Saturday, September 19, 2015

If you thought things were getting worse, you were right. Other matters of importance, such as 8X56R Hungarian ammo and the shelf life of different cooking oils.

I just have a little laptop, so  I can't really read these too well once I start using blogger. But I hope most of you have good high definition screens.  If you have been beating yourself up for having a bad attitude and a negative outlook, rejoice!  You were right.

I have a couple of these nice little Hungarian Model 1895 straight pull carbines. The reason I only have two is ammo. These rifles sold for about $65.00 in unissued condition back in the 1980's, but there was a catch.  You could not buy ammo for them, and there was no Boxer primed brass, nor any bullets for them.  The only rifles ever designed for the specific diameter bullet they use were these Hungarian rifles and their variants. Usually, one bullet will fit a number of  different weapons. For instance, the diameter of the bullet used in the AK-47 round and the bullet used in the .303 Enfield is the same. But not these little gems.

To make life more interesting, you have to have the clip to load the weapon. The ammo came on five round stripper clips.  I bought 2000 rounds of Austrian 8X56R , head stamped 1938, in the wooden case, in spam cans when some of it hit the market in the late 1980's.  So I have stripper clips but if you try to buy them today they run about ten to fifteen dollars per clip if you can find them.

I got some hundreds more rounds of German production headstamped 37 and 38, I think it was. If there are any old cartridge collectors who want some spent brass let me know. Of course all the surplus is Berdan primed, so I can't reload it. I hate to leave 78 year old historical artifacts laying on the ground but that's what I usually do with the surplus brass for this rifle.

So I only bought two. Wish I had bought more. Today you can get the brass and the bullets from Graf and Sons. I used to get the bullets from Buffalo Bullet Company but they appear to no longer exist.

.333 bullets for the Model 1895 straight pull rifle.

This is Hornaday loaded ammo for the rifle.  Costs about $40.00 when you include shipping. That's about $2.00 around. I figure my reloaded ammo costs less than half that. Hornaday makes these old chamberings in "runs" so it's there for awhile, then not, then on again.

God bless Prvi Partizan and their little Serbian hearts. Those guys make the most primo ammo, and they make it cheap enough for normal mortals to afford.

I buy their M1 Garand ammo by the ammo can when it's available. No worries about busting the operating rod on your M1 when you use their fodder.

Of the three commercial manufacturers I know of for the 8X56R Hungarian, these are the boys. They make this ammo for about what I can reload it for. The brass is reloadable too.

The only problem with Prvi Partizan is that their ammo is such good quality, and such a good price, you have a hard time finding it .  The best places to look are Cheaper than Dirt, Sportsmans Guide, Southern Ohio Guns, and AIM surplus.  No miser ever hoarded his gold with such loving care as the owners of these rifles hoard loaded rounds, bullets and brass.

Need more 8X56R !

SOG got some Bulgarian Makarovs in.  If anybody has been looking for these, here's your chance.

The Makarov is a pretty simple blowback weapon.  It has some external resemblence to the Walther PPK.  The  "carry ammo" is out there but it's expensive . You can buy good quality defensive ammo for it from a number of different manufacturers, but you won't be blowing that stuff off at the range unless you sell the second car.

There is plenty of steel cased ball around though. I bought two cases of Norinco ball for the weapon, back before Slick Willie banned the importation of Chinese ammo.  I still have it.

I don't know if Imperial Obama has banned Russian ammo, but if you can find it, the Brown Bear and Silver Bear aren't bad.  Privi Partizan makes it in reloadable Boxer primed brass.

This is steel case, but it's nickel plated. Hard on extractors, but the Makarov was built for steel cased ammo so I assume the extractors will hold up.

So if you want a good pistol, for not a lot of money, here's a possibility.

Finally, as an afterthought, here's a good way to store cooking oil.  We use olive oil at our house to fry things like eggs and potatoes in. But all those oils, vegetable oil, canola oil, etc, go rancid over time. I had a big bottle of Canola oil go bad, and it turned into some kind of laquer or varnish. Even the dogs wouldn't go near it.

