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Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 last won the day on October 18 2017

Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283 had the most liked content!

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About Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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    When he talks, people listen.

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    Anyplace that is foolish enough to let me shoot.

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  • Location
    Land of the Pilgrims
  • Interests
    CAS, Black Powder, SW DA Revolvers, Trap, Woodworking, Model Trains, History, Reloading.

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  1. Howdy HK I first heard about CAS from a friend at work back about the year 2000. I had an old 16 gauge Stevens Model 311 that I had bought about 1970 or so, and my friend told me that would be a legal shotgun. I had a 44-40 antique Marlin Model 1894 that had left the factory in 1895. I had probably bought it around 1975. I had my old Ruger Blackhawk 45 Colt/ 45ACP convertible that I had also bought in 1975. But I think by that time I had bought an 'original model' Vaquero chambered for 45 Colt. In those days, the club I went to only used one pistol, so I think I showed up the first day with the Vaquero, the old Marlin and the old Stevens. Wouldn't you know it but the first time I levered the old Marlin I had a mechanical failure. So I shot the match with a borrowed modern Marlin. Yes, I got the old Marlin fixed soon after, and that first Cowboy match started my long descent into collecting all sorts of firearms.
  2. I seem to recall it took about ten minutes with a safe edge file. Regarding Schofield brass, I am not aware of anybody other than Starline making it today. As I said before, the rim on Schofield brass is nominally .520 in diameter. I just grabbed a handful and they are all running between .5185 and .5200 in diameter. None are over .520.
  3. I used to shoot with a guy years ago who used to load his bullets backwards. It's been a long time, but I believe he was shooting 44 Special. But he was shooting Smokeless. I believe the reason he loaded them backwards was to take up some of the volume in the case. Of course, I hope he had done his homework because the pressure would be different with the reduced case volume. I haven't seem him in a long time, but I don't remember him mentioning anything about reduced recoil.
  4. Sheesh, I dunno what Hornady has been up to recently. I have been loading 38 Special, 38-40, 44 Special, and 45 Schofield for years on my Lock & Load AP. with standard Hornady dies. There were no special 'cowboy' dies, just one set does all. For 45 Schofield I use the Hornady 45 Colt die set, with the seating/crimp die screwed down far enough for the shorter Schofield case. I can't even find most of those calibers on their website now.
  5. If you want to go that route, 45 Schofields will fit just fine in a New Vaquero cylinder. Ruger got smart when they made the New Vaquero cylinder. If you look closely at the photo above you will see the area of the ratchet teeth is scalloped slightly, making more clearance for the rims. With the 'original model' Vaquero cylinder, shown in the photo below at the left, the ratchet teeth were cut from a cylindrical drum, and there was less clearance for the rims than in a New Vaquero, even though the New Vaquero cylinder is smaller in diameter. I had one chamber on my 'original model' Vaqueros that would not accept the wider rims of the Schofield round. Nominally .520 vs .512 for the 45 Colt rim. I had to file a little bit of clearance on that cylinder for the one chamber that would not accept the Schofield rim. So when they came out with the New Vaquero Ruger took a page out of Colt's book and scalloped the area around the rims, somewhat like the Colt cylinder on the right in the photo below.
  6. Howdy I discovered a long time ago that if I leave about 1/4" of space between the rear of the trigger guard and the knuckle of my middle finger, I will not get my knuckle whacked in recoil. You are already part way there if you are curling your pinky under the grip. Doing so shifts your grip down enough that the gap opens up between the trigger guard and your knuckle. This is the way I shoot my Colts, and they are basically the same size and weight as a New Vaquero. Examine your grip technique and see if you can open up the gap. Do not leave your knuckle in contact with the trigger guard, that will hurt. Grasp the gun firmly, but not with a death grip. Allow the recoil to raise your forearm up to absorb the recoil. I can shoot my Colts this way all day long with a case full of Black Powder under a 250 grain bullet. Recoil is stout, but I have not gotten my knuckle whacked in years.
  7. Howdy 250 grain Big Lube PRS bullet, and 2.2CC of FFg. Works out to around 33 grains. I like Schuetzen the best. It is the same stuff as Graffs, just a different label on the bottle.
  8. I upgraded from a Pro-Jector to one of the first L-N-L Presses. Too soon, if I'd waited a few more more months.....I'd have a good ejector system. The conversions are still available. But you have to send back your old shell plates to have the groove for the bottom ejector cut. $10.00 A piece, includes return postage.

