Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Minor Saturday Rant

Gosh, I got thrown off another firearms forum yesterday...I accidentallly mentioned that I produce SHOOTING GALLERY and that Outdoor Channel was committed to Second Amendment issues. POOF! Away I went! This from the same forum that has been steadily slandering OC and me by implication every since the InterMedia shows got dumped.

I'm apparently not allowed to mention that I have a new show coming, because that changes the terms of the argument. Instead of the Evil Wicked Giant Television Network stepping on the Plucky Little Guys, the argument becomes what it always was, one consumer product being replaced by a better consumer product. Welcome to Darwin 101.

The one forum that has always been stand-up is the competition forums from my friend of so many years Brian Enos. I've been a member of Brian's forums for years and years, and, yes, we have issues on whether or not I'm commercial — I am by definition a commercial's a fine balancing act, but it's one that Brian and I have discussed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Coming Soon to Denver!

This LGM (Little Green Men, silly!) story from the morning's Rocky Mountain News:
Phone home: Purported UFO video to be shown Friday

A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing space alien will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver.

Jeff Peckman, who is pushing a ballot initiative to create an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission in Denver to prepare the city for close encounters of the alien kind, said the video is authentic and convinced him that aliens exist.

"As impressive as it is, it's still one tiny portion in the context of a vast amount of peripheral evidence," he said Wednesday. "It's really the final visual confirmation of what you already know to be true having seen all the other evidence."
"It shows an extraterrestrial's head popping up outside of a window at night, looking in the window, that's visible through an infrared camera," he said. The alien is about 4 feet tall and can be seen blinking, Peckman said earlier this month.
Well, there you are! It's all over but the shouting, running and hiding...and, of course, the question as to whether the aliens can vote in the November election. As you can see from the Weekly World News cover a few years back, the Space Alien was instrumental in Bill Clinton's campaign. I'm thinking the aliens are going to jump the Clinton ship and throw their relatively light weight over to b-HO on the stipulation that he gives them parts of Colorado, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, the states where they've previously done the most scouting and anal probing, as seen in this stunning documentary:

In one brilliant political stroke, b-HO will be rid of a bunch of bitter backwoods peckerheads and simultaneously nail down a solid big-eyed voting constituency who are strongly in favor of change, government support and inspiring books titled "How To Serve Man."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wild Bunch Match Guns

Thought you guys might want to take a look at two of the guns I plan to shoot in the first SASS Wild Bunch match next month down at Founders Ranch in New Mexico.

The rifle is a Legacy Arms Puma in .44 Magnum/.44 Special...I love the little Legacy '92 clones, and this one shoots sweet. I had it overhauled by my pal Steve Young at Steve's Gunz, who does a superb job on the Italian rifles. One thing he did with this rifle was his new stainless steel finish, which makes the bright, shiny stainless look more like an old gun. I love it! I'm goign to get him to do the same finish on my main SASS gun, a Rossi '92 clone in .357 that used to be imported by Navy Arms.

The pistola is my father's 1911A1 Remington Rand that he carried in WW2; I found a set of year-correct 1911A1 plastic grip panels on the Internet to replace the rubber grips the gun had worn since the late 1960s. The holster is a custom piece made for me by Ted Blocker Holsters based on their classic Wild Bunch holster. I asked for a straight drop vertical belt holster rather than the more typical canted holster because that's what I'm used to in competition holsters. Blocker included a matching 2-magazine belt pouch; I ordered 4 replica WW1 1911 magazines from International Military Antiques, where I got the grip panels, so I can stay frosty in period.

Wednesday Chopped lettuce

"I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun."
—Raymond Chandler
Farewell My Lovely

Yeah yeah, one of those least teh weather seems to have briefly broken, and we might accidentally have one day of spring before the snow returns.

First, some thoughts from the great columnist Thomas Sowell and why the media is so obsessed with counting bullets. It sort of reminds me of when I was along for the ride on the Grenada invasion...occasionally I'd desert the Rangers and EOD guys I was hanging with to visit one of those military press briefings. These MSM guys would be howling for body count numbers...interestingly enough, and something pointed out by the military briefers, the same MSM guys who were frothing at the mouth for body count numbers had previously decried "body count journalism" as one of the most repulsive outcomes of the Vietnam War. Go figure. Anyhow, here's Sowell on bullet counts:
People who have never fired a gun in their lives say that they cannot understand why the police fired so many bullets. If it is something that they have never experienced, there is of course no reason why they should be expected to understand.

But, even after confessing their ignorance, such people often proceed to spout off, just as if they knew what they were talking about.

It is very easy for a pistol shot to miss, even in the safety and calm of a firing range, much less in a desperate situation where a decision must be made in a split second that can cost you your life or end someone else’s life.

In a life-and-death situation, nobody counts how many bullets he is firing, much less how many bullets others are firing. It is not like a western movie, where the hero whips out his six-shooter, fires one time, and the villain drops dead.

A factual study of more than 200 real-life incidents where the police fired their guns found that most of the shots missed.

Even at a distance as close as six feet, just over half the shots missed. This may be far less surprising to people who have actually fired pistols than to people who have not.
Sowell adds this note:
Nor does even a clear hit always render the wounded person harmless. When your life is on the line, you keep on firing until you are damn sure it is safe to stop.
Amen to that! Sort of a mantra for the gun culture.

I promised myself I wouldn't get into any long political rants for the rest of the week, but I would like to note Cybscryb's comment on my last post on "Obama the Closer:"
We might get by with one more election cycle holding our nose and voting for the lesser of two evils, but if you've read the latest critique of the party by GOP Representative Davis...26 pages of why the GOP is in trouble, and not one single word about protecting the Second Amendment.
When I was at the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation shoot last week, I was heartened that Steve Sanetti, the new President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and former head of Ruger, cnstantly reminded the pols that it wasn't just about ducks and the Farm Bill, that the firearms industry and Second Amendment issues were critical.

Still, there's a huge disconnect between us and our political supporters...they literally don't understand — or care — what is important to us. Okay, enough said for today...

Planning for the new show continues apace. In the meantime, I think I need a new watch, like this Pimp model featured on Tokyo Flash.

Here's how you tell time with it...if you understand it, you're smarter than the average Japanese pimp! Definitely smarter than me today...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mandatory Reading — "Obama the Closer"

This piece from Kyle-Anne Shiver in today's NRO is a must-read. yes, I know that you guys are sick of hearing me refer to b-HO as a socialist nightmare, but it is critically important that all of us understand that this election is not business as usual. There are a lot of people out there who want to cast their vote for Bob Barr, who is, indeed, one of us. For this I fall back on the wisdom of veteran blogger Kim du Toit, who said, "I love America more than I hate McCain." Here's a couple of excerpts from the NRO story:
Obama’s young worshippers think they see something altogether new, a unique persona, seemingly magically transported to this moment in history to help them finally be the ones to net the elusive butterfly of socialism’s never-realized promise.

