Friday, December 30, 2011

Perfect for the New Year!

From my friends at Stag Arms, the ideal briefcase for the Year the Mayan Calendar ends:

From the press release:
STAG ARMS is proud to announce that it has partnered with LAN World, Inc. to introduce the 2012 Executive Survivors Kit. 
STAG ARMS and LAN World, Inc. have designed the executive survivor’s kit (ESK) for the discerning customer that demands the highest quality equipment. Using only the finest products the 2012 ESK is truly the survivor’s kit of choice for any type of disaster preparedness and personal security. The ESK can be purchased ($2012) online or over the phone where a customer service agent will find your closest dealer and assist in the transfer to you. The ESK with its military grade case is perfect for long term storage or can easily travel with you.

The 2012 Executive Survivor’s Kit includes the following and is competitively priced at $2,012 (over $2500 value!):
•Stag Arms Model 2 AR-15 rifle
•Diamondhead Versa-Rail handguard
•EoTech 517 Holographic Red Dot Optic
•Stag Arms Field Repair Kit, OTIS AR-15 Cleaning Kit, & Silent Sling
•Two 30 Round Magazines (10 rounds for restricted states)
•Gerber MP 600 Multi-Pliers
•Gerber Omnivore LED Flashlight
•Dual Purpose Human/Pet First Aid Kit
•MRE Field Ration Meal
•Pelican 1700 Long Case
•60 Rounds of Quality Ammunition


Trying to get my apps back up and running...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sorry for My Absence!

A combination of hellish end-of-the-year stuff that has to be finished by tomorrow and an ill-timed (okay,,,there aren't any GOOD times for this!) computer changeover that has not not gone nearly as well as I'd anticipated. I'm still trying to get everything up, running and sync'ed!

BTW, this AM saw a huge coyote in full winter fur about 7 yards from the house, standing up on one of our trees that came down in the last storm so he had a clear view of Alf the Wonder Beagle at the back door. That coyote would make a fine hat!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Clear, cold and very still here in the High Country. Dinner will be "Midwest Traditional," with smoked turkey, sage dressing, dumplings, grilled asparagus, homemade bread. My contributions include a new lime/tequila/jalapeƱo cranberry sauce, a small bowl of very-Southern oyster cornbread dressing and amaretto chocolate mousse. Maybe King Fu Girl Riesling wine for a change of pace.

Tomorrow I will pass the actual holiday day on a stationary bicycle so as not to completely blow all the weight I've lost over the last couple of months!

Got to get to cookin'.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve, 2011

We just came back from a long walk in the snowy woods with the Wonder Beagle, shown here after sticking her nose deep into the snow to see if there were any elk, or anything edible, such as biscuits, nearby.

The woods are indeed lovely, dark and deep, and we are amazingly lucky to live up here. It's going to be a low-key Christmas here at the Secret Hidden Bunker, and, obviously, a very very white Christmas.

As always, our thoughts are with those who serve on far-flung fronts, especially with our dear friends somewhere in the wilds of Afghanistan...wish you were here, guys.

From our family, animals and all, to yours...Merry Christmas.

And tonight of all nights, peace.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Buffalos Died in the Frozen Fields, Ya Know!

Well, maybe not that cold, but it was nippy up here at the Bunker. We hosted a neighborhood party last night, and it went wonderfully. We even drank up the last of my hi-zoot Brian Benson Kandy Red, a just wonderful red wine.

The winter storm that slipped through last night dumped about a foot-and-a-half of snow, which my Sweetie and I spent the afternoon chiseling off the driveway..ah, winter! Almost.

I hated to see that Kevin Brittingham, founder of Advanced Armament, is out. Of course, Kevin sold AAC to Freedom Group/ Remington a couple of years back for about a zillion dollars, but the merging of the free-wheeling AAC culture (much loved by top tier military) with the more staid FG/Remington was easier said than done. Last time I talked to Kevin, there was a lot of tension there. It's a shame because so much innovation comes from those "skunk works" type companies. Kevin's a genius, and I wish him the best.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"I Can't Believe It's Monday" Monday Post

In other words, I need another Sunday, or maybe even a Saturday and Sunday. When a major holiday like Christmas happens on a weekend day, doesn't it seem like a gyp? I haver a genuine grueling day in front of me, staring at a microphone, which is, I realize, perhaps less taxing than hanging drywall. Still, a day's work...I'm waiting for the stuff I need to voice-over to finish downloading...the Secret Hidden Bunker's Internet connection is catch-as-catch-can.

I did shoot a cowboy match up in Ft. Collins Saturday, resulting in my worst place finish of the year...wowee gun-handling seemed pretty good, but I somewhat cleverly avoided actually hitting targets. Head-not-in-game = piss-poor performance!

The new 1-hour format of SG looks very cool!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cry, the Beloved Country!

The McBane of McBane weeps in his grave, and the fallen of Culloden Moor are dishonored...from The Scotsman:

ANYONE caught carrying a knife in town and city centres in Scotland in the coming weeks faces a potential four years in prison, under a new crackdown announced today.

The six-week pilot scheme will see cases automatically prosecuted as more serious offences, increasing the length of jail terms available to sheriffs from one year to four.

The move follows a similar strengthening of prosecution policy in July covering anyone found with a knife on licensed premises or public transport and in incidents linked to local gangs.

Prosecutors say anyone caught as part of the latest crackdown will be arrested and brought before a sheriff and jury.

Scotland’s top law officer, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, QC, said the pilot would involve a zero-tolerance approach to the problem. He said: “The public will wish to enjoy the festive period in our towns and cities without fear. The zero-tolerance crackdown should help to deter anyone stupid enough to think about carrying a knife.

“If the threat of severe penalties for breaking the law deters knife carrying and prevents one act of violence it will have been a success.”

No new legislation is planned by the Scottish Government on knife crime, according to a spokesman, but ministers will work to use existing laws more effectively.

Scots accused of possession of a knife in a public place in town and city centres during the pilot will see their cases automatically go through “solemn”, not summary, procedure, increasing sentencing powers.

Victims groups and the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit welcomed the new approach to knife crime but shadow community safety minister James Kelly MSP said the Scottish Government needed to go further.

He said: “The Crown Office’s tough new stance on knife crime is a step in the right direction, but with knife crime taking its toll on Scotland 365 days a year, the crackdown should be all year round, not just for Christmas.

“The message needs to be sent loud and clear that it is never, ever, acceptable to carry a knife on the streets of Scotland.”

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Gun You Gotta Have!

The Ruger LCR .22LR!

The .22 LCR weighs in at 14.7 ounces and has 8 holes in the stainless steel cylinder...otherwise it's the same as it's .38 and .357 brothers, including the patented Friction Reducing Cam trigger system that gives the small-frame revolvers one of the best trigger pulls I've ever felt on a revolver of that size.

The HUGE utility of the .22 LCR — and something that we've been talking about a lot on the podcasts and on THE BEST DEFENSE — is that it's a convenient, low-cost tool for practicing with a gun that for some people can be notoriously hard to shoot. Snubs are the embodiment of Jeff Cooper's "carried a lot; shot a little" dictum. But the problem is that a snubbie revolver's short sight radius, light weight and resulting "brisk" recoil make follow-up shots a bit of a challenge (LOL! With an ultralight .357 and 125-grain screamers, is that ever an understatement!).

The solution to the challenge is, as it pretty much is with all guns, to shoot them a lot. A .22 option allows you to shoot them a lot, and cheaply. I'm going to go out on  a limb here and suggest that if you're new to CCW and think a snub revolver might be the way you want to go, I might get the .22 LCR, .22 isn't the world's best self-defense cartridge, but it is substantially better than harsh language. Secondly, you will have a gun that you can shoot a lot and that you will keep even if you decide to go to a semiauto for CCW. If you feel comfortable with the .22, it's an easy transition to the .38 (which I've been carrying for a couple of months now) or the .357 version.

