Daily Briefing Page
January 24, 2008
And, I got to the range, as I hoped.
What a surprise, I was the only one there. haha. Freezing temps. Top layer of mud on frozen ground from thawing earlier in the day. I set up and began my testing.
The gun has turned out really fine. I love it. I want one now! ;?)
Great stock, I made sure the grain was correct like this.
So, I set out a couple of steel ground hogs at about 30 yards. I'd set the sights (new) by eye in the shop. I figured I'd start by holding low. The Bison Bellowed and the .575" cast round ball hit right where I was aiming with my standing off-hand hold..
I loaded another .575" cast round ball (from a simple Lee mold) ... and held at the top of the beast. And, the ball folded the steel over on the top of the ground hog's head!
That still amazes me every time I see soft lead do this to steel plate as the result of one of my PCP rifles!
I then loaded a 469 grain 58 cal. slug (Barnes Cast). I held center mass - lined up by the brass open sights. The Bison made a thunderous roar and the steel plate ground hog flipped wildly in the air. I wish I could have gotten a video of that - but I didn't have the equipment to do so. That heavy plate steel object - welded to the heavy length of angle iron, just simply "leaped and spun" in the air. Very satisfying. You can see the result of the lead slug's strike!
And, how about that: once again, I just eye-balled the sights on a new gun, and found that (at the range) I never needed to touch them! Odd - but I've done it many times, for years now.
I have to make a brass ramrod tube clamp, and then this Bison is out the door. I made sure it was correct by this final trip to the range today... And it worked wonderfully.
Funny note: You shoot in open spaces. If you wonder why this field behind the range area isn't all white ... it's because it's covered in what the cow didn't use. haha. I'm sure you realize that farmers spread this on the fields for fertalizer. Fortunately, it was cold enough that the air was clear. ;?)
See - there's always something good in what you are given. ;?) It was alittle cold to be out shooting alone, but the cold gave me the fresh air! haha.
OK ... that's another Legacy gun complete.
January 24, 2008
Another Bison goes out to the range tomorrow ... or ... guess it's later this morning. ;?)
This is the one I altered the stock on. Hope it doesn't snow more.
January 16, 2008
Listen and Learn. No names mentioned.
If you've read for awhile, you'll know that I've warned readers (on a number of occasions) regarding PCP guns that were designed for one power range, and then which have been "hot rodded" to a higher power. Often, the entire package is not in place to make the resulting gun safe to operate.
Boy, was there ever dust ups and back stabbing over that warning, when it's been mentioned before. I've always warned about it anyway, and will once again. Make certain that what you are shooting is safe. The analogy I've used before is this: think of a small compact car that's had a big block V-8 shoved into it. Will it go fast? You bet. Is it safe? Not unless it's been completely remanufactured. Was the front end suspension reworked to handle the extra weight of the engine? Were the brakes completely replaced with units that would handle the stopping requirements? Was the super structure reinforced properly to handle the torque? The list of questions go on and on. Or ... did someone simply hot rod something that was never intended to perform above it's original design specs.
Regarding the hot rodded PCP's, I've asked ... has the bolt locking system be completely redesigned to handle twice the power of the original design? Has the breech been remanufactured so that it will hold significantly more breech pressure without coming apart? And, you bet ... I've been burned in effigy time and again for asking.
Why meddle in a mess? Because, as I've also stated time and time again ... my customers have had, and will have, other guns than mine. I concern myself with their safety first. I also consider the safety of the hobby to be of considerable value.
Empty talk? Bluster?
I got an e-mail tonight from a good friend. I've heard stories before, but this one was alot closer to home. My friend has a couple of my guns, which he's purchased over the years. Powerful guns. Guns that took me quite a long time to make and to proof.
Earlier today, I'd written to ask my friend if he'd been shooting his guns much. I hadn't heard from him in awhile. I got an e-mail back this evening. No ... it had been a long time since he'd shot. He had a story, which was exactly what I've cautioned about.
My friend wrote this:
I haven’t shot since last summer. I went to the range and took a .50 caliber air rifle from another gun maker. That rifle was hot-roded by yet another guy and the fpe was bumped from 250 fpe to approximately 500 fpe. That day on my second shot, the bolt was shot back into my face. I lost one tooth,and fractured three more. My upper lip was split up to the gum. I was knocked out, and it was a very painful and scary experience.
Yeah ... I'll bet it was. Can you imagine coming to, in un-Godly pain, blood all over yourself, and wondering what the total nature of your injuries were?
He continued his mail and story ...
No, that was not my last time at the range. One week later I went to the range again, this time with my Barnes XXXXX, just to make sure that I would have the courage of placing a powerful air rifle to my shoulder, and shoot it while looking thru the scope. It took me more than an hour to set up all the stuff; usually I do it in 15 to 20 minutes. That first shot was an awesome experience. First I was extremely scared and then extremely happy.
I'm thrilled that my friend is more or less OK. It was a horrible experience. I can understand him being alittle jumpy. When he took out my rifle a week later... he was shooting a PCP airgun even considerably MORE powerful than the hot rodded gun. However; mine was designed for about 650-750 fpe from the start. After that "get back on the horse" shot ... my friend says he was "extremely happy". Well, I was also extremely happy that he trusted my gun to get him back in the game. He goes on to express more interest in things related to my business, etc. ....
