Thursday, November 30, 2006

.17 Machine Gun!

Go to YouTube...prepare to assault little bitty Germans...

Why Television Producers Get Ulcers...

Snowstorms in the Midwest..."What do you mean St. Louis is closed?" "Kansas City, too?" "What do you mean the cameras are in Denver?" "And we can't get them off the plane?" "Well, when can you ship them back to us?"

Disease in Arizona..."Well, is the fever really bad?" "Like, life-threatening?" "We'll be done by 6PM...of course you've heard that before and producers always lie!" "Just joking...laryngitis?" "Really?" "Can you speak up?"

Holidays..."Of course I know it's the Christmas season...yes, the 25th..." "Well, is this the family you live with, or are they coming special..." "No, no...I was just joking...really...have a Merry Christmas or whatever..." "How's your January calendar..."

The family doctor..."Of course I want to reduce the stress in my life!" "Is acid reflux curable?" "Well then, how many cups of coffee would be okay?" Diet soda, too? You're kidding me, right?" "Just ten days of sleeping pills...I swear I'll be fine if I just get some sleep..." "Could we do this next week? I've got a conference call." "Oops, next week I'm in Nashville." "Yes, I know it's Christmas..."

Will this week NEVER end?

Back Up & Running! Burrrrrr!

Sorry for the lack of posts (and video)...the winter storm that came through the High Country over the last couple of days chewed up my regular Internet coverage, which is, because I live in Teeny-Tiny Ville is a line-of-sight wireless link to downtown. Heavy snow makes line-of-sight problematic!

Anyhow, the snow has stopped, the wind is blowing at about 273mph up here near the Divide, and it's colder than the proverbial witch's anatomy in the's soooo cold I just saw a line of Emperor penguins march past my office window, and several of them were wearing beak mufflers...

Anyhow, intersting commentary on police from the Wall Street Journal yesterday:
Simply put, the police culture in our country has changed. An emphasis on "officer safety" and paramilitary training pervades today's policing, in contrast to the older culture, which held that cops didn't shoot until they were about to be shot or stabbed. Police in large cities formerly carried revolvers holding six .38-caliber rounds. Nowadays, police carry semi-automatic pistols with 16 high-caliber rounds, shotguns and military assault rifles, weapons once relegated to SWAT teams facing extraordinary circumstances. Concern about such firepower in densely populated areas hitting innocent citizens has given way to an attitude that the police are fighting a war against drugs and crime and must be heavily armed.
I certainly don't unconditionally agree with the piece (especially lumping "officer safety" into that first sentence!!!), but as you've read here before, the militarization of what were previously community police forces is a serious issue.

I look at the issue from a perspective of weapons' selection and honest-to-goodness training time and budgets, especially with long arms. The M-4 carbine is an awesomely efficient firearm, but 5.56 carbines — especially full-auto carbines — used in urban situations IMO (which doesn't actually amount to bat dookey in the long run) require both a higher level of training and a greater frequency of training than any but the largest urban departments can swing.

There are relatively easy solutions here that increase firepower without overstraining the training resourse:
1) The born-again pump shotgun, with current ammo a far superior weapon than most police administrators understand.
2) The pistol caliber carbine (and, yes, I was the "crazy man" who suggested in a law enforcement magazine back in the mid-1980s that departments might reconsider all those moldering Thompson .45s in police vaults...heavy with a low cyclic rate, making it one of the easiest full-autos to shoot ever made; the .45 ACP cartridge is a proven stopper at urban, sub-50 yard distances and the Thompson has one of the most recognizable firearms sihouettes in the world...put an Aimpoint on one and you're got a fiercely efficient urban police weapon.
3) "Alternative" 5.56 guns like the Remington pump, which takes AR magazines yet can piggyback on decades of police shotgun training.
Again, I'm not a cop, nor have I been one. But I've worked an awful lot with police trainers and in training — police, military and civilian. I often think police adminstrators than (yeah yeah, when they think at all!) think it's "one size fits all." See if we can't hustle up some Homeland Security bucks for M-4s all around. Yet one size never fits all...a rural Sheriff's Department in Wyoming has different risk, and consequently different firearms needs, than an urban police department in the South...and forget about the big cities!

What I hate to see are people like Mayor Bloomberg willing to sell out his own officers before they even have a chance to speak.

One aspect of the NYC shootings that seems to be growing centers on "contagious shooting;" this from the New York Times:
It is known in police parlance as “contagious shooting” — gunfire that spreads among officers who believe that they, or their colleagues, are facing a threat. It spreads like germs, like laughter, or fear. An officer fires, so his colleagues do, too.
“We can teach as much as we can,” said John C. Cerar, a retired commander of the Police Department’s firearms training section. “The fog of the moment happens. Different things happen that people don’t understand. Most people really believe what it’s like in television, that a police officer can take a gun and shoot someone out of the saddle.”
Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at John Jay College, said a high number of shots fired underscores the threat the officers felt.

“The only reason to be shooting in New York City is that you or someone else is going to be killed and it’s going to be imminent,” he said. “It’s highly unlikely you fire a shot or two shots. You fire as many shots as you have to, to extinguish the threat. You don’t fire one round and say: ‘Did I hit him? Is he hit?’ ”

Mr. Cerar said, “Until we have some substitute for a firearm, there will always be a situation where more rounds are fired than in other situations.”
There's a commnet on this article in today's Slate. The bulk of the commentary is the usual anti-cop/anti-gun slop:
How can you control a contagion of police overreaction? By controlling the crucial mechanism: guns. The key number in the Diallo case wasn't 41; it was 16. Two of the four officers accounted for 32 of the 41 bullets, because each of them emptied his weapon. NYPD rules "require that the officers carry nine millimeter semi-automatic pistols with 16 shots in the magazine and the first trigger pull being a conventional trigger pull and all subsequent trigger pulls being a hair trigger pull," one defense lawyer told the jury. That's why the officers fired so many shots so fast: Their guns, loaded with 64 rounds, "were all capable of being emptied in less than four seconds."
But the author's conclusion is, IMO, a valid one:
It's the same argument the National Rifle Association makes for the freedom to use firearms: Guns don't kill people; people kill people.

