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Something wicked this way comes... Project X

Tuesday, 8-29-06:  I've been offline for awhile. Sorry about that. Lot's of emails to catch up on. Give me some time to get back to you if I haven't already.

One of the emails that came in was an argument in favor of the AR-15/M-16 based upon Infantry ammunition carrying capacity. Percentages of weight do not matter. People just don't understand that the average combat load for an Infantryman is only 180 rounds, or 6 loaded magazines. SpecOps guys and guys that buy Black(Chicken)hawk gear carry more... but your average 11B Grunt only packs 6 mags for the majority of patrol work. I know this, because that's what I was. If we knew we were going into “the shit” we would throw a few more mags into our rucks or a mag or two into a cargo pocket. 5.56MM's light weight is not a factor in ammo capacity. When I packed the M-60 I carried with me 200 rounds on average. And your talking a heavier weapon and heavier ammo. Don't tell me how much more ammo you can carry in 5.56MM... don't even go there.

I'm pleased to see that almost everyone in The Horde is in accord with my views on magnum rifles. I've nothing against a Magnum, but it is medicine that is over prescribed. If youve been taking a lot of magnums lately... kick back with a serving of some .22 Hornets or something and relax a little. Shooting should be a pleasure.

BTW, for those who don't know. The term Magnum goes all the way back to Roman days and is in refrence to oversized wine bottles. A wine magnum was a bigger bottle of wine. We've applied the same terminology to cartridges. A magnum cartridge is typically a bigger case to hold more powder. There are exceptions to this such as the .357 magnum which while hotter and faster, is only bigger to prevent loading in .38 Special guns because at the time .38 Special guns were not strong enough to handle the magnum loading.

I'm looking at the new offerings from Dodge/Chrysler and Chevy... All their vehicles are getting additional power and transmissions. Ford? “Well, the Fusion gets side airbags.” That's nice. Sign. Being a Ford fan must be like being a Seattle Seahawks fan. Dodge is coming out of the gate with some huge power figures. Chevy is making solid cars with good perfomance figures again... Cars that sound less tinny too. The Cobalt and the new Malibu and Impalas are very good cars and Chevy is throwing more power into them too. What's Ford doing? “Well, we've decided to kill off the GT.” Instead of making the GT a competitor to the Vette... they just drop out of the game altogether. Taking their ball home. That's awesome. So instead of making American cars that people want, Ford is making cars in Mexico that people will just settle for. That is a fantastic business model. GM is doing a lot better in the market these days... really turning around. They are doing that by building cars Americans are wanting to buy. Ford is still in business because of the F series trucks... that's a fact. But Ford doesnt have anything like a Colorado. A medium sized truck with good looks and power. The F-150 is a bloody monolith now. Chevy has the Avalanche, which is disgusting in appearance but effective in operation, much like an A-10 Warthog. Chevy still has the edge when it comes to engines too. If they can just figure out how to make doors that feel somewhat solid, they will really have something. I'm tired of trying to help Ford make something of themselves. My last letter to them detailing a few things that they need to do to fix themselves has landed on deaf ears. “Thanks for your input and we shall consider it.” Was the response... which was nice of them to say. But they continue to spiral downward into the abyss. Oh well. Don't tell me I didn't warn you, Ford. You made your bed in Mexico, so now you can siesta in it.

Speaking of Fords, Brutus has lost its top. This weekend I'm removing the tailgate and chopping the top down Capri style. I'm taking some ideas from the Avalance, but without the plastic body cladding. I'm still looking for a way to remake the grill. I like the way Caddy has used that chromed mesh... that's tough looking. I'm looking for something like that... along those lines. Once this conversion is done, it will no longer be a Ford Bronco, but a Horde Raider. If I could shoehorn a Cummins into it... I would in a heartbeat.

If you are in the Salt Lake City area on Friday... stop by FBMG!

Thursday, 8-24-06:  I'm getting bored with huge magnum rifles. Not that rifles, or even big rifles are boring... but dealing with big magnum rifles has become so. The constant need for higher velocity scores is tiresome. I don't give a damn if one rifle is closer to 4,000 FPS than another rifle. So freaking what? It certainly doesn't make you a better shot... you just don't have to be as careful guessing the range to the target. Flatter trajectories is turning a lot of people into pseudo-marksmen when the truth is that couldn't hit jack squat without hyper velocity, no arc rifles. There is an art to rifle marksmanship that is becoming lost to the majority of hunters and shooters out there, and totally spoiling a whole generation of them.

I find myself drawn to the non-magnum rifles. .308 is a good example... .30-06 is another. The best yet is just new out, the .338 Federal that I've mentioned some weeks ago. From the sound of it, what I've gathered from reading about it, it just might be the perfect non-magnum rifle cartridge. I really have fallen for the good old .30-30.  The new ammo from Hornady combined with Marlin's new 336XLR is a fantastic combination for hunting anything short of Elk... and I bet with some carefully crafted handloading you could make Elk loads for it.  The 336 Marlin is a very strong gun.  Building up a good round for it would probably be only limited by the strength of the case.  And of course, bullet placement would be critical and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.  But a true hunter would be able to do it easier

I'm not saying that there is any nobility in using a non-magnum... then again... maybe I am. If everything out there is a magnum, then none of them are magnums. It's like being Super. If everyone is Super, then no one is. If Magnum-Size is the standard size like it seems to be now, then Magnums are nothing special and just ordinary. Really, what's the skill involved when you can shoot across a valley and tag big game without even holding over? When you can blow chunks off the game animal, doesn't it pretty much stop it from being game?

This concerns me because I'm seeing and hearing a lot of evidence of a lack of true hunter's ethics. It takes a lot of effort to be a true hunter. It takes work and preparation. It takes planning. It does not take a lot of money like what most people are thinking. You do not need a .30-378 Weatherby Magnum for Mule Deer. You don't even need that for Elk. I'm not really even sure what you need it for in the first place. You can damn near launch a bullet into low earth orbit with that cannon... but your Grand Daddy took the same sized animal in his day with an Aught Six... and I bet he probably even did it at that range your thinking of too. Buffalo hunters could tag game back in the late 1800's with a .45-70 or a .45-110 out at 1,000 yards. They did that with something called “skill” and that's not something you can buy over the counter. You grow that. You develop that. You can't buy something to overpower it.

Any moron can blast away with a .300 Ultra Mag and score long range kills when they nail the prey animal in the haunches. A true hunter however wont even touch the trigger unless he knows that he can do better than just “hit it”. A true hunter knows his (or her) rifle and what it can do and what they can do with it. A true hunter will only take the shot that they know will vector through space occupied by vital organs. They will try to get closer... always wanting to get closer... always wishing they were closer... and then they will shoot only when the shot is perfect. Because the true hunter will honor his prey and strive to deliver the quickest and cleanest kill out of respect for animal and for the hunt. Letting an animal get away without a shot is much better and much more honorable to the true hunter than letting an animal get away wounded. If you are a true hunter and can take those clean shots... you don't need any Ultra Mags for anything short of Moose or Kodiak Grizzly.

Multi-Player First Person Shooter gamers have a term for overpowered weapons that allow spray and pray use with a good degree of success possible... they are called “Noob-Cannons”. To me, huge freaking magnum guns are “Noob-Cannons” for the majority of hunters that have no desire to be marksman. (This baffles and offends me) For example, the fellow that buys a box of “The Cheap Stuff” so he can sight his rifle in... no, he doesn't need any “Good Stuff” because he still has some left over from last year and he's only getting more ammo because he got more powerful scope so he don't miss like last time out. For the love of all that is holy, don't get me started on this one. The man is educated and intelligent – just staggeringly ignorant. Let's move on. The guys who want “the biggest fucking rifle on the mountain so he can pop the first bull he sees out there without having to go chase it down”. Just remember this when you hear the loudedst gunshot on the mountain... that's the biggest idiot out there.

Now before you send me nasty emails because you own a big magnum... I'm not calling you to task. Or am I? Let's put it this way... if you think you could drive like Mario Andretti if you could get some track time in an F1 Car, then yeah, I'm talking about you. If you have a Noob-Cannon type rifle, but you either want to learn how to get the most out of it... or if you already know who to get the most out of it – then that's something completely different. You see, guns like these are capable of extremely impressive feats of power, accuracy, and glory. If you know how to use them. Ask yourself a few questions. Do you know what your bullet is doing at 100 yards? Do you know what it is doing at 275 yards? Do you know what your bullet's velocity is after 300 yards and what it's dropped since zero? Do you even know what I'm talking about? If you've answered no to any of these questions, find out. Buy more ammo, get to the range, and get yourself and your rifle dialed in.

Non-magnum rifles require more effort. You have to get those answers right if you don't want to miss your target. And let me tell you, the target is not the Buck or the Bull... that's the goal. The target is its heart. If you take the time to know your gun and to improve your skills with it... then that target should not be a problem to hit. Most rifles loaded with good game bullets are capable of destroying the heart if you do your job. That is... if you know where the animal's heart is how it's standing. That's another topic for some other time. Find out. Be a hunter... not a Noob.

In selling guns to hunters, both true or not, I find the array of opinions about “good rifles” to be as varied as favorite ice cream at Dairy Queen. Everyone has their favorites... but few can actually tell me why. There remains one brand that has me hooked. Kimber. One of The Horde has recently acquired a new Kimber Montana rifle. This is a fine rifle... absolutely outstanding and I'm jealous as hell. Oh man, do I hope they make one in .338 Federal! That would be the bee's knees. Selling Kimbers, to those who have the money and can afford to pay the premium, is easy. All you have to do is put the rifle in their hands. If you can't afford the Kimber, please, don't pick one up. It will haunt you and nothing else will satisfy you. I've not saying Kimbers are the best thing out there. There are others that are just as fine or better... but there is something about a Kimber 8400 Classic that smacks of “Just Right”. They say “This is what a real rifle feels like.” For a rifle under the price of a Kimber? Look for a Winchester, if you can find one. Remingtons are fine if you are willing to fix the stocks. But if money is hard to come by and you want the most rifle for your dollar, a Weatherby Vanguard is the way to go. Blued with a synthetic stock, we are selling them all day long at well under 500 dollars. I wont post the price because that might be rude... but they are cheap. Below many Savage or even some Stevens guns. Of course a Vanguard feels like a big truck next to a sleek and sexy Kimber... but the Vanguard is a good shooter. With the money you save you can buy a decent scope like a Nikon Buckmaster and ammo enough to practice with it and not just get it zeroed. Your rifle doesn't have to be able to print sub-MOA groups. Such expectations stem from reading gun magazines more than shooting. Know your rifle, know yourself.

Monday, 8-21-06: I've been enjoying the banter with a new fellow at work. He likes to take the Devil's Advocate role in most any discussion about most any topic. One of the things he mentioned is that he doesn't like Bush and his wire tapping, and that he liked President Jimmy Carter. This is his opinion and he can back it up with rational arguments... and I can respect that.

Unfortunately this warrant ess wiretapping program wasn't Bush's. It was started by Jimmy Carter in 1978. In 1994 it was President Bill Clinton who actually expanded the spectrum and the authority of the program to include physical searches. Bush only used the tools that the Democrats created. So why do the Democrats hate him for it? Because he is guilty of being a Republican in the Whitehouse that's why.

