Thursday, March 30, 2006

BATF Jihad Against Custom Gunsmths!?!?!


This appears to be true — BATF has launched and initiative aimed custom gunsmithing in America.

The weapon they're using is a really fine point...what is the definition of "manufacturing a firearm"? That phrase is
NOT defined in any legislation and, since it's not a legally defined term, it's open to interpretation. Since the late 1990s, when the then ATF hit gunsmith Jim Clark Senior for "manufacturing a firearm" (which cost Jim more than $100,000 but alledgedly clarified the question) was "making or providing the controlled, or serial-numbered, part."

The new BATF definition of "manufacturing a firearm" is
"making any substantive changes to a firearm."

CORRECTION OF YESTERDAY'S POST: Using the new definition, the BATF hit Competitive Edge Gunworks — who has been featured on SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS — and threatened chief gunsmith Larry Crow with
SIX potential felony counts (including one for "changing the hammer and barrel of a Ruger and installing an octagonal barrel") unless applied for a manufacturing license and pay the appropriate tax and penalties for the guns he was charged with manufacturing.

CORRECTION ON YESTERDAY'S POST: Crow says that he has reached an agreement with BATF, but that revenue agents stated they have the right to go back through a gunsmiths' paperwork and levy the 11% excise tax and penalties on every gun the gunsmith has ever produced. There is no statue of limitations on tax issues. For some of the top gunsmiths, we would be literally talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Both NRA and NSSF lawyers are on it now, with Second Amendment Foundation close behind. Master gunsmith Hamilton Bowen says if this isn't a tempest in a teapot, it puts 3/4 of the Pistolsmith Guild, including him, out of business.

ironically, manufacturing licenses are not particularly expensive, but the excise tax adds another layer of paperwork.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

How Can I Pass THIS Up???

Courtesy of the irrepressible Drudge:
Actress SHARON STONE is adamant teenagers should be prepared to engage in oral sex, if it saves from them the dangers of unprotected penetrative sex.
"I was in the store the other day and I watched a young girl trying on clothes, showing her abdomen. "Her mother was trying to talk to her about not being inappropriately luring. I said, 'Gee that would look much nicer with a camisole under.' "Her mother walked away, and I said to the girl, 'I'd like to give you a two-minute conversation about sex.' "
I have so been waiting for Ms. Stone to say those very words to me! I suspect I may be waiting a while longer...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

And Speaking of those Rollicking Jihadists...

This from the Charlotte Observer, courtesy of the Of Arms and the Law blog:
The Charlotte Observer has a story regarding Mohammed Taheri-Aza, the guy who drove a car into the crowd of students in order to protest beliefs that Moslems are violent. (Yeah, he sure did a job of proving his point....)

He left a note: "I would instead use a handgun to murder the citizens and residents of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but the process of receiving a permit for a handgun in this city is highly restricted and out of my reach at present, most likely due to my foreign nationality."
When cars are outlawed, only outlaws will have cars...Im feeling particularly non-violent tonight...maybe I'll go crash my car into a Starbucks!

New T-Shirts to Offend Your Jihadist Friends!

From my pals at T-Shirt Hell. I ordered one, but then again, I live on the outskirts of the People's Republic of Boulder.

A Big Dose of Murph...

Spent today on the range in California with ace instructor Bill Murphy, whose first book — Bill Murphy's CONCEALED CARRY SURVIVAL GUIDE — is on the way to the printer. I thought it'd be cool to both plug the book and let Bill step everyone through the basics of concealed carry.

I did point out how ironic is was that we're in California, one of the few states I can't carry in. Drives me crazy, like I left my wallet in the room or something. California firearms laws are Draconian even for guns in the, no you can't have one there!

I mean, the weather's nice, but I've been in lots of places with nice weather.

I've got enough time to hit the gym before dinner. As soon as Murph's book is available, you'll beable to get it (with a discount, no less!) from the SHOOTING GALLERY supersite.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Tribute to a Damn Good Cowboy

Sad news from MSNBC:
Singer Buck Owens, the flashy rhinestone cowboy who shaped the sound of country music with hits like “Act Naturally” and brought the genre to TV on the long-running “Hee Haw,” died Saturday. He was 76.
Heck of a singer and a great guy. I'm proud to have known him and glad I helped get him together with Dwight Yoakam for "The Streets of Bakersfield" collaboration.

You don't know me, but you don't like me
You say you care less how I feel
But how many of you that sit and judge me
Have ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?

Friday, March 24, 2006

FINALLY! I'm Big In Japan!

I received this email from an old literary agency of mine today:

Hi Michael,

How are you? I'm the Permissions Manager here at Lowenstein-Yost Associates and we've just received a request for a small excerpt of WHITE BOY SINGIN' THE BLUES to be featured in a booklet that is being distributed at St. Andrew's University, Japan. They will be distributing it for free to approximately 50,000 students, and they are offering to pay $100. I'll be delighted to accept on your behalf, as soon as I get your "OK".

I hope all is well, and please send along your contact information when you can.

Very best, [etc]
Finally! I'm BIG IN JAPAN! Totally cool Japanese schoolgirls with orange hair and bizarre electronic gear with "Hello Kitty" logos will have to take a test on my profound words! I can live large! After agent fees, taxes and miscellaneous expenses, I anticipate having to pay $20 American Money to make the Big Bucks! Is it any wonder so many people aspire to be writers? keeps one warm at night...

COOL Comix

This is today's Day-By-Day. It's posted below, but I wanted to plug it even more up top, so to speak.

