Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Michael B Rant!

Here's a little note on CBS News about what's on the big city police chiefs' minds these days at a Police Executive Research Forum briefing with Bush's DOJ guy Paul Nulty:
The first question went right to the heart of the Bush administration's policy on guns — and the fact that Congress "is making it harder for the police and ATF to track" them. The questioner begged McNulty's aid in making it easier to trace the guns, making the point that the problem is kids with guns and tracing them would make their partnerships work more easily.
Not directly related, but certainly in spirit...I posted this on The Gun Zone; shoulda posted it here first. The antecedents were about John McCain's gun problems and our propensity for reactive rather than proactive action:
Reactive's just fine as long as it's followed by crushing, overpowering force. Typically, the firearms industry (AKA, us) "swings like a girl," then waits to see what the other side does.

Granted, we made some accomplishments in the last 8 years — the pre-emption bill, the sunsetting of the AWB, the state successes on CCW — but we didn't NAIL those accomplishments in place. We had the votes, and in the beginning the momentum, to get a national reciprocity for CCW...we had the votes to ban future Bans...we had the votes to eliminate parts of the 1968 GCA and other onerous provisions of "feel good" gun laws...and we did...what? Friggin' duck habitat?

Congress is now so spooked that they're unwilling to ask the District Attorneys' offices in Chicago, New York and Boston to ABIDE BY FEDERAL LAW, ie, safe transit, and stop arresting travelers with firearms who inadvertantly get stuck in their cities!

We're lucky as heck that the gutless sacks of rat feces that pass themselves off as our "legislators" took time out from taking bribes and having their frankfurters fetted to pass legislation that makes it harder to suspend the 2nd Amendment in emergencies. Of course, it took an election year AND the NRA big gun held to their heads to pull it off.

The gun culture turned out big time for the vote in 2000 and 2004, and we should be given the BIG STUPID WEENIE AWARD for standing to the side and letting the people WE put in office run wild. Our organizations failed us big time!

And do any of us have any illusions what happens when the Dems are back running the store? I agree that the NEXT Ban won't sunset and will be much more carefully written — even flatworms learn from experience. Think the .50BMG will survive 6 years of Dems in power? Think we won't see a Big Brother-style expansion of Brady? Think we won't see nationwide shutdowns of public lands to shooting and no new ranges? You think that the National ID Card that the Homeland Security/TSA database nazis and the Dems want so very very badly won't be coded to include information on your firearms ownership?

Remember, it's only paranoia if they're not really after you.

Hysteria mode off!

Meanwhile, Back in the Wild West

This column from Robyn Blumner at the St. Petersburg Red Star...excuse me, the St. Petersburg Times on the "Deadwood" man versus the girlie man, is getting a lot of play on the Internet, as well it should:
The Deadwood hero leaves bodies in the thoroughfare, while the reality hero tries to prevent the bloodshed in the first place. The Deadwood hero is a vigilante, while the reality hero understands the inherent value of a society dictated by the rule of law. The Deadwood hero is impulsive, aggressive and macho, while the reality hero is a rational consensus-builder with an intelligent plan of action.

Under a curtain of fear from terrorism, we have been manipulated into thinking that our national security depends on casting our lot with a Deadwood hero when in fact it lies with the other.
Yeah, right. Here's the best response, from Don Feder at Frontpage Magazine:
Three thousand dead Americans? Well, why didn’t you prevent the bloodshed in the first place! A Dark Ages theocracy pledged to wipe Israel off the face of the earth is acquiring weapons of mass jihad? Let’s build a consensus! All of those Islamists not in favor of wiping Israel off the face of the earth, raise your hands.

And this is the type of analysis on which major metropolitan newspapers waste scarce resources -- like ink and paper.
To a large extent this argument highlights the incredible divide between liberals and conservatives — forget solutions...we simply do not see the same world. I will readily agree that Bush couldn't have done a worse job with Iraq if he had hired the Three Stooges to run the invasion, but that doesn't mean that we're NOT in the middle of World War III with a foe who wants us morphed into ashes and lampshades.

Our supreme struggle is to win the war without turning America into Winston Smith's ultimate nightmare.

You tell me...are we succeeding?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dispatches from the Future

I wrote this a few years back, but the commentaries on the Glock post made me think I ought to publish it here on the blog:
An Apparent Dispatch from the Future

NOTE: This shard of a partially burned press release, along with several other papers found in the accumulated litter of the post 2004 SHOT Show, was sent to me anonymously. While I make no claims for its veracity, I would like to note that the paper was slick, almost like some sort of plastic, and when I attempted to scan it, the text simply disappeared…

For Immediate Release: February [date missing]
Contact: Ke [remaining name missing]

GREATER LAS VEGAS, NV — With this year’s SHOT Show introduction of the much heralded HELA-1911 UltraFireball CQB-Tactical .45ACP single-stack pistol, [name apparently intentionally obscured] is poised to redefine the booming market in 1911s. In an effort to fully capitalize on this historic opportunity, [name obscured] will no longer manufacture or sell any other of the now-obsolete semiautos or those other handguns with “that cylinder thing.”
“We stayed with it longer than anyone else,” said company President Paris Hil [name smudged], noting that no other American firearms company had offered anything but 1911s since early 2007.
“The market has spoken,” she added, “and it doesn’t speak French, German, Austrian, Czech, Brazilian, Italian or Californian. It speaks good old fashioned American, and it wants good old fashion American meat and potatoes.”
Madame President acknowledged that she faced an uphill battle against the current powerhouses in the 1911 market, Glock and Taurus, with Sigarms, Beretta, a revitalized Colt (now owned by a consortium of Indian and Pakistani investors) and the Red/White/Blue Alliance of Kimber, Springfield Armory and Charles Daly close behind. The long-rumored Japanese entry into the market, Gunsmith Cats Signature American Slab-Side .45, is slated for a May 5 introduction in conjunction with that country’s Boys’ Festival.
“Seriously though, can you imagine an American male shelling out good money for a 1911 with a half-naked Japanese cartoon character girl on the grips?” Madame President said. “Wait, wait! Let me rephrase that…”

The second attached sheet read:

Background Information prepared by [name deleted]

