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Colt, We Hardly Knew Ye

(from The Firearm Blog)

BREAKING: Colt Lays Off Custom Shop Director, Other Employees, Company Rumored Gutted

What is happening at Colt? That’s the question on many people’s minds as news of layoffs in the company began to trickle out starting on Tuesday. Rumors of massive layoffs at Colt began with a post at Pistol-Forum by member “misanthropist”, who wrote:

Sounds like a big mess down there and a whole lot of pink slips, including my favourite division, the custom shop.

The extent of the layoffs are not yet known, but it has been confirmed that Brent Turchi, director of Colt Customer Service and the Colt Custom Shop, was let go. Brent posted the following at 1911forum.com:

I am alive and well just no longer with Colt. I will continue to be a member of this forum and interact as I see appropriate. I will also tell the forum when and where I land. I have and will continue to enjoy this forum and its members. All thoughts are appreciated.
Brent

Whether this is a handful of layoffs or a gutting of the company is yet unknown, but according to misanthrope, things are not looking good. He posted that Colt Canada had reportedly been gutted, and the Colt Advanced Systems division and the Custom Shop virtually shut down entirely:

Sorry guys I don’t think there’s any information I can link to.

My understanding is that Advanced Systems is shut down entirely, as is the Custom Shop. Colt Canada will be stripped down to little more than the C8 production line and the extraneous people just had their jobs eliminated. The SWORD and MRR programs sound like they’re shelved. From the sounds of things, a lot of job losses.

That’s what I am hearing, anyway.

Colt has been trying to make its way back to normalcy, after bankruptcy rocked the company in 2015. The company debuted its newly reintroduced Cobra revolver at the 2017 SHOT Show, a firearm developed in part due to the efforts of the Custom Shop. The Custom Shop also helped debug the Defender compact 1911 variant.

There is a lot of speculation that with the election and lack of contracts, Colt simply doesn’t have enough money to continue operating these divisions. Shutting them down, however, would burn a significant amount of goodwill that Colt has built over the years with its customer base, which might make recovery even harder for the Hartford company.

We will keep our readers updated as things unfold.

Colt.  A legendary name in the annals of firearm and American history.  I’ve never had the good fortune to own one.  Have fired many.  A Detective Special (bored out to accept .357!), A friend’s 6″ Python (nickel), some ARs, an Official Police (parkerized!).  Always wanted a 4″ Python…

But, it was not to be.  Just never had the cash.  Colt, in my world, is the new Cadillac, when all I could usually afford was the used Chevy. (Back when I could afford stuff.)

They have been the proverbial Phoenix, rising from the ashes (after how many BKs?).  It would appear, given the above story, that they are on their way out, yet again.

Stories have come out of Colt for years about mismanagement, poor marketing, and high pricing.

And, they are in Connecticut, one of the birthplaces of American firearms industry (and my birth State), now hobbled by further restrictive ‘liberal’ firearms laws.  Many manufacturers have close or moved.

Will Colt do the same?  Do they have the resources?  Or is another bankruptcy in their future?

Will the Phoenix rise, yet again?

Sam Colt is probably spinning like a cylinder in his grave…

It’s March Fifth, Again! 

from the desk of GUFFAW

from the desk of GUFFAW

Back in 2011, I had been laid off from TMCCC, disabled due to having had lymphoma, and had been spending a large part of my day reading blogs on the Internet.

No, this was NOT in my mother’s basement!  😛

Frankly, as I had found a number of women who were shooters who wrote blogs (they became my Blogmothers ™!), I had hoped to find someone closer to home.  Unfortunately, they were in Indiana, Ohio and Idaho.

I’m in Arizona.

But, I had no luck in the geography department…  😦

After a year-and-a-half, it occurred to me, ‘Hey, I could do this!’ (or, at least mimic others, and steal their material…)

And Guffaw in AZ was born.

So now it’s YEAR SIX!

Posting something DAILY (sometimes two, three or four posts).  Daily funnies, beauties, videos and quotes, additionally.

With no real purpose, except to have something to do, and a daily discipline.

And the completely unexpected happened.

I MADE FRIENDS!

Friends all over the World!  Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Pakistan and India, South America.  Mostly, of course, in the United States.

A huge thank you goes out to the generosity of people I only know through the Internet, who have offered me support, both moral and financial.  And given me gifts!  You know who you are…

I miss those who are no longer blogging, by choice or life circumstance – North, Matt, Maura, CoolChange, William the Coroner and many others.  (If I’ve left you off the list and you are still around, please forgive me).

