Friday, December 31, 2010

As Always, New Year's Eve with LOTR

It has been an undeniably tough year; so much damage has been inflicted on our country it is breath-taking. And yet, 2010 was also a year in which the people stood up and shouted, "Enough!" Note to the bankrupt and sold turns out we are NOT all socialists now after all. How abut that?

As I said in my podcast this week, I am hopeful, but not optimistic...if that makes any sense. Those who would see America as we know it — as the Founders envisioned it — destroyed still hold great power and are without a shred of honor or honesty. We have a long fight ahead of us, and without a doubt our country will take more damage in the fight. We have implacable enemies, who seek not our land, our goods, our fortunes, but simply our deaths.

The quest of American exceptionalism, of freedom, is indeed balanced on the knife's edge.

And yet we will stand, because we must.

So, as usual, I leave this year with the words of LOTR, the great morality tale of our generation...may they strengthen our hearts for the battles ahead...


Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

Happy New Year from the Michael Bane Blog...let us never forget there is good in the world, and it's worth fighting for...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let There Be (Florescent) Light!

Sorry...spent all day working in the gunroom, getting the lights hooked up and hung and getting started on reorganizing. It got to a point where I could barely stand it...I bet you all know how tha song goes.

Lot of buzz on the Scout Rifle. Be sure to check ou Brother Jeff Quinn's review at GunBlast.

The laminated wood stock was a 2-fold decision...Ruger does those stocks in house, so the cost is significantly lower than purchasing a synthetic...remember, we put a $1000 absolute max on the price. That price is consistent with current bolt gun prices...I just did a check on Ruger, Remington, Winchester, Kimber and Savage. Yes, there are the cheap-ass versions for big box stores...perfect if you like birch and 5 MOA! Realistically, a grand MSRP is baseline. Secondly, none of us liked the Steyr stock and the amazing falling magazine.

I bemoan the absence of the 3rd sling swivel for one of Andy's Ching slings, but that is easily fixable. The decision was because the placement of the 3rd swivel drew complaints from a lot of Ruger's testers who didn't want to use the Ching. In wringing out the rifles, we used Galco Safari Slings. I intend to change out the swivels for the (more expensive) flush mounts, add the 3rd swivel and use one of Andy's slings.

No provision for stripper clips, although we looked at a couple of options.Again, expense considerations. The main reason for the Scout forward mount was to allow the shooter to use both eyes in sighting...takes some getting used to, but is fast fast fast.

Re: M1A clips, a few years back Robbie Barkkmann at RoBar, one of the finest gunsmiths in the worked, fitted M1A mags to .308 bolt guns...he stopped because of magazine variation issues ("A big pain in the butt," I think was how he worded it). I'd really wanted the M1A mags, but the AI at least are to a standard, not a pure proprietary mag (I flayed FNH over the proprietary mags for the FNAR, an otherwise superb rifle).

I didn't have a chance to chrono...the preliminary work at Ruger and Gunsite put the velocities of most match and hunting loads above the magic 2500 gps number, but I'll run my own when I get the chance.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ruger Scout Rifle!!!

A couple of years ago Dave Spaulding (2010 Law Enforcement Trainer of the Year), Ken Jorgensen from Ruger, Ed Head from Gunsite and I sat down in a conference room at Gunsite to put together our "wish lists" for  what we called a "sport/utility rifle," the heir to Col. Jeff Cooper's scout rifle project.

Today, we have the results of that meeting...from Ruger this afternoon:
Ruger Introduces New Platform in Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. is proud to announce the Ruger® Gunsite Scout Rifle, the ideal "fighting carbine" in .308 Winchester that is a credible rendition of Col. Jeff Cooper's Scout Rifle concept. Cooper called for a relatively lightweight, hard hitting, do-all rifle that in the hands of an accomplished shooter was able to place accurate, sustained fire out to long ranges, yet was quick-handling and light enough for all-day carry.
Developed in conjunction with Gunsite instructor Ed Head, the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is a new platform in the Ruger M77® family. While the Scout Rifle has M77 features such as controlled round feed and integral scope mounts (scope rings included), the 10-round detachable box magazine is the first clue this isn't your grandfather's Ruger rifle.
"Ruger has taken an in depth look at the intended purpose of a Scout Rifle and developed a full-featured rifle designed to meet the Scout Rifle criteria of hunt, fight, defend," says Head. "This firearm offers outstanding features in an affordable, versatile and reliable rifle designed to deliver .308 Winchester performance in a variety of situations. It is compact, lightweight, offers 10-round box magazines, can be fit to the individual shooter, and accommodates a host of optics. It is a serious rifle for those serious about rifles."
The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle has a 16.5" medium contour, cold hammer-forged, alloy steel barrel with a Mini-14® protected non-glare post front sight and receiver mounted, adjustable ghost ring rear sight for out-of-the-box usability. A forward mounted Picatinny rail offers options in mounting an assortment of optics - including Scout Scopes available from Burris® and Leupold®, for "both eyes open" sighting and super-fast target acquisition.
A Mini-14/SR-556® flash suppressor is effective on reducing the muzzle flash that may be present on some .308 Winchester loads when fired out of the short (16.5") barrel. The 5/8-24 muzzle threads allow most standard .30 caliber muzzle accessories - flash suppressors, muzzle brakes, and sound suppressors - to be installed.
The Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle features a matte black oxide alloy steel barrel and receiver on a black laminate stock with sling swivel studs and checkered grip and forearm. A soft rubber recoil pad, with three 1/2" spacers allows the length of pull to be adjusted and allow the rifle to be properly sized for different shooters, or to give the shooter the proper fit with outerwear or defensive gear of varying thickness. With its compact size and weighing in at just under seven pounds, the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle combines ease of carry and shooting for the serious Scout Rifle enthusiast.
The rifle's trigger guard and magazine well are formed with glass-reinforced nylon. The magazine release is a push-forward Mini-14 paddle just ahead of the trigger guard. "Gunsite Scout Rifle" is engraved on the grip cap of the laminated, weather resistant stock, and the receiver is roll-marked "Ruger Gunsite Scout", commemorating the collaboration of Ruger with Gunsite Academy, America's oldest private firearms training facility.
As they say, beware the man with one gun, for he probably knows how to use it. Never has this been more true than with the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, the one rifle to have if you could only have one. It is the perfect lightweight, hard-hitting, do-it-all bolt-action rifle - where rugged, reliable Ruger meets the practical, tactical.
I've had the chance to put a lot of rounds through this rifle, both on AR-platform based courses and out to 300 yards, and IT IS SUPERB! My wish list was a gun aimed squarely at the TBD/SURVIVAL market, a gun that would deliver major caliber results for self-defense and then do double duty as an easy-to-carry hunting rifle. I envisioned the gun as a companion to an MBR like my FAL or an M1A...and a lot easier to schlepp around!

I shot the gun with the excellent Burris 2.75 Scout Scope and quickly fell in love with it. We will have video up on DRTV tomorrow, including a conversation between me and Dave Spaulding on our thoughts about the little rifle.

