Tuesday, November 29, 2011

High Speed & Eggs

Spent all day working with John Carter and Gene Moffitt on ultra-high speed videography for Shooting Gallery 2012...totally cool stuff!

I couldn't resist this...been reading a lot of stuff on the .410...stumbled across interesting tidbit that the closest approximation to the human eye is a soft-boiled egg...c'mon...had to be done! This is a piece of video you'll save! Ultra-high speed videography is a fascinating tool. I'm looking forward to exploring what we can do with it over the next few months.

Probably be posting a bunch of pixs next week...get ready for it.

Went to the doctor today for new x-rays of my sad pathetic left knee...nothing new...diced up some cartilage 6 weeks ago, and it will heal or it won't. Time, a stationary bike and Advil. Man, I so wish the was some kind of amazing stem cell therapy! Alien medicine...whatever...I'll stall the knee replacement as long as I can.

Kinda bummed at my travel schedule & the weather. Winter Range, the cowboy nationals, is in February, and I'd like to go into it on a good roll...maybe the weather will lighten up when we get past the November deep freeze. I could use about 2000 rounds with the shotgun to settle down...I'm quick, but need to be quicker.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Morning Reading List

Start out with this excellent and thoughtful blogpost from Daniel Mitchell at the International Liberty blog on why the current European trainwreck should strengthen our resolve to oppose any gun control measures:
I’ve learned over the years that things are usually never as bad as they seem (or as good as they seem), so I don’t expect that a nightmare situation will materialize, but I certainly can understand why wealthy people have contingency plans to escape. 
But what about the rest of us? We don’t have property overseas and we don’t have private jets, so what’s our insurance policy? 
Part of the answer is to have the ability to protect ourselves and our families. As explained here, firearms are the ultimate guarantor of civilization.
Read the whole thing, of course. And jere's some good reasons to keep the phases set on "BBQ," a long AP article on how the current administration is "mouse-trapped" on guns as a political issue:
"Gun control is a fight that the administration is not willing to pick. They're not likely to win it," said Harry Wilson, author of a book on gun politics and director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College in Virginia. "They certainly would not win it in Congress, and it's not likely to be a winner at the polls. ... It comes down to one pretty simple word: Politics." 
Administration officials say they are working to develop the gun safety measures promised after the Giffords shooting, and they say have taken steps to improve the background check system. White House spokesman Matt Lehrich says the White House goal is to "protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them under existing law." 
But when it comes to guns and politics, Democrats haven't forgotten what happened in 1994. That year, President Bill Clinton was pushing for passage of a landmark crime bill featuring a ban on assault weapons, and then-House Speaker Thomas Foley, D-Wash., twisted Democrats' arms to get it through the House. Come November, Democrats suffered widespread election losses and lost control of the House and the Senate. Foley was among those defeated, and Clinton and others credited the NRA's campaigning with a big role in the outcome. And when the assault weapons ban came up for congressional reauthorization in 2004, it failed.
Let's not get cocky...we've got to get through this face of a Republican nominating procedure to see which dweeb we get, then make sure he or she has his or her head screwed on right! In fact, I'll work for the Republican nominee because it is critical that our voices be heard LOUDLY!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Trick About Black Friday...

...is, I suppose, not to shop! In between food and long, long bouts of sleeping, we did manage to get to the hardware store to buy a replacement shelf and the yarn store for my Sweetie, the World's Fastest Knitter, to pick out an autumn project. While she was sifting through yarn, one of the store owners took the time to explain and show how a spinning wheel works, which turned out to be pretty fascinating...I've always imagined tat wool became yarn through some process that involved a wand and mumbled words of incantation. Next time my Sweeter buys yarn we're going to go for "Instructing Stupid Boyfriend on Basic Loom."