Secondly, a .22 revolver is a great gun in its "kit gun" role...a gun that you'll have with you in your "kit," fishing or otherwise. Recall that Smith & Wesson has made small-frame .22s described as "Kit Guns" since the 1930s. To update this concept, a .22 small, light .22 revolver is a great addition to a grab-and-go bugout bag, because if you have to grab and go, you now have a back-up gun to your primary piece, and you can easily add 100 rounds of .22 ammo to the bag. I currently have an S&W Kit Gun and 100 rounds of CCI Mini-Mag 36-gr hollowpoints in my grab-and-go bag. That gun will be replaced by a Ruger LCR .22, because I've shot the centerfire LCR a lot and love the trigger, I have extensive holster options for the platform and, hey, it's a Ruger and will probably outlast cockroaches and Keith Richards!

DRTV will have a full video report next week...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Last Airport of the Year!

So I was at the Tulsa airport staring aimless at a spot between the magazine rack, women's fashion rags, and the Duracell display when it finally hit me that this is my airport of the year. If I can get out of Tulsa before the line of storms I can see moves in I will have gone the distance for 2011. Heck of a year -- taking SHOOTING GALLERY to an hour, the huge success of GUN STORIES, the addition of Mike Seeklander to TBD, our announcement of GS/RAPID FIRE as a new series, 2 more Telly Awards for excellence in programming, a lifetime achievement award from my Overlords at Outdoor Channel and the Communicator of the Year award from POMA/NSSF, a "Gunnie" award for the best podcast of the year...not a bad 12 months!

Of course, one of the things I learned as a music critic all those years ago is that you're only as god as your last hit...the holidays are a chance to find a bunch of new rabbits and stuff them in hats, to be ready to pull at the appropriate time.

A lot of my focus in 2012 is going to be on the Internet...there's a ton of things Marshal and I want to do for DRTV. I'm also planning on "building out" the new SHOOTING GALLERY format...there were too many changes we wanted to make to try and cram them into one season, so for Season 13/2013 (assuming I'm renewed) we've got some more surprises up our sleeve.

In the meantime, Uncle has funny piece on what he would like to see for SHOT versus what he will the whole thing. He's pretty much on target, with a couple of exceptions I can't tell you about now. He got me thinking about what I'd really like to see, realizing that I might be the only potential market for some of this stuff.

• A centerfire double-barreled howdah heart tells me in .500 S&W Magnum but my brain suggest something obscure, like 40-65. I could probably compromise on .50 Special.
• A .380-sized semiauto in .22 LR...a great CCW practice tool!
• A .44 Special Ruger SP101 (I keep begging and begging, but so far, nyet)
• A Scout forward-mount scope with an illuminated reticle...please...
• A coffeemaker that fits on an AR rail

How about you guys?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ruger LCR

As I have mentioned, I've been doing a couple of months' experiment with carrying a small-frame revolver, a Ruger LCR in .38 Special, as my primary carry gun. I wanted to give it a try because it has been a long time since I carried a J-framed sized gun as my primary, and I've been getting a lot of questions. I'm thinking that many new CCW holders, what we refer to as Gun Culture Ver. 2.0, has opted for the classic revolver as their carry gun of choice.

Let me give you a quick set of bullet points of what I've learned so far:

• The LCR carries amazingly well on the belt. It's light (13.5 ounces in .38; 17 ounces in .357). The short revolver, combined with that light weight, allows the gun to be easily carried in a hi-ride holster without the dreaded "tip" outward of the gun away from the built. I've been using a Ritchie holster on a Wilderness Tactical Instructor's Belt.

• The LCR has the best trigger pull of any snubbie I've ever shot, including the other 3 I own. I've put anouth rounds through it that it's very smooth and, thanks to the patented trigger system, doesn't stack at the end.

• Polymer frames and soft grip panels work...felt recoil is reduced and the second shot comes quickly, even with the Corbon DPX I routinely carry.

More later...

BTW, here's Jeff Quinn's old review and an excellent look at the LCR .357 from My Gun Culture. You guys know I'm in the .38 Special camp, right?

Monday, December 12, 2011


Say, what if the GUN STORIES team created a series that focused on full auto rock-and-roll? RAPID FIRE, coming Q4 2012...this ought to be a hoot!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Perfect Christmas Movie!

"There's a saying in prize-fighting...everybody has a plan until they get hit."

-- Charles Remington (Michael Douglas)
"The Ghost and the Darkness"

I made a special trip to the Field Museum in Chicago to see the Ghost and the Darkness...a little tatty, but think of it as a mandatory stop on the Grand Tour of our culture...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One Hard Lap Finished!

The Tombstone-Hollywood-Tulsa back-to-back filming trip is finally finally over! I'm not lying...this one was a toughie....lots and lots of moving parts. We ran mostly 4-camera shoots, adding in the ultrahigh-speed Phantom as a regular item. We really are taking the shows to a new level, and I can't wait to get them out there!

Couple of gunny things. Say Uncle links to a story on the current Virginia Tech shootings. Uncle notes that the VT campus had probably done more to be "ready" for an active shooter situation than any other place...closing barn door after horses have fled, etc. How well did their "never again" planning work? You be the judge:

14 minutes to respond...22 minutes to issue an alert

Yes! When your life hangs on seconds, the police are only 14 minutes away! Plenty of time to get a Happy Meal! Watch our scenarios on TBD Season 4 and see how quickly violence can boil up...Fourteen minutes...think about it.

In next season's TBD we also look at the controversial technique of using the gun as an impact weapon, a topic that's spun up a little buzz on the Internet. Mostly, it's a last ditch technique against multiple assailants to buy either the time or distance to put the gun fully into play. Maybe the most important thing we've learned from simulations is that the Real World refuses to mold itself to our training, requiring us to mold our training to the Real World.

Couple of new guns world a more expanded loop...the little 5-shot Ruger .357 with the better fiber optic sights and the 4.2 inch barrel (here's The Firearm Bog review) is really starting to grow on me...

First off, Ruger is a sponsor, so we've got that out of the way. For the last couple of months I\'be been carrying the Ruger small-frames snub, the ultralight-weight LCR, asan expedient as much as anything else.. Been a while (read, decades) since I routinely carried a snub as my CCW choice. But after some question off the Internet and as I was getting ready to put together by CCW Tips for TBD Season 4, I started carrying the LCR, a .38 Special version loaded with Corbon DPX. I've used 3 holsters -- a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster and leather holsters from Ritchie Leather, a vertical belt holster and a dedicated crossdraw I use when driving. Neither Ritchie nor DeSantis are sponsors. It's kinda spoiled me...the light LCR pretty much disappears on the Ritchie belt holster and conceals under a shirttail, vest, jacket, etc.

One of the CCW topics we talk about on TBD Season 4 is not comprising on one's home defense guns....if you routinely carry a smaller gun on a daily basis, and most of us do, it makes sense to have a larger, heavier "full-size" gun for home defense, since there,s no need to compromise size/weight to carry the gun.

The new Ruger is a pretty good home defense choice for a person who carries a snub on a daily basis. It's heavy enough so that full power .357 loads don't case one to have the vapors and because it's a 5-shooter you cans use the same speedloaders as for the snub. Not a huge deal, but handy. For those of us out in the boonies, it's also a "right-sized" trail gun. Besides, it's a Ruger and probably indestructible. We'll be doing a full DRTV report on it.

A second gun that has made a really great first impression on me is the Kahr CM9...I've shot a coupe of in both 9mm and .380 and was always impressed by the way they shot. The price, howeer,was daunting. The little CM9,though, has street prices in the mid-high $300 range. My T&E gun has just a super trigger pull,and I can't wait to take it to the range in my on-going evaluation of all the mini-9mm. Expect a .40 version by SHOT.

And BTW, I should have a really cool announcement from Ruger late next really cool, I mean something I wanted...we'll probably be talking about at least the concept on the podcast!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

More F-and-F

It gets harder and harder for anyone to even pretend...from this morning's PowerLine Blog:

If the Obama administration wasn’t trying to set up an argument for more gun control, then what was it trying to do? That question has never been answered.

If the Obama administration did arrange for the shipment of arms to Mexican drug gangs, not for any legitimate public purpose but in order to advance a left-wing political agenda, and those guns were used to murder hundreds of Mexicans and at least one American border agent–which they were–then we are looking at a scandal that dwarfs any in modern American history. I think one would have to go back to James Buchanan, who ordered the shipment of federal armaments to the South so that they could be commandeered by secessionists when disunion came, to find a worse scandal. And one could argue that even that act by Buchanan, generally considered the worst President in American history, was motivated by principle and not politics, and therefore was not as craven as Obama’s gun walker scandal. But such a judgment would be premature. A great deal more investigation needs to be done before we can conclude that Fast and Furious was the worst scandal since pre-Civil War days.

