Thursday, September 29, 2005

Shooting Impression of De-blinged M21 Revolver

I finally got to the range with the S&W M21 .44 Special revolver, essentially a de-Thunder Ranch'ed version of "the greatest fighting revolver ever," as AMERICAN HANDGUNNER magazine is fond of saying.

Right up front, other than the fact AM-HAN got the caliber wrong for a fighting revolver — I'd opt for .45 ACP, like the next iteration in the series, the M22 — it's a pretty nice gun. The M21 is a blue-steel round-butt fixed-sight, N-rame revolver with a 4-inch barrel, a la seventeen some-odd generations, if you count 'em all, of Hand Ejector models dating back to the legendary Triple Lock back in 1908. It's a fixed sight version of the M24, which was a .44 Special version of the M29 "Dirty Harry Most Powerful Handgun In The World."

I had Winchester 240-gr "Cowboy" ammo (750 fps, for a power factor of, like 180) and 200-gr SilverTip self defense ammo (900 fps, for another 180 pf). I went to the range to do a Cowboy practice, spending time with my old .44 Vaquero, the new .44 Vaquero and a Marlin Cowboy. After about 300 rounds of cowboy practice, I shifted to the M21.

I ran 100 rounds of the 240-gr Cowboy through the gun double action on IDPA targets at 10 and 12 yards. The Cowboy loads were printing maybe 2 inches high, centered, at 12 yards. I could definitely feel the 240 grain bullet; the DA is still (12-14 pounds) but very smooth, and it kept smoothing up the more I shot. Interesting enough, I've been shooting my 1917 Fitz Special .45 ACP N-frame, which has a world-class action job and really nice grips, so initially the M21 felt a little rocky to me. The factory M21 grips were almost there, but not quite the equivalent of the custom grips in the Fitz. In drills, I didn't feel like the M21 was handling as well as the Fitz, but the groups were right on par with the .45.

My initial feeling was that, compared to the 3-inch Fitz, the M21 with its shrouded ejection rod and 1-inch longer barrel made it feel a speck nose-heavy, even with the skinny barrel. After about four cylinders of Cowboy through the gun, it started feeling pretty good and pointing better, which allowed me to start speeding up. After 100 roounds of doubles, triples and occasional full dumps of all six rounds, I had 5 rounds ourside of the IDPA A-zone.

Hmmmmm...I'm liking this.

I didn't do any reloading drills because I could only scrape up one HKS .44 6-shot speedloader, a situation that should be remedied when Brownell's next delivers.

After the Cowboy rounds I went to the SilverTips. S&W says the gun is regulated for 200-grain bullets, which proved to be the case. The SilverTips were, to use a technical term, dead nuts on at 12 yards, and the gun really came into its own. I had about 30 SilverTips left; I saved 6 to get me home.

I'm ordering a Blade-Tech holster tomorrow so I can take the thing to an IDPA or a USPSA match and really wring it out. The bottom line is that I like it, but not as much as the stubby .45 ACP Fitz, which is one of the finest defensive revolvers I've ever owned. I'm a huge fan of .44 Special, and I believe the fixed sight Hand Ejectors are the most beautiful revolvers ever made. Now that S&W has de-blinged the gun, you couldn't pry it out of my hands with a crowbar. However, in terms of pure fighting revolver, I'll take my ancient Fitz, or any one of the 3-inch M25/625 .45 ACP snubbies. Moon clips are a HUGE HUGE improvement over speedloaders, and I think I'll take the heavier weight of the fatter current barrels over the skinny barrel in terms of soaking up recoil. Also, say what you will, but the current issue S&W adjustable sights are tough and offer you a bit of versatility.

Still, a B+ effort and a keeper!

From My Front Yard Five Minutes Ago...

Living in Colorado sucks sometimes!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Hunting and Revenues

Here's an interesting article from The Christian Science Monitor on efforts to rebuild hunting:
Hunters as endangered species? A bid to rebuild ranks.
Youth hunt days in several states attempt to attract young people to a fading sport.

By Mark Clayton | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Along Indiana's highways, 50-foot billboards pitch: "Take a Kid Hunting Day." They depict father and son ambling down a country road - two dead ducks drooping from one of the boy's hands, a shotgun in the other.

Trying to appeal to youths' instincts for fun and family, Indiana state officials and national hunting advocates are banking on a phalanx of sophisticated promotions to lure a new generation of would-be hunters into the fields, or woods.


Anxious to reverse the decline in the sport - and the resulting drop in state revenues from hunting licenses - hunting and gun groups and state wildlife and conservation departments are pursuing several initiatives.
The article reaffirmed what I already know to be true — for all the talk about "saving America's cherished hunting heritage," it is, as always, really about the MONEY. The states want hunting license revenues and access to the Pittman-Robinson slush fund, so they're happy to play along. Sport shooters apparently don't buy nearly as many accessories as hunters (hmmmm, could it be that we're not offered nearly as many accesories?). Politicians like the idea that the current initiative allows them to have it both; anti-gun.

Again — and I can't say this enough times — there would be nothing wrong with the initiavies to expand hunting opportunities if the industry would at least throw a bone to the rest of the shooting sports.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Somewhere a Lonly Bell is Ringing...

From Drudge:
Leader of New Orleans Police Resigns
Sep 27 3:54 PM US/Eastern

Police Superintendent Eddie Compass resigned Tuesday after four turbulent weeks in which the police force came under fire for its conduct in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

"I served this department for 26 years and have taken it through some of the toughest times of its history. Every man in a leadership position must know when it's time to hand over the reins," Compass said at a news conference. "I'll be going on in another direction that God has for me."

Ah, Strumfuhrer! We hardly knew ye! Best of luck on your new position in Haiti, or whichever Third World dictatorship needs your services! Oh sure to leave a forwarding address, so when you're sued into the Twilight Zone by the people whose guns you confiscated, they know where to pick up their checks!

More Fashion Tips!

My favorite new t-shirt from Those Shirts! Buy one!

Lumbering Toward Friday...

Well, it's not even close to the weekend, damn it! I sucked it up and bought a used Ruger Old Vaquero in .44 Mag yesterday to shoot at that big cowboy match in Utah next week. I'm filming an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY tentatively titled How NOT To Shoot A Match!

The Huntsman Senior World Championships (get that "Senior" thing???) doesn't offer a Men's Modern class, which is what I normally shoot in Cowboy. That means none of my Ruger Blackhawks qualify. I had a bunch of down a couple of Tauruses, a couple of Charles Dalys, a couple of New Vaqueros...all to no avail — largely because I didn't get out there and hustle and I hate to abuse my relationships with the gun companies.

I have a .44 Vaquero I bought 8 or 9 years ago when I first started thinking about cowboy. The .44 maggie Vaqueros were never particularly popular, sort of red-haired stepchilds sandwiched uncomfortably between the hugely popular .357 and 45 Colt versions. Now that all the Old Vaqueros have been discontinued in favor of the S.A.A.-sized New Vaqueros, the .44's are gone from the catalog. So it probably won't kill me to have another one, although it does delay by some time my anticipated purchase of what I was putting the money aside for, an S&W M29 blue steel .44 Magnum 3-inch snubbie, which are getting rarer and rarer.

My poor original Vaquero got cycled into the NSSF Media Education Program, where it was battered all over the place. The aluminum ejector rod housing looks like it has been gnawed by something. I'd stoke it up with 240-grain JHPs, and in the light Vaquero usually nobody wanted to fire more than one or two rounds. Recoil the short-barreled gun.

Still, the .44 Mag Vaquero is one heck of a packin' gun in bear country, loaded up with Cor-Bon hunting loads and a sense of humor on your part. Y'all might want to think about running one down, since they're now at the rock bottom of their price cycle and likely to be in tighter supply in the future.

