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Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

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Everything posted by Driftwood Johnson, SASS #38283

  1. Howdy I have been shooting this little Stevens Model 250 for quite a few years now in CAS. It is my main match shotgun. I suspect it was made around 1905 or so. I only shoot it with Black Powder, I have never put a round of smokeless through it. The barrels were cut to 24" long at some point, so both barrels are now cylinder bore. I suspect the barrels were originally considerably longer. Notice the similarity of the shape of the hammers between my shotgun and yours. Yours is a boxlock, whereas mine is a side lock. You will never win a speed contest with one of these. I suspect yours has the locking lug between the barrels like this. Makes it a little bit tough to throw in two shells at once. I never cock the hammers before opening the gun. It is actually impossible to do so. With my old Stevens, if the hammers are cocked before opening it, or while it is open, the right hammer interferes with the lever on top and the gun cannot be opened or closed with the hammers cocked. They must be cocked with the action closed. Yours might be the same, or you might be able to manipulate the lever with the hammers cocked. I could probably bend the lever a tad, and then I could cock the hammers with the gun open, but why in the world would I want to do that? I also never try to cock both hammers at once. I cock each one separately. There are more important things than shooting fast. I have no recommendation for Smokeless loads, like I say, I have only ever fired mine with Black Powder. If you want to shoot yours with Smokeless be sure to have it checked out by a smith who is familiar with old shotguns. Cautionary note: Don't break it open real fast or real hard. One day the solder keeping the part that latches to the forearm let go on mine. I was very unhappy. Luckily Happy Trails was able to perform his magic and some spot TIG wilds are holding it together now. Not saying that will happen with yours, but these old girls were field guns. They were meant to be carried all day, and not slammed around the way we sometimes do with our guns.
  2. I was there last Wednesday. I'm not going to go into the details. But what I said earlier is what I experienced last Wednesday. Do not know if this is a permanent change or just temporary.
  3. Nope. No thoughts. The only time I used filler was years ago using corn meal as a filler. I have not used filler in many years. I just stuff them with powder.
  4. I don't use fillers, but if I did I doubt if I would use styrofoam. I ain't gonna comment on whether or not you are a dodo.
  5. In all honesty I cannot comment on stainless pins or ceramic beads because I have no experience with them. Regarding 'leaving the cases': my experience is it is best to dump them in water with a squirt of dish soap soon after shooting them. You don't have to drag a jug of water around with you all day, back at the car at the end of a match is soon enough. However if sooted up cases are left 24 hours with no treatment, my experience is that they will turn green with verdigris (copper corrosion). Once rinsed and dried out the cases can sit forever before putting them in the tumbler. Here is my jug of soapy water sitting on my cart at the end of a match. Notice the water is cloudy with dissolved BP fouling suspended in it. I try to rinse the brass out with fresh water the next day. The longer the brass sits in this dirty water, the more stained it gets, and my Lyman tumbler will not remove the stains. Only polish it up. I have at times left the brass in the jug far too long, a couple of months, yes I am very lazy, and the brass had a deposit of gook down inside that would not come out. The deposit was so thick that it took up some of the space that should have been reserved for powder. I had to dispose of that batch of brass. So now I try to rinse out my brass after a day or two. Like I said, once the brass is rinsed and dry, it can sit forever before going into the tumbler. No further deterioration happens to rinsed and dried brass.
  6. Styrofoam is an excellent generator of static electricity charges. Ever notice how styrofoam popcorn used for packing always sticks to your hands? All plastics will generate a static charge. Whether or not you worry about it sparking an ignition of powder, the static charge developed by styrofoam can cause powder to clump up in a powder measure.
  7. Last time I was at Kittery they were not doing that anymore. They issue a gift card with the purchase of a fire arm by an out of state buyer. The gift card can be used to offset the purchase of ammo or other stuff, but can not be applied to the sale of the firearm. This is an attempt to compensate out of state buyers for the Maine sales tax. I don't remember if the gift card is the same amount as the sales tax. I seem to recall this may be a temporary arrangement while they are fixing up NH transfer station. Not sure if they will reinstate the work around to the Maine tax or not.
  8. It is just water with a little bit of soot in it. It goes down the kitchen sink. My understanding is when you dump the fluid from a Stainless Pins solution down the sink it it is much messier. I could be wrong. I have no intention of finding out, what I have been doing has been working fine for a long time.
