Monday, July 28, 2014

Dave Thomas, R.I.P.

I note the passing of my very good friend Dave Thomas, who for 17 years was the Executive Director of USPSA, after a long battle with cancer.

Let me say flat out that Dave was my brother, a fine and honorable man with a great sense of humor and a heart the size of the sun. Dave shepherded USPSA from the early days of flying by the seats of our pants into a national sporting organization. He was one hell of a shot, too. He was one of the original instructors who signed on with us for the NSSF Media Education Program, and he never hesitated to do whatever was necessary in the fight for our rights.

Dave Thomas helped shape the sport we love, and he did so by caring so very much not for the shooting sports in the abstract, but for the people who come out every Saturday or every Sunday, who set the stages up, who run the times, who bring their friends out the next week. Dave loved practical shooting, but he loved practical shooters more. And all of us benefited from that love.

I am reminded of a piece of verse from Edna St.Vincent Millay:

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.

Thank you for the great times, Dave, and for your commitment. Rest in peace.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Remington Steps Up on R-51

From Gear Scout:

Remington Arms Company put out a statement today that addresses issues with theRemington R51 pistol. The company acknowledges performance issues and explains that the problems customers may have experienced resulted from the process of transitioning the pistol from prototype into mass production. 
“These problems have been identified and solutions are being implemented,” reads the press release, “with an expected production restart in October.” 
Remington says anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol, along with two additional magazines and a custom Pelican case, by calling Remington at (800) 243-9700.

Liars, Damn Liars and Fools

Of course I'm speaking of Colorado legislators. This from AP:
DENVER (AP) — A law expanding background check requirements on Colorado gun sales has been in effect for about a year, and an Associated Press analysis of state data compiled during that span shows the projected impact was vastly overstated in a key budget report. 
The discovery has prompted a prominent Democratic lawmaker to question whether the Legislature misallocated millions of taxpayer dollars based on the flawed estimate, which has provided an opportunity for Republicans to resume attacks over regulation that already has come at great political cost to Colorado liberals.
Read the whole thing. It turns out the "40% of gun sales are 'unregulated'" meme was just another flat-out lie from the Bloomberg shills so beloved by Governor John Hickenlooper. Wow! Color me surprised! Here's more, from ABC News:
Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said that using the 40 percent figure as a basis for Colorado's projection "calls into question lawmakers' access to accurate information on not only this, but all firearms-related legislation."
In total, there were about 311,000 background checks done during the first year of the expansion in Colorado, meaning the 13,600 checks between private sellers made up about 4 percent of the state total. 
Further, the private review figure includes the number of checks done at gun shows, which have been required for years in Colorado. The law also requires checks for online sales, which is new for transactions within Colorado. But such vetting was already required on interstate sales. 
Still, interstate activity is tallied in the private background check total.
Taken together, this indicates that the number of newly mandated background checks that have been performed is even lower than 13,600.
What happens when you listen to a nasty little fascist.

It was all a lie!

The numbers hand-delivered by Bloomberg...the hugely slanted Denver Post poll that Democrats waved like a bloody shirt...the testimony from Bloomberg's fake was all a lie!

November is coming...

Make the bastards pay.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

First Impressions Gemini Custom GP-100... a word, WOWIE ZOWIE!

I bought a Wiley Clapp 3-inch GP-100 (a TALO exclusive, I believe) off either Gunbroker or's the Gary James review from AMERICAN RIFLEMAN back in 2012 when the revolver was introduced:
Shooting the Wiley Clapp Ruger GP100 is a delight. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a nice piece to begin with, but I have to admit I really liked the grip. It fit my small-to-medium-size hands wonderfully and gave superior control and recoil absorption. The wide notch of the Novak rear sight allows for a bit of daylight on either side of the front sight, providing for quick and easy target acquisition—even in low light. While the action did not appear to have been tuned much, if at all, the revolver performed extremely well both in single-action and double-action operation, the trigger pull being crisp on the former and smooth and unglitchy on the latter. Bottom line: It was simply a lot of fun to shoot, and I did about as well with it as I can with any short-barreled .357.
I've wanted one for a while because:  
  1. Wiley is a really good friend of mine, even though he once almost got me killed sliding off an icy road on the way to GUNSITE, and...
  2. The ones I handled seemed to be really nice revolvers.
I saw one for a good price and snapped it up. To be honest, Wiley did indeed "write the book," in this case, books, including CONCEALED CARRY — THE SHOOTERS GUIDE TO SELECTING HANDGUNS and numerous articles on concealed carry and snubby revolvers (here's an example, and a list). Although I have learned an incredible amount about guns and shooting from Wiley, to the best of my knowledge he doesn't own a pair of 5.11 tactical pants. I mean, he was a Marine in Vietnam and spent a career in law enforcement, but I don't know whether you can call him a "tactical guy" or not.

Wiley's done a couple of designs for Colt, including the TALO Lightweight Commander and a really nifty Peacemaker in .44 Special, before the GP-100. I liked the Novak sights, I like the Roper-inspired wood grip panels (that mirror his grip design on the 1911 and the S.A.A.).

The gun out-of-the-box was okay, but I had heard great things about Marc and Karen Morganti at Gemini Custom, and the custom Rugers pictured on their site were to die for.

Here's what I asked Mark and Karen to do on Wiley Clapp gun, essentially a "Basic" package.

• Complete action tuning
• Crown barrel/chamfer cylinder throats
• Recontour and polish trigger
• "BOB" hammer
• Dehorn for carry
• Eliminate cylinder endshake
• Replace all springs
• Polish all plungers, springs, whatever
• Re-bead blast if necessary

I passed on the porting, because I blow hot and cold on ported pistols. After talking with Marc, the hammer's been polished and trimmed, but not removed (as it has been on my competition GP-100).

