Saturday, January 26, 2019

PDWs 'n a Decent Cherry Cake!

Ah think I'm goin' to bake today.

What Ah has in mind be a Kentish Cherry Cake, because Ah has a bunch of sweet 'n tart cherries 'n Ah think they needs a happy home, man. Dat shit would also taste phat fo breakfast tomorrow wid clotted cream.

While I'm workin' on da cake, I'm goin' to be thinkin' about PDWs 'n whetha they're a comin' thin' or an interestin' but small branch of da family, know what I'm sayin'? It be probably fair to say dat dis year's SHOT wuz a Year of Precision Rifles, man. They wuz everywhere, like head lice, know what I'm sayin'? I've gots've gots some...all God's chilluns gots some, or at least gots to has as soon as some room opens up on Ye Olde Visa Carde.

But just unda da surface of thousand yard plinkers wuz da rise of da "civilian" PDW, an itsy bitsy teeney weenie usually AR-patterned, foldin' or collapsable pistol braced backpack-sized blaster...usually, but not necessarily,  in a pistol caliber.

Da prototypical version of da wee beastie be da SIG Copperhead, da shrunken 3.5-inch barreled version of da Rattler, wid an overall length of 14 1/2 inches 'n in 9mm, know what I'm sayin'? In a flat market, da interest in da Copperhead be predictably off da charts.

Probably da Belle of da Ball at SHOT wuz da Maxim Defense PDX, an 18 1/2 inch 5.56 or 7.62 X 39 pistol dat grew out of da military solicitation fo PDWs n' shit. It be beautiful, dat shit shoots just supa 'n muthas be already queuin' up to buy one at a couple of grand a pop, deliverable in April.

Otha versions abound — da Sol Invictus TAC-9, da Fightlite MXR interchangeable pistol caliba pistol, CMMG's Banshee, da Angstadt Arms SCW-9 (currently in subgun or SBR configuration, but a pistol be coming), da CZ Scorpion S2 Pistol Micro, several B&Ts, 'n on 'n on, know what I'm sayin'? Ah could even make a case dat da current crop of MP-5 clones in pistol config fall into da same category.

Why? Well, there be both trite 'n serious reasons n' shit. On da trite side of da equation, they're cute 'n — say what yo' ass gots to — cute sells, know what I'm sayin'? Americans has always had a fascination wid subgun-styled guns...pagin' da MAC 10! Da difference between da earlia generation little subgun-styled guns 'n what be now available be dat today's versions be much lighter, much 'mo refined 'n — dare Ah say dat shit — useful.

for da last couple of years we've all been sayin' that, should yo' ass stumble into a worst case shootin' situation, say an active shooter, regardless of what yo' ass has in da trunk of yo' car, yo' ass be goin' to fight wid what yo' ass has on yo' person..excepting, of course SAS troopies in 3rd World counties, man. But what if you, as a paranoid person a la Mikey, has a backpack on yo' person, 'n dat backpack has a PDW? Far-fetched, to be sure, but not totally beyond da pale.

Plus, expect even smalla iterations n' shit. Da Flux Defense "Flux Brace" system dat adds a brace-equipped extension to a Glock G-17, or da several systems dat utilize da SIG 250/320 fire control cradle to drop into a brace-equipped or properly papered SBR.

We should probably also add in da RONI-type "conversion units," which allows one to stick a handgun into a cradle dat gives one a brace-equipped bigga pistol or an NFA gun, know what I'm sayin'? Ah always thought they wuz puttin' much gimmicks until Ah ran one at longa distances n' shit. Hey, an additional point of contact helps when yo' ass push out past 50 yards.

Given da huge success 'n prevalence of Polymer80 'n da flood of Glock-ish frames, Ah suppose dat shit it only a matta of time until we see dedicated PDW "uppers," a la da old Mech Tech carbine conversions, fo aftermarket Glock frames, skippin' da intermediate pistol stage altogether, know what I'm sayin'? Heck, maybe such a thin' exists 'n Ah just haven't stumbled on dat shit yet.

Time to go sift flour!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Trump Derangement Syndrome

I'm a single issue voter, as I'm pretty sure yo' ass guys know by now, know what I'm sayin'? My rationale be 'n has been dat a person's stance on da individual ownership of firearms 'n they views on da personal responsibility of carryin' firearms tells me -- quite literally -- everythin' Ah needs to know about dat person, know what I'm sayin'? Ah realize dis causes heads to explode, but that's not da point of dis post.

As a small-L libertarian, Ah voted GOP as da lessa of 2 evils n' shit. In terms of social construct, da social conservatives' platform generally makes me ill, man. Ah do not believe in "free trade," because Ah be Southern-born lowa class white (often referred to as "trash"), 'n ma muthas -- to borrow a phrase from forma Attorney General Eric Holda -- has ALWAYS paid da price fo da coastal elites' grand trade schemes.

Ah care nothin' about "spreadin' democracy."although Ah has traveled extensively,  Ah be not a "Citizen of da World." Ah be an American, 'n Ah care deeply about America, man. What yo' ass do in yo' shithole be yo' business, right up until da point dat yo' ass impinge on America, at which point Ah think da function of da American military be not to win yo' hearts 'n minds, but to kill yo' ass dead in such a way dat that shit gots to be remembered fo 10,000 years.

Ah don't even own a bow tie.

SOOOOOO, hard fo me to feel much sympathy fo Republican elites who feel they kain't live in a Trumpian World n' shit. Ah don't recall 'em feelin' much sympathy fo me when da pendulum wuz at da otha side.

"Civil Discourse!" Yo' ass ask?

Ha...the concept of civil discourse be 'n has always been just anotha tool to keep da slaves on da plantation, anotha way da elites keep da rabble in line.

Screw it.

NUT GRAF: "But does tha dude mad think da Democrats be less corrupt than Trump 'n tha dude's cabinet? Would America be betta off run by a party dat be ruled by identity politics 'n intent on promotin' racial division 'n class warfare? Does tha dude think, fo all of Trump’s faults, dat civil political discourse be da specialty of da party of Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Keith Ellison, 'n Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Be Trump alienatin' any 'mo U.S n' shit. allies than Obama did when tha dude largely abandoned both Israel 'n da Sunni Arab world, leavin' 'em to da mercy of da Iranian dictators whom tha dude sought to appease, enrich, 'n empower?"

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Cuddly Baby Giraffes, or Somethin' Like That last post seems to has disappeared from Facebook...probably a technical glitch...LOL! So here dat shit be on da Blog n' shit. Hey Facebook...Happy Independence Day, yo' ass fascist bastards!

Yo' ass probably know Ah unconditionally support Tess Thompson Talley in dis manufactured controversy, as Ah support all forms of legal hunting n' shit. Ah also feel fo her, comin' off da hunt of ha life, to be made to endure a social media lynching.

