Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Room To Destroy…"

Here is the first and most important lesson from the Baltimore riots:


Believe it. Internalize it. Make it part of your thinking and planning every day. Those elements of the State, especially those elected and appointed progressive bureaucrats, who are so good at taking things from you — your money, your property, your Constitutional rights, occasionally your life — are not so good after the first brick is thrown.

Would, a man wonders, the Mayor of Baltimore been so cavalier about that "room to destroy" if the destroyers were destroying her neighborhood? If it was her neighbors' houses going up in flames? If it was a business she had spent her life's work to build? If it was her children under threat? And those politicians, including the President and his outgoing Attorney General, who have spent the past 6 years fueling the fires of racial division and hatred, I ask the same question I did after Ferguson, after the New York riots...are you happy now?
"Because the finance man's gonna be at your house on Saturday, right? That's exactly what the company wants - to keep you on their line. They'll do anything to keep you on their line. They pit the lifers against the new boys, the old against the young, the black against the white - EVERYBODY to keep us in our place.
Blue Collar, 1978
Do the politicians and the race hustlers look at the flames with the sense of satisfaction that comes with a job well done? Do they see the destruction of people's lives and livelihoods and think, "Yeah baby…the streets belong to the People!"

I'm not letting the police administrators off the hook, either. There is a fundamental cultural problem when we use the armed agents of State, the police, for literally nickel-and-dime tax collection (in NYC, Eric Garner was approached by police for selling "loosies," individual cigarettes from a pack, thus not letting the State get it's quarter per ciggie tax...two bits) or antiquated, literally ridiculous laws (in Baltimore, Freddie Gray apparently ran because he was carrying not a "switchblade," but a gravity-assited spring open knife like the one I carry every day). What does that tell us about the things we as a culture value? That a guy in Baltimore ended up dead because of  "West Side Story?" Those are issues we need to address, but not while we're in the middle of the soup.

To bring it back to our "doctrine" from THE BEST DEFENSE, what do you need to do? First, if you DVR'ed our episode on the couple trapped in a parking garage, watch it again. Here are the learning points:

Be aware of the situation in your own community. Remember, violence is like the ebola virus...it spreads, not easily, but steadily. It is incumbent on you to be aware of what's going on around you. Ostrich, remove head from sand.

Get beyond your and other's paradigms. The politics, the "narrative," the "optics" of the situation, none of those things matter once you step "through the gate" into a tactical responses. Clear your mind of the clutter and work through the steps you need to protect you and your family.

Take responsibility for your own actions, including those actions that are part of your routine. What route do you use driving to and from work? To take the kids to the mall? To drive to Grand Ma's House? Do those routes take you into areas with which you're not familiar? See Point #1 above!

If you find yourself in such a situation, remember the lessons from TDB — stay in the big steel box with the doors locked. Drive your way out quickly. Be prepared to respond with force, if there is an attempt to, say, launch a concrete block through your car window as I saw on TV last night.

When in doubt, go to ground. Stay home. It's better to miss a day of work or a trip to the Gap than to end up in the middle of an urban riot. I say this as someone who made a journalistic career by being in the middle of urban riots. I have seen riots from the inside, and believe me, you don't want to!

Don't do stupid stuff. I can't emphasize this enough. Riot tourism is not a good idea! Being in Condition White while your city experiences paroxysms of violence is a recipe for disaster. As we have said since the beginning of TBD, awareness and avoidance are your primary tools in situations like these.

Okay, enough for now. Pay attention, and stay safe out there.

UPDATE: With a Presidential run eminent, remember Martin O'Malley's vicious attack on the Second Amendment for the people in Baltimore:
After Baltimore descended into chaos, remember that Gov. Martin O’Malley was so proud of the anti-gun law he got enacted into 2013. We have seen that Baltimore police did not or could not defend people – and O’Malley’s law makes it far more difficult for citizens to acquire the means to defend themselves.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Appleseed AAR

I gotta tell you, there is nothing like a cold, rainy day on the range, and I don't mean that in a good way! Yesterday's temps hovered in the low 40s and high 30s; it was raining when I got up at 4:45AM and still raining when I collapsed into bed Sunday evening. It's still raining this morning...I am considering loading Newt and the other pets into an ark.

Still, the Boulder Project Appleseed was a wonderful — and uplifting — event. That particular Appleseed is a relatively small event, less than a dozen people, because of the size of the range. The bigger Colorado Project Appleseeds are at the larger ranges like Colorado Rifle Club.

