Thursday, December 20, 2012

Guns and School Shootings

Everyone is horrified when someone takes a firearm and uses it for evil purposes.  As a gun owner,  as with most other gun owners,   we realize that the right to own a gun is a tremendous responsibility.    We would never imagine using our guns to cause this type of harm on anyone.     At worse,   we imagine there may be a time when we need to use a gun to defend ourselves from someone wishing to do harm on us or our families.  With violence in society seemingly getting worse,   we fear we won't be able to protect ourselves.    

When someone abuses a privilege,   the privilege is always at risk of being taken away.   As gun owners,   we are always thrust into defending our right because it comes under fire as people try to connect the dots and try to find some sort of blame -- and a solution.  

As emotions run rampant,  on both sides of the debate,   it is  impossible to convince either side that one is more right than the other.     Often,   the side that is more vocal wins the argument.    

For those that believe that no one should own a certain type of gun,   or have high capacity magazines,   I can only assure you that those who own those do not wish anyone harm.  I should say,  the VAST majority don't.  Having a gun doesn't make you a crazy person.  If society was as bad as people think,  and owning a "military style"  gun was the problem,   then we'd certainly see more,   probably hundreds more cases where people went on rampages on a daily basis.   We just have to keep that in perspective.  

I'm not trying to downplay the tragedies-  they were heart-breaking and gut-wrenching.   We as gun owners must do our part and secure the guns,  and educate people that safety and respect for the right is extremely important.   The shooting in Newtown and the one at the mall in Oregon were the result of people obtaining (stealing)  the guns  from careless owners. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Not So Sunny California

I think most people who have never been to California have misconceptions about this state.  We can spend hours talking about the politics and people here,   and you probably won't get much of an argument from me.   But  let's talk about the weather.

California is a pretty big state and since it covers such a broad latitude,   the weather varies quite a bit,  depending on what part of the state you are in.     Where I live,  which is about in the center of the state,   it is a large valley that is like a big bath tub.   In the winter,   we will get storms rolling in from the north and that brings some rain.   Not a lot,  as this is a pretty dry area still.   Usually after even a light rain comes through,   that is followed by a few days of fog.    This time of year,   we don't see a lot of sun.   If it isn't foggy,  then it is overcast. 

High speed cameras work better with more light so even when it is overcast,  it can be too dark to film in.   This is frustrating because I usually have a lot of ideas to film but just can't do them.   So I have to film indoors using my LED spotlights or wait for a rare sunny day.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Project in the works: Mercury Hourglass

I am always trying to think up projects I can do with mercury.   A few months back I thought it would be neat to take an ordinary hourglass and replace the sand with mercury.   It would probably look beautiful.   I did a Google search to see if anyone has done this before so I could see what it would look like but did not find anything.    

A week or so ago I started to actively look for an hourglass on ebay that would work for this project.   The problem with ebay these days is that a LOT of stuff comes from sellers in China or Hong Kong.    I  tried to buy from a Chinese seller one time,  one of those keychain cameras,  and that did not go very well.   I never got the camera so I promised never to buy from a seller in China again.   Stick with U.S.  sellers and avoid the high shipping costs and scams. 

I found a perfect 30 minute hourglass that was actually affordable.  The seller was located in California so that meant quick shipping.    The hourglass I found was $10 with $7 shipping so I bought one.   It looked nice,   mounted in a square wooden frame and stood about 7" tall or so.   In less than a week it arrived in a neat,  well-packaged box- unbroken.   

When I tapped on the hourglass,  it sounded like it was made of plastic.    That meant it would be easier to drill a hole in the end if it was plastic.  I figured out a way to break apart the wooden frame without damaging it using a bit of clever leverage.   I  had to be careful not to break the hourglass or damage the frame since I needed to remount it in it.  

Once I had the hourglass free,   I started to file on the end of the hourglass and discovered it WAS made out of glass afterall.    I had to switch from the fine mill file to my Harbor Freight diamond files.   It probably took close to an hour of filing  before the glass was thin enough to pierce it with a piece of metal.   I originally planned to buy some small diamond drills and drill it but  after some thought,   I thought it was safer to take it slow and file it.  The glass is quite thin an it would be a shame to smash the thing. 

