Monday, December 22, 2008

Pre-Christmas Blogging Doldrums

No excuses...just sliding into the end of the year. The last travel push was a killer, and I'm still reeling a bit. Still, there's so much good going on I'm really excited. THE BEST DEFENSE starts the first week of January, as does the new season of SHOOTING GALLERY. Big, big changes at DRTV that we'll be announcing at SHOT, and they're all good. I think we're on the verge of redefining coverage of the shooting sports.

Been having big fun with my new Gamo Whisper air rifle...what a cool mini-blaster...1200 fps with their trick .177 pellets! Head shots on coyotes, I'm thinking.

That reminds me...I wanted to touch on a comment from Gary Smith, the editor of HANDGUN HUNTER magazine and a friend of mine. Gary noted that it was impossible to get the gun companies' attention for anything other than "tactical." I hadn't thought of that, but he's right...if we had a comprehensive plan we could tap into new hunting markets. I met Gary when I was working on a plan for a handgunning hunting television show, which I thought would totally rock. I had the ad support, but I never could push it over the finish line (and yes, Gary, I'm going to get back to this is 2009!). I feel the way Gary does...that handgun hunting could do a lot to bridge the gap between hunters and shooters.

I'm also starting exploratory meetings on a hunting show based on using cowboy guns — no DAMN bison, though!!! I would love to drop some paradigm-breaking hunting shows into the market. My choice would be handgun hunting, a homage to the old field days with an M29 .44 Magnum.

I'm also working on logistics for an African hunting series...a "retro" walking safari in search of one very special cape buffalo. My plan is to use my much-loved single shot Ruger #1 in 450/400 3-inch Nitro Express. Then again, buffalos are big...maybe I can talk Ruger into a 3 1/2-inch Nitro...or a .600 Nitro...or, to be totally safe, my pal and occasional drinking buddy Craig Boddington with a .416 M77 or — let's be honest here — an RPG...

I'm also working on my uber-James Bond Walther PPK project, which I detail on my Christmas Eve podcast. My old and very good friend Mike LaRocca at LaRocca Gun Works will be handling the heavy lifting, working on a new S&W Walther PPK .380 two-tone. Check it out on Wednesday morning.


Anonymous said...

Would love to see a handgun hunting show with an episode about hunting squirrels/small game with a .22LR. Why every show feels the need to show deer/elk hunting when they aren't differentiating themselves in any way from their competition. Why would I want to watch something that is just like the other hunting show on. Show something that tha majority of people can actually step outside their door and do.

As to the Whisper airgun, exactly how quiet is it as compared to a 22 CB? How accurate is it also?


Petey said...

Sounds like some great stuff could be coming down the pipe.

A handgun hunting show would be great. And like Anon said, showing squirrel and rabbit with handguns would be great. Personally, I have a .62 smoothbore flintlock pistol made by L.E. Williams of Early Rustic Arms that I WILL take tree rat and bunny with.

There's another idea, TRADITIONAL muzzleloading. Flintlocks, wheellocks, matchlocks, percussion locks (that actually use a cap on a nipple, not 209 primers). There are a lot of folks hunt and shoot traditional black powder. Big game, medium game, small game, upland birds, waterfowl, novelty shoots, lots of great stuff. Just something I have been thinking about.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for those thoughts and I agree that could help bridge the gap!! :-)

Anonymous said...

You might try a .50 BMG on that cape buffalo. It would attract more interest than some esoteric, African big game cartridge most people have scarcely heard of.

Anonymous said...

More hunting shows? Wow, just what the world needs.


Sadly, traditional mussleloading has been slowly dying for some years now. Membership in the NMLRA has been in a slow downward decline for years. T/C now offers only its Hawken and Firstorm in traditional ignition systems. CVA dropped all the traditional guns. While there will always be a diehard group of muzzleloaders who like and shoot the traditional guns interest in them is now minimal.

Anonymous said...

Three comments:

First, I agree that there is room for a hunting show about small game.

Second, I don't see traditional muzzle-loading as dying. Not when you have the 150th of the Civil War coming up in two years time. The real question is whether or not the NMLRA and the North-South Skirmish Association can exploit that interest and turn it into growth.

Third, I'd like to see a series that covers the ENTIRE spectrum of competition shooting...not just IPSC/IDPA. Cover USA Shooting - and really look into the equipment race (Olympic Rapid Fire is in the midst of an upheaval). Look at Modern Pentathlon (another upheaval in progress there). And head over to the World Muzzle-Loading Championships (where ELSE are you going to see people seriously shooting matchlock arms?). There's a great, big world of competition out there...may as well cover all of it.

Anonymous said...

I'll add a fourth comment.

Dig into the unusual.

Firearms-oriented TV programs are sliding into the rut that the firearms magazines are mired in...the same basic articles, about the same tired topics.

Go after the exotics. The evolution of the duelling pistol (contact the US International Muzzle-Loading Team for that one). Matchlock arms. Olympic target guns...from the user's perspective. The rivals to the 1911 (you hear about the Luger and Savage...but little about the Remington, which the Navy and Marine Corps were adopting when World War 1 broke out). ANYTHING Civil War-related (contact the North-South Skirmish Association).

But break out of the rut.

Anonymous said...

Mike M

Traditional muzzleloading is on the ropes and has been for some time.

The Lewis and Clark anniversary was also supposed to be a great celebration but proved a big dud. I can't see the CW anniversary causing a boom in muzzleloading as it did in the 1960s.

There will always be a small core group of traditional muzzleloaders but I predict interest will continue to contract for a while yet.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. The Lewis & Clark bicentennial was not a big event. The Civil War? East of the Rockies, you can't escape it. Have a look at the number of books published on the two subjects. The Great Unpleasantness Between The States is a perennial best-seller.

Interest will be higher than a kite. The real question is whether or not it can be successfully exploited.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just to pick a nit or two...
Reference an early Bond film (Dr. No, From Russia w/Love ?) Q quote ( or close to it): "Walther PPK, 7.65mm, hits like a brick through a plate glass window." Bond (Sean Connery - later trecherous) gives up his .25 Beretta.
Really want to see LaRocca's work...cheers!

Petey said...

On Traditional Muzzleloading, I am the Bourgeois of a Group of over 250 reenactors/shooters, and very few of them are in the NMLRA. There is no correlation between a decline in NMLRA membership and traditional shooters. Quite frankly, the vast majority of traditional shooters have very hard feelings about the NMLRA and they way they have moved so much to the in-lines. There was also some major fall-outs over rendezvous run by the then NMLRA, prior to their arm for rendezvous-the National Rendezvous and Living History Foundation.

As far as manufacturers, most traditional shooters are using custom builders or are buying broken in guns.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how a person's enthusiasm for a subject will allow them to hold a view that is contrary to reality. Traditional muzzleloading is in a decline and no amount of ancedotal posturing will change that fact.

The statement that the NMLRA went over to the inlines is rubbish. The magazine is still mostly devoted to the dress up and play Daniel Boone crowd. Shooters can still shoot in the matches. Petey, your crowd are a bunch of small minded a$$holes who get mad when not everyone wants to play. The friction between the traditional shooters and the inline crowd is no different that 2A supporters vs the Fudds.

Anonymous said...

Another great story about a gun owner preventing a crime.