Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 8, No. 6 June, 2000
As the man said, "These are the times that
try men's souls." He spoke when the American nation was in grave
peril, and the liberties for which that nation was founded are
today in grave peril. We have the summer to prepare for an election
in which American political liberty will be up for grabs. If the
American people choose to install another set of Beltway weirdos
for the next four years the damage may be irreparable. Increasingly
the Supreme Court makes the laws (in violation of the principle of
separation of powers), and if the White House gang gets in it will
pack the court, sounding the death knell of the constitutional
principles for which we have fought down the ages.
So do not let it happen! Certainly your personal weapons are at
stake, but above that, your political liberty is at stake. This has
always been true, since the two must exist together. The first
thing you can do is to join the National Rifle Association, or
upgrade the membership you now hold. The second thing is to sign
somebody else up, even if you have to pay his tariff. The third
thing is to make yourself heard in person to your legislators and
to those voices in the media who represent the enemy. We do not
march in the streets, except in uniform, but that does not mean
that we cannot make our power felt. That power is growing rapidly,
quickly up to 3.6 million members and anticipating 4 million by
election time. We have got to throw the rascals out in November,
and by all that is holy we can do it!
We have said it before, but we think it
deserves repeating. Do not bring a pistol that cannot be cocked to
school. We do not put the Glock in this category, since the Glock
can be learned pretty well at short range where most actions take
place, but "DA only" is a pointless handicap.
To those of you who like playing with
words we have offered "ineptizoid" from Curt Rich. Family
member Ed Head now suggests "nefarian."
So now we have the 450 Marlin cartridge,
which is in effect a "Plus P" 45-70, purposely non-interchangeable
to avoid its use in trap-door Springfields. This is probably a good
idea, evidently stolen by Marlin from Jim West of Anchorage. The
light, handy, powerful, quick-firing, take-down "Co-pilot" is a
step forward, affording decisive stopping power in a convenient
package at the short to medium ranges most useful in the hunting
field. The 450 Marlin and the hand-loaded 45-70 will both stay
neatly in the kill zone up to about 175 meters. Over the last
decade our hunting averages have gone to 120 meters. Of course
there is always a chance for that unusual long shot, so I am not
personally graduating to the 450 just yet. If I need more power
than the 308, I can happily fall back on the 376. Both of those
rounds will hit as far as I can hold.
Fat, shrill and stupid. I need not mention
any name, but I do wonder why people will pay to see an entertainer
of that caliber.
One of the things we learned from the war
in Chechnya is the utility of the cell phone. The Chechens have no
formally organized units, but their small, irregular groups
communicate freely by just the sort of handheld phones you see on
The Countess and our daughters recently
spent a delightful week in Bermuda. While there they were treated
to an opinion by the Chief of Police that while violent crime is
rapidly increasing, there is nothing for the citizen to worry about
because there are no guns on the island. Fancy that! We might point
out that there were no guns in ancient Rome either, but when I was
there (I was much younger then), I always went abroad at night with
an armed guard. It is all a matter of what you consider to be
"A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and
good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him
The following comes from Curt Rich's
Newsletter, May 2000.
"During ABC's unbelievably slanted 'Town Hall Meeting,'
(that translates to '2 hour Clinton Propaganda Display') in the
White House Friday, May 12, 2000 on Good Morning America, a display
of courage rarely seen on TV occurred. Diane Sawyer and President
Clinton hosted a propaganda display in the Roosevelt Room. The
audience was mostly members of the 'Million' (Misinformed) Mothers'
March, a propaganda demonstration organized by the Clinton White
House. The token opposition was the lady from Kileen who, because
of Texas' prohibition of concealed carry at the time, was unarmed
when the lunatic started shooting in Luby's a few years ago. She
stood up to the President, called him to task, and would not be
silenced by the partisan mob. I've seen acts of courage under fire.
I've studied the subject much of my life. I think she deserves a
medal. If no one gives her any, I propose to give her one of mine.
