Thursday, December 16, 2010

Random Thoughts

Inflation:  It's definitely here as far as food prices go.  Two items I recently purchased have radically increased in price were four-packs of pudding and sugar.  Those pudding packs were $0.99 within recent memory, now they are $1.49 for the store brand.  And sugar was recently about $2.99 for a five pound bag of name brand.  Now it is $3.09 for a four pound bag.  That's right, the standard size sugar bag is only 80% of what it was and it costs more.  If it weren't for my daughter wanting pudding now and me having two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, I would do without both.

Deflation:  Some ammo prices are definitely getting more reasonable.  I was in the White Elephant (sporting goods and toy store in Spokane) the other day, and noticed that the 525 packs of .22 ammo, both Federal and CCI, were $14.99.  Blazer Brass 9mm was $10.99 and .45acp was $18.99.  Compares very favorably with what I have been seeing online.  I found a few very good deals on 9mm and .380acp online and had to stock up.  Sportsmans Guide has Federal 9BP 115 gr JHP's for $17.47 a box of 50 ($16.60 if you are a club member like I am, and an additional 2.5% off if you have the Sportsman's Guide Visa).  SG also has free shipping right now on $99+ orders.  Graf & Sons is another place I have been shopping lately.  They recently had CCI Blazer 9mm 115 FMJ for $7.99 a box, and Blazer .380 for $10.99 a box.  Right now they are also running free shipping on $50+ orders, including ammo.  I really like the Blazer at this price because I don't feel bad about not saving my brass at the range (besides the fact that the range discourages picking up one's own brass). 

Gun Show Last Weekend:   Went to this on Sunday looking for more ammo cans.  The vendor I have bought from in the past was there, but sold out of .50's.  I did see a few good deals, such as an old Stevens Favorite .22 for $75.00, but I passed on it because the extractor looked to be worn out.  There were some good deals on ammo there, but a few "scalpers" as well.  A few tables had the same boxes of bulk .22 ammo as the White Elephant, but were being hawked for $25.00.  I have noticed that there is no shortage of opportunists reselling ammo or selling used guns for more than I could get them in a retail store.

Rifle Cleaning Chores:  I had bought a Russian Mosin-Nagant rifle while Bud's Gun Shop had them for a good price.  Unlike the SKS's and Romanian AK's I had bought in the past, this Mosin had a very dark and dirty bore.  The crown looked good, as did the chamber and what I could see of the rifling.  I cleaned out the cosmoline with WD-40 (it just melts the stuff away), then scrubbed several times with Hoppe's No. 9.  Not much luck with that, so I switched to Bore Scrubber.  A little more gunk removed and more blue-gray stuff on the patches, but still a lot of crud in the bore.  After doing a little internet searching, I came across a recommendation for Butch's Bore Shine.  It was $10.99 locally for an 8oz bottle, which is about middle-of-the-road price for bore cleaner.  I soaked a patch, ran it through, and waited about ten minutes.  The next patch took out more crud than all of my previous scrubbing combined.  I have given the bore two scrubbings with Butch's so far, and while the bore is still dark I can at least clearly see the lands and grooves.  I figure I have about two more scrubbings to go.  I'm  not looking for a bright bore, just cleanly defined lands and grooves.

Cheap Shotgun Update:  The Ultra 87 shotgun I ordered from Cheaper Than Dirt arrived and I picked it up today from my local FFL dealer.   I figure that others must have also considered $145 for  a defensive 12 gauge to be a good buy, because CTD has sold out.  I will report a little later on about fit and finish, but it may be a while before I get to go try it out at a friend's property out of town.

Preps:  Despite the reported coming price increases in grains, I found 20lb bags of white rice for $6.72 at Winco Foods the other day.  Wheat berries went up a bit to $0.47 a pound, but popcorn went down to $0.58 a pound.   Bought some of all three to add to the preps, as I cannot help but think that some radical food inflation is just around the corner.

Well, I suppose that is enough for now.  Gotta get back to my day job.

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