Monday, July 30, 2007

Look out Arnold!

When I first started CAS I wanted a lever action shotgun. Just like the one Arnold used in T2. I searched and searched, but they were just not available. So I settled on a double barrel and I've been happy...sort of.

Well now finally the 1887 lever action reproductions are available and for decent prices, and at last I'm going to get my 87.

I sold my 92 the other day for a fair price (It helped that they became legal to hunt deer with this year in Indiana) so I'm putting that money right back into CAS. I'm ordering an 1887 from my friend Vaquero Hayes at Thunder and Lightning Action Works. He's going to order the gun for me and then do the drop 2 modification and an action job. When I get it it will be CAS ready...I can't wait!

Call Me Snake

I like the idea of taking modern movie lines and putting them in as start lines for CAS stages. How about a little Snake Plissken from Escape from New York!
  • "Call me Snake."
  • "Why are we talking?"
  • "President of what?"
  • "When I get back I'm going to kill you."
  • "I want to meet this Duke."
  • "Where you been, Harold? It's been a long time."
  • "Yeah. A man should remember his past."
  • "You, me, and Fresno Bob. You know what they did to Bob?"
  • "You want to see him sprayed all over that map, baby?"
  • "Yeah, you and everybody else."
  • "You shouldn't have double-crossed me again, Brain."
  • "The name's Plissken."


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Top Cowboy

At TVR they do a little thing called Top Cowboy. You have to shoot at 6 matches to qualify and then the top average stage time takes the award. It’s a nice competition for the regular club members. Redneck Rebel sent the current standings out today and of course I was looking through them. There are 5 more matches this year so things can change, but here is what it looks like as of today.

The contenders for Top Cowboy are Indy Kid with an AST of 21.56, followed closely by Vaquero Hayes with an AST of 22.14 and then Redneck Rebel with an AST of 22.32. These three are fierce competitors and it’s going to get very interesting down the stretch.

As for us Amigos well I currently have an AST of 30.438, followed much too closely by Copper Quincy who has a 31.918, and then Jose is trailing the pack at 34.096. Of course this is a little misleading because after you have your six matches under your belt you get to start dropping your lowest scores. I am a very consistent shooter and my match scores do not change drastically. Jose on the other hand is either very good or very bad and he managed to place higher then me overall last year because he got to drop those very bad scores.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Shooter Ready?

I find myself putting everyday things in SASS context. I see a neat box that looks sorta old-timey, I'll think about putting it on a gun cart. This extends to even the most modern of conventions and today I was watching part of one of my favorite movies Sin City and thought that one of the main characters Marv, had some pretty good one liners that I immediately thought would be good for start lines for stages.

These are the ones I liked best:

“No reason at all to play it quiet”
“I’ll be right out”
“They know they been in a fight, that’s for damn sure”
“There ain’t no squarin’ it this time”
“This is the old days, the bad days, the all or nothin’ days”
“This is blood for blood and by the gallons”
“A shot and a brew shelly and keep ‘em coming”
“That’s one fine lookin’ coat your wearin’ there”
“I guess when I shot you in the belly, I aimed to high”
“I’ve been killing my way to the truth every since”
“Sometimes I ask pretty hard”
“Its almost killing time”
“Kill him good”
“I won’t let you down Goldie”
“I got you you little bastard, lets see you hop around now”
“It really gets my goat when guys rough up dames”
“I’ll die laughing if I know I did one thing right”
“What’s left of him anyways”
“I know its pretty damn weird to eat people”
“You can scream now if you want to”
“I got him for you good didn’t I Goldie?”


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Westerns

Well it looks like Hollywood has decided to try its hand at westerns again. Every few years they dust off the genre and come up with a few
major motion pictures. I have found that when Hollywood dumps a lot of money into a western the end result is pretty entertaining. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the storylines, maybe the quality of actors that jump on board, maybe it’s production qualities, but no matter what it is they are usually worth checking out. This year’s 2 big budget westerns come out in September which starts off on the 7th with 3:10 to Yuma.

