Five Most Wanted?

Robb Allen gives this challenge. Money or usefulness not being an object, what five guns would I get? Easy.

#5 – Pocket cannon. These things are somehow even dumber and cheaper than a NAA Mini, but it would be soooo fun to have one! At $30, I honestly don’t know why I haven’t bought one yet.

#4 – Mateba Unica 6 Autorevolver. I must admit that I am a sucker for weird guns. Maybe it’s a little sci-fi fanboy of me to want one of these abominations. At least I didn’t say Desert Eagle! 😛

#3 – Beretta UGB25 XCEL 12-gauge shotgun. And frankly, even though it comes with a 28 or 30-inch barrel, I’d probably hack it down to around 22-inches. (Hey, this is my money-no-object fantasy here, and I’m making this up as I go along.) For those of us who believe breach loading your house gun is a more useful option than recharging a tube mag, a semi-auto with a single round magazine hanging off the right-hand side of the gun sounds like a sweet proposition for a home defense scattergun!

#2 – GE GAU-8/A 30mm. Even thinking outside of the realm of usefulness or affordability, this one stays pretty ludicrous as on option to own, which is why it didn’t make first place.

And so…

#1 – Ma Deuce, baby! That’s right, kids. Normal people get a Rolex when they’ve finally ‘made it’ in life. Not me. Imma buy me a M2 Browning machine gun. Hellz yeah! This truly is my Holy Grail gun.

Yeah. In fact, if I could have one and only one any gun designed by John Moses Browning, it would have to be his beautiful M2. You can keep your 1911. All joking aside, this list would probably be completely different from day to day (and yet, a Registered Magnum didn’t make today’s list somehow) with the exception of the .50 Cal.

Madison Rising

(cross posted on In Jennifer’s Head)

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Zack S, to promote an upcoming video by the freedom-loving rock band Madison Rising. After listening to the song in question, I told him that I’d love to embed the video when it came out, and asked if I could get some promotional materials to send out to my readers. So, it is my pleasure to present the brand new music video of their song “Right To Bear”:

I highly recommend buying the album. The song in the video is probably one of my least favorite on the album, to tell you the truth, even though it rocks, if that tells you anything. You can listen to samples of their other songs on the website. It appears that this album is available both on physical CD and through iTunes through the link above the embedded video. Madison Rising promotes the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility. They are standing up beside Starbucks, in the light of the antis ban, and are completely unapologetic RKBA supporters. These are our people.

The sound is unique and great. Bray’s vocals are well-delivered but gritty. Sam Fishman owns the drums, blending traditional rock beats with military sounding cadence at times. The accomplished guitarists Christopher Schreiner and Alex Bodnar bring the whole thing together with nothing less than professional rock technique. The refreshing and unconventional conservative themes sound almost out of place with the style, but these guys make it work. Actually in truth, I’d recommend almost everyone buy this one, because you see, to sweeten the deal, Zack sent me three signed copies of the CD. I’m listening to one of those right now, even as I tap this out on the keyboard. Two lucky readers will receive the other two signed copies.

DSCN6156

And yes, that is a pair of S&Ws behind the CDs. It just seemed appropriate. I had a ton of fun helping Jennifer with her Gun Casket giveaway, and I wanted to think of something silly to do on this one. So, here’s my half-baked plan… Recently, we picked up a bingo cage on a clearance sale:

DSCN6158

I’m pretty sure this was a store return because the packaging was pretty well demolished, it didn’t come with the cards, and it is missing a ball. I didn’t bother to check and see which of the 75 balls is missing. Yeah. I want to keep this interesting. Simply put a comment on this post and the post on Jennifer’s blog about the video and band as well, and post three numbers from 1 to 75 in your comment. We’ll give one CD away based on the comments here and one based on the comments there too. So, if you comment both places, you’ll get two chances to win, but you can only win one CD, and only one pick per blog please. Basically, the person with the most numbers guessed that get rolled wins. For instance, if Dude One picked 12 22 70 and Chick Two picked 12 35 24 and the numbers drawn are 12 47 24, Chick will win. In the case of a tie, we’ll pick whoever was closest on each differing number. So, in that case, if we drew 12 20 72, Dude would win. You get serious bragging rights if you can guess which ball is missing from the set. You get a bonus prize if you guess all three numbers exactly, especially since you have something of a one in 170-billion chance of getting all three right. I don’t know what it will be, but I’ll come up with something for you. Maybe we’ll video the drawing itself and see how confused we get by the ridiculous rules I just made up. Anyway, I hope you enjoy Madison Rising as much as I am, and I hope you’re just as excited about the free signed CDs!