Next step is to drain the sand out.    I will probably put around 32 ounces of mercury in the hourglass.   I need to clean the mercury well to remove the dross that is on top of some of my mercury.  If I don't do this,  it may deposit the oxides and other contaminants on the inside of the glass and ruin the look.  

I'm really curious how fast the mercury will fall through the hourglass.   The sand took 30 minutes.  I think the mercury will be closer to 30 seconds.    Well see.   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mercury Gummi Bear Project

I've been searching craft stores and ebay for some sort of mold,  either a neat silcone mold or a vintage tin soldier mold and had little luck finding anything I needed.  

The other day Matt and I went to Lowes  to buy some repair parts for a dripping faucet.   As we left,   we stopped at a  "World Market" (Cost Plus)  because  I remembered they sold these giant-sized gummi bears there,  and I wanted a giant gummi bear to use as a target for a shooting video.   I bought one and it took me a while to realize the gummi bear was inside a clear plastic  case.   There was my mold for a mercury figure!   

I bought 10 lbs of dry ice at a grocery store  and had prepared the gummi mold,  using duct tape to seal the seam of the two halves of the mold.   I put the mold inside an ice chest that held the dry ice and began filling the mold with mercury with a syringe.  After about 4lbs of mercury was inside,   a tiny leak formed and the mercury started pouring out.   Since mercury is SO heavy (dense for you science anal people)  it tends to leak out tiny holes very easily,  as water would do under 15 or 20 psi.     I had to start all over again.  I tried a few other things to try to seal it and then ran out of sunlight after a few hours.   

I either had to abort the whole project or come up with a different way of doing the video.   My dry ice was slowly "melting" away.    I decided to just use ONE of the halves of the mold and filled that with just over 4lbs.  of mercury.   Had I used both halves of the mold the thing would have weighed about 9lbs.     I left the mercury inside overnight and hoped the dry ice would hold out until morning. 

I woke up and went outside to check on the mercury and there were just a few small pieces of dry ice left,  and the mercury was partially melted.    I really did not want to go buy more dry ice so I set the small clump directly on top of the mercury and after a couple more hours I checked it and it was solid.  

I managed to get the mercury gummi out of the mold and it actually worked very well.  The casting was very clean.   I filmed it melting.  

I'll probably get 1000 comments about  "where do you buy mercury"   and  "you will die if you touch it!"  and  "it's the t1000!".   People seem to have a great fascination with mercury and I just happen to have a LOT of it.  (about 5x more than what I ever show on camera)  Why not share it on video? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BIG SANDY - Home again

I managed to pull of the near-impossible and made it to the October Big Sandy MG shoot.  

We left Calfornia friday night around 11:30 pm and drove all night to Arizona.  It was a good 6.5 hour drive and we arrived shortly after sunrise on saturday morning.  

Billy,  a friend of mine from work  drove and I paid for the gas.    Price of gas was about $4.40 a gallon in California,   and about $3.79 in Arizona.   I think the high gas prices made a lot of potential spectators stay home for this shoot.    

Rob from  (Big Sandy's website)  had been pm-ing me asking if I would be able to attend the shoot and I didn't know I was going to be able to even GO until thursday morning,  a day before the shoot.   Once we got to the range,   I hunted him down and let him know we were there.   

Rob did an EXTRAORDINARY job of setting us up with media passes,  special parking,  killer food,  and drove us around in his Jeep.   He also got us access TO the guns and we could literally pick any gun we wanted to film,  and Rob would sweet-talk the owner into doing mag dumps for the video shots.  Not ONE gun owner told us "no".  I think the owner of the mini-gun dumped 4 mags for us.   There were more guns than time to film them.   

I am NOT a day-person.   I work the graveyard shift,  so filming stuff in the daytime is like normal people doing stuff at 3am.   I woke up at 2pm on friday afternoon and did not get any sleep until 11pm SATURDAY night.  You kind of become a different person when you don't get any sleep for that long.    (nice way of saying a-hole)    I slept in the truck reclined in the front seat and got about 5 hours of sleep.   It was better than nothing.  Billy slept in the bed of the truck and could actually lay flat.   I figured since HE was driving he needed the sleep more than I did.    It was kind of like a camping trip from hell.    But that is just how I do things.  I'm there to film as much material as possible and missing a great shot is always something I regret.

