Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bragging Rights Shot!

Damn deer! Spent all day today trying to get wire in place to keep the deer out. About noon, Newt went crazy, and low and behold a mulie doe getting ready to keep the fence over our patio. Newt ran her off, but she stopped downhill at about 60 yards and stood there. My Sweetie lobbed a couple of rocks, but the mulie — the bitch who'd obviously just eaten almost all my heirloom tomatoes — just stood there and stared.

So I hauled out my Gamo .177 Fusion and some of their light pellets. The doe moved into the scrub at about 70 yards (I have steel at 60 yards, so I had a really good reference). I held about a foot high and a bunch more to the left to deal with the wind and the light pellet. pulled the trigger and the doe launched out of the scrub, trying to figure out what just stung the hell out of her on the right haunch, then took off  like a scalded dog. Not a bad shot, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I Think It's Saturday

My Sweetie left me all alone today so she could go shoot a 3-Gun match. Sigh. I can't take a knee or get up from prone in less than a day, so no 3-Gun this summer. I'll probably shoot a cowboy match next weekend, and I'm looking forward to the next USPSA match. No running and gunning, but at least pulling the trigger.

(Courtesy OUTDOORHUB; read the article…it's funny…and may save your life!)

The damn deer have sacked our garden, twice today. Last year we had no problems until fall, and that was small stuff. So we got cocky. We'd got a bunch of various and sundry anti-deer stuff that we thought worked…HA!  So we've got temporary wire up, and we'll work on something more permanent tomorrow. Meanwhile, we left a surprise on a couple of sacrificial plants, jalapeno spray cut with ghost pepper salt. Lick it off, little fellows! That probably won't work, ether. I have several things here that I know will work, most of them beginning with a .4, but it's not season. Plus, my Sweetie has an "absolute prohibition" on annoying the mulies here on the Secret Hidden Bunker Ranch. There are a couple of pretty impressive bucks who live here. They'll probably be here long after I'm gone.

I'm agonizing a little bit over the .338 Ruger Frontier Scout project. It's got a typical Ruger forward mount using Ruger rings. I'm not crazy about Ruger rings, and the rail can be replaced with a Weaver/Picatinny. I'm going to mount the Leupold Scout and see how I like it on the Ruger rail. Also agonizing over bottom metal, leaning toward converting the Frontier to magazine-feed...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Some Thoughts on the Republican Convention

From the article by Austin Bay
"But GetRealLand’s a bitch of a place, where you wake up and the accelerating whine you hear isn’t dream noise but an incoming 82 millimeter mortar round."
One more point…to the Republicans who have snubbed the Convention…while you're traveling around wherever it is you're traveling with your collective thumbs up your collective butts, I'd like to reintroduce myself.

I'm the guy who came to Washington numerous times. I met you in your offices or at Congressional Sportsmen events. Several of you I shot alongside in shotgun events. Hey, you might even remember I spoke at several of those more formal events! Do any of you remember what I said?

Let me give you a little bit of a reminder. I'm the guy who said I was there for "guns." You know…"firearms"…not the "growth of wetlands"…not "America's hunting heritage" although I am an avid big game hunter…not the Second Amendment in the abstract, but as an armed civilian who carries a gun — a loaded gun…I remember that caused some of you a bit of heartburn — every single day, every time I walk out of the house, in fact.

And if you recall, I pushed every one of you on that point. Thinking back, you might remember the guy who refused to let you get a pass because you said you owned a gun, a $25,000 Beretta shotgun, to be specific. I'm the guy who said, after speech after speech of how much money you had funneled into "wetland reclamation," that I didn't give a damn whether every duck in America, including Daffy and Howard the Duck, spontaniously combusted (is that why you never asked me back?). I said then, and I say now, that I was and am here for the guns.

I stand for the Second Amendment — unequivocally, unashamedly, unapologetically, unconditionally. I told you then and I tell you now that I live the Second Amendment, that my friends, my viewers, my listeners, my readers LIVE the Second Amendment…it is an integral part of our life every single day. I told you that we carry guns not because we are afraid, but because we are responsible, that we take our role as citizens as seriously as our Founders hoped we would.

