Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oh No! GUNS an Issue in November?!?!?!

Newsweek is fretting that Sarah Palin's place on the Republican ticket might...oh my goodness!...put guns and gun control in the forefront of the campaign, something the socialist weasels in the Democratic Party profoundly do not want:
"The lines are being more clearly drawn on the gun issue," says Dennis Hennigan of the Brady Center, a gun-reform lobby group. "One day after Senator Obama made it clear that he thinks assault weapons should be banned in a remarkable portion of his speech, here Senator McCain selects someone who is not only proud to be endorsed by [the NRA], an opponent of that ban, but apparently is pretty enthusiastic about the guns themselves."
I say let's put guns right up there where they belong, right in people's faces before the campaign. Guns are the canaries in the coal mine, a bellwether on how people really feel about freedom and individual responsibility. You can tell me all you want about how you cherish the principles this country was founded on, how much of a rugged individualist you are. but if you support gun control in any form, you are a liar.

Let's check the record...b-HO has an F-rating from the NRA, has supported every gun control initiative he's ever even bumped into, wants to ban concealed carry nationally and wants to confiscate our AR-15s, the most popular rifle in the world. He said so in Denver...weren't you listening? Greasy Joe Biden, a senator known for his racist gaffes, largely undistinguished record and big mouth, is now proudly crowing that he is the "original architect" of the '94 Assault Weapons Ban and he can't wait to architect-up another one. Like b-HO, Greasy Joe has an F-rating from the NRA and has never once seen a gun control measure he didn't love love love.

A new AWB will be a priority item for an Obama/Biden White House...and you better believe the new AWB will have teeth. Door-to-door confiscations? IMHO, not out of the question...who in Congress is going to stop it? The Blue Dog Dems bent their knees in Denver, kissed the ring and drank the Kool-Aide; the Republicans are running scared.

The year of our greatest triumph, D.C. v. Heller, can also be the year of our greatest defeat, Obama/Biden.

You know I've had my problems with McCain, but he has reached out a hand to us both at the NRA Annual Meeting and with the amazing selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate...while b-HO wants to ban AR-15s; Palin shoots AR-15s, and apparently pretty well.

Every shooter, every hunter, every gun owner, every competitor needs to understand that it is time to, in the words of Bruce Willis, "cowboy the 'f...' up." To mutilate a phrase from Mr. Sean Puffy Combs four years ago, it's vote or see our culture die.

BTW, I will be in California week after next recording Public Service Announcement for OUTDOOR CHANNEL to get out the votes...

Friday, August 29, 2008


Dancin' in the Streets!

At least, libertarians and we crazy uncles in the gun culture certainly one of the first people to call for Palin as VP, I say, whew! Did I not call that one?

Here's some commentary from NRO's The Corner:
But in political terms today, right now, one can appreciate the political brilliance of her appointment, which — given Obama's doctrinaire liberal laundry-list speech — turns the attention to the McCain camp and will hinder the Democratic convention bounce.

1. The pick appeals to the Hillary independent voter and forces Obama to go easy, since he doesn't want both a primary and general election in which liberal women thought he and his MSNBC media henchmen took the sexist, mean-spirited low road. Given McCain's 72 years, women will realize that the role and future of this VP is no token appointment.

2. Conservatives and the base will be OK with both her positions and her life narrative; no defections as threatened with a Lieberman pick.

3.On energy, she will either blunt McCain's unreasonable opposition to ANWR, or, in fact — as an Alaskan pro-driller — give him the opening necessary to "evolve" on the issue into a support for drilling there.

4. In a Zen way it raises the inexperience issue, inviting Obama to critique a fresh VP as "inexperienced" and thereby automatically turn the same scrutiny to his as-thin-or-even-thinner resume for the more important job.

5. McCain can keep running those Biden-attacking-Obama ads, with little worry that he would get the same back had he nominated a primary rival with a Biden-like campaign trail.

6. One governor, even with brief executive experience, still contrasts with three Senate legislators in the race.

7. Obama's "change" mantra and sermons on Washington insiders are suddenly null and void due to both VP picks: McCain went for an outsider, Obama went for the classical Uber-insider.

8. As any one who has met her can attest, Palin has a charismatic presence and winning personality that could help whittle away at Obamania.

9. Much of the arsenal of the left-twing critique of the last eight hate-Bush years is starting to evaporate. Both McCain and Palin have or will have sons in Iraq; both are not easily identified as hard-core insensitive Republicans; McCain's eroding maverick status is rejuvenated with this running-mate pick.

