Auto Rags

To judge an automotive journal these days, you can’t take them on just their print media anymore… You have to look at their social media as well.  That means facebook, instagram, twitter, and Youtube.  How connected the magazine is to its audience, and how relevant the information and entertainment is.

The top three are MotorTrend,  Road & Track, and Car & Driver.
In that order.

MT is awesome in Print and Video.  Their channel on YouTube is a Must to Subscribe.
R&T has FB posts so good that if you are a Car Guy, you are missing out of you don’t follow them.
C&D has solid FB posts and a good layout in the printed medium.  Their writers have some good insight that provides more perspective.

If I was to only pick one, MotorTrend would be the Magazine.  But MotorTrend is not as strong without it’s social media.   As solid as it is.   A couple years ago I used to think that these magazines were going to be a thing of the past and that Digital Media is the future.  I could get the magazine, as printed, in digital form on tablet or smart phone.  Here’s the thing though… I did that.  And it was interesting.  But nothing beats kicking back with the Printed Pages.  No batteries, no distractions… Unplugged.   I find that I enjoy the magazine so much better than it’s digital counterpart.  While the digital format of the magazine is great… I really prefer it in print and will read an issue cover to cover.  In digital, really it’s just skimming the photos while you are waiting for something else to happen.
Print is not dead.





THIS is what it’s all about.  Luke Adams of Adams Holsters is a freaking Artist with Leather.  This… This is stunning… This is the most beautiful holster I’ve ever seen.  Does a holster get any better?   Hell No.

See, Tactical Kydex is fine when the job requires it.  But when it doesn’t… Why not step it up?

I hate Appendix Carry

Appendix Carry is fad that I wish would go away.

The 4 Rules of Firearms Safety:
1.  Handle all firearms as if they were loaded.
2.  Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
3.  Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you have made the decision to fire the weapon.
4.  Know your target, and know what is beyond the target.

These 4 rules are pretty simple.   But with Appendix Carry, you violate Rule #2.  I can’t get past this.  Forgive the crude language, but I hate the fact that when I tried Appendix Carry, I was muzzling my Cock and Balls.  Should an accident have happened – it would have been a Contact Shot.   WARNING: The LINKED TEXT is GRAPHIC:  I’ve seen the photos of what Contact Shots do to human beings, but never one that happened to a man’s Junk.   This filled my mind with graphic images that I wish never popped in there.  Horrific.
I know that I have friends that carry Appendix, and I have friends who teach Appendix Carry.  Because the position does offer some great tactical advantages.  It really does.  The speed and ease of the draw is an advantage.  Easier draw from awkward positions.  While driving.  While laying on either side.  Drawing with the weak hand.  Yes yes yes… I know all of this.   It makes sense.
But then there is Rule #2.
You see, in the more traditional position of 3:00 or 4:00, should an accident happen… a Negligent Discharge… The results are usually a visit to the hospital for a session of Shame and Stitches and you are back out again.  Because nothing vital was destroyed.  Usually.  Not always, but most of the time.  I personally know two guys that ND’d from the holster.  I will not say the names… They know who they are.  One, the weapon was at the 3:00 and the bullet went in and out of his leg.  He was out of the ER in 2 hours and on his feet the next day.  The other fellow was packing at the 4:00 position and he suffered a Flash Burn to his Ass.   No ER visit.   As they had been considering Appendix carry before… I asked both fellows how they would have faired if they had been packing Appendix.   There was much uncomfortable silence  as they both considered the results of a Ballistic Castration.  No, neither of them are packing Appendix now.

This isn’t just an unreasonable fear.  I remember reading more than one news article about some thug that shot his balls off packing in the appendix position.  Usually with a very sad mug shot to go with it.  But there was another story of a guy – not a thug – and with a holster… in a car with his family.  He didn’t survive.  That’s not a way that I would want to go out.

So you want the advantages of Appendix, but without the liability… What is the option?   Cross Draw.


