Jul 31 2012

Second Annual Tactical Gun Championships

This is a post about the shooting match we just put on this weekend from a nationally renowned gun writer.

https://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3474196&#Post3474196

This is WTRC photos as a slideshow.

http://s1150.photobucket.com/albums/o614/Jimbo1wy/?albumview=slideshow

Gateway to the WTRC

http://macsgunworks.com


Aug 3 2011

First Wyoming Tactical Rifle Championships

The Bliss Ranch just held the first Wyoming Tactical Rifle Championships.

July 22-24th this year, Mac’s Gunworks (Gillette), Bliss Ranch (on the border north of Gillette), and Extremunition (Wyoming produced ammo) and others sponsored the event while Bliss Ranch hosted the event. This keeps in Wyoming the essence of the International Tactical Rifle Championship which has moved to Gunsite in Arizona from it’s previous home of two years on the Bliss Ranch. Over 160 metal reactive targets remain on the Bliss Ranch and will be reconfigured for next year and the Second Annual WTRC to be held July 27-29th, 2012. A very concise description of the rules and regulations are at www.macsgunworks.com and reviews of shooters having played our “sniper golf” tournament are located at the snipershide forum.
http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2703932

Entry fees are 300 dollars per team member consisting of a rifle shooter and a carbine shooter. Both shooters carry pistols, pistol targets are mixed in throughout the range and count toward or against (with a miss) your final score so brush up on your pistol before you play this game. Pistol targets are out to 50 yards, carbine out to 500 and rifle out to 1000 yards. 300 Win mag is maximum caliber allowed on course. No armor piercing bullets allowed. Winnings were significant with first place team taking well over 6 thousand dollars worth of cash and prizes.

Think of the Wyoming Tactical Rifle Championship as a really hard game of Sniper Golf.  You have a shooting station (tee) , a carbine and rifle team (each with pistol work to do too), you try to hit a 10 inch square from 50 to 1000 yards, and you “green” are the group of targets from 1 to 8 in number per “hole”.

While one shooter ranges (laser ranges) the targets), the other shooter zooms in (or looks up to see what is going click, click, click and is not an empty handgun).

The range officers converge at the headquarters yard ready to go out with a team.

This is a shooters meeting to go over the rules of engagement before the Team on Team competition the last day of the tournament.

This was a good turn out considering we only had 90 days to organize the event.

We had several short 700 yard courses of fire for the team on team event.  It will be MUCH bigger next year.

Group on up to the line for the egg shoot (a 3 inch target at 400 yards) which is a one shot at a time competition.

Can you even see any 10 inch metal plates at normal magnification???

How about here, any targets?

The 1/3 mile walk to the beginning of course three is through very scenic country.  We are not just a ranch covered in grass.   There are easily over 10,000 trees here too.

Here is a telephoto shot looking over the shooters shoulders at some targets starting over 200 yards and ending out past 600 yards.   This is an easy station though. Did you notice the targets on the ridge line IN FRONT OF the trees?

Everybody is pretty seriously prepared with gear for this game.

Ditto.  I all had a great time and this event will grow like a snowball thrown off Everest on a warm day.  Stay tuned.

Contributors/Organizers/Helpers and a BIG THANK YOU TO:

Bliss Ranch (Host for the entire event)
Mac’s Gunworks – 2 custom rifles lots of time and money to make this happen
Extremunition- $600.00 gift cert. & AR upper lots of time and money to make happen
Specialized Tactical Systems – 4 AR lower recievers
Thunderbeast Arms -  2 cert. 1/2 off supressors
Crimson Trace – cert. for 2 free lazer products
H-S Precision – stocks for custom rifles
Pacific Tool & Gage – 1 free reamer of choice
Black Hills Ammo – 200 Rnds 168 match ammo
Berger Bullets – 3 cert. for 3 free boxes of bullets each
Burris – Steiner – 60% off cert.
Brunton – 40% off cert.
VOO-DOO Tactical – free padded gun case
Stag Arms – Free static proof reloading mat
Sierra
Rocky Mountain Discount Sports – Hunting video, 7 hats, Nikon sport suit, Bipod, bino – cover, bino-strap, key-chains, tanerite, decals
Other thanks going out to,
Matheson Drilling
Rob Clark & Family
K&K Auto
John Crump
Miles Lunde
Calvin Taylor
B&B Roustabouts
Pete McIntosh
Nate Jensen
Dick Kohler
Jim Pershard
Amber McIntosh
John Harvey
Duke Campbell

If I missed any, I apologize and will fix this as soon as I know about it.


