There’s a clear reason why Cadillac is the still the Mobster’s vehicle of choice, despite the disappearance of crushed velour from the interior options lists. You’re looking at 20,000 rounds of ammunition, ready for business. Double Tap ammo, of course. The Crimson Chronicles Caddy was packed to the gills with other kit as well. Like many a Mobsters’ victim, it was screaming hard under the load. Soon our weapons would face similar stress. And survive . . .
Journalists are as hard-working and professional as any Special Forces unit you can name—provided you name the Air Force tanning team. Allowing for pre-event alcoholic indulgence, we weren’t due at on location until 11:30AM. I awoke at 5:00 am local. It’s was too early for the continental breakfast, but time enough to lay out my kit. That was easy.
After the usual disorientation (local news), I headed downstairs to start getting to know who’s who around camp (i.e. the lobby of the Spring Hill Marriott in downtown Prescott, AZ – complete with waffle iron). Back-patting and howdy-do’ing done we headed for Gunsite.
In the briefing room, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance (“with ammunition and justice for all”) and signed the necessary paperwork. The safety brief lived up to its name. The demo speeches on all the product and swag laid out before us was slightly longer, given we had to concentrate on not drooling and pretending oh yeah we use this kind of stuff all the time.
Our Gunsite Instructors looked like they were selected from one of those movies where washed-up Hollywood action heroes gather for one more paycheck. Er, mission:
Buzz Mills – Head honcho and all around badass. He leads us in the pledge. He could have got us to recite the lyrics to Journey’s Small Town Girl without a snigger.
Ed Stock – Training Coordinator. Ed’s got four decades of military and law enforcement experience under his belt, which still doesn’t strain to contain his girth (always a sign of professionalism). He’s been helping people hit what they’re aiming at at Gunsite for over 20 years.
Dave Starin – Training. Twenty plus years of law enforcement, much of it spent shaking his head at his brother officers’ lack of shooting ability, no doubt.
Charlie McNeese – USMC (ret.), law enforcement and S.W.A.T. He’s also the armorer and smithy of the bunch. If it ain’t broke, he won’t fix it. If it is, he will. And fast.
Chris Weall – USMC (Recon) and S.W.A.T. retired. Although he didn’t look the slightest bit tired.
Understatement of the day: they’re qualified to keep a bunch of wanna-bes safe and sound. Administrative notes out of the way, heeeere’s Johnny! ..
Oh happy happy day – honest to goodness hardware. Smith and Wesson laid out 16 of their M&P15 carbines; most in .223/5.56, but a couple chambered in .22lr. Also in the mix: two piston guns, and various setups when it comes to rails and stocks. I have my eyes on a few with the rails; for reasons which will be revealed later..
What’s an evil black.. ahem .. modern sporting home defense rifle without an optic to drop on top? Trijicon’s table full of optics included simple dots, horse-shoes, cross-hairs, and triangles, for reticles in various combinations from single-power magnification to four-power. Heck, there’s even a reflex sight in play. Being the non-military models, these are your Jesus-rifle optics.
Pistol wise, we’re working with the M&P in 9mm, from compact all the way to 6″ pro. We’ve less pistols that shooters, so we’ll be swapping out as we progress through different stages. Double Tap’s provided 9mm is all 147grn, 1050fps. We’ve got hollow-points and flat-nosers.
Galco’s providing the leather for the M&P’s. Keen eyes will notice that these IWB’s don’t look like your average everyday Galco. They’re designed to work in concert with the new Crimson Trace Lightguard. Turn-around time from when Galco got a hold of the Lightguard and delivery to this event was just a couple of weeks, so it’ll be interesting to see if they got it light. Right.
That’s pretty much it for outfitting, minus the gear I mentioned in my previous post. This is about it for still shots. From here on in we’re going live in living color to the firing line with the Contour HD 1080p. More posts throughout the day.