Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hot Links!

Well, that's what happens on Sunday…stupid headlines! I cooked for people tonight, Copper River salmon and asparagus on the grill, a fresh greens salad, altbier from a local micro. Simple and good — I used this extra hot jerk seasoning on the salmon, with a few additional tweaks.

Here's an excellent interview on the AR-15 as an excellent choice for home defense from Kyle Lamb in American Rifleman.

If you haven't checked out Forgotten Weapons recently, definitely stop by. Ian is, I think, a wonderful addition to GUN STORIES this season!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Meanwhile, Back at the Bunker

Home after a week in New Hamster at Sig Sauer filming GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA. We also did some planning for SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE. I was amazed at the growth of the Sig Sauer Academy! My old friend Adam Painchaud, who's Senior Director at the Academy, took us on a grand tour…WOW! I can't wait to take a class (or three or four) there! Go to the website and page through their course offerings. While we were there a defensive 3-gun class and a rifle CQB class were running, and I would have loved to jump into either of those.

I was also really impressed with Sig's overall strategies…I'm going to be talking about that on this week's DOWN RANGE Radio.

Monday I am ordering an MCX .300 Blackout pistol and will immediately put the SBR papers in for it. As soon as ht paper clears I'll add one of the excellent SAS stocks. The long term plan is to run it suppressed with a mid-length handguard. I'm also going to suck it up and buy a 320 9mm, probably the Carry version with a threaded barrel.
They do have fiercely good triggers.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thoughts Before the Day Spins Up

As an aside, when it comes to hardware I tend to be more hands-on than some, e.g. I gotta putz around with something before I really feel comfortable with it. So my old friends Kevin Brittingham and John Hollister, late of AAC and now spearheading the Sig Sauer suppressor juggernaut, spent some time taking me through the Sig Sauer MCX, the new AR-ish platform Sig introduced earlier this year.

I knew that the MCX was in some ways a continuation, sort of a "Gen 2," of the "Honey Badger" project that the Brittingham Brain Trust began at AAC (we featured it on SHOOTING GALLERY years back when it was still just a printed pre-prototype). In short, "One AR to rule them all...", a gun that could serve both as a PDW but with the ability to perform at mid distances, say out to 300 yards. The centerpiece of the platform would be the .300 Blackout cartridge, and it would be built from the ground up to be suppressed.

I didn't realize how neatly those ideas we featured in the Back When have come together. The MCX is hugely impressive, with each feature designed to solve specific military problems. I'm going to bring SHOOTING GALLERY up to Sig Sauer later this summer so I can take you all through the gun and
Sig silencers (part of our continuing coverage of very quiet stuff!), plus the surprising Sig air gun initiative. Neat stuff!

On the plane now...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Gonna Finally Get Some Handgun Shooting In...

...hopefully with a Sig Sauer 320.

Seems almost anticlimactic, since I haven't shot a 3-Gun match this season. The rain has washed away a lot of the competitive events on the Front Range, and work precludes me shooting the He-Mans again this year. Sigh. High season for work s high season for work. GUN STORIES, SHOOTING GALLERY and AMERICA'S RIFLE are in production right now, THE BEST DEFENSE will be coming in July and SHOOTOUT LANE in September. That's not to mention a new series we're taking to pilot in June and an additional series I'm in the process of constructing.

OTOH, I know a lot of unemployed television producers...n'uff said!

I have started working with my Ruger #1 in is a fun gun to shoot, and the Hornady Leverevolution rounds have dinged some of my steel.

More later!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Debts That Cannot Be Paid

America, 2015

"Remember us."
 As simple an order as a king can give. "Remember why we died." For he did not wish tribute, nor song, nor monuments nor poems of war and valor. His wish was simple. "Remember us," he said to me. That was his hope, should any free soul come across that place, in all the countless centuries yet to be. May all our voices whisper to you from the ageless stones, 
"Go tell the Spartans, passerby, that here by Spartan law, we lie."
— "Dilios"

The way to honor our fallen heroes is to not use up our soldiers like tissues carelessly pulled from a box. The way to honor our heroes is to be willing to use everything within our power — to move the mountains themselves! — to save them, whether from a fire base in Afghanistan or a burning embassy in Benghazi. The way to honor our soldiers is to provide them with the tools, the training and above all the leadership they demand and deserve. We as a country have fallen far, far short on all those things.

