Well, it’s been a heck of a few days lately, ain’t it?
Yet another mass shooting at your liberal Utopian idea, a totally gun free zone of yet another college campus, and as usual before the blood is even dry on the floors, the left is calling for more gun control as they stand knee deep in bodies that show how well that works. A quote from the past goes something like ‘insanity is doing the same failed thing over and over, while expecting different results.’ Then the media comes out with pictures of the SURVIVORS being searched and patted down as they try to get away from the scene of carnage! You people with common sense out there….you need to have this BS removed from your state colleges as soon as possible, overthrowing this stupidity that endangers YOUR KIDS. If you want your kids to be safe while in college, check out this info: Guns on Campus’ Laws for Public Colleges and Universities
In case you want to verify the validity of concealed carry on campus vs on site massacres, do a little research and see if any campus in those ‘red states’ has had a mass shooting, I suspect there are none.
Then we get to the weather. Another doosy of that pesky global warming thing, we have a hurricane in one corner and a very high pressure cell in the other…..and the entire east coast USA in the middle. Flash floods, storm surge tides and nasty weather for days on end as these two babies hyper accelerate bad weather between them. Are you ready for a couple weeks without power, not only from this storm system, but the winter that’s supposed to be worse than the last few with blizzards and snowfall? A source to get you ready, with customer feedback on every item: Surviving Urban Crisis supply store
The ‘economists’ have finally updated the REAL numbers of unemployed Americans….well over 94,000,000 US citizens are more or less permanently unemployed, more that 37% of the population. http://www.rt.com/business/us-unemployment-economy-crisis-assistance-006/
Prepping is for all kinds of disasters, weather not the only thing, becoming unemployed is also a disaster on a personal level. If you have months of food and supplies, you may be able to scrape by, still making your house payment or rent by working however you can, if you have your expenses to a minimum already. Don’t be up to your eyeballs in credit card debt, car notes, furniture store credit on top of your mortgage. Pay cash for whatever you can, or at least be able to double down on payments you do have. Keep that car you bought for at least ten years, and save the money you would have spent on car note payments. Refer to ‘Consumer Reports’ magazine online to do research on dependable, long term transportation. They tell it like it is! I’ve been driving Toyota’s for decades and my current pickup since ’07 with only scheduled maintenance as the expense. If you want to cut transportation expense even further, get your Consumer Reports data in hand and shop the used vehicle sites. Find a ‘bargain’ and correlate it with your reliance data, check out the mileage and condition of your candidate and jump on a deal, and drive that one for 10 years!
And lastly, for today’s chat, there’s the colossal failure, yet again, of the idiot we have in the white house, weak and condescending to the muzlims and enemies of the USA. Russia, having NO fear of the USA with 0bama in charge, has been giving the universal single digit salute to us as a nation for months now, and has just started bombing the anti-Assad rebels that WE should have been helping far more than we did (if at all), since 0bama started destabilizing the middle east with his stupid policies. There’s no need to compare this idiot to other presidents, as the fool time and again shows his unique ideas are utter calamities. As the world careens towards yet another world war, worldwide economic collapse and other little things like that, I seriously advise you to get your stuff together and get ready for some rocky roads, folks.
More useful information on wild ‘pickin’s’ for wilderness or any other type survival situation. You could be walking by enough food to keep you alive for another week, and never know it.
In the field of interesting battle hardware, the uber-fancy and hyper-expensive hardware the various military branches here and abroad have are pretty cool. So, I’ll briefly touch on a couple ideas they’ve had over the past 70 years or so.
Talking urban warfare, pretty much the standard fare for much of the world today. How to get the bad guys, not get killed if you can help it, and to achieve both goals most effectively. The YouTube channels are full of vids on the middle east and how they ‘do war’. You’ll see ’em all the time sticking their AK around a corner or over a berm of dirt, and dump a magazine of ammo blindly yonder ways. The bad guys could be down the road a block or so and only get hit by pure bad luck from that blind spray and pray technique.
See, the bad thing about trying to shoot around a corner is that you generally have to stick your head around it, put it out there so you can see what’s going on, spot the enemy and all that if you actually want to kill the other guys. You can get around that problem with a mirror on a stick, or a pocket sized periscope helps pick them out while minimizing getting your brains scattered down the block, should a good shot from that-a-way tags you before you pull your head back. So, you spot them with the mirror….but now you STILL have to stick your head and weapon around that corner and try and make a fast shot…which will be likely to miss because it is a fast shot, thrown up there a popped as fast as you can possibly do it. Now, if you could look around the corner and shoot at the same time….now you’re getting somewhere.
