The Coolest Muscle Cars of All Time

Hands down the Golden Era of Muscle Cars was 1966 to 1974 .  Those years were the most awesome years in the history of the world.  Through time frame American Car Makers were not afraid to try new things… to be as badass as they wanted to be.   Forget the little British Sports Cars… with their silly little go-cart motors.  American Muscle Cars were all about the big beefy V-8 engines and body stylings that blow a girl’s skirt up just sitting at a stoplight at idle.  Muscle Cars were Awesome.  All of them.  But some, are more awesome than others.

Here’s my list in No Order.

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The 1970 Boss 302 Mustang.  This car was Ford’s top of the line Mustang the year I was born.  Maybe why it’s been my favorite.  The Elinore and the Bullit Mustangs are undoubtedly cool… But 1970 302 is my Unicorn.  It’s one of those cars I’d go back in time, buy several, and put in a Time Capsule for my own pleasure back in the future.  In 1971 though, the Mustang really started to go to hell.  The ’71 and later Mach 1 body styles were disgusting, and then in 74 the Mustang II took over… *shudder*  But in 1970 the Boss 302 Mustang was at the zenith.  Handled better than the Boss 427, and actually tracked faster.  It was just good.  Ford hasn’t been able to hit again since the 2015 Mustang… which will become the best Mustang Ford has ever made.  But we’ll see if it stands up to the mighty 1970 Boss.

69DodgeCharger

The 1969 Dodge Charger.  The classic Dodge Charger had great lines.  Streamlined while still being “Muscle Car”.  Bo and Luke Duke?  Admit it – you watched The Duke’s because of the girl in the short shorts that drove the Jeep.  We all did.  But if you painted your Charger bright Orange to look like the General Lee – You suck at Life.  Because of that one TV series – there is a drastic shortage of good classic Chargers.  And too many of them are Orange.  The show burned through so many of them, it’s criminal.  But there are some left out there in the wild.  And if you find a good one – It’s a rare thing of beauty now.

1979ChevyChevelleSS454

This is the Baddest of the Bad.  The 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 454.  The most powerful factory installed engine of the Muscle Car Era.  It was Big and Bad and embodied everything the Muscle Car stood for.   If it was any more powerful it would come with it’s own Wookie Mechanic and would outrun Imperial Cruisers.  These are the real “SS” cars that Chevy seems to have forgotten about.  Later year versions of the Chevelle would feature only one headlight on each side – but I don’t think those are quite as menacing as the dual headlight cars.  The SS looks like it wants to throw you a beating.
You can see these cars in action in DEMOLITION MAN, and JACK REACHER.  Two movies which are worth watching just for the Chevelles.  That and Sandra Bullock’s ass in her Police Uniform in Demolition Man… Wow.  Just wow.

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Yes.  That was my reaction when I first saw that.

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That leads us to the 1967 Pontiac GTO.  This is the car… This is one that defined what a Muscle Car was all about.  It set the rules.  It established the very definition.  This was Muscle Car Purity.  There are a lot of different versions of the GTO, but in 1967 Pontiac got it just right.   The right balance of size, weight, output, and looks.  As far as car designs go, it shows that it’s a 60′s era car, but it’s a design that has aged very well…. so well in fact, that they actually look better now. These are the Jane Seymour’s of Muscle Cars.  When one drives by, you can’t help but to stare at it.  There is just something about it.  Just like Jane Seymour.

67Impala

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The TV Show Supernatural has 3 Leading Characters.  Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, and the ’67 Impala.  This is the show that eclipsed Firefly as The Coolest Show on Earth.  It has Classic Rock Music, Guns, Monsters, and this Impala.  The Impala is just flat out cool.  Old School Muscle Car, with refined looks and a nice feature that makes it practical for every day use.  Four Doors.  Looking at my other choices – this is the only one with four doors.  I find that kind of odd…. as I don’t have anything against four doors, but most look like grandmother’s sunday barges.  The 67 Impala has something rather menacing about it that later Impalas lost in the 70′s… and really have never regained.

Out of this short list – If I could pick one that the Gods of Torque and Recoil could bestow upon me… It would be between the 302 Mustang and the Chevelle SS 454.  I think I’d have to take BOTH.  And of course the GOT&R would nod sagely and give me both… Because they are just awesome that way.

Honorable mentions going to the AMC AMX, the Olds Cutlass, and the Buick GSX.  But really… those cars were just taking cues off of these cars.