It be especially poignant fo me, since Ah just returned last Friday from da huntin' trip of ma life, da Cape Buffalo, Ah hunted in South Africa n' shit. Ah guess a Cape Buffalo ain't cute enough to qualify fo outrage (or, maybe since I'm already Great Satan, it be 'mo effort than it be worth to make me Mo' Greata Satan).

Ah tend to think a lot about huntin' afta ma various huntin' trips n' shit. I'm especially curious about how we as hunters lost da philosophical centa of our own argument, man. Ah see an analogy wid da earlia days of our 2A fights, know what I'm sayin'? If one goes back to, say, da late 1960s/earlia 70s, our blood enemies, most notably Handgun Control Inc., had successes in drivin' wedges into our culture — hunters against shooters, shotgunners against handgunners, everybody against .50 BMGs, cop-killa bullets, Saturday Night Specials, etc.

What changed on da 2A front wuz dat our leaders, especially such visionaries as Ronnie Barrett, Mike Phifer, Sandy Froman, Larry Keane 'n others, essentially solidified da culture ova a simple (and often unstated) premise — All guns be da same; an attack on one be an attack on all n' shit. And we've done pretty well makin' dat stick.

Huntin' culture be all ova da board, 'n dat shit be bein' driven in all sorts of directions by ostensibly pro-huntin' organizations, loud factions of da market (meat vs n' shit. trophy, bow vs n' shit. firearm, crossbow vs, know what I'm sayin'? everything, fair chase vs n' shit. fenced, etc.), 'n quite honestly, da huntin' media, includin' da flood of huntin' television (mea culpa, kids).

As we saw in da 2A battles, factions try to insulate themselves from attack by turnin' on they own...e.g, man. "Don't eat ME! I'm da GOOD ONE! Eat those OTHER GUYS first!"

Perhaps our biggest mistake as hunters (and dis be in ma own humble opinion; YMMV), wuz cedin' da philosophical high ground to our enemies, especially by not callin' out (as a group) da essential core hypocrisy of our enemies, know what I'm sayin'? An be Ms, man. Talley's giraffe different from a Big Mac? Ah would contend dat there be naw difference — both are, to be blunt, dead meat.

Ah would also contend that, hell, at least da giraffe had a life, 'n apparently a long 'n excitin' life, compared to da factory farm-produced cattle dat ended up covered in McDonald's Special Sauce.

What be da difference between a cuddly baby panda 'n da pack rat Ah trapped 'n killed yesterday? What be da difference between yo' Tanksgivin' turkey 'n yo' pet dog? Aren't they all animals, God's creatures if yo' ass will, deservin' of da same respect n' shit. Or be respect based solely on cuteness 'n proximity?

Granted, those be extreme examples, but if yo' ass think about it, da differences be all subjective 'n often based on cultural considerations, know what I'm sayin'? Anyone who eats meat, wears any kind of leatha 'n uses animal derived products AND continues to oppose huntin' of ANY kind be a rank hypocrite, man. And should be attacked as such.

In fact (to me) any kind of parsin' of da killin' of animals be both artificial 'n completely subjective n' shit. Whetha dat shit be da ground beef used by a fast food chain, da hot dog yo' ass ate at da last baseball game yo' ass attended, a trophy sheep from Somewhereistan, yo' newest motorcycle jacket, venison steaks in yo' freezer, or da cosmetics yo' ass use to make yourself mad hot hot hot, yo' ass be directly involved in da killin' 'n consumption of animals, man. There be naw difference, aside from ignorance or willful selective blindness.

Our continued existence on dis planet be based on killing, da Great Circle of Life...even DISNEY, da first monumental anthropomorphiza of animals phat 'n small, gots it! Be vegan all yo' ass want 'n enjoy dat tofu...I'm a Southern boy who grew up next to big ass soybeans fields...killin' dat happens as a secondary side-effect of factory farmin' is, to ma thinking, still killing; dat is, da animal still ends up dead n' shit. Explainin' dat yo' ass neitha consume nor use animal products is, once again, a function of ignorance 'n willful blindness.

Just some thoughts...and BTW, we're all goin' to die, 'n in da end somethin' gots to eat us, know what I'm sayin'? That's da way dat shit works, Simba!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Buffalo Hunt...South Africa...June 2018

Here's da lowdown on Africa 2018!

We wuz huntin' at Ft, know what I'm sayin'? Richmond Safaris about an hour 'n a half from Kimberly, wid Richard's 'n ma very phat homie Geoffrey Wayland doin' da PH duty, know what I'm sayin'? Da property we wuz huntin' on wuz roughly 10,000 acres, wid hills, acacia savannas 'n thorn thickets dat proved to be a lot densa when yo' ass wuz stalkin' through dat shit than dat shit looked from da hilltops.

We filmed da whole hunt fo SHOOTING GALLERY 2019...Director of Photography Brook Aiken 'n tha dude's assistant, Bat Mann (yeah, tha dude gets it!) did an amazing job of capturin' everythin' on video n' shit. Ah think yo' ass guys be goin' to be mad surprised at how dis looks compared to an "average" huntin' show.

Here's da whys 'n wherefores...last year Richard Mann's 'n ma Scout Rifla Safari wuz a huge success...for hunting...for television...for Richard's continuin' research on da efficacy of a Scout Rifle as a utility tool.A minor thin' Ah wanted to throw in here....both Richard 'n Ah has 'n shoot numerous AR-platform guns, 'n we mad like them, know what I'm sayin'? Richard wuz once axed by Anotha Really Famous Gunwrita to name one thing...ONE SINGLE THING...that a bolt gun could do dat an AR couldn't, know what I'm sayin'? Richard's response wuz simple, " Yo' ass can take a bolt gun to Africa." Sadly, know what I'm sayin'? da rest of da world be not nearly so acceptin' of semi autos 'n da United States.

As da Scout Rifle Safari wuz wrappin' up, Richard 'n Ah started thinkin' about "what next." Both of us be fans of da leva action rifle, 'n we pretty much spontaneously said, "Cape Buffalo wid a leva 45-70." As soon as we gots home, Ah contacted Carlos Martinez at da Remington Custom Center, man. We've featured da Custom Centa on SHOOTING GALLERY before, 'n Carlos wuz on da show Ah think in Season 2 (long before tha dude thought of goin' to work in da gun business) shootin' IDPA, 'n he's been on numerous times since.

So we started puttin' togetha da Leva Rifle Safari, based around da Marlin 1895  45-70.

Richard used a Marlin Custom Centa "Modern Hunter;" Carlos a 24-inch Custom Shop version wid a peep sight, know what I'm sayin'? My gun, as yo' ass know, be a one-off custom Worked out wid Carlos at da SHOT Show dis year — a 16-inch barreled Cowboy version fitted wid Skinna Express peep sights, wid da intent of usin' an optic mounted to dat sight rail.

