Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back to the GRPC this morning, to listen again to the shining stars of the gun rights movement.

If I had one single thing to take away from yesterdays speakers and discussions, it's simply this:  Every Single Person involved must take part, and when this happens... we win. It's been made very evident in the last few years as gun owners chock up win after win.... but only when we all get out and make ourselves heard!

One more point, and it's one that speaker after speaker made..... this upcoming election may be the most important, and most dangerous, of our lifetime.   Just as our economy has been a on a roller coaster to hell, so could our civil rights be.... and that's a cliff we must fight to avoid.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Appleseed at the GRPC

Attended the Gun Rights Policy Conference today, I had the honor of keeping company with as fine a bunch of people as ever before.  The people from the Florida edition of Appleseed.

Later, when I recover from a very busy weekend of listening and speaking to the brightest minds in the gun rights movement, I'll report more on what they had to say.  Now though, a few words about Appleseed.

Of all the tables displaying valuable information from good meaning people at this conference, the Appleseed table is the busiest by far.  This a conference attended by people who CARE about what is happening in this nation, and what is happening to our gun  rights.  People who understand the value represented by Appleseed and the work performed by all those volunteers around the country.

This interest in Appleseed, as much as anything else, renews my spirit and gives me hope for the future.

This last photo, of a fine lady holding up the Appleseed poster.... is a study in contrasts and a stunning display of all that is right.... and wrong.... in our nation.

The GRPC this year is being held at a hotel that is not close to an airport, but is actually INSIDE the airport.  Those people you see in the background (through a glass wall) are the TSA, doing what they do worst....

Friday, September 28, 2012

WOW! The GRPC is a real Who's Who of this civil rights movement!

(Dollars to donuts they find my chubby butt hiding in the back and kick me out.....)

27th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference

September 28-30, 2012

Hyatt Regency Orlando, Florida, Airport

FRIDAY, September 28, 2012—Regency Ballroom

7:00 p.m. Registration Table Opens

7:00–9:00 p.m. Reception with Cash Bar

Co-hosted by Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) and Second Amendment
Foundation (SAF)

Music by the patriot rock band Madison Rising

SATURDAY, September 29, 2012—Intercontinental Ballroom

7:30 a.m. Registration Table Opens

 Beverages hosted by Women & Guns Magazine

8:00 a.m. CALL TO ORDER

 Moderator—Julianne Versnel, publisher, Journal on Firearms & Public Policy, director of operations, SAF

 Color Guard—University of Central Florida, Air Force ROTC

 National Anthem performed by Madison Rising

 Invocation—Rev. Anthony Winfield, chaplain, Elmhurst Hospital Center, New York City

8:10 a.m. State of the Gun Rights Battle

 Welcoming Remarks

The Road Traveled—Joseph P. Tartaro, executive editor,, president, SAF

The Road Ahead—Alan M. Gottlieb, chairman, CCRKBA and founder, SAF

8:30 a.m. The Most Dangerous Election of Our Lifetime

 Maria Heil, board member and spokesperson, National Rifle Association

8:45 a.m. Federal Affairs Briefing

Mark Barnes, president, Mark Barnes and Associates

Jeff Knox, managing director, Firearms Coalition, gun issues columnist

Larry Pratt, executive director, Gun Owners of America

Joe Waldron, legislative director, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

9:15 a.m. State Legislative Affairs Briefing I

 Hon. Sam Slom, Minority Leader Hawaii Senate, trustee of the Second Amendment Foundation

Sandra Barreras, Puerto Rico, Damas de la Segunda Enmienda

Jim Irvine, president, Buckeye Firearms Association

Richard Nascak, co-executive director, Florida

Patrick Shomo, president, Maryland Shall Issue Inc.

9:45 a.m. Beverage break hosted IAPCAR

10:00 a.m. State Legislative Affairs Briefing II

 Stephen Aldstadt, president, Shooters Committee on Political Education (SCOPE, Inc.) NY

Thomas Bolioli, secretary, Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc.

