Friday, March 30, 2012

My First Car...

...honest...a 1959 Renault Dauphine, named by Fox News as 17th among the 20 Dumbest Cars of All Time. Mine was, really. Here's a quote from the review:

Why it's so dumb: Crappy, dangerous, rust-prone, slower than pulled pork. 

Can you spell "chick magnet?"


...grinding slow today. You might want to read Jim Shepherd's review of the Mossberg/Maverick HS12 short-barreled O/U in today's SHOOTING WIRE:
It was quickly apparent that you might forget how to unload the tube-fed guns, or that you might forget to rack the pump after each shot - but there was no messing about with the HS12. Load, mount as the safety slides forward, and PRESS. No problems.
I bring this up because Marshal Halloway and I have been mulling over created a 1/2-day class on self-defense with a double barrel shotgun, then film that class for DRTV. We had such great response with the "tactical" lever action rifle and the single-action revolver self-defense class as SHOOTING GALLERY episodes, and I get a surprising number of queries about using the double for self-defense.

Of course, we've featured Stoeger's 2 DB tactical offerings, the SxS and the O/U:

They did the SxS last year:

As I've said for years and years that the double barrel is a fiercely efficient self-defense everything else, you've got to know how to operate the things. Since I'm a cowboy shooter who shoots a double-barrel in competition, it's pretty much second nature to me breathing out and breathing in...I'm very grateful she's a woman, and so easy to forget...whoops! Defaulted to show tunes...LOL!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ruger 10/22 Takedown

I wanted to say a couple of words on the new Ruger 10/22 Takedown -- hell yeah!

Out & About

Whipped through STEYR to talk about Project AUG and may soon have good news on that front. Gee, I'd love to have a Mannlicher Classic in .223! THAT is a beautiful rifle! Also spent some time at MasterPiece Arms, which is a very impressive place. Really really liked the little Protector .380... Nice nice little pocket pistol! May have to get one. Home again tomorrow!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Me & My Snowboard...

So my Sweetie and I managed to get in a good day at Copper Mountain Sunday...the temp was, amazingly in the 60s, so by afternoon the snow was headed toward snowcone consistency. Morning, though was just super. The board is my ancient Burton all-mountain board set up with new Solomon bindings to match the new Solomon boots. Since I've lost about 30 pounds (so far) I can now wear all my old snow stuff, making me about 100% retro. I kept expecting somebody from Burton to run up to me and shout, "Dude! We need that board for the Burton museum!"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Good Post...

...over at Tam's View From the Porch:
There's always that one person who gets a toter's permit and seems a little, well, Barney Fife about it. Now they're a sheepdog! They run scenarios past you: 
"What if you're in a convenience store, and you see a guy in a hoodie with his hands in his pockets, looking around at the security cameras?" 
"I leave."
Definitely read the whole thing! Reminds me of my later years in a dojo when newbies would start with the "what if you're sitting in a bar?" meme, and they were always so disappointed when I said I'd get up and leave. Then I'd patiently (or sometimes not so patiently) explain that it was not a question of who could kick who's ass, but rather the indisputable fact that any violent encounter was a pure chaos event...once it starts, none of the participants have any idea where it's going. There are simply too many factors acting on the system for us to predict its direction with any success, and the whole process if full of anomalies, black swans and just plain weird s&^t.

Once we're in a chaos event, our survival depends on our mental flexibility, our ability to respond, to shift directions, morph tactics, to read the wind, whatever. Go back and reread Bruce Lee's Tao of Jeet Kune Do and The Art of War (this is my favorite translation). One of the greatest unseen dangers we as trained civilians face is the belief that we can drive the event. We think that if we are inside the aggressor(s)' decision-making loop, we are in control of the situation. And we may be, for a second or so. We need to fix firmly in our minds the sense that the clock is always running! The longer a chaos event runs, the more factors acting on the system, the greater the uncertainty. Our mindset as trained, armed civilians must always be on ending the threat. And to that I would add as quickly as possible. Removing ourselves from the scene ends the threat as certainly as a bullet. We're always looking for that option, but if we have to use a bullet we do so with the absolute certainty that we are in the right, that the bullet was the last option our aggressors left us.

