Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good Match!

Finished up Winter Range today and am extremely please...essentially I shot all 12 stages "clean," that is, no misses, with 11 stages in the mid-30 second range and one stage drifting all the way up to 41 seconds. Probably the best and most consistent cowboy match I've ever shot...I think it was because of Marshal Halloway and SG/COWBOYS Producer John Carter (not to mention my Sweetie) pushing me hard.

Check out the excellent reporting from Paul Erhardt on Winter Range over at DRTV. Here's an action shot of me painting a target:

Look at that wrist work!

I also really like Paul's holsterpalooza...check it out! BTW, the buffalo rig is mine, from Ted Blocker. My match guns (as you know, I think) are .357 Ruger Blackhawks overhauled by Cylinder & Slide; the rifle is an 1873 Cimarron/Winchester clone with work by Long Hunter, Jim Finch; the shotgun is an old Chinese Winchester '97 clone built by Coyote Cap.

Thanks, all!

BTW, interesting article in Business Week on, of all things AR-15s:
Rambo Rifles for Weekend Hunters
The "Modern Sporting Rifle" is a hot seller. Please, just don't call it an assault weapon
For generations, rifle models first used by soldiers have become profitable sellers in the domestic market. The 1903 bolt-action Springfield adopted by the U.S. Army in World War I begat the wooden-stock rifle carried by generations of deer hunters. The higher-capacity Garand issued to troops in World War II also spawned versions used to hunt big game.
The modern sporting rifle, assuming the label sticks, traces its roots to the M-16 that first saw combat in Vietnam. The main difference between the military weapon and its civilian counterpart is that the Pentagon's version has the capacity to fire bursts of bullets with a single pull of the trigger. The cosmetically similar MSR fires only one round with each trigger pull.
Some of the confusion over these rifles stems from the tendency of gun-control advocates to refer to all of them —fully automatic and semiautomatic—as "assault weapons." 
Read the whole thing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Okay, Now I'm Worried...

...because I had an excellent shoot today...everything (including me) worked...I got through some stages I was worried about, and I managed to overcome one potential disaster and still finish clean with a stage time in the low 30 seconds...4 more stages, then it's Miller Time!

I had a great conversation with Gary Keift at Dillon Precision today about (and don't mention a word of this to anybody, I swear!) doing a steampunk match...I mean, why not? Make it .22 LR, costuming required, real action shooting stages...John Carter and I agreed to film such a thing, as long as I get a decent set of goggles...more as it develops...

I'm reading BONESHAKER, a steampunk novel nominated for the SF Nebula Award as best novel of the year. So far, it's very good.

And speaking of critical issues, it turns out that zombies have rights...from Yahoo:
They're said to utter little more than an occasional groan, but zombies -- the blood-drenched monsters of Hollywood "B" movies -- still have a right to free speech, a US court ruled this week.
An appeals court in the northern US city of Minneapolis, Minnesota on Wednesday allowed a group of zombies -- or rather, several protesters costumed as such -- to press ahead with their lawsuit against police who arrested them for disorderly conduct.
The appeals court overturned a lower court in finding that the group of seven "zombies" had been wrongfully detained during a 2006 shopping mall protest against consumerism.
Remember, on zoms only headshots count!

I'm really halfway thinking of going from my Blackhawks to replica Taylor S&W Model 3 break-tops in .44 Russian...they're too kool for skool!  The break-tops have always fascinated me....they only reason the S&Ws didn't become the "Gun That Won the West" was because they cost so much more than Colt Single Action Armies. Thoughts?

I've also decided to try carrying the Ruger SR9c 9mm for a few months now that I've got a lot of rounds through the gun. Right now, the only holsters I can find for it is the Galco Yaqui Slide...they're nice holsters, but I'm not crazy about slide holsters because of the danger of popping the gun out of the holster when you sit down...not as big an issue with shorter slide guns. I'll let you know how it goes.

BTRW, in case you missed it this AM, here's the USA TODAY cover story on McDonald v. Chicago...the oral argument are next week, and as I mentioned DRTV will be covering them hot and heavy. Check out the absolutely moronic arguments form Brady and the Chicago School wonder we have a President who has no idea what the Constitution says!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

So Far, So Good...

Today's shooting went exceptionally well (which, of course, frightens me for tomorrow!)...although I have to say this primitive laser sight for single actions, courtesy of Cemetery's Gun Blob, would have definitely been helpful.

My strategy tomorrow is to do more of the same, which seems pretty reasonable until the first shot is fired.

Also spent a little time this afternoon with the execs at Taser down in Scottsdale...they have the unequivocally coolest office building in the world, designed by science fiction movie fans ("That third floor walkway is, like, where Luke fought Darth Vader"). No wonder Tasers look like phasers!

Signing off for tonight...wish me luck tomorrow!

PS: Brainlessly ordered a new hat, an Indiana Jones-styled fedora from Colorado Mountain Hat Company in metropolitan Fair Play, CO. This is because my arch nemesis, Captain George Baylor, had a spectacular custom Texas Ranger hat from the 18-way-back-there-00s.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Too Tired to Post...

...why, you might ask? Well, take a tip from a veteran road warrior and try not to lose the keys to your rental car...unless, of course, you really enjoy long rides in tow trucks...LOL!

Anyway, I shot the Wild Bunch at Winter Range match clean today, but far too slow...I started the match conservatively and somehow never found the faster gear. As a result I finished 45 out of 71. I start the main match tomorrow at hopeful I can, to borrow a phrase, kick things up a bit. The weather was just perfect, and — as is the standard for Winter Range matches — all the stages were excellent.