Don Moran, president, Illinois State Rifle Association

Tony Montanarella, president, California Rifle & Pistol Association

Philip Van Cleave, president, Virginia Citizens Defense League

10:30 a.m. Global Gun Control: Down but Not Out

Gary Burris, founder, Lone Star Shooting Association

Sheldon Clare, president, National Firearms Association of Canada

Julianne Versnel, publisher, Women & Guns, director of operations, Second Amendment Foundation

Maj. Gen. Allen Youngman, USA (ret.), executive director, Defense Small Arms Advisory Council

11:00 a.m. “Stand Your Ground” Laws under Fire

 Eric Friday, Esq., counsel for Florida Carry

Jon Gutmacher, Esq., firearms instructor, attorney and author of Florida Firearms -- Law, Use & Ownership

11:20 a.m. Protecting the Right to Protect

Mark O’Mara, Esq., defense attorney for George Zimmerman

11:45 a.m. Q & A on Morning Panels

12:00 Noon Recess and break to prepare for box luncheon

12:15 p.m. Awards Luncheon Hosted by CCRKBA and SAF


U.S. Representative. Joe Barton (R-Texas 6th Dist.)

Ambassador Donald A. Mahley

Otis McDonald, lead plaintiff, McDonald v. City of Chicago

Awards presentations

1:30 p.m. Recess Break

1:45 p.m. Fine-Tuning Arms Rights in the Courts

 David Jensen, Esq., SAF counsel in Kwong vs. Bloomberg, Moore v. Madigan and Piszczatoski v. Maenza

 Donald Kilmer, Esq., counsel to CalGuns Foundation and SAF

David Kopel, Esq., research director, Independence Institute, co-author, Firearms Law & the Second Amendment

Dan Schmutter, Esq., legal counsel, Association of NJ Rifle & Pistol Clubs

2:15 p.m. The Second Amendment and the Legal Community

Bobbie K. Ross, Esq., Chair, Second Amendment Civil Rights Litigation Subcommittee, American Bar Association

2:30 p.m. The Realities of Self-Defense in Washington, DC

 Emily Miller, senior editorial page editor, The Washington Times and author of Emily Gets a Gun

2:45 p.m. The “Fast and Furious” Fiasco

 David Workman, senior editor,, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

3:00 p.m. Beverage service hosted by

3:15 p.m. Those Dangerous Gun-Free Zones

 John Lott, PhD, commentator for and Wall Street Journal

3:30 p.m. Breaking the Establishment Media’s Stranglehold

 Robert Farago, publisher,

Bob Harvey, host, Bullseye Radio Talk Show

 Fredy Riehl, editor and press coordinator,

 Mark Vanderberg, Gun Rights Radio Network

4:00 p.m. How Gun Rights Are Really at Risk if They Steal the Election First

John Fund, senior editor The American Spectator and columnist for National Review Online

4:15 p.m. The 2012 Elections: A Nation at the Crossroads

 Alan Gottlieb, chairman, AmeriPAC, chairman, CCRKBA

 Stephani Scruggs, president, Unite in Action and national chair, The 912 Project

Kirby Wilbur, chairman, Republican Party of Washington, SAF trustee

4:45 p.m. Growing State Gun Rights Networks

Gene Hoffman, chairman, CalGuns Foundation

Brent Carlton, president, Commonwealth Second Amendment Inc.

Sean Caranna, co-executive director, Florida

5:15 p.m. Which Case Will Be the Next RKBA Case to Go to SCOTUS?

 Alan Gura, SAF chief counsel and lead attorney, D.C. v. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago and Ezell v. Chicago

5:30 p.m. Q & A on afternoon panels

6:00 p.m. Announcements and Adjournment

6:30-9:30 p.m. Reception with Cash Bar—Regency Ballroom

Hosted by Second Amendment Foundation and National Shooting Sports Foundation

Entertainment by patriotic rock band Madison Rising

SUNDAY, September 30, 2012—Intercontinental Ballroom

8:30 a.m. Registration Table Opens

Beverage service hosted by

8:50 a.m. CALL TO ORDER

 Moderator: Peggy Tartaro, editor of Women & Guns, board member CCRKBA

9:00 a.m. Growing the Gunowner Base in the Popular Culture War

Alan Korwin, author, After You Shoot, Bloomfield Press
Richard Mgrdechian, president, Madison Rising