  9. I'll never forget one day I went to the unloading table. The guy sitting there said, 'Oh, I guess you don't polish your brass, do you?' I gave him one of my famous withering looks. Of course I tumble my brass, but it is stained from Black Powder. He was a Smokeless shooter, he did not know anything about shooting Black Powder. It seems that the cat's pajamas in cleaning brass these days is the tumblers that use stainless steel pins. This is my old Lyman tumbler that I bought used over 20 years ago. It is still going strong, knock on wood. This is the crushed walnut shells I use. It appears it goes under the name Desert Blend these days. It seems to me the steel pins are simply more aggressive and will remove the stained surface of the brass. Crushed walnut will not remove hardly any metal, it will just polish the surface to a mirror surface. A dark surface, but it is a mirror surface none the less. Why don't I try the steel pins? 1. I live in a condo and I don't have a big sink to drain the messy fluid when I am all done. Mrs Johnson would be very upset if I did it in the kitchen sink, the bathroom sinks, or the bath tub. 2. Why should I try something new when what I am doing ain't broke? 3. Did I mention that stained brass shoots just as well as shiny brass? Here is a batch of Black Powder 44-40 loaded up in brand new, shiny Starline brass. It will never be this shiny again. Ask me if I care.
  10. Howdy Where in Mass are you? I was just at the Kittery Trading Post in Kittery Maine and saw several Uberti rifles. Kittery is as far a south as you can go in Maine. If you are anywhere near Woburn I'm sure Four Seasons could order one for you. https://fsguns.com/
  11. Really? I have been using this Lyman Black Powder measure for at least 15 years. I have not noticed any deterioration of the aluminum hopper from contact with Black Powder. I worked in the electronics industry for over 20 years. Electro Static Discharge (ESD) is a huge concern with electronics because it can destroy delicate electronic components. Everybody in the assembly areas wore a wrist strap. However it is pointless unless you ground the machine AND the entire work station, including the bench. You have to ground your chair too. Otherwise, every time you move you develop a static charge, and every time you touch something the charge goes to ground. Personally I will never put Black Powder into the plastic powder measure on my MEC Jr, because plastic will develop a static charge. But I have been loading Black Powder with the rig in the photo above for a long time. The real value of this type of powder measure is the moving parts are brass, not steel. That way a mechanical spark, like the one generated when flint hits steel, will not be generated. Non-ferrous metals rubbing against ferrous metal, (like the iron body of the powder measure) will not generate a mechanical spark. Not an electrical spark, a mechanical spark. When flint strikes steel, tiny hot glowing shards of flint break off, creating a mechanical spark. Electrical sparks are entirely different. Just to be really picky, soapy water does not neutralize Black Powder fouling. It dilutes it. Neutralizing means changing the pH. All we are doing when we soak and rinse our brass with soapy water is dissolving the fouling in water and rinsing it away. Not neutralizing it. I have said this a bazillion times, but I will say it again. Shiny brass does not shoot any better than stained brass. It is just easier to find in the grass. A batch of 44-40 I made up a few days ago. Notice the brass is not shiny., it is stained. The brass is a mixed batch, so I have no idea how many times it has been loaded. After a match, within 24 hours I dump my brass into a jug of water with a dash of dish soap in it. You have to do it within 24 hours or the brass will turn green with verdigris. After the match back at the car is plenty of time, no sense dragging a jug of water around all day. Then I rinse the brass out thoroughly. I use a kitchen strainer and keep dumping the brass out and adding fresh rinse water and shaking until the rinse water runs reasonably clear. It will never be crystal clear. Then I lay the brass on sheets of paper towel on a cookie sheet and allow it to air dry for a few days. Then into the tumbler with fresh Lizzard Litter (which is crushed walnut shells that you can buy at a big box pet store. The same as the expensive crushed walnut you can buy, but much cheaper.) Then into the tumbler to tumble for a few hours. When done the brass is CLEAN, but it is still stained. Like this. Did I mention that shiny brass does not shoot any better than stained brass?
  12. Over the top for me. Of course, I shoot a Henry, so that is really my only choice. Just had to do it last Sunday. Wrack the lever, thumb the carrier down, and slide in a 44-40 round being careful not to get hung up on the extractor. I have no idea how long it takes, couldn't care less.
