Wednesday, March 31, 2010

DRTV Weekly 033110

Michael Bane gives his thoughts about the state of the firearms industry triggered by the recent news about Marlin Firearms closing its plant in Connecticut. Is the firearms industry in bad shape or are we seeing signs of an adjustment to a change in the market?

Reference links here...

Perking Pretty Normal This AM...

I'm back to reasonably normal this AM...I may even try to get in a bicycle this afternoon before the weekly weekend snowstorm rolls in. Since I've had a major shingles attack in the past and it almost blinded me, I've been instructed by my doctors to try and head off any subsequent attack. If I catch the precursors of an attack — which is not hard, since it's sort of like a sheet metal screw being driven into my head — I can head it off. That seems to have worked, so all good.

I see that the Third Circuit has upheld the arrest of a Utah man for illegal possession of a firearm at the Newark, NJ, airport (Snowflakes in Hell, here & here). In short, the man got bumped while he was transiting through Newark. As is usual when you get badly bumped, he was forced by the airline to reclaim his luggage, which included his legally declared firearm. He took the luggage to his hotel room, and when he checked in the next morning he was arrested for illegally possessing a firearm in New Jersey. He spent 4 days in jail; then the charges were apparently dropped (Say Uncle),

This is a huge issue for those of us who travel weekly with firearms. The airports that do not honor Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) include Newark, the Chicago airports, the New York City airports and the Boston airport. D.C. Reagan is suspect, because you end up in D.C., duh. For the most part, it's easy to work around the northeastern airports — Philly instead of NYC; Manchester NH instead of Boston. Chicago, though, is a big problem, as much of the traffic in the central U.S. goes there, abd the airports are a crap shoot in the winter. I've spent more time sleeping on the floor of O'Hare than all the other bumped flight combined and squared. My own solution is to schedule the trips for the non-stops and where that's not possible to route through Dallas or Philly, in case I'm bumped. Worst case is getting stuck in a big eastern storm, where you can no longer pick your flights but have to grab wha's available...for example, a year or so ago I was flying out of Manchester with guns and a storm whacked most of the East Coast...the only flights I could get if I wanted to fly that week was a double hop, Manchester-Reagan, Reagan-Chicago, Chicago-Denver...I sweated bullets, so to speak, the entire time.

I check in the day before on the computer so I'll know in advance if there are problems...this has allowed me to ship guns home to myself rather than carry them on the planes when I got rerouted through a bad airport. Say Uncle, through a firearms attorney, has an interesting solution I've never thought of — if you end up stuck in a bad airport and you're forced to reclaim your baggage, find a local cop BEFORE you claim your baggage, explain your situation and ask whether the firearms can be stored for you until you're ready to board the plane. I have no idea whether that will work or not, but it beats a trip to the slam!

This obviously shouldn't happen. The FOPA, which apparently applies only to vehicles, says that if you're legal in your home state and you're legal in the state you're traveling to, and the firearm is encased and inaccessible, you're protected no matter what states you drive through. It's utterly irrational that this doesn't apply to airports.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today Sucked... other way to put just sucked. Perhaps tomorrow will present less suckiness. One can hope, at least. I'm dancing around the edges of a migraine, or maybe another shingles attack, and pain aside, neither does wonders for my mood. Usually the herbal remedies do a good job of keep the wolves at bay, but it's been a bit stressful of late, so it's back to the massive doses of antivirals in case it is shingles. Yeechy-poo. Spent most of the afternoon after I finished the podcast — which I promise you DOES NOT suck! — shoveling show. Yeah, that perked me right up! Anyway, lemme link you up a bit.

Steve at The Firearm Blog is reporting that Calico and their helical-feed big magazines is still alive, ticking and updating their product lines. Who knew? I shot a couple of their .22s years back and they were a riot to shoot. I don't know about you, but 100 rounds of 9mm or .40 S&W strikes me as a compelling bedroom gun!

Frank James has the most intelligent article I've ever read on weapons and ammo selection over at Corn, Beans, Spent Brass, an Empty Page and a Deadline. In his pursuit of feral hog apocalypse, Frank says more smart thing about guns and ammo than I recall seeing in ages. Go read the whole article.

Over at the Huffington Press,  big city blowhard, Michael "Boom-Boom" Bloomberg is once again demanding that Obama move against gun owners:
In a letter sent earlier this month from his coalition -- Mayors Against Illegal Guns -- Bloomberg comes intriguingly close to assigning blame for ongoing gun violence to the Obama administration. The mayor and his co-signer, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, point to a separate report they sent the administration in early August 2009, which laid out 40 recommendations to "improve enforcement of existing gun laws" that simply required enforcing existing statutes. That report was apparently given only a perfunctory response from the Department of Justice and little tangible political action -- prompting a harsh follow-up letter from Bloomberg and Menino.
"We appreciate the Department's consideration of the report, but this is an urgent matter: further delay will almost certainly result in the needless loss of innocent lives, including many children. Mr. President, the time has come for action," the mayors write. "Over the past six months, approximately 6,000 Americans have been gunned down in intentional acts of violence. The 40 recommendations in our Blueprint, many of which could be enacted immediately, offer the best hope we have for making our country safer over the next six months - and the years ahead."
We've blogged about Bloomberg's 40 points before...if you disregard the Constitution it's amazing how many fascist things you can do before breakfast! We need to watch this very closely...the Dems have already fallen on their swords for the White House; they know most of them are toast in November...especially with Obama's numbers still tanking after the passage of the health care monstrosity.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Gotta take Alf the Wonder Beagle to the vet...she's limping and I need her leg checked out. Alf hates the vet, and who can blame her? The whole place must smell like rank fear to her super nose. Anyway, here's a headline (via InstaPundit) that caught my eye:
SC woman stripped for minors in her home
CHESTERFIELD, S.C. Authorities say a South Carolina woman has been charged with stripping for customers as young as 12 in her mobile home, which had a stripper pole in the living room.
Wow! I didn't even know you could get a mobile home with a stripper pole in the living room. SOOOOO, if you have a trailer park with lots of stripper poles, does that mean instead of attracting tornadoes it'll attract Jesse James and Tiger Woods?

Really cool piece on The Firearm Blog on full-auto 1911s...apparently intentionally, as opposed to the way most of have "experienced" full-auto 1911s.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where Will You Need Your Gun?