The kids think they see something new. But do they?

Sixties’ radicals see their as yet unfulfilled yearning for socialist utopia in a well-groomed, glittery, establishment-approved package.

The college kids today, flocking to Obama rallies, don’t look much like we did, with our tie-dyed shirts and frayed bellbottoms, our waist-length hair or wild Afros. And they seem to see Obama as the antithesis of 60s’ madness, with a been-there-done-that-want-something-new kind of thirst, a quest for which youth has always been known.

Obama is clean-cut. He talks unity, not subversion. He promises equal outcomes without resorting to violence to get them. He endorses marriage and fidelity for himself, without condeming other lifestyle choices. He speaks in highbrow English, rather than the 60s revolutionary slogans:

Kill the Pigs
Smash Monogamy
Violence is as American as cherry pie
If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down

Obama’s followers make high-tech videos, mindlessly chanting, “Yes, we can” instead of making bombs to blow up government buildings, or holding up armored trucks and killing police officers.

This new generation seems to have the opportunity to do now with mere votes what their predecessors tried and failed to do through violence. We can finally seal the deal on the real revolution — democratically. Obama, the Closer, is at hand.

Evidenced by his list of supporters, from Ayers Dohrn, Hayden and Fonda, to the New Black Panthers, the New SDS, the New Winter Soldiers, et al., the radical Left has annointed Obama as the One. Every aging, anti-war, anti-capitalist group and their new offshoots are flocking around Obama like moths to a flame.

He is the One they’ve been waiting for. Biding their time during the dark, dreary days of Reagan, throughout the self-absorbed Boomer years, into the Yuppie sellout decade, and on through the compromising Clinton years, they’ve waited and planned and hoped.

To these rabid Marxist radicals, Obama is the One, because he’s probably their last chance to see socialism triumph on our own soil. They have grasped the reality of their own mortality.

And this could be very bad news for America. Who, in his right mind, really wants anything these radicals were peddling?

Monday, May 26, 2008

What b-HO Wants For Us All

This from the Brits, that pathetic excuse of a once great, soon-to-be Islamic country:
Airport-style scanners on the streets
Justin Davenport, Crime Correspondent

Police are to use hundreds of airport-style and hand-held weapon detectors in the crackdown on knife crime.

Teams of 15 officers will be deployed across the 10 boroughs in London that have recorded the most knife crime.

Assistant Commissioner Tim Godwin, head of territorial policing in the capital, said officers would be deployed in areas blighted by stabbings to stop and search teenagers suspected of carrying weapons.

Police admit the "in your face policing" is expected to raise community tensions in some areas.

But they say they are getting significant support from communities desperate for them to crack down on the problem.

Officers will use contentious Section 60 powers to enforce effective "no-go" areas for people carrying knives.

The powers enable officers to stop people and search them without the need to have "reasonable suspicion" that they are engaged in wrong doing.
This is the world that b-HO, Barack Hussein Obama, wants for Americans. Forget the Second Amendment! Check the cutlery drawer! Forget probable cause. Forget self-defense. Forget being anything but a slave in a Burberry coat.

Michael's NFA Rant

I posted this rant over on the DRTV Forums on the Shotgun Self-Abuse thread, then thought it's rightful place was on the blog:
The Knoxx Breacher Grip is the absolute next accessory! The Knoxx stocks work extremely well. I'm also going to Hans Vang with it...I think with the Knoxx grip and a Vang Comp job (and sights, dammit!) and the little monster becomes a useful tool. The Remington factory breachers come with a Pachmayr rubber grip, which is a little easier on the hands than the hard plastic one on the Serbu. My pal Alan Samuel has the Pach's on his Mossberg Super Shorty, and it is much easier to handle.

You will definitely see more NFA stuff on SHOOTING GALLERY in 2009, and for exactly the reasons outlined in earlier posts. There's nothing evil, wicked, mean and nasty about SBR, SBS, suppressors or the other odd things controlled by the NFS. In fact, IMHO, the 1934 Firearms Act defies even the slightest tinge of logic. It is a law spun out of whole cloth to give a job to the hordes of "revenue agents" left with nothing to do after the repeal of Prohibition.

In all honesty, i do at least understand the urge to control full-auto weapons (but NOT the 1986 ban on the same). The other items lumped into the NFA border on ridiculous...make-work for federal agents and a constant sword of damocles over our heads. In much of the world suppressors — essentially the firearms equivalent of a car's muffler — are considered a courtesy to neighbors (and in some areas even mandated) as opposed to under federal control. Every year police officers have their hearing permanently damaged by touching off AR-15s/M-4s — now standard issue rifles — in enclosed spaces. EVERY POLICE CARBINE SHOULD BE SUPPRESSED!

Short-barreled rifles with an arbitrary barrel length of less than 16-inches? Both Winchester and Marlin cataloged 14-inch "saddle carbines" in their lever gun lines back in cowboy days. Why 16-inch and not 14-inch? And why the whole Byzantine set of definitions? I can legally purchase without paperwork (and in fact have one on order from Chiappa Firearms) a 12-inch barreled, 24-inch overall length 1892 "Mare's Laig" lever gun, because it was built from the ground up as a pistol. I can't put a full-sized stock on it, because that would make it a short-barreled rifle, an NFA controlled item. Technically (as I understand the law) I can't even own an 1892 replacement stock at the same time I own the Mare's Laig unless I have another 1892 Winchester that the replacement stock could conceivably go on, because owning the pieces of an NFA weapon is considered by the G to be the same as owning an assembled weapon. I suggest you read the Supreme Court decision from 1992 regarding Thompson Center's interchangeable parts system:

<<Justice Souter wrote that "a set of parts that could be used to make nothing but a short-barreled rifle" would, if there is an "aggregation" of such, be a short-barreled rifle.>>

"Sawed-off" shotguns? Imagine the stupidity of attempting to control a weapon that can be readily made with a hacksaw. An Ithaca 20-gauge Auto & Burglar double-barreled shot pistol is controlled because it is a smoothbore; a .410 gauge Taurus "Judge" 5-shot revolver isn't because the Judge — now one of the most popular self-defense guns in America — has a rifled barrel. Is there a difference? No...of course not. Don't get me started! Short-barreled shotguns are now in widespread use in the military and in law enforcement as breachers and entry guns. The 14-inch barrel is substantially easier to use in a self-defense scenario such as home protection than a barrel in the uncontrolled length of 18 inches.

