Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Depression 2.0

Something to get you all prepped up for THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL tomorrow night, from Michael Malone at PajamasMedia:
Every sane adult knows what it takes to pull out of an economic deadfall: you tighten budgets, cut inessentials, pay as you go and restructure your debt - and hang on to your current job for dear life. And we also understand that, when it comes to a national economic crash, the same principles apply - with the addition that you stimulate the economy briefly with increased spending, you cut taxes and loosen onerous regulations, maintain free trade because the alternative is so much worse, and you support innovation and new company creation in hopes that a new cohort of hot companies will help pull you out.

What you don’t do is nationalize industries under emergency rule and make them less efficient, you don’t conduct social experiments with large segments of the economy, you don’t increase expensive regulations on industry, you don’t pile on massive amounts of debt that will flatten any economic turnaround when it finally comes and that will take a generation or more to pay off, you don’t turn against entrepreneurs as they are your last best hope, and you don’t increase taxes on the most productive members of your economy.

Only fools and ideologues don’t know all of this. And yet, that is what smart people in Washington did in the 1930s - at the very moment when they seemed to have the Depression beaten - and that is what Washington seems to be doing today.

Back to the Basement

Yep...gotta pull the lever on the reloader today. The gun room is slowly getting reorganized...at least I can find my way through it. I've been working up my list of my five favorite handguns for an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY we're filming next week, which is really kinda fun. You can probably guess Numero Uno, right? Wrong...

Interesting discussion over on AR15.com, where I am banned for life, comparing the FNH FNP-45 and the H-K USP45. I purchased my T&E FNP-45 a couple of weeks ago because it just shot great. My experience has been that the FNP shoots lighter than the H-K, probably because of a slightly lower bore access. I also like the fact that FNH actually likes having us non-military, non-LEO folks buying their guns.

We've already mentioned the limited edition Ruger SASS Vaquero sets — two .357 New Vaqueros in stainless steel with special sequential serial numbers starting with "SASS," for the Single Action Shooting Society. Nice set of guns, especially with the lower, wider Montado hammer developed for cowboy mounted shooting. I handled the guys at End of Trail and — not surprising since I've always shot Rugers in CAS competition — liked them a lot. I placed a set on order yesterday for my personal collection...delivery expected in August.

Our pal Mr. Completely, one of the uber-pistol competitors blogging on the Web, has posted a draft of the first part of a projected book project on Rimfire Race Guns. Here's a tiny bit of the excerpt:
"Sure, I enjoy doing a little plinking with my .22 pistol, but I'm not really interested in competing with it. I just shoot for the fun of it. Why do I need to know about making it into a race gun, whatever that is?"

Actually, the requirements of a good rimfire race gun and a good plinker are just about the same. What exactly is a rimfire race gun? A rimfire race gun can be just about any .22 caliber pistol that has been modified, or "tuned" for use in shooting competition where accuracy is important, but the amount of time it takes for you to make the required number of shots determines winning or losing.
Not only is Mr. Completely an excellent writer, but he is dah man when it comes to racing rimfires. Right topic at the right time — I look forward to seeing the book!

I'd also like to note that SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE regular Phil Strader has now signed with Team Smith & Wesson and will be shooting M&Ps in USPSA Production and Limited. Congratulations, Phil!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Out to the Badlands of New Mexico...

...and back in the saddle again, begging the question of how many cowboy cliches I can cram into a single sentence. Anyhow, am back in the office getting ready for the premieres of THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL and COWBOYS on Wednesday.

I plan to be TWITTERING the 11PM Eastern episode of TBD:S as well as being on-line in the DOWN RANGE Television blog chatroom. Hopefully, cohosts Rob Pincus and Michael Janich and TBD:S show Producer Tim Cremin will be joining us.

If you're one of those inquiring minds who want to know, here's your chance!

Meanwhile, here's an interesting piece from the Fox affiliate in my old hometown of Tampa, quoting research Gary Kleck from my alma mater of Florida State University:
Nationally renowned expert FSU Criminology Professor Gary Kleck has spent decades studying the numbers.

He says there is no credible evidence that more guns in more hands mean more crime. Kleck uses the landmark Supreme Court overturn of one of the most restrictive handgun bans in the country as an example.

"It was ineffective," Kleck said. "That is, homicide didn't go down as was promised following the law's implementation."

So how do you protect the Simons of the world? You can't, Kleck says, at least not with the second amendment

It's as simple, he says, as this: "Good guys have good effects with guns, bad guys have bad effects with guns."

Professor Kleck says his research is based on a couple of key facts:

• First, groups that have the highest gun ownership have the lowest involvement in violence and
• Second, the vast majority of gun owners have guns for purposes other than self protection-- they use them for target shooting and hunting and private collecting.

In the end it really comes down to educating yourself and your children about guns and the dangers. Kleck says any true gun restriction will not happen any time soon, unless a case comes before the Supreme Court and a legal precedent is set.
In the end, it always comes down to individual responsibility...at least in the world we would like to live in, as opposed to the Brave New World being crafted for us these days.

Here's something strange from the wilds of Fargo, via my pal at Say Uncle:
Note to the folks who keep loaded guns in their houses: that stranger rustling around in your bushes or lurking by your garage may be a teenager playing a game. Don’t shoot.
The author goes on to wax poetic about her childhood games of criminal tresspass, and how, hey, if you leave your door unlocked and some loon walks in, it's your fault! Right-o!

Note to neighborhood youth: that racking noise you hear is a backed up by #000 buckshot...play whatever games you want on your own property, but before you go lurking and rustling in my house, remember Colorado has a castle law.

Okay, that's it for this morning...oh, excuse me! I apparently went though this whole post without mentioning the late King of Rock. Since it's Monday and my brain is still rebooting, let's kick it on over to Tam at View from the Porch for today's commentary:
Cosmic Screwup
We here at Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, LLP would like to apologize for the error that occurred in our mailroom. It seems that a package intended for one "M. Jackson" was delivered to a "D. Carradine" by mistake. We sincerely hope that this hasn't caused a loss of confidence in the normally excellent service provided by Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, LLP, and we look forward to your continued patronage in the future.

Thank you,

Friday, June 26, 2009

Great Second Amendment News Round-Up

Am still in Cowboy World, and to the best of my knowledge, Michael Jackson is still no longer with us. In the meanwhile, here's a really good Second Amendment news round-up from The Liberty Sphere.