Mar 17 2011

Japanese Slow Motion Train Wreck Effect on US.

Geologic Column
Copyright 2011

I have had many people write me asking me what to do with regards to the nuclear reactor mess in Japan. By the time you read this, you probably will know more than I am telling you in this article.

First of all, we are watching a slow motion train wreck brought about by a very rare confluence of geologic events 1/2 way across the world. Fortunately, the same earthquake and tsunami didn’t happen in Washington/Oregon/California and cause a nuclear accident there (it could have and still can). We would have been just as helpless to fix the problem but much closer to it. The Japanese nuclear emergency workers are essentially kamikaze workers fighting that mess. I don’t know if we would be able to drum up such a heroic effort to stop the run away problem.

What are the effects on us likely to be. The major threat to the United States is actually economic since Japan owes over 800 billion dollars of US Treasuries (third largest owner of US debt). Assuming they get past the nuclear problem, they are going to rebuild and the way to raise money for that is to sell our debt on the open market. The Federal Reserve now buys 70 percent of our debt now, will they buy up the Japanese debt? Probably. Can you say massive inflation in the US from printing that much money to buy that many treasuries?

Secondarily, is the radiation (which is what everybody thinks is important). Radioactive Iodine is the biggest issue this far away. It gets into the air, spreads around the world, we breath it, it gets absorbed into the thyroid gland and you could die of thyroid cancer 40 years later. If your over 40 years old, your going to die of something else first. If your under 40, it might be prudent (according to our own Surgeon General) to obtain some supplemental source of iodine to flood the thyroid with (consult your doctor). Those allergic to iodine or seafood need not try this. Iodized salt will not do it.

Third, other nasty radioisotopes concentrate in our food chain by plants absorbing them, cows (for instance but by no means excluding every thing else) eating plants, concentrating the radiation, then we drink the milk or eat the meat. Being on top of the food chain has it’s problems. I might consider feeding your young powdered milk made before March 2011 for about a year if this gets really bad.

I am not suggesting to you that we are all going to suffer horribly from this event medically, (we might financially). There will be an increase in certain cancers over background rates as a result of all this. No one in particular will be effected but some will. It will be impossible to attribute those cancers to this event versus say Chernobyl (if you were young then). Radiation doesn’t discriminate on ages, sex or religious affiliation. Panic is silly.

I still think that we can get power from nuclear reactors but they should all be hardened to any potential disasters possible in the area they are in. How many have died because of pollution from carbon based fuels? Many more than nuclear that is sure. There are problems in the nuclear industry however. I am aware that NONE of the plants in the US are hardened from Electromagnetic Pulse. (EMP). This would be somewhat of a problem if a terrorist or enemy power detonated a nuclear bomb a few hundred miles above Kansas City Missouri. The radiowave/magnetic pulse from that event would avalanche electrons down from the atmosphere generating HUGE currents in our electric grid effectively knocking out the cooling system of any nuclear facility out there. Secondary systems may be effected too. Talk about a train wreck. Oh by the way, there is a significant chance per century that the sun, with a good solar storm, could do approximately the same thing. The best website to explain EMP is: http://www.futurescience.com/emp.html

OK, lets then consider taking out the 20 percent of our electricity that is provided by nuclear power. Or not. What are we going to replace that with? Solar, wind, I think not. Looks like natural gas to me. Investment idea?

