Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That's a LOT of rounds

224,000 over 12 days to be specific.  James Yeager posted a report on a class he instructed in Tennessee recently on The Survival Podcast forum.  Most interesting is the reporting on the gear while 22 men crawled around in the mud and muck and the ways it failed (it all fails eventually).  AKs, ARs, Glocks, holsters, packs, you name it.  The moral, I believe, is that stuff is gonna fail if you expose it to extreme environments and you just have to cowboy up and deal with it the best you can.  Don't sit and pout because your AR has a round over the bolt, DO SOMETHING!

James gives a very nice description of issues that arose and relates that the most reliable arms under these specific conditions are the AK47 rifle and Glock handgun.  That really doesn't surprise me in the least, that's the rep that both arms have acquired over the years.  He does note, however, that even those vaunted bastions of reliability failed (seems mud in the chamber is bad).

H/T to Steve at The Firearm Blog

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Does Not Compute

Michael Bane has the scoop on USFA's newest revolvers that are coming in 2009.  Needless to say, I just don't plain care for them.  They are ugly as it gets.  That said, to each their own, if you want a SA revolver painted in whatever tacticool color, good on ya.  I suppose if you wanted to Walk the Earth with a single action pistol that wouldn't rust at the first sign of dampness, you could get one of these (or you could just get stainless).  I wonder if they'll offer them in digital camo or zebra stripes?  How about a cow pattern to make them a true cowboy gun?

P.S. I wonder if these are SASS legal?  I don't think this has ever come up, maybe it never will, but I wonder if someone showed up at EoT with painted revolvers, would that be allowed?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gun Buyback Fail

The Suffolk police had an anonymous buy-back program that quickly ran out of gift certificates to give away for the "illegal" guns people were handing over. Of course the police kept the guns anyway and then asked people for their IDs. That's all sorts of trustworthy right there.

The program gets a fail, the article on newsday is full of all sorts of win though, they included a very snarky poll asking what the suffolk police can pony up since they ran out of gift cards. My vote was for "Leave the gun, take the cannolis"

Money quote from the article:
"How is that anonymous?" she asked. "Anonymous is not 'Give us your name and number and in two weeks you'll get your gift card.' "

Walking the Earth

This post by Tam has been sitting on my mind lately. I know it was an off hand remark, and the statement can really mean whatever you want it to mean, but damn if it don't make ya think.

What gun combo would you take with you to walk the Earth?

Walk the Earth can mean whatever you want it to mean and if you feel like defending it go ahead. If not, just proclaim it to the world.

Me? I think it would be my 4" S&W Model 66 and my Remington 870 (with the extended mag tube, Surefire forend, and Vang safety).

Saturday, December 20, 2008


When my wife's grandmother died last year we brought home lots of little things that had sentimental value. We have several cast iron skillet's, cookbooks with handwriting in the margines, pictures and letters. A month or so ago she brought me a Zippo that had been her great grandfathers that she had found in a box of pictures. The hinge was broken and the internal parts were rotten and gummed up, but otherwise it was not in bad condition.

I did some research and found that the lighter did not have the date or serial number stamped on the bottom, but it did have the serial script of "Zippo" stamped on the bottom. So the lighter is circa late 40's early 50's. I also found with it an envelope where it had been sent for repair to the Zippo factory in 78.

So of course I sent it back to the Zippo factory for a free repair. The lighter came back yesterday in perfect working condition. I now have at least a 50 year old lighter to go with my B-Western gear. So the next time you see me at a CAS match just ask to see the lighter, after all it was made to be used.

Oh, by the way the Zippo company stands by their product forever and will make repairs for free with a fast turn around. That's a quality American company that is hard to find nowadays!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


For my birthday I received the Hopalong Cassidy Collector's Edition. It's a digitally remastered box set of 25 classic Hopalong Cassidy films with William Boyd. Now I am to young to have seen any of these on TV (Except for the Western Channel) but those of you who read this blog know I love movies, especially old classics and these are the best of the westerns.

I watched Border Patrol last weekend with my 4 year old daughter who loved it. It was a lot of fun to explain to her about the "good guys" and "bad guys" and she got a kick out of the character California.

Anyway, if you get a chance pick this up. it's well done, good transfer, and of course it stars Hoppy my favorite of the b-western cowboys!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sukiyaki Western Django

Well the guns have been cleaned and stored away. As we sit and dream of shooting to return in the fall I thought you might want to have a little fun with the Western. Sukiyaki Western Django has received some good reviews and by the trailers it looks to be a lot of fun as long as you don't take this kinda thing to seriously.

Available on DVD and Blueray November 11th.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wild Bunch Rig


I plan on shooting in the Wild Bunch Category next year at Thunder Valley. I've created my own wild bunch rig, but I just recently came across this one by Mernickle Holsters.

It's priced at a hefty 299.95 but it's been designed from the ground up as a competitive rig for the SASS Wild Bunch Category by Bob Mernickle who knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a great holster.

This would also make a right pretty carry rig. Looks like I'll just have to keep right on drooling.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Well well, it seems the Gov from IL was arrested today on corruption charges, say it ain't so!  Seems he was trying to sell the vacant Senatorial seat vacated by Obama to the highest bidder.  Its a good thing Obama wouldn't have anything to do with this, right?  Maybe, maybe there is a connection?

Shades of The Chicago Way

Friday, December 05, 2008


This is good news!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Lyle Laverty today announced that the Department of the Interior has finalized updated regulations governing the possession of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The final rule, which updates existing regulations, would allow an individual to carry a concealed weapon in national parks and wildlife refuges if, and only if, the individual is authorized to carry a concealed weapon under state law in the state in which the national park or refuge is located. The update has been submitted to the Federal Register for publication and is available to the public on


“The Department believes that in managing parks and refuges we should, as appropriate, make every effort to give the greatest respect to the democratic judgments of State legislatures with respect to concealed firearms,” said Laverty. “Federal agencies have a responsibility to recognize the expertise of the States in this area, and federal regulations should be developed and implemented in a manner that respects state prerogatives and authority.”

Someone at the Dep. of Interior is using common sense?  This confuses me, but I'm willing to roll with it.  Perhaps the common sense fairy could come to The Hill and bestow some sense before those idiots give away even more money we don't have to corporations and banks that don't deserve it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Free Plaxico

This article in the WSJ from Dave Kopel certainly hits the nail for me.  I think Plaxico is an idiot for having a Glock shoved in the waistband of his sweatpants, but I don't think he should do significant jailtime for it.

Shooting yourself is stupid, really stupid.  So is sticking a glock in your pants without a holster.  Discharging a firearm in a public place is illegal and should be unless you are defending yourself or others.  Simply having a gun in your possession however, should not be illegal, nor should it carry a silly minimum sentence.

UPDATE: John R. Lott, Jr has a piece up at about disarming citizens, as they were in India, even if they are physically superior like NFL athletes.

When police can’t promise to protect law-abiding citizens such Plaxico Burress or the victims in India, why don’t we allow people the right to protect themselves? Unfortunately, bans do more to encourage crime than prevent it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

End of Year Shootouts

So we come to the close of another year and another shooting season.  This time of year is truly for the hardy foolish among us to venture forth into the frozen or nearly frozen ranges to grab our ice-cold revolvers, rifles and shotguns and try, try, try to make it to the end of the day without frostbite or embarrassing ourselves.  The end of the year means for me that I can shoot other categories as shooting whatever my main category happens to be doesn't have any benefits in regards to rewards or competition.  So I usually switch to something else, last month I shot traditional, this month I think it'll be Frontier Cartridge Duelist.