Because of her, in the two hours of emotion-filled gun confiscation
frenzy, a few minutes of truth stood out like a shining beacon. As
they say on The X Files, the truth is out there."
The trouble with history is that it is
not politically correct, thus we see the modern counter-culture
historians adjusting it to fit their ideology. This is particularly
noticeable in the movie industry, but in the Age of Illusion
there are very few people who are concerned about the
Occasionally the only shot offered a
hunter is one from dead astern - target angle 180. This is
referred to in Africa as the "Portugese head shot," and it is a bad
deal. Gut-shooting an animal from behind is a disgusting practice,
but if you are good enough you may have the option of shooting over
the top of the back and breaking the neck just at the base of the
skull. That is a bit tricky, but I have seen it successfully
brought off on four different occasions. The option is to wait, in
the hope that the animal will turn at least his head. I have seen
that shot executed perfectly twice in Africa. In all these cases,
the shooters were excellent marksmen, and I am happy to say that
they were all trained by me personally.
"The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is
inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to
Eugene McCarthy, via Joyce Anderson
It strikes me that the Internet, useful
as it is, constitutes a great source of what the military used to
call "bum dope," there being no screening or editing involved in
the release of material. It also is in large measure redundant.
Many kind folks have written in to respond to questions I have put
in these Commentaries with information that they got off the
Internet. That information they derived from encyclopedias which I
already have. Not to complain, but information, per se, is of no
use without the wisdom to use it well. We have plenty of
information - what we need is wisdom.
It is interesting to speculate on the
place that "career" seems to have taken in the mind of the
professional soldier. Back when I was such a one, we certainly gave
no thought to careers. The object was to do the best possible job
in our own eyes - a matter of pure self-respect. What somebody
else thought about us was of only passing interest. I, for example,
did not even glance at my "jacket" until after the Korean War.
That, of course, was characteristic of another age.
The range facilities here at Gunsite have
been radically expanded and improved by the new boss, and we are
operating now from a shiny new plant capable of handling more
people, and - if the teaching staff does its business
properly - handling them better. Onward and upward!
The new Czech 95 pistol is a very
handsome item, and it is probably very well made in the tradition
of its engineers. It is available in 40 S&W, but not in 45 ACP,
which limits it to the second rank of serious defensive
Herewith a candidate for the "silliest
headline of the year" award, which appeared on the front page of
the Citizen Tribune
of Morristown, Tennessee:
"BLACK BEARS CONSIDERED VICTIM PREY"
Well, doggone! Are we to assume that heretofore black bears had
considered their victims great good friends? There have been a
series of black bear incidents so far in 2000, and in every case it
would appear that the bruins had the idea that people are good to
eat. Surprise, surprise!
Having spent the best part of my life in
the pursuit of excellence, it comes as a shock to me to realize
that many people are not interested in excellence. An amazing
number of people neither want to do things better nor make things
better. As far as I can see, their only aim in life is to make
others notice them, one way or another. One can make himself
noticeable in all sorts of ways, but certainly not all of them are
good ways. This brings me around, of course, to the Steyr Scout
rifle. This piece is really better - about 88 percent of what
it should be, as compared to perhaps 50 percent or lower in other
artifacts. We need a new and radically improved sight system, and
the piece should be available in a left-hand version. With those
two improvements it would be up there in the high 90s. As it is, it
is a true joy to use in the field.
Various people now are planning to take the Dragoon to Alaska to
show off its virtues on moose and the big bears. With currently
available ammunition by Steve Hornady it should do very well, but
we look forward to the appearance of somewhat more imaginative
bullet design. If it has a defect, it is in recoil, and if we
remember that recoil effect on the shooter is about 85 percent
psychological, we should address this problem psychologically
rather than mechanically.
The following from Cousin Bongo (Tom
Graziano, family member
"If people are going to imitate your Scout concept, the
least they could do is put a bit of effort into getting it at least
partially correct. The various imitations I have seen are so poorly
done that they are going to prevent people from realizing the
superiority of the concept."