10. Let us hope that energy now becomes the key issue. Given Obama's sorta sorta not references to gas, nuclear, and coal — and not much about drilling, McCain-Palin can really hit hard on natural gas, oil, nuclear, and coal as the perfect U.S.-dominated, at-home transition to alternative fuels that save the treasury and our national security — all much more appealing than Obama's quixotic windmill and solar-panel melodramas.

For today, the timing and choice were inspired; now we await how Gov. Palin fares when the "new," "transcendent" — and vicious — leftwing political attacks come.

HOLY CRAP! It's Palin!

Not yeah, but hell yeah!

John McCain stands up and picks the best choice for VP — Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

She's one of us. FINALLY, we can get 100% behind the Republican ticket...change we can believe in!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Long Hunter Rifle!

Last year I picked up one of Cimarron's Texas Brush Popper 1973 lever guns purely with the idea of making it a Cowboy Gamey Gun, thatis, a rifle strictly designed for cowboy action shooting. The main change, other than the ubiquitous trigger j0b would be to "short-stroke" the gun.

For those of you not in Hat & Boot World, short-stroke kits reduce the arc the lever has to travel through. Early short-strke kits were pretty much kludged together, but the modern kits are extremely well designed (so well designed, in fact, that Beretta is offering a factory short-stroke 1873 clone).

I agonized a bunch over who I was going to have overhaul the rifle and finally settled on Jim Finch, Long Hunter, a cowboy world champion and master gunsmith. Jim had done some superb work on my Sweetie's .32 Ruger revolvers. I was initally pretty disappointed when I got the Sweetie noted that working the lever was like pumping something industrial, and the triger was right on up there with "Crappy Triggers of the World."

I got the rifle back a couple of days ago, and all I can say is, "Sweeeeeeeeeeet!"

We'll have a video report up soon on DRTV, but it is a masterful job. The lever throw is reduced around 33%, the trigger pull is now what the trigger pull on a good rifle shoudl be, and everything feels as though it's rolling on rails.

Great job, Jim!

Something to Watch During Tonight's Ascension

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Ability to Accessorize..., of course, what separates us from the lower animals. I spent the day over at the Tactical Solutions factory in Boise cehcking out some of their candy-colored accessories. Specifically, I was looking at the TacSol .22 LR upper for the AR-15. Given the staggering price of ammo (and my cherubs and seraphim tell me the end is nowhere in sight), I'm thinking the .22 LR offers us the best chance to keep training and shooting at the levels we've become accustomed to. I'm plannikng on episodes of SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS to talk about .22 caliber options.

There are other .22 AR conversions, but I have always been impressed with Tac-Sol's quality and innovative design. My pal Alan Samuel, guru over at Colorado Multi-Gun, has 10,000 rounds through his Tac-Sol conversion; another pal, Freddie Blish the military guy over at Aimpoint, is practically gushing with enthusism...and Freddie is historically hard on firearms! I just got one of the Tac-Sol conversions, and we'll be playing with it later this week at the looking forward to it...

Meanwhile, b-HO gives his acceptance speech from a faux Greek temple...jeez, I can't even make up stuff that weird! Maybe after his acceptance speech, he'll heal a few supporters in wheel chairs...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Brief Moment to Catch My Breath...

Am home from the ParaUSA Bloggers Event at Blackwater....didn't actually attend as much as flew through...we filmed a segent of SHOOTING GALLERY as part of an overall show on Blackwater. I also tried to throw in some take-home training stuff from Todd Jarrett and a couple of the ace Blackwater instructors.

Am zipping up to Tactical Solutions in Boise tomorrow...if I can wire myself up for it, I'll bring a video camera...if not, I'll take a still camera and put something together for the blog and/or DRTV.

I'm putting the podcast together tomorrow for Wednesday...I want to talk a lot more about the Barrett .338 and the really cool gun Para put together for last weekend's event...sort of a test run of the SHOOTING GALLERY gun we hope to have available by SHOT 2009...I'll probably also make some smarmy comments about Greasy Joe Biden, too...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden...Another Gun Hater

Well, actually, he holds us in contempt..check out Hot Air to remember some of Greasy Joe's Greatest Hits:
Biden's obnoxious response when he insulted the gun owner toward the end as being nuts. It wasn't so much a personal gaffe as a moment that projected an ugly image of the Democratic Party as out of touch with rural voters and gun owners — big problems the party has been trying to overcome. He got a huge cheer from the audience, but that just compounded the problem.
Here's the clip:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Presented Without Comment

Moving On... Blackwater for a couple of days with the Bloggers' Weekend, sponsored by Para USA. Give us a chance to do some filming with ace instructor Todd Jarrett, as well as capture some footage for SHOOTING GALLERY.

