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Noted in Passing: At the Range

The Project

Today I decided to acquire my first pistol in California, the Capitol of “NO” in America. I’d taken the courses at the excellent Downrange in Chico and a fine set of courses they are. I’d reviewed the current state of the proctological process of buying a pistol in California.  Because of this I budgeted about 3 hours at Downrange to select the pistol and go through the process.

The Process

1. Get the California “RealID.” This is your standard California Driver’s License but, I guess, “Mo’ Realer.” To obtain this permission slip you have to show up at the DMV with a current valid driver’s license ID plus a passport… plus –if you got it — a birth certificate… plus something else official with an address on it identical to the address on your driver’s license. It doesn’t matter if you have just renewed your driver’s license because, I guess, it just isn’t real enough. Then you are thumb printed and photographed. Wait a week or two and here it comes in the mail. It looks just like your previous UnRealID except it has a little golden bear in the upper right corner.

2. Haul thy ass with RealID off to Downrange and make your selection. But you also need a second bit of ID to make the RealID more real than a RealID.  At this point, your RealID has become a SurRealID. Then you must take a firearms proficiency and knowledge of gun law test and pass. 

3. Next it is a deluge of different paperwork: dating, signing, initialing, and swearing that you are not a crazed felonious whack job itching to spread mayhem. (For that sort of thing you just wander around parts of Sacramento and buy one — cash on the barrelhead, take the grease-stained paper bag,  and adios muchacho. And Si it has a 14 round magazine instead of the 10 rounds the Rulers of California have decided is the holy bullet number.) 

4. Following the assemblage of enough paperwork to make a modest pinata comes the autofornication festival of various signatures and thence electronic submissions to some sort of background check apparatus somewhere inside the vast digital realm of MatrixCalifornia where the Gods of Permissions may deign to review your craven and humbled plea to please, please, please let me have the means to defend myself.

The Glitch

Then it is time to pay. Up to this point, the Jerry-Get-Your-Gun process has been proctological but smooth… an advantage in things proctological. Then — just as my card was about to be submitted for permission to buy from the Gods of American Express —  Comcast takes the internet down for all of North Chico and, poof!… hangfire. I am in limbo until such time as the Gods of Comcast decide to put the internet back up. Until then everything I am doing at Downrange along with everything else at Downrange and at the Dutch Brother’s coffee junkies’ shop next door comes to a screeching halt.

When this happens I notice that most of the staff at Downrange along with the customers in the place check their phones for connectivity. I do and see there are still bars. Behind me a man looks at his phone and says to the woman beside him, “If I ever see the Internet and the phones down at the same time I’m going home to load more magazines.”  What can I say? People seem edgy these days. Can’t imagine why.

Waiting for     Godot      the Internet I glance down at my copy of the document sent to the Permissions Gods in Sacramento and DC. The man selling me the pistol puts his finger on a number in a box in the top upper left corner. That number is 2,657. It is 12:30 PM on a Tuesday.

“That’s the number of pistols sold and sent for background checks so far today in California.”

“Two thousand six hundred and fifty-seven guns sold today in California? Really?”

“It’ll be at least 5,000 by midnight tonight.”


“Really. We’ve been seeing between 5,000 and 6,000 a day since January. In California. Seven days a week.”

“Whoa. People in California are getting strapped.”

“We prefer to think of them as new hobbyists.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mill Tone August 31, 2021, 6:08 PM

    And exceptional. Had to check that the writer was not a guest post writer, but NO! it really is the author of the American Digest. Must be fiction, thinks me.

    Whether fiction or not, what an outstanding description of the process of securing the most basic of American lore. Thanks for all you good work, Mr. Vanderleun.

  • Roll-Aid August 31, 2021, 6:21 PM

    Congratulations. Now, just try buying ammo. It’s better today than it was earlier this year, but prices are high. Shipping to CA may be an issue, not sure. I just set aside a certain amount of money every month for range / practice and don’t consume it all. Gradually have built up a very modest supply.

  • Cris August 31, 2021, 6:31 PM

    So…. what did you choose?

  • Terry August 31, 2021, 6:36 PM

    Congrats Gerard !

    My suggestion is, after you are operationally comfortable with the weapon, get a tactical trainer person to get you proficient in serious usage with the piece. This is a must in my opinion. Ex-military individual is my recommendation. There are many expert firearms people in Cali.

