While I usually review gear for my own needs, since I really only care about the things that matter to me, I’ll pass on a nice little gear review site for all the ‘geardo’s out there: http://www.militarymorons.com/
What did Santa (or Santa’s thong-clad minion) get the very undeserving Commander Zero for Christmas? One of these bad boys. Burns gas cannisters, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, camp fuel, white gas…anything you dont wanna smoke a cigarette near, this baby will burn it. Yowza!! And since my liquid fuel o’ choice is the lovingly stable and deliciously long lasting kerosene, this thing is going to fit right in. Order up a few spare parts, find a good container to hold it all in and this baby is going to get bumped to the top of the gear list. For those keeping track, i currently was using a Coleman Peak1 multifuel stove with an extra generator for kerosene. Also have an old primus #71 (http://stovecollector.tripod.com/images/primus71_50s_60s_m.jpg) that is all brass and is basically World War One technology..no pumps, no no pressurizing, no fuel bottles. A simple and utterly foolproof little cooker. Its an amazing example of low-technology that equals high-tech and then surpasses it with its no moving parts and unbreakable materials..not a lick of plastic on the thing. (Reference: http://stovecollector.tripod.com/br_primus.htm) However, despite its bulletproofness, one drawback is that its pretty much restricted to the one fuel. The Omnifuel, however, will run on whatever I can find … and extremely useful quality to have when you never know what fuel may be available. I could scavenge out of oil tanks, car gas tanks, truck diesel tanks, kerosene lamps, etc, etc. Truly, a Mad Max-suitable piece of gear.
I’ll pull a fuel bottle out of the bunker tonight and try it with camp fuel to familiarize myself.
Hmmmm…8.9 earthquake on the other side of the planet. A nice reminder that some Bad Things are just totally unpredictable (at least, in the sense of knowing where or when). I mean, if you live in California you have to know that someday The Big One is coming…you just dont know when. My particular part of the planet isnt know for massive earthquakes but they have happened in the past. Last biggie was around the 1955-era. Yellowstone Park is always threatening to go off, and Mount St, Helens is a few hundred miles west and we did get plenty of fallout from it when it let go.
Still, the most Ive ever felt has ben a 2-point-something that basically shook the bed a little bit and left me wondering ‘what the hell was that’? The Californians who read this will snort and say that they dont even get out of bed for anything below a 3.5, Im sure.
However, having said that, I wonder how many Californians take seriously their responsibility to be prepared for earthquakes. I know that theres obviously a certain amount of government-mandated preparedness in the form of gas valves, house construction, etc, etc. But I wonder how many Californians actually keep the usual stock of food, water, ammo, batteries, etc.
Short of the house collapsing on top of my head, Id say Im pretty well covered for just about anything short of a direct hit. But theres always more stuff to buy…(grumble).
Took the CZ to the range yesterday along with a few LMI’s to try 1000-yard shooting. It was 8 degrees out and thats pretty cold when youre used to 25-30~ degree weather. On the bright side, heat mirage wasnt much of a concern. Wore the Flectar parka and it was up to the task. Shoulda worn warmer socks though…one of the LMI wore a pair of Mickey Mouse/bunny boots and they apparently served him quite well. Looks like Im going to have to hunt a pair of them down and buy them. I was still getting the feel for the CZ and my 9x scope was no match for the distance of 1000 yards so I just shot 100 yard stuff. The LMI were shooting 7mag and .308. I personally thought the .308 would be pretty spent and thus less accurate by the time it got there, but it acquitted itself nicely. Holdover? Well, the conversation went like this: “Okay, sighted in for 300 yards, so its 25 clicks of elevation for 1000″, “Add two more clicks for the colder temperature”, etc. See, at that range you dont just think to yourself “I’ll hold four feet over the target”…no, you calculate your ballistics on a computer, print a little range card with the various distances noted, and then you mark down the correct number of clicks to adjust your scope. Of course, for this to work you need a very good scope (average cost of the scopes used we $900 each) and your ammo has to be quite consistent. When all that is said and done you head down the range and see a group thats about 6 or 7 inches big and you think “Thats horrible” until you realize thats .7 MOA…the equivalent of shooting a .7″ group at 100 yards…and that those shots all would hit a man sized target at well over half a mile away.
Took the Mr Heater ‘Buddy’ to the range. It worked adequately enough to warm hands and feet but it really works best in an enclosed space. The brain-numbing cold didnt have much of an effect on it although the Coke I was drinking froze in the three minutes I left it alone to go take a leak. Thats cold.
Things at the house are a bit chilly too. I was negligent in getting the storm windows up so thats a priority for today. Additionally, I need to make sure theres no under-the-door drafts or anything. Heating bill was outrageous last time.
Im going to ditch the Remington brass and pick up some Lapua or Hornady Match cases. I may be on the right track with the IMR 4895 but I’d like to try some of the Varget or blc2 loads. Any idiot can hit a playing card at 100 yards…I didnt spend this money for 100 yard shooting. I want the maximum effective and accurate range. Not necessarily 1000 yards but probably 600yards or so at least.
Finaly, finally, finally got the CZ to the range. Took about four shots to get the scope ‘in the neighborhood’ but it wasnt nearly as ammo-consuming as I expected. I’d thrown together some handloads the other night, just something out of the book, and they shot okay enough. What I need to do is pick up a keg of BL(c)-2 ’cause I think thats going to be the way to go. Also some more ballistic tips.
The gun is pretty heavy so felt recoil was ridiculously light. My .30-30 carbine kicks more. The set trigger spoils you for the non-set trigger. As I said, these werent exactly precision loads….they were Remington brass (which I’ll be replacing with either Lapua or Hornady Match), IMR 4895 (I really prefer the ball/spherical powders for this sort of thing) and some Ballistic Tip 165 gr.