 

America’s greatest car.

Let me ask you guys a question.  What is America’s greatest car?  What car is the icon of all that is America?  Maybe we should ask those that don’t live in the USA… What car do they see in the American Dream?  The symbol of the United State…  The 4 wheel statue at the top of the flag pole.  Eh, who cares what Jeremy Clarkson thinks… This is our car we’re talking about.  America’s car.  What is that car to us?

Is it the Mustang?

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The Mustang is now 50 years old.   And it’s been mostly a good 50 years.  Never mind the Mustang II years… 1973 to 1978… Those were terrible years and I am not convinced anything good came out of those years.  Interestingly, ’73 to ’78 were the very same years as the run of Kojak.  Telly Savalas may have single handedly saved The 70′s, I’m not sure, but it sure wasn’t the Mustang II.  Side note, according to the Wiki, Consumer Reports recommended the Gremlin over the Mustang II.  Ouch.  That stings.

Maybe America’s Car is the Corvette.

Ferrari and Lambo can go back to Italy.

Ferrari and Lambo can go back to Italy.

The Corvette is now well over that 50 year mark.  It too has a long and storied history marred by that awkward time through the 70′s.   But overall, the Corvette weathered that storm and really never forgot what it was quite like the Mustang.   The 2015 Corvett’s styling is brilliant… it blends hallmarks over everything the Corvette always was, with everything the Mad Men at Chevy want the Corvette to be. Then they put in the best interior that the Corvette has ever had.  The best seats, the best dash layout, the best cockpit area… It’s the promise of the Corvette finally fulfilled.  Driving one, just for a few minutes, tells you that the Corvette has finally arrived.  For it to be any better than this – It will have to run on a Mr Fusion and fly.

Both the Mustang and the Corvette share one thing in common for me.  I never really wanted one until the 2015 Model year for both the cars.  If you look at the development of these cars, you see a progression of development, with both cars getting better with every year… but 2015 marks what is probably the pinnacle for both platforms.    Maybe overall the Mustang had a lead.  Especially in 1968… Because of one man.  No, not Carroll Shelby*.  But Steve McQueen.

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I think overall this is what saved the Mustang through those lean 70′s years.  That and the fact there really were not a lot of good options during that time anyway.
In 2004 is when Ford started taking the Mustang seriously though.  That’s when Carroll Shelby came into the scene, bringing with him the Cobra packages.  Mustangs all the sudden became something more than just a habit for Ford.  It became a real thing again.  Something that they could actually show some pride in.  They had gone past the Fox Bodies – which really were not all that bad – into that newer clam shell topped car that was just… not all that inspiring. They were like a place holder car until Shelby bolted in an Awesome kit.    Come on, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team couldn’t do anything with it… The best work that they had done in some time before or since with any car was the Contour.  When automotive journalists compare the SVT Contour to a BMW M3, that really says something.  Too bad nobody paid attention to those journalists.  Come on, SVT’s biggest idea for the Mustang was a 4 cylinder turbo.  They should have put that in the Contour and supercharged the Mustang.  Or something. I will give them credit for the Lightning… because that was awesome… and the Raptor… because that was even more awesome.  But without Shelby, the SVT guys were just lost.

Okay, now here’s the thing though… America’s best selling car isn’t a car.  According to AutoBlog, the top 10 vehicles sold doesn’t even have an American car in the list.   You see that the #1 rig is the Ford F-150, and #2 is the Chevy Silverado.   It’s been said that Ford sells about 6 F-150′s every Minute.  But best selling doesn’t necessarily mean best vehicle.  Motor Trend (my favorite American’ Auto-Rag) named the Ram 1500 as the Truck of the Year for 2014.    I have to say, that’s a good choice.  I drove a Ram 1500 from Vernal, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada and I have to say… it was incredibly comfortable and incredibly smooth.  It was a joy to drive.  And that was, what, a 2012 model?  The newer ones have got nothing but better.  I especially love the storage boxes above the wheel wells along the sides of the beds.  That’s smart.  And the fact that you can get 28 MPG’s on the highway – thats’ incredible.

