Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The New Normal

This is an excellent piece on America post-Heller & McDonald from Glenn Reynolds, who runs InstaPundit. Here's the punchline:
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment decisions have made a major difference. In particular, they have offset the gun-control community’s longstanding effort to “denormalize” firearms ownership — to portray it as something threatening, deviant, and vaguely perverse, and hence demanding strict regulation, if not outright prohibition. That effort went on for decades, and received much media support. Two decades ago, it seemed to be working.
But with the Supreme Court saying that it’s clear the Framers regarded individual gun ownership as “necessary to our system of ordered liberty,” that effort must be seen as a failure now. Gun ownership by law-abiding citizens is the new normal, and the Second Amendment is now normal constitutional law. It will stay so, as long as enough Americans care to keep it that way.
Read the whole thing. I think the legal decisions are emblematic of the overall social change we've been talking about for the last year or so. We — the gun culture — are the new mainstream, the new "normal."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rand Custom Hats...

In Billings...the Mother Church...



-- Post From The Road

SCOTUS Rules! Second is Fully Incorporated...

...into state law via the 14th Amendment. This is huge, as is the opinion (214 pages). It'll takes us days to digest this, but Chicago's gun ban is toast as of this morning. Here's the statement from the NRA's Wayne LaPierre:
Today marks a great moment in American history. This is a landmark decision. It is a vindication for the great majority of American citizens who have always believed the Second Amendment was an individual right and freedom worth defending.
[...]
Victory is when law abiding men and women can get up, go out, and buy and own a firearm. This is a monumental day. But NRA will not rest until every law-abiding American citizen is able to exercise the individual right to buy and own a firearm for self defense or any other lawful purpose.
Justice Alito wrote the decision on the 5-4 (the Heller majority) vote.

On the way to the airport...more as our experts have a chance to analyze the decision...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

There's a Zombie on Your Lawn

Custer lost...

...again. Hey, immortality is expensive!


-- Post From The Road

Real Bird Reenactment...

...on the banks of the Little Big Horn...freaking incredible!



-- Post From The Road

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Update from the field...




-- Post From The Road

Meanwhile, Back in Montana




-- Post From The Road

Michael's Last Stand...



At least this week! Am on the way to Hardin, MT, to film the reenactment of Custer's Last Stand...I have ti on good authority that the 7th. still wanting for Gatling guns, will once again go down in flames. I'll keep you posted.

Was surprised and pleased with End of Trail, which topped out at 541 shooter. Next year SASS may have to cap the match if they want to keep it on a single weekend format. As I said earlier, I saw more women and young people than I've seen at any big match. SASS appears to have weathered their flat spot and gotten back to their fast-track growth. I know the local new shooters' seminars are pulling 60+ people, and my friends in Cali tell me their running cowboy new shooter orientations once a month at 50+ shooters. We're averaging more than 100 shooters at the monthly matches (and there's a cowboy match every weekend somewhere in the Front Range) and next week's regional championships, Hell on Wheels in Cheyenne (see you there?) will draw more than 300 competitors. It all bodes well for cowboy and competition in general.

Next Wednesday marks the new season for both COWBOYS and TBD/SURVIVAL.

Both shows have been completely "retooled" for the new season...I'll be talking about the changes in the shows on this week's podcast and video blog. So first listen in, then tune in to see what you think of the new season. On the whole, I'm really pleased...our goal is to raise the bar every season.

Gotta go get on the toy airplane for the flite to Billings...



Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Quickie Before I Pass Out from Exhaustion

No SCOTUS McDonald decision today...expect it Monday...

Some thoughts on the Potterfield/Midway big contribution to the Bianchi Cup...first, Larry is to be hugely hugely congratulated for backing the shooting sports. Everyone in the industry — everyone in the culture — benefits from the growth of the shooting sports. Larry has set the bar, and I'd like to see the parts of the industry who have had a hands-off relationship with the shooting sports, even as they benefited from our money, step up and follow Larry's example.