I am SO GRATEFUL for (in no particular order) Bobbi, Tam, Doc in Yuma, Ron, Proud Hillbilly, Paul, Kevin Baker and the other Kevin, Southern Belle and KX59, Tom, Biff, Keads, Bluesun, Wirecutter, Jim, Greg, Kenny, Quizikle, Sean, Irish, Jeffery and Wilson.

And especially Murphy, Brigid, ASM826 and Borepatch!  And Judy, my roomie!

And my dear friend Dave the genius (who prefers to be called Dave the mechanic) who sends me multiple funnies daily to possibly include in the blog!  And who – when he is in town – takes me out for Red Devil pizza!  And who has been a loyal friend since 1973.

And to all you loyal folks who don’t blog or even leave comments but bother to stop by – THANK YOU!

391,317 hits

13,669 comments

On to 2018?

PS – (Why Tamara is in red, above) Apologies to the lovely and talented Tamara, who somehow was left off my gratitude list last year!  A correction has been made, and I plan on penance by shooting myself in the knee with a VeloDog, as soon as I can afford one!

PPS – TMCCC  (for the uninitiated) stands for That Major Credit Card Company, where I worked as a credit card fraud investigator for almost 22 years.

 

 

H & K’s New Guns!

(from TFB, in part)

BREAKING: HK Releases SFP9 L, SFP9 SK, Maritime and Optics Ready Pistols

sfp

Heckler and Koch has just announced a few additions to their polymer pistol lineup. Known as the VP9 in the United States and SFP9 in Europe, H&K is adding the much awaited long slide SFP9 L and compact SFP9 SK variants to the current SFP9/VP9 offerings. Digging a little deeper, you’ll find a Maritime model as well as an Optics Ready model.

A few interesting features: One, there’s an option for either a push button or paddle magazine release. Two, optional 20 round magazines. Three, an optional manual safety lever.

Obviously we need to dig deeper into the specifications for other hidden gems. But the announcement will obviously elate H&K fans everywhere.

(the article here)

Is this a tempest in a teapot?  Does this appeal to the civilian market?  Is it even available to the civilian market?  And, most importantly:

They are H & K pistols, not known for their customer service.  Do we really want specialty firearms we cannot get repaired, should they need it?

“Why are they making these?  To sell, of course!” (Jeff Cooper)

What do you guys think?

Glock To Army On SIG MHS Contract: Not So Fast

(from Free North Carolina)

Glock is protesting the military’s decision to replace its current sidearm with the relatively new SIG P320-based XM17. The military selected the SIG design to replace the aging Beretta M9 series pistols in service late last year.

The protest, filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, needs a response from the U.S. Army Materiel Command by June 5th of 2017.

Until the Army responds to the protest the switch from Beretta pistols to SIG pistols will not move forward. Time will tell if this is a business formality or if it will alter the course of the Army’s hunt for their next sidearm.

More @ Guns America
Last I knew, Glock didn’t have any U.S. production facilities (?)  Kinda a deal breaker if they somehow ultimately win this p***ing contest.
(Of course, how long it would take to establish one? – witness Beretta)
I like Glocks.  I like Sigs.  The general consensus amongst gun folks (based on my tiny, unscientific sample) is that either one would be sufficient.
Time, or rather the DOD, will tell!

ATF White Paper Leaked

(in part from TFB)

There are some bold issues being addressed. One of which is point 5, the use of a stabilizing brace.

5.  Firearm Arm or Stabilizing Brace:
Manufacturers have produced an arm brace or stabilizing brace which is designed to strap a handgun to a forearm to allow a disabled shooter to fire the firearm. ATF determined that the brace was not a stock, and therefore its attachment to a handgun
did not constitute the making of a short-barreled rifle or “any other firearm” under the
National Firearms Act (NFA). (NFA classification subjects the product to a tax and registration requirement.) In the determination letter, however, ATF indicated that if the brace was held to the shoulder and used as a stock, such use would constitute a “redesign” that would result in classification of the brace/handgun combination as
an NFA firearm (i.e., the “use” would be a “redesign” and making of a short – barreled rifle). ATF has not made an other NFA determination where a shooter’s use alone was deemed be a “redesign” of the product/firearm resulting in an NFA classification. This ruling has caused confusion and concern among firearm manufacturers, dealers, and consumers about the extent to which unintended use of a product may be a basis for NFA classification. To mitigate this confusion and concern, ATF could amend the determination letter to remove the language indicating that simple use of a product for a purpose other than intended by the manufacturer – without additional proof or redesign – may result in re-classification as an NFA weapon.
While many at ATF are concerned about manufacturing processes continuing to push
the boundaries between a Gun Control Act (GCA) and an NFA firearm, ATF has a
relatively consistent history of what crosses the line between GCA and NFA firearms
with which to draw from, and still maintains the ability to exercise good judgement with
future requests based upon the firearm’s individual characteristics
.

