Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 4, No. 16 December, 1996
Well, 1996 was a pretty interesting year.
It is unsatisfactory to match the ups against the downs, but we
must always make every effort to accentuate the positive and ignore
the negative as best we may. The election is water under the bridge
now, and it is up to us to keep fighting. The greatest harm that
the Billary people can do the republic is in the appointment of
"constitutional activists" to the federal bench. The best we can do
as individual citizens is to make sure that our senators know where
we stand on this when it comes to the confirmation of appointments.
We have not worked hard enough on this in the past. We must mend
our ways in the future.
In reflecting upon a recent all-cop pistol
session we conducted over in California, it is apparent once again
that cops, as a group, are pretty hard to train. Those who are
stuck with the crunchenticker - and these are
many - will persist with the slow-crunch technique in spite of
all advice to the contrary. This system is almost universal in the
law enforcement establishment. If it is done accurately it is too
slow. If it is done rapidly it is inaccurate. It is possible that I
am paying too much attention to unrealistically high levels of
performance, which are really not necessary in gun fighting. Still,
I like to see people do as well as they can. It is bothersome to
see them make no effort to do so.
"He who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure
that that is where he is."
James Thurber, via Mike Baker
There has never been much question about
it, and it is indisputable after decades of observation that the
single-action self-loading pistol - the Colt 1911 and its
clones - is the easiest, heavy-duty sidearm with which to hit.
The crunchenticker is the most difficult, and the Glock is
somewhere in the middle. Shooting a Glock is simply shooting a
single-action self-loader with no safety and a very poor trigger.
If real excellence is not the objective, this is a satisfactory
system to employ.
In case I forget to mention it in the next
issue of this paper, I remind all hands that 15 January marks the
birthday of Dan Dennehy, and should be observed as such. In view of
the fact that Dan has now gone on the wagon, this date may not be
as significant as formerly.
The results of the recent bloodless
revolution in South Africa are gradually becoming felt. The
dominant ANC party has terminated commercial relationships with
Taiwan (free enterprise), and opened diplomatic contact with Peking
(communist tyranny). This need not surprise us, in view of the fact
that the majority of influential people in the ANC are unabashed
Objection to that sneaky piece that was
slipped through at the last congressional session, depriving anyone
convicted of "spouse abuse" from forever owning a firearm, is
rising to a crescendo. Certainly no one defends wife beating under
any circumstances, but permanent recision of civil rights is not
the answer. I have always held that the proper punishment for the
wife beater is the public whipping post, but certainly not
permanent deprivation of basic civil rights.
Recent developments in Washington
establish that Janet Reno is the one who knows where the bones are
buried. In view of what became of Vince Foster and Secretary of
Commerce Ron Brown, Ms. Reno will be well advised to watch her back
carefully at all times henceforth.
We learn with sadness from J-P Denis,
distinguished outgoing president of IPSC, that the revised rifle
rules for international competition have driven the last nail into
the coffin of practical shooting. This was not unexpected, of
course, since the whole idea of practicality has been absent from
the operations of the Confederation for at least ten years now. As
an example, a weight ceiling of five kilograms can only be
seriously suggested by a man who has never packed a rifle in the
field. The rest of the program is similarly oriented. Practical
shooting was a good idea. It is too bad we never seriously tried it
This does not mean that local clubs throughout the world may not
organize serious competition according to their own individual
I find it fascinating that the
re-establishment of the cougar as a legitimate and prominent
example of American wildlife is now greeted with all sorts of hand
wringing by the very bunny-huggers who sought for so many years to
pamper our preeminent pussy cat. I think a proliferation of cougars
in American wilderness areas is a fine thing. The fact that they
can be, under certain circumstances, hazardous to the health of
joggers, is one of those things that ought to be taught in schools,
but is not.
Cougars, along with bears and wolves, are large, strong, dangerous
animals. If wimps find this distressing, they had best stay home in
front of the tube where they belong.
And now it appears that we also have too
many deer and too many elk. Isn't that great! Proper game
management is one of the things that the entire human race has
learned to handle better in recent years than previously.
Our good old friend Ian McFarlane, who
has taken us hunting various times in Africa, reports that his new
concessions up in northern Botswana are opening up vistas for
hunters of truly big game. As you know, the African elephant must
be kept under some sort of control, as he is a very destructive
beast otherwise. It is now legal and zoologically respectable to
hunt elephants in Botswana, and Ian's people took 15 over this last
hunting season. Some had pretty good ivory - like 80lbs on a
side. Personally I have no desire to bust an elephant, but for
those sportsmen who have, I know just the man to call.