I told you that we train and we train hard; that the gun on our hip represents the line that cannot and will not be crossed; that we pray on the day when everything slides in all drections, one of us is there rather than an unarmed mom and her children. You smiled, and you listened politely, and I'm sure you thought I was full of shit.

Well, probably…but the majority of you who are NOT at the Convention, who are making cutsie-pie remarks more suited to, say, a 14-year-old girl than someone who was actually elected to represent people, all assured me that you stood with the Second Amendment…even though you don't own guns…and don't have carry permits…and don't hunt, unless it's with your $25,000 shotgun and its paid for by a lobbyist. In fact, one of you said to me that, "You stood with the Second, until the very end."

Well, here we are, at the very end. The Second, not to mention the First, the Fourth and the Fifth (and probably all the rest) is imperiled. We face a candidate who wants door-to-door confiscation of our guns, the end of concealed carry, the destruction of Heller and McDonald, who basically wants the complete destruction of the gun culture — our, or at least my — culture and our butts in boxcars headed East.

Where are you?

You said you would stand with me and the Second until the end. I say again, where are you? Checking dumpster fires? Scamming a few more free trips with some lobbyist and hot members of the opposite sex?

Where are you?

I recall song lyrics from the 1960s, the last time America was pushed to the very brink, the last time we looked into the abyss and decided to step back. From Steppenwolf, the song "Monster;"

"America, where are you now
Don't you care about your sons and daughters
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster"

How are those dumpster fires going for you?

Bulletin from Steven Hunter

"A rare communique, simply to remind or to inform folks who might be interested in the second iteration of "Shooter," based on the 2007 movie and my 1993 book "Point of Impact" that it has been postponed one week out of respect for events in Dallas. Originally scheduled to debut today, July 19, on USA network, right after "MMA Classics: Brad Pitt v. George Clooney TO THE DEATH," will instead see air for the first time next Tuesday, July 26, at 10 p.m., after "Robots and Lesbians: Season Seven," which should get it a good lead-in. Thanks, best."

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ready For the Next Week…More or Less...

We had a great time at GUNSITE last week filming the second Scout Rifle Forum…the first of course was back in the mid-1980s when Col. Cooper hammered out the concept. Everything was organized by Richard Mann, whose Empty Cases blog should be on your regular reading list. Steyr — the makers of Col. Cooper's original vision, Mossberg and Ruger all exhibited, with a bunch of custom stuff as well.

The entire Scout rifle concept is interesting — one rifle to rule them all. Not a specialist, but useful for personal defense, hunting, fill in the blank. Ironically, the concept never took off back in Cooper's day.I remember writing somewhere that the Scout rifle was somewhat like the .44 Special — everybody sang its praises, but when it came time to hit the old credit card, nobody was buying but me, John Taffin and a half-dozen of our friends.

The Scout rifle concept might have become an asterick in firearms history if it hadn't been for law enforcement trainer Dave Spaulding, who really, really liked the Ruger Frontier, a lightweight, shortened version of the venerable Ruger M77 bolt action rifle that was sold in the mid-2000s. Apparently not that many people shared Dave's love…the rifle was dropped form the Ruger catalog around 2009. But not before Dave did articles noting that the Frontier in .308, with its option to mount its scope in the forward as well as the standard, position came amazingly close to Jeff Cooper's definition of a Scout (look them up; they're everywhere).

Those articles led to a meeting at GUNSITE (which I have recently read didn't happen…hmmm…I guess memory is the second thing to go!) to talk about the Frontier and to discuss if there was another step to be taken, and if so, what should that step be? Present at that meeting were Buz Mills,owner of GUNSITE, Ed Head, then GUNSITE's chief operating officer, Ken Jorgensen from Ruger, Dave Spaulding and me.

What came from our scribbled notes and drawings, after being filtered through real engineers and gun designers, was the Ruger GUNSITE Scout in .308. The RSG became something no other of the few Scout rifles had ever even dreamed of, a huge success. In .223 and .308, it remains one of the best-selling bolt action rifles out there.