What would happen if the Federal "controls" on barrel length of rifles and shotguns were lifted tomorrow? NOTHING AT ALL, except we'd all have access to a whole new generation of handy rifles and shotguns. Would such guns be "more concealable" than their long-barreled counterparts? Depends on whether you live in the Real World or not...for a fact, no such short-barreled rifles or shotguns would be nearly as "concealable" as a 1911, much less a Bond Derringer in .410 (with a rifled barrel!). "More deadly" than a handgun? Hmmmmm...your choice...stand in front of my Super Shorty 12-guage or my Wilson Combat 1911 .45 ACP and tell me which makes you more dead.

What would happen if suppressor technology was suddenly uncontrolled? We'd save millions of dollars used in treating firearm-related hearing loss in shooters (go price a set of digital hearing aids and tell me this is not an issue); police officers would no longer have to worry about forced disability retirement from hearing loss; the "not-in-my-backyard" knee-jerk reaction to shooting ranges because of noise-related issues could be drastically reduced — especially in urban areas — hunters would have a whole new option, especially when hunting near populated areas; young shooters could be introduced to the sport in a safer would be a total win-win, except that it's not going to happen. Amazing, considering we're talking about technology that can be on par with a quart plastic cola bottle and duct tape.


Anyhow, on SG we'll be dealing with how to fill out the paperwork for an NFA gun, what you can expect from the G, etc. I'm also considering putting together a class on the utility of the short-barreled shotgun just for the heck of it.

Some Election Notes

As we near the end for Lady MacBeth and her unholy crusade — "Vote for me, in case the otehr guy gets shot!" — here's a thought from my pal James Wesley Rawles over at the Survival Blog, particularly germaine as look at the first unabashedly socialist candidate to run for the Presidency:
Ponder what socialism does: In essence, in redistributes wealth, by force. Even if that force has a friendly American face, under the color of law, with a neat and orderly system of taxation, it is nonetheless still force. The bottom line is that under the socialist model, without my consent, some of my earnings are forcibly extracted from me and eventually put into the hands of another citizen that did not earn them. If I refuse to pay my taxes, then I will pay huge fines and/or go to prison. Period.
I hate like heck to see Bob Barr get into the race on the Libertarian ticket. I am a gut-level fire-breathing libertarian, and I have shaken Bob Barr's hand and called him an American hero. But here's the reality — every vote for Bob Barr is a vote for a socialist America, an America that is antithesis for everything we have fought for and dreamed of. Every vote for Bob Barr is a vote to repudiate the Second Amendment, a vote to strip Americans of their firearms rights.

This one is for all the marbles, folks. We can't afford to cast a feel-good vote!

Memorial Day, 2008

I read an editorial in the Denver Post today that the "real message" of Memorial Day, the day when we honor our fallen warriors, is a cautionary one, how we must strive to not send our men and women into foreign wars, how we must focus on energy independence, how we should be riding our bicycles to work, and on and on.


There are 364 other days in the year for us to think about such things. Today a grateful nation pauses to honor it's fallen and those who serve. We do so with the full knowledge that war is horrible state of affairs, but not the most horrible state of affairs. We have only to glance around the world today, or study even the briefest of histories, to understand why we fight and why we honor those who fought in our name.

And as we honor our heroes, it is always tempered by the knowledge that a day will come when we must again say to the best of us, "We need you to go to a place called Khe Sanh, a place called the Chosin Reservoir, a place called Omaha Beach, a place called Iwo Jima, a place called the Western Front, San Juan Hill, Round Top...a place called Thermopylae..."

And they will go, and we will honor them above all others. And not just on one day in May.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Passing of No Consequence

Well heck, I note the passing of my goldfish, Pooh Yee. Ornamental goldfish are strange, exotic creatures, prisoners of their much-manipulated and ultimately flawed genes — although I suppose that could be said for all of us. I got him for a couple of bucks at some giant pet store years ago. Even though he was 3/4 of an inch long, I figured he must be tough, since he survived the trip from the goldfish factories in China. At his passing, he was almost 9 inches long and was pretty hefty.

No big. Just thought I should note it.

crisp and clear blue sky
alighting on a tree branch
.....a goldfish!

—Dhugal Lindsay, Fuyoh 3, 1995

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Yet Another Sign of the Apocalypse... Hollywood considers remaking Red Dawn.

Except in the new version, crazed rednecks with machine guns attempt to take over the great liberal bastions of Boulder, Eugene, Madison, Auston and Berkeley, where they are repelled by plucky neuvo-hippies and b-HO supporters allied with noble but oppressed migrant workers throwing blueberry scones and harsh language!

And speaking of liberals, here's a little tidbit from Chicago, b-HO's home turf, where being a scumbag just seems to come with the territory:
Ald. Richard Mell (33rd) is a former hunter with an arsenal of weapons that reportedly features shotguns, rifles and pistols, including a Walther PPK of James Bond fame.

But there's a problem.

Mell forgot to re-register the weapons as required every year by the ordinance that he helped to pass as one of the City Council's most senior members.

So, what does an alderman do when he finds himself in violation of the law? He writes a new law. Mell has quietly introduced an ordinance that would reopen gun registration in Chicago and create a one-month amnesty for himself and other gun owners in the same predicament.
Ah politicians...gotta love 'em!

Monday, May 19, 2008

We're Getting Prickly!

The new personal defense series for Quarter 1 2009 is officially green-lighted!

And I'm pleased to announce that SHOOTING GALLERY regular Walt Rauch, the author of THE REAL WORLD — What Has Worked for Me, PRACTICALLY SPEAKING — The Guns, Game and Gear of IDPA, founder of both USPSA and IDPA and one of the most respected self-defense authorities in the world will be a regular on the new show!


Gosh, I cannot thank all of you enough for the wonderful weekend in Louisville!

First, to the fans of SHOOTING GALLERY, DRTV, COWBOYS and the blog and podcast, you awed and humbled me. I signed literally hundreds of autographs, had my picture taken with dozens of people and got to talk to the greatest bunch of men and women in the world! You thoughts and ideas have been and will continue to be invaluable to me, and I cannot thank you enough for your support.

To our DRTV and GUNSITE regulars who turned out in force, as usual you guys rock! Don Worsham, you're as weird as I suspected you might be, and I'm glad you like my other weird friends. Charles, Tim, Bob and the other GUNSITE-inistas, as always, a hoot of a time, and I learn new stuff every time I hang with you guys.