It’s not just for Cowboys and Peacemakers.  The muzzle is NOT pointing at your dick.  You can access the gun quickly with either hand.  You have more control over it in a weapon retention tussle than in the 4:00 position.  And it’s just badass.  So you get the advantages of Appendix, with none of the liability.    There is a downside though, and that is problem with most cross draw rigs out there… and that’s concealment.    But most cross draw rigs I’ve seen were not designed for concealment.  But there are some.  I believe DeSanti is still making the Skymarshal rig.  And Kirkpatrick is making their Texas Cross Draw rig, which looks excellent.  I’d like to see more Cross Draws come out and I’d like to see less Appendix.





Looking at the newest Fords and Chevy’s one thing is clear… Ford is slipping.   Ford is concentrating on making everything look like generic Aston Martins.  Including the new 2015 Mustang.  Now, I’m really digging the new Mustang.  A lot.  I mean… a lot…  Love it.  But when all the cars are starting to look the same way… it waters the Ford brand down.

Chevy is doing much the same with all their cars… The Cruze, the Malibu, the SS… they all look the same from the front.  This is disappointing.   Honestly, it’s hard to tell them apart on the street.  Save for the Camaro and the Corvette.. They all look they came out of the OctoMom.  I’m not saying that they look bad individually… But when you walk around a Dealership… It’s a shallow gene-pool.  It’s like the same guy just phoned in the designs.

Making everything in your brand look the same… isn’t making it all look like Family.  It makes everything look Inbred.  This may have worked for British Royals through the middle ages… but it doesn’t work for me.  I don’t know about you.  What do you guys think about that?
I think where designs have really taken off, is with the interiors.

