Team Glock’s KC Eusebio: USPSA Grand Master By Age 12?

Recently we caught up with Team Glock Pro Shooter KC Eusebio. We talked about what it’s like to become a Grand Master before the voice change, who would win an all out street brawl with the Gunny, R. Lee Ermey and how many times Glock teammate Michelle Viscusi and former Army MP had to bust him back in the day.

KC Eusebio Team Glock

Pro Shooter, child prodigy and Jujutsu artist KC Eusebio of Team Glock.

My Gun Culture: As I understand, you started shooting at a ridiculously young age. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you won your first intergalactic championship at age 8, right?

KC Eusebio: Well, not quite… I started shooting at age 8 and became a Master at age 10. At age 12 I became a USPSA Grand Master. So I became the youngest USPSA Master and the youngest USPSA Grand Master. Both of those records still hold today. I’m not sure anyone will beat those unless they are some kind of prodigy.

MGC: Well we’re planning on adopting a shooting sports prodigy any day now to only focus on beating your record… So what led up to that? Were you some kind of paintball or airsoft champion at age 3? Or perhaps you were fixated on cap guns?

KC: I actually started off shooting with a real gun – a full-size 1911. I shot Open Class and Major Power Factor. My father was a Master Class shooter himself and got me into the sport. I’m really happy that he did that for me, because look what I’m doing today! I worked really hard and lost a lot of free time as a kid because I was at home loading bullets. I dry fired religiously every day. That got me where I am today.

MGC: So you made Master Class at age 10 shooting a full-size 1911 in .45 ACP? That’s crazy! What prompted you to take up shooting with that gun? Was it a hand-fit issue? What your dad shot? Were you completely insane? Or were you just a total badass?

KC: It came to me kind of naturally. And my dad was sort of strict. But I thank him for that. He exposed me to a a great pastime. For a hobby, competition, personal defense, or just hanging out shooting with friends.

MGC: So how did a nice, respectable guy like you, with a strict upbringing, get involved with a crazy outfit like Glock?

KC: Well, I wouldn’t say Glock is a crazy outfit! They’re more of a clean-cut, perfectionist company. I guess they saw me when I was shooting for the Army – I did that for about 4 years. I guess they saw what I was about and liked that. I’m grateful – I love shooting for this company. Glock is the best handgun in the world and nothing else beats it. They’re proven.

MGC: I know you started shooting 1911’s, but were you shooting a Glock when Glock found you?

KC: I’ve always liked shooting every type of gun. I like to say it’s not the bow, but the indian. At the same time, my bow is THE BEST. So it’s the best of both worlds.

MGC: So back to your family, do you have any brothers or sisters?

KC: I’m an only child.

MGC: How many Glocks do you have? Round off to the nearest dozen.

KC: Glocks that I have? Easily over a dozen. I use them for various types of competitions. All different models, but mostly 9mm and .40 Smith & Wesson.

MGC: Do you have a specific competition load that you like? So, for example, in 9mm, do you shoot 124 grain bullets? Or 147 grain? Or perhaps something totally secret and illegal?

KC: It depends on the competition. For example, for Steel Challenge and other speed shooting, I use 115 grain projectiles. If I am shooting Major competition, I use 125 grain at about 1,400 feet per second. If I am using the normal stock Glock I like to use 147 grain bullets going about 1,100 feet per second.

MGC: You’re a California boy right?

KC: I was born and raised in California but moved to Georgia when I joined the Army at age 18. I’ve been in Georgia ever since.

MGC: So what type of Glock did you carry while surfing? On second thought, don’t answer that, it’s probably a top-secret pre-production submersible model right? We’re going to be talking with Michelle Viscusi in a few minutes and she was also Army. Military Police in fact. So you better come clean on these next questions because we’re going to ask her. Did she ever have to bust you and haul your butt to the brig for tearing up a dingy Tijuana bar or anything?

KC: Well no, I was on active duty in Georgia and she was in Guard in Arizona.

MGC: It sounds like you’re dodging the question, but that’s fortunate for you, because I hear she’s tough. So, being an Army veteran, you can help us settle our long-term debate. I want an MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher for home defense. She’s worried about blast damage to the furniture. Can you settle this for us?

