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Everything posted by MtnMan

  1. Campfire Talk

    Hello Swede, OFG, SGH, SurvivorGirl, and anyone else still here from days past. don't see any recent posts from Taken, Razor, Holly (went to UK as I recall), KBob, several others, but hello anyway if yer still lurking around out there in the shadows.
  2. Campfire Talk

    Hi Kim, just noticed your greeting. Been catching up on 4 years or so of posts here and there. G'night for now, Mtmn
  3. Campfire Talk

    A weary, long absent mountaineer pauses at a friendly campfire. A cup of coffee later, he nods to those living in these woods a heads back down the trail, warmed by the brew, the fire, and the memories of past times. Hello all, from MtnMan...
  4. Handgun thoughts

    And I know I once said I'd never get rid of my 22/45s, now they're both gone in a period of 6 months! But I can always buy another Ruger - the price on the Sig would just keep going up until I absolutely couldn't justify it at all. Besides, I'm kinda liking the little Walther P-22 as much as the Ruger, and I'm shooting it a whole lot better (friend has one), so I may pick one of those up instead, or maybe another RI .45, or....
  5. Handgun thoughts

    It's a little bigger than the Keltec P-32, but smaller and lighter than the P-11. Fits in a Desantis pocket holster and rides in my right front pocket every day. It cost me a Ruger 22/45 plain jane 5.5", a NAA mini revolver, and 59 dollars cash, so for our area that's about 650 or so, and within 35 dollars of the 689 he had it listed for in the case. I haven't seen one priced less than 639 anywhere else lately, so it was kind of a difficult choice, having shots several boxes of ammo through it I have no regrets. It shoots and handle great, and the quality is evident throughout. I call buys like this "gettin' a tad bit above my raisin'" since I'm normally very thrifty - just wanted one supernice little gun for EDC. It was a tough call between the Smith 637 and this one, but I don't regret taking the plunge or spending the extra $$.
  6. Handgun thoughts

    Thanks razor, it really is; and the greatest benefit for me is that both of my pistols operate the exact same way as far as draw, cock, sweep down the safety, and squeeze. Slide release, magazine release also in same locations - I can get serious now about speed drills if I wish, and the skills transfer directly from gun to gun - less thought, less chance of hesitation should the time come when milliseconds count. Read a cool quote somewhere last week - said basically "I hope you never ever need a gun at all for any reason, but on the day that you find you need a gun, it will be the most desperate moment of need you have ever experienced" or something like that. Made a lot of sense.
  7. Handgun thoughts

    Thought I'd go ahead and post a couple of different views of the little Sig P-238 Copperhead - I actually really didn't buy it for the gold inlay fancy stuff, just loved the color scheme because it's basically the exact opposite of my 1911 clone. Anyway, saw something called a Rhino in .357mag revolver - barrel is at the bottom of the cylinders, whole thing is large and blocky feeling, and it has a weird (and very unsafe) "single-action pre-cocking mechanism" which single stages the trigger while yet leaving the hammer down - about 1 lb of trigger squeeze and bang! I can see someone unfamiliar with this cocking it and putting in in their pocket/holster and having quite the surprise with an inadvertent discharge as the gun is pulled out - there is no safety to prevent these events from being casually strung together. Anyway, here's my pretty li'l pocket pistol:
  8. Campfire Talk

    I'll take that order to go, miss! Good to be back, talk to you later.
  9. Hello Swede! Heading out to the forest in a few minutes to coax in a gobbler, maybe, or more likely to put razor's tinder-tenderizing ideas to good practice. Good to be back.
  10. Handgun thoughts

