Monthly Archives: March 2016

PSA – Gun Cleaning

by Woodsbum

Consider this post to be a PSA (Public Service Announcement) about cleaning your guns:

This last weekend I finally got motivated and decided to do some gun cleaning and maintenance. I started off with my AR 15 platforms and as things went along, my mountain of work escalated. Let me explain a bit more in detail.

In field stripping all our AR 15’s, I found that there was an extreme amount of build up of carbon especially on the BCG. It was so nasty that even after scrubbing for about 15 minutes, I really was getting nowhere. In the end I was so annoyed that I disassembled the BCG and just tossed them into my ultrasonic cleaner. It took two 30 minute soaks with heat to get the carbon to finally release its hold. I also found that I had to soak the receiver and chamber in Hoppes 9 for about an hour to get the gunk to release from there as well. The caked on carbon had to have been from the reloads I got from someone. These reloads were not as accurate as I prefer and I noticed more sludge on the cases after they were fired, so I will just blame that for now. The real story is that these things were dirtier than I have ever seen an AR 15 or M 16 get, even after shooting blanks. Really, it was horrible.

Once these were cleaned up and looking less embarrassing I moved along to other firearms. Interesting enough, my S&W 629 .44 Mag was also quite dirty. That took a long while to get cleaned up and all the residue off the cylinders.

As time went along and more and more hours were dedicated to this project, I finally pulled out my new Mosin Nagant build and decided to clean up the barrel and action to make it all pretty. I took 600 grit emory cloth and used it to get rid of all the rust, dings and smooth out the worst of the machine marks. Once everything was cleaned up and smoothed over I blued the barrel, action and bolt assembly. It really made the whole thing look pretty good. Although I didn’t take pictures, you will see some later on when I got to the hills to shoot again. The rifle went from “meh” to “ahh.”

Another firearm that I took some time with was my Ruger Single Six. The first and last time I took this old pistol out I noticed that it was shaving copper and lead off the bullets when fired. It actually was doing it on all sided of the forcing cone so I spent quite a bit of time scrubbing years and years of neglect away. The first couple rounds with the Hoppes left several paper towels just soaked in black goo. It was quite disgusting to see how badly this pistol had been treated over the years. When I finally got done I had been forced to rotate 3 different cleaning brushes through my ultrasonic to clean them back up for use. Sometime in the near future I will be sending this back to Ruger to get a spa treatment, outfitted with a transfer bar and get the second cylinder so I have both the mag and lr as options.

I even took the time to rip the VZ25 BRNO 8 mm I acquired all the way down to parade rest and remove all the years of neglect from it. At that time I also replaced the magazine spring and found out that I will need to replace the top section of wood on the stock. It seems to be burned around the receiver and is very dried out and crumbling up to the band.

The overall process for my firearms took almost 7 hours of straight scrubbing and cleaning. It was very nice to get everything back up and into a respectable level of maintenance.

Seeing as how I billed this as a public service announcement, I will add a couple of important things that you should be aware of and not take for granted like I tend to:

  1. Used guns NEVER come clean.
  2. Used military guns come dirtier yet and you have to get the grime of war off them, it seems.
  3. Fine emory cloth and gun blue is your friend in removing surface rust here in the land of slugs and mold.
  4. Don’t be a lazy ass like me. Do your gun maintenance a little at a time rather than needing a full day to complete it.

Good luck everyone. I will probably do another round of cleaning in a month or two just to make sure I got everything properly cleaned and maintained. Consider this part of your own Spring Cleaning regiment.

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Pressure Curves for Semi-Auto and Bolt Actions

by Woodsbum

Who’d a thunk it? Cheaper than dirt has a blog that posts some really interesting articles. My father linked an article to me that I thought was quite well done. Not only did it address several things that many seasoned reloaders already know, but it really did a great job of putting the information into easy to understand language that even novice reloaders can follow.

Here is the article…..

Many times I link the article and then copy the post in its entirety to my site so that I can save it if changes are made on the original site. This time I just did a draft with the whole article copied (for my use) and am going to comment a bit on the original.

