Monthly Archives: September 2015

Loads for 45-70

by Woodsbum

Finding reloading data on generic or lesser known bullets is not an easy feat. Most of the time you have to work up your own data. A few months ago I found some 405 gr cast bullets for my 45-70 and spent a lot of time looking for some reloading data so I can get them out and test them. Unfortunately, the data I found was never inclusive of any powder that was available so I have had to back up and “punt.”

In researching other bullet loads I found some data on the use of IMR 3031 that I thought I could use to establish a base and work up some loads from there. While working on this, my father did the same thing with the use of IMR 4198 using the same bullets. Since we had two different powder loads to evaluate, I talked him into getting out his old chronograph and we went out to the gravel pit to do some testing.

First off, his loads are using 40 gr of IMR 4198 and the same 405 gr cast bullets. Since I had not done any real testing yet, I went ahead and put together some ladder tests from 42 gr of IMR 3031 to a max of 49 gr in .5 gr increments. We chronographed each shot to look at the velocity and then checked for pressure signs. Again, all this work was based around finding a good load for the 405 gr cast bullets we picked up. Here is what we found.

My father’s load using 40 gr of IMR 4198 shot at 1702 fps.

My loads worked out as such:
42 gr IMR 3031      1271
42.5 gr IMR 3031   1406
43 gr IMR 3031      1434
43.5 gr IMR 3031   1461
44 gr IMR 3031      1482
44.5 gr IMR 3031   1508
45 gr IMR 3031      1549
45.5 gr IMR 3031   1582 and the primer just began to flatten just a touch
46 gr IMR 3031      1586 and the primer flattened even more
46.5 gr IMR 3031   1589 and the primer flattened as far as I felt was truly safe for brass/rifle

The best range load for this powder, bullet and rifle seems to be around the 45 gr of IMR 3031 mark. Even though I now had loads for 45-70 using these 405 gr cast bullets, I wondered what Hornady 325 gr Leverevolution ammunition would chronograph. It was travelling at 1825 fps. Again, this is 80 gr lighter bullet than the ones we were testing.

Since we were out there I also chronographed my father’s 300 gr hollow point loads. He was using 46.5 gr of IMR 4198 in these cartridges and they came out at 1875 fps.

Lastly, there were some plinking loads that a friend of mine made. He somehow found some 150 gr cast bullets and loaded them up with 11 gr of Trail Boss powder. These seemed to be a very light and fun round to shoot. They were like oversized .22 lr with regard to recoil and sound. Again, we decided that these would be a great small game round and were an absolute blast to play around with. The speeds of these ranged between 1262 and 1283 fps.

My father also brought out his 45-70 Sharpes 34″ barrel rifle to play with. I have excluded the data from that since it really made my little Marlin 1895 GBL look anaemic with regard to the speeds these loads produced.

All said and done it was a great outing. We had a great time and I found that I need to procure myself some IMR 4198 for these heavier grain bullets.

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Signs of Hot Reloads

by Woodsbum

Because I ran some ladder tests and worked up some reloading information for my 45-70 that I was going to post on Wednesday, I felt that it would be prudent to post information regarding the signs of hot reloads and excessive pressure.

The following video covers this quite nicely and has some really good examples of extremes to look for.

Here is another video that goes over pressure and how to evaluate hand loads.

This video discusses how to take listed reloading data and check to ensure you have not exceeded the maximum powder charge.

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FOWD – Characters Are Too Real

by Woodsbum

Gunguy ran across this article and forwarded it to me. I will include the text from that article here and then run through my commentary:


The most political show on television today involves shambling ghouls that feed on human flesh and the meat puppets who try to avoid being feasted upon. “Fear the Walking Dead,” the “Walking Dead” spin-off set at the beginning of the zombie outbreak, offers us a view of the liberal, sensitive type of people who put Obama into office and – probably inadvertently – demonstrates the utter moral and intellectual bankruptcy of everything they believe in.

Modern liberalism is an unfortunate byproduct of civilization. The fact that our lives are not largely devoted to hunting and gathering food and fighting off marauders who would rape, enslave, and/or kill us, allows a large segment of our society to forget that this is the natural state of man. You didn’t have liberals in the Dark Ages because a liberal would last about ten seconds, expiring with a spear through his guts after telling the local warlord that he disapproved “of this patriarchal, phallocentric, cisnormative power structure.”

