Monday, November 30, 2009

My New Hat!

For summer, assuming we ever have summer again before the glaciers start moving south, my new straw chapeau from Montecristi Custom Hat Works in Santa Fe. The band is a custom hand-painted piece I picked up at End of Trail a few years ago. Montecristi makes a wicked straw fedora, too...

A Monday Round-Up of...Stuff

Mondays after a long holiday weekend are tough, to be sure. Stumbling around the Internet this morning, the first thing that caught my eye was from Wyn Boniface that the Fed, in the acronym of the FBI, has decided that they need some really big iron, a couple of Anzio Ironworks mag-fed 20mm rifles, with suppressors, of course. From The Firearms Blog:
Anzio's rifles are chambered for the 20x102mm Vulcan cartridge. When loaded with a non-explosize 1543 grain projectile the round can achieve 3395 fps, generating 39500 ft/lbs of muzzle energy (compared to 14,000 ft/lbs of the .50 BMG).

At longer ranges the relatively poor ballistic coefficient of these large rounds will cause a significant decrease in energy but when used with high explosive ammunition this is not a problem as the on-target kinetic energy is less important than the chemical energy contained in the warhead.
You've seen these bad boys on SHOOTING GALLERY, of course. I figure the Fed is getting ready for either the rising militia menace and/or determining the last word on the difference between cover and concealment.

My friend Jeff Quinn over at GunBlast has an excellent review of the civilian SCAR 16, with this conclusion:
This SCAR 16s is a target rifle, disguised as a fighting rifle. Accuracy was amazing, using Wolf Gold Match and Buffalo Bore match ammo, and was also very, very good using Lake City 1990 manufacture military ball ammo. This is a half-minute-of-angle rifle. I only have experience with this one sample, but if they all shoot like this, it is an extremely accurate design. I realize that most soldiers and Marines do not need a rifle that is match-accurate, but it certainly does no harm, and makes the rifle viable as a dedicated marksman’s rifle as well. With the SCAR now being in service with U.S. troops, it should qualify the rifle for use in NRA sanctioned service rifle matches as well.
With the MSRP drifting down to a relatively sane $2500 or so, the SCARS should be moving into the retail pipeline pretty quickly.

Sig Sauer is ratcheting up promotion on their lagging 250 platform with a pretty neat 2-for-1 deal:
You can now get complete out-of-the-box versatility with the SIG SAUER P250 2SUM. This offer provides you with a full-size P250, ideal for duty, home defense or sport, and all the components to rapidly convert it to the P250 Subcompact, a perfect conceal carry gun.
The P250 is a technological tour-de-force — the "gun" part of the gun is a stainless steel cradle riding in the polymer frame, allowing a person to move the cradle from frame to frame to create a mission-specific complete firearm. I shot the gun a lot in the early stages and it was easily one of the most ergonomic, easy-to-shoot service pistols I'd ever handled. The changeover from grip module to grip module was so simple and bulletproof that even I could do it. The drawback to the system is that after you bought a full-sized 250 and a second grip module and a shorter barrel and slide to convert from a full-size service pistol to a concealed carry gun, you'd ponied up enough cash to buy a couple of Glocks. The new 2SUM package addresses that issue with a price break.

Over the holiday I've been reading a totally fascinating book, Inside of a Dog — What Dogs See, Smell and Know, by Alexanda Horowitz. When you live in a house with a strange tailless cat who's convinced he's a dog, 2 conniving macaws, a gray parrot who's pretty sure he's the King of the World and Alf the Wonder Beagle, you need all the inside information you can get.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hand Me My Short Sword, Pard!

So I'm sitting around watching Gladiator for the umpteenth time...what we do in life echoes in eternity...I like seige engines...I wish I had a small one in front of the Secret Hidden Bunker...I would shell the town post office until the barbarians surrendered, then it would be sack and loot time! Although given where I live, I suppose the loot would be a souvenir t-shirt and a stash of medicinal marijuana. To be sure, sacking isn't what it used to be.

I'd like to shoot a match tomorrow, but there are a couple of impediments, not the least of which is that there's not a match and it's snowing out tonight. Thusly, I will sleep late tomorrow, then run the reloading machine for a while. I've been thinking about doing some experimenting with the .44 Russsian cartridge...Hamilton Bowen claims it's super accurate when specifically chambered, as opposed to shooting it in a .44 Special or .44 Magnum. I've got a thousand rounds of Black Hills .44 Russian somewhere around here.

In the meanwhile, io9 has a handy guide to making ones' self apocalypse-ready...first, learn to make fire!
Have you ever watched one of those seasons of Survivor where one of the tribes can't figure out how to build a fire, and they don't win the flint for days and days? They can't cook their food or boil their water, and they fade fast, growing weak and ineffective until the producers take pity and slip them a Zippo when no one's looking. If you can't build a fire, you'll die.
Once you've got fire, start work on a decent catapult...

Todays Day-By-Day

For those of you who have forgotten how to scroll to the bottom of the page!

A Peek at Obama's Upcoming Gun Control Agenda

This from my friend Dave Workman at GunWeek:
Did Attorney General Eric Holder recently “spill the beans” on the Obama administration’s desires to implement some kind of national gun registration scheme?
Holder, a perennial anti-gunner who was involved with the Clinton administration’s anti-gun schemes, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 18 and a transcript of his remarks that were not part of his prepared statement is revealing. It is so revealing, in fact, that the Law Enforcement Alliance of America issued a press statement that Holder had revealed “a stunningly broad and aggressive anti-gun agenda.”

