Out in the Gold Country

Came across this while hitting the Antiques stores with my wife and her BFF. A WWI Springfield Armory 1918 bayonet cut-down by American Fork and Hoe for WWII and the M1 Garand, with a scabbard of Victory Plastics body and a Beckwith/New England Pressed Steel throat (B 1/9 N marking).

1918 Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

1918 Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet


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American Fork & Hoe cut-down spear-point bayonet

American Fork & Hoe cut-down spear-point bayonet


American Fork & Hoe produced cut-down spear-point Springfield  Armory M1907 bayonet

American Fork & Hoe produced cut-down spear-point Springfield Armory M1907 bayonet

The Infernal Device!

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Need to get the “cam wire” figured out, but I managed to figure out how to set the shoulder back on a case using this infernal whirling contraption, and measure it with my headspace comparator gauge-thing!
Sorta. That is I cheated and compared it to an actual round, and then made adjustments screwing the die-down until it matched, which is a way of overcoming my near complete math illiteracy.
So now it goes up and down and around and around – albeit somewhat jerkily as any Steampunk device ought-to, and Piggyback is an appropriate name, but you could call it Hunchback too, from the condition I’ll develop, bending over and fiddling with it…
It’s bit of a kludge, like RCBS never threw anything away, they just rearranged the configurations. It’s one presssitting on top of another, the rams are joined by a link that fits like a male-female case-holder.
UPDATE: Hold on, let me reorient this:
Here’s the new superstructure mounted atop the old RS-3 press. It’s semi-manual, so you pop-in a case and then another and then another and it rotates and goes up and down and when one comes around finallly for a bullet you place the bullet on top and press it up, meanwhile another case is being de-primed and another is being primed, and one is loaded with powder, etc.
The Upside is the shell-plates are the same as the Pro200 and now I have a bunch.
Downside is the arbor height and ram-stroke only accommodates cartridges 2.260″ tall so .30-06/.308 etc. is out – it’s .223 and pistols for me with this baby (and the v.3 is a shorty also). :
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And this is the bottom half.
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And it’s held together and operated by this ram connector.
Fully functional and a good idea, engineeringwise…but it’s definitely not super-smooth in operation though that effect can’t be attributed to this link, it’s just an overall design issue.
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The term Steampunk fits I think? There should be a whistle attached somewhere and a bevel-drive gizmo-something running off the side, and sections wrapped in crocodile skin.
The top die-head is shared with the earlier RCBS progressive press, the “Ammomaster”, and it is changeable but not that easily – it would be a bit like removing your tires to change the transmission, or visa versa…
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I don’t have a powder measure rigged-up and have to buy one, so I don’t know if it throws everything onto the floor…

Meanwhile I’m looking for primer tubes and a powder measure…

The Gentleman’s Folder

I’ve had small knives since I was small, but when I was seven, with allowance money earned from making my bed each day and other household chores, I was allowed to buy myself a Cub-Scout lock-blade folder. It required a note from my Mom, and with that the man running the Boy-Scout supply-shop in town sold it to me. Both my older brother and I had those early knives for whittling.
I have a couple Swiss Army knives, a couple Leathermen multi-tools, my Kukri, and some bayonets to go with various rifles; the Krag pig-sticker, a Utica M1 Garand bayo and an Arial Cutlery M1 Carbine bayo. Swords have always held a certain appeal, and I was fencing (foil and saber) for a few years in College and – but I’m not a big knife-guy, not much more than utilitarian purposes require.
The household kitchen is well equipped with German steel, but I mainly prepare food nowadays with a couple Japanese Santoku’s we picked up at Long’s on Maui when the condo-provided implements proved to savagely dull and unworkable.
And so anyhow, I got a hankering for a blade that would compliment the Gentleman’s Heater I recently acquired.  Something stainless with bone scales. I looked online at Amazon and came across a somewhat familiar name – Kit Carson. The M4.
 



Classy and stylish, the M4 knife hits all the required notes – but I had to get it for another reason. Back in Ancient History Daze, pre-WWII when my dad was a kid, his social-climbing mom went researching the family archives in order to ensure her ability to hob-nob with the local chapter of the DAR – and she came across a family link to the legendary Kit Carson. The real clincher to the DAR membership was a Revolutionary War brigadier general who fought (and was killed) in South Carolina, but Kit Carson was an interesting rock to turn-over, and since early boyhood-time with the Cub-Scout knife and all, I have had a small, reddish-brown, cloth bound book copyright 1941 of the American Adventure Series KIT CARSON – by “Frank L. Beals, Assistant Superintendent Chicago Public Schools.” It’s a kind of school-book or something, with questions at the end of each (short) chapter, and as much Legend and Fable as anything else – but written in pencil are some of the first underlining and notes I ever took. Kit Carson.
(Updated to include links)

The past is another…continent, like Antarctica.

I had some stuff to drop-off at the Animal Shelter – some doggie blankets and a stack of old towels. On the way home in the rain I drove along Highway 237, past a place where I once worked and a low, red-brick bar, where Evel Knievel once got into a dust-up and was arrested for punching his fifth wife – or something. Both buildings obliterated by Time’s all-consuming gray moustach flecked with bits of food.
The wipers made a soft and infrequent ~whap~ as I drove past the former flagship 3-Com campus buildings where I did technical drawings for a year as a temp. Evidence of it’s past association and also the neighboring Palm Computing signs have disappeared beneath the over-arching corporate badges of Marvell Semiconductor. The dive dance-bar was now a gaping hole between two other buildings – at least its absence served as the promise of a new beginning. Further along another ghost appeared in the mist, the old home of Netscape now housing Symantic, and down the street the building where Intel started in 1968.
I made a left and drove home to the mailbox where I pulled out a community flyer on retirement planning and a Crimson Trace catalog… Oh great.

Sharp! (Bonus – 1898 Modified Krag Sight)

You can see the two semi-circles of correction towards the inside above the nose pads, on the upper edge. Like being cross-eyed. I hope this (convergence) works – we’ll find out this weekend if it’s not drenching down rain on Saturday. Forecast is iffy. I have one do-over in case the location of the correction needs to move…
It works pretty good with the Sig when I put my chin on my chest, but I have a fight over which eye to use, and I’m getting a bit of weirdness on the AR’s and again that’s because I’m cross-dominant – but the front sight is clear and sharp now. What’s cool is I CAN see the thin blade of the Krag, way out there beyond my arm’s reach, and see it through the M1898 Modified sight with teeny-tiny flip-up peep! Whoa!
UPDATE:  During the time it was in service Ordnance messed around with sights on the Krag like crazy, and initially the M1898 sight had two extra sight-grooves left and right of center for windage shots.  In 1900 they recalled all of the 1898 sights and ground-off the weirdness because it was awkward and confusing, and continued to use the modified sights conventionally. You can see the ground-down portions in the overhead view. Then in 1902 the final sight was standardized which was generally a duplicate of the 1898 but without the extra sight grooves to the left and right of center, and a more rounded curve to the backside. In between they had a different 1901 sight that was like the Carbine sight but with different graduations, a camming lever that allowed you to drift the sight in an arc for windage changes, and the whole thing elevated way-up for volly-fire.
Model 1901 – see how the front is drifted off to the left side?

Flipped around, there’s the lever to loosen or tighten it down.

 Model 1901 sight all stood-up.

As always, click to super-size the pics.