This could change their determination that came out back in 2015 that using a brace could constitute a redesign. As Adam Kraut had explained, misusing a product is not the same as redesigning or manufacturing.

If that got you excited wait until you see what else they got cooking.

Next up is the point about Slencers.

Silencers: Current Federal law requires ATF to regulate silencers under the NFA. This
requires a Federal tax payment of $200 for transfers, ATF approval, and entry of the
silencer into a national NFA database. In the past several years, opinions about silencers
have changed across the United States. Their use to reduce noise at shooting ranges
and applications within the sporting and hunting industry are now well recognized.
At present, 42 states generally allow silencers to be used for sporting purposes. The
wide acceptance of silencers and corresponding changes in state laws have created
substantial demand across the country. This surge in demand has caused ATF
to have a significant backlog on silencer applications. ATF’s processing time is
now approximately 8 months. ATF has devoted substantial resources in attempts to reduce processing times, spending over $1 million annually in overtime and temporary duty expenses, and dedicating over 33 additional full-time and contract positions since 2011 to support NFA processing. Despite these efforts, NFA processing times are widely viewed by applicants and the industry as far too long, resulting in numerous complaints to Congress. Since silencers account for the vast majority of NFA applications, the most direct way to reduce processing times is to reduce the number of silencer applications. In light of the expanding demand and acceptance of silencers, however, that volume is unlikely to diminish unless they are removed from the NFA. While DOJ and ATF have historically not supported removal of items from the NFA, the change in public acceptance of silencers arguably indicates that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be reevaluated. ATF’s experience with the criminal use of silencers also supports reassessing their inclusion in the NFA. On average in the past 10 years, ATF has only recommended 44 defendants a year for prosecution on silencer-related violations; of those, only approximately 6 of the defendants had prior felony convictions. Moreover, consistent with this low number of prosecution referrals, silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings. Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety necessitating NFA classification, and should be considered for reclassification under the GCA.
If such a change were to be considered, a revision in the definition of a silencer
would be important. The current definition of a silencer extends to “any combination of
[silencer] parts, ” as well as “any part intended only for use in” a silencer. Compared to
the definition of a firearm, which specifies the frame or receiver is the key regulated
part, any individual silencer part is generally regulated just as if it were a completed
silencer. Revising the definition could eliminate many of the current issues encountered
by silencer manufacturers and their parts suppliers. Specifically, clarifying when a part
or combination of parts meets a minimum threshold requiring serialization would be
useful.

These two points are huge. There are other great points addressed in the White Paper and I encourage you to read it all.

The conclusion of the White Paper addresses it nicely:

There are many regulatory changes or modifications that can be made by or through ATF that would have an immediate, positive impact on commerce and industry without significantly hindering ATFs mission or adversely affecting public safety.
There are also areas where adjustments to policy or processes could improve ATF operations. Alleviating some of these concerns would continue to support
ATF’s relationships across the firearms and sporting industry, and allow ATF to further focus precious personnel and resources on the mission to combat gun violence.
The future looks bright and I hope the ATF accepts these issues and solutions.
I wonder if this ‘reversal’ of some contentious regulations has anything to do with the rumor that the President, in his consolidation and streamlining of government bureaucracy, wants to eliminate the BATFE and create a division of the FBI to handle such matters?  (Fast & Furious come to mind?)  Are they trying to appear more ‘user friendly’ to their constituency to keep their agency and their jobs?
Naw, not possible…

In Search Of…

Old stuff!  (NO – not the 70’s TV series!)  😛

I’ve recently been blessed with the acquisition (or re-acquisition) of two firearms, as recounted in these pages – a first-year, original old frame style Ruger Security Six, and a Sig Sauer P245.

Both long out-of production and both ‘classics’ in their own right.

And both are fine to carry and shoot just as they are, but…

Like most gun folks, I cannot leave well enough alone!

Regarding the Ruger Security Six, she has the standard stocks.  When I was previously gun poor and carried her as a loaner (thanks again Dave the genius mechanic!) she was resplendent with a pair of Herrett Shooting Star checkered stocks.  Reportedly, these cracked beyond repair and have been discarded.

And Herrett no longer makes them for the original old frame.

