Fuzzy Thinking

Oy, here we go again with an article written with no clear purpose in mind.  Entitled “8 Best Charge-Stopping Bear Cartridges “, it represents unclear thought and worse, unclear direction.  Really, it should be two articles:  best long gun cartridges and best handgun cartridges, but they’re lumped together, with hilarious results.  Here are his top 8:

  1. .45-70 Government
  2. .454 Casull
  3. .44 Remington Magnum
  4. .375 H&H Magnum
  5. .50 Alaskan
  6. 12-Gauge Slug
  7. .338 Winchester Magnum
  8. .357 S&W Magnum

Let me do the low-hanging fruit first:  as much as I love the thing, forget the .357 Mag as a bear-stopper.  Seriously.  Considering that the .454 Casull has been included, there’s no reason to ignore the .500 S&W or for that matter the .460 either.  And I may be out of touch — it’s been known to happen — but I’ve never heard of the .50 Alaskan.

I’ve never hunted bear, but having hunted in Africa I know a little about dangerous game.  Understand one thing:  there’s a difference between hunting dangerous game — where your shot hits a body which isn’t expecting it — and stopping dangerous game, where you have to stop something weighing at least half a ton running at you with a quart of adrenaline pumping through its veins and homicide in its heart.   If you want to stop that beast, there needs to be a “.4” in the cartridge nomenclature, and “.5” is better, but not many people can handle the recoil of the latter, me included.  Also, a quick follow-up shot is more difficult when your rifle barrel is pointing at 12 o’clock after the first one.  Don’t as me how I know this (hello, .505 Gibbs and .500 Nitro).  Bullet weight should be in the 400gr-500gr range.  Dave Petzal has the truth of it, here.)

Here are the cartridges I would consider as bear-stoppers, divided into rifle and handgun (and handgun only because you can’t always carry a rifle).  I’ve left off the Nitro Express and exotic cartridges from Dakota, STW and Lazzeroni simply because you’re less likely to find them at Bubba’s Bait ‘N Bullets out in Nowhere WY


  • .458 Win Mag
  • .460 Weatherby Mag
  • .416 Rem Mag
  • Honorable mentions for the .460 Dakota, .404 Jeffrey and .458 Lott, which are excellent, but not freely available.

And now the marginal stoppers:

  • .375 H&H Mag (see here, on a black bear)
  • .338 Win Mag (not many African PHs use this — “too much kick, too much noise, not enough stopping”, as one once said to me)
  • .45-70 Gov (Buffalo Bore loads only, none of that Cowboy Action stuff)
  • And an honorable mention for the 12ga slug, of suitable mass and velocity, at close ranges only.

Now for the handgun cartridges (the list is much shorter):

  • .500 S&W Mag
  • .454 Casull
  • .460 S&W Mag (XVR)
  • Honorable mention for the .480 Ruger.

…and the marginal choices:

  • .44 Rem Mag
  • .41 Rem Mag

Don’t even think about the Magnum Research BFR in .45-70 Govt, because shooting the heavy and fast Buffalo Bore loads will end in wrist reconstruction surgery.

Speaking of the XVR:

I would respectfully suggest that if you’re going to carry that beast around, you may as well carry a rifle.

Ummm No

It appears that there’s a new kid in town:

New Cartridge for 2021: 6.8 Western

Forgive me, but I thought that one of the teaching points we got from all the “short magnum” cartridges of a couple decades ago was that these squashed little cartridge cases can cause feeding problems?  Or have there been developments in feeding ramps which I missed and that take these problems away?

Regardless, I can confidently predict that this new thing is doomed to failure, because if serious shooters like me can’t get their hands on their favorite .260 Rem, 6.5x55mm, .270 Win or even 6.5mm Grendel and 7x57mm — actually, cartridges of any description — what makes the Brains Trust [sic]  at Winchester think that we’re going to run out and buy a new rifle for a new cartridge that has an uncertain heritage?

Pro tip for the ammo guys:  get more existing ammo types into the pipeline first — yeah, I’ve heard your excuses for the shortages, and I only half-buy them — before you start fucking around with exotic new ones.

And frankly, I fail to see how much better the 6.8 Western is going to be than any of the cartridges I listed above — and Chuck Hawks would probably agree with me.


Blogging has always been fun.  It’s fairly easy for me to write about, well, anything, and when all else fails, there’s always this:


…or this:

In these times, however — the times that try men’s souls (to coin a phrase) — there seems little incentive to pass comment about what just happened to us, and what is likely to happen to us.  All I feel is sullen rage, resentment and a burning desire to bite the head off a rattlesnake.

I wish sometimes that I could be a Lefty, and take to the streets, burn shit down and in general act like a 10-year-old child;  but I can’t do that.  The very thought of causing destruction to innocent people’s property, or beating people up in the streets, or doing any of that crap that the Left are so fond of doing when they feel aggrieved — well, I’m not going to do any of it.  Futile gestures are not my thing.

But at the same time, I feel like I’m living in some kind of hellish limbo.  I know, this is no doubt how the Left felt after Hillary Clinton lost;  but the difference is that while Trump was never going to put homosexuals into concentration camps, or overturn Roe v. Wade, or start deporting people en masse, there is every reason to suspect that the new crop of Lefties really are going to raise our taxes, try to confiscate our guns, muzzle our voices and fuck up our economy under the guise of “saving the planet” or some such bullshit.

So please forgive me if over the next few days or so the quality of this blog seems to head downhill, wherein I seem to be just mailing it in instead of giving it the gas.