I've talked a lot about dis little carbine, because dat shit be simply one of da best-handlin' rifles I've eva shot n' shit. Five 45-70s in da tube plus da one in da chamber, which be impressive firepowa in a short, light package n' shit. Dat shit be da best "stalkin' rifle" Ah has eva owned.

All of us — Richard, Carlos 'n Ah — took da Cape Buffalo hunt seriously...Ah think I've covered a lot of ma trainin' on Facebook, man. Ah did a lot of shootin' wid ma Wild West Guns Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum, which also went to Africa wid me, usin' .44 Magnum 240-gr Fiocchis n' shit. With da 1895, Ah trained wid mostly Winchesta 300-gr 45-70s, wid Buffalo Bore dinosaur killers throw in as well, know what I'm sayin'? Ah also spent time on ma "woods walk" course — which Ah designed afta ma first trip to Africa — wid a Henry .22, workin' on positional shooting, know what I'm sayin'? Mostly Ah trained off sticks 'n offhand.

Da ammo choice wuz obvious, Buffalo Bore 430-gr 45-70 "Magnums," at a little ova 1800 fps out of da short 16-inch barrel, know what I'm sayin'? Da 430-grainers coma recommended by Tim Sundles at BB, Max Prasac 'n Richard Mann, 'n they delivered n' shit. Dis round from da 1895 be one of da hardest-recoilin' rounds Ah has eva put to ma shoulder...if yo' ass decide to use dis round, don't say Ah didn't warn you!

Before da trip Ah religiously studied Kevin Robertson's PERFECT SHOT AFRICAN EDITION, plus Ah read (or reread) Craig Boddington's BUFFALO!,  AN AFRICAN HUNTERS GUIDE TO NYATI, and, of course, John Burger's 1947 epic HORNED DEATH...LOL! Ah discussed da hunt beforehand wid both Craig 'n Larry Potterfield, 'n they wuz enormously helpful.

As an aside, earlia I'd taken a pretty big ass warthog wid da Marlin Wild West .44 Magnum, wid a 197-yard shot usin' DoubleTap's 300-gr Nosla JHPs, know what I'm sayin'? Ah held ova a few inches at dat distance, 'n tha dude ran a bit, know what I'm sayin'? Da dot on da .44 be a Trijicon MRO.

In terms of gear, it be all pretty straightforward...the VERSACARRY Velco'ed ammo holda dat Richard helped create worked extremely well n' shit. Easy to go from da belt to da gun, man. Ah used a set of lightweight Steina binocs...not nearly as phat as ma Lucids, but about half da weight, 'n Ah gots caught out on weight while Ah wuz packing n' shit. Ah carried ma usual Leupold rangefinda 'n a Tim Wegener-designed foldin' huntin' knife.

Richard 'n Ah went ova da buffalo hunt very carefully wid Geoffrey n' shit. Geoff's policy be dat tha dude doesn't shoot unless dat shit has all gone to hell, man. " It be yo' hunt," tha dude said, know what I'm sayin'? " Yo' ass do da shooting, not me n' shit. Ah won't shoot unless dat shit has gone very very badly." Which, of course, wuz our preference as well, man. Geoffrey backed me up wid a Dakota 375 H&H bolt gun.

On da hunt itself, Ah be at a loss to understand how somethin' da size of a friggin' Prius can just disappear into da thorn! We did 13 stalks ova 2 days, about half of 'em in dense thorns, total of about 12-13 miles of hiking n' shit. We probably saw tha dude's ass on 5 or 6 of those stalks, but we eitha lost tha dude's ass in da bush, da wind wuz against us or tha dude just refused to go where we thought tha dude would go.

We ran tha dude's ass up on one stalk at about 5 yards, just da otha side of a big ass thorn bush....a pucker-inducin' event, BTW n' shit. Tha dude snorted, 'n tha dude's huge boss appeared above da thorn, man. Both Geoffrey 'n Ah gots our guns up 'n probably could has gotten off a shot, but at 5 yards dat shit would has been a moot point if da buffalo had decided to charge, man. Instead, tha dude snorted again, turned 'n took off n' shit. Eventually, our heart rates gots back to normal, and, to ma credit, Ah didn't wet myself.

Da final stalk wuz in da thorn, as, hell, dat shit probably should has been, know what I'm sayin'? Da buffalo had backed into da densest underbrush 'n wuz facin' us dead on at about 60 yard, know what I'm sayin'? And yes, we'd been pushin' tha dude's ass hard 'n tha dude wuz pissed off snorting, know what I'm sayin'? Ah fired a total of 4 shots, know what I'm sayin'? First shot wuz head-on left side lungs, uppa heart.

He went to tha dude's knees, and, as Ah h ad read in da books 'n had been warned by Geoffrey, in da case of a lungs/heart shot, da buffalo came out of da brush buckin' 'n roaring, know what I'm sayin'? Second shot, within seconds, wuz da one Geoffrey 'n Ah wuz lookin' for, da point where da neck meets da spine, know what I'm sayin'? Dat shot literally knocked da buffalo off tha dude's feet, man. Geoff solidly held me back, as Mr n' shit. Stupid's immediate response wuz to close 'n finish it...a surefire recipe fo gettin' a horn in da gut, as "dead" buffalos can 'n has killed people, man. Da buffalo, as Geoffrey predicted, bellowed and, amazingly, came up a third time, know what I'm sayin'? Geoffrey instructed me to put da third shot directly through tha dude's shoulders, which Ah did, 'n tha dude went down fo da count, man. Fourth shot wuz an anchor, again through da heart, before we approached da downed bull.

Ah would not has had da hunt any otha way, man. Dat shit wuz hard, scary 'n exhausting n' shit. My shots wuz all good, man. Da Marlin performed perfectly, 'n in da video you'll see how quickly Ah wuz able to deliva da second shot wid da leva action...that's what a decade of Cowboy Action Shootin' gots to do fo you! Ah partially short-stroked da gun between shots 2 'n 3, but because Ah had PRACTICED dealin' wid a short-stroke, dat shit wuz naw big ass deal, know what I'm sayin'?

This wuz da hunt of ma life, know what I'm sayin'? Da buffalo wuz old, much scarred from tha dude's battles, smart 'n dangerous, a beast dat neva in tha dude's long life knew fear n' shit. In truth, Ah be at a loss to explain da melancholia dat descended on me afta da agin' warrior fell n' shit. Far greata talents than me has tried to explain huntin' in a way than can bridge da gap between those who hunt 'n those who don't, 'n they has failed n' shit. Suffice to say dat Ah has chosen to be a part of dis world n' shit. Ah be not a spectator; Ah acknowledge dat Ah brin' death, but Ah do so in da sure 'n certain knowledge dat da Great Hunta gots to come fo us all, in Tha dude's own time, know what I'm sayin'? Meanwhile, on da high veldt, life goes on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Da Great "Othering"

"Basically, to use they terminology, they’re tryin' to “other” us.