BTW, ran into John Fasano, my favorite Hollywood Guy, at the Steel Challenge last week...we argued over who has the best job...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quickie on Barrett .338

Put a magazine through Barrett's much anticipated .338 Lapua bolt gun, and it rocked...couple of high points before I head to the airport:
• Modular design based on an aluminum frame that composes the mag well, lower receiver and stock assembly.
• Approximately 11 pound weight (we were shooting factory prototypes, so it's not final)
• Impressive Barrett-designed muzzle brake and straight line stock help throttle felt recoil
• Future options for caliber changes
• Full length top rail to accomodate night vision
• Super easy disassembly
Figure SHOT 2009 intro...agotta go to airport!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Great Article on Survival... National Geo from Laurence Gonzales, who's book, Deep Survival — Who Lives, Who Dies & Why, I have heartily recommended. It's also worth hitting his blog now and again...

Computer Update

Initial exam seems to indicate my iMac's power supply took the Big Sleep, which would be good, since it means my data isn't hopelessly trashed. Will know more by mid-week...fingers crossed.

Again, I'm NOT doing a podcast this week until I get all this crap sorted out...sorry...but I'llbe back big time next week.

Meanwhile, I'm at Barrett to work with the new'll hear all about it in next week's podcast.

And yes, rumors abound of Outdoor Channel sale...I don't know nuthin' but I'll let you know as soon as I do...

Am using a new Spring wireless modem for this post, so fingers crossed there as well...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Complete Computer Chaos...

...just got home and am now dealing with catastrophic failure on my main computer...dead as a freakin' brick...well, doesn't that just suck?

Things will be a little quiet while I sort this wreckage out.

I'm also going to take a break from the podcast this week as well because
1) I have exactly one day at home and at least two days of salvage work.
2) I'm not sure if any of my recording studio joined the computer in a suicide pack, and to tell you the truth I just don't ave the heart to face it tonight
I'll be back up full speed in a week as soon as I've finished pissing away several thousand dollars I don't presently have.

I know...I optimistic...maybe it's just a fried power supply...maybe the date is recoverable...maybe it'll be such an easy repair Apple will do it for free...

Yeah, I lost a lot of work...strangely enough, I had a bad karma feeling, so the last thing I did before I left town last week was order a new hard drive so I could do a complete cloning of my main system. I got home yesterday, unwrapped the drive and made a note on the old To-Do list to clone my main drive on Monday morning.

That would come under the heading of "Day Late & Dollar Short!"

Sorry for fault totally...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meanwhile, Back in the Real World...

...your own pathetic day-to-day problems quail in comparison...
Giant inflatable dog poo wreaks havoc

A GIANT inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a window before it landed again.

The art work, titled Complex Shit, is the size of a house.

The wind carried it 200m from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children's home, said museum director Juri Steiner.

The inflatable turd broke the window at the children's home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Mr Steiner said.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Mash Note to the Greatest Shooter in the World...

Congratulations, Kim!

You are the best.

From USA Shooting:
Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) added to her Olympic medal tally today when she captured the silver medal in the Women’s Skeet event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Rhode, who won the gold in Women’s Double Trap in 1996 and 2004 as well as the bronze in 2000, also shot in the skeet event at the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, but switched to skeet shooting full-time after the Women’s Double Trap event was taken out of Olympic competition in 2004.

“After double trap was eliminated in 2004, it was a bittersweet win for me,” said Rhode. “On one hand I won the gold, but on the other hand I knew the challenge I faced in completely switching to skeet. I couldn’t be happier with winning a medal today. Gold, silver or bronze, I don’t think it matters. I am just so glad to be back at the Olympics and representing my country.”

Rhode claimed her silver medal after an exciting shoot-off. She went into the final tied for third place at 70 out of 75 targets with three other shooters. After hitting 23 out of 25 targets in the final, Rhode came out tied for first place at 93 targets with Italy’s Chiara Cainero and Christine Brinker of Germany. In the sudden death shoot-off, Rhode and Brinker each missed a target on their first pair, while Cainero hit both her targets, giving her the gold medal. Battling for the silver in a second shoot-off, Brinker missed one of her targets and Rhode hit both to claim the silver.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I See Your True Colors Shining Through...

This from the Democratic Platform, courtesy of Jeff at Alphecca:
“We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements, like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system and reinstating the assault weapons ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals..."
Vote for b-HO and kiss your ARs goodbye!

