Friday, January 25, 2013
I had to take off from work today to help care for my wife and two daughters, who've come down with the creeping crud that's been going around. During my morning errands I stopped off at Lowes and bought a Dyna Glo model RMC-95C6B kerosene heater. We've wanted an auxiliary heater for awhile and today seemed like a good time to pick it up along with a 5 gallon can of Klean-Strip K-1 dye-free kerosene.
The Dyna Glo model we got is a cylindrical convection style heater putting out 23000 BTU. We have it in the middle of our living/dining room, which is the middle level of our split level home. Our den downstairs has a gas fireplace to keep it warm, while the forced air heat from our gas furnace manages to heat the upper level where our bedrooms are. The living and dining room tend to be cold, partially due to the ductwork, but also because they have a cathedral ceiling.
The heater required minimal assembly - basically I needed to put on the top piece and the protective grill. There are two Phillips head screws holding it together. The heater can be lit with a match, but the primary way to light it is via the built in electric start that is powered by two C cells.
For safety's sake I filled the heater outside. It came with a siphon which made filling it easy. The tank has a fuel gauge on it so you know when it's almost full. Using the siphon instead of a funnel allowed me to fill the tank without spilling any fuel.
Before lighting the heater I brought it inside and let the wick soak up the fuel for a little more than an hour. Doing so with a new wick is key to preventing poor burning and making fumes.
So far it's burning nicely and has made the middle level of my house very comfortable. The Klean-Strip K-1 seems to burn cleanly without smoke or much odor. It's definitely not as stinky as the K-1 we used when I was a kid. I just wish it wasn't over $8 per gallon (due primarily to taxes).
Overall it seems decently made but the handle connection could be better. I'm going to see about getting a couple hitch pins to better secure the handle to the heater body. I do not plan on moving it while lit so this isn't an immediate concern.
Anytime you are burning fuel indoors you need to be aware of the possibility that you could be producing poisonous carbon monoxide (CO). Because it's odorless, it can be difficult to detect until it's too late. Our primary heating system is forced air natural gas, so we already have to CO detectors. One is downstairs right outside the furnace closet. The other is in our upstairs hallway. So far neither has chirped but I'm getting a third to have in the living room with the kero heater just to be on the safe side.
Back in the early/mid 1980s when energy prices were relatively high, but kerosene was relatively cheap, kerosene heaters were more common in American homes. My parents used one to help keep their house warm. It never failed that ever winter there would be at least one news story about a house fire started by someone putting gasoline in a kero heater. NEVER do this. You'll be lucky if it only catches fire. There's a good chance that putting gas into a kero heater will cause an explosion.
If you use them properly kerosene heaters are a good, safe way to provide supplemental heating for your home. Read the directions that came with your heater, use only the correct fuel, and have a carbon monoxide detector.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Watch this and share it. This needs to go viral.
Here’s a transcript (the cameraman missed the first paragraph).
The past Monday I decided to visit the Minuteman Park in Lexington and pay tribute to Captain John Parker and his fellow minutemen. A thought came to my mind, that the founding fathers of the United States and Chairman Mao had one thing in common: they all realized that guns are important political instruments. Their similarities, however, ended there:
Chairman Mao wrote: ‘Political power grows out of barrel of a gun’, and he dictated: ‘The party shall command the gun’. James Madison and his compatriots, however, believing that the power of the state is derived from the consent of the governed, ratified that ‘the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed’.
23 years ago, I was a college freshman exercising my freedom of speech and assembly in Tian’anmen Square, much like we are doing here today. We grew frustrated by the restriction of personal freedoms and the corrupted Chinese government, and we thought peaceful protest would make the country better. Our young passion and patriotism was crushed by hails of full metal jackets out of AK47’s. (Some AK purists here would argue they were really type 56’s). We could not fight back, because we did not have an inch of iron in our hands, to borrow a Chinese expression: we were unarmed.
Gun owners like us often say: the Second Amendment is the protector against a tyrannical government. Some may argument that a man with a rifle is no match to the military machines of today, so such beliefs are no longer relevant. However, 20 million peaceful Beijing citizens in 1989, sure wished that they had a few million rifles in their hands!
