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Things found while cleaning out my reloading room

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by senior smoke, Jan 21, 2011.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Hello:
    I have never cleaned out my reloading room before. I have always been a pack rat, as I don't believe in throwing out anything. My wife thought I needed something to do, so upon her suggestion, that's what I did yesterday.

    I am glad I did because it brought back a flood of memories. While opening up numerous drawers I found an almost complete book of S&H green stamps. My boy was over visiting, and he asked me what they were? I told him numerous businesses years ago gave out green stamps after purchases, and once the book was filled, in my area, they usually gave you $2.00. He said was it worth it for $2.00? I said back in the late 50's early 60's, I was always glad to get $2.00. I understand that $2.00 is no longer a lot of money today, but back then I was glad to get the money.

    Underneath a pile of papers I found a heating element that I use to stick into Federal papers years ago. I started thinking of how many nights I used that heating element so I could shoot those paper shells the next day. For non shooters to hear me talk about the wonderful smell of those papers after be fired would go on deaf ears. Every time I smell a federal paper it brings me back to days when trapshooting was in it's hey days. Large shoots, most shooters using model 12's 31's, 870's. I remember seeing a rich doctor now and then with a 4E or 5E.

    In that same pile I found a metal hook type device that I used to pull the hull out of my gun when the head off the paper shell seperated. Back then it was rare for me to afford using once fired paper shells. I use to use them until I saw pin holes just above the brass.

    In another drawer I found an old American shotgunner magazine from the early 70's. I remember that each month how I just could not wait for that magazine to arrive in my mail box. How many hours I would spend reading every article in that paper so I could possibly become a better shooter. Trapshooting instruction from the era's top shooters was something that I truly appreciated. To this day, I feel that this magazine was the best. I also found an early issue of Frank Kodel's magazine, shooting trap. I remember writing to Frank years ago and one day he actually called me and asked my permission to use my question in his magazine. To this day I feal that was an honor getting a phone call from him, and a honor that he wanted to place my question in his magazine.

    I came across a few Federal Champion shells with the burgandy case. Of all the shotgun shells I have ever reloaded, that shell had to be the nicest looking shell, but they seemed to kick me a lot. It was a stiff case, maybe my load was to hot, who knows, but it brought back some great memories of shooting years ago.

    And the last two things that I found that made my efforts worthwhile was a personal letter that I received from my friend Vic Reinders after I got cancer years ago. Vic was a good man, and I miss him to this day.

    Lastly, I found my Grandfather's original paper that he received when he came to this country through Ellis Island. His name was Stefanu Balistreri, which is the person that I am named after. My real name on my birth certificate is Stefanu. I also have his certificate with his picture on it when he became a US citizen, something he was very proud off. He came to this country with his brother because they heard the streets of America were paved in gold. He worked for International Harvester in MIlwaukee, sometimes 16 hours per day. In the hot month of July he would tell me how it would sometimes get to be 120 to 130 degrees in the foundry, and sometimes co-workers would be carried out from the extreme heat. He loved this country enough that he wanted to learn the language and our customs, which he did. Sadly to say, he never saw his mother again, but he made sure he sent her money every paycheck.

    Well from a project that I was dreading at the start, it turned into a great walk through time, when life and trap shooting was a bit more simple. When the average working man could afford to purchase a gun and shells without re mortgaging the house. I had a great time. Hope you enjoyed it. Try cleaning out your reloading room and see what treasures you may find from days long gone.
    Steve Balistreri
     
  2. Bernie K

    Bernie K Member

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    Thanks for sharing it with us. To us it was the good old days, to the kids now it is ancient history. As in the Wizzard of Oz, you call never go back home all we have are memories. God bless.
     
  3. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    Very nice Steve, very nice!

    Those Champions were beauties weren't they?!?!? I loved how the crimp kind of made a swirl in the middle.

    John Houle
     
  4. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Good read Stefanu! A little memory that came to me with the Italian name: A friend from the 70s would proudly announce that he was 1/2 Italian and 1/2 Portuguese and would always close the discussion admitting, "That makes me a Porta Wop, Eh?
     
  5. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    BDodd:
    That's pretty good.
    Steve
     
  6. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    John:
    You are correct. I was once given 2,000 once fired empties from a guy. I loaded them on a single stage Texan. I don't know if it was my particular reload, but they packed a wallop in my 870.
    Steve
     
  7. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    See Steve, now you're retired and looking for stuff to do!!!!!!

    I like to read your posts, I guess I'm a pack rat too, except, I think I might be a pack rat on steroids, just can't bring myself to throw out treasures that I will probably never use.

    But there is a golden lining to it, I have been in the process of rebuilding my brewery, to make home brew, used to make some good stuff, and figured why not do it again, I needed a pump to pump the wort during the sparge, and went to all 5 of my shops and finally found the pump I knew I had, still brand new, in the box, as I was hooking it up I looked at the date code, it was built in 1974, guess it's still new though, damn time flies, I still remember the job I bought it for then they backed out
     
  8. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    I cleaned and moved my stuff around in my reloading room and way in the back of a shelf was 3 bags of Lawrence Magnum 7-1/2's. The price of $9.00 was written on each bag with a magic marker. Now just how long ago was good shot selling for $9 bucks!!