The Germans, back in WW2, came up with some wacky cutting edge ideas, now and then. Some lead to the rocket programs that eventually landed Americans on the moon. Others were just about laughable…unless you thought about it, like this idea, the Krummlauf barrel rifle….to shoot around corners.
It appears to be a removable attachment idea to bolt onto the end of their service weapon. Unfortunately, it has no way to be aimed around that corner, so it’s only a slight improvement in safety over just blindly sticking their rifle around the corner and spraying rounds down the street. No doubt those that were issued to troops rapidly were ‘lost’ in combat as useless extra weight.
So, now we time warp to this century, and we DO have weapons that will shoot around corners with some degree of accuracy and minimizes the risk to the operator. Want one? Well, save your pennies, one of these babies will set you back about $5,000US.
Gotta love it, right? Glock pistol based, with Aimpoint style sight for fast straight shooting and camera system to peer around the corner and plug the bad guys. Works looking left or right, of course. Being pistol caliber based, it’s for close in work, urban stuff like hostage situations, inside building clearing, that kind of thing.
Now, I came up with a primitive, home built idea for ‘around the corner shooting’ and put it in my book SURVIVING URBAN CRISIS
which I’ll show again here. This works best with Aimpoint style sights, because you don’t have to worry about eye relief or parallax and so forth.
See, you just get a small piece of plastic mirror and glue it to the inside of a typical scope cover cap, the picture showing the idea. You cut the plastic mirror to a diameter that is smaller than the eyepiece lens tube of your scope or sight, so that the cover cap will still close. You’ll have to gimmick up a way to keep the cap at 45° to the line of sight with your rifle sight for it to work. I’ve tried it out, of course, and it’s a workable idea, but like anything using a skill, you’ll have to practice with it. Get the type caps that can rotate, so you can use it from the other side as well.
And like most of my ideas, somebody always beats me to the market and makes millions off ‘my idea’. So, enters the market, ‘poor mans’ around the corner aiming device, for a reasonable amount of money, does what my idea does, only better. Again. :-p
It’s superior to my mirror in the cap idea in all kinds of ways, but my excuse was working with what’s ‘at hand’ to solve a problem. If this gadget peaks your interest, you can get an ANGLE SIGHT HERE. Click the blue text link. It uses a pivoting prism that you can see through for straight on shooting, but is reflective from the side for those around the corner shots. The unit pivots, allowing you to shoot from any angle the side of the cube is visible, which means dang near everywhere but from underneath the weapon. About 180° of usability. However, as I pointed out in my book, there’s a caution about using these around the corner devices. Look at this guy, below, using a short barrel AR ‘pistol’ with one of these angle sights mounted to it, as he’s looking around a corner on his left side. Now, guess what happens when he pulls the trigger.
Think about it…..where’s that brass casing gonna go? You have to get up close to use this device, and from holding like that, he’s gonna get a chunk of brass right in the teeth or in an eye (he’s also not wearing his field expedient eye protection). Since this .223 case will typically fly 10 or 15 feet when ejected, that might leave a mark, for sure in an eyeball. So, the thing to do is rotate the weapon handles away from you so that the ejector port is facing downwards so that spent case might hit your chest rig instead of your teeth. The sight works the same no matter the position you’re viewing it, just rotate it to where it’s needed. Same problem with any other semi-auto weapon used with these gadgets, so they must be positioned similarly. I suspect the $5000, camera equipped job will do exactly the same thing, a spent case right in the teeth going around a left side corner, if you were a left handed shooter. But he’s also demonstrating the proper amount of weapon to hang out around that corner, just about only the barrel and your knuckles as you hold the weapon, making it hard to be seen by the bad guys and harder to hit because of such a small target. But don’t hang around there for any length of time, most rifle rounds will knock off a chunk of wall pretty easily, so fire and move elsewhere, or just observe if that’s your objective.
So there you have it, fellow urban cowboys, an affordable gadget that will put you up there (closer, anyway) with that fancy Israeli corner camera gun for seriously nasty situations, shooting around corners, over walls, through holes in a wall….lots of places you wouldn’t want to hang your head out for.
Be safe, be aware, be prepared.
OK, over the years, I’ve had conversations with an occasional liberal, anti-2nd amendment type person, face to face and online more often. Being civil, polite and listening to ‘their side’ of the gun rights anti-argument, I gently let the air out of their balloon every time. And particularly often with the following document I wrote up way back in the Bill Clinton era when he and Janet Reno were routinely killing masses of people the government didn’t agree with like in Waco or Ruby Ridge.
It goes as follows:
A bit of dictionary work does wonders for enlightenment.