When we were running training events for the Mystery Writers of America, we had one well-endowed woman novelist (who shall remain forever nameless) who chose to ignore our request that everyone wear a collared shirt. "Don't worry about me," she told Walt Rauch, Dave Arnold and I. "What's the likelihood of that happeneing, anyway?"

Well, it was DARNED entertaining, and, yes, it left a mark!

Paging Elliot Ness...

AH YES, the Bill of Rights...remember that? Amazingly, we're doing better on the Second Amendment than the rest of them. This from Texas, where they've come up with a unique way to combat drunk driving — arresting people who are drinking and NOT driving:
Bar Sweep Sparks Controversy

Dallas, March 22. NBC5 News. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission sent a message to bar patrons last week.

TABC agents and Irving police swept through 36 Irving bars and arrested about 30 people on charges of public intoxication. Agency representatives say the move came as a proactive measure to curtail drunken driving.

North Texans interviewed by NBC 5, however, worried that the sweep went too far.

At one location, for example, agents and police arrested patrons of a hotel bar. Some of the suspects said they were registered at the hotel and had no intention of driving. Arresting authorities said the patrons were a danger to themselves and others...
So, in Texas — and no doubt other locations after dim bulb police adminstrators see this article — you can be arrested for drinking in a bar. Of course, it's okay to violate people's rights when you're talking about drunk driving, right? It certainly seems so.

Except that Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, has gone from a anti-drunk driving advocacy group to this century's equivalent of Carrie Nation, a bunch of crazed harridans screaming for PROHIBITION. That's what MADD's campaign is all about, really — Demon Rum Destroying the Will of America.

Well, why not? Prohibition worked so well the first time we tried it! Let's face the facts...Old Skol Organized Crime, the Mafia, is on the ropes. Tony Soprano is the last made guy not doing time, writing his memoirs for big bucks or appearing tearfully on Oprah. So it makes sense to reinstitute Prohibition and give the Mob a much-needed shot in the arm. Plus — and here's another harsh fact — with REAL crime down, what are police to do? What could be better than spending billions of dollars to stop the distribution and sale of alcohol, meaning more cops, more axes, more sound bytes — and what's good for both the cops and the Mob must be good for America!

DRINK's Last Call in Texas!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kansas Politicos Punch Liberal Governor in Nose

Finally, Kansas Bloody Kansas has mustered the votes to override a gubernatorial veto of their shall issue law:
Both the Kansas State Senate and House of Representatives voted to override Governor Sebelius’ veto of the National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed Right-to-Carry legislation, Senate Bill 418, “The Personal and Family Protection Act.”

“After 12 years, it took a collective, bi-partisan effort to win this fight. Kansas now joins 46 other states who enjoy some form of Right-to-Carry,” NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox declared.

Thank you, NRA, and I look forward to seeing my Colorado (or Florida or Utah) permit honored in Kansas!

TOTALLY COOL Bike/Pistol Biathlon

This is definitely a sport whose time SHOULD come — bicycle/pistol "biathlons!" Here's the FAQ.

I talked to the race series organizer, Bill Llewelen, a year or so ago about an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY but nevercould get the schedule worked out. Hopefully we can put something together for Season 6, because this has the potential to be a really great addition to the shooting sports:
Bike N Shoot Biathlon

Are you looking for a fun event that will motivate you to improve your shooting and cycling skills? Look no further. Come join us at the next Bike N Shoot biathlon event.

Where: Just northeast of Denver, CO (map and directions)
When: The 1st Saturday of every 2nd month (see calendar). Race starts at 11am sharp. Arrive 1 hour early. There may be time to practice shooting beforehand.
Who: Anyone who would like to improve their cycling (fitness) or shooting skills. This is a family-friendly race. No riding expertise required, but we don't compromise on gun safety. Men, women and responsible children.
What: Any mountain bike will do. Nothing fancy required. Be prepared for thorns (perhaps use tire slime or tire liners). Almost any pistol will do (No optics. Pistol calibre ammunition only. 2 extra magazines or revolver speed loaders are handy.) If your competitor class permits .22 rifles, then use a rifle with open sights only.
How much: $10 per competitor per race. RSVP discounts may be offered. Join our email list to receive reminders and RSVP discounts.
Contact us: Call 303 795 9677 and ask for Bill or email bill (at) bikenshoot (dot) com.
Dick Heinie and I talked about this for years, tagging a bike/shoot to the Single Stack Classic or the USPSA Nationals in Quincy, IL. I did a couple of Summer Biathlons, run and shoots, and I have to say it nearly killed me. The races were run at almost 10,000 feet altitude and I am a crappy runner on my best day.

At the very least, I'll haul my lazy butt out and try one of the races. I sold my Cannondale mountain bike end of last summer, with the idea of building up a beefy cyclocross bike, since most of my off-road riding is on jeep roads or non-technical trails. I figure I can set up a 'cross bike with a triple chainring, disc brakes and fat 'cross tires to handle the vast majority of my riding.

Sounds like just such a bike would be perfect for the Bike N Shoot...

And before you say anything, yes, I'm in better shape than I look...this is how one gets named Second Most Fit Fat Guy in America by MEN'S HEALTH Magazine a few years ago.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bond, Greg Bond...

Wanna see some cool derringers? Check out the Bond Arms' Century 2000 I've been playing with today!

The full story is in my DROPPED SHOT column on the SG site! It went up this afternoon so you can get your weekly dose of GUN PORN!!!

What's Up With the North Carolina S&Ws?

This story has been percolating for a week:
State prison officials want gunmaker Smith & Wesson to replace hundreds of revolvers after dozens failed to shoot and the barrels broke off of others upon firing in training exercises.

The company has witnessed the problems firsthand. Last month, three company representatives met with state prison officials at a shooting range near Smithfield to test about three dozen revolvers.