And in our JESUS CHRIST ON A HOBBYHORSE Department, coming apparently from Showtime

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Dead As Stump

Darn! My heart goes out to Bubbles the chimp, former companion to Michael Jackson, who got a really raw deal and ended up in an animal sanctuary. I believe Bubbles knew the inside story of Michael Jackson's pedophile romps and was sent to the slam to keep him from talking. The chimp never got a penny of royalties from the $250,000 porcelain sculptures of Bubbles and Jackson by alleged famous sculpture Jeff Koons. Sadly, Bubbles has never completed work on his memoirs, CHEETAH LIED, in which it was rumored that Bubbles would be revealed as the true author of Jackson's multiplatinum selling album Thriller.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Remington Butches Up; Wilson Gets His Bolt On

As my cherubs and seraphim mentioned last week, Remington seems to be taking a more military posture with their nameplate on the ACR, previously the Masada. To that they've added the the Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR), their next-gen answer to the venerable M24 sniper system. Here's the Remington blurb: 
Designed for operators, by operators. The new Remington® Modular Sniper Rifle (MSR™) combines lethal accuracy at 1500 meters with a user adjustable folding stock, free-float handguard, and the potential to change barrel lengths and calibers within minutes at the user level from .338 Lapua Magnum to .338 Norma Magnum to .300 Winchester Magnum to 7.62mm NATO. This patent-pending system addresses long range and medium range performance needs of the modern battlefield in one package loaded with features designed to meet multiple emerging US armed forces requirements. The system features lightweight, efficient design and optimal material selection for corrosion resistance and strength. The MSR is mission-adaptable and can change the bolt face, barrel, and magazine to enable a smaller profile or different caliber. This system truly never has to leave the battlefield.
The Firearms Blog has a more comprehensive report. I also got a note last week from Bill Wilson that he's offering a Wilson Combat version of the FNH Patrol Rifle. You guys know how highly I think of the FNH bolt guns...my experience with several of them — essentially pre-'64 Winchester actions updated to the 21st Century — has been just excellent. The FNH Special Police Rifle .308 in the FBI configuration I shot several years ago up in Virginia was probably the best out-of-the-box rifle I've ever shot.

At $2000, the Wilson version is pretty affordable when you look at precision rifle prices these days. I would imagine it's everything one expects from a firearm with the Wilson nameplate on it!

I'm also getting one of the single stage drop-in AR triggers from Wilson for my old J&T Distributing CAR15 clone we built on the very first season of SHOOTING GALLERY, back in the Bad Old Days of the Clinton AWB. After much agonizing I decided I just didn't have the extra bucks for the FNH FS2000 bullpup, as much as I had come to like the little gun (plus, the Ruger SR556 will be a keeper for sure). I still wanted an AR platform gun to fill the "car gun" role — no tricky stuff...durable...small...something I could abuse, bounce around and not feel bad about it. In my small collection of ARs, the J&T gun fit the bill perfectly, except that the trigger has been too dinked by a friend of mine to be reliable. I figured that'd give me a chance to give the Wilson drop-in a try.

It cracks me up that Bill got so many request after his recent television appearances that Wilson Combat now catalogs "Bill's Carry Gun." Hey, it was a very nice pistol, and it shot like a dream!

In industry news, as I predicted after the NRA Show, sales on guns have peaked and are slowing. Smart Money quotes Barron's that the superheated gun market may be headed back to some level of normal: 
When the Democrats swept into Washington in November, gun fanciers scrambled for 15-round pistols and tactical rifles equipped with grenade launchers, flash suppressors and bayonets -- in fear the new administration would reinstate a ban on the sale of such weapons. Gun makers Smith & Wesson Holding (SWHC: 5.22*, -0.20, -3.69%) and Sturm, Ruger (RGR: 11.68*, +0.12, +1.03%) have shown great sales gains the past couple of quarters. Their stocks have shot up as much as fourfold. But now the gun industry's leading indicator -- the Federal Bureau of Investigation's monthly count of the instant background checks it runs for gun dealers -- is settling back toward pre-election levels. While November background checks were 42% above the year-earlier level, last month's were up just 15%.
Can't believe I mssed out on the "grenade launchers" and "bayonets." Freaking idiots...

I also said the cooling of the market was dependent on Knee-Pad Barry and his crew of stooges and thugs not making another move against us, which will inevitably trigger another gun run. I'd say in a month or so make sure you have what you need...magazines, spare parts, maybe another upper for your AR.

There are a few bright spots on ammo. There seems to be a lot of 5.56/.223 around right now, at reasonable prices, $300-$400 per K. Nine mil is coming into the pipeline, too, but the prices are still badly inflated. It seems to me that .22LR is lagging a bit behind, with mostly target variants available. I've been shooting a lot of the Aguila blue box low-end target stuff (they have several more expensive target variations) I got a good deal on from Midway USA a few weeks ago, and I've been very happy with it.

Primers...fuggetaboutit, at least for the time being. I found Federal Small Pistol Magnum, but only 3K. Strongly suggest you sign up for Midway USA's email alerts, then buy the primers when the email comes in. I got an alert on large pistol primers, which I haven't seen in a coon's age, last week, but I was away from my computer. By the time I signed in 3 hours after the alert arrived, they were all gone.

Wild Bunch Wrap Up!

First off, congrats to SG & COWBOYS regular Evil Roy — the irrepressible Gene Pearcey — for taking High Modern (and High Overall) at the 2nd SASS Wild Bunch championships at Founder Ranch, NM. He was joined by Fast Hammer as High Traditional and at 4th overall Holy Terror — Glock shooter Randi Rogers — as High Woman. Congrats, guys! It was big, big fun!

The top trophies — sponsored by us here at DOWN RANGE Television and the Evil Roy Shooting School, were laser-cut metal copes of the emblematic scene from the movie pictured above, mounted on big chunks of sandstone. You can read the results and the initial story on DRTV, and we'll be adding interviews and video material later this week.

I ended up 47 out of 60, and given all the mistakes and gun ickiness I'll take it and be happy as a clam. Next year...watch out! What will I do different? First and foremost, dot the "i's" and cross the "t's." Bulletproof my gear well before the match. I had plenty of time to get the Retrto-Para finished, but kept shoving it off to the back burner. So off it goes next week with a sack of parts to Cylinder & Slide, along with the Wilson Duty Magazines that flatly wouldn't lock the slide back on my Heinie 1911 I shot...not a big deal in USPSA or IDPA shooting, but huge in Wild Bunch competition where all the strings are 5 shots and all reloads are from slide lock.

I haven't decided what to do on the '97 front. The gun I used that caused me so much pain is my regular workhorse SASS match gun, so before this match (Rookie Mistake #4, I think) it had never been fired with rounds loading from the tube. Quick explanation...in cowboy action shooting you can't load more than 2 rounds in the shotgun, which is always staged empty with the action open. Consequently, CAS shooters — a significant percentage of which are law enforcement officers and trainers — have become masters of loading the pump shotgun...we've talked about this topic several times on DOWN RANGE Radio, BTW.

