After 125 rounds birdshot (between #7-1/2 and # 9loads), 25 #00-buckshot and 5 slugs, there’s only a little redness and a bit of soreness, but nothing like bruising – and the overall impressions from taking training with Joe Truesdale and Sean Young are very favorable. The class was conducted totally with safety in mind, it was well organized with well thought-out drills, and it was LOADS of fun.
The course consisted of a series of well-planned and executed drills that developed familiarity with the operation and manipulation of the shotgun, from correct (the modern method) shouldering of the arm, to “patterning” the gun, to extensive re-loading practice – all the drills and exercises culminated in a new-found capability that was confidence inspiring and rewarding.
My GOOD: As a complete novice to Shotgunnery (apart from briefly playing dumbass with Chris Byrne’s Anti-Feinstein mega-shotgun at the Rendezvous), I would have to say this experience and the knowledge delivered by Joe rates right up there. The exercises repeatedly helped in-gain some pathways and responses in WTF situations. I’m no longer a total unfamiliar spazz with the pump-action.
My BAD: The Mossberg rear ghost-ring I added-on worked perfectly, and it’s a BIG ghost-ring – but without the properly corresponding-height front-sight, the additional thickness of the sight itself added elevation that was a takeaway at distance, and got worse. At 45-yards, in order to hit the target’s head-box with a slug I had to hold on the target’s nuts. So my bad there, we’ll fix it.
Otherwise awesomeness!

Shotgun Fun etc.

Defensive Shotgun Level 1, coming up at tomorrow, so I have to get up at 6:00AM…OMG!

UPDATE: Running the pump all day get’s a little tiresome and wearing. With a full load it’s muzzle heavy, but it disappears fast. Drills were drilled and practiced, and the main thing I come back with its there’s a lot of reloading going on. And then when you find the choice needs to move-up to more blast-o-rama, and you want to switch out to a slug or 00Buck, you have spill a couple onto the ground so the next load going in is the engine-block beater… But the “modern method” of shouldering the arm DOES improve on longevity and usability. Tucking the gun well in-board on the chest, chicken-wing elbow down, instead of resting on the bicep is much preferred and thus the short LOP (13″) required is sufficient.

Meanwhile, FunShow results: anybody got a spare set of .44-40 dies? Apparently I am now (or in ten days) a Vaquero owner…

UPDATE: I imagine reloading a SAA is somewhat like reloading a shotgun – more work, leading to an emphasis on accuracy and minimizing that chore…

Ghost Ring

Got the Factory sight-kit the other evening, and after fiddling around managed to get the rear installed. The front requires silver-soldering and I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna be able to get that done with a soldering pencil. Anyhow it’s looking pretty decent; klicken zum Vergrößerung.
While other photo weenies have returned to the Glories of the Past, I guess I had enough of that. And at the time and having been forcibly moved-on there’s not much un-spent baggage left strewn about the lawn. I am enjoying the abilities of this modest little (albeit obsolete already) camera – but/and as in the not-so-glorious past, I really seriously hate the whole, “it needs batteries” thing. That didn’t fly in the 3rd World where electricity was scarce and weird, and batteries became unglued and weep nasty poop on everything. My old ’67 Nikon-F didn’t even have the (ugly and bulky) Photomic metering-viewfinder, it was all mechanical – like a 12-guage.

Hot Ride

The chilly-cold morning gave way to a sun-drenched afternoon up above the inversion layer that blankets The Valley, and despite smashing my finger in the truck door-edge and bending-back a nail while loading some junk at Costco (Gas: $2.29 regular), I felt like going for a ride.
But first, lunch at Papa Gianni’s – the Ravioli for me, and a Salad (dressing on the side) for Her.
I needed 150 rounds of bird-shot (#7-#9) for the SHOTGUN 1, HOME DEFENSE class, and I only had/have a few old boxes of Remington 7-1/2 “Sport Loads” – which I think fits in there between those numbers. Remember folks, I’m not a numbers-guy, to me they’re just weird squiggly neo-letter shapes than can’t be used in Poetry except by ee cummings.
I had acquired a “case” (?) somewhere along the way (at Wal-Mart), at a time when I had rbrowningeally no inkling whatsoever of Shotgunnery. I bought them because I yearned to try-out Grandpa’s old Belgian A5 “Light Twelve” humpback, but being surrounded by rifle-loonies I had no recourse to easy instruction in The Art of The Guage.

