Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 2, No. 15 30 November 1994
Troubled times indeed!
Here at the Gunsite Sconce we are involved in a very large
correspondence. This means that I communicate with a great many
different people, though possibly their political diversification
may not be great. As it happens, however, the people I talk to,
both in person and by mail, seem to be divided into three
categories. In the first are those who feel that the United States
and Western civilization in general are in trouble. The second is
composed of people who feel that we are all involved in very deep
trouble. And the third group feels that we are tottering on the
brink of disaster. No one, of course, can predict the future, but
when we, as a nation, have placed our faith in democracy - a
form of government which depends essentially upon the virtue of the
people - what hope is there when such virtue no longer exists?
We should not be pessimistic, especially at this time of year, but
the republic, as well as our culture at large, is in for rough
times - and rougher ahead. Let us hope that we are worthy of
the sacrifices of our forefathers!
Recently in the waiting room of an office
in Prescott we heard a customer, looking at us, remark, "The man
has a pistol." My response was, "Yea, we just won the election!" I
do not know if the customer got the point, but I did enjoy the
The Revolution of `94 went quite well, as
everyone is pleased to see. It is now up to the new team in
Washington to take advantage of the mood of the times. The
Billary Administration must remain in the saddle for another
two years, of course, but having lost both stirrups and one rein,
it may be that the horse has more to say about the direction of
travel than the rider.
It is vital that we must not go limp simply because we won a
battle. That was not the whole war, and much fighting remains
ahead. In the pursuit of liberty we can never relax.
You all noticed that the part played by
the NRA in the Revolution of `94 was significant. Some of the
losers claim that it was decisive. May it be so! Most of the press,
and even some of our own membership, have recently taken the view
that the NRA is a paper tiger, unable to make any difference where
it counts. This is just not so, and the shooters of this country
remain a political force to contend with despite the complaints of
the limp left. Sign up a new member every month! Only by doing so
can you discharge your duty to the republic.
A correspondent recently attempted to
convince us that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should
now be referred to as "ATF" rather than BATF. We disagree strongly.
As long as this nefarious branch of the federal ninja may be
referred to as the "BATmen," we have a certain semantic
We note the announcement of the new "450
Rigby" cartridge. This is a proprietary round suitable (for the
present) only in the 450 Rigby rifle. Its ballistics are just a tad
short of those of Baby, throwing a 45-caliber bullet at a starting
velocity of 2,350. I do not know why this cartridge is needed when
we now have a good assortment of practical heavy cartridges for
bolt-action rifles, but need has never been an important factor in
cartridge design. The combination of rifle and cartridge should do
very well indeed for those fortunate enough to be able to hunt
heavy animals. We wish the combination all success.
After much juggling around it now appears
that our rifle class at Whittington Center is set for 3-8 April,
and that is just one session. If the demand appears, we will
(Future pistol sessions are not yet firm.)
The following material is from
for November 21, 1994.
"We simply do not understand. Assault rifles were
banned by the crime bill. The crime bill passed. Even Republicans
voted for it. It was signed into law. Assault weapons are illegal.
You cannot have one. Nobody has one. They are all gone. They will
never bother the decent citizens of this country again. Crime has
ended. We outlawed crime. Nobody could have shot at the White House
with an assault weapon. Clinton flacks must have made up the whole
"Of course it wasn't an `assault rifle,' but a Chinese automatic.
That's okay: half the people who supported the crime bill didn't
know the difference either."
Those of you who wondered what "PPC"
signified in the design of some new cartridges may stop wondering.
Those three letters stand for Pindell Palmsano Canucce. Now you can
While assisting in zeroing operations for
the current elk season, we discovered again, as if we had ever
forgotten, that almost the first thing one should check when taking
out a rifle which has been out of use for some time is the solidity
of the telescope mounting system. All telescope mounting screws
should be locked tight and checked for that before any attempt is
made to zero the piece. Three of us forgot that last month and were
much embarrassed at the result.
Those of you who feel the need should
note that Don Mitchell is now offering a 10-round magazine for the
1911 pistol. You can inquire about this from,
Mitchell Arms, 3400 West MacArthur Blvd, Santa Ana, CA
You may have missed it, but a memorial
was recently set up to honor the memory of the four ninja who died
in the Waco massacre (by whose hand is not clear). It did not last
long. It has been removed by persons unknown and not yet
As to that, it seems to me that a monument to the eighty-odd
innocents who perished at the hands of the feds at Waco might be in
order. It seems likely that money for such an operation could be
easily amassed, and think what a blow that would be for the cause
of liberty at this time!