I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them 
Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice. 
Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves. 
— Ronald Reagan

As always, my thoughts are of my father, Robert R. Bane (USN WW2, Pacific Theater) and my dearest friends, now gone, Martin Garner (USAF, Vietnam) and Dave Arnold (USAF Reserve Parajumper Rescue, Vietnam).

Thank you all for your service.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Sign the Apocalypse is Only Hours Away...

From Fox:

Miley Cyrus cries while singing a song about her dead blowfish
It's good to know she cares about anything, and a blowfish is a lot better than, say, Sean Penn. Honestly, a blowfish is smarter than Sean Penn, although a blowfish would be unlikely to snag Charlize Theron as his fin candy. Now that I think about it, your average blowfish is smarter than Sean Penn AND Charlize Theron combined. Still…

Anyway, I have successfully snagged a desk for my office in the Secret Hidden Bunker II. For a while I've been agonizing over the desk, as much as I'm likely to agonize over any piece of furniture, which is several degrees less than a blowfish. I have stacks of desk catalogs, all of which cost more than a Connecticut Shotgun Model 21, which is less useful for storage but far more satisfying.

Finally, in an antique/junk store my Sweetie and I found a huge honking' mahogany desk dating from Sometime Back Then, maybe the late '40s or ''50s. In great shape, all drawers clean and working, $60 and you haul it away. It is now happily positioned in my office, where it looks appropriately Retro, what with the antler light fixture, the assorted dead animals, a collection of hats, my various and sundry television awards and an assortment of what-have-you. It looks at home. I'll take a picture once I get everything all finished up, say around 2057...

BTW, the company that made this monster desk started in 1876 and is still making $5000 all-wood desks for whomever it is that buys wood desks instead of shotguns.

Unfortunately, it's raining again again, so my shooting plans for the afternoon have been shelved. Tomorrow I'm going to be running my .22 rifle course, maybe start drilling myself on pistol. Tonight, I've got a bunch of fresh basil, some pine nuts, garlic and decent olive oil, so I suspect it's Pesto Night!

Not really...the parrots have been pretty good lately!

UPDATE: Yeah, now I'm going to get hostile emails from 2 groups, the people who hate it when I talk about anything except guns — especially recipes — and Patrick Sweeney, who will take me to ask for using a food processor to make the pesto instead of a mortar and pestle. I may never read my email again.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Two Days on the Range...

…and I am a whipped puppy! Plus, the 3-Gun match I was looking forward to shooting tomorrow was cancelled since, after a week of rain, we have mud up to our butts.

I was at the Sniper's Hide Cup, a stop on the Precision Rifle Series circuit. A huge precision rifle match —220 shooters! We were following OUTDOOR LIFE's John Snow, my old friend and a SHOOTING GALLERY "Usual Suspect." John is an amazing shooter; for this match he was using a George Gardner custom 6mm Creedmore, a cartridge that was originally developed by George and John for an OUTDOOR LIFE article.

I would love to shoot this match, but in all honesty I'm not good enough…yet. But I will be.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Firearms' Conundrum

So I decided today to put a low power scope on my Ruger No. 1 45/70 I plan to take hunting in a SHOOTING GALLERY episode later this year. Seems simple enough, right?

Ha! Maybe it's just me, but it ended up a day-long try this/no that fiasco. The issue is that, first, Ruger #1s have their Ruger proprietary scope mounts pretty far forward on the rail that carries the rear sight. That means the scopes end up mounted more forward than they would be in regular set-up. That necessitates some long eye relief for the scope.

Second, this is a falling block single shot rifle. If the scope projects too far back over the falling block, it makes reloading quickly pretty difficult.

