Mossberg 464 SPX

by Woodsbum

This last weekend I finally got a chance to get out and put some rounds down range with my new Mossberg 464 SPX. For those of you who are not familiar with this rifle, it is most easily described as a “tactical” lever action 30-30. Here is a picture of the rifle from the Mossberg website.

Mossberg 464 SPX

Mossberg 464 SPX

When I first saw this rifle, I really wanted it only as a joke. It is ugly, feels like an over priced novelty, and really made me think that a bunch of engineers were disgruntled when they pushed this out the door. Since I really wasn’t expecting much from this rifle and my reasoning for buying it was to annoy anyone who needed to borrow a deer gun, I let it sit untested in my safe for over 5 months.

Let me first start off this review by reiterating how ridiculous this thing is. The lever feels like it is going to break. The fit and finish is more like a $100 Savage .22 than a $500 30-30. It really is just a rifle that no one should ever own……

Then you fire it……

Holy crap! This is one of my new favorite rifles to shoot. The angle and ATI padded, adjustable stock look hideous, but makes it where you can barely feel any recoil. After the first handful of reloaded rounds I actually began to snicker at how well it performed. Then I went back to the basement and grabbed a whole pocket full of loads. There were cartridges with 110, 150, 170 and even a couple 200 grain bullets and every one seemed to hit the snowballs I was shooting at. After this pocketful was gone, I ran back to the basement for more cartridges. After I had shot up all my father’s reloads (about 70ish) I pulled out a couple factory boxes with 150 grain round nose.

Shooting the SPX

Shooting the SPX

This rifle is an absolute riot. By the time I froze out and needed some time snuggling with the wood burning stove (it was about 25 degrees not accounting for wind chill), I had shot over 100 rounds through this thing. When I got inside and thawed out, I realized that I had done nothing to this rifle but take it out of the box. It was taken from the store to my safe, then from my safe to my father’s (in the back of the truck with my dog) to shoot. There literally was no love given to this rifle before the initial test. Of course I used the “official” rifle testing stance: shooting it one handed, into a hillside, wearing welding gloves, from around a tree, eyes closed, and other hand covering my nether region for protection.

Again, the rifle feels like a WalMart special and looks like it was the unloved child of a rocky, one night stand between an AR 15 and a Winchester 94. It is truly a terrible looking and feeling rifle, until you shoot it. All the looks, fit and finish are immediately out the window once you pull the trigger. My brother, who only likes the “traditional” lever rifles like his Winchester 94 in .32 Winchester Special, was giggling like a little school girl while running around too look for more rounds.

Okay, here are a few of the really good things about this rifle:

  • The stock geometry reduces the recoil to an almost negligible amount. Whatever recoil is left is well absorbed by the ATI stock.
  • The sights are amazing. They are fiber optic 3 dot sights that almost glow even in really low light.
  • Even though the lever feels flimsy and I was concerned about the action, there was never even a scuff on the brass or slightest of issue with cycling. The rounds just glided into the magazine tube, out the tube and into the chamber and then easily expended into my hand to shove back into my pocket. I never dropped a single round of loaded or expended brass in the cold, nastiness in which we shot.
  • The angles are perfect and it is very easy to just toss this rifle up to get a good site picture. There is none of the “head migration” thing that needs to take place until you get a comfortable spot to rest your cheek. It is simply a comfortable rifle to shoot.
  • This thing is also quite lightweight. I could see myself collapsing the stock and strapping it to a backpack.
  • With the matte finish and plastic furniture, the weather does not have that much of an ill affect on this rifle. My brother had to Barrocade the crap out of his .32 before and after shooting to keep rust off of it. I just tossed mine into the back of my truck and dusted it off when I got home.
  • It annoys the hell out of anyone that doesn’t shoot it. This is a huge plus when you shoot around the “Name Brand Elitists” that hate anything that didn’t get all 5 star reviews from AR15.com.

I would have to say that I now highly recommend this rifle. It is very enjoyable to shoot and mine functioned flawlessly considering how poorly I treated it……

Just so everyone knows, I am going to clean it up and give it a spa treatment tonight. It deserves it.

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Apple Pie

by Woodsbum

With Christmas right around the corner, it is time for me to start making my specialty booze. I normally make Apple Pie, Amaretto, and Kahlua. This last weekend was my Apple Pie run.

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

My recipe is essentially the following:

  • 3 frozen apple juice concentrate cans
  • Apple cider
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups Capt Morgan Spice Rum
  • High proof grain alcohol
  • Cinnamon sticks

What I do is the following:

  1. Mix the apple juice cans, about a quart of the apple cider (if using 180+ proof grain alcohol), and the brown sugar in a large pot and bring it to the spot where it is almost, but not quite boiling.
  2. Add your Capt Morgan Rum
  3. Remove the pot from heat and move it to a place AWAY from flame or hot burner. Add your grain alcohol. If you are using single run moonshine, you might want to cut down on the apple cider at first. Try to eyeball a mixture that will give you about 45% – 50% alcohol by volume. If you are running 180-190 proof booze, you need to just do about a 50/50 mix. If you are using 120 proof stuff you might want to sub out some the cider for an additional concentrated juice can to do a more 2/3 booze to 1/3 boiled stuff mix.
  4. When you get it all added and mixed, move the pot back to the heat. Heat it up again to the point where you are starting to get some decent steam, but NOT boiling.
  5. Take off the heat and put in Mason jars with a cinnamon stick or two. I use 1 stick per pint of Apple Pie. This seems to give the best flavor in my opinion.