So I'll be shooting the two Vaqueros with powder-puff light Winchester Cowboy .44 Special loads. I'll also be shooting an out-of-the-box Marlin .44 Magnum COWBOY lever gun and a super Chinese M97 pump shotgun rebuilt by cowboy shotgun master Coyote Cap (watch for him on next season's COWBOYS...the guy is really good!).

Rule One on How NOT to Shoot a Match is, by all means, shoot new, untested stuff! BTW, be sure to check out Alphecca's weekly check of the media, now up!

And THANKS to the Carnival of Cordite for the link!

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Moment of Fishy Tranquility...

I was loading up the digital camera to post some junk on eBay and I noticed this photo of my goldfish...the one with the fins is Nemo; the splotchy colored one is Pooh Ye and the orange one in the background is Beta.

Kind of like raising your own sushi!

JOKE! It was a JOKE!

Shaq Attack!

From our pal Paul Erhardt at SIG and
Police officer or basketball player? Maybe both.
HALT, or I'll irritate you to death!

Why a Hunting-Centric Focus Hurts Us All

Here's a perfectly fair e-mail question:

"Jeez, Bane! What's the big deal here? Hunting, shooting, we're all on the same side. I don't see what you're so worked up about..."
That deserves an answer, or at least my taking a shot (so to speak) at an answer.

The firearms industry's obsessive focus on hunting, as opposed to shooting, activities causes damage to the gun culture, RKBA issues and us individually as shooters because:

1) It limits the number of new participants coming into the gun culture to people who want to hunt, as opposed to just shoot. This is bad because we are locked in a game of numbers — the more people we have on our side, the easier it becomes to defend our rights. For the amount of money flowing into hunter recruitment and retention programs right now, we could easily recruit 10X that number into the shooting sports! You do the math — which puts us in a stronger position nationally, 1 million new hunters or 10 million sport shooters?

2) It ignores the larger, much more important goal of "normalizing" the use and ownership of firearms in a desperate effort to prop up revenues in hunting-related industries. Hunting is declining and has been declining for a decade or more, a reflection of four "megatrends" — increasing suburbanization of previously rural land; the social acceptance of broader liability responsibilities; the on-going assault on leisure time coupled with a much, much larger selection of activities to fill the shrinking leisure time and, finally, a "realignment" of the basic family unit that has shifted much of young people's leisure time activities to peer groups and away from inner family activities. Blunt trauma recruitment and retention efforts are mostly focused on creating more hunting consumers to keep fueling a large industry. That's all well and good. However, our social problem is not that there aren't enough people buying stuff, but that our enemies have succeeded in demonizing firearms ownership and use. The focus of our industry-wide effort should be "hearts and minds" as well as consumers. I see very little of that happening, even within the recruitment and retention establishment.

3) Taxation without representation is tyranny. It was when James Otis said it before the Revolutionary War; it still is. The Pittman-Robinson excise tax on all firearms and ammunition generates billions of dollars, which goes for land conservation, wildlife management and repopulation and hunter recruitment and retention...I'm not against any of those things. HOWEVER, why has not one penny of thhis tax gone to any other shooting activity? And why do fish and wildlife people go pale when anyone brings this fact up? The Pittman-Robinson money is the 800-pound gorilla hiding behind the curtain!

4) The hunting-only focus has clouded the more urgent political issues. Look at John Kerry running around capping anything he could find during the election, or Bill Clinton proclaiming long and loud how he loved to whack the occasional Daffy Duck. The left-wing spinners know the public at large can be confused on this issue, because we're often confused on this issue. Show me a Democrat who is "anti-hunting," and I'll have him canned and distributed as tuna. But our fight is not, never has been, and never will be about duck hunting!

5) The shooting sports and self-defense/tactical shooting are booming despite benign ignorance, but they need help at a national level. Here's how I view it — the shooting sports are the key, the shoehorn, to a hearts and mind program to make a major change in the national mindset. The self-defense/tactical emerging market is the rock upon which a lasting change in the national mindset is going to be made. But these emerging markets need help in marketing, in their own recruitment and retention efforts and in buildiing a solid infrastructure. None of that is happening right now.

If you think back to the 1950s, the image of a gunowner/gun user was a sportsman...a white. middle-aged man tramping the game fields with a shotgun slung over his shoulder and a dog at his heels. It captured our imagination then, and I understand the urge to make that image real again. But if we are going to succeed in undoing decades of antigun propaganda, we need more than an image of a man/woman, white/black/Hispanic/Asian tramping the game fields with a shotgun over his/her shoulder. We need the image of a professional woman with a CCW handgun in her purse; an Olympic athlete holding a shotgun, rifle, or pistol; a tactical trainer teaching Americans how to defend themselves; a practical competitor pushing the limits of what is possible with a firearm; the mile-long line of shotgun competitors at the Grand; the majesty of Camp Perry; the hard-core realism of Gunsite and Valhalla and Blackwater and, yes, a sportsperson tramping the game fields.

Hunting is no more the future of shooting than bicycling is the future of shooting.

SHOOTING is the future of shooting.

And I suspect that if the people lead, the leaders will follow...however reluctantly.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Pause for a Little Humor...

...before we get on with the week's s&%tstorms! This is my favorite photo from the "anti-war" demonstrations in Washington D.C. this weekend, courtesy of

And the guy is right! The Flying Spaghetti Monster is coming to kick some butt!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Question About Hunting

Overload in Colorado asked a pretty interesting question in response to one of yesterday's post:
If all the manufactures know their own sales numbers of sporting vs hunting, and are members of NSSF, why did it just switch to an all hunting logo, and why does the NSSF and the industry promote hunting the way it does?

Peterson Pub, Primedia and others also know their sales of hunting vs sport vs tactical magazines (and of course the general guns magazines sales vary based on the cover and contents)

Again, if you're right, and I have no reason to doubt you, is there the emphasis on hunting?
Hell of a question, Overload, and a pretty complex answer that cuts to the heart of problems within the our gun culture. Let me just give you the Cliff's Notes answer, based on a lifetime as a shoooter (and occasionally a hunter) and almost a decade on the front lines, including time as a consultant to NSSF and the firearms industry.

1) Many of the people who run our industry and lobbying groups grew up in a time when hunting played a drastically larger roll in the gun culture than it does now. They are hunters; they associate with hunters; they understand hunters. Quick funny...I was talking to one of the most powerful men in the industry at a luncheon, a man who has run one of the largest gun companies in the world (and that includes one of the most respected shooting schools in the world). I was asking about comp'ing some media into the school; he listened for a minute, then stopped me. "Oh I'm sorry, Michael," he said, grinning and addressing the other people at the table. "You're talking about the shooting school! You're going to have to repeat yourself, because when you're not talking about blood sports, I'm just not that interested..."

2) The hunting lobby itself is old, extremely well organized, extremely heavily funded and extremely efficient. My hat is off to them.

3) Companies that service the hunting market understand the necessity of spreading a lot of money around.

4) The hunting market itself, while shrinking, is still extremely lucrative, especially in accessories (think cammie underwear!).

5) It has only been in the last decade that the shooting sports and the self-defense/tactical market have emerged a clearly separate, and large, markets, and these emerging markets are far less well understood by the majority of the industry.

6) Neither the shooting sports nor the self-defense/tactical market have anying lobbying efforts to speak of. The hunting lobby, however, was quick to see the emerging markets as threats to their dominance, and they have responded with an unprecedented push to retain that dominance.