As I've said before, I don't think the Florida case is the "poster child" for gun control that our enemies think it is...I think the local police are perfectly capable of sorting out what happened without the help of Eric Holder's Department of (Racial) Justice, POTUS, Al Sharpton, the Nation of Islam, the Brady Bunch, Snowplow Bloomberg, a million misguided people in hoodies, the Huffington Post and the rest of the freak show that's currently spinning up. To be sure, what happened in Florida was a tragedy, but before we throw the rope over the tree limb we ought to know what really happened.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Gun Sales Booming

You've already seen that Ruger is on order-taking hiatus because of the massive sales in the gun industry. My own industry contacts tell me that handgun demand right now is simply unprecedented (and it even made Fox News). I'm going to go out on a limb and say this demand is not the pre-election "bubble" I've been predicting for months. Rather, I think we're seeing the strength of Gun Culture Ver. 2.0, with literally millions of new people coming into the culture. As we've talked about extensively, the new shooters are being driven by concealed carry, the rise of the training community and more and more by the practical shooting sports. I'm hearing that the sports are experiencing growth levels they haven't seen since the glory days of the 1980s.

We've been talking for a year or so now that we're well past the tipping point and the mainstream culture has shifted wholesale in our favor. I would say that's one of the reason the now-collapsed antigun "industry" has so drastically seized onto the sad shooting story out of Florida. I'm not going to discuss that case, but I thought I might link to an unlikely comment, on the, strangely enough:
Why Gun Control advocates will end up with egg on their face once again...
...all the gun control advocates are giddy, and think this is a turning point in their movement, LOL. Time for a reality check. I took this photo a while back at a grocery store's magazine rack... This photo shows the entire rack.. If you look closely their is about 17 different publications dedicated to firearms...And not a single "gun control monthly" in sight. They would not be for sale, if their was not a demand.
Gun control is not coming back as any kind of national movement, as if it was ever a national movement.

I will make two points on the Florida shooting, points I've made before in the blog, the podcast and THE BEST DEFENSE: First, do not ever give chase! A concealed carry license is not a junior police badge. One of the issues I talked about last week on the podcast (and will be talking about this week) is the complexities of intervention, that is, an armed civilian intervening in a violent situation in which they are not directly involved. Secondly, do not, either by intent or ignorance, escalate a situation! Your focus as an armed civilian is to deescalate the situation if possible and be ready to respond if the situation escalates.

We have our first planning meetings on the next season of THE BEST DEFENSE next week, and I intend to build in both escalation and deescalation scenarios, as well as at least one "giving chase" scenario for 2013.


What I see happening in Florida right now is on a social level the opposite of deescalation. The President's comment that if he had a son, he would "look like Trayvon;" Louis Farrakhan tweeting that "the law of retaliation may be applied;" the blame blame blame (It's the GOP! It's Rush Limbaugh!") and the steady class war/race war drumbeat from people who should — dear Lord! — know better!

I grew up in the Jim Crow South, in Memphis...I saw the neighborhoods burn when Dr. King was killed...I've seen bright red blood in the streets from "race riots"...I've seen machingeguns turned on snipers in an American city...and I know what spit feels like when it hits your face because people whom you thought were your friends can't understand why you support "those n&^$#rs."

That people in power, including the President of the United States, would throw gasoline on a racial fire is utterly appalling — and terrifying — to me.

This doesn't end well.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


...say my absolute choice for my Ruger Rimfire Challenge new pistol today! Totally love it and can't wait to get it and start putting rounds downrange! It's a...ah, you guys knew the punch line was coming, right? As soon as I can tell you, I will. It rocks...

Between Hither and Yon


I should be returning to my regularly scheduled idiocy tomorrow...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Now & Zen

Okay, I was supposed to spend the rest of Sunday afternoon installing a new toilet in the master bathroom...instead I nuked a vegetarian enchilada and spent the dinner hour installing the new Green Mountain barrel with its set of Williams Fire Sights on my Ruger 10/22 Target. It's going to be my Limited rifle for this year's Ruger Rimfire series. The rifle now balances perfectly...and it looks way cool! I'll stick some pictures in this post tomorrow AM. I fired a couple of rounds through it to make sure it was ejecting, and if I'm lucky and work like a busy little beaver tomorrow I'll take it to the range for an hour or so.

