Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bow season opener

So, the time has flown by.  The girls started school in early August. I've been coaching their Rec League volleyball team and have practice twice weekly and games each Saturday. So, even though I can feel the coolness in the breezes and I know that fall is quickly approaching, I feel like hunting season snuck up on me.
Yesterday was the opening of our bow season.  I have been excited and anticipating this day, but found myself unprepared.  My plans were to put the girls on the bus in the morning, then get out to the woods.  Well, that didn't happen.  I have felt way behind in my home chores, lately.  For 2 days I traveled with my Dad and grandparents to look for potential homes for my grandparents in this area.  Exciting to think they may move here.  Then, I had volleyball games and then church and a Bible drill kickoff.  Phew. So, Monday came along and I spent the day nurturing my soul and making 4 batches of granola to put up for cereal, granola bars and homemade laundry detergent.  Ah. I felt better.  DH went out into the deer woods after work and didn't see anything.
Along comes today, the second day of season. Hmph. Not in the woods yet.  I am trying to catch up on stuff, house stuff, so I don't feel guilty about being in the woods.  Sometimes, you just need to regroup before you hit the next season of your life, right?  Well, that's where we are, regrouping.  I think DH isn't in total agreement with me, he's thrilled, but I'm regrouping.  I have a few items that are bringing me down and I'm kind of waiting for them to settle before I can reorganize my schedule and time and feel like I can focus on the hunt.
I'm planning on hunting this week, yet, so stay tuned for updates! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

3D Archery Shoot results are in!

This is a sad, sorry tale, so if you don't like those, you may want to read a different post!

We, the Campbell family, got our bows out to prepare for the upcoming bow season (in 2 weeks!!!!!!).  Well, there's good news and bad news to that.
Our girls got a Bear Youth Bow for Christmas.  I can't remember if it is the Brave III or the Warrior III, but no matter right now.  After 2 years (or was it a very long 1 year?) of trying, they can finally pull that bow back!  Yippee!  We were excited to pull our bows back together, as a family, in the back yard.
Now, my DH picks up his bow each year during season, but I, on the other hand do not.  Last year I didn't take it out at all for some reason.  I think I was working, too much, and any time available in the woods needed to go to DH because he was more skilled and more ready than I. I sacrificed last year's seasons to him. I know, I know, I'm an awesome sportsman's wife!  LOL.  The girls somehow break one of the 4 arrows that come with the set.  Ok, we figure we'll still be fine.
So, we figured we needed to get over to the 3D archery shoot put on by the Davey Mtn Archery Club behind Hogsed's Sportswear for some practice.  Very excited we were.  We got up at a respectable time, got to the shoot an hour after it started and began the course.  Well, first thing I noticed was a group before us.  Very serious group.  The lady had on a nice wicking Easton shirt and they all had top of the line competition style bows.  Definitely not hunters.  They were using range finders and fancy sights.  Hmm.  Ok. To each his own, right?
We let 2 groups of 2 go ahead of us because we take so long.  Another lady and her beau shoot.  Her rig isn't as impressive as the first group, but still very nice competition style bow.  Hmm.  I'm surprised there are so many competitors, and ladies at that!  I would think we'd see more hunters in a rural area shoot.  Interesting.
So, we begin the course.  We get up to the blue stake on 2 hog targets and I miss one.  UGH.  The girls miss both, but no lost arrows.  Next target, a wolf.  I do ok, but the girls miss.  They can't find the arrow.  Next target, a bear.  The girls can't find their arrow.  They are down to one arrow remaining now.  Next target, a deer.  Last arrow down and out. Gone. Vanished. URRRR.
DH did okay, but I sucked (to put it mildly).  I missed over half the targets.  I didn't lose any arrows, though. 
Here is my 3D shoot summed up neatly:
Davey Mtn Archery Club 3D Shoot
You can imagine my displeasure.  Well, I better get to practicing!  But, first, I need to finish this canner load of corn and pick up the girls off of the bus, and get ready for volleyball practice.  I hope I have time to shoot today!  A bow or a gun.  Whatever.  Shooting rocks!  

You can keep track of the club's shoots by clicking on the link below:

Now get out there and practice!  Season is a comin'!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My CCW solution search for Glock 27 on a female

Glock 27 in 40 S&W
Good old paddle holster
I don't remember if I was blogging at the time I purchased my uncle's Glock from him.  I was excited.  Totally stoked.  My uncle is a retired police officer.  He carried a Glock 27 as one of his side arms for a little while.  He had a full size Glock, got an opportunity to try the smaller Glock 27, then decided to just use it as a backup piece.  Since retirement, he has worked as a security guard, but carries a different gun.  I purchased his old side arm from him.  I am liking it.  It is the Glock 27 in 40 S&W.  I was going to get a magazine extender to have a better grip, but get this: my uncle heard that and went and bought it for me and gave it to me with the gun!  How sweet is that?!?!?  Well, with the gun came all of the paperwork, the original plastic case and a leather paddle holster.  Well, I thought, great, no need for buying a holster.  BUT.