The reason I convey this story is that (while I've also experienced alot of personal delays beyond my control) ... the fact remains that my guns take time to build for a bunch of very special reasons. I engineer them to be safe. I engineer them from the ground up. I don't hot rod something designed for 250 fpe into shooting 500 fpe. I've cautioned against that for 10 years. Alot of people don't want to wait for mine. I don't blame them. I just caution them to proof what they are buying ...before they shoot it. Caution is never a bad thing.
Beyond simply waiting for my work, people love variety. They want "more" and they want "something else". That's fine unless it leads to tossing aside the "proof what you buy" safety caution.
I'll be burned at the stake again. I couldn't care less. So long as you don't wind up like my friend, with blood, and teeth all over the shooting bench, and you knocked out on the ground.
Anybody that finds fault with me recommending caution in proofing what you shoot ... well ... you decide if they're your friend. For those who have chosen to wait for my work, I assure you (as has always been the case) that it will always be my face up there behind that gun long before you get it.
I remember being at an airgun show ... maybe 10-12 years ago now. We had a small range where we could demonstrate the guns. I had a pretty powerful gun that I'd taken to the range. A few people had followed to see it shoot. Well, in those years, there was a brass barrel / brass pressure reservoir CO2 gun made over seas. It was very crude ... just soldered together. Of course, it was made for the approx. 750-1,200 psi of CO2. I was somewhat skeptical of that alone. But - it was available - it was cheap - and it was gonna be hot-rodded. Well, some fella was there with one of these guns ... that he was running on HPA ... that's high pressure air!!! On a brass pressure reservoir? Are you nuts? Questionable. And, the brass breech was all scabbed up with what was supposed to be additional boiler plate or some such. It looked like a pigeon had crapped on it so far as welds/solder/whatever. Well, every time I'd get a few people who wanted to see my gun shoot, I'd see (out of the corner of my eye) ... this scabby abomination of a thing slide up beside my face on the firing line. The guy would sneak in to soak up some light. I did everything remotely civilized to get the fellow to get his death trap out of my face! But, he was intent upon proving to anyone there, that he had a quicker, better, cheaper way to achieve that which I was obviously robbing people for.
It's a darned shame my friend has a new set of teeth in his mouth, and I suspect ... one heck of a flinch to overcome. Please buy whatever you want. And then, proof it extensively before you shoot it. That's part of what my customers have paid me for over the last 12 years. As you know now ... you can't order one anymore. If you find one of mine on the secondary market ... ask me if I know if it's original Some have been fooled with. I don't want you testing some "tinker's work", thinking that the name alone is proof.
For those who can't stand me but can't stay away from my website ... you be careful too. I don't want to see anyone get hurt ... no matter if they hate me or not. ;?)
January 14, 2008
I'll take this one to the range - test - then ship it and the Carbine.
This is a very fine pc.
Up on the wall there, you see that long wooden shelf. Some of the Christmas holiday organizing and cleaning. Those white faced square black and buff color boxes, stretching to the horizon, are the machine screws required to make these rifles.
So far 08 has been just like 07. The legal stuff with my Mother's estate has boiled over again. What seemed solved, seems to be an open wound again. Court tomorrow. It appears the opposition is refusing to been settled times and terms. Great fun. Attendance is not optional.
I'm doing my best.
Thanks for reading. ;?)
January 11, 2008
Re. The 58 Bison Carbine Range Test
Trying another way to get a movie clip here for you. My video edit ability is limited on this unit - this the entire clip. Let's try this ... it's a 50 yard standing shot video clip.
This was just taken with my small pocket camera. Not high quality zoom - but not bad. This is one of my plate steel groundhogs.
I have several other clips ... think I have it now. I'll load them and get back ...
OK .. I think they explain themselves. The sound doesn't pick up or do justice to the muzzle blast - a shame. This was the quick trip to the range a day or two ago.
Bison Carbine clip 1 58 Bison Carbine in Case
Bison Carbine clip 2 50 yards offhand on steel plate rectangle. Shot with the camera sitting on the truck tailgate about waist level. Thus, you can see the slug streak in as if from above. A couple of frames catch the bullet streak. Neat.
Bison Carbine clip 3 Slug splat recovered after shot
Bison Carbine clip 4 Round ball standing shot on steel hog
Bison Carbine clip 5 450 grain standing shot on same hog. Fun thing, stop the video and move back and forth and you can see the second slug hit right to the left of the ball strike.
Glad I've got the clip thing down. Now I'll have to go back to my bigger digital recorder for better quality... but it's more "stuff" to take. ;?)
January 8pm, 2008
Had a range session with the Bison 58 Carbine this afternoon.
I'll process the pics. I took a few video clips too. I'll have to do those on another computer. I loaded a new video program on this. It nearly fried everything. Wasted two hours of my life loading, trying to patch it, and then un-installing it. Great fun.
Let me get those pics. The gun worked exceptionally well. I really like it.
It's ready to ship now.
I had both .575" cast round ball and 450 grain cast Barnes slugs to test in the muzzle loader.
Both worked exceptionally well.
Front sight is an open ghost ring. The brass is the ramrod tube. Note other steel and brass clamps on the gun. Not the crisp rifling.
Bottom of target is actually the right edge here. First shot down the tube outside the shop was just low left. A quick front sight tweak and the second shot was exactly low center. The round ball really boil on the steel.
Rear adjustable sight ... solid brass.
I found I could stand and shoot the gun offhand ... open sights ... and pound the steel ground hog at about 50 yards.
Most of the fun stuff was on the videos. I'll work on them asap.