Close Encounter in the Woods

Last night, Jennifer posted about our foray into hog hunting. We were originally intending to go with Daniel S, but that fell through at the last minute due to work constraints. I’m sure we’ll catch up with him at a later date. Jennifer tells about us sitting in the dark, waiting for the legal time to start shooting and waiting for the pigs to explore the bait we left out for them.

The property where we hunted is a family farm, and there is a small tree blind permanently mounted on the premises. The original assumption was that we were going to set up in this tree blind. When we scouted on Friday, I climbed the blind to inspect it. Not. Gonna. Happen. The dilapidated 2×4 construction is approximately 3.5-feet long and maybe 18-inches wide, missing several boards, and has a ‘hand rail’ consisting of a young, green branch tacked to two trees with a few nails and some twine. Although the whole thing is probably no more than nine feet in the air, it ticked my acrophobia all over the place and felt more like fifty feet. So for better or for worse, we decided to set up in the brush underneath the tree blind (I really hate irrational fears).

We arrived at our location on Saturday morning and were set up and waiting by 6:00. We had a pint-sized thermos full of espresso and a quart-sized thermos full of apple cider. We had each brought our M4geries, loaded up with high-dollar ammo in special magazines, and we each had a .22 rifle as well, in case of small game. So, there we sat in the dark with our rifles, warm drinks, and nature. We quietly whispered to each other from time to time, but mostly sat quietly listening to the stillness around us. You ever get that feeling you’re being watched? Has that feeling ever caused some level of small panic? Sometime between cups of coffee, the feeling hit us and the hair stood up on my neck. It was about 6:30 when we heard movement in the brush to our left. It had to be around fifteen yards out, moving slowly. We could hear each deliberate footstep crackling in the leaves and pushing twigs aside. It was a dark and moonless prior to sunrise, and nothing was visible through the brush in the ambient light. When we attempted to use our flashlights, the brush was thick enough that the subsequent glare completely obscured what was behind or within it. When lit, the animal would remain still and wait for us to turn the lights off. After a few seconds, we would hear it creep again. It circled around behind us, where the road is, and slowly approached us, coming down the foot trail that we had come down earlier. Again, we attempted to light it, but could not see the animal. For the record, if I had seen Bigfoot on my first hunting trip out in the woods, I wouldn’t tell anybody. Eventually, the animal’s curiosity was satiated, or it decided that we weren’t all that interesting, or it decided that we didn’t look like we were worth the effort for breakfast. One way or another, it left the way it came, and slinked into the adjacent wood.

A couple hours later, after we had discovered that our ‘blind’ was not in the least concealed or even construed by the surrounding brush, and had been staring at our unnoticed bait for some time, and finished off some ten shots of espresso and some now cool cider, nature called. I quietly whispered to Jennifer that I was going to walk up the trail a little way and shed some coffee. I slowly and quietly made my way up the foot trail, looking for tracks to attempt to identify whatever had checked us out earlier. I didn’t see anything but boot prints from the two of us on the foot trail. Then I got up to the road and found fresh tracks. They were cat tracks, and they were in excess of four inches wide! They were wider than the tread on my boot, and sunk a good 3/8-inch into the soil at least. It’s fair to say that the animal was into the 200’s-lb range, judging only by the impression in the earth. “Oh holy *expletive*!” That’s what Jennifer heard from my position. We had come out to stalk and yet had become the stalked.

