Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Bulletin from a Past Life!

If you'd like to read some of my work on country music from the Old Days, you now have a great opportunity!

THE COUNTRY MUSIC READER, assembled and annotated by Travis D. Stimeling, himself an author of note and Assistant Professor of Music History at West Virginia University, and published by the Oxford University Press features a long excerpt from my first book, THE OUTLAWS — REVOLUTION IN COUNTRY MUSIC, which has been out of print for, like, forever (and, ironically, still a 5-star Amazon book, based on reviews from the 2 people who read it! LOL!).

THE COUNTRY MUSIC READER is a great book for anyone interested in country music. Stimeling did a super job of sorting through TON of material...heck, it exhausted me just reading the footnotes! Two other essays I would strongly refer you to in THE READER are Aaron Latham's classic piece from Esquire, back when Esquire wasn't something one scrapes off one's cowboy boot, "The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy: America's Search for True Grit"...yes, it's better than the movie...of course, what isn't?...and Alanna Nash's long essay on Emmylou Harris, one of my favorite artist. Emmylou was NEVER easy to interview, and Alanna, who wrote for me when I ran Country Music Magazine, did a splendid job.

I have to say their is a certain weirdness when reading your old work. It's not that it has been so long none of it is even remotely familiar — which is true — rather, I can't summon up the mindset I had when I wrote the words. I do remember sitting in my bedroom "office" under my loft bed in my NYC Greenwich Village walk-up late at night, frantically sprinting toward the end of the 6-week deadline. I bought what I recall as a Remington knock-off of an IBM Selectric typewriter because I couldn't afford the Selectric. I got the Remington at some Canal Street dump where it had probably fallen off a truck. It was such a POS that I eventually threw it out of a second story window in the middle of the night. I remember carbon paper, swilling beer with Lester Bangs and and crazed trips to Nashville where I only had the money to stay in flophouse motels like the Loveless and spent all my quarters playing sweaty pinball all night long with what would prove to be a Who's Who of country music. BTW, that motel's legacy, the Loveless Dinner, still serves the best Southern food short of my long-departed grandmother. I eat there whenever I can.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Best Defense Against Vampires...

…garlic. Gotta go for the garlic. Today was a garlic-sort-of-cooking day. Yesterday my Sweetie and I bought and planted a couple of trees, which here at the Bunker involves digging great big rocks out a a soil/gravel/powdered granite mix that resembles concrete. Think pick axe and 6-foot rolled steel rod, used to dislodge or shatter rocks. Then we had to armor the trees against the deer, who carry shovels and bolt nippers. Really. I pray God the deer don't discover sawzalls.

So today we were all creaky and poppy this AM. Because it was such a spectacular day, though, we took Newt on a long hike on some trails that are less traveled. Apparently not less enough traveled, since I got a parking ticket. Can't say I have a lot of respect for park rangers —revenue collectors — anyway, so nothing lost. Clown show. Anyway, since I haven't unpacked my summer clothes and have only one pair of shorts, which has one of those sewn-in belts instead of just loops, I sucked it up and carried a Ruger LCR .38 and a speed loader of Corbon. I'm thinking I'm definitely going to shift to the LCR 9mm, which is a wee bit heavier than the LCR .38, but I don't have enough rounds through it to bring it into service yet.

I decided to do shrimp scampi for dinner. I have a great scampi recipe, but for last Thanksgiving we did a dish from The Stinking Rose, one of my favorite restaurants in San Fran...bagna calda, garlic slow-roasted in olive oil and a bit of butter, plus a bunch of anchovies. So I made bagna calda, transferred it to a skillet on the stovetop, and added shrimp, a little fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley, red peppers flakes (I always stock up when I'm in Santa Fe), a bit of Dead Sea salt infused with lemon (got it while I was there), and served it over rice.

Yeah, baby! We are 'way safe from vampires for another few days!!!

I made strawberry daiquiris for desert…which of the Undead do strawberries repel? Minor demons? Jersey Devils? Spring-Helled Jacks? The strawberries were fresh and sweet, but in truth I don't have as strong a handle on rum as I do with tequila and gin. Mixology is hard. I tend to default to Mount Gay Barbados rum, "Kill-Devil," which is sort of the Caribbean equivalent of lighter fluid. It has a soft spot in my heart from a stay in Barbados after my budding, albeit nitwit, career as a (small) war correspondent during the invasion of Grenada. Well, that's another story. Suffice to say that I had I realized how the country would go over the next 30 years I would have never turned over the stack of blank valid passports from various countries, needing only a name and a picture, I discovered to Army Intelligence. These days, you never know when you're going to need a different "you!"

The world was all tied together in some mysterious tangle of invisible web, single strands that reach impossible distances, glimpsed but rarely when the light caught them just right.

"The Green Ripper"
John D. MacDonald, 1980

I've been reading vintage John D. MacDonald lately. One of our commenters noted how JDM's 1980 Travis McGee novel THE GREEN RIPPER, which won the National Book Award, was amazingly prescient on the future of terrorism. I haven't read THE GREEN RIPPER since it came out, but I remembered it was the follow-up to THE EMPTY COPPER SEA, JDM's breakout novel in 1978. So I got THE EMPTY COPPER SEA to read first, then THE GREEN RIPPER.

I had forgotten that THE EMPTY COPPER SEA, despite it's upbeat ending, was one of the most depressing novels I've ever read. Travis McGee, MacDonald's "salvage consultant/beach bum" character, was burned out, reflecting on a life that no longer seemed worth it. Aside from the brilliant writing and, even today, the cutting edge observations on the human condition, Travis McGee exuded an air of weary exhaustion. Of course, in the way of JDM novels, he found the girl of his dreams, Gretel Howard, who dies under mysterious circumstances in the next book, THE GREEN RIPPER.

And oh yes, there will be blood.

THE EMPTY COPPER SEA was a formative novel for me because I was living in Florida and, like Mr. McGee I was taking my "retirement" a little bit at a time, in advance. I'd get a big writing gig, make a good fee, and head to the beach. I occasionally taught windsurfing, had a killer tan and ran a lot.

