Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nephews of Anarchy

Seek toasts his leg on the pipes!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Perfect Day for Shooting!

That was yesterday, which also made it a perfect day to finish setting up the "bones" of my .22 "challenge course." My goal was to build a course that would help me get ready for rugged African hunting, and I modeled it strongly on last year's Namibia plains game hunt. Right now there are 6 shooting positions scattered across a couple of acres...I figure the overall course is about 600 yards long...it is grueling, rocky, cactus and most of all UPHILL!

I'm using mostly Action .22 Rimfire targets as the backbone. Action used 4-inchnimpact plates. Position 1 is 3 shots, 2 on a buffalo at 150 yards, one on a round place at 100 yards, from sticks or rested on the rocks. Ditto Position 2, now with the buffalo at 100+ yards and the round plate at 80 yards, kneeling or sitting.

Position 3 presents 4 plates at 14-25 yards. The plates are partially obscured by heavy brush and buried down into rock piles.

Position 4 is my regular shooting range area and includes a Rimfire plate rack at 20 yards and 4 fixed plates (6, 8, 8, 10 inches) from 18-40 yards. There's a loooooooooooog uphill slog to Position 5 which is a prone position on the house platform itself. There are 4 2-inch swingers at 25 yards; 8 2-inch swingers at 66 yards, ashown at a downhill angle.

The final position is a doozy, another downhill shot, this one at an 8-inch Caldwell Magnum Gong at 165 yards. I have several shooting positions higher up the hill that can pus this shot to 300 yards.

I have some small 2-inch swingers I want to add for closer in targets. I also have 5 MGM .22 auto-poppers and at least 1 more Magnum Gong in the budget for the course.

Scoring will be as per FTW Ranch...you get 3 shots on each target. First shot is 5 points, 2nd 3 points, 3rd 1 point. My overall goal is to set a par time for the whole course.

Here's the punchline...I've been changing sights/scopes on my .22 rifles, so NOTHING is sighted in well enough to run the course. Hope to remedy that today!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

First Shots, "Scout-In-A-Box"

We were filming for SHOOTING GALLERY yesterday, a special on lever action rifles for self-defense, so I natured took the almost-completed BLR .223 Scout project to the range to put some rounds through it. Here's the Scout-In-A-Box, in a box (a very nice Negrini box, to be sure)...

You can see here one of the reasons I opted for a forward "scout" mount in the BLR...the BLR's higher profile receiver would be a little tougher to get into the box of choice if I had gone with a traditional mount scope. I also like that the scope, a Burris 2-7X Scout, remains with the barrel. Yes, lock up should be the same every single time without effecting the point of aim, but hey, it's the real world. If I'm taking the gun apart, I'd rather the scope stay with the barrel. I also like how close to the bore line I can get the scope, an advantage of the forward mount.

Here's producer John Carter shooting the BLR...note the loooooooooooong bolt almost to his nose! I wanted the gun with the same length of pull as my cowboy lever actions. The long bolt isn't an issue with .223 recoil, but it does scare bystanders.

I would say the gun is working out well. It is fast to shoot — we were using Winchester White Box 55-gr ball — and fast to run. Since we were limited to pistol bays, we didn't get into accuracy tested and ran the scope at 2X. I'll get the gun properly sighted in after we get through SG and THE BEST DEFENSE filmings.

Recoil was negligible, of course. I'm just getting the Andy's Leather Rhodesian sling set up like I want it.

The only issue any of us had running the gun was with one magazine. I gotta say that considering BLR magazines are $125 MSRP, the DAMN THINGS OUGHT TO WORK 100%! That's a discussion I'll be having with Browning, you betcha!

Tim Wegner from Blade-Tech was with us for the filming, and he was really taken with the little carbine. He brought along a Wild West Guns Alaskan Co-Pilot based on a  45/70 Marlin, so we had both yin and yang on the range, not to mention Marshal Halloway with is Taylor's Alaskan 44 Magnum take-down. Here's me with Tim's Co-Pilot...that's Marshal Halloway's thumb in the upper lefthand corner of the picture...LOL!

