Friday, 17 June 2022

Why are people so terrificationized by mushrooms?

 Why are people so Terrificationized* by mushrooms?

Warning this is a rant and I'll explain why at the end, or you could just skip reading this but you will miss out on the grunt of the text.

Boletus calopus (not edible but not deadly either)
Highly edible Chanterelle (Cantherellus) desired by many a mushroom hunter .

Ready to cook

Boletus edulis (the prized Cep or Penny bun more commonly known as the Porcini Mushroom, prized by the Italians and many other Europeans).

Is it because we were told all of this BS from our parents who were also told the same BS from theirs etc etc.? That if you even touch them you will die? Is it from fairy tales we were read as children; crazy stories in the press??

First up I want to say GREAT!!!! (in response the above question in the title because that means all the more for our family to pick and enjoy LOL!

For example: in the United Kingdom there is an unwritten code that one should definitely kick over/trample any mushrooms they see whilst out walking the dog etc. EVEN if it is a protected area. I've challenged many a walker over this and the response is always the same and goes a little something like this:

"I don't want my dog eating them as they could kill them". I smile and nod and don't bother to reply as it is useless against such ridiculous logic (well it's not logic to begin with is it?).

The same can be heard from people in Australia and some of my (yes anecdotal of course) American compadres have looked at me like I've lost the plot when I suggested we go mushroom picking.

No, no, this is a strong fear in many and most of those many just reply that they have zero intention of eating any wild mushroom unless it came out of the supermarket and even then they steer clear of the super market ones.

This is as close to a superstition as possible I reckon LOL.

Across Europe where mushroom picking is supposed to be part of the culture; well it is part of the culture but no longer in the most part for the young person who spends their time bogged ten feet deep into a small screen. They will only dare to eat a mushroom if it comes from Lidl!

The only significant "culture' who is picking wild mushrooms are those engaged in the commercial side of things. IMHO.

For example in Bulgaria, a culture steeped in hunting traditions where hunting is and can be enjoyed by all and NOT only for the wealthy; out of doors activities does not extend to mushroom picking amongst the young and is as rare as finding hens teeth.

How do I know this? am I talking out of my....?

Well I've travelled a lot and lived in many places and when in these regions where the mushrooms abound, no one to be seen except commercial pickers (if you even see them as usually they have "secrete' locations" just like fishermen LOL!

Go out into the forests and only pensioners to be seen walking/Hiking. In all of my adventures across Bulgaria I can count on two hands at most the number of young people out walking hiking let alone picking mushrooms and or fishing and only the "older set" shooting.

Maybe you are now saying hey in that little country there is nothing to hunt. Well that's not true, or there is so little forest there are no mushrooms to pick, still not true (for Bulgaria at least). No, my dear friend's this all stems from the fact that most are:

TERRIFICATIONIZED by the diminutive mushroom.

YES YES! There are some which can kill if you (Amanita phalloides- The Death Cap) eat them, no antidote but just learn which ones they are; how much simpler could that be? No need to be afraid of everything, right?

I learnt my trade globally (and believe it or not to begin with in Australia- yes we have edible mushrooms) from Polish, French and Russian friends who are all avid collectors of wild mushrooms. 

I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy these fruits of the forests and can profess that it might be great to be able to build your survival shelter come what may, but without food and water your shelter will contain a skeleton at the end of the day. 

You must know as many things as you can to eat safely if you want to be into "bushcraft" survival (it's not just about how to light a fire or build a shelter, it's about water and food, then a shelter and fire if you can) and also it's great to be able to build a fire from anything but again no good if you are now at a stage where you wished you could have identified those wild mushrooms and you will starve to death in front of a warm camp fire with food growing all around you (ok not just mushrooms of course -all of that "green stuff' you failed to learn which was edible and which will poison you LOL.

How can we profess to want to be in touch with nature but at the same time terrified of her?

Many (young) people (age range 13- 30) could not light a fire even if given a box of matches, dry wood and a cigarette lighter for good measure, let alone a can of petrol just to make sure. They would rather spend away their free time in the shopping malls.

