Saturday, May 08, 2021


actually warm & pleasant out there, but I'm tired.  Very.  Therefore, without further words,

Removing a bit of the mystery from the back trouble,

I developed a sharp pain in lower back on one side.  Which got worse.  Standard stuff didn't help, so an MRI was ordered, which showed a bulging disc in my back, which was pressing on a nerve.

Bad enough, but treatable.  The fun was in the time between ordering the MRI and getting it, and then being referred to a specialist, and then deciding on treatment and doing it, it got a LOT worse.  Which included not only worse pain in the back, but affecting my hip as well.  Badly.  And a couple of other spots not directly connected.

I promise you, when you've fallen back into bed a couple of times because when you stood up it hurt too bad, and barely hobbled out of work, 'unpleasant' is an understatement.

The usual treatment nowadays is using an injection of steroid into the area of the disc to help the bulge, followed by physical therapy to help the muscles support things.  The injection was yesterday, the PT starts next week.  There's a little easing already, so I'm hopeful.

Kevin, during his narration of his liver deciding to kill him, spoke of the fact that, thanks to modern medical knowledge and tech, he's still alive.  In my case, not that long ago this would've probably meant some nasty surgery for me; not too many years ago, you were screwed: "Take these pills to help with the pain and we'll try to keep you from getting too dependent on them."  Now they prep the injection site, numb it, use a mobile x-ray with a head than can be moved through about 180 degrees of arc to make sure the needle is located properly, inject, put on a band-aid and you go home.

Sometimes the future really is stupid, but other times it's downright nice.

Friday, May 07, 2021

It's Friday

Blah.  Had a treatment this morning, which is supposed to start helping in about 48 hours.  God, I hope so.  In the meantime, it's data time.  Which might provide suitable distraction.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Some of the situation has improved,

part has not; hopefully the treatment tomorrow will do something about that.  Or I may wish I had stock in Glenfiddich.

Since I'm not doing much good in the way of writing might as well present something visual.  One of the prettier women Playboy ever convinced to pose, Lisa Marie Scott:

Monday, May 03, 2021

Here's some of the sources I found:

Introduction to Black Powder Cartridge Reloading

The BP Cartridge Rifle Reloading Guide

Loading BPCR Cartridges

Reloading Black Powder Cartridges
This one is from the people at Starline, who make cases for lots and lots of cartridges.  When they're not sold out of most things as they are now.

Throw in the book I mentioned the other day, Shooting Buffalo Rifles of the Old West.  It covers the history of most of the rifles and cartridges that fit that description, information on general shooting/hunting loads, and a section on putting together match-quallity loads.

There's enough stuff out there on this here innernets to drown in, some good and some not.  A few the the more important things I'll mention:
There CANNOT be any space between the top of the powder column and the bullet base.  Empty space can translate to a ringed chamber or a kaboom.  If a load you want to try doesn't fill that space completely, use wads to fill it up.

You have to use a bullet lube designed for black.  With smokeless powder the lube is to lubricate between the bullet and barrel wall; with black it also has to have enough of a grease content to help keep the fouling soft.

For my cartridge cases the process I've been using is to take a old Lee Hand Press to the range with a universal depriming die installed, and a bottle full of water.  I fire a shot, unload, deprime the case, and drop it in the water.  You don't have to do this right away, soon as you get home is fine, but the sooner the better as it'll keep the fouling from setting up harder.  This way, when I've got 15-20 in, I swirl it around and dump, fresh water, swirl and dump(usually twice), then drain and leave them spread out in the bed of the truck to dry.  When home I use water and a baby bottle nipple brush to clean them out completetly, then dry, then tumble.  
One of the things I get from doing it this way is that it makes me slow down between shots.

If the fouling has gotten tough to remove by the time you get to it, you can add some vinegar to the water and let them soak a few minutes, then brush and rinse.

You will find a blow tube handy.  It's a cartridge case with a big hole bored in the base and a tube stuck in.  Just before you load for the next shot you stick it in the chamber and give a few slow breaths; the moisture helps keep the fouling soft.

With a single-shot cartridge rifle cleaning the bore is easy.  Personal favorite cleaner is Ballistol; one of its intended uses was originally cleaning corrosive primer residue.  Put some of it in a bottle, add ten parts water(I think, the formula is on the can), and shake well before use.  Two or three wet patches through the bore, then one or two dry, and that's it.  I'd give it another shot when you get home(because I'm paranoid about rust), and you can also wipe out the action to get rid of any traces, then dry and oil.

On cleaning, lots of ideas out there.  You can use hot water, with or without a drop or two of dish soap added, if you can find it Windex makes a window cleaner with vinegar, or you can mix something up yourself.

Being now kind of cross-eyed from the day so far, I'm stopping now; if I can think of something else useful I'll add it in later.

Speaking of black powder,

I had read about this book, and a while ago got a copy.  If you're starting to shoot such, or just curious about the rifles in question, I'd recommend it.  Lots of information on the arms and loads for them, and a section specifically on developing match-grade loads for them.

Speaking of, I may have mentioned this before but it's worth repeating:
Introduction to Black Powder Cartridge Rifle Loading, by Chuck Raithel.(it's a pdf)
It's a very good piece with lots of information on powders, wads, lubes, and so on.  I'm using one of the homemade bullet lube recipes, and it's worked really well(the one from Paul Mathew if you're interested).

I really need to gather up all the sites and links I've found while digging into this and put them all together.

How tight are supplies right now?

Since I started doing more of the black powder stuff, I've become acquainted with a lot of people who use it in their rifles.  And while black is more readily available than smokeless, everything else?

Couple of days ago an auction on Gunbroker for 50 new Starline .50-90 cases ended with someone paying $250 for them.  Some .50-70 went for almost as much.  More common stuff like .45-70 is not as bad, but still a lot higher than normal.  Bullet molds, gas checks, pretty much everything is either sold out or going up in price.  Or both.

This mess is a pain.