The Good Guys Gazette
“Very Little That’s Fit to Print”
Version 1,Series 1, Number 3
It’s A Comin’!
Well now, cowboys! Ya’ll ready to refight the last stand at the Alamo? Chase down those pesky rustlers by the Rio Grande? Go lookin’ for Texas Red in the Town of Ala Fria?
First match is now less than 18 days away. Better have your pistols cleaned and greased, your Winchester oiled and slicked up, maybe new leather on the lever (tell me again, Wild Bunch, just how THICK it’s allowed to be – you varmints!).
While we’re at it, it just MIGHT be prudent to take down your leather and apply some neats foot oil. It’s good for “longevity”. Oh, yes, and check to make sure that the belt hasn’t “shrunk” over the winter. Those pesky belts have a tendency to do that over winters, and all the neats fool oil in the world can’t seem to make them stretch back to their original fitting length.
Can’t wait to see all of you, swap tales of the winter, do some shootin’ – just have a good time!
One last thing. If this year you hear a lot of clanging and clunking out on the range, don’t fret none. It isn’t a new “war machine” that Jim West and Artemus Gordon have to defeat. It’s just our “Old Friends” with all their new hardware – not guns, … knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, ankles, urethras – what have you. (Fella could get a real nice Porsche for that kind of money.)
“We Deal in Lead, Mister.”
That, of course, is the timeless line from Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven. Still, in SASS it is true we deal in lead, kind of wholesale. We shoot just the kind of stuff the Geneva Convention tried to eliminate, to the tune of 150-180 total shots in a match. In a season, and especially if you shoot more than one series, that adds up to a lot of rounds.
Lead is, as we all, know, a rather soft metal. It is easily malleable and has a low melting point. From a practical point, it means we can easily melt it to pour in molds to create our bullets (and vapors that are dangerous to us, but that’s for another time and column). It also distorts when it enters the barrel, allowing it to be spun to stability in flight and to seal the barrel so that the gases continue to push the bullet outward. These gases doing the pushing are pretty hot, especially early in the time course of a shot (those of you who remember the gas laws recollect that gases cool as they expand – it’s how your refrigerator works). Therefore, one can expect some melting at the back of the bullet. This liquid lead is generally found deposited on the anterior surface of the cylinder, some areas of the front of the frame, and in the initial part of the barrel.
?So how does one clean this lead out. Well, you can scrub with a brush and Hoppe’s #9, but you will probably have a fuller beard than Jailbird before you get all the lead out. The ace system is the Lewis Lead Removal Tool. This little beauty is calibre specific and only used on pistols (open breach rifles like a High Wall ’85 would probably also work). Be careful not to tighten the screw on the rubber donut much – it will possibly over tighten in the barrel and break off. One can buy this tool through Brownell’s, as well as the replacement screens.
For the Navahos out there, there is a scouring pad called Chore Boy. It is the ONLY one with no steel mesh, so one cannot substitute without doing dour damage to the weapon. Take an older soft nylon brush and wind in some of the pad. Don’t overdo it or you will have trouble pushing it through the bore. Clean the bore first a little to get most of the fouling out, then scrub it with your new “tool”. You will be amazed at how quickly the lead is gone. Leave your brush as is, and reuse. You may need to add some pad about once a year – I still have not used a half pad in 3 years, but I don’t shoot as much as some.
Now have some good shooting!
Most of us who came from IPSC are familiar with the term “gaming” and “gamer”. To those that didn’t shoot IPSC, it was a derogatory comment aimed at those that sought to use the rules and system to gain an advantage over other competitors. This included things like shadow dancing the stage before shooting it, turning it into an akata to make it easier to fulfill when you had to actually shoot it, developing new techniques for shooting, watching the other guy to see where the stage traps were, and, of course, having the latest technology in your “race gun” – so named because they had the kind of crazy technology that race cars had (titanium, duralon, etc.). Lately we in our Cowboy Shooting Sport have been looking at, and talking about, modifications and technology within our purview.
There is no doubt that it has been a long and glorious American tradition to look at a situation and figure out how to win. ?Remember the great duel between the British frigate, Guerriere and the American frigate, USS Constitution. Great example of “gaming” on our part.
Joshua Humphreys was a shipwright (or naval architect in today’s parlance) that was commissioned to build six frigates that would be the Navy of the new United States. Seeing as how England defined just what a frigate and ship-of-the-line was, Humphreys decided there was no percentage in building according to that formula. So basically he designed a warship that was kind of “in-between” English definitions. That is, a ship of the line that was smaller that a “real” ship of the line, but larger than a frigate. It could, in short, out sail or outshoot anything out there .The hull was American oak, the finest wood in the world at the time and thicker than a frigate’s. The main gun battery was 30 24-pounder long cannon, a ship-of-the-line kind of armament, where British frigates only carried 14 or 18 pounders, and then generally 28 or less guns. And just to make sure that it really was an unfair fight if they got in one, the top deck carried 24 32-pound carronades, a shorter range but lots heavier gun set. So add up the throw weight and you see the Guerriere was outclassed before the fight ever began.
Look at all the other things over the last 200+ years. Sam Colt made the first practical six-shooter (the Patterson), Spencer created the first practical military repeater rifle, Henry invented the basic lever gun, Gatling made the first machine gun, Remington made the first solid frame cartridge loading pistol, Browning made the first heavy calibre lever rifle, the first lever rifle to be able to shoot pointy bullets, the basic auto loading pistol of today in whatever guise, the Wright Brothers made the first airplane, Henry Ford the first assembly line, Boeing the first airliner, and so on and so on.
?Do you see where we are going here.
(To be continued …)
And last of all … might there be any interest or expertise for holding a TP origami class for the small ones some time during the year?