Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sieg Heil!

At midnight tonight Colorado officially becomes a slave state when nasty little fascist Michael Bloomberg's hand-crafted unconstitutional gun laws go into effect.

Tomorrow it becomes illegal to purchase, possess or transfer a standard capacity magazine of greater than 15 rounds unless it is in your possession today. The "universal background check" laws drafted by Bloomberg's antigun lawyers and submitted by his shills in the Colorado legislature and designed specifically to entrap the innocent also go into effect.

Remember, Denver and Boulder WILL enforce these unconstitutional laws to the letter! You MUST take steps to protect yourselves!

If you must travel through Denver and Boulder, I strongly suggest that ALL magazines of greater than 15 round capacity, including grandfathered magazines, be LOCKED IN A CASE! If stopped by law enforcement in the Denver/Boulder area, under NO CONDITION agree to a search of your car, the car's trunk or any locked cases in your car or truck. Under NO CONDITION answer any questions about the content of the cases. If the heads of the IRS can take the Fifth in front of Congress, you can certainly do so with the local police. Under NO CONDITION leave a magazine with a capacity of greater than 15 rounds visible in your car or truck, or you're fair game for a search. Be polite, but be the absence of probable cause, police can't go on a fishing expedition in your car unless you let them.

Remember, the so-called "grandfather provision" is an "affirmative defense," meaning that you must make your statement of ownership prior to 1 July in front of a judge...guess how you get in front of a judge. Arrest....going to jail...being charges...having to be bailed out...big money to a criminal attorney...and, finally, a court date, where the charges will be dismissed. Do you want to risk it? And, yes, you will lose your magazine(s) and whatever guns the police manage to seize at the time.

You're going to have to make your own decision on whether to carry a CCW gun with a standard capacity magazine. Frankly, I don't think I'll be carrying a 17-round back-up magazine if I carry my Ruger SR9c, at least for the first couple of months, if my travels take me into Denver  or Boulder. Recall that when BHo was in Denver, many Denver Police Department officers volunteered to be potted plants standing behind Mr. Tele-Prompter, while officers were specifically forbidden to join those of us outside protesting the visit. Those potted plants would like nothing better than to be the first to arrest an innocent civilian for an unconstitutional law.

And although I am demonstrably paranoid, I would be very, very careful about strangers inquiring about buying guns or magazines. Both the DPD and Denver/Boulder media, including the Denver Post, would love to cast gunowners is as bad a light as possible. Let's not help them along.

Effective midnight, those of us in Colorado are officially behind enemy lines. Yes, we are fighting back on many fronts, and I do honestly believe we will take our state back from Bloomberg. But for now, the chair is against the wall.

Friday, June 28, 2013

If You're Following the Zimmerman Trial...

...and who of us in the business isn't, I strongly suggest that you check in with self-defense attorney and expert Andrew Branca at Legal Insurrection or at Mr. Branca's blog, Law Of Self Defense.

Branca is one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful commentators on self-defense, and quite frankly he has had a profound effect on my own thinking. Everyone who owns a gun should also own, heck, memorize, Branca's book The Law of Self Defense.

I specifically haven't been doing "blow-by-blow" on the trial because I can't spend all day listening to the testimony. I do think, rightly or wrongly, this trial is going to have a major effect on how people at large perceive self defense, especially armed self defense...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Farewell to Arms... Colorado. I wish I could be there...
With mere days left before new Colorado gun-control legislation goes into effect, a company will protest one more time by handing out 1,500 30-round magazines for free. 
Erie-based Magpul Industries announced the giveaway on the company Facebook page Wednesday. 
The ammunition magazine manufacturer will take part in the "A Farewell to Arms" festival in Infinity Park in Glendale on Saturday. 
On July 1, the law — which limits bans gun magazines to hold no more than 15 rounds and was signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in March — goes into effect. 
The first 1,500 attendees who are at least 18 years old will get a magazine, the companys Web page said. The event is hosted by thenonprofit Free Colorado, which advocates for the rights of gun owners, according to its website.
I'll be at Whittington Saturday filming (and shooting....poorly) the He-Man 3-Gun Championships. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Got the Colt Sighted In...

...all good (1 inch high @ 100 yards). Wish I had a couple of more "Xs" on the scope — it's a Leupold Firedot 1.5-4X, a really nice scope, BTW — or my eyes from 20 years ago. I also picked up the Benelli Nova today...I'll get a Nordic tube on tomorrow and run a bunch of rounds through it; hopefully I'll get a chance to see where it's hitting with slugs.

