Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another Beautiful Autumn Day.. the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains! Man, I so wish it would stay like this until, say, April.

Had an excellent match yesterday in Ft. Collins...finished 14th overall out of 65 shooters, my highest overall finish so far and shot clean... 3rd in class (49'er), a tough tough division. Had I signed up in Senior ('s true) I would have won it walking away. Didn't do anything special...just made sure I had a sight picture every time I pulled the trigger...and tried not to do anything stupider than usual. Indiana Jackson did good as well, 2nd in class and 3rd woman overall. Great posse and, as usual, a great match from Pawnee Station in Ft. Collins.

Picked up the Rhino, just in time for Halloween! You never know what's up with the Children of the Corn on witchy nights. This one has a sweet DA pull...may get to take it out to the range tomorrow, along with the RRA AR pistol. Pixs on the blog; video on DRTV, as usual.

Yes, I can't wait for "The Walking Dead" zombiefest tonight, but my Sweetie has FLATLY refused to watch with me...instead, she'll stay upstairs and finish reading Bram Stoker's original "Dracula." No accounting for taste...LOL...MY taste, of course.

Gotta go string the crime scene tape across the driveway and make sure the claymores are faced the right to mention the garlic cloves on the door, the sharpened stakes, the Zombie Tools sword, and, oh yeah, some holy water (or, at the very least, holy beer)...

And BTW, HAPPY SAMHAIN to you all! Be sure to leave a candle burning in a west window so the dead can find their way home, and be careful with those bonfires!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I pick it up tomorrow! I 'll be doing the evaluations in a top hat and steampunk goggles...can't get that in G&A, eh?

Another fire up hear near the Secret Hidden Bunker...we're not in danger, but man, it has been a brutal fire season! My friends are on the fire lines tonight...remember them in your thoughts and prayers.

Shooting a cowboy match in Ft. Collins tomorrow AM. Dumped enough oil into my back-up Marlin to get it through the match. Be glad when my primary rifle is tinkered back together.

Watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Life is good...

"Everyone tells me you are a fake. but I believe in you..."


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Marty Hayes...

...from the Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network & the Firearms Academy of Seattle...

-- Post From The Road

How Many Videographers...

...dies it take to fix a flat tire on a dolly?

-- Post From The Road

Time to Stock Up!

Got this flier from it quick; you ain't gonna have it long! (bonus points if you know where that quote came from...LOL!)

Good Morning,
Today we have a really great opportunity to serve the outdoor industry and MidwayUSA Customers by offering some very special discounts. You and your friends can uses these promotions to get some really great shooting, reloading, gunsmithing, hunting, optics, ammunition or even some self defense gear.
Please spread the word that these discounts are available for a limited time, only through Sunday October 31, 2010. You may want to post them in your favorite Forum, Blog or even on your Facebook page. Use this link to see the special promotion page: MidwayUSA October Promotion
1. Place regularly priced in-stock products in your shopping cart totaling:
·         $15 off $100 -  Promo Code:  1101071
·         $30 off $200 -  Promo Code:  3101071
·         $60 off $400 -  Promo Code:  6101071
·         $100 off $650 -  Promo Code:  10101071
For orders enter the promotion code in the box entitled "Promotion Code" on the shopping cart page.
For phone orders, (800)-243-3220, simply tell the customer service rep you have a promotion code.
2. Note: On Website orders you will see the discount on the Confirmation page before placing your order.
4. Limited to one promo code per Customer and one promotion code per retail order.
5. Offer cannot be combined with Birthday, Special or Dealer Pricing.
6. Offer not valid on MidwayUSA Gift Certificates, Nightforce, Sale and Clearance products.
7. Offer valid on regularly priced products only.
8. Hurry, offer ends at 11:59 PM CT October 31, 2010.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

9mm Addendum...

...while I'm sitting in the airport wondering what the heck happen to my plane. "It's at the airport,sir; the crew just went to look for it." They misplaced it? Have the checked under the sofa in the TSA staging room? The women's restroom on Concourse A (I lost my Sweetie there once)? I urged them to circulate a description in case any of us passengers stumbled across it while on the way to Starbucks.

