Sunday, November 30, 2014

Slow Sunday

Spinning up for a hectic week, but I wanted to answer a couple of the comments on the previous post.

On the Lucid, longterm my HD7 has proven to be an excellent sight. Everyone who has tried it has liked it (and that includes some very picky people). It's been bounced around a lot in travel and keeps on ticking. The Lucid is still on the Tavor…the only thing I've changed other than the trigger is swapping out the factory top rail for a Gear Head raised rail which brings the Lucid up to AR height. For a little under $250 I think it's a truly great value, plus I was very impressed with the Lucid guys when I met them at SHOT. I generally use the "dot in a donut" reticle, BTW, because I'm used to it from the Leupold CQ/T 3x I've used for about 100 years.

I'd hoped to have a chance to go to their long-distance training event in Wyoming, but the filming schedule didn't allow it. I note they now have a retrofit QD mounting kit for the HD7 and a low cost riser mount for their M7 red dot.

I'm interested in their scopes as well, although I'm trying to swear off any non-Mil Dot reticles…I'm not sure I have the available RAM to learn a new scope reticle, although their the Lucid L5 reticle looks pretty nice.

Jumping topics just a little, I shot a cowboy match Saturday, and boy, did I suck! I swear, shooting skills are like the Little Dutch Boy and that damn dike…just when you get one leak stopped, another opens up! Honestly, I've neglected my cowboy shooting, largely because of my travel schedule precluded any matches for the last quarter and my limited training and shooting on the road focused on rifles. As a consequence, my Saturday match was a collection of one unforced error after the other. I bobbled a shotgun load, which I haven't done in ages, then bobbled the next load. I sat down and picked up guns with the wrong hands, took ages to get on the first target for both my pistols and my rifle, skated a pistol round over a target because I wasn't "locked down" on the bank of targets, blah blah blah.

Well, this just won't do! I've got a big national match coming up in a couple of months, Winter Range, and I need to be a lot more on my game. It's dry-fire time! And on-shot draws. And try to keep focused, something of a challenge when you have the attention span of a gnat on crack.

Meanwhile, back to responding to comments. The Troy PAR, the pump-action AR, is indeed a fascinating firearm, especially for people trapped in anti-2A states like New York and California. The big advantage is the ability to take advantage of all the AR accessories out there. Another gun in that category would be the Ares Defense SCR, a semi auto AR, but in a "traditional" package. Gary Paul Johnson speaks very highly of Ares Defense, and they were impressive when I talked to them at SHOT. OTOH, I've tried to obtain or buy one of the SCRs with no luck. Kinda reminds me of my ill-fated attempt to buy one of the then-new Ithaca Featherlight 20 gauges…couldn't even get a return email, call or directions to a dealer! LOL!

Overload, the longer length of a rifle is always an issue when using it in a self-defense context. We've discussed on THE BEST DEFENSE and next season on SHOOTING GALLERY I smack a lever action into a wall in a demo to "hammer home" understanding how to move, and how not to move, with a long gun. That's one of the reasons for my increasing infatuation with bull pups like the Tavor (my choice), the Steyr AUG (my producing partner Tim Cremin's dream gun, which, BTW, are being blown out by CDNN for $1500 or so this weekend), my "almost" gun, the FS2000 and, oddly enough, the AR pistol platform…I say "platform" to mostly irritate military fanbois who insist a "platform" must be rolling.

Because I live in a rural setting, I have ready access to long guns. My bedside gun has for years and years been a Sig 226 9mm. However, I've been experimenting with my Spike's Tactical 9mm AR pistol as the "handgun to get me to the rifles," and I'm liking how that is working. The Spike's pistol uses a foam covered buffer tube, which quit honestly works as well as the Sig SB15 brace. The Spike's 9mm uses standard Colt 32 round magazines, of which I have…many. Spike makes a great version of the Colt mag.

I've shot the pistol at 25 yards a few years back, and if I recall it was 4-5 inches with me just screwing around with an Aimpoint Mini and ball. I plan to check at at 25 yards off my bench rest set-up with Corbon DPX before I draft it into service. I'll add a single-point sling, I think.

