Thursday, February 28, 2013

Back Home and Back in the Fight...

Home from a few days in the Big Easy with my Sweetie...tomorrow at the Colorado Legislature and the Governor's office.

We got a legal opinion late tonight on the proposed magazine capacity law that I'll take to the Senators and the Governor, and it is a BITCH! Essentially, despite assurances to the contrary, the grandfather provision provides much less protection than the bill's authors claim. In short, the bill claims that owners of grandfathered magazines need only assert that the magazines were obtained prior to the (proposed) Ban should they be found in possession of said magazines.

However, according to the legal opinion we now have in hand, the idea that all one need to do is "assert" ownership if the magazines prior to the date of the Ban is pure BS...rather, the wording of the law is something less than an "affirmative defense." Le me explain how that works...

...let's say that you are a prairie dog hunter panning on the dog hunt of a lifetime. So you and a friend fly into Denver International with a couple of high-zoot ARs and a dozen standard P-Mags. You collect your guns, rent a car and head  out of the airpower...before you can get to I-25, you're rear-ended by your basic local stoned hippie. The police come, and in the course of their investigation one of the officer notices a gun bag full of 30-round magazines.

Suddenly, you and your friend are arrested...your magazines and guns are seized...your rental car is and your friend are taken to jail, booked and thrown behind bars until a date can be set for the judge...the whole time you and your friend are saying, heck, you assert that you owned these magazines BEFORE the Ban went into effect...the police say that's just fine, the judge will sort it out.

You finally find a criminal attorney, who arranges for you to put up your house as collateral for bail to get you and your friend out of jail...instead of shooting prairie dogs, you're huddled in a Denver hotel waiting to go before a judge. In a couple of days you go before the judge and your criminal attorney, to whom you have paid a $10,000 retainer, says that you and your owned these illegal magazines prior to the Colorado Ban. The judge looks at the prosecutor, who shrugs. The gavel comes down and the judge says, "Dismissed."

You breathe a sign of relief...yes, you'r e out $10K to the criminal attorney and your long-planned hunting trip is in shambles, but at least you and your friend are not in the slam. Denver says you're lucky in tat the rental car has not yet been auctioned off, so you get it back after only a few hundred dollars. When you ask about your 2 $2000+ ARs and the dozen P-Mags, you're met with incredulity...the guns and accessories, the police tell you, were quite correctly "seized for cause," that is, you did indeed break the law by possessing "illegal" standard capacity magazines...the fact that the judge kicked you out was an "affirmation defense," a downstream action after the perfectly legitimate address. In short, you don't get the guns, magazines and accessories back...ever.

So instead of the prairie dog hunting trip of a lifetime, you're out $10,000 (or more) for a criminal attorney, bail money — a portion of which will be returned to you — your expenses for staying in the Denver area while your case is being considered, the loss of ALL your guns, magazines and gear, permanently, and the sheer heartache, fear and sleepless nights to yo, your friend and your family.

THIS is what we're fighting!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Ever-Classy MagPul

MagPul moves Colorado residents to the front of the line...why? Because it's the classy thing to do. From their Facebook page:

 We are proud to announce that within a matter of days we will be going live with a new program. Due to a bill currently moving through the Colorado legislature, there is the possibility that Colorado residents' ability to purchase standard capacity magazines will soon be infringed. Before that happens, and Magpul is forced to leave the state in order to keep to our principles, we will be doing our best to get standard capacity PMAGs into the hands of any Colorado resident that wants them.

 Verified Colorado residents will be able to purchase up to ten (10) standard capacity AR/M4 magazines directly from Magpul, and will be given immediate flat-rate $5 shipping, bypassing our current order queue. 

 Our customers outside of Colorado, please know that our PMAG production will continue at an ever-increasing rate until we do relocate, shipments to our distributors in other states will continue, and that we do not expect relocation to significantly impact PMAG production. We are also aware that 

Colorado is not the only state with existing or pending magazine capacity restrictions; we are working on programs for other affected states as well.Full details and instructions will be announced when we are able to go live; please watch here for the coming announcement.

Thank you, MagPul! One of the most telling moments at the Colorado House Judiciary Committee hearings was when the Committee Dems, including the sad, now-devalued Joe Salazar, were falling all over themselves to cut MagPul a deal and for the life of them couldn't understand why MagPul refused it. It says a lot about a group of men and women that they are incapable of even recognizing the concept of honor when they see it.

MagPul joins Gabe Suarez' One Source Tactical in supporting Colorado shooters. I would love to see big players like Midway USA and Brownell's offer similar deals. FLOOD COLORADO WITH STANDARD CAPACITY MAGS!

Stand and fight! Have you contacted not jus Colorado State Senators and the Governor's office, but your Federal reps as well, especially Senator Mark Udall and Senator Michael Bennett?

Am reaching out to the big hunting organizations to support NO HUNTING Colorado!, and I have no doubt they'll be on organization wants to risk sending hunters into a state with vague "flypaper" laws designed to trap unwary gun owners! 

We meet with the Governor's reps on Friday...will keep you informed...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Maybe the Best Article on ARs I've Ever Read...

...from WIRED Magazine, no less!

Now that the post-Newtown nation has suddenly woken up to the breakout popularity of the AR-15, a host of questions are being asked, especially about who is buying these rifles, and why. Why would normal, law-abiding Americans want to own a deadly weapon that was clearly designed for military use? Why are existing AR-15 owners buying as many of these rifles as they can get their hands on? Are these people Doomsday preppers? Militia types, arming for a second American Civil War? Or are they young military fantasists whose minds have been warped by way too much Call of Duty?