My personal gun will be delivered this week, the same gun I shot in the tests. I'm going to stick with the Burris Scout for awhile. In truth, I like the Ruger more than the Steyr for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the adjustable laminate stock. The 5 and 10 round magazines are Accuracy International standard, so available from multiple suppliers. We originally wanted M1A or AR-10 mags, but there were issues in mag consistency (and varying "standards") that just couldn't be overcome. The AI standard is an excellent choice, though.

The rifle comes with rings for the standard Ruger integral mounts, but our pals at XS Sights have an interesting solution in prototype — extending the forward rail to the rear, giving one the option of mountings scopes traditionally, at an intermediate length or in the full scout forward mode. It also gives one the option of mounting a red dot optic and a 3X clip-on magnifier, a la the Aimpoint.

I (along with the Usual Suspects) am in the process of developing a training course for the rifle aimed at TBD/SURVIVAL viewers...I'll keep you all in the loop!

This just in from Ed Head: "By the way, since I saw all of you last I have completed accuracy testing with 6 different loads (5 consecutive 5 shot groups...etc.). With most of the hunting loads the average is in the 1.5 to 2 inch range but with both Remington and Federal match my rifle is a 1 incher at 100 yards. Getting off the bench and using a bipod I got 1.5 inch groups at 200 and 2.5 inch groups at 300...under 1 MOA, with the match ammo. So, yes, this rifle is absolutely effective inside the 300 yard envelope, and, I would think, beyond."

Running Around...

...getting ready for my eye surgery next week...whole bunch of preliminary appointments, blah blah.

Am glad to see the Sig P-210 come back as the 210 Legend (this courtesy  OTOH probably not glad enough to shell out the couple of grand plus it'll take to bring one of these babies home.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Death in the Tall Grass

Alf the Wonder Beagle hunting reindeer on the tundra...

-- Post From The Road

SG & TBD New Seasons!

This Wednesday is the premiere for the new season of SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE!

I think we did an amazing job on the scenarios for TBD, and we didn't shy away from controversy (like we  ever did!). I think we managed to reset the bar...

SHOOTING GALLERY Season 11 is going to some old places and some new places this season. It's sort of a transitional season for me...I made some changes in the way we produced some of the content, and I do like it're going to see some outstanding, exclusive training material this season and well as some neat venues...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another Low Key Day

Watching LOTR, as usual. Took Alf the Wonder Beagle on a long hike on the Sourdough cross-country ski trail...saw 3 moose, including a BIIIIG bull with a heck of a rack. Friends over tonight and we smoked through 4 bottles of my high zoot whites, Baletto, Vat 27, Moshin...

Man, if it's this nice tomorrow, I'm going to the range! My match Blackhawks are coming home tomorrow from C&S, fitted with Super Blackhawk hammers and retuned after maybe 50K rounds. I'm trying to get some writing done this next couple of weeks on The New Survival Guns...been thinking about some new twists for the book.

I can't believe SHOT is so close! If you're going, be sure to let me know -especially if you're going to be there Friday after the Show!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Dinner Wine

Dark Star Cellars, Left Turn, 2007

Christmas at the Secret Hidden Bunker

For so many of our friends standing watch in forsaken places around the world, for those who serve and have served, you are in our thoughts and prayers on this Day of Days.

Merry Christmas!

And thank you...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Grilling Up a Salmon...

...tonite...I just had a hankering...

Tomorrow is crab cakes, oyster dressing, smoked turkey, dumplings and fresh asparagus. And good wine...mabybe Turley Zinfindel...

Man, today was the perfect day for shooting! Perhaps you can guess that in a toss-up between cooking for Christmas and shooting...well, the dressing is going swimmingly!

My Sweetie wants to shoot the Colt Rail Gun, so if the weather holds we'll get out next week.

Mostly I want to say thank you and bless you on this night of all nights...

May the Light hold you all...

Cooking Today!!!

So slow blogging today!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Steven Hunter on the New TRUE GRIT

Steve put this together yesterday for the Power Line blog, which has graciously allowed us to reprint it here. BTW, don't forget Steve's newest Bob the Nailer book, DEAD ZERO, available within days! 
The Coen Brothers' replicant  of "True Grit" is close enough to its genre origins to refresh some of the great pleasures of the western: men with horses, men with guns, men with really cool hats, and men with faces.  In fact the faces are the proper landscape of the picture, giant granite edifices carved with fissures and aroyos, flecked with wild vegetable growth, dusty and dangerous. 
The most demonic of these belongs to Jeff Bridges, who plays the crazed and canny U.S. Marshal and honcho mankiller Rooster Cogburn behind a scraggily, patched, bearded, weathered and salted mug that looks like it could have been the outer surface of a Spartan shield. When he cranks up that one eye into a squint which is crushed flat by the weight of a collapsed brow and a tensed cheek, he doesn't look adorable at all, certainly not avuncular and mock-grandiose  or ironic like the great John Wayne back in 1969,  he just looks mean and when he's not kicking Indian children for the dang fun of it, squabbling over money, drunk or otherwise occupied, his grit is more than true, it's absolute. It's like he sees the world over the blade of a front sight. 
You can't quite call the film "naturalistic," or claim that it's set in something called The Real West.  The dialogue is too Victorian-ornate (a product of Charles Portis's original gem of a novella) but it is set in a world where the 1969 Henry Hathaway version doesn't exist, derived on a straight line from the Portis text. Any who attend hoping to bath in the wake of the Duke's wake recreated will be disappointed--for about 10 seconds.  
No, Bridges isn't John Wayne, nor is Hallee Steinfeld, who plays the willful Mattie Ross, Kim Darby. She's an authentic 14-year-old, callow and unformed, so the sexual tension of the original is replaced by something more Oedipal: she's the daughter he never had and doesn't know he missed, he's the father shorn of sentimental idealism and softness, living only for a dad's duty and in the end, his keenest is to protect his daughter A signal moment: he rides a horse to death to save her, though she loves the animal and may hate him for it. He's fine with being hated if that's the price of his duty. 
The plot, as many will remember, is primitive, goosed along now and then by a helpful coincidence.  It is propelled by the conceit that her will is so strong that she bullies these mankillers into submission to it and in the end, they're happier for submitting to her executive instincts.  She withers them with wit and shrivels them with her own killer stare. The strongwilled Mattie hires the dissolute mankiller Rooster to track down the man who killed her father, a venture that takes them into the dark interior of  what was then Indian Territory and is now Okalahoma. They range west from Ft. Smith, Arkansas, accompanied by a dandy of a Texas Ranger improbably named LeBoef (Matt Damon) in search of the evil Cheney (Josh Brolin) who has thrown in with a gang of cutthroats and retardates led by Lucky Ned Pepper. Each of these fellows has a face that looks like a leather cushion dragged behind a pickup over 40 miles of bad road, so that movie also has a tone of randome grotesqueness for fans of bad orthadonture and nostrils the size of volcanos. 
But more importantly , "True Grit" is played straight, without wink or irony.  The Coens impose classical discipline upon themselves, refusing even to have a poke at a villain named Cheney. Why,  it's as if these fellows never saw their own post-modernist films and are working in a year before the age dawned when all filmmakers have been to filmschool and have read all the back issues of Cahiers du Cinema. 
I yearn to see an unrated version on DVD, so that Portis's considerable bloodshed will be liberated from the politeness of the PG-13 rating but the Coens do at least as well as Hathaway did in staging action sequences and capturing the dynamic abruptness of the gun fight.  It appears that Bridges is a real horseman as he is seen to ride hard at his opponents on a real mount, reins in his teeth, and a Navy Colt in each hand. The Duke, if memory serves, was clearly riding a saddle secured to the  flatbed of a pickup truck in those scenes 40-odd years ago. 

