Sunday, September 30, 2012


Back a couple of years ago, I was excited when I heard that Rossi would be introducing a .410 version of their chopped down Ranch Hand pistol, which is a sorta copy of the Mare's Leg (Mare's Laig) pistol Steve McQueen popularized in Wanted: Dead or Alive.

Whilst you can shoot CCI Shotshells in the three calibers that the Ranch Hand is currently chambered in (.45 Colt, .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum), it's not the same as a 2.5" .410 shell.

You can go to the 2011 New products page for the Rossi Trail Judge and see the gun that never made it into production.  Various speculation is around the internet, but one of the most believeable is in this thread here.

Basically as the thread above says, the gun was not chambered in .45 Colt and .410 like the Governor, Thompson Contender, Judge and other guns chambering both rounds. Rather, the product info says it is in .410 caliber. I'm no expert on Federal Firearms Laws, but I do know a few, and this is not legal advice, but since the Trail Judge only chambered and fired the .410, it's a short barreled shotgun.

The thread above has that theory, and although I don't know for sure it sounds reasonable. The thread further expounds that the reason Rossi didn't make it a dual chambering was because case length differs between .410 and .45 Colt which doesn't matter in a revolver with a long enough case length but matters in the tube feeding mag and maybe action of a lever action gun.

According to some theories, which could be correct, a lever action gun can load and action either a .45 Colt or a .410, but not both, if I understand that correctly. Which brings to mind the statement on Wild West Guns website about their ALASKAN COPILOT, which when chambered in their wildcat 457 WWMagnum/45-70 calibers, will also chamber and fire .410 shotshells. It says that on their FAQ page that:

13. Can you shoot the 45/70 in your 457 Magnum guns?Yes. You can also fire a 2½" .410 shotshell.

So I don't know if that means chamber AND eject AND load or merely that you could chamber one individual round at a time, and hopefully eject that round. If anyone has experience with this or knows the answer I'd be very curious as I think the Copilot is a fantastic firearm.

So maybe since the .45-70 and the 457 WWMagnum is such a much longer case than the .45 Colt, that the .410 will feed and load and chamber in the former but not the latter. As the guy said in Reddick, these are the things we need to know.

I understand the law is quite strict on things like short barreled shotguns, which differ from a dual caliber gun like a .45 Colt/.410. Guns that only chamber smoothbore ammo need to have 18" barrels. Obviously there is some issue with a lever action rifle feeding both as far as Rossi is concerned, because they are making the .410 lever action in a full size gun with a 20" barrel. Interesting that it doesn't feed .45 Colt as well. Likewise, there is no indication in their 2012 product information that the new .45-70 lever actions will chamber .410 either.

I did read on one forum that one could take the metal shotshells in .410 made by Fiocchi and somehow cut down the length so that they were the same as the .45 Colt length to get them to feed and load in a .45 Long Colt rifle. More effort than I'm willing to spend.

I guess CCI shotshells will have to do for any lever action pistol shotshell shooting.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I'm wondering this because I think the 5.7 round is an awesome round. There are a couple of companies working on, or maybe they're out, bolt action rifles in this caliber. I know where a Savage Model 24 Combo rifle/shotgun in a 20 gauge with .17 HMR.

The 17 HMR is a great caliber but I really don't want to add a new caliber to the stable. I've been resisting buying one of several Ruger Blackhawk .41 magnums priced very reasonably over the past couple of years, and it seems everywhere I go I see one for sale under $400. I've resisted because I don't think I need the in-between to the .357 and .44. My dad had one, and I wish that I had it. So every time I see a Blackhawk with a 7.5" barrel used for sale, and I've seen lots of them over the years, there's a twinge to get it.

So I don't want or need a gun in .17 HMR, but since they never made and still don't make any combo gun with a 5.7 chambering, I'm wondering if it would be possible to fit the chamber of the 17 HMR barrel to accept the 5.7 x 28mm cartridge.

I know the .17 HMR barrel could be bored and re-rifled by a competent gunsmith, and the donor gun barrel is stout and has plenty of metal in it and is very thick. The velocity of the two rounds is similar with similarly sized projectiles, but the maximum operating pressures are very different.

Chuck Hawk's says that the maximum operating pressure of the .17 HMR is 26,500, and Wiki says the pressure of the 5.7 x 28 round is 50,000, nearly double.

So I guess the question would be is the barrel stout enough to support being bored, likewise the action? I think the action is stout enough, and the barrel looks stout enough as well with plenty of boring room

I also know I'd have to change out the hammer since 17 HMR is a rimfire caliber and the 5.7 round is a centerfire. I don't think this would be a big deal with parts available from other Savage 24's.

UPDATE: I talked to one of my gunsmiths and he was highly skeptical on making this mod on that particular gun. For one thing, after boring the barrel, he would be concerned about the great increase in pressure that the barrel receiver would have to tolerate. He wasn't sure there would be enough barrel left to support that kind of pressure.

Secondly, modifying or replacing the receiver could be easy or tough. The rimfire firing pin would have to me either highly modified with some Savage centerfire parts and some receiver drilling or the receiver replaced entirely.

Good idea, he said. He had apparently wondered the same thing about chambering that gun for the new Hornaday centerfire 17 caliber.


I've posted before about how hard life was when my dad was a kid, growing up in the 30's and 40's in a depression area farm family in deep East Texas. It was not much different than pioneer life that came before them for a hundred years with our previous generations in Texas.

They didn't have electricity until the early 40's. They didn't have running water until the late thirties, and didn't have a bathroom or septic tank until long after my father had moved out and did a hitch in the Air Force and while in college (and working full time) he bought his mom a bathroom added on to her house in the 50's.

So when he was a kid, times were tough. The family double barreled external hammer 12 gauge was used to harvest lots of food for the family table, and shells were not to be wasted. As a kid, they often carried buckshot in one and bird shot in the other, prepared for hog, turkey, deer or various bird like quail, geese or ducks. They sometimes had slugs when it was deer hunting time, although I suspect back then it was always deer season when you're hungry.

In any event, that's a tradition that carried onto me, first using a double barreled .410 then onto a 12 and then later in life, back to a double barreled .20. Usually there's bird shot in both barrels, but sometimes I revert to my youth and load a slug in one and some shot in another.

Great for turkey hunting and lots of folks hunt deer with 12 gauge slug guns here in Texas. I'm not sure if it's legal in Texas, but again, in the days of the depression, it was not unknown for folks to "set up" on watering holes or feed spots with 12 gauge double barreled guns loaded with buckshot for close range deer hunting.

Which gets me around to the Yildiz brand of double barreled shotguns, both side by side and over/under. Both are lightweight, and as I get older, I appreciate lighter weight guns. As far as I know,  they're made in Turkey and imported only by Academy. They are very reasonably priced, and the two models I'd like to one day have are the .410 side by side and the .20 over/under youth model.

Their build quality has increased greatly in the past several years. The versions I handled tonight were well made, tight but not too tight, and seemed very smooth in operation and in terms of the finish and fit of the metal parts. The wood was good and well finished and the sideplates were silver with some sort of very abbreviated engraving on them. Both are hammerless with a tang safety and both are priced at under $500.

I like the youth model 20 gauge over/under because it's just a wee bit shorter stock fits me better than the full size model, which also fits me pretty well. I have long arms but for whatever reason, youth model shotguns often fit me better. The converse is true with rifles, as youth models don't generally fit me, and some Russian and Chinese rifles don't fit me in terms of LOP as they are built with short LOP's for folks in serious winter attire, with several inches of coats, or so I've been told.

I like the Yildiz guns. Although not made in America, the exception I'll make is for the lightness of the guns. My Christmas present last year was a nice Mossberg 20 gauge over/under and it's heavier than the Yildiz.

I liked the light weight of the Yildiz .410 side by side at 4.8 lbs with a 28" barrel. Likewise, the Yildiz Youth Model .20 gauge O/U  comes in a 5 lbs sporting a 26" barrel. Both are nice handling and well balanced lightweight guns.

I do want to buy the .410 SxS and the .20 O/U in the near future, and I've been on the lookout for some used ones around town. As yet, I've seen lots of them used around town going for $250 to $300 but all are the 12 gauge versions, so I know the other gauges will show eventually on the used market.