I'm still at a loss on my Limited pistol. Part of me thinks a build with the new Volquartsen frames would be just ducky; then I think about the Mark III Competition I've got down in the safe; Suddenly a little voice says, "1911 conversion unit...1911 conversion unit..." As you know my Sweetie appropriated my Tac-Sol 1911 Kimber and proceeded to shoot it very well. She also took my purple aluminum grips to replace the scrimshawed, amazingly tasteless faux-ivories originally on the Tac-Sol. I've got an STI Trojan .40 1911 I haven't shot in years, and it has a sweet trigger. Hmmmmmmmmmmm...

We're planning on filming one of the big Wild Bunch matches for SHOOTING GALLERY Season 13... Not sure which one yet. Be fun to shoot one seriously, since I didn't last year. We also got such good response from the IDPA Worlds that I'm thinking of something IDPA-ish for next season as well. 

My neighbors tell me there's a mountain lion in the neighborhood...little early for amorous lions, but I'll pay extra attention, lest Alf the Wonder Beagle end up an h'orderve.

Tomorrow, no matter what, the podcast and the toilet! I'll try not to get them mixed up.....and BTW, the enchilada tasted like garden mulch rolled into an old newspaper. The Old Speckled Hen was good, though...gotta love a beer named for a rusted-out Brit sports car...

Spent Yesterday on the Range... Sweetie is going to be at GUNSITE this week, and since she shot a Tactical Solutions .22 unit 1911 on a Kimber in the user Rimfire Worlds and the Colorado State Championships last year, she wants to use a 1911 this week instead of her FNP-9.

I fished out a really nice Kimber Match Target 9mm that I got about a decade ago, then had the great Bruce Gray "blueprint" the gun...9mm 1911s are notoriously finicky (I exempt the Para TLC 9mm Commanders, which in my experience with several have been flawless out of the fact, I was an idiot not to buy my T&E version!). Because there's so much less recoil impulse with a 9 as compared to a .45 ACP, which of course the gun was designed for, or even a .38 Super, it doesn't take much tolerance stack to jam them up.

I got the gun to shoot in IDPA Enhanced Service Pistol class — we filmed an IDPA championship with me shooting that gun many many seasons back for SG — then I shot a qualifying score at the Rogers Shooting School with the Kimber after Brucie overhauled it.

My Sweetie's brother brought his Glock and a .44 Vaquero, and we ran into one of my neighbors who's ramping up for cowboy competition this season. He also has a new Springfield Armory little 1911.

When I was running through the 1911 drills and tweaking my Sweetie's shooting to get her shifted from cowboy to the semi auto, I was struck by the connectedness of what I was doing. While I was shaping my neighbor's hands on the 1911 grip, I briefly flashed on Brian Enos doing the same thing with my hands a long time ago. I started on the dot drill (John Shaw was the first person I worked with who used it, although everybody and his dog Fred now takes credit for "inventing" it), then set up "negative space drills" — the A-zones cut out of the targets (George Harris, Bruce Gray). We worked on some trigger diagnostics I learned from Walt Rauch back when I started this journey, then a trigger drill I got from Chris Edwards at Glock when we you say in English?...younger! LOL.

I said words Col. Cooper and Ray Chapman said to me a long time ago, because they are still valid, and tried techies I'd seen Mike Seeklander demo just a few weeks back. And as I shot through the same drills with the 9mm Kimber, I briefly flashed on Bill Rogers giving me hell while a group of very worried looking young Marine instructors looked on — "That's his friend, dude! How will he treat us?" — while Rosie Rosel laughed uproariously.

It might have been the most restful afternoon I'd had in months.