Perhaps you have to skew way old to enjoy the film as much as I did; but for me, it put in me a hunger for popcorn and those grenade-like Milk Dud things that exploded in a spew of industrial grade caramal and enameled your molars together for weeks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

True Grit

Watching the John Wayne original so I have a comparison when I see the new one this I the only one who had untoward fantasies about Kim Darby? I met her years later and told her something similar, and her response was something to the effect of, "You and all the other little nerd boys..." mMaybe she said "pathetic" nerd boys...

My Colt Rail Gun is in! I pick it up tomorrow, and if this whacky weather holds I'll get to shoot it Christmas weekend. I'm to have to exercise some restraint over the 100th Anniversary Year, lest I end up with more 1911s than any sane person should have. I wish I had the spare bucks for the Wilson Combat or the incredible Cylinder & Slide recreation...I've been getting bulletins from Bill Laughridge at C&S on thus project, and these 100 guns will be serious heirlooms! I was so impressed thatvwe're going to document the C&S 1911 on DRTV.

The Firearm Blog and lots of other places are reporting on Sig Sauer's introduction of a .50 BMG bolt gun. I'm pulling some strings to see if we can get a DRTV test really soon. BTW, the guys at Burris mentioned today they'd have some high speed, military-grade long range optics to show me at SHOT. Looking forward to it, as I am shopping for a scope for my Barrett.

BTW, I will be carefully following Dr.'s orders on the eye surgery...he's already axed me jumping on the plane the next day and going to Arizona. Maybe not the best plan, now that I think about it. When they did my right eye they wouldn't let me shoot for 2 weeks, since that would be the medical definition of "eye-strain."

And Frank mean there actually are TWO RMR-30s!?!?!?!?

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Apparently Hectic Holiday

Yesterday was a lot more hectic than I intended it to seems that I have to have lots of assorted tests before they chop-chop my left eyeball...went through the same thing for the surgery on my right eyeball, but I conveniently blotted it all out of my mind. That meant an unanticipated trip down to Boulder and a long, boring wait for tests. Yeech...

Over at the Firearm Blog Steve is showing Oleg Volk's photos of the new Kel-Tec RMR-30 .22 Mag, the carbine version of the largely unobtainable PMR-30 .22 Mag pistol. I guess Steve's comment of "an MP7 for all!" pretty much sums it up.

H-K MP7 4.6 X 30 Cartridge           31-gr Solid HP@2250 fps
RMR-30 .22 Magnum                     30-gr HP@2200 fps

Of course the eventual Kel-Tec won't be full auto and doesn't have that German, shall we say, savoir-faire...

Monday, December 20, 2010






Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday AM...

...and I'm sitting here watching an old doc on A&E on the history of professional wrestling. I used to be a huge fan -- as we all know, wrestling is real; pro football is all staged -- I used to go to the ratty old Armory in Tampa, sometimes with my friend Wanda, the aerobic instructor from hell, to watch the guys dreaming of WWE (then WWF). It was pure psychotic craziness...crashing chairs, fistfights all over the place, screaming women...good times good times...

I once tried to convince Vince McMahon and crew to write me into a WWF script for a magazine article...the money shot would be when The Rock, infuriated by my "story," would throw me out of the ring on national television. Everybody loved the idea until it got to the lawyers, who went ballistic. They said there was no release I could sign that would protect WWF if the toss out of ring went bad. RATS! That's still one I'd have loved to do!

Yesterday was COLD BABY COLD on the range, and I shot like a monkey...maybe a brain-damaged monkey. Still, by the end of the match I was getting back into the rhythm of my match 1873 rifle, which just came home from Ken Griner. The years I'd pretty much trashed the bolt, and Ken overhauled the insides. Glad to have it back, and thanks to Gene "Evil Roy" Pearcey for the gunsmith recommendation! Probably going to send Ken my box-stock Ruger Vaqueros I've been shooting forth past 6 months.

An older New Frontier

BTW, Brother John Taffin is reporting over on Lee Martin's Single Action Forum that Colt will reintroduce the New Frontier, adjustable sighted flattop Single Action Armies, in .45, .357 and, yes, .44 Special in a variety of barrel lengths. Cool!

After a flat spot, cowboy action shooting is growing again, and a lot the guys want that pony logo on an gun with adjustable sights. Yeah, sure, the distances in cowboy don't exactly cry out for precision sights, but hey. I shot a 1-1/2 inch 5 shot group at 15 yards off-hand with a Dave Clements custom Blackhawk .357 (and Hornady 125-gr JHPs) last year at Gunsite...the sites probably had nothing to do with it, but my head insists that it did...

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cowboy Match... here in the tundra...I'm heavily bundled...might not be able to get to the guns! Have to remind myself not to lick the guns...

-- Post From The Road

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wrap Up of the FL School Board Shooting

My bullet points (and we'll be discussing on the podcast next week):

• Gun-free zones aren't.
• For every situation every day for the rest of your life — where is the exit; where is cover; where is concealment? This is not an option in today's world, kids!
• Awareness is critical, but awareness NOT linked to action is worthless.
• You MUST be ahead of the bad guy's curve (that is, in the OODA equation, you must move to the "decide"and "act" point before the aggressor completes his or her OODA loop).
• When facing a person bent on doing you violence, an understanding of visual cues is life-saving skill.
• Read/memorize Jeff Cooper's Principles of Personal's short, succinct and 100% on target (I just bought another copy as a Christmas gift).
• Understand "phases and gates" — when we move to the highest threat level — call it Condition Red if you'd like — we step through a mental "gate"...all those issues and decision-making that concerned us in the previous threat condition are done, it is all about tactics and action.
GET TRAINING! Then get more training.
Do something! When you take the first step, it breaks the "deer in the headlights" syndrome we so so richly represented in this video.
• Be prepared to "go to the gun" much earlier than you think you should...that said, be prepared to CONCEAL the fact that you have gone to the gun from the aggressor and everybody else in the room. The correct moment to go to the gun is when some nutbag starts painting on the wall...the best place to carry a gun is in your hand! You can just as easily stash the gun unseen if said nutbad is painting, "Merry Christmas!"
• The lethal threat begins the MOMENT the assailant draws the gun; at that moment you are in fear for your life (and the life of others). When should your response happen? How about the moment you realize your life is at risk?
• If you can a gun for the defense or yourself and/or others, you MUST be able to deliver the shot!