I totally agree with his decision to focus the money on Production...unlimited/open shooting has proven itself to be a dead end. Aside from a dwindling number of participants, no one cares. In all the sports, production, stock gun classes are booming.

Will the Bianchi Cup achieve the national success that's envisioned? You tell me...since John Bianchi conceived the Cup, the landscape of sport shooting has fundamentally and irrevocably changed. When the Cup started, the practical shooting sports were in their infancy; now action shooting sports rule the roost. Based on participation, the top shooting sport in America is trap, followed by cowboy action shooting, sporting clays, Glock Sport Shooting Foundation and the various flavors of practical pistol.

The shooting sports that the Cup was conceived to bring together — PPC, fledgling IPSC and bullseye — have in the case of PPC and bullseye faded into relative obscurity or in the case of IPSC significantly morphed. Also consider the changes in the gun culture itself. Self-defense/CCW are the driving wheels and will be, I believe, for the foreseeable future. That's where the new shooters are coming from. And, as we've talked about before, they're not necessarily like us Old Skol Guys.

As I mentioned in an early post, I've seen more women and young people here at End of Trail in NM than I've ever seen at a big match. The big SASS clubs are running new shooter clinics with 60-100 people on a monthly basis. USPSA is experience a growth spurt and it's routinely filling out its national championships, and the Glock GSSF is huge in its own right. IDPA is rock solid, as are sporting clays.

Is there a place for a national competition that brings together shooters of all disciplines? I think yes. The question is what that competition needs to be.

Thoughts?

EOT Wild Bunch...

....had 5 USPSA Grand Masters shot it...winner was 16 year old cowboy shooting flash "Last Chance' Morales
...

-- Post From The Road

EOT




-- Post From The Road

EOT




-- Post From The Road

At End of Trail...

And there are more women and young people shooting than I've seen in years!


-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some Thoughts on the Midway USA $100,000 Bianchi Contingency Money


You probably already know this, but Larry Potterffield has ponied up $100K as contingency prize money for Bianchi Production division. Obviously, this will provide a major jumpstart for the NRA Action Pistol program, as well as drive some of the big players into Production. What I hear is that the details of how the money is going to be allocated/awarded is not yet finalized...there are a lot of ideas on the table at this point.

The top 5 Production shooters this year were:
1) Kyle Schmidt, 1856-121x
2) Enoch Smith, 1835-123x
3) Dave Sevigny, 1833-119x
4) Phil Strader, 1819-102x 
5) Vance Schmid, 1812-100x
Any of these guys could break 1900, especially with the allowed modification of match barrels. I talked to Dave Sevigny at the Cup this year, and he was ambivalent about leaving his box-stock Glock — the gun he built his sterling reputation on — behind for one with a match barrel and different sights. Still, he's too much of a great competitor not to realize that a fitted match barrel will be de rigueur for the top competitors starting next year.