The second amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state , the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Definitions of the above key words are from the typical American standard dictionary, for the anti-rights liberal elite who prefer to twist things to their own ends:
Regulated: To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.
Militia: An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service. : a group of people who are not part of the armed forces of a country but are trained like soldiers
Necessary: Absolutely essential; Needed to achieve a certain result or effect; Required by obligation, compulsion, or convention; Something indispensable.
Security: Something that gives or assures safety, as a group or department of private guards. Measures adopted, as by a business or homeowner, to prevent a crime such as burglary or assault: Freedom from risk or danger; safety.
Free: Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty; Not controlled by obligation or the will of another; Not subject to arbitrary interference by a government.
State: A specific mode of government; A body politic, especially one constituting a nation.
Right: Fitting, proper, or appropriate; Most favorable, desirable, or convenient; Conforming with or conformable to justice, law, or morality; A just or legal claim or title; According to law, morality, or justice.
People: A body of persons living in the same country under one national government; a nationality; The mass of ordinary persons; the populace; The citizens of a political unit, such as a nation or state; the electorate; A body of persons living in the same country under one national government; a nationality.
Keep: To retain possession of: To have as a supply; To maintain for use or service; To manage, tend, or have charge of.
Bear: To carry from one place to another; transport; To be accountable for; assume; To have a tolerance for.
Arms: A weapon, especially a firearm; To equip with weapons; To provide with something that strengthens or protects.
Shall: Used before a verb in the infinitive to show something, such as an order, promise, requirement, or obligation.
Not: In no way; to no degree. Used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition.
Now, my liberal friend, what part of this statement do you not understand? Pretty profound use of language from them old dead white guys that wrote this up, no?
Not commonly thought of as ‘food’ (especially by most urban folks) raccoon has been a wild game staple since the American Indians introduced the settlers to the dish. Just use the same common sense processes you would for deer, elk, fish, whatever else you can trap, shoot or catch. Good article for the subject.
Let’s pretend for speculative purposes only, that the ‘end of the world as we know it’ has just blown up in our faces two weeks ago. The cities of any size across the country are in ruin, decimated by looting, riots and general inner city mayhem that we see on the news more often every day as the welfare system collapses and the unfortunate people who have been chained to the democrat party plantation for generations have wised up and ‘left the farm’. All the flat screen TV’s and designer shoes are long gone, and what food, water and useful supplies that didn’t get taken in the last few days may be scattered all over the ruined stores and businesses.
Your pretend group was more prepared than some, but now those who have less than the rest of you must either start begging for spare food or the group has to ‘go shopping’. So, what to do and how would we think of replenishing or gathering supplies now that the world is a really nasty and hostile place?
From my book Surviving Urban Crisis, I’m going to expand and detail some points on traveling and gathering supplies in such bad times, if they existed. In the book, I illustrated a few ways to do vehicle convoys and such. Now, let’s go over teams on foot.
My best theory in this fictional situation, is to make up three man teams or squads if you will. The ‘best’ version would be three people, not necessarily always men, who know each other and have some understanding of working together. Each ‘ideal’ team member will be counting on each other, truly up to trusting their lives to the other members. In my opinion the three man team would be the best and most efficient use of manpower in such times and / or missions. Those with actual military experience, especially urban warfare, SWAT teams or whatever, could be priceless in training members of the group to work in such environments, and should volunteer to lead a squad each. An ideal scenario would be that all three are buddies, have some urban military experience or at least military of some kind, all three have the same weapons platform or at least shoot the same ammo. Each man should have a generous backpack, but only equipped with the absolute basics for a short term mission, such as a couple bottles of water, some rations for 24 hours, dress for the weather and 3 or 4 magazines of ammo. Each weapon, ideally, should be equipped with an ‘aim-point’ style optic and a mounted, very bright LED flashlight with a switch that can be operated momentarily or steady on as the situation needs. Any battery operated device should ideally be operated with common, readily available types, like AA or AAA . Sights I prefer use ambient daylight to ‘power’ the sighting dot, like THIS ONE. Works well in a very wide range of lighting, and has battery operation for pretty near dark situations. Got some body armor? By all means, wear it.
Now, assuming the team has had transportation to or near to the destination where some supplies may be had, we’ll discuss movement through the landscape, then up to, alongside of and into buildings.
In the illustration below, I’m showing the strength of the 3 man concept, in that properly done, the crew has all angles of defense and attack covered as they navigate overland. Assuming the direction of travel, shown with the bold arrow, is ‘ahead’, then the point man (#1) has that covered, obviously, as he sweeps his field of view, 180° from his left to his right. But also the left (#2) and right (#3) man, keeping a pace or so back from the point man, sweeping constantly also, in 180° segments of their field of view, help the general direction forward, while watching the left and right flanks and rear at the same time.