Black Powder categories never go well for me, but I've got the ammo loaded and I need an excuse to shoot my double and those brass shotshells are a callin'  Since I've acquired a couple of extra sets of revolvers over the past year or so, I don't have to cuss myself while cleaning my Rugers, I'll cuss myself over cleaning Colt clones...

In any case, this week's match should be fun as Rebel has set up the stages with "Old SASS" type scenarios, carrying bags of money, dynamite and the occasional dance, all on the clock and all in fun.  Once SASS got big, these types of things went away as competitors complained that these things took time and weren't "fun" for them.  I can understand this to a point, but occasionally, it is fun to do all the silly non-shooting stuff just because.  I look forward to Saturday, its going to be a long day as I need to fill in for the ailing Redneck Rebel (GET BETTER SOON BOB!), but that's a small price and keeps me appreciating all our leader does so darned well.

Here's to slow times, hootin', hollerin' and a day of fun, smoke and friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The wait is on!


This has to be the first time in my life I'm excited about waiting in line. After a year Grant Cunningham has opened his wait list back up and I managed to score a spot. Now I just have to have patience unit he is ready for my S&W M13 3".

Don't worry I'll post pictures when it's done.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I think this would make a good movie

A10 vs The Taliban Bikers

For a very brief moment, I feel sorry for some Taliban bastard getting blown away by some hotshot A10 jockey, but then I realize the Taliban are major douche-bags and feel a sense of gratitude that some hotshot A10 pilot lit his ass up.

Does that make me a bad person?

Now you know why that sand in your mag was red Judge.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You don't say Hardy links to a pretty interesting piece on police tactics towards "active killers" and the changes or evolution thereof.  The study done by the Tactical Defense Institute of Adams County, Ohio concludes that the proper response by police should be a singe officer response, that is, the first officer on the seen aggressively goes after the killer.  The reasoning for this is that the time it took to assemble a SWAT team and later an ad-hoc tactical team from the first four or five uniforms on scene cost lives.

Here's the money quote from the study though.
The other statistic that emerged from a study of active killers is that they almost exclusively seek out "gun free" zones for their attacks.
Really?  You mean to tell me that a person who wants to kill a lot of people as quickly as possible will go to a convenient local where many people gather and cannot have firearms?  But they're gun free zones!  GUN FREE!  Many have started to refer to schools and malls as victim zones, you can't really argue with that, if a nutjob wants to get his 15 seconds of fame by blasting 40 some odd people into the afterlife before he lethally injects himself with lead, what the hell good is a law or even a sign for that matter?

Now as for the single officer tactic, I'm not so sure about that.  I would think it would be a matter of time before some idiot wants to kill a lot of cops and decides to head for the local mall to kill a few civies and wait for the cops to come one by one.  Maybe the first two officers would be a comprimise, or (GASP!) you could abolish "gun-free" zones and let responsible permit carries have a fighting chance and maybe save a lot of lives in the process?  Nah!  That'd never work because only government can save us.

Presents from the Taliban

Following the advice of Tam I started picking up some extra magazine for my "Peoples Sporting Rifle." I ordered a couple from Cheaper than Dirt and found them to be worn, but serviceable and relatively clean. Perfect for my wishes. I decided to order another one (can't have to many) and when this one came I must say it was...interesting. The insides were filled with red sand. There was to much for it to be just rust (unless the package originally had two mags in it) so I can only assume that the Taliban are trading in there old mags for new poly mags.

That's right, I believe I just received a Taliban trade-in. Momma always said you get what you pay for.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I can't believe I read that right.

"Why are white people buying assault weapons?" said Ben Agger, a sociology rofessor at the University of Texas at Arlington who wrote a book about the Virginia Tech slayings. "I almost hate to say it, but there is a deep-seated fear of the armed black man, because Obama now commands the military and other instruments of the justice system. They are afraid Obama will exact retribution for the very deep-seated legacy of slavery."

I had to read that twice, yes, he's saying if you are white and bought an EBR, it is racially motivated, that is, you are a racist. I'm nearly speechless that someone who's charged with educating others would be so completely and utterly ignorant. I've disliked (hated) sociology for a long time, its kind of like reading a 15yo newspaper of obvious insights most of the time. Other times sociology produces this sort of clag that nobody in their right mind should ever believe and yet, there it is in black and white. Oops, letting my racism show again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I'm pissed off. Over the last 3 months I have been scheduled to attend a Shotgun Instructors Course, a Pistol Operators Course, and a Patrol Rifle Instructors Course. They have all been canceled. At the last minute. Forcing me to change not only my work schedule, but my personal schedule as well.

I'm starting to develop a complex. The first time no reason was given (I know the class was full), the second time was for low attendance, and the most recent was due to "scheduling conflicts". This last class was also full and had been scheduled for 6 months. I figure the state employed instructors just decided it was going to be too cold next week and bailed. What a load of BS.

I teach classes also, all over the country, I have had classes with 60+ students and classes with 9. Oh well. You commit to something then you carry through with it. That's part of it. I can't help but have very poor feelings for the government agency that hosts and teaches two out of the three classes that were canceled a week in advance for unknown reasons that couldn't be all that great anyway.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sherrif Defends CCW Holder Identities

An Oregon Sheriff is fighting a newspaper request for the names of CCW holders in Washington County on the grounds that Oregon law that states records are not public if they could reveal a person's security measures or weaknesses. Sheriff Rob Gordon believes that it is implied that the permits were obtained for security purposes (NO! REALLY?!) but the court is saying that permit holders have to state that they obtained it for security purposes before they can be considered non-public.

So Sheriff Gordon is contacting by mail all 10,000 or so permit holders to elicit whether they indeed obtained them for security reasons.

"Instead of going through the process of saying that it's implied, we're going though the process of getting the documentation that says that it is," said Sgt. Vance Stimler, public information officer at the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

I wish all Sheriffs would be this progressive in tNotice Mastheadhought towards the CCW community, sadly, I think he's in the minority.

Well done Gordon!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One Good FU Deserves Another

As we all know by now "The One" has ascended to the office of POTUS.  This doesn't bode particularly well for gun owners, or conservatives, or hell, anyone who wants to keep the money they earned or Civil Liberties!  I digress.  What to do about it?  WPanther™ 5.56NATO Sportical™hy go out and buy one of the most hated guns the idiot Left fears, an AR15 EBR (Evil Black Rifle).  I don't "need" one, but I've wanted one for a while and had made up my mind to get one this year "just in case".  Well I put it off for a while looking for a pre-built that I think I want at a decent price (I'm Cheap Frugal) as I don't really know enough about the EBR to know what I want so's I can build one.  This past weekend, I spied the ticket, the DPMS Sportical AR15 from Panther Arms, its a complete flat-top AR with no forward assist and not a sight to be found, a blank slate of an AR to be done with what I wished.  The best part?  $640, sweet!

Anyway, I had MCSports put it on hold for me as I wanted to deal a 1911 away I've been wanting to get rid of.  I took ownership of it today of all days, kind of appropriate no?  Perhaps I'll see if I can save some more before 1/21/09 to buy another (or just some lower recievers) on innaugaration day, just my way of flipping the bird to those that are ignorant and unfortunately in charge as of next year.

Friday, October 31, 2008

This is too good

I just HAD to post this video, it is simply too darned good to not post.

Hat tip to Instapundit (actually one of his readers)

Electrical Engineering FTW is full of awesomeness and win. 

