Thursday, July 31, 2008

China Camp Passes

Sad, sad good friend Dennis Ming, who as "China Camp" became one of the best cowboy shooters in history and the sport's first great champion, today suffered a fatal heart attack.

I don't quite know what to say...he and I shot on the same squad last month in the Wild Bunch match, and in the times between shooting he outlined the fun trips he had planned with his much love and joy there! I said next time I was in California, he and Prairie Weet and Sweetwater and I could all get together for dinner.

Next time...time...

Jeanie and Jessie, my thoughts and prayers are with you today.

Life is a dream waking
Death is a going home

A Brit Speaks the Truth

From, a Britisher visits a gun show and finds, instead of bitterness, disappointment and social pathology,!
I don't think the Democratic nominee would have felt at home with this crowd. I heard several references to Comrade Obama, and saw one button (which I coveted) that said, "I am a BITTER gun-owner." They seemed to me an affable, friendly and very courteous bunch (well, you would be, wouldn't you?). I don't think you could mix with the show's visitors for more than five minutes without thinking it was nonsense to attribute their interest in guns to bitterness or disappointment or some form of social pathology. But of course there is a political dimension. Aside from other motivations--sport, self-defence--the gun-show universe is about pride, self-reliance, and resentment at being bossed around. Distinctively American traits, wouldn't you say? Best in moderation, no doubt--but still, where would the country be without those attitudes? I may get thrown out of Georgetown for this, but I say, good for them.
And I say good on you, Mr. Clive Crook...when they drum you out of Georgetown, you can always move to Colorado!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summertime BBQ Get's Serious!

This bad boy is from the DRTV Forums and I don't know where you can get one yet. I would make sure I only bought my accessories from Tactical Grilling...remember, their Beer Shingle is MOLLE-compatible!

Lock and load!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Build Me Up, Buttercup...

...another one of the many reasons why pre-dawn airports are toxic places...although, after a long night of driving and listening to 1950's vintage country weepers on the sat radio, it's a miracle I didn't hang myself in the shower of the Holiday Inn Select.

I have to say I had an amazing -- and humbling -- experience yesterday at the NRA Youth Hunting Education Challenge (YHEC, which, I might add, I couldn't have passed on a bet. Compasses? Orienteering? Yeah, right. Where's my GPS? Game identification? Is that a poodle?)...I showed up and got literally mobbed by bunches of high schoolers who said SHOOTING GALLERY was their favorite show. How cool is that?

Really cool, I'll tell you.

You probably know Dick Heller has filed yet another lawsuit against Washington D.C.:
In a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Dick Heller and two other plaintiffs allege that the city's new gun regulations still violate rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

The lawsuit cites the District of Columbia's unusual ban on firearms that carry more than 12 rounds of ammunition, which includes most semiautomatic handguns.

The suit also claims that the city's regulations make it all but impossible for residents to keep a gun ready for immediate self defense in the home.
Gosh, is there an echo in here?

I'm increasingly worried about the consequences of the high costs of ammo, something I head a lot about the YHEC championships. I'm going to dedicate some SHOOTING GALLERY and DRTV time to .22 caliber alternatives, which I think might be our only salvation until the current war demand lessens.

Whoops! Gotta go get on the toy airplane to Deeeeetroit...and, they're playing ABBA's greatest hits on the muzak!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


But I wanted to strongly suggest you rush out to buy the reissued Neil Gaimen/Terry Pratchett cult classic GOOD OMENS — The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Nothing is quite as funny as the Apocalypse and a missing AntiChrist...

Meanwhile, from the ChiTrib, gun advocates on the attack:
ATLANTA—Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a ban on handguns, gun opponents are fighting to preserve or expand gun-free zones, igniting battles over whether civilians should be allowed to carry loaded weapons to places such as airports, public parks and even the Magic Kingdom.

The same day a new law went into effect in Georgia allowing people who have obtained a legal license to carry loaded weapons into restaurants that sell liquor, state parks and public transit systems, Atlanta officials declared Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport off-limits, citing security concerns. Gun proponents immediately filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the decision.

Reacting to Florida's new law allowing workers to keep concealed firearms in their vehicles in employee parking lots, Walt Disney World amusement park declared its parking lot exempt. Disney security guard Edwin Sotomayor protested the rule and said he planned to challenge it in court. Disney later fired him, saying he violated employee policies.

Gun-rights advocates are challenging the U.S. Interior Department to reverse a long-held regulation banning loaded firearms in most national parks. The department is reviewing its policy, which officials said deters illegal hunting and makes the parks more attractive to families.
Good to see! Got dinner tomorrow night with Wayne LaPierre from the NRA...should be interesting dinner conversation!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wading Into a S&*%storm

Gosh, there's been a for-real poo-flinging contest going on in the gun-blogging community recently, and strangely enough it centers on this letter to the editor from Mike Vanderboegh in the Madison, WI paper:
Dear Editor:

Joe Bialek from Cleveland proposes the licensing and registration of all weapons currently in civilian hands. My question is, how exactly do you propose to do that, Joe?

There are some of us "cold dead hands" types, perhaps 3 percent of gun owners, who would kill anyone who tried to further restrict our God-given liberty. Don't extrapolate from your own cowardice and assume that just because you would do anything the government told you to do that we would.

Are you proposing to come yourself, or do you want someone else's son or daughter in federal service to take the risk? Are you truly prepared to stack up the bodies necessary to accomplish your plan? Seems a strange way to make a "safer society."

More to the point, are you willing to risk your sorry hide to do it? No? I thought not.
Then quit proposing the next American civil war. We're done being pushed back from our natural rights without a fight. Be careful what you wish for.

Mike Vanderboegh
A staggering amount of bandwidth has been spent either flaying Vanderboegh as a "lunatic" or, at the very least, a Bad Example for Gunowners, or defending Vanderboegh against the deluge of venom.

Time for a deep breath here...Vanderboegh did nothing more than ask an age-old question...who will bell the cat? I refer you to no lesser authority than Aesop:
Quickly a committee formed
And came up with an answer!
A bell around the kitty's neck
Would neutralize the cancer!

The crowd rejoiced: OUR PROBLEM'S SOLVED!

But Grandma Mouse looked leery,
She sighed a tired sigh and said:
I've just one simple query.
Who'll be the one to volunteer
To go and bell the kitty?

And all kept perfect silence then,
Especially the committee.
After Columbine, that great actor Sylvester Stallone, speaking from his polo pony in England, said it was now time to go door to door confiscating weapons. My response to that statement was simple, "Who's coming, Rambo? You? Best bring a grenade or two."

As logn as I'm wading in, let me focus on a couple of communitcation issues.

The first is that there is a huge disconnect between us and them, us being the gun culture; them being the more amorphous "majority" of our society. When we were locked in the battle over shooting on public lands, an elected official made an amazing statement to me. "What is the problem?" she practically cried. "All were asking you to do is stop shooting. It's not like we're asking you to close a library and give up reading!" Quick translation...why are you fighting so hard over an inconsequential thing like shooting, like guns?

Thanks to decades of antigun propaganda, the larger majority doesn't see Second Amendment rights as a rights issue, certainly not like the important enumerated rights like free speech, freedom of assembly, right of religion. And to a large extent, the government supports the majority's views. Look at what has happened after Heller...Washington D.C. has decided to defy the Supreme Court...the last time a subordinate governmental entity defied the Supreme Court, it ended up with federal marshals, backed by the entire force and authority of the United States government, escorting a little girl to school.

See any federal marshals around D.C.?

The corollary to the above is that the majority sees no consequences to depriving us of our rights. And for the most part, their view has been reflected in governmental actions. For example, for the last few years Boston, New York City and Chicago have refused to honor federal safe-transit laws for guns passing through those city's airports. Instead, prosecutors in those jurisdictions have persecuted gun owners passing through those airports for failing to meet local laws, even though federal law clearly defines safe transit. Imagine if local prosecutors decided to detain every, oh, I don't know, say every woman wearing a burhka and hold her in jail overnight until they could determine she was not a terrorist? Imagine the federal response...then you'd see some federal marshals for sure!