That stupid joke about: "Where does milk come from"? is beginning to sound not that stupid anymore these days. Puntzy schools where the parents pay dearly for their child's education have subjects like "getting in touch with nature" where at best you might find some teachers trying to show certain age groups how to light a fire out of doors. You're paying for this stupidity.

It's all good and well to know that one could probably eat most animals (with few exceptions and or special treatment (such as fish from the puffer family) but another thing to know about what plant and fungal foods are available from the perspective of the survivalist. Then it will become a challenge to all if they can only find mushrooms and abundant plant material but no fish or four legged creatures in sight let alone be carrying a rifle/bow and know how to use it in regards to hunting.

We don't have to be into killing animals if hunting is not your thing but at the same time why kick over mushrooms, they are one of natures most beautiful things (ask any macro photographer engaged in this activity).

Now as to the "why kick over mushrooms and WHY this is a very dumb ass thing to do, especially if you are terrificationized by them;

BECAUSE if you do happen to trample over the Death cap mushroom or the Destroying angel mushrooms and then get all of this stuff all over your shoes, there is a much greater chance that you will end up touching this stuff and or your beloved animal will come unstuck by licking your shoes biting them picking them up and carrying them around the house etc. Just leave the mushrooms alone eh? For similar reasons I'm not shooting anything I don't intend to bring back and eat.  (with the exceptions of feral animal control)

So what does (one of) the most deadly mushroom look like?

click this link

*My son made up this great word and I love it!

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Wearing glasses and using a rifle scope

 Wearing Glasses and Using a Rifle Scope

BCT Quick Tips:

All sorts has been said about this over the internet.

Here are the starting facts:

Scope in Use is a Vortex Crossfire II 3-9X40,

So this means it has from X3- X9 magnification range and the front optic diameter is 40mm (not a 40mm focal length- just to be clear). 

Using it at over X4 when wearing glasses isn't recommend by me as any slight head movement (hence eye movement) you will not be able to see through the lens quickly as the magnification increases the field of view decreases and this means (in practical terms) the alignment of your eye must be exactly on optical axis. Now this latter aspect is really important if you wear glasses to read* and see stuff at close range.

* I'm only considering glasses for reading here, not for any other kind of optical astigmatism corrections etc.

I got this scope because it isn't too bad in low light so anything like this will help if one wears glasses for reading and or their vision becomes worse in low light cf with strong bright daylight when your iris is stopping down which helps to correct for poor vision due to the age of your eyes but in low light without glasses this can be a problem when the Iris opens up to let more light in.

The importance of a good and repeatable cheek weld is paramount but before this the wearer of glasses can not be as sloppy as someone who doesn't wear glasses when setting up the correct eye relief. 

The reason why this is important is because you want to be able maximise whatever eye relief your scope has for proper vision and of course is all part of shooting skills.

Be sure to correctly focus the reticle and once focused do not change this to see what you are aiming at. Make sure your frames keep your glasses close to your face and are not slopping around because you will be turning your head in a position which is not normal when reading and if your lenses slip.

Depending upon the glasses (eg reading glasses), wearing them will/could give you a slight magnification increase to whatever the scope is set to.

BCT Quick tips.

 A Bad Experience at the Range

(but Not what you expect)

In desperation trying to smoke out the hordes of mosquitos!

Today, I decided to test out how far off the alignment for my scope was after using a VipeRay from Vector optics to perform a pre-alignment indoors.

We got to the range and it was a bit overgrown, set the target up, got camera ready on target, then put my eye to the scope fired off a shot and saw that it looked like it went like 1ft above the target! It was right on line but 1ft too high! 

Well that wasn't expected. Now before the next shot we had to light a small fire and make some smoke, because the mosquitos were beginning to suck all of my blood out and I was losing concentration rapidly trying to zero in the scope. Soon to be losing consciousness from blood loss!

So half drained of blood and slapping the shit out of the mosquitos,  I was asking myself how could this thing (the rifle scope) be so way off?

Well easy, because if the LASER was pointing upwards from within the mount, it doesn't have to be much of an angle (in fact a very, very small angle), you would never see it with the naked eye, and especially indoors at close range, and when I was winding up the elevation to match that LASER dot I was in fact going well overboard with the scope elevation! 