Good article from my friend Tom Givens at RangeMaster in Memphis:
Where Will You Need Your Gun?
Many, many people, including some who should know better, mistakenly believe that your home is the most likely place for one to need to use a defensive firearm. To me, this premise is obviously incorrect, so why do so many people believe it?
The answer is simple. Whether you read the newspaper, search the internet, or watch TV news, most of the legitimate self defense stories occur in the defender’s home. Since most of the defensive incidents you become aware of happened in the defender’s home, you begin to become convinced that the home is where most attacks take place. There is a ridiculously easy explanation for why the home is so overrepresented in these reports.
According to various studies, about half of the households in the United States contain firearms. So, when at home, 50% of the US population has access to guns. Conversely, only 3% of the population has a handgun carry permit, so the vast majority of the US population does not have access to firearms when away from the home. Duh….. If you don’t have access to a firearm when attacked, you will not be able to defend yourself with a firearm. So, the only reason the majority of successful defensive gun uses occur in the home is that is the only place most people have access to a gun. Simple.
In fact, you are far more likely to be attacked in a life-threatening manner away from home. Thus, one should be armed whenever one is away from home. That is the purpose of a carry permit and skill with a personal sidearm—the sidearm is the weapon carried away from home. To illustrate, here are some statistics from the United States Department of Justice, looking at Robbery Locations for the year 2007:
Street- 43.8% 
Commercial- 13.9%
Residence- 15.2%
Banks- 2.1%
Gas station- 2.6%
Miscellaneous- 16.8%.
So, you are almost three times as likely to be robbed on the street than at home, and in the home only accounts for 1 robbery in 6. Similar patterns exist for rape, aggravated assaults, etc. In fact, good locks, an alarm system, and proper lighting can reduce your risk of violent crime at home to very low levels.
Once you leave your home, though, you have no control over such items. The one thing you can control is having your emergency safety equipment with you, so you can respond to emergencies that occur away from home.
Remember, the gun you left at home won’t help you anywhere else.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Interesting Gun Stuff

While I've been working I've overlooked some interesting firearms datapoints out there. Most interestingly, earlier this week MSNBC, never a friend of gun owners, ran a generally positive piece on concealed carry:
In the 1980s and ’90s, as the concealed-carry movement gained steam, Americans were killed by others with guns at the rate of about 5.66 per 100,000 population. In this decade, the rate has fallen to just over 4.07 per 100,000, a 28 percent drop. The decline follows a fivefold increase in the number of “shall-issue” and unrestricted concealed-carry states from 1986 to 2006.
The highest gun homicide rate is in Washington, D.C., which has had the nation’s strictest gun-control laws for years and bans concealed carry: 20.50 deaths per 100,000 population, five times the general rate. The lowest rate, 1.12, is in Utah, which has such a liberal concealed weapons policy that most American adults can get a permit to carry a gun in Utah without even visiting the state.
The decline in gun homicides also comes as U.S. firearm sales are skyrocketing, according to federal background checks that are required for most gun sales. After holding stable at 8.5 to 9 million checks from 1999 to 2005, the FBI reported a surge to 10 million in 2006, 11 million in 2007, nearly 13 million in 2008 and more than 14 million last year, a 55 percent increase in just four years.
Their accompanying open survey found more than 80% of the people answering the survey, "Very safe: If a crime is committed or a threat of violence made, they’ve got the means to respond."

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Connecticut man, Peter Kuck's, "stake in the firearm license is a liberty interest tied to the right to bear arms recognized by state law." Here's the whole decision at the Volokh Conspiracy. The decision means that states who drag their feet or require a high level of jumping through hopes to grant or renew a concealed weapons permit may be open to Constitutional challenge. As Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell notes, the Second Circuit encompasses New York City with its Sullivan Law, specifically designed to slwo and stymie firearms ownership.

If we receive the decision we hope for in McDonald early this summer, you can be sure the Sullivan Law is next in the legal sights.

Sebastian also notes that Arizona has moved one step closer to permitlessly carry. As one of my commenters (who are really smart, I might add!) noted recently, we should all be movng toward permitless carry, concealed and open. I agree that permitless carry is closer to my reading of the Second Amendment (which, of course, doesn't matter in the slightest).

GunsAmerica, the huge firearms sales site, recently published an article on the state of the gun blogosphere, which concluded that all in all we're doing just fine. Nice list of the 20 gun blogs not to miss (which includes this one). Read the whole thing. OI also suggest stopping by Farmer Frank James blog, Corn, Beans Spent Brass, an Empty Page and a Deadline, on his feral hog apocalypse hunting trip...darned interesting! Good job, Frank.

And finally a sad point. The venerable firearms manufacturer Marlin will close it's doors.
Workers at the Marlin Firearms Co. in Connecticut say they've been told the 140-year-old company will close next year and all 265 employees will lose their jobs.
Workers at the North Haven company say they learned about the closure plans Thursday. They told local news media layoffs will begin in May and the company will close by June 2011.
My good friend John Snow over at the Gun Shots blog from OUTDOOR LIFE puts it this way:
For people like me, whose first image of a deer rifle was a lever gun, this is a black day. The virtues of a lever gun are many—they are handy, elegant, effective and, from the perspective of a gun nut, have great histories and are interesting examples of industrial design. It is discouraging to think that they can’t be produced in such a way as to be profitable—especially in light of the some of the advances Marlin achieved in partnership with Hornady Ammunition in recent years.
I think there are a number of factors at work here. First, the Obama Bubble — which Jim Shephard over at The Shooting Wire is discussing today — sucked a lot of "gun money" out of the economy...that is, a large portion of potential gun buyers' discretionary income for the at the very least the rest of 2010 has been spent. A lions share of that money went to black rifles, with handguns close behind. Nothing wrong with a consumer society the buyer "votes" with his or her wallet.

The lever gun seems like "your grandfather's Oldsmobile," although in reality nothing could be farther from the truth. Lever guns are ubiquitous and thus taken for granted...until something like the Winchester closing a few years back sent '94 Winchester prices into the stratosphere. The nameplate came back, of a much higher price.

Secondly, despite the advances John mentions in lever cartridges, the rifle market focus remains on precision shooting bolt guns and semiautos. The huge number of used lever guns already in the market creates a drag on the new lever gun market. Cowboy action shooting has had, after an initial boom, a net negative effect for Marlin's guns. First, there has been a huge proliferation in types of available lever guns, including the generally excellent Italian clones of the Winchester 1860, 1866, 1873, 1876, 1886, 1892 and 1894 models, even the Colt Burgess! The Italian clones exhibit the fire workmanship that used to be associated with American guns — color-casehardening, deep bluing, upgraded wood, etc. — in a flood of calibers. Even though the Italian guns are now at a much higher price point (baseline $1000), they've siphoned a lot of the money away from the American nameplates of Marlin and Winchester (to the destruction of that brand). Additionally, CAS rules allowed the "short-stroking" of the toggle-link guns, the 1873s and 1866s, to reduce the arc of the lever, thereby making the gun faster to operate. The heavier, clunkier 1873s quickly took over the cowboy market, pushing out the Marlins (which had dominated the sport in its early days). Marlins became an entry-level rifle, and as cowboy has leveled out with fewer new shooters coming in, sales of Marlins in pistol calibers languished.