Preppers, militia types, and SEAL Team 6 wannabes are certainly represented in the AR-15′s customer base. But fringe groups don’t adequately explain the roughly 5 million “black rifles” (as fans of the gun tend to call it) that are now in the hands of the public. No, the real secret to the AR-15′s incredible success is that this rifle is the “personal computer” of the gun world.

In the past two decades, the AR-15 has evolved into an open, modular gun platform that’s infinitely hackable and accessorizable. With only a few simple tools and no gunsmithing expertise, an AR-15 can be heavily modified, or even assembled from scratch, from widely available parts to suit the fancy and fantasy of each individual user. In this respect, the AR-15 is the world’s first “maker” gun, and this is why its appeal extends well beyond the military enthusiasts that many anti-gun types presume make up its core demographic.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Light Blogging!

Got a little busy with a work project...will catch up this PM!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

DooubleStar and Spike's Stand!

UPDATE: Here's the complete list of companies who has chosen to stand (PS: Thank you, Mr. Potterfield!).

The movement is growing! Two of my great, great friends in the industry, DoubleStar and Spike's Tactical, have stepped up. This from DoubleStar:
Effective Immediately!!  
Due to the recent changes in 2nd Amendment laws that are pending or currently enforced by states across the country, the J&T Family of Companies which includes J&T Distributing, DoubleStar Corp., Ace Limited, and the DoubleStar Training Academy has been forced to reassess our policies regarding government and law enforcement sales.
Effective immediately, the J&T Family of Companies will be joining other manufacturers and distributors by ceasing sales of regulated items in states that have altered the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms . . .  
The JTFOC will no longer sell prohibited items to law enforcement agencies or any government agencies in states, counties, cities, and municipalities that have enacted restrictive gun control laws against their law abiding citizens. We hope other companies will join us with their support. We applaud those already involved with this effort to protect our 2nd Amendment rights. 
Be Victorious 
 From Spike's:
Updated Policy for State and Local Law Enforcement Agency Sales: 
In light of the recent and numerous anti-gun and anti-2nd Amendment laws pending across the Nation, Spike’s Tactical will be joining other manufacturers and distributors and limiting the business we do in states that have limited the right to keep and bear arms for their citizens . . .  
As of today, it will be our policy not to sell prohibited items to law enforcement agencies, government agencies and agents in states, counties, cities and municipalities that have enacted restrictive gun control laws against their citizens. We urge other companies to join in support.

To my good friends Nick Collier at DoubleStar and Mike "Spike" Register at Spike's, we behind enemy lines in Colorado salute you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Suarez Group Steps Up for Colorado

I received this notice from Gabe Suarez of The Suarez Group, who sells their excellent TSD Combat Systems 30-round magazines through One Source Tactical:
We received the tragic news that the state of Colorado had gone over to the dark side and embraced the ways of Mordor. For an entire day we have been reading debates and rhetoric. Our good friends at MagPul will be leaving the state and moving to the free state of Nevada. We congratulate them on their choice and we will continue to support them via the sales and endorsement of their products.  
Nonetheless, The Suarez Group wanted to...needed to do, something to show solidarity with those stuck behind the lines in Colorado. Although we do not have the resources of larger companies, we want to do something notable. 
We will show the socialists in Colorado that their oppressive laws on the people of Colorado are totally irrelevant by flooding the state with High Capacity M4 Assault Rifle Magazines before they close and lock the gates to the New Iron Curtain.  
We have sets of ten (10) TSD Combat Systems M4 Magazines. These will only be sold to residents of Colorado at reduced rates, and only shipped to civilian Colorado addresses. We will not sell them to any official agency in the state, nor to any gun stores or dealers. I know many want these magazines, but our beleaguered brothers need these more than we do.
Thank you, Mr. Suarez! I like these mags and have several of them. As of 15 minutes ago, I have an order in for 10 more.

Support the people who stand for freedom!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Podcast Day...

...sorry, was working on the pod today and working on legal issues related to Colorado falling into Darkness. Back to normal blogging tomorrow.

Meanwhile, check out my friend Ron's When the Balloon Goes Up blog...he's covering some really interesting topics...stuff that I used to write and podcast about before politics consumed my life.

Still, I am really excited about my new FNH TSR .308/7.62 bolt gun. I do have a few changes I want to make...I'd like to change out to a CDI Precision bottom metal, which will allow me to use Accuracy International magazines. Yes, the AI mags are expensive, but they are the best in the I've learned in working with the Ruger Scout, which uses the AIs (in addition to the Ruger polymer mags). I'm still pondering's a toss-up between the Nightforce ATACR or a Leupold Mk 4 LR/T. I want this to be sort of my ultimate .308 long-distance rifle, so I'm not going to skimp on the glass. I'm hoping I like the Hogue overmolded stock...we'll see after I put some rounds through it. I have shot the McMillan A-3 and liked it a that'l be my default. Brother Iain has a "real" AI rifle...aside from the fact that Iain can outshoot me on any day, I'm interested in seeing how the FNH shoots alongside it.

This summer I'll be doing a long-distance class with the FNH, and yeah, we'll film it for SHOOTING GALLERY. Also, I made a decision earlier tonight that SG 2014 will do a show on 3-D printers for building guns and accessories, specifically magazines. I still remember back in the days of the Clinton AWB when SG did a show on how to build your own AR...and the amount of heat we took. Ah crap what can I say?

BTW, here's an article worth reading from the Alt-Market blog, titled "Gun Rights: Are There Any Peaceful Solutions Left?" I sincerely hope so...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Few Sunday Thoughts...

