Monday, February 28, 2011

Back in the Saddle...

Beautiful weather up here at the Secret Hidden Bunker!

I had a wonderful time at Winter Range, even though my shooting did not come up to my standards (I finished roughly in the same place as last year). Our squad, Posse 16, produced 3 class champions -- posse leader Long. Hunter, a multiple world champion, who was top 49'er, an age-based class (duh); Slick McClade, who won in the costume-based B Western category and my old friend Billy Boots in Frontier Cartridge Duelist, that is, shooting black powder cartridges one-handed.

One thing I love about SASS is the plethora of categories, which allow shooters to follow their particular muses. To me, that's what competition should be about -- each of us striving against our toughest competitor, overselves.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Summertime, When the Livin' Is Easy

Had to laugh at regular commenter Larry's post about my "summer Training regimen." He is, of course, right...we have a different definition of summer up at the Secret Hidden has to do with when the snowfall drops to once a week, the ice melts on the reservoir and the bears wake up. We have by necessity a more liberal definition of "summer" temperatures...

"March is a green, muddy month down below.
Some folks like it...
...mostly farmers..."

From Jeremiah Johnson

Shoot 4 more stages starting at 2PM today...will be striving for redemption, but if redemption is unavailable I'll settle for going fast.

Interesting to see National Concealed Carry Reciprocity come back around...years ago I wrote in the WSJ Online when W was first elected that reciprocity was an issue that most of us in the culture agreed on. That's certainly still true, but a number of factors have taken a little heat out of the argument. The first is the relentless juggernaut of concealed carry we've talked about extensively on the podcast and the shows, concealed carry liberalization is, for all intents and purposes, unstoppable. It might take years to push it into every nook and cranny of the Northeast (and the occupied state of Illinois), but CCW is an amazingly powerful trend. There's also the fact that states have added to their own reciprocity lists as they become more comfortable with CCW. Back in the earliest days, we all had complex algorithms of which ot-of-state permits we needed to get to cover the most states...that's a lot easier now. Add Constitutional Carry, which wasn't even on the radar a few years ago, and the undeniable rise of open carry, and the normalization process is farther along than any of us imagined it would be.

I see Wyoming is proceeding with Constitutional Carry, as is Colorado. Both are historically open carry need no permit to carry a gun on your hip, but as many have noted if you put on a coat you now need a concealed carry permit. So what we're really talking about is coat control. I suspect Wyoming will become the 4th Constitutional Carry state, but even if Colorado's initiative passes it will run up against Governor Moonbeam Lite.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Well Anyway

Shot better today than yesterday, but still not shooting up to par. Well, one more day left to tighten down a little. As I've said before, you learn from every match you shoot...I've jotted down some notes for our summer training regimen.

Lucky enough to shoot on a great posse, though, with a lot of top shooters. In fact, I wish I could take the posse with me to the next big match! I love watching really great shooters solve problems.

Gotta go clean a shotgun!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Light Blogging Alert

Obviously...very sorry...the next few weeks are just brutal, with GUN STORIES, TBD/SURVIVAL, and SHOOTING GALLERY all in production simultaneously, plus proposals due on a couple of new projects, plus a major DRTV filming session on pocket pistols scheduled for next week. Oh yeah, and I need to shoot the Cowboy nationals, Winter Range.

Not complaining, mind what I do, but it can get a bit tight now and then.

Will try to keep up a stream of those annoying photo posts from the iPhone on the blog, plus the Twitter feed (which you can see here on the blog and on DRTV).

Again, apologies...I hate it when I can't keep up with the blog (no doubt Stephen Hunter will chide me on it!). Interviewing Bill Laughridge of C&S for GS today...

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Got Loaded Today!

At least, got almost 1000 rounds of cowboy match ammo loaded today! Top Brass processed once-fired .357 brass, Federal primers, LaserCast 158-gr RNFP bullets and Red Dot powder (not wussy loads). We've still got to hand-check each round and chamber check 'em, but the bulk of the work is done. Tomorrow I'll clean and lube guns.

Indiana Jackson and I had a great cowboy match at Pawnee Station Saturday in Ft. Collins...we each won our respective categories, and I had a clean match to boot. Perfect warm-up heading into Winter Range. Having reasonably decent eyesight turns out to be a big advantage for competition shooting...who'd have thought? I'm going to try contacts for the minor astigmatism in each of my eyes, but I'm pretty happy with my eyesight now...been a long haul for sure!

We'll be filming GUN STORIES with Steven Hunter and Bill Laughridge from Cylinder & Slide next week...ought to be big looking forward to it. The little gun seminar at GUNSITE is coming up...been looking forward to that, hammering out little 9mms.

BTW, am looking fir ZOMBIES in the Denver area for March 7, 8 & 9...know any????

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Night Thoughts

Haven't talked a lot about politics recently, because I figure anyone who visits this site or watches the shows knows where I stand. But I wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers tonight are with Gov. Scott Walker and the legitimately elected government of Wisconsin, the new front line in the battle for America.