Obviously, Marlin has other lines — their bolt guns and their rimfire series, including the Model 60, which Marlin correctly bills as the "most popular .22 in the world." But it's a tough bolt gun market out there, and the .22s have to face the Ruger 10/22 juggernault.

Interestingly enough, last night at dinner TBD series producer Tim Cremin posed one of those "only one gun" questions...which rifle would we take if ewe could only have one. Pincus chose a .308 short-barreled bolt action; I chose a 30-30 lever gun, "probably a Marlin." My thinking was a reasonable and commonly available hunting cartridge, relative fast to cycle, an excellent self-defense rifle, light and easy to carry close to indestructible. Right now my "bedroom rifle" is a Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum, loaded with 240-grain Black Hills, accurate and in a proven manstopping calber.

I will also say unequivocally that there's a Marlin 1895GBL 6-shot 45-70 "Guide Gun" in my immediate future, even if I have to sell off a bolt gun or a pistol to get it...

It might need a trip 'way up north to Wild West Guns, too...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Presented Without Comment

-- Post From The Road

For the Record...

...9th Ward hardware...SR9c 9mm & extra 17-rounder, plus LCP/Crimson Trace. Also a folder (Spyderco Yojimbo) and fixed blade CRKT Rescue Tool and SureFire Aviator light...

-- Post From The Road

Pincus tactically assaults...

...beignet at Cafe Du Monde...

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


As promised, Ver. 1.0 of the Intro...

The More Things Change…
Back in the mid-1970s, not long before then-President Jimmy Carter in his cardigan sweater took to the airwaves to bemoan the new American “malaise,” a banker-turned-writer named Mel Tappan began one of the most successful firearms books ever written with these words:
“Why, in this age of the urban, industrial, interdependent society, would anyone write a book on guns for survival use — or, perhaps more to the point, why would anyone want to read it?”
That book, SURVIVAL GUNS, has remained in print for more than 30 years and, along with the writings of the late Col. Jeff Cooper, was a primary influence on a whole generation of shooters. Mel Tappan plugged into a nerve that at the time most people had either forgotten or were just beginning to remember, the sense that perhaps the inevitability of greater days ahead for the most powerful nation on earth was not nearly as certain as we’d been led to believe. We were reeling from the one-two punch of the 1960s, the vestiges of which linger still, and our humiliating withdrawal from Vietnam, culminating in the nationally televised fall of Saigon in 1975. Americans had been pounded in the OPEC-driven gas crisis — for the first time since World War 2 facing long lines and rationing for what was considered a national birthright — suffered our first post-Great Depression stock market crash and were being merciless ground in the nation’s first peacetime inflation, making, as Brad DeLong of the National Bureau of Economic Research noted, “…every business decision a speculation on monetary policy.”
Briefly put, we were afraid in a way that this generation of Americans had never been afraid before, and, worse, we feared on a gut level that we had lost control of the great machine that was the United States.
“Without really being aware of it,” wrote Tappan, “most of us have subcontracted almost all our life support activities to other people, corporations, governmental bodies and machines. Not only does this circumstance contribute to the sense of frustration which is symptomatic of modern man, it is life-threatening should there be an interruption in those vital services. We need only project ourselves into a natural disaster, a shipwreck or a riot to realize just how dependent we have become on the uninterrupted functioning of the social order merely to stay alive.”
What followed Tappan’s words was not the much-feared next Great Depression, but a stunning 30-year roller coaster ride through Affluence Land, an unanticipated and unplanned remaking of the world through the technological miracle of lowly silicon, the eighth most common element in the universe. In an interconnected, Internet-driven, YourSpace, FaceBook, Twitter, 24/7 overheated atmosphere, it was easy to forget Tappan’s almost quaint warning…not only had we subcontracted almost all our live support to other people, corporations, governmental bodies and machines, we were now doing so at Internet speeds. Our world became sleek, streamlined and global, without much thought to the implications. For even the smallest one-person business, supply lines began to stretch across the world…it didn’t matter where you worked, the mantra went, because we were all connected in instantaneous communication and the greatest transportation web in the history of mankind.
The mantra was reflected in our largest businesses as well, whether manufacturing or service or intellectual…the world began, to borrow a phrase from economic analysts Thomas Friedman, “flattening out.” Businesses moved from the old “inefficient” model of maintaining costly “gotta” inventories — gotta store ‘em; gotta count ‘em; gotta throw some away when we change the spec — to “just-in-time.” Instead of a warehouse full of products, for example, waiting to be restocked on store shelves, the products arrived at the store from suppliers “just-in-time,” just hours or even minutes before the shelves ran dry. For American manufacturers, the combination of instant communication, globalization and just-in-time was a godsend, allowing a long chain of supplies from all over the world, usually wherever the supply could be made most cheaply, flowing into factories just in time to be assembled into the newest consumer product.
The American economy prospered at a level that couldn’t even be imagined in the era of Jimmy Carter’s malaise…what could possibly go wrong?
At the same time, we emerged from the Cold War — our game of brinksmanship with a counterpart superpower, the USSR — to a newer, vaguer and infinitely more dangerous battlefield with an enemy we are still struggling to understand. Until the rise of radical Islam, we understood war as defined by Prussian general Carl Von Clausewitz in the early part of the 19th Century, an extension of diplomacy by other means. “War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means,” Clausewitz wrote in On War.
Wars sought not to completely overthrow an enemy, but were fought for one of two reasons, to gain specific limited goals — land, resources, sometime populations — or to disarm an enemy and leave him militarily or politically helpless.
While Clausewitz’ writings (and those of the other great military strategists) foreshadowed the world-wide conflicts to come, they left us uniquely unprepared for a different nihilistic view of war, a throwback to older, perhaps more darkly violent, times. Radical Islam doesn’t seek our lands, our resources or our Western lifestyle, nor does it seek to render us helpless. Rather, by the admissions of its leaders, radical Islam seeks the destruction of Western culture and us along with it. It’s a hard concept to get our Western minds around…I’m always reminded of the scene in the alien invasion movie Independence Day, where as U.S. President actor Bill Paxton finally is able to ask one of the alien invaders what they wanted us to do. “Die,” replied the alien.
The terrorist attacks of 9-11 ultimately redefined Americans view of America, a punctuation mark between our older, safer world and the dangerous, and dangerously unpredictable, landscape of the future. Add to that two long-running wars, multiple contested elections and a viciously poisonous atmosphere in Washington D.C., an endless media drumbeat of overheated disasters from climate change, financial systems teetering on the verge of collapse, exploding stock market bubbles, the “safe nest egg” of real estate collapsing and as perhaps the final nail in America’s confidence, the spectacle of New Orleans in the grip of Hurricane Katrina, a major American city descending into anarchy as the whole country followed breathlessly on 24/7 news and Internet feeds. All the governmental “safety nets” supposed in place sagged and eventually ripped apart as people, American citizens, struggled and died in the relentless floodwaters. Local government’s response to the spreading disaster was to order all private weapons seized even as murderous gangs ran rampant, and for the first time America was treated to the television spectacle of heavily armored National Guard troops seizing firearms from grandmothers.
The answer to Mel Tappan’s original question — ““Why, in this age of the urban, industrial, interdependent society, would anyone write a book on guns for survival use…or, perhaps more to the point, why would anyone want to read it?” — now seems self-evident.
The irony is that we and our society is now so thoroughly interconnected, so thoroughly bound together in a communications/entertainment/information/stuff web that just a few years back would have seemed the exclusive province of science fiction that we no longer understand, or even see, those connections. Our society has become seamless and we no longer notice the strange noises coming from behind the curtain of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. One of the my favorite examples of this loss of perspective is an email to a friend of mine, challenging him on his love of hunting. “That is so sick,” the email read. “Why can’t you just get your meat from the grocery store, where it comes from?”
Meat, vegetables, all kinds of food, sanitation, security, information, services of all sorts come from...somewhere else...the grocery store, the supermarket, the internet, the government, the garbage “man,” some entity who sole function is to provide. And while, as adults — well, ostensibly adults — we understand that behind the provider is a long chain of...something, we’re a little vague on what that something is or how it all comes together to deliver a Big Mac, fries and a 24-hour-a-day Twitter feed. To use another analogy, while we are certain the neck bone is connected to the foot bone, we’re not sure whether that connection is bone, rubber bands or magic. Nor do we particularly care.
Which is just spiffy as long as everything works, for lack of better words, to spec. We live and function in the most complex society in human history, and it works just fine...until it doesn’t. The problem with complexity is that it is complex — a lot of things have to happen in a very specific sequence, a dance, if you will, for 100 bottles of aspirin to arrive at your local Wal-Mart at the exact moment the last bottle walks out the door in your reuseable, environmentally sound, all-green grocery bag. Multiple that sequence by a thousand, by tens of thousands, by millions of transactions for a modern city to function day-to-day and you start to get a sense of the fragility of modern life.
That fragility only becomes apparent when a link in the chain breaks.It doesn’t actually matter what causes the break — a storm, a plane crashing onto a building, an unpopular court decision, a revolution in a country whose name we’re not sure how to pronounce correctly. When one link of the chain breaks, the entire chain is now at risk...and somewhere at the end of that chain are you and your family.
Which brings us to this book.
It turns out that, yes indeed, we are responsible for our own safety. Despite protestations of the rising Nanny State, the “guarantees” of state, local and federal government, the best efforts of law enforcement officers, nothing much has changed since February 25, 1525 where, in the battle for Pavia in northern Italy a peasant army described as “rabble” and armed with hand-connones slaughtered the French Mounted Horse, the cream of knighthood and the Age of Chivalry. It was the first, but not the last, time the individual firearm became known as the equalizer, the only way for the peasants to throw off the hundreds of years-old shackles of the brutal knights and their invincible armored war “machines,” the great destriers that were, in effect, the medieval equivalent of tanks.
I recently did a guest appearance on a History Channel special titled AFTER ARMAGEDDON. The show addressed the consequences of a pandemic influenza epidemic, focusing on a family in suburban Los Angeles. One of the questions I was asked in my capacty as an expert in firearms and self-defense was about the “veneer” of civilization. Under the hellish pressure of collapsing resources and rising death tolls, how long would human behavior remain “civilized” by the standards we recognize today?
My answer was that it took four days for New Orleans to descend into anarchy. “You’d have thought,” I added, “the veneer would be a little thicker.”
When we peak behind the curtain of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, we don’t like what we see. I believe that if we sit down, take a deep breath and analyze the world we live in, if we are honest with ourselves we musty take steps to protect both ourselves and those under our care.
This book is not a comprehensive guide to preparedness, if there is any such thing. When we produced THE BEST DEFENSE/SURVIVAL, the first television series to ever address these concerns, we were initially overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information. At the end of this book, there’s a reading list that’ll help you get started.
This book is about the primary tool for self-defense, the firearm, and what you need to know to make intelligent decisions about guns, training, self-defense and personal responsibility. Parts of this book will be controversial, and I can guarantee you there will be parts you don’t agree with.
If it makes you think, it has accomplished the job I set out to do.