Bush uses the program within guidelines and with congressional oversight. The Clintons, and by “Clintons” I'm meaning Hillary specifically, used the program for political dirt gathering. She also used the whole of the FBI as her personal mod-squad for gathering intel on political enemies. Missing FBI files? Funny how they just happened to appear in her office, on her desk. Strange isn't that? Even funnier is how fast the Liberal Media buried that story. Nixon might have tried to steal some files from polical opposition, but at least he waited until after dark and had the stones to fess up to it and admit he did wrong. The Clintons, even caught red handed, would only deny, deny, deny, and then change the subject with the Media being more than willing to give them a pass and go along and change the subject. No, the Clinton Legacy is not just “The Blue Dress”. It's unchecked ambition. No wonder Hillary wants the big chair so badly. She's got even bigger balls than Bill had. Monica will even concede that point.

The Media's manipulation of events by means of manipulation of the language describing the events is no more obvious than in the coverage of the conflict involving Lebannon and Israel. When they use the phrase “Zionist State”, they tell us exactly who they are and what side they are on. When they say “Israel's unprovoked attack” they show us what they are trying to do. If you didn't know what was happening, you would think that Israel just up and decided to launch a war against Lebanon, innocent little Lebanon who was just minding her own business. Unprovoked? Come on. Hezbola, from within the safe surroundings of Lebanon, launched raids which resulted in the deaths of 8 Israeli soldiers and 2 kidnappings of Israeli soldiers with the threat of grizzly executions. Just how in the name of Zeus's Ass is this not provocation?

Of course we understand that the country of Lebanon is in a difficult position. With Hezbola running amok unchecked, they are forced to take a position either for or against radical Islamic Fascists... a position that will put them at odds with all the other Islamic states. This is a hard choices for them to make, being a country occupied by 50% Judeo-Christians and 50% Muslim. You think Iraq is ripe for a civil war? Lebanon is a ticking bomb. Of course it doesn't help that the IslamoFascistTerroristsWorkingForIran are storing their rockets and bombs in the basements of schools and hospitals and holy places... because they then cry foul when Israel locates and destroys them. Then all the sudden Israel is the bad guy when they simply respond and destroy the weapons that will be used against them. What is Israel supposed to do? When the leader of Hezbola gets on the air and says “We didn't intent to start a war”, and when the media doesn't say “Then you shouldn't have starting shooting rockets at Israel and kidnapping their soldiers”, you know who's side the Media is on.

There is an interesting movie I think you should watch if you get the chance. It's call “Land of the Blind” and it is one of the strangest films you will ever see. It is difficult to establish the point of the movie, where they are coming from and what kind of message they are trying to make... but it is a sort of new Animal Farm when it comes to governments in our time. Watch the news reporters take the side of the terrorist. The man and woman anchors. Watch what happens when the terrorist becomes the leader. Look at what happens. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Horde, this is exactly what would happen to the entire world if we don't fight these IslamoFascists as hard as we can. The ignorance of the Enlightened Ones in the Media and in Hollywood and in Congress is staggering. They would allow those same people to ride roughshod over them as they have ridden their own people on their own soil. Oppressing opposition with violence, beating and killing women who think that they have any rights whatsoever... Man, you would think Feminists would be up in arms against these Extremist IslamoFascists... but they are strangely silent. They will complain about things like Pay Scales and referring to ships of war as “she”... but speak out against those that would make them cattle? They don't say a word. Hollywood who is always the advocate for Freedom of speech is completely mute about those that would not only out an end to their livelyhoods, but would probably execute them with dull swiss army knives for promoting sin. No, the only people the Hollywood Elite speak out against is George Bush and Dick Cheney. They applauded Al Gore for railing on Power and Industry and SUV's while ignoring the fact that Al Gore's motorcade is a whole bloody fleet of giant SUV's and Al flys around in his private commercial sized jet. Al contributes more Carbon Dioxide in a year than a small town full of Pickup driving Rednecks... yet he is their hero. It's because of his “Message”, I am told. What message is that, Al? How about a little inconvenient truth about who really does most of the pollution? That would be Volcanos, Al. Undersea vents. Forest Fires – caused by lightning from the sky and not by Chevy Tahoes on pavement. The ignorance and hypocrisy of The Left is what bothers me. I'm not saying The Right is without sin.

I'm not Left or Right when it comes to Political Parties. I'm not Republican. I wouldn't be a Republican if they paid me. I'm Libertarian and I'm happy to be so. The main and most important difference between Libertarians and the other parties... is that we don't make it our jobs to tell other people what to do, how to do it, and when they can do it. Although we might tell people that they can “F-Off”, we really leave it up to them how they go about it. I've even come to terms with the concept of Legalization of drugs. If you think about it in terms of people having the right to slog themselves silly with liquid drugs, what does it matter if they smoke or inject it? We should really consider following Amsterdam's example in this. They don't have near the problems with it that we do. The abuse is reduced. The related crime is reduced. The related disease is reduced. We just have to acknowledge that a hell of a lot of people do drugs and right or wrong, they are going to keep doing it and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Prohibition should have illustrated this effectively enough, but it didn't. Booze is a Social issue, but Dope is a Criminal issue? It really makes no sense. Booze causes more grief for families and law enforcement than anything else... including dope. Including meth. Legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. My hell, they tax everything else. Bring it out into the light, and tax it. I'm not just saying since one thing is bad, another bad thing should be allowed... I'm not advocating drinking either. I'm just saying that it isn't my place to tell you not to.

I'm also saying that it isn't the Government's place to tell you not to either. The government has gone to some very serious excess in trying to stop illegal drugs, and in doing so they have done far more harm than good. Trust me on this one, I've seen it first hand. I know what I'm talking about. I'm also in a position to see both sides. Do to my chronic pain stemming from a cervical spin injury, I can see the silliness of enforcement and allowance. But really, it's bad for me to smoke five bucks worth of a drug to manage pain... but it's okay for me to take a 25 dollar pill of a much more powerful drug with a hell of a lot more side effects to manage pain. Kinda makes me think that the war on drugs is only profiting the Enforcers and the Pharmacy. Of course the cartels want to keep the drugs illegal because then they control the Supply. Because legal or not, the demand would pretty much remain constant. Legalized, the only thing that would really change would be a reduction in vomiting at Frat Houses. But this is neither here or there.

I'm also fine with Gay Marriage. It's not my place to tell you who you can love. Unless you are one of my Sons. In that case you are only allowed beautiful women from the Mediterranean or Brazil, damn it. Seriously, the Government need not meddle in the affairs of the heart. All laws that do should be shot down.

People should be treated fairly as individuals, not as easily controlled groups... cattle is broken down into easily controlled groups. This philosophy has nothing to do with Family. Family is something that will continue and will thrive and is not threatened if someone else has a different sort of Family than another Family. If your family is threatened... Then instead of fighting the other family, you should just work on strengthening yours while at the same time minding your own freaking business.

This S&W CS9 “Cheif's Special” is an impressive little handgun. No, it's not the most accurate pistol I've ever fired, but it is accurate enough for a gun of its size. It's not a high capacity handgun either... it only holds 7 rounds of 9MM. But numbers that this gun measures up do not sum up the pistol's score. Looking at the gun on a scale from 1 to 10, the gun should only score a 4, or 5 maybe. But in the hand, the gun shows a strong 7 or even an 8. While this isn't anything all that impressive... remember, this is me talking about a S&W 3rd Generation automatic. That right there makes it impressive. The review is done... I just need to take some close up photos of it... and my camera's batteries pooped out on me. So soon enough.

Friday Night, 8-18-06: The other cars I would be interested in buying are the Audi A4, BMW 330SI and perhaps an old Audi 4000 Quattro. Okay, really anything with VW, Audi, Porsche, or BMW fills out and balances my Needs/Wants index. I've mentioned it before here on I grew up in and around Audi's thanks to my Dad. The one thing you gotta watch out for about Audi's is that as they age, they hit a point and they start to come unwound like a ball of yarn. But before they hit that stage, they are awesome. This stage is a lot farther away than most other cars... mainly American and (fucking*) Subarus.

* I can't even think about Subarus without remembering mine and the mysterious transmission problems that cropped up and not a single mechanic for 2 hours distance even had a clue as to how to fix it...  I wasn't about to tow the damn thing further than that. Hence it earned the title the “Fucking Subaru”. I was so happy to see it being hauled off to be gutted. The thing is though... that Legacy 2.2 had a great engine. I mean it was fantastic. Gutsy for only 2.2 liters... revs came quickly and thrust came rapidly and it never dripped oil, burnt oil, or anything... and it gave great fuel economy. It gave me over 30 on the highway on a trip out to VA.  Of course I kept it in Mobil One synthetic oil since day one. It was a one of the best stock engines I've ever had.  If it been a 5 speed manual, I'd still be driving it – happily – to this day. I liked it better than that Honda Accord I had back in Virginia. Sure the Accord was a nice car. But the Subaru was fun and nice, until it went tits up.

I'm working on another gun review. A S&W Chief's Special 9mm. This is a used gun from the shop I work at... a trade in that I am borrowing so I owe no allegiance to a factory, I don't owe anyone a favor for sending me out a test gun... this is thing that gun rag readers tend to suspect when lots of guns get good reviews. And for some gun rags, I suspect the same thing. I'm just letting you guys know this in advance... I write honest reviews, even if I think they are going to be unpopular... As far as FN goes, I sent that pistol back to FN. They said that they were going to send me out a new one, this time in DAO. I thought that was fine and I was happy with the results thus far. Only problem is... they never sent out the DAO version. Had they sent it out, I'd have had it and been done with the review by now. This CS9 is “Plan B”. FN has, in my opinion, let me down. I've not even had a response to emails regarding this. The upside was that FN paid for the return of the pistol. That is always a good thing. It's the return shipping that reduces my profits for reviewing a factory gun to Zero at best, in the negative most of the time. So sending back this dog wasn't out of my pocket. Anyways, about this CS9. This is very strange for a Smith & Wesson 3rd Gen auto... but honestly... I like it. No, seriously... I do. I know this is a little like saying you like someone from France. But I really like this little CS9.

I've had some emails in the past regarding a place called “Skinwalker Ranch”. Standing on my front porch with my scoped rifle, I can see the place. During daylight or at night. I've never seen anything out of the ordinary. However I did drive near there and walked up to it. Yes, I've watched too much Scooby Doo when I was a kid. The place does have a tangible creepy vibe as you near it. To actually enter the ranch area is verboten. It's owned by the .Gov and if you trespass, it's your ass. I've seen enough to come to my own judgment. I think it's all horseshit. Now about the actual Skinwalkers.... that's a different subject and that's stuff I'm not going to mess with.

Oh, The Green Marlin. The large high powered scope I've got the short little rifle makes it look especially odd. The green stocks are soon to be leaving... black synthetics have been ordered and are on the way. The scope is not the best quality glass, but it was free glass and for that, it's okay. What is amazing though, is just how freaky accurate the thing is. The chopped barrel has little harmonic distortion even if it isn't free floated or bedded propperly. The target crown also makes a big difference. .30-30 from a 16 inch barrel is not the most impressive of cartridges... but let me tell you... being able to put that .30-30 slug right where you want it... that's what its all about. That is what makes the difference. The gun has little kick, is short and handy and fast to get on target, and when I'm on target, I can now hit even better than before. I wish I was back east with this thing... it would be damn near the perfect White Tail slayer. Out here in the open spans of western desert... Coyotes, P-Dogs, and Jacks are easy prey. Our gunshop is dry of Hornady's Leverevolution ammo in .30-30, but the Remington 150 grain stuff is almost as accurate. Just not for as long range as the Hornady stuff. Look up their recall on the Hornady stuff... there is a lot of ammo that has just enough power to lodge a bullet in the middle of your bore. Odd that Hornady had this problem... but they caught the mistake quickly. I can't weight for a new batch. Well, looks like I'm burning daylight. I've got some shooting to go do. I'm going to print this Green Marlin at 100 on paper and see what she can really do. Ive not done this yet. I suspect she is about 1 MOA or a hair better.

