Monday, February 08, 2016

A Funky Monday Morning!

Beautiful sunny day, which makes the solar panels happy, which makes us happy because it's cold!

I'm kinda excited because I have an appointment with the doctors this afternoon to see where I stand, or limp, as the case may be. I'm ready to start moving forward. The big plus is I'm farther along planning SHOOTING GALLERY for 2017 that I usually am in April. Gonna be a great season. My focus on THE BEST DEFENSE right now is our 1-hour special on a "mass casualty" event in the Denver area, which we'll start filming in late March.

I believe this is one of the most important television shows we've ever done.  I've spent a lot of time with first responders, counterterrorist experts and people who study terrorism events, and my primary question has been what can the people caught in those events do to help themselves and their families. Certainly there are no guarantees, but if we can just give people a mental "index card" to have in place incase the worst happens, it will be worth it.

Normally, I would have several projects going right now, but as I mentioned Marshal Halloway and I are working on an Internet/OUTDOOR CHANNEL App based series that we hope to roll out March/April. I don't want to get deep into a project that we can't film. I have some new audio/video equipment on order, and hopefully Marshal and I will be rolling cameras in March.

There's a good article over on GUN NUTS MEDIA on setting and training attainable goals. Goal-setting is an interesting and more complicated than one might think — something I covered last week on the podcast. It's an issue that is heavily on my mind these days because I now understand that I have a pretty hard road in front of me. I have sketched out some macro-goals and some steps that I need to do once I get medical clearance. After a long talk with Mark Passamaneck last week, I realized that my path begins with pistol competition…focusing on a single gun while I in essence  get my feet back underneath me. I think going straight back into 3-Gun, with it's awkward shooting positions and ups-and-down might be putting more stress on the healing knee than I should.

I am also hoping I can do a couple of basic classes, which will give me a "beta test" on basic drills. If not that (time, time, time), I have reached out to a few trainers I really respect and asked them for some private (paid) instruction.

Ironically, the triathlon/swim group that I used to race for is having a reunion, which I can't make because I'm still off-the-old-airplane for a few more weeks. Still, it tripped old memories of how to train, how to set goals. I very successfully went through the first rehab; the doctors were impressed with the strength I'd built up. The rehab had nothing to do with the failure of the tendons to stitch back to the bone.

Thank you for all your thoughts and advice…it has been invaluable...

Sunday, February 07, 2016


In honor of the Super Bowl, which I'm not going to watch BTW, I opened a bottle of Talisker, 10 years fresh from the Isle of Skye.

The world is a happier place.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Hillary's Valentine Gift

Failed to take a nappy today, and as a result am a run-down wind-up toy. I've got at least another week of working catching up with everything from SHOT…lotta letters; lotta deals in the work. I'm pretty much terrified of March…I could use a couple of clones.

I noticed that .458 SOCOM brass popped up at Starline...I picked up a box of 250 so I can spend a happy summer tinkering around. Now I need a bunch of Reloader 7. Bullets, I got. I want a heavy bullet load for hogs on the May hunt that'll still give me a decent group, maybe those Barnes' 400-grainers. I'm be totting the Redhawk .44 Magnum with Garrett dino-thumpers as back-up.

I'm hoping I can convince Billy Wilson to let me come down to the ranch in Texas and shake all the remaining bugs out of the rifle (which is a Wilson Combat, after all). I've almost finished the Wilson Combat book, btw…I gotta bug Joyce out of about 1000 words on IDPA. I'd like to have the little carbine and ammo 100% when I take it into the mountains later in the summer. If you recall, it was a bit of a problem child until I learned to tune the magazines.

Right now it's got my go-to Leupold 1.5-4x illuminated on it, but I'm probably going to go with an Aimpoint T1 fitted with a ratchet-on mount for the 3x or 6x magnifier. Keep the weight down and give me some options on sighting.

I note that North American Arms who make funky little .22 revolvers, is doing little top-break version. I saw and handled a prototype a couple of years ago and thought it was just adorable, but they only did a limited run of a few guns, then decided it was too expensive to produce.

