Monday, October 29, 2012
Sad, but true. Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy, Angel, Firefly and Serenity, has come out with a video supporting the man who let American heroes be slaughtered in Benghazi. I wonder if Brother Whedon has ever actually watched any episodes of Firefly...doesn't seem like it. Sad, as I have always been a fan...up until The Avengers, which was pretty much on par with warm mayonnaise being smeared on a dirty kitchen floor. Oh well, whores will be whores. won't they?
Saturday, October 27, 2012
To tell the truth, I didn't do jack today. I got back in town Friday night from filming the last of THE BEST DEFENSE scenarios, where I had the opportunity to be beaten to death with a crowbar. In scenario 2, I did get to cap Janich, who cried piteously...piteously, I tell you! I worked a little on the music of upcoming DOWN RANGE Radio podcasts, then shot a bunch of the new Gemtech ultra-quiet .22s off my front porch. They were quiet! I'm going to be talking more about them on the podcast.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Am not so pleased with my performance as "posse marshal," that is, the leader of my squad. We had 18 shooters and only 3 of us qualified to run the timer. We also had a couple of shooters with far too many squibs, ammo with no powder. While it's unlikely a gun will blow up if you fire a round behind a bullet lodged in the barrel, especially at cowboy velocities, it still can happen. One shooter especially had repeated squibs. He had no other ammo, and in this case, neither did I. I showed up at the match with stems and seeds, a mix of old reloads and some factory stuff What extra I had I gave to my Sweetie, one of the other certified Range Officer IIs. The short story is that I let the 2 guys finish the match. In one case I shepherded the shooter through the last stages. In retrospect, I should have drawn a hard line in the sand and will do so in the future. If more than one round is a squib, the risk to those of us running the timer is not worth allowing the shooter to continue. If you want to read the whole thread on the Single Action Shooting Society forums, including my mea culpa, it is here.
In gear notes, I'm ordering one of these Battlelink Minimalist AR stocks for the project Ar take-down rifle. Lighter is gooder, at least for this project. I'm also thinking of overhauling my Ruger LC9 9mm. Galloway Performance is doing a bunco of interesting work on the mini-9mms, and I'm interested in seeing how the work improve the performance of a gun I already like.
BTW, I trashed the heck out of my left foot at the match. I have no idea what I did, except that today I'm hobbling around today like a sad and pathetic old man. Suxs...
Friday, October 19, 2012
Hope to get in a cowboy match this weekend. I've got a different set of cowboy pistols, the Slick McClade/Jason Robinson Blackhawks in .357 I'd like to give a try. I'll run them on one stage and see how they rock.
I've got to overhaul a Glock this weekend, which'll be fun. I also have one of the 1911s in .22 TCM coming...it's a 40-grain .223 cartridge at about 2000fps. Be a hoot to test that one out!
I got a good question from a regular commenter, Kmitch200, on the previous post: You have a gun that shoots a round that would bankrupt a rich man, kicks so hard that retina damage is an issue if you could afford to really practice with it and DON'T live where there is Cape Buffalo????
I thought it was worth expanding on just a bit. If I can be excused for going back in time, when I was in high school I'd hunted bird and deer, plinked, etc., but frankly, found it all a bit boring. I loved shooting pistols — the biggest I could get my hands on at that time was the .357, my father's Flat-Top Blackhawk. Big boom = Good! My relatives couldn't understand why I was so interested in shooting big handguns and not sitting in a deer stand all day. Hmmmm. About that time my father did a trade that included a Trapdoor Springfield with the barrel cut to carbine length. The Trapdoor was thrown in to sweeten the trade...my father didn't care about it at all. I, OTOH, got the local gun store to order me a box of 45-70 .405 grainers, which I was too stupid to know wouldn't be shot in a beat-up Trapdoor.
But oh doggie, did those bad boys buck and roar out of that short barrel! Forget the thirty-thurty and those snore-nod converted military bolt guns...this was a rifle I could get behind! I shot the crap out of that Trapdoor and it never blew up in my face (luckily!). It left me with an abiding love of BIG BORE THINGIES. As a consequence, I've spent a lot of my shooting career whamming away with big blasters, handguns and rifles. In rifles, 45-70 remains my one of my favorite calibers; .458s are fun, but nothing like the classic African cartridges. The .500 Nitro Express is cool beyond words to shoot. I've been lucky enough to fire both a 4-bore rifle and an 10-bore Howdah pistol...I'd own them both if I were rich. I have a Barrett .50 BMG that is my single most favorite rifle.