I ran through a bunch of my scopes, and the only one that had sufficient eye relief was an old Weaver 3X, and I've never been crazy about that scope.

So I decided to think a little bit out of the (eye) box. I had one of the E. Arthur Brown slip-over scope mounts for the #1, and I was surprised at how well it seemed to be made. So I tapped out the Ruger folding rear sight and fitted the EABCO rail, which gave me a few more mount options.

Then I pulled the Burris 2-7X Scout Scope off the Browning BLR .223 Scout and fiddled it onto the Ruger #1 in a set of Burris low rings. It is a close fit, but by mounting it as as far forward as I can on the EABCO rail and scooting my cheek just a bit farther back on the stock, I have a great sight picture and 2-7X! An added benefit is that the eyepiece is ahead of falling block, causing no problems for reloading at speed.

What I don't know is how well it works. It was raining all day (again) at the Bunker, and I didn't have a chance to bench the gun. I plan to use Hornady Leverevolution .325-gr 45/70s. If you look at the drops on this load, I'd call it a 250-yard best-case round. If I felt lucky and had a great rest, I might be persuaded to go a teeny tiny farther. I've had good luck with the 325-gr Leverevolution round through several guns.

As always, Andy's Leather will be providing the sling and the ammo cuff!

I got Steve Hunter's new book, I, Ripper, today. I CAN'T WAIT to read it! I plan on "ripping" through it next week, with a full report on DRTV and the podcast to follow. My Sweetie and I took the "Ripper" tour last time we were in London. It was cool.

BTW, the Fourth of July t-shirts are once again available! They read:
“We celebrate the 4th of July as a reminder of earning our independence from an oppressive government. Our current Administration should take note, there’s still room on the calendar for another Holiday.“
Hell yes. Buy one and amaze your friends! It's the perfect gift.

I'm teaching on the range tomorrow…all newbies. My Sweetie and my good friend Mark Passamaneck will be teaching as well. Should go very well. Hopefully, in the afternoon, I'll have a chance to dial in a couple of rifles. I swear in the next few weeks I'm going to shift to my Glock 34 and get a handle on running that gun.

TOTALLY OFF THE SUBJECT, and out in the pale if the emails I got today are to be believed, there's a wonderful piece in the Wall Street Journal on the creation of Bob Seger's song Night Moves, the song that made him a star. Gotta say that, more than once, now that I'm an Official Old Guy, that the lyrics do cross my mind:

"I awoke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain't it funny how the night moves
When you just don't seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in…"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Blahs

It is a rainy, cold, yeechy day here at the Bunker, sort of like visiting Seattle at the wrong time of the year (11 out of the 12 months, I suppose). I am sure there are a ton of things I should be doing, but mostly I'm sitting here staring at the computer screen and wondering whether I should just shove everything off my desk and into the garbage. Right now, the "Garbage Gambit" is winning.

ANYHOW, we're spinning up SHOOTING GALLERY Season 16 this week at the Sniper's Hide Precision Rifle Series match here in Colorado. We'll be following SG Usual Suspect John Snow from OUTDOOR LIFE…honestly, I'm not ready for the PRS…getting there, but not yet. John's running some trick 6mm rifle, so that ought to be cool.

I've got one more week of GUN STORIES filming, slightly less than 2 weeks of AMERICA'S RIFLE and THE BEST DEFENSE doesn't crank up until July, so as long as I don't think about it I should be fine! I have, after a year, managed to buy a desk for my office…a 1950s mahogany monster that struck me as cool. Call it good at $60.

Little luck and good weather and my Sweetie and I will be shooting a local 3-Gun match this weekend. Be cool to shoot the Tavor, eh? Long shot is 200 yards, so not out there in space.

Kinda hate to see Tracking Point falling apart. The technology is just awesome, but the price tag is just too much for the current market. I think there might also be more resistance than they anticipated in bringing the platform to a hunting market.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Life in the 21st Century...

from The Guardian:

Saudi Arabia advertises for eight new executioners as beheading rate soar

No flying cars; no uploading my consciousness into a machine; no guaranteed fatless ice cream; no decent Guinness in a can; no wars fought with robot soldiers; no 15-hour work week; no Japanese sex 'bots that can not only coo your name but perform a passable tea ceremony.