The best websites to see what happened/is happening in Japan are:

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Battle_to_stabilise_earthquake_reactors_1203111.html

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/03/12/japan-nuclear-earthquake/

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/03/11/media-updates-on-nuclear-power-stations-in-japan/

Frank Bliss


Feb 23 2011

Ammunition Shortage Update

Since I last posted on ammunition shortages, I have gone through the process of turning a 30 year long hobby of reloading fairly seriously to a business whereby I manufacture custom handloaded ammunition in significant quantities.  After the first 100,000 bullets you make, the rest are more of the same and you get quite good at it.  I have had a meeting of the minds with the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms), a serious discussion with the State Department (the US State Department) for an Export Permit, long hours talking to my local Fire marshal, discussions with the State of Wyoming Sales Tax Division and last but certainly not least my new insurance company. I think that one was my 14th FBI background check.

My background:

For years, I have been around professional shooters, was a police officer, have carried a concealed weapons since 1993 continuously and as far back as 1989 as a police officer.  I’ve shot over a million rounds down range and only had one hit me coming back (right eye).  In other words, I’m a gun guy with some experience in the ammunition business now having established working relationships with 4 major bullet companies, several major middle men in the industry and several gun distributors with warehouses the size of K-mart.  In other words, I’ve been educated.  I have ammunition for sale across the state of Wyoming currently under the name of Extremunition™.  I produce 35 different cartridges with 2 to 8 variations on those themes.

This being said, the point of this blog is to update you as to the condition of the ammo supply, gun industry and some insider thoughts regarding future supplies and concerns.   It is my hope to fully communicate what I have learned since my first blog on this subject.

As I type this in mid-February 2011, the state of the gun business is fairly strong.  Sales of semi-automatic pistols and long guns that look like military weapons but in semi-automatic mode are strong.  High end collectible gun sales are strong at auction.  Ammunition sales are brisk in warm parts of the country but slower where winter has reduced the opportunity to shoot and thus consumption is down.  This is why all the industry trade shows are held in the winter months, it is slow season.  Hunting season is over and most stores that are in good financial shape are/were strong buyers of the calibers that are available to them.  Some calibers are produced seasonally depending on availability of various components (usually the brass) such as .41 magnum and others.  In other words, most stores have most cartridges for sale at the moment.

A little history to get us to this point in time though.  With the election of Barack Obama, (voted gun salesman of the year), the year of 2009 was a HUGE gun sale year pulling ammunition sales along with the gun sales.  There were major shortages of most common calibers going against the conventional wisdom of “buy the common calibers, you’ll always be able to get ammo for it”.  Last year, if you could find ANY .380 ACP, you were pretty lucky. Production caught up with demand mid-summer 2010.

Some interesting points, the instant background check system showed significant increases in normal sales volume from previous years as does the data from 2010.  In otherwords, gun sales have been brisk through all of last year.  However, around the first of the year some weakness in sales have occurred with some wholesale prices being reduced from suppliers for firearms.  I don’t believe that this will carry through to ammunition prices however since the price of components has gone up along with and corresponding to commodity price increases of copper/lead and brass.

As announced within the industry, bullet component price increases at the first of the year will be felt on the shelves this summer. This will occur with or without additional costs by the price increases by UPS and other transportation which is a significant factor.  I today paid $345.00 to ship about 50K bullets from Utah to here in Wyoming via truck freight and I had to go pick them up at a distant terminal for additional cost and time.  These bullets were 100 percent copper bullets and very high end but if you don’t think that copper going high on the markets effect bullet prices, you would be wrong.  If a lead ban goes into effect across the country like the EPA was trying last year, it will REALLY make the cost of shooting go up.  Those companies using lots of lead in their products would be hit terribly but those focusing on copper only bullets would have a field day (no pun intended).

Calibers to buy if you don’t own a gun:

Shortages last year were worst for the following calibers.  .22 LR, .223, .308. .32ACP, .380ACP, 9mm, .38 special, .357 magnum.  The military calibers were almost unobtainable.  The most common calibers there were always boxes on the shelf.  .357 Sig, .40S+W and the really big pistol calibers were usually available along with most hunting calibers.  Shotgun ammo was never observed by me to be in short supply and is a very good choice for self-defense.  Remember the old wisdom of: “your pistol is used to fight your way back to the rifle you never should have put down”.

