Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 6, No. 4 April, 1998
Charlton Heston, in his recent outstanding
address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, pointed
out dramatically that "Now we are engaged in a great civil
war" - the line from The Gettysburg Address. Quite so. Only a
little blood has been shed, yet, but this war is definitely
underway "testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived
and so dedicated may long endure." That question is open. There are
plenty of people in the United States who are strongly and
positively opposed to the idea of political liberty, and - as
with the shenanigans in the White House - they are not ashamed
of this. We must all continue to preach if only to the choir. Our
liberty is at stake, and it will remain so indefinitely. If you
have not taken some sort of action this month in defense of the
Bill of Rights, make sure you do not let another month get by
without your help.
Now that the Brits have succeeded in disarming themselves (so that
only the bad guys may have guns), they have additionally gone a
step further in their continuous attack against fox hunting. The
argument rages on in the public press, and appears to have nothing
to do with either humanitarianism or conservation, but rather with
the "class war" which continues unabated as we head into the 21st
century. A reasonably large and quite noisy segment of the British
populace makes a business of hating anything that reminds them of
their aristocratic past. They feel that anybody who rides to hounds
after the fox is either a "toff" or a descendant of one, and they
seem to hate toffs as much as they esteem vulgarity. Perhaps the
next piece of foolishness we may see from that side of the water is
a ban on fox hounds. I am not aware of a proper Greek-derived term
for the "Tyranny of the Busybody," but this seems to be a
definitive characteristic of the urban socialist.
Which puts me in mind of the old aphorism to the effect that "If
you're not a socialist at 20, you have no heart. If you're still a
socialist at 30, you have no head." To that I would like to add the
following: "If you do not reach the age of 60 without becoming a
card carrying curmudgeon, you have just not been paying
I must assume that all family
members are assiduously programming their hunting adventures
for the fall of this year. Things get booked up if you are not
In the last issue of the Safari Club
magazine, we ran across the exploits of what must be considered
the world's greatest marksman. This gentleman brought off a
one-shot kill on a running Marco Polo sheep at 550 yards. It would
be discourteous to doubt his word, and he does not claim that this
feat was an accident, so we must assume that here we have the all
time greatest rifle shot. His estimated calculations of both lead
and drop were brought off in his head, unlike those for the 120
smooth-bore in the M1A1 tank, which are computerized. This
established that man's brain remains categorically superior to any
machine. Far be it from us to doubt this story, we can only stand
aghast! (He didn't say the shot was from offhand, but that would
have made even a better story.)
I assume you have all familiarized
yourselves with the characteristics of the Heckler and Koch
"Special Operations" pistol, currently designated the Mark 23. This
enormous instrument was created by the men of the United States
Special Operations Command by very advanced reasoning processes.
Briefly put, it is a 45-caliber "Plus P" and comes fitted for a
suppressor which is almost as long as the pistol. It is, as you
might suppose, "double-action" (trigger-cocking), and includes a
two-sided safety switch. Its magazine holds 12 rounds.
This curious instrument is certainly noteworthy. Try as I may I
cannot come up with a scenario in which it would be really helpful
to carry such a piece. However, there it is, and we wish it a long
and happy life.
This "global warming" foolishness
continues apace. If the matter is of interest, you might consider
the following information provided to us by family member,
Dr. Art Robinson:
"The climate record shows that current temperatures are
a little below the mean for the past three thousand years, and that
temperatures during those three millennia have often been
higher - sometimes by more than 2° centigrade. No climate
catastrophe is recorded in the history of those
Let us not forget that 1998 marks the
centennial of the great Mauser bolt-action military rifle. The
action type, which has served as a model for both sporting and
military manually-operated firearms for these last hundred years,
was originally furnished in caliber 7x57, but the "G98" took the
"7.9 cm" military cartridge. For most of this century, a
bolt-action rifle by any name was likely to be a version of the
G98. Truly an epoch-making artifact!
When driving in our current urban battle
zones, remember that when a car stops suddenly in front of you and
two people get out simultaneously, you go to Condition
Orange. This is particularly true if you have rear-ended the
car in front of you slightly with your bumper. This is a
pre-planned car-jacking technique. Bear it in mind!
We continue to fuss around joyfully with
the Steyr Scout. It is amusing to hear the unenlightened maintain
that "A barrel that short won't shoot that well." Difficult as it
is to find a place to shoot a rifle recreationally, a good many
sportsmen feel that improvised opinion is more valuable than
People still nag about the price, which is surprising when one
considers that American-made custom rifles are being advertised in
the eight-to twelve-thousand dollar range (without sights). If you
want an Italian shotgun, the figures go right off the dial. But the
problem here, as I see it, is that there are a great many shooters
who feel that the true enthusiast should own a great many guns, and
that it is better to have a whole warehouse full of cheap versions
than one or two quality items. The whole idea of the Scout is to
produce an instrument that will do almost all things equally well.