Just the 13th Century, over and over and over again…

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Round-Up

Well, a round-up of only a few cows…

There are a couple of great blog articles this morning. The first is that we welcome back RifleSlinger from the Art of the Rifle blog after his spring hiatus. His writings have been instrumental in my improvement as a rifle shooter. For the near future he's going to be addressing standards, an important issue, but not as easy as one might think:
Part of the difficulty lies in the diverse applications of the rifle. Excellence can really only be defined in terms of how effectively it accomplishes a given task. No single standard can be reasonably expected to provide an adequate measure of every application. So the logical first step is figuring out what types of skills we need to have yardsticks for. Here are those that come to mind, just off the top of my head: 
• Close range, high speed. 
• Medium range, time sensitive, general marksmanship. I’ll arbitrarily define medium range as 100-500, though other variables could alter that. This would be Appleseed’s realm of specialty, using non-scaled targets at full distance. 
• Medium range field shooting, e.g. the Cooper standards. 
• Surgical shooting- small targets in conditions and/or distances that don’t require complex accounting for trajectory or environmentals. 
• Precision shooting in the environment- up to long range, which I’ll arbitrarily define as 1000 yards, possibly extreme long range, >1000 yards. 
I believe that any standards devised with the intention to measure the above, or any other modes of rifle shooting, should include the requisite rifle handling skills (loading, reloading, clearance) that would be reasonably expected in that venue.
BTW, I think that's a perfect breakdown of the uses of the rifle. I look forward to his continued observations.

A second blogpost that's worth your read this Sunday is from Matt at Jerking the Trigger on how to get the most from a red dot sight (RDS) and a 3X magnifier. He basically breaks it down into 3 steps:
• Choose a good mount
• Choose the right RDS
• Shed weight from the front of your carbine
This is particularly applicable for me since I spent time a couple of days ago setting up an RDS with a 3X magnifier. I ended up using an old Aimpoint T1 4 MOA and an Aimpoint magnifier. Like Matt, I found 3X magnifiers to be a little better in theory than in practice. The T1's dot under magnification looks more like a red Rorscharch Test than a clearly defined round dot.

Still, it does the job well…as I mentioned in the previous post, the DoubleStar 3C delivered the accuracy I wanted with the 3X multiplier. I used the same set-up on a DD rifle at the Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun 2 years ago and was very happy with it.

I've hit an unfortunate stretch with illuminated sights. In the last week or so I have had 3 illuminated sights go down on me — the Burris AR-1X reflex, my oldest MTAC and a Leupold VX-6. scopes Both the VX-6 and the MTAC are older scopes and have been workhorses, so it puzzles me. I did a battery swap-out, but that didn't solve the problem. I thought I had extra 2032 batteries around to see if my existing stock of 2032s had gone south, but if I do they're in deep hiding. I ordered a bunch today. I'm going to try a couple of different AA batteries on the AR-1X today and see if I can isolate the problem. I'll let you know how it goes.

UPDATE: Using my keenly honed deductive methodology, I cleaned out the battery compartment of the Burris AR-1X by blowing in it, slotted in a new AA battery, and, as if by hand of the occult, it's 100%! Since I have the C3 perfectly sighted in for the next Appleseed, I pulled the Lucid HD7 off the TAVOR, bolted the AR-1X onto the rail and shot the crap out of it…no problems at all. Michael's key learning points…make sure the battery box is clean and that the battery box cover is tightly screwed down! I do like the "dot-in-a-donut" CQ-1X reticle, especially in green. I may shoot this set-up in a local 3-Gun match next weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Generally Icky Day on the Range

Some days just don't work out like you want. My Sweetie's Pride-Fowler scope completely tanked from leakage. It is 10+ years old, so what can I say? I slapped on a scope I had handy, but it just didn't work out for her.

