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Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Posts posted by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

  1. Sharp forcing "shoulders" in a gun need to be reamed to conventional or lengthened forcing cones, if the gun is intended to be shot with modern ammo.  Yes, they are pretty hard kicking.  Lots of stock drop adds to the felt recoil.. 


    I asked the same question about Model 24s of pards 15 years ago.  Since then, have only seen one M 24 used in a cowboy match, by a shooter who was "just having fun."


    By now, not many gunsmiths remember ever having taken one apart.   Parts are slim pickin's too.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  2. You will find old blued guns from the West often in much better shape than original nickel-plated guns.  Even without much use, the nickel was VERY prone to bubbling and flaking off.   If you find a nickeled gun, quite often it has already been re-plated at least once.   So, the reputation for nickel being very fragile and flakey has come from performance on guns from the late 1800s and 1900s.  That reputation means the value of nickel plated guns is lower than even blued guns.


    In cowboy shooting, there's a lot of drawing revolvers and reholstering.  That will wear the plating pretty quick.   Just like it wears the bluing on blued guns.


    Choose stainless for a low maintenance, shiny firearm.  Or take a blued gun and have it hard-chrome plated.  Not "bumper plating," but industrial plating which has better hardness and durability than the steel it's applied to.


    If you absolutely want plated guns, stay away from EVER using an ammonia-containing bore cleaner (like original Hoppes #9) around them.  That attacks the copper under-plating layer and loosens the nickel plating quickly.


    good luck, GJ



    • Like 1
  3. RRR -


    Couple of important points about IMR Red.


    IMR Red was made to load to the same WEIGHT of powder as Red Dot.  IMR knew the density was different, and knew that the same BUSHING would not work to give the same performance in the loads.  So, using same WEIGHT of either powder is going to be really close to the same performance.


    IMR Red has been discontinued (as well as Green and Blue) by IMR.   So if you find another sale on any remaining Red, you'd better jump on it.   I really like it for shotgun loads, but I won't be trying to build any cartridge loads now that I know my existing supply will all have to go for another year or two of shotgun shells.


    Just another case of IMR discontinuing really good powders that they just did not know how to sell. 


    good luck, GJ



  4. A dubious offer from a vendor who has no idea of how to professionally set up a web site.  And when an offer like this is made in a time of severe shortages, it can well be an offer made for a very nefarious reason - to scam buyers.  


    At the very least, you need to be assured the company has a physical presence;  if you have legitimate problems with the delivery or the product you will need it.  Otherwise, it's very difficult to seek compensation if disputes arise.


    good luck, GJ

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  5. And if you can find even 20% of cowboy shooters using PUBLISHED, PROFESSIONALLY DEVELOPED  loads, I will be very surprised.  We are working OFF THE BOTTOM END of most loading data ranges.   If we were at the high end of loading data ranges, and everyone was loading monstrous pressures, then I would agree with your concerns.   But considering what we load and shoot, our main concern is preventing squibs caused by going TOO LOW in pressure.  Load so your cowboy loads are reliable and consistent, and you normally will not have to be concerned.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  6. I have safely used Clay Dot in cowboy level loads for years.  When loaded to just slightly more weight (5 to 10%) than the same Clays load in .38 and .45 Colt lead bullet low pressure cowboy loads, I get the same muzzle velocity and pressure signs on primers as I do with Clays.  I do have the experience to read for safe pressures by checking primers on straight wall pistol cartridges..  I would not recommend loading past the mid-range Clays data that you can find published.  


    Am I flying blind?  No, I know what pressures are safe and I know how to read them from primer and case deformation during firing.  I know about some of the conditions that can cause detonations rather than normal combustion.  I feel my loads are very safe for my usage.  Your mileage may vary.


    These two powders are not perfectly interchangeable.  They are functionally VERY VERY similar.  Your common sense about loading low pressure pistol cartridge loads with Clay Dot will be an important piece of the puzzle.  


    good luck, GJ

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  7. Bullets by Scarlet is a great bullet vendor, and she's on here often.  Not sure if she is shipping any stock right now, though.



