Saturday, 27 September 2014

By on September 27th, 2014 in personal

12:20 – It’s Saturday, but with Barbara home all day yesterday it feels like Sunday. I’m doing laundry and Barbara is working on her usual Saturday tasks.

We just got back from a Costco run and a visit to Dick’s Sporting Goods. We bought two Marlin Model 60 .22 rimfire rifles, which we brought home with us, and special-ordered two Mossberg Maverick 88 Security shotguns, which we can pick up in a week or so. I debated whether to buy Barbara a 12-gauge or a 20-gauge. She’s fired a 12-gauge before, but only with light skeet/trap loads. With heavy loads, the free recoil of a 12-gauge is pretty stiff, about twice that of a .30-06 or .308. Some men and most women find a 12-gauge uncomfortable to shoot with heavy loads. Barbara said she could deal with the 12-gauge, so that’s what we ordered.

I’d also planned to pick up 10 bricks of Remington 525 .22LR rounds, which Dick’s website advertises at $25 for the 525-round brick, or 4.76 cents a round. I suspected that was totally bogus, and it was. The only .22LR they had in stock was 50-round boxes at $9/each, or 18 cents a round. Limit three boxes. Give me a break. Fortunately, I have a bit of .22LR in stock.

29 Comments and discussion on "Saturday, 27 September 2014"

  1. Alan says:

    Is the Marlin Model 60 the preferred model to “stock up on” or was your selection just based on store stock?

    Seems there are still shortages on .22LR rounds?

  2. OFD says:

    The Marlin .22s have a really good rep, esp. with reliability and accuracy. Ditto the Ruger 10-22’s, mostly a toss-up. I have a Ruger 10-22 Takedown and a Ruger Single-Six convertible; we’re seeing a scarcity of .22LR ammo in these pahts.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes, .22LR ammo is still on allocation. Dick’s would sell me no more than three boxes of 50 rounds (at $9 each!) and when I put in a order at Cabela’s earlier today for $1,200 worth of ammunition, I was allowed to order only one 100-round box of .22LR.

    The Marlin Model 60 is far and away the best choice. It’s an excellent .22 rifle in general. I owned one that I bought when I was 14. I wish I still had that one. But the main reason I chose the Model 60 is its tubular magazine. It’s trivially easy to make speed loaders for it (or you can simply buy a commercial model for $30 or so). Home-made speed loaders–basically a tube with caps–cost a buck or so each to make, and allow you to reload the rifle in literally five seconds, less if you practice.

    The Ruger 10/22 is a great rifle. I used to own one of those as well. But the cost of magazines adds up fast, and I’ve never found a reliable .22LR stripper clip.

  4. OFD says:

    Yeah, the Ruger 10-22 mags are kinda spendy but they’re rugged and reliable buggers and third-party makers have them in various capacities for sale. The Johnny Appleseed Project will accept a student bringing either one, if memory serves. There are also a zillion accessories and mods available for the Ruger; I might get another one just to play around with that sorta thang; meanwhile the Takedown is for the BOV and canoe travel.

    And I’m toying with the idea of modding a Mosin-Nagant a bit and developing a contemporary long-range rifle from it.

    For shotguns I’ve stuck with the Remington 870s since my military and cops days, also moddable six ways from Sunday, but I’ve also found a little goes a long way. I might put red-dot sight and decent folding sights on an AR but that’s it, besides a good sling, of course. Light mount and light on the 870 but not an AR.

    Local part-time guy at the dump/recycling center down the road from here is a gunsmith for his real job back home on his many acres out in the sticks, and builds one custom AR per month, while netting about a grand for each one; sez it pays his mortgage. Used to work at Century Arms, for whom one of my employer’s subsidiary operations does parkerizing and rebuilds of AK’s. I was chatting with him last weekend and his compadre there, a guy about ten years my senior who spent his own ‘Nam tour with the Army Corps of Engineers in the central highlands. So we had a grand old time.

  5. Chuck W says:

    Wow, if I am reading this right, 7 people have downloaded my settings file for StereoTool. Yesterday, was a loaded day’s worth of activities, including lunch with a bunch of now mostly retired (except me) once-upon-a-time Butler Uni broadcasting co-students. How is it that 40+ years later, we pick up like the last time we saw each other was yesterday?

    Anyway, I after getting home, I spent about 4 hours merging parts of another setting into the hundreds and hundreds of StereoTool settings I normally use. So as soon as I figure out (again) how to post it to ‘gist’ at GitHub, I will note the link here.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    How is it that 40+ years later, we pick up like the last time we saw each other was yesterday?

    Because you’re a man. That’s what men do. Women require constant interaction with their friends.