The profound—and largely inexplicable—success of the century-old John Browning design rests on a foundation built of equal parts brilliance in engineering, ergonomics and simple blind luck. Not to mention a healthy dose of inertia.
By the turn of the century, it was clear that the United States handgun market was in the midst of a profound change. Despite several decades of bullet development that essentially rendered the major caliber cartridges—.45ACP, .40S&W, 9mm, .357 Magnum, .357SIG—equal in terms of “stopping power,” the marketplace continued to insist on .45ACP semiautos. Much of that demand can be traced to members of the firearms media, who maintained—and still maintain—a steady drumbeat for the 1911 in .45ACP and from the U.S. military forces, who seem to expect people to fall down when hit with a handgun bullet. It's worth noting that European and Japanese forces have no similar expectations.
Other than "cowboy" Single Action Army style revolvers—now imported by the hundreds of thousands into the United States from Italy, China, Somalia and Japan—there appears to be little or no market for any other type of handgun in the world.
Aside from the increasingly important issue of senility in the aging gunwriting corps lead by [name intentionally deleted], the obsession with the 1911 rests firmly with...

[remaining pages burned beyond recapture...]

Baking the Cake

Well, this AM I discovered from no less an authority than the Today Show's Ann "Not Good Enough to Replace Katie" Curry that this year's fashion inspiration, layering, is based on no less a luminary than Marie Antoinette

Okay, yes there's the movie (and, yes, I'd probably pay money to see Kirsten Dunst in a push-up bra) and no, the Real Marie did not tell the pesky peasants to "eat cake."

Still, does anyone other than me think that the lovely Marie, whose head ended up bouncing into the guillotine's catch-bucket on October 16th of that lovely year 1793, might be a bad choice of icon for that lovely year 2006?

There are currents moving just beneath the surface, and none of them are good. Iran is hell-bent on the bomb — you might want to read commentaries here and here — America's spectacular military is tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan; the Gulf Coast is still in shambles; the Democrats (read this), not noted for their intelligence or patriotism, are poised to take over the House and the Senate; Hillary Clinton, our very own Neville Chamberlain, is cranking up her White House machine, including the return of Bubbah, noted sex offender and gun hater; Homeland Security is steadily chipping away at what's left of privacy in the name of "combating terrorism..."

All one can do is sigh and buy ammunition in bulk quantities.

I fully admit that part of this is my inadvertant choice of reading material...inadvertant in the sense that I bought a bunch of books and stacked them beside my bed, and I've been reading my way through the stack. I just fininished The Traveler, an unsettling little S-F book by John Twelve Hawks. I didn't particularly care for the somewhat pedestrian the Amazon stuff...but the descriptions of the world without privacy rang 'way too true:
"Privacy had become a convenient fiction...The new electronic monitoring had changed society: it was as if everyone had been moved into a Japanese house with interior walls constructor of bamboo and paper. Although you could hear people sneezing, talking and making love, the social assumption was that you shouldn't pay attention to it. You had to pretend the walls were solid and soundproof. People felt the same way when they walked past a surveillance camera or used a cell phone..."
This from today's MSNBC:
The government needs broader access to airline passenger information to identify potential hijackers, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in an article published Tuesday.

“How do we thwart a terrorist who has not yet been identified?” Chertoff wrote in an op-ed article in Tuesday’s editions of The Washington Post.
Now let me get this straight...we're unwilling to "profile" young Arab men getting on planes, despite the fact that virtually every terrorism attack on the U.S. and her allies in the last 20 years has been carried out by young Arab men from a handful of countries — what in law enfprcement might be referred to as a "clue" — but we are willing to savage the privacy rights of every American who buys an airline ticket, because...well...we can!

I'm half-way through my pen pal and former SEAL Matthew Bracken's second of two projected sequels to Enemies Foreign and Domestic, Domestic Enemies: The Reconquista. This is a very good book, but it is less than cheery. I admit I haven't been paying all that close attention to the immigration debate, but this book certainly gives some compelling reasons why I need to wake up and smell the socialism. I'd class Reconquista this as a "must-read!"

I say go buy both books and prepare for a couple of long weekends.

And oh hell, let them eat cake!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Fun With the New Army Pistol!

Interesting e-mail from Mike O on Bloomberg News' story on the rollicking military pistol funnies:
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., fresh from winning military contracts in Afghanistan, now wants a bigger prize back home: an Army deal worth as much as $500 million that would be its biggest defense order ever.

The largest U.S. handgun company, maker of the .44 Magnum popularized in Clint Eastwood's ``Dirty Harry'' movies, will bid on a contract to make about 645,000 of its .45-caliber pistols over the next 10 years, Chief Executive Officer Michael Golden said in an interview. Italy's Beretta Holding has the current Army contract, which expires next year.
Mike O corrected Bloomberg's number down to the SOCOM estimate of 50,000 rather than the Big Army number.

In all honesty, my cherubs and seraphim are reporting endless contradictory stories, which leads me to believe that the military bureacracy doesn't actually have a clue as to what it wants...FUBAR Time Again! AMERICAN RIFLEMAN reported in its current issue that the new specs might put the plain old 1911 back in the running, which is NOT what I'm hearing from all the pesky seraphim...I am hearing that some of the various pieces of SOCOM are losing patience with the endlessly delayed specs — remember, the shooter guys were expecting to get guns in their hand this November! — and they're looking at breaking off and just ordering pistols on their own.

Should such a schism happen, it's a virtual certainty that the teams will spec 1911 .45s, which would make the firearms industry virtually swoon with joy. Springfield and Kimber would certainly have the inside track with their existing military and government contracts, but S&W, Taurus and SIGARMS would be unlikely to sit on the sidelines with a SOCOM contract, however small, up for grabs.

And Glock...let us speak of Glock...Glock won't even talk to me about what they're cooking up in the back room for SOCOM, with orders coming directly from Herr Glock hisself. I take this to mean there IS INDEEDY something in the back room, probably the long=rumored Glock 1911 or the SOCOM variant...and Glock has old and very well established contacts in the shadow war community. Plus, Glock has the advantage of having never embarrassed anyone with a high rank in the military by jumping the gun on announcing something...oh! Did I say that out loud? Sorry!

BTW, nice thread on the SIG Forum about this week's episode of SHOOTING GALLERY with Bruce Gray.