But the world is indeed all tied together in a mysterious tangle of invisible web, single strands that reach impossible distances, glimpsed but rarely when the light caught them just right. Fair to say I understand THE EMPTY COPPER SEA better now than when I read ti the first time. And THE GREEN RIPPER is amazing…when I read it the first time, I thought JDM was a little bit nuts. Boy, was I wrong!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Some Sober Weekend Thoughts

Read this:
The voice recordings from the doomed aircraft reveal that as the jet began its rapid descent, the passengers were quiet. There was probably some nervous laughter, confusion, a bit of comforting chatter with seatmates, followed by a brief period in which anxiety had not yet metastasized into terror. 
It was only near the end of the 8 minute plunge that everyone finally understood what was really happening. Only near the end when they began to scream. 
Like those passengers, a growing number of Americans feel a helpless dread as they come to the inescapable conclusion that our nation's decline is an act of choice rather than of chance.The choice of one man who is in full control of our 8 year plunge. 
A man who has locked everyone out.
I can only imagine how my friends in Israel must feel as we hurtle toward the abyss. William Krystal yesterday spent some time with Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the rapidly shrinking Free World, and wrote this:
But counting on prominent and wealthy Jewish liberals to speak up against their friends in the face of existential threats to the Jewish people has never been a good bet. Benzion Netanyahu saw this up close in June 1940, when mainstream American Jewish leaders boycotted his mentor Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s speech in New York when Jabotinsky sounded the alarm about what was happening in Europe. 
Now his son, Benjamin Netanyahu, is sounding the alarm about what is happening today. He has made the case, in my view irrefutably, that no friend of Israel can support the forthcoming deal with the Iranian regime. Nor is such a deal in any way in the broader American national interest. Yet a misguided American administration is on a path to choosing dishonor and setting the stage for future wars. It is up to American leaders in both parties and all walks of life to do their best to avert this outcome. And if it is left to Israel to act, the least Americans can do is support our democratic ally, just as the least Americans could honorably do in 1940 was support Britain as, in her finest hour, she stood and fought alone.
This is a more analytical article from Edward Morrissey at The Fiscal Times that helps explain our situation and puts it in context:
It has become abundantly clear that Obama wants a deal for the sake of claiming a foreign policy achievement, no matter what the cost, and no matter what it does to our allies, especially Israel. The situation is reminiscent of another confrontation between Western powers and an extremist dictatorship that professed its own destiny to rule the world, and where the dictator even wrote out his plans for world domination and practically begged everyone to read them. 
In both cases, Western leaders told themselves that the extremist rhetoric was only intended for domestic consumption. Also in both cases, they treated with contempt their allies whose very existence was threatened by the new hegemon, who kept breaking international agreements and stalling negotiations until the West appeased them by betraying those same allies -- even locking their democratic allies out of the negotiations. 
At least Neville Chamberlain learned his lesson after Munich, albeit far too late for the Czechoslovakians, Eastern Europe, and millions of Jews. Obama and Kerry seem determined to repeat those same mistakes. That can be described many ways, but smart power isn’t one of them.
I don't know…I do think if you're not worried you're not paying attention. I think we might talk a little bit about prepping this Wednesday…

and meanwhile, on the Home Front...

...from The New Yorker, America's arbiter of progressive thought, this "thoughtful" piece from the inestimable Lena Dunham titled, "Dog or Jewish Boyfriend?" Here's just a yummy sample:
13. He doesn’t tip.
14. And he never brings his wallet anywhere.
15. He came with me to therapy once and was restless and unexpressive.
16. When I go out of town on a business trip, he sleeps with a pair of my underwear.
I can just imagine the editors at The New Yorker rolling on their asses laughing when this came in! "Man, Lena really nailed it this time! Jews are like dogs!" Maybe glance around the swank New Yorker offices, make sure that none of the [fingers make quote marks in the air] "wrong" people are listening. After all, there's always been something…off-putting…about those Jews…their funny little hats and their crazy prehistoric diet rules…the way they lord it over those poor Palestinians…and they're so greedy…it's like those big noses only smell money! It's getting easier and easier to understand why our President doesn't want to deal with those…Jews...and that filthy little man who leads them.

Sadly, not everyone agrees with our progressive opinion-makers...
4. To dehumanize people, one of the first steps is to call them non-people or animals. The whole “Jew and Dog” thing, in my mind, is pretty played out. But Lena, you’re not the first one to think that the two should be addressed in the same piece, or equated to one another. You don’t even have to go as far back in time as Nazi Germany to find people equating Jewish people to dogs. I mean, look at this nice café in Belgium just last year that posted a sign saying, “Dogs are allowed in this establishment, but Jews are not, under any circumstances.” Also last year, a Turkish café in Istanbul posted a sign saying “Jew-dogs” are banned from entering. So all around the world, there are not-so-nice people who equate Jews and dogs. Welcome to their ranks, Lena. Are you proud to be there?
That's from Jordana Horn, who up until yesterday counted herself as a fan of Ms. Dunham. Never mind that…I'm sure Ms. Horn will come around…

Or else.

Dealing With Giant Rabbits

Newt the Beagle is outside trying to scare off a small pack of mule deer milling around my shooting bench. So far, Newt, who's tied on her cable run, has succeeded in moving the deer at least 2 or 3 feet. I'm sensing that the mulies don't see Newt as a particularly serious predator…so much for 13 Inches of Fury! Kinda sounds like the title of a 1970s-era porn film, does't it?

Anyway, there was a match on our schedule this weekend, but it's looking a little shaky. Without a match, I'll have a chance to start my evaluation of a not-yet-for-production handgun that has been here at the Bunker for a couple of weeks. Here's a hint…I've purchased the one I have already and have big plans for it!

Our THE BEST DEFENSE 1-hour special is now up on DRTV and Outdoor Channel's home site, so if you missed it Wednesday night you can catch up.

More when I dig my way into my office...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

GREAT TBD Streaming Event!!!