Be advised that this tactic, working in some situations, should be adaptable to the situation, in that sometimes we may want a tight group like this, and other times we may want a dozen people strung out 100 yards apart, if line of sight permitted, if there were suspected ambush situations possible. In that kind of travel, the point man would signal to the group of spotted trouble ahead, before the whole group stumbled into a mess. It is absolutely essential that the crew should be wearing, at the best choice, electronic ear muffs, in case of having to fire weapons for whatever reasons require so. The beauty of these type muffs is that you can hear normal volume sound, such as soft talking among the crew or some sound that would cause an alert. A high powered weapon going off near your head will put you out of useful activity PDQ, even sometimes while wearing hearing protection. If no fancy muffs are available, then use regular ear plugs. Discuss with your crew members how each man is to respond, position wise, should firing weapons be necessary, while making it to concealment or cover. As in man #1 remains standing or crouching slightly while #2 and #3 take a knee if firing in the same direction, remembering that dangerous muzzle blast. Hearing protection also brings up a point of communicating quietly on patrol. Use hand signals, exaggerated ‘lip reading’ or whatever it takes with your crew members to communicate, so there’s no ‘WHAT DID YOU SAY?’ just before you go to breach an unlocked door! Practice this stuff before you need it and have it down before you go into the field.
So, our pretend group has now navigated to the vicinity of a typical urban situation. Now the trio must shift formation somewhat, in that the point man stays ahead, the #2 man becomes the middle and the #3 man brings up the rear as they pass between buildings. Pick a side of the street, and hug the walls of the building you pass. As they go along, the whole trio and especially the #2 man, shifts their attention to the windows and rooftops of the building on the opposite side of the street they’re traveling on as they progress ahead. Should you encounter a window or door on your side of the street or alleyway, go under the windows and scout the doorways very carefully before you pass, or perhaps use that opportunity to enter the building you’re walking past.
In this fashion, the trio can move forward, backward, through a doorway or window very efficiently, however the moment dictates.
Now, as far as entering buildings….this is where it gets frisky. Regardless of time of day, in a power down situation, it will be darker inside the building or room than outside. When you go rushing into such a place, you’ll be blinded for some moments because your eyes must adjust to this darker environment. My way to cope with this problem is as follows….IF you have time to plan ahead for a few minutes, there’s a simple solution to coping with going from outdoor sunlight, into a typically dark indoor room or space. What you merely need to do is close your primary eye (the one you aim with) for a couple minutes before you go rushing into whatever is waiting for you in there. Everyone on the team must do this. This gives you as much advantage as possible as you pull this operation, for if you can see, you can shoot, assess the situation or whatever has to happen in the next minute. It’s not possible to ‘quietly’ knock down a door, so you might as well bust on in there if the door is locked, if the crew agrees that this entry may prove useful. On the other hand, checking to see if it’s locked will save some wear and tear on the crew should you luck up and find it unlocked. In either case, keep that primary eye shut until you’re inside. Speaking of eyes, the crew should be wearing clear eye protection when on patrol and going into buildings. Sunglasses types are OK for in the field action, but you need to switch when going indoors.
OK, now our fictitious situation has our crew inside the building, the place is a mess, stuff busted all over the place and it’s pretty dark way back from the windows. Some places may have a few skylights, but many don’t. There are few places that may not yield something of use with a thorough search, even if it’s been looted of the usual crap they take first. Look in back rooms, under counters, all over the floors in darker areas. Batteries, tools, ammo maybe….consider everything you run across, for your groups needs or for possible barter. Generally speaking, your priority will be food and medicines. During the early days of the end of the world, cans you find with a dent will still be safe, but if this is months after doomsday, dented cans may be suspect. And if it’s a rusty or swollen up can, don’t even bother, a bulging can is a sure sign of serious botulism contamination. I suggest avoiding glass jars of stuff because of the possibility of it being broken by rough treatment on the way back to your stronghold. If it’s worth the gamble, of course go for it, just try to secure it from breakage if you can, maybe in a side pocket of your pack. See the illustration below to study moving in a sweep, maintaining security while gathering.
The team approaches an isle, maintaining the fire path sweeping as they move, just like when outside, lights on if necessary. Searching inside dark buildings would also be enhanced by using LED headlamps to free up your hands to the task. Now as below, the team moves down the row, with #1 and #3 covering the ends with #2 gathers whatever may be of use. Don’t turn your nose up at dog and cat food if that’s all you can find. It’s the same basic food groups as humans eat….just the quality of meat or fish cuts ain’t up to par, and some tell me that cat food, for instance, is ‘OK’ but very salty. It’ll keep you alive.