I ended up fitting my DoubleStar 3C ultra-light with an Aimpoint T-1 and a 3X magnifier for sight in. It took a little fiddling with those tiny Aimpoint knobs, but I eventually got the reference group in the place I wanted. With WW White Box ball I was running a little better than 1/2 inch at 25 meters. With real ammo I could do better, I think. Then I did a 10-shot run at 25 yard offhand with the little carbine all slung up (my RifleCraft sling) and was very pleased with the results...I gave up 6 points, but I was firing pretty fast.
With my Sweetie's rifle down, we'll pass up the Appleseed this weekend and schedule another one next month. I think I'll stick to the C3/Aimpoint combo for my part.

BTW, my old friend Bruce Towsley, who is a fine 3-Gun shooter in his own right, has a good article in SHOOTING ILLUSTRATED on building light-weight ARs. This article is on building a light-weight while keeping the price down. An early article by Bryce was a no-holds-barred lightweight build. As you all know, I think the DoubleStar 3C is an incredible value…it weights 5.5 pounds without sights and is rock solid with the Ace 7-inch entry can get a longer stock if you want. I thought about the longer stock, but the Aimpoint is pretty forgiving on its eye-box. The 3C MSRPs at $1620, but I've seen it with a street/auction price as low as $1050.

And if you ready yesterday's post, you know DoubleStar is a sponsor of AMERICA'S RIFLE. Bryce…naw, he's just a friend.

Excuse Me…You Were Saying???

Headline of the week, from Fox:

Our attention span is now worse than a goldfish's

I know mine is. There's probably a corollary here that the country would be better run if indeed governmental offices were staffed exclusively by goldfish. There's a plank for a political platform I could really get behind!

Today is a range day, because it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow so I flipped "Friday" and "Saturday." Mostly ARs, but if I have a little time I want to run my Open Glock and see what's what.

Couple of interesting  articles worth your time over the weekend, since today is ersatz Saturday. The first is from a progressive, Fredrik deBoer, who is appalled at the state of the progressive movement:
Well, look: as a political movement we are in pathetic shape right now. We not only have no capacity to move people who don’t already share our worldview, we seem to have no interest in doing so. Our stock arguments are lazy stacks of cliches. We seem to want to confirm everything conservatives say about our inability to argue without calling other people racist. We can’t articulate why our vision of the future is better than the other side’s, and in fact many of us will tell you that it’s offensive to think that we have an obligation to educate others on that vision at all. We celebrate grassroots activist movements like Black Lives Matter, but we insult them by treating them as the same thing as hashtag campaigns, and we don’t build a broader left-wing political movement that could increase their likelihood of success. We spend all day, every day, luxuriating in how much better we are than other people, having convinced ourselves that the work of politics is always external, never internal. We have made politics synonymous with social competition. We’re a mess.
Well, look: that's true. I do think the Left is approaching the implosion point…the insane level of political correctness is having, not surprisingly, the opposite effect on anyone who has an IQ higher than warm water. 

I also liked Twenty Rules to Live By as America Goes to Hell…here are 3 that ought to be carved in marble:

4: Plan first, consider carefully, adjust and only then do.
5: Have a contingency plan.
6: Create a backup for the contingency plan.


8: Practice regularly with everything you might one day depend on.

Back in my ill-fated days as a motivation speaker (takeaway…"Jeez Michael! Your problem is you keep telling people they truth, and they don't want to hear that!") I used to say that you didn't just need a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C," but rather Plan A though Plan ZZ and beyond. And that your ability to survive whatever, be it an obnoxious boss or TEOTWAWKI, is inextricably linked to your ability to slide seamlessly and quickly right on to the next plan when the previous fails. Of course, what I should have been talking about was how to get a Lexus, the spouse of your dreams and good hair by posting inspirational sayings on Post-It notes on the frig. Oh well, live and learn.

