Pine Ammo Box

I made two of these boxes. One for a friend’s birthday, the other is to sell on Etsy.  The box measures 20″Lx13.5Wx6″D. It’s the perfect size for your ammo, cleaning supplies, shooting gear, or tools (if you prefer).  My goal for this project was to combine beauty with function.

Each box is finished with stain and a satin wipe on polyurethane for a durable/protective coating that will last for years.  As an added feature, I cut a stencil to apply a name or short message.

These boxes take about 3-4 hours to make, and cost around thirty dollars in material (not counting finishing).  I made a video for my YouTube channel on how to make this yourself, if you so desire.

Here’s the video.  Help me out by ‘liking’ this video and ‘subscribing’ to my channel.

Minwax Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear Satin

Minwax Wood Finish Interior Wood Stain, Early American

 

My Weekend DIY Targets

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These targets were actually made months apart.  The first is a metal triangle. I got it from a friend, he said it was an old sign frame.  I like it because it’s a multitask target.  I can have reactive targets; I used tin bottles, a golf ball, and a base ball.  I attached a piece of OSB to one side so I can flip it over and then have a stand for my paper targets.  It’s not the lightest thing in the world, but it does what I want it to do.  I might add some quality steel targets one day but this is free.  The next I made just this weekend.  While cleaning out my storeroom and throwing away IMG_20130525_161019_776things the previous owner left behind, I found a small table top Christmas tree made completely out of steel.  The base of this is a six-inch diameter one inch thick steel disk.  I cut it off, took it up to work where the drill press is, drilled two holes, and ran some rope through it.  I found that I needed to run the rope all the way through and secure it to the top at two points.  I build the frame out of old pallets.  I think I built it about 30-inches tall.  I hit the “gong” pretty hard with a hammer and it didn’t flip over or slid back.  I’m not sure how well it will hold up to my 30-06, but I’ll be shooting it at 200+yards.  I can always buy a steel target later.   My gun currently averages 1MOA or less.  I hope bring this down with reloading and upgrading some more parts.  I can set it up as a 2moa target at 300-yards.  Or as a 1 MOA target at 600 and really test my skill level.

 

An Interesting Day at the Range

Today I learned a few lessons at my private range.  I went out with a friend and we shot my Remington 870 12ga (8 shot), Savage 111 30-06, Ruger 10/22, and Rock Island 1911.  He brought his Mossberg 20ga (which I love), and his Remington 770 .270.

I save milk jugs, fill them with water and freeze them.  This makes for a very fun reactive targets.

While shooting my 870 at a coke bottle thrown in the air.  I was trying to see how many times I could hit the bottle while it was still in the air.  I got to to three and on the fourth the gun fell apart.  Needless to say this scarred me greatly.  After making sure I was not injured, I don’t have a scratch.  I then observed the pieces of Shotgun on the ground.  Nothing blown up, nothing damaged.  Best I can tell the magazine screw worked its was loose and the spring pressure of the extended tube combined with recoil caused it to come apart.  I was able to reassemble the shotgun, I used channel locks to make sure that this would not happen again.  I test fired it a few times with no further issues.  This concerns me because I leave this gun loaded and available at home for defense, but I don’t think I’ll have another issue.

Now for Rifle shooting

Now most of my fellow shooters know that ammo has been hard to come buy.  I actually just got a reloader, and will do a post once I get everything set up.  So all I had for Kazeshini were some 180 grain Remington Corlokt.  My preferred load is 150 Federal Fusion for hunting.  I honestly haven’t shot any premium target ammo.  I only shot one three shot group and it wasn’t my best, about 2-inch at 100 yards.  I want to say I pulled that one shot, and that if I hadn’t I would have easily had a 1moa group.  But oh well.

You will notice on this target that there are two bull’s-eyes.  This target is set up for maximum point blank range for game hunting.  My 150grains hit 2inches high at 100yards which is where I want it.  The 180’s hit dead level with each other at about 3/4 inches above POA.  So I just recorded it in my data book so I know where a particular load hits, and I don’t try to re-zero my rifle every time I take it out.  I’ll do the same when I work up my own handloads.  I’ll make my primary load shoot exactly where I want it and everything else will be based on that zero.

So what did I learn.  One, I need to practice more. I know what my gun is capable of I just don’t have the skills to get the most out of it.  And my wife out shot me the other day with her Remington 788 .222.  And that is just not OK.

The second thing I learned is that my rifle shoots like crap with a bi-pod.  I borrowed my friend’s Caldwell Bipod and shot about 5 times and my group was about 4-5 inches.  I felt solid behind the gun with the bipod so what was the deal.  Well Kazeshini started her life as a cheap rifle.  A cheap scope, bad trigger, and a flimsy plastic stock.  I have upgraded the scope and trigger, but I have yet to upgrade the stock.  So what was happening is that the bipod was torquing my forearm and putting pressure on my barrel. It was twisting and turning all over the place. I have a sporter contour barrel that is very susceptible to heat and any kind of pressure.