Contagious shooting blows that argument away. If cops fire reflexively, there's no moral difference between people and guns. They're both machines, and based on recent shootings, we should limit clips or firing speed to control their damage. No responsibility, no freedom.

Alternatively, we could reassert that police are free agents, to be trusted with weapons and held responsible—not excused with mechanical metaphors—when they abuse them. You can't have it both ways.
I happen to believe pretty strongly in the NRA's argument, for "civilians" and LEOs. From my standpoint, we need to use whatever information we can to constantly evaluate our own training. Training is fluid, changing...or it's a death-trap.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Goat Painting Crisis!

On a day when my man Snoop "What's My Name, Fool?" Dogg was arrested on weapons and drug possession charges after an appearance on Jay Leno — I don't know about you, but I think guns and at least Dramamine are prerequisites for being on late night television — more signs that unintended the consequences the Democratic election sweep are spreading...

I told you things like this would start happening with Dems in control! From MSNBC:
Man accused of spray-painting three goats

MAHOPAC, N.Y. - A man broke into a barn on Thanksgiving morning, spray-painted three pet goats and scattered pages of pornographic magazines on the floor, apparently to harass the property owner, police said Tuesday.

Drew Gagnon, 37, of Mahopac, was arrested the next day and was charged with burglary, criminal trespass and animal cruelty, said Lt. Brian Karst, of the Carmel police force, which covers Mahopac. The man who drove Gagnon to the barn, Douglas Bisio, 34, of Mahopac, was charged with criminal facilitation, police said.

"Obviously it's not an occurrence you see every day," Karst said.
Meanwhile, reports are coming in from the biggest CSI-style crime scene investigation in the world, to wit, who capped the dinosaurs. This from Red Orbit News:
The dinosaurs, along with the majority of all other animal species on Earth, went extinct approximately 65 million years ago. Some scientists have said that the impact of a large meteorite in the Yucatan Peninsula, in what is today Mexico, caused the mass extinction, while others argue that there must have been additional meteorite impacts or other stresses around the same time.

A new study provides compelling evidence that "one and only one impact" caused the mass extinction, according to a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher.
Now we're sure of the weapon, but what of the hand who delivered the weapon? I'm thinking proto-Dems, but it's all in the evidence. Well, anyway, I've always kept my eyes peeled for big rocks falling out of the sky! With the Dems in control, I absolutely wouldn't be surprised if we sustained a major meteorite strike — not counting Rosie O'Donnell, who certainy qualifies as an extinction-level chunk of inanimate rock — in the next two years.

Still, there are positive signs...although not here. Even as Sharia law spreads through Jolly Allah England, a ray of hope in, of all places, Sweden, via Yahoo:
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - An ABBA museum dedicated to the music, clothing and history of the legendary Swedish pop group and its four members will open in Stockholm in 2008, organizers said Tuesday.

The interactive museum will feature original outfits and instruments used by the group, handwritten song lyrics, a display of different awards, and "all other things we can think of and find," said Ulf Westman, an event consultant who is spearheading the project with his wife Ewa Wigenheim-Westman.

The museum will also feature a studio where visitors can record their own ABBA songs, and an interactive experience that "will recreate the feeling of being at Wembley stadium and seeing ABBA live with 50,000 others," Westman said.
"Youuuuuuuuuuu can dance
Youuuuuuuuuuu can jive
Having the time of your life..."

Back in the mid-1970s, I got thrown off the prestigious Village Voice annual poll of rock critics for stating emphatically that ABBA was the greatest pop group in history, and that long after most of the CBGB darlings were relegated to chips of obsolete vinyl alongside disposable diapers in landfills, students and enthusiasts around the world would still be mining the lyrics of "Fernando" for insights on life...and hey, if I had to do the same again, I would my friend, Fernando!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gun Day!

I always love it when wayward little lambs come home to the manger! Today, two of the little lambs who've been out to Lamb Hospitals came home — my little Detonics CombatMaster .45 ACP blaster, which went to Nebraska to visit Bill Laughridge at Cylinder & Slide Shop, and the nasty, scary S&W 329PD ultralite .44 Magnum revolver, which got sent away to Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision for civilizing.

I'm filming with Detonics in Atlanta next week, and when I told old friend Jerry Ahern, who's also Detonics' CEO, that I sent my CombatMaster off to get overhauled, he was pretty upset. "You said it was good," he said. "Why's you send it to C&S?"

"I'm pissy about 1911s," I said. It's now exactly like my other "working" 1911s! Jerry'll be impressed.

On the 329, it had a wretched, wretched DA trigger pull when I bought it off the S&W Forum Classifieds...pretty common with the whole ultralite series of revolvers. It's not got that signature Jim Stroh flawlessly smooth trigger pull...I haven't weighted it yet, but I pretty much don't care — smooth is fast! Yeah yeah, you've heard that before!

It's also got a gold bead front sight instead of the fiber-optic I've mentioned before, I've broken enough fiber optic front sights to be wary of them on working guns.

I don't have any pictures here because I'm wrestling with the new cameras and Quicktime, so hopefully I'll have video for you tomorrow...FORGET the range! It's freezing and snowing to beat the band...I'm NOT going outside!

Monday, November 27, 2006

RE: Bayonets for Handguns...

CZ makes this one for any light rail's for Picatinny rails, so I'm betting it'll fit the new Glock with the standard rail! Probably the S&W, too! The ultimate tactical accessory! Sharp, too...I cut myself at SHOT last year on one of these...

Glock Grok & M&P Mischief

I talked to Brother Tom Gresham of GunTalk radio and Personal Defense TV last night, and he filled me in on his trip to S&W at the end of last week. You can read his whole report here, but he's got hands-on with the new shotgun and photos of the proto .45 M&P...check out the military-mandated manual safety in the photo gallery!