Saw the prototype Para USA "Wild Bunch" GI Expert .45 ACP, done in conjunction with SASS...almost as cool as my faux-1911A1 Para. Had some bumps with my ammo, but it's a proto...hope to get one of my own to wring out pretty quickly (predictably, my C&S faux-1911A1 Para ran flawlessly, except when I forgot to squeeze the grip safety...girly man hands...girly man hands...).

Too tired to write more, so read Frank James on PDWs...he is the only bean farmer in America with extensive experience in little things that buzz!

Video Podcast 022410

Recently, Nationals Parks became subject to state and local firearm laws and obviously these parks didn’t turn into Dodge City. Internet has been buzzing over BATF’s raid at the Sabre Industries facilities. Also…. is Bill O’Reilly a pinhead?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Of Course There's Nothing Wrong With Me!

I just spent a week in Arizona sniffing glue and dead cows...what didja expect?

We're a week off the oral arguments for McDonald V. Chicago in front of the Supremes on the incorporation of the Second Amendment into state law. We'll be cover the oral arguments extensively on DRTV, with commentary from David Hardy of ARMS & THE LAW, Dave Kopel from the Independence Institute and Jim Shepherd of the OUTDOOR WIRE, the same great team we used on Heller.

There's an interesting commentary in this AM's Reason Hit & Run titled Guns — Not Just for the Home Anymore:
Thus, if the right to defend yourself against assault should be honored by the U.S. government, there is little reasonable justification for restricting that right to only the home. And there is no civilized right more basic than self-defense; indeed, to make such defense more efficient and wide-ranging is one of the only legitimate reasons for government at all, thus making localities' attempts to bar its citizens from practicing the right effectively particularly pernicious.
The Firearm Blog notes a test in, of all things, WIRED magazine on body armor. The top-rated IIIA vest after 6 .44 hits was a surprise, the $344 Bulletproof Bodyarmor HQ vest. Something we need to look at for THE BEST DEFENSE.

Veteran competitor Caleb over at GUN NUTS MEDIA profiles the new S&W Pro-Series revolvers:
A complete set of the initial Pro Series revolvers from Smith & Wesson. From left to right: 8 shot 627 Pro w/Miculek grips, 5 shot Model 60 Pro, 6 shot 686SSR Pro. All three guns are chambered for .357 Magnum, although I doubt I’ll ever fire more than a handful of full house magums (unless my boys at Wolf can hook me up with a couple of cases of their .357 Wolf Gold) as the 686 and 627 are game guns and the 60 is a carry gun.

Read the whole thing. I'm still trying to figure out how to approach the major competitions this year. For Bianchi, I suspect it will be Production because I think that's the future of the sports.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mark XX1 Behemoth

It doesn't make any sense to me, either, but then again, few things do. Here are the specs on the Behemoth:
The largest landship deployed by the Nilean Army, this vehicle is the back bone of any assault on an urban centre. The main armament is an unwieldly 20,000mm recoilless cannon set into the forecastle. Only fifteen high explosive shells can be carried due to their incredible weight and size. Ten 300mm cannons and hundreds of smaller calibre guns dot the rest of the surface of this lumbering behemoth, which maneuvers on 4 gigantic tracks. Gas mileage is terrible, and the vehicle must be refueled every 5 kilometers, in spite of having gas tanks with greater volume than Olympic swimming pools.
The operation of the Behemoth is so complicated and difficult that an entire administration wing of 200 personnel is built into the superstructure. There are four fully staffed coffee shops on board, and 100 bathrooms (98 more than the Mark XX, which has greatly increased efficiency). Bathroom line-ups had been found to impair combat efficency.
Slave labourers are often used to carry out menial tasks aboard the vessel in order to free up trained personnel for combat, barrista, or bureaucrat duty.
The vehicles greatest drawback is that at 40,000 tons it often becomes bogged down, even on heavily reinforced asphalt highways; as such, it is often accompanied by a swarm of bulldozers, diggers, and 50 treaded tow trucks equipped with heavy cables.
The retail version comes with ammunition (10 20,0000mm rounds, 5000 of smaller calibre), 3 bulldozers, and a waffle iron.
Crew: 2,900 (plus 400 slave labourers)
Weight: 40,000 tons
Weapons: 20,000mm cannon, 10 300mm cannons, and hundreds of smaller calibre weapons
Armour: 300mm armoured plate (front)
Speed: 10km/h on roads, 5km/h cross country
Design: Cyclopean Motor Co.
Cost: 7 billion
Our Price: 30,000 USD

Paging T. Jefferson Parker! If this bad boy gets in the hands of the Mexican cartels, it's "GAME OVER, BABY! GAME OVER!" Pretty good plot for your next novel, heh? Your valiant if terminally stupid ATFE agent (having inexplicably lost the "B" but gained a vowel, an "E," over the certainly more mundane "ATF") struggles to keep sleazy gun dealers from buying a Behemoth at a gun show in Amarillo and smuggling it across the border to the Mexican cartels disguised as a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloon of Barack Hussein Obama!

Man, imagine the climactic final shootout after the Behemoth collapses the Bridge To Mexico (there is a Bridge To Mexico, isn't there...there should be...there was a Bridge To Terabithia) and the spunky but hot ATFE chicks armed with Ruger .22 Mark IIIs and full-auto .25 submachineguns that look suspiciously like extra-large Nestle Crunch bars (product placement opportunity!) join Our Hero to bring the fire to the cartel thugs armed with AK47s and cans of deodorant with Bic lighters! I'm thinking James Cameron directing, Cameron Diaz as all the spunky ATFE chicks, Martin Sheen as the Bridge To Mexico and Will Farrell as the Behemoth waffle iron!

I get 10% right off the top, BAAAAAAAAA-BEE!

PS: I liked the Buttons of Disillusionment, especially "Optimists Eat Babies!"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Clean Guns!