But we apparently don't count. We count for so little that a man — David Olofson — can be serving time in the federal slam because his firearm malfunctioned and filed multiple rounds before it jammed. We count for so little that a federal agency can raid a legitimate company — Cavalry Arms — confiscate all their guns, computers and equipment, declare those goods contraband and sell them for the agency's profit and to date never file any charges against anyone in the company or even explain the reason behind the raid. We count for so little that a light-weight like Adrian Fenty, the mayor of D.C., can spit on the Supreme Court with impunity and a machine pol thug like Mayor Daley of Chicago can announce his expressed intention of violating federal law until someone forces him to stop.

Maybe it's time to explain that there are real consequences for stripping a segment of society of their rights.

More importantly, we gain nothing by convincing, or atttempting to convince, the majority that we're really, really nice harmless people, because it simply doesn't matter. The majority shifts with the wind, and right now the wind isbloeing in our favor..but not because we're really really nice people. Rather, the world is perceived as a more dangerous place. Heard an amazing stat from a competing television network,,,the number one dream job choice for young men ages 14-35? Not an ACLU lawyer, but "sniper."

Nor can we change the minds of our enemies...they hate us not because we own guns, but what those guns represent. I recently published a comment from Colonel Jeff Cooper...a lot of people read it, but I suspect we need to not only read it, but internalize it as well:
"Individually, we do not bear arms because we are afraid. We bear arms as a declaration of capacity. An armed man can cope. either in the city or in the wilderness, and because he is armed he is not afraid.

This is the root of hoplophobia [the pathelogical fear of firearms]. The hoplophobe fears and, yes, hates us because we are not afraid. We are overwhelmingly 'other' than he, and in a way that emphasizes his affliction. There is not much room for compromise here..."
They hate us because we are not afraid, not victims, not in need of the government's tender mercies. We are other to them. That is not subject to change.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I've Seen the Future, Brother...

...and it's murder:

Yes indeedy...a belt-fed Nerf ball launcher, coming in a couple of weeks. Here's the specs:
Complete your N-STRIKE arsenal and prepare for the ultimate in battery-powered blasting. Be ready for any battle with the N-STRIKE VULCAN EBF-25 blaster - awesome, fully automatic dart cannon. Load the blaster with fresh batteries and fire at a rate of up to three darts per second. Watch as the belt feeds automatically through the blaster, letting the barrage of firepower continue as you battle your opponent. The piston-powered internal launching system makes it an unstoppable force. Switch to single-shot mode for precision blasting. The removable tripod folds for easy transport – or a quick escape from enemy fire. Even your toughest opponent won’t know what hit him when you unleash the power of the N-STRIKE VULCAN EBF-25 blaster. Blaster comes with ammo box, folding tripod, 25-dart belt and 25 SONIC MICRO DARTS ammo and instructions. Value pack also includes extra 25 SONIC MICRO DARTS ammo, 25-dart belt and a shoulder strap.
Admit want it bad! Perfect for the annual office party, or for getting the kids up to speed for the post-b-HO Universe of Peace and Love! I say, let the sunshine in, and run dog run!

Geek Dad over at Wired is worried about Geek Mommy's antigun stance on the new Nerf blaster. Me, I'm just wondering if this thing will launch those little Dutch grenades...ideal for home defense!

Busy Errand Day...

...but I juggled my schedule for next week to have a couple of days at the range for filming, including a side-by-side comparison of the "old" Ruger SR9 and the "new" Ruger SR9. I'll probably also do a DRTV video on the Magnaport Charter Bulldog .44, too.

When I can find the still camera (gosh, what are those things?), I've got some new Ted Blocker concealment leather, including a nice little "driving holster," for my Para Carry 9 to show you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guns in National Parks

We're getting down to the end of the comment period on a revision of fed statutes to allow concealed carry in national parks. Here's the big wrap-up article from MSNBC:
The NRA’s long campaign to ease the ban appeared to be close to succeeding a month ago, but lost momentum when the Interior Department extended the period for public comments on the plan until Aug. 8.
You all know where I come down on this, but I thought you might like to see the gist of my comment:
As the only person to every write a book on staying safe in the back country, TRAIL SAFE, published by Wilderness Press and endorsed by the Appalachian Trail Committee, I acknowledge that the Park Service's statement of low crime in national parks is true...parks are pretty safe places.

However, we carry guns because "pretty safe" is not the same thing as "absolutely safe." As I've stated numerous times in print and on television, most of our lives are "pretty safe." If we stay away from illegal drugs, street hookers and the proverbial bad part of town, our chance of being involved in a violent encounter are on part with our being struck by lightning...that is, we arrange our lives to enhance our safety.

The reason I believe guns are absolutely necessary for back country travel is that the very attractiveness of the outback to us — it's away from civilization — makes it an idea hunting ground for human predators. Being away from civilization also means that those human predators are free of the few fears and constraints that civilization places on them...there's no 911, cruising police cars or potential witnesses, which is why some of the most horrific crimes have been perpetuated in the back country.

In the back country, crimes of opportunity can quickly escalate...assaults or a simple robbery can suddenly morph into rape, and rape into murder, because the human predator is missing the usual social restraints on his crimes.

Secondly, all back country, and by extension national parks, are not created equal. Where I live in the Front Range of Colorado, all the back country areas, including the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park, are easily accessible from the major urban area of Denver, Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins. The closer and more accessible national parks are to major urban areas, the more the problems of those urban areas will "leak" into the back country. Because of the location of the University of Colorado in Boulder, the back country areas around Boulder are extremely dangerous areas for rape...prey attracts predators. Some of legendary Appalachian Trail pass close to large — and dangerous — urban areas.

Thirdly, the use of back country by criminals for criminal pursuits is a proven, documented fact. Meth labs, marijuana fields, staging areas for smuggling drugs or illegal immigrants, etc. all routinely happen as far away from prying eyes as possible, and that includes national forests and parks. I have personally been informally "warned away" from hiking areas on public lands by local law enforcement because of the danger of running across marijuana growers moving to and from their hidden fields. Much of the public land, including parks, on the border with Mexico is insanely dangerous because of the trafficing of illegal aliens. Criminal poachers add an additional element of danger...I have crossed paths with poachers in several national parks...they were armed (and breaking numerous laws), I wasn't.

Finally, although not as serious, the threat of dangerous animals is quite real and actually increasing as major animal predadors become more accustomed to humans in their range. Both bears and lions represent a real threat in the Front Range, as documented in numerous articles and even books (e.g., THE BEAST IN THE GARDEN on lions in the Boulder Front Range area). I have been stalked by a large lion in Rocky Mountain National Park during the first fall snows...the tracks clearly told the story. Apparently, because I was with several people, the lion didn't think dinner was worth the trouble, but had I been alone the ending might have been quite different.

By the Park Service's own admission, it lacks the manpower to adequately staff even the major national parks, much less the far flung (and more attractive) smaller parks.

Concealed carry has proven a safe method of reducing violent crime in all but a handful of states. Civilian CCW permit holders — including me — carry their weapons in some of the largest and most populated cities in America without consequence. It is past time for the National Park Service to allow park visitors their Constitutional right!


Michael Bane
Outdoor Channel
You can add your own comment until August 8 here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Running at Turbo Speed!

The podcast should be up momentarily!

Again, my apologies, but it's going to happen while we're in this crazy filming season. Here's a good piece in Reason Online on the rule of law, or the absence of it, in Washington D.C.:
Excuse Me While I Get My Gun
Washington, D.C., defies the Supreme Court's Second Amendment ruling.

D.C.'s political leaders know they are inviting another Second Amendment lawsuit, but they are determined to defy the Supreme Court and the Constitution for as long as possible.

The new law "clarifies that no carry license is required inside the home" to move a gun from one room to another. It also "clarifies" the District's firearm storage requirements, saying a gun may be unlocked and loaded "while it is being used to protect against a reasonably perceived threat of immediate harm to a person" in the home.