I have watched the video(s), seen the interviews of the people involved and I have read all of the responses from those you e-mailed. I have also spent the day thinking about this and I remain unchanged in my opinion...
"We must all be an active participant in our own rescue!"
Society has become WAY to reliant on the government for all, unemployment, disaster response, diaper changing, crying towls, etc. etc. etc. They now expect THE G to ride over the ridge at the last moment and save their asses when life is threatened. Let me offer a bit of harsh ain't gonna happen!
It was obvious that no one in the room understood they were facing a threat as he painted the symbol on the wall. They sat there and watched and even after he pulled out the gun a few dropped down behind chairs but ALL FROZE IN PLACE. They didn't leave until they were ordered to do so. I give great credit to the woman who at least tried and if she had been in possession of ONE HOUR of training could have ended the situation. What hour? How to deliver an effective strike to the brachial plexus...hell, just smack him in the head instead of attack the gun. Most untrained people do not understand that it is the person that shoots, not the gun. Poke him in the eyes and he can't shoot! Attack the shooter, not the gun. Its like people who want to ban guns instead of jail people who use them...Damn...
This was a classic case of "Sheepole" in in-action. Do nothing, talk, maybe we can reason with the crazy man. You can't reason with crazy, irrational people! There were so many weapons ready at hand if they just knew how to think that way. Put your hands under the table, push up with the legs and launch it at him while launching yourself along with it. He would never have seen that coming. Smash him into submission. Do something, even if it ends up wrong...but DO. Just don't wait to die saying "please dont do that...please".
Enough already...I will step off the soap box. The news said there were a lot of heroes in the room. There were no heroes...just a bunch of victims who weren't harmed.
Dave Spaulding

Hi, Mikey…

I’d best remain “anonymous” for business reasons...

I’ve thought a bit about this, and in no particular order, here are some comments:

1)      My first impression was being startled @ others reactions there, e.g. the lady going under the table when the gun came out.  People got low(crawled on the floor) when they were allowed to/told to by the gunman-exit.
2)      Many others have commented and they’re all good; but I would emphasize some individual thought and training to “breaking the freeze”(can’t remember who came up w/that-wasn’t me, but I wholeheartedly agree w/it!!!).  The old adage, “Do something, even if it’s wrong” would seem to apply here.  Interestingly, perhaps some of the Board members thought they were doing something-talking,listening- or, felt(as one said) “helpless when he pulled the gun”.  DO SOMETHING!  MOVE! Yet another thing, it’s been studied (psychologically)...showing your back to an attacker, “encourages” them; move, if you can, facing the enemy.
3)      I’m continuing to flash on Cooper’s “Principles of Personal Defense”…it puts it all together:  Alertness, Decisiveness, Aggressiveness, Speed, Ruthlessness, Coolness/Calmness, Precision and Surprise…pretty much says it all.
4)      I liked/second Janich’s comments-I thought about a blow to the head from a fire extinguisher(stole that from Clint Smith).
5)      The observations about the perp’s shooting all valid; but it seems the rescuer’s first shot was low and left(judging from the reaction),too.   AND, many shots from a handgun to end it (and, in the end, as we’ve often seen reported, the perp offs himself).
6)      It occurs to me the Marines are pretty good at this –ATTACK, NOW!

I like your Sweetie; tell her this if you like:  have a means of defense/offense-gun, knife, ballpoint pen, whatever, and make the decision beforehand to use it, if you can.  Failing that, RUN!  And if you get trapped- FIGHT!

It’s how I’m trying to teach my daughters.


The Last Airport Scone...

...for the year!!!

More when I get some updates from the Usual Suspects and I want to quantify my own thoughts. Had some spare time yesterday and worked on TBD/Survival...may have a way for you guys to participate! If I can make thus work, it'll be cool.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Florida School Board Shooting

This morning, after my Sweetie saw the Florida school board shooting for the umpteenth time, she came to me with a very thoughtful, very intelligent question. She also sits on an occasionally contentious local board, and her question was, "What do I need to learn from this event?" Hell of a question...such a good question that I decided to throw it out the "Usual Suspects," a group pf people who are not just my friends, but skilled, thoughtful trainers, many of whom have been there, done that and gotten a big collection of t-shirts.

I think these responses should be read by everyone, and acccordingly, I'm posting them here. I'll weigh in with my own responses in a different post.

First, here's where to see the video:

The Usual Suspect include Chris Edwards (Glock), Sammy Reese (American Handgunner), Walt Rauch (Founder, USPSA, IDPA, NTI, author, trainer), Mike Seeklander (U.S. Shooting Academy), Rich Grassi (The Tactical Wire), my friend Larry Johns at the local PD, Steve Comus (Safari Club International), Captain Dave Arnold (Founder, USPSA, LEO trainer), Dave Spaulding (Law Enforcement Trainer of the Year), Dave Biggers (XS Sights), Ed Head (Gunsite, Border Patrol), Chris Weare (Gunsite, LEO trainer), Denny Hanson (SWAT Magazine), Paul Markel (PoliceOne columnist, LEO), John Snow (Outdoor Life), Michael Janich (The Best Defense, Martial Blade Zconcepts), Rob Pincus (The Best Defense, I.C.E. Training), Sheriff Jim Wilson (American Rifleman), GenePearcey (Evil Roy Shooting School) and assorted other miscreants...

Here are their responses:

School boards, like other such organizations, can be the focus for high emotions and vindictive actions.  The lesson is to stay in Condition Yellow.  Where are the exits?  Where is the nearest cover?  What do you know about body language, especially the body language of upset, or disturbed, individuals? 
These are things that should be second nature for the defensive individual. 
Jim Wilson
I heard these comments while watching:

One comment from an attendee: "I felt helpless when he pulled that gun out"
Another comment: "If we think there will be a problem, we will have security at these meetings, we did not anticipate a problem at this one"

Key point:  Unarmed men/women are "helpless sheep".  I am to the point where I might consider ignoring a facility rule to stay armed, and prepared.  I recommend the same thing to my students.  I don't advocate breaking the law.....but I place my own safety (and that of my family) higher on a scale when I need to decide between staying armed or bending a rule.  

Second Key point: We have never been able to, or will ever be able to- rely on security, the police, or mommy and daddy protecting us all the time.  Self protection in the simplest form is individual for adults, and each of us has to understand that it is up to us, to protect US!

Until Then, Train Hard!
Mike Seeklander
Director of Training
U.S. Shooting Academy
Michael, we should all remember that "bad things happen to good people in nice places" and should act accordingly. Nothing will ever replace awareness, willingness and the ability to respond without hesitation. This said, let me think on this a bit and I will try to say something more profound. Later! Dave Spaulding
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

I'm humbled by the esteemed names on this list and I will try to be worthy of their company.
The biggest lesson learned from this or similar incidents is that only you can provide for your own safety.  Signs and placards announcing this buidling or that facility as a "Gun Free Zone" do nothing more than disarm the good guys and give the bad guys a target rich environment.    Always be armed.    Attached is a piece that I wrote entitled "School Shootings; You can't sterilize the world."   It explains my stance in detail.
All the best,
Paul Markel

The super did a fairly good job of verbalization. Note how he turns, blading his body toward the shooter. It's a bad idea if you're wearing armor and have guns, but this guy had pens and a 3-ring binder. For him, it makes a smaller target.