I like .410's. If you understand their limited range and apply their use accordingly, you'll be greatly satisfied with the results. We've often used .410's for quail and dove hunting. It was also a frequent "rambling round the family place" gun. When my dad bought me my first shotgun, a H and R Topper Jr. in .410, he also bought himself a full sized .410 double barrel of unknown Spanish manufacture. Not only was he tired of 12 gauge recoil, he was weary of 16 and 20 gauge recoil as well, despite being in shape and an avid and lifelong shooter. The .410 was just his preference, and it worked out well for both of us.

I see Marlin has a limited edition of their lever gun but chambered for the .410, and as far as I know, Cabela's was the exclusive dealer for this gun, but I no longer see it on their website. It sells for just under $600 as I recall. It's a dandy gun, very well made like all Marlins I've owned and shot and it's based on the 1895 lever action rifle chambered in .45-70, so it's a heavy duty deal.

A Marlin Model 336 in .30-30 with a scope is almost a rite of passage here in Texas. El Fisho Jr. is about to get the family rifle handed down to him, perhaps after Christmas since the rest of the family has some birthdays in the month after Christmas. Our family rifle is a scoped Marlin Model 336.

So this same basic firearm shooting .410 shells interests me as a great fun gun and predator gun. Here's a review on the lever action Marlin .410 from back in 2009. I remember seeing them advertised in a Cabela's flier that I got sometime earlier this year. The review says it is seven and a quarter pounds and the barrel is 22" long, a good all around length for a brush gun.

The .410 Marlin resembles the larger Model 1895 Marlin lever actions chambered for .45-70 due to the magazine and barrel size. By the way, another gun on the I'd like to have but have no real need for is the 1895 Guide gun with full length magazine, or the Wild West Arms version called the Alaskan Co-pilot, which not only shoots .45-70 but some wildcat caliber developed by Wild West Arms and the .410 shotshell. A great lever action combo.

Rossi has also entered the arena with their version of a 6+1 shot with a 20" barrel lever action .410 shotgun, and Cabela's does have a page for it here, selling for right at $500. Still, I'll wait around until I can find a Marlin for a decent price. I saw one at a gun show a few weeks ago for under $400, and might have should have jumped on that one.

All these guns are reasonably priced and not so onerous to shoot on a regular basis. 


I've got absolutely no real use for a double rifle. Until I discovered the Baikal and some variants that have been made of a side by side double rifle (also sold as the Baikal IZH and the Remington  at previous times), I thought realistically I'd never have the chance of owning one. But I'm strongly considering asking Santa for one, and I'll tell you why.


This is a Baikal .45-70 with a scope mounted on it.

Here's the link to EAA's page for the Baikal MP 221. A 23.5" barrel and the .30-06 weighs 7.4 lbs. and the .45-70 weighs 6.8.

I've seen the new Baikal double rifle priced at a large gun dealer for in the mid-$900.00's and I saw them for sale at a online dealer for about $750 plus shipping.  Either price is cheap for a decent double rifle. On occasion, I've seen the identical version that Remington used to import from Baikal on some of the auction sites, going for in the $500-$700 range. Baikal also made this rifle under another model number until recently, calling it the IZH 94 I think. But now it is the MP 221.

Just this past week, I read a review of the MP 221 in some magazine that a co-worker gets at work, possibly Shooting magazine. The writer bought one and apparently he lives in Houston, Texas, where there is generally little call for a big game hunting rifle. Like most of us, the writer noted he never though he could afford a double rifle.

Of course, there's plenty of hunting fodder for a double rifle in Texas, like deer, hogs and big cats, which can be found all over the state of Texas, and some of those deer and hogs and cats are big ones needing a big, powerful bullet to bring them down. All of these can be hunted with a double rifle in a serious caliber.

The writer liked the gun, in spite of it's short comings, which mostly involved finish and not fit and his dislike of the heavy trigger pull of each of the dual triggers. As the writer indicated, he can get that fixed by his gunsmith. The writer felt it was a screaming deal for the grand he paid for it, and that's the MSRP, but as I said, I've seen the .30-06 online for the mid-$700's and that's retail, not wholesale.

I saw one a few months ago. My friend Cowboy's brother has a hog hunting outfitted jeep on the family ranch, which spans about 280 acres. It has several good sized ponds or tanks or small lakes on it, two of which are brimming with two pound bass and three pound cats.

Cowboy's brother bought the Baikal MP 221 for the same reason Cowboy and I and every other shooter I know our age likes them, because we were raised on safari movies on TV when we were kids and most of us have seen nice and fancy double rifles that are way out of our financial reach.

Cowboy's brother added this Baikal double rifle to his jeeps hog hunting arsenal, which also includes a Glock Model 22 mounted on the hump, a pistol gripped pump 12 gauge with an 18 barrel mounted on the dash pointing out the passenger side, and a  CAR-15 rifle in a rifle holder mounted in front of the passenger seat vertically.

He's got a pedestal mounted seat in the back of the jeep sort of like Rat Patrol had in their desert combat jeeps in the 1960's TV show I liked so much, and a mono-pod mounted gun mount that telescopes up and down as does the seat. It's some kind of deluxe bass boat seat and pedestal he mounted.  He can park on a hillside and take out several hogs with his CAR-15 and now, with his double rifle resting in the rifle holder. Or use his bow or cross-bow. He's got mounts all over the jeep for his hog hunting tools.

Their family ranch, like most in Texas and I mean all over this very large state, is overrun with hogs. The big, mean, tusk growing kind of Texas hogs. Some of the hogs on his place go over 250 pounds, and although you want to kill those, that's too big and tough for eating.

As an aside, if you think I'm kidding about having a hog explosion here in Texas, I'm not. We have hog overpopulation problems in every area of Texas, and numerous types of wild hogs and javalinas. Within the past few years, I've seen THOUSANDS of black, 40 lb javalinas moving like a black wave through a large far West Texas ranch, running through the waist high green grass like a black wave in the water. It was wild to see that many javalina at once.

While on a fishing trip at Matagorda Island, Texas a couple of years ago with Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr., we were at this spot on the Colorado River, very near where the mouth joins the Gulf of Mexico, looking across the river to the inaccessible part of Matagorda Island and the hundreds of hogs, big ole' Texas hogs with most going over a couple of hundred pounds.

It was late April and we had been having some rain in that area at that time, and there were pools of rainwater on the shore near the river as well as some grass growing.

They were some big hogs, and that's coming from a fellow who has grown up around big hogs. East Texas hogs, mostly, big ones.

All of them snorting and digging and grousing through the coastal grass and puddles at the shoreline and drinking some of the brackish yet fresher river water (about a mile or so up from the Gulf) than the bay or Gulf water. If you didn't think a hog could grab a bird or gull off the ground, then I'll tell you that you're wrong. I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it, but hogs can be mighty fast when they want to be.

The short of it is, we've got hog problems all over the state. There is no shortage of folks I can call, who live near and far in this state, and arrange a hog hunting trip on their place. Folks with stock, particularly sheep and goats, have much to fear from wild hogs, as do chicken and even cattle farmers.

I've seen the destruction one group of big coastal hogs in a couple of hours can do to a multi-million dollar rice farm, causing losses in the seven digits from a frenzied feeding and tromping of rice. Same with big corn farms. Some years ago, many years ago really, I used to drive to and from work through a rather large farm. Big corn farmers, as well as other crops. But it was the corn rows and watching the corn stalks grow on a daily basis that was fascinating.

And then seeing the damage a rampage of hogs can do to that well maintained corn field of say 500 acres in just one night. Almost a total loss. Farmer said he'd be losing money if he tried to harvest what little he had left. He said it'd be easier  and he'd lose less money to just plow it all under and get ready for the next planting.

Stories like this with hogs killing stock or damaging crops abound all over the state, and as I am aware, in other states as well. In Texas, we also have wolves, coyotes, various other varmints, wild cats of several kinds and lots of big ole' snakes that sometimes need shooting. Tons of snakes, actually. Most all of them very poisonous. Even our spiders in Texas can be deadly or at least, flesh eating, like the Brown Recluse, which of course is predominantly found in the areas where I like to fish in Central Texas and the Hill Country.

So Cowboy's brother's hog hunting jeep reminds me of the Internationals and the Land Rovers we used to see down near the King Ranch and the other big South Texas ranches. Some of their rigs were topless and doorless 4x4's with long gun scabbards either in the dash or on the outside of each door. One International, a very cool International, was a big 2 door (with a tailgate, like the old Blazers and Broncos) that had no top and no doors. Each side had a heavy metal box that held three leather lined scabbards for long guns.