Here are the original specs for Bianchi Production:
• 3.2.1 Production Firearm — The intent of this rule is to encourage the use of production firearms as manufactured and promote NRA Action Pistol Shooting at the “Grass Roots” level. Accordingly, in order to keep this class from becoming an “Equipment Match” , Single Action only pistol are prohibited.
A Production Firearm is a semi-automatic handgun or revolver which is or has been a catalog item readily available to the general public equipped with factory notch & post sights. All standard safety features of firearms must operate properly. The firearm shall have no visible internal of external modifications except as follows:
(a) Grips may be replaced or modified to fit the competitor’s hand or to facilitate loading. Checkering, stippling, grip tape and grip sleeves are permitted.
(b) Barrel length may not exceed 5.35 inches for semi-automatic pistols and may not exceed 6 inches for revolvers.
(c) Wide “target” style hammers and triggers, if included on the firearm as originally manufactured, are permitted.
(d) Only open sights may be used. The front sight must be a non-adjustable post sight. The rear sight may be adjustable if the firearm was originally manufactured with an adjustable sight. Sights may be replaced but they must use the original dovetail cuts and must retain the original configuration of the firearm. Fiber optic sights are permitted.
(e) Barrels may be replaced with original factory barrels with the same configuration of the original barrel.
(f) All production firearms must fire the first shot of every stage double action.
(g) Trigger weight may not be less than 3.5 lbs. In any mode.
(h) External finishes, either protective of decorative, or other non-functional embellishments. (i.e. Such as engraving, inlays or inscriptions) are permitted.
(I) Holsters must be designed for carry and suitable for everyday use. Competition, race type and open front holsters are prohibited.
The following firearm modifications are prohibited:
(a) Single action only firearms
(b) Custom-shop firearms.
(c) Changes in the original factory sight configuration of the firearm are prohibited. Front adjustable sights are prohibited.
(d) Peep, ghost, optical, electronic, Bo-Mar and Aristocrat type sights.
(e) Thumb rests, orthopedic grips, grip or magazine extensions. No part of the grip may encircle the hand.
(f) Compensators, ported or weighted barrels.
(g) Race type holsters.
So that gives you a pretty good idea of what the top Production shooters will be using next year as this goes forward. Of course Dave (and Women's Production champion Randi Rogers) are in the Glock camp; SG regular Phil Strader and B.J. Norris, one of the greatest shots ever, Doug Koenig, and new S&W team member Jessie Abbate will be running the S&W M&P platform. With that kind of money on the line I'd be surprised not to see Jerry Miculek running a Production revolver. If you remember, there were a few years revolvers dominated Bianchi, and a great master like Miculek is always a threat.

I'd be surprised if Max Michel, probably the hottest pro shooter this year, didn't sign on with one of Sig's trick 226s. Should be interesting to see how it shakes out!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ruger LCR .357



Finally got some trigger time with the Ruger polymer-frame .357 LCR revolver today with Hornady 158-gr .357 self-defense loads. Yeppers, it bucks a bit. But quite honestly it doesn't buck as much as metal-framed ultralight .357 snubs. The only consensus we could come up with is that the polymer frame is absorbing  a portion of the short, sharp recoil impulse. It's not super pleasant to shoot with the heavy loads, but you don't get a snub as your primary range gun. And it's got the same superb DA trigger — the best on any snub I've ever handled, and I've handled a whole bunch.

If you're at all recoil-sensitive, I strongly suggest you chose the 17.1 ounce .357 over the regular 13.5 ounce .38, then shoot .38s in the heavier LCR. I shot 158-gr Hornady .38+P self defense loads in the .357 and it was controllable and painless. Regular .38s would be downright pleasant to shoot,. I'd kill to have one of these in .22LR (take note, Ruger...pleeeeeeeease...).

Seen in Passing...

Festive LCPs?



-- Post From The Road

The World's Greatest .22




-- Post From The Road

Ruger LCP...

..."Coyote Specials" in production at Ruger's AZ facility...



-- Post From The Road

Monday, June 21, 2010

Whew!

...made the airport with time to spare today...not like me at all. Even TSA went smoothly, more of a "Hi, Michael!" than a "We got us an AL-QUAIDA!" like the last swing through Texas. I was shocked to learn that in addition to the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, today is National ASK Day, where your William Faulkner-esque neighbors who never mow their front porch, have 3 rusting Volkswagen vans and a painfully dead snowmobile up on blocks and actually barbecued a poodle last July 4 drop by to ask if you have a gun in the house. Nobody came by my house, possibly because I only have a few neighbors, including the town marshal, and my closet neighbor once thanked me for not shooting his dog when it camped out in front of the Secret Hidden Bunker and barked for, like, 3 weeks. I was really busy today, but a visiting neighbor would have certainly provided comic relief. I have lots of answers to questions like that.

I of course always ask anyone taking care of Alf the Wonder Beagle if they consider themselves liberal. Not because I don't want Alf consorting with liberals — I'm more concerned with chihuahuas, especially those nasty hairless zombie-looking ones — but rather if she has to unleash the Flashing Fangs of Fury on them I want her to be ready to deal with the nasty aftertaste.