    Then train, train, train until you are at the muscle memory stage. Then get into Three Gun competition.

    You will then be safe in Oakland.

    • Bill Quick September 1, 2021, 3:59 PM

      You will never be safe in Oakland.

  • ghostsniper August 31, 2021, 7:09 PM

    I bought ammo from this place last year.

    You can check prices on available ammo anywhere here:

    I have purchased lots of magazines here.

    Finally, yes, Uncle Mike’s holsters work OK.
    My Beretta 92FS has lived in one for more than 20 years, and so does it’s little brother the Bobcat.

    FWIW, even though I have been licensed to carry in multiple states for 30+ years, the last 4 times I was NIC checked it failed. I had to go back 3 days later to get the gun(s). Everybody I know that’s a gun owner has similar stories.

    • Dave September 2, 2021, 12:30 PM

      Thanks for the link tip ghost, lax appears to have better in stock inventory than most. All though I handload quite a bit there are some factory loads that I can not match in certain arms.

  • Snakepit Kansas August 31, 2021, 7:29 PM

    TELL US MORE!!!! Wuddiju get???? What caliber? C’mon man!

    From my experience working at a gun range, it is not uncommon for common names to delay during the FBI instant background check. If your name is Mike Jones or John Williams, you have a higher probability of being delayed. If you have a valid concealed carry license from your home state, that should nullify you from having to do the instant background check. The ID from your CCH is input onto the federal form and unless you have additional state or local laws, you should be able to walk out with a new heater.

  • Vanderleun August 31, 2021, 7:36 PM

    What did I choose?

    One I could afford to buy and shoot.

    • ghostsniper September 1, 2021, 4:32 AM

      Sounds like a S&W M+P, very affordable.
      ‘cept for the ammo.

  • robert kendall August 31, 2021, 7:42 PM

    shooting a pistol well reminds me of putting

    • John A. Fleming August 31, 2021, 9:02 PM

      Hmm. There are two kinds of shooting well: 1. repeatable putting a small cluster of holes in the desired place in paper targets. 2. Hitting the target(s) at all when your life depends on it and with seconds to spare.
      #1 is like a day of goofing off at the practice greens and driving ranges. For #2, it’s hard to see the connection. Maybe if you’re golfing with high rollers and a big bet is hanging on whether the ball drops into the cup.
      Some professionals do fast-reaction drills, but they have to reserve a private range, the public ranges don’t allow that kind of dynamic action. Been there, done that at least once, it was fun. Three-gun competitions are probably the way the average citizen can get a regular dose of hitting targets in a dynamic environment. Would speed golfing be the equivalent?

  • Andy Texan August 31, 2021, 9:02 PM

    Am a new gun owner. Never before thought it necessary. Now I can’t imagine being without. Luv me a Sig 9mm P320 M-17.

  • Mike Anderson August 31, 2021, 9:04 PM

    We have a similar, if much-streamlined, bit of BOHICA here in Texas for the Concealed Carry License, which is greatly expedited if one possesses a valid form DD-214. My driver’s license somehow Got Real (dude!) the last time I renewed it, so getting the CCL wasn’t too bad. Of course, this was after I had already gunned up, which only required Real ID, cash, and 3 days waiting. But the Prestige came when I went shopping for the inevitable Next Firearm. Filled out a form, showed the CCL, waited about 15 minutes for the robots to shuffle some paper, paid the man, and took home a new Best Friend. Heck, if I wasn’t married, I’d do that every week.

  • Casey Klahn August 31, 2021, 9:16 PM

    Cograts, citizen Vanderluen. Train enough to not fear that thing. They aren’t magic, like in the movies. The bullet goes where it’s shot, and that is on an increasingly inaccurate deflection and trajectory as it goes down range. Hitting things is a serious talent and skill. Handguns are a knack, too. Once shot, it cannot be unshot. You own whatever it does.
    I 5 thousand percent support your decision. I realize the cost, in human terms, of living in California. Go with God.
    Oh! Just like the leashes on a climber’s ice tools, you want to continually buy holsters until you find the one you can wear. It’s an R&D project that must work right in the end.

    • Paddy September 1, 2021, 6:58 AM

      Concur with Casey on the holster thing. I went thru many until I found one I liked, from a little custom shop called Precision Holsters in Placerville, CA, right down the street from me, down the highway from you, G. So comfortable with my 1911 in place, I find myself wanting to check if it’s still there. Rubs the finish on the slide a bit, but nothin’s perfect. You end up with a small collection.

