Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Doctrine" on Potentially Armored Aggressors

Read the last post, especially the second comment on the alleged "armored" aggressor in the Aurora shooting. As you all know, the aggressor was only wearing "tacticool" wardrobe items — no soft or plate armor. What I have said on the podcast and what we will say on TBD is that when faced with an aggressor who appears to be armored, TAKE THE CENTER MASS SHOTS IMMEDIATELY. If the aggressor is armored, the center mass shots will at worst buy you some time for a more precise shot and at best either spin the aggressor or knock him/her to the ground, giving you clearer shots at the unarmored areas — side, hips, head, legs.

Remember, you are probably not fighting a Navy SEAL or a Force Recon Marine who can take the pounding of rounds slamming into armor and keep going. Likely the aggressor has never been shot or even shot at. I would go as far as saying after examining active shooter situations it is likely the aggressor has never even taken a punch. I fall back on that great Zen philosopher Mike Tyson who noted that, "Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face." Pain can be a massive distraction, and you are in a position to deliver the pain.

IMMEDIATELY transition to either a "failure drill" — the headshot — or some sort of mobility kill based on whatever targets are available. A mobility kill, a shot that knocks the aggressor to the ground  and removes his/her ability to move freely, still does not solve the problem! That problem is only solved when the aggressor cannot continue firing and the threat ceases.

If the aggressor is only "dressed for success" in contractor casual, it will become readily apparent by noting the spreading red stain.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another "Must Read"...

...this one from December's Atlantic Magazine by Jeffrey Goldberg:
Boulder may be the locus of left-wing politics in Colorado, but it is also home to the oversubscribed Boulder Rifle Club, which I visited on a bright early-fall morning with Dave Kopel, of the Independence Institute. The existence of the rifle club surprised me, given Boulder’s reputation. But Kopel argued that gun ownership and sport shooting are not partisan phenomena, and he made the plausible assertion that Boulder is home to “the largest population of armed vegans in America.”
I certainly don't agree with all the conclusions reached by Goldberg (and my good friend Dave Kopel does have an excellent turn of phrase, doesn't he), but this article clearly shows the lack of rationality the part of publicity whores like Tom Mauser, and the list of suggestions for what university students should do if faced with an active shooter is just heartbreaking — grab a pencil?

This article is just another data point that regardless of the election results, we are long past the tipping point for public acceptance of firearms. That is a darn good thing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Comforting Presence

Spent the evening filming openings and closings for THE BEST DEFENSE in a seedy area of a big urban downtown...the SR9c was definitely a comforting presence! Am getting ready for Friday's "live studio audience" session for SG. Response has been so great we may split up the session and do a second session end of January.

So Black Friday set a 1-day record for NICS checks, so much so that it briefly shut the system down. I can't find the link but I read that 62% of the checks in this bubble are long guns. Wow! That's a lot of bolt-action rifles! Joking...joking! That represents a flood of AR and AK platform guns. I've been looking around for a lower for an SBR .300 Blackout project,,and my first choices (Spike's, DSA, Noveske, Stag) are MIA.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Important Article one"Assault Weapons"

This is a great article in the Captain's Journal blog on "assault weapons." Read it all and give it some thought...

Arguing that their bans don’t adequately distinguish between weapons leads them to refine their ban.  Arguing that there is equivalent lethality between weapons denies aspects of utility and design, and only causes them to ban weapons that have specific utility for home and self defense.  And arguing that their regulations were ineffective only embarrasses them to pass even more onerous ones.

The correct way to argue against Feinstein’s proposed assault weapons ban is to argue that there is no constitutional basis for such a ban, and any new assault weapons ban would be at least as immoral and obscene as the last one was.

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-Up

The quick executive summary? I need another 4 days off...maybe 8 days...a month...LOL! Yesterday my Sweetie and I went up to the site of the new Secret Hidden Bunker, where the dirt work is well underway. We now have a driveway and the beginnings of a house platform! I do wish a genie could wiggle her cute little nose and the whole new Bunker would miraculously appear. Second wish would be to dig up a really big nugget of gold to cover all the cost, but there you are...

Friday my Sweetie and I took a 3-Gun class with old friends Mark Passamaneck and James Casanova. Both are veteran 3-gun shooters and champions in their own right...James in particular had a spectacular season last year. The class was just excellent and gave both of us the grounding we've been looking for. My Sweetie in particular smoked the rifle and shotgun stuff. She was shooting a Stag 3G competition rifle with a Swarovski Z6i and an FNH SLP shotgun overhauled by Mark P. Mark shortened the stock, opened up the loading gate and welded up the lifted, etc. Of course the gun always ran like a scalded dog.