Much hinges on what counts as a "reasonably perceived threat." If you're awakened in the middle of the night by a crash, may you carry a loaded gun with you as you investigate? Evidently not. The Washington Post reports that D.C.'s acting attorney general, Peter Nickles, "said residents could neither keep their guns loaded in anticipation of a problem nor search for an intruder on their property." According to Nickles, if you see an armed criminal charging your home, or in the event of "an actual threat by somebody you believe is out to hurt you," you're allowed to get your gun, unlock it, and load it.

How long will that take? The new law lets people use a gun safe instead of a trigger lock, which, depending on the type of safe, could allow faster retrieval. But even a gun in a safe has to be kept unloaded, which will tend to slow down the owner's response to a "reasonably perceived threat," assuming he can figure out what that means.

The delay will be even longer because of the District's ridiculously broad ban on "machine guns." The Metropolitan Police Department says the ban covers all handguns except revolvers, which are more cumbersome to load than semiautomatics with detachable magazines.
You know, if I spat n the face of the Supreme Court...hell, if I spat in the face of a J-P in Traffic Court, I'd be in the slam so fast one's head would spin like Linda Blair on crack...of course, D.C. is betting that once b-HO, or as we might want to refer to him, Robert Mugabe Lite, is elected all laws are up for grabs.

On the happier side of the scale, this from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine on Stephen Scherer, the 19 year old who'll be representing the U.S. on 10-meter air rifle in Beijing...the punch line is he came from a very antigun home:
Not bad for a teenager from Billerica who professes a love of all things Army and his admiration for Jimi Hendrix in the same breath. And whose mother didn't even want him to have a squirt gun as a boy.

"I was very anti-gun when my kids were little," says Scherer's mother, Sue, who works a number of different jobs, including cleaning and painting houses, running a day care, and organizing Jeopardy!-style entertainment for nursing homes. "I always thought, `Guns are bad. Guns kill people.' So, I didn't want my kids to have anything to do with guns."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wednesday Podcast Late... I've spent all day Monday on the range and all day Tuesday traveling (am still in D.C. and it's creeping on toward 8PM)...will whip it up first thing tomorrow...

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Slow Blogging...

...because I've been touring Blackwater all day figuring out locations for THE BEST DEFENSE. Now I'm in the Black Bear Hotel, one of the Blackwater bunkhouses, about ready to collapse.

After our tour, we hauled down to Avon on Hatteras Island to sit on the beach, eat some gen-u-wine North Carolina seafood and stare at the beach girls...scratch that...I would never do anything that sexist, as it might jeaprodize my chances in running against the incumbent b-HO in five about, gazed longingly while musing on our lost youth?

Cool thing...I'm out on the fishing pier at Avon, which is pretty much about 5 miles from East Jesus, Nowhere, when a guy came up to me and said, "You know, this is the last place on earth I expected to run into you." I wonder what the first place was? Heck, a fishing pier on Hatteras is as good a place as any, one supposes. Anyway, I got to sign an autograph, which makes me feel truly blessed.

In the meantime, check out Dave Kopel's piece on the U.N. war again guns, which is always simmering on a burner at the U.N. Official Cesspool in New York City:
Despite protestations to the contrary, the U.N. remains quite interested in constricting lawful gun ownership. Consider, for example, the United Nations Disarmament Programme's publication, How to Guide: The Small Arms and Light Weapons Legislation. The publication touts the importance of international "harmonisation" of gun laws. According to the United Nations:

Citizens should only be allowed to own guns if they are given a government permit, and the permit should only be issued if there is a "good reason" for posssession or or "genuine need."

In particular, permits to own guns for self defense should not be issued unless the applicant proves that he is in immediate danger.

The law requires "safe storage", which means that firearms should be disassembled and the ammunition ammo stored separately.

There should be frequent renewal procedures to assure the owner's continued eligibility. A good example is provided by Australia, which for most gun owners (except farmers) requires membership in a sports club, and participation in a minimum number of shooting events annually.

A firearms license should be contingent on the consent of the person's spouse or former partner.

All firearms should be registered on a centralized computer system.

The home and vehicles of a gun owner should be subject to official inspection "at will."
It's important to know the U.N. flag, because one day you'll probably be either saluting it or fighting against it...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stephen Hunter — Ask Dr. Guns!

Steve did a super piece in the WaPo..."It's a Different Era in D.C. If You've Got Questions About the Armed Life, Dr. Guns Has All the Answers," including this exceptionally eloquent explanation of the 4 Rules of Gun Safety:
1. All guns are always loaded. Put it another way: All guns are always loaded. That is, develop an extremely short-term memory. It doesn't matter if you checked it one second ago, maybe it magically loaded itself or a cartridge fell off an airplane and not only was it the right cartridge, but it landed just perfectly to fit into the cylinder. (You scoff, but most gun accidents involve extraordinarily unpredictable catastrophe chains.) Check it again. Get in the habit of checking it.

2. Never let the muzzle point at anything you aren't willing to destroy. I see this one violated more than any other, as people, once they know the gun is unloaded, let their muzzle discipline go away. No, no, uh-uh. You can't have different behaviors with guns, one for loaded, one for unloaded. Tragedy lurks therein. Remember, all guns are always loaded. Always. That makes you responsible for it and the direction of its muzzle all the time.

I will admit to three accidental discharges in my 30 years shooting, and all were jokes rather than tragedies because, though I violated Rules 1, 3 and 4, I had trained myself to be very uncomfortable if the muzzle wandered toward something human.

3. Don't put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to shoot. This is probably the hardest to obey, because the ergonomics of the gun make the trigger lure the finger onward, toward destruction, and it's so easy to forget. And the bullet once fired can never be recalled.

4. Know what's behind the target. In case you're a complete idiot, allow Dr. Guns to point out what you should already know: A firearm releases a hard, pointed object into the world at speeds over (usually) a thousand feet per second and up to 4,000 feet per second. People think they know so much about guns from TV and movies, but the media almost never communicate the power of the bullet and its ability to penetrate, bounce, do insane things that no Caltech grad student could predict, much less replicate in a lab. Thus you must be responsible in understanding the ultimate destination.

Since most shooting in this urban area takes place under controlled range circumstances, that's not a problem. But no gun should ever be discharged outdoors, upward, into darkness, at fields or trees or even traffic signs. (I put a coupla .25s through a "SLOW" sign on Waukegan Road in Glenview, Ill., in 1967, so I know the temptation to irresponsible young men.)
BTW, I loaned my reader's copy of Night of Thunder to my pal Paul Erhardt...his one word book review?


Great OpinionJournal Interview with Alan Gura

This interview with the lead attorney on Heller is definitely worth reading:

One key unresolved question in D.C. v. Heller is whether it limits the states as well as the federal government. The Bill of Rights originally restrained only Congress, but under the "incorporation" doctrine, the Supreme Court has held that the 14th Amendment protects most constitutional rights against state encroachment. Because the capital is a federal district, its local government is a creation of the U.S. Congress. Heller gave no reason to think incorporation doesn't apply, but further litigation will be necessary to settle the question.

Nor does Heller settle which restrictions are constitutional and which are not. Justice Scalia wrote that "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt" on laws against possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill or in "sensitive places" like schools or government buildings, or laws regulating commerce in firearms. That's fine with Mr. Gura, but many laws currently on the books fall somewhere between these uncontroversial provisions and D.C.'s onerous restrictions.

These questions will be sorted out in litigation to come. Mr. Gura's first stop: Chicago, which has a handgun ban identical to Washington's and burdensome registration requirements for long guns.

The Chicago lawsuit was "ready to go" when the Supreme Court decided Heller on June 26. "I looked at the opinion," Mr. Gura says, "and I called my counsel in Chicago and said, 'Yeah, looks good.'" The next day another lawsuit was filed, challenging the ban on handguns in San Francisco's public housing projects. Among the plaintiffs: the National Rifle Association. Thanks to Mr. Gura's efforts, the NRA is no longer gun-shy about going to court.

Friday, July 18, 2008


A film on the Quran by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. It's hard to watch, and I suspect it will probably become the most banned movie in the world. Watch it now while you can...

