Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hyperbole Saturday

This from Roseanne Barr's blog...
Well, I'm pretty much on board with the Paris Hilton part of the message, but otherwise, I'm afraid it's a week of decaf for Roseanne!

Going to spend the day bicycling mountain passes over in Summit County, which will be both beautiful and fun (and, yeah, will probably cause my heart to pop out my ear or something).

I realize I have an explanation due over my off-hand comment that I might start shooting USPSA Single Stack with a .40 Short & Weak STI Trojan, since I recently had what I thought was a pretty well-thought-out rant about how the .40 was a not-so-ingenious solution to a more-or-less real problem (cops wanted more rounds than could be stuffed in a .45 semiauto).

SOOOOO, if I don't like .40 at all, why would I shoot it in competition? Cause I've got about a billion rounds of brass, many cartons of bullets and a Dillion 650 set up to spew finished .40s out like a bulemic Hollywood starlet...the legacy of my days of shooting USPSA Limited with an STI Edge...arguably the gun that defines USPSA Limited.

Alternately, I've been halfway thinking about giving in to my ever-increasing age and shoot Open with a red-dot site, which would require me to go forage a .38 Super and all that other happy crap to compete with...not necessarily a bad thing.

I know what you're wondering...why not IDPA? Frankly, I just can't face getting yelled at by "tactical master" pizza delivery guys and orthodontists. Yeah, they probably know more than me, but I've never been much on yelling as a way of transmitting information. Certainly not all IDPA clubs have institutionalized this shouting at the shooter for every small (or perceived) infraction nonsense, and I strongly urge you to resist the temptation...when you yell at the shooter for everything — failure to use cover, foot misplacements, etc. — you essentially desensitize the shooter to your range commands. As a rangemaster, the only word I've ever shouted was, "STOP!" And when I yell that, believe me, I want instant obedience because I have seen a dangerous situation that the shooter is not aware of. I have been hauled onto the carpet by some of the top instructors in the world, and not a single one has raised his or her voice while doing it...interesting.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Gettin' The Goat!

Got this piece of BBC/YouTube video in an email this AM from John Paul at JP Enterprises, makers of the finest ARs in the business, along with this memo attached:

Note that these rifles have been in service since 2003 and have well over 100K rounds through them. Each aerial shooter has two rifles, one to shoot, one to cool. Expected round count was to be upwards of over a thousand rounds per rifle per day. They are equipped with the heat sink and Aimpoint Comp MLs. All rifles had to hold one MOA accuracy or better after 1000 rounds of testing and are still accurate today.

But, can we apply for this job or what?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

An "Accidental" Discharge for the Books!

Stumbled on this on The High Road, from 2001 in the American Journal of Roentgenology (honest):
Case Report

Spontaneous Discharge of a Firearm in an MR Imaging Environment

An incident recently occurred at an outpatient imaging center in western New York State, in which a firearm spontaneously discharged in a 1.5-T MR imaging environment with active shielding. To our knowledge, this is the first documented case of such an occurrence. The event confirms previously reported theoretic risks of a firearm discharging in an MR imaging environment [1]. In this report, we examine the incident in detail from the official police and ballistic reports.

An off-duty police officer went to an outpatient imaging center (not affiliated with our institution) in western New York State to have an MR imaging examination. The facility housed a 1.5-T MR unit (Signa; General Electric Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI) with active shielding. The officer was carrying a model 1991 A-1 compact.45 caliber semiautomatic pistol (Colt's Manufacturing, Hartford, CT).

The officer notified the technologist that he was carrying the weapon before entering the MR dressing room. The technologist told the officer to take the gun with him. The technologist intended to meet the officer in the MR patient waiting area before the examination and secure the weapon in that room, where he felt it would be safe. However, the officer apparently misunderstood and took the gun into the MR suite. The technologist was entering the officer's personal data into the computer and did not see him entering the MR suite.

Once the officer was inside the MR suite, the gun was pulled from his hand as he attempted to place the gun on top of a cabinet 3 ft (0.9 m) away from the magnet bore. The gun was immediately pulled into the bore, where it struck the left side and spontaneously discharged a round into the wall of the room at the rear of the magnet. Fortunately, no one was injured. Although the gun struck the magnet bore, only minimal cosmetic damage occurred to the magnet itself. The MR unit had full functional capability immediately after the gun discharged. The weapon's thumb safety was reportedly engaged when the gun discharged.

An unsuccessful attempt to remove the gun from the magnet resulted in the gun being pulled to the right side of the magnet (Fig. 1). The decision was then made to power down the magnet to remove the gun.
Moral of this story...keep your blaster away from Big Magnets!

Praise the Lord!

In her first interview since being released from jail, Paris Hilton told CNN's Larry King on Wednesday that she has never used drugs, isn't a big drinker, and although she feels her incarceration was unwarranted, God had a reason for putting her there.

"Don't serve the time; let the time serve you," Hilton said. "I have a new outlook on life."

From CNN this AM
I can see the future...Paris Hilton, motivational speaker! I can't wait to pony up $50 just for a seat in the auditorium...maybe she'll do a tag-team with Tony Robbins. Now that would rock! The only thing that would make it better was if they got some acrobats from Cirque Du Soleil and maybe a miniature pony or two. There's a video that'll sell like hotcakes! Hotcakes, I tell you!

Okay, celebrity moment over!

As an aside, I used to be a motivational speaker, but I discovered I was insufficiently cynical...certainly something I never would have figured in advance. Interesting bit of trivia...researchers have found what may be the first gunshot victim in this hemisphere...from the Indianapolis Star:
The musket blast was sudden and deadly, the killing nearly 500 years ago of what may have been the first gunshot victim in the Western Hemisphere.