I think if the 9mm wave materializes, it will be for guns in the 15-20 ounce range WITH the magazine inserted...6-7 shot single stack mags...heavy DAO trigger...MSRP in the $500 range. The company in the best position to benefit from this wave but who absolutely won't do it is Glock, with a single stack G26...I've asked before...they've always said whatever the Austrian equivalent of "Hell no!" was.

A 9mm Prediction

I note that the Pistol Training blog is showing pixs of the new Sig Sauer P290, an ultra-small polymer frame 9mm pistol introduced this week at the IACP show. Hmmmmmm, methinks. One of last year's big winners for Taurus was their "Slim" 709B-series ultra-small 9mm single stack [below].

I think what we are seeing here is the first salvos in The Next Big Thing, ultra-light little 9mms to appeal to the gazillions of people who have bought into the Great .380 Pocket Pistol Sweepstakes. In short, the staggering success of the Ruger LCP and the flood of pocket .380s it released caught the industry totally by surprise...who were these people buying up all the little guns?

Well, I believe a lot of them were the big wave of next-gen CCW holders who are just now coming into what we think of as the gun culture. By next-gen, I mean they weren't involved with shooting/hunting/whatever until they made the decision to get a carry's a younger, more female demo than us Old Skol gun guys, and they were draw to the little polymer .380s because...wait for it...wait for it...they are EASY TO CARRY! And they were cheap. Huge round of "duh!" is appropriate here.

So now that they've carried for awhile, gotten used to the "gun every day" thing, had an introduction into the gun culture (hopefully from watching my shows and checking out DRTV!!!), they're thinking the little blasters are, well, little. More importantly, they've got some time in gun-handling and shooting, and they're more comfortable with the bark and bite of small pistols.

What's the next step up?

How about a little 9mm semiauto, a cartridge at least I consider sufficient for my own concealed carry needs? A 9mm built on the pattern of the successful .380s, because, hey, that pattern WORKS! A quick look in the niche reveals the superb Kahr Arms guns (at a commensurate price, essentially double or triple the cost of the current generation of .380s, with the notable excecption of Kahr's entry into the sweepstakes, the P380) and the relatively unknown Kel-Tec PF9/P11 series...and keep in mind that the market had already overlooked the uber-ploymer .380, the Kel Tec P3AT).

So I'm thinking the next wave is marketing a slightly larger 9mm polymer-framed DAO (or the equivalent trigger system) that look a lot like the .380s? It's an obvious up-sell for .380 owners, the perfect 2nd gun...and lots of people, me included, are pushing the "2 guns are better than a reload"'ll see it on TBD and SG in 2011, for example.

I expect to see Taurus really push their Slim line and Sig with their P290 to try and get in from of the big wave I strongly suspect will be coming...we'll see at SHOT 2011. won't we?

And remember, you heard it here first!

Lindsay Lohan's Life to be Sold on E-Bay?

As the only gun blog regularly covering the spreading Lindsay Lohan Crisis on a regular basis, I thought it was past time for an important update. It was announced today that the Loveable Lindsay doesn't have the scratch for another 3 months in Betty Ford, not to mention the coke. Sources close to Lindsay (including Alf the Wonder Beagle and Michael Jackson's presently incarcerated chimp) tell us that the Vivacious Vixen has come up with a unique solution — she will sell up to 12 months of her life on E-Bay.

If you're lucky enough to win Lindsay for 1 month, she will come live in your house for an entire 30 days. She promises to lounge around your doublewide in panties and bra, Twitter pictures of Hummel collection, make a pass at (choose 1) you, your spouse, your son, your daughter, the girl who babysits once a week or a family pet. She also guarantees at least either 1 overdose or 1 arrest.