Tour de Dope

Once again, I'm stepping forward with a solution to a modern, vexing problem...this time, the continued drug-soaked melodrama that is the Tour de France. I have to say that as a veteran bicyclist, I used to be positively obsessed with the Tour, followed it practically minute by minute. I still consider it a highlight of my triathlon career that I raced in a championship event in which Lance Armstrong also raced, although he finished in a different Geologic Era than I did. He shook my hand when I crossed the finish line, and I still believe in my heart that Lance is the Last Clean Racer.

Of course, all that was before we all discovered that the rest of big time bicycle racing was nothing more than a sad-sack collection of anorexic junkies with big thighs, sprinting from chemical to chemical with all the elan of an LA street junkie trying for the last score of the day.

I'm a big proponent of living in the world as it really is as opposed to how we might wish it to be, and I think it's time we applied that thought to the Tour de France. Here's my proposal:

First, scrap this "France" crap. Let's go global with this event! Each stage of the new Tour de Dope will be set in a different area of the globe famous for its drug trade. Stage 1 will be in Medellin, Columbia, pitting racers against the narrow,cracking asphalt back streets of the drug capial of South America and a cadre of AK-47 toting gunsels.

From there the Tour moves on to Paraguay for the grueling mountain stages underneath droning black helicopters provided by the DEA, spraying god-knows-what strange slippery defoliants onto the stage ahead of the riders, then onto the thin-air dope-rich environs of Mexico City, where the Tour will weave through hundreds of sourvenir stands, mango street vendors and mobs of stoned American college students on spring break looking for a connection who won't leave their shattered carbon fiber miracle bikes wrapped around the unlucky rider's emaciated body in some land fill.

My favorite stages will be the three in Afghanistan, featuring roadside bombs, sniper fire, cazed Taliban suicide killers, burning vehicles, all while the peloton sweeps past scenic destroyed villages and miles of beautiful, shimmery poppy fields.

For pure scenic appeal, however, the Amsterdam Dope Dash leg, which feeds through the city's famous Red Light District of scantily dressed hookers-behind-glass, is a guaranteed ratings winner for Fox, who I believe will be all over the Tour de Dope as the ne plus ultra of their reality television coverage.

The Tour de Dope will wrap up, of course, in South Central LA, where exhausted — and probably strung out — riders will have to hit 4 checkpoints...meth, Mexican brown heroin, crack cocaine, and, in what is certain to be a real nail-biter, a 120-mile route that even LAPD gang strike forces won't travel without an armored personnel carrier and a Ma Deuce or two.

The proud winner of the Tour de Dope will be presented the drug-test-piss-yellow jersey emblazoned with the black hypodermic needle, which he, or she, will wear all the way through the stint in rehab, by no less than Lindsay Lohan!

There will as in the present Tour be special jerseys for excellence in timed mini-events, such as the brown hundred-dollar-bill jersey for the fastest score in Mexico City and the Edvard Munch "Scream" jersey for the rider going the longest time without a fix.

In addition, in what I think will be a, ahem, tour de force in crowd appeal, I say we open the Tour de Dope up to all junkies, so in addition to the whipcord thin, bloodshot eyed racers of the present Tour, we'd have stoned out New York City smacksters on stolen bike messenger steeds, blitzed suburban housewives on their kids' mountain bikes, Eurotrash kids puffing hashish on green "loaner bikes" from Denmark, aging hippies with "Ride Strong" Lance Armstrong wristbands and Crosby, Stills and Nash blasting through ther iPods, toking their way through the race on three-wheel recumbants fitted with supersized Pampers...WOW!

That's friggin' entertainment!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Too Tired to Blog

Note that it is 2:30AM and I have to catch an early morning flight...just got off the range filming the new Crimson Trace promotional/training, Ken Hackathorn, Todd Jarrett, Julie Goloski and Wes Doss at the SPECTACULAR Swanson Tactical facility in Ogden, guys are gonna love this's being done by top-notch guys with rock and roll credentials...too tired to go on...nite nite...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Thought from the Colonel

On a previous post of mine, a commenter asked:
"...what percentage of time during the day should a regular walking around middle class person think about shooting people, dogs and things?"
You know, given what we do, I think that's a fair question. At least in my case, the answer is, "Never." That's because I carry a gun day in and day out and have done so for decades, which means I've already answered that question. Read TRAIL SAFE, or at least read the new version when I finally finish it...even I wouldn't pay the current scalpers' prices for the book! Since you can't buy it, here's a quick excerpt:
A gun isn’t a magic wand that repels bad guys. Think of it, instead, as a fire extinguisher. If you’re looking to prevent fires in your home, a fire extinguisher isn’t your first purchase. Instead, you analyze your home with an eye toward minimizing fire risks. Is the wiring old and sparking every time you turn on a switch? The solution is new wiring; the fire extinguisher is strictly for secondary protection. BEFORE you make the decision to purchase a gun, you need to study your lifestyle, your home, your family, with an eye on minimizing risks.

It’s worth noting that those of us have owned and used guns for years have quite literally changed our lifestyles to accommodate that decision. My house is secure. My locks are good. I live in a safe neighborhood in a safe small city. I own an excellent gunsafe. I don't broadcast the fact that I own and carry guns.

A gun is part of a self-defense system that includes the gun, it’s ammunition, a way to reload the gun, a way to carry the gun, a place to store the gun and, most important of all, TRAINING on how to use the gun and an understanding of your LEGAL obligations.
We're now down to the hard part. A few chapters back, we talked about The Question—how far are you willing to go to protect your own life, or the lives of others in your care?

If you choose to carry a gun for self defense, you must be absolutely sure of your answer to the question.


Why? Because if you're bluffing, if you haven't truly answered The Question, in a real situation your assailant will take the gun away from you and kill you with it. It is that simple. I once counseled a woman who had been mugged and wanted to buy a gun to protect herself. I taught her to shoot with my own guns, but the wore we talked, the more I realized that she hadn't thought the whole thing through. Why not, she kept asking, can't I bluff or "only shoot them in the leg?"

The answer to the first part is what I stated (flatly) above—predators always recognize prey. Violent criminals are no strangers to violence (another "duh!"), and they've usually seen a gun pointed at them before. Violent crimes does indeed remind me a lot of interviewing (which says a lot about journalists), at least at the beginning.

Everything I've tried to get across in this book is also taking place in your assailant's head. He or she is trying to read you, to get a sense of what's going on in your head. If you are holding a gun, and your assailant senses that you are not serious about using it, you are going to lose that gun, and in all likelihood, it's going to be turned against you. This is sort of the ultimate escalation—you lose your weapon and you arm your enemy.

Remember we said earlier that a gun was like a fire extinguisher? Let's continue on with that analogy. When there is a small fire in your kitchen and you grab your fire extinguisher, what do you hope to accomplish?

To put the fire out, right?

And you have a limited resource to accomplish this; fire extinguishers won't keep spraying forever. So to maximize the chances that you're going to be able to extinguish the fire, you direct your limited firefighting resources directly at the center of the fire. You don't spray around the outside edges of the fire to keep it from spreading—it's burning a hole through your kitchen floor, after all. You don't give the right side of the fire a squirt in the hopes that it will quit on its own. You don't mess around with even a small fire because you understand completely that, unless you act decisively, the fire will destroy your house and maybe even kill you.

This is the mindset we must have when we are in fear for our lives and must act!

When we pick up our fire extinguisher, it must be with the intent of stopping the fire. If I am forced to go to my weapon, it is with the intent of stopping a lethal threat against me or someone under my responsibility.

I will never "shoot to kill;" nor will I ever "shoot to wound." I will ONLY "shoot to stop."

A few chapters back, when we first talked about The Question, it was with the idea of discovering how far each of us is willing to go to protect ourselves. This is where the rubber meets the road. If I am in fear of my life, or (to use the general legal description of when I am legally able to respond with deadly force) if I as a reasonable person believe that I am in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm that can only be averted by the use of deadly force against the assailant, my sole, singular and only goal is the MAKE THE ASSAILANT STOP IMMEDIATELY!