More than Car Guys – Truck Guys can get seriously argumentative over who has the best truck.  Ford – Chevy – Dodge – Toyota… They battle like the families in Game of Thrones.   I’ll let you guys decide which Family is which Brand.  For me, there is something wrong with Ford F-150 that I can’t put my finger on.  Maybe it’s the looks.  I HATE the look of these new F-150′s.  They look like they were designed by Mayan-Cylon Architects.  That’s not a good look for a truck.  I’m not a fan of the dual turbo V-6… Ford’s EcoBoost.  Sure, it’s popular and guys that have it love them.  But I’d rather have the 5.0 Liter…   Now, the Ford’s 5.0 is said to put out more power than the 5.3 Liter Chevy V-8, but the Chevy’s has Cylinder Deactivation for more efficient highway driving.  When trying out both trucks, I really can’t feel a difference.

As I have mentioned before, I do like the Chevy interior better than the Ford’s.   The Ford’s feel like you are flying in Coach Class by the Emergency Exit.  You might have plenty of leg room, but you don’t really want to be there.  The Chevy’s is more comfortable, with a better layout all around.  So I think between the two I’d take the Chevy**.

Overall, in my opinion, America’s Car for 2014 is the Chevy Silverado.

*The fact that Dodge locked up Shelby to merely gussy up some ulgy hatchbacks is something America should never forgive Dodge for.

**Actually most likely I’d take the new 2015 Chevy Colorado.  With a V-6 of course.  For economy reasons.  This is a class of Truck that Ford has ignored for some time now.   But that’s another topic.    But if I was rich and could just buy whatever I wanted – The Silverado High Country edition with that 6.2 liter engine… Just because.

The 1911 Platform Observations

The 1911. It’s a fantastic shooting platform. I had gotten away from it for some years and now I’m back to it for the time being. As an instructor I’ve made many observations on the guns and the shooters and I think I’ve come up with some conclusions.
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1. The 1911 demands loyalty. You can’t cheat on it and have it be faithful back to you. If you are going to carry a 1911, you need to marry it. Here’s why… In most every class I’ve taught that had a 1911 shooter in it, I’ll catch a guy draw his weapon, push out from the high compressed position, and then crush his trigger to no effect because he forgot to sweep the safety off. Most of the guys that do that, do so because their other guns are not 1911′s. They are Glocks or XD’s or M&P’s or something altogether not 1911′s. Don’t cheat on the 1911. Because that’s going to lead some issues.
2. Don’t go shorter than 4 inches. 1911′s that are shorter than a “Commander” start to give up reliability. You give up other things as well to the point that you are detracting from the fantastic qualities that make the 1911 the 1911 in the first place. The long sight radius, the accuracy, the pointability… These things make a 1911 what it is. Chopping them down to 3 inches… you’ve ruined it. You no longer have the pointing, the accuracy, the very things we love the 1911 for. And I’ve never seen a compact 1911 of any sort complete one of my handgun courses without turning into a hot mess of problems. The Commander is 4.25 inches. Many 1911 makers are doing a 4″ version, and they seem to be running just about as well as any good full sized 5″ “Government” model. Shorter than 4, it’s effecting the geometry and the timing and it’s just not worth the risk in reliability for the perception of greater concealment.
3. The 1911 needs to be well lubricated. Some guys like oil, some grease, and others a combo of both in different places. However you like it – that’s fine. As long as you oil it. Most every 1911 I’ve seen with issues that wasn’t shorter than 4″, was a pistol that was bone dry. Just like an AR-15, it can be hot, and dirty… but it can’t be dry. The 1911 likes to be wet.
4. The 1911 is a traditional type of pistol so it needs a traditional type of holsters – leather. Good leather. Most 1911′s are north of $1,000 dollars, so don’t even think about it letting it ride in a cheap rig. And remember what I said about marrying the 1911? That means showing it the respect that it deserves… let it ride in something nice. Let it know you care. Here’s the other reason… The 1911 is not for the Duffers. It’s a pistol for the experts. It’s for the experienced shooters. It should show some miles on it. Let it get some holster wear, let that holster break in… And you do that by #5…
5. You Must Train with it. Practice your draw. Practice your re-holstering. Practice getting that one thing that the 1911 excels at – that fast and precise first round heavy hit. All gunfights have one thing in common. That first shot. Make it count.

Bundy Ranch

Yes, I’ve been quiet about the Bundy Ranch situation.   Fine… You want my opinion?

Bundy is a nutter and owes his grazing fees.  But he also has a point.  I believe the States should control their own land and not the Feds through the BLM.  I know a lot of guys that work for the BLM and they are good guys.  But in Nevada, they are over-stepping quite a bit.  Pulling back like they did was a smart move.  They had nothing to gain by pushing further.
Harry Reid is right when he said that this isn’t over.  The BLM will make their bones on this.  That much is for sure.  Because it’s BLM land, not Nevada land.  The Feds will get their due.  They are like the Lannisters from the Game of Thrones.