The people at Bruno have now introduced a
new bolt-action very similar to the renowned ZKK series, but
somewhat smoothed up and streamlined in the area of the cocking
piece. This item should be available for examination at SHOT next
We got our full share of Christmas
letters from friends and well-wishers throughout both the United
States and the world, and we thank you all very much for the
information. Some people had items of much interest to report,
while others did not measure up so well. Sad to say, a good many of
our friends didn't even get to go hunting last year. Evidently, the
gloom was on the sage.
"America is at that awkward stage. It is too late to
work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
The conclusions seem inescapable that in
certain circles a tendency has arisen to fear people who fear
government. Government, as the Father of Our Country put it so
well, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. People who
understand history, especially the history of government, do well
to fear it. For a people to express openly their fear of those of
us who are afraid of tyranny is alarming. Fear of the state is in
no sense subversive. It is, to the contrary, the healthiest
political philosophy for a free people.
As our English friends continue to fuss
around with racial, social and legal problems in "the new" Britain,
they have now decided to legalize search without warrant. Even our
old friend George III did not have the chutzpah to pull
"Use enough gun," said Robert Ruark, and
he had a good deal of wisdom on his side. However, what is enough
is a pretty subjective judgement. On our recent hunt in Montana I
concluded that all three of us may have been somewhat overgunned
rather than otherwise. The question, of course, is whether being
overgunned is somehow unsportsmanlike or unsound. Recently our good
friend Finn Aagaard blew away a chubby, little Texas deer with his
trusty 30-06, and certainly no harm was done (except, of course, to
the deer). Our great good friend General Denis Earp of South Africa
is a one-gun man, and his is a 458. From the standpoint of the
purist I suppose it is possible to say that killing deer with a
30-06 is an extravagance, but it is certainly as humane a practice
as one may encounter in the essentially inhumane practice of
hunting. I confess a certain affection for "neat little guns,"
which colleague Ross Seyfried is inclined to call "dinky little
guns." As long as clean, reliable execution is achieved, the whole
discussion remains essentially academic.
The general level of pistolcraft in the
law enforcement establishment is certainly not helped by the
proliferation of high-capacity magazines. While we were over there
in California we had a fairly typical example of a law-and-order
gunfight. It seems this fellow had murdered his wife and thereupon
declared war upon society. When it was over, six police cars had
been involved, and 48 rounds had been expended. The felon was hit
twice. So much for "fire power."
Our friend the Count Randaccio-Lodi
informs us that this business of "politically correct"
communication has begun to affect the Italian language too. The
Italian word for such talk is sinistrese,
origin on the political left.
"Certain words are replaced by others giving a bad
thing a nice sounding appearance (like gay for sodomite or
progressive for communist). Trouble is that this game never ends
since sooner or later the meaning catches up with the sound and a
new word must be issued."
I know this curious affliction still afflicts the English-speaking
world, despite its obvious foolishness, but I had not thought it
had gone abroad just yet. We do not hear of it in German or French,
but I suppose the time will come.
Recently at the airport I sat between two
middle-aged and evidently well-to-do ladies waiting for our flight
to be called. We exchanged notes on the quality of airline service
and its continuing decline. I mentioned that service on South
African Airlines continues to maintain a very high standard, and
these ladies expressed surprise at the idea of touring South
Africa. One mentioned to me that she had understood that
Johannesburg was now the "most dangerous" big city in the world. I
responded to the effect that such things are very hard to quantify,
but certainly the prevalence of violent crime has increased in
South Africa since the revolution. I pointed out that regardless of
statistics, a nice thing about South Africa is that one is legally
entitled to fight back, unlike Britain. The question hit me, "With
what?" "Well, with your pistol," was my answer. "But you cannot
take a pistol abroad!" they exclaimed. I had to point out that it
was odd that I had never noticed that, and that taking one's
personal firearms into and out of South Africa has never been a
problem - at least, up til now.
Touring South Africa remains, as they put it, "the world's best
In the previous issue I mentioned that
Lindy's new book, "The Soul and the Spirit," might with luck
be ready for distribution by Christmas. It was. It is now out and
selling, and you will be able to see it at the SHOT Show.
