Ranch Logo        U S Flag     




VOLUMES 203 & 204 -------- MAY/JUNE 2019

June 26, 2019 - Final material for this edition added today.  Scroll down for content.

June 9, 2019 - New material added today.

May/June 2019

In keeping with an earlier pronouncement that I would try to upload items as I complete them, here is the first installment for my May/June Newsletter:

First up, there's a new rifle in the family.  In a continuing contrary way of mine, when someone (especially a politician) tells me I can't or shouldn't have something, if it's legal, I may buy it whether I need it or not!

Such was the case about a year ago, when I purchased a new Remington Bushmaster in 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington from a nearby Cabela's store.  Then the local Sportman's Warehouse had a hot sale on a Springfield Saint, again in 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington.

For someone who said for years, "I neither need nor want an AR-15," I now have two of them!

The latest addition is by Springfield Armory, and is a 'plain jane' flattop with full length Picatinny rail and the typical handguard extending to within about 4 inches of the 16 and one half inch barrel.  Flip-up front and rear sights reside on the rail with an aperture rear and simple post front, that is protected by side rails rising just higher than the post.

Springfield Armory 'Saint'

With tall snow banks all around at the time, I could not get to my shooting range, so first firing occurred just outside the basement door into a huge mound of snow that I had piled up while plowing the driveway.  (More times than I care to remember!)  I fired 10 rounds just to check the functioning of the rifle.  It went 'bang' every time, 5 slow fire shots then 5 more as fast as I could pull the trigger.  As is typical of the species, it ejected the empties briskly, sending them several feet away.  No hiccups!  For something I don't really need, these things are fun to shoot!

As a side note, after the snow melted (finally) I found and retrieved 8 of the 10 the bullets I'd fired and found something a bit strange.  I'll cover that later and perhaps you can help me solve the mystery.

After firing the 10 rounds from the Saint, I followed my usual cleaning procedure after shooting a gun.  First a snug dry patch to clear the loose stuff, then a couple of passes with a Boresnake treated with a CLP called SUPER Quick Clean Guns.  This product is manufactured by Schillinger & Associates out of Grand Rapids, MI.  (www.superquickcleanguns.com)  I ran on to this via an advertisement in a publication I now dissremember and liked it so well I ordered a case of the stuff.  Even after providing bottles to several friends, I still have enough to last my lifetime!

This cleaning method has served me well for years and seems to keep my firearms in good shape over the long haul.  I should point out that most of my guns need more preserving than cleaning.  Most of them are fired rarely, if at all.  Some commemoratives and special guns are still in unfired condition after many years in the safe.

A closer look at the inside of the Saint barrel came about because I wanted to try out the Lyman Borecam I had recently received (more on this later) alongside the Hawkeye Borescope.  What I found was a shocker!  The barrel had severe bullet jacket fouling from stem to stern.  Here are some random pictures taken via my Hawkeye Borescope.

These photos are typical of the copper fouling the entire length of the bore.

Is this fouling typical of all AR's when fired rapidly?  I don't know.

Is the bore of the rifle at fault?  The bore in this gun is a little rough with some tool marks and pits, but no more so than many off the rack guns.  Likely no one would ever notice this without a look with a good bore scope.

Is it the ammo I was using?  This was out of a bulk pack of Remington .223 55 gr FMJ.

Several questions, but no firm answers that I'm aware of.

But, the question of how to get the jacket fouling out of the barrel is one that I may have an answer for.

The shipment from Otis Technology (otistec.com) mentioned in the last newsletter, arrived with the 4 products requested for review.  Many thanks to Heather Pleskach, Director of Marketing, for expediting the process.  The shipment included their Foaming Bore Cleaner, BIO CLP, Complete Gun Cleaner (liquid), and Copper Remover.

I've used in the term CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, and Protectant) a couple of times here and this is a designation that didn't exist in the early days when nothin' much was on the menu but Hoppe's Number Nine and elbow grease.

Samples of Otis Gun Cleaning Products

Since I would be trying the Otis cleaning products, I thought it only fitting that I begin by resurrecting the old Otis compact cleaning kit that has been hiding in a drawer here for years.

Otis Cleaning Kit with pull cable and various tips and jags.

Otis multi caliber/gauge cleaning patch with the jag inserted into the proper slot for the .22 caliber barrel.

Pinch a fold into the edge and pull through the slot in the jag.

Fold the balance of the patch down over the end of the jag and violą!

These patches are quite innovative in that they work for multiple bore sizes.  Just follow the directions that come with the patches.  Be sure to insert the jag from the finished side of the patch into the appropriate slot and pinch the spot around the circumference of the patch as directed for the particular caliber or gauge you are working with.