      Would be nice to have a co-op, where retired holsters can be shared with other carriers and spare them the expense, as they aren’t cheep.

      • Paddy September 1, 2021, 6:59 AM

        By the weigh Gerard, this was a very entertaining read.

  • Gordon Scott August 31, 2021, 9:58 PM

    In the Valley of the Sun the procedure can be less onerous. I know a guy, in a public space open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You don’t get a huge selection, and early bird gets the best. Ammo also, but the most popular loads sell quickly.

    If he doesn’t like your look or demeanor, well, you failed the background check. Otherwise, cash gets you the gun you choose. As for paperwork, once he asked to borrow my pen to write down a phone number. He doesn’t have a pen at his table.

  • Dirk August 31, 2021, 9:59 PM

    Congratulations, GV. Beware the man whom owns only one gun. FWIW, spend the money purchase a outstanding holster. Prefer leather for comfort, but kydex is at this point winning the carry battle. If I may, always carry one spare mag minimum or more for your chosen pistol.

    “Rule of 10.000” draw and present your chosen weapon,,,practice daily until zero wasted movement is achieved. Until every presentation is seem less. Different angles, sitting, standing turning left and right, climbing, anything to train your EYES to coordinate with your trigger fingers. Always shoot with both eyes open. You see four times as much. Perhaps the single second objective lesson is sweeping or gathering ones shit for lifting. Shit coat has to be out of the way before you can complete you presentation, it’s and integral part of your draw.

    Most men practice what their good at. Consider the exact same training regiment with both hands. I spend more time working my weak side then my strong side anymore.

    Iwb is by far the most prevalent for concealed carry. As Bill Buppert calls it,,,,,,,,, Dick carry is worth practicing.

    Belts, a good belt is important. Many belts specifically designed for gun carry, is a tell. see any man with a belt, assume he’s packing. Lastly, always always always pay attention to which hand is the persons dominant hand. A split second advantage is a good thing.

    Hope this helps GV, been carrying a pistol for roughly forty six years.

    You get board come on up to Oregon we’ll work on your pistol fu.


  • Auntie Analogue August 31, 2021, 9:59 PM


    Then, Mr. Van der Leun, enjoy shooting.

    For me shooting is something of a Zen thing. When I do it I shut out the rest of the world and then focus entirely on safety, proper operation, good aim, triple-sure clearing, and then more safety all the way through transport, field stripping, cleaning, oiling, and stowage. To me it’s a sacred ritual because it is our Divinely ordained sacred right.

  • Zaphod August 31, 2021, 11:41 PM

    Good job!

    Now it will be just that little bit harder for anyone to Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate you.

  • Mike Austin September 1, 2021, 4:16 AM

    How I buy guns in Oklahoma City:

    1. Ride bicycle to gun store. (I do not own a vehicle.)
    2. Buy gun.
    3. Ride home.

    Time in gun store: 20 minutes.

  • John the River September 1, 2021, 5:14 AM

    It sounds like the process was no more than a week. And scant interaction with local or state authorities.
    Here in Massachusetts I’ve been working at the same process, for eight months.
    Long wait for mandated Gun Safety classes. Longer wait for mandated Live Fire class with certified instructor. Very long wait for my procrastinating friends to write the three mandated letters of recommendation that attest to my character. Another very long wait for an appointment with the local PD’s licensing officer. He required five separate pieces of paper to prove I was a resident of the town for more than one year. And three different pieces of paper and plastic to prove I am who I say I am.
    The actual interview was brief, I’ve been told that some persons have had a difficult time during said interview but that may be the luck of the draw as to the police officer you draw.
    I was photographed and fingerprinted. I handed over the $100 postal money order (no cash, no checks, no credit cards accepted) for the fee.
    The letter from my personal doctor was rejected. Since I retired most of my oldest friends have also retired and immediately moved out of state. So Neil is someone I have known for over twenty years and we are also friends. But “No Doctors Letters”. So I had to come back with another personal letter.

    But all paperwork is in. Now I just have to wait for the (expected) four months for the decision; of IF a firearms license is to be granted me and what level of license (home only, home and gun range or the Holy of Holies a license to carry concealed). Or just a permit to carry mace.

    If I’m lucky and Biden doesn’t dictate that all gun licences are cancelled then by December I might be able to buy myself a Christmas present.

