Friday, December 26, 2014

The Art of Writing Reviews: Fathers, Sons, Guns, Hoppe's #9, and a Reloading Press

We're all about the arts here but love to just do what I like to call the review ramble and take you down journeys that you may never go down. Did you read the book or see the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth?

Do you remember how Arne Saknussemm says there's a passage via Snæfell in Iceland? Well, Iceland is not the place to be; I don't care if there's a passage or not.

Gotta love the Northern lights
Photo by Image Editor CC BY 2.0
My dad grew up there and he was always telling me these crazy stories about reindeer and the Northern Lights and guns.

I always thought he was crazy as a kid because I could never see these things. (My parents emigrated to England before I was born.)

Well, the guns I saw. They were in our house and I remember more about him cleaning the guns on the kitchen table.

I always remember a bottle of Hoppe's #9 -- a bore cleaning solvent. My dad use to use this to clean his rifles, and I remember the smell of this stuff being horrible. (He use to say: This'll put hair on your chest. Yeah, dad, and give you cancerous tumors, too.)

Anyway, I never like the smell of it. He'd pull out his big old range bag, then get to work cleaning and lubing rifles after we were at the range.

After I left home, I did not exercise my right to bear arms -- until just recently.

I lived in a small, rural town -- about minutes away from a larger city of about 50K. The need to protect myself with a weapon was not needed because the crime rate is super low.

There was no firing range within a 30 mile radius of me so I just never bought one.

Fast forward 25 years and I still live in a rural town but I'm now in the country. (Forget that rural city living crap.) I'm also pretty close to a firing range and want to teach my son how to handle a weapon.

So, we've been going to the range about once a week. He likes it And I find it a good time to bond with the boy -- just as I did with my dad while cleaning, lubing, and reloading his guns.

This now means I needed a way to clean and lube the rifles after practice. (We even bought one of the best reloading presses on the market as a way to bond in the garage.) And that brings us back to Hoppe's 9.

I bought a bottle of it -- what else was I going to use -- and don't think it smells bad at all. It has a fruity smell to me nowadays and I don't remember it being like that when I was a youngster.

Anyways, it still works great at cleaning powder and rust. My biggest complain is the child-proof cap. It's more like adult-proof to me!

I don't know if Hoppe's changed the formula and smell of this stuff or I just did not have good memories of it before. Oh, well.

I did end up reading reviews of gun cleaning kits before I purchased one. I bought an Otis kit, which was around $50 bucks.

It's a deluxe model that cleans rifles and pistols. I don't have a pistol but there's always an option.

It comes in a nice little carry case that fits in my shooting range duffel bag. The Otis model is a little different than the Hoppe's kits.

Otis uses cables instead of long rods. I like the cables a little better because they can be wound up compared to those long rifle rods.

Many of the gun cleaning kit manufacturers sell wooden boxes with their kits, which are just too big.

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