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Fort Reno Kid

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About Fort Reno Kid

  • Birthday 07/07/1942

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  • Location
    El Paso, Texas
  • Interests
    Cowboy Action Shooting, High-Power Rifle (especially John C Garand Matches and Vintage Bolt Action matches), concealed carry matches, IPSC

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  1. To my Pards in The West Texas Town of El Paso Was in the Cabellas store on El Paso’s west side. Great place to go. A sad commentary on my lack of decisiveness and will power … I go in there with one and only one item in mind to purchase … and exit the store with all manner of stuff I didn’t know I needed … or wanted. And … all too often … forget to buy the needed item. Anyway, was pleased to see primers on the shelves. Not a great selection … but surely beats nothing at all and is a testament to their continuing efforts to stock reloading supplies. They did have small pistol primers. No, I wasn’t greedy, or a hoarder, nor did I clean them out. Bot 500 of ‘em. Will keep me going a long time and left plenty on the shelf for others. No large pistol primers or large rifle primers but I have faith they’re trying. Ditto for powders … some rifle powders but lack of pistol powders. SPP’s are not only useful for my 9mm’s and 9 Mak, I have it in good authority that they can be used for light Cowboy loads for my 25-20. I’m a lifelong shooter. The drought in availability of reloading supplies is not new to me. Those with long memories will remember droughts some decades past when a certain political party and a certain President was in The White House. This availability issue, howsomeever, has persisted for so, so long. With patience … maybe lots of patience … maybe, just maybe, we’ll see availability again, if not genuine abundance. Anyway, was glad to see some of the stuff I needed. Keep on the sunny side Adios Fort Reno Kid
  2. Howdy Pard I have an Uberti Henry in 45 Colt (also a Uberti 1866 Yellow Boy in 45 Colt) and dearly love it. The original Henrys had a reputation for accuracy due to their heavy barrel. My replica shoots far more accurately than I. That said, if I had it to do over again I’d get a 44-40. There’s a lot more carbon blowback from the straight-walled 45 than from the bottlenecked 44-40. Either way you’ll have a great shootin’ iron. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  3. Howdy Pard You might consider casting your own. Bullet-casting technology is hardly rocket science. Casting of projectiles goes back well before medieval times. A collector showed me a cast projectile from the era of the Roman Empire that was used in slings (think David and Goliath). Had an anchor symbol on it signifying naval use. It was not so heavy it couldn’t be flung a considerable distance but heavy enough to do some real danger to the unfortunate target. Anyway, I digress. Started lead casting as a kid (I’m FDR era). First toy soldiers and then on to bullets. Have cast bullets since I was 16. Good casting equipment (melting pots, bullet moulds, etc.) can be obtained very economically. Good bullet moulds if properly cared for, can outlast any number of human users. Ditto for good reloading presses and dies. Again, it’s hardly rocket science. Some shooting buddies have reloading gear that may qualify as rocket science. I use simpler gear and cast on an outdoor porch. A steady southwest wind quickly disperses smoke and fumes. If it’s going to kill me it had best get with it before Father Time does. If you cast bullets, WEAR A MASK! Keep on the sunny side Adios Fort Reno Kid
  4. Howdy Pards Became an NRA lifer many years ago. Similar to the above Pard, I get the monthly magazine but IIFC they’ve never sent a solicitation for funds. I’m a member of some other shooting associations and they keep my mailbox full of requests for funds. Keep on the sunny side Adios Fort Reno Kid