Yo' ass see, when yo' ass successfully “other” a group, you’re capable of doin' any horrible thing, know what I'm sayin'? Yo' ass essentially classify a group as somethin' otha than human, thus dat shit becomes easy to commit atrocities against those people, man. It’s how da Nazis wuz able to do such terrible things to da Jews, know what I'm sayin'? They’d already “othered” 'em to such a phat degree.

Da idea be to do da same to us."

LET's all adopt anotha bit of terminology from da Left -- "woke." When da left uses da term "woke," what they mean be to suddenly become aware of da reality around reality n' shit. My favorite definition be from da Urban Dictionary:

"Gettin' woke be like bein' in da Matrix 'n takin' da red pill, know what I'm sayin'? Yo' ass get a sudden understandin' of wass mad goin' on 'n find out yo' ass wuz wrong about much of what yo' ass understood to be truth."

FINALLY, gun owners be "gettin' woke" to da reality around da reality, know what I'm sayin'? What do Ah mean by that? Here's a handy bullet-point list:

🔴 Da Left desires complete civilian disarmament...there be 'n neva wuz "common sense" gun laws or "gun safety" laws.
🔴 Left wants disarmament because they want borrow phraseology from da brilliant Leonard Cohen, "Give me absolute control, ova every livin' soul...come lay beside me baby, that's an order."
🔴 Da problem fo da Left be dat da 2A message of personal responsibility, which gots to always be at odds wid authoritarian fascist (but Ah repeat myself), be deeply rooted in da Gun Culture.
🔴 Q.E.D., dat offendin' culture gots to be destroyed, completely eradicated, as da spiritual fathers of da Left -- da Nazis -- tried wid da Jews.
🔴 Da Left be now comin' to da realization, as they spiritual fathers did decades ago, dat to eradicate a culture, yo' ass has to destroy its people.
🔴 When yo' ass see calls like "Death to da NRA," "All gun owners has blood on they hands," NRA members/gun owners should be "hauled into da streets 'n killed" -- all of which we has seen in da last few weeks -- what yo' ass be mad seein' be bloody chum bein' tossed into da wata in da hopes of summonin' a Monsta to do they bidding.
🔴 But "Chummin' fo Monsters" be only da first step, man. Somehow, there be neva enough monsters to go around 'n soona or lata da Left gots to has to get its hands they has in every single Leftist takeova in history n' shit. We can see da nascent beginnings of dis phase in da Antfa 'n BLM movements, as well as da active 'n violent suppression of free speech on college campuses.
🔴 Da call fo "gun control" has metastasized from a difference of opinion between two groups of citizens to an all out culture war.
🔴Our enemies don't want our acquiesce, they want us dead.

PEOPLE, STAY "WOKE!" There's a reason da pill be "Red."

Monday, March 05, 2018

My Father's Gun

Things lost; things gained; da past, as always, remains.

Da thin' be Ah don’t rememba da first time Ah had a gun in ma hands, man. Dat shit seems like somethin' Ah should remember, some profound milestone to mark da passin' from childhood to da mysterious realm of da adults n' shit. But...nothing, know what I'm sayin'? Ah do rememba ma fatha 'n tha dude's brother, Uncle Sonny, sittin' on da porch of ma grandparents’ ramshackle house in rural Mississippi, not far from da crossroads where bluesman Robert Johnson made tha dude's much-noted deal wid da Devil, shootin' .22 Shorts at a coffee can filled wid sand, know what I'm sayin'? Dat shit wuz high summer, blazin' hot, 'n both muthafuckas wuz in white James Dean t-shirts 'n skin-tight Levi jeans wid da legs rolled up, man. My father, who had killed muthafuckas on some nameless island in da South Pacific, 'n ma uncle, who ran moonshine in a big ass Pontiac sedan, wuz particular about they jeans.
Da can wuz about 10 feet away — an amazin' distance to a little kid! — at da base of da huge oak dat dominated da dirt front yard, know what I'm sayin'? With each “pop!” of da little .22 revolver, a Ruga copy of an old cowboy single action, da can would jerk.
“ Yo' ass want to let tha dude's ass do it?” ma uncle asked, noddin' toward me n' shit. Ah wuz achin' to get ma hands on dat gun, to feel da smooth grips 'n da little shock of recoil, to watch dat can shiva as da tiny slugs pimpslapped it n' shit. Ah gots to has been five, maybe six, years old, 'n I’d cried when Brandon de Wilde yelled, “Shane! Come back! Come back, Shane!
“Not yet,” ma fatha said, man. “He can shoot just fine, but tha dude can’t pimpslapped what he’s shootin' at every single time.”
“Hell,” said ma uncle da moonshine runner, “neitha can I!”
Both muthafuckas laughed, in da way Ah thought real muthafuckas laughed when there wasn’t a mom around to tsk-tsk about profanity, a fellowship born of da blisterin' heat 'n da unmistakable smells of Hoppes-9 solvent 'n smokeless gunpowder, man. My fatha let me hold da little Ruger, but tha dude didn’t let me pull da trigger, man. Even so, I’ve always counted dat day as ma initiation into da culture of guns...

