Friday, August 31, 2007

USFS Update!

Well, we appear to have won the war...but the battle that started the war is still raging.

Yesterday, I received from the NRA a memo, dated 29 August, from the Washington Office of the USFS, signed by Deputy Chief, National Forest System Joel Holtrop. I've printed the entire memo, which went out to " Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director, Deputy Chiefs, WO Staff Directors, Special Agents in Charge," below, but the gremaine quote is this:
Roads are not inherently considered occupied areas under 261.10(d) (1).
It took us 2 1/2 years, countless hours of work from myself, Bob Brown of SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, Diane Nichol of Defense Training Inc., John Higgs of Paladin Press and many others; the support of the Second Amendment Foundation and GUNWEEK, the NRA, NSSF, Colorado Shooting Sports Association, Firearms Coalition of Colorado, Rocky Mt. Gun Owners, a coalition of hunting groups and thousands of letter from the Internet. We have given testimony in 6 public hearing; Bob Brown and I testifed before a special hearing of the Colorado Legislature on the closings, etc.

Now here's the REAL news:


As of yesterday, it was posted for being within 150 yards of an occupied area, and the USFS confirmed that the area remained closed and any persons shooting there would be charged and fined.

The large sign made famous by SOLDER OF FORTUNE Magazine and on the Internet as emblematic of the fight — the one with me leaning against the sign, shown above — has been removed and we could find no trace of the posthole. USFS denies removing the sign, BTW. A smaller "No Shooting" sign remains at the site.

While we appreciate the Memorandum of Understanding that USFS has signed with the gun groups, the fact that no shooting area can be closed without a hearing among interested public parties, the fact that we now have a legal interpretation on the "roads" issue...but people in rural Boulder County STILL have no place to shoot...and hunting season is coming on...

File Code:
Date: August 29, 2007
Route To:
Subject: Hunting, Fishing, and Shooting Sports
To: Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director, Deputy Chiefs, WO Staff Directors, Special Agents in Charge

The goals of providing for recreational shooting, caring for the land, and public health and safety must be considered in a balanced manner. Therefore, any analysis of provisions of safe recreational shooting or restrictions on shooting requires the close attention of line officers consistent with the enclosed.

Where the local unit has the need for quick action for health and safety concerns, use of a closure order pursuant to 36 Code of Federal Regulation [CFR] 261.50, Subpart B. is warranted. 36 CFR Part 261 Subpart A includes general prohibitions which remain in place at all times. Roads are not inherently considered occupied areas under 261.10(d) (1). However, under 36 CFR 261.10(d)(2), discharging a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury, or damaging property is prohibited across or on a National Forest System road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge.

In order to facilitate involvement of shooting interests, I call your attention to the interagency hunting, fishing, and shooting sports Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed September 27, 2006. The purpose of the MOU is to revitalize our relationship with the Shooting Sports Roundtable, bring additional resources to bear on problem solving, and identify opportunities for shooting sports enthusiasts. Signatories include the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the 40 hunting/conservation organizations of American Wildlife Conservation Partners [AWCP].

If you have any questions related to shooting sports, the Shooting Sports Roundtable, or specific situations, please contact Jamie Schwartz, National Forest System Shooting Sports Liaison, at (202) 205-1589 or

[Joint signature by NFS and LE&I)

[Joel Holtrop] [ John Twiss]
[Deputy Chief, NFS] [LE&I]

cc: pdl wo rhr rec directors

Shooting sports are long standing and appropriate uses of National Forest System (NFS) lands. Shooting sports bring together the hunting, target shooting and general recreational shooting interests that have enjoyed these activities for many years. With ever increasing population, use, and urban interface development affecting NFS lands we must, now more than ever, work with our partners to facilitate safe and responsible use.

Where the local unit has the need for quick action for health and safety concerns, use of a closure order pursuant to 36 Code of Federal Regulation [CFR] 261.50, Subpart B. is warranted. Where permanent closures are contemplated, NEPA analysis including public involvement with consideration of alternatives is appropriate. Public involvement should include local chapters of affected user groups, local law enforcement officials, state fish and wildlife agencies, county commissions and other interested parties. During public involvement emphasize that shooting sports are generally considered to be legitimate uses of NFS lands. If a decision has been made to permanently close an area, a Forest Supervisor’s closure order is required. Information should be provided on alternative safe shooting areas.

36 CFR Part 261 Subpart A includes general prohibitions which remain in place at all times. The following are prohibited under Occupancy and Use section of 261.10(d) - Discharging a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury, or damaging property as follows:

(1) In or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site or occupied area, or,
(2) Across or on a National Forest System road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place whereby any person or property is exposed to injury or damage as a result in such discharge.
(3) Into or within any cave.

Roads should not be considered inherently occupied areas under 261.10(d) (1). If there are concerns about public safety in areas along roads, units should work with the public and specific user groups through education and open communication to address problem situations, emphasize responsible use, and ultimately provide for public safety. If safety concerns related to roads other than the prohibitions listed in 36 CFR 261.10(d) (2) remain after public involvement and appropriate NEPA analysis, a Subpart B Forest Supervisor’s order should be designated.

An interagency hunting, fishing, and shooting sports Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed September 27, 2006. The purpose of the MOU is to revitalize our relationship with the Shooting Sports Roundtable, bring additional resources to bear on problem solving, and identify opportunities for shooting sports enthusiasts. Signatories include the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the 40 hunting/conservation organizations of American Wildlife Conservation Partners [AWCP]. This MOU provides for the sharing of technical expertise regarding shooting areas: design and management; lead management including containment, recovery, and recycling techniques; and a general framework for future cooperation.

