Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sushi Nite

We made an expedition to the People's Republic of Boulder for sushi...an evening in Boulder makes me feel older than crap, but a bit of unagi and a dollop of wasabi helps clear my head. Spent the morning running down some decent glass for my AR. I'll keep you guys in the loop as I move forward. I'm also doing some more work with the small frame revolver, since I've gotten a bunch of questions on little blasters recently.

Am shooting the Colorado Ruger Rimfire Championships this Saturday...I'm using a different rifle based on a $179 Big Box Store 10/22. I of course have big plans, but the pieces of the big plans are lying all over the gun room. If I'm industrious, I'll get it put together tomorrow, then run to the range and see if it shoots at all. Yes, the is the mathematically perfect wrong way to shoot a match! Maybe I'll take a different pistol, too, sort of a grand slam of errors. Then again, everything many work...stranger things have happened...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Home Again!

On the AR15/Rockcastle 3-Gun Pro/Am, first, I gotta give full props to name sponsor and match "imaginer" AR15.com, Match Director Jeff Crambit, Match Chairman Joe DeBergalis, all the guys at Rockcastle, especially the Noble family, and the match sponsors (including but not limited to Brownell's, Sinclair, Hornady, policestore.com and a who's who of the industry) for a spectacular and I believe game-changing match.

I'll be talking about the match on Wednesday's podcast, but I did want to at least touch on it on the blog. I shot 3-gun back in the day...I enjoyed it thoroughly, but at the time I was a pretty good pistol competitor and I decided to focus in that direction. We have covered several of the big 3-gun matches for SHOOTING GALLERY, including the Rocky Mountain 3-Gun and the FNH Midwest 3-Gun, and none of them had really captured my imagination. Great matches; great television "fodder," but the commitment to a sport requires a sort of immediate connection to what's going on, and at least for me, that connection was lacking.

Which was surprising to me, because I'm a cowboy shooter, which is a multi-gun sport. One of hte things that attracted me to cowboy was the transitions (I am an old, overweight former triathlete, after all). I thrilled at the amazing athletes of 3-gun — Daniel Horner, Michael Voigt, Bennie Cooley, Robbie Johnson, Jerry Miculek (of course) — and their ability to deliver any shot cooked up by Machiavellian match directors, but it was with the same view as one might look at a magnificent basketball game or a NASCAR race, something for the genetically gifted, superbly in shape and lucky enough to be sponsored athlete.

I did some consulting on the future of various shooting sports, including 3-gun, and in doing so I found a lot of similar opinions...that the barriers to entry for 3-gun essentially capped that sport far below the more mainstream sports. Those barriers go beyond the simple expediency of having to purchase 3 trick (and often expensive) guns. The long-range (500 yard+) shots called for in many matches require both a place to practice and a heavyweight commitment to training that's increasingly rare. The athletic challenges for some of the big matches are daunting.

This is not criticizing those matches or 3-gun, only pointing out the barriers to entry. That's why I thought the Arfcom/Rockcastle match was such a brilliant idea...the longest shots for the pros were in the 300-yard range; a little less for the amateurs. I know from experience that you can tune up for shots at that distance on a 100-yard range, which are much more accessible to larger numbers of shooters. The stages were all pretty contained, while remaining very interesting and darned challenging!

In short, it was a match that I and a lot of other spectators thought, "Wow! I wish I was shooting this match!"

I talked to MD Jeff Crambit a little bit, and he was like a kid who had gotten what he wanted for Christmas. His goal, as he told me, was to make a match that was exciting and challenging and accessible. I told him I thought he succeeded. If 3-gun can be a competition that can be run on a majority of what we might think of as "normal" ranges and appeal to the larger body of practical shooters, I think the sport will soar. I also think that such a path would enhance the current big matches by funneling new shooters to them.

It'll be interesting either way!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dinner Tonite in Music City

-- Post From The Road

Robbie Johnson...

...on the move

-- Post From The Road

Friday, August 26, 2011

At the AR-15.com 3-Gun @ Rockcastle

And very tired to boot. You know, I think the guys here have pulled off a 3-gun hat trick...in essence, recast 3-gun as a do-able thing for mainstream shooters. This match is more "contained," I guess is the word. And the longest shot is 275 yards. The result us a more accessible style of 3-gun than many of the "outlaw" matches I've seen.

We've been following Iain Harrison as he struggles with his Saiga. Gonna be a good show!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BBQ Salmon Day!

Which is at least something to look forward to...meanwhile, I'm between hither and yon sitting in my office waiting for a conference call, a little bit I suppose like waiting for the electrician, or someone like him. I ordered a couple of Hi-Viz front sights for my 2 SR9s...hopefully, I'll have a chance to get them on the guns before the IDPA Worlds. If not, somehow, I will survive, probably with Too Hot Pink nail polish, Dave Spaulding's favorite, on the front sight.