And from M.J. Mollenhour:

I always suspected that the ATF set F&F up for at least the right motive, and then the absurd operation got co-opted by the administration. Holder, and Hillary, others, and perhaps even the president then kept it going for the benefit of the TV cameras and reporters, finding Calderon a willing fellow-oppressor. I suspected.Now, after this, I am more strongly suspecting that it was a setup early on, to create anti-American citizen gun-owner propaganda. It may not have been spawned in the White House or with Hillary, though: might have started right there within the ATF.

But, I will never forget the sight of our Secretary of State on stage with the leader of a foreign power, speaking out to disarm Americans. And they wonder why we do not trust the government.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

How About Marshal's Jacket?

From Tombstone last week...

Man, what a week! From Tombstone to Hollywood to Tulsa, bippity bappity boom! I am seriously glad to see so many things coming together, but I can at least "see the barn" from here.

Couple of things...Eric Holder before the House again tomorrow...wonder what Mr. "You're all cowards" will have to say? The dog ate his homework? That the buck stops somewhere else? That, hey, collateral damage doesn't count if you just look at it the right way. The man is an embarrassment...he should be under indictment, not the head law enforcement officer in the United States.

I see that CBS is reporting that they have memos proving Fast and Furious, if it wasn't purely an undercover pro-gun control attack on the Second Amendment, was at least going to be used to promote gun control by hiding BATFE involvement and calling for long gun reporting requirements. I've said it before (and I believe I said it very very early on) F&F only makes sense as an attack on the Second Amendment...give me a different explanation that passes the sanity check. If DOJ/State was using F&F to funnel guns to the Sinoloa cartel to aid in their endless apocalyptic struggle with the Zeta cartel -- the net result regardless of who wins being the destabilization of the legitimate, if ineffectual, Mexican government -- that's an act of war by the United States against Mexico. "Bungled operation?" Yeah right...everybody and his dog Fred in the chain of command signed off on this wasn't ran exactly the way it was supposed to run, which is why all the sign-off'ees signed off in the first place. And recall that the Obama administration has sealed the records on the death of Agent Brian Terry...that should tell anyone with the IQ of a grape just how high those sign-offs went.

And you know, I won't even mention the Mythbusters cannon ball, except to say WOW, I'm glad that wasn't mine!

-- Post From The Road

Monday, December 05, 2011

In the Autopsy Room...

...on the Criminal Minds set...

-- Post From The Road

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Moderately More Coherent...

...tonight...was truly a Whipped Puppy last night. Hard to keep up with so many things going on...the record Black Friday gun sales are amazing but not surprising. We are an unsettled nation clinging to our God and our guns and counting the days until next November. Not to mention there are some very good deals out there! I have said this before and I will say it again...if you don't own an AR, it's a great time to shop around and buy one.

Thanks to all the commenters who weighed in on knee replacements. My doctor wants to wait as long as possible before the replacement, which suits me because my schedule is so grueling these days. When I do it, I know I need the appropriate rehab time, and right now it's just not there (especially with SHOT earlier in January). I know it'll be easier when we get a little better grip on the SHOOTING GALLERY 1-hour format...I expected the changeover from the old format to be...challenging...

Another in the...

..."Tough Day at the Office" pixs!

-- Post From The Road

Friday, December 02, 2011

Pre-Christmas Filming Push...

...on both SG and THE BEST DEFENSE. Lots of long days, so expect limited blogging. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we'll be back at the range with the ultrahigh-speed camera and various point-of-view stuff. Too tired to do more...sorry...

Here are some pictures from today's filming: .

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Shovel Day

About a foot if snow in the driveway of the Secret Hidden Bunker...Alf on strike since we wouldn't give her all the leftover sausage from the red beans and rice dinner. Maybe I can convince the cat to clear the snow...

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

High Speed & Eggs

Spent all day working with John Carter and Gene Moffitt on ultra-high speed videography for Shooting Gallery 2012...totally cool stuff!

I couldn't resist this...been reading a lot of stuff on the .410...stumbled across interesting tidbit that the closest approximation to the human eye is a soft-boiled egg...c'mon...had to be done! This is a piece of video you'll save! Ultra-high speed videography is a fascinating tool. I'm looking forward to exploring what we can do with it over the next few months.

Probably be posting a bunch of pixs next week...get ready for it.

Went to the doctor today for new x-rays of my sad pathetic left knee...nothing new...diced up some cartilage 6 weeks ago, and it will heal or it won't. Time, a stationary bike and Advil. Man, I so wish the was some kind of amazing stem cell therapy! Alien medicine...whatever...I'll stall the knee replacement as long as I can.

Kinda bummed at my travel schedule & the weather. Winter Range, the cowboy nationals, is in February, and I'd like to go into it on a good roll...maybe the weather will lighten up when we get past the November deep freeze. I could use about 2000 rounds with the shotgun to settle down...I'm quick, but need to be quicker.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Morning Reading List

Start out with this excellent and thoughtful blogpost from Daniel Mitchell at the International Liberty blog on why the current European trainwreck should strengthen our resolve to oppose any gun control measures:
I’ve learned over the years that things are usually never as bad as they seem (or as good as they seem), so I don’t expect that a nightmare situation will materialize, but I certainly can understand why wealthy people have contingency plans to escape. 
But what about the rest of us? We don’t have property overseas and we don’t have private jets, so what’s our insurance policy? 
Part of the answer is to have the ability to protect ourselves and our families. As explained here, firearms are the ultimate guarantor of civilization.
Read the whole thing, of course. And jere's some good reasons to keep the phases set on "BBQ," a long AP article on how the current administration is "mouse-trapped" on guns as a political issue:
"Gun control is a fight that the administration is not willing to pick. They're not likely to win it," said Harry Wilson, author of a book on gun politics and director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College in Virginia. "They certainly would not win it in Congress, and it's not likely to be a winner at the polls. ... It comes down to one pretty simple word: Politics." 
Administration officials say they are working to develop the gun safety measures promised after the Giffords shooting, and they say have taken steps to improve the background check system. White House spokesman Matt Lehrich says the White House goal is to "protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them under existing law." 
But when it comes to guns and politics, Democrats haven't forgotten what happened in 1994. That year, President Bill Clinton was pushing for passage of a landmark crime bill featuring a ban on assault weapons, and then-House Speaker Thomas Foley, D-Wash., twisted Democrats' arms to get it through the House. Come November, Democrats suffered widespread election losses and lost control of the House and the Senate. Foley was among those defeated, and Clinton and others credited the NRA's campaigning with a big role in the outcome. And when the assault weapons ban came up for congressional reauthorization in 2004, it failed.
Let's not get cocky...we've got to get through this face of a Republican nominating procedure to see which dweeb we get, then make sure he or she has his or her head screwed on right! In fact, I'll work for the Republican nominee because it is critical that our voices be heard LOUDLY!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Trick About Black Friday..., I suppose, not to shop! In between food and long, long bouts of sleeping, we did manage to get to the hardware store to buy a replacement shelf and the yarn store for my Sweetie, the World's Fastest Knitter, to pick out an autumn project. While she was sifting through yarn, one of the store owners took the time to explain and show how a spinning wheel works, which turned out to be pretty fascinating...I've always imagined tat wool became yarn through some process that involved a wand and mumbled words of incantation. Next time my Sweeter buys yarn we're going to go for "Instructing Stupid Boyfriend on Basic Loom."

Some catch-up stuff from Taurus and Rossi...remember this year's SHOT SHOW and the briefly shown Trail Judge. a .410 mare's leg style pistol-ly thing based on the new Rossi Rio Grande lever gun platform, which features a side-eject like a Marlin? My cherubs and seraphim told me that there were some big potential issues on the gun's importability, since it skated along the edges of ATF's definition of a short-barreled shotgun (SBS). In late March Rossi confirmed to DRTV that a .410 version of the Trail Judge would not be produced.

