Thursday, June 30, 2011


Have survived another premiere week! As of this morning, both Tim Cremin and I are extremely pleased with the response to both GUN STORIES and the new season of TBD/SURVIVAL, and at least for the time being, no one wants my head on a block. Before I head off to shoot the 2-day Hell on Wheels cowboy action shooting regional up in Cheyenne, I wanted to touch on a couple of subjects.

First (and speaking of wanting my head on a block), years back — good grief, can it be almost a decade? — I stepped up to the podium at the largest hunting conclave ever to say that taxation without representation was still tyranny. I was speaking of the Pittman-Robertson funds, of course, derived from tax monies on guns, ammunition, components, etc. Those monies, in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year, have gone to wildlife restoration, wetland purchases, hunter education and funding state fish and game departments and programs. A tiny tiny trickle of the money also went into shooting ranges.

The problem that we saw, based on research from me and Paul Erhardt, was that the there had been a profound change in the market from hunting to shooting, and that change had not been reflected in the allocation of P-R funds. The steady decline of hunting, combined with the meteoric rise of competition shooting and training, coupled with CCW-driven birth and rise to prominence of Gun Culture Ver. 2.0 meant that we represented a majority of the taxes being paid. But 99.99% of the funds were going to hunting/conservation.

I'm not knocking hunting/conservation at all, but come on! We're dying for shooting ranges and awash in ducks! I made the decision to step up to the plate and declare the emperor had no clothes. I will say it got a bit (a big bit) hot in the kitchen......axe...block...neck, etc.

But we won.

The industry has come around to the view that the shooting/training/CCW Ver. 2.0 gun culture is the future. By industry numbers, hunting now ranks 4th as a driver. And now the next steps...refining Pittman-Robertson. This from Senator Mark Udall's (D-CO) office, about Senate Bill S-1249 — Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act:
Today, Mark Udall re-introduced legislation to help states construct and maintain safe public shooting ranges. The bill, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, would help ensure that there are enough accessible ranges where hunters and marksmen can safely practice recreational shooting.
Under current law – the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act – an excise tax is collected on sporting equipment and ammunition, which states can use for activities such as wildlife restoration and hunter education programs. However, it has limited effectiveness in establishing and maintaining shooting ranges, which are declining in number. Udall’s Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act, co-sponsored by Senators Jim Risch, Michael Bennet and Jon Tester, would amend the law to give states more flexibility to use existing funds to create and maintain shooting ranges.
“The number of places in our communities and on public lands where Colorado sportsmen and women can safely shoot and target practice has steadily dwindled,” Udall said. “This bill would give states more flexibility to use federal dollars – that have already been allocated to them – to create safe, new public places to shoot. It would be a triple win for sporting and conservation communities: states can create higher quality and safer shooting ranges, more Coloradans can take up the sport, and it would generate more money for future conservation and hunter education efforts.”
Udall’s bill would:
• Increase the amount of money states can contribute from their allotted Pittman-Robertson funds to 90 percent of the cost to improve or construct a public target range from the current limit of 75 percent. This would reduce local and state matching requirements from 25 percent to 10 percent.
• Allow the Pittman-Robertson funds allotted to a state to remain available and accrue for five fiscal years for use in acquiring land for, expanding, or constructing a public target range on federal or non-federal land. Under current law, states must use these funds within one year.
• Limit the legal liability exposure to the federal land management agencies regarding the management and use of federal land for target practice or marksmanship training.
• Encourage the federal land management agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain target ranges on federal land so as to encourage their continued use.
The bill is fully supported by NSSF, which has taken the lead in allocating P-R funds to shooting ranges through their innovative grant system.
NSSF Applauds Introduction of the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act in Senate
June 27, 2011 By Larry Keane
NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, applauded the introduction of the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO). This bi-partisan legislation will give states greater flexibility to use more of their designated federal wildlife resources (i.e. Pittman-Robertson funds) to establish safe recreational shooting areas. More specifically, the legislation will help facilitate the construction and expansion of public target ranges, including ranges on federal land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
“We appreciate Sen. Udall’s leadership in fighting for safe, accessible shooting facilities,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “This legislation clears the way for new shooting ranges and allows for the proper management of existing ones. Access to these facilities is paramount to continuing to pass on our hunting and shooting sports heritage to younger generations.”
A recent survey by the Responsive Management Company has show that the biggest obstacle to participation in hunting and the shooting sports is access. In addressing this concern, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act will not only help sportsmen and target shooters, but wildlife and conservation efforts as well. Active participation in hunting and the shooting sports means increased production of firearms and ammunition. Manufacturers of firearms and ammunition pay a federal excise tax — 11 percent on long guns and ammunition and 10 percent on handguns — which is used to fund wildlife and conservation efforts. By giving gun owners better access to ranges, the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Act will help to encourage participation in these pro-conservation pastimes.
By allowing the states more latitude in determining how excise tax dollars are used to enhance and develop public shooting facilities, wildlife conservation funding will increase. This benefits all sportsmen and is a strong return on investment.
This is HUGE! One of the baseline strategies of our enemies — perhaps the only one that has been working, BTW — has been to deprive us of places to shoot. A significant amount of revenue flowing into range development, coupled with pushing federal land management agencies to allow land for ranges (a big issue here in Colorado), is a very important start.