I just discover that the latest move for gender equality can be found at Go Topless. What the heck, I'm okay with that...oftentimes it turns out the world is actually weirder than I think it, which is pretty darn weird. Here's the whole story. I would mention this to my Sweetie, except that I'd rather keep living. She still has ammo left over from last weekend (where, BTW, she won her division!).

From Military Times comes the news that Marines in Afghanistan has been banned from audible farting because it apparently offends the stinking goatherders of that plush nation. Perhaps a cruise missile would be more appropriate...

If you haven't seen the SPECULAR video of Team Erhardt's quest for the gold, you definitely need to tune in to DRTV. It's hysterical.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great Day on the Range!

As part of our coverage of the IDPA World Shoot for the new 1-hour SG next month, I decided to spend (and film) a day on the range with many times IDPA champion and S&W master Tom Yost. Tom and I have been friends just about forever...he sat up scenarios, then we ran them. I think you guys are really going to like the segment, but I have to say it helped me immensely (and boosted my confidence). I was working with an out-of-the-box Ruger SR9 and Winchester white box ball...I gotta ink out the rear white dots and festively color the front sight, but other than that it's good to go.

Tom is a super guy and a great low-key instructor...if I had a week to work with Tom...LOL!

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Word Yet from Paul Erhardt...

...on his Steel Challenge performance...apparently, he's in hiding...

Seeklander Wins Steel Challenge Production!

Huge congrats are in order for THE BEST DEFENSE's Mike Seeklander, who won Production Division at last weekend's Steel Challenge in Piru, CA!

Production Division is the toughest division to compete in, and Mike certainly showed his mastery of the out-of-the-box gun.

BTW, Marshal Halloway and DRTV were right there in Piru, and you can see video of Mike in action on our Wednesday videos.

Great work, Mike! We stand in awe...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Shot 5 excellent stages today! Unfortunately, there was 1 train wreck. Note to self: you CANNOT "make up" time! A 3 second mistake becomes a 3 second mistake with 2 5-second misses! Ouchies!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Larry's Place...

I love going back to the Gun Tec section of Mindway USA because it's like ascending into Gun Heaven!

We're going to be doing the live studio stuff for the new SHOOTING GALLERY at a studio we're building  in the Gun Tec section. I'll announce here when we're going to be doing toe studio work, so if you're around we'll be giving away tickets! Meanwhile, drool away!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hither & Yon

Had dinner with Larry Potterfield tonight...we're hashing out ideas for Season 2 of GUN STORIES. I love going to larry's office because he's got some way cool guns...this trip, a magnificent target Sharps. I'll try to grab a picture tomorrow.

Tired now...more tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Good Morning, I Think!!

From this morning's Boston Herald:

Yesterday, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry was campaigning at the Iowa State Fair, a reporter from Politico.com asked him whether he was armed. Perry, a known gun owner and enthusiast, refused to answer the question.

“That’s why it’s called ‘concealed,’ ” Perry told the reporter.

Amen, brother! Interestingly enough, I then turned on morning TV and watched Fox spend 15 minutes savaging Rick Perry and the Tea Party. Man, this is going to be a bloodbath of a campaign!

Another interesting read that is not yet on the Internet if from IDPA's "Tactical Journal," where my friend Ted Murphy argues quite convincingly for the sport to allow hard-shell kneepads. IDPA has traditionally banned the hard-shell pads as gear an average person (not a Washington lobbyist, of course) would not wear on the street. The hard shell pads are also perceived as giving a competitive advantage to people willing to throw themselves into a kneeling position. Wow...if I remember really hard, I can remember being willing to throw myself into strange contortions for matches!

Now I'm paying for those contortions, assorted other stupid sports, marathons and ultramarathons, etc. My knees are shot. Oh well, I never thought any of that cool stuff was going to be free! TINSTAAFL! After my last marathon, Big Sur, a few years ago, I got the exciting news that both my knees would eventually have to be replaced. "When?" I logically asked. "How are you with pain?" my knee guy answered. So I've spent the last 5 or 6 years experimenting with various and sundry weird gooey stuff being injected into my knees every 12 months or so, and when that failed eating Celebrex like popcorn. As long as I bicycle a lot, the knees don't hurt too bad. The SHOT Show marathon on concrete floors, however, is a laff riot!

I mention this because at GUNSITE a few months back I got cute and decided that since my knees were on a pretty good roll (I'd forgotten my hard-shells), I'd do all the kneeling positions. Bad plan, Michael-san! Paid for that Mr. Stupid act!