One the good news front, my Sweetie won her category at last Saturday's cowboy action match in Ft. Collins. I am very, very proud of her. She has all the makings of an excellent competitor, as long as she doesn't pay too much attention to me. Congrats!!!

Wednesday's podcast is mostly on Wild Bill's 1860 Colt Richard's conversion I got to examine in Deadwood last week. I also talk about the holster and the gunbelt, one very similar tot he one he's wearing in the photo below:


Be sure to listen in...I did a good bit of Internet research and a quick spin through my own reference library, and I wasn't able to find any hard "gunny"stuff about that particular Wild Bill piece — allegedly the gun he was wearing on August 2, 1876 at the #10 Saloon. Hopefully I've added something original, or at least different, to Wild Bill lore.

Isn't it amazing that the gun-free paradise of Chicago is more violent than downtown Baghdad? Last weekend, 8 people killed and 52 people shot. Second Amendment Foundation EVP Allan Gottlieb put it best:
"Chicago has become a slaughterhouse," said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, "where defenseless victims are terrorized by armed thugs who have taken full advantage of an unarmed populace. Daley and his predecessors who perpetuated this ban are wading knee-deep in the blood of hundreds of crime victims who should have had the means to defend themselves."
Amen to that! We're waiting for the MaDonald decision from the Supremes, due this Thursday or next Monday (probably), but I gotta tell you that every time I read David Hardy's OF ARMS & THE LAW, I get more and more worried. The thought of Justice Ginsburg writing on the incorporation of the Second is just terrifying.

Well, time to head on to Arizona, where even plants are heavily armed!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday@Home

Got in from Deadwood Friday evening; shot a cowboy match up in Ft. Collins yesterday morning. All in all, it went pretty well. Had one stage where I forgot my Model '97 is strictly blunt trauma and worked the pump like an 870...didn't fully eject the hull. Then without looking I tossed the shotgun down on a table where, perversely, the empty round slid back into the chamber as the action closed neat as a pin. Leaving a fired round in the chamber is a penalty. So it goes...

Next week is the last push week in my hellish spring travel schedule — GUNSITE for a Ruger product introduction (and, yes, you'll see it on DRTV first!), then to End of Trail in Albuquerque for a couple of days until it's the Custer battle reenactment in Hardin, MT for the weekend. We're out of Billings on Monday. Luckily, our flight out of Billings is late enough to allow us a quick trip to the Mother Church of Cowboy Hats, Rand Custom Hats in Billings. Titch says he'll be in town and maybe we can grab a quick lunch along with a new hat. COWBOYS/SG Producer John Carter is actually frothing at the mouth. Probably the hat I wear the most os Ritch's 147 Sporting Clays, my go-to hat all summer and fall (although, to be totally honest I've been wearing the Colorado Mountain Hat Company copy of the Herbert Johnson "Poet" I had them make up for me. I like it enough that I might see one of Ritch's Western Fedoras in grey in my future.



I have to confess to a new pair of boots from a cowboy shop in Spearfish, SD — a pair of tall Ariat Hoolihans with ever-tasteful purple tops. I bought them in the morning and spent all day in a rodeo arena blowing up balloons and moving cones for mounted shooters. Seems like a fair break-in. I wore them yesterday, and they're getting there. I mean, they're never going to be Lucchese, but they don't cost like Lucchese, either.

In Deadwood I ran into Dan & Julia Schwarz...really nice people and just magnificent custom bootmakers from Montana. Check out their custom boot gallery and weep, mortals! I would kill to take their 2-week custom boot-making course...we'll see how the year shakes out...2 weeks is a long, long time in my world. Still, who else woudl do Wile E. Coyote boots?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dead Man's Gun

Or dead woman's gun...the 1873 38/40 in my arms belonged to Calamity Jane...it might have been one of her prop guns, that she had her picture taken with, then sold to newbies in the Black Hills...easier than whoring, I suspect.



This is one of Wild Bill's guns, an 1860 Colt conversion that I was privileged to hold, albeit with gloves.




