Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I'll Take...The Glass is Half-Full!

Lemme catch my breath a little here...so Taurus is rolling out a .380 revolver, the Taurus Mini Revolver...before you (or I) say anything, I've like to point out that the little I-framed...to use S&W frame terminology on the pre-J-frame technology...9mm Taurus revolver was one fiercely accurate little blaster. Guys I respect told me about wicked small groups with the 9mm Taurus...so hey, who knows?

I actually handled a proto of the Taurus View, as per the Truth About Guns snark, months ago. Forget the Lexan side panels. I'd have fully transparent plastic semitautos...okay, maybe a fetching bright green...if I could. The interesting thing about the Taurus View is the minimalist grip frame, 1-inch barrel, and 9-ounce weight. Nine ounces!!! That's an ounce less than an S&W .22 317 Airweight...down in mini .380 territory. I wasn't able to shoot the little gun, but I was surprised that it sat pretty comfortably in my hand. Heavy bullet +P might be...challenging.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Doe, a Deer...

Yesterday we were talking to friends and when questioned about wildlife we mentioned that in the fall we see bachelor mule deer, but never a herd. As if on cue, a small mulie herd dropped onto our patio this morning to pick through what's left of my Sweetie's flower garden. Alf the Wonder Beagle, being of course a free-range beagle, went ballistic...I believe visions of venison danced in her head. Apparently the deer didn't see Alf as an apex predator, so they nibbled a bit and wandered on.

A note on pocket pistols...there's always a place for pocket pistols (in the pocket...LOL!). Yesterday, for example, we had bunches of errands, but no public time. The LCP ended up as my only carry gun for the day. An LCP is in my pocket now, and when I take the Wonder Beagle for her hike, I'll stuff it in the left-hand pocket when I holster up.

The Once And Future German King?

You know what's funny to me? I sort of like the idea that the .380 pistol is evolving back into what it was. In no time at all, I'll be touting the Walther PK380 (wasn't that the first of what we might think of now as a lightweight "mid-sized" .380s?), or, heck, even the PPK/s as the ideal carry guns...easy to shoot, as long as you have the newer versions, etc. Okay, let's go whole hog, to the Browning BDA .380 or Beretta 84! Twelve + 1 rounds of pulsing .380 power!

Joking...joking! But a PPK/s is about 22 1/2 ounces, a little over 6 inches in length; the Beretta 84 a little bigger, but in that weight range. That brings them to about Glock-sized in all but weight. Granted the New Gen .380s are lighter, which is a good thing for CCW, but they're still holster guns.

Sig P232

I guess you could split the baby and go with an absolutely classic Sig P232, a little bigger, but lighter than the Walthers or Berettas/Brownings (with fewer pew-pews, of course). The 232s I've shot have been wonderful guns and super accurate (I shot them with ball)...I think the finger-groove rubber grips on recent ones suck, but that's just me. Brigid at Home On The Range did a fairly extensive review of the P232 a while back, BTW. I liked the P232s better than the P239 9mms, which were the first Sig dedicated CCW guns back in the back when. If you're good with that looooooooooong trigger — which is not as big a deal to me as some have made it out to be — I guess you could add the P250 .380 to that list and get the 12 + 1 .380s in a Sig-ish package.

Not saying that back to the future is going to be a big trend, but once you make the decision to carry a larger .380 in a holster, you might as well have a good look around the "mid-size" .380 universe. I'm obviously A-OK with the cartridge (Cor-Bon DPX 80-gr, if you please), and I don't think the mid-size .380 is an irrational idea. The mini-9mm can be nasty little bastards to shoot, and you probably couldn't force a mini-.40 on me...the only one I have that's even close is an ancient brickbat of a Star FireStar .40, which I keep around to remind me not to pay attention to "experts" (which means, of course, you should take what I say with a massive grain of salt!).

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another Terrifying Headline & Some Glock Thoughts

The scariest headline of the week:

Piranha attack in Argentina reportedly leaves at least 70 injured

It's just a matter of time, my friends! If the piranha link up with the beavers, it won't be just Time Magazine calling for more animal-whacking.