After the on-again off-again on-gain introduction plans at SHOT, it looks like Glock's .45 ACP entry into the former military sweepstakes, the G21SF, has popped up — in a catalog! You can pre-order one for $505.43.

I'll be in Atlanta next week, and I'll grovel and whine and see if I can't talk somebody from the factory into showing me the protos now that the G21SF has gone semi-public!

If I can see the gun, I'll grab some video to show you...maybe...

I hemorrhaged money this weekend and finished buying the hardware for the video version of The Michael Bane Blog. I opted for a Panasonic GS500 3-CCD to go along with the two iSight USB cameras because the Panasonic camcorders have a microphone-in jack, which gives me much more control over the audio than a camera mic or a mic off an accessory shoe...I hope, anyway. The plan is for the Panasonic to handle the heavy lifting with the USB cams for talking heads and gun porn. never knows, does one?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Interesting Piece on the WaPo, No Less!

Strangely enough, here's a pretty good article on the AK-47 in the Washington Post...of course, its not as good as an article on AK-47s by Steven Hunter, but it's not chopped liver:
The AK has pierced through popular culture, too. In 2004, Playboy magazine dubbed it one of the "50 Products That Changed the World," ranking it behind the Apple Macintosh desktop, the birth-control pill and the Sony Betamax video machine. Rappers Ice Cube and Eminem mention AKs in their lyrics. And in the movie "Jackie Brown," actor Samuel L. Jackson captures the weapon's global cachet: "AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every [expletive] in the room."
I talked to Kalashnikov last time he was in the was fascinating (and for the record, he told me he wished he'd have invented a tractor).

My favorite AK story is when I was in Grenada for the American invasion. Me and a bunch of other journalists were invited to this dirt floor warehouse where there was literally a MOUNTAIN of AKs, maybe more than 2 stories high, alongside a second smaller mountain of loaded mostly Bakelite mags. The military guys were explaining that these AKs were likely going to be cycled into terrorism and small wars around the hemisphere when one of the "big name" print journalist picks up one of the underfolders, shakes it and announces, "These aren't working guns...these are junk!"

So one of the Ranger guys I knew to nod to looks at me and says, "You want to do the honors?" So I climbed up on AK Mountain, drag a ratty-ass one out at random, climb back down and rock in a full Bakelite magazine and proceed to light it up into the ground. Kinda fun. BTW, someone recently told me something like that could never problemo! Of course it couldn't happen! Neither could the blank passports and the Czech Skorpion, but, hey, that's another story!

I didn't really start appreciating AKs until recently, and now I realize how sadly ignorant I was. Look for the Russian weapons episode of SHOOTING GALLERY next season (hopefully), and if I continue to thrive and prosper I'm going to be visiting Marc Krebs, the best AK mechanic in the country, and Paul Gomez, who may have forgotten more about AKs than most people will ever know.

For myself, I'm tending toward one of the Yugo underfolders, or the Hungarian AMD or maybe that slick SLR-106FR 5.56 NATO Bulgarian that Arsenal is selling and that Peter Kokalis fell in love with in the current issue of SHOTGUN NEWS. Of course, if my ship comes in, I'll go with one of the Krebs AK-74s like AK-103As.

The AK may be one of the most reliable machine ever made — certainly the most reliable semiauto weapon!

Must Read Newsweek Article on the Decline of Hunting

It's not often I get to say something nice about Newsweek, but this beautifully written, heartfelt article on the decline of hunting should be on everyone's must-read list:
Hunting in America has entered a long twilight. The number of license holders—roughly 15 million through 2004—has actually shrunk by about 2 million people since 1982, when the population was 230 million (versus 300 million today). Since 1990, the number of license holders in Massachusetts has dropped by 50,000, or 40 percent; in California since 1980 the number has fallen by almost half, from 540,000 to 300,000. In Michigan, there were 1.2 million licensed hunters in 1992—but fewer than 850,000 in 2004. Hunters are aging: about seven in 10 are older than 35 (in 1980, only four in 10 were over 35). The reasons for hunting's decline are pretty basic: fewer fields and streams and hills full of game to hunt (Census data show that urban America more than doubled in acreage from 1960 to 1990); more restrictions and lawsuits; more videogames and diversions to keep junior (and his dad) on the couch.
...I have a son and daughter of my own now, and I would like the chance to pass on some of what my father taught me. It's hard to write this without sounding a little mawkish, but what I learned from hunting is that things in life aren't always black and white, and that they're not always easy, but the effort put in has a direct correlation to your success. You have to do it right. You respect the gun, you respect the animal and you respect the rules, and that translates to real life. It's hard to kill something, but you develop deep appreciation of animals and the outdoors when you do it regularly. I know nonhunters think that's absurd logic, and I understand why. But if it's part of your culture and part of the road to being a man, you find a way to face up to the hard parts and the raw emotions of it and you do it honorably. Shooting an animal is often a gut-wrenching act, and not one that's taken lightly by anyone I know. You respect it, you honor it and you never waste it. Most of all, you just give thanks for it.
You all already know what I'm going to say next...I was raised a hunter; walked the fields with my father, various uncles, grandfather; schooled in the joys, the trials, the ethics of the hunt. I have fought long and hard against the hypocrites — including those in my own family — who rail about the "inhumanity" of hunting while "enjoying" a double patty Big Mac with bacon.

But I unconditionally believe that it is suicide to hitch all our RKBA wagons to the one horse of hunting! Especially with the Democrats now running the store. The best-selling rifle in America is the AR-15 platform black rifle; the numbers are are harder to come by, but I would wager that the second best-selling rifle in America is the AK-47 and its variants.

As I travel around the country, I have the unique opportunity to go to ranges and talk with shooters...what I hear and see are self-defense handguns, ARs and AKs. Virtually the only context in which I hear hunting mainstay bolt-action rifles even mentioned is long distance precision — sniper — competition; the venerable Winchester '94 30-30, which gave so many young people, including me, their introduction into bigger game hunting, is no longer manufactured...indeed, the "old" Winchester is dead as the dodo...and if you want to talk lever actions, you've got to take up cowboy action shooting.