I ran the JP rifle I shot up in Oregon, still with the now-ancient Leupold CQ/T. I used a T&E Mossberg 930 JM Pro shotgun, which I was very impressed with. It ran with birdshot and slugs, was extremely easy to manipulate in all the drills and was fast fast fast cycling.
I was also impressed with Mark and James company, Carbon Arms, TWinS shotgun loaders. The cowboy shooter in me appreciates any device that lets you load a shotgun quicker. The technique I worked on for the day involved rolling the shotgun upside-down with my strong hand, locking the stock under my strong side elbow, drawing 2 rounds at a time from the TWinS loader and sliding them in. Takes less time to load 2 rounds than to describe it here. The quad load is just as quick...check out the video.

We'll probably aim for a big 3-gun match in April and try to get through it in once piece. I will tell you the absolute truth...the expense of starting 3-gun is daunting, and I get discounts! My friend Iain Harrison is adamant that a person can get started in 3-gun for less than $1500...well, maybe (here's some of Iain's star-up videos for G&A and here).

Three-gun is more like cowboy that I think a lot of people realize, with their joint emphasis on transitions and speed. Obviously, 3-gun requires a higher skill level, but the base is very similar.

I'm looking forward to getting at least one more cowboy match before winter sets in hard. The weather up in the high country has ben nothing short of amazing, a long, lingering Indian Summer with sunny days at temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s. Makes for wonderful days at the range.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gordon Davis, R.I.P.

I note the passing of master holster maker, and my friend, Gordon Davis, after a long illness. In these days of floods of high quality holsters, it's hard to image how important Gordie's magnificent holsters were for both the fledgling sport of practical pistol — "combat shooting," in the into of the times — and concealed carry. I remember when I filly scraped up enough money to buy my first Davis hipster...I still have it today and it is still simply a great holster.  Later, Gordon was one of the founders of cowboy action shooting...Harper Creigh, "Judge Roy Bean," SASS #1 still carries his Colts in a Gordie Davis rig.

Go with God, brother.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

And a Happy Thanksgiving for All!

Our dinner went super. hey, how can you go wrong with lobster tails, stir-fired veggies, sweet potatoes roasted with chili, cranberries with sour cherries and rum, fresh rolls and...wait for it...wait for it...a homemade Boston creme pie. Yes, it rocked!

Going to do some 3-gun shooting tomorrow, then I swear I'm going to sleep until noon on Saturday. Maybe until 2 or 3 PM, getting ready for the Sprint 'til Christmas. Ho ho ho on d'at!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Busily Trying to Relax!

My plan for yesterday was catch up, then knock off for the Thanksgiving week. Ha! Today my plan is to catch up, then knock off for the Thanksgiving week. Tomorrow my plan kinda get the drift. I've got to cook Wednesday, or at least cook a little Wednesday. Hopefully, I'll be doing a little 3-Gun shooting this weekend, then begin the sprint to the end of the year...well, at least until the world ends just before Christmas.

I realize I've talked about the Spike's/JP .22 LR AR but haven't gone into it too deeply. That's because it's a SHOOTING GALLERY project gun, and you'll see us put it together on the show next season, then use it at the Project Appleseed event. The genesis for the project was that I love .22 LR AR-platform guns, because they make wonderful and adaptive trainers for newbies, provide a platform for tactical training in a time of dreadfully expensive ammunition, serve as a great tool to bring young video gamers into the shooting sports, etc. I have shot most of the .22 conversions and dedicated .22 ARs. I have a Tactical Solutions upper on a Stag lower that has been a very good gun and crazy fun to shoot. But it was my observation that the vast majority of the .22 ARs couldn't shoot alongside a high-end 10/22 when it came to pure accuracy.

Secondly, some of my friend who are putting thousands of .22 rounds through their guns are telling me the guns aren't holding up as well as they'd hoped. I'd like to say quickly that has not been the case with the Tac Sol conversion unit. I do have friends who shoot Ruger Rimfire a lot have gone from dedicated .22 ARs back to 10/22s for reliability after thousands of rounds.

Finally, there's the largely undefinable "feel" of a gun. Ideally,  a rifle should del solid, like well, a rifle, not an adaptation of a paintball gun.

So the goal for the build was a .22 AR that would should alongside a good 10/22 (and I have several). It needed to be very accurate, very reliable and rock solid. I did about month of research, talking to shooters (especially Ruger Rimfire veterans) and reading on the Internet ( was invaluable), then posting questions.