Scrub-a-dub-dub, all our match guns are squeaky clean! I am sorry I swore off dishwashers.

I'm sorry to report that I'm presently reading — albeit not very closely — one of the crappiest books I've stumbled into for a long time — IRON RIVER, by the normally reliable T. Jefferson Parker. To say this book sucks is an insult to "suck." Quick premise — there is an "iron river" of guns flowing from sleazy American gun dealers to Mexican drug cartels. As the book notes, the cartels have full-auto AKs and, get this, flame throwers, but what they really pine for are S&W .357 Magnum semiautos (really...could I make nonsense like that up?) and, pause for effect, Ruger .22 semiautos! Wow! Who knew? And the real punch line...a sleazy gun manufacturer (and, hey, anything that has "gun" in the phrase has to be proceeded by "sleazy," tight?) is getting ready to build, pause for effect, .32 ACP submachineguns for the cartels! Holy Skorpion, Batman! Civilization is at risk!

Anyway, Jeff Parker has always been presented to me as a stand-up "gun guy." Instead, he proves himself to be just another whining liberal. This book is nothing but an antigun propaganda piece, the same brainless drivel we put up with in the mainstream media. I made the mistake of buying this steaming POS...learn from me, little grasshoppers!

Okay, call it two thumbs down on IRON RIVER...

Okay T. Jeff, here's the gun the Mexican cartels are really salivating over, a BANANA BLASTER (courtesy The Firearms Blog)! That's right, T. Jeff....they have machineguns, flame throwers and rockets, but they depend on AMERICAN GUNSHOWS for access to fruit-based firearms:

Meanwhile, back in the Real World, I thought I might make Frank James cry. Frank, as you may or may not know, has this think for 10mm S&W 610 revolvers. One of my readers is offering this sweetheart piece for sale...

Sigh...wish I had the spare $1200 bucks he's asking! It's a beautiful gun!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Streets of Laredo" Saturday

Indeed, it's a lazy Saturday and I'm working my way through 5 hours of "Streets of Laredo," the television sequel to "Lonesome Dove." James Garner takes over the Woodrow F. Call role and does a very good job with it. Later I've got to clean some revolvers and tinker back together a Ruger Blackhawk I've had apart for repairs.

In the meantime, I've been pondering the Zimmerman Arms "tactical" .22 LR pistols based on the Ruger 10/22 platform.

What does it all mean, I ask? I'm not sure, I answer, but if rumors of a Munchkin revolution start circulating, I know where to go for the hardware!

"Eat hot lead, little minions of Satan!"

Next Monday, on George Washington's birthday, the regulations on carrying firearms in national parks change...essentially, the firearms regulations in the parks will mirror the firearms laws of the states the parks are in. Dave Workman of GUNWEEK tracks the usual antigun hysteria, such as these histronics from AOL News:
“...knowing the person next to your family at an evening campfire or on a ranger-led hike might have a gun will have a chilling effect...”
Right...parks will become Dodge City...yada yada. Come Monday, nothing will happens, as usual, except that we'll all be a little safer as another Gun-Free Zone bites the dust.

The "Gun Free Zone" poster is from the EVERY DAY, NO DAYS OFF gun blog, BTW!

Brother Frank James noted last week that the Spanish gun manufacturer Astra is back, except that now it's Swiss:
It's what I found on page 25 [of the German gun magazine VISIER] however that has me excited. It's a full page for ASTRA, a gun company that is a historic Spanish small arms manufacturer, only now they are located in Switzerland and they are manufacturing 1911 pistols and AR-15's of all things.
In it's day, Astra actually had some pretty cool guns...I remember having a .45  A-80 back in the day when Sig 220s were both unobtainable and ridiculously overpriced if you could get one. Shot pretty good, too. I'd still have it except that somebody wanted it more than I did and had a lightweight Commander to trade.

Friday, February 19, 2010


For all the kind words on the holster rig...the Mexican loop for the 1911 is not a cataloged item at Frontier Gunleather. Rather, it's a design Frontier partner Matt Whitaker, himself a very good cowboy action shooter, put together and suggested I give it a try. It came out much better than I could imagine. In terms of authenticity, the Texas Rangers, earlier adopters of 1911s, typically used Mexican loop holsters with the semiautos...lots of pictures in some of the books. The hammer strap is largely inconsequential...I've got the holster tension on par with a regular Blade-Tech kydex holster, although I will silicone it with KG9 before I compete with it (probably Wednesday AM at Winter Range...I need to do a lot of dry draws this weekend before I make a final decision).

I've got a couple of easier projects queued up — a pocket holster for the Ruger LCR and a belt holster for the S&W 296 .44 Special. My "big" project will be a double buscadero holster for my competition Blackhawks, but that's a major undertaking...uhhhhhh, I also promise my Sweetie a special belt...

I had dinner with John Bianchi Wednesday night, and we talked about the necessity for having a long-term strategy for progun forces...if we don;t every specifically know what we want and how to ask for it, we're unlikely to ever get it. He's going to be pushing the NRA in that direction, and I said I'd support any such effort. We also talked about the 2010 Bianchi Cup and the NRA's push to get that match back to the match John envisioned when he started the competition so long ago. Interestingly enough, Thursday night I had dinner with Scotty Moore, my old friend from NSSF and now the director of the Steel Challenge. I did emphasize to both John and Scott that I was no longer interested in televising race guns and/or professional shooters on SHOOTING GALLERY, because my viewers have made it very very clear that they're not interested...that's the thing about ratings....hard to rationalize around them.