This now, I realise is a problem with cheap LASER alignment tools because in order to do this the LASER must have at least an optical accuracy on par with a good scientific instrument, not some glorified LASER pointer in the guise of a alignment tool for a rifle scope.

So to cut a long story short and because I was getting pretty darn short with the situation, we beat a hasty retreat from that range vowing never to return there because I doubt those blood suckers were going to be put off by some crap mosquito repellents for sure.  

Only by setting fire to half of the bush and hiding within that smoke screen could we survive there but of course with all of that smoke, not being able to even see the front optics of the scope, let along where I was supposed to be aiming LOL.

The photo's don't show it but my legs and arms were covered in blood sucking, heck knows what disease ridden mosquitoes. This is what happens when it has been raining for so long and you're desperate to get to the range! You're going to pay but not with money but blood!


What did I learn? Don't bother going to the outdoor range after a week long of heavy rains unless one wants to be dancing around those black swarms of 6 legged vampires!

There's no shortcuts to aligning a rifle scope!


Tuesday, 14 June 2022



Studies and Observations Group 

Just bought this the other day.........

Blade is very securely held within the body of the knife by a strong spring.

MIC (of course for the low price)
But despite MIC it carries a lifetime warranty.
Changeable pocket clip but not without pulling the knife apart.
Axis type lock
Finger gimping on a cryogenically treated d2 blade.

Ok sized stop pin but thick liners. against G10 scales.
Comes in several colors of G10. Reddish, Black, etc.
TERMINUS XR Blade moves against ball bearings.

The SOG TERMINUS XR has Good grippy texture on the scales.

Stay tuned for the field test on BCT.

Friday, 10 June 2022

 Check this out the Extrema Ratio KTalon

Available now. if Karambits are your thing.

Not a bushcraft tool but a fully tactical/martial arts item.

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Basic Gun Silencer Physics

Basic* Gun Silencer Physics

Hi! If you have come here it is more than likely you are interested in this subject.

To that end I have a newish channel where I will try and focus upon the fact and not the BS about silencers and moderators for PCPs.

To help me do this  I will over the course of time present preliminary results from testing certain real gun silencers and discussing their physics compared to what might be happening within a PCP silencer/moderator. To make this easier for me, i will mostly just use the term silencer regardless of any gun definitions, true definitions of the word; because the term silencer is mostly interpreted with noise reduction when used in conjunction with firearms.

If you want to learn some basic stuff about gun silencers Vs PCP silencers then please visit here

As a scientist I have crazy curiosity about many things and one of those is trying to understand the dynamics within a silencer, especially a PCP silencer.

There are countless designs of PCP silencers, just like that for their firearms counterparts. Many manufacturers would have you believe isn their "witchcraft"  Vs their competitions.

The fact is, the ballistics of a PCP slug or pellet is entirely different to that of a deflagration event, ie put simply the rapid combustion of fuel within a gun cartridge. 

Thus PCP moderator/silencers do not have to confer to similar designs as those seen for effective (as apposed to BS)  firearm silencers. In fact too much "stuff' inside of a PCP silencer may impede the velocity of the slug significantly and just unnecessarily weight the barrel down. In many PCP's significant noise is generated from the hammer strike and this noise can only be attenuated by insulting the region of the weapon with some dense material, something which is more than likely not possible to do.

*BTW I say basic and it is very basic physics because the physics involved in high pressure air travelling at great velocity (even if it is sub sonic velocities) is difficult to model accurately and many flow rate characteristics change over 100m/s and we are certainly dealing with velocities far greater than 100m/s. However, when trying to design a proper silencer, engineers must take into account the specifics otherwise it is just "bucket chemistry" at the end of the day or "bucket mathematics", or however one wants to put it but certainly not real science.

For a real firearm, the projectile usually travels ahead of any expanding gases, as to the delay of exiting of the gases behind the projectile, and hence a delay and reduction in the sound pressure wave, proper internal design is NOT a fluke.

Monday, 30 May 2022


 Recently I picked up a PCP branded as a GUNPOWER SHADOW, no manufacturing label at all on it however clearly an AIRFORCE AIRGUNS product. (LOL just like Reximex making the Ixia AKA throne 2 but with zero adjustment/fixed power for the UK market LOL). I love it when manufacturer's start with the BS. They must think people are really stupid.