I know LEAA’s Ted Deeds, and he is not someone to go off half-cocked with “Chicken Little” declarations about gun grabs.

"Holder wants a national, permanent gun registration system administered by law enforcement. A registration of honest citizens that have cleared the federal background check for gun purchases with those records permanently retained by and shared among law enforcement.- Law Enforcement Alliance of America"

Here’s what Holder said during a Q&A with anti-gun New York Sen. Charles Schumer: “The position of the Administration is that there should be a basis for law enforcement to share information about gun purchases. Fully respect the Second Amendment, fully respect the Heller decision. It does not seem to us that this is inconsistent to allow law enforcement agencies to share that kind of information, for that information to be retained and then to be shared by law enforcement.”
Sounds like registration to me, too. We've always knew Obama would aggressively pursue gun control if he thought he could pull it off with minimal repercussions. I beleive the reason that he and Clinton gun control water-carrier Eric Holder didn't launch major gun control initiatives right after the election was they had bigger fish to fry...taking over the banks, the auto industry, health care, etc.

Be assured we are on the agenda, especially if the horrific heath care "iniitative" goes down in well-deserved flames.

Friday, November 27, 2009

On a Lighter Note, the Official SHOOTING GALLERY Margarita

2 ounces 30-30 Reposada Tequila
1 1/4 ounce FRESH-SQUEEZED lemon juice

Shake with ice, then serve on the rocks with salt. Ponder the infinite and don't drive heavy machinery...

Clubbing SEALS

From the NY POST:
Punch a terrorist -- head for the brig.
Welcome to America's thoroughly modern military.
The notion beggars the imagination, but three Navy SEALs who helped capture one of the most notorious terrorists in Iraq now face courts-martial -- because the terrorist acquired a bloody lip after the takedown.
It's not hard to figure out what happened here: One SEAL slugged Abed -- no doubt for good reason -- and the other two wouldn't rat out their buddy to investigators who would've been better employed slugging Abed themselves.
And so the SEALs will be arraigned on Dec. 7 -- another reason for the date to live in infamy.
Ironically, if the three had treated Abed like Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq has routinely treated American soldiers it captures, his bloody, mutilated corpse would've turned up floating in a river.
(For the record, the number of US combat troops captured in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been recovered alive is approximately zero.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pre-Thanksgiving Well Wishing

I've got to tell you I've been rackin' my brain
Hopin' to find a way out
I've had enough of this continual rain
Changes are comin', no doubt

It's been a too long time
With no peace of mind
And I'm ready for the times
To get better

Crystal Gayle
"Waiting for the Times to Get Better"

One of the big things I have to be thankful for is you guys — and I say guys in the least sexist way — who read the blog, listen to the podcasts and watch the shows. I cannot convey to you all how much that means to me, and has meant to me over the years. I think of so many of you as my friends, a loose confederation of people that I can depend on to be honest, to be forthright, and to be willing to tell me (and anyone else) that he's full of rhino dookey. I have spent my entire adult life as a writer, a good writer, if I can be permitted to say. But, ironically, when you are a "professional" writer — one who writes for the money — no matter how you choose to spin it you are divorced from your audience. Your real audience is the editor or editorial board, the person or people who approve your check.

The blog isn't like that. The audience, you guys, get to be a part of the process. And I believe the blog has made me a better writer and, by extension, a better television person.

So thank you for your participation, for your insight, for your intelligence and for your willingness to not take me that seriously.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving...


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is It Just Me?

Really, tell me I the only person in America who would pay money to see Levi Johnson and his alleged "Big Johnson" fed into a wood chipper? Jon and Kate slathered with bacon grease and dropped in front of the polar bear migration, with the "Plus 8" auctioned off on eBay? Donnie Osmond sold to white slavers in Montenegro? Tom Cruise sold off for his organs to the Chinese? Maybe it has just been that kind of week...

...meanwhile, here from Fox News this PM something that will profoundly piss you off:
Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told

The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.
In case you forgot what this scumbag engineered, here's the whitewashed version from CNN:
U.S. officials said the civilians were killed in a grenade attack by suspected insurgents.

Afterward, residents cheered and pulled charred bodies from burning vehicles and hung them from a Euphrates River bridge.

Crowds gathered around the vehicles and dragged at least one of the bodies through the streets, witnesses said.

Residents pulled another body from one of the cars and beat it with sticks.
"...the bloody lip to prove it..." Freaking amazing. This makes me sick.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh Please, Deliver Me From Monday!

Todaylet me search for the word here — sucked...bit the big one...etc. We've barely had time to plan Thanksgiving dinner. I'm thinking King crab legs, oyster dressing and rum. Designer rum, that dark stuff that causes one to raise the black flag and sack a couple of Spanish ships. Argh! I've got a parrot! Walk the friggin' plank! And before you do, finish the planning for next year's The Best Defense!

I haven't even has a chance to figure out what's going on in Gun World. I've got some kind of rifle in a box I haven't opened, and mostly I just sit in my chair in the living room and play with the USFA Double Eagle. I think the mainspring came off a tractor...I'm pretty sure you could pop a .50 BMG military primer with it if you could bet said round in the chamber. Speaking of which, I note (stealing wholesale from The Firearms Blog) that some whacked out German company is making a .50 BMG pistol (pictured above). Okay...whatever. And concealable, if you're a Wookie!