Four of the revolvers didn't fire when a state weapons instructor pulled the trigger. The cylinder that holds the ammunition jammed on two revolvers. Then, the barrel broke off as the instructor fired a different model with a longer barrel, just as 14 others had in practice shoots dating back to 2003.

"In one sense it's funny," said Chief Deputy Correction Secretary Dan Stieneke. "In another, it's alarming."
Dean Spier at The Gun Zone fished out the two pictures above. Take a good close look. I'm trying to figure out how these barrels let go.

My Doc's Book for Cyclists

If you ride a bike, sprint over to Amazon and by the new book from my orthopedist, Andy Pruitt, head of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine — Andy Pruitt's Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists. Andy knows more about cycling health than any living human, and he's kept my trashed left knee working for three years and untold thousands of miles on the bike.

A must-have for cyclists!

Midweek Lethargy ALERT!

Yeah, I think it's Wednesday...Lem got killed on The Shield...Jack is getting ready to torture his ex-girlfriend and One True Love in 24...God's in Her heaven; all's right with the world.

I'm finishing up this week's DROPPED SHOT on, of all things, derringers for the SG site...I should have it posted by this afternoon. There's also a nice piece from my pal Dave Arnold on the "rules" for a gunfight. Check it out here. I just sent the Law Dogs at The Outdoor Channel a set of rules which, if approved, will allow me to start giving away guns on the SG site! If I can't do it through the site, I'll use the manufacturers' sites for the giveaways...rather use mine, though.

The first gun to go on the block is going to be a dupe of my SIGARMS Revolution 1911 built for me to use in the Single Stack Classic in April by master gunsmith Bruce Gray. You'll wanna keep your eyes open for this giveaway announcement, since Brucie doesn't do many guns anymore — especially considering that the base guns from SIG are one-offs themselves!

Play your cards right and I'll throw in a pair of blue jeans designed for Muslims — lots of pockets for religious accoutremonts, which will also work for spare magazines!

Alphecca's weekly check on media bias is up. Of course, the big news is whether the Kansas CCW supporters have the votes to override the governor's veto of that state's Shall Issue legislation. I, of course, have nothing to do with Bloody Kansas since my ill-fated speeding ticket.

Still too darn cold to go shooting, although second snowstorm failed to materialize last night.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Check out the New Post

...on SHOOTING GALLERY's'll find your gun porn there!

Over the Transom MONDAY!

First, this tidbit, courtesy of my friend NewsySuzie:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A white house source stated that Congress is considering awarding Vice-President Dick Cheney the Medal of Freedom, the national highest civilian commendation, for his act of bravery in shooting an attorney. The source was quoted to say, "All Americans have wanted to shoot a lawyer at one time or another and Cheney actually had the guts to do it."

In a related story, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which issues hunting licenses, said that it will start requiring hunters, wishing to bag a lawyer, to have the new "lawyer's stamp" on their hunting license. Currently Texas hunters are required to carry stamps for hunting birds, deer, and bear, at a cost of $7 annually.

The new "lawyer's stamp" will cost $100, but open season will be all year long. The department further stated that although the "lawyer's stamp" comes at hefty price, sales have been brisk and it is believed it will generate annual revenues in excess of $3 billion dollars the first year. Other states are considering similar hunting license stamps.
Ah yes, it helps to start the week with a lawyer joke, except that it makes my Sweetie the blonde lawyer scowl at me. She knows I exempt her from all lawyer — and blonde — jokes.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Slippin' and Slidin'

Peepin' and a'hidin'!

We got some serious snow last night, weird fat heavy spring snow that came down after a little rain and a little sleet. This would be no big deal if we hadn't been in Golden to see V for Vendetta, which by the way I liked the heck out of. I didn't see it as left-wing propaganda at all...ever since I read Heinlein back in junior high school ("If This Goes On," f'er instance!) I figured the ultimate threats to liberty come equally from the right and the left. Plus, I really liked Stephen Rea as Finch the doubting cop, who made what I (duh!) thought was one of the most profound comments of the movie.

As the people of London began pouring into the streets in support of the "terrorist" V, Finch's partner asked Finch what he thought was going to happen when the crowds met the heavily armed forces of the fascist Brit government.

"What usually happens when people without guns meet people with guns," Finch replied.

Ah, that pesky Second Amendment!

Anyway, it was sunny when we started home after dinner. Once we hit Coal Creek Canyon and started the home the back way, it went from snowy to scary in nothing flat. The rain and light sleet essentially laid a layer of glass ball bearings on the road, quickly covered by wet, slippery snow. We were in my Sweetie's Mini with serious snow tires (Dunlop winter rally ice racing tires from Europe), which is pretty sure-footed, but she lost it once on a downhill. My Sweetie caught it quickly — both of us went through ice-driving school up in Montreal for a magazine article a few years back. She drove awile longer and passed it to me.

I have never driven on anything so slick, including the frozen Montreal River and coming home from various ski resorts in screaming whiteouts. The short story is that we got home, but it was a hellish couple of hours for a half-hour trip. As usualy, the way was lined with rear wheel drive cars that couldn't move at all and SUVs in the ditches — ice is the fundamental limitation of 4-wheel drive and California driving skills!

My goal today is not to leave the house. We've got a couple of days of snow left...maybe as much of two feet when it stops!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Balancing Work and...Work

I have to admit it's gotten harder to blog while getting the new SHOOTING GALLERY site up and spend 5 hours or so a day on the Internet and when you're done, it's hard to spend a another hour in my "free" time. Both Walt Rauch and Patrick Sweeney have been lifesavers, contributing to the new site. THANKS, guys!