To the blog community, welcome aboard! Christie Caywood — Bitter Bitch Herself — and the NRA deserve a huge "attaboy" for bringing the gun blogging community on-board as full and deserving members of the media. I have been a press-card-carrying member of the mainstream media since I was 18 years old, but I unequivocally believe that the new media is our future. I am as proud of this blog as anything I have ever written — article, book, speech, whatever. Great meeting all of you, and I look forward to our shared futures.

To the industry, which is united as never before...yes, there's a storm coming,, but we have weathered storms before. And I am completely heartened to see that for the first time ever, we have a gut-level understanding that all guns are the same, that there is no difference between a $20,000 sporting clays Perazzi shotgun, a Glock .45, one of Ronnie Barrett's .50 BMGs or a "black" rifle AR-15...we stand together!

Let me sum this up...I just spent four days in an armed society...I walked around in a room full of thousands of people with guns on their hips (myself included, a little Ruger LCP in a small SafePacker on my belt) one was "paranoid" one was "scared" one sat on the porch and strummed a banjo...the man I believe will be the new President of the United States came to tell us he was with of the most popular commentators in the world, Glenn Beck, came to say that while he didn't know squat about guns, but he understood the people there in Louisville..."I don't believe in organizations; I believe in rights," Beck said. "And I joined this year as a lifetime member of the NRA."

I have said this before, but it never hurts to say it again...we are not just a different culture, we are a better culture. This from my friend Jim Shepherd on the Shooting Wire this AM:
These four days, I've witnessed a snapshot of America in the city I once called home. And once again, I'm speaking proudly of Louisville as "the closest thing I've ever had to a home town."

Louisville – and the NRA Meetings were the picture and sounds of civility, hospitality and fraternity. Not the quality of "American Gothic" or the sounds of great symphonic work, but a photo you wouldn't be ashamed to stick on your refrigerator along with the other portraits of your America while you hummed contentedly to yourself.

That's not bad.
Amen...and pass the ammunition!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

NRA Saturday!

Another excellent day!

First, I want to make a couple of announcements. I recently mentioned that Richard "Tequila" Young, the host of our COWBOYS series had ridden off into the sunset, leaving a really big pair of boots to fill. I'm proud and happy to announce that Ron "Tupelo Flash" Stein has been tapped to fill those boots!

You've seen Ron before on COWBOYS, several times. He's a veteran top cowboy action and Western 3-Gun shooter, match director last year for the great Gunfight Behind the Jersey Lilly cowboy match in California and at one tme in his checkered career one of the top Elvis impersonators in Vegas and touring the world. The Tupelo Flash will become a regular presence on DRTV over the summer, so watch for him.

Best saddle up,'s time to ride!

Secondly, I've gotten some email queries about Outdoor Channel's decision not to renew the shows produced by Intermedia, including GUNS & AMMO TELEVISION and PERSONAL DEFENSE TV, effective 1 January 2009. I'm not a Boss, nor do I play one on TV. I'm a producer, but I also know that nature — and television — abhors a vacuum. This weekend I asked OC to dust off a treatment I'd written almost two years ago for a series on self-defense for regular people, and it looks like that new series is going to be a go. Right now, my plan is to produce the series, not host; some of the names already committed to work with me on the series include Ken Hackathorn, Dave Spaulding, Rob Haught, Michael Janich...essentially a "Who's Who" of the top trainers in America.

As usual from me, no bullshit, no lab coats, no histronics, no "contractor casual" nonsense...just solid information that you can use to live a better and safer life. I hope to be making formal announcements in the next week or so, and by then I'll have several more names you're going to recognize from people who weren't here in Louisville. I'm pretty excited about this...nearly broke my heart when it got shelved because of conflicts with outside shows!

So far, initial industry response to the new series idea is spectacular...wonderful!

I spent a bunch of time today talking to the .50 Caliber Shooting Association, of which I am a member in good standing, on our upcoming DRTV Everything You Wanted To Know About The Big 50 series to be filmed this summer in conjunction with my friend Ronnie Barrett...this is going to be so much fun...and, as usual, another ground-breaking innovation from DRTV. I also want to make it clear that we have a POLITICAL agenda as well...the .50s are the sharp point of the spear, the lightning rod for antigun weasels. As well as educating people on .50s, we'll be providing resources for the .50 BMG community to help them in their — and our — fight. We are in the fight 100%; there's a storm coming, and we'll do everything in our power to help our community be ready for it!

BTW, on gunny stuff, I got to hang out a little today with Bruce Siddle, the new owner of Detonics. You guys know I really like the little Detonics CombatMaster, which has always been the gold standard for small 1911s. I despaired for a little bit that Detonics might not survive into the next iteration, but my fears were misplaced.

Bruce is showing a majorly enhanced — and well thought out — Detonics line. We'll have video for you on DRTV (duh), but let me just tell you about the top end of the line...a series of Detonics pistols spec'ed by my good friend and master gunsmith Wayne Novak. These pistols are hot, and I can't wait to get my hands on one of the Novak Detonics CombatMasters...great looking and great handling little guns! There's also Commander and full-sized models available. Watch for the videos.

Hey, it's after midnight and there's a clear and present danger of turning into a pumpkin!

More tomorrow!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Blogger Bash a Super Success!

Absolutely great!

I'm too tired to even list the great people I met...we'll have lots more info on it from Bitter Bitch...I couldn't be happier...

Quickly, the Remington .308 they're showing has a DPMS lower (DPMS and Bushmaster are in the Cerberus stable), but the production guns will be Remington branded. My people at Remington said they'd have me a gun in mid-to-late June, and Marshal and I will be traveling out to BIG GREENJ to shoot it and film it for DRTV.

Big trick is from Skip Patel at Bushmaster — a really slick refinement of a .338 Lapua gas is just beautiful...Skip's shot it out to 1800 week, Skip tells me they'll be testing an upper in — get this — .416 Rigby. Again, we'll be traveling out to Georgia to put some rounds through this ground-breaking gun.

Really liked the colored Charter snubs...I'll be ordering a red and black version (try to get you all a pix tomorrow); also one of the .327 6-shot snubs, if I can get the ammo from Federal.

Struck a deal with Ronnie Barrett to do a whole series of DRTV videos on the big .50...this is going to be fun!

My pal Ron Norton at Chiappa, who's building me a 16-inch take-down '92 clone, is showing a beautiful Mare's Leg '92 pistol in .44 Mag, .44-40 and .45 Colt...totally impractical, but I'm the guy who bought a Super-Shorty! Also a realy nice .22 SAA-styled single action revolver at the slick price point of $160 American money.