Wild Bunch shooting, in keeping with the movie, allows the shotgun to be loaded with the full number of rounders required for the stage. My Coyote Cap .97 clone, which has run like a top since I got it a couple of years ago, choked all sorts of different ways on rounds in the tube. I can get those problems corrected or go to a different gun. I have 2 other '97s, a 1905 solid frame that's being overhauled by Old West Gun Repair (specialists in original '97s) and a Chinese "Trench Gun" '97 in the proper trench gun configuration. The Trench Gun has had some work on it but still has issues with the ejector — the early Chinese guns were, to be honest, junk in a box. I may have Old West look at the gun and see if it can be tortured into something that would hold up in competition. I like the trench gun stuff...worst case I may cannibalize it (the Chinese guns were dirt dirt cheap 5 years ago!) for the trench parts and fit them to a '97 that works.

Riflewise, no complaints on the Legacy '92 .44 Magnum. It's a wonderful rifle to shoot and is fiercely accurate. As long as I look at the sights, the bullet goes where it's supposed to. BTW, I like it that the Wild Bunch rules specify a major caliber (.40 and above) lever gun. I shoot a .38/357 1873 in regular competition, and there is a huge difference in shooting the bigger bore guns, even at the mild cowboy loads.

Skillwise, I need practice practice practice, especially on the transitions. In CAS, changing from gun to gun can really eat up the seconds it you don't think it through. I am also finally going to suck it up and address my inability to hit clay pigeons shooting off my left side. There were two "flippers" in this match — steel targets that when they fall launch a clay pigeon — and I missed them both. I'm going to spend some time at the Kiowa Creek sporting clays club with my old Remington 870 20-gauge. I'd love to have a Winchester '97 Black Diamond trap gun, but not enough to shell out what such a thing would cost! I figure the 870, being a pump, will teach me what I need to know, and 20-gauge will make me focus...at least, that's my theory! Kiowa has an excellent clays instructor, Warren Watson, and I thought I'd spend a day with him.

So anyway, it's back to the the Real World! If you have a 1911 and would like a different challenge, try out Wild Bunch shooting...DRTV is going to be working hard with SASS and the Evil Roy Shooting School to take the sport to the next level, so expect to see matches all over the place... 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Child's Garden of Rookie Mistakes

Man, maybe I should write a book!!!

Still clean after 3 stages on Day 2 of the Wild Bunch match, but stupid rookie mistake gave me a cataclysmic 1911 magazine jam that took forever (and a fingernail) to clear.

Rookie Mistake #1: Change the plan the day before the match.

Rookie Mistake #2: Change guns the day before the match.

GREAT BIG Rookie Mistake #3: Don't test Gun A magazine in Gun B.

Let my pain be an instructive lesson, Grasshopper!!!

-- Post From The Road

Monday, June 22, 2009

Me & My 1911

I didn't finish the Para Retro-Expert in time, so I defaulted to my Heinie Springfield 1911A1, which has run just fine. Today I used handloads with 230-gr LaserCast bullets and 231, just making IPSC Major.

I finished the day 3 down...no excuses...pulled the trigger when the sights weren't on the target. Sadly, I was moving at glacial speeds...range officers were reduced to using an hourglass inststead of a shot timer!

It's way big fun to be competing again, even if it's taking me longer to ramp backup than I'd expected (there's a surprise!). I would like to turn my '97 shotgun into a lamp...I have never seen such a contrary beast in my life...it can find more ways to malfunction in 6 rounds than one can imagine!

-- Post From The Road

Some Days...

You eat the bear...today bear at Michael...

Sometimes I think all Winchester '97s are FROM HELL! It is nothing short of amazing how many different ways they find to break!!!!

-- Post From The Road

SASS Wild Bunch Match

Day 1

Good Lord, Michael! Look at the darn FRONT SIGHT!

-- Post From The Road

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Great Piece on Parrots...

...on CBS Sunday Morning, titled Bye Bye Birdie. It charts the rise of parrots as popular pets, and the sad consequences for the parrots. You guys know I have birdies — Ripley, my 14-year-old grey parrot I've had since he was an egg; Cleo, our blue and gold macaw and the baby, Bishop, a green-wing macaw, now 9...the picture is a green-wing...check out that beak! They are a staggering amount of work...for the past 14 years, every morning I'm not on the road I begin by chopping fresh fruits and vegetables, different ones every day, while my Sweetie makes the "dry mix," cereals, uncooked pasta, dried fruits and vegetable, noodles, grains, treats like Goldfish crackers, rice crackers, dried hot peppers, sesame sticks, etc. Most of the food ends up on the floor, the walls, occasionally on the ceiling and sometimes on my Sweetie and I — happy parrots are messy parrots. 

We own no "heirloom" furniture, because parrots are animated wood chippers, and as smart as they are they don't differentiate between "good wood to chew" and "no-no wood to chew." Or maybe they know perfectly well what they're not supposed to chew and they do it because, well, they're parrots, not little feathered children. Parrots are, even by our own primate-centric standards, sentient...they are self-aware; they think; they are capable of cognitive leaps; they reason. But they don't reason like us. The verb "to parrot" entered the language because scientists originally thought some parrots' prodigious verbal ability was limited to mimicry. Dr. Irene Pepperberg's landmark work with grey parrots, including the late and deeply lamented Alex..you can read about it in The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots.

They play games of their own devising...I have heard Ripley scold a new toy: "Step up! No bite! Bad bird!" — his uber-invective. In 14 years he has only called me a "bad bird" once, following my first lengthy out-of-town trip after a long stay-at-home period. 

I write this because, like the CBS news piece, I don't think parrots should be popular pets...they require more than most people can give...not a dis'...simple truth. They are social animals and don't do well alone. "Don't do well" defined as "they will go crazy in solitary confinement." They are noisy beyond any concept of noisy...although visitors have noted that our parrots aren't particularly noisy. That is because we have never demanded their silence (the advantage of living in a rural area). Cleo is the Official Self-Appointed Guard Bird...if she sees anything out of the ordinary (and her eyesight is exceptional), she will let us, and probably nearby planets, know. She has succeeded in scaring off dogs, deer, foxes, hawks and occasionally my Sweetie and I. 

I wouldn't trade our guys for the world, although I occasionally wonder how they would taste sauteed in a light gravy.

Think before you buy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Bit of Weekend Cheer

From Chris Hedges at TruthDig, via the Survival Blog...remember, THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL starts in a week on Wednesday nights...and not a moment too soon! The America Empire is bankrupt: 
The cost of daily living, from buying food to getting medical care, will become difficult for all but a few as the dollar plunges. States and cities will see their pension funds drained and finally shut down. The government will be forced to sell off infrastructure, including roads and transport, to private corporations. We will be increasingly charged by privatized utilities—think Enron—for what was once regulated and subsidized. Commercial and private real estate will be worth less than half its current value. The negative equity that already plagues 25 percent of American homes will expand to include nearly all property owners. It will be difficult to borrow and impossible to sell real estate unless we accept massive losses. There will be block after block of empty stores and boarded-up houses. Foreclosures will be epidemic. There will be long lines at soup kitchens and many, many homeless. Our corporate-controlled media, already banal and trivial, will work overtime to anesthetize us with useless gossip, spectacles, sex, gratuitous violence, fear and tawdry junk politics. America will be composed of a large dispossessed underclass and a tiny empowered oligarchy that will run a ruthless and brutal system of neo-feudalism from secure compounds. Those who resist will be silenced, many by force. We will pay a terrible price, and we will pay this price soon, for the gross malfeasance of our power elite.
Read the whole thing, then buy more ammunition.

