SHOT Show 2011:

Here’s the run down. Everything happened fast and it’s hard to keep track of just what happened when it happened. I have a lot of pictures that I threw onto my Facebook page, but I’m going to put up a quick Vid on YouTube that shows all of them in a montage. But let me give you a narrative right now:
I drove out Sunday morning. The trip from Vernal to Vegas is a long drive, but it isn’t that bad at all. I left about 10AM and got to my hotel about 6PM. I was set up in the Stratosphere, which was nice but the hotel nickels and dimes you on every little freaking thing so much so that it was a turn off. “Resort Fees” that don’t cover anything, that was annoying. I’d rather have paid a little more and felt like a “Guest”, know what I mean? But the room was great and the hotel staff didn’t steal any of my stuff.
The next morning I went to the Media Range Day. This was one hell of an event. Let me tell you, if you have a Press Pass and you don’t go to the Media Range Day – you might as well not go to SHOT. Because picking up a gun and looking at it is very different than being at the range with the gun with ammo and being able to actually shoot the thing and get some real hands on. It opened my eyes on a great many things.

Continue reading

The Stratosphere in Las Vegas:

The Stratosphere in Las Vegas: I have to tell you guys, I had a better room at The Terrible’s last year. I checked in faster and easier, I had the phone and wireless without asking. I had a more comfortable bed there too. Here at the Stratosphere, I was hit with with extra fees for everything… And they wanted me to pay a 250 dollar deposit for the phone. WTF? Next year, The Terribles again… I’ll never come back to the Stratosphere. I don’t like being itemized. I like be treated like a Guest. The food in the Stratosphere tasted like crap. They have a 50’s style diner that sells overpriced burgers that, well, you can get a better burger by microwaving a prepackaged one at a gas station. The novelty of going up real high in a tower, yeah, I got over that in my tree house as a kid. So what was the upside to it? It was easy to find. The parking was easy to get in and out of, and it put me right out near Paradise Road which allowed a pretty easy run to the back of the Venetian to get into their parking for Shot.
I have a separate SHOT report that wrote up, so here, I’ll just talk about Las Vegas. I really liked the New York New York hotel. That place is nice. Bigger rooms, nicer rooms, but better yet, you actually had good food in the place. They have a New York style deli that actually makes New York style sandwiches. As much as I liked the Ribeye at Smith & Wollenskys, that “New York Sky High” was awesome. They had some fried clams and fried calamari that was fresh and done to perfection. Very good to say the least.

You gotta love Mas!

You gotta love Mas. (Massad Ayoob) The man gets it. He wrote an article about getting reacquainted with the 1911. This is something I’ve just experienced myself… “Coming Home.” I spent much time away, but my roots are forged by Browning. For daily CCW carry, I can’t get away from my Glock 23 Reaper. The balance of firepower, size and weight are just ideal. But it’s like fast food. Breaking out one of my 1911’s is like Prime Rib… with bacon. Now, when I’m instructing, I’ll continue to use the Glock and the reason being is that it illustrates that the weapon is just the tool and it’s all about the shooter’s application of skill. I don’t want a student thinking that he can buy skill by splurging on a 1000 dollar plus handgun. My 500 dollar Glock gets the job done. Just like gobbling down Whopper kills the hunger pains… but real satisfaction comes from that Prime Rib with the sides and the whole spread… Oh yeah, baby. Other guns do a lot things well, but the 1911 does something better than anything else. Hitting first, hitting hard, and hitting right precisely where I want to it. Coming out of the holster, coming up on target, and drilling the target with a .45 caliber slug. It follow’s Sun Tzu’s directive. Hit first, and hit so hard that the enemy can’t hit back. That’s what the 1911 is all about. Now let’s look at the other qualities that “Old Slabsides” has. The way it looks… like a BMW, the lines are just “right” in the blending of form and function… it looks sleek, because it is. It looks authoritative, because it is. It looks menacing, because it is. The 1911 looks like perfect. The way the barrel and bushing mate together giving it the distinctive muzzle characteristic that no other handgun can ever have… it’s iconic. Now the way the 1911 feels… this is the greatest thing about it… you can make it feel precisely how you want it to feel by changing the grips and the main spring housing and the grip safety… you can tune it. Well beyond what any “Small, Medium, or Large” backstraps can afford. The only gun that can do this is the HK P30 and for the price of one of those you can get into a 1911. Let’s face it, the 1911 is classic American Muscle. It’s the American Hot Rod. It’s the Classic Rock. All wrapped up in what is easily the most successful handgun in the world. It’s foundational. Everything the American Shooter is all about.