Good news (especially for us "exotic" gun fans)...a .410 and .45 Colt version of the Trail Judge has, I was told in Brazil, met ATF muster and will be imported. I was told the new gun would run both .410s and .45s mixed in the mag tube...the version I handled had a screw-in choke as well as the rifled barrel.
No doubt one of these babies will be coming to the Secret Hidden Bunker ASAP. And, no, it's not "tactical!"

I think the Rio Grande versions in 45/70 and the one in .410 have potential good-sized markets in the United States. We've done SHOOTING GALLERY episodes on using a lever gun for self-defense and we made a big point then of the 45/70 versions as pure-D stompers. We used Marlns,ch have been in short supply lately, but since those episodes we've seen the return of the Winchester 1886 in several flavors and now the Rossi. I keep a lever gun around the house — a Marlin .44 Magnum — but a 45/70 would be a welcome upgrade. Up here at the Secret Hidden Bunker, I love the various larger-teethed fauna, but if I have to shoot one I'd plan to shoot it a lot.

I am apparently one of the few people on earth (except of course for the huge number of actual paying customer for such guns) who thinks the .410 is something more than a .22 Short in a larger package. Years ago we used to recommend the .410 (usually in the pump version) as a self-defense tool in a couple of situations — urban locations, especially cardboard-walled apartments, where penetration absolutely had to be controlled, or for people who had legitimate issuers with recoil (injuries, age, fill in the blank). Back then we were of the opinion that various and sundry miscreants would not be willing to stand in front of a hailstorm of pellets or buckshot, even if that hailstorm was coming from a lowly .410.
Of course, that was before we had predictive models for "stopping power." Let's see...which model are we on now? Oh yeah, penetration! Which has superseded speed, expansion, cross-sectional area of bullet, and probably a few others I've forgotten. Okay, enough snark...predictive models are indeed useful, but it is important to remember that the map is not the trail.

There is, I believe, a huge psychological element to gunshots...obviously, predictive models can't address such issues. But there's an old saw something to the effect that we tend to measure what we can measure, then because we can measure something we assign that something a greater value than factors harder to measure. I keep coming back to the necessity for multiple shots to guarantee the aggressor stops aggressing.

And I come back to the words of the great Walt Rauch, an occasional commentator here and a person who has forgotten more about these topics than I will ever know: "No one wants to leak."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu!

Low key today, since there's been so much time on the road..


-- local goat cheese, Irish sharp sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda w/mixed olives


-- lobster tails, grilled a la Bobby Flay
-- tamales w/shrimp & roasted garlic sauce
-- skewers of grilled veggies (peppers, red onions, zucchini, portobello mushrooms
-- homemade whole wheat bread


-- homemade vanilla flan w/fresh raspberries and blackberries

Wine of the Day:

-- David Bruce's Magnificent Russian River Pinot Noir (2007)

Thanksgiving Day 201

A nervous Thanksgiving for an unsettled year. The mountains surrounding the Secret Hidden Bunker are unchanged in their stately magnificent, but the fear is like a clinging mist in the valleys. Mostly this morning my thoughts and prayers are with those in uniform who serve around the world. My thoughts are with our troops in the Sandbox, led by a Commander-In-Chief who clearly despises them, by a government that too often seems to see those brave men and women as disposable game pieces, in countries who, on the day our forces leave, will revert to the 13th Century as if our decade of sacrifice from our best never happened.

I have been out of the country quite a bit recently, and as much as I love meeting the people and seeing the sights of other countries, there is always a great moment when you cross the border back into the United States and someone in uniform says, "Welcome home."

We are Americans and we are exceptional. And that is worth being thankful for!

From the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


...forgot pix...

-- Post From The Road

Back in Country...

...after whirlwind trip to Brazil & Taurus. They make a way cool .40 submachinegun! One mire quick flight and I'm back in the Secret Hidden Bunker...expect a full report on DOWN RANGE Radio next week.

Hey, isn't tomorrow a holiday?

-- Post From The Road

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Must -Read...

From John Fricke @ American Thinker, titled "Should I Get a Gun?"

My stepmother is taking shooting lessons. Seriously. She is trying to choose right now between a couple of guns -- one was a 9-millimeter Luger, I believe. She announced that she was doing this while I was thinking of doing the same. Though I lean shotgun, if for no other reason than, well, easier to hit stuff, y'know. Her motivation for "granny gunning up" is on target with mine: the peace of mind that, should I need a gun, I would have it and know how to use it.
This, though, is not about what type of gun, or really even a gun at all. This is about the tenor of the times. At age 51, I have been around long enough to know the difference between unease and unrest. There are also levels of unrest. Right now, this is unrest that strongly threatens to grow into greater unrest.

And I would say yes, you should...then get a bunch of ammo and head to GUNSITE...these are troubled times, and I think the #Occupy movement and the relentless drumbeat for class warfare by people who I believe fully understand the potential consequences is twisting the social fabric perhaps beyond it's ability to quickly recover. Be alert; be aware, but make sure the "fire extinguisher" is close at hand.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still Treading Water

The new 1-hour Shooting Gallerys are, IMHO, going to be groundbreaking, but it is massive work building a new format. Especially with TBD in production at the same time. Especially with gun companies starting to roll out -- behind closed doors -- new product to be introduced at, but hectic!

Sucked it up this weekend and bought a new computer...I went back to an iMac to replace the Power Book I've been working on the last couple of years. The PB's screen is cracked and as usual after a couple of years is flailing under increased demands. Cost more to repair and upgrade it than to replace it. Still, no fun buying business hardware...just good money that doesn't get spent on guns (or chairs)!

Plus the iPad's taken over most of the road chores...still can't do a complete podcast in the iPad, but I'm looking at some add-on mixing hardware. I'm open to suggestions on that topic.

Marshal & I are starting to hammer out DRTV planning for 2012. As I think I mentioned before, we're adding weekly SG training videos for the 13 week new season run. Other neat additions coming as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HR822 Passes...

...been crazy busy, but I think this is great.

-- Post From The Road


...Gino films Brian line-boring the big .500 Linebaugh...

-- Post From The Road

Moving Along...

The .500 Linebaugh Blackhawk moves along...

-- Post From The Road

Bowen Build...

...we're (and I say "we're" in the sense that I'm in the same room) one of Hamilton's signature "Nimrod" 5-shot Ruger Blackhawks in .500. And no, I don't get to keep it, although this AM I will be shooting several of the Bowen .500s. Actually,, the coolest Bowen gun I've seen is a little Ruger Single Six in .327 Magnum...Hamilton enlarged the cylinder window slightly to allow the .32 H&R Single Six to take the slightly longer .327 cylinder. It's a beautiful little gun!

Here's the scores for Saturday's "make-up" cowboy match in Ft. Collins (hence the low attendance). Note that my train wreck on stage 4 blowing me out of the money...otherwise, a solid match (need to be about 4 seconds faster every stage...easier said than done...working on it, though).

Gotta go to the range!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Darn Good News for Ruger Scout Owners

From Ruger:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce new polymer magazines are available for the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle. Made from durable, glass-filled nylon, these rugged, smooth-feeding magazines are available in ten-round, five-round, and three-round capacities.

"Consumers have made many requests for lower cost Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle magazines," said Mark Gurney, Ruger's Long Gun Product Manager. "These new Ruger magazines are durable, easy to load, feed smoothly, and are less than half the price of original equipment steel magazines. The three-round magazine is near flush-fitting and is a great accessory to have when hunting with the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle rifle," he concluded.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle polymer magazines can be readily disassembled and assembled for cleaning. All components are molded from glass-filled nylon (except the stainless steel spring), and the assembled magazines have been function and drop tested at extreme temperatures ranging from -30° F to +140° F. A snap-on dust cover, which not only keeps the internals of the magazine clean, but also allows long-term storage of a loaded magazine without risk of deforming the magazine feed lips, is included with each magazine.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle polymer magazines are available now at local firearms retailers, and are also available on The original steel five-round and ten-round steel magazines are also available through the same outlets, and Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifles are still being supplied with one all-steel ten-round magazine

Ruger is also offering the LCP and the LC9 with LaserMax lasers...more on that when I get a chance to run the new guns through the hoops!

Oh yeah, $39.95 on the mags....

Hamilton Makes a Martini

-- Post From The Road

A Blackhawk in Process

-- Post From The Road


...they don't let me near a file!