Some catch-up stuff from Taurus and Rossi...remember this year's SHOT SHOW and the briefly shown Trail Judge. a .410 mare's leg style pistol-ly thing based on the new Rossi Rio Grande lever gun platform, which features a side-eject like a Marlin? My cherubs and seraphim told me that there were some big potential issues on the gun's importability, since it skated along the edges of ATF's definition of a short-barreled shotgun (SBS). In late March Rossi confirmed to DRTV that a .410 version of the Trail Judge would not be produced.

Good news (especially for us "exotic" gun fans)...a .410 and .45 Colt version of the Trail Judge has, I was told in Brazil, met ATF muster and will be imported. I was told the new gun would run both .410s and .45s mixed in the mag tube...the version I handled had a screw-in choke as well as the rifled barrel.
No doubt one of these babies will be coming to the Secret Hidden Bunker ASAP. And, no, it's not "tactical!"

I think the Rio Grande versions in 45/70 and the one in .410 have potential good-sized markets in the United States. We've done SHOOTING GALLERY episodes on using a lever gun for self-defense and we made a big point then of the 45/70 versions as pure-D stompers. We used Marlns,ch have been in short supply lately, but since those episodes we've seen the return of the Winchester 1886 in several flavors and now the Rossi. I keep a lever gun around the house — a Marlin .44 Magnum — but a 45/70 would be a welcome upgrade. Up here at the Secret Hidden Bunker, I love the various larger-teethed fauna, but if I have to shoot one I'd plan to shoot it a lot.

I am apparently one of the few people on earth (except of course for the huge number of actual paying customer for such guns) who thinks the .410 is something more than a .22 Short in a larger package. Years ago we used to recommend the .410 (usually in the pump version) as a self-defense tool in a couple of situations — urban locations, especially cardboard-walled apartments, where penetration absolutely had to be controlled, or for people who had legitimate issuers with recoil (injuries, age, fill in the blank). Back then we were of the opinion that various and sundry miscreants would not be willing to stand in front of a hailstorm of pellets or buckshot, even if that hailstorm was coming from a lowly .410.
Of course, that was before we had predictive models for "stopping power." Let's see...which model are we on now? Oh yeah, penetration! Which has superseded speed, expansion, cross-sectional area of bullet, and probably a few others I've forgotten. Okay, enough snark...predictive models are indeed useful, but it is important to remember that the map is not the trail.

There is, I believe, a huge psychological element to gunshots...obviously, predictive models can't address such issues. But there's an old saw something to the effect that we tend to measure what we can measure, then because we can measure something we assign that something a greater value than factors harder to measure. I keep coming back to the necessity for multiple shots to guarantee the aggressor stops aggressing.

And I come back to the words of the great Walt Rauch, an occasional commentator here and a person who has forgotten more about these topics than I will ever know: "No one wants to leak."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu!

Low key today, since there's been so much time on the road..


-- local goat cheese, Irish sharp sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda w/mixed olives


-- lobster tails, grilled a la Bobby Flay
-- tamales w/shrimp & roasted garlic sauce
-- skewers of grilled veggies (peppers, red onions, zucchini, portobello mushrooms
-- homemade whole wheat bread


-- homemade vanilla flan w/fresh raspberries and blackberries

Wine of the Day:

-- David Bruce's Magnificent Russian River Pinot Noir (2007)

Thanksgiving Day 201

A nervous Thanksgiving for an unsettled year. The mountains surrounding the Secret Hidden Bunker are unchanged in their stately magnificent, but the fear is like a clinging mist in the valleys. Mostly this morning my thoughts and prayers are with those in uniform who serve around the world. My thoughts are with our troops in the Sandbox, led by a Commander-In-Chief who clearly despises them, by a government that too often seems to see those brave men and women as disposable game pieces, in countries who, on the day our forces leave, will revert to the 13th Century as if our decade of sacrifice from our best never happened.

I have been out of the country quite a bit recently, and as much as I love meeting the people and seeing the sights of other countries, there is always a great moment when you cross the border back into the United States and someone in uniform says, "Welcome home."

We are Americans and we are exceptional. And that is worth being thankful for!