I saw this fine ride at the GM dealer in Brownsville when I was about 13, and already appreciating cool vehicles like that one. It was new, and was getting something installed inside of it. We were getting a new radiator while visiting South Padre Island and towing a fishing boat.  So as we stood around while they installed the new radiator we got to admire the International and talk for the two cowboys who drove it in. They worked for one of the big ranches, and in their roaming the big spread they worked on, they encountered everything from rattlers and coyotes and wild cats and hogs and mountain lions that needed taking care of.

The owner of the dealership was also impressed with this ride and especially the gun racks. The dealer had a friend who custom made them for this vehicle, and was out there with us admiring the guns in the racks. One of the guns was a double rifle, I believe in some big game African hunting caliber, and everyone was particularly impressed with this gun because it was something you normally didn't see in non-rich folk circles in Texas, then or now. The bullets were also huge.

So that was the first double rifles I've seen, but not the last. I've seen a bunch of nice double rifles and drillings over the years, but my budget is more that of a combination rifle/shotgun shooter. Although one nice friend located a nice extremely low priced drilling a few months ago for me that was about $1,275 as I recall, when you buy an old drilling, particularly sight unseen off the internet, you don't know what you're getting. Parts most likely on an obscure, cheap and long out of production gun that is 70 years old or so have to be made, and they can't be bought.

You really need to have any gun like an old drilling examined by a gunsmith who knows something about drillings, and although there are some drilling knowledgeable gunsmiths out there, you'd probably want them lined up to inspect the gun during the inspection period before you bought a gun.

Most cheap drillings and double rifles start in the $4,000 range, give or take a few hundred, and quickly gain digits the nicer you get.

So all that is said to circle back around and talk about the Baikal MP-221, available in .30-06 and .45-70. A double barreled side by side rifle. Made in Russia. Some might say, crudely made, and I'll admit that the example I handled as well as the Baikal double barreled shotguns in the same line are rough and a bit crude in construction and finish, but seem to work very well.

I'll note that a cheap Romanian AK is also rough in appearance but shoots dead on straight out of the box using cheap ammo and has kept shooting straight and reliably for over 2,000 rounds with absolutely no issues at all. Very Glock like.

So Cowboy's brother said his gun sighted in and shoots basically two inch groups at 50 yards using the iron sights when he's resting the gun. He said double that to a 4 inch group when freehand shooting at the same distance, which isn't bad. He said he thinks he could fiddle with it more and close those gaps but doesn't see the reason to as that's good enough for him.

He's shooting the .30-06 version which is the one I'd like to have. It's got a bit more flat shooting range of distance than the .45-70 does, but the .45-70 is a hard hitting round at the right distance. Either one kicks a bit more than I care for after over 40 years of shooting .30-06.

I prefer a .308 these days, or the venerable .30-30. The .30-30 works for most of the shooting I do, but the rifles I like such as the M1A and the Ruger M77 Gunsite Scout don't come in .30-30.

I'd really prefer a double rifle in a .308 or a .30-30, just for the lessened recoil for  me. I'd also be interested in one of the Russian calibers like 7.62 x 39 or 7.62 x 54r. The latter caliber, the 7.62 x 54r is often called the "Russian .30-06". I do find it interesting that Baikal doesn't chamber the .30-06 version of the gun for this caliber, because it would apparently require just a little gunsmithing alteration (chambering, boring the barrel and rifling the barrel) to make a 7.62 x 54r gun.

The Mosin Nagant rifle is chambered in the 7.62 x 54r caliber, and the ammo is ultra cheap. Like 1980's surplus ammo cheap. You can get 440 rounds for $80 in my parts. It's a hard hitting round that will shoot some distance with quite a bit of speed and energy, hence it's nickname as the "Russian .30-06". By the way, don't shoot either caliber out of another gun made for a different caliber. I'm talking about having a gunsmith re-bore barrels and chambers to make such a thing possible and make sure it is a safe gun to shoot another caliber out of.

I'll write more about the Baikal MP 221 once I get to mess with Cowboy's brother's gun a bit and do some shooting with it. I've got a box of low recoil .30-06 around here, and a couple of boxes of different kinds of hunting ammo as well in that caliber, and I'd like to see how those shoot out of the Baikal. And how bad the recoil is with full power hunting rounds.

When I do shoot the MP 221, I'm pretty sure I'll bring several slip-on recoil pads in various sizes to add some hopefully absorb some recoil. My friends brother says it does kick a bit.

My next post will be about using a double barrel shotgun with slugs as a poor man's double rifle, something my family has done for years.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Like many in the world, I'm a James Bond fan. Whether Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosden, the other Bonds or our current Bond, I still enjoy the movies.

I remember when some of the cable networks used to have ten or twelve days of Bond during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays back in the 90's, maybe they still do. Since then, I've gotten some of my more favorite Bond movies on DVD.

As a gun enthusiast, likewise I've always enjoyed looking at the guns that appeared in Bond movies. His PPK is as much a part of his identity for most of his fans with interest in firearms, who likewise know that the P99 used in several movies is a better combat weapon.

Since M made Bond trade in his .25 caliber Beretta for the Walther PPK in .32 caliber in the sixties, it's been nothing but Walther for Bond as his duty weapon. There have been times he's used other guns, such as a Model 29 whilst in the Carribean, but they've just been part of the action.

So since the sixties, it's been either a Walther PPK or a Walther P99.

What other guns might a modern day 007 really carry as his primary weapon?

Something high powered, like the FN 5.7, and wouldn't it be cool if the gun designers made a compact version of the 5.7 for Bond?

Perhaps a Glock 10mm as a hard shooting gun, and you could have that even in a compact model.

I would think that a nice double shoulder rig with dual Glock Model 18 machine pistols outfitted with extended mags would make the perfect raid gun for Bond, when he gets dressed in all black for a nighttime recon run.

The Kimber Solo is an elegant looking firearm, and one that is roughly the same size as the PPK, yet with a far more potent round.

Maybe Bond's CIA friend Felix could give him a gun to use. Maybe something sort of old school/new school like a 3" 1911, telling him he needs the knockdown power of a .45 and the reliability of a pistol design that's over 100 years old. Or maybe some kind of Sig-Sauer pistol. 

I've always thought the HK P7 would be a good Bond gun, especially in .40 caliber. Although dated, it's a great, reliable and accurate gun and a gun that would  still be found in lots of places  in Europe.

Even more dated but a pistol that a fellow Bond's age would have used extensively would be the Browning Hi Power. Since Bond was some sort of commando in the British Navy, he likely would have trained with and used a Hi Power like other British special forces. It would be cool to see Bond with a Hi Power.

I'm sure there are other guns out there that would be a good choice for Bond. What do you think a good gun would be for 007?

Would Bond want a laser sight on a pistol, what with his expert marksman shooting abilities? I don't think he'd need one.

And what kind of holster would he carry? IWB or belt or shoulder?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Two very different stories have been in the news lately involving two very different spy tales.
One involves the death of an 84 year old businessman and spy, Edwin Wilson.

The other, a pending assault trial in Colorado with assault allegations arising from a parking lot dispute that has as the defendant, Raymond Davis, the CIA operative who was captured in 2011 by the Pakistanis and held for months until rescued by our government, defending himself against allegations arising from a parking spot dispute.

First, Edwin Wilson passed away earlier this month, of causes related to heart-valve surgery. For those of you who don't know the incredible story of Ed Wilson, former CIA employee and wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 20 years, read some of the associated and documented journalistic efforts that you can find out there and see what our government did to this fellow. Peter Maas wrote a great book about him back in 1986, and there are a few informative news article from nearly 10 years ago when his conviction was overturned as well as some well written obits.

It was only through a true Texas hero, lawyer David Adler, that Wilson came to gain his freedom and live the past decade in freedom, and more importantly, die a free man.

I won't and frankly, can't due to space limitations recap the entire Ed Wilson story here, but suffice it to say that he was a CIA officer and apparently was very good at what he did, which was establish "proprietary" companies with which to do CIA business on the sly. He was such a good businessman that many of the businesses turned a tidy profit. After "leaving" government employment, he was convicted in the early 1980's of various crimes set out below in a WIKI excerpt.

Wilson always contended he was doing the bidding of the U.S. Government. The U.S. denied that in his prosecution. Wilson was sent away to prison for long long time.

