Friday, May 30, 2014

Yeechy Errands...

Don't you hate it when errands stack up and stack up and stack up until you have no choice? It was that kind of day...

I've been [putting off a trip to the doctor to have my right knee "shot up" with magic, genetically engineered collagen and enough cortisone for at least a high school football team, but it finally caught up with me...that bone-against-bone grinding, to use a technical term, sucks. So once every 12-14 months I go get the ole knee joint chrome-plated.

Unfortunately, I waited about a month too long this time (because I'm convinced, convinced I tell you, that it's miraculously going to heal itself). Sadly, a ll those triathlons, marathons, long-distance bike races, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and the host of stupid things I did to entertain myself have taken their toll. I was laughing today with my SG producer, John Carter, who's a marathon guy and who was laughing at me tinkering together my knees. "Do you think this isn't a vision of your future?" I said.

I'll put off the replacement knees as long as I can!

Marshal and I are working on a couple of totally cool Internet projects, including a documentary on Project Appleseed (this will be so much fun!).

I've been doing a lot of dry-firing with the C&S GP-100. I am convinced it is the best GP-100 on earth, possibly in the Known Universe. I'll be taking pictures this weekend. Six-inch barrel, Bowen rear sights, green fiber-optic front, Hogue "camp-lamo" big butt grips...I'm loving it!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Massive Sorting Process

It's like doing an archeological dig on a terminal ADD patient...I ended up throwing out t-shirts from dozens of triathlons, assorted marathons including New York, 3 Iditasports, swim caps from my 3 Alcatraz Triathlon finishes, a bunch of long-distance bike rides, including the Cross Florida, the Tour of the California Alps Death Ride, Ride the Rockies, and on and on. Then, as long as I was on a tear, I tossed decades of magazine articles I wrote, including about a billion gun articles for HANDGUNS, GUNS & AMMO, SHOTGUN NEWS, GUNS, GUN WORLD, AMERICAN HANDGUNNER and all the episodes of GUN GAMES I edited. I'm sure the landfill will be fascinated!

 I am amazed — well, not really — that the usual brain dead responses from our enemies on the Santa Barbara shootings — we need magazine restrictions, waiting lists, assault weapons bans, all the stuff we already have in California...

I think it's indicative of the desperation on the part of the other side. They have lied one too many times, and there's nothing left but waving the bloody shirt.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Now I know that things are different than they were in Daddy's days
But I still believe what makes a man really hasn't changed

— Aaron Tippin
"You've Got To Stand For Something"

I woke up this Memorial Day morning thinking about 2 of my best friends, gone now. Both came back from Vietnam changed, some ways for the better, some ways for the worse. But Vietnam was the defining event of their lives. They were both men of honor, and at some core DNA level they believed in the United States as the greatest country on earth...a country worth sacrificing their you, worth dying for if necessary. 

I honor their service and their lives, as I do the service, the lives — and the sacrifices — of all our Armed Forces, the men and women who guarantee our freedom.

And we as a country have failed them at a level that a few years ago I would have thought impossible.  

Read this Memorial Day piece from Roger Simon...for those of us of a certain age, it's worth thinking about.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Look! Ahead! Normalcy!

That's Joe with Henry Morton Stanley's 4-bore Rolling Block he was carrying when he said those immortal words, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Hopefully, I can see normalcy in the not-too-distant-future!  Has been hectic beyond words the last couple of weeks as we've raced to finish up filming for GUN STORIES With Joe Mantegna Season 4. Just came back from 4 days at the National Firearms Museum filming Joe's stand-ups, interviews with Curators Phil Schreier and Jim Supica, and my old friend Mark Keefe from AMERICAN RIFLEMAN. Also got to spend some time with Steve Hunter  (new book, SNIPER'S HONOR, now available! Buy 2, one for you; one for a the Amazon reviews!).

As always, the interviews were great fun. We've also kicked things up a notch on B-roll of firearms...pretty spectacular this upcoming season!

BTW, this came in the AM emails...I present it without comment.

For those of you who've asked so nicely, here's a picture of Newt:

Much cuter than Chelsea Clinton, n'est pas? Smarter, too...Newt's already begun her Mountain Beagle training — avoiding cacti, clambering over rocks, barking at mule deer, all the basics. Not so hot on the ole housebreaking thing, but that's very beagle. She went in for her puppy check-up and the vet pronounced her magnificent. She and Asta the Manx are working toward a relationship that doesn't involve slapped noses and chunks of hair pulled out.