  • PGT Beauregard September 1, 2021, 6:41 AM

    Good on you GVL.
    But the real takeaway is 5,000 handguns a day being sold in CA.
    This is a sign to me that CW2 is already in progress.
    It wont be long before minor fender benders result in shoot em ups. (happening already in brownsville, I know). And scores are settled, not by fists, but with quickdraws on the sidewalk.

    Consider carrying “modified mexican”. This is off your right back hip between your pants and your skin. no holster.

  • Jack September 1, 2021, 6:45 AM

    You are now in gooder company Pilgrim but you shoulda picked up a couple. A .22 for cheaper practicing and a larger caliber for CC or whatever you choose to do with it. And, if you buy a revolver for practice, buy a revolver for serious stuff. Samesame with pistols. If you use a 1911 style .22 for practice, buy a 1911 style pistol in your defensive caliber. Likewise for the Glock styles, etc and remember, it ain’t empty until you have removed the mag, pulled back the slide and locked it open.

    Most of all have fun with it and be safe.

    • Paddy September 1, 2021, 7:05 AM

      You can only buy one handgun every 30 days here is the People’s Republik of Kalifornia. Keeps everyone SO much safer that way, dontchaknow.

      • Jack September 2, 2021, 6:02 AM

        I didn’t think of that but it figgurs. None the less, he should proceed and of all things I hope he enjoys shooting as much as I. Hemingway and Capstick were a gun nuts, no reason that GVL shouldn’t follow suit.

  • ghostsniper September 1, 2021, 7:30 AM

    In case you didn’t know it, now that you are a durty assed, lyin’ dog faced pony soldier, you are on every vile list across the fruited plain and all of the communist criminals know that you have joined the ranks of the insane and are prone to going off half cocked and shooting up schools, medical facilities, court houses and especially “gun free” zones and anywhere where POC congregate. They have you in their radar sweep and are considering ways to make you suffer. Perhaps your vehicle insurance premium will rise the next time it is due, or CVS will be “out” of your necessary prescription but will call you when it is available, or your VISA credit card company will inconveniently not work the next time you want to use it. And on and on.

    Tender little emotional basket cases not yet fully exposed to the harsh realities that permanently exist once the curtain is pulled back often wince and revolt inside when I mention I have learned how to live as a criminal in a criminal world. The day is fast approaching when no one will be able to deny the obvious.

    • James ONeil September 1, 2021, 1:10 PM

      Shucky darn Ghost, he was already on all the lists just for talking/writing to folks like you and me & for lettin’ us talk here!

  • Jay Solo September 1, 2021, 7:35 AM

    Here in Massachusetts the distinguishing graphic on the RealID license is… a yellow star! Such great optics. Haven’t done the gun thing yet, but am lucky to live in a town where it’s all but rubber stamped because of course everyone ought to own a gun. On the town Facebook group, there’s regularly a post offering the class from a local who does them. I don’t expect it to be a huge big deal, though obviously it SHOULD be “sell me a gun please” and “OK, want some extra ammo while you’re at it?” with absolutely no fanfare. But hey.

  • Kevin in PA September 1, 2021, 7:39 AM

    Nix the suggestion to carry “Mexican style”. Get a proper, strong side (your dominant hand side) holster.
    If you bought a wheel gun learn how to efficiently dump spent brass and reload with your choice of speed loader, moon clips, etc. if you got an auto loader, buy plenty of magazines and learn how to drop the empty mag and reload the new…as quickly as possible.
    Also dry-firing is an excellent way to practice the draw stroke and smooth trigger pull without expending costly ammo.

    Stay safe and have fun.

  • rabbit tobacco September 1, 2021, 7:44 AM

    I carry a ruger lcr 5 shot
    hammerless revolver with
    +p ammo.

  • Dan September 1, 2021, 8:45 AM

    Inside the Waistband (IWB)
    Outside the Waistband (OWB)
    (Shoulder/ankle/bellyband are available, but impractical)

    Kydex heat-formable plastic

    As the owner of approximately 100 holsters (yes), and after initially buying Kydex IWB that I carried in the small of my back, I personally have settled on a style known as Avenger (Galco holsters, https://www.galcogunleather.com/avenger-belt-holster_8_4_1023.html) or Osprey (Desantis gunhide, https://www.desantisholster.com/osprey/). A loose shirt covers them nicely.