Ran into Kenny Hackathorn and Rob Haught at Springfield and had Dave Williams, Springfield's ace gunsmith, take us through the new XD-M, with its replaceable backstraps and it's no-trigger-pull-necessary disasembly...currently in .40 (16 rounds), but, duh....

Tired now...

PS: Have asked OC tech people to explain sound problems to me. Will be discussing it in California in two weeks...

Michael Bane @ NRA Convention!

I will be signing autographs today, Saturday and Sunday at the OUTDOOR CHANNEL booth at the NRA Convention in Louisville, KY!!!

Please, drop by and chit-chat!

When I'm not at the booth, I'll be cruising the floor, looking at stuff like the new Springfield XD-M (short for M-hanced, or something like that), the new Remington AR-10 clone in .308, the finally almost available new Detonics and whatever else I can ferrett out.

Just on principle, I'll see if I can fling some poo, too!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

b-HO's Election Rules

Here's a good story from our pal Rich Lowry over at NRO on Obama's election rules: Here are the Obama rules in detail:
He can’t be called a “liberal” (“the same names and labels they pin on everyone,” as Obama puts it); his toughness on the war on terror can’t be questioned (“attempts to play on our fears”); his extreme positions on social issues can’t be exposed (“the same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives” and “turn us against each other”); and his Chicago background too is off-limits (“pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy”). Besides that, it should be a freewheeling and spirited campaign.

Democrats always want cultural issues not to matter because they are on the least-popular side of many of them, and want patriotic symbols like the Pledge of Allegiance and flag pins to be irrelevant when they can’t manage to nominate presidential candidates who wholeheartedly embrace them (which shouldn’t be that difficult). As for “fear” and “division,” they are vaporous pejoratives that can be applied to any warning of negative consequences of a given policy or any political position that doesn’t command 100 percent assent. In his North Carolina speech, Obama said the Iraq war “has not made us safer,” and that McCain’s ideas are “out of touch” with “American values.” How fearfully divisive.
I definitely don't want to be divisive! That's why I want to be right up front and say b-HO is a discount socialist who has put forth an agenda that will lead to the destruction of the America we love. He wants to take our guns and, if elected, will do his best to gut the Second Amendment. That's not to divisive, is it? It's the truth.

I had great fun today blasting away with my "Respect My Authority" Winchester X2...what can I say? THIS YEAR, I swear, I'm going to address this SHOTGUN THING. I talked to my friend Allen Treadwell, who is just a brilliant young shotgun shooter, and Olympic shotgun master Haley Dunn, who's also way cute, about coming out to Colorado this summer to film an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY on torturing me into learning the shotgun...they're up for it, although it will probably kill me.

Jeff over at Alphecca is shopping for cheap assault weapons:
Reader Participation Time. I’ve got several firearms including my beloved Bushmaster (and another Bushmaster rifle planned) and other stuff. But. I want an arsenal of “assault weapons” before the Dementiacrats take over. Frankly, the cost counts. Okay, cash is actually in short supply.
Stop by his site and toss out some suggestions (Hint...everybody needs an AK...maybe a super el cheapo Romanian version from J&G, $349.95).

You might also waqnt to catch up on BATFE and Adventure Unlimited, the last shop refusing to give in to the bullying of that swine Michael Bloomberg. Ahab has a great summary:
The entire pro-gun community is aware of Mayor Bloomberg of New York City’s lawsuit against licensed FFLs - the lawsuit that was a result of his sending private investigators to their stores to break the law and then try and sue them for it.

You may or may not know that as of right now, there is basically one last shop standing that is refusing to give into the bullying by Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies. Adventure Outdoors is still fighting the original lawsuit, as well as having filed a counter-suit, suing Mayor Bloomberg for defamation.

The ATF throwing Adventure Outdoors under the bus pertains to the original case, which is still being fought in court. Earlier in the year, Adventure Outdoors had subpoenaed three BATFE agents to be deposed in regards to the case pending against Adventure Outdoors. After the initial subpoenas were withdrawn, the BATFE “agreed” to allow the agents to be deposed in written question - now BATFE is going back on that agreement and has filed motions to exempt the agents from their written depositions.

Morning & Assorted Lunacy

...mostly having to do with SG production issues...every so often I have to morph back into a television producer, fret heavily and sort crap.

Sorry I misspelled, Steve's name! We had a great dinner last night, and I think you guys are going to be very happy about some of the things we talked about...some very cool things coming up for DRTV!

Interesing piece in USA Today this AM on grey parrots and intelligence. Hard to imagine that researchers still have a problem with the idea of a sentient animal. God forbid that man doesn't tower over the animal kingdom in exactly the same way that a god allegedly towers over much of our view of the "animal kingdom" is tainted by an outdated sense of the "natural order of things."

Of course my grey parrot, Ripley, understands perfectly that he is the King of the World, as well as the Official Flock Leader when I'm not around. Accordingly, he spends his days ordering my Sweetie around and giving her helpful hints in daily activities. It's a miracle she hasn't batter-fried him. Ripley is, by any standards you'd care to apply, sentient...he is self-aware, conscious of time, has a good vocabulary that he can use descriptively, adapts and learns in new situations, has a limited understanding of numbers (up to 3 or 4, better than most high school students these days) and has a hobby ("collecting" odd noises...he has a prodigious memory and quite a collection).

I personally think he should run for office.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What I Learned from Willie

I note this AM that my old Texas pal Joe Nick Patoski has written the definitive biography of Willie Nelson, WILLIE NELSON: AN EPIC LIFE. Joe Nick is a superb writer and the perfect person to chronicle this exceptional life.

We all pal'ed around back in the "Outlaw Country"sad, our lonely days and lonely nights reduced to a Wikipedia entry — drank too much Pearl and Lone Star in too many chicken wire bars, slept in a lot of dusty concrete block motels next to roadhouses and, in general, got towed along in the tail of the Willie and Waylon comet. I could have said we surfed the whiskey river, but hey...

Am in Baltimore for the Congressional Sportsmen planning on a long night of drinking with my pal Steven Hunter to get me ready for tomorrow's shoot...

Thursday, May 08, 2008


My thumb is sore.

Two boxes of 12 gauge AA Target loads and a box of Remington law enforcement slugs through the Super Shorty today. I'll bet you thought I was going to tell you it didn't recoil as much as I expected...HA!

Kicks just like you'd a mule on crank.