(Optional) You can add a vanilla bean or two to each jar if you wish. This gives is a nice, smooth finish. When I use vanilla beans, I go big and put in several. I figure the cinnamon and vanilla can just fight it out to see what flavor rules.

Once in a jar, make sure you let it sit for a few days at least. The longer that it sits, the more mellow and smooth the drink is. Some stuff I have had that was sitting for almost a year was so smooth that you couldn’t taste the alcohol, but was still sitting at over 100 proof.

When I start on my other boozes, I will add those recipes as well. My Kahlua is really incredible.

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Sick Again

by Woodsbum

Long story short………. I have been sick as a dog, again. The last time I was seen, I was given an antibiotic via injection. Well, come to find out, the clinic also slipped in tetanus and flu vaccine into the same syringe even though I declined them. Yes, you heard that right. They slipped in the vaccines into the same syringe that held the antibiotic. I wasn’t told about it until after I saw the paperwork and questioned them. They literally SHRUGGED when I reminded them that I had declined the flu and tetanus shots.

Flu shots ALWAYS make me very susceptible to each and every bug that passes my way. It has always been that way for me and I suspect that it always will. Suffice it to say that I have been stuck with yet another bout of the “crud”.

I am sorry for the sporadic posts, but when I feel like a bucket of smashed assholes the last thing that I want to do is start typing for my own pleasure.

Some good news, however. I ripped the engine to my old Dodge apart and found out why it was not working. My cylinder heads had to be rebuilt, will be replacing a few pistons and swapping out all the piston rings in the next week or two. Once that is done, my truck should then run. In hindsight I really should have just ripped the truck apart and rebuilt it myself. It would have saved me a few thousand dollars and I would have had it back on the road already.

There will be a post in the next couple days about what I found on my engine, the great work that Tom’s Performance did on the heads, and rest of the work I am doing to fix the damage of the long block I got from S&J.

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Interesting Division of America

by Woodsbum

I really try not to get political on my blog. This is due to risks associated with alienating people, goes against my original goal of creating a place that I can point people to as a reference, and (lastly) due to the over-abundance of hate that is already circulating the Internet. I did find this NY Times article quite intereresting, however.

Here is the article so that I can have access to it for future, personal reference. I ask that you visit the NY Times site and read the article by Tim Wallace dated November 16, 2016 for there are several links that you might find interesting at the bottom of the page.

*************************************************************************

For many Americans, it feels as if the 2016 election split the country in two.

To visualize this, we took the election results and created two new imaginary nations by slicing the country along the sharp divide between Republican and Democratic Americas.

Trump’s America

Geographically, Donald J. Trump won most of the land area of the United States. A country consisting of areas he won retains more than 80 percent of the nation’s counties.

While Trump country is vast, its edges have been eroded by coastal Democrats, and it is riddled with large inland lakes of Clinton voters who were generally concentrated in dense urban areas.

Clinton’s America

Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won the cities, like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City, but Mr. Trump won many of the suburbs, isolating the cities in a sea of Republican voters.

Mrs. Clinton’s island nation has large atolls and small island chains with liberal cores, like college towns, Native American reservations and areas with black and Hispanic majorities. While the land area is small, the residents here voted for Mrs. Clinton in large enough numbers to make her the winner of the overall popular vote.

Land Area

Clinton’s America

15% 530,000 square miles

Trump’s America

85% 3,000,000 square miles

Population

Clinton’s America

54% 174 million

Trump’s America

46% 148 million

Popular Vote

As of Wednesday, Nov. 16.

For Clinton

50.4% 61.8 million

For Trump

49.6% 60.8 million

***********************************************************************

Seeing as how I have beliefs that are a complete 180 from those that voted around me, I feel quite helpless, under represented, and almost a complete outsider in my own community. To make it worse, I see an unbelievable amount of hate being spewed from the mouths of innocent children. As an example, I witnessed middle school and high school children leave school to go “protest” the fact that Trump won the most recent election. Whether you believe that this is okay or not, I would hope that you agree that using children to prove your point is wrong. Kids today are being used by political activists to further an agenda. Let these poor kids take time to learn history, mathematics, English, and the sciences rather than learning how to dissent and argue.

I really am beginning to be scared for my grandchild who must endure this sort of national divide, biased educational system, and somehow become a good person that makes his own choices based upon a good, moral upbringing. I just hope that we can move to a place where I am surrounded by more like minded people before things get worse. Either that or I hope that people start to understand more, argue less, and let actual facts over rule emotion.

God bless us……

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How Much Brass do I have?

by Woodsbum

I collect range brass everywhere I go. When I find spent cases from calibers that I reload, I am as giddy as a fat kid in front of a dessert buffet. The only problem I have run into was estimating how many cases I have collected. Of course I don’t want to sit there and count out every single one of my little treasures, so I was pretty pleased to find this basic chart. It only has a few calibers, but lucky for me I reload for all these except the .40 S&W.

Case weight chart

Case weight chart

Now I can get some relatively good guesses at how many cases I have collected without having to sit there and count out all my brass. A point to note is that these estimates are all based upon uncleaned, fired cases with the primer remaining…..  ie range scrounged pieces of candy!

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