Sundays are slower at Big Sandy.  Many people just pack up and leave in the morning but they DO have a final  shoot.   One reason they have the Sunday morning shoot is to "clean up"  any left-over explosives that were not blown up Saturday night.   We saw many sticks of dynamite still out there and snipers were picking it off.  There were even a few boxes of fireworks that were not hit the night before.   I don't know how ANY of it survived that.   

We got back home around 6:30pm Sunday.  I slept for 11 hours.        

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Big Sandy Machine Gun Shoot

I really did not plan on going to the October 2012 MG shoot in Arizona.   Ideally I would plan my vacation schedule around the shoot so I can rest up and relax a little bit before driving 6 plus hours to Arizona from California.  

I started getting some PM's on Youtube from Rob,   the official videographer and webmaster of about if I was able to attend it this year.    I've let him use some of my slow motion footage for his videos before and he has quite a few videos of Big Sandy going back before 2005.   He is able to get special access and said he can get me up close to the guns.   Before I had to film about 10 feet behind the shooters,  behind the rope.  

I told a friend of mine,  Bill,   at work about Big Sandy and showed him some of the videos Rob and others posted on Youtube and apparently he caught the fever and wanted to attend it.  He volunteered to drive.   So we are leaving Friday night/Saturday morning and should arrive at the shoot by 7am.   We both have understanding wives,   fortunately.

   When I went last year,   I went by myself and it was like a miserable camping trip.   It should be a lot more enjoyable having someone else drive and share the experience with.   Bill will probably be very good on camera and will be a good announcer.    Since I have filmed the event before,    I always regretted not doing this,  or that.   So hopefully I will do a better job just filming this time.    Bill is naturally very energetic and outgoing.   He can talk your ear off. 
I think he will give the videos a lot of "personality".    

   Bill has been a minor contributor to my channel.   He is the one that filmed The Hayabusa vs Harley video.   This video has become more of a place where viewers can call each other names and try in vain,   to convince others that  Harleys are better than Japanese bikes  and that their dads can beat up all your dads.  (and visa versa)

  Filming Big Sandy on Saturday should be better than the Friday I filmed last year.   I imagine more spectators will be there,   but also there should be an ever bigger variety of guns.   I am hoping to see some Dillion Miniguns and other stuff I missed last year.   The night-shoot on Saturday is also better than Friday's.    They shoot at boxes of fireworks on Saturday.  

If you happen to see me there,   I'll be the guy with the weird looking camera rig.   Stop and say  "hi!".     I have been told the Hellcat tank will be there again this year.    


Friday, September 28, 2012

More Weird Shotgun Shooting

We finally managed to pull of the near-impossible again and got a few guys together to shoot more strange shotgun stuff.  

As many people know,  I work a graveyard shift and I only get every other weekend off so my time to go out and film stuff if really limited.   I usually sleep all day long.    I only had about 3 hours of sleep that day  and on top of that,  it was 100 degs (F) that day which just turned me into an exhausted,  dehydrated mess after 6 hours of filming. 

We had more shotgun shells loaded up with weird things than we had time and energy to film.

I think the load that really stands out is the Silly Putty.

I actually did a Google search to see if this had been done before.   I really did not know what it would do and could not find any results about this being done before.   Ah!    The video has a lot of really good elements in it to make it a successful video.    Humor,  science,  blowing stuff up,  and  unexpectedness.   We'll definitely have to try it again. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Liquid-Filled Bullet?

I can not even give you a number of times people have suggested I take some of my mercury,  put it inside a bullet and shoot it.   This idea has been around for years and there are many speculations about what it can do.   

First of all,  mercury is denser than lead.   It is also a liquid.   In the several forums I have found a thread started discussing the mercury-bullet,   there were many ideas and guesses what it would do.   The fact mercury is poisonous was the topic in some postings.  Honestly,  lead is a toxic metal too and if one thought that it would give the person mercury poisoning,   overlooks the fact that the lead bullet would give the person lead poisoning.

Because mercury is also a liquid,  it was suggested it would cause the bullet to explode.   I never read anyone's suggestion that mercury has a boiling point of 674 deg. F and the possibility that enough heat could be generated upon impact that the mercury would actually flash into a gas and increase in volume by many factors.