  7. Chuck W says:

    Here’s the link to my latest StereoTool config file:

    StereoTool is a phenomenal Winamp plug-in, coded by Hans van Zutphen of the Netherlands. It is used heavily by broadcasters outside the US, because they will not pay tens of thousands for a single piece of (generally) not-upgradeable standalone rack equipment to do something a computer that is upgradeable will do.

    My configuration is primarily to emphasize clarity in the vocal range, without regard to loudness. Last revision lacked some clarity outside the vocal range, however. This has fixed that, I believe, and is louder, but loud is not the goal — preventing mondegreens is. Even terrible quality MP3’s are not sounding bad with this setting. Just heard a single finger-snap in the Earls song “Remember Then”. I have never heard that finger-snap before.

    The config file is text. Either download from the above location or just copy the contents to a text editor and name the file anything that ends with “.sts”. Load into StereoTool as “All Audio Settings”.

  8. OFD says:

    “Because you’re a man. That’s what men do. Women require constant interaction with their friends.”


    We also have fights that sometimes escalate to fisticuffs and are friends immediately thereafter. Women snipe at each other behind each others’ backs and are enemies for life. My experience is that two guys from opposite ends of the globe and life histories can meet for the first time and get along famously. But you can stand there and watch women in the same circumstances and they’ll be sizing each other up and you can spot the potential venom in their eyes and body language.

  9. brad says:

    I don’t get the .22 shortage – this has been going on so long that manufacturers must be maintaining it deliberately, to allow higher prices? Sometimes the free market isn’t, when there are just a few manufacturers and they can reach a tacit understanding…

    Differences guys and girls – one does forget just how true this is. Enter the classic “what do women want” into Google, and you are guaranteed to find something like “understanding, so that she doesn’t have to explain herself” (i.e., mind reading). Not a traditional male strength…

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I don’t think there’s any manufacturers’ conspiracy. I understand that every factory that produces .22LR has been operating around the clock for years. They simply can’t make it fast enough. One of my email correspondents is a manager at a Cabela’s store. He told me a year or so ago that they simply can’t keep the stuff in stock. Literally, they’ll have a tractor-trailer full of it pull up at the loading dock and watch the stuff disappear instantly as people lined up out front buy it.

  11. Miles_Teg says:

    The free market solution would be to build more .22LR capacity. How come that’s not happening?

  12. Chad says:

    Ammunition, in general, has been in short supply for years. Other than staffing existing factories at 100% and running them 24/7 the ammo manufacturers don’t seem too interested in building additional plants to meet demand. Perfect conditions for a new ammo company to come to market. Where are they?

  13. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I actually told Barbara while we were at Dick’s that we should build an ammunition factory. I was only joking, of course. The problem is that it requires a lot of equipment that isn’t off-the-shelf. I would imagine that the marginal cost to produce one .22LR round is probably on the close order of $0.005, but you have to amortize the $1,000,000,000 you need to spend on the factory and equipment. And, having built that factory, you have to worry about what happens when it comes on-line and starts flooding the market with billions of rounds of .22LR.

  14. OFD says:

    We could certainly use billions of .22LR rounds right now. Why not the Chinese, hell, they make everything else.

  15. Chad says:

    What is the shelf life of ammunition?

  16. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Most centerfire ammunition, including shotgun shells, is very well sealed and has an essentially unlimited storage life. I’ve shot military rifle and pistol ammunition that was 50 years old or more, and had very few misfires. (Of course, you have to be careful with pre-1955 ammunition, because much of it used corrosive primers that require a thorough cleaning after use if you don’t want your firearm to turn into a pile of rust.)

    Rimfire ammunition is a different story. It’s not nearly as well sealed as centerfire. I’d recommend storing it in plastic bags with desiccator sachets to prevent moisture from damaging it.

  17. OFD says:

    See, right there is a dahn good tip that you won’t see in the usual plethora of survivalist and firearms magazines, folks!

  18. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I should also note that you may encounter old paper shotgun shells, which are not at all well sealed, and all of which are old enough to be of dubious reliability. Also, handloaded (or commercially reloaded) shotgun shells are considerably less well sealed because the star-crimp in reloads may allow moisture to penetrate. If you’re concerned about a known-good batch of such shells (or one you’ve just reloaded yourself), you can seal them by dripping melted paraffin from a candle to seal the star-crimp against moisture.