"We didn't expect it. We saw this skull and saw the almost round hole and thought people must have been shooting around here recently," said Guillermo Cock, an archaeologist who found the remains near Lima, Peru.
To be sure this was a gunshot wound -- making it the earliest one documented in the Americas -- forensics expert Tim Palmbach at the University of New Haven studied the skull and brought in other experts.

Al Harper, director of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science in New Haven, Conn., said the team "tried to rule out all kinds of causes of the hole -- a rock from a slingshot, spear, sledgehammer." Harper and Palmbach studied the skull with a powerful scanning electronic microscope.

"We all thought it was a million-to-one chance that we would find any traces of metal on a skull that old, but it was worth a try," Harper said in a statement.

But there they were: fragments of metal from a musket ball surrounding the hole.
What can we deduce from this uber-shooting? Well, head shots work, especially when you're lobbing a lead ball about an inch in diameter. Or maybe the Spaniard was just shooting high...there's an interesting thread on Glock Talk about the propensity of soldiers to shoot high under combat stress. This from one of the posts:
British musket drill manuals from the 18th and early 19th centuries instruct sargents to order soldiers to aim at the cross belt. The tendency was to aim at the chest and shoot over the head. They also warn sargents and officers that most men shut their eyes or look away from the musket lock when fireing.
Not that I have any secret information, but I think firing high under stress is probably a perception problem involving what is or is not the "center of mass" of a person. If our subconscious factors in that big lump on top of our shoulders, the head, when "computing" center mass, our shots are likely to go high on the torso, because the head adds another foot [haha...bad pun!] or so to the size of the body. Secondly, in the shooting process we extend our arm or arms to shoulder level; unless we make adjustments up or down, the bullet's impact is likely to be at shoulder level, which is too high for a true torso center mass shot and too low for a head shot.

Anyway, I can't keep ignoring the endless ringing of my office phone this AM! BTW, am going to be doing some consulting for a National Geo producer I know on the iconic AK-47 for a special on that gun. Ought to be interesting!

Run toward the sound of the ringing phones! To arms! To arms!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Well, I revealed to my Sweetie that according to CNN she was potentially at risk since I own guns, to which she replied, "Nope."

Maybe it's because she cribbed the cream of my collection for her own use. Now I'm worried that she might be psychotic and I might be at risk. Paging Pat the Profiler! And, of course, Lisa Farrell scares me spitless...

Anyhow, we're moving to consolidate our gains with the USFS...I'll keep you all informed. My little cherubs and seraphim tell me that Powers-That-Be in Washington just got sick of all the crappy publicity we've been generating. It reminds me that media war is an often ugly strategy, but at times a successful one.

In other news, it looks like we should go live on with video and the podcast download next week as part of our plans for Total World Domination. I'm extremely excited about ramping up the 2008 seasons of SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS. You guys and guyettes are going to be so impressed!

I'm thinking about starting back shooting USPSA Single Stack class, probably with the Cylinder & Slide Kimber or the .40 STI Trojan, if I can come up with 6 or 7 magazines that work all the time. I want to go total retro...get a leather rig from Kirkpatrick Leather, which is as close as I can get to an old-time Gordie Davis or Ernie Hill rig.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

CNN Reveals We're All Whackos!

Drom Snowflakes in Hell:
Bitter Better Dump Me Soon!
Posted by Sebastian under The Media

If CNN is to be believed, I’m going to kill her any minute! Criminal Profiler Pat Brown says that having guns should be a “big red flag” that any guy they are dating is a potential psychopath.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Coffee & Ammo

Maybe I should start a magazine with that name...anyhow, I've been swilling coffee this AM trying desperately to wake up. My brain wouldn't turn off last night, so I turned it I'm having trouble shoving thoughts through the gooey sludge in my head.

Probably a good time to record the weekly podcast!

Anhow, even all fuddled up I can figure out that middle-of-the-road Republicans are unlikely to desert even the current crew of putt-putt golf pros running for President and flock to Michael Bloomberg. Why — and this is not a trick question?

Because he's one of the most antigun politicians in American history.

Why am I even bringing this up today? Because I accidently watched the Sunday news shows, where I repeatedly heard that Michael Bloomberg represented a "viable alternative" for disenfranchised Republicans.

Here's a bulletin from the disenfranchised wing of the Republican party...why on earth do you think we're disenfranchised? Do you think it could be because your three main candidates think the Second Amendment is something they can set aside when the spirit moves them? Do you think we're all going to support an independent candidate who's willing to violate state and federal laws to feed his antigun obsession? Jeeeezzzzz....

Before I stumble into my office (then head off for a dental appointment oh joy oh joy), I want to make a couple of points on production values. The new bosses at the Outdoor Channel are committed to raising the quality of outdoor of the reasons I made the decision to go with the Outdor Channel rather than any of the other outdoor networks that were talking to me. My goals are quantum increased in production quality for SG and COWBOYS, and I'll hit those goals when we start the filming for 2008.

Meanwhile, we got machinegun video coming up on DOWN RANGE on Wednesday! All cotton vegetables!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Motorcycle Puttering Time

Back at home after a loooooooooong day at the Outdoor Channel...we had a lot of ground to conver, including rough concepts for the new openings and graphic elements of SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS...California was, as always, hot and smelled like cow poopie....lovely place. Got some decent Mexican food and managed to avoid running over any immigrant families on the Interstate.

