Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter Wonderland!

We shoveled the winter wonderland off the driveway of the Secret Hidden Bunker this afternoon so we could get a pizza...well, truthfully, we snow-blowed off the winter wonderland until the snowblower's sheer pin sheered. Then it was back to the shovel. While I was shoveling I got to thinking about Project Non-Permissive Jurisdiction and handguns. I may look around for a used Wiley Clapp Ruger GP100 .357.

Here's a couple of reviews, one from my buddy Jeff Quinn at GunBlast, the other from AMERICAN RIFLEMAN. It has been around a couple of years, which is why there are used ones floating around at good prices. I saw Wiley at SHOT, and he was still waxing poetic about the gun. Kind of a good compromise between the SP101 I have and a full-sized gun. Just a thought.

Ruger GP-100s are one of 3 things that would be left after a total global nuclear war, along with cockroaches and Keith Richards. They're pretty much totally indestructible, shoot better than they have any right to and are even relatively inexpensive. Ideal for the Project.

Of course, it could be I'm just punchy from shoveling snow.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Project Non-Permissive... moving right along. My Browning BLR went to MPI fiberglass gunstocks to lose about half a pound or more. In finally found one of the Browning Scout Scope mounts (which is, sadly, steel). I'm rethinking cutting the 18-inch barrel to 16 inches...probably not worth the cost and the aggravation of building up a much higher front sight. I will need a taller front sight regardless of which BUIS I use — Skinner Express, XS or the classic Williams WGSR. Lengthwise, the longest piece of the take-down is stock, which will with the new stock be right at 20 inches, so I'm not buying anything with the shorter barrel.

That leaves a much-needed trigger job, a leather wrap for the lever and the decision on optics to be done.

Here's a picture from an old AMERICAN RIFLEMAN article on the BLR with a forward-mounted red dot, and I have to say a red dot is still in the running.

The new fiberglass stock will include sling swivels, and my inclination is to reach out to Andy Langlois for one of his "Rhodesian" slings.

Ideally, the entire package — rifle, handgun, ammo for both, holster for handgun, magazines/speedloaders — will fit into one of the Negrini or equivalent case designed for multiple handguns...essentially a large, nondescript briefcase.

Interestingly enough, the BLR may turn out to be the "EDC" for the New, Improved Secret Hidden Bunker, assuming we can get it finished before I pull all my hair out and run away to join the circus. There are more wild critters on the 35-acre new property, and I'd likely keep a rifle handy.

Couple of interesting reads for today. The first is from The Arms Guide on "Keeping a Clear Mind:"
At first approach, it may seem that concentrating on the self defense encounter, planning the best course of action—and taking it, while minimizing risk of injury to one’s self and any potential bystanders, while remembering the rules of law, is an overwhelming challenge. Trying to recount all the details of a frenzy of thought and activity after the fact only adds to the complexity of the task. Fortunately, with a few simple exercises, you can train your brain to handle these high stress moments like a champ. Here are some of the training tips I practice.
Read the whole thing...all good tips. One thing I would add that we've talked about a lot on the podcast that goes a little a little beyond event need to tell yourself that you are in fact quite capable of handling a chaotic encounter. Yes, that's one of those weird little Happy Talk things, but it does work. The particular little mnemonic that works for me is the simple phrase, "I'm good at this!" Has to be simple, BTW, or it won't work...think of it as a programming bug for your head.

Example...right before SHOT I was in Planet Boulder on an icy, icy day. I was just driving slow-speed  down a 4-lane city street in the trusty Honda Element when I hit a patch of pure black ice invisible in a light dusting of snow. The rear wheels just dropped toward the curb and the car began to spin...yes, there was traffic behind me and in the on-coming lanes. The first thought that popped into my mind was, "Hey, I'm good at this!" I managed to stay in my lane, spin the Element 360 degrees and motor on like, "I meant to do that." My Sweetie even said I was laughing as I spun the car.

Competence is the antidote for panic. I have in the past taken ice driving courses, so I knew there was a good chance I could "get the car back" as long as I didn't fight it. Panic shuts down the mind, and anything that keeps the mind in the game is good.