I cooked last night, wild-caught sockeye salmon, cooked in a clay pot on a bed of bay leaves and portobello mushrooms. I threw some fresh asparagus into the pot as well, added lemon juice and butter, cooked for about 30 minutes. Came out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

We have a long hike planned with Alf the Wonder Beagle this afternoon. It's sunny and disgustingly beautiful up high  today, but it is February and it is cold. I just finished rereading Robert Ruark's Horn of the Hunter, which I dove into after finishing the last book in the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, A Memory of Light (written by Brandon Sanderson from Jordan's notes). It's kinda weird finishing a series that I've been reading since its inception in 1990...I've "known" those characters longer than I've known my Sweetie! LOL! Some of the books were better than others, but hey, some of my books were better than others. In truth, I liked the series finale, and Horn of the Hunter was every bit as good as I remembered it.

Of course the fight goes on, but you've got to get your head out it every so often. There's also a lot of work pressure about a few weeks the merger between Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel will close, and everything will be different...or not.

Show production is more or less on hold until we see what the new landscape looks like. All in all, I'm having a great season...GUN STORIES is absolutely kicking butt; SHOOTING GALLERY is at a whole different level and having its best season ever; even THE BEST DEFENSE is solid. RAPID FIRE is renewed and we'll go forward with Mike and Iain on Season 2 in late March. Our plan is to do some international travel for SG and GS in the spring, which frankly seems a long way off...the diagnosis is cabin fever, to be sure!

I'll be happy when the weather breaks a little and shooting season starts again!

BTW, the Ruger Rimfire World Championships will be held on the weekend of 20 July 2013 at the Colorado Rifle Club near Denver, with my friend Mark Passamaneck as Match Director. We intend to make this a spectacular match, and we fully expect it to fill up. As soon as we have sign-up information I'll let you know!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

For Colorado, What Do We Do Now?

Obviously, we keep fighting, but the fight will go in other directions. We need to reach out to the state Senators, even though they will ignore us exactly the same way the House Reps did. We also need to constantly barrage the Governor with emails, mail, calls, etc.

The reason that our strength of numbers isn't working is because my sources tell me that Michael Bloomberg and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) organization, who provided the boilerplate for the laws, paid for all the witnesses and essentially organized this whole bit of theater, will finance a primary election challenges from the left for any Democrat who breaks rank and votes against these bills.

The fight will continue in the courts...I have spent a lot of time with attorneys the last few days, and most of these laws are patently unconstitutional. The reason the magazine capacity was raised from 10 to 15 was an attempt to try to get the law to pass Constitutional muster. The fact that a person can't sell or transfer standard capacity magazines after 1 July is probably by legal definition a "taking," the state either seizing property or rendering it worthless. One firearms attorney I spoke with was skeptical that the "Exemptions" provision of the universal background check bill would stand. But anyone who says they guarantee a court will rule one way or the other is a liar.

The fight will continue in the 2014 elections...laws can and have been repealed. My person plan is to travel to each of the districts were ostensibly "pro-gun" Democrats are running for reelection, set up events for shooters and make sure that everyone in those mostly rural districts understand who sold them out. Conversely, I've already told some of the bills' opponents that I will unconditionally support them, with appearances if they think it will help.

For individuals, it's time to protect as many standard capacity magazines as you can afford. If you're dealing with competition magazines, say for USPSA competition, don't be afraid to directly ask the smaller companies you deal with to maybe move you to the top of the purchase list. Will that work? Don't know, but it's worth a try. There are AR 30 and 40 round magazines trickling into the market...check out Centerfire Systems, CDNN, The Mako Group, and keep tabs on sites like AR15News. For non-AR mags, they are around, but many retailers are capping the number at 2 per purchase per day, so you're probably going to become a really regular customer!

You may need to clarify issues of firearms ownership...for example, if you and your Significant Other are not married, then under the "Exceptions" provisions of the universal background check law you may need to make sure that firearms used by both people are jointly owned and can therefore be used by either person. The same for standard capacity magazines...remember, the purpose of these laws is not to reduce crime, protect children, whatever...the purpose of these laws is to trap you and provide a framework where you can be stripped of your rights.

Right now, it's hard to give specific advice, because the bills haven't passed, much less become law, and, ultimately, the courts will have to interpret them.

More gun laws in Colorado will be forthcoming, so the other shoe hasn't dropped. One of those may be an "assault weapons" ban. It may make sense to source and purchase an AR lower if you can find one, and I have seen more of them coming onto the market in recent days. Yes, you're going to have to ay more than in the "old days" — I've seen them in the plus-or-minus $200 range — but if worse comes to worst, you'll still have a "grandfathered" gun.

And so the fight continues...we'll keep you informed!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Polish PM-63 RAK

If I can take a moment out from fighting war, there is a great story on on the Polish PM-63 "personal defense weapon."

The story is a compressive history of the little machine pistol you saw me shooting in the Poland episode of SHOOTING GALLERY a few weeks back. The RAK is absolutely my favorite machine-gun, displacing the Czech Skorpion and the venerable MP-5. I'm still hoping against hope that either parts kits or a closed bolt semi auto pistol version with the folding stock and forend welded closed, a la the PPS43 pistols, make it to the United States. If it does, I'll file the paperwork to SBS it...

Friday — Contact the Governor; Email Reps!


Contact Governor Hickenlooper right now and urge him to oppose HB1224 and all other proposed firearm legislation to save Colorado jobs and support freedom in Colorado. His Facebook page is / John W. Hickenlooper , his Twitter is and you can email him your opinion of legislation at Legislators' email boxes and voicemail boxes are overflowing, keep up the momentum and let Governor Hickenlooper know how damaging this legislation will be. Share this, retweet it, help us get the word out.



