Monday, August 31, 2015

Another Fun Monday

Wasted most of the day driving to Boulder to get my knee MRI'ed. I should find out tomorrow just how trashed it really is, no doubt somewhere between "stay off it for a week" and amputation. As a consequence, I didn't get the podcast finished, which puts me behind the 8-ball for the rest of the week. No matter what, I gotta shoot some pistol tomorrow to get ready for upcoming filming. I'm trying to get myself used to shooting a red dot on a pistol, in this case a G19. Chris Edwards swears it'll all make sense in a couple of hundred rounds.

And no, 2 days of run and gun didn't do the old knee a world of good, but hey, it was fun and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I am beating myself up a bit for tanking the Standards at Noveske...I've shot the Noveske standards a couple of times before in matches and done really well on them. The Standards were my last stage and, honestly, I hadn't given them a bit of thought when I stepped up to shoot. Slam dunk. Judging by my performance, you'd think I'd never shot a gun before. Oh happens.

Ironically, the only part of the Standards I was a little worried about was the shotgun segment, which I aced. Maybe I should worry more! LOL!

Sorta Back in the Saddle!

And a lot of catch up to do. Spent the weekend at the Noveske Multigun Championships at Colorado Rifle Club. What a wonderful match! My good friend Mark Passamaneck is easily one of the finest match designers working today.

And yes, I managed to get in spitting distance of LAST PLACE! On the whole, paradoxically, I was pretty happy with my shooting...I'll be reconciling that paradox on DOWN RANGE Radio this week. All 3 guns ran like tops under very dusty very dry conditions. Shot the now aged DDM-4 with Burris MTAC 1-4x, STI Marauder 9mm, and Rem Versa-Max with standard 3-Gun mods from Carbon Arms. Ammo was factory...5.56 Winchester White Box 55-gr; 9mm ARMSCOR ball; Fiocchi Game & Target #8 12 gauge, and Fiocchi Aero 1 ounce slugs. A note on the slugs...the Versa-Max is seriously picky about slugs...I've gone through a number of brands, including my favorite, Rem Low Recoil Law Enforcement slugs, which are super in my 870.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

When We Chum For Monsters...

…why are we surprised when they rise to the bait?

When we give the monster everything it wants, even in death, why are we surprised when even more monsters surface to take the bait?

When we refuse to learn and continue to embrace not our ignorance, but our purience, the lust of the voyeur, why are we puzzled about the emergence of those who would feed that lust?

Just a few thoughts on yet another angry man...

Getting Ready for Noveske...

…well, not really. Cleaned my Versa Max yesterday, rounded up choke tubes, shotgunny stuff like that. I was thinking of changing my rifle for the match, but yesterday I was talking to my friend and IDPA champion Tom Yost. who said, and I quote, "Good Lord, Michael! Have you lost your mind?" Scales lift from my eyes! Tom's right…I'm sticking with the Daniel Defense/Burris MTAC set-up I've been shooting for the last 2 seasons. On the handgun side, it'll be the STI Marauder 9mm, which has been just a super gun to shoot.

I know I said I was going to shoot Open, but I never could sustain a happy relationship with my Glock 34, the gun I was going to dot up. When I shot the Glock well, I shot it very well. But under match pressure I couldn't to "re-educate" my grip so that I didn't drag the slide enough to make the gun stumble. Totally me, not the Glock. I suppose I should have tried a shock collar.

I'm going to shooting a G19 w/RMR for the next couple of months, so I plan to revisit the whole Glock Open issue again.

Not such great news on Ye Olde Knee…I went to my orthopedist yesterday, who diagnosed a tear in the outer meniscus. Next week I'll get an MRI to see if they need to do arthroscopic surgery and duct tape it back together, although my orthopedist thought that would be pretty much necessary. Thanks to the greatly flawed miracle of cortisone and a nice, no doubt extremely hot, knee brace, I should be able to get through the match this weekend without ending up on the ground, flopping like beached catfish. I will definitely, however, be in the running for last place!

Monday, August 24, 2015

God, I Hate Monday!

Got the podcast done, of course. It was easy, since it was a busy week. Then I took a break to disassemble my 3-Gun Versa Max and clean most of the crap out of it. Here's a Mr. Stupid point…at the last match I wondered my shotgun seemed a little off…when I pulled the choke, surprise, I'd replaced the "skeet" with a tighter "modified." I can't for the life of me remembered why I went to a "modified" choke, except that I did it at the last Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun. I'm back to "improved," maybe "skeet." Pay more attention, Michael! Details…details…details!