  5. Howdy Pards I previously had two 38 S&W’s, an old top-break and a WW2-vintage Smith&Wesson. Gunsmith told me the top-break was safe for factory ammo and factory-spec reloads but not hotter. I loaded some for less-than-factory-spec for the old iron and some hotter loads for the S&W. The issue that arose? I used the same brass for both loads and then (wish I had the intelligence level of a flatworm!) forgot which was which. My solution was to fire every last one of ‘em in the stronger S&W pistol and … then going forward … used only the load data for the lighter loads. Some old (very old!) reloading manuals will give 38 S&W load data for the old top-breaks and hotter data for Colts and Smith&Wessons of more modern manufacture. Both Colt and S&W manufactured 38S&W pistols well into the modern era, at least past WW2 according to some old “Gun Digest” publications. Nowadays? Perhaps because of perceived legal liability issues, about all you’re going to find is data for mild loads. And that’s probably the smart thing for the reloader. Side note. I have a stub-nose Ruger SP101 in 9mm Luger. It’ll handle +P 9mm loads … but that does not make for the most pleasant of shooting experiences. For it, for plinking practice, I’ve reloaded some 9’s using the light 38S&W load data and then that pistol purrs like a contented cat. And yes, those light loads will not function in my Glock 19. Keep on the sunny side Adios Fort Reno Kid
  6. Howdy Pards Don’t try this at home but let me pass on an experience. Years back a shootin’ buddy (who has now crossed over The Rainbow Bridge) was known to bring two and even three different calibers to a Cowboy Match. Yep … he occasionally mixed cartridges. Now … no way you’re going to stuff a 45 in a 44/40 chamber. BUT … a 44/40 in a 45 chamber? It did in his shootin’ iron. And he shot a cylinder full of ‘em at a stage. Make a “bang”? Nope. More like a “pop”. And out came a case that was fireformed close to 45 Colt dimensions. He later told us the fireformed brass wouldn’t go into the 44/40 sizing die. So … he reloaded ‘em as 45’s and used ‘em a number of times until they expired from age and repeated reloadings. In my own experience, I once bot a small batch of used 45 brass at a gun show. After I’d polished, sized, and loaded ‘em I noticed that a few had a 44/40 headstamp. I went ahead and fired them without an issue. Afterwards I was able to correctly resize ‘em as 44/40’s. Best of my recollection that brass held up well despite having gone thru some unorthodox procedures. Keep on the sunny side Adios Fort Reno Kid Side note. When I reload 38/40’s and 44/40’s, I first seat the bullets to correct OAL and then as an additional step, run them through the Lee factory crimp die. It involves an extra step but it’s prevented having a projectile loosen and jam a cylinder or “trombone” in a rifle’s tubular magazine.
  7. Howdy Pard I took a different approach with my Yellowboy. Had my gunsmith drill and tap the tang for a Marble tang sight. Mounted an aperture front sight for further accuracy potential. It made a noticeable difference in the shootin’ iron’s accuracy potential. Have read that the original Yellowboys had a reputation for accuracy, quite likely because of the heavy barrel. Believe the barrel and tubular magazine were milled from a solid piece of metal. Thought I’d develop a load using the rear open sight and another load for the tang sight. That said, I’ve put total reliance on the tang sight and it’s never let me down. Keep on the sunny! Adios Fort Reno Kid
  8. Howdy Pards This probably qualifies for “do as I say, don’t do as I do” or it serves as a bad example. Multitudinous years back at a gun show I saw a box of 38-40 brass for sale. It was in the Remington box. Seller believed it was once fired. Now … to put in perspective… this was before the advent of SASS and other CAS clubs. Winchester and Remington claimed to be producing 38-40 ammo but good luck finding any. Even 44-40 brass (which easily sizes down to 38-40) was hard to find. It looked okay but was balloon head and not solid head. Gritted my teeth, bot it, and decided to reload a few to test them. I painted the heads with auto touch-up paint so as not to mix them in with my solid-head brass. Purposely used a light load (5 grains of Unique or Bullseye). They shot just fine. No signs of stress or splitting. Fast forward to the present. Still have the brass. Still use it with mild loads. No issues. The numbers have gradually decreased as split necks occur, as with any frequently reloaded brass, but most continue to give faithful service. Have more recently used 5 grains of Titegroup with similarly satisfactory results. Again, this not a recommendation but rather an example that worked for me in this particular instance. Keep on the sunny side Adios Fort Reno Kid