I got the gun back yesterday, and today between storms and visitors I put maybe 60 rounds through it before the storm caught me, mostly .38 Specials including ARMSCOR FMGs and Winchester +P 158-gr. Double action trigger pull is amazing...didn't even shoot it in the single action mode. I'll actually mkeasure it in the next day or two (remember, visitors!), but speaking as somewhat of a connoisseur of Ruger trigger pulls, this is one of the best I have. The gun is beautiful; the gun is smooth; the gun shoots like an extension of your hand.

This may be the best defensive revolver I've ever shot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Against All Odds...

...I got the podcast done! I feel like I've been running through mud all day...I think it's one too many sheets of drywall. I'm stymied in a bunch of projects by small parts, so I sat down today and tried to order all the little pieces to actually finish something. I talked to my friend Andy Langlois at Andy's Leather about the sling and magazine pouches for the Browning BLR project...Andy is the creator and moderator of the Scout Rifle Forum, which I have relentlessly raided for info, and he's going to be doing a piece for us on DRTV. He's doing a Rhodesian sling for the BLR, BTW.

Am pretty interested in the SilencerCo Salvo 12 gauge silencer...shades of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN! Shotgun silencers are, to me, problematic...questionable noise suppression in exchange for a big measure of unwieldy. So the SilencerCo can be a breakthrough. Be interesting to test it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday & Drywall

...yep, what can I say? Big fun!

Actually got out and shot a Pawnee Station cowboy match yesterday at Great Guns in Nunnery, CO. It went very well (4th out if 36; my Sweetie was 8th)...I can think of a couple of points where I gave up seconds, but not too many. Interestingly enough, I gave up a couple of seconds on the last stage, which was a straight up stand and shoot...usually I smoke through those because I'm good on transitions from gun to gun. Unfortunately, as I stepped to the line I thought wow, I'm having a really good match! So that evil little voice whispered, "Back it down a degree and preserve your place finish!" LOL! About the 3rd rifle shot I thought, That's really stupid...nobody's winning a Cadillac here!" and sped back up, but by the I'd lost the seconds.

There were LOTS of new shooters at the match...great for the sport...harder on me and the other couple of range officers who take the new shooters through the stages. Not really a problem, but, MAN, a huge number of gun malfunctions! Yes, even old gun designs are prone to failure...usually (or maybe I should say as usual) it's ammunition. In Cowboy, if the shooter declares a "broken gun" it's handed on and taken off-line. That's because most cowboy jams tend to be cataclysmic...try running and uncrimped round through a lever action rifle...or any round through a new Marlin. Also, I especially don't want new competitors "futzing" with a jammed gun on the's not like it's "tap-rack-bang" with a's too easy to point the gun where it shouldn't be pointed, like at me!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Stunning Scandal Uncovered!

As the world continues to fall apart, New Jersey residents huddle in their homes as anacondas run wild...from Fox:
New Jersey reptile expert reportedly told to 'keep mouth shut' about anaconda on loose 
A reptile expert said Friday that he wants to go "on the record" and confirm that New Jersey authorities are searching for an anaconda, not a boa constrictor in the state's largest lake. 
"I was sworn to keep my mouth shut by local officials to avoid causing a panic," Gerald Andrejcak, the specialist,told "Now that there's a panic, I'm going on the record."
Personally, I'm terrified! I mean, it's been raining a lot at the Secret Hidden Bunker, and anacondas are notoriously sneaky. An anaconda ate Jon Voight -- and don't tell me that was just a movie! Btw! Am I the only one who thinks that was Jennifer Lopez' greatest role? And I'm just spitballing here, but do you think an anaconda could swallow Chris Christie?

Friday, July 18, 2014


A surprisingly large number of people, including a good friend, are taken with the Browning BLR lever action rifle project. This makes me think that you may see the final project on SHOOTING GALLERY as well as DRTV. Got the Negrini gun case for the project this week.

My Wiley Clappy Ruger GP-100 is coming back from Gemini Custom next week. I've decided to focus my non-cowboy training on the GP-100 for next year's ICORE championships. I sucked so hard this year -- and, yes, you get to see it on SG! -- that I want to strive for some kind of redemption. I'm going to make a few changes to my competition GP-100 to get it to 100%...I also plan to use the revolver in IDPA...I'll probably shoot the Worlds in Puerto Rico, so Tom Yost will have someone to make fun of.

Magnum Research is offering a .22 LR version of their superb .22Magnums:
Pomona, NY – USA based, Magnum Research, Inc. (MRI) has once again expanded their Magnum Lite® rimfire rifle product line with the introduction of the MLR Ultra 22LR with a high-tech modular tensioned-type barrel. 
The modular barrel means that it has been constructed utilizing a superior quality of steel for the barrelwhich is attached to stainless steel breech and muzzle caps inside a thin-walled aluminum construction. The Ultra barrel took over a year to develop internally at Magnum Research and was extensively tested utilizing a variety of ammunition. When tested for accuracy against similarly constructed barrels, the Ultra barrel outshoots them significantly. Part of the reason for this is the patented heat sink located strategically inside the Ultra barrel itself.

While I have no direct experience, those tensioned barrels have a reputation of being wicked accurate. When I talked to MR a while back, I told them I'd love to see a .22 LR version. Hope to have a T&E soon!

Also for general cool .22 stuff, this from Jerking The Trigger, AGP Arms has a bunch of totally cool 10/22 stuff, including a take-down conversion. I kinda like the orange!