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…