My decision was to go with a Spike's Tactical upper with a Lothar Walther barrel. I have a lot of experience with Spike's products, and they have been uniformly excellent. I'm familiar with the Lothar Walther barrel, and it is hard to find better. I chose a JP lower after talks with John Paul at JP. He put in his own trigger system with an eye toward .22 LR. We finished the lower with CMMG parts and I used Magpul furniture. Magazine choice was also a major consideration, and the hands down winner was the Black Dog magazine with steel lips. I chose the first generation Fowler/Pride Rapid Reticle 3-9X .22 scope because i had it and because Mickey Fowler, who has forgotten more about shooting .22s in the last 30 minutes than I will ever know, told me it was the single best .22 scope he'd ever used. I went with the Midway USA mounts because they were the only ones I had for a 1-inch scope.

I was prepared to go through my .22 ammo bin and see what the gun liked. The first ammo I tried was the CCI "Tactical" .22s, 40-grain plated. My "reference group" with that ammo was, as I mentioned, a 5-shot one hole group at 25 yards. I didn't try any of the other ammo.

Will have pictures of the rifle, accessories and groups when I finish chasing my tail this AM!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Appleseed Weekend!

It was really really fun, and I am really really tired! Appleseed Colorado Coordinators Jim and Kim Heath did a marvelous job, Colorado Rifle Club is a super venue and the weather was just amazing. Not to mention a great group of instructors and participants.

It's going to make a great SHOOTING GALLERY!

The Spike's/JP .22 AR may be the best .22 rifle I've every shot. Certainly among the top 3. I did the quick sight-in on Saturday AM at 25 yards from prone off a rolled up jacket. Ammo was CCI Tactical. The final "reference" group was a single hole 5-shot group (I'll post the pix tomorrow). My earlier generation Fowler/Pride 3-9X .22 scope is a world class scope...I've got a bunch of .22 scopes around the Secret Hidden Bunker, and the F/P is simply in another league.

How did I shoot?

My best tally was 216 out of 250 possible points on the Appleseed AQT,  which (barely) got me over the necessary 210 points for the "Rifleman" patch. I had some trouble with the sitting position so I decided to go to kneeling for that shooting string. I threw away some points on the off-hand 10 shots, which surprised me because I'd been shooting the off-hand really well in practice. But I made it up on the final prone stage, which is pretty much my strength.

I cannot say enough good things about the Project Appleseed. This is one event that every shooter should attend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

On The Phone All Day...Sigh... aborted trip to the range...I go to Appleseed with 2 rifles without a clue as to their zero. Sigh. Maybe sigh twice. Shouldn't take too long to sight them in, though. BTW, I'm doing the best I can to deal with the Twinkie Apocalypse...

I did have a long time on the phone today with Mark Keefe from AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, in which we never actually mentioned Twinkies. Mark is a really good friend and he and I almost never have a chance to get together. We had lots of stupid gun stories to swap.

Am I the only one who has the urge to rush out and panic buy Twinkies? I can't even remember the last time I had a Twinkie, but if the world ends next month I'm going to be pissed that I didn't have a Last Dessert of ice wine and Twinkies. Maybe I'm over-reacting. I could go for ice wine and Ding Dongs.

It's like losing a relative, assuming said relative was stuffed with a sweet, creamy center. I doubt I'll be able to sleep tonight. Farewell, fair junk food!

Range Day (I Hope!)

The temperature is creeping up and the clouds seem to be moving out, so hopefully I'll be able to get rifles sighted in this afternoon. We're in kind of the pre-SHOT doldrums in the industry...people are frantically trying to get their catalogs done, collateral material printed and party invitations all sync'ed up. I'm trying to get both SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE wrapped before the end of the year — new season starts the last Wednesday of December. All in all, we're in much much better shape than we were last year!

I note that there are big changes afoot at OUTDOOR CHANNEL. As per the presser this AM, OC will be merging with InterMedia, which operates the SPORTSMAN CHANNEL and the InterMedia magazines and websites. As to what this means of our various and sundry projects, I have no idea. I plan to follow the advice of the great management sage Pete Townsend:

"Pick up my guitar and play 
Just like yesterday..."