Here's an article I strongly recommend everyone read. It's the case for gun rights...from the Left. It's long, but read the whole thing. Here's a sample:
The only item on the list of anathematized “assault weapons” features that can be construed to have any significant functional value in this kind of mass shooting incident is the magazine. If you imagine that banning 100-round magazines will be helpful, go ahead. But be aware that a knowledgeable shooter wouldn’t use one; the Colorado movie shooter was taken down because he used a 100-round magazine, which jammed, as they are known to do. A shooter with a 30- or 10-round magazine, or even with a revolver and speedloaders, will still kill a whole lot of unarmed people. And legally limiting magazine capacity to seven bullets is just silly, as Gov. Cuomo found when he realized he had outlawed police handguns. (Of course, he’ll re-write the law to make an exception for those armed agents of the state.) A magazine is also a very easy item to fabricate (as guns themselves soon will be via the 3D printer). Trying to stop mass shootings by outlawing large-capacity magazines is like going after lung cancer by outlawing big cigarette cases.
Last line is a good line, and one that I'll happily steal.

BTW BTW, today and yesterday are the anniversary of the Battle of Little you may recall, Custer lost. I've always believed it was a case of a pretty good general — Custer — meeting up with a truly great general — Crazy Horse.

Charles Russell's magnificent painting on Custer's Battle

If you've never walked the Custer battlefield, it is a very powerful and moving place. Ghosts walk that land, and it is sacred.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Week That's Going Faster Than It Should...

I'm really excited that our President, Barack Hussein Obama, is waging war on coal...maybe we can shut down these smelly, noxious offenses to Mother Gaia..and get rid of all this...what do you call it..oh yeah! Electricity! I hope we can get the new off-grid Secret Hidden Bunker up and running before the Fed manages to limit electricity to a couple of days a week, unless you're a libertarian, in which case you get a small stack of firewood, six matches and an IRS audit.

Got the Colt 901 back together today with the new Geissele 3-Gun trigger (really nice single stage trigger pull!) and a new Leupold Fire Dot 1.5-4 in a Burris PEPR mount. Tomorrow I'll hammer it out at the range. The only 7.62 I've got a lot of (read: 200 rounds) is Federal 168-gr match. Maybe some 147-gr ball. Wish me luck.

The Benelli Nova is in transit. Even if I get it Friday I'll shoot it as I say, not as I do...LOL! I'm okay with the birdshot, but the slugs will be close my eyes and guess.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Margarita Monday!

Carazon Reposada, Grand Marnier, lemon juice and just a hint of agave nectar...the perfect gold margarita! My Sweetie and I matched it with grilled salmon with two sauces (#1, roasted tomatillo, red onion and garlic combined with cilantro, chipotle peppers and honey and #2, ancho pepper blended with dijon mustard and honey) with grilled asparagus. Darned good, and easy to prepare...secret to fresh salmon (at least, for me) is 4 minutes skin side on a hot grill, followed by 2 minutes. Don't overcook!

I haven't linked to a lot lately, but in case you're running short of morons this week, let me suggest this week's Dim Bulb, David Myles, dumb as a sack of rocks:
I understand that most gun owners live in the murky, scary world of criminals, rapists, and “commies who run our government” and I pity them for the utter terror in which they walk through the world. But I am tired of innocents dying to maintain their false sense of security. Aren’t you? The real problem is that quaking gun owners, hiding in their military-style bunkers oiling and stroking their rifles with soft velvet hands, with their fear of attack and violence, and obsession with the fact that they have no reason with which to face the world, are supporting policies that are killing our community’s men, women, and children, and ultimately, even themselves.
What can I say? Do you trust America in the hands of someone like Mr. Myles?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

An LOL On Yesterday's 3-Gun Match

Great, fun match, but LOL I did soooooooooo badly! I timed-out on 2 stages (that is, I was shooting so badly I failed to make the 180 second time limit)...note to self...dropping shotgun shells on the ground is NOT the same as reloading your shotgun! A couple of times with my pistol, an FNP-45, I thought, hey, maybe if I actually looked at my sights some of that steel would fall down! I was shooting the FNP .45 and my old Remington Vang Comp 870 pump because we're filming at the He-Man 3-Gun, as you guys know..that requires a .45, a .308 or .30-06 and a pump 12 gauge.

And yes, I will once again be basically and profoundly over my head! Boy, it's easy to say that the way to learn a new sport (or anything, for that matter) is to throw on the ole white belt and leap right's a bit more painful to do it. As the great George Leonard so articulately noted, we monkeys want to keep doing the things we do well and not do the things we don't. I'm a good cowboy shooter (to wit, I know the sport, the rules, the quirks, the benchmarks, the training regimen; my gear is debugged; I'm comfortable running out on the edge, blah blah). At various times in my life I've been a good IDPA and IPSC competitor. I'm at the stage in 3-Gun where I'm doing everything badly, even the things (like the pistol) that I can normally do well.