KC: Well when it comes to home defense, even a .22, used properly, can be effective. I don’t want to hurt anyone else, or the furniture. That’s stuff is expensive! It takes a long time to fill up a house!

MGC: You’re a Jujutsu student. Why do you need a gun at all? Can’t you just whirl and twirl and disarm dozens of evil henchmen without breaking a sweat?

KC: I enjoy a lot of combat sports. I did wrestling in High School and I liked the combat training in the army. Jujutsu is not a high impact sport so it’s not hard on the joints. I just love it.

MGC: So R. Lee Ermey, the Gunny is right here behind us. If you two got into a scrap, who’s gonna prevail?

KC: I think the Gunny would have to take it. Out of respect for what he’s done for this country. I guess I would just have to play possum if I had to fight him!

MGC: Glock has some new models this year. I recently shot the Glock 30S and was surprised at how gentle it was for a compact .45 ACP. What are you liking?

KC: All of the new Glocks are Gen 4 models. The Glock 20, which is a full size 10mm, is amazing. The 10mm is a big cartridge that can put a hurt on your hands. I’m really impressed with how soft shooting the Glock 20 is. It’s amazing. I’m going to have to pick one up myself.

MGC: Tell us about your competition schedule. What’s the life of a pro shooter like?

KC: It’s pretty hectic. I’m traveling maybe 40% of the time. This year I have about 30 matches on the schedule. And they’re not just here in the US. Many of them are international. I’m going to New Zealand and a tour of Europe. It’s stressful, but I love it. I love to compete. I love to win. I love to show off the Glock products – they are the embodiment of perfection.

Michelle Viscusi: Team Glock’s Military Police Enforcer & Former Gymnast

Michelle Viscusi Team Glock

Team Glock’s Michelle Viscusi

Today we’re talking with Team Glock Shooter, Top Shot contestant, Border Patrol scout and former Army Military Police veteran Michelle Viscusi. We expect to hear scandalous stories about the many times she had to arrest Glock teammate KC Eusebio, also retired Army, at some hole-in-the-wall border cantina. Let’s get to the bottom of the rumors…

My Gun Culture: So Michelle, from a look at your background, I see that you’ve served in the Army Military Police and Border Patrol. Can you give us a bit more background on that?

Michelle Viscusi: I’ve actually served in the Army National Guard. My time with Border Patrol was during my active duty with the Army. I was assigned to border patrol duties for about a year and a half. So I was still Army, just working with my counterparts at Border Patrol.

MGC: So you were busting people coming across the border and engaging in big firefights with drug cartels?

Michelle: Actually, our duty was more of an observe and report role…

MGC: So you were piloting attack drones then?

Michelle: No, unfortunately we didn’t get to do any cool things like that. I wish!

MGC: We just talked with KC Eusebio, who is also retired Army. Since you were part of the Army Military Police, I suspect you had some run ins with him. How many times did you have to arrest KC at some Tijuana bar for conduct unbecoming of an Army soldier? We expect the truth, so no trying to cover for your teammate!

Michelle: I wish I could give you a huge story…

MGC: Well, just make one up!

Michelle: He doesn’t even drink, so there’s no way I could have arrested him at a Mexican bar.

MGC: Maybe he just likes to fight in bars?

Michelle: Well, maybe we brought him in about 5 times then…

MGC: So, Military police huh? I’m standing here next to you and I’m about twice as fat as you. I’m trying to picture you wrestling and cuffing drunk angry  dudes…

Michelle: Are you calling me fat?

MGC: No, I’m calling ME fat. What do you do as an MP? Are you out arresting people and throwing them in the brig?

Michelle: Well, actually I’m not LEO (law enforcement officer), I’m more general purpose duty.

MGC: Let’s talk about Top Shot! We’re big fans and loved your season. What changed in your life the day after the first episode aired?

Michelle: My life has completely changed! The show helped me to get here! It’s interesting because my time in the military helped me get on Top Shot, and Top Shot helped get me into competition shooting representing Glock. Obviously I wasn’t on there a really long time, but I’m thankful to have a good following!

MGC: How did you decide to apply for the show?

Michelle: I was watching Season 2 and loved it. I sent in an email and photo and I heard back about 3 weeks later. From that point, it was just following the application process.