The second bison is in the final stage of refitting as per customer request. Will go to the field in a couple of days.
The bluing salts have finally arrived. I'll be able to be back in the bluing business now as soon as the parts are ready.
So far, 08 has been just alittle more stressful than 07. But, we're dealing with it all and getting some work done too.
Thanks for reading.
January 8, 2008
Doing well - thanks.
I continue to get e-mails and letters, from customers, who express their sorrow that I've gone out of business. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I've changed my business model - that's all. For ten years, people have had access to my work thru a unique "ledger system" open to anyone who wished to purchase.
Those who realized the unique opportunity of the ledger, took advantage of it. Art quality 100% handcrafted pneumatic rifles and pistols ... set up on a monthly, no interest schedule! Unheard of. But - it was here for ten years.
Fast forward. Can you imagine that, out of the entire world, I've developed some serious followers of my work who wish to have more? Most definitely. The open market couldn't last forever in a one man operation. Therefore; what happened was that those who'd become very good friends and serious collectors, had to go back to the end of the line to get something else. What kind of reward was that for years of friendship? And so, the ledger was closed on Dec. 22, 2007. Any order placed by that date, will be built.
Beyond that, I'm certainly NOT quitting. That's a rumor going around started by those who either just like to stir the pot, create trouble wherever they can, or those without the attention span to read a single five sentence paragraph. Here's the announcement I posted.
Please Note: As of 12-22-07, I have ceased accepting orders. Any orders which have been accepted prior to this point, will be produced as ordered. Let's not have any confusion please: I am NOT canceling any orders already placed. I am NOT closing the doors. I AM simply ceasing to accept orders for my work.
After clearing the ledger, I will continue to produce an even higher quality product; in order to better serve those who have taken the time and interest to become friends of myself, and Barnes Pneumatic.
I will continue to have this website, though the format will change.
Thank all of you for reading. Believe what you read here - and little of what you read elsewhere concerning myself or Barnes Pneumatic. Nobody bothers to toss stones at the bottom tier of any industry. We are well aware of why so many love to nip at our ankles.
January 6, 2008
Sorry - forgot that Bison carbine pic.
That's the brass ramrod tube and clamps. Also sight parts. I'll assemble those today. If the weather holds here - I'll get to the range tomorrow or the next day. Then ship, if all's correct.
On Saturday ....
Here's Jerry B. shooting his Barnes Maverick 25 Carbine Magnum
I had opportunity to go to the range with Jerry B., friend and ledger customer. He had the Woodsman 62/32 and the Maverick 25 Carbine Mag.
Over the holidays, I'd completed a much needed project of a portable shooting bench. This was a good time to try it out. It worked well, sat well, was the right height, and broke down to about 6" flat.
Jerry had his guns nicely cased, and ... while he shoots them all of the time, they looked like new.
The Woodsman 62 with 32 Barnes insert rifled barrel installed. Jerry changes the format when he cares to.
Jerry started out dead on, and just got better from there. This was his "sight in" shot at 50 yards with the 32 Woodsman. Nice placement!
You see the 32 insert inside the 62 smooth bore barrel.
Jerry took a few 100 yard warm ups ...
And then unloaded this trophy group ...
We taped his sight in shot ... then we walked back to the bench and he shot this "Sub-1/2 MOA" group. It measured .438" center to center. Excellent shooting.
Note as well: The Woodsman is a Hybrid format. The gun can shoot anything from bird shot, thru 62 caliber slugs, to 32 buck ball and 32 custom slugs. It's not a dedicated bench target rifle. However: is sure shoots like one!
Great shoot. I enjoyed it. Wanted you to share.
I'll have Bison out on the bench in a couple of days.
January 1, 2008
Happy New Year Everyone. God Bless you in 2008.
I've spent alot of the shop time during the Holidays, cleaning up, organizing, and improving the shop layout. Makes for more effecient work cycles. Shelving, rolling work table, accessories. Takes effort and time, but you get that back quickly in effeciency.
I've enjoyed some family time during the break. Even got in a shooting session. That was nice.
I'll clean up the website some to reflect the newer business model as I have the chance between shop cycles. Thanks very much for your continued interest. Thanks for reading. I hope you find an enjoyable break from your own work cycles.
All the Best,
From the Mississippi files.
December 28, 2007
Interesting example of why there's not more shared material on the topic of Barnes custom airguns ...
Recently, a customer of mine found this 45 caliber Barnes "Alpine" for sale on the net. He purchased it, and arranged to have me look it over. Just yesterday, he'd arranged to accompany me to the range to field test the gun. We had an enjoyable day, over this holiday break, shooting this 8 year old Barnes PCP rifle.
We no sooner arrived, than it started to rain. We improvised a tarp shelter, and kept on shooting.
We had a Leupold scope he'd grabbed off of another gun. We quickly attached it, and roughly sighted it in. However; the Alpine was made for more period style peep sights, and the scope rail wanted a longer eye relief scope than this particular Leupold model. We just leaned over the stock alittle more than ideal (until the new scope comes in and the customer mounts a more correct fit). For the day, this was good for fun. In the target shown, we walked in the slug, then fired two. Went to examine, walked back to the bench, and put two more into the group. Good day - great fun.