Anti-gun Democrats are feeling the heat. Capitol sources say that some Democrats may be wavering in their support of these gun control bills.
It’s not too late to late to contact them urge them, politely, to vote against these anti-gun bills.
Below are links to Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail for Democratic House members who need to hear from gun owners like you. They check their email, Twitter and Facebook accounts on the House floor, so this is GREAT opportunity to put pressure on them.
If you’re not sure what to say, here’s some sample language: “Representative: Please do not penalize Colorado’s law-abiding gun owners. I urge you to vote “NO” on these anti-gun bills (HB-1224, HB-226, HB-1228 & HB-1229).”
Ed VigilHD 62(303)-866-2916
Joseph SalazarHD 31(303)-866-2918
Daniel KaganHD 3(303)-866-2921
Max TylerHD 23(303)-866-2951
Dominick MorenoHD 32(303)-866-2964
Dian Mitsch BushHD 26(303)-866-2923
Leroy GarciaHD 46(303)-866-2968
Steve LebsockHD 34(303)-866-2931
Dave YoungHD 50(303)-866-2929
Tracy Kraft-TharpHD 29(303)-866-2950
John BucknerHD 40(303)-866-2944

Please do not delay -- every moment counts.
Contact these Representatives, RIGHT NOW. Politely, urge them to vote “NO” on gun control.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Yes, we lost the first rounds...that doesn't mean we're beaten.

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and I'll have love letters for our legislatures in Colorado (that you can use in your state).

I've been on the phone with attorneys today, and I'll start outlining strategies you can use in if you live in Colorado.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of the hundreds of people who turned out on short notice to make their opinions heard...yes, the Dems didn't give a damn, but we were there!

" fight for the right, without question or pause,,," It's an old song, but I think the lyrics still work...

Sunday, February 10, 2013



In addition to the national battle to protect our firearms rights, many states are currently engaged in their own fights. Here in CO, a state with a strong heritage of firearm and other personal freedoms, we are facing some extreme challenges to firearms rights. We have been engaged in dialogue with legislators here presenting our arguments to stop legislation from even being introduced, but our efforts did not deter those of extreme views. 

After the NRAs visit last week, several anti-freedom bills were introduced by CO legislators, and a very aggressive timeline has been set forth in moving these bills forward. 

The bills include:

HB 1229, Background checks for Gun Transfers–a measure to prohibit private sales between CO residents, and instead require a full FFL transfer, including a 4473.

HB 1228, Payment for Background Checks for Gun Transfers– a measure that would require CO residents to pay for the back logged state-run CBI system (currently taking 3 times the federally mandated wait time for checks to occur) instead of using the free federal NICS checks. 

And finally, HB 1224, Prohibiting Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines–a measure that bans the possession, sale, or transfer of magazines over 10 round capacity. The measures and stipulations in this bill would deprive CO residents of the value of their private property by prohibiting the sale or transfer of all magazines over 10 rounds. This bill would also prohibit manufacture of magazines greater than 10 rounds for commercial sale out of the state, and place restrictions on the manufacture of military and law enforcement magazines that would cripple production.

We’d like to ask all CO residents to please contact your state legislators and the members of the Judiciary Committee and urge them to kill these measures in committee, and to vote NO if they reach the floor. 

We also ask you to show your support for the 2nd Amendment at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb 12, for the magazine ban committee hearing and Wednesday, Feb 13, for the hearing on the other measures. 

Due to the highly restrictive language in HB 1224, if passed, and we remained here, this measure would require us to cease PMAG production on July 1, 2013. In short, Magpul would be unable to remain in business as a CO company, and the over 200 jobs for direct employees and nearly 700 jobs at our subcontractors and suppliers would pick up and leave CO. 

Due to the structure of our operations, this would be entirely possible, hopefully without significant disruption to production. The legislators drafting these measures do so in spite of the fact that nothing they are proposing will do anything to even marginally improve public safety in CO, and in fact, will leave law-abiding CO residents less able to defend themselves, strip away rights and property from residents who have done nothing wrong, and send nearly 1000 jobs and millions in tax revenue out of the state.

We like CO, we want to continue to operate in CO, but most of all, we want CO to remain FREE. Please help us in this fight, and let your voices be heard! We have included the contact information for the House Judiciary committee for your convenience: 

House Judiciary Committee Rep. Daniel Kagan, Chair: 303-866-2921, 
Rep. Pete Lee, Vice Chair: 303-866-2932, 
Rep. John Buckner: 303-866-2944, 
Rep. Lois Court: 303-866-2967, 
Rep. Bob Gardner, 303-866-2191, 
Rep. Polly Lawrence, 303-866-2935, 
Rep. Mike McLachlan, 303-866-2914, 
Rep. Rep Carole Murray, 303-866-2948, 
Rep. Brittany Pettersen, 303-866-2939, 
Rep. Joseph Salazar, 303-866-2918, 
Rep. Jared Wright, 303-866-2583,

I wish I had better news...after a day at the Colorado Legislature, with a short break to address the pro-Second Amendment demonstration on the Capitol steps, I can only report that we are in desperate fight for our Second Amendment rights — a fight we may well lose!

The 4 bills revealed last week — you can read them here — sole purpose is to trip up or punish law-abiding gun owners. Even the President of the Colorado Senate, Democrat John Morse from Colorado Springs, said in an interview 2 weeks ago that:
...Senate President John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) proclaimed his belief that additional background checks and a ban on high capacity magazines would do little to limit gun violence, stepping on a key message coming from supporters of gun control in his own party. “How does a limit on high-capacity magazines reduce violence?” Morse asked rhetorically in the interview...
The purpose of the bills is nothing more than a flat out attack on the Second Amendment by making it nearly impossible for normal citizens not to violate some aspect of the proposed legislation.