MGC: So did you shoot Glocks before joining Team Glock?

Michelle: Well, actually, the first gun I ever owned was a Glock 19, so I’ve always been crazy about Glocks.

MGC: How old were you when you got your first Glock?

Michelle: Ummm….. 21? Yeah, it must have been 21… But seriously I started shooting my own Glock 19 when I was 19. But I started shooting when I was 15. When I started shooting competition, I started shooting a Glock 34.

MGC: Tell us about the first time you ever shot a gun.

Michelle: Well I was 15 and my dad took me to the range, just for fun! I was nervous but loved it. My dad was a cop, so he had a gun and shot quite a bit.

MGC: Were you instantly hooked or was shooting just something you did now and then?

Michelle: Well actually at the time, I was really big into gymnastics – that was what I was going to do. But when I joined the Army, I really grew to love shooting – so that’s when I got really serious about it.

MGC: Tell us how many Glocks you own. You can round off to the nearest dozen.

Michelle: We’ll right now, I only own two. But I expect that to be changing this year when I start competing more.

MGC: How much time do you expect to be on the road competing this year?

Michelle: It’s averaging 1-2 weeks per month. My schedule seems to be about 2 competitions per month, but I am shooting and preparing for a week around each one.

MGC: Tell us about the equipment you’ll be using this year.

Michelle: I’ll mostly be shooting a Glock 34, but will use a Glock 17 for some divisions. I’m doing both IPSC and IDPA. I use a JR Holster.

MGC: So what’s it like jetting around the world in the Glock corporate jet?

Michelle: It’s awesome! There’s usually a pile of cash waiting on my seat along with champagne :-)

MGC: We ask everybody to weigh in and solve a long standing debate question. Do you think that an MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher is appropriate for home defense?

Michelle: We’ll only if it had a Glock Gen 5 logo on the side. And I would put one in each window, facing out, to minimize blast damage in the house.

MGC: Let’s finish up with a hypothetical question. The Gunny, R. Lee Ermey, also represents Glock. If you had to bust him for disorderly conduct, could you take him down alone, or would you have to call for backup?

Michelle: You know, I’d probably have to call for backup, but I’d give him a good fight!

Thanks to Michelle Viscusi and the nice folks from Glock for helping us catch up and learn a little more about Glock’s newest competitive shooter!

Talking, Talking and More Talking with Max Michel of Team Sig

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one… to attempt to interview another one, who is every bit as nutty as the first one, one looks for Team Sig’s Max Michel.

So we did. We caught up with Max at SHOT Show and dragged him away from the screaming fans and corporate endorsement dealmakers long enough to squeeze in a serious investigative report. Remember folks, you heard it here first…

Champion Shooter Max Michel of Team Sig

Champion Shooter Max Michel of Team Sig

My Gun Culture: So Max, I understand you’re Captain of Team Sig. How is your relationship with all the other Team Sig members?

Max Michel: I treated them pretty fairly. But I had to fire them all, you know?

MGC: So, right now, it’s just you on Team Sig???

Max: Yeah, exactly! I had about 5 other guys and they just started cramping my style and cutting into my budget. And I thought, “I just can’t have that” so I had to release them.

MGC: Well if you’re into world domination, you gotta take out the internal competition. Just ask Dr. Evil or maybe Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Max: That’s the first thing to do!

MGC: You’re also the Manager of Shooting Activities. What’s in the scope of that role for you?

Max: I think what’s interesting about Sig Sauer is that’s it’s a very well-known company. Most everybody knows of Sig – you don’t have to be a gun person. Sig Sauer has always had that military and law enforcement reputation – you know, “to hell and back reliability.” They brought me in about four years ago to help bring them into the competitive market. So, to the traditional Sig values of reliability, I bring about 20 years of practical competitive shooting experience. I help to coordinate our position in competitive and recreational shooting. For example, I look at things like where we want to compete, what we want to sponsor, what do we want to support and emphasize for the year, and that sort of thing. In short, I help bridge the gap between the company and the competitive shooting world.

MGC: Does this liaison role of yours also extend into Sig’s product development strategy?

Max: Most definitely. I’m really excited about that part! The product and marketing teams come to me for input, and I love that. I love those conversations. In fact, I just enjoy talking!