Saturday, which was beautiful, was in essence a training day, getting everybody on the same page with the positional shooting (standing/kneeling/sitting/prone), the sling and the Appleseed 6 steps to firing the shot (sight alignment, sight picture, respiratory pause, focus, trigger squeeze and follow through). Here's a shocker…you spend a day shooting groups. As I've said repeatedly on the podcast over the years, shooting groups is one of those fundamental activities for all the shooting sports. Groups tell you whether what you're doing as a shooter is working or not.

Here's my soaking wet JP Rifles GMR-13 9mm carbine. Note how I am carefully protecting the Leupold AR MOD 1.5-4X scope with an equally soaking wet towel, no doubt the mark of a true professional!

I ran both Glock 17 and Glock 26 magazines during the event, because I am a gamey so-and-so. Appleseeds are shot at 25 yards. There are 2 stages on the AQT "test" that involve reloads. The first is  a standing to sitting transition. You prepare 2 magazines, one with 2 rounds, the other with 8. On the "fire" command, you drop to a sitting position, load the rifle, fire 2 shots on your left-hand target (which @ 25 yards simulated a standard human-sized silhouette 2 200 yards, second row of targets, below), then reload and fire 3 shots into the left target, 5 into the right. You have 55 seconds to complete the exercise. I loaded the G26 mag with 2, the G17 mag with 8 so I wouldn't confuse mags. The shorter mags are easier to slam into the magazine, especially considering the rain and how wet everything was.  Had I bought 2 G26 mags I might have gone that route.

The other reload stage is same on the magazines, but drop from standing to prone, with 3 targets sized to simulate 300 yard silhouettes (third row down). The shooting sequence is 3-3-4.

As far as other gear, I used a RifleCraft RS-1 sling. It worked so well that the Appleseed instructors were fondling it after the event. Ammo was Wilson Signature Match 9mm 125-gr ammo, which uses the Hornady Action Pistol bullet at 1075 fps. This load is so accurate I plan to build my match reloads around the HAP bullet and see if I can get close to those results. The mat's from Midway, BTW.

The greatest thing about an Appleseed is the instructors are so darn good. Essentially, we worked on finer and finer points, trying to eliminate the so-very-many "short cuts" that open out groups. Much of Saturday's practice runs were on 1-inch square targets, which are not particularly forgiving. They do, however, allow you to see what you're doing wrong. With my recent fascination for long-distance shooting, these kinds of drills are critical to keep drilling down and refining skills.


• The RifleCraft along helped tremendously because it's so simple to use. It is similar in design from Andy's Leather Rhodesian sling or the Glaco Safari Ching sling, both of which I've used extensively, in that there's a preformed adjustable loop at the front of the sling. Unlike a Ching sling, all these slings are 2-pointers. It's easy to slip the RifleCraft loop on your upper support biceps and cinch it down, even over several layers of clothing and rain gear. A sling won't make you a great shooter, but it will give you options. I used a Magpul sling set up with a front loop in the last carbine match I shot. It was much appreciated on the 50 yard head shots!

• I think working with a sling on my standing position has helped me a great deal, mostly because the sling forces you into a good standing position with the support elbow under the gun and the support hand not gripping tightly. Will this standing position work for all situations? Of course not, but it gives you a starting point for exploration. My standing stage (10 rounds in 2 minutes on a simulated 100 yard silhouette) groups steadily tightened up, not to mention the fact that 2 minutes is all the time in the world.

• I think I need to spend a lot more time pondering "rifleman's cadence," meaning that after you've establish your natural point of aim (critical in Appleseed teaching), you can fire an aimed shot at the bottom of each exhale. This works amazingly well...I think it's about teaching yourself how to fire the rifle (much like quickly establishing a natural point of aim). I did a 20-second standing to sitting run, including the reload, and only dropped a few points. Of the 5 shots on the second target, 4 were in the same hole, with the fifth about an inch out.

"Aim small; miss small"...hey, it worked for Mel Gibson and Bradley Cooper, it'll work for you! My focus was on shooting one-hole groups in the center, not just hitting the target.