    Second choice is crossdraw carried on front left (for right hand draw.) Favorite supplier: Azula holsters. https://azulagunholsters.com/product/cross-draw-holster-copy/
    Crossdraw works better for smaller guns.

    You will need a 1-1/2″ wide gunbelt that is approximately 1/4″ thick, to support the gun on your waist. https://azulagunholsters.com/product/azula-custom-1-5-inch-leather-belts-copy/ or, my personal belts, by Relentless Tactical (I own two; black and brown): https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C297VR6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Why leather for holsters? It’s simply more comfortable and, with time, relaxes to fit you, your belt, and the gun. You can also wet it and form it if necessary, after watching a few how-to videos.

    After watching the video of the Texas church where an armed Deacon dispatched a shotgun-wielding madman who had already killed two deacons *serving communion* — and watching as men tried and failed to pull their guns from the smalls of their backs — I decided that getting the gun out if it was ever necessary was of prime importance. https://www.usacarry.com/graphic-content-video-of-texas-church-shooter-and-four-armed-citizens-springing-to-action/

    Someone also noted that if you carry behind your back and you are pushed to the ground such that you fall on your gun, you will likely break your spine.

    Crossdraw also gives you access while seated.

    • Dirk September 1, 2021, 12:38 PM

      Dan, your holster selections high end, it pays to seat your pistol in a well designed holster. Middle of the back? I’m smiling glad it works for you, not so much for me. Although I said I’d NEVER do it. Buppert once talked me into “Dick Carry”. He was right as usual, never gone back. I like the idea of my tools located in my work space, directly in front of me. My backs trashed, anything touching my lower back sends me into orbit in pain.

      also have a HUGE collection of holsters, big Ted Blocker holster fan. They’ve worked with me closely on designing a few holster for my personal use. Portland Oregon. Same quality and style as your list.

      Right now I’m sporting a Philster g17/22, to accommodate my red dot and my threaded barrel. Don’t wear belts, so I require a strong retaining clip, wider is better.

      Again lots and lots of kydex holsters available. Just gotta find the flavor ya like.

      • Dan September 1, 2021, 9:49 PM

        “Middle of the back? I’m smiling glad it works for you, not so much for me.”

        I carried like that in my early days. Drove me crazy. Never knew if the piece was fully covered.

        Now, with it in front via Crossdraw or on my hip in a holster that snugs the gun against me, I always know where it is and if it’s secure.

        The small-0f-back IWB holsters are in a plastic storage bin.

    • James ONeil September 1, 2021, 1:20 PM

      “Crossdraw also gives you access while seated.”
      Except for IWB for regular carry I’ve come to like paddle holsters, easy to switch from right hip to left when driving, hence becoming crass draw and removing the access problem the seat belt buckle causes.

  • EX-Californian Pete September 1, 2021, 10:28 AM

    Good for you, Gerard.
    I hope you never need to use in in a defensive situation- only for having fun at the range, and for the peace of mind it brings. However, a huge number of defensive situations every year are diffused simply by displaying a gun and not having to fire it.
    As an EX- Californian, EX-CCW permit holder, and EX-Butte County resident, here’s my advice, for what it’s worth.

    I suggest not getting a CCW permit. It will be more of a complication than an asset unless you frequent “sketchy” areas. And you might get pulled over more often than usual, since it’s the 1st thing that comes up when a cop radios in on you. You can NEVER have “even one drop” of alcohol in you while carrying, or be on any of the medications listed on the “no-no list.” If you ever accidentally display more than 1/2″ of your weapon or concealed holster, (by CA law) it can be called “brandishing.”

    Since (by CA law) you’re supposed to own a safe or “secure gun cabinet” to store the weapon in, do NOT give them the correct make & model. It’s none of their biz. List it as “antique- unknown make.”

    Get your ammo in Reno, or from a private reloader. And stock up if you can afford it.

    When at the range, always pick up your brass, or any same-caliber brass left around. Save it- it’s like currency.

    Despite all the effed-up CA laws, there are (currently) no restrictions on buying reloading components, dies, presses, etc. If and when you start reloading, that means making your own ammo in whatever quantities you want- without anyone having to know or monitor it. And the cost savings right now are huge- average 38 cents per round (store bought) compared to 6.1 cents per round (my cost) for a .9 mm.

    Buy a bunch of speed loaders or magazines for your model- whichever one applies.