    As far as memories go, I just copied and downloaded over 12 thousand pictures. From the 50's through the 90's (before the digital era).

    Great post Steve, thanks for sharing.

    Curt
     
  9. Big Jack

    Big Jack Well-Known Member

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    The sniff of a fired Fed. Paper shell and the aroma of Hoppe's #9..Ah, what more could you ask for? You have to admit it was a lot cheaper then the stuff folks are sniffing today & a lot less dangerous.
    Big Jack
     
  10. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Big Jack:
    Those are the two greatest smells in shooting. I have often said if women would put a dab of Hoppe's #9 behind their ears and on their wrist, they would have guys following them like the pied piper. Can you imagine going on u tube sniffing a Federal paper hull? The kids would all have a new safer habit to try and kick. Boy, were those the days.

    Steve

    Catpower:
    When I got married I would always go to my parents house to cut the lawn for them. My wife always felt that I seemed to cut the lawn way to often. One day she came over after I just cut the lawn, and walked downstairs into my fathers basement rec room. My dad had an actual wet bar from a tavern with an old NCR cash register. He had ice cold beer on tap at 42 degrees. He would also have boomba mugs ice cold in his freezer. What great memories.
    Steve
     
  11. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    That was nice of you to mow their lawn Steve, I would have too!!!!! Beer the nectar of the God's
     
  12. Conn. Man

    Conn. Man Member

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    Steve,

    When you checked the draws in your desk in your loading room,did you find any of Luther's stuff???????????

    Sandy Holehouse
     
  13. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Sandy:
    Yes I did, I found a picture of Luther and myself at the Waukesha gun club with our arms on each others shoulders, during the winter,and snow up to our waist.. I am no beauty queen, but Luther looks like he was ridden hard and put away wet in this picture.
    Steve
     
  14. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Heck Steve, I still shoot the papers until they are full of burn holes around the base or slit up the side. I have pulled many a brass base out and then stuck my finger in the hull to retieve it LOL International Harvester?? Wow!! I am from Ft wayne and all my family worked for IH where they built the Scouts
     
  15. geeber

    geeber Member

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    Thanks Steve, that brings back memories for me too. My buddy and I shot protectors in Uniontown, Ohio back in the 70s and 80s. We would always shoot paper Feds. If you didn't have them, you didn't win. Nothing smoked targets from the 27 yard line like a paper Fed. I remember going out and shooting a round in the freezing cold, then going back into the clubhouse hugging the stove until we thawed out, then have a bowl of the best chili in the state. I'm not sure if the chili was really that good or if it was being among good friends shooting trap that made it seem so good. Thank you for stirring my memory. I feel much better after reading your post.
    Gary B.
     
  16. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    cubancigar2000:
    Both my grandfathers worked at International Harvester in the foundry. You must have long fingers to pull that hull out. I needed a tool to do that.
    Steve

    geeber:
    That sounds like heaven to me, shooting Federal papers, hugging a warm stove, and eating Chili. It just doesn't get any better than that. To shooters who have never shot Federal papers purchase some. In my opinion the greatest shell ever made. The smell alone is worth purchasing them.
    Steve
     
  17. b12

    b12 Well-Known Member

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    Ah paper feds. HOPPES #9. Back in the 60's when my wife and I first married I would come home on Sunday afternoon from trap. Put on the American sportsman, watching Bing Crosby, Curt Gody and others shooten birds. I'd get out my hoppes and start cleanning my gun. Tell my wife to put some hoppes behind her ears and she could have anything she wanted. Well nowadays I retire out to my building, load shells, clean guns and make sure the used hoppes rags stay where the aroma is untill I go back into the house. The boss still won't put hoppes on. Thanks for the memories Stefanu
     
  18. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    b12:
    I always told my wife that men love the smell of Hoppes #9. When I smell it, I have a flood of good memories from years ago. When my wife walks into the house after I clean a gun I here "Steve, are you using that stinky stuff again to clean your guns"? Non shooters just don't understand???????????? I once had her smell a fired Federal paper hull and she was considering having me committed. I responded if the shrink was a shooter, he'd understand.
    Steve
     
  19. JB Logan Co. Ohio

    JB Logan Co. Ohio TS Member

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    Hoppe's #9 ALWAYS takes me back to my youth when my brothers and I would be trying to get our guns ready to go hunting. While we would be waiting for my Dad to get home from his office we would clean our guns. We would clean again when we returned from the field (hopefully after we cleaned our game). Those were very special times for me....I hope I never forget that smell or those memories.

    JB-Jerry Beach 8503917
     
  20. razor

    razor TS Member

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    steve, two great memories that you mentioned one is those champion 2's they sure were pretty you could see the shot & everything. also i have been a longtime international harvester fan. i have a 1947 mccormick deering milking machine setup right here in my office. brand new never been used in mint condition. i believe those were made at milwaukee also. razor
     
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