I've been interested in various Internet reactions to the (maybe) the new little Glock .380. At least half the response seems to be personal offense that Glock didn't consult them first, the rest that Glock is psychotic for releasing too little too late and that unfortunately zillions of people will buy the gun. Hmmmmm...

Glock isn't nuts...they're just conservative on new products and slow. You can afford to be slow with the kind of installed base Glock has. Glock knows that "X" percentage of Glock owners has been frothing at the mouth to avoid buying an LCP or 238 or Kahr and will jump at the new .380 faster than piranha on an Argentine school group. Secondly, it appears to me that this platform is easily scaleable to 9mm and .40, and no doubt Glock will happily ride that new product curve up, up and away.

I got an interesting comment on a blogpost a couple of days ago and I wanted to give at least some opinions that might masquerade as answers. From Sheepdog1968:
On a separate note, on occasion you've mentioned popular artists who you aren't impressed with. I'm just curious, what do you hear or don't hear? What separates the great artists from the rest? 
On a completely unrelated matter, I've heard many say the number one most important thing in a firearm is reliability. I can't argue that. What would you consider to be the number two and three things?
The former music critic in me says that most popular music is hopelessly repetitive, derivative and, for the most part, dull...I suspect those are criticisms that could be leveled at any popular music at any time in history (damn that Beethoven!). The bottom line is that with the mass Balkanization of music styles and virtually universal distribution through the Internet, there is less potential for what I might think of as music that takes a risk. I believe that truly profound music can actually threaten the status quo (the racial aspect blues in the 1920s; the sexual aspects of rock and roll in the early 1950s). At the least, music should have a risk factor, something springing from the heart of an artist and damn the torpedoes. 

RE: 2 and 3...number 2 is probably that the tool be appropriate to the task; number 3 that the tool fits the user. Of course, I could be wrong.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Boxing Day!

I'm sitting around this morning watching LOTR, as I do this time every year, hoping for some scrap of inspiration for the new year to face whatever edicts slime out of Mordor-On-The Potomac or the Wolf's Lair in New York. Tomorrow my Sweetie and I are going to visit the new Secret Hidden Bunker, which is being forged deep beneath the ground by dwarves. We're excited...am hopeful of finding a wizard or 2 to cast some spells of protection and high Nielsen ratings.

I wanted to catch up on a couple of things this morning. The new little Glock 4 has been outed on the Boomershooter Forum:

It appears to be a single stack .380, a bit smaller than the G26 9mm in most dimensions (5.94 inches in length for the .380; 6.41 inches in length; 4.13 for the height; 4.17 for the G26). Of course the real difference, of course (aside from 9mm vs. .380) is the width...the porky little G26 is 1.26 wide. The new .380 is only .836 wide, approaching my ideal dimension of .75 inch. The size is closer of a Kahr CW9 9mm or the Ruger LC9 than the current generation of .380s, making it — if the leak is correct and not a false flag — more along the lines of the Ruger LC380.

I would suspect a 9mm will follow pretty quickly. I'm surprised a 9mm wasn't the first offering, since the .380 gold rush seems to have given way to the mini-9s. No doubt Glock will sell a zillion of them. You note I don't mention pining away for mini-40s...that's because I think they suck.

Amazingly, read Time Magazine's latest cover story (part of it on the website is behind the subscription firewall): America's Pest Problem—It's Time To Cull the Herd:
Too many deer, wild pigs, raccoons and beavers can be almost as bad for the animals as too few. This is why communities across the country find themselves forced to grapple with a conundrum. The same environmental sensitivity that brought Bambi back from the brink over the last century now makes it painfully controversial to do what experts say must be done: a bunch of these critters need to be killed.
Yes kiddies, it's a very pro-hunting article where you'd least expect it. It comes at a time when anti-hunting forces are ramping up, aiming for the "weakest link" after the antigun mega-fail this last year. Paul Erhardt and I have been talking for the last couple of months about the new convergence of hunters and shooters. After more than 20 years of diverging (which, I'd like to add, Erhardt and I were the first to point out and document), shooters are moving from competition and training to hunting, and, in fact, see the 2 activities as one in the same. This is being driven by Gun Culture Ver. 2.0, who came into the gun culture through shooting, as opposed to the generational transfer through hunting that was common in Gun Culture Ver. 1.0 (I'd also like to point out that Erhardt and I were the first to identify and quantify Gun Culture Ver. 2.0).