Consider the magazine capacity law proposed by Rep. Rhonda Fields (D, Aurora) even changes the very nature of American law...instead of "innocent until proven guilty," the presumption of innocence, a gun owner found to be in possession of a magazine with a capacity greater than 10 is presumed to be guilty and must provide evidence proving he or she is not guilty, that is, was in possession of the magazine prior to the date of the legislation. There are maybe 10-15 million magazines with a capacity greater than 10 legally in the hands of Colorado gun owners right many of us have kept meticulous records on those magazines? Why should we have...they are legal products!


I say "write" as in "on paper," then fax the letters to their offices. If you do not have access to a fax machine, email the letter, then send the printed copy by US Mail. If you can, call the offices of your representatives and them them to OPPOSE this attack on our rights!

See the NRA ILA alert from this weekend...these bills are being fast-tracked through committee, trying to get them on the floor and voted into law before Coloradans have a chance to make their opposition known. If you can be in Denver next week, please join my Sweetie and I in testifying against these nightmare laws.

It's time to stand, people!

Here is the NRA-ILA Action Alert from Saturday:
We need you to come to the state Capitol on Tuesday, February 12 and Wednesday, February 13 to show your opposition and speak against the following anti-gun bills: 
On Tuesday, February 12, House Bill 13-1224 and House Bill 13-1229 are scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee in the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol upon adjournment of the House. HB13-1224, sponsored by state Representative Rhonda Fields (D-42), would ban magazines that hold more than ten rounds. HB13-1229, sponsored by state Representatives Rhonda Fields and Beth McCann (D-8), would prohibit and criminalize the private transfer of firearms.  
On Wednesday, February 13 House Bill 13-1226 will be heard by the House Education Committee upon adjournment in the Old Supreme Court Chamber, and House Bill 13-1228 will be heard by the House Finance Committee at 1:30 pm in the Old Supreme Court Chamber. HB13-1226, sponsored by state Representative Clare Levy (D-13), would repeal the current right to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense on a college or university campus. HB13-1228, sponsored by state Representative Lois Court (D-6), would require law-abiding citizens to pay a fee (or gun tax) for a background check when purchasing a firearm. 
We need you to come to the state Capitol on Tuesday, February 12 and Wednesday, February 13 to tell state legislators, especially those serving on these committees, to vote NO on HB13-1224, HB13-1226, HB13-1228 and HB13-1229. Without your direct help this next week, these anti-gun legislators will steal away your Second Amendment rights! Please come to the state Capitol in Denver no later than 9:00 am to respectfully protect your rights. 
For more information about testifying at the state Capitol, please click here. If you are unable to attend these important public hearings, it is imperative that you contact your state legislators TODAY and express your opposition to these anti-gun measures. For help identifying your elected state officials and their contact information, please click here.


NSSF has sent out an alert on the capacity cap bill that will be before the House Judiciary Committee:
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is urging all sportsmen, hunters and gun owners to attend Tuesday's public hearing to be held at the State Capitol building in the Old Supreme Court Chambers which could be adjourned as early as 9 am. NSSF urges Colorado citizens to contact their state representative, senator and all members of the House Judiciary Committee immediately, urging them to oppose this magazine ban.  
This Tuesday might be the only chance for your voice to be heard before legislators push through legislation that will seriously affect not only your Second Amendment rights, but also the magazines you use in your rifles and handguns. Colorado manufacturers will be directly affected, as well, resulting in the loss of good paying jobs and badly needed tax revenue to the state.
The NSSF alert also lists the names and email addresses of all the legislators on the Judiciary Committee...if you can't be there, these people need to hear from you NOW! I would urge you to give special attention to Vice Chair Rep. Pete Lee and Rep. Mike McLachian.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Better Than Nothing...

I did get to put some rounds...well, pellets...downrange today from my .25 Benjamin Marauder, which is just a wonderful rifle. It has an 8-round magazine and is more accurate than I am. I've been loading it off a 3500 psi aluminum scuba tank, but more and more I'm thinking of sucking it up and getting a dedicated carbon fiber air tank @ 4500 psi specifically for PCP air rifles.

I just ordered a bunch of .25 pellets to see what works best with the beast. My goal is to be a better rifleman, and I think that air rifles might well be important tools to help me along that path.

And speaking of beasts, I also got my Kodabow crossbow today! I got it put together and I'm looking forward to lobbing some arrows downrange. Unfortunately, tomorrow is a politics day...I'll be at the state legislature all day arguing our case.

Lever Gun Self-Defense

Our friend Ron Larimer over at When the Balloon Goes Up has a great article on using lever action rifles for self-defense, an issue that is becoming bigger and bigger as states go to a less permissive firearms environment:
...if you want a rim-fire or a race gun, the ‘66 and the ’73 would be great choices. If you want a plinker, a hunting gun or a home defense gun the later models with the locking blocks should be stronger and more reliable. The only real definites are if you want a scoped rifle, buy a Marlin and if you want a light rifle buy a Winchester 1892 Carbine clone.
Ron also says he would almost sell his AR for a Cimarron Texas Brush Popper 1873 clone!