Through this MOU we will work together to:

• Provide public access and enhance opportunities on federal lands in a safe and environmentally sound manner;
• Maintain good communication and disseminate information on availability of opportunities;
• Identify contacts to serve as liaisons to collect and disseminate information;
• Identify unsafe or unsuitable locations used by shooting sports enthusiasts, and work together to resolve these issues;
• Identify areas where awareness and access are perceived to be inadequate and work together to improve access;
• Identify opportunities for a volunteer days and potential projects; and
• Promote outdoor ethics.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ketchup Thursday

News Release
In Communities Across America, Huge Crowds Protest Gun Violence

For Immediate Release:

Contact Communications:
(202) 898-0792

Washington, DC - Advocates for laws making it harder for dangerous individuals to get firearms demanded action at events in more than 25 cities and towns from District Heights, Maryland to Seattle, Washington and from Dallas, Texas to the Twin Cities of Minnesota, on a national day of protest organized by the Reverend Jesse Jackson's Operation Rainbow/PUSH and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Yes indeedy, this week America was rocked by stunning numbers of antigun demonstrators in cities across the country, just like Brady said. Sure, you heard about it. As many as two (count 'em) people turned out in Seattle, while dozens — dozens, I tell you — turned out in Washington D.C. Alphecca has the details.

My take on this is simple...despite the deluge of recent mainstream media on how "gun control" is a superhot topic once again, it...isn't. The Dems, especially the Blue Dogs, are praying all the media baying and howling doesn't actually lead to anything that might require them to take a stand. The Republicans, on the other hand, are hanging around airport restrooms hoping to get dates, which is, I suppose, as good an election strategy as any. At least they have a strategy now. If a member of Congress slips me a business card under the door of my restroom stall, I'm going to elevate Mr. Weasel and send a liquid message on what I think of the last eight wait, that might be just what the Congressperson wants...

Plus, who's the brain-dead "media expert" at Brady who's too stupid to know when not to send to a release? Maybe that rocket scientist can get a job doing spin for Larry Craig...

I note the passing of Atlanta Olympic bombing hero Richard Jewell yesterday. I shot a major Glock match with Jewell a few years back, and he and I sat down and talked a bit. I was struck that here was a guy who truly suffered because of the government and the mainstream media. Even as late as yesterday, the Atlanta Constitution was bitterly fighting any settlement to Jewell for their libeling the HELL out of him! He was one of the good guys, a hero...go with God, brother.

S&W has asked me to return my 329PD so their engineering department can perform an autopsy and see what happened when it seiaed up. I think that's appropriate, so I'm going to send it up today. I will keep you all informed.

I'm moving ahead with my return to USPSA competition, to wit, in the soon-to-be fully accredited Single Stack Division. I ordered a new holster and pouches from Blade-tech (I gave away my last 1911 Blade-tech holster, and NO, I won't give one to you!) and a competition belt from The Wilderness. I'm still leaning toward the STI Trojan .40. This will require me to crank up the Dillon, which is frightning in and of itself. Maybe I can find a couple of thousand loaded .40s from my last run at USPSA. I'll let you guys know my first match, so those of you who are local came come out and make fun of me, then buy me an adult beverage to assuage my shattered ego!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bill Wilson's Birthday Present!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Wilson Combat, not just a company but Bill Wilson's stunning redefinition of all things 1911.

I have to think really hard to remember a time when Wilson Combat wasn't around. I was lucky enough to know Bill when he was in the process of creating Wilson Combat, and I was always awed by Bill's sweep of vision. There were custom gunsmiths before Bill Wilson, but Bill saw something more, the opportunity to essentially create a whole new niche, first with absolutely perfect 1911 parts, then with absolutely perfect 1911 guns.

I shot Wilson Combat guns when I seriously competed in USPSA back in the 1980s. I class my Wilson Master Class 1911 .45, built from the much-battered remnants of my old competition Wilson Accu-Comp, as the jewel of my "super-premium" 1911 collection. Now that I'm looking forward to getting back to USPSA Single Stack competition, I find myself flipping through the Wilson Combat catalog again, looking at new Wilsons, and counting the pennies.

I'm honored to have co-written Bill's first book, THE COMBAT .45 AUTO, which was I believe the very first book on customizing the 1911. And yes, over the years Bill and I have had our differences — hell, we've shouted at each like two 11 year-olds fighting over the red fire truck — but friends occasionally do that.

I've talked a lot about the contribution of Col. Jeff Cooper to the modern world of handguns, but I will have to say that when the scores are totaled up, Bill Wilson's contributions will rank right up there with the Colonel's. Those contributions include:
The creation of the premium 1911 parts industry, which for a large part made possible the huge rebirth of the 1911.
Setting the baseline for custom 1911s. From 1977 forward, Bill's guns have set the standard for custom 1911s. True in 1977; true in 2007.
The creation of the "semi-custom" 1911, essentially an off-the-shelf custom gun.
Pioneering the 1911-style polymer frame .45 with his KZ series.
And, of course, the #47 1911 magazine.
I know some of you new to the sport are thinking, "A magazine...big deal." You have no idea what the world was like before the Wilson #47 magazine, ,which Bill developed with Bill Rogers. We knew what we needed to do with the 1911 to get it to run, but magazines were the HUGE weak link...the mil-surps, though widely available, were a crap shoot. We'd buy them by the dozen and end up tossing half of them behind the berms when they seized up. The Colts were expensive and only marginally better than the mil-surps. The specialty mags were even more expensive, and none of them would hold up to the pounding we were putting them through — bouncing them off the ground, inadvertently filling them up with sand, etc.