And don't even get me started on handguns! My biggest regret is not having the scratch to get Hamilton Bowen to build me the "Super British Bulldog" he and I concocted one night — a 56-50 Spencer Ruger Redhawk dolled up to look like a classic turn of the 19th Century British Bulldog.
I may never get to Africa to walk in the footsteps of the heroes of my youth, but you never know. If I do get to make that trip, it will be with 2 Ruger #1s — the 450-400 3-inch and a hotted-up 45-70.
And yes, I understand that the effects of recoil are cumulative. All of us who shoot boomers understand that on an intimate level. My favorite story is when I had my right elbow MRI'ed for persistent, agonizing pain. The doctor came out and said, "So, Mr. Bane, I have a question for you...what does one have to do to get a bone spur in just that position on your elbow? It's not this..." he mimicked a golf swing "...and it's not this..." he mimicked swinging a tennis racquet. "...I'm curious."
I mimicked shooting a gun, and he said, "Hmmmmm...I'm thinking you did this more than once!"
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
I really want to get my suppressed Ruger Charger sighted in — right now it's got an Aimpoint Mini in it. It is a fun gun to shoot, and next spring should contribute to the Ground Squirrel Apocalypse in my Sweetie's garden. Probably would work on the occasional coyote as well. Weirdly, we haven't seen any foxes around the Secret Hidden Bunker for months. There are even bunny rabbits hopping around, something that doesn't usually happen when the foxes are on the job. I haven't seen any coyotes, though, and they usually aren't shy. Maybe a mountain lion prowling around, which sends the foxes scattering.
I note with interest that the Heizer "Double Tap" 2-shot derringer has hit the rocks. The protos were darned interesting little guns, and I hope they figure out a way to get it to market. Stranger things have happened...I would have never figured that the Boberg XR9 would get to market, and I was totally wrong about that.
Friday, October 12, 2012
The great Walton Goggins (The Shield, Justified) gave the performance of his life on this week's Sons of Anarchy as transexual escort "Venus Van Damn."
TV Guide referred to the performance as "jaw-dropping."
And, ahem, the special effects are...impressive! LOL!
This is one of our set-ups from yesterday's blasto-smasho day at the range for SHOOTING GALLERY's annual "ballistics" episode. After last season's orgy of ballistic jello we decided to do a follow-up show on penetration. We did a plywood "penetration box," wall segments, car doors, car windows, wheels (tire, rim, brake drum), the "box-o-steel" using mild steel plates, concrete blocks and, of course, the ever-popular gallon water bottles with colored water. All captured at 8000 frames-per-second. If 8000 frames-per-second had been available in the gory days of Haight-Ashbury, hippies would still be watching multicolored water jugs blow up and moaning, "Oh, dude! DUDE!"
For me, the most fun is putting rounds through the .500 S&W Magnum. We used 400-grain Winchester hunting loads and 275-grain Corbon DPX on various targets. There is nothing more fun that launching boomers, even if my hand is a bit sore this morning!
Gonna be a cool show. Last year's ballistic gel episode was tremendously popular.
As far as "what did we learn," that'll be obvious on the episode, but I would like to say that the endless Internet detractors of the Taurus Judge platform need to take a deep breath and get over it. With Winchester PDX1 or Federal 4-pellet buckshot, the Judge is a formidable short-range defensive weapon. Period.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Yesterday we were at Machinegun Tours, Alan Samuel's totally cool gun store outside of Denver, filming 3 builds for SHOOTING GALLERY Season 13 — the TAC2 breakdown AR on the ATI Omni lower, the state-of-the-art .22LR AR on the Spike's upper with a JP lower and a suppressed Ruger Charger, mostly to show how easy it is to mod a 10/22.
Some days just refuse to go down the simple path we envision! I decided to start simple with the Charger, since I've down so many 10/22s and was using my "standard" parts kit — Volquartsen trigger group, bolt handle and spring assembly, assorted parts. I was also adding a integrally suppressed barrel (mine is a no-longer-manufactured TS; Thompson Machine makes one).
I had read that Chargers can be a bear to disassemble, largely due to the shake-and-bake finish Ruger puts on the Chargers. I have an Accutech barrel pusher that has always done the trick, so I wasn't worried. Short story...3 hours later I got the damned barrel out of the Charger. It took tensioning the Accutech, which pushes against the forward pin that holds in the trigger group, very tightly, followed by A REALLY BIG HAMMER and a steel bar. I then cleared out the receiver barrel channel with fine grit sandpaper. I ended up flat filing the "drop in parts," which have always dropped in for my other 10/22s. I thought producer John Carter and DP Gene Moffett were going to strangle me as the hours ground on and on and I'm back in the shop filing away.
