Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ballseye's Boomers: Ruger MKII...

...pistols amount to a lot of fun to shoot, but one heck of a pain in the butt to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning. Still though, this is one of the most fun pistols I have ever owned. Mine is a MKII Target model with 5 1/2" heavy target barrel, adjustable rear sights, and fixed front sight. The magazine holds 10 rounds. I probably have had this one since about the mid 1980's, and if it could talk, it could tell you it has eaten and spit out an awful lot of .22LR ammunition, and killed lots of cans at that.

One of the better things about this pistol is that it likes to eat just about any type of ammo I feed to it. That is always a plus with any pistol that shoots .22LR ammo. Of course being chambered in .22LR it is not expensive to shoot. Another good thing is that it is, or at least was, a relatively inexpensive pistol to purchase. Although I have not looked recently, my guess is that you could get a new one like mine with the 5 1/2" heavy barrel, for about $250 or less, but that is a guess. Used ones are readily available and should much less expensive than a new one. I would not be surprised to find a decent used one for $150.

Curiosity has already gotten the better of me, and I left the blog for a moment or two to do some checking on prices. My guesstimate, at least on the new ones in my area where guns are more expensive than in many other parts of the country, was very close to on the money. A new one, just like the one pictured, goes for $260 cash at The Long Island Shooting Center; and that price is supposedly current as of today. As for the asking price of used ones, I went to where I was shocked to see the starting price/bid for one at $295.00, and while that was with a slightly longer barrel at 6 7/8", it was not shown with the heavy target barrel. I wonder, who is kidding whom here? The same pistol new, is listed at Long Island Shooting Center for $260, same as the 5 1/2" model. If you can get it new for $260, why in the world would you buy it used through the Internet for at least $295.00, and then have to add on an FFL transfer fee! Oh well, someone will probably buy it; but not me.

Back to the pistol itself. I already pointed out the good things about it above, now let me harp on the bad. This pistol has got to be one of the most difficult pistols to reassemble correctly after having disassembled it for cleaning. It is just a royal pain in the butt with the lever in the backstrap that has to engage just so before it will fold back into place. I have assembled mine a few times where it did not work properly, and then had to be taken apart and reassembled again, and sometimes again before i got it right. As a matter of fact, pulling the disassembly lever out of the backstrap can also be kind of a pain in the posterior too, but this bit is not as bad as when putting it back together.

Despite the disassembly/reassembly thing, I find the Ruger MKII to be a really good to excellent pistol for amateurish target shooting, for plinking, and for small game hunting. If it was the only pistol I had, I would also use it for home defense, but then again, there are much better choices out there than a pistol shooting .22LR rounds. In short, it is well worth the cost, and one heck of a fun gun to shoot. It will last a long time without problems if cared for properly, and if you buy one and care for it, chances are you will pass it on to your children or grandchildren in years to come.

All the best,
Glenn B

Another Saturday In The Garden... beginning to show some signs of it looking as it is actually a garden again; and for a second Saturday in a row, my back is aching though not as much as it was last week. Today I began my day with a ride to Hicks Nursery, where 4 small potted herbs cost me just over $16.00; nothing made out of gold, just spearmint, cilantro (coriander), rosemary, and I can't remember the other one but just a regular herb. Then I went to Home Depot where I spent $57.00 and got 4 similar sized plants (3 pepper plants and an eggplant), 5 bags of top soil (40 lbs each), a box of fertilizer spikes for evergreens, a flat of Impatiens (32 plants), 6 potted geraniums in 4 inch pots, a well started tomato plant in a 6 inch pot, and some snazzy looking flowering perennial called Gaillardia Arizona Sun (the pic of the yellow and red flowers) that supposedly attracts butterflies. You tell me where I got the better deal. Despite the deals, I hate shopping at Home Depot because of the crowds. Then again, Hicks - a one store operation - was crowded too, just as bad as Home Depot for its size. So all in all shopping in both of them sucks as far as i am concerned, but Home Depot has better prices. One the way home, I took a few bucks I had saved by doing most of the shopping at Home Depot, and I stopped at TR's a local gin mill (yes named after Theodore Roosevelt) and I had one cold one - a Heineken. That was nice.