Last week while filming SHOOTING GALLERY I outlined 3 additional trends that were all intertwined with the profound shift on hunting:
  • Feral hog hunting, which has given the hunting industry a massive shot in the arm.
  • Returning veterans, who are helping reshape Gun Culture.
  • The rise of (and final ascendency) of the AR-15 as a hunting platform.
I could have added the "localvore" phenomenon, which is huge here in the People's Republic of Colorado. There are a lot of implications for all of us in the industry with this market shift

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains...


"I'm not crazy. It's Christmas Eve. It's the one night when we all act a little nicer. We...we smile a little easier. We...we...share a little more. For a couple of hours we are the people we always hoped we would be. It's really a miracle because it happens every Christmas Eve."
 — Francis Xavier Cross

Monday, December 23, 2013

I'll Be Home for Christmas!

And, indeed, I am home and it's Margarita Monday...the first one in a while! I went mild (Blue Nectar Reposada, Patron Orange Liqueur, a mix of regular and Meyers lemon juice and a touch of agave sweetener). This makes a very mild, very smooth margarita...you'll probably need to bump up the Patron a bit, because I don't think it's as sweet as, say, Cointreau. Your friends will be amazed.

I just got back from San Antonio, where Iain was flying with Vertex on an aerial hog hunt. As we've moved to a more TOP GEAR format in SHOOTING GALLERY, I like to give the Usual Suspects — Iain Harrison, Diana Liedorff, John Snow and Sara Ahrens — one episode where they get to choose the subject. Iain wanted to whack hogs from a helicopter after a long session of training for aerial shooting. The video is nothing short of spectacular.

New season for SG and THE BEST DEFENSE starts on 29 December, next week [ERRATA...Mr. Stupid learns to read a calendar...the first Wednesday is 1 January! WE'LL BE ON NEW YEARS'S DAY!]. 

 I am very, very proud, because I honestly think we've taken both shows to a new level. There are no other gun shows that run to the standards we hold on SG, and the new season is the best we've ever done. You gotta kick it up every season, no matter what.

I note that EW's country music critic Grady Smith says country music pretty much sucks, which is does. I say this as the former Editor of COUNTRY MUSIC Magazine and a person once considered one of the great living experts of country music. I have to say Smith's list of singers that don't suck is spot on  you've heard many of them on DOWN RANGE Radio. When I was driving home from the airport the other night, the weather was horrible, foggy, icy roads, snow falling. OUTLAW COUNTRY on Sirius/XM was playing Jason Isbell's Traveling Alone, and I almost teared up...this guy, I though, is singing my life. That is what great country music should be.

I note the passing of Mikhail Kalashnikov at age 94. The one time I talked to Kalashnikov I found him funny with an ironic view of the world. And yes, he did tell me he wished he had invented a tractor...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

And One More Thing...

...the Mainstream  Media are our blood enemies! The only reason they want to talk to us it to provide fodder for their leftist agenda. That's it. They care about our opinions and our beliefs only insofar as they can use those opinions and those beliefs as tools against us.

I'm not saying never talk to the MSM (and a case can be made that I am, indeed, a part of the MSM...LOL!), but when you walk into that room, be aware of what you're walking into. Also be aware that even if you "win" the interview, you will "lose" the edit, something over which you have absolutely no control.

Damn I Hate To Wade Into This!


• I might not agree wholeheartedly with what Phil Robertson said, but I unconditionally support his right to say it. The First Amendment only matters when it stings.

• There is no Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing that you as an American citizen has a right not to be offended. Every time Michael Bloomberg opens his mouth, I want to puke. But I would fight any group who sought to deny Bloomberg his Constitutional right to speak, and I am a heck of a lot closer to Phil Robertson than I am to Michael Bloomberg.