This shortening doesn't go bad, or at least has a really long shelf life.  I've kept it sitting in the can in a cool, darkened store room for years, opened it up, and it was a good as the day I bought it.  In fact, I usually melt a little Crisco in a small frying pan, then  pour it on the dry dog food if I'm not mixing in canned dog food or table scraps that night.

You can freeze the shortening in a deep freeze for super long term storage if you want to. But it will keep for years as long as you are storing it in a constant temperature, cool and dry room with low or no light.

*information below is from the Crisco web page. You know how companies do, they low ball it. I have kept Crisco shortening, unopened, for over six years in my third level store room, and it has been as fresh and good as the day it was made.

How long can I keep Crisco products on my shelf?

The shelf life of a shortening or oil product depends a great deal on how it has been stored and handled. For the best results, Crisco products should be stored in a cool, dry place away from strong odors, direct sunlight, and sources of heat (stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators)
Crisco Products Shelf Life & Manufacture Code Locations
Shortening CanShortening SticksCrisco OilCriscoSpray
Unopened2 years from manufacture date2 years from manufacture date2 years from manufacture date2 years
Openedabout 1 yearabout 6 monthsabout 1 year2 years
Code Locationbottom of canside of plastic tubside of bottle back labelbottom of can

 I do keep big cans of olive oil. I used to buy these for $12,00 a can on sale. Now they are never on sale at our grocery store, so I pay $24.00 a can if I buy it there in town.  If  I find it at the scratch and dint grocery store I can get it for around $15.00. I can usually find cans that aren't damaged , if I rummage around the case.

 You can get a lot of different versions, sizes and prices. Olive oil seems to be the best cooking oil health wise, and you can use it for other applications like salad dressing.

The shelf life varies but I've kept it for a couple of years and it wasn't rancid. I think keeping it off the floor by putting it on 2X4 slates while storing it helps, and I know low , constant temperatures and the absence of light makes any stored food last longer.

*Information below is from They tend to be pretty realistic.

Oil Expiration Date

(Unopened)                                Pantry      Fridge
Avocado Oil lasts for       9-12 Months      1 Year
Blended Oil lasts for        2 Years                 --
Canola Oil lasts for          2 Years                 --
Corn Oil lasts for              1 Year               1 Year
Chili Oil lasts for               9-12 Months      1 Year
Extra Virgin Olive lasts for 3 Years            --
Grape Seed Oil lasts for    3 Months           6 Months
Hazelnut Oil lasts for       1 Year                 1 Year
Macadamia Nut Oil lasts for 2 Years        2-3 Years
Olive Oil lasts for               2-3 Years              --
Peanut Oil lasts for            3 Years             3 Years
Sesame Oil lasts for           1 Years             2 Years
Safflower Oil lasts for       2 Years             2 Years
Sunflower Oil lasts for      2 Years             2 Years
Truffle Oil lasts for           1 Year               1 Year
Vegetable Oil lasts for      1 Year               1 Year
Walnut Oil lasts for          1 Year               1 Year

(Opened)                           Pantry                  Fridge
Avocado Oil lasts for       6-8 Months         9-12 Months
Blended Oil lasts for        1 Year                   1 Year
Canola Oil lasts for           1 Year                  1 Year
Corn Oil lasts for               1 Year                  1 Year
Chili Oil lasts for               6 Months             1 Year
Extra Virgin Olive Oil          --                       2-3 Years              
Grape Seed Oil lasts for   3 Months              6 Months
Hazelnut Oil lasts for       3 Months              9-12 Months
Macadamia Nut Oil lasts for 2 Years           2-3 Years
Olive Oil lasts for                      --                   2-3 Years              
Peanut Oil lasts for           2 Years                2 Years
Sesame Oil lasts for          6-8 Months          2 Years
Safflower Oil lasts for      1 Year                  1-2 Years
Sunflower Oil lasts for     1 Year                  1-2 Years
Truffle Oil lasts for          4-6 Months          6-8 Months
Vegetable Oil lasts for     1 Year                       --
Walnut Oil lasts for         3-4 Months          6-8 Months
Spray Oil Can lasts for    2 Years                     --

Finally, I just got a number 10 can of these vegetarian hot dogs. They are supposed to be high in protein and taste pretty good. I got one can to try out. If I like them, I'll go back to the scratch and dint store where I found them and get more. I paid $10.00 for the can, so they aren't cheap, but there are a lot of hot dogs in there, and canned "meat", even if it's ersatz, is always good to have.