I am at this horrific point not concerned with the welfare of the assailant; what the motives are behind the attack; the race, creed, sex or sexual orientation of my attacker; whether my attacker is mentally unstable or mentally ill; what has driven my attacker to do these deeds. I am not concerned in the slightest whether my attacker survives this encounter.



And think about it—isn't that what we've been talking about on every single page of this book? Every point in our strategic tree has been aimed at ending the threat against us immediately. We plan; we avoid; we retreat; we placate; we talk; we try non-lethal means...we do everything we can to end the threat against us immediately.
Col. Jeff Cooper actually answered the commenter's question much more succinctly years and years ago:
"Individually, we do not bear arms because we are afraid. We bear arms as a declaration of capacity. An armed man can cope. either in the city or in the wilderness, and because he is armed he is not afraid.

This is the root of hoplophobia [the pathelogical fear of firearms]. The hoplophobe fears and, yes, hates us because we are not afraid. We are overwhelmingly 'other' than he, and in a way that emphasizes his affliction. There is not much room for compromise here..."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thoughts on Competition...

I got asked for some thoughts on why I thought competition is important for people concerned with protection in the Real World, and after I answered the question I thought you all might like to see that answer:

Couple of quick thoughts on competition...regardless of the style of competition, I think competition has a major effect in three specific areas:

1) Gun-handling skills
2) The ability to "game" a situation
3) Stress inoculation

As it happens, all three of those areas are critical in terms of Real Life shooting skills. First and foremost are gun-handling skills. Let me watch a shooter for 5 minutes and I can tell you if he or she shoots competition simply by watching the gun-handling skills. An example I've used before...I was at an Advanced Concealed Carry class at a major shooting academy a few years back, The class consisted of 6 people, all with years of experience as shooters. Three were competition shooters; 3 non-competitors who shot together in "informal" competition at least once a week.

The informal guys shot on par or better than the competition shooters (2 IDPA; 1 USPSA), but they fell apart on jam clearance (big time!), shooting from awkward (what I call "broken") positions and somewhat on shooting on the move. The informal guys also lacked that fluidity of motion that comes from a steady diet of competition shooting...they still had to think about what they were doing on, say, the draw, whereas pistol competition shooters practice the draw so much that it is truly an ingrained reflex. I once outdrew someone who meant me harm, simply because I have draw a gun so many times it is something that happens without conscious thought (I also scared the crap out of my Sweetie last week while we were walking Alf the Wonder Beagle...two huge black dogs raced out of the nearby woods, barking and running straight for us...I cleared the J-frame from the pocket holster and was indexing the red dot laser on Poochie #1's head when the owner came running out screaming, "Harmless! Harmless!" In truth, I don't recall drawing and indexing the gun at all...and why should I? All my available RAM had to be focused solely on shoot/no shoot decision).

Second, the ability to "game" a situation...I know IDPA rants about how this is a bad thing, but that's bullshit. The difference between living and dying is measured by an individual's ability to perceive a situation, process the information and proceed to the correct action. That is the definition of "gaming." I strongly refer you to Malcolm Gladwell's book BLINK on how quickly we can truly process information. You might also consider Amanda Ripley's THE UNTHINKABLE: WHO SURVIVES WHEN DISASTER STRIKES — AND WHY or Larry Gonzales' DEEP SURVIVAL: WHO LIVES, WHO DIES AND WHY. I';d also recommend my book TRAIL SAFE, but you gotta pay too much for it on eBay these days...I will have an updated version in a couple of months. The ability to game is a fundamental survival skill, and all the shooting sports teach it. As we become more experienced on the range, our ability to game is drastically enhanced...I figure a good USPSA or IDPA competitor has a stage gamed out in less than half-a-second after seeing it...he or she doesn't need to walk around pointing a finger pistol at the target to understand what needs to be done.

Thirdly, and most important of all, stress inoculation...the more you are stressed, both mentally and physically, the better you are able to handle said stress. Think about dry-firing...dry-firing works because your mind doesn't draw a distinction between live fire and dry fire. You ca become a master shooter (in the sense of sight picture and trigger squeeze) without firing a live round or leaving your living room. Similarly, your mind doesn't draw a distinction between "real" stress — I am about to be eaten by a saber-toothed tiger — or "fake" stress — a timer. Stress is stress, and each time you apply that stress to your body and mind, you "inoculate" yourself against "real" stress the same way a mild case of cowpox protects you from the much deadlier smallpox. I have proven this in my own experiences in the extreme sports, and it is an article of faith among police and military trainers. Stress puts a huge chemical load on your body, and the only way to understand how to handle that load is through experience. If we go back to my first gun-handling example, I would wager that the men who spent their time in informal practice, even though they were skilled shooters, did not get the stress inoculation benefits of formal competition because when we practice alone or with friends, even though we may push ourselves, we lack the external stress components, e.g., my performance s being measured by an outside observer and, yes, people are watching and will see if I screw up.

Hope this helps!

Michael B

b-HO Objects to First MSM Accurate Portrayal!

Just joking...but this New Yorker cover has b-HO and First Comrade Michelle, up in arms. Read about it at the Politico. I especially like the American flag burning in the fireplace...hey, you wanna be The Last Socialist Couple, you gotta expect some heat, comrades!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sore Butt!

Okay...ground out 70-some-odd miles and two mountain passes — Squaw Pass and 11,990-foot Loveland Pass — before my bike's rear derailleur, which I had just had overhauled, crapped out and stopped changing gears. Or rather changed gears too much, letting the chain run up and down the gear cluster...big fun on rolling Colorado terrain.

All in all, my butt is sore and my knees are fairly pissed at me, but I suspect I will recover. The ride banned iPods for safety reasons, but darn, I sure could have used something like George Thorogood and the Destroyers on the screaming drop off Loveland Pass...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Errands Before Big Bicycle Ride & Show Updates

Gotta run some errands over in Vail today, so it's not going to leave a lot of time for blogging today...tomorrow is all day on the bicycle...Sore Butt Alert!

In the meantime, visit DRTV for a couple of our cool new features. The Gun Bloggers' Round-Up has turned into a super popular feature. Essentially, Marshal built an engine to allow you to one-stop-shop all the gun blogs on the Internet. You can scroll through all the gun bloggers, choose from their most posts and read them on the DRTV site.

Marshal also added a Live Chat can drop in and chat with whoever's around. I try to check in at lunch and before dinner.

I'm also revamping SHOOTING GALLERY's episodes to accommodate THE BEST DEFENSE...I'm probably going to post more on this, but here's the Cliff Notes version...we'll focus all personal defense training in TBD, with SG taking over LEO/Military training, sport shooting, full-auto/Class 3, precision shooting and what I like to think of as off-beat stories. I also want to make sure I produce episodes that give you guaranteed take-home're gonna love the .22 episode I just finished planning!

I'm also moving away from two-part episodes on any of my shows. Rather, we're going to focus on providing the additional video material on DRTV as part of our complete broadcast/Internet integration of the shows. Sort of requires a different mindset, but I believe that in the long run it's the best way to deliver you more of what you want to watch, and in the most useful multimedia format.

Obviously, you're already aware that DRTV is moving toward the first Internet-only shooting series, which will allow us to more deeply "mine" our niche. I'm under way with the Big .50 series, which I anticipate premiering in the fall, then repeating in conjunction with 2009 SHOOTTING GALLERY episodes on the .50.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hospital Bill...

Got my tab today for my less-than-one-day stay in the hospital a couple of weeks ago...

$21,000 and change!


Michael Just TEASES You a Little...

I can't resist it...
"Brother Richard liked it loud. He punched the iPod up all the way until the music hammered his brain, its force beating away like some banshee howl from the high, dark mountains hidden behind the screen of rushing trees. He was holding at eighty-five miles per hour, even through the turns, though that took a surgeon's skill, a miracle of gut and timing. The music roared.