I don't mean to go all metaphysical here, but for those of us in this culture, the gun culture, these guns carry the weight of history, much like one of the legendary "named" samurai swords. The swords are called the "soul of the samurai" and are considered national treasures in Japan. Perhaps a gun like this conversion should be thought of as the "soul of the frontiersman" and be considered a national treasure in America.

When I hefted the gun and bought it to a firing grip. I felt...something. Sure, it's all in my head, but all I could think of was that this gun was the working tool of a man of honor, in a time when honor mattered. It was the working tool of a man who chose to life not only of adventure, but ultimately of service...a man who helped open the West to civilization while closing it for men like himself. It was a gun with stories it can never, would never tell. Ultimately, our history is written in steel, and I fear we have forgotten the language.

-- Post From The Road

Colorado Charlie Utter's gun...

An S&W .44 Russian, found in the woods near Deadwood in 1937...engraved Charles Utter Georgetown Colorado...



-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Me And Bill

...in Deadwood...

Wild Bill is probably happy that people are still losing their money in Deadwood. The saloons aren't, however, what they used to be! More later...



-- Post From The Road

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Global Warming Alert!

I'm actually taking ou guys' advice and have knocked off everything over the weekend to concentrate on sleep — not hard, since it has been cold and raining. I did want to post a quick note saying that, right here on June 13, it's snowing again. ARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Michael is Slacking...

...I came off the road yesterday and I felt like hammered shit...hot, flushed, feverish, blah blah...I thought that 3 months of utterly lunatic travel had finally caught up with me. I felt so crummy and ground down that since I'm going to Deadwood next week I thought maybe I'd just go to the Number 10 Saloon, order a whiskey and sit with my back to the door and see what happens.

Instead, I watched the season finale of Justified on DVR (great, BTW...will be talking about it on next week's podcast), took a handful of over the counter stuff and went to bed. I feel pretty good today, but still ground down. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll feel like shooting a cowboy match, if it's not cold and raining. As a friend of mine said today, it's great that summer came on a weekend! Wanna shoot .357s tomorrow...hopefully, this weekend I can finish up the belt for my dual Schofield .44 Russian rigs and I can shoot them after Hell on Wheels this July 4. BTW, if you're a cowboy shooter (or a DRTV Forum member) and you're going to be in Cheyenne for Hell on Wheels, look me up Friday and let's see what's up for the evening. If there's enough of us, I'm buying.

Good piece on NRO from John Lott on mass shootings in the gun-free paradise of Europe and England:
Large multiple-victim public shootings are exceedingly rare events, but they garner massive news attention, and the misperceptions they produce are hard to erase. When I have been interviewed by foreign journalists, even German ones, they usually start off by asking why multiple-victim public shootings are such an American problem. And of course, they are astonished when I remind them of the attacks in their own countries and point out that this is not an American problem, it is a universal problem, but with a common factor: The attacks occur in public places where civilians are banned from carrying guns.
Read the whole thing, of course.

BTW BTW, I'm really excited about my friend Caleb from Gun Nuts Media in his Quest of IDPA Master Class with a Ruger SR9c compact and a Comp-Tac holster, to be chronicles on both Gun Nuts Media and DRTV. I like my SR9c compact a lot...at Ruger's request I've been carrying it (in an Galco Yaqui Slide and a Wilderness Tactical SafePacker) and I'v very happy with it. I got a Streamlight compact gun-mounted light for the little gun when it's the bedside gun in hotel rooms, which is a good companion for that Laser Genetics handheld green laser that has become my "go-to" light.

BTW BTW BTW, have I mentioned that I agreed to accept a slot on the Board of Advisors for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association? I met Tim Schmidt, the head guy ay USCCA, at the Second Amendment March in Washington D.C., and he impressed me. Last week I got a surprise invitation to join the BOA and I accepted. Hell, I'll probably do some senior stuff for them!

Meanwhile, I got a notice from Cimarron that their Open-Top Navy in .44 Special was on big-time sale...


