Friday, March 29, 2013

The Shooting Bench -- Marlin Bolt Actions

My son and I finally made it out for our first range day of 2013.  It was a crisp day but the temperature climbed to just over 50 degrees F so at least we could venture out without gloves.  I was off work today and my son is on spring break so we took advantage and had a great day shooting our Marlin .22 rimfire bolt actions.

Over the winter Wyatt mounted a fixed 4 power scope on his model 925R.  I first blogged about this great .22 bolt action here.  Today was his first time out with the scoped rifle so we set up on the short range and he made a few shots to see where the point of aim was hitting.

Back in the winter after mounting the scope we bore sighted the gun in the basement against a lighted target pinned up against the far wall.  Bore sighting is a handy technique I like to use to set up a rifle scope. By removing the bolt from the action it is possible to sight directly down the bore of the barrel to the target down range.  With the rifle held fast in a steady rest the cross hairs of the telescopic sight can then be adjusted to the bullseye which was aligned and centered as close as possible by eye while looking down the bore.

Bore sighting a rifle works great and Wyatt was on the paper with his first shots.  His groupings were centered nicely and only a couple inches high so a few clicks down and he was hitting them in the 10-ring.

Next we headed down to the 100 meter rifle range to test our mettle.  Most plinking and target shooting with .22 rimfire takes place at short ranges but .22s are very capable at longer distances.  My son is like me and he won't hesitate at a challenge.

I brought along my Marlin Model 982VS chambered in .22 Winchester Magnum.  This rifle was my first bolt action and I've owned it a couple years.  I outfitted it with a 6-18X 40mm tactical scope with calibrated turrets for my specific cartridge.  When I am shooting I can see the bullet hole appear in the paper a second or two after the report.  Very cool!

100 meters is a long way away!

Today I tested out a new ammo I have been eager to try.  The Hornady V-Max sports a ballistic tip 30 grain copper jacketed bullet that leaves the barrel at 2200 feet per second.  At 100 yards the projectile has slowed to 1421 fps and at 200 yards the bullet is still zipping along at 1002 fps.

Here's our best shooting. Wyatt's is the target on the left and mine is on the right.  I have to say Wyatt does pretty well as a 12 year old marksman with .22 long rifle and a 4X scope. 

RCT and 982VS .22 WMR @ 100 meters.

Additional groups shot by RCT @ 100 meters.

It's been said many times and I don't mind repeating it here:  Take a kid shooting.  It's good wholesome fun!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cool Bicycle Art

Spotted this bikey vinyl graphic on the side of a Honda Odyssey.  While not something I would want on my Honda I still have to admit it's cool bike art.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Commuter Update

Today marks my third day in a row commuting on the Ti General Purpose Bike and I've met my quota for the week.  It's been below freezing and spitting snow on and off here in Ohio. This morning the sun was out but it was a crisp 16 degrees F. I know the calender says it's spring but Mother Nature must not have got the message.

Monday, March 18, 2013

News From Amateur Radio W8MDE

After a couple of years operating my amateur radio station from the basement I decided it was high time to move my enterprise above ground.  During the winter season is when I am most active in the radio hobby but this is also the time when my basement gets downright chilly. Lately I've just not wanted to brave the cold and while I do have a small electric space heater it has to run for hours to raise the temperature even a small amount. Besides electric heaters are a huge current draw and my utility bill is big enough.

Last week I spent an hour or two each night after work repainting a spare bedroom of my single level ranch style home.  This room was previously painted a dark olive green and had a few thin spots and scratches showing the lighter colors underneath.  I do like green but not so much for walls in a house.  When I want to be surrounded by green I prefer to be out in the woods.

I have a good friend who runs the local hardware store and when he told me of an upcoming sale on house paint I snipped the coupon and picked up a couple gallons at five dollars off each can.  I run a fairly commercial free blog but I don't mind plugging a good product when I come across one.  Easy Care Platinum Stain Blocking Paint/Primer in One is a wall covering I found that worked very well at hiding the dark green color of my walls.

Doing the edging around the trim and ceiling is my least favorite part of a painting project but it has to be done first and the quicker it's over the faster I can get on the fun part; rollers.  As you can see I don't use drop clothes or painters tape. I just take my time and rely on a steady hand.  I keep a wet cloth handy for the inevitable drips that occur.  Visible in the picture are some small white spots on the rug and floor that look like paint slops but these are actually small bits of a wallpaper border that I had scraped off the wall earlier.