OTOH, in a series of phone calls on the way home from the airport Marshal, Paul Erhardt and I laid the groundworks for covering the shooting sports the way they should be covered...more about that later...hopefully we'll have announcements in a couple of weeks. I'd like to roll out the product at NRA, along with bringing the weekly video podcast‚ which is now pulling huge traffic, out of beta and into finished form.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sabre Defense

Say Uncle is staying on top of the ATF raid on Sabre Defence in Nashville. Today Sabre issued their own press release:
NASHVILLE, Tenn., February 17, 2010 – Sabre Defence Industries LLC, an established manufacturer of firearms and weapon systems to the United States military, state and local law enforcement, and worldwide commercial markets, is fully cooperating with federal agents in an ongoing investigation into potential criminal misuse of certain non-saleable firearms produced by Sabre and purchased by some its employees. Sabre has received information that employee(s) involved in inventory control may have obtained and re-sold some items without appropriate licenses. Sabre is and has been cooperating with federal agents in this investigation.
Sabre has more than 120 employees in its Nashville plant. Sabre’s biggest customer is the United States military. Sabre products used by United States armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan include .50 caliber barrels and components of the M2 Browning machine gun, 7.62 mm mini-gun barrels, and M-16A3 and A4 rifles. Sabre is the only non-public company in the world ever to be awarded a contract for a military spec M-16 rifle. Sabre is dedicated to continuing to provide high quality firearms to the United States military, state and local law enforcement, and Sabre's commercial customers.
The Sabre raid comes just after Cavalry Arms, after months and months of fighting an ATF raid, announced they were getting out of the firearms business:
As you may be aware, we have been engaged in an ongoing dispute with the ATF for the past two years. While Cavalry Arms has at all times tried its best to run a lawful and honest shop, unfortunately, some regulatory compliance mistakes were made. We have now come to the point where we feel it is in our best interest to close our FFL and to cease all firearms operations. The owner of Cavalry Arms, Shawn Nealon, has elected to leave the firearms business and concentrate on firearms accessories instead. We are currently in negotiations with another company for that company to purchase the CAV-15 product line. Rest assured that any resulting purchase agreement will address the issue of providing service and support with regard to existing CAV-15 firearm products. We will continue to manufacture quality plastic components, grow our Medical products line, and work to bring new innovations to the relevant markets. Over the next several weeks we will be conducting a wind-down of our firearms manufacturing and FFL operations. Accordingly, please do not send us any firearms for repair or replacement. Instead, such issues should be addressed to the ultimate purchaser of our assets. Due to our limited personnel resources, during this transition/operation wind-down period, the final processing and shipping of firearm receivers already in our inventory will be our first priority.
We deeply appreciate your patience and understanding and anticipate that the relevant asset purchaser will begin operations in March of 2010. We sincerely thank you for your prior and ongoing support during these troubled times and look forward to better years ahead.
Finally, I made the mistake of listening to Bill O'Reilly this afternoon...what an ass...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finished Rig!

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DRTV's Weekly Video Podcast 021710

This week on the DOWN RANGE Video Blog, Michael sights some genuine UFOs — primers, fresh from the big Russian arms factories! He also looks ahead to 2011, the 100th anniversary of John Browning’s magnificent 1911, discusses what Colt, the godfather of the 1911, might be planning and looks at the upcoming Cylinder & Slide Shop 2011 Commemorative. For those not into semiautos, Bane notes the John Ross/S&W Performance Center .500 Magnum is still available.

Reference links:

Steampunk Look; .54 Caliber Satisfaction!

Just the thing to open carry while wearing those too-cool brass goggles and Edwardian jackets, a blunderbuss from Osvaldo Gatto, the Argentinian arms maker (top of the hat to The Firearms Blog for the link). Hey, at US$700, cool you can actually afford!

He Tam...Steampunk 3-Gun!

Fuzzy Morning...

...was up until the wee hours trying to find a path across the great veldt of the Internet to get the Wednesday podcast to Marshal. Finally, after 4 or 5 tries I was able to upload tomorrow's DOWN RANGE Radio...there is so much we take for granted now!

YES, I will be speaking at the Second Amendment March in D.C. on April 19, joining Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Susanna Hupp, Kenn Blanchard (who just joined DRTV as a correspondent/commentator) and many others on the podium. You can see a video on the March here.

I'll also be the dinner speaker in lovely Lewiston, ID, the next week after Joe Huffman's Boomershoot. Hard to get me to shut up, apparently! If the dates works, I'm generally available to speak to pro-gun groups and can always email me at DRTV.

Gotta go play with glue and dead cows!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Michael's New WB Holster

In the works!

-- Post From The Road

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Phoenix Again...

Am trying to tap into the romance of modern air travel, but I have to confess it's eluding me tonight. Probably the heartburn from the airport burrito, but it could just be karma. Am in Wickenburg for the next few days for John Bianchi's holster-making class - something I've meant to do for'll see some of it on DRTV later this year. Waiting for my bag, and by extension my 1911, to show up. No snow, a big plus!

-- Post From The Road

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another...sigh...Gun I Don't Need Buy Want Badly

Somehow I missed this at SHOT, but Doug Turnbull is going to be producing a new generation of the classic Marble Game Getter:
The third generation Game Getter will be very similar in appearance to the original model, with18-1/2” barrels (.22 cal on top and .410 gauge on the bottom). It will have a folding sporting rear sight with windage adjustment similar to our current #95 rear sight, with modern peep tang sight with windage adjustment, and the original barrel band-beaded front sight. Additionally, the gun will be accompanied by a replica leather shoulder holster and shipped in a slide-top pine wood box just like the original.
Sigh...for reasons I don't fully understand I've always had a big jones for a Marble Game Getter, even though I don't actually have any game to get. I suppose I have to decide whether the game I don't want to get is worth the $1,995 it'd take to get it. It is beautiful in a way only things introduced in the early 1900s is beautiful. Maybe I should just be done with it and buy a pair of steampunk goggles, go 100% weird and pretend I'm Johnny Depp's older, poorer brother.

