Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Truly Words to Believe In!

Sarah Palin yesterday at the Lincoln Memorial:

"We will always come through. We will never give up, and we shall endure because we live by that moral strength that we call grace. Because though we’ve often skirted a precipice, a providential hand has always guided us to a better future.

And I know that many of us today, we are worried about what we face. Sometimes our challenges, they just seem insurmountable.

But, here, together, at the crossroads of our history, may this day be the change point!

Look around you. You’re not alone. You are Americans!

You have the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King. It is in you. It will sustain you as it sustained them.

So with pride in the red, white, and blue; with gratitude to our men and women in uniform; let’s stand together! Let’s stand with honor! Let’s restore America!

God bless you! And God bless America!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Indiana Jackson....

...goes flintlock!

-- Post From The Road

Quick Victory!!!

From U.S. news this AM:

In a swift and unexpected decision, the Environmental Protection Agency today rejected a petition from environmental groups to ban the use of lead in bullets and shotgun shells, claiming it doesn't have jurisdiction to weigh on the controversial Second Amendment issue. The decision came just hours after the Drudge Report posted stories from Washington Whispers and the Weekly Standard about how gun groups were fighting the lead bullet ban.

The EPA had planned to solicit public responses to the petition for two months, but this afternoon issued a statement rejecting a 100-page request from the Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy, and three other groups for a ban on lead bullets, shot, and fishing sinkers. The agency is still considering what to do about sinkers.

The decision was a huge victory for the National Rifle Association which just seven days ago asked that the EPA reject the petition, suggesting that it was a back door attempt to limit hunting and impose gun control. It also was a politically savvy move to take gun control off the table as the Democrats ready for a very difficult midterm election.

The NRA has spent two years tracking down rumors that the Obama administration wants to impose gun and ammo bans on the public, but hasn't found anything credible. While the lead ban was viewed initially as a substantial chance for the administration to move into challenging the Second Amendment, the swift rejection by the EPA settled concerns inside NRA headquarters today.

Friday, August 27, 2010

On the Range Tomorrow...

...with a bunch of Big Fun...

As an aside, I think the likelihood of the Big Army adopting a round like the 6.8 is "slim and none," and Slim left town. Probably for the same reasons SOCOM didn't go all-in on the SCAR Lite — insufficient cost/benefit equation. What I keep hearing is that the team guys are happy with their M4s and heavy bullets, and the logistics of a changeover to a different cartridge on the same platform are hellish to consider.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Got Ivory?

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Big Doin's in Gun Land

Couple of major news items in guNs this week:

- Ruger has released a 6.8 version of their gas piston SR556

- Zel Custom Manufacturing has introduced a magazine-fed .50 BMG bolt action upper for the AR

- The EPA is asking for public comments on their proposal to ban all lead ammunition, an action that would effectively end sport shooting in the U.S.

Details and links tomorrow...tired tonight...

Think I'd Rather Be...

...a Cow...boy...

-- Post From The Road

Thell Reed's 1970s Carry Gun

Yes, it's a one-off Colt Sheriff's Model...yes, it's SWEET! No, you can't have it ...

-- Post From The Road

Hand of God

Maybe the most famous modern six-shooter in the world, Russell Crowe's "Hand of God" USFA from "3:10 to Yuma."

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zombie Moon

So I'm grinding through traffic on the 105 when the pasty full moon rises in the east...holy crap, I think...a zombie moon! Nothing would suck more than being stuck in LA during the Zombie Apocalypse...maybe it's being Exec Producer of TBD/Survival,or that History Channel "After Armageddon" special I was on, but being in LA really does creep me out. I keep running scenarios loosely titled "Escape From LA II," wishing for the comforting presence of my FAL and a bunch of loaded magazines. Or at least a machete or two.

I had to buy some cowboy stuff in Tulsa for filming, since I wasn't scheduled to be on camera tomorrow and I packed lite. The cowboy clothes Turned out to be harder than I thought. Lots of boring rodeo wear, but NO really trashy cowboy shirts...what up with you guys in OK??? I picked up a Stetson hat I didn't need, but it was a nice silver grey color.