Now, of course a substantial number of Americans pay tribute to humanity’s past by understanding human nature and often by preparing to confront the forces of chaos. These people are conservatives. We conservatives expect problems, and expect that we will have to solve them ourselves. We generally know how to hunt, to gather food, and we have guns and know how to use them. And we understand that society always – always – teeters on the edge of falling apart.

Liberals don’t – in fact, they actively reject the notion because to accept it would require a complete rethink of their assumptions and premises. A couple of years ago, I got into a lengthy Twitter spat with Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall, who proudly identified himself as not of the gun-owning “tribe.” By this he meant that he did not feel the need to own weapons or to perform the most fundamental task of an American adult – to defend his family, community, and Constitution with his life – because some unidentified others would appear and do so for him.

He went on to mock the notion that society could ever collapse, which I found amusing. As one of those others who magically appeared to save the rear ends of hipster-bearded betas like Josh, I spent three weeks in the burning chaos of Los Angeles with the Army suppressing the 1992 riots. Don’t tell me things can’t go super bad super quickly.

The liberal characters in FTWD would probably earn invites to sip pumpkin-infused craft beers at Josh’s loft. The two main adults work in a public school, and their parenting style consists of catering to the whims of a drug addict son and the most obnoxious TV teen daughter since the hated Dana from the first few seasons of “Homeland.” When the apocalypse gets underway, yet another son decides to hang out at a street protest over police brutality sparked when the cops cap a homeless guy-turned-ghoul – apparently #UndeadLivesMatter.

In keeping with both the nature of their characters and with “The Walking Dead’s” traditions, the characters fail to communicate basic information to one another – you know, useful insights like, “Hey, the dead are rising and eating people, so you might want to look out for that.” They also undertake poorly thought-through, emotion-driven schemes that always end badly – in other words, they channel Obamacare.

Their tactical skills are distinctly limited. They never post guards, and they never look where they are going. Sure, part of that is the fact that if the characters were smarter and more capable, the threat, and therefore the suspense, would be lessened. But the other part is that these folks are not only soft-headed but soft-hearted, and therefore make bad, dangerous decisions. They talk about keeping their “humanity,” but what they really want to do is keep up residence in the expired liberal Eden that hard men carved out of a savage, hostile continent generations ago.

That’s why we get a scene with the father figure blowing his stack because a supporting character showed his activist son how to use a scavenged shotgun and daddy just doesn’t dig firearms. Naturally, none of these people have their own guns, much less the willingness to use them. At the end of one episode, their incompetence and weakness places another character in danger – a zombie they should have iced attacks him – and he is saved when a National Guard infantryman appears and puts a 5.56mm M4 round through the ghoul’s noggin.

Memo to Josh Marshall: That Army character’s left shoulder unit patch belongs to the real life 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which I served in in Southern California. That’s my tribe, dude.

We will see where FTWD goes – already the show is turning on the military characters, the only characters who seem capable of exercising common sense, for their lack of sensitivity and feelings. There are a lot of feelings in FTWD – we in the audience always know exactly what the characters are feeling because they can’t shut up about it. But it’s clear that the focus of the show remains on the characters’ maintaining their “humanity” in the face of chaos, but what the writers really mean is maintaining the characters’ urban liberal illusions.

That’s why it is the most political show on television now – at least until the original “Walking Dead” revs up again in a few weeks. It’s because every episode demonstrates the utter meaninglessness of the liberals’ obsessions in the face of a world where monsters are real, where the monsters are ISIS and the mullahs instead of zombies. So lock, load, and stop babbling about your feelings, because you can’t coexist with someone who is trying to eat your head, or to chop it off. Nonsense like “microaggressions,” “nonjudgmentalism,” and “fairness” can only exist in a world built and defended by macroaggressive, judgmental, and unfair people who carry guns and don’t hesitate to use them.


Being a fan of the Walking Dead series, I was all about jumping on board the “Fear of The Walking Dead” bandwagon. From the very first episode, I have been on the fence. Even though I love the zombie premise, seeing idiots barely able to survive life let alone the apocalypse, and find Hollywood’s take on disaster preparedness very similar to watching a train wreck I am having issues with being able to get through an entire show without screaming at the TV. Like the article says, these progressive types have no clue and expect everyone to bow down to their needs so that their “humanity” can be spared.

Rather than this being an anti-this, pro-that, I hate blah, political rant or slanted post I wanted to examine the really interesting aspect of this show and how these people are represented, however.