I was going to do the podcast from California, but I spent so much time ont he freeway at rush hours that I barely had time to do the work I was out there for! Have I mentioned how well the podcast is going over? Lots of subscribers and the most visited page on the DOWN RANGE site! I've had suggestions that I should do more than one a week, to which I reply why don't I just drive a nail in my foot and run around in circles?

Anyhow, been talking to ace photographer/poster-maker Oleg Volk — you've seen some of his posters here — and we're going to work rotating pro-gun posters into the redesign of DOWN RANGE later next month. He's also agree to do the cover for the revised TRAIL SAFE book, whihc will be a quantum improvement over the old one.

More later...I'm going to go putter around on my motorcycle...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Report on USFS Meeting in Local Paper

Frm the Rocky Mountain News this AM:
Recreational shooting has Forest Service's all-clear
Hints of a ban in Boulder County fired up shooters

Target shooters in Boulder may be safe after all.
U.S. Forest Service officials said Wednesday that they will not be looking to ban recreational shooting on national forest land in Boulder County.

Meeting with state lawmakers, Forest Service Regional Forester Rick Cables said earlier accounts of banning shooting on national forest land in the county were incorrect and not in keeping with the agency's ideals.

"The Forest Service honors the Second Amendment, period," he said.

The discussion Wednesday at the Capitol came on the heels of a series of open meetings in Boulder County discussing the Forest Service's Urban Front Country Initiative.

In reaction to the rising population along the Front Range, the plan aims to lessen the impact of heavy use of forest land near Colorado's larger cities.

The initiative is still in the exploratory phases. There are no proposed regulations, and the Forest Service is still asking for suggestions on the plan.

But at meetings this year in Boulder County, officials from the Boulder District Ranger's Office hinted at a recreational shooting ban.

The worry among recreational shooters was that a ban not only would violate the Second Amendment but also create a precedent to ban shooting for the five other national forests involved in the initiative.

In May, a bipartisan group of 44 Colorado lawmakers sent a letter to Cables, expressing their concern. Cables accepted an invitation to meet at the Capitol and tried to ease tensions Wednesday.

"There is no pre-emptive strike by the federal government right now," he said.

"We are in the very first stages of trying to address these issues. We ought to have opportunities for recreational shooting on the Front Range."

Cables also promised to standardize the process for recording complaints to better follow how many are lodged against shooters.

Cables said he would create pamphlets to be given out at shooting areas, showing where the activity is allowed and how to lessen the impact on the environment.
"We will have a discussion about what happened in Boulder and see what we can do from here."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why Carrying a Battle Rifle in Your Car Makes Sense...

From MSNBC tonight:
Crowd attacks, kills man at Juneteenth festival
Man was passenger riding in vehicle that hit child during Texas observance

AUSTIN, Texas - An angry crowd beat a man to death after a vehicle he was riding in struck and injured a young girl, police said Wednesday.

Police believe 2,000 to 3,000 people were in the area for a Juneteenth celebration when the attack occurred Tuesday night.

The driver had stopped to check on the little girl at the entrance to an apartment complex when a group of men attacked him, authorities said. The passenger, David Rivas Morales, 40, got out to try to help the driver, but the crowd turned on him, said police Commander Harold Piatt.

Morales was beaten to death by as many as 20 men and left lying in a parking lot, Piatt said. A preliminary autopsy listed blunt force trauma as the cause of death.
From Drudge:
Police Release More Detail About Juneteenth Violence

Milwaukee Police say a 33-year-old man has a broken tooth and cuts all over his face after a group of teenagers pulled him from his car and beat him following Milwaukee's Juneteenth celebration.

It happened after the festival ended in the 3000 block of north 1st Street which is a short distance from the actual festival. Police say hundreds of teenagers started kicking the man's car. Today's TMJ 4 video from the scene shows the teenagers damaging at least several cars.
Hell, the bravest thing I've apparently done lately was drive to Denver without a battle rifle in the car...or a gun of any sort, since I was Participating in the Legislative Process. I even wore a dark suit, white cotton shirt and dreadfully trendy tie, which caused Col. Brown to nearly swoon..."I wish everyone could see this!" he said as we feretted out the House hearing rooms. I'm only thankful that there were no cameras, or else I'd be out buying raw footage from reporters. I was reduced to carrying my Ken Onion rainbow-anodized folder, since I thought that matched the tie. Miracle I survived.

I think next week on podcast we're going to talk about rifles for the car...

USFS Stands Up!

There's a shocker, and something I didn't expect...USFS regional officials have repudiated the antigun actions of the Boulder Ranger District and called for open meetings with progun groups to address recreational shooting in the Front Range.

Colorado state legislators from both parties, meeting in an exclusive out-of-session hearing, called the reports coming out of Boulder on range closings "a Second Amendment issue." Also present were representatives from Colorado Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar and Representatives Mark Udall, Tom Tancredo, Marilyn Musgrave and — strangely enough — Diana DeGette.

The legislators were joined by representatives of the NRA, the Colorado State Shooting Association, the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the Firearms Coalition of and Col. Bob Brown from SOLDIER OF FORTUNE got to bat clean-up!

No representatives from the Boulder Ranger District, which triggered the controversy by closing ranges, were present.

Frankly, this is the first meeting in the almost two-year fight where USFS officials seemed to be listening and willing to address the issues we've brought to the table. This was by far and away the most important meeting we've had...we are united; we have state and national politicians standing with us and I honestly believe we're moving toward a resolution with USFS officials!