One thing that frustrates me about the Internet and those who purport to be experts is that, like the President, they say "I" a lot...techniques they have personally invented, or personally "refined," tests that are the epitome of all tests, drills that are different than any other shooting drilled ever done. I spent years in dojos, methodically crunching up the knuckles in my hands against unyielding stuff. If I learned anything in those years, it was that the martial arts cliche is true — the student is truly a reflection of the teacher. We are all journeymen, following a path that many other have walked before us. It calls to mind a quote from Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind; Beginner's Mind..."In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."

Whenever I start thinking I'm an expert on anything, I reread George Leonard's wonderful short book, Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment. In that book's last chapter, Leonard, one of the great akido masters, speaks to the question of, "How can I be a learner?" This is what he concludes:
When Jigoro Kana, the founder of judo, was quite old and close to death, the story goes, he called his students around him and told them we wanted to be buried in his white belt. What a touching story; how humble of the world's highest-ranking judoist in his last days to ask for the emblem of a beginner! But Kano's request, I eventually realized, was less humility than realism. At the moment of death, the ultimate transformation, we are all white belts. And if death makes beginners of us, so does life — again and again. In the master's secret mirror, even at the moment of highest renown and accomplishment, there is an image of the newest student in the class, eager for knowledge, willing to play the fool.
There are many things going on in my life right now...many of them very good; some of them profoundly bad. A day on the range helps me remember the path I have chosen to walk, and remembering the path brings me closer to the Way...maybe that's B-S, but then again, maybe it's not.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rosie Rosel, Rest In Peace

I note the passing of Rosie Rosel early this morning.

Go with God, my friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

An Open Gun I Can Get Behind!

The CZ-75 TS "Parrot"...of course it's got the wrong sight on need this one, the OKO "Parrot red dot"

Those Czechs...apparently we have the same tastes!

As per our commenter Laura, this is the obvious shirt to wear, from Amazon, no less...

And, of course, something to replace that drab, drab baseball cap with a Hornady logo on it...

I wonder if they have one with electronic ear protection built in? This could make the next IPSC World Shoot really, really festive!

Now that we've dealt with issues of sartorial splendor, let's move on to some real gun stuff...looks like Guns & Ammo has finally stumbled into something we've been talking about for years, the fact that the .223 is in fact an excellent home defense cartridge. Of course, they failed to mention that the AR is LOUD! Maybe next month they'll stumble into suppressors as well.

Although over at The Truth About Guns, they don't agree:
Rifles are, without a doubt, the worst idea. They’re cumbersome to maneuver, you need to put them down to do anything productive, and they don’t give you any additional benefits. The shotgun got you a little wiggle room in terms of accuracy, but the rifle is just as unforgiving – shooting wise – with the added benefit of having to worry about where the rounds eventually end up. Like the neighbor’s bedroom.
TTAG does agree that the darn things are loud, however...and anybody who saw this week's SHOOTING GALLERY on terminal ballistics now believes, absolutely believes, that you never, ever want to stand in front of anything that says "12 Gauge" on the barrel! BTW, am I the only one who thought that the ballistic gel hit by the 12 gauge slug looked like a giant alien caterpillar in its death throes??? I got to cut back on my caffeine...I did suggest at least one block of gel with a couple of cans of mixed fruit and a luscious whipped topping, but somehow that one never got made...

Over at The Survivalist Blog, there's an interesting article on the .22 LR as the "Best Survival Firearm:"
In my opinion, not having a number of .22s in your survival arsenal would be a mistake, but I think it would be a bigger mistake to rely on the .22 exclusively. It is underpowered for a number of important uses, it puts one at a tremendous disadvantage at distance, and it’s not a sudden killer of large game. Although people and large animals have been killed by the .22, it’s just not consistent enough to be a compromise.
Pretty well-done article...worth your time. And from an occasionally controversial direction, Suarez instructor Chris Flaherty has an excellent article on the Suarez Blog titled "Bullets Don't Work" (scroll down the page):
Quite simply put. Bullets don’t work, but we are lucky. Ammunition manufactures do a great service. They include a couple “magic” bullets in every box. We as end users just have to find them.
Bullets don’t work and keep shooting good accurate shots until that magic bullet does its damage.
I said this a lot while putting together the Panteao Productions CCW video last weekend, though not quite so eloquently.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The "Dream Ticket" From Hell

From the NY Daily News:

The report that Mayor Bloomberg recently had “a long private lunch at the White House” with President Obama has some speculating about Obama turning to Bloomberg as Treasury secretary or as president of the World Bank.