-- Post From The Road

Hamilton Bowen @ Work

-- Post From The Road

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grid Down @ Secret Hidden Bunker...

...after a vicious windstorm last night...75 mph + ...lots of trees down...not particularly cold (30s), but we went to aux heat around 4 AM for our birdies. Alf the Wonder Beagle insisted on jumping in bed with us about the first time one of the big gusts hit and the Secret Hidden Bunker shuddered...very brave of her!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good Cowboy Match...

...with good friends in Ft. Collins! One brain fade, but otherwise the match ran smoothly...more tomorrow after a serious good night's sleep!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans' Day

Traveling, but wanted to say to those who served and those who serve now , thank you for all that is America...

And thanks to my late father, Bob Bane, for his role in the Greatest Generation...

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Two days...4 live studio audiences...7 great burned out voice...

It has been a wonderful 2 days! We had four live audiences at the Midway USA studios, doing openings, closings, throws to commercials and interviews. There were 40 audience members in each group, drawn from an exclusive Midway USA list. We had hoped to have some extra seats left over for DRTV members, but the seats went amazingly quickly and we were sold out in a few hours...I am honored and humbled!

I have to say it was an experience of a lifetime for me, and if the shows come out the way they're looking on the monitors, man, you ain't seen nothing yet! My goal was for each audience to have sort of an afternoon with me I'd tell stories, answer questions and occasionally be my stupid self.

Our tech team was flawless, from producers Mike Long and John Carter, director of photography Gene Moffett, Brook on camera 2, Bob on the jib camera, Dennis on sound, Jared handling floor management, my good friend Paul Erhardt taking care of the audience, Beth Cowgill making sure our guests were happy, Ryan Fisher watching over the whole set, and of course Larry, Brenda and Sarah Potterfield opening their company --and their hearts -- to our offbeat production.

Thank you thank you thank you...

More when I'm not in a state of collapse...

Some days are just exceptional...crew and guys are amazing...

Presented Without Comment

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The End Game

More gun control, says an unrepentant Eric Holder.

Which was always the point, wasn't it? There never was and isn't now an "Iron River" running guns into Mexico, so it was necessary to create one, to build the straw man for Holder, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the pathetic antigun cadre of the present administration to knock down.

Remember the early days of Eric Holder, when he called all of us "cowards?" The real coward faced the Senate yesterday.

Monday, November 07, 2011

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere...

Well excuse me, I think you've got my chair...
— George Strait

Heck, it's 5 o'clock here! Day was at a dead run, but the podcast is in the can. This week, I step in front of a live studio audience for SHOOTING GALLERY for the first time. Will be big fun, unless somebody lobs a milling machine at my head. We should have behind the scenes video for DRTV, "Look! I think that milling machine landed on his head! Play it again!"

Yesterday I bought a chair, to replace the chair I bought 11 years ago...damn, stuff just doesn't last, does it? Anyway, my chair was totally broken for 2 years, but secret nerd boy that I am, I kept thinking it would recover. I even fixed it a couple of times, but finally Alf the Wonder Beagle, not to mention my Sweetie, shamed me into it. I thought I was going to have heart, because I HATE shopping...that's why God made the Internet. I never have that much trouble shopping for guns. Takes me about 15 minutes to buy an AR...

Funny story from last week's TBD filming...we're on the range with Seeklander, and he's just finished talking about how much he doesn't like little guns. We've got a bunch of them out there, and he's B-rolling them. He comes to Marshal Halloway's Sig Sauer P238...shoots it...I see him smile...more ammo...he finds the T and E P238 with the diamond coat finish on the table...shoost it..."Hey, where do I get one of these?" It is a nice shooting little gun, I gotta say! Can't wait to shoot it against the new Colt Mustang! Note to Sig Sauer...send me the invoice...I'm keeping the P238...see how easy that was? It's damn hard to buy a chair! I mean, they come in colors and fabrics and the La-Z-Boy store won't let me bring Alf the Wonder Beagle to see if she likes the chair, which is a lot more important than whether I like the chair. I wish that Alf and my Sweetie had given me a short list. Ladies, these are issues men deal with every day. BTW, I wish I could shoot one-tenth as well as Mike Seeklander! He is amazing. Go buy his book...there a tactical training version on the that one, too.

From my friends over at Harris Pubs, I note the Taurus Zombie Response revolver n .454 Casull, .45 Colt and 2 1/2 and 3-inch .410. Works for me, and I totally love the grips. See, even this would be easier to buy that a fracking chair! Am I right here? I mean, I might be set upon by zombies (which, let's be honest, have jumped the shark) or a velociraptor or a garbage truck animated in a real world version of a Steven King novel, or, I don't know, a mammoth or two. I can visualize that, but a chair? Ten years later, just like that, you have to buy another one! Am I the only one who agrees that makes no sense? And my Sweetie says now we need a couch...

A couch!

What am I to do? That's at least a 3-year project...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Some Thoughts for Saturday Morning

I think everyone should read this brilliant analysis of the current "Occupy" fad by Victor Davis Hanson in PJ Media, titled "Playing With Fire:"

Occupy Wall Street follows three years of sloppy presidential name-calling — “millionaires and billionaires,” slurs about Las Vegas and the Super Bowl, profit-mad, limb-lopping doctors, introspection that now is not the time for profits and at some point we should cease making money, spread the wealth, punish our enemies, and all the old Obama boilerplate. Someone finally got the message about the evil 1%.

And so the cultural fabric, a fabric woven first by the Founder and made strong through the years of America, is stretched and twisted, perhaps beyond it's ability to recover. Playing at class warfare is like juggling grenades with the pins outs...sooner or later they all blow, and the consequences are greater than the juggler or the spectators ever imagined.

I'd also like to make a short comment on Paul Barrett's book, GLOCK: THE RISE OF AMERICA'S GUN, and why I have specifically chosen NOT to blurb the book, as author Barrett asked, to interview the author or do excerpts from the book, to use Mr. Barrett as an expert on any of my television products, or provide the author with any additional publicity opportunities.

I met Mr. Barrett at one of the National Shooting Sports Foundation media events I used to run back when he was working for the Wall Street Journal. He now works for the Bloomberg media operation, headed by Michael Bloomberg. He contacted me when the book was in manuscript form and asked if I would read the book and maybe provide a blurb for the back cover and/or subsequent publicity. After reading the manuscript, I decided not to be involved. Here's the thought behind my decision.

First and to be totally fair, Paul Barrett is both a fine reporter and a fine writer, an increasingly rare combination in these sunset days for the MSM. His story of Glock is fascinating reading.

HOWEVER, and this is one hell of a "however," the book, especially in its closing quarter, is laced throughout with Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG)" talking points. Mr. Barrett repeatedly quotes antigun sources uncritically and at length, including the widely discredited Tom Diaz from the execrable Violence Policy Center.

As a consequence, the tone of the book is violently one point Mr. Barrett notes quite casually that the NRA was actively engaged in pushing it's members to higher capacity handguns during the AWB years. Really? Sources? Or is that simply one of the many false "articles of faith" from VPC and MAIG?

I would say it's puzzling that a journalist of Mr. Barrett's caliber could so easily accept antigun dogma at face value. At one point Mr. Barrett expresses puzzlement that we gunowners could object to government-mandated magazine capacity laws. Had he spoken to any of us gunowners, we would have explained in simple, easy-to-understand-even-to-northeastern-liberals terms that if we accept the government's questionable "right" to mandate a firearm's ammunition capacity, then we by default accept the government's ability to set that number at "zero." In a world where the major federal law enforcement agencies and even the State Department can be recruited by the nation's top law enforcement officer, Eric Holder, for a complex, deadly and patently illegal scheme like "Fast and Furious" solely to create an environment for stripping us of our Second Amendment rights, the idea that the government would set firearms' capacity at "zero" isn't's a hard, cold reality.

