YouTube Videos Reach 1,500,000 Views, Black-Powder Gun Explorations, Personal Appearances and Muzzleloading and Business Book Series in 2014
Although the last episode of “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” was broadcast in early 2013, my outdoor-related activities continued to expand in 2014. These included reaching the 400 YouTube video threshold, completing and hunting with the Super Walker .44-caliber percussion revolver, continuing work on rebuilding an original .75-caliber Brunswick rifle and starting with the Pietta Army Yank .44 caliber pepperbox and Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader. Personal appearances included presenting “How to do Inexpensive YouTube Videos” for the South Carolina Writers Association and a “How to Become an Outdoor Communicator” seminar at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Georgia, which is to be repeated on March 7, 2015. Work on my business book, “Profit,” was started with “Ideas for New Businesses,” the first of a series of related spin-off titles, being readied for publication in March.
The PodCast radio show “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” is still available on WebTalkRadio. net. During the life of this show it had a peak of about 20,000 downloads a week. Among its prize-winning episodes were a series of three turkey hunting stories produced in 2011 that include”A’fixing to go turkey hunting,” “Turkey hunting,” and “Turkey hunting stories.” These are dscribed in earlier posts on this blog, and links are provided to my WebTalk Channel. These episodes may be listened to or downloaded to your computer or portable device for later use – just the things to listen to on your pre-dawn drives to your turkey hunting areas.
I worked with a homeless vet, Will Hamilton, as an intern for three months. I found him to be a creative individual with unrealized potentials in the fields of graphic arts, writing and music. None of which, unfortunately, were to the stage of being commercially viable. I coached him in all three areas to the extent of getting him art lessons with a local teacher, a guitar and amp and doing YouTubes of original music. Most of this music were his original works, although we collaborated on several pieces. During his time with me some of his problems with rotting teeth and bad vision were taken care of, but ultimately this relationship was terminated and he returned to Texas. He was fed, sheltered and resumed his life in better shape than he arrived. I provided him with a chance for success, but he will need to do the rest for himself. This relationship was not one-sided in that he was of significant help in assisting me in cleaning up my woods after a record ice storm downed hundreds of trees, and having a creative individual with different experiences in a home environment prompted me to expand my thoughts and activities in heretofore unrealized areas. For me working with interns is a collaborative relationship in that we both learn from each other. I have seldom met a person that I could not teach something to or learn something from. This internship was not as profitable for either party as it might have been. I will be looking for another intern in 2015, but one who is better grounded in outdoor communications skills. This is an excellent opportunity for a young writer to learn, and practice, state-of-the-art skills. You can see one of the videos we recorded at the historic Lunney House in Senica, South Carolina, at: http://youtu.be/qOFozdIGWfM.
Previous work with various percussion revolvers, including the 1858 Remington .44-caliber 12-inch barreled Buffalo Revolver from Pietta, the 5 1/2-inch Sheriff’s Model and Ruger Old Army .44, demonstrated with round-ball loads and Kaido Ojamaa’s new flat-pointed bullets and modern loads could be effective killers on small close-range deer and hogs. The weak-sister of this group is the Sheriff’s Model which I would only use as a back-up pistol for finishing off wounded game. However, the others with Hodgdon’s Triple7even powder killed, or fatally struck, two deer and three hogs with six shots. I found that the adjustable iron sights on the Old Army and Buffalo that allowed the guns to be precisely adjusted so that the projectiles hit where they were aimed to be more significant than trying to get the last possible ft./lb. of muzzle energy out of their loads.