But if the President really wants to get the mayor involved, the way to do it would be to go all the way and put Bloomberg on the 2012 ticket as his running mate.

Gee, Obama-Bloomberg...could it just get any better than that? Hope...Change...Snowplow...pass me the Koolaide!

Read more:

The Endless Trip...

Finished the second day of filming with Joe Mantegna for Season 2 of GUN STORIES...went very very good. We're filming at the Autry National Center in LA...spectacular firearms collection! Gatling serial number 1, S.A.A. serial number S1, Wild Bill's Navy Colt, John Wesley Hardin's Colt, Billy the Kid's rifle, etc. Cool stuff behind the scenes, scheduled to go on exhibit in a year or so.

I also spent the morning at Independent Studio Services discussing future some neat stuff on the horizon for SG!

Bill introduced into Senate on national concealed carry reciprocity. Here's the NRA release:

Senate Bill 2188, an important self-defense bill that would enable millions of Right-to-Carry permit holders across the country to carry concealed firearms while traveling outside their home states, was introduced in the U.S. Senate today. S. 2188 is the companion legislation to H.R. 822, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on November 16, 2011 by a majority bipartisan vote of 272 to 154.

 Here are the details from Shall Not Be Questioned. I support this big time!

Meanwhile, I'm sorta tired...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Surprisingly Balanced Article on Guns...

...from the usually relentlessly antigun Christian Science Monitor:

Back in the 1960s and '70s, a formidable gun control movement formed out of concern about urban crime. Widespread riots and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy and, later, the wounding of President Reagan added to concerns about the prevalence of guns. Other high-profile shootings, including the killing of five children in Stockton, Calif., in 1989 and the slaying of four federal agents during a siege at the Branch Davidian compound in WacoTexas, in 1993, focused attention on assault weapons in particular.

A bevy of national laws followed – restrictions on mail-order rifle sales in 1968, the outlawing of "cop killer" bullets in 1984, the establishment of "drug-free school zones" in 1990 that included stiff penalties for anyone carrying guns in those areas, an assault weapons ban in 1994. By most accounts, the assault weapons ban, which tellingly expired in 2004, marked the end of the gun control arc.

Read the whole thing...Gun Culture Ver. 2.0 becomes increasingly more visible and influential...

Friday, March 09, 2012

DVD Filming Going Well

Finished first day filming for my Panteao Production "Concealed Carry Basics" Tom Yost came down for the filming, and it's always fun to hang out with Tom. We should wrap up principal filming tomorrow...I'll try to grab some stills.

Had dinner tonite with Mark Kresser of Taurus at a great restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, Brimstone...darn good piece of fish and David Bruce Pinot. Things seem to be going pretty good at Taurus, especially with the addition of Jessie Harrison-Duff for their anticipated foray into competition.

Big shuffling in the competition world, what with Jeesie going to Taurus & Randi Rogers leaving Glock for Comp-Tac Holsters!

0-dark-30 call in the AM...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Another Progressive Paradise Weighs In!

In recent remarks to the Latin American Herald Tribune, Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami announced that the government will begin suspending firearm importation, effective this month. Furthermore, local gunsmiths will no longer be able to market or sell firearms and ammunition.

According to El Aissami, “As of March, every last gun shop remaining in Venezuela – and there are less than 80 – should be closed. That is to say, in Venezuela, the perverse chapter of the commercialization of firearms and munitions is over.”

That should work well! After all, it's worked so well in other places...Uganda, Nazi know the drill. I hope the peasants have lots and lots of machetes...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Slow Blogging Alert!

VERY busy for he next few days,so don't expect too much...

Monday, March 05, 2012

Rosie Rosel Hospitalized

I have been informed that my friend Rosie Rosel suffered a major stroke over the weekend. He is hospitalized and under sedation, and the situation is described as bleak.