I did a short podcast yesterday, but the sound levels still aren't where they need to be. Supposedly, if I pony up another grand or so for hardware, I can "easily" remedy this situation. Yeah, right! I'm going to fiddle with it again today and see if I can get it good enough to's on shotguns, the Internet and misinformation, BTW.

I also waqnt to finish fitting a stainless steel frame to Thumper, my oldest Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum. I fit a Belt Mountain locking basepin yesterday — won't back out under heavy recoil.

I have had a brief change of direction, though. I was thinking of using Thumper as a field gun, something with a little more authority than my current knockaround gun, a Bowen .30 Carbine Blackhawk for when I'm up in bear country. Given that mission, I started thinkng that a lightweight aluminum frame makes more sense. The steel frame is substantially heavier. Ditto for the ejector rod housing...keep the stockaluminum rather than the reflex change to steel.

The reason for the frame change-a-roonie is that I actively dislike the "Dragoon" frame that Bill Ruger slapped onto the New Model Super Blackhawks. The grip is both too big for my hand and that straight-back Dragoon trigger guard will occasionally pop my knuckles in heavy recoil.

Old Super Blackhawks are, to me, one of the greatest values of all used guns. The damn things are practically indestructable, will take heavy loads, are as accurate as all get-out and can be found in great shape for under $300. When I used to answer questions about guns for magazines and websites, the most frequent question was always "I have an 'X' and I want to load it up to MAGNUM VELOCITIES...which powder should I use?" My answer was always this: Ya wanna Magnum, go buy a Magnum. The $300 bucks you spend on a Super Blackhawk will pay for itself by keeping metal scrap out of your face.

Friday, March 17, 2006

All Hail Dark Lord XENU!

The South Park wars are escalating, as Comedy Central pulls the repeat of the Scientology send-up in the face of rampaging Scientology jihadists (well, apparently ONE rampaging Scientologist jihadist, whose name shall remain unspoken but who once jumped up and down on Oprah's couch). Read about it in Variety. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker issued the following deeply moving and heartfelt statement to the entertainment biz magazine:
"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"

The duo signed the statement "Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu."
Comedy Central replaced the episode with the far more politically correct CHEF'S CHOCOLATE SALTY BALLS episode.

I say, Gorge Crooney, you pompous jackass, why aren't you and your Hollywood butt weasels speaking up about this overt attempt at censorship? Afraid you'll have Sci-jihadists looting and burning up and down Roseo Drive?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Baby Seal Killing FAQ

...courtesy of IMAO:

There’s a very important reason (beyond recreation) why the Canadian government allows the thinning of these herds. If left to their own devices (and seals do indeed have devices hidden somewhere) these seals would grow at such an alarming rate that eventually, you’d have to face the most dreaded of all realities – redrawing voting districts.
I wish I'd written this!

Great News For the Irish!

And just in time for St. Patrick' s Day!

Irish citizens are now allowed to dilute their coffee with sheep dung, although witch burings are apparently still off the old Starbucks' menu.

Sadly, the Irish are also doing away with a law dating from 1285 — while my relatives were still painting themselves blue, I suppose, and dancing around bonfires — that set up a special corp of watchmen to arrest suspicious strangers. Well, that seems like a dandy solution to our leaky borders problem!

Finally, Irish Jews can now wear chainmail and leather armor.

And not a moment too soon!

New COLUMN from MB up on Site

Head over to the Shooting Gallery site and check out my latest post there...DUCK & COVER. I've decided to resurrect my old DROPPED SHOT column on the site, because I always thought it was fun to write and offensive to many...

Another Success of "Gun-Free Zones!"

A few thoughts on the Denny's shooting in Pismo's the skinny from the Mercury News:
Gunman kills two, then self at Pismo Beach Denny's

Three people are dead and two are wounded after a man entered the Pismo beach Denny’s restaurant shortly after noon today.

Police and witnesses say the man, whose name and age have not been released, entered the restaurant and shot four people with a semi-automatic gun and a revolver before shooting and killing himself.
As most of you know, California is a certified "Gun-Free Zone." Carry permits are issued on a hit-and-miss basis based on counties, and most counties (think LA) issue no carry permits at all. Loaded firearms in cars are not allowed without a valid carry permit. San Fran banned handguns. You can read the whole sad can of worms here.

The net result of California's war on firearms is the Denny's shooting — bad man with a gun; good people without guns.

Obviously, I travel to California a lot, since that's where The Outdoor Channel lives. I tiptoe through the state, because it's the only place I travel where I don't routinely carry a gun. Arguably, it's also the place where I most need one!

Gun control works so well!

PS: Sorry for the lite blogging recently...been both busy and under the weather...a surefire blogging buster!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Notes from the Front Lines

Sorry for a couple of day's absence...vicious intrusion of the Real World. I may do some Wednesday Gun Porn this afternoon...I'll bet you'd like a look at the new little Detonics' blaster, which does, in fact, feel better in the hand than virtually any of the small 1911s. I've also got to go into Boulder and visit my FFL guy, who tells me there's "product waiting."

In the meantime, a couple of things that caught my eye this morning:

From Daytona Beach, a little tidbit about hookers who've had enough:
Women involved in prostitution in Daytona Beach, Fla., have reportedly armed themselves and are searching for a serial killer behind the slayings of three residents.

"Rather than run from the man police labeled a serial killer, streetwalkers here in Daytona Beach along Ridgewood Avenue say they are seeking the serial killer out," Local 6 reported Tarik Minor said. "They believe the man responsible for murdering three women here is someone they have come in contact with."