Over on the sane side of the fence, the NRA notes that a bipartison majority of Congress has siged a pro-gun amicus brief for McDonald:
An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have signed an amicus curiae, or "friend of the court," brief supporting the NRA’s position that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The amicus brief, bearing the signatures of 251 Members of Congress and 58 Senators, was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court today in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Last week, the NRA filed its brief with the Supreme Court as Respondent in Support of Petitioner in the McDonald case. The NRA brief asks the Court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.

"The framers of the Bill of Rights and of the Fourteenth Amendment never intended for the Second Amendment to apply only to some Americans in certain places. Gun owners across the country are grateful for the support that so many members of Congress are lending to this crucial effort to ensure that the Second Amendment applies to states, not just federal enclaves," said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "I would especially like to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of former United States Solicitor General Paul Clement in authoring this historic amicus brief, as well as U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Jon Tester (D-MT), and Congressmen Mike Ross (D-AR) and Mark Souder (R-IN) for their work on this important effort. This brief boasts the most signers of a congressional amicus brief in the history of the Supreme Court -- breaking the record set just last year in the Heller case.
Good news, although it won't help the Blue Dogs if they wimper like curs and vote for socialized health care. Judgement Day is coming, kids...November 2, 2010. election day.

My pal Mike at Spike's Tactical is rolling out machined billet AR uppers and lowers (above pix, from, and judging from the pictures over at, they look great. I think one of these bad boys may find its way to my gunsafe even though I swear I don't need another AR! Their November special — a completely built out Spike's lower with an M4 stock for $249.95 — is one heck of a deal, too! If you don't have an AR, consider a Spike's lower and a Stag of all worlds, and you can have it your way! Or get joggy with it and stick a Bison Armory 6.8 upper on it...remember, what Ken and Barbie wear is up to you!

You know, I think over the holiday I'm going to write a paper on why worldwide climate change demands a new hunting season on polar bears. What do you think?

PS: Richard Corbin emailed me to sat my Walnut Hill .50BMG reloading/swaging press is almost ready to ship. Yee-haw! Maybe I'll start swaging great big giant bullets!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Match Day

Finished another "clean" cowboy match in the mud up in Ft. Collins today...a little slower on one stage after "short-stroking" the hammer on one of my Blackhawks and had to crank all the way around to find the live round. Am starting to get a feel for running the '97 pump left-handed — it really is an advantage!

Pictured above is the ad for the to-be-introduced at SHOT Kel-Tec PMR-30 plastic fantastic .22 WRM 30 round pistol. The whole story's over on Cheaper Than Dirt, and it's pretty interesting. Oleg Volk shot the photos and you can see more here at his live journal.

You know, the concept is growing on me...sort of the ultimate backpacker's gun. Lightweight, lots of rounds, not a great personal defense gun but 30 rounds of anything can deliver a compelling message. Not the gun I'd want in bear country, but a nifty little package. At a $415 sticker, I suppose I can't live without one.

Just picked up my T&E version of the U.S. Firearms Double Eagle single action. This one's a beauty — .3 1/2-inch .44 Special, color case-hardened frame, Bisley hammer. You all know I'm crazy for .44 Specials, especially single actions. The USFAs are, like, a Colt-and-a-half in quality. I can't wait to shoot this one. I think it'd make a really nice companion piece to my Cimarron Thunderer 3 1/2 inch .44 Special. I'll get some pictures of it tomorrow and post them on the blog.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Big Green 1911?

Well, our pal Jim Shepherd at The Shooting Wire is reporting a Remington 1911 pistol in the pipeline:
Is Remington getting into the handgun market?

Short answer, yes.

An "Organizational Announcement" from Chief Marketing Officer Marc Hill to all of Remington's employees confirmed the existence of a Remington handgun team by naming Tom Taylor to the position of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product-Handguns.

That's a definitive answer to the question, and should serve notice to the industry that Remington has no plans to lay off what has been a torrid growth pace over the past year.
And the Remington handgun strategy?

While attending the Remington 2010 product introductions, I asked the same question of Marc Hill. At that time, he declined comment, but it has been no secret in the industry that Remington has been "shopping" for a handgun company. Several names have been mentioned, but it appears the first product will be "organic" coming from inside Remington, rather than via acquisition.

A 1911 is in first-production testing, and may be ready for introduction at SHOT Show in January. That is a qualified date because the company seems more concerned in making a solid product before introducing it to the consumer public, eschewing other companies' practice of launching products and making adjustments on the fly.
Tom Taylor is a good guy and does indeed know a ton about handguns. It was under his tenure, I believe, that S&W successfully took a big chunk out of the 1911 market with their very successful product introductions. That introduction also seemed out of step with the market, until it worked.

This comes on the heels, BTW, of Ruger assuring me that they do NOT have a 1911 in the pipeline, despite lots of Internet buzz.

Steve over at The Firearm Blog notes that a new 1911 is not the slam-dunk new product that it was a few years ago:
I do find the suggestion that they are going with the 1911 platform odd. While the 1911 is a very popular pistol with civilians, police departments are not adopting it. Instead they are dropping the Glock in favor of other polymer pistols like the Springfield XD and Smith & Wesson M&P pistols.

We know Remington loves military and police contracts and that they are willing to delay consumer products in order to make a grab for lucrative military contracts. The constant delays of the Bushmaster ACR are a testament to this.

So is Remington making a 1911 because they know something we do not?
I don't think so, but heck, I've been wrong before. The whole SOCOM pistol debacle left a bad taste in a lot of Washington mouths. It did lead to a new generation of major caliber polymer-framed pistols, including the ostensible frontrunner, the FNH FNP-45, the S&W M&P .45, the Taurus OSS, etc. Frankly, I just don't see the money — needed in vast quantities for not only new guns, but a whole new logistics chain — coming from the present administration. If the money was available, I suspect it might be going to a new rifle caliber rather than a new handgun.