I remember carpet taping, gluing, screwing and heaven knows what other forms of attachment trying to get "slam pads" to stay on the magazines. Once I got the pads to stay on, then I managed to drop the mags on the the feed lips. I have wasted far to much of my life trying to adjust 1911 magazine feed lips. So one day Bill Rogers shows up at a match and says, "Here, Michael, try these magazines." The #47s worked and worked and worked. They were easy to disassemble and clean, had built-in base pads (I miss the "colorful" ones Bill used to offer!), the springs lasted longer than a couple of weeks and they were, praise the God of 1911s, stainless steel, so they didn't finish a match day covered with a fine patina of rust!

I am still using some of my orginal #47 magazines, including one marked "RO F.I.P.T. '86" from my range officer'ing the Florida Invitational Pistol Tournament in the Back When.

So, as Wilson Combat's "birthday present" to us, my cherubs and seraphim tell me that the first major revision of the #47 magazine is about to be announced. The new Wilson 1911 magazine is built from the ground up for 8-rounds. "So what," you say. "Most 1911 .45 magazines are 8-rounders."

Wrong wrong wrong, little grasshopper! Most 1911 magazines are 7-rounders — just what the sainted John Moses Browning intended! — with the followers "dinked" to allow 8 rounds in the mag. I'll happily stuff 8 rounds in a magazine for competition...if I'm carrying the gun, it's ALWAYS only loaded with 7 rounds in the mag! That's true for most of the "serious" people I know. I have no doubt the new Wilson mag will change that thinking.

We'll be doing a special episode of SHOOTING GALLERY on Wilson Combat 1st quarter 2008, and you'll see even more on DOWN RANGE Television!

Anyhow, happy birthday, Wilson Combat! And Bill, thanks for everything...

Monday, August 27, 2007

S&W Revolver Lock Failure!

Heard about the internal S&W revolver lock failing for years, but ever since my friend Charlie Petty's scathing article in AMERICAN HANDGUNNER, which essentially said the safety failures were an urban myth (and which I can't for the life of me find on the Internet), I dismissed the idea from my mind.

Doom on Mikey! I went out today to shot some .44 Magnums through several guns, including my ultralight-weight 329PD overhauled by Jim Stroh at Alpha Precision. I've put a bunch of .44 Specials through the gun already, and in truth I took it along as a "control" to compare the newer guns to.

I ran 50 rounds of Winchester Cowboy .44 Special (240-grain lead @ 750 fps) through the 329 and it shot as sweet as it always has. Then I went to BlackHills 240-gr JHPs @ 1260...thumpers, but one of my favorite .44 Magnum loads. I ran through 3 cylinders-full with no problemo.

Then I went to Buffalo Bore "lower recoil" 255-gr Keith style lead bullets at 1350 fps, a load specifically designed for the 329 and one that I have used in all my other .44 Magnums with great accuracy. Here is what Buffalo Bore says about their load:
In order to alleviate the recoil, crimp jump and sticky extraction, we have developed this load. It is still full power, but uses a lighter weight, super hard cast, gas checked bullet and will still penetrate very deeply in big game despite its lighter weight. This load is ideal for those of you who carry the S&W model 329PD. This load will not lead your barrel.

This load falls well under SAAMI pressure specs and is safe to use IN ANY 44mag. While we love to hear from our customers, please do not phone/email us and ask if this load is safe in your particular 44 mag.—it is—providing your gun is in normal working condition.

Now there exists a serious full power 44 mag. load that will penetrate big bones (including a bears skull) and drive deeply into living organs and tissues, that has minimum recoil.
In other words — and I have said this repeatedly — the ideal load for a dangerous game back-up gun, which was what I got the 329 for. As I said, I like the's heavy, but nothing like the Winchester or Cor-Bon hunting loads!

On the second round, the "flag" part of the locking system flew up and locked the gun up at almost a full cock.

I couldn't unlock it; I couldn't uncock it; I couldn't get it to fire. It took me 20 minutes of working v....e....e....r....r....y gingerly with a screwdriver to get the lock to release enough to allow me to bring the 329 to full cock and subsequently unlock the cylinder and empty the gun.

I'd say this was NOT GOOD for a gun billed as a dangerous game back-up gun!

Massad Ayoob touched on this in AH in Jan/Feb 2005, quoting a failure similar to mine:
In Rochester, Indiana, detective Dennis Reichard was firing his personally owned service revolver, a Model 329 Scandium with full power .44 Magnum, when the lock's flag mechanism flew out of its slot in the frame alongside the exposed hammer. While the .44 continued to fire, Reichard was less than thrilled with his duty weapon literally falling apart while he was shooting it, and has gone back to his old all-steel Model 629 without the integral lock mechanism.
Mine is going back to Jim Stroh for a lock removal and a thorough examination. ALL my centerfire S&Ws with locks will get the damned things removed, and I'll live with the hole in the frame.