Personally, I will not be happy until we have parity, that is, until the P-R funds are allocated by percentage based on industry-derived numbers. If shooting/training/CCW represents 60% of the purchasing activity in an given year, then 60% of the P-R funds should be allocated for programs that benefit that segment of the industry.

Taxation without representation is always tyranny, no matter how well-intentioned the goals for that taxation are!

Thank you, Senator Udall, and thank you, NSSF!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First episode of Gun Stories

This week on MidwayUSA's Gun Stories, we're taking a look back at the rich history of John Browning's model 1911. Air Times: 06-29 at 2:00PM | 06-29 at 7:30PM | 06-29 at 10:30PM | 06-30 at 1:30AM | 07-03 at 6:00AM.


Friday, June 24, 2011

A Functional Definition of "Racism"

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially 
a nation of cowards"

-- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
February 18, 2009

CBS is reporting another death directly attributed to "Fast & Furious" guns, this one the brother of a Mexican state Attorney General, who was tortured and killed by cartel terrorists.

The majority view of ATF's "Fast & Furious" is now that it was a purely political operation, part of President Barack Obama's "under the radar" gun control effort. As I have said from the beginning of this fiasco, "Fast & Furious" makes no sense any other way. It was not a law enforcement operation, as made clear in testimony before Congress, because the ostensible law enforcement goals, "rolling up" the entire cartel gun smuggling operation or getting warrants against the mass murderers who head the Mexican cartels, was nonsensical even to the brave agents who have stepped forward to testify.

Those hero agents who stepped forward told their bosses the same thing they told Congress -- that people were going to die as a direct result of "Fast & Furious."

Apparently, the brass at the ATF and their handlers at the Department of Justice, including Attorney General Eric Holder, were okay with that, as long as it was Mexican nationals doing the dying. Let's be clear about this...all the people involved in "Fast & Furious" knew people were going to die. Their own experienced agents told them so. The cartels have routinely slaughtered family members of people opposed to them, and the concept of "innocent bystander" simply doesn't exist in the free-fire zone south of the U.S. border. Providing the cartel with a new, easy source of guns was guaranteed to have lethal results.

But wouldn't that just play into the meme? ATF leaders were happy, even described as "giddy," when "Fast & Furious" guns began turning up at Mexican crime scenes.

Can you imagine any circumstances, any mindset, that would allow ATF brass and its handlers to not think the guns they were flooding into Mexico would result in the killing of civilians? Any mindset at all?

So what is "racism?" What is this thing that we as Americans, in Attorney General Holder's words, are too cowardly to face? How about the Wiki definition:

Racism is the belief that there are inherent differences in people's traits and capacities that are entirely due to their race, however defined, and that, as a consequence, justify the different treatment of those people, both socially and legally.

The key words here, for me, are, "...justify the different treatment of those people, both socially and legally." Sure, the cartels are killers, but — nudge nudge wink wink say no more — Americans aren't going to get killed. Mexicans are going to get killed, and, well, they're Mexicans, right? They can't vote in American elections; they're a long way away and, hey, we won't even have to look at the bodies!

Ladies and gentlemen, if that isn't the essence of racism, tell me what is.

Their lives counted for less than a political point; counted for so little that dead Mexicans weren't even a minor consideration.