In fact, one of the reasons I stopped shooting some of the more aggressive shooting sports was the very real fear that it might push my knees to the replacement point. I heard from my pal Dick Henie, the master gunsmith, yesterday and he regaled me with stories of his newly replaced knee (Knee #2 will be replaced after SHOT). Getting old isn't for sissies!

Frankly, when I shoot the IDPA Worlds (as my score will not be recorded or posted and I am not eligible for prizes, etc.) I will probably seek the Match Director's permission to use hard-shells under long pants. I think Ted makes a lot of sense on this. I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice my knees in a Real World encounter, but not for a match score.

I see that Charter Arms has finally rolled out its .40 S&W snubbie revolver, the pit bull. On its face, it's a pretty good idea, given CCW carries who favor the .40 S&W cartridge -- obviously not me -- a snub reviler as a pocket option. It'll be interesting to see if the Pit Bull takes off. There have been several runs at small frame rimless cartridge revolver, and they generally generated more flash than heat, but most of those have been in 9mm.

I also see that powerhouse Beretta is getting into the super lucrative mini-9mm sweepstakes. The Beretta Nano is a striker-fired (a first for Beretta), polymer-framed single stack mini-9mm,, although Beretta was quick to say the platform would also carry a .40 S&W. I have to say I've been really lax over the years in spending time with Beretta's handgun products outside the ubiquitous 92 in various flavors. I'm going to make a concerted effort to change that. No word on when the Nano will be available.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oh Wow, Home!

Came in late Friday and did a cowboy match Saturday...managed to hang onto 13th place even though I could have easily curled up and slept under a plate rack. My Sweetie designed the stages, her first, and I think she did a wonderful job. The only thing she asked was that I cook "a fishy thing" for her tonight. Of course, about the time I was ready to cook, a severe thunderstorm whacked the power. So I punted on the grill with cherry-smoked trout, grilled asparagus and mushrooms and red Bhutanese rice. Then we whipped up a horseradish sauce with prepared horseradish, Dijon mustard, pepper and a little sour cream whipped in. Pretty much rocked. Eventually the power came back on.

Next week, busy as heck, followed by dinner with Larry Potterfield, followed by a 2-day cowboy annual match next weekend...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gun Stories...

Sometimes you really really wish the gun could tell you it's story, Like one of the few military sniper M24s in civilian hands. or check out the suppressed WinchesterModel 94 30-30. It's a special order 30-inch full octagonal barrel, which I dated to 1907. The suppressor is a very early Maxim, probably around 1909, leading to speculation that the gun was special ordered, then shipped directly to Maxim. somebody wanted to do some serious long-range shooting cowboy style!

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cutaway Maxim Silencer

...circa 1909

-- Post From The Road

Rarest of the Rare

FG-42 German paratrooper semiautomatic for-real assault rifle...in fact, the uber assault rifle...

-- Post From The Road

AAC Conference Room

Boondocks Saints, of course...

-- Post From The Road

Steely Dan...

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Darn Tired!

Now, I know I'm not going to get any sympathy here — LOL! — but man, am I whipped! I do, however, know a lot more about how suppressed weapons perform, and I've now had LOTS of opportunity working with the .300 AAC Blackout cartridge (which is just super, BTW...everything the 6.8 meant to be but didn't quite make it). Among all this exotica we were shooting, there was a lowly H&R Handi-Rifle 16-inch threaded barrel rifle in .300 Blackout...too cute! If you have a .308 can, a must-purchase. I'm also looking at it as a fine addition to a preparedness battery if you're looking at the cartridge...especially at less than $300 suggested MSRP.

Too tired to add more tonite, except to add that the FNP-45, a gun I already like a lot, is even better suppressed...

End of the Day

-- Post From The Road

AAC "Integral"

...in .300 AAC Blackout...

-- Post From The Road

DP Gene Moffitt...

...and his new little friend...

-- Post From The Road

.300 Blackout Krink

-- Post From The Road


-- Post From The Road

Another Grueling Day at the Office

-- Post From The Road

Monday, August 08, 2011

London, 2011

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Rudyard Kipling, 1919

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Ruger Rimfire Worlds

Have ground throughDay 1 of the Ruger Rimfire Worlds at Funder's Ranch in New Mexico. Today was pistol day for my squad--6 stages, runs of 5 or six rounds each...basic Steel Challenge style courses. I shot okay, but the God of Speed wasn't with me today. I could put a couple of good runs together per stage, but a couple of runs doesn't do it. I was shooting my veteran iron-sighted Ruger 22/45 with a Tactical Solutions Pac-Lite top end; I was shooting CCI Mini-Mags, but I did have one stovepipe (I was a little worried when I cracked open the Mini-Mags and there was one empty case in the live rounds. Hmmmmmmmmmmm), and I dropped one shot, which obviously I tossed out (Steel Challenge = 5 runs; throw out your slowest run), but on their version of Smoke and Hope, probably the easiest and fastest Steel Challenge stage, I was pretty much all hope and not much smoke...I managed to get 2 out of 5 runs in the 3 second range. To give you an idea,, B.J. orris threw out his slowest run...1.89 seconds! LOL!