Presented Without Comment

"Taste like your Mama's"

That so says it all...

-- Post From The Road

DRTV Weekly 032410

The Marines are looking for a few good guns – the M45 Close Quarters Combat Pistols; the Brady organization is looking for some semblance of relevance and everyone is looking for an Apocalypse Now Hawaiian shirt!

Reference Links....


...any day that starts off with one pouring a pot if coffee on Mr. Weasel...

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Lord, the FOOD!

I thought I had eaten at all of the high speed restaurants in N'Awlins, but boy, was I wrong! Tonight we got taking to a local place, Elizabeth's, on Gallier St. 'way outside the Quarter. The food was breathtakingly good...amazing also comes to mind. We had a sampler of their specialties — BBQ shrimp (!!!), lobster and avocado salad, cold smoked scallops, London broil topped with fresh crabmeat, collard greens, oysters with foie gras, and a desert tray. Add Abita Turbodog and mix well.

Must sleep now...must not eat for the rest of the week...

9th Ward New Orleans

-- Post From The Road

Monday, March 22, 2010

Are We Next?

That is, since the Dems have strapped the ole suicide vest around their spindly chests, might they be willing to go after gun rights next? I don't think so — I think the...Democrats, a word I believe will become a slur in and of itself...are tired from wrecking 1/6 of the American economy and heave little taste for more controversy —  but as Sebastian at SNOWFLAKES IN HELL notes, we should be ready.

Dave Workman has some additional thoughts here:
If Democrats retain control of Congress, expect the next “big item” on the political agenda next year to be an attempt to renew the ban on so-called “assault weapons,” which are far better defined as Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR). They are, after all, widely known as "the party of gun control." If the Congress can get away with such a ban, then even if the Supreme Court rules favorably as anticipated that the Second Amendment is incorporated to the states, Legislatures across the landscape will start considering seriously ratcheting down on gun rights.
BTW, Sebastian also does a superb analysis of why the NRA model works:
The NRA model focuses on the issue first. While senior Democrats may be more openly hostile to gun rights than their GOP counterparts, by taking the view that you reward individual politicians, there’s a huge incentive to make gun rights a moderating issue for Democrats who want to represent more conservative districts. More importantly, by being willing to work just as hard for Democrats as Republicans who support the issue, the NRA has built a general trust with their members and politicians. As you can see, the results of this mean we’ve been fairly safe even as Congress has been lead by anti-gun extremists. Yes, we still have battles, but not nearly the battles we would have if more centrist Democrats didn’t have a huge perceived incentive to stick with us.
Read the whole thing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Sad Night for America

"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause."
Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman)
Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith

Sunday Musings...