• In the crappy gray weather, the Leupold's adjustable green "FireDot" was invaluable. I kept it dialed down to a minimum, but it helped me focus very specifically on the crosshairs with the glowing green dot in the middle. In those conditions, I like green a lot more than red. In terms of magnification, I shot the standing and the sitting at 1.5X, 3X on the stand to prone stage, and 4X on the prone. The prone, which is shot on 4 simulated 400 yard targets, allows 5 minutes for a string of 10 shots, 2-2-3-3. Since that stage counts double, there is no excuse not to take the time and get the hits. When I shot the Appleseed with a rimfire a couple of years back for SHOOTING GALLERY, I dialed the 3-9X scope to 9x on the prone and shot groups inside each target.

• Some shooters discovered that "waterproof and fog-proof" scopes were only waterproof if you didn't get them wet and, if you did, they fogged up like summer evenings in San Francisco. This is what you might call a detriment to accuracy. The Leupold had no problems at all.

• Let me offer you a couple of resources that really helped me. The first is BECOMING A RIFLEMAN, which will get you up to speed on the various positions. The second is the ART OF THE RIFLE blog, now on a hiatus. This blog has been amazing in analyzing the various aspects of rifle shooting, and I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing. I would also be remiss not to mention Col. Jeff Cooper's THE ART OF THE RIFLE book, a classic in its own right.

• I think I pretty much dispelled the idea that 9mm carbines won't deliver the goods. To qualify for a "Rifleman" patch, you need to shoot a score of 210 out of a possible 250 points. When I qualified for my first "Rifleman" patch, I eked out 211points with my .22 Spike's/JP AR. With the JP 9mm, my first "trial run" on the AQT target was a 218; on the 2 scoring runs I shot a 222 and a 212, gaining my second "Rifleman" patch. From prone I could consistently shoot one-hole groups in the 1-inch squares at 25 yards.

• Next for me? Some friends are planning to shoot an Appleseed later this summer, and I think I'll join them, this time with my trusty FAL. That ought to give the ole shoulder a workout! At least it's not a G3!

• I love the stories of the American Revolution. They are stories I grew up with and have now fallen into the Memory Hole. With our country coming apart at the seams, I think it's important for all of us to look to the past, to the Founders and their sacrifices, for our inspiration and for our hope. Project Appleseed is, to me, of critical importance because it brings those stories to not only a whole generation who've never heard them, but back to the forefront of our minds as well. And maybe, just maybe, we'll hear the hoof-beats...

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last, 
In the hour of darkness and peril and need, 
The people will waken and listen to hear 
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, 
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Here's the FAQ or Project Appleseed. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Major "DUH" Moment!

From The Hill this AM:
Hillary’s White House bid energizes gun control supporters 
Gun control advocates have high hopes for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, viewing her as an ally who can finish the push for tightened background checks that has stalled in President Obama’s second term. 
Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, has been a staunch advocate of gun-control proposals such as expanding background checks and banning assault weapons. Last summer, she ripped groups that oppose those ideas as out of step with public opinion. 
“We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people, hold a view point that terrorizes the majority of people,” Clinton said during a CNN town hall event.
Not a big surprise, huh? Just thought I'd remind you.

Over at Gun Nuts Media Tim continues his excellent AAR on William Aprill's "Unthinkable" class:
Remember that criminals are perpetually on the hunt. They are looking for those “go/no-go” indicators without the people they are sizing up even being aware of it. Here again, think about it: If I told you that somewhere out in the Wal-Mart parking lot there was a dude sizing you up for a potential criminal assault, would it change your behavior? Absolutely. If you know that there’s someone considering attacking you then you couldn’t help but change your entire demeanor…and that change in demeanor, believe it or not, can be enough to put you in the “no-go” category. You would likely be more deliberate with your steps, you wouldn’t be overloaded with bags, and you would be looking carefully at the surrounding environment instead of having your face buried in your smart phone. These are all signs that attacking you has a lower probability of success and that alone can de-select you in the mind of the bad guy looking for a target. Simply by changing the sort of information you are communicating into the environment you can prevent even being considered as a potential target for an attack. That’s far better than having to pull a gun to stop an attack.
As I mentioned before, Aprill has had a huge effect on my own thinking, and through me what we present on THE BEST DEFENSE. Here's a link to one of Aprill's videos, The 5 Ws of Personal Defense.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meanwhile, Back at the Script

Finishing up the remaining pieces of the GUN STORIES script this week (Colt cap-and-ball revolvers, a little more on big bore handguns and suppressors from Mitch WerBell forward). Rain will be moving in this afternoon, and I'd like to get one more practice in for the upcoming Appleseed event. Yesterday my Sweetie and I did about an hour of practice, mostly for the prone stage. My Sweetie was able to coach me to much better scores on that stage, my last run dropping a single point. I would love to pick up another "Rifleman" patch, but if we have to shoot in the rain it's going to impact scores.