The second interesting read today comes from the Gun Culture Ver. 2.0 blog summarizing an American Society of Criminology paper on who gets shot and when are gunshots fatal.
The victimization in Rochester [NY, the site of the study] was also concentrated in just a few geographic areas, with a single zip code accounting for 30% of all shootings. In some areas, gun violence is even more concentrated. Assummarized by prominent researcher Anthony Braga (Rutgers University and Harvard), 5% of street blocks accounted for 74% of all shootings in Boston from 1980 to 2008. Just 60 locations experienced 1,000+ shootings.
Interestingly, the report goes on to note that, "The only situational factor that is a statistically significant predictor of lethality is if the victim had a weapon." While there is a lot of head-scratching on this point in the blogpost, it makes perfect sense to me in light of the earlier geographic and social findings in the report. What we can read into those earlier findings are strong evidence of a thriving gang culture (surprise). At the top of the pyramid in gang culture are those individuals whom we may refer to as "violent criminal actors," or VCAs. They are, to borrow a phrase from the movies, stone killers, people who routinely and reflexively use violence to accomplish their goals. Violence, sometimes lethal violence, is simply a component of their "day job."

As I said in TRAIL SAFE, predators always recognize other predators...assuming an apex predator is a prey animal is a mistake that will only be made once. When predators hunt predators, they play for keeps. A VCA will assume his target is like him- or herself, armed and ready for the attack. As Ralph Waldo Emerson notes, when you strike at a King, you must kill him. Same applies to violent criminal actors.

BTW, kind of cool to see a blog focused on analyzing the Gun Culture Ver. 2.0 concept!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Most Important Story of the Day

(frightening photo courtesy India Today)
Flatulent cows start fire at German dairy farm 
BERLIN - Methane gas from 90 flatulent cows exploded in a German farm shed on Monday, damaging the roof and injuring one of the animals, police said. 
High levels of the gas had built up in the structure in the central German town of Rasdorf, then "a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames," the force said in a statement.
We're probably lucky that the same thing didn't happen last night at the SOTU. Blah...blah...vocal faltulence...blah...blah...human generation of methane...blah...kaboom!

What we did hear last night was the dying whimper of this most recent antigun putsch. This from Politco's Dylan Byers (not exactly a friend of ours) instant analysis:
3. The Gun Control Push is All But Over 
Obama's gun-control push started to fade from view a long time ago, but Tuesday's speech solidifed its death. "A year after making a call for his broad gun control agenda the emotional big finish, Obama devoted just two sentences to preventing gun violence," our colleague Reid Epstein reports. "Gun control advocates — thrilled that Obama made their cause the centerpiece of his emotional big finish last year — are left to be satisfied that Obama simply reiterated its commitment to reforms." 
The mainstream media was part of the heavy push for gun control. From CNN's Piers Morganand Don Lemon to NBC's Bob Costas to almost the entirety of MSNBC and the editorial pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post. In the wake of Newtown, the sense of urgency surrounding gun control legislation was so fierce that, at times, it began to color the media's news coverage in general. In that regard, the near-omission of gun control from Obama's speech was a loss for the mainstream media.
Interesting observation on the MSM. The gun control "movement" — and I use the term very loosely — has always been largely a creature of the Mainstream Media. As I've said before, in 2013 the media went all-in for civilian disarmament. When even more mainstream commentators notice that "it began to color the media's news coverage in general," it should tell you how thoroughly compromised the MSM is. Also worth noting that the media is spinning last night's whimper as a ringing endorsement. This from Huffpo:
One year later, with his gun control agenda considered dead on Capitol Hill, the president used the same venue to pledge that he will advance measures to reduce gun violence "with or without Congress."
Yeah, well, take your consolation where you can find it. In fact, the push for gun control that began with Newtown is finished. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean there's not a new push just around the corner.

The sad fact is that gun control/civilian disarmament is a religion, not even remotely based on any kind of fact. It has articles of faith, its own catechisms, its priests and ruling elite who answer to no one. If it wasn't for the boundless support of the MSM, occasional crumbs from progressives and that nasty little fascist billionaire (can one person wreak havoc on a country...check Wikipedia, under "Hitler"), gun control/civilian disarmament would be on par with the Flat Earth Society. The reason the gun control movement keeps falling on its face is that the majority of American people, when presented with the reverent, long repeated "solutions," recognize nonsense when they see it.