Sinnerman where you gonna run to?
Gonna run to the sea.
Sea won't you hide me?
Run to the sea.
Sea won't you hide me?
But the sea was aboilin'
All on that day

It was that old-time religion, fierce and haunted, unforgiving. It was Baptist fire and brimstone, his father's fury and anguish, it was Negroes in church, afeared of the flames of hell, it was the roar of a hot, primer-gray V8 'Cuda in the night, as good old boys in sheets raised their on particular kind of hell, driven by white lightning or too much Dixie or too much hate, it was the South arising under the red snapping of the flag of the Confederacy.
If you thought you were in the presence of a young prince of the South, high on octane and testosterone and the beat of an old and comforting spiritual, you'd be wrong. Brother Richard was by no means young; he was a thin, ageless man with a curiously dead face — a recent surgery had remolded his physiognomy into something generally bland and generic — and he was well enough dressed to pass for a preacher or a salesman or a dentist, in a gray suit, white shirt, and black tie, all neat, all cheap, straight off the rack at Mr. Sam's big store near the interstate. You'd never look at him and see the talent for driving that was so special to his being, or the aggression that fueled it, or the hatred that explained the aggression, or the bleakness of spirit and utter capability, or even his profession, which was that of assassin."
Guessed yet?'s a little bit of the opening of NIGHT OF THUNDER, the newest Bob Lee Swagger novel from our friend and my friend (to borrow Goodfellas' terminology) Stephen autographed advanced reader copy arrived today, just in time to wash the bad taste of MR. GATLING'S TERRIBLE MARVEL out of my mouth. Release is sheduled for 23 September, and we're going to be working with Steve to give the book a grand DRTV launch. Meanwhile, I just couldn't resist the tease! Damn, he can write!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


We're still aiming at a September production schedule, with the first shows appearing on OC in January 2009 (along with Season 9 of SHOOTING GALLERY). Principal filming will take place at Blackwater with Michael Dorsey from OC directing.

I will have three regular instructors to back me up:
Walt Rauch to handle the scenarios
Michael Janich on awareness, empty hand, knife and improvised weapons
Rob Pincus on shooting techniques
We'll be bringing in a whole host of other top instructors to help us out as we go along!

A Really Bad Book!

I posted this review of MR. GATLING'S TERRIBLE MARVEL on Amazon, where I figure it has about a 10% chance of actually showing up on the site. Dave Kopel told me the book would liss me off, and indeed it did:
This is a profoundly flawed book on a number of levels, not the least of which is Ms. Keller's relentless antigun stance, a view that only a resident of the "gun-free paradise" of Chicago — where crooked politicians are a protected species and murder the local equivalent of an evening playing bridge — could hold. Let me give you a quick example from Page 201:

"Colt was much more like what you'd expect a gunmaker to be: ruthless, blunt, profane..."

From Page 25: "To speak of a weapon's aesthetic qualities might seem rather perverse, even preposterous..."

To whom, one wonders? She seems amazed and somewhat repulsed that in the mid-1800s "Curiosity about guns was perfectly acceptable and gunmaking a thoroughly respectable profession..." {Page 29].

Here's a real shocker for Ms. Keller: Curiosity about guns is STILL perfectly acceptable, and gunmaking is STILL a thoroughly respectable profession...even in Hartford, where Colt and Gatling labored. Unlike Ms. Keller, I have interviewed and even had cordial social dinners with the top American (and many of the foreign) gunmakers, and not a single one of them belched, farted, scratched themselves in an untoward manner or in any way acted other than the professional people they are. Heck, most of them are even members of their respective Chambers of Commerce! Shocking, one supposes, to a resident of Chicago.

I have also spent much time with the renegade innovators and inventors — much like Richard Gatling — who still drive arms development...a group that Ms. Keller insists vanished with the Gilded Age.

More importantly, Ms. Keller's fundamental thesis...that the Gatling Gun redefined not only warfare but American society...doesn't necessarily hold up to scrutiny. Many of the changes in the nature of warfare, and society, described by Ms. Keller can be traced back to the rise of repeating firearms (Colt's revolver; Henry's lever-action rifle) as much as the Gatling. Ms. Keller's naive views on the nature of warfare, particularly the great charnel house of the Civil War, are views that could only be held by someone who hold's the self-described self-important position of "culture critic." Yes, the machine gun utterly changed warfare, but that is the nature of warfare. Ms. Keller freely mixes in the trenches in World War 1 to make her point (a point better made, BTW, in the far superior book MACHINE GUN by Anthony Smith) that the Allied generals, especially the British, were obtusely slow to respond to the changing battlefield, and hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers paid for that stupidity with their lives.

Ironically, what one DOESN'T learn about in this book ostensibly about the Gatling gun is much about the Gatling gun itself. Ms. Keller slaughters basic weapons terminology, for instance using "bullet" as a synonym for "cartridge," which might be acceptable when critiquing popular culture, but not in a book that purports to be the last word on a piece of hardware and its inventor. While her lurid descriptions of the evil, wicked, mean and nasty aspect of the Gatling do justice to the fervid dreams of antigunners everywhere, she clearly doesn't understand much about the gun and is even less interested. I doubt she's ever fired a vintage Gatling...I have fired several, as well as worked with experts on the gun, and shooting the gun told me more about the gun and its creator than Ms. Keller's endlessly repetitive book.

Finally, in speaking of the slaughter in the trenches in World War 1, Ms. Keller makes the following observation: "Honor and glory. Such words would be swept away in this war, along with eight and a half million lives and so much else...but words matter, too. The abstractions. The revelation that the concepts such as honor and glory were dead, as dead as a good chunk of Europe's young manhood. Had those concepts not been so persistently believed in, had they been recognized at the outset as empty words, the course of the conflict — one in which machine guns changed everything — might have been quite different."

Surely Ms. Keller is correct that the Elizabethan concept of "glory" as evidenced by the Allied generals in that war was the great sin and folly of pride. But to lump the term "honor" into the same sentence reveals the modern urban liberal's ultimate conceit. As a former newspaper reporter myself — who did indeed at one point in my career freelance for the Chicago Tribune, Ms. Keller's home — I know that in a newsroom, the concept of "personal honor" is the punchline from a dirty joke. Honor is indeed dead and, by extension, there is nothing worth dying for. Soldiers of any war are simply victims, too uneducated or unintelligent to understand that for which they really fight.

MR. GATLING'S TERRIBLE MARVEL is more a sad commentary on Ms. Keller's shallowness than Richard's Gatling's invention. Too bad...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Para Holiday Camp Blogger Winners!

Here is the list of the Top Ten Gun Bloggers that you voted to send to Summer Camp with Todd Jarrett at Blackwater USA:
A Keyboard and a .45
Of Arms & the Law
View From The Porch
The View from North Central Idaho
Call me Ahab
The Smallest Minority
The Maddened Fowl
Sharp as a Marble

I keep thinking this is like the Who's "Tommy's Holiday Camp" song — "The camp with the difference/Never mind the weather/When you go to Tommy's/The holiday's foreeeeevvvvveeeerrr!." Anyway, I will be there with two — count 'em — film for SHOOTING GALLERY (they're the ones with the great big cameras) and one for DRTV (they're the ones with the nose rings).

We're also bringing along a couple of crash test dummies for the shows, the lovely Bitter Bitch and thinking here is that I can inflict television on them while disturbing the class as little as possible. This, of course, won't work, and any of you who've been around my shows when we're filming know, but I thought it was a nice gesture.

To winner David Hardy of Arms & the Law — our super-lawyer expert on all things Heller — a word of caution from the great Gene Pitney theme song from the epic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:
From out of the East a stranger came, a law book in his hand, a man
The kind of a man the West would need to tame a troubled land
'cause the point of a gun was the only law that Liberty understood
When it came to shootin' straight and fast---he was mighty good.
But the point of a gun was the only law that Liberty understood
When the final showdown came at last, a law book was no good.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Scooped by Uncle!

Yes! It's a fact...Say Uncle scooped me on the Para ARs (which are not really ARs, if an AR is defined by its recoil system).

Here's the just-live link from Para. Here's the specs:
The new Para Tactical Target Rifle with its Direct Impinged Gas System™ (DIGS™) gets you back on target faster than any other rifle of its kind. The recoil spring is over the op-rod so there is no “twang” in your ear as your head rests on the rifle’s stock while the bolt cycles between shots.