Orange family member and police
ace Gabe Suarez opines that a major obstacle in the promulgation of
political freedom is that political freedom is simply too scary for
most people. Certainly it is too scary for the Brits, who at this
point feel that violent transgressions against society, while
unfortunate, are acceptable, but that fighting back is an
unforgivable sin. The man who breaks your jaw and steals your
wallet may get 6 months in the slammer, but if you resist him with
lethal force you are in deep trouble. A farmer in Britain recently
acquired a life sentence in prison for shooting an armed bandit. It
certainly appears the prospect of human dignity has been lost
somewhere in the depths of the 20th century. Perhaps our
sociological goal now is "freedom from freedom."
The South Africans have now produced a
brand new "poodle shooter" which fills exactly the same tactical
niche as the M16 - not a particularly distinguished niche.
This piece is made by Vector and it looks very trim. We have not
put in for a test model though, because I am basically not
interested in poodle shooters.
In a previous issue we noted that my work
"Another Country" is now back in print and available at the
Trading Post at Gunsite. The thing is, this version is paperback.
If you have a hardcover, hang onto it.
It is sad to note that the political
unrest in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) has practically ruined
tourism/hunting in that country. I find this odd. On several
occasions I have gone hunting in a war zone, and found the
experience exhilarating. It suggests what deer hunting must have
been like back in the American West in the mid-19th century.
Obviously a hunter should always be on the alert, but when the
woods are full of bad guys this is brought personally home. I had
the impression that only people with a full supply of viscera
enjoyed hunting in Africa anyway, but obviously outlooks
Orange family member and
distinguished naval historian Barrett Tillman notes that while
there were several important German soldiers and flyers who stood
up to and faced down both Göring and Hitler, we do not seem to have
anybody in our own military establishment today who will stand up
to Pat Schroeder.
Barrett Tillman further reports that the
percentage of pretty girls at the Johannesburg airport is the
highest he has seen in any place in the world - yet another
reason for you unattached young males to make the trip.
While we are forced to regard the media
as hostile to our liberties, there are some people in the news
business who are still on our side. Note this from the Wall
"Indeed, the tendency among sophisticates to blame
inanimate objects such as knives or guns is a kind of defense
mechanism against the principle of personal
After all these years of waiting we
finally acquired a very authentic Saufeder, or pig-spear, from
Walter Luger of Salzburg. It is a handsome thing, and any
self-respecting pig should be proud to be stuck with it.
The proliferation of small calibers and
large magazines in the public sector is clearly connected to the
growth of the "spray-and-pray" concept. The official word seems to
be "If you can't shoot well, shoot a lot." Thus we see these news
reports of double and even triple digit ammunition expenditure in
civil gunfights, wherein one round well-placed would do.
In the private sector, on the other hand, the shooting seems to be
better. Orange family member and rangemaster Ed Head reports
of a case in Imperial Beach, California in which the scum element
ran into a proper response. This affair seems to have been gang
related, but however that was these two goblins showed up at a
party muttering threats - an attitude not uncommon in those
parts with those people. According to the host, he asked these
characters to leave the premises, which they did, still muttering
threats. They came back and were told again to leave. This time
they announced they were going to arm themselves, come back and
flatten the place, together with all involved. (I have never
understood why anyone will telegraph his punch by announcing to his
proposed victim what he is going to do.) Meantime the two
characters did come back, fully armed. The householder fired two
shots, achieved two head shots and two one-stop shots.
In due course the householder host was charged with something or
other, tried and acquitted. He may thank providence that this did
not happen in England.
"The unarmed man is not just defenseless - he is
Having now arrived at great age, I have
my answer prepared for those who would ask me to what I attribute
my durability. My answer is that never throughout my long life have
I been willingly unarmed. The American Medical Association should
You hunter/riflemen must remember that
you do not cease practicing just because it is summer.
In response to all those helpful letters
that were sent to me explaining the difference between iron and
steel, I must report that the difference is semantic rather than
chemical. I do thank those who participated in this exercise, and I
now have the equivalent of a 3-unit upper division course in Ferous
Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal
use only. Not for publication.