Rosie, of course, has worked with Bill Rogers for years and is as fine a human being as has ever walked the earth.

My prayers are with Rosie and his wife (and my dear friend) Barb.

Sunday, March 04, 2012


...watched it last night. Wonderful, wonderful movie. I loved the steampunk sensibility, the Dickens backgrounds, Martin Scorsese's magnificent direction...Hugo was what movies should be. Of course, I loved the "Clocks Throughout Time" exhibit at the British Museum, too. 

A Generally Lazy Day

...which is good, since next week is a screamer. I'm going to be filming my first commercial DVD, based on my concealed carry segments for THE BEST DEFENSE, then throw myself wholeheartedly into Season 2 of GUN STORIES. Panteao Productions, my old friend Fernando, is handling the video, and I'll let you know when it's available. My goal is to establish a CCW baseline based on our years of TBD. I want to get beyond some of the endless memes we see on the Internet and in the mags and lay out a simple system. Well, that' the plan, anyway.

I worked up a new chili rub for fish last night -- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder, 1 tablespoon each New Mexico red medium hot chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Liked it, but may heat it up a little more with a bit of cayenne next time.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sorry for the Absence!

Had to whip, whip I tell you, to Tulsa to spend the day on the range with Marshal for DRTV. Got to meet "Rastus" from the DRTV Forums at the U.S. Shooting! Have to go take a pick-axe to the drift in the driveway, but before I do, some links for the day:

Brother Ted endorses Romney:
The “Motor City Madman” threw his considerable weight behind Romney’s campaign Friday, hours after this column was tipped that the endorsement was imminent, during Thursday evening’s Romney fund raiser at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center.
I've told you I will support the nominee. Lemme think about this over the weekend.

From the Washington Times, (via the inestimable Say Uncle) a D.C. city official has his take on what we need to do to protect ourselves in an increasingly dangerous world...submit:
...Paul Quander, the District’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice, responded that crime victims should give the criminals what they want. Mr. Portman protested, saying, “But how do you know you’re going live and survive? You’re completely at their mercy.” 
Mr. Quander thinks victimhood is preferable to self-defense. “The problem is, if you are armed, it escalates the situation,” Mr. Quander told residents. “It is much better, in my opinion, to be scared, to be frightened, and even if you have to be, to be injured, but to walk away and survive. You’ll heal, and you can replace whatever was taken away.”
That is so true! You can always have another child, or find a new spouse! And if you have to spend what is left of your life in a wheelchair, as a friend of mine did after a brutal D.C. mugging, hey, take those lemons and make lemonade! At least he got to park in the Handicapped Zones!

I am not one to wish ill to people, but there's a little voice in my head that whispers the hope for the future that Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Quander has the wonderful, wonderful opportunity to test his beliefs in the real world. Just lay back and enjoy it, Mr. Quander...the pain only last for a little while...

I strongly recommend that the GManCasefile blog, written by a former FBI agent, become one of your regular reads. It's not often that one blog can wax poetic about exotic Scotch in one post and neatly skewer the TSA in another, This is from the TSA: Fail post:
I sometimes ruminate while standing in line waiting to take off my shoes, remove my belt, laptop, iPad, etc., etc., about the improvised weapons I saw in prisons and how hard they were to find. It’s fascinating what weapons prisoners can make out of plastic forks, newspapers and toothbrushes. Ask any prison guard if an inmate can make a weapon out of an everyday item, and how long it would take them. Approximately 99% of what the average traveler carries on a plane would be considered contraband in a maximum security prison, due to the fact that it can easily be converted into a weapon. Toothbrushes, Popsicle sticks, pens, pencils, anything with wire (iPod headset), any metal object which can be sharpened, etc., etc. is a potential weapon. Carried to its logical end, TSA policy would have to require passengers to travel naked or handcuffed. (Handcuffing is the required procedure for U.S. Marshalls transporting prisoners in government aircraft.)
Read the whole thing!