I will say that hands-down the Negrini is the best gun case I have ever used. It's not just a little better...it's a WHOLE BUNCH better!

I have to say that the idea of a take-down lever action rifle in a reasonably small and light case was really intriguing to everyone, especially considering that BLR take-downs are available in such heavyweight calibers as .300 Win Mag and .450 Marlin (essentially a belted ballistic twin of the 45/70).

We'll be doing the complete story of the BLR Scout "legal in all jurisdictions" rifle on DRTV at the same time the level episode runs on SHOOTING GALLERY.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Watch This Space!

Yes, I'm on my way back to the Secret Hidden Bunker after a couple of days off...c'mon, that's not so so reasonable! I'm headed into the frenetic end-of-year filming schedule, so I wanted to take a short break before I climbed into the blender.

We went to Monterey, one of our favorite places, bicycled, watched otters and ate calamari. There are worse ways to spend altitude time! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Impressions -- DP-12 Shotgun

Over at DRTV: http://www.downrange.tv/blog/first-look-the-dp-12-double-barrel-pump-shotgun/31865/

In the car and seemingly unable to paste link!

Also Ed Head's piece on the Ruger 5.56 Sccut is really good!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Now THIS Is a GUN!

My Sweetie wanted to do some Appleseed practice this afternoon (she did great, BTW), so I thought I would take the JP Rifles GMR-13 9mm carbine along for the ride. I'd been working in the gun room sorting stuff, so I grabbed an old Aimpont Comp4 military red dot and ratcheted on the little carbine. I also took a selection of 9mm ball ammo, including Winchester White Box, Fiocchi and Armscor and a 33-round Glock magazine. Mostly what I wanted to do was see how the carbine ran…the Aimpoint wasn't sighted in but I figured it would be on paper.

We were shooting at 25 meters, the measured Appleseed range, on an IPSC target. I dumped a quick 20 rounds…a little low, but pretty good. I wasn't shooting for groups, just to settle the gun in. I "settled" until I ran out of ammunition, including one 33-round mag dump as fast as I could run the trigger

I was surprised at how well the carbine shot. A JP match barrel is, after all, a JP match barrel. And a 9mm carbine is like running a .22…no recoil to speak of. The JP trigger was, as you might expect, perfect.

You can see the dedicated Glock lower in the lousy picture above. Mags ejected cleanly with the enlarged JP button. The upper is one of JP's left side-cocker, the way God intended ARs to be run. As I've mentioned before on SHOOTING GALLERY, John created the GMR to have the operating feel of an MP-5, the gold standard for submachine guns (hence the side-cocker). I think he succeeded.

So what does one do with a 9mm carbine? This one, my plan is to use it in local 3-Gun competition (and, yes, I may suck it up and shoot a Glock 34…I've got an excellent stock of 17 and 33 round mags). I've got a couple of hundred rounds of Wilson 147-gr 9mm match I want to try in this gun. It's some of the most accurate 9mm ammo I've ever shot. Wilson also has a 125-gr match ammo I'd like to try as well. John says he's pulling 1 1/2-2 MOA groups at 100 yards, which is exceptional for 9mm.

I'll put a Burris MTAC (Warning! Sponsor Alert!) on it to sight it in.

Cliff Notes version…I liked the heck out of this rifle! I can't wait to wring it out.

Wrapped in Louisiana!

All done with the filming for SHOOTOUT LANE! Now there's about a billion hours of video to edit...glad that's not on my plate! I'm very very excited about this series. I also want to say how wonderful it has been to spend time with Jim Clark and his family and Jerry, Kay and Lena. They are amazing people, and I am proud to count them as my friends. Jim and I go way back…he was at the first "combat pistol" match I shot, and unlike me, he was pure shooting talent.