Now if it’s slim pickings on this isle, the crew moves on around to the next, using the same sweep method.
Should you be lucky enough to fill up #2 backpack, swap members like #1 becomes the middle man, #2 takes point, etc, keep moving and rotating until everyone is as loaded up as they can manage.
Make your way out with your triangle pattern, alleyway movement, and so forth until back to base or your transportation, which should have been guarded if possible, by the way. If you have a trio of QUIET dirt bikes or motorcycles, you could possibly cut overland. If your bike has gutted, loud pipes that can be heard a mile away, don’t bother unless you want to give away your position to anybody that’s a good shot who can hear your coming from that far off.
Another idea, if gas and vehicle availability allow, a good thing could be a crew-cab pickup truck, preferably with a cover over the bed and a 5 man crew. This would allow a very short trip turn around time from found supplies to a stash dump in the back of the truck and back in for continued harvesting, while 2 men stand guard at the truck to keep it covered, one man at opposite corners of the truck, front and rear. While traveling in this truck, assumed in a small convoy if possible, the crew positioning inside the truck could be done as I describe in my book for maximum firepower coverage while on the move.
The above article sounds very useful to have in one’s survival medicine pantry. Based on a prescription only product (silver sulfadiazine 1%) which seems to have worked wonders for the author of the article for a serious scalding burn incident, the home made version they list their ingredients for seems to work about as well for them. IF you are allergic to silver or its derivatives, do NOT use either product.
There are numerous silver products on the market, some of which sound pretty much the same as the prescription product or their home grown recipe. Surviving Urban Crisis First Aid
Wild Edible Plants: Dandelion. A video (one of many) by Dan Corcoran
Hmm. All those wasted salads I’ve mowed down…What a shame! I suggest you check out Dan’s site and his free videos on wild foods.
No, really, part of our survival skills should absolutely have gathering wild foods as one the best to keep us alive. The average American would starve to death with wild food all around them. And short of having a live instructor to show us what is food vs. what is poison, excellent reference books and video productions like Dan’s are out there with details, recipes and advise.
We have here excellent guides to harvesting mushrooms and with close examination of the specimen and a top rated book, one can be reasonably certain that what you’ve positively identified is safe to eat. Preferably, of course, is to have an expert show you first hand, in person so you can see it’s environment, dig it up, pry it loose, smell it, touch it, and be sure with what’s what with what you got, toss it or toast it, broil it or bake it.
Wild food is around us even in cities, so sharpen up, spot ’em and stay alive.
OK, let’s do some prepping for the ‘throwdown’ between my Winchester 94AE Trapper, 16″ barrel lever gun and that Rossi 24″ barrel lever gun (both are in .357 magnum) I recently acquired and see if the data says which is going to shoot better.
I took what data I could find from the Lee Precision website for their fine pistol bullet casting molds and used that data on a useful ballistics page, JBM Ballistics. This information implies that the Rossi M92 may out shoot the Winchester, based on these ‘stability figures’ below. For those not into reloading or ‘hand loading’ their own ammunition, this may be new information. If you cast and load your own, as I do, then this is some hopefully useful data (or braggin’ rights) on lever gun brand and performance.
LEE PRECISION .358″ DIAMETER BULLET / MOLD BALLISTIC INFO.
Mold # DC 358-105-SWC
.358 diameter 105 grain Semi Wad Cutter.
Ballistic Coefficient = .106
Bullet Overall Length = .510 inches.
Distance from the crimp groove to the nose of the bullet = .295 inches.
Winchester 94 16″ barrel, 18.5″ twist, 1100 FPS: 4.265
Rossi 92, 24″ barrel, 30″ twist, 1100 FPS: 1.666
I used the same rifle information above on all these stability figures, with an assumed speed of 1100 feet per second out the barrels, so only the weight and length of the bullets is a variation in the calculations.
.358 diameter 125 grain round flat nose bullet.
Ballistic Coefficient = .116
Bullet Overall Length = .540 inches.
Distance from the crimp groove to the nose of the bullet = .275 inches.
DC 358-148 WC
.358 diameter 148 grain Wad Cutter (the ‘soup can’ bullet)
Ballistic Coefficient .072
Bullet Overall Length = .577 inches
Distance from crimp groove to the nose of the bullet = .105 inches
.358 diameter 150 grain round nose
Ballistic Coefficient .131
Bullet Overall Length = .643 inches
Distance from crimp groove to the nose of the bullet = .288 inches
DC TL 358-158 SWC
.358 diameter 158 grain Semi Wad Cutter, tumble lube bullet.