The “Perfect Storm”.

OK,  Lets pretend for a minute that riots and protests over the most of the islamic world weren’t happening, the economy isn’t about ready to fall off a cliff, hyper-inflation couldn’t happen, essential commodity prices weren’t going to the sky, gas isn’t going to hit 5 bucks and the muni-bond crisis was a figment of a retirees imagination.  Who am I kidding.  One would have to be under the effect of some illegal substance to pretend all that and believe it.  So….. When you are in the middle of a hurricane, wind, rain, tornados, tidal surge, flying debris and lightening are all threats.  Something is going to get you.   I’m not a profit of doom or for that fact Chicken Little BUT,  is it just me or does the sky look like it’s getting closer?

If you want to see a repeat of the ammunition shortage of 2009-2010, just wait around for one of those little problems in the real world to fester to the point where there is a SINGLE violent riot or confrontation of significance in an American City.  Watch EVERY ROUND in EVERY GUN STORE in the country FLY OUT THE DOOR.  People are on edge, aren’t prepared (aren’t spending limited funds on ammo yet), don’t have a plan, live in the middle of major population, and are scared.  I don’t blame them as the security that we used to enjoy is quickly leaving the room.  Maybe we are clinging to god and guns but there is something better about having a bible and a loaded firearm nearby than not having one.

Advice:

Get your ammo while you can.  Get your pantry full, get some extra toilet paper (don’t want to be trading ammo for TP do we?), try to get your hands on some silver coins and do your best to help others get similarly prepared.   The best way not to be a refugee during hard times is to be reliant on yourself not others.  Hang in there, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself and show charity if you can afford to.


Feb 22 2011

Oil Shale, what is it, and “drill baby drill” so to speak.

Geologic Column:

Energy is in the news (again) and with our governments bias against carbon based fuels, the “official line” push is toward “renewable” sources of energy such as solar and wind (which are very expensive and make up only 1 percent of our total energy and only 5 or so percent in the countries with the highest usage). Personally, I have built and am currently using a large solar array, I can tell you that the average guy isn’t going to put 20 or 30 solar panels on his roof and they will never pay for themselves.  In the mean time it looks like we are stuck dealing with conventional petroleum/gas and coal production but there is room and a good possibility that other sources of black gold may creep into position as a significant source of energy.

One of those potential avenues is the one toward the development of Oil Shale.

The definition of oil shale is any sedimentary rock that contains solid bituminous materials (kerogen) that are released as petroleum-like liquids when the rock is heated in the chemical process of pyrolysis.  (In english, heat the rock and oil comes out.)  Good oil shale will burn by itself and is known as the “rock that burns”.  Oil Shales were deposited in a wide range of sedimentary environments including freshwater and saline ponds, lakes, coastal swamps and coal forming environments.  Algae was a significant contributor to the organic kerogen content though land plant detritus/debris also contribute a percentage to the resource.

We are the Saudi Arabia of Oil Shale.  Western Colorado has huge oil shale resources.  The Green River Formations is estimated to have between 1.2 and 1.8 trillion barrels of oil.  (3 time Saudis claimed reserves if there is only a conservative 800 million barrels in the formation).  Historically, uses of oil shale are traced back to ancient times.  By the seventeenth century, the Swedish “alum” shale was roasted over a wood fire and potassium aluminum sulfate was extracted for uses in tanning leather and fixing colors in fabrics.  By the 1800′s the “alum” shale was being retorted for hydrocarbons for a petroleum source which continued till world war II.  Other projects around the world have been moderately successful though long term viability has not been the rule.  Common products made from oil shale in these early operations were kerosene, lamp oil, paraffin, fuel oil, and lubricating oil/grease. Overall though, oil shales have resisted exploitation as a result of cost (tenor),  issues such as availability of water and other production problems have stopped many projects.   Back in 1982, a serious attempt to produce oil from shale at the Colony Oil Shale Project near Parachute Colorado were shut down resulting in 2000 residents becoming unemployed overnight. Inactivity since then has been the standard but in 2005, congress put oil shale back on the fast track.  Some major companies have been given rights to work on BLM land for possible exploitation of these huge resources.