MGC: Well I can already tell this interview is going to take about three days…

Max: I have a flight on Friday, so as long as I make that, we’re good!

MGC: Is there a specific Sig gun that you personally point to and say “I’m especially proud of that one because I had a lot of input”?

Max: Absolutely. That would be the 1911 Max. I’ve been screaming to get a gun for a long time that is built from the ground up as a competitive model. The product team was really receptive to my ideas. In fact, I pushed for a lot of aftermarket parts on that model and the product guys were completely open to that. Now I’m pushing for a new 1911 Max. But I can’t talk about that just yet…

MGC: Tease! The original 1911 Max is available now right? Can you tell us a little about it?

Max: We launched it at SHOT Show 2012 and we took it slow as there are aftermarket parts and we needed to make sure the whole package met Sig’s quality and reliability standards. It’s a target 1911 gun that has been enhanced with competitive parts. Like Hogue G10 chain link grips, a custom mag well that’s an extension of the grip, adjustable rear sight with a fiber optic front sight, front and rear cocking serrations, wide safeties, a flat trigger, the Doug Koenig speed hammer and matching sear, and extended firing pin.

MGC: So with the Koenig custom hammer, do you have any concerns that it’s really a subversive plot by Smith & Wesson to sabotage the Sig 1911 Max? Maybe it’s specially designed to self-destruct like those old Mission Impossible tape recorders…

Max: I’m worried that I’m going to lose my job when someone realizes I put in my competitors part! Just to be clear, the hammer is a Doug Koening part and not a Smith & Wesson part. Maybe this will encourage Sig to make some Max Michel parts!

MGC: So you’ve won everything there is to win about infinity-eleven times. Last I looked it was about 100 championship titles. What gives? You and Lance Armstrong are doing what on the weekends?

Max: No comment… Actually it’s just a passion of mine. I love it. I’ve been doing this since I was 8 years old. It’s not work for me, it’s fun and not a job. When I was 13 I had a goal and purpose to have the type of job that I have today. I wanted to be the next Rob Leatham! But you know, that guy just won’t retire!

MGC: We interviewed Rob several months ago, and he said the only reason he’s staying in the sport is to crush and humiliate you! Let’s talk about your show Hot Shots. You know, the one with you and Charlie Sheen. It’s about Navy Seals or something right?

Max: Yeah right! Me and Charlie Sheen… Hot Shots is a show that illustrates the real life drama of what it’s like to be a pro shooter. People get to see the real deal and all the things behind the scenes. The practice, the work, competition and family life balance. I like how the show is done because the producers just tell me to be Max. There are plenty of times when I’m not happy on camera, but that can be reality. When you’re not winning, you’re not happy. I like the realism.

MGC: Are you planning on getting into the Three Gun circuit? Now Sig has ⅔ of the bases covered with pistols and rifles right?

Max: It’s coming and I’m looking forward to it.

MGC: Everybody and their brother wants to sponsor you and obviously that’s because of your good looks.

Max: And my bald head of course…

MGC: I told you I wasn’t going to ask you about any secret future plans, but I was lying. I’m hearing that you have a sponsorship deal in the works with Snuggies. Care to comment?

Max: I hope so! I’ve got three kids now and I have to prepare for everybody.

MGC: How much time do you spend on the road doing competitions?

Max: I typically spend about nine to ten months on the road, so it’s a pretty heavy schedule. Of course I’m stopping by home, but I never really unpack. It’s a pretty grueling schedule, but I enjoy doing it and hope I can keep doing it for ten or fifteen more years.

MGC: Do you have an idea of how many rounds per year you shoot in practice? What does it take to keep the edge in a sport that can be won or lost by hundredths of seconds?

Max: A lot of people don’t believe it, but there was a time when I was in the Army when I was shooting 5,000 rounds a week for ten months out of the year. These days I just don’t have that much time. I shoot maybe 40,000 to 60,000 rounds a year now. The trick is finding time to practice while you develop other ways to add value to the company that sponsors you. You can’t just focus on winning matches. You have to be a representative of the company and bring value in other ways too.

Max Michel Training AcademyMGC: You do a lot of training. If you had to pick one basic tip for new shooters, where would you steer someone first?

