Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Very Good Day

Since being diagnosed with multiple myeloma good days have become rather rare around the Hoover household; rare enough so that when one occurs I often feel the need to share it... with today being a nice example.

I have guns all ovet the house and I wear one whenever doing so is not only practical but legal. But simply having a firearm is of little use if you are not qualified to use it. The only way I know to maintain your abilities with a firearm is use one. That means firing it frequenty; ideally, every day.

The pistol I'm wearing is a Makarov. It uses the 9x18 Makarov cartridge, which is NOT the same thing as the Short Lugar... which is ALSO 9x18. To develop and maintain my proficiency calls for burning a lot of powder. Unfortunately, Mak ammo is fairly expensive. Normally, I wouldn't pay much attention to the cost since I reload my own ammo, and while the 9x18Mak isn't commonly available, as a low velocity pistol round it's dead simple to reload. So that's what I've been doing but using LEAD bullets instead of better quality jacketed slugs.

Today I turned 10+ pounds of wheel-weights into 11+ pounds of lead alloy suitable for bullets. You can't use wheel-weights straight off because they contain a tad too much antimony and not quite enough lead. So you melt the wheel-weight into 1/2lb ingots then figure out how many #00 buckshot must be added to each half-pound. Melt that together and you've got a suitable alloy for Makarov pills.

Shells aren't a problem because regular 9mm brass, using Boxer-type primers, can be used in the Mak once the casing is trimmed to the proper length. This allows the use of Small Pistol primers and regular 9mm brass, which when combined with an accurately cast lead bullet, brings the cost of maintaining your proficiency within reason for even the most cash-strapped marksman.

The fact everything worked out okay is one of the reasons today was an especially good day. The other reasons have to do with a new refrigerator, in that our old refrigerator was too short for three people, the new number of residents at the Hoover household.

To install a larger refrigerator called for removing the cabinetry above the old refrigerator. Once it was removed we needed to shorten the existing cabinet. The main problem with doing so was the fact the kitchen has a dropped ceiling and the fact I can no longer raise my arms over my head. Fortunately, the new permanent resident is our daughter, who proved to be a Terror when handed a Skilsaw... or any other other tool of mass destruction.

How high was the needed adjustment? One half of an inch. How long have we worked on it? Several days. But today brought all the bits together so that all that remains is to put the new cabinet in place.

Finally, the best news -- and justification for any Special Day... it was just thirty-three years ago today that June Carol Yates became my bride. I love her still, as she does me.



Anonymous said...

Congratulations ! Many happy returns ! We love you ! Stefanos Julie and Mom

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C R said...

Congrats on the anniversary, and you're a good man for reloading your own ammunition. I'm a .45ACP guy myself, and I do my reloading on a Dillon RL-550B reloading press. Works like a champ and it keeps the costs down, as you noted.

Stay safe out there.


Unknown said...

Congratulations... on *all* of those.

Max Welton said...

Good post Bob. Specially that last part. You guys have us beat, but only by three years. :D


Sport Pilot said...

God Bless you Bob and I'm glad you had a great day. The Mak is a fantastic pistol with a much nicer round than the .380 ACP, your right it's fun to run handloads through.

Unknown said...

Hang in there, Bob.
As always enjoy your updates.