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Friday, April 8, 2016

Latest on the S&W 1911Sc

Yesterday I got my beloved 1911 SC back from S&W. They made it right, and repaired everything, paying shipping both ways...New plunger housing staked on, and chamfered correctly it looks like. 
We're at the range and ready to fire 300 rounds of cheap Russian Wolf Poly ammo.
Ten yards rapid fire, four full magazines worth. Remember, we are testing for operation,
not accuracy. Not Olympic groups, but respectable for crap ammunition.

The target below I decided to fire a magazine of 185 grain +P Remington Golden Saber, my duty carry ammo. Not an issue. Spot on.
Fifteen yards, rapid fire. This is with the Russian stuff. Not pretty, but doable. 
Rapid fire with Russian at 25 yards. Not easy with this lightweight .45 ACP. In fact, I can tell you, it is damn difficult to shoot rapid fire with a lightweight .45 ACP. If you disagree, write and tell me why. I suspect you do not have much experience..
All over the place rapid fire, but, acceptable if in a violent confrontation.
Thirty+ rounds, cadence fired to the head at 30 yards. I am NOT pleased with this target.
OK, is it the gun, the ammo, or me? I set this target up at 15 yards and shot at cadence speed. Watch the front sight. 100 rounds. Press. and is shooting spot on.
I do need to say though, that the Wolf Poly ammo is a no go. It IS cheap, and now we know why. It is not entirely accurate or dependable. The Russians use extremely hard primers, and if you shoot this stuff and have a failure to fire, try the round again. Sometimes it'll go, and sometimes not. If not, dump it. It burns extremely dirty.  Below you see the repaired S&W torn down. I have never cleaned a dirtier weapon than this one after 300 rounds of Wolf Poly Ammo. It is terrible. After 150 rounds of failure free shots, we had constant failure to feeds, with the failure to feed bullet up in a half closed battery. 
Below is the product of 300 rounds of the poorest and dirtiest ammunition I have ever fired. This .45 was gunked up beyond  belief, and I had multiple failures to feed.  I
know this is not the fault of the gun because I shot twenty rounds of duty +P 185 grain Golden Saber, and they functioned perfectly. 
Conclusion: Got the gun back, all fixed. Operates fine, and I realize now, after having fired some 500 rounds through my S&W M&P 9 while the .45 was gone, how easy it is to control the 9mm. Now, in defense of the .45, I am shooting a lightweight one. It is tremendously difficult to control if you are not an experienced shooter. This is a professional's gun to be sure. It is accepted among the pro's that if you shoot a lightweight commander type over a full size, you'll have to train 25 % more to obtain the same skill level as you would with a full size. I can live with that, as I shoot all the time.
On a calmer note. Can you believe these lilys in our kitchen? The perfume is almost overwhelming!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

April Arrives at Long Ridge Deer Camp

March here in the Connecticut River Valley was absolutely...decent. Usually here in March in the mornings I am walking on 18 inches of snow with cement like crust, which by noon has softened enough to become impassable. This year,  slogging through mud. As of today, I only have one place left on the property that is still frozen, and by tomorrow everything will be completely thawed. As you may have surmised, the deer never needed to yard up this year, and thus I threw out a bit of corn everyday to maintain a longer census. I did switch from cracked corn to whole corn on the advice of a game warden. Interestingly, turkeys never discovered the corn until a week or so ago. Speaking of turkeys, a video of a flock of 150+ was taken less than a mile from camp! The flock you see here numbers around twenty. Early this morning our hunters were out scouting for turkeys.
One thing different this year. Not a single coyote on camera since December. They are GONE! I have a neighbor to thank for that. But imagine, if you will, that now I have to travel if I want to hunt them! How ironic is that! Watch the fawn numbers soar. 
Below is a nice looking doe passing underneath a twenty foot ladder stand. I've never placed a camera here before and am pleased at all the pictures.
Eyeball within earshot picture of this curious deer!
This red fox is just about to cross one of my mineral licks. Looks healthy, and why not? No snow cover for rabbits or mice this year.
One of our flocks feeding, with a big tom wanting to go to work. Pay attention ladies!
This is the so-called hemlock group below. They bed about 300 yards from here in a dense hemlock grove. There are actually nine in this group.
Just winging on by...
Can anyone tell me what kind of creature this red fox has caught? The fox appears healthy, if not fat!
Not sure if this turkey is flying in, flying out, or just exercising.
The picture below explains why we call them 'whitetails'!
Turkeys and deer. Almost always compatible, although deer youngsters love to chase the big birds.
The two pictures below show what I have been doing on trail, and there is a lot of cleaning up to do still!