Some commentators say this upcoming Presidential election will be won by the Hispanic vote, and the party in power is reaching out to those voters who have their origins in Mexico and Central and South America with a powerful cry of, "Here's what we have done for you!" Here is what they really did — they armed your blood enemies and by doing so sanctioned the killing of your brothers, your sisters, your uncles, your aunts. Remember.

"Swollen men, blind with power
Break the rules, one by one
With their lies raising the danger
Of their games under the gun."

—Kris Kristofferson
"Under the Gun"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Thought for Thursday

You can ignore reality,but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

-Ayn Rand

Rumbling to a start...

...this AM, focusing on writing for THE NEW SURVIVAL GUNS, then heading for the range. I wanted to throw out some thoughts on Ruger's new 77/357 bolt-action rifle. Heaven knows in a house with two competitive cowboy action shooters in it there's no shortage of .357 rifles (2 1873 clones; 1 1892 clone, 1 Marlin). I also have a BSA Martini Cadet in .357...beautiful little gun!

Ruger 77/357

I like the idea of a reasonably priced bolt .357 as a fiercely accurate little pest rifle that could go up to deer-sized game in a pinch (and with the right ammo). I'm not a bolt-action junky like GUN STORIES and TBD Producer/Director Tim Cremin, but one of the coolest rifles I've ever shot was a Ruger 77/44, the same rifle in .44 Magnum/.44 Special with an integral suppressor (from John's Guns, I believe).

Shooting .44 Specials, the gun made virtually zero noise! No recoil either, like shooting a .22 LR.

With .44 Magnum 240-gr JHPs you got a little noise and a little recoil, but nothing significant. One thing that surprised me was that the big market for these little blasters are grounds-keepers at big golf courses...coyote and other pest removal with no sound signature to frighten (or piss off) the neighbors. With .44 Special you're not going to have the bullet go supersonic, so you're not going to get the crack you'll get with a rifle bullet from a suppressed barrel. And the 200-250 grain at less than 1000 fps .44 Special is a proven performer.

77/44 Suppressed from John's Guns

I could see the .357 77/357 with a suppressed barrel and .38 Special velocities.

BTW, I thought the 77/44 was slated for oblivion, but it's still in the catalog.

There's a good piece over at the Walls of the City blog on open carry issues in Georgia, where OC is legal as long as the gun is in a holster. It highlights something we were hammering last season on TBD -- the necessity for both civilians and law enforcement to know the laws. Open carry is a regular topic when I talk to law enforcement, and I believe there are the beginnings of a movement in LE training to address open (and concealed) carry issues. I imagine the major urban departments will fight OC down to the bitter end, the came way they obsessively opposed concealed carry.

I agree with this conclusion from Walls:
"Just like racial integration, getting people to accept law-abiding citizens openly bearing arms is going to be a long, drawn-out process, but it is an important one nonetheless, and it will invariably lead to a more free society and a country where people can make choices about how they want to keep them and theirs safe. However, until then, we will have to deal with both fellow "average" citizens and law-enforcement "professionals" who are, willfully or accidentally, ignorant of the laws of the land, and it is incumbent upon us to remain calm, cool, and collected in those situations, secure in the knowledge that we are right for lawfully exercising our Constitutionally-protected rights."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Caught Up, More or Less

Sorry for the light has been a hectic few weeks. I won't go as far as saying I'm 100% caught up,, but I can at least catch my breath.

I note that Wisconsin is getting ready for CCW, leaving only the Dutchy of Illinois as the only state in the union willing to disenfranchise their citizens. The spread of concealed carry is, to me, an absolutely fascinating social noted in THE RISE OF THE ANTI-MEDIA, a book I've written extensively about, CCW is as close to unstoppable as you can get. If not this year, the the next, or the next. Forty states now have shall issue or Constitutional carry. All the others, with the sole exception of the Daley-Obama Workers' Paradise, have some kind of discretionary issuance of permits. As noted on a couple of other blogs, every loosening of concealed carry laws is followed by a now-ridiculous MSM meme about, "Blood in the streets....shootings over parking places...etc." You want blood in the street, random shootings, etc., try gun-free CHICAGO, which has categorically proven the cliche that, "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws (and the Chicago PD) will have guns."