This work with percussion revolvers was for my forthcoming book, “Hunting with Muzzleloading Revolvers.” For the title to be complet, I needed to once again take up the Colt Walker, which was the largest percussion revolver made by Colt and had longest barrel and largest cylinder capacity. Previously I had found this pistol to be ill-sighted and unreliable in that the loading lever would often fall down with the shot and tie-up the cylinder, preventing rapid follow-up shots. Development of the Super Walker has to date included having Dykes Reber of North Little Rock, Arkansas, fit a new loading lever, expand the frame for loading elongate bullets and having H&M Coatings of Akron, Ohio, put a corrosion resistant black nitride finish on a Uberti Kit version of the Walker that I bought from Dixie Gun Works. The gun was also outfitted with a custom-made front-carry shoulder rig by Jack Gully of K-J Leather (Badlands Leather) of Newell, South Dakota.
Thus equipped and with a moderate-level load of 37 grains of Hodgdon’s Triple-7even powder and Kaido Ojamaa’s 220-grain bullet, I took a doe
from my property in Central Georgia and a buck from Georgia’s Ossabaw Island. You can view a video of the island hunt at: http://youtu.be/2PwgPwPkSdQ. Two improvements yet to make on this gun are to locate a small pin set into the frame in front on the hammer to prevent the caps from being plucked and tying up the gun, and, when the time comes, replacing the cylinder arbor retaining pin when the gun starts to shoot loose. This usually happens with the weak Walker design after about 1,000 rounds of black powder shooting or with fewer rounds of the higher-pressure Triple7even loads.
Among significant advances in the arts of using the percussion revolvers was my Super Walker Loading stand, aka. “The world’s ugliest mechanical device” and making long-lasting revolver loads. The multi-station loading stand was built of salvaged parts from my house, a lawnmower and a broken tool handle. It has spindles for loading cylinders for the Walker, Colt .44 revolvers and the Remington 1858. Using the stand provides precision loading as more nearly equal pressure may be provided to each load and protects the gun’s ramrod from being bent while attempting to load hard-cast bullets. I have several YouTubes up about building and using this stand. Perhaps the most informative is: http://youtu.be/7glRlQCOnSY. Although previously used by others, I also incorporated hard beeswax bullet lube over-ball wads, loading in a very sparsely lubricated chamber, alcohol-cleaned nipples and a hand-cut Styrofoam wad between the bullet and powder to make loads that would retain their power for months, so long as the gun was in dry storage.
Knight’s Rolling Block was among the last of Tony Knight’s designs. It used the frame and drop-down trigger assembly of the Knight Revolution, but employed the two-component hammer-breechblock mechanism made famous by the Remington Rolling Block rifles of the late 1800s. The components on the Knight rifle were not nearly so robust as on the old black-powder cartridge guns because the pressures are contained by the muzzleloader’s breech plug. The gun had previously gone on hunts in South Carolina, on my land here in Georgia and on Ossabaw and Cumberland islands; but I had never had a shot with it. Walking back on one of my farm roads I took an off-hand shot at a doe at 100 yards. It was near dark, but I could still see the fiber-optic sights. The deer was double-lunged by a 295-grain PowerBelt bullet powered by two 50-grain pellets of Triple7even. The nice balance of the gun and its reasonable barrel weight made it possible to make this shot. You can see a video of this hunt at:http://youtu.be/a7n4-PFa_dI.
Remington’s Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader was received the day before Georgia’s deer season ended, and it was hurriedly made ready to hunt. I found that the iron sights would only work for 400 grain loads used with a 150-grain Barnes solid-copper bullet. Unfortunately, I did not have a shot at a deer before the season closed. In sighting in the gun, I found that I loved the gun, but I hated the hard-recoiling full-power load. In future work I will download it with a patched round ball for turkey hunting in late March. I have a large sniper-style scope ordered and after adding a pound of shot in the magazine well, I will work it up for deer hunting during the 12015-16 season, if Remington will let me hang onto the gun that long. Most likely I will stick to 150-grain loads for my Georgia deer and hog killing. Several other writers also said that they routinely hunt with less than full-power loads and reserve the shoulder-busting loads for use at longer ranges. A video may be seen of me shooting the gun at: http://youtu.be/pMgiRTcGSMA.