Man, the TBD end-of-season live streaming event on DRTV came off perfectly, thanks to Marshal Halloway, director Josh Hinkle, TBD producer Jeff Murray and the incredible crew of Winnercomm in Tulsa, not to mention my great cohosts Michael Janich and Mike Seeklander. Unfortunately, Marty Hayes had a previous commitment and couldn't join us.

Seriously, it was fun…more like a post-shoot bull session than a live show. The good news is that we'll be running the hour special on DRTV starting tomorrow. Fun fun fun!

BTW, my MPA 6.5 Creedmoor came in today! Alan Samuel and I were drooling over it when I went by Alan's Machine Gun Tours shop in Lakewood, CO. Still considering the glass...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The More Things Change...

…from the NYT, 21 November 1922, per Ed Driscoll:

"...I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past..."

— Patrick Henry, 1775

Mizzable Afternoon on the Range...

…35 mph wind, luckily blowing straight toward the target. I was shooting off my 50-yard bench, sighting in my Sweetie's 3-Gun Stag 3G competition rifle after refitting the now-repaired Swaro 1-6X in a Burris PEPR AR mount. Been a while since I shot this gun, and I've forgotten what a SWEET rifle this is! Of course me, the rifle, the scope and everything else is coated with a fine layer of dust from the wind. Yeech.

It being Tequila Tuesday, I decided to go for something a little different. Instead of my usual lemon juice, I went with a heavily lime juice combo (10 limes, 2 lemons squeezed). I combined that with one of my favorite tequilas, Milagro Blanco, mixed with equal parts Grand Marnier and Patron Citronge Lime. Be wary wary careful with the Patron Lime…it is crazy sweet and requires a gentle touch.

I decided to pair that with a sort of Spanish/Tuscan treatment with a couple of pieces of fresh swordfish steaks — seared, then gently cooked with onions, garlic, olives, tomatoes, parsley — and a side of stir fried bok choy. And my Sweetie's homemade Italian bread, of course!

Monday, March 23, 2015



HERE'S THE LINK FOR YOU TO SUBMIT QUESTION IN ADVANCE! Don't make them too complicated for me...

OMG! Not a Glock 43!!!

My Mcree's Precision/FNH TSR .308, with a 8-32X Burris Black Diamond scope I've been hoarding. Hope to get first shots this week!

Monday Catch-Up…Not About the G43!

I am, however, waiting with baited breath for first in-depth Internet evaluation of the G43 that reveals it's nothing but a cheap copy of the Kel-Tec P11…LOL!

 Here's a thread on guns and gangs from Reddit /r/guns…can speak to the veracity of any of it, but it is an interesting read:
Disclaimer: I am a former gangmember. I have no convictions, and am not a prohibited person. All my firearms are legally owned. This is just an expose.on how some sets work, but not all are alike. 
Now, lets get straight into it. Amongst the lower ranks of sets, the footsoldiers/YGs/other youngins; there are 3 ways to acquire guns. 
1) from other gangmembers. This is fairly straightforward. Sometimes they'll sell 'em, other times they'll trade 'em, and sometimes they'll loan 'em out. 
2) from pawn shops. Why pawn shops? They tend to be more discreet and less likely to kick you out if they think you bang. So send a young kid with a clean record to buy a new gun or two. Or get one of the girls to do it. 
3) steal 'em. This is either done when you know a house has unsecured guns, or if you stumble upon them during a knock-over. Usually stolen from extended family if you know they're there.
Am stunned, stunned I tell you, that gun shows aren't number one on this list!

Here's a must-read article from Nobel Prize-winner author V.S. Naipaul in The Daily Mail on how ISIS must be considered as the Fourth Reich:
Isis is dedicated to a contemporary holocaust. It has pledged itself to the murder of Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone it can, however fancifully, accuse of being a spy. It has wiped out the civilian populations of whole regions and towns. Isis could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.
Read the whole thing, by all means.

While rooting around in the gun room searching for the 4198, which is still MIA, I did discover a few pounds of Hodgdon's Lil 'Gun, which I've used in the .500 Magnum w/heavy bullets. That should work spiffily for the .458 SOCOM!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


We were busy working on the Bunker, and because of that I missed America's most beloved holiday, Nowruz, the Persian New Year…the most important holiday of our newest and closest ally in the Middle East, Iran. Our President, Barry Hussein Obama, even did a video, explaining to the world that Nowruz is a cherished tradition in America, supplanting, I suppose, the obscene and obsolete idolatry of some dead guy nailed on a cross.

Well, a belated Happy Newroz! Oh, I'm sorry! Newroz is how the Kurds — true allies, people of honor, and some of the greatest fighters on earth — spell their beloved holiday. And so I say that without a shred of sarcasm…may the New Year bring the Kurds and the freedom fighters who stand with them closer to a victory against the forces of fascism.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Musings...

…which is hard, considering that contractors are working outside the Secret Hidden Bunker II and today is all power tools, all the time. Newt is not happy. Arf!

I spent yesterday filming public service announcements on gun safety…not hard work, but sort of a grinder. When I got home I saw a notice that .458 SOCOM brass was available. I took this as an omen. Bill Wilson and I had been talking about the .458 when I was in Berryville…it's pretty much his favorite hog hunting setup (with .300-gr Barnes bullets). II have a .458 upper, and we did some shooting with it a couple of years ago for SHOOTING GALLERY. But that came at the very beginning of the Great Ammo Crisis, and specialty rounds like the .458 SOCOM simply vanished from the market. I hung onto the upper, with visions of a future hog hunt dancing in my head.

So Bill got me thinking about the .458 again, but to my dismay I discovered that the situation hasn't gotten a lot better.

Wilson, SBR and Corbon make finished ammo, but it's only sporadically available. Starline manufactures the brass, but it's pretty much all spoken for as soon as it hits the market. So a jumped at a couple of hundred rounds of brass. I hand't actually shopped for reloading supplies in a while — I bought in bulk for the calibers I regularly reload, so I've been in good shape. I did a tour of the reloading supply sellers and was surprised at how spotty stuff is, especially powders. Most of what I consider the most common powders — Bullseye, Unique, 2400, Titegroup, Trail Boss — are gone baby gone, at least for a while.