I gotta spend some time today on one-shot draws with the Ruger GP-100 from Cylinder & Slide. I am putting together a full feature on DRTV on that gun, because it is simply magnificent. I had hoped to be a little farther along in training for the International Revolver Championships in June, but the move kinda chewed up what I assumed would be practice time. Silly moi.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Conspiracy Theories, Alien Abductions and Slander

"Ninety percent of science fiction is crap. But that's okay, because 90% of everything is crap."

-- Sturgeon's Law
Attributed to science fiction icon Theodore Sturgeon

I've never been a big fan of conspiracy theories, largely because I don't think most people could pull off a complicated conspiracy on a bet. It follows from that statement that I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theory movies, because I'm not able to suspend disbelief. Add to that the fact that most modern conspiracy theory movies are either wicked capitalist corporations or American veterans plotting this, that or the other Evil Wicked Deed. Which brings me around, in a roundabout way, to another pet peeve...the demonization of business in America. That's largely a function of the progressive Left a part of their core DNA: Government Good/Business Bad, sort of the Norma Jean School of Life.

So, you may ask, What the hell is he talking about?

Well, oddly enough I'm talking about the Remington R51 9mm pistol. Or rather the coverage of the R51 introduction.

The R51 production gun reviews have been, here, and here are samples. The production gun reviews are at odds with the pre-production/prototype reviews (including our own DRTV review by Gary Paul Johnson).

This discrepancy has led to some fairly serious churn on the Internet, from the thoughtful to the perhaps less-than-thoughtful.

Beeause we've run a review on the R51, I feel like I have a horse (well, a pony) in this race, and I wanted to make some points.

• The first is that it's darn fun to slag other people. I say this as a former music critic who once made his living criticizing people more talented than I. At some point through, it is corrosive to the soul of the slagger. All print gunwriters are NOT whores...that should be self-evident. The one writer called out, Richard Mann, for his print review in SHOOTING ILLUSTRATED, Is one of the best in the business. He is a person I go to when I have questions I can't answer. He is an honorable man. Gary Paul Johnson, our reviewer, retired from LAPD, is the co-author of the standard reference text on world assault rifles, has been featured on GUN STORIES for his depth of knowledge,  and is one of my best friends. They are experts. Period.

• All bloggers are NOT the saviors of firearms journalism. There are some good ones whose opinions on firearms I value (Grant Cunningham, Hamilton Yam, Tim Lau and Caleb Giddings come to mind). There are a far greater number of people who do nothing more than increase the "noise" side of the signal-to-noise ratio...readers/viewers are free to disagree, but I have read more crap about guns on the Internet than I'd have believed possible. Hey, because you don't like something doesn't mean it's part and parcel of a massive conspiracy on the part of gun companies! Additionally, My cat Asta has a greater depth of knowledge of firearms design and manufacturing considerations than about 80% of what passes for "criticism" on the Internet.

• The Internet is a wonderful place to grind an axe, so to speak. And at any given point that are a LOT of axes being ground. I once told Washington correspondent Jake Tapper that he should reveal his background in antigun advocacy on any story he did on RKBA. He didn't agree with me. I still believe that we are obligated to reveal our biases, our preconceptions, our set of paradigms that might impinge on what we write or say. Without going into details, there is some of this preexisting axe-grinding going on here, and it is inappropriate (read BEARING ARMS Bob Owens -- another credible voice -- piece here).

• I have said this over and over and over again...we can only review the guns we get. I would say the vast majority of guns I get are production guns, because that's what I'd prefer to review. I have handled a lot of prototype and pre-production guns, and in general I can find something wrong with them. I tell the company involved in the hopes of fixing the problem before the gun goes out to the public.

• It is clear that there was a "slip between the cup and the lip" on the R51. The production guns are having problems that the preproduction protos shown to gunwriters at the GUNSITE Remington event did not exhibit. The idea, however, that Remington somehow conspired to fool "hand-picked gun writers." and foist off a gun that would fire out-of-battery is ludicrous. I'm not a huge fan of the Remington consolidation, but as I said in my comments on a previous post, only a complete idiot would assert that Remington doesn't know how to make guns. Gun companies are not massive conglomerates conspiring to pass crap off on stupid consumers...that is the fetid imagination of those who have seen one too many viewings of Erin Brockovich.

• I am not a fan of the "pay for play" model, e.g. only advertisers are mentioned in a publication or broadcast. None of my productions are "pay for play." Never have been; never will be. It gives my advertising department ulcers! I do, however, favor my advertisers...I would be a fool to do otherwise! All of us work for profit. To the smug morons who say they'll never believe anything in a magazine or broadcast supported by advertising I say, hey, so you have a trust fund, or do you work for a company that provides goods or services to the public? Someone PAYS for your company's goods or services, and that's why you get a weekly paycheck. Capitalism is good, and it works. 