Those technical issues I pointed out earlier are many but a big one is that oil shale requires a large amount of energy to heat up the rock to around 900 degrees to release the oil.  At least 40 percent of the energy in the shale must be used to release the other 60 percent.  Additionally, the shale must be mined, transported, retorted and then disposed of, the efficiency of the process is significantly reduced.  The cost of a 1200 megawatt power plant using oil shale would be around 3 billion dollars and would produce enough energy to serve a city of one half million.  It of course would emit tons of CO2 (which might help us get through this global warming winter we are enjoying) and other air pollutants.  To produce one million barrels of shale oil a day (we use 20 million barrels of oil a day in America), would require 10 new power plants and 5 new shale mines to serve them.

The water issue is also a big one.  Local communities to support the mines and power plants would necessarily grow requiring significant water use let alone the huge amount of water used in oil shale extraction.  Water by itself is a major constraint for the development of oil shale resources.  It will take several barrels of water for each barrel of oil produced though some of that water may be recycled.

The solution to the energy problem is not any one avenue of approach.  It is a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary method that utilized any and all resources we have at our disposal.  Solar, wind, nuclear, tidal, hydro, conventional hydrocarbon, oil shale, tar sands, wood stoves and even proper home design (conservation) all will contribute to our energy menu in the years to come but only if the government gets over it’s political skewed biases based on bad science and starts making cheap energy possible again.  “Drill Baby Drill” sure as heck makes sense to me.  Having said that, reliance on any one of these sources will surely be a fools game.  Investing in one basket is not the best approach to managing ones energy portfolio.

Frank Bliss
Weston, Wyoming


Dec 25 2010

The International Tactical Rifle Championships 2010

The International Tactical Rifle Championships were held on the Bliss Ranch.  In 2010, there were 30 teams of shooters competing in the proving grounds of long range carbine and long range rifle targets out to 1000 yards for rifle and 500 yards for carbine. The ITRC is no longer being held on the Bliss Ranch, it has moved to Gunsite in Arizona.

The competition is open to all professional shooters active in military and law enforcement as well as select qualified civilian marksman.  This event is held on very hilly terrain, in the heat of august and targets are very small.  Hits are positive scores and misses are negative scores so finishing with a score above zero is quite difficult.  Wind, sun, heat, mirage, optical illusion, dust, bugs and exhaustion all take their toll on the shooters and their equipment.  This competition is classed as one of the most difficult in the world and is widely attended.  We have hosted the rifle and carbine events for the last two years and plan to continue for 2011.   There are over 100 metal targets standing on our ranch to challenge the best shooters in the world.  If you think you can hit with your rifle a 10 inch square at 1000 yards while running a timed several mile long course, you should sign up for the event next year.

The chopper event is a separate event held in conjunction with the two other courses of fire and is unrelated to the ITRC except that it is held here at the ranch at the same time.  4 metal targets are spaced on a ridge line over 1/4 mile and the shooter in the chopper engages the targets.  All chopper shooters shoot the same guns so it is equal and the most hits on targets win the guns used in the event (nice AR-15′s).


Sep 9 2009

Been busy this time of year.

I am very sorry for my lack of post and admittedly poor management of the blog lately.  It has quite a few hits each month and I try to write but the end of the year is wrought with weather changes, closing fossil sites up for the coming bad weather, and we had this little event here called the International Tactical Rifle Championships.

Here is a post that is essentially the story/article about the ITRC in the Powder River Examiner (a newspaper from Broadus Montana.