You might also catch up on C.J. Shiver's, author of The Gun, the history of the AK-47, take on the new AK-12, the replacement for the venerable AK-47, over at NPR.
More likely, Chivers says, the redesign is motivated by a desire to help save "the Detroit of the modern rifle world."
 "The main Kalashnikov plant for the Russian Federation is the same as the main Kalashnikov plant during the Soviet Union's time," Chivers says, "and that's located out in the Ural Mountains in a city called Izhevsk."
The fortunes of Izhevsk have risen and fallen with the popularity of the Kalashnikov. Today, it can be characterized as a struggling factory town, but orders for new Kalashnikovs could help change that.
That should get you started! BTW, I bought a gun I didn't intend to buy because it was so damned impressive on the range! I was out shooting one of the Remington Versa Max 12-gauge semi auto shotguns because I'd really been taken to task on the blog and on a couple of the forums for always recommending pump shotguns for self-defense, especially for preppers. My rationale was that a pump would pretty much run with whatever you crammed into it, whereas semi auto shotguns were either finicky or required to to carry extra do-dads to change the gas ports or bleed springs.

One commenter bluntly asked me if that was the case, why did I routinely recommend semi auto pistols for self-defense, as the newest generation of semi auto shotguns have solved the do-dad problem. Well, I shot the Beretta defense semiauto at SHOT a while back, and it did indeed run with whatever was stuffed in the tube. In talking to my friends at Remington Defense, they kept waxing poetic about the Versa Max platform and how it accomplished the same thing with a pretty elegantly simple solution:

I finally said send me one. After a day at the range filming with it, I sent Remngton a credit card number so to keep the Versa Max. It ran and it ran and it ran, regardless of the ammo. We went from Feather-Lites to sporting clays heavy loads, to slugs to hunting buckshot, mixed brands, etc., and it just kept shooting. We intentionally did no lubrication when we took it out of the box — we ran it bone dry, and it just kept shooting. The Versa Max actually shoots lighter — that is, less felt recoil — than my competition Winchester X2 semi, which is well-known for its gas system soaking up the 12 gauge hit.

It ain't pretty, but it feels like a real workhorse. How impressed were we with the gun? Not only did I buy my T&E gun, producers John Carter and Mike Long went back to their offices and order one for themselves, and two other crew members are going to follow suit. Here's the Remington specs for the guns we bought, the Versa Max Synthetic 26-inchers:
The new standard for reliability in autoloading shotguns. VERSA MAX® shatters convention and all previous benchmarks for reliability with an action unlike any that have come before it. Proven in the field and in extreme tests of endurance with thousands of test rounds, it cycles 12-gauge loads with ultimate consistency, softer recoil and less maintenance than you've ever experienced.
Any load. Anywhere. Every time - the new pinnacle of autoloader technology.
• Most versatile, reliable shotgun on the market.
• Reliably cycles 12-gauge rounds from 2 3/4" to 3 1/2" magnum.
• Versaport™ gas system regulates cycling pressure based on shell length.
• Reduces recoil to that of a 20-gauge.
• Self-cleaning - Continuously cycled thousands of rounds in torture test.
• Synthetic stock and fore-end with grey overmolded grips.
• Drilled and tapped receiver.
• Enlarged trigger guard opening and larger safety for easier use with gloves.
• TriNyte® Barrel and Nickel Teflon plated internal components offer extreme corrosion resistance.
• Includes 5 Flush Mount Pro Bore™ Chokes (Full, Mod, Imp Mod Light Mod, IC
I thought about getting the Versa Max Tactical,but I decided I'd rather add whatever accessories I needed down the line, and I wanted the longer barrel for clays. My friends at Nordic Components already have a magazine extension tube for the Versa Max if I want to go that direction, and Briley has a larger bolt handle and bolt release button — I consider these necessary purchases. You'll be seeing lots more on the Versa Max as I work with it...

Friday, March 02, 2012

On the Range in Tulsa Tomorrow... thinking tonight about the very untimely death of Andrew Breitbart. He was a warrior in a time when we desperately need warriors, an inspiration in a time when inspiration seems lost, fearless in a time of cowardice. And he laughed loudly and often. That would be my definition of a man.