I did buy a gun — there's a shocker — when I was a DoubleStar earlier this week. We had a pistol owed that was our "crash test dummy" for illustrating builds. When we finished filming, I bought the lower, destined to become a dedicated .300 Blackout pistol.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Daily Microaggression

I'm working on it, anyway. At the airport in Louisville headed home after the first filming for AMERICA'S RIFLE, our Internet series on the AR-15 platform. Marshal Halloway's and my basic idea was "demystifying" the AR platform. My thinking is that after the Obama Boom there are a huge number of ARs in circulation in the hands of people who, having bought them, are now figuring out what to do with them.

In the first 6 episodes we'll step you through the AR as a self-defense tool, competition (including 3-Gun), hunting, long-range precision, maintenance and customization. Each episode will feature a technical segment on different aspects of the platform. My friend Nick Collier, who teaches DoubleStar's AR armorer classes and who can probably carve an AR out of a block of soap, will be handling our tech stuff.

Our friends at DoubleStar stepped up to fund the project. I say friends very specifically. My relationship with DoubleStar and their parent company, J&T Distributing, goes all the way back to the first season of SHOOTING GALLERY more than a dozen years ago. In that first season I decided to break a long-time taboo on outdoor television and 1) show AR platform guns in civilian hands in numerous contexts, and 2) with the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban still in place, we'd show people how to build thier own compliant AR.

It's not like it is now, with AR parts companies on every street corner. I made a blind call to J&T and told Teresa Starnes (the "T" in J&T) that I was going to have my own television show and I was going to teach people how to build and use ARs, at that point the most demonized gun ever. There was a long silence on the phone. Finally, Teresa said, "Seriously?"

LOL! But Teresa worked with me through that first build, and J&T remained a staunch supporter through the early years of the series. Not surprisingly, DoubleStar -- the complete gun side of the business -- has been a regular advertiser.

I say all this history because I think there's sometimes a substantial misunderstanding about advertising and relationships in our industry. I have read that advertising is a way of buying good will or subverting "objective" journalism. And yes, it can be both those things. But it doesn't have to be. I believe in relationships, I believe in friendship and I believe in loyalty. It means something to me that J&T was willing to help me out when I'm pretty sure Teresa, whom we lost last year, thought I was crazy as an outhouse rat.

Our host for AMERICA'S RIFLE is 3-Gun master Jeff Cramblit. Jeff shoots for DoubleStar and Hornady, among others. What attracted me to him as a host, however, was his wide-ranging interests in firearms and shooting. As a benefit, he's really great on TV.

Anyhow, Marshal and I are pretty excited. Jake Stocke, DP at AMERICAN RIFLEMAN Television, is handling videography and post, and he's great to work with.

I got home today and pretty much went straight to the range. If the weather holds, we may shoot an Appleseed on Sunday, and i still donut have the free float tube for the FAL. I could just go with either the house AR from Spike's or my 3-Gun rifle from JP, but I'd sorta like to do something a little harder…the Tavor or the little DoubleStar CCC ultra-lightweight carbine, one of my favorite ARs. I put a Burris AR-1X on the CCC go test it out…I'd been on a waiting list since the AR-1X was in such demand.

I did a quickie sight-in on the AR-1X…hopefully I'll put more rounds through it tomorrow and see how I like it before I make any decisions.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Best Free Speech Defense Yet

From Kurt Schlichter at Town Hall:
I damn sure didn’t go to war for this country twice to come home and be told by a bunch of homely chicks with daddy issues, effete literary fops scandalized by the notion of resistance to Third World pathologies, and nimrod sons of politicians playing at journalism what I can and can’t say. And I don’t think most Americans are ready to have everything they speak, write, or think perused for possible hate criminality by these same goose-stepping creeps. 
We’d rather die than “live” on our knees, begging permission to exercise the right God gave us to say whatever we damn well please, whenever we damn well please, and in the manner we damn well please. And those who want to shut us up better be equally committed if they want to succeed.
Amen! Read the whole thing, and get ready for the pooh-storm to come.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Red Letter Day!

At least for Newt.