Does anyone really think this is about Turtles?  Does anyone really give a crap about the turtles?  Las Vegas is killing them because they have too many.  Even though they are “endangered”.  Really?  What’s really going on?

The BLM controls most of the western states.  This is patently wrong.  See the Feds made these huge land grabs by offering PILT deals.  Payments in lieu of Taxes.  The States turn over “unproductive” land to the Feds and get payments from the Feds in return.  “More than what they would earn in taxes” or so they said.  Utah took it.   And it so happens that the PILT money is a fraction of what they would be making on the revenue from the Mineral Rights… OIL MONEY.  Crude, Tar Sands, Oil Shale, Fracking… Black Gold… Texas Tea… And then all the Natural Gas on top of that.  Billions of dollars worth and the Feds pay out Pennies in PILT.  Nevada gets PILT payments as well.  How’s that working out for them?

Now, in Nevada, they don’t have as much oil as Utah.  Not like in the Uintah Basin.  But Harry Reid’s son has a solar energy deal with China… a deal that is supposed to happen on that contested land.   You can bet the farm – er – the Ranch… sorry… That Harry Reid is fully set and ready to destroy the Bundy’s so his son and he can make some bacon on that land the Bundy’s are raising beef on.  Reid is ready to go Full On Waco on the Bundy’s.  Yet that clown points a finger at the people that are saying “hey, that’s not right” and calls them Domestic Terrorists.  Well, I can’t say how I feel about Reid.  The G-Men would be knocking on my door if I did.

All I can say about this situation in Nevada is “Follow The Money”.  Who benefits from this?  Nevada?  No… Nevada doesn’t get nothing.

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Huh…  Looks the Sheriff might be getting some scratch.  The Reid Family sure is.  But the people of Nevada are getting the thumb screws.  As are all of us…  Because this is a States Rights issue at the core of the Bundy’s arguement – and it’s an issue that needs to be looked at.

When I ran for office in 2010 in Utah, my platform had two key issues I wanted to push.  Taking Back Utah and Constitutional Carry.  Now, when I was running, the US Forrest Service had just shut down the majority of the routes through the Uintah Mountains.  Trails, Dirt Roads… basically all access to old family hunting grounds that the people of Uintah County had been hunting for generations.  I was there at the meetings and listened to the proposals and listened to the people – and let me tell you.  The Feds didn’t give a damn.  They had their goals to accomplish.  Keep everyone where they could be found easily.  “For their safety” and to keep the wear and tear down on the trails.  Yeah – by concentrating all that traffic in one big loop.  They never explained just how that works.

Utah can manage Utah better.

Nevada can manage Nevada better.

Remington Down

Remington was once known as Big Green.  They were huge and they were moving.  Winchester had dropped the Model 70 and Savage wasn’t even an option…  Brownings and Sakos were for the rich and famous.   The Model 700 was dominant as the bolt action for the Every Day Man.   The only shotgun worth having was the 870 for serious field use.  Remington rifles were known for accuracy and quality.   The shotgun for rugged durability.   There was no question about this.  These were Remington’s halcyon days.

Now we’ve had yet another recall on Remington 700 and 7 triggers.  Remington only original pistol design the 51 was brought back and it’s looking like a major flop.  Remington’s acquisition of Marlin has been regarded as a death knell for Marlin as a brand as the quality control of those storied lever action rifles has fallen through the floor. The ACR rifle which was the great promise of freeing us all from the doldrums of   AR-15′ness has fallen flat on it’s face from a lack of the Barrel Conversions as promised to change lengths and calibers.  We were supposed to have had them a long time ago, and here we are in 2014 and we still don’t have what what promised.  You know, the whole major selling point of the ACR other than “it’s not an AR-15″.  I’ve even seen and heard other guys talk about the Remington 1911 in tones of disappointment and regret.  Even Remington brand ammunition is pretty much my least favorite ammo out there.  In fact, I’d rather shoot steel cased Wolf stuff through my guns.  A common theme in the remarks about any Remington product is “I’ll never buy another Remington again”.

It would seem that Remington is caught in a Huey Tuck of unfortunate failures, and doesn’t have the altitude to pull out of it.  What can Remington do to prevent the impending doom of crashing through the tree tops?