But hey, you actually get used to it, and the thing's a riot to shoot. My pal Alan Samuel and I kept blasting with his and my Shortys until we ran out of shotgun shells. He cheats...his has a front sight! What is this "aiming" thing, anyway?

We also ran some rounds though the new Tactical Solutions .22 LR 1911 conversion unit (mounted on one of my old Kimbers). Not surprisingly, it shot like a house afire with CCI Mini Mags, but didn't like the light-loaded Federal Gold Match at all. Am looking forward to a lot more rounds though it...and I can't wait to get the suppressor!

Alan also brought out an H-K G36C, a 5.56 machinegun I haven't shot before. Liked it...much more than the MP7. As easy to run as an MP5 9mm. Too bad I can't have one...

Videos coming up on the Serbu and the Tac-Sol!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Still Dragging Along Under the Weather

Which probably explains my absence of blogging this week. I did get over to my Class III guy yesterday afternoon and picked up my Serbu Super-Shorty 12-gauge [note dumb look in photo above]...didn't get a chance to shoot it, though...I ended up hanging around Alan Samuel's garage watching my friend Henning Wallgren build up a couple of ARs...Henning is EAA's factory shooter and an all-around nice guy, for a Norwegian...gun guy stuff...Alan thought I should have gotten the S-S based on a Mossberg instead of the 870, because the Mossberg has the safety on the back of the receiver, allowing one to "quick-draw" the S-S from the no-longer available thigh rig, as Alan demonstrated with his Mossberg S-S. I opined that a good, smooth draw on wth a sawed-off shotgun seemed a speck over the top, but a Road Warrior-esque leather holster designed to be slung on one's back a la a claymore sword sheath would seem pretty cool. I mentioned that Hans Vang wanted to do a full Vang Comp job on the little gun, which caused Alan to laugh. "For what?" he said. "Sporting clays?" That'd no doubt give Gil and Vicki Ash an aneurysm...

The thing was made to hang on a sling, a la Keanu Reeves in the Matrix, but I can't afford one of those black leather duster-thingies.

I may try to get to the range this PM, but definitely tomorrow...I've got to film some stuff for OC Broadband tomorrow in the morning, and the way home goes directly by the range...I plan on shooting the Serbu any my new Tactical Solutions 1911 .22 conversion unit I just got back from the guys in Boise.

What does all this have to do with the real world of guns? Not a damn thing! I jusy have a thing for sawed-off shotguns. Plus, sometimes I just have to get my head out of all this "Combat Handguns" mindset — moving through an urban landscape fraught with gremlins and neer-do-wells waiting to claim my head, a man, trusty 1911 in hand, who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...snore...need a nappie!

BTW, Project .50 BMG moves ahead! In a few weeks I'll have a Barrett M99 single shot .50, a dreadfully expensive scope, tons of new reloading gear, an equal amount of good, mediocre and downright bad advice, plus a willingness to abuse my shoulder for a DRTV series on the Big .50. Expect to see it chronicled in print in the Barrett Annual as well.

Seriously, I've put a lot of rounds through the .50, mostly through Barretts of assorted flavors, and I have to admit I really love the gun and cartridge. It will be a fun project to try and master it. My pal Alan, mentioned above, is going to give me .50 BMG reloading lessons, as he's been doing it for years both for MGs and for long-distance accuracy. His initial advice was, "Hire a reloading slave." Yeah, right! Paging Lisa Farrell! My initial goal is simply to be able to shoot the gun with reasonable accuracy at long range. Once I get that under control, I plan to work with Jon Weiler at Professional Marksmen for the long-range stuff. Here's a link to Jon's blog. Check it'll learn something!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Fun With b-HO!

Cinco de Mayo Today...

...and, of course, my birthday. I'm 27! HAHAHAHA. I'm hoping that doctors will decide that I get to survive in a pandemic. Actually, I have a pretty good idea for the physicians choosing who gets treated and who doesn't...check the voter roles! True Democrats would not want to be treated at the expense of refugees from the Third World, illegal immigrants, people of any color, including sunburn, companion animals, Energy Star appliances, hybrid cars, socialist dictators, and all those dead voters in b-HO's home district!

From Across the Pond, a little glimpse of the world Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton envision for us should either be elected. Antigun forces in the U.K. have drawn a line in the sand to stop crazed Olympic shooters from running amok and slaughtering children...from The People:
Anti-gun campaigners have blasted plans to relax firearms laws for our Olympic shooters.

Ministers are expected to let the 2012 pistol squad train in Britain after this year's Beijing Games instead of having to go abroad. But that will mean changing the rules banning all handguns, brought in after the Dunblane school massacre in 1996.

Anne Pearston of the Snowdrop Campaign, which led the drive to outlaw guns after 16 kids and their teacher were killed, said: "A child's life is not worth a medal.

"It took Dunblane for the Government to do the right thing - we can't open the door again."

The idea is to let the squad use secure Ministry of Defence ranges before the London Games. And the powerful Commons Culture and Sport Committee wants gun bans totally axed for shooting teams after 2012.

Gill Marshall-Andrews of the Gun Control Network hit back: "We oppose any kind of change, even for training. Why should we put society at risk for the sake of a few sportspeople?"
"Society at risk"...gosh, they are pathetic, aren't they? But this is where "reasonable regulation" leads, every single time.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Presented Without Comment

From Theo...

Oh For God's Sake!

Check out Lady Macbeth's mailer from Indiana, which I cribbed from Ben Smith at Politico. Here's what Politico says about the mail piece:
The piece is particularly striking coming from Clinton, who has been seen for most of her career as a firm advocate of gun control, but more recently has emerged -- without dramatically shifting her stance on specific issues -- as a defender of the Second Amendment who fondly recalled being taught to shoot by her grandfather in Scranton.
As you all know, I love it that Lady MacBeth and b-HO are shredding the Democratic Party's chances in November...anything that hurts the Dems is good for America. Don't forget for a moment, thought, that Lady MacBeth believes exactly the same thing as b-HO when it comes to guns and gunowners — "Turn 'em in, Mr. and Ms. America!" Bill Clinton was the most antigun President in history. Lady MacBeth is more or less married to him. Do the math.

Dense Piece on Global Warming...or the Lack of...

Here's a fascinating piece on the planet's climate and what's really in control of the thermostat...and it ain't CO2. It's an interview with Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, Professor Emeritus Geology, Western Washington University, author of 8 books, 150 journal publications with focus on geomorphology; glacial geology; Pleistocene geochronology; environmental and engineering geology. Of course, he didn't win a Nobel Prize, or even an Oscar, so you might take his thinking with a grain of salt:
If I were hard-pressed to give my overall assessment of the whole Gore-
phenomenon, I would say two things, A, that it’s an out-and-out hoax, and B, it is
probably the biggest scientific boondoggle since the days of Galileo. There is so much
dogma and pressure put on scientists. Gore has so little proof, it’s disgraceful to the
scientific world.