Some 10 years later, a former CIA officer turned Houston defense attorney is appointed to Wilson's appeal by Federal Judge Hughes. Because this lawyer, David Adler, has all of his security clearances already in place, he's the perfect attorney to be able to go to Washington and view classified files. Which he does. And quite diligently, pouring through thousands of documents, just like you'd want your lawyer to do if you had been Ed Wilson. Unfortunately, not too many lawyers out there are dedicated like David Adler, as you shall see.

Adler finds a document(s) that indicates that Wilson WAS still doing work for the CIA, or some form of governmental agency, on behalf of our Government. The prosecution withheld this document from the defense. Obviously, had this document been known,  no conviction would have been had. At all. Further, there was much other evidence that Wilson had regular meetings with the CIA during the period the CIA claimed Wilson had no contact with their agency.

Here's a blurb from Wiki about what Wilson went through:

Investigation and conviction
After a lengthy investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (then part of the US Department of the Treasury), Wilson was indicted by the US Justice Department for firearms and explosives violations. However, he was in Libya, which would not extradite him. Wilson was very unhappy in Libya, and the Libyans were suspicious of him and he feared for his safety. The prosecutors knew this and they sent a con-man with links to the CIA named Ernest Keiser to convince Wilson that he would be safe in the Dominican Republic.[8] Wilson flew to the Caribbean, but upon arrival was arrested and flown to New York.

He was put on trial four separate times. He was found not guilty of trying to hire a group of Cubans to kill a Libyan dissident. He was found guilty of exporting guns, including the one used in the Bonn assassination, and of shipping the explosives and sentenced to 15 years in prison for the former and 17 years for the latter. While awaiting trial, he allegedly approached a fellow prisoner and attempted to hire him to kill the federal prosecutors. This prisoner was never questioned by anyone outside the CIA. The prisoner instead went to the authorities and they set Wilson up with an undercover agent. The agent taped Wilson hiring him to kill the prosecutors, six witnesses and his ex-wife. In a subsequent trial, he was sentenced to an added twenty-four years in jail for conspiracy to murder. The voice in the recording was never solidly identified as Wilson's.

 Legal defense

Wilson's defence to the Libyan charges was that he was working at the behest of the CIA. The CIA gave the DOJ an affidavit stating that after his retirement he had not been employed directly or indirectly by the agency. The CIA later informed the DOJ that it should not use the affidavit at trial, but the prosecutor Ted Greenberg decided to use it anyway.

While in prison, Wilson campaigned vigorously for his innocence and repeatedly filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the government. Eventually he found information linked to the memo and hired a new lawyer. His lawyer was David Adler, a former CIA officer who had clearance to view classified documents. Adler spent long hours poring through thousands of files and eventually found eighty incidents where Wilson met on a professional basis with the CIA and proof that the CIA had indirectly used Wilson after his retirement.

A federal judge ruled that the prosecution had acted improperly. In October 2003, Wilson's conviction on the explosives charge was thrown out. Wilson was released from prison on September 14, 2004, after being incarcerated for 22 years.

 Civil Action

Wilson filed a civil suit against seven former federal prosecutors, two of whom are now federal judges, and a past executive director of the CIA. On 29 March 2007, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed his case on the ground that all eight had immunity covering their actions.

I suppose the important thing to remember here is that justice did prevail. It sucked, then it prevailed, and then it sucked again with immunity.

I remember reading the Maas book about Edwin Wilson and his trial and recall reading about the trial in the Houston Chronicle. If I remember correctly, his trial was closed to the public, or certain parts were, which is only allowed in certain cases of national security.

I knew the story of Wilson long before I ever met his freedom fighter, David Adler. So that just made me admire Adler more, because when I heard of his victory with Wilson's case in overturning his convictions I knew the brick walls and uphill battles he had to fight to get the truth to come out.

So if the super-diligent guy David Adler hadn't happened along as a criminal defense lawyer in Houston with a Federal Judge aware of his qualifications, Wilson might still be in prison, or likely might have died there  before now due to his recent medical issues. I know Adler, and he is a decent kind of guy. I haven't seen him in many years, but once spent a bit of time with him, before he handled the Wilson case. He's the kind of lawyer I'd want on my case if, God forbid, I ever needed a criminal lawyer.

And that's coming from a lawyer of several decades experience who has seen some of the best of the best Texas criminal and civil trial lawyers in action during past decades.

And on the complete other end of the spectrum of stories involving another modern day James Bond type fellow, that being Raymond Davis, who was a prisoner of war in Pakistan a couple of years ago.

Raymond is a different kind of American Hero.

I want to repeat that. He's an American Hero.

One of the right things President Obama has done in his tenure was to rescue Davis from custody in Pakistan.

I know Hillary was the one who put the wheel to the ground, and likely, the high heel to some arses, to get Davis released. She willed it to happen. She and others from our government. She just as easily could have moved on to one of the zillion other urgent world issues out there.

I've disagreed so vigorously with Hillary's stance on gun control over the past several decades but yet I've got to admit my respect for how she handled this Davis matter as well as many other foreign policy matters. If Romney has a brain in his head, he'd keep her on if he wins because she's doing the best job possible in what has to be an impossible job.

Raymond Davis endured captivity as a prisoner of war, where there was no declared war. But make no mistake about it, he was a prisoner of war. Thank goodness our government didn't make him a sacrificial lamb in Pakistan.

Those of you with some knowledge of current events might recall several years ago when Raymond Davis was ambushed by two motorcylists brandishing handgun(s) at him.

Raymond Davis, being a contract employee of the CIA (so they say) is an ex-Special Forces type of guy, with something like a decade of combat experience. Not the kind of guy you want to go pulling a gun on in a city known for motorcycle assassinations like anyone would think was happening.

Mr. Davis probably reverted to his training and experience and just went on instinct. I've never been through the kind of things Mr. Davis has, but I've been in some adrenaline action situations and know how it goes slow-motion while at the same time still moving at real speed. If you've ever had not just an adrenalin rush but an actual conflict and some serious adrenalin going on, you know exactly what I mean. And you rely on your training and experience to take over and get you through to survive.

The result was two dead assassins.  They picked the wrong dude to try to kill. And yes, he was out on the streets in Pakistan doing our governments work fighting terrorists and packing heat. I mean, wouldn't you be packing a couple of Glocks and some mags as well as some sort of light assault rifle and some mags in case you are attacked? Yeah, you'd be carrying just what Mr. Davis had on him, and maybe more.

If you believe the Pakistani news media, which at best can be called rumor mongering, excitable, hyperbolic and utterly unreliable, there were some pictures of the "arsenal" that Mr. Davis had when apprehended. As I recall, a couple of Glocks and a bunch of mags and some kind of M4 and some mags and a bunch of communications and direction finding gear. That's not much of an arsenal by Texas standards, where most of my very law abiding friends have those guns and more in their trucks.

The Pakistani media bantered all sorts of unbelieveable stories about. One I recall was that Mr. Davis was really the head of the CIA and was so bent on overthrowing Islam that he was personally on the ground about to kill someone himself when the conflict arose.

The two young men that were killed had various stories that came out about them. Portrayed as innocent young men minding their own business, they approached and brandished at least one gun at Mr. Davis, per his story, before he acted in what seems to be well-grounded self defense. The Pakistani media made much of the alleged fact that at least one gun was unloaded or at least had an empty chamber. As if the guy who's getting that gun pointed at him would know that.

But getting back to the story.  Mr. Davis was having to operate out of a Honda Civic, which got mighty shot up, by the way. One would expect a modern day James Bond to be in something nice, and perhaps with at least bullet proof glass, like a Porche Cayanne or something zippy like that. Or at least a Land Cruiser like the rescue squad from the Embassy was in.

Funny thing was, various pictures in the Pakistani media had different windows shot out, so you never knew which were the true pictures of the vehicle. It looked as if some Paki cops did a little shooting to make it look like Mr. Davis was a one man Dodge City.

Which, as far as the two would be alleged assassins are concerned, he was a one man Dodge City. A survivor. And I admire that in an American serving our country in a hostile, for lack of a better word, war zone. Where if you were him, you'd know how fast and easily you could be killed and just absolutely disappear forever into the night in a large city like Lahore.

The Pakistani local/state and federal governments battled over how to handle Mr. Davis. The powers that be in the Federal government of Pakistan knew that the vast money they get from the U.S. would stop in the event Mr. Davis wasn't ultimately released. The equally bombastic local and state governments wanted the head of Mr. Davis, literally.