Today was the day The Beagle Caught The Rabbit! Crack of dawn this AM, the Newt-ster asked to go out to her run. She never just "goes outside;" she's far too tactical for that. First, she sticks her nose out the doggie door and sniffs at great length…then her head, with her tail down and body tensed, just in case. Finally, she slithers out the door, ready for action. This morning it was strictly sniff, BAAAAAAYYYYYYY!

The stupid bunny had crept into the extremely well fenced run. Lotsa baying; lots bunny smacking against the fences; lots Michael running around getting dressed, finding shoes, racing outside to sort it out. The bunny finally froze in the face of the savage apex predator, who kept poking the bunny with her nose to get it to continue the most excellent chase game. Beagles are trackers, not catchers. Nothing's more boring than a rabbit who just sits there.

Well, it'll definitely get your Sunday off on a dead run!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

A Small Part of the "Problem Population" Yawns, Then Speaks

Yep, we old white males (should I capitalize that: Old White Males. OWMs?) are almost as much a problem as young white males. I haven't decided how much of a problem I'm likely to be because it's early yet. I'm working on it, though.

I assume you're keeping up with the breathtaking attacks on the First Amendment from not just the usual progressive fascists and their fellow travelers in the MSM  but mainstream "conservatives" as well. You guys know where I stand here, so I'll avoid going on on a rant. But I would like to note how quickly the masks come off.

We've seen this disease so very much on Second Amendment issues, all those "committed" conservatives who are with us right up until they aren't (Paging John McCain!). Of course, those opponents of liberty will claim they're more "nuanced" than we poor benighted souls who think the Constitution actually means what it says.

Of course it's my fervent hope that these more nuanced beings eventually get their own stamp, like the one above the British SOE in WW2 tinkered up for Vidkun Quisling, who sold out Norway to the Nazis, ended up in front of a firing squad and had his name become synonymous with people like John McCain, the New York Times and the entire Democratic Party.

There's another aspect that I hadn't considered, outlined by science fiction author Sarah Hoyt:
 But people who are distancing themselves from Gellar in a hurry aren’t acting like they’re afraid of death: afraid of being blown up or shot or stabbed as so many people who spoke up against the religion of “peace” have been. No. They’re afraid of losing public face. Their “distancing from Geller” is not because they’re afraid the Jihadis will show up at their door, or stab then during their morning bicycling, no. They’re afraid their friends and neighbors will think they’re anti-Islamic which has been declared by those who command the heights of the culture to be bad. More so, they’re afraid their BOSSES will think they’re anti-Islamic or “hateful” (since the left is now determined to tell us “hate speech” which is ALWAYS defined by those in power over the culture “isn’t protected.” [Which is a lie. The protection of speech is ONLY needed for speech others hate. Otherwise, no need. No one has ever been told they can’t say they love mom and apple pie.]) and their career/employment/chances at recognition in their specialty will be over.
Ms. Hoyt's piece reminded my that these is a Robert Heinlein quote for every eventuality. Here's an apt one, from REVOLT IN 2100, a collection of stories that had a profound effect on Michael the Teenager:

"The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed."


From David French at NRO:
I don’t know Pamela Geller, and I certainly don’t know her heart, but it’s simply bizarre that so few of the tens of thousands of words decrying her “hatred” have actually examined the actions of the jihadists she opposes. Isn’t genocide worth hating? Isn’t the systematic oppression of women? The selling of children into slavery? And in our hatred, we are in good company. As the writer of Proverbs states, there are “six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him” among those “abominations” are “hands that shed innocent blood.” Those are jihadist hands — hands even God hates.
Please, read the whole thing!

It's been raining for the last week here at the Bunker, good for the plants and the new apple trees, not so good for my idea of running my FAL at the Appleseed next week. I had hoped to get a DS Arms free-float tube in time to instal and debug…the FAL as issued features a sling swivel on the barrel…sling it up and you shift the point of impact pretty significantly, if my quickie wet test was any indication. So far, nothing has turned up in my mailbox, but I've still got a week.