To think that a parent would either send a 9yo child into a neighbor's yard to steal a sign or be upset that he got what was coming to him is utterly and completely disappointing.  First of all, if I were that boy, I wouldn't have told my dad under any circumstances because I'd gotten worse than what that sign gave me and secondly, my dad wouldn't have gone to the neighbor but woulda tanned my hide.

And thus the problem these days is that when children do wrong, they aren't necessarily punished or corrected, rather they are taught to look for someone else to blame.

No apology from the parents for their thief of a son.

And you wonder why I worry...

about Zombies!

It's that time of the year again and as usual out come the Zombies. If only we could deal with them as god and George Romero intended.

So the Zombie Riot was interesting but in the end didn't amount to much. Zombies = 0, Constabulary = 1

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I voted yesterday...

How about you!

So far in my district they have had record numbers voting everyday using early/absentee voting. I stood in line for 2 hours...take your ipod and a book cause the lines are only going to get longer. Whatever you do, get out and vote.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All the cool kids are doing it

So I decided I'd post this Chuck Norris video.

I'm not sure the cameraman survived this video, perhaps someone should send flowers after Chuck threw that last punch, even when he doesn't make contact with you, Chuck is deadly.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Keep my fingers crossed

I'm keeping my fingers crossed because it looks like I might get the opportunity to attend Jeff Gonzales Pistol Operators Course. I put in for the course a month ago and due to staffing problems at work I didn't think I was going to be able to attend. As of this week however the dates opened up so if all goes well I should be in the class next month.

This will be one of the first outside training events we have hosted at our new range and I am very much looking forward to the experience. I meet Jeff Gonzales at Shot Show a couple of years ago and he seems like a great guy. I also had the chance to pick up his book Combative Fundamentals and enjoyed it immensely. I found the book helpful and thought provoking without being overly preachy or boring which sometimes happens in books of the type. I do wish the book had a few more photographs to help show what he is talking about, but overall it was very good. Now I hope to get the chance to improve my skills and get some much needed training.

Many people think that if you are a firearms trainer you get to shoot all the time. That couldn't be further from the truth. Usually you find yourself instructing and teaching so much that you miss out on opportunities to improve your skills. So no matter how good you might think you are it is always a great idea to get out and take some courses from other people. If nothing else you will get some much needed trigger time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Stuff

Sorry I've been away for awhile, but things have been very hectic with me this year. Cowboy Shooting started grand with my being appointed as Vice President of Thunder Valley. In VP Tradition I immediately missed a majority of the matches this year due to work and other commitments. I hope to change that next year and make every match! (I'll settle for most of them)

I found myself working or taking care of my daughter most shoot days and I have only managed to attend less then a handful of shoots for the entire year. I did however get elected as President of a national law enforcement organization and managed to help my department get it's own range after a 10 year fight.

The new range is fantastic. It is a state of the art 12 lane indoor range facility rated for small arms fire up to and including .308 rifle rounds. The backstop and targets were installed by Action Targets and they include 12 turners, 1 runner, and 1 retriever (the retriever comes right at you and/or runs away from you). This range took a lot of work but it's finally done and we are all very happy and excited about it.

Sure there are glitches and bugs with the new building. It's just like moving into a new house. Once in you find out all the stuff that was accidentally left out or forgot so we still have a ton of stuff to do. Along with the new range we finally got approval for our patrol rifles and I'll be attending a patrol rifle instructor course next month. My experience with a patrol rifle is very limited so I'm a little apprehensive about the instructor level course. All in all it's been a very exhausting year and I am looking forward to it winding down so I can start fresh again next year. Hopefully it won't take me as long to post as this time.

PS. It's almost Zombie time again so stock up on the esentials.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New-Old .45s

IMG_0169 by you.Well, with the economy in the dumps, but its not like I haven't been trying.  I've acquired a couple of new irons, one a carry piece, the other a cowboy action revolver that I really don't need, it was just too good a deal, yeah, one of those...

At the last Indy 1500, I picked up an Officers model Rock Island as I noted previously here.  I did a few things to it, I dropped in an STI trigger and cleaned up the area where the spring guide and slide stop reside as it had quite a bit of flashing or remnant metal that was causing the slide stop to pop out under firing (not a desired thing).  I dropped in a new slide stop as a precaution and put on a pair of double-diamond rubber grips from Kimber, something I picked up from reading Xavier's blog (oddly, he recently posted his own compact 1911).  I agree with him in that there really isn't anything comparable in grip and comfort.

So far, I've put over 600 rounds down range with it and aside from the slide stop issue and some horrible ammo I bought at the 1500 (don't buy "factory reloads") it has nary a problem that weren't on me.  Ejection and feed are positive and the gun shoots accurately enough (better than I).  I also am loving the smaller form factor while carrying, it is a very handy pistol that disappears nicely on my side (like a deck chair on the Queen Mary).

The only thing I'm thinking of doing is replacing the sights, the mil-spec sights really don't pick up well under certain circumstances, though I do find them mostly adequate.  The problem is, what do you go with?  Novak makes a rear that fits the rear government dovetail, but I don't think they make a post sight for the front.  A lot of folks rave about the Yost hardball sight, but I don't see it being much better than what's on there.  Trijicon makes night-sights, but getting that front post sight staked without breaking the vile is nigh impossible without Trijicon's $300 tool and that seems a bit steep to me.  I have found the King-Tappan form Kings Gun Works may just be what I'd like to try, it isn't flashy, but does provide visual cues to help a shooter out.  If anyone has a suggestion that won't require milling of dovetails, let me know in the comments pleast.

The second shooting iron I recently acquired is a Ruger Tank Vaquero in .45 Colt and 4 5/8" barrel.  I really didn't need it, but the price and extras the fella was offering were too much for me to pass up.  This gun was manufactured during the first year of Vaquero production in 1993.  That's pretty neat, for me anyway, it certainly was very well taken care of and certainly wasn't used in CAS, that's for sure.  My guns that are less than 7 years old are showing wear from use, but then they are Rugers, so aside from holster wear, you wouldn't know the difference.  I'm very pleased with this gun as it is beautiful for a tank Vaquero and it completes my second set of shorter barreled Vaqueros (I had a 5 1/2" version).  BTW, if anyone out there has another 4 5/8" Vaquero in .45 Colt they would like to trade for a 5 1/2", let me know, I wouldn't mind matching up barrel lengths.

All in all, its been a pretty decent month and I picked up a couple of nice guns for under $1k, guns that I'll USE more importantly.  I don't like having guns that don't have jobs.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Deal

Rep. Mike Pence on the bailout.
"I must tell you, there are those in the public debate who have said that we must act now. The last time I heard that, I was on a used-car lot," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana. "The truth is, every time somebody tells you that you've got to do the deal right now, it usually means they're going to get the better part of the deal."
Pence’s humor aside, all I hear from the guys who want to pass this bailout is that the alternative is unthinkable. Well skippy, if you want $700 Billion to hand out to the very idiots who mis-managed this whole thing down the shitter in the first place, I’d suggest you start convincing me by laying out exactly what the alternative is because I happen to think that handing out $700 Billion to morons IS UNTHINKABLE!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wild Bunch Rig

Last month I shot my first Wild Bunch match at Pleasant Valley. I had a great time and a lot of fun. I wasn't very happy with my set up so I decided to come up with something different.

I stated with the notion that a boarder town gunfighter who opted for the new wiz bang auto loader wouldn't settle for a military flap holster. So I decided to improvise just like that gunfighter and cut off the flap.