Both Savage and Mossberg introduced Scout versions of their popular bolt guns, joining Steyr, who has continued carrying the torch since the Cooper days. Predictably, the Scout concept has recently come under fire — here, here, here — and some excellent analysis from Major Pandemic here.

One thing I took from talking to people at the Scout Forum was that liking/not liking the Scout is more a lifestyle/mindset issue than anything to do with the hardware. We are in the Golden Age of Guns…for any increasingly fine-sliced niche, there's a gun designed to very specifically fill that niche. You can have a quiver full of rifles for every possible situation, be it self-defense, hunting, target shooting/competition, etc. So it seems anachronistic to look at one gun that does everything sorta okay rather than several things that do their job superbly.

And as Major Pandemic and others have noted, there have been 3 major changes in Gun World, if you will, since Col. Cooper conceived the concept:

1) The proliferation of the AR platform
2) The perfection, or at least the major debugging of the AR-10 platform
3) Huge advances in optics, especially in the true 1-power with 4x, 6x, 8x or even higher magnification and the rise of illuminated reticles and red dot sights

 A lightweight AR with a 1-6X is a pretty darn versatile tool. If we were to play the "run out of the house with just one rifle" game, it would probably be my Daniel Defense DDM4 5.56 3-Gun rifle with the 1.5-6X Burris MTAC that's on it right now. Why? Because I've shot it a lot, I'm comfortable with it at distance (inside 500 yards) and it has been a workhorse. If you were to hold e to a .308, however, I might hesitate…I have a Ruger SR762 set up for long range and an older Colt 901 I've shot in 3-Gun Heavy Metal division. There is no "standard" AR-10 in the sense of an AR-15…each manufacturer uses their own specs, so you're in many cases limited on spare parts, accessories, etc.

The great thing about bolt guns is how boring they are. With even moderate maintenance, they will will last for generations. My 2 favorite bolt guns are the aforementioned GSR and an 1891 Argentine Engineer Carbine in 7.65 Argentine (pretty much matches the British .303 ballistically) that I  "sporterized" — read: "butchered" — when I was too young to know better. Surprising how similar in feel and handling the GSR is to the 125 year-old Mauser!

I have more than a thousand rounds through my GSR in classes, target shooting and big game hunting. With the 2.75X Burris I've shot it out to 300 yards on poppers and steel with no problem. Ed Head shoots his out to 600 yards. I've run it fast to heat up the slim barrel, and yes the point of impact did shift, but not enough to effect 300 yard hits on pepper poppers.

If you only have one bolt gun, I'd suggest a GSR or one of the other .308 Scouts. All of them have the ability to use regular scopes — I used an ultralight Swarovski 3-9X in the standard position for red stag in NZ — or the forward mount optic (or dot). I think it's an ideal choice for the prepper, whose first rifle dollars have to go to the AR, but a .308 bolt gun adds a lot of versatility.

The new Scout for Africa next year is, as I've said, is an ANIB Ruger Frontier .338 Federal fitted with a forward-mounted Leupold 1.5-5x FireDot Scout scope.. I'm probably going to refitted bottom metal to allow the Frontier to take standard AI magazines (CDI Precision). John Carter, my producer, is going to be hunting with a Steyr Scout.

Should be really, really cool...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Weekend Thoughts….More Blood on the Ground

From Victor Davis Hanson:
After the attacks by radical Islamists in San Bernardino and Orlando, Americans did not rally together as they had after 9/11. Instead, almost immediately, the country was torn further apart. About half the nation saw the terrorist killings as a reason for stricter gun control rather than a reason to fear the continuing spread of radical Islamic terrorism. The other half worried that political correctness and the president's refusal to even mention radical Islamic terrorism are eroding the ability to deter it. 
America's enemies draw their own conclusions.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson has emerged as one of the most articulate analysts on America's decline.

I have a few points that I mentioned over the weekend, but that need to be reiterated:

1) We are in a war. The nature of war is that there is ALWAYS a next battle. Right now, our enemies are planning the next atrocity.

