This splashed onto several blogs last week, and it's just too good a train wreck to ignore. Do not be mislead: the advice this guy gives is a sure ticket to a jail cell. The ‘term clueless loon' comes to mind...
For years people like Mas Ayoob and Marty Hayes have been educating people on the realities of the legal side of self defense, but apparently this guy missed every freaking memo - or, perhaps as likely, willfully ignored them. Rest assured that if you follow any of his advice, you will go to prison.
Don't be this guy; learn about your rights and responsibilities, how shooting cases are investigated, and how claims of self defense are tested in court. The information is out there, it's readily available, and it can keep you from making stupid mistakes.
(This video also serves as a perfect illustration of why you should never take medical, legal, or self defense advice from anyone who hides behind a pseudonym on the 'net.)
I received a bunch of emails from last week's story on the reintroduction of the Dan Wesson Model 715 by CZ-USA.
Some of them centered around the gun's MSRP, which is reported as being $1200. If the gun is of superb quality, that's not an unreasonable figure. Think of it this way: Freedom Arms has no trouble selling their high-end single actions, and the S&W Performance Center - despite putting out some embarrassingly bad examples - seems to sell all of the expensive revolvers they can produce.
If the new DW is of sufficient quality, the price should not be a barrier except to those who've grown accustomed to the cheap used examples that still abound in the market. A new DW would thus have to be substantially better than the best Monson guns available to justify their price tag. I'm not sure CZ is up to the task.
Another email came from someone who contacted CZ for more details. CZ reportedly said that they're making only 500 of these models, and that they couldn't make any more because they didn't have the blueprints!
The former Serva crew certainly had the plans, and if CZ-USA didn't get them in their acquisition of DW it would be a stupendous blunder. I suspect the truth is a little more pedestrian: CZ still has the former owner's run of 715 frames, which they realized could generate more revenue being sold than scrapped. If the writer of the email is correct in that they're only making 500 guns, this would tend to support my theory.
It wouldn't be the first time. When CZ-USA acquired DW from Bob Serva’s company they trotted out a few large frame models in the odd .460 Rowland chambering - coincidentally, the same chambering that Serva himself had hyped. CZ promised that other calibers would follow but the entire line quietly disappeared.
At the time I suggested the only guns CZ-USA had were those that were in process at the time of the acquisition, and that no others were likely to be made. The passing years seem to have validated that opinion, and I suspect the same thing is being done with this limited run of the 715.
All that aside there is still an opening in the market for a good quality double action revolver, and with the appropriate amount of work the DW could fill that space. As I've said before: it will take some re-engineering of certain parts of the gun, flawless construction quality, and a company that displays a solid commitment to the product.
So far CZ-USA has shown us all but three of those attributes.
I’m actually anxious to eat crow on this, as I'd love to see Karl Lewis' great design back on the market. I sincerely hope CZ-USA steps up to the plate and proves me wrong, but we now have a half-decade of history which suggests they're not going to.
Got an email recently from a fellow who noticed that CZ-USA is once again illustrating new Dan Wesson 715 revolvers on their site. As you may recall, this is an old story; you can read it here, here, and here.
When CZ-USA acquired Dan Wesson in 2005, the first thing they did was promise that revolvers would be an important part of their business. They even showed a prototype "new 715" at SHOT that season. Time passed and nothing more came of the 'new' 715, though they continued to show the prototype.
Fast forward to what is nearly 2011 and they're once again promising revolvers 'any day now'. Pardon my cynicism, but I'm not about to believe anything until I see the guns on dealer's shelves. Even then, if they're not perfect - and I do mean perfect in every way - they'll be too little, too late. CZ-USA dropped the ball, and it'll take a lot more than empty promises to get me back into their court.
THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: I hope everyone had a great (as in safe and happy) Christmas weekend. I hope you'll accept my sincere wishes for a happy New Year - may 2010 be a darn sight better than 2009!
HERE WE GO AGAIN: Maryville, TN has had a couple of accidental shooting deaths in the past weeks. Both incidents involved guns that (brace yourselves) people thought "were unloaded." The Maryville Police Chief, one Tony Crisp, concludes that people just weren't pretending hard enough:
"Treat a gun as always being a loaded gun," he said. "Once you cleared it, check it again."
A more nonsensical statement I cannot imagine! I hope that you will save me the trouble of tearing it apart by seeing for yourself the logic failures therein. How much better it would have been had he taken the opportunity to do some real education by saying something like: "never point a gun - any gun, loaded or unloaded - at anything you're not willing to shoot. Don't let anyone around you do so, either."