Max: Safety is always first of course. Before any tips, you need instruction on how to safely handle the gun – loading and unloading, storing and general handling. Once that’s covered, I tell people the biggest things to focus on are stance and grip. You’ll be surprised how quickly and accurately you can shoot with proper grip and stance. It’s funny, but I tell people in my classes to expect to be bored the first few hours because I go back to the basics. If you ask other shooters like Rob Leatham, they’re working on those basic fundamentals too. There’s no such thing as advanced shooting, there’s only advanced application of basic fundamentals.

MGC: What are some of the new guns from Sig this year?

Max: We’ve got a lot of new introductions. For example, the P227, which is a double stack .45. It comes in a number of configurations, so you can get options like a threaded barrel. We had quite a challenge designing the 227 so that it’s not too big in your hand, but it worked out really well. You can hardly tell the difference in your hand between a 226 and a 227, but the 227 has 10 rounds of .45 ACP. We also have the P226 SAO which is really nice. I love Sig’s implementation of single action in this gun.

MGC: Before we wrap up, can you tell our readers a little bit about about the Max Michel Training Academy.

Max: It’s aimed at all types of shooters – recreational, competitive, self defense, and law enforcement or military. Basically I teach anyone who wants to get better with a handgun or a rifle. I do maybe a half dozen courses a year at my home range and contract some remote locations throughout the year. For some of the tactical training, I partner with the VATA Training Group and they do an excellent job. The fun thing is that we train anyone – from a raw beginner who has never drawn a gun to military and law enforcement professionals. I love it!

 

We’d like to thank Max and Team Sig for being such great sports, sharing some knowledge and continuing to make fantastic guns! Check out some training opportunities at the Max Michel Training Academy, and you can always keep up with Max and his plans for world domination at MaxMichel.com.

Can the S&W 500 Be Carried In A Bra Holster? Our Interview With Bart and Lisa Looper

Bart and Lisa Looper of Looper Brand Holsters

Husband and wife dynamic duo – Bart and Lisa Looper

Don’t let the lame-stream media fool ya. If you’re willing to put in some hard work and get creative, you can do just fine. At this year’s NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis, the American Dream was alive and well. We met dozens of entrepreneurs who simply refused to accept the status quo. New ideas. New products. And new passion. It was awe inspiring.

A shining example of the American can-do attitude is Looper Brand Holsters – now run by the dynamic, and quite insane, team of Bart and Lisa Looper. You may know them from their law enforcement heritage. You may know them from the new Flashbang concealed carry holster for women. We got to know them a whole lot better at the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis. Here’s the scoop…

My Gun Culture: I see from the Looper Brand website that your company was founded in 1938. Neither of you look nearly that old. What’s the secret? Human growth hormones? Organ replacement? Bionics? Do you want to comment on this?

Lisa Looper: I’m wise beyond my years… Just kidding! Actually we’re the 3rd generation. My husband Bart’s family started the business in 1938. Then later his dad took over, and then we took over about 7 years ago.

Bart Looper: Since then we’ve been running it and taking the company in new directions. We started out in western belts, watchbands, and ladies handbags. Through the years we went from that to doing a little work for the FBI in the 50’s. Then my father, who was in law enforcement reserve for 40 years took the company into law enforcement products. We ended up in mostly concealed carry and law enforcement products.

MGC: Looking at your website, and there’s two – FlashbangHolster.com and LooperBrand.com, it’s clear you make everything under the sun. How on earth do you guys decide where to invest your time and efforts?

Looper Brand Holsters Booth - NRA Meeting - Flashbang Booth

The Looper Brand Booth was packed at the NRA Annual Meeting

Bart: That’s actually really hard because I tend to be way more emotional and Lisa tends to be way more business-like. I want to hold on to the past and say “No, we have to make the wallets we’ve been making for 50 years.” Even though I know they are losing us money. Lisa and our production manager will slap me upside the head once in a while and say “we’re not making money on that so we can’t do it anymore.” It’s hard to look at the company from a business perspective and sometimes move on from our past. Now we have to really stop and consider, “How can we arm all of the good guys? Especially since we’re so focused on law enforcement and concealed carry products.”

MGC: So you’ve already completed the mission of arming all of the bad guys?

Bart: Yes! Yes.

Lisa: The market ran dry on bad guys.