My Sweetie, Newt the beagle and I did a long hike today on some of the more rugged acreage on the SHB-II Ranch (so to speak). Some of the land is pretty rugged…steep, rocks, cactus, etc….and we had a pretty good scramble while we were working our way around a big rock outcropping. Newt is so cute  climbing rocks! FWIW, I was carrying my Taurus Public Defender with 3 Federal buckshot loads and 2 .45 Colt SilverTips. Yes, I know from the Internet that the Taurus Judge series is hopeless, worthless, brainless, and a bunch of other '…lesses,"and I don't really understand how worthless the gun is. LOL! Aside from the ballistic jello and penetration I've done, the one animal I shot with the Federal buckshot was DRT. And then some. Blade-Tech holster. Six extra .45 Colts in a Tuff Strip.

And thank you all for the kind thoughts on Asta, our kitten. We were pretty scared Thursday and Friday, but today he was finally better. He yowled at us and started eating. One more test tomorrow AM, but my Sweetie and I are hopeful.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Post Thanksgiving Apology

Kinda blew past Thanksgiving yesterday, but I'm hoping you all had a good one and aren't in some food-induced coma.

Things are a little subdued here...aside from the fact that I've been working long days since I got back from Israel Monday, we've got a very sick kitty on our hands, and he's is taking huge amounts of time and concern while his vets try to figure out what's wrong with him. He's in my office now, exhausted from his 3rd vet trip in 2 weeks. We're very worried about him. I'm also struggling with my ubiquitous airplane head cold, and it's all I can do to drink hot coffee and record voice-overs.

Wind is screaming outside...I'm hoping it lays down enough to let me sight in a .22 rifle with that new Pride/Fowler Rapid Reticle scope...Im very fond of the original Rapid Reticle .22 scope...that's what I used to get my Appleseed "Rifleman's" patch. OTOH, I could take a cold tablet and a nap....hmmmmm....

Interesting article on 9mm carbines at Stately McDaniel Manor...I've decided to include the JP 9mm in my on-line home defense segment of THE BEST DEFENSE.

More later...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Catching Up Before REALLY Catching Up!

Or something like that...the trip to Israel to spend some quality time at IWI left me pretty far behind the eight-ball, but principal filming for SHOOTING GALLERY, THE BEST DEFENSE and SHOOTOUT LANE is all finished. Or, as we say in Colorado (or 1968, which is probably redundant), we're down to stems and seeds...just in time to start planning GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA and my and Marshal's new Internet series AMERICA'S RIFLE. Cool!

I thought I'd weigh in on the new Taurus Curve .380, except that I haven't shot it. I handled the first "printed" piece and a prototype version a couple of years back, but neither I nor Marshal have shot the production version. I thought it was an intriguing idea...I think we're all still feeling our way toward dealing with the huge new market.

I will say that our "doctrine," if you will, at THE BEST DEFENSE is that pocket pistols need pocket holsters, because the pocket is the equivalent of your crazy Aunt Mavis' hall closet that hasn't been unopened in like 50 years...there's a lot of icky gunk in there, and you'd rather not transfer that gunk from the pocket to the pistol. All of us Mikes and the one Marty on TBD occasionally use pocket pistols -- we strongly recommend them as a way to have a firearm readily available when you're at home -- and they're hard enough to access without risking rendering the gun unfireable to boot.

Holster science isn't mysterious ju-ju...yes, you're going to spend some money on holsters you'll ultimately reject, but hey, we're in a golden age of holsters as well as handguns.

Secondly, with a pocket gun pointing at my femoral artery or, worse yet, Mr. Weasel, I'd sorta like the trigger guard covered so the trigger doesn't figure out a way to fire itself. That's why I don't use pocket clips on my small framed revolvers. Again, I like holsters. They've worked well since we moved beyond horse pistols hung off saddles.