Later: Okay, I went out with The Green Marlin and did some shooting. I took with me two boxes of ammunition. Remington Accubond 150 grain and Winchester Silvertip 150 grain. The Winchester stuff was more accurate by a good margin. And by a good margin I mean the shot groups were half the size. The Remington stuff felt like a hotter load, snappier recoil and the bullets seemed to get out there a bit quicker. I would rather have the accuracy if you don't mind. Now here comes the problem. The bloody Remington ammunition... hard primers and dead primers. Out of the box of 20 rounds, 6 had problems. 2 of the 6 required second strikes. The other were just flat dead. Looking at the primers, the firing pin is making lighter marks than normal on some of the primers... I suspect hard primers. These 6 rounds are the only ones I had any indication of a problem with, so I don't think I have light hammer strikes. The Winchesters and Hornady rounds have not given me any problems at all. I don't think the Remingtons are going to be finding themselves in my ammo pouch any more. In my opinion the going bang bit is the most important. Now here is the thing... I'm a bit sore about this. Worse than 25% failure rate out of a box of new centerfire ammunition is patently unacceptable. It is well known that Remington ammunition has the hardest primers in commercial ammo, and if your rifle is starting to get soft, it will show up with Remington ammo first. Looks like I'm due to replace the hammer spring. So be it. No problem. The Winchester ammunition for being a touch softer to shoot has greater accuracy... and it still knocks the guts out of the rabbits. Turns them inside out. Shooting with the Winchester ammunition, I'm very satisfied with the results. It's about two bucks a box more than the Remingtons, but in my opinion it's well worth it. Even more worth it is the Hornady stuff... but we are still out of that. Dang it. That stuff is FANTASTIC.

If I was into reloading (and yes, I know I should be!) I would bore out my Green Marlin and have it rechambered for a .30-30 wildcat loading. I was thinking about blowing out the .30-30 case to something like a “.30-30 Ackley Improved”. I'm sure there is already a cartridge like that. I remember seeing something like that back in Virginia, I just don't remember what it's called. Maybe JD Jones has something for it. This isn't a high priority project, just something I was daydreaming about. Oh, wait a second.  Hordeman Andrew sends us this link.  I knew I had seen this before.

Since it's been awhile since I updated and wrote what I've said previously... I've got the new RAMLINE stock on my Marlin and it has transformed the gun. It's cut the weight almost by half it feel like, and it still balances well. It is so much slimmer and sleeker than before, and with the weight loss... it feels like a Winchester Trapper. I'd take photos of it but the gun is at my Gunsmith's place right now. I'm having the hammer spring replaced with a new/stronger spring. I'm not pleased with the idea that it might be failing or could fail when I need it the most. I could have done this myself, but I wanted to throw a good gunsmith some easy business. It's not much and helps insure that my gunsmith will still be gunsmithing in the future. That and I love visiting his shop. You should have seen his custom .475 Linebaugh. Damn. Built on a Ruger Bisley. Awesome. I'll do a review on it and photo it up when it comes back in a day or two.

Saturday: 8-12-06: Along with all the other emails I got in response to the car comparo... several emails were along the line of “A Caddy?! WTF?!” Yes, I did say I wanted that CTS. Absolutely. Between those two cars, the Caddy would be my choice. The Charger... if it was available in a straight up manual transmission, would be Glory. Truthfully, if I had the money and wanted go out and buy a new car right now... it would not be a Caddy or a Charger. Out of the new cars on the market... I'm telling you right now, a 2008 Audi TT. Hell yes. Full on Audi. Here's why: European cars do a hell of a lot more per liter of displacement than US cars. They are much more efficient with their engines. They have much better handling than US cars. They feel a hell of a lot more solid than US cars. And they are not built in Mexico like US cars. Anyways, so I'm exaggerating a little... unless your thinking about Fords. The new TT is awesome. The old one was cool looking but not quite there under the hood. The new one is balanced, more powerful, and better looking. It's close to being the perfect car. Especially the big engined version with the turbo. Of course selections like this are different depending on the mood I'm in. Currently I'm feeling Audi.

What the hell is wrong with our News Media? Why are they still saying shit like “Israel should lay down their arms”? Here is the deal, if you say that or if you think that... you are Anti-Semetic. Flat out, that's it. If Hezbolla lays down their arms, peace will exist. If Israel lays down their arms, Israel will cease to exist. Simple as that. Then there is the worst case scenario... Israel gives in. Remember your history lessons about when the religion of Islam first started and I think it was the 3rd Islamic leader who changed the religion to a conquest? They spread like a wild fire taking large areas of geography leading towards Europe. They were stopped at two points. France by Charles Martel and in Constantinople by the Byzantines. This new Islamic Conquest is now a lot more brutal, random, and it could be in your front lawn tomorrow. Israel is surrounded and is a symbolic goal for them. If they take Israel, then it's going to be an Extremist Islamic free-for-all world wide. And you can't just say, “Fine, I'll be Muslim too” because you might not be the right kind of Muslim. If your in the wrong faction... It's like World of WarCraft.

Endless and senseless violence everywhere. Israel has to be strong. Just like Europe needed Constantinople to be strong, the world needs a strong Israel.

Looks like my bit about Glocks the other day pissed some people off. Suck it. I'm entitled to my own opinion. Start your own blog and bitch about how great your Glock is... that is if your Mom will let you, and if can do that on MySpace. Now STFU.

I read this morning with some degree if displeasure that Fidel Castro is still breathing. Let's have a moment of silence so that those that believe and pray might do so for Castro's visit to Saint Peter might happen as soon as possible. A dose of screaming agony would be a nice spice to add to that dish too... so please... a moment of silence... thank you.

Thursday: 8-10-06:  I'm pleased that many readers are not just Gun Nuts, but Gear Heads as well. I mention this because pretty much this is what Project X is all about. A combination of both. Further steps are underway in getting Project x off the ground. Equipment is at the moment the number one hurdle. The equipment is vastly expensive and hard to get. In some areas such equipment is actually available for rent or lease, but out here where Ogre Ranch is, distance makes it nearly unobtainable in short term arrangements. I need the equipment, and I need all of it before I can really begin. Digital Video Cameras... I need 2 of them. High end units. Very expensive. Audio equipment, I need compatible microphones that will work with the cameras. DVD authoring and mass replication machines are also required. After the hardware is acquired, I am going to need talent and pretty much I'm going to be looking for as much local help as I can get. Most of the production is going to be in house, and by that I mean literally. My shop is going to get a makeover and will become my base of operations. Satellite internet is also going to be a must have item for this to all work. To get this all rolling is going to require a large outlay of capital. And even more is going to be needed for some specifically targeted marketing campaigns. The end result will hit you with both shock and awe. Believe it or not, an actual title for the effort is still not decided on. Project X remains the code name. Such a long standing code name like this I might as well call it Windows Vista or Duke Nukem Forever.... but the day will come. Buying individual parts for the project is not helpful at this time because it's an all or nothing sort of deal. Contributions are appreciated, but they are minor drops in the financial bucket. Basically for the price of a new Caddy CTS-V I would have Project X off the ground running. But I have found buying a new car would be far easier than acquiring the same amount of funds for this project. If I was going to start a normal business, that would also be one thing. But since this is different than what anyone has ever done, bean counters can not wrap their heads around the very simple concept enough to approve even the smallest of SBA loans. I have been told that if I wanted to get a loan for Millions instead of Thousands, that would actually be much easier and I could probably already have gotten the money. Whatever that means. The world of Finance is a dark and scary place for me. I don't get it. I'm not a man of huge ambition, my desires are simple, and I don't want to take over the world. I am told that this is why I've not acquired the money yet. But I am tracking a potential source that if it comes through will be enough to bring Project X to life... kicking and screaming. When it does... buckle up.

I was asked again why I do not like Glocks. Let's run through the checklist. A. They are attractive in a Joan Rivers sort of way. Plain, kind of horsy, and creepy in its semi synthetic material, but overly hyped for apparently no good reason. B. Unsupported chambers in calibers larger than 9MM is a patently bad idea that has been proven to be unwise many times over. So many shooters have that “it wont happen to me” complex that the practice of producing such chambers continues even though it shouldn't. This is like driving while talking on the cell phone. The longer you do it, the more the odds stack up against you.  C. The grip is alien, strange, and biometrically incompatible with my physiology. Not only does it not fit my hand ,but the angle makes the gun point too high to be useful. This is something that supposedly can be modified to make work... but that is like giving Joan yet another face lift thus further deepening that creepifiying sensation I get when looking at either of them. D. The trigger system bothers me in the same why Hobo Spiders in my house bother me. If I know one is there, I can't rest until it is destroyed.  So, no, I don't like it. It's not a Single Action, it's not a Double Action. It is the unholy union of both with the mutant results you would expect from the coupling of Alabama siblings. E. Just because it is European doesn't mean it is a good thing... Look at some European things and you just might get the feeling that anything from across the Atlantic is something to be avoided... Spice Girls, Jeremy Clarkson's jowls, Smart cars, France. So being from Austria is not a feather in its cap. Look at what else we have that is famous for being from there... Hitler and the Governor of California. Come on. F. The shear arrogance of them. “Glock: Perfection”. Give me a break. There is nothing that one can associate with perfection that you pour into a mold and pop out later once it cools off... (Jello Shots don't count) no matter what it is you pour into it. Steal or Plastic. I don't care. Until they start pouring molds and creating living, breathing, and eagerly copulating copies of Monica Bellucci, there is no such thing as mass market perfection. Don't try to tell me otherwise. And even if there was, I really don't thing such perfection would come in slab sided plastic. The closest you could get to “Perfection” would probably be a SIG P220 or a CZ 97B. For a Glock to be considered “Perfection” you would have to be the sort that finds Ren and Stimpy some how arousing. G. The .45GAP. Please. They thought the GAP was a clever enough idea to promote and sucker a bunch of Gun Writers to get behind. The only way the .45GAP had any appeal was if it was chambered in a Springfield XD... then Springfield just crushed the whole concept by throwing us an XD in .45ACP. Do be able to kill a pistol cartridge by chambering one single handgun in a different caliber shows that your idea was exceptionally weak. But .45GAP will probably limp along for years to come... just like .25ACP and .357SIG. Sure wish .41AE kept a following. That was an idea that had tons of greater merit at the time than .45GAP ever had. A lot of cartridges with fantastic potential get short changed while less cartridges get accolades and huge contracts.  That about sums it up... If I think of anything else, I'll add it here.  I might even put this in the weapons section just for kicks.  Okay, this is just personal opinion... I don't like Glocks.  That's just me.  If you like Glocks, then that's fine for you and there is nothing wrong with that.  Kinda like being Ghey... I'm not, but if you are, then that's fine... I just don't want to share, alright?