Bart: We usually don’t have to worry about the bad guys. You know, they stick the gun in the front of their pants, it goes off, and the problem takes care of itself…

MGC: I couldn’t help but notice that with the broad array of products you have that you sell both sexy gun holsters that go in underwear AND you also sell handcuffs. To me, and maybe it’s just me, that’s kind of a scary combination. What kind of creepy phone calls do you get?

Lisa: You know, it’s been a while since we got one. I guess it’s been about 3 or 4 years. We did have a guy call us and ask if we could make harnesses for men that, ummm, were on the wild side…

Bart: And my aunt was still partly in the business and she took it on as a side project. She actually did it and they made some interesting products in army green, inmate jumpsuit orange, and some police black, and some different things with some really interesting tie downs and straps. But of course we’ve never actually done that under the Looper brand name.

MGC: We visited your booth at this years SHOT Show and saw a bunch of new products specifically for ladies in The Pin Up Collection – like The Marilyn, The Annie-O, The Sophia, and The Betty. You may know this already, but the world famous @SavannieOakley on Twitter works with us and so we’re thinking that maybe you’ll make a custom holster called the Savannie Oakley? Obviously it would have to be a concealed holster for a Smith & Wesson 500. Any ideas or plans on that?

Lisa: Maybe a sword style, down the leg rig?

Bart: I don’t know, I did see Lisa put a Smith & Wesson 500 in her bra in a Flashbang holster one time, but that was on a dare and there may have been some cocktails involved… Yeah.

MGC: Of all the new models in the Pin Up Collection – 5 including the Flashbang – which one is getting the most attention?

Lisa: The Flashbang of course is the leader because it’s been out for about a year now, but The Betty and The Marilyn are close on its heels. The Marilyn is made to go on the side more like a shoulder holster. It mounts on the bra. The Betty is an inside the waistband type holster.

MGC: So The Marilyn is the one you were telling be about that is accessible from the top. So if a woman was wearing a long dress or other clothing that would prohibit access to the Flashbang, then they might consider The Marilyn?

Lisa: Right. It’s accessible through the neck opening. The Betty is for more traditional waist carry.

Bart: We’ve had so much response from men about The Betty that we’re going to have to repackage it under a different name. Guys just aren’t willing to buy a holster called The Betty!

MGC: Oh! We got it! How about The Bert and Ernie!

Bart: Yeah! Done!

The Betty Holster from the Pin Up Collection from Looper Brand

The Betty Holster – Part of the new Pin Up Collection from Looper Brand Holsters

MGC: We’ll work out a royalty deal on that name we just gave you. Speaking of The Betty… Lisa you mentioned that for women especially, that straight drop (or straight cant) holsters are more useful. Can you help our readers understand this?

Lisa: Yes. It’s generally because we have a shorter torso and a more curvy situation of course. So when a woman tries to draw from a forward cant, it torques the shoulder and arm more. You really have to raise your elbow up high to draw from a forward cant. If you’re drawing from a straight cant you can keep the arm down at your side and pull the gun straight out and bring it forward in an easier manner.

MGC: Bart. Looper has a lot of women’s holsters in the new line. Have you ever thought about some discreet carry holsters for the guys like the Jock Jammer or something like that?

Bart: No, because Lisa says it won’t make us any money! You know, half of our company’s business is now the women’s line. Look at our booth here – there’s nothing that says “Looper” specifically – it’s all Flashbang branded. So I’m going to try some new things for men but I’m probably going to get shot down!

MGC: Lisa, keeping in mind that our site is PG rated, how many guns can you carry in your underwear?

Lisa: I think the most I’ve ever had on is 7!

MGC: Tell us about your relationship with Blade-Tech. We love those folks! Some great products have come out of that partnership – in fact I’m wearing one now – the Looper / Blade-Tech leather/kydex gun belt.

Bart: About 2 years ago, Ryan Preece, Rock Star from Blade-Tech – you can take that in jest if you want to – got a directive to add belts to the Blade-Tech line. They researched about seven different companies online and placed orders anonymously. When he got the belts, he liked ours the best and recognized our high level of customer service. Then he called us and told us Blade-Tech wanted to carry our product. I just about dropped the phone. Over the past two years, we’ve developed a mutual partnership. Now, we help them with leather and they help us with kydex products. We work together on the hybrid holster, the hybrid belt, and we have a bunch of new belts in the line. And a top secret new holster product…

MGC: So what’s next for Looper Brand?