 Neil Schulman, screenwriter, journalist, filmmaker

 Peggy Tartaro, editor, Women & Guns magazine, board member, CCRKBA

9:35 a.m. The Supreme Court: A Majority of One

 David Kopel, Esq., adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver

Joseph P. Tartaro, executive editor,, president, SAF

10:00 a.m. The Many Faces of the Second Amendment

 Rev. Kenneth V. Blanchard, pastor, firearms instructor, blogger

Doug Ritter, founder and chairman,

Erik Royce, founder, TruckerGuns Foundation

Linda Walker, board member, National Rifle Association

10:30 a.m. Is Patient Privacy Dead after Florida Court Ruling?

 Timothy Wheeler, MD, director, Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a project of the SAF

10:45 a.m. The Academic Front in the Gun Rights Battle

David Burnett, Students for Concealed Carry

Brian Patrick, associate professor of communications, University of Toledo

11:05 a.m. The Anti-Gunners’ Homeland Security Gambit

 Charles Heller, executive director, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

Benjamin Smith, director of Strategic Affairs, Unite in Action, and contributor to Breitbart and Fox News

11:25 a.m. Countering Media Bias

 Don Irvine, president, Accuracy in Media

Malia Zimmerman, editor, Hawaii Reporter, director, Hawaii Rifle Association

11:45 a.m. Q & A on Morning Session

12:00 Noon Report of the Resolutions Committee

Genie Jennings, W&G columnist

Stephen Aldstadt, president, SCOPE, Inc.

Linda Farmer, Georgia gun rights activist

Jeff Knox, managing director, Firearms Coalition, gun issue columnist

Don Moran, president, Illinois State Rifle Association

Herb Stupp, Vice Chairman CCRKBA

 Miko Tempski, director, CCRKBA

Linda Walker, board member, National Rifle Association

 Robert Wiest, SAF board of trustees, Tennessee activist

1:00 p.m. Closing remarks and adjournment

 Alan M. Gottlieb and Joseph P. Tartaro

GRPC update, part 1

We have arrived in Florida, in Orlando, to attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference.  We are staying at the home of a true gentleman and supporter. 

This evening we will take ourselves off to the Hyatt for registration and a Meet and Greet.

More as it happens, and I can report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Carteach is officially on VACATION!  YAY!!!

Of course, that vacation involves a trip down to Orlando for the Gun Rights Policy Conference, where I hope to meet the best and brightest of this civil rights movement.

I'll report out when, where, and as able.     Looking forward to it!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Colt... Combat... Commander...

After WWII, Colt continued making its 1911 model as both a military sidearm and for the civilian market. Some time later, a new model was introduced with a barrel reduced from 5” to 4.25”. This new model had an aluminum frame, and was christened the ‘Commander’ model. Soon it was offered with a steel frame and became the ‘Combat Commander’. Other than the reduced length, it’s all but interchangeable with a full sized Government model 1911.

This Combat Commander shown here has been in my hands for some time now, and is likely to be willed to one of my sons when I am gone. It was purchased more than a decade ago, from a gun shop display case. Hiding amongst the police trade-ins and ever present Glocks, this colt was a battered and bruised victim. Originally blue, the finish was wo
rn from indifferent storage. Its factory Colt walnut stocks had deep scratches and were missing an emblem.

More serious… a former owner had played at being a gunsmith. The grip safety had been disabled by destruction of its flat spring. The trigger’s release point was variable and sometimes the hammer followed the slide forward. The recoil spring
felt weak, and appeared to have been clipped a few coils. Taken together, the flaws resulted in a pistol that rattled and inspired no confidence at all.

Yet… there was a diamond in the dregs… waiting to be recognized. Negotiations with the shop owner took several days, and resulted in the Colt following me home after writing a check for $350. The deal was sealed shortly after I pointed out the pistol was likely unsafe to be fired, and reminded him of a recent lawsuit he had faced from a customer over recoil injuries. I almost felt bad using such a tactic, but it was Colt .45 and it needed rescue.