Our man in the megalopolis informs us
that the word is now out that Aristide has offered to send troops
to Washington in order to maintain the Clintons in power.
"The Boers knocked us silly at a mile." I
am a great admirer of Mr. Rudyard Kipling, but the notion that the
Boers were spectacular "long shooters" is without accurate
foundation. The Boers were hunters who lived by their rifles. Any
hunter knows that the rule is to get closer if you can. The
difference between a deadly shot and a lesser man is concentration.
When an experienced hunter presses the trigger he knows that he has
a clean kill. Too often a soldier shoots only to make noise or to
provide "suppressive fire," which, as the saying goes, "doesn't." A
spectacular example of this occurred on the summit of Majuba Hill
in 1881. The two sides enjoyed no particular difference in
efficiency of armament, but where the British fired by volley, the
Boers shot to kill. The range varied from 75 to 25 meters (we
walked it!), and the effect of carefully delivered fire at short
range was simply appalling. The panic that ensued has been
minimized in the journalistic accounts written in English, but
anyone can go to the site and relive the experience on the ground,
if he so wishes.
We were once told personally by General Robert Cushman, Commandant
of the Marine Corps, that the only thing that really scared him was
the one occasion in the South Pacific when he encountered carefully
aimed rifle fire from the Nips. He told me that he thanked God that
this was the only occasion on which the Nips seemed to be able to
Only hits count. Perhaps we forgot to preach that in the
In our concentration on Lon Horiuchi, the
man who shot Vicky Weaver in the face while she was holding her
baby, we must not forget that he was not the only one involved. One
Richard Rogers, of the FBI hostage rescue organization, is the man
who set the rules of engagement both at the Randy Weaver ranch and
at Waco. As far as I can determine, he is the man who gave the
orders that Horiuchi carried out. Richard Rogers - this is a
name to bear in mind.
As procedures for implementing the new
concealed-carry law in Arizona proceed, we are amused by the
provision that the applicant must be exposed to sixteen hours of
qualified instruction before being certified. So how do you suppose
the good people in the state house came up with sixteen hours? Our
guess is that they took the number of days in the shortest month in
the year and subtracted from that the number of months in the year.
Alternatively they could have taken the number of hoofs on a cow
and multiplied it by the number of paws on a dog. It should be
obvious even to a legislator that the number of hours one is
exposed to instruction has nothing whatever to do with the amount
of information imparted. A man can sleep through sixteen hours of
instruction just as well as he can sleep through thirty minutes
thereof. However this is not important. The important thing is, in
the words of Patrick Henry, "That every man be armed." As long as
we screen out the loonies, the rest will take care of
In that connection I should point out that at least one certifying
officer in Arizona uses our film "Liberty's Teeth" as part
of the sixteen-hour session necessary for certification. Applicants
can sleep through that too, but we would like to think that we hold
their attention for at least some of the period.
We are informed by our man in Guatemala
that the BATmen are now active there. Just what excuse there
is for funding these unpleasant people in their activities overseas
is not clear. The sooner the BATF is abolished, the better. Why on
earth it now seems necessary to send these people overseas to look
after the record-keeping for American citizens seems ludicrous. It
is clear that once an organization is founded and funded at the
federal level, it looses sight of its purpose in life and simply
seeks to perpetuate itself - at whatever costs the taxpayers.
Let us pray that the new boys in Washington understand
"Judging from Waco and the Weavers, the feds are almost
one hundred times more likely to kill an innocent person than a
We have recently been reading up on the
life and times of Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, properly termed the
"Tiger of Tennessee." This was an amazing man, declared by no less
authority than U.S. Grant to be the finest general of the
Confederacy. When our Civil War broke out there was a lot of
enthusiasm but little organization, and one of the things most
notably missing on the Southern side was simply the firearm. This
did not bother Forrest very much since he simply stipulated that
anyone who wished to join him must furnish his own horse and "gun."
The result was that the majority of Forrest's troopers in the early
part of the war were armed with double-barreled shotguns. This
traditional fowling piece may certainly not be the ideal personal
weapon for the infantry, but in the hands of a bunch of howling
horsemen attacking suddenly out of the dark it was decisively
effective. Always outnumbered, Forrest attacked mainly at night,
and at night a shotgun has a great deal to be said for
We have scheduled an IPSC meeting at Las
Vegas in connection with the SHOT show to be held there in
mid-January. The purpose of this meeting, which I am to chair, is
to settle upon a proper format in which to conduct practical rifle
competition in coming years. This procedure is complicated by the
fact that the governments of the world are in general opposed to
the practical use of the rifle by private citizens. There are other
obstacles that will occur to you. In any case, we intend to kick
these matters around on 18 January and see if we can come up with a
workable consensus. May God defend the right!