  19. Bill says:

    Long time lurker here but I had to make a comment on corrosive primers. I have a couple of Mosin-Nagants I like to shoot. Apart from their great cost to performance ratio, the ammo is still very inexpensive – if you buy the “spam” cans of 440 rounds that is. This ammo was made in the 70s and has corrosive primers. I discovered 2 things:
    1) Corrosive primers are no big deal provided you clean the gun soon after firing. Good old Hoppe’s #9 was made for corrosive primers and works well for this – no big deal.
    2) The eastern block was still using corrosive primers in this “spam” can ammo because it is more stable over time than non corrosive.

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Good points. The west largely abandoned corrosive primers by about 1955, but the Soviet bloc used them for another 15 or 20 years.

    As to Hoppe’s #9, other than a small can that was included in a cleaning kit, I haven’t bought or used it for probably 40 years. It’s a mixture of about 40% to 45% each kerosene and ethanol, 5% to 10% amyl acetate, and 1% to 5% ammonium hydroxide.

    But thanks for mentioning it. I just copy/pasted the above paragraph into the book draft to remind me to write about it.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Oh, yeah, and the MN is a really excellent budget choice for a defensive rifle. I owned one briefly many years ago, and found it to be surprisingly accurate and reliable. I sold that one probably in about 1979, but I may still have an old 6.5mm Arisaka around here somewhere.

    Someone asked me one time how many different firearms I’d owned or shot. As to owned, the answer was maybe a couple hundred different ones. As to “shot”, the best I could come up with was “at least several hundred, and maybe over a thousand”. That latter includes some real oddballs, including a WWII Liberator (single-shot .45 ACP) and a Gyro-Jet pistol that actually fired small rockets.

    I remember having this discussion with Mel Tappan back in about 1979, just before he died. When we started comparing notes as to what we’d shot, he finally gave up and said, “Geez, you’ve shot guns I’ve never even heard of.”

  22. OFD says:

    Ima gon be lookin’ at doin’ a MN mod this fall at some point as a long-distance shooter, like them spiffy dudes in “Enemy At the Gates.” Only 21st-C-style.

    Also good points I’d forgotten about corrosive primers and #9 and cleaning one’s tools after each use…something I need to impress upon the fembats at home…also putting them away when one is done with them…etc., etc. Lost cause.

  23. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I confess that I seldom clean rimfires. Maybe I’ll run a patch through them every 1,000 rounds or so, but otherwise they just keep ticking.

  24. Bill says:

    The Mosin-Nagant is a great study in design for manufacturing and form fitting function. Study the bolt for example; you will find very rough machining processes combined with very precise workmanship – only provided where necessary. The stupendous number of these battle rifles, (and the seemingly copious amount of surplus cheap and high quality ammo) makes them a great buy. It probably deserves a mention in your upcoming book (which I wait for with great anticipation).

  25. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes, I may even buy an MN and a thousand rounds as a spare. The one I owned was very accurate, so it may be worth mounting a scope on it as a hunting/sniping rifle. The only downside to the MN that I remember was that all the ammo available was Berdan-primed and so not reloadable (or handloadable, period). On the other hand, if cheap ammo for it is still available in quantity that’s not a big downside.

  26. OFD says:

    They can be had for a hundred bucks at gun shows quite often; I’ll be investigating the situation at area shows this fall. Along with several other ongoing investigations, including the ammo supplies at area gun shops. Class III FFL paperwork in-progress meanwhile. I may try an original Russian scope for a while and then see about kicking it up a 21st-C notch or two, ditto the stock, etc.

    Жарь и отступить, товарищи!

  27. Bill says:

    Mount a pistol scope to it. If you look around, there are modern scope mounts that fit in the existing ramp sight after you drive the two pins out. The straight bolt handle makes modern rifle scopes impossible – but a pistol scope on the original ramp sight works wonders on the cheap 🙂 And no worries about “scope eye”…

    The original Russian scopes were only on the sniper rifles, which were tapped on the receiver for the particular mount they used – and, it is worth looking for the tapped holes on the side of the receiver when you are looking to buy one (they will probably be filled in). P.S., if you find one with an octagon receiver -grab it. I have one I picked out of a slew of them (all at the same bargain price) and it is worth looking for – pre-WWII production and better than the average MN

  28. OFD says:

    Great tips, Bill; thanks.

    I can’t wait to start hittin’ the shows in this neck of the woods this fall and wintuh.

  29. Don Armstrong says:

    There are some OEM aperture sights available for the Mosin-Nagant, low price, which fit right into the mount for the standard rear sight. There are also different-sized apertures, so you can range from quick snap-shot ordinary usage to slow, studied, long-distance shot. Much cheaper than a scope, much easier for a raw untrained person to pick up and hit the target than standard sights, quicker for the majority of shooters, and easier to make good-enough shots in low light levels as well.

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