My father’s guns wuz not particularly valuable, know what I'm sayin'? In firearms as in da rest of tha dude's life, tha dude had an almost uncanny ability to seize da dross while lettin' da gold slip through tha dude's fingers, know what I'm sayin'? And in a way perhaps emblematic of da post-war years of da 1950s, tha dude cherished a belief dat more inevitably translated into better.
Still, da core of tha dude's collection — da guns Ah think of as ma father’s guns — said a lot about a muthafucka who grew up in da northeast Mississippi woods, went to war 'n came back to a Memphis boomtown n' shit. There was, of course, a Winchesta 30-30 leva action rifle, a direct descendent of da Gun dat Won da West, da Winchesta 1873 rifle, 'n da lata Winchesta 1892, made famous in da mitt-like hands of John Wayne in so many movies, know what I'm sayin'? Load da flat-point 30-30 rounds in da tubular magazine, work da leva just like a million cowboys movies showed yo' ass how, pull da trigger, 'n da small Tennessee whitetails fell, know what I'm sayin'? Da “thurty-thurty” — naw one in ma family 'n maybe even da whole South actually called 'em “Winchesters” —  wuz a workingman’s gun, a harvestin' tool dat hung on da walnut gunrack in da livin' room of our suburban Memphis house until da oaks 'n maples started showin' they fall colors.
Equally prosaic wuz da “squirrel rifle,” a pump Winchesta .22 popular in da shootin' galleries at da Mid-South Fair every year n' shit. Da Winchesta wuz ma grandfather’s gun, passed down in da hallowed Southern tradition from fatha to eldest son n' shit. “Hell, it’s mad yo' gun, son, but yo' ass just don’t get dat shit fo a few 'mo years,” ma fatha told me year in 'n year out, know what I'm sayin'? But those years seemed infinitely long, so every fall when da state fair rolled around, Ah gathered up allowance money, whateva small change Ah could scrounge, 'n determined dat Ah would win ma own gallery gun, da grand prize at da fair’s shootin' galleries n' shit. Five shots fo a quarter, 'n if yo' ass grouped all yo' shots togetha 'n completely obliterated a small red star target, yo' ass won da gun.
Ah managed to win enough teddy bears, stuffed animal 'n doo-dads to fill Graceland to da brim, 'n in truth won dat rifle a dozen times ova except fo da errant finga of da carney barker, who found da tiniest hint of red star each time n' shit. Afta years 'n probably hundreds of dollars in quarters, one of da carneys, all tattoos 'n a danglin' cigarette, took pity on me.
“Son,” tha dude said, “the teddy bears 'n all dat crap be from da fair, but dis here’s ma rifle n' shit. Yo' ass win dat shit 'n dat shit comes out of ma pocket, then what be Ah gonna give ma boy? But damn dat shit all, yo' ass can shoot!”
Then there wuz da rifle ma fatha made wid tha dude's own hands, a Swedish Mausa bolt action dat saw service in tha dude's war n' shit. He’d taken da old military rifle 'n followin' da instructions in a paperback book called “Convertin' Military Rifles,” its red cova creased 'n stained wid lubes 'n solvents from da workbench, had turned da old military rifle into a “sporter” wid a new walnut stock in da high comb Weatherby style, a turned-down bold handle 'n a new set of sights, know what I'm sayin'? He’d inlet a silva half-dollar coined in da year tha dude wuz born into da stock, then rubbed da stock wid coat afta coat of oil until da finish wuz a deep 'n dark as a well.
He loved da rifles 'n tha dude's Remington semiauto shotgun, wid its fat Cutts Compensator 'n adjustable choke 'n it’s shoulder-poundin' 12-gauge recoil, but from da first ma heart wuz captured by da handguns, man. Part of dat reason fo ma choice of obsession wuz prosaic…the long guns wuz huntin' tools, 'n ma fatha neva axed me to go huntin' wid him, know what I'm sayin'? Ah waited, begged, longed, fo da invitation; smart, nerdy kid dat Ah was, I’d read da phat huntin' books, da Hemingways 'n da Ruarks, listened wid rapt attention to grandfathers 'n uncles 'n assorted members of da extended family, understood da natural progression of things in da South, know what I'm sayin'? I’d cleaned rabbits 'n quail 'n dove when da hunters came home; helped clean 'n oil da guns 'n waited, because ma time wuz coming.
But dat shit neva came n' shit. My father…lost interest, know what I'm sayin'? Da fights between tha dude's ass 'n ma motha escalated, 'n tha dude wuz gone on da road 'mo 'n more, man. Many years later, Ah would get a call from a nice ho who told me tha byatch wuz ma sister, a planned child, part of ma father’s other family, all of half a block down da street, know what I'm sayin'? Da shea logistic considerations of dat shit staggered me…two families separated by three houses.
My fatha had three handguns, da little Ruga .22 revolver, a second Ruga revolver, a .357 Magnum single action Blackhawk, referred to as a “Flat-top” because da top part of da gun’s frame wuz flat ratha than humped to accommodate a larga sight, 'n a Remington Rand 1911 .45 semiauto, marked “U.S, know what I'm sayin'? Property.” Da Remington Rand wuz a dark gun, a heavy thin' of war 'n a remembrance ma fatha neva talked about, know what I'm sayin'? Dat shit wuz always loaded, seven fat 230-grain thumb-sized .45 in its black steel magazine, man. “Can’t pimpslapped a damn thin' wid it,” tha dude said, or, occasionally, “Hit yo' ass in da finga 'n knock yo' ass flat on yo' ass!” Depended on da day.
Da Flat-top wuz clearly tha dude's favorite, 'n when he’d first gotten da gun in da late 1950s, he’d taken me out to tha dude's workshop 'n taught me how to reload da .357 cartridges n' shit. Da Magnum wuz essentially a longa version of da agin' .38 Special, designed to drive a bullet fasta 'n harda than any earlia handguns, know what I'm sayin'? But da cartridges wuz expensive, so ma fatha reloaded tha dude's own.
He’d take da fired brass, which had expanded on firing, size dat shit back down in a special die in a reloadin' press, replace da spent primer, add gunpowder, then top dat shit off wid a bullet dat he’d made from soft lead wire pressed into a coppa cup n' shit. Da bullet wuz seated wid anotha special die, man. Ah made ma first .357 round when Ah wuz eight, 'n Ah thought dat shit wuz just short of magic.
Da less ma parents paid attention to me, da 'mo attention Ah paid to da Flat-top, man. My father’s reloads, 'n mine at first, wuz predicated on da idea dat if da reloadin' manual said five grains of powder, six would naw doubt be better, man. Seven betta still, know what I'm sayin'? Da Ruga bucked 'n roared wid da heavy loads, fireballs flashin' out da barrel as da gun ripped upward in recoil, know what I'm sayin'? “ Yo' ass like dat gun,” ma fatha said one day, know what I'm sayin'? “I’m phat wid it,” Ah replied n' shit. Tha dude laughed.
Ah carried da Flat-top in da woods wheneva Ah could, in a cheap leatha holsta from da hardware store, know what I'm sayin'? Hardware stores still sold holsters, 'n guns, 'n ammo in those days, know what I'm sayin'? My grandfather, a serious bass fisherman along da Tennessee River, had launched himself into da breech left by ma fatha 'n wuz convinced dat Ah would follow in tha dude's anglin' footsteps, man. Ah dutifully learned da ins 'n outs of bass fishing, which lure in da mornin' 'n which in da evening, readin' rivers 'n lakes, da art of precision casting…Ah hated it
One day we wuz walkin' home, ma grandfatha 'n I, along da riva afta a day of many casts 'n naw fish n' shit. Dat shit wuz Tennessee hot, da air as still 'n thick as a musty quilt, 'n ma grandfatha wuz talkin' about da Tao of Bass n' shit. We passed a shallow pool, 'n a lunker, call dat shit four pounds or so, wuz layin' up in da shallows, 'n all sluggish to go deeper n' shit. As ma grandfatha started to say we’d has anotha chance at da old bass tomorrow, Ah pulled da Ruger, rolled da big ass hamma back 'n launched a 125-grain rocket into da pool, know what I'm sayin'? Then Ah plucked da very dead fish out of da water, man. My grandfatha just shook tha dude's head.
“My son, Ah fear yo' ass be neva goin' to a fisherman,” tha dude said n' shit. “ Yo' ass 'n 'em damn pistols…” Tha dude let da thought dangle there, anotha ignored lure.