BBTTWW, I just drove through should SEE Camp JonBenet! The street acorss from the Cop Shop is blocked while the Media Weasel Squad make yet greater fools of themselves than mean the whack-job didn't do it!!! We are so shocked!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

McCain on Guns...

...and I am so not looking forward to 2008! Here's a link from KnoxNews on Presidential hopeful John McCain's record on guns, which basically sucks hard. Bitter Bitch has a different spin:
McCain Going to Kiss Ass for the Gun Vote

I can’t say too much right now, but I thought you guys might be interested in this story about McCain hiring the former head of NRA-ILA, for his presidential run. The link goes to a post by Josh Sugarmann, head of VPC, which I think provides an interesting view from the other side.
I love Bitter because she pulls her punches, just like me.

McCain hired James Baker to help him convince us that he's not a quisling and a weasel, which, of course, he demonstrably is. Anyhow, read the Sugarman piece here at that blowhard Huffington's blogside. Remember that Sugarman is every bit as big a weasel as McCain.

I hope Johnny Boy like the taste of ass, because he's got a lot of kissing to do! What I don't like about McCain is that he wants to be President so bad he'd eviserate his grandmother and sell her entrails to voodoo doctors in New Orleans if he thought it'd give him a bump. It'd be harder to say who's the biggest whore, McCain or Hillary, although McCain is cuter and has better legs. Like I said I just can't wait until 2008!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fog, Hungry Ghosts & Dinner

If you're ever in Oshkosh, I can highly recommend dinner at Kodiak Jack's Steak & Seafood, if for no other reason that all the spectacular animal heads and mounts in the wall, although I have to say it felt weird while something goatish watched me eat my Alaska grilled fish special. They also had Moose Drool Beer, which isn't one of my all-time favorites, but, it'll do, pig.

besides, that's the beer they always serve ay the 5.11 Challenge outside of Billings, MT, where I'm headed now.

Was a strange and eerie drive from Oshkosh back to Milwaukee before dawn. There was thick swirly fog that felt like it was crawling with hungry ghosts escaped from the Second Realm, looking to fill their hollow existance. I suppose it's sort of a haphazard warrior's conceit that steel talismans and a tenuous connection to reality insures invisibility to hungry ghosts and assorted Oni. I'm not sure that's true, although if I'm going to be turned into human cheese curd by hungry ghosts, I'd prefer it not be in Wisconsin. I have an irrational fear of being reincarnated as a dairy cow and being forced to participate in "happy cow" commercials for all eternity.

Anyhow, I finally got to handle one of the S&W "Tactical" 8-shot .357 revolvers while I was talking to Performance Center majordomo Tom Kelly in Oshkosh. I have to say I haven't exactly been setting pennies and nickels aside to get one of these odd-looking beasties, but the balance is just superb...

Friday, August 25, 2006

John the Farm Team!!!

Walt Rauch directed me to this site for the Farm Team Infidel t-shirts!

Yes, they're apparently sold out of some sizes, but these are just officially TOO KOOL FOR SKOOL!!!

A must-buy! Thank you JS Holsters!

The Oshkosh Blues Again

Oh mama, can this really be the end?
To be stuck inside of Oshkosh

With the Boulder blues again...

— With painful apologies to Bobby Dylan

You know, lake perch isn't bad! I had dinner last night with the guns from SIGARMS, since the entire hapless Outdoor Channel crew was driving in from Chicago, where they got stuck in the O'Hare flypaper.

Remember, I'm only at the DU Great Outdoors Festival TODAY...I'll be in the Outdoor Channel booth/truck when I'm not sneaking over to the range to pop off a few rounds, and I'll have a bunch of leftover SHOT Show collectable duck pins...this is the last of 'em!

Stop by and help me pass the afternoon!

I talked to my pal Dave Skinner from STI International yesterday, and he says orders are already coming in for the Texican single action revolver. he did not say whether he planned to extend the incredibly successful STI Contingency Money plan to cowboy action shooting. Essentially, shoot an STI gun and win in USPSA, IDPA or at the Steel Challenge, and nice Mr. Skinner will give you money. Cowboy has always disdained the bucks, a la Tom T. Hall's admonition in Faster Horses — "I do not care for horses, whiskey. women and the loot!"

But a contingency plan exists separate from the organizing organization and is outside of SASS' control. And I'll bet a lot of the young Turks in cowboy would love to put some college money in their pockets!

The SIG guys tell me the 556 carbine is getting closer and closer to the market pipeline. That's good, because there are a lot of people standing in line waving money. Speaking of carbines, I'm following up with the guys from Sabre Defense Industries on their AR platform guns...they do the Massad Ayoob signature gun...if Mas had asked me, I'd have gone for, say, mauve furniture...what color is mauve, anyway? Sabre is also importing the Swiss Sphinx pistol, a very pricey, very well-made 9mm, ostensibly with a .40 on the horizon. They look and handle great, although I didn't get a chance to shoot one. Since the Sphinx is made in the shadow of the Eiger, it would be the perfect gun for an Eiger Sanction!

BTW, Jerry Ahern posted a really cool article on the Zen of the O.K. Corral over on the SHOOTING GALLERY site! This October is the 125th Anniversary of the Uber-Shootout, and, of course, we'll be there for the festivities, and, yes, we'll be your huckleberries. Well have Bob Boze Bell in tow, and he knows more about outlaw mythology than any sane person should!

Anyhow, come see me this afternoon! Oshkosh, b'gosh!

The Oshkosh Blues Again

Oh mama, can this really be the end?
To be stuck inside of Oshkosh

With the Boulder blues again...

— With painful apologies to Bobby Dylan

You know, lake perch isn't bad! I had dinner last night with the guns from SIGARMS, since the entire hapless Outdoor Channel crew was driving in from Chicago, where they got stuck in the O'Hare flypaper.

Remember, I'm only at the DU Great Outdoors Festival TODAY...I'll be in the Outdoor Channel booth/truck when I'm not sneaking over to the range to pop off a few rounds, and I'll have a bunch of leftover SHOT Show collectable duck pins...this is the last of 'em!

Stop by and help me pass the afternoon!