"We will get him first," streetwalker Tonya Richardson said. "Yeah, we are going to get him first. When we find him, he is going to be sorry. It is as simple as that."
Good for them! Those of us in the self-defense side of the industry sometimes overlook the fact that self-defense is a basic human right for everyone. If you catch him, girls, you might want to consider turning him over to the law, however...

I've been doing some heavy reading over the last few days, media kits from some of my erstwhile competitors. For those outside the loop, a "media kit" is the pitch package to potential advertisers. The reason I've been sunk in this is I've been outlining SHOOTING GALLERY's Recommended Products Program.

What I'm going to do is have me and our experts pick products we recommend. Those products can then carry the "SHOOTING GALLERY RECOMMENDED" tag. The deal is that the "Recommended" designation is NOT FOR SALE! Companies can't buy our recommendation — it only goes to products we use and can personally recommend.

My rationale here is that we're talking about products that might be used in a life-or-death situation. I'd be more than happy to sell out if the product was, say, Jello or high-end sneakers. In fact, if any sneaker companies (or Jello, for that matter) are reading this, give me a call and I'll sell my butt lickety-split.

But we're talking about guns here. We're talking about products that are associated with shoot-outs. Suffice to say that I believe we in this industry have a moral and ethical responsibility when we recommend product and/or training to be aware of the "what ifs." The SHOOTING GALLERY Recommended program acknowledges that responsibility.

Upon reading through media kits, I found myself amazed at what other people were willing to sell — about 25% more than your average high-end call girl. At least hookers only sell their bodies...apparently some of the "professionals" in this industry are willing to sell their names, their endorsements, whatever they have to sell, as long as the bucks are there. I find it pretty repulsive.

SIGH...I guess that means I'm never going to be able to sell out for the big bucks! Crap, there goes the Lexus!

Oh, one of the biggest secrets in the industry right now is the status of ShootingUSA on OLN. According to show host Jim Scoutten, in an e-mail to me, the show is "evolving, not ending." OLN has jerked the show around pretty badly as that network begins moving in a different direction — think hockey & Survivor reruns — and rumors coming out of the network said the shooting show would not be renewed.

Yeah, we're competitors, but it's not like the airways are flooded with shows about shooting. The loss of one is a Bad Thing. Good luck on that "evolution," Jim!

Monday, March 13, 2006



This from MSNBC:
Isaac Hayes has quit “South Park,” where he voices Chef, saying he can no longer stomach its take on religion.

Hayes, who has played the ladies’ man/school cook in the animated Comedy Central satire since 1997, said in a statement Monday that he feels a line has been crossed.

“There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins,” the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.


Last November, “South Park” targeted the Church of Scientology and its celebrity followers, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, in a top-rated episode called “Trapped in the Closet.” In the episode, Stan, one of the show’s four mischievous fourth graders, is hailed as a reluctant savior by Scientology leaders, while a cartoon Cruise locks himself in a closet and won’t come out.

Ben Stein on Hollywood

Here's a beautifully written piece on last week's Academy Awards by Ben Stein in AMERICAN SPECTATOR:
Hollywood is above all about self: self-congratulation, self-promotion, and above all, self-protection. This is human and basic, but let's not kid ourselves. There is no greatness there in the Kodak theater. The greatness is on patrol in Kirkuk. The greatness lies unable to sleep worrying about her man in Mosul. The greatness sleeps at Arlington National Cemetery and lies waiting for death in VA Hospitals. God help us that we have sunk so low as to confuse foolish and petty boasting with the real courage that keeps this nation and the many fools in it alive and flourishing on national TV.
Well done, Mr. Stein. I will, however, go see V For Vendetta, which is already being flayed as a thinly veiled attack on the war on terror by the Matrix's Wachoski brothers, largely because I like to see things blow up and Natalie Portman in skimpy clothes. Which, I suppose, makes me a guy. Or a hypocrite...

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Tiny Bit of Gun Gossip

Well, Winchester-branded lever guns may be headed the way of the dodo the end of this month, but my little cherubs and seraphim tell me that the Winchester '94 — or rather the non-Winchester '94 — will, like the Terminator, be b...a...a...a...c...c...c...k! As soon as the last dust settles, start watching the skies, America, for an octagonal-barreled, color-casehardened absolutely beautiful faux-Winchester. And when you see it, for heaven's sake BUY one of the damn things, or else we'll all be here again in a few years!

So, the Joint Military Pistol contract is apparently substantially less joint, with the Army — the reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaally big dog in this fight — and the Navy abandoning ship, leaving SOCOM to press on. Apparently, the best and brightest minds of our military establishment couldn't come to an agreement over whether the new pistol should or should not have a thumb safety. Is it any wonder we're having trouble bringing democracy to Iraq when we can't negotiate a freakin' thumb safety? So what appears to be happening...and as you know I don't really know that SOCOM is going to soldier on with the specs for a non-thumb-safety version for warriors who can keep their fingers off the trigger, roughly 49,000 units, while the Army and Navy lick their wounds and decide whether they want to go forward on the other 600,000 pieces with a thumb safety for trigger-challenged ordinary standard soldiers.

A few months back, one of my little cherubs...or maybe it was a seraphim...told me that it was unlikely the larger military contract would go forward, because it would be nigh unto impossible to explain to the military challenged dweebs in Congress why they should spend substantially more bucks schlepping big fat heavy .45 ACP, as opposed to those itsy bitsy 9mm, cartridges to various and sundry deserts around the world, since it would cost more money which would be better spent on domestic spying technology, Rolls Royces and a six-pack of yachts.