More later...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Tomorrow I will be at the state capital in Denver for a "public meeting" on the USFS "Urban Front Country Initiative," which is the nice natty name for the USFS "End Recreational Shooting On Public Lands" initiative.

They tried really hard to keep me out..."well, it's not really for the public, but if you're media I guess we can't keep you out..."


That ought to be good for a few laughs.

As I said to the USFS guys, I am a sitting journalist and Colorado has a "sunshine" law — BY LAW — I have a right to be at this meeting.

And I will be there.

Totally Cool New Poster

From Oleg Volk, of course...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Who Cares?

I'm finishing off the pot of coffee in anticipation of the day's quota of conference calls, plus a meeting on ramping up SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS starting in July. At the suggestion/insistance of my Sweetie, I spent the weekend NOT thinking about work...I lasted until Sunday afternoon, when I had to capture some video for editing today.

All in all, it worked pretty head is much clearer than usual. I'm sure the first couple of conference calls should take care of that!

I meant to mention the other day about the new FNH flashlight...whoops...tactical illumination device, in conjunction with Viper Tactical Lights. The FNH product runs counter to the current trend of flashlights you can swallow (and the LAPD trend of flashlight you can't beat anyone over the head with)...the Striker 6 is a big boy, with four hardened, sharp-pointed "glass-breakers" on the front. Great car light...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Baaaaaaaaaah Ram Ewe!

Bet none of the rest of you went to the Estes Park Wool Market yesterday! I only carried a .32 Kel-Tec, since I figured I was pretty safe from rampaging woolies. My Sweetie is an obsessive knitter, and she needed to yarn up. I personally lobbied for a buffalo yarn felted cowboy hat, which wohld have been 'spensive...there's a job title nominee for a Discover Channel series — Buffalo Shearer!

Besides, every so often I get this urege to retreat to a redoubt, raise goats, shoot coyotes and post a sign that reads:

Farnam's Freehold!
Warning! Land Mines!
Stay on the path!
Keep your hand above your head!
Books always welcome as trade goods.
Also tailess Manxes, beagles and parrots...

Whatever...I'm goihng to spend a little time today wrestling with a new tube preamplifier for the podcast, my goal of course to become the morning DJ on W...O...L..D, playing all the hits for you wherever you may be. Sorry...obscure cultural reference. The podcast has really taken off, and over the next few weeks we'll be pumping it up even more. Very quickly, we'll be hooking up a podcast link on, so 1.5 million people will have a chance to sign up. I'm also thinking of hiring a specialized marekting form to promote the blog/podcast, in my quest for Total World Domination. Stay tuned...

Right now I'm wrestling with a Gun Conundrum. This particular came about talking to Rob Pincus, the chief instructor at Valhalla and the author of the book COMBAT FOCUS SHOOTING (which has found some serious proponents in the SEAL teams, I hear), about carbines as rapid response weapons. I've been thinking about the conversation a good bit, and I have an urge for another carbines (while I'm waiting for the damn SIG 556!). My conundrum is "thump or speed," one of the Bushmaster .450 Hornady thumpers or an FNH PS90 triple-rails in real fast 5.7 X 28. I tend to default to the larger caliber, but I'm hearing anecdotal information about the little bitty speedsters delivering the mail...and that 50-round magazine is appealing. What would really sell the PS90 would be if I could get the short subgun barrel with a suppressor (two $200 transfer fees, I of rhte SBR, the other for the silencer).

I'm going to talk about the whole 5.7 X 28 controversy on the Wednesday podcast, plus my take ont he current generation of service pistols; we'll also have a couple of Bruce Gray training videos I shot up in New Hamster last week up on Wednesday on DOWN RANGE.

TUNE IN, or otherwise I might have to get legitimate work! And I don't actually know that much about goats...

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Few Thoughts on Reviewing Guns

Sig Sauer P250 9mm

This stuff occurred to me on the way to the way to the Manchester Airport this AM, and I thought I should jot it down.

When I talk about shooting this gun or that gun, I'm a lot more atuned to my impressions than any sort of true evaluation...a friend of mine said I bring a "rock critic's sensibility" to talkign about firearms...I used to be a semifamous rock critic, doncha know...and my friend didn't actually mean that as a compliment.

Here's the difference...I can with certainty tell you my impressions of a gun — how does it handle; how are the ergonomics; how are the fire controls placed; how did the recoil seem to me, etc. Just like in music criticism, those impressions are filtered through my own personal experiences and shaded by my personal strengths and weaknesses. For example, the size of my hands, which are medium to small, effect how I view the ergonomics of a gun. That's why I believe the H-K SOCOM .45 ought to come equipped with wheels and a crew.

The fact that I came out of practical competition predisposes me to a certain type of gun — paging STI! The fact that I presently carry a Sig Sauer also shades my view of firearms ergonomics...I don't carry the Sig because I think its ergonomics suck. Quite the opposite.

But an evaluation implies that you have a lot of time and intimate understanding of what problem the gun was designed to solve (or the role the gun designer envisioned for the gun). Such an evaluation generally has nothing to do with lab coats, grills, or baseball bats, however, as there are no requirements for a firearm that involve Bobby Flay or the New York Yankees.

I mention these things because I actually don't believe in "objectivity." That comes from years in the newspaper business, where objectivity is bandied around as a truth somewhere between liberalism and safe sex. I realized pretty quickly that objectivity was right up there with the myth of fingerprints. I could be honest, but I couldn't truly be objective. What drove me out of newspapers was the realization that the way to be honest was to lay out one's biases so the reader could understand what filters were in place. Newspapers weren't wild about I like this" versus "this is true."