“Why?” you may ask. The answer is quite simple. I had someone that was trying to make money off their site request that I remove all links and material from one of my posts. Interestingly enough most of that content was taken from other sites, but instead of giving credit to the original authors she claimed it all as her own work.

Now I am just going to link things and save a draft copy for myself to reference and make comments. Sorry you might have to do some surfing, but hypocritical little bitches that complain when someone links and gives credit to her have made me change my mind on how I do things…..


The article brings up a few really good points about the gas operation of most semi automatic firearms. If you use too much or too little powder in the load, the firearm may not be able to self load another cartridge. There is a fine line where everything happens in literally milliseconds. The gases escaping from the ignition of powder in the cartridge are routed back into the action to actuate a process that ejects a spend casing and chambers another round. The timing on this process is critical. If it happens too quickly, there might not be enough time for the moving cases to be clear of each other. If it there isn’t enough gas the timing could be off where there isn’t enough power to eject the spent casing.

The other point that is brought up is the fact that the actual cases themselves must conform to a stricter sizing and length standard to be able to self reload. Fixed magazines in bolt action rifles are usually more forgiving than removable magazines. There is also a little more leeway given in the chambering process as well. If all else fails, the shooter has the opportunity to manually manipulate the cartridges or even modify their timing a bit to ensure that loading another round happens without incident.

All this can effect how you build your loads and the powder you use. This is where “slower burning” or “faster burning” powder variants come into the mix. There tends to be higher port pressure with the slower burning powders than faster burning variants. Be mindful that this distinction is based upon specific ranges that are suitable for your particular load. If some cartridges tend to be less accurate or cause failure to feed issues in your particular firearm, try to swap out for a different powder with a burn rate on the other side of the range.

Lastly, be aware that some powders are heat sensitive and change their burn rate depending on the weather. Some of the Reloader series are very susceptible to temperature variations.

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Testing My Mosin

by Woodsbum

This last weekend I took out my Mosin I installed into the Archangel stock. Because it was a used barrelled action I tied the firearm to a tree and pulled the trigger with a length of 550 cord for the first 4 or 5 times. It fired without issue and had no problems at all so my father grabbed it and finished out the magazine. It fired 10 rounds just as if it was new from the factory. By the end of the day I put 4 boxes (80 rounds) through the rifle. Not once did a magazine malfunction or the rifle fail to feed.

The Archangel stock is actually quite pleasant to shoot. The only issue is that the recoil pad tends to almost stick to your shirt and skin, thus causing your skin to pull a bit when getting the rifle shouldered. I may look at swapping out the recoil pad later on, but it isn’t that big of a deal one way or another.

I did find that the front sight needed adjusting, which considering the obvious rough life this rifle has seen didn’t surprise me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a front sight tool that worked so I ended up using a piece of metal and a chunk of wood to tap the post over a touch and get it more on target.

Although it seemed to hit in the same location, quite consistently I did not take the time to get into a good position and put it on paper. Considering that I was able to hit an anti-freeze container 9/10 times at 80 yards offhand, I figure that is accurate enough to consider this build a success at this point. Again, the rifle never failed to feed nor did it jam up at any time during the 80 rounds that we put through it.

My father took the other barrelled action with him to drop off for some lathe work. A guy he knows does machine work out of his home and offered to clean up the muzzle and recrown it. When I get it back and test fired I will order another Archangel stock, scout scope mount and a scope.

For those of you who have an old Mosin Nagant that has been beat up and/or Bubba modified I really suggest you spend the money for an Archangel stock and some magazines. The finished product is really a lot of fun to shoot and fairly comfortable.

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Archangel Stock for Mosin Nagant

by Woodsumb

About 18 months ago I ended up with two Mosin Nagant M44 barrelled actions. Since I purchased them both have been wrapped in an old bed sheet and shoved into the back of my closet. Over the last few weeks I have slowly been putting them back into working order and just last week I purchased an Archangel stock for one of them to test.

This is what it now looks like after installation and fitting.