In the meanwhile, I STRONGLY caution all of you about trusting your precious butts to an S&W revolver with the integral lock using HEAVY BULLETS! Especially the ultralight Scadium-framed revolvers like the 329, 325, 340, 357, etc.

To quote from an old bluesman I once knew, "I ain't tellin' you what I heard; I ain't tellin' you what I read; I'm tellin' you what is."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Guns Across the Pond...

Hi! I'm home from soggy question is the walleye pike really the king of freshwater fish? While you're pondering that, ponder this, too, from Reason Online:
Following the 1996 Dunblane school massacre, in which seventeen people were killed by a man armed with two 9mm pistols, Britain passed a law outlawing the ownership of most handguns, despite researchers finding "no link between high levels of gun crime and areas where there were still high levels of lawful gun possession." It's a law so severe that the Britain's Olympic shooting team is forced to train abroad, lest one of its members try to shoot up a grammar school. So how effective has the law been? A doubling in gun-related crimes since the ban, naturally.
I'll be writing more this weekend...including weighing in on the pike issue. I spent some time in Wisconsin with my friend legendary exhibition shooter Tom Knapp and archer extraordinaire Byron Ferguson, and had a great time. That is the euphemistic way of saying we drank adult beverages and talked about how lucky we are.

I'm thinking of doing a SHOOTING GALLERY "Shotgun Boot Camp" with Tom, which might be a real hoot. I'll wear his "Morning Wood" camo pattern...and you guys think I'm weird!

Thanks to all of you for stopping by the OUTDOOR CHANNEL trailer!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pussycay Pussycat I've Got Flowers...

...and lots of firepower to give to you...

Okay, big ole apology to Tom Jones, but I'm lying in bed about 11:30PM last night with the windows open when the lion coughed. Gotta say, there are some noises that are hard-wired into our central nervous systems, noises that just cry out, "Climb a frickin' tree, you idiot!" A lion's cough — close by, apparentlly in my front yard — is one of those noises. I came out of bed with my hackles standing up and the SIG 226 in my hand, thinking, "Targets...targets...targets."

She was staking territory...the whole front yard now smells like lion piss, a refreshing change from last year's bear piss...and wasn't concerned with being subtle. After a few coughs every dog in the neighborhood went ballistic.

Since I'm doing my Wisconsin turnaround tomorrow, I left my Sweetie a little something precious for the big puss...the Alpha Precision S&W .44 Magnum, now fitted with a set of CT LaserGrips and stoked with 240-grain JHPs. I suggested she place red dot on puss, keep pulling the trigger until the gun is empty, then switch to Winchester Trapper, also in .44 Mag (which is now loaded with Winchester 300 grain hunting loads). Or vice versa. Either will work.

Here kitty kitty kitty here kitty... don't piss on my freakin' porch again!

New Poll Reveals What We Already Knew

To wit, the majority of Americans — with the exception of the troop of performing monkeys at Brady and Jodie Foster — think gun control is a crock of rhino dookey:
A recent Zogby International poll question conducted for Associated Television News found that 66% of the American voting public in a recent poll of 1,020 Americans from August 8-11, 2007 (margin of error of +/- 3.1%) found that the American public rejects the notion that new gun control laws are needed.
A majority of voters who support enforcement of gun laws already on the books exists virtually across all demographic groups and in all regions of the country with the only exception being Asian and liberal voters.
Is Jodie Foster Asian? Alien? Inquiring minds, etc.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Moose Crisis Spreads!

This is some sort of hellish chaos system...a moose belches in Norway and Cancun takes a Category 5 hit!
The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.

Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.
It's the farting that gets to me...where the hell is Al Gore? Isn't there some kind of carbon tradeoff we can do with farting sheep in New Zealand? Or cow burps? Anyhow, while I wasn't worrying about moose belching, I decided to go hog wild and use the .40 S&W STI Trojan in USPSA Single Stack competition. I ordered up a bunch of .40 mags from STI, since they seem to be the best choice (I have Met-Gar, Metalform, Tripp Research and STI...I still think the STIs are a safer choice).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bushmaster Acquires Cobb Manufacturing!!!

This from Jim Shepherd at the Outdoor Wire today:

Later this afternoon, Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC will announce it has acquired the assets of Cobb Manufacturing, Inc., a Georgia based developer and producer of tactical rifles.

Current Cobb models include .308, 30-06, .338 Lapua and .50 BMG calibers. Further, Bushmaster will announce that Cobb's founder and President, Skip Patel, has been named Executive Vice President of Research and Development for Bushmaster Firearms International.

Cobb has been recognized for it's innovative, out of the box approach to tactical platforms, including its acclaimed patent pending Multi-Caliber Rifle semi-auto system (MCR) and expertise in large bore bolt action rifles. Cobb's products are currently fielded with a number of Law enforcement agencies and militaries worldwide. The current Cobb rifle lineup will be refined and re-branded with the Bushmaster snake, and will be produced out of Bushmaster's Windham, Maine Facility.

As part of the transaction, Bushmaster has also established a rapid prototype and R&D manufacturing facility in Georgia, where next generation products will be developed. The facility will maintain emphasis on Bushmasters new product pipeline for Commercial, Law Enforcement and Military tailored products.

Skip at Cobb is a friend as well as an industry visionary. Check out the Multi-Caliber Rifle pictured above. We reported here at The Michael Bane Blog after the SHOT Show that Cerberus Capital, who owns Bushmaster and Remington, was "shopping" ont he SHOT Show floor for a long-range rifle manufacturer with a solid military grounding. I thought for certain it was going to be Skip, but there's many a slip, etc.