First off, Remington needs to concentrate on quality control.  Every gun that goes out there door needs to be individually inspected by a Gun Smith, not just a packaging clerk in the shipping department.   And that needs it’s own QC there too.  The actions, triggers, extraction and ejection, everything.   If it’s not perfect – don’t just ship the bloody thing!

Second.  There is no valid reason that there are not a plethora of barrel kit options for the ACR platform.  None.  Zero.  Any reason you think you have, is just as excuse.  Get them out there and get it out at a decent price.  Have barrel options for 12 to 20 inches in all applicable calibers.   Just do it.  You have a whole mess of people waiting for those and a whole lot of other people that would be buying the ACR if they were actually available.  ACR Barrel Kits are now Vaporware on the same level as the fabled Glock Carbine.

Thirdly.  Just drop the R51 pistol.  Continual production and sales of this lemon is putting Remington at risk.  A gun that can fire out of battery is a gun that is waiting to Frag its owner and cause serious bodily harm.  That’s a mountain of liability that you do not need right now.  Someone is going to get hurt and they are going to go after you tooth and nail for producing this thing.  And with all the videos on YouTube showing that this is a known and documented issue – you guys are already in trouble on this.  It’s just a matter of time before someone files.   It should be recalled and discontinued.  Or recall it and do a radical redesign.  I’m sure there are people at Remington that know how to make the R51 work.  You need to listen to them.  And fire whoever is keeping them quiet.

Fourth.  Get rid of the Corporate Yes-Men and start telling people in the upstairs offices “No”.  Because not all the ideas have been good ones.   Like the 887 Shotgun.  That’s a terrible gun.  It’s no improvement over the 870, and it feels cheap and wrong.  What’s the advantage?  No, don’t answer that, I don’t need to hear the propaganda.  That was just a bad idea.

Fifth.  Marlin.  You guys really stomped all over the Marlin name.  The quality control has been the worst I’ve ever seen.  In the production and in the Warranty department.  Absolutely the worse.  Quality Control there was an absolute joke.  We had new guns come in that we couldn’t even get the actions to cycle and we would have returns come back from warranty service missing parts in areas that were unrelated to what they were sent in for.  I don’t know how they managed to fail so hard.  Who is working in the Marlin department?  Chimps?  I know things have gotten better.  But that’s a low hurdle to mark down as an achievement.   When Rossi is making a better Lever Action – that’s just sad.

Take a look at Taylor’s and Wild West Guns and look at how they are making some guns that people are wanting… How come you do not have anything like that?  Where is your take down?  What year is this now?  Where are your winged and adjustable aperture sights?

I don’t know guys… Can Remington be redeemed?  Or have they fallen too far now?

Undying

This is the scariest game I’ve ever played.  More than Doom 3, the Marine missions in AVP, or FEAR… which are all my top choices of a scary gaming goodness… But Undying holds the crown.  The graphics suck and the combat dynamics are “interesting”… the story is pretty good for a Video Game’s rationalization to go around and kill everything.  What sets it apart is the Characters and the Environment.  The lighting effects, the sound effects, and the music combine to create an immersive environment that few games can even get close to.  While I consider myself to be very jaded and disconnected, Undying really sucked me in to that world.  And that world scared me.  There was one area in the game that was pretty much empty of monsters, but the mood and the music worked together to really creep me the heck out.  Undying is the only Horror-FPS game, or any Horror Game, that made me throw a NOPE grenade, unplug the computer, and walk away.  UNDYING did that to me.  It’s never happened before or since… but I had to pull the power cord, get up, and walk away, because I was freaked the hell out.

You know how you have your 1 horror movie that freaked you out the most when you first saw it?  For me that’s EVENT HORIZON.  Well, Undying is that – in a video game.

PatrickGalloway

This is the character you play.  Patrick Galloway.  He’s a Post WW1 Era Scottish version of Neo/Mr. Anderson or a Dr. Gordon Freeman.  He can use bottles of flaming liquid, a revolver, a shotgun or a slingshot from that guy on Youtube that makes crazy slingshots.  And in the other hand, he can use Magic.  And he’s left handed.  Clive Barker said that he wanted to make this character sexy, as he is gay and wanted a character that held his attention.  The result is that unlike other FPS Game characters you get to know Patrick Galloway… your alter-ego as play through and get sucked into the Undying world.