I've seen this a bit on the ole bloggerooni, where some of my compatriots have lusted for the very same "legitimate" status I ran from. I've had a "press card" since I was 18; it's overrated.

So, did I like the Sig Sauer P250? Well, of course I's the link to the European version, btw, which only superficially resembles the American product. I've watched the gun go through its entire development process; been present for the compromises — and everybody makes them — and the breakthroughs. The 9mm version I shot yesterday is the latest, and probably the final, iteration. In a bit of synchronicity, the slight tweaking of frame width to accomodate the upcoming .45 ACP magazine lead to a one-round pick-up for the 16 + 1.

In my hands, the grip is perfect. I think I mentioned in the very first review I did of a Sig Sauer back in the early 1980s, a P226 9mm, I said (or at least I remember saying, which may not be the same thing), that unlike most of the semiauto offerings at the time, the Sig appeared to have been designed by someone who had actually seen a human hand. There have been a lot of refinements in that grip along the way, and the polymer frames have essentially freed weapons designers from the strictly lines of machined metal. The P250 is the zenith of that grip design, and the result is a very light yet very easy to shoot gun.

My standard is pretty much "would I carry it?" Would I replace my againg P225 with it...both the P220 Compact and now the P250 meet that criteria. The appeal of the P250 is that it delivers 17 rounds in a package that is very close to the size of the P225, an 8 + 1 round gun. Look at how close the specs line up:

Length 7.1"
Barrel length 3.9"
Width 1.3"
Height 5.2"
Weight 26.1 oz (without magazine; figure about 3 + a bit ounces for an empty mag)

P250 (European)
Length 7.2”
Barrel length 3.86”
Width 1.38”
Height 5.12”
Weight 30.86 oz (INCLUDING magazine)

For concealed carry, the critical dimensions are width (1.3" vs. 1.38"), height (5.2" vs. 5.12") and weight (30.6 oz vs. 30.86 oz), and yes I know that the additional rounds of 9mm add a chunk of weight. Size and weightwise, though, it's pretty much a wash. The P250's a little fatter and a spec shorter in the butt (I'm assuming the American specs are pretty close). I felt like I could run the 250 every bit as fast as I could run the 225; maybe with a little better first split on the 250's ultralight DAO trigger versus the 225's DA/SA, which I do actually prefer for concealed carry.

A few quick words on the's sweet. One of the big design considerations for the American market was that the European 9-pound DAO just wasn't goign to fly with American shooters. So Sig's American engineers redesigned the system, dropping the DAO to a very smooth 5-6 pounds.

Whoops...gotta go get on a plane...

Video on the P250 is embargoes for six more weeks...under the guns get intot he retail pipelines!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Start the Day Pissed Off!

And speaking of bullcrap, this morning's page 3 story in USA TODAY:
Easy access to guns is tough battle

NEW ORLEANS — When federal agents raided Elliot's Gun Shop, they hit the jackpot.

Not only was Elliot's a top source of weapons for crimes used in New Orleans, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that the low-slung metal warehouse in Jefferson, La., had an even more dubious distinction. The store was one of the top sources of firearms recovered in crimes in the United States in 2005 and 2006.
The federal raid late last month resulted in the arrests of the owner, two employees and the seizure of numerous firearms. Beyond the arrests, however, the landmark bust strikes a reminder of the underlying forces contributing to the surge in violence here and throughout the nation: access to firearms.
Bullcrap...bullcrap...bullcrap. This story is a particularly egregious example of twisting a straight-up news story to fit the headline. Guns aren't more fact, they're less accessible and more controlled than every before (see my 30 April Podcast for a long rant on this). Rather, criminals continue to break the law and antigun police officials continue to make stupid statements to cover up their own ineptitude.

More later...gotta go...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not a Chance, Underpants!

RE: My impending Sig, I'm not stepping out of the queue! In fact, I have a meeting tomorrow AM with Sig Prez Ron Cohen, and I'm hoping to move myself up on the list a bit. Late this afternoon, I took a walk around the factory and looked at the newest big gun CNC's amazing to me how much the place has changed since the first time I visited years back!

Probably shouldn't tell you this, but I snatched a look at a really cool 556 long-range long barrel "varmint" rifle...oh, and a .45 ACP proto P250...and some other stuff they threatened to beat me if I mentioned.

It's been a big couple of days for protos...FNH had a three-dimensional model of their upcoming striker-fired polymer framed pistol, and it felt excellent in my hand. I also finally got to put some rounds downrange from the FNP .45 ACP gun designed for the ill-fated military pistol contract that vanished into thin air last year. I'd heard nothing but good about the FHN pistol from my friends in San Diego, and I'd say it totally lived up to the hype. There's a little extra weight in the slide, which makes it shoot light for a polymer-frame .45 (it's a DA/SA gun, which is much less of an issue than the gun mags would have you believe, as I've said before). The lock-up also softens the big .45.

The grip's big but — hey, it's a 14-shot .45! — but not blocky. There are interchangeable backstrap inserts...something else to lose. The gun points extremely well, as do all FN pistols since the Hi-Power (which FNH no longer imports because 1, the American market has never lined up to buy 'em, and 2, they're so damned expensive!). Sights are the FNH 3-dot system snag-frees, available with our without tritium inserts.

We were shooting 230-gr ball, and it was no problem to stand there on the line and hammer away, whether shooting singles, doubles or just emptying the magazine. I like this gun. If the process had gone forward, I'd have to say the FNH and the venerable Sig Sauer P220 Combat would have been the last pieces standing, bodth for the undeniable quality of the guns and both companies' reputation for delivering to the military.