Years back I wrote a parody piece for a gun magazine that by 2011, there would only be 2 handguns for sale in America — 1911 and Glocks. Hmmmmmm.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Thoughts on Stopping Power

Re: Stopping power, part of yesterday's post, I thought I might expand a bit on the topic and maybe discuss it in today's belated podcast. I'm of the "if you have to shoot, shoot them repeatedly" school. I like the 9mm because I can deliver multiple hits more quickly than I can with a .45. Not a huge amount of difference, but a real one. The thing I'm most interested in is the effect of both the shooter's and the shootee's expectations during the violent event. From a shooter standpoint, any expectation of a "one-shot stop" seems to me to be a major negative, because the shooter might hesitate after the first shot to see whether the threat is actually ended. That tiny hesitation could be fatal if the threat indeed isn't ended.

A far better solution is the one used by a veteran shooter down South recently during a "hot" home invasion. He was sitting in his living room, gun on, when the 2 home invaders kicked in his front door. The good guy hit the first man through the door with 7 rounds from his Glock .45 GAP; the second home invader reconsidered his career choices and beat feet out of there.

Regarding expectations on the part of the shootee, I think this is a bigger issue than many people believe. Way back 20 some-odd years ago, when I first went through Mas Ayoob's LFI, Mas talked about what happens to people when they're shot...some fall down and die when they shouldn't have; some keep right on fighting and die later...sometimes much later.

How much of a role does expectation play in a Real World shootings? For years my mentor Walt Rauch has said that a criminal's "job description" includes having guns pointed at him or her and even being shot. Plus, professional life-long criminals have either been shot themselves or had friends or associates who were shot — and they didn't explode, suddenly become vaporized, be flung through walls, etc. They recovered.

The stats show that most people who are shot recover — I've seen stats as high as 85%. I know those stats on an intellectual basis, but the criminal knows them on a guy level. I also know, and professional criminals know, that in a street gunfight, most shots miss their targets entirely.

What does that tell the criminal about being shot, the violent criminal actor equation, if you will? Here's what I think it tells the criminal...most "citizens" won't shoot, and if you get the exception to the rule, they're likely to miss anyway...and if you do get hit, it's not likely to kill you...and if you do get killed, hey, you could have gotten hit by a bus on the same day! The odds of "winning" are in the criminal's favor.

When I was up at Threat Dynamics, I noted that they use a Taser belt, which can register shots to the trainee at various levels of pain, to teach people to "fight through" being wounded. Seems like a smart training move to me...I'll probably expand on this in today's podcast...

BTW, this exceptionally good Quip on training from Brother John Farnam at DTI sums it up better than I can:
16 Nov 09

Scenario-Based Training:

We just completed an Airsoft-enabled, Scenario-Based Training program in
Addison, IL, at the wonderful Safe Direction facility. It was an eye-opener
for all of us!

Students were veterans of several Defensive Handgun Programs, by us and
other well-known instructors. All carry concealed regularly. No amateurs
were present!

We used Airsoft pistols and rifles, and all students were thoroughly
oriented on Airsoft at the beginning of the Program.

Here are important lessons students report over and over:

1) Keep your head up! Maintain continuous visual contact with all
possible threats. Look all around. Notice details. Gawking at your gun seldom
provides you with any useful information.

2) Stay in motion! We die in the gaps. Get off the "X!"

3) Use cover! Be ever-aware of objects that may be used for cover. Be
able to become an extremely difficult/illusive target, instantly.

4) Develop an ability to rapidly size-up threatening situations. We may
not like what we see, but we must have the personal courage to confront
indisputable facts squarely.

5) Have a plan! You must have a tactical blueprint up on your screen all
the time. You can't plan every detail, but you must have a general idea of
what you're going to do and where/how you're going to start.

6) Be able to distinguish the significant from the insignificant! Most
information is worthless. Don't expend attentive energy on what is not
important. Quickly determine what is critical and start planning around it.
Beware of decoys!

7) Don't panic! Move smoothly and with purpose. No wasted parts; no
wasted motions! Control your breathing and stay one step ahead of developing
situations. Use your sights; aim your shots!

8) Fight through speed-bumps. Running out of ammunition, stoppages, being
wounded, et al. They're all just speed-bumps. Don't turn them into Mt
Everest! Get over/around them quickly and move on.

9) Gain and maintain the offensive! Turn the table on your opponent(s)
immediately. Once the initiative is seized, never give it up. Stay in
control. One-by-one, eliminate his options.

10) Finish the fight! Outcomes are often determined by who gives up
first. See the fight through to the end.

11) Don't hesitate, dither, nor stampede! (a) Smooth, (b) lethally
potent, (c) coldly efficient, (d) surgically precise, and (e) ruthlessly
incisive execution are the keys to victory.

Scenario-based training represents a wonderful opportunity to exercise all
of the foregoing.

We're doing a lot of it these days!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jeez...a World of Work Waiting...

...sneakily, for me to get back in my office! Stacks of MUST ANSWER emails and endless scheduling issues. SHOT Show looms!!! I'll get a podcast done in the AM, promise.

BTW, Alf the Wonder Beagle was very excited about her new winter coat from Santa Fe...especially after her romp through the snow this afternoon. She looked like she needed paw warmers, or a small portable snowplow mounted on a rottweiler.