Being written by Clive Barker, it’s going to have some depth, some darkness, and a enough Batshit to build Crazy Town with.    Clive… is a guy that’s really not right in the head.  He makes Stephen King look like a school teacher, and Dean Koontz look like a sunday school teacher.  So some aspects of what he writes is just oh so very wrong.  There’s a lot of Wrongness in this game.  Here’s the thing though… It works.  And it’s scary.  And it’s a hard game, which means you are not going to be breezing through it.  You have to investigate things, and figure things out, and it’s not going to be easy.

I’d like to see this game redone on a better game engine with better graphics.  And I’d like to see the ending cleaned up and some other things tweaked… but overall it really stands on it’s own.  Maybe though… maybe it’s best that the Graphics remain poor.  Because maybe it would be too much if it was any more “realistic”.

Sriracha Sauce

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People are discovering Sriracha.  A spicy, flavorful hot sauce from Asia… Originally only found at Chinese Buffets and the like.  But it’s broken out of the stereotypes and now it stands on its own.  I’ve heard it called “Thai Ketchup”… which is a fairly accurate term.  As anything you might put ketchup on – you can put Sriracha on and it will be better.  This started a new Spice Trade… The factory in Asia couldn’t keep up with demand so they built one in the US as the tasty sauce has really taken off.

Here’s the problem though.   The US factory that makes Sriracha has been declared a public nuisance because of the smell.  At the same time it’s becoming more and more popular.  People are hording.  In some places, it’s hard to find.  In fact, I couldn’t.  We had run out and the local stores didn’t have any.  One thing we really like at The Ogre House – is Hot Sauce.  We use it all the time.  The more different varieties, the better.  And one of the House Favorites is Sriracha.  And we couldn’t find any.  This was a problem.   But I did find an alternative.
Because of the threat of the US Sriracha factory being shut down, Texas Pete stepped up and made their own version of it.   Texas Pete is a North Carolina tradition… so I had to buy a bottle to try out.

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Oh, it’s good.  It’s very good.  If you can’t find the original.  Which I couldn’t.    In fact, I like it.  It does very well on Burgers and Dogs and Steaks and noodles and Pizza… Everything I tried it on.  The above image was posted on FaceBook as I was showing off my Lunch – because that’s what Facebook is for.  To make sure all your friends know what you are eating.
Then yesterday a mystery box appeared on our door step.

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The box contained 6 big bottles.  The real deal.  There was no note.  No return address save for the Factory.  My wife declared it a “year’s supply”.  I give it a month.  A tasty tasty month.

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So the question here is how does Texas Pete’s version stand up to the original?  (The 6th bottle of the original goodness could not be pried from my oldest son’s hands.  Even just to take a photo.)

It looks almost identical in the photo.  But it’s not.  The vehicle for this test was a simple scrambled egg.   Half the egg was covered in the “Rooster Sauce” and the other in the “Cha”.

The Flaming Cock wins.  Hands down.  The flavor is richer, fuller… while the Texas Pete seems to have a little more watered down taste… more Vinegar.  In the original, you can really taste the peppers. The Texas Pete just doesn’t stand up.  It’s not quite as hot either, so maybe it’s good for Beginners and it’s just fine if you can’t find The Good Stuff.  It’s not really a HOT SAUCE per say.  Because it’s not really “HOT”.  It’s warmer than Ketchup.  Maybe on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being “Insanity Sauce” (Just throwing that out there), then Sriracha is about a 3.  But it’s not about the Heat.  It’s about the Flavor.  It tastes GOOD.

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Here’s the thing – they both have their place.  If you are preparing something that asks you to mix the Sriracha in something or put it in your cooking… You can use the Texas Pete.  It will be fine for that.  Save the original Sriracha for pure topical applications where your sauce isn’t diluted.  And you can put it on just about everything.  And it makes everything better.

Why Sriracha?  This explains Sriracha quite clearly.

Seriously, guys… But it on your Burgers and Pizza.  Use it generously.  On a burger – use it like you would ketchup.  On a pizza, drizzle it all over it, or dip it.  It really adds tone and flavor.   If you don’t try it – You Are Wrong.

FNH shows some Leadership

Congratulations to FNH for showing some serious leadership in the SHOT Industry.  Something EVERY company that’s involved in the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade industry.
Partnering with TREAD LIGHTLY!.