Continue reading Designs

Go Big

994325_10201226366874642_910207755_nI’m done.  I’m not going to do it any more.  I’m not going to carry a tiny mouse gun anymore.  That’s over.  As a main carry gun, of course.  Maybe as a backup piece, or a hold out.  But no more as my main carry gun.  It’s time to go big.
Why do we carry at all?  Think about this for a minute, or more.  And think about the possible scenarios that might require you to actually have to use your concealed carry gun.  In any of these scenarios, does it play out that you would be better off in those situations with a smaller gun?  Or did you, like me, come to the conclusion that you would rather have as much gun as you can?
You have a CFP, or more commonly a CCW Permit.  Most States do not require you to carry a specific gun.  You have the option to change it up.  If you have the option, why not go big when you can?  Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter to the Anti-Gun Biggots what gun you carry.  They have never said “Oh, its okay, he only has a .380.”   In fact, they have tried specifically to ban small guns because they are more concealable.  Remember they made a run against Saturday Night Specials?  They don’t care.  That being the case, f you are going to get wet, you might as well go swimming.   Should you have to use your weapon, and you end up in a court of Law, they will make no distinctions regarding the size or type.  Or if you are in a store and lift your arm up to reach a top shelf item and someone sees the grip of your pistol. They call the cops no matter what it is and when The Bronze approaches you they don’t make any distinction either.  You are either legal to carry, or you are not.   Size does not matter.
The last several months I’ve been packing bigger guns.  Mostly full sized duty pistols.  Government Model 1911’s, Railed Commander 1911’s, Beretta 92FS and full sized Storms, Glock 22’s.  The smallest gun I’ve carried is a Glock 23. None of these are Mouse Guns or Pocket Pistols.  Each on let’s you know you have a “fist full of Iron”. Or advanced polymer as the case may be.  As I write this, on my hip right now is a Springfield 1911 .45 and there is a great deal of satisfaction in having it on me.
Bigger guns make fewer compromises.  They hold more rounds, are more reliable, more accurate, maybe more powerful, and are certainly more intimidating.  The more intimidating the gun is, the more likely you won’t have to actually pull the trigger.  The only disadvantage to them is the greater challenge of carrying it concealed.   To carry a full sized gun concealed, you are going to have to take a bit more care in your holster and wardrobe selection.
Thankfully the good folks at Crossbreed Holsters can help us out.  The Supertuck is available for many handguns, including the big 92FS.  This holster allows for the big gun to be carried comfortably, inside the waistband, all day long.  For me, that’s the advantage I need.  Because I’ll wear a gun from the time I get out of bed until I give up on the day and go back to bed.
Normally I wear Pancake style rigs, wide, outside of the waistband holsters that help contour the shape of the gun to hide it, and pack more comfortably while wearing normal sized pants.  I find this to be an advantage when riding a motorcycle.  The downside to a pancake rig, is that the length of the gun makes it easier for the muzzle end to peak out from under your jacket or shirt.
This isn’t so much of a problem during most of the year.  But during the peak of the summer, wearing jackets and sport coats becomes less than ideal.  During these times, as much as possible, I’ll wear a Mechanics style shirt or a Bowling shirt.  If one is less fashionable, or a huge fan of Weird Al, you can wear a Hawaiian style shirt.  Anything that can be worn untucked, loose, and can cover up the whole gun.  But this is me and I am not required to wear Business Casual.  But even then, there are still ways to carry a full sized gun.
Not long ago I was talking about packing large handguns with a local Police Officer.  I mentioned that I was packing a Beretta 92FS and he didn’t believe me.  I was in the process of selling him a Beretta but he was balking on the purchase, thinking it was too big to be carried undercover.  I was wearing an Under Armor polo shirt.  You should have seen his eyes when I pulled my Beretta 92FS out, cleared it, and laid it on the counter.  I can’t repeat what he said, but he was clearly surprised that I had it on me as he normally could tell if someone was packing or not.  After that, it became a discussion regarding holsters instead of the gun.  To end this story, he bought the gun and has enjoyed it ever since.
I live in a very rural area of Utah.  My front yard is a farmer’s field.  We get all sorts of wildlife here at “Ogre Ranch”.  Some big, some small.  One night I came home on my motorcycle, late and in the dark.  I shut off my bike and jumped off.  As I stepped around the big KTM Enduro, I saw a dark shadow and eye shine.  Something was there in the shadows beside my house.  I don’t remember drawing, or even making the decision to draw, but suddenly my gun was in my hands and that gun was in a ready position as I was squinting to try to identify what was over there in the shadows.  At that moment, a full sized duty sidearm was very comforting.  The only problem was that I didn’t have a light mounted on my weapon and my normal companion of the Surefire Aviator flashlight was with me but tucked safely in my backpack.  Inaccessible and useless to me as this didn’t feel like a time when I could shrug my pack off and dig through it to find my light.  Instead I was there, gun in hand, waiting until I could ID this thing as a threat or not.  I could hear it breathing.  I could see it’s eye-shine, and that was it.  It really was a freaky moment.  The moment ended though when my wife pulled up and her headlights illuminated what I was in a standoff with.  It was a large Mule Deer Buck.  I can chuckle about it now, but in that moment of looking into the unknown, had I been armed with something small and mousy, I’d probably have been a lot more uncomfortable with the situation.
This goes back to what the great Clint Smith has said.  Guns are not supposed to be comfortable, they are supposed to be comforting.  He is exactly right.  I don’t recall ever being in a situation where I was comforted by packing a tiny little gun.  I remember one time I needed something small and concealable where low profile was critical.  A .25 Caliber Baby Browning the answer.  I could stand there with my hands in my pockets and still be ready to draw that little pistol.  I thought it was a perfect solution.  Until I needed it.  I reached into my pocket and grabbed the little gun, but didn’t draw it.  Let me tell you, that pistol offered no comfort.  In fact, I let it go and instead opted for the ASP Baton tucked inside the waistband.  At least that felt solid.  It felt like a weapon. The .25 felt like a squirt gun.  In this situation, neither was required to be used, thankfully.  But it impressed upon me that the small gun was useless.  Harsh Language proved more potent.  That was the last time I bothered with the .25. I think I remember that I traded it for a few boxes of ammo.
I’m not saying that only huge hand cannons are the way to go.  I’m just saying you don’t have to limit yourself to tiny guns.

