2020 Goals

So we’re pretty well into the first month of the new year – 2020. In all honesty, I was glad to see 2019 go (one reason here). 2019 was a rough year for the clan here. Not to mention all the shenanigans in Washington DC, I’ve just reached my limit on the clowns in DC. I’m glad to move and start out new. New year, new start, new goals. I rarely make New Year resolutions and didn’t this year. But I do make life goals. Here’s a few that I made prior to the end of last year that I’ll be pursuing this year.

I have set a goal to learn Morse Code. Morse Code you ask? Yeah, that old timey communication network used back in the 19th century. I became a licensed amateur radio operator a few years back and it’s just the natural progression of the hobby. Even having been licensed for a few years, I still consider myself a beginner. I don’t have a radio or electronics background, so all of this is very new to me. I have a couple antennas up and some radios, but I really just tinker a lot and listen in. I’ve made a few contacts around the states, but don’t really have the equipment for long distance voice calls. So that’s one of the reasons I want to get into Morse (or CW as the hobby calls it), you can send much further distances on much less power – right up my alley.

Another goal is to get loads worked up for some rifles I have. I don’t have the time to reload as much as I’d like but I find it a very rewarding part of the shooting and hunting hobby (of which this site is mostly centered around). A couple of years ago, I worked up a load for my Marlin 1895 in 45-70 and took a deer with it that season. That was highly satisfying. I’d like to replicate that on a couple other rifles I’ve acquired over the last couple of years and do the same.

I have a goal to go Antelope hunting as well. I put in for a tag in 2019 but didn’t make the lottery. Not sure how long I have to apply before my tag would get pulled, but I plan to apply this year as well. Oh and I plan to use my Plains Rifle traditional muzzleloader. I think that would be a blast to pull off. I know this goal isn’t all on me, but it’s still out there.

What hunting or shooting goals (or any really) have you all set for this year? Post them in the comments below!

Range Time

Spent some time at the range this last weekend testing some new reloads for the rifles. Pretty much settled on the bullet and powder for the 30-30. Still working on the bullet for the 45-70 and not real sure about the powder yet either.

On the 30-30, I’ve settled on 3031 for the powder. I didn’t see too much difference with H4895 that I compared it to. The Speer Hot-Cor bullet I used performed tremendously. Now I have to just find more of them! They’ve been out for months. I just want to tweak the charge a bit first and see if I can squeek a bit more performance out of it.

On the 45-70, I’m down to H4895 or black powder, just depends on the round I settle on. More range time needed there (and who can complain about that?). I recently put an Wild West Trigger Kit on it and man, what a difference that made. The rifle had a strong trigger before, now it’s down to about 3-3 1/2 pound pull. Beautiful. Best $90 bucks I’ve spent on that Marlin. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed in the rifle, but that new trigger has made all the difference in it. I can’t recommend it enough.

I also played around with my wife’s crossbow, trying to learn how they work. I know next to nothing about archery. I’m fairly certain that the string needs replaced. I just don’t think it’s getting the performance it should be getting, so I’m guessing the ¬†string and cables are probably shot. That’s my guess. I’ll have to take it down to the local archery shop and see what they say.

So that’s the report, great couple of hours at the range. One of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in my opinion.

2013 Summer Biathlon

A couple buddies and I ran the Summer Biathlon this year. This is my 3rd time, but the first for both of them. Let me tell you, if you’re a runner and/or a shooter, this is a lot of fun. Best way to combine 2 of my favorite past times.

If you’ve never heard of this event, basically it’s the same as the Winter Biathlon, only you run rather then ski. It’s a 5k and you shoot between each mile. Believe me, it really tests your skills.

My buddies are Ed and Keith, both first timer to a Biathlon. And this year it was pouring! Still was a great time even though we were all soaked to the bones. Here’s some photos of the event.

Dry and happy before the race
Dry and happy before the race

Me coming in after my first mile
Me coming in after my first mile

Keith shooting prone after the first mile
Keith shooting prone after the first mile

Ed shooting after the 2nd mile
Ed shooting after the 2nd mile

2nd round for me
2nd round for me

2nd round for Keith
2nd round for Keith

Finishing up
Finishing up


Smith & Wesson Model 10 38 Special

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that besides being avid hunters, we also collect firearms. Or wish we could collect firearms. Or wish we had the extra money to collect guns. But you get the point.

I’ve always been a revolver guy and I’ve been looking to pick up an S&W Model 60 in .357. In the course of that search, I managed to aquire an S&W Military and Police Model 10 in .38 Special. It happened to be my late father in law’s and we believe in may have been his first service gun or at least one of his first. My mother in law still had it with the original box, papers and the receipt when he bought it. He paid $125 for it in 1982.

It’s a pretty sweet pistol. There’s just a bit of holster wear, but the trigger still has a nice feel to it. It’s a bit big for conceal carry, which is why I’m looking at a model 60. But it should handle the 38 +P rounds (from what I’ve read) since it’s the k frame. I’m just wondering about its age. It’s just a bit heavy to stick in the small of my back, it’d probably drag my pants down. I’m looking into a holster for that though. He had a number engraved in the side of it, no one is sure what it means.