Did I mention I've been reading The Arms Room's on-going examination of early American .32 ACP pocket pistols? Sort of fits with my current mood...the closest I can come in Secret Hidden Bunker gun safes is a Nazi-marked Mauser HSc, which has its share of steampunk cool, doncha think?

A Thought for Sunday

From the great science fiction writer and technology-meister Jerry Pournelle's blog:

We used to learn these facts. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free. Now they are cliches -- but not less true for being ignored.

I am SO in the Wrong Shooting Sport!

From the Canadian Women's Biathlon Team Calendar...who says shooting sports are stodgy? Paging USPSA!

[Okay, so it's a sexist post...jeeeeez, cut me some slack!]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Get Well Quick You Decrepit Old...

...Farts...let's go with Farts...

First, my friend Bruce Gray thoughtlessly had a heart attack last week. Bruce is one of the greatest gunsmiths ever, a person who understands firearms on some kind of DNAS level. It's his second heart attack — his first was a few years ago at SHOT — and, luckily, he's going to be fine. Bruce, cut this nonsense out and get back in harness!

Second, Chris Edwards, one of our Regular Suspects and the Glockmesiter Hisself, just had his knee replaced. That's because he's old. I talked to him today and he was working on modifying his Combat Walker, which when completed will feature 2 Glock 18s fitted with bayonets, 33-round mags and high-definition television.

Seriously, both you guys GET OVER IT!

Satan's Minions Strike Again!

Another crisis in the former People's Republic of Kennedy's Seat as police seize not only a "cache" of weapons, but Instruments of the Dark Lord...from the Boston Globe:
Gregory D. Girard, 45, was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly storing several tear gas grenades and explosive pepper ball projectiles. He was also charged with the illegal possession of four police batons.
Just before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Manchester-by-the Sea police executed a search warrant at 23 Bridge St., police said in a statement. Girard faces four counts of possession of an infernal device and four counts of possession of a dangerous weapon. Additional charges are pending, police said.
Charged with "four counts of possession of an infernal device..." Wow! I wonder if the "device" in question was an Iron Maiden, as medieval torture devices were often referred to as "infernal devices."

Well, be that as it may, note also that this miscreant was also charged with illegal possession of four police batons." Police batons...aka sticks?

There are 3 important points to taken from this debacle:
1) Know the laws of your community! If it's illegal to possess a PR-24 or collapsable baton, tear gas or pepper gas cartridges, then DON'T POSSESS THEM! Especially when there are perfectly legal civilian alternatives.
2) If you're going to be a writer for even a dead-tree helpless pitiful giant like the Boston Globe, consider getting a dictionary, which will tell you that "infernal" is not a synonym for "incendiary."
3) You might as well get more guns and ammo, as anything more than 1 gun and 10 rounds of ammo is a "cache" and an arsenal.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More on Bigotry

RE: this AM's podcast...this is from Rob Allen at Sharp as a Marble:
And why my support for the Second Amendment is so strong. Jeff Soyer writes
It’s rare that I even bring up “gay issues” here, mostly because — and this might surprise you — I’m not all that interested in them. I have a gun. If someone wants to take issue with my being gay, I can present my own argument.
You can swap out "gay" with practically any other description and it works the same
* If someone wants to take issue with my being a woman
* If someone wants to take issue with my being handicapped
* If someone wants to take issue with my lifestyle
* If someone wants to take issue with my belief in God
* If someone wants to take issue with my belief there is no God
* If someone wants to take issue with my lack of pants
Seriously. If you have a problem with {X}, it behooves you to lay your case out for the public to see and discuss the merits of your issue. If you think your personal demons grants you the right to act out violently against those who disagree, well then be prepared for resistance.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Video Podcast 021010

In this week’s news, everything that is old seems to be new again – but in two completely different ways. Michael Bane covers the Rock River Arms’s delivery of the AR-15 carbines in .40 S&W to the FBI and the re-introduction of the Merwin-Hulbert revolver. He also comments on the upcoming Supreme Court Hearing – McDonald v. Chicago.

Pretty Good Day...

...when it comes to foraging for reloading supplies. I found 1000 pieces of .44 Russian new brass at Top Brass and 500 pieces of .327 brass at Freedom Arms (and had a nice talk with Bob Baker, who runs the joint and whom I missed at SHOT this year).

Getting Ready for Thursday's "Punch!"

Well, I'm getting out my colander self-defense helmet in anticipation of Iran's "devastating punch" scheduled for Thursday. Granted, I might not be so sanguine if the whack job running the country actually had a nuke, since they've been practicing low-angle missile launches a la the ONE SECOND AFTER EMP scenario for years. Since, hopefully, they don't yet have that nuke, I think the punch will be a continuation of the culture war against everyone in Iran with an IQ out of double digits.

And speaking of whack jobs, pressure is building for the East Palo Alto, CA, PD to step up and do something about their Detective Roderick Tuason, who posted this statement on a friend's FaceBook page after an Open Carry advocate carried an unloaded AR to a meeting at a local restaurant:
Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night! Should’ve pulled out the AR and prone them all out! And if one of them made a furtive movement… 2 weeks off!!!
"Two weeks off" is, of course, cop-speak for killing the person, shooting him or her in the back. FaceBook has pulled down the page, but Kevin Thomason's OAKLANDER blog has the complete exchange. He also has contact information for the PD. As Sebastian has noted in SNOWFLAKES IN HELL:
I have no problem with an officer exercising reasonable care when approaching armed persons, but I’m fairly certain in most other states, officers are trained in how to do this without having to prone and threaten every armed person they come across. In most other states, this would, in fact, rise to the level of a civil rights lawsuit.
This kind of comment is indeed inappropriate...let's go back to our discussion yesterday on bigotry and substitute a different group for legal gun owners in that comment: "Sounds like you had someone practicing their right to sit in any seat they want on the bus last night! Should've pulled out the AR and prone them all! And of one of those 'African Americans' made a furtive move...two weeks off!!!" "Sounds like you had someone practicing their right to hold hands with someone of the same sex last night! Should've pulled out the AR and prone them all! And of one of those 'alternative lifestylers' made a furtive move...two weeks off!!!"