After detail stripping and cataloging the issues at hand, parts were ordered. A complete spring kit, new barrel bushing, adjustable target trigger, spring guide rod, a
nd spring buffers were placed on order from Brownells. New stocks were acquired from Tucson Grip (now out of business). The stripped pistol components then soaked in a solvent bath for several days to loosen years of ignored sludge and residue.

Reassembled with new springs, some hours were spent hand lapping the new barrel bushing into place, and polishing the fit of the new trigger. The slide to frame fit was tightened up by means of gently peening the slide rails, then lapping and polishing the fit to the frame.

Add in new Wilson magazines, and the old Colt Commander was now range ready. Its first foray proved it a willing shooter, with excellent accuracy and natural pointing attributes. The heavy recoil spring chosen worked well with moderate to heavy carry loads, and no malfunctions were had.

Not carried regularly due to its freakish ability to rust easily, it saw service as a pin shooting gun. Knocking bowling pins from a table might seem easy to those who have never tried it, but such matches can be
humbling. A pin laid down endwise by a misplaced shot can be a misery to clear off the table while shooting under a time clock. This Colt Combat Commander held its place as a pin gun very nicely, lacking only decent target sights.

About one year into ownership, a deal was truck with a local full service gunsmith. In exchange for a Marlin .444 lever action rifle, the smith would mill the colt and install new Bo-Mar target sights, a new beavertail grip safety, and refinish the pistol in satin nickel.

Completed, the old Colt became a thing of beauty, never failing to attract attention at the range or in a match. Handed to friends for examination, the most frequent response was a muttering about having to give it back.

The Colt has done time in a CCW carry holster, usually a Galco Miami vice shoulder holster with offside magazine carrier. Carried on the belt, its target sights tend to dig in, causing pain. Lugged in a Maxpedition shoulder bag, it’s heavy but reassuring. Since its pin shooting days have past, some Novak low mount carry sights may be in it’s future, and a return to full time carry duty.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How to tell when you are working too hard....

  • There is a laser accurate .22 at the front of the gun safe.... and it hasn't been fired in months.
  • You have a table reserved for the gun show at your local club, and you have to cancel it because you are working all weekend.
  • You own an AR that hasn't been fired. Any AR, for any length of time... unfired.
  • Your favorite gun shop calls you just to see if you are Okay, since they haven't seen you in a while.
  • The .22 swingers in your back yard are actually rusty (gasp).
  • There is dust accumulating on the handles of your ammo cans. Not the ones in storage, but the ones in 'regular' use.
  • Your Garand whines at you when you open the safe to get some cash.
  • You have three new Magpul magazines..... and they are still in their factory bags.
  • You drive past your range and see a new 200 yard backstop... and you don't know when it was installed.
  • You can't recall what IMR4895 smells like in the morning breeze.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ruminations on being armed for defense...


This question comes up at every gun shop, every gun show, and every time two or more shooters get together. It's the old 'Ford vs Chevy' argument, although it can feel a little more like 'The Hatfields vs The McCoys' at times.

"What is the best pistol to carry for self defense?"

Like my dad used to say, "Now There's a hole with no bottom!".

At the risk of opening a can of worms, stirring them up, and spreading them out across the gun shop floor...... here is what 'Ol Carteach thinks.

My ideal carry pistol? One that works, one that is on me when I need it, and one that's sufficient caliber to likely deter someone who wishes me harm. In other words, carry pistols are like tools in a tool box. The right tool for the right job, or at least as close as one can get. Notice, there is nothing here that says a carry weapon must be a revolver, or must be self-loading. There is nothing here that says it must be made of steel, or plastic, or even melted down barbie dolls. It need not be cheap, nor expensive, nor pretty, nor ugly. It does not need a whiz bang laser, nor a flashlight, nor dual matching cup holders.

A defensive carry weapon must work, must be there, and be big enough to do the job at hand. More than that is personal choice (not a bad thing).

'Must Work' means the pistol needs to be reliable. In this case, reliable is usually determined by the number of rounds the weapon can go through without a failure of any kind (not directly related solely to ammunition faults). A not uncommon notion, and one I subscribe to, is that a carry weapon should be able to digest thousands of rounds in a row without a single hiccup. Not dozens, not hundreds, but thousands.