Freedom is not free. Liberty has costs. We recognize that in this free society, criminals or mentally deranged could get weapons and murder the innocents. The answer, however, is not to disarm the law abiding citizens. Not only criminals and the deranged will violate the laws anyway, but more importantly, when a government turns criminal, when a government turns deranged, the body count will not be five, ten or twenty, but hundreds, like in Tian’anmen Square, or millions, counted in the 90-year history of the Chinese Communist Party.
Our constitutional republic may look fuzzy and loving today (if you think so, I’ve got a TSA agent you should meet), but keep in mind that absolute power corrupts absolutely! And when a government has monopoly on guns, it has absolute power!
Do you know that the Chinese Constitution guarantees almost all the nice things we have here? It is written that Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of speech and religion, they have human and property rights, and that such rights cannot be taken away without due process of the law. And do you know what? Chinese people do not have the right to keep and bear arms. I assure you all those nice guarantees, are not worth the paper they are printed on, because when the government has all the guns, they have all the rights.
I was not born a citizen of the United States, I was naturalized in 2007. In 2008, I became a proud gun owner. To me, a rifle is not for sporting or hunting, it is an instrument of freedom. It guarantees that I cannot be coerced, that I have free will, and that I am a free man.
Now suppose the 20 million Beijing citizens had had a few million rifles, how many rounds should they have been ALLOWED to load into their magazines? 10? 7? How about 3?
Never, never, never give up the fight, my friends. It may be a small step that you give up your rifle, or a 30-round magazine, but it will be a giant leap in the destruction of this great republic.
In closing I will quote the words of Captain John Parker: "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they want to have a war, let it begin here."
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Having recently bought a Norinco ATD semiautomatic .22 rifle with a tubular magazine, I wanted a way to load it more quickly than dropping in single rounds. The commercially made Spee-D-Loader is available from several vendors, e.g. MidwayUSA and Cablea’s, and by most accounts works well.
I was interested in a DIY-solution, however, and did some googling to see what other people have come up with. Basically, you need a tube with the right internal diameter plus a couple end caps. Several folks mentioned using old aluminum arrows. I didn’t have laying around that I wanted to sacrifice, though. Eventually, I came across this post at the Marlin Owners Forum. “O1Sporty” described making his own speedloaders from lengths of 4’ long by 0.28” internal diameter clear polyethylene tubing and push on vinyl caps obtained from McMaster-Carr. The tubing was only $0.86 for each piece, while the caps were $3.76 for a bag of 100. After shipping my order was about $14.00.
I got my order of 6 tubes and a bag of caps today and made up a few speedloaders for the Norinco ATD tonight. Each one holds 11 rounds of .22 LR. I measured by capping one end of the full-length tube, dropping in 11 Remington Golden Bullet .22s, and marking it with a Sharpie. I then used the first cut piece as a template. You can cut this tubing with scissors.
I made the tubes a little longer than needed for the Golden Bullets, in case I used them with other .22 LR ammo with a slightly longer overall length.
I had a piece about 5” long leftover. I capped it and filled it with BBs for my daughter’s Red Ryder.
My Winchester 9422 holds up to 18 .22 LRs, if I remember correctly. I plan to make up some longer speedloaders to with it.
These should work well. They are cheap and easy to make, and are water resistant. I can have several of them loaded up ahead of time and then spend less time loading at the range.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I took the ATD out to my shop tonight to clean it and took some pictures.
Looking into the underside of the action, you can see the cartridge-shaped magazine follow up against the top of the receiver. The latch at the rear of the forearm keeps the barrel indexed when the rifle is assembled.
Here’s the magazine tube insert partially withdrawn for loading. You can also see the funnel-shaped port on the right side of the butt. That’s where you drop cartridges into.
Here’s the buttplate and the end of the magazine tube insert. Norinco left some wood unfinished there. I need to seal it.
Here’s the mag tube insert pulled out of the gun, along with the trigger guard/bolt group.
Recently I came to the conclusion that having a takedown .22 autoloading rifle that uses a tube magazine could come in handy. Most .22s with tubular magazines have them mounted under the barrel, with a few notable exceptions such as the Remington Nylon 66, some older Winchesters, and the Browning Semi Auto .22, all of which have the magazine concealed within the butt stock.
The Browning SA-22 was introduced in 1914 and produced by FN in Belgium until 1976, when production was moved to Miroku in Japan. It was also produced in the United States by Remington, as the Model 24 and Model 241. Finally, it's also been made by Norinco in China as the ATD and JW-20. Interarms imported the ATD into the US in the late 1980s/early 1990s, until all Norinco imports were banned by Clinton in 1994. Canadian shooters can still buy the JW-20 (see Marstar.ca).
