Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 2, No. 12 27 September 1994
Summer's End, 1994
If we can put aside for a moment the
disgusting state of the nation and modern social developments in
general, we may dwell with pleasure upon the approach of
Autumn - the finest season of the year. This summer just past
shorted us on the corn season, which was both late and brief, and
while our fresh garden tomatoes are delicious, they have not been
with us for long, and we cannot expect them much longer. However,
the turning of the temperature is a delight, and here at Gunsite it
is now a wonderful time to step outside. restricted though we are
by present legal circumstances.
The next few months promise to be extremely busy, and we hope for
many good things - especially, of course, the November
Revolution. It is up to us to throw the rascals out, and we must
work on this with all the energy we can spare.
Though we have never been attracted to the
9mm Parabellum cartridge, we are much impressed at the new CP1
pistol from Littleton in South Africa. This is a true pocket
pistol, 7 inches long, 5 inches high and weighing just over 24oz.
It has a delayed blow-back action, carries a 12-round magazine, and
is of a particularly sleek modern design. I will have to use it
more before I draw any firm conclusions, but right now it appears
to be a great step forward.
California cop Gabriel Suarez, who is gradually working up to his
Ace Rating in police actions, contributes the following:
"Gun control is a band-aid, feeling good approach to
the nation's crime problem. It is easier for politicians to ban
something than it is to condemn a murderer to death or a robber to
life in prison. In essence, 'gun control' is the coward's way
"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but
moderation in principle is always a vice."
I hope it is not necessary for me to
remind the faithful once again of the forthcoming Gunsite
Reunion and Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, to be held at the NRA
Whittington Center in New Mexico on 21, 22, 23 October. We are now
promised that Paul Kirchner will contribute a new original verse,
that Finn Aagaard will give us "The Ballad of Bo Da Thone" by
Kipling, and that Marti Tueller may be prevailed upon to give us
once again "The Female of the Species." (I am thinking of "The
Ballad of East and West," but there is so much excellent stuff
around that I may not even get a chance to get the floor.) When you
call for your reservation, remember to identify yourself as part of
the Gunsite Group.
We tested a batch of the new Winchester
"Black Talon" rifle ammunition in caliber 30-06 (our test sample
was pretty small, at $1.50 a shot). Its accuracy (two different
shooters using two different guns) was acceptable, but not
outstanding. The black finish on the bullet leaves a startlingly
clean bore at first glance, but shows a good deal of residue upon
soaking. Bullet performance in target is impossible to determine
without extensive field testing, but even if it is particularly
good, I do not see how it can justify its price. You can build
superbly accurate ammunition, with proven bullet performance, for
half the tariff.
We were asked by family member
Lloyd Pond if the new 3-volume set of Deneys Reitz (pronounced to
rhyme with "nice rates") would be suitable inspiration for a
12-year-old. We had to respond that this is entirely a matter of
which 12-year-old. Some people at that age are quite mature, but
others go around in long baggy shorts with their shirt tails out
and their hats on backwards. Incidentally, the books are now in
Wolfe Publishing Co. 6471 Air Park Dr., Prescott, AZ
We note that in the proposed oath for the
United Nations Supernational Armed Forces, the oath-taker is
required to refer to himself as a "fighting person." This term is
unacceptable, along with "person hole," "post person," and "hunts
person." The emasculation of man appears to be the aim of
"political rectitude" and no one with any intellectual self-respect
will have anything to do with it.
Did you note that the Brady Bill was
declared unconstitutional in May in Montana, and in June in
Texas - both by US district courts? (We may now add Arizona
and Vermont.) Did you further note how the media did not notice
I am amused at some of the criticism of
the Scout Rifle concept appearing in the gun magazines, especially
since true Scout Rifles are so rare as to be very difficult to
obtain for testing. You really have to use a Scout in the field to
appreciate it, but we probably should not encourage this sort of
thing until such time as a true production Scout may be offered for
sale. As of now what I read seems to be criticism for its own sake,
which is not at all necessary since nobody has to buy
New motto for the Billary
"I can lick any kid in the block, as long as he is
under six years old."