From the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


...forgot pix...

-- Post From The Road

Back in Country...

...after whirlwind trip to Brazil & Taurus. They make a way cool .40 submachinegun! One mire quick flight and I'm back in the Secret Hidden Bunker...expect a full report on DOWN RANGE Radio next week.

Hey, isn't tomorrow a holiday?

-- Post From The Road

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Must -Read...

From John Fricke @ American Thinker, titled "Should I Get a Gun?"

My stepmother is taking shooting lessons. Seriously. She is trying to choose right now between a couple of guns -- one was a 9-millimeter Luger, I believe. She announced that she was doing this while I was thinking of doing the same. Though I lean shotgun, if for no other reason than, well, easier to hit stuff, y'know. Her motivation for "granny gunning up" is on target with mine: the peace of mind that, should I need a gun, I would have it and know how to use it.
This, though, is not about what type of gun, or really even a gun at all. This is about the tenor of the times. At age 51, I have been around long enough to know the difference between unease and unrest. There are also levels of unrest. Right now, this is unrest that strongly threatens to grow into greater unrest.

And I would say yes, you should...then get a bunch of ammo and head to GUNSITE...these are troubled times, and I think the #Occupy movement and the relentless drumbeat for class warfare by people who I believe fully understand the potential consequences is twisting the social fabric perhaps beyond it's ability to quickly recover. Be alert; be aware, but make sure the "fire extinguisher" is close at hand.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Still Treading Water

The new 1-hour Shooting Gallerys are, IMHO, going to be groundbreaking, but it is massive work building a new format. Especially with TBD in production at the same time. Especially with gun companies starting to roll out -- behind closed doors -- new product to be introduced at SHOT...fun, but hectic!

Sucked it up this weekend and bought a new computer...I went back to an iMac to replace the Power Book I've been working on the last couple of years. The PB's screen is cracked and as usual after a couple of years is flailing under increased demands. Cost more to repair and upgrade it than to replace it. Still, no fun buying business hardware...just good money that doesn't get spent on guns (or chairs)!

Plus the iPad's taken over most of the road chores...still can't do a complete podcast in the iPad, but I'm looking at some add-on mixing hardware. I'm open to suggestions on that topic.

Marshal & I are starting to hammer out DRTV planning for 2012. As I think I mentioned before, we're adding weekly SG training videos for the 13 week new season run. Other neat additions coming as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HR822 Passes...

...been crazy busy, but I think this is great.

-- Post From The Road


...Gino films Brian line-boring the big .500 Linebaugh...

-- Post From The Road

Moving Along...

The .500 Linebaugh Blackhawk moves along...

-- Post From The Road

Bowen Build...

...we're (and I say "we're" in the sense that I'm in the same room) one of Hamilton's signature "Nimrod" 5-shot Ruger Blackhawks in .500. And no, I don't get to keep it, although this AM I will be shooting several of the Bowen .500s. Actually,, the coolest Bowen gun I've seen is a little Ruger Single Six in .327 Magnum...Hamilton enlarged the cylinder window slightly to allow the .32 H&R Single Six to take the slightly longer .327 cylinder. It's a beautiful little gun!

Here's the scores for Saturday's "make-up" cowboy match in Ft. Collins (hence the low attendance). Note that my train wreck on stage 4 blowing me out of the money...otherwise, a solid match (need to be about 4 seconds faster every stage...easier said than done...working on it, though).

Gotta go to the range!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Darn Good News for Ruger Scout Owners

From Ruger:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce new polymer magazines are available for the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle. Made from durable, glass-filled nylon, these rugged, smooth-feeding magazines are available in ten-round, five-round, and three-round capacities.