• Exercise of any Constitutional right, including that of free speech, can and does have Real World consequences. The Dixie Chicks are a footnote in country music history because of their big mouths...consider Jim Zumbo and more recently Dick Metcalf.

• However, as a life-long libertarian (small "L") I believe ultimately in the market. The market, the people, will speak, and they will speak with authority. The Dixie Chicks sank without a trace because people simply stopped buying their records; the cleansing of our own ranks happened because we, the People of the Gun, refused to have people who were working against our interests in positions of power/authority in that selfsame culture. If after Phil's comments ratings for Duck Dynasty collapses, the market will have spoken. If Duck Dynasty remains the top cable show in history, the market will have spoken.

• If Phil had announced that he was a practicing a Louisiana version of paganism, and that he and the other guys would be sacrificing a young duck for the Solstice, after which they would dance nude around the haulbolli while being sprinkled with said duck's blood, there would be an outcry, but it would ALL be positive (well, maybe PETA might have an issue with the duck, but screw them). Phil would be congratulated for standing up for his religious beliefs in the face of the brainless masses who don't understand the joys of cultural relativity. If Phil had announced that he and the boys had become converted to a very strictly orthodox sect of Islam, which would require the women of Duck Dynasty to wear burquas and that mandates homosexuals be dealt with in the way prescribed by mullahs in Afghanistan and Iran — death — do you have any doubt that in no time at all they'd be on stage with Obama getting Medals of Freedom?

• The MSM and the dominant leftist culture in the United States are stridently and occasionally violently anti-Christian. This is a clear example of that bias. What Phil says is that judgement is not his province...amen to that! Phil and his family is being punished for their religious beliefs — and THAT is about as unAmerican as you can get!

I stand with my friend Willie and his family.

UPDATE: From Charles Cooke at National Review Online:
People attempting to justify the private removal of those who say things they dislike rely on a host of weasel words and the habitual laziness of the population at large. They say that we have to think about “standards,” and “values,” and “feelings,” and “inclusion” and, too, about what is “acceptable.” What does this actually mean in practice? Robertson made his comments in GQ, which evidently considered them acceptable enough to print. I am a non-Christian who disagrees with Robertson on the question of gay marriage. What do the censors think is going to happen to me if I come across Robertson’s interview. Will I die? Will I break out in lesions? Will I go bankrupt? Will I immediately start lynching homosexuals? What might my complaint be: “Well, strike me down. I can’t believe it. I was just minding my own business reading this magazine, and then this guy I don’t know who makes duck calls said something I don’t like, and then . . . ” — well, and then what?  
Here’s the thing: I’m in favor of gay marriage; Phil Robertson thinks homosexuality is a sin. So bloody what? I’m happy to listen to him. It is telling what we allow and what we don’t. Phil Robertson’s words quite literally affected nobody. They’re words. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence argued that it should be illegal for Americans to call people “fat” on television: In other words, she actually advocated for her fellow citizens to be arrested for speaking. Robertson related what he believes; Lawrence, however mildly, called for the state to start punishing people for expressing themselves. The latter transgression is infinitely worse, but she will likely lose no work for having expressed it.  
Damn you to hell, A&E. I can still say that, right?
From Bryan Preston at PJ Tattler:
Nearly everyday it occurs to me that I am paying money to people who hate me and everything I stand for to pipe digital sewage into my home. Duck Dynasty is probably the only entertainment show on cable that doesn’t fit that description. It doesn’t depict Americans as foul-mouthed fools who bicker and fight among themselves all the time. It shows a family running a business together, which is built on their own inventions and hard work. It shows a part of America that the coastal elites like to believe doesn’t exist. It shows Christians having a good time. It shows men and women married to each other and raising their families. No one is sleeping around. No one is celebrated for their ability to fool or defraud someone else. It’s one of the few shows that doesn’t go out of its way to create embarrassing situations for parents, and which doesn’t overtly promote promiscuity, self-absorption and other destructive behavior. It’s not real — no reality show is fully real — but it’s about as real as reality TV gets. 
It’s tempting to write off everything but Duck Dynasty. But we can’t just up and quit. If we do, we are surrendering ground in the culture wars that will end up costing us ground in politics and, ultimately, our country.
If you’re out of the game, you’re out of the game. 
The other side will never quit. Ever.
Remember those words...the other side will never quit...ever. From Brandon Ambrosino, who is gay, writing in Time Magazine:
Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them? One of the biggest pop culture icons of today just took center stage to “educate” us about sexuality. I see this as an opportunity to further the discussion, to challenge his limited understanding of human desire, to engage with him and his rather sizeable audience—most of whom, by the way, probably share his views—and to rise above the endless sea of tweet-hate to help move our LGBT conversations to where they need to go. 
GK Chesterton said that bigotry is “an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.” If he is right—and he usually is—then I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil’s.
From Andrew Sullivan on The Dish (and there's very Mr. Sullivan has said I agreed with):
Robertson is a character in a reality show. He’s not a spokesman for A&E any more than some soul-sucking social x-ray from the Real Housewives series is a spokeswoman for Bravo. Is he being fired for being out of character? Nah. He’s being fired for staying in character – a character A&E have nurtured and promoted and benefited from. Turning around and demanding a Duck Dynasty star suddenly become the equivalent of a Rachel Maddow guest is preposterous and unfair. 
What Phil Robertson has given A&E is a dose of redneck reality. Why on earth would they fire him for giving some more?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let's Talk Obamacare!