Today was going to be a match day, but the thought of a 3+ hour drive after just getting home from a week out was too much. Instead, I'll be working on the gun room. As I mentioned, the reloading benches are built and the presses installed. Now I need to see if I can find the brass and bullets! Not to mention the primers...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

An Ode to Purple Penguins

Penguins! It had to be penguins! This from NRO:
A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead. 
“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training documentgiven to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools. 
“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.
Hmmmmmm...far be it from me to create a "gendered space," but I would like to point out that:

1) I hate penguins
2) I hate purple
3) Neither boys nor girls are, in fact penguins
4) Neither boys nor girls are — except in a rare case emanating from Minneapolis — purple
5) I've seen more intelligent thought from a salad bar

Now that I've dealt with that crushing issue, lemme tell you why I bought a Tavor and not an AUG. First, I like AUGs. For some reason I liked the FS-2000 better, but I didn't buy it, either. I think it has to do with some indescribable element of feel. The Tavor just felt right with I shot it. I'm not a huge bull pup fan...like a lot of people, they always seemed like a nifty idea until I spent a little time with them. Every AUG I ever shot except for Cory Trapp's full auto had wretched triggers; the Tavor and the FS-2000, OTOH, had merely bad triggers. Neither "wretched" nor "bad" means "inoperable," BTW.  I'm hoping the new Geiselle gets me to "okay" on the Tavor.

I was also never crazy about the AUG's folding front vertical fore grip or the charging handle, but that's just nit-picking.

I find the Tavor comfortable and easy to run, which is why I want to use it in a class. Unless I shoot it under stress, I don't really know how it's going to perform.

Regarding interviews in the podcast, honestly it's such a pain in the butt I stopped doing them. DOWN RANGE Radio is the tail that wags the dog. Because Marshal and I kinda arbitrarily created the show, it's technically not part of what I do for OC...well, it kind of sits on top of what I do. It takes me about a day to put a podcast together. Some just flow; others are like dental work. When I added in the interviews, it also added in a lot of extra work...scheduling, the electronic hook-up, editing interviews, etc. Honestly, I just ran out of hours. Especially this time of year, when I have SHOOTING GALLERY, THE BEST DEFENSE and now SHOOTOUT LANE in production. That all may change in the future.

Time is so dear these days I'm starting to panic about upcoming SHOOTING GALLERIES, where I need to have a bunch of rifles with scopes mounted and sighted in. The various scopes and scope mounts are here, but I'm not sure when I can get to a long range range, so to speak.

In other small changes, I'm shifting from HKS Speedloaders to 5-Star for the revolvers I take on the road. I got a few 5-Stars originally for guns like the Taurus Judge and the .454 Ruger Alaskan. They're drastically overbuilt, and I like that.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Everyone Hates Clowns

Yeah, well. Later today it's back to the range on the 1000 yard shot. We're on our bazillionth scope mount, I think.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Gun

Back to the Drawing Board...

...on the long range S&W 929. As they say, if it was easy, everyone would do it. Sti, with Jerry Miculek and Jim Clark working on it, it WILL get done!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Yeah!!! One More Item Checked Off the Ole List!

Yesterday we closed on the sale of our old house! The money's in the bank and no more 2 mortgage payments. Was on the market for a loooonnnnnnnnggggg 6 months. As you might expect, it was a bittersweet moment. We bought that house before it was built and we lived there for 14 very good years. And as you know, there are some beloved ghosts in that house. I hope the new owners love it as much as we did.

Was going to shoot a cowboy match this AM, but the match was cancelled for some reason. So I'll do an afternoon road bike ride and work on my reloading bench. Coming up is one more week of filming on SHOOTOUT LANE...I have to say that the filming has exceeded my and Producer John Carter's wildest expectations. Kay, Jerry, Lena, Brock and Jim have been just super, and I think you guys are gonna be blown away!

I got my Geissele trigger for the Tavor yesterday! Hopefully I'll pop it in this afternoon. I am REALLY looking forward to visiting IWI in Israel for SHOOTING GALLERY next month. I still want to take a carbine class with my Tavor fitted with the Lucid HD-7. I love that set-up! If you're not familiar with Lucid, you should be. they're Wyoming homies and their mission to to build quality sights that don't require a mortgage.

