Friday, January 01, 2010

My New Year's Resolutions

I considering "rolling in poo," but finally decided to keep it short, sweet and better smelling:
1) Shoot more
a) Move myself up as a cowboy action shooting competitor.
b) Get a grip on long-distance shooting with the .50 BMG (and reloading for the Big .50).
c) Take the GUNSITE 250 class again, this time with a compact semiauto.
d) Start swaging bullets.
e) Take a rifle class with an FAL.
f) Finally learn how to fit a 1911 barrel.
g) Take a sporting clays seminar so I don't humiliate myself every time I shoot with Larry Potterfield.
h) Get an old Ruger .357 Maximum, which I profoundly do not need...but want...
2) Make a holster, which I've been assured "any idiot" can do...speaking as a veteran "any idiot," I think it's a crap-shoot.
3) Get a new hat...I'm currently thinking a Herbert Johnson "Poet" fedora, also chosen by Indiana Jones and the greatest Dr. Who of them all, Tom Baker.
4) Do whatever is necessary to keep my Sweetie happy, because she's a far better person than I deserve and I remain at a complete loss of why she puts up with me.
5) Continue to walk the dog religiously.
Went to the range today to sight in my .44 Specials with a new cowboy load...although it's tundra-like out there, I thought we'd go to Cheyenne tomorrow AM to shoot a cowboy match, and I thought it'd be fun to shoot some real guns for a change.

Spent some time with several of the new Rugers as well. We've got videos of the Rugers, and you'll see them on DRTV next week. Am also trying to run down a 4th Gen Glock to play with...I'll be shooting one at the Media Day before SHOT, but I'd like one in advance. My little cherubs and seraphim tell me that the new 4th Gen guns in .40 Short & Weak have solved the persistent problems of failures-to-feed when the guns were fitted with a weapons-mount lights like the Insight or SureFire, which was giving Glock fits in police market.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Michael, UK-based Herbert Johnson indeed makes superb hats...if you want to look like you're packing an old break-top .455 Webley. However, the crown is so elevated on that "Poet" style chapeau, you will look positively hydracephalic. Instead, check out what "the movie hat people" are doing at in the LA area. Great stuff and great people!

Michael Bane said...

Amazingly, I was looking at the Baron "Cliffhanger"....wat do you think of that one????

MB, who shot like hammered crap today!!!!

Frank W. James said...

Michael: I want a 'Ronald Reagan' cowboy hat (or one like he always wore), where can I find one of them?

All The Best,
Frank W. James

nj_larry said...

Speaking of New Year's resolutions I took the time today to try and put in words why I have a right to defend myself. I've spent the last few days reading of terrorists, robberies, crime and all those evil things that men do. Kind of a crappy way to start out the new year. As the cold wind howled outside, the exercise forced me to think about it. I put it in words alright. Put it together and I am bequeathing it to all mankind (delusion of grandeur and round of applause please). I hope it makes other folks think also. I'm sure a lawyer would laugh at it, but it's good enough for me.

rangebag said...

Her ya go nj larry.

I needs a little reshaping to look just right though.

Anonymous said...

You WANT to play around with a Glock? I thought you detested them?

As to the lite problem, yes, the Glock's should work with weapon lites attached other than their own brand. But, call me a dinosaur, as I'm still not convince a handgun should have a flashlite hanging on it.

A Baby Glock 9mm is my next gun purchase, I think.

Anonymous said...

New hat is also on my list! Thinking of going to Standard Hat Works down in Waco, TX.


Mike M. said...

Try an Akubra. Great hats.

Michael Bane said...

Hate Glocks? Au contraire! They are the baseline guns...mayne the most reliable, easiest to shoot, most *bullet-proof" lead thrower ever invented. I've done stuff with Glocks that I would never even consider with most handguns...gather up a bunch of pieces, assemble them and then go shoot the gun in a match, no problems whatsoever.

I have 3 Glocks — the 9mm "family" of a G19, C34 and G26. I've carried the G19 on the road a Walt Rauch once noted, mid-framed Glkocks just fly through TRA checkpoints because they've seen so many of them.

That said, I'll repeat something I've said on the podcasts...plastic pistols simply don't *move* me, for lack of a better word. Too much time shooting 1911s and single action cowboy guns, I suppose. For day-in-day-out work, I don;t see a huge difference between any of top-end polymer-framed service pistols — Glock, S&W M&P, SR9, XD, FNP, SIG. It's more a question of which combination of features you prefer.

I shoot the Ruger because, first off, they have supported all my efforts for many many years. My Sweetie says I am loyal to a fault...maybe so. I also like the 1911-ergonomics style grip, the manual safety and the fact that when I wnet through the GUNSITE 250 class I shot it as well as a 1911., excuse me...IF the SR9 Compact is released, I will seriously consider going from my Para Carry 9 LDA to the SR9c.

But if you want to make my heart go pitty-pat and you're NOT Sarah Michelle Geller, I'd say go for a custom 1911 or a case-hardened .44 Special Ruger Blackhawk...


Michael Bane said...

Frank...that's actually a hard question...the general consensus is that the Reagan hat you'e talking about is a Stetson...this from the Fedora Lounge — "Looks to be a standard Stetson Rancher in Silver Belly but with a Tycoon crease instead of a Cattleman crease. Here is it in Cattleman crease." Here's the hat in felt:

The Reagan Library offers a special Reagan cowboy hat made by Stetson:

I have a magnificent straw Rancher from Montecristi in Santa Fe:

Dude, this hat would look great on you!