Guns for Women

There's been a bunch of "guns for new women shooters" stuff whipping around the internet recently, and I thought I'd link to a good piece on "Myths Vs. Reality" over at SnarkyBytes:
We need to drop the whole “new woman shooter” thing already. They are new shooters, period. Let’s not use sex to color expectations of a person’s capabilities. The idea that women are somehow less capable than men at ANYTHING other than writing their names in the snow is as dead as Teddy Kennedy. (pause to let JayG cheer.) Frankly I’m a little amazed by the neolithic thinking on display in some of those comments.
Read the whole thing. You guys know I've been really hot lately on getting beyond the whole "best gun" meme. It's tiring because it's just BBs rattling around in an empty tin can...I seriously doubt whether your average miscreant is going to feel worse from a .45 ACP out of a Kimber than from a Hi-Point. I do NOT agree that you should break the bank and get the ostensibly "best" (read: "Expensive") handgun you can afford...rather, you need to look at the whole system. A less-expensive piece but more ammo, a good holster and belt, and TRAINING will actually take you where you actually want to go, to be able to defend yourself and those in your care.

I agree with Alan that at the most basic level, all handguns are intuitive — that is, we primates are excellent at pointing, and when we have a tool that allows us to use that innate skill we call it "intuitive." It's also why aggressors with no training at all manage to outshoot people with far more "training"...monkey point...gun go bang. In my years in firearms training I have repeatedly seen instructors make the learning process much much harder than it needs to be ("11 Steps to the Perfect Draw" just pops right to mind), especially by creating/modifying training that goes against the "inner monkey," that is, urging the student to adopt a series of motions that work against innate primate responses. As I said in TRAIL SAFE, yes, there are people who juggle chainsaws for a living, bt I am betting that's not you (or me for that matter).

A blunt trauma example...the idea that you can train yourself not to flinch under extreme can train yourself to not flinch under training conditions, but I'll bet I can make you flinch when we're out in the Real World. Another example I've used over the years is learning to catch a ball with your thumb and  little finger. Start with a soft nerf ball and practice for as long as you want until you've got the motion "dialed in." Then keeping in mind that you have to catch the ball with just your thumb and little finger, I'll throw a hardball at your head. You'll catch it with your whole hand, because that's what's in uyor hardwiring. Why? From an evolutionary viewpoint, all the monkeys that found alternative ways to divert objects headed toward their heads were removed from the gene pool with a large THWACK!

And by the way, when it's time for a rig for that special person, try one of these...

Monday, August 23, 2010

On to La-La Land

A couple of days in LA ought to get my head straight! Just finished the pod for Wed at the hotel in Tulsa; looking at TBD locations tomorrow, then on to LA. Hate not carrying a gun in California, but hey, it's sooooooooooooooooooooooooo safe there! Well, maybe I can get some decent sushi.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Whipped (reprise)

After a perhaps less-than-stellar performance at sporting clays yesterday. Larry Potterfield and I shot as a 2-man (well, I think I only clocked in as half a man)...was Big Fun, though, and I loved shooting Larry's superb restored 1950s vintage Belgium Browning Superimposed "Diana." THAT is a shotgun, by golly and gosh!

Shooting cowboy this weekend in Ft. Collins...meetings in Tulsa next week on the new series (nudge nudge wink wink say no more)...time to kick things up another notch! Formal announcement forthcoming.

Because of the added pressure on my time, I will not be presenting at SAF's Gun Rights in San Fran next month...if you recall I was going to present on Gun Culture Ver 2.0 and it's implications (I did a talk at Midway Thursday on the very subject). I've asked Caleb Giddings over at Gun Nuts Media to sit in for me.

BTW, another event I probably won't have time for but that I'd love to attend is the Gun Bloggers Redesvous in Reno Sept. 9-12...if you're a gun blogger, or an aspiring gun blogger, you need to be there. plus, I have it on good authority that Midway USA will have a little something to help bloggers drive some extra traffic. Contact my friend "Mr. Completely" for details.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dinner with Larry...

As usual, a superb dinner with Larry Potterfield and the guys from Midway USA. Larry never lets me off easy...we had a brief chance to talk about Series #5, which I'll be announcing any moment now (nudge nudge wink wink say no more).He has a unique ability to cut through the spin to the heart of the matter...damn...the scary thing about gambling is picking up the dice!!!

Scheduled to Death...