As a number of my customers have done, in the past, this customer decided to share his enjoyment of his sport with the readers of one of the internet airgun chat rooms. And, (true to history) yet to his utter amazement, the "Swarm" there on the chat room, crawled all over him like fire ants. He was courteous enough not to share the particulars with me, other than the fact that many who commented under his posts were rude, insulting, and displayed a manic agenda to destroy anything remotely connected with Barnes Pneumatic. He says a couple stuck up for him - and he appreciated that ... but the whole thing was a mess.
Other customers have found the same thing. Apparently, in the mind of the swarm, the field of big bore airguns belongs exclusively to a particular chat room, and no mention will be tolerated without their express approval. What's the result? No harm to anything EXCEPT the sport of airguns. Those customers who have, and continue to enjoy my work, simply associate with their civilized fellow collectors. The shoots, shows, conversations, hunts, discussions, and displays connected with Barnes, go on out of the public eye. The funny thing is, the Barnes collectors all have presently, or have owned multiple copies of the guns the swarm favors. The Barnes collectors have decided to "also" own Barnes work. That's the "unpardonable sin", should they decide to try to share in anything outside the Barnes complex of media or events. And so, they just don't bother. Yet, they certainly don't toss aside their Barnes and join the collective.
As a result, the shoots have been either segregated, boycotted, or simply ruined. After five years of trying to share something with the trade in the form of shows and tournaments, I just stopped wasting my time and money on public events.
Without putting bright flashing markers along the path to the Barnes events, those who attend found their way there without any effort. I've openly mentioned, for ten years, that I make my work for my "friends". I don't twist anybody's arm to buy my work, I don't solicit for friends, and I certainly don't lay out a detailed path to private events. It's alot like the old proverb, "When the student is ready, a teacher will appear". I've been thru alot of crap in 53 years. One of the things I've learned is how to recognize a friend. And so, there's no danger of a Barnes event where nobody came. ;?)
The Alpine PCP shown above, was a "one off" design. A "prototype" if you wish. I made it for myself. I didn't poll for suggestions. I shot it in a tournament in 99/2000 I think it was. Won that class with it. Sold it to a collector who seriously wanted it at the time. Evidently, it went un-used. The buyer purchased 4 bricks of custom cast slugs for it when new. When my current customer bought it off the net recently, it came with those same 4 bricks of custom cast slugs (minus 9 slugs). I looked it over for the new buyer, and it seemed fine. I proofed it, in my shop, for the customer when he made an appointment to bring it by. After it's 8 years of storage, it shot up to original specs.,. as recorded in my shop ledger. Yesterday, we made a pre-arranged trip to the range, and used the 8 year old slugs.
Seems like a decent story. A 550 foot pound 45 caliber airgun handmade 8+ years ago. Retains original spec. capability after 8 years of storage. Double acting, double set triggers function flawlessly. A nice range session. Great photos. The customer found the gun on the net. Same customer who has three Barnes guns on the ledger, and who is waiting like everyone else, has remained a friend. When my mother was laboring thru the last year of her life, this buyer had the simple decency to understand that my life wasn't exactly a bowl of cherries. Instead of hounding me about his order, he asked about how I was holding up. And, that was the pattern of all of my friends. He's speaking of the fine customer service he's found here, and the unique qualities I build into my work. When the next Barnes shoot arrives, he'll most likely be there. And, that's the way it works here - always has.
Just a FYI for the other Barnes owners and readers. Don't bother attempting to share your enjoyment of my work with the chat rooms. You don't need to experience the bias and rudeness.
From the tree stand ...
Looking thru files, here's another Barnes 58 caliber that went hunting this year.
An enjoyable day in Mississippi.
Thanks for reading.
God Bless you for a great New Year.
December 20, 2007
Our family has flown in for Christmas. I got some good work out recently that was old. Finishing up this Bison set too right now. Didn't get the pics yet - I've had this lousy head/chest cold thing that always knocks me down.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season.
I'll work as I'm able during the season, but I will rarely be on-line now for awhile. It's Christmas here as well - I've given it everything I had this year. I usually get some grinch letter Christmas Eve. We decided not this year.
God bless you and your family. We pray for those of you who have shared your family needs. Kelly's surgeries went well. Our daughter Dana is still suffering serious pain and the Drs. don't know why. She's had surgery, and it didn't help. Remember her please. My other daughter's surgery went well. She's pregnant. We'll have a grandson. She's in state now - haven't seen them yet. Kelly's been helping her Mom who has Alzheimer and a brain tumor. Remember them too please. With everything, it's still Christmas ... and a joy to celebrate.
I'll still take and post those pics.
Merry Christmas Everyone.
Gary and Kelly
December 18, 2007
Yes - thanks, everything is fine. I've just had my head down working hard. Some pics in a day or two.
December 9, 2007
Great pic of Joe ready to hunt. Really glad to see one of my guns in the field - part of the American Heritage. Deer hunting in the Fall, is a generational tradition.
Joe took a nice 6 point buck. And, he says he's seen a big ole buck he's trying to ambush.
I saw a button buck on my hunt last week. Nothing last night when I had the chance to go again.
After the stress of last week's legal stuff, I get to enjoy a bud's 70th birthday party today. Should be relaxing.
Hope you enjoy your Sunday.
We had snow. Pretty with my wife's Christmas lights.
Merry Christmas to all of you.
Gary and Kelly
December 7, 2007
I got my life back today.
The court case regarding the settlement of my Mother's Estate reached settlement. This has a been a year long drain on time, resources, and what passes for my nerves. And it's over. Thank God.
I can resume my life in progress, having missed one year.