I knew that there were lions on the property, as I’ve seen their tracks of various sizes. This was by far the biggest of them to date. That makes about the fourth one, assuming that there aren’t any that are identically sized. It makes me wonder if we’re seeing a mother and her maturing cubs. Rumor has it that the young will stay with the mother for a couple of years. What’s really sad about our Saturday morning encounter though – I carry a tape measure in my pocket and there’s a 5-megapixel camera built into my phone, and I still didn’t think of taking any pics. *Sigh.* As much cougar activity as we’ve seen, I’m sure this won’t be the last encounter we have with the big cats.

I’m astounded at the proliferation of wildlife on the family property in recent years. When I was younger, it used to be the standard fare of birds, with a few deer and a den of coyotes. Once we found a boar skull, but there was no additional evidence of hogs at the time. The coyote population has obviously thinned out, possibly driven out by the cougars? Recently though, we’ve seen massive amounts of hoof marks, both pig and deer. There have been the distinct prints of a few coyotes, but not nearly like they used to be, smaller canine (possibly foxes?), and bobcats in addition to the aforementioned cougars. We saw what we are pretty sure were opossum and skunk tracks as well.

There are certain supplies that I really want on hand next time around. I’m actually starting a grocery list on my phone devoted to hunting supplies. I know that we’re going to be many hunting trips in before I actually feel like we’ve got most of what we’ll need – that’s just the way it seems to work. And so, we didn’t shoot anything this time. We still had fun. What’s fun about getting stalked by lions in the freezing dark for so long that your legs go to sleep? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to do it again!

Free Stuff Teaser

Later this week, I’ll announce a give away that I imagine you people will be interested in. Here’s a teaser…

UPDATE: Imagine my surprise when I found out I can actually drop the real bomb this afternoon! I suppose this afternoon is later this week than this morning…

Squirrel Aftershock

I’ve always known people who hunted. Always. And yet, I’d never been myself. I remember my grandpa always had a freezer full of venison, elk, and wild birds. He was hard-core. He carved a lot of walnut stocks, and I saw him turn a barrel or two on his lathe. I’m not sure what he was doing to those things, but he was cutting metal off of them one way or another. I loved that place. It always smelled like wood and metal and machine oil. He had a welder and every tool known to man in that little shed. He never looked too thrilled about us kids coming to his magical wonderland workshop though. Regardless, he sporterized more military rifles than I’ve laid my hands on, and wild-catted more calibers than most avid handloaders have dies for. This includes a rifle that started life as a K98, chambered in something he and his brother called “.375 J.B. Express”. I have no idea what that is, but it sure sounds cool! He had a Japanese Arisaka with the bolt handle bent over. He left behind a swath of project guns, some complete, some not started, and a few that were somewhere in between. He died when I was twelve. After that, I had friends, relatives, and even coworkers who hunted (maybe not to such extremes, but constantly and in plenty).

With the slap-dash hunt that Jennifer and I went on that produced a single, tasty rodent for us, a fire was lit in my soul. Something inside me came alive that I can’t totally describe. I’ve thought more about five-round rifle magazines and safety orange this week than I had in the combined previous thirty-three years. What I do know is that today I took delivery of a box. It didn’t come off the Brown Truck of Happiness, it was the other guys this time. This box contained three boxes of ammunition, each with three-color printed graphics and a foil label on the end. This stuff is so guaranteed to kill Bambi that it has depictions of antlers all over the packaging. It has a clever little diagram on the back of the box illustrating the skived tip, pressure-formed core, molecular-fused jacket, and optimized boat-tail profile of the projectile itself which “unleashes performance unthinkable by any other means”. I figure that if it’s really all that badass, it will kill pigs just fine. This stuff cost as much as my self-defense ammo, and it looks way fancier. What in the world is happening to me?!?!?

Then again, I laughed until I snorted, watching my fifteen-pound cat try to crawl into the 4x4x6-inch corrugated cardboard box the ammo was delivered in. Yeah. Good luck with that, genius! 😀

Derringers – Please Stop.

Alright, people. I really don’t want to get into a fight about this, but it’s a risk I’m going to have to take, and please don’t take this as an insult. I’ve tried to be nice about these things, but they are now driving me nuts. Go and look here. I’ll wait. It gets even worse when you add the word “cobra” to the same search. In fact, it even gets this ridiculous:

I don't remember making that...