I purchased an army surplus flap holster for next to nothing ($18) along with a leather knife case ($3). I cut the flap off of both the holster and the case. I then used some leather thread and stitched the top of the holster back together and fitted the knife case to the magazine by getting the case wet and letting it dry with a magazine wrapped in plastic inside the knife case. I then cut the back of the holster and knife case open enough to except an old 3" western cartridge belt I had lying around. The rig looks western enough and the holster presents very well allowing you to get your master grip on the gun well in advance of the draw stroke. Of course now I just have to get a chance to use it. Oh, and don't pay any attention to the 1911. It's not Wild Bunch legal, but it was all I had for the picture.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Newb 101

It's important to know when you're dealing with a new shooter. I got a snort out of a post on a local gun board today when the new shooter had this to say about a handgun he tried out.

"I didn't really like the grips but everything else felt great on it."

I'm trying to restrain the sarcasm, this is a new shooter, but you HAVE to know that a proper and comfortable grip is paramount to shooting well. You need a good grip, trigger and sights, everything else is gravy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Toy Show

The Indy 1500 Gun & Knife show is going on this weekend so I went toy shopping and came back with a new one. It's nice to go in with a lot of options for what you'd like to have. I wanted a large bore wheelgun for carry, an officers model 1911 in .45ACP, I'm always looking for a snubbie .357 it seems (stainless) and I could have been convinced to purchase an AR15. This was just the guns that I wanted, let alone reloading and accessories...

I came back with a RIA officer's model. I had seen one in a pawn shop about a year ago and thought about getting it to play around with, just to know more about them and to see if the smaller version could be made into a carry piece for me and my ginormous hands. Turns out after handling this one at the Gun Show, I have to admit that it is a handy little piece that fits my hands remarkably well. Why this RIA over a whiz-bang Kimber Ultra Carry or Pro Carry or Colt Agent? I didn't want to spend $800-$1,000 to satisfy my curiosity. Besides, my short list for a 1911 includes reliability and accuracy, both of these have been achieved on the RIA's that I've handled. This particular model sports a commander hammer and beavertail grip safety, so it is essentially carry ready with the only upgrade I might consider (besides grips) is a set of sights and I'm not convinced yet on those.

Anyway, I'll post pics when I can and get out to the range for testing soon.

(pst, yes I know the image above is flipped, blame Armscor)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Have A Shot

Not lead shot, rather a shot of Bourbon. I don't pretend to be a person of refined taste, but I do know what tastes good and being as how one of our fellow shooters works for Brown-Forman, we occasionally get to sample some of the finest spirits available. One such spirit is my current favorite bourbon, Old Forester Signature 100 proof. While Jack and Jim are fine for mixing, they don't really sit well with me as a "sipping" whiskey. Old Forester Signature has a beautiful amber color and a spicy taste with a subtle backdrop of fruit (I told ya, I ain't refined!).

The really great thing about OFS is that it won't bust your wallet. At about $18 a bottle, you can't get a better Bourbon, the only problem you'll have is finding it if you aren't from the Kentuckiana area. I live just close enough that our large liquor store carries it.

Also, I realize the good folks making this Bourbon can't proclaim its medicinal qualities, I have no such restriction. I was having what I now think was some mild food poisoning and felt really bad, so I took a couple of glasses of OFS before going to bed and woke up the next day as good as new! So there you go, Bourbon, is there anything it can't do?

On Caliber & Myths

I wouldn't be a gun blogger if I didn't weigh in on the fairly recent gun blogosphere ramblings on caliber snobbery and some outright 1911 mis-information.

First of all, Syd at Front Sight, Press has an anecdote of a .380ACP not penetrating a skull. This compells him to proclaim his unconfidence of the .380 as a man stopper. First of all, yes, the .380 is an anemic caliber compared to the mighty .45ACP, but does it make it unworthy? I say no and here is why. I carry a 9x18 Makarov in my front pocket a lot, now the 9x18 round is an over glorified .380ACP, why would I carry such a loathesome caliber over say a .45ACP or .357Magnum? Simple, because it fits me best.

The Makarov pistol is a compact semi-auto that is absolutely reliable, fits my hand(!) and carries 8+1 and another 8 on my hip in full view because it looks like a Leatherman. It is quite litterally, the only gun I can get into a pocket, fits my hand, is reliable and in a reasonable caliber (it ain't a .32 for Pete's sake).

Why not a J-Frame .357 or similar? Believe me, I'd LOVE to have one of those little fireballs, but I have a hell of a time wrapping my huge paws around one of those little suckers. I've fired Judge's 640 in full anger and the gun tries to rotate in my hand so much I can't be confident of reliably hanging on to it during a stressful moment. The Makarov fits me and I'll have it on me when I can't or don't want to carry the K-Frame .357 or a Government .45ACP (my other carry pieces).

About that 1911. Some knuckleheads has it in their head that 1911 are tempermental, malfunctioning POS's that require many $$$ of gunsmithing to make right before you can carry them. BULL! I have three and have handled many more and they all work great. I have a Colt Mark IV that i've not done anything to the feed mechanism, a Kimber that is likewise unaltered and a Rock Island that is lock stock. They run, period.

The ONLY issue with them is that you HAVE to have a good magazine for them. This isn't such a problem with most semis because there aren't that many magazine choices, you get the factory mags and Pro-Mag and that's about it. The 1911 however, WOW does it have magazine choices, every Tom, Dick & Harry makes one and it is usually an "improvement" over everything before it. Rest assured, if your Blastomatic 2000 (thanks Tam) had 2,000 different mag manufacturers and 500 different frame manufacturers and examples that are nearing 100 years old, you'd have issues with mags.

So, if you don't have a 1911, what are you doing here? Go! Go now and buy one! Also, don't let some interweb jockey shame you out of carrying that fart gun, they have a purpose so get your mousegun freak on!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Hero of Canton

As much as I detest these things sometimes, Firefly (Serenity) is one of my favorites and I can't figure out whether I'm please to be a "Jayne" or not. I suppose since he is my favorite character, I'll say I'm pleased. Just watch your back Malcolm Reynolds!

PS, I think a rousing rendition of the Jayne song is in order

You are Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)

Although you can be a good fighter
and good at protecting others
you are not very bright sometimes.

Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Inara Serra (Companion)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
River (Stowaway)

Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wild Bunch Fun

Saturday I made it down to Pleasant Valley for the first time this year. I won't try and explain the crazy schedule I've had this year, lets just say it's the 3rd time I have managed to shoot Cowboy in '08 so it was good to get down to my "other" club.

Pleasant Valley has a "Wild Bunch" category started by Jose and this was the first chance I had to shoot the category. I borrowed Jose's Rock Island Mil-Spec and his 97 and shot my Marlin for the match. I had a tanker's shoulder holster for the 1911 and I kept the magazines in my pocket. Not the best set up by a long shot, but I was only there to have fun.

Speaking of fun I really enjoyed the category. I got to shoot fast and except for one stage when I failed to lock out my elbow I was perfect with the pistol. I also had a little malfunction on the first stage and it's nice to see that all of those malfunctions drills I've worked so hard on over the years just run on their own without me having to think about it.

I wouldn't shoot the category on a regular basis because it would interfere a little with the way I do things int he real world, but a couple of times a year would be a blast. I would like to be able to fully load the 97 off the clock and see how the category compares to the other fast categories. I think it's hard to convince people that reloading is always slower then switching guns, they don't call it a "New York Reload" for nothing!