  9. Howdy Pards My memory is a gunshow I attended in late 1950s. There was a table with more than a dozen lever actions … mostly Winchesters but maybe a Marlin or two … that were priced at $37.50 each. There were 1873s and 1892s with possibly a 1876. NO! I am not making this up. I was in mid-teens and not old enough to purchase a firearm. My wonderful Father (may he RIP!) bargained the guy down to $30 and lent me the difference to buy it. It’s a Model 1892 in 25-20. Still have it. Cast bullets for it and reload its ammo. Use it at Cowboy Matches, to include the next upcoming match. Also use it for Cowboy Silhouette Matches. And, yes, those little 70 grain bullets (Lyman 257420) will take down the 100 meter rams ( on the rare occasions that I actually hit one). In flights of fantasy, I ponder the possibility of buying all the rifles on that table and holding them as long-term investments. Whoa! I’m not poor now but would be lots richer if I had bot ‘em. Keep on the sunny side! Adios Fort Reno Kid
  10. Howdy Pards Just accessed the Midway site. Looked at the page for primers and what did I see? The ubiquitous “Temporarily Unavailable”. Tongue-in-cheek I wonder why they don’t just be more truthful (realistic?) and use the label “Permanently Unavailable”? Have seen long periods of reloading-supply unavailability (remember the early years of the “C” administration?) but this, IMHO, is the worst and … insult to injury … there appears to be no end in sight. Hope you younger shooters (I’m a cerca 1942) will see relief in coming years. Fear there may be no hope for me. Keep on the sunny sunny side! Adios Fort Reno Kid
  11. Howdy Pards Have a replica Uberti 1860 in 45 Colt. Love it! Right from the start I learned to hold the rifle horizontally (making sure it was pointing in a safe direction) and feed the cartridges in to it slowly and one at a time. Two intact hands and ten functioning fingers serve as proof that I’ve never held it vertically and dropped the cartridges in from the top. Saw a 1950s-era TV western were they had an HTG 1860 Henry (bot cheaply from an unknowledgeable pawn shop owner by the property manager, maybe?) that was being held vertically with cartridges being dropped in. Thot to myself those are either inert cartridges or, if they were live 5-in-1 blanks, the actor was lucky not to initiate a chain fire. Just a word to those contemplating the purchase of a replica 1860 Henry. Much as I love the 45 Colt cartridge, a 44-40 would have been a better alternative. 45s are straight walled and permit carbon blowback. The bottleneck 44-40 exhibits less blowback. Also have a Uberti Model 1866 (“Yellow Boy”) in 45 Colt. It’s a close second in my admiration. BUT: same comment, carbon blowback is an issue. A big salute to the Italian gunmakers who brot us all those wonderful replica shootin’ irons that make CAS possible. Keep on the sunny side! Adios Fort Reno Kid
  12. Howdy Pard You have my sincere admiration for the willingness to reload those diminutive cartridges. 9mm and 38 S&W present hassle enough for my stubby fingers. Don’t even want to think about those wee 32’s. Love dem big 44’s and 45’s … and 38-40 and 44-40. Keep on the sunny side and Adios Fort Reno Kid
  13. Howdy Pard I’ll take that as good news and hope it’s a sign of increasing supply. Our local stores have stocking issues and so many regional supply houses I check have the monotonous/ubiquitous “Not Available” in the description. Those with longer memories will remember shortages occurring during previous administrations that were not friendly to the 2nd Amendment. Those shortages were eventually remedied. This supply/availability drought has been and continues to be very worrisome. I have had some luck contacting shooting buddies that have dropped out of the game for age or declining health to determine if they’re willing to sell their remaining primers (and other reloading supplies). A number of those are reluctant or downright unwilling to part with them out of caution. Can’t blame them. Keep on the sunny side and Adios Fort RenoKid
  14. Howdy Pard Concur with the posts on 160 grain 45 bullets. Only thing I’d add from my experience is to use a heavy crimp. IMHO, 160’s are a good way to develop lower-recoiling loads for 45’s. Keep on the sunny side and Adios Fort Reno Kid
  15. Howdy Pards Don’t know if this helps. An outfit named Rotometals sells new shot and reclaimed shot as well as an array of various casting metals (lead, zinc, aluminum, etc.). I bot some reclaimed shot, 95%Pb/5%Sn, at a price competitive with range lead/soft lead. I don’t reload shotgun shells. Instead I melted some of it down to cast bullets and used the rest to blend with range lead. Happy with the results. Also bot some monotype pieces, lead alloy with tin and antimony. The alloy is too hard for cast bullets but very useful for blending with soft lead/range lead/scrap lead to reach the desired brinell hardness. Keep on the sunny side and Adios Fort Reno Kid
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