Beside farm chores, trail cleanup is a week long issue in these parts. No ice storms this year but we did have some days of near gale force winds, and it'll take me days to be happy with trail conditions. Not complaining here, I love the work! With farm maintenance and chores, and twice weekly trips to the shooting range (and the Sheriff's Dept) we do stay busy!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

1st Day of Spring, at Long Ridge Deer Camp 2016

The first day of spring here in the Connecticut River Valley brought us a 10 degree morning and hard freeze. Nothing unusual here, but we had already gotten used to the 40 degree weather. Still a ton of frost in the ground as there should be at this time of year. We took a nice trail ride on the ATV's the other day, and put out three more game cameras. The trails are a mess from the 50-60 mph winds we have had, but mostly small stuff. Until below, on the Mid Trail. Only took ten minutes to clear, and fun! I so love this stuff!

 First time placing a camera at Flip's stand and check out the pictures taken within 24 hours! Guess this one was placed right!

 Seems this little fox has a creature in his mouth but I cannot see it to say what it is...
 These three are from the Cass, and regular visitors..
 A healthy happy face!
 This flock of twenty is a regular now, and the big old boy in the rear, though early, is eager to go to work...
 That is, until little deer come in and re-take the territory. Sometimes they co-exist, other times, nope.

 These two below, wander in from the South but are not part of the hemlock group. They lost their mom to a hunter, coyotes, or car in the fall, and had no one to lead them through their first winter. In spite of the availability of food, and lack of snow, these little guys knew nothing of the ways of winter, and while most of our herds are shining with health, these guys are flanked out, beaten half to death by other deer, and in generally poor health. THIS is why I do not allow does with spring babes to be taken during fall season. Barren does, single does, does that have lost their babes, yes. Moms with babes - NO! It took me years of study to learn this, but it is a fact.
 The Pierce Lane group.

 What do we call this combination, a Creer?
 or a Durkey? A tureer?
Let me know what you think!

Monday, March 14, 2016

S&W 1911 Sc Commander Update - Uh Oh!