Thirdly, I like know, those bumps on the top of the pistol. I have over the years repeatedly told mini gun manufacturers who sought to eliminate sights on sneeze-distance pistols that I thought it was a bad idea. After years of doing TBD, I insist on sights that give me a fighting chance at a longer shot. Yes, the Taurus does have a sighting system that I'm not familiar with -- and I am inherently conservative about new ideas in a machine I might have to use to save my life -- but I keep reading that the Curve will probably be used within the 3-foot radius do the "hot zone" around your body. Okey-dokey, now if you'll kindly explain how to arrange that guaranteed distance...

As armed civilians, we have limited ability to choose the ground, the time, situation, etc. on which we might have to fight. Given that, I would argue against less, rather than more, specialization in my self-defense tools. Keep in mind that I was just in Israel, a nation fighting an enemy that wages war against women and children, and nobody there was arguing for smaller, lighter, close-in distance-limited weapons. From a purely paranoid viewpoint, which is pretty normal for me, the rise of lone wolf terrorism, increased civil unrest and the virtual certainty of a less-than-certain future points in the other direction. Gabe Suarez presents an articulate opinion that more ammo in a larger gun makes more sense in these times. 

NONE of the above means the Taurus Curve is a bad gun! I haven't shot it, much less carried it. It might be the best carry gun I've ever had. But it would be unfair not to note that, at least IMHO, the Curve starts with strikes against it.

On another note, as I mentioned in my comments, If I could get a civilian IWI X95 tomorrow, I'd happily shell out the money. I found it to be a great little gun, probably why the IDF is fielding it these days. Small, light, handles great. you'll love the SHOOTING GALLERY 2-part special!

An Obscurity

 Photo of my foot...

...and the prototype of Uzi Gal's entry in Israel rifle trials back when...the Galil won those trials. This gun is in the hand of a private collector.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Half-Heartedly Snowing... Secret Hidden Bunker II ; about 13 degrees. Which is quantums better than it was last week, when my Sweetie had to deal with 10-below and an off-grid power system that turned itself off (coupled with back-up heat that hadn't been set up to be backup heat. Because she is the smartest person I know, not to mention one of the most stubborn, she stayed outside in the bitter cold and sorted everything out.

As usual, her complete ass of a boyfriend wasn't there to help her out. I'm desperately trying to wrap both SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE by the beginning of Thanksgiving week. SHOOTOUT LANE is in the can, but I haven't seen any rough cuts yet. Also got exciting news last week that one of mine and Marshal's pet projects that has been sitting around for a couple of years is now up and running -- an Internet series dedicated specifically to ARs! As always, this will sincerely rock...right now me, Marshal and Nick Collier from DoubleStar are brainstorming content as we speak.

We are DEFINITELY open to suggestions from you guys!!!! I want to deal with different calibers, "purpose-designed" guns, intelligent self-defense training (as in, "Dude, you are NOT going to Syria next week!"), 3-Gun competition, accessories, etc. I know that's pretty vague, but we're moving toward specifics pretty quickly.

For SilencerCo in Utah I went to GUNSITE for an Outdoor Channel event, with Di Liedorff (Team Benelli) and Ryan Muller (Team Stoeger) teaching a "3-Gun 101" class. Shot Ryan's Adam Arms piston competition rifle...sweet! Then Di, Ry and I (Rhymin'Simon strokes again!) went on to FTW Ranch to film for SG. We wanted to try something different, so we all and different rifles to show the concepts were gun-neutral. I used my .300 Win Mag Ruger Guide Gun, Di a 6.5 Creedmore Ruger Hawkeye, Producer John Carter a box-stock .308 Ruger American, Ryan a McRee Precision BR-10 in .300 Win Mag. Ken Jorgensen from Ruger also joined us with a 1-off Hawkeye.

Gotta say that 200+ rounds of 180-grain .300 Win Mag over a few days will wear you down! And make you a believer in PAST Recoil Shields!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ruger On The Record

Just to clear things up...from Mike Fifer, CEO of Ruger, on an article circulating on numerous media outlets and firearm blogs suggesting that Ruger gave a"war  reception" to the antigun clown show seeking to promote smart guns:.
Our General Counsel met them inside our front entryway, said I was not present (I was actually out of the building at a meeting when they showed up), accepted their envelope addressed to me, said goodbye to them and that was the end of it. They left.