...probably because I'm the only guy they could think of who'd want an open-top brass frame Navy (the lower gun in the pix) in .44 Special. The bastards! Sure, I know it won't run on a bet, but Bob Munden has a reputation for making open-tops work and he talked to me a while back about doing a gun for me. And I don't have any open-tops...get thee behind me, Satan! No...no...don't touch the checkbook...

And while I'm resisting temptation, consider this...a man open-carrying in Milwaukee got himself robbed...kids, kids, kids, when a stranger comes up to you and asks for a cigarette, for a ligh, for the time, for a dollar for his or her starving children, whatever, you are being "interviewed" for an attack! Good morning! Wake up and smell the coffee! If your awareness fails it doesn't matter if you're carrying a suitcase nuke and a pack of marauding Mongols in your  pants — you lose!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

God Knows I Try to Keep Up...


But I get to working and the whole industry jumps into a game of musical chairs. BTW, the above ad is from AAC's blog.

So, quickly, Magnum Research has been acquired by Kahr Arms (via a press release quoted in the Firearm Blog):
Kahr Arms, the well known American based producer of high quality compact pistols has announced its recent purchase of Minnesota-based firearms manufacturer, Magnum Research, Inc.®, maker of the Desert Eagle® Pistol.
Kahr Arms takes pride in its ability to offer customers a selection of unique niche-type firearms, such as the world famous “Tommy Gun” and Auto-Ordnance line of M1 .30 caliber carbines. The addition of Magnum Research, Inc.® products to the Kahr Arms family will provide Kahr Arms and Auto-Ordnance customers another unique line of firearms to choose from.
Magnum Research, Inc.® was founded in 1979 and was responsible for the design and the development of the Desert Eagle® Pistol. The firearms in its current product lineup include the Desert Eagle® Pistol (available in .50 AE, .44 Magnum, or .357 Magnum), Baby Desert Eagle® “Fast Action” Pistol (9mm, .40 S&W), Desert Eagle 1911, Micro Desert Eagle™ Pistol (.380 ACP), Magnum’s BFR (Revolvers in .44 Magnum, .45 LC/.410 or .45/70), Mountain Eagle™ MAGNUM LITE® Rifle (.22/250, .223, .30-06, .280 and 7mm) and MAGNUM LITE® Rifle (.22LR, .22 WMR or .17 Mach-2).
Okay-dokey...makes some sort of sense. Magnum Research could definitely use some of Kahr's financial juice. Meanwhile. Taurus is working on a .380 revolver, according to an interview with Taurus majordomo Bob Morrison on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk radio show, as quoted in the Guns, Holsters & Gear blog. This is probably not as weird as it seems on the surface. A couple of years back Taurus floated a 9mm revolver (the 905, pictured below) essentially modeled on the old S&W I-Frame. The I-Frame was slightly smaller than the later and far more familiar J-Frame and was used on the the petite Terrier snubby and the Regulation Police revolver, both in .32 S&W and .38 S&W (which was not .38 Special). Walt Rauch got hold of one of the early 9mm Taurus revolvers and tyold me it was one of the most accurate snubs he'd ever shot — and Walt has shot a whole bunch of them!

Since the .380 is essentially a stubby 9mm (9X17 vs 9X19), should work just fine in a revolver.


A Sign of the Times

Well, of some times...


-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Bob Boze Bell

At work on COWBOYS...


-- Post From The Road

Monday, June 07, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Today was just crazy busy...had to get some more genetically engineered lubricating crap shot into my left knee...I'd be up for the permanent installation of a grease nipple so I could lube up at home.


I really liked this pix of a Remington R1 1911 with an AAC Ti-Rant suppressor bolted on. Looks almost as cool as a Maxim suppressor on a U.S. F.A. 1910 Commercial and is probably a good bit quieter (after all, it's been better than 100 years of technological development since the Maxim).