7) In the absence of effective lobbies — or, for that matter, any effective representation at all — the shooting sports and self-defense/tactical markets have been unable to "make their case" to the industry as a whole. For example, studies tend to focus on hunting or hunting-related issues. Since there are no spokespeople or representatives for the shooting sports as a whole or the self-defense/tactical markets, no one from those markets is consulted on industry policies. The squeakiy wheel gets the grease.

8) The industry sees what it wants to see. I have been told repeatedly that hunting accounts for the majority of ammo sales in the United States, which is patent nonsense (we were able to quickly account of 40% of the ammo and components sold annually with competition and plinking). The studies the industry relies on lumps "plinking," which is informal competition, into hunting, disregards component sales and, occasionally, sales of "military" calibers...funny, since 9mm and .223 are according to my sources the best-selling ammo in the country. All shotgun shell sales are presumed to be for bird hunting or practicing for bird hunting, despite millions of "registered" rounds fired in shotgun competitions.

9) Hunting is politically correct; shooting is not. I would have preferred this not be a factor, but in my direct observation, it plays a huge role. Many of the people who represent us are uncomfortable with handguns used for self-defense or those pesky assault rifles...they live in states or cities where they sometimes can't own or carry handguns or possess an AR-15, so they don't have any "gut" feelings on the issue. Quick funny anecdote from a SHOT Show...I was getting ready to go out to dinner with my pal Scott Smith when we ran into a bunch of industry heavyweights, who invited us to go along with them. As we were walking out Scott turned to me and asked, "Hey Bane, you got a piece? If you don't, I got extra." I said not to worry, that I had my carry gun in the car. This stopped the industry heavyweights dead in their person said, "You guys are carrying guns?" Well duh, Scott said. "Why would you be carrying guns?" we were asked Think about it...

10) Underneath all these factors, there is a nasty undertone that, in the end, we are going to lose big chunks of our RKBA, and at least portions of the industry want to make sure their asses are covered. Out huge successes in the last few years — especially the pre-emption bill — have mitigated this factor somewhat, but the unspoken sentiment for years has been that whether there are carry handguns or not, there will always be hunting.

As you noted, our industry trade groups are moving more and more to hunting exclusivity even as their own numbers show hunting declining and sport shooting and self-defense/tactical shooting booming. I received my NSSF REPORTS newsletter for September last weekl, and they listed 13 partnerships and programs — every single one of them about hunting. They also reported that $1,363,278 of OUR MONEY has been given out in state agency hunter recruitment, rtention and access efforts. As near as I can tell, exactly $0.00 of OUR MONEY has been handed out for shooting sports recruitment and retention.

I support NSSF for their spectacular lobbying work in D.C., and I support hunting. But I am losing my patience with this industry continuing to act as if I, my friends, my fellow competitors and trainers and my viewers don't exist!


Friday, September 23, 2005

One Last MORON ALERT Before Nite-Nite!

I just couldn't go to bed without posting more PURE IDIOCY from the kibble-for-brains folks at the Brady Center. This from the
Gun control group to run ads warning about self-defense shootings

A gun control group is set to start running ads contending that a new Florida law allowing people to act in self defense without first trying to flee will make it more dangerous to come here.

On Oct. 1, the day the new law takes effect, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will run ads in newspapers in London, Chicago, Boston and Detroit that contend that visitors will now "face a greater risk of bodily harm in Florida," The Miami Herald reported Friday.

The group will also hand out fliers to arriving passengers at Miami International Airport drawing attention to the law, which passed the Legislature overwhelmingly earlier this year.
When I lived in Florida, we actually had hunting seasons on foreign tourists, the expressway rest stops were fondly known as "killing zones," and getting lost coming out of Miami International was tantamont to a death sentence! The CCW laws changed all that.

You know, as desperate as Brady is, if we could just get the firearms industry to take a couple of hours off from promoting all-hunting all-the-time, we could drive the final nails in those idiots' coffin and be done with 'em.

Coming Up This Weekend...

NRA and SAF kick butt as a federal judge agrees that Nazi weasels in New Orleans can't suspend the Constitution to prove how big their wee-wees are: Joining LaPierre in hailing the U.S. District Court decision was NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox.
“This is an important victory. But the battle is not over. The NRA will remedy state emergency statutes in all 50 states, if needed, to ensure that this injustice does not happen again."
Hey Sturmfurher Compass III, maybe you can get a job as Superintendent of Police in, say, Haiti!

Tequila's hanging in there in Texas...he says it has been a really kick butt day and he's exhausted. With Rita heading east, his little community is breathing a tentative sigh or relief. Now, if they jusy had some gasoline!

I picked up my de-blinged S&W M21 .44 Special revolver today. As you recall, I haven't been a big fan of the Thunder Ranch P. Diddy version, with its 3-large over what it should have been price tag and its OG (over-gold) stampings. Apparently, I wasn't alone — RSR and CDNN have been blowing out Thunder Ranch at...surprise...about $300 off list. Now S&W has introduced a plain-Jane version at a sane price, so I snapped one up. I'd suggest you .44 Special fanciers (and you know who you are!) do the same, as .44 Special revolvers have never met the kind of success in the marketplace that the guns have among the .44 Special FANATICS. I have to admit that I'm one, having been unduly influenced by Skeeter Skelton back when he was writing flawless columns for SHOOTING TIMES. S&W has been pretty good at introducing various and sundry .44 Specials (the L-frame 696, the Scandium-framed 296 snubby and 396 Mountain Lite, the M24/624 N-frames), but they tend to disappear just when you've scraped up the bucks to get one). BTW, I still stand on my comments that if I had to pick a single "fighting revolver," it would be a 3 or 4-inch 625 .45 ACP with moon clips! If it don't rain and the crick don't rise, I'll take it to the range tomorrow or Sunday.

I'll also be whining about how sore I am from my second day in the pool today. I ground off 1000 meters, moving with all the grace and speed of a severely injured manatee. Thank god I wasn't in open water, or I'd have been in danger from a Japanese whaling ship!

A Good Morning to Eat Crow

I heard from Tequila briefly yesterday afternoon from Flatonia, TX, who reported the situation growing increasingly "chaotic," but not out of control. "This is Texas," he said with some pride. "Well get through this." It looks this morning that the storm's continued eastward hook is taking a little pressure off the more westerly communities.

• My Sweetie and I took the afternoon off to cruise over Peak-to-to Peak Highway to Estes Park, both to have a decent pizza and see the spectacular aspen color in the high country. Normally, we'd take the motorcycle, but she's still a little fragile from some surgery earlier this summer, so we opted to take her Mini, which is about as close as you can get to a motorcycle with four wheels. If you've never seen the aspen in color, it's hard to imagine how beautiful they actually are. The colors range from a pale green through the yellows and golds all the way to a deep red-gold, a pointillist's pallet spread over hundreds of acres. Estes Park is fun this time of year because the elk herds have come down from the high pastures, to camp out on the Estes Park golf course and on people's lawns. The junior bulls face off with the Big Guys, bugling like crazy over who gets the prime cows. I saw one absolutely amazing bull — somewhere Dwight Van Brunt of Kimber, who lives, breathes, eats and sleeps giant elk, must be twitching his trigger finger!

