Thursday, November 22, 2012

New Hickory Flat Bow

Back on August 20th I placed an order with for two of his unfinished "Classic Hunter" 64" hickory longbows. Before ordering I'd read mixed online reviews of, which gave me a little pause. However, at $114.95 shipped for two bows I decided to chance it. Delivery was expected in 8 to 10 weeks. I finally got them the other day, on 11/19.

Incidentally, I checked the other day and the website now says that he only sells items that are already in stock, only accepting custom orders from vendors or bulk purchases. Earlier this month the site was down for maintenance, so I'm guessing that he was so backordered he didn't want to take on any more business.

The bows came packed bound together with cardboard over the tips, all covered with a heavy duty plastic sheath-type packaging, with no padding. They came undamaged, thankfully.

The first bow has a left handed grip with a draw weight of 50#, while the second one has a primitive, ambidextrous grip, and a draw weight of 45#. Each bow came fitted with a well-waxed brown Flemish twist string. The string came unserved and without a nocking point set.

The bows are of the American flatbow style. I.e., the limbs have a rectangular cross section, not the D-shape of an English longbow.

One of my friends is planning to buy the 45# ambidextrous bow, while I'm keeping the LH 50# bow.

I inspected the bows carefully before stringing them. The tiller is even on both bows and the grain looks OK.

Along with the bows I ordered a set of faux copperhead snake skins to use as a backer. They look OK although I'm sure that real snake skins would look better. They would be more expensive, of course. I'm not impressed with the "snake skins" and left them off for now.

The unfinished bow:

To finish the 50 pounder, last night I lightly sanded it to 400 grit, then wiped it down with a clean paper towel wet with mineral spirits. After the bow dried I sanded it again with 400 grit paper and once more wiped it down with mineral spirits. I then gave it two coats of Watco Danish Oil with a medium walnut tint. I let the oil dry overnight.

This morning I cut a piece of leather and glued it to the arrow shelf. I also cut a piece of "Super Pad" silencing material and applied it as a strike plate. Then, before stringing it, I added otter fur silencers to the string. Once strung I served the string with some artificial sinew to both protect the center of the string, and also to fatten it so my arrow nocks snap onto it. I also made a nocking point with a shorter length of the artificial sinew.

I set the fistmele at about 6.5" by twisting the Flemish string to shorten it.

A closeup of the riser:

After letting the cement holding the arrow rest on dry for awhile, I did some shooting. It feels like it might be a little heavier than 50# but I expect it to settle it a bit. It shoots fast with little to no hand shock, depending on how tightly I grip the riser. It is dead silent.

After I was done shooting I brought the bow inside and gave it a coat of Sno Seal, which is a beeswax based compound intended for waterproofing leather. I've used it on other wood items before and it works nicely in this application. Other options for finishing the wood would be another coat of Danish Oil, tung oil, or a spray on polyurethane clear coat.

While I was a bit disappointed in the longer than expected delivery time, I am very pleased with the bow itself. It feels great in the hand and shoots well.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How to properly use the Mosin Nagant stripper clip

If you've ever tried to load a Mosin-Nagant rifle using stripper clips, you you know that it can be frustrating. Here's how to do it correctly:

Note that because of the cartridge interruptor in the Mosin-Nagant's magazine, rim position should be irrelevant. In my experience with several M-N rifles reality diverged from theory. I tested the method with my Ishevsk M1938 carbine and VKT m/1939 rifle, and it works with both.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Bread, Circuses, and Vaginas

Well, it’s now official. The Free Shit Army is in control of this country, and as time goes on its numbers will only grow. It’s only a matter of time before this country is Greece on meth.

Last night’s results pretty much confirmed Romney’s statement that about half the country is more interested in receiving government than in any kind of fiscal responsibility.

We have a government that’s made it too easy to not work, and instead live off the public dole. It used to be that if you couldn’t find work in one part of the country you’d move to where the work is. Moreover, there is no longer any shame in being on the dole. Hell, plenty of people revel in it. Instead, the long term unemployed sit on their bums collecting unemployment, then disability, then welfare, and work that Americans used to do is performed by illegal immigrants grateful to have any chance at a better life.