If you are looking for some 1911 shooting with your cowboy come on down to Pleasant Valley, you can even bunk in the clubhouse and shoot the whole weekend. Tell 'em Judge sent you.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm Not Surprised

Syd at Front Sight Press asks if anyone is surprised that The Chicago Tribune has come out in support of Mob Boss Mayor Daley's stance on Heller being wrong, however, they don't think the city (not my the city, thankfully) should fight the ruling insisting that you can't fight a SCOTA rulling. Gee, you think? The paper would rather Chicago take the same tact that DC is taking in making it very cumbersome to register and firearm and impose ridiculous restrictions upon them in the home.

It's nice to know that d-bags like Daley and his cohorts in Chi-town will gladly c-block your constitutional rights when they see fit. Hey! They know what's best for us right? We the unwashed masses shouldn't be thinking of such lofty plans as being able to defend ourselves against criminals that the nanny state classifies as "victims" and sends them on their merry way as long as they stay away from their gated communities.

Remember, this is the same political womb of arrogance, corruption and greed that the Obamassiah was birthed from.

Aggrigate This

There's a new gun blog aggrigator at

So you can get your roundup of, well roundups. Whoa!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Damn Right Skippy!

Every once in a while one of your congress critters does something to make you believe they might actually have your best interest at heart. Indiana Rep. Mark Souder has a well-written letter to the WaPo editor in which he reminds the WaPo and everyone else that DC is subject to the constitution and the rulings of the Supreme Court the same as the 50 states are. It amazes me that anyone would conceivably argue that DC isn't subject to such, those same people are probably the same dimwits that are trying to give enemy combatants civil rights under our constitution. Why wouldn't they want citizens of the US of freakin' A to have them?!?!

Anyway, way to go Mark!

PS Rep Souder has entroduced a bill to end DC's resistance to the Heller ruling.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Ok, Jose is going to take me to task for this one, but damn it I don't care. It's got nothing to do with cowboy and its not relevant to guns, but if you are a fan of...well anything good, then you are going to love this.

Joss Whedon continues to prove that you don't have to do what everybody tells you to do. Just do what you do the best you know how. Oh ya it doesn't hurt that it's got Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion in it.

Check it out at one of my favorite blogs Blowing Smoke.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Got A Receipt For That?

There's no corruption like Louisiana corruption, apparently. This story from Louisiana Sportsman Magazine charges that some NOPD cops are still taking guns from lawful citizens, this time though, during traffic stops. They apparently ask the citizen if they have proof of ownership and when the citizen indicates they don't, the cop takes the gun and doesn't issue a receipt for it. There's a word for that, unless I'm mistaken, they call it stealing. I really try to keep the side of the officer in mind on many such stories as the press is usually biased against the Police more often than not and I have good friends that are cops, but damn! This just pisses me off when someone uses their position of authority to steal from people.

I wonder what happens if after having a gun stolen someone were to call 911 and report an armed robbery by someone impersonating a NOPD officer? Do we ever hear from that person again?

Hat Tip to Dave Hardy

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What Next?

If you're like me (and why wouldn't you be?), you're always wanting a new gun(s). What I want continually rotates as I see new toys and the latest greatest ubergun. I, thankfully, don't get too caught up with fads or hype on new guns, the latest Blast-o-matic 2000 doesn't hold much interest usually. No I get an itch that needs scratched usually because I have a need for a particular task or I get curious about a gun and wonder if it is better or why a lot of others think its so great.

Curiosity has lately led me to crave a Ruger double-action revolver. You see, I love my Ruger single-actions and to date I've only craved S&W doubles, but the lure of a SP101 or GP100 is that I'd like to compare them with the S&W line and have first-hand knowledge of them rather than simply snub them on faith. I'm sure they are serviceable firearms and sure, they're ugly as dammit, but are they capable of performing as well as a S&W? Does the trigger smooth out as well? How's that sight picture? Do they carry well?

So I put them on the list of guns I desire, not at the top mind you, but if a deal is found, I may just part with my hard earned dollars.

FWIW, here's my list as of this morning, in no particular order (yes, it changes that much):

Ruger double-action (.357)
AR-15 (a receiver will do)
Old model Ruger Vaquero (.357; 4 5/8 barrel; stainless; X2)
Old model Bisely Vaquero (anything but .44; X2)
Remington 1100 tatical (or some adequate house 12 guage)
1911 in Commander configuration

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sombrero Girl

This is just about as cute as you'll ever want to see. Judge's little darlin' took a liking to my sombrero even though I'd just worn it on a 93º day (yuck! said momma). I had to post this picture as it was just too darned cuddly and if you are privileged enough like me to know this young lady, count yourself blessed.

I think you need to get her a proper fitting hat there Judge (or Dina) and get her down to the range so's she can see where her daddy and Uncle José go on Saturday and have as much fun as we do!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New Blog/Shooter

A new blogger/shooter, Pretty Pistolera has posted video of herself in practice for IDPA. Including advice she's received from her fellow shooters. I'm no range instructor, but I'd add that she should practice jam clearing the proper way every time, tap-rack-bang and not just pull the slide back because you know its a dummy round, it won't ever by that easy in competition or a gunfight.

I'm sure Judge will have much more advice, it'll even be useful.

BTW, keep sticking that butt out, that's fine form right there.

PS Welcome to the blogger/shooter world. If only more wives were interested in shooting...

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th Of July

Happy b-day America, or what's left of it. I spent most of the day reloading ammo and I got a lot of it done, I would have done more if MCSports weren't closed and I coulda got more Clays. Reloading seemed fitting on the 4th for some reason.

A huge pizza for dinner at Mother Bears and a cigar (Carlos Torano 1916) with my pard Judge topped off a pretty good day.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Best Line of Range Week

This has to be the best line I heard all week at range. During lunch one the the instructors from another department was doing a little in-service training with one of their officers. He was teaching one-hand malfunction drills and in response to the confused look the student gave him regarding how to reload the pistol with one hand he said:

"Wouldn't it be great if someone would invent something you could put your gun in when you didn't want to hold it."

I almost choked on my root beer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Review: Sig Sauer 556 SWAT

Tactical Rifles and Carbines aren't really my cup of tea. It's not that I don't enjoy shooting them, it's just that I don't have much opportunity. So keep in mind that I have a lot less experience to base this review on then the others.

I've been hearing a lot about the Sig 556 online so when I had an opportunity to shoot the gun I was pretty excited. My tactical rifle experience is limited to a little AK-47, a little Colt M4 SBR, and a little H&K MP-5. This was quite different.

First off the gun is heavy compared to the others. You can read all about the technical specs here. This one was designed with SWAT operations involved and for that purpose I think it's to big. They have added an integral light/foregrip that most of the guys hated. I hadn't had as much experience with other types of foregrips so I actually thought it was pretty comfortable.

I think comfortable is the best way to describe the gun. I found that it shot very well, was easy to operate, and was extremely controllable. I could see myself becoming very, very fond of this sucker.

The major problem with the gun, and one that is easily fixed is the sights. The gun was obviously designed to utilize optics and I'll almost bet you that Hans decided in the last second to slap some fixed sights on the gun...just in case. The fixed sights flip up into position and have to be the most useless sights I've seen on a gun. Do yourself a favor and don't even bother with the fixed sights.

So I liked the gun and could find myself falling in love with it over time. It's big and heavy, but I handle that well and with a little set up I know I could have a blast with this thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Heller Win

Well the gun grabbers must be writhing in their own filth about now as the SCOTUS has rendered the verdict on Heller v DC. I won't bother to try and cover what so many others have already done, I will link to Dave Hardy's Of Arms & the Law for you to peruse. He does an nice job of commenting first hand on legal gun stuff.