From what I have been able to observe at
IPSC matches, the rooney guns are conspicuously slow off the mark,
though they pick up speed after the shooting gets under way. This,
of course, is a failure of concept in which the courses of fire
reward a great number of shots instead of speed to the first hit.
Limiting shooters to one shot per whistle would seem unrealistic,
but one well-placed hit should be enough, if it lands first.
Obviously course design remains the primary challenge of the
international organization, and it is unlikely to be improved by
people who do not understand the purpose of the exercise.
Accordingly, the President of IPSC has appointed a committee to
meet at Las Vegas in connection with the Safari Club convention to
see if we cannot get a satisfactory agreement on the direction
practical rifle competition should take. There are serious
differences of opinion about this, and as always the gamesmen have
a strong say. The best example of a practical rifle contest now in
effect, in my opinion, is the Keneyathlon of David Kahn,
held annually at the Whittington Center in New Mexico. We plan to
run a sort of capsule preview of this event again at the reunion,
but I doubt if any international delegates will be present to get
the message. As in all things political, we tighten our belts, keep
our powder dry, and hope for the best.
A recent fracas on the freeway near
Holbrook, Arizona, brings one to wonder about the whole
evolutionary process. It seems that a motorhome was observed by the
police driving erratically on the highway. When the cops came up
along side, the female passenger was seen to produce a pistol and
shoot at the driver, mostly missing him. Whereupon the vehicle
veered off the road and crashed. The cops collared both parties and
hauled them off for medical attention and interrogation. As you
might suppose, both narcotics and alcohol were involved.
The "greens" continue on their loopy
course with increased velocity. As usual they object to any sort of
outdoor sport which may give anybody any pleasure, but they have
zeroed in on the "catch-and-release" program on the belief that to
catch a fish and then turn him loose disturbs him psychologically.
(Honest to God!) These people have now gone so far as to harass and
attack fishing contests in both England and on the continent of
Europe. Clearly the welfare state has succeeded beyond wildest
expectations, now that people simply have nothing productive to
"I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder
to see them not ashamed."
Jonathan Swift, via Eric Ching
I recently ran into an Israeli citizen at
our local post office, and in conversation he revealed that, while
his sister had an intense desire to visit the United States, he
strongly advised her against it. He pointed out that the street
scene in America is simply too hazardous for an innocent female
brought up in the civilized Near East.
Randy Garrett, the custom ammunition
maker of Chehalis, Washington, has really been hard at work on the
45-70 cartridge, as well as upon the various super hot loads for
the heavy pistols. He is now featuring a 415 grain hard cast lead
bullet for this cartridge that shows greater penetration than
almost anything you can name, including the 375. When you remember
that dangerous game is shot at short range, it begins to appear
that we have been overlooking the best brown-bear cartridge for
over a hundred years. If you have not obtained your Marlin 45-70
yet (or your new Winchester Replica 86 from Browning) you better
get on that before the BATF discovers that the 45-70 is a
Have you noticed that in all these
miserable murders the victim is almost invariably unarmed? It would
seem yet again that you cannot be victimized unless you choose to
be a victim.
On the sideboard in our living room at
Gunsite rests a presentation version of the mighty M1, deemed by
George Patton, among others, to be the finest individual fighting
tool ever created. It is fully operational, and now according to
the precepts of the Clinton Crime Bill, it is outlawed because its
magazine contains more than five rounds and (horror of horrors) it
mounts a bayonet lug under the muzzle! Any politician who voted for
that ridiculous bill voted to trash the M1. That is not only
idiocy, but sacrilege, and any man who acted to support that
foolishness should be removed from office and sent to a
Clearly Americans come in various species today, and there do not
seem to be any grounds for intellectual agreement among them.
"Give me some men who are stout-hearted men who will
fight for the rights they adore."
"Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men and I'll soon give you
ten thousand more."
That is Victor Herbert in "Naughty Marrieta."
