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Saturday, August 30, 2008

The 'Palin Factor'

America goes nuts every few cycles and elects a loon from the left. This is usually because they are sick of Republican 'establishment politics', etc. The fact is that there are still lots of hippies left (although most of them have arthritis now) and these folks are the stock & trade of the Democrat party. A Clinton or Carter comes along, and viola- we have a Democrat president. This is a situation we usually soon regret.

The Republicans learned to capitalize on this and they cleaned house in '80 and again in '94. They also earned the ass-kicking they got in 2006 and the public exposure of several their more perverted/corrupt members, cost them any 'moral high ground' they might have gained in the post-Clinton years. In fact, the GOP has wussed-out to the point that it stands for practically nothing. Add an increasing disapproval of the Iraq War, and in 2008 you have the 'perfect storm' for a total Democrat takeover of government.

Except for one thing. Obama scares the socks off normal, 'salt-of-the-earth' folks and it has nothing to do with his color, which like the rest of him is indefinable. I would vote for a Walter Williams or JC Watts so fast it would make your head swim- and I've even got a Confederate Flag License Plate which the family bought me on a trip through Alabama!

No, it is Obama's past radical positions and associations which normal folks abhor- and we're not talking 'distant past' or 'youthful indiscretions' here, either. We are talking the intentional aligning of oneself with anti-American factions-cop-killers, racists and admitted bombers of government buildings-for the express purpose of furthering his political career. This worked a little better than even Obama might have anticipated, at least within the kook-fringe of the Democrat party. So with apologies to my Southern, Truman, and 'salt-of-the-earth' Democrat friends- I am sorry to say that the kooks are now running your party.

So now Obama is catapulted onto the national stage, resplendent in his TV preacher glory and with all the free advertising and fawning that the mainstream media can muster. The loons are ecstatic and people of color are rightfully overjoyed that they have finally have 'A team in the Super Bowl.' The problem for the rest of us is that this particular QB has a history of downing the ball when things get scary, or just throwing it to the other team when it suits his purposes. And in a world at war, the 'other team' wants to bomb and burn 3000 of us to death in public buildings on US soil, cut our heads off, or convert us to Islam at the point of a sword.

Obama's answer to our concern over these matters is to ridicule us for clinging to our Guns and Bibles. Small wonder that he gets little-to-no support from US Military personnel- who spend their days clinging to both as they fight to protect us from radical Islam.

McCain isn't conservative enough to scare 'salt-of-the earth' Democrats; hell, McCain is practically a Truman Democrat himself. The big difference between Harry and McCain is that Harry actually liked guns (and I have seen and /or handled much of Harry's collection) but McCain scares the heck out of gun-owning libertarians and conservatives. But now he has drafted Sarah Palin- a sharp, 100% pro-gun, Reagan-esque conservative-

...who is also the worst nightmare of government waste and corruption. Sarah is much loved by the good people of Alaska and her willingness to sacrifice time away from that paradise, in service of her country, speaks well of this lady's sincere belief in public service. She is exactly the tempering element that a McCain presidency needs, to make it palatable for freedom loving individuals and gun owners. And if McCain thinks he picked himself a 'yes woman' in Sarah Palin, I believe he will have been sadly mistaken.

And that is the attraction of this ticket. McCain for the military folks, moderate Democrats and Republicans alike, and Palin for the libertarians, the ladies, the gun owners and the Reagan conservatives.

Against that, an Obama-Biden ticket don't stand a chance. There simply aren't enough kooks and radicals to elect them.

Thank you, Lord. God bless America.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The “CID” Holster, from Simply Rugged

April of 2008 found me in Anchorage, Alaska awaiting the birth of Ms. Scarlett Coble, who ultimately decided she was going to arrive on her own schedule- regardless of what Grandma & Grandpa thought of it. We had a great week and one of the highlights was that we got to meet Rob Leahy and his wonderful family. Rob is the is the gifted designer and craftsman behind Simply Rugged Holster Company of Wasilla, AK.

Rob knows that I bet my hide on the 1911, on a daily basis. I was pleasantly surprised when he slipped me the russet-brown belt slide at the end of the evening, It was executed in Leahy's trademark 'understated elegance'- deep color, just enough luster and some border-stamping to give it panache. Rob mentioned that this holster was a new offering for Simply Rugged and he'd like for me to give it a try. I thanked him profusely and assured him I would do just that. Subsequent correspondence resulted in it being dubbed the 'CID' Holster, which old cops will recognize as an acronym for Criminal Investigations Division. It is a fitting name for a holster which gives excellent service in that capacity.

The CID is a 'minimalist' design with an open top and no secondary retention devices. It is a tribute to the 'KISS' principle, as applied to the concealed carry of a substantial sidearm. A few practice draws proved it was quick, and with just enough passive retention. I immediately put it to work toting my 1911 around Anchorage and the surrounding area. One of the first things I noticed about this holster was that it tucks the gun butt in close to the body, without requiring the belt to be cinched overly-tight. This is a boon to those of us who are 30 or so years past 'rock-hard abs and pants sizes in the twenties'.

Over the past four months I have used this holster hard- and in situations not typical for a belt-slide holster. For instance, I slapped the CID on an old pants belt over some PT shorts, and went woods-jogging with a Condition 3 1911 under a baggy T-shirt. The gun stayed put. I have bounced it around on mowers and equipment all summer, with equally satisfactory results. I also think it would also be an excellent holster for hunters who like to carry a big auto under a hunting coat. Check your locals laws on this first however, so you don't get crossways with a game warden or state trooper.