Having learned all this, getting a bipod for myself is moved down the list until I get a new stock.  I’m torn though, I want to spend my money wisely.  I can get a laminate stock for about $100 from Boyd’s Gun Stocks or continue saving for a Manners stock that is about $400.   I prefer wood and blued steel.  The issue is that I one day want to upgrade my barrel to a Shillen or an equal quality brand.  If I get a standard replacement stock it may not accept a larger barrel.  Also the ergonomics of a Manners stock will be better but I’m still torn.  I may compromise and get a hogue stock with a full aluminum bedding block, and do my own camo job on it.

My Savage 30-06 (My Poor Man’s Custom Rifle)

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This was my birthday present back in October.  A Savage 111 30-06 with a Bushnell 3-9x scope and detachable box magazine (DBM).  I Got it for $300!!

So why did I get this inexpensive rifle?

  1. Savage 110 series has a reputation for being one of the most accurate “out of the box” rifles on the market.   Mine will consistently shoot 1/2 to 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards.  So a sub-MOA rifle for $300 bucks, not a bad deal.
  2. While not as plentiful as Remington 700s there are plenty of aftermarket parts (stocks, mounts, triggers, barrels, gunsmiths, etc)
  3. The Savage 111 action is the base for a lot of custom rifles, so I can start with a good rifle and upgrade parts as I can afford and one day have a world-class rifle that will perform with the best.
  4. I recommend getting the Savage 110series or Remington 700 over models like the Savage Axis, Ruger American, and Remington 770.  These are fine rifles, but are limited in that you will not be able to find parts to customize them.  They are “as-is” rifles that may last your whole life, but you’ll never be able to make them better, other than I good scope and mounts.  Since a Savage 111 is about the same price, I went with the rifle that would give me, what I believe is the best value.

So why a 30-06?  Isn’t a .308 the Military’s standard sniper caliber?

Yes the .308 is the standard NATO round, but the 30-06 still out performs the 308.  And the ’06 blows the 308 out of the water when you start reloading your own ammo.  The Military switched from the 30-06 to the 308 during Vietnam for sniping.  In the 60s the .308 performed almost identical to the military loading of the 30-06.  With today’s powder technology and the increased capacity of the 30-06 casing, he 30-06 easily gains 100-150 fps on the 308, and you can effectively load up to 220grn bullets.  Also you can find 30-06 anywhere that sells ammo.

What modifications have I done to my rifle?

  1. I put a decent scope on it.  I am done with cheap $50 scopes, like the one that came on my gun.  My dream scope is $1000 (http://www.opticsplanet.com/trijicon-accupoint-5-20×50-riflescope.html)…so, it’s going to be a while before I get this baby.  Here is what I did.  I got a 22mag from my grandfather (after he died) with a $200 Nikon scope on it.  I put the Bushnell from my 30-06 on the 22mag and the Nikon on my ’06 before I ever fired the first shot.
  2. I upgraded the trigger to a Rifle Basix trigger for about $85 (http://www.riflebasix.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1).  My rifle did not come with Savage’s Accutrigger, which is what I originally wanted.

What Modifications do I want to do?  This is the approximate order I want to do this in.

  1. Bed and stiffen the stock.  The cheap plastic stock is flimsy, you want things on a precision rifle to be stiff, by bedding the full length of the action and stock (while maintaining a free-float barrel). I can stiffen the stock and tighten up the tolerances between the barrel and action.  This will cost about $20.
  2. Paint my stock.  I’m going to do a DIY camo job on the stock.  One day I’ll put a Tactical stock on it that will cost about $400. More that the gun, I know but it does make a difference in long range accuracy.
  3. Add Kick Eez palm swell and check pad.  This will help me fit the stock to myself, and the goal whether shotgun, rifle, or pistol is to made the shooter and the gun as close to a single unit as possible, to get the best possible accuracy.
  4. Get a bi-pod.  I am going to make a bi-pod and gun rest that I found on http://www.varmintal.com/abifu.htm, but I also want a good Harris bi-pod for about $100
  5. Get a one piece steel picatiny scope rail (Steel is stiffer that aluminum. and one piece is again stiffer, and stiffer is what you want in a precision rifle, high quality scope mounts, and my Trijicon Mildot scope.
  6. I wont get a new barrel until after I’ve done all this other mods, my rifle shoots well enough and with these improvements I should get the maximum precision out of my rifle.

PS – I made the sandbags from out blue jeans and duct-tape, they don’t hold up too well :-/