Unfortunately I would not use any mercury to prove or disprove anything simply because I try my best to keep the stuff contained and even a minute quantity released would not be good but would also make peoples'  heads collectively explode in the process. 

So let's get back to the vaporization of a liquid.   What if we simply used water?   Water has a boiling point of 212 deg. F,  which is pretty low.   When water is converted from a liquid to a gas,   it has a crazy-large expansion ratio of  1:1600 or so.   That is explosive.  

Then I thought further.   What about the dieseling-effect of a light oil that is suddenly compressed?    What about an oil-filled bullet?    Will it explode?  

We'll see if these two rounds will have the effects that something like a mercury-filled bullet will have but isn't going to pollute the shooting range.   

Don't try this at home kids.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

25 Million Views? Whoa!

  In another day or so I should be hitting 25 million views.   I normally do not talk about any milestones in my videos since I doubt very many people care about my Youtube stats,  and I am pretty moddest and humble anyways. 
    Gunwebsites talked me into starting this blog about a year ago.   I reluctantly signed up with this blog.  I kind of like it.  (no one reads it)   I have pretty limited time each day and I try to just keep things simple.   So I don't have a Facebook acc't  for my channel and I have never signed up on Twitter.    I actually hate Facebook and  dread using it,  and when I do,  it is to wish a friend happy birthday.  

    I honestly don't see any benefit to having a Twitter or Facebook account in conjunction with my Youtube channel.   People I know who have them don't seem to be driving in a ton of views because of them.   So rather than waste my time using other sites,  I just have more time to deal with comments and things directly on Youtube.    If someone has a question about something in one of my videos,   are they supposed to Tweet me about it?  Am I missing out?

    Many channels I know - big and small - really focus on how many subscribers they have.
Although that is a prominent benchmark,  it really doesn't indicate the performance of a Youtube channel.  If overall views is the "odometer"  of a channel,   daily-views is the "speedometer".  I generally am looking for improvements in daily views or even how many views I have gotten in the last 30 days- if I want to see a bigger picture. 

    I guess my strategy of my channel is that I just don't consider if  the mass of my subscribers are going to like my new videos or not.   I post a variety of things and the people who like one topic may not like another topic.  But the thing is,   many people watch videos on Youtube and never subscribe.   I currently have about 31k subscribers,   but  25m  video views.  That is like an 800:1 ratio.   The views are not coming from my subscribers.   99.9% of my views just come from people stumbling on my videos.   So I try to post videos on searchable subjects.   Also,  I almost always make sure the videos are not on some time-sensitive subject.   They will be as relevant  10 years from now as they are now. 

   So,   25 million is a big number of anythings.   This year has been really good.   In March things got dismal and nearly every Partner I spoke to saw a crazy drop in views.   Luckily,  in the last few months things are doing much better and there is now some hope again for seeing some growth.    I guess the thing that always haunts me is getting TOO big.   As long as the growth is small,   I should be able to manage to answer comments still and not look like a snob.   What's up with channels that never answer comments?    Are they Tweeting? 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mercury video idea fail

I had an idea of filling a small pipe that was capped at the bottom with mercury.   I put a ball valve on the top so I could close it up and trap the mercury inside the pipe.

The contraption was put in ice water with salt in it so I could subcool the entire thing.  
I then closed the ball valve and  placed the mercury-filled pipe inside a clear,  one gallon container of hot water. 

The idea was to show how mercury expands and was supposed to rupture the pipe.   Just like over-heating a bulb-type thermometer will cause the glass to shatter,   or how water freezing in a pipe breaks pipe fittings,  I hoped this experiment would show that in real time.