If you're willing to bid for a 3 month block, Lindsay will also agree to marry you, with a subsequent divorce on day 90. There are rumors that George Soros has expressed an interest in obtaining the whole 12 months if, and only if, Charlie Sheen is included. "Boy Howdy, that Charlie knows how to party," Soros is reported to have said.

Anyway, I picked up my RRA PDS pistol yesterday and I was momentarily overcome with Gun Lust. I think the commenters on the previous post who talk about how much fun these guns are to shoot have the right of it. Although I'm thinking about doing a special on DRTV sorting out the uses of these pistols, a la the last post...I'll sort it out over dinner with Marshal Halloway tonight.

And yes, AR pistols DO make Sarah Brady cry, which is certainly reason enough to own one.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Neither Fish Nor Fowl

I wanted to make mention of Overload's comments on my previous post on AR/AK pistols. I mentioned that I need to pick up one of the new Rock River PDS pistols based on their new gas piston system.

I've been a bit surprised (and not a little amused) at the rise of the neither-fish-nor-fowl AR pattern pistols. When friends of mine starting building AK pistols back in the Back When, our response was, "Whatever for?" My friends responded, "Why not?"

There has been a steady submarket of AR pistol parts (primarily a pistol-length buffer system) for years, but it has only been in the last 2 years or so that AR companies have started not only making AR platform pistols available, but heavily marketing them as well. Okay, I'm exempting the Olympic Arms pistol, which was an early version. Part of this is the rise of the gas piston variants, which allows a pistol without the AR buffer tube in the rear. Sig, I believe, lead the way with a pistol-version 556.

I wasn't surprised to see a pistol-length AR on the cover of one of the tac-mags as a "Tactical Alternative." "To what?" I wondered.

I think the market is really for SBRs, but that $200 transfer tax (or even the $5 AOW) and all the paperwork is a real buzz-kill. Hence the pistol version, available without paperwork or transfer taxes.

I've said this before, but the pistol ARs/AKs seem to be an American version of the popular-in-Europe PDWs. PDWs tread the no man's land between carbines, submachineguns and pistols, ostensibly aimed at military troopers who need more than a handgun and less than a carbine...say vehicle drivers, etc. Part of the appeal of the PDW in Europe, I think is that Europe never had a hardcore pistol culture like the one that developed in the U.S. That, coupled with the fact that most European nations didn't have a particular problem with equipping their police forces with full-auto weapons, virtually mandated the creation of a Personal Defense Weapon category.

As far was where the jumbo-sized pistols fit in the self-defense continuum, the answer is something of a reach. The pistols are a litle easier to maneuver with in a constrained space, but are harder to shoot than either a traditional handgun or a carbine. The best way to shoot the little beasts seems to be with the weak hand gripping the forearm (I apply forward pressure on the weak hand and rearward pressure on the strong hand to give me some kind of dynamic tension). If you put the obvious vertical handgrip on the AR pistol's lower rail, you have created a controlled weapon covered under the 1934 Firearms Act (an AOW, Any Other Weapon) and you're in very expensive hot water with the Fed. If you add a folding stock to make the gun easier to shoot, it's an SBR, Short-Barreled Rifle, and equally controlled. You can indeed build your own AOW or SBR, but you must file the appropriate paperwork and pay the tax FIRST, before you all that vertical fore grip or folding stock.

Granted, that's nonsensical, but it is the LAW ands BATFE isn't known for their great sense of humor.

Sooooooooo, how to best use the AR pistol? If it has a pistol-length buffer tube, you can use that tube as sort of a defacto stock. There are slip-on butt pads for buffer tubes, but by my reading of the law those butt pads can be construed as adding a stock to a pistol, definitely a no-no. If any of you guys have info that contradicts that view, PLEASE let me know. Again, I shoot the AR pistols the same way I shoot a T/C Contender, weak hand on the forearm.

An alternative would be using a single-point sling to provide the rearward tension. I've got a sling and mount around here to try out, but I just haven't had the time to mount it up and test it out.