...sorry about the crummy audio on the weekly video podcast. I'm scheduled so tightly that I only had once chance to record it, and that was at the range. The wind was just screaming, and the. video reflects that. Hey, listen to DOWN RANGE Radio and let some of that R&B sooth your mind!

Pretty good article on the gun culture in WaPo, which is a bit of surprise...
"You think golf forces you to focus -- try holding a deadly weapon in your hand," says Pamela Gorman, who helped ease gun laws as a state senator and is running for Congress.
Gorman, who frets that no one makes stylish holsters for her Glock .45, ran a campaign ad showcasing her skills with a machine gun. The ad was mocked by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, but Gorman says she has never flinched from backing the Second Amendment and likes to talk of bonding at the range with her 14-year-old son, Ryan, and his AR-15 rifle.
"I kind of think it's terrific that he likes to go out and shoot off rounds, and he takes dance class, and he's in theater, and he plays football," Gorman says. "It's just part of an all-around American kid's experience."
Certainly was part of my experience! Read the whole thing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nothing New Under the Sun

Or something like that...been in the sound studio most of the day, when I wasn't on the phone negotiating. Have I mentioned that I profoundly hate *negotiating?" Good and bad news, announcements in a couple of weeks.

Going to the range tomorrow and clear my head...focus on the rifle, I think. Talked to Fred Busey - "Goatneck Clem" - on cleaning up the new Ruger Red Label clays gun...not a lot of stuff...little trigger work...fiber optic front site...

Back on the road in a couple of days...I need to go lock myself in the gun room and run the Dillon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Home from a cowboy match in Boulder, followed by a great BBQ down in Denver with our pals Denny & LeAnne Chalker...good friends; great food! I may have to reconsider my position on frying turkeys...

Shot .357s today, including my back-up SASS Vaqueros. This was also my first match with the Goatneck Clem Stoeger SxS...went extreme well! Maybe it's in my head (duh!), but the double-barrel seems to point faster than the '97...different stock design, I suppose.

Will be shooting sporting clays with Larry Potterfield next week...probably gonna shoot the Ruger Red Label O/U as I discussed earlier. No time to get to the clays range before I go...I know I know...close eyes...jerk trigger...hope for best...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stupid Guns...

...that, yes, I am going to buy...

I was out on the range today with my old friend Matt Burkett, the lord high god of competition training. He bought along one of his Predator Tactical .500 S&W Magnum pump rifles...yeah, that's right, a pump that can lob a 500-grain hardball downrange. So after we did a little piece for SHOOTING GALLERY, Matt and I stood around turning big rocks into piles of little bitty rocks (WARNING: Kids, don't try this at home! Only idiots shoot rocks!).

Darn, it was fun! I told Matt that, yes, Mr. Stupid would be buying one ($1200 MSRP, more or less). What a cool gun to shoot! If you're a Southern hog hunter or you'd like a bedroom rifle that will put down a velociraptor in case one gets in the bedroom, the Predator thumper is a godsend. I often wonder about Matt's mental state...

About the Kriss...I gotta tell you that the buzz on the buzzgun is apparently true. I was shooting a Kriss full auto with a suppressor, and it is unconditionally, hands-down the easiest machinegun I've ever fired. Kriss guys claim it shoots lighter than an MP-5, and having put a lot of rounds through MP-5s, I have to say that statement is true.The hardest thing about shooting the Kriss is to NOT clamp down on it the way you'd usually do with a little full auto. The Kriss trainers talked about shooting the gun with a "soft shoulder," essentially, letting the gun easily recoil into your shoulder instead of using a hard, locked-in position that you might use with an full auto AR or AK or one of the more exotic buzzguns. I mentioned that I'd shot an 8-inch FAL 7.62 full auto, and it required a 100% lock-in to keep it under control (and it was touch and go...LOL!). The Kriss was like shooting an American 180 .22 full could hold it on the target with minimal effort. Neat little gun! From what I heard, law enforcement is all over the .45 ACP buzz gun.

BTW, one thing I really liked about the Kriss was the TWO operating controls — a safety and a separate lever for single shot, 2 shot burst or full auto. The logic behind the 2 levers is that under heavy stress (and the Kriss is designed as an entry gun, which is about as high stress as you can get), on a standard single lever system it's easy to blow through single shot to full auto, which puts you at a disadvantage if you have to take a single precision shot, say, against a hostage-taker.