I put it in the hot water and nothing happened. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Another Collaboration

RDFStudios has a channel devoted to air cannon destruction and we've been talking and planning for some time to get together and film some stuff together.   They are located about 80 miles south of me in the southern end of the California San Joaquin Valley.
  RDF blows my channel away as far as organization and editing skill and only lack  exposure.   So it is always benefitial to everyone when two channels can get together and make videos together.   It's always a blast for me to work with others who enjoy making videos. 
   We used their air cannon and we had a total of 3 high speed cameras and 3 HD cameras recording everything from different angles,  speeds and zoom.    We shared our video clips we each shot at the end of the day so we should each be able to make a handful of interesting videos.  The challenge is to make each version unique so that viewers will enjoy each representation.   
   RDF typically uses potatoes as projectiles but also use specially-made air cannon ammo,  tennis balls,   and is venturing out to other odd things.   You can pretty much shoot anything out of an air cannon.   Potatoes are still a very good object to shoot because they pack a lot of punch and are readily available.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rat Traps Gone Wrong

I purchased close to 70 rat traps at a couple dollar stores over the last couple of weeks.   I had to wait for the stores to restock the traps so I could get a lot of them.   My small-scale tests were all very good.   I set off around 10 traps without any hitches.  I was confident the 60 traps I decided to use would all go off. 
  It was miserably HOT,  I'm guessing it was over 105 deg and the sun was super bright.   I had to set the Casios to a 1/20,000 shutter speed because it was SO bright.  I hate it when a project doesn't work the first time I try it.   I really did not want to be out in the heat any longer than I had to.   The first attempt of setting off 60 traps was a failure as the chain reaction stalled at the 20 foot mark-  almost exactly halfway.   I should be happy 30 traps did go off.   After resetting the 30 traps,   the second attempt was even more disappointing.  I screwed up and put a trap backwards.   Definitely the heat got the best of me.   
   Each time I set the chain reaction off,  the hold-down bars get bent up so I have to restraighten them again.    I should put some sort of stopper so the hammers don't bend them up.   I'll try it all over again and hopefully get a successful reaction.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The pellet ACID TEST

It was unknown if the mark from the FLINT TIPPED PELLET video was melted lead,  or  melted steel.  So I decided to follow up on this and solve this mystery.    (most viewers believed it to be LEAD)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Testing a simple "smoke"  generator to use on RC planes.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Explosives Demonstration Details

I attended the Advanced Explosives Demonstration on sat.  May 12 and it was one of the coolest things I have ever filmed or even seen in my life.   I thought the Big Sandy Machine Gun shoot was intense.  -  Well that was very intense too!

I sat through a couple hours of lectures where various speakers from FBI,  crime labs,  and police depts.  talked about explosives and showed a lot of Youtube videos of people using tannerite,  and people setting off those 2 lt.  bottle bombs.   Apparently cops do not like the fact people can legally use tannerite and think anyone who wears camoflage is some terrorist.    Kind of spooky at how they view some people.

I wore a fire dept. tshirt a fireman/paramedic friend of mine gave me from Clark County so I actually fit in well.   They thought I was one of them.   There were quite a few fire dept. folks from all over the state there and a group from Hawaii.  

Some of the explosions were small, from  2 lt. bottle bombs using odd mixtures of  chemicals that create exothermic reactions and cause the bottles to rupture.   From pool chlorine to brake fluid was used.   They blew up a number of mailboxes with small explosives.    It was interesting.   Of course the real exciting stuff was when they blew up the vehicles.    How often do you get to see an ambulance, fire truck,  or  buses blow up?  

We were over 1/3 a mile away from the big explosions like the cars and trucks,  so there was little chance of being hit by shrapnel.  But there was still a chance.    A pretty big piece of steel plate was blown away from the fire truck and traveled hundreds of yards and struck a car.   Just a dent on the hatch of a minivan.   It hit the ground first and then bounced and then hit the minivan.   Everyone thought it was funny.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Co-Op Video with LivinBoB's channel

Socrates and Joey from Youtube channel,   LivinBoB came by and we did a video together this weekend.    We decided to shoot flaming arrows in slow motion and had a lot of fun.  

No one died,  and only a few hairs were burned in the process. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Weather

California has been slammed with a few large storms bringing a lot of (much needed)  rain  and even some hail.   Things have been muddy and cloudy so we've gone another weekend without any outdoor video making.

Next weekend is the annual  "Antique Farm Show"  and I may go out there and film the antique tractor parade.   Usually a handful of giant steam and primitive gasoline-engined tractors to be seen,  as well as mid-century classics.   I may not be able to film much as I have to work that night and will need to get some sleep.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another Video to be on TV?