Let me start off with this: I believe everyone has a responsibility to themselves and their families to be prepared in case something happens. I don’t care if it is a loss of a job, illness that caused hardship, a massive earthquake or the zombie apocalypse. The source doesn’t matter to me. I just feel that any responsible individual should make preparations in case something happens. Anyone that doesn’t is just planning on being a drain on society as a whole and obviously doesn’t care about their family. That is my opinion based upon the idea that adults should act like adults. Anything less is therefore childish.

If you are still with me and haven’t gotten completely ticked off at my thought process, let’s continue: Hollywood in general is a very artistic and progressive type place where those that produce entertainment live out their lives differently that those that work normal 9-5 jobs. Whether you agree with their politics or not, the fact is that they tend to push their beliefs upon the general population through the entertainment they produce. Take for example the animated movie “Open Season.” Hollywood in general doesn’t believe in hunting or true conservation of our natural resources so they produce movies like this to make kids hate hunters as well. Almost every movie with hunters depict them as blood thirsty savages that are ready to kill anyone or anything they come across. Of course anyone with half a brain knows, this is completely removed from the truth. Most hunters are very moral, law abiding citizens that believe in something that motivates them to spend days on end in the woods trying to procure their own food. So if Hollywood is showing how these progressive families really are and how they think, what is their real agenda?

The fact that the main characters in this series are very progressive types that will inevitably have to turn hard and callous to survive makes me wonder how the producers and writers will progress the story line. The Army is already being set up as the bad guy as of the last episode. People without signs of being infected were being gunned down in the streets, so obviously this foreshadows some future confrontation with the military. Couple that with the way they took various different “problems” to a different location to be dealt with as needed, you can see where the next few episodes will be going. How these progressives take the fact that those people who they placed their entire faith in are turning out to have different agendas will be very interesting to say the least.

Of course these characters will end up having to become survivors and self sufficient. How this happens and how much of their “humanity” is left after they get a reality check might be what the show is trying to explore.

What really interests me is how the viewers will perceive the failure of progressive ideology. Of course liberal ideas don’t work unless a totalitarian culture exists. You can’t get those types of programs started and keep them running unless you have a large slave population (middle class that doesn’t qualify for any welfare programs) to fund it all. There is just no way. Will the viewers that support liberal programs come to realize this? How will they respond? Will more people become adults and start to protect their family?

I really don’t know any of these answers, but I am happy to see how this show might just possibly address the misguided beliefs that many who depend 100% on the government possess. It will definitely be a fun ride if I can handle the stupidity of the main characters long enough for them to pull their heads out of their hind quarters.

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Feed Family Of 4 For 1 Year at $300 Cost

by Woodsbum

My aunt forwarded this link to me about putting enough food back for an entire family. I thought that some might like to see this recipe and article.

Before I start, as I always do, I put out there that I don’t think of myself as a “prepper.” In my life I have seen enough hard times to know that everyone should put things back to cover themselves and their family in case of hard times. Times such as a job loss, downturn in the economy that makes meeting bills almost impossible, weather issues where resupply of food isn’t timely, etc. There are just too many instances where having food and supplies put back is necessary. I guess if you are waiting for the end of times, this article would be good for you too.

I would also like to point out that I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST AND DID NOT WRITE THIS ARTICLE. If you have any comments against the veracity of this article then follow the link that it come from and argue it out with them. It is important to mention that even if you only do this for supplemental purposes, you can use the dried beans for a multitude of other purposes. Dried beans can be ground into flour and uses as such or even ground up with water to become a butter or oil substitute.


This plan is THE fastest, cheapest and easiest way to start a food storage program.  You are done in a weekend. AND there are no hassles with rotating.  Pack it and forget.  It’s space efficient – everything is consolidated into a few 5-gallon buckets.  You’ll sleep content in knowing that you have a one-year food supply on hand for your family should you ever need.


With the exception of dairy and Vitamin B12, this bean soup recipe will fulfill all your basic nutritional needs.  It won’t fill all of your wants, but using this as your starting point, you can add the stuff that you want. 


All of the food and storing supplies listed below plus 2 55-gallon recycled barrels to be used for rain catchment cost me $296, including taxes.  I purchased rice, bouillon and salt from SAM’s Club.  You can buy small bags of barley at the grocery, but if you don’t mind waiting a few days, special ordering a bulk bag from Whole Foods was cheaper.  All of the beans I purchased from Kroger’s in 1-lb bags.  Buckets, lids, Mylar bags and rain barrels were from the Lexington Container Company.  Their prices are so good, with such a great selection that it’s worth a drive even if you are not in the local area.   I went on a second-Saturday of the month because that’s when they host free food storage courses taught by Suzanne, an energetic, delight of prepping wisdom.