Now I do, and I had to pay for it – but I also needed 50-more bird-shot shells. And some slugs. So time to gear-up for a ride up to Hangtown Wal-Mart where I bought what they had, some Winchester Super-Target xtra-lite target loads 1 oz. 9-shot, blah-blah whatever.
So…The Math for Shotgunnery is totally weird to me, worse than rifle calibers and land-vs.-bore dimensions – which I do “get” – and waaay-worse than anything having to do with electricity… Now I have some old 1200fps “3-Dram Eq. 1-1/8 oz. shot 7-1/2-shot” shotgun shells, and also some “1180fps velocity 1 oz. 9-shot” shotgun shells.
Wait a second as I Googl-Fu my way to a smart-math answer: 1oz. = 16 drams. WTF? So how in the HELL does that work again? Shotgun drams are a sneaky volumetric measurement based on shot-size? Ok, whatever. My shoulder will answer to it.
The afternoon Wal-Mart parking-lot was hot and I was perspiring in the black non-breathing Gore-tex multi-weather gear with shoulder and elbow armor, so I unzipped the collar a bit for the ride home. Still chilly in the corner shadows, dark patches made me alert for moisture and the smell of a burn pile in the front-yard mixed with the acidic aroma of horse manure reminded me this is Life in the Country! Whoa, swerve around the dead skunk!
I took El Dorado Road out off Pleasant Valley Road and hopped onto the freeway. The big R1100R easily accelerated into the light stream of traffic coming down The Hill (from Tahoe) and does 80mph just fine. It’s not too buzzy but the flat-twin is just a weird beast that needs a few more cylinders to be smoother I guess, but a triple is a whole ‘nother motorcycle – why I remember listening to the symphony of Bozo’s Laverda Jota heading up to the Sierras to Monitor Pass one summer, and the amazing, booming howl it made when it came on the pipe up in the canyons… Good times.

UPDATE: The luxurious warmth lasted until the sun got behind a few trees and the damn COLD popped-up like a troll from under a bridge or an angry Progtard on Twitter.

Cold wind blowin’ up my skirt

In the morning before it started blowing we cleaned up pine needles and leaves from the butchered plum. A little Cessna trainer flew over repeatedly practicing the approach, while the little 20v. battery-operated Ryobi blower She bought ran out of juice and the wet leaves and pine-needles just stuck to the dirt and tanbark so we collected them by hand and filled a bin.
It’s now sunny and clear and 45° with only a 18-22mph breeze, but the trumpet must be hitting some higher notes as a furled umbrella blew over on the deck. The weatherman this morning said to watch out for windchill, and down in The Valley they’re supposed to be getting 40mph and higher sustained winter breezes, while it should be lighter up here.
I went outside to put the garbage in the waste-bin and the fleece jacket I was wearing felt like a gauzy tissue as the wind blew straight through and tingled my arms – and my nose started to drip from the cold as moisture percolated out.
So I went back inside and through the laundry room into the garage to began clean-up fiddling, with a bunch of mismatched screws and washers and leftover hardware junk from The Move when I dismantled the old Ikea and other pressboard crap-furniture. Both the small and large garage doors were making all kinds of creaky-flexy sounds as the rubber wheels sought to roll up and down the channel and the doors bowed in and out, so there’s some pressure being exerted down the line.
The SGA stock fits the Mossberg fine and me too with only two spacers added, and it’s still under the Awerbuck-recommended 13″ length-of-pull.
Magpul SGA buttstock
UPDATE: This is really ALL thanks to Tam. I used the GG&G forward point swivel instead of the Magpul because – and it worked out with the Bayonet.
Plus I installed the Magpul QD swivel-point on the butt-stock that uses the shortest Allen-head screw supplied and requires placing the (also) supplied 10mm nut in/on a 1/4-inch drive teeny socket on the opposite side. Thanks Tam for all you’ve done for us over the years. I’m sure I only repeat what countless other say, that we miss the learning and sharing comment-opportunity at your blog, and sorry about the tweaker. Happy New Year, now I read you at SWAT.