"Consumers have made many requests for lower cost Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle magazines," said Mark Gurney, Ruger's Long Gun Product Manager. "These new Ruger magazines are durable, easy to load, feed smoothly, and are less than half the price of original equipment steel magazines. The three-round magazine is near flush-fitting and is a great accessory to have when hunting with the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle rifle," he concluded.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle polymer magazines can be readily disassembled and assembled for cleaning. All components are molded from glass-filled nylon (except the stainless steel spring), and the assembled magazines have been function and drop tested at extreme temperatures ranging from -30° F to +140° F. A snap-on dust cover, which not only keeps the internals of the magazine clean, but also allows long-term storage of a loaded magazine without risk of deforming the magazine feed lips, is included with each magazine.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle polymer magazines are available now at local firearms retailers, and are also available on ShopRuger.com. The original steel five-round and ten-round steel magazines are also available through the same outlets, and Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifles are still being supplied with one all-steel ten-round magazine

Ruger is also offering the LCP and the LC9 with LaserMax lasers...more on that when I get a chance to run the new guns through the hoops!

Oh yeah, $39.95 on the mags....

Hamilton Makes a Martini

-- Post From The Road

A Blackhawk in Process

-- Post From The Road


...they don't let me near a file!

-- Post From The Road

Hamilton Bowen @ Work

-- Post From The Road

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grid Down @ Secret Hidden Bunker...

...after a vicious windstorm last night...75 mph + ...lots of trees down...not particularly cold (30s), but we went to aux heat around 4 AM for our birdies. Alf the Wonder Beagle insisted on jumping in bed with us about the first time one of the big gusts hit and the Secret Hidden Bunker shuddered...very brave of her!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good Cowboy Match...

...with good friends in Ft. Collins! One brain fade, but otherwise the match ran smoothly...more tomorrow after a serious good night's sleep!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans' Day

Traveling, but wanted to say to those who served and those who serve now , thank you for all that is America...

And thanks to my late father, Bob Bane, for his role in the Greatest Generation...

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Two days...4 live studio audiences...7 great interviews...one burned out voice...

It has been a wonderful 2 days! We had four live audiences at the Midway USA studios, doing openings, closings, throws to commercials and interviews. There were 40 audience members in each group, drawn from an exclusive Midway USA list. We had hoped to have some extra seats left over for DRTV members, but the seats went amazingly quickly and we were sold out in a few hours...I am honored and humbled!

I have to say it was an experience of a lifetime for me, and if the shows come out the way they're looking on the monitors, man, you ain't seen nothing yet! My goal was for each audience to have sort of an afternoon with me I'd tell stories, answer questions and occasionally be my stupid self.

Our tech team was flawless, from producers Mike Long and John Carter, director of photography Gene Moffett, Brook on camera 2, Bob on the jib camera, Dennis on sound, Jared handling floor management, my good friend Paul Erhardt taking care of the audience, Beth Cowgill making sure our guests were happy, Ryan Fisher watching over the whole set, and of course Larry, Brenda and Sarah Potterfield opening their company --and their hearts -- to our offbeat production.

Thank you thank you thank you...

More when I'm not in a state of collapse...

Some days are just exceptional...crew and audiences...you guys are amazing...

Presented Without Comment

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The End Game

More gun control, says an unrepentant Eric Holder.

Which was always the point, wasn't it? There never was and isn't now an "Iron River" running guns into Mexico, so it was necessary to create one, to build the straw man for Holder, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the pathetic antigun cadre of the present administration to knock down.

Remember the early days of Eric Holder, when he called all of us "cowards?" The real coward faced the Senate yesterday.

Monday, November 07, 2011

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere...

Well excuse me, I think you've got my chair...
— George Strait

Heck, it's 5 o'clock here! Day was at a dead run, but the podcast is in the can. This week, I step in front of a live studio audience for SHOOTING GALLERY for the first time. Will be big fun, unless somebody lobs a milling machine at my head. We should have behind the scenes video for DRTV, "Look! I think that milling machine landed on his head! Play it again!"