Bart: We plan to continue to grow the women’s line of course. And we’re having a lot of success picking up new retail partners who want to sell made in the USA, family owned company products with a great reputation for quality and customer service.

MGC: I hear you guys have gone Hollywood. What’s the scoop?

Lisa: Well NCIS Los Angeles contacted us and said that one of their characters was going to be drawing from a bra holster in an upcoming episode. After doing some research, they came across the Flashbang and were impressed by it. They decided to showcase it on the show!

MGC: One last question. Do you two ever sleep?

Bart / Lisa: No!

Thanks to Bart and Lisa for being such good sports. We wish them MUCH continued success and a bit more sleep…

How To Stare A Bull Elk Into Your Freezer: Our Interview With Huntress Mia Anstine

Today we have the pleasure of interviewing not just an interesting “gun person” but an exceptionally busy one as well.

Meet Mia Anstine – Professional hunting guide at Wolf Creek Outfitters, blogger, Womens Outdoor News contributor, mentor, coach, soon-to-be-official shooting instructor, mom, wife, TenPoint Crossbows pro-staffer, Prois Hunting Apparel representative, and author of “Mia and the little gal.” Tired yet? We are.

My Gun Culture: Mia – Thanks for agreeing to occupy our interview hot seat several weeks back. To be honest, we’ve dragged our feet a bit out of embarrassment that we don’t know how to pronounce your name! Is it Mee-yah? My-ah? Mah? Yo lady? Mom! And then there’s the whole question of the correct pronunciation of your last name… An-steen? Ahn-stein? Ahn-stin-ay? We’re very confused. Please set our readers straight…

Mia Anstine: Haha! That’s a GREAT question! I often wonder what people think in their mind as they read my name and pronounce it in their head.  My first name if after the Spanish word for “mine”. It is pronounced Mee-uh as in Mia Hamm, Mia Farrow or Mia Anstine! Haha! My last name is a German name. It is pronounced Ann-Stine. Not Steen or Stein. It is Ann-sty-n.  Hopefully that helps. If not, I will correct you when I meet you. Hah!

MGC: As long as you don’t correct me with one of your crossbows, we’ll be fine! Speaking of Crossbows, what exactly do you do as a pro-staff member of TenPoint Crossbows?

Mia: I mentor lots of people in the outdoors including attending shooting events, trade shows and open houses at local archer or gun stores. At various events I give presentations and show off TenPoint. I demonstrate with my Carbon Fusion CLS and allow shooters to test the bow.

MGC: Being that you’re a professional guide, you’re obviously an accomplished hunter. Have you ever just totally blown a stalk by tripping over something, sneezing, or playing Angry Birds on your iPhone? It’s OK, you can tell, it’s just between us…

Mia: No, but I once was with my husband stalking a 5×5 bull elk that was chasing a cow when I suddenly saw another bull heading to chase him off. I was in the middle of a clearing when off to the right the larger, angry bull circled around the oak brush. He charged in from the side of the meadow.  We turned, and there he was. I was standing in the middle of the clearing with no cover. Hank whispered “don’t
move!”  I stood there, 20 feet from him, all 5’2” of me, trembling.  I was so excited, nervous and scared! That bull and I looked each other in the eye, him glaring at me.  He was mad at that other bull trying to steal one of his cows. I could see his nostrils flaring as he took
deep breaths, trying to smell me and figure out what I was.  I stood in awe as he had busted us but I wasn’t sure if he was going to run or run me over.

MGC: I’ve been wanting to see that movie “Men Who Stare At Goats.” Apparently it’s about some army program where they train to hunt the enemy using psychic powers. I’m assuming that’s how you got out of the bull elk situation right? You just stared at it until it dropped dead? Right?

Mia: We did give each other the stare down, but I had no psychic powers at hand. Thanks to the NRA and our right to bear arms, that day I used my .270 Winchester rifle to put meat in the freezer. It just happened to come along with an exciting story.

MGC: How did you get involved with Prois? You didn’t stare them into submission did you?