Every gun cleaning chore needs a secure gun or barrel.  Here the AR barrel is held in a Tipton Gun Rest.

It is now time to try the Foaming Bore Cleaner.  Try to avoid my first mistake.  When you squirt the foam into the barrel from the breach end it will fly right through the barrel, traverse the 6 feet to the workbench, and get on something you don't want it to.  Hold a rag over the muzzle before hitting the squirt button!

Directions say to let the foam fade away and then wipe out the bore.  The 'pull through' cable brought the patch out with a nice blue color, indicating brass/copper fouling is being removed.  A couple more clean patches and another look with the Hawkeye still shows some gold colored fouling.

A second treatment with the foaming cleaner was in order.  This time the copper fouling was gone except for a small area within an inch or so of the muzzle.

Two views of the clean barrel.

This is the spot with some fouling still present.

It was time to break out the liquid Otis Copper Cleaner.  As another side note here, Otis has available various fluid application appliances that would make sense for soaking patches.  I was able to provide a substitute by virtue of tending to save things.  I found a cap from another squirt bottle of unknown origin that fit the Otis containers and that problem was solved.

Repeated passes with a soaked nylon bore brush and then a tight fitting soaked patch almost, but not quite, removed the last of the copper.

This is about all that's left of the copper fouling.

All in all, a quite satisfactory performance from the two Otis products.  I'll be trying out the others as the need arises, and restocking on the Foaming Cleaner as soon as I locate a local supplier.

I started to try one more removal method but found I was fresh out of wool bore mops in .22 caliber.  After restocking those, I'll coat one with Brownell's JB Bore Cleaner with its mild abrasive, and see if that does the final trick.

June 9, 2019

Since the last time we met, I did indeed pick up some .22 bore mops at Cabela's and proceeded to hit the last bit of jacket fouling described above.  A light coating of JB Bore Cleaner on the mop and about a dozen back and forth strokes at the site of the fouling cleaned up the problem.

I then mounted a Nikon 3 to 9 variable scope on the rifle atop a Herter's AR mounting base and rings.  This scope will not remain on the rifle, but I wanted the 9 power optic to help my tired old eyes better discern the target's aiming point for an accuracy test.  After that, for general plinking, the rifle will be fired using the factory flip-up sights or I may invest in my first red-dot sight to see how that works.

The rig was then bore sighted with a LaserLyte bore sighting unit.  I'll let you know how the range session goes.

Our Granddaughter Jennifer, graduated from Washington State University in Pullman last December.  Her plan at that time was to move back home to her Dad's in a couple of weeks.  So much for that plan.

Instead, she was offered a full time schedule at the Mexican restaurant where she was a part timer, and an opportunity to very economically share an apartment with a girl friend, and elected to stay in Pullman for "a couple of months or so."

Well, that couple of months has now turned into "6 or so."  She now says she will be coming home in July when the lease runs out on their apartment.  Who Knows?

Little Heifer and I told Jennifer at graduation that we wanted to sit down with her after she moved back, and have a serious discussion about a graduation gift that would be something she both wanted and needed.  Gifts for Christmases and Birthdays during her college years were of the most needed kind:  Money.  For this occasion we wanted her input on whether she wanted something more personal and lasting.

Since graduation, circumstances have intervened to provide a needed gift that will be at least part of the graduation present.  Jennifer's old Ford Explorer may be on its last legs.  The odometer quit working about 4 years ago at something like 140,000 miles.  She needs new wheels!

Grandma Ann has been driving a GMC Jimmy she purchased new in 2001, for lo these many years.  It has only a bit over 90,000 miles on it, and is in fine condition.  Ann decided she wanted a new car for herself, and asked Jennifer if she wanted the Jimmy.  The answer was YES, so the Jimmy went to the detail shop for a good going over.  (We can highly recommend Rusty's Detailing in Post Falls, Idaho - (208) 777-8041 should the need arise for you.)

A recent weekend trip home provided the opportunity to do the transfer paperwork and Jennifer is now the proud owner of Grandma's GMC.

Keys to the new wheels.

She backed it out of the shop and didn't hit a thing.

Jennifer started this 'Head Through the Sun Roof' thing when she was about six.

Jennifer and Grandma.

We'll see more of Jennifer when she gets moved back home.

You'll hear more about Grandma's new car later in this edition.

June 26, 2019

Now here's more about Grandma's Ford Edge ST

After resisting my suggestions for at least a couple of years, that Little Heifer get a new car, she finally took the plunge!  After continued repeats of, "The Jimmy does everything I need and doesn't have that many miles on it, so I don't need a new car," the urge overtook her.

I think the fact that Jennifer needed to retire her old Ford Explorer had an impact on the decision, as this was an opportunity to pass on the Jimmy to Ann's favorite (and only) Granddaughter.