The Noveske Multigun match is next weekend. Tomorrow, I have a heart-to-heart with my orthopedist, which will probably include injections into my knees. Yeechy-poo! By Thursday I'll have all my guns cleaned (more or less), dialed in and ready for the match.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Duck and Cover!

Ah yes, it must be Saturday:
Animal rights activist beaten with duck in Spain 
Madrid (AFP) - An animal rights activist was beaten with a duck by a Spanish woman defending one of the country's most bizarre and controversial festival traditions. 
The man was whacked with the bird while he filmed the annual "duck chase" in the Catalonian seaside town of Roses, where every August ducks are thrown into the Mediterranean and then caught and brought back to the shore by swimmers.
Sort of like running with the bulls, but not. Maybe it's because it's early yet, but for the life of me I can't figure out a witty lyric from "Mf Fair Lady" that incorporates "ducks." 

"The ducks in Spain stay mainly on the brain…"

You see my point. It's just not working. Or, "By George! He don't got it!"

Not to scale…LOL!

I note that a main battle tank with operational cannon is for sale:
We are selling our Cheiftain MK 6, main battle tank with 120mm gun. 
This armored tank is fully functional. The 2 engines both run great and have low hours on them. It comes with a NEW backup main engine. The turret is fully operational and the stablization system works; it is controlled via a joystick. The main gun is registered as a Destructive Device with the ATF and comes with 10 projectiles. More projectiles are available. The barrel is in excellent condition and has never been molested. It has a factory laser range finder. Also included is the hydrolic mine plow and infrared spotlight. The intercom system works as does the NBC filtration.
Okay, let's be honest…if you're reading this blog you can close your eyes and imagine how cool that tank would look on your lawn. Of course, you can also imagine being divorced and forced use the tank as a very dangerous motor home. Imagine rolling up into the Egret Acres Motor Park and Landfill in your very own battle tank RV. You pull up to your spot, plug in the power, open the top hatch, pop up the satellite dish, set the hibachi on the turret, rotate the cannon toward the old Winnebago full of dudes playing Kid Rock at mind-numbing volumes and say, "You have 30 seconds to turn down the music!" It'd almost be worth the divorce! I envision my very own battle tank with a snowplow blade and a backhoe attachment, so not only could I plow a road, I could build a road! I think I would paint it blue, with a contrasting red digicam turret.

You will notice I am not at a 3-Gun match this AM as planned. I decided to give me knee one more week (and a shot of cortisone next week) before the big Noveske 2-day match. Besides, I have to assemble a pizza oven, which is proving more complicated than cold fusion.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Meanwhile, Back At the Internet Corral

Yeah, I've been pretty busy…no big deal. Been trying to keep up with social media, mostly FaceBook, but when you're spending a day sitting in froth of the computer, sitting in front of the computer some more loses a lot of its appeal.

I have noted an interesting series of posts boiling up in Ye Old Gun World regarding this incident in West Philly where a concealed carry holder was relieved of his gun and had it used against him. Lots and lots and lots of words have been poured out by people with a lot of knowledge…I suggest you read  of the analyses and draw your own points.

On THE BEST DEFENSE we have developed over the years a set of "doctrine points" for lack of better words that we are constantly testing and resetting in simulation and as compared to Real World incidences. We believe that doctrine much be constantly challenged…this is important to us because we produce television programming that our viewers, if they ever use it, it will be at the worst moment of their lives. That responsibility weights on all of us.

So what points of that doctrine applies here?

• A failure of situation awareness is the foundation for disaster. Can you maintain full situational awareness all the time? Of course not…this is a point I deal with extensively in TRAIL SAFE. The "point man" burns out quickly. Everyone can — and will — be surprised; however, and this is a really big however, our goal should to to minimize those surprises. The Cooper color code has, at least in some circles, fallen into disrepute, but I believe it remains an amazingly useful tool for training people how to think.

Without going into a long dissertation, if we accept that we can maintain 100% awareness all the time, then we need to train ourselves to raise and lower our awareness level depending on where we are, how we are, etc. Cane we still get surprised? Sure, but we will be surprised a lot less than someone who spends their life in Condition White, gun or not. Your goal is to internalize when you need to move to DefCon 1, then strive to accomplish that every single time.