    Well, somewhere along the way these last few weeks I managed to find a smaller caliber pistol that really caught my fancy, for numerous reasons. The SigSauer P-238, Copperhead model came home with me after much deliberation. Mostly because the most often used controls are identical to my .45, it's shaped like my .45, points like my .45, shoots to the same POI as my .45, and the Copperhead model's color scheme closely resembles my .45 - the two most practical reasons are that my wife can shoot the .380 reasonably well (anything with more recoil than a nine scares her too much), and it rides so easy in my pocket I sometimes don't really even notice it being there. Yes, it was too expensive, and yes, it's almost too pretty, and yes yes, I consider the .380 a minimum choice caliber, but having said all that, I have already been able to train up with this pistol to fist-sized groups in rapid fire at the same distances as my 1911 because the two guns are so darned alike (I actually rapid fire the little Sig a little more rapidly and achieve the same group size). I can tell you this - I have never in my life owned a gun with better machining and tolerances - it is an absolute beauty of engineering quality. I'm through a tad over 500 rounds now, no malfs of any kind, and no noticeable wear or looseness, the fancy little scroll work hasn't even worn thin yet in spite of daily in pocket holster carry. So far, hands-on experience and lifetime no-questions asked warranty speak well of the little gun. A final word on the .380 caliber - it's not a .45 by any means, but a 90-95 grain bullet doing an actual (chrono'd) 1076-1096 fps comes out to somewhere in the neighborhood of 240-260 ft lbs of muzzle energy, and that's on a par with upper end .38 special rounds and standard to middle of the road 9mm - if you bother to place it well it will definitely wreck a bad guy's day. I've shot nothing but Fiocchi FMJ and HP through it because this ammo has proven reliable in this caliber for years and the HP performs extremely well in all types of ballistic medium. Penetration is on the order of 10-11 inches and expansion to .53 is commonplace (these figures obtained from "bone-in" hams which were sacrificed as being very near to human torso in terms of muscle and bone mass; similar figures were obtained from modelling clay/wooden stick cubes and also from 10% ordinance mix ballistic gelatin - this last performed by someone else and forwarded to me). The Fiocchi HP makes a pretty deep and wide hole for a "minimum" protective caliber, and I trust it. I'll try and get a picture of the little Sig on here later. And instead of buying another handgun since I now have a matching set of big and little guns, I opted for a Marlin 25A bolt action rifle in .22 magnum with a Mossy Oak finished stock and I went ahead for 30 more bucks and put a set of Williams Fire Sights on it to match my muzzle loader's sighting system. It had an accurizer trigger job already installed by someone who seems to have known EXACTLY how to do such a thing - this rifle shoots beyond Sweeeeettttt! So, two handgun look-alikes with similar controls, one smaller, one larger, and two rifles with identical sighting systems for serious work, one smaller, one larger; not a bad spring for the gun department at all. Time to go do some shootin' - Steve
  11. Campout in VA

    Pete, whereabouts in my lovely state are ya' havin' this get-together? I live down here in the Southwest corner of the Commonwealth, but my Mom and brother have the east coast covered, so can vacation pretty much anywhere in between. Might drop in on yer group if I ain't missed it already?
  12. Campfire Talk