Does anyone know where an old set might be acquired, or failing that, a similar style manufactured by some other manufacturer?

(Being an old-school gun guy just doesn’t get any easier?)

Now to the Sig Sauer P245.  Again no longer in production.  And the long-used night sites have faded to the brightness of the spark generated by breaking a Wint-O-Green Life Saver or white Necco Wafer in a dark closet.  Fortunately, when I can afford it, replacements ARE available.  (Although she does shoot quite well without any tritium, regardless!)

The ‘problem’ here is a decent IWB concealment holster.  Just like the Ruger, as they are no longer in production, finding accountrement for her is difficult.

AND, of course, I’m left-handed!

I like the idea of something straight-drop in Kydex, but at this point anything above a Fruit-Of-The-Loom, metal clip-on chamois pouch would suffice.

Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?ferris-bueller

Attention ARIZONANS!

And anyone else who legally shoots here…

remote-axd

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released for public comment a plan that will determine what lands within the Sonoran Desert National Monument (SDNM) will be closed to target shooting. Currently, the nearly 500,000-acre SDNM is open to target shooting, with the exception of 10,599 acres temporarily closed by a court order in a lawsuit filed against an earlier BLM plan that would have kept the entire SDNM open to shooting.  The lands closed are on the north side of the SDNM along the El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline right-of-way that parallels BLM Road 8000. It also extends along both sides of BLM Road 8001, adjacent to the wilderness boundary, before terminating at BLM Road 8006.  The court order also requires the BLM to complete the management plan by September 2017.

The draft plan presents five alternatives as follows:

Alternative A – the “no action” alternative continues the 1988 Lower Gila South Resource Management Plan without change, which means that target shooting would be allowed anywhere within the SDNM.

Alternative B – the court order closure would become permanent, affecting 10,599 acres or 2.1 % of the SDNM.

Alternative C – the BLM’s preferred alternative would allow target shooting in the Desert Back Country Recreation Management Zone only and partially lift the court order closure as addressed in Alternative B.  The effect is that 54,817 acres or 11% of the SDNM would be closed to target shooting.

Alternative D – target shooting would not be allowed in designated wilderness, lands managed to protect wilderness characteristics, and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Recreation Management Zone, which would close 320,317 acres or 66% of the SDNM to target shooting.

Alternative E – the SDNM would be entirely closed to target shooting.

The plan with its five alternatives can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1ZPyFSA.  The public has 90 days or until March 15th to submit comments and comments may be emailed to blm_az_sdnmtargetshooting@blm.gov or faxed to 623-580-5580.

The BLM has already held three public meetings and due to the high level of interest two more hearings have been scheduled as follows:

February 11 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Cooper Sky Recreation Center located at 44342 W Martin Luther King Blvd., Maricopa.

February 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Burton Barr Central Library located at 1221 N Central Ave., Phoenix.

During the first 30 minutes of each meeting, the BLM will provide opening remarks describing the ground rules and will proceed to present the alternatives. The remaining time will be conducted in an open house format, during which staff will answer additional questions and receive input to be considered.Everyone who enjoys recreational target shooting on the SDNM is strongly encouraged to review the alternatives and submit comments to the BLM.   You can be assured that those groups and individuals who are anti-gun will be flooding the BLM with comments supporting Alternative E, which would close the entire SDNM to shooting.  The focus of your comments should be on where recreational shooting has by popularity, as well as historically, taken place and where it should continue in those areas that offer a safe shooting environment.

It was BLM’s intent through an earlier management plan to close the SDNM to target shooting.  If it had not been for the intervention of the NRA, the SDNM would already be closed to shooters.  The BLM was encouraged to revise the management plan and in an about-face, it proposed that the entire SDNM be open to shooting.  But, the proposal lacked the required documentation to support that recommendation and the BLM was promptly sued.   This is the third and likely final round over the future of target shooting in the SDNM.  It is imperative that all sportsmen and women who find it important to keep our Federal lands open to hunting and shooting take this draft plan seriously by reading it and submitting individual comments.

(from the NRA/ILA)

OPINION: The DOD Should Have Picked GLOCK

(from TFB)

Forget about modularity and the other Army requirements for the newly announced M17 sidearm for a moment.  Do you mean to tell me that the DOD just spent $580M on a pistol that has barely been on the market for three years? A gun that will be carried by US soldiers for at least a decade, more likely two or three, that has only been issued to a handful of law enforcement agencies in the United States? (Love ya Hooksett, NH Police!)