Tomorrow we go to the rifle. As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'm shooting a Ruger 10/22 Target fitted withAR-styled Tech Sights. Darn,that heavy heavy steel barrel is, well, heavy! I will endeavor to persevere...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

God's Own Red Chili Sauce

...from the Shed in Santa Fe...

...some things never change...THANK HEAVENS!

PS: Margarita us a Silver Coin...

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Who Says Gun Control Doesn't Work?!?!?!

From Dave Kopel:

Mexico has Draconian Gun Control, Ciudad Juárez has Over 1300 Homicides This Year

Soon after Obama assumed the White House, his new Attorney General Eric Holder proclaimed that a new gun ban would help Mexico.

“Well…there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons. I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.”

Mexico has draconian gun control. Researcher Dave Kopel notes that possession of firearms above .22 caliber is practically prohibited, though there is a second set of rules for the wealthy. Mexico also requires registration for all civilian gun owners, and federal and state governments actively discourage firearms ownership.

So how’s that working out?

The El Paso Times reports that in July, Ciudad Juárez experienced 218 homicides.

More than 1,300 people have been killed in Juárez this year, and more than 8,600 have been killed since 2008 when a war began between the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels.

Meanwhile, here in Texas:

Law-abiding citizens can walk into a gun store, buy a gun, and walk out with your purchase.
Law-abiding citizens can carry concealed handguns in public.
Concealed carry licensees are exempt from the NICS background check, because a FBI background check is part of getting their carry license.
In 2011 to date, sister city El Paso has experienced 15 homicides.

Putting it another way, it would take El Paso criminals about 50 years to catch up to the Juárez death toll January – July 2011.

Maybe Mexico needs to ban gun control.

Another GRINDER of a Day!

I know...I know...be careful what you wish for! Ran out in the PM and picked up a new, unannounced Ruger revolver that came in today to my FFL guy. Not sure on the release date, but suffice to say it's on a whole bunch of DRTV members' wish list! Marshal and I will be filming it this weekend. Then came home and reloaded like a crazy man.

TBD is shaping up incredible for the new season. The scenarios are going to blow you all away!

Starting the gun list for GUN STORIES Season 2, assuming we get picked up for the next season...open to suggestions here! Whatda'ya think?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

SIRT GLOCK-like Trainer

Here's the Next Level Training gun we'll be using in TBD next season for our demos. I've been working with it for the last couple of months as my Office Dry-firing Utility and I'll be using it extensively to get ready for the upcoming IDPA Worlds in Florida, which we'll be filming for SG 2012. I believe this is a great leap forward for non-range training for several reasons...you can see your "hit"...you've got a couple of different options for training your trigger finger...you can work reloads into your dry training...and best of all from my position as a television producer, it's NOT a live gun! You can't make it go BANG.

This is important to me because it allows us to demonstrate and even show "hits" without violating any of the four safety rules. As you know, we do our TBD scenarios with Airsoft guns, then CGI in muzzle blasts. When we're working with LEOs, we're always obsessively making sure that the faux GLOCK is in the holster and the live GLOCK is locked in separate room. We've demo'ed a lot with blue/red solid plastic guns, some fitted with lasers to show trajectory, and I'm always looking for a better solution.

We'll no doubt add the upcoming Next Level AR trainer to our TBD arsenal as soon as they become available.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bitch of a Day

Clone...I so need a clone...there's days when I'm so swamped I could sit down and cry. OTOH, my Sweetie whipped up some potato/chili "pancakes" and I grilled out some shrimp with 2-chili oil (basically a Bobby Flay recipe, but I use smoked ancho chili pepper and chain-saw hot chipolte chili pepper from Santa Fe). Also Official Shooting Gallery Margaritas, with the Tequila of the Revolucion, 30-30 Reposado!

Cut a deal with SureFire today for a .223 suppressor to fit a couple of my ARs, including my Spike's Tactical go-to gun. Maybe a Stag or the new AR in the house, one of the superb Daniel Defense guns. I hope the 2 .22 suppressors from Tactical Solutions clear this geologic era!

That SIRT trainer GLOCK has been a wonderful addition to the Secret Hidden Bunker! It's on the desk, so I pick it up and dry-fire. You will definitely be seeing this fine training tool on both SG and TBD!