I wanted some Reloader 7, and it's just not to be had at any price. This morning I'm going to inventory components and see if I have any IMR-4198, which is available in 8-pound sizes and some large pistol magnum primers. I know I used to have 4198 for 45-70, but I haven't loaded that caliber in a long time. I've got .458 bullets lying around, I know.

On the reloading front, I do need to set up a machine for 9mm, since we'll be shooting substantially more of that throughout the rest of the year. I used to load a lot of 9mm, so it'll be no big deal (famous last words).

Interesting that antigun shill B. Todd Jones is leaving BATFE after failing to successful ban all rifle ammunition. I guess B-Ho don't like failure. I suppose that we're going to have to spin up the same "write your Congressperson" campaign to get the Senate to stonewall the next antigun shill HUSSEIN Obama drags out from under a rock.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Good Lord...

…as the ONLY gun person in the entire United States to have NOT been summoned to Smyrna and given 150-10,000 rounds with the G43, I have a few observations based on the "exclusive first looks" at the single stack 9mm that is destined to change not only the world, but possibly the entire universe. Or not.

The G43 compared to the G26:

• The G43 is a single stack version of the venerable G26, except...
• It's shorter, but only by a little itsy bit.
• It's taller, but only by the same little itsy bit
• It's skinnier, by a bunch (okay, by .16 of an inch, the thickness of a couple of quarters and a bit)
• It weighs a bunch less, as much as a full stick of butter, plus maybe a smear
• The mag holds 6 rounds instead of 10, which would be 40% less

The G43 compared to the G42:

• It's a 9mm instead of a .380…do the math yourself

Recoil of the G43 compared to other mini-9mms:

• It is exquisite
• It is less than any other mini-9mm
• It's like the G26
• It is nothing like the G26
• It is more than equivalent mini-9mms (S&W Shield, Ruger LC9, assorted Kahrs, Kimber Solo, Taurus Slim, Springfield XD 9mm, Sig Sauer 938)
• It is less than equivalent mini-9mms
• It is the same as equivalent mini-9mms

The trigger pull of the new Glock 43 is:

• Exactly like a Glock
• Different than any other Glock
• Exactly like squeezing an overripe avocado
• Perfection
• Sucks
• It makes my G26's trigger feel like an Artillery Luger after a month in the trenches

Sales potential of the G43:

• It will sell more than the first iPhone
• It will sell more than Ford Mustang
• It will sell more than the Ruger LCP
• It will sell more than cheese curds at the Wisconsin State Fair
• It will sell more than bids for an auctioned-off dream date with Kaley Cuoco at Comic-Con 2015

The best article on the G43 by yet another person who hasn't shot it yet:

• Mark Keefe @ American Rifleman on why the G43 took so long:
You have to remember, the idea of a small, single-stack pistol was anathema to Glock’s culture. The Glock was built on wide guns regardless of barrel length that fed from Glock's superlative double-column, single-feed magazine. Short and fat, rather than thin and sleek.
The bottom line on the G43:

I was an early adopter of the mini-9mm concept and have routinely carried Ruger, Kahr, Kimber and Taurus mini-9mms over the last few years. As I have said before…and repeatedly…mini-9mms are in fact experts' guns. They all bark, especially with the 9mm self-defense ammunition that has essentially changed the game on carry guns.

I was initially skeptical of the larger sized .380s until I shot the Ruger LC380. Then I "got it"...the larger platform .380s, especially given modern self-defense ammunition, were super easy to shoot, making them ideal guns for the recoil-shy. So the G42 .380 made perfect sense to me…I wasn't surprised at all that it became the best-selling handgun of the year.

The G43 is a welcome addition to the mini-9mm battery. It comes at a time when I'm considering moving away from the single stack 9mm to larger capacity 9mms, because the world is changing, and not for the better. But, as always, you pays your money and yo takes your chances. I will be buying a G43 to try for myself, and so will you...probably...

Sorry for Playing Hooky!

I've been in metropolitan Berryville, Arkansas, this week at Wilson Combat, sifting through new products for 2015, shooting a bunch of Wilson guns (especially the .308 rifle...expect more on the podcast) and spending some time with Bill and Joyce. Absolutely amazing how the place has grown! My first visit to Berryville, back when Bill and I were putting together his landmark book, THE COMBAT .45 AUTO, Wilson Combat was 2 gunsmiths and Bill, working out of a converted garage next to Bill's house. The multi-building new facility is a state of the art firearms factory, with more than 100 employees being supervised by Ryan Wilson, Bill's son. You'll be getting an intimate tour on SG 2016.

Wilson's Beretta 92 initiative has been a HUGE success, and having now shot some of the guns I much better understand why. I've never been a 92 sort of guy...I had an Ernest Langdon-tuned Vertex, but got rid of it to a competition shooter with bigger hands. The tuned Wilson guns DA trigger clocks in at 6 pounds, smooth as you can get. The Vickers combat sights are perfect.

Since you can consider Wilson Combat sort of Stonehenge built out of 1911s, I was insulated from the massive geopolitical EMP of my pal Iain and RECOIL Magazine jumping the Glock NDA on the BIGGEST SECRET IN THE HISTORY OF FIREARMS ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE BATTLE OF PAVIA AND CHINESE GUYS WITH FIRECRACKERS! Still, I fell to my knees and wept with joy, Saul on the road to Smyrna GA, so to speak. Luckily, Larry Vickers was there to jerk me to my feet and place his signature Wilson Combat 1911 in my hand, briefly restoring me to normalcy. It burned, and when I set the 1911 down the initials "JMB"were scorched into my right palm. I believe I am now fully protected from any subsequent Glock 43 hysteria.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Thoughts...

"The past and the future are fights to the death"

—"Ava Crowder," as played by Joelle Carter

A voice-over day in the studio, along with the Wednesday podcast. Just finished the final voice work for this season;s SHOOTING GALLERY — our 2 episodes for Israel and IWI. They're pretty good…I so wish we had, like, 4 episodes.