Perhaps "warm reception" is a relative description. While we disagree with their methods and specifics, there is little to be gained by being rude to them (which they might have preferred, given that they had Channel 3 news cameras with them). They also behaved well, did not make a fuss, and quietly left. It was a non-event, in spite of their goal of gaining publicity.
Best regards,
Mike Fifer
p.s. Feel free to post my reply.
And let me add my own comment: 


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Spent the Whole Sunday Reclining...

...and shooting my .300 Win Mag Ruger Guide Gun at 300-700 yards. I know we all occasionally fall in love with specific guns, bur truly if I had to run out of the house with one single rifle ( bolt-action rifle), it'd be this one. .300 Win Mag is so versatile, and the Guide Gun with it's super (and loud) muzzle brake, is just perfect. At least to me. It cries out for a SilencerCo "Harvester" suppressor!

Saturday, November 08, 2014


In transit. More when I stop moving. Discussion in OUTDOOR CHANNEL acquisition of InterMedia, including Sportsman Channel, on next Wednesday's blog.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

SilencerCo Salvo 12 Gauge Suppressor

I'm between hither and yon and don't have a lot of time, but I wanted to say that I was very VERY impressed with the SilencerCo 12 gauge behemoth. I put maybe 50 rounds through a Benelli M2 with one of the 12-inch Salvos fitted...on an indoor range with concrete walls...and didn't need hearing protection.

The recoil reduction, if anything, was even more impressive! I'm going to call it around a 40% reduction in felt recoil. I. Face, a couple of time I intentionally didn't fully shoulder the Benelli, and it was still a sweetheart to shoot.

The user-configurable modular construction is really cool--12, 10, 8 or 6-inch lengths. Obviously, the shorter you get, the less noise reduction you get. But obviously it depends on your needs.

More later...

Monday, November 03, 2014

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Nut Cuttin' Time!


If we're going to take Colorado back from the swine who have been feeding at the trough in Denver, it's got to be done by Tuesday. And we have to be above the "margin of fraud" — the progressives will use every tool at their disposal, and we are assuming massive voter fraud with Colorado's all mail-in ballot. You must get that ballot in!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Survived Halloween!

No haints, ghosts, poltergeists, zombies, vampires, witches, liberals or other blood-sucking fiends!

I'm continuing the sprint to the end of the year. Last week was a spectacular filming week for THE BEST DEFENSE, with locations arranged by Marshal & Teresa Halloway. Everything pulled together perfectly — when the worst production delay for the week was having the batteries die in the Airsoft AR-15, you know you're golden. I especially like the shootout in a church, modeled on the Colorado incident.

I know I say it every year, but we're kicking this season up to the next level. I'm very pleased to be working with new Producer Jeff Murray, who has brought a ton of energy and vision to TBD.

We did get in one day at the range…check out the DRTV video of Seeklander training for the IDPA Back-Up Nationals with a vintage Century Arms 45/70 single action revolver. I remember seeing ads for these behemoths in the late 1970s/early 1980s, so it was really cool to actually shoot one, We used up a box of Remington 300-grain JSPs.

I remember thinking what a thumb-buster that beast would be! I finally got a 45/70 Contender from J.D. Jones and did indeed bust a lot of my own skin with heavy bullet loads. Interestingly enough, the Century 45/70 didn't recoil all that badly with the loads we were using…I'm thinking that the softer push of the 300-grainers was a combination of not fully burning all the powder in the pistol-length barrel and the fact that we've all shot such fire-breathing monsters as the .500 S&W Magnum and the .500 and .475 Linebaughs. Also the undeniable fact that the Century weighs as much as a Prius.

Also got to shoot a Sig P-210/5 Target:

It's got the extended barrel and came from the factory with a tuned trigger, which was pretty cool since the P-210 in its regular flavors generally has a fine trigger pull. I've shot a bunch of P-210s over the year — and have considered buying one…but I wisely breath into a plastic bag until the feeling passes — but this one is really, really sweet. The trigger surprised both me and Seeklander.  It is a target shooting monster, to be sure.