More Gun Control Is GOOD!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hollywood Nights

"Players only love you when they're playing..."
Fleetwood Mac

I sat on Steve McQueen's motorcycle today. It was a Triumph, and it was kinda a religious experience, if you get my drift. I would say it's a perfect metaphor for Hollywood, but hey, I always get metaphorical when I have a Hollywood Day. Stage, lights, scripts, excessive displays of wealth, '50's diners, Kate Beckinsale's stunt double from the Underworld movies and "Crush" from American Gladiators...I swear to god, every time I come out here to play Hollywood I smell brimstone and see some shapely hand with razor-sharp fingernails holding a contract and a smoking Cross pen dripping with red ink that looks suspiciously like blood.

Maybe I should just stick with fish taco places and Dos Equis.

ME: Give me some idea on techniques to avoid bad situations...
CRUSH: Hit them in the face.

Anyway, while I'm sitting here waiting for the Hollywood Hills to catch on fire, you can check out David Petzal's soliloquy on why synthetic stocked rifles have no soul and Ahab's intelligent essay on why pro-gunners are willing the overall fight. I had a chance to go out with a bunch of Steel Challenge guys tonight, but I knew the whole evening would degnerate into an intense, increasingly acrimonious discussion on Outer Limits, and I'm just not ready for it yet. Maybe I'll download Underworld...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lost Angeles...

...I have to say I'm suffering from relatively degraded performance specifications after a long, hot day on the range and long evening at the fish taco place next door to my regular hotel in Santa Clarita...possibly something to do with pitchers of Dos Equis amber, which is, of course, a Vienna lager, beer style-wise.

All in all, big fun. Tomorrow I'm auditioning potential women co-hosts for THE BEST DEFENSE tomorrow in Lost Angeles. Well, that ought to to be major suckage, to borrow a phrase from science fiction writer John Ringo. Two stuntwomen and a mixed martial arts fighter...sigh...the things I do for my job...

The first U.S. medal in shooting!

Twenty-one year old Corey Cogdell, (Eagle River, Alaska) took home the first medal for the U.S. Shooting team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing today, claiming the bronze after an exciting shoot-off in the Women’s Trap competition.

Cogdell, who has only been shooting International Trap competitively for a little over two years, entered the final round with a qualification score of 69 out of 75 targets. In the 25 target final, Cogdell shot a score of 17 and ended the final round in a four-way tie at 86 targets with Japan’s Yukie Nakayama, Diana Gudzineviciute from Lithuania and Elena Struchaeva of Kazakhstan. Cogdell drew the fourth spot for the shoot-off and after the first three shooters missed their targets, Cogdell hit a small piece off her target to take third place and claim the bronze.

Now here's the story behind the story...Corey came out of the spectacular NSSF Scholastic Clays Target Program and saw this Olympics as a "warm-up" for 2012. SCTP has taken shooting back into high school and changed the face of youth shooting, but the linkage between SCTP and USA Shooting almost didn't happen. In fact, the very first Olympic camp for SCTP shooters was a touch-and-go thing, some of the older (and no longer there) USA Shooting managers skeptical of a program that was not built specifically for creating Olympic shooters.

I was priveleged to be at the first SCTP Olympic Camp in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Shotgunning Center. I was having lunch the second day when the top U.S. shotgunning coach came over and took me aside, grinning like an idiot. "We were wrong to doubt," he said, looking over the young shooters. "Get these kids to Colorado Springs, and we'll get the medals."

Congrats to Corey, and congrats to NSSF for having the foresight to lay the groundwork!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Coyote Summer I was sitting in the living room looking out the window pondering the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains, when low and behold, two mangy coyotes are sitting there pondering right back at me. In general, I'm a live and let live sort of guy...ask the bear in the back yard. I draw a lone at animals that are a real threat — last summer's lion, for example.

I blow hot and cold on coyotes...they haven't really been an issue here, because we're pretty high up and alpine environments don't offer a lot of opportunity for that niche of predator (why lions range so widely). We have lots of foxes, efficient little predators that they are, and not as many blunt trauma coyotes.