That's pretty consistent with how I learn. Everybody learns differently...turns out learning is a very individual thing. Everyone learns at different paces, on a different curve, etc. Me, I'm an instructor's nightmare...I tend to stumble around for far too long before I hit the uptick in the learning curve. I remember when I was going for a deep air dive certification before mixed gas and full cave. My instructors despaired whether I could complete the course at all, but on the day of the test the instructors said it appeared as if a different person showed up. Everything went off with only minor hitches (note to future divers...throwing up in one's regulator really, really sucks). Do I really wish I was one of the Genetically Superior who pick everything up quick like bunny? Oh, who doesn't? But decades of training in many, many things have taught me how to teach me.

And learning new stuff is fun. I wish I had more time for training, but once agin, don't we all?

The one thing that worked perfectly was the Blade Tech TMMS system I've been trying out. Essentially, it's an easy-on, easy-off system for accessories like magazine holsters, shotshell holders, even holsters. The TMMS system has a plastic plate that mounts on the venerable Blade Tech Tek-Lok for attaching accessories to the belt. The plate is locked onto the belt and various accessories can then be easily clipped on and off, similar to the Safariland ELS system.

The reason for this overkill is that 3-Gun has a lot of crap beside the gun attached to the gun belt — pistol magazine holders, shotgun shell holders, rifle magazine holders, coffee pot, etc. And different stages require a different gear configuration. If it's a pistol/rifle stage, you don't need all those shotgun shells, but you might want an additional pistol magazine. If it's a shotgun-only stage, you need a small red wagon full of shotgun shells...lacking that, you'll need additional shotgun shell holders. It's helpful to be able to pop those accessories on and off.

I used one of my regular Wilderness Tactical Instructor Belts, but Blade-Tech not has their own Velcro-back inner/outer belt competition system. The outer belt with the plates attached can be peeled off, so you can set up the belt once with the plates and leave it.

I do like the modularity of the system. I've got a lot of Blade Tech stuff, most of it Tek-Lok backed. It's easy (and inexpensive) to convert it to the easy-on/easy-off TMMS. Do note that IDPA has rigid holsters rules that would negate using any easy-on/easy-off system.

Here's my disclaimer...I've been using Blade Tech since there was a Blade founder Tim Wegner is an old and good friend of mine...they are NOT sponsors. They give me some free stuff, but I've paid MSRP for a lot more of it.

Shotgun-wise, I love my Vang Comp 870 and it is a primary home defense weapon, but it's not a bit "gamey." For a start, it's a 7-round tube, as opposed to a 9-round tube on my semi auto Remington Versa Max that I used in Oregon last year. Seven rounds means mo' loading mo' loading mo' loading! More importantly from a gamey viewpoint, on the 870 the shell carrier pops back up after each round; when you're trying to load 2 rounds at a time under the clock, you find yourself fighting the carrier. When you look at something like the Benelli Nova, which I messed with a bunch in Italy recently, the shell carrier pops down and stays down, making it much easier to load (at least 2 of the shotgun rounds I left on the ground Saturday was because I managed to let the 870 carrier pop them out of my hand like a piece of toast launched from an aggressive toaster. The Nova also has a button on the bottom of the forearm that stops the gun from feeding a round from the tube, so, say if the tube is loaded with birdshot and you need a round or 2 of backshot or slugs, you can hand-feed the round/s.

I've been working with the Carbon Arms TWinS shotgun shell system. After fumbling the first stage shotgun reload, I hit it pretty good on the second stage and it was quick (well, quick by my standards). What I am attempting to master is a weak-hand 2-round reload...I flip the shotgun over and place the buttstock under my right arm...I draw 2 shotgun shells off the holder and push them into the tube...repeat as necessary. I chose the weak-hand load because I use a weak-hand load on my double-barreled shotgun in cowboy, and when I shot a Winchester '97 pump I single-loaded over the top of the receiver with my weak hand.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Michael's Rant de Jour...

I think I gotta go all Big Bang Theory nerd boy on you today and talk about Niels Bohr, a Nobel Prize winner for physics in 1922 and one of the fathers of quantum mechanics. He was also 'way cool...Bohrs proudly referred to himself as a "dilettante," because he felt it was important to approach each new question from a starting point of total ignorance. When the Nazis invaded Denmark, Bohr's home, in 1940, he wanted to make sure the Nazis didn't find the Nobel gold medals awarded to Max von Laue and James Franck. He dissolved the gold medals in acid, then stored the acid on a shelf in his Physics Institute throughout the war. After the war, the gold was precipitated out of the acid and the medals re-struck by the Nobel Foundation. That, my friends, is the ultimate Nerd Save.