Saturday: 8-5-06:  Cadillac CTS vs Dodge Charger:

The other day I test drove two very fine cars. The Dodge Charger has the aggressive attitude that I love, and styling to match. It's big and brawny and has the unforgiving look of a true highway gladiator. The new Cadillac CTS is much the same, but it's styling suggests that it doesn't give a damn about what you think of it, it just wants to go fast. Both cars are rolling with nice wheels and rubber, and are powered by large caliber V-8 engines. Both cars are comfortable with seating for 5, have plenty of space, sizable trunks, and have plenty of leather.

The first car I drove was the CTS. Getting into to the Caddy I knew right away that I loved it. The rich leathery new car smell was just right, the seats fit me just right and I had good visibility and reach to everything on the dash. Inside it didn't feel too big, not too small... it was just right. When I rolled down the window, even the level of the window was just right for proper “elbow out” cruising. The center arm rest was even just right too.

I put in the key and turned the ignition. The dash woke up and all the lights and gages blinked at me. The engine purred like an eager mountain lion... friendly and powerful. Let me tell you, this cat wants to come out and play. The engine revs smoothly and quickly and this translates into very rapid linear velocity. It pulled hard all the way across the arch of the tachometer's dial, sending the speedometer into a similar arch. You have to be careful of that, because the horizon comes at you all the sudden like when you do that. It's fantastic. The engine is sex. And no, this wasn't the supercharged CTS-V version. Throwing a supercharger into this mix would be mind-blowingly orgasmic. This car should be rated X.

The asking price was only 30 grand. 30 for this? Worth it. Seriously, worth it.

There was a downside to this car, and I'll be totally honest about it. I drove it like a maniac in a stolen rental car. I pushed this car to some severe limits that you should not ever attempt in your own car.... borrow someone else's if you want to do it. Someone's that you don't like. Here is what I found: While the CTS has a nicely shaped muscle-butt, it's too soft. I felt the rear end shake and shimmy a bit too much in hard corners while under power. The suspension in the front felt great, but the rear felt like it wanted to fall over. I don't know if all CTS's are like this, but the one I drove was. If this is a problem with the CTS line... it's not that big of a deal. For one, you shouldn't drive like I was... and for another, some bolt in parts should stiffen up the rear and make it feel much better. Okay, that sounded obscene.

I want this car. The Cadillac CTS... Outstanding.

Next up was the Dodge Charger. Huge V-8, lots of latent anger and hostility under the hood. And a serious scowl going on in the grill. Getting into this car made me feel like a knight donning his armor ready to go into battle. The doors are tall and the window sill very high. Visibility is reduced all the way around accept for straight ahead. Well, compared to the CTS it was. I had little problem with backing but it did take more of an effort to grasp the situational awareness that felt perfectly natural in the CTS. The engine. It wasn't loud, but it was ominous. Biblical power was on tap. Unfortunately it couldn't come out and play. Like a caged monster. The traction control was too damn effective and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off... or if you could turn it off. On the road this isn't too big of a deal... the car bounds forward with just a nudge to the throttle. Effortless speed. The downside to this was the automatic transmission. The tiptronic type shifting was precise and fast as it should be... but the lever put my right hand elbow back behind my spine to get my hand on the shifter so I could select the up and downshifts. This made a very comfortable car feel cramped. Sure, I could just let it shift on its own, but what is the fun of that? On its own, the car shifted either late or early in a manner that was somehow unpredictable and unrelated to how I was driving it. The CTS on the other hand shifted at precisely the right moment that I wanted to shift. The CTS also shifted into the next gear (up or down) faster and smoother than the Dodge.

Little things like the lay out of the dash and the position of the controls for things like air and stereo were laid out better in the CTS. Windows and mirror controls, all that jazz were right where you expected them to be and you didn't have to take a minute to figure out how there worked. The Charger was just different enough to make the car feel somehow alien. Even the door handles with their weird round shape that made me thing of new VW Beatles. I did like the gauge faces on the Dodge better than Caddy. The Dodge told you that you are in a hotrod that has grown up and put on a business suite. Hulk Hogan in a boardroom meeting. The CTS on the other hand was far too refined and stately to don a headband, but you knew it could if it had to.

I've already mentioned the Charger's downsides, so let me mention the upsides. This car felt planted and in control while I was making it do horrible things to the pavement and the laws of physics. Not mention Mrs. Ogre who was holding on for dear life, looking pale as a ghost and green with motion sickness at the same time. It was quite an ordeal I put her through. She hasn't forgiven me yet either. The Charger handled all the excessive evasive maneuvering with style, grace, power and glory. Thanks in part to a better rear suspension and perhaps by better tires than the stock CTS skins. If this car came with a manual transmission and with an easily apparent way to switch off the traction control, it would be one freaking amazing vehicle.

The Dodge Charger was asking only 24 grand. Quite the discount rate compared to the CTS and both had about the same 6 thousand miles or a little less. Fuel economy in either car is irrelevant to their intended owners. Cars like this, you don't ask how far they go on a gallon of unleaded. They don't care. They are big and heavy and overpowered and they don't care... cars like this are meant to rip out every bit of enjoyment out of those miles and show them to you while they are still beating.

After driving both cars and considering both cars... I would pick the CTS. It was just right in every dimension and it felt better put together and showed a greater degree in attention to details. I could buy a CTS... I really could. If I had the money. I even liked the charcoal paint scheme of the CTS. Different enough to be cool, but not enough to attract John Law's watchful eye.

Winner: Cadillac CTS.  A couple photos will be added when I put this in the automotive section in it's own page.

Thursday, 8-3-06: Let's talk about some shotguns. I don't talk about them very often... not because I don't like them... I just don't usually have anything to say about them. Well, I've formulated some fresh opinion that you guys might want to hear/read. First off, let me just say this. Benelli rules. Above and beyond all... Benelli is the mark above which there is nothing. They rule in every category and the only thing to talk about is who comes in second, third, forth, etc. Remington, Browning... come on. No freaking way. Sure they are good, but Benelli is just flat out hands down better. Moving on. We got a couple great new shotguns in. CZ Redhead Deluxe over and unders in 12 and 20. They are fantastic. The wood, for a CZ is gorgeous and better than I've ever seen on most high end O/U's. But here is the thing... these CZ's are not real CZ's. They are imported by CZ USA from Turkey. They are made in freaking Turkey. So is the Winchester Field 12's and a bunch of other O/U's. It's crazy how many O/U's are made in Turkey. Anyway, not everyone can afford a Benelli 12 gauge, but everyone should get one. Now, what do you do if you want a B, but can't get a B? Get a Stoeger. If you didn't know it before, here is a fact: Stoeger isn't just a Turkish made clone... but they are actually a subdivision of B. They use the same action design but don't use the same levels of finishing. Speaking of Stoeger, you gotta get one of their Side by Side shotguns... you gotta have a Boomstick. Now most of us would automatically get the Stoeger “coachgun” because it's just freaking cool how short it is. But that would be a mistake for many of us. The one you want is actually called the “Upland” and the barrels are a few inches longer. The difference is minor in size and looks, but the results are major in velocity, pattern density and handling. The longer gun in this case swings and follows through better. The barrels break open easier as well. The Upland just handles cleaner and quicker and hits hotter and tighter. I'm just saying. The one Benelli that I don't quite like as much... the Nova... Well, the Stoeger is in my opinion a better buy. The slides are tighter and the gun doesn't rattle like the Nova does. That's about the extent of it. I just like the Stoeger version better. It needs some work... it's not perfect... but it will do nicely. Now that we've mentioned the guns I want to mention the calibers. The guages. I'm not as fond of 12 as I once was. I have found that I actually like 20 better than 12. 20's don't kick as bad as the 12's and the guns are faster and lighter and feel much better in the hand and up on the shoulder.

Scopes: I've gone and done it and I don't really know why. Maybe this is just me finally admitting that I am getting older and not much wiser, and that my eyes are not what they used to be. I mounted an old Leupold to The Green Marlin (which is soon to become The Black Marlin). This old scope is so old that its finish is faded and changed into a purple... Leupolds do that for some reason. If only this scope could tell its stories. Well, it's not the new fancy scopes with the trick reticules that tell you the range and position of the stars and how much to tip... but it does tell me where I am aiming which is the whole point. The reticule is the very thin crosshairs that don't obscure anything... no dots or thick parts. I've got an almost magical combination here now. Between the target crown, trigger work, and 1 piece milled firing pin; between the new Hornady Leverevolution ammunition; between the tight microgroove rifling that Marlin uses, and this fixed power scope... The Green Marlin is an absolute tack driver out at 100 yards. I'm still playing with it, learning the ballistics of the new Hornady stuff... but damn... This package is now The Perfect Whitetail Rifle. Some guys have said that this new .30-30 is suitable for Elk, but I don't think so. Anything up to Elk is doomed, but Elk I'll give a pass on. I'd want a heavier payload for Elk. I'm sure I could take one with this package, but I believe a hunter owes it to the animal to make sure that it is dispatched without drama or follow up shots. A real hunter should know his rifle, know what he and the rifle are capable of together, and know when and where to put that shot that will kill the prey as cleanly as possible. I've doubts about the capability of this new ammunition on such a large creature as an Elk. Maybe if The Green Marlin was in .35 instead of .30-30. Anyway, I am sure I am preaching to the choir here. Rockchucks, Prairie Dogs, Coyotes, and a few jackrabbits... they've taken blood oaths to testify to the effectiveness and accuracy of the new Hornady ammunition. Living out here in the Uintah Basin has a lot of advantages. Sure, we have no night life and no good restaurants... but 5 minutes in any direction and I've got my rifle range. 5 minutes in any direction and I've got all the space I need for pretty much anything I want to shoot... even .50 BMG which is still legal in this state.

Crazy gun laws. 20 year old fellow came up to the gun counter. Wanted a Buckmark .22 pistol. Can't sell him one. We could sell him an Armalite AR-50, an AR-15, an AK-47 type rifle, autoshucking shotguns... but we can't sell him a little .22 pistol. Gun laws make no sense at all. Oh, another great thing about Utah, no waiting. Instant background checks means you come in to the store you can buy the gun you want and you can take it home with you right then and there. No 3 day 5 day or 7 day waiting periods. If you have a clean record and your credit card is good... then you can buy and have the gun you want. Even if you are from another state... as long as it's not California or Maryland or Main or New Jersey (I think) you can buy rifles and shotguns. That .50? Yeah, your up here from Texas and want to go shooting it? No problem. Get the .50. You want a Ruger Single Six .22? Nope, not that. But that AK is good to go. Well, all I can say is this... I sure do feel safer with these gun laws. (sarcasm)

Nancy Age 11. Let me explain that photo of the girl with the Ruger 6 Shooters. That's a screen capture from the movie “Sin City”. The scene is Bruce Willis thinking about Nancy... Nancy was a little 11 year old girl and he saved her life from a guy that was going to rape her to death. He gets shot and arrested in the process... but saves her. He remembers her as the little 11 year old girl. He is let go and finds her, all grown up and dancing in a bar looking like... well... like that. Anyways, Nancy is in love with Bruce and comes on to him. Bruce is conflicted because he still remembers the little 11 year old girl that he loves as a father. This is too weird for him so he turns down her offer of letting him have some of that. It's an interesting movie, Sin City. In the end, Bruce sacrifices himself to make sure Nancy lives a free life with out the threat of the bad guys hunting her. I said “interesting movie” because it's not a good movie. It's a stark and harsh movie based on the graphic novels of one Frank Miller. Gritty is not even a start to describing them. Its the most violent flick I've ever seen and so much so that it even make me, The Ogre, feel uncomfortable. However it is a lesson to all other film makers and to the audiences of how movies based on comic books should be made, should be shot, should be edited, and how they should look. Watching Sin City is like reading and getting into one of Frank Miller's graphic novels... or about 5 of them I think. (I'm not a student of Frank Miller and I don't really care) Robert Rodriguez used the comics as his storyboard and as his models for setting up his shots. No one else has ever done that because no one else had the balls to do it like that. Like I said, interesting movie. Oh... and Jessica Alba is delicious in that movie. Wow. But she isn't age 11.   Okay, Thanks to Nolin... the image is cleaned up... no weirdness.