Finally, Mr. Barrett works for Michael Bloomberg, whom Mr. Barrett described as an "really good boss." I describe Bloomberg as a blood enemy, a man who has already shown his willingness to break federal laws to do us -- the gun culture and the firearms industry -- harm. If you believe for a single second that Michael Bloomberg would have allowed one of his top employees to produce a book on guns that DID NOT benefit Bloomberg's stated antigun goals, I have a lovely bridge to sell you...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Words Television People Never Want to Hear

I woke up this AM at 5AM, with the alarm set for 6AM...immediately fell back into a deep sleep and dreamed I was arguing with my car repair shop over a bill. On the balance, I'd have rather remained awake and practice shooting staple into my arm. Yesterday was a rough production day, especially after an editor discovered that one of our cameras was having an intermittent image quality issue...that is, the damn thing randomly defocused the camera just a little bit (it's a lot more complicated than that, and in truth we're still sorting it out). Sick feeling in stomach ensues...we're way more than half way through filming The Best Defense Season 4.

Typically, we review the critical shots, such as the master, or establishing, shot for the scenarios, on site on the camera's screen, which is hardly a precision instrument. The digital files are then transferred to more permanent media back at the production facility, but those files may not be closely reviewed until they moved into the editing cycle. Our very observant editor Derek caught the problem...we all rushed back to the production facility to start taking a serious look at the video we've shot. We lost about a day's shooting, luckily none of the complex scenarios! Darn frightening!

More when I get home...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Shown Here Nabbing

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Whipped Puppy Syndrome

Hectic, hectic day! DRTV filming...Outdoor Channel photo session...planning for "workplace shooter" scenario tomorrow AM and to top it off a complex scenario for The Best Defense based on the horrific CT home invasion a few years back. I think we did a very good job of building and filming the scenario, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it creeped us all out. Sometimes the better you build a scenario the worse it makes you have to put your head in a bad place sometimes.

Was hoping to shoot a cowboy match this weekend, but the Secret Hidden Bunker is snowed in again and the temperature has bottomed out. Sigh...

Me & Stookey

On a dream date...

-- Post From The Road

Are you going to listen to me in English...

Or do I have to speak to you in 12 gauge?

Been that kind of day... Am in a foul, foul humor. Doesn't happen often, but there it is...

I'll write about S&W coming out with an AR in .300 Whisper, J.D. Jone's proprietary .30 cal cartridge based on the 5.56 (and is a virtual twin of the .300 AAC Blackout) tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Meat Man!

-- Post From The Road

Janich completes...

...bizarre Egyptian meat mummy burial ritual...

-- Post From The Road

Janich performs...

...meat transfusion!

-- Post From The Road

Seeklander & The Dummy

-- Post From The Road

Monday, October 31, 2011

Working Late Tonight... advance of tomorrow's "Flash Mob" scenario filming for THE BEST we did multiple attacker sims, sort of as a prelude. There are truly not enough hours in the day. We'll also be filming some DRTV stuff later in the week.

Last couple of road trips have been with the Ruger LCR, trying to remember what it was like carrying a small frame revolver all the time. I'm sort of coming around to Walt Rauch's great line on an early SG, something to the effect that a small frame revolver's greatest weakness as a concealed carry gun is also its greatest strength -- it doesn't "print" as much as a semiauto because it's cylinder breaks up the lines if you're carrying the gun in your pocket.

A big BTW...the end of next week I will be in Columbia, MO, filming SHOOTING GALLERY 2012 openings and closings in front of a studio audience at the Midway USA Studios. At this point, I do not know whether free tickets will be available, but WATCH THIS SPACE (and, of course, DRTV!). Hopefully, I'lll know in a couple of days.

I LOVE the opening song in tomorrow's podcast! Lemme know what you think...

Gotta go back to work...

Meanwhile, Back in Paradise

-- Post From The Road

Friday, October 28, 2011

For You FAL Fans...

...a stack of forged receivers at DS Arms...

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Graphic Representation of "Tipping Point"

The new Gallup poll, released today, chronicles what we've been saying...there has been a societal change regarding guns:

A record-low 26% of Americans favor a legal ban on the possession of handguns in the United States other than by police and other authorized people. When Gallup first asked Americans this question in 1959, 60% favored banning handguns. But since 1975, the majority of Americans have opposed such a measure, with opposition around 70% in recent years.

For the first time ever, there is more opposition to a new AWB than support.


A clear societal change took place regarding gun ownership in the early 1990s, when the percentage of Americans saying there was a gun in their home or on their property dropped from the low to mid-50s into the low to mid-40s and remained at that level for the next 15 years. Whether this reflected a true decline in gun ownership or a cultural shift in Americans' willingness to say they had guns is unclear. However, the new data suggest that attitudes may again be changing. At 47%, reported gun ownership is the highest it has been in nearly two decades -- a finding that may be related to Americans' dampened support for gun-control laws. However, to ensure that this year's increase reflects a meaningful rebound in reported gun ownership, it will be important to see whether the uptick continues in future polling.

Yep...we've tipped...This is consistent with changes we've been seeing over the last few years. Perhaps people have noticed that gun control never works, that concealed carry doesn't translate into "every intersection a Dodge City," and that gun that might not mirror your grandfather's hunting rifle aren't evil.

This is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grinding Through Meetings...

...after a travel day, but all good. Snowing at the Secret Hidden Bunker; Alf the Wonder Beagle is beside herself, as she is crazy about snow. I'm glad at least one member of the household is. As we say up near The Wall, "Winter is coming..."

I've been following several Internet threads on various home defense subjects, and I think the thing that jumps out at me is we need to remember ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL! I remember the first time we did a house-clearing type episode of SHOOTING GALLERY, we went to great lengths to explain that, ideally, you lock yourself in a safe room, aim ye olde blunderbuss at the safe room door, call 911 and wait. However, we explained that in the Real World, where we all more or less live, there were legitimate reasons for ignoring that advice, such as kids, visitors, etc. Sometimes you gotta walk down that hallway, and we've tried to show you how to get it done. Still, we got dis'sed all over the place for being "unrealistic."

Ditto on the fact that I am an unrepentant fan of lights and lasers. I've heard the "give your position away" argument many, many...MANY...times. Here's a your home, the bad person already has a pretty good idea of where you are. This ain't the jungles of Vietnam...if you break into a house at night, the homeowners are likely to be in bed, generally in the bedroom as opposed to, say, the kitchen. Yes, homes are different, but talk to some people who break into homes and you'll quickly come to understand that homes are not THAT different.

I have advocated (and taught) flickering the laser as both a warning to the miscreant that the homeowner is armed AND in possession of a tool to facilitate his or her ventilating said miscreant. The bullet where go wherever the red dot is, whether the person holding the gun is John Wayne or a small person of the female persuasion. This eliminates the, "I don't think you can hit me with that thing" argument for the bad guy.

As to whether a light needs to be on or just intermittent, the answer is, "Depends on your situation." Lots of kids, pets, rats, whatever, leaving lots of crap all over the place, better to burn the light than fall on your face. We saw that working the outdoor simulators at GUNSITE, where the footing can be very dicey. Falling may well be a greater risk that being targeted because of the light. Use enough light to guarantee you remain standing! Also, our much-repeated caveat on gun-mounted lights deserves another mention...for civilians, a firearm-mounted light should always be considered a SECONDARY light source to a handheld light, so you don't point the gun at someone or something you might not want to kill or destroy (sound familiar?)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Home for a Bit...

...from my visits to gun companies. It gives me a chance to talk to company execs before the craziness of the SHOT Show. Yes, advertising has a lot to do with it...TV is an advertising-driven medium, and those guys pay the freight for the shows...but it's also a chance to talk about what's going to be introduced at SHOT, what's in the works, etc. If I have the time, I head for the factory floor...gun factories are cool.

Meanwhile, America is fretting on Tattoo Barbie:

I think people are afraid the Tattoo Barbie will break up Biker Ken's marriage to Hollywood Barbie, or something like that. No wait...something about that sounds familiar...BTW, Alf the Wonder Beagle is particularly taken with the Barbie Dog disguised as a cactus...Alf think the cactus disguise would allow her to get close enough to an elk for a drive-by.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Love This!

On Legal Insurrection, a funny note on how liberals are not like us.

In our universe, the answer to Nick Kristof's tweet is, "Bang!"

Interesting Day!

Was at Colt today and had my first chance to handle the new Colt Mustang .380s ( pixs on this...was on short schedule). As you guys know, I've been a big fan of the Mustang...I had one redone by the old Scott, MacDougal Associates back in the late 1980s/early 1990s and used it as my designated pocket pistol (in a Jerry Ahern pocket holster) for years.