What is that old saying? Photoshop is the highest form of flattery? I don’t know how I became the de facto derringer holster maker. I don’t want to be the de facto derringer holster maker. I should probably point this out as well before I go on this rant. Again, I’ll wait. Ready? On with the rant!

Anything you can do with a derringer, you can do better with a different gun. There. I said it. Usually people think they want a derringer until they learn the truth of that statement. There are a lot of folks that errantly think that a large hand gun will be awkwardly difficult to conceal, and will weigh them down. Most people are shocked at how big a gun they can easily wear with the right holster. Some think of a little two shooter as being the absolute most compact gun available. This may have been true at one point in time, but it very simply no longer is. These guns may be charming in their classic style, but they are not accurate shooters by any measure. Although derringers are an economical choice, there are other affordable guns out there. They very simply are not an ideal choice for any reason.

At least once, Tam quoted her “Shootin’ Buddy” as saying:

The less somebody knows about guns, the more they want a derringer.

Although I find this statement to be humorous, and I may have it engraved on a derringer one day, I don’t find it to be completely accurate. I would be far more apt to say that the less somebody knows about holsters, the more they want a derringer. And, that is no insult. Too often, ignorance is used as an insult when it should not be. Ignorance is merely a vacuum of education. I know of nothing more advantageous than well-directed ignorance. Frankly, it’s people that already know all the wrong stuff that you have to watch out for! No, when I’ve asked my derringer toting customers why they choose the derringer, more often than not it’s because they don’t feel like they can carry anything bigger than a derringer. This saddens me, because 99.99% of the time, it is patently false.

When I started making holsters as a hobby, I had friends and family ask if I would make holsters for them. One of Jennifer’s coworkers asked me to make a holster for his .38 Special Cobra. I was really excited to get to design and make a holster for a Colt Cobra revolver. But no. He sent his Cobra Derringer home with my wife for me to make a holster around. He described the format that he wanted in a holster. I sighed, I drew, I cut leather, I stitched and dyed, and delivered the brown and red thing that you saw in the Google searches linked above. This was something like the third holster I ever designed. I’ve had so many people from the internet contact me for a copy of this holster. At this point, I’ve learned so much about making holsters that this one makes me cringe. I could design a better, more useable, more concealable, more comfortable, and more easily accessible holster for the same gun in about two minutes while heavily sedated. Plus, two ammo loops? Seriously? If you’re really going to go to the trouble to carry a reload for your derringer, you should be carrying your spare ammo in strip loaders, not in leather loops. Then again, if you are carrying a gun, you should carry something more than a derringer, in my humble opinion.

My brother carries a full size 1911 and two ten-round magazines concealed by an untucked t-shirt. He’s 5’3″ and weighs about 140-lbs. No big deal. Sometimes he carries his 9mm XD when he wants to travel a little lighter. Jennifer and I went to a Halloween party this year and dressed ‘goth’. It was pretty fun. I wore tight leather pants and a fitted, sleeveless t-shirt. I carried my M&P45c in my tuckable rig, tucked in under said fitted t-shirt.

Bang bang!

The host of the party as well as several other guests were guessing (nearly taking bets) all night as to whether or not I was packing. Including a local cop who was a guest at the party! Frankly, I might have forgotten I was carrying had they not been constantly reminding me with their banter. I did reveal that I was carrying my M&P plus two magazines much to the shock and amazement of everyone there, who had all pretty well decided that it was impossible that I could have been armed. For size reference, I’m 5’6″ and weigh 145-lbs. My wife is 5’4″ and weighs about 120-lbs currently. In other words, she’s not big. Oh and, she’s cute and she dresses like a girl. Her daily carry is the mammoth FN FNP45 Tactical with two extra magazines.

Sci-Fi calls it a tactical "Wheaties Box."

That’s FORTY SIX ROUNDS of .45ACP that she has on her person, in case you don’t feel like doing the math yourself. It has a 5.5-inch barrel threaded for a can and is noticeably larger than a Government model 1911 in every dimension. If my wife can comfortably tote around that kind of firepower without being detected, I can put a gun on you. I don’t care who you are or what challenges your situation presents, I can hide a gun on you. I can hide a gun on you that will pack more than two shots of deadly force that will be comfortable to wear and easy to access if the need arises.