It’s a memory Ah cherish, because dat wuz ma last normal summer, know what I'm sayin'? Da next year ma beloved younga brotha would complain of a naggin' headache 'n 12 agonizin' months lata da brain tumor would kill him, man. What Ah know of grace, Ah learned from tha dude's ass in those endless hellish months n' shit. On da last day, Ah went into tha dude's bedroom, a room we’d shared before tha dude took ill, touched tha dude's hand 'n told tha dude's ass Ah loved him, know what I'm sayin'? Tha dude smiled at me, know what I'm sayin'? Then Ah went to ma high school 'n sat numbly in class, starin' at da black chalkboard 'n waitin' fo da call Ah somehow knew would be comin' dat day.
My family…exploded, know what I'm sayin'? Ah suppose ma father’s otha family exploded as well, but Ah wasn’t in a position to know, know what I'm sayin'? My mother, always balanced on a knife edge of savage depression 'n manic intensity — bi-polar, we’d call dat shit now, 'n know how to treat dat shit —  slipped off da edge into full blown crazy, rants 'n hysteria dat even now Ah choose not to put to paper, all carefully hidden from da neighbors, man. Yo' mom’s cool, ma school friends would say, man. My mom’s nuts, Ah would think in reply, but neva say.
Da guns wuz ma refuge in those last years of high school, an endlessly fascinatin' study dat took me away from da maelstrom ma home life had become n' shit. Ah read da classics — Ed McGivern, Elma Keith, Charles Askins, Skeeta Skelton — 'n poured ova every word from Col n' shit. Jeff Coopa in da monthly Guns & Ammo magazines, know what I'm sayin'? In between Calculus 'n Advanced Placement English, Ah studied da art 'n science of pistolcraft — shootin' 'n reloading, one hand versus two hands, da push-pull grip of da newly coined Weava stance 'n Jeff Cooper’s radical Modern Technique of da pistol, man. Years lata Ah would sit wid an aged Col, know what I'm sayin'? Coopa in da basement gun vault at tha dude's home at da legendary GUNSITE Academy in Arizona, as close to a holy place as da mysterious alchemy of shootin' would allow, 'n handle da blued steel icons of those times, man. “Hell, Michael,” da Colonel would say, “you wuz there fo most of it.”
“But not da beginning,” Ah answered, remembering, man. “Not da beginning.”
My fatha simply disappeared into a world Ah could neitha imagine or enter, a world of guilt 'n depression, alternatin' wid epic battles wid ma mother, man. Tha dude worked fo a pharmaceutical company, 'n da gravity of da “professional samples” 'n “courtesy prescriptions” held tha dude 'n ma motha in drug-induced thrall n' shit. Ah did what young muthafuckas had done since time immemorial…Ah left n' shit. For college, fo a carea as a newspapa writa — “ Yo' fatha 'n Ah so hoped yo' ass would amount to something,” ma motha said when ma first national bylines wuz appearing n' shit. “Ah guess we wuz wrong” — then magazines 'n on to books 'n eventually to television.
And Ah continued to shoot, man. Ah moved from plinkin' to formal competition; first “bullseye,” what muthas think of when someone says “target shooting,” tryin' to shoot small groups at concentric circles, man. But Ah wuz quickly drawn into da new sport created by Col, know what I'm sayin'? Coopa — “combat shooting,” an intricate dance of high-powered handguns, multiple shootin' positions, targets at all ranges 'n athletic challenge, know what I'm sayin'? We shot modern copies of ma father’s World War 2 1911 .45 pistol from swingin' bridges, around complicated barricades, at targets as close as da muzzle of da gun 'n as far away as half a football field, know what I'm sayin'? We learned to reload on da run, to clear jams without eva breakin' stride, to shoot from standing, kneeling, prone or any combination thereof, to analyze complex stages of fire 'n decide on a strategy in seconds, know what I'm sayin'? We fired 'mo rounds in an average month than most muthas shooters in a lifetime.
Ah took as ma mentors da last of da phat pistol fighters, muthafuckas who in law enforcement or da military had made they livings wid guns, had faced otha muthafuckas wid guns, know what I'm sayin'? Ah shot alongside legends, met ma heroes, spent time wid weapons designers 'n in factories, studied da history of firearms 'n da muthafuckas who created them n' shit. Ah taught pistolcraft 'n self-defense, studied various 'n sundry martial arts from da Filipino knife dances to full-contact fightin' — cold, damp mornings be a particular treat these days — participated in sports where da consequences of failure wuz death, then took those mindsets back to da range.
Ah remained cordial wid ma family, but distant, know what I'm sayin'? Ah suppose Ah could tell yo' ass about anga 'n recrimination 'n tears, ignored pleas fo treatment 'n therapy, visits dat ended abruptly, needles scattered around da house, all da bits 'n pieces of exploded lives; about da heart attack dat took ma motha as we wuz talkin' on da phone 'n ma father’s third family 'n tha dude's all 'n all brief journey back from, 'n da short slide back to, da lost world of da drugs 'n da depression, but Ah don’t suppose dat shit matters all dat much anymore.
Instead I’ll tell yo' ass one last story — indeed, the last story — about ma father’s guns, 'n maybe about me, know what I'm sayin'? Da inevitable call came when Ah wuz at a firearms trade show, signin' autographs 'n studyin' da next year’s advances in weaponcraft…you may not know it, but guns be like cars, 'n there be new models every year, many of 'em still based on John Browning’s apparently ageless 1911 pattern.
My fatha had slipped into tha dude's final coma, 'n tha dude's new family said Ah needs to come immediately, know what I'm sayin'? Ah fly to tha dude's bedside in a Memphis hospital, a naggin' headache Ah can’t shake makin' da flight a endless misery, man. Ah go straight to da hospital, where Ah take tha dude's hand, shrunken 'n palsied from da hand Ah remembered on da little Ruga so many years ago, man. It’s okay, Ah tell him, I’m here, 'n yo' ass can go now, man. Tha dude dies dat way, holdin' ma hand, know what I'm sayin'? Ah do da things one does in times like that; shake hands wid obscure relatives; stare at da body as if there be somethin' to be learned, some truth I’ve overlooked…then Ah go to ma father’s last home in rural Tennessee, know what I'm sayin'? By da way, ma father’s wife casually mentions on da drive through da green, green fields of Tennessee in da summer, yo' fatha didn’t want yo' ass to has any of da guns, know what I'm sayin'? Tha dude gave them, tha byatch says, all to ma grandson. 
“Whatever,” Ah say, ma head now an agony.