I got my McRee's Precision rifle, built on my old FNH, last weekend! I'll have an initial report for you this weekend. Then I'll order a bucketload of Federal 168-gr match .308. Right now, I'm going to an old Burris Black Diamond 8-32X, an oldie but a goodie, and a Harris bipod and see how things go.

Otherwise,if you're looking for something fun and uplifting to read, let me refer you to Matthew Bracken and his essay When the Music Stops, from back in 2012. Of course, nothing like this could ever happen in Obama's and Eric Holder's America!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Least Best Kept Secret in All of Gun-dom

There's a countdown clock on the Glock Live Events website, counting down the seconds to 20 March 2015 at 9AM…

There's pictures of a dual spring, a la the Glock single stack .380 but not, on Facebook; other teases show the outline of a strangely shortened Glock slide…

There's a leaked product photo...

A Russian gun website is showing what may or may not be…could beoh, hold your breath hold your breathI'm scared Mommy hold me!finally finally…I hear the music from JAWS…this is the Big One…8.7 on the Gun Richter Scale…tell the kids to get a job, Martha, because we're going to need cash right awayoh please oh please oh please…YES! The gunny equivalent of a unicorn! The…pause for effect…Glock 43 single stack 9mm! Maybe.

Is any of this stuff real?

Beats me. As a rule, the Austrians make Hillary Clinton seem positively transparent. As I told you guys after SHOT, all my cherubs and seraphim were telling me that the single stack 9mm Glock would be introduced at SHOT…shows you what a bunch of thuggish winged angelic hosts know!

As I said before SHOT, if and when the 9mm angle stack appears, if will go from zero to a bazillion units sold in about 30 minutes to become the best-selling handgun on earth and at least 4 of the remaining 8 planets. I'll buy one. So will you.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Newt Sounds Off!

And I say, "Amen to that!"

Friday Collection of Half-Thought Thoughts

"One hypocrite laughing all the way to the bank!"

Love these posters, which have been turning up in LA bus stops. Another asshat who takes our money and craps in our living room. Did you notice that after his antigun spew, Neeson's most recent movie dropped off heavily?

Couple of other thoughts this AM before I go torture a scope onto an AR. This week's TBD on "An Altercation With a Neighbor" has generated a lot of buzz, most of it very good, some of it questioning. Here's a good example from the DOWN RANGE Forums:
The "force on force" scenarios were nothing like I've seen on other shows, either TBD or any other show/network. 
Keeping those scenarios 'dirt simple' was genius. What a great way to get in reps on different ways to work out a problem!
Here's a link to our FaceBook page and the discussion there. I wrote this response on our overall planning with the scenarios:
In fact, the sim we created was based on a shooting incident that happened to a TBD viewer 2 years ago. I was able to debrief our viewer in person and at length. Our sim was faithful to the original, to wit, what our viewer thought was a simple neighborhood argument, same as any argument one might have with a neighbor, changed radically when the neighbor put a load of 12 gauge buckshot into our viewer's driver side window where our viewer's head had been moments before he ducked. To borrow a phrase, let me be clear here — neighbor altercations can go "hot" very quickly precisely because we DO NOT treat them with the same seriousness and reticence we might treat a hostile encounter outside our home turf. We think we KNOW our neighbors (our viewer told me that, sure, the guy had been a jerk for a couple of years because he didn't like what our viewer was doing to his property, but he was a NEIGHBOR). Ironically, we readily accept the fact that most assaults on women come not from strangers, but from acquaintances, in some case close acquaintances, but we balk at the idea that MEN might be at the same risk...
I wanted to reiterate that final point. I think to compare the fact that sexual assaults on women are more likely to be from acquaintances than strangers to the dynamics of an assault by a neighbor is very fair. No person intentionally dates another person thinking that he or she is going to be assaulted by the person they're dating. I don't even think there's a check-box for that on eHarmony!

We all have different relationships with our neighbors. There have been places I lived where every evening was a block party; other places where I could not reliably pick my neighbors out of a line-up. One of my best friends started out as a neighbor; another of my neighbors killed his wife, whom I liked, and unborn child and beat the murder rap.

The function of a simulation is to as much as possible deal with the specific event that requires the reaction. In some cases, the back story is self-evident — for example, an active shooter or a road rage situation. In other cases, the back story is either implied or completely hidden. In our neighbor altercation, we don't know what has preceded the events we show, because, honestly, it doesn't matter.

We are dealing with the specific actions as they unfold. The fact that your neighbor is a mixed martial arts master, that last week he beat the crap out of the neighbor down the street or that he in fact is a Satanist who eats babies for breakfast will not necessarily be allowed to be admitted into court for your defense [I AM NOT A LAWYER, NOR DO I PLAY ONE ON TV...WE HAVE MARTY HAYES FOR THAT].

I strongly recommend that everyone who is even thinking about carrying a gun for self-defense do the following 3 things:

Immediately join the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network...Marty Hayes is the President, and you need to be a member!

• Buy and read THE LAW OF SELF-DEFENSE: The Indispensable Guide for the Armed Citizen, by Andrew Branca, a lawyer who has had a profound effect on my own thinking.

• Buy and read DEADLY FORCE: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense, by Massad Ayoob...Mas needs no introduction here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

All Truth in Music…

Gimme back my bullets
Put 'em back where they belong
Ain't foolin' around 'cause I done had my fun
Ain't gonna see no more damage done
Gimme back, gimme back my bullets
I'll put 'em back where they belong...

Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Gimme Back My Bullets"

As It Turns Out...

...yes, Barack Hussein Obama and the ATF had an end game that includes banning ALL 5.56 ammo. This from ATF chief B. Todd Jones at today's Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, via Bearing Arms:
In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, ATF Director B. Todd Jones said all types of the 5.56 military-style ammo used by shooters pose a threat to police as more people buy the AR-15-style pistols. 
“Any 5.56 round” is “a challenge for officer safety,” he said. Jones asked lawmakers to help in a review of a 1986 bill written to protect police from so-called “cop killer” rounds that largely exempted rifle ammo like the 5.56 because it has been used by target shooters, not criminals.
Well, there's a surprise, if you have an IQ down in the cold water ranges!