There are 2 quotes from Bohr that should be carved in the digital marble over the entrance to the Internet and memorized by everybody who passes that way. The first is:
An expert is a person who has found out by his own painful experience all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field. 
I'll tell you the second quote in a minute.

There are 2 memes on Ye Olde Internete that are driving me bonkers crazy these days. The first is this pompous navel-gazing on how we all might determine which are the "good" — read, people who agree with me — gun blogs versus the bad — read, people who either don't agree with me or are actually making money at this — gun blogs. Who's an expert, and who's not. Sort of reminds me of a "law" about science fiction a few decades ago, I believe attributed to author Ted Sturgeon, something along the lines of, "Ninety percent of all science fiction is crap, but that's okay since 90% of everything is crap."

Pantheon in Rome, built A.D. 126 and never restored

Of course that was a few years ago, and the percentage is not doubt higher today. When my Sweetie and I went to the Pantheon in Rome a couple of weeks ago, she marveled that this amazing structure, built in A.D. 126 was not only still standing, unrestored, but still amazingly beautiful. I noted that, hey, our culture has created Hangover 3!

Let's stipulate that, based on Sturgeon's Law, 90% of all gun blogs are crap. Okay, cool. But I would say our challenge is to sift wheat from chaff...even in the crappiest of the 90% there is still wisdom to be found. Even the least "expert" of experts might bring us the single nugget of truth that might, just might, be the one that saves your life on the day when the balloon goes up. And here's what I think is a critical point...experts, even experts under Bohr's definition who have actually done as opposed to reading about other people doing, often have radically different interpretations and opinions about similar topics. There are quite legitimate experts with who I drastically disagree (not to mention dislike), but that doesn't mean every word that comes out of their mouth is total dreck.

We live, for at least a little while longer, in an open marketplace of ideas. A key point of living in that open marketplace of ideas is that the individual is responsible for sorting through those ideas. Gosh, doesn't that sound just like what we say about self-defense, that the individual is ultimately the only person responsible for his or her self-defense? Do both those responsibilities put more pressure on the individual? You betcha!

Never trust "gate-keeprs," including me. The problem with gate-keepers — people who ostensibly want to steer you toward those blogs/experts/products/whatever that are "certified" (by said gate-keeper) — is first that they want to be gate-keepers at all. LOL! Use your own brain!

The second meme that is irritating me to death is the seemingly endless tripe about how the ammo shortage is the result of "hoarders." I have written and talked about on DOWN RANGE Radio my thoughts on the ammo shortage (here's the short list), to wit, that it is the result of a "perfect storm" that includes increased demand from the flood of new shooters (Gun Culture Ver. 2.0) and the changing shooting habits of existing shooters, the increased demand caused by the very real attempts by the state and federal government to restrict ammo purchases/possession, increased world-wide tensions resulting in preparatory ammo purchases by numerous governments, the continued U.S. war footing (including a depletion of the National Reserve of ammo) that guarantees massive Dot.Gov ammo purchases for the foreseeable future, the exhaustion of the massive WW2 and Cold War surplus ammo caches in Europe, the drastic increase in demand for baseline manufacturing commodities like lead and copper, necessary for ammunition production, from countries like China and India and probably a couple of other factors I have totally overlooked.

Whenever I read that everything would be just ducky if we all only bought only what ammo we needed instead of a case, it reminds me of where that thinking comes from: "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!" That rollicking Karl Marx! What a card! But in the last couple of weeks I read forum posts where shooters who always picked up a single box of ammo at Wally-World on the way to the Saturday match now bitterly attack "hoarders" who have made this stupid practice impossible; other shooters who explain how they have refused to take up reloading because it is 1) expensive, 2) boring and 3) takes a lot of time and now those damn hoarders have ruined it for them.

I have said this definition of a "hoarder" is someone who was smarter than you. Given the current vicious meme about ammo hoarders, what does this tell us should the feces really hit the Schumer (as Jim Rawles says)?  How quickly do you think your neighbors, your friends, your relatives, will turn on you about the "hoarded" food in your basement, your "hoarded" medical supplies, that "Hoarded" Big Berkey water filter you bought to guarantee your family's fresh water or the solar panels you're "hoarding" on your roof? We are a nation of grasshoppers who like to tell ourselves we're ants right up until the point that we're tested on the very things that ants do. And keep in mind that a horde of locust can quite literally overwhelm a country.

For years I and many other people have talked about the necessity of taking responsibility for the safety of ourselves and those under our care. We have urged you to simply follow the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared!

For those of you bemoaning those damn ammo hoarders, what did you think "Be Prepared!" actually meant?

