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fm2176 last won the day on February 11

fm2176 had the most liked content!



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    History, guns, wood, and driving.

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    Deep South
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    Gun Vault Specialist

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  1. Years ago, tools came in steel cases, then we got the injection molded plastic ones. Now, consider yourself lucky if you get a case at all. Most tools come in a box or, at most, with a bag. As Jronman stated, though, quality brand-name tools should come in their manufacturer's modular tool storage nowadays. Find a good center line for not increasing the price of the tool too much while not losing too much money, and most brands could reap the benefits. I first bought into DeWalt 20v Max in 2016, with a drill/driver kit that came in a small ToughSystem box. Since then, I've bought many more ToughSystem components because I like the modularity and how well they protect my tools. I've done the same with Milwaukee, buying M12and M18 kits bundled with Packout boxes.
  2. Since the last update, I've been kind of slacking. I bought an antique Marlin Ballard rifle a few months back, and took advantage of CLUB Mondays (this month, Bass Pro/Cabela's CLUB Mastercard holders get 10% off firearms on Mondays) last week, doing the paperwork on two handguns yesterday. Total cost was $150 with tax: original prices were $50 for one and $125 for the other. No need to be envious, but the guns I just got are two of the finest to ever see the inside of a police evidence locker. To clarify, I don't think mine have, but they are common "street guns" given their price and availability. The Iberia (Hi-Point) JCP-40 is a gun I'd already owned over 25 years ago and got rid of as quickly as I could. The Lorcin .380 is something I never thought I'd own but do now. In the realm of cheap pistols, these take the cake, though the Jennings J-22 I owned for a few months or the .25 (I think it's a Raven Arms) I supposedly have from my dad's stuff (I swear my sister took it, but she insists it's in a tote somewhere around here) are close competitors. Next up is a nearly new S&W M&P-15. An older lady sold us some of her husband's guns last week and is supposed to be coming back with the other half; included were a Mini-14, Century Arms M70 Kalashnikov, and the aforementioned M&P-15. The Kalashnikov has been claimed already, and with a selling price of $300 it's not a bad deal, while I claimed the AR. With tax, it should be a hair over $600. Given the $800 price tag of a new M&P-15, it's a good price, but this one also has a $600 or so EOTech on it, so it's a no-brainer. Granted, I've got my Ruger AR-556 MPR with a SIG Romeo 7 red dot, but I could use another AR-15 at that price. We've been getting a lot of Palmetto State Armory guns in over the past year or so. Their prices are outstanding, and they make new AR and AK platform rifles that seem to be of increasing quality. We got an AK-103 in for a customer this week, and while I can't justify the $1k price tag at the moment, it piqued my interest. Maybe I'll start with one of the @$500 blemish AKs before spending that much. The Norinco NHM-90 I had over 20 years ago was fun to shoot, and the Kalashnikov design has proven itself reliable to an extreme, so it's almost time to add another. Then again, I haven't even looked at the SKS Sporter I bought over a year ago that takes AK mags.
  3. The latest for me. Missing one ratcheting wrench out of a metric set of seven. I'll let you all guess which size...🤔
  4. fm2176