    MtnMan sneaks up on the campfire from a great distance, half-wanting to see some old friends, half-ashamed at his long absence, but overall glad to be back. Took a bit of a "holiday" (as Holly would now refer to it) from the online scene to get caught up on coursework, help Mom get through administrative details, and generally attempt to straighten life out from the sadness and scheduling mess of February. Back now, maybe not better than ever, but just got a call from the couch-delivery guy that he won't be here 'til 3:30, so off to the woods to take a crack at some spring turkeys. A very fervent "HELLO" to Taken, Swede, Holly, Razor, OFG, Watcher, KpBob, K-Woodsman, Unca, Muddy, Tatonka, Dorie, Survivorgirl, Machine, Rocky, Mistwalker, Freebirde, and anyone I've missed on this list (don't feel left out, my head started to hurt a bit remembering all these names).
  13. Nice tutorial Razor, and nice follow-up Taken. Good overall sequence - Learned by one, taught to others, learned by one... Good to be back and see that things haven't been idle while I was gone. Steve
  14. Where'd you find the Shoulder Stock? I have a PC77 (same gun as the 1377) that I use for grand daughter training (JackJack's a bit too young yet, and he's a bit too "two" (although he's headed to 4yo) right now to even consider handling a projectile device). I use it for pest control but would like to benchrest it with a stock. Also, I actually found a North Face day pack at a Goodwill Thrift Store for 4.98 - that's not a typo - it was just over 5 bucks with tax - a bit dirty but a damp brush took care of that and no other defects found - guy behind me was some pissed when I grabbed it first, but I pointed him to the LL Bean custom sack (made by Kelty) right behind it and he was okay after that (5 bucks also). The North Face daypack is a nice piece of work in that it has a couple of 3/4 length outer pockets - lots of gear close to hand without opening the whole thing - I can easily get spare pistol ammo, huge first aid kit, stove, fuel, and lunch all in those two outer pockets along with a poncho and oversized space blankie. It just doesn't fit worth a hoot in that the waist strap actually expects to be buckled around my waist, which due to age, gravity, and winter fat accumulation, is several inches below where it should normally be located. That'll change in a couple of months of springtime walking and kayaking, and for now I just don't use the waist cinch.
  15. Handgun thoughts

    Goes back to careless handling no matter how ya' look at it - figure the gun loaded unless YOU PERSONALLY PROVE OTHERWISE and don't let the muzzle point in unintended directions because of the assumption that it can fire... Also agree with the general hinkiness - not spoutin' conspiracy here, but tabled display weapons have no business being loaded and don't get that way by themselves... Figure the "accidentees" were hit because the "accidentor" picked the darn thing up by the trigger... My three sentences worth! (And for a fourth and final thought - this is one of those things that proves my current signature line is in full effect.
  16. Campfire Talk

    Thanks campies, and Swede that is a beautiful piece that I'm sure Dad would have loved - he was truly the Irish Rover, at least in his heart.
  17. Campfire Talk

    Hey KW, and anyone else - ditto on the sunny morning over here on the south side of Pine Mtn - porch thermometer says 53 degrees out in all that sunshine - guess who's takin' his little canine companion for a woods walk? By the way, I appreciated everyone's kind words from early last week and the week before - Dad has now passed on from this life. It was a difficult time there for a while but he is no longer suffering and is at rest. He told his roomate the last morning "I'm going home"; his roomie said "Well go on home, then!" and he laid down and went to sleep for the last time. That's a pretty good final memory and I am comforted by it and by the words of an old gospel song - the chorus in part: "...no more sadness, no more sorrow, no more tears to dim the eye..." Gone walking on a nice day in the mountains....
  18. Handgun thoughts

    I may indeed "call 911" but it will most definitely be after I protect my family, property, and self by "calling on my 1911" - funny how those 2 numbers are so alike but one is much more immediately effective than the other.
  19. Handgun thoughts