Personally I like the way the SS turned out, but that is just one
The nasty United Nations Organization
continues on its obnoxious way without let or hindrance. We learn,
for example, from what is now Namibia, that the party line down
there is that since the UN is strictly opposed to the idea of
firearms in the hands of private citizens, the Namibians will fall
obediently into line with their new constitution. There are a lot
of things wrong with the social and political scene in the United
States, but despite the UN, this country remains "the last best
hope of Earth."
It appears that since the Nips were
unable to defeat us in the field, they are going to try to do so at
the conference table. We may lose this one, as long as we maintain
the current sleaze camp in Washington.
It's just another reason why we must change the
Speaking personally, it is my opinion
that "Another Country"
is my best work. You may still get
your copy from Blacksmith Corporation
PO Box 1752, Chino Valley, Arizona 86323, (520)
It is curious to see how the defeat of
the offensive state law I-676 in Washington, was received by our
adversaries. In England it was immediately announced that the NRA
spent "millions" campaigning against this bill, whose purpose was
essentially child safety. If we were to give this matter the time
of day, we could point out that, a) the NRA does not have millions
to throw away, b) millions do not win elections by 60% margins, c)
children are not an issue in this matter, which is basically
covered by the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.
The Brits do not have any system of checks and balances in their
government. They apparently feels that the sober common sense of
the members of parliament is sufficient to avoid legislative
hysteria. Imagine that!
A number of nervous types have pounded on
Charlton Heston in response to his statement that the AK47 is
inappropriate for civilian use. Leaping into the breach, as it
were, I now insist that Mr. Heston maintained that the Kalashnikov
is a foreign arm and an American citizen is appropriately armed
with the American weapon of choice, which is now the M16.
Disrespectfully putting words into Mr. Heston's mouth, I insist
that what is inappropriate for the American citizen is the country
of origin of the combat carbine, rather than its design.
In my opinion, being killed in a motor
race or by a buffalo is a more elegant demise than a ski
How say you?
We discover that the Batswana have gone
all silly on the subject of paperwork since we were in their
country last. Now they insist upon all the information on one's
passport before they even see the passport. Also they are totally
bemused with serial numbers. Apparently they are simply trying to
discourage both tourists and hunters.
How about these people who are producing
"anti-terrorist" bullets! As I understand it, a terrorist is a man.
Almost any full-caliber, center-fire cartridge fires a bullet which
is quite appropriate for human targets. I guess, however, that
marketing is a matter of jargon, and if you say you are doing
something "against terrorism," your product will be more
marketable - regardless of the mechanics involved. If I read
the ads correctly, these anti-terrorist bullets are simply quickly
frangible, avoiding over-penetration and ricochets. I used such
bullets on deer and mountain sheep long ago in my early hunting
days. The fad today is in the opposite direction - toward
bullets which will not break up upon impact. Both frangible and
non-frangible bullets have their uses, and "terrorism" has little
to do with the case.
"There are only two things we should fight for. One is
the defense of our homes, and the other is the Bill of Rights."
Major General Smedley Butler, US Marine Corps 1930
I would add another reason - practice. Anyone who has ever
been deeply involved in warfare knows that the only way to learn to
fight is to fight. This may not be a popular view with the grass
eaters, but I defy them to disprove it.
As you know, San Gabriel Possenti has
recently been canonized as the patron of marksmen and youth.
Family member Count Randaccio Lodi tells us that he went up
to the monastery where San Gabriel is said to have been a member,
and found that the current management of that institution would
rather not talk about it. The story has it that the young man (he
did not make it to his 25th birthday) successfully repelled
boarders, not by shooting his assailants, but by demonstrating his
marksmanship on a scampering lizard. This is a good story, and we
hope it is true. It is, however, distressing to learn that superior
moral performance may not be acceptable to the wimp
Two new market offerings that I find
attractive are the Kimber Classic duty pistol, and the Taurus
Compact 38 wheel gun. I am no champion of 38 wheel-guns, but there
is a place for them in the field.
Did you see where some Nip punk recently
attempted to attack a police officer in order to hijack the
officer's service pistol? Upon his arrest he claimed that he just
wanted to know what it was like to shoot a firearm. Now what on
earth should we make of a social organization in which that sort of
thing turns up!