Yesterday I bought a chair, to replace the chair I bought 11 years ago...damn, stuff just doesn't last, does it? Anyway, my chair was totally broken for 2 years, but secret nerd boy that I am, I kept thinking it would recover. I even fixed it a couple of times, but finally Alf the Wonder Beagle, not to mention my Sweetie, shamed me into it. I thought I was going to have heart, because I HATE shopping...that's why God made the Internet. I never have that much trouble shopping for guns. Takes me about 15 minutes to buy an AR...

Funny story from last week's TBD filming...we're on the range with Seeklander, and he's just finished talking about how much he doesn't like little guns. We've got a bunch of them out there, and he's B-rolling them. He comes to Marshal Halloway's Sig Sauer P238...shoots it...I see him smile...more ammo...he finds the T and E P238 with the diamond coat finish on the table...shoost it..."Hey, where do I get one of these?" It is a nice shooting little gun, I gotta say! Can't wait to shoot it against the new Colt Mustang! Note to Sig Sauer...send me the invoice...I'm keeping the P238...see how easy that was? It's damn hard to buy a chair! I mean, they come in colors and fabrics and the La-Z-Boy store won't let me bring Alf the Wonder Beagle to see if she likes the chair, which is a lot more important than whether I like the chair. I wish that Alf and my Sweetie had given me a short list. Ladies, these are issues men deal with every day. BTW, I wish I could shoot one-tenth as well as Mike Seeklander! He is amazing. Go buy his book...there a tactical training version on the way...buy that one, too.

From my friends over at Harris Pubs, I note the Taurus Zombie Response revolver n .454 Casull, .45 Colt and 2 1/2 and 3-inch .410. Works for me, and I totally love the grips. See, even this would be easier to buy that a fracking chair! Am I right here? I mean, I might be set upon by zombies (which, let's be honest, have jumped the shark) or a velociraptor or a garbage truck animated in a real world version of a Steven King novel, or, I don't know, a mammoth or two. I can visualize that, but a chair? Ten years later, just like that, you have to buy another one! Am I the only one who agrees that makes no sense? And my Sweetie says now we need a couch...

A couch!

What am I to do? That's at least a 3-year project...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Some Thoughts for Saturday Morning

I think everyone should read this brilliant analysis of the current "Occupy" fad by Victor Davis Hanson in PJ Media, titled "Playing With Fire:"

Occupy Wall Street follows three years of sloppy presidential name-calling — “millionaires and billionaires,” slurs about Las Vegas and the Super Bowl, profit-mad, limb-lopping doctors, introspection that now is not the time for profits and at some point we should cease making money, spread the wealth, punish our enemies, and all the old Obama boilerplate. Someone finally got the message about the evil 1%.

And so the cultural fabric, a fabric woven first by the Founder and made strong through the years of America, is stretched and twisted, perhaps beyond it's ability to recover. Playing at class warfare is like juggling grenades with the pins outs...sooner or later they all blow, and the consequences are greater than the juggler or the spectators ever imagined.

I'd also like to make a short comment on Paul Barrett's book, GLOCK: THE RISE OF AMERICA'S GUN, and why I have specifically chosen NOT to blurb the book, as author Barrett asked, to interview the author or do excerpts from the book, to use Mr. Barrett as an expert on any of my television products, or provide the author with any additional publicity opportunities.

I met Mr. Barrett at one of the National Shooting Sports Foundation media events I used to run back when he was working for the Wall Street Journal. He now works for the Bloomberg media operation, headed by Michael Bloomberg. He contacted me when the book was in manuscript form and asked if I would read the book and maybe provide a blurb for the back cover and/or subsequent publicity. After reading the manuscript, I decided not to be involved. Here's the thought behind my decision.

First and to be totally fair, Paul Barrett is both a fine reporter and a fine writer, an increasingly rare combination in these sunset days for the MSM. His story of Glock is fascinating reading.

HOWEVER, and this is one hell of a "however," the book, especially in its closing quarter, is laced throughout with Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG)" talking points. Mr. Barrett repeatedly quotes antigun sources uncritically and at length, including the widely discredited Tom Diaz from the execrable Violence Policy Center.