These guys also make veggie steaks, hamburgers, and a lot of other similar items. I'm not so concerned about the vegetarian aspect as I am about having some high protein food that can serve as a meat dish with a meal. If this tastes good, I'll lay in some more of their products. These days, food in the storeroom beats the hell out of money in the bank.

Before I close, there's one more thing I want to mention.   I did a post a few weeks ago about a big trip we made up to North Carolina. Big for us, anyway.  We were going to stay at a lake up there, but there was a car show in town so we couldn't get a cabin.

On the way back, we stopped at the scratch and dint grocery store in North Carolina. We found huge "tubes" of Land O' Lakes provolone cheese for $10.00 each.

These must have been made for export, because they don't have the weight of the product on the packaging.  My guess is that there is about 8 to 10 pounds of cheese in each tube. They are not small.

We froze two and put one in the ice box. Alas! We have opened the last of the three this very day.  This cheese is excellent, really good stuff.

You would have to keep it refrigerated, or cooled some way if the power were out, but for bad times when the grid is up, this is great. I usually buy one pound blocks of cheese at Ingles in town and they cost about $7.00 per block.

I wish we had bought at least ten of these, instead of three. But we had never tried it before and we have had some spectacular failures buying large quantities of food items we never tried before.  Maybe they'll have some more if we can get over there this weekend. But I doubt it.


  1. I keep maybe 6 bottles of veg oil on the shelf, but hadn't thought about olive oil lasting longer. Thanks for the tip.
    My Dad would melt a little bacon grease to drizzle over dry dog food. The dogs loved it. I have saved the bacon grease from canning bacon, straining out the little meat bits, pouring it into pint jars and keeping it in the fridge. I just opened a jar that is 3 years old and it is as fresh as can be.
    A while back I experimented with canning cheese sauce and that worked well. But when I tried melting some cheddar cheese and canning that, I wasn't happy with the results. It turned out kind of rubbery and unappetizing. I have heard of some who buy the big blocks of cheese, cut them into smaller blocks and dip those into wax made especially for cheese. If I can find the wax, I may have to test that method for longer term storage.

    1. I never have any bacon or ham grease to save because I always put it on the dogs food. Even if I just fry some potatoes, mixing a little salt in with the left over cooking oil and putting it on the dog food is a treat for them. I buy the Alpo dry food, so it needs a little spicing up.

      The best thing about olive oil, aside from the health issues, is that you can buy it in big cans which is a good way to store it.

      I remember you experimenting with the canned cheese. One of the reasons I read so many women's blogs is that they seem to be the people who really work the food angles. Like you doing the cheese canning, and Lisa making hard tack.

      We cut those big tubes of cheese up one at a time, and put the slices in tupperware containers, then froze them. I'm not sure how I would save cheese if the power went out and stayed out for a long time. I could run the two deep freezers on the generator for a couple of hours a day as long as I had diesel fuel I guess.

      Somewhere around here, I have a similar experiment going with cheese encased in wax, but it was an accident. I bought a lot of cheese in wax that was on sale, and put it in a storage pail. But I didn't mark the pail and haven't been able to find the right one. When I eventually do I'll see how it held up.

  2. Nothing worse than grabbing a bottle of oil out of the cupboard and finding it has "turned".

    1. I have only had that happen with the bottle of Canola oil, and it had been out in the apartment for two years. My main concern is having a lot of some oil I have stored away go bad, and not knowing about it. We don't cook that often, so rotating really doesn't solve the problem there.

  3. Remember back in the 90's when you could get a Makarov for about half of what they are now? I really wanted one but alas, starving college kid.

