at the bench last winter from the 50 yard line. I shot one 3 shot group that looked pretty good considering old eyes and iron sights. Plus, the dang thing kicks like a mule and it was colder'n begeezus that day.
Winchester Model 1895
I'm shooting Hornady factory loads with a 300 grain flat nose bullet, at an advertised 2225 fps at the muzzle. I did not chronograph the ammo, but I've read some reviews by real writers that indicate they are close to factory specs in the 1895 lever action.
I set up the bench at 100 yards, and touched off a 3 shot group. I hesitate to call it a group, because they were pretty well scattered about the target. Remember that earlier, "old eyes and iron sights" comment. Well, this was even worse that that.
Now, let's talk about the eyeglasses that some of us must wear in order to actually see things. I'm on my second pair of glasses with progressive, lineless bifocal lenses. I have not attempted to use iron sights at any appreciable distance since I began wearing these. I have attempted to hit a golf ball while wearing them, and completely missed the ball repeatedly. Let's do a little analysis here.
I know with my progressive lenses that my distance vision is only clear when looking through the exact center of the lens. Any variation from that, not only makes my vision blurry, but creates some distortion that makes close things appear in a slightly different place than they really are. Reminds me somewhat, of the phenomenon of "refraction" when viewing something under water.
Remember that golf ball I couldn't hit? I cured that problem by wearing an old pair of yellow tinted shooting glasses when I play golf. Those lenses are ground for my distant vision only and have no bifocals, or progression.
Apparently my line of sight from the shooting bench, across the open sights, was somewhere other than centered in the lenses, so my vision was impaired. I retrieved my prescription sunglasses from the truck. While these glasses are bifocals, they are not the lineless, progressive type, which makes the non-bifocal part of the lens clear no matter where you look through them!
I'm inserting a picture of my target here. The holes with the black circles around them are the first 3 shots, and the others are the group shot while wearing the sunglasses. I think this speaks volumes!
Winchester Model 1895 - .405 Win Caliber - 7/29/06
If you are wearing progressive bifocal lenses and are having problems shooting with open sights, you might want to experiment with different eyeglasses! It might improve your groups too!
I so much like the way this rifle shoots, when I do my part, that I'm gonna' use it for deer and elk hunting this fall. The animal rights freaks and gun haters wouldn't understand this, but there's something cool about shooting a replica of Teddy Roosevelt's favorite African Lion rifle! Teddy called it his "Medicine Gun."
Since the 1895 is now designated a "using gun" I called Brownell's and placed an order for a Williams receiver sight and a Limb-saver recoil pad. Did I mention that this rifle kicks like a fiend? Well, it kicks! The factory butt plate is smooth, blued steel, which doesn't absorb much of the recoil either.
The Limb-saver pad should remove some of the punishment. I replaced the factory recoil pad on my Remington .338 Ultra Mag with a Limb-saver, and it made a noticeable difference! The receiver sight should help the slow focusing old eyes too!
I do have a tip here for anyone who has one of these Winchesters, or one of the replicas that Browning produced some years back, and wants to install a receiver sight. The Brownell's catalog does not list the Model 1895 in the sight selection chart. Our local Sportsman's Warehouse store has no listing for this model either. A call to Brownell's tech service people didn't even help me. A call directly to Williams Gunsight Corp. finally got me the information that these guns use the same sight as the Winchester Model 1886, the FP-71. Brownell's stocks the sight, they just don't list it for the 1895.
Yes, I could have ordered the sight directly from Williams, but being a certified hunter education instructor and member of the American Gunsmithing Association qualifies me for dealer prices from Brownell's, which saves me a few bucks.
As soon as "Brown" makes its delivery to my door, I'll have some gunsmithing to do. The butt stock will need to be cut off to compensate for the thickness of the recoil pad, and the pad ground down to fit the stock. (A "grind to fit" pad must be used on this rifle as they do not make a specific fitted pad for it.) The rifle's receiver requires that holes be drilled and tapped for the sight installation. (I've seen some of the fancier versions of the recently made 1895's that are factory drilled and tapped for this sight, but mine is not.)
Another gunsmithing project was started yesterday. I have previously written about my new Gopher Gun, a Thompson/Center Encore with a .410/.45 Colt barrel.
Thompson Center Encore
Note the rib on top of the barrel with the little dovetail rear sight.. This rib is fastened to the barrel with 5, #6x48 screws. I've decided to put a 2 power Leupold pistol scope on the Encore, which requires removal of the rib. The rearmost two, of the 5 screw holes in the barrel fit the scope base screws, but two more must be drilled and tapped to properly install the base.
I already had a typical Hillbilly happening when I started the Encore project. I removed the rib and decided to insert screw plugs in the holes that will not be needed for the scope mount. I have a stash of plug screws of various shapes and sizes, that I've collected over the years from scope installation projects. My collection included two stainless steel plugs that matched the finish on the Encore barrel.
My problem began when the plugs turned out to be too long. My problem got worse when I shortened a plug, screwed it into a screw hole, and gave the screwdriver just a tad too much pressure. The plug screws turned out to be very soft and I twisted one half the top off the dang thing from the screw slot to the edge. Now it looks like hell, and there ain't no screw slot to get it out!
I guess the good news is, I improved my repair skills by carefully drilling the center out of the ruined screw, then backed it out with a removal tool without ruining the threads! The holes are now filled with blued screw plugs that fit flush with the barrel surface. I've decided I like the contrast between the stainless barrel and the blue plugs!
I hope to enlist the help of our friend, Courtney Johnson when I do the drilling and tapping on both guns. I could, and have done this chore on my ordinary drill press, but Court's milling machine would be more precise and easier to set up for this duty. Whichever way I end up doing it, I'll probably take photos of the process and write it up for a future issue of Outlook Magazine.
Speaking of Outlook Magazine, their website is now up to date with the latest issues of the magazine online as .pdf files for downloading. I have several articles in the last two or three issues if you want to take a look. The URL is: www.spokaneoutlook.com.
I found it interesting that the September 2006 issue of Shooting Times has an article by Lane Pearce, their new Reloading Editor, on installing a Timney aftermarket trigger in a Ruger M77 MkII. This is the identical subject I covered in the May 15th issue of Outlook Magazine! I think my text and photography was darn near as good as Lane's, but there was one major difference: He got paid for his article!
This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from the humor page of my ISP's website:
Due to the popularity of the Survivor
shows, Texas is planning to do one entitled, "Survivor-Texas Style."
The first one to make it back to Dallas alive wins.
Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!