Lies--there you have the religion of slaves and taskmasters. Truth is the god of the free man.

Maxim Gorky
Russian novelist, playwright.
The Lower Depths (1902)

...which is a nice way of saying I don't actually have anything to say. I got the quote from Joe Huffman, and I thought it was particularly appropriate today as we find out how many actual men and women of principle are left in the House of Representatives. I suspect the answer is, "Not enough." More than anything else, I am saddened that it has come to this pathetic display, this mockery of the principles America was founded on. Remember "Consent of the governed?" Sigh...November's coming.

This great commentary from Mike Flynn at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website says it far better than I can:
While the legal battles wage on, expect an enormous public back-lash against the Democrats. Longtime political observers will recall the backlash after Democrats passed a “catastrophic health care” bill in the 80s. That event pales in comparison to what is brewing. Yesterday, around 30,000 people protested on the steps of the Capitol, an event that was organized in just a little over 24 hours. In cities throughout the country, protests and rallies broke out, each attended by hundreds of citizens with only a few hours notice. This kind of spontaneous public outcry has never happened in any of our lifetimes. Today, many of these protesters are buoyed by a faith that reason will prevail and the Democrats will stand down from their position of willful disdain for the American people. If that doesn’t happen tonight, then we will have fallen into totally unchartered territory. It is without hyperbole that I say I am at times afraid of what may ensue.
I have told my Democrat friends–yes, I have many–that they are missing the simple fact that people are really scared today. The economy is nowhere close to recovering and, in some places, may be getting worse. Millions of people have been unemployed for a very long time and untold millions more live in fear of it. Spending, deficits and debt have grown beyond the hypothetical world of economists and into a realm that the average person understands. Against this, the Democrats are now steaming towards the greatest expansion in government ever and, more importantly, into the part of our lives that commands our deepest fears, our health and mortality. That they have done so in an openly corrupt manner, with side deals, special exemptions, special interest favors and patronage (a judgeship, really?), betrays a contempt for the legislative and political process that is almost unfathomable. Worse, they raise the specter that the government is an interest, separate, distinct and opposed to the people.
The Democrats cannot do this. Sure, they may get the votes to pass the Senate bill tonight, but ultimately they will be defeated. A representative democracy cannot long endure a political class that is so out of touch with the populace. In some respects, what happens tonight is almost beside the point. The politics are set. Some Democrats are deluding themselves that they can put this behind them and somehow survive in November. They are most assuredly wrong.
Read the whole is major food for thought!

There was a cowboy match this AM, but with 10 inches of new snow and the temp not exactly soaring, I wussed out. I still need to do some more reloading anyway. I spent last week writing, catching up on the columns I occasionally write for the COWBOY CHRONICLE and working on my new book, THE NEW SURVIVAL GUNS. If there's interest, I'll post the book's introduction next week here on the blog.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Time Out from Politics... show you a set of 1911 grips I ordered today from Custom Killer Grips:

Cool, huh?

My Response to Their Response

"...Mandated training is not the enemy, yet, it could play a very important role in saving our rights in the long run. Therefore in order to protect our rights we will support mandated training whenever it is available..."

My response...not "no," but HELL NO!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Response from Insight Firearms Training Development

I asked for a response from Insight Firearms Training Development on their letter to their students. Here is their response, and, appropriately, I am reprinting it in full and without comment:

Dear Responder,

Please accept our apology for not responding sooner to your response to our
email. We are out of state on a training seminar and have been in session
daily for long hours. Today was our first opportunity.

We're sorry if we offended you. Protecting our rights is also a concern of
ours. We just have a different opinion as to why our rights are at stake to
begin with and how to protect them.

We train in many areas, from Civilian, Military, Law Enforcement, Security
and NRA (Instructor Level), as well as develop curriculum for all types of
firearms training, not just the CCW. Therefore our income is not dependent
solely on the CCW Training we provide, nor is our business dependent on the
actions of the government either way.

We are supporters of the Second Amendment and are not against people
exercising that right. We also believe that every Right has a corresponding
Duty. We believe training may very well be a key factor in retaining or
losing the very right our Second Amendment provides. We applaud those who
have willingly sought out training on their own to become educated on gun

That being said, as firearms instructors we see many students come into our
courses for training who have no clue or idea what the laws (both State
Statutes and case law) are in regards to owning or using a firearm in self
defense or any other purpose, let alone how to safely and properly handle or
store their firearms. We feel that it is the informed and knowledge gun
owners who will play an important role in allowing us to protect our Second
Amendment Rights, not those who choose to remain ignorant of the
responsibilities that come with that right. It¹s sad to say, but there are
many in our society who will not seek appropriate training on their own.
It¹s those who choose not to get training, act negligently and make stupid
careless mistakes, who are the greatest threat to protecting our Second
Amendment Rights. Mandated training is not the enemy, yet, it could play a
very important role in saving our rights in the long run. Therefore in order
to protect our rights we will support mandated training whenever it is
available. Just because we have rights doesn't mean it always makes sense to
exercise those rights without more thought in the process. Additionally,
though AZ is an Open Carry State, we do not support "Open Carry" That is
like putting a target on your forehead or back and inviting trouble!

Additionally, our forefathers didn¹t have to worry about the negative
effects that every form of media has on our newer generations and the
reality it has provided. Many of the current beliefs associated with guns
come from this medium and it has severely impacted the reality people have
today. If you have not done so please read Col. Grossmans book On Killing
or On Combat. We work closely with numerous police and prosecutors and have
been told that close to 90% of gun cases are related directly to people's
ignorance of the law or gun safety responsibilities. This type of behavior
is what jeopardizes our Second Amendments Rights. Mandated Training is a
solid solution to people who don¹t understand the importance of their
responsibilities with regards to gun ownership and a potential way to
protect our rights. With every Right comes a Corresponding DUTY and most do
not accept that DUTY willingly. There are many other additional factors that
need to be considered, aside from the right itself.

We hear on a consistent basis from our students that they had no idea the
responsibilities and liabilities they faced while exercising their Second
Amendment Rights until after taking this course, including post law
enforcement, military retirees and life long gun owners. Over 90% tell us
after completing the training that if they knew before, what they learned in
class, they would have had the knowledge to be much more responsible gun
owners. They also tell us they couldn¹t imagine carrying a gun without the
new knowledge they gained in our class. The majority also support not only
our efforts to train and enlighten those who have been in the dark for so
long, but continued mandated training.

Our training is significantly different in numerous aspects. The teaching
process we use allows our students to actually retain the information they
receive unlike other training programs. If you are really concerned about
our position on mandated training, and have not done so previously, please
attend our class and allow us to introduce you to the un-informed CCW
applicants who come to us for training. Maybe if you see things from their
perspective before and after our class you will understand why we are so
committed to this program and assuring mandated training continues.