    Thanks for the chart on the oils Harry. I plan to share it with extended family. --Troy

    1. Most of the early ones came in from Russia, and when the Democrats banned imports the prices really went up.

      That chart is pretty useful for planning purposes, and it seems to be in line with most other guidance on oils.

  4. I am not so keen on canned food mostly because it tends to be loaded with salt and other preservatives that can't be all that good for you on a steady diet. But your Crisco can do double duty to lube and keep your guns clean.
    and just to prove the point.
    Crisco also makes a great hand cleaner degreaser much like Goop hand-cleaner used by mechanics. Living in the oil camps of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela the protocol was to keep a tub of Crisco in the bathroom. The water table had been so messed up from all the oil well drilling that you often got a slug of crude through the shower head or the tap. To clean it off you then had to mix it with Crisco and then use soap to wash the Crisco away. Crisco was also used by every pipe fitter to lube the cutter head when cutting threads on steel pipe.

    1. Canned food is good for long term storage, and as with a lot of other things, in a collapse priorities will change. Probably it isn't as good for you as fresh vegetables and such, but it beats not having either.

      Crisco is good stuff. My mom cooked with it back when you could buy Crisco lard or vegetable shortening. We ate a lot of fried foods like chicken.

  5. I sympathize with your plight. I've the same problem with 7.5 French (for my boy's hand-me-down MAS-36) and Ammo To Go has been pretty good for me:

    1. I've got plenty of 7.5 Mas brass and the bullet is common, so I've been ok there. I have to load my own 7.5 because while the MAS 36 will shoot about anything, my MAS 49/56 is really finicky, and won't cycle with any of the commercial loads. I remember someone else saying Ammo to Go was a good source, I'll have to look it over.

  6. As long a regular vegetable oil is kept sealed and away from oxygen, it will last nearly forever. Freezing may cause cloudiness, but if you warm it gently and stir or shake it, it will recover just fine.

    Crisco is a hydrogenated oil, and it will last forever as long as it is properly sealed away from oxygen. .

    1. I've had good luck storing both. I've only lost one bottle of Canola Oil, and that was out in the apartment for two years.

  7. vicki and harry,
    'rural revolution' the blog by patrice lewis has cheese preserving directions. she makes quite a bit of it and has the addresses of the wax and rennet suppliers.

    harry, don't know if canola oil will work but the monks use rancid olive oil in lampadas.
    you can get the wicks and floating bases from church suppliers. the container is open and filled with water on bottom and oil on top.
    the wick is held in the cork and metal floater and sits on top of the oil.
    i don't use open flame because of cats.
    i will put a candle in a sink or in the bathtub and close the glass shower doors.
    there is quite enough light to see clearly.
    but i don't think lampadas, except the sort that hang [also available] are a good idea with small nosey animals in the building.

    1. I don't know if Canola oil will burn, but it sounds like I should give it a try. I have enough wax candles and just wax, to last a life time but that's no reason I shouldn't add some new idea to the "store of lore."

  8. +1 on the Privi ammo.

    Every round, in every caliber, of Privi ammo I've used has gone "BANG", been accurate, and fairly clean burning.

    I'm not sure how "hot" it's loaded as I don't have a chrono, but it seems pretty "hot" to me.

    As far as the oils and things, I'll take your word on it. That's one thing I think we need to add to our stored food.

    1. You have to have some kind of thing like lard or oil to cook with. Vegetable shortening is not good for you, or so I am assured by those who understand these things. But it keeps a long time, and you can fry meat or potatoes, etc in it.

      Privi has always worked for me and the brass doesn't split at the neck, so I can reload it. It's also relatively inexpensive which is nice.

  9. It's funny that you say olive oil last the longest. For woodwork you can treat wood with any oil off the shelf (nut oils are great) but olive oil goes rancid if you use it. What about canned lard or fat?
    As for the cheese maybe you could wax it to keep it rather than putting it in the freezer, it's something I'd like to experiment with to see how long I could store it (once I get my blasted store finished - planning on having a day on the roof tomorrow).
    On another note I'd like to say thank you for the recommendation for Chickenhawk. One of the best books I've read in a long time, I couldn't put it down! My brother is going to read it next. What a messed up war it was but what an amazing story it's all I could think about all week, I'm going to try and find the second book but it doesn't look so easy to come by. Give me another book recommendation to read next then, I'm trusting your judgement! I like anything that's well written and keeps my interest.