Now that I've had it for several months and become well acquainted with it, I'm looking for concealment solutions.  Here's the story.

I wanted a purse.  I thought it would be handy and easier to carry, especially in the summer.  So, I got the Gun Tote'n Mamas Bag in camo.  I don't remember the name of it and can't seem to find it anywhere online to reference.  I got it from Cabelas, Inc., however, so maybe they have it exclusively.  But, here's a picture of mine:

Gun Tote'n Mamas concealed carry bag
The holster is part of the deal

I loved this bag when I got it.  I used it exclusively whether I carried or not.  It came with a simple holster that stays in place with hook and loop tape.  It can be repositioned to however you need your gun to be held inside the bag.

When I carried my Glock, however, I realized just how heavy it became.  And when I didn't, I wanted more room.  The handle is stiff and hard to adjust.  Whatever material they made it out of, it certainly does its job.  I like this bag, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't quite excite me anymore.

So, then I found this bag:  The Ful Peabody in Camo.
Ful Peabody in Camo

I was excited and geeked about it.  It happens that my Glock can fit in the uppermost zippered compartment. 

The 3 zippered compartments offer options.

But, I like to have a holster to protect it, not just let it hang in there free.  So, I used the simple holster that came with my previous bag and felt better. But, there again, the weight became an issue.

I really like this bag, though.  I wear it cross body style.  It keeps my hands free while I can then swing the bag towards the front of my body to access any of the compartments.

I started thinking about carrying on my person.  But, then, IWB or OWB?
(Confused?  IWB = In the waistband and OWB = Outside of the waistband.)
OK. Well, I was given a leather paddle holster with my gun, remember?  So, we were going to my parents' house one day and I decided to wear it.  I donned my camo belt and placed my paddle holster.  The inside of my elbow was resting on the gun. In fact, the gun was almost touching my, well, girls.  While I drove, a manual trans, the holster was digging into my hip.  I'm not very tall, mind you, about 5' 5".  As I shot and walked around at the 'rents' place, I realized this holster would not do.  Quite uncomfortable when worn with normally fitting pants.  When worn with pants a little big to accommodate said holster, the weight wants to pull your britches off!
Paddle holster from the top

UGH.  So, I keep looking online, seeking direction from some unknown place, some knowledgeable female who has gone before me.  I came upon a few different ideas that I may try.  Or I may try to create.

The thought has crossed my mind that I need to carry a smaller caliber, smaller framed gun, but then... I don't wanna.  The smaller framed guns don't fit my right hand well.  I feel like my fingers are gargantuan when I hold them because my trigger finger wraps all the way around back to my thumb and can even overlap my thumb almost entirely.  I don't like pulling the trigger with my knuckles.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.  Just leave a comment below or find a way to contact me in the sidebar to the right.  Whatever suits your fancy!

Here are a few great resources I found along the way:
30 Cal Gal
Girl's Guide to Guns
GunGoddess Etsy Shop
Packing Pretty

Pinterest Gun Leather and More

Sunday, August 5, 2012

F.I.E. Texas Ranger Mod Tex 22 LR Single Action Revolver

FIE Mod Tex 22 LR or FIE Texas Ranger
My friend, a pastor, asked me to 'tinker' with this gun of his dad's.  He bought his dad a 22 revolver, real cheap. His dad loves it.  BUT, the action stuck or wouldn't work somehow, so his dad took it apart.  He couldn't get it back together.  My friend asked several other friends to take a look at it for him.  All of these men were gun nuts, one had learned about guns in the military. The gun was passed around for 4-5 months. No one could get it to work properly.

Well, my friend is a pretty good friend of my parents' actually.  My dad tells him that maybe my husband or I can help.  Why not?  No one else could. I'm a mechanical engineer that likes to tinker and figure things out.  Both my husband and I like guns (I may like them a little more than he does at this point).  My dad tells me he volunteered me.  A few months go by (or was it a long few weeks? IDK).  I don't hear any more and put it on the back burner.

Yesterday I got a phone call from this mutual friend.  I agree to give it a shot.  You can find almost anything on the internet these days, right, so I should be able to find a video of some sort! WRONG. I was excited to see this puzzle with all of its pieces, but I couldn't look anything up until I had it in my hand.

That evening, after a lengthy visit with my folks and grandparents, we got home to find the mystery firearm in a box on our porch.   There were tiny parts in a plastic container, marked Ham Salad.  There was the barrel with the frame in one piece and the stock in the other.  We put the kids to bed and I got online to try to look up some information on this mystery that lay in my lap in pieces.  My husband tells me that I'm going to lose those tiny parts on that couch!  I tell him I'm just researching, not going to try put it together tonight.  He goes to bed.