Finally, Niels Bohr's other great quote:

Some subjects are so serious that one can only joke about them.

Remember it!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


One Source Tactical, creators of Operation Colorado Freedom, are offering an INCREDIBLE MAGAZINE DEAL for COLORADO RESIDENTS ONLY as we approach the 1 July deadline for the implementation of Michael Bloomberg's suite of unconstitutional laws, including a ban on magazines with greater than 15 round capacity:

BOX OF FIFTY TSD Combat Systems MAG15 M4 Magazines (30 Round)
$575 Plus Shipping
As the day approaches when Colorado's magazine ban comes into effect, we are proud to support Colorado residents with one last hurrah. We are offering FIFTY of our excellent TSD MAG15 magazines at a reduced price.
This price is for Colorado residents only. Any order with a shipping address outside Colorado will be charged the regular price.
This offer will end at 3pm on Monday, June 24th, in order to ensure we can get these magazines delivered before July 1st.

Remember, this deal ONLY lasts until 24 June and is for Colorado Residents, including dealers, only! The magazines must be delivered before 1 July, when Colorado officially joins the ranks of slave states.

Once again, there's the link.

I can't speak highly enough of these magazines. I own a bunch of understanding is that these mags are made by the respected Lancer Systems to TSD standards and I have found them to be excellent...that is, they work and I can't break them.

Love it quick; you ain't gonna have it long!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Creeping Normality Returns

My Sweetie's home from the East, the IRS is placated and convinced that, indeed, I have paid all the money and then some, I am half-way through this month's GUNSHOTS for Sirius/XM, still haven't put the trigger in the Colt 901 and have enough magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds to gag both John "No Really, I'm Smarter Than An 8-Year-Old...Maybe..." Hickenlooper and Michael "I Love It When Hickenlooper Shows His Belly And Submits" Bloomberg. I even cooked tonight...salmon burgers with chipotle BBQ sauce from The Salt Lick in Austin, fresh field corn and a salad with tomatoes, pesto, avocado, red onions and feta cheese crumbled on top.

Tomorrow is meetings about RAPID FIRE, which begins filming in early July...luckily, FNH came through with enough 5.7 for Iain and Seeklander to blast away when it looked like all hope had faded. I'll also finish up the Sirius/XM stuff, and if there's any time left I think I'll go to the range for a few minutes. There's a 3-Gun match this weekend which is a definite maybe; not pleased with my cowboy results Saturday...dropped down to 15 out of 67 with those 2 bad stages. I need to spend some time with the cowboy revolvers to sort out some bad habits, but we go full bore into high season come first of July.

I think tomorrow I'm going to rant about the "hoarding" meme, which is starting to irritate me...

Monday, June 17, 2013

PMAG 40s Now Available!

Get 'em while they're hot! Coloradoans, you've got 2 weeks to stock up or you're going to have to drive to Cheyenne or make the Pilgrimage to the Mother Church in Sidney, NE. The only thing that would be better than 40-round PMAGS is a "commemorative" version with "Colorado Sucks!" engraved on the side.

Plus, I've just discovered that grey is the new does stuff like this happen? I was just getting ready to pain my grey Honda Element FDE and now I discover that it's already totally stealth tactical and I'm once again behind the curve. Not to mention that Ripley, my grey parrot, is so stealth I can barely see him at all except for his red tail feathers. Fashion always seems to be slipping by me.

Here's a must read article, BTW, in REASON, called How Should We Classify the Sandy Hook Killings:
It may seem self-evident that the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary ought to be classified as a shooting event, or as aschool shooting or a mass shooting. Of course we classify events into categories that make sense to us, and it is easy to take familiar categories for granted. We learn of terrible crimes and we are accustomed to commentators talking about incidents as instances. But the ways we make sense of the world—the terms we use to describe that world—are created by people, and they are continually evolving, so that specific categories come into and fall out of favor. In fact, in recent decades, Americans have understood events like the Newtown killings in a variety of ways.
Definitely read the whole thing...some great insights there.

And just a heads-up...ASSAULTED: CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER FIRE, the documentary on the Second Amendment produced by Kris Koenig and my good friend Eric Katzenberg, will be premiering in select cities on 20 June. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Why I Should Stop Watching Television

So I'm in charge of taking care of the menagerie tonight and the television is on to keep me company. I'm listening to a Republican — let me restate that...Republican — analyst state how excited he is about a 2016 Presidential match-up between Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie. Because, see, Chris Christie is the bestest conservative Republican candidate in the whole wide world!