Apparently, according to TTAG, it'll be back mid-year. I will jump, jump I tell you, to get my hands on one!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

When In Doubt, Buy an AR

After last week's imbroglio, FIELD AND STREAM's David Petzal went out and bought an AR. I commend him on his choice, a Sig Sauer 716 DMR. It's one heck of a rifle. I've shot several, and it is an act of will to keep Ye Old Visa in my wallet. At SHOT this year my friend Allen Forkner had a 716 set-up, and at the hundred yard line it was nothing but Big Fun. The 716 is a great 7.62 AR, but at 12.6 pounds without a magazine, a tiny bit beefy (although Sig's had it on a diet for a couple of years).

I think if I was Mr. Super Hunter, I might go for something a bit lighter that I could carry in the woods without a team.. My own Ruger SR762 clocks in at 8.6 pounds w/out magazine.Not svelte, but I've carted it around a lot and it is stone cold good for 1000 yards. The new DD5V1 is lighter than that, and it is a Daniel Defense, so it's going to deliver (and one may be delivered to to my house).

I think Dave might have been better served by one of Billy Wilson's tactical lightweights in .458 SOCOM. That was my goal whenI began to build my .458 SOCOM (think 45-70 Dave…that might help you visualize) off a Wilson upper. Short, light, easy to handle, hit's like a pretty substantial skid of bricks (300-gr bullets at just under 2000 fps). I built mine on a Wilson lower. Right now it's got a Leupold 1.5-4X on it, but that will be replaced with an Aimpoint T1 and a 3X magnifier. I can bring the whole thing in under 8 pounds. I'll take it into the Smoky Mountains for boar later this year, as soon as I can get off the crutches.

My goal is to add an Aimpoint 6x magnifier and take it to New Mexico for elk…yes, I'll film it because I know how you guys like to see me suffer. LOL!

Harness the Reindeer, Honey, We're Low on Beer!

Got a foot and a half of that white stuff last night.Sometime today my Sweetie will have to clear the solar panels without my help, but I'm still in the period of not being able to put any load on the leg or have even the slightest risk of bending the knee.

Talk about feeling like a worm!

I'm getting better, to be sure, but I think all of you know how patient I am. I want to work hard and overcome, not sit in bed with a machine pumping ice water around my knee. Whine whine; bitch.

The groundhog dug up through the snow to check on his shadow. I shot him.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Winter Winter Winter….Yeech

It's a cold snowy yeechy morning here at the Bunker, a Monday in every since of the word. Everybody, myself included, is in a foul foul mood. I actually think the podcast is going to perk me up.

I spent the weekend with my leg elevated, walking as little as possible, wired into a machine that pumps ice water around my knee. Today I'm going through my research material for the new season of GUN STORIES WITH JOE MANTEGNA, then order whatever research material I need to write the script.

Busy busy! Have some cool stuff coming up when I get the medical go-ahead to leave the house. I'm hoping to get the Kimber K6s revolver ASAP. I already had plans to do a big  snubbie round-up for DRTV. Now that I'm back on crutches, the Ruger LCR 9mm is my daily companion in the Null SMZ shoulder holster.

Kimber K6s

I have LCRs in 9mm and one of the new .327 Magnum 6-shot ; I also have an LCRx .38 Special. with a hammer. A more "apples to apples" comparison with the Kimber will be the Ruger SP-101 .357s (5-shot), Ruger's all steel little brickbat of a snubby. I have 2 SP-101s, a Wiley Clapp version fitted with Novak sight and a hammerless SP-101 built by revolver-meister Grant Cunningham, who had a substantial amount of creative input into the little Kimber.

LCR 9mm

What I don't have is a Colt "Dick" Special, and they have sadly become collectable. I've shot Detective Specials, and my Mom had a Colt Cobra she carried in her purse. I have a lot more rounds through that Cobra than the vaious Detective Specials.