So, I begin searching the internet.  The engraving on the side says:  Mod Tfx 22 cal LR FIE Miami, FL.  Well, now that I know, it actually says Mod Tex 22 cal LR FIE Miami, FL.  AFter many different attempts, I realize that there aren't any videos of the gun, aren't any real schematics that I can find.  I also find out that the gun is no longer made, the manufacturer stamp is actually only the importer and it may have been made in Germany or Italy originally.  The importer, from Miami, stopped importing the guns in 1968 due to the Federal Firearms Act.  Great.

Well, I figure that 22 revolvers can't be too far apart, so I find a schematic for the same brand but different model, the E15.  I print it out in two sizes and start looking up part names.  On the Numrich website, there are pictures of most parts available for the handguns, so I'm trying to compare the parts in the plastic container to the pictures on the website.  I label some of the part names on my schematic.  Print out a disassembly/reassembly description from a manual written by United States Fire Arms Manufacturing Co., Inc.  I figure if I can match the part descriptions to the written instructions, and the schematic I can maybe figure it out.

After church today, I'm chomping at the bit to try to put this gun together.  I spent a few hours sitting with it, cleaning parts and trying to see how they fit and work together.  I'm getting so close, I can taste it (or was that gun solvent?).  I can fit the pieces together, but need to figure out the right order and what is wrong with the action to make it stick?  I look up some videos online. Hmm.  Mainspring. Where's that?  In the grip. OK. Let's take the wood grips off.  Hmm.  OK. Now what?
Mod Tex 22 Mainspring

So, I clean up the mainspring and the area hidden by the grips and start fiddling some more.  Wait, if I put the gate on, the cylinder, the base pin, install the gate detent and gate screw.  I installed the hand and spring onto the hammer, put the hammer into the assembly in almost the right position.  I put the grip section on to hold the gate detent and gate screw in place.  Things are looking like a firearm around here.  But, the hammer isn't sitting right yet.  So, I have to hold the stock tight to compress the gate screw, push down on the hammer to seat it properly, while flexing the mainspring in the grip.  I don't have a third hand to screw the hammer into place!  Um, honey, I need your help.  He makes smart remark.  I tell him, no, I just need a third hand because I don't have any left to use the screwdriver.  He complies.  It doesn't cycle.  He remembers jamming up a rifle in his younger years. He backs out the hammer screw ever so slightly.  Voila!  Perfect working order. No joke.  I dry fire it several times. Over and over. I place a wooden skewer in through the barrel to see if the cylinder lines up with the barrel properly.  Don't want it to be out of timing.  Ugh.
Mod Tex 22 Base Pin & Hammer Screw

When we are convinced that it is ready to fire, we go outside.  Eyes and ears on everybody (just me and DH).  Fire in the hole!  (Yes, our whole family watches American Guns!)  I duck for cover and fire into the mud.  It works.  All 6 times.  Sweet!  Really?!?  I reload.  Now I'm confident enough to pull it up and try to fire looking down the sight.  It is only about 1.5 inches left on 4 rounds and pretty close to dead on with the other 2.  NICE.  I win!

I'm known not to let puzzles and mysteries win over me.  I want to be a gunsmith.  Maybe.  I am looking for a new career choice when we decide that the kids don't need me to stay home from work anymore.  I'm seriously considering it.  This would be my first gunsmith job and I won.  In less than 24 hours.  I probably only spent about 5 hours total on this gun and loved every second.  Especially when it fired!!

Hopefully this will help someone else who is looking for info. on this little gun.  Here's some helpful links:

E15 Schematic:

Mod Tex 22 parts pictures:

Ruger Single Action Revolver Disassembly video:

Ruger Single Action Revolver Reassembly video:

A helpful forum talks about the ejector:

And the grand finale!  The Owner's Manual!  I finally found it.  Thanks, Steve.  Whoever and wherever you are.  This link may start the download immediately.

Enjoy!  Feel free to comment with any help, advice or questions!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paypal Here is Here!

I'm very excited about being able to accept credit cards securely from anywhere.  I upgraded to a Droid phone in order to be able to do it.  Now, I have the Paypal little blue triangle to make it work! Paypal keeps customers' information secure, so I don't have to worry about writing it down or entering it, just swiping their card like a store does!
I am excited about this new technology and can't wait to give it a try!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Climbing Treestands

Well, we are seriously wanting to start getting ready for deer season this year.  We are gearing up for groceries to sky rocket because of this drought the country is in currently.  We had a hearty garden harvest and are about to plant a second round for a fall harvest, we hope!