Ed Head pointed out that it helps to have an incompetent attacker if it can be arranged. That worked here. Round number one was "clutched" dropping the round into the desk top. Immediately, dimbulb drops the muzzle to the floor and contrives to jerk the trigger again. By then, the guard is inside.

Mike, has her [my Sweetie's] board considered having a non-uniformed guard inside the hearing room? One or more, depending on the crowd, could be "seeded backup," like criminal offenders use in armed robberies.

Finally, the first rule of a gunfight is have a gun. Preferably two, with spare ammo. It's better to be in a "shooting" than a "gunfight," but a gunfight would be preferable to getting under the desk and waiting to die.

Rich Grassi
A couple of thoughts:
If you're going to be in public you should learn to shoot (fight) and always carry.
An explosive, overwhelmingly violent counter-attack is a good thing.  When the brave lady smacked the bad guy's arm with her purse in an attempt to disarm him, all of the men present should have swarmed the bad guy and beat him senseless.
I'm told the pistol was a S&W 9mm.  I'm betting it was a DA/SA design and the bad guy was incompetent, as he jerked through his first shot (went low into the desk) then had a N.D. into the floor with his second shot when the trigger re-set to the SA mode. 
Ed Head
Sickened and disheartened, but not surprised, that the only person in the room with any "balls" was the lady with the purse.  The board members, instead of using the distraction to rush and subdue the perp instead sit there, apparantly comfortable with the gunman killing the grounded woman. 
Sheep live and die at the whim of the wolves.   Lesson:  Don't be a sheep.

Paul M
To me the most distressing thing in the video, aside from the brave woman armed only with her purse, no one did anything.

When the gunfire started, the members of the school board went to their knees behind the bench. I realize that few would charge the gunman, and in fact that may not have been the wisest course of action, but at least run instead of hiding behind the bench. If the nut job had had another firearm or reloaded before he was shot, he could have executed the members of the school board while they cowered in fear. This is typical of the “I can’t believe this is happening” mentality, shifting the mental transmission into neutral. The massacre at the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, TX in 1991 comes to mind...

It would be better to be shot in the back trying to escape, than waiting to be slaughtered. DO SOMETHING!

Stay low and watch your back,

Hi Michael
Chris Weare here. Probably the most expedient thing would be to have an off duty/on duty officer attend the meetings from now on. I'm not sure where the retired officer who shot the bad guy was at first but at least he was there for the finish. Of course you will get the usual if the board members were armed yada yada infinitum. Nice if they are up to date with their shooting skills and ready to shoot if needed.  The last being the most important " the combat mindset".
Just my thoughts use if you want.
Rich Grassi X ringed this; "Finally, the first rule of a gunfight is have a gun. Preferably two, with spare ammo. It's better to be in a "shooting" than a "gunfight," but a gunfight would be preferable to getting under the desk and waiting to die."
Never depend on anyone to defend you. "Disappointed" can easily become "deceased".
Walt R.

There are very few among us who make a worst-case scenario plan every time they enter a new room, situation or setting. I know I don’t. But if you didn’t have a plan before that guy pulled a gun, you better make one now because it is a very short leap at that point from “nut-job talking” to “worst-case happening.”
Whether you’re armed or unarmed the thing that stuck me is that there is abundant opportunity for distraction and action if you keep your head. When the room was being cleared anyone could have pulled a concealed gun and changed the situation. Even a simple swat with the purse took his focus away for several seconds. There was plenty of time to rush him, throw a stapler, run away, conceal yourself behind the desk and crawl toward an exit, whatever.
The only thing that isn’t an option is to sit there and do nothing.
I suppose if you were really forward thinking and sat on a public board like that you would get the members together at one of your first meetings and talk for 10 minutes about what you’d do in a situation like that but I don’t know whether any plan you came up with would stick in folks’ minds when the flag goes up.

John Snow
You folks are all making totally excellent points. About the only observation I can make, aside from agreeing basically across the board, is to note what the actual root of the situation was as it played out. It goes to HOW people process information, how quickly they process it and then, of course, what they do about it once they have processed it. Certainly the lessons of all offensive/defensive training is to take the time ahead of time to consider a wide variety of possible scenarios, come up with solutions, etc. That’s a programmed approach.

As we all know, the real world ain’t always like that. I have long subscribed to the belief that there are basically two kinds of people: predators and grazers. Predators, when pressed, will always do something (usually attack when in doubt). They are simply hard wired that way. Grazers will flee if it occurs to them, or freeze in place until the thought of running comes to mind (they can be paralyzed by sensory overload). And, since school boards tend to be comprised of “social” types of folks, they also tend to fall into the grazer category. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that they did what they did (or didn’t do what they didn’t do). What public groups need, quite frankly, is some hard-ass training.

There is a larger picture, of course, which some have alluded to. This was a school board meeting, but major harm coming head-on and at full speed is not unlikely anywhere or anytime throughout the world’s societies these days. Jim mentioned maintaining a yellow condition, which, of course, is good advice. But I suspect that for most of us, who probably are more predator than grazer, basic instincts probably kick in when needed (helped along by whatever preparations we happen to have made along the way).

For the others, about the best we can do is advise. But what we cannot do to any great degree is trigger the one, single most important thing for the grazers: Force them to be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. The thing we also cannot do for them is to convert them from linear thinkers to global thinkers. Hence, whatever level they may be able to achieve will always be limited by the speed with which they can process sensory input while going through all of the logical steps to get from Point A to Point Z. Global thinkers have the advantage of being able to skip all kinds of steps when necessary and deliver the ultimate answer instantly by going directly from A to Z. Which, I guess, is just another way of saying that the whole of society needs some good training so that even the linear thinkers can build-in the most advantage they can. Certainly such training would make sense in regular schools for all students, but I doubt it will ever happen because a lot of folks out there would rather surrender preemptively. Whatever, those are just some of my observations.

