Monday, 27 February 2012

Blogger WTF!

Dear Blogger

What is going on with you guys? Really WTF is going on? I cant comment on my own blog, other people with blogger accounts email me to tell me they cant comment on my blog, the search bar on the to left of the page is basically a joke, TWENTY posts that begin with the words "I want one" and the search bar can find NONE OF THEM you guys are part of the google empire so 'searching' is a BIG part of what you do, er right? How is it that Blogger works less well than it did FIVE EFFING YEARS AGO?

Just sayin'

5 Gun Meme

I've been a little busy this year, and mysteriously unable to post comments on my own blog for the last three weeks but rest assured dear reader I'm still here and haven't given up blogging.

In the meantime a blog-meme has been doing the rounds with the usual gun nuts listing the guns they'd most like to acquire. With most of the gun bloggers posting handguns for home defence AKA 'goblin dispatch'.  This has never been a 'Gunny Blog' and I'm not really a hand gun kind of chap so I hadn't felt the need to join in, but when the mighty Steve B chipped in with his list of classic firearms for hunting I finally felt the need to publish my five gun battery of choice.

In the past I've listed a few guns in the "I want one" series of posts, some new and clever, some old and reassuringly handmade, this list is partially 'food getters' that are still available new and partially the antiques of tomorrow, nothing on the list couldn't be duplicated in functionality for a fraction of the price, but where's the fun in that?

Cooper Firearms of Montana: Jackson Squirrel Rifle in any rimfire cal. of your choice.
Arguably the best rimfire rifle made, anywhere, at any price. Sweet!
Picture credit

6.5X54 Mannlicher Schoenauer [preferably in rare Take Down spec.] AKA 'Bell's other rifle'
With its rotary magazine this was the Blaser of its day, an amazing example of the machinists craft. Bell   used his as his primary meat-getter and his stories are punctuated with praise for this wand-like rifle.
Picture credit and an excellent article about the MS 6.5x57 

David Lloyd in .240 (pictured in the barrel burning .244 cal)
Virtually an obsolete calibre, can only be used with vintage glass, but O' so sexy. David Lloyd designed his rifle from the glass down, he wanted a rifle that wouldn't lose its zero even when subjected to the rough and tumble of stalking in the Highlands. He designed his own scope mounts that shroud the scope, and then to really make sure they'd never moved silver soldered the scope to the mounts and the mounts to the rifle! Regular trips to eastern Turkey insured an amazing standard of Turkish Walnut for the stocks, and the barrels were the best money could buy.
Picture credit Emma's custom rifles

.275 Rigby with optional tang safety and the roll stamp on the barrel reading

My last few stalking expeditions have been with a Rigby, and while I'm usually all about utility - plastic stocks and stainless steel, the Rigby was my introduction to classic firearms.  There is something immensely cool about Rigby's rifles, I've seen 'poor man's Rigby's' that would duplicate everything a Rigby could ever be, you could buy a more accurate rifle from pretty much any modern manufacturer, but none of them would ever have the vibe of the Rigby. If I needed to explain it to you, you'd never understand what all the fuss is about. Double want one.
Picture credit and available rifles from Holts

Berretta Super Leggera [Ultra Light] 12 gauge
Like a vist to an italian furniture shop this is both the best and worst of italian design. Not pretty; the engraving is so naff I'd probably have it coated in ceramic paint to hide the true hideousness of what I'll charitably call the 'engraving', but in the Highlands on those long walks after Ptarmigan, snowshoe hunting hares with Perkele or trudging across the prairie after Quail with Chad Love its light weight would be a blessing.
Picture credit

Meanwhile back in the real world I'll keep saving to buy another bag of airgun pellets!
More soon

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Plan B: Fly Fishing

I keep finding myself idly surfing for a pair of waders, so I'm not the only person thinking about fly fishing. Then Faceless Fly Fishing emailed me suggesting I take a look at their latest film. I like it, make a change from the elitist gadget obsessiveness that plagues the sport. Init Tom.


Friday, 10 February 2012

Knife Review: Camillus VG10 Sailors Knife

 What the world needs now: An affordable VG10 pocket knife

Occasionally fate smiles upon me and in a welcome break from those clowns who write to me offering the 'opportunity' to post their naff videos and receive 0.4c a view, someone drops me a line with news of something that I'd actually like and that may be of interest to you dear reader. 