The ARs went together fine. I required help from the shop's gunsmiths, because I'm definitely not a gunsmith...LOL! We have a range date on Thursday, so might get some shooting in then.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
We took the Wonder Beagle on a long hike yesterday, and we had the trail completely to ourselves since it was so cold and wet. Alf looked particularly fetching, BTW, in her red plaid sweater.The neat thing about a day like yesterday is that ice crystals form on the trees and plants, so everything looks like its frosted for Christmas. We even found some ice flowers, perfect flowers of ice remaining when the plants themselves withered from the frost.
In truth, I just grabbed the first gun handy for the hike, which was the Taurus "Slim" 9mm in a Simply Rugged holster. That particular combo carries like it's not even there. The bears are still awake, so I should have probably carried something "thumpier," like one of the .44s, but the Slim was handy. I moved the Ruger LCP to my weak hand pocket, as usual.
I have picked up on one small issue with the Sig Sauer P938 that I probably need to rectify. The gun comes with an ambi safety, which initially I liked based on the idea that the gun could be carried on my left side as a second gun. Generally. I'm not crazy about ambi safeties because, at least on 1911 platforms, they have a way of getting knocked off by carry holsters and in general provide just one more thing to break. The problem with the ambi safety on the 938 is that on speed drills, the offside safety actually pinches the flesh at the base of my trigger finger. Not every time, but often enough that I find myself hedging on the grip...it hurts! I'm gong to do a little grinding on the offside grip...there's a fair sharp edge where the safety meet the grip and see if that does the trick. If it doesn't, I'll have a talk with Wayne Novak about it, because he knows everything.
I got back my Winchester Model 12 from Ken Griner Gunworks, and I can't wait to take it to the range. As you know I'm a fan of the cowboy action shooting subset of Wild Bunch shooting, using the guns of the movie THE WILD BUNCH, including major caliber lever action rifles (.45, .44, 44-40, 38-40), 1911s and pump shotguns. Originally, the 1897 Winchester and its Chinese clones were the only pump guns allowed. But in Wild Bunch shooting, the pump guns are loaded up and run like pump guns are supposed to be run (in cowboy, '97s are only loaded 2 at a time). Winchester '97s are sketchy at best — they're old, overly complicated (87 separate heat treating steps) and prone to being pounded to pieces. My friend Gene Pearcey (cowboy champion "Evil Roy") has always said every cowboy shooter needed 3 '97s — one to shoot, one for back-up, the other at the gunsmith being repaired. When I shot '97s in competition, I found this to be gospel.
The Wild Bunch founding fathers decided — wisely, I think — to allow Winchester Model 12s into the sport effective 1 January 2013. Model 12s, one of the most famous and best -selling shotguns ever, was created to solve many of the shortcomings of the Model '97. Secondly, Winchester made about a billion of the things, and they're widely available at completely sane prices. My local gunstore had 7 of the things in the rack, with prices starting at $250. Cheap at the price! Mine's a 1950s vintage gun (as opposed to my 1903 '97) in excellent shape. Ken cut the barrel to 21 inches or so, took an inch off the stock, fitted screw-in chokes and replaced the worn parts.
I think Wild Bunch has the potential, I believe, to be a major national sport, capturing the good points of both cowboy action shooting and some of the other practical shooting sports like USPSA. 1911s remain crazy popular, and the cool thing about a Model 12 is that I would not be uncomfortable at all using my Model 12 as a home protection shotgun (I would use a '97 if that's what I had, but I would worry). The sport took off like a shot (yep...pun alert), but went though pretty typical growing pains that slowed growth.
On the plus side, the founding father have from the beginning insisted on a greater emphasis on marksmanship...the shots are typically harder than you'd see in SASS (or the Steel Challenge, for that matter), and there are lots more of them. On the negative side, there are some "artifacts" left over from the sports' cowboy roots, such as loading the 1911 mag with only 5 rounds. Still, Wild Bunch is a fascinating and challenging sport, one that I like a lot.
BTW BTW, Rob Pincus has an excellent article on his Personal Defense Network on choosing a carry gun. The focus of my own video is "simplify and demystify" concealed carry, and Rob's article is in agreement. One of the legacies of gun magazines is an apparently endless assessment of ammunition, guns and gear, in search of that elusive (and nonexistent) "best." Rob's article is definitely worth reading.
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Fleming presumably made his choice of weapon on the basis of design alone. And indeed, the PPK (in German it stands for “short police pistol”) is a cool little beauty. It looks like Nietzschean poetry in steel, with a thrust of decadent Weimar art moderne to it. And it is Weimar, the latest thing from 1931, with its radical double-action design. It’s light, thin, designed for undercover work, meant to be carried a lot and shot a little. It was already old-fashioned by the time Connery got his in ’62.