I'm having some work done on my GUNSITE Scout .308 in anticipation of a couple of hunts where I might be dealing with a longer shot. I'm adding a Timney trigger, replacing the flash hider with a Miculek .308 muzzle brake (yes, Michael Makes More Noise!) and adding an XS Sights full length rail if I want to go to a standard scope. I've never been a huge fan of the Ruger built-in scope mounts (or the Leupold twist-in style for that matter) compared to rails. Here's some interesting thoughts from Richard Mann on the Scout.

I want to try the Burris 2-7X Scout I've used on the lever action BLR Scout on the RGS. I realize I could have gotten a brake and a couple of pounds less weight with the composite stock Scout that came out recently, but I have a lot of rounds through my original Scout, and it is pretty much my favorite rifle.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Another Ruger Winner?

From a press release this AM:
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. is proud to announce that the Mini-14® Tactical rifle is now available in 300 AAC Blackout. This newest version of the Mini-14 rifle features an optimized gas port that reliably cycles with both supersonic ammunition and subsonic ammunition when a sound suppressor is installed. The rifle weighs approximately 6.75 lbs., features a 16.1", 5/8"-24 threaded barrel with a 1:7 twist rate, and is supplied with two, twenty-round detachable box magazines.
Here are the specs. MSRP is $1019.

This will no doubt trigger a flood of "the Mini-14 is crap" and/or "why should I buy a Mini when I can get an AR?" responses.

I have always had a pretty good opinion of the Mini-14. I bought my first one back in the 181-series days of the late 1970s. No, the little carbine was never a tack-driver and, yes, the group would string when the pencil barrel heated up. OTOH, I can't recall the thing ever failing, except with $10 aftermarket magazines, and it even worked with most of those (yes, it's still interred somewhere in the gun safe).

At the very beginning of 3-Gun, I used the Mini in a number of matches with the first tiny tube Aimpoint red dot affixed with a Rube Goldberg scope mount. I never had any trouble dinging the steel out to 300 yards with it. I've shot one of the 5.56 Minis with the beefed up barrel, and it shot just fine, couple of MOA, at 100 if I remember.

The .300 Black (as does the 7.62 X 39) makes the little gun excellent for deer/hog applications.

AN ASIDE: Yes, we do now live in an AR-centric universe, much more so than when the Mini-14 first appeared on the scene. I don't believe, however, that the Mini-14 fits in the same niche as the AR platform guns. I see the Mini as more of the "truck gun" category, a knock around gun, maybe in line with the Kel-Tec SU-16, the old SKS, the new generation of M1 Carbines or even the AK. I'm not an AK guy...as many as I've shot, I've never really had the urge to own one. The MSRP on the Mini-14 is high, but they tend to sell for a few hundred less in the Real World. Besides, it's a Ruger and it'll outlast you. Versatile enough to do a bunch of things, from hunting to plinking to home defense; not tacticool enough to light up anyone's radar.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Force is Weak in That One!

I can't believe it...Marshal Halloway, my partner in DOWN RANGE TV, actually saw a Glock 43 in the wild...and he bought it!

He's still not making much sense, but it appears that as he approached the display case at his local gun store, he felt what has been described as a "pressure" or like a "mental tractor beam pulling at my mind until it screamed." The closer he got to the gun case, the stronger the mental effect.

Artist's rendition of Marshal Halloway's brain at the LGS

According to Marshal, he intended to step to the counter and say, "I'd like to see that Gen Two Single Action Army you guys got in last week." In fact, that's what he thought he said. Instead, witnesses at the gun shop, agreed that what Marshal actually said was, "Must buy Glock 43...must buy Glock 43...sell me Glock 43."

Witnesses also report that the words were spoken in an atonal, almost robotic voice, and the other customers — who were all farther away from the glass case containing the Glock 43 on a cloth-of-gold pedestal and apparently not as affected by the tractor beam — noted a small amount of drool running down Marshal's chin.