The 1911 and I

PW9108LI find it interesting that having worked for a holster company for 10 months, I don’t have a decent EDC holster for my 1911.  Sure I have a leg rig.  And an Army Field rig… but I’m not one that I can carry concealed with.  That’s most strange to me.  Because I’ve been working on my 1911 a bit here and there all day long.   Just holding it, gives me some comfort and satisfaction in the beauty of the thing.
Mine is not a fancy 1911.  It’s not shiny and it’s not gleaming with black tactical pretense.  It is, just what it is.  And that’s why I love it so much.  It’s very honest about what it is.  Springfield Armory may have discontinued it… the “GI” model, but I think it was a mistake… because for some reason, I think it was the best 1911 Springfield Armory has ever made.
The finish is worn.  In places, down the bare metal.  The wood grips are scratched and scared.  It’s heavy, being made of solid steel.  The sights are the old style, rudimentary and hard to see.  The hammer spur is long, and with GI grip safety – it can bite you.  It’s not the most pleasant gun to look at or fire for any amount of time.  But it has something else….
Reliability.  I’ve not had a failure with this pistol… Not a single jam or misfire… and the accuracy has been above par.  I trust this gun.  It’s one of the few guns I keep loaded at all times.  (Which reminds me… it’s time to rotate the magazines)  It has never let me down when I put it to the test and it has done everything I’ve ever asked of it.

It reminds me of myself.  I’m not old, but I feel a lot older than I should for a man of my age.  It’s not the years, it’s the miles, they say.  My finish is worn and so are my parts.  I’m not pleasing to look at, and I’m a bit too heavy, and I can bite when not handled properly.  But I am reliable, and I hit hard, and I hit true.

Getting back into the job market… looking for employment.  I’m suddenly no longer optimistic.  I’m not as young as I used to be, and my family is larger and their necessities are more expensive… Feeding them is a challenge.  If an Employer is like a Gun Buyer… Why would they pick an old ugly GI 1911 when for less money they could buy one of these younger M&P’s or Glocks?

Such thoughts have depressed me greatly.  Regardless of that, I’ll be packing my 1911 from now until…  Well… I need to find a good EDC holster for this thing.  I think perhaps, I shall make one.

This 1911 is special to me.  It is an almost identical clone to one issued to me when I was in uniform and found myself in a kinetic altercation. The result was both my adversary and myself laying on the ground fifty yards apart.  I credit my armor for saving my life from his hit on me.  I credit the 1911 with denying him a second shot.    This is something that no Glock or M&P has done for me.  And well, this 1911 didn’t either, but it is a mirror image of the one that did.  That one was a Colt and had to be returned to the armory.  This clone was made by Springfield Armory.  I consider it to be close enough for a memento.   The fact that it’s served so well ever since I acquired it is only a happy bonus.

A changing world

Vladimir Putin is more popular than ever and is going to take the Ukraine with little effort.
Canada is getting itchy.
Scotland is going to split off from the United Kingdom.
Maryland State Police seem to be pissing on the Constitution more than Capitol Hill Insiders.

These are interesting times.  What should we do about all this?

What we need to do, is to get a grasp of our own legacy.  Our American heritage… our American Spirit.  American Exceptionalism.   To quote Mufasa, “You have forgotten who you are.”
We need to remember.


Harley and Me

I tried to look at some Harley Davidson Motorcycles last Saturday with Caryn and Evil Jim.  We went to a normal bike shop first, Honda’s, Zukes, Yamas, Kawis…. The stuff I normally like.  And of course I found… oh… about a dozen bikes I could have ridden home.
And then we went to the Harley shop.