Our pal Walt Rauch is in Germany for IWA, the European equivalent of the SHOT Show, so watch the SHOOTING GALLERY site for updates from the world capital of beer and over-engineered military hardware. Also, read Patrick Sweeney's piece on some of those pesky combat myths. I believe I've been able to quantify why so many 1911s get sold, and I'll be posting a long piece on the SG website this weekend outlining my revolutionary, ground-breaking, paradigm-busting, totally unsupported conclusion. You don't want to miss you???

Yippie-Ky-Aye Time!

Got to Phoenix too late to post anything last night...suffered critical brain shutdown! First, thanks to GUNSITE honcho Ed Head for stopping by and commenting. Eds retired Border Patrol and one of the three nicest guys in the world...he and the rest of the GUNSITE crew make it easy for us to work there.

We were shooting Ed's new Hans Vang left-hand receiver/right-hand trigger group 870 pump. The rationale here, as pioneered by GUNSITE instructor/USPSA Grandmaster 3-gun shooter Steve Hendricks, is that with a left-hand reeiver you can load the gun through the ejection port without having to reach under gun...a much faster way of working the pump. Your strong hand (assuming you're right-handed) stays on the gunstock, allowing you to respond instantly to a change in teh threat level. This bears A LOT more looking into, because it's a very intelligent system...interesting that, once again, a technique moves from the laboratory of competition into the Real World of defense training!

BTW, one of the things I really like about GUNSITE is that school's willingness to try anything that works...these are the most experienced firearms instructors in the world, and they NEVER stop learning, testing and trying to figure out a way to make a technique better, more effective, etc. There's also a deeply grounded belief that simplicty is better...and you had better believe that it is!

One of our sister shows is doing a piece on, "The Eight Steps to a Correct Concealed Carry Draw." Eight steps? EIGHT STEPS? Step One should be make funeral arrangements, because somewhere around Step Three you're gonna get yourself capped by a guy who just draws the gun!

Gotta go COWBOY UP at Winter Range...hopefully, I can sneak away for an hour or so and test the little Detonics .45 blaster I've got with me!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

LE Buckshot/Slugs

You know, I'm too tired to get into this tonight, but we did a series of patterning exercises with regular and various types of law enforcement/reduced recoil buckshot today and I was really surprised. The LE stuff, including the new Hornady #00 and the Remington 8-pellet (vs. the traditional 9 pellet) #00 were just amazing.

As soon as I'm not shot (so to speak), I'm going to write this up on the SHOOTING GALLERY site, because I think it may change your mind about derfensive shotgun loads. It certainly has mine...

BTW, go by the site to ready Walt Rauch's great piece on Old Time 1911 Accuracy! The new SG site is really starting to shape's drawing great traffic, and you going to be seeing more and more original material.

Tough Biathlon!

Now this is what I call a REAL Olympic sport!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Now Here's a Collectable Shotgun...and Other News

Check out this sawed-off beauty!
Why is there a sawed-off shotgun on the International Space Station? To fight Alien invaders? In case of war on Earth so the Cosmonauts can kill the US Astronauts? NO.

Read the following paragraph and you will see that Russians take the Wolf problem very seriously:

“In 1965, two cosmonauts overshot their touchdown site by 1,200 miles and found themselves deep in a forest with hungry wolves. That's when Russian space officials decided to pack a sawed-off shotgun aboard every spacecraft. It took Russian search crews more than two hours to locate the spacecraft and another two hours for helicopters to get support crews to the landing site.”
Shotgun-wise, my arm and shoulder are BEATEN TO DEATH! We started the day with about 65 slugs, at ranges of 20-100 yards. Then we shifted to #00 bucks, about 300 rounds of it...ouchie!

After lunch, I switched from my plain-vanilla 870 to one of Hans Vang's Super De-Luxe 870s...really a nice shotgun! Built on this guy, it features Hans' patented comp barrel, his special rifle sights, his dome-shaped special safety (which takes a little getting used to, to be sure) and his otehr bells and whistles. I've decided I'm going to order one just like, because it is a superb defensive shotgun.

Gotta go schmooze...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oh My God They Killed Edgar...

...the bastards! I gotta say, 24 remains my favorite guilty pleasure. You gotta love a show where Jack Bauer shows a suspect's wife in the knee to get him to talk. But killing Edgar, everyone's favorite, that is harsh!

Been lobbing 12-gauge rounds downrange all afternoon, thankfully mostly birdshot, out of a plain old boring Remington 870. Tomorrow I may shift to one of the trick Remingtons LE the illustrious Greg Foster from Remington Law Enforcement shipped down (along with cases and cases of ammunition, bless his little heart!).

Am using the SIG P225 as the transition pistol...Instructor Bill Murphy said he got one just like it for his daughter, since it's a girly pistol. Most everybody else is LE and has Glocks; the tactical guys have 1911s. Kimbers are very popular. It is GUNSITE, after all. Murphy is a great instructor...he's got a CCW book/DVD package coming out in a couple of months, and I think we're goign to feature his ideas on the show.

I've already picked up some really good tips on working an 870, which I'll try to convey in the show when we film. And, yes, I'll show you Greg's trick stuff, too...

BYW, I sent the Ruger Flat-Top off the Dave Clements at Clements Custom Guns this AM with a list that includes:

• Replace/repair ejector rod and button
• Fit oversize base pin
• Trigger job
• Recrown muzzle/recut forcing cone
• Replace ejector housing with steel replacement
• Color caseharden frame/high polish blue remainder of gun
• Jewel hammer
• "Touch up" anodized frame
I decided to leave the gun in .357 and keep the 4 5/8 barrel. It'll be a keeper!