Friday, October 05, 2012
BTW. am posting this om Firefox, which I actively dislike as a browser, because Safari's newest edition has a conflict with Blogger, because Blogger is owner by Google and Apple hates hates hates Google. Sigh.
I was pretty pleased with RAPID FIRE. I think Iain and Mike S, are wonderful personalities and the show moved right along. There are some midcourse corrections I'm going to make to make the show even better.
I did get out to the range with my AR for an afternoon of work, and it was fun. Glad I did because in the last 2 trips the scope has been taken on and off numerous times, and the zero has wandered all over the place. I need to get a torque wrench to keep putting scopes back on guns! I am enjoying shooting the AR more and more, which means there are more 3-gun matches in my future.
I also tried running the little Sig P938 the same way I'd run a larger gun in a match. LOL! Michael need to pay more attention when the gun is jumping around in his hands!
I'm also building up a coupleo of red-dot sighted "practical" pistols...one a Glock 19, the other my FNP-45. Both Mike Seeklander and Chris Edwards from Glock have been telling me that this is the future, and if that's the case, I'm way behind the curve! And BTW, I still got no truck with "USPSA "Open" Division!
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
I always read James Lee Burke's "Dave Robicheaux" novels with a sense of dread, as if I'm going to find out some hidden truth that I profoundly didn't want to know. And maybe I do. In truth, at a very low ebb in my life, I read In the Electric Most with Confederate Dead and found something there that helped me keep my head on straight...the movie, however, sucked.
Have been working with the TS suppressor on one of the Ruger 22/45 Lites. I love the set-up, but so far I haven't found the ammo of my dreams. The CCI "Quiet" 40-grain/710fps pills are, well, quiet, but they also won't cycle the gun. My usual fallbacks of Mini Mags will cycle the gun just fine, but they usually crack as the little pellets go supersonic. I say "usually" because the actual speed of .22 ammo is pretty much a crap shoot. Mini Mags are rated at 1235fps at the muzzle, and the speed of sound is about 1100fps at 70 degrees and sea level. Given environmental concerns and the less-than-perfect consistency of .22 ammo, sometimes it cracks and sometimes it doesn't.
I need to sit down with my many different .22 rounds until I find the perfect compromise. I'm hopeful about some of the Federal match rounds, which is what I usually use in RRC competition. They cycle my Mark III just fine and clock out at just under 1100fps. The CCI "Quiets" are going to be real winners in my T/C Contender rifle barrel. I've shot BB and CB caps out of the T/C, and objectively they're not much louder than the 22/45 with the silencer. As soon as I get the T/C barrel back from being threaded I'll let you all know.
Today's a range day, which is perfect since the wind is blowing like about 400 miles per hour. I'll have to shoot everything on the diagonal just to hit the target!
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
So, we have millions of men and women with military training, owning rifles similar to the ones they used in combat operations overseas from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Many of these Soldiers and Marines have special operations training. They are former warriors with experience at conducting irregular warfare and counter-terrorism operations in dangerous urban environments. They are the opposite of unthinking robots: their greatest military talent is looking outside the box for new solutions. They always seek to “over-match” their enemies, using their own advantages as force multipliers while diminishing or concealing their weaknesses. These military veterans are also ready, willing and able to pass on their experience and training to interested students in their civilian circles.
Today is podcast day, so as soon as I finish with the blogpost I'll head up to the studio. Couple of other things on the agenda today...at the IDPA Nationals I bought one of the Bob Vogel Glock Trigger from GlockTriggers, and I want to put it into our crash-test-dummy Gen 4 Glock 19. Unless my Sweetie commandeers the Glock for her impending 3-Gun run, it's slated to go out to TSD Combat Systems for a red dot sight transplant. I am convinced that red dot optics on a pistol for concealed carry is a coming thing. I want to set up a Glock and my FNP .45...we'll show you how they work on SG.
I'm also heading to the range when I finish up at the Bunker. I want to put more rounds through the Sig Sauer P938, and I'm breaking in a new pair of cowboy pistols...or, rather, my overhauled pair of .357 Blackhawks I got about a decade ago. They've now got 4-inch octagonal barrels (looks cool!) and a brass front sight blade. I'm looking for a few good seconds here.
Although, to be honest, at least in my cowboy shooting there are seconds to be found with the rifle. I finished in the top-10 again last weekend against some really really good shooters. Once again, I was consistent but not as fast as I know I can be. I went through a spell of missing a lot of rifle targets, and I backed off my speed with the rifle to guarantee the hits. It is darn hard to ratchet the speed back up! Practice practice practice!