    But if you need a mold, Accurate Molds is one of the fastest sources of a high quality mold.  Something like the 36-105C mold may be what you are looking for - this is a Round Nose Flat Point bullet with a crimp groove. 


    They will make that on your order and have it shipped within 2 weeks.


    Lots of the larger mold makers are back ordered badly because thousands of shooters realized they needed to cast their own bullets.


    good luck, GJ




    • Like 1
  8. Quote

    Has the current shortage of ammo and components cut down on participation at the matches much recently


    or did the really serious shooters stock up enough to keep shooting


    Umm, YES and YES. 


    Most folks watching what is going on are starting to see a few selections of both ammunition and components show up in a FEW on-line vendors and even scattered local gun shops.   Not enough to fill the empty shelves or feed the intense demand right now, though.  The ammo companies are using most components themselves in ammunition.  Primers are the most scarce component, and powder not far behind.  Reloaders are at the back end of the list, because there's not as much money to be made selling components.  Many folks expect demand will taper down and production will continue at record high levels until fairly normal inventory can be maintained later this year.   Will it come true?   Mainly, we have to wait and see.


    good luck, GJ

    • Thanks 1
  9. Definition that the Gun Control Act has for "antique firearms"


    The term ‘‘antique firearm’’ means—

    (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or

    (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or

    (C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition.

    For purposes of this subparagraph, the term ‘‘antique firearm’’ shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel,bolt, breech block, or any combination thereof.


    Why is this important?  Here's the definition of what is a firearm, and note the last sentence:


    The term ‘‘firearm’’ means (A) any weapon(including a starter gun) which will or is de-signed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.




    As stated above, I personally believe that a gunsmith working only on "antique firearms" as defined in the GCA - would not be required to be an FFL. 


    And as stated above, you need to consult a lawyer versed in firearms laws before you bet your future on non-legal non-advice.


    good luck, GJ



  10. Johnny Meadows down in Tucson

    Jim Bowie in Mohave Valley

    Squibber in Casa Grande

    Pleasant Valley Kid, out of a shop in Mesa

    Ken Griner (El Mulo Vaquero) outside Farmington NM


    Shotgun Boogie might have time to take a look - email him        info@sbgwllc.com. 

    I must confess, I don't know where he hangs his hat when it's not on the wall of his trailer workshop.


    Given that the 66 is so very close in operation to the 1873, the gunsmiths are "interchangeable" between those 2 guns.


    good luck with it!  GJ

    • Thanks 1
  11. Sure would make sense for you to attend at least one local Wild Bunch match where you can ask ALL the questions you need answered (including ones you did not realize you need to ask), and to see what other shooters favor - BEFORE you start buying your firearms.  No novice shooter is an expert unto himself.


    good luck, GJ

  12. But, the Federal regs make only an item that can chamber and fire a cartridge or shotgun round a firearm.   And the FFL regs apply to a firearm.


    I would be much more concerned that I knew all the city/county/state restrictions on muzzleloaders, including the storage of powder and caps that might apply, so that you did not accept or even worse, try to return, a muzzleloader to someone who is not legally able to own it.


    Find a good lawyer, or consult the NRA for someone they would recommend in your locality.


    good luck, GJ

  13. Buy all the Red Dot or Clay Dot you can find.  Loads all the main match cartridges and 12 gauge shotshells very well.  


    In 12 gauge, use your Promo load data for Red Dot, and will be very close for using Clay Dot, too.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  14. If it's a second tier manufacturer - I would not even consider buying.  The quality needed for reliable .22 ammo is hard even for first tier manufacturers to meet anymore.    My First tier - Federal, Lapua, Eley, SK, CCI.    Rem and Win are in process of falling off my first tier list  currently.


    For bulk ammo that has good reliability, the basic price before scalping was about 6-8 cents a round. 