Self-defense, training and competition reign unchallenged as the drivers for the firearms industry and our best hope of both increasing our numbers and preserving our rights.

We — that is, us as individuals and our representatives in and from the industry — must start making the case that shooting and hunting are not synonymous. We need to promote the vibrant growth of all forms of shooting competition, and we must keep reminding both the nonaligned and our enemies — and those nattering idiots at the New York Times — that our firearms rights have nothing to do with duck hunting.

Why does the industry resist this so vociferously?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Yes, But Can He Dance?

You know, I think Paul looks better in cartoon form...

Fun With Brady!

This from our friends at Brady, through the Huffington Post:
The challenge now is for our elected officials to realize that supporting things like Brady background checks to keep criminals and terrorists from buying guns from legitimate sources, and enforcing the laws applicable to gun dealers to make sure they don't contribute to the market in illegal guns by allowing straw purchases, makes good sense from a political as well a policy perspective. what does Mr. Helmke have to say to USA Today?
Advocates expect Democrats to avoid culture wars

•Gun control: Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says he has seen a list of the top 100 Democratic priorities; reinstating the now-expired ban on military-style assault weapons is "in the 90s." At least, he says, conservatives can't weaken gun control laws.
But wait! Let's go to the New York Times:
America’s confusion about the Second Amendment is now nearly total. An amendment that ensures a collective right to bear arms has been misread in one legislature after another — often in the face of strong public disapproval — as a law guaranteeing an individual’s right to carry a weapon in public. And, in a perversion of monumental proportions, the battle to extend that right has largely succeeded in co-opting the language of the Civil Rights movement, so that depriving an American of the right to carry a gun in public sounds, to some, as offensive as stripping him of the right to vote.
Just keeping tabs!

ART Imitates [Strange] LIFE!!!!

You MUST read tomorrow and Sunday's DAY-BY-DAY comic strp, the one that appears on the bottom 0f the blog each day!

Coming up in the strip, Sam (above, in this year's Halloween strip)— every male shooters' dream uber-babe — goes to the range for a day of practice and meets no less than our own...Paul Erhardt from SIGARMS!

For years people have been telling Paul that he's little better than a cartoon character, and he finally gets to prove them right! Seriously, this is a brilliant piece of asymmetrical marketing...hat's off, dude.

And keep your hands off my girl...


Have some more chicken
Have some more pie
It doesn't matter
If it's boiled or fried

Just eat it, just eat it
Just eat it, just eat it... Woo!
— Weird Al Yankovich
"Eat It"

Ah, the joys of post-Thanksgiving Blimp Day! Everything was wonderful and way too much...althought Pig of the Day awards go unconditionally to our grey parrot, Ripley. For 363 days of the year, all the parrots get a disgustingly health diet of fresh fruits and veggies, alogn with a carefully chosen mixture of cereals, grains, a few nuts, dreid fruits and vegetables, birdie kibble, etc.

On Christmas and Thanksgiving, the guys get a little people food — a rinsed-off dumpling, a little mashed potato, some shredded turkey, some homemade bread. The macaws take it in stride, but Ripley sits quietly in his cage and porks down anything he can scam. By 5PM, the Ripster looked like a sleepy, small grey Butterball turkey. By 6PM, he was announcing loudly, "Want to go nite-nite!" I asked him whether he wated me to turn out his light...he puffed up and announced, "OKAY!"

This morning he and all the rest of us are pretty much back to normal, except for Alf the Wonder Beagle, who remains embittered that once again we did not have a bison carcass for her.

The strangest thing about yesterday was when I opened the blinds in my office first thing in the morning. There was a huge coyote in the back yard, had to go 70 pounds or more, With his red-ruffed full winter coat he looked twice that size (and with more than a little wolf in the woodpile). He was favoring his right front paw, but hobbled over and sat down to start at me. I'm not a big fan of A-level predators around the house...foxes are okay; the bears are relatively good neighbors, but the lions and the coyotes bother me, and the Thompson/Center rifle by the office window is there to enforce my ill will.

Still. it was Thanksgiving, and since I hadn't heard any howling I figured the injured paw had him on the outs with his pack...and set him up as some lion's Thanksgiving repast. I opened the window and said, "Safe passage, brother." I swear he nodded, then stood up on his three good legs and moved up toward the Forest Service land.

In the meantime, I thihk I'm going to do a SHOOTING GALLERY (again, with my previous caveat!) on Browning Hi-Powers. Aside from the fact that BHPs are my long-time favorite semiautos, there are some really cool versions floating around these days — the shorter Commander-length "Detective" variants and the small run of lightweight aluminum-framed guns that have trickled in from a European police agency.

I was talking to some guys a few weeks aga and they mentioned the BHP retains a small but dedicated following among The Unit-type folks. Years ago, I got one of those weird middle-of-the-night phone calls from a Great Big City cop who was working undercover in gang intervention. He'd read one of my books on police weaponry and he wanted to talk guns; his cover was that he was a disgruntled high speed military guy, and he wanted a gun that 1) shrieked "high-speed," 2) had a Big Time Cool Factor, and 3) shot lots and lots of bullets. After much talk, my eventual recommendation — which he accepted — was a nickle-plated BHP. I got a note from him about a year later saying that BHP was better than a business card...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

By Popular Demand!!!!

Baked Cranberry Sauce
Recipe courtesy Cheryl and Bill Jamison
Show: BBQ with Bobby Flay
Episode: BBQ Holiday

1 (12- ounce) bag cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup bourbon, or more
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small baking dish and cover. Bake for about 55 minutes. Remove the cover and stir to melt any un-dissolved sugar. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 5 to 10 more minutes, or until the cranberries are soft and surrounded by a syrupy sauce. Remove the dish from the oven and immediately stir in the bourbon, to taste. Let the dish cool to room temperature, then chill for at least hour before serving. The sauce will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

I increase the amount of cinnammmmmmmmmmoooooooonnnnn and nutmeg slightly...oh yeah, and add more Jack! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How I Handle a Crisis

Out of framboise...