I'm not actually rolling in 7.62 ammo, although I just ordered 500 additional rounds of ball. I may play around with the Tavor over the next couple of days and see if it's a possible replacement. Be fun to shoot it!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Another Darn Busy Day!

Although I will say that any day spent with Steven Hunter and Ian McCollum from Forgotten Weapons has to be a pretty cool day. I have to say Ian's like a bulldog in tracking down obscure information. He emailed me last week to ask about a point in the GUN STORIES script on the one of the first semi auto rifles, the Mannlicher Model of 1885. He said he wasn't familiar with that model and asked about my references.

Today, here's his report, probably more than anyone would ever want to know about the 1885. For his InRange TV, he also tracked down the real story of Wyatt Earp and Curly Bill Brocious. Busy boy…you'll meet him on GUN STORIES this season.

I hope I'm not talking out of school (something I've had my wrist slapped for recently! LOL!), but Steve's new book, I, Ripper, will be coming out 19 May:

Steve told me he needed a break from the Swagger saga, so he focused on Jack the Ripper. Based on our conversations, I can't wait to read this one! We'll of course have a full report on DRTV.

Tomorrow, I've got to sort out the wreckage of my office. At least make heads or tails of it. BTW, today's Trigger Warning for our Special Snowflakes is about this horrible, horrible graphic. Cover your eyes, Snowflakes!

Monday, May 04, 2015

That Whole Tricksy First Amendment Thingie...

"First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought."
Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
John D. Ashcroft, Attorney General, et al. v. Free Speech Coalition, (2002)

So I was going to write a bit about the First Amendment before the shootings in Garland, TX at the "Draw Mohammed" event. BTW, the $12,500 winner of that event was Albanian-American artist Bosch Fawstin with this cartoon:

The cartoon is, of course, copyrighted by Mr. Fawstin. Look at all his work...I especially like "Obama's position on Iran" cartoon. Spot on!

Oh, sorry...forgot the "Trigger Warning!":

"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
— Thomas Jefferson

There there, Special Snowflake! Feel better?

The reason I was thinking about the First Amendment was the 204 writers who chose to protest the PEN Literary Guild decision to give the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award to the magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose staff, if you remember that far back, was slaughtered by Islamic fascists on 7 January. I think Salman Rushdie of course put it better than I ever could: "“The award will be given. PEN is holding firm. Just 6 pussies [At the time only 6 authors had signed the letter]. Six Authors in Search of a bit of Character.”

Of course, this was after cartoonist Gary Trudeau, who once aspired to relevance, had already — to borrow the words of The Daily Caller — "crapped" all over the dead cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo:
By punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech, which in France is only illegal if it directly incites violence…
D'at ole demon Hate Speech! That Gary, he makes a whole career of demonizing conservatives and licking the boots of Democrats, but he knows that hate speech when he hears it! I wonder what the Founders might say? Maybe:

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
—Benjamin Franklin

Or maybe we should put it to the much revered William O. Douglas, who, for some reason, didn't mention "hate speech" at all:

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”
—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

Oh gosh, so what's a poor, do?

And so we come to Garland, TX, where the Islamic fascist ran into a Texan lawman who knew what he was all about. Whoops! 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Love Them Boomers!!!

Every chance I get I'm launching .454s through these 2 guns. The scoped one is a wonderful Freedom Arms with an octagonal barrel and Bushnell scope. The other one is...not.

The 300-gr Winchester Partitions are BEARS. The Federal Fusion 260-gr (1350fps) are sweethearts.

Got some Hornday 300s and and lighter bullet Winchesters I want to try.

UPDATE…the Winchester 300s and 260s are by far the snappiest  of the .454s I have around. The Hornady 300s are noticeably easier on the hands than the Winchester. I have to say that Freedom Arms .454 is absolutely as good as my custom single actions! Heck of a blaster.

The Most Beautiful Sharps in the World

About $9K plus of Shiloh Sharpz 45/70. It is breathtaking!