    If you haven’t already, start attending local gun shows and meeting vendors- it’ll come in handy later.
    If you’d like, I can email you names of some of the guys you’ll want to meet.

    This one is stupid, but HAS to be said- mind the “within 1000 feet of a school” law. It’s a catch-all law that can be applied/enforced to make your life a living hell- if you piss off a Cop or Judge.

    Happy shooting, brother. Be safe.

  • gwbnyc September 1, 2021, 10:43 AM

    Q: How do you own a firearm and/or Mace in NYC?

    A: Illegally.

  • EX-Californian Pete September 1, 2021, 11:26 AM

    I forgot to post above-
    Just for shifts & grins, I still have and carry my (expired) “California DOJ Pistol Safety Card” that they force you to get in order to purchase & own a pistol in Commiefornia.

    The majority of my Buckeye pals have remarked that “no state is THAT effed-up to require something like that” so I show them the card to prove that there IS a state that’s that effed-up. It’s caused many a jaw to drop.

  • SteveS September 1, 2021, 12:20 PM

    Like somebody said:
    “When the artists and poets start buying AK-47’s, you know that tourist season is over.”

  • John Venlet September 1, 2021, 1:44 PM

    Gerard, everyone has given you solid advice. Unless you are going to be carrying a Beretta 92FS, like Ghostsniper mentioned, which is an actual combat pistol, of which I am fond myself but do not everyday carry, though when I travel it is readily available, my only advice is that you consider your new sidearm as a defensive/evasion tool, not meant for joining an ongoing gun battle. Most importantly, though, the best thing you can do for yourself, if you are out and about while carrying, is to be totally aware of your surroundings, and the individuals in your surrounding area. If you are not paying attention, well, you could be already under the gun.

    • Dirk September 2, 2021, 7:48 AM

      JV, great advice. Pistols are for getting out of harms way, not into. The single best strategy is shoot scoot. Get the hell off the X, remove thyself to safe turf.

      Now if someone persists in trying to kill you, shooting from cover is prevalent. Shooting while moving is a very special skills set, a very perishable skills set. Slow is fast. Shooting while running is a waste of bullets. There may be a few here who are capable, those are the men/women who live and die by the gun.

      In my time, not once did I see a shooter with more then one spare mag. Most shootings were less then six round total fires. Most murders were ambush shootings, victim didn’t see it coming. Wrong place,,,,, right time.

      Old joke in my world, pistols are for fighting your way to a rifle. “Has many meanings”.

      I’m amused at how lengthy this ones gotten. Appears we all likes our gats.


  • Bill September 1, 2021, 2:38 PM

    Hawaiian shirts. The lighter colors approach transparency, so beware.

    Cultural appropriation be damned.

  • Dirk September 1, 2021, 5:23 PM

    Ammo Reno. We’ve had great luck mid week at Sheels in Sparks. Hasn’t been much duty ammo, JHP but a reasonable amount of FMJ. Last trip, last week, 556 by the thousand if you needed it. Pallet sitting in the upstairs bullet s3ction.

    If it’s 9mm you seek go early.
    Haven’t seen any 308.
    6.5 C some, lots of reload stuff. Zero powder.

    300 blackout Toms
    6mm rounds and reload kit.

    So far ammo prices are normal, Sheels wasn’t gouging. Back in two weeks for Marty Stewart, Kiss, Hank Williams Jr, and Rod Stewart shows. If it’s helpful I’ll check and report to allow whats available.


  • Guildofcannonballs September 1, 2021, 7:40 PM

    How could Ann Barnhardt possibly excuse your actual, not theroized, sins?
    You humble brag about that sweet young vagina you ate up, sin, yet now somehow without converting and renouncing but indeed celebrating Ann considers you not somehow in mortal sin?

    Ann is in mortal sin herself, which sucks. She is an amazing woman. She almost makes me want to be a better man. But, along with the homos, she makes me not Catholic.
    I act Catholic in many ways/.

  • Guildofcannonballs September 1, 2021, 7:58 PM

    The very supposendly-zinging ziegiest of popular critical essence* of Catholocicim used to be “Have a bunch of kids!” and yet today some who want to be ideal spokesman can’t explain why they have nothing but useless words as opposed to kids. As if they have words that will last 2000 years.

    The epitome of Satan.

    *If you take flak you are on target

  • Guildofcannonballs September 1, 2021, 8:04 PM

    If you had kids you wouldn’t spell right or grammer shitwise like me.