At any rate, the car shopping began in earnest, with emphasis on the smaller GMC SUV's at Becker Buick/GMC in Spokane.  After looking over the Terrain and Acadia it became apparent that some of the high end features on larger GM vehicles simply weren't available on the smaller SUV's.  Things like Rain Sense Wipers, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Auto-dim Headlights as featured on our 2016 Yukon have become 'must have' items I guess!

Thus our search expanded to Gus Johnson Ford in Spokane Valley.  Keith Trowbridge, one of their Service Writers, and a fellow WA Hunter Education Instructor, takes good care of Rick's Ford truck, and previously did the same for our 1999 Ford.  Keith introduced us to sales rep Ron King, who took it from there.

Our emphasis was on the Edge model, as being about the size Ann wanted, and appeared to have all the features we wanted, at least on the top Titanium trim level.  After driving a pretty blue Edge, Ann asked if they could find a red one just like it?  Ron said, "We can probably find one."

He then eyed us with a questioning look.  One could almost read in his eyes whether he should even ask this question of the seventy something, petite, white haired lady standing before him.  "We do have a red Edge in stock, but it is the ST Ford Performance version with turbo charged V6 engine.  If you're interested in that, I'll bring it up.

Little Heifer's eyes lit up, and I thought, Oh Crap, there goes our bargaining power!

After a short test drive, and demonstration of some of the high end features, we were down to serious discussion, and were very close to a deal.  At this point a manager emerged from the sales office and proposed a closer.  He said, "We have some handouts left over from the Auto Show.  The envelopes contain a discount card worth from $250 to $500.  Ann, you pick an envelope and whatever it says comes off the price, if that will close the deal."

She agreed, and pulled a $500 envelope out of the stack.  First time we ever made a car deal based on the 'luck of the draw'!

Here's what the Ford website has to say about the ST:

"The First SUV From the Ford Performance Team.  A thrill ride with the brains to match. 335 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, a 2.7L V6 turbocharged EcoBoost® engine, available wireless charging and an array of driver-assist features."

Music to the ears of this seventy something, white haired, little lady!

Other features include, self parking mode, both parallel and head-in, automatic sensors for lane centering, front and rear cameras, hands free tail gate, automatic climate control, moon roof, eight speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode, and the aforementioned,
rain sense wipers, adaptive cruise control, and auto-dim headlights.  Plus, a bunch of stuff we ain't even discovered yet!

Here it is, and it's RED:

2019 Ford Edge ST from the Ford Performance Center.

Purty, aint it?

Interior of the Edge ST.  (Photo courtesy of the Ford website.)

The Ford's inaugural road trip on June 19th was to Missoula, MT for shopping and golf.  Shopping went OK; golf, not so much!  We experienced cold, rain, and wind during our entire stay. We could even see fresh snow on the nearby mountain tops.  We
returned home on the 21st.

Our celebration of Memorial Day this year again included attending the annual Memorial Service organized and presented by fellow Elk Member, Dennis Hurd at Memorial Gardens Cemetery near Cheney, WA.  This is always a solemn and moving experience and we much appreciate Dennis' efforts on this occasion.

American Flag lined entrance to Memorial Gardens near Cheney, WA

Memorial Gardens

Dennis Hurd - Memorial Service Chairman

L to R: Mike Fagan - Spokane City Councilman and Army Veteran; Lavina Entel - Vocalist; Dennis; and Kent Allen - Chaplain

Rick and I passed another milestone in our Hunter Education Instructor's world.  On May 11th we attended our Regional Instructor's In-service Training session in Spokane Valley, at which we were presented our Ten and Fifteen year service awards.

After the meeting, we gathered at our house for a photo.

Rick and I with our Service Certificates

Should you want to review photos of many of our Hunter Ed classes over the years go HERE.

Activities during the past month or so included the celebration of Rick's 56th birthday.  On May 31st, at his request we took him and his lady friend to Fujiyama Japanese Steak House in Liberty Lake.  This is a fairly new restaurant where your meals are cooked on the table in front of you, hibachi style.

The 'Birthday Bunch'.

Our 'Japanese' Chef

Onion Ring Volcano On The Grill

Next evening we gathered at our house for Birthday Pie and ice cream, along with gift opening.

Rick requested birthday pie instead of cake so this is Ann's famous Pineapple Pie.  (We decided to use numerals instead of all those candles to avoid burning the house down.)

Blow out those 'numerals'.

I think I've about run out of gas, so will cover the local morel mushroom scene and the 'mystery bullets' in the next newsletter.  Also, I have not completed my evaluations of the Lyman Borecam and Brass Catcher, so that will need to wait 'til next time too.

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote by Albert Einstein:
"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value."

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

Copyright 2019 - All Rights Reserved