Normal service will resume shortly, probably with even more invective and loathing than before.  Right now, however, I just feel like tying George Soros to a chair and beating him to death with a baseball bat.

And I may just reconfigure this blog somewhat, with a new, less self-pitying name.  Watch this space, and content yourself with this thought:

Quote Of The Day

From some Dead White Guy:

“Thou hast it now:  king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promised, and, I fear,
Thou play’dst most foully for’t.”

Pat Buchanan has similar, albeit less poetic thoughts on the topic.

Never have the words of the Bard seemed so appropriate:

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair;
Hover through the fog and filthy air.”

See y’all tomorrow.  I’m off to the range.

I was also there yesterday, btw:

Just getting the old eye in and trigger finger exercised…

Eat shit, Biden.

Out Of Touch

This one actually made me laugh out loud when I read it last week — and then I promptly forgot about it because it seemed so ridiculous, it was hardly worth a post. I’ve changed my mind about that part of it, however.  Here’s what made me snort my morning gin out my nose:

So as Republicans survey the Trump defeat and the debris of yesterday’s unseemly chaos in the nation’s capital, we would do well to reflect on past moments of success and consider how we can recapture the moral high ground, the policy initiative, and the hearts of American voters in the next election.
I submit the following question for consideration: Can we consider, once more, some of the guiding principles of Ronald Reagan? To be sure, these principles are not exclusive to Reagan, but he seemed to bring the right blend of substance, vision, and communication skills that made these ideas consequential.

Yup… here we go again with the old (and failed) “moral high ground” argument, where it’s okay to lose as long as you do it with style and grace.  It’s called the “magnificent loser” mentality, and Republicans have, over the years, turned it into a high art.

The problem (for those of my few Younger Readers who never heard of the man, another topic for another time) is that Reagan managed to communicate his vision and policies in an era when the Press was not a bunch of rabid Leftist dogs and Congress was not the cage fight it is today.  It was, amazingly enough, a more gentlemanly era, maybe the last gentlemanly era in American politics, where one side listened respectfully to the argument of the other, admitted its good points, and then set about coming to some kind of compromise because Reagan wasn’t the Worst Thing Since Hitler, his policy initiatives were not Eeeevil Rayyycism and the consequences of White Entitlement, and all Reagan’s supporters were not NaziFascist scum who should be sent to reeducation camps.

Reagan’s governing style was very much a product of his time — actually, it was a style which hearkened back to a still-earlier time than the 1980s, but a style which most people (both Right and Left) not only recognized, but respected.

It should also be remembered that while Reagan did a lot of good, many of his policies would prove to be an abject failure — “Just Say No To Drugs” being perhaps the most egregious of them all, as we have since discovered.

Reagan’s adherence to the Marquis of Queensberry’s Rules of Boxing, in other words, wouldn’t work today when the other boxer brings his brother into the ring with him armed with brass knuckles and a baseball bat, the referee turns a deaf ear to his protests, the judges award his opponent twice as many points for the same number of blows landed, the Boxing Commission always rules against his appeals, the Press think that he’s a cheating bastard, and half the public is in favor of banning boxing competition altogether.

That is the world we conservatives find ourselves in now, and even to imagine that a return to the rules of a bygone era has any chance of success is not only idiotic, it’s subversive — which, to be frank, the Gentry Republicans have always been towards actual conservatism anyway.

And no greater example of idiocy can be found in the article’s title, which suggests that “Trumpism” is something to walk away from, despite the fact that more people voted for Trump (both in raw numbers and as a percentage of total registered voters) than ever voted for Reagan — this number coming in spite of many conservatives not voting for Trump because they despised him, but still more not necessarily liking Trump the man himself, but voting for him anyway because they approved of his handling of the economy, foreign policy, trade policy and immigration policy.

That is the point of Trump’s presidency:  if you ignore all the petty stuff like those annoying off-the-cuff tweets and silly personal attacks on not only opponents but sometimes supporters too, Trump’s achievements would actually rank right up there with the records of any U.S. Presidents, and a lot better than many (Carter, Obama coff coff ).

And this is what Establishment Republicans (GOPe) want us conservatives to walk away from?

No wonder I laughed.


When they write the obituary of the Republican Party and, for that matter, the republic itself, they may as well just use this lament in its entirety.

Raised to be a Republican, I held my nose and voted for Bush, the Texas-talking blue blood from Connecticut who lied us into 2 wars and gave us the unpatriotic Patriot Act. I voted for McCain, the sociopathic neocon songbird “hero” that torpedoed the attempt to kill the Obamacare that’s killing my family financially. I held it again and voted for Romney, the vulture capitalist skunk that masquerades as a Republican while slithering over to the Democrat camp as often as they’ll tolerate his oily, loathsome presence.
And I voted for Trump, who, if he did nothing else, at least gave a resounding Bronx cheer to the richly deserving smug hypocrites of DC. Thank you for that Mr. President, on behalf of all of us nobodies. God bless you for it.
And now I have watched as people who hate me and mine and call for our destruction blatantly and openly stole the election and then gaslighted us and told us that it was honest and fair. I am watching as the GOP does NOTHING about it. They’re probably relieved that upstart Trump is gone so they can get back to their real jobs of lining their pockets and running interference for their corporate masters. I am watching as the media, in a manner that would make Stalin blush, is silencing anyone who dares question the legitimacy of this farce they call democracy. I know, it’s a republic, but I am so tired of explaining that to people I might as well give in and join them in ignorance.

I think she’s speaking for all of us.