One reason you worry about someone like Mr. Davis being in local custody in a town in Pakistan is that there are many zealots who would kill him if some religious leader ordered it. Recent news is rife with bodyguards killing their principal and soldiers killing their commanders over what we westerners consider minor transgressions of Islamic tradition, religion or law.

And you know Mr. Davis was painfully aware of this during his captivity.

And I submit, that kind of life, the combat life and being a prisoner and such, has to wear on you. It has to do something to you. It's not a weakness on anyone's part, it's just that as humans we can only take so much war before we need peace. So I would suspect that being under constant tension and threat of imminent death for months at a time, if not years, since Mr. Davis served for years as a special forces soldier before being a civilian contractor.

Immediately after the shooting went down, Mr. Davis called for a rescue team from the Embassy and while they were rushing there, they allegedly struck and killed a person in the roadway. So they were unable to rescue Mr. Davis, who was surrounded by an angry muslim mob and then arrested by the so-called police over there.

Mr. Davis was held in jail for months and months as the local and national Pakistani governments disagreed about how to handle Mr. Davis. I was personally surprised that the crazed populace of Pakistan didn't mob the jail and kill him lynch mob style, with the assistance of the local cops. Finally,  the US paid the muslim "tribute" for the dead to their families and Mr. Davis was released.

At some point in his freedom, back in America, he got in some kind of altercation in a parking lot over a parking space. I once read the details but really, to me, they don't matter. He's still a hero.

As a criminal trial lawyer who has handled many cases involving psychological defenses of various types, and having dealt legally with many veterans ranging from Vietnam to the current day battles in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world, I can say that some people deal better with being in battle for prolonged periods than others.

I don't know Raymond Davis. I don't know the facts of his case. But I think he's served his country way more than any of the rest of us do, and hopefully the jury will get to hear about what kind of things Mr. Davis has been through in the recent past. I live in Texas, and not Colorado, so I can't be on that jury, but I suspect there will be many people like me in the jury pool.

A short multimedia presentation would be a great way to start, and you'd have to introduce that as evidence. Just something from the scene of the shootout he was involved in to the jail he was held in and some of the reality of that jail time spent in Pakistani custody, knowing at any time you could be assassinated by one of the guards or officers, or that they might let an assassin in to take care of the job. Copies of some of the ridiculous press that was flat out lying about Davis to the Pakistani populace, and it appeared the media was trying to whip them into a frenzy.

Or that in a place such as Pakistan, would it really be that farfetched to have a suicide bomber hit the jail with no assistance from police?

There were riots calling for his immediate *with no pretense of a trial* execution and again, my friends and I following the story felt that chances were high that a mob could overtake the prison in order to murder Mr. Davis. It's something that, to me, good Americans should be worrying about.

Some pundits in our very own media attacked his status and the duties they speculated that he was performing in Pakistan. To me, he's no different than a soldier as an intelligence operative. He's working out of the American Embassy with their support. How much more "working for America" does Mr. Davis have to be before he's recognized as a former POW?

I hope our government has given him a healthy pension for what he endured in captivity. If not, some association of former intelligence officers or the like need to fund an annuity for services rendered to country.

To me, a guy like Raymond Davis needs to spend the rest of his years relaxing from the no doubt stress those events put on his current life. Not to mention that who knows what islamic zealot might be out looking to even the score by finding Davis. Meaning you're always on alert, even now back in the US of A.

I would hope our government has put him on some kind of "battlefield" secret Presidential order pension so all Davis would have to worry about is what kind of fly to be using in that creek near his house in Colorado for the larger rainbow trout.
Or what kind of deer or other creature he wants to hunt this year and where. Or where to go on a vacation with his family, to undoubtedly keep reconnecting with them. And raise his kids (if he has kids) and live his life with his wife in a quiet, peaceful solitude.

Because I still get google alerts almost every day from some way out Pakistani newspaper or blog spouting some story about Mr. Davis and all sorts of wild claims that even the folks paranoid about spy agencies wouldn't believe. They blame him for many evils that infect their land, and that frankly were present long before Mr. Davis ever left the US of A for service to country.

I urge you to read about these two men and their stories. Edwin Wilson and Raymond Davis ran with the CIA at very different times and under very different rules of engagement. The world has changed a lot in between their respective careers.

We can pay as taxpayers for countless capable Americans to live the life of Riley on some form of government benefits, but I suspect we're not paying Raymond Davis the King's ransom he deserves for services rendered to his country. Without men like Davis and Wilson trying to protect this country, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the freedoms that we do.

So much for being James Bond, eh?

Saturday, September 22, 2012


In the middle part of November, the Texas Parks and Wildlife will post their list of rainbow trout stocking locations and dates. Dates are approximate, and call before heading out to see a stocking, but that is a sight to see. I've seen it several times, always so early in the morning that steam is coming off the surface of the lake or river on a cold day. I was just lucky to have some cold days when I caught the stockings.

I've found that the trout are far friskier and far more interested in artificials, particularly nymphs streamers and wet flies, when it's cold, and if possible, a little bit of sprinkling rain always just seem to make some dry fly fishing possibly.

It hasn't been cold for a really long spell here in a really long time. Time was, every winter you could count on it almost always being cold, and by cold being a native Texan I mean in the 30's or maybe even 20's. Not cold like real hardcore "live in the cold for months at a time" people know about, but cold for here in Texas.

But recent times it's been more t-shirt weather than anything during the winter and fall for the most part. And that's not conducive to frisky rainbow trout fishing in their stocked venue.

Sometimes, as Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr. and I have done, it's possible to leave from our t-shirt and shorts weather at home and drive a fair distance across the state to a place where it's cold and you can do some good trout fishing.

This almost always means West Texas, and the stocking locales are not near as nice looking as those in Central Texas or the Hill Country or even East Texas. But they have fish that can be caught and that are frisky enough to be caught on the fly.

You can catch these trout when it is warmer, but they're hanging deep in the water and moving slow for the most part. At those times, of course baits like corn kernals and bacon and salmon eggs (from a jar) or some of the Berkley Gulp trout bait and the similar products out there, those baits have good success. And sometimes, that's the kind of fishing I want to do. With a bobber in the water.

Generally though, I like artificials. But I'm not as big on fishing the fly deep for sluggish trout. Instead, I use an ultralight spinning rig or a medium spincasting rig to throw Mepps and various other types of smallish spinners and always have good results with those lures.

For instance, a spinner with a tiny green body with gold blade  is one of the best that I've used, and it's in a very small size perfect for these stocked trout. Sorry but I have no idea who made it but I have several of them I bought in a package decades ago. Knock on wood, I haven't lost a one of them.

I sometimes use a salmon egg or some of the Gulp imitations to top off the hook of an artificial. It seems to help, particularly the Gulp.  

During hot or warm weather, don't let it ruin your camping and/or fishing trip when heading for State Parks that have stocked rainbows in their lakes. Come prepared with a canoe or kayak or some kind of jonboat type affair with paddles or electric motors (I think electrics are allowed most places). If you don't have a boat, and some of the parks do rent canoes as I recall, here's my suggestion: take a rig or two that will cast a country mile, like a saltwater surfcasting rig.

Why a big surf rig? With it, as a bank fisherman, you can hit those deep spots in the middle that are often accessible only to the boaters. In hot or warm weather, the rainbows are deeper where the water is coldest. That's where you need to be fishing, and that's how and where I catch fish.

I usually use some thin double drop crappie rig leaders on the end, unless there is a rocky bottom and then I use a heavier saltwater mono or coated wire type leader. The weight size varies with current and depth and wind and such, but I like enough weight to cast and enough to keep the bait stationary as possible.

If you don't have such a rig, you can easily find one at many fishing stores, and not for a whole lot of money. A short Texas surf/pier/jetty rig sells for around $40 bucks or so, and usually is a spinning rod and reel combo. A good 8 to 10 foot rod will get your bait WAY out there.

I started using the Zebco 808/Saltwater reels a long time ago for ease of fishing and durability. I've used them for big catfishing all over the state, including down on the Rio Grande some years ago. I've fished them up and down the Texas coast on beaches, jettys, piers and in canals with various sized saltwater rods.

I ended up with a big collection of 808's for free back in the early 90's. A friend's brother, like me, used them for saltwater fishing. And he fished nearly every weekend down at Galveston. After about six months, without him cleaning them, they'd start gumming up and getting slow and not casting well. And he'd throw them in a box and buy another one for $20.

