Category Archives: Ron James

Annealing Cases

 With the price of brass at the present time perhaps we should give more thought to prolonging the life of our cases. It’s not difficult to anneal case necks and has benefits. Every time we fire a cartridge and then run it through the resizing and de-capping die we work harden the case, particularly in the region of the neck. The effect of this is that the ability of the brass to grip the next bullet inserted is reduced. Continue reading Annealing Cases

Chinese Glass

They’ve been around for a while now, those cheap telescopic sights made in China. Most seem to pass them off as something that will not last. Certainly some may be less than acceptable for average shooting conditions but I suggest that the quality wheel is slowly turning.

I must confess that this was my initial reaction, however the sale in a major US internet site was simply too tempting. The quoted price was $59.95 US for a 5 X 25 mil dot sight, simply irresistible. I had made up my mind that even if it was junk at least I would know in future. So for just over $100.00 Australian the package was delivered to my door via U.S. Post (Airmail) in little over a week. I have telescopic sights that I paid close to $1000.00 for many years ago. This Chinese number was a surprise.

Sure the optics are not a good as the best European or Japanese glass, for the price you would be unrealistic to expect them to be so. However they are of sufficient quality for what I would term average shooting conditions. Mine was installed on top of a brand new 22/250 R rifle and two years later it is still there. It’s good enough to knock off rabbits at 400 metres plus and that is good enough for me.

Interestingly enough the oldest glass sight in my gun cabinet is a wide angle 6 X Japanese purchased 30 years ago and considered junk at the time. It is still in use today and has never let me down.

Emergency Rations

Do you carry emergency rations when you travel in the outback? I suggest that if you do not, you should. You must be self sufficient and cover potential problems and that includes a vehicle break down in remote areas. With modern technology you may consider this unlikely. However, this is not the only reason as weather may trap you; consider heavy rain on unmade roads in black soil country. I know of one case where a family was stuck for a week. Luckily they were prepared with sufficient food.

A supply of tinned food is probably the easiest to carry, preferable to any item carried in glass that is prone to breakage. It is possible in this day and age to obtain a great variety of different foodstuffs. Nothing is more boring than eating the same food for three meals a day. Dehydrated vegetable that only require boiling water are another possibility and take up little space. You might also add to this list such items as matches and fire lighters, they just might be invaluable if and when the time comes. Keep these valuable items in something that is completely waterproof.

It’s probably best to contain such items in a specific box. We rotate all such items every couple of trips, it freshens the stock up and allows inspection to insure nothing has developed a leak; they tend to be bounced around a bit on unmade roads. Oh yes, and don’t forget the can opener!

Common household items that can double as firearm cleaning gear.

In addition to using the normal items for cleaning firearms such as rods, brushes and various potions there are a lot of other useful items that may make the job easier and in some cases cheaper. Paper towels are a case in point. Good for mopping up spilt liquids and wiping cleaning rods after they exit a barrel. Old toothbrushes are a very useful item for cleaning those hard to access spots in rifle chambers, it pays to keep them clean.

Odd items on the reload bench should be stored in various sized plastic boxes, keeps them in one place and clean at the same time. In similar fashion many common liquids are of great assistance. BrakeClean from the automotive trade is a good liquid to get loose powder residue from the bore of a rifle. It leaves no residue. Lanolin based fluids can be used in the bore between shooting sessions, guaranteed to keep rust at bay, also useful on dies for the same reason.

Common white Vinegar can be used to clean up cartridge cases, just rinse in clean water after soaking for about ½ hour, some use Cider Vinegar instead for the same purpose. Patches used to swab firearm bores can be substituted with common cleaning cloth (Chux) purchased in a roll at the local supermarket. Cut to size for your firearm’s bore they are very cheap indeed. Think outside the square, you can save a lot of hard earned cash.