    OFG, I realize you have studied the ballistics charts and looked at the same surveys I've seen (Fackler, Marshall/Sanow, etc) and your take on it seems to be that handgun knockdown power is basically a myth, and to a certain point I agree with you. It is especially clear to me when studying the effects of bullet impact on various mediums that a handgun bullet will NEVER attain the same terminal performance that a rifle bullet can acheive. What I specifically refer to as terminal performance is what happens when the bullet meets its target, and in the case of a defensive or hunting weapon this target is flesh-covered bone, muscle, and other organic material in varying consistencies of hardness. The recent trend in 9mm ammo is to push a somewhat lighter bullet absolutely as fast as it can possibly be pushed, hoping that the additional velocity will result in the bullet both penetrating deeply enough to do damage to internal organs as well as expanding to a diameter large enough that this damage is great enough to cause incapacitation. However, we are still talking about velocities well under that of a similarly-sized rifle round. In the case of the current darling, the 124 grain +P+ hollowpoint, it is tantamount to shooting a 30-30 with 1/2 of its normal powder load and 40% less bullet. The idea of incapacitation with some magical "shock threshold" or "temporary wound channel" is ridiculous at best under these conditions. At this point you and I will probably be in complete agreement. A handgun is not a rifle, and can never hope to achieve the "knockdown" power of a rifle. Having said that, what happens when a highspeed (say 1500 feet per sec, although the G19 and Beratta 92S are the only 9mms I've fired which have a prayer of approaching such velocity) 124 grain bullet hits a torso-sized chunk of flesh covered bone and muscle? In the absolute best case scenario, the bullet may penetrate for about 10-12 inches (the average is more like 8-9) and could expand to as much as .43 inches (again the average is less). To me, this can probably be called "adequate" damage to a human target to eventually incapacitate, and that is going to depend on many other factors. The permanent wound channel is going to be say 10" long and .30-.43 inches wide for most of its length. Basic math says somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 - 4.5 square inches of total tissue damage is going to result, and that's probably enough to take out most of a heart, 40 percent or so of a lung, 1/3 of a diaphragm, etc. Now hit the same target area with the humble .45 ACP, with its 850 ft per sec average velocity and 230 grain mass, penetration is going to be more on the order of 12-14 inches, and a expansion diameter of as much as .60 inches. This is still only a total damage area of 6-8 square inches, nothing at all compared to a rifle, but almost twice what the 9mm can accomplish. So maybe ALL of the heart disappears along with some of the diaphragm or maybe a goodly piece of either a lung or the spinal cord. This is going to be a more incapacitating injury, hands down, and please note that this is a rather plain jane .45 round, not the +P+ rating of the 9mm mentioned above. So what I said earlier about terminal performance puts the 9mm, .38 special, .380 (not sure I should include this one but there are some decent bullets to be found in .380), etc in the "adequate" category, while the .40, .44 special, .45 acp, etc become "more desirable" in terms of the actual damage done. I am not in anyway saying that the G19 is not a good choice, it is an excellent choice for other reasons, including its accuracy and its capacity. I just prefer a round that does a bit more damage on the receiving end and the larger, heavier bullets will win that one just about every day. There isn't a pistol on the planet that launches a bullet fast enough to approach the impact potential of a rifle, so we have to depend on some other method to incapacitate the target. I tend to lean towards creating as much permanent damage core as possible and the .45 acp is the most damaging round I can still manage to shoot accurately with my medium-small musician's hands. Not trying to start a caliber war, just applying what I hope is common sense to a definition you asked me about. As far as the ballistic figures on speed, bullet mass, and penetration that I use, they are drawn from years of viewing data from various sources (the FBI tends to have more data onhand than anyone else so their overall averages are probably better and I read more from their published results), as well as a decade of assessing and treating trauma victims in emergency rooms and on the battlefield. I can say unequivocally that I would rather be shot with Unca Walt's Dragoon pistol at any range beyond pointblank than hit by a bullet from a .22 magnum or any larger RIFLE at 50 yards. (I start with the .22 mag because this is the first round from any firearm that routinely achieves 2000 feet per second or more, and that seems to be a magic number in the shock threshold category of wound profiling). Good day, hope this helps explain what I meant, Steve
  20. Ham Radio Operators