Zero-dark-thirty is coming early...more tomorrow...

Oh wait, BTW BTW, the stuff that we filmed for SHOOTING GALLERY is landmark stuff, things you've never seen before. We did a lot of stuff with the guys from the Direct Action Medical Network (DAMN), and I think everyone who owns or carries a gun should see this information!

Gimme a Hand!

-- Post From The Road

A Thought for the Day

"The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) by quiet men in clean, carpeted and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices." - C.S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letters

Great quote from over at the Survival Blog...

Very interesting day...attended a really brilliant session on leadership with David Fabricius. World class speaker with world class information. He and I may be doing a few things together in the near future.

Spent the afternoon at. The range shooting up cars sax, then a little time with the Kriss .45 buzz gun. Any day that ends with machine-guns is a good day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here I Am In Reno...

Went to the banquets for the 1 Inch To 100 Yard conference and had a great time...been hanging out with the guys from the firearms training cadre at Las Vegas Metro...really interesting guys! Will start filming for SHOOTING GALLERY tomorrow...there are some pretty important people here that I'd like SG viewers to that I think needs to be out there.

In the Expo I stumbled into Robert Sampson, prez of Flip-N-Target, regular advertisers on DRTV. Inexpensive, simple folding targets stands...I love elegant solutions to problems we all have, and targets are a big issue. I love steel, but there are some local shooting places where I have to park and walk a long way in. These stands are perfect for that location, and I'm getting a couple for myself. I was thinking of paper targets because I need to do some accuracy-focused shooting and I'd always rather do that on paper than steel.

I had a long talk with my friend and mentor Walt Rauch today, and be darned if he didn't talk some sense into me regarding trick (or tricked, as the case may be) guns. He noted that I've always been your basic gunsmith 'ho, but that I needed to dump the guns that didn't work, suck it up and get good quality ones that do. Pick a couple of gunsmiths I unconditionally trust (Hi, Mr. Laughridge!) and stick with them. Simple advice, but it took Walt to get it through my thick head.

BTW, wanted to make a short comment on my previous post and the comments...I may have shot wretchedly, but I had a wonderful time! Back in my impetuous youth, I did put some magazines over berms while sulking over a bad performance, but I hope those days are behind me. I love competition and I love a well-designed, well-run match, and the Wild Bunch Wolrd Championships were certainly both (unfortunately, the match designs have not been posted...I'll push them on getting those stages up). We compete because we love the competition...the nature of competition is that sometimes you lose. Part of being a competitor means taking the losses with the wins. Tomorrow's podcast is all about what I learned from the match, and I CAN'T WAIT to get out not he range and start focusing my training for the next match.

BTW BTW, check out the opening music on tomorrow's podcast...nothing like the sound of a single action!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Yes, I've Been Absent!

Here I am at the Wild Bunch World Championships...where I shot WRETCHEDLY! A couple of times I considered just shooting myself. Odd, since I've had a great season and felt good going into the match...I got my first stage DQ in my whole history fo shooting SASS matches...sigh...

OTOH, the stages were simply BRILLIANT, a masterful challenge drafted by my friends Texas Jack Morales and Pecos Clyde. If you wanted to see an example of textbook good stage design, every stage at the WB Worlds would be good examples. Lots of steel, lots of challenging shots and movement that made you think.

I believe that ever match (heck, every trip to the range) is a wonderful learning experience, and tomorrow when I record the podcast I'm going to talk about what I learned from my execrable performance, what you can learn from my execrable performance and how all that applies to the Real World. 

More tomorrow...

BTW, we'll be filming at Wes Doss' 1 Inch to 100 Yards Warrior Conference in Reno next week...see you there????

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Billy the Kid Land

Finally made it to Albuquerque...whew! The day has been a busy one, not to mention carting a case of ammo onto the airplane!

I wanted to do a quick post on the concealed carry article in this month's Harper's Magazine. I sat down this AM and closely read the article, and I have to say that it is extremely well balanced. Dan Baum wrote some things I don't necessarily agree with, but I think, overall, he did a hell of a job. He and I have mutual friends, and I'm going to try and get him on an upcoming DOWN RANGE Radio podcast.