The Bliss Ranch just east of Biddle on the Montana/Wyoming line hosted 2 legs of the 3 events related to the International Tactical Rifle Championships over the weekend of Aug 21-22.  The well attended event was held under beautiful blue skies and great long range shooting conditions.  A team consisting of two shooters, one on a highly modified carbine (almost all AR-15 or M15 to a team) and a rifleman (shooting mostly 308 with some wildcat calibers in the mix) took on the hilly terrain with a time limit of two hours.  Running out of time meant you loose the ability to finish the targets above you, overtaking the team in front of you disqualified the overtaken team from continuing so most team ran the course.  Every man had to carry his own gear and stay on the mowed, flagged courses each over 2 miles long.  The third event was held off Bliss Ranch down at the Small Arms Training Academy near Gillette.

Several locals including  Colby Trump, Terry Powell, Ted Amsden, Dave Reed, Trusty Matheson, Marty and J Reno, and Chris/Frank Bliss were Range officers keeping score, calling hit and miss for each of the several thousand shots on both courses and enforcing very tough safety rules. There were no injures except to some of the chains holding targets.  Frank Bliss had several trips around the 4 miles of courses left to pick up the remaining loose brass from the event.  The two days of the shooting event yielded 63 pounds of highly prized, very high end match rifle/carbine cases.

The shot distances envelope were from 0 to 500 yards for carbine and 100 to 1000 yards for rifle.  Ranging lasers were permitted.  Wind instruments, barometric readings and altitude corrections were all the rage. The targets made from either rectangular railroad hard plate used to hold rails to the ties (8 inch by 14 inch) and 10 in square 1/4 inch thick hardox steels hung between regular T posts with either a rebar/rubber belt or rebar and double chains on each sides.

Twenty six teams from all over the world attended the the competition which boasted a 44 thousand dollar first prize, several custom rifles, 10 day/10 animal safari trips to africa with Randy Cotoure (the professional mix martial artist) as a companion, lots of gear donated by “Spec Ops corporation” and plaques for the Winners.

A sideline competition which almost everyone attending (even spectators and neighbors) was a helicopter shoot where 4 “pepper popper” targets were strafed by passengers with feet on the landing skid using custom Rock River AR-15′s.  The highest score took all.  The prize was the two custom Rock River AR-15s. Ejected brass was collected before it left the helicopter by an attached bag on the firearm.

The winners of the ITRC were the team of Bennie Cooley and Michael Voight with a total score of 5023.  That was a big lead 90 percent of the other teams had scores below 4000.  Cooley and Voight have been national Champions before.  They defeated the other teams consisting of a mix of professional shooters, military, government and qualified civilians.

Frank Bliss (who is a certified instructor of small arms and self defense) of the Bliss Ranch has worked in close cooperation with Mr. Dave Lauck toward this event for the past two years. Dave Lauck is considered by many to be the most knowledgeable small arms expert in the world. He has excelled in every aspect of the industry in addition to spending over 25 years in law enforcement. Dave is a much sought after instructor by police and military units and was presented the Golden Eagle Award from the U.S. military for professional firearms training. He holds numerous training certifications and was the Chief of sniper instruction at the 2004 World SWAT Conference. Dave is also a world-class shooter with multiple championships in three-gun, pistol and rifle matches. He was the first person to surpass Jeff Cooper’s 20-20-20 challenge: 20 shots, in less than 20 seconds, at less than a 20-inch target at 1000 yards and a member of the One Mile Club. Dave is also the Director of the International Tactical Rifleman Championships and the Carlos Hathcock Benefit Shoot-off. Dave has written for numerous shooting publications and authored four books including Advanced Tactical Marksman. He lives in Gillette, WY.

It is planned that this event will occur next year on the Bliss Ranch with a rearranged course of fire and perhaps a new course in the mix connecting the first two so we can configure as we wish.  Good shooting all.

Frank Bliss


Mar 9 2009

Ammunition Shortage

Have you been to the gun store recently.  It seems that they are one of the few industries that has been positively affected by the Obama economic slowdown.  Sturm Ruger corporations stock (for instance) is going through the roof.  I have been talking to contacts around the country and this is not a local Wyoming phenomena by any means.