I have to say that Chris Christie would be the final straw...I have been as pragmatic as anyone on wading through this political cesspool...sucked it up for McCain...sucked it up for Romney...but I will be damned if I'll cast a vote for an antigun floating...well, whatever it is that floats in Chris Christie. I'll stay home. Well, I'll vote in the other races, but if the Republicans put up a violently antigun candidate like Christie and expect the gun vote to turn out to bail their asses out yet again, they'll get the oblivion they so richly deserve.

Maybe I just shouldn't watch TV...or only watch OUTDOOR CHANNEL...and Game of Thrones...

I actually did some dry-firing today! Will drag myself up at zero dark thirty and go shoot a match. I did not get the new trigger in the Colt 901 today, but I think I caught up on everything business-wise.

Okay, teevee still on, the Discovery series How We Invented.. Guns because a bunch of my friends are on it. My friends are, as usual, right on, but the voice-over appears to have been written by many monkeys locked into a room with typewriters. My favorite part so far was where they explained in detail how the .338 launches a ".50 caliber projectile" downrange. That's cool. Now they're talking about the ".50 caliber Smith & Wesson Magnum," and how it changes even the air around it when it's fired, and how surviving shooting one is the ultimate experience in all of shooting. I think I'm going to bed now. Did you know the AK-47 will fire when it's wet? Man! I should have been taking notes...

Friday Catch-Up

I'm a little puzzled why we're going to give small arms to Al Qaeda in Syria without requiring universal background checks on each one of those so-called "rebels." I mean, it's for all those little Middle Eastern children, isn't it? And is there gong to be a registry of the serial numbers of all those small arms so we can trace them back to the individual terrorist we gave the guns to when those guns are used against Americans — as they inevitably will be? And I'm concerned that those containers full of small arms being shipped Al Qaeda Syria may all feature magazines with a magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds! And real assault weapons! Have you seen any of the Syrian videos? Hell, they don't even aim! Where is Michael Bloomberg on all this? Why isn't HuffPo up in arms? It's only common sense!

I'm sorry, but we've dumped enough blood into that sand, and I don't see any flowers blooming. And am I the only person who thinks it's time to box up Senator John McCain and have him UPS'ed to Uzbekistan, the Moon, or anywhere as far from the United States as possible? I was backed into a corner to support him for President, but he's like some aging rogue elephant crashing into trees, farms, cars, everything.

And speaking of training, this from my pal Steven Hunter on yesterday's post:
Let me add one element that I think has been crucially undercovered in all the dogmatic gunmag guru stuff, and that is: hands! You cannot and will not shoot well if your gun does not fit your hands well. And hands vary spectacularly. Mine, for example, are relatively small and thin. I cannot shoot a S&W with those Coke bottle target grips to save my life; I can't even shoot ANY .40 because the recoil is too sharp and I have no excess flesh aboard the mitts to stop it from stinging.  
In fact, I would think that a well-received piece for any gun rag would be to assemble a number of shooters with varying hand profies: fat, short fingered; thin, long-fingered; thin, short-fingered, etc.--and find optimal choices for each one. But then, that would be useful and so they'd have no interest. I seem to be shooting a Steyr M1A a lot these days, because the first time I picked it up it felt like a velvet glove. On the other, er, you know what, I will never ever in a million years even consider a Desert Eagle.  
Just thought I'd rant.--Hunter
Rants are always good, and of course he's right. Sort of dovetails with the recent memes on 1911 grip safeties, which I, like every other human with girly-man hands, think suck. Before the various shooting organizations mandated operable grip safeties, you probably couldn't find one in the U.S. that hadn't been pinned...mine included.

I was also thinking that hand in hand with training goes firearms "evaluations." You'll note that when I talk about guns I usually do so in terms of "my impressions," as opposed to "definitive reviews." The reason I do that is the one thing that I am categorically certain of — and that I am categorically qualified to give — are my impressions and observations. Both are know who I am; you know my background; you know my prejudices; you know the time limitations/rounds's what struck me about this particular gun; here's how this specific gun shot under these specific conditions with this specific ammunition.

I question whether there's any such thing as an "objective" review. You can...and everyone has...criteria for testing, but none of us has the resources of, say, the U.S. military to conduct comprehensive trials with multiple examples of the guns and numerous different tests over a long period of time. There's also the questions of "observer bias" and a sort of "paradigm paralysis," which for an individual (or heck, the U.S. military for that matter) are tough get beyond. For example, we can say that using a specified set of ammunition our T&E gun shot groups of the following sizes...that is an observation, not an evaluation. I could, and occasionally do, go on and on.