    I cut off the feed "trough(?)" Off my new subplate. It was in the way and I'll never use a case feeder.   

  9. Howdy Picture is worth a thousand words department: This is my old 16 gauge Stevens Model 311. The big lug between the barrels is what everybody is talking about. It can slow shooters who are trying to load quickly. The other thing about the Stevens Model 311 is it is not a good candidate for turning into a coach gun. The weight of the barrels helps keep them down , clear of the frame when loading. If the barrels are cut short, there is less weight up front and more tendency for the barrels to try to close when loading. There is the old $7 fox, but it probably costs a lot more than $7 these days. http://marauder.homestead.com/stevens311.html While we're on the subject, here is my lovely little old Stevens Hammer gun. It has a similar lug between the barrels, but because it is a hammer gun there are no cocking springs trying to close the barrels. It stays open when I open it. And since I am slow as molasses, the lug between the barrels does not slow me down much.
  10. Howdy again Here is my handy dandy method of slugging a barrel. Slugging a Barrel There are lots of ways to slug a barrel. Here's how I do it. First off you need to come up with a slug. I have used all sorts of things to slug barrels. Ideally, your slug should be just a few thousandths larger in diameter than the grooves you are slugging. If it is too big, you spend a lot of effort driving it into the muzzle in the first place. I have used soft cast bullets, hard cast bullets, soft lead round balls, whatever I have laying around that is just a tad larger than the bore I am trying to measure. I have even taken a 44 caliber soft lead round ball and hammered it down to a rough bullet shape in order to slug a 30 caliber rifle. Some folks also use lead fishing sinkers, if you can still buy them where you live. When I slug a rifle I lay the gun down on a soft towel on my bench. Or else I support it in a felt lined rifle rack. I do not jam it in place so it does not move. I allow it to slide slightly with each hammer blow, hence the soft towel or felt to protect the finish. I used to slug bores completely dry, but lately I have taken to running a patch dampened with Ballistol down the bore. You don't have to soak the bore. Frankly, I don't think it makes much difference if the bore is lubricated or not, I've done it both ways and don't really see much difference. Whenever possible, I will slug a bore from the chamber end. However with revolvers and most lever guns it can only be done from the muzzle end. I start with a short rod, only around 8 or 10 inches long. It is much easier to control a short rod when you are whacking it than trying to whack the end of a 3 foot long rod while still trying to hold onto the gun. I grasp the muzzle in my left hand, and jam the slug into the muzzle so it holds still. I also hold the rod in place with my left hand, leaving my right hand free to use the hammer. I place the end of the short rod on the center of the slug to get it started, grasping both the muzzle and the rod in my fist. I like to use brass rods. Some prefer wood, but I find wood splinters and shatters. I start with a brass rod about 10 inches long. I have a few lengths. 5/16" diameter brass will work for everything from 38 (.357) on up to 45. Most any hammer will do, I have a nice 8 ounce ball peen hammer that works well. The key here is to not hit the muzzle with your hammer. I start with the short rod. Getting the slug completely into the bore is the hardest part. Once it gets into the bore, it moves more easily. Don't be scared, I have never gotten a slug stuck in a barrel. Just be careful. I change the short rod to a longer rod long before my hammer gets anywhere near the muzzle so I don't risk striking the barrel. I change over to a 3 foot rod to run the slug all the way out the bore of a rifle. I keep a soft cloth by the chamber, so the slug will fall out onto the cloth without marring it. With a revolver I stand the gun up with the barrel horizontal and the butt resting on the towel on the bench. The procedure is the same. I grasp the muzzle and the rod with my left hand, I jam the slug into the bore, and I control the rod with my left fist. The right hand is for the hammer. A 12 inch long 5/16" rod usually works for all my revolvers. A few facts about slugging a barrel. The slug only measures the narrowest diameter of the rifling. If there is excessive wear near the chamber, like with some old rifles, the slug will slide along easily through the worn part, it has already taken the shape of the narrowest part of the bore. With a new gun, this should not be a concern. However with an old gun, it can give you a feel for if there is wear in the bore. The slug must completely fill the rifling grooves. If the slug did not completely fill the grooves, any measurement you take off of it is meaningless. When your slug emerges, look for