In New Jersey, you can’t buy a 12 guage shotgun, not because they are illegal to buy, but because there aren’t any to buy on the shelves.  In South Dakota, Cabella’s OutDoor Outfitter’s sells ammunition as soon as it arrives.  Literally sold as quickly as it is being unpacked and put on the shelves.  I personally spent an hour visiting every internet source of ammunition that I knew of (dozens) and I finally found some .45 caliber pistol defensive rounds.  Everyone on line lists all calibers but none of them have everything listed.  Backorders, out of stock, or “Don’t even ask” is on the websites when you click “add to cart”.  I have literally been looking weeks for a few hundred rounds of common .380 pistol ammo. Interestingly, if you call a major manufacturer of AR-15′s, (who don’t even pick up the phone now), you have to send a fax for your order and it will take a year to get it.  Have fun with that.

In my closest town (Gillette Wyoming), there are 4 gun shops.  Out here in hunting country where pickup trucks usually have a rifle in the back window, ammunition has always been taken for granted.  Reloading ammo is a way of life.  Similarly to complete cartridges, reloading components are immediately sold off shelves as they are unpacked from their shipping containers.  The big stores not only cannot keep up with demand, they are not even close to being able to obtain the supplies they need as this “shortage” runs up the supply chain.  I also noticed that in all 4 shops, there isn’t an AR-15 for sale in the town.  This is the first time since I’ve lived in Wyoming (since 91), that I haven’t seen one in a local gun store.  Multi-round shotguns are also of short supply and only cheaper off brands are on the shelf.  You couldn’t buy a Remington 870 if you wanted to.  Additionally, any gun of any use in self defense has almost doubled in value from several years ago. This is indeed a National phenomena.

The reasons for this shortage are many no doubt.  I place high on the list, a belief (a highly likely outcome) that the Obama administration is going to reinstate the Clinton Assault Weapon ban that sunset a few years back.  My thinking goes, that people aren’t going to try to overthrow the gov’t or anything that sinister.  I just believe that there is a widespread fear of the anarchy that this kind of economic stress could (and really might) bring.  It is a fact that if you can’t defend yourself, your family/property and can’t rely on police, then you are a helpless sheep surrounded by wolves.  Therefore, law abiding people are taking up arms.  This is coinciding with an increase in use by law enforcement and military units buying up supplies for practice and looking to save money before some of this ammo is “taxed” out of means of ordinary folks.  There is a HUGE demand for guns and ammo what ever the cause.

Right below the surface, there is certainly an unspoken sense of alarm that this social unrest and political outrage, force fed leftists social spending, economic turmoil, and a big (and growing) sense of cynicism about the effectiveness of our legal system.  There is also a high probability of a terrorist attck which would increase the tension around the country in numerous ways. All of this is being managed by an out of control congress and a dangerously ideological new president which doesn’t make Joe Plumber (average guy) feel very secure. As other world economies tank even harder than ours, there is talk of a “new world order” and a world wide “new deal”.  The future is unknown and isn’t looking very bright to say the least.

Having said that, obtaining a reasonable supply of ammunition and firearms may be a very prudent act.  This is to suggest that sooner or later, Bible thumping, hate filled conservative “Bubba” is going to have to stand in line now with a very liberal left coast transplant from San Francisco to get ammo supplies because after all, this country is first come first serve.  If I were that liberal, I would be very polite to Bubba because Bubba knows how to use his gun where that left-winger has only seen them used in the movies.  Hopefully, this doesn’t come down to Darwinistic principles where only those with three or more arms survive.

The next point is, now that you have your spanking new semi-automatic, laser/light equiped, bayonett mounted firearm, how do you use them?  Where do the “bullets” go in???  If you don’t know how to care for, operate in the dark with, shoot a man sized target at 400 yards with firearm, then what?  Time to get trained huh?  I suggest Gunsite, Front Site, or any other professionally run training program.  You also need more than one magazine.  I suggest 20 or so for each gun.

OK, so civil unrest spreads and the law is too busy to help you.  If you don’t hunker down, you’ll have to move.  Got somewhere to go?  Driving isn’t going to work as roads are for those that want to get ambushed. Time to take a hike?