It Fits!

Despite some internet chatter and misgivings this awesome, semi-old, Marine Corps OK3CS bayonet from the Afghan/Iraq Theater fits my Mossberg 590 just fine. Locks on very tight in fact. WOOT!
USMC Combat Bayonet
“From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli…” Too bad our recent escapade in Tripoli turned out so disastrously, the Current Administration is a one-man wrecking ball – our soldiers and sailors and corpsmen and airmen (and women each-too) deserve so much better.
UPDATE: the Marine bayonet is a bit longer (8-inch blade with a 1-7/8″ serrated section vs. 7-inch blade) and a bit stronger than the Army M9 unit, so good.

Detail Work

Close-up of the new Vang-Comp button. It works well and is larger than the stock Mossberg unit, so somewhat easier to manipulate. It’s just the installation process requires a three-handed grip, with the pinkie reaching up into the receiver cavity – or at least that’s how I did it.

Meanwhile we’re draining the rain-barrels onto the trees as we await a wet weekend with up to three-inches of rain. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Sleep laying down

It’s a lot more satisfying than sitting-up. Also since the diaphragm is not under pressure from other organs stacking-up on it, I think you get more and better airflow – but I’m not an MD so I don’t know the actuals on that, but my walking-around breath seemed a bit short while I was occupied in the upright sleep-position.
We took a bunch of closet items and personal things: clothes and other materials, to the Snowline Hospice re-sale store. They are our main donation location since we don’t do that much with Goodwill up here.
Clear but cool not cold, more rain coming middle of the week.
We take a(nother) day out of the automatic drip rotation this week – so we’re down to one day of watering a week: Sunday. But we (now) have full rain-barrels that we’ll empty each time between storms and rain so that the plants and trees don’t suffer.
The Mossberg is coming along, I think I need to get the off-side (lefty) QD point, two rights don’t make it work, and I still need a bayonet – and a shotgun class. I have the Louis Awerbuck DVD but watching is not doing.

Sling-Swivel Rear

IMGP0046_XX1000Two Phillips-head screws (with one only partially undone) and a 1/2″ socket with about 12-inches of extension got the butt off and I popped in the GG&G swivel-end. It looks nice, is non-rotating, only fits one-way, and seems very sturdy – as long as there are no recoil-related issues with its location near the grip.
IMGP0051_x1000There’s a bit of a gap behind the trigger which could be a mud, dirt, and kack sinkhole – but we are not yet going out there like that, and it could be in-filled by a bit of black silicon caulk from Home Despot if need-be. We should be able to find a sling-vendor at the Funshow this weekend, and throw even more money around.
Am I too glib? Smartass, fluent and voluble, and shallow too – but never insincere. 🙂

Cylinder Bore

IMGP0037_x1000 I wanted to read the text on the barrel so I had to remove the heat-shield and slide it forward. In doing so I had to rediscover (hunt-around for) my Inch-measure Allen wrenches and hex sockets, since everything else I do with tools is Metric. The KTM is metric, and the BMW – hell the Ford F-150 is probably Metric too, but I don’t do anything to it – and around the house Phillips-head screws have no allegiance… The Allen screws pass through a black Delrin (?) spacer in front of the magazine ring/bayonet lug, and on the back-side are retained by 5/16ths nuts – watch out gorilla arms! Don’t over torque this.
So after all that, underneath it all is the roll-stamp that says, “FOR 2 3/4 AND 3 IN. SHELLS, 20 IN. CYLINDER BORE -”
I think the heat-shield is kinda cool, it’s like the old trench-guns. No word yet on whether it makes any damn difference.