You know we've covered the subject at length on SHOOTING GALLERY, the late, lamented COWBOYS, DRTV, the podcast, heck, even the blog. The reason is that lever action rifles are incredibly efficient as self-defense tools:

• The carbines are fast-handling
• They are super easy to operate (monkey run lever good)
• They tend to be very reliable
• They (at least some models) are easy to reload not he fly
• They come in a variety of excellent self-defense cartridges
• Rightly or wrongly, they tend to be seen as less-threatening firearms
• They are inexpensive, especially in a world of $2K ARs

I have argued on the air (this season, in fact) that lever guns were state-of-the-art military weapons in their time (just ask General Custer about the Indians' Civil War surplus Henry rifles). Lever guns have always been well thought of in the self-defense community. Ed Head talked about seeing lever guns in the GUNSITE rifles classes, and without exception the guns were impressive workhorses. Gabe Suarez has written extensively on lever action rifles as self-defense's a long and interesting piece from one of his instructors.

As a veteran cowboy action shooter, I have a deep and abiding love of lever guns...and, yes Ron, I shoot a .357 Texas Brush Popper short-stroked by Ken Griner in competition! It is chain-saw fast. More than that, I am a huge fan of the lever action and have far too many of them and have shot many more.

Marlin 1894 Cowboy .44 Magnum

My personal self-defense rifle is an old Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum. I'm planning on having some mods to the gun (from Steve Young at Steve's Gunz, who has done a lot of lever gun work for me...Steve is the great master of the Winchester 1892 and clones). My reasons for the Marlin are that it is totally reliable, accurate and a breeze to shoot with 240-gr JHP Black Hills. I'm planning on modding the gun just a little...XS Sights, single piece firing pin, Wild West Guns Marlin trigger and ejector...mostly what I would think of as clean-up work. My experience has been that most Marlins, Winchesters and 1892 Winchester clones will need some cleaning up.

I have also used a Winchester Trapper 16-inch '94 in .44 Magnum as the house rifle. Lemme give you a quick caveat here....the '94 action was designed for longer rifle cartridges and is generally temperamental with pistol-length cartridges. Mine feeds both .44 Magnum and .44 Specials so well that I used it as a training gun for newbies with super-soft Specials.

I think the standard that all lever guns are judged against is the pre-1964 Winchester '94 in 30-30...mine dates from about've seen it on GUN STORIES. The 30-30 is a world class self-defense cartridge...hey, it's killed more whitetails than Godzilla. We've shot the Hornady 160-grain Lever Revolution rounds into jello, and they are very impressive! If I was left with only one lever gun and it was that pre-'64 30-30, I'd be okay with that.

Choosing a lever gun for self-defense, my own choices would be older Marlin 1894 in pistol calibers (the .357 1894 Marlin is a simply wonderful little gun) or Marlin 336s in 30-30, pre-'64 or current production Model 94 Winchester in 30-30, Browning '92 (made by Miroku in Japan) in .44 or .357, current production Winchester '92s in pistol caliber (also Miroku, I believe), Winchester '92 clones in pistol caliber (the Rossis are better rifles than they're ever given credit for...I have 2, a .44 Magnum and a .357, and they have been super rifles), then the 1873s. For self-defense purposes you need ammo that loads through a gate in the frame, as opposed to through the front of the tube (the Henry Big Boys, Marlin .32 H&R, the .22s).

I love the 1873s, but having put tens of thousands of rounds through them in competition I know all their weaknesses. I wouldn't want to put a lot of full-power self-defense loads through a '73 because of the fundamental weakness of the locking system...each iteration of the lever action got stronger and stronger. A Brush Popper will work great as a self-defense gun, but keep the +P to a minimum (or not at all). BTW, I have one of the new Winchester 1873s on order, but it'll be a few months before I can get my hands on it to's in .357/.38.

My same advice on ammo would apply to, say, the Rossi '92 clone in .454 Casull...I wouldn't want to feed to feed it a steady diet of Corbon or Buffalo Bore hunting loads! Lever guns can be very picky about cartridge Marlin .357 would only run with .38s until I had Steve Young tinker with it, and it still prefers shorter .357s. When you see ".357/.38" or ".44 Magnum/.44 Special," keep in mind that individual guns might not run with both the shorter and the longer cartridges. If your gun runs with both, cherish it! And remember, FLAT TOP BULLETS only! I've seen a lever gun mag tube explode because it was loaded with factory round-nose FMJs and the recoil jammed the bullet nose into the primer of the cartridge ahead of it. Nobody suffered any major injuries (the shooter's support hand was cut when the forearm split), but a fine custom Winchester ended up in lots of pieces.

XS Sight options for Marlins

Marlins with their closed top actions and angle-eject Winchesters can take optics, if that's important to you. Marlins can be fitted with a forward mount scout scope configuration, and some Rossis are available with a Scout mount from the factory. Most lever guns come with the traditional semi-buckhorn rear and bead front, which works just fine. For a self-defense gun, I might suggest taking a page from the cowboy shooters and "flat top" the rear sight, cut off the buckhorns, or go to a Marble flat top or sporting rear sight. You'll end up with more of a pistol-style sight picture and a clearer view for target-to-target transitions.

Marble Flat Top rear sights

LEARN TO OPERATE THE GUNS AT FULL SPEED! This means that if you decide to use a lever action rifles as a self-defense gun you'd be crazy not to take up Cowboy Action Shooting...get a straw hat, wear jeans, a chambray work shirt and some inexpensive Ariat boots, then learn how to really run a lever action rifle! We found this to be really important when running self-defense drills...cowboy shooters were already used to keeping the rifle shouldered when levering, not wrapping your strong hand thumb around the rifle stock before firing, just like with your AR keeping your support hand pretty far forward on the forearm to drive the rifle from target to target and figuring out where to keep spare ammo for quick reloading...a lever action requiring you to think in terms of "topping off" rather than reloading when the gun is empty...any break in the action gives you the opportunity to shove rounds into the gun.