It's obvious that whether our blood enemies say they want to "ban handguns," have "common sense gun control," promote "gun safety" or find "solutions to gun violence," the only real agenda item is unconditional civilian disarmament, however they can get it.

So take a deep breath, go shooting or hunting (or maybe both), keep bringing new people into our culture and get ready for the next battle.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy State of the Union Address!

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

— Frederick Douglass, 
August 3, 1857

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Cold, Snowy, Icky Monday in January

'Bout sums it all up. Temps been hovering around 10 degrees and it has been steadily snowing all day...even Alf the Wonder Beagle cut her walk short. The only fun thing I did today was the podcast. I also finished grinding up a Blade-Tech Holster for the Taurus Public Defender, the D.D.W.G.* (*designated dog-walking gun).  I ended up with a holster for a 4.5-inch barrel instead of a 2.5-inch barrel...kydex, meet Mr. Skillsaw! I also ground off a part of the holster that extended beyond the grip of the Taurus revolver, which sort of kept me from getting a good 100% grip on the gun. The net result is my perfect holster for the dog-walking gun.

And please, please don't tell me that you read on the Internet that .410 buckshot won't penetrate newspaper, can actually be stopped by a silk shirt and is only useful for separating shills from their money. I'm just not in the mood...maybe I'm in a bad mood.

I am in a bad mood. That must be it. I shot a cowboy match yesterday and actually did pretty good, much better than I expected. I think its because I shot the the guns. There was a run and gun shotgun stage, which plays to my strengths. Of course, Mr. Tricksy Hobbit went to the next stage, figured out there was one spot where I could shot booth revolvers and the rifle without moving my feet, which would save a few pieces of seconds. I cranked through the first 2 pistols, started on the rifle and, as I swung the right I torqued my legs...followed by a funny popping noise in my right knee. LOL!

Damn, that hurt! It's all swollen up today. I look like a crab going up and down the stairs. Well, nobody ever said getting old was for sissies. Give it a day, and it'll be back to normal.

At least today is Margarita Monday, and since it's snowy and the plow hasn't been by lately (like, since 8AM), I decided to work with what I had on hand...Republic Tequila Plata, Cointreau and lemon juice. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to win Iron Chef Tequila with it, but it's a good margarita.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday, and Up Early Sunday...Maybe

Haven't been blogging because I've been dealing with vast quantities of steaming brown stuff as the new Secret Hidden Bunker moves along. It's a simple case of throwing more money at EVERYTHING. Budgets? We don't need no stinkin' budgets! We just go back to the Bank of Mike and hit the ATM! Rant rant! Rave rave! Whine whine! Bitch bitch!

Okay, I'm over it. I do suggest that if you're thinking of building a house, particularly a non-standard type of house not in a subdivision, find a sturdy piece of rope, step into your bathroom and hang yourself. It'll be over quicker, and you'll thank me for it in the end.

I am thinking of heading down to the freezing gun room long enough to reload enough cowboy rounds for tomorrow's match. I haven't shot any kind of match in ages and ages, the result of fickle weather and my brutal end-of-the-year travel schedule. I can barely remember how they work.

BTW, I was reading Paul Barrett's piece on the SHOT Show, and more and more the Glock book author shows his true colors:
A company called Lancer, for example, “introduced a stock capable of holding two ammunition magazines, although only one can be loaded at a time,” Terrill reports. I don’t know who needs a rifle holding two magazines when you can easily carry a spare on your belt or in a pocket, but there you are. Gun-control advocates aren’t going to be happy about this innovation, I predict.
Remember, Paul works for Bloomberg and told me that he thought his boss was a great boss and an honest man. You do the math. Of course Barrett also believes his good friend Ritchie Feldman's contention that many people in the industry are secretly pulling for a Hillary Clinton victory so they can benefit from another sales bubble. LOL! So stupid it's not even worth refuting. My favorite Feldman-ism (at least as I remember it) was when he went on a major gun forum and stated that I didn't exist, but was rather a compilation of a group of Washington antigun advocates who created me as an agent provocateur, or something like that.