3:10 to Yuma” is a remake. The original was released in 1957 and starred Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. The dialogue is fantastic in this film which isn’t surprising since much of it is taken from Elmore Leonard’s novel. The remake intrigues me because of the actors involved. Russell Crow and Christian Bale are very good actors and can really chew up a scene. If they keep most of Leonard’s narrative this could be a fantastic film, on the flip side if they make this all about action then…oh well watch the trailer and decide.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” also has a strong group of actors and might be very good if done right. The problem seems to be that audiences didn’t like the first 3+ hour action-less drama so the troubled picture is being re-cut by Brad Pitt himself. This quickly reminds me of how Sharon Stone ruined a good Sam Rami picture when she edited “The Quick and the Dead.” Anyway, here is the trailer.

One way or the other I say get out to the theater and see the movies. The more money they make the more westerns Hollywood will produce and that earns more for us to enjoy.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Black Rifles

NBC on black rifles (aka AR-15s).

The piece starts out well enough, but certainly turns ugly when the loon at the Violence Policy Center (funded by George Soros) starts with her lies and Ms. Myers points out the features of an AR-15 which make it particularly effective evil. You know, like the 30 round magazine and pistol-grip (so the gun can be easily fired from the hip? whatever). The DC sniper case was brought up as an example of how these guns can be used for evil purposes, like if they ban them, nobody can go pickup a proper sniper rifle like a Remington 700 and kill people. Newsflash! the DC sniper didn't need 30 rounds, a collapsable stock, flash supressor, bayonet lug or pistol grip. All he needed was an accurate rifle and scope, period. Banning scopes would sooner prevent another sniper case than banning the AR and scopes don't require a background check! Gasp!

I was sort of surprised that they use images from Oleg Volk who's firearm photography is very good (check this one out). I've always wondered whether some of his content, especially the captioned photos with women in danger, are doing more harm or good to 2nd amendment rights. I don't think its exploited to the point of harming the cause, but I do think some of his stuff is pandering to the point of fear-mongering. I like his stuff, but he should tone it down a little.

BTW, I've seen other pieces that Lisa Myers has done that were actually pretty good, she takes a class at Front-Sight IIRC and does a decent job, but that was a few years ago.

Hat tip David Hardy

Wild Bunch Costuming

Since we have been talking so much lately about a Wild Bunch Category lets take a real quick look at some of the costuming requirements.

First, you’ve got to know a little bit about the movie that inspires the Wild Bunch category. The movie starts with Pike and his gang impersonating a group of pre WWI soldiers and robbing a bank. The gang’s troubles start there and culminate in a shootout with members of the Mexican Army south of the border. If you are thinking about shooting this category by all means watch the movie first!

So, in true Wild Bunch spirit a full WWI uniform for an American infantryman would be a great costume. Wool Trousers, Tunic, Pullover Shirt are the basics followed by M1898 khaki leggings, a 1911 military belt, a M1911 “Pershing Model” or M1917 S&W holster, a M1918 campaign hat or an officer’s visor should seal the deal and make you the envy of the shoot.

Of course as you watch the movie you see that they quickly start losing pieces of their costume so not only would it be acceptable, but very much in the spirit of the Old vs. New West to have a mix of clothing. Take “Pike” for example. He changes into a classic movie western outfit with black jeans, white shirt, black vest and cowboy boots and hat, except he carries a 1911 pistol throughout the film and a Winchester rifle…a mixture of old and new. “Lyle” also sports a classic look. Jeans, white shirt un-tucked with a military style pistol belt and cartridge pouch worn over the shirt…perfect.

So when thinking about Wild Bunch costuming think about mixing elements from the WWI uniform with parts of classic Old West dress and viola! The cloths should express the conflict of the times in the same manner that the automobile mixed with the horse and buggy and the auto-loader competed with the revolver.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Grips Make The Gun

M19 w/new gripsIts often said that clothes make the man, well, I wouldn't know about but I would extend that to grips and guns. Since I purchased the S&W M19, I've been wanting to get wood grips to dress it up, those rubbers are ugly.