When I used to teach American history, my
standard texts, in addition to the Constitution and the
Declaration, were the Federalist Papers
of Madison, Hamilton
and Jay, and "Democracy in America"
by Alexis de
Tocqueville. This Frenchman, who had close acquaintance with the
horrors of the French Revolution, studied the American form of
government at great length and wrote possibly the best analysis of
it seen so far. As an outsider, and in no sense a politician, he
could be objective, but that is not easy in such matters. He is
well worth reading in entirety, but note here the following
"It must not be forgotten that it is especially
dangerous to enslave me in the minor details of life. I should be
inclined to think freedom less necessary in great things than in
little ones, if it were possible to secure one without possessing
the other. Subjection in minor affairs breaks out everyday and is
felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men
to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn until they are led
to surrender the exercise of their own will and soon become
incapable of exercising the great and only privilege which remains
to them. The rights of private persons among democratic nations are
commonly of small importance. The consequences are that they are
often sacrificed without regret and almost always violated without
The subjection to which the American citizen is now exposed every
day of his life is so great that the whole idea of liberty ("That
which does not injure one's neighbor") is almost totally lost. The
greatest of despots, Louis XIV, never told his subjects what they
could or could not eat and drink, and he never told them how to
conduct their private lives. He drafted no armies, and his
guardsmen did not go about brandishing handcuffs.
(This handcuffery has got completely out of control. Only recently
a female attorney in Florida was forcefully shackled by bailiffs
because she wore shorts into a court room. Let us not argue that
this is "policy." If it is, that policy must be changed.)
Better an ounce of wisdom than a pound of
I have located a Balvar Fixed Four
telescope with no internal adjustments, together with the
discontinued B&L mounting system for which it was designed. I
am not going to let it get away, but if you have a sincere need of
such equipment and full understanding thereof, let me
Note that the distinguished General Denis
Earp, Regional Director for IPSC South Africa, is a one-rifle man.
His one rifle is a 458, and he uses it for everything from guinea
fowl to rhinoceros. Remember the old adage, "Beware of the man with
one gun. He probably can use it."
I am sure you all have noticed the way
the media kept on talking about how inferior the Haitian defense
force must be, and insisting in every single announcement that the
rifles issued to the Haitians are decrepit leftovers from World War
II. It is certainly true that the Haitians do not have much of an
army, but when it comes to individual armament they have better
rifles than we do. Ask anyone who has used both of them.
We are informed by Mike Ballew from the
Whittington Shooting Center that there is still room for people to
reserve accommodations for the Second Annual Gunsite Reunion
and Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on 21, 22, 23 October. Barry
Miller, our man in South Africa, plans to attend and can thus bring
everybody up to the situation there straight from the horse's
mouth. There will be rifle, pistol and shotgun events, but
remember, nothing is obligatory. We would like you to recite, but
we certainly do not insist. This is for fun and we would all like
to enjoy the occasion free from pressure.
We have two new bear incidents to report
in the last couple weeks, one from Alaska and one from Montana. In
view of this, we would like to reiterate the five Gunsite Bear
for anyone who may not know them.
- Be alert.
- Do not regard bears as cuddly. They are large, strong,
dangerous animals, and upon occasion they can be very fierce.
- Never enter bear country without a powerful weapon and the
skill to use it well.
- Do not pitch your camp on a bear run.
- Be alert.
New bumper sticker from Curt Rich in
"The reason I am smiling is because I haven't any idea
of what's going on."
Up in Colorado recently we acquired a
pungent suggestion from a family member who must remain
nameless because he is a federal agent. It goes thus: Relatively
few people have any idea of what their rights are when it comes to
discussing official matters with officials. You are not required to
say anything when questioned by a government official in the line
of duty. This is particularly true of federal agents. The local law
enforcement establishment is frequently composed of good citizens,
but the feds are another matter. They are not on your side and most
of the time they are acting unconstitutionally - without
accountability to anyone. These feds who have been shooting up
citizens and trashing up private property have no fear of being
held responsible for their transgressions. Note that none of the
ninja involved at Waco or Idaho have been charged, fired, or even
It remains the case, however, that law enforcement establishment
can get nowhere without the cooperation of the citizens, and this
is true whether the agents are federal or local. If the citizenry
just clams up, the system breaks down. I never thought I would live
to see the day when I would take a position such as this, but the
increasing arrogance and impertinence of Big Brother has
made life entirely different from what it was in the recent past.