One of the thing you will learn about lever action shooting if you go to competition is to NEVER BE GENTLE! It is easy to "short stroke" a lever gun and jam it up. The solution is to make sure you fully run the it like you mean it.

If you can. watch the "Duel in the Sun" episode of SHOOTING GALLERY, with cowboy shooters running against can really get a feel for how lever guns should be run!

Good grief, I guess that's enough for one post! I haven't even gotten to the more exotic lever caliber...the 45-70, especially on a platform like the Marlin Guide Gun, is...emphatic. Easily controllable, but you do have to pay attention. Then there's the Henrys, the Yellow Boys (I have a totally cool new one made for .44 Russian), the 1876, 1886 and Colt Burgess clones, the .348 Model 71, the Big Horn .500 S&W rifles, Doug Turbull's magnificent lever conversions. There's a whole other conversation on Italian clones...Uberti vs. Pedersoli vs. Chiappa...sigh...

Rossi .357 10+1

If you want to wade in, the pool is deep. Let me throw out one quick suggestion...MSRP on a Rossi '92 clone (from Brazil) is less than $600, and you can find used ones for much less. If you need it slicked up, take it to Steve Young. Get a leather wrap for the lever — easier on your hand when you're trying to go fast — and shoot the heck out it.

Oh wait! I never even got to using .22 lever guns for training! Short story...get a Henry Golden Boy. That's what I use!

Henry Golden Boy .22

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Flypaper Laws

The Nathan Haddad case in New York State is a perfect example of what the Obama administration wants for America:
Nathan Haddad, a decorated combat veteran, was arrested earlier this month in New York for possessing unloaded 30-round magazines. Mr. Haddad, who has been recognized by the Army for his selfless acts of generosity to fellow soldiers, was charged with five felony counts of possession of “high-capacity” magazines.
Read the whole thing. The Cliff Notes version is that Haddad, who certainly meets my criteria as an American hero, is facing 5 Class D Violent Felony charges for possessing boxes with springs in them. Think about that...technically, he could face up to 35 years in prison, more than twice as much as a murderer, according to the WeaponsMan blog.


Now compare this to David Gregory-gate, where the NBC star "journalist" — and I certainly use that word reservedly — clearly possessed a standard capacity AR magazine, illegal to possess in D.C., in front of millions of witnesses and got a free pass. Consider the wording of the D.C. Attorney General's ruling:
OAG has made this determination, despite the clarity of the violation of this important law, because under all of the circumstances here a prosecution would not promote public safety in the District of Columbia nor serve the best interests of the people of the District to whom this office owes its trust.
What do these 2 actions tell us? Try this:

They don't hate guns; they hate us. Why is this an important distinction? Well, our operating theory for literally decades has been that support for nonsensical "gun control" was rooted in ignorance, that the people calling for such things as "assault weapons" ban, magazine capacity caps, closing the "gun show loophole" simply didn't understand that real assault weapons have been rigidly controlled since 1934, that magazine capacity bans are less than worthless, that there is no gun show loophole, that the massive bureaucracy of the Brady Check system generates fewer arrests than a prostitution sting in a monastery, etc., and once we educated those people they'd come around to our arguments.

How well has that worked for us? I say that as the creator and administrator of one of the most "successful" media education programs ever launched by the industry. I say that as a person who has spent 10 years in television educating people about guns. I say that as a person who has reached out to the MSM, to Hollywood, to politicians.

When the chips are down, the very people we've "educated" — people who undeniably know the facts — immediately return to the same rifles bad, "assault magazines," the necessity of enhanced background checks, national gun registration...

I will give you that some people on the antigun side are indeed ignorant of the facts (whether through sloth or intentionally ignoring them I can't comment on).  But the "drivers" of this antigun bus, the Obamas, the Fiensteins, the Bradys, the VPC, fully understand the facts, fully understand that nothing they've suggested will have any effect on the crimes they cite as the necessity for this legislation, fully understand the misrepresentations about "assault weapons" and all the rest. They know gun control doesn't work. They know their proposed legislation will lead to creating a huge new class of criminals who were previously considered law abiding citizens.

So why are they doing this?

I am reminded of something the late Ed Koch said when he was mayor of NYC, defending that city's draconian gun laws, something to the effect that the laws were aimed not at the criminal — who, by definition, didn't obey laws — but at the small storekeeper who kept a gun under the counter for self-defense. I always thought that was an amazing statement...of course criminals don't obey laws! That's why we call them law-breakers! But we're coming for you, Mr. Storekeeper...because we hate you.

We hate you because you think you have the right, indeed, the responsibility to take care of yourself, and we think that the use of violence of any kind is the exclusive province of the state. Let's look at England today, where once the guns were gone the supposed "right" of self-defense similarly vanished (the case in most of Europe)...use of violence is the exclusive province of the state. Now, how has that worked out in modern times? Oh yeah, the criminals still have the guns, because, as you bloody well know, they're criminals!

IMHO the intent of all this legislation is (and has always been) to create flypaper for gun owners, to create a landscape where it is nearly impossible not to violate a firearms law. To create an environment where exercising one's Second Amendment rights becomes so scary, so fraught with danger that the next generation of gun owners simply gives it up. By the time the inevitable confiscation comes, there will be a lot fewer guns to confiscate.

That's why a D.C. Attorney General will say no harm, no foul to a member of the ruling elite for violating a flypaper law, but a N.Y. prosecuting attorney can say, apparently with a straight face, it’s her job to "prosecute those cases that run amok of the law."

Fractured English aside, it's the law itself that has run amok.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Why Isn't It Friday?