Crow-wise, at various times I'm been contemputous of the "bug -out gun" school of gunwriting — "What gun would you take with you if you had to 'bug-out' of your home, quick like a bunny?" I thought it was fantasy worry, the next step up from a penetrating discussion on which is better, revolver or auto? Boy, was I ever wrong on that one! I realize that my contempt was based on not fully understanding the situation. From
9-11 to blizzards to hurricanes, I've been forced to yank my head out of my buttocks and face the 72-hour reality. I still would always prefer to go to, stay home, hunker down and ride out whatever is going on. But I've also made plans if we have to bail. It's a basic 5-day pack, including food, water, first aid supplies, sanitation gear, tiny backpacking stove and fuel, flashlights, batteries, blah blah, all packed in a Pelican case. It also includes a .22 revolver and a brick of ammo, 100 rounds of 9mm ball and 50 rounds of hot .44 Magnum. I gotta bail, I'll take the SIG 226 on my person and a lever action .44 Magnum rifle. SIG is loaded with JHPs (currently Hornady TAPs); rifle with .240-gr JHPs (Black Hills)

Rationale for both should be fairly obvious — 9mm means lots of bullets; SIGs are largely indestructable; .44 Mag offers a level of versatility over .30-30, my second choice for a rifle caliber; I have a better chance of getting a "cowboy gun" through "the authorities" than something paramilitary, especially here in the Out West. I'd probably stick a J-frame in my pocket, since I do that a lot anyway. Am thinking of rounding up one of those little sub-J-frame Taurus 9mm revolvers I handled at SHOT last year. Sucks having to think about stuff like that! Of course, it sucked for Tequlia, too, but it paid off in spades!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita & Tequila

Was looking at the hurricane map in this morning's newspaper, and it showed the eye of Rita likely making landfall on the coast between Houston and Corpus Christi. I'd like to note that the host of our COWBOYS show — and my very dear friend — Richard "Tequila" Young lives in Flatonia, about half-way between Houston and San Antonia and, according to this morning's map, directly in the path of the eye of the storm.

Batten the hatches, brother, and lock and load.

Our thoughts are with you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Interesting Post-Katrina Thoughts from THR

Here's a really interesting post-Katrina thread from The High Road, one of the largest gun forums on the internet.

I know lots of us have been rethinking our own strategies in the wake of Katrina. As I've said many times before, I live up in the mountains, where we all assume that there will be at least one blizzard a year that "cuts us off from civilization." We all plan accordingly. Most of my evac planning has been based around fast-moving wildfires, although, ironically, I got one of those automated "suggested evac" calls after a screaming blizzard that dumped 6 feet of snow in a day and a half. It took a week to get a plow to us; two days before we saw the first snowmobile. Lacking a dog team and a Yeti guide, we elected to stay put.

The moderator lists several critical points:
1) People who were prepared were frequently mobbed/threatened by those who weren't.
2) When help gets there, you may get it whether you like it or not.
3) There seems to be a cumulative psychological effect upon survivors.
4) There is widespread frustration over the lack of communication and empathy by rescuers and local/State government.
5) Expect rescuers (including law enforcement) to enforce a distinctly un-Constitutional authority in a disaster situation.
6) Don't believe that rescuers are all knights in shining armor who will respect your property.
By all means, read the whole thread!

Up Paris Hilton's Skirt, Such As It Is...

Before we return to our ALL GUNS ALL THE TIME format, I wanted to make note of a new book from Ariel Levy, FEMALE CHAUVINIST PIG: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Levy's thesis is that (duh!) something has gone terribly wrong with feminism, which has lead to the strange situation of women adopting perhaps the worst traits of men, especially in the sexual "arena." Haven't read the book yet (it's on the way from Amazon), but some of the articles are fascinating.

This from OpinionJournal's Wendy Shalit:
It [modern academic life] was merely the academic groundwork for what she calls "raunch culture," now so ubiquitous that we take it for granted. Young women wear shirts emblazoned with "Porn Star" across the chest. Teen stores sell "Cat in the Hat" thong underwear. Parents treat their daughters' friends to "cardio striptease" classes for birthday parties. This is liberation?

Ms. Levy is baffled. "Why," she wondered, "is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering?" Why did female Olympic athletes pose for Playboy before the summer 2004 Games? Why did Katie Couric feel the need to point to her cleavage and gush "these are actually real!" when she guest-hosted "The Tonight Show" a couple of years ago?

Some sort of pervasive pressure, apparently, requires "everyone who is sexually liberated . . . to be imitating strippers and porn stars." Ms. Levy describes the perfect distillation of this impulse--a social group called CAKE that hosts steamy, hooking-up parties in New York and London. CAKE makes big bucks advertising "feminism in action"--it claims to be the place where "sexual equality and feminism finally meet"--but its events are indistinguishable from those held at the Playboy Mansion.
I could crack a joke here, largely because I'm a guy and I benefit — even if only visually — from the triumph of raunch culture. I've said before that being in Boulder when Boulder High, which is a couple of blocks away form both the University of Colorado campus and the only gunstore in town, let out is...interesting. The trick is telling the high school girls from the college women, easy once you get the hang of it. The college women, having just discovered the Demon Rum big time, dress in ratty sweats, have lank hair and look like winos coming off a five day bender; the high schoolers look like moderately expensive call girls.

I can crack jokes because I don't have any kids. My producer and friend Robin has a baby daughter, and he doesn't think any of this is funny at all. He's right. of course. It's a scary thing to watch culture slide off the edge of the world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Super 625 .45 ACP Revolver!

As promised, here are more impression of the Randy Lee/Apex Tactical custom competition S&W 625 .45 ACP revolver.

You can see what the beastie in question looks like...note the ti cylinder fitted into the stainless steel 625 frame. Let's deal with that right up front. The point of a titanium cylinder instead of a stainless steel cylinder is (I believe) the pesky application of the laws of physics regarding stuff like momentum and mass. If you slept through that part of high school physics — and who didn't? — here's a quickie experiment to show you. Rush out to your workshop and collect a small piece of foam, a length of pvc pipe, duct tape and a 5-pound sledge hammer. Cut the foam until it is exactly the same size as the head of the sledge hammer. Cut off a piece of the PVC pipe exactly the same length as the handle of the sledge hammer, then duct tape the PVC "handle" to the foam "head." Now carefully hold the PVC/foam "hammer" exactly four feet above your right foot and let it go. Observe the feeling in your foot. Repeat the experiment with the real 5-pound sledge. When you stop hopping around and cursing, you'll have an excellent sense of why lighter might be better for moving parts: Snore...nod...ouch!...what??? Force equals mass times acceleration??? Gravity is a constant??? What the hell??? My foot hurts!!!

Remember also, the cylinder turns, then comes to a dead stop in line with the barrel. And rotating weight has even more implications than the falling 5-pound weight you like an idiot dropped on your foot — Lance Armstrong worries more about the weight of a wheel rim and tire than the weight of the bolts that hold his seatpost...although I suppose that these days Lance Armstrong doesn't worry about anything except Sheryl Crow's latest release and the gas mileage on his black-on-black restored GTO muscle car.

The weight of the rotating cylinder causes the revolver to torque ever so slightly under recoil (you pull the trigger, two things happen...the gun goes bang and the cylinder indexes another chamber). More weight; more torque. Also, consider that in DA fire, the trigger pull is also rotating the cylinder. Remember that rascal Newton? Bodies at rest tend to remain at rest (which is why getting up in the morning is such a bitch!). The heavier the cylinder, the more harder it is for the trigger mechanism to get the thing moving.

That's why the great PPC revolvers of the 1960s and 1970s were built on the smaller K-Frame S&Ws. Gunsmiths were able to get lighter DA trigger pulls and less torquing of the gun with the smaller K-Frames versus the larger N-Frames, given the same .38 Special ammo.

lighter cylinders = lighter trigger pulls + less torque

Or something like that.

Anyway, the net result is that Randy's revolver has a DA trigger pull of less than 4 pounds, essentially less than the single-action trigger pull of an out-of-the-box 1911. I fired the gun with some of Revolver Queen Lisa Farrell's leftover .45s from the IPSC World Shoot; the rounds were loaded to meet the hot 175 Power Factor (bullet weight X velocity /1000). The recoil felt exactly like a 1911 with similar power factor loads...if there was any torquing at all, I couldn't detect it. It was a little like running a tuned Para LDA semiauto...the trigger pull is so long and light that you pretty much don't notice it.