...substituted Kahlua.

Adapt and overcome!

Thanksgiving Menu and Impending Video

Yeah, I've been sliding the last couple of days...but hey, it's a holiday!

At least, I think it is...

So, here's the menu at Chez Gun, or, as we locals refer to it, Ripley's Ranch...and no, all three parrots have again avoided (barely) the centerpiece on the menu:
Tenderloin of turkey rubbed with spices and grilled
Cornbread sage dressing with oysters (an old family recipe, both on the dressing and cornbread)
Homemade dumplings in chicken broth
Asparagus with ginger seasoning
Jack Daniels baked cranberry sauce (this stuff is to die for, trust me)
Home-baked rosemary/garlic bread
Framboise chocolate mousse
Yeah, well...we do what we can. And no, you can't come over! I mean it...

Camera, software, etc. on the way for the impending VIDEO BLOG...if it all gets here by Monday, I'll take it on the road with me and see what I can tinker together. We'll definitely have the systme up and running by SHOT, so you'll get to see some of the first range work with the SIGARMS 556 carbine, the new Glock whatever it is they won't tell me except to say that I need to be there, etc. I'll also try to get video from the floor that's too cheesy for SHOOTING GALLERY. I was thinking of reprising my old AMERICAN HANDGUNNER article on "The Ten Weirdest Things I Saw at the SHOT Show."

Anyhow, one of those consultant types told me I need to append a descriptive title/subtitle to The Michael Bane Blog video segments to make it easier for even more people to find me and complain about my lack of political correctness.

I was kinda thinking:
GUN PORN: The Michael Bane Blog

What do you think???

And remember, be thankful tomorrow and remember our men and women in harm's way!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And You Built a Stand for a Hammock...

This sort of reminds me of my Impetuous Youth, although I only ever blew stuff up...from the Detroit Free Press:
TEEN GOES NUCLEAR: He creates fusion in his Oakland Township home

On the surface, Thiago Olson is like any typical teenager.

He's on the cross country and track teams at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills. He's a good-looking, clean-cut 17-year-old with a 3.75 grade point average, and he has his eyes fixed on the next big step: college.

But to his friends, Thiago is known as "the mad scientist."

In the basement of his parents' Oakland Township home, tucked away in an area most aren't privy to see, Thiago is exhausting his love of physics on a project that has taken him more than two years and 1,000 hours to research and build -- a large, intricate machine that , on a small scale, creates nuclear fusion.

Nuclear fusion -- when atoms are combined to create energy -- is "kind of like the holy grail of physics," he said.
Stand by your phone...Iran and North Korea will be calling! Next up...cold fusion!

Impending Cranberry Sauce...

...I'm thinking the baked cranberry sauce with bourbon like I saw on Iron Chef America. If I drink the bourbon, I won't care how the cranberry sauce comes out. That was, BTW, one of the lessons in my brief stint in cooking school...if you open the wine first, the whole prep process goes a lot smoother!

Anyway, spent all yesterday evening in a training class for video blogging...yes, I abandoned the audio podcast as a clearly intermediate stage between writing and video...seemed more of a pain in the butt than it was worth. My plan now is to have the video component to the blog up and running by SHOT, which should be no problemo. Probably the first video test run will be on my newest piece, the S&W 329PD ultralite .44 Magnum I had overhauled by Jim Stroh over at Alpha a note that it will be winging its way back to me this week! I had Jim do one of his superb action jobs on the gun and replace the Hi-Viz fiber optic front sight with a gold bead (because, Little Grasshopper, even durable plastic like fiber optic tubes will BREAK if you smack it against something! I have learned this from experience, and therefore tend to relegate fiber optic fronts to competition guns, as opposed to a dangerous game back-up guns!).

At 26 ounces unloaded, this little monster has a fearsome reputation...I swear, I have seen more of these "For Sale - Less Than 50 Rounds Fired!" 329PDs at gunstores around the country than you can imagine — there are two in the cases of my local gunstore right now, and one looks like it has maybe 49 rounds less than 50!

I've shot 329s with heavy bullet hunting loads, and while it's not exactly what you might want to give to your Significant Other as the ideal purse pistol, you're not going to die from the recoil, either. So my first video will center on that gun and the whole concept of recoil...I want to shoot the 329 alonside my plain vanilla Dirty Harry M29 6-inch .44 Magnum, my "packin' gun" Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum "Thumper," which has had the barrel shortened and been fitted with a lightweight aluminum frame, and the Ruger Alaskan snubbie in .454 Casull.

I wish I had my latest concept gun, the 2 1/2-inch stainless steel .44 Magnum fitted with a titanium cylinder by Randy Lee at Apex Tactical, ready for the test, but I haven't even sent the thing off yet. This is for two basic reasons — concept guns cost a HEAP 'O' MONEY, and Randy is, like, backlogged until Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's kids grow up and start robbing liquor stores. Even his website is missing in action. [NOTE to Patrick Sweeney...this is why you haven't received the cast-off .41 Magnum parts! They're still cast on. What do you guys see in that worthless caliber, anyway? Don't you know that only girly-men use any revolver caliber that measures out less than .44?]

I'm looking forward to adding video to the blog! Maybe I can do cooking segments, too!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday...

...or somesuch happy crap. Once again, I survived a weekend in Vegas relatively unscathed. I forgot to gamble away my usual $20, but I did have a world-class lunch at Emeril's in the MGM Grand — seafood pan roast, including mahi steak, shrimp and oyster jambalaya in one of Emeril's amazing sauces. Of course, Tequila and I split a BBQ shrimp usual favorite of flash-fried calamari with a smoky tomato sauce wasn't on the menu this time. Maybe at the Emeril's in Orlando for SHOT...

First off, I'd like to thank best-selling author of PRAYERS FOR THE ASSASSIN author Robert Ferrigno for joining in the fray on yesterday's post and to extend an invitation for him to join me filming an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY in 2007 — this is, of course, assuming I still have a show...I'm not yet renewed for 2007...fingers crossed!