Since these guns are not exactly long-range paper-punchers, I like the small red-dot sights. I have used an Aimpoint Micro on my Spike's Tactical 9mm pistol [photo below] and it works great. I don't see any reason why the small pistol-type red dots, such as the Insight, Trijicon, Docter or even a C-More should work just as well.

I've carried the Spike's pistol on long driving trips because it's a lot of firepower in a small package, but you could probably say the same of a collapsable/folding stock carbine. The advantage of the pistol in a vehicle is the same as the advantage of a PDW — easier to deploy with the shorter barrel and the absence of a stock. Ditto as a grab-and-go bedroom gun...portability and storage advantages at the expense of shootability.

Still, AR pistols are a blast (quite literally) to shoot...I think of them as ammo exterminators....when I go to the range with the Spike's, everybody, and I mean everybody, wants to shoot the little monster. Keep in mind that the 5.56 versions are LOUD — the perfect accompaniment for your .30 Carbine pistol in the Race to Complete Deafness. The muzzle blast can also be...impressive...depending on the flashhider.

Obviously, you can go FMN (Full Mall Ninja) and slip a light/laser on one of the rails (maybe an integrated system like the Streamlight)...if you're going to use the pistol as a self-defense tool, that probably makes sense.

I wish ATF would allow "packaging" controlled features under one $200 tax and set of papers — if I could get a folding stock, vertical foregrip and a suppressor on the same sheet of paper, I'd be there, dude!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Exhausted Sunday

I think I slept for 12 hour straight and I could go back to bed right now. I thought about going to the range today, but it was cold, wet and I had a home to-do list that really needed to get done. For all her many fans, I wanted to say Alf the Wonder Beagle had a tough day...Alf was focused on scrounging food this AM when Bishop, our green-winged macaw, picked upa big chunk of cactus wood, carted it over to the side of her flight and with careful aim dropped it on Alf's head. Alf yelped piteously, raced across the room and jumped in my lap, shivering in fear (which she has since denied).

She has asked us for a helmet. And goggles...

I'm owing to do my election podcast tomorrow...been working on it off and on today. I also want to talk a little about the whole Internet meme on safety — 3 rules, or 4? Maybe 10? 7 !/2? Worth sorting out a little bit.

Got to go pick up one of the Rock River Arms piston pistols tomorrow.Again, I'm going to come down on the side of pistol ARs/AKs as the American equivalent of PDWs. I've also got to mount my Millett DMS 1 X 4 on the FAL, sight it in and see how it works. Planning on using Leupold QD mounts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Great Week of Filming

We did 2 Shooting Gallery episodes -- one with Ed Head continuing his work with pocket pistols, filmed at GUNSITE, and the other with Bill Laughridge from Cylinder & Slide Shop on the 1911 since 1911. That one we filmed at the great Scottsdale Gun Club. I think this is the best work we've done, and you guys are going to like 2011! I hope...

Dog tired tonight, but I'll get back to posting tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Car Stuff

-- Post From The Road

Gunfighter Shirt

Ed Head has a Hawaiian shirt with all gunfighters on SOOO jealous!

-- Post From The Road

Monday, October 18, 2010

Watching It Snow...

...sitting here at home drinking Tequila Sunrises, waiting for enlightenment, on my brief stopover between 1864 and GUNSITE. Just whipped up the script for the TOP SECRET epidode of SHOOTING GALLERY scheduled to be filmed next guy's will freak on this one! Hint...think "undead."

Am doing more work on pocket piustols this week...that's probably the most common form of carry in the U.S. and I think no nearly enough time has gone into thinking it through. We're trying to remedy that with SG in the 2011 season.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hoops, My Dear!

Soooooo, I think it's obvious that the hoop skirt is on the verge of a big comeback, right? And guys, Christmas is coming up, and I'll bet you your Significant Other would be blown away by her very own set of hoops...or not. Still, I bet it's a gift she (or that very special "he") won't be expecting.