The bad news is that my own piece, "The Art of the Rifle,"
has hit a couple of production snags and will not be ready for
SHOT. We will keep pushing, however, and let you know how things
In a previous issue we reported on the
failure of bullet integrity in the case of the 40-caliber
Hydra-Shock cartridge. We did not report, however, on its stopping
effect because we did not have that information. We checked further
and discovered that the subject, while seriously wounded, was not
taken out of the fight. He could have returned fire had he been so
Clearly propaganda is more potent than
truth. Take this matter of Guernica, for example. Pablo Picasso,
one of the more significant propagandists of the left, made a very
successful point in claiming that the town of Guernica had been
flattened from the air by the German Condor Legion in the Spanish
Civil War - this being an atrocity since the town had no
strategic value. This point was accepted by the world press, and is
now considered a fact, even for inclusion in encyclopedias.
For those who have access to the official records it is clear that
the Condor Legion had been grounded for two weeks prior to the
occupation of the city by the Nationalist forces. Moreover, the
German light bombers did not have the technical capacity for
"carpet bombing," as later practiced by the Allies in Europe. Most
conclusive, however, was the fact that there were no bomb craters
in the streets. The buildings were pretty well demolished, but this
was done from inside them. It is obviously impossible to flatten a
town from the air without hitting any of the streets, but now, to
the amazement of the well-informed, the German government is
proposing to pay an indemnity to Spain for an atrocity never
committed. Such goings on!
In continuing observation of what might
be called the "hoax effect," Texaco has caved in to Jesse Jackson,
even after both parties have discovered that the tapes responsible
for the racial uproar were fake. Jesse Jackson, himself, has
claimed he does not want to be bothered by the facts.
A family member recently returned
from Bolivia points out that they do not seem to have a gun problem
in that country. They have what may be the ideal gun control
laws - there are none. Additionally, cocaine in various forms
is available on the open market, and they do not have any trouble
with drug lords.
Prince William, the Queen's grandson,
recently went forth and slew his first deer up in Scotland,
complete with all the ceremonies of the hunt - this being a
tradition of the British royal family, as well as other royal
families elsewhere. As you might suppose, the uproar from the
bambiists was deafening. (As if Her Majesty did not have enough
troubles without that.)
As it happens, Elizabeth herself enjoyed this same right of passage
in her own youth, and was completely carried away by the whole
event, but that was long ago.
Did you hear about the woman who recently
was rather badly bitten by a bear and is now undergoing extensive
rehabilitation psychotherapy? It never occurred to us that being
chewed upon by a wild beast called for the attentions of a shrink.
I mean, what's to talk about?
In a previous issue I cast doubts on the
rumor that the Parabellum pistol cartridge (Glock) could be
effective at a distance of 20 to 30 feet underwater. Family
member David Morningstar researched this matter and discovered
(in "Hatcher's Notebook") that the army ran some tests back
in the twenties that established that 48" of water was enough to
stop the 30-06 M1 bullet, at 90° impact angle (24" at 45°). People
were more honest then.
To my great delight, I have now been
designated an honorary citizen of Kennesaw, Georgia, the
constitutional capital of the US; where, as you all know, every
householder is required by law to maintain a personal firearm in
And from Kenya we hear that a lady
birdwatcher was recently killed by a buffalo, and her estate is now
suing the outfitter on the completely fantastic grounds that her
guides had not told her that buffalo were dangerous. I cannot
imagine what anybody is doing in Africa who does not know that
buffalo are dangerous, but then as our culture proceeds down the
drain, we are rapidly approaching that point predicted by General
Krulak at which nobody knows anything about anything. The date of
the Brute's computer is predicted as late fall of the year
(Incidentally, this buffalo had not been wounded. Unprovoked
attacks by buffalo are rare, but they are not unheard
We have been reading "Unlimited
Access," by Gary Aldrich. This work is absolutely required
reading for every responsible US citizen. If we accept the word of
this veteran FBI agent, as we are inclined to do, the court of
Caligula did not match the Clinton White House for
Well, so much for 1996. We all noted that
this was a year in which the moon was full on Christmas Eve, and
that will not occur again in the lifetime of those now living. Let
us record that as an excellent omen for the future, and continue on
into good times.
Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal
use only. Not for publication.