Shot for 3-shot groups. At 100 yards out of the 6 groups I shot half were less than 1″ the rest were less than 2″. Not a great start, but I still need to futz around with the ammo and the barrel is still probably just getting broken in. Regardless, it was enjoyable and challenging to shoot in the 20 degree weather when your fingers can barely feel the trigger. Wind was blowing too, but at 100 yards it couldnt have made that much drift.
Anyway, I think the gun has potential and I look forward to playing with it alot more.
RIngs arrived. The Leupold Vari-X II is sitting on the gun as we speak. I’ll load up some ammo over the next day or two and take the thing out Monday. I need to get in touch with one of my target shooting buddies and see if he has a device for checking the scopes ‘level-ness’ once its on the gun. Still gotta go shopping for a bipod though.
Well, I took the Savage 110 down to the GunPimp and said “Trade me a set of CZ one-inch rings and a hundred n fifty bucks.” So, the scope, in the final analysis, winds up costing me a hundred bucks and I still have a very nice gun case out of the deal. Unfortunately, the GunPimp is still waiting on his order from CZ so no rings until next week at the earliest. *sigh*
Still need to get out the vaccuum sealer and do a bunch of things:
- Seal one Flectar parka & liner for storage in vehicle
- Seal extra parka/liners fdr storage in bunker
- Seal 5# bags of sugar we bought on sale a few months ago
- Seal small package of scarf, hat, gloves to keep in vehicle
Love them vaccuum sealers.
I have a spreadsheet listing all the goodies I want to buy. (I think Ive mentioned it here before.) Since I got the new laser printer the list is much more readable when printed out using the smallest type size available. I can now keep a reasonably sized copy of this list with me in my backpack so if Im in CostCo or WalMart I can see what I need and how many. Helps to prevent the impulse purchases.
But not always….. I was in WalMart the other day and found a commercial version of the usual knit watchcap. Difference was the weave was much tighter and, check it out, it was layered…this was thick material that was four layers making this hat much warmer than its military counterpart. And, believe it or not, it was made in the US. And it was a nice forest green. And it was $3.95. I got four of them. The military caps are okay, but when the wind blows cold it can get through the material..not with these babies! The Zero approves.
Im still trying to figure out what day to make the official day to celebrate Paratus, the holiday of the prepared. I was thinking about possibly the day the Great Depression started. Should probably start shopping for a patron saint while Im at it.
The universe provides…
SpaBoy showed up a few minutes before closing and asked if I wanted to buy a rifle. He’s had some money problems since he got divorced and lost his spa dealership. Iasked if the rifle had a acope on it, figuring Id keep the scope if it was any good. He goes back to his car and comes back with a Savage 110 in .300 Win Mag with a Leupold VariX-II 3×9 on it. Okay, not THE scope I want but at least it’ll get me out to the range over the winter while I save my pennies for the scope I really want. Told Him I’d take the gun off his hands.
Dealer on that scope new is $275.
Bought the scope and the gun for $250.
Now i just gotta dump the .300 Win Mag and recoup my money.
And pick up rings tomorrow and maybe, maybe, maybe get to shoot the CZ this weekend after all.
So I took the SKS’ out again last night. Mucho better. I had one failure to fire out of thirty rounds. I believe it was due, not to the firing pin/bolt having coagulated grease, but rather to the trigger group still having gobs of grease enmeshed in the springs that drive the hammer and such. Simple solution – I’ll pull the trigger groups, boil them, then pour the boiling water and some dish soap into a coffee can, shake well, rinse, oil and all should be well.
Someone commented that the SKS seemed trouble prone and that their AR never hiccupped. First of all, this is the only trouble Ive had with the SKS and the only reason Im having it is because the guts of the gun are caked in cosmoline. Take an AR15 and dunk it in a vat of melted cosmoline, let it dry, and then try degreasing it…let me know how it shoots then. Or if it shoots. Once all the grease is out of this thing it should be back to the 110% reliability rate that these things are famous for.
FAL seems back to normal. I cleaned everything, lightly oiled it and went to the range. I opened up the gas port to the point it would short stroke and then started closing it off until it fired reliably. Fired another 20 rounds through it after that point without a problem, so Im going to leave the gas regulator at that setting. However, Im going to see about swapping the gas regulator ring for one with some numbers on it to make it easier to keep track of what setting it is on. Also order a small spanner for the adjustments…easy enough to order since:
The 15 FAL mags I ordered from DSA arrived today. They also included, at no charge, extra magazine springs. w00t. More importantly, there was a catalog in there so I can order up the little geegaws I want for the FAL. The mags, by the way, were $5 ea. and seem in good shape. Definitely used. About 1/2 of them look a bit tired but they should work fine…no dents or anything. Worth $5 ea? Oh yeah. I now have 27 mags for the FAL…a few more and I’ll call it good.
In non-gun news, I went up to CostCo and purchased their MagLite combo pack. 3-cell ‘D’ MagLite, 2-cell ‘AA’ MiniMag and Duracell batteries for each light all in a package for $19.99. (GREAT Christmas gift, by the way) Picked up several and crossed them off my Enormous List O’ Things To Buy. Still need to pick up spare bulbs and filters, though.
Ok, degreased the SKS’ and took them out again last night. Slightly better results. But stil not 100%. Trudged back home and really got serious about things. Am leaving one SKS out overnight to get it nice and cold, the other is in the house at room temperature. Will take both out later today to test for function. In the meantime, gotta tear down the FAL and see whats going on.