I guess the main point we're gong to stumble over is his contention that Condition White is where creativity happens. I'm pretty much diametrically opposed to that thinking...I believe that being AWARE, living life in Condition Yellow — which I have at various times described as Condition Green, because that's what it SHOULD be — has made me a much more creative individual. My creativity is enhanced by being aware of the world, both the bad and the good parts. Condition White is drunk college kids in foreign countries, surprised whern they wake up as shark kibble. Anyway, I originally dis'sed the article after a casual newsstand reading, and I was wrong. Sorry, Dan...I look forward to talking with you, and I'll buy the adult beverage.

Go buy a copy and read it for yourself!

Heading our for dinner with Kerby Smith from Para USA, an old friend from all the way back to the Dawn of Time. Kerby's here because of the Para Wild Bunch 1911s. And it helps that I'm shooting my custom Para...hell, at the last match, where I finished 61st out of 63 shooters, the Paras was the ONLY gun that worked!

And speaking of 1911s, I've got to ferrett out the inside story on the STI INternational GI version, not to mention the limited edition 1911/2011 2-gun sets coming out next year. I hope I can get through 2011 without going bankrupt on commemorative 1911s! The Colt is definitely on the list, and the STIs may have to get added to that list.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Paging Frank James! Germany Needs you Now!!!

It sounds like the plot of a B-movie, yet it’s bizarrely true: Radioactive boars are on the loose and thriving in Germany’s forests.
A succession of mild winters has left Germany scrambling to deal with a skyrocketing wild boar population. Tales of swarming beasts rampaging through city streets and attacking citizens occur with alarming regularity.
The problem has been aggravated by the lingering effects of the Chernobyl disaster from twenty-five years ago; a large portion of the wild animals are contaminated by radioactivity.
Poisonous radiation leaves the beasts completely inedible (wild boar is considered a delicacy in Germany), and the phenomenon is becoming expensive for the German government. In the last hunting season, 650,000 boar were shot versus 287,000 in the previous year. And due to atomic energy regulations, the government must buy contaminated animals from hunters who catch them.
Berlin compensated hunters to the tune of over $500,000 in 2009, writes German newspaper Der Spiegel -- quadruple the payment in 2007.

Okay Frank...this is the BIG ONE! I'm betting we could stage an expedition and wipe out the radioactive monsters in a long weekend, if the German gun companies pop for the ammo (and the post-hog apocalypse beer)! You'd see it all next season on SHOOTING GALLERY...

And Now a Message from Our President

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sorry...Been Crazy Busy...

Had a horrible day today at the range with my Winchester '97s, nasty bastards that they are. I've got 3...guess how many are running?

Considering I'm shooting the Wild Bunch World Championships in 2 days, and we're filming for Shooting Gallery, I'd like to have ONE of the damn things work! I was hoping to do well, even if we were filming...Long Hunter is bringing me a spare, thankfully...I finally got one of the '97s to run with Fiocchi target rounds, of which I have 75 of the 100 needed for the match. Gonna start with mine with the Fiocchi, then change to Long Hunter's spare when the wheels come off mine.

Note to new shooters -- this is NOT how to shoot a major match! Did I mention that mt '66 .44 Special clone started FTF'ing about 3 out if 50 rounds? I'm changing to my Legacy M-92 clone, which has never malfunctioned. I need to change out the springs in the '66, but running out of time. I'm gonna convert the .44 Special to .44. Russian as part of that project.

Will definitely be shooting the C&S Para faux-1911, which was a rocket at the Saturday club match (where, yes, the '97 jammed on every single stage). I was flying with the 1911 & the rifle, but it doesn't matter when the shotgun doesn't work.

My Sweetie CLOBBERED me, BTW, She is going to be a champion. Absolutely!

I recorded the video blog and Down Range Radio today, focusing on the kerflunkle between the New York Times and the Appleseed Project. Please tune in...I think this is an important subject!

I'm shooting sporting clays with Larry Potterfield in a couple of weeks...hope to have the new Ruger O/U by then...I want to get serious about sporting clays over the next couple of years, and I want to settle on one shotgun. Since Ruger is a regular sponsor and I do love their guns, I'd love to settle on the Ruger Red Label Sporting Clays O/U. I've had good luck with the Winchester 101 Clays, and I think the Ruger is a better gun.