I’m not asking everyone to carry a gun the size of a toaster that’s threaded for a can and milled for a co-witnessing optic. Just carry something competent enough to give yourself a fighting chance! In the paragraphs above, I have shown three examples of not especially large people wearing full-size fighting pistols chambered in .45ACP with extra magazines full-time. If you see me clothed, I’m probably wearing my gun. I personally do not even own a compact gun. I would like to get myself some pocket pistols and snubby revolvers, but I just haven’t yet. Frankly, full-sized pistols and revolvers are far better research material for someone who designs and makes holsters. They’re more of a challenge and they stretch my skills. When I can hide N-frames and full frame pistols on you, the pocket guns are easy. But the point is, it’s easy to hide a gun that’s plenty more firepower than a two shooter.

So, you may ask why shouldn’t you carry a derringer if you want to? My friend and accomplished firearms instructor, Will, refers to these things as “a really loud pocket knife” since “if you are close enough to poke them, you’re close enough to shoot them.” This seems to match my personal experience with their accuracy, or as I like to say, if the muzzle is brushing the target, you’ve got about a 50-50 chance of hitting it. The gun I was referring to was the aforementioned Cobra .38 Special with the 2.75-inch barrels. The two barrels did not shoot to the same point of impact, for crying out loud! Take a look at a high quality snub-nosed revolver for contrast. With its 2.125-inch barrel, I can reliably hit a smaller passenger car at well over 500-yards with Jennifer’s S&W 640.

Yes, that's what I'm doing here.

You may ask what if money is an issue. What if you can’t afford the $750 MSRP Magnum snubby? Not everyone can afford that. I can appreciate that. Their model 442 has an MSRP of $300 less, and its aluminum frame is practically the same weight as the derringer (respectively 15oz vs. 14oz empty per each manufacturer). There are other, less expensive revolvers in the same format for even less money from Charter Arms, Taurus, and others, not to mention the new polymer/aluminum offerings from S&W and Ruger. Aside from these, there are too many guns to list in this write up that meet the bill for affordable protection. Keep an eye out at pawn shops and the used racks at gun stores.

What if you don’t like wheel guns? Great question! Please take a look at this very well made chart which illustrates to scale FORTY tiny pistols in five common centerfire calibers in addition to a J-frame revolver and a full size 1911 for comparison. Save it to your hard drive. Every time you hear someone saying that they’re thinking of getting a little gun, print it for them. Take a look at this:

Tiny weapons!

What you see here are three of my solid aluminum dummy guns. These are made dimensionally identical to the real thing. From left to right, you have Ruger’s LCP, Cobra “Big Bore” Derringer, and Rohrbaugh R9. Size difference? Maybe a hair. What do you think? With the gun in the middle, you get two shots of .38 special if you can manage to thumb cock the hammer and squeeze the stiff trigger before the bad guy makes you eat it. You’ve got seven shots of .380ACP in the Ruger. Even better than that, you get seven shots of Honest-to-God 9mm in the Rohrbaugh. The pistols recharge incredibly faster too. In the days that the Bersa Thunder was considered a small .380, I might have conceded that there was a place for a two-shooter. Not anymore. Now, the Rohrbaugh isn’t even so unique as there are new sub-compact 9mm pistols being released all the time.

What about the thickness of the guns? Does a .38 derringer have an advantage there? Let’s see…

The Ruger measures in at a svelte .81″ thick.

The 9mm Rohrbaugh measures a paltry .88″, shockingly enough.

The grip on the derringer is about 1-1/8″ thick. Even at its rear sight/barrel hinge, it measures a relatively portly .94-inch:

Going back to my beloved snubby:

Is this gun ever NOT dirty? No, it's Jenni's! :P

Even across the cylinder, the J-frame measures 1.3-inch. We all knew it would be wider than the derringer, but it’s not by much. Personally, the payoff in firepower, accuracy, and shootability is well worth the size difference to me. My point is that there are options. Every example you can come up with in which a derringer would be ideal, I can come up with another gun that would do the job that much better. Please don’t go armed with nothing but a derringer. At least, don’t let the excuse be that you don’t think you can carry anything else. A good holster can do things that seem downright miraculous.

