Friday, December 17, 2004

How to clean your guns

First, you require a dirty gun. You should not drop one in the garden or the vacuum cleaner bag; you need one dirty from shooting; not only is this the proper way to get your gun dirty, it's a lot more fun. And noisy.

Now you need cleaning supplies. Oil and/or bore cleaner, cleaning patches, a cleaning rod, the jag to hold your patches, and a large flat space to lay things out on. This surface should not be one that is easily stained or damaged, or should be one you can hide. If you're married, you already know why(if you're not, you'll find out one day)

First, make sure the firearm to be cleaned is unloaded, with no cartridge left in the chamber. Not doing this could be noisy, and lead to more damage-cover problems.

Second, take it apart enough to clean it. There are two levels of this:
Field-stripping means taking it apart just enough to clean things off.
Detail-stripping means taking the whole damn thing apart; barrel, screws, stock, springs and all. This method is much more fun, allowing you to clean everything and giving much more opportunity to lose things and practice your language skills. Especially if you've lost the directions to put it back together.

For most needs, field-strip the thing and lay the parts out in order.
Remove the cat from the table.
Wet a patch with your chosen cleaning agent and wipe things off, setting them down in order. Put a patch on your cleaning rod, wet it down, and run it through the bore. Repeat, and set aside.

About this time you'll find that either a: the cat has returned to the table, or b: you're out of patches. Take a moment to either throw the beast off or dig out some more patches. You don't have more? Find that old t-shirt and start cutting. By the time you finish this, you're thirsty, so you have to wash your hands and get a drink. Do wash first; gun oil/cleaner does not help the taste of any drink known to man. And put the bottle down, you can have that after you're done.

Return. If you detail-stripped the piece, you'll likely find that either the cat came back to visit and is batting things around, or you bumped the table and things rolled around. This is your first opportunity to practice your language skills. Which, if you have kids, may also get you a lecture you really don't need right now.

Take a rag and wipe all the parts off, hopefully taking off all the fouling. Then wipe them down again with a clean patch & oil. Push a couple of clean patches through the bore, hopefully wiping all the crud out of the bore. If not, run a couple more wet patches through and wipe out again.

You should also have a couple of spare rags handy, or a roll of paper towels. This is to wipe up the spill when you knock the bottle over. You will do this either when a: you reach for it, or b: when the !*(@)#*&^^@ cat jumps back up on the table. If yours is a really fiendish beast, it WILL jump up where reaching for it will cause you to knock the damn bottle over.

Wipe up spill, and mutter language lesson, then run clean patches through bore. Unless you're shooting really crappy ammo or have let it get really nasty, this should do it.

Wipe all excess oil off all parts, and reassemble. And you're done!

Unless, of course, you detail-stripped it. Then you get to look for all the parts that have rolled/fallen somewhere, and try to find your directions(which you then get to try to open up without getting oily fingerprints all over it, causing further display of verbal skill). After finding all necessary parts/materials, then you get to put it all back together.

And now, flush with success, you get to put the firearm away, head back to the sink to wash your hands off- followed by washing out the sink so you don't receive a language lesson.

There are variations on this basic routine. Usually involving parts not being found, falling over the cat/dog, and sometimes ending with screamed imprecations at the pet, the parts involved, and possibly the ancestry of whoever designed the damn thing in the first place.

Now is the time to retire to a chair with a bottle of suitable drink.

Wasn't that easy?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Battle of the Bulge

Started 60 years ago. A site called Jewish World Review has an article about it.

Besides the stubbornness of some units- cut off from support, cold, short on supplies and ammunition- refusing to surrender or run, I read once that Patton managing to turn the entire 3rd Army and start it off in the new axis of attack in the time taken to do it was marvelous.
(I also read that Patton did not want to meet the German forces head-on; he wanted to run up their eastern flank for about 15 miles and then cut east, cutting the German forces off from support and resupply. Would probably have worked).

Take a look at it, and say a prayer for the memory of those men, and for the few who are still with us.

Ref the size of 'Oil, etc.'

Yes, I know the letters shrink as it nears the end. No, I haven't been able to fix it.


Update: Thank you, Noddy, it worked

Injuries on two wheels

I've been riding motorcycles since I was 14. I've burned myself on mufflers and header pipes, I've gotten cut and scraped working on them, but the worst injury I've ever had was a cut lip and some bruises. It took a damn bicycle to actually hurt me.

In good weather, when I've got time, I like to take my bicycle to the store, or the library. On this occasion I'd been working 0100 to 0900(1a.m. to 9a.m. for you non-24hour clock folks). It's Sunday evening and I don't have to be at work until 9a.m. There was a guitar magazine with an article on Heart- the group- that I wanted to get for my daughter. Nice weather, so I jumped on the bike and headed for Barnes & Noble.