Outside the shop was some used bikes lined up.  One in particular looked most appealing to me.  I liked it’s look because it had a nice fat front tire that matched the look of the bike, but it was more of a Sportster 1200.  This meant it was automatically about 2000 dollars over priced.  But I was digging it.
And then the salesman was so kind as to fire it up for me.  Thankfully this killed my interest in any Harley about instantly.  It was shaking like someone was tazering an over caffeinated Michael J Fox.  I expected to see stuff to start flying off the thing.  Also, it was just loud as fu**.  Coming from a lifetime of firing guns of varying calibers with varying levels of earpro – I can tell you.  It was loud as fu**.  Painfully so.  And not loud as in Voice of Almighty deep rumble loud.  I’m talking more M-60E fired in an indoor range and you didn’t get your earpro on before the jackhole pulled the trigger.  Trust me – it’s that loud.
I stood there looking at this thing violently shaking as it was abusing what is left of my hearing… The sales guy was smiling like he was proud of this.   I don’t understand this.  To me, this thing is missing some parts or something is seriously wrong in that engine… and for the love of all that is holy, put a Muffler on that thing.
We went inside to look around.  I like the looks of the Iron 883, and in most bikes, an 883 is a good sized bike.  I love the Mid Sized bikes.  Between 750 and 1000, that’s my sweet spot.  But nooo… not in a Harley.  In the Leather Chaps world of HD, the 883 is a “Girls Bike”.  Or worse yet, it’s considered a “Starter Bike”.  Really?
Let’s see… consider the flag ship bike in the shop was a speed boat green sparkly festival of bling for over 30,000 Dollars US.  You have got to be kidding me.  What with the HD Shield in the tires, and half the dealership being SWAG… I just can’t take Harley as a serious motorcycle brand.   It’s too ridiculous.   It’s too BRAND and not enough BIKE.   It’s not about Riding, it’s about being in a Cult.
Harley is the Scientology of Motorcycles.


You made one good bike, Harley.  ONE.  And you cancelled it.  What the hell is wrong with you people?  You are so over stuffed with your own Egos and calling yourselves Bikers and talk about living the Bike Life – but I never – NEVER see you freaking posers out riding in bad weather.   I never see you guys actually doing any hard core riding.   I see your shit in TRAILERS and in Garages.    You got a Harley – Feh – You have a Garage Queen.   So unless you are riding 8 thousand miles a year or more – You can just STFU about your Harley.

Never Go Full Harley.

The Challenger

The Dodge Challenger is an interesting car.  It’s a big car that can go fast.  Fundamentally, that makes it scary.  It’s a Muscle Car at heart.  I’m not going to bring up the original Challengers because they have nothing to do with the new ones other than some subtle character lines on the outside.



This is the Challenger RT “Classic Package”.  Really the only thing classic about it are the throwback style wheels that remind me of all my favorite HotWheels as a kid… I have to say, I really like the look of this car.  Blood Red, with those wheels… It hits a spot with me.  Unfortunately, this car would attract way too much Cop Eye for me to ever have any fun in.    And really that “HEY LOOK AT ME!” color is just not me.  It’s not as bad as the bright Orange and Yellow Challengers, but still…. it’s pretty bad in the grand scheme of things.  I do like the look though.  Just on someone else’s car.



Then I test drove this one.  I had driven a Challenger before, but it was a base model, with a V-6.  That car felt huge and ponderous and it didn’t feel all that great.  That hood really felt like it was way out there, and it just felt like I was piloting a barge.   This model though, was different.  The Hemi V-8 really makes this a different car.  And it was a Manual.  This one was better.  This one was the RT Shaker edition.  The Shaker as in the Hood Scoop that would shake in the originals… But it doesn’t do that on this one as the hood scoop is basically only a cold air intake.  Which is good.  But not giving you the ram air effect of the original.  So for the most part all it is about is the look.  And it looks good.  The hood scoop is very visible when you are driving.  But not really getting in the way.

Continue reading The Challenger