This doesn't go as far as I'd like, but its a win and that's a good thing.

Review: Sig Sauer GSR 1911

Along with the Sig P250 I had the opportunity to shoot the Sig Sauer GSR 1911. In my last post I talked highly of the P250 and Sig Sauer in general. While I am still a big fan of their products I was highly disappointed with this gun.

When Sig made the announcement regarding the GSR 1911 I was very excited. Sig quality in a 1911 package with all of the tactical bells and whistles. I almost went out and bought one sight unseen. Boy am I glad I didn't make that mistake.

Sig got into the 1911 business about the same time as Smith and Wesson. The market was there, the line was available and popular. It just seemed like the perfect fit. Sig currently has a number of 1911 models, but the GSR was the first.

The GSR is a full size 1911 with a 5" barrel and an integral rail system. It is a very pretty gun with all of the tactical accessories required in today's market. So why didn't I like it? First of all the trigger.

This isn't a true custom shop gun, but it's supposed to as close as you can get from the real thing. With that said I would expect a solid trigger, but this one had to be one of the worst I have felt on a 1911 pistol. Just prior to breaking it had a significant catch that ruined the entire trigger pull. Even a novice shooter could feel the sand in this trigger. The other problem was the speed bump.

A speed bump is the protrusion at the base of the beaver tail grip safety and it's designed to give a physical reminder to the shooter of proper grip. I have fired several guns with a speed bump and you usually don't even know they exist. The moment I started doing speed drills and double taps the speed bump started digging into the palm of my hand so forcefully that it left a significant mark for several minutes after shooting. It actually hurt to shoot the gun.
Needless to say I can't recommend the GSR 1911 based on my experience. It may be that the model I fired had some issues that are not found on other examples, but then I'm just being nice. I wont be standing in line for this one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Done Blowed Up

Last week faithful readers will know that I was sequestered a la Dick Cheney in an undisclosed (Las Vegas) location. I missed PVR's anniversary shoot, but managed to make it to the TVR shoot last Saturday that was a much needed diversion from visiting vendors and learning more about the stuff I need to know for work. It is so darned nice not to have a working phone, e-mail or salemen in your face.

The stages were for the most part, lightning fast and Clyde demonstrated that by setting a TVR record of 98 seconds and change for a match. That's a little over 16 seconds per stage! He shot clean and fast and probably wishes he'd done that at EOT.

Myself, I shot well with two misses and Copper and I were pretty much neck and neck the whole day, but I know with the two misses and him being clean, he had me. That was until the last stage of the day when he "Done Blowed Up" and managed to pull out three misses on the biggest targets we'd seen that day. I didn't watch it, but it must have been something to see.

Even shooting well, I didn't make the top ten (11th), you see, there have been some mighty fine shootists that have made a lot of hay at TVR and it certainly makes you work hard for everything you get there. Case in point, I finished second in Gunfighter behind the speed Zwing Hunt and ahead of a usually faster Manatee. I don't usually best Manatee, so I'm happy with that and Zwing is currently in another zip code than I am speed wise, so it would be unrealistic to expect to best him.

TVR's own Dick Cheney (Judge) wasn't able to attend his first shoot as VP as there was a death in the family. It certainly makes you appreciate every chance you get to have the kind of fun we have at the range and I'm hopeful that Judge can make the July shoot to be properly instated as our VP.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Review: Sig Sauer P250

Last week at range I had an opportunity to shoot a number of new weapons. I thought I would take a minute give you all a brief rundown on the good, bad, and ugly. I'm going to start with the Sig Sauer P250.

I am a big fan of Sig Sauer. The Sig Sauer P226 9mm was my first duty gun and I've loved the pistols ever since. When I picked up the compact P250 I wasn't disappointed.

This is a double action only pistol designed to be modular. The serial numbered part can be interchanged with different grips and barrel lengths making for a versatile military or police weapon. One that can be adjusted for different shooters. It is perfect for mass issued sidearms like you have in both organizations. It's Sig's answer to the S&W M&P series.

I'm not a big fan of double action only pistols and when I first pulled the trigger I was not very happy with the length of trigger pull. I was however shocked with just how smooth it was. I felt little or no stacking and the pull was consistent from beginning to end. The gun shot fantastic and at 10 yards I was able to put a full magazine of 16 rounds into a 1.5 inch group.

Follow-up shots weren't as fast as I would like, but that's about right with a DAO pistol. In the end I found the balance and shootability to be outstanding. This is a grade A gun with the only downside being in it's DAO configuration. If you like DAO pistols then I would highly recommend the P250.

For more information you can go here.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I spent this week at the Academy teaching cadets how to shoot. I've done this before, and every year I do it I find new and interesting things. Well, mostly interesting, often frustrating, and sometimes down right discouraging. This year really seemed to try the patience of all of the instructors. I could spend pages and pages going over all of the lapses of concentration, stupidity, safety violations and inattention, but that's not what this post is about.

In the end we managed to qualify 22 out of the 24 students and by Friday their skills had really improved. We all got a lot of thanks from the cadets and it got me thinking about who taught me how to shoot.

I started shooting when I was about 9 or 10. My dad took me out and I started to shoot pistols with him. I went to the police academy and learned more, but none of those people really taught me how to shoot. Sure they showed my the basics, and gave me a few pointers. I went on to read books, watch videos, and even take classes from a variety of instructors, but I never "really" learned how to shoot until I went to Firearms Instructors School. I had the great fortune of being in a lane all by myself on the end of the line with my instructor Jim Baugh.

In 5 days I learned more about shooting then I had in 30 years. He changed my grip, my stance, and they way I looked at the target. In the end I walked away with about 50 years of shooting experience, and to this day most of what I teach the new kids is exactly what Jim taught me. Unfortunately, Jim died in the line of duty of couple of years ago. So I started this post to say thanks Jim for everything you taught me and I hope it makes you smile to realize that I'm taking all that knowledge you passed on to me and sending it down the line.

For the few of you that happen to read this blog take a minute to say thanks of your own to the person who taught you how to shoot, and when you get a chance, pass it on.

Friday, June 13, 2008

National Park Carry

This CNN article is a fair piece on the movement to bring state conceal carry laws into national parks, but the reporter blows most of his credibility in the first two sentences.
I'm at the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Virginia, the biggest gun store in northern Virginia. I'm looking at a holster on the hip of Arsenal's John Summer in which a black .22-caliber Glock pistol sits snugly.
Now I really don't want to bust this guy's balls too much as he's written a piece that isn't anti-gun and that's encouraging. But I sure wish they'd learn to tell the difference between model number and caliber. The law proposed is a good one as it essentially restores our right in Federally run property, so long as the encompassing state allows it.

In other news, I'm in Las Vegas and I'm gonna miss the PVR annual shoot, work sucks.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

CNC Gunsmithing is taking do-it-yourself to a new level. It amazes me what can be done with a CNC machine, modeling program and gumption, I guess this is legal as long as he doesn't sell any of the firearms he makes. It sure makes anything I've done look like a sand castle next to Windsor.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

That's Hedley!

Harvey Korman passed away today, we was one of the best. He was in the funniest movie of all times and easily a top 10 in my book, Blazing Saddles. He also made the Carol Burnett show with an awesome chemistry with Tim Conway.

Now Go Do That Voodoo That You Do So Well!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Buy A Car, Get A Gun

Sounds good to me.