The Cliff Notes' summary is that more is better....the more you shoot, the more examples of a specific model or type of gun you shoot, the larger and more in-depth your base of knowledge, the more interesting (I hesitate on using the word "useful") your observations and opinions become. From a consumer standpoint, the way to get around "observer bias" is to read a lot of different evaluations from a lot of different people. Ditto on the pesky issue of paradigms...the people labeled as "fanboys" are classic examples of being stuck in a paradigm, or a very specific worldview. Also beware of extrapolating from a small set, especially a set of "1:" 

"I just got my first Mini-Plastic Megablaster CCW from the Acme Gun Company...I got 4 failures to feed in 50 rounds, and that shows me the Mini-Plastic Megablaster CCW is a steaming pile of horse crap and the Acme Gun Company should be boycotted, it's executives kidnapped and tortured, the factory razed to the ground and the earth salted, and every time I see a single mention of Acme on the Internet I will go screaming bonkers crazy and launch post after post into the ether damning Acme to Eternal Damnation!"

C'mon...admit it! You've read that before!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


...after a couple of weeks out of pocket. I need a clone. Me, the "Other Mikes," Seeklander and Janich, Marty Hayes and producer Matt Shults have been working on planning for the new season of THE BEST DEFENSE...I'll post our final list of scenarios in the next couple of days. I think it's going to be a great season — last season, I believe, was our very best., and we're looking at upping it for the next season. We start filming SHOOTING GALLERY in 2 weeks, and it's going to be a killer season. Seeklander and Iain Harrison ramp up RAPID FIRE Season 2 in early July. Whew! Send in the clones...there ought to be clones...

Looks like I am going to be able to lay my hands on a Benelli Nova pump for the He-Man World Championships. I keep reading how crazy hard the match is...perfect! Once again I'll be in over my head! I hope that sometime I can get the new Geiselle  trigger in the Colt 901. I got a new recoil spring for my Wilson 1911, and I need to detail clean it as well. I still can't shake this damn head cold, either.

BTW, I have some cool stuff coming...a Blade-Tech holster set-up for competition. Plus, I have a SPECTACULAR shoulder holster system from Survival Sheath System essentially designed for the prepper community:

Robert Humelbaugh from SSS designed a great system for carrying extra ammo for a handgun, so we worked out a rig using his ammo system for the 3-inch 629 .44 Magnum Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision built for me years ago. He added a sheath for a classic Buck hunting knife on the off side (no, I knife doesn't have to be labeled "tactical" to do all the things a knife can do). I can't wait to see the rig "in person."

BTW BTW, you absolutely must be keeping up with the 1911 threads on Modern Service Weapons and elsewhere. Tim Lau at MSM, who has forgotten more about 1911s in the last 30 minutes than I know (and I have spent a bit of time around 1911s!), mentioned that yep, they're finicky, require maintenance and a few other points that we all know, and you'd think he said John Browning ate babies. It's all pretty funny and is entertaining reading.

It does touch on some important issues though, a couple of which me, Janich, Seeklander and Marty Hayes have discussed over the last 2 days. If you're one of the Pod People, you already know I have a big issue with this whole meme of finding "what's best" for self-defense. Of course that's been fodder for the firearms media ever since there was a firearms media (and, in truth, I've written heaven knows how many articles over the years on "what's best," for which I'm probably doomed to some kind of gunwriter hell).

But over the years I've had somewhat of a turnaround. What we choose to defend ourselves with is a profoundly subjective decision. The overwhelming factors in that decision are strictly personal — age, body composition, weight, height, physical condition, level of skill, daily routine/job/commute, commitment/time to train or practice, where in the country one lives, federal/state/local laws, children/no children, and on and on. Add all those factors up and you end up with a profile every bit as unique as a fingerprint or a retinal scan.

What is best for me will not be the same as what's best for Mike Seeklander or for my Sweetie. In fact,
"best" is a fallacious concept because there is no set of objective criteria for evaluation that works "across the board,"so to speak. That's where self-defense training differs from competition training. We know very specifically what a competition guns needs to do because each competition organization has a rule book that not only says how we'll be scored in the end, but specifies what the targets must look like, where they can be placed, when and how we can engage those targets, which direction we may and may not move, at what point we start and stop, etc. The result of all those specifics allows us to tailor the tool for the specific outcome desired.

In self-defense training, it is the opposite. In fact, any assumptions we might make about the number or physical ability, or mental state of potential "target/s," the environment in which we have to use our self-defense weapon, our own physical and mental state, etc. have the potential to backfire very badly...perhaps even lethally. One of the most important things I learned in my years in very high-risk sports was that assumptions can and do kill. "Assumptions" are another way of saying that we have created a mental pattern for an event; the danger is when we mistake the pattern for reality (I think I'm badly quoting Bruce Lee here). That mistake creates "lag time" in our reactions. Worst case is the classic "deer in the headlights" — "holy crap what is that bright li..." SPLAT!

