Sunday, December 31, 2017

Driving a Stake in the Heart of 2017!

The complete rig, two Taylors 1872 Open Tops on 1860 Army gripframes, in .44 Russian, completely overhauled by Jeff Ault at Munden's Six-Gun Magic and Will Ghormley's"Flames of Hell" holsters from 3:10 TO YUMA. To say the actions are now "good" is a vast understatement…they are some of the best single action triggers I have ever felt, period. In fact, the trigger is as good as the action/trigger on Wild Bill's 1860 Richard Mason Conversion 1860 Army .44 that I handled at the Adams Museum in Deadwood a few years back.

I thought this was a good image to end the year on. 2017 was not a vintage year. It was a year of business successes and some notable personal losses. That is, I suppose, life.

If you've listened to DOWN RANGE Radio over the years, you know that I'm loathe to do New Year's Resolutions, and I don't think I'll be changing that for 2018. I'm usually spectacularly depressed on December 31, then irrationally exuberant on January 1. A whole new slate! A blank chalkboard! I new piece of paper I haven't doodled all over! A fresh roll of toilet paper…or something like that.

I have big plans for 2018, including the significant expansion of SGO, SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE (Marshal and I have some surprises in store for you!); the launch of John Carter, Max Prasac and my handgun hunting series; the best season of THE BEST DEFENSE ever…Producer Jeff Murray and I have been cooking up some spectacular "big box" ideas.

Of course, SHOOTING GALLERY will begin filming for Season 19 – imagine that! John Carter and I are already doing some preliminary planning. Competition-wise we're looking at going heavy on the Aguila Cup clays/3-Gun and RIMFIRE CHALLENGE match in Texas, with Jeff Cramblit as one of our crash test dummies. We're also reaching out to the organizers of the big Second Chance bowling pin match in June, headed up by no less than Richard Davis…we've never covered a bowling pin match on SG, even though you can argue that pin shooting was in many ways the true precursor of the practical shooting sports. Watch for our 10mm special and a couple of foreign trips…hopefully, I can take you inside the spectacular Wallace Collection in London, which I visited 2 weeks ago.

I'm going to be continuing along the big bore handgun path on SG. We're also looking at some of the challenges of long-range handgun shooting. Lots of other cool stuff.

Personally, I'm shifting directions a little and getting back to cowboy action shooting. 3-Gun has really died off in Colorado…there doesn't seem to be nearly as many matches as there were a couple of years ago. I know some of the local match directors, and the complexity of 3-Gun matches has just burned them up.

After a couple of years of focusing on my rifle shooting, I'm looking at more of a focus on revolvers, boomers for hunting and DAs for competition. A lot of my personal projects you'll see on SGO.

Richard Mann and I, the Abbott and Costello of the hunting community, will be heading back to Africa in June for Cape Buffalo with 45/70 Marlin Guide Guns, guided by our great friend Geoffrey Wayland at Ft. Richmond Safaris. There's a couple of slots left on that trip if you'd like to join us. Trust me, it will be the experience of a lifetime. I'm scheduled to spend a week at GUNSITE in the spring working with my GP-100. I suspect I'll go back in May and tune up on the African hunting simulation course. As I think I may have mentioned, the guys at Wild West Guns in Vegas are building me a "training rifle," a Marlin 44 Magnum set up like the 45/70 Guide Gun, which uses Wild West parts. I've always got lots of .44 Magnum/Special around the Secret Hidden Bunker and I'm always set up to reload it. Give me a chance to try out some optics options for the Africa trip…again, as I think I mentioned, I'm leaning toward either a tube Aimpoint or the new low magnification Nightforce 1-8X illuminated. With my ass on the line, my inclination is to go with something I trust implicitly.

I have several custom guns in the pipeline in addition to the Wild West Marlin. Hamilton Bowen has a 10mm Ruger Blackhawk withe the spare 40 S& W cylinder. The main cylinder is being rebored to 10mm Magnum, a pretty interesting cartridge, with the other cylinder being cut for 38-40, one of my long-time favorite cartridges. J.D. Jones at SSK Industries is putting a T'SOB scope base on my Ruger Bisley .454…I just didn't like the other options for scope mounts, especially against a heavy recoiling .454. I've used the T'SOB base, and it is bullet-proof. I suspect my old .500 Magnum S&W will end up going to him as well.I have an FN .308 with Short Action Customs being turned into a 6mm Creedmoor.

Despite the repeated encouragements from my pal John Snow at OUTDOOR LIFE, I do not have a 22 Nosler in the works! OTOH, I've reached out to JP at JP Rifles about a .224 Valkyrie, as I have a 6.8 SPC that has been sort of sidetracked. We got it years ago for a specific show, and because the show got delayed we ended up buying the thing. 

I just picked up the full-house Wilson Combat Glock 19, which you'll be seeing pretty soon on SGO. It is a VERY NICE GUN!

Of course you'll see a lot about RIMFIRE CHALLENGE for all the obvious reasons.


Anonymous said...

Wa-Hooooooo! You're back! Happy New Year to you Michael!

Life Member

P. S.: Now I have to go back and actually read your latest post! ; )

DamDoc said...

happy new year!... lets hope for carry reciprocity and more mb blogs!

DamDoc said...

Speaking of 2017 going out and what to do with 2018 in gun rights... joe huffman had a great post: open another front against the antis!

Gary said...


Good to see you writing on the blog again. I know you have a lot of things in the works which takes time away from blogging, but I always look forward to your writings.

Anonymous said...

I see that Liam Neeson, the Brit movie star that uses his bully-pulpit of celebrity to campaign AGAINST the Second Amendment and YOUR right to keep and bear arms, has a new movie out called The Commuter. And oh yeah, he's using guns to defend his family and himself. Remember to NOT go and see it, subscribe to it, download it, etc.

This is the only way we can get these hypocrites off the stage.

Anonymous said...

The "Three Gun-Grabbing Stooges" fail in their attempt to show that guns can be bought easily on-line by those prohibited from having them.

Instead, the "study" shows what we here all know already.

Life Member

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Anonymous said...

Nicole! Seriously?

That's obviously NOT your real "Avatar" attached to your "trolling bait". No one would ever want to show what a real dumb-ass looks like.

Anonymous said...

"We don't have any silver bullet; that's the nature of science," Wisely said.

But we do have "Magic": ARs, TAC 14s, PCCs, etc.
; )

Anonymous said...

Man, nj, you Governor IS TOUGH!!!!

Don't you feel safer now?

Life Member

Anonymous said...

Alas, Scotland's future:

Not only did the Scots surrender their freedom to Great Britain by voting to remain "hooked to the Queen's teat"; a chance they had to take it back without spilling more blood; now, they're willing to give away their whole country too. The kilts have become skirts.

Что дальше?

Life Member

NJ Larry said...

I woke up this morning looking as I do in the morning thru the obits...Damn if it ain't a sad day reading that African PH Harry Selby passed away. RIP sir. One of the truly great hunter/guides of African post war years. Had connections to the opening of the African veldt going back to TR and the great safaris of yesteryear. Man oh man, I have seen the transiting of a different age. A GREAT age might I say.

And this on the anniversary of the battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879 during the Zulu Wars. Gonna have to fire up the DVD player and watch the movie Zulu...