So the White House sent out the creepiest tweet of the year...so far...

From Rebel bases scattered across the universe, the Internet fires back!

Passing Through Home...

...is it Christmas yet? Got back in the country, took a deep breath and went to Tulsa to film SHOT SHOW TV...and yes, I saw some cool stuff, including a new product from Caldwell that you ARE going to buy! Trust me on this, and it's not going to break the bank. In fact, MarshaI and I have asked our friends at Battenfeld for several of them to give away on DRTV. It's not going to break the bank, either.

The new Daniel Defense rifle teased on their Facebook page (and here at Jerking the Trigger) is indeed sweet. Also, this is not new news, but with the superhot AR bubble now rapidly cooling, we can expect to see the superb integrally suppressed .300 Blackout, the DDM4ISR (Integrally Suppressed Rifle) in the wild, so to speak. This is a superb rifle...I've shot it at SHOT and at Daniel, and I will pay the painful MSRP and long wait to have one of my own!

I do think SHOT is going to be another evolutionary, as opposed to revolutionary, year in new products...especially in the AR arena. Keep in mind that the market has been so crazy for so many months that it was all the manufacturers could do to meet orders on existing lines...adding new products simply didn't make sense. The majority of the new products I've seen are extensions of existing lines, which makes sense. In handguns, we'll see increased options for the CCW carrier. I would say that the mini-9mm has superseded  the .380 as the carry platform of choice, at least in terms of current sales. On the AR side, 2014 may well be the year of the 7.62...obviously, a lot of players are already in the niche, but I expect to see the larger caliber guns in as many "flavors" as their smaller siblings.

I wouldn't be willing to say it's a full-blown trend, but I think the steady uptick in hunting numbers, especially among returning veterans, bodes well for the 7.62 AR-10 platform guns for hunting. I believe many states still have their prohibition of using .22 calibers for larger game,including whitetail deer. Few of the regular deer hunters I know would consider the .223 as an optimal cartridge for anything large. Obvious, the 6.8 and the .300 Blackout bring the AR-15 platform into the hunting fields for larger game. But the .308 is probably one of the most popular hunting cartridges in the U.S. (since it pretty much duplicates the ballistics of the old and venerate 30-06 in a short-action package). There's so many different 7.62/.308 loads you can actually find some of them on the shelf! LOL! You can get the superb Hornady Superformance 165-gr, which is a laser beam in my bolt guns, with a GMX bullet, which compares favorable with the .300 Win Mag 165-gr Superformance International I used in Africa.