    Altanic Calendar

    Interesting concept. As I've transitioned from my military career into private retail, I've often thought of getting a more stable post-retirement job. I get my 40 hours, but the schedule might find me working any of the seven days between 7 AM and 10 PM. The Gregorian calendar is somewhat flawed, but it's what many of us grew up with. Having a more symmetric calendar, with common sense weeks and particularly work schedules would be nice. I also like the concept of having a designated holiday period at the end of the year, when many Westerners celebrate their religious holiday (Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, etc.) and the New Year. Having my background, though, I will say that the work schedule would only work for white-collar and maybe some blue-collar jobs. As a former mechanic, I would be on call one week a month to work at Philip Morris in case of an equipment issue. Being a road tech, with a take-home vehicle, the company had substantial investment in me, and would be unable to afford to hire two three-day employees and outfit us with the necessary equipment. Monday through Friday, 0730-1600, was typical for our fleet of some 15 trucks, so we'd either have to share trucks or the company would have to double the fleet. Later, in the military, and especially as a Drill Sergeant, I learned that 168 hours in a week is not enough. Early in each cycle, I'd find myself working 0300-2200 daily, before grabbing some plain McDoubles for me and the Lab and getting a few hours of rest. Some weeks I'd average 17 hours a day for seven days straight. Twenty-four-hour duty was a break of sorts, as we'd do our 24 hours, then go home and get 18-21 hours off. I'll definitely keep monitoring this and provide feedback and input. I think it would be difficult to establish a new calendar, but if it garners enough support, your Altanic calendar has a lot of good concepts that could make life easier for many of us.
  5. Well, it keeps growing for some reason. I pulled my transfer records a couple of days ago, and in 15 months of working here, I've bought 21 guns. Right now, I need to stop buying, pay off a little debt, and then get another vehicle. But, if something is the right price or unique enough, I'm calling it for myself and doing paperwork ASAP! 😄
  6. It's basically Ryobi with slide-on batteries in lieu of the stick ones that Ryobi's used for over a quarter century. But for Walmart, it's "premium". much like the Bostich 18v and short-lived FatMax power tools were.
  7. They are more value focused. Their "premium" brand is Hart, made of course by TTI.
  8. I got another cheap shotgun, a Tristar Cobra in 12 gauge for my son. It was around $80 out the door, so despite it being a Tristar, I think I got a deal. Besides, it's a pump gun. I wouldn't necessarily trust any of the cheaper Turkish semi-autos (Tristar, Citadel, etc.), but so long as it goes through the cycles of function, you can generally force it to feed, chamber, and fire. I have no idea if the extractor is up to snuff... that could be a problem. A couple of weeks ago I was back to work after the previous day's 4-H, where I let my daughter shoot her P22Q. That worked less than stellar, though I think it was her grip. We each dumped a mag into the burn pit when we got home, and it worked fine. Regardless, she shoots the loaner Ruger Mark IIIs great, so I might buy her a Mark IV, or if she takes it serious enough and want to try for the Nationals, a Volquartsen Black Mamba. I was itching to buy something, then I stumbled across this practical monstrosity in the Vault: Mossberg 464 SPX. The thing takes some getting used to, but it met one key criteria for me: it's a .30-30. My Winchester 94 .30-30 was stolen over 11 years ago now, leaving me with only the 94 in .45 Colt. Since retiring, I've added the aforementioned 1892 and a .22 LR Rossi Rio Bravo lever gun, and I think one of my Dad's old guns is a single shot lever action 12 gauge. Anyway, I figured that for under $400, I'd give the Mossberg a new home. To be extra funny, I bought a iProtec RM230LSG. I've got one of the red versions for other weapon's systems, and like having some illumination. The laser is an afterthought, but probably not too impractical for a short-range cartridge like the .30-30. As for "practical monstrosity", this is one of those guns that traditional gun owners quickly look away from in fear of being overtaken by some evil force. It's a "tactical lever gun", only if you look beyond the AR-style furniture, it makes some sense. As the above article mentions, it's pretty practical for the modern hunter. Why risk taking granddad's old pre-'64 Model 94 into the swamps when you can take this plastic furniture and all? It's relatively inexpensive, seems rugged, and has some good sights and mounting options. All told, I think it's a decent addition to the safes.
  9. I haven't been on much of a buying spree lately but have gradually gotten some gunsmithing tools. Nothing fancy... I need to finish the cleanup/downsizing and figure out where I want my gunsmithing and reloading stations to go. Speaking of which, reloading tools are on the short list. Oddly enough, I've moved on from the Big Box home improvement stores to Walmart as my tool Mecca. Not really, but I do wander down the tool aisle now after scoring some deals. The local Home Depot is close to my work, while the Lowes is across the river. Walmart is less than four miles away and a regular stop these days. They have a habit of marking stuff down by 50%, so I got a pick set for cheap that was missing one, and then saw that a lady restocking the clearance aisle had a heavy Hart mechanics tool set on her cart. The handle had broken off, all tools were present and unblemished, and it was marked down from $130 to $65, so I took it. About a week later an employee came up to me with a 36" prybar that was missing it's packaging for 50% off. I guess he recognized me as the local weirdo that buys tool deals? I don't know...