I need abut 2 weeks at home doing nothing but gun work -- mounting scopes, sighting in, testing guns, reloading, finish setting up the range. Not gonna happen anytime soon, but I can dream. I've got 5 more Action Target Rimfire Series pieces of steel on the way. I've blocked out a course for rimfire rifle and pistol, with shots out to 200 yards...lotsa uphill hiking and some aggressive shots (off-hand, sticks, kneeling, prone) suspect that if it's as cool as I hope, we'll probably film it for DRTV. It's basically training for Africa, with a little Appleseed thrown in.

I picked up the Ruger 9mm LCR and I'll put some rounds thru it thus morning. I should have first impressions for you tomorrow. I will say off the bat that those extra 4 ounces (the .357 frame vs. the .38 +P version) make a difference. Having carried the LCR .38 for a few weeks, you don't even know it's there. Still a lot less than the 25+ ounce SP-101. Based on a comment from the previous post, I have shot the striker-fired LC-9s, and it has IMHO the best striker-fired trigger I've ever used. Period.

My Sweetie wants to shoot USPSA this winter. I'll be shooting revolver, I think, initially with the old S&W 629 that Randy Lee of Apex fame built for a SHOOTING GALLEY ICORE episode a few years back. The original premise was to see whether we coUld run a .44 based gun like a 625 .45 ACP, using moon clips and stubby .44 Russian brass. Besides, I owned a 629, and 625s were in short supply. The results were decidedly a mixed bag...the 629 came out as easily the best shooting .44 Maggie I own -- stainless gun, titanium low-mass cylinder, amazing DA trigger. The .44 Russian -- Black Hills cowboy ammo -- not so much. With the tighter tolerances for the custom moon clips from TK, it didn't take a lot gunk/unburned powder to gum up the works. I ended up shooting the match with .44 Specials in the moon clips, which worked out well.

USPSA has a weird set-up for the revolver divisions -- a 6-shot revolver can be major caliber; an 8-shot revolver minor caliber. The intent, I believe, is to balance out 6 and 8 shot revolvers on the round-intensive USPSA run-and-gun stages, where a couple of extra reloads can make a big difference in the score.

I've shot the S&W 929 8-shot 9mm, and I do lust after one (especially after a couple of weeks with Jerry Miculek, who's name is on the sideplate of that Performance Center gun and who pretty much fathered the N-Frame rocket). It is a pure competition beastie, and I don't want to go heavy into a new gun/gear/angst if I'm not gonna run it.

BTW, I note that SyFy has anew zombie series based around the premise of having to transport "serum" across the zombie-infested landscape. That was the plot of the SHOOTING GALLERY zom episode (which I, of course, stole wholesale from Roger Zelazny's DAMNATION ALLEY...the book, not the pretty wretched movie with Jan-Michael Vincent, whom I always found to be a pretty nice guy). And, of course, Balto got the serum to Nome, too.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Meanwhile, Back in Louisiana...

Am commuting to Shreveport, but am hopeful that I will return to normalcy no later than Thanksgiving. In the meantime, expect slow blogging.

Saturday morning at the New Secret Hidden Bunker coyotes woke me up about 5AM. Howling, growling, general yapping...it was like waking up in a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC special. Given all the racket, I suspect  they brought down a small deer...they usually aren't that noisy about rabbits. The coyotes are doing a pretty good job of keeping out of my sight, which is substantially better for their health. But they seem to be getting braver. I've got to sight in the Ruger American .22 that I popped an old Weaver 1-3x on...I figure it'll be the medicine gun for coyotes.

I'm kinda excited about the Ruger LCR in 9mm. As I mentioned on the podcast, I've been carrying the Ruger LCR while I'm on the road, loaded with .38 Corbon DPX. If the 9mm LCR works well, I may go down that path. The 9mm is build on the heavier .357 platform.

The Ultimate Revolver Scope Mount

No, really!