994325_10201226366874642_910207755_n (1)This sends the right message.   To everyone.  From our fellow shooters, to everyone that enjoys the outdoors for all reasons.  My brother in law Sage Wheeler taught me to appreciate our lands more than I had thought about.  I’m not an Environmentalist by any means, but I am one that is concerned.  I’ve spend many hours in the desert filling up the back of my Chevy 4×4 and my Ford Bronco full of garbage and crap to take to the landfill.  Couches, Appliances, Chairs, TV’s, Computers… All of them… Everything… riddled with bullet holes.  Sure, I made my share of holes… But then I came back and cleaned up what I could.  Because the #1 reason our shooting areas are getting closed off – is because we tolerate those that use those areas as a dumping ground.   That has to stop.  If it doesn’t, we’re going to lose all of it.

Thanks, Sage.  And thank you, FNH.

My Top 3 Interesting Handguns

I’ve a rather short list of handguns that are of interest to me, at the moment.  Perhaps the fascination will pass on these, but the Want Factor has been quite high all year so far.

1.  The Walther PPQ M2 5″.
PPQ-M2-5inch
The P99 I reviewed for Concealed Carry Magazine really impressed me, overall. But a couple things that irritated me to one degree or another on the P99 was removed or fixed in the PPQ.  Namely the mag release and the decocker button on the top of the slide.  The PPQ retains everything good about the P99, just cleaned up.  Like a Subaru WRX without the Spoiler and Hood Nostril.  Talking to some other guys about the PPQ, such as Jon Hodoway from Nighthawk Custom Training… it’s quietly becoming a favorite in the class of Polyframed Striker Fired pistols.

2.  The SIG M11-A1.
SIG-Sauer-M11-A1
This is basically a reintroduction of the  very excellent SIG P228… Which is what SIG is now calling the 229… but the 229 has rails.  Don’t try to figure it out – it’s SIG and they just do things like that.  But it takes nothing away from the M11A1… Which is an excellent pistol and one that’s been on my mind more and more lately.  Slightly shorter than the full sized 226, the M11A1 comes home to that “Just Right” size for me.  For EDC work both Open or Concealed, this gun can get it done.  And has been getting it done under the 228 tag for a long time.  I had a 228 that I used as a backup gun for some time and it was quiet excellent.  I did have some problems with the trigger return spring, but that was an easy fix and it never troubled me again.  I miss that gun.  This is it’s resurrection.

3.  The Ruger Super Blackhawk, 4 5/8″, .44 Magnum.
ruger_70181
Nothing quite says “You’re Doomed” like thumbcocking back the hammer on an accurate and powerful single action revolver.  I’m more fond of the western style revolvers than I am the more “modern” double action types.  There’s something about the classic heritage of the breed that is both fascinating and just… I don’t know how to say it… “The way it should be”.  Especially when dealing with full potency magnum loads.  The only thing I’d do to this gun would be to get a Gold Bead front sight put in.  That’s it.  The reason I picked this over the Vaquero… the sights… the magnum frame… and a grip that fits my hand better.  The Vaquero felt too small to me.  Nice, but too small.  That and with the Blackhawks I can really place my shots.  For me, that’s a requirement with a gun with only a few rounds in it.  The shorter barrel looks properly handsome as well.    If I was in a rural area again where Open Carry didn’t even cause folks to look twice – That’s what I’d be packing most of the time I think.  (Along with a Truck Gun in the same caliber… Such as a Rossi 92 20″)

Armchair Quarterbacking: DETONICS.

Combat Master

Before I roll forward with Armchair Quarterbacking Detonics, I want the readers here to know my long history with the Combat Master, and my affections for it.   I wrote two articles about the Combat Master for Concealed Carry Magazine.  Both articles were rather glowing of the guns overall.   You can read them both here.  The second article has photos here.

“This is like Scarlett Johanson winning an Ultimate Fighter Championship.”

I considered Jerry Ahern a friend.  We had many great conversations about Detonics and about the Combat Master.  When Jerry passed away, I was greatly saddened.   But what saddened me the most was the new iteration of Detonics and the all new version of the Combat Master.

One of the things we had talked about was the use of a regular dovetailed front sight with Tritium and moving the rear sight back to the normal 1911 position and using a regular Commander style hammer and a Beavertail.    Make it more like a regular 1911 that people are familiar with instead of having the Combat Master occupy the Uncanny Valley.  We had even discussed me buying one in this configuration from Detonics USA, and Jerry had said “Don’t worry about it, George.  We’ll send you a prototype.”  This was being discussed while I was writing the second Combat Master review.   But before I could return the review pistol to Detonics, the company had closed its doors and Jerry was removed from his office.  And what we had discussed went with him.