In Internet World, Caleb ponders stopping power, and I think he's on the right track, e.g. try aiming. But if we didn't have 9mm vs. .45, whatever would we have to talk about? Oh yeah, 5.56 vs. 7.62. It's okay...I'm getting back in the back to normal by Friday...

Gonna go shoot a cowboy match on Saturday, if it's warm enough that my hands don't stick to the guns.

Poster from my favorite demotivators!

Podcast Tomorrow!

Yep...vacation cut into this week's podcast, and Marshal's traveling today. We'll get one up sometime tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


...the Real World is waiting. So many balls up in the air! The Best Defense: Survival was green-lighted for a new season. You guys got thoughts on where we need to go from Season 1? I'm thinking info-specific -- food, water, shelter, travel, defense, medical, comm, etc.

Went to Maria's one more time...couldn't pass up those Bullseye margaritas! I'm gonna be working on that at home. If we do a Shooting Gallery Weekend at the Secret Hidden Bunker on Colorado, I promise I'll make the margaritas!!!

Last night we had corn and chipolte soup at Blue Corn Grill ... Great, but fair warning, it's seriously honest to goodness hot stuff...

Stopped by Santa Fe Hat Company & met J. D. Noble...saw a straw hat that may have my name on it...we'll see ...

So,gotta get back to work...To quote Jimmy Buffett, "It cleans me out, and then I can go on..." I needed a break off The Road...could use more, but it is what it is.

When you've got the greatest gig in the world, hey, a little travel won't kill ya!

-- Post From The Road

High Above Santa Fe!

Near Ski Santa Fe resort...

-- Post From The Road

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And, PS...'re all right! The liklihood of me paying that Back at the Ranch prices for boots (even on "sale" for $895) is pretty much NUTS!

-- Post From The Road

Boot Connundrum Solved!

After more appropriate agonizing, I decided to go "classic" and hiked on over to the Lucchese boot store. Lucchese seemed to be drifting on the direction of all things for all people a few years back, but they've recently returned to what they do best...handmade boots.

Also, not to sound jingoistic, but Luccheses are made in Texas rather than Mexico, and I'd rather keep my money at home.

I decided to forgo flash for a solid pair of boots...flash, of course, can come later, like after I win the lottery. Basic cowhide with a little tooling...maybe I'll go B-Western in cowboy shooting and start wearing all those Day of the Dead shirts from RockmountbWestrrn Wear...good taste is indeed timeless.

Foodwise, last night was my Sweetie's birthday dinner - she's 24...forever! - at Maria's, the best chili rellanos in the entire solar system. Light, just a hint of batter, spicy green chili...breathtaking! Maria's is also the place that wrote the book, quite literally, on margaritas. We went for one of my favorites, the Bullseye, made with 30-30 Reposada ("The guns that won La Revolution!!!"), Bols triple sec and fresh lemon juice. Perfection in a glass! And "gunny."

A snowy day in Santa Fe...going to bundle up and hike over to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame for brunch.

House-sitter reports 10 inches at the Secret Hidden Bunker...too much for him to go the range with the Pare Tactical Target Rifle...oh well, he and Alf the Wonder Beagle can sit around and pick off looters!

-- Post From The Road

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Out-Of-Control Shopping!

Yep, in a huge frenzy of consumerism! So far, have replenished my near-empty chili larder (1 lb Harch medium-hot red chili powder, 1/2 lb green medium hot, 1lb red chili flakes hot) enough to keep me in heartburn until I come through here in June on the way to End of Trail. I also continued my frenzy with a cowboy cookbook which included pictures from the greatest western of all time that featured the Little People, "The Terror of Tiny Town," - you've seen it, right? - and a ray gun Christmas tree ornament.

Am suffering major ambivalence on the boot issue and solicit your advice. I went to Back at the Ranch, a boot place recommended by my old pal Randy Travis:

And found the Boot'O'My, Day of the Dead, skulls, etc. The drawback is that they're a tad expensive, moreso for me than Randy T. My Sweetie pointed out that I never agonize about guns, which cost more than boots and require costly ammo to keep functioning.

What do you all think?

-- Post From The Road

Friday, November 13, 2009

Red Chili is Truth

Dinner at The Shed, the Mother Church of red chili...their cheese enchiladas define Southwestern, too...

Great tequila clarifies the mind...maybe I can figure out how to keep all the balls up in the air!

Tomorrow, in search of the perfect concho belt...and maybe some new boots...

-- Post From The Road


In Santa Fe for a long weekend...will try to do some food blogging along the way.

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day, 2009

There can never be enough thanks from your grateful nation...

"Find the cost if freedom
Buried in the ground
Mother Earth will comfort you
Lay your body down..."

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Pre-Veterans Day Message...

...DAY-BY-DAY, in case you missed it earlier this week...your daily does of D-B-D is always available at the bottom of the blog!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday Morning Jihad Watch

Bob "Confederate Yankee" Owens has an excellent summary article up on back to our regularly scheduled programming...

No, not the Ft. Hood shooter — who was apparently trying to get his Official Terrorist Membership Card — but the media jihad against the 5.7 X 28, a cartridge that Brady has always thought it had a shot at banning. Confederate Yankee has a compilation of headlines from the ballistic wizards at the MSM (who earlier in the incident identified the plastic pistol as a "sniper rifle," a "high-powered rifle," an "AK-47" and an "Uzi"), after which he notes:
Ironically, there is no known record of that weapon even being used to kill a police officer in the United States, and there is a distinct possibility that Sgt. Kimberly Munley, wounded while engaging Hasan, may have been the first American law enforcement officer ever shot with a Five-seveN.