The election also confirmed that if the Republicans ever want to win a national election, opposition to abortion needs to be dropped from the party’s platform. Dems and the mainstream media masterfully injected the issue into an election that should have been about the economic and foreign policy failures of the Obama administration. But GOP candidates can’t help but offer up juicy sound bites like “legitimate rape” to the MSM when asked about abortion. Most people aren’t political wonks and don’t analyze issues in depth.

If you can shout loud enough at women that Republican men are gonna be all up in their vaginas, the GOP will lose. Like it or not, that drove enough women into voting for big government Democrats to help clinch Obama’s second term.

Likewise, dump the institutional opposition to gay marriage. Why in the hell is this being pushed as a Federal issue to begin with? While gays may be a minority, they are very vocal, over-represented in the media, and have a lot of straight people who agree with them on this issue.

It didn’t help things that the GOP further fucked itself by pandering to Latinos by not enforcing immigration laws. Yeah, Latinos are social conservatives who will vote on those lines. How did that work out?

Compounding all this is a media that with one hand feeds us meaningless pap to distract us from the real issues, and then with the other hand fails to cover the real issues. People are so concerned with bullshit like American Idol that even if they are informed of scandals like Fast and Furious or the Benghazi cover up, they soon lose interest. Forget about justice for our murdered Border Patrol agents, several hundred murdered Mexicans, and the Americans killed in Libya while Obama and his cabinet denied them help in real time.

Welcome to the United Socialist States of America.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Backup Power

Over on Survival & Emergency Preparedness, I've put up a post about my plans for backup power for my home.

Read it here.

Short Range Day

Today I was able to make a quick trip to the range with my Ruger 22/45 Lite and my Springfield XD-9.

I started out with the Ruger. Unfortunately, I accidentally left the Bushnell TRS-25 on the last time I had the gun out of its case, so the battery was dead. I didn't have a spare with me. Annoying, to say the least, especially since my primary reason for going to the range today was to zero the Bushnell.

Anyway, I was able to do some function testing with Remington Golden Bullet .22s by aiming through the dot sight, using only the pistol's front sight. Doing so I was shooting very high, so I aimed at the bottom of my target at 15 yards. I was able to put about 60 rounds of the Remingtons through the gun without any malfunctions. The Golden Bullets weren't very accurate in the other .22s I've fired them in, so once I get back to the range with a functional dot sight, it'll be interesting to see how well they group in the Ruger.

Of note, the GBs have a larger hollow point than most other bulk pack .22 LR loads, so they might be useful for varmint control at close range. (In my other .22s. Semiauto pistols are illegal for hunting in PA.)

My experience today with the Springfield XD-9 was more positive. I brought along 150 rounds -- 100 Brown Bear 115 grain FMJ and 50 PMC 115 grain FMJ. I shot 130 of them at 25 yards, and kept almost all my shots inside the -1 zone on my IDPA target. About half of them were in the -0 zone.

As expected, the Springfield ran like a top. In fact, since I've owned it I probably have close to 1,000 rounds through it and as far as I can remember, I have not experienced any malfunctions. Most of the rounds through it have been ball, but about 100 were Speer 124 grain Gold Dot JHPs. I used it in the 2009 zombie shoot at Langhorne Rod and Gun Club, where it got soaked because it rained all day. No problems there, either.

After I got home and cleaned the pistols, I installed a Tandem Kross stainless steel hammer bushing in the Ruger. In doing so, I removed the magazine disconnector, which prevents the hammer from dropping if you pull the trigger with no magazine in the gun. This make field stripping and reassembly more of a PITA, because you have to drop the hammer at various stages of these processes. It also allows the magazine to drop free when you press the mag catch.

While I had the hammer out of the gun I also lightly stoned the sear engagement notch on the hammer to smooth the trigger pull.

Overall, it was a productive day, even if I didn't accomplish everything I set out to do.