So what happened with the R51? If I was going to bet, I'd say the guns provided to writers at the GUNSITE event were indeed pre-production guns built by Remington factory engineers. The guns that came off the Para lines in North Carolina for production weren't up to those standards. A mistake? Hell yes. A conspiracy? Yeah, right...

Even on the Internet, maybe especially on the Internet, when you accuse respected professionals of unethical behavior, you DAMN WELL BETTER be prepared to cough up the evidence, or it's time for you to fold your hand and find another playpen.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We now have our official green light for Season 15 of SHOOTING GALLERY!

And an exciting season it will be! First off, we'll be at the International Revolver Championships for the first time in years, the MGM Ironman for the first time ever, the first Trijicon World Shooting Championships at the Peacemaker facility (about which more next week!), several international trips...Much Coolness!!!!

Crimson Trace is back as name sponsor, with Rock Island, Ruger, Midway USA, Streamlight, Stag Arms and others on board making it all happen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday Filming Day... things are almost back to normal. Did you notice that in Detroit some criminal gangs are painting the tips of their real guns orange, maybe causing the police to hesitate for a moment before pulling the trigger. Maybe urban mythology, but a tiny data point to add to your self-defense bag — if someone is pointing a gun at you, it's not a good time for a color code quiz.

I ove the semi-hysterical story in the NY Post on a seized "arsenal," including 4 guns and less than 200 rounds of ammo. Here's my favorite line:
“It was enough to arm a small army or militia,” a police source said of the bust. “These guys were ready for war.”
LOL! What a clown show! If I had that stash in my car I'd feel a bit undergunned. Does go back to the idea that we, the pro-rights community, and our enemies are increasingly living in 2 separate universes. I strongly urge you to read this piece from the incompatible Claire Wolfe on the history of moral panics:
We are in the midst of a moral panic against the very concept of weapons (and people outside of government who wield them). 
But one scary thing about moral panics is that hardly anybody recognizes them for what they are until everybody finally snaps out of the hysteria. 
The panic against weapons and those who use them has been going on at least since the early 1990s (and probably began in the 1960s). My great fear is that a) it's getting worse and b) it's infecting the minds of an entire generation, so that the current crop of children and young adult students will arrive "in the real world" with the assumption -- implanted by the current hysteria -- that weapons themselves are actually evil.
Definitely read the whole thing (from JPFO) and pass the link along. This is as succinct a definition of our current battlespace as I've seen. One of the best examples of this hysteria come from Mother Jones, a bastion of second-rate advocacy journalism, on alleged threats against antigun fanatics. 

Here's my take...anyone who threatens the life or assault anyone needs to have the full force of the law brought down on his or her head. Note that I mentioned "the law." Pro-gun or antigun, if you are assaulted or are in fear of your life, there is a mechanism in our society for redress, and it's not Mother Jones. If someone breaks one of the numerous laws on assault, on stalking, on threats by email, voice, telephone or Internet, then call the police and file a complaint. 

If you "feel threatened" by the sight of a gun, I strongly suggest that you seek therapy, because you have a mental issue. Note that I said "feeling threatened" is your problem, not mine. "Feeling threatened" by the sight of a firearm, especially a firearm openly carried by a citizen of the country we all happen to live in, is no different that "feeling threatened" by clowns, Afro American men, black cars, alien abduction or Brie...a mental problem on the part of the person involved. I am no more obligated to change my behavior to make you feel better than a grocery store is obligated to remove all Brie because it gives you the faints. 

This will sound harsh, but only because of today's societal drift — for the most part, I don't care how you feel. It is not my role in the world to adjust to your quirks. "Feelings" are something totally under your own control, so control them. 

I've always been a proponent of word substitutions when analyzing my own feelings. When I was working on the Media Education Project for NSSF, I would routinely use word substitution with speaking with editors and commentators on media bias...substitute "Jew" for "gun nut" in a sentence, for example, then read it aloud. Occasionally, the editor or reporter would stop in mid-sentence and apologize for slurring gun owners.

So for all you Moms out, all 16 of you or however many there really are, try a little substitution test of your own..."I feel uncomfortable when I see << young black men>> on the street. I want my children to feel safe from <<young black men>> in public...I want to lobby local, state, and federal law enforcement so that I and my family can feel safer from <<young black men>>...

Pretty repulsive, huh?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Some Random Thoughts on the Remington Consolidation

1) From a pure manufacturing perspective, consolidation makes all the sense in the world, especially with products designed for modern manufacturing methods.

2) The older a product is, the less likelihood it was designed for modern manufacturing methods. Dare I say "1911" or "lever action rifle?"