Bullet Coefficient .117
Bullet Overall Length = .665 inches
Distance from bullet nose to the top edge of the first driving ring = .275 inches
DC C358-158 SWC
.358 diameter 158 grain Semi Wad Cutter
Bullet overall length = .710 inches
This is a gas checked (the copper cap on the bottom of the bullet) cast bullet that can be pushed faster than plain based bullets.
.358 diameter 158 grain round nose, tumble lube bullet.
Ballistic Coefficient .207
Bullet Overall Length = .710 inches
Distance from the bullet nose to the top edge of the first driving ring = .245 inches
.358 diameter 158 grain round nose.
Ballistic Coefficient .160
Bullet Overall Length = .630 inches
Distance from the crimp groove to the nose of the bullet = .360 inches
The stability figure is the Miller stability factor, from JBM Ballistics. This formula was derived by Don Miller and published in Precision Shooting. This formula is much better than the antiquated Greenhill’s formula. Stability value should be in the range of 1.3 to 2.0 to ensure bullet stability, they say. So, based on this information, the Rossi “should be” fairly accurate, shooting these Lee cast bullets, loaded per your favorite gunpowder manufacturer data to near the top end of the pistol lead bullet data for that weight bullet.
The gas check type can be just a tad faster out of the barrel because of the cap on the base protecting it. I run all my bullets through a lube sizer machine and apply ‘carnauba red’ lube from White Label Lube unless it’s a Lee TL tumble lube bullet. On those I use a 50/50 mix of Johnson’s Paste Floor Wax and Lee liquid Alox, heating up the bullets just until uncomfortable to hold in my hand, dumping them and the mix into a large, plastic coffee container, the red round type with the side flats to make it easy to hold. The warm bullets help spread the material around as they tumble. The flats ensure the bullets get a good tumble as I roll the container along on my loading bench top, while HOLDING ON THE LID. I don’t trust that cheesy plastic snap on lid to hold in 10 pounds of bullets rolling around in sticky wax / lube. After they’re well covered, I place them on wax paper, on their bases, to allow the mix to dry out.
After running through the lubri-sizer, a typical gas checked bullet will look similar to these, where the ‘grease groove’ has been filled with a waxy material that helps reduce leading of the barrel when we’re shooting.
The Lee tumble lube bullet gets a coating of the lube all over it, including it’s tiny grooves, so they’re not shiny on the nose of the cartridge, and are a bit sticky (and a little funky looking). I wipe off the base of the bullet before I load them, when tumble lubed, as I don’t want gunpowder all stuck to the base. I’m sometimes concerned that these sticky jokers may collect some sand on them, should they ever be dropped on the ground during a loading of a weapon.
So, anyway, off we go to the range and we’ll see about that Rossi and bullet stability.
This blog post may be a bit like a ‘romance novel’, in that it revolves around a long search, a found jewel (turns out not so much), bitter disappointment, work to redeem fallen favor, and life afterwards, with adventures in D.I.Y. gunsmithing (PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK WITH ANY GUNSMITHING. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, DON’T MESS WITH IT!).
What are you babbling about, Silas? Well, it’s like this. For months, I’ve been saving my pennies and had sufficient funds to go find myself a new shootin’ iron. Researched online up against another popular cheaper brand, preferred for quality and reputation. Had as my target of choice the Uberti ™ 1873, 24 inch octagonal barrel, .38 – .357 magnum, 12 +1 shot lever gun. List price at around $1,200 US. Sweeeet.
Now, for the rest of the story. A few days back from this posting, there was a large, regional gun and knife show event. So, I figure I’ll go there and peruse the wares, see what I can find because there’s always a few lever guns in a mix of these hundreds of dealers and thousands of firearms in this one building. So, walking around and around (LOADS of Henry lever rifles of all kinds) seeing the occasional lever gun….eh, not what I’m looking for. But wait! What’s that? A 24″ octagonal barrel lever gun on that table? Gotta see that! Oh, um… It’s a Rossi™ M92, same features I’m looking for, the 24″ barrel, 12 + 1 capacity, .38 – .357 caliber, nice looking wood, decent blue finish. Hmm. And less than half the price of the Uberti? Hmmm.
Now, I’ve seen the vids online about this brand, how some think their particular rifle is the cat’s pajamas, and others think they’re utter junk. (Guess which one I wound up with). The guy’s babbling on about it, I’m looking it over, not a scratch, no evidence it’s ever been shot, he’s saying it’s had an ‘action job’. Hard to tell, because show regulations require the actions of every firearm on display to be kept shut. And less than half the price of the Uberti™. Hmm. I’ll get back to you on that. So, an hour later and no other lever guns of that particular description are in the building, as far as I could find. I go back to this guy’s table and tell him ‘let me check that action and I’ll decide if I’ll buy it’. So, he cuts off the tie strap….well, the action is indeed as smooth as warm butter, mighty fine. So, impulse overcomes wisdom and I buy it.
