Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)

As a rule, I don’t care to spit into the wind when it comes to the plants I raise. In fact, I could probably write a book called “The Lazy Gardener”. However, living in northern latitudes, sometimes you have to spit into the wind if you are going to raise anything! A couple of years ago I bought some Australian plant seeds – Swainsona formosa. One of its common names is Sturt’s Desert Pea. Emphasis on desert. Like many plants in Oz, they have spectacular flowers. This spring I planted a few of them. It was no surprise that they … Read more…

Making the Stock for the .416 Ruger No. 2 – Post 5

I have finished (at least for now) the persimmon forearm. I’m pleased with it. Some of you may find the schnabel more ‘robust’ than you like. I gave this considerable thought, and the shape is the way I like it, like I said, at least for now. The birch forearm is a little too much like a spear; too pointed for my taste. Not much, but a little. I wanted something less spear-like and a bit ‘beefier’. This rifle is a .416. If it were a .22 or mabye a .24, a ‘splinter’ would be more proportional, but given the … Read more…

Making the Stock for the .416 Ruger No. 2 – Post 4

It’s been ‘a day or two’ since I posted any new content here, but there have been ‘extenuating circumstances’, not all of which have subsided. Nevertheless, there has been some progress, and I thought I should post at least some preliminary pictures of that progress. These pictures are of the preliminary shaping. This first one, the left side:       This one of the bottom:       And this one of the right side:       The black heartwood you see on the right side is “weak”, and the large piece (lower left in the above photo), … Read more…

Making the Stock for the .416 Ruger No. 2 – Post 3

I haven’t posted on the forearm shaping for a bit. It’s tough (for me anyway) to take pictures and “do”. Most of the ‘doing’ is pretty boring anyway. Regardless, While I still have a lot left to do, I thought I’d post some pictures and solicit [I]comments[/I], NOT praise. This is the birch, practice forearm. I’ve got a little more shaping to do on it. I’m not finished with the schnable shaping and there is some fine tuning on the main body. There’s a bit of ‘belly’ that I’m not too fond of, but there isn’t a lot I can … Read more…

Making the Stock for the .416 Ruger No. 2 – Post 2

I drilled the “big” hole in the butt, and started inletting (machine part) of the rear tangs when it became clear that I needed a 13/16″ mill cutter. So I ordered that and it should be here by Monday or Tuesday. Nothing more I can do on the butt ’til I get that cutter. In the mean time, I started on the forearm. Because I have the birch butt for ‘practice’, I made a birch forearm too. However, I started milling on the persimmon one first because it is ready. Actually, the milling for the forearm is pretty straight forward … Read more…

Making the Stock for the .416 Ruger No. 2 – Post 1

I started on the butt today. I wrestled a bit with how to get the angle of the hole in the butt for the screw “just right”, when it dawned on me that there really is no need for that. Just drill the hole straight through the blank and shape the blank around the hole. It’s still not trivial, but it’s easier to do it that way than trying get the angle right. Here’s a picture of the factory butt with a cleaning rod through the bolt hole.                         … Read more…

Grass Flowers

There are most certainly people that grow grass for ornamental purposes, (as opposed to lawns and ground covers). Some of the ornamental growth is for landscaping, and some of it for dried flower arrangements. I was perusing seed websites and ran into Briza maxima.   The first thing that came to mind when I saw the seed heads was ‘rattlesnake rattles’. (Turns out, one of the common names for the grass is “rattlesnake grass”.) I bought some seeds and grew them this spring. They are currently in bloom. Here are some pictures of my plant’s immature flower heads. Paul … Read more…

Flowers On My Deck – Poppies

I’ll start with the poppies, as I like poppies and this is the first year I have tried to grow them. These plants are from seeds collected from a plant that my daughter found growing wild alongside the road to our house. I waited for the plant to ripen, collected the seeds, and stored them in a small vial. That was two years ago. This spring I decided to try to germinate some of those seeds. If they germinated, I would plant them ‘with abandon’ around my property. Not only did they germinate, they grew with enthusiasm! The following is … Read more…

.416x.348 Winchester Ruger No. 2 Test Fired

Test-fired the Ruger No.2 chambered in .416x.348 Winchester for function and to get an idea about QuickLOAD’s ability to accurately predict muzzle velocities. Here are the specifications: 1) MagnetoSpeed chronograph 2) 400-grain Hornady “Dangerous Game” round-nosed bullets (out of production) 3) 34.5 grains of IMR 4227 powder. 4) Seating depth of 0.495″ 5) Overall cartridge length of 3.048″ 6) Bullet between 0.050″ and 0.060″ off of the lands when a round is chambered. Here are the values input to QuickLOAD. All of the values have been measured, not estimated. Here are the input values for the powder. Here are the … Read more…

Quarter-rib and Scope Are Mounted

I got up early to call the east coast (where Numrich is) and got the order modified to take the ridiculously-priced screws off the order. Hopefully they will keep the rest of the order intact. I stopped by Fastenal and got the “cheap” screws. With them in hand, I drilled and tapped (8-32, not 8-36) the barrel for the quarter-rib, and ground the Fastenal screws to the proper length. (I would have had to do grind the “Factory” screws to length as well.) Since I don’t have an extra set of Ruger rings, I took the rings and scope off … Read more…

Drilling and Tapping Ruger No. 2 For Quarter-rib

I finished modifying the quarter-rib and so it’s on to drilling and tapping the barrel for attaching it. Here are some pictures of the set-up using the Forster D&T jig. In the following two pictures, you can see the barreled action in the jig setting on the table of my mill. In this next picture, you see the drilling guide with the locating pin in one of the holes, and the point of the pin in the most distal hole in the quarter-rib. So located, the mill head with the appropriate drill inserted, can be positioned exactly in the proper … Read more…

Ruger No. 2 Project – Second Post – “Accurizing the Hanger”

For reasons not understood by me, many people seem to like to bad-mouth the precision of Ruger No.1s (and by extension, No.3s). Like all over-the-counter rifles, the “out-of-the-box” precision of Ruger No.1sand 3s can be improved with various after-market modifications. For example, very few rifles come “in-the-box” with scopes. Adding a scope is an after-market modification that improves precision. And most folks do that without a gripe.  Likewise, most folks acknowledge that tuning handloads to the specific rifle improves precision. Tuning handloads to the specific rifle is an after-market modification that improves precision. So griping about “having” to “modify” a No. … Read more…

New Rifle Chambered for .416×348 Winchester Cartridge

That’s the laser engraving on the PacNor barrel that was put on a Ruger No. 3 receiver. It appears that the latest in nomenclature is to call No. 3s that have been rebarreled or restocked or both, Ruger No. 2s. I suspect pretentiousness, but the truth is that it facilitates written communication. Wander over to the page under the RELOADING tab and have a look. Here’s the link: https://paulskvorc.com/ruger-no-2-chambered-in-416x-348-winchester/ Paul … Read more…

8.8 Minutes of Birds at the Feeder and Songs

This 8:50 minutes has some red or pine squirrel (Sciurus hudsonicus) early on and all the ‘usual suspects’ at the feeder. It also has vocalizations of chickadee, nuthatch, and robin. Be sure to turn the volume up to listen to the vocalizations. Background noise from 00:54 to about 1:04, is very loud, (car passing by), but it subsides fairly quickly and the rest of the video/audio is not that obnoxious. … Read more…