lengthwise drag marks on it. You should see these marks on both the low spots on the slug, corresponding to the lands of the rifling, and the high spots, corresponding to the grooves. If you don't have drag marks on the high spots, you may not have completely filled the rifling grooves, and any measurements taken from the slug are not as useful. I hear a lot of guys say you have to measure a slug with a micrometer so you can measure it right down to the .0001 level. Frankly, I think a standard caliper is fine for measuring a slug. Measuring down to .001 is fine, particularly on a dial caliper, where you can interpolate what the dial is telling you between the tick marks. A digital caliper will round off to the nearest .0005, so you may not get as accurate a measurement. But using a micrometer that measures down to .0001 on a soft lead slug is overkill, in This Cowboy's Humble Opinion. Just the act of closing the tool on the slug will deform the lead a couple of tenths, killing the usefulness of the accuracy of the micrometer. Obviously, you want to measure across the high spots of the slug, to get your groove depth diameter. This is simple if the rifling has an even number of grooves, so that you are measuring across the diameter of the slug. Some barrels though, like many S&W revolvers have 5 grooves. It is very difficult to get an accurate measurement on a slug run through a barrel with an odd number of grooves with a caliper or a micrometer. If you try to add the depth of one side of the rifling, there will usually be some error involved. It ain't impossible, but it is tough. Slugging a bore is really very simple, I have made it sound complicated. It usually only takes me about 5 minutes to set up to slug a bore, and about 5 minutes to run the slug all the way through. The key is finding a suitable slug just a little bit oversized, and don't whack the muzzle!
  11. Howdy My 44-40 Uberti 1873 was made in 1988. Its groove diameter is .427. My 44-40 Uberti Henry was made in 2007. Its groove diameter is .429. I don't know why you are trying to avoid slugging the bore, it is the best way to determine exactly what you have. Slugging a bore is not difficult. I would be glad to post my method for slugging a bore.
  12. Yeah, bummer. I used to like the Herters shells too. A friend who works at Cabelas told me a few weeks ago they were going to be discontinuing them. Bummer.
  13. Howdy The main difference between shooting lead bullets and jacketed bullets is generally speaking you want lead bullets to be .001 oversize of the rifling groove diameter, while you want jacketed bullets to be the same size as the rifling groove diameter. This is because lead is soft enough to conform to the rifling groove diameter, and copper jackets are harder, so you want them to fit the rifling groove more exactly. Also, jacketed bullets may not have a crimp groove, because they are usually used in semi-automatic pistols which head space on the case mouth. Because of this, many cartridges loaded with jacketed bullets will employ a taper crimp. Lead bullets usually do have a crimp groove because those cartridges usually head space on the rim.. HOWEVER........................I have several 44-40 rifles. Some have .427 diameter rifling grooves, some have .429 diameter rifling grooves. Years ago, before I got any of those rifles with .429 grooves, I shot .427 diameter lead bullets through them. The thing is, some rifles have tight chambers. With my old Uberti '73 with its tight chamber, I tried .427, .428, and .429 bullets. They all shot fine, but the tight chamber made cartridges with .429 bullets a bit tight to chamber. That is because the .429 bullets expanded the neck of the cartridge just enough to cause interference when chambering a round. So I settled on .427 bullets. No, they were not oversize, but everything was fine. These days I have compromised with .428 diameter bullets for everything, including my Henry with its .429 diameter rifling grooves. So yes, the bullets are technically .001 smaller than the rifling grooves, but they shoot fine. I suspect that since my bullets are very soft lead, they are bumping up in the bore to fill the grovves, but I don't have any proof of that. So .001 under rifling groove is working fine for me. Can't help you with copper plated, I have no experience with them.
  14. Thanks I'm considering that one too. More expensive but it looks like better quality. And the steering is better. No Tip. If I can store it under my deck the weight won't be a problem dragging it up the stairs. The only problem is it seems just a tad too narrow to fit my current ammo box into, and I'm getting too lazy to build a new one.
  15. Those are good prices? I buy several cases at a time when they drop below $60 per case at the local big box sporting goods store. Of course, I am always looking for 2 3/4" 2 3/4 dram, 1 ounce #8 trap loads. Not the super light stuff.
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