The barrel with its underlug soaked up the recoil, and I was able to steadily pick up speed on the plate rack.

Sights were the LPA specials for S&W revolvers, which give you a Bo-Mar-like rear sight view. From the LPA website... "THE TXT01-07 COMPETITIVE HAS BEEN PLANNED TO IMPROVE THE AIM IN COMPETITIVE SHOOTING AND TO BE HARMONIOUSLY COUPLED ON S&W REVOLVERS." So there! So few things in life are harmonious coupled. In fact, the sights are pretty cool, essentially bolting on using the pre-drilled holes in the topstrap for a scope mount. Front sights were (I think) SDM fiber optics "Super Sights." Sight picture can be summed up as "perfect."

The revolver also featured one of Apex's dual crane locking systems (the little ball bearing thingies on the yoke) and about every other bell and whistle out there.

You'll probably need to shoot this revolver to believe it! Yes, it's a pure competition piece, but I'd love to see some of Randy's innovations in, say, a carry gun...a 625 with a 3-inch barrel and ti cylinder, for instance, which should have a substantially longer working life than the current batch of Scandium-framed 325 .45 ACP snubbies coming down the pike. Better still, would it be too much to ask for an L-Frame 5-shot .45 ACP stainless steel 3-inch (a la the late and much lamented 696 .44 Special) with a ti cylinder? yeah, that's probably too much to ask!

Here's the bottom line: Randy Lee is the best revolver gunsmith working today. He is clearly one of the greatest S&W mechanics ever. Back in the day, I was lucky enough to shoot guns from some of the legendary PPC revolversmiths, and I would put Randy's 625 against any of those guns. I suggest you get your S&Ws to him TODAY, because as soon as word gets out, he's going to be sitting on a waiting list like you wouldn't believe!

BTW, one of the projects he's working on for me is a 629 .44 Magnum set up for competition, with the cylinder machined to take .44 moon clips. I'll steal a trick from the Brian Enos revolver forum and use shortened .44 Special or .44 Russian brass to keep the rounds stubby. I don't want the gun set up SOLELY for competition (which would entail the exclusive use of Federal primers with a precise seating depth), but rather as a gun that could be used in competition or as a great field piece.

Almost Gone...

The harvest is passed
The summer is over
And we are not saved
Jeremiah 8:20

Morning found us calmly unaware
Noon burn gold into our hair
At night, we sailed the laughin' sea
When summer's gone
Where will we be?
The Doors
"Summer's Almost Gone"

Sigh...the high aspen are turning gold; it's in the 40s in the morning and the furnace is clicking on. I can't deny it any longer however much I might try. Summer is finished, over, yesyterday's news, history. And are we saved, or what?

Well, the good news is that we've won the war on terror, bank robbery, serial killers and kidnapping, which leaves our pals at the FBI free to pursue the real problem facing America: obscenity. This from the Washington Post this AM:
Early last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of "the Director." That would be FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

Mischievous commentary began propagating around the water coolers at 601 Fourth St. NW and its satellites, where the FBI's second-largest field office concentrates on national security, high-technology crimes and public corruption.

The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."
In other reasonably entertaining news this AM, Colorado wildlife officials did not cite a deer hunter for capping a mountain lion which had apparently decided to gnaw down on said hunter:
The hunter, who was not identified, first attempted to scare the animal off by throwing items and yelling at it, said Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton. But when those actions didn’t faze the approaching cougar, the man shot it with his muzzleloader.

“It was snarling, hissing at him,” Hampton said. “He threw some stuff at it and couldn’t scare it off.”
The hunter had a muzzleloader, so one assumes that he decided to expend his single bullet on the kitty-cat. Had this happened in Boulder County, where I live and which has so many lions that it had a whole book written about the phenomenon (The Beast in the Garden), the hunter would be charged with capital murder, officials would be looking for relatives of the cat for the impending lawsuit and there would be demonstrations on the Pearl Street Mall calling for full voting rights for cougars.

Come to think of it, I would support full voting rights for cougars! Imagine this Statewide Referendum, sponsored by State Senator Argh-Roar du Bitem, nicknamed "Sylvester:"

COLORADO REFERENDUM "B" — The Rights of Prey. We, the People of the State of Colorado, in acknowledgement of the Natural Reality of the Food Chain, the Soverign Rights of Animals and in keeping with the Ethical Treatment of Animals, do hereby vote and acknowledge that PREY HAS NO RIGHTS and may thusly be consumed, eaten, or processed for consumption at a later date.
The City of Boulder would look like New Orleans, empty streets with only scraps of tie-dyed t-shirts and protest posters blowin' in the wind. The last University of Colorado student would be hording the last beer listening to the last liberal professor bemoaning the fact that she wasn't eaten sooner, since even lions have trouble getting the skanky taste of liberal out of their mouths or that nasty film off their teeth.

Now that would be an autumn to remember!

Monday, September 19, 2005

When Guns Are Outlawed, etc...

First, on the New Orleans debacle, this from Dimitri Vassilaros at the Pittsburg Tribune Review:
Businesses selling bumper stickers that read "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" also should offer one with the rejoinder "We told you so."
In spite of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina -- and then by its citizens -- New Orleans still is the "Big Easy" because of its total and effortless vandalizing of the Second Amendment.

Say what you will about the astounding ineptitude of Mayor C. Ray "Not My Fault" Nagin and Police Superintendent P. Edwin "Me Neither" Compass III who, when interviewed jointly, wear "I'm with stupid" T-shirts with arrows pointing at each other. Who could have predicted that their gun grabbing would be almost lethally efficient?
It appears the NRA is shopping for plantiffs in New Orleans, hopefully to hound Sturmfurer Compass III out of law enforcement (and preferably the United States):
If you have personally had a gun confiscated in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina hit, please call (888) 414-6333. Be prepared to leave only your name and immediate contact information so we can get back to you. Once again, we are seeking contact information from actual victims of gun confiscation in Louisiana only.
And if you want more proof, here's a little ditty from our jackbooted friends at the U.N., courtesy of the Times of London:

Scotland tops list of world's most violent countries

A UNITED Nations report has labelled Scotland the most violent country in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be assaulted than in America. England and Wales recorded the second highest number of violent assaults while Northern Ireland recorded the fewest.
A heart-breaking report from the country of my heart! I'll bet if the Scots got their guns back, that crap would change!

Steel Challenge wrap-up

All in all, easily the most dramatic SC I've ever seen. The extra $20K did exactly what we expected it to do — jacked up the pressure on the Super Squad. I think Sakai was on a track to walk away with the match and the money when he DQ'ed. According to our pencils, he's toppled the world record on the stages he'd shot, and he was shooting like machine. The DQ was, of course, the classic speed/pressure DQ...knock safety off 'way too early; finger on the trigger; bang.

Sakai's DQ seemed to throw everyone's match strategies up in the air...Todd J. said following Sakai was one of the hardest things he'd ever done, because he couldn't get "keep finger off trigger!" out of his head. J.J. stepped up and smoked through Outer Limits...absolutely amazing, with one run after the other besting his own world record speeds.

Going into the last stage, Speed Option, it was J.J.'s match to lose. Frankly, both me and Paul Erhardt from SIGARMS thought he had the match and the money (our unofficial running tallies — which we were EXTREMELY careful to keep from the competitors as part of our deal with the SC! — showed that J.J. needed to run an average of 2.92 seconds for three runs to take the match and money...since he'd been running 2.3s in practice, we thought all he had to do was cruise). Speed Option has always been J.J.'S nemesis, and it proved to be that again on Saturday. J.J. stepped up and couldn't BUY a decent run.