I suppose you can make an argument that the old, slightly larger, S&W K-frames like the 2 1/2 inch M19 or, in stainless, M66 or the semi-mythical M10 with fixed sights and a 2-inch barrel belong in this discussion. I carried a blue M19  2-/1/2 snub for years, and I can't imagine what cased me to get rid of it. The Detective Special clocked in at a little over 21 ounces, the M19 2 1/2 inch a bit beefier at a little over 30 ounces; my hammerless SP-101 at 25 ounces. Th Kimber at 23 ounces. The polymer framed LCRs come in around 17 ounces.

Looking forward to snubbing up.

Got a note from USPSA today on changes in the provisional Carry Optics. The division remains provisional but with the following changes:

• Authorization for all levels of USPSA and Steel Challenge
• Expanded stippling, contouring and texturing of the grip frame to include undercut trigger guard and grip reduction
• Expanded slide profiles to include serrations and cosmetic cuts not completely through the slide
• Increased weight limit of 45 ounces, including optic and empty magazine, allowing more pistols to compete
• Required use of a slide-mounted optic, prohibiting guns without an optic.

All in all, good and intelligent changes. It doesn't change my plan to run my G19 with an RMR. Yes yes I can give you chapter and verse as to how such a set-up won't be "competitive.' It's not inconceivable thatI might fall down the competition rabbit hole again…I've done it many times before. But for whatever personal/worthless reason, I want to master the G19 in 2016. Before the surgery I was carrying a G26 as EDC and the Ruger LCR as proof positive I was paranoid. I have a G26 shoulder holster coming fro Survival  Sheath Systems very soon, so I anticipate going back to the G26 as primary until I finish the build on my carry G19. Lucky enough, I found the frame and miscellaneous parts on  "SHOT Show exhibit gun," better deal than the real thing.

I'll keep you posted…gotto go do me some podcast!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Words for a Rough Weekeend

Last night was a pretty tough night….the surgeon warned me I'd have some, but last night was special, I thought the drugs would never kick in, and I'd have to gnaw my leg off like a trapped coyote.

I found myself in the middle of the night taking deep breaths and reading assorted literary stuff. I came across this, and I though it was worth posting.

"There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan.”

The good news for today is I found pieces of a Glock, thanks to my friends at Lipsey's, to build my ultimate carry G19 with SI parts. Am very excited! I also asked IWI to get me a 9mm X95 ASAP…you're going to see it in 2017 SHOOTING GALLERY!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What the Hell's Wrong with Petzal?

God, I get tired of this crap:
Range Day is the Monday prior to the Show’s opening when manufacturers demonstrate their wares. People like me are bussed out to handle the goodies. This year, Range Day sounded like the Battle of Dak To, or perhaps Fallujah, with the distinctive pop-pop-pop of full-auto fire, which was extremely popular amongst all the SEAL wannabes. Indeed, this was symbolic of the whole show, which has now become so heavily militarized that you have to look fairly hard for something designed to kill animals instead of people.
Maybe it's time Dave Petzal popped out his buttplug and quit whining about the 21st Century. One of my dream trips is taking a Colorado elk with my .458 SOCOM Wilson Combat AR, one of the finest rifles I own. At the same time, I had a long conversation with the owners of some of the finest classic riflemakers in the world about building me a classic bolt action hunting rifle in, say .300 Win Mag, God's own caliber.

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. Except in the mind of aging, atrophied gun writers who dreamed of becoming Elmer Keith and who, quite honestly, fell far short.
I love my pre-'64 Winchester 30-30 every much as I love my AAC .300 Blackout pistol. I routinely carry a .44 Special Vaquero single action on my ranch and a Glock 26 with an RMR when I "go to town." If you want to wear 5.11s and a tactical vest, so what? You want to wear jeans and a flannel shirt, I'm good with that, too.

I pull the trigger, and if you pull the trigger, I stand with you…pretty simple, huh?

And Dave, you might want to take note…guns are guns. Simple.