Mr. Ferringo, if nothing else, you'll have a good time...we'll be filming our usual weird. eclectic and politically incorrect collection of gun stuff, from revisiting the Knob Creek machinegun shoot, to more classes on carbines and advanced handgun training, to in-depth stuff at Blackwater, GUNSITE and assorted other training venues. I'm going to revisit one of my pet themes — the use and limitations of handguns in very close quarter encounters, too.

I also wanted to mention one of aspect of PRAYERS FOR THE ASSASSIN that I didn't get into in the last post...the religious aspect. I think Ferringo did an admirable job of portraying Islam, complete with its many internal contradictions, in a fair — and in many ways positive — light, especially in the character of Rakkim Epps, essentially a "lapsed" Muslim. As Martin Amis noted in his previously referenced brilliant essay on Islam, it is possible to respect, even love, the words of the Prophet while despising the excess of Islamofacism and/or the modern edifaces of conservative Islam (which often bears as much resemblence to the teaching of Mohammed as Big Box Christianity bears to the teachings of Jesus).

In his acknowledgments, Ferrigno mentions a quote from Simone de Beauvoir that I haven't thought about since college. When the famously athiestic philosopher was asked how it felt to have created a body of work that essentially negated the existance of God, she replied, "One can abolish water, but one can not abolish thirst." That quote, I think, resonates through the book, to the positive.

Most of you figured out a long time ago that I'm while I was raised fundamentalist Baptist, I'm pretty much non-religious, with a sprinkling of left-over paganism here and there. Thanks a a college squeeze minoring in religion, however, I was lucky enough to study under some of the original "Death of God" theologicians — where, believe me, the de Beauvoir quote loomed large — and to spend some time studying Islam and the Qur'an. When I eulogized my father earlier this year, I chose the words of the Prophet for his eulogy.

That is, probably, enough depth for Monday morning! I thought I'd end on another note pointing to the Apocalypse, this from our sad and pathetic brethren Across the Pond:
Sausages affected by draconian trade laws

A SPICY sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could face prosecution because it does not contain dragon.

The sausages will now have to be labelled Welsh Dragon Pork Sausages to avoid any confusion among customers,,.
Does the sausage still use ground up Welsh peoples in it?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sunny With Mild Paranoia...

It's FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY, and if I didn't have to go to Vegas to film the Cowboy Mounted Shooting world championship's tomorrow evening, I'd probably be dancing in the streets. Still, it's only a turn-around, and maybe I can sneak in a decent meal at Emeril's or Bobby Flay's. My Sweetie and I did have an excellent sushi dinner last night, so I'm fortified for the Neon City...

Of course you all know I'm moderately paranoid even on my best day, so you can see why the above product caught my eye...a Blackhawk concealed-carry brieface with enhanced ballistic shield, courtesy of Bulletproof Me. I picked this up off The High Road, BTW, where I steal many of my allegedly original ideas.

I hear some of you moaning already, but think about it...we carry guns because we know that potentially lethal violence can drop out of the sky like Helen Hunt's twister. We also know that many times that violence twister comes attached to a gun. I have been shot at and had guns pointed at me, and I would not class the experiences as a fun way to spend Saturday afternoon. Given my druthers, I'd like to have something between me and the muzzle of the gun that might slow down the bullet somewhat.

Additionally, most intelligent trainers I know spend a lot of time worrying about innocent bystanders/Significant Other types who might be present when conditions head south. I shot some interesting scenarios at Tom Givens' RangeMaster Tactical Conference a couple of years back where you had to address bystanders, a partner, etc. Makes it tough! I need to give it some more thought, but initially I see a positive in being able to hand the Significant Other an armored backpack, then have that person put it on and run like hell with a ballistic panel covering their vitals.

I also see a utility for such things when visiting "100% safe gun-free zones," such as airports...nothing bad every happens in airports, right? I've often wondered "what if" I got trapped in a crowded, limited-exit urban airport — worst case...Las Vegas! — while some homegrown islamofascists started lobbing bullets around; a ballistic panel ain't much, but it's better than a paperback book, an Apple laptop and prayer!

When I get a couple of seconds, I'm going to send a note to Bulletproof Me to talk about more "civilian-oriented" backpacks...

And speaking of paperback books (we sort of were, weren't we?), I just finished reading Robert Ferrigno's PRAYERS FOR THE ASSASSIN...a thoroughly fascinating book set in the near future and the Islamic Republic of America. The book, which in a note on Amazon Ferringno says his agent dubbed "career suicide," features a fascinating main character, Rakkim Epps, a one-time Fedayeen elite warrior now retired and helping Jews, homosexuals, fornicators, etc. escape the the worst excesses of the American Islamic Republic regime into slightly more tolerant Canada.

I've always blown hot and cold on Ferringo — liked FLINCH; ho-hum on HORSE LATITUDES — but I'm really looking forward to the sequel to this one!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No More Lonely Saturday Nights...

Well you got your dead cat and you got your dead dog
On a moonlight night you got your dead toad frog
You got your dead rabbit and your dead raccoon
Aw, the blood and the guts are gonna make you swoon

— Loudon Wainwright III
"Dead Skunk"

And speaking of swooning, start your morning with this ditty from the Duluth News Tribune, via Drudge:
Lawyer argues sex with dead deer not crime

Prosecution of a Douglas County case involving alleged sexual contact with a dead deer may hinge on the legal definition of the word “animal.”

Bryan James Hathaway, 20, of Superior faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual gratification with an animal. He is accused of having sex with a dead deer he saw beside Stinson Avenue on Oct. 11.

A motion filed last week by his attorney, public defender Fredric Anderson, argued that because the deer was dead, it was not considered an animal and the charge should be dismissed.

“The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass,” Anderson wrote.
Hmmmmm...I've thought a lot of things about dead deer over the years, but never once teh idle thought, "Man, that chunk of meat is hot!" I suppose this whole issue wasn't covered under the numerous anti-gay marriage issues passed last week, so...note to the Republican National Committee..."anti-carcass sex/marriage" is an issue we can all rally behind! This could be bigger than Terry Schiavo!


