One other thing I did yesterday was get a new battery for the bike. This meant getting home, putting the acid in the cells, and sticking it on a charger for, in this case, eight hours. But it needed to be done. The directions with this one said to stick in on for a minimum of four hours, and would probably take about ten; since I found I no longer have a battery tester, and I finally had to go to bed, it stayed on for 8.5. That seems to have done the job.
I now have a camera! A friend of mine who works at a camera store in TX knew a guy who bought this one, used it for about a month, then decided he wanted the newer model now out, so My Friend got me a really good deal on it. As the first post with it, I give you my new dirk:
At least it will be when it's done. The blade has been finished for a long time, but between time, work, weather and laziness I hadn't done more. So yesterday I finally had time and overcame my intertia long enough to make and fit the guard, pommel and grip, then rough-sand it. I need to make a proper pommel nut(right now it's a 3/16" hex nut), finish sand the grip and fitting edges, then polish the faces. When that's done, I'll use some epoxy to put it all together.
The blade is 13" from guard to point, 17.75" overall, and 1 5/8" at the widest. The blade was tested when finished, so once I make the sheath I'll have something a bit more period for medieval/renaissance stuff.
This morning I said to hell with everything and went to the range. It was supposed to be partly cloudy and hot; it stayed overcast and cool with light winds the whole time I was out. With occasional rumbles of thunder and a few spits of rain; overall a great day for shooting. I took four rifles, one for fun, two for sighting in, and one for ammo testing. The fun was a Mosin Nagant 91/30; a few months ago I made a new front sight pin so it would hit in the vicinity of the bull at 100 yards instead of a foot over. With Czech silvertip ball this thing will hold groups of 2-3" as long as I do my part. Not bad for an old veteran; it's marked as made in 1940, so as Kim says it's a commie rifle, but it may well have killed Nazi bastards so it balances out. I tried a few shots with the bayonet fixed, and that moved the groups about four inches down and three to the left. I take the bayonet as evidence that the Russians had some odd ideas and the Commies were just as bad; give someone a rifle with a 29.5" barrel, then give them a long damn bayonet and tell them to keep it fixed all the time. Jeez.
One of the sighting-in was a 1935 Turkish Mauser. Unlike most military bolt rifles, instead of shooting high this one shot way low, so I had to file and try on the front sight to get it on target. It finally got so short that I just raised the rear to the 200m mark to finish it off. Shoots fine otherwise.
Second sighter was a Savage Scout Rifle. If you're not familiar with it, when the Scout Rifle concept was first getting a lot of attention Savage took their short action, gave it a 20" barrel, synthetic stock, forward scope base and a ghost ring rear sight with a front bead. It came in both .308 and .223 as I recall; mine's a .308, and came with three sling studs and a Ching sling. I bought it used a few years ago, and found a used Burris 3x scope for it. Overall it's a great rifle. The action is slick, the trigger is light and clean and it has quite acceptable accuracy with a variety of ammo. In this case I had found some Federal 168gr. Gold Medal Match ammo on sale a while back and got a box to try out. It consistently gave 1.25" groups out of this rifle today, quite acceptable. I've got some handloads that are about that tight, I may try some messing with the load/bullet and see what happens.
The only thing I'd change on this rifle is the front sight is a bead, and I'd make it a post. Otherwise? It doesn't have a fold-down bipod built into the forend, and it won't hold a spare mag in the butt like the Steyr; it also cost roughly $1200 less than the Steyr and from what I've heard gives equal levels of accuracy. I'm told Savage stopped making them for a while, but now they're available through the Custom Shop, so if you're looking for a rifle like this you might check it out.
The last was the Martini 12/15 I bought a couple of years ago. After the results I got with the Model 12 I bought a couple of months ago, I wanted to try this one at 100 yards, so I took some Federal Lightning, Eley Sport, PMC Match Pistol, Federal Gold Medal Target and CCI Green Tag. The model 12 liked the Federal Lightning and Eley Sport above all; this one got the best results with the Lightning and the PMC Match Pistol, both giving 1.25 and 1.5" groups at 100 yards. It didn't like the Eley, it went into 3-4" groups. I'm still amazed at the results I get from the Lightning; it's the most inexpensive .22 ammo I know of, and shoots the best in ALL my rifles of any ammo I've tried so far. Amazed, but happy.
If you're interested in things rimfire, one site you might check out is Rimfire Central; it's only about rimfire firearms, with sections on different brands and different ammo. This is where I got the idea to try the Match Pistol ammo, one guy mentioned that his rifle liked it above all else. Lots of good information on guns, ammo and modifications/accessories.
The one bad thing about the Nagant and Mauser is the ball ammo I used is corrosive primed, so as humid as it is they had to be cleaned today. If you're not familiar with this, the priming isn't actually corrosive, but when the stuff burns it leaves behind traces of chemical salts, and salts attract moisture, so... It's actually not that bad to clean; I picked up a couple of cans of GI bore cleaner at a show, this stuff was intended for corrosive priming cleaning, so it will flush out the salts that other cleaners won't. Then I hit the barrel/bolt face with either Sweet's or Corrosion-X; usually Sweet's since it contains ammonia, which also cuts any traces of salts left as well as cleaning any jacket fouling, then the CLP to protect the metal.
As an experiment one time I tried using Sweet's only; the ammo was listed as 'slightly corrosive', so I cleaned the bore and gas system with it, then dried it out and hit it with CLP. I watched it very closely for a few days, and no rust. I still use the GI stuff on the other surplus ammo first, just to be on the safe side.
Oh, the day's not over yet. After cleaning those two, I went out and cut a hole in the end of a drain channel on my carport, and took off the covers I'd put on two others a few months ago, and cleaned out the nests the birds had built in them. Damned sparrows squeezed through openings barely big enough for them with nest materials and raised their broods; now that they're gone, so are the nests. I've got to find a way to block all the spaces so I don't have to do this again next year.
And 2/3 of the way through that, FedEx arrived with my camera, the first result of which is above. I've got to find out how to post more than one picture at a time now.
I think I'll imbibe in a taste of something and crash early tonight. I'm tired.