Thursday night I broke out the 3/8" nap roller and got busy. After letting the first coat dry for a day I was excited to roll on the second coat and see how it looked. In the following picture I took Friday night the difference is plainly visible between one and two coats.  The dark green paint of the spare room was a great test for the Easy Care Stain Blocker and I feel it does a pretty good job.

The west side of the room has two windows that let in the sunshine in the afternoon. Another huge benefit of moving my radio station up to this room is when I swivel around in my office chair I have a great view of trees and sky; something definitely lacking from my old location in the basement.

Lastly I noticed that the ceiling was pretty dingy not having a fresh coat of paint in probably twenty years or more.  Using a small diameter roller about 6" long I put a light coat of ceiling paint overhead which freshened up that part of the room and finally cleaned up all my painting gear by 10:30 that night.

Saturday morning I replaced the old A/C outlet and added fresh covers for it and the light switch.  I had to drill an enlarged hole in the floor to pass the coax connector of my feed line and luckily the coax was long enough to easily reach the new operating position.  Disassembling the station and bringing it upstairs as well as removing the legs of my library table and reassembling it all in the new radio room was a process that took nearly four hours.  Once it was all done I kicked back in my chair and thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of my labor.

I'm sure the new arrangement will allow me to get much more use and enjoyment out of my amateur radio station. The advantages of having my operating position on the main floor of my home are many.  Not only do I have a light and cheery location where once Spring arrives I can open the windows and allow the fresh breezes to enter I can also enjoy the sound of Morse Code wherever I'm at in the house.  And most importantly the kitchen is just hop, skip and jump away.  What ham doesn't like a ham and swiss sandwich and a cold beverage to go with his radio?

Monday, March 11, 2013

One-Room Schoolhouse -- Worthington TWP No. 5

Here's a great wood sided original one-room school house I found in Worthington Township in south-eastern Richland County, Ohio.  This schoolhouse is located on a rural road just off State Route 97 east of Butler, Ohio and I have passed it many times on my way to Mohican State Park.

I love walking around these old sites quietly contemplating the goings on that happened long ago. I imagine busy activity and the sound of children's laughter. Rivalries and fights; childhood romance and of course budding dreams and discoveries as the kids learned of the wide world outside the sphere of life on the farm.

Remarkably most of the original slate roof is intact and the school number and date of construction is still visible after all these years.  

No 5  1897

The three windows on the north side look to be original even though a few panes are broken out.  The north side of the building is relatively protected from the harshest weather that blows out of the west-southwest.  The windows on the south side and two on each side of the front door have been boarded up.  The west wall has no windows as that was the "head of the class" where the full length chalkboard hung.

On the south side of the structure I noticed these vines clinging tenaciously even burrowing their way under the siding only to reappear further up the wall.  I'm sure this vegetation is probably some kind of flowering vine or poison ivy and grows leaves during the warm months.  A lack of fresh paint and moist conditions under the leafy cover of the vines further hastens the decay of the wood.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

14 Miles At Mohican State Park

On Saturday my friend Charlotte and I met at Mohican once again for a winter hike.  This time I suggested we walk the first several miles of the mountain bike trail. I wanted to try this trail for something a little different and also because the conveniently placed mile posts would make it easy to track our progress.

We got started just after 9:00 am in perfect conditions with temperatures in the upper 20's F.  A gentle snow fell most of the day and coated the pines and the forest floor with a thin blanket of white.  I took the following large size wide angle shots along a ravine where we stopped to listen to the water gurgling its way down the hill.

Looking Up

Looking Down

The opening picture shows the 7 mile marker where we took a short break before retracing our route back to the trail head.  Our plans were to make it at least a 10 mile hike but we got to 5 with still plenty of time left and fresh feeling legs so we pushed on a couple more miles.  The mountain bike trail was well designed and hugs the topography of the land to minimize the difficulty of steep grades while travelling by bike.  This formula also seems to make for an ideal foot path and we were surprised to see quite a few trail runners as well as mountain bikers taking advantage of the frozen yet rideable trail surface.

After six hours and none worse for wear we made it back to the trail head. I love that keen sense of accomplishment that only comes after a hard day on the trail and we are both very proud to have set our  new personal bests for distance on this hike.

Earlier in the week we both picked up new medium duty boots and their performance was outstanding during the 14 mile break in.  I've been without a proper hiking boot for a couple years and I sure notice the difference now that I have a little ankle support and a firmer sole under my feet.

It was a gorgeous day in the woods and I couldn't think of any place I'd rather be.  Judging by all the smiles and friendly greetings of other trail users I'm confident I wasn't the only one thinking that.