Around town, a tail-out summer shirt hides the CID quite nicely. A light jacket or suit coat makes it disappear altogether. It is as comfortable as any belt slide holster I've ever worn. You can even get away with wearing a full-size 1911 under a T-shirt, if you use some common sense.

Forget for just a moment though, and turn facing a light breeze- you can make any holster print when wearing a big handgun under such a light cover garment.

Being an open-bottom holster, the CID for a 1911 will carry an Officer, Commander or Government Model and I would expect this attribute to extend to most other handguns as well. Its minimalist design makes it perfect for the the Colt Commander, Sig P220 and other similar-sized handguns. I also think it would be a great match for revolvers with barrels under four inches.

It was probably apparent from the outset that I consider Rob Leahy a friend. He is and that term, like my endorsements, is not something I throw around loosely. The fact is that I'd trust the man with anything I have. I don't know about you, but that's exactly the kind of people I like to do business with.

So whether you're a hunter, double-naught spy or just an 0ld flat-foot like me- click on the blue links, and have a look around. I'll bet you'll find good, solid value and designs that live up to the company name.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

WHY the .45 ACP?

All too often, internet firearms discussions degrade into 'X vs Y' battles, terminating when the moderators tire of blather-broadsides between 'attention hoes' and debate team wash-outs. Once in awhile however, a real gem surfaces- and it can take the form of a question that makes us actually use that three pounds of gray matter which occupies the space between our ears and eyes. Such was the origin of today's topic and credit goes to 'Firepower' over at for asking it.

I have a long and happy association with the .45 ACP, mostly because it just works. It offers big-bullet thump at very low pressures and the decisiveness of that 'thump' has been proven for nearly a century. When seasoned with common sense it is suitable for small to medium game; as a target round it is literally in a class by itself. In fact, the old .45 ACP handles so many handgun chores so well, you may find you don't really need another centerfire handgun cartridge.

The array of factory loads for this cartridge is downright dizzying and far too diverse to cover here. But for an idea of what's available simply go here for a look at what Midway has to offer.

Personally, my factory .45 ACP ammo needs are met by just a couple of factory loads. Practically anybody's 'hardball' load suits me just fine; and Winchester's 'USA' 230 grain JHP load has proven reliable, accurate and capable of excellent expansion. I trust it enough that I carry it on duty, or anytime the gun might be needed for its original mission.

Handloading the .45 ACP adds even more versatility. Wanna go light? Try 4.0 grains of W231 under a 200 grain LSWC, for about 626 fps. This load is accurate enough, works the action of my full-size 1911 every time and it shoots to point-of-aim out to about 30 yards. It is an excellent small game load and has dispatched vermin up to about 30 pounds, with authority. Recoil is nil and firing a couple of rounds without earplugs is not unbearable.

The Author & Rita the Saber-Tooth Rat-Dog, salivating over a kill.

For a target and general-use load I like that same bullet over 5.0 grains of W231, for about 830 fps. It also shoots point-of-aim and groups better than I can hold it, at 50 yards. It would serve well for defense and punches a nice, full-caliber hole. This bullet can be driven past 1000 fps without straining anything, if velocity is your bag.

'Third-gear' to this old '45 man' means 255 grain bullets at original .45 Colt velocities- 850 to 950 fps. John Taffin wrote an excellent article on handloading the .45 ACP, to accomplish just that. Folks, the amount of meat and bone such a load will bore a big hole through, must be seen to be believed. A friend with a sick 400 pound hog provided me with that opportunity. This load penetrated about 16 inches of tough critter, obviously grinding bone on the way across; it was found under the hide of the offside shoulder. I have also shot it through the heaviest shoulder & hip sockets of butchered bulls, and it drilled right through those with penetration to spare. I have killed some game with the .44 Magnum and I can tell you with a straight face that the .45/255/SWC at 950 fps will out-penetrate typical 240 JHP loads from the .44. I consider them on equal footing for big game at close range.

Here's a tip for those new at loading the .45 ACP, or any auto pistol cartridge for that matter. Get yourself a quality taper crimp die. Although it adds an extra step, it will save you headaches down the road. I use Hornady's TC die in this caliber and recommend it highly. I have enjoyed trouble-free feeding ever since I started using it.

And last but not least, there are the guns themselves. My admiration of the 1911 is well known, but it is by no means the only good .45 out there. The Sig P220 is a first-class DA pistol and the little Cobra .45 is getting excellent reviews. Glock, Springfield and FN produce polymer-framed .45 ACP pistols. Wheelgun nuts have the Ruger Blackhawk .45 ACP/Colt convertible and the Smith & Wesson 25's and 625's to choose from. Taurus even made a 5-shot snub for it and Derringers can be had in .45 ACP as well. If you're 'shopping used' you might even find an old 1917 Colt or S&W if you hunt around long enough.

We Americans love our .45 ACP's, and for good reason. It is a uniquely American invention that works even better than the day it was introduced. It got us through two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and a host of other difficulties and police actions. It continues to keep good men and women alive when the chips are down. It'll do to ride the river with.

So if you haven't tried the old .45 ACP, you really ought to give it a whirl. It is, after all, the American thing to do.