Denver Post Concealed Carry Story...

...this AM. It's actually pretty good, although there are always a couple of points to quibble with. For instance, the story sites numerous surveys that state Americans want more gun control...which surveys? Were they funded by the antigun people? Where they good surveys or bad surveys? I always hate it when the antis get the last word, as if they hold the high moral ground, when in fact they are the opposite. Anyway, read the whole thing here:
Shooting expert Doug Hamilton's pupils at Cherry Creek's Family Shooting Center cut a wide demographic swath, but all were eager, attentive and sincerely awed by the power and responsibility a concealed-carry permit confers on the gun owner.

"If you use deadly force for you or your family, right or wrong, your life will be forever changed," Hamilton warned them.

In fact, permit seekers spend much of their mandatory class time learning how to avoid actually using a gun — a paradox that mirrors the contradictions and illusions dominating modern gun regulation in Colorado and across the nation.

As the state legislature dances around the issue, concealed-carry permits multiply and the U.S. Supreme Court deliberates a pivotal Second Amendment case about whether handguns can be banned, both sides are stuck in rhetorical and statistical traps. Misperceptions about gun ownership, exposure to violence and the everyday use of firearms are so deep-seated that they often persist, despite evidence to the contrary.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Economist on Private Ownership of Guns

Here's an interesting graphic on world-wide gun ownership from the Economist, who duly note that there is one gun for every seven people on the planet. They also make this telling comment:
Although America accounts for 40% of firearms in civilian ownership, people put them to more deadly use elsewhere. The gun murder rate in Colombia and South Africa, for example, is much higher than in America.
Oh no, Sarah Brady! How can that be? Haven't you made a career of saying that America has the highest murder rate amont "civilized" countries?


*THANK GOT IT'S FRIDAY IN THE DEAD OF WINTER! Next couple of years, I gotta move down down down!

First, a little more on the issue of carrying guns in national parks, an idea whose time has clearly come:
Supporters of the proposal contend the existing rule violates the constitutional gun rights of U.S. citizens and argue that law-abiding individuals should be allowed to carry weapons for self-protection.

"It is important that we provide consistency in firearm regulations and recognize states' rights in this matter," said Senator Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican and leading advocate of the change.

Other lawmakers, however, remain unconvinced.

The proposal is "appalling" and would create "an incoherent, ineffective and inconsistent patchwork of policies," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Demcorat.

"The American public consistently rates our national parks at the top of federal government programs that work well," Feinstein added. "There is no need to 'fix' a system that our citizens tell us is not broken."
As the author of TRAIL SAFE, a book that addresses being safe in the backcountry, I'm going to weigh in...guess which side I'll be on? BTW, I meant to link up Anarchangel's listing of the odds last week, especially his analysis of firearms deaths:
Each year in the United States, there are 26-30,000 deaths by firearm. As of 2006, Roughly 55% of them are suicides (the number varies greatly year to year, between 40% and 60%).

Of the remaining 10,000 to 18,000, somewhere between 60% and 80% (depending on the year) are one felon killing another (according to the FBI).

The number of non-felons killed (other than suicides) using a gun in the US is anywhere from 2,000 to 7,000 a year (again, highly variable year to year). About 20% of those are accidents, and 80% are murders. Of those murders approximately 80% were committed by people with felony records.

It is, and has been since 1934 federally (earlier in most states), unlawful for a felon to own or possess a firearm. Since 1994, a background check, conducted with the FBI and usually the state police of the state the gun is being sold in, has been required for all firearms purchases from a dealer to prevent felons from purchasing firearms legally.
I wanted to touch on a couple of points from the recent post on carry guns...there are several of the new generation of small .45 ACP semis that are very appealing and that I have enjoyed shooting — the Sig 220 Compact, the Taurus 24/7 Compact; the S&W Chief's Special (a personal favorie of mine); the Springfield XD Compact .45; the Para USA Carry/PDA .45s with the LDA system; the P and PM series Kahrs and some I've forgotten. I have an early Para Companion LDA .45 (also equipped with XS Sights) and an S&W Chief's Special redone by Novak...both are excellent guns. However, little .45s bark loud, and there is no way to make them easy to shoot (IMO, the Chief's Special and the Sig 220 Compact are the easiest to shoot of the batch).

In my own self-defense mental planning, I favor the multiple shot-school of life — that is, I am going to keep pulling the trigger until the threat has stopped. I know for a fact that I can run a small 9mm faster than I can run a small .45. A 9mm carry gun allows me to place 2-3 aimed shots in the same amount of time it would take me to place a single .45 ACP. I have said before that 9mm bullet design has made quantum leaps in the last decade, and I'm comfortable carrying the caliber. Re .40s, my opinion is that little .40s are nastier to shoot than little .45s. The only thing worse are the little bitty Glock .357s...eeeech...

The exception to this theory is backcountry carry, where in general a prefer a revolver in .44 Special/.44 Magnum, since I may have to shoot something big with a lot of teeth.

RE: Sponsors, given my druthers, I will default to a sponsors' products...after all , they support me and my projects; I should by all rights support them. There also rarely a situation where one gun is so overwhelming that it swamps the competition. There tends to be an equivalency across certain layers, which means that it's more a question of what an individual likes as opposed to "X better than Y." They're also used to me falling in and out of love with guns.

CZ 2075 RAMI

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Obamarama 2008!

HOORAY! It's May!

And yet another snowstorm here in the Endless Winter Zone. Good day for a nap.

Anyhow, I did get to the range yesterday to put rounds through my Para Carry 9. I love this gun! So much so that since it now has sufficent rounds through it, I'm making it my Numbah One Carry Gun.

I thought for the heck of it I'd step you guys through my decision-making process on this choice, and a little history of my carry guns.

For years my primary carry gun was an STI LS9 9mm 1911-styled semiauto. I moved to the LS9 from, strangely enough, a Star Firestar M40 .40 S&W. The little single-action Firestars were among the first "sub-caliber." sub-Officer's Model-size semiautos that actually worked.