According to the gun store owner, Marshal paid approximately 5 pounds of gold coins, 2 handful of pocket change and lint, his truck and a pony for the Glock.

Note bizarre and suggestive placement of "Exploding Heads" cover and Bane CCW Video…coincidence?

This follows report from around the country of people's heads actually exploding upon finding out that Glock 43s were not yet in stock.

Glock has so far had no comment, although unofficial reports of a memo to gun store owners advising their clerks to wear rubber aprons and eye protection when explaining that the G43s were not in stock have not been categorically denied.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Podcast Day!

Which, amazingly, I got finished in time to spend a little time on the range with the JP 9mm carbine. This is important, as I am supposed shooting an Appleseed with it this weekend. At least I'm shooting the standing offhand stage with my best scores ever, 3 points down. I think I can shoot it clean with just a little bit of work on my standing position. My pathetic knees are really hindering me on the second stage, dropping to kneeling or sitting for 10 shots with a reload. I know…suck it up, Michael. That's why a benevolent God made Celebrex. I'll be accelerating the stretching over the rest of the week, and we'll just have to see. My strength has always been the prone positions and if I can turn out a good standing score I might be able to override having to push the kneeling/sitting stage. Or maybe not.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Trigger Warnings!

I'm cooking eggplant parmigiana today for company, so if you're offended by eggplants this is your official "trigger warning." If, for example, if the word "eggplant" triggers upsetting memories of Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper's viciously racist extemporaneous scene in TRUE ROMANCE, or perhaps you still subscribe to the old English belief that eggplants cause insanity, then please, let me deeply and profoundly apologize in advance. I am trying to be more sensitive to the precious snowflakes who, upon hearing even the slightest dissenting viewpoint, seize up, fall on the ground and begin frothing at the mouth and shaking like Little Richard wired up to a hand-cranked generator.

Oh crap, now I need trigger warnings for making an unfortunate reference to people who may suffer seizures, other people who are drawn to or frightened by Little Richard and my insensitive reference to American torture at Abu Ghraib. And crap, if "crap" offends or frightens you. Man, this is hard!

Anyway, I'm planning on using a Mario Batali recipe (trigger warning — frightened by Italians), with some baked ziti on the side. And the Stinking Rose's bagna cauda roast garlic (trigger warning — for people who believe they are or might be vampires). I'll serve wine, and heaven knows who I'm offending with that!

After a week at the Cody Museum, I'm convinced that I actually need to shoot matchlocks and wheellocks, just to get a feel for what that must have been like. I've shot flintlocks and percussion guns, of course, but nothing farther back than a replica Kentucky rifle, if you don't count the hand gonne that set me on fire in England. That was entertaining. Wheellocks are fascinating beasties to me…clockwork guns.

By the way, I wanted to send a shout out to my friend Iain Harrison's RECOIL Magazine website, which is absolutely excellent, If it's not on your regular read list, it certainly should be!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spaghetti Western

Our GUN STORES set at Trail Town in Cody...Joe was born to be in a Western'

No More Trails

Last resting place of John "Jeremiah" Johnston.

"The way that you wander
Is the way that you choose

The day that you tarry
Is the day that you lose

Sunshine or thunder
A man will always wander
Where the fair winds blow

Jeremiah Johnston made his way into the mountains... 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Catch Up Catch Up

Have spent the first part of this week doing interviews and stand-ups with Joe for GUN STORIES Season 5. We filmed Joe's stand-ups at the Cody Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center, a great backdrop. A lot of what happens on the set is minor tinkering with the script to make it read better (spoken word is different than written word) or to correct small flaws. It's not hard work, but it is meticulous and time-consuming.

There's a good article over on Gun Nuts Media BY TIM on "The Unthinkable," which is partly an after-action report on a class by Greg Ellifritz from Active Response Training and psychologist William Aprill. Definitely read this one. Aprill's concepts and observations have featured very prominently in our own thinking at THE BEST DEFENSE. We're looking at opening the next season of TBD with a 2-parter on an "Unthinkable" event.

And BTW, tot he gentleman who took me to task for our "mob violence" episode of TBD, explaining that it was "irrational" and "going against logic" to have a mob turn violent so quickly, I refer you to this story from my home town of Memphis. Welcome to the Brave New World...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Working Like A Dog

Hence the light blogging. Spent the day with 2 legends, John Linebaugh and Steve Garbe...just listening to these guys talk guns is amazing.