2) No combatant has the luxury of declaring themselves a "noncombatant." I'm sure after the first 90 days in the trenches of Europe in WW1, the Brits would have loved to have said, "Ummmmm, upon further reflection…" Only the enemy gets to define your status.

3) It is disingenuous to say, "This could happen here," since it is already under way here, Most recently, Garland, San Bernardino, Orlando and Dallas.

4) We are the only country in the world who can defend against this 4th Generation style of warfare. For those of you who slept in, 4GW war is a war where the lines between politics and war, civilians and soldier become blurred. From William S. Lind, one of the military strategist who first defined the concept, "In broad terms, fourth generation warfare seems likely to be widely dispersed and largely undefined; the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point."

5) The reason the United States is the only country positioned to fight on this new and confusing battle field is because we are the only country with ARMED CITIZENS. Diffuse attacks require diffuse responses (I stole that line from someone, but the reference slips my mind). In the absence of civilian arms, the only response left with people caught in these mass casualty incidents is, "Run and hide!" In the entire history of people on the planet, that strategy hasn't worked very well.

6) While the media and the chattering class (of which I usppose I am a member) will continue endlessly harping on the Mobius Strip time-waster of "why why why?????," I submit that for we civilians out on the battlefield, "why" is a completely worthless word. Whether the attacker was "inspired by ISIS," "a copycat attack" or the North Vietnamese Army regulars, our tactical responses need to be the same.

7) Need I say it again? YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Road... GUNSITE, which is celebrating it's 40th anniversary, at the second Scout Rifle Conference, filming for SHOOTING GALLERY. Great working with my good friends Andy Langlois, Richard Mann, Il Ling New, and many others. This will be a super show, with scout rifles from Ruger, Steyr and Mossberg, plus some slick customs. We did the open and close from Col. Cooper's gun vault, where I did my last interview with the Colonel so many years ago...I think you'll be moved -- I was!

And hey, what would you think of a limited edition SHOOTING GALLERY knife from what I think is one of the coolest new kinfe company in the world, SOUTHERN GRIND???? It needs to be done, and I believe we'll have this deal done soon! This will blow you guys away!

SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE is moving toward launch. I promise you rock and roll!

So many balls in the air!

Yes, I'm trying to not overdo it...everyone at GUNSITE kept making me sit down, for which I thank them!

Did you see the Dillenger ep of the new season of GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA? One of my all-time favorite eps!

Plus, except some very good news on the special TBD episode on our Mass Casualty Event, coming very soon...

Friday, July 08, 2016

R.I.P. Walt Rauch

My friend, my mentor, in so many ways my surrogate father Walt Rauch went on ahead of us last night, peacefully, after suffering a massive stroke some months back.

Walt was instrumental in establishing the practical shooting sports in the United States. Walt co-founded USPSA, IDPA and the National Tactical Invitational, was involved in the creation of GSSF and so very much else, in many way the intellectual center of the sports we love.

Walt's life was the stuff of legend — Army Intelligence, Secret Service, Philadelphia Felony Squad, a genuine hard-boiled private dick on the mean streets of Philadelphia.  His 2 books, REAL WORLD SURVIVAL: WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME and PRACTICALLY SPEAKING: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE, barely scythed the surface of his immense knowledge of firearms, tactics and shooting.

I will write something more comprehensive later. I need to process this myself.

Go with God, my friend.

A Prayer for Dallas…and all of us.

Over the years we've worked with Dallas police officers and Dallas SWAT in our shows. They have happily and openly shared their expertise and training with us. They are among the best in the world.

God bless you all, who run toward the sound of gunfire. My heart, and the hearts of all of us on the team here, goes out to the families of the slain, to their fellow officers who have lost brothers.

I have said repeated, and publicly, that when any group or groups of people continually chum the water for monsters, eventually those monsters will come. After 8 years of cynical, viciously divisive rhetoric and a bizarre, almost psychotic, campaign to de-legitimize the authority of law enforcement officers, we are a nation as divided in those years before the Civil War, or in those dark days of the late 1960s.

So very many of my police friends are out there today as every day, on patrol, investigating crimes, protecting us, the public. Watch your six, my friends.