How did the Five-seveN get it's "cop killer" reputation, then?

It was created in a Brady Campaign press release in February of 2005.
Here's the link to the 2005 Brady press release, BTW, which reads in part:
"Congress needs to protect our law enforcement officers, and the Five-Seven should not be sold to civilians," said Michael Barnes, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence united with the Million Mom March. "It is outrageous that some members of Congress want to give special legal privileges to irresponsible gun sellers like the manufacturer of this cop-killer gun."
Tam addresses the so-called armor piercing ammo in her post this AM:
The SS190 AP loading of the 5.7x28mm cartridge, about which several in the media are prattling on as though they knew from which end of the weapon the bullet emerged, is not just "restricted", but actually illegal to import for any use but law-enforcement or the military. To the best of my knowledge, it cannot be purchased from Joe's Police Supply Co.; it sits in a customs-bonded cage at Fabrique Nationale's South Carolina facility until an order comes directly from a government agency. So that's not what was used at Fort Hood.
The 5.7 and the whole concept of "armor-piercing" is something we've talked about extensively on the blog here and even on SHOOTING GALLERY. As you all should know, I don't think any of us want a protracted discussion of what particular round will pierce what particular level of body armor. As Tam notes, the AP version of the 5.7 is not available under any conditions for non-military non-LEO purchase. The 5.7 X 28 is probably one of the most studied round in history, and ATF has certified the ammo available over the counter as non-armor-piercing.

As I've mentioned before, more than a decade ago I did a penetration demonstration at an LEO SWAT convention. In the drill we took human torso dummies filled with ballistic putty and put Level II and even a few Level IIIa vests on them. As the officers watched, I walked down the line of dummies and fired a 9mm round from a Browning High Power into the center of the vests from about 3 feet. The 9mm punched through the front panel of all the vests and actually exited out the rear panel of a few (trusting my old memory). That 9mm round, which was widely available and was sold even at big box stores, is no longer imported, but I refer you to the FAQ at BulletProofME:
To state the obvious, getting shot ALWAYS carries some risk.
Since no one at Ft. Hood was wearing amy body armor, the whole media emphasis is a huge red herring.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Same Endless Song...

This from Hot Air:
Well, it certainly seems that this vicious, evil 5.7 FN pistol is some kind of magical killing machine. The question is, how? The article seems to discuss both the pistol on its own, as well as a particular kind of ammunition. So, is it the pistol? Does it only fire bullets which pierce armor? Um, no.
Never let a good crisis go to waste, right? Heaven knows we've discussed the 5.7 X 28 to death in the past, so we'll be watching closely how this goes.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

And Speaking of Morons...

...when I need a lift, there's always the Huffington Post. Today's blast of stupidity comes from Louis Klarevas, who perhaps predictably is...pause to be impressed...a professor at New York University! Wow! Here's what Dr. Hamster-Boy says:
Still, little is done to control the availability of guns - which is deeply disconcerting given that the most likely perpetrators of such violence are angry or deranged Americans who can easily purchase weapons, especially at gun shows where background checks are lax if not outright ignored.
On the other side of the fence, even Wired Magazine wonders what on earth people mean when they're talking about "cop-killer" guns:
Gun control group The Brady Campaign says it bought and test-fired a Five-Seven, and that it successfully penetrated a police vest. That said, it doesn’t seem quite accurate to call the Five-Seven a pocket-sized assault rifle. Its barrel would give it a lower muzzle velocity than a PN90; likewise, it strikes me as unlikely that it would give a shooter much more accuracy and effective range than a standard pistol. And plain-vanilla pistol round can be devastating enough: Think of the Virginia Tech shooter, who used a Glock 9mm and Walther .22.
Jules Crittenden wonders about the anti-Muslim backlash backlash:
The AP article fails to include any examples of any anti-Muslim backlash, perhaps because, with the exception of some isolated cases of mainly verbal harassment, there never was an anti-Muslim backlash in this country. Certainly nothing anywhere approaching the constant anti-American and anti-western backlash we’ve seen overseas in the years since 9/11. If anything, this country has bent over backwards to avoid any backlash. The example here was set from the outset by President Bush, who repeatedly declared this was not a war on Islam, and who sought and found allies among Muslims at home and abroad.

There has been an extensive anti-backlash backlash, however, to the extent that even suggesting Islamic extremism is a problem … has become the problem. I’m still waiting to hear the great outcry from Muslims, here and abroad, against the extremism, rather than whining about fears of being targeted every time someone from within their midst kills a dozen or 3,000 Americans.

Saturday! Yeah!

Am trying to catch up with sleep and doing a darn good job of it! We did manage to get to the range for a bit yesterday for a day of "dot" practice, shooting at 1-inch dots from various close-in distances, with the single action revolvers. It's a focus drill taught by lots of instructors, from Blackwater to Evil Roy.

I first shot the dots back in the early 1980s when I was John Show's uber "crash test student" for what would become his Mid-South Institute. John wouldn't let you move back from the close distances until you could shoot a 5-shot group with all the holes touching.

Great drill for identifying problems with trigger control! Once you can shoot the dot group, you can move on to multiple dot drills, double taps, whatever you need to practice. We finished up with some movement drills against a timer.

I note the 4th Gen Glocks have formally been announced, initially the compact 19s in 9mm and 23 in .40 S&W in the rough textured frames. I also hear from Glock insiders that the long-rumored Glock carbine is, well, somewhere, but nobody's seen the darn thing. I've been surprised that Glock hasn't jumped hard on the .380 small semiauto bandwagon. They do have a .380, the G28, not available in the U.S., but it's the same size as the 9mm G26.