I talked to my pal Dave Skinner from STI International yesterday, and he says orders are already coming in for the Texican single action revolver. he did not say whether he planned to extend the incredibly successful STI Contingency Money plan to cowboy action shooting. Essentially, shoot an STI gun and win in USPSA, IDPA or at the Steel Challenge, and nice Mr. Skinner will give you money. Cowboy has always disdained the bucks, a la Tom T. Hall's admonition in Faster Horses — "I do not care for horses, whiskey. women and the loot!"

But a contingency plan exists separate from the organizing organization and is outside of SASS' control. And I'll bet a lot of the young Turks in cowboy would love to put some college money in their pockets!

The SIG guys tell me the 556 carbine is getting closer and closer to the market pipeline. That's good, because there are a lot of people standing in line waving money. Speaking of carbines, I'm following up with the guys from Sabre Defense Industries on their AR platform guns...they do the Massad Ayoob signature gun...if Mas had asked me, I'd have gone for, say, mauve furniture...what color is mauve, anyway? Sabre is also importing the Swiss Sphinx pistol, a very pricey, very well-made 9mm, ostensibly with a .40 on the horizon. They look and handle great, although I didn't get a chance to shoot one. Since the Sphinx is made in the shadow of the Eiger, it would be the perfect gun for an Eiger Sanction!

BTW, Jerry Ahern posted a really cool article on the Zen of the O.K. Corral over on the SHOOTING GALLERY site! This October is the 125th Anniversary of the Uber-Shootout, and, of course, we'll be there for the festivities, and, yes, we'll be your huckleberries. Well have Bob Boze Bell in tow, and he knows more about outlaw mythology than any sane person should!

Anyhow, come see me this afternoon! Oshkosh, b'gosh!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Minor Acts of Will

It's has been all I could do to keep from making snide — and probably racist — remarks about the new season of Survivor, which is broken down by racial lines. This from MSNBC:
In a sense, this hazardous high-wire act is Burnett's genius in full flower — he knows that his American audience fears its inability to productively process and discuss race more than it fears disgusting food, isolation among strangers, or stinging jellyfish. But on the other hand, if something like this is to be a successful and meaningful social experiment, it has to be handled exactly right. Whether Burnett and "Survivor" are up to the challenge remains to be seen.

It is interesting to note, however, that "Survivor" has not chosen to cast "the Arab-American Tribe."
Okay...not a single crack about burkahs and bikinis!

I've spent most of the afternoon cleaning the aquarium, which isn't nearly as interesting since Nemo died. I suppose I could get more fish, but so far, the Force just isn't with me. I did seine out all the duckwort, which always reminds me of the Mahdi's seige of British Khartoum in the 1880s, when "Chinese" Gordon and his men were reduced to kibbles and Brits. You too? What a coincidence! Anyhow, I remember reading somewhere that the embattled Brits survived on cakes of pressed duckwort seined from the Nile, which was apparently pretty nutritious — ask any goldfish — by tasted like crap...or maybe carp.
Maybe I need a nap. I have thankfully located the three best restaurants in Oshkosh, WI, so I will NOT have to go to Applebees while I'm there tomorrow! I'll be at the Ducks Unlimited Festival working The Outdoor Channel booth, so feel free to stop by and tell me how much you hate the new SG art! Or ask me whether the 1911 is going to be allowed in the now SOCOM-By-Itself Handgun Trials...I won't know, but I will have an opinion!

I've got a design service getting ready to overhaul the blog — don't worry; no weird art! Mostly I'm thinking of migrating from Blogger to WordPress for a little more versatility — although the fact that Bogger is owned by Google has helped my placings on the search engine giant...I spent yesterday working on Podcast #1 and decided, finally, that I desperately needed a preamp for the USB mic connection. Accordingly, I ordered one from Amazon and should have it early next week. As soon as I'm effectively pre-amplified, we'll post #1 and see how it goes. Part of the new design will be integration of YouTube videos into the blog, which should rock.

Also, I now have another dilemma...I was the victim of a THROWDOWN over on — gunwriter Denis Prisbrey challenged me to a custom gun build-off...we each start with the same gun and budget, then see what comes out the other end. As the challenged party, I got pick of the gun, so I tried a tricky move and chose a fixed-sight Ruger Single Six .22 and a moderate $1000 budget. Then I raced to the phone to call Hamilton Bowen and start wheedling and whining, only to find out that weasel Prisbrey had beaten me there.

What to do; what to do...

I was thinking about following Hunter S. Thompson's great aphorism, "When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro..." Maybe produce the weirdest Single Six on the planet. I haven't ever customized one of the little Rugers and know of darn few floating around. According to John Taffin in his master work, SINGLE ACTION SIXGUNS, Andy Horvath did a few L'il Guns for him. OTOH, Tactical Solutions are master of aluminum anodizing, and the Singe Six frame is aluminum...hmmmmm...I gotta think Hamilton's gonna go classic, maybe Colt-erizing the little gun. Larry Crow's weird enough to roll out head-thumper, but he's swamped.

What to do...what to do...

YES, I'm asking for advice again!!! Here's the starting point (and the above picture, of course). As vanilla as vanilla can be!


Greenies Press Antigun Campaign!

Rust isn't the only thing that never sleeps.

Apparently, the U.S. Forest Service Greenies are equally diligent in their campaign to rid the forests of firearms...these scumbags make Brady look downright friendly! I got this connection from a reader's e-mail, and it's happening right now in Oregon. Read the whole thing on the Airborne Combat Engineer blog, but here's the juicy parts:
"Frequent use of firearms ... for the purpose of intimidating other recreating public around heavily-used recreation sites has become a problem," states a news release issued last week by the Detroit Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest.

The release announced a new regulation prohibiting the "discharging of firearms, air rifles or gas guns" in specific areas within the ranger district.

"The primary reason basis for the firearm order is related to public safety, with a secondary concern for reducing vandalism and for the peace and tranquility of the setting," the news release said.

Rodney Stewart, recreation staff officer for the Santiam River Zone of the Willamette National Forest, said the intimidation factor referred to in the release is indirect in nature.

"They don't go directly up to somebody and aim a gun at them," Stewart said.

However, repeated rapid gunfire near a dispersed camping area is often enough to cause other people in the area to pack up and move, Stewart said.
Indirect intimidation? Think about this, folks...even the Violence Policy Center hasn't had the BALLS to suggest if the sound of gunfire makes one person queasy then everyone in the world needs to stop shooting!