Of course, you'll see the new products first on SHOOTING GALLERY! I'll be heading down to Hot'lanta real soon!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Max Michel, B.J. Norris and K.C. Eusebio break the "impossible" 80-second barrier at the 2007 Steel Challenge!

Max Michel takes the $30,000 OUTDOOR CHANNEL/SIGARMS 80 Second Challenge check for the biggest payday in the shooting sports!

Jessie Abbate upsets in Steel Challenge Women's Open!

Too damned tired to write more...

Friday, August 17, 2007

In Dodge City, You Could Shoot Back!

From David Hardy, courtesy Instapundit:
The standard response to liberalizing CCW or allowing self defense is that it'll lead to "Dodge City" (which actually was rather peaceful compared to modern inner cities).

It's already here, as this Washington Post article illustrates.

Facts: a guy commits two murders, on the street, in front of dozens of witnesses. Despite offers of relocation and witness protection, only one will testify. The second murder, BTW, was of a witness to the first murder whom the perp thought (incorrectly) might be aiding police. Guy wins two acquittals.

The mother of the second victim starts investigating, and is warned her house would be shot up if she didn't stop. She stops and moves away.
And since I've been slack on celebrity coverage, here's the ever scintillating Jody Foster on gun control:
When talk turned to gun control, a subject many movie critics will likely tackle in reviews for The Brave One, Foster commented:

"Isn't it possible that we all have that bit of insanity in us?

"That's why I'm for gun control. Absolutely… I don't believe that people should have access to life-or-death situations at any emotional time in their life.

"I don't really believe that a human being who feels [things] should have the option at their fingertips."

And while Foster took a strong stand against plastic surgery ("I’d rather have somebody go, 'Wow, that girl has a big nose' than 'Wow, that girl has a bad nose job.'")...
I can't go on...given a world of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohans, I suppose there is some sick sense in Hollywood types living in fear of acting out. Out here in the Real World, however, we all have emotional ups and downs, and soemhow, against all odds, we manage not to shoot anyone! Or even wreck a Porsche. Amazing. I'm rethinking my stance on gun control, however...I now believe that gun control should be mandatory for anyone in Hollywood who has done any ONE of the following items:

1) Donated money to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
2) Opened their own restaurant.
3) Had sex with Britney, Lindsay or a cocker spaniel.
4) Married Britney, Lindsay or a cocker spaniel.
5) Been found on Paris Hilton's speed dial.
6) Starred in a movie with Ben Stiller.
7) Partied with Sean Penn.
8) Bought a CD by 50 Cent (NOTE: pirating a 50 Cent CD is it like you stole it!)
9) Be born into or married into or blackmailed into the Michael Douglas family.
10) Thought for even one minute that Rosie O'Donnell was funny, or even human.
If you have answered yes to three or more of these questions, report immediately to the La Brea Tar Pits for mandatory euthenasia! Like, really...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Magic Decoder Ring for Gun Writing

This from Ed Head at GUNSITE, who clearly has to much time on his hands!
After speaking with Wiley Clapp yesterday, I was inspired to come up
with what gun writers really mean. With apologies to all my gun writer

Writes: This pistol requires a careful break in period.
Means: The damn thing doesn't work!

Writes: Although pricey, this pistol provides good value for those who
can afford it.
Means: Thank heaven they gave it to me. There's no way I would pay
that much for this thing.

Writes: We experienced a few malfunctions during testing.
Means: The damn thing didn't work.

Writes: We found this pistol to have acceptable accuracy at combat
Means: We tried shooting it at 25 yards and couldn't hit the backstop.
At least at 5 yards we could hit the paper.

Writes: The fit and finish were better than we expected for such a
reasonably priced gun.
Means: This thing is ugly!

Writes: The sights were difficult to see in some lighting conditions
but were generally useful at combat distances.
Means: The sights are a Chinese knock off of Novak's

Writes: The action was a little rough at first but smoothed out with
Means: This thing is junk!

Writes: The trigger was heavier than we like and may have contributed
to the poor groups.
Means: Nobody can shoot this thing. It's junk!

Writes: Careful inspection showed few tool marks.
Means: This thing was put together by someone using a wood rasp.

Writes: The manufacturer has stamped a number of warnings on this gun.
Means: You can take it to the can for reading material.

Writes: We were fortunate to receive a prototype for testing.
Means: I have it and you don't. Don't hold your breath waiting for one
of these.

Writes: The fit and finish were appropriate for a gun designed for hard
Means: Go ahead and throw it in the bed of your truck; you can't hurt
it any.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Whip It Good...

...that would be me, seriously whipped. Spent the day with Mike Gibbons, a Hollywood arms rental guy...please God, give me a 10-minute shopping spree in his warehouse! I'd take 3 minutes in the machine gun room, for that matter...I tried to get him to let me shoot RoboCop's gun in the Steel Challenge, but it only shoots blanks (I don't even want to hear your snide comments!).

I'll be on the range tomorrow with Colin Farrel's Sig SG-552 from "Miami Vice;" Bruce Willis' HK SOCOM from "Tears of the Sun;" Tom Cruise's HK USP from "Collateral" and a few other goodies...yeah yeah, I hate my, I'm not looking for an assistant...