You'd think they could have at least CGI'ed me to look like Darth Vader, or at least Chris Costa. After the last few days of dealing with the New Improved Bunker, I wish I didn't exist!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Tragic Loss of Motivtion

I finally figured out my inability to do any of the dozens of things I need to get's Post-SHOT Show Fugue (PSSF...I think there's a telethon or something). I mean, the temps this AM were in the single digits, thwarting the first inklings of going to the range. I was dead tired all day yesterday and despite that slept like crap last night. Even sticking a new trigger in an AR seems like a bridge too far.

Normally, I'm sick after SHOT...when you're in bed in the throes of the vapors, you don't notice how unmotivated you are. This year, amazingly, I missed the SHOT Flu, apparently one of about 3 people that didn't succumb. Hence, PSSF.

I meant to mention that I talked to the Ruger engineers on the apparent Gen 3 PMag problem on the SR762. The rifles were originally shipped with 3 Gen 2 PMags (that's what I have)...there was apparently an issue with the Gen 3 PMags (that's what happened to me). The current lowers have been modified to solve the problem. As for the early lowers, Ruger recommends the DPMS 19 rounders, which, luckily, I got some stashed from last year (sadly, not as many as PMags). The Lancer .308s or the new Brownells 20 should solve all .308 problems...of course, we can't have them in Colorado. I'll bet I never see one here...LOL!

Okay...I'm pretty sure I can summon up the energy to put a pistol buffer tube on a brand new lower. I got one of those KAK pistol buffer tubes designed for the Sig SB-15 stabilizing brace as part of the .300 Blackout pistol project.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Remington R51 Review Up!

The first comprehensive review of the Remington R51 from Gary Paul Johnson is now up on DOWN RANGE. Gary has more than 200 rounds through the gun and has done extensive research on the R51 and it predecessors. This is a "must-read!"

More on the Non-Permissive Jurisdiction Project

In answer to several emails I've received, yes, the guns put together for the Non-Permissive Jurisdiction Project will be featured on SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE 2015, assuming we're renewed, which is a pretty good bet. You'll see my .357 Marlin — an old one; not a new one — in the hands of Mike Seeklander this season on TBD. In fact, I may never get it back from Seeklander, who was very impressed with the lever gun as an efficient self-defense tool.

Answer to a second email question, yes, the finished Browning BLR will be equipped with a sling, almost certainly from Andy's Leather (visit him on FaceBook). In addition to being one of the great leatherworkers in America, Andy maintains the Scout Rifle Community. A sling is a rifle's holster, and any "working" rifle (i.e., one that's not shot exclusively off the bench or in a competition that doesn't not requite the rifle be carried out of the hand (cowboy, for instance) needs a sling.

Obviously, a lot of my thinking on the BLR derives from Col. Jeff Cooper's Scout rifle concepts, although as I noted earlier the concept of a forward-mounted scope is hardly original to Cooper. Andy has been instrumental in promoting and expanding on the Scout rifle concept; in fact, the BLR has figured prominently in several threads.

You guys know I'm a huge fan of the Ruger Gunsite Scout .308...I have more rounds through that rifle than any other bolt gun I own. I've shot it in classes at distances from contact to 400 yards. When I decided to go to Africa, I went with the Guide Gun specifically because I could configure it exactly the same as the GSR (LOP, sling), with the exception of a forward-mounted scope.

The Jeff Cooper Edition Steyr Scout

I always thought the Scout concept was interesting, but I didn't become an evangelist until, a couple of years before the Colonel died, he loaned me his personal Steyr Scout .308 (I believe fitted with the Leupold 2.5X) to shoot through the Gunsite African game hunting class with Il Ling New. By the time I finished the course, I was sold.

The Burris fixed power on GSR sits about 3/4 inch ahead of the ejection port, which is, to me, ideal. Notice that on the Steyr Scout the scope sits just slightly in front of the ejection port. The Leupold variable I handled and shot was mounted similarly. I have one of the new Burris 2-7X Scouts, but I haven't had time to mount it yet.

Could you use the BLR for this intended purpose (non-permissive jurisdictions) out of the box? Absolutely. Remember, I'm going for as light as possible for a travel gun. The trigger on mine is not bad, in the 6-7 pound range; the OL length is 40 inches with the 20-inch barrel (Cooper's Scout rifle standard was 1 meter in length, 39.4 inches); weight is 6 pounds 8 ounces with irons (Cooper's standard was 6.6 pounds - 7.7 pounds with irons and optic). By comparison, the Ruger Gunsite Scout weights in at 7 pounds with irons and a forward scope mount and a 38-inch length. The BLR does need sling swivels, but nothing is perfect.