And notice that the Greenies included air guns and gas guns in their "STOP SHOOTING!" program — guns that don't make any appreciable noise! They lie the way some people breathe — reflexively!

Based on this ruling and their continued nationally funded antigun agenda, the USFS has now stepped to the forefront as the SINGLE MOST DANGEROUS ANTIGUN ORGANIZATION IN AMERICA!

As I've said before...except as to the limits of the law, DO NOT COOPERATE with any Greenie for other than legal reasons. DO NOT VOLUNTEER to help any Greenie program, and DO NOT DONATE any money to any USFS program, no matter how innocuous it appears on the surface. Any money you donate to Greenies will be used to strip you of your rights under federal law to utilize the forest resource!

This is a national antigun campaign sanctioned from the very top. Until the Department of Agriculture steps up, or our legislative delegations start kicking some Greenie ass, we're going to be fighting one Green outbreak after another!


Bloody Mary Mornings

There are mornings when I'm pretty sure I'm just a character in a Philip K. Dick novel, probably a sequel to The Man in the High Castle or maybe a Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? sequel set in Kansas instead of a Bladerunner-esque Los Angeles.

Consider this morning's news of note through the surreal filter of Drudge:
• 60-year-old man accused of biting boy's genitals...
• Hundreds of body parts recalled...
• JonBenet whacko "marches to beat of different drummer..."
• BBC pulls spoof show of cows crashing into the World Trade Center...
Add to that my hysterically funny phone call yesterday from Samuel L. Jackson, who threatened to kill me if I didn't go see Snakes on a Plane, and the fact that I'm having another bout of shingles, so everything I see through my right eye looks like I'm staring at the skewed world through a cotton ball.

As long as we're talking surreal here, I thought I might mention a gun thing, since I haven't talked gunny in a while.

While every firearm manufacturer on earth is betting their farms on 1911 platform guns, the maker of the best out-of-the-box 1911s in America is thundering hell-bent into the past with the roll-out of [pause for effect] a single-action revolver.

STI International, whose Legacy and Trojan 1911s are arguably the cream of the crop for production guns and whose modular-framed 1911 hi-caps absolutely dominate the competition markets, is finally on the verge of birthing their latest Colt clone, the "Texican" single-action revolver.

The Texican will feature a frame machined from barstock, wire EDM internal parts and a color case-hardened frame and high polish blue remainder. Of course the gun will be in .45's from Texas, for heaven's sake!

It's an open secret than when Colt was on the market, STI Commander-in-Chief Dave Skinner was sitting at the table with his checkbook buring a hole in his pocket. Unfortunately, the Colt-inistas had a wildly overblown idea of what that little pony was worth, and Skinner went back to Texas empty-handed. now the best 1911 maker in the country is also making a SAA and, coming up, an updated, upgraded version of the Colt Defender mini-.45 ACP...hey Dave, could you please put my name first in line whne you decide to make a Colt Python for the 21st Century!

Excuse me, I've got to go study the many different forms for addressing another person and tend to my collection of string...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Equipped to Survive

My friend and fellow Outdoor Channel person Chris Chaffin introduced me to Doug Ritter a couple of SHOT Shows ago — Doug's a "survival guy," not a "survivalist guy." If I recall, we had a deep conversation on the efficiency of various wicking microfabrics, which is a pretty important subject if you spend time in the backcountry.

Doug runs a great website, Equipped to Survive, and he recently started up a very cool blog, Doug Ritter's Equipped Blog.

I trust his equipment reviews, and that is saying a lot. I've spent too much time in scary places to put a lot of value in other people's "opinions" — everyboyd, after all, has one. When I met Doug, I told him that I had a closet full of mismatched, battered gear, but that it had done the job. He said, of course, that was all that mattered.

His current blog entry links to a fascinating article from Time Magazine on, "Why We Don't Prepare:"
Because the real challenge in the U.S. today is not predicting catastrophes. That we can do. The challenge that apparently lies beyond our grasp is to prepare for them.


But it's not just bureaucrats who are unprepared for calamity. Regular people are even less likely to plan ahead. In this month's TIME poll, about half of those surveyed said they had personally experienced a natural disaster or public emergency. But only 16% said they were "very well prepared" for the next one. Of the rest, about half explained their lack of preparedness by saying they don't live in a high-risk area.
The article comes just when I'm restocking for winter. Interesting reading, and again, I heartily recommend Doug's sites!

Yeah Yeah, Don't Tell me!

Here's another contribution to the SHOOTING GALLERY new graphix!

Yes, it is NOT refined and, yes, it DOES NOT clearly show how to disassemble a 1911!

How to Catch Osama...Details Inside!

This'll work...honest!

First, read this, from the Indy Channel:
Author: Bin Laden Obsessed With Whitney Houston

Al-Qaida Leader Wanted To Kill Singer's Husband, Author Says

NEW YORK -- Sudanese poet and novelist Kola Boof, who claims to have been Osama bin Laden's sex slave, has written in her autobiography, "Diary of a Lost Girl," that the al-Qaida leader was obsessed with Whitney Houston.

The New York Post quoted Boof as saying bin Laden told her Houston was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen.

Boof said he even talked about spending a lot of money to go to the U.S. and meet her.
Okay, stay with me here...we send SEAL Team 6 and/or President Palmer and the guys from The Unit to Atlanta to humanely capture Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. If Kevin Costner is present, it would be acceptable, and perhaps desirable, to either euthanize him or charge him with the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.

Once Houston and Brown are successfully captured, a Department of Defense jet will whisk them to Kandahar region of Pakistsan, where she and her hubby will be staked out on a 20-foot tether in one of the rugged mountainous regions. A crack pipe and a pound of marijuana will be placed just out of reach of the two superstars, and the sound system previously used in Panama during the Noriega event will be connected to an iPod continually looping "I Will Always Love You" at megavolume.

I say we play our big cards here, and assemble a "hit team" consisting of Richard Marcinko, Kiefer Sutherland, Chuck Norris, that chick on "Alias," and Andre 3000 and Big Boi from OutKast.

Then we wait...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Racing Toward the Weekend!

Actually, that's not true, but I thought it would get me pumped up on Monday morning.