Say Uncle had a great comment on "Fast & Furious" that he found posted on FaceBook, and I think it sums things up pretty well:

Imagine the DEA telling pharmacists to illegally sell oxycontin to known drug dealers or they would be shut down. Then imagine the DEA using the fact that more oxycontin was on the street (and hundreds of overdose deaths) as a pretext for making it harder for patients to get prescribed narcotics. This is essentially what happened with the ATF and Project Gunwalker...

Gotta go assemble my Sweetie's 10/22!

Monday, June 20, 2011

No Snow!

Cold and wet, but the thermometer stalled just above freezing. Snowed like crazy a few miles from here, but no shoveling for me! One of the big Colorado bike rides ground through a lot of snow yesterday.

Today was a business business day, financial stuff. I also had a doctor's appointment this AM with a neurologist, and it appears my head is not about to explode. Tough luck for some of you...good for me. Tomorrow is a television work day, with some time to work on my Sweetie's 10/22 for the Ruger Rimfire Worlds in August in New Mexico. Here's something I'll never understand...why do gun companies, even smart gun companies, put these big dohickies on the rear sight -- in the case of the 10/22, a big old fat white diamond -- when you're supposed to pay attention to the front sight? I can't think of how many big fat white dohickies on the rear sight I've lacked out with Sharpies.

I'm going to try and get my video from Daniel Defense put together this week, but no promises.

I was kinda disappointed in FALLING SKIES, the alien invasion series that premiered last night. OTOH, the season closer for GAME OF THRONES on HBO was magnificent! Not a word in the series that wasn't written by the book series's author, George R.R. Martin, who is of course God. FALLING SKIES had so much hackneyed crap attached to it that the show was hard to watch. I like the idea that the Resistance uses, duh, guns! Shoot the aliens until they stop wiggling. Maybe later there'll be recipes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Here In Winterfell...

So we're walking the Wonder Beagle after our 2 hour mountain bike ride. My Sweetie is waxing poetic about how beautiful things are around the Secret Hidden Bunker in the springtime...all the green shoots, the pale green of the new aspen leaves, etc. Me, the Ever Abundant Optimist, replied: Winter is coming....

"Shut up," says she.

Forecast for tomorrow is for up to 3 inches of snow...

Winter is coming...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Movie Dummy Barrett...

...from the last "Rambo" movie, autographed by Sly Stallone. The inscription reads, "It's been a penetrating experience!"

-- Post From The Road

The Best Looking Rifle on Earth

Pre-64 Winchester blah blah...'03 custom blah blah...FBI FNH blah blah...

This is the bomb, the Barrett MRAD in .338 shooting big caliber rifle I've ever shot! This is the Porche of rifles...I'd take an MRAD over an AI any day. I'd also take a nice chalet in Switzerland and the aforementioned Porsche, too.

-- Post From The Road

Current M107A1

In all it's glory...

-- Post From The Road

A Simple Optic Set-Up...

...for about the price you'd pay for an older used car -- a LEUPOLD Mk-IV, BORS system & Aimpoint Micro for up close...

-- Post From The Road

Ideal Father's Day Gift!!!

M107A1, good to go!

-- Post From The Road

Cutaway Barrett Semi

-- Post From The Road

Prototype Barrett #1

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gun Lust

-- Post From The Road

Angela Barrett...

...gets serious!

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Shoot Me First" Vests

Miguel over at the Gun Free Zone has an excellent post on the myth of a "shoot me first" vest. I've always though that particular canard was wildly overplayed. I'm sitting here at Denver International waiting for yet another connection (today is Travel Casualty Day) and looking around right now I see 3 people in vests -- they don't look like photographers,, fly fishermen or contractors. Instead, they just look like poor pathetic travelers who need the extra pockets.

Since I tend to wear t-shirts and shorts for the 3 days I'm at home in the summer, I like vests. And, yeah, you do look like a dork!

Ruger Single 10?

From Ruger today:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce the Ruger Single-Ten™, a ten-shot single-action revolver chambered in .22 Long Rifle.
The Single-Ten features a ten-shot cylinder and is constructed from durable and handsome satin-finished stainless steel. With a 5.5" barrel and smooth, walnut "Gunfighter" grips, the Single-Ten is well balanced and points easily.

The sight picture of the Single-Ten is enhanced by Williams™ fiber optic sights, which are click-adjustable for both windage and elevation.