    For good quality target ammo or high speed hunting ammo 12-16 cents a round.

    Premium target ammo about 20 cents and up, up, up


    Pandemic Scalping multiplies those price ranges by some random number.   Haven't bought any .22 ammo since February of 2020 for that very reason.


    But then, it's YOU who is considering buying.  Pay what you think it's worth to have ammo in these times.....


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  15. 2 hours ago, Still hand Bill said:

    new pickups are double or more what they were 20 years ago.  


    It only takes 3.5% inflation per year (or increased gadgets on the truck) to do that to prices.   Just our inflation rate over the last 20 years has averaged 2.5%.  

    Considering that most folks are now buying pickups with 10+ cameras, a video display or two, an extra cabin row and doors, fancy entertainment centers, navigation, 4WD, and tons of other baubles in them -


    Pickups are relatively rather cheap.  :o



    Housing market is outrageous,


    But the mortgage interest rates have been at historic lows for several years.   The two could be related, you think?  Folks like to buy when mortgages are cheap.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 1
  16. Clean steel very well before use to remove any oils - I use carb cleaner.


    Metal warm enough to just sizzle the OxphoBlue as applied.  A heat gun is better than a hair dryer for this.


    Apply at least 3 coats.  Between coats,  use FINE steel wool (000 or 0000) to lightly scrub between coats to only leave the part of the bluing that sticks tightly. Wait for all liquid to dry and the fine rust to develop as a gray dry film before steel wool "carding".  Maybe an hour.  After carding with the steel wool, then clean thoroughly again - steel wool is soaked with oil!


    Oil the final coat a day after you get the repair matching the base metal.  I use Rem Oil because that's the oil usually have out for general gun care.


    Overall, I find the OxphoBlue liquid works better than any other cold blue, and I've tried a bunch.  It takes paying attention to how to do it right.  Videos and tip sheets from Brownells are your friends.


    Any cold blue is a very toxic liquid.  Lock it up when not using it.  Don't store it in any safe or container with steel parts that you don't want to rust.


    Like you, I initially had very thin and easily rubbed off patches.   Now I don't.


    good luck, GJ


    • Thanks 2
  17. Only one real fix......





    PRACTICE and ....







    More Practice and .......














    Even more practice. 



    One of SASS's most important maxims is -




    :lol:  GJ








    • Like 3
  18. I've been tinkering with the latest Federal Top Gun hulls (brass washed steel base covers) because so many of those hulls are shot on clay target ranges right now and discarded right to the trash cans.   But it is VERY easy to snag the base cover in loading press dies if you don't get the hull to center up exactly before you run the sizer die (collet sizers may be an exception to this).


    Here's a major reason why it is hard to get much life out of the new style of Federal Top Gun hulls, with the burgundy ribbed hull walls and the brass plated base shell (the metal on the base and rim).


    Above, SD talked a little about the thickness of the  base covers on shotgun hulls:



    Another factor is the thickness of the material used in the base of the hull. Really cheap hulls use VERY thin metal to form the base. Better made hulls use a slightly thicker material. The thinner the material the less likely it is to spring back after firing.

    I compared the thickness of the metal used in the head of a Federal Top Gun hull with the silver head to a cheap generic hull.


    Federal Top Gun hull with the silver head = 0.016


    Cheap generic hull = 0.011



    I pulled one of the new Top Guns apart and measured the brass base cover - it is only 0.006" thick!


    (A wise guy on another shotgun loading forum called them "prophylacticly thin")


    These shells sometimes tear up their base cover just by chambering in a shotgun barrel.   The base covers are so likely to expand and not spring back that if you look at fired hulls, you will sometimes see extractor and ejector imprint marks raised up on the surface of the base cover even when the hull has been from a factory load.


    My favorite hull to reload is the Remington STS, like many other shooters.  It's base cover is 0.006" thick also. 


    BUT, the Remington STS and Nitro hull metal is brass all the way through.  Brass is well known to be very springy and to shrink back to original size well after being loaded with internal pressure.  Of course, you can't exceed the yield point even with  brass or the expansion will take a set and not spring back.