Sunset Last Night...

...at the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountain...pretty, huh?

Intelligent Risks

This is an excellent article from Jeff Stier in Forbes on intelligent risk-taking, a subject I have a passing interest in and knowledge of:
We as a society need to redefine our relationship with risk. Rather than running away from it or trying to regulate it out of existence, we should learn how to evaluate it properly. Only then can we foster innovation--and enjoy greater freedom and success.
The drive to totally eliminate risk in our society is not only doomed to failure, it is misguided in the extreme. Should we succeed at the level the current administration envisions, we become like the sad nation that was once England, peasants with big screen televisions. By all means guarantee equality of opportunity, but never equality of outcome, because that leads us to the grey hinderlands of "self-esteem" and programmed failure. RANT MODE OFF!

To my regular commenter NJ Larry, a wonderful comment on my previous post. Let me quote a little of it here: 
The number of gun OWNERS vs active shooters is way out of proportion. My guesstimate is that 1 in 100 gun owners actually break out the gun more than 1 or 2 times a year. That is why SASS has like 70K or 80K members. Three quarters of which went out once and stopped. Why the acronym of the month gun match, IPSC, IDPA, 3 gun whatever has 50 guys show up.

That is why the NRA still floats around 3 to 4 million members. Why only 60K to 80K of the eligible NRA members actually vote for the Board of Directors. Those gun OWNERS who see themselves as active shooters or 2A participants is miniscule. Beyound miniscule, its GD microscopic.

Don't fool yourselves. Be realistic. MB has a great website and blog and forums. How many folks are active on these? DUDE COME ON ! A blog post gets 10 comments? The forum is filled with thousands of posts by the same handful of guys.

This is a VERY small community. Somehow we have been led to believe that WE are legion. BS. It is by the skin of our teeth that we maintain our rights. The only good thing is that the anti's are even smaller.
That is, unfortunately, mostly true. I would modify it somewhat by saying it's not that we aren't legion, it is that our legions won't march with us. I talked about how some years back I sat down with some of the top media strategist from the "gay pride" movement of the mid-1970s, arguably one of the most successful engineered social change of our time. If you remember, in the 1970s calling someone "gay" or "queer" was legally the same as calling someone a "murderer," de facto libel, a slur so egregious it had legal remedy (as I learned in my libel classes in my role as magazine editor). Think of how much things have changed in 3 some-odd decades!

Their media spinners told me something I have never forgotten. "You have, what, half the country with guns? If we had 50% of the country, we would own the country. And yet you guys always play defense. We played defense, and it got us ostracized, beaten and killed. One free piece of advice — out of the closets and into the streets."

As Larry pointed out, owning a gun doesn't make you a member of the gun culture. It should, but it doesn't. I believe that part of the reason for that fact is we have for too long let our own worst examples step up and represent the culture. All my life I have heard, "It's safer to fly under the radar." Or, as the Japanese say, "the nail that sticks up will be hammered down." I read an "under the radar" comment as recently as last week on one of the big gun forums, with the person opining that the safest thing for a sport like cowboy action shooting was to stay under said radar.  

I, along with compatriots like Paul Erhardt, Scotty Moore, Jim Shepherd, Tom Gresham and many other, have waged a very long, very public battle to do exactly the opposite...out of the closet and into the streets. And, NJ Larry, we have been successful...to an extent. I think we always believed that the whole industry would rally behind us, and many have — look at the companies who sponsor the television, radio and Internet shows, who back our often off-beat media initiatives, who stand and spit in the faces of our enemy (the great Ronnie Barrett comes immediately to mind). 

One of the biggest problems we face is that we have yet to find a way to reach out to the the people who own — not shoot — guns; who plink once or twice a year; who would be with us if we gave them vapid reasons. That was part of my issue with the big NSSF 20/20 initiative...from the very beginning the process made no attempt to address the larger market. Instead, it defaulted to the standard shiboleths of "More Youth Involvement!" "Greater Retention of Existing Hunters and Shooters!" "Mentoring Programs!" Let's be honest here...those are the very things we've been bandying about for decades, and where has it gotten us? Not that a 20% increase in shooters and hunters isn't a noble goal and something the industry should pursue, but to me it has the feel of a holding action...playing defense.

I am not preaching divisiveness...to survie the next 4, maybe 8 years, we have to be a united front on defense of our rights. At the same time, we need an aggressive offensive to take the battle for the hearts and minds of the uncommitted to our enemies. That means innovative and, heaven help us, out-of-the-box thinking.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Primer Shortage to Continue

This is from the Sinclair blog. Sinclair makes some of the best high-end reloading equipment available, and this is an excellent analysis of the situation we find ourselves in: 
Basically, there has been a two-pronged drain on primer supplies for the reloading market.

The first driving force has been the huge demand for loaded ammunition through 2008 and continuing into 2009. The large primer manufacturers like ATK (which would include Federal and CCI), Winchester, and Remington are directing the majority of their primers into loaded ammunition. Ammunition sales are going through the roof as individuals stock up because of political concerns. The huge consumer demand for ammo is in addition to the demand from law enforcement agencies and our military to re-supply their own inventories. I know that smaller ammunition manufacturers have been impacted drastically by the primer shortage since their demands are higher than normal for primers that they have to obtain through Federal, CCI, Winchester, Remington, etc. Many of these smaller manufacturers have had to go to other sources to get quality primers. Because of this situation, some of them cannot keep up with their own ammunition production. Unfortunately, these smaller ammo makers can’t control their own destiny since they don’t have the capacity or tooling to make primers.

I mentioned that there were two factors impacting primer availability; the first factor is creating the second one. Since ammo demand has consumed more of the primer supply than normal, the quantity of primers on the shelf has declined at the box stores, the reloading companies (like Sinclair), and the smaller gun shops. With the fast communication via the internet, the word spreads quickly and the result has been consumers stockpiling and hoarding primers. Individuals are buying and keeping more primers in their own personal inventories and this has prevented some reloaders from having any primers at all. We normally see people buying 1,000 or maybe 5,000 primers at a time, now we are seeing customers buying 25,000 at a time.
I'm going to jump ship here and make what will be a very unpopular suggestion with the kumbaya wing of our culture...go to Midway USA's primer pages and sign up for the "Remind Me" email notification function, so you'll know when primers arrive at Midway. I strongly suggest that you buy primers in 5000-lot, or at the very least buy as many as the retailer will allow you to buy. Call it hoarding if you want...in fact, it is the smart thing to do. 