Well I just got back from the range, and am disappointed to tell you that my beloved S&W 1911Sc kind of blew all over the county side. I am about around 15-16 hundred rounds through this piece, my late carry piece, and it has been superb. In my blog review I wrote that it had some several failures to lockback on an empty magazine. After speaking with several 1911 'experts', I accepted that my grip was at fault, and I was locking down the slide lock with my off hand thumb. Some 200 rounds later, I accept that it was my grip and not the gun. Zero failures. Yayyyyy! Now we are running 100%!
Until a few days later, at about 15-1800 rounds, this little piece locked up tighter than a Python's squeeze and would not fire. A round was tightly hung up, about halfway into the chamber. I could not place the safety in the on or the off position, it was frozen half way. A completely dangerous situation. The slide would NOT retract, not matter what forces I exerted. To make a long story short (and avoid any liabilities) I did eventually get the live round out of the pistol, and as I gave it a shake, the slide lock fell out onto the ground, and the slide with barrel, recoil guide, spring and bushing slid off the frame and onto the ground. Cool! A puzzle! Well on examination it appears that the stakes in the plunger tube sheered off from the frame, and allowed the plunger and spring to extend out far enough to freeze the mechanics of the 1911. The broken parts you see below.
 Down here you can see the loose slide, and the sheared off posts on the frame of the plunger housing. If I had been in a violent confrontation when such a failure occurred, I probably would not be writing this. So what to do. Many would completely condemn the piece and relegate it to the trash bin, or repair and sell it, and bad mouth it for the rest of their silly days.
The correct thing to do in my eyes is to recognize that first of all this is a machine and any machine, even a Rolls, can fail. Next, find the cause, and find the remedy. I do not know if this is a recurring (pattern) failure in the 1911Sc. But I suspect not, because I have read and studied virtually everything there is to read about this pistol. Including some un-public treatises. Is this plunger attached with MIM parts? Is this a first failure? The first question asked of me by a tech at S&W was 'what were you shooting in it for ammunition?'. I was honest. On that run I had fired a magazine of +P Remington Golden Saber, and then was on about my 200th round of Wolf Poly 230 grain ammo.
The tech then said 'yeah, I think we better take a look at that'. They are sending me by email a Fed-Ex free freight to S&W and back. Their service is unbelievably quick. They have been responsive. So, really, I cannot bitch. If I found a weak spot in this wonderful gun that can help them make future ones better, great! If not, and they fix it up to be like new that is also great. But, the real downside, is that once I get it back, I have to start evaluating this pistol from the very start. See, I decided I wanted to carry this baby for a LEOSA piece. To save lives. So, when fixed, I will begin to evaluate it for a thousand (make that two thousand) rounds again. Just for it's endurance and strength. We already know it is a most comfortable carry. We know it is superbly accurate and shootable. We know it is beautiful, and that with loc-tite blue on the grip screws, about perfect. We accept that it is powerful. It IS a gem to look at. But will it hold up for thousands of rounds? I'll keep you posted!
Oh, just so you know. In the meantime, my M&P 9 and Shield will accompany me afield. They are both proven, for thousands of malfunction free rounds, accuracy and comfort. Unfortunately, they are not nearly as pretty. And I AM attracted to pretty. Hurry up S&W. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mid-Winter LRDC Pictures Never Shown

Mid February Bill and I decided to do a trail ride and track census to see what is out there and moving. Of course, because of the ridiculously easy winter, everything is moving...but what a great excuse for a good day's ride on the area trails! We did them all and had a great time!
 This is a shot of a maple I dropped to help the deer through the winter. I do about 40-50 of these a year and the deer ravage them during a typical winter. This year? Ho-hum, not interested. Snatch a bud walking by, but, 'nah'...any other year this tree would be stripped...
Below you see a fox track crossing a coyote track. Interesting. You will NEVER see coyotes and fox sharing the same territories. Coyotes hunt them and kill them every time...
Here we see a well used deer trail on the West side, coming onto the property. Not sure where they are headed, but into the interior for sure.
Grouse tracks below. Not many this year.
The tracks below I could not identify. Two creatures, probably mates, low to the ground, and small. Weasels?  
The most common tracks we saw were of deer. Everywhere. Plentiful. In your face. Good!
 Next two pictures demonstrate the availability of acorns, this late in the winter. Rare!
Turkey track crossing the trail! My wife filmed a flock of 150+ in Westmoreland just the other day. Apparently they did just fine this winter. What is more interesting.. not a single track of a Fisher, or a Bobcat. Not sure what has happened... Up until last year, bobcats on camera all the time. Now, none. No tracks. Nothing. And we have the SE facing talus slopes they seek to den in. We were in the center of the collaring/GPS study done by NHF&G. Go figure. Fisher, GONE! Personally, I feel they were trapped out. In fact, I know they were.
As for coyote...mighty scarce around here. This is one area in the U.S. where half life for a coyote is SHORT. Thank you neighbor!

This photo is taken with my pocket camera the other day, while on the ATV and surrounded by barking loud pups.  I am about 75 yards away.

For a bit of silliness...when ever an arrow messed up in some way, years ago a buddy and I would play Robin Hood and see how far into the forest we could wing these wounded arrows. Yesterday while walking trails, I spotted this one sticking strait up in the woods. It was 325 yards from LRDC, and was launched in 2006. Bruce, we'll have to increase our poundage! 
Tell me these late season food plots have not been decimated! Not even our food driven Sheltie can find a sprig to eat!
And while Bill and I were out on the snow covered trails? Here is Webster, grooving to heat, and a good piece of jazz.
  Let me know what you think!
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