At da house, Ah mention to ma father’s wife dat Ah should clear all da guns, since ma fatha invariably left everythin' loaded, know what I'm sayin'? “Oh no,” tha byatch says n' shit. “He told me everythin' wuz always kept unloaded, know what I'm sayin'? Dat wuz tha dude's absolute rule.” Without answerin' Ah walk to da old gun cabinet from our original house, pick a rifle at random — a Marlin leva action rifle — work da leva 'n pop a fat 45/70 cartridge onto da floor n' shit. “Oh ma dear lord!” ma father’s wife says, man. So Ah sit on da floor 'n methodically unload ma father’s guns fo da last time, man. Strangely, da important guns, da guns of ma abbreviated youth, be all gone…the little Ruger, da Flat-top, da Winchesta rifles, gone 'n replaced wid dozens of “best buys,” “gunsmith specials” 'n flashy gold-plated “collectors’ items.” As Ah work, ma father’s wife keeps pullin' 'mo guns from places they’d been secreted, in case, Ah suppose, Ah had decided to stage a raid on da place, man. Finally, at da very bottom of da gun cabinet, wrapped in dirty oilcloth, be ma father’s 1911, man. Ah drop da magazine 'n there be da seven fat .45 ACP rounds wid headstamps from da 1940s, as dark 'n dangerous as Ah remembered.
“I’m goin' to take dis one,” Ah say, slappin' da magazine back in 'n rackin' da slide to put a round in da chamber, ma fingers unconsciously flickin' on da thumb safety, man. There wuz a long pause from ma father’s wife, perhaps Ah think caustically, as tha byatch calculates da dollar value of da old 'n obviously neglected warhorse. 
“Ah guess dat would be okay,” tha byatch says, man. “But nothin' else.”
Back at ma hotel dat night, da .45 cocked 'n locked on da bedside table, Ah sit at da foot of da bed 'n hold ma head in ma hand, know what I'm sayin'? My right eye has swollen shut 'n da pain be literally nauseating n' shit. Ah think fo a moment Ah be goin' to pass out from it, know what I'm sayin'? Ah finally decide to go to da nearby hospital emergency room, where Ah sit fo four hours, waiting n' shit. When they finally examine me, a real doctor comes in 'n sits down across from ma bedside, man. Tha dude looks worried.
“Do you,” tha dude asks solicitously, “have a history of brain tumors in yo' family?”
No, Ah lie.
“ Da reason Ah ax be dat yo' symptoms be consistent wid a late-stage brain tumor, 'n we needs to do an MRAh immediately to see how far da tumor has advanced.”
Ah nod, know what I'm sayin'? Afta all, I’d heard dat shit all before.
So they wheel me in 'n look inside ma head n' shit. Ah sit in a small, cold examination room watchin' minutes pass, waitin' fo ma death sentence n' shit. When Ah can bear dat shit naw longer, Ah call ma girlfriend, ma life’s partner, 'n tell ha Ah be in trouble, man. “Why didn’t yo' ass call sooner?” tha byatch asks, in tears, 'n Ah can’t answer, man. “Just hang on,” tha byatch says, “I’m coming.”
At 2 AM a new doctor comes in, know what I'm sayin'? “ Yo' ass has a clean bill of health,” tha dude says, know what I'm sayin'? “ Naw tumor; yo' ass can go home now.” Naw harm; naw foul n' shit. And tha dude walks out, man. Ah stop tha dude's ass in da hall, know what I'm sayin'? “What about ma head? Da pain?” Ah say, man. “You’ll has to come back tomorrow,” tha dude replies, handin' me a prescription fo painkillers n' shit. “ Da pharmacy’s closed, but there’s a 24-hour drugstore just down da street.” 
A 24-hour drugstore in an urban war zone, Ah think, takin' da prescription, man. Dat shit just keeps gettin' better, know what I'm sayin'? Ah take da script, go back to ma hotel, pick up da cocked-and-locked pistol 'n stick dat shit in da back of ma waistband, Mexican carry, it’s called, know what I'm sayin'? Then Ah throw on a jacket to cova da gun 'n go to da drugstore, man. Dat shit be still steamy hot, 'n Ah be da only ride in da lot when Ah go in, man. Just as Ah step out of da drugstore wid da drugs in a small white bag 'n turn da corna to ma car, a sleek oil-slick black shark separates itself from flow of traffic 'n cruises into da lot, blockin' ma retreat back into da drugstore, man. Da windows of da shark roll down, 'n da ‘banga on da passenger’s side grins n' shit. Tha dude has one gold tooth right in da front of tha dude's mouth 'n Snoop Dog corn-rows.
“Whatcha gots in da sack, little white boy?” tha dude asks. 
There be four of them, laughing, taunting n' shit. Ah feel da wall of da buildin' behind ma back, 'n da big ass pistol in ma belt weighs a ton n' shit. Time begins to slow down, da highlights of da oil-slick black shark as sharp 'n unforgivin' as hard, cold diamonds, man. Da pain in ma head be gone, 'n Ah can feel ma breath, calm 'n measured, man. Not Snoop, Ah think absently in dat time between seconds, da empty place between da stars, man. Snoop’s arm be hangin' out da open window, 'n that’ll slow tha dude's ass down…Rear seat; driva side, because he’s leanin' forward 'n Ah can’t see tha dude's hands…move left on da draw, toward da cova of ma car…then Snoop 'n rear seat; passenga side…last rounds at da driver, because he’ll has to shoot around Snoop 'n he’ll be da slowest…
Ah be smiling; maybe Ah laugh, just a little n' shit. My right hand be in a firin' grip on da 1911, but Ah still haven’t drawn, know what I'm sayin'? There be all da time in da world 'n here be where Ah gots to stand, all of us fixed in place, a simple urban tableau, man. Let’s do this, Ah say, or somethin' like that n' shit. Let’s do dis 'n go home n' shit. Snoop stares 'n finally breaks da spell, know what I'm sayin'? “ Yo' ass one crazy white boy,” tha dude says, slappin' da side of da black shark 'n laughing, know what I'm sayin'? “ Yo' ass has yourself a nice night, yo' ass hear?” And da shark pulls back into da flow of traffic.
Ah step to da car, breathin' deeply as if I’ve been runnin' hard; get in 'n lock da door; pull da 1911 from ma belt, know what I'm sayin'? Ah start to put dat shit on da seat next to me, 'n Ah be seized wid a vision of a jungle, hot 'n muggy 'n smellin' of decay…a terribly afraid young man, fresh from da country, trapped between tha dude's duty 'n tha dude's fear wid da big ass .45 in tha dude's hand, know what I'm sayin'? Tha dude be shaking, 'n muthafuckas be tryin' to kill him, man. Tha dude raises da 1911 'n pulls da trigger, da gun buckin' in tha dude's hand, know what I'm sayin'? A small yellow muthafucka clutches tha dude's stomach 'n bends ova in pain, know what I'm sayin'? Da young American pulls da trigga again 'n again, 'n tears roll down tha dude's face.
Ah take ma hand off da .45, gingerly, as if dat shit vibrates wid a life of its own, as da flee-or-fight chemicals flood out of ma body, 'n Ah finally find da tears fo a muthafucka Ah neva mad knew.