A Missouri car dealer is giving away a free gun coupon or $250 in gas, most people have gone for the gun. Given the price of gas, you may need the former to acquire the latter soon.

Hat Tip to Dave Hardy

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Missed It By That Much

3 seconds actually.

Last weekend's TVR match was fun, real fun. We had a beautiful day, a lightning fast posse and big targets. BTW, I am heretofore referring to the posse's I run as "Easy Posse", since we're the best, period. Copper beat me, again, but I managed to give it what-for and tied him on rank points, but he edged me by 3 seconds on overall time.

I shot what, for me, was my fastest stage as a gunfighter at 18.79 seconds. I'm proud. I also kept all the raw times under 30, which is good for me at least. Now if I can settle down those pistols and hit the targets, but its too much fun to let 'em rip as a gunfighter. I need my own Yoda... and my own range... sigh...

Front sight press you must, hits shall you have.

Life At The VPC

Holy crap, what are those things?I just found the VPC via Dave Hardy's Of Arms & the Law. He points to a post on the VPC that refers to him being characterized in the movie Runaway Jury. I like parody, especially when pointed at the dirty, smelly hippies and the VPC is a pretty decent parody of the anti-gunners. I especially like the post on French armor-piercing rounds, double-ban, HA!

"Like A Whorehouse At Low Tide"

Karl at Protein Wisdom has more on Chicago Alderman Dick Mell who proposed a law for an amnesty period for folks who forgot to re-register their guns during the same period that he forgot to re-register. Just a coincidence I'm sure. Turns out Illinois Gov Blagojevich is his son-in-law and they had a tiff a while back that brought the attention of the US AG and the rest, as Karl points out, is Rezko

If you're within five hours of Chicago, this doesn't surprise you in the least. Just remember, the Obamassiah cut his political teeth with these pirahna.

Friday, May 09, 2008


One of the interesting things that happened over the past weekend at the KY State SASS shoot, was the surreal experience of being in the local restaurant in the town where the range is located and seeing a national news story about SASS. Picture it, you're having dinner dressed in your SASS get-up with about 10 others and lo but there is some other folks just like you on the TV. It was neat, weird, funny, odd and just plain surreal.

You can watch the video here.

Its a nice story about the sport we love too!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The PVR Wild Bunch

This weekend I finally get to shoot a Wild Bunch match at Pleasant Valley. I originally proposed doing this last year and kind of let it sit on the back burner since I didn't know if there would be enough interest. Nomore Slim contacted me a couple of weeks ago about it and after some discussions about rules, we're a go for this weekend. I know that Nomore, Randy Atcher and myself will be shooting WB this weekend, the question is who else?

If you are interested, come join us. All you need really is a steel 1911 in .45 and a couple of magazines along with you SASS legal match rifle and shotgun. It was decided that the shotgun could be any match shotgun to encourage participation. The shotgun will be loaded on the clock, so as to quell any competitive advantage problems with the other categories. The pistol will be shot in place of the normal two revolvers with 5 rounds loaded in each magazine. There will be special rules for handling of the 1911 with regards to when it is empty, movement and how to show clear.

I'm really looking forward to this as it is a new challenge and I hope it is well received by the other shooters. Come and join us for the first ever PVR Wild Bunch Main Match!

P.S. I posted the rest of the videos on Vimeo. Much better quality, go see them all here.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Flush With Pork

DSC00197.JPGThe Hooten Holler Roundup 08 is behind us and I for one had a great time. Sure, I shot like I hadn't seen a steel target before, but the camaraderie, food & spirits were certainly well worth the trip. I for one got my fill and then some of the hospitality of Kentucky and that along with the shooting let me relax and recharge the batteries if you will. Its better than any therapist could ever hope to be.

I've uploaded almost a hundred photos that Copper, Judge and I took over the two days of shooting, sadly we didn't think to have it along on our off range activities. From the pictures, you'll notice how much happier folks look on Sunday than they did on Saturday, what a difference the weather makes! Yes, once again, we had a day of rain and then a gorgeous day to shoot. The posse was one of the very best ever, I spent only about half the time running the timer and had some time to take pictures and actually talk to people. That's oh so nice to be able to do.

I was also able to take some video of a few of us shooting and it turned out nicely, I'll post it up soon.

Videos have been put up on

I got frustrated with the quality of YouTube, so I put this one up on Vimeo, much better quality.

Cowboy Action Shooting: Jose @ Hooten 08 from Jose Gigante on Vimeo.

Monday, April 21, 2008

TVR Semi-Annual Pitch-in

Oh yeah, there was a shoot too.

Twice a year (April & November) we're privileged at Thunder Valley to have our brethren from Illinois come join us for a day (or two) of shooting, eating and camping. I'm not exactly sure how it all started, but I'm pretty certain Ellie May (the real range owner) is the main culprit. She is pretty active on the CAS forums conversing with like minded shooters and regaling of stories and managed to arrange for a group of shooters to travel to Indiana and hang out with us Hoosiers.

The whole affair seems to get bigger every year, though the weather kept attendence down this year, we still had 42 shooters and I had the pleasure of shepherding 6 new or second time shooters through the match. Its a challenge to do it, but I find it fun to get people's feet wet and try my darnedest to make sure they have a good time. I think by the smiles I saw, they did (really, its hard not to have fun). This year, and years forth, the April match will honor those shooters who we have posse'd with and have passed before us, we even had a 21 gun salute in their honor.

How'd things go? Well lets just say that while I may not shoot worth a darn, I can eat like a son-of-a-gun. With all the wonderful food from everyone and some spirits concocted by the Illinois bunch, I was extremely content and warm. There's nothing quite like sitting around a fire, drinking and eating and sharing company with some of the finest people on the planet.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

You Damn Dirty Ape!

I've been pondering what to write about Charlton Heston's passing. I can't really speak to the man's worth past what I saw on TV and on the Big screen and what he said in the press. One thing is for sure, he was a very passionate man who was strong in his convictions and not afraid to rub those around him the wrong way just because he was an enigma in a land of weirdos and freaks. In short, he shared my love of guns and hatred of Apes and I presume Monkeys, no other like him will pass this way, so go peaceful Mr. Heston, to that grand land with plenty of guns and no Apes.

Dave Hardy of Of Arms & the Law has a roundup.

David Gianatasio of Adfreak says it best.
Early in Apes, Taylor says: “I can’t help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be.” Here’s hoping Chuck finds just that.

What Do We Have Here?

m13-001If you answered a S&W M13-3 in 3", you'd win a cigar!

I'm the new happy owner of a gun that is increasingly hard to find at anywhere approaching a decent price and I got it for what I think is a very fair price. As most of the good gun deals you'll have in your life, this one I absolutely fell upon while I was looking into information for a C&R license (what's that? I'll save it for another post). Allan's Armory in FL had some C&R rifles and a section for modern firearms where he had this example of the FBI's former sidearm uIMG_0232p for a reasonable price. I called and spoke with Allan and had him ship it to me after we exchanged payment info. Five days later I had it in my grubby paws and last weekend I took it to the range for a run-through.

So off I went with 150 rounds of ammo and my M19-3 for comparative purposes, you can see my attempts met with mixed results. The fixed sights on the M13 doesn't really affect the accuracy too much, the gun shot a bit low, but I liked the sight picture since I see it when I'm cowboy shooting and I think that with some smoothing of the double-action, the gun will be a real winner. As for the double action, it is fine up to the point just before release, there's a pronounced catch in the action, so much so I think it was purposely added to the gun, why? who knows, but it's gotta go.