Good read from Clayton Cramer on the PajamasMedia "Armed & Female" blog.
A recent article in the Telegraph discusses the rise of “ladies-only gun camps.” Why ladies-only? The article doesn’t say, but I know that similar training efforts have been sex-segregated because some women feel a bit intimidated by the inevitable “let me show you how it’s done, little lady” behavior that some guys exhibit — as if there’s something intrinsically masculine about shooting a gun.

Of course, there isn’t. Nor should this be a surprise.
He questions the need for "women's only" camps like those run by my friend Deb Ferns. I tend to disagree on that point...I think the women's only camp serve an important need. In fact, my Sweetie's first training class at GUNSITE was a women's only class, including instructors.

And speaking of armed women, Tam at View from the Porch is steaming mad at some of the Ft. Hood statements, and she says it better than I can:
The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get at the "this is our home" comment from the completely unsat and hopefully about-to-fall-on-his-sword General Cone.

Sure, General, your troops were "safe at home"... in a war with no fronts.

They were every bit as safe at home as the crews of the USS Cole or the battleship Arizona. Safe at home like the Marines in their barracks in Beirut.

An army at war does not have the luxury of "safe at home". Do you think the bomber crews of the Mighty Eighth landed in southern England after pasting the hell out of the Nazis and called out "Olly olly oxen free! We're safe at home now; we'll be putting on our slippers and lighting a pipe. No fair bombing us 'til tomorrow, Adolf!" or do you think they made sure that there were plenty of slit trenches, anti-aircraft guns, and armed guards on the base?

Do our people need to wear full battle rattle to go to the infirmary? No, but the idea that our highly trained all-volunteer army should walk around in condition white with empty holsters and bull's-eyes taped to their backs during a war and right in the middle of what is, to be honest, quite a tempting target is delusional at best and a grave insult to our troops at worst.

Friday, November 06, 2009


From Times Online UK:
A police officer and mother of one was hailed a heroine yesterday after it emerged that she almost single handedly ended the massacre at America’s biggest military base.

Kimberly Munley does not look as if she would be much of a match for a heavily armed US soldier on a murderous rampage. But the slightly built 34-year-old civilian officer was first on the scene after Major Nidal Malik Hasan began firing on comrades at Ford Hood in Texas as they prepared to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq. The 39-year-old psychologist killed 13 and left 31 others with serious injuries.
She took the fire and she placed the hits...that is the definition of hero.

Meanwhile, numerous outlets are reporting that the gun used by the shooter was an FN Five-seveN 5.7 X 28.

Alphecca has an excellent update.

Thoughts on a Mournful Morning

I can imagine nothing more horrible than to return from the hellish meat-grinder of the Sandbox only to fall before the terrorist next door, one of our own. God, to say that our hearts go out to the fallen at Ft. Hood is such empty comfort, such shallow words! And yet there is so little else we can do, aid we can render.

Some thoughts, while our hearts bleed:

1) The international terrorist conspiracy doesn't issue membership cards, and you don't have to fill out an application to join. All you have to do is be willing to kill the infidel...that would be us.

2) Yes, the shooter was "crazy," but let's be honest a war that encourages young women to strap on suicide vests and kill civilian children, then calls those sad women "soldiers," crazy has lost a lot of its original meaning.

3) As noted by Tam this AM, "The cherry on the icing of the cake of the night was the mealy-mouthed General Cone simpering from the lectern about 'We don't go armed around here, this is our home,' which caused me to look at the loaded pistol on the nightstand in bafflement." The military elected to disarm a roomful of shooters, the best of us — how'd that work out? Gun-free zones kill people!

4) Never, never, never forget that your safety is on you and you alone, every day, every moment of the day, in your workplace, in your home, in the places you think are the safest. And never, never. never forget that the enemy is among us.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hectic Days...

...yesterday and today, travel and meetings. Been watching the coverage of the mass shootings at Ft. Hood...we'll see. Too early to comment...

In the meanwhile. the questions on the AR are continuing to bubble up. The NYT had an article last weekend:
In recent weeks, a fresh round of complaints about weapon malfunctions in Afghanistan, mentioned in an Army historian’s report that documented small-arms jamming during the fierce battle in Wanat last year, has rekindled the discussion. Are the M-16 and M-4 the best rifles available for American troops? Or are they fussy and punchless and less than ideal for war?
We've heard all this before, and outside of SOCOM I can't imagine the present administration green-lighting a hugely expensive changeover of either rifle or caliber at this point in time.

I see that my personal hero Buffalo Bill's 44-40 black powder Colt Peacemaker is getting ready to go on the auction block at Rock Island Auctions:
Very good plus. The revolver has traces of original blue with the balance having been lightly cleaned and has a crisp smooth, silver-gray patina. The backstrap has a fine stippled finish, which is contemporary with to the revolver but is not factory work.

The revolver has a hand-made cylinder pin that appears date from the period of use. The backstrap screw is an old replacement. The Martin letter states that the revolver appears to be original with the exception of the cylinder pin and backstrap screw. Grips are good with a small chip on the toe and upper edge at frame and a few minor dings. The faint markings “03/WCP” are stamped on the upper portion of both sides of the grip at the junction of the backstrap and the frame. The significance of these markings is unknown but they may be property or inventory markings associated with the Wild West Show.