Even though it never came to fruition, SOCOM's star-crossed search for a new pistola paid solid benefits to us all...the Taurus OSS, the Springfield XD, the Glock 21, the S&W M&P, the HK45, the Beretta PX4 SD, as well as the FNP and P220, have all drastically upped the ante for .45 ACP guns...I'll probably go to hell for saying this, but we may have finally gone beyond the baseline of the 1911...sorry...SORRY!

BTW, I spent a few magazines of .40 S&W on the FNP-40, just because I like to shoot the can deliver the mail.

On next Wednesday's podcast, I'm going to wade butt-deep into the whole 5.7 X 28 swamp...I've got a lot of time on the Five-seveN pistol and a respectable amount on the P90 "Stargate" subgun...not surprisingly, I have some thoughts on the matter!

Well, gotta go nighty night...another tough day on the range tomorrow!

No Blog of Note

I note that I've never been a Bloog of Note on Blogger...pdrobably because I'm still asleep at the St. Louis airport, easily one of the three most miserable airports in America. While I have to go get on the place, here's a fascinating article on CNS:
The Second Amendment guarantees the right of an individual to own guns and for that reason should be repealed, according to a legal affairs analyst who opposes gun ownership.

"The Second Amendment is one of the clearest statements of right in the Constitution," Benjamin Wittes, a guest scholar at the center-left Brookings Institution, acknowledged in a discussion Monday. "We've had decades of sort of intellectual gymnastics to try to make those words not mean what they say."

Wittes, who said he has "no particular enthusiasm for the idea of a gun culture," said that rather than try to limit gun ownership through regulation that potentially violates the Second Amendment, opponents of gun ownership should set their sights on repealing the amendment altogether.

"Rather than debating the meaning of the Second Amendment, I think the appropriate debate is whether we want a Second Amendment," Wittes said. He conceded, however, that the political likelihood of getting the amendment repealed is "pretty limited."
More when I get to New more convinced than ever that the FNH SCAR rifles — lite, in 5.56, and heavy in 7.62 — are a head and shoulders above any of the "new system" AR clones out late 2007-2008 before a semiauto civilian version makes it dto market, though...should be worth waiting for...once again, into the dark and void!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Few Simple Machineguns

Am on the range in St. Louis with the guys from FNH. Am especially looking forward to more time with the SCAR rifle, which was developed in conjunction with SOCOM, and the FNH .45ACP pistol, the gun FNH would have submitted if the Big Army handgun contract had gone forward.

It'll be fun, and we'll have video next week.

We'll also have range video of the new Sig Sauer P250 (I'm headed to New Hamster from St. Louis).

In ther meantime, here's the YouTube clip of the classic Jim Zubiena "quick draw" segment from Miami Vice's pasel period.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Have to Slap Myself into Shooting Shape...

It looks like I'm going to be headed out to California in late July to shoot the SHOOTING INDUSTRY Masters at Raahauges Range, hopefully in the D.O.G.* category. This year it's going to be a sporting clays/Cowboy Action Shooting's a team event, so my plan is get Tequila and Kim Rhode on my team, then keep out of their way and try not to injure myself.

Seriously, it gives me an excuse to spend some summertime at the Kiowa Creek Sporting Club outside of Denver, annoying clay pigeons and feeling positively upscale. I've got a few thousand ultra-lite target loads in the garage, so this is actually a Good Thing. Plus, I love shooting my Winchester X-2 with the Cartman "Respect My Authority!" sticker on the stock...I believe the sticker is good for at least two clays per round.

Since it's an actual match, if I can use my own guns I'll haul out the Cylinder & Slide Shop Ruger New Model Blackhawk .357s, which are rockets. Then I'll wrestle my Navy Arms .357 Model 92 with the sweet action job from Steve's Gunz away from my Sweetie, who claims it's the coolest rifle in the world and must therefore be hers.

Anyhow, you'll get to see me screw up, because we're hopefully going to use it as a test run for a live-to-Internet program on DOWN RANGE...maybe we can link to a Vegas sports betting site, too!

Nice piece from Sandy Froman on the history of gun control:
When it comes to freedom, we cannot afford to forget the lessons of the past. So you and I need to know the history of gun control, because history teaches us there is a terrible price to pay when we lose our right to keep and bear arms.
Not to change subjects abruptly, but we've been doing some talking up here about using the phrase "high-tech rifles/firearms" to replace the ubiquitous "black rifle" moniker (or the mouth-overfilling "AR-15 platform rifles" that I'm so fond of using)...I'm thinking that might be a good idea.

(*Decrepit Old Guy)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

SHOT Stuff!

Am in CT for a couple of days working on SHOT and Ruger Rimfire Challenge ideas. Lots of good things coming!

Am waiting to hear back from Sandy Froman on the best way to get my bid for an NRA BoD-ship under way. I am actively soliciting support among other BoD members as well as some industry heavyweights.

Am also working on a seriously cool idea for DOWN a category killer if we pull it off.

Next week, it's full auto with FNH (yeah yeah, somebody's got to do it!)...looking forward to wringing out the SCAR rifle and getting some more P90 trigger time... and some range time with the new and super innovative Sig Sauer 250 9mm...we'll have the very first video report...of course.

Week after that, it's Stag Arms ARs and Mossberg's Just-In-Case shotgun.

After that, an exclusive new gun introduction from Ruger, followed by some time at GUNSITE doing instructional videos...