Simple truth...yes, LEOs are held to a higher standard that the gossips on Entertainment Tonight...that's why they have the power of arrest. If that bothers you, I suggest you stay out of law enforcement. If you're incapable of not engaging in blood splatter fantasies against citizens exercising a Constitutional right, should you be on the street? I would say no.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Nothing Ever Changes!

So King, North Carolina, has a blizzard and what do they do? The usual:
Other restrictions include a ban on the sale or purchase of any type of firearm, ammunition, explosive or any possession of such items off a person's own premises.
The moral of this story is don't wait until a major social dislocation strikes to stock up on beans, bullets and band-aids. Regardless of the nature of the problem, you should never have to run out and top up a few things. This is the risk equivalent of going to a biker bar way out in the desert wearing a t-shirt that reads, "HARLEYS ARE FOR PUSSIES!" You know in advance how the story ends.

A big ole RAH RAH to Joe Huffman out at The View from North Central Idaho — and BTW, Joe, we will be filming at BOOMERSHOOT 2010! — for his relentless slamming of antigunners as "bigots." The right to keep and bear arms is indeed a right, and people who oppose a right are indeed bigots. Here's one of the examples Joe posts...tell me if you don't think this is bigotry in its most virulent form:
I'm sorry, I see you are still wearing your little weapon and strutting about like you are the rather doughy, bad-skinned king of the sand castle. Perhaps we were not clear? Shall we try it again?
Clearly, you are not a police officer. Therefore, the management, our employees and pretty much everyone within a 100-mile radius would very much appreciate it if you would put away that ego-fluffing man-toy that is designed solely to kill other living creatures and induce fear and ignorance as it regresses every hesitant advancement in the human soul back to caveman grunting lunkishness. Thank you again!
Oh, please do not misunderstand! We are all terribly impressed. It is so very patriotic of you to show off your little popper! Are you in a gang? Are you a drug dealer? Are you going to shoot some scary terrorists, Mr. pallid paranoid Constitution-misquoting videogame-addicted guy? Protect all of us here in the casual neighborhood coffee shop from those crazy liberals and their health care reform and organic pretzels? Thank you so much! But really, I think we'll be OK without your little display. Enjoy your frappucino, won't you?
Cute, huh? That little tidbit is from Mark Morford at SFGate. Interestingly enough, in the NSSF media program we worked with writers from SFGate, who were shocked that we had gay instructors on our team. Once they realized that we weren't the "pallid paranoid Constitution-misquoting videogame-addicted guy(s)" they thought we were, they did a complete flip-flop on guns. Interesting.

I also agree with Joe's standards on testing for fact, I used the very same technique when lecturing to journalism students and talking to big city newspaper editors — substitute a different group of people as the "target" in the piece...instead of "all gun owners are pallid paranoid Constitution-misquoting videogame-addicted guys"...substitute..."all Jews are pallid paranoid Constitution-misquoting videogame-addicted guys." As I told the "J" class, if when you read the second statement out-loud you feel queasy, it's bigotry plain and simple.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Hope I Die Before I Get Old...

Isn't there something profoundly depressing about The Who appearing on the Super Bowl halftime show? I can't even completely put my finger on it...I mean, in the end we all sell out...I've been trying to sell out for years, but nobody wants's kind of like listening to a medley of CSI opening themes...

The first time I saw The Who, they were opening for Herman's Hermits at a roller skating rink in suburban Memphis. When Peter Townsend kicked in the amps and tried to set his guitar on fire at the end of the set, I thought, "Henry the Eighth indeed! I may yet get laid this decade..."

There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

I wish they'd played Squeezebox...hey, that could be the theme song for CSI: Wisconsin!

Sunday Morning Brainless Mental Exercising

Slept late, then scarfed my Sweetie's Superior Mush...a wonderful breakfast, needing only a couple of Mimosas to be perfect. Sadly, I decided to forgo the Mimosas (of course, lacking orange juice and champagne, I wasn't exactly good to go) because I'm going to be spending some time in the gun room changing over my hapless Dillon 650 from .357 to .44 Special, which always takes me longer than I think it will. Perversely, I woke up this morning thinking about .44 Russian, as in the cartridge as opposed to 44 Bolsheviks getting together for a Party meeting. As you may remember, I have this strange and largely unfulfilling relationship with the .44 Russian, the father of the .44 Special (and, I suppose, the grandfather fo the .44 Magnum).

A few years back I got the idea I was going to shoot an ICORE revolver match with an S&W 629 .44 Magnum modified for full moon clips by master gunsmith Randy Lee. I would shoot the stubby Russians in the gun which should reload every bit as fast as a .45 ACP S&W 25/625. I thought...

Well, the plan was derailed by factory .44 Russian cowboy ammo, which is loaded to such low velocities that even normally clean burning powder leaves a lot of residue, which clogged up the star on the finally-tuned competition revolver. Eventually, I used .44 Specials loaded with relatively clean burning VV. If I had had more time, I certain I could have tinkered around a .44 Russian load that would have worked perfectly. As I mentioned a while back, I've been shooting Wild Bunch matches with .44 Specials either in a Legacy Sports/Puma '92 clone or recently with a Cimarron/Winchester 1866 clone.