Got there, they were out. There's a Borders about a half-mile away, so I headed for there. You either take back streets, or try to avoid being run over on two major streets, so I took the back way. And all was fine, until I cut through the hotel parking lot. Other times I'd have been fine, but I was tired and my reactions were off when I clipped the speed bump. Big sucker. Front banged and wobbled, but it was when the back hit that I lost it. I had one of those frozen moments when you know what has happened, you know what's going to happen, and you know you can't do a damn thing about it.

Bang. I went over sideways to the right, and had just enough reaction left to guide the fall a bit with my hand (thankfully, had gloves on) and take the impact on arm, shoulder and hip. I slid about three feet, and as I stopped and lay there my first thought was, "I'm going to have a hard time putting a shirt on tomorrow". This because I was in shorts and a tank top. However, when I pulled myself up I found only a couple of small scratches. Sore, but still ambulatory. So I got back on the bike(scrape on seat, no other damage), went into Borders- they were out of the damn magazine- then rode home, cleaned up and went to bed.

Morning comes, and I woke up and tried to sit up. 'Tried' because I could not really move my right leg, and could not raise my right arm. I had to roll to the edge of the bed and swing my legs over, hobble to the phone and call the doctor for an appointment, then call work to say 'I ain't gonna be there'.

Ever tried to drive a standard transmission truck with no right leg?

I had not broken anything, but had bruised my shoulder and hip so badly I was off work for three days. And my shoulder gives me trouble to this day.

Followup on this was I'd told my supervisor I'd had a bike accident, and everybody thought I'd crashed my new motorcycle.

I still ride bicycles, but not when I'm that tired.

Do you hate the weather weenies?

I'm talking about those idiots on TV and radio. I'm talking about the clowns who think they have to work in practice for their stand-up routine while they're supposed to be giving you facts.

I'm talking about the assholes who come on at the start of the news and say something like, "Nice weather for today, but is there a threat of death from the sky tomorrow? Details later in the broadcast."

I'm talking about the jerks who come on your radio and talk about how you should 'enjoy the weather today, because it's going to turn extremely cold next week' and worry the crap out of you. Until you find out that it's expected to be a bit colder than the average for this time of year. And that's it.

I hate these people.

There's a meteorologist here named Gary England. Overall he seems to be quite competent, but he has a tendency to do the above. What really used to tick me off was Spike the Weather Pig. He got a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig for a pet and gave it the above name. Now, I can see having a little blurb about it, but it didn't stop there. He'd come on to /supposedly/ do the weather report, and start off spending a few minutes showing pictures/video of Spike. In the spring/summer, when the sky looks certain ways and the air has a certain feel to it, people around here turn on the weather to find out if God's vacuum cleaner is about to lower a hose down on their neighborhood. One day when the conditions looked, shall we say, not good, I turned on the TV to see what was happening. No, I don't have cable or satellite for the Weather Channel. So I turned on channel 9 just as his report came on, and he spent the first few minutes with crap about that damn pig!

I'm wondering if we can expect the high winds, hail and maybe tornados the sky leads me to expect, and this idiot is spending time showing pictures of his PIG! He finally got to what I actually needed to hear- yes, the sky might indeed fall on us through tonight- but when it was over I was still steamed.

It was after this that I told a friend that the next time he pulled this crap, I was going to kidnap the pig and mail Gary a slab of ribs with a note: Stop showing Spike when you're supposed to be talking about the weather, or the pig gets it. Happily, right after that the pig stopped showing up; someone told me that it'd grown so big he had to send it to the family farm to live. So I was saved from becoming a pignapper.

But I'm still pissed at the weather weenies.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Just because I like it. Posted by Hello

Oil and grease and lube, oh my!

No, dammit, not that kind. For machinery.

One of the side effects of often not being able to leave things alone is experimenting. In this case, different oils, etc., for guns and knives. With a knife the main issue is protection from rust; since I sometimes have blades out for people to look over, and they handle them, this is a big issue. With folding knives(a drop in the pivot points) and firearms, lubrication is also important. And there's a lot of stuff out there.

There's Break Free, and TriFlow, and Militech, and Eezox, and Remoil, and Rig, and LSA, and the list goes on. Some say they're CLP- cleaner, lubricant, protectant- others are lube or protectant only. Cosmoline is a protectant only, it's not expected to lubricate. And it works, but unless you're storing something for a long time, you don't want it. Most of them will do some light cleaning, but if you have real copper or lead or plastic fouling in a weapon, you have to clean it out with a cleaner, then use the other stuff to finish off the cleaning and lube it.