It is exactly the same thing I recommended more than a year ago on .22LR ammunition, and based on my emails the people who took advantage of Midway and other retailers' sales on cases of .22LR are happy campers today. Ditto people who took advantage of sales on AR and Glock magazines. Heck, ditto people who bough inexpensive houses within their means and are not being clobbered by the popping of the real estate bubble!

Hey, I'm the guy who just produced a television series on preparedness, and I absolutely believe what we will be telling our viewers over the next months — nowhere is there a guarantee that the goods you need for your own and your family's survival and well-being, or the goods necessary for you to pursue your interests, or the goods that you need to protect yourself on a daily basis are going to be available all the time. Nowhere! Therefore, it's on you to remedy that situation. Whether it's prescription drugs, fresh water, a second pair of eyeglasses or extra contact lenses, extra food, cash or even primers, you either believe you have the responsibility for your own life or you don't.

New Safe Comes Home1

I'm was finally able to take delivery on my new Liberty Safe — too much travel! — and to say I'm pleased is a VAST UNDERSTATEMENT, It's super! I chose a Lincoln series, the best-selling safe in America, with 14 1.25-inch bolts on all sides of the door and the super door panel for storing handguns.

YES! It has a BORING MECHANICAL LOCK! Once bitten; twice shy...

After my safe debacle end of last year, I did a lot of research of safes, including talking with execs from safe companies. Based on my research and my talks, I decided my next safe was going to be a Liberty.

I've worked at $100 off deal with Liberty for all you guys. Go to the Liberty site, click on the Fatboy, and enter the discount code "bane" for a $100 discount.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Solidarity With Iran

Not with the nutcase still running the country, but with the people of Iran, who cry out for freedom while the gutless socialist Knee-Pad Barry remains silent and hopes his new BFF Ahmadinejad survives. A brave moment for the Iranian people, and a pathetic one for America. Shame!

"You shall steadfastly persevere. God is with those who steadfastly persevere."
Sura 8
Quran (Kalifa translation)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Incorporating the Second

From the NYT:
Even if the Second Amendment becomes the controlling law of every state and town, constitutional scholars say it is still unlikely that gun laws would be overturned wholesale. The Supreme Court’s Heller decision last year, notes Nelson Lund, a law professor at George Mason University, “clearly indicates that governments will still have wide latitude to regulate firearms.”

Even the Ninth Circuit in California, while applying the Second Amendment to the states, still upheld the gun ordinance that gave rise to the lawsuit.

Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the view of the Ninth Circuit reflected what polls have said was, by and large, the view of the American people.

“There is a right to bear arms,” Professor Volokh said, “but it’s not absolute.”

Blogging Through Euphoria

Or something like it...I'm at Midway USA, staring at empty primer cabinets. Yesterday they got in a shipment of Czech .380, and boy, you could see the stuff blowing out the doors!

That's Larry P. studying his lines.

-- Post From The Road

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Women & Rape — Fight Back!

Check out this study on rape resistance: 
Women are often advised to use non-aggressive strategies against sexual assault[3]. Research suggests that this is a poor advice
Women who used knives or guns in self-defence were raped less than 1% of the time. Defensive use of edged or projectile weapons reduced the rate of injury to statistical insignificance[7].

"I Wish I was in Tijuana..."

"...eating barbecued iguana..."

We can't get you to Tijuana, but Gun Pundit is suggesting that hapless Floridians, beset by non-native species, consider a $10 "Airgun Iguana Tag," allowing state residents to whack the central ingredient to BBQ Iguana right there in their back yards: 
Seriously, a $10 “iguana tag” good for a month of air gun hunting would not only help keep these critters in check, it would probably get more young folks into the shooting sports. I mean, who wouldn’t want to shoot a lizard?

Oh, yeah. It would also raise money rather than costing it. Though the majority of these things are apparently in urban areas where shooting is restricted, Murdoc would guess that there are a lot more in the wild than suspected.
This follows the SPECTACULAR Outdoor Life article by Terry Gibson on stalking, killing and eventually cooking the feral iguana...tastes like chicken...not!

I've been contemplating the very first SHOOTING GALLERY hunting episode...a Tactical Solutions/Ruger .22 pistol expedition for feral python in the Everglades. Here's the news story from Reuters:
The population of Burmese pythons in Florida's Everglades may have grown to as many as 150,000 as the non-native snakes make a home and breed in the fragile wetlands, officials said on Thursday.

Wildlife biologists say the troublesome invaders -- dumped in the Everglades by pet owners who no longer want them -- have become a pest and pose a significant threat to endangered species like the wood stork and Key Largo woodrat.

"They eat things that we care about," said Skip Snow, an Everglades National Park biologist, as he showed a captured, 15-foot (4.6-meter) Burmese python to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who was on his first fact-finding mission to the Everglades since the Obama administration took office.
Florida is thinking of offering a bounty on pythons, and I think this is perfect for SG. Maybe we can bag one of those 7-foot Nile monitor lizards that are also making themselves at home in Florida. Hey, what about running a contest on DRTV with teh first prize a seat on the expedition into the 'Glades? The only stipulation would be the winner would have to dress like Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice...

In what may be a related item (Taurus Judges and Bond Derringers in .410 strike me as pretty cool snake-busters to me), the Firearms Blog is wading two coils deep into the current mini-controversy on whether Federal's new .410 birdshot designed specifically for the .410 Judge is really the man, as opposed to snake, stopper as Federal bills it: 
There has been a discussion on the blog about the controversial new Federal Personal Defense Handgun .410 shotshell ammunition designed exclusively for the Taurus Judge .410 revolver.

The round contains 60 pellets of #4 bird shot (each pellet is .13″ in diameter). The load of pellets weight 1/2 oz (218.75 grain). Velocity is listed as 1200 fps which makes the total energy delivered at the muzzle to be 700 ft/lbs.
The question is, I suppose, what one means by self-defense. I was an early supporter of the Taurus Judge and remain so. I also routinely carry a Bond Arms derringer in .45/.410 as my primary dog-walking gun and my secondary long trips in the car gun. In each case, it's loaded with 3-inch Winchester 5-pellet #000 buckshot.

While I personally would not want to be shot with a .410 full of #4 shot, I wouldn't necessarily call it a show-stopper — unless the shot was into the face. That's the strategy originally outlined by Taurus head Bob Morrison in the progressive loading he carries in his own Judge — a round of #4 shot, 2 buckshots, 2 .45 Colt personal protection cartridges.