M44 Mosin Nagant on Archangel stock

M44 Mosin Nagant on Archangel stock

As you can see, the M44 barrel length actually fits well on the stock. The overall length and feel is much better than I expected. I even lucked out because the stock I purchased had a 10 round magazine upgrade in the package rather than the normal 5 round.

The stock has a spacer that allows the use of either the stock trigger group or the upgraded Timney trigger group with safety. There is also more than enough room for the folding bayonet to just lay against the barrel without hanging up on the stock. Originally, I was going to take the bayonet off. After installing the barrelled action into the stock I think I am going to keep the bayonet simply for additional weight at the muzzle. The stock is quite heavy toward the butt so any barrel/muzzle weight helps to balance out the rifle.

The magazines (I ordered 2 extra) seemed to have some feeding issues at first. I then bent the wire keeper over a bit more and soaked the inside of the magazine with RemOil. That really made a huge difference and I don’t get the hung cartridges now. The Mosin family is well known for jamming and feed issues due to the rimmed cartridge. Design of these magazines does seem to eliminate that issue, but you may have to make the modifications and lube things like I did.

Now that I have one set up with a new stock, head space fixed, bolt issues taken care of and new springs in the bolt I am starting on the second barrelled action I have sitting around. It also has had the bolt gone through and parts upgraded, but I am sending it over to be put on a lathe to get the muzzle and crown fixed. Someone took a hack saw to the end of it thus cutting off the front sight, bayonet and leaving a completely horrible crown. When this gets back to me I will put this in an Archangel stock as well, but will install a scout scope mount from S&K.

Seeing as I now have yet another rifle in my safe, I am quite unsure as what to do with it or how to include it into my gear. It will be worse once I get the other Mosin done. I will have to do some serious thinking. Maybe a truck gun for one? We will have to see. All I know is that I am REALLY happy to have them on the road to useful and out of my closet.

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Frontiersman Fanny Pack

by Woodsbum

During the rainy season I tend to go through my gear and over analyze everything to the precipice of insanity. This time I have gone absolutely bonkers over the benefits of using belt bags/pouches. I am left with the nagging question, “To bag or not to bag?”

The type of bags I am talking about are as such:

Deepwoods Leather Belt Pouch

Deepwoods Leather Belt Pouch

I know a lot of you are immediately thinking that I am just trying to find a way to make a fanny pack look “bushcrafty” and rugged. That is not the case – that I will admit to. The reality is that possible bags and belt bags like these have been used for hundreds of years by outdoorsmen. Adding something like this to my kit would be a great way for me to carry ammunition for my pistol and rifle, I can more easily carry fire starting gear, and it would be phenomenal for “snacks.” By “snacks” I don’t mean apples – I said, “snacks.” Even storage of a small hip flask would make this a worthwhile upgrade to my kit.

The problem I am having is in finding something that I like that doesn’t look like a woman’s purse or a small set of saddle bags. I already carry a Baldric setup for my MP Dire Wolf knife. Adding this has got to make things easier and not just give me a reason to carry more crap.

The alternative to a belt bag would be to carry a black powder possibles bag. These can easily be modified to carry my knife so that I don’t have to carry two items. The bad part is that I would have, without a doubt, a bushcrafting version of a murse (man purse). This doesn’t threaten my masculinity, but it does mean that I am one step closer to being considered either a hipster or a lumbersexual. Neither sits well with me.

When I am out tooling around in the woods, I really like to carry certain things with me. Since I am not one sold on the REI gear list is gospel concept, I do like to carry enough gear to get me though hard times if I need it. Such things that I carry are:

  • Medical supplies
  • Cordage
  • Fire kit
  • PSK (personal survival kit)
  • Ammo
  • Snacks
  • Water filter

Most else goes in my ruck, if I carry one. These items are just those that I like to carry on my person at all times. Having them hanging from my belt just seems like a great way to ensure I am never without.

It will take a lot more thought and trial before I commit to this addition. The functionality and convenience does make it seem like a good idea, however. If you see someone the size of a black bear wearing a black Wilderness shirt and a belt pouch it might not be a good idea to give me hell for the frontiersman fanny pack….  I am most certainly armed……..   Just saying.

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