    There's a book available at many places (the arrl.org website is a good place to start), IIRC the title is "Now You're Talking" or something very similar. It's no bigger than a paperback novelette and contains ALL the info you need to sit for your first exam, the Technician Class license exam. It even includes a section with all of the possible questions which CAN be on the test (ie the question pool). I studied this book for a couple of weeks a did quite well on the exam. The license exam has to be administered by Volunteer Examiner teams in your area - again the website is a great place to locate test sessions. Once you've passed the mulitple choice exam (and the little Antenna Safety/Exposure quiz that is attached now), you'll receive a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) and can go ahead and order a VHF handheld or mobile radio. If you're in a populated area, I'd get a handheld because 5 watts is enough in the city and we hams are urged to operate with the least amount of power needed to establish the communication session. In a more rural setting I'd toss a used mobile from ebay in the truck with a magmount 2 meter antenna and get on the air that way. While I think you CAN legally operate with your CSCE, it is usually better to wait until your license arrives in the mail - only takes a week or two in most cases and nobody can question your authorization then. So, 10 or 12 bucks for the book, 14 for the exam fee, 100 or less for the radio/antenna, and you're on the air in less than a month - depending on your study habits, you could be talking on 2 meters by mid-March for about 125 dollars! That's the way I did it - study book->take exam->order handheld->receive license->goodtimes. Check the website and go ahead - you won't regret it.
  21. Campfire Talk

    Happy Birthday, and may you have many more! We should all live long enough to become a source of irritation to our progeny at least twice in life - once as they enter teenagehood, and again after they grow to be wise adults, but yet not quite as wise as us!
  22. Handgun thoughts

    Considering a new handgun myself at this time - so I reread most of the posts here and have a lot to think about. I would really like to find something useful for defensive purposes as well as belt wear in the woods, but these are two difficult goals to meet in a single gun. If it's got a long enough sighting plane for hunting accuracy, then it's usually too darn big for concealment. The Glock 30 is one of the few exceptions, as is the Taurus Millenium Pro - both are .45 ACP which I shoot fairly well, both are fairly small, and yet accurate enough out to 25 yards or so to be handy for trail use. The Taurus has a shorter barrel (the G30 wins on accuracy here) but has a longer grip/clip and holds 10 rounds vs the Glock's 7, the Taurus is also lighter by a couple of ounces. I've had both in the past, and didn't keep either one for some deep-rooted psychological reason which gun marketing folks apparently understand way better than I do. These are the two I'm leaning towards - I also really like the looks and feel of the Bersa/Firestorm Mini 9 - just can't stand the caliber. I know NATO and LEOs use 9mm all the time, I just dislike the bullet's "terminal performance", especially out of a shorter barrel (said the Keltec P11 owner). I looked at the FS in .40 cal as well as a couple of M&Ps, but the FS9 is simply a prettier little pistol, and in a defensive situation you'd want to look as good as possible, right? If I can find a reasonably priced Detonics Combat Commander, this discussion is over, but those have gone through the roof the last couple of years. I just looked at Det's web site - their ultra compact model MSRP's for 1800 bucks. I can buy 3 Berettas/Sigs/Smiths/MPs/etc for that kind of money. OFG, how ya' likin' the G19?
  23. Ham Radio Operators