Let me repeat this:

There is ONLY ONE GOAL — COMPLETE CIVILIAN DISARMAMENT! Everything else is smoke and mirrors. We won this round, but we've got 2 more years of basically hand-to-hand combat.

An Interesting "What If"

Of course the Internet is full of "what if" gun scenarios, up to and including a EMP that triggers a zombie outbreak in the middle of an economic collapse during the worst snow storm in history. Over at the All For Guns blog, the guys spun up an off-grid living in Alaska battery:
Consider what the Alaskan DNR says about it: "Select a gun that will stop a bear (12-gauge shotgun or .300 mag rifle) and practice firing it at a rifle range." When the people who don't want you to shoot a brown bear tell you to bring a big gun, you'd better listen. Let's not forget that the Coastal Brown Bears of Alaska are the four legged apex predator of North America. Ranging 800-1,400 pounds for grown males, which is bigger than a Rocky Mountain (inland) Grizzly by a good bit. They can and will kill anything they find appropriate in the moment. And they are meat eaters. People are made of meat. You don't want to find yourself looking eye level at a brown bear that's standing on all fours and then wish you had brought a bigger gun. That's like swimming in the ocean and then wishing you had a boat when a Great White swims past you.

Interesting "what if" story…since I own or have owned most of the firearms mentioned (except the Mosin, which IMHO make excellent lamp stands), have spent some time in Alaska and presently live 100% off-grid in Colorado, I thought I'd throw in my own $0.02-worth!

My current "hiking gun" is a 2.75-inch Redhawk .44 magnum (44 ounces, rather than the 47 ounce 4-inch). It is generally loaded with hot Buffalo Bore .44 Specials. In the spring and late fall, when our local bears are either hungry or grumpy (probably the same thing), I switch to a Ruger Alaskan in .454 Casull and Corbon hunting loads. If/when I go back to Alaska for a visit, I'll be taking the Alaskan. While I love the looks of the S&W 69 (and own several 29/629 revolvers), it is a BEAR to shoot, even with 240-gr JHPs, the baseline .44 Magnum loads. I shutter to think how the little L-Frame would handle with heavy bullet heavy loads.

As you guys already nowI used the Ruger Guide Gun in .300 Win Mag in Africa on plains game, and it worked great on an eland the size of a Prius (call it 1500 lb) and various zebra. It is my number 1 go-to rifle. I took it to FTW Ranch in Texas and spent 3 days and 300 rounds at distances from 300-800 yards. I like the .300 Win Mag over the .338 for ammo availability and versatility. My producer John Carter used a .338 Guide Gun in Africa, and he ended up severely limited in bullet choice (for example, I was using Hornady GMX bullets, which performed spectacularly; he was limited to Hornady SSTs, which proved to have not as much penetration). If I was specifically hunting brown bear (I wish!) I would go with something heavier…I've shot the Guide Gun in .416 Ruger, and given my familiarity with that platform I'd probably go that way.

Within the Lower 48, I'll always default to my .308 GUNSITE Scout…lighter, crazy accurate, incredible ammo versatility/availability, including the spectacular Hornady TAP anti-personnel ammo and the various A-Max match ammo.

Shotgun-wise, I wouldn't ever argue the 870 12-gauge. My 870 is one of the old Remington Police models, which had almost no plastic parts, rebuilt by Hans Vang, the greatest shotgun mechanic on earth. The modern selection of 12-gauge rounds pretty much negates the advantages of the Vang Comp system. My personal 870 is loaded with Hornady TAP #00 buckshot backed up with Remington Reduced Recoil Slugs, which shoot really well in that gun.

If I was going to a semi auto shotgun, I think I'd probably default to a Benelli M4. i shoot a Rem VersaMax in 3-Gun (and a Benelli Nova pump for the Heavy Metal division), but I have spent a lot of time at Benelli in Italy going through the design parameters of the M4, and it's impressive. The gun was designed from the grind up for the Marines, which pretty much says it all!

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

And Speaking of Guns I Probably Have to Buy...

…suppose…I mean, just suppose...I had one of those Ursula K. Le Guin "Lathe of Heaven" moments when I wrote my blogpost on "Back from Winter Range" on having my .454 Ruger Alaskan's cylinder cut to take .45 ACP in moon clips in addition to .45 Colt? Just by saying I was thinking about doing such a thing maybe sent great universal forces into motion, cosmic CNC machines revving up, flecks of stainless steel splattering the stars until…viola!

I'll keep you posted...

I Had Nothing — NOTHING, I SAY! — To Do With It!

From Drudge:

Mysterious 'bright green' fireball spotted over Colorado

Artist rendition of mysterious fireball...

Note to editor...adjust color, please...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Michael's Sorta New Rifle!!!

I haven't gotten it yet, but it'll be on the way home soon!

It's my old FNH TSR 7.62 grafted into a McRees Precision chassis! The guys at McRees modified the TSR to fit their custom chassis and AI standard magazines. I'm really excited about this rifle! If you saw the SHOOTING GALLERY episode at FTW Ranch and shooting long distance, you'll know (or at least you could figure it out) that I was blown away by the McRees Precision .300 Win Mag rifle my friend Ryan Muller was using. It was definitely one of the best chassis systems I'd handled.

When we got back from the show, I contacted McRees to ask whether they had a chassis system for the  TSR. They didn't, but they made me great offer — if I was willing to loan them my rifle for a few weeks, they would build a chassis for it (and you other FNH TSR owners, and you know who you are!).

There were some challenges in fitting the rifle for the AI mags, but since I have a bunch of .308 AI mags for the Ruger GUNSITE Scout Rifle, I thought it was definitely worth the conversion!!!

You'll see this rifle on SHOOTING GALLERY 2016, too!