Before the Firestar, I'd settled on a Star PD — the gun Col. Jeff Cooper suggested should be carried a lot and shot a little — in .45 ACP for years. I'd arrived at the Firestar through a circuitous route through the 1980s...before I got sucked into the "combat shooting" vortex, I carried my S&W Regulation Police .38 S&W I-frame (smaller then the current J-frame) revolver — a gun I'd gotten for my 12th birthday — in a cheesey IWB holster I bought at a gun store in Tallahassee, FL, when I was in college at Florida State. YES! — I kept a handgun in my dorm room in college, in a typewriter case actually (a typewriter was a primitive word processor, FYI). Thankfully, I kept the typewriter case locked so the little Smith never got loose and shot up a classroom!

I loaded the Smith with handloads, 148-grain swaged hollow-base soft lead wadcutters, reversed so the gaping hollow base was forward, since the only commercial loads for the .38 S&W (NOT .38 Specials) was the notoriously anemic 146-gr round nose leads.

Once I got sucked into the fledgling sport of practical shooting, nothing would do but having a semiauto to pack around. I'd had one of the early S&W M-59s that worked on Thursdays and Sundays, but I had sold it to get my first 1911. I carried that steel Commander for a while, because Real Men Carried Big 1911s...not a long while because Real Men issues aside, I lived in Florida and wore shorts and Hawaiian shirts. The Commander was like carting around a brickbat, which dimmed my mellow. I briefly had a very early aluminum-framed Commander, which broke...par for the course with older lightweights.

I briefly swapped for an original Detonics Combat Master .45, which ran flawlessly but only came with one extra magazine...additional mags were rare and expensive. The gun was exotic enough that someone offered me an S&W 3-inch M24 .44 Special revolver AND a pretty new Colt Officer's Model for the little Detonics. I figured the Officer's Model was the answer to my carry prayers, except I could NOT get the damn thing to run 100%! Worst 1911 I've ever owned. Besides, it was still an all-steel gun and not that much lighter than the Commander.

I finally snagged a NIB Star PD, which carried and shot suprisingly well. I talked Mike LaRocca at LaRocca's Gun Works, who'd visit me in Florida to — John Kerry Alert! — go windsurfing, to overhaul the PD. I carried the Star for years, but the problem was the little "shock buff" recoil buffer on the recoil guide rod, placed there to protect the aluminum frame from battering itself to death like the early Colts. The little bumpers wore out and were darn hard to get, even when Star was a going enterprise. Had I any sense, I'd'a bought a hundred of the things...

I stumbled onto the Firestar at a SHOT Show in the early 1990s, and it was quantums smaller than the PD (well, I suppose "quantum" is in the eye of the beholder). It was also an all-steel gun, 5 ounces heavier than the PD's 25 ounces, but I overlooked that drawback because it was available in .40 S&W. The .40 was only a couple of years old at that point, and I was still as enamored with it as everyone else. Something for nothing!

My Firestar .40 was and is a NASTY BASTARD to shoot! But it carried great in an IWB and was a workhorse for years. I even talked LaRocca into doing a flawless trigger job on the little gun — "You have to promise not to tell anyone that I work on stuff like this," he'd made me swear briefly.

Once I stopped shooting USPSA Limited, there were a lot less .40s lying around the house and the cartridge had already lost a lot of appeal to me. I felt better about 9mm as a defensive cartridge because of the huge surge of 9mm bullet design. Besides, the 9 was much easier to shoot in the smaller packages and I was then as I am now, a firm believe in follow-up shots.

Firestar vs. Para Carry 9

PAUSE: Where, you ask, are the Glocks? Where are the little S&Ws? The small Tauruses? Sigs?

Keep in mind my background is in practical competition, and 1911-styled guns will always feel better in my hand. Glocks were, to me, too fat; S&Ws (until 3rd Generation semis) a crap-shoot on reliability and Sigs too darned expensive or too darned big.

I was actually looking at used Firestars in 9mm when STI came out with the LS9...a very thin 1911-styled pistol in 9mm. I got one, fiddled with it and ended up sneding it to Dane Burns at Burns Custom Pistols to overhaul. I got a leather IWB from Lou Alessi and a kydex belt holster from Blade-Tech and seemed pretty settled until SHOOTING GALLERY came along.

As I've discussed before, SG changed how I carried....the guns got bounced around a lot and I often used some sort of improvised off-body carry. That lead me to worry about carrying a cocked-and-locked gun in improvised carry. I also hated beating up my custom pistols. My solution was to buy an old Sig P225/P6 9mm from my local gunstore...bigger than the LS, but in the same weight category. The Sig Custom Shop tuned the old gun up and replaced the night sights with night sights that still worked; Lou Alessi made me an IWB and Blade-Tech a belt holster, and viola!

Sig P225 vs Para Carry 9

I probably would have been perfectly happy with the Sig if Kerby Smith hadn't insisted I shoot the Carry 9 down at Whittington a year or so ago. The gun I shot there was superb, largely because of the combination of 1911 ergonomics and the LDA double action trigger system. We've talked abou the LDA system before (and there's a bunch of video up on DOWN RANGE). Because it breaks differently than a revolver DA trigger or any other DA only semiauto, I find that I shoot better with it. I have a full-size L18 9mm LDA that has been overhauled for competition, and it is a sweet-shooting gun.

I've shot a couple of other Carry 9s with the same results, and I decided to get one of my own. As I mentioned on this week's podcast, I sent the Carry 9 slide to XS Sights for their 24/7 Big Dot Tritium Express sights. I'm struggling with fading vision in my right eye, so I've gone from my usual style of shooting with both eyes open to shooting left-eye...the hardest part of this (actually, there's NOTHING easy about it, LOL!) is that my left eye is slower to acquire the front sight than my right eye, which was still dominant even shooting both eyes open...not surprising, since I've got a lot of year's experience in shooting both eyes open isoceles stance.The XS Big Dot is the easiest front sight to pick up, period. I've noticed a bunch of XS sights on "old guy guns, so I';m not the only one looking for that particular advantage!

So now I've got a 1911 ergonomics and a 24-ounce 8+1 9mm with a 3-inch barrel with a double action system I feel comfortable with in off-body carry. Right now I'm using a Comp-Tac paddle holster that was introduced to me by Dave Spaulding when we were down at GUNSITE a while back, and I'm very happy with it. This probably won't surprise you much, but Lou Alessi is making me one of his newest generation IWBs, the PCH. I've also got Ted Blocker working up a leather crossdraw for driving trips.

Ammo-wise, I'm still committed to the Hornady TAP 124-grainers. I found these to be super accurate in my Carry 9 and super easy to shoot. I am going to break with my usual habits and try the Cor-Bon 115-gr +P DPX loads, which lots of people I respect have recommended to me as the best loading in a short-barreled 9mm. If the gun likes them, I may go that way.