  13. Howdy I used to use Estate shells for trap all the time. I liked 2 3/4 drams of powder with 1 1/8 ounces of #8 shot. Regarding AA hulls, although I prefer Remington STS hulls because they are more slippery, I use AA hulls all the time. Lots of shooters at my club who don't reload give me their once fired AA hulls. Here is a photo of my standard Black Powder load, 4.3CC of Schuetzen, a 1/8" Circle Fly over powder card, a 1/2" Circle Fly cushion wad, 1 1/8 ounces of #8 shot, and a Circle Fly over powder card. This load works just fine in AA hulls too.
  14. I'm trying to keep things simple. One load for five rifles and one revolver.
  15. Howdy My only comment is to try 7.5 grains of Unique under a 250 grain bullet. That is the smokeless load I used to use in my pistols. I don't have a rifle chambered for 45 Colt, probably never will, I love 44-40 for my rifles. If you think a 250 grain bullet will cause too much recoil, just remember that your '73 is a relatively heavy rifle and you may be surprised how you don't notice the recoil.
  16. I gotta tell you Jack, you are the man when it comes to 44-40. I considered myself fairly knowledgeable about it, but I have not done half the work you have. I just load it up with the Mav-Dutchaman bullet over a charge of Schuetzen FFG. I have not tried half the things you have tried. I did used to load it with Unique a bazillion years ago, that is my total experience with 44-40 in Smokeless. Then again, I don't have the eyesight you do, so I don't even try hitting anything beyond 20 yards or so with it out of my Henry.
  17. OK, everybody take a step back from the computers. Here is a photo of my 38-40 Lee Factory Crimp die. It is mounted in one of my Hornady Lock and Load collets. You can clearly see the slit in the side. There are four of them, equally spaced around the circumference. The last date I have on a box of 38-40 ammo is 2016, so that is probably about when I bought this die. Here is a view from the top. Not quite so clear, but one of the slits can clearly be seen. I have been using my 44-40 LFC die for probably close to 20 years. No, I am not going to take a photo of it, there is so much BP bullet lube gunked in it that you could not see the slits anyway. It's late and I just finished loading a batch of 44-40s and I am not about to clean it out right now. And I certainly am not going to take it apart for a close photo, I have been using that die for a long time and don't want to reset it. You are just going to have to take my word for it that both of my Lee Factory Crimp Dies have the slits between the fingers or the business part of the die.
  18. As he said, there are four slits between the 'fingers' of the die. I'm sure you know that. The more the die is cranked down, the narrower the void between slits becomes. The raised portion of his crimp is where one of the slits is in relation to the crimp. Unfortunately, I only have less than a box of 44-40 on hand right now, and I did not come across any with the raised portion on their crimps. But over the years I have seen it plenty of times on my 44-40 ammo. I'm about to crank out a few boxes tonight, I'll see if those voids show up on any. Again, there is nothing wrong with seeing those small raised portions on the crimp, it is just a matter of how much the die has been cranked down.
  19. There is nothing wrong with his die. It is simply a matter how much you crank the die down. All my 44-40s have such a 'ridge'. Apparently I did not crank down the die so much with my 38-40 rounds, but there is still a slight 'ridge'.