My husband has been talking about a new, lightweight climbing tree stand for deer season since last year.  So, he saved up his 'Good Daddy' gifts, from Christmas, Father's Day and his birthday, and he'll be getting a new, 15 lb. climber.  He likes to have this because he wants to walk, or shall we say hike, back into the woods as far as he can and setup to surprise the deer.  He gets up much earlier than I'm ever comfortable to do and gets out there.  More power to him.  I want a little more sleep than that!

He really wants a Lone Wolf climbing tree stand, but those are quite expensive.  I think he'll go with a Summit.  We are shopping at Bass Pro Shops since that is where his gift cards are redeemable.  His main concerns are the weight and the silence (like any hunter, right?).  So, we are still going to do some comparison shopping right up until we purchase, just in case something changes, you see.  I have actually read that the Summit stands are more comfortable.  These may be the ones with the deluxe seats on them, however, and to make it lighter, we are going with bare bones.  If he wants a backrest later, we may make him one.  Um, I may make him one!  Hmmmm.  We talked about having a mostly hand made Christmas this year.  That's a great gift idea, come to think of it!

What kind of tree stand do you use?  What would you recommend?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Envelope Pillow Craft Notes

There are many versions of the envelope pillow case.  Recently, a friend asked me to show her how.  Circumstances prevented me from going to her house to do so, but I explained it to her and drew this diagram to assist.  She did wonderfully and so I thought I'd share.

This is a simple pillow cover that can be removed for washing or seasonal changing.  It is "sew" simple!  There will only be 4 seams to sew, unless you have an old curtain or sheet that has finished sides to take some of the work out of it.

Let's get started:
Start with a rectangle of fabric, then finish the two short sides by folding in the seam 1/4", then folding it again and seaming it to enclose it.
After that you fold the fabric in thirds, think of the shape of a C here, only overlapping the short sides by about 2" to close the gap and sew the two remaining unfinished edges.  Maybe the diagram will help here.  But, really, it is simple once you get the concept.
Envelope pillow cover pattern notes

If you think of it this way it may make sense:
Place  the pillow face down in the middle of the fabric, with the right side of the fabric facing you.
Fold down the top of the fabric to cover the middle of the pillow.
Now, fold up the bottom of the fabric to overlap the top, creating an envelope!  Like a C that connects and overlaps itself (if the opening of the C is facing you and you pull down the to top overlap the bottom leg)!  You'll sew the sides shut.  You can make these in no time at all!

The hardest part will be deciding how big to make the rectangle.  So, for that we'll assume you have a 12" x 12" square pillow so you can see how the calculations work out.

Width of the fabric:
You'll add 1" to the width of the pillow.  That'll be the width of your fabric.  On the sides I use 1/2" seam allowance since these need to be strong to be able to put the pillow inside and take it out repeatedly.

Height of the fabric:
You'll add the 12" length of the front of the pillow to the measurements of the back pieces.  So, 1/2 of the pillow is 6", but you want the overlap to be 2" to enclose the pillow.  So, the top portion of the back of the pillow needs to be 8" and the bottom portion needs to come up 8".  They'll both overlap the middle of the pillow by 2", see?  They come up to meet each other and overlap to cover the back side of your pillow.
Then, add 1" to that for seam allowances (folding 1/4" down twice on each end leaves 1/2" total needed to finish both seams, thus 1" total).
So, 12" + 8" + 8" + 1" = 29".  This is the height or length of the fabric you'll need.

For a 12" x 12" pillow, you'll need to cut a rectangle of fabric 13" x 29" and you'll be ready to sew.

So, take the following formula to any size pillow:
Pillow width + 1" seam allowance = fabric width
Pillow height + (1/2 the height + 2" for overlap) + (another 1/2 the height + 2" for overlap) + 1" seam allowance = fabric height

Just for fun, let's assume your pillow is odd, like 11" wide by 5" high.
For the width of the fabric, add 1", so cut 12" wide.
For the height of the fabric, add 5" + (2.5" + 2" = 4.5") + (4.5") + 1" = 15" fabric
Cut fabric 15" high by 12" wide.  This is important if you want the fabric print to be facing the right way, be sure to place the width of the fabric along the side of the pillow you want the print to run.

I've made these several times for my daughters.  I have 3 of them, with different styles and tastes and color preferences.  If they find a fabric they like, I can sometimes buy a fat quarter and make it work if the pillow is small enough.  Otherwise, it is usually only 1/4 yard up to 1/2 yard of fabric with leftovers!  That's cheap and easy.  Love it.  It is best if you have a leftover sheet you don't use or find a fancy fabric shower curtain at a garage sale to upcycle.  Love it when I can repurpose items to new glory!

Feel free to leave a comment with any questions.  I'd be glad to help if I can.  Now, go create a cool pillow cover to change up your room!  Once you get the first one you'll want to create them for your friends as cheap gifts!  :)