BTW, check out the trendy-ass chair above from Alexander Rey. He calls it the "fully loaded chair" and says this:
With over 450 12 gauge shotgun shells, this chair truly comes Fully Loaded. The bright brass tips create a massaging texture on the top of the chair, much to the contrary of their intended use...
Gosh, I'm thinking that 450 12 gauge shotguns shells works for me perfectly for their intended use, massage and all! Maybe if he could put a gunrack and a holder for the remote on the side of the chair...I wonder if he has a 20 gauge version...

Monday, August 13, 2007

They Tell Me the Fault Line...

...runs right through the pier:
A top seismologist is warning that another major earthquake is in our future, a big one that could devastate Southern California, from the desert to the sea.

Lucy Jones, of the U.S. Geological Survey says it's not a question of where but when a big quake will strike the Coachella Valley, sandwiched between the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults.

Jones says that region is long overdue, and the seismic clock is ticking.
I can only hope that it holds off until I get out of here! We finished filming the Western 3 Gun World Cup yesterday for COWBOYS, and we have another COWBOYS filming day today. I would like to see W3G take off, because it is much more of a crossover sport for other practical pistol and three-gun shooters. There's a lot of movement — and, yes, you can shoot on the move, unlike traditional SASS cowboy matches — and the stage are designed like IPSC stages, in that shooters have the optionof how to run the stages as opposed to a specifically choreographed set of shooting positions. Yes, it still requires dressing in cowboy drag, but there are no clothes nazis.

Been talking to the shooters ramping up for the Steel Challenge this coming weekend...everybody, but everybody, has told me that I'm going to give away the money — the $20K from the Outdoor Channel and the $10K from Sig, contingency money for hitting 80 seconds overall time on the eight stages — this year. Of course, former Steel Challenge champion K.C. Eusebio, now with the Army Marksmanship Unit, turned in a blistering 80.09 second record-setting run at the Steel Challenge Nationals in Florida earlier this year, the first time that kind of speed has been shoot in competition (as opposed to practice). I'm told K.C. and AMU teammater Max Michel are running in the mid-70s in practice.

The handicappers tell me there are five shooters poised to go for the 80 Second Challenge — Eusebio, Steel Challenge winner Max Michel, last year's winner J.J. Racaza, long-shot Todd Jarrett from Para and Glock's Dave Sevigny, who has steadily gotten faster and faster with his Open Class Glock and is still stinging from his exclusion from the Super Squad last year. Sevigny's 2005 match performance wasn't enough to bump him into the elite squad, but his 2006 5th place finish took care of that issue!

Just behind them are B.J. Norris, Jerry Miculek, Angus Hobdell, Phil Strader, Jo Jo Vidanes, and several other shooters who are going to be pushing the leaderboard pretty hard. This year veteran champions Doug Koenig and Rob Leatham are sitting out the Open (Rob, who finished 7th in Open last year, will be shooting the iron-sighted Limited class; Doug, who just won his umpteenth Masters title, is staying home).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Say Uncle for SAY UNCLE

While I'm out pretending to make television shows again, I strongly urge you to pay daily visits to Say Uncle, which is one of my all-time favorite blogs and he and his guest bloggers are definitely on top of the gun issue.

I also regularly check in with the Bitch Girls, because, of course, I have a deep and abiding thing for Bitter Bitch, and Bitchy Mom is apparently the only person on the Internet who likes my recipes.

BTW, in terms of gossip, I hear the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson is planning to be arrested yet again at DS Arms later this month. No particular reason why the "Reverend" Jackson is going to protest at DSA, aside from the fact that he doesn't the brains, ethics or morality of a shithouse rat. It did remind me, however, to plan my own demonstration...getting one of the great DSA SA58 Tactical rifles and doing an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY on it. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lovely Santa Clarita

Well, sort of. I'm here at my home away from home in California during Steel Challenge Season...

Tomorrow, we're filming the Western 3 Gun World Cup for COWBOYS; then a couple of shows heading into the Steel Challenge. I had dinner with Todd Jarrett tonight, and he's certain that this year somebody wins the money, the $30,000 OUTDOOR CHANNEL/SIGARMS 80-Second Challenge. To be sure, the young speedsters have spent all year aiming at this single match, and I hear that K.C. Eusebio from the Army Marksmanship Unit is shooting practice runs in the 72-second region.

That's cool...we got one of those giant Publisher's Clearinghouse checks made up, just in case. Hell, I want to give away the money! I believe it'll be like the 4-minute mile...

Marshal's down in Tulsa at the U.S. Shooting Academy filming their practical rifle course for DOWN RANGE Television. I'm also going to do one of their rifle classes for SHOOTING GALLERY. I'm also planning shows on the "other" black rifles — the M1A and the FN-FAL (of which I'm a huge fan).

Snore...time to go to bed...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

USA Today Gun Commentary

Here's an interesting exchange between USA Today conservative columnist Cal Thomas and liberal Dem strategist Bob Beckel on guns and gun control:
Cal: Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty's normally good political timing was a little off when he announced last month his intention to appeal the federal court decision. Fenty said the handgun ban "has saved many lives and will continue to do so if it remains in effect." The following week, four adults and three children were shot after visiting relatives. Fortunately, all survived. D.C. has been a shooting gallery for years despite the toughest gun laws in the country. As if to further mock the ineffectiveness of gun laws, the shootings occurred in the midst of a citywide crime-fighting effort.