As a consequence, the tone of the book is violently anti-NRA...at one point Mr. Barrett notes quite casually that the NRA was actively engaged in pushing it's members to higher capacity handguns during the AWB years. Really? Sources? Or is that simply one of the many false "articles of faith" from VPC and MAIG?

I would say it's puzzling that a journalist of Mr. Barrett's caliber could so easily accept antigun dogma at face value. At one point Mr. Barrett expresses puzzlement that we gunowners could object to government-mandated magazine capacity laws. Had he spoken to any of us gunowners, we would have explained in simple, easy-to-understand-even-to-northeastern-liberals terms that if we accept the government's questionable "right" to mandate a firearm's ammunition capacity, then we by default accept the government's ability to set that number at "zero." In a world where the major federal law enforcement agencies and even the State Department can be recruited by the nation's top law enforcement officer, Eric Holder, for a complex, deadly and patently illegal scheme like "Fast and Furious" solely to create an environment for stripping us of our Second Amendment rights, the idea that the government would set firearms' capacity at "zero" isn't paranoia...it's a hard, cold reality.

Finally, Mr. Barrett works for Michael Bloomberg, whom Mr. Barrett described as an "really good boss." I describe Bloomberg as a blood enemy, a man who has already shown his willingness to break federal laws to do us -- the gun culture and the firearms industry -- harm. If you believe for a single second that Michael Bloomberg would have allowed one of his top employees to produce a book on guns that DID NOT benefit Bloomberg's stated antigun goals, I have a lovely bridge to sell you...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Words Television People Never Want to Hear

I woke up this AM at 5AM, with the alarm set for 6AM...immediately fell back into a deep sleep and dreamed I was arguing with my car repair shop over a bill. On the balance, I'd have rather remained awake and practice shooting staple into my arm. Yesterday was a rough production day, especially after an editor discovered that one of our cameras was having an intermittent image quality issue...that is, the damn thing randomly defocused the camera just a little bit (it's a lot more complicated than that, and in truth we're still sorting it out). Sick feeling in stomach ensues...we're way more than half way through filming The Best Defense Season 4.

Typically, we review the critical shots, such as the master, or establishing, shot for the scenarios, on site on the camera's screen, which is hardly a precision instrument. The digital files are then transferred to more permanent media back at the production facility, but those files may not be closely reviewed until they moved into the editing cycle. Our very observant editor Derek caught the problem...we all rushed back to the production facility to start taking a serious look at the video we've shot. We lost about a day's shooting, luckily none of the complex scenarios! Darn frightening!

More when I get home...

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Shown Here Nabbing

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Whipped Puppy Syndrome

Hectic, hectic day! DRTV filming...Outdoor Channel photo session...planning for "workplace shooter" scenario tomorrow AM and to top it off a complex scenario for The Best Defense based on the horrific CT home invasion a few years back. I think we did a very good job of building and filming the scenario, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it creeped us all out. Sometimes the better you build a scenario the worse it makes you feel...you have to put your head in a bad place sometimes.

Was hoping to shoot a cowboy match this weekend, but the Secret Hidden Bunker is snowed in again and the temperature has bottomed out. Sigh...

Me & Stookey

On a dream date...

-- Post From The Road

Are you going to listen to me in English...

Or do I have to speak to you in 12 gauge?

Been that kind of day... Am in a foul, foul humor. Doesn't happen often, but there it is...

I'll write about S&W coming out with an AR in .300 Whisper, J.D. Jone's proprietary .30 cal cartridge based on the 5.56 (and is a virtual twin of the .300 AAC Blackout) tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Meat Man!

-- Post From The Road

Janich completes...

...bizarre Egyptian meat mummy burial ritual...

-- Post From The Road

Janich performs...

...meat transfusion!

-- Post From The Road

Seeklander & The Dummy

-- Post From The Road