Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Jose

Well yesterday was the big man’s birthday so I thought I would wish him well. Did I get him anything for his birthday? Hell no! You see I’m a firm believer in the Man Laws for birthdays. It’s clear that a man can not by another man a birthday present unless it involves liquor or prostitutes. So Jose didn’t get anything from me this year. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

And now for something different

I've been thinking about dabbling in loading Black Powder cartridges, black powder substitutes to be exact.  One of the problems that faces someone shooting both smokeless and BP is the effects it has on the guns you shoot.  If you shoot BP, it helps if you have a gun that is "seasoned".  That is a gun that is properly prepared and lubed for BP will become seasoned like a cast iron skillet so after the shoot, cleanup is easy.

For the most part, I can accomplish this by shooting my hammered double and use one of my Marlins as the designated BP gun.  The problem is the pistols, I have three, two 7 1/2" Vaqueros and one 5 1/2" Vaquero.  IF (and this is a big IF) I want to have two sets of guns to shoot to alternate between BP and smokeless, I need one extra Ruger Old Model Vaquero with 5 1/2" barrel, blue in .45Colt.  Not so fast.  They don't make the OM Vaquero any longer and while I could find one out there somewhere, why not look at things from a different angle.  Why shoot the same guns as I shoot smokeless with?  How about something that looks like it is a BP gun?

In looking about, I come up with a gun that I really love the look of and isn't terribly expensive and can be had brand new.  I'm talking about Cimarron's Open Tops or Richards & Mason Conversions.  These guns are sweet like mom's pecan pie and look about as old timey as you get.  I certainly couldn't be poo poo'd for not looking the part with a pair of these beauties.

Anyone want to buy a used OM Vaquero in .45Colt?

Cimarron's R & M Conversion in .44Colt

Thursday, January 18, 2007

SHOT Show!

In a word…WOW! This event was even more monstrous then I anticipated. I will try and write some impressions of the show and give a few brief reviews. I will also throw in some tips if you ever get lucky enough to attend yourself. So here we go;

When we first arrived it was about 11:30 on Thursday. We had been up and traveling since about 3 a.m. so I wasn’t expecting to do a whole lot. Our hotel looked like a set piece from CSI but as it turned out we didn’t spend much time there anyway. We walked about 10 minutes to the convention center and were struck by how huge the place was. As it turned out it would take you a good 15 minutes to just walk from one end to the other. I checked in and got my entrance badge. To get into SHOT Show you must be part of the industry. One of the neat things for me is that Law Enforcement and Government (read Military) count as being part of the industry. If you don’t meet those criteria then you will need to have an FFL or a business card showing you work for a retailer, distributor, gun manufacturer, etc.

We went directly to the Law Enforcement section which encompassed about a quarter of the show. Except for about 3 hours of walking I spent the next 3 days in the LE section. Anything and everything you could want to see was there and even though you couldn’t buy anything you got the opportunity to handle all of the products and to make contacts with the manufacturers.

What was good about the show? You got to handle the stuff, and often times compare it to it’s competitor by stepping 5 feet one direction or the other. You got to talk to the creators, makers, owners and get the low down and what, when, where, and why. Stuff that you thought was junk due to poor advertisement could turn out to be great like the Spec-Ops Brand. You get to meet some very interesting people.

What specifically did I see that was cool? Well the new S&W M&P45 with the thumb safety is very slick. Beretta introduced and new finish for its Stampede and now offers a cut-down Sheriff’s model. The adventure companies are getting into the tactical market so expect some very cool high end tactical gear. Heritage Arms makes a sweet looking .22 and .32 Single Action at a great price. STI didn’t have the new Texican for various reasons, and I wouldn’t expect to see it soon. The entire Taurus SAA Pistol line is very nice, but the Lightning still has a crappy action. The FN SCAR is sweet, but their pistols really blow. A neat little company Kriss Super System designed a recoil system and then made a gun around it. It’s a .45 SMG with little recoil and only a 2 degree muzzle flip as opposed to the 8 degree muzzle flip of the HK UMP.

A few quick rules for SHOT Show;

1. Wear comfortable shoes. Seriously you will be standing on concrete for 10 hours a day.

2. Bring a back-pack or something to carry all the information you collect. I didn’t the first day and now that I think back on it I’m kicking myself.

3. Eat a big breakfast and carry a snack. The food lines were ridiculous and we ended up not eating during the day.

4. Take notes. When you get home people are going to ask you questions and you will be kicking yourself because you can’t remember the answers.

5. Go with an agenda. You will get lost if you don’t have something specific to look at or for. It was very helpful to go with someone writing for the media and to be looking for specific items for units at work. When you talk to the vendors you look like you know what you are doing.

6. Make sure you are not in a Baltimore Ravens Sports Bar when you down 2 pitchers of beer and cheer on the Colts…by yourself.

7. Feel free to wear your gear. Everyone was decked out in 5.11 or some such stuff or their CAS clothing. Tied for the best was the full TAC gear eating dinner in Steak and Ale and the 5 CAS guys in complete old west git-up in the strip club.

That's all for now. If I think of something else I will add it later. For some photo's of the show go here, here, and here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Too many choices

I suppose its a good problem, but I've got too many choices as to what to do this coming weekend. There is monthly shoot at PVR, there is the Indy 1500 Gunshow in Indianapolis and finally, my beloved Colts take on the evil Baltimore Ravens this Saturday at 4:30p. What to do, what to do?

I suppose I can't go wrong and I can get a couple of them in this weekend. I know its no shotshow, but then I get to go to these type of conventions for my work and it's no real joy to walk a show floor, even if it is filled with guns.  I predict Judge will look like this guy after the ShotShow (sans hair).

Monday, January 08, 2007


"the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for" - Webster

Last week I picked up another Marlin rifle I purchased from the SASS Wire Classifieds (no pictures, you've seen one before), I had it transferred to one of our fellow shooters who owns a gunsmithing business.  While doing the paperwork and background check a couple of the other CAS shooters I shoot with regularly, which allowed me to indulge in one of my favorite things, talking about guns and shooting.

One of the guys was leaving .45s for the less abusive .38 caliber.  He wants to win, so he wants to reduce the amount of recoil he faces, I suppose I can't blame him, I just don't know why he's wanting to sell his guns, crazy if you ask me.  So he mentions to me that he wants to get rid of his brass and my ears perk, "How much you got?" I inquire.  "I don't know, are you interested?" he replied.   As Judge and Copper know I've been thinking about buying more .45 Colt brass, so I gave him my info and told him to contact me when he knew what he had and how much he wanted.

Just as I sat down after getting home, Mark called and said he had 600 Colt, 600 Schofield and 198 Cowboy.45 Special cases, plus some primers and boxes.  We negotiated for all the cases and primers and settled on a price we were both happy with and I for one was very happy to run across this deal.  Seredipity indeed.

Friday, January 05, 2007

How True!

"If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen are defrocked, shouldn't it follow that cowboys would be deranged?"

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Years Resolution

"The great body of our citizens shoot less as times goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world... The first step in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come is to teach men to shoot!"

President Theodore Roosevelt's last message to Congress.