Unusual designs of muzzleloading handguns, such as the Duck Foot Pistol continued to hold the interest for many shooting enthusiasts, with my work and hunt with this gun drawing a large number of views. The climatic event was when I successfully hunted carpenter bees and took four with five shots. This video may be seen at: http://youtu.be/PUyKDNZIjRQ. The new Pietta Army Yank .36-caliber pepperbox is another such pistol, and this gun was received as I was working up my final segments of my annual Gun Digest article. I had time to do some preliminary shooting with it using single, double and triple round-ball loads and 20 grains of FFFg black powder. With its one-piece chambers-cylinder-barrel it functioned well in clearing the cylinder of its contents, and first shootings went surprisingly well in placing hits on a man-sized target at 10 yards. My now-preferred shot for carpenter bees, hand-panned magnetite sand, patterned very loosely, and effective bee shooting with this pistol will likely be limited to ranges of a few feet. More work will be done with this gun to investigate its self-defense and hunting capabilities. A video of me shooting the pepperbox is at: http://youtu.be/cbXVk2hK24.
Intermittent progress was made with the .75-caliber Brunswick Rifle that I am building from salvaged parts, new parts from The Rifle Shoppe and use of two young gunsmith’s services. Both of the gunsmiths let me down with my loosing a year’s work on the gun while they largely sat on the project. Ultimately, I got the gun back from the first one and using the new components largely finished it up myself and sent it to the second gunsmith for completion. After some months I received it back with the desired work only partly done. I will now complete the remaining work myself, as I have a drill press in the house now and can do some precision drilling that was not previously available to me. A look at the Brunswick rifle after I have restocked it and fitted a brass patch box from Atlanta Cutlery Co. may be had by viewing: http://youtu.be/FZa1Khzf-Po which is one of 25 videos I have on cleaning, building and shooting my Brunswick rifles and Brunswick 14-gauge smoothbore.
Knives and Edged Tools
Two significant pieces of power equipment, a 6-inch bench grinder and the drill press mentioned above have now enabled me to do more work with knives and other tools. Among the things done was putting new handles on a mall and bush hook, repairing an expensive broken double-ended paddle, and building a “memory knife” for friend Bill Krantz. This knife was made from a very nice Chinese-made Damascus steel blade that had been packaged in a Wood River knife kit sold through Wood Crafters stores. I used a rough plank from a piece of maple butcher block that his late father had cut and custom fit a knife handle from that material using the grinder and drill along with a belt sander borrowed from Bill. A view of the final stages of this process may be seen at: http://youtu.be/7NhmpCLoHCI which is one of three related videos documenting the entire knife-making process.
My radio broadcasts often included how-to business topics. In 2014 these culminated with my starting on a new-concept business book, Profit, that will examine the concept that, “There is nothing in human experience that cannot be turned into profit by an inventive mind.” This book is now in preparation with its first spin-off title being “Ideas for New Businesses” that will be published in March, 2015. This is a short-form interactive Amazon E-book that will also be available in softcover. It contains links to my 20 YouTube videos on various aspects of starting-up a business that begin with selecting a name to how you dispose of it when you are ready to retire. The most recent overview of the project is “Profit Video 2” which may be seen at: http://youtu.be/DUQJU56vxjU.
In addition to covering broad business concepts, I am also working on developing some new businesses. concepts. One of these is a national business for cleaning cemetery plots. As a professional geologist and also a person with multiple plots to maintain, I see an opportunity for individuals to develop local businesses all over the country offering to do cleaning and restoration. I am now working on developing some tools and techniques for a course to be taught in community colleges and confinement institutions to certify technicians in this field. This is demonstrated in another of my videos showing the use of a cemetery gravel soil screen at: http://youtu.be/Uxy9YMULMPY.
If you wish more than an annual look at my activities go to my Hovey Hunts blog at http://www.hoveysmith.wordpress.com. I post than one when I have something significant to say on these and other topics.