Back from the jaws of bankruptcy one of americas oldest knife brands Camilllus Knives has risen from the ashes with a great offering. Knives in VG10 [one of the super steels], for decidedly un-super prices. Most excellent!

I've got a couple of blades in VG10, the Fallkniven F1 and the Spyderco Urban, both hold a wicked edge long after the generic steels would need to be sharpened. Although they come at a considerable price premium: available in the US for around $100 and here in old blighty - a shocking £100 for the Urban and even more for the F1.

Looking over the Camillus range the model that jumped off the page for me is their interpretation of the Sailors Knife, I had a couple of these as a kid, but they weren't nearly as smart as this version. There's the classic 'sheep foot' blade and a marlin spike for undoing knots [and getting boy scouts out of horses hooves], but instead of generic steel and stainless steel scales this one comes in VG10 with G10 scales, and here's the good news, while the list price is only $60 I've found them at Wally World for $40!
 The knife is a 'liner lock' and lock-up is rock solid.
The lanyard loop also acts as a lock for the marlin spike 

Fit and finish are up there with the Urban but at 40% of the price. While the lanyard loop isn't the best piece of design I've ever seen, the rest of the knife really is very very well thought out and executed. In fairness the lock-up of the marlin spike is so firm that the loop needs to be the size it is to exert enough pressure to release the spikes lock.

Sometimes an outfit comes along that just offers a product that's right; meets and exceeds the competition and offers it at a price that makes it a no-brainer. I predict great things for the new Camillus Knife Co.

Thanks Guys

More soon

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Meet Tovar Cerulli

Always a pleasure to big-up a fellow blogger - writing for the love of reading and writing.  Bloggers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of us are silly, some investigative, some great at evoking wild spaces with sparse prose. The blogosphere has some amazing voices and some of them make it into traditional print. Tovar is a fascinating voice, the first person to diagnose adult onset hunting [read this one it's very funny], and my favorite 'foodie philosopher'  who has grasped the nettle of food bullshit, writing about the unintended consequences to food choices.

Have a watch of this, then have a read of his blog.

At twenty, moved by the compassionate words of Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh and concerned about the ecological impacts of meat, I became a vegetarian. Soon I went vegan.

Almost a decade later, having moved back to a rural community from New York City, I realized that all food has its costs. From habitat destruction to grain combines that inadvertently mince rabbits to the shooting of deer in soybean and lettuce fields, crop production is far from harmless. Even in our own organic garden, my wife and I were battling ravenous insects and fence-defying woodchucks. I began to see that the question wasn’t what we ate but how that food came to our plates.

A few years later, my wife—who was studying holistic health and nutrition— suggested that we shift our diet. My health improved when we started eating dairy and eggs. It improved still more when we started eating chicken and fish.

Searching for ethical, ecologically responsible ways to come to terms with my food, I began to contemplate the unthinkable: hunting. Two years later, I took up a deer rifle.

More soon, your pal


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Boil In The Bag

Perhaps a little over dressed: note the steam rising from me

Other things have keept me away from blogging for the last few weeks but rest assured dear reader I've not fallen off the edge of the world. I did make it out of town for an 'Armed Ramble' the The Bambi Basher and McShug. With the season over we took the guns and dogs to look for Pigeons and Squirrels. Is it just me or are Squirrels much rarer after last years cold winter? Our bag for the morning was Zip Ziltch, Nada but as you probably know a crap mornings hunting beats any morning at the office so the outing was a great success. I took the opportunity to 'test some gear' AKA wear clothes.

As the thaw was underway and temperature was above freezing it was still too warm for a proper test, I boiled in the bag.

Lundhags Ranger Boots
I can see how a pair of made to measure boots could be a more custom fit, but I cant see how they could be any better made or more waterproof. I wanted a pair of Lundhags for over twenty years and went through a couple of pairs of of half decent boots, and several pairs of mil-surp boots in that time. These are very very good, not cheap, but very very good.

Mini Bambi Basher gave me a hand testing the ESS goggles

RedRam Thermals
Very good indeed, and sadly it would seem very delicious to that evil predator Tineola bisselliella, the Clothes Moth!

As we set off for home McShug very kindly produced this from his pocket, "shot last week so it hums a bit, but I know you wanted to try one" Now hanging from the Gas Cock in my basement. Ripening.

More tales of feral failure, reviews and of course a traditional Woodcock recipe to follow
Your pal