Identical to the early Talon from Airforce Airguns (funny that!)
Branded the "Shadow" not the "Talon" LOL!

UK labelling, total absence of place of manufacture both in the manual and the weapon itself. Why this is is probably due to some legal requirements/taxation avoidance? Who knows. However, clearly Gunpower are modified (zero power adjustment) weapons made by AirForce specifically for the UK market, where there are stringent weapons restrictions. This would be annoying to the British person for sure as they end up purchasing expensive toys; ok that's another subject altogether, ie global gun laws!

In the place of AIRFORCE Airguns, we see "Gunpower" and the absence of Made in the USA

Valve assembly on the still current "standard tank" from Airforce Airguns.
According to this page

New tank looks identical

Burst disk
No gauge and not possible to insert one on this old system.(as is without some additions). First to remove the valve system from the bottle (degassed of course!), this hole will be where a special tool is inserted to remove the valve assembly from the actual tank.
A British manual, basically identical in wording as for the USA manual. Note however the British gun has no provision for power adjustment (unlike my rifle) because it (the hammer adjustment) would be located on the LHS of the rifle as shown below.

Note Power wheel adjuster (this is not a model for sale within Britain). Not without a full FAC as I understand the law there.
Power adjuster for hammer
The "old red" safety 
A bit of dust on the breech from long term sitting around and doing nothing!
Barrel in perfect condition

Simple construction

The business end, you can make out a barrel guide (sliver aluminium disc surrounding the barrel.

Clearly it is made byAirforce Airguns in the USA as the user manuals (there were 2, why I have no idea) are basically identical to the USA manuals and the gun is definitely identical in every way to the USA models. This one, including the power wheel adjustment (which is absent on all "Gunpower" models (excepting where legally allowed, ie the British must apply for a full on gun license and reason to own one) in the UK but of course the names of the Airforce guns are identical!

 I suspect these were models to be sold within Europe but some came with power wheel adjustment dials for countries where permitted with a FAC etc could be legal to own, ie the same rifle as the USA branded one. 

Interestingly many PCPs sold into Europe are rebranded and or are modified to a fixed lower power level in joules to meet some of these countries legal requirements.

Anyway this one is the classic single shot 0.22cal/5.5mm

I think it was  bargain for about $150 USD brand new if not shop soiled! The shop guy told me it had been in stock for about 8-10 years and never been fired.

Ok so it probably needs new O-rings, we will see if it can hold the tank pressure (update, it can!). I examined the barrel internally and there was no signs of any corrosion or obvious deterioration, that was my first check in the shop. 

The power wheel was a bit sticky to begin with but once I moved it, it turns very smoothly, no doubt some grease binding over so many years of not moving. The breech works smoothly and everything else appears normal.

Exteriorly, the gun appears in good condition cosmetically.

Due to the "future proof-ness"  of Airforce Airguns and 3rd party manufacturers of parts, it seems this PCP will have a new long life.


 Well here's the funny thing. Airforce Airguns just got back to me (via email) and i won't breech their confidentiality statement in their email but they say, yeah they did make parts for Gunpower in the UK but can not sell parts to the UK? Well, just as well  I'm not in the UK but I have no idea what that is about?

In fact I'm not sure what any of it is about as i said the Gunpower guns are identical to the Airforce Airguns but without adjustment so clearly they are not ripping off the USA manufacturer its some sort of trade agreement no doubt, "we sell our guns to u at fixed powers and but they must be rebranded because we don't make fixed powered guns". Ok that's not a real quotation from Airforce Airguns but a probably one should they ever admit this.

So this is a question I asked Airforce Airguns about the shroud diameter and they told me they wouldn't know???? How can that be possible if they made the gun? I'll tell you how, because of the laws regarding "silencers/moderators" You can not be seen to be even talking about such things in certain countries. That is no aftermarket thread shown above, nor was it made in the UK and not by this mysterious Gunpower. It does indeed look like a 3/4" 16 UNF at a guess LOL

More to come