Family member Pat Rogers tells us
of a case in New York wherein a police officer correctly,
justifiably, and expertly laid out a goblin on the street with his
shotgun. The action had been building up for a few minutes, and
there were several other police officers in the vicinity. Three of
them were copchicks, who had to be taken off the line to
recover their composure after having witnessed so ghastly an event.
One of these girls obtained a medical discharge, and is now on a
pension from the taxpayers because of what she saw in the line of
duty for which she volunteered. ("You may not believe it, but
listen you well.")
The comrades at Norinco in China are now
offering for sale an authentic clone of the wonderful Colt Woodsman
22 plinking pistol - of fond memory. People of my generation
grew up on the Woodsman, in both its 6" and 4" versions, but as I
see it, plinking in itself was much more a respectable pastime in
those dear, dead days gone by. Whenever you went out for a picnic,
you took along a plinker, and the Woodsman was perhaps the best
plinker of all time. "Plinking" is not target shooting, but casual
recreational shooting in the field at improvised targets of
opportunity, such as pine cones, worn out golf balls, or overripe
fruit. It is an attractive, inexpensive, and socially excellent
method of developing the father-son bond. The very idea of this
sort of thing would horrify the wimp establishment, both here and
abroad. All the more reason to cultivate the practice. So Good on
the Comrades! - I guess.
I have always striven for the production
of firearms which were ready to go "out-of-the-box." A couple of
correspondents have now told me that I am on the wrong track here,
in that repeated visits to the local gunsmith constitute an
attractive social interplay with which to while away those happy
I suppose we do not need any more
comments upon the state of the United States public education, but
I cannot resist pointing out a recent cartoon appearing in the
Chicago Tribune and reprinted in Conservative
Chronicle magazine. It depicts a senior public servant (who
shall be nameless) stomping down the corridors of the White House
referring to a person portrayed on the wall as "Amateur." The
portrait at issue is unmistakably that of President Andrew Jackson.
The portrait is labeled "Stonewall Jackson." If the whole series of
journalists involved in this atrocity cannot differentiate between
Andy Jackson and Stonewall Jackson, it may indeed be too
Did you all note that while American
students placed last in international high-school-level
competition, they excelled in one area, and that was "self-esteem."
They all thought they did better on the tests than they actually
did. Apparently we have achieved something after all!
Do you happen to know what a "OICW" is?
That stands for Objective Individual Combat Weapon. It is supposed
to be the ideal personal smallarm for the individual soldier of the
future. And it is a pretty wild looking instrument. It combines a
20mm grenade launcher with a 223. Its sighting system lobs the 20mm
projectile to an effective range of a 1000 meters, at which it is
presumed to be able to obtain fragmentation hits from the bursting
projectile on man-sized targets. It weighs a bit over 12lbs, and
costs about twenty thousand dollars a throw. Now how have we ever
managed to get along without that!
We hope to have a "leopard light"
attachment ready for the SS on the African trip. We have the "Sure
Fire" light, but we do not as yet have the attachment to fit the
light to the rail on the underside of the fore-end. This
arrangement should be sensational in Africa, where leopards are
usually taken after dark over a bait.
According to the annual report of the
Immigration and Naturalization Service for 1996, we discover that
there were a total of 22 "authorized" incidents involving firearms.
A total of 139 rounds was fired by the INS officers, by means of
which a total of four (4) hits was obtained.
The solution to this problem, according to the border patrol, is to
increase the level of sensitivity on the part of the patrolman. It
appears that if you are less likely to shoot, you are even less
likely to miss. That is an approach to service marksmanship that
had not occurred to me.
"To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to
educate a menace to society."
And now BATman McGaw proclaims
that home schooling turns the home into a school, and therefore
makes that home off-limits to personally owned firearms. I always
thought that the BATmen were of a different species, and
this discovery confirms my suspicion.
A recent report from Africa informs us
that a Bantu hunter of our acquaintance was recently set upon after
dark by an armed robber. Our friend cut him down neatly and went on
about his business. Naturally, I am not going to furnish any
details about the nationality or locality of our friend. In cases
like this, the less the authorities know, the better. Years ago in
our Balsas expedition we were forcefully informed by our permit
issuing authorities in Mexico City that if we had occasion to knock
off a bandit, we were by no means to report the matter. Just get
the body out of sight in the bushes and get on with your
Question for the family: Which is
the better weapon for urban law enforcement, the combat carbine or
the combat shotgun?
(Let us not consider a machine pistol here, since it is simply a
less efficient form of the combat carbine.) The family
member submitting the best answer to this question may receive
a free ticket to the next bull fight in Nogales.
"The two pillars of 'political correctness' are, a)
willful ignorance, and b) a steadfast refusal to face the
George MacDonald Fraser
Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal
use only. Not for publication.