To those of you for whom it may apply, thank you sincerely for your patience (in whatever degree you were able to extend it). I never asked for this burden, and it's been a heavy one. I'll practically have to learn to walk again without it.
December 6, 2007
Yesterday was my birthday. I spent it in the attorney's office. Bummer. ;?)
However; a friend invited me to hunt at his place this evening. Sounded like just what the Dr. ordered.
That's Herb and myself.
It was beautiful in the woods before the sun starting falling.
About 4:30, from my tree stand, I looked across and saw this! That's right ... a deer. The laser said 94 yards when I first saw it - near the top of the hill. I watched it graze downward ... to the center of the pic.
Yeah - I know ... it's nearly impossible to see them. It wasn't much better in real life.
Here's an isolated part of the pic. Dead center - facing left. You might pick out the legs first.
By studying it thru the rifle scope, I determined it was a Button buck. I watched it for 30-45 minutes as it foraged on the brush greens. I could just make out the light hair over the knobs on it's brow. Come back in a few years "my deer" ... haha.
We've had snow, and the lights sure are pretty at night. Kelly did a great job of putting those up for us.
She had two hand surgeries Monday, and is doing well. My daughter had surgery last week. She's feeling much better too. We're very grateful for that. My second daughter, is doing very well after her surgery of a few weeks ago. Man ... it's alot to keep up with.
I have another hearing at the courthouse tomorrow. I hope it's brief. Great when I can spend solid hours in the shop, but I'm getting just pcs. of days.
Thanks for taking a look.
December 3, 2007
Glad to be back and working in the shop. I had a very nice hunt and get-away.
Here's my host's "Bad Boy Buggy" ... and electric 4WD machine that will climb trees and is completely silent.
We saw no bucks. Too early for the Rut. Full moon at night - so the deer were able to feed all night - just bed down in the brush during the day. Kent and I both took Doe. Had a fine time. We stayed on site in Kent's travel trailer. We both belong to the hunt club on the 4,500 acre lease in Mississippi.
In my haste to ship two guns the morning of my flight, I absent mindedly dropped my custom pocket knife back into my pants pocket. Where it remained until confiscated by Homeland Security at the metal detector booth. Somebody there got a nice $750 Barnes knife. Added a bit of expense to the cost per pound of Doe meat. ;?)
The other gun that shipped prior to the hunt. A Muzzle loaded 58 caliber of 500 fpe.
Had a nice deer carving on the stock.
November 21, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
Rain and nasty all week. Finally some sun today, and I was in the attorney's office all day again. Supposed to be a much shorter deposition meeting. I got home about dark - no time to range test. The trial stuff regarding my Mother's estate is finally going well - to all appearances. But using up alot of time though.
Packages being stuffed for Friday ship now. Week just did not co-operate. And more for FED EX after I leave Fri. late morning.
I hope you all get to enjoy something and find peace in something at Thanksgiving. Thank you for being a part of Barnes Pneumatic.
November 18, 2007
Take a look at Rex's new 45 Nitro Express Magnum. I finally got the pics. I was sick all day yesterday. Woke up to a cold house with the furnace down this am. That took awhile to find and correct.
The rifle is all done. Ready to test.
Deep relief hand carved Oak leaves and Acorns.
I think it's a handsome/classic design - right in line with the previous Nitro Express Magnums
Nice shot of the front clamp and rifling.
Very pretty blank of Bastone Walnut from our stock sale.
Classic "wedding band" stock ring. Machined from solid brass flat stock.
Shows the hand engraved logo nicely. Bold billet brass trigger guard as well.
The business section. Nice details.
I'm very much satisfied. Hope you like it, and enjoy it Rex.
November 14, 2007
OK, I just finished the 45 Nitro Express. It's about 11pm ... what's this ... Wed.? I know you'd like to see it, but that's hours of work to set up, photograph, process, and post. It looks great, and I'll surely post asap.
I'm going to do everything in my power to ship it Friday.
What I've been fighting is this: All day Tues. in legal conference - then the rest of the day preparing legal documents for the case. All day today, preparing documents to use in Kelly's deposition all day tomorrow. As Personal Representative for my Mother's Estate, I have to be present at several depositions tomorrow. There goes tomorrow ... with tomorrow night to work. It gets draining.
The Bisons have to ship early next week - to arrive before Thanksgiving. Day after, I'm traveling to go hunting. I'm about to drop. I "need" to go hunting.
That's the plan. Keep me in mind. I'd appreciate a prayer for health and clarity.
Won't forget those pics.
November 13, 2007
Update. I've been working evenings. This week is eaten up by attorney meetings. I'd sure rather be working ... on anything else. ;?)
Just about to finish both the Nitro and Bison. Along with a couple of other guns in the shop which go to ledger folk.
Thanks for checking in. Hope you have enjoyed the carving pics.
I failed to post yesterday, as most of the day, my laptop was running a virus scan, and defrangmentation program. However: I did not forget:
God Bless our Veterans. They are the reason that we can enjoy our hobbies, and our lifestyle. I often think, the lives we lead are like "Star Wars". None of the riches of the Kings of olde, could have purchased a cell phone, a FAX, a PC. We can ask Google absolutely any question that eludes us, and get fifty answers in an instant. We can get into our car and drive 3,000 miles if we want. And, when we get there, we'll most likely find a Walmart with anything we need ... cheap.
God Bless the Veterans for allowing this totally magical lifestyle to exist. There are millions of people who would like to see it stop here in America. God Bless our Country. Anything 200 years old will have a scratch or two on it. Just means it's been used and enjoyed.