• On a more micro scale, as opposed to the macro response above, letting strangers close with you, especially within "intimate" distances, is in these grim times potential  suicide. Realistically, can you stop every incidence of having your personal space invaded? Of course not…but you'd be surprised at how many such incidences you can avoid. When I first began hanging out with Special Forces guys back in the early 1980s, I got crash lessons in positioning one's self in a room, how to stand in a line, where you need to be in a crowd, how to challenge someone who is closing with with ("Can I help you?' "Do you need something from me?" "Excuse me, but I'm standing here." Or what I came to think of as "the dance," the simple steps to keep moving away from anyone who is moving toward you in a non-threatening way (if it's a threatening way, that's a different set of responses)…all part of the day-to-day reality of being armed all the time.

• Time to go back and read Col. Cooper's PRINCIPLES OF PERSONAL DEFENSE, specifically Principle 2, Decisiveness:
When "the ball is opened"-when it becomes evident that you are faced with violent physical assault-your life depends upon your selecting a correct course of action and carrying it through without hesitation or deviation. There can be no shilly-shallying. There is not time. To ponder is quite possibly to perish.
Any of this starting to look familiar from THE BEST DEFENSE? Col. Cooper notes that the specific course of action within certain parameters is actually secondary to the vigor with which that action is taken (which leads to Principle 3, BTW, Aggressiveness). When you're in the soup, you're in the soup...this is not a time to say, "Huh??? I wonder what I should do?" When you put on the gun, you must have already worked through this decision tree!

Another point I covered in TRAIL SAFE that has seen great use in THE BEST DEFENSE is the concept of "lag time," the time between the initiation of the event and your response to it. In a match you my think that you draw your gun the very millisecond the buzzer goes off, but you don't. There is always lag time, some of it physically built into your nervous system.

In high-risk sports we were fond of saying that lag time decided who lived and who died...the longer it takes for you to initiate your response to an unfolding event, the less likely it is that your response works. Why? Because unfolding events are fluid; they are changing even as you respond to them. Your initial response is, therefore, to the initial event that has already changed.

An example — in a cave dive in Florida I once smacked my regulator against the rock wall of the cave. The regulator busted and started "free-flowing," venting air. Hammmmmm...what to do what to do what to do? Think of how much air I would have lost if I had been thinking that way...the event is on-going. The broken regular continues to spew air, air that I might need to get out of the cave. Instead, I did what I trained to do —shut off the air flowing to broken regulator from tank A, change the manifold over to tank B, access the spare regulator attached to tank B ( remember "2 is 1; 1 is none?").

• Which brings us to training, specifically in combatives. Here's an interesting point I've mentioned on the podcast — the most criticism I ever get on THE BEST DEFENSE is about our decision to routinely show combatives, e.g. empty hand, stick, knife, even using the gun as a striking weapon. I have received a lot of email/personal responses that essentially boil down to, "I'm carrying a gun; that's what I'm going to use to solve the problem."

The problem with that statement is there is often more than one "problem" in a violent attack. My thinking on this came from the earliest days of SHOOTING GALLERY when we begin filming defense against violent attacks in what we termed "the hot zone," inside of an arms" reach. In talking to masters like Ralph Mroz and, of course, Michael Janich, it quickly became apparent that there was not a simple "draw gun; go bang" solution. There were, at the very least, 2 problems — stop the initial attack; access the primary weapon.

As we've moved from SG into THE BEST DEFENSE, we demonstrate the multiple level of problems (stop attack; retain gun; access primary weapon).

It's easy to Monday morning quarterback an event...I say this as someone who done such on quite literally hundreds of events. Interestingly enough, each one brings me back to the importance of understanding my own state of awareness. I have drills that I wrote about in TRAIL SAFE, and I pretty routinely run those drills myself. 

Maybe the most important is the one I was taught by some SAS dudes back in the day and reinforced by great trainers over the years...pick a moment then stop and completely access your surroundings...what is your own mental threat level at that moment; that is, what's your level of attention? Be brutally honest here? If you're texting or on the phone, your level of attention is plus-or-minus zero. Who and where are your greatest potential threats? Where is cover/concealment? Where is your exit? Have you positioned yourself in such a way that you're vulnerable to the threats around you? Is there a better position, and how long would it take you to move to that position? Where is your primary weapon in relation to the greatest potential threat (can your greatest potential threat see your primary/secondary weapon)? Can you access your primary weapon? Is your primary weapon exposed to a threat?

Something to think about...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Another One of Those Weeks Week

Is it Tuesday? It seems like Monday of next week. But it's cool tonight, which is cool after a long hot streak.