    1. Kevin, if I put anything about canned lard or fat on this I'd have gotten 200 emails about it not being healthy. People are really fixated on "the healthy diet" and I think sometimes they forget that in really tough circumstances, a "less healthy diet" beats none at all. I actually do keep some lard here, in number 10 cans, but I don't actually eat it myself. I usually put it on the dog food in winter.

      I wasn't aware that people used regular oils on furniture. Here we just buy something like paste wax or a specially formulated oil for that. I can see why nut oil would be good for furniture.

      I bought some blocks of cheese that were coated in a thick wax, and I put them in a food pail, but I forgot to mark the contents. Now I can't find the cheese without opening a lot of pails. At some point I'll find them and then I'll see if they are still good, so I have an unintentional experiment going on there.

      I'm glad you liked Chicken Hawk. If you can't find the sequel there in the U.K. (and I don't think it was ever printed there) let me loan you my copy. I will mail it to you. In a lot of ways, the second book is the best.

    2. I might take you up on that offer if I can't find a copy over here! I'll have a good look one night online then let you know. Thanks!

    3. I'd be glad to lend you the book. Just let me know and I'll put it in the mail.

  10. I sure wish we had a grocery like that here. You get cool deals. I try really hard to stay on top of rotating out the oils. They can go rancid easily.

    1. We do get a lot of good things up there. The only problem is that you can never buy the same item two trips in a row. They get in so many boxes of something, and that's it.

      I've only ever lost the one bottle of canola oil, but you are exactly right, oil in general does go off if not properly stored and even then they have a limited shelf life. That's why I like vegetable shortening for long term use.

  11. Virgin coconut oil lasts forever and does not go rancid. Canola oil is GMO as is the stuff in Crisco. As a soapmaker, I also have lots of refined, tasteless and odorless coconut oil around that can be used for cooking , too in a pinch. Coconut oil has a high burn point, unlike olive oil. Coconut oil is heart healthy, too. Don't let anyone tell you that coconut oil is not healthy. Half the world cooks with it. Boycott that Monsanto GMO crap. Soy and cottonseed oils are also GMO. For cooking, I also use cold pressed sunflower oil (organic) from our Co-op. Olive oil is great on salads and in sauces, but smokes at relatively low temps for frying. Now bacon grease is a whole other can can it or freeze it. Great stuff. Lard is good, too, but goes rancid quickly unless you buy the stuff from the store that has a ton of preservatives.

    1. I have never seen coconut oil for sale here in Georgia.

      It's pretty hard to find any kind of produce today that is not GMO, virtually everything for sale in a grocery store is. I can get non GMO tomatoes for a little while every year from roadside stands but that's about it.

      I do keep some lard, from the grocery store, but mostly to put on dog food in the winter.

  12. I have a couple cases of PP 5.56. Have shot some of their ammo and it is good stuff. Mak's are good guns if heavy for what they are and with limited capacity. That being said the low cost can go off track depending on how you choose to equip the gun. I do not know what mags cost for them and good luck finding a good CCW holster..

    With Rugers under $350 and S&W/ Glocks in the $450 range I might choose to go with a more modern handgun .

    1. Mags for the Makarov aren't too bad from outfits like Sarco and CDN.

      I bought the one's I have more as curiosities and collectibles than for actual carry. But then, when I bought them they were at giveaway prices.

  13. Check out Survival Sherpas blog about coconut oil.

    1. I never heard of that blog, should be interesting. A sherpa is a guide at Everest, right?

  14. Great information on how long cooking oil lasts. And you just reminded me that a friend gave me some vegetarian hot dogs that I put in the freezer. I think I will go and get on to thaw out for dinner. Together with my rice, broccoli, and zucchini.