If I had to carry a .410, long gun or short gun, for personal defense, I think I'd at least want buckshot, the exception being urban apartments with cardboard walls. I think I'd also stick to some variation of Bob's progressive loading strategy, with the first (or maybe first 2) round shot backed up with buckshot. I'm not sure the .410 slugs are worth the trouble of stocking another type of ammo. If the personal defense weapons is a long gun, say an Remington 870 or  Mossberg 500, I'd go with 3-inch buckshot #000 after the shot. If the gun's a Judge, my last 2 chambers would be stoked with CorBon DPX +P...and for heaven's sake don't shoot a lot of this through your gun!  You already know my Bond Arms load but I cary 2 Tuff Strips, one loaded with .45 Colt SilverTips; the other 4 more 3-inch buckshots.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knife Ban Situation Heating Up

This situation has some scary potential, essentially a back-door ban on any folding knife that can be opened with one hand (and I think all of you know how many that is!). This from DougRitter at Knife Rights — where I signed up as a benefactor member last week: 
Customs Says "NO EXTENSION!" - They Want Your Pocket Knives NOW!

Breaking News: We have received word that U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has DENIED the numerous requests for extension that it had received from Knife Rights, AKTI, manufacturers and citizens like you, and is planning to stick with the June 21 deadline for comments.

CBP's denial of an extension seems to be a clear indication that they do not intend to act in a fair and reasonable manner on this issue and have already made their decision to go ahead. That may be a somewhat cynical viewpoint, but given the history of CBP, it seems like a good bet. That means we have to set the stage for the next act, which will likely be conducted both in court and in Congress. The battle is far from over; your comments will play a key role in both efforts. If you haven't yet submitted comments, you need to do it NOW! Your comments on the record will make a difference and the more the better.

In light of the denial, Knife Rights has re-written our Model Comments letter for concerned knife owners to send to CBP. If you have not already sent your letter to CPB, please do so TODAY! If you want to send another letter, it couldn't hurt. The comments cannot be emailed, they must be mailed or sent by FedEx/UPS, etc. and they must be received in Washington, DC, no later than June 20, 2009. (The deadline is Sunday, June 21, but there's no mail delivery on Sunday).

To all of the hundreds of you who have already sent letters, thank you very much. It will make a difference in the end.

A number of emails have asked where it explicitly says in the CBP's document that they are going after almost all pocket knives. If you are looking for explicit language to that effect, you won't find it. That would be too easy, and CBP had no interest in a direct confrontation of that magnitude. They were, after all, trying to slip this one through in the first place as just a minor ruling change. One has to take the logical next step based on the rationales provided by Customs in expanding the interpretation of a switchblade to assisted openers to see where that is headed. It is not even a small leap from assisted openers to one-hand openers, if they succeed. From there to slipjoint folders that can be opened using various tricks one-handed is only another very small step.

If their new ruling is accepted and put in place, the next step will be seizing a warehouse full of imported one-hand openers, which they can legally do, declaring them to also meet their now very broadly defined interpretation of what a switchblade is. They came very close to doing that a few years back in a seizure involving Columbia River Knife & Tool. With this ruling in place, they would succeed. Then the definition of what is a switchblade is expanded even further. It is this that has knife owners and the knifemaking industry up in arms, because our lawyers understand how these bureaucrats use these rulings and language games to get well beyond what it appears at first glance they are reaching for.
Go to Knife Rights, join and see what you need to do! 

Here's more from World Net Daily, the only news outlet covering the story.

Prevent Hate Crimes — Carry a Gun

Here's a fiercely intelligent article on national concealed carry from...the Huffington Post
. Certainly not where I'd expect to read such an article, since their usual gun missives are penned by the sad pandas at Brady. This one's from Christopher Barron, from GOProud, a gay conservative group: 
This summer, the Senate will consider the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, more commonly know as Hate Crimes legislation. Unfortunately, the bill, as currently written, will do little to actually prevent violent hate crimes from occurring. There is, however, a way to stop hate crimes before they happen: help law-abiding Americans at risk of hate crimes defend themselves from predators.

While GOProud, the only national gay conservative group, doesn't take a position on the current hate crimes legislation, we do strongly support empowering individuals to protect themselves - which is why GOProud urges the Senate to amend the current hate crimes legislation to include a provision dealing with concealed carry reciprocity.

A bill in the Senate, S. 845, co-sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), allows for reciprocity among all the states that currently allow citizens to lawfully carry a concealed firearm.

This common sense legislation would allow an individual who is lawfully licensed to carry a concealed weapon in his home state, to also carry a concealed weapon in another state - as long as that state permits conceal carry and as long as the individual complies with the concealed carry law of that state. An individual's constitutional right to defend himself or herself should not arbitrarily stop at a state line. This is particularly the case when traveling to a state that also permits concealed carry.
That's common sense gun legislation I can get behind! Of course, this should have been done when Republicans had the White House, the House and the Senate, but the people we put in office were too busy contemplating their navels and figuring out how to get hell-rich.

I was in Florida when the concealed carry revolution started, and I worked on the first state-approved concealed carry course in that state. I have always believed in concealed carry and have carried a gun much of my adult life (and a pretty big chunk of my wasted youth as well), but I became a positive evangelist for concealed carry after the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming...no matter what one's sexual orientation is, no one should end his or her life crucified on a fencepost in Wyoming by a bunch of thugs. 

Despite what kids are learning these days, nothing much as changed since the late Middle Ages when a motley peasant army with long pikes and the new hand cannones wiped out the cream of the so-called Age of Chivalry, the French Mounted Horse, and began bringing that brutal age to an end.

Referencing yesterday's pod rant about the Denver POST's oh-so-casual spitting on gun owners in this editorial column on guns in national parks by staffer Joanne Ditmer: 
National parks are rare treasures. They offer havens of solitude and sanctuary. They're not meant to be places for the next shootout at the OK Corral.

Wildlife can be shot, petroglyphs damaged, people injured. Talk about "responsible sportsmen" all you want, but the reality to many of us is that if someone has a gun, inevitably he will want to shoot at something.
My response was to point out that no responsible journalistic outlet in these politically correct times would ever slur a large group of people...unless that group was gun owners. I was slightly wrong...it's also okay to slur conservative women, of course for the same reasons. This is from Don Surber at the Daily Mail blog,m re: David Letterman's "rape" fantasies for Sarah Palin's duaghter:
Letterman will get away with it because liberal misogyny is OK in America. It has the Seal of Approval of the National Organization For Women.

Hey, support abortion and NOW and its pseudo feminists will let you get away with murder.

It is crude and it is wrong. But then, so were American newspaper editors for making Tina Fey their “entertainer of the year” for cruelly mocking Palin last year.

Small wonder Fey gets along so well with co-star Alec Baldwin, whose crude voice-mail to his 13-year-old daughter should have made him unemployable for life. But he supports abortion, so OK. The girl had it coming.

Perez Hilton calling Carrie Prejean the C-word and the B-word. Liberals said nothing.

Then there is the Playboy online article on 10 conservative women the author would like to rape. To its credit, Playboy deleted the online article. But if you want to see a perverted liberal mind, read it here.