BTW, DS Arms is having a summer sale of a bunch of their trade show FALs and ARs, including this beauty:

You know I'd buy that in a heartbeat if I didn't already have a great FAL! There are some killer deals there, so check it out. The FAL remains a great MBR…the new generation of AR-10 platform guns have eclipsed the old warhorse, but that hardly negates the FAL's sterling qualities.

You should also read this NYT article on a "Clash of Cultures" about shooting on public land. Obama's progressive jihadists have long wanted to shut down all public lands to shooting, and they're getting closer and closer. The standard tactic is to "emergency" close the most popular shooting areas, forcing shooters into the larger — and often less safe — forest areas. We've seen that happen repeatedly in Colorado.

Secondly, the various public entities, be it BLM of the U.S. Forest Service, virtually never enforce the laws already on the books. In fact, U.S. Forest Service officials admitted to me that they don't enforce the laws because of a string of excuses, beginning with insufficient manpower and going from there. I told officials from USFS the their policy of emergency closures of "traditional" shooting areas would eventually get someone killed, and when it did the blood was on their hands.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Ruger Redhawk .45 Colt/.45 ACP and Hammerheads

Went to the range to site in one of my older ARs that I'm thinking about using for the remainder of the 3-Gun season...more about which later...but I figured that since I was at the range, I should put some of the Garrett Hammerheads through the Ruger Redhawk dual .45s.

The holster's from Diamond D Custom Leather, their Guide's Choice holster.

I shot a group with the first 4 rounds, then flinched the other 2 out. Yes, as a matter of fact a 365-gr bullet in a 4.2 inch barrel has a bit 'o de ole recoil — note thumb below — but I have shot worse...much worse!

Be a heck of a back-up gun/round for dangerous game country. After, of course, you try harsh language!

BTW, when I have carried bear spray and a gun, I have typically carried the gun strong-side and the bear spray weak-side. My bear spray, Guard Alaska, can be operated with one hand, and I prefer not to be in a position of having to drop something from my strong hand before I draw. Especially in the case of a bear. If I'm in the backcountry and I have a question about something..big noise in the underbrush, bearish grunts, poachers whistling, whatever…I want my hand on the gun, prepped for the draw.


Because, as Mike Seeklander has said on TBD, it is hugely faster, as much as 50% faster. Secondly, going to the gun allows you to establish a solid grip. Probably the biggest risk on a draw is that you don't "hit" your grip 100% — one of the big reasons I urge you all to do some sort of practical competition. Competition requires you to draw the gun a lot, both in actual competitions and in dry fire practice (in fact, since there are storms rolling through this part of Colorado and I'm inside watching a wretched Australian movie about a giant killer croc stalking 2 hot girls and an ineffective guy, I'm going to go get my rig and practice draws now).

If you go to the gun early, and this is for the backcountry, not 8 Mile (although it's not such a bad idea for 8 Mile, either…one grim stretch of road), you can guarantee your grip. It also allows you to clear any thumbsnap or retention loop, or, if you're not open carrying, to open whatever carry device (e.g., a SafePacker) you're using.

On TBD, although it has been a while back, we noted that defense against a wild animal is an exception to our "no warning shots" advice…obviously, I'm excluding your basic charging anything here. I'd rather scare something off than kill it, especially if I can do so legally.

The likelihood of you running up against something mean with teeth in the woods is pretty much on par with getting struck by lightning, but both things do happen. Of course the real danger in the woods is bad people, not bad animals (read TRAIL SAFE). I'll be walking Newt later this evening on her favorite trail, and I'll be carrying a a Taurus Judge loaded with Federal buckshot, mostly as a snake gun. Would work for coyotes as well.

If you're going to carry in the backcountry, give some thought about how and why and work out your personal details.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Hot Day, To Be Sure..

I cribbed this off FaceBook, where it was cribbed from William Aprill...I like the sentiment, don't you?

Today has been a real scorcher, in the mid-90s…lot to be said for living off-grid, but — sadly — air conditioning isn't one of the perks. The Bunker is super efficient, but it did make it to 79 degrees inside. Still, the heat's not for much longer…I probably won't melt…maybe…

And speaking of euphemism, from the AP:
Yellowstone National Park officials euthanized a grizzly bear Thursday after DNA tests confirmed it attacked and killed a hiker last week, a park spokeswoman said. 
The adult female bear was killed because it had eaten part of the Montana man's body and hid the rest, which is not normal behavior for a female bear defending its young, spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said. 
"If a bear consumes an individual, it's not allowed to remain in the population," she said. "It's not a risk we're willing to take."
Park officials received the DNA test results Thursday, and the bear was quickly euthanized. Officials heavily sedated the bear before firing a captive bolt into its skull, Bartlett said.
Still dead, I'd say. Doesn't seem fair to me...there are lots of hikers; fewer grizzlies in the Lower 48. And where's the outrage? I'm pretty sure a griz is at least as magnificent as a lion, and rest assured Cecil would have been happy to snack on a random hiker had he gotten the change.

