Monday, May 29, 2017

Busy Weekend

       A lot on my plate this weekend. As we approached the end of summer last year, we started having problems with the pump that we use for our sprinkler system (we pump water from an irrigation canal--really a large ditch--that runs along the back of our property). I attempted repairs last fall, but the diffuser had cracked, and there was a lot of corrosion on other parts, so we decided on purchasing a new pump. Because of the early onset of fall weather, and then a cool and wet spring, I didn't get around to replacing it until today. The biggest problem I had was that when I installed the prior pump, I really hadn't thought about taking things apart to replace the pump, so portions of the PVC piping that should have been left so they could be disconnected (e.g., screwing together), instead had slip joints/connectors that were glued. A hacksaw and soft rubber connectors has solved the problem, but a good lesson for the future.

       While at the hardware store, I picked up an extra section of plastic pipe for my DIY Target Stand. I had originally built my target stand with a 16-inch cross piece that would, combined with the T-connectors, allow me to use targets or backings that were 18-inches wide. However, I have some larger targets that I've been wanting to use. The local Home Depot sells 2-foot long pieces of PVC, but not in the 1-1/2 inch size I needed. But they do sell 1-1/2 inch ABS pipe in 2-foot sections, and the black color will make it easy to tell the difference between the cross pieces.

       Even though its not my every-day-carry knife, I've been using my Lansky "World Legal Slip Joint Knife" a lot more over the last couple of months and have grown to really like it. The blade shape--a combination of a convex shape on the rear of the blade, transitioning to a concave shape on the front, and the shape of the spine to allow for different finger positions--is very ingenious. I've found that the shape allows enough of the blade to slip under the flaps of boxes or to start a cut in a shrink wrap package, or similar; something that I've had problems with when using a Tanto shaped blade. The convex portion of the blade edge is good for fine trimming jobs, while the concave section works well for shaving off larger bits of wood or plastic. In short, it serves very well as a general utility knife.

RCBS Bullet Puller (Source)
       I think I mentioned how in some recent reloading of 9 mm, I had finally used up the last of an older stock of Unique powder, and switched to a much newer container without altering the number of grains of powder I was using. The result were rounds that showed evidence of too high of pressure. I have a kinetic bullet puller, but, to be honest, those are not really all that great--especially if you have to pull the bullets from any more than a handful of rounds. I had an old bullet puller I inherited from my father, but the collet that came with it was only for .30 caliber bullets, and I couldn't find any new ones to fit it. Consequently, I purchased the RCBS Bullet Puller and a collet for 9 mm/.38 caliber. It is pretty easy to use and actually much faster than the kinetic bullet puller. Basically, using the appropriate shell holder, you place the cartridge in the reloading press, and lift the cartridge until it stops against the collet. Then you tighten down the collet, and push up the lever on the press to retract the cartridge. If you tightened the collet sufficiently, the bullet will remain in the collet. Remove the shell casing, dump the powder into your container, set the casing aside, and loosen the collet and work the bullet loose (even loosened, the collet has enough tension that the bullet will not drop free). Repeat as necessary.

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