Let's change gears here and talk about cars again. Car and Driver Magazine's John Phillips blows his dog. I hate that guy. He thinks he's funny, but he's just a jackass. Just thought I should mention that. Phillips is an asshole, I'm just sayin. Okay, now on to what I wanted to mention. Car and Driver – the only car magazine to have shown up in recent months – has a review on the new Jeep CompAss. I've several things to say about this. First, the only time you should have the word “ass” in the name of your vehicle is if it's part of “Assault”... putting it into a short and fat little underpowered pathetic piece of tripe like the what Jeep did with the Compass... that's just sad. The committee that decided on this should be horsewhipped. I suspect it was headed up by John Phillips, that dinglenuggett. There is nothing really wrong with the Compass, per say, but the problem is the sum of it's marketing. The Compass is build along side and with the same parts as the new Dodge Caliber... a little vehicle that is not bad at all for what it is. And that's fine for Dodge who is replacing the Neon with it. But for Jeep to take that and put it's signature grill face on the Dodge and calling it a Jeep? That's not just sad and pathetic... but it cheapens the whole Jeep brand. “Jeep” at one point meant something. Now, evidently it doesn't mean a damn thing. We all knew this was coming when Jeep became a part of Chrysler... and thankfully it took some time for the brand to become diluted to nothingness. Well, the time has come. I am surprised that they are even still making the Wranglers to be honest. If the heads of state in the Jeep division have any backbone, they wouldn't have done this. I mean, come on... their latest marketing effort is “Ask Doctor Z”, an old man with a big Stash talking to little kids about how clean the new Jeeps are. Come on, Jeep! Get your nuts out of that testicle lock box, slam down some beers and Red Bulls, and design some real Jeeps for men that drive Jeeps, not for Metrosexuals looking for good parking spaces. Making the Wrangler longer and taller isn't cutting it. You are Jeep! Now start acting like it. Remember the AMC Eagle? Damn if that wasn't a car ahead of its time. We all laughed at them... now everyone is driving one. Sheesh.

I mentioned in my carcast that Chevy needs to make the next Vette a mid engine car like the Cayman and the Lotus... and that Porsche needs to do the same with the 911. No one said anything about. No one out there has an opinion on this? Sure, I had people firing back about other things... but not this. Is this not a good idea? Think about this. The primo American made car that nears supercar status but never quite achieves it no matter how good the engines get. Why not? What's holding the Vette back? Handling. They can make the suspension as good as it is and better every year, but the physics remain... they still have a gigantic boat anchor up front over the front wheels. The Vette is a light car. All the dang weight is up front. Better handling is best achieved with balance. It's much easier to make a balanced car handle better than one where all the weight is at one end or another. Same goes for the 911, but all its weight is in the rear over the back wheels. Balance these out and these two cars will take over the world. I mentioned Car and Driver and take a look at the cover. They have the Porsche and they have the Vette... and they are both losing out to the Ferrari. Sure the Ferrari is a great car... and it is pretty much unrivaled. The only thing that can compete is another Ferrari. Why is that? The Ferrari is a mid engine platform. Think about this for a second... the Porsche 911 is a fantastic sports car and over the years since its debut it has gotten better and better. The suspension is in the new ones are so fine tuned that they handle with the best of the best.... they've overcome that tail heavy liability. Now imagine if you will, how good that car would handle if the engine was in the middle instead of way out back. It's not hard. Take a look at the Cayman. The Cayman has its engine in the middle. And it's so damn good that Porsche has to detune the thing, basically hobbling the Cayman to keep it from trouncing all over Porsche's own 911 cars. Think of it this way, this would be like Chevy's Vette getting it's ass handed to it by Chevy's own Cobalt. So Chevy instead of making the Vette better, they reduce the Cobalt's engine. Sounds stupid doesn't it? But that is what Porsche has done and they just keep hoping no one notices and if they do, they keep their mouth's shut. Funny how Porsche's Boxster and 911 are at two ends of the performance spectrum and the Cayman is exactly right there in the exact middle. Tuners have found the Cayman to be quite the machine... and with a little work will eat their bigger brothers for a snack around road type tracks. This is like a family of African lions, and the new born cub comes out and eats Mufassa. I love the new Corvette's engine. That thing is amazing. Perhaps it is the best engine Chevy has ever made. Can you imagine dropping that engine (with the help of a magic shoe-horn) into a Lotus Exige? (sigh) Both cars, the Vette and the 911 are unapologetic performance cars. Why are Porsche and Chevy holding back? It wouldn't cost them any more to make a mid engined car than it would their traditional platforms. Just rearrange the layout. Same with Ford. Oh, I'm not done with Ford, ever. Tradition is holding Ford back too. The Mustang, as awesome as it is... is going to be a dead horse when the new Camaro and Challenger come out to play. My understanding is that both rivals are using independent rear suspensions. The Mustang is still using a live rear axle. Just like the Model T. Time to get with the program, Ford. Even the SVT versions are still using a live rear. Come on. Seriously... come on. A solid axle is great for off roading in big rigs, but for a car that is to be a leader for the Ford family? This is not much to ask. This is not too much to ask.

I'm thinking about trading in my Contour. As much as I love this little car... and I do... it only served to make me hungry for more. Better handling and more punch at the throttle. I like the size and weight of the Tour... and with the V-6 and 5 Speed, it's fun to drive. With the Traction TA tires it handles great... much less understeer... almost none. But it's just not enough. It's too Vanilla. No, I don't want to spend the bucks to convert it into an SVT Contour. This SE already has the 4 wheel disks and all the goodies that they used in the SVT... all I need is the SVT manifold and headers. But I've driven the SVT version and you know what? My Tour will keep up with it with no problem. I'm not decided on what I want to trade my Tour in on. There are many great options out there. The new Rabbit is very tempting, and with some GTI type upgrades... yeah... that might be winning choice. Then again, I might want to roll with a good used BMW. The 325 series has a very fond place in my heart and the leather in the BMW's is the way leather should be.... oh man I love those cars! Thinking about this is a lot of fun and I'm going to savor it until I can't stand it any more and pull the trigger on a new car. In a few weeks I will have had the Tour for a year. It's been a great car, but I don't think I'm going to roll with another Ford. I've got 3 Fords right now and that's about enough of that. Speaking of my other Fords, Brutus woke to play yesterday. Took the top off just in time to get some hauling done good old Pickup Truck style and then for the rain. It started raining yesterday afternoon and it's not stopped yet. Still, I drove it around on local errands and let the BFG AT's taste some dirt. If gas wasnt so bloody expensive I'd be driving that Bronco daily. (after I fix the oil pump, fuel gauge, and finish the capri topper conversion I'm going to do)

Coming soon: Caddy CTS vs Dodge Charger. Took a test drive.


Monday, 7-31-06:  Oh hell yes, Miami Vice... Seen it. Loved it. If you have not seen it, that is something you need to remedy quickly. Miami Vice is the best move to have come out since... well... since Collateral. Some guys seem to think that it was just “alright”. I think it was some of the most brilliant film making I've ever seen. Mann didn't need to “show everything”, he left a lot up to the viewer's imagination and the actor's ability. The actors all did a fantastic job. Especially the no named chick on Crockett and Tubb's team who executes a shot through a badguy's medula. Excellent stuff. I want that boat named “Mojo”. Damn that was a fun film. Kinda wrapped up the series into one feature film that gives you the essence of the Miami Vice vibe. Well done, Mr. Mann. There will be a Guns Of as soon as I can get my hands on a DVD. That 3” 1911 Crockett carries... I'm not sure what that is yet. Could be Springfield, Kimber, Colt or Para... or a Detonics. Don't know yet. The scene with the .50... brutal.

Let me get this straight... The maniac lady that kills all her kids gets off on a “Not Guilty by reason of insanity” yet we are trying to put a US Marine up for the death penalty for killing someone during a war in which the enemy doesn't where a uniform and plays dirty tricks on us all the time. What the hell is wrong with this country?

Spotted: US Marine “looking guys” in a convoy of utility trucks all marked “Auxiliary Utility Systems”. The trucks were spotted in Virginia, on the freeway. No such company is found in a quick internet search. Anyone out there have any idea of who these cats are and what they might be up to?

Yes, we've seen the pictures of the bigfoot caught with a game camera. We are not impressed. Until I bag one and mount it on the wall, I'm not exactly thinking they are all that real. Bets are that if they are real, they don't taste like chicken.

Two blogs that are overdue for linkages. Box of Truth and War on Guns. See the links to the left.

Sunday, 7-30-06: How many of you guys think we are in the early stages of Word War III? I'm not sure if we have actually crossed over that line yet, but we are close and history could prove me wrong. Check out how pretty much every news media source in the world with the sole exception of Fox News is pretty much blaming Israel for this situation in Lebanon. Then we have Mad Max going nuts and screaming that the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. It's a mad, mad, mad world out there... let's take a look at the facts. Hezbollah is a terrorist group. They are firing rockets into northern Israel... something that is an act of war. Israel has the right of Self Defense, and its military forces are organized as a defensive force... they are even called the “Israeli Defense Force”. Their job is to protect Israel, plane and simple. Israel sends its jets out to destroy the rockets, the launchers, and those that are launching the rockets. Lebannon freaks out as if it was completely innocent. Hezbollah keeps firing, and they do things like put their missile supplies in or near hospitals, schools, churches, even a UN building. Now they are trying, with the help of the world's news media, to make Israel look like the bad guys. All the while, Hezbollah is still shooting rockets, funded and supported and aided by Lebannon, Syria, and Iran. Pretty much Hezbollah is an active branch of Iran's military by proxy. Iran can officially claim no connection, but the Iranian president is kissing the warhead of each rocket Hezbollah is going to fire.  We should do everything we can to promote America to the people of Iran.  The Iranians are going to have to take care of their own government.  This will prevent WWIII.  If it is preventable.

It's now illegal to take pictures of cops? WTF? If the public can not photograph or record police in action, then there is no documentation or legal proof that the police will ever do anything wrong again... meaning there is no public oversight over the police force. This is not good... in fact, this is downright scary. This changes the nature of our Republic. This smacks of totalitarianism. No, don't give me any crap about homeland security issues or Officer Safety. Anyone can take a photo of anyone else at any time, why is a cop special? Why is their “safety” more important than other's? It's not about “safety”. It's about privacy. If anyone in that town comes forward with pictures of a cop throwing a beatdown on some kid who failed to signal, they will be charged with violation of this new law. Who the hell made this into law? What is wrong with these lawmakers? What is wrong with us – We The People – who allow these asinine lawmakers to remain employed? Judas freaking Priest!