Best case is we still lose critical time as we mentally spin from I know what's going to wait a minute, it's not happening that what's really what should my response be now. There's plenty of time in there for a SPLAT.

Given that time is quite literally of the essence, we choose a self-defense tool that is most appropriate to our specific situation because that is the tool we will use most efficiently. As trainers, we understand — or should understand — that any and every choice is a compromise. Like the old dojo line — if you knew you were going to be in a gunfight today and you could not stay home, what would you carry? I'm going for an Apache gunship and a bunch of Seeklander's friends.

I think the appropriate role for trainers, or at least one of the appropriate roles, show the available options (and certainly suggest the pluses and minuses of each option), help people understand the compromises they are making, then teach how to utilize the chosen tool to minimize the consequences of those compromises. Make sense?

And yes, the 1911 is finicky when compared to modern service pistols. Porsches also require a greater level of skill to drive well than, say, a Chevy Aveo  (my aging Honda Element, of course, being the ne plus ultra of performance vehicles).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dirty Tricks in Nevada!

This from Tom Gresham a few minutes ago:


The National Association for Gun Rights is going with a Chicago-style dirty tricks campaign.
They are robo calling Nevada gun owners with a call that sounds as though it is strongly pro-gun.  It then gives out the phone number of the governor's office, and says to press 1, then press 3 to be connected. 
Except !!! pressing 1 is a vote in favor of SB211, and not to oppose it. 
Call this number to hear the recording.  775-671-3057 
Let's get the word out. 
Here's a quick summation from the Mr. Conservative blog...essentially Republican Governor Brian Sandoval had asked whether he should veto the onerous universal background check law passed in Nevada (as opposed to, say, Colorado Governor John Hickenstoopid, who only called Michael Bloomberg and asked his opinion on the Colorado laws):
While Washington may be ignoring you, your voice can still be heard, at least at the state level. Although Nevada’s Republican governor Brian Sandoval had already announced that he intended to veto the Nevada legislature’s “universal background check” bill, thousands of citizens called the governor’s office to make sure that he kept his word. 
Once the NRA sent out an alert notifying Nevada citizens that their legislature had passed a universal background check bill that would force people to pay $30 for a background check before claiming their gun, 2,200 people called the governor’s office this past Wednesday to protest. There were so many calls that the Governor’s office set up an emergency automated phone system allow callers to push a button to show whether their call was for or against universal background checks in Nevada. So far, 80% of the calls were in the “nay” column.
Hey, the Chicago Way says when the vote goes against you, lie, cheat and try to steal it!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Okay, I'm Back!

After a whirlwind trip through Italy, including some time at the incredibly robotic factory at Benelli, and on to Germany to spend some time at Steiner Optics and assorted Fanconian beer gardens. I'll be covering it all on this week's DOWN RANGE Radio podcast, and I'll be posting pixs when I get a grip on being back home. It was really really fun, traveling with Joe Mantegna and the GUN STORIES crew.

I know I've posted internationally before, but I'm still fighting that vicious head cold — travel seldom makes one feel better! I tried to grab as much sleep as I could.

I'm trying to get a grip on the country I've come home to. I appear to have arrived home in the middle of a Philip K. Dick novel (or, perhaps worse, a Robert Heinlein novel), with the country being methodically turned into a vast electronic Panopticon.

What do you think?

Monday, June 03, 2013

Pasta Orgy

I and my head cold are touring Italy. My Sweetie and I took a few days R&R in the Eternal City, pondering the vast rooms of the Vatican Museums and the Coliseum, then she headed back to Colorado, where children are dancing in the street at the fall John Morse, garbage-posing-as-human, and I went on to Benelli in tiny Ubino. Tomorrow we roll onto Munich for a little time with Steiner Optics.

I think I'm going to see some cool stuff today, as they have a bunch of non-disclose docs prepared for us.

More tonite...


Colorado Springs, CO, June 4,2013The Basic Freedom Defense Fund (BFDF,the Colorado grassroots group heading the recall of State Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) has submitted16,046  District 11 voter petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of States' office for the recall of John Morse.This exceeds both the 7,178 signatures necessary for the recall and also exceeds the total number of votes (13,451) cast for Morse during his 2010 election.

Colorado's Worst Senator Recalled!

Colorado Senate President John Morse, whom famously went on MSNBC and bragged how he instructed Colorado Democrats to ignore their constituencies and vote for the Michael Bloomberg antigun package, has been recalled:

Colorado Springs, CO, June 4,2013, The Basic Freedom Defense Fund (BFDF,the Colorado grassroots group heading the recall of State Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) has submitted16,046 District 11 voter petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of States' office for the recall of John Morse.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Have not disappeared!

Traveling traveling traveling!!!!!!

Good stories when I catch my breath, though....