The last couple of weeks have been totally occupied by 1) the minutiae of getting ready for the SHOT Show, 2) the minutiae of getting ready for knee replacement surgery on the Monday after SHOT, 3) working on finishing up the stems and seeds, as we say here in Colorado, of this season of SHOOTING GALLERY and, 4) getting the "bones" of a new project I can't announce yet in place before SHOT.
Plus, I wouldn't be me if I didn't self-inflict at least one wound.
First, here's the current hot SHOT Show "tease" making the rounds, from Kimber:
My guess is that it is an updated version of a 37mm Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon scaled down to 9mm and available in both FDE and Burnt Bronze, but I could be wrong. I guess I'll see Monday at Range Day. I'm very interested in my old friend Gary Ramey's "Honor Guard" 9mm single stack that came out of a conversation between me, Rob Pincus and Gary at an NRA Show a few years back. Ruger has a couple of surprises, including at least one I'm going to buy. And I will sift through an ocean of ARs. I am looking forward to shooting the Daniel Defense 7.62, however, especially since I shot my aging DDM4 in 3-Gun last year.
In addition to the Tactical Solutions signing (see previous post), we'll be doing a DRTV Live Stream from the main SHOT lobby (next to the big RAM Trucks display) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1-3PM with me hosting…a lot of the frenetic activity in the last couple of weeks has been lining up the ducks for the Live Stream. Ed Head will be joining me, along with the Solid Gold Dancers and a pony. My suggestion for bringing people onto the set in a conga line appears to have fallen by the wayside.
Thursday night will be the big Outdoor Sportsman Awards Powered by RAM gala. My shows are up for 8 awards this year, SHOOTING GALLERY, GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA and THE BEST DEFENSE, last year's winner, all up for Best Shooting Show. SHOOTOUT LANE is up for Best New Series. I am personally nominated in the Non-Sporting Group, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to get smoked by the Bichon Frise bitch.
Everyone is also going to get their first look at AMERICAN MARKSMAN, our new national competition series that will culminate in a spectacular televised finale. I'm very excited about this…we already have a huge amount of work in it…Brian Tatum is doing yeoman's work on the hugely complex organization, with my pal Mark Passamaneck heading up the competition end. Tentative plans call for me, John Carter from SHOOTING GALLERY and Tim Cremin from GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA to handle the television end of it. I'm also serving as a consultant as we work through the competition details. Our goal is to take shooting competition to the next level, and the Outdoor Sportsman Group — OUTDOOR CHANNEL, SPORTSMAN CHANNEL, the magazines and websites — has the juice to pull it off!
I feel pretty good about my knee getting through the Show. My meeting with the surgeon this week went really well…he was surprised and impressed with how much I've been able to build up the knee and said the replacement surgery should go smoothly, although he did note that he could replace either the right or the left, since they both sucked. Knee #2 get swapped out in November. My friend Sheryl Gallup, who reps Kahr Arms, said I should get one of those motorized carts with a really loud horn to get around the SHOT floor. I, of course, wanted a Segway done up all Road Warrior: Fury Road style, with two long rusty iron spikes sticking out front long enough so I could skewer those people pulling plastic boxes full of promotional materials in the calf, since I figured a sedan chair was out of the question.
I did actually get to shoot this week! While we were finished up SHOOTING GALLERY stuff, we wanted to do a little piece on AR pistols. This prompted me to finally finish building up the .300 Blackout based on an old AAC upper. I mounted it on a DoubleStar pistol lower we actually built up on AMERICA'S RIFLE, added a Burris Fast Fire that I had on my desk and a Streamlight TLR-2 with a green laser. I brought both subsonic 220-gr Rem open-tip match and Gorilla 125-grainers at 2160fps. The little gun ran perfectly with both loads, despite the absence of a suppressor (in the works).
The pistol lower had an A2 buffer tune on it because we had one handy when we were building up the pistol. I just got a cheek weld on the tube and fired away. Loved it…heck of a car gun, especially with the 220s. Everyone who shot it loved it. Down the road, I may change lowers…I'ver been converting over my Spike's 9mm pistol to a lower that will run with Glock magazines (the bolt is out being machined for that as we speak), leaving me with a super Spike's pistol lower pinned for Colt 9mm mags with a great padded buffer tube, a super trigger and my name on it (it's also marked "multi-caliber." I'm thinking of popping the pin, bringing it back to standard 5.56 config and trying it with the AAC upper.
Mix and match is fun to do; what Ken and Barbie wear is up to you...