Of course, all this .44 Special shooting triggers the ole .44 Russian gene again (as I think I've mentioned). I can get a special carrier for the 1866 from Adirondack Jack that'll allow me to run the Russians and keep the .44 Special carrier for when I come to my senses. I could, of course, shoot the shorter Russians through the .44 Special Blackhawk. OTOH, I could launch into some nitwit search for a .44 Russian revolver, either through conversions (Hamilton Bowen likes the .44 Russian) or replica guns. A quickie Internet survey showed me I could get a Taylor/Uberti S&W Number 3 2nd Model snubby, an assortment of S&W Russian clones with the weird trigger guard hook, a Cimarron 1972 Open Top Navy and, amazingly, the hope of a (pause for big drum roll) Merwin Hulbert.

Well bless us all! M-Hs are among ther coolest revolvers ever made. Here's the low-down from Jim Supica's Armchair Gunshow (and Jim is the Great Living Authority on M-Hs):
The Merwin design is unique and required extremely precise machining and hand fitting. The twist open design allows for selective, simultaneous ejection of empty cases while leaving loaded rounds in the cylinder. To open a Merwin Hulbert, the gun is held in the right hand with fingers of left hand wrapping around top of the barrel,. The left thumb pushes the button on the front bottom of the frame backwards towards the trigger guard. The barrel is then twisted towards the left, (which would be clockwise as viewed from the rear of the gun) and pulled forward. This allows ejection of empties. If disassembly is desired at this point, the button on left side of barrel is pushed in and barrel and cylinder slide forward off of the frame.
One feature unique to Merwin design and evidence of the remarkable machining, which is highly prized by collectors, is "suction." On particularly nice examples of Merwins you will find that when you have gun open and barrel pulled forward, if you release the barrel, the barrel and cylinder will pull backwards towards frame as if spring loaded. No springs are involved; it is simply that the close machining of the parts creates a suction which tends to pull the gun back together.
I love the .44 snub M-Hs with the "skull-crusher option" on the grip. I dropped a note to the company this AM to see where they are in the resurrection...they are taking orders. which may or may not be a good sign.

So you're thinking, "Ah Bane and his weird pistols and pistol caliber carbines! What a quaint affectation!"  Well, from a new FBI solicitation for, uh, .40 S&W ARs:
There you are! What's old is new again!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday PM...

...and my Sweetie is in the kitchen making mush for tomorrow me on this, she makes world-class mush. If there was an Olympic event for mush, we'd have gold medals hanging all over the house. I go for the classic Southern presentation — a little salt, a little of that wretched substance that passes for faux butter and there you are! My Sweetie, having roots in Indiana, insists on putting pancake syrup on hers, which, I believe causes Martha Stewart to spotaniously belch, regardless of where La Stewart may be or what she is engaged in doing...sort of that bell ringing, angel gets wings thing.

Anyhow, today's cowboy match in Cheyenne went pretty well...I shot .44 Special today — 2 Ruger Blackhawks and a Cimarron/Winchester 1866 clone, with Winchester Cowboy factory 240-gr/750 fps loads. I'm a little more tentative with the heavier caliber guns, but I'm starting to get a sense for how they run, which is pretty quick. I dropped a pistol shot on the last stage, once again proving categorically that if the sights aren't on the target when you pull the trigger, it's highly unlikely the bullet is going to hit the target.

On the way home we saw 2 spectacular moose (Mooses? Moosi? Moosae? Moosey-goosies?). Cool!

I'd like to talk a bit about the previous post and the of the things we all talk about is "best," what is; what isn't; etc. It's a question we deal with weekly on the television shows and in all our media, and it is a damn hard question to answer. That's because "best" in the context we're talking about doesn't have a single set of objective criteria. Rather, "best" is a purely subjective judgement, with criteria based on the individual and the individual's use of the product being evaluated.

Example...I recently bought a 7.62/.308 semiauto rifle after agonizing for, like, years. In the course of my  endless fretting about which rifle, I shot all of the ones I could lay my hands on...M1A, .308 Garand, FAL, H-K, CETME, FNAR, a proto SCAR Heavy, AR10, some other more exotic flavors from various AR15 guys. Here's an example from the "Not-A-Liberal Anymore" Gunner blog of the kind of agonizing I went through. Or I could refer you to Boston's Gun Bible, one of the classic texts IMHO, for his amazingly complex and thorough decision tree. In the end, I got a plain vanilla Old Skol FAL, an SA58 from DS Arms. Why? I thought it was a gun I could live with...I liked the fit, the way the gun recoiled, how it shot with cheap and expensive ammo, cost and availability of mags, etc. But the factors were specific to me. As Frank said, your mileage may vary.

New tech is new tech, and we first adapter types accept that. I like new guns and new weapons systems, but I believe in debugged technology. As Frank noted, the jury is still out on gas piston ARs. Remember how long it took the AR system to get from kludge to debugged? A decade or so? From my perspective as the producer of TBD/SURVIVAL, I would say that one of the attractions of the AR system is how common it is...lots of easily replaceable parts. The drawback of new systems is that they're new systems...if you buy into the system you need to make sure you have enough parts to carry you through in case the system doesn't succeed in the marketplace.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Good Blogpost on ARs...