This is awesome! (sarcasm) Ford marketing to future car buyers. You know, when your kids are begging for shit at the store... Super Soakers, candied breakfast cereals, ninjas... I don't see any of the parrents breaking down and buying them that 2006 Ford Fusion. Who came up with this marketing plan? Your fired. Why not try to market to the people who are actually out there looking for a new car? I guess they really can't do that... anyone looking for a new car who test drives something other than a Fusion isn't going to buy a Fusion. They look nice. Feel nice. Unfortunately they drive like a fatigued and retired pro golfer. I'd rather buy a new Buick Lucerne for about 15 bucks more a month on the note. (Your note may vary) Considering Ford is laying of US workers left and right... bleeding employees like a deer hit with a Crimson Talon broadhead, moving their manufacturing to Mexico... they should be calling it the Ford Fission. No, I know Ford is selling a bunch of these cars to people who can't afford a VW Golf... but now that VW is bringing back the Rabbit and pricing it right where it should be priced... Ford is going to be feeling the hurt. I've not seen the new Rabbit yet. I've not even read a decent review of one.... (what happened to my car magazines?) but I have a feeling that I might have to trade my Tour in on one of them. I miss my old Rabbit GTI. Sure, driving it above 40 gave me migraines every time I got behind the wheel... but it was a fun car to drive. Hopefully the new ones wont have that same harmonic vibration that felt like a tazer in the back of my skull. Could we even dare to hope for a new GTI version? Or a Wolfsberg edition? I'll not hold my breath, but I am crossing my fingers. And toes. German cars really do rev my motors. I'll the import cars I've ever had have always given my catastrophic and terminal powertrain failures... but my German cars? Hell, I blew one and a half of my cylinders out of a 4 cylinder Audi and it was still a blast to drive.

New West 3 Gun: The idea still has merit. You know Western stuff is still cool... and even better when not in “period” dress.

You know you want to.

Tuesday, 7-25-06:  With he publication of a new issue of Concealed Carry Magazine, I can now post the infamous HK P2000 review. It's in the weapon's section at the top of the list. This new issue has the be cover I've ever seen on any gun magazine. If you are not a subscriber, you are truly missing out on something special. In this issue my review is not on a gun, but on a little knife. Via emails from readers, this is evidently the funniest article I've ever written. Being funny is not my intentions, but I do like to spice up a review with some humor when I can. The Wilson/Rock River article is not funny at all by comparison. I'm not trying to be a gunwriter stand-up comedian... I just don't want to write articles so boring as to make the readers skip to the next advertising block. There are enough Gun-Comedians on the discussion forums.

Seems that my idea of a Modern Western competition is gaining ground rapidly. Let's toss out the IDPA West type thing and just go straight to calling it “Western 3-Gun”. Clothes are not the point, the guns and tactics are. This is an idea that is long overdue... then again, out here where I live, I see guys doing this informally all the time. The western style guns are very popular and are fun to shoot. If you are blogging, post your own thoughts about this subject and send me a link to them!

The FN pistol: I am told by a reliable source that the FN pistol I received is officially farked up. I'm going to have to contact FN and get a replacement. I can't review this pistol... it's just too screwed up to fire it with live rounds. I'll do that shortly.

Deadwood. Yes, I've seen HBO's show “Deadwood”. I hated it. Whatever plot or storyline they have going on is lost to me. The overly thick layer of profanity is offensive to even a guy like me... and I can cuss with the best of them. A western doesn't need to swear more than a Chris Rock show in order to be “gritty”. I tried watching one episode, I couldn't count how many F-words were used... I couldn't even finish one episode. Using the F-word with such frequency and so continually tends to make me thing that the writers are not up to the task. Speaking of Westerns... I wanted to watch “Silverado”. Local Blockbusters didn't have it. Hollywood Video didn't have it. WTF? Are you kidding me? I'll have to go buy a copy from Wally World. (shudder) I hate going into that place.

I didn't mention in my brief post yesterday that we spent a lot of time up at Flaming Gorge. The place is awesome... but it was hot as Hades. Boys swam and played and paddled a canoe around and had a great time. Fantastic place to spend family time. Well, all except for the truck getting siphoned dry. Other than that, it was awesome. Local legend has it that the dam there at the gorge is home to cat-fish the size of cars and trout the size of tuna. Record fish are pulled out of the Gorge all the time, but these monster sized fish remain uncatchable. Rumor has it that divers inspecting the damn on the water side have gone down, and came right back up insisting that they don't go back down without shark-cages. This legend has me wanting to recertify for diving. I've not dived since I lived in Tacoma. I think I might do that... dive down there. I'll bring a bang-stick, a tub of butter and a bag of fresh lemons.

Building a tube-buggy has been on my mind again. Using a VW engine is not appealing to me, granted the 2400CC engine is a goer... I want something with more punch. If I could find an air-cooled engine from an older Porsche 911... that would give me the thrust to weight ratio that I want.

Monday, 7-24-06: FN has sent us a new pistol to test.  This is the FN P9m, a compact version of the pistol that is made by FN and also sold under the name Browning Pro9.  This is an interesting pistol, very well built with excellent machining.  But a question... How do you screw up a single action trigger pull so completely?  I've never - never - seen a single action trigger pull so bad.  No, I'm serious, I've claimed other triggers to be bad before, but relatively speaking those were all crisp and light compared to this one.  The double action pull is one thing, being long and as heavy as a Hoyt Trykon... but the single action pull is - damn... it's flat out nasty.  The trigger with the hammer back already, mind you, pulls all the way to the frame and yet it still wont fire.  You have to keep squeezing and applying ever greater amounts of force until at different intervals it finally breaks and fires the gun.  It's off the scale and impossible... it's also inconsistent because of some details that I will go over in the review.  I've fired toy cap guns, commercial grade staplers, and rivet guns with better triggers.  This thing makes you long for a DeWalt, or a CZ-100.  Get the Double Action Only version of this gun... because - damn - you are better off throwing the gun at the target.  Seriously... the best way to drop the hammer on this thing is with the decocker. 

Yes, I've been keeping abreast of the situation at the Lebannon/Israeli border. I've not spoken much about it because the whole subject puts my head in danger of exploding. Condi went over there and is right about now working hard to throttle back the machines of war. While the US wants peace and stability, the US is a firm believer in self defense for Israel. Not quite for our own southern boarder, but still... we think Israel has a right to defend its self. The key to the desired peace goal is pretty much for the Hezzies to stop shooting rockets. That's pretty much it. Now we of course all know this. President Bush and Condi know this. Who doesn't quite get it are our own Media and 8 congresscreatures. I heard on NPR “Why isn't Condi meeting with Hezzbola?” What the hell? Because they are a terrorist group of Islamic radicals who wouldn't give Condi the time of day if she asked. Why not? For starters, Condi is an American infidel back woman. You might not have noticed that... but it's true. Condi is one of the most brilliant minds America has produced ever – but she is not the type of person that radical islamic terrorists are going to sit down and have a talk with. Secondly, We don't meet with and negotiate with terrorists. Ever. What we do is kill them, as much as we can, whenever we can, wherever we can, as fast as we can. Israel does this too. What Condi is doing is trying to work out how best we can do this, let Israel know we got their back, and try to convince Lebanon to help out and that letting their country be the staging area for Iran and Syria is not the best thing for them as a country. Condi my walk softly, but she carries a really big stick. If Lebanon is run by anyone with ½ a brain anymore... they will listen to her. What I don't understand is why 8 of our own congressmen would vote against Israel defending herself... one of them a Republican. What the hell is wrong with you people? Would you vote against the USA defending ourselves? No, wait, don't answer that. We all know your answer to that. Who the hell do you 8 jackasses think you are? Your districts need to vote your asses out of there ASAP. All of this is fine and well... all reactions to be expected. What is surprising however is John “Super Hero” Kerry. “If I was President, this wouldn't have happened.” Yes, he's absolutely right... If America had voted Kerry into the White House, Muslims would have stopped hating Jews. And Dingos would have become herbivores too. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

Saturday, 7-22-06:  I've been offline most of the week dealing with multiple issues regarding Ogre Ranch. Surveys, Inspections, Appraisals... all heading towards finalizing this acquisition. Mrs. Ogre loves Ogre Ranch more than any other place we've been or looked at. This is making her happy, so I am too. Taken care of our littlest Trooper who broke his arm last night. Was playing “Airplane Ride” with his bigger brother and crashed and burned. Took him in for X-rays and sure enough... nice little greenstick fracture just below the wrist. Not a bad break, but a painful lesson. This will heal up just fine.

We've also completed and submitted the review for the Wilson Combat and Rock River guns. I've got one more 1911 coming in, and that's a Detonics Combat Master, one of the new ones. I talked to Jerry Ahern about it on the phone, which was interesting. I enjoyed his Survalist novels and evidently he enjoyed my prior Detonics review. I'm looking forward to checking out the new Combat Master, but after that, it's going to be a very long time before I review another 1911 type gun. I don't care if Ed Brown and Les Baer both knock on my door with new guns in hand. If I do review another 1911 after the CM, it will be a series on production guns under a grand.

The comments I made last here on regarding the Cowboy Action Shooting stuff has evidently struck a nerve. First emails I got were from SASS enthusiasts defending their activities. I didn't mean to detract from SASS, I was just saying that it's not for me. Loads of emails from both sides, but I am only going to post two of them as representatives of the arguments. I picked out two that best represent.

First an email from the Pro-Ogre-Idea camp: “Ogre, Excellent thoughts on the old guns. My brother and I were talking about the desire to test ourselves with the old guns but without playing dressup. Its just gay...Those clowns spend more on the clothes and accouterments that they do on weapons and ammo. The laws of physics haven't changed even though modern gun makers imply that you just ain't up to snuff without the latest and greatest piece of battle rattle that limps out of their factories. The lever gun or single action six gun will still play thumper with your ass just as effectively as 130 years ago and the weapons are beautifully simple with equally simple manuals of arms. When are they going to learn that its the man not the weapon? I wouldn't feel under gunned with any of it. Personally for home defense I would love to have a "rabbit eared" 12 gauge coach gun to go along with my 1911. In closing, as for the Barbie Boys in the SASS, don't they think Wyatt Earp would have worn a Gore-Tex coat, polypropylene drawers, quick drying, wicking clothes and Danner boots if he had the chance in stead of the thick, sweat-yer-monkey-balls-off wool and cotton of the day? The SASS mentality on dress-up is either little girlie or just gay... I haven't decided which yet but either one is beneath the amazingly dashing, handsome and virile men that we are... HA! Keep up the great work. Respectfully, Sgt. Neil

I don't know about Earp, but Pope sure would have used something new fangled if it gave him an advantage and was practical. Practical is the key feature of anything tactical. I think we all know this. Now, for something from the Pro-SASS camp: “I noticed that you referred to the .45 Colt as .45 Long Colt. From what I understand, .45 Long Colt is a misnomer, because of the other different 'long' loads for colt, like .32 LC and so on...I don’t think there's a .45 short. I'm not sure on this, but i was wondering if you knew. Bears further research, 'cause it could just be the way gunbunnies in my neck of the woods talk. On a different note, I don’t quite understand why you want to cowboy shoot with out all the regalia. The Winchester rifles, old double barreled shotguns, and Single Action army style pistols are all good shooters, but for actual combat, they are outdated and it's foolish to use them for self defense when there are other options out there...So I’m assuming because of that, you just want to replicate old time shoot outs? I think that's cool, but I wouldn’t do it wearing tennis shoes. Also, i saw you mentioned the SCA. I had some friends in the SCA, and I believe that it sucks. The combat sparring they use is completely nerfed, to the point it's disrespectful to our ancestors...using padded sword hits to limited areas is okay, but to insist it's realistic like the SCA does is retarded. - Guns of Nevada