OK, there’s disadvantages to buying at a gun show, advantages as well. On the ‘dis’ side, you can’t work actions, inspect bores, look the thing over or ask if you can run some snap-caps thru the action while standing there until you get right down to the price dickering stage. So, I get home with the new toy and go to run some rounds thru it to see what flavor ammunition it likes best. Well, Ms. Rossi doesn’t like ANY kind…the loading gate is a bear to get rounds thru. And after a few have been fought with long enough to get 4 or 5 into it, working the lever finds that any kind of .357 just WON’T go into chamber without kinking up. Same for most .38’s. And as I cycle the lever, the cartridge extracted just sort of dribbles out of the breech and the last one extracted just lays there? And now I’m rather peeved.
So, ‘action job’ or not, bargain or not, what I have here is 98% useless. The show has packed up and moved on. Let me show you here what to look for if you should ever find a Rossi™ on a table at a gun show or any place else. Make the clown selling it let you work the lever, so that when you have the breech open and can see the bolt face….if you see this below….lay it back on the table and go find another lever gun. That arrow is pointing at the ejector mechanism….which in this case is jammed into the bolt, immovable. Which adds to the ‘slick feeling’ of the action because there’s no resistance pushing the ejector into the bolt face, it’s already jammed in there….but adds to the SICK feeling when you finally notice it after your last cartridge lays in the breech without being ejected as bellow. You can clearly see the extractor hook has the cartridge by the rim, but it’s just sitting there. The only reason all the previous cartridges were ejected was that the cartridge lift mechanism was knocking out the extracted round as the next one was being lifted into place.
So, here we go into the tear-down. This is already going to be a long post, so here’s a link to Rossi disassemble.
You can find a Rossi parts diagram on line like this one with all the generic parts called out by name on Rossi’s website.
Once I had the thing scattered across my workbench, I started inspecting it’s guts. If this ‘action job’ was indeed done (doubtful by a pro, considering the rest of the functionality) there was precious little evidence of any ‘smoothing’ on most surfaces one would typically deal with for ‘smoothness’. Since it does work so smooth, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt it was done and then cold blued to re-cover the places that were smoothed, but then the dude threw it back together without checking ALL the functions. Taking apart the most obvious culprit first, the bolt and ejector, I find that the ejector (F, G, & H on the diagram) was apparently hammered out of a miniature railroad spike. What a friggin’ joke for quality control, major burrs on EVERY SURFACE and there is a spring and collar that’s supposed to ride on this shaft?! My driveway is smoother than that shaft.
In the right hand pic of the ejector you can see a worn smooth spot where the spring collar was doing it’s own ‘smoothing job’ on that shaft opposite side of that tail hook in the center above the flat section. And yet another burr on the back side of the ejector head. The ejector rod, spring and collar are all supposed to slide freely assembled like we see here, from Trey Wall’s video.
See how the little collar around the shaft is captured by the hook ( capital letter I in that diagram ) attached to the bolt body? That collar has to freely slide on that shaft, and it stays in place when the bolt / lever link pin is installed thru the hole in the left side of the bolt as you see above. This spring is another that these marketed D.I.Y. slick-up kits commonly have in them, a softer one that makes the final 1/4″ of bolt travel ‘smoother’ because it takes less effort.
All this crapola had to be dealt with, the burrs on every surface of the ejector that has to work within the bolt (and deal with the bolt’s own burrs inside and out, as well) and the insane roughness of the shaft had to be polished out, nice and smooth, which required it seemed like a dozen test fit assembly trials into the bolt and action with the lever linked up to see if the ejector would finally work. Whew. So now it’s looking and working like it’s supposed to when you inspect the bolt face. The two fingers towards the elevator lever are supposed to help grab / feed the cartridge into the chamber, and that’s the next feature of this overhaul.
As you can see here at the left, the lower lip of the chamber is as rough as any other lack of finish place in this particular rifle. This makes any other bullet type beyond a heavy crimp, round nose, .38 type round difficult to insert into the chamber because of the rough and edgy surface it has to travel over to enter the chamber. That round you see in there is a hand loaded dummy, I made several up for this project so that good, live ammo wasn’t going to be hacked up by this experimental process, requiring running thru this mess untold numbers of times until it all actually works.