We also realize there are those who use Alaska and Vermont as an example of
why this law should pass, since they have not had any issues. That may be
so, yet they are not comparing apples to apples. Example, those states are
very different from other states. They are extremely rural in nature, have a
different population number from other states and most brought up in those
areas are raised with guns from early on. There is a big difference in that
and those from urban or metropolitan areas. We know because we see it on a
daily basis.

Please understand that though we respect your beliefs we do not hold them as
our own, hopefully you will do the same. It will be up to each individual in
our society to voice their own opinion to their legislators and fight for
their rights in the way that seems appropriate for them. I'm sure there will
be many who stand on both sides of support for this issue.

Sherrie & Matt Seibert

DRTV’s Weekly Video Podcast 031710

Outside the view of the mainstream media, over 7000 Illionois gunowners descended on the State Capitol to tell their elected officials they want their right to carry. Illinois and Hawaii are the last two states not allowing Concealed Carry.

Reference Links here...

Twilight My Butt

Saint Buffy the Divine...I miss her so...sigh...

The Master Returns to the Game!!!

WARNING! Irreverence Alert!

The room is dark and smoky, the music almost overpowering. The young man in the lime green pants steps slowly into the room, his head swiveling to take in the pole dancers, the cocktail waitresses, the sumo-sized bouncers. He is tense, nervous, a sour taste in his mouth. Fear, he thinks, I'm afraid.

He orders a watered down drink from an impossibly buxom cocktail waitress, glancing into her ample cleavage. Nothing! he thinks, on the verge panic. Nothing at all! He scans the room for a seat, momentarily fixing on the woman on the center pole. Oh my God! She looks just like my wife! Buzz kill! Buzz kill! He quickly seats himself close to the third pole, his back to the center of the room.

He stares at the brunette, who slithers across the stage and positions herself directly in front of him. Focus! Focus! She begins working her hands over her body...up her thighs, over her breasts, her buttocks. He is on the verge of bolting when, suddenly, a twinge from below his belt. A twinge getting stronger, swelling, growing, until he feels on fire. Hell yes, he thinks as he takes a roll of hundred dollar bills out of his pocket, the Master is back! Sink that putt, baby!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Presented Without Comment

Michael's New Blaster

From the great Hamilton Bowen, his take on the classic Texas Longhorn Arms Border Special. This gun is a Ruger Vaquero .44 Magnum, barrel trimmed to 4 inches, birdhead gripframe installed, Sheriff's Model basepin fitted, freewheel ratchet conversion, Super Blackhawk hammer fitted, rear sight channel groove and custom Colt-style front sight, black powder style chamfer on the cylinder, full action job, steel ejector rod housing, color-casehardened frame and hammer, remainder deep blued, finished with a set of rare "THE LAST COWBOY" custom grips from a sold-out limited edition Ruger back in 2005.

This picture doesn't do the gun justice, but we should have a FULL SLIDE SHOW of this and the other guns I'll be talking about on tomorrow's DOWN RANGE Radio podcast up and running shortly after the podcast goes up!!!

Thank you, Hamilton!

I designed this as my "perfect packin' pistol:" unfortunately, my Sweetie took one look at it and said, "You're not going to carry that gun, are you? It's a masterpiece!"

Monday, March 15, 2010

>45 Luger...Cheap at the Price!

Okay, who doesn't want a .45 ACP Luger? Do you want it half a million bucks bad? From the LA Times:
The corporate-takeover shark played by Michael Douglas in the movie "Wall Street" brandished a replica and bragged about it as "the rarest gun in the world." An Indonesian billionaire paid $1 million for the real thing, and it became known as "the million-dollar Luger."
That was in the late 1980s, when the Douglas line "greed is good" captured the spirit of the times.
On Sunday, under very different economic circumstances, the coveted .45-caliber Luger found a new owner for half that price at a public auction in Anaheim.
The gavel came down at $430,000 from an anonymous bidder. With the 15% buyer's premium, the 103-year-old weapon fetched $494,500.
I wasn't willing to go a penny over $429.999.37! Ya gotta draw the line somewhere...

Here's an interesting piece on Open Carry on the BBC. What's interesting is not so much the story as the comments, which basically proves categorically that we need to nuke the country that used to be's an example:
May I add what would happen if a innocent gun carrier panicked as a male was walking g behind her at night, in a moment of fear she shot. If it turned out she had MURDERED a innocent person walking home, would that man still be alive if that person had no gun on her? answer no. Would she be dead, no. There have been cases like this before, when 'accidental deaths' have taken place, all because a gun carrier was human and panicked.

But hey what would I know, I'm Just from England. Its up to the USA how they treat those cowardly ego boosting weapons, but I do with they would sensor them from civilised television shows. Personally I just do not agree with American media making guns acceptable out of a war zone, not that a England is perfect but hey Guns are for wimps and bullies.
Some are loonier, some saner.

Monday Musing...

Ancient Amphibian Skull Discovered at Pittsburgh Airport
By Clara Moskowitz - LiveScience
A meat-eating amphibian that lived 300 million years ago may represent one of the earliest examples of land-based vertebrate life. And scientists found it at the Pittsburgh airport.

And it was working for Delta in baggage handing...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yeah, Well...

Fox has an interesting story on Jaimie Paulin-Ramirez, the Colorado jihadist whack job who was captured along with "JihadJane." They were all training to cap the Swedish cartoonist who drew this cartoon of Mohammed as a dog:

Anyhow,  here's the punchline — Ms. Paulin-Ramierez' parents are shocked, shocked I tell you, about their daughter's brainwashing of their grandson:
Her son, who was affectionately known to his grandmother as "Baby Huey," occasionally contacted relatives in Colorado — and what he said stunned relatives.
"I talked to Huey on Monday. He said they taught him how to shoot a gun," Christine Mott said. "They taught him how to kick and fight . . . We're Democrats. We won't even buy him a toy gun."
Well, there you are! Parenting tips from Democrats!