...from Frank James, another good friend who I did not see at SHOT! Sorry, Frank:
The big craze presently is the rush to "gas piston" guns versus Gene Stoner's Direct-Gas-Impingement system. Of course, the argument goes the gas piston guns are more reliable, easier to clean and better if you are soldier stationed in the 'sand box'.
A problem, however, is the fact that few in the civilian, or even the law enforcement market, are using these guns in the same manner and means as a soldier in the sand box. Civilian guns as a general rule are NOT select-fire and thereby few of them experience the heat or wear factors a counter-part military gun would in a routine day. In fact, in comparison to military use rifles, the civilian, or even its average law enforcement, equivalent enjoys a life of enforced idleness.
Civilian shooters who want the same exact features on their rifles as the military version are, in my view, living a little too deep in their fantasy world...
Read the whole thing. I agree with Frank, and you've heard me say it on the podcast.

While I was scrolling around, I hit my daily read on The Firearm Blog and discovered speedloaders for the .500 S&W. As a .500 owner, I instantly saw something I need to have. For all you Taurus Judge fans, and you know who you are, they offer Judge .410 speedloaders as well. The company, 3D, Inc., specializes in Harley parts, but hey, machining aluminum is machining aluminum. I'm going to get a couple for the .500 and a couple for the .44 Maggie. Should make John Ross darn happy!

Another Plus for Kansas!

So Marshal Halloway, Rob Pincus & I are at an industry dinner in a tres-swank restaurant in Scottsdale last night. Marshal gets up to use the facilities and comes back all eyes wide. "There's a guy named Bill in the bathroom who asked me if I needed any help or wanted a Kansas, there's no one to help you pee!"

Happy birthday, Marshal! Want a mint?

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Action vs. Reaction

I saw this Scientific American podcast on action versus reaction posted by Say Uncle this AM:
Why, a study just come out in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. That’s a Brit journal, don’t worry about it. Showed that I can go 10 percent faster reactin’ to you drawing your gun than if I just tried to draw my own gun first. Has to do with the way the nervous system’s set up. 
It's too early for me to think about this, but I suspect it's a podcast subject for next week...oh BTW, the ridiculous language is a smart person pretending to be a dumb-ass gunfighter...yeah, I know...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Rooting Around for Gun Stuff

Every so often I root around in my gun room and discover stuff that I should have paid more attention to, but for some reason or the other I got derailed. Last year I was going to shoot the Single Stacks — paid my money and everything — but a filming date came up that couldn't be rescheduled so I had to take a pass. Bill Wilson had sent me one of his Rapid Response holsters, a beautiful sharkskin version, to use in the match, so I just set it aside. I wanted to film some more stuff on the Para Retro-GI Bill Laughridge at C&S built for me (which we did today), so I carried a couple of holsters — the super Cedar Ridge dropped-offset GUNSITE holster originally designed by Gordon Davis back in the Dawn of Time to use on the range and, on a whim, the Wilson holster for carry while I was in Arizona.

Man, what a GREAT holster! I didn't even notice the 5-inch 1911 was on my hip. It carried the Para in the perfect position — not too high ride, a common problem, perfect for an easy grip and an excellent presentation. The thumb safety guard makes the holster super comfortable. Bill says this holster isn't quite as concealable as his Lo-Profile or Covert Carry, but I had no trouble concealing this holster under a light jacket...and did I mention it was fast? Nice trick in a concealed carry holster. I can't speak highly enough of the Wilson Combat Rapid Response! I'm gonna get one of these for my Para Carry 9!

On the every important subject of safety, this from Tam at View From the Porch:
...a lot of folks described Todd Jarrett's gun-handling as borderline OCD, with his chamber checks every time he juiced up the gun, and they said it as though it was a bad thing.
When I juice up the gun administratively, I check the chamber. When I pick up a pistol that has been out of my control or observation, such as when I get dressed in the morning, I check the chamber. Now, does that mean that I think that gremlins have sneaked in and unloaded my heater overnight? No it means I check because I always check; this is the purpose behind things like safety checklists for everything from pistols to Piper Cubs to pebble-bed nuclear reactors, you are removing the question of "Do I or don't I?" from the loop. You do. Period.
I thought this was interesting because we filed a safety segment with Ed Head at GUNSITE today on this very subject. RULE 1: All guns are always loaded! It touches my hand, it gets checked. Why? Because that is what one does if one has the brains of a hamster...I have seen lots of "unloaded" guns go bang. Well said, Tam.

Next Gen Black Rifle Pricing

The Firearm Blog is covering this hot and heavy...check it out.

Video Podcast 020310

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Slow Blogging Alert!

Too much travel and filming, so I'm a little out of touch...I did discover the perfect toy for the budding young zombie hunter — the Dismember Me Plush Zombie! This is the gift that keeps on giving...even better than handcuffs! And while I'm on the subject of zoms, here's a critical new tool in the world battle against the undead, the Zombie Bite Calculator, so you'll know how long you have among the living after a zombie bite. I discovered that I would last 1 hour and 11 minutes after the Big Chomp!

Good IAC Trench Shotgun is coming home from gunsmith "Jim Bowie" at the Cowboys and Indians Store in time for Winter Range, the cowboy nationals. It had developed increasingly crappy ejection, and Jim is a master of torturing '97 clones back into shape. I say, bayonet lugs are goooooood!

I'm also really pleased with my progress on my new book, THE NEW SURVIVAL GUNS: FIREARMS, GEAR AND TRAINING FOR UNCERTAIN TIMES. The title might not be finalized...we're researching copyright issues. But I should have real, honest-to-goodness for-sale copies 1 June, with an advance preview at the OC booth at the NRA Convention in mid-May. I've gone to some pains to keep this book from falling off the edge of the world, BTW, and I think you're going to see some surprises. I've used the podcasts to beta-test some of this material, and I'll be continuing that practice. BTW BTW, tune into the podcast tomorrow AM for the promised tracks from Killdozer!

Gotta go nappy nap...loved the opening 2 hours of LOST: The Final Season, BTW BTW BTW...