Now that all the works, other than the immobile guide fingers are out of the guts of this rifle, I can reach the chamber lips with a half-round rifle file, working the bottom of the rim until I have polished and smoothed the ORIGINAL FACE of the chamber lip, going NO further into it than that original factory cut. Coming in from underneath from the trigger area, just working that little area, nice and smooth. If you go beyond that factory profile ‘rough cut’ in this case, you will be getting into the chamber space and causing potentially BAD problems with head space, gas blow-back and all kind of other stuff you don’t want happening to your potentially (after all this work) nice lever gun.
With that done, the chamber lip now has a nice smooth, burr free ramp to take whatever bullet configuration or cartridge type, .38 or .357, that comes at it.
Now, on to the loading gate and all it’s problems. You see here the extent you could shove a cartridge into this thing before I redid this segment. Right there, the rim of the cartridge is STOPPED COLD by an absolutely square, rough and poorly done surface that the cartridge is forced up against by the loading gate, and adding to the finger pain is the sharp edged hole of the loading gate. Before modification, you had to use extreme finger pressure in two directions at once, forcing the gate cover down to the max and trying to get the rim past this barrier. Even using the old poke the cartridge in with the next one in line won’t work with this kind of opposition.
So, this is what you have to deal with, this square faced barrier that is NOT letting any cartridge rim past without extreme hassle as you attempt to force any type into it, .38 or .357.
Happens that I had a Dremel™ stone that was just the size of a cartridge. Masked the area heavily with tape in case of a ‘boo-boo’ with a live power tool / stone for protection of the finish on the receiver body. With this and some more working with the half-round rifle file, we now have a far more cooperative face for the cartridges to get past.
Now, ain’t that purty compared to that original edge? All nice and round, cooperative and easy to work with. I also slightly rounded off all the sharp edges of the hole that will argue with my fingers as I stuff ammo into this thing. You can even see the magazine follower underneath. That was the ONLY evidence I found of anyone being into this rifle before me, as the ‘real’ Rossi followers are a cheap yellow plastic plug that tends to bind from all the chips and crud sometimes left in the mag tube at the Rossi factory.
I have seen some accounts of the Rossi loading gate falling apart on some owners. Inspection shows a cheaply done ‘rivet’ idea to hold the gate to the spring. The arrow points to where I used a center punch to peen out the head, on both sides, so that it may fit a bit tighter in place. If you do this, be SURE you have the opposite side surface flat on your anvil before you whack it with a punch and hammer, as you see it laying here, lower left picture. Otherwise you may break it when you whack it. It must NOT bend during the process. I speculate that these folks who have broken a gate may have had to use such force to load the thing that it bent at the ‘rivet’ and forced it thru the hole, separating the two pieces. While I had the gate off, I smoothed the flat end of it and amplified just a tiny bit of the radius of the spoon shape of it’s face. Also did a bit of spring modification to ease the insertion effort. If you do this to your gate spring, the edges of the area you have ground on must be returned to perfectly smooth, otherwise any rough surface could eventually foster a crack, and break.
So, after several hours of filing, sanding, smoothing, assembling and disassembling, thus becoming very familiar with it’s innards, the Rossi M92 will take ‘most’ .357 ammo I offered it. The group on the right, below, all fed and cycled with no hesitation or maybe just a little jiggling of the lever. The two on the left…nope. The extreme left is a CorBon™ specialty round, which is way too long. The next to it, a hand load that doesn’t have a firm enough crimp to suit the Rossi, so the edge of the case mouth snags on that brilliantly done chamber mouth ramp, that I may have to do yet more beveling on. I don’t think it will ever take a CorBon however. By the way, that second from the right hand end cartridge, that nickel one….that’s the joker that typically fails in your lever gun where the case splits around that cannelure in the middle of the body, leaving half the case stuck in your chamber, rendering the rifle useless until you can get that piece out. So, I’m using this type ONLY in my revolvers until I cull out all that type from my ammo & brass supplies by shooting it.
Well, there you have it, what it takes to get a wrong end of the scale Rossi (compared to those that do work well, by reports) up to par. Now, off to the range to see how well it actually shoots, now that it will finally take ammo. Then we decide if it will be graced with a scout scope mounted on one of these rails from Pearson’s no drill scope rails.
This Rossi may climb back up my ‘firearms social ladder’ and be near equal to my American made Winchester 94 Trapper, shown here in ‘Cowboy Assault Weapon’ attire.
But it’s got some reputation to overcome at this point before it gets anywhere near that. Don’t let this article turn you off altogether on a Rossi…..just look for these kind of faults and run some snap caps thru it before you buy it. You may have a great one without having to do a thing to it.