This just in from Fox News:
Rogue Sea Lion Bites at Least 14 People in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — The city closed its Aquatic Park Lagoon to swimmers on Wednesday after a California sea lion bit at least 14 people and chased 10 others out of the water this week.
Experts say the rogue sea lion could be protecting his harem of mates or might have brain damage from toxic algae.
FORGET the "toxic algae" theory! I think somebody tried to jump him and whisper sweet nothings into his little sea lion ears and he got pissed off! I TOLD you all this would happen if the Dems got elected!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Make Your Valentine Day Plans Now... see the Reno 911's the trailer.

I swear, I don't want to watch Reno 911! But there am am in some pathetic hotel room flipping through the channels, hoping for SHOOTING GALLERY or, at the very least SHOOTOUT on the History Channel — because they lift all of SG's experts! — and all I can find are the men and women of the Reno PD. Sort of like watching back episodes of COPS after taking too many over-the-counter antihistamines know people are talking, but you can't seem to get the words to string together into anything coherent.

I know...I know... it's wrong...but I just can't help myself...sort of like owning Director's Cuts of all the Porky's movies...

More Good 2-A News!

I missed this earlier in the week, but it's more good news on our Second Amendment from David Kopel, writing on the Volokh Conspiracy blog:
Even More Bad News for Anti-Gun Lobby:
1. Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi has endorsed John Murtha for Majority Leader, according to The Hill. Murtha is a a southwestern Pennsylvania Democrat with a long-standing A rating from the National Rifle Association. Hoyer is a Maryland Democrat, with a long-standing and well-deserved F rating, although he has sometimes worked to procure federal military contracts for Beretta USA, a firearms manufacturer in his district.
Nevertheless, it the odds have increased that the Senate (with usually pro-gun Harry Reid) and the House (with inflexibly pro-gun John Murtha) will both have Majority Leaders who will be receptive to the argument that the gun control issue is a loser for the Democratic party.
Read the whole thing!

G-Men Strike!

Well, I'm still stinging from the Great Earring Debacle, but it could have been a lot worse...this from Drudge:
Mid-flight sexual play lands US couple afoul of anti-terrorism law

A couple's ill-concealed sexual play aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles got them charged with violating the Patriot Act, intended for terrorist acts, and could land them in jail for 20 years.

According to their indictment, Carl Persing and Dawn Sewell were allegedly snuggling and kissing inappropriately, "making other passengers uncomfortable," when a flight attendant asked them to stop.

"Persing was observed nuzzling or kissing Sewell on the neck, and ... with his face pressed against Sewell's vaginal area. During these actions, Sewell was observed smiling," reads the indictment filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The overheated couple are charged with "obstructing a flight attendant and with criminal association." Criminal association...I'm wondering exactly what that applies to...the association between the He and She or the association between Them and the flight attendant or the association between He and Her Crotch.

While this seems much more like a subplot in the magnificent Charlie Sheen vehicle Two-and-a-Half Men than a reason to call out the G-Men, it calls into question a bigger issue. On my last flight Monday evening, I saw people clearly eyeballing my earrings...what if I had made my fellow passengers uncomfortable? What if a flight attendant had insisted that I amputate my ear with one of those TSA-approved plastic forks or face the HRT when I got off the plane? Maybe the best thing to do would be to start wearing a keffiyeh, something like the pix above, except in blue, to set off my eyes. Plus, I'll be a big hit at the next Congressional Sportsmens Foundation event in D.C....I'll probably be offered a job as a Democratic Congressional staffer! Whoops...then I'd really ave to watch my ass, so to speak...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Michael's Fashion Sense Savaged...Again!

Well hell, with Ed Bradley croaked and all, my Sweetie says I'm the last male person on national television with an earring...or, in my case, two earrings.

Over on the 1911 Forum, I'm being flayed alive for it, too:
The host has an EAR RING! not one of those stupid studs from the 80's, but a cartlige hoop at the top of his left ear. I dont mean to call into question a mans.... well manliness... but Comeon! Take it out for TV man!
I immediately forwarded the thread to some SEAL friends of mine who routinely wear earrings, because I don't want them embarrassed by any sexual ambiguities. They're very sensitive, doncha know...

I believe my sexual orientation was clarified in, if I remember correctly, The Weekly Standard, one of the bastions of conservative political thought, some years back, where it was mentioned in passing that even though I worked with the Pink Pistols on occasion, I was "straight." My Sweetie was certainly comforted by that, and I do believe I'm one of the few people in these politically correct times who has never had sex with a Congressional page, an alter boy or George Michaels, yet still have my sexual orientation discussed in a national arena.

I woulda posted something funny on the 1911 Forum, but despite my long-time membership there, I'm not being allowed to post! Maybe they're afraid I'll put my picture in their Classifieds...well, it's not the first time I've run afoul of 1911 types — Col. Cooper once told me to get my hair cut.

Anyway, here's what I would have posted on the 1911 Forum if they'd let me, an homage to Bruce Campbell's greatest role as Ash (as in the classic "This is my Boom-Stick!" image from the movie) in Army of Darkness...

Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the machine gun!

All in good fun...

Michael B

Monday, November 13, 2006

Definitely Perkier Thans To Judicious Ministering of Automatic Weapons

Spent the day at GUNSITE shooting Russian machine guns, and as I predicted, I feel much better. Maybe I should pitch that to Oprah..."it's just a simple matter of watching all those rounds fly downrange, Oprah; I mean, a simple squeeze of the trigger and in no time at all a 100 rounhd belt is history! Now, can I have my midsize car? Oh yeah, I was beaten as a child..."

i was particulary taken with the little Krinkov, more properly the AK-74SU in 5.45 X 39...happy happy joy joy joy! Man, I haven't had this much fun shooting a mahine gun since the little Czech Skorpion .32 ACP! It's got a rate reducer to slow it down to a sane cycle rate, so it's not gonna climb on you too bad. Big Brother, in 7.62 X 39 regular old AK-47 caliber was a little bitty BEAR to hang onto! More than 3- or 4-shot bursts and you're hanging on for dear life.