November 12, 2007
Working on the Stock for this Bison Carbine. Nearly finished.
The grooves are milled in for the pressure tube and hammer tube.
Here's the fit of this model Bison.
Another angle. As you see - we're just about finished. That's the Nitro Express above the Bison. That's just hours from completion.
Close-up of the carving. This is laid out and carved my hand. I'll finish sanding the stock and forearm and start oiling the wood while finishing the sights.
Hope you've enjoyed the pics lately.
OK ... It's Sunday night 12:30 am ... or that's Monday morning ... That's enough for today. Time to hit the showers and take the rest of the evening off!
November 8pm, 2007
Almost there ...
November 8, 2007
Excellent news regarding my daughter's surgery yesterday. The tumor removed is benign. Thank God. I sincerely appreciate the Dr's efforts to get this pathology complete and get the news to us. That shows sincere concern for the patient.
I sincerely thank those of you who told me you were praying for our daughter and for us. I believe God hears prayers. Thank you for your friendship. It means alot.
November 6, 2007
Oiling and baking finishes on some - machining and sanding on other stocks. Working alot late at night.
Tomorrow, one of my daughters undergoes surgery for the removal of a mass. Biopsy to follow. We're very concerned for her health. She's also pregnant, which complicates things alot.
Another daughter was in the hospital a month ago, with horrible pains. They never isolated the cause, and the problem goes on and on. She's remained on a bunch of narcotics while a complete comedy of errors followed with her treatment. You recall, the last she was in the hospital, they put a woman in with her with open sores and staph infection. That was about a week before we listened, day and night, to the endless list of cases of killer Staph all over the country. That made us feel real good!
She's waited forever to get a surgical procedure which could diagnose the problem. She most likely has severe complications from having the triplets two years ago. Yesterday, after many weeks of waiting, she was to have this diagnostic surgery. At the last minute, the anesthesiologist said her blood count was too low to proceed. They canceled the proceedure - literally as she was preparing for surgery.
Even that had been messed around all day with the time shifted from first thing in the morning, to late in the afternoon, to trying to fit it in, to cancelled completely. All the while, there's three triplets at home which the whole family has been scrambling to help with, for some time. She followed with being able to see a blood specialist yesterday (that was immediate and a surprise) and he declared that she could have had the surgery. The charts told her blood count from last Friday's pre-op ... and since she's dropped one medication since, her count had come way up. Yesterday's actual numbers would have been just fine, if they would have tested it.
So - she's missed her window for surgery. Next scheduled Dec. 2 and now there's no time to follow up for major surgery when she had arranged family to cover for her.
Sadly, my mother-in-law has stage three Alzheimer's and a brain tumor as well. It's very much like what we just went thru with my own Mother.
That's just the high spots. The legal mess with my mother's estate goes on, and on.
Sounds like a bad movie. And it is. Immediately below, you see the type of work I've been doing, late at night, on the weekends, and whenever time allows. I know some folks are fed up with the endless tragedies that seem to crop up here. For the record ... I am too. Doesn't matter, I have to deal with them all - they're not optional.
I'd appreciate those of you who care to pray for my daughters, these are very tense days that we certainly didn't expect or desire.
For something alittle lighter (and God knows we need it): In between the cracks, I screwed together some part's bin parts into a suitable rifle to hunt with this Fall. I need something to look forward to or go nuts. Mounting a scope, I ran into some very unexpected scope "brand issues".
I purchased a Leupold Rifleman Series 3 by 9 by 50 mm. I wanted the 50 mm glass for twilight visibility. Mounting the scope, I found first that the scope elevation had no "clicks" to it's adjustment! I figured the thing was broken until I checked the internet and found that these scopes use a "Friction" adjust - with no clicks. I didn't like that at all. You have no confidence that you've done anything when adjusting. In addition, I had to adjust the elevation all the way up for 50 yards! Again, totally weird. I knew the scope rails were machined correctly.
I happened to be in Walmart, and saw the Simmons 3 by 9 by 50 mm Blazer Series scope. $39.87. WHAT!!!??? I've loved the small 4X Turkey Federation shotgun scopes I've had from Simmons. Excellent, tough little scopes - and I liked the diamond reticle. Well, I had to get one of these to see.
First test, I padded and taped the two scopes, side by side, on a board so I could compare low light features. The scopes are the same size, weight, and length. I propped the short board atop a garden rake and used it as a mono-pad. Hey - this is a grade A test facility! ;?) I figured it should only take a quick peek thru both to tell the difference. Looking at details a block away, at night (objects dimly lit by street lights and such), I was amazed to find both scopes to be very clear. Equal in fact. Even the edges of the field of view. Both crystal clear. I finally realized that the Leupold had a degree or two of extra field of view. But it was so small as to almost dismiss.
I found that, at 9X, if you looked at something dimly lit, which was between you and a bright light source (so the thing was back-lit), there was more lens flare in the Simmons. However; when do you find a deer standing in front of a street light at night? When both were turned down to 5X, things were much better with the Simmons - the Leupold was still better. But - as I say - it's a non-existing format.
Next day, I mounted the Simmons. It was clear and crisp. I found that; where the Leupold had coin slot adjusts, the Simmons had nice finger knobs. The Simmons clicked to position. And, once sighted in, the Simmons still had three full revolutions of adjust above the 50 yard zero, and five full rotations below. Recall the Leupold was pegged out atop for 50 yards!