Got to handle a couple of "unicorns," two .454 Casull 5-shot Colt Single Action Armies. Cool!

Also got a chance to take a close look at the 1873 Winchester found leaning on the tree in Great Basin National Park, then examine the new x-rays. Once again, neat-o!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Here we go!

Day 1 NRA!

Live stream 9AM Central, OUTDOORCHANNEL.COM & DRTV!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Gatling Guns, Antique Air Rifles, Sharps Rifles and an STI Marauder

Of course, I only got to shoot one today! Another grinder of a day on the GUN STORIES script. It's going pretty well now, but it's a solid day in front of the computer, with books and articles stacked around my flimsy "temporary" desk. I did promise my Sweetie that I would break at 5PM and work with her a little bit on her pistol shooting.

Her weak point in 3-Gun is the pistol…she's shot a lot of cowboy, NSSF Rimfire and assorted other stuff, but she's never shot USPSA or IDPA. Her first USPSA match is coming up (while I'm at the NRA, of course), so she wants to be a little more comfortable with her STI Edge 9mm.

As it happens, I have an STI Marauder 9mm in the house for T&E. Which means I can crib my Sweetie's magazines, which are actually my old mags from when I shot an Edge in Limited years back. I didn't really get a lot of time with it today…she was running drills on 2 Action Targets silhouettes. I jumped in when she was loading magazines.

The Marauder has a lightweight slide with a bushing barrel. It's got a rail and a pretty spiffy magwell, which I believe will fit both the IPSC and IDPA box (it would be a wicked ESP gun!). Quick impressions…I now remember just how good STI guns are. Damn, it shoots great! Once again, this is just a first impression, not a flat-out evaluation. Once I get past NRA, Marshal and I will be doing a video report on DRTV. Wish it had a green fiber optic front instead of red, but that's really nit-picking.

Really looking forward to shooting this one more!

Some Thoughts on Pocket Pistol Reliability

BEARING ARMS references Richard Mann's test of the new Remington RM 380 pocket pistol. Bob Owens, a very thoughtful gunny in his own right, notes that the RM 380 held up well under more continuous fire than you'd expect in a pocket pistol.

My experience has been that once you get past the "Old Skool" pocket pistols of the previous era (think vest-pocket .25s, etc.), pocket pistols, especially guns from from "name" manufacturers, are pretty much as reliable as dirt. I've shot the crap out of a half-dozen or more Ruger LCPs without a single failure. Kahrs are legendary in their reliability. I can't estimate how many rounds I've put through little Kahrs over the years. One is in my pocket right now.

I know a lot of guys carrying S&W Bodyguards and I don't recall any issues there.

I even once intentionally tried to break a Kel-Tec .32. I took a couple of cop friends and 1000 rounds of hot Spanish ball to the range, and we put at least 500 of those rounds (in truth, I don't remember the exact number, but we got tired after about half the case was gone...but I was getting tired of moving the case of .32s around my gun room) with zero — ZERO — malfunctions. The little gun was blazing hot and it did indeed seem looser, but it kept firing. It still shoots just fine.

I think there's just less to go wrong.

OTOH, especially on the older versions, if the little gun doesn't run, it is a godawful nightmare to get them to run. We used to joke about the perfect, jewelry-like Walther TPHs. If they ran, they were perfect. If they didn't, all the forces of heaven and earth couldn't fix them.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Monday Monday Work Day

Man, it be a busy, busy week! The NRA Show is coming up this weekend, and I absolutely, positively have to get the script for GUN STORIES finished. My head is about to explode with gun trivia. I find myself walking around the Bunker worrying whether Frank Hamer used a 15 or 20 round custom Remington Model 8 magazine to whack Bonnie and Clyde.

I suppose Steve Hunter will know for sure. He's kinda the great Frank Hamer expert. I've always wished that Steve would do a non-fiction book on Frank Hamer and B&C. Hell, I'd kill to be his coauthor on that one! The Rem had great penetration, thought…

As you all know, I once climbed a barbed wire fence to pose, a la Clyde, in the Official Bonnie And Clyde Death Car when it was in Branson, MO. 

ANYWAY…NRA SHOW…Outdoor Channel/Sportsman Channel booth, #2231 (I think), Saturday 3:30-4:30PM…I'll be signing autographs and generally B-S'ing…


If you stop by, I'll give you the Magic Secret Key Words Decoder Ring Code to get you into MICHAEL (and GUNS, HOLSTERS AND GEAR and IDPA) BUYS THE BEER, where we will have a rollicking good time!