Doug Koenig had two mediocre runs on Speed Option...that's mediocre for HIM; if I had two runs like that I'd get down on my hands and knees and weep for joy...which opened the door for Max. RE: Doug, it seemed to Mike Fichman, Mike Dalton and I that Doug was never going for the bucks, but was running a strategy to win the match (I haven't talked to Doug on this, so it's pure speculation).

We'd been running the numbers all day, and we knew that Max, Mike Voigt and Todd Jarrett were hanging just below J.J, and Doug, with less than a second separating the chase group from the leaders. Max especially was shooting no-holds-barred wide open; he'd had a couple of runs that matched K.C.'s single runs, which was amazing because K.C., clearly out of the running, was swinging for the wall for the stage money.

When Max stepped up on Speed Option, he had NO IDEA how much the balance had shifted (we were frantically rearranging cameras behind his back!). He shot like a machine. When he came off the line, Todd stepped forward to congratulate him, and Max looked thunderstruck. He kept saying, "I won?"

Hell of a finish!

We really wanted to give away the money! I spoke with Outdoor Channel executives Sunday night, and while we'll need to talk about iit in the light of day, the overall feeling was that we'll not only let the money ride, but see what we can do about kicking it up a couple of notches.

I'm also going to lobby for a 1 hour (or more) video to sell, with proceeds going to prize money. We busted our butts on the video, and I'd love to give you guys a chance to see more than we can televise.


Thanks to TGO for making faces behind my back on the for it at the end of Episode 2!!!!

Thanks to Mike and Mike for working with us to create the best teevee show on a shooting competition EVER!

Thanks to Lisa Farrell for being our production slave as soon as she finished shooting.

Thanks to Mickey Fowler, the Mikes, TGO (The Great One, Rob Leatham), Mike Voigt and Todd Jarrett for giving us an amazing amount of on-camera perspective on the match and the stages.

You'll be seeing the SG in February on The Outdoor Channel. I'll also try to have a hi-def version running at the booth at the SHOT Show.

We've also agreed to film an episode with Max Michel, as is TOTALLY appropriate!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

And the Winner Is............

Max Michel of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, in what has to be the most stunningly dramatic shooting match ever!

His time?

73.59 (unofficial!).

That's right...close, but no cigar.

It all came down to the last stage, the Speed Option, with J.J. Racaza solidly ahead, Doug Koenig roughly a couple of seconds behind and nobody else really in the running. Up until that point, J.J. had been having the match of his life...all he needed to do was cruise for the match and the $25,000. Doug had (for him...not us mere mortals) a so-so series of runs, but realistically, it was J.J.'s match to lose. We figured him at 71 seconds and change, based on what he's done oon the stage in the past.

The Speed Option ate him alive.

Max Michel, with no idea that he was even in contention, stepped up the the line and blistered the stage. You could hear the pocket calculators whirring, then Todd Jarrett, a close friend of Max's, stepped foward and said, "Congratulations, dude!"

Max said, "For what?"

BTW, Max is from New Orleans, and his family lost everything...including the gifts for his wife's baby shower! More on this later...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Steel Challenge...

Am at the Steel Challenge is lovely metropolitan Piru, CA. This year, The Outdoor Channel and SIGARMS ponied up $20,000 to any shooter who can beat 72 seconds time for the overall match today. Not surprisingly, everybody who's ever held a racegun is here.

First, from yesterday's Limited match, all day long it looked like a duel between TGO, Rob Leatham, and revolvermeister Jerry Miculek. But sneaky old Todd Jarrett crept up and snatched the Limited title at the end of the day, following what amounts to a superhuman run on Five To Go. Todd's score of roughly 81 seconds is one of the top three or four Limited scores ever shot. Thne big surprise was Capital Police trainer Phil Strader, not even shooting on the Super Squad, who came really really close to grabbing the whole thing.

There's all sorts of handicapping going on. Rob Leatham, who actually shot a 72-second match on a different course, says nobody is going to grab the dough. Ditto for match co-owner Mike Dalton. Todd thinks I'm going to have to present the check. Flash shooter J.J. Racaza's already got the money spent.

Me, I thik there's three shooters who can have a big payday today:

• J.J.
• K.C. Esuebio (which I misspelled!)
• Doug Koenig

I'll let you know tonight!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Good Day at the Range...

..was really fun, working with the guys from Tactical Solutions, Paul Erhardt from SIGARMS and pro shooter Daniel Horner at the north of LA. Today's subject was "The Zen of .22s," a pretty regularly requestion SG show.

The TacSol .22s are just wonderful to shoot...light, accurate, superbly balanced and way, way cool! I'm thinking of working a deal with them on the creation of a SHOOTING GALLERY anodized yellow Ruger .22 pistol, which we'll give away at the SHOT Show or somesuch.

Paul Erhardt, a good friend as well as the Marketing Director of SIGARMS, bought out a bunch of SIG Mosquitos, their new .22 pistol. Essentially, it's a little bitty Siggy thing, 90% of the size of a 226. I like it a lot, because it's almost exactly the size and feel of my carry SIG 225 single stack. I hadn't really considered buying a Mosquito because I couldn't think of a thing in the world to do with it. However, after shooting it, it has a lot of potential as a training device. I like training with .22s, because it's 1) cheap, 2) easy on my blown elbow and 3) every bit as effective as training with full caliber weapons.

What was really fun was shooting a Mosquito fitted with a prototype suppressor and a natty mount for a red dot sight. Nice toy! It crys out to be inserted into an official Man From Uncle briefcase, along with an FNH P90...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Some Thoughts on Guns in General

Meanwhile, in transit to Lost Angeles...

On one of the morning shows this AM there was a startling piece of video that shows us as gun owners and gun users how far we still have to go to recover any kind of cultural acceptance. There was Brian Williams in New Orleans on St. Charles, talkign to the rich folk who wouldn't leave the city (I looked for this clip on MSNBC and couldn't find it). He interviews one rich guy who's staying to protect his stuff...a fairly rational response.

But they guy has...guns...a shotgun and a "frighten" potential looters. In the spoken bridge to the next interview, with four paid security guards (unidentified, but I believe from Blackwater) guarding a high dollar neighborhood with battle rifles, pistols and enough ammo to take over Belize, Brian says, "Well, he scared us!"

Here's the conundrum...Brian felt perfectly comfortable with the armed security guards toting more firepower than most street cops ever carry, but he was frightened of the civilian with guns. Now why should that be? Let's say the four guys were from Blackwater, which is one of the E-Ticket Ride as far as security companies go. You got four guys with indeterminate training getting $200 a day — not Iraq wages, but no IEDs on the side of the road! — who are strictly there for the bucks. That's not a criticism, by the way. A bunch of my friends are down there for their daily bread.

OTOH, you've got a homeowner who only wants to protect what he's worked to earn. But because he's not a victim-in-waiting, Brian gets all shivery.

I hate to generalize from small sets, but I do believe this is emblematic of our overall problems, and it points out a huge failing on the part of the gun industry/community. Yes, we need the NRA and the otehr guys pounding up on the alledgedly legitimate miscreants confiscating guns in the Big Easy, but we also desperately need a cohesive "hearts and mind" initiative from the firearms industry — and I don't see one in sight!

If we are not able to convince the Brian Williams of the world that owning a gun, participating in the shooting sports, or even protecting one's self with a gun is not grounds for them to get the vapors, WE ARE DOOMED TO FAILURE!

As the person who ran the only successful "hearts and mind" program for the industry for five years, I am absolutely baffled why this industry hasn't launched a broader, better funded version, perhaps headed by someone not myself. We need to be in constant touch with the news media...even Brian Williams! We need to be reaching out to Hollywood, to the local sports pages, to the broader communities we all live in.