Bob: Are you saying gun-control laws don't matter? Do you really believe the level of gun violence would be the same in D.C. without these laws? That is insanity. Without such laws, the number of victims in the District would increase dramatically. By the way, it doesn't help that D.C. borders Virginia, which has among the most lax gun laws in the country. If the Virginia Tech killer had faced D.C.-type gun laws, perhaps 32 lives would have been spared.

Cal: I hate to break this news to you, but people with criminal intent don't obey laws. Otherwise, they would not be criminals. There is much hypocrisy behind the cry for "tougher" gun laws, when those on the books are not obeyed.

Bob: No law is fully obeyed. That doesn't mean that a society shouldn't advocate sensible boundaries.
Gotta love the ole "sensible boundaries" argument. Interestingly enough, the two finally agree on gun locks, although Thomas notes that the locks must be easily removeable in case the gun is needed.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Michael's Desktop...

Apparently Blogger is having one of it's periodic fits, so I have no idea of how this will look and I apparently can't post links...sorry.

Steve's book is slated for September can pre-order from Amazon, of course.

I was looking at my desk this AM and I realized it was pretty much big bore DA revolver Nirvana. I'm working on an article and the weekly podcast, so on the desk there are:

• new Alpha Precision custom S&W 629 3-inch .44 Magnum
• S&W M-21 .44 Special 4-inch (action by Alpha Precision)
• S&W 1917 snubbie .45 ACP "Fitz" wannabe, maker unknown
• S&W M-296 .44 Special Ultra-Lite snub
• S&W M-396 .44 Special 4-inch "Mountain Lite"
• Bowen Custom S&W L-Frame .44 Special 4-inch "Mountain Gun"
• Taurus stainless .44 Special 3-inch
• S&W M-29 .44 Magnum 6 1/2-inch
• S&W 1917 Commercial .455 Webley

Realistically, you can never have enough big bore blasters!

So I'm going to be filming the new GUNSITE Revolver Class for SHOOTING GALLERY...which of the above Smiths will I be using?

Answer...none of the above!

I'm going to do the class with one of the new Ruger 4-inch .44 Magnum Redhawks. I shot the gun in production proto version a year or so ago and liked it a lot. Now that it's in production I wanted to wring it out. I've also put a lot of rounds through my Ruger Alaskan Super Redhawk .454 Casull — albeit mostly .45 Colt loads — and I think I'm starting to get a feel for the Ruger DA trigger.

Yesterday I ordered Ruger holsters from Blade-Tech and Simply Rugged (I also ordered a shoulder holster for the 3-inch 629 from Survival Sheath Systems; I love their eclectic line of products).

I'll probably use .44 Special-level self-defense loads, a la Harry Callahan in "Magnum Force."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Why It's Cloudy in Colorado

I bought a set of el cheapo Russian astronomical binoculars so my Sweetie and I could ponder the heavens, plus I wouldn't have to buy a separate spotting scope for the range. This apparently triggered a worldwide weather change that has resulted in cloudy evenings up here in the mountains for the last month. It's like living on Venus, except without rampaging dinosaurs. At least not yet.

I got a nice surprise in the mail yesterday — a signed advance readers copy of Steven Hunter's latest Bob Lee Swagger novel, THE 47th SAMURAI, to wit:
Bob Lee Swagger, retired marine master sniper and hero of bestseller Hunter's 1993 thriller, Point of Impact (forthcoming as the film Shooter), returns in this riveting homage to the myth of the samurai. Philip Yano, the son of the Japanese officer who commanded the bunker on Iwo Jima where Swagger's marine father won the Medal of Honor in 1945, approaches Swagger about a missing sword wielded by his father, Hideki, during the battle for the island. The sword turns out to be not just a family heirloom but a national treasure that evokes echoes from the most sacrosanct corners of Japanese history. Yano's search reveals there are those who will gladly kill for the honor it bestows upon the possessor. Plunged into a Japan where honor and loyalty outweigh even one's own life, Swagger finds that an old warrior like himself still has much to understand. While the action builds to the inevitable climax, the joy of the journey will keep readers turning the pages. (Sept.)
Thank you, Steve...I look forward both to reading it and drinks next time I'm in Baltimore...I'll even buy. And yes, I'm still trying to draft Steve for an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY! I'll definitely have Steve on a special expanded episode of DOWN RANGE Radio...the soon as the book is released. This week on the podcast I have an interview with Kyle Cassidy, the Philadelphia photographer who did the book ARMED AMERICA that's getting a lot of buzz. I also talk about a subject dear to my heart — the "fighting" revolver! Tune in, so to speak, tomorrow AM.

BTW, I made up a prototype run of those soft silicon wrist bands, a la Lance Armstrong's "Live Strong," for DOWN RANGE that read "VISUALIZE MORE AMMO." We'll probably have them on sale in a month or so...they're pretty cool.

I have nothing but bad news to report from the Forest Service imbroglio...but it depresses me so much I don't want to go into it today. Not just on Greenie stuff, but I've sort of hit a stretch where people I thought were stand-up turned out to be just your utterly common long-tailed vermin. Sigh...I was half-way watching Tombstone yesterday, Sherman McMasters' line questioning Doc Holliday's unconditional support of his friend Wyatt Earp..."Hell, Doc, I got lots of friends!" Doc snaps back, "I don't!"

I don't either, and it sucks to lose one.