    Depends on your intended use - if fully up and running means a huge multiband rotating antenna on a 60 ft tower and a 2Kwatt rig capable of contacting any country in the world at will you can spend 10s of thousands of dollars - I'm not knocking people with the financial wherewithal to do this at all, just that most of us need a bit more modesty in our attainments. But you said nothing fancy, so read on. So here's a few other "up and running" setups: My favorite part of the hobby is woods walking with a five watt VHF handheld in range of local repeaters and talking to hams in the 3 state area that the repeaters afford me - I just think it's really neat to take a cellphone-sized device out of my pocket and talk to someone a couple of hundred miles away (I use the repeater's power and elevation) without having to pay Verizon/Alltell/Cingulair/etc a dime. A practical application is of course the search and rescue team's commo using the very same gear. Prices for imported Chinese handhelds in this category range from 70 dollars and up shipped to your front door. The big three (Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood) are a bit more expensive but quality is better and their price range is in that order too with Kenwood being the most expensive. I have found Yaesu's handheld to be rock solid and reasonably priced. Kentucky Woodsman mentioned an FT-60R (Yaesu) and that's an excellent choice that I see on ebay in the $200 price range. My current 5 watt woods radio is a chinese import I paid $70 for brand new off of ebay. It works decently enough, is splashproof, and has an led flashlight built into it like my Yaesu VX-3 did. It gives me five watts for direct (simplex) local contacts, and lower power will still get me into the repeaters for more distant contacts. I also have a VHF mobile in my car, as does almost every ham I've ever met - probably the number one selling form of radio in the hobby. Mine is a used Kenwood I got from a CB shop for 50 bucks - been in the truck for 4 years, and was in two others for a 10 year period before that. 50 watts out and I can reach out and talk to any ham I know most of the time (VHF is still mostly line of sight and the mountains don't always allow for longer distances). A 19 dollar magmount antenna on the roof does a fair job of supporting this facet of the hobby. New rigs from the big three run about 139 to 200 bucks depending on what you want - be careful of the multibanders here - they are quite expensive (a 4 band model I just looked at started at $459 with no options) and you generally need to be extremely careful in antenna matching all of those extra bands. If you go the mobile route (and it's a great start for the beginner) consider getting a 12-20 amp DC power supply for in the house and get either a spare mobile rig or mount yours so it's easy to remove and bring in the house. Toss a 50 dollar ground plane vertical on a gin pole and you're ready to talk with your ham buddies locally from home - also can hook up a PC and do packet, echolink, all kinds of other neat stuff. Another facet of the hobby is portable operation on the HF bands (wordlwide contacts possible here) using battery operated equipment and modest antennas. It helps to learn Morse code here, for a couple of reasons - dits/dahs are intelligible at low power levels for a much greater distance than the human voice (try yelling the letters "S" "O" "S" from a parking lot to someone 1/2 mile away, then tap it out on your car horn and see which one they understand best) - also the gear is less complicated (read less expensive) and draws less power than sideband rigs. I have successfully "mountain topped" with 12 volt gelcells, kit built 55 dollar radios, and speaker wire antennas supported by crappiestick fishing rods and enjoyed contacts as distant as Brazil and Ireland to the east, and Texas and Idaho to the west. Small Wonder Labs has some economical kits (QRP Kits is another good site and will sell completed units for reasonable costs). Yaesu makes a multiband portable with code AND voice capability which is very popular and costs around 400-600 dollars depending on when and where you buy it. The kits run from 55 bucks for a Small Wonder 40, up to 150 to 200 dollars for some of the others. (The Rockmite's a heck of a lot of fun for $29 dollars if your soldering skills are halfway decent - I did the Ireland contact running a 1/2 watt Rockmite from High Knob in Virginia). Base station rigs are mostly multiband affairs and you're going to spend several hundred dollars here - this is where I agree with those that say get a handheld or mobile VHF rig and you'll start meeting other hams so you can check out their gear, or attend a field day site and see what's available. All of the commercial rigs are pretty good, they're all in the 600 dollar up to "How much ya' got?" range price range, and price usually depends on what features you insist on having, or that the mfr can insist you "must have". Antennas can be modest (A G5RV and tuner is gonna set you back about a whole hundred dollars) on up to the previously mentioned tower and rotatable beam which will cost more than the first car or two you bought. To me this is the most difficult aspect of the hobby - we want to sit at our desk and talk to people in Albania, and the number and combinations of gear which faciliate this are endless. You will save TONS of mulah if you simply check out what works for others, develop some "difficult conditions" operating skills, and therefore have a clear idea of what you need. Okay, very long post, but there are a lot of ways to enjoy amateur radio - doesn't necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. I just reread this post and it looks about right - you can get a brand new 50 dollar handheld (plus shipping) and have a lot of fun, or you can spend 15 grand or more, and have fun. Most important is figuring out which aspect appeals to you most, and spend your hardearned dollards carefully supporting what YOU want to do as a ham. AND HAVE FUN! Outta breath in my fingers, Steve KF4ZMA
  24. Howdy from Pa !!

    Welcome to the forum, Tuxdad!