I'm also going to talk to Hans Vang tomorrow about him building me a really nice pump shotgun. Hans has been after me to send him an 870 for years and years, and he does build one heck of a shotgun...ask the door-kickers in Afghanistan and Iraq! Not only is he a great guy, but his gunsmithing shop in Chino Valley (just south of GUNSITE) is across the street from a really good Mexican restaurant...more than this you can't ask!

BTWBTW, am getting GREAT response on the new SHOOTING GALLERY site! Several people have mentioned how great it is to have internet access for some of Walt Rauch's great writing. be sure to check it out...AND SIGN UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER, TOO!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Okay...That's Funny!

The Oscar opening montage of what "real" cowboy movies were like...

Am off to GUNSITE tomorrow oh-dark-DARK-thirty for the 260 Combat Shotgun class with Bill Murphy. We're also going to go to Winter Range for COWBOYS..."I wish I could quit that Mr. Tequila! Where's my sheeps?"

More from Prescott!!!

PS: Sent the Flat-Top to Dave Clements for restoration.

GOOD HEAVENS! I can't believe I'm listening to that POSTURING ASSHOLE George Clooney! Actors don't really think they're anything more than the human equivalent of toilet paper, do they? Brief relief, followed by a pull of the ole lever...Eric Cartman has more political sensibility than George Clooney on this best day, and is cuter to boot. I live for the day computer simulations replace these toads!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Okay, maybe I'm a little late to the party here, but I LOVE the fact that the blog has been run through a PIMP TRANSLATOR and translated into...pimp-ese, I guess for lack of a better word.

Yo, check it here, bitch!

Bizarrrely Erotic Asian Tattoos...

No, I won't even copy the pixs and put them gotta go there!

The Case for Lasers

I've written about this before, but I'd like to direct you to my article on lasers just posted on the new, improved SHOOTING GALLERY website. I'm a big fan — so much so that I think no defensive gun should be without a laser/ I like the Crimson Trace Laser Grips becase grips are NOT a mission-critical part...the grips break...big whoop...

There's also a column by Walt Rauch just up as well. Read it here.

OKAY...Here's my plan...

Anything longer than a few paragraphs that is clearly "an article" in nature is going onto the SG site. I intend to post a link to every article here on the blog as well.

And yes, I'll consider contributors to the SG site, and, no, I DON'T PAY A PENNY!!!!

Friday, March 03, 2006

I Don't Need It, and I Shouldn't Have Bought It...

...but the sad little lost puppy needed a home!

In this case, the lost puppy is an original Ruger Flat-top .357 Blackhawk. This little revolver, circa the late 1950s, has not been converted to the transfer bar system and shows only minor holster wear. I'd put it at 90-plus percent. The stag grips are original, an $8.50 option from the factory at the time the revolver was made.

I had originally eyed it as another Hamilton Bowen or Dave Clement .44 Special conversion platform, but it may be in too good a shape for that.

I'm going to post a link on the Sixgunner forum and ask those honest-to-goodness experts for their opinion.

At least the little Ruger is safe at home now!

A Few Thoughts About Lever Guns...

...before I go see Capote this afternoon.

I've noticed on several of the gun lists an on-going controversy about lever-action rifles used as primary or secondary self-defense guns. Here's a short summary of the controversy. Yes, rifles have a place in a home defense battery for all the reasons that rifles have always had the edge — easier to shoot than handguns; more powerful than handguns; more precision than shotguns; greater range if necessary, etc. As my friend Jimmy Q. said, right after he got back from blowing stuff up in Vietnam and long before the phrase was picked up by name-brand trainers, "The function of a handgun is to get you to your rifle."

Given that, which rifle? It sorta comes down to two — the classic cowboy lever gun and the classic "everybody's got one" AR platform .223 carbine. Yeah, you can argue for an M1A (the current Springfield SOCOM II rifle is a revelation...its' also friggin' $2000!), any AK platform gun, some obscure choices, but, really, the game comes down to the two biggies.

I've got both, and I tend to come down on the side of the pistol cartridge lever gun. In my own case, the available self-defense rifle is a Winchester '94 Trapper carbine in .44 Magnum. loaded with Black Hills .240-grain JHPs. My reasons aren't exactly rocket science — I like the .44's ballistics over the .223, especially in the context of what the self-defense rifle in my situation might be used for. I don't have property, a farm, a ranch or a situation where there might be a long shot in a self-defense situation. In fact, I can't imagine taking a rifle shot longer than 50 yards (or the distance from the bedroom window to the base of the driveway, whichever comes first). Within those distances, the .44 Magnum is a proven hammer...thousands of deer and pigs can't be wrong! The Trapper wil shoot little tiny groups at 50 yards, all day long.

You can argue that the downside of the lever platform is the absence of that 20-30 round magazine. Fair point, but again, in what context might the gun be used? In my home, I'm unlikely to be facing crazed packs of Somalis or even five or six pissed-off jihadi, situations where pure firepower becomes a big big plus. Instead, I'll be looking at one or two (three on the outside) home invaders who are unlikely to storm my fortified bedroom. With nine rounds in the Winchester's tube and a 50-round box of .44 Maggies, I can lay down a steady stream of very deadly fire for a long, long least, until the local cavalry arrives.

Secondly, I shoot cowboy action stuff pretty regularly, so I practice a lot with a lever gun. So does my Sweetie. That's a critical point to me. If, on the other hand, I shot three-gun regularly, I'd want my self-defense rifle to be the same platform as the rifle I practiced the most with, probably an AR (loaded with low-penetration .223s designed for SWAT cops). Just like with handguns, the "best" rifle for you is the one you practice the most with. A tool is only "best" within the context of "use."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Sneak Peak at the New SG Website

It's under construction, but you can take a back-door look here.