3) Older products can be brought on-line with 21st century manufacturing, but it usually requires a healthy (and expensive) injection of technology, e.g. Ruger's 1911 line or Cabot arms' breakthrough EDM'ed 1911s.

4) Eclectic small group cultures cannot survive consolidation long term. At least, I've never seen it happen. Efforts to maintain the smaller group culture within the larger whole either slowly trickles out or backfires.

5) Firearms are often more than the sum of their parts, which is why the market sometimes confound the industry.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I honestly didn't realize it has been a week since I posted! Worked on the move through the weekend, then went to GUNSITE to work with Joe Mantegna, Tim Cremin, Dan Ramm and Cory Trapp on GUN STORIES. Days were long. Had a wonderful dinner with Buz and Sonja Mills, owners of GUNSITE, Tuesday night. Joining us was Michael Kassner from I.W.I. and Nick Collier from DoubleStar. Talk about a great evening!

Which reminds me, I did get to spend a bit of time with the 9mm shooting a stapler. It runs off 32 round Colt-style mags. Really slick, really easy shooting carbine! I have a 9mm conversion unit coming. Also handled the new Ruger American Predator model, about which more later.

Again, apologies...more tomorrow, I promise!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Here at the Zoo...

Yesterday was a moving day and today little Newt came home. Been a LOOOOOOONG time since I had a new puppy (and a pretty new kitten). I forgot! LOL!

So puppy, kitten and cute-as-a-button Browning BLR pixs tomorrow.

Say, how about that Hillary "What Difference Does It Make?" Clinton throwing down the gauntlet to us sad pathetic gun-clinging peckerheads:

“We have to rein in what has become [an] almost article of faith, that anybody can own a gun anywhere, anytime. And I don’t believe that,” she said, as applause drowned her out.

So, let's recap, kids...this pathetic old harridan, who was willing to stay with a sexual predator indefinitely because she so loved power, who allowed an American ambassador be killed on her watch and American heroes be left behind to die, who looked the family of a man she claimed as friend in the eyes and lied to their faces, who has the cold-blooded gall to tell Congress, "What difference does it make," who traveled a million miles as Secretary of State and accomplished nothing, who coined the phrase "nuts and sluts" to describe the women her husband sexually abused, who blamed illegalities in her former law firm on her junior associate who didn't have the power to requisition paper clips, a woman who quite literally has accomplished nothing of consequence in her entire life spent grubbing for power over other people, and she calls us unbalanced?

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Browning BLR Home!

Gray MPI stock looks incredible and is definitely lighter! Pixs tomorrow AM. DEFINITELY needs a action job, but I'm thinking about KISS and staying with the factory iron sights. I'm going to start traveling with it as soon as the action is slicked up and I get a couple of more mags. This is a cool project.

BTW, here is an excellent blogpost on the whole "conversation about guns" BS from the Armed Luthern blog:
First, let’s set the table before we get down to brass tacks: Gun violence has been dropping for over a decade, mass shootings are not increasing, 90% of Americans do NOT support universal background checks, a majority of Americans oppose stricter gun laws, accidental gun deaths are not at an all-time high, the actual rate of gun-related homicide is not the highest in the world, concealed carry permit holders rarely commit crimes, and less than 1% of criminals buy guns from gun shows. So, now that we’ve dispensed with the Bravo Sierra, let’s talk.
Read the whole thing!

Now might be a good time to buy a balloon popping laser:
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration published new draft guidance that could effectively put an end to high-powered lasers in the United States. It will not be formally approved until the 90-day comment period has passed. 
The move is likely in response to the growing threat of laser strikes against aircraft. Since early 2014, the FBI has offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who reports a laser strike to federal authorities, leading to an arrest. Since the FBI began keeping track in 2004, there have been more than 12,000 reported incidents nationwide—and the incident rate continues to climb.

I seriously may buy a high power laser just because the scumbags don't want me to have one!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Cinco de Mayo...

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

C'mon, you know I couldn't get through the day without at least quoting When I'm 64, now that I are 64! Hell, maybe I'm 32 twice!

I'm kinda overwhelmed with flood of good birthday wishes though email and Facebook! Thank you all so very, very much!

I am spending the day at Home Depot, proving that I can't be handy mending a fuse, etc.

I suppose that in all honesty if I had known I'd live this long, I would have indeed taken better care of at least my knees! LOL! What the heck, as long as there's genetically engineered chemical sludge to inject into 'em, I'll press on regardless.

Again, thank you, my friends.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Kick It In, Second Wind!

Moving in increment is like slitting your wrist very slowly with a cardboard knife.

Safes, guns, birdies, Asta the Cat, bedin place...I can see the furniture moving truck creeping up the road.

To the fight!