The iconic GLOCK pistols have served with distinction for 35 years, in LEO agencies, Militaries, contractors and civilian hands around the globe. The new M17 should have had Gaston’s name on the slide and everyone knows it.

Fanboy? Sure, call me names, throw rotten food at your devices, raise your torches and pitchforks. Listen to some Nickleback for crying out loud. But even if you pray to a different god, be it Sig, S&W, FN or some pot metal creation you got at a show a few years back – Deep down, you know the US Army should be carrying GLOCKs as their new handgun.

Save me your ‘hand grenade’ and grip angle jabs – that’s a smoke screen and you know it. The G17 and/or G19 has served with distinction and has proven itself worthy time and time again. And unlike previous side arm choices, GLOCK pistols aren’t nearing an ‘end of life’ situation or being surpassed by new technologies. Gaston has focused on steady, calculated weapon evolution rather than spurts of revolution interspersed with setbacks. Frustrating for individual gun owners? You bet. But he knows that any misstep in reliability would leave a black mark on the Austrian handgun’s legacy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Sig P320 is a fantastic pistol – reliable, accurate and well made. However, I will argue that it does nothing that the GLOCK already does with a lot more long-term supporting data from a variety of hostile environments.

Yes. I get it. Modularity.

I carried a Sig every day for eight years. I’ve carried a GLOCK every day for eight more. And now, as I ready myself to be issued a new P320, I do so with reluctance but also with acceptance. Knowing (and hoping) that somewhere far above my head, someone knows better than I do. At least I don’t have to deal with that $&@?ing manual safety.

The M9 is dead. Long live the M17.

Note the flavor of slight sarcasm, ladies and gentlemen. Life is good.

O  K

Their previous post regarding the SIG was pretty positive.

What do YOU GUYS think?

(Let the games begin!)

It’s The SIG Sauer P320!

(from TFB in part)

MHS Contract Awarded To The SIG Sauer P320!

The Sig Sauer P320 was selected as the winner of the Modular Handgun System contract on January 19th, 2017. This was the largest weapons contract that the Department of Defense has awarded in the last 32 years for a small arms replacement program. You can read the full details over at The Firearm Blog at the below link.

Breaking Story on The Firearm Blog: http://bit.ly/2jIiPtD

This story has come out the past few days, obviously overshadowed by political events of the day.

(It’s difficult to imagine we’ve had the Beretta M9 for 32 years!)

Of course, special ops/special team folks will still get to carry that which they choose, I imagine(?)  Like the venerable 1911 and the Seals’ Sig Sauer P226.

There has been a back and forth thing with Sig Sauer regarding U.S. versus European production over the past few years.  I imagine U.S. production will be required to pick up for the increased demand.  And production security.

If I had the funds, I’d like to own one.  (I don’t).  I did have a Beretta back-in-the-day as well as a number of 1911s.

1911s are my first choice.  I’m old-school.  🙂

Long Gun vs. Handgun In Home Defense

(from TFB, in part)

Long Gun vs. Handgun in Home Defense – Maneuverability Differences Overblown

It used to be conventional wisdom to have a 12 gauge at the ready for self defense. Then, slowly, the tactical world fell back in love with the handgun under the guides of maneuverability within the home. The thinking was that the handgun, being a smaller package, was better for one to clear their home. Combined with the higher capacity and ease of reloading, the handgun, was per thinking, the easier to use weapon.

This is, of course, before one even brings up the ability to suppress the weapon, which is good for the defender to maintain their hearing.

However, Thunder Ranch posits that this significant maneuverability advantage is overstated. While sure, the shotgun is a longer weapon, when presented to a target its really not significantly longer than the handgun at full arm extension in the proper firing position. They back this up with a quick demonstration of a common Mossberg 500, an over-under and a full-size 1911.

There was one point that the instructor made in the video that I think is poignant (paraphrased): “Would you rather fire one shot from a handgun at a guy running at you with a knife or a shotshell?

I,  for one, will take the shotshell.

Unfortunately, I have wee ones floating around so the need to keep the weapon locked up while easily accessible trumps my desire for 00 buck…

Yea, I remember those ‘olden days’, when home defense was defined by having a shotgun. (This was the 70’s).   I remember a discussion in some gun store with a proprietor, while drooling over an Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer Police Special, and making conversation, suggesting it would be a ‘fine, upland bird gun’.  (This was before I owned any).  And the sales guy responded, “Would be good for turning around in a hallway, as well!”  🙂

Well, my friends, we seem to have gone full circle.

I would take the shotshell, as well, if I were ever fortunate enough to own another DSPS, again.

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…