I also refer you to an interview in Investors Business Daily with the great Thomas Sowell on his new book INTELLECTUALS AND SOCIETY:
IBD: Why shouldn't intellectuals make decisions for the rest of us?
Sowell: Because they don't know as much as the rest of us. It's one of those non sequiturs. They have more average knowledge than the average person in the limited sense in which knowledge is usually spoken of by intellectuals.
But the knowledge that has consequences in the world includes vast amounts of knowledge that I call mundane knowledge and probably no one on earth has 1% of that knowledge. Yet that knowledge is consequential, and it includes knowledge that is in no way intellectually challenging but is nevertheless crucial.
In the book, I mention the example of a pilot coming in for a landing and the control tower notices he hasn't let his landing gear down. I happen to have been on such a plane once. And as we came into land, I noticed the pilot suddenly gunned the motor, took off again, circled back around and this time let down the landing gear. So whenever I'm on a plane and I hear the landing gear go down, I'm very pleased.
IBD: You have a lot of examples of intellectuals "in action" in your book. Does any one stand out more than the others?
Sowell: The one that stands out more in my mind is the promotion of disarmament during the 1930s while Hitler and Japan were arming themselves to the teeth. Disarmament is one of those things that probably no illiterate farmer would believe in. But some of the leading intellectuals, if not most of the leading intellectuals, of the Western democracies pushed that idea throughout the 1930s.
IBD: What do you think of the Obama administration when viewing it through the many concepts laid out in your book?
Sowell: It's very hard to answer that without using language that is totally inappropriate in polite society. But it is quite clear that they believe it is their job to take decisions out of the hands of the voting public.
And there are any number of ways they can do that, including rushing through huge bills faster than anybody can possibly read them, including the congressmen who vote on them.
They made statements during the campaign that are totally the opposite of what they will actually do. One of the more recent examples being the notion that unlike previous administrations they'd be transparent and broadcast the hearings on C-SPAN.
In fact, all of the big decisions are made behind closed doors, in one case locked doors, more so than in previous administrations. They want to supersede the public and put into operation what the anointed think should be done.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Beautiful Essay

Been a long time since I went hunting (and I do have my fingers crossed for Africa in September), but I thought I'd hook you up with this really nice essay from Brigid over at Home on the Range:
Hunters are unusual people, yet we are rather simple in our ways. We know, but don't always gleefully await, that alarm going off at 3 am, but we eagerly jump up from our warm bed at the call. We know the mountains around Denver and the deep hole of disorientation that lies in the middle of swampy ground in the middle of Louisiana. We know the mornings drenched in pine, the varied scents of a field in Northern Indiana and the up and down escalator drill that is that last minute trip to Cabelas. We've strolled, hiked and ran the full tilt of 100 acres of dirt, racing the sun to a blind, hoping to get in before Mr. Buck awakes. We have politely waited for that same sun to come up, reveling in the clear sparkling crispness that is an October morning.
Read the whole thing...very nicely done...

Friday, March 12, 2010

When Our Own Oppose Gun Rights...

Sebastian over at SNOWFLAKES IN HELL has a very disturbing letter from Insight Firearm Training Development, an Arizona training facility, urging people (apparently former students) to write their representatives urging them to OPPOSE Arizona's move to institute permitless concealed carry a la Alaska and Vermont. From the "canned" letter:
Dear Representatives:
I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Nevertheless, I strongly OPPOSE House Bill 2347 & Senate Bill 1108 which would authorize Arizonans to carry a concealed weapon without the permit that is currently required by Arizona law. I have recently taken the 8-hour CCW course required by current law and I can tell you first-hand that it is invaluable and necessary for anyone who plans to carry a concealed weapon. I realized when I took the CCW course offered by Insight Firearms Training Development in Prescott Arizona that there was much that I did not know (or remember as the case may be) about the safe handling of firearms and, importantly, the law applicable to their use for purposes of personal protection in real life (and death) situations. Persons who carry concealed weapons who are not properly trained and educated will be hazardous to you, me and all of the residents of this state...
If this letter is valid, and it certainly appears to be, it's nothing but a cheesy commercial for Insights that shows they're perfectly willing to sell us our rights to make a buck...and that is DAMNED unacceptable! If the letter is a mistake, I'd be happy to apologize. If there's an explanation, I'd like to hear it. And soon.

Wrapping Up the Week...

...say, that's a snappy headline, isn't it? You can tell I'm really in the Mainstream Media, can't you?

We made the mistake of briefly stopping on the beginning of JEREMIAH JOHNSON on the tube last if by hand of the occult, my Sweetie and I sat there and watched Sydney Pollack's and John Milius' masterpiece for the umpteenth time. From mountain man Del Gue:
I ain't never seen 'em, but my common sense tells me the Andes is foothills, and the Alps is for children to climb! Keep good care of your hair! These here is God's finest scupturings! And there ain't no laws for the brave ones! And there ain't no asylums for the crazy ones! And there ain't no churches, except for this right here! And there ain't no priests excepting the birds. By God, I are a mountain man, and I'll live 'til an arrow or a bullet finds me. And then I'll leave my bones on this great map of the magnificent...
Amen, brother! Did I mention that our hotel in Cody this week was across the highway from  John Jeremiah "Liver-Eating" Johnson's gravesite? He was moved to Cody from his grave in (yeech!!!) Santa Monica, CA, where he died in an old soldiers' home in January 1900.

I had...interesting...dreams. As I've said before, I think that movie had a disproportionate effect in bumping me out of my orbit. When I went to see it when it premiered in 1972, I actually thought I was going to be a citizen, have a 9-to-5 job, retire, etc. See how well that worked out. From Bearclaw:

March is a green, muddy month down below. Some folks like it. Farmers mostly.You have done well to keep so much hair...
...when so many are after it.
l hope you will fare well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Amazing New Investment Opportunity

I was groggily watching morning television and swilling coffee when a commercial caught my eye — the amazing EZ Egg Cracker! I hadn't realized how much of a crisis improperly cracked eggs actually are. I think it's fair to say that hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives are tortured and profoundly changed when, say, an egg-cracking gets out of control and yeechy yokes and sticky whites go spilling  across the counter. Or even worse, run down the counters onto the floor, driving Alf the Wonder Beagle into a licking frenzy? That's why the EZ Egg Cracker is sheer genius! Once again, American who have shunned the sad sad egg for fear of EB* (*Egg Blow-out) can add scrambled eggs back into their protein-deficient diet (if they get the optional Egg Scrambler, of course). This is the kind of thinking America needs if we are going to survive the Obama

Now that we've addressed Serious Cultural Issues, I'd like to refer you to a fascinating article from the Cato Institute on gun control after McDonald:
...jurisdictions will be forced to allow some form of handgun carry, either open or concealed. Outright bans on concealed carry cited in cases from the mid-1800’s come from a time when it was assumed that only brigands carried handguns concealed, and it was an unquestioned right of the people to carry arms openly wherever they went. States and localities will not be able to delete the right to bear arms from the right to keep and bear arms.
My colleague Tom Palmer is currently litigating this issue in the District of Columbia (complaint here), and states will have to confront the plain text of the Second Amendment and clear historical recognition of a right to be armed outside the home.
California allows open carry as long as the handgun is unloaded, but Los Angeles and other jurisdictions in the state refuse to issue concealed handgun permits. California will probably opt for concealed carry when push comes to shove. Public views have shifted to an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, and concealed carry is the rule in most states. A California police officer recently put a comment up on Facebook that proposes intimidating open carriers with violence. “Haha, we had one guy last week try to do it! He got proned out and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat!” Turds indeed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Video Podcast 031010

Top news this week is the fact that America agrees with the gunowners. A Rasmussen report shows that 69% say cities don’t have the right to ban handguns. In the new product section, Michael Bane talks about the new magazines for the US Army and a new belt from Blade-Tech.