Well, anyway, I note the new Remington .380. I'm a little disappointed that it's not available in colors like my Kahr .380, but there you go. Maybe it's just me. I'll stop by Rem and take a look. Unless the MASSIVE GIANT GRAVITY of the Glock 43 sucks me toward the Glock booth like a black hole sucking on a popsicle.

I'm really interested in the new Kahr Arms Gen 2 line (here's the G&A story).ere are the specs for the Gen 2  pistol:

• shortened trigger stroke allowing for quicker firing rates – 30% shorter than premium model
• integrated trigger safety
• accessory rail for lasers and lights
• front slide serrations on 5” and 6” barrel models
• 6” compensated barrel model
• Leupold® Deltapoint™ Red Dot mount (5” barrel models) with tall target sights
• Leupold® Deltapoint™ Red Dot optic included with 6” barrel models
• TRUGLO® TFX™ Tritium/Fiber-Optic Day/Night sights standard on 3.5” and 4” barrel models
• Safe-Cam striker-fired action
• double recoil spring system for reduced felt recoil
• redesigned magazine base and grip for a sleeker look
• slide machined from the highest quality of stainless steel available for firearms
• serial tag on grip frame
• ergonomic single stack grip frame fits most hand sizes from small to large
• ships with 3 magazines and a lockable, hard, polymer case

I've been alternating between carrying a Ruger SR9c and the Kahr CW9. I'm wondering about a CW9-sized pistol with a red dot as an EDC rig. I'll be talking to Frank Harris from Kahr at NRA.

[NOTE…Kahr has been a sponsor in the past, but is not presently. I hope they will be again.]

Sunday, April 05, 2015

"Sir, I Will Not Obey That Order."

I was at a fundraiser in Colorado, and I struck up a conversation with a Major who was in command of a group of about 500 Special Forces personnel. 
He told me that he was no longer able to train his men in how to do their jobs and come home afterwards, because these days his time had to be spent making sure that none of his soldiers had tattoos that might be considered offensive to women, gays, lesbian or transgendered personnel; that he had to scour the barracks of these young warriors who were prepared to fight and die for their country in order to make sure there were no Maxim magazines or any other images of naked women that might make the home of these deadly, aggressive, disciplined men into a hostile work environment. He had to do all of this nonsense, more and more of it each year, and spend less and less time doing what he, and his soldiers, had signed up to do in the first place: namely, train to go out there and kill the enemies of freedom. 
Then one day, his commanding officer came to him with a new policy. He told this young Major that he was required to poll all of the people in his command and ascertain whether they, or anyone else in their household, owned their own weapons and if so how many and of what kind. 
And he calmly told me that he turned to his superior officer and said, “Sir, I will not obey that order.”

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Great Match Today!

I mean, I shot so slow they had to time me with an hourglass, but, darn, I had a great time. It was a carbine only match put on by my good friend Mark Passamaneck from Carbon Arms. He opened it to rimfire, pistol caliber carbine or whatever. I shot the JP 9mm with a 1.5-4X Leupold and my Sweetie shot the Spike's/JP .22 LR AR with the Pride/Fowler Rapid Reticle 3-9X.

Mark and his family were on our squad, as well as my pal Alan Samuel and a bunch of great shooters. Alan is a great guy to have on a squad…light-hearted, helpful and an amazingly good shooter. My goal was pretty straightforward — hit all the targets.  Considering there were offhand head shots at 40-50 yards, it meant I needed to pay attention. Match wen threat…running the little JP was like running a stapler…I shot the match slow but clean. My Sweetie had a good match as well.

It was great to get out with a the AR and put it thorough its paces. The JP 9mm is a great little gun, and I'll be talking about it on Wednesday!

Friday, April 03, 2015

Money For An Important Cause!

If you're going to be in Nashville for the NRA Meetings and Show, I strongly urge you to check out a really great Friday evening event being hosted by John Lott's Crime Prevention Research Center. It's a dinner and talks with literally a who's who in gun world, including:

• Katie Pavlich
• Dana Loesch
• Glenn Reynolds
• Brad Thor
• Ted Nugent
• Phil Valentine
• Nikki Goeser
• Chris Garland
• John I. Harris
• Andrew Branca
• Mark Walters
• Tim Schmidt
• Tom Gresham
• John Lott
• And me...