And BTW, here's an excellent article on TACTICAL RETAILER on the rise of the AR-10/7.62 platform:
While getting reliable .308 ARs to the market has been slow over the last decade and a half, make no mistake — they are here. The last year has seen a marked increase in their availability and their viability as a retail product. Virtually every major manufacturer offers an AR in .308 Winchester now. When Ruger and Smith & Wesson sell them, you know they are commercially viable. Add custom builds and small companies to the equation and the list gets pretty long. Still, the real change has been in the rifles, and that is what makes them a solid platform for sale to some of the AR market today.
As you know, I predicted the rise of the 7.62 AR platform as the Next Big Thing a few years back. I have a Colt 901 and the Ruger SR762. I was privileged to go 10-for-10 on the grueling FTW sniper course in Texas with the Ruger SR762 and the Burris XTRII 5-25X. Heck of a gun/scope set-up!

And BTW BTW, I'm having dinner next week with Bill and Joyce Wilson at Wilson Combat, so who knows, another 7.62 AR might be in my future...


From Fox:

ATF shelves controversial bullet ban proposal


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is shelving a controversial proposal to ban a popular type of bullet, amid opposition from hundreds of congressional lawmakers.

The ATF said in a statement on Tuesday it would not seek to issue the final guidelines "at this time." The proposal pertained to M855 "green tip" ammunition, used in the AR-15 rifle; regulators looked at banning it because can pierce police body armor.

The ATF said in a statement on Tuesday it would not seek to issue final guidelines "at this time." The agency said it will instead wait until Americans have finished commenting on the federal regulations and evaluate their comments and suggestions before "proceeding with any framework."

The statement follows 52 senators and 238 House members joining in opposition to any attempt the Obama administration might make to ban the ammo.

"ATF will not at this time seek to issue a final framework," the agency said Tuesday. "The issues raised (so far) in the comments ATF has received to date will require further consideration, and fully processing all of the comments will take time. Given the overwhelming interest in this issue, and the issues raised in the comments received so far, ATF will not at this time issue a final framework."

Monday, March 09, 2015

That Time of Year

Even though it was beautiful outside today, I'm kinda neck deep in corporate taxes (not to mention the podcast)…so no range time for Mikey.

On the plus side, it's looking more and more like the ATF stepped in the poo-poo by acting as B-Ho's antigun utility. Here's an excellent summation of where we stand now from The Federalist:
Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery and later helped lead the abolitionist movement, once remarked, “A man’s rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box, and the cartridge box.” Unfortunately, Barack Obama’s administration apparently wants to ban the latter without ever putting it to the test at the former.
I've got about another day or so crunching, stomping and obliterating numbers before I can sneak outside and make something go bang.


From the Washington Examiner this AM:
52 senators warn of sweeping ammo bans, say Second Amendment 'at risk' 
A majority in both the Senate and House — 52 senators, 238 House members — have joined to oppose the Obama administration's move to ban a popular type of ammo used in the top-selling AR-15 rifle and pistol because it pierces police body armor. 
A week after the House members, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, sent a letter of opposition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley echoed that in his own letter signed by 51 others. 
In their letter, the senators said that the 5.56 M855 "green tip" cartridge was exempted in a 1986 law, along with other rifle ammo from bans on armor-piercing rounds. The reason: popular rifle ammo is typically not used in shootouts with police. 
They also raised new concerns that the administration appears poised for a much wider ammo ban. 
"Second Amendment rights require not only access to firearms but to bullets. If law-abiding gun owners cannot obtain rifle ammunition, or face substantial difficulty in finding ammunition available and at reasonable prices because government entities are banning such ammunition, then the Second Amendment is at risk," said Grassley's letter.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

A Few Thought on the End of History

This from Sultan Knish…read the whole thing, please:
The illusion of history is that every age brings with it the end of history, a new age whose awesome achievements break with the past and usher in a boundless future. And then the walls come crashing down and the new era of history ends up buried under the rubble of time. 
History never ends. That is the lesson of the Holocaust, of Purim and of countless other horrifying intrusions of the old into the new. The shining new era that begins with grand public spectacles and displays of the power and might of an empire, ends with corpses and men and women fighting and running for their lives.

A Hint of Spring

We're in the middle of a big melt-off from last week's snow, so I'll be able to get a little range time this weekend. Probably working with a 9mm Glock. There's also an AR that needs sighting in.

I'm trying to make shooting plans for spring and summer around my production schedules. I know I want to do another Appleseed. I've been talking with the local Appleseed instructors about a custom event where I can invite a number of people. I'll keep you guys in the loop on that one. The He-Man is still on the schedule, but I've got a bunch of rifle and shotgun work to get ready for that one. Also the IRCs in September…I've already started reworking the Ruger GP-100 6-inch to get it just like I want it and still run 100%.

There's some other stuff I'd like to a get accomplished this spring, including getting a ham radio set-up up and running. I've got plenty of room for antennas…it'll just take a little elbow grease. I'm thinking of one of the new Yaesu FT-991s…you guys have any thoughts on that???

Friday, March 06, 2015

A Small Remembrance

Alf the Wonder Beagle
D: March 6, 2014
"One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: 'Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved.' 
No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail."
The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog
Eugene O'Neill

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Unexpected Visitors

Newt was beside herself...she'd never seen rabbits that big...

Flash News Bulletin from Wolfsschanze Clinton...

...buried deep in the wasteland surrounding Chappaqua, NY:

CHAPPAQUA, NY: Spokesman for the Clinton Uber Alles Super PAC today released a statement from Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton today on the increasing controversy swirling around her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

"Knock it off about the emails," Ms. Clinton said, "or I'll turn loose my flying monkeys!"

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Single Digit Temps….Sigh…

Our generator is definitely getting a workout! It's been working very well since we changed out the control head to a newer version that offered a little more control of the Generac. For example, instead of having the Generac turn on when the battery voltage drops to 47.7 volts for 2 minutes (the default setting, which could not be changed with the old control head), the new head allows us to set generator turn-on when voltage stays at 48 volts for 15 minutes. Right now the inverter is set to shut down when the battery voltage drops to 47.4 volts. This is, according to our experts, a conservative strategy to maximize the life of the battery bank.