And what are we doing? STILL writing lame letters to the editor about the Second Amendment and STILL funding new, improved — and largely worthless — "hunting initiatives" aimed at getting another half-dozen kids into the game fields. NSSF even changed their logo recently to one that ONLY reflects hunting...I'm surprised they didn't change their mission statement to "All Hunting All The Time!"

Even rats learn from experience!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Dancing Nazis!

So, luckily both the NRA, the CCRKBA and the Second Amendment Foundation are on top of the New Orleans "Fun With the Gestapo!" gun confiscations. I hear from VERY roundabout sources within the NOPD that Sturmfurer P. Edwin Compass III, everybody's favorite dancing Nazi who ordered the gun confiscation under questionable legality after he lost the second Battle of New Orleans, is personally the primary reason that so many NOPD officers walked off the job. He's apparently a real piece of work who lacks the grace to resign or the intelligence to go and hide!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

More on Nazism Run Rampant in New Orleans

From Dave Kopel writing in Reason Online:
Defenseless On the Bayou
New Orleans gun confiscation is foolish and illegal

In the nearly two weeks since Hurricane Katrina, the government of New Orleans has devolved from its traditional status as an elective kleptocracy into something far more dangerous: an anarcho-tyranny that refuses to protect the public from criminals while preventing people from protecting themselves. At the orders of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the New Orleans Police, the National Guard, the Oklahoma National Guard, and U.S. Marshals have begun breaking into homes at gunpoint, confiscating their lawfully-owned firearms, and evicting the residents. "No one is allowed to be armed. We're going to take all the guns," says P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police.

Last week, thousands of New Orleanians huddled in the Superdome and the Convention Center got a taste of anarcho-tyranny. Everyone entering those buildings was searched for firearms. So for a few days, they lived in a small world without guns. As in other such worlds, the weaker soon became the prey of the stronger. Tuesday's New Orleans Times-Picayune reported some of the grim results, as an Arkansas National Guardsman showed the reporter dozens of bodies rotting in a non-functional freezer.

In the rest of the city, some police officers abandoned their posts, while others joined the looting spree. For several days, the ones who stayed on the job did not act to stop the looting that was going on right in front of them. To the extent that any homes or businesses were saved, the saviors were the many good citizens of New Orleans who defended their families, homes, and businesses with their own firearms.


The aftermath of the hurricane has featured prominent stories of citizens legitimately defending lives and property. New Orleans lies on the north side of the Mississippi River, and the city of Algiers is on the south. The Times-Picayune detailed how dozens of neighbors in one part of Algiers had formed a militia. After a car-jacking and an attack on a home by looters, the neighborhood recognized the need for a common defense; they shared firearms, took turns on patrol, and guarded the elderly. Although the initial looting had resulted in a gun battle, once the patrols began, the militia never had to fire a shot. Likewise, the Garden District of New Orleans, one of the city's top tourist attractions, was protected by armed residents.

The good gun-owning citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas ought to be thanked for helping to save some of their city after Mayor Nagin, incoherent and weeping, had fled to Baton Rouge. Yet instead these citizens are being victimized by a new round of home invasions and looting, these ones government-organized, for the purpose of firearms confiscation.
By the way, this categorically answers the old question that has knocked around firearms circles for decades...if the police were given the order to confiscate all legally held guns, would they?

As we used to say in the '60s, you bet your sweet bippy they would! Probably not all of them would obey such an order, and the ones who did would probably feel bad about it, but New Orleans is proof positive that the majority, if ordered, would kick down your door in a heartbeat. And shoot you dead on the spot if that order came, too.

As the great French filmmaker Alain Renais so vividly noted in his Night & Fog documentary on the death camps, there are people who look at the camps as if a dragon was buried beneath them. But those people are wrong. The scourge that was the Nazis is inside us, some hellish recessive gene that allow even good men and women to live with themselves while saying, "I was just following orders." We have, as Pogo noted, met the enemy...

The Final Solution...

...I'm back for a few hours...this says it all, though...

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Beat Goes On...

Apparently, NO Police Superintendent P.E.C.III (SEE YESTERDAY'S POST) is getting ready to wage war on his own people. Having proven he was incapable of controlling the streets, Strumfuhrer P. Edwin first declared war on legal firearms owners, in direct contridiction of the U.S. and the Louisiana constitutions.

Not he's finally ready to crack down...on the sad. pathetic remnant of citizens left in that destroyed city. The Strumfurer has ordered his cops to haul' em out, by god, and let's show this rabble what we're made of. His own SWAT commander, though, is less than enthused. This from MSNBC:
The New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper reported that forced evacuations could start this weekend but that not all city police officers are on board.

“I'm going to do what we're told, we will follow the order, but I'd like to have a meeting about it,” the paper quoted Capt. Jeff Winn, commander of tactical SWAT teams, as saying. “I must say that right now the concept is not acceptable to me and I'm worried about situations where SWAT teams are called to remove residents and someone could get hurt.”
Hey Strumfuhrer, here's another cool idea to show how in control you are. Why don't you order your men to start shooting pets? Or better yet, have them start drowning abandoned kittens...that'll send a message to the rabble!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

You Knew This Was Coming, Right?

From today's NYT:
New Orleans Begins Confiscating Firearms as Water Recedes

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 - Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.

No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.
Ole P. Edwin Compass III runs one hell of a ship, doesn't he? Maybe 200 (or more) of his officers walk off the Job at one time or another during their city's biggest crisis in its history; television has all this video of his officers standing around while people loot and arm gangs pillage in the street; then when the feds finally step in and get control of the street, he pops up and starts confiscating legal guns from some of those same people who used those guns to protect themselves and their neighbors when his police force failed.

Maybe P.E.C. III should consider doing something really useful...let me think a minute here...oh, like resigning!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Red Beans & Rice

Well, tonight I cooked up a big ole pot of red beans & rice, not nearly as good as the red beans & rice I've had at any one of a dozen joints in the Quarter, but there you go. I've been sitting here eating the beans with hot sauce and drinking Abita beer, thinking a little about other nights and other places with cold Abita, once up on the levee with a bunch of shooting buddies, convinced — so amazingly stupid! — that even though we drank in the valley of the shadow, we were the baddest dogs in the neighborhood! Hell, I'm lucky I survived my impetuous youth.

Heard from Paul Gomez of OPS from his home in Baton Rouge on a shaky cell connection. He came through in good shape and has been running media types into the Big Easy (yes, that's how the Great Hair Brigade was stand there surrounded by prowling jackals and not sweat bullets!). He says fellow trainer SouthNarc and his fellow SWAT officers have been the "law east of the Mississippi" for the last week, holding the line using a couple of SouthNarc's tracked vehicles after most of the LEO vehicles were destroyed in the storm. HATS OFF TO THE MEN AND WOMEN HOLDING THE LINE!

Paul says the two things that stood out to him were the absolute collapse of communications — just like 9-11 — and the lack of advance planning for what to do with the dead bodies. WAY too much reliance on cell phones, which work just fine as long as the cell towers are not under water, and way too many bodies.

I'm sure you saw this over at InstaPundit, but go ahead and let yourself get pissed off all over again. While people were dying in New Orleans, FEMA had 1000 of the top firefighters/paramedics/rescue personnel in ATLANTA in a SEXUAL HARRASSMENT CLASS!
Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?"

As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. . . .

The firefighters, several of whom are from Utah, were told to bring backpacks, sleeping bags, first-aid kits and Meals Ready to Eat. They were told to prepare for "austere conditions." Many of them came with awkward fire gear and expected to wade in floodwaters, sift through rubble and save lives.