Now that you know how to use and care for your nice new gun, do you have a sling for it? How about some gear to carry those spare mags for a walk out in the country if you need to get out of Dodge.  Got your pretty RED backpack preloaded? (nice subdued earth tones like wooland camo are better). How about breaking in those walking shoes.  Anyway to carry or at least filter water?  How about some packed meals ready to eat (MRE) enough for at least 3 days.  Can you stay warm?  GOOD (get out of Dodge) bags good for at least 72 hours should be an immediate priority.  If you have to move, your not going to have time without some kind of plan.  Do you have all that equipment for every member of your party/family.  Lone wolfs don’t do as well as a group.  Buddy up and good luck.  Time to start reading and preparing for contingencies as only those who are not prepared are afraid, those that are prepared are better secure.

If inflation kicks in, tangables maintain their value.  I can’t think of a better investment than a fine defensive firearm and ammunition for it.  Time to start shopping before the new administration decides you shouldn’t.

Please prepare so you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Your government is not going to take care of you.


Feb 20 2009

SO2 is the real cause of Global Warming

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Let me be the first to tell you what is actually happening with the climate.

A retired USGS Geologist and all around brilliant guy, Dr. Peter Ward (from Jackson Hole, WY) has just published this week a VERY impressive paper (I was lucky enough to review it prior to publication) which clearly throws some light on the Carbon Dioxide’s role in “Global Warming”.  While Carbon Dioxide has gotten BIG billing as the culprit green house gas, Dr. Ward’s data clearly shows that CO2 did not initiate the warming that the climate experienced up until 1998 (been cooling since).  That prestigious honor is given to Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) which is emitted by volcano’s and burning fossil fuel.
The paper published just this month indicates that the the largest temperature increases in the last 46,000 years has occurred while volcanism was very active.  These volcanos pumped too much SO2  into the atmosphere at once.  Over the last 2,000 years, the big eruptions occurred at the rate of one per century, but man (since 1962) has been putting as much SO2 into the air as those big volcano’s every 1.7 years.  It just so happens that in 1979, there were global efforts to curtail and regulate Sulfur Dioxide because of another of it’s effects called acid rain. These efforts cut emissions significantly by 2000 and global temperatures stopped increasing, a current trend that CO2 climate models aren’t able to account for.
The green house effect of SO2 is indirect.  The more SO2 in the upper atmosphere, the less the atmosphere can cleanse itself of other green house gasses particularly Methane (CH4 also known as natural gas).  Methane is a green house gas with many times the ability to trap heat that CO2 has.  Normally sunlight causes Ozone and other chemicals to form which breaks down the methane which normally resides in the atmosphere for around 27 days.  Too much SO2 stops the normal atmospheric cleansing and allows methane a longer residency time causing it to build up.  This in turn causes temperatures to build but since we stopped introducing as much SO2, the time lag was around 20 years for the atmosphere to once again clean itself up and cool down.
This cooling should continue unless a major volcano occurs (temporary cooling by the SO2 aerosol followed by significant warming from accumulated methane) or we allow developing countries like china to use high sulfur coal without effective scrubbing on their power plants.  I am talking to Dr. Ward about working the suns output into the mix as it does change from time to time.  If you ask a solar scientist what causes global warming, he says “the sun”.  A variable sun has something to do with some of it, but we will have to wait until this is through into the mix to know the total picture.  There is a strong correlation between low numbers of sunspots (inactive sun) and cooling but that is for another paper later.
Suffice to say that I am pretty convinced by the impressive data set presented Dr. Ward paper that SO2 is the big culprit and that CO2 is just a minor player in global warming.  Let’s hope that our government doesn’t buy into wholesale elimination of CO2 production and completely change the economy back to the middle ages (It was much warmer then than now!  Just look it up.)  We don’t need electricity prices tripling in the next 10 years like will occur if “Cap and Trade” legislation passes our congress and hits our industries.  This scientific paper needs to circulate big time and you heard about it here first.
For more details, visit Dr. Ward’s website at www.tetontectonics.org

Feb 4 2009

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Thanks  

Frank Bliss MS Geology

Owner Bliss Dinosaur Ranch.