Some time after that all happened, Detonics had reopened.   And they did come out with a new version of the Combat Master…. and this happened:

1911lust

They did indeed use a regular sized front sight post… and they moved the rear sight back to where they normally go.  And then they did that.  I don’t even know what that is.  No one else did either as this version of the Combat Master was killed off almost as fast as it had come out.     Here is where it failed again.  It’s still not like a 1911… It’s still almost familiar but wrong – dead nuts in the center of the Uncanny Valley zip code.   Right where people look at it from a distance and say “hey, look at that” and then they get close enough to really see it and they are repelled.  Instinct dictates the initial attraction and the subsequent revulsion.  Because it’s not what they are familiar with it.  A hexagon barrel with the front sight mounted to it is just fine… On a Webley.  But on a 1911 pistol of any sort?

Detonics needs to bring back the Combat Master because that’s WHAT DETONICS IS.  But they need to forget that strange polygonal barrel and make it more like a traditional 1911.

DETONICS-CM
The scalloping of the ejection port on the older Combat Masters is both elegant and beautiful.  That’s a nice touch that should come back.  The Rear Sight should be in the normal 1911 position.  But not a Novak ramp style.  Something more like an ICE Claw rear sight.  And give it a small Beavertail.  For better accuracy, reliability, and ballistic punch, lengthen the barrel a bit.
The other problem with the Combat Master is the Magazine.  They are shorter than the standard Officer’s model, which means you are Single Sourced for them.  Lengthen the frame just a touch so that you can use regular Officer’s Magazines.   The result is you will have a gun that fits people’s hands better and they can get a bunch of spare mags without having to sell a car to do it.
I’d even take this a step further and use a GI Guid rod and Bushing.  Take a look at the Nighthawk T3.  You know what, Detonics?  There is a waiting list for those things.  And those guns cost double your discontinued Combat Master.   Do you see the difference here?  You probably don’t.  The difference is your gun was not just different – it was strange.  While the T3 was a compact 1911 DONE WELL.  That’s the difference.  And that’s why people were waiting to pay double dollars for something that the Combat Master was competing with.

The 1911 should always feel like it’s familiar.  You should never have to break out a Manual or look up a How To video on YouTube.  The 1911 should be a 1911.  Like Apple Pie and Baseball, it should be Classic and it should be reminding their owners of heroic days past… and it should be inspiring in its accuracy and reliability for future adventures.   It it doesn’t do that, you’ve failed.   I can’t explain this any better.  If it’s not clear to you, well… Good luck.

The MTX pistol looks interesting.  But you said a 3.5″ and a 5″ version will be available in 2013.  Nothing looks worse than saying you are coming out with something and then you don’t.  Unless it’s a double stacked 1911 with a 3.5″ barrel.  Just don’t do that.  It sounds good at first but is never a good thing once it’s in the hand.  Just drop that, and concentrate on getting that 5″ version done… and maybe even do a 6″.  Do a 10mm version in 6″ because that would be awesome and something that is just not available outside of STI.  A 6″ 10mm MTX would have me drooling.

Bring back the Range Master and the Street Master.  Make the Range Master a 5″ traditional 1911 with adjustable sights and the Street Master a 4.25″ with fixed sights.  Make them like the originals, but better.  Give them Match barrels and triggers and make them as accurate and as reliable as any other high end 1911, but do it at a competitive price.  Look at Dan Wesson’s 1911′s.   They are absolutely excellent.  Do some extra touches that need to be done… Polish the rails and the locking lugs.  Polish the trigger parts so the trigger feel is absolute perfection.    And forget the gimmicks.  The only options should be polished blue or stainless.  The grips should be stunning woods with torques head screws so it looks clean.  Double Diamonds.  Traditional.  Traditional done to Perfection. Make the guns live up to their names.  It should make the person feel like he really and truly is holding something special and wonderful in their hands when they pick one up.  Nothing about it should make one raise an eyebrow.

Caliber options for all guns should be 9mm, 10mm and .45 Auto.

If at this point, you can’t do a good traditional 1911, Detonics should be allowed to die with dignity.  But for some people, the name still holds currency and we want it to succeed.  You just need a man with some vision to take charge and make the name great again.  You need another Jerry Ahern.

I’m available for contract negotiations at any time.  ;)