We seldom go to the movies anymore, but I
have always had a persistent taste for Westerns, and it does not
seem to be so very uncommon. During the Thanksgiving festivities,
it happens I caught two modern, big budget Westerns largely to see
how they had improved over the more traditional examples, if at
I discovered some interesting things. The first, the weaponcraft
has shown no significant improvement. While the directors may be
careful to use firearms which are correctly assigned to the period
under discussion, they do not understand that Hollywood holsters
are a development of the post war world. It is interesting to see a
gunfighter of the 1880s portrayed as drawing from a 1955 model
The second point which intrudes is language. The conventional
obscenity of the 1960s and since was never used in the 19th
century, as far as anyone can determine from informal writings and
conversation. On the other hand, there are forbidden words today
which were commonplace in the 19th century. The result is the
portrayal of people whose speech is totally unconvincing.
A third point, and probably the most critical, is that Hollywood
has now discovered "Post Operational Trauma" (POT). The notion that
a man will get all shook up after he has killed another is a
post-Korean War development. Nobody from Little David to George
Patton was ever upset after he had killed a man for a good reason.
Furthermore, this POT business is not common today, as we can tell
by talking to participants in current violence. To have some
legendary "gunfighter" of the old West go all to pieces because he
has just shot the bad guy is ridiculous, but, like arugula, it is
fashionable, so we must not criticize it.
One good thing we noted about the Westerns was their demonstration
of the principle that Personal Unilateral Disarmament (sometimes
referred to as "gun control") is absolutely useless in the
suppression of crime. "No guns in town" has always been the first
step of the oppressor.
I am sometimes asked why I do not do more
literary work on the subject of defensive pistolcraft. I hate to
say it, but the answer is that I believe that I have discovered
what I need to know about defensive pistolcraft. I know what works,
and I have proved it. No subject of this sort may ever be
considered completely and finally closed, but I have not seen
anything written nor heard anything spoken within the last decade
which has caused any fundamental change in doctrine or equipment
The subject of personal defense is far more psychological than
technical. As soon as you decide and insist that you will not be
victimized, you have done more than any weapon can to provide for
Bear in mind that a legal verdict of
"innocent" does not mean that the accused did not commit the
felonious act. For example, Hinckley was found "innocent" of
shooting Reagan, but there is absolutely no question that he did.
All a verdict of "innocent" means is that the legal procedures in
force at the moment could not establish a fact "beyond a reasonable
doubt." It now appears that our football player may be found
legally innocent of murdering his wife, but he knows what he
did - and so do his attorneys.
I say again, as forcefully as may be,
that one should not go for buff on his first time out. On your
first African excursion you should go for antelope, zebra and pigs,
if you choose, but do not stake your whole enterprise on one
If you go to the right place you may indeed connect, but the
buffalo experience may or may not be the Wagnerian climax that you
expect. It is quite possible to deck a buffalo with no drama at
all, and if you have saved and saved, and planned and planned, and
sacrificed and sacrificed to get to a place where you get your
buffalo, see him, fire one shot, and watch him drop in his tracks,
you may well get the notion that you have spent your life hunting
the wrong thing. Buffalo indeed can provide excitement, but a
really dramatic buffalo kill is about as probable as a really good
bullfight. If you do not work up to it, you may not even appreciate
it if it happens. The African experience should be enjoyed for its
own sake and not for the sake of any specific objective. The joy is
in the hunt itself and not in the trophy. The buffalo is grand, but
he is by no means the only reason to go to Africa.
The Scout rifle project has aroused a
good deal of interest, but there is still a bit of misunderstanding
about the concept. Fundamentally, no one can appreciate the merits
of a Scout rifle until he has used it under field conditions. One
cannot make assumptions about it based upon theoretical
speculation, because a Scout rifle when properly set up constitutes
an accretion of increments which together constitute an object
which is greater than the sum of its parts - a synergism.
Thus one cannot build an approximation of a Scout and expect
results. The job should be done right or not at all.
"If I can't get within three football fields, it is not
my rifle that needs the work."
Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal
use only. Not for publication.