BTW, Hornady is a sponsor of RAPID FIRE...so sue me. I would like to note that no less than my friend Kyle Lamb speaks glowingly of the Hornady 165-gr GMX in Guns and Ammo. In competition with the 7.62 Colt 901 I've shot the not-a-sponsor 168-gr Federal Sierra Match King Gold, which is like throwing dollar bills out of a car window. The Ruger shoots great with the Federal stuff (I've yet to find a 7.62/.308 that doesn't shoot great with it), but my goal is to use 7.62 ball on the shots that aren't in other counties and save the pricey match ammo for longer ranges.

In the AR-15 platform, I think we'll be seeing 5.56 ARs losing weight, a continuation of a trend that started last year. Why carry the weight of a quad rail, a coffeemaker, a genuine fake grenade launcher and a tactical swizzle stick if you don't need it (although if you think about it, a swizzle stick that mounts on a standard Picatinny rail could be a real lifesaver out in the bush). You all know how happy I've been with the DoubleStar C3, which is the lightest AR out there. DoubleStar is getting serious about their training offerings, and I'd like to take one of their carbine classes with the C3. Hopefully, after the Cosmic Powers That Be add an 8th day to the week!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Frightening Trip to the Grocery Store

I went to the local Hippie Mart yesterday because it's the only place locally that has good frozen salmon. This required me to stand in line for about 20 minutes, since things move pretty slowly at Hippie Mart, largely because the heated conversations on global warming, the evil mining companies (Mining companies? Is 1930 back?), the evil evil oil companies, evil evil evil capitalism, more global warming, how people who didn't believe in global warming would probably all be killed in the coming global warming apocalypse — indeed, should be — and, of course, why everyone hates Ted Cruz. Sigh. It was like being trapped in a Madison, Wisconsin, Starbucks. Who knew 20 minutes could last so long?

If you haven't seen the Glock "Wrong Girl" commercial, race right over here and watch it...as the commentators note, you will laugh out loud!

As predicted, yesterday was an orgy of blood-dancing, including President Selfie himself weighing in (basketball season must be over...can't wait for his SuperBowl picks!). The only thing new I saw is yet another "third way" initiative being floated, this one headed up by our old friend Richard Feldman (and Arkadi Gerney) in the LA Times...he's gone down this path before (also from the  LA Times). We've heard it all before, in fact every time a major gun control initiative goes down in flames. You can tell this is a major offensive from our enemies because the first person to chime in, predictably, is former Brady President Paul Helmke, as implacable a gun-banner as exists, on "Time to find common ground."

Read both the articles, which should all be prefaced with the phrase, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." Gun confiscations are already under way in New York (and have happened in California); citizens are not registering their guns en masse in states like CT, which put into place a registry after Newtown. The civilian disarmament movement has one single, sole objective, and that is unconditional civilian disarmament — "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in!" There is no other agenda item.

Several points need to be made here:

1) READ ALINSKY! They do; we should. Alinsky teaches that the end justifies the means. Lying for the "greater good" is encouraged...tell the rubes whatever you need to tell them to accomplish the progressive goals..."If you like your policy, you can keep it. Period." Any of this sound familiar?

2) The stated policy of the current civilian disarmament movement since its inception by "Pete" Shields and Handgun Control Inc. has been incrementalism. Read some of the quotes here, but this one is germane to the "third way" discussions, from no less than Charles Krauthammer, currently one of the brightest lights in "conservative" punditry, writing on the 1994 AWB (WaPo, 1996): "In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea . . . . Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation." One agenda item only...Paul Helmke understands this perfectly well; so does Richard Feldman and everyone else who advocate a "third way."

3) "Third way" advocates ask us to make deals with people who lie repeatedly, reflexively and with full knowledge that they are lying. For our enemies, lies are simply a strategy, a means to get to a predefined end. They'll be happy to give us all the Turkish Delight we can eat as long as each yummy bite moves them closer to their ultimate goal, complete civilian disarmament. If Barrack Hussein Obama came up to you tomorrow and said, "You know, Bitter Clinger, I've been talking to my pals at Brady and to Mr. Gabby "Starman" Giffords and, upon reflection, I'm ready to make a deal. You give up those pesky AR-15s, and you agree to our new, improved definition of 'transfer,' and I'll let you carry a gun in every state. Let's shake on it!"...would you believe him? Why not ask the dead American heroes in Benghazi what they think...oh wait, they trusted the American government to stand behind its most sacred covenant — to the absolute best of our ability to protect those who serve on far shores — and they're dead because of that trust. 