"The Single-Six has always been a fun gun to shoot," remarked Mike Fifer, Ruger's CEO. "The additional cylinder capacity, along with the trim Gunfighter grips and fiber optic sights, make shooting the Single-Ten even more enjoyable," he continued.
Well, cool...the single action traditionalist in me is going to have to think about this, but it will make shooting the RRC Cowboy Class quantums easier! Hit the link to see the gun...have limited ability to post pictures off the iPad...

BATFE Report

In the airport, but I did want to comment on the Congressional report on the BATFE Gunwalker scandal. This from the Washington Examiner:

Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House committee, the report focuses on the efforts of four BATF agents who brought direct knowledge of the program:

“ATF agents have shared chilling accounts of being ordered to stand down as criminals in Arizona walked away with guns headed for Mexican drug cartels,” Issa said. “With the clinical precision of a lab experiment, the Justice Department kept records of weapons they let walk and the crime scenes where they next appeared. To agents’ shock, preventing loss of life was not the primary concern.”

Among the report's highlights, according to an Issa spokesman, are these:

* The supervisor of Operation Fast and Furious was “jovial, if not, not giddy but just delighted about” walked guns showing up at crime scenes in Mexico according to an ATF agent. (p. 37)

* Another ATF agent told the committee about a prediction he made a year ago that “someone was going to die” and that the gunwalking operation would be the subject of a Congressional investigation. (p. 24)

* The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords created a “state of panic” within the group conducting the operation as they initially feared a “walked” gun might have been used. (p. 38)

* One Operation Fast and Furious Agent: “I cannot see anyone who has one iota of concern for human life being okay with this …” (p. 27)

* An ATF agent predicted to committee investigators that more deaths will occur as a result of Operation Fast and Furious. (p.39)

* Multiple agents told the committee that continued assertions by Department of Justice Officials that guns were not knowingly “walked” and that DOJ tried to stop their transport to Mexico are clearly untruthful. (p. 45-50).

Here's the link to the whole report over at the No Lawyers Only Guns & Money blog.

Here's my quick take...reiterating what I said on the podcast this AM:

1) The ONLY way Fast & Furious makes sense is as a direct attack on the Second Amendment. Otherwise, it makes no sense at all. The idea of "rolling up" a firearms trafficking ring is nonsense. If that had been the intent, it would have been a joint operation with the Mexican government. It wasn' fact, ATF went to some length to keep the Mexicans in the dark.

2) The idea of getting a gunrunning indictment against any of the cartel heads is equal nonsense. A gunrunning indictment? Against men that are, in effect, men with standing death warrants on their heads, mass murderers with their own private armies? Wow, they'd be shaking in their boots!

3) Fast & Furious worked exactly as the ATF and the people holding its strings -- the Department of Justice and probably Homeland -- planned for it to work. That is, it put demonstrably made-in-America, sold-in-America guns at Mexican crime scenes, waiting for the largely inept, totally corrupt Mexican law enforcement to find them, submit them to the US for tracing and shout loudly that they had found the literal "smoking gun," that American gun shops/shows were flooding Mexico with arms. That's why supervisors were "jovial, if not giddy" when the first Gunwalker guns began turning up at Mexican crime was working!

4) I think ATF believed it had enough regulatory juice to keep the gun stores involved from talking, or if not keeping them from talking demonizing them, and maybe driving them out of business, if they did.

It's hardly a secret that I don't think much of the failed narco-state of Mexico, a country of peasants that has allowed a series of blowhard morons turn their country in something resembling one of the rings of hell. But one thing that strikes me as horrific, and breaks my heart, is how easily, how casually, a group of men in suits, in air conditioned offices in Arizona,, in Texas, and, ultimately, in Washington D.C., sanctioned the inevitable deaths of brown people in another country.

Collateral Brian Terry.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Savannah View

Out our restaurant...

-- Post From The Road

Day @ Daniel Defense

The first thing I want to say is I love, absolutely love, the Ambush 6.8 SPC rifle! We were shooting the 16-inch version with it's free-floating barrel in a modular rail system and it's totally cool shotgun-inspired hand grip on steel at about 40-50 yards, and it was sweet. All the Ambush rifles are fitted with Geissele 2-stage triggers, essentially 2 1/2 pounds on the first stage, 2 pounds on the second. It is a world-class trigger and made running the 6.8 a breeze. We had a Leupold scope on the test gun, but DD Sales guy Joe Marler both agree that with a red dot the gun becomes just about an ideal hog/brush rifle. The Ambush clocks in at 6pounds without optics and with a Magpul MOE...not a lot of fat to be trimmed off. BTW, the barrel is threaded but does not come with a flash-hider; only a cap.

