Random Gulchy Moments

Busy morning. Toward the end of his morning walkie Tobie finally managed to bring a bit of juniper branch all the way home without losing it; apparently assuming I wouldn’t let it inside the cabin he immediately flopped down on the boards and expressed a desire to spend some quality time with it. No problem; I just wrapped his leash around a 4X4 and went inside for second coffee.

Then I got him inside (he had forgotten all about the stick) and snuck off to the reloading shack for some quality time with the Circle of Brass.

Loaded almost 100 rounds of .44 Special…

Final inspection comes when I’m wiping off the bullet lube. And surprise!

One too many campaigns for this old soldier. I inspect the cases for cracks when I clean the primer pockets and again briefly after they go through the flaring die so I’m pretty sure this one didn’t split until I seated the bullet. Normally doesn’t bother me, brass wears out, but right now bullets are the weak point in my reloading supplies. Wouldn’t you know.

Got back to the Lair just in time to load Tobie in the Jeep and go do horse and dog chores at D&L’s, who are off at another joint doctor appointment.

Feed the horses, take a quick turn around the corrals with the shit fork, then let the dogs out of their kennel for a pee, bring them into the house for lunch, a quick lovin’ and then back out to the kennel. They’re old now and used to the routine: When they were young they gave me a hard time about the kennel but now they just go along with every step of the program.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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12 Responses to Random Gulchy Moments

  1. RD says:

    So, Tobie’s a Gin and Tonic man.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good one!

  3. Eric says:

    Joel, do you cast at all or just buy factory bullets?

    If you cast I have a proposition for you that is too good to pass up.


  4. If you are stressing about losing brass, you can always anneal the mouths with the flame of a candle or a kerosene lamp. It is tedious but if you have more time than brass it might be worth doing.


  5. Joel says:

    No, I’ve never cast real bullets. Muzzleloader balls when I was young, that’s all. I considered taking it up but the lead/tin/antimony/whatever would be harder to come up with than bullets are, to say nothing of the hardware involved.

  6. Beaner49 says:

    So what is your preferred load for your 44 special
    And I noticed you are using lead bullets .
    Have you ever tried copper plated bullets?

  7. winston smith says:

    Joel, dont sweat the formula too much. As long as you arent approaching muzzleloader/pure lead, youll be fine. I’ve never done anything other than use some wheelweights and my bullets have never excessively leaded my barrels. I have also been known to ‘mine’ spent lead from range backstops, which also gives me a good source of minor additives.

    Cast bullets are where you Really save $$$ in handloading.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Do you consider the effects of breathing the fumes from the materials you heat up or is ventilation a required step in what you do?

  9. Joel says:

    Beaner49: Of course I’ve tried jacketed bullets, in fact I have a few boxes of them that people have given me. The lead bullets are only for pistol practice for the same reason you probably use Russian ammo for rifle practice: It’s a lot cheaper. It’s natural to save the good stuff for serious purposes. I EDC commercial ammo because the primers are guaranteed to fire on the first try and the cases won’t split. Unfortunately (here’s the single disadvantage of carrying a .44 in my opinion) .44 Special is no longer a popular caliber, don’t ask me why, and so even at the best of times shelf availability is limited and expensive. I’m saving those jacketed bullets, as well as my least-old primers, for the day when I have to start carrying reloads for serious use.

    Anyway, my current favorite recipe is 7.5 grains of Ramshot True Blue with a 240 grain cast bullet.

    Anon: Melting and casting lead should only be done with VERY good ventilation.

  10. Eric says:

    Joel, the reason I asked if you cast your own is that I am sitting on somewhere north of 1000 lbs of lead and linotype that I am most likely never going to use and I wouldn’t mind letting you take some off my hands if Ian or BB were passing my way.


  11. Joel says:

    Oh. Wow. Well, that would certainly change my mind about casting my own. Unfortunately I don’t know how we could ever do that. BB is in a far corner of the country and doesn’t travel very much more than I do, and I never know where Ian goes until I hear stories later.

    Sure appreciate the thought, though.

  12. beaner49 says:

    Joel, I wasn’t clear with my earlier question , I meant to ask if you had tried using copper plated bullets for practice not jacketed bullets.

    The copper plated bullets are for all intents and purposes lead bullets but the copper plating prevents any leading of the barrel.
    For example look at Xtreme Bullets bullets.: https://www.xtremebullets.com/
    I have used their 45 cal bullets for years and am very happy that I don’t have to de-lead the barrel every so often.

    if you see something you like over at Xtreme let me know…Santa could come early.

To the stake with the heretic!