Last week, I got my new Eagle Grips Secret Service grips for it in rosewood. They are comprable to the Hogue Bantam grips, however, I didn't have to wait 90 days for them and they look and fit great. I know Judge is a big fan of the Eagles he has on his Rugers for matches and now I'm a big fan.

The wood grips are smaller than the rubber monogrips, yet I don't think I'll give up much control because of the nicely contoured finger grooves, excellent fit and while my pinkie finger isn't fully on the grip, it can support the base of the grip to help with recoil. We'll see as soon as I can get to a range and try some practice and carry ammo through the little snubbie. The big bonus, other than looks, is the gun is a better concealment carry piece now. The rubber grips were indeed too grippy and hung onto clothing making draw a problem and heaven forbid I drop the gun in a pocket!

Yep, grips make the gun and in this case I've got what I want in a carry snubbie.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reason #10 for having a safe

So the freakin' plumber doesn't report you to the police and over-reactionary glory hounds raid your house to kiss the mayor's ass. The story from Brian at Snapped Shot. Interestingly enough, Brian fell for it too, at least he has the guts to admit it, unlike almost any new organization. My favorite part is how the author of this article and the police can't figure out why anyone would want some AK47s, a grenade launcher and 500 rounds of ammo, hint go shoot them and you'll know.

My advice to this "gun collector" (as if any self-respecting "collector" would be caught without at least 1,000 rounds of ammo), get a safe and put your guns in there before the plumber comes.

Yes, this guy could be a complete dirtbag if the suspected child porn holds true, but with the stellar policing by Dallas PD (who admittedly don't know whether some of the stuff is illegal), I wouldn't put money on it. Probably just some midget porn.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One for Jose

Jose has talked about this before and I thought I would share this excellent article by Chris Byrne over at the AnarchAngel.

Hat tip to Grant Cunningham for the link.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wild Bunch Category

Jose said he was pushing for one of the clubs we shoot at to offer a "Wild Bunch Category" to shoot . Now I think this is a great idea and the clubs already have a precedent with offering different non-SASS-based categories such as Pale Rider and Outlaw. So while this is Jose's puppy I offer a quick little write up of my idea for a Wild Bunch Category. Jose will take what he likes and leave the rest dead on the floor.

This category is based on the 1969 Movie “The Wild Bunch” directed by Sam Peckinpah. Outlaws on the Mexican-U.S. frontier face the march of progress, the Mexican army and a gang of bounty hunters led by a former member while they plan a robbery of a U.S. army train. No one is innocent in this gritty tale of desperation against changing times. Pump shotguns, machine guns and automobiles mix with horses and Winchesters in this ultra violent western. The goal of this category is to mix the flavor of the Old West with the changing technology of the 20th century.

Wild Bunch Category:

  • Pistols: 1911 GI Style firearm typical in appearance to one commonly found just prior to WWI. Any contemporary semi-automatic pistol to the Colt 1911 GI found just prior to WWI and chambered in a caliber equal to or greater then 9mm and capable of holding 5 or more rounds in a detachable magazine.
  • Pistol will be shot using any SASS legal shooting style. Instead of utilizing 2 pistols for this category the shooter will reload the weapon using the detachable magazine.
  • Rifles: Any SASS legal rifle of 1884 or later design or a replica thereof (i.e., 1892, 1894, Lightning Rifle or Marlin)
  • Shotguns: Any SASS legal Lever or Pump Action Shotgun. Double Barrel Shotguns are not allowed.
  • May use any SASS legal ammunition
  • Costuming: Pants must be jeans, ranch pants, or pants with flap over the rear pocket. Pants must be worn with belt. Suspenders are not allowed. Felt hats only. Straw hats are not allowed. You must choose at least one of the following items; Mills Belt with US insignia, M1916 Holster, US Enlisted or Officers Wool Trousers, Enlisted or Officers Wool Pullover Shirt, WWI Bayonet, M1898 Khaki Leggings, WWI Leather Ammo Pouch, Leather or Canvas 1911 Double Clip Pouch, Bandoleer, Musset Bag.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

So long Cirillo

I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Cirillo once. It was quick and I just shook his hand. It was enough for me and I'll not forget meeting him. If you don't know Jim Cirillo then shame on you and go to Xavier's site to read a nice little write-up.