We also shot one of the Larry Vickers' spec'ed Daniel Defense carbines with an Aimpoint Mini on that great DD mount. What can you say? This is pretty much the definition of a top-of-the-line AR, and it shoots like it. Of course, I couldn't resist the 10.3-incher with the Gemtech suppressor! We should have some video up on DRTV next week.

We spent a good bit of time in the factory, especially on the barrel line. DD barrels are cold hammer forged, essentially a steel "torpedo" -- what the steel billet looks like -- that has been drilled and then mirror-honed has a carbide mandrel inserted, then the hammers shape the barrel around the mandrel, including the chamber, lands and grooves. It is very impressive, and the barrels speak for themselves.

Down in Savannah...

...eaten' cream and bananas, as an old Lovin' Spoonful song went, and to spend some time with Daniel Defense. I'll be popping up some pictures fromt he range later today.

Tonight I want to get through day one of the Congressional hearings on the BATFE Operation scandal.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Charlie Cutshaw, R.I.P.

I note the passing -- far too soon! -- of my friend Charlie Cutshaw...a master gun writer, authority on AKs and things Russian, and a gentleman extraordinaire.

You will be missed, brother. Rest in peace.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Colorado Sunset... to God and listen to the casual reply...

-- Post From The Road


Fun day at the range! The Tech Sights on the Target 10/22 worked great...butt ugly, but great shooters...I'll take a pix tomorrow. The handguns ran like tops. Mostly I was sorting ammo. My Tac-Sol wants Federal Gold Medal; my Sweetie's 1911 liked the Fed Champions. The rifles liked the Federals and the Wolf Target, but man, the Wolf stuff is FILTHY! CCI Green Tag was accurate in the rifles, but underpowered. It gave me a shotgun pattern in my 22/45.

My Sweetie's out-of-the-box el cheapo 10/22 tanked after 20 or so rounds. The bolt locked back and stayed's still locked back. Not that big a deal since I'm waiting for a Volquartsen trigger group to arrive from Mr. Potterfield, but still...I'll mention it to Ruger tomorrow.

The tuna a la Bobby Flay came out great. Essentially I made a dry rub with 3 different chili powders, brown sugar, cumin, fennel, salt & pepper, rubbed it into one side of the tuna steaks, then blackened the tuna steaks in a cast iron skillet. Smokey but yummy! Side dish of saffron rice and red beans, also from Flay's Mesa Grill cookbook. I was thinking of a rose wine, but opted for Stone IPA instead...right choice!

Oh yeah, and an avocado vinegarette for the fish...

Hopefully, A Range Day

"To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you’re all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary."
-- Jerry Pournelle

I picked up that wonderful quote from science fiction legend (and the world's first blogger, I believe) Jerry Pournelle over at the Sipsey Street Irregulars site. With the ATF "Gunwalker" scandal heading for its first Congressional hearing on Monday, Sipsey, who along with blogger David Codrea, broke the story, should be regular daily reading.

Pournelle's quote should be chiseled in marble ore the entrance of every school and college in America. The sad thing is that most students, upon, seeing the quote, would have no idea what he's talking about. Instead, they,d take a picture with their iPhone and Twitter it out to their friends with the message, "WTF?!?!?!"

Today's mostly a writing day on THE NEW SURVIVAL GUNS, but hopefully I'll get to the range this afternoon to try on the new Tech-Sights on the 10/22. I also want to put some more rounds through the Ruger LC9. I'm cooking dinner tonight, a Bobby Flay dry rub tuna recipe I haven't done before. Let you know how the shooting and the cooking goes.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Sorry for the light posting...I spent yesterday beaver-proofing the Secret Hidden Bunker, making sure we had defensible space in case of a "flash swarm" of social media-active rabid beavers attacked. Plus, we had to make sure there were no trees that could reach the house if they were felled by the furry bastards. On the way to the range yesterday I was amazed — amazed, I tell you! — at the beaver sign...they're everywhere.