If I was going to use the BLR out of the box with traditional mount optics I would go for the superb Leupold 1.5-4X 20mm, a great underrated scope weighing in at under 10 ounces, or something like the Burris MTAC 1-4X.

RE: Calibers...take your choice. I agree that .243 might be a good option...lots of different load availability (although no dedicated tactical rounds, I believe...I would go with the Hornady Superformance 95-gr SST), recoil on par with the .223 and a good hunting cartridge in jurisdictions where the .223 is prohibited for deer-sized game. If you don't have a .308, then that'd be the way to go. I have a good friend who travels a lot as an instructor and he routinely brings a takedown .308 BLR.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bone Builders!

"Gin when taken with tonic water is an admirable drink for weaklings and women..."
— Robert Ruark

Well, there you are! I've had, like, one gin and tonic every month since Africa. My rationale is that it keeps me poised for Africa II in June of this year. I use a local gin, Rob's MTN Gin, that's like chewing juniper berries. Cut the designer hi-zoot tonic with lime-flavored fizzy water. Wait for the Brits to recover the Empire.

The good news is that MPI Stocks can do a lightweight stock for Project BLR. I'll send it off this week. I'm going gray with black webbing because I think that will be easier to accessorize. JOKING! Doc at MPI says 6-8 weeks for the new stocks. I have ordered the Browning Scout rail with an idea of using a forward-mounted red dot or a Scout scope. I've really like the Burris 2.75X on the Ruger Gunsite Scout and have shot rifles with the Leupold 1.5-4X Scout mounted. I think forward-mounted scopes are something you either love or hate...while I was in the Royal Armoury in Leeds last December I saw German Mausers from WW2 with forward-mounted scopes; Germans found that some soldiers had trouble focusing on the iron sights when under attack. Imagine that.

If the BLS was gong to be a dedicated "house gun," I'd use a red dot.

Other plans for Project BLR include a 16-ish inch barrel, a trigger job and some kind of BUIS. As I wrote earlier, I'm pairing the BLR with a revolver, either the bulletproof SP101 snub .357 (I have one tuned by Grant Cunningham) or the wonderful LCR .38 Special +P. You guys will remember that I've danced around the caliber issue between .44s and .38s. The .357/.38s seem to work better for this project for the same reasons .223 wins out over other calibers...availability and weight.

Interesting an email from Browning this afternoon...pretty interesting...I'll tell you all about it when I can...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oh, And Another Thing...

My old friend Steve Lamboy is now working with International Case Company, who imports the flawless Negrini Italian gun cases. If you've got a nice Holland and Holland lying around, it's probably in a Negrini case. The cool thing is that in addition to their oh-my-goodness-it's-beautiful cases (which are pretty high on the indestructible scale as well) they've added a line of "tactical" bags that, amazingly, don't look like stealthy ninja killer fashion accouterments. In fact, they look like, well, something else. Here's last year's model...

I was kinda blown away by these cases with their flawless styling and drop-dead locks...and their prices, in the Pelican/Storm Case ballpark. I looked at Negrinis a couple of years ago and decided that much like a really nice Italian suit or one of those high-zoot watches that includes the time zones on the moon, I'd admire them from afar.

However, I'm really liking the new line, especially the intermediate sizes. In fact, I ordered one for the non-permissive jurisdiction rifle project. I wanted to put together a rifle/handgun combination that would be legal in as many jurisdictions as possible. After several bouts of agonizing I settled on a Browning BLR Take-Down in .223 and a .357 Ruger SP101 snub. I picked the .223 because of ammunition availability...the 4 round magazines suck, but hey.

Check them out!

And One Week Later...

...I'm back from SHOT!

Exhausted, my voice shot (so to speak), a sad, dragging-butt specimen of humanity. But I had a wonderful time. The annual "Michael Buys the Beer" post-SHOT party came off perfectly, with a slew of industry executives, competition shooters and media swilling my beer. Even the new Prez of OUTDOOR CHANNEL brought his family. Watch for the announcement of "Michael Buys the Beer" at the NRA convention in Indianapolis...wait they even have beer in Indianapolis? I'm sure some of my commenters will know the best places!