God bless you Jim

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Being safe, period

One of the things in cowboy shooting that "breaks the reality" is the shooting glasses. You can get the most period clothing and leather, guns and ammo, but if you're wearing a pair of Oakleys, what does it matter? Should it matter?

The first picture I've posted shows a genuine pair of period correct sharpshooter glasses. See anything wrong with them? There are several things "wrong" with them, first, if they are truly from the period, the glass won't be up to the task of stopping much and could fragment causing more damage. Not good. Next up is the lenses are too small to fully protect the eyes and finally, there is no side protection to prevent a fragment from damaging the eye when you're looking away from the action. Additionallly, these glasses don't have nose pads and the lenses are frosted except at the center of the lens. No, these clearly won't do.

So what are we to do then?

First, I don't know of anyone who makes a set of period glasses with enough protection for shooting. So assume you'll be shooting with something that's less than perfect because you should NEVER compromise your eyes for looking the part, NEVER. If you're willing to do that, you probably aren't reading this blog, because, well you can't.

Well, you can minimize the effect your eyewear has on your appearance by purchasing some glasses that approximate the old look. I've been using a pair of the Peltor XF5 glasses for a while and they look more period than a modern wrap-around uni-lens type pair. No, they aren't really even close if you look carefully, but at a distance, they'll do. I just wish they came in something other than smoke or blue.

Another thing a motivated shooter could do is to find a pair of wire frames with sufficient lens surface and have safety lenses installed. This would allow you to have a prescription put in them as well. Any optometrist can do this or even Wal-Mart or Sam's Club. The only thing you'd have to do then is worry about the sides, the optometrist should have plastic side shields available, but they may not fit the frames, especially the thin wire frames. There are leather side shields available for purchase that will slip on, providing the protection and period look. You could also find some "glacier" sunglasses, they usually have the leather side shields to totally block light and either get or make sure they have safety lenses or rob them of the leather shield.

Monday, July 09, 2007

What Type are You!

I'm a Type 1. Go here to find your type.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It's About Time

SASS finally got of their lazy butts and put an online searchable database of aliases. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better then the old version...guess and pray! They call it Alias Lookup and it's on the SASS homepage.

UPDATE: Just click here

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cowboy Rock Star!

When I first started CAS I searched the Web for every scrape of info I could find. I finally came upon this little article at Captain Baylor's Ranger Camp. I not only read it 3 or 4 times, but I printed off a copy to refer to when needed. It was the most helpful piece of writing on the subject I had found, and still is for that matter.

Well, the Captain has kept adding excellent articles on his website and he has even made an appearance on Tequila's "Cowboys" TV show. So he has become a celebrity in our little world of CAS. The other day I decided to check his page out again since I hadn't been over their in a while and what do you know, but the Captain has gone and bought himself a little prairie schooner. Now that's what I call traveling like a cowboy rock star!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wild Bunch Shotguns pt2

I guess it has been a while since I posted part 1, sorry to all you one or two people who read this blog.

Second only to the semi-auto pistols that you shoot in a Wild Bunch side match is the shotgun. Why? Because you get to use some non-SASS shotguns and you get to stoke them full and use the pumps and leverguns as they were intended and that's very appealing to most of us who own them. I don't care how old or experienced I get, picking up a loaded pumpgun and blasting away fast and furiously is still gonna be fun!

First on the list is the venerable Winchester model 1897 pump, an extremely popular shotgun that brought pumpguns to where they are today, feared, revered and respected. The 97 is also a very popular gun in SASS competition because its fast, sure it's more complicated and more prone to failure, but when they work well, there's nothing faster. The standard model 97 will hold 5 rounds in the tube magazine and that's what most every Wild Bunch match will require, 5 in the tube and five knockdowns.