That aside, yesterday was a weak point practice day on the range, mostly focusing on one-shot draws. I think one-shot draws are one of the basic building blocks of shooting...practice them a lot in dry fire, then go to the range to verify. I have another range session scheduled this week to work with Ruger Rimfire guns, especially my regular RRC rifle, a 10/22 Target now fitted with a set of really ugly Tech Sights so I can shoot Limited at the World Championships. I had considered building up a new can do that with 10/22s since they don't break the bank...but I've got a lot of rounds through the Target 10/22 and I'm very happy with it. As I mentioned, most of the internals are Volquartsen. Hopefully, this will allow me to focus on my Sweetie's rifle, a very plain vanilla 10/22 I bought mega-cheaply from CDNN on their Memorial Day Sale. Assuming it groups well, the only changes will be a Volquartsen trigger group.

Otherwise, I'm hoping to get together with Marshal Halloway later this month for a mini-9mm "shoot-out." I've read some interesting criticisms of the little nines lately, largely that one doesn't "need" such a gun because of advances in .380 ammunition. Sort of sounds like me a few years back talking about .40s and 9mms. Having shot most of the mini-9mms and most of the pocket .380s, I'd say if you're making a choice noe=w it comes down to how well you can shoot the mini-9mms.

They are a handfull, but not that much of a handful if you're a regular shooter. By that I mean I was able to get the follow-up hits as easily with the mini-9mms as I was with the .380s. I would define a real handful as the ultralight small frame revolvers shooting .357s or some of the semiauto mini-.40s, neither of which I want any part of. Why? Because I subscribe to the lotsa bullets philosophy of such thing as a one-shot stop, so I want a self-defense gun that allows me to readily deliver the necessary follow-ups.

If you don't put a lot of rounds downrange, that's going to push your selection criteria to the pocket .380s (or the small frame revolvers in .38, .327 or even .32 H&R. If you do put a lot of rounds downrange, check out the mini-9mms. The slightly larger polymer-framed versions (the Ruger LC9, the Taurus Slim and the Kahrs) seem to me to shoot a tiny bit lighter than the Kimber Solo, which is truly pocket-sized, but I haven't had any problems shooting the Kimber, either.

Again, I don't usually do ammo tests...there's always something that a semiauto won't shoot. Over the many decades I've been testing guns, I've managed to accumulate a lot of weird ammo, and some of it would choke a single-shot T/C! In the case of 9mm, I have found the Fiocchi 147-gr truncated cone 9mms, won't run in a lot of guns, including my BHP. But so what? The stuff shoots amazingly well in a Para LTC lightweight commander. All I'm looking for is will the gun run with ball and a couple of different rounds of my favorite self-defense ammo (Corbon and Hornady are the usual choices). And yes, different ammo does group differently, but that difference is usually pretty small if you stay within a reasonable sample...for example, 9mm defensive ammo, 115 grains. And I'm not looking for competition accuracy out of a pocket self-defense gun. Sometimes you'll get it...Walt Rauch once told me that a Taurus 9mm I-frame revolver he'd gotten for T&E was the single most accurate small frame revolver he'd ever shot, and he's shot a bazillion of the things. It happens. But little bitty groups is not why one carries a pocket pistol.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Fear Grips America!

Terrifying, n'est-ce pas?
(courtesy, whose correspondent was savaged mauled immediately after snapping this picture in a Philadelphia park Sunday...maybe)

PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania game wardens remained stumped Sunday about a spate of "truly bizarre" rabid beaver attacks in and around Philadelphia.

This story definitely has me worried...I mean, the Secret Hidden Bunker is virtually surrounded by beavers. They're everywhere! This could be the tiny push that shoves it all over the edge, TEOTWAWKI triggered by big bad beastly beavers driven by a virus that is either lab-engineered or dropped directly from the Mothership.

And more importantly, what caliber works for rabid rapid beavers (rapid rabid beavers?). Initially, I uncased the 450/400 3-inch Nitro Express #1 Ruger (okay...the .50 BMG was the first thought, but Alf the Wonder Beagle rolled her big brown beagle eyes at that suggestion), but then I suddenly realized that I could be facing more than one beaver, maybe more than 2 beavers, maybe even a herd (Flock? Clutch? Gaggle? Colony? Shrewdness? Swarm? Parliament? Weiner?) of beavers. Firepower, me thinks! So I've got the Thompson by the front door, along with some improvised Molotov cocktails in case the furry bastards bring a trebuchet -- hey, they can cut down trees, right?