What you need:

8 5-gallon buckets

8 large Mylar bags

8 2,000 cc oxygen absorbers

8 gamma lids

A handful of bay leaves 

90 lbs. of white rice

22 lbs. of kidney beans

22 lbs. of barley

22 lbs. of yellow lentils

5.5 lbs. of split green peas

5.5 lbs. of garbanzo beans

1 lb. of salt

A big box of beef and chicken bouillon. 

A measuring cup



What you’ll do

Install the gamma lids on the bucket and insert Mylar bags.  Place 2 or 3 bay leaves in the bottom and fill the buckets, adding more bay leaves after each 1/3 to full.  Place an oxygen absorber in the top.  Label buckets with the contents and date. 



  • 3 buckets with rice (shake it down good.  Get it all in there!)
  • 1 bucket each of kidney beans, barley, and yellow lentils
  • In 1 bucket store the split green peas, garbanzo beans, salt, measuring cup and bouillon.  (I removed the bouillon from the box and vacuum sealed it as bouillon contains a small amount of oil.)
  • Yep, that’s a total of 7 buckets, so far. 


I place a broom handle across the bucket and wrap the ends of the Mylar bag over the broom handle to give me some support.  Then slowly and smoothly run a hot iron over the Mylar bag to seal all except the last 2 inches.  Then I press out as much air as possible before sealing the remaining 2 inches.  Make sure your Mylar is completely sealed from end to end.  Now, stuff the bag into the bucket and rotate the gamma lid into place.    This will protect your food for about 25 years.   You’ll have excess Mylar bag at the top.  Don’t cut it off, that way if you have to cut it open to get into it, you have enough bag remaining to reseal.


Where you’ll put it

It’s pretty easy to find a place for 7 to 8 5-gallon buckets even in the smallest of apartments.  Discard the box springs and lay the kid’s mattress on top of the buckets, line the back of a large closet with the buckets.  I made a couch-table by stacking buckets two high between the couch and the wall.  The buckets are about 6” taller than the back of the couch.  Add a shelf and drape and it looks fine; a convenient place for a lamp and books.  Get creative.


Making your bean soup

Measure out
·        8 oz of rice
·        2 oz of red kidney beans
·        2 oz of pearl barley
·        2 oz of lintels
·        1 oz of split green peas
·        1 oz of chick peas/garbanzo’s


Add 6-7 quarts of water.  Add bouillon or salt to taste.  Then add any other meats, vegetables, potatoes or seasonings you have on hand. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for two hours.  You should have enough to feed 4 people for two days.  This is thick and hearty.  You will be warm on the inside and full with one large bowl.  Kids usually eat half a bowl.  


When the emergency is over

This system allows you to open the Mylar bags, retrieve as much of the ingredients as is needed and then reseal everything after the emergency has passed.  Just be sure to replace the ingredients used so that you always have a one-year supply.


The 8th bucket – other stuff I would want

This list isn’t included in the $300.  This falls into the “what I want” category.  As money and resources became available, I’d just go crazy adding all of my indulgences, starting with coffee!  You can add what you want, but I’d fill it with:

  • Dry onion.  Let’s face it, what’s bean soup without onion! Sprinkle on the onions just before serving.
  • “Just add water” cornbread mix packets.  I just can’t eat bean soup without cornbread.
  • Beef jerky and Vienna sausages.  Add protein and zest to the bean soup
  • Instant oatmeal.  Do you really want bean soup for breakfast?  Freeze the oatmeal for 3 days before packing to kill any bugs.
  • 10 lbs of jellybeans.  Now, don’t laugh – it’s a bean.  Jellybeans don’t melt like chocolate might.  The high sugar content is quick energy, and a morale booster – with just enough of a high to help you over the really bad days. Easter is about here – stock up!



Before you fill the 8th bucket

Buy small bags of the ingredients and fix a big pot of bean soup for dinner.  Eat the leftovers the second night, and 3rd night, until it’s all gone.  Find out now – rather than later – what your family might like to add to it.  Anything tastes great the first meal, but quickly becomes boring after the 3rd or 4th repeat.  Don’t wait until the emergency happens to discover what you SHOULD have stored in your 8th bucket. … Maybe some Beano!