As I said on DOWN RANGE Radio, we oh so delicately parse our acceptable killing — not allowed to remain in the population — breaking it down into wee little digestible parts so we can feel good about ourselves. The big griz was sedated, like a dimpled little coed on rohypnol. Then a captive bolt was shot into her head, same way we kill those prepackaged sirloin tips at the Safeway. So really, that's not like killing, you know, not really. Hell, she probably relaxed and enjoyed it, at least until the bolt hit her. Right? Right?

Not at all like, well, those awful hunters...

In my decidedly politically incorrect view, the hiker made a decision not to carry a gun to protect himself, and the bear ended up paying for it. Got no problem with what happened to the hiker…he was an adult, he made a decision to tippy-toe through a grizzly's range and he drew a bad hand. If you consciously choose to not to defend yourself, whether it is in Yellowstone or on Detroit's 8 Mile, the consequences of that choice are on you. And you alone. Remember:


And you forget that simple truth at your own peril. 

BTW, the twin cubs, which also partook of man flesh, as they say in LOTR, got parceled out to a zoo in Ohio, where they will spend their lives behind bars staring out at dinner staring back in. The zoo will probably have a contest to name them something cute like Snuggabear and Cuttlebug. If the cubs get lucky, maybe some animal rights activist will crawl over the bars in the hopes of communing with the adorable pair…at least they'll get one more decent meal before the bolts slams home.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Smoky Here @ The Bunker

Fires a few miles away, and the wind is pumping smoke my way. Kinda sucks, since an off-grid house by definition can't have air conditioning. Gonna be an eye-watering night.

You've got to see this great video from Frank Galli at SNIPER'S HIDE shooting a Ruger Precision Rifle against an AI AX, maybe one of the best bolt action long-range rifles ever made, in a "mad minute." From this we can conclude:

1) The RPR is an amazing value.
2) Frank Galli is a breathtakingly good shooter.

Check it out.

And speaking of Ruger I got my .300 Blackout conversion kit for the takedown SR-556…I look forward to running it a bit this weekend.

You know, I've got the television going in background for noise, and on some news program I thought I heard the chant…




Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…did I get that right? Maybe I misheard…

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Time to Die...

…as I mentioned on FaceBook, I gotta go get beaten to death by Seeklander, Janich and a volunteer thug. Hopefully, I'll get some shots off before I go quietly into the night. Earlier this week we kidnapped a 12 year old girl, and yesterday we brutalized a teenager. Just another day at the office.

I talked to Trijicon yesterday about the upcoming MRO red dot site that was leaked yesterday. It looks very impressive, especially if it hits that $500 sweet spot. I should have one as soon as they become formally available. I'm also considering one of the AccuPower 1-4X LED scopes on the Wilson Combat .458 AR if I take that gun hog hunting. As I said, my "dream" for that rifle is a Colorado elk hunt, but that's always a crap shoot. If I did get that elk hunt, I'd go with a bit more magnification, I think.

While I'm out dying, here's an interesting piece on "normalcy bias" from MountainGuerilla. Since the Mikes and I have been talking about normalcy bias all week, I thought you might find it interesting
What is “normalcy bias?” 
Wikipedia, that paragon of journalistic objectivism, defines normalcy bias as “a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to undestimate both the possibility of a disaster and its possible effects….The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur….People with normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before…”
Read the whole thing, and think about how normalcy bias operates in your own life.

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Lipsey's and Ruger hits another one out of the park! Five-shot Ruger Super Blackhawks Bisley models in either .454 Casull or .480 Ruger.

Mine is in .454 Casull and may be the absolute best out-of-the-box Super Blackhawk I've ever shot...and I have shot a LOT of them! Heck, I own a lot of them...

Full report with video on DRTV this evening; impressions of the new guns on the podcast this week!