One day he appeared with the box and knowing I was a fisherman of many types, asked me if I wanted them for parts before he threw them out. I put them in the trunk and when I got them home, found them not rusted but just gummed from the salt mixing with the lube and oil in the reel. A good bathing and scrubbing in water and cleaning with some solvents and proper lubrication and some new line and the reels were good as new. I think I still have about five or so now, after I've given some to friends, and as far as I know they're all going strong. 

In freshwater, they last forever with minimal cleaning, particularly the saltwater models which I think have mostly or all metal parts. I often buy the saltwater or more heavy duty model of a reel destined for lighter use, simply because I think they'll last longer. Like a Curado, for example.

My  favorite trout fishing place close to 200 miles from here, but it's a very nice fishing hole and there's a nice area around it. I've already got a trip planned for there in a December time frame, and we're just waiting on the release dates before we head on up there.

Mrs. El Fisho can relax herself in a one of several real nice motels and hotels in the area, as we fish as the conditions indicate. I'll post an update when the locations and dates of stocking are announced.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I haven't written about music in awhile, although I am a marginally talented musician. But recently, the dance craze that I guess has been sweeping the world behind my back the past several months, Gangnam Style, caught my interest. I think I first heard about it on one of the British tabloid/media "newspapers" that I sometimes  read on the weekends. But I didn't check it out on youtube at the time.

Then, a few weeks later,  some news website that I frequent had a video link to the Ellen Show clip from last week that showed PSY showing Ellen and Brittany Spears how to dance Gangnam Style. I'm no Ellen fan, and true as I would have guessed, she doesn't dance well. Spears did an admirable job in some 4" heels and a dress. But this PSI fellow was entertaining simply with his moves and with the deadpan looks he gives most of the time.

Here's the link to PSY's video on YouTube, Gangnam Style.  It's only been out a short while, yet it has spawned many parodies and flash mob clips. There's some funny parts that might not have gotten put into a Hollywood video, particularly the part where the wind blown "pretend snow" paper gets accumulated around the mouth of one of the dancers.

Here's another version by PSY hisself called PSY FEATURING HYUNA, who I assume is the woman singing and dancing in this different video version as well. Hyuna appears in the original Gangnam Style video as a featured dancer towards the end of it.

There are parodies aplenty already, both badly done and well done. I found this one called GANGNAM STYLE PARODY BY BURNT ORANGE TAILGATING who I'll guess are down the road in Austin. It's pretty funny and there are other parodies that are well done of this video as well as flashmob clips.

The best one I saw was the one that made me laugh out loud repeatedly, so loud and so many times that El Fisho Jr. remarked he hadn't heard me laugh like that in a long time, and he's right. The hilarious clip is called DEADPOOL VS. GANGHAM STYLE. Of course, the parodies make more sense and are funnier if you watch the original Gangnam Style video first. It's a good way to spend a few minutes.

Gangnam has nothing to do with gangs, by the way, but is an ultra affluent area in Seoul, where I suppose in addition to the high rent addresses it's  got the shopping and the nightlife. I looked up the translation  of the lyrics to english, and at least in the version I read it's an innocuous plea looking for a classy girl who doesn't bare too much skin that is nice.

Now, what the girl of his dreams has to do with Gangnam, I don't get the connection. But there have been 220 million views of the original video, and millions of views of the parodies that grow day by day as well as the flash mob clips. So I guess lots of folks are being entertained by this. And there's lots of articles in the media discussing just what it all means and such.

I think it's just a fun dance and people have fun doing it and with all of the serious stuff facing the nation and world, folks like an escape. Particularly a free one like this video.

You can search youtube also for gangnam style flash mob clips, and there's numerous ones of those.

I can't tell you anything about this PSY fellow, other than I found that video entertaining and then did some outright guffowing at the Deadpool parody, and it was a fun way to spend part of the evening. I think also I'm going to watch some of the other Deadpool clips, where apparently his costumed persona appears at such places as comiccon. That could be amusing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012



I'd like to see a couple of things.

My first suggestion is some sort of wrap around grip for a Peacemaker. You might have to remove the grip frame and spring but I'd like to have this product so much that I'd endure an afternoon to disassemble and reassemble a SAA clone to have a nice rubber grip over the stock one piece wood grips. OR it would be even cooler to have replaceable grip panels AND a one piece gripset for the SAA and it's variants, or at least for the more modern, uniformly sized guns that don't require "fitting" to match the grip to a slightly varied grip frame size.

I think I said that right.

My second suggestion is to start making some rifle stocks for some popular rifles out of your fantastic recoil absorbing materials. If your company doesn't want to have to make all the frame parts that such a stock would need, surely there is a stock making company or some company who would gladly make same to your specs, and then you could cover it in a thick envelope of that great grip material. A thick, shock absorbing envelope of a stock. Yowzaa.

I saw a cut down NFA firearm in an old ad and some blog posts from Wild West Guns in yonder in Alaska. They make the great Co-Pilot lever action custom rifle that I would really like to have. They also made a "Mare's Leg" sort of cut down NFA version from a Marlin 45-70, with a Pachmayr looking rubber pistol grip and forestock. I forget what it was called, but it becomes a highly effective defense and hunting gun with the laser he had attached to the tube magazine

The Pachmayr Decelerator pad works great on all my heavy kicking rifles, and I just think a little more of that rubber magic that you make in a whole stock would be a great thing for those of us always looking for a little less recoil in heavy kicking rifles.

I'm not sure, but it seems like Pachmayr made a rifle stock at one time for the Thompson Contender, back in the day. I know they made forestocks for the TC's, because I have several of them and they are great. I might be wrong on this, so maybe a TC expert can let me know.

My third idea is a lanyard hole in certain pistol grips for those fishermen, who are legion, who tote some kind of J frame or even K or N frame when near the water in fishing adventures for snakes and two and four legged predators. Some great Smith and Wesson guns come with a lanyard ready inset in the rear bottom of the grip frame, and with Hogue open back grips, you can hook your lanyard up to the gun easily. But most fishermen don't carry those guns. A nice lanyard hole, perhaps lined with a stainless lanyard tunnel, running above the bottom of the grip frame through the grip from side to side would provide a secure place to affix a lanyard yet with the liner it would ensure the lanyard itself would interfere with the revolver internals, particularly a spring.

My final suggestion is some kind of partnership with Crimson Trace. Their grip material blows. I'd have their grips on many of my revolvers if they were made of the great material that Pachmayr or Hogue uses. Whatever stuff they are making their grips out of are a fail to me. I don't like the feel of it and it doesn't handle well for me. CT's laser + Pachmayr/Hogue grips = something lots of folks would buy.


You can buy an extended magazine for the Kimber Solo but it is way too bulky for just adding one round and it's twice the size it needs to be for my hand. I truly value function over form (I like the FN 5.7) but the extended magazine base on the Kimber Solo accessory extended magazine is almost bulbous and twice the size of what it needs to be to get the job done for me in terms of pinky accomodation.

I wish Kimber would make a "half-size" extended mag, which would then perfectly fit my hand.  As it is, even with the stock mag that sits flush, it's not a hard gun to shoot. But call me old fashioned but I like to have my middle, ring and pinky all wrapped around the grip.

You could just cut that magazine extension you currently sell in half for the perfect sized grip. Or even add a bottom to the standard flush mag like a Pierce Grip extension on a Glock 26. What would be even cooler would be to have a "snap down" finger ledge like the Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact uses on it's flip bottom magazine that becomes a finger extension when flipped down. Otherwise, when in the up position, it's more concealable.

I think Kimber should think in terms  of design like the Walther PPK finger extension magazine or the kind of finger extensions that Pierce Grip makes for the Glock, Kel-Tec and other pistols.

Perhaps if Kimber won't do it, some aftermarket company will. Realistically, for Kimber, they could simply replace the spring and base of the existing stock flush mag as I said above with a PPK-esque type extension on it. I may even mess around with trying to attach some similarly sized lip onto a Kimber mag.

I've been real pleased with Kimber mags. I have had no issues with the officer  and regular sized 1911 mags and use those along with the most excellent Chip McCormick 1911 mags.

Maybe folks with extra large hands will find the extended grip for the Solo that Kimber currently markets a good sized grip, but the almost bulbous shape and large size inhibits the very thing the Solo is supposed to accomplish, which is concealability.


I'd like to have a non-ambi safety. I just don't like them. I need to check in and see if there is a factory conversion they sell to just have a pin instead of a lever on the right side of the gun.