Tickets are going fast for our 30 November live studio filming in Denver for SHOOTING GALLERY 2013! Email FLYINGDRAGONHELP@AOL.COM to get your free ticket! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012


So I ordered some OC to spray the pooches. I'm willing to go OC in the left hand, gat in the right. I'm also thinking of getting Alf an Ithaca Auto & Burglar with stocks cut to fit her little paws. Or maybe one of those little Danish grenades that only have a 3-foot kill radius. She could hook her little claw into the pin, then bombs away! The world's first Assault Beagle! Except Alf doesn't like loud noises, so there you are. Maybe she can handle little nunchucks.

I was in Denver today at the Dish Network call center signing autographs and generally schmoozing. It was big fun. I've got to get to the range tomorrow, so I can maybe go to the Appleseed shoot with a rifle vaguely sighted in. Although it wouldn't be the first time I Kentucky windaged a whole event. Maybe it'll be warm...

My Sweetie and I are gong to take a 3-Gun class after Thanksgiving with my old friend Mark Passamaneck. Mark and I shot a lot of IDPA back in the day, and I'm looking forward to doing some 3-Gun matches when/if spring comes, which I have on authority will happen after winter.

BTW, got Glock 19 #2 back from Mark at L&M...this one has a Leupold DeltaPoint mounted ahead of the rear BUIS. This will make an interesting segment of SG. Interesting that S&W became the first company to offer "optic ready" semiautos. I suspect they won't be the last. [ADDENDUM...yes, I did forget the FNX .45...sorry]

I'm going to finish watching the Bogart version of THE BIG SLEEP, then call it a night. If I could write one book as good as Raymond Chandler's worst book, I'd be content to cut off my fingers...
 “Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Generally Icchy Day

Sigh...working like crazy getting ready for the SHOOTING GALLERY studio sessions in Denver (you're coming , right?). Also spent time on the phone working on finding financing for the new Secret Hidden Bunker, with a little light at the end of the tunnel...maybe.

Had a little problem this afternoon. My Sweetie and I were walking Alf the Wonder Beagle up a trail. As you remember, Alf got ripped by a local dog a month ago and it took 6 staples to get her patched up. Jackasses up here in the mountains think their dogs should "be free," that is, off leash and for all intents and purposes out of control.

Let me preface this by saying I love dogs. I have had dogs my entire life, usually big and potentially aggressive dogs like malamutes and chow chows. In each case I have put in the time and the work and (occasionally) the money to make them good dogs, socialized dogs, great and loving companions. There is not an aggressive bone in Alf's body...she was raised as a show beagle until my Sweetie and I rescued her from that fate worse than death.

Alf's last attack cost more than $200 and left her limping for a month. We talked to the local police, filed a report and the people were fined.

So we're walking on the trail today and about 70 pounds of brown lab comes running our of the woods, followed by a couple of runners. The lab is not on a leash, of course. It runs up to Alf and then goes off on her, snapping and biting hard. I kicked the lab's nose, got it off Alf and my Sweetie risked limb to pluck Alf out of the way. The lab them made a move for me...the situation got resolved with no shots fired; I talked to the police about the situation; Alf is okay...but...

...I am DAMNED sick and tired of of these hippie-dippy morons and their big "rescue" dogs running all over the place...the last thing I ever want to do is shoot a dog. It's not the dog's fault that it bites. But I will NOT go to the hospital with my leg ripped up or see my own beloved dog injured or even killed.

Okay...rank mode off!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Busy Busy...

...getting started on the new, improved Secret Hidden Bunker. At least, we broke ground on the driveway and house platform, plus fired a few rounds of .22 on the property to give it a little lead inoculation. Our original plan was to build an off-grid house...we're still headed in that direction, but to say that the banks are less than enthused is being kind. Friggin' liberals talk a good game when it comes to "treading lightly on Mother Gaia, but it's all just hot air and lies. We will endeavor to persevere!

Am shooting an Project Appleseed event this week, which we'll be filming for SHOOTING GALLERY. I'm going to be using the Spike's Tactical/JP Rifles .22 AR, which is a much better rifle than I am a rifleman! Strictly a cook, to borrow Appleseed terminology...but I am a really good cook!

Colt LE901

Also, am darned excited about new guns that have just arrived here at the Bunker — a Mossberg 930 JM Pro, my long-awaited Colt Custom Shop Defender 9mm, one of the RIA/Fred Craig .22 TCM 1911s and (wait for it...wait for it...) a Colt LE901 .308!  Can't wait to get to the range...



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans' Day 2013

Battle flag of the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteers, the "Iron Brigade"
Antietam Battlefield
September 17, 1862

More than anything else, our thoughts and prayers today are with our troops on far-flung battlefields, fighting wars of no consequence for a government that has long since stopped caring.