Anyhow, was talking to one of the Colt engineers on the little .380, and I pulled one off the test line just to get a feel for it...yes, they're starting to move into the pipeline. Frankly, it is a much tighter gun than my original, and the SA trigger pull was excellent...again, arguably better than the one I carried for years. Sights were better, too. I think I'm definitely going to get one...I wish they'd remake one of the little Government Model .380s...9mm would be even better!

And never, ever let me in the Colt Custom Shop! It makes me want stuff I'm never going to shell out the bucks for!

AAC "Honey Badger"

They just posted photos on their blog...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Quickie Catch-Up...

...but first, the opening sentence from Stephen Hunter's newest thriller, SOFT TARGET, coming on December 6:

"The bullet hit Santa Claus beneath the left eye."

Well, there you are! You're going to buy it, aren't you? Then, as usual, you're not going to be able to put the darn thing down until you finish it (which I haven't done, BTW, although it kept me awake and reading on an entire transcontinental flight!). I will have a review and, depending on when we start filming GUN STORIES Season 2, maybe a video interview with Steve when we get a little closer to the release date. The book is in the Swagger-Verse, featuring Ray Cruz, introduced in DEAD ZERO.

I see that Colt is going to be entering a version of their Rail Gun in the upcoming Marine Corps (that would be "core," like the apple, as opposed to "corpse," like an inarticulate no-nothing poser might say) competition for a new pistol for Force Recon. Interesting, because Force Recon is currently using up the last of their hand-built 1911A1s. Expect every major manufacturer to put a .45 into those Trials.

If you recall, I liked the Rail Gun I used at GUNSITE a year or so ago so much that I bought that specific gun, the first Colt I'd purchased since my Wilson Combat competition gun back in the mid-1980s. It's a very nice 1911, and, heck, the Marines would be used to the way it works.

I also note the AAC PDW I talked about a while back is coming to fruition. It's a 6-inch barreled AR-platform gun in .300AAC Blackout with a really innovative sliding stock. The gun's designed for a subsonic version of that round but would be fully functional with the hotter variants. Speaking of AAC, I got an email from Brother Dick Heinie when I was vacationing that he's rounded up a slide and a barrel from Nighthawk Custom to build me a threaded barrel 1911 upper with his high fixed sights for suppressor-equipped guns as an adjunct to my Heinie 1911. Recall I was blown away by AAC's John Hollister's Nighthawk .45 ACP fitted with a Ti-Rant suppressor. Probably be a bit until I get the suppressor, since I'm still waiting for paper to clear on a couple of others. At Knob Creek I was told that Class III paperwork is running 120-180 days.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


is there any moment so profoundly and sadly bittersweet as the return home from a wonderful vacation? Well, in my case the return at least to the home country if not the specific location designated "home."

My Sweetie and I went to London for 10 days, not to do anything special, but visit museums, sample authentic English ales and generally try to take a deep breath before the sprint to the SHOT Show. It was designed to be low key -- hence my absence from the Internet -- and it succeeded wildly. Maybe I should consider not waiting 4 or 5 years before taking any time off.

I'll be talking a little about the trip on this week's podcast, especially the armory at the Tower of London and the Holland & Holland Gun Room (c'mon, couldn't let those opportunities get away, could I?).

I failed in my search to capture he elusive Herbert Johnson "Poet" fedora, progenator of all Indiana Jones hats. Rather, I found the hat, apparently the last of its kind in the British Isles, in a hi-zoot shop just off Bond Street. It was, however, not my size. Well, simple solution...

"I'd like to place an order for a Poet in my size, and you can ship it too me when it arrives."

"No," said my shopgirl.


"No, absolutely not," she said.

"I'll pay in advance, including shipping..."

Steady shaking of the, nein, nyet, etc.

"How might I buy one of these hats in my size?" I ask

"Be here when the next shipment is delivered," she responded, checking her phone to see if Hugh Grant had called...apparently not...

"When will the next shipment be here?" I asked...seemed like the logical follow-up question, eh?

"We don't know," she said. "They just show up now and again."

"Now and again..." Well, okay. I decided to temporarily shelve my quest (although I've read rumors of an operation in New Zealand that finds old Herbert Johnson "Poets," rehabs them and them, I don't know, sells them to leaders of the Western World or the prop masters for "Dr. Who") and went to a store that actually sold hats. Bates Hats, founded in the late 1800s and the favorite of Tom Jones (also dating from the late 1800s), specializes in class Brit top hats, and I found a MAGNIFICENT grey one...pixs when it gets delivered.

Meanwhile, I come home to find Wall Street occupied by 1968, the U.S. Forest Service launched into another of their pathetically regular antigun jihads, and U.S. troops in Uganda..can't turn my back for a minute, I swear! Not to mention that the Secret Hidden Bunker had its first snow.

As I said before, sigh...

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Knob Creek!

Will be there Saturday & Sunday!

Say HI!

MB & the Hound...

...of the Baskervilles..

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hang On...Hang On...

Am still out among the stars...and what is that strange feeling???? Relaxation?

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaw! Must be related to the beer!

Back soon with stories galore!

And, BTW, with a new book from our friend and star on GUN STORIES Stephen Hunter! That's something to look forward to!

Friday, October 07, 2011

On the Passing of Giant...

Back In The Day, I got to spend some time at the MIT Media Lab...I thought I knew a lot, but these guys blew me away. "You have no idea what's coming," they told me, circa 1988 or so. "The guys at Apple are real smart..."

So I'm in a foreign city, and I wonder what that building across the street is. I turn on the iPhone, point its camera at the building and in a few seconds it tells me the building, it's history and where I am...

Thank you, Steve.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Off Planet!

...for the next 2 weeks...expect light blogging! If I get a wifi connection, I'll punch something up. In the meanwhile, stay safe out there!!!

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

SURVIVORS — Book Bomb Day!

Go to Amazon and buy my friend Jim Rawles' (from Survival Blog) newest book, SURVIVORS.

Help him hit #1!

Monday, October 03, 2011

My Brother Gets His Hand Slapped...

He who laughs last, etc...
From Drudge:
ESPN yanks Hank for comparing Obama to Hitler
Hank Williams, Jr., the voice famous for asking millions of football fans whether they’re ready for some football, has been pulled from tonight’s broadcast of “Monday Night Football” over a comment he made on Fox News this morning. 
Williams, who sings the lead-in song to the game each week, criticized the president for his golf summit with House Speaker John Boehner this summer.

“It would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli leader) Benjamin Netanyahu,” Williams told “Fox & Friends.” 
USA Today, among others, picked up the quote, speculating on whether the comparison would get Williams booted from the broadcast . 
This afternoon, ESPN released a statement to the affirmative: 
“While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
You're always welcome on SHOOTING GALLERY, my brother! I believe this isn't the first time ESPN has fired many millions did it cost them to get you back last time???

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Lazy Sunday...


...watching "River of No Return," perhaps not Robert Mitchum's greatest role. That's what lazy Sundays are for, though. Managed to eek out a top ten finish in Cheyenne yesterday, largely because of a pretty consistent rifle and finally coming to grips with the Browning BSS double. Makes me feel a little better about my less than stellar performance in the IDPA Worlds. I'm trying to figure out a way to work a little defensive pistol competition into my now-brutal schedule. Not sure whether it's possible or not, but am going to give it a try. I think I talked about it on the podcast, but it's hard (at least for me) to do a couple of shooting sports at the same time.

At this stage in my career...I was tempted to say "late" stage in my career...LOL!...cowboy is my absolute favorite. I love the transition between guns (and can certainly see the huge appeal of 3-Gun). If 3-Gun had hats...

I did drop a note to Wayne Novak abut changing out the sights on the SR9s, the gun I would like to stick with.

Autumnal AR

We did a day of filming for a new opening of SHOOTING was a lot of riding up and down about 1000 yards of road on a borrowed Beemer, as my Honda Magna was having a bad day. I had my old SG-yellow AR strapped to my back. At one point a sheriff's car drove past. He saw the AR, stopped dead in the middle of the road and apparently called it in (I could see him on the mic). After a couple of minutes, he drove away, because Colorado is an open carry state.