Again, I am not saying that I believe there will be some “End of the World as We Know It” type event. I am saying that everyone has a responsibility to take care of themselves and theirs in case of a disaster so planning ahead is a very responsible thing to do.

I will be putting this pile of chow together in the next few months to enhance my current food supplies. One doesn’t know what may or may not happen so having the extra food on hand if uninvited guests show up, things go bad for a long time, or you just want to outfit your camper with a food cache this recipe is a good way to do that inexpensively.

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PMR 30

by Woodsbum

By luck and good fortune I ended up getting a Kel-Tec PMR 30. This pistol is a full frame, ultralight weight pistol in .22 WMR. The magazines hold 30 rounds a piece and total weight of the pistol and 2 full magazines is around 1.5 lbs. Unfortunately, this pistol is very difficult to find for Kel-Tec production cannot keep up with demand as of yet.

I picked up this pistol as a lightweight way to carry protection while backpacking. Although the PMR 30 only comes in .22 WMR, it does make up for the lack of stopping power with lots of firepower via those 30 round magazines. Stopping a bear, cougar, drugged out thru-hiker, or rabid squirrel might cause you to use all available rounds considering the calibre so it definitely isn’t really for truly stopping a dangerous critter. I look at it more as both a deterrent and way to get small game while on the trail. This little guy will work perfectly for small game, signalling if I am injured (3 quick shots), and even piece of mind that I have a way to defend myself from a distance.

Normally, I shoot off anywhere from 300-500 rounds out of a new firearm before I get to feeling confident in it’s capabilities. Due to weather and time commitments I was only able to shoot off about 200 in my PMR 30 this last weekend. I will report the following observations, however:

  • I found that you have to be really careful when loading the magazines. If you get just a little off the spring will bind and make it almost impossible to fully load the magazine.
  • The magazine spring is VERY tight. It actually felt best when only loaded with about 25 rounds. It functioned flawlessly with 25 rounds loaded where as it actually stove piped with more than 25 loaded.
  • It is very accurate, shoots quite smoothly, and the trigger feels really nice for a stock firearm at this price.
  • Plinking with this pistol can become quite addictive and fairly expensive compared to .22 lr. I pick up bricks of several hundred .22 lr for about the same price as 100 .22 WMR.

If I was to give a thumbs up or down on this product, I would definitely give it a thumbs up. The fact that there is nothing on the market that is comparable being ignored and just speaking directly from the functionality, fit and form it really is a nice firearm. Kel-Tec makes a fine firearm and does a great job in their designs. Many traditionalist gun enthusiasts tend to bash their designs. There is no wood furniture on any of their product lines. They use a lot of polymer. The way that their actions work is also less than traditional on many of their product lines. When looking at the PMR as it sits and not comparing it to anything else, it does just fine and is quite likeable.

PMR 30

PMR 30

As you can see from the picture above there are also little cutouts in the magazine to show you how many rounds you have left. Each cutout equals 5 rounds. The safety is ambidextrous and is easy to click off with either left or right handed grip.

One of the nicest features are the sights. The front sight is a fibre insert that comes in 3 colors; red, green and white. There is a tool that you use to slip the front sight fibre out and slide a new one in. Also included in the box is a very interesting trigger lock mechanism. It comes with an odd key that I have yet to totally figure out. Supposedly it goes over the trigger and guard in some fashion and then locks. All this is included in a nice case with the foam cutout in the shape of the pistol and magazine.

At an MSRP around the mid $400’s, I feel that this pistol is really a decent deal. I purchased mine for $368, which was a great deal considering it was new in box. The shop actually took it out of the shipping container and broke the seal on the Kel-Tec box right in front of me to inventory it before selling it to me.

Now that I have owned 2 Kel-Tec firearms and shot several others, I will say that I am quite impressed with their product line. Purchasing one of their firearms without having handled it would not cause me the least bit of anxiety. Also knowing that they refuse to build their company via debt also impresses me. They could have received loans and build their new plant to increase production by financing via debt, but they did not. Until they had the capital to pay cash for their expansion Kel-Tec just maxed out production via 3 shifts a day and ran 7 days a week. In today’s volatile political climate with regard to firearms, they did not want to potentially put the entire company at risk. Even though it has made it where they cannot match demand for the product, they have done what they could to get their guns into the hands of consumers.

Coupling the fiscal responsibility that this company shows with the innovative designs and high quality, I really am a fan of Kel-Tec firearms. Even more so, I am a fan of this full sized pistol that gives me 60 rounds of .22 WMR in only a 1.5 lb package.

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