4) "Third way" advocates invariably have a whole list of things that "gun owners," a.k.a. us, would be willing to "give up" to obtain these ostensible benefits. Of course there would be a few little strings attached...strings that would put more and more gun owners in jail. We often think that the jailing of innocent gun owners over technicalities as a "bug" when, in fact, it's actually a "feature." Remember...they don't hate guns, they hate us. More gun owners in jail is a "good think"...look at the enforcement of the New York SAFE Act. And the SAFE Act is a good example of that incrementalism at work...the state had a 10 round magazine capacity limit...now it is 7. Do any of us actually believe that the other side will stop before that number reaches "zero?"

Be aware; pay attention. The fight goes on.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Rebirth of the 4-Bore "Unicorn"

He continued looking through the section on guns [in the Guinness Book of World Records] and shooting when he came upon another interesting item:  
Highest Caliber. The largest guns made were 2-bores. Less than a dozen of these were made by two English wildfowl gunmakers about 1885. Normally the largest guns made are double-barreled 4-bore rifles weighing up to 26 lbs., which can be handled only by men of exceptional physique. 
Henry read the words over and over. He knew that wildfowl meant birds, and that the 2-bores described were shotguns. But a 26-pound rifle! ...can be handled only by men of exceptional physique. The words gave a powerful jolt to his imagination.
— "Henry Bowman"
by John Ross
To me, the 4-Bores are the firearm equivalent of a unicorn. Ever since reading John Ross Unintended Consequences Back in the Back When, I've had a thing for the massive blaster. I was finally able to handle Ross' massive R. B. Rodda 4-Bore 6 or 7 years years ago at John's house, but he was having some trouble with the hand-turned brass cartridges and we couldn't shoot the beast.

“…the 4-bore guns kicked most frightfully and, in my case, the punishment received has effected my nerves to such an extent as to have materially influenced my shooting ever since, and I am heartily sorry I ever had anything to do with them.”
— Frederick Courteney Selous

When I finally got to shoot a 4-Bore a few years ago at one of the Vintager World Cups it was everything I hoped (or imagined) it would be. The double-barreled 4-Bore didn't so much recoil as alter the entire space-time continuum...one instant I was standing in one place; the next instance, a different place. The entire universe shifted a couple of degrees...like being in an episode of Dr. Who.

Four-gauge rifles stood and still stand in a league all their own. It takes a powerful man just to shoulder and sight one, let alone manage it. The 4 bores are very rare - surely less than 100 exist. Most are doubles weighing from 20 to 24 pounds. Singles are incredibly rare, perhaps less than 10 on earth. They are, in their own way, delightful because they are lighter and more manageable than the huge doubles, weighing in around 18 pounds. These, the greatest of all rifles, are monumental in every way. They have a chunky appearance because the barrels are usually short, between 20 and 26 inches. The short barrels, combined with the thick (often nearly 4-inch) receivers, make the 4s look a lot like a Sumo wrestler. 
They are heavy for a reason; they are powerful! The metal must contain the tremendous strain of the charge and breech thrust, and they must have enough mass to keep the recoil from crushing the shooter. As it is, they generate well over 200 foot-pounds, something special when you realize that a .458 Winchester only backs up with a gentle 56-pound shove 
While we are on the subject of recoil, the unknowing will tell you that the big rifle’s recoil is “only a big push.” Those soothsayers have not fired a heavy. Note that the 4 bore has at least 10 times the recoil of a .30-06 moving at twice the velocity! Perhaps they push, but they push a lot like a freight train. 
— Gary Kramer
RIFLE Magazine

So all in all I was pretty excited the see the guys at Westley Richards in Birmingham, U.K., busily "manufacturing" new 4-Bores, both shotguns and at least 1 double rifle. If you look third picture down, the pix with the 4-Bore cartridge in it, you'll see a "dummy" receiver, specifically made so that when people come in and ask about a 4-Bore they get handed the dummy receiver so they can get a tactile sense of just how big and heavy the final gun will be (check out the first pictures of a set of 4-Bore barrels against standard 12 gauge barrels.