I think this big gun reenactment will make a pretty interesting SHOOTING GALLERY...if the show has any mission, per se, it's to show the length and breadth of what we think of as the Gun Culture, and sometimes thank length and breadth surprises even me. There are thousands of people here in Virginia for the event, and it's absolutely fascinating. I never really thought of reenactment as a "lifestyle," but I was clearly wrong.

BTW, I strongly urge you to cruise on over to DRTV and read the comments on last week's podcast, which I think are more articulate that this week's podcast!

Ron Norton from Chiappa Firearms came out with one of his production Rhinos...I can't wait to get my hands on it and get out to the range. Really slick action on the little beast.

Dead on my feet, so I'm off to bed....BTW, like the new hat? I think it makes me look like Tom Petty in the "Don't Come Around Here No More" classic video...maybe I'll go ask Alice...I think she'll know...sorry...hat's from Dirty Billy Hats, who did many of the hats in "Tombstone." Called a "Quaker crown."

-- Post From The Road

Fog of War

-- Post From The Road

Confederate Advance

-- Post From The Road

DP Gene Moffett costume...sorta...

-- Post From The Road


-- Post From The Road

Chicks With Canons

Works for me...

-- Post From The Road

New Battles for SG

-- Post From The Road

Meanwhile, Back in the War of Northern Aggression...

...if we were editing, there'd be a big SWOOSH and I'd suddenly be in it is the Real World, it involved a long flight across the country to the Cedar Creek Battlefield Reenactment for SHOOTING GALERY. Hey, we've never done anything like this before, so I thought it'd be fun, although I have it on good authority that the victory goes to the Federals.

Best I could do costume-wiz is slightly out of period, but consistent with some of the Harper's Weekly illustrations early in the war.

I will endeavor to persevere...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Perfectly Good Door...

...bites the dust...

-- Post From The Road

Pincus Pummeled

-- Post From The Road

Pincus Bites the Dust...


-- Post From The Road

Smashing More Doors & a Shooting at the Liquor Store...

...all for TBD Season 3, of course. Then I'm off to the Civil War for SG, strangely enough. Pincus & I are going to try and address the open carry movement today...I'm a lot more positive about it than he is, but I think we can find some consensus, especially in terms of dealing with LEOs if/when they are called...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pincus Cuffed...

...probably should do this every show...

-- Post From The Road

Assorted TBD Mayhem

-- Post From The Road

Another Day @ the Office

-- Post From The Road

Monday, October 11, 2010

Busy Busy Monday!

I'll get some stuff on the SR40 on the podcast this week and then write some things up...I won't talk about cowboy so George won't fall sleep...I'll be frantically filming TBD segments this week, SG all next week...The Firearm Blog has a comprehensive piece on the Kel-Tec PMR-30 .22 Mag semiauto that's always on the verge of being in the pipeline. Think of it as an FNH Five-seveN Lite...

Friday, October 08, 2010

Kansas Is Flat

I am apparently the last to know. Grinding through the Kansas State Cowboy Championships...clean after the first day and reasonably fast.

Am trying a different configuration for "road guns"...will fill you in on next week's podcast.

I've also got a Ruger SR-40 waiting for me when I get home. I've put a lot of rounds through various SR-40s, and, yes, they do "shoot light." Good ergonomics, to be sure. Still not a fan of .40, though...

Glad to see you're all rocking and rolling on mall ninjas!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

You Might Be a Mall Ninja If...