We won a GOLDEN MOOSE Award for GUN STORIES, and were one of 4 nominees in the increasingly competitive "Best Produced" category. It's darn hard to get ahead of that Jim Shockey and his amazing hunting productions! Congratulations to IMPOSSIBLE SHOTS, which won out over my 4 nominated shots in the "Shooting Sports" category. Jim Scoutten and his son, John, as well as their producer Mike Irvine, are friends, and we're all on the same page.

BTW, read the great interview with Joe Mantegna on Brietbart (where they also say some very nice things about GUN STORIES).

I have 2 new shows that will (I think) go to pilot, and, as usual, I can't say anything about them until we're farther along. Strangely enough, I've been asked to be a judge on a mainstream network outdoor competition..."we need a Simon Crowell, and you're him!" that actually a compliment? My participation will ultimately be an OC decision, since I'm under an exclusive contract.

I also have an agreement in principal with Burris on endorsing their line of optics. Even if I didn't, I'd be all spun up on the new AR-1X Prism. I love the reticle, love the fact that it uses a AA battery and love the sub-$300 price point, I should have one of these on an AR within a month and will give you a full report...ditto on the other new Burris products.

Alright alright...I know you want to know what I bought, or at least ordered, at SHOT. The answer is...not much.

Sig P938

The Sig Sauer P938 .22 conversion unit is a slam dunk, of course (it's not up on their site yet). After shooting the Doublestar .308 I'm glad I already have one on order. I asked for a T&E on the Remington R51...the trigger on the guns they had at SHOT was really good, and I loved the art deco-ish design of the pistol. I have pretty high hopes for the little gun.
Remington R51

After fiddling around with one at SHOT, I'm ordering an Atlas quick detach bipod. It looks like a rock-solid unit and perfect for the shooting I've got planned for 2014. Just as the Show was wrapping up I stopped by Mark Serbu's booth...he has a really cool side-cocker AR upper with the spring system
mounted above the barrel, eliminating the buffer tube. It'll make a really slick pistol/SBR set-up.

Two big surprises:

Walther's PPQ M2...felt great in my hand...had the best out-of-the-box trigger pull I've ever felt on a striker-fired polymer pistol...super short reset...the 5-inch version may well be my Sweetie's new 3-Gun pistol.
Walther PPQ M2

It is a really nice pistol! The trigger is on par with an Apex M&P trigger...honest.

Rhino Arms' incredible new AR-10 platform 12 gauge. I'd never even heard of Rhino Arms before this SHOT Show, but it turned out to be old friends from the early USPSA days. These guys have built a killer .308 AR-10 platform, with a 1/2 MOA guarantee with 168-gr Sierra Match King factory loads. Yes, it's more expensive than production AR-10s ($3K vs. an average of $2.2K), but it is the best .308 I've handled (I did not get a chance to shoot it). So they took the .308 platform and created a 12 gauge...not a 12 gauge that mimics the style of the AR, but a top-of-the-line 12 gauge built on the actual platform.  They had a 10 round metal magazine and showed me printed models of the final mag versions. 
Rhino .308

Both the .308 and the 12 gauge are "can't wait to shoot" guns. Rhino tells me there is a lot of interest from LEOs on the 12 gauge, and justifiably so.

In the end, I will probably buy one of the S&W 69 5-shot L-frame .44 maggies, even though the gun bucks like irritated mule with hot .44 Magnum loads. It can keep my .44 Special L-frame Hamilton Bowen custom company. And yes, some sad, sick part of me cried out for the .460 Magnum snub, but I already have a .454 Ruger Alaskan that would induce carpel tunnel syndrome in a tree.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

SHOT Storm...

...incoming. I'm almost almost packed, except now I have to unpack and repack to fit in all the stuff I left out in the first run-through. My shooting glasses seem to have gone to the moon or one of the outer planets, because they certainly don't seem to be anywhere in the Bunker.