George Orwell wrote his terrifying prediction about the future of
society and called it "1984." It had not come true in 1984,
but in 1994 it is almost upon us.
I was recently shown the new shotgun
sight from MMC, formerly of Deming, New Mexico, but now located in
Fort Worth. This one seems to do the job. It is optically sound,
reliably adjustable and very strong. (Don't leave home without
Family member Dan Dennehy informs
us when Clinton heard that there were one hundred thousand cattle
guards in Colorado he ordered half of them fired because he has
been annoyed by the attitude of the ranchers in that state toward
his policies. Before the order could be implemented, however, Pat
Schroeder stepped in and insisted that those to be fired be given
six months retraining - at the public expense,
The Countess and I were somewhat
flabbergasted to receive our new Arizona Concealed Carry Permits.
Considering the procedures involved and the caseload, I had not
expected any action before 1995. So now we are legal, though in
fact the limitations of the license are such as to render it
difficult to obey. Specifically, whether or not one has a license,
he cannot wear his piece into a restaurant where wine may be had
with dinner, or any other place where the proprietor puts up a
negative sign (this includes the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.)
I guess the situation is better than before, but its effect upon
our previous lifestyle here in Arizona will be almost nil. The
speed of administration, however, remains remarkable.
In DC this coming week I hope to examine
the Vince Foster situation in more depth than the media will allow.
Whatever happened to this man, the official version of his death is
This from the American Rifleman.
- Why do Estonians keep irrigating their flower gardens with
- To keep their guns from rusting.
Regarding Haiti, today's headline in the
reads as follows:
"Emboldened civilians raid, ransack and
Egad, Sir, these civilians have always been a problem, and when
they become emboldened, what hope to save the crown? Governments
essentially fear people they cannot intimidate, and when
"civilians" become "emboldened" the government shakes in its boots.
May it always be so!
At the conclusion of a pistol session we
conducted up in Denver recently, the victor in the shootoff was
using a Smith and Wesson "double-cruncher" (this is an oxymoronic
double-action-only pistol) - a very difficult piece to use
well. This proves again the axiom that it is the man rather than
the weapon which wins the day. As we often said, a first rate man
with a third rate weapon is decisively better than if conditions
I was recently asked by Rick Jameson of
Shooting Times, what was my favorite shooting sport, what was my
favorite cartridge, and what was my favorite load? He wanted
one-shot answers, which were, of course, impossible to produce. The
grandest shooting sports I can call to mind are the hunting of the
great mountain sheep, and the hunting of the black African buffalo.
They are not at all alike, and it is impossible to place one ahead
of the other. The question may be settled for me, of course, since
at my age there is no question of climbing the crags after the
great rams, but I can still hunt the buffalo, since he lives
essentially in flat country. That does not mean, however, that I
favor the bull over the ram.
(I have never been on a deep south back country quail hunt, and I
am assured by various people of discrimination that this is the
finest of all shooting sports. Since I have never been there, I
have no opinion.)
As to my favorite cartridge, this is like asking about a favorite
wine, a favorite painting, a favorite song, or a favorite dish.
Under torture I would have to say the 30-06, but that would leave
all pistol cartridges out, and I would not choose the 06 for
buffalo if I had any choice. Also the 308 must get in there
somewhere as a more compact, slightly junior version of the "30 US"
As to favorite load, this spreads matters still more thinly. I can
recommend many good loads for both rifles and pistols, but I
certainly cannot pick out a favorite.
I hope Rick can expand his questionnaire into a larger sphere of
operations, as these one-shot answers simply do not cover the
It will come as no surprise to any of you
who follow the current scene that the silliness indicators, as of
this date, are up a whopping 40 points, and we still have three
months to go in 1994.
Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal
use only. Not for publication.