We owe a debt we can never pay. To all who serve now and have served, thank you.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Moving On...

...which is about the only thing I can think of to do. A dear friend, himself a legend in law enforcement,   told me many many years ago (and late at night, I might add) that the greatest challenge of his life was to find a way to live in a world he neither agreed with, liked, nor truly understood...a world that that had no place for people like him. I've been thinking a lot about that conversation over the last couple of days and how we go forward in an America that is not the America we all envisioned or, indeed, want to live in. I don't have a lot of answers right now, but a few things come to mind. We need to all become "preppers" in a sense, prepared enough to insulate as much as possible our families from the uncertain times that I believe must come. You don't have to build your own Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains, but you do need to be aware and have a plan. I believe we need to redouble our commitment to the cause, the right to keep and bear arms, but also to stand for the Constitution at every point. That is going to be harder and harder to do as the progressive juggernaut thunders forward and the social pressures to "get into lockstep" increase. Finally, and I know this is going to sound a bit trite, but we need to remember to live both with honor and with joy, because our individual lives may be the only things we can truly control. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

And So the Battle is Joined...

Honestly, I was just too depressed to post earlier today. But we pick ourselves up and get ready for the battle to cone. And it's coming quickly. Obviously, the first thrust is the damned U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. This looks like the fastest way for the Dems to rev up the gun control wars; it will fail, this time.   The Senate as presently constituted is not going to ratify this abortion. I think even the Democrats might pause a bit to consider the consequences of trying to ram through a U.N. proposal that overrides the U.S. Constitution.

Ditto for Diane Fienstein's nifty new AWB, as reported by Jim Shepherd and others. Apparently, not even the BATFE was enthusiastic about a new Ban, which would not stand a snowball's chance in hell in the House and probably not the Senate. At least for now.

But we ARE going to be fighting every single day for the next 4 years. Blink once, and we lose.

I've been monitoring gun prices, especially ARs, and ammo, especially .223/5.56. The sales are huge...this from Traction Control:
Buyers ordered 10% of available firearm and ammunition stock on hand in just one day following the Election. $5,471,760 in total sales were made on November 7, 2012 from a starting inventory valued at $53,624,215. 8% of ammunition, 3% of handguns and 15% of long gun units were sold during the day, for a total of 4,284 new firearms and 67,749 boxes of ammunition.
Prices depend on the dealer. I have found 5.56 Federal ball at the same price it was selling for Monday AM, roughly $360 per 1000. Some dealers have upped the 1K price on 5.56 ball as high as $100 over Monday's prices. Magazine prices are holding, although my cherubs and seraphim tell me that a major distributor of plastic mags for plastic guns will up retail mag prices 50% tomorrow AM. PMAGs still at $12-14 apiece.

AR sales are brisk, to say the least. There's a lot of inventory out there, though. I'm hearing about lots of stripped lower purchases. A lot of the high-zoot lowers are already on waiting lists. The big dealers are mixed...Impact Guns is showing most of their lowers on back order; RGuns showing their owes all in stock.

I'm in pretty good shape overall, but I would like to have a few lowers banked for upcoming SG projects. I may make some calls on that tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Nothing more to say, is there?

Monday, November 05, 2012

Escape From Texas!

Home from Comin' At Cha, the big cowboy action shooting regional in English, Texas, that we filmed for SHOOTING GALLERY 2013. What a great great match! I have to say that if you're a cowboy action shooter who hasn't traveled to any big national matches, you could not have a better experience than at Comin' At Cha. T-Bone Dooley and his Dooley Gang do a magnificent job of not just running a fine match, but in creating an fun experience around that match. "This is all about the entertainment dollar," T-Bone told me yesterday. "It's not just a competition."

Those words should probably be tattooed on every match director's forearm where he or she can be reminded every day. Yes, the competition has to be world class — and most big match directors have that down pat — but match directors truly need to understand that they are competing for a decreasing amount of leisure time. And traveling to a big match is flat out expensive. Each year the organizers of Comin' At Cha sit down and figure out how to get more value-added activities in the event. There are banquets and activities every night, much of the food is included in the match fee, a good selection of vendors, both traditional and eclectic side matches and a relentless attention to detail. Small addition to experienced and well-briefed squad leaders ("posse marshals," in the lingo os SASS), there are several range masters constantly roaming from bay to bay to head off any problems before they start. And T-Bone and the Dooley Gang are everywhere, talking to shooters, visitors and vendors and asking how they can make the experience better for participants.