Here are the specs:

Material: Stainless Steel
Barrel Length: 6.5 Inches
Weight: 50.4 (.454), 49.2 (.480 Ruger)
Twist: .454 1:24” RH ​​; .480 Ruger, 1:18” RH
Capacity: 5
Finish: Satin Stainless
Rear Sight: Adjustable
Front Sight: Pinned Black Blade
Overall Length: 12.4”
Grips: Bisley Hardwood

Trigger pull on my gun averages out at a little over 3.5 pounds

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Michael Works Too Much

Okay…I need to get a grip on this. So we decided to not shoot a match this weekend to give us a little break, and with his break Yours Truly spent all day working. Oh well. Marshal and I are trying to get a big multimedia event up on DRTV next week.

I suppose a sigh is appropriate here...

Baa-Ram-Ewe Redux!

From the UK Telegraph:
Driver stopped with sheep in car tells police 'I was taking it to McDonald's 
A motorist in North Yorkshire who was travelling with a sheep in his boot tells police he was taking it out for a meal
Here's my problem…and it's not that some guy was taking a sheep on a date…given the relentless war on men, the now-pervasive belief that there may be dozens and dozens of genders, all identifiable only by other self-identified members of said gender (we llama, OTO-HOOF, don't have that issue), the fact that on college campuses across America if a cis-male (look it up) wants to even wave at an Other Gendered person across the campus, he must first secure a signed agreement with the Other Gendered person which agrees that said wave, while constituting a sexual advance equivalent with rape and probably murder, will have prosecution withheld as long as 1) duration of the wave does not exceed 2.8 seconds, 2) the cis-male does not approach the Other Gendered person any closer than 50 yards and 3) the cis-male in no way, including but not limited to, vocally, by hand, arm, face or body gesture, by impure thoughts, or though direct intercession of aliens, indicates that he has a penis…

...sheep seem pretty reasonable. At least you can open a door for a sheep and she won't bite your head off.
Nope, my problem is…c'mon! A MacDonald's? A sheep's not going to be able to fit in those booths! Plus, a MacSalad while you're sitting there chowing down on two patties that used to be her best friend Ted the Cow? Tasteless, dude…as tasteless as the burger. Even a Souper!Salad would show a little more class. Or a lovely picnic in her pasture, sharing carrot tops (not Carrot Top the comedian you idiots!) with her closest flock mates…then, next time your buddy asks you to set him up…nudge nudge wink wink say no more

But never, ever mention mint jelly!!!!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Day on the Range

All revolver stuff, including my favorite .44 Magnum, the Super Blackhawk Hunter that Hamilton Bowen built for me a few years back. It is a wonderful revolver, the gun I hand people when they ask about my weird infatuation with single action Rugers. I told you the story about Tim Cremin, my producing partner for GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA and THE BEST DEFENSE, when he first visited the Secret Hidden Bunker???

We went to the gun room and opened the safe, and I started showing Tim my single actions. After a few minutes he said, "Is this some kind of trick cabinet? You can keep pulling them out forever?" I am so lucky to have guns from Hamilton, Dave Clements, Jim Stroh, Bill Laughridge and other single action masters. Sadly, I don't have a single action from Alan HartonGary Reeder or, strangely enough, my friend John Linebaugh. I hope I can correct those glaring errors!

Anyway. am working on DRTV stuff for next week. Could I just say that Apple's PHOTOS program is a massive POS? It's as if the people at Apple have never once even considered what people do with their programs. I'll be compressing, then frantically uploading, video until I am older and totally bald.

Oh yeah, I reviewed and approved the GUN STORIES episode on suppressors. I believe it  is absolutely the best episode of this season so far (and Joe emailed me similar sentiments). Please, watch it! We are all so proud if it.

Sorry Guys!

It's been a heavyweight work week, but focused on administrative and scheduling as opposed to the funsy gun stuff. My Sweetie and I are taking a weekend off competition (there are no 3-Gun matches anyway). I've got a written/video piece I hope to have ready for DRTV on Monday, but Newt needs to go to the vet this AM for her rattlesnake vaccine.

I was honored to be the dinner speaker at the Colorado Firearms Instructors Association annual seminar. Actually, I would have loved to have spent the week taking them up on their invitation to attend some of their classes, but…administration and scheduling. My good friend Matt Walker is one of the driving forces behind the annual training seminar. Jessie Duff was there as part of the training cadre, and she and I had a chance to sit down and talk (as opposed to waving at each other from across the floor of the SHOT Show).

Time for conference call #1…sigh...

Thursday, August 06, 2015

In an Incredible Act of Will...

...I did NOT buy this 1975 fully restored Austin Mini, although my Mini begged me to buy it so he would have a "little friend..."