"They've got people here who are search-and-rescue certified, paramedics, haz-mat certified," said a Texas firefighter. "We're sitting in here having a sexual-harassment class while there are still [victims] in Louisiana who haven't been contacted yet."
Ah yes, the illusive liberal! God forbid one of these genuine American heroes should say "something inappropriate" while hauling some drowning person out of a flood! Am I the only one who thinks that if there's a tree still standing in New Orleans, these FEMA mental midgets should be hung from it?

Pierce Brosnan Speaks Up!

I meant to post this yesterday, because I knoew, just knew, that all America was waiting with baited breath for Pierce Brosnan's comments on George Bush: This from The Scotsman:
Pierce Brosnan, the most recent incarnation of Ian Fleming's hero, broke cover at the Deauville Film Festival to give it to Prez with both barrels of his Walther P99.
First, let me say that this is proof positive that, as several commenters have noted recently, I don't know nearly as much as I think I do! For instance, despite having shot several, I did not know that a Walther P99 had two barrels! Perhaps Farmer Frank James, the resident Walther P99 expert among us will weigh in on this. Maybe the second barrel points backwards, at the shooter, which would explain why Brosnan made such a lame Bond.

As for his comments on anything at all going on in the United States, does anybody other than me hear a small dog yapping?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tuesday Night Round-up

I was going to post earlier, but instead I locked myself in the basement and spent too much time on the stationary bike, followed readmill. I want to do a short triathlon in October, and I've got about 20 pounds I need to Fed-Ex somewhere. I also need to remember how to swim...after all, I did do the Alcatraz Triathlon three times...I'm hoping it's like riding a bicycle...

Then, since I was already in the basement anyway, I rooted around in old boxes of gun stuff until I found my reloading dies for .38-40 and an old set of .45 ACP dies I could use in the Lee press to prototype some .45 Auto Rim loads. I also made a half-ass effort to set up the dies for .455 Webley.

The .38-40 dies are in joyful childish expectation of Hamilton Bowen being able to whip, flail, torture and otherwise beat my most recent collection of old, abused S&W N-Frame parts into Model of 1950 in .38-40. I do agree with Mr. Bowen that the .38-40 may well be the most worthless of cartridges...sort of a .44-40 Lite...not as accurate as a .44 Special...not as available as a .45 Colt...not as cheap as a .38...etc. Still, the first big bore revolver I ever bought was in .38-40 (I got the dies at the same time), so I've got a soft spot for it. I never had any trouble reloading it, although many people claim the necks are weak, a la the .44-40. In my impetuous youth, I recall stoking up some .38-40s that were skating along .41 Magnum specs; what's even stupider was that I actually shot the things out of a Colt New Service revolver. They were, as gun writers are wont to say, "brisk." Since the New Service didn't blow up in my face, I've sworn to the Gods of Reloading that I will ONLY shoot cowboy puff-ball loads out of any other .38-40 I happen to own.

So you're probably wondering why I'm blathering on about .30-40s instead of regaling you with New Orleans memories, which is what every other writer on earth seems to be doing. I actually started writing such things — I love the city, and I've been lucky enough to experience New Orleans on a number of fairly weird and life-affirming levels. Still, it's not about me.

I'm still processing how I feel about what happened down there. The closest I've come is my utter revulsion for liberals and their creation, the welfare state. We take people and we put them in compounds, tell them they're victims victims victims and that Mommy Goverment will make everything right; tell them they're too stupid, too old, too smart, too young, too whatever to take care of themselves, and that we will feed them clothe them treat their most minor complaint, albeit poorly. We will tell them that in return for this benign torture we will require their children, and their children's children, for our hellish on-going experiment in social control. Then, after we breed a few generations of these sad, sad sheep, one afternoon we say, "Just joking! You're on your own. Good luck! Bye-bye!!"

How do liberals sleep at night?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Quick Aside from Over the Pond...

Here's more evidence of the NRA truism "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns," from our sadly brain-dead English brethern:
Up to 4m guns in UK and police are losing the battle

'IoS' investigation: Another week, another horrific shooting. The culture of illegal firearms is running out of control

British criminals could have access to as many as four million illegal firearms, criminal intelligence experts warn.

The criminal possession and use of firearms, a hallmark of urban America, is now a significant threat in Britain, too, says the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), despite moves to increase penalties for gun crime.

The New Military Pistol Spec...

is officially posted here. I've printed the whole thing off for leisurely reading in my spare time, but here's a quick summary, courtesy of MikeO at The Gun Zone:
45 ACP

DA/SA or DAO including SFA (striker fired action)

W and W/O safety

Std capacity/8 and and high capacity/10 magazines

MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail

2,000 MRBS/5,000 MRBF

20,000 round service life

Mean radius of 10 shot group at 50m no less than 3.15 inches

Suppressor attachment kit

Should fit hands from 5th - 95th percentile; modular grip adjustment is desired, not required

Friday, September 02, 2005

Playtime May Be Over

I'm hearing on VERY DEEP BACKGROUND that playtime may soon be over in the Big Easy. Some very hard boys and girls with some very big guns are apparently getting ready to restore order. And it's damn well about time!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Eloquence in a Disaster

Read this piece from the ever-brilliant Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal:

As for the tragic piggism that is taking place on the streets of New Orleans, it is not unbelievable but it is unforgivable, and I hope the looters are shot. A hurricane cannot rob a great city of its spirit, but a vicious citizenry can. A bad time with Mother Nature can leave you digging out for a long time, but a bad turn in human behavior frays and tears all the ties that truly bind human being--trust, confidence, mutual regard, belief in the essential goodness of one's fellow citizens.

New Orleans Scary Rumors...

I'm starting to get on-scene reports that the situation in New Orleans is substantially worse than is being presented.

If this is actually the case, God help those poor people!

Gas prices here in the Front Range jumped 33 cents today.

Am raising my own personal threat level to Def-Con Two for the duration — stay home when possible; route to avoid urban areas when I can't; raise the 3-day "disruption supplies" — SOP here in the rural mountains where winter actually means it — to a full week; not leave the house without "substantial" hardware and spare ammo. I don't really think it's necessary, but I am fundamentally paranoid.

I am also evaluating my budget to see how much more I can give. Please, these are our brothers and sisters! Give...

You Loot; We Shoot

This from the NYT:
Some frightened homeowners took security into their own hands.

John Carolan was sitting on his porch in the thick, humid darkness just before midnight Tuesday when three or four young men, one with a knife and another with a machete, stopped in front of his fence and pointed to the generator humming in the front yard, he said.

One said, "We want that generator," he recalled.

"I fired a couple of rounds over their heads with a .357 Magnum," Mr. Carolan recounted Wednesday. "They scattered."

He smiled and added, "You've heard of law west of the Pecos. This is law west of Canal Street."
Here's something to remember when the gun/antigun rhetoric seems like so much "he said/she said:" The ownership and ability to use firearms is the difference between huddling in fear and being able to protect your own and the lives of the people you love. There's a red spray-painted sign on the Chartres Market, where I've spent many shaky mornings buying aspirin..."You Loot We Shoot."

Hang on, guys!

Guns save lives! Believe it!

Updates from Friends...

I heard yesterday from GUNTALK radio commentator and fellow Outdoor Channel host Tom Gresham, who lives in Louisiana. ironically, Tom was in Alaska on a hunt. He called me from the Seattle airport, where he was trying to weave his way home. His house, off the main path of the storm, survived, but his son's New Orleans home was under 10 feet of water.

Good luck, brother.

I think today's donation will go to the Salvation Army, which is providing meals, water and clothing for the overextended and battered responders.

I'm also going to donate a smaller amount to the Humane Society..."bless the beasts and the children..."