Reference links here...

Home Again...

...John Carter and I spent all morning at the Cody Museum doing still photography for us to set up the filming for COWBOYS in a month. You know, interesting point, I was very closely looking at the Arvo Ajala "Paladin" holster and I was surprised it was more of a "working" holster than I expected it to be. Not nearly as finely made (maybe I shouldn't be surprised here) as the Alfonso replicas I've handled.

I also spent some time studying Buffalo Bill's Stetson hats...I realize this makes me some kind boring fanboy, but hey, how many times do you have a chance to do something like that?

BTW, Frank James did a wonderful rant over at CORN, BEANS, SPENT BRASS, AN EMPTY PAGE & A DEADLINE yesterday:
I personally believe, and it is a sincere belief on my part, this whole movement to create a national identity card (Have you renewed your driver's license recently?) is nothing more than a totalitarian move (supported by both Repubs and Demorats) to 'track' each and every American. Or at least establish the means for future tracking through use of mandated cards and technology. Am I being paranoid? Probably, but is this concern unreasonable?
More importantly, my question is, How do these measures fight the war on Terror? How do they make US safer?
Read the whole thing.

Finally, the Department of Education is shopping for short-barreled 12-gauge pump shotguns:
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14" LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.
Truancy is a bitch these days, I guess...

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Another Grueling Day at the Office...

...a private tour of the Cody Firearms Museum & the Buffalo Bill Historical Center...AMAZING place! Cody curator Warren Neuman is a hoot and a walking encyclopedia. Saw some guns "in person" I'd only read about...Liver-Eating Johnson's Hawken, Buffalo Bill's "Lucretia Borgia" Trapdoor, Winchester's revolvers they abandoned when Colt agreed to walk away from the Burgess lever action rifle, THE Winchester '97 Black Diamond Trap I wish I had, etc.

And the art...I could stand there and look at Remington paintings all day...

Right now I'm in my room at The Cody halfway watching The Devil Wears Prada and taking notes for THE NEW SURVIVAL GUNS...tomorrow John Carter & I want to make a pass by the local saddley & boot store on the way to the airport...

Hey, someone's got to do it..
-- Post From The Road

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Shootist

Breda over at the Breda Fallacy has finally seen THE SHOOTIST, to me one of the greatest westerns ever made:
"It's not always being fast or even accurate that counts. It's being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren't willing. They blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger...And I won't." -J.B. Books
It is an amazing movie (and an even more amazing book), John Wayne's near-perfect swan song.

Busy, Busy, Busy..., so expect light blogging. Gotta get both the audio and the video podcast finished before I run up to lovely (really) Cody, WY, with COWBOYS Producer John Carter for a day in the Cody Firearms Museum...I know, a tough, ugly job, etc....

We'll be shooting B-roll for the next season of COWBOYS, as well as scoping out the Buffalo Bill Historical Center for future stuff.

Finished setting up the Dillon 650 for .44 Special and .44 Russian...I'm using 2 separate toolheads rather than changing out the seater/crimper die for the shorter Russian cartridges. I was lucky enough to have some old .44 Magnum dies not being used for the .44 Special conversion, and I used Redding .44 Russian dies for the other toolhead. I've settled on a starting load in the Russian of (sorry!) grains of IMR Trail Boss powder and a 240-gr LaserCast bullet, aiming for a velocity of 650-700 fps. I'll let you know when I get them to the range (I'll do the testing out of my .44 Special Blackhawks, then scrub the living heck out of the chambers!).

Gotta go to work...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Saturday in the Reloading Room

Gotta spend some time pulling the lever today. I need to set up my Dillon 650 for .44 Special, which always takes more time than I think it will. We're also having an Unlikely Spring Day up here at the Secret Hidden Bunker, so Alf the Wonder Beagle is slated for a nice long hike.

BTW, I started carrying the Ruger SR9c yesterday. I wore it around the house in the Galco Yaqui Slide for a day to see if the gun would bump out when sitting down...there didn't seem to be any problems so I put the gun into service. Here's a pix of the paddle version of the Galco Slide:

So far, so good. Slides carry the gun's weight above the belt line, which is pretty comfortable. As long as you have a good belt, and I was using a Wilderness Tactical Original Instructor Belt, it carries well. I was looking for a Wilderness Tactical Zip Slide for the little Ruger, but the one's I have didn't quite fit.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Tired Puppy...

Finished up this filming session for TBD/SURVIVAL yesterday after the big 3-day push on McDonald v. Chicago for DRTV. Which started as soon as we got back from brain needs a quick I'll just crib from other blogs this AM.

REASON has a good commentary on "Chicago's Pointless Handgun Ban:"
The proponents obviously knew all along this city-by-city approach had serious shortcomings. But they figured it was bound to curtail gun availability somewhat. They also hoped that by prohibiting handguns in one place, they were beginning a bigger process.
First, they expected that other cities and states would follow suit. Second, they wagered that strict controls at the local level would acclimate Americans to new regulations at the national level.
But things didn't work out that way. The persistence of crime in supposedly gun-free zones didn't build support for broader gun control by showing the limits of piecemeal legislation. It weakened the case, by proving that such regulations have little impact on the people who present the biggest danger. Instead of a broad upward avenue, it was a dead end.
Gun control supporters fear that if the Supreme Court invalidates local handgun bans, the consequences will be nothing but bad. That would be easier to believe if the laws had ever done any good.
Over at my regular daily read at THE FIREARMS BLOG, Steve's covering the military's quest for an improved magazine. I'm all for improved magazines but I'd like to note hat the current generation of magazines for the AR platform are amazingly reliable, most notably the P-Mags and the Brownells.

My good friend John Snow over at OUTDOOR LIFE has apparently been drinking some of our (exceptionally flavorful and good for you!) Kool-Aid as he wades mucky yucky gore-deep into the zombie gun controversy:
When it comes to zombie guns there’s no middle ground. You either love ’em or hate ’em. And because I hate zombies, I love zombie guns. My top choice in a rifle for battling the undead is this AR from Lauer Custom Weaponry that includes an arrow launcher attached to the bottom rail and a blood-splattered DuraCoat finish. For a shotgun, I have a modified 870 with an extended magazine tube, adjustable Knoxx buttstock and a Surefire weapon light, and on my hip I carry a hi-cap .45 1911 from Para—the company’s Super Hawg model.
Me, I'm leaning toward something in a 10-gauge flavor, maybe like the old Ithaca Mag-10 Roadblocker, although the 12-gauge Mossberg current version isn't exactly chopped liver:

The Mossberg would need the "zombie" Duracoat option, maybe red spattered green and yellow gore or a skulls motif like this image from Glock Talk:

That pattern would make a great Hawaiian shirt, wouldn't it?