I came home from California yesterday, then headed out on a 2-hour mountain bike ride. I was going to do a 50-mile road bike, but the weather up here looked ominous so we headed up on a knee-buster closer to home. This AM, the stairs seem like a challenge!
I came across, via InstaPundit, this discussion of using the phrase "victim disarmament" instead of the phrase "gun control." I like this and am going to try to incorporate it in my writing.

That link lead me to this fascinating discussion of the philosophical right to own firearms from Professor Michael Huemer at the University of Colorado — how the heck did he end up here in Planet Boulder? He also has a collection of scary Biblical quotes on his!

I also liked the Cathy Seipp's piece in the National Review on liberal it here.

Finally, I think I'm writing's hard to say. I'm thinking about writing again, which with me usually translates into words on paper. I might post another chapter of FIVE TO GO, my sequel to ALL NIGHT RADIO — which has been selling pretty well lately, thank you — later today. I was inspired by Matthew Bracken finishing the sequel to his ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC , titled THE RECONQUISTA, and his sage advice that if I got off my butt and wrote something I might conceiveably finish...

Saturday, August 19, 2006


J.J. Racaza Wins Steel Challenge!

And it was a BLOODBATH of a match! Mickey Fowler and I ran out of synonyms for "crash," "disaster," "hit the wall," "train wreck," "ran over the edge," etc.

J.J. finally put it all together on the last stage, the brand spanking new Accelerator.

And no, we didn't give away the money...winning time was in the 82.6 second range.

here's the top 5:
1. J.J. Racaza
2. K.C. Escubio
3. Todd Jarrett
4. Max Michel
5. Dave Sevigny
6. B.J. Norris
Oh yeah, in a heartbreaking twist, Tasuya Sakai DQ'ed on EXACTLY the same stage he DQ'ed on last year, Outer Limits, popping a round about two feet from his right foot.

[NOTE: I originally omitted Glock's Dave Sevigny from the results because he did not shoot with the Super Squad, and those were the only official results available late yesterday afternoon when I left the range. The official results, whch showed Dave slipping past B.J., became available Sunday AM]

If You Must Belong to a Club...

...this is one heck of a club to belong to!

From last night's National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) party at the Steel Challenge World Speedshooting Championships, we made a great presentation to Mike Fichman and Mike Dalton, the creators of the Steel Challenge 25 years ago and the match directors for todays match — huge gold "SuperBowl" style rings, as befits the SuperBowl of the shooting sports!

From the left, Rob Leatham, Mike Fichman, Dan Buchanan (who conceived and spearheaded the Fellowship of the Rings project), Mike Dalton, Mickey Fowler and moi, who got to emcee the event. It's creepy, but I go back the full 25 years with those guys!

BTW, SHOOTING GALLERY challenge participant Phil Strader whomped up on the Big Boys in the Limited Match yesterday, with a beautiful performance on the new Steel Challenge stage, the Accelerator. It came down to a contest between Phil and speed demon J.J. Racaza; Phil snatched his victory on the last run!

You saw him first on SHOOTING GALLERY — of course — but you'll be seeing Phil everywhere pretty soon.

Today is the OUTDOOR CHANNEL/SIGARMS 80 Second Challenge...the first shooter to break 80 seconds picks up our check for a cooooooooooool $30,000. With stage primes and the $6000 winner's fee, the Fasted Gun Alive will take home around $40K!

SG puts its money where it's viewers are!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ruger Rimfire Challenge 2007

Just a quick AM not to say we've set a date for the inaugural RUGER RIMFIRE CHALLENGE — 5 May 2007 at the Hogue Range in Morro Bay, CA!

This is going to be a really cool .22 LR two-gun — pistol & rifle — match with a substantial prize table, and you're not limited to Ruger firearms. We're talking 4 categories:
Open (semiautos, optics, compensators, anything goes)
Limited (no optics, no comps, but otherwise anything goes)
Human Operated (lever or pump rifles, double action revolvers)
Cowboy Style (lever action rifles, two single action revolvers...and yes, contestants must wear a cowboy hat!)
Magazines will be limited to 10 rounds. Stages will include handgun-only, rifle-only and mixed stages, and the match will be featured on SHOOTING GALLERY.

The Hogue Range is the home of the International Revolver Championships and is in one of the most beautiful locations in the country. This inaugural match will have limited slots available, so start checking your gunsafes for .22s!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


This is the first draft of some new SHOOTNG GALLERY graphix for tee shirts, stickers, posters, pins, and — perversely — a bike jersey.

It's by great TOC designer and anime fan Dave Warner, based on 1970s-vintage Third World revolutionary posters.

As they say, Viva La SG Revolution!

What'da'ya think???

Some Thoughts on the Winchester "Return"

This from the SHOOTING WIRE a couple of days ago:
Winchester Ammunition and Browning Firearms have announced a new, long-term firearms licensing agreement. Under the new agreement, Browning will continue to produce Winchester firearms, retaining the Winchester license. Sources tell The Outdoor Wire the agreement will cover modern firearms including the Super-X shotgun and Super-X rifles, but will not include the traditional Winchester firearms (Model 94s, Model 70s and the Model 1300 Speed Pump Shotguns) formerly produced in USRAC's now-shuttered New Haven, Connecticut plant.
I don't think this changes anything I'd heard earlier. The only guns that were definitely off the table were the 94 lever gun, the Model 70 rifle and the 1300 pump gun. I heard an interesting tidbit a couple of days ago about production at the USRAC Hartford plant in the months leading up to the closing.

One of my cherubs and seraphim told me that, essentially, the plant was cranking out pretty much nothing but pre-64 style Winchester actions for FNH's hugely successful FBI rifle, and there's now a lot in inventory.

Here's some whispers to watch for...Browning has released a Model 1892 Winchester clone, the B-92, before. The "Made-in-Japan" Browning/Winchesters, produced in small numbers in .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum in the early 1980s, are among the best '92 clones ever made.

At the time of their manufacture, Cowboy Action Shooting hadn't really taken off, and the pistol-cartridge B-92s were solutions in search of a problem. A new B-92 in the classic cartridges of the original, .44-40 and .38-40, might find a pretty good market. The Japanese probably stil have the tooling, so it wouldn't be that big of a putt...