Gotto go process audio files...darn good fun!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Home from Minneapolis

Am home from Minneapolis and the Professional Outdoor Media Association annual convention, whee I was the luncheon speaker yesterday. My talk was taken from Wednesday's podcast on the difference between political and cultural wars, and it was extremely well received.

I would have posted from the convention, but, as usual "high speed wireless" doesn't actually mean high-speed wireless in your room!

Anyhow, will be absent tomorrow because my Sweetie and I are biking the Copper Triangle, 78 miles up and over Fremont (11,318'), Tennessee (10,424') and Vail (10,666') passes...tomorrow afternoon I will very badly need BEER! And probably oxygen.

I have a lot ot right about in the cool stuff Alpha Precision "car gun" came home Friday...the now working and extremely well-tuned 3-inch .44 Magnum S&W Jim Stroh built for me. He builds magnificent revolvers! I also got a Hoffner paddle holster for the P225, which I've been looking forward to for when I'm in an open carry state like Arizona or when I bundle up in winter stuff, and, finally, three of the new Magpul 30-round plastic AR magazines with the little view window. Means I gotta go to the range next week!

More later...btw, when I got to Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon, I had two sets of directions to the would have taken me over that bridge just in time for me to fall into the river. I used the other set...karma...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Armed America... a new photo book from Phildelphia photographer Kyle Cassidy. Briefly, it's pictures of people with their guns. Here's Cassidy's intro:
This isn't a book about guns. It's a book about people.

Whether it's 39% or 50% of Americans, it's still an awful lot of people. I started wondering just who they were, what they looked like, and how they lived. Such was the genesis of Armed America: Portraits of American Gun Owners in Their Homes. The idea was to photograph a hundred gun owners, in their homes, and do a gallery show. I figured this would take about two years. But very soon after I started, it became evident that my ambitions were too low. My mailbox flooded with letters from people I didn't know wanting to participate -- I realized that I could probably photograph a hundred people in two months, but it wasn't a number of people that was important, it was their stories -- a cowboy in Texas, a survivalist in Montana, a deer hunter in Pennsylvania, a sheriff in Georgia, a soldier in Idaho.... What I really needed, I realized, was to get moving, to drive across the country and find America somewhere between here and there.
Phildelphia Weekly just did a cover story on the book, and it seems pretty interesting. Here are some clips for the Weekly story:
Meet Patrick the vampire-fanged goth entrepreneur; Joshua the humanitarian war-robot designer; Bash the dreadlocked metal guitarist with the scarred-over bullet hole in his left hand; Joel the Mt. Airy surfer dude; Diego the Argentinean 3-D artist; Kenyatta the cigar aficionado; and Chris and Cecilia—ass-kicking, trash-picking, guitar-and-sewing-machine-thrashing West Philly punk rockers.

All Philadelphia gun owners. Most of them featured in the recently published book Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes by Philadelphia photographer Kyle Cassidy.

And not a single Bible-thumping, bigoted, duck-fucking white supremacist militia son of a bitch among them.

Philadelphia is loaded with guns, both legal and illegal. Yet many of us live in a gun-free Philly. It’s possible to spend your entire life here without ever seeing a gun that’s not on a cop’s hip, and never knowingly meeting a gun owner.

There’s a Philadelphia that doesn’t know guns. A Philly that thinks gun ownership is dangerous, obscene and absurd. What kind of freak chooses to own something designed to rip holes in other human beings anyway?

But there’s another Philly.

And this isn’t the Philadelphia we read about every time there’s another homicide.

This is a third Philly. One with a loaded Glock in its waistband, and a shotgun and an assault rifle in the bedroom safe.

Stepping into the lives of Philadelphia gun owners is like entering a parallel dimension. At times it’s surreal.
"Duck-footed?" That's scary!

I'm going to try and get Mr. Cassidy interviewer for the podcast in a couple of interesting!

BTW, ARMED AMERICA isn't the first book of this sort. Back in the 1980s there was a photo book titled GUN PEOPLE....there are still a few copies floating around...I was in that one!

I've meant to post this from, which is a reprint from the 1911 Forum where I am *Banned For Life*! It's a really nice post on 10 things non-gun people should know about concealed weapons permit holders. Here's the Cliff Notes version:
1. We don’t carry firearms so that we can ignore other basics of personal safety.
2. We don’t think we are cops, spies, or superheros.
3. We are LESS likely, not more likely, to be involved in fights or “rage” incidents than the general public.
4. We are responsible gun owners.
5. Guns are not unsafe or unpredictable.
6. We do not believe in the concept of “accidental discharges”.
7. Permit holders do their best to keep our concealed weapons exactly that: concealed.
8. The fact that we carry a firearm to any given place does not mean that we believe that place to be inherently unsafe.
9. Concealed weapon permit holders are an asset to the public in times of trouble.
10. The fact that criminals know that some of the population may be armed at any given time helps to deter violence against all citizens.
Amen to all those the whole thing...excellent talking points.

My piece on The Passing of Giants is available today on The Shooting Wire. Check it out, please.

The weekly podcast is up, and the videos will be up later today or tomorrow...Webmaster Marshal is in DSL HELL, with his high-speed line cutting in and out. Makes uploading big files a real thrill!

BTW, I will be speaking tomorrow at the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Outdoor Channel sponsored luncheon in Minneapolis. I think I'm going to do the whole SIX STEPS TO ACCOMPLISHING THE IMPOSSIBLE talk — I blogged about it last year here — because there's no such thing as a free lunch!!!!