Having researched a number of the older tube-fed .22 takedowns over the past week, today I picked up a NIB Norinco ATD at Sarco in Easton, PA.
Apparently, Sarco found a bunch of Norinco ATDs in their warehouse last Fall. I found about them from a link to Sarco's website on Slickguns.com. I called Sarco Friday afternoon and they had one left in the showroom. The salesman I spoke with agreed to set it aside for me. Yesterday morning I drove up to Easton and bought it. After getting it home, I field stripped, cleaned, and oiled it. It was pretty clean, without too much oil or grease.
The Norinco is a very close copy of the FN and Miroku-made guns. From what I've read, most Browning parts are interchangeable, although some fitting may be required. Compared with a Browning, the Norinco's fit and finish is much cruder, but by most accounts they work well. My rifle's blueing is well done and the wood is decent, if not up to Browning's standards.
Aside from the tubular magazine which is protected within the butt stock, the Browning/Norinco has a few features which made it desireable for me:
First, the bottom ejection means that as a lefty, I don't need to worry about getting empty cases or gas in my face. My daughter and wife are also left eye dominant, so even though they are right handed they shoot portside. Last weekend my daughter shot my Remington Apache 77 and called it quits after getting hit on the cheek by an unburned powder granule. (This is one reason why we all wear safety glasses when shooting.) Also, the crossbolt safety is reversible for left handed operation. I'm still figuring out exactly how to do this, since the manual merely states that you can have a gunsmith perform the switch.
The gun takes down into two halves less than 20" long in just a few seconds, with no tools. I may pick up a cheap camera tripod case to hold the rifle when broken down. I got one for my Stoeger coach gun and it's great for holding the gun, a Boresnake, and some ammo.
Likewise, field stripping the rifle requires no tools. Finally, it weighs less than five pounds, which makes it easy to pack, and easy for my daughter to hold up.
To load the rifle, you twist the end of the magazine tube insert (accessible via a hole in the buttplate) and pull it out until it stops. Then, with the rifle pointing muzzle down, drop up to 11 .22 LR rounds into the funnel-shaped port on the right side of the butt. Then push in the mag insert and twist about a quarter turn to lock it in place. Finally, charge the rifle by pulling back the bolt handle and letting it go.
Last night I was able to shoot the Norinco on an indoor range. I put about 245 rounds through it, with a few malfunctions. So far it seems to prefer CCI Mini Mag solids over Federal 550 pack HPs. There was one failure to eject with the CCIs between the 40 and 50 round marks, but several with the Federals. .22s in general can be finicky when it comes to ammo, and semiautos in particular may have a strong preference for one kind or another, so this came as no surprise. I'm also hoping that once I get a few hundred more rounds through the gun it breaks in better, and functions better with the Federal ammo.
I also tried some CCI CB Longs, to see if the Norinco would handle them if manually cycled. No joy. With any of the CB Longs in the mag you cannot pull back the bolt. OAL must be jamming the feed mechanism. Once the first round gets into the chamber it'll fire and eject though, which surprised me. Last week I tried the CB Longs in my Remington Apache 77. They fed and ejected fine from the Remington's box magazine when manually cycled.
One thing you need to be careful of with these bottom ejectors is having hot brass eject out of the gun and go into your sleeve. Move your hand forward on the forearm to avoid this. I'd also avoid shooting one of these while wearing sandals. Hot brass between your toes will leave a scar.
The Norinco's trigger is good. There's little takeup, no grittiness, and the weight is probably 4 to 5 pounds.
The Browning and Norinco copies lack any kind of a bolt hold open device. So, if you're on a range that requires actions to be locked open during ceasefires or when the rifle is benched, you'll need to either use a chamber flag or stick and empty case in the ejection port so as to hold it open.
The bead front sight + rear open sights weren't working so great with my middle aged eyes, so I'm going to look into a barrel mounted red dot. Something like a Bushnell TRS-25, Primary Arms Micro Dot, or a Burris Fast Fire would greatly improve the sighting arrangement without messing up the svelte gun's balance.
I like the Norinco a lot. Once I improve the sights, I'll like it even more.