The coyotes are a threat to the Wonder Dog, of course, so we have to watch pretty carefully. If they insist on hanging around, I'll reconsider the Farmer Frank Solution. BTW, click the "Farmer Frank" link to read Frank James' blog, which is as quirky and authoritative as Frank himself. Only Frank could write a lede like this and make it work:
Sometimes things occur in such a way you have to give credence to a kind of slot machine like karma. Tonight I was reading the latest issue of Indiana Agri-News and a column by Alan Guebert on the collapse of the WTO Doha trade talks when I was called to supper. The wife and I watch the evening MSM national news at supper so I was hit by a 'coincidence', if you will, of China's part in the collapse of the WTO trade talks and the opening of the Olympics today. In some ways the pairing of these two events reminded me (I'm not sure why) of European history, Nazi Germany and the Olympics held in Berlin in 1936.
Ya gotta keep reading, don't you? Secondly, do you know anyone else who reads the Indiana Agri-News? On the subject of Other People's Blogs, I also want to refer you to my other friend Charles Riggs growing blog, Bloggo the Dog Boy (Did I mention Charles doesn't necessarily track cleanly through the curves?). Charles is one of the GUNSITE guys, and he and I go back to the earliest days of IDPA. Here's his take on the FNH Self-Loading Police Shotgun, a.k.a. a stealth Winchester X2:
But I wanted a semi-auto and couldn't find what I needed. I took a shotgun class using my brother's Benelli Tactical with ghost rings and 18 inch barrel and liked it, but wanted something with even less recoil IF and only IF I could find one that would hold up to hard use. That ruled out most of the Remington semi-autos, unless they'd been extensively customized or jazzed up (translation - EXPENSIVE!) and even then I wasn't sure how they'd do. The Mossberg never stuttered, so until something better came along I wasn't making the leap.

Then I read on their web page about the Winchester SX2, which was being used in USPSA events and according to that writer was holding up well, as well as being faster than a greased pig on meth. They have a video on their web page that shows their exhibition shooter emptying 12 rounds from an SX3 (later, improved model of this gun) in only 1.44 seconds! Ye gods! That's a cyclic rate of about 457 rounds a minute, kids!

So when I found out that Fabrique Nationale was marketing the SX2 as their Self-Loading Police shotgun with all the right parts and in that wicked black color, I went right out and bought the first one I could find.

Subsequent experience with it has proven that this was a good thing. The gas operation makes it shoot softer while still being able to handle all kinds of loads, from puffball promotion Walmart bulk-pack light field load stuff to those nifty Brenneke magnum slugs without having to change a thing. So far it's been completely reliable, even mixing all those loads in one magazine. I have several times filled it up with #8 light field loads and hammered them out as fast as I could snatch the trigger, which delighted the other folks on the range and, I'm sure, made those living nearby wonder who was running a rattle gun over there.

It has a six-round magazine which doesn't protrude beyond the end of the barrel, which I like. The gun comes apart for cleaning in a very simple basic manner, and swapping the gas collars that regulate it is easy. It has the Invector choke system so that you can change those out as it suits you, which would even allow you to shoot skeet or rabbits with it as you chose.

The ghost ring sights are made by LPA of Italy and are the same as those used on Benelllis and other fine shotguns, as far as I can tell. The front sight has a unique elevation adjustment and the rear is adjustable for both windage AND elevation.
In shooting this gun I've found nothing to criticize. The trigger would be good on a rifle. It's crisp and light enough for good precision, as you'll note from the group that I shot with it in the accompanying post. The gun mounts perfectly to my shoulder, presenting the sights to my eye as if it was made for me and it was this last note that sold me on it when I picked it up. It's balanced well and feels lively in my hands.
Since I bought it I've added a Tacstar side saddle to it so that I have seven rounds of buckshot in the gun with six slugs in reserve. A simple Butler Creek sling provides a means of carrying it when on the range, and from the African carry position, muzzle down on the left shoulder, it swings into action smoothly.

So to summarize its attributes - it's as handy and light as a Benelli with less recoil, has excellent sights for quick and/or precise shooting, perfect ergonomics for my build, excellent reliability to date and fast as all get out!
One of the FN autoloaders showed up here at the Bunker recently, and of course I like it...I shoot sporting clays with a garish red Winchester X2 and I love it to death. The Benelli is quick like bunny, but takes a toll on one's shoulder. I think I'll be sending some money to FNH and keep the shotgun...I'll still have to have the Vang Comp treat on it, but it's a semiauto you can love...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic Dreams

Even after all the hype, the Olympics managed to sneak up on me. We already have the first shooting results:
The first day of the shooting competition at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China was contested Saturday with Jamie Beyerle (Lebanon, Pa.) and Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) turning out impressive performances, each finishing in the fourth spots in the respective events.

In Women’s 10m Air Rifle, Beyerle claimed fourth place, barely out of medal contention, shooting a qualification score of 397, a final score of 102.8 for a total of 499.8.

“This is the best I have shot since the World Cup USA last year, so I am really happy with it,” Beyerle said following her fourth place finish.