I’ve been itching to get it out to the range and put a few rounds through it, but haven’t had the opportunity to get out yet. Hopefully that will change in the next couple of weeks as I’m planning on joining the Chisholm Trail Gun Club here. I’ll post back here how it performs just as soon as I fling some lead through it.

Anyway, happy shooting and keep your powder dry.


Of Guns and Knives

Wow, I can’t believe that summer is half over already. All it seems I’ve done is work. I still have yet to take a vacation. I haven’t even had time to post to the blog. It’s kind of hard to post about hunting when there isn’t any hunting to be done. But that will be remedied in about 2 months when dove season starts and of course, muzzleloading deer season. So here’s what I’ve been up to this summer so far, besides working like a dog at my day job.

I went through conceal carry class and turned in my application. Forty five days and I’ll join the ranks of the CCW crowd. Don’t ask me why I wanted to take it. I don’t necessarily feel scared and need to carry a gun. I did it more for the fact that I could, since Kansas is a CCW state. And to poke my finger at the anti-gun crowd. It will keep the stats way on the positive side and make their lies all the more noticeable. I’m still trying to ultimately decide what I’m going to carry, when I do. I have a Glock model 27, or rather, the good wife does. It was her father’s duty gun, he was in law enforcement for various departments. But I’m not a huge fan of Glocks. I’m more of a revolver guy and have been drawn towards a S&W model 60 in .357. We’ll see, I have time.

Phase 1 of the Bolte Skinner
Phase 1 of the Bolte Skinner

I’ve also done a bit of shooting here and there. The last time out, I went with Keith’s dad out to his gun club and watched a black powder match. I’m really considering joining the club. It’s reasonably priced, but a bit of a drive considering I live roughly 15 minutes from¬† another range. I’d save money in the long run and could go whenever I wanted if I joined, as opposed to 2 weekends a month at the close range. Plus they have a 200 yard range and lots of different types of shooting out there including cowboy action. OK, I’ve talked myself into it.

The other project I started is making my own skinning knife. I did some reading and saw what some were doing with old hand saw blades. So I got an old saw from my dad, and here is the knife I cut out. I’ve done a little work on the edge, but still have a lot to do. I have some cabinet maple scraps that I’m going to use for a handle. I’m a little skeptical that this blade will hold any kind of edge, it seemed a little soft when I was grinding on it. But we’ll see, it might be more a proof of concept than anything. It’s been fun so far though.

So that’s what I’ve been up to this summer. I’m really looking forward to deer season this year. I have so much to make up for from last season. I also really want to get those Marlins out as well. So what have the rest of you been up to this summer? Anyone ready for hunting season to kick off?

At the Range

I spent Saturday shooting with my hunting buddy. Both Marlins are shooting great at 50 yards. Took some shots with the 50 cal plains rifle (there is only 3 1/2 months until muzzleloading deer season by the way!). And we did a bunch of pistol shooting.

I’m planning on taking my conceal carry exam this summer, but I need more practice before taking the class. I don’t get around to shooting my handguns as much as I should. Keith gave me some good tips and I did pretty well. Another couple of times at the range and I think I’ll be ready. I do need to find a class and get signed up for it. I need to do some looking around and find out who teaches it around here.

The Marlins are doing great so far. Each time I get them out, I’m more and more impressed. No wonder this rifle has been so popular for so many decades. We got the iron sights adjusted for 50 yards. I managed a bullseye at 50 yards with the scoped Marlin. A few more sessions at the range at 100 yards should do the trick for those two rifles.

Keith brought out his 30-40 Krag and put a few rounds down range. What a sweet shooting gun that is. First time out with it and it hardly needed adjusting. Smoothest bolt action I’ve ever felt.

I also managed to get some shooting done with the Plains Rifle. I was pleased with the results, especially after the disappointing year I had last deer hunting season. I seemed to get a better understanding of the site picture. Now I just need more range time to make sure I’m repeating the results.

So, all in all, it was a great day. There’s just nothing better than spending a day shooting with a buddy. I wished I would have remembered a camera. We shot up an old computer of his (sorry Dell!). The Dell logo made a great target circle. And for me, destroying a computer like that just puts my soul at peace. A 50 cal round ball sure puts a nice big hole in the thing!

Keep your powder dry.

Signting In The Marlins, Round 1

Finally had a chance to get the Marlins to the range last weekend. It was my first attempt at sighting in a scoped rifle. We didn’t do to bad. The Good Wife’s shoulder started bothering her after a while so we stopped after we finished up at 50 yards. I guess I need to watch how she’s holding it in her shoulder.

We still have some work to do yet, we were pretty close at 50 yards. Still needed to get the windage in before moving out to 100 with the scoped rifle. I have some adjusting to do with the rear site on the other one, didn’t have the time out there.

The open sight rifle is shooting to the right. So I need to adjust the rear sight some to compensate. I was shooting Federal and Remington rounds through it. The scoped rifle started out to the right and low also. I don’t have much experience shooting a scoped rifle, so it was all new. Can’t say I disliked it. We only shot the Federal ammo in it this time.

Below are the results:

Target from 50 yards from the scoped Marlin
Target from scoped Marlin at 50 yards

Target from 25 and 50 yards from the open sight Marlin
Target from 25 and 50 yards from the open sight Marlin