Anonymous said...

I'd go with Baron's "Dillinger". Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Making a holster is a great new craft to learn. If you want to try it, I'd recommend buying a "Speedy Stitcher", if they're still sold new. That's the little scratch-awl shaped device that fits in one hand. It has a bobbin inside that feeds the thread to the needle and you manually add the "bottom" thread, just as a sewing machine would do. They've been around since I was a kid and that was just after they invented dirt. They show up a lot at gun shows, and especially at primitive "rendesvous" meets. I pre- DRILL my holes for the needle since "gun leather" is stiff and thick. Drilling also helps guarantee straight and uniform seams. The great thing about using hand tools is that things happen slow and making mistakes is a lot harder than doing things under power. There are many thread choices, but the Speedy Sticher stuff is top-shelf. It's already waxed and as tuff as most thread found on commercial holsters.
To shape the leather, you can use steam from a kettle, or by wetting it, then forming it. Drying the leather sets the shape. I use wooden forms that are easily whittled-up. Once the leather is formed, apply a good conditioner such as Lexol, as it won't generally spoil your steam-set shape. You can buy leather from some of the primitive muzzle-loading supply houses.
I'm working on a unique design holster that no one else sells to my knowledge. Who knows where that will lead.
Good luck.
Life Member
P. S.: I'd like to find a Ruger Blackhawk in 38-40, with the 10mm conversion cylinder. Then, I'd like to whittle it down to the size of a "sheriff's" model and put a birds-head grip on it. That'd be cool to me, anyhow.

Sadltrmp said...

Michael, When it comes to hats you need to buy a "real" hat.
I don't know where you live in CO, but you should come to the WESA market at the merchandise mart in Denver this month. You have to be a dealer in the western wear or tack business to get in, but I know somebody who can get you a guest pass "wink, wink". Or I'm pretty sure a press pass would get you in probably with less restrictions than a guest pass.
There you can see the complete line from manufacturer's such as Stetson, Bailey, American, and my favorite Atwood. And Rich Rand has a booth there too as he does sell some wholesale.
I sell and reccomend Atwoods, great hats from a great Texas family.
But if you go the price of a custom you'll only feel the "pinch" when you pay for it, once you own it you'll never regret it if you wear your hat at all! I have an O'Farrel that cost me a weeks wages 15 years ago and it may be a little out of style, but it's still a super comfortable hat to wear and looks good too. A really good hat just gets better the more you wear it, and will stand up to regular cleanings.
The best hats are made from 100% beaver fur felt and will turn as much water as a good rain coat and retain their shape.
Do not buy a wool felt hat if you ever expect to wear it out when it may rain, and don't leave one on the rear window of your car unless you have no desire to wear it again,cause it'll curl up and shrink (better hats will do the same in the heat of a back window, but not quite as bad)
Most manufacturer's also make less expensive hats from bodies that the felt is partially european hare (rabbit fur) which doesn't hold up to the weather as well as beaver fur.
The X's in a hat refer to the quality of the felt, with the highest number designating pure beaver fur felt, ultra premium hats are made with high percentages of belly fur in the felt.
BTW When it comes to X's you can't have too many!
Hope this helps,

Will Fennell said...

Assuming you will be at media day before ShotShow? If so, come by the Beretta shotgun range, and I'll get you started on your sporting clay rehabilitation program. The best part is of course free ammo.....

Will Fennell

Leslie said...

Michael, John Bianchi and the folks from his shop (Frontier Gunleather) teach a 3 day holster making class in Wickenburg AZ in February...see info here if you're interested:
It's a great class and he gives you several patterns to work from in the future.

Michael Bane said...

In addition to the Montecristi "Rancher,"
I have 3 Ritch Rand cowboy hats...a "Gus" in charcoal, a lighter colored "Sporting Clays" and a "Western Derby" that Ritch cooked up after one of our conversations. I've got an old brown felt Seratelli "Cattleman" that has been a real workhorse over the's been soaked through at least 3 times I can remember, had been blown off, bounced around, stepped on and lots of things I'd prefer *not* to do to a Rand hat. The Seratelli has acquired what folks here in rural Colorado refer to as "character."

Would love to have an Atwood one of these days! Doesn't WESA conflict with SHOT this year???

And thanks for the tips about the little stitching awl and the Bianchi class! I have sat down with John Bianchi in about 100 years, and that really sounds like a fun time...


PS: New Rugers when I get up tomorrow!

Frank W. James said...

Michael: Thanks for the info. I looked at the Reagan Library products and they don't match the hat I'm looking for.

See ya at Shot...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Sadltrmp said...

WESA is Jan 15 thru the 19th.

Anonymous said...

The Shooting Wire trumped you on the new Blackhawk and GP100 in 327 Federal and the SR9 compact.

You slept too late.

Eric Schaffer said...

Now you’ve done it. I grew up in England in the 70's so Tom Baker is the Doctor Who near and dear to my heart but truly objectively David Tennant is by far the best.
It’s ironic that as much as I watch your shows, listen to the podcast religiously, and read this blog that my first ever comment is non-gun related.