I am pretty modest  and don't think my videos are "ready for primetime".  I'm just a guy who is really fascinated with my HS cameras and using them to satisfy my own curiousity.  "what would "X"  look like if I "Y"  to it?"  then I share it on Youtube.

Well,  over the years I have been flattered when people asked to use my videos in TV shows,   independent movies,   etc.    I had a FEW seconds of gun footage used in Discovery's  "Sons of Guns" recently,  so that was exciting.  However in the credits they misspelled my name so badly I had a hard time recognizing it.  The appeal for allowing third-party companies to use our footage is to help build our Youtube audience,   rather than just the bragging-rights of saying "our stuff was on TV!".   

It turns out that many production companies actually search Youtube looking for footage for their shows.   YT channel,  Gunwebsites had some of his footage used in Modern Marvels recently.  (his micro-revolvers on the "Tiny Weapons"  episode)

I was approached again by a British production company that produces a TV show called  "Experimenters".    I never heard of the show but apparently it is comprised of various internet videos on home-brewed science experiments.   The video they are interested is a non-high speed video (actually a time-lapse) of nitric acid dissolving a Hotwheels car.

SAPI Plate Testing

Rarely do I accept stuff from viewers.   Occasionally people offer to send me stuff to use in my videos and more often than not  I decline because I can usually just find it here and I don't feel comfortable with a viewer spending their money so I can make a video.   I'm just as uncomfortable with Partner channels that have a "donate"  link for viewers to send them money.  Really?

   A guy named  "Jeremy"  offered to send me some SAPI plates to me so I can shoot them.   Ok,  I had to Google it too.   SAPI stands for  "small arms protective insert".   These plates are constructed of ceramic with a kevlar backing and are designed to stop up to .30-06  armor piercing bullets.  

  I asked him if he was SURE he wanted to send them and suggested maybe he can make a few bucks selling them on ebay.   Nope,  he wanted to send them.  
Apparently he tried to contact a couple other YT Partner channels-  who ignored him.  Good job guys.   Originally he was going to send one plate to me and the other to another channel.   I ended up getting both plates.    These measure 6x8"  and are a little over ½" thick   and weigh about 3 lbs.  each.  

  So we are trying to set up a place to shoot these,  and use a wide-variety of guns to shoot at them.   Probably start out with a little .22LR  and work our way up to the .458 SOCOM.   So 9mm,  45acp,  7.62x39,  .223,   7.62x54r  are all on the table.    

Monday, March 5, 2012

Upcoming Projects

March 30-31   Not attending "Big Sandy" this go-round.    Other plans.    May try to go again next October though.   Hopefully gas prices will be down by then.  I sold 4 videos to last Oct  to pay for the trip.  

April 20-22    Antique Farm Show in Tulare, CA.   I missed this one last year since it fell on my weekend to work.    Lot and lots of very interesting antique tractors, hit-and-miss engines,  old tractor pulls,   steam engines/tractors,  etc.    Probably a few slow motion opportunities but the HD footage should still be good.   I need a heavy duty battery for my Panasonic camera,   what a joke the recording time is.  It sure records some fantastic imagery though.    I have to fall back on the Flip camera way too much or switch one of the Casios to HD mode.

May 12  Advanced  Explosives Demonstration in Tulare, CA.    Got a follow-up from the arson investigator wanting to know if I am still interested in attending.  Duh!  This is an invite-only event  so I got very lucky on this one.    Basically a bunch of LEO's from all over California putting this on.   They sound like a bunch of pyro's.  Should get some killer HS footage.   They blow up cars,   buildings,  aircraft,  etc.    I believe this is on my weekend off.   (I get every other weekend off)     I would still go even if I had to drink a few Rockstars and go without sleep that day.   Should be some amazing stuff to post.  A buddy from work said he was golfing near the area last year and said he saw a tire fly about 500' in the air.   Lots of very heavy explosions.

Marathon Upload Week...

Uploaded most of the footage from the "Ivanhoe"  shoot this week.   I was planning on spacing out the uploads to about 1 per week and actually discussed this plan with Jesse and Mike,   but felt I would get behind so decided to upload one per day through this weekend.   There was a possibility of another shoot on Sunday at the "Tipton"  location but that fell through.    