After the quick bottle of suds, it was back to home, to plant things. The first thing I did was to fill in a hole in a spot from where I had removed a stump several months back. It took four bags of the top soil and a good portion of compost and peat moss. I mixed it all nicely, and tamped it down. As soon as it was done, I dug a hole right in the middle of it, and I planted a tree on that spot; that is of course right after I asked she who must be obeyed if it was a good sp
ot. I have no idea of what type is that tree, it is something that started to grow in my yard last year. I uprooted it, and put it into a pot, and that is where it stayed over the winter, the pot buried in my compost heap so it would not freeze. I have another one of them growing wild in the yard; and I used to think it was a bush so I trimmed it whenever I trimmed the other bushes that grew over my neighbor's fence. Then when I cleared a bit of the area, I realized "Hey, it has a trunk, its a tree". I stopped trimming it, and it started growing more like a tree than a bush, but somewhat worse for the trimmings I had given it. It is about 12-15 feet tall now, and okay by me. Now that I planted this new one today, I guess in a couple if years, I will get to see what one looks like that is not deformed because of a gardener gone berserk. Oh well...I did my thing for Arbor Day, just one day late. That tree, by the way, will keep company with an Oak, a couple of Dogwoods, a Japanese Maple, a Holly, and some assorted bushes, like the rhododendrons to the right/above.

Then I got to planting the veggies I had bought. I also planted some seeds for lettuce, spinach, cukes, turnips, beets (yech - but my wife loves em), and beans. I then cleaned up my mess, much to the approval of my wife. After that I loaded up the bird feeders, well at least I put out what seeds I had. A tube feeder with Niger seed, another a regular feeder with some other seeds; and a humming bird feeder with nectar. Then I remembered what I had forgotten at Home Depot - bird seed. I am all out of regular bird seed, so that means another trip this weekend to Home Depot - oh joy.

As for the wife, well my sweetheart was out there most of the time, if not longer than I was there. She planted a bunch of pretty flowers that we bought last weekend, and the ones I bought today. Once again we will have a nice small garden out front, and nice potted plants all around the house. We have a nice collection of Impatiens, Petunias, Geraniums, Black Eyed Susans, Rosie Cheeks Dianthus, Swan Yellow Columbine, Gaillardia Arizona Sun, Azaleas, and whatever else she has growing out there flower wise. We also have some that were here before we bought the place 12 or so years ago, including azaleas, rhododendrons (and 2 new ones I planted last fall),crocuses, and daffodils (these last two keep coming back year after year). It was also nice to see that my strawberry plants came to life again this year. Small lot that we have, it does have its share of nice flowers and trees.

So we got our gardening dome kind of separately, but together too, me on the tree and the veggies, and Linda on most of the flowers, and you have to admit she added a nice touch to the small front patio. It is kind of nice working together out in the garden, and then later seeing the result of our combined efforts. I only wish we could do as well with our front and back lawns as we do with all the other plants. I am just about ready to give up on grass. Anyone know a nice green lawn cover other than grass, or green concrete?

I guess now, all that is left is watering the garden and the lawn, oh yeah - the lawn! Well maybe, just maybe, I will tear out the grass in the front lawn for the third or fourth year in a row, turn the soil, add some lime and fertilizer, and reseed it again. It goes good for a while, then patches of it sort of die off before the fall. If it was up to me, river pebbles, and some nicely arranged flowers and shrubs would be the right thing to do; but of course the other half will not hear of it, so a grass lawn it will remain, even if it has almost no grass.

Enough of the garden stuff, I have other chores to get done. ater for the garden, and for you!

All the best,
Glenn B