    So, steel base covers need to be thicker than ones made of brass, and some hulls now being made are really hard to get much reloading life out of because the manufacturers have purposely tried to shave as much unneeded material out of them as possible.


    good luck, GJ

    • Thanks 1
  19. I'd rather just adjust sights to get what I want.  Whether it's by turning a screw or filing off metal or putting a new sight part onto the gun.   I'm getting too old to fiddle with loads that already work or remember hold offs.


    good luck, GJ

  20. 1 hour ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

    The small light, of an oncoming freight train


    Sounds like the Cubs fan who says, when the Cubs finally win the Series, "Well, wait till next year and they will be stinkers again."  

    I think we ought to appreciate Vista jump starting a Remington plant.


    good luck, GJ

    • Like 5
  21. Norinco is the Chinese company that first began reproduction of Winchester 97's back about 1990.  They directly imported firearms into the US for sporting goods retailers.   IAC is an American importer which from about 1995 was having Norinco make guns for them to import, too, before embargo.  IAC (Interstate Arms Corp) fully took over importing Norinco shotguns when an import embargo was established by the Bush administration preventing Norinco from importing sporting shotguns in 2003.   At that point, mostly just the name on the gun was what was different between the guns.


    Starting about 2003, IAC and Coyote Cap (of Alhman's gunsmithing family in Minnesota) didn't want to continue to sell low quality guns, so they worked hard with the Chinese to make many improvements in how the Chinese were making that shotgun.  Better metal, better tolerances, better (American walnut) stocks, etc. That resulted in gradual improvements in quality and function.


    All this leads to some guides that Cowboy shooters have developed about the general workability of these Chinese clone 97s.


    Look for the manufacturer/importer name and the beginning two digits of the serial number.  


    Norinco marked - very low quality.  Gun may work for cowboy shooting or may not.   Stock will usually be white Asian hardwood with red-brown paint that chips easily.   Serial number shows the year the frame was built (the first two digits of the number), and runs in the 90's or even up to about "02".  I think I've seen one with an "03" year mark.   Most 97 gunsmiths have refused to work on these guns.  I've got an "01" Norinco that will not run at anything close to even half fast.


    IAC marked, early import before embargo) - will range from very low quality to fair quality depending on the year made.  Some have an A (or other letter) before the two digits of the year.  Both IAC and Norinco imported guns can have date marks showing 1999 to 2003 production lots.    97 gunsmiths have been pretty reluctant to work on these guns, too.


    IAC import after embargo - mostly good quality, getting better with later date stamps.  I've got samples from 04 and 09 lots, and the ones I shoot are the 09 (2009 frame) guns.  I am pleased with my 09 series 97s, and can work with that 04.


    IAC / Coyote Cap marked - considered the best of the IAC 97s.  Serial number will start with CB (Cowboy) instead of year digits.  Generally believed to have been built in 2013 and 2014.  Has a hammer relief design that keeps the hammer from dragging on the bottom of bolt once it's cocked.  And a few other improvements.

    Very high reliability.  I really like mine.


    Not all IAC guns are even associated with Coyote Cap, certainly none before the 04 series.  Only the CB series guns are what most folks call the Coyote Cap 97.


    They are no longer imported (or even made - the Chinese have moved on to more modern sporting shotguns such as what IAC imports now).  Parts supply is not great.  Especially pay attention to keeping the shell stops clean, properly lubed, and retaining screws tightened and even loctited.  Losing a screw is a disaster.   When you wear one out so that it no longer feeds (most common) or front end pulls apart (also somewhat common, because the tube surrounding the magazine on the action slide breaks where welded), or action slide connector wears and no longer stays latched to bolt (happens with lots of wear), you have hard decisions to make. 


    I would not buy a Norinco marked 97, nor IAC marked before 06.   That's my criteria.  Yours may vary.


    good luck, GJ



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