Good News & Strange Brews

Check out the wee beastie, about which more later in my never-ending crusade to bring you "news you can use!"

Too tired to do too much tonight, though...excellent meetings at The Outdoor Channel today...our handgun hunting show has taken a substantial step toward reality.

I wanted to post this story on yet another Second Amendment victory, courtesy of the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation:
NEW ORLEANS -- A federal lawsuit accusing the city of illegally confiscating firearms during the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina was kept alive by a federal judge Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier denied a motion by the city of New Orleans to dismiss a suit by the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation. The gun-rights groups sued Mayor Ray Nagin and New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley over the confiscation of guns following Hurricane Katrina.

The city asked the judge to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction, saying "the states, and by extension their political subdivisions, are free to proscribe the possession of firearms."

The court rejected the motion, ruling the city did nothing to back up "the brazen assertion" that the second amendment did not apply.

"I'm delighted to see that the second amendment still applies in Louisiana," said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA.
Bravo, guys! I hope you crucify the whole collection of clowns in the court case. Since I'm on the Left Coast, I was reading the LA Times this morning when I stumbled on a full page ad from Hollywood celebrities demanding we do "whatever is necessary" to stop global terrorism.

The list included not only such stand-up guys as Bruce Willis, "Shield" star Michael Chiklis, the incomparable James Woods, Michael Mann, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and, bless us all, Nicole Kidman.

Of course it was also signed by slimeball Sly "Repeal the Second Amendment" Stallone, no doubt hoping someone will notice his upcoming "Geriatric Rocky" movie — "You need the eye of the tiger, Rocky...and maybe a couple of prunes..."

And speaking of hybrid mutant stinking slimeballs, this critical note from Steven King's home state of Maine — and no, the wee beastie is NOT Sly Stallone:
Residents are wondering if an animal found dead over the weekend may be the mysterious creature that has mauled dogs, frightened residents and been the subject of local legend for half a generation.

The animal was found near power lines along Route 4 on Saturday, apparently struck by a car while chasing a cat. The carcass was photographed and inspected by several people who live in the area, but nobody is sure exactly what it is.

Michelle O'Donnell of Turner spotted the animal near her yard about a week before it was killed. She called it a "hybrid mutant of something."

"It was evil, evil looking. And it had a horrible stench I will never forget," she told the Sun Journal of Lewiston. "We locked eyes for a few seconds and then it took off. I've lived in Maine my whole life and I've never seen anything like it."
Given my druthers, I'd rather hang with a hybrid mutant dog rat than Slyvester Stallone; maybe we can capture one and get it to eat Rosie O'Donnell. Naw, there's some things that'll gag even a hybrid mutant dog rat! Plus, all that lard couldn't be good for the little feller...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Now THIS is a Flashlight!

What's nine inches long, covered with knobs and runs off batteries?

Good heavens, you people make me sick with your disgusting thoughts!

No, not that...the answer is a flashlight, a SureFire to be sure. I snatched an illicit picture of this SureFire Meat Tenderizer at a product's nine or ten inches long and feels like a brickbat with sharp points.

And no, you can't have one! Yet...

It was a special run for a Chinese client, where apparently there are things that do more than go bump in the night. The SureFire guys said, OTOH, if enough people want to buy the SureFire CHUD*-Thumper, they'll make 'em and sell em.

Tell them you heard about it here!

Hey, these would be ideal for the hapless spelunking chicks in THE DESCENT!

(*Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller)

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Good News/Bad News Sort of Monday

Well, I'm still pretty much whipped!

Last weekend, we went down to the Whittington Center at Raton, NM, to film the brand-spanking-new Colorado Multigun Practical Rifle Team Challenge. It's a precision rifle/carbine/handgun two-person match, and what atracted us was that the stages made use of the varied (and occasionally harsh) terrain at the Whittington Center.

Just to give you a little tease, we filmed a truly great shot with a custom Armalite shot, dead center, on a steel target at 1180 yards! Next time somebody tells you about the inate accuracy superiority of bolt guns over semis, feel free to break out into gales of laughter!

So I spent the whole day running up and down New Mexico hills — and, yes, had yet another HORRIBLE meal in Raton! — then got up at 0-Dark-Thirty to drive the five hours back home so I could do a 30-mile road bike ride with my Sweetie. The bike ride was actually knd of was hot, but I was able to pretty much zone out and doze in the aero bars of my 14-year-old Trek 5200.

This morning, though, my knees are threatening to call a cab and go to the Knee Shelter! Getting older is a bitch for real.

I have two product reports for you, one good and one bad. I really, really hate to give bad reports, but I am absolutely committed to keeping SHOOTING GALLERY as an honest forum. So you get to know what doesn't work as well as what works.

Let's do the good stuff first. Remember when I was all pumped up on the little Bond Arms .45 Colt/.410 derringer? Well, you can read all about it here, Pondering the Pernicious Perfidity of Pocket Pistols.

I ordered the driving holster for the little gun, because it looked like a pretty good idea — I like the .410 Winchester #000 buckshot as a deterent for your basic 'jacker. In short, a driving holster is designed to let you easily access your blaster while strapped into a car seat. Typically, a driving holster is an almost horzontal can access the gun easily, and the move to the gun is less visible to an outside person because it's concealed by the driver's side door.

My understanding is that the holsters were pioneered in South Africa, where carjacking is recognized as a national sport.

The finely boned litle holster, made by Bill Weaver in Dennison, TX, and available through the Bond Arms website, is a beauty, well fitted and with a thumb-snap. The holster attaches horizontally to the belt with a clever leather strap secured by a Velcro tab — very easy on; very easy off...a big issue with driving holsters. In fact, I made it a point of putting it on and taking it off in the confined space of the problemo.

I'm not usually a fan of thumb-snaps, but in the case of a horizontal holster, a snap only makes sense.

I wore the holsters for five hours each way, coming and going, and here's the high praise — I forgot it was on. It concealed easily under one of my ubiquitous Hawaiian shirts and/or a Sig-Tac vest, which I routinely wear when I travel, and was a snap (yes, another Monday pun) to draw from with the seat belt on.

I give the driving holster and the Bond Arms mini-blaster two big ole THUMBS UP!

Now for the THUMBS DOWN.