Having the recoil system up front over the barrel puts it where it naturally pushes the rifle back down on target instead of up and into your shoulder.

The Tactical Target Rifle’s gas system not only improves target acquisition but it also keeps the chamber area cleaner. The gases that flow through the tube inside the op-rod are expelled through the Manifold Injector System™ (MIS™) in the bolt carrier making it the cleanest running autoloading rifle in the world.

Bailing in and out of a Humvee or MRAP vehicle with a conventional rifle can be slow and awkward but the Para Tactical Target Rifle with its DIGS recoil system gives you the advantage of compactness without having to shorten the barrel and lose velocity.

The Rapid Deployment Stock™ (RDS™) reduces the overall length of the Tactical Target Rifle by almost 10-inches when the stock is folded. The unique 5-position sliding stock means that whether you are 5-foot 4" or 6-foot 4" the Tactical Target Rifle will fit you.
"For the past decade one of my top secret weapons in the competition world has been the Tactical Target Rifle. I have trusted it and used it exclusively for over ten years. Its unique design lets me get on target faster with accuracy and reliability unmatched in any other rifle. And it is just fun to shoot."
- Todd Jarrett, World Champion Shooter and Instructor

Para Tactical Target Rifle Specifications:

Product Code: LTR556
Caliber: 5.56 Nato
Barrel: 16.5 inches Chrome Lined
Twist: 1 in 9 inches
Action: Semi-automatic
Sights: Flip up front sight and fully adjustable flip-up rear sight
Receiver: Flat topped with full length Picatinny Rail
Magazines: 2 – 30-round
Overall Length: Stock Open and Fully Extended – 36 inches
Stock Open and telescoped in – 33 inches
Stock Folded – 26.25 inches
Height: Bottom of pistol grip to top of sites 9.125 inches
Weight: 7.6 pounds
Additional Features: Field strips with no tools
Multiple sling mount points
MSRP: $2,297
Conversion Kits: Coming in 2009, will be kits to convert your conventional AR-15 to the premier Para Tactical Target Rifle.
BTW, Para just signed the final papers on their move into the United States...come October, they'll be safely relocated to Charlotte, NC.

Lucky Video

If it wasn't for this video, my entire gunroom would be littered with pieces of 1911s and Super Glue...

A Sad Product of the Amar...Amir...American Education System...




Truly, I am, doomed...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Gospel According to JMP

From Fr. Frog: 1 In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was THE pistol, and it was good. And behold the Lord said, "Thou shalt not muck with my disciple John's design for it is good and it workith. For John made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, gave him upon the mountain."

2 "And shouldst thou muck with it, and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm."

3 And as the ages passed men in their ignorance and arrogance didst forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the gamesman did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their metal smiths didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by lust.

4 Their artisans did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became impractical to purchase. For lo, the artisans didst charge a great tax upon the purchasers of the 1911 so that the lowly field worker could not afford one. And the profaning of the internal parts didst render it unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it.

5 And lo, they didst install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord. For they doth break and lose their zero when thou dost need true aim. And those who have done so will be slain in great numbers by their enemies in the great battle. a

6 And it came to pass that the Lord didst see the abomination wrought by man and didst cause, as he had warned, fearful malfunctions to come upon the abominations and upon the artisans who thought they could do no wrong.

7 Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men, the lord of the underworld did see an opportunity to further ensnare man and didst bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, yet the eyes of man being clouded, they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

8 And being a deceitful spirit the lord of the underworld did make these plastic pistols unamenable to the artisans of earth and they were unable to muck much with the design, and lo these pistols did appear to function.

9 And the evil one also brought forth pistols in which the trigger didst both cock and fire them and which require a "dingus" to make them appear safe.

10 But man being stupid did not understand these new pistols and didst proceed to shoot themselves with the plastic pistol and with the trigger cocking pistols for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continue to gloat over these new pistols blaming evil forces for the negligent discharges which they themselves had committed.

11 And when man had been totally ensnared with the plastic pistol, the lord of the underworld didst cause a plague of the terrible Ka-Boom to descend upon man and the plastic pistols delivered their retribution upon men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land.

12 Then seeing that the eyes of man were slowly being opened and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who didst restore the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they didst begin to work as the prophet had intended.

13 And the men of the land didst drive out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land, except for the evil sprits which tried occasionally to prey on the men and women of the land and who were sent to the place of eternal damnation b by the followers of John.

Back from Big Boomer World!

I'm back from the .50 Cal Championships at Whittington...always fun. We filmed it a few years ago for SHOOTING GALLERY. This time, I was filming for the upcoming .50 BMG series exclusively on DRTV.

I shot my first 1000-yard group...pause for effect...5 shots in less than 10 inches! Of course, I shot it with a .50 BMG rail gun...a 150-pound steel and aluminum "sled" with a barreled action bolted into it. As the gun first, the action slides back on silicon "rails." The shooter then pushes the sled back into battery. The rail gun was designed by lee Jamison as a test bed for bullets and loads. Some of what he's learned about big boomer bullets is already at work in Afghanistan helping members of the Taliban on the long road to paradise.

Speaking of which, I saw something really cool at the match....50 BMG polymer-cased ammo that was actually being shot in the match. The ammo, being developed by Mac LLC at the request of the Marine Corp, has about an inch of brass at the base, bonded to a polymer rest of the cartridge. The ones in use were 640-gr ball, and while it wasn't specifically developed as match ammo, it was turning in 20-inch groups at 1000 yards out of a Steyr HS. Joe Gibbons of Mac told me the push for the development of the polymer .50s was one for weight reduction...the plastic fantastic .50s weigh in at 25% or more less than a standard round of .50 ball. That means 25% more ammo for the helicopter machineguns, critical in mountainous Afghanistan where a helicopter's ability to lift weight is compromised by the high altitude. Gibbons said the ammo runs fine in the MGs, whihc are notorious for the violence of their actions. The Marines would like to have this stuff yesterday, if possible. Defense Review has written about some of the poly ammo development for the can read it here. And, no, they wouldn't give me one as a souvenir!

I also one of the new Bushmaster's BA50s, the production version of Skip Patel of Cobb Manufacturing's .50. Cobb, as you recall, was absorbed into the Cerberus Borg Community, with Skip emerging as the head of R&D for Bushmaster. The thing shot like a house afire and was delivering sub-MOA 1000-yard groups. The 10-round magazine-fed bolt gun is a beast, dwarfing my Barrett 99 single shot. The Patel-designed muzzle brake is could see a clear reduction in recoil when comparing the BA50 to some of the other guns on the line. Of course the concussion off the brake caused one of my arms to fall off.

I'm going to devote most of Wednesday's podcast to the .50 Championships, and, of couse, you'll be able to see the whole thing in video in a couple of months (maybe soon if I have an epiphany and can find a decent local editor...I might pop up the video of me shooting the rail gun tomorrow, depending on how crazy it gets.

On other subjects, the NRA has identified a whole new mental pathology — "anti-gun anxiety," or AGA — apparently bought on in media types by the Heller ruling: Fortunately, this epidemic appears to be almost entirely confined to politicians, newspaper editorial writers, and activists predisposed to the condition by years of bias against guns, gun owners and freedom. Normal people are immune from AGA, thus no vaccine is required, and the only known antidote is an open mind, a willingness to accept the facts, and a respect for the rights of one's fellow citizens.
In some instances, AGA is apparently complicated by other conditions, such as utter confusion. Getting the core elements of the Second Amendment backwards, the Salt Lake Tribune claimed, "No fair reading of the plain language of the amendment or its history could have reached the conclusion the court announced." But in other cases, symptoms are less severe. USA Today simply expressed the hope that the Heller decision will allow for gun show restrictions, regulations to drive gun dealers out of business, and an "assault weapon" ban.

Given the way that anti-gun groups behave normally, it's difficult to say whether their Heller-related comments are attributable to acute AGA or a more chronic variety. In any case, the Brady Campaign said Heller will "embolden criminal defendants, and ideological extremists," while the Violence Policy Center said that it "turns legal logic and common sense on its head.

