Saturday, June 24, 2023

High Standard Sentinel Round Butt

A few years ago I picked up a High Standard Sentinel R-101 snubbie with a 3" barrel. It came with a square butt grip, which is very comfortable. However, HS also made round butt grips for these guns, which would make it a little easier to carry in a coat pocket. I was able to buy one from Numrich awhile ago but didn't get around to changing it out until today.

As the gun came:

And with the round butt:

Changing the grip required removing the only screw in the gun, which goes through the bottom of the grip into the grip frame.

The original grip has molded in checkering while the round grip is smooth. The gun feels secure in my hand but we'll see how it is when I'm sweating. I've also seen the round butt with checkering, which would have been ideal.

One might wonder at the point of a .22 snub. These guns were sold for use as plinkers or tackle box guns, but they are usable for defense even if they aren't ideal due to the caliber. It has a 9-shot cylinder so capacity is on par with a lot of autoloaders.

Because of the heavy double action pull I wouldn't recommend any rimfire revolver for defense if you have weak hands, but if you have hand issues that prevent being able to deal with the recoil of a .38 Special or other better caliber, it beats harsh language or a pointed stick.

The High Standard has been perfectly reliable for me so far. The hammer hits the cartridge rims with authority and as far as I can recall, I've yet to experience a misfire. I tried some Remington Yellow Jacket hypervelocity ammo and got sticky extraction, but that's the only issue I've had with it. I intend to try CCI Stingers and Federal Punch in it. (I have a box of the Punch that I'd bought for use in my Ruger LCP II Lite Rack, but it had a lot of malfunctions with it.)

Friday, June 09, 2023

Homemade Percussion Caps

Last week while I was on a staycation I prepared a batch of homemade No.11 percussion caps, using the tool from and their Prime-All priming compound. I tried them out a couple days later.

I left out the tan/off-white component, which is either dextrin or gelatin intended to be a binder. By most accounts it works poorly as suck. Instead, I took a 1 oz. plastic bottle with a needle oiler tip, put a few millimeters of Duco cement in the bottom, then filled the rest with acetone to make a saturated solution.

Using a CCI Large pistol primer tray as a loading block I filled about 20 caps at a time with the mixed Prime-All compound and then put a drop or two of the Duco/acetone solution in it. Using a small piece of bamboo cut from a chop stick I gently tamped down the wet mixture.

After the caps were visibly dry I put another drop or two of the solution in the caps and let them dry in the open air overnight. I wanted to ensure that enough Duco cement was deposited in them to keep the priming compound in place. Duco is a nitrocellulose based glue so it's flammable even when dry.

For safety's sake make sure that you crush any lumps in the components before mixing them. Crushing lumps after the components are mixed can cause detonation.

Note that I did not have luck punching caps out of beverage cans, even doubled. I keep punching right through the material. Rather, I used 0.005" thick copper foil which is a more durable material.

I tried them in my Pietta 1860 Sheriff which has Slixshot nipples installed.

  • 6 caps to clear the nipples: All popped. I noticed they make less noise than CCI, Remington, or RWS caps.
  • 6 shots loaded from paper cartridges with 25 grains of Scheutzen 3Fg BP: The first 3 went off OK but the next 3 popped but failed to set off the BP. I recapped those cylinder and none set off the powder. I recapped once more using RWS 1075+ caps and all 3 chambers went off. They may work better with paper cartridges if I increase the amount of priming compound.
  • 6 shots with 25 grains of Scheutzen loaded from a flask: All 6 went off properly.
  • 6 shots with 25 grains of Triple 7 3Fg BP substitute, which has a higher ignition temp: All 6 went off properly.

The caps on shots with 25 grains of BP held together but flowed a little back into the safety notch in the hammer nose.

The caps on the Triple 7 loads all perforated but the skirts held together.

None of the caps fragmented and I had no jams. Some came off easily while others had to be pried off either with my fingers or pocketknife. All 27 caps I dropped the hammer on ignited properly.

Since the Prime-All fouling is corrosive I cleaned the gun with water and MPro 7 after getting home, and oiled everything with FP-10. I left it disassembled overnight to confirm I'm not going to get any rust and everything looks fine.

Overall, I consider the home made caps using the Prime-All compound a success for use in percussion revolvers and I'm sure they'd work fine in an underhammer. I need to test them in a sidelock rifle or pistol.

Article: Complex Systems Won’t Survive the Competence Crisis

It's been awhile since I posted anything political but, a few days ago this article was brought to my attention and I've been digesting it ever since. It clearly articulates much of what I've been thinking in the past few years, reinforced by my long term employment at a Fortune 50 company. The article's arguments and conclusions are spot on, IMNSHO.

At a casual glance, the recent cascades of American disasters might seem unrelated. In a span of fewer than six months in 2017, three U.S. Naval warships experienced three separate collisions resulting in 17 deaths. A year later, powerlines owned by PG&E started a wildfire that killed 85 people. The pipeline carrying almost half of the East Coast’s gasoline shut down due to a ransomware attack. Almost half a million intermodal containers sat on cargo ships unable to dock at Los Angeles ports. A train carrying thousands of tons of hazardous and flammable chemicals derailed near East Palestine, Ohio. Air Traffic Control cleared a FedEx plane to land on a runway occupied by a Southwest plane preparing to take off. Eye drops contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria killed four and blinded fourteen.

While disasters like these are often front-page news, the broader connection between the disasters barely elicits any mention. America must be understood as a system of interwoven systems; the healthcare system sends a bill to a patient using the postal system, and that patient uses the mobile phone system to pay the bill with a credit card issued by the banking system. All these systems must be assumed to work for anyone to make even simple decisions. But the failure of one system has cascading consequences for all of the adjacent systems. As a consequence of escalating rates of failure, America’s complex systems are slowly collapsing.

The core issue is that changing political mores have established the systematic promotion of the unqualified and sidelining of the competent. This has continually weakened our society’s ability to manage modern systems. At its inception, it represented a break from the trend of the 1920s to the 1960s, when the direct meritocratic evaluation of competence became the norm across vast swaths of American society.


The path of least resistance will be the devolution of complex systems and the reduction in the quality of life that entails. For the typical resident in a second-tier city in Mexico, Brazil, or South Africa, power outages are not uncommon, tap water is probably not safe to drink, and hospital-associated infections are common and often fatal. Absent a step change in the quality of American governance and a renewed culture of excellence, they prefigure the country’s future.

Emphasis added by me.

The full article is here and worth your time, IMHO:

DEI is a major force behind this trend but it's not the only thing. For example, I've seen repeatedly where senior level, highly knowledgeable employees are let go as a short term cost-cutting measure. Not only were these senior folks repositories of painfully acquired tribal knowledge, they were mentors to junior engineers. Senior leadership considers it a bonus when they can point to one less old white guy on staff, replaced by one or more diverse candidates.

As the one meme goes, "I know it's bad, but it's going to get a lot worse." The more independent you are, the higher your standard of living will be in the coming years.

Loading and Shooting a Muzzleloading Black Powder Patched Round Ball Rifle

I made this video last week but forgot to link to it from here.

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