SOMEONE ELSE FOR A CHANGE: A couple years back I made an offhand remark about Charter Arms guns. That one little sentence generated a ton of hate mail, including some from Charter's president/owner and their largest distributor. Well, M.D. Creekmore over at thesurvivalistblog.net made a more pointed statement regarding Charter's "quality", and he too heard from Charter's owner. It's in the comments; scroll to the bottom.
One of the hardest things to predict in this business is workflow. The shop will be humming along, work flying out the door, then suddenly a few large projects (total customs or heavy restorations) come in and the work slows to a snail's pace. Those bottlenecks seem to come in groups, when they're most difficult to deal with. It makes mincemeat out of the most conservative projections!
Occasionally someone will suggest that being a one-man shop is limiting the amount of business I can do, and that I should take on employees. Aside from not wanting the hassle (I was once a corporate lackey with a pile of employees to handle - I know of what I speak), there's also a bit of personal pride involved: if my name is on the work, I think it's important that I actually do said work. If it's good, I want the accolade, and if it's bad I don't want to be reduced to pointing like a 5-year-old and screaming "but it's HIS fault!"
There exists today a well-known gunsmithing concern whose very talented owner used to do all his own work. He "progressed" to having employees, but supervised their work closely. Judging by the recent experiences of several of my clients, he's been reduced to sending out emails explaining why their shoddy work is actually better than the quality product he used to provide.
Personally, no amount of money (or time savings) will convince me to do that - my clients deserve better.
Dog people, I need some advice. We have a year-old Shepherd/Newfoundland mix who won't sleep in the spacious, insulated doghouse we've provided. He'll go in to eat, and he's been known to voluntarily pile his toys in it, but he sleeps on our porch exposed to the rain and wind. One would think that sooner or later he'd get cold enough and wet enough to use it for the intended purpose, but it has yet to happen. Should I just leave him to his misery, since it appears to be of his own choosing?
There are times that I feel I'm harping on the safety issue, but with the number of grievous injuries and deaths that occur I don't think it is unwarranted.
The latest, sent to me by an alert reader, is a self-expose (complete with pictures) of a nasty handgun incident. Short version: this fellow, in an attempt to test a recently installed grip safety, pointed his gun at his leg and pulled the trigger. The sequence of events was predictable. (Warning - the pictures may be graphic for some people.)
Once again, I'm going to place the blame squarely on Traditional Rule #1: "All guns are always loaded", or any variant thereof. He felt free to do something blatantly stupid with his gun, because he was sure that he had unloaded it. Since he was sure that he unloaded it, in his mind the other rules obviously didn't apply. If they did, he wouldn't have pointed it at his leg as he intentionally pulled the trigger!
What bothers me most about this fellow's misfortune isn't that he was injured, but that he still doesn't get why it happened in the first place. He is so clueless about this, in fact, that he cites the classic Four Rules of Firearms Safety, starting with the offending Traditional Rule #1 in his article, and explaining to his readers that they should follow them. This is in fact the wrong thing to do, and is what caused his injuries.
It is my opinion that the more people who follow Traditional Rule #1, the more accidents like his will occur. Again, Traditional Rule #1 leads people to do dumb things with guns, because once they're convinced the gun is unloaded they feel at liberty to ignore the other three. In my opinion, we should instead be teaching people to follow the Three Commandments of Gun Safety religiously:
Never point a gun - any gun, loaded or unloaded - at anything you are not willing to shoot.
Keep your finger out of the triggerguard until you are ready to fire.
Know where your shots will land and what they’ll touch along the way.
Let's look at his accident: he violated the First Commandment, because he thought the gun was unloaded.
He then violated the Second Commandment, because he thought the gun was unloaded.
Finally, he proceeded to violate the Third Commandment, because he thought the gun was unloaded.
The result? A large emergency room bill. Lots of pain. All because Traditional Rule #1 allowed him to do stupid things with a gun once he was "sure" it was unloaded!
(It is worth noting that the gentleman in question, one Darwin Teague, is on Usenet record as declaring that he would never carry a Glock, as he considers them to be "unsafe." With all due respect, Mr. Teague, if you do stupid things with guns, loaded or not, all the safety features in the world won't stop you from shooting yourself - as you have found out. I wish you luck, as you seem to need it.)