Check out this article in the NY Post...hard to believe that there are people as stupid as the idiots running New York, with, of course, the exception of the Daleys in Chicago:
The city's top cop, Ray Kelly, is inviting all City Council members to shoot guns at the NYPD's firing range -- as the state Assembly considers legislation to require police officers to shoot gun-wielding suspects in the limbs, rather than aim to kill.
"I would recommend everyone goes. It's a very eye-opening experience, especially for anyone who thinks police officers should shoot guns out of people's hands," Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens) told the Council Public Safety Committee during a budget hearing yesterday.
"They should fire a gun first and see what it's like and try to avoid shooting the birds from the recoil," added Vallone, who owns a rifle.
Shoot the guns out of the bad guys' hands...what a bunch of nitwits!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

June 6, 1944...



So many years now, and so many with the memories of that day now gone. We look back on D-Day and the other horrific set-piece battles of World War 2 with an air of unreality, through goggles of the omnipresent media...perhaps the epic celluloid battles against the Sith or the dinosaurs of Jurrasic Park are more "real" to us than our fathers', or our grandfathers, great sacrifices. As Americans, I believe we cannot look back at D-Day, at the Second World War, without a sense of utmost reverence, a profound sense of the power of good to triumph over evil even in the face of unimaginable pain, suffering and death.

As those Allied soldiers and Marines fought their way east, they found the remains of an equally unimaginable evil, the living vestiges of human beings' capacity for creating a hell on earth. As we pause to honor the greatest generation we do so with a sense of rising unease, that as we watch the events unfolding on the world's stage we do so with a nagging sense we've seen it, or at least heard about it, all before...

...the rising tide of anti-Semitism...the call for worldwide jihad...the acquiescence of the major powers... and once again the assurance of peace in our time...

Sometimes in my most depressing dreams I hear the rattling sounds of boxcars headed east, and I pray that the courage, the resolve, the faith, the essential goodness of those men who rode the landing crafts to beaches whose names we could once recite from the heart still flows in America's veins.

To all who serve, our undying thanks. God bless America.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Less Than Perfect Performance....

...in Cheyenne today. The Force apparently wasn't with me...LOL!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Steampunk Revolvers and other Goodies



Say Uncle has a jackpot of gun porn today, including this magnificent LeMat, the ultimate steampunk handgun, from Blackfork. I occasionally fantasize about a modern repro  cartridge-firing LerMat...would that not be the ultimate bedroom gun in .44 Special/20 gauge?

Uncle, whom I got to spend a little time with at the NRA convention, also linked to another Czech gun company paradoxically in Nashville, Czechpoint. What's seriously cool is they have a few Czech Scorpion .32s available as SBR (short-barreled rifles), with the original folding stock.


I will, as always, grant you that the Cz61 is one of the least practical/tactical gun ever made. I will also include the little blaster in at least the top 5 of the coolest guns ever made. I've avoided the pistols by huge act of will, the the SBR may be my undoing.

There's a piece on Joe Huffman's blog that I believe everyone should read — a potentiality is not an actuality:
A potential to do harm is not the same as actually doing harm. In nearly every instance of a push for greater gun control (and, if you think about it some, nearly all government programs) those advocating more government control focus almost entirely on the potential harm if action is not taken and the potential good if the action is taken. Actual harm and actual benefits appear to be (and in many cases I'm sure it is deliberately) ignored.
Definitely read the whole thing. Aso read the Pajamas Media piece by Howard Nemerov on how FBI stats prove an armed public is a safer public:
After the Virginia Tech shooting, Katie Couric interviewed Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Said Helmke:
“While it is ‘people who kill people,’ they do so more often, and more successfully because we make it so easy to get such lethal weapons [guns].”
It’s true that NICS data show how easy it is for Americans to buy guns, but FBI crime data shows that law-abiding gun owners are not the problem.
More guns, less rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Gotta go round enough enough bullets to shoot a cowboy match tomorrow AM up in Cowboy World (a.k.a. Wyoming). Starting to ramp up for Hell on Wheels, the big regional match in Cheyenne over the 4th of July weekend.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Wild Bill Goes Electric


That's my old pal Stuart Barber — "Tame Bill" to SASS members — duplicating Wild Bill Hickok's 75-yard shot in the gunfight with Dave Tutt, with the addition of a point-of-view camera strapped to goggles. Stuart's using his .36 cap-and-ball Navy Colts, and, yes, he rang the steel over and over again. We're filming for COWBOYS, and it's darn hot in KC, too!