Revolver shooters may look at this number differently, and with good reason. Solid, old school, double action revolvers have a reputation for reliability that is unmatched. This statement may drive some Glock shooters into fits of frothy fury, but it's no less the truth. With fewer moving parts, robust designs, and no safeties to get in the way, revolvers have earned their reputation for dependability. Not that wheel guns are infallible. No, they are far from that. No machine is free from all failures forever. But.... a good quality revolver is the standard others are measured against.

Weighed on the scales of reliability, revolvers as a genre have an edge. Not a big one, in these modern times, but there is a measurable lean to the wheelies side of things.

Most importantly, and back on the topic, carry weapons need to be reliable. This means their owners, if they really care, should be shooting them a lot. Not a box a year at the family Fourth of July picnic, in between the hot dog course and the pie extravaganza..... but several hundred rounds a month, if possible. Many defensive shooters believe a carry pistol should have a solid thousand rounds through it, without a glitch, before it is really dependable enough to be relied on.

In this area of concern, there is no substitute for round count. Folks who carry, and do it with forethought and reason, need to spend quality trigger time with their weapon. Should it not be true, should it suffer failures of any kind.... then it's time to move on to another weapon. Allowing for a short break in time, several hundred rounds or so, a serious weapon simply should not fail to work afterwords.

This is not to say that failures don't occur. They always will, as we are dealing with machines. Machines break, machines fail, and machines are only as good as their designers skull sweat and their owners care. If you have one steel ball.... you are pretty safe in that it's not likely to fail. As soon as you introduce a second steel ball and let it touch the first... all bets are off and it's just a matter of time till they fail. For that reason, good shooters practice for failures. Reload drills, failure to feed drills, and even 'move to a backup gun' drills.

Now, once we have a reasonably reliable weapon, where should we keep it? The answer is really very simple. A defensive weapon needs to be on you, or where you can lay your hand on it RIGHT NOW. That's it, pure and simple. Anything less means your defensive options are diminished tremendously. Understand... it's all about time. The time it takes you to move your weapon into service, Vs the time it takes a bad guy to surprise you and take the advantage. If your 'time to armed' is less than the bad guys 'time to overpower', then you may win. If not, you are likely to lose. 'Time to armed' means weapon in hand, ready, aimed at the threat. A weapon anyplace else but there mean
s you are not armed yet.

This notion of 'time to armed' must be balanced against risk, and against social need. As I sit writing this, I am perhaps twenty feet from a substantial house gun (a
twelve gauge pump action shotgun), tucked away in a safe and concealed position. Am I armed? Sadly, the answer is no... or least "not very well for the situation". I know from experience that someone can be on the front porch without my knowledge, and through the front door far faster than I can vacate this chair and get to that shotgun. But, should I have that weapon leaning against my chair, as I write? Or, perhaps in my lap? No, that would be unreasonable, given the threat level right now, which is approximately 'zero'.

The single best place for a defensive handgun to be is on your person. That is the one place it's best suited to fulfill it's role.... defending your life in a violent encounter. In keeping with this thought, some consideration must be given to the size and shape of the carry weapon, as opposed to other factors. How does the carrier dress? What environment are they in? How much weight can they comfortably bear all day without fatigue or irritation?

Above all else, a weapon left at home in the safe because it was unsuitable to carry... is no longer a defensive weapon. The words "Leave me alone, I own a gun!" will carry no weight when shrilly screamed during a violent encounter. A defensive weapon has to be on the person to be of use, and this means it must be suitable to the situation. If the only possible carry position is on a neck cord, with the weapon hidden under a tank top, then so be it. In that case, the weapon must be small enough, and light enough, to be carried so.

On the other hand, most adults who can wear any type of loose clothing can carry a full sized (and full power) pistol on their person without too much difficulty. There are any number of quality made and well designed belt holsters. There are belly bands, pocket holsters, 'Grip Clips', shoulder holsters, and purpose designed carry bags. There is clothing specially designed for wear with concealed carry. There are... options... many options, and very few real excuses.