Emily Caruso (Fairfield, Conn.), a 2004 Olympian, finished in 15th place with a score of 395 qualification points and did not advance to the final.

The first gold medal of the 2008 Olympic Games went to Katy Emmons of the Czech Republic, who finished with a qualification score of 400, a final of 103.5 for total score of 503.5, setting a finals Olympic record. Emmons of the Czech Republic, who was the 2004 bronze medalist, is married to U.S. rifle shooter Matt Emmons, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.

The silver medal in Women’s Air Rifle went to Lioubov Galkina of Russia with a score of 502.1 and Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia took the bronze with 500.9.

Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.), a 2004 Olympian, placed fourth and Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.) took fifth place in the Men's 10m Air Pistol competition. Turner entered the final with a qualification score of 583, while Beaman shot a qualifying score of 581. Turner shot a 99.0 in the final and Beaman fired a score of 101.0, each finishing the final with a score of 682.0. Turner earned fourth place with a 10.5 to Beaman's 10.3 in a one-shot shoot-off.

“This was my first time in a final at the Olympics, so it was hard for me to calm my shots,” said Turner of his performance in the final. In looking ahead to his free pistol competition on Tuesday, Turner said he is excited for his next event. “I performed well today, but just fell short of a medal. I can learn from this and hopefully today’s experience will help me prepare for free pistol.”
I have my fingers crossed for my good friend Jason...he is an altogether cool guy and an amazing shot. I have stood on the line at the 10 meter air pistol range in Colorado Springs, and, hell, I can't even visualize that tiny X-ring. I shot what for me were good groups, but it was strictly duffer stuff compared to what Jason and Jamie do on a daily basis.

So many of the athletes over there are more than shooters...they're my friends, people I've known, worked with and hung out with for years. I can't even imagine the pressure they're under...good job, Jason and Jamie, good job.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Survivalism 101

I decided today would be an excellent day to spend perusing some subversive survivalism literature (at least, it is in Massachusetts)...I chose The Joy of Picking. Lately I've had this jones for garlic dill pickles the way my grandmother used to me. Since she has long since gone on to the Food Channel in the Sky, as her sole cooking heir it's clearly up to me to step into the breach. So I've spent most of the morning making 10 quarts of pickles, courtesy of the organic cukes provied by my Sweetie's brother from his organic garden.

I made some with sliced horseradish, too. I'd give you the recipe, but I need to wait a month to see how the pickles turn out, pickles being, as they are, a sort of Zen-ish process.

In between pickles, here's Dave Kopel's and Bob Levy's take from WSJ Online on what D.C. should do — or Congess should make them do — to comply with the Heller ruling:
It's time for Congress to use the power granted to it in the Constitution to "exercise exclusive legislation" in the District and uphold its residents' constitutional rights. It can do so by passing the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act now pending in Congress, with a few adjustments. This bill, introduced on July 31 with 57 cosponsors, would prevent D.C. from passing regulations that discourage the private lawful use of firearms or otherwise suppress residents' Second Amendment rights. It is the result of a compromise between the National Rifle Association and House leaders.

To ensure broad-based, bipartisan support, we propose four modest congressional actions that would preserve some home-rule authority while erecting a commonsense framework for restoring the right to self-defense in our nation's capital.
Read the whole thing. In interesting trivia, Matthew Bracken, author of the superb two novels ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC and DOMESTIC ENEMIES: THE RECONQUISTA, notes on THR that the USA Network spy show, BURN NOTICE, has asked for a hard copy of the book for the hero's apartment, this being the kind of material former spooks might be reading...dare I say should be reading?

I would say I'm really looking forward to the third novel in the trilogy, but then I'd fel really crappy for not finishing my own sequel, FIVE TO GO, which remains stalled stalled stalled...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

UH-OH! When They Come for Us All...

A tip of the hat to Armed & Safe, whose on top of this...the "giant weapons arsenal" demon rears its ugly head again...from the Cape Cod Times:
BARNSTABLE — Looking frail and unable even to look up from his wheelchair, Kenneth Webster Jr. pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he amassed an arsenal of more than 50 weapons on his secluded, squalid property in Marstons Mills overlooking Mill Pond.

Barnstable District Court Judge W. James O'Neill ordered Webster, 44, held on $50,000 cash bail on 10 counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of illegally possessing ammunition. Prosecutors requested, and were granted, that bail of $10,000 on a previous case against Webster be revoked.