With the original settings, it was not unusual for the voltage to dip long enough to shut off the inverter before the generator could make a difference, or when the only big-draw voltage suck we don't have any controls on, the deep well pump, kicked on. With the higher voltage/longer time duration setting we're less likely to be standing around in the dark working on everything with flashlights. My Sweetie also spent a lot of time balancing the generator run time and target voltage…the sweet spot seems to be a 90 minute run time or boosting the batteries to 55 volts, whichever comes first.

Two lessons learned:

1) I made penny-wise/pound-foolish decision when the well pump was installed. The well guy asked whether we'd like a computer installed at the well head with a controller in the house. Since our water set-up is built around the idea of the deep well replenishing the cisterns under the house, I decided to forgo the computer for a simple on/off fill switch, purely a dollar decision. What I didn't think through was having the ability to control the timing of the well pump runs. Ideally, we want the well pump running only when the sun is shining. That's a fix we'll be putting in place, along with going to higher efficiency pumps for the internal plumbing. Again, penny-wise/pound-foolish.

2) A second generator has moved up to the number one priority. Hopefully, this can wait until spring, but it's something that definitely has to happen. Once again, my long-term plan was to add an 1800 rpm diesel generator, ideally with a 50 gallon drum tank. My plan would be to have the back-up generator wired in an "either/or" set-up, allowing us to manually route the genie output to recharge the batteries or, in a pinch, to run the primary house systems. I'm considering a refurb'ed military generator for this application.

Seamlessly slipping between topics, interesting article in today's New York Post on how NYPD is quietly prepping for a Mumbai-style terrorist attack:
The NYPD has quietly spent the last six months making preparations for a potential ISIS assault in Manhattan, which police fear could be similar to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India, sources told The Post.
As we've said repeatedly, a Mumbai-style attack has an excellent ROI for an operation like ISIS...no complicate logistics or world-wide supply chain for explosives or idiotic underwear bomb development...just people willing to die and full auto AK-47s.

The Washington Examiner is quoting a top LEO official as saying the M855 "green-tipped" ammunition currently under attack by the ATF and the White House, doesn't represent any special threat to American law enforcement officers:
A top police representative on Tuesday said that there is no history of criminals using a round popular among AR-15 rifle shooters against officers, undermining the Obama administration's argument for banning the 5.56 M855 "lightgreen tip." 
"Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem," said James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the Fraternal Order of Police, the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members.
Never let it be said that Barack HUSSEIN Obama let the truth get in the way of a good lie!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Misfires and Light Strikes

I wanted to do a quick shout-out to my friend Kevin Creighton's blog, Misfires and Light Strikes. Kevin has become perhaps the most thoughtful commentator on the practical shooting sports and their relationship with training and, indeed the Real World.

Since his appearance on SHOOTING GALLERY as one of our "Zeroes," Kevin has become part of what I think of as my "brain trust," people to whom I turn for input on our various projects. Thanks brother!

Monday, March 02, 2015

New Zealand Adventure Trip...

…for SHOOTING GALLERY getting closer and closer! Hunting, shooting, adventure in Middle Earth! Am definitely getting closer to putting it together. Have a bunch of other SGs lined up for 2016…as soon as we get the formal renewal I'll post Season 16 here.

Even the largely brain-dead liberals think that the proposed ban on M855 is really stupid, although not for the same reasons that you and I might suggest. This from one of HuffPo's dogs:
The fact is that shortages of this type affecting America's gun owners begets a powerful political unhappiness that no opposing lobbying or spinning can quell. It is a well-known phenomenon that every candidate must include in their electability calculus. 
It deserves repeating. Banning this type of ammunition, the BATFE will affect the sporting use ecosystem of the AR-15 rifle and its owners who vote for at least two to three years. The true policy question should be, is such an inconvenience or encumbrance as I'm sure it will be called as it is politicized worthwhile?
In other word, only an obsessive gun-hater and "fundamentalist transformer" like Barack HUSSEIN Obama would bone the Dems like this. The hell with all of them.

Interesting piece from my old friend Ken Hackathorn, as quoted on AmmoLand
After all these years, it is my belief that a .45 round is about 10% better than a 9X19mm...ball round vs ball round or JHP vs JHP. Ten percent isn’t much unless your life is at stake–then it is a whole lot. On the other hand, if you told me that I have to carry a 9X19mm pistol, I’m not going to throw a hissy fit. A nine will work just fine if you can place the round where it needs to be. It is not the number of shots fired, or the splits between the shots fired that matters (anytime I hear some talk about ‘splits’, I push the delete button on them...splits don’t mean shit in the real world). While all of us would choose a gun that holds more bullets, how often does round capacity really matter in the real world? If you miss a lot, then high capacity handguns are a great choice. Remember, shootings and gunfights are generally won by those that hit their targets with accurate shots.
Ken is quite literally as good as there is. Pay attention!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Back from Winter Range...

…the big cowboy match in Phoenix. I shot okay — not good, but okay. There were some issues, though, that I'm going to be dealing with on Wednesday's podcast. I've given it a lot of thought today, and I think the issues are so egregious that I do need to discuss them. Enough on that until tomorrow.

I had a "slap me-self on the forehead" moment when I read this piece from Mr. RevolverGuy at the Day At The Range blog on his Ruger Alaskan .454:
At this point there was only one last thing to do, turn this revolver into the most versatile revolver I own, capable of being deployed in any situation. Since the original purchase, even before the background check was complete I was thinking Triple Threat. A revolver capable of firing 45ACP, 45LC and 454Casull. This would mean I would need to find someone I could trust to mill the cylinder on my revolver to take 45ACP moon clips.
That is absolutely totally cool! Adding .45 ACP capability, especially with moon clips, really brings the  Alaskan up another level. I usually keep .45 Colt ammo around, but I've got tons of .45 ACP. I may have to give this a shot.