This is what happens when you do not look at people as individuals, but rather as members of a group. Many liberals think all women must act a certain way, otherwise they are deviants and therefore, targets. The same with black people. This is why Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele face racism that is not visited upon the president.
The huge advantage of looking at people as a group rather than as individuals is that it sets up governmental campaigns to strip those groups of first their rights, then their goods and ultimately — and in far too many cases — their lives. Hey, history doesn't lie — especially about this topic. Whether it's the vicious Hun or the Godless infidel or the scheming Zionist, it always ends up the same way. 

We objectify groups for our own ends, oblivious to the greater danger of objectification that lurks just beyond the sane boundaries of our own logic. As a Memphian of a certain age, I remember the signs from Dr. Martin Luther King's last march, "I Am a Man." In other words, look beyond the group, and deal with me as an individual.

I'm as guilty as the next person in this failure of thought...I very casually say I despise liberals when I don't mean that at all. I despise any person of any political stripe who seeks to circumvent the freedoms we all hold by right, the preexisting rights that should belong to all human beings.

Not that complicated, really...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bad News and Tactical Corsets

The news is so relentlessly bad that I had to resort to cribbing this link from Say Uncle — Tactical Corsets — to cheer myself up. This is, of course, inevitable...a combination of the corset, resurrected from the Land of Dead Underwear by cowboy action shooter'ettes, and the continued fascination with all things tactical. Hey, if this catches on it could have a profound effect on spectator attendance at practical pistol matches.

Interesting comment from Jim Shepherd on this AM's SHOOTING WIRE. He was talking about Cerberus Capital Management, now the Freedom Group, and their notorious close-mouthedness (is that a word?), and he said this: 
Ultimately, Cerberus Group represents a major gorilla in the industry. But that cloak of secrecy keeps many in the industry from putting much faith in their words. Privately, the company insists it's ferociously pro-gun, but corporate policies forbid media attention.

That aversion was one that led gun bloggers, some of the new power-brokers in the gun world, to run an anti-campaign against a senior Cerberus member's campaign for a position on the NRA board. After he failed to get elected, one blogger laughingly told me "maybe now they'll realize if you don't talk to us, we don't have any use for you."
Nice to be one of the new power-brokers, as soon as I figure out what that means. You'd think a new power broker could get ammo, wouldn't you? Actually, and I think I've mentioned this before, I find myself sort of in the "mainstream" current of the new media...my flagship, DRTV, is now owned by OUTDOOR CHANNEL, as is the hugely successful DOWN RANGE Radio podcast. I'm producing 4 (soon to be 5) broadcast series for OC. Back when I was a Famous Rock Critic in NYC, I once flayed the Clash — I loved "London Calling," but then who didn't? — for claiming they were "outsiders" while making a zillion dollars touring and cutting albums for the majors. Sigh...

Part of my malaise is that I'm reading Matt Bracken's third book in his "Enemies Foreign and Domestic," FOREIGN ENEMIES AND TRAITORS. It is extremely well written and grim, grim, grim. The phrase "ripped from the headlines" is pretty much a cliche, but — sadly — it applies here. Much of the novel is set in West Tennessee, where I grew up, and it cuts a bit close to home. I've walked the places Matt writes about, and the people seem far to much like distance cousins.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Snopes Confirms: "You Scare Me" Real

Snopes says this letter is indeed from Lou Pritchett to President Font sizeBarack "Lenin" Obama...


Dear President Obama: 

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me. 

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you. 

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support. 

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American. 

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll. 

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core. 

You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others. 

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail. 

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad. 

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector. 

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one. 

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves. 

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world. 

You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations. 

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals. 

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people. 

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient. 

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do. 

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view. 

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing. 

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years. 

Lou Pritchett 

About Lou Pritchett: 

Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America's true living legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.


I am manfully struggling to wake up at home for the first time in what seems like forever...but I've finished the 5-week Long Run for this year and, starting next week, will be back on my "normal" travel schedule, which is only moderately crazy. I now have to figure out what crises have stacked up from me here...good things going on, however. We've just about finished the retooling of COWBOYS for 2010, and with a bit of luck I'll be making an announcement on a new series, my 5th, pretty soon.

In the meantime, I thought I'd give you something to cause your blood to boil this Monday AM...I'm sitting at home in my chair with an adult beverage flipping through the shambles of the Denver Post when I came across this bit of idiocy from Joanne Ditmer, one of their dinosaurs who allegedly covers "environmental issues," on guns in national parks: 
National parks are rare treasures. They offer havens of solitude and sanctuary. They're not meant to be places for the next shootout at the OK Corral.

Wildlife can be shot, petroglyphs damaged, people injured. Talk about "responsible sportsmen" all you want, but the reality to many of us is that if someone has a gun, inevitably he will want to shoot at something.
Wow! I hadn't thought of that...see, if you've got a gun you eventually have to shoot something, like a treasured petroglyph or maybe a group of birdwatchers. I understand now! Ms. Ditmer goes on:
That's not reassuring to those of us law-abiding citizens who view guns as possible disasters.

Midnight gunshots at a campground in Sequoia National Park a couple of summers ago brought rangers to the site, relates Bill Wade, who spent 32 years with the National Park Service. They found a camper who thought he had seen a bear, so fired at least nine shots in the campground, filled with more than 300 campers. Fortunately, no one was injured. Wade noted that guns, particularly handguns, are "a very, very poor defense against bears."

"We'll see how it affects visitation," said Bryan Faehner, NPCA associate director. "With more firearms, families may not go, and the same for international visitors. They come to see our national parks as our greatest assets."

It is a sad step backward to demean national parks from their status as peaceful sanctuaries to just another place to carry firearms.
Is it any wonder the MSM are on the rocks? Dan Haley is the Editorial Page Editor, and you can reach him at dhaley@denverpost.com. Be nice, but suggest to him that Ms. Ditmer's comments on "responsible sportsmen" is offensive and patently untrue. You might suggest that the egregious libeling of any other group of people would never be allowed by a newspaper like the Post, or what the Post once was.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Friday Quickie

Great filming day at the FNH Midwestern 3-Gun...gonna be a super show. Also got to spend some time with people I only see at 3-gun matches...Tate Moots, Dave Neth, Mark Hanish among them...and some old friends like Dave Anderson from AMERICAN HANDGUNNER and Dave and Elaine Golladay. I also got to spend some time with Ken Pfau, the new top guy at FNH, where we discovered a common background in technical diving...Big Fun all around.

I've also made the decision to purchase the FNP-45 pistol pack, because it shot damn well. One of the lightest recoiling .45s I've ever shot. That way, I don't feel as lost and lonely since my Sweetie co-opted the FNP-9mm! The only drawbacks to the FNP pistols are the lack of Crimson Trace LaserGrips for them. In the meantime, I'm thinking of the Insight Tech Gear MX6 as a substitute for my usual SureFire white light and Crimson Trace laser.