Steve Comus
And don't count on sheep.
Dave Biggers
V.P. Sales & Marketing
XS Sight Systems, Inc.
Several things jumped out at me after watching the video.
In our society women seem to be the ones with balls not men.  The lady with the purse is a great example.
If you are going to kill a lot of people with a firearm you might want to practice a little first.
If an authority says you may not have a gun in a certain place that is the exact place you will need it.
If a person threaten a person's well being and that person or others have the means to stop the attack it would be a good plan to do so at the first opportunity. Talking my way out would be my second choice if I had a weapon.  Shooting this guy at the first sign of his gun seems the best plan if someone in the room were armed. 
There is no better way to prevent injury to innocent persons by an armed bad guy than armed good guys at the scene.  It is the only thing that stands a good chance of succeeding most of the time.
This was a tough situation for a room full of people with no means of self defense.
The lady with the purse was brave but foolish.  She could have gotten everyone shot before help could get there.  Only one person was close enough and there was a very short window of time. Not good odds.
I think the board members did well in keeping calm and trying to calm the gunman.   Their best chance of survival was to try to keep things calm and the guy talking until help arrived from someone notified by one of the people who got to leave the room early which is exactly what happened.  The guy who offered himself to let the others go is a hero.  After the shooting started their best chance was for everyone to run like hell. Many would have survived.  
The best hope for all the board members would have been for one or more citizens to have been armed including a board member or two.
The argument for armed guards is without merit.  They can't be at every possible situation and if they were they would be the first to get shot.  As an example bank guards are not very effective. 
Also it makes you think about your choice of a defensive firearm.  It would have been difficult for anyone to get much closer than 10 to 20 feet to the gunman.  Aimed shots from a serious caliber weapon would have been called for for a quick stop.  Not the place for your two shot .22 derringer.  Take the same situation and add one more bad guy and even a 5 shot revolver looks bad.  Add darkness or low light and you have an even more likely situation. Now think about what you carry.
Gene Pearcey aka "Evil Roy" 
Good points.  I would say that you don't constantly make specific plans for every activity but what we need to do is to be alert, first and foremost and to make generalized plans (what if?).  You do that by first accepting there may be bad people in the world, you may have to deal with them, and it could happen today, right now.  You stay in yellow any time you are not in an entirely secure environment and are thus ready to move quickly into orange and red if need be. 
Ed Head
Diligentia Vis
The probability of a school board member being armed is off the scale.  They attempted a negotiation for a time and that served as a slight de-escalation of the gunman’s initial hostility.  The gunman went from complete control of the situation to letting board members talk.  However, they should have realized his refusal to answer them was a negative sign and that the fuse was getting short. 
The attempt at negotiation did allow security to move into a position to respond.  I’m sure security was notified by some of the people allowed to leave.  If the gunman made the decision to secure the room and retain all of those attending the meeting the alert may have taken much longer to get out.
Any public meeting can become contentious be it city council or school board.  The current economy moves people to desperate actions.  The responsibility for protection still devolves to the individual, as we have stated for years.  If you’re not willing to shoulder the burden yourself you  become prey to actions like this case.
Captain Dave Arnold
Director of Personnel and Training
Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail
I have to say my buddies pretty much nailed it. I have two things: First one is I use to do lot of EP (Executive Protection) Work.  I stayed away from anyone "famous" or who wanted a body guard because it looked cool. (I'm way to small for the tight tee shirt body guard type job) My handler is a retired DEA guy who got me some really good jobs covering the board of directors at one Fortune 50 company and one was a local hospital board that had a crazy woman elected and she caused all kinds of problems.  In my years of working with the higher end clients I made it very clear to them I would be rarely seen and never heard from UNLESS I thought something wasn't right and I required them to follow my every word. 

 Simply, my job was to see potential problems and make sure my client  was long gone before it happened. Granted most of my jobs we worked in pairs or or more depending on the venue or movement.  We as a team always had plans for every contingency we could think of. We all were in agreement that the guns we carried were to save our lives and those in need of protecting. We are not the secret service guys who wear vests and jump in front of bullets. The pay was good, but not that good.  

I think it was Rich who suggested  having plain clothes guys who are armed work the room. The hard part is fining "qualified" people. I've run into some crazy ass fuckers who think the one tour in the sandbox makes them qualified to do EP work. Also most retired LE guys are just a guy with a gun. A visible armed force is also a deterrent for potential guys like we saw in the video.

My second thought was this. What if every member of the board and those in attendance were lawfully carrying concealed weapons.... The nut job made his intentions clear by drawing his gun. The armed citizens respond by drawing their weapons and asking for compliance — "drop  your weapon".. When he doesn't and those who believe if they don't act he will kill or severely injure someone...(in fear for their safety and others) Use their weapons to gain compliance through accurate gunfire.... It might look like a firing squad, but they would all be justified... My question is this, would the "MEDIA" give it proper coverage or would they all be deemed gun crazy folks who shot the poor mentally disturbed ex-con who couldn't legally possess the firearm in the first place...

I don't leave the house with out at least one gun on me at all times.. Most times I have two...Paranoid — nope... I'm a prepared sheep dog.
Sammy Reese
Editor, FMG Special Editions
Carry Options Editor, American Handgunner
One other thing this incident highlights is the need for hardcore, practical empty-hand and improvised-weapon skills. Although the woman with the purse was courageous in her efforts, had she applied the same spirIt with better weapons and tactics, she could have been successful. We also need to train to "take the cheap shot" and not fight fair. Grabbing his head from behind, fingers deep in the eyes, while stomping the back of the knee would turn the tables quickly. "Tackling" and "subduing," as so often quoted in the press, are poor tactics.

Stay safe,

Mike Janich
Somewhere I heard the term "When Then Thinking." Basically it means the time to act is when the first chance comes into play or when you first think of it. The men saw the female coming, they saw what she was going to do, they had a split second to act when she acted. The closest male may have got shot but it looks like they could have over powered him and saved the rest of their lives.

Thanks for sending the video, I was going to go in search of it.

Larry Johns NPD

Free Brian Aitken!

Please take this opportunity to call Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey and urge him to pardon Brian Aitken, an honest man jailed on a bogus gun charge (listen to last week's podcast for the detils). Gov. Christie has said he will take action on the pardon before Christmas.

You can reach Gov. Christie's office at  609-292-6000. Please be courteous and wish the Governor and his staff a Merry Christmas. I had a long conversation today with the Governor's secretary who said there were lots of calls coming in. Our job is to keep those calls coming in.

Do the right thing, Governor.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Tough Ugly Job

From an OC Ad Department party a couple of weeks ago in California...the things I suffer for my art!

New seasons of SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE will be coming up end of this month...I think you guys are going to be really pleased with the "kicked up a notch" seasons.

AM hoping to get to a cowboy match this Saturday if the good weather holds. I'm going to take a couple of T&E guns out to the range as well.

I dropped off the slide for my Ruger SR9c with Dave Biggers from XS Sights last week to have a Big Dot Tritium XS system installed. I'm also thinking of overhauling a full-sized SR9 to see if I can get a sort of uber-service pistol, similar to what Robbie Barkmann has done with Glocks. Ghost Inc. is now making SR9 trigger bars, and my friend Dave Spaulding has great things to say about them. Wayne Novak has his sight system for SR9s now. Maybe a few nor changes on the grip...some minor alterations on the thumb safety might be in order.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tactical Varicam

-- Post From The Road

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Article I've Seen on the Internet in Years!

From Brigid at Home on the Range Blog, Things Women Will Never Understand About Men...I laughed out the whole thing, by all means:

Men are not really adept at shopping as we know it.

I admit it. I shop like a guy. I plan what I need to get, look at some reviews to see which is the best product and pick it. Then I walk into the store in a manner in which Clauswitz would be proud, cleverly avoiding people trying to spray me with cologne so I don't end up in sporting goods smelling like a Hollywood hooker. I see what I need, I grab it, (pillaging is in my blood), I pay for it, usually cash, and I quickly leave the scene of the crime.

So when you just surprise your mate with "honey would you go to the store and get eggs and milk" and he's sent into battle with no time for preparation, bombarded by countless displays that make no ergonomic sense and people shoving food and products at him with "want to try the new Kiwi Persimmon Pop Tart, now with antioxidants", he just wants to escape and as quickly as possible. Which is why he comes home with a case of beer, a bottle of olives and a birch tree.