I contacted SWFA, where I bought the Leupold. They told me I could see what their "USED SCOPE DEPARTMENT" would give me for the scope. Since I'd mounted it, it wasn't new you see. Be warned, that was "customer service". For a laugh, I filled out the used department's form on-line. I've gotten no response in a couple of days now.
In the end, if I had paid the $258 for the Simmons, I'd have been delighted with the features. Walmart charged $39.87. I paid $258 for the Leupold, and wouldn't say it's worth 50 bucks to me. Maybe if you bought one of their $500 models, you'd get a really fine one. For what I've seen so far, the Simmons will do everything I need it to do.
Just my humble experience. ;?)
That's an all around update. Trying to stay sane and work all I can.
November 2, 2007
I've continued with the stock carving on the Hungerford Nitro Express Magnum.
These pics are all of the carving BEFORE the oil finish is applied. The highlights will come out, and the contrasts deepen, when the wood is oiled.
These panels are carved, sanded, and burnished at this time.
The arm is sort of "blown out". Surprise. ;?)
Now the final stock sanding and oiling begins.
What you are seeing here is all on the same stock.
(Since folks want to know ... this is about $2,000 in carving). You can break it up and imagine about what the various portions are worth. This is also an ambidextrous stock ... so there are double panels.
October 30, 2007
I've been working and not posting. Here's some pics I've taken of progress along the way. Hope you enjoy.
Rex ... this is your stock. ;?)
This is the stock for the 45 Nitro Express Magnum. A great color Bastone Walnut with a black walnut forearm cap.
This blank was from our stock blank sale of months back. This was laid back on the shop racks.
A great thumbhole stock goes on the Nitro Series. Laid out here for sculpting.
Here, that sculpting has been done, and everything filed.
The reservoir groove milled in and signed. The signature will be finished over. You see the nice finish the milling leaves on the wood.
Here's a close up of my splice. Bonded with a high tech two part adhesive.
How about some deep relief carving?
We'll just carve away everything that doesn't look like oak leaves and acorns!
Here, we've begun that long and tedious process of removing the background, without ruining what we wish to remain.
And the forearm grip area. Oak leaves and Acorns.
Gonna be a very elegant stock...
Hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the work.
Back's been feeling pretty good. A few things have left me alone this week ... ;?) ...and I've gotten some good things done.
Thanks for reading .... ;?)
October 25, 2007
No - it wasn't for fun. We had to.
Back in the shop today.
October 24, 2007
We had to make a dash to North Carolina. Down fast yesterday ... back today .. by car. A lovely drive. ;?)
But - we're back safely.
October 22, 2007
I have all the internal levers made and installed in the latest Bison. I'll be testing that soon. I have to change the shop around to do woodwork. Space is short. I'll be finishing several stocks together now - far more efficient.
All of the previous "issues" have continued, and a couple of more have been added. I'm taking care of it. I've been doing some very late night shifts. Compensates some.
Kelly had hand surgery, as I mentioned. She got along well. Our daughter Dana is having an exploratory surgical procedure soon.
It's been quite hot here. Finally got a break today, but it's still very warm for
I'll post some pics soon. I've just been trying to get as much into each day as possible.
October 14, 2007
Just as is, the Nitro Express action shot the Barnes 200 grain @ 885 fps.
I took a couple of more shots this morning - without changing anything. (It's as assembled - no tuning to date). I ran it up to 455 fpe with the 406 grain slugs.
Excellent action. Gonna be a great gun.
October 13, 2007
Action: Barnes 45 Nitro Express Magnum - Legacy
I've completed the remainder of my check list ... and prepared the action for it's "First Fire". Always an interesting experience. I will have designed the entire project on paper. I will have carefully made each of about one hundred parts, over perhaps 18 months plus or minus. Machined, heat treated, and finished each part of the puzzle.
Finally; the check lists tell me ... "Congratulations: That's it ... try it out".
I carefully assemble each part, noting every relationship between each other assisting part. Go over everything in my mind thoroughly. O.K. ... charge it.
3,000 psi. - clean. Pick a slug. This time, it was the 406.4 grain slug in 45 caliber.
Remember now ... this isn't the "tuned version" .... not the maxed out trial - it's just the very first slug ever down the tube, from this freshly assembled batch of parts which I've put my heart and soul into.
Activate the lights and chronograph. Chamber the slug. Line up through the shop muzzler: Check that the bolt's closed. Check the barrel alignment. Glance that the chronograph is ready. Check the alignment again. Tweak the triggBANG!!!!!!
Clean reset. Good shot. 674 fps on the screen ... that's 410 fpe for it's "First Fire" shot. Excellent. Right where it should be.
Finished that logo hand engraving. The other night, it was late and I was beat. There's "acceptable", and "unacceptable" here. There's no scale of 1-10 for the quality of my work. So ... I quit when I know it's time to quit. I finished it this morning. Alright ... a brief celebratory respite is in order!
October 12pm, 2007
The action is ready to fire.
The bold strokes of the engraved logo are in place. The detail strokes will be added.
Snapped a quick pic, and now realize it's difficult to see the diff. between the last pic and this. But the valves are all in, it's charged to 3,000 psi. The springs, guides, levers, trigger block - all functional.
A few too many (legal case) interruptions today, and it got too late to fire the beast. Will blast off a few shots tomorrow, and keep moving forward.