As the shooting sports continue to grow in popularity, it falls upon match directors to make sure their matches stand out in the crowd. Hornady did a masterful job of that with their Zombies in the Heartland 3-Gun Shoot this summer. Ditto for Crimson Trace and their Midnight 3-Gun Invitational. My friend Paul Erhardt has written extensively over the years on how to make matches more competitive in the increasingly crowded marketplace.

So how'd I do? In a word...sigh. I've been shooting well and went into the match feeling pretty solid, shooting up to my potential on most of the early stages. On the second day, my last minute lack of match prep caught up with me. Normally for a big match, I will take every reloaded round and "drop test" it, that is, drop it into either a chamber gauge or, better yet, remove one of the cylinders from a match pistol and drop the round into the cylinder to make sure I hadn't screwed up reloading. Time, laziness, whatever, I didn't, which gave me the wonderful opportunity to lever a .357 round that had somehow missed the taper crimp final stage on the  reloading press into my 1873 rifle. What happens is it jams the crap out of the lifter — you can't clear it on the line. So I ate 9 misses from that little stunt, giving me a middle-of-the-pack finish among 400 shooters. Learn from my mistakes, little grasshoppers!

Finally, congratulations to K.C. Eusebio for winning the overall Steel Challenge last weekend with an Open Glock. SHOOTING GALLERY regular B.J. Norris took the iron sighted division and Taurus' Jessie Duff repeating as high woman. Dave Sevigny won the Rimfire Steel Challenge.

Tomorrow, VOTE, for America and for those who will never cast another vote.

Friday, November 02, 2012

End Of a Crazy Week

Check out the new U.S. Firearms (USFA) Zip .22 pistol and SBR...Okay, different, but cool-looking. USFA head honcho Doug Donnelly is a visionary, as well as an interestingly to hang out with, so I'm interested in seeing the final product. BTW, this goes along with what the cherubs an d seraphim are telling me that USFA is  moving away a bit from their superb single action pistols toward the amazingly lucrative black rifle market.

Shot the Turnbull 1911 .45 in a Wild Bunch match and was EXTREMELY happy. It is one heck of a 1911. I had a couple of problems that I'd call ammo related...I didn't have any of my 230-gr cowboy 1911 .45 ACPs loaded up, so I grabbed a couple of boxes of factory cowboy I had on hand. It wasn't until I got to the tach that I realized they were 200-gr round nose, which are actually WRETCHED bullets! The design has a slightly smaller round nose with a little "platform," for lack of a better word, around the base of the bullet the nose sits on. I have a pretty varied selection of 1911s, from stock to full-blown competition guns. NONE of my guns will feed this bullet design reliably. Not one. In fact, I had 500 of them a few years back I won at a match. I loaded up a bunch, then a bunch more with varying cartridge OALs, changed the dice. I hauled out my Wilson Master Grade, which will feed empty cases, and it would not reliably feed the 200-grainers. I finally consigned the bullets left to the scrap lead bin. The Turnbull gun choked on a couple of the factory loads...then I borrowed some rounds from a friend and the gun ran like a top. Am very pleased with this gun. I'll probably shoot it off a bench in before the snow sets I and see what it's like at fixed distances.

I also ran a Winchester Model 12 12 gauge pump instead if a '97. Night and day. The Model 12 feels different from both the '97 and the Rem 870, the 2 pumps I have a lot of rounds through, but I could definitely get used to it.

My Wild Bunch rifle was another test run -- a Taylor Uberti converted from .44 Special to .44 Russian. Lever guns flatly don't like short cartridges, but Adirondack Jack, a SASS shooter and gunsmith, created a specially modified carrier to allow the link guns to use both his proprietary .45 Special in the .45s and .44 Russian in the .44s. As I am probably the only person on earth who has a large supply of both loaded .44 Russians and components (don't was another project that plain-ass didn't work), I got the kit installed in a '66 I'd had for a while. It's a cool gun. The Russians didn't recoil at all with the octagonal barrel and, as expected, it's as accurate as stink. One caveat...whe loading the stubby rounds through the loading gate, you have to make sure the last round is pushed in enough to seat it's rIm against the little spring-loaded thingie that allows the shorter cartridges to work in the lever guns.

And before you ask "why," the answer is "because." I like the .44 Russian cartridge, and in a levere gun my experience has been that In a larger caliber the short cartridges tend to be more reliable than their longer brethren.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Light Blogging Alert

Busy busy busy...will see if I can get some stuff up tonite...