The massive cache of guns, knives and ammo — a .50-caliber handgun and .50-caliber sniper rifle, sawed-off shotguns, high-powered assault rifles, an inert bomb, throwing knives, bayonets and more than 1,000 live rounds, according to police and prosecutors — was seized when Barnstable police raided his house at 3640 Falmouth Road on Tuesday after arresting him at his parents' home on Wakeby Road earlier in the day.

His mother and an unidentified woman, who both looked stunned, declined to comment at court. "We're speechless," said a third woman, who said she was a relative.

Before this month, Webster had no criminal record in Massachusetts, said defense attorney Brian Roman of North Attleboro.
Webster's motive for building up such a massive cache was still under investigation, Barnstable Detective Sgt. John Murphy said.

"We really don't know what his intentions were," Murphy said. Webster allegedly also collected survivalist equipment, including generators, cans of gasoline and ham radios, along with the weapons.

Webster had no "sinister purposes" to his weapon collection and had not been doing anything with the items, Roman said. "He's been a respectable member of the community his entire life."
So Webster hasn't done anything except possess a cache of weapons...and that "survivalist equipment," like ham radio gear. What kind of psychotic would possess ham radio gear? And more than 1000 rounds of ammo? Holy crap, Batman!

But wait, there's more!

Here's from a local columnist, who is shocked — SHOCKED! — at the whackos roaming around:
Last week police confiscated a small arsenal of illegal guns, ammunition and other assorted weapons from the Marstons Mills home of Kenneth Webster. On July 1 police also removed several guns and knives that had been on his person and in his car. In total, more than 50 weapons were taken from Webster including a sawed-off shotgun, an M14 automatic rifle and a sniper rifle.

When he was arrested on July 1 Webster reportedly told police that he had a constitutional right to own those guns. If that sounds scary, here's something scarier. There are a lot of people out there who agree with him.

Second Amendment literalists have long held that the phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" means just that. Using that interpretation, it would appear that Webster would be within his rights to own as many handguns, shotguns, and automatic weapons as he wished even though there was a restraining order against him.
Damn those Second Amendment literalists! I, for one, am terrified at the very idea that just plain civilians are amassing these kinds of arsenals....50 caliber handguns! Sniper rifles! Sawed-off shotguns! Stacks of ammunition! Terrified! Oh wait...that's my friggin' basement!

Never mind...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Am back at Salt Lake Airport where I heave real Internet servide. Okay...okay...I will order a wireless modem card as soon as I get home so this doesn't happen again!

I think the lever show is going to come out pretty cool...everything just fell together. Here's J.B. Custom's ad ont he Chiappa Mare's Leg:

My goal is to get a .44 Magnum take-down version from Chiappa, then do the SPR routine with it. I like the Chiappa take-down system...unscrew the magazine tube; turn the barrel assembly 90 degrees and, viola! I sort of think the regular take-down M92 clone and an S&W 329 (obviously both in .44 maggie) makes a small, light, hard-hitting travel package for the hunter or paranoid person. I had to pry our loaner M92 take-down from SHOOTING ILLUSTRATED's Dick Williams' hands.

We've also signed on to do SHOOTING GALLERY episodes on the Advanced Armament's silencer shoot and the Order of Edwardian Gunners' World Side-by-Side Championships, as well as a .50 BMG show with Ronnie Barrett and some exclusive training with Todd Jarrett from Blackwater.

Meanwhile, I'm really impressed with the most recent lion story from Colorado:
IDLEDALE, Colo. (AP) — A mountain lion crept through an open door into a house outside Denver, snatched a Labrador retriever from a bedroom where two people were sleeping and left the dog's dead body outside, wildlife managers said Tuesday.

No one else was hurt. Officials didn't know how many other people were in the home about 14 miles southwest of Denver.

Wildlife officials later trapped the 130-pound male cat using the dog's body as bait and fatally shot it.
Here kitty kitty kitty! Darn things are worse than horseflies! Alf the Wonder Beagle has started working out more, just in case; she wants one of the .410 Bond derringers of her own, but I keep explaining about that opposable thumb thing.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

NSSF Steps Up in D.C.

I like this...tomorrow the National Shooting Sports Foundation will announce that they
will be running ads in DC media promoting NSSF as educational resource for district firearms owners in the wake of the Supreme Court's Heller decision and kicking off a DC-area First Shots campaign.

Busy Little Beaver...

Am at Swanson Tactical finishing up the SHOOTING GALLERY tactical lever action episode, which explains the absence of blogging lately. Am now stoked at taking a Mare's Laig Winchester '92 pistol, $200 and a Form 1 to create a wicked lever action SBR! Steve Hendricks at Swanson is an obvious enabler on this one.