With the appalling encouragement of the current administration, we see the last stages of Francis Fox Piven's wet dream being acted out in the streets of Madison...the "proletariat" rising up to challenge us poor stupid bastards who do the work, pay the taxes and do our best to make sure the lights come on in America every morning.

If I may borrow a phrase from Patrick O'Brian's wonderful "Master and Commander" series:


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Scouting Post-Apoc...

For SG and TBD/Survival...

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Home From Filming...'s a link for the NPR conversation on extended magazines with Stephen Hunter...isn't it cute that NPR keeps saying that the Tucson shooting "renewed the debate on gun control" when it's only media whores like NPR, the NYT and a couple of burned out second-rate Congresspeople who are "renewed?" Thanks for fightingbthe good fight, Steve.

BTW, I'll be working with Steve next week for GUN STORIES...will be big fun!

Really liked shooting the Rock River Arms piston pistol...can't help but think that for only 2 tax stamps (ouch!) it could be a superb suppressed SBR. I am going to build an SBR, but I'm thinking it'll be the AAC .300 Blackout.

I've got the cowboy nationals, Winter Range, coming up quickly...wish I'd been able to get in some more matches this winter, but weather is what it is, and that's way cold! I'll get in a match this weekend, make sure the equipment is dialed in. I wasn't able to get in the Wild Bunch nationals into my schedule...bummer.

I'm still hoping to make the Single Stack Classic in May, especially this year. Marshal and I are attending a special Gunsite 1911 class next month, focusing on Col. Cooper's original drills. Haven't decided which 1911 I'm taking yet...leaning toward my old Wilson competition gun, maybe out of my ancient Gordie Davis belt holster...

Airguns with Janich

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Are In Communication...

...with the Mother Ship...

-- Post From The Road

The Second Monday Morning

On location for TBD/Survival today, but thought I'd hook you up with an opposing view on reholstering, from The Truth About Guns:

As it happens, much of tomorrow's podcast is on reholstering and I present a diametrically opposed viewpoint. Read Robert's blogpost, listen to the podcast and give this subject some thought, because, there may be a time when quite literally your life depends on those actions.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Out Scouting Locations... Denver today. Found a killer location for something we've got planned for SG...hopefully, we can get a deal worked out on it.

Came home and found a package from Andy Langlois at Andy's Leather ( with a totally cool Ching Sling set-up for the Ruger/Gunsite Scout. Andy makes the best slings in the country, so I figure somewhere Col. Cooper is smiling (or scowling a little less, maybe).

Andy hinted at a new line of holsters that may be forthcoming...we'll keep you informed, of course.

Andy also runs the Scout Rifle Forum and is one of the most knowledgeable people around on scout rifles.

I note that Kahr has announced delivery dates -- next month -- and an MSRP, $565, on their CM9, Kahr's entry into the Little Bitty Niner sweepstakes. The sub-$600 price tag puts the Kahr into the high end of Ruger/Taurus/Kel-Tec territory while leaving Kahr's proven, more expensive little guns to hold the line against the Sig P290 and the Kimber Solo.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Words To Live By

"Just because the nice man offers you candy is no reason to jump into his windowless van..."

--Sheldon Cooper
Big Bang Theory

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Trying to Reason With a Very Cold Season...

Yesterday was a day that boiled down to fighting one fire after the other. At the end of the day I finally managed to write a couple of thousand words on THE NEW SURVIVAL GUNS (NSG). I went back and read what I've written to date and I was stunned and shocked to discover that it was pretty good...meaning, I would have liked to finish reading the book if there had been a rest of the book to finish. Maybe if I put it under my pillow at night it will finish writing itself...naw, that didn't work with FIVE TO GO!

Been interesting following the Internet meme on "which gun is best," which is exactly like the old magazine controversies of "...semiauto or revolver,...9mm or or flat dark earth???" Honestly, I'm trying to get beyond that in NSG. As I've been talking about a lot in the podcasts, I think it makes a lot more sense for humans, which are amazingly adaptable creatures, to adapt themselves to the steel and plastic of guns, which isn't all that adaptable at all. I would say our goal as shooters should be to shoot whatever is in our hands to a certain level of competence.

It's sort of like the on-going trigger pull discussion we've had on DR Radio, which grew out of discussions I've had with Bill Rogers, Dave Spaulding, Ed Head and wit, except in specific competition contexts, trigger pull matters much less than we gunwriters have led people to think. I have proven this to myself pretty categorically. That's not saying that my trick guns don't have world-class trigger pulls, but I don't need that trigger pull to deliver the shot.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Alf Gets Tough!

The Wonder Beagle at -2 degrees...out hunting walruses...and, as always, camera shy (but for only $1 you can Have Your Picture Taken With the Adorable Beagle, Alf's latest business venture).

Monday, February 07, 2011

Sorry for Slow Posting...and a SUPER Holster!

Spent the day catching up on audio work in my studio. Every time I look at the morass of wires I swear I'm going to redo everything and make it more like a studio than an explosion in a B&H catalog. Then I probably wouldn't know how to operate it.