October 12, 2007
Rex, the reservoir of your Nitro Express Mag. had it's valves installed, and is holding air. I'm assembling the action. Might get a "First
I have to finish the barrel clamp, trigger guard, and stock. Coming along very well. Always slower than anticipated. There's daily side roads that must be taken due to responsibilities.
I'll have pics soon. Sorry for the delay. I've been working more than taking pics.
We've got a new Nitro Express!
The new Bison is right behind it. It's at least as far along as the Nitro.
October 9, 2007
Kelly got along well with her hand surgery today. Thanks. Not only carpal tunnel release, but what's called a "trigger finger" release as well.
We left home at about 1:45 this afternoon ... got home about 7:45 pm. Lots of waiting and heavy traffic. She feels thoroughly lousy, and is resting.
October 8, 2007
Took a few pics of the Nitro action. I've been torn with the time I had to work on it, and the need to assemble it enough to get a rough photo. It's coming very well.
Here you note that the trigger block is complete and in place. The hammer train is mostly assembled. The firing machinery is all made and fitted. the billet is not dressed or polished. And, of course, a gun doesn't look like a gun without the stock.
Everything is coming together to make this another excellent member of the 45 Nitro Express Class.
Small touches that add interest. The reservoir end has a tight crosshatch pattern. Gives the assembled whole a "contrast" that looks great.
Kelly has been on the waiting list too. She told me that Sunday was the day ....
that the new mattress and box spring was to be picked up.
"Charming" old Victorian Home. Three floors of hallways with six doors in six feet, corkscrew staircases, and endless corners. Furniture simply does NOT go up or down. As we reaffirmed Sunday. Having the box spring a third of the way up the front staircase .... jammed against the railing, wall, and ceiling at the same time .... told us it was time to get out the block and tackle again. The eve outside the office French panel window has a big ole hook eye. The tackle hooks on there. The big floor to ceiling window comes out and .... nothin' to it .... up goes the box spring.
Didn't expect THAT one ... did you?
Thanks for your questions regarding our daughter. Endometriosis is the track they are following. Seems a long process to finally get around to "doing" something other than just taking pain pills. But ... we hope it's all on the correct track. Your prayers are appreciated.
Tomorrow, my wife Kelly gets hand surgery. We'd appreciate your thoughts and prayers there too.
Thanks for reading.,
October 7, 2007
Please forgive the lack of posting Friday night. I was beat. I'll try to get those pics for you today. Yesterday morning, I had a chance to go shooting with Jim, the new owner of the most recent Scout 45 I've made. Jim purchased it off the net, and has been having a great time with it.
It's easily de-tuned for his five acre wooded home plot. And easily re-tuned for range work. He can turn it down to be amazingly quiet - when shooting around 400 fps. And, today, he'd chosen to run it at about 700 fps for the .454" round lead ball.
Here's Jim, with his Scout. He's mounted a fine Leupold 3 by 9 mildot Scope. Gives great eye relief.
We took along, some of my 2 am steel groundhogs. As you can see, there were alot of center shots, from all distances. We had them from about 40 to 71 yards ... by Jim's range finder.
Jim was shooting round ball. I had some slugs for him to try, but we had no sizing die for the 45. They were just alittle tight for the muzzle loader. The ball did a great job though.
Even at distance - this about 62 yards, the ball was completely flattened on the steel hog as it knocked over.
This is a hard oak plank we had leaning at 80 yards, against a wire fence. As you can see, the ball buried totally. That's a 2" plank that's seasoned for years. Note; his shot from 80 yards is well centered and an inch or two low.
Hog Down! 100 yards. This was the end of the session. Each with a shot at a steel hog. Jim won ... I bought the milk shakes!
We had a great time. It was a well needed break after the stress of the week.
October 5, 2007
If you've never been "Deposed" for a trial, God bless you. You're the lucky one.
Yesterday, I was in the deposition room of a law office from 10 am - 5:30 pm. The law allows the opposing side's attorney to "depose" (ask any question he likes) of anyone who will testify at trial. The stated purpose, is to lay on the table just who will say what, and why. Rational being, for both sides to draw a "guess" as the the strength of their case, prior to going before a pre-trail "Master" who will badger each side to settle out of court.
My attorney told me that, in court, he'd have objected to 70% of the questions the other attorney asked. But; within the framework of the deposition process, the other attorney can ask anything he wishes. Yes ... it IS absurd.
Therefore; hour after hour yesterday, I was treated like a common thief, hammered over and over with a thousand versions of "when did you stop beating your Mother ... yes or no". ;?") Hour after hour of non-sense, designed to somehow get you so confused that you will contradict yourself over what your favorite lunch was in 4th grade. Water boarding would have been a refreshing break from the deposition process.
So today, don't call me. I'm mad as ^&*8. Even though I withstood the onslaught, and my attorney was extremely pleased with my deposition. I'm disgusted that the legal system defies logic, and exposes the innocent to such extremes.
To be clear, "I" am not the issue before the court. "I" have not been accused of anything. I'm simply the court appointed Personal Representative of my Mother's estate. However; it was clear yesterday, that the opposing attorney has studied the behavior of our Congress and Senate; where the bulk of time is spent attempting to destroy your opponent's person, rather than debating issues.
What's left of me will be in the shop later today.
I promised some pictures of the Nitro and Bison progress today.
September 29, 2007
Feeling well and getting alot done.
Hope you are enjoying the weekend.
Placed a few more pics in the catalog. Link Above. I'll connect a few of the cost grids which are not there now. At least, you have a good collection of the various models.