Okay, this was also selected because of some of the emails about my use of the term “Long Colt”. There is historical president for the term “Long Colt”... which is why we have the term “Long Colt”. Back in the days of the Wild West the US Army had some problems. Lots of guys were riding the range with guns in .45 Schofield, and others in .45 Colt. The Colt cartridge used a longer case and the rounds did not chamber in the .45 Schofield guns. This became a logistical problem for the Army so they started distributing a shorter round that would work in both guns. This eased the logistical burdens and remedied the confusions at the Army depots. The term Long Colt came about as common language for the real .45 Colt cartridge. There is a nice little article about this over on Six Guns. So while the term “.45 Long Colt” is technically incorrect, it's acceptable. Nomenclature Nazis can back off... the Gun Culture is full of things like this. We carry .357's when most of the bullet Diameters are .355” and I've yet to see a .38 Special that is really .38”. Things like that just happen and we move on. Now Guns makes points that every other pro-SASS message made... but for every one email I got supporting SASS's way of doing things... I got five that didn't like it. We all like a good western movie now and then. Come on, Tombstone was a badass flick. Unforgiven rocked. But while we like our old style guns, we don't need to be dressing up in old clothes. If this was the norm, most IPSC shooters would be dressing up like turn of the century doughboys with no clothes after 1919 acceptable. Come on. It's about the Shooting and the Guns. That's what I'm getting at.

Also about the guns being outdated... that's marketing, not practical reality. The average shootout is two shots in this country. That's police shootings too. Most of them are just one shot. A few fire more... hence the increase in the national average. I don't know of but one case where a guy with a CCW permit had to do a tactical reload during a gunfight. Gunfights tend to go like regular fights and are quickly ended when one guy gets hit and goes down, most of the time on the first punch. Fast shooting and high capacities are the style, but the last word is with the first guy that hits his target. You've heard that speed is fine, but accuracy is final... and that's true. But even with that glib phrase, I don't think anyone with a high speed, low drag ninja gear outfit is going to be any faster with his Wondermatic to the first solid hit than the guy with an old Peacemaker. And the person that gets hit, I really don't think he is going to feel the difference.

End results of all this... there are a lot of guys that like the idea of cowboy action shooting, just with less “cowboy”. And really, from what I've seen, few of these costumes are really all that “Authentic”. They are very “Hollywood” and are a not what most folk really used to wear out riding the range from sun up till sundown. Real cowboys wore simple clothes, were filthy, and often patched and stitched up. But that is neither here nor there. If you like the SASS stuff, the old guns and the outfits and the names and that whole living history thing... that's cool. I'm glad you are doing it. I just want to see a simple IDPA style match series designed for enthusiasts of the old iron. That's all I'm saying.

I don't know if you guys have seen this or not, but Federal has finally come out with their own cartridge. .338 Federal. If you've not heard of it, let me tell you, it's pretty damn cool. It's nothing Earth Shattering, and it's nothing trying to break land speed records like the Short Mags. It's really one of those “Hey, that's a good idea” sort of things. Take a .308 case, neck it up to fit a .338 caliber bullet and there you go. Of course it's a good thing, Wildcatters have been doing a similar thing and calling it a .338-06 for years. The only problem with .338-06 is that you can't go to the gunshop and buy a new rifle in that caliber and you can't just buy a box of shells for it. .338 Federal legitimizes the cartridge with factory ammo and Sako is on board with rifles for it. This cartridge hits harder than a .30-06 with better ballistics along the way, and it's not punishing at all... yet it's only 15% off of the .338 Win Mag which is punishing like a 1880's English Schoolmaster. I like this round... I really do. It's good round... might be new, might have some heavy marketing efforts behind it... but it's a good practical round. .223WSSM, .204 Ruger... these are marketing rounds with little going for them in terms of valid rationalization. Yet we sell tons of them. This .338 Federal is one that makes sense. It would be easy to shoot, and easy to reload for too. This cartridge sounds like a winner. I don't know about a Sako rifle... but a Kimber 8400 Classic in .338 Federal would be fantastic. This round would also do very well for the US Military in a number of different weapon systems.

I saw a .308 caliber M1 Garand the other day. That's just wrong. If you want something like that, just get an M-14 clone like the Springfield M1A. Come to think of it, that .308 Garand was a Springfield. Well, I guess if enough people asked for it.

Really other than the wood stocked classics, I'm pretty much done with military type black rifles. I've grown too fond of the warmth and depth of a deep blued finish and an oiled stock. I've found appreciation even for over/under type shotguns. Military guns with their 30 rounds mags and narrow choice of calibers have become just boring and all the new military guns lack the aesthetics and class of the old military guns. I think it's the overabundance of piccatiny rails these days. All the new guns have to be coated in rails. I've seen rail systems to mount on your rail systems just so you can have cooler rails. What the hell is wrong with these people? You put so much shit on your gun that you forget you actually have a gun in there. These guys wouldn't even be happy with a Zorg Industries gun unless it had rails on it. When you take a gun that weighed about 6 pounds and was intended to be a light carbine, and you bolt on so many parts that they become heavier than an M-60 Machinegun... they should study you.

Friday, 7-14-06:  I'm not one to really say that the shooting industry/gun culture needs another competition series... but I think we do. You guys are well aware that I am taken to the old school guns of the late 1800's. I would love to compete in competitions using those guns. The SASS does just that. The problem is that they take it a bit too far and require the hats and really push the costumes and all the other accouterments that really just turn me off. I'm not into the Civil War reenactments at all and coming from Virginia I've seen my fair share of those guys. Nothing against them, it's just that I don't want to play. The SCA, Society of Creative Anachronism does the same thing with the medieval jazz... again, nothing against them, but I don't play those reindeer games. The SASS does the same thing and I don't mean to be rude but it all gets kinda creepy. I want steak for dinner, sometimes I don't want to have to rope and brand the cow first, okay? I want to enjoy a shooting sport without someone bitching about me wearing Levis and Converse, is that too much to ask? Well, for SASS, sometimes it is. As an organization they are accommodating. But then you have the people who take it a bit too far and do that sneering shit when you want to step up to the shooting line. They scorn you for not playing along as deeply as they do.

Look, if you are a middle aged single man with a receding hairline and you want to throw balls of tinfoil at your friends yelling “Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt!” then be my guest. (there is a video out there of just that... scary) If you want to spend your day with your friends recreating scenes from The Outlaw Jose Wales... then knock yourself out. But don't be bitchy when not everyone else wants to play along.  (Don't give me any shit about wearing a costume for the Outlaw Trail... I had a paying audience for that.)

I want a simple and straight forward Shooting Match using Pre-1900 guns and holsters, but no other requirements or BS. Kind of a “New Country” vibe. Rodeos have modernized. Cowboys have modernized... why not the shooting sport? I want the shooting without the roll playing. That's all I'm saying. IDPA style, tactical gunfighting, without the Halloween party. I want a shooting sport where we can learn the gunfighter's craft, appreciate the history and the art of the rifle and all that... with no one playing dress up. Something that shows people that these old designs are not outdated. I want to hear rock music like Kansas and ZZ Top, I want to see Dodge and Budweiser sponsoring, and I want to see logo festooned baseball caps. I don't want IPSC arms races... it's not about the equipment... it's about the application of lead.

I don't know how to go about starting a shooting series... but I just want the idea to get out there. Kind of a “Western IDPA”. Tactical mindsets, real world scenarios, old guns. That's all I'm saying. If you want to get gamey and roll with a Schofield top break revolver and reload it with HKS speedloaders... then cool... clever idea. Bianchi Speed Strips to help reload your Peacemaker, outstanding. Whatever you can do, do it as long as it's safe and tactically sound.

I think there is still a place in the world for these old school guns. Sure the new guns like the 45 version of the XD are fantastic. But just because those new guns are good, doesn't mean the old guns are bad. Besides, you can load a lot more thump into those old style guns then you might think. They can surprise you.

On another note: Talking to some Cowboy Action Shooting type guys, factory rolled ammo is a little thin in variety. Not just at the gun store I work at, but all over. And not just for SASS calibers... but some other great calibers as well, like the .264 Winchester... which if it wasn't so damn rare could very well become one of the Great American Favorites... if they had just loaded it with a little heavier bullet to slow it down just a touch to reduce barrel wear, it could have really taken off. If you don't know what that is, think of it kind of like a Winchester Short Magnum cartridge... but make it out of a belted magnum. Loads of power in there. There are other calibers too that just beg for more loading options... like .30 Carbine. 10MM. .45 Long Colt and .44 Special. .300 Ultra Mag. These are calibers that just don't have a lot of, or enough, options. They are explored by reloaders, but guys who buy factory ammo are out of luck. I'm loving what Hornady has done with their Leverevolution ammunition. That's what I'm talking about. New thinking on these old cartridges... I'm just thinking out loud here.

Ah, yes... got the Wilson Combat vs Rock River article done and photos sent. That's a good thing to get done and out of the way. Now I have about a month to get the next one ready. I should be getting in an FN or a Detonics shortly. This was an interesting review to do. I'll go ahead and whisper who wins... Wilson. Not surprising, they build some excellent pistols. But what really surprised me was just how good the Rock River pistol was. The Pro Carry that I tested is 1700 bucks and that is a lot of money... but it was a lot less than the Wilson and a lot less than other custom 1911's out there. But Rock River really put together a great pistol for me. If all their 1911's are as good as this one was – go get yourself a Rock River. Fantastic gun and perhaps the most accurate 1911 I've ever fired. The attention to detail and fitting was amazing. Try one and you'll never look at a Springfield or Kimber ever again. The Rock River website doesn't have a lot of information about them, and the link to the pistols is low on the left... so they are even hard to find... but they are excellent guns when you get one in your hand.