Be ready for the Beaver Apocalypse!

Otherwise, hell, it's Monday and the recording studio is waiting for me, little green lights blinking. I wasn't particularly happy with my performance at the Rocky Mountain Regional Raid cowboy action match...I put together 6 good stages.. Unfortunately, there were 10 stages. I'd say 3 of my less-then-stellar were me pushing too hard, my head making bets that my hands couldn't cover. This is, sadly, probably a necessary step on the way to getting do you know the limits of your current skill level if you don't exceed them? And yes, in an ideal world you would explore those limits in your practice; unfortunately, we often perform different under the higher stress of competition than the lesser stress of practice, so sometimes you've got to push it hard when the timer goes off.

Jay G. from the MArooned blog has an excellent report on the Ruger LC9 up on The Firearm Blog. He likes do I. It's a big pocket pistol, but a pocket pistol nonetheless if you so choose. I love pocket pistols (largely because of my shorts and t-shirt summer ensemble, but we're definitely going to rattle your cage about pocket pistols in next season's THE BEST DEFENSE...and not in a good way! Always challenge assumptions is a good way to put together a television show.

I hope! LOL!

BTW BTW, check me out on the NRA Blog this morning! (photo courtesy NRA Blog/Lars Dalseide)

Friday, June 03, 2011

At The Rocky Mountain Regional Raid....

...and basically hanging on. Couple of less than stellar stages; couple of really good stages. Is what it is. I have 5 more stages to shot tomorrow, then jump in the car and sprint for home! Did one stage with the Browning BSS and was very pleased (mid-20 second run,, with a rifle reload).

Tentative competition plan for the rest of the year is focus on cowboy until Hell on Wheels, the big western regional over the 4th of July holiday (I think we're going to take a pass on End of Trail this year). Then we're going to shift over to rimfire for the Ruger Rimfire Worlds in New Mexico in August. Finally, I'm thinking about filming and shooting the very first IDPA Worlds in Florida in September. If I shoot the IDPA Worlds, I'm either going to go with a Ruger SR9 in SSP or one of the 1911s in CDP...decisions decisions! Heck, that's nothing compared with picking a vest! LOL!

Some speed bumps with moving SHOOTING GALLERY to an hour in 2012. I think it's going to happen, but we weren't able to get the deal finished in time to film the MGM Ironman, which I really really wanted to do. Sometimes the Real World flatly refuses to conform to my schedule, damn it. THE BEST DEFENSE is shaping up extremely well...very happy with how that's looking. Pondering pitching a new series with a familiar face hosting, but I haven't yet made the decision to go forward.

Okay, tomorrow is (as Scarlett says) another day! I'm going to get A LOT of sleep tonight and see if I can focus down a little faster tomorrow morning. One stage is 8 shotgun rounds moving downrange, which plays to my strengths. Any day on the range is a great day!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Dinner I Wish You Could All Have Attended!

On occasions I remember how amazingly lucky I am! We've been filming all day at The National Firearms Museum at the NRA with Joe Mantegna, wrapping up the stand-ups for GUN STORIES. Filming went just great, as with our other 2 locations.

Dinner tonight was Joe Mantegna, Joe's business parter Dan Ramm and his Wife Joanie, ace author (and GUN STORY contributor) Stephen Hunter, AMERICAN RIFLEMAN Editor (and American Rifleman TV host and GUN STORY contributor) Mark Keefe, Phil Schreier and Jim Supica (and wife Eve) from The National Firearms Museum, Lars Dalsiede from the NRA Blog, Producer/Director Tim Cremin and our great crew -- DP Rob Stookie, sound man Don Mitchell and proaction assistant Darlene Marshall.

What a great dinner! I wish you could have all been there just for the wide ranging, fascinating and occasional looney conversations.

Food was good, too!


....first day of production...

-- Post From The Road

4 Barrels... better than 2...

-- Post From The Road

The Ultimate Howdah

.577 Snider cal, circa 1870, gold embellished

-- Post From The Road

Joe With 1911...

...not just any 1911...serial #4, first day production...

-- Post From The Road

Joe M...

...and Jesse James' S&W...

-- Post From The Road