    1. My daughter was a vegetarian for a few years. We bought vegetarian food from Morning Side and another outfit, something like "Bocca" and it was actually pretty good. The vegetarian sausages were better than real ones.

    2. I've had the meatless Boca "Cheeseburgers" many times before, and they're very good.

      If you didn't know they were meatless, you'd think they were maybe a turkey burger or some other meat than beef.

      My wife was big into eating turkey burgers, and then I brought home some of the Boca ones, and now she eats those.

      They also smell a whole lot better than turkey burgers when she fries them!

    3. Dr. Jim, I agree completely. Those things were expensive but we were buying them in bulk and that cut down the price some. I loved those sausages.

      I never trusted turkey burghers because I really didn't know what was in them. The Boca burgers are good, but the Morningside burgers weren't that great. They made good little breakfast sausages though.

      If they didn't cost so much, I'd still be eating those but when my daughter gave up the vegetarian life style we stopped spending the extra money.

    4. Ahhh...yes, I forgot to comment on the sausages!

      Being a bachelor at the time, I tended to be really good at microwave cooking, but the sausages were about the only things I broke out the frying pan for!

      Let 'em get a bit crispy, and you'd never know they were meatless.

      And coming from an avowed carnivore, that's saying something!

    5. The vegetarian food can be pretty good. If it wasn't so expensive, I might still be eating it.

  15. Hey Harry,


    I know Spam cans of 1.62*54R have been banned and I did not know the prices on what was left doubled or almost tripled. Im glad I got a couple of Spam cans for the Mosin's.

    I really like Mosin's. I don't know if you guys knew that or not. My Mosin's get fed brass. They really like brass. A clean Mosin is a happy Mosin:)

    1. CC, only Russian. You can still get Polish, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech, Yugoslavian, etc. But the prices are high, very high indeed. You would be better off in the long run buying a reloading starter kit, and buying the Winchester Metric 7.62 X 54R.

      These rifles were made for soft steel cases, and that's mostly what I shoot out of them. Brass is a lot better, it molds itself to the chamber sides when the powder ignites and gives you a better seal. But the soft steel has been used in that chambering for over 100 years, and nobody has a beef. Like you, I shoot brass when I can, even so.

      I like Mosins. They are damned good rifles. I was reading a book about the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, and the Russians who were fighting there were armed with the Model 1891, essentially the same rifle you and I like, just a little longer and with different sight delineations.

      Wish I was down there tonight, I'd go out on the pier and smoke my pipe.

  16. I wrote this reply to your comment and then thought you may not go bac and read it:
    We had no road closures here, Hwy Patrol and Sheriff Deputies heavily involved, but not intrusive. Some cyclists obey traffic rules, they are vehicles and must obey, but not every one does here either. We had a meeting with a Hwy Patrol Officer who came to talk about biker safety. It did not go well. Bikers were very upset with drivers and vice versa. Some angry driver drove a truck into the port-a-potties at the canyon rest stop at night and turned over one and messed up the other two. So lots of bad blood it seems. But the bikers we met were very polite, thanked us, and seemed to appreciate our help.

    1. Inger, I always go back and read your blog from time to time, but I appreciate your going to the trouble to put a response to my comment here.

      The situation is the same here. Some of the bikers are decent, but too many are arrogant and just think they own the road. The ones that drive four abreast and won't get over make me the maddest. Not that I am happy about the only road coming out here being closed for five hours on a Saturday when they have their race.

      You know that wasn't me that drove into the porta potties! I'd have blown them up! ;-)

  17. on the macadamia nut oil on your list. just read anything from macadamias is poison to dogs.
    thought i would warn anyone reading about the oils.

    1. I suspect macadamia nut oil is out of my price range, as the nuts certainly are. So I don't have any. But it's good that you put the comment, because if I did have the oil, I wouldn't throw it away, I'd give it to the dogs and never dream it was bad for them. Somebody else might do that too, but your warning will prevent it.

  18. I never knew you could freeze shortening. I should do that. I keep some for certain recipes with cookies. I hardly use it. It would be great to freeze it.