Monday, August 03, 2015

Good News!

Or should I say, "News good, mon." I tweaked the first third of the feed lips of a C-Products 5.56 30-rounder using a Brownell's Magazine Lip Tool for my .458 SOCOM, a la the .458 Forums. It made the nose of the round ride up maybe a 16th of an inch higher. So I loaded up a half-dozen of the Wilson Combat .300-gr Hornady HPs, which have been the toughest to get to feed consistently,  and YES, success!

Ran like a top!

So I'm getting there with the .458 SOCOM project. My goal is to use it for an elk rifle in Colorado or New Mexico (and probably hogs in Texas for AMERICA'S RIFLE…I'll know more about that tomorrow). Also, I'll take some pictures tomorrow when I get the ACE stock installed. It is one heck of a gun! I'm agonizing on optics…right now I have a Burris AR-1X optic on it. I'm sorta thinking about a Trijicon 1-4X. With the Burris I can go with a 3X magnifier, of course.

This week when I get some spare time in the evening I'm going to do a run of .458 reloads with the Barnes TAC-TX bullets and see how it goes. I think I may have linked to this before…it's a pretty good summation, but I have to save my money to buy that helmet!

Monday Come Too Soon

Oaky, I'm hobbling  a bit less today, but my back aches from gimpy-footing around.

I was cooking Sunday — "mixed grill" fish fajitas, fresh guacamole, home-made salsa, greens and tomatoes from a local organic farm…darn good meal! Our guest wanted to do some shooting with his new 1911 and my Sweetie needed some work on weak-hand pistol, so we went to the range.

I thought it a golden opportunity for me to get familiar with the Ruger .45 Colt/.45 ACP  Redhawk revolver that Ed Head reviewed for DRTV. As you guys know I like to shoot a gun for a bit before I "get serious" with it. Call it "breaking in" or just getting used to how the gun sits in my hand under recoil, it's always worked well for me.

I started out with a box of Winchester .45 Colt Cowboy, a 250-gr bullet at 750 fps, pretty much what Wyatt and his brother were using in the Back When. You shoulda seen me flinch! I expected something out of the Redhawk — most of the Redhawk rounds I've fired recently have been from the 2.75 .44 Magnum and above — but the Cowboys were like shooting .22s out of the big beast. I have smallish hands, so I kinda like the round butt configuration…same as on the 2.75 .44. I would not argue, however, with the Hogue grips provided on the 4-inch .44 Magnum Redhawk. As I've mentioned before, Ken Jorgensen and I I went through the GUNSITE 250 class with the 4-inch Redhawk shooting .44 Specials, and was fun and instructive — yes, it's a big heavy gun, but it delivers a big heavy payload without having to pick the hammer spur out of your teeth.

I was shooting on 2 steel silhouettes at 15 yards, BTW. After running through the box of 50 Cowboys, I shifted some to self-defense ammo...I don't actually have a ton of .45 Colt ammo around. As I've mentioned, you're either a ".44 Magnum/.44 Special" sort of guy or a ".45 Colt" sort of gun. I fall on the smaller side of the equation. I did have some Corbon and a little Winchester SilverTips, both 225-grainers, so I launched them off. Once again, not the kind of boom you get from a .44 Magnum...even with the self-defense loads, the Redhawk was easy to control DA.

Then I went to the funniest part, 230-gr .45 ACP ball in moon clips...pretty much like running a stapler. Sights called for a low neck hold to hit the center plate, but I'll deal with that when I start seriously working with the gun. Trigger was Redhawk heavy...I actually pulled out my Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge, which on DA read, "OMG! You're Not Serious!" Okay, actually, it read "OVEr," which translates into "More than 12 pounds." I'd call it 15 pounds. Gauge read the SA trigger at 7 pounds.

At least the DA stroke is smooth...not as smooth as my 4-inch .44, but then it doesn't have nearly the number of rounds through it as the .44. Redhawks triggers can be a bitch to tune. It's a single spring system, where one spring powers the hammer and the trigger reset. That means there is some juggling involved on getting a good trigger pull, and there are actually 2 different approaches. Wolff makes a series of light springs, 12#, 13#, 14# vs.the factory 20#. However, Hamilton Bowen, who probably knows more about tuning the Redhawks than any other living human, strongly argues another path. You can read it in his "News" section, down at the bottom. Hamilton goes to a heavier spring to guarantee ignition. Interestingly enough, he and I had this discussion up at John Linebaugh's place 6 weeks ago when were were talking about Hamilton cleaning up my 2.75 .44 Redhawk, which has a pretty good, if heavy, DA trigger.

