My EDC Copper River Laptop Bag

This is the 14″ Leather Voyager Laptop Bag from Copper River Bags. This is the bag that I use as my EDC when I go to work or conventions. I got this bag originally because I needed a laptop bag, and I wanted something that didn’t look like a backpack, something a little more professional, and I really think this fit the bill.

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At first glance it doesn’t look like it will hold a lot of stuff, but I have stuffed this full and never had a problem. At the NRA conference I was carrying a laptop, camera, my Maxpediton pouch, and I still had room to put all the leaflets that I got in it

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The bag has a pocket on the back that’s perfect for papers or magazines. There are two pockets on either side I use on for my keys and the other side is where I keep my leatherman when it’s not on my belt. On the inside there are 2 side pockets they are much smaller than the outside ones. They are good for pens or a pocket knife, not much else. There is also a pouch on the back that is sized to fit an iPad. I use it to hold smaller things that I don’t want to put in the main pouch.

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All in all this is a great bag, i love carrying it and use it all the time.  I would recommend getting there better strap, it looks to be a bit more padded, i plan on getting one soon my self.

Head over to there site and check them out.

How to make charred wood and use it to start a fire.

This is a video in which we charred natural materials to make a fire starting aid. We took chunky rotted wood or Punk wood from an fallen oak and put it in a metal tin with a small hole in the top and then placed it in a fire. You will see smoke come out of the hole, this is normal. When the smoke stops take it off of the fire and let it cool. The charred material takes a spark very easily from a ferro rod or flint and steel. You can then use that ember to blow tinder into flame.

 

Once you have the charred wood you can blow it into flame.

Texas Bushcraft Gathering Spring 2013 report

So we had the second annual Texas Bushcraft Forum gathering last weekend and it was a great event.  There were around 20 people who made it which is great considering we had a mini monsoon drop down on us.  Due to scheduling conflicts I was only able to attend Saturday and was not able to do an overnighter however many others did stay the night. I really have to thank Big Jessie and Bear who helped set the event up they did a great job again this year.  We held the event on a small island on the Lampassas  river near Kempner Texas.  When I arrived the rain had main the trail fairly impassable so I decided to wade downriver to the island.  The water was nice and warm and only about knee deep.  The guys already had a good fire going and shortly after I arrived we got a large tarp set up as a community gathering place.   What followed was typical bushcrafty good times.  We sat and talked, cut grass to make a carpet to cover the muddy area, kept the fire going and swapped stories.  Later in the day the weather cleared up and several people started playing with bow drill sets and such.  Some of the guys went fishing and at least one fresh catfish was consumed I think it was about a four or five pounder.  People were encouraged to bring items for a “door” prize giveaway and due to the generosity of the members there were enough items that everyone won a prize.  To cap it all off we had a wild edibles walk given by Mark Suter of www.primitivetexas.com who has a wonderful book on Texas wild edibles.  There was also an announcement that the forum would be changing slightly and moving to a new web site www.txbushcraft.com just click on the forum link on the page to join.  This new site will let the community grow with more control over the interface and allow for things like taptalk to work with the site so it is  welcome change.  I only wish I could have made it the whole weekend.  Lets hope I can for next year. 

And here is a video from one of the guys on the forum.

Romanian PSL-54C Review

PSL 54 C

The Romanian PSL 54C rifle is a wonderful gun to shoot and is much more affordable than many other military sniper style rifles such as the Dragunov, or M1A.  My example cost me 800 Dollars US and came with two ten round box magazines, a standard military 4 power scope with scope mount, cleaning rod, sling, a canvas pouch to carry the scope and a military canvas pouch to hold the scope, cleaning rod and four box magazines that can be added to a web belt.  I have added to it an aftermarket removable scope mount and an after market scope.

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There are some things to note about the rifle right off the bat.  It usually comes with a wood stock, although I have seen syntetic stock versions out there for sale.  The rifle resembles the Dragunov, but this is only cosmetic.  Internally it uses the same style action as the AK-47 although it has been reinforced and stretched to take the 7.62X54R round instead of the AK’s 7.62×39.  This gives the rifle significantly more power and range over the smaller and lighter round, but it is at a cost as you are not able to carry as much ammunition for this weapon.  Another interesting quirk with this rifle is the shorter than normal shoulder stock at least for what an american is used to.  In my research to find out why the rifle is made this way I found that the Romanian Military usually wears much thicker clothing due to the local climate and this made shortening the should stock a necessity.  Even though shooting the rifle was a little awkward at first after a box or two of practice I got used to it and don’t even notice when shooting this rifle anymore.

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As far as shooting the rifle goes it is wonderful to shoot, it has very little recoil due to the gas and piston system that cycles the rifle.  I have fired thirty to forty rounds from the gun in a sitting and not had it feel uncomfortable, however if I switch to my much heavier bolt action Mosan Nagant which fires the exact same round after about ten shots I begin to feel it in my shoulder and it starts to get uncomfortable.

As far as performance goes, the rifle shoots extremely well for the first 3 shots or so, however with the very thin barrel under sustained fire the gun begins to open up its grouping.  With factory PPU loads shooting a 150 grain bullet it held about a 3/4 inch group when shooting from the bench.  With my hand loads the rifle putting three rounds in the same hole.  I will note that all firing with a scope is at 100 yards.  All open sight testing was at 25 yards.  With open sights were were getting similar performance. In fact if you remove the scope the rifle will function as a good battle rifle.

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Now I know some of you out there will say this is not a sniper rifle and that is true, it is actually designated a marksman’s rifle.  Each combat platoon is assigned 2-3 of these rifles and it is the job of the marksman in the platoon to take out or pin down the enemy out to 800 meters or so while the rest of the platoon moves in to eliminate the threat. The battle doctrine of the romanians is very differnt from that of the US military in that they do not use separate sniper teams but have an integrated marksman in the platoon structure, this means the rifle does not have to be as accurate as the US snipers rifle. However the fact that this rifle is built on the AK-47 design means it is rugged and reliable and it has proven to be very popular in Iraq and Afghanistan for its range and durability.

My rifle is set up using a Swift Scope that is 4.5 x14 with a 44 MM AO lens. I am shooting a hand load which uses a PPU case, a .312 Cal 150 Grain Soft point Hornady bullet, 44 Grains of IMR 4895 powder with a CCI LR primer.  It has proven to be very accurate and I am getting a three shot group with each round touching as shown below.

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So to sum it up, if you are looking for a utility long range rifle to hunt with or for defense or one that is just a pleasure to shoot I highly recommend the Romanian PSL 54.  The only down side to this rifle is that extra magazines are someone scarce and expensive but you really don’t need more than a couple for this gun for most use.