Wed, 7-12-06: John Moses Browning was indeed a genius. I'm looking at this Winchester 94 and now all the sudden... I get it. Why so many people prefer the Winchesters over the Marlins even though the Marlin is the stronger and more accurate gun. Browning's influence on the lever action is evident in the 94... the action is a mechanical ballet that is both simple and elegant. When you first look at it, it looks complicated... but after some study you see that it's absolutely brilliant. A Marlin is almost crude by comparison. Like a Ruger revolver examined next to a S&W. There is something else about the Winchester that you can't quantify by measuring the mechanical parts... something I've never taken the time to examine or to notice being sure of my position of being Pro-Marlin. I can't fault the Marlins... they are fantastic guns... but this certain quality that the Winchester has trumps the Marlin's advantages in all other areas. I don't even know what it is... but the Winchester just radiates History and Tradition.... and Regret. With the closing of Winchester factory, America as a whole has lost something special... something really only appreciated by a few these days, but something older generations always knew. This is what draws me towards doing some cowboy action shooting. It's uniquely American like nothing else. Living “Out West” where still seeing guys riding hard across the desert on horseback is not rare or unusual. Sure, most modern cowboys use ATV's, Trucks, and even Helicopters... Most of the cowboys around here still do it the old fashioned way. I think the beef even tastes better for it. There is a local outfit near here... it's in Fruitland... they cook up steaks and make Jerky from local beef. Best you have ever tasted. Ruth's Chris has nothing on these guys. Muir's if you get the chance... Muir's Beef Jerky. If you are going through Fruitland, UT during Lunch or Dinner time, take the road heading North for about a half mile and treat yourself. The history of the Old West is one of the very aspects that makes America so damn great. The Old West... what people call the old west... Wasn't as wild as people think. It was quiet and peaceful... and we as a nation have never had more growth or more freedom. If there was another place like that still... I'd be tempted to go there. And I'd bring this Winchester. I just love holding it... I've never felt this way about a rifle before... No other rifle has felt so imbued with with “America”. Everything that makes America American is in this rifle. And the crazy thing is that this 94 I have is actually of a more recent manufacture. This rifle probably only has a hundred rounds through it before I got it... it's never driven off an Indian attack, rode with the Rough Riders, killed a rogue bear ransacking a hunting lodge, fed a hungry family in the middle of a hard winter, ended a mountain lion that was raiding the ranch's livestock, or brought a horse thief to justice. But rifles just like this one did. I'm not sure why this rifle speaks to me in such a way. My family is from a line of Virginians... I don't think anyone in my family has ever even owned one of these... so there is nothing in my blood that favors the Winchester... well... JMB is in my family tree... but barring that... there is something that this rifles says to me that I understand and it says it in a language that I understand. It says “Liberty”. It says “Independence”. It says “Freedom”.

We recently watched the latest Pirates movie. I liked the first one a lot... it was a fun movie. This new one I found myself looking at Davie Jone's Crew with morbid curiosity more than I was actually watching the movie its self. It seems Disney make this movie with the sole purpose of selling toys more than anything else. The Triple Guns? Multi Barreled Rotating Cannons wasn't the stupidest thing in the film but they did bug the hell out of me probably more than anything else. Technology of the time wasn't able to produce anything like that for about another hundred years and even then only after the advent of metallic cartridges. I know... I know... Pirates is just a fantasy. If you decide to wait for the DVD to come out... you are not missing anything. But if you do wait for the DVD, just go ahead and wait for the 3rd Pirates movie to come out on DVD too. If you are looking for a good DVD rental in the mean time. Might I suggest the Boondock Saints, Equilibrium, or one of the other flicks I have listed over there on the right side column. Or check my list of movies on the Movies Page.

Tuesday, 7-11-06: Lots of emails asking me about my predictions on the new .45ACP pistol for the military. Well, its a big juicy contract... 649,000 pistols. Everyone wants this contract. Even firms that one wouldn't expect such as Para and Taurus. But with that much scratch up for grabs, it's like American Pistol Idol. There are only a few firms that have any real chance at making it, in my opinion. SIG, with their P220 series. Springfield, with a modified version of the new XD45. Beretta with their Px4. FN with a new version of their PM series. S&W with a .45 version of their new M&P pistol... And HK with their .45 Tactical. Advantages go to FN, Beretta, SIG and HK because of familiarity with the .Mil's procurement procedures and a history of contract fulfillments. They know how to play the game. SIG might have a dog in this race based on the new X5 Tactical series... a P220 X5 would just about fit the bill perfectly. I think that might be a winner.... however the stipulations specifically request a striker fired system and marks that with a “T” which means “Threshold” and a pass or fail there... so unless the .Mil is okay with a hammer fired gun, this leaves out the Sig and the HK and many others. If that is the case, the whole thing is going to boil down to a horse race between S&W's M&P and the Springfield XD. Between the two... well... I've not seen a .45 M&P but I am sick of all the “&” signs already.... I do like the XD .45 better. I like the tactile loaded chamber indicator, the striker indicator, and the 13 round capacity. If I was a betting man... I'm not sure if I'd place a bet yet, but I'm leaning to the XD45.

Correction about the Winchester 94... it's a 24 inch barrel. That's a bit long for my tastes, but then again my tastes do seem to be changing lately and the gun has such a wonderful balance. I just might be willing to put THE GREEN MARLIN up for auction now. Even though its a slick tack driver, it's feeling like a lump of lumber now compared to the Winchester.

Monday, 7-10-06: Another Winchester... Damn if this isn't another rifle that torqued my Gottagitit meter... A 94 in .45 Long Colt. It's going to have to come home with me today, and I'm going to have to find a way to sneak it home without She Who Must Be Obeyed detecting it. If you can't tell, I'm gearing up for doing some cowboy shooting and this 94 is PERFECT for it. It has a longer barrel than what I'm used to... 22 inches I think. But it still balances well and it's very light. The action is pretty smooth too... not great, but it aint bad at all. I'll have to admit that I'm not really a Winchester lever fan. I just like the Marlins better. But this one will do nicely and I don't a cowboy suitable lever yet anyways. Wish this one was in .357, but I'll deal with .45LC. (sigh) I'll just have to learn to love it... he he he. This 94 came in on a trade deal and I'm snagging it.

I've been getting enough emails from Europe to necessitate posting additions to my Gunsmith Directory... but since I don't know of any gunsmiths in the EU, I am going to have to rely on the Horde Members ( Regular Readers and Correspondents) for suggestions. Since I can't say just EU or specific countries... is going to have to go Global. If you live in any country other than the USA, I want to hear from you. Unless your from China, then fuck you... your out of luck until you overthrow your maniac Communist government. New Zealand, Greece, Ireland, England, Spain, France, Italy, Czech, Netherlands... time to represent! If you have a good gunsmith – now, by good I mean damn good and not just a hack with a set of small files – give me his name and contact information to be posted like the other gunsmiths in my little directory. I want known good gunsmiths... 'Smiths that have reputations for doing excellent work and that you wouldn't think twice about sending your guns to.

Friday, 7-7-06:  Okay, you want me to say it? I'll say it. SIG is better than HK. CZ is better than HK. Beretta is better than HK.  S&W is better than HK. Taurus is better than... okay, maybe not Taurus... Springfield is better than HK. Hell, even Glock is better than HK. HK has the balls to say “No Compromises” and then they go and compromise the hell out of their handguns and expect a big pass by the Gun Writers because they are HK and no one ever says anything critical of HK. That's the unwritten rule of being a Gun Writer... HK gets a pass. Well screw that, and screw you if you that is what you were expecting from me. I'd rather pack a Baby Eagle any day of the week over an HK handgun. Those Poly Beagles I tested for CCM? Better all around handguns than the HK I tested by far. Seriously. And the HK is about 200 bucks more... 200 bucks for what? The +2 Mojo for having the HK logo on it? No thank you. Look, I like a lot of things coming out of Germany... but their Politics and their HK Handguns are not one of them. HK long arms... Over rated. I love them, but they are over rated by a good margin. That's my opinion guys... That is simply how I feel about it and if you don't like it... fine. You don't have to. Just like I don't have to bow at the alter of Heckler and Koch. There are plenty of guns out there to shoot and to review and to buy... I don't have time for a Little Lord Fauntleroy pitching a fit because I didn't sing praise for his personal favorite handgun that is the first and only handgun he has ever owned and only shot a couple of others at best and based his choice of weapon based on the cover of the Rainbow Six game. Suck it, Dubro.  If you have your HK and you like it... great!  Good for you.  I'm sure your boyfriend loves it too.

CZ SP-01. We have one at the store now. Damn... that is one FINE handgun. We have a store rule... let the customers have first crack at new product. This one is going to be mine if no one else snags it first. If anyone wants a new Winchester Coyote in .270 WSM... I think I'm going to have to sell it to buy this CZ!

Thursday, 7-6-06: Today I burned through all the .45ACP ammo I had on hand, and had to go get more. I don't think I can afford all the ammo it would take to fire these two 1911's to the point that one of them would give me a jam. I'm talking about a Rock River and a Wilson Combat Professional model. Both are fantastic examples of what can be done with the old war horse platform. I would be hard pressed to pick which one I like better... just off the cuff I think it would have to come down to cosmetics, where Wilson's Professional model wins because I like the two tone finish better. The Rock's Kart barrel gives us accuracy that is beyond anyone's expectations even firing cheap Blazer Brass ammunition. When I say beyond expectations, I mean the damn thing is throwing all the rounds through one ragged hole with no fliers and no hiccups. I can't even measure the group accurately because of the torn paper edges around the hole, but lets just say this... a single Quarter easily covers the hole left by the passage of over 300 rounds through Rock River's handgun. The Wilson did almost as good, but then again it is a shorter barrel with a shorter sight radius so a larger shot group is expected. A silver dollar would cover that hole, with room to spare. No fliers from the Wilson either. To be honest, such reliability and accuracy became boring... the gun went “bang” every time, and the bullet went exactly where I wanted it to go at 15 yards. Nothing happened to make me think “hey, something different happened.” Both guns just did their job and did it very very well indeed. 1911's, or any other automatic handgun simply do not get any better than these two examples.

I also ran a couple boxes of ammo through my Ruger New Vaquero .357 Magnum. This gun is pure shooting joy like I've not felt in a long time. It hits – easily – what I want to hit with it. It has a great trigger now, not a good trigger, a great one that rivals some of the best out there that I've felt. The action is smoother than most Ruger's I've felt too, which is nice. The best thing about it is that when loaded up with super hot, full house load magnum rounds, you can easily shoot it all day long without your hand getting sore. This is the advantage of the old fashioned “outdated” design of the Colt Single Action Army. The old Colt is a brilliant design and study of recoil management. I shot average loads through it and I shot some very heavy loads through it. While I could feel the difference in recoil pressures... the heavy loads were still not unpleasant to fire. One handed or two. I fired that Cowboy gun until even the loading gate was getting hot. I was disappointed when I eventually found my ammo pouch had run empty. Shooting the pair of .45's had become almost a chore, but the old Cowboy was just as much fun to shoot the last 6 shots as it was the first 6 shots. Not many guns are like that. Then again, this reminds me of my first handgun, the old Ruger Single Six .22... Good times! I'm going to clean this New Vaquero, oil it up, and look forward to the next time I can run some live rounds through it. I still have some more Outlaw Trail shows to do... we have 3 nights left of it where the Ruger will continue with it's diet of Blanks. After that, I'm thinking I might have to go find me a Cowboy Shoot to attend.

Speaking of the Outlaw Trail, this show I'm doing is about Sheriff John T Pope... reading up on him and what he did... He makes Wyatt Earp look like a big sissy. This isn't the full accounting of what Pope did, and I am sorry for dumbass midi sound on that site. Not a lot of information on Pope online, but if you are interested in Western history – there was no Sheriff any tougher and especially not along the Outlaw Trail, a region that extends from Canada to Mexico. Pope's area of operation included some of the worst spots along the outlaw trail such as Brown's Park and Robber's Roost. Learning some of the history of this area is one of the side benefits of doing this theater thing. This little town of Vernal had one of the most colorful pasts of “The Old West”. Might have been in Utah, but it could rival Tombstone in terms of action.

Okay, and now for something completely different. FBMG has gone and done it. Finally, someone has taken the threat of Zombie Hordes seriously enough to put together a real Anti-Zombie kit, one that takes into account the new Fast Zombie imports from the UK... something no one has done before. We are looking forward to similar loadout kits for Vampires, Bigfoots, and Scientologists.




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Copyright G H Hill 1999-2012

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