Am I telling you not to get a derringer? Of course not! If you want a derringer, please get one for yourself. Just make sure it’s not your go to gun. Get a good holster for a good gun to protect yourself. I’d love to make you a holster, but if you use this advice to buy a good holster from someone else, I won’t have my feelings hurt either. Am I saying that there’s not a niche for derringers? Well, not exactly. In fact, I’ve often thought that maybe I should get a derringer and keep it loaded with shotshells to use as a snake gun at the farm. I may have just convinced myself to get a snubby instead!

Squirrel!

Yesterday, Jenni and I took steps to go further down the rabbit hole of gunniness. Neither of us have ever been hunting. I dispatched an errant rabbit once, but that was about the extent of my animal harvesting experience. The rabbit got hit with a 25-grain .22 CB Cap. The slug went in in front of the left shoulder and exited behind the right. The lungs were liquified and death instantaneous.

We had been scouting squirrel activity in a particular Sooper Sekrit location for months. Yesterday, Jenni and I woke up early (for a Saturday), gathered guns and ammo, swung by Academy to pick up our Resident Annual Hunting Licenses and continued on to said location. It was easily below freezing and the tree rats were not very active. Our boots and socks proved not to be sufficient insulation. However, I had some chemical toe warmers in my BOB that we employed. It ALWAYS pays to be prepared.

We saw only three or four large squirrels in the trees, but didn’t have much of a shot at any of them. Until one large female approached us towards noon. Jenni nearly got her several times with no success. It was not that she took a missing shot either. It was that the squirrel moved into a less shootable position before the trigger broke. It was when I had her sighted in that she stretched out and presented her left side, as though she heard a noise coming from that direction. I cracked the shot off. The animal sprung two feet straight up and collapsed into the brush below.

“Nice!” said Jenni. When we collected the game, we could not immediately see the injury. She looked so pristine in fact, that I put another shot into the base of her skull from point blank just to be sure. It wasn’t until we started skinning her that the initial shot was obvious. The shot went in just in front of the left shoulder and stopped at the lower rib cage on the right side. Lungs were liquified, death instantaneous. I don’t know why people complain about having to chase small game after the shot. Just destroy the lungs so you don’t have to worry about it! 😛 Honestly, if every hunting shot I take is so ideal, I’ll be shocked and feel very lucky.

The shot was at approximately 40-yards with a Winchester M69A (.22-lr bolt action), with a 26-inch barrel and a Lyman micrometer peep sight. I was shooting CCI .22 CB Caps again. This combination is so whisper quiet that hearing protection is laughably unnecessary. In fact, this is quickly becoming my hunting caliber of choice. It’s quiet, it’ accurate, and it’s devastatingly deadly. The animal was about 24-inches long from nose to the tip of the tail.

We skinned and processed it into meat before the carcass was cold, saving the heart (still intact), liver, and kidneys. I’m drying the tail as a trophy, Jenni is tanning the pelt, and I placed the head and paws on my brother’s front porch as a prank. He didn’t appreciate my humor, so I cleaned it up later because I felt bad.

jan 21 squirrel

Observations:
*I wish we had been able to take ten squirrels each, but it was not meant to be on this trip.
*Now, I want to shoot something bigger. I can’t wait until DanielS comes for our feral hog shoot. I hope I get a 500-lb sow! -But, not with .22 Short.
*While Jenni was sighting the animal in, she commented that her heart was racing. I had to smile, as I completely understood the sentiment.
*I now understand why some people devote their entire lives, every second of their free time in fact, to hunting. It is that gratifying.
*Although we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, I can understand how this is definitely not for everyone.
*Never eaten squirrel before, but there’s enough meat in the freezer from this one that it should make a lovely little dinner for the three of us.
*The toe warmers made the trip. Next time, I want a thermos of something hot to sip on as well. Spiced cider would have been a life saver.
*I now realize that I want to carry all kinds of meat packaging material, para cord, folding utility knives with those hook blades instead of the trapezoidal utility blades, latex gloves, hand wipes, and a shock and weather-proof digital camera.