More when I'm not exhausted...BTW, I really liked my podcast this week (I listened to it on the plane since WILD HOGS was too excretable to watch even while captive!). Question for you the podcast too short, too long or about right lengthwise (30 minutes)???

Sleepy time...all day meetings tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

NRA Talking Points

Here's a must-read story from the Classical Values blogsite about the on-going gun wars in Pennsylvania:
The Inquirer wants its readers to believe that guns now commit crimes in Lancaster, and in other smaller cities. The problem is not urban violence spreading to the country; it's obviously the guns that have always been there.
Read the whole thing, because it outlines the current wildly successful antigun strategy of ignoring the national arena and focusing on localities. Our own side of the movement is still focused on the macro national battles, where we win victory after victory. In the meantime, the antigunners chalk up small victory after small victory at the state, local and municipal levels.

One of the reasons I'm considering running for the NRA Board of Directors is to make the elephant a bit more nimble on its feet. I also never want to hear that our gun rights were abdicated because we didn't want to "embarrass" a sitting President.

Here's a flash...I don't give a damn who I "embarrass" (arguably, not even myself)...I am unwilling to give up my gun rights because the party in power, who sought our support in the elections, hasn't bothered to notice we exist.

And no, it's not just me that thinks were all alone out here. Read the great Peggy Noonan's analysis in the WSJ of the current state of the Republican administration:
What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.

The White House doesn't need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don't even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.
Now conservatives and Republicans are going to have to win back their party. They are going to have to break from those who have already broken from them. This will require courage, serious thinking and an ability to do what psychologists used to call letting go. This will be painful, but it's time. It's more than time.
The current Republican administration is willing to marginalize its most stanch supporters...that would be the true believers...think what they're willing to do to us, already the most marginalized wing of the Grand Old Party!

Bottom line...the gun culture can no longer count on the current Republican administration for anything. We MUST forge a new alliance for 2008! And in the new alliance, we're not going to be content to be the moles on the elephant's butt.

Monday, June 04, 2007

How Do You Satirize a Joke?

Send me your warning siren
As if I could ever hide
Last time la luna,
I light my torch and wave it for the...

New moon on Monday
And a firedance through the night
I stayed the cold day with a lonely satellite

Duran Duran
"New Moon on Monday"

Paris "Butch" Hilton's in the slam; Silvio Dante's in the hospital and not expected to regain consciousness; a South Carolina woman was attacked by a shark in less than two feet of water; Russia is morphing back into, well, Russia; jhadists are trying to blow up the airport I'm flying into next week while the Dems debate whether the War on Terror is one man's paranoia, a conservative conspiracy or a treatable mental disoirder; Al Gore just won't go away!

Me, ah hell, I'm lighting my torch and waiting for a new moon on least until the Tribe speaks and snuffs out said torch...

It's been 40 years since the Summer of Love...contrary to what you may have heard, I wasn't there. I did have a paisley shirt, however, and did make the second Atlanta International Pop Festival in 1970...a lot ot be said for "free love" in a world before lethal STDs! Anyhow, here's an LA Times story on how old hippies in San Fran hate new hippies in San Fran, for pretty jmuch the same reasons that "straights" hated the first go-round hippies:
Sometimes aggressive, they block sidewalks as they strum guitars or bang on bongos. Gangs of them skateboard down the middle of Haight Street. Some throw used hypodermic needles into a nearby pond they call Hep-C Lake.

Evans, 64, says they should get help, clean up or go home.

"I used to be a hippie. I wore beads and grew my hair long," he said. "But my generation had something these kids do not: a standard of civilized behavior."
When you finish that article, here's another one applying game theory (Warning! Math forumulas abound!) to the pressing question of whether the toilet seat gets left up or down:
For “mankind”, the analysis in this paper has the following appeal: Once again, it has been found that the social norm of leaving the toilet seat down is inefficient; hence, “mankind” may feel vindicated.

For “womankind”, the analysis in this paper is appealing for the following reason: It has been shown that the social norm of leaving the seat down is a trembling-hand perfect equilibrium. Hence, this norm is not likely to go away, at least in the near future.
Watch for this plot next season on NUMB3RS, where the FBI, along with Islamic sidekicks spouting the Koran, races to foil an exploding toilet seat plot fomented by Christian NRA members who have problems with fractions!

Excuse me for a few minutes...I've got to go pretend to be a television producer...maybe I'll iTune the best of Duran Duran...maybe not...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

MB & the Nuge in the NYT

Yeah yeah, me and the Nuge on black rifles in the New York Times!
And with the basic design of black rifles open to industrywide adaptations, gun makers began adding their own innovations and accessories to refine and improve the AR-15’s performance. By 2004, when the assault weapons ban expired, black rifles had emerged as a major category in firearms. But while Colt’s sales had shrunk in the intervening years, output exploded for black-rifle specialists like Bushmaster, Rock River Arms and DPMS.

“The little guys perfected the platform,” says Michael Bane, a gun blogger and writer who is the host of “Shooting Gallery,” a program on the Outdoor Channel on cable television. “They had the 10 years of the ban to get their chops down.”

But for most of those 10 years, these small manufacturers managed to fly under the radar of many gun owners, including Mr. Zumbo, a self-described traditionalist who says he had seen only one black rifle during a lifetime of hunting. “I had absolutely zero idea of the number of people who are into these types of firearms,” he says.