BTW BTW, Marshal and I would like to know what you'd like us to take a look at. Obviously, we'll shoot the little Glock .380 (which I fully expect will feel exactly like shooting a Glock!), the striker-fired Sig 320, and the Remington R51 mini-9. The cowboy in me thrills to the new Winchester 1873 with a color casehardened receiver...although I already bought my T&E '73 from last year. Let's not forget the S&W 69 .44 Magnum (want...lust...must have!) and the FNH AR platform guns.

Of the SG Usual Suspects, Iain's all spun up on the S.W.O.R.D. .338 semi (didn't Bushmaster show one of these a few years back when Skip Patel was with the company?). Di Liedorff will be busily lining up new 3-Gun sponsors since she's left Team FNH. John Snow will probably be haunting precision rifle booths, and Sara Ahrens will probably be hanging out at Beretta.

So what do you guys want us to write about/video at SHOT 2014? 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Aftermath, from Primary Weapons Systems:

I thought this was a travelogue for Detroit...

Tactical Solutions .300 Blackout solution!

I think this is totally cool! From Tactical Solutions, a .300 Blackout upper with a permanently attached shroud. Here's the presser:
New for 2014 is the TSAR-300: The only 300 AAC Blackout upper which provides the versatility of a short barreled rifle (SBR) upper without the red tape and NFA paperwork. Suppressors fit inside the circumference of a permanently attached shroud allowing shooters to attach a suppressor without significantly increasing the overall length of the rifle. The TSAR-300 is full auto rated with a mil-spec bolt carrier group. Every upper comes with a TacSol two piece free float hand guard as well as an inert suppressor.
When your silencer paperwork clears, simply screw off the "inert" suppressor and screw on the real thing. This is sort of the flip side of last year's Sig Sauer MPX-C with the extended "compensator" that doubles as the innards of a suppressor when the paperwork clears and you screw on the outer tubing.

Couple of good points on the Tac-Sol .300 — the .300 Blackout round is optimized for the shorter barrel, so you're not losing anything by keeping the barrel short. The drawback to a 16-inch .300 Blackout is that when you attach the suppressor it's a bit unwieldy.

As the situation is now, if you want a suppressed short-barreled rifle you have to go down the path I'm following with the .300 Blackout pistol project. Build a .300 Blackout pistol lower for your short-barreled upper; file the paperwork and pay the $200 on an SBR; wait 9 months to a year; file the paperwork and pay the $200 on the suppressor, wait, then after the 2 stamps arrive you can assemble the entire gun.

SB-X 10/22 barrel

Tac-Sol first delivered the attached shroud on their .22 barrel upgrades, the SB-X, and I have to say that at first you could color me skeptical of the concept. That was actually until I tried it on one of Tac-Sol's X-Ring .22 rifles. With the SB-X you get a 12.5 inch barrel and the permanently attached shroud. That rifle with a Tac-Sol suppressor has become one of my all-time favorite .22s.

I'm hoping to have a TSAR as soon after SHOT as possible, and we'll be doing a full report on DRTV.

Bullpup Fever

You know, I couldn't wait to get my Tavor bullpup. I put a Lucid HD7 red dot on the gun (which I really like, BTW), put some rounds through it and sat it aside. My plan was to take a class with the Tavor, but the real world interfered and my spare time vanished. I hope to pick it up this year and get that class in, with a couple of changes.

Midwest KeyMod Handguard

Both Midwest Industries and Fab Defense are rolling out new handguards for the Tavor. My inclination is to go with the Midwest Industries version, because I like the KeyMod system. Maybe more importantly, there will be 2 new triggers for the Tavor in 2014. Trigger pull has always, to me, been the weak link of the bullpup system. As much as I liked its many features, I passed on an FNH FS-2000, even though it had a substantially better trigger than any of the AUGs I've shot (and, full disclosure, I have NOT shot any of the new gen AUGs).

The Tavor has a pretty good trigger...for a bullpup...but it's going to get better. Both Geissele Automatics and Timney have announced replacement triggers for the Tavor. I talked to the guys at Geissele and they're pretty close, so I placed an advance order.

I note that Desert Tech, which as pioneered cutting edge bullpups, announced a new one for SHOT, the MDR, interchangeable for 5 calibers. I remember shooting their SRS-A1 a few years back and it was pretty neat. Pretty expensive, but pretty neat.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Facing SHOT Show and a Couple of Thoughts on AR Calibers...