One issue with uploading so frequently is the massive number of comments that accumulate.    I hate letting a friendly comment go unanswered,  and there were a lot of them this week.    The "Tic Tac"  video generated an unprecedented number of comments,   many viewers making a lot of interesting suggestions.  

Got nearly all the concepts planned,  filmed and figured I'd have enough footage for 7 or 8 videos.    I wanted to keep each video very short rather than make long,  drawn out videos this time.  

The Ivanhoe property is about 500 yards deep and we tested the range of the wax slugs,  shooting level, and  the slugs travelled about halfway across the field before splashing.   Some of the camera footage shows a house in the background about 600 yards away off to the west,   but it looks closer on some of the clips.   Had to reposition everything to avoid the house being seen but some footage will have to be scrapped still.   The last thing I want is the focus of conversation being the house and how careless we appear to be.  

It was warm that day and the 400 rounds of wax slugs sat in the back of my truck with the sun beating down on them.   Near the end of the day,  the wax started to get soft and some rounds broke up after firing them.   Definitely a winter round.   To shoot them in summer I'd have to keep them on ice.   

We had a small crowd of spectators watching at the shoot so that was a new one.    I think we all got a little stage fright from that so we weren't able to do some of the "sketch" stuff I had planned out in my head.   


Friday, March 2, 2012

Since no one reads my blog...

There is a bug,  well many bugs on Youtube when using Internet Explorer.  This one bug is when managing videos,   the  "X"  or checkmark, doesn't show up in the boxes when you click on them.  
   I sometimes delete videos that are just not getting any views at all.    I tried,  the video failed.   You can't win if you don't try,  right?    I checked the video to delete,  and then accidently checked the box above all the videos which indicate  "ALL"  but there wasn't a checkmark in the box.   No problem- I didn't actually click it I thought.   I then clicked on the pull down menu I meant to click on and selected  "delete".     Bam....  100 of my latest videos all deleted in one fell swoop.   These videos went back to the end of July 2011. 
Fortunately Youtube Partner support was a lot of help and actually restored all 100 videos in less than 24 hours after I reported it them.   People may say a lot of bad things about Youtube Support,  but hey,  they did a great job for me.  I  didn't expect so much as a reply to my email,  so it was a great relief to get the help.
Thanks Sharif.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Upcoming Projects as of 2/12

"Wax Slugs"

The term "wax slug" is somewhat confusing and I am not a fan of the name.    These are homemade,  user-modified,   or do-it-yourself  shot gun rounds where inexpensive,  low-power birdshot shells are used.   The entire top of the shell is cut off,   and the bird shot is mixed with hot,  liquified wax.   The mixture is then poured back into the shot gun shell which acts as its own mold.   The purpose of the wax is to simply hold the lead shot together so all the pellets impact together as a unified force.  
The wax is "just" strong enough to accomplish this but weak enough to allow the pellets to break back apart upon impact with even light objects. 

The first round of testing provided some very unexpected results.    The rounds were very "frangible"  but managed to penetrate a 4" book,  2x4's,  computer hard drives, etc.  before the rounds broke apart. 

Round 2 Tests 

We are planning a second test of the 12 ga.  wax slugs as soon as possible.   I have made a small modification to the process which still keeps things simple but should help keep the slugs flying more true in flight and not tumbling.    Though these rounds are relegated to somewhat close-range use (less than 100 yards),   the rounds are still very unique and have uses unlike any other round.

 We will test the possible use as a "home defense"  round.     Though some shooters may balk at using something "homemade"  to protect their life,  we feel the modification has no effect on the reliability of the round in any way.   This role may be a perfect application for these rounds. 

Simulated drywall shot
Shooting padlocks
Shooting 1/8"  thick mild steel
Ballistics gel
Wet toilet paper roll (simulate section of leg)
Long-range stability (approx. 100 yards)
Cut-Shell testing

We have tried three different brands of 12 ga. sport loads for these tests
Remington Sport Loads (#7½)
Federal Field and Target  (#7½)
Winchester Super X Game load (#8)

The Federal shells have a 2-piece wad and are the shells we'll be focusing more on.  The
shot-cup has a natural skirt on it which may also help stablize the shell and may stay attached to the wax slug for a greater distance and less drag.