The model 97 was build up until 1957 and there are millions of them out there. The only problem is that with SASS being so darned popular, the originals are wearing out. At this point, I wouldn't buy one unless I knew that it was a good, functioning gun. What does that leave us? Well, fortunately, there are reproductions that are getting better and better. IAC has been importing them since 1999 and like I said, are getting better. EMF is importing one now and is reportedly good as well as TTN's replica that supposedly is an exact replica, that is the parts from originals are supposed to fit it. With all the originals and several new replica importers, there's no shortage of the 97 for the foreseeable future.

Note that the 97 is followup gun from Winchester/Browning of the model 93 which tended to be a dangerous firearm and thus banned in SASS competition and as far as I'm concerned, banned, period. While on banned shotguns, the Marlin 1898 pump is also a period pump that's banned and should stay that way, you want to take your life in your hands with nobody else around, fine, but don't ask me to stand next to you.

Another SASS legal gun available in Wild Bunch matches is the model 1887 lever-action shotgun. This original gun wasn't as popular as the 97 and so there are fewer originals out there. It also should really only be shot with black powder as the metal in the originals isn't up to snuff for modern smokeless. Again, due to demand created by SASS shooters, copies are being imported. IAC again is brining in some good reproductions and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Coyote Cap as being key in bringing this gun to market by lending his expertise to the Chinese. The new gun is a stout shooter of good manufacturer and should hold five in the tube for a Wild Bunch match.

Now on to the non-SASS guns. First up is the Winchester model 1912, the hammerless followup to the famously popular 97. There's not much to say about this one, it was a very popular shotgun from its introduction until it was finally done in by the mighty Remington 870. Since its not SASS legal and there isn't much call for it in any other competition, the only way to get one is to have an original.

The other post 1899 model that I'll touch on is the Winchester model 1901 lever action shotgun. These are for all intents and purposes identical to the 1887 model and like the model 12, the only way to have one is to obtain an original.

Those are the pumps I know about, there may be others, if so, I'd certainly let them in play if they were manufactured pre-1920. There should be some consideration maybe for the semi-auto shotguns of the era, I know there have to be a bunch of guys and gals with Browning A5's, Remington and Winchester model 11s that are just itching to bring them out of the gun safe and play. Nobody has brought them up yet and until they do or I buy a Browning, I won't worry about it.

The get to know you meme:

  • What is your favorite color? Green
  • What is your favorite Book? The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
  • What is your favorite Band? AC/DC
  • What is your favorite Movie? The Maltese Falcon
  • Mary Anne or Ginger? Mary Anne
  • What is your favorite Smoke? Davidoff Millennium
  • What is your favorite Gun you own? S&W Model 66-2 4” barrel
  • What is your favorite Beer? Smithwicks
  • What is your favorite TV Show? Rockford Files
  • What is your favorite Sport? Football
  • What is your favorite Car? 1968 Mustang GT500
Your turn.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Only 44!

We've only got 44 posts so far in 2007. at this rate we will have 88 for the year and that will fall 11 short of the 2006 total. I guess I'll need to start adding more and stop waiting for the Wild Bunch Guns Pt. 2.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bad advice

“Give them the money and give them the keys,” Sheriff Harry Lee said.
“You make an insurance payment on your car, and nobody gets shot.”
That is the advice of Sheriff Harry Lee of Metairie, LA regarding what to do in the case of a car jacking. Unlike the easy victim that Lee would like us all to be, the young man in this story possibly saved his and his mother's life by wresting a firearm away from a car jacker and shot the villain with it. I have what I believe is better advice. arm yourself and if anyone tries to car jack you, you won't have to either fight for control of the gun as this young man did or be at the complete mercy of someone who's willing to commit multiple felonies.

I'm not a roll over a take it type of guy I guess.

hat tip David Hardy