The action is tight but the hammer will not hold at half-cock. The case is in good overall condition with a repaired chip above the right hinge and a notch above the key-hole that was apparently used to open the case. The case lining is faded and shows moderate to heavy wear. The lining has compression marks, scattered oil stains and some edge-wear on the case partitions.
As much as I'd love to have one of my hero's guns, I checked my wallet and I'm a little light on the $50-$70K that the gun's likely to go for!

An interesting column from Megan McArdle on some of the implications for Tuesday's Republican victories on the Republican Party overall:
As long as social issues dominate the Republican Party, they will continue losing their north--I had a lot of relatives who at least considered voting for Obama. Ironically, I wonder if the tea parties won't help bring the two wings of the Republican party together: guns and lower government spending are the two things all members can agree on. But if the south wants to keep its northern Republicans--and the congressional seats that come with them--it's going to have to back off trying to make the northern party look like a miniature version of itself.
You guys know I've been pretty much fed up with Republicans' endless obsessions with wingnut social issues while leaving those of us who actually get them elected twisting slowly slowly in the wind. While I might question the northern/southern divisions, I totally agree with Ms. McArdle on those 2 things we can agree on — guns and lower government spending.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

CT Goes Green!

At NASGW in Reno tomorrow Crimson Trace will be announcing their first green laser on the AR vertical foregrip platform. Been playing with it all day...nice unit! Pluses are better visibility in daylight; minuses are a heavier power draw. Check with CT on availability...also watch for a modular unit that will allow you to change over your red laser foregrip to a green laser...

We'll have video up in a few days at DRTV, and full specs.

Call CT, (800) 442-2406, for details...

-- Post From The Road

Monday, November 02, 2009

Another Needless Internet Time-Waster

I am referring of course to — one day, one deal — a sales site that sells one dirt cheap item a day, 24 hours, until the item's all gone. It's not the stuff, though, that's the big draw; it's the utterly odd blog bitch for the item. Today, for instance, there's a killer deal on noise isolating earbuds, 2 for $15 bucks. Here's a little piece of the sales pitch:

Head down, earbuds in, try not to get hit by a laser

My mother-in-law thought we were crazy. “You two are going to end up pulverized by a giant world-eating alien just like your Aunt Regina!” We’ve always wanted to live in Metro City, though, and when Jessica got that job offer at the Major Daily Newspaper, we were excited to move to where all the costumed action is.

For about the first three weeks, anyway.

When the errant meteorite hit the Volvo, we shrugged it off and started using public transportation. Then, our dog Scamp was eaten by the Crimson Cowl’s cyborg velociraptors. And around the fourth time some villain’s robot henchman gets plowed through your wall and into your living room without so much as a “Sorry, Citizens” from whatever hero happens to be on duty that day, you start to get a little annoyed.

I’m not complaining, really...
Read they whole'll probably be crazy to snarf up the earbuds by the end. BTW, I cribbed the link from Cowboy Blob, who's always too kool for skool...

So I was over at Threat Dynamics all day filming. I'm intrigued enough to come up and take a full course. I was really impressed with TD cofounder Scot Laney, who is one of the most intelligent thinkers on self-defense topics I've talked to recently.

I think I'm coming down with another Road Cold, or maybe swine flu. Possibly, I'm allergic to Oregon, or autumn, since we no longer have that season in Colorado. Maybe I'm just a hypochondriac in training...but if that's the case why is my nose running so much? Had dinner at Jake's in Portland with the guys from CT and my old pal Guy Neill, who's been shooting IPSC since we shot it with muskets. Guy writes the reloading column in FRONT SIGHT Magazine...always good to see Brother Guy!

The Tragedy of Undersleeping

Well Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz
If that ain't love then tell me what is
Well I lost my heart it didn't take no time
But that ain't all. I lost my mind in Oregon
— Loretta Lynn
"Portland Oregon"

So I'm deep asleep in Portland, Oregan, sans sloe gin fizz when the iPhone next to my bed goes off. Like one of Ivan Pavlov's drooling dogs, I pop right up out of bed, take a show, shave, fret over my hair, iron a performance shirt...then look at the clock. Sigh...instead of the alarm, it was the ubiquitous and endlessly entertaining Tom Knapp calling from Planet Shotgun, which is apparently in a different time zone.

With my extra time I finally read Peggy Noonan's new column — We Are Governed by Callous Children — in WSJ Online:
...This is historic. This is something new in modern political history, and I'm not sure we're fully noticing it. Americans are starting to think the problems we are facing cannot be solved.
We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.
Nicely put and probably why writing about politics isn't any fun anymore. I think I'm like most Americans in that every morning I turn on the news with a sick feeling of dread...what new outrage do the callous children have for us today? Another long sigh...

Totally changing directions for no apparent reason, our pal Mr. Completely has a lucid, thoughtful article on .22 rimfire ammunition. He shoots more of it than any sane person — and even me — so he should know. I agree with his conclusion that it's impossible to recommend any one .22 ammo, because lots vary a bunch over time. I would like to add that Russian biathlon ammo made by some obscure arms company left over from the Cold War is the dirtiest stuff I've ever seen, but boy is it accurate...haven't seen any around for a while...

BTW, yesterday before I headed to the airport my Sweetie and I drove up to the 35 acres we own north of the present Secret Hidden Bunker (SHB). It's about 3000 feet lower than the Bunker and we were interested in how badly it got clobbered in last week's snowstorm, of which we have about a foot and a half left in the yard at the SHB. What a difference elevation makes — 15 degrees warmer and all the snow gone baby gone! We'll hopefully start building next year, if the callous children don't completely wreck the country buy then.

I gotta go find another gallon or so of coffee...