There is some evidence that the epidemic may become a pandemic, too. A German Green Party member said, "All European cows are registered Europe-wide, so why not guns if it can save lives? Civil liberties can be sacrificed if we can prevent people from being killed." And on the French newspaper Le Figaro's web site, a writer declared that America "is the only society which will go directly from barbarism to decadence without ever passing through civilization."

AH, the French...BTW, I'm posting this off ScribeFire, a FireFox 3.0 browser plug-in that let's me post directly to the blog. It's convenient, but I'm not crazy about it...obviously, I can't figure out how to get by to regular type rather than a quote...he "strip formatting" command doesn't actually strip fact, it doesn't do anything I can tell.

I also can't add trashy colors to the text, which I know annoys the heck out of most of you but I enjoy it, and since I do this for me, viola!It also flatly refuses to let me upload pictures from my own demands some sort of authentication that I am at a loss to figure out. Can anybody tell me what I'm missing here, aside from a brain?

Friday, July 04, 2008

A July 4th Test...

...of a Firefox add-on that allows me to post directly to the blog...we'll see, won't we?
Happy Independence Day, 2008

Great nations do great things.

Above all, remember those serve, that we might all be free.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Funny New McCain Ad

No thanks...keep the Change!

Wee Wee Check!

I had promised myself that I'd take it easy on the post-Heller commentaries from liberal moonbats, because after all, they are moonbats. They hate us...they will hate us until the Last Day when they either smother us in the all-encompassing blanket of the Great State, or we put the last 7.62 round through the last moonbat's brain — no wait, make that center mass...they don't have brains in the sense we think of brains...a lot like zombies, if you think of it — or the Giant Asteroid of 2012 sends us all to Dino-Land.

Still, Philip Slater's piece in the increasingly whacky Huffington Post merits comment, although for the life of me I can't think what that comment shoud be, other than yeech!:
The antipathy to gun control is particularly bothersome. The Supreme Court now says every American has the right to kill people, subject only to certain situational constraints. While Bush and Cheney never cease fear-mongering about terrorist attacks, we already have the equivalent of regular terrorist attacks from deranged gun owners flipping out on their co-workers, bosses, teachers, fellow students, exes, relatives, neighbors, and random strangers.

The NRA keeps saying guns don't kill people, although not even the nuttiest of their fanatics could deny that the presence of guns multiplies deaths. The more guns you have in your house, the more you, some member of your family, or your kid's schoolmates are likely to bite the dust. Sure, people kill people. They do it with knives, pokers, rope, wire, etc. What distinguishes the gun from all these other murder weapons is that while these other implements have other uses, a gun has only a single function: to kill. And it's the most efficient way of doing it. That is, after all, why it was invented.

Rifles are used to kill animals more often than people, and hunting with a rifle is considered a sport. While there isn't all that much skill involved in killing an animal with a high-powered rifle, a case could be made that ridding the nation of its deer and rabbit surplus is serving a useful function.

But all handguns (not to mention grenades, automatic weapons, and other items often possessed by NRA nutcakes) are designed for only one purpose. To kill people. If you own a handgun it's because you want to be able to kill people at will.

Especially yourself. Over half of all gun deaths are suicides. And guns do kill people it turns out, for suicide attempts with guns are 90% successful, compared with 34% for jumping off high places, and 2% for pills. A household with a suicide is 3 to 5 times more likely to have a gun in it.

Gun control doesn't prevent anyone who feels realistically endangered from acquiring the means to kill. All you have to do is make a case and get a license. Unfortunately our nation has a large population of sexually insecure males who like to walk around pretending they're Dirty Harry, and a still larger population of acquisitive status-seekers, terrified someone will steal their future landfill.
Wow! It's kind of a grand slam of antigun cliches. The story reminds me of back when I was just starting in newspapers (about a week after newspapers were invented). Because we were cooler and had less destroyed livers than the older generation of reporters, we'd periodically do stupid stunts involving cliched phrases slipped into news we all learned about doing this without the Internet, which Al Gore had not yet invented, I have no idea. I did slip the phrase "creamy white thighs" into some story I was writing on a Florida school board...was a lot of work, too. Imagine how hard Mr. Slater, whose day job is writing books that other moonbats adore, had to work to get all these insipid cliches into one piece! "NRA nutcakes!" "Every American has the right to kill people!" "Handguns are designed for one purpose!" "You want to be able to kill people at will!" And the pinnacle, "sexually insecure males!"

Brilliant! Two big ole thumbs up, Mr. Slater! You're a shoe-in for the Moonbat Hall of Fame!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Patting My Superb Crew on the Back!

BTW, SHOOTING GALLERY is the winner of two Bronze Awards from the 2008 Telly Awards, the cable industry's Emmys.

We won for Knob Creek 1 & 2.

How cool is that...winning two Hollywood awards for shows about MACHINE GUNS?

My thanks to the guys at Knob Creek and the wonderful production crew from Hatch TV.

FWIW, SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS are now the most "decorated" shooting shows ever. And we have never, ever compromised...nor will we.

Brother Ted Speaks the Truth

From my friend Mr. Nugent:
by Ted Nugent

It is glaringly obvious that a critical lesson in history 101 is due in America, for it appears that not only does a lunatic fringe of anti-freedom Americans dismiss our founding father’s clear declaration of independence and succinct enumeration of our God given individual rights, but some Americans have the arrogance and audacity to question whether the right to self-defense is indeed one of these individual rights. Dear God in heaven, who could be this soulless? How about 4 out of the 5 so called “Supreme” justices of the land. God help us all.

Who could be so asinine as to believe that a free man has no such right to keep and bear arms for self-defense? What kind of low life scoundrel would know that courageous heroes of the US Military would volunteer over and over again to sacrifice and die for such self-evident truths, then turn around and spit on their graves by discounting the very freedoms that these brave men and women have died to protect?

Will these supreme legal scholars also affirm an individual right to chose the religion of our individual choice? Do they authorize our individual freedom of speech? Can you imagine? Them is fighting words my friends, and the line drawn in the sand has never been more outrageous.

Recent USA Today and Gallup polls showed a whopping 73% of good Americans know damn well that we are all created equal, and that we each have an individual right to protect our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. What kind of jackass doesn’t know this? Allow the guitar player to translate for the soul-dead amongst us.

Keep-this means the gun is mine and you can’t have it. This does not mean I will register it with a government agency. The government works for “we the people”, not the other way around, regardless of what Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein or Barack Hussein Obama or 4 supreme justices may try to tell you.

Bear-this means I’ve got it right here, on me, either in my grasp or damn near. This does not mean locked away in a safe, trigger-locked or stored at the local sporting club.

Shall not be infringed-this of course is another way of saying Don’t tread on me, for we will not be your willing crime victims, subjects, servants or slaves, so don’t even think about it.

When the evil King’s gangsters came to collect unfair taxes from Americans, we tossed their tea into the drink. When they came to disarm us into helplessness against their old world tyrannical ways, we met them at Concord Bridge and shot them dead till they quit treading on us. Any questions children? I didn’t think so.

Corrupt men cannot be trusted, hence the right of “the people” to chose the individual church of our choice, to speak our individual ideas and beliefs, to have individual freedom from unwarranted searches and seizures, and ultimately, to exercise our individual right to keep and bear arms so that evildoers cannot do unto us that which we would not do unto them. Get it? I would love to meet the human being who would argue these points with us. We would be looking at a fascist, and of course fascists, by all historical and empirical evidence, must be eliminated.

If you value the American Way, if you believe in the words and spirit of the US Constitution and our sacred Bill of Rights, if you know in your heart that you have the right, the duty, the spiritual obligation to protect yourself and your loved ones from evil in all of its forms, then you had best contact each and every one of your elected officials right away and let them know that you know exactly what the Second Amendment says and stands for. Remind them about the “shall not be infringed” clause.

It will not be the fault of the rotten anti-Americans out there who don’t believe in individual rights that rape and pillage our Constitution, it will be the fault of those who know better but failed to speak up. Now is the time to fortify America, and we better inform the Supreme Court just who truly is the “Supreme” Court of America-We the people. Individual people with individual, God given rights. The real America. Live free or die.