I guess it's time to get on with it, huh?

Goes without saying I'm not ready for SHOT, either mentally or in terms of clean underwear. The underwear situation I can fix. I've got a "hit list" of must-sees, and Iain Harrison and I talked about his must-sees earlier this week in Phoenix.  BTW, I can't believe I've never spent any time looking at these custom AR handguards from Unique-ARs.com! Hopefully, we'll have approval at DRTV to give away some really nice custom ARs, and maybe a custom handguard would be a nice touch.

Unique ARs "Spiderweb"

Shooting in Phoenix earlier this week for SG, Marc Christenson from DS Arms brought down a custom AR in .204 Ruger with a 20-inch barrel from Montana Rifle. I've never even messed around with the .204 Ruger, with the possible exception of shooting John Paul's personal JP long range bolt gun in .204. A 32-grain bullet moving at 4000 fps...pretty cool. Marc said the .204 was crazy accurate as well as crazy fast. It was developed in 2004 by Ruger and Hornady as the fastest  production cartridge in the world. Uses regular AR magazines. March popped his upper on a registered full auto lower, and it ran like a champ. Might be a fun cartridge to fiddle around with. JP has some interesting parts for building a long-range .204. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

I also finally got to run my 10 1/2-inch .300 Blackout upper on a registered lower rather than a pistol. Shoots just wonderfully...I definitely want to finish up that pistol/SBR project. Another surprise was the AR upper in 5.7 X 28. Sucker ran like a scalded ape, no malfs of any kind and incredibly fun to shoot with those 50 round magazines. The AR57 is a really neat set-up...stuck in the provided heavy buffer, popped the upper on just like any other upper and away we went. I like this!


What didn't work was the .458 SOCOM. The Wilson Combat upper shot great on single shots, but we couldn't get it to run with any magazines. Might have needed a heavier spring to shove that big cartridge in. We were also running reloads — the only rounds we could get, courtesy of my friend Mike Barker — which are always tailored to the gun. It was a thumper, though, and heaven knows Bill Wilson has killed about a million hogs with the .458...his obviously works!

I also got a chance to shoot Iain's "bastard" AR — in 7.62 X 25 Tokarev, of all things, with a Czech barrel, a Russian optic and an weird collection of parts. He built it to make use of the cheap Toke ammo, which has now gone the way of the Great Auk (below):

The Great Auk, as rare as cheap 7.62 X 25

The idea was that he could shoot the cheap Toke ammo when there was cheap Toke ammo in local 3-Gun matches where the longest distances were under 100 yards. It was fun to shoot, although Iain cursed me for condemning him to an evening of cleaning out the filthy and corrosive surplus ammo residue.

JP GMR-12 9mm

I have a similar plan for the superb JP GMR-12 9mm rifle when I can finally lay my hands (and my credit card) on one. A less-than-3 MOA 9mm rifle that takes 33-round Glock mags, topped with the brand spanking new Burris AR-1X, would be killer on local 3-Gun matches with rifle shots at sane distances. Secondly, you can actually buy 9mm ammunition without a second mortgage on your home. still wickedly depressed, but I know it'll get better. SHOT'll be crazy busy, and that's a good thing.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Pokke-san the Tailless Manx, R.I.P.

I note the passing of our beloved cat, Pokke, at only 8 years old. He was a fine mouser, a companion to Alf the Wonder Bagle and, oddly enough, our parrots, and a joy in our lives for far too short a time.

He is beyond pain now, and with the God of All Things.

My heart is broken. I will miss him so.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Air Travel...

...on a week with a major northeastern blizzard does indeed suck...and I'm not home yet. Massive delays, lost luggage, cancelled flights. It's not the airlines' fault, but man...

Spent a day at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge with my pal and SG Usual Suspect John Sunday, the last day of the match, they'll be shooting from glaciers, LOL!

More when I figure out whether I'll make this next flight...

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A New Year's Thought...

...from LOTR, as always:

"Let this be the hour when we draw swords together. 
Fell deeds awake. 
Now for wrath, 
Now for ruin, 
And the red dawn!"

Theoden, King of Rohan

Happy New Year
from the
Secret Hidden Bunker!