I'm so taken by the little Krink, which is apparently French slang for "little bitch," that I'm going to get one of the Krink pistols that are floating around, probably in 5.45 even though it's a hard cartridge to get compared to the 7.62. With a 30-round plastic mag, this has got to be the ne plus ultra of car guns.

I'm really bummed that so many of you guys hang at the Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek! I'd'a bought you all a round on my expense account, while I still have an expense account. The good news is that I'm goign to be heading back to Cave Creek to spend some quality time with Harbey Wallbanger Jr., shown here in his greatest modeling role ever as the primo stud buffalo on the new buffalo nickel..try not to comfuse him with the Krink. This is true, by the way — Harvey got to meet the President, and I hear he gave him a piece of his bison mind on how the war in Iraq is going!

I promise, I will totally announce the next Cave Creek trip n the blog, and we will schedule a giant cowboy hug! Hmmm...maybe not....gotta go get on a plane! Thanks for the kind words....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday PM and Not a YouTube Funny in Sight

I looked, too.

I was trying to cheer myself up, it being autumn and all. Lots of other stuff going on, and it's all uniformily bad.

Yesterday, however, I was at a cowboy bar in Cave Creek, AZ. I could tell it was a real cowboy bar because there was a horse arena in the back, horses with and without riders were wandering around and the jukebox was playing an eclectic mix of George Straight, Jimmy Buffett and old Hank Jr., from back when Bocephus and I traveled together.

I was watching a long lean cowgirl, wondering in a strictly non-sexist engineering sort of way how she got those jeans on and off, like maybe was there some kind of modified sausage casing machine or a particular kind of denim lubricant. No matter — the great thing about a real cowboy bar, as opposed to a cowboy bar in downtown Denver, is that in a real cowboy bar that whole cowboy ethos thing is real. Unlike, say, the guys who run SASS, the cowboy shooting group, who wear hats and boots, talk endlessly about "the Cowboy Way" and will promptly pick your pocket, lie to your face, piss on your dog and probably sell you their wives and daughters for 10 minutes of airtime and a clean $20 bill, in a real cowboy bar, you get the benefit of a doubt. Maybe you're the living breathing reincarnation of John Wesley Hardin or maybe you're Nancy Pelosi, but you're treated straight up and with courtesy until you prove yourself unworthy. Believe me, there are worse places for the merry-go-round to stop than a cowboy bar in rural Arizona. Hell, all I ever wanted was the benfit of a doubt! And a decent 1911. I got the 1911, so I'm half-way there.

I left the Buffalo Chip Bar feeling like maybe the entire world didn't suck.

Will be up at GUNSITE tomorrow for a day, and that's always good for a boost. Especially if I get to crank off some belt-fed weapons.

I wonder just what makes a man keep pushing on
What makes me keep on hummin' this old highway song
I've been from coast to coast a hundred times before
I ain't found one single place where I ain't been before
White Line Fever
A sickness born down deep within my soul
White Line Fever
The years keep flyin' by like the highline poles

— Merle Haggard
"White Line Fever"

Tomorrow is, after all, another day!

No Really, Nobody Expects the Dems to Do This...

From the LA Times:
Liberal groups expect postelection results

Activists who helped Democrats secure Congress make clear they intend to get their reward.

Some of the very activists who helped propel the Democrats to a majority in the House and Senate last week are claiming credit for the victories and demanding what they consider their due: a set of ambitious — and politically provocative — actions on gun control, abortion, national security and other issues that party leaders fear could alienate moderate voters and leave Democrats vulnerable to GOP attacks as big spenders or soft on terrorism.
At the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the leading gun-control advocacy group, President Paul Helmke has high hopes for the assault weapons ban — and he can list races where candidates backed by his group defeated those supported by the National Rifle Assn.

But Helmke, a former Republican mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind., acknowledged that his challenge was to convince Democrats that his cause was not "radioactive." Many Democratic strategists have come to believe that supporting gun-control laws alienates rural voters and many independents.

"Guns are a tricky issue," Helmke said. "But the elections show there's nothing to be afraid of."

Still, the issues of abortion and guns underscore the tough decisions facing Reid and Pelosi as they try to please the party's core supporters while appealing to centrist voters.
Helmke, you idiot...guns are radioactive! The Dems raise the issue, and we raise the roof!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Hysterical Window on What Nancy Pelosi Has In Store...

Got a hysterically funny news article forwarded by Kirk Webb over at Defense Training International publications, from the East London Guardian. As I read it — at least, when I finished laughing — I realized that this is world that La Pelosi and the Dems would like us to live in...and boy, is it pathetic:
Bullet found in doorway

LIVE ammunition has been found lying in the doorway of a busy high street shop.

The .22 calibre short round bullet was found at the entrance of the 99p Stores in Walthamstow High Street on Wednesday morning, November 1.

Haroon Khan, who has a firearms licence and is a member of a local gun club, was alarmed to discover live ammunition in a Walthamstow doorway.

The bullet, of Swiss origin, was still in its brass casing, complete with enough gunpowder for it to fire itself.
Well, needless to say, I am immediately checking all my .22 Shorts to see if any of the little bastards have gotten loose and are terrifying the neighborhood! Seriously, isn't it hard to imagine that the same people who wet themselves over a .22 Short once resisted the Blitz and, before that, ruled the world? This is the world the Democrats lust for, a world where people have heart palpitations over a single cartridge and call in the government, who, of course, knows best.

As for the Brits, it hardly matters. With their huge and growing Muslim minority, the clock is already running on what's left of the Empire. England will be an Islamic nation, only a question of when, not if. And really, as sad and as pathetic a people as they have become, they'll be a lot happier under Sharia Law...I say, lovely burkah my dear; have a nice jihad!
BTW, the caption on the .22 Short photo above was:

LETHAL: The .22 calibre bullet found in Walthamstow High Street on a market day morning