I worked today with one of the Chiappa take-down '92s, and it is a slick little rifle. Mostly, though, I lobbed 45/70s through my pal Dave Biggars of XS Sites trick Tactical Marlin Guide Gun...too cool!

Connection is way slow, BTW...that's why no links...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Blazing Hot Saturday... at the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains. After the last two winters, not complaining, mind you. The parrots are eating it up, as long as we occasionally spritz them down in their outdoor aviary.

I don't know if I mentioned it, but the Sweetie and I recently closed on the 35 acres west of Loveland. It's a pretty spectacular piece of property, views all the way down the Front Range and a little less nose-bleed altitude than the current Bunker. Our plan is to build an off-grid house sometime in the next couple of's probably the best area in the country for solar and wind power.

I've been reading — with envyArmed and Dangerous' saga of his summer at Sword Camp, a combination of science fiction, martial arts, guns, long sharp things and zombies. Damn...that rocks! Maybe next summer DRTV and SHOOTING GALLERY should sponsor something similar, give away free slots.

BTW, I've finished "recasting" SHOOTING GALLERY to reflect THE BEST DEFENSE...obviously, since I pulled some of my most popular instructors out of SG, I needed to rethink my flagship series a little. I think I have all the right pieces in place — I want to take you to new places other people are afraid to go! I'll post my final 2009 shows in a week or so.

And pause a moment for the late, great James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, who on this date in 1876 was shot dead by the cowardly Jack McCall as the famous gunfighter played poker at Nutal & Mann's saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. Hickok, uncharacteristically sitting with his back to the door, was shot from behind; he was, of course, holding two pair, black aces and eights, known forever after as the "Dead Man's Hand."

My favorite book on Wild Bill is probably the least "historical document" of them all, Randy Lee Eickhoff's And Not To Yield: A Novel of the Life and Times of Wild Bill Hickok, which I think does an excellent job of capturing the zen of the gunfighter. Probably the best portrayal of Bill on film was on the first season of the series Deadwood, which captured his doomed grandeur. And even after years of revisionist history, I still think Wild Bill stands as the great tragic figure of the Old West, the best and the worst of gunfighter logic.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Strange Day...

...okay, forget the "water on Mars" story; forget the endless John Edwards "love child" I'm reeling from the concept of a "designer vagina" craze:
Australian doctors have raised concerns about clinics offering vaginal cosmetic surgery, warning the trend towards so-called "designer vaginas" may be exploiting vulnerable women.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said procedures being offered included "vaginal rejuvenation, revirgination, designer vaginoplasty and G-spot amplification".
Is it just me, or is the world coming more and more to resemble a Philip K. Dick novel? I find myself with an almost overwhelming urge to collect random bits of string and then try to master the numerous spoken forms of honorifics.

It also causes me to wonder if perhaps there is a corresponding "designer penis" craze that has, alas, also passed me by...perhaps the surgical implantation of a little Scottish bonnet on Mr. Weasel. A quick search of Google for "designer penis" didn't turn anything up, but it did spotlight a job offer on one of the programmers sites for this job:
I need a great writer/ web designer to do the following:
1) Create an outstanding design for penis enlargement product reviews
2) Perform a detailed product review on to replace this page:

Some important guideline:
1) Review must be written in first person and speak directly to the needs, concerns and hopes of the visitor. For example, you should write like this: "There are many things that I like about Sizegenetics (with just a few drawbacks). If you're looking to..." (personal) Do NOT write like this: "Sizegenetics has both pros and cons. Men looking to..." (not personal)
2) Be fair. Give the good and the bad. Highlighting the good, of course.
3) Be as specific as possible
4) Must follow the enclosed guidelines
5) Must be in Clean HTML format
6) Must NOT be in MS Word HTML

I've included another old Sizegenetics Review as an example... If you do an outstanding job, I'll have many more reviews for you :)
I really like the smiley at the end...sadly, the ad has already expired! Darn! Another career option bites the dust. I also learned the derivation of the phrase "penis-melting zionist robot combs," a phrase I've never used but definitely will, probably to describe a new plastic service pistol:

"[fill in the blank]'s newest polymer-framed striker-fired, laser-sighted, sub-MOA, .40 S&W Magnum, desert-camo'ed, gas-pistoned, low mileage, mil-spec blaster smites the earth like the proverbial penis-melting zionist robot comb in the hands of an infidel-busting bad-ass operator hair stylist from hell..."

Whoops! Got to go have a long conversation with firearms execs on manufacturing issues...if I use P-M-Z-R-C one more time in a sentence, it's my word!