Hardware and gun stores are different. Send him to one of those for just one small item and he'll come home with a vehicle packed tighter than the Clampetts truck on Beverly Hillbillies.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Secret Hidden Bunker Wild Kingdom

Saw a HUGE herd of Elk up near the Secret Hidden Bunker when we took Alf the Wonder Beagle on her walk...easy 50 and maybe as many as double that. Alf, of course, had to be restrained to keep her from bringing down one of the young bulls...she gave her savage war cry, "Arf!" Whichn in beagle translates to, "Are you BACON?" Walking the trail three big cow stragglers jumped the trail, then stood there looking at us. I figured the LCP was a little light for that mission!

We also so a beautiful red fox in full winter coat, noshing down on a squirrel. No kangaroos, though...

Meanwhile, Back in the Tundra...

It's snowing sideways...have to say it was great to have a few days that didn't involve snow shovels and Michelin Man outerwear.

RE: my last post, the Scrambler at GUNSITE has eaten my lunch with any number of guns over the years. I like it as a baseline because it has steel targets from (I think) 69 to 110 yards, with shooting positions from offhand to prone. It's a very simple course — run there, shoot that — but surprisingly challenging. I guess the best thing to say about the course is that i have learned something new about my shooting every time I've run it.

I'm a big fan of the lever gun as a defensive tool (I thought you all knew!). In fact, one of my RATs, readily accessible tools, is a Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum, loaded with Black Hills 240-gr JHPs. Couple of years ago we did a SHOOTING GALLERY on using the lever gun in a combatives context. We had another one scheduled for this year, but at the last minutes Marlin had some issues. We'll definitely be doing lever gun combatives for 2012 SG. BTW, if you're interested in making a few minor changes to make the lever gun even more useful, check out XS Sights. They also offer a couple of rail systems for for both traditionally mounted and scout mounted scopes on the Marlin.

One of these days I'll set up my house Marlin for a scout-mounted red dot...maybe a Trijicon with a red "donut" reticle which I've found to be very very fast to acquire. I've been a fan of the scout rifle concept since I borrowed Col. Cooper's original Steyr Scout .308 to shoot the GUNSITE hunting simulation course years and years ago. I was very surprised at how quick I could acquire the target and get the shots off with that little Leupold 2.5X scout scope on Col. Cooper's rifle. Of course, the likelihood of me paying $2000+ for the Steyr was somewhere between slim and none, and Slim done left town!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Interestingly Enough...

...I just ran the Scrambler carbine course at GUNSITE with a bolt gun with a scope and I ended up 10 seconds faster than I dud a couple of weeks ago with an AR carbine and a Trijicon "donut" site...hmmmmm...I'll have to think on this....

In any case, Marshal Halloway and I did a great piece (we think) with Dave Spaulding that we should have upon DRTV soon...a must see on mindset...

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Great Day on the Range!

Sadly, can't show you any pictures since we're under a non-disclose, but we shot a ton of video (as well as a ton of OPA, other people's ammunition) for DRTV and we'll have it up before anyone else. There's nothing like having stacks of loaded magazines to fuel the urge to pull the trigger.

Spent a lot of time with my good friend Dave Spaulding talking about training issues,,,I'm going to give it some thought and probably cycle our conversation into an upcoming podcast. Dave is one of the most thoughtful trainers out there, and he has tons of real world experience...we looked pretty weird, out on a darkened range running through different "ready" positions, shoving each other around to see which one worked.

Briefly talked to a SureFire exec on the 60 and 100 round magazines whose pixs have been making the rounds on the Internet...couldn't get any sense of when the hardware would be replacing the vaporware. Soon, I hope...a suppressor, an Aimpoint Micro and a 100-round magazine means even the Mongol Hordes can't make it through your bedroom door with staggering casualties!

More tomorrow....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mega-Tired, But Hopeful

Still, though, all things are cool. I got a good start on drywalling the ceiling of the gunroom and I'm going to spend much of the week shooting new guns. How bad can that be?

I'm really excited that Wal-Mart will be putting in video monitors so we can get a personal message from Reichsfuhrer Janet Napolitano, urging us to watch our neighbors and be prepared to grope (or grovel) on command. I think this is a brilliant move, sort of like living in a Philip K. Dick novel. As a producer myself, I can't help but think that Reichsfuhrer Napolitano could make great use of those nude-o-scan pixs from airports across the country to enhance her message. And to Wal-Mart, how about a promotion where if you see your nude-o-scan body, or the nude-o-scan of your young son or daughter, you get 20% off your purchase! Man, I think that'll pack people in! I'm thinking of taking up collecting string, or learning all the various honorifics in multiple languages...[and where did that obscure cultural reference come from, kiddies????]

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 05, 2010

How to Use Up a Perfectly Good Weekend

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, coming home from the airport Friday I decided to stop by the AT&T Store in the People's Republic of Boulder and upgrade m creaking iPhone 3 (not 3s) to the iPhone 4.I had to do it at the store instead of on the Internet because AT&T, in the interest of "security," has a strange Catch-22...the upgraded phone has to be mailed to a street address. Up here at the Secret Hidden Bunker, there are no Pony Express want mail, you get a P.O. Box in some town. So I have a P.O. box. AT&T adamantly won't mail a phone to a P.O. box, since only terrorists use the nefarious things.

No big, I said, UPS, Fed Ex or use some other comman carrier to send me the phone.I said I had accounts with Fed Ex and UPS, so I'd just give them the billing number and away we'd go. Well, said the AT&T rep, you must be crazy, since only terrorists use comman carriers instead of the USPS, so despite the fact that I've been a customer for a decade, and AT&T has never had any trouble sending me my bill, no phone.

So I went to the store. Sigh...the nice guy and I talked about my need for the 32 gig phone, the big one, because of how I use it. If you've gone through this recently, you know it's a long haul. But I eventually went home with the newly activated phone. When I hooked it up to sync, I realized it was the little 16-gig phone. Back to the store Saturday, a long rounbd of explanations and, eventually, a new phone. The phone was acting right, but the store clerk, a different one from yesterday, assured me the phone just needed charging.

It did indeed charge a little, then crashed stone cold dead before it could sync with my Mac. So today it's back down the mountain for the next round of Fun With AT&T. Granted, I should have hiked over to the Apple Store, where they never seem to make these kinds of mistake. Unfortunately, I wanted to shift my old phone over to my Sweetie, which mandated the trip to AT&T.

This is so boring.

I did manage to hang some new drywall in the gun room, part of an upgrade I've planned for the winter. When I get back from PRoB, I'll finish that up. Looking forward to THE WALKING DEAD tonight...since the Sweetie's not home I can watch it on a Real Television rather than the iPad (admittedly a great screen, however small)/

Saturday, December 04, 2010

More Suppressor Thoughts

Sitting around this morning watching SHAUN OF THE DEAD and dry-firing...I seem to be on a big zombie kick, but the dry-firing helps me stay prepared. I've been doing a little more thinking on the suppressor issue. My commenters are correct in that many jurisdictions where suppressors (and other controlled items) are legal for civilian ownership, it is hard, ne: impossible, to get the necessary law enforcement sign-off.