Wait. What?

So, I’m on email lists with a few different companies, mostly because of when I signed up for contests and giveaways. One such company is The Gun Source. On Wednesday I received a marketing email from them which contained among others, the following image:

TacShot

???

It certainly looks as though the front and rear sights and optic don’t line up with POI. Then, it has the 45-degree rail adapter with nothing attached to it and an awkwardly mounted flashlight. How many sighting systems do you need on a shotgun, anyway? I’ve never really wanted anything beyond a good bead at the end of a vent rib. It’s completely possible that this is an odd perspective and everything lines up like it’s supposed to on the actual gun, but it certainly does look like a gun that somebody just threw a bunch of available crap on for the photo.

Damn Straight, We’re Winning!

Elle Magazine published a great article that very nicely illustrates the mentality of a new shooter.

My first thought is, I can’t believe how loud that was. I’m wearing earplugs, but you don’t just hear the firecracker noise in your ears; you feel it with your whole body. Even if, like me, you’ve never handled a gun, they figure so heavily in the entertainment we watch—from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to Sarah Palin’s reality show to movie trailers and video game commercials—that firing one for the first time is a weird combination of startling and banal. Guns are (pardon the pun) loaded with so much cultural baggage that you think you know what to expect. You don’t. TV gunshots sound and act no more like real gunshots than construction-paper snowflakes resemble real snowflakes.

My next thought is, I want to do that again! I have an immediate, exhilarated reaction. Partly it’s that what I’ve just done initially frightened me, so there’s a sense of a limit overcome. For many people I know, guns remain unreal—the accessories of fictional characters, or at least of the Other, not you and yours. Yet to fire a gun is to realize you can do it: You can operate one, understand how it works. Shooting gives me a rush that comes from a feeling of (admittedly incomplete) mastery.

H/T to Guns, Cars, & Tech via Sebastian

A Holster For A Soldier

Cross-posted from InJennifersHead.com

click for giantification

Yeah, it’s cool. It’s all leather. It’s digicam. These pictures have not been edited. Not even cropped.

How’d he do that? Nope, I’m not telling. It’s a special magical proprietary process exclusive to TheHolsterSite.com. Got an image you’ve always wanted on a holster? Talk to Michael.

All that is freaking cool, but it’s not the coolest thing about this holster.

Not in the least. The coolest thing about this holster is that it will soon be on the hip of a soldier in Afghanistan. And we don’t even know which one. All because Michael got an email that said this.

I am the platoon sergeant for a small detachment stationed at a small FOB in Afghanistan. My unit is hosting a super bowl party for ourselves and the US CAV units that we support here in Afghanistan. Also invited are all DOD contractors and DA civilians. We will be sending an invitation to all of the coalition units that are represented here. Currently there are 14 other countries that are represented.

Our intention is to have a football pool for the game. No fee will be required from those who participate as gambling in not permitted and there will be officer along with lower enlisted present. We would like to give out 20 prizes, during commercials (as we cannot view the super bowl commercials on AFN), 1 at the end of each quarter and 2 during half time. No one will be permitted to win more than 1 prize as to ensure that at least 20 people receive a prize. My command and I that are hosting will be exempt from receiving a prize to ensure the appearance of propriety.

We are seeking donations as our FOB has only a small PX with the bare necessities. We estimate that at least 250 people will be in attendance due to the weather. Our hanger has the best heating system; we also have a projector that we brought with us that will allow us to project the game onto a 12×30 white conex that is inside.

Any help in this event will be greatly appreciated.

And since Michael is really not kidding when he tells you he supports our troops, he answered.

Dear Sir,

Sounds like a worthy cause. How would a promotional, custom, hand-made leather holster to fit a Beretta M9 as a prize giveaway sound? Please let me know. Thank you!

–Michael

The holster pictured above is currently winging its way to Afghanistan. Wanna see more pictures?

Of course you do. Like the picture above, clicking will make huge.