Actually, that particular AR has been a crash test dummy over the last few years. It's a plain vanilla M4-styled carbine from J&T Distributing we built on Season 1 of SG back in the Clinton Ban days when no other show would even touch a nasty black rifle. The old Cav Arms provided the SG-yellow furniture (including a non-collapsable stock to meet the looney requirements of the AWB). Eventually we disabled the trigger to use the gun as a drone to demo with. I always liked the little gun because it's light and fast...I've got a new bolt with one of the miracle coatings waiting for a gun, and I think there's a Timney trigger around here somewhere, so I thought I'd put the gun back in service later this fall (in my "spare" time, LOL!).

Lot of interesting rumors flying around the Internet about the entire BATFE being thrown under the bus to save B-HOs political appointees as "Fast & Furious" burns hotter, brighter and closer to the White House:
Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer.
Make no mistake about it...AFT needs to get thrown under a bus. It has aways been an agency in search of a mission ever since "revenuers" stopped busting up whisky kegs and started carrying tape measures to see if gun barrels were of legal length...certainly the agency should have been dissolved after the Waco disaster. However, the higher-ups involved in "Fast & Furious," which has claimed hundreds of lives in Mexico and the deaths of 2 American agents while committing an act of war against a friendly power, need to pay. And pay big.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Open Carry

-- Post From The Road

Setting up for SG Opening... ultra reliable Honda tanked, so I'm on a borrowed Beemer...

-- Post From The Road

This Week's Moron Alert...

Read the whole stupid thing, then think twice about sending your kids into these cesspools...then go post a Firefly poster on your office door!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Public Statement by Dave Sevigny

I haven't touched this mess, but because this mess has touched a good friend of mine I need to put this up. Dave Sevigny has always been a stand-up guy, a straight shooter and a friend. This public statement was published today on his Facebook Page, and if Dave says it, it is true:

Now that my 2011 season is over I wish to address what at least one person has referred to as "the elephant in the room".

Please rest assured, I am as shocked as anyone regarding the accusations involving Billy Abbate and a fifteen year old minor.  It has been incredibly hurtful to hear some people are speculating that I may have also been involved. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Let me be clear: I am not a suspect, nor will I ever be.  I also was not a witness to any inappropriate behavior between the two, nor did I have any reason to suspect much less know that Abbate was engaging in a secret and illegal affair with the minor girl.

I have heard criticisms that I somehow should have known about the secret relationship between the minor and Mr. Abbate.  I don’t see how, especially when I was not told the truth about their “friendship”.  In fact, the family of the minor and Mr. Abbate had a closer relationship than I ever did with either party.  I have also heard rumors that I engaged in lewd or distasteful acts with the minor.  Rest assured, these disgusting rumors are patently false.  I don't know if a specific individual is purposely spreading lies or if people are just widely speculating that I must somehow be involved because of my recent departure from my old sponsor.  Regardless, I want to set the record straight and hope this puts an end to these sickening rumors.

Throughout my eleven year association with my former sponsor (eight years of which I served as an employee), I was completely loyal to the company.   I acted as a mentor to numerous shooting team members and built a winning record of 150+ major championship wins using products from this company.  I am proud of what I have accomplished.  Some have said that I am taking the rest of the year off.  While I am done competing this season by choice, I will rise above this unfortunate incident and will work hard on building a brand that will endure, just like I did before.

Dave Sevigny

Para Out of the Rifle Business

Got this today from Para USA:
PARA USA Exits Rifle Market
Pineville, NC – PARA USA announced today that it was exiting the rifle market to concentrate on its core competency in handguns. CEO Thanos Polyzos said, “PARA has some exciting new projects in development that will continue the innovation that we started with the high capacity P14-45 pistol. We want to bring these exciting new major caliber handguns to the firearms market and we need to focus our attention on them.”

The Tactical Target Rifle is the best battle rifle in the world. It has the remarkable Delayed Impingement Gas System (DIGS) that makes it the softest shooting, most reliable rifle of its type. While PARA USA will cease production of the Tactical Target Rifle, it will continue its tradition of providing unparalleled service in the firearms industry.

PARA USA will continue to service all of the Tactical Target Rifles it has sold. However, the production and marketing of new rifles using the DIGS operating system will be resumed by Al Zitta, the original developer of the rifle. For information on new rifles contact: ZM Performance Systems, Inc., 1958 Wes White HL Rd., Richmond, VT 05477 or
The TTR is, indeed, a fine rifle (it won the SHOOTING ILLUSTRATED Golden Bullseye Award as best rifle of the year, after all). In my experience it does shoot lighter than your average vanilla AR, and my T&E gun was crazy accurate. It was, however, an expensive rifle, expensive at a time when expensive rifles are not selling.

I've said this before on the podcast...the problem with non-standard AR platform guns is that they are, in fact non-standard. And generally around twice the price of a regular direct impingement gas gun. The fear for the purchaser of one of the non-standard guns is that the gun becomes orphaned when anticipated military/LEO contracts fail to materialize and the gun ceases production. Basic ARs are like 1911s...there are enough parts out there that the guns will quite literally go on forever. When we look at the non-standard guns, whether piston or other novel system, the question is who has the resources to go the distance?

Interestingly enough, I think the industry focus on 3-gun hadn't helped the non-standard systems...if you look at the hi-zoot 3-gun rifles, whether custom from JP or the out-of-the-box guns like the Stag, you see gas guns (the exception being FNH, a huge supporter of 3-gun and their SCAR Light rifle). 3-gun has reiterated that traditional gas guns work great under adverse conditions, something already proven on battlefields around the world.

Crazy Busy!

You guys probably figured out that the shortage of blog posts is a direct result of a crazy schedule. We're doing scenarios for THE BEST DEFENSE over the next few days, and they're complicated and time-consuming. May get some pictures for you today.

Was definitely interested in Sig's release of a direct impingement AR, the M400, to augment their already pretty extensive line of piston guns. I think this is probably a reflection of a market that is, at least for now, resistant to paying the price for piston guns. I also think that it shows although the old AR "bubble" is thoroughly popped, the "modern sport rifle" continues to sell at a good pace...what I hear from numerous manufacturers is that the market is continuing to buy ARs at a solid pace.

Interesting changes in the industry as well...this morning's SHOOTING WIRE reports that Michael Golden is out as President of S&W, replaced by James Debney, former president of the company's firearms division. S&W has been going through some changes recently...we've mentioned that the much-vaunted S&W shooting team faced some drastic cuts.

Going farther south, industry veteran Mark Kresser is now firmly in control of Taurus International down in Florida...I expect some changes there!

Whoops...gotta go kidnap somebody!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

High Color...

...near the Secret Hidden Bunker!

-- Post From The Road

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Smoked Mullet

Trust me...this is the best smoked fish in the world!

-- Post From The Road

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Very Good Match!

Looking at the IDPA Worlds with a whole day of perspective...I think it's a very good match, an interesting and challenging blend of electric and straightforward stages. I think if I was a regular IDPA shooter, I would be very excited for a chance to shoot at this level. Congrats to all involved!

It's also interesting to see the way IDPA has evolved in 15 years, and in some ways not as I would have expected. There is still a strong emphasis on the tactical aspects of the match — use of cover, drawing from concealment, specific reloading sequences — but with a lot less of, for lack of better words, the "religious fervor" that was present in the early years. I think everybody understands that IDPA is a sport...heck, this match proves that point pretty conclusively! I think that's a good thing.

I was slow and especially had issues with the bobbers, movers, running targets, which I expected. No matter what one might say, it is darn near impossible to practice moving targets without moving target, an issue that I think has implications for everyone who carries concealed. All in all, though, I'm pretty happy with my shooting throughout the match.

My Ruger SR9s ran issues whatsoever. No malfunctions with the Wilson Combat match 125-grainers, which are more accurate than I am. As usual, I was perfectly happy with the Blade-Tech holster and mag pouch and my plain old Wilderness Tactical Instructors Belt...can't imagine why I'd use anything else.

I got a nice compliment from my old and good friend Joyce Wilson, who is sort of the "Yoda" of IDPA while Bill Wilson is off decimating the hog population of Texas. She said she watched me shoot a few stages and I looked like the IDPA rulebook. Good! That's what I hoped I looked like.

Next week we're filming THE BEST DEFENSE scenarios in Colorado, and working on a new opening for the hour-long SHOOTING GALLERY!