    So go ahead, don’t have kids. Keep thinking your words are so special the Catholic church was just wrong if, and I am no priest, it’s dogma is be fruitful and mulitply.
    They didnn’t mean you; LOL.

    No, Catholic means everyone but you. You are the special exeption to the universal meaning. Of course.

  • Guildofcannonballs September 1, 2021, 8:31 PM

    God is Jesus. Jesus died for our sins and wants us to be happy which is easy to do if you murder evil and act thereafter justly.

  • gwbnyc September 2, 2021, 2:57 AM

    …lock the sauna.

  • Joe September 2, 2021, 4:50 AM

    There are a couple of bot websites that search multiple ammo suppliers. You can turn on alerts when the ammo you want reaches a certain price. The sites are probably run by the ATF or DHS 🙂


  • EX-Californian Pete September 2, 2021, 8:43 AM

    Joe- unfortunately for Californians, most online ammo suppliers now have a disclaimer on their websites- “Sorry, we do not ship ammo to New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, or California.”

    Besides, CA law dictates that ammo has to be shipped to an FFL- then the buyer has to go to the FFL, show their “Ammo Purchasing License” and pay an “ammo fee,” followed by a check to see if the ammo buyer owns a gun in that caliber, and if it’s “properly registered” in CA.

    Also, if you’re “caught” with ammo in a caliber/gauge that you don’t have a registered gun for, it gets confiscated, and the person can be arrested and charged for “illegal possession of ammo.”

    It’s a huge commie fustercluck.

    • Joe September 2, 2021, 3:23 PM

      Holy crap – I had no idea!

      • Elmo September 6, 2021, 2:38 PM

        And he didn’t mention that if you are a California resident, are caught bringing ammo in from out of state and are convicted of the above offense you become a prohibited person. No guns for you.

  • anonymous September 2, 2021, 8:52 AM

    Do you gentlemen have any suggestions for a hand gun for an older woman? My hands are stiff and I sometimes have difficulty moving the slide.
    Thank you

    • Dinah September 5, 2021, 9:08 AM

      I’m an ‘older woman’ and have a S&W M&P Shield 9 EZ . Started with the non-EZ and the hands had difficulty with the slide. I’m happy now. Also have a tiny Beretta Bobcat .22 (among others) that is easy to tote in smallish handbag.

  • EX-Californian Pete September 2, 2021, 11:01 AM

    Check out the S&W EZ- https://www.smith-wesson.com/9ez

    Also, a large number of modern semi-auto pistols can have lesser-tension aftermarket springs installed, but please have a qualified, expert gunsmith do it. Make sure the springs still have enough tension to allow full travel (back & forth) to complete all functions- loading a shell, extracting/ejecting, etc.
    And doing so may limit the gun to using specific types/brands of ammo, since some guns are “particular” in that area. And using “+P” loads in a gun with that alteration is often frowned on. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer or that qualified gunsmith.

  • Vanderleun September 2, 2021, 12:31 PM

    Anonymous– If the slide is painful and difficult (and I know it can be) eliminate the slide and go straight to the double action revolver…. minimum .38 I suppose. Get a .22 to practice. Cheaper (much) ammo.

  • Mike Austin September 2, 2021, 1:59 PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    A question: Who is this idiot?


    Can anyone here decipher his gibberish?

    He seems to have issues with Ann Barnhardt, Catholicism and grammar. He know very little about any of these.

    Memo to “Guildofcannonballs”: Miss Ann has the courage to use her real name, and even gave her address to Musloids who vowed to kill her.

    And by the way, my name is Mike Austin. What’s yours tough guy?

    • EX-Californian Pete September 3, 2021, 10:01 AM

      I’m pretty sure it’s Joe Biden- the gibberish is the same.

  • Vanderleun September 2, 2021, 3:54 PM

    No idea about guild. May be just a driveby.

  • ghostsniper September 2, 2021, 4:59 PM

    Can’t go wrong with a revolver. The only downside is the number of shots it carries. I’m currently shopping for 2, a .357 and a .22. Probably both will be Rugers, but I’m open. If I was wealthy I’d just go ahead and get a Python and be done with it.

    • EX-Californian Pete September 4, 2021, 11:48 AM

      Ghost- a 1980’s S&W 686 is much less expensive than a Python, and they are actually more accurate than the pythons. Not near as collectible, though.