The Kimber branded but made by Mitch Rosen pancake high rise holster is one of the finest holsters I've ever owned. I know I've said that about a lot of holsters, like High Noon and Bianchi and some others, but this baby fit perfect out of the bag. And a bargain on ebay. Fit and finish are el perfecto and as I said, it fit perfect out of the bag. Very secure and tight for retention purposes yet easy to draw. It's the perfect height placement on the belt as opposed to the size and weight distribution of the gun.

It is a very well balanced holster. It is a firm holster that even works with, egads,  a regular medium strength pants belt of the proper size and made of one ply leather. That's almost unheard of in gun toting. Yes, the Solo is a fairly lightweight pistol at about 16 oz unloaded, but there's lots of other holsters for other guns that won't work with a "normal" pants belt, where they sag or flop around or lean outwards,  all of which being unsatisfactory.

So this is a very well designed and well made holster. I need to see if he makes the 1911 holsters branded by Kimber.

That's a great holster, Kimber. It's not just a product, my friends, it's holster. It's as least as important as the gun that's carried in it. And holsters are very personal items, just like that favorite gun.


I don't know what the problem is. The M6 Scout combination .22 or .22 Hornet rifle/.410 shotgun should be imported by you again. You and CZ need to figure this one out. It's a fine product, but make a few important changes that will increase your market for this weapon. Hear me out...and by the way, based on what these go for used nowadays, you can sell these for three times what you last sold them for.

I've been told that the shotgun barrel and receiver of the .410 are tough enough to take the .45 Colt round, but the chamber requires boring or some kind of alteration, as does the end bore of the barrel. And all that is for naught unless you rifle the barrel. I've spoken with several gunsmiths who have enlarged the chambers and bores and rifled the bores to make what they think is the ultimate survival gun, capable of taking either a big bore centerfire, a .410 shotshell and a .22 or .22 Hornet. Quite a versatile weapon.

Make it happen. How hard could it be? Make that bore rifled and if necessary beef up the .410 barrel so it will safely chamber and fire the .45 Colt round in some hot loads.

Add some slip on recoil pads of different sizes, so that the LOP can be varied and some extra recoil protection for the shotgun and .45 Colt barrel recoil. Ideally, they could even be of the screw on attached variety, like the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle,  incorporated into the lid covering the ammo storage area and with a nice variable check rest made of some of the firm memory foam material and covered in a durable tarp material.

I remember when it was marketed at a show some 10 years ago, and how I thought I'd buy the first one I saw. IT WAS rigged to fire both the .45 Colt and the .410 shotshell, as well as the .22 (and maybe .22 Hornet). It had a different trigger mechanism altogether and a pistol grip and I'd buy one today.

Sorta like the ultimate Contender for close range use primarily. The perfect camp and fishing gun. Three choices of ammo to cover a variety of situations. With one of those tiny pistol sized Eotec type red dot rear sights on top, and a moderately sized laser/flashlight combo on the barrel, it'd be a highly accurate field gun either for food, defense, snake and predator use.

Put a nice set of Pachmayrs or Hogues on it as well, not some spare and painful metal grip with plastic inserts, or a hard plastic grip.

I really wish SA had marketed and sold this pistol. From all I've been able to gather, it was shown as a demo but never went into production.


Rumor had it that the reason Rossi isn't selling the combo .410/45 Colt chambering for the popular Ranch Hand lever action pistol is that the ATF had a problem with it as a short barreled firearm.

True, you can shoot shotshells out of the current calibers available in the Ranch Hand, being .357, .44 Magnum and .45 Colt. But it's not the same as a .410 coming out of that pistol length barrel for close range snake shooting.

Not hardly the same at 'tall.

I can't understand this rationale if this rumor is true. Surely (I know, Shirley) it can't be true. I can't resolve this logically or legally because a handgun like the Thompson Contender has been openly sold as a .45/.410 barrel and model for decades. I bought mine in that caliber twenty nine years ago this December and with all the fixin's like a holster, a side hammer extension, the Pachmayrs and a few other things, it was just over something like $300, with a nice TC second gen receiver and a very very very blue bull barrel with a vent rib. It got shorn in Pachmayr grips and foreend before it was ever shot with the wood grips and is a dandy.

Likewise, the Taurus Judge line of revolvers openly marketed as a .45/.410 chambering. Also, the several brands of derringers marked in this same chambering. And there's some heavy duty and not so heavy duty single action revolvers that take both cartridges.

So if the rumors are true, why can't Rossi sell the .45/.410 Ranch Hand in the US? I'd love to know. I've read what folks say on forums and at I think a few gun mag and interweb mag sites, but would like to know ther real scoop from the company.

So what's the deal?


I've seen the "tactical" lever actions introduced and I think some aftermarket stocks, which are basically the same old tired CAR-15 stocks that have changed little in decades. Instead of a takedown gun, I'd consider a lever action trapper sized gun with a 16" barrel and a pistol grip stock, with some kind of substantial recoil protection in a side folding stock. At the rear of the pistol grip, it would fold to the left side, leaving enough room for the hand to hold the pistol grip.

Or it could even be a removeable stock, where it could be instantly slid on or slid off of the pistol grip. In both cases, the gun would have to conform to state and federal laws about barrel length and overall length, but I think most guns modified this way would be of legal length, just figuring and visualizing it in my head.

I don't want a tactical lever action, but I'd like a side folding stock for one.


I want one. The only way I will ever get one is if some American company makes it in semi-auto, or unless there is some way for a foreign company to make one. Frankly, given the nature of the Saiga AK shotgun import frenzy from Russia, I'm surprised that some company there has not modified a variant into semi-auto that can't be made into full auto version of this fine bullpup shotgun. I don't have my ear to the ground as far as who's making what where and what's on the drawing board, but seems like this is a solid enough weapon and a new variation that bears marketing in semi-auto.

Friday, September 14, 2012


 I wonder if it exists? I have seen the industrial sized jonboats, the kind often used for commercial pier construction and dredging barge operation and the like in various Texas bays and some in deep East Texas used on rivers like the Trinity for serious trot lining. The kind that have a big sides (gunwales?) that extend several feet above the water, not like the usual low riding jonboat that has 10 inches or so above the waterline.

I've seen these industrial jonboats with various types of canvas covers from half to full, to give the working men some shade. I even saw one boat a couple of years ago in Rockport dredging a harbor channel using a barge and running the barge from the jonboat. It had a great half cover over the back of the boat, looking like some kind of merchant boat you'd find on a big river in Africa or South America, where movies of those rivers have boats like these with partial or full covering or a roof, if you will.

There are lots of conventional boats that have either full or partial covers that shade the passenger compartment, and likewise larger sailboats have them as well. Lots of center console boats have bimini tops of various sizes. Problem is, usually you've got to have a boat of some substantialness to have a cover of any sort to withstand wind without blowing over a smaller craft. I've not conducted any trials but wouldn't think a canoe or a sit on top kayak would fair well with any type of cover, even a bimini style.

One of my more well heeled friends, the Judge, who is about to retire, just bought a trawler from up in the Northwest in Washington state or somewheres up that way. It's a HUGE boat, and has a downstairs cabin that sleeps 6 or so with a head and kitchen and such. He replaced the furnace that was built in the cabin with a huge air conditioner and moved the boat to Florida, where he plans to fish the Keys in this great craft, taking kayaks and perhaps a smaller boat towed behind.

In any event, he'll be cruising in air conditioned comfort when not fishing, or when needing a break from the sun.

Years ago down in Port Aransas, Texas, there was a now-defunct diving shop that rented these two seater catamaran kayaks for folks to take out in the bay and I suppose, ocean, and use as a diving base.  They were big enough to hold a couple of tanks, and they had two seats SIDE BY SIDE. All of the kayaks you can find that hold two folks are those where you sit one behind the other.

There's a brand of catamaran kayak currently being made that is a solo one person craft but kind of resembles the one I rented for fishing in the the protected bays of the area. The one I rented was more substantial than the single person version I've seen, and would take up to a 5 hp outboard and had a high weight capacity.

That's the kind of craft I'd like to have, some kind of two seater craft with storage behind but where the occupants sit side by side, and have a folding cover not unlike those used on paddle boats that flips up and covers the passenger area for some shade action.

The older I get, the more I like having available shade when outdoors. When at the beach for any length of time, I generally erect a small tent, really a mini-cabana that can well shade two or three,  that we got years ago for just such a purpose. On boats fishing,  I generally have always tried to go very early in the morning or late in the evening into night time, all in an attempt to avoid getting too much sun and getting way to hot in these heatwaves we've been having for several years.