There's Microlon Gun Juice. It's primarily a dry lube; shake it up well, wipe the parts and let them dry. Repeat four times, and it's done. It seems to slick things up nicely, and on .22 barrels it is a wonder; treat the barrel according to instructions, and fouling just wipes out. I had a pistol that fouled the barrel badly after about 50-75 rounds, and this cured it. Doesn't seem much of a cleaner compared to other things, but for bores and triggers and such, it's wonderful stuff.

I've used Break Free, and Triflow and Eezox. They all work pretty well, for cleaning and lubing (with the caveat noted above). I gave Militech a quick try. It's supposed to be a dry lubricant only, wipe it on, warm a bit, then wipe the excess off. Mad Ogre had a link to some tests that showed it did little as a corrosion preventive though, so I didn't use it much. I'm fairly chicken about blades that took a long time to make, or firearms I don't want damaged. Eezox seems pretty good. It's another 'dry' lube, you clean and lube, then let the parts sit till it drys, leaving a film of dry lube. Seems a pretty good protectant, does a decent job cleaning, seems a decent lube.

Recently I got a bottle of Corrosion-X. It's a CLP, and I'd read some pretty good reports on it. It's also supposed to be a very good penetrant, good at breaking loose frozen nuts, screws, etc. And that's what I really needed. I've been working on an old .22 rifle that was supposed to be a take-down; barrel unscrews from the receiver so it could be more easily packed when travelling. This one had probably not been taken apart for at least sixty years, quite likely more, and the barrel was frozen in place. I had oiled, soaked with different penetrating oils, and nothing seemed to do it.(yes, I did consider taking it to a gunsmith, but until/unless I had to give up, I wanted to do it myself)
So I got a bottle of this. I stripped it down to barrel & receiver and sprayed a liberal amount at the joint where barrel meets receiver, and around the breech end of the barrel where it came through the wall, then propped it up and left it for a week. Every day I'd put a few more drops around the inside seam. After a week I took it to the post vise (heavy steel vise for blacksmith work) and clamped the barrel up, with the receiver just clear of the jaws and two pieces of 1/4" plywood for barrel pads. Wrapped a piece of thin leather around the receiver for padding and clamped a 12" pipe wrench to it. Then, with a slight prayer, took a steel rod I keep for such things and whacked the wrench handle.

And it moved.

Understand, I'd done this before with no result. I stood there looking at it for a few seconds, then checked to see if the barrel had slipped in the vise- it hadn't- then grabbed the handle and swung it around a turn. The receiver turned freely, and I finished removing it by hand. Surprisingly there was no trace of rust on the threads of receiver or barrel shank, and they were oily; they'd apparently been protected from the rust that had hit the outside of the piece, and it looked like the Corrosion-X had penetrated. Close examination showed that the rust that froze it had been the bit between the barrel shoulders and receiver, and it wasn't too bad. Cleaned everything thoroughly, lubed it, and put it all back together. It now takes down and reassembles with no problem.

This may have worked due to the other stuff, over time, having an effect, but I don't think so. I think the Corrosion-X did the job. I've tried it on a couple of seriously dirty- from firing- guns and it seemed to clean quite well, taking some lead fouling out of a pistol barrel as well as the best other stuff I've tried, so I'm going to keep working with it. If it takes copper fouling out, I'll be extremely pleased with it. I'm trying some things now to see how it works as a lube, we'll see how it comes out.

And I'm sure I'll hear of some other wonder product down the road, and I'll ahve to give it a try. For now I'm going to give the Corrosion-X a serious workout.

(no, they're not paying me for this. I wish someone was)

Why can't there just be a different viewpoint?

There's a /apparently/ large group of people out there, to whom there is no such thing as someone with a different viewpoint; if you oppose theirs, you're part of some group/conspiracy out there TRYING TO DO EVIL! Chrenkoff has examples.

I could put up with a lot of this, but when someone decides the only reason an Iraqi would say good things about U.S. troops is because they're being paid to-threatened into- part of some U.S.G. agency, well my tolerance goes out the window. It's in the same groupthink that says anyone who voted for Bush/supports the war is obviously too stupid to understand the truth.

Large loads of crap out there.

Monday, December 13, 2004

And the temp goes up & down & up & down...

Steve is bitching that it's only in the 50's! in his part of Florida, and he's about to pluck the birds to stuff a coat. Suck it up, boy. You're stuffed with ManCamp leftovers, heat some up and tell Marvin to hush.

Saturday & Sunday here were high 50's--low 60's, and people were walking around in shorts. The rest of this week they're predicting lows in the 20's-30's and highs in the 40's.

Ever worked on a roof? They were re-roofing the house next door, and the weather was a blessing for them. 60's when on a roof can be pretty warm; 70's and you sweat buckets. Better them than I, I'm not fond of working on a housetop.

Side note: Stuff called Corrosion-X is pretty good penetrating lubricant.