  10. Sounds nice. I have no need for EGO's commercial equipment, and the only thing I really use nowadays is the string trimmer. The Bad Boy mower handles the acre fine, but that trimmer does an excellent job. To be honest, though, if/when that craps out, I'll look into a professional gas trimmer. I like the instant start of the EGO, though, so I may consider replacing it. It should have years more given its relatively light use. It's hard to believe it's been nearly six years since I got my EGO tools. At least one of the 5Ah batteries is on its last legs--it started showing signs a few years back. I have no hedges, rarely use the backpack blower, and the push mower sees use once or twice a year in the little enclosed area I have for my dogs. So, the cost of replacement batteries may do in my little experiment with battery powered OPE. It was great in Northern Virginia, with relatively close neighbors and a smallish 1/4-acre lot. South Louisiana is much less friendly. Using the trimmer in the sun mid-summer, the battery heats up like crazy. Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas now carries a couple of EGO saws: Search Results (basspro.com). Employees get 15% off of national brands, with 25% off a few times throughout the year, so if I need a fresh battery, I may go that route despite them being only 2.5Ah. It makes sense, I guess, to offer hunters a relatively quick and quiet way to clear out a shooting lane or do some pre-season cleanup. The stores I've checked all show "Limited Stock", meaning one available, and I know the ones we have are in the overhead in the back, so you may have to order online, but if anyone has BPS/Cabelas gift cards they have no use for and needs a chainsaw and/or pole saw, there you go!
  11. The heated jacket has two buttons, from what I recall. Haven't worn mine in a few years. If you're activating both and only the pockets are heating, it might be defective or damaged.
  12. Perhaps I shouldn't have stated "easily as good". A more accurate thing to state about Milwaukee and DeWalt's mechanics tools (namely ratchets, sockets, and wrenches) is that they are the closest approximation that can be found. They are fairly ergonomic, well-polished, and can be relatively easily found at places like Tractor Supply and Home Depot. The classic raised panel "Made in USA" Craftsman wrenches were rugged and could take a lot of abuse. If I had to break out a 4-lb hammer to help convince a nut to turn, you could bet it was a Craftsman wrench getting beaten, while the Snap-On tools rested safely in the box. The warranty was excellent back when you could just walk into a store and replace an individual wrench or ratchet. Some stores were less scrupulous than others, though, and there were a few times where I walked in with a single broken punch and was given an entire set to replace it, or a raised panel rachet was out-of-stock, so a polished round head ratchet was given in exchange. Later, they started rebuilding the ratchets, so it was possible that you might take a fairly new tool in and get a beat up 30-year-old tool back with new internals.
  13. In the US, I'd [mostly] agree that both Bostitch and Porter Cable are dead in the water. The exceptions being pneumatic fastening tools for the former and standalone or bench tools for the latter. Bostitch, like Stanley FatMax, cordless tools were store exclusives over here. You could get Bostitch 18v tools at Walmart or their incompatible 20v nailers and staplers at Lowe's. I believe Walmart briefly carried the FatMax cordless tools, which were later found at Costco. Porter Cable was a much more ingrained brand when it came to both corded and cordless tools. Their 18v system seemed to have potential but came at the wrong time, and when they introduced the 20v Max system, they had already lost their place in the SBD hierarchy. When Craftsman was acquired, the death knoll for PC was all but sounded. As for mechanics tools, I'd say that both DeWalt and Milwaukee have decent ones that are easily as good as what the Craftsman Professional line used to offer, minus the "Made in the USA" thing, if that matters to those outside of America. I have some of each, and they are ergonomic, well-polished, and simply work.
  14. Home Depot has the Klein Electrician's Leveling Kit for $6 and change, down from over $24. So, 75% off of a magnetic torpedo level and folding lockback utility knife. These tools are made in China, but the Husky brand lockback knife by itself was on a sidecap for over $8, so I think it's a good deal. I bought the last three at my store and already gave away two, with plans to keep the remaining one.
  15. I'd say the 3000 lumens might be overkill for those applications. I've got some bright lights, including a 10k lumen flashlight, the DeWalt spotlight, and various Milwaukee, Ridgid, and other DeWalt lights, and I find that clarity and position of the beam count for more than sheer brightness.
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