Bios from all the people present are here.

The cost for dinner and the talks is $200, and I was happy to make the donation myself. John Lott's work has been instrumental in the pro-gun changes we've seen in America, and I unconditionally support his work. You should, too

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Michael Is Tired

Oh man, it's cold, windy, snowing and I'm behind the eight ball on GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA script. We're doing guns of the Civil War, Union and Confederate…massive massive research! Plus, and maybe this is me, but I'm doing al this research and a little voice inside me says, "Hey Michael…wouldn't it be nice to own a nice 1860 Colt Army? A Dance? An okay Griswold? Okay…a replica Spencer…"

It's like a disease.

Okay, maybe I can compromise…a Quigley Sharps? Two 1860 Conversions in .44 Colt & Russian???

Admit it…the conversions are sweet. Unfortunately for cowboy shooters, the Great Master of  conversions, Bob Munden, has gone on to work on more important projects.

Okay, so the history of arms of the Civil War, Union and Confederate, in 22 minutes, each...

So, instead, I'm sitting in a nice chair  watching FREQUENCY, a movie that I know for a fact will make me cry. It's a father/son thing, I guess. Or looking at that old HeathKit transceiver. It reminds me of the first test when I got my Novice Amateur Radio License. I remember sitting at the big oak table in my parent's small dining room, a local ham administering my test. I was maybe 12, 13 years old, scared spitless. An uncle taught me Morse code, how to tap out code with your fingers on your leg when you're in in a car…see a billboard, tap it out on your leg...I still do that….don't even think about it…driving down the highway, tapping out billboards on my leg.


I aced the test, became WN4WXG, later WD4DCD, finally  N2AWX. Which I still am. Maybe N2AWX/0, more correctly, here at the Secret Hidden Bunker II. I'm thinking I might have a station on the air by summer, if I get a little time. Something on my list to do.

The father/son thing is hard (as is, I suspect, the mother/daughter thing). I suspect all of us, or most of us, have a conversation with our father that we wished we'd had, a chance to explain everything to set everything right. Never works that way, though. Anyway, watch FREQUENCY. You might like it. 

Peace in Our Time!

Congratulations, President Barack Hussein Obama! You have certainly assured your legacy. In the future you have virtually guaranteed, your name will be an obscenity.

So long mom, I'm off to drop the bomb,
So don't wait up for me,
But while you swelter down there in your shelter
You can watch me. . .On your TV.

While we're attacking frontally, watch Brinkley and Huntley
Describing contrapuntally the cities we have lost.
No need for you to miss a minute of the agonizing holocaust.

Little Johnnie Jones was a US pilot, no shrinking violet was he.
He was mighty proud when world war three was declared
He wasn't scared, no siree.
And this is what he said on his way to Armageddon:

So long, mom, I'm off to drop the bomb, so don't wait up for me,
But though I may roam, I'll come back to my home,
Although it may be a pile of debris.

Remember Mommy, I'm off to get a Commie,
So send me a salami, and try to smile somehow.
I'll look for you when the war is over,
An hour and a half from now.

— Tom Lehrer
 From "That Was the Week That Was" 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

JP Rifles 9mm Group

I took a quick lunch break to sight in the JP Rifles 9mm carbine, which I am considering using in a carbine-only match of Saturday if it's not snowing sideways and crazy cold, because I'm a wuss.. The group above is my reference group at 50 yards off my bench. The flier on the low left was my first round and I did call it...heck, I'm surprised it wasn't farther out than that!

I'd been shooting it with an Aimpoint, but at the last minute I threw on a Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4 I used at the He-Man heavy metal world championships a couple of years ago...hmmmm...the scope was designed for the 55-gr 5.56; parenthetically, I've never used on a 5.56. Maybe Leupold can cut me knobs for 9mm!

Ammo was Bill Wilson Signature Match 125-gr, the most accurate 9mm ammo I've ever shot. Groups were a spec larger and maybe half-an-inch left with cheapo Federal American Eagle 124-hr FMJ. The Wilson ammo probably won't quite make the 150 power factor minimum for USPSA multi gun matches. I have high hopes for the DoubleTap match carbine ammo Mike McNett is cooking up! It's not like the little gun had any recoil at all.