The ATF paperwork requires fingerprints, passport-type photo and a letter from law enforcement. If your local LEO is antigun, no sign-off. There are some options in that case. The first is a "gun trust." The trust is able to acquire Class 3 stuff without the fingerprints or CLEO sign-off. Ditto for corporations, including Subchapter S corps. Do I need to tell you that you need LEGAL ADVICE before you proceed down any of these pathways?

I also want to be clear that suppressors should be removed the 1934 Firearms Act. They are safety devices, not "tools of assassins" or any of the other crap they've been saddled with by Hollywood and mediocre mystery writers ("silence" that revolver, dude!). To me, the fact that we now issue AR-15/M4 carbines to law enforcement knowing that the officers will suffer permanent hearing damage if they touch that issue carbine off in a closed space...especially when the solution is simple, affordable and readily available.

There's also the issue of access to places to shoot, especially in urban areas...oftentimes the critical issue is noise, and, hey, we know how to fix that (why rub an ranges in France require suppressors).

I realize we have a long way to go, but I think if we decide this is an important issue I think we can make some headway.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Bachelor This Weekend

My Sweetie is in California visiting relatives, so I'm batch'ing it...that means I'll probably lock myself in the basement and pull the lever on the Big Blue Machine. When we landed in Denver this AM, it was warm and sunny, and I momentarily entertained going to Cheyenne to shot tomorrow's cowboy match, but a quick glance at the weather app convinced me I was wrong. I hate to shoot any match when I might inadvertently touch the gun and stick to it.

We hammered ut some ground rules for SHOT Show TV while I was out in Cali braving the freeway system. I'm also really excited about a couple — actually 3 — of Internet projects for 2011, which I'd rather not go into in detail until all the "i's" are crossed and the "t's" are dotted.

This week we also started filming for GUN STORIES...every one of our interviews went great. We're working out the logistics of posting the entire interviews on-line when the series starts running.

Interesting piece in a Texas paper on the boom in suppressor sales:

"Nationwide, more than 22,000 of these noise suppressors were sold this year -- 9 percent more than last year -- and the most were sold in Texas for at least the third year in a row, according to statistics released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation..."

Suppressor manufacturers are telling me there's more interest than they've ever seen before, both from LEOs and civilians. I think that's great...more and more people are catching on that America is the only country with a psychosis about mufflers. I've noticed, however, that in New Zealand rimfire suppressers have "soared" in price to as much as $100. I'm going to push NSSF pretty hard on calling for suppressors to at the very least be moved from the $200 transfer tax, same as machineguns, to the $5 AOW tax. In a sane world, suppressors would be immediately "decriminalized" and promoted heavily as the safety device they are. I'm also going to talk to the big suppressor manufacturers and see if we can come up with a common campaign.

I'm setting up a "house carbine," a la Ed Head's flattop AR, suppressed and sighted dead on at 15 feet with an Aimpoint Micro. It is a dedicated tool for home defense. I've got a SureeFire suppressor in the works.

Since I'm Home Alone, Ill catch up on THE WALKING DEAD — my Sweetie is a "ZA," zombie-adversive. I'm definitely going to miss SONS OF ANARCHY, which had it's season finale Tuesday...hell of a piece of television! I watched it twice.

I got in a bunch of 180-gr RNFP .44 bullets for the .44 Russian experiments. I'm going to Trail Boss powder and fiddle around with some light loads for the S&W Break-Tops. That'd be fun to do tomorrow if the predicted snow materializes!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I'll Be Back in the Saddle Soon,

Honest. These 12 hour days and the travel schedule have me off blogging. He'll, the Sweetie and I had to stay up until the wee hours to get the Christmas tree up!

Promise, I'll be back to a regular schedule soon!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Need Sinus Transplant

Sorry for the light post-Thanksgiving usual I'm cleverly using my time off to suffer through my endless travel head cold. And, as usual, I have managed to transfer the virus to my Sweetie, who has been suffering piteously. I've spent my time reading Patrick O'Brian and studying up for my first set of interviews for GUN STORIES early next week. I had hoped to have a major announcement about GS by now, but "negotiations are still under way."

I'm also headed out to OC for a day next week to talk about changes in the gun culture and its implications for 2011, sort of an expansion of my Gun Culture Ver. 2.0 concepts. Based on preliminary sales figures from 2010 and talks with industry execs it's safe to say that self-defense/concealed carry are unequivocally the primary drivers of the market. The big trend for 2010 is the bigger than expected successes of shooting competitions on television, led by TOP SHOT on History and 3-GUN NATION on Versus. I hear channels are scrambling for more shooting programming. I think this is part and parcel of the "normalizing" of firearms ownership and use in the short, we're winning the cultural war as well as the political and legal war. If we continue to consolidate our cultural gains and continue our successes in the legal/political arena — especially in the wake of this month's midterm elections — 2011 may well be the year the put the final nails in the coffin of the already largely irrelevant "antigun movement."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Answer to Many Questions

Steven Ross 2007 Chorro Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir, and I don't even like Pinot! What a great wine!

Recipes? We don't need no stinkin' recipes! But if you do, 12 ounces cranberries, 1 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace). Mix cranberries, sugar, spices and a little bit o'bourbon in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Keep at boil for a couple of minutes. Place mix in casserole pan and place in 350 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes. Take out of oven, add bourbon to taste (at LEAST 1/4 cup!). Chill before serving.

Don't give it to the kids...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

On this bitterly cold morning at the Secret Hidden Bunker, I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. In the wake of the tremors that have rocked our country over the last couple of years, I hope we are all first and foremost thankful for American exceptionalism, that we live in a country where dreams can be cast large and amazing futures can still be spun out of air and faith.

So have a bright and shiny Thanksgiving, one and all!

Me, I gotta go make some bourbon cranberry sauce...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Quick Thanksgiving Reading Catch-Up... opposed to "ketchup," a survival food at my Mom's Thanksgiving dinners. My Mom once gave everyone but me food poisoning with a casserole of warm mayonnaise, Velveeta and canned English peas. I fed my portion to her dog, who threw up. HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY, one and all!

I just received a reader's copy of Steven Hunter's latest Bob the Nailer, DEAD ZERO, which should be out in a month or so:

I'll give you some "sneak peaks" as soon as I start reading!

In our "guilty pleasures" file, I spent my head cold convalescence reading my good friends (and regular DRTV contributors) Jerry and Sharon Ahern's latest novel, WRITTEN IN TIME.

Devoured it in two nights! No, it's not great literature, but it has time travel paradoxes, guns, cowboys, tanks, corsets and Teddy Roosevelt...hey, how much more can one ask?????

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Eyeball Alert

So I get the new lens in my left eye first week of January...hopefully that will be the end of a long, long haul. I got a new lens in my right eye a little over a year ago after losing most of the vision in that eye from complications of botched dental surgery. Cataracts developed in both eyes.

The cataract in my left eye couldn't be removed at that time (plus doctors are hinky about cutting on both eyes at the same time, and hey, I'm good with that!).

Has been an interesting journey for my shooting, as I've chronicled looking forward to sporting clays for real! I'm okay now in good light, but in lower light I just can pick those clays up.

We'll see (I profoundly hope so! LOL!)...