This from SnarkyBytes:
If your wardrobe consists entirely of 5.11 then you might be a mall ninja.
If you ever stood downrange while people were firing, you might be a mall ninja.
If you own a drop leg holster, you might be a mall ninja.
If you ever described yourself as HSLD, then might be a mall ninja.
If you shoot any kind of airsoft anywhere but the privacy of your back yard, you might be a mall ninja.
If you’re more interested in how tacticool a gun looks than how it shoots, you might be a mall ninja.
If you have ever attended a tactical carbine class, you might be a mall ninja.
If your “gear” is a fashion statement, you might be a mall ninja.
If you want to be a cop so bad that you impersonate one, you might be a mall ninja.
If you’ve memorized all the acronyms on the survivalblog, you might be a mall ninja.
If you spend time on the Internet arguing about the best tactical flashlight, you might be a mall ninja.
If you own anything made by H&K, you’re a mall ninja, no maybe about it.
If you own a concealed carry badge, then you might be a mall ninja.
If all the blades on your knives are matte black, you might be a mall ninja
If you list the guns you own next to your signature, you might be a mall ninja.
If your M4gery has more rails than a train track, you might be a mall ninja.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Thanks for all the info on scopes and mounts! I'm kinda excited about setting up the FAL with the little Millett. I'm looking at the GG&G Orr the LaRue mount. I'm thinking I need the shorter mounts rather than the 1.50 inch AR standard? What height mounts have you guys used?

Will be working on TBD all next week, so I'm trying to get everything else taken care of this week. Would like to get in some time at the range, but it's a crap shoot this week.

I strongly urge you to read Tam's excellent post on "Big Boy Rules." It's controversial, and I agree 100%. In fact I've written and blogged about this issue extensively. My biggest criticism is that training classes run under so-called "Real World" rules is that the whole basic premise is fatally (and that's literally) flawed. Training is never, and cannot be, the Real World, and students who think they've experienced a "taste" of the chaos of a violent confrontation are setting themselves up for disaster if they actually stumble into a Real World Condition Red situation. When the SHTF, it's an absolute mastery of the basics combined with mental flexibility that will save your butt.

Think about it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Is It Friday Yet?

I mean, no matter how I slice it, it's nowhere near the end of the week. In fact, unless I'm sadly mistaken, it's the beginning of a new week! How can that be? Does it have something to do with the end of Daylight Savings Time, or maybe the rising power of China?

So after a grueling week in a deluxe resort, hardening our arteries with Sputhern cooking and breaking clay pigeons, I was barely able to drag myself home and wanted nothing more than to sleep late. I made the mistake of visiting Weather Underground before I collapsed, where I discovered that Saturday was going to be a magnificent autumn day in the mountains, a day not to be missed. So by 6AM Saturday morning we're on the way to the cowboy match hosted by the Cheyenne Regulators up in Cowboy World north of Colorado, with visions of lovely blue skies and gold quaking aspens.

Autumn ended at the Wyoming state line. By the time we got to the range, it was fogged it, wet as an old horse blanket in, bitingly cold and — of course — windy. Like really windy, the kind of Wyoming wind that can find any tiny crack in your defenses (and since Indiana and I failed to bring iny defenses at all, those cracks were legion). The Cheyenne Regulators are a hearty bunch, though, and the club members assured us it would warm up, probably around July.

The match was fun, I think, although it rained procedural penalties on me...a good sign that my brain had failed to make the adaptation to winter shooting. BTW, the back-up back-up rifle, the Marlin 1894 .38, was a bit cranky on a stage when a piece of something or other — heck, maybe ice — got clogged behind the little lever dohicky on the lever that retains the lever when it is closed. Since the little lever wasn't levering, it wanted very badly to stay closed. Situation resolved with a heathy crunch and a shot of WD-40 to rinse out the remainders.

Got my FAL back from DS Arms with a new DSA scope mount and a mild trigger job. Am presently agonizing over what scope needs to top it. I'm halfway leaning toward the little Millett DMS 1-4 24mm, but that Burris 1.5-6X Tactical looks appealing (albeit expensive). After all, I'm not headed for Afghanistan next week, and the FAL was never designed to be a long-range tack driver. GUNSITE has a Major Battle Rifle class that I hope to film for SG 2012, and I plan to use the FAL in that. I want to get the gun debugged well before the class.

John R., I'm sorry I missed the conference in San Fran as well...would have loved to have been there, but my schedule right now is just brutal. Trust you'll be at SHOT next year. Working on THE BEST DEFENSE next week and the week after, then SG for the rest of the month. We'll be starting filming for GUN STORIES in early November. I plan to take Thanksgiving Day and Christmas off.