It's in the 'carry arena' that semi-auto pistols gain an edge over revolvers. A modern defensive 'pistol' can carry ten rounds of .45 ACP in a reliable weapon that's flatter and lighter than most snub nosed .38 Special revolvers. Moving to even lighter calibers, such as .380, gives automatics the decided advantage. There is an entire new genre of very small, very light pocket pistols built around the .380 cartridge. Plastic bodied, double action only, minimal carry signature.... all designed to BE THERE in your pocket, because they are just so easy to carry. True, the .380 is not a mighty power house of defensive thunder, but even a pipsqueak .380 (in the pocket) beats a .500 magnum in the safe.

My opinion? The largest reliable pistol you can carry, comfortably concealed all day, that is the way to go.

The last criteria, that the weapon be in sufficient caliber to perform it's job, is at the heart of a never ending discussion. What caliber is too small? What is too big? What is too 'unusual'? What has the best terminal ballistics? What has the best track record?

Carteach has definite thoughts on the issue. Consider what we ask the defensive pistol round to do. Ideally, it should be able to deter or stop someone from violently attacking. How does it do that? A pistol round works primarily in one way... it punches holes in people and things. If it's large enough, fast enough, or heavy enough, it can cause shock and trauma in addition to punching holes, but the very least a defensive pistol round must do is punch holes in people. Deep enough, and damaging enough, to deter an attacker (with luck).

On the low end of the scale, the .380 auto is considered the bottom rung. With modern ammunition, it has the ability to gain a bad guys attention. It certainly will not 'blow them twelve yards backwards, doing flips all the way', but a solid hit with one should let a bad guy know they made a serious error in the victim selection process. At the very least, it should cause enough pain and disruption to allow the victim to escape. At the worst, it may result in a dead bad guy. The same can be said for both the .32acp and the .22 rimfire, but both those rounds have a sad record in shutting down attackers. Kill people, eventually, sure. Deterring violent criminals bent on personal destruction? Not so much.

In the revolver realm, the .38 special is generally regarded as low man, although the venerable .38 Special +P 158 grain FBI load has a reputation as a man stopper.

From there, the field is wide open.... right up till the cartridge becomes just too strong for the shooter to efficiently and accurately handle it. There are some who regard the 9x19 parabellum as 'too harsh' in recoil, while others shrug off the muzzle blast of a .44 magnum as tolerable. The real consideration on top end is what can the shooter handle well. Too harsh, and accuracy suffers tremendously, especially as the shooter becomes afraid to practice.

As far as caliber is concerned, Carteach's thinking is.... The biggest that will fit the pistol you will carry, and not so big that you won't practice often. As for the rest, there is a good argument that can be made for every single cartridge out there, and each will have supporters and detractors. When it comes to tools in the tool box, chose the best you can, and one you have faith in... if such is possible.

Putting all this blather into real world reality, here are 'Ol Carteach's choices: For everyday carry, a Glock G-30 in .45acp. It's reliable, reasonably powerful, surprisingly accurate, easy to shot well, and on my large body it simply vanishes under a loose shirt. The full magazine of heavy .45acp is comforting, as the round has a long track record of success in defensive shooting. Over 100 years worth, come to think of it!

For backup, or times when I cannot carry on my belt, a Taurus model 85 .38 special snubnose with +p ammunition. The old snubby is one of the original Taurus imports, and I have owned it almost 20 years now. It's had thousands of rounds through it, and is quite reliable. For carry, it snuggles into a belly band and simply goes away, even under a loose T-shirt.

For times when nothing else will suit, a Ruger LCP in .380 finds a home in my pocket. Tiny, light, reliable, and reasonably accurate given the LaserLyte unit I mounted on it. With Federal Hydroshocks on board, I think it's a significant threat to any violent criminal with intent on ruining my day.

There are others in the Carteach CCW stable, but those three account for 99% of regular circumstances. Each pistol gets used, fairly often, and trained with under various situations. None are target pistols, plinking pistols, nor hunting weapons. They are defensive concealed carry weapons.... and ones I have faith in.

What do you chose to carry, and why?