The fourth picture down is of a 4-Bore action compared to a .500 NE receiver. Everything at WR is made Old Skol, by hand.

I'm really lucky to be on the "short list" of people who've actually been able to fire a 4-Bore...would I ever love to fire one! Love to launch those 1-inch diameter lead balls...perfect for ground squirrels!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Back at the Bunker!

...after a whirlwind tour of Jolly Olde England that included the Royal Armouries, the National Firearms Centre, Holland & Holland and the Wesley Richards factory, where we witnessed the rebirth of the 4-Bore as a shotgun and as a rifle.

Our goal was...to boldly go...etc., and I think we succeeded. No as much shooting as I'd have liked (especially  me shooting...LOL!) but the draconian U.K. firearms laws were in force and had to be obeyed.

I can't convey to you the treasures to be found in the National Firearms Centre, essentially the largest firearms reference collection in the world...so few places you can see an anti-garrote pistol, or trace the lineage of a firearm through the decades (indeed, centuries). Curators Trev Weston and Jonathan Ferguson and other experts were like having handy walking encyclopedia to answer any and all questions. I think you'll be amazed. And no, while we have lots of video, we have no stills...we couldn't bring in cell phones, which we'd usually use for stills, and our focus had to be on getting the video.

I could spend a month in the Royal Armouries themselves, just going through the public displays...everything from Henry VIII's armored codpiece to Bilbo Baggins' sword...and that covers a lot of ground.

Holland & Holland...bring the checkbook. The .700 NE is a hoot, as is the story behind it. At $482,000 and change, a steal! Plus, I've always been fascinated with the 4-Bores, and it was incredible to see them being built by hand at Wesley Richards.

Pretty neat stuff!

BTW, thanks to Brother Iain Harrison for introductions,helpful tips and translation services!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Well, Obviously...

...I'm out and about, the big push straight through to the SHOT Show. Let me apologize in advance for not having a new podcast tomorrow...I've been too busy to bank a few extra, but it's on my list for next year! A lot of things are on my list for next year...

I do have a handy pIece of advice for Adventurous Eaters...when eating in a highly recommended Schezwan restaurant where you notice that 99% of the cusomers are Asian, BELIEVE the proprietor and the chef when they tell you the wonderful sounding fish stew you've just ordered is hot...like seriously honest to goodness HOLY CRAP HOT! Of course I manned up, and in fact the soup was really really good...so good that after a couple of days I'm still enjoying it! I think it dissolved my pancreas.

I saw a really fascinating pistol yesterday from the 17th Century, I think...a 4-barrel repeater with a pure Steampunk clockwork mechanism to advance the fire control from barrel to barrel...never seen anything like it. No pictures, under threat of being hung, but I've found a guy who knows a guy who thinks he can pull a string.

I know we're all bracing for the Newtown anniversary....the blood dancers are in costume and I expect a spectacle we probably haven't seen since the 17th Century. The best advice I have is from MASTER & COMMANDER:

H.O.L.D.  F.A.S.T.

You've all seen the polls...support for gun control is collapsing even in the urban centers. Knowing that the blood dancers, who are truly without honor, grace or compassion, will be in a frenzy. The MSM will go all out to give the crazy man everything he wanted...fame, fame and more fame...setting up the next slaughter in yet-another gun-free zone.

To all you pod people out there, and you know who you are, the next few days are a good time to lay low...there are other, better times to go to the mall than when the MSM and the blood dancers are trying to chum up a new demon. And where you're out this week, awareness is your Number One tool.

Here's a good thought for the week,for Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed..."

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

All Over the Place!

Did you know you could set you hair on fire while shooting a replica 16th Century hand cannone?

Yes, there is video....