I'll have some cool info from CMMG on on Wednesday's podcast...they had just gotten some COOL stuff back from the anodizers, and I'll fill you in on Wednesday.

My friend Bobby McGee at Blade-Tech now has his own Pro Series holster line at B-T, and, as one might expect from this superb holstermaker and world class shooter, they are excellent. Bobby was showing me some of the Pro Gear today, and he truly understands what competitors (and people who really value quality products) need. If you're just getting into IDPA, check out his IDPA Pak — holster, double magazine pouch and paddle attachment. Bobby's also now shooting for Team S&W — congratulations, dude!

In the meantime, a warning that the Weasels in Washington are going after your knives as well as your guns. From Pro-Gun New Hampshire:
 Beware! That folding knife in your pocket may turn you into a criminal if the Obama administration gets its way. Although there has been a lot of fear and speculation that the new administration wants to take your guns, the most pressing threat now is actually to your pocket knives. With the changing of the guard at U.S. Customs, that agency has now embarked on redefining "switchblades" under federal law to include a wide variety of one hand opening knives that never were intended to be prohibited. In fact, many of the knives U.S. Customs now seek to prohibit under the Federal Switchblade Law had not even been invented at the time of its enactment! Furthermore, four previous U.S. Customs ruling letters (prior administrations) specifically determined "assisted opening" knives not to be defined as switchblades.

This new proposed U.S. Customs regulation is so broad that thousands of pocket knives will fall under its sweep and millions of knife owners will be affected. The problem is not simply that imports will be banned (which is bad enough), but that the "agency determination" will be used by domestic courts and law enforcement to determine what a "switchblade" is under both federal and state laws. Many states, including New Hampshire, fail to define switchblades and simply rely on the federal definition.
I strongly recommend that you join my friend Doug Ritter's Knife Rights to protect those freedoms!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Southwest Airlines

Am beating my way cross country on some Southwest Airlines milk run I no doubt ended up on by mistake...man, this is like taking bus trips in Hondouras! All they need us chickens and a goat or two! Meanwhile, a pix from earlier this week:

Tupelo casts a long shadow!

-- Post From The Road

From the Guns, Nuts, Kooks & Ammo Division...

That's what the fruit and nut basket at Daily Kos call us...I kinda like it myself. They do point out the valid point that they Seventh Circuit's ruling that Heller does not apply to the states — the same ruling as that wise, wise Latino woman's Second Circuit made — pretty much kicks the struts out from under the antigun arguments leveled at Sotomayer's confirmation. Read Ann Althouse's analysis here. The NRA quickly appealed the Seventh's ruling to the Supreme Court, which generally steps in when Circuits are in direct opposition...of course, the Ninth Circuit found unequivocally that Heller did apply to the states through incorporation via the 14 Amendment.

I've said this before, but it probably bears repeating  the fight never ends! 

Am still transiting from hither to yon...I missed the NSSF Shooting Sport Summit this week in Florida because of my loony tunes work schedule. Here's an interesting link, though, from Sebastian at Snowflakes... about the gun industry and the new media, which are us:
There were a few wake-up moments for me though. For example, in the Q&A session, the first question asked if embedding a YouTube video on a website was copyright infringement. Someone else who got up to speak in the session following the new media speech didn’t seem to know that MySpace and blogs are totally different beasts. But then one person (who I believe was Paul Helinski of GunsAmerica.com based on his voice & his comments, but I’m not sure on that) got up and said every time he approached anyone in the industry, he encountered fear of new media. That’s so true, and something that came up briefly in our chat at the 2008 Second Amendment Blog Bash.
NSSF's 20/20 Task Force, of which I was a more-or-less member (less than more as work pressures increased) presented its plan to increase shooting sports and hunting participation 20% in the next five years. I certainly think it's a worthy and even necessary objective and one I will strongly encourage OC to be involved in making happen. If, however, you detect a note of less-than-100% enthusiasm, you're probably right. Time will tell. I tend to be more of a "skunk works" type person, using small focused groups rather than a large push for consensus across the board to effect change. That's based on my own experience, which is indeed only my own experience. Other people's mileage may vary.

Interesting new paper from Gary Kleck at my old alma mater, Florida State University, on school shootings and gun control. Here's the summary: 
The most frequent policy lesson drawn following the Columbine school shootings was the need for more gun controls. Review of the details of both Columbine and other contemporary school shootings indicates, however, that the specific gun control measures proposed in their aftermath were largely irrelevant and almost certainly could not have prevented the incidents or reduced their death tolls. These measures included restrictions on gun shows, child access prevention laws mandating locking up guns, and bans on assault weapons. Ironically, exploitation of school shootings for the advocacy of irrelevant gun controls may have obscured the genuine merits of various gun control measures for reducing "ordinary" gun violence. Thus, mass school shootings provided the worst possible basis for supporting gun control.
Am on the way to the airport in a couple of minutes...I wanted to post more, but the airport hotel I'm in, La Qunita, whacked my Internet access because of "questionable traffic..." That would, I suppose, be guns. I signed off their service and booted my 3G model. Interestingly enough, the specific site that got me was The Firearms Blog, which I like to check every day.

TFB links to a great Real World review of the SCAR system on AR15.com.

Tam at BooksBikesBoomsticks notes that MSNBC has a piece on the many gadgets alleged to make guns "safer" and notes:
Of course, all the gadgets and gizmos in the world won't keep a dumbass from shooting himself in the foot, as long as he's the dumbass with the key to the internal lock and the fingerprint reader recognizes him as an authorized dumbass.

The safety is always in your head!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Still Groveling...

...about no Wednesday podcast...I think I may be in Austin tomorrow PM...if that works out, I'll pop this week's up.

Been in Cowboy World working out a new feature for COWBOYS...basically, we take 2 new shooters, give one to Tupelo Flash, our host, and the other to Evil Roy...they get a couple of days of very high end training; we get cool training segment. This is the beta test, and it's working out great. Thankfully!!!

Tired beyond words, but from here it's on to Midwestern 3-Gun for SG...

Btw, Randi Rogers - "Holy Terror" - gets married this weekend. All of us at COWBOYS love her to death and wish her the very best life she can have. She gives me hope for the future! Congrats, Randi, from your friends...

-- Post From The Road

Podcast DELAYED!!!

Sorry guys, but I can't get enough Magic Internet Juice to upload even a heavily compressed audio file...at the worst, I'll be back in Civilization on Thursday nite and will upload for Friday.

-- Post From The Road

Monday, June 01, 2009

Light Blogging!

Gonna be hit or miss next couple of days...am in the Outback big time..no wi-fi...no 3G...no Twitter...good heavens...how will I survive? Oh yeah, got a .45 and ammo! If I can get a signal, I'll post...

-- Post From The Road