Not so for Mr. Nugent, who stocked up on black rifles before the ban took effect and estimates that he now owns about two dozen. If the boom in black rifles began in spite of the federal assault weapons ban, it has accelerated only in the two and a half years since the ban expired. Manufacturers have been freed to revive once-prohibited features like collapsible stocks, flash suppressors and large-capacity magazines.


Based only on the volume of accessories sold — such as high-powered scopes and flashlights — Mr. Bane estimates that as many as 750,000 black rifles, including about 400,000 AR-15s, change hands each year. Brownells, a company in Montezuma, Iowa, a big seller of firearms parts and accessories, says AR-15 gear has become its best-selling product category.

Because all but a few gun manufacturers are closely held private companies, overall sales figures for the black rifle industry are hard to come by. But companies are required to report their overall rifle production to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and based on that, many of the small manufacturers that have specialized in the guns are “on the verge of being big,” Mr. Bane says. One, Stag Arms of New Britain, Conn., opened in 2004 and is already producing 2,500 to 3,000 black rifles a month, according to the president and owner, Mark Malkowski. That would be 30,000 to 36,000 a year, roughly the same number that Colt was producing in the late 1990s.

Fred Thompson on the Second Amendment

All joking aside, with Fred Thompson set to enter the Presidential race next month, EVERY ONE OF US needs to understand what is at stake in 2008.

The three current serious Republican contenters include Rudy "I Helped Bill Clinton Pass Gun Laws!" Giuliani; John "Gun Show Loopholes and We Don't Need No Stinkin' First Amendment!" McCain and Mitt "Lifelong Hunter" Romney — all three with flawless antigun credentials! Let 'em twist and weasel however they want...their views are the public record.

On the Democratic side, we have a choice between rock star Barack "Ban Everything" Obama and Hillary "Ban Everything" Clinton, with pro-gun Bill Richardson out there in Never-Never Land.

Fred Thompson can win this thing.

Here's what he thinks about the foremost issue in our minds...

On the Second Amendment —"If you care about constitutional law, and everybody should, the big news is that it looks as if the Supreme Court is going to hear a Second Amendment case some time next year. The event that sparked this legal fuse was a case brought by six D.C. residents who simply wanted functional firearms in their homes for self-defense. In response, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the District’s 31-year-old gun ban — one of the strictest in the nation.

Our individual right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, may finally be confirmed by the high Court; but this means that we’re going to see increasing pressure on the Supreme Court from anti-gun rights activists who want the Constitution reinterpreted to fit their prejudices."

On the Virginia Tech nightmare — "Virginia, like 39 other states, allows citizens with training and legal permits to carry concealed weapons. That means that Virginians regularly sit in movie theaters and eat in restaurants among armed citizens. They walk, joke and rub shoulders everyday with people who responsibly carry firearms -- and are far safer than they would be in San Francisco, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago, New York City, or Washington, D.C., where such permits are difficult or impossible to obtain.

The statistics are clear. Communities that recognize and grant Second Amendment rights to responsible adults have a significantly lower incidence of violent crime than those that do not. More to the point, incarcerated criminals tell criminologists that they consider local gun laws when they decide what sort of crime they will commit, and where they will do so."

On gun control — Thompson opposes gun control, praising a recent federal appeals decision overturning a long-standing handgun ban in Washington, D.C.: "The court basically said the Constitution means what it says, and I agree with that."

• His voting record:
Voted NO on background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
Voted NO on more penalties for gun & drug violations. (May 1999)
Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks. (Jul 1998)
Voted NO on $1.15 billion per year to continue the COPS program. (May 1999)
Voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals. (Apr 1996)
Voted YES on limiting product liability punitive damage awards. (Mar 1996)
Voted YES on restricting class-action lawsuits. (Dec 1995)
Voted YES on repealing federal speed limits. (Jun 1995)
Voted YES on increasing penalties for drug offenses. (Nov 1999)
Voted YES on spending international development funds on drug control. (Jul 1996)
Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
Voted NO on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
Voted NO on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (Mar 1998)
Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)
Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)
Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)
Voted YES on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo. (May 1999)
Voted NO on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo. (Mar 1999)
Voted YES on ending the Bosnian arms embargo. (Jul 1995)
Gun Owners of America ratings — "He has no need to convince voters that he has changed his ways and now sees the light, because he has been fairly consistent throughout his career."

Here is the bottom line, folks — we in the gun culture do NOT have a second choice! Fred Thompson is our candidate; let's get him elected!

And could we please please have Condolezza Rice as VP?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Important Fred Thompson Facts!

Every night before going to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson.

Though Fred Thompson left the Senate in 2003, Harry Reid still hasn’t stopped wetting his pants.

Fred Thompson once ended a filibuster by ripping out a senator’s heart and showing it to him before he died.

Only two things can kill Superman: Kryptonite and Fred Thompson.

• Fred Thompson once stood on our south border and glared at Mexico. There was no illegal immigration for a month.

Fred Thompson vows not only to win in Iraq but also to forcefully free Vietnam from Communism, thus giving America a perfect win/loss record for wars again.

Fred Thompson can open clamshell packaging without the slightest trouble.
From Jonah Goldberg at NRO!


It's FRIDAY NOON and I'm apparently back on-line!

Phones are back up...DirectTV is back up...wireless Internet is back up- (some question on my internat LAN, which I'll be working on this weekend)...microwave is back...furnance is still dead, but, hey, it's ALMOST SUMMER!

House didn't burn down...

Am watching for LOCUS PLAGUE!!!

More later after I answer THREE BILLION EMAILS!

Helpful hint for viewers — AVOID GETTING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AT ALL COSTS! Trust sucks...