"The whole world s a tree, Raylan...I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut."
"Boyd Crowder"

The week is indeed grinding slowly...I'm sorting through my health insurance, which thanks to the miracle of ObamaCare, more than doubled in premium costs. On the plus side, as I've mentioned before, I now have FULL pregnancy benefits!

Picked up 2 Spike's Tactical lowers that just came in (well, a week or so ago, since I was waiting for the 4473s to clear). One of the lowers is dedicated to a .300 Blackout project. The other is maybe spoken for. I also picked up a wonderful Nighthawk Custom .22 LR 1911 as a T&E. It's threaded, so I can probably shoot it in the next couple of days, suppressed.

Speaking of which, here's a Salon hit piece on suppressors...these people are boring. And when yu get through reading that piece of crap, here's a more interesting piece on mass killers:
For example, the attention given to Sueng Hui Cho (VA Tech) with his fearsome pose. Not just in the tabloids, but above the fold in that NY paper whose motto is "all the news that's fit to print". It does turn monsters into celebrities. Take the coverage of Columbine: cover of Time with the pictures and headline "Monsters next door." Sure, as adults we saw Klebold and Harris as monsters, but there would have been a few alienated adolescents who saw them as heroes . . . not only did they get even with the jocks, and the nasty teachers, but they're famous for it.
What i said...the MSM chums up lunatics for their own sick reasons. And here's another funny...even the progressive Left SOBs themselves admit their own gun control jewel, the AWB Ban, wouldn't amount to, as my friend Charlie Daniels once said, "a nickel's worth of warm piss:"
Fully 88 percent of the gun murders for which the kind of gun is identifiable in the records were committed with handguns. Which isn't surprising at all, given that there are so many of them and that the typical gun murder isn't a mass shooting committed by a deranged killer, it's an argument that gets out of hand, a grudge that gets impulsively settled, or a robbery gone wrong. And we don't know how many of the 300 to 400 murders every year classified as "rifles" are with hunting rifles, or what would be considered assault weapons. So if you're going to argue that an assault-weapons ban won't solve our gun problem, you'd be right. That doesn't mean it isn't worth doing, just that it isn't the be-all and end-all.
All smoke and mirrors...remember, the operative word in "gun control" is control.

Tomorrow is air rifle day, no matter what. This is the longest I haven't pulled a triggering several years.

Monday, February 04, 2013

New Week; Same...Stuff

Maybe because it's the heart of winter up here in the high country, the steady pounding of the wind and temps too cold to do much of anything except walk Alf the Wonder Beagle. We've been pushing those walks out longer and longer with the African walking safari on the horizon. I figure I'll treat it like an ultramarathon and start building up my base. I'll probably accidentally lose some weight, too. I'm putting together a sort of "challenge course" on property I own. Some of that property is pretty steep and rugged, which makes it perfect for training.  I ordered a bunch of air gun targets, which I'll place at various distances, then run the course with my Benjamin Marauder .25 air rifle. I chose the Benjamin because it's got a heavy (7.12 lb w/o optics) "real rifle" feel. It'll be fun!

Take a look at this NYT article on "Why the AR is the Most Wanted Gun in America," which ran over the weekend. It's interesting, but I especially want you to note how "the narrative" works. One of the most important parts of the narrative for the progressive Left — that would be our blood enemies — is that the firearms industry, in collusion with the NRA, are constantly forcing hapless consumers to purchase  more and more powerful weapons.

I would say that the NYT has confused cause and effect. Prior to the 1994 AWB, we rarely saw ARs in the field because they were expensive, or to be completely fair, there were more cost-effective semiauto rifles in the marketplace...the Ruger Mini-14 immediately comes to mind. Remember, Colt was still in Chapter 11 in 1994.

The AWB, though, turned out to be a business school study in unintended consequences. With the big players temporarily out of the market, the field was open to smaller companies that might have been swamped otherwise. Also, the AWB itself created the demand it sought to quash. The free market opened the floodgates for innovation, and America shooters discovered that the AR-15 was indeed the "Swiss Army Knife" of rifles. I think it was only after the AWB went into place that the market really latched onto the "kit gun" concept, too. Rather than a cabal of gun manufacturers and the NRA driving the market, the consumer demand pulled larger companies back into AR-15s.

Anyway, read the NYT article and ponder it yourself.

My friends Mark Passamaneck and James Casanova's company, Carbon Arms, got a nice plus for their TWinS shotgun shell caddy, aimed at 3-Gun shooters, on The Firearm Blog today. It is a super fast system, and you'll see it on SHOOTING GALLERY later this season.

BTW, have I mentioned that the Jerking the Trigger blog is doing yeoman's work on letting everyone know when AR products become available. JTT is a daily read for me, and I've been able to snag parts I've been looking for at sane prices. Thanks!

And guess what's coming to my FNH TSR XP in 7.62/.308! Oh goodie!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Chris Kyle, R.I.P.

As you've probably all heard, "American Sniper" Chris Kyle was murdered at a range in  Texas. The reports are confused, but it appears Chris and another person had taken a Marine vet suffering from post-traumatic stress to the range, something he'd done numerous times. That person shot Chris and the other person in the back at point blank range.

Chris was an American hero, a man who gave much to his country, who cared deeply about his fellow veterans, who committed his money and his time to reaching out and helping the veterans in need. He was also a part of the OUTDOOR CHANNEL family, someone I knew and respected immensely.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris' family in this terrible time.

Rest in peace, Chris.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Friday Afternoon Margaritas

I'm experimenting tonight with Grand Marnier, Famiia Camarena Silver Tequila and fresh lime juice...maybe a touch of agave sweetener. I promise you guys when we have the SHOOTING GALLERY training weekend, I'll play bartender at the margarita bar post event BBQ.