Thursday, April 30, 2015

Redding #2 Powder Scale

After loading up some .308 on Tuesday I came to the conclusion that the Lee scale I've had for several years is a total POS. It's hard to zero, too light so that it moves if you look at it wrong, and just feels cheap. So,  I got a Redding #2 powder scale from Amazon to replace it. It's ~5x the price of the Lee but it's much nicer and easy to zero. Additionally, the Redding will measure up to 505 grains, vs. the 100 grain capacity of the Lee.

I also got a set of Lyman check weights, and according to them, the Redding scale is right on.

Note: A lot of reloading equipment is from Lee. E.g., Classic Turret Press, various sets of dies, hand priming tool, and a bullet sizing die. They work great and fantastic values, but their powder scale just isn't up to snuff, IMHO.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow

The Barnett Recruit Recurve crossbow that I ordered from Amazon came today. Intended quarry include deer, feral cats, and zombies.

Just kidding about the cats.

I went with a recurve crossbow because I wanted a simpler, more user-serviceable design.

The kit included the bow, 3 hex wrenches, red/green dot sight, quiver, 3 Easton XX75 bolts with 100 grain field points, a spare bolt retaining spring, and a tube of string wax the size of a Chapstick. I also ordered 2 x 5 packs of carbon bolts w/100 grain field tips, along with a rope cocking device (RCD) and extra string wax. The RCD and extra wax were shipped separately and got delayed. (I think they are using USPS for the second package. Grrrrr.)

The draw weight is 150 lbs. with a 12.5" power stroke and I'm just able to cock it without the RCD as long as I wear gloves, so I took 3 shots after I put it together. Point of aim was the bullseye on the deer's chest in the pic below. The trigger isn't bad; Barnett advertises it at 3.5 pounds. The distance to target was ~10 yards. I'll zero the sight after I get the RCD. There's a fair amount of vibration when it's shot so I'm glad that I used blue Loctite on the screws when I assembled it.

"Muzzle" velocity is supposed to be ~245 FPS. The minimum weight bolt you can shoot is 340 grains but Barnett recommends a 400 grain bolt (including the point). The fiberglass prod came strung, which greatly eased assembly. I need to pick up a stringer and a spare string.

The crossbow only weighs about 5 pounds as you see it above, a lot less than the compound xbows I've held. The width is around 27" so it doesn't feel cumbersome. It has studs for QD sling swivels and the LOP is adjustable. It has an "anti dryfire" safety. Unless there's a bolt loaded you cannot disengage the safety. I need to figure out a way to make the safety quieter because it's kind of screechy (metal rubbing on metal).

Barnett recommends that you wax the string serving and flight rails every 5 or 6 shots to reduce wear, and to wax the whole string when white fuzz appears.

My initial impressions of this crossbow are good. We'll really see how it shoots once I get the cocking device and get the chance to wring it out.

Edit 4/22/15 to add:

The package with my extra string wax and rope cocking device arrived this evening and I was able to take a few more shots with the crossbow. The RCD makes a huge difference in cocking the bow. I will probably shorten the RCD a little, to make it a little easier to use with this setup.

One more accessory I'm going to see if I can find is a small stock pack that I can strap to the buttstock. I'd use it to store the RCD, a tube of wax, and hex wrenches on the bow.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

New iPhone 6

Last night I went to the local Verizon Wireless store and upgraded my phone from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6. The 5 was about two years old and starting to get sluggish, plus the battery life was deteriorating.

Since I backup my phone to my laptop, I had to wait until I got home to restore from the backup, but before doing so had to upgraded iOS on the new phone. That went pretty smoothly, except that I had to delete and reinstall CloudMagic before it would let me setup my work Exchange account.

So far, what I like about the new phone is the greater capacity (64 Gb vs. 32 Gb), faster CPU, better call quality, and larger screen. I am not wild about the smooth rounded sides, which make it less secure when holding it. However, I have a Magpul case on order from Amazon which should arrive tomorrow to eliminate that concern.

I'm hoping that the iPhone 6 will have better battery life than the 5 but it's too early to tell. The camera should be better, based on the pictures I've seen taken with my wife's iPhone 6.