I did not any any ignition problems with the new Redhawks, knock on wood, so my focus will be on dry-firing. Again, if you go back to Ed McGivern, his focus was on smooth, not light. Here's an interesting article on revolver trigger pulls from Grant Cunningham, who knows more than a thing or 2 about revolver triggers (especially Rugers...I am lucky enough to have a Cunningham-tuned SP-101, although right now Mike Seeklander is using it in training and he swears he's not giving it back).
Jerry Miculek, the greatest living revolver shooter, points out that the trigger pull is only half - or even less - of the equation. Trigger return is at least as important to successful double-action shooting. Trigger return should be judged much like trigger pull: no hesitation, no grittiness or roughness, consistent speed, and as quick as the gun's design allows.
While I'm thinking about it, here's an excellent article from OUTDOOR LIFE on shooting DA revolvers.

I did have some issues, especially in the first 50 rounds, of the trigger not resetting on DA (happened 3 times). It worked itself out the more rounds I fired. It felt a little gummy, but considered I just took it out of the box and started firing I should be surprised. As usual, I'll detail strip, clean and lube before I start accuracy testing and serious shooting.

My overall plan is to indeed shoot the Redhawks in USPSA competition, because I'm a huge fan of self-abuse. This week I'm going to fish out all my moon clip carriers, etc., and start heading in that direction. I also see this Redhawks as an amazingly useful trail gun., or something to carry when the bears are out and about.

Another minor's high rattlesnake season hear at the Secret Hidden Bunker. One of my neighbors a few miles from us is reporting killing one of the big snakes a week, and one dog has already been bitten. New is getting the rattlesnake vaccine shot this week, and we are EXTREMELY careful walking her. We're talking to the vet about whetherAsta the Manx should have the same shot. They're never let outside unsupervised, but snakes are tricksy. A few weeks ago I shifted from a Redhawk to a Taurus Judge with Federal buckshot as the trail gun.I have found those Federal loads will simply vaporize the first 3-4 inches of the snake's head and neck.

In an Ideal Gun World I'd get an S&W Governor and use the same moon clips as the Redhawks for .45 ACP...sadly, not happening!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Well, hi!

Hopefully, after everyone has had a cooling off period, I can safely return to the blog!

Shot a 3-Gun match today…I'm still not shooting the way I know I'm capable of, but I also am pretty familiar with my own "learning skills," such as they are, and this is how it goes. I'm still happy with the rifle, and the pistol is coming up. I was bummed on the last stage, when I (and most everyone else) couldn't see the long-range, 200+ yard rifle targets. I hit what I could see, but the stage ended up getting tossed anyway.

I discover an old and proven truth — when I get tricksy on shooting strategy I usually end up boning myself. I took a little bit of riskier run, e.g., I was the only person stupid enough to try it, on a pistol-only stage. My idea was to take longer range shots to save myself a reload. I did save myself a reload, but…LOL!

BTW, we spent some time in Kentucky with David Ives of Nemesis Arms, makers of the coolest take-down bolt action sniper rifle in the world and now located conveniently across the highway from Rockcastle Shooting Center where we were filming for AMERICA'S RIFLE. If you remember a few years bacon SHOOTING GALLERY we featured David assembling and breaking down the Nemesis at the SHOT Show (I think Freddy Blish sent us down to SHOT basement netherworld to check it out).

Marshal and I were lucky to get out with our wallets intact! We did a bunch of filming with the newest iteration of the Nemesis, the ambidextrous Valkyrie bolt gun, because we thought you guys would like to see it [not a sponsor!]. You're gonna have to see the video to really get how cool the Nemesis is. David has a breathtaking grasp of details, which is why the gun is in use in many scary places.

We also got so see a bunch of new products for the AR platform…they are every bit as thoughtful and well-designed as the rifle itself. I'll let you know when we get the vids up!

 There's an excellent article by WeaponsMan on "If You Had Only One 5.56 Carbine:"
Want to spend more money, anyway?
Spend it wisely. Buy ammo and get training. That gives you two things that can never be confiscated, experience and knowledge.
Read the whole thing!

Man, I'm suffering with a popped right knee right now. I torqued it last weekend, then spent the rest of the week on my feet outside. It sucks. And yes, I will grant you that shooting a run-and-gun match today was possibly not the best therapy. For the rest of the weekend (and most of next week, I suspect) it's ice, ice baby!