  20. Howdy Here is the scoop on revolver calibers, right out of the handbook: Must be centerfire calibers of at least .32 caliber and no larger than .45 caliber or percussion calibers of at least .36 caliber and no larger than .45 caliber. Must be in a caliber commonly available in revolvers. Examples include, but are not limited to, .32-20, .32 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .44 Magnum, .44-40, and .45 Colt. And here is the scoop on rifle calibers: Must be centerfire of at least .32 caliber and not larger than .45 caliber. Must be in a caliber commonly available in revolvers. Examples include, but are not limited to, .32-20, .32 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .38-40, .44-40, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt. The only allowed exceptions are the .25-20 and .56-50. No rifle calibers such as .30-30 or .38-55 are allowed. Buckaroo/Buckarette Category competitors choosing to utilize .22 caliber firearms must use standard velocity .22 caliber rim-fire ammunition only. OK, let's get realistic now. A great many shooters want to start with 45 Colt because or its mystical connection with the Old West. However many of them find that standard loads in 45 Colt recoil more in their revolvers than they want. So then they go on the endless quest of loading the 45 Colt down with tiny charges of Smokeless and ridiculously light bullets, to reduce recoil. The cavernous case of 45 Colt often does not take kindly to such mistreatment. Then a lot of guys simply go to 357 Magnum/38 Special because it can be loaded down reasonably to have little recoil. I'd say when I started 45 Colt and 357 Mag/38 Special were the two most popular calibers. I think 38 Special still is. The Winchester Centerfire Calibers (WCF) such as 44-40, and 38-40 are popular with Black Powder shooters because the thin brass at the neck tends to expand better to seal the chamber in a rifle from blowback than 45 Colt does. However, be forwarned that 44-40 and 38-40 tend to be a bit 'fussier' to reload than 45 Colt. Personally, I usually shoot 45 Colt in my revolvers and 44-40 in my rifles, stuffed to the gills with Black Powder. But I march to a different drummer. Sometimes I shoot 44 Russian in my antique S&W Top Breaks. You must excuse me now because I have to clean my Henry and load up some BP 44-40 for the next match.
  21. Howdy When the stainless Vaqueros first came out they had a matte finish. But Ruger soon realized that a high polish finish resembled the nickel plating that was common on revolvers in the 19th Century. So they went with the high gloss finish ever since. I suspect that a high gloss finish may be a bit less labor intensive than putting a matte finish on them. I shot this pair of Stainless 'original model' Vaqueros for the first few years in CAS. Yes, the glare was sometimes a bit bright, but I kept a black Sharpie in my ammo box to apply to the rear surface of the front sight for sunny days. Don't remember being bothered too much by the glare. By the way, this pair still comes to every match as backups to my Colts. Never know when a flat spring is going to let go. So far I have needed the backups twice, knock on wood. Interestingly enough, Smith and Wesson finished more of their revolvers with nickel plating than blue during the 19th Century. The blues in use at the time were not as robust as modern blues and would wear off fairly quickly.
  22. Howdy A bunch of years ago Slim was lubing his bullets with SPG. These days he uses his own home made lube. Here is a photo of the Big Lube Mav-Dutchman 44 caliber 200 grain bullet. On the left I have stripped the lube out to show how huge the lube groove is. Next is the same bullet with Slim's home made lube in it. Slim's lube is pale green in color, SPG is just pale gray. Next are a 44 Russian round and 44-40 round loaded with the Mav-Dutchman bullet. The Big Lube 250 grain 45 caliber PRS bullets I got from Slim a few weeks ago have the same greenish, home made lube in them.
  23. Howdy It has been said many times that SASS is not historical reenactment. It is a shooting sport loosely based on the Old West and Hollywood's version of the Old West. When I first started shooting CAS around the year 2000 there was one club I attended that only used one pistol. But they soon got on the bandwagon and began using two, just like every other SASS club. The way they (and I ) figured it, the more guns the better. If you don't want to handle a revolver with your left hand you can put your second revolver on your weak side and pull it cross draw. I have been doing this since day one in CAS (2000, remember). Of course, everybody will be watching you like a hawk to make sure you don't break the 170 when pulling or reholstering your 2nd pistol. Don't let anybody give you any guff about having to do 'the dance'. There is no requirement to move your feet when pulling or reholstering your cross draw pistol. You do have to be sure not to break the 170, just like anybody else. This can often be done by swiveling your hips without having to move your feet if you don't want to. Anybody who tells you you have to do 'the dance' does not know what they are talking about. They should be watching the gun, not your feet. Yes, I have been dealing with this for almost 20 years. Can't help you with the shotgun. I love shooting my old Stevens hammer double.
  24. You can take my word for it too. I am incredibly lazy. You may already know that. I can shoot a two day match, without cleaning my guns in between, and with Big Lube bullets they keep on shooting for both days. I also very, very seldom clean my guns the same day I shoot them. Just incredibly lazy. I try to clean them within a week of shooting them, but often go much longer. In any case, once I clean them and lube them up with with Ballistol they are good to go. No matter how long they sat before they got cleaned.
  25. I agree. No need for a drop tube in ammo used for CAS. I only use a drop tube for my 45-70 rounds that I load on my single stage press.
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