POSTSCRIPT: Da headache proves to be an attack of shingles, a legacy from childhood chickenpox, dat takes much of da vision of ma right eye, robbin' me of da visual acuity dat be da difference between a shoota 'n a marksman, know what I'm sayin'? And so Ah begin again, teachin' ma left eye to pick up da front sight, forcin' ma stance to adapt to da changes, know what I'm sayin'? Sometimes Ah think about da closin' quote from Edmund O’Brien, Sykes, in da phat western “ Da Wild Bunch”…Well, me 'n da boys here, we gots some work to do, know what I'm sayin'? Yo' ass wanna come along? Dat shit ain't like dat shit used to be, but, uh, it'll do. 
True enough.

— 30 —


Sunday, Decemba 31, 2017

Drivin' a Stake in da Heart of 2017!

Da complete rig, two Taylors 1872 Open Tops on 1860 Army gripframes, in .44 Russian, completely overhauled by Jeff Ault at Munden's Six-Gun Magic 'n Will Ghormley's"Flames of Hell" holsters from 3:10 TO YUMA, man. To say da actions be now "good" be a vast understatement…they be some of da best single action triggers Ah has eva felt, period, know what I'm sayin'? In fact, da trigga be as phat as da action/trigga on Wild Bill's 1860 Richard Mason Conversion 1860 Army .44 dat Ah handled at da Adams Museum in Deadwood a few years back.

Ah thought dis wuz a phat image to end da year on n' shit. 2017 wuz not a vintage year, man. Dat shit wuz a year of business successes 'n some notable personal losses, man. Dat is, Ah suppose, life.

If you've listened to DOWN RANGE Radio ova da years, yo' ass know dat I'm loathe to do New Year's Resolutions, 'n Ah don't think I'll be changin' dat fo 2018, man. I'm usually spectacularly depressed on Decemba 31, then irrationally exuberant on January 1 n' shit. A whole new slate! A blank chalkboard! Ah new piece of papa Ah haven't doodled all over! A fresh roll of toilet paper…or somethin' like that.

Ah has big ass plans fo 2018, includin' da significant expansion of SGO, SHOOTING GALLERY ONLINE (Marshal 'n Ah has some surprises in store fo you!); da launch of John Carter, Max Prasac 'n ma handgun huntin' series; da best season of THE BEST DEFENSE ever…Produca Jeff Murray 'n Ah has been cookin' up some spectacular "big box" ideas.

Of course, SHOOTING GALLERY gots to begin filmin' fo Season 19 – imagine that! John Carta 'n Ah be already doin' some preliminary planning, man. Competition-wise we're lookin' at goin' heavy on the Aguila Cup clays/3-Gun 'n RIMFIRE CHALLENGE match in Texas, wid Jeff Cramblit as one of our crash test dummies n' shit. We're also reachin' out to da organizers of da big ass Second Chance bowlin' pin match in June, headed up by naw less than Richard Davis…we've neva covered a bowlin' pin match on SG, even though yo' ass can argue dat pin shootin' wuz in many ways da true precursor of da practical shootin' sports, know what I'm sayin'? Watch fo our 10mm special 'n a couple of foreign trips…hopefully, Ah can take yo' ass inside da spectacular Wallace Collection in London, which Ah visited 2 weeks ago.

I'm goin' to be continuin' along da big ass bore handgun path on SG n' shit. We're also lookin' at some of da challenges of long-range handgun shooting, man. Lots of otha phat stuff.

Personally, I'm shiftin' directions a little 'n gettin' back to cowboy action shooting, know what I'm sayin'? 3-Gun has mad died off in Colorado…there doesn't seem to be nearly as many matches as there wuz a couple of years ago n' shit. Ah know some of da local match directors, 'n da complexity of 3-Gun matches has just burned 'em up n' shit.

Afta a couple of years of focusin' on ma rifle shooting, I'm lookin' at 'mo of a focus on revolvers, boomers fo huntin' 'n DAs fo competition, know what I'm sayin'? A lot of ma personal projects you'll see on SGO.

Richard Mann 'n I, da Abbott 'n Costello of da huntin' community, gots to be headin' back to Africa in June fo Cape Buffalo with 45/70 Marlin Guide Guns, guided by our phat homie Geoffrey Wayland at Ft n' shit. Richmond Safaris n' shit. There's a couple of slots left on dat trip if you'd like to join us, man. Trust me, dat shit gots to be da experience of a lifetime, know what I'm sayin'? I'm scheduled to spend a week at GUNSITE in da sprin' workin' wid ma GP-100 n' shit. Ah suspect I'll go back in May 'n tune up on da African huntin' simulation course, man. As Ah think Ah may has mentioned, da guys at Wild West Guns in Vegas be buildin' me a "trainin' rifle," a Marlin 44 Magnum set up like da 45/70 Guide Gun, which uses Wild West parts, man. I've always gots crazy of .44 Magnum/Special around da Secret Hidden Bunka 'n I'm always set up to reload it n' shit. Give me a chance to try out some optics options fo da Africa trip…again, as Ah think Ah mentioned, I'm leanin' toward eitha a tube Aimpoint or the new low magnification Nightforce 1-8X illuminated n' shit. With ma ass on da line, ma inclination be to go wid somethin' Ah trust implicitly.

Ah has several custom guns in da pipeline in addition to da Wild West Marlin, know what I'm sayin'? Hamilton Bowen has a 10mm Ruga Blackhawk withe da spare 40 S& W cylinder, man. Da main cylinda be bein' rebored to 10mm Magnum, a pretty interestin' cartridge, wid da otha cylinda bein' cut fo 38-40, one of ma long-time favorite cartridges n' shit. J.D, know what I'm sayin'? Jones at SSK Industries be puttin' a T'SOB scope base on ma Ruga Bisley .454…Ah just didn't like da otha options fo scope mounts, especially against a heavy recoilin' .454 n' shit. I've used da T'SOB base, 'n dat shit be bullet-proof, know what I'm sayin'? Ah suspect ma old .500 Magnum S&W gots to end up goin' to tha dude's ass as well.Ah has an FN .308 with Short Action Customs bein' turned into a 6mm Creedmoor.

Despite the repeated encouragements from ma pal John Snow at OUTDOOR LIFE, Ah do not has a 22 Nosla in da works! OTOH, I've reached out to JP at JP Rifles about a .224 Valkyrie, as Ah has a 6.8 SPC dat has been sort of sidetracked, know what I'm sayin'? We gots dat shit years ago fo a specific show, 'n because da show gots delayed we ended up buyin' da thing. 

Ah just picked up da full-house Wilson Combat Glock 19, which you'll be seein' pretty soon on SGO, man. Dat shit be a VERY NICE GUN!

Of course you'll see a lot about RIMFIRE CHALLENGE fo all the obvious reasons.