I've always heard a lot about Eagle Grips, and all of it was good. I'm planning an upcoming episode of SG where I was going to use my old and cherished '70s' vintage S&W M-29 .44 Magnum, which has for decades been wearing a set of Hogue rubber grips from its days as my deer hunting gun.

Eagle offers a special line of S&W grips called their "Heritage Series," replicas in rosewood of the the 1950s vintage "Coke bottle" S&W factory grips. The story goes that this Eagle style originated when my pal and S&W revolver afficianado gunwriter Frank James sent a set of his original Coke bottles to Eagle to be duplicated, then mentioned that there was a big market for such aftermarket grips.

The Heritage grips are billed as hand-checkered and hand-fitted to the specific type of gun and command a $30 premium over a standard set of Eagle S&W grips...$99.95 versus $69.95 for the Classic.

I thought that sounded perfect for my old M-29, so I ordered a set straight over the Internet for MSRP.

The first set arrived, and to say I was "underwhelmed" was an "understatement." The wood was mediocre at best...not as nice as the half-dozen set of S&W factory grips I've got lying around the workshop. Worse, on the right-side panel checkering, many of the diamonds had been knocked off through rough handling, which destroyed the attractiveness of the checkering. I got out my M-29, only to discover that the "hand-inletting" was so bad the grips wouldn't even come close to fitting any S&W N-Frame I had on hand.

Back the grips went by return mail. I gave the company the option of either refunding my money or sending me a different set of grips, because stuff indeed does happen and t was only fair to allow them to make good.

Got my replacement grips on Friday and put...well, attempted to put...them on this morning...

The wood is beautiful; the checkering is very good...and the grips don't even come close to fitting my gun. Take a look at the pictures and see for yourself. In fact, I'd estimate there is easily an hour or more of meticulous work with the Dremel to fit these grips, and given how they currently fit, I'm not sure I'd ever get a fit I'd be happy with.

I hate to say this, but TWO THUMBS DOWN on Eagle Grips.

The grips will go back for a refund.

If you want custom grips for your S&W revolver, let me give you a hard-learned word of adviceHogue!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Buyer Beware!

I'm sitting around tonight answering e-mails from the show; this week's episode looked at home invasions, with longtime LEO, world-class trainer, co-creator of the Steel Challenge and original Southwest Pistol League Combat Master Mike Dalton (his book is LIFE WITHOUT FEAR; read it) leading us through it.

With one exception, the e-mail has been adulatory...Mike's a star!

Of course, I want to mention the exception. The e-mail was from a person who by his/her own admission saw only the last few minutes of the show, where we showed how to "work" a real live house after explaining in great detail that YOU WILL IN ALL PROBABILITY LOSE and that it should only be attempted in the direst of circumstances, ie, you can't find one of your kids. I mean, I can tell you all day that if you can't find your kid you should still hole up and wait for the cops, but that's not going to happen, is it?

Here's the e-mail:
Just caught the tail end of an episode where you go over what to do during a home invasion.

You are going to get people killed.

I teach the concealed handgun classes here in [XXXX], and had my early training from [THE MILITARY].

The way to survive a deadly force situation is to take every advantage you can, and give none in return. If you try to apprehend an individual who has entered your home under the scenario you describe on your show, and that person happens to be armed, homeowners are going to die as a result of your "expert opinions."

The homeowner, while he's busy wondering if he can use deadly force, he could end up dead.

You shoot the bastard first, thus making it impossible for him to initiate an attack against you. Then you deal with the legal aspects later. At least, you are alive.

Be assured I won't go out of my way to watch your show again.
Well, aside from the fact that he missed the entire point of the show — heck, he missed most of the show! — there's a point here I want to make.

ANYBODY can be an instructor, and it's on you as the consumer of that instruction to pick and choose. When my Sweetie was ready to get her CCW, she had to attend an NRA Personal Protection Class given in the area. I haven't taken the PPC in ages, so I decided to sign up and take the class with her.

The instructor in that class was also happened to be a former military guy, and he started the class with the words, "I can kill you with a gun, with a knife, with an arrow and with my bare hands, with a pencil...I am a dangerous man."

Well, that goes against Michael's Universal Law of Dangerous People, to wit, any person who has to tell you he or she is dangerous isn't. If that person tells you he or she is dangerous 3 or more times, Alf the Wonder Beagle can take 'em. I have been priveleged to spend time with real modern day warriors, and not a single one of them — man or woman — has ever explained to me that he or she was a natural born killah!

After about an hour of that crap — I stopped counting at 6 "dangerous man" declarations; lucky Alf wasn't with us — I told my Sweetie to do what she had to do to pass the class, but to ignore everything this blowhard moron had to say, lest he get her killed or jailed.

While I personally think KILL 'EM ALL; LET GOD SORT 'EM OUT (or, to use the correct religious terminology from the Crusades, "Slay them all and the Good Lord will know his own") is okay as a retro-70s bumpersticker, it is perhaps not the best strategy in complex times.

Suggesting you should just kill someone first, then "deal with the legal aspects later," is an excellent way to become Bubba-the-Lifer's live-in "girlfriend." No, let's not make it a's damned irresponsible. The use of deadly force is a huge responsibility — not just legally, but ethically and, for lack of a better word, spiritually. Those bullets you loose are on you, forever. The consequences of those bullets are also on you, forever. And if you kill somebody in a sutuation that the police and courts decide DID NOT warrant deadly force, you are likely going to spend the rest of your life paying for those pesky "legal aspects."

I worry that with the huge glut of "instructors" in the market are offering strategies and tactics drawn from either military or police training, which are not appropriate in a civilian context. As my dear friend Denny Chalker says, the ideal way to "clear a room" is a grenade; it is, however, impractical for home defense scenarios.

I close a lot of SHOOTING GALLERY episodes by urging you all to get training. Well, I need to add that you need to get good training from the right people I will personally stand behind any and every trainer or shooting school we present on SHOOTING GALLERY, but don't just take my word for it. Talk to other students; get on the Internet and see what other people say about the at least as much research as you'd do on some hottie from MySpace you're hoping to ask out! This is your life we're talking about here!

And if anybody tells you not to worry about those deadly force criteria and you can deal with the legal stuff later, don't walk — RUN! — in the other direction! You're in the presence of!