I ended up doing a full-bore rant for Wednesday's podcast on the coming battle over "expanded capacity" magazines. Sorry.

Ordered a Kimber Solo 9mm for our mini-9 shakeout. BTW, I've had an epiphany on IWBs...been using one of the N8(2) Tactical super comfortable holsters. I got the holster a year or so ago from Nate himself, started using it but went through a gun change and set the N8 aside...big mistake. When I started carrying the Ruger LC9, I checked to see whether the N8 would work. Perfecto!

N8(2) Tactical IWB

Gotta be the most comfortable IWB in the world. The holster itself is stitched onto a neoprene panel backed with soft suede (I'll take some pixs in the AM). The neoprene is a vapor barrier between your sweaty skin and the gat, plus providing a bit of padding from the lumpy parts of the gun. After about 5 minutes you don't even know the gun is there. Gonna buy a couple of more flavors tomorrow!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Steve Hunter on Extended Magazines... Sunday's WaPo:

Why 33 rounds makes sense in a defensive weapon

By Stephen Hunter
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Sleek, its lines rakishly tilted to boost the ergonomics that index grip placement to barrel, this automatic pistol has but one function: to eliminate human beings easily. That sinister intent is expressed most eloquently in the extended magazine that reaches far beneath the pistol grip, easily tripling the amount of ammunition available to the killer.

It's the Colt Super .38 automatic pistol, customized into a machine pistol by an underworld gunsmith so that Babyface Nelson could use it to kill an FBI agent outside Little Bohemia, Wis., in 1934. Maybe you saw the movie.

Even if you didn't, you can still see the point: There's nothing really new when it comes to guns. To the contrary, the extended magazine that Jared Loughner allegedly carried in his Glock 19 the day he is accused of having fatally shot six people outside Tucson and wounding 13 others, and that President Obama is likely to suggest banning in an upcoming speech, may be traced way back.

Read the whole thing, definitely!

And if you haven't read DEAD ZERO, one of the absolute best books in the legendary saga of Bob Lee Swagger, do so immediately!!!

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Friday, February 04, 2011


Too damn cold to shoot a match tomorrow in Wyoming! Bummed out.

Interesting that Sabre Defense went down after they assured me at SHOT the sale was going through...from the Shooting Wire this AM:

Sale by Secured Creditor, Cadence Bank, N.A., as Secured Party under Article 9 Uniform Commercial Code including: all accounts; inventory; general intangibles, equipment; documents; all Government Contracts (subject to approval and novation process).

Sabre is a licensed manufacturer of ordnance including automatic weapons. It is a contractor for the United States government, Department of Defense and also engages in the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic weapons.

They made a good product, and there are government contracts on the table...

Good news in Montana on the bill to legalize Suppressors for civilian ownership. From my email:

House Bill 174 passed out of the House Judiciary committee unamended this morning. The vote was 16-4.

The bill now goes to the House floor for debate and two votes. I encourage all of you to again contact your legislator and all the reps from your county as well.

After the floor votes in the House, the bill will be transmitted to the Senate where the process begins all over again.

Thanks to all of you who contacted your legislators and the committee members. A great big thanks to John Snow and Justin Marks for taking the time to testify in front of the

My good friend John Snow from Outdoor Life is on-board with our attempt to move Suppressors off the $200 transfer tax to the $5 AOW nationally.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Once Again...

...running around like a crazy person, although I did get to spend some time at my friend Alan Samuel's totally cool Class III retail store, Machinegun Tours, in Denver. Alan's doing a lot of police training as well, especially in active shooter scenarios.

I'm moving forward on my Suppress the World campaign, or as I like to call it, BE QUIET! I'm suppressing the working guns, so I'm filling out Fed paperwork and writing checks. I'm building up one of my carbines into the "house" configuration designed by Ed Head — suppressed short barrel, Aimpoint Micro sighted in at 7 yards, the longest distance for a shot in the house. No parallax issues, what?

Alan had a bunch of tricked out Saigas for 3-Gun in the pricy $1K+ range...interestingly enough, Alan, who was an early Saiga adopter in 3-Gun is going to an FNH SLP semiauto shotgun this year "because of the sheer aggravation factor" of the Saigas. The SLPs are about as bulletproof as a semiauto shotgun can be.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Building Poo-Storm

Weasels in Congress acting up...from The Truth About Guns:
Republicans are trying to tack a health care reform amendment onto the FAA re-authorization bill. Democrats are retaliating by adding the high cap mag ban proposed by Carolyn McCarthy (10 years for 11 rounds or more). Click here for S223. “It’s political suicide,” National Association for Gun Rights Executive Director Dudley Brown told TTAG. “But after Tucson the Dems don’t seem to think so, along with some weak-kneed Republicans.” Brown reckons the amendments may cancel each other out, but warns our readers (and their 600 thousands members) to watch this space. Brown also points out that Harry Reid, the pol who [barely] failed to get the NRA’s endorsement during the last election cycle, is behind the push. Huh.

Update--From Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell...

May or may not be true...developing...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A Bit Nippy...

-20 here at the Secret Hidden Bunker!