  • anonymous September 2, 2021, 8:07 PM


    Thank you very much for your thoughts!

    • James ONeil September 3, 2021, 9:05 AM

      Number of ways to work semi-auto action.

      Pointed away from you, pull back action with thumb on one side, fingers on other. Takes a strong grip and a lot of muscle strain, especially for a lady or an older person.

      Hold weapon crosswise in from of you, grip action thumb and heel of hand on side facing you, fingers wrapped around other side, push toward your thumb. Much much less strain and pain.

      • ghostsniper September 3, 2021, 12:39 PM

        You can run the slide against the side of a door jamb.
        If you have a mounted reflex sight you can slam it backwards under your arm pit, or hook it on your pants pocket. Lots of ways to get the job done.

        Suppose your subordinate hand is not available for retracting a slide?

        You first have to understand the gun is a tool, meant to be used as you need it to be.
        If you baby it it will hurt you at your worst moment.
        Push it hard, try to break it.

        • EX-Californian Pete September 3, 2021, 1:55 PM

          Ghost- OK, I have to ask- could you elaborate a bit, and explain that “If you baby it it will hurt you at your worst moment. Push it hard, try to break it” advice? I’m curious to read more about that particular approach.

  • Casey Klahn September 3, 2021, 12:16 AM

    The Ruger .357 is a great weapon. My hand loves it. I held the .22 Ruger at the gun show last month. Now, I have lack-of-buyer’s remorse that I didn’t get that beautifully made handgun.

    • Casey Klahn September 3, 2021, 12:24 AM

      If you don’t practice as often as a cop, the revolver can’t be beat. It aims more naturally, and a whole list of mishaps are avoided by the reliable revolver. If you’re in the kind of combat that requires a semi-automatic pistol, God help ya, and I hope you have friends with you.
      I have slain with a pistol. You want to be close, and if you’re not hitting the target you have to close the range. The revolver is reliable, and satisfying to shoot.

  • AlfromChgo September 3, 2021, 7:30 AM
    • EX-Californian Pete September 3, 2021, 9:57 AM

      And that’s only the ones that went through the NICS system.
      Red states like Ohio only use the NICS system when selling a NEW gun- 99% of used guns are (legally) sold “cash & carry” here. Estimated (used) gun sales in Ohio for 2020 was around 3.1 million- in a state with a population of 11.68 million people.

      In 2015, the Govt. stats said there were 8.1 guns per “gun owning household” in the USA. And we all know gun sales have been the highest in history since then.

      Based on the sales of “large” and “xtra large” capacity gun safes over the last 5 years, I would estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of “large scale” (50 or more) gun collectors in the country.
      I’d say that “behind every blade of grass” there are now TWO rifles. And a few handguns.

  • WDS September 3, 2021, 9:17 AM

    My very first pistol permit was acquired in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts way back in 1975. Now mind you, this wasn’t a concealed permit. Oh no, you had to be a diamond merchant or prove that you carried a boatload of cash to rate one of those. This was your ordinary permit to purchase a handgun and ammo for sporting purposes like target shooting. So I fill out the required paperwork at the local police department, get fingerprinted and provide them with 2 photos. Good to go? Not yet. I had to wait for the background check. The check came back clear, good to go? Not yet. I then had to have a sit down meeting with the Chief of Police to explain “why” I wanted the permit. The reason on the permit was listed as target practice. Anyway the Chief, no doubt a psychic was able to ascertain that I was not a serial killer or bank robber and finally gave me my permit.
    Fast forward to 2013 and I’m in SC, I took a 8 hour class and demonstrated my ability to proficiently handle a firearm at the range (98 out of 100 btw) and in 89 days received my concealed carry permit.
    A month or so later I took another class and received my Utah endorsement giving me concealed privileges in states where a SC CCW permit doesn’t enjoy reciprocity. Win-Win. What a difference location makes. I bought this old girl back in ’89 right before I left MA, she’s had thousands of rounds through her and has never given me any trouble. I wouldn’t part with her for anything.

  • Abe Froman September 6, 2021, 11:34 AM

    Having lived in SoCal during the Rodney King fiasco, I can’t recommend owning a good handgun and semiautomatic rifle enough.

    Life is all fun and games until you smell the first whiff of smoke and the first carload of gangbangers drive by looking for easy prey.

  • Dave Huff September 6, 2021, 12:06 PM

    If you lived in a free state, you could just buy a weapon from your neighbor…..