I have had plans to have my M19 sent off to a good wheelgun smith like Grant Cunningham, but he's not soliciting work and so I've been considering the S&W Performance Center. This M13 does beg to be sent off for their Combat Revolver Package though... Its good to have choices :)

Survivalism Hits Mainstream

So says the NYT Intapundit is all over it with several links discussing survivalism, including Say Uncle's, who as Glenn notices "neglects the zombie angle, somewhat diminishing his credibility." I'm not much for this sort of thing, I'm posting this for Judge since he's off in Hell Porter County Indiana teaching a class this week. I suppose my take on this is pretty unrealistic and simple (and easy) have a good rifle/shotgun/pistol with lots of ammo, thereby you can acquire all the other stuff you need to survive, like CHEEZE-ITs and Beer.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Math Lesson For Hoosier Media


OK, I don't know if the populous is really this dumb or there is some conspiracy with the against the math-challenged Hoosiers, but I'm sick and tired of hearing in the media how the raise in the Indiana sales tax from $.06 to $.07 is a one percent increase. While it is an additional one percent, the INCREASE is actually 16.7%, because you see, 1 divided by 6 is .166666666....

So, anytime you hear the talking heads or read in the paper how it is a one percent increase, you can get just as pop-a-vein angry as me.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I'll Have That With Extra Lead

This is one of the best lines I've read in a while. Instapundit links to this story about Pizza Hut (ugh) coming under fire for suspending a delivery driver in Iowa for defending himself with a handgun against a robbery attempt. Insty's comment on Pizza Hut's HR VP is classic.
Uh huh. Good thing he didn't listen or he might be being carried by six instead of subjected to mealy-mouthed HR flackery from one.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


It looks like we did something right after all this weekend at TVR. As I said our posse ended up with a large group from Southern Illinois that was new to the range. Things started out rough as Jose and I like to run a quick and smooth posse and most of our regulars weren't with us. We had to do a little pushing and prodding to get all of the jobs filled and then we turned around and DQ'd 2 shooters in the first stage. Things settled down after that and by lunch we had a pretty smooth posse running. I didn't think the Illinois group would be very happy with us, guess I was wrong. We got this from Rebel;

Hey Guys: Just wanted you to know that we really made a great impression on the folks from illinois, and the new shooters that were at TVR Saturday. I not only recieved verbal compliments from them Saturday, several sent an email to Thank us for the hospitality....They were very impresssed with the instruction and coaching that the RO's provided.
So I'm happy we managed to teach, coach, and run a safe and friendly match that everyone enjoyed.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knocking the Rust

Yesterday was the first match of the year at TVR and it reminded me of 2 things. CAS is fun, and you'll never get better without practice.

Jose picked me up at 7:30 and the new guncarts only took about 2 minutes to load up. So we were on the road earlier then usual and I was looking forward to spending a little extra time at Mikey D's drinking coffee. Unfortunately Jose forgot one of the things you just can't compete without...his hat, so we had to drive all the way back to his place to pick up the size 8 monstrosity. We still managed to wolf down some breakfast and make it in plenty of time to the range.

I picked up my '87 from Vaquero and was very happy with the work. The action was much smoother then before and the drop 2 looked to be well done. The new guncarts made the big hill much easier to navigate and after the safety briefing we found ourselves with a very full posse of guests from Illinois and a great day of shooting in front of us.

The stages had a lot of movement and some of the older shooters struggled with moving and shooting. We had to DQ 2 right off the bat for moving with the shotgun actions closed. After everyone settled down the day went pretty smooth. I was frustrated for shooting everything in the low 30's when I had finished last year shooting everything in the mid to high 20's but 4 months and a new shotgun will do that to you. The drop 2 in the '87 works well, but you can't baby it and I found myself struggling because it was so different then last year. With practice I know it will work just fine, which means by November I should be back in form.

The big surprise of the day was Copper. He proves yet again the practice is the key. He's been working hard on his transitions and his shotgun. He managed to finish 5th overall and first in his category which is the best he has ever done. He also beat Jose and I both for the first time. He was better then last year and his shotgun work was awe inspiring. He's getting no breaks from me this year because he's finally gotten better then me. I guess I'll have to start practicing...nah.

Friday, March 28, 2008

3:10 to Yuma, pulling into the station!

I think the best thing about remakes is that they usually spark interest in the originals which help bring them to DVD. 3:10 to Yuma staring Glen Ford and Van Heflin has finally made it into your local Chinese Communist PX. Pick it up, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dina Might Recipes

Ok, so Dina Might is on a health kick right now (don't worry it wont last) and she's coming up with new recipes on a regular basis. Some of them are OK and others are down right awful. but I gotta admit that she ran across one of the best little recipes I've had in a long time; Green Chicken Chili.

This thing is loaded with flavor, a little spicy, a little sweet and it's actually good for you if you don't lick the whole pot clean.

1 medium onion, chopped
1.5 cups of cooked chopped chicken meat
2 cans of chopped green chilies
3.25 cups of Salsa Verde (It's the green stuff)
2 cans of pinto beans
3 cups of water
1 tbsp chili powder
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
.5 tsp black pepper

Saute onion and chicken with seasonings until onion is tender. Add beans, chilies, Salsa and water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

You can garnish with sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips.

For variety swap a can of pinto beans for black beans. You could also add corn or black eyed peas.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On Like Donkey Kong!

Maybe not, well, there'll be barrels anyway. TVR is finally holding a match this weekend after the Indiana Spring weather lifted enough to allow the range to dry out enough for us to shoot. This Spring has seen more adverse weather than we're used to around these parts, I blame Tam! Since she's moved to Indiana, the weather turned to crap.

I am SO ready to go and want to get all the rust knocked off. It'll be horrible, but oh so much fun to see everyone again and dispose of lead in the most proper fashion, the way God intended.

Who's with me? Copper? Judge? Anyone?

Friday, March 21, 2008

ATF Accessory Fun

Via Instapundit, the ATF solicited a bid last year for a Leatherman Micro "Engraved with: ATF-Asset Forfeiture AND "always think forfeiture"". Nice. I guess somehow agents might forget that their job is really to find any means necessary to close down FFLs and confiscate guns and accessories.

More thuggery here. National guardsman convicted of a felony because of a malfunction on an AR15? Give him an opportunity to get the gun fixed? Na... String him up! One thing I wonder is how ATF got ahold of this one? There must have been one real jerk on the firing line that day.

I guess on the bright side, CNN is airing a pro-gun piece, I never thought I'd see that in my lifetime. Maybe Lou Dobbs would like to come cowboy shooting?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Heller Quote

I wouldn't be a gun blogger if I didn't mention the Heller vs DC extravaganza that's playing out right now. One of the things that I've wondered is who is Heller, well Kim du Toit has the quote that answers all that.

At that point, a reporter interjected: “The Mayor (DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty) says the handgun ban and his initiatives have significantly lowered violent crime in the District. How do you answer that, Mr. Heller?”

The initial answer certainly wasn’t expected – Dick Heller laughed. Ruefully.

Pointing at the Mayor who was making his way across the plaza,surrounded by at least six DC police officers, Heller said, “The Mayor doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t walk on the street like an average citizen. Look at him; he travels with an army of police officers as bodyguards—to keep him safe. But he says that I don’t have the right to be a force of one to protect myself. Does he look like he thinks the streets are safe?”

There was no follow-up question.
Who is Heller? One of us good guys.