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Monday Meanderings: Taurus wants more, and I (again) get some nice press.

The Truth About Guns alerted me last week to the new Taurus ad campaign. It’s the gun industry version of the sappy and vaguely patriotic campaign commercial, complete with an insipid soundtrack and earnest voice-over by the candidate. Well produced, but it’s going to take more than glitzy PR nonsense for me to take Taurus seriously as a defensive handgun maker.

Instead of telling us how they’re going to be great, I’d be more impressed if they just went out and did it. As much as I admire Jessie Duff, her presence doesn’t tell me anything about whether the guns actually work. I am, however, keeping an open mind. With me, it's all about the quality: if their guns get better, I'll recommend them. If not, I'll continue to tell people to stay away from them for any serious use.


In his blog over at American Rifleman,
Wiley Clapp gives a nice review of my Gun Digest Book Of The Revolver. I'm very pleased that it continues to garner great reviews, and to have someone of Mr. Clapp's reputation appreciate my modest contribution to the shooting world is immensely gratifying.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Doing good work.

I've never been much on television commercials; I routinely ignore them, and the most annoying I mute. Such is the case with Larry Potterfield's ads for Midway USA. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a satisfied Midway customer and will no doubt continue to be, but it's just that I can't stand Mr. Potterfield's voice. He annoys me to no end.

However, I think it's worth celebrating the fact that he is among the most generous figures in the shooting industry. He, his wife, and his companies have donated huge sums to the shooting world over the last few years. The latest is a
$1 million grant to the National Wild Turkey Federation for a new youth shooting sports program they have planned.

A million dollars. That's a lot of scratch by anyone’s standards, and it's not the first gift he and his wife have given out - to all kinds of shooting activities and organizations. Ol’ Larry may not make the best pitchman in the world, but he's doing right by the shooting fraternity.

Good on you, Larry.

-=[ Grant ]=-

The back-slapping starts in 3...2...1....

On Monday I got an email from a reader who alerted me to this
press release from the Discovery Channel. Seems they're premiering a new reality series about a Louisiana gunsmithing concern and their day-to-day activities building, selling, appraising, researching, and shooting a wide variety of firearms.

Titled "Sons of Guns", it starts on Wednesday, January 26th. (Hmmm....trying to take a bite out of the Outdoor Channel's "Wednesday Night at the Range", are we?) It sounds interesting, and I'll no doubt tune in - unless it turns out to be a sensationalistic train wreck like Top Shot, of course. In that case I’ll curse their waste of my extremely limited television viewing time!

Though I haven't checked the intertubes for confirmation, I suspect that there's a lot of talk about how this is somehow proof we're winning "the culture war" around guns. Don't get me wrong, I think mainstreaming gun ownership and use is a good thing, but I've always been uncomfortable with the whole premise of the "gun culture." I don’t believe that we should be Balkanizing our country by creating our own subculture, but instead educating the rest of the country that responsible gun ownership and use is an indelible part of our shared
American culture.

(If one accepts the notion that a tool can and should become the identity of a societal subset, then why isn’t there a "cast iron frying pan culture" or a "socket wrench culture”?)

Folks, when ESPN finally figures out that POKER IS NOT A FRICKIN' SPORT and instead gives Todd Jarrett and Julie Goloski-Golub a show of their own, then I'll celebrate. Until then I'll simply watch and be happy that someone is catering to our uniquely American interests.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Another interview!

I must apologize for being a bit late with this one. Last month I was interviewed on the "Meet the Smiths" segment of the Personal Armament podcast. I'd planned to put a note on the blog when the interview was published, but forgot about it until yesterday. That’s when I fired up iTunes for the first time in several weeks, refreshed the podcast list, and -- there it was!

The podcast is a good listen even when I'm not the guest. (Hmm. That sounded vaguely conceited, didn't it?) Rob Robideau is a solid interviewer; he asks great questions, and is flexible enough to pursue different lines of inquiry when they show promise. Most interviews are heavily edited, but he's polished enough that what you hear is pretty much how we recorded it.

As I find time I'm downloading and listening to his back episodes, and they are terrific.

You can
listen to my interview here, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Hope you find it interesting!

-=[ Grant ]=-

A worthy cause!

On Monday I mentioned that my bore cleaner of choice is Ed's Red, the popular homebrew formula. I've used it for many years, and have been satisfied with its performance over a wide range of firearms.

If you don't regularly read the comments section, you may have missed a note from Ed himself. He's always coming up with something that's new to me, and this time he revealed that Brownell's carries Ed's Red in convenient bottles, all mixed up and ready to use!

I had no idea, but that's not the end of the story. Turns out that a portion of the sales of Ed's Red goes to support the Junior's programs of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association. That's reason enough to buy Ed's Red over any competing product. Well, that, and the fact that Ed's Red works!

If you're a Brownell's customer, put
a bottle of Ed's Red on your next order. If you're not a Brownell's customer, you should be!

-=[ Grant ]=-

Supporting our own.

SWAT Magazine TV, hosted by the irrepressible Rob Pincus, has been nominated for a Telly Award at YouTube. It's not often that gun-related shows get the recognition they deserve, but in this case we can all help the cause.

Click here to go to the Telly Awards site where you can vote for SWAT Magazine TV. Share it with your friends, your family, and anyone else who has a stake in the growing public acceptance of firearms and shooting.

-=[ Grant ]=-