I'm trying to incorporate a lot of blog technology into it, to make it a dynamic, fluid site, one that you'll alll want to hit once a day or so.

Maybe I'll include some subliminal mind control stuff, just to make sure!

Airport Cattle Call!

I missed this least week, the WSJ's incomparible Peggy Noonan on airport security:
So we're all talking about port security this week, and the debate over the Bush administration decision to allow an United Arab Emirates company to manage six ports in the United States. That debate is turning bitter, and I wonder if the backlash against President Bush isn't partly due to the fact that everyone in America has witnessed or has been a victim of the incompetence of the airport security system. Why would people assume the government knows what it's doing when it makes decisions about the ports? It doesn't know what it's doing at the airports.
If Ms. Noonan would really like to light up the boards, let me tell you about getting an explosives' hit off one's laptop. Lights and buzzers start flashing, as if you've finally won a middling slot jackpot in Vegas...people being moving away from you...the nice man behind the machine orders you to place your hands, palm down, on the table until the men with guns get there. And then — this is my second favorite part! — a man with a gun asks if you can give a "credible reason" why the sniffer "smelled" explosive residue on your laptop.

Other than, say, you're operating a bomb factory out of your suitcase.

In my case — not surprisingly — it turned out not just well, but funny. The smell of testosterone was so strong I moved at 1/2 speed, asking permission before each step. "May I take my hands off the table?" "My I get a business card out of my wallet?" Etc. Standard Third World Operating Procedures, evolved to keep me from being iced on the side of some jungle road by a 16-year-old with an FN-FAL. Except, of course, I was in a major U.S. airport (which is, I guess, sort of like the Third World these days, except it's harder to bribe the officials).

The TSA guy on the sniffer looks at my card and before I can say anything else says, "Hell, I watch this guy's show all the time! He blows stuff up every week!" Well, every other week, I think, but I grin and keep my mouth shut. Everybody relaxes...I sign a couple of autographs, hand out some SHOOTING GALLERY pins, shake hands and make my flight.

Back when airport security really started cranking after 9/11, my friend and mentor Walt Rauch, who — like me — is demonstrably paranoid, said that it was all smoke and mirrors, but with a decidedly nefarious purpose: "They're getting us ready for what comes next," he said.

Which is, I asked?

You've traveled, Walt said to me. You've seen it all before: "Your papers, please!" "Come with us while we verify your identity." "You need to be detained, and, no, you can't make a phone call to your attorney." "Get in line for special processing..."

Reading Peggy Noonan's column, I can't help but thinking that Walt is, unfortunately, far too correct...a bad moon is rising out there.

One more airport story. I got pegged for "additional security measures" because I'm on the list as someone who travels with guns — before you all start baying, "What list?," it's the list everyone claims doesn't exist...the one that gets me comments like, "I'm sorry, Mr. Bane, but you're not eligible for internet or curbside check-in. You have to go inside." Or, "Are we carrying a gun today, Mr. Bane?" Or, "Are you aware, Mr. Bane, that it is a federal felony to not declare a firearm if you're carrying one?" Or, "Are you sure you're not traveling with a firearm today, Mr. Bane?" Of course there's no list! Anyway, I digress...

So I get shunted to the windowless room, where I assume the crucified position before being ordered to and try to similarly assume an air of indifference, or maybe distain.

"So you think this is all a joke, huh?" my examiner says, poking me pretty hard with his cattle prod-cum-metal detector. "You frequent fliers don't give a darn about what we're doing here..."

Couple of years ago, I say, dooming myself to missing my flight, I spent some time with an Israeli security guy. I don't think this is a joke. I know this is a joke.

"You spent time with the Israelis?" my examiner said, lowering his prod. I nodded. "You're right," he said. "Get the hell out of here."

And an aside, from yesterday's USA Today:
WASHINGTON — Congress is headed toward approving a plan that would require employers to check every worker's Social Security number or immigration work permit against a new federal computer database.
Critics see the move — aimed at stemming illegal immigration — as the beginning of a government information stockpile that could be used to track U.S. residents.

"We're getting closer and closer to a national ID card," says Tim Sparapani, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Kangaroo Dookey for Brains, and Other Comments from Down Under

And speaking of men with brains consisting entirely of hoppy animal crap, a few words from Australian Prime Minister John Howard:
"I did not want Australia to go down the American path," he said.

"There are some things about America I admire and there are some things I don't.

"And one of the things I don't admire about America is their ... slavish love of guns. They're evil."
Yeah, that's right, Bubba...pour yourself a Foster's and pretend you're smarter than wombat on crank. We may stage an expedition to Australia later this year, to show some Australians slavish love of guns! I'll bet there's more than you think

And what are Howard's loyal subjects doing? How about, obtaining guns by any means possible. This from the Courier-Mail:
Gun ownership explodes

GUN ownership is on the rise in Queensland with evidence the tough restrictions introduced after the Port Arthur massacre nearly a decade ago are losing their effectiveness.

Despite bans on certain types of weapons and a successful buyback and amnesty, police figures show there are more firearms in the community now than three years ago.
Have you ever noticed there's nothing more pathetic than faux-Brits, except possibly faux-French?

LOTR Revisited

From the internet, presented without comment:

"Jack Bauer could have gotten that friggin' ring to Mordor in 24 hours!"

Now for Something Entirely Different

I've spent the last couple of days reading a fairy tale, Neil Gaiman's 1998 Stardust. It's a real fairy tale, too, complete with fairies, witches, true loves, happily ever after and no political point whatsoever.

Gaimen's a graphic novelist, of course, and a heck of a novelist...I loved American Gods.

Anyway, when you need a break from the Real World, try Stardust. You'll feel better, I promise!