Sleepy now....

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Mid-Week Wrap-up

Spent most of the day in the shoot house at U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa filming some vignettes for Streamlight on their gun-mounted lights. We were working with John Meyer, who used to be one of the top trainers for H-K before he went out on his own...a world-class instructor, and I learned a lot just hanging around and talking. I've decided I'm going to put together an SG on low-light training with John and his guys. I also talked to Mike Seeklander at USSA about his close quarters shooting class, and I think you're definitely going to see that on SG in 2011 as well.

Then I cruised on to Kansas City to spend the evening at the brewhouse across the parking lot from the hotel with my old IPSC friend Stuart Barber, a.k.a. "Tame Bill" — you've seen him on the History Channel as one of the ranking experts on the life of Wild Bill Hickok — drinking Anchor Steam and talking about the old Kansas cow towns, shoot-outs, various miscreants, and Wild West bullshit.

Every so often it strikes me that I am one of the luckiest people in the world.


Anyhow, in other news, Todd Jarrett is teasing us with is new company, Strike Force (new rifle, above). Hey, looking forward to the new guns, Todd!

In news, Nosler Bullets in Bend, OR, blew up today...here's the news piece:
An explosion and fire rocked a portion of the Nosler Inc. bullet manufacturing plant in southwest Bend Wednesday afternoon, prompting evacuation and closure of streets in the area; despite a blast felt for several blocks, all 100 workers were accounted for.
The fire was reported initially as a smoke report shortly after 2 p.m. at the facility at 107 SW Columbia St., which was evacuated. By 2:15 p.m., there were reports that an explosion had destroyed part of the building. But by 3 p.m., reports from the scene were that all workers on scene at the time of the blast had been accounted for.
A company spokesman said he was told that around 2 p.m., work was under way in the ballistics tunnel, a testing area for ammunition, when there was a flash, followed by the quick evacuation, smoke, and moments later by a massive explosion.
Whew! More when it becomes available.

Finally, the one accessory you can't do without (and sorry to be so long in noting this one!) :


That's right...a bayonet for your laser-sighted North American Arms mini-revolver! From the guys at LaserLyte, in conjunction with KA-BAR, all of whom obviously have too much time on their hands! OTOH, I'm sure there are places in this country where rabid chihuahuas are a major issue..."Yo quiero Taco Bell' my butt!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New Alf TWB* Sighting


*The Wonder Beagle, of course. Once again, she quickly turned away before the camera could capture her face. She's recovered pretty well from her injured paw and ready to head into the mountains in search of bison, large ungulates and perhaps the occasional water buffalo, as long as she can be home in time for dinner.

Spent the day recording yesterday, the first half day audio; the second short spots for COWBOYS. Two filming days this week and a gigantic stack of meetings. I plan to get in a match this upcoming weekend and a practice day with semiautos early next week.

Joe Huffman has posted NICS data on gun sales for the first part of 2010, and as predicted here gun sales have hardly plummeted...in fact, they're only slightly behind the banner year of 2009. Verification of the offhand comment from Taurus Top Guy Bob Morrison — "Companies making good products people want to buy are not suffering." My take? Once again, self-defense handguns are leading the market as the black rifle market stabilizes.

Drop by Gun Nuts Media and tell Caleb what gun you think he should shoot next in IDPA...I was disheartened to see there was no check box for "Flintlock, Tactical." Caleb, you should hold off on Custom Defensive Pistol, essentially a 1911 .45 class, until 2011, then convince your long-suffering Significant Other that she has to work overtime so you can get the appropriate custom 1911 to shoot in the perfect category!