So I need to find a balance for a boat where I can affix some sort of sun covering/shade to provide some shade when out fishing in the brutal sun.


So here's just a silly thing to think about. But I was, for some unknown reason, thinking what guns General Patton would carry if he were alive today and at about the same age he commanded in WWII.

I've read an article in some magazine while waiting in the grocery store about the guns that Patton carried. I know he had a nickle plated, ivory handled  Colt SAA in .45 Colt and a Smith and Wesson ( Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum) Registered Magnum in .357. I read that at THE INTERNET FIREARMS DATABASE, which is a beaching heck of a website, but I've read most of this info about Patton's guns elsewhere as well. Can't vouch for it other than that.

As I recall, Patton's Registered Magnum, which later became the Model 27, sported a 3.5 inch barrel.

I'll note that I've see in the recent past one of these with a 3" barrel and a "classic" deep blue Smith and Wesson blueing job. It's "el expense", as my friend Roberto used to say, meaning very expensive at near $1400, and it hasn't moved for over a year. For me, it's one of those guns I'd love to pick up in a trade deal in a little used condition, but can't justify the price on a new classic model.

Yet, it beckons from that showcase window, and it is certainly one of the most beautiful handguns I've ever laid eyes on. And it's the blueing that makes it so nice to look at. That bull barrel, at 3" with nice full wood grips from days of old, with the absolutely what can only be described as stunning blueing job. I mean, I've some some GREAT blue jobs (at stores on very expensive guns), but this might be the very best I've ever seen.

It's a serious looking gun with serious heft to it and shoots the stiffer .357 loads well due to it's weight. It's stout. No wonder Patton thought it to be a worthy gun.

It's fun to go on IMFDB and see what guns were used in your favorite movies. They have quite an extensive database, but I'm still wondering what kind of gun Buddy Ebson toted as Barnaby Jones. It was some kind of .38 or .357 looking Colt or Smith with a tapered 4 or 5 inch barrel as my memory serves, and I haven't seen an episode of that in over 30 years. But yet, I'm curious as to what he was toting, and there is no listing for that show on the IMFDB.

Does anybody know what kind of heater that Barnaby toted?

But back to Patton. I've heard the story several places that he had a matching pair of Colt SAA's but gave one away as a gift.

I also read in an article that he referred to his .357 magnum Smith and Wesson as "his killing gun". Again, I'm not authority.

I thought he sometimes also carried a 1911 on occasion, but I could be wrong. The IMFDB says he also carried at times a Colt 1903, a standard military officers pistol at the time.

So I hope to get some responses here, but what would Patton carry in today's military if in Afghanistan or some other locale? They apparently called him "Two Guns" because of carrying the pair of Colt SAA's and then after gifting one of them, replaced it with the Registered Magnum. So let's assume he's carrying at least two guns.

And to make it more interesting, how about what kind of small assault rifle would he probably carry when "in country"? And let's assume he'd carry a backup gun of some sort, in addition to his two belt guns.

We know that the wonderful EL PASO SADDLERY COMPANY made Patton's holsters and belts, and you can still buy the identical model from a company in business for over a century.

To ramble a bit more, I'm a very satisfied customer of El Paso Saddlery. I have several of their holsters, bought both new and used, and they rock. Their pancake holsters for large guns like the 1911 Government and the Browning Hi Power make those guns virtually disappear under the right garments. I have an abbreviated pancake for a 3" 1911(also works with a Browning Hi Power) that makes it invisible under a thick t shirt and a full size one  for a Browning Hi Power (also works with 1911). The larger one is lined and both are very nice and carry well. Most importantly, they draw well.

So let's assume Patton would use the same belt rig for whatever he's gonna carry. He was a traditionalist, so the modern day Patton very well might carry the same sidearms, the "Colt .45" SAA and the Registered Magnum.

Then again, maybe he might actually see some point in having at least one high capacity firearm. I'd like to think he pack a 10mm Glock Model 20 or a Model 21 in .45 ACP, based on their well known reliability, accuracy and potency.

Or maybe he might like the FN 5.7 x 28 caliber in the FN FiveseveN. 30 rounds of a potent rifle caliber. These would be outstanding combat pistols but alas, you couldn't put Ivory grips on either one.

I guess you could put Ivory grips on some Sig pistols that allow grip replacement. Certainly, a Sig would be a respectable choice in any number of models, as would various other high capacity combat pistols from FN, Smith and Wesson and other makers. The new FN .45 looks to be an awesome gun, particularly with the add-on mini Eotec type sight on it.  

Maybe I'm wrong here, and notwithstanding the fact that Patton had some ornate pistols apparently, I'm thinking he's the kind of warrier that valued function over form. Perhaps that's why he carried revolvers instead of the 1911 or even the Browning Hi Power. So he might be carrying a more plain jane gun if he felt it was the most effective, and I submit there is a reasonable chance he'd find the performance of either the Glocks or the FN as impressive and outstanding.

Maybe he might be enamored with the Beretta 9mm's that our forces have been using since the 1980's (has it really been that long?) and might have a nickel plated version with Ivory grips

He might go the traditionalist route and pick a 1911. I'd also like to think he'd be impressed with the Colt Python, as it was introduced after his time. I think you're neck and neck in comparing the Python with the Registered Magnum in terms of both being great guns, and although I myself prefer the Python, I'd still like to own a Model 27 one day. He could have both form and function with the Python, and perhaps he would have thought it a great gun.

The Model 29 in .44 Magnum undoubtedly would have interested the guy who carried a Model 27 when he could carry anything he wanted. I think Patton would recognize the increase in power over the .357 and being a warrier, he might have wanted that power. Although some stout loads of the .45 Colt can come close to some lower level magnum loads, the stout .44 Magnum loads drawf them.

He could also have a mighty fancy but serious, and I mean serious  ammo (if you've ever shot a Model 29 with some superhot magnum Corbon ammo, you know what I mean). You could engrave it, and Ivory grips and such could adorn it.

Here's my suggestions for a modern day Patton in Afghanistan or the Sudan or Yemen or whatever hotspot he might be in. He'd carry at least two guns in public and in combat, but perhaps just one gun when behind the lines or at HQ. I think, in this day and age, a guy like Patton would have a back-up gun as well, either in an ankle holster or in a boot holster. He seems like the kind of guy who'd have a back-up gun in one boot and a boot knife in the other.

One gun might be a Glock Model 18 selective fire. Yes, it's 9mm but yes, it's small, it's reliable, and it's a submachinegun that can ride easily in a belt or shoulder holster and accurately spit lots of lead very quickly and accurately.  I think Patton would have the internal laser as well, making the most of technology. 

I'd like to think maybe Patton might wear some kind of Jackass Leather type horizontal shoulder holster (Made by EL PASO, of course)  with the Glock 18 (with extended 33 round magazine) on one side and another gun on the other. You could easily rig a couple of spare mags under the Glock holster and have the extended mag carriend in the gun, or carry the smaller Model 17 magazines.

With all the different vehicle and air travel Patton would do nowadays, seems like a Jackass type rig would be well suited for getting in and out of armored vehicles and aircraft and the like. All the police helicopter pilots I've known have used shoulder holsters because they say belt rigs get in the way of the seat belts.

For the other gun, I'm gonna say a Smith and Wesson Model 29 nickel with a 4" barrel and Ivory grips for the other gun in the shoulder holster. Sheer power.

If I were making his rig, I'd have some loops on the front part of the shoulder strap on the revolver side, and some kind of mag holders under the holster proper on the Glock side.

Maybe for his HQ gun, where he has access to other long guns and hopefully tons of well armed security, something in a shoulder holster, he could sport a SAA in a M3 shoulder holster. Or even a 1911 or Beretta, to make some kind of nod to tradition. Again, I'm thinking he'd go with the 1911 over the Beretta if given the choice.

Maybe Patton would like the Beretta, but given his preference for serious big bore and magnum calibers, I'm thinking he wouldn't care much for the Beretta, except for maybe the machine pistol version that seems to be based on the Beretta 9mm, the one with the folding foregrip. He might like that a lot.

So here's my guess: A Glock 18 with an extended mag in a horizontal shoulder holster on one side, and a 4" Model 29 on the other.

For a long gun it could be anybody's guess, and I'll leave that to some commenters hopefully. Maybe.