Mia: I discovered Prois hunting apparel when it first came out. I was very excited with the quality, function and fit. It was a product I believed in, supported and promoted over the past few years. It was also a bonus when I learned Kirstie Pike’s vision for ladies in the outdoors parallels my own. Now I am so proud and especially honored to be on the Field staffer for Prois.

MGC: We enjoy reading “Mia and the little gal” on Womens Outdoor News! Just hypothetically, how would you handle it if the little gal went entirely vegan one day. Would you teach her to hunt for wheat grass sprouts or something?

Mia: OMG!!! Just posed the question to the Little Gal and she says and I quote “Meat has more flavor than veggies.” LOL!!!! I guess being a vegan is not an option. Haha!

MGC: So tell us what inspires your about being a professional hunting guide at Wolf Creek Outfitters…

Mia: At Wolf Creek Outfitters (WCO) we have always promoted lady hunters, youth hunters as well as disabled. This year we are excited to be taking a number of kids for their first hunts as well as sponsoring a hunt for Outdoor Buddies of Colorado.

MGC: So what’s on your agenda for 2012?

Mia: I am happy to be promoting women in the outdoors and mentoring lots of lady hunters, new and old. I will be attending some ladies shooting events as well as coaching and mentoring at and on ladies hunts. It is my goal this year become an NRA certified shooting instructor.

MGC: So where should folks go to keep up with your adventures?

Mia: At Women’s Outdoor News I enjoy sharing stories of my and my daughter’s outdoor adventures. It is through the blog that we hope to mentor other families to get outside and hunt, shoot, fish and overall enjoy the outdoors together. We have some exciting stories we hope to share throughout the spring and summer. Stay tuned!

Thanks to Mia Anstine (and the little gal) for sharing their story. Stay tuned for more stories from interesting gun people!

Exotic Dancing, Narco Trafficking and the .45ACP Gospel – Our Talk With Black Man With a Gun

The best thing about putzing about the gun and shooting industry, and I do mean putzing, is the variety of interesting people I get to meet. One of those is the Reverend Kenn Blanchard, known online and in Homeland Security response strategy meetings as Black Man With A Gun.

I met Kenn for the first time almost a year ago at The Battle of A Top Secret Location Near Knoxville, TN – otherwise known as the LuckyGunner.com 2011 Blogger Shoot and automatic weapons happy fun festival. Right away, I knew Kenn was a man on a mission. My first words to him were something along the lines of “Why are you here in the tent working instead of shooting machine guns and cannons? Are you some kind of fairy?” After dusting myself off and putting a cold steak on my newly minted black eye, I found Kenn to be a pretty nice guy. With a killer right hook. No wonder Homeland Security has been harassing him for years.

I’m pleased to share some, ah, unusual insight with Kenn Blanchard: Marine, Pastor, Gun Rights Activist, Historian, Shooter and generally swell dude. Enjoy…

My Gun Culture: By my count, you were on the terrorist watch list before there was one. If you started advocating for personal protection rights in 1991, you even pre-date The Department of Homeland Security! Are you really that old?

Kenn Blanchard: Dern, you made me think on that one.  But you’re right.  I was into terrorism before it was a household word.  Before 9/11, I traveled to a lot of not so nice places in the world to protect or return American families from harm in foreign places.  I broke rules, did cool stuff and never lost anyone on my watch.  I never escaped US Customs though.  I fit every profile of a narco trafficker they had so I’ve been searched more in the US (thankfully) than abroad.  And all before biometrics and detection devices that smell residue.  I’ve had a lot of dogs get familiar with my private parts searching for stuff I didn’t have, but its all good.

MGC: As a dog person, I know for a fact that dogs just like to invade your, umm, private areas, just to make you blush! So given your experience with customs and good old-fashioned grope searches, how do you feel about the TSA’s new porn scanners?

Kenn: I practically wear pajamas now when I fly.  The TSA reminded me of the time when I was a exotic dancer.  I have to keep myself from going into a routine when I get in the booth or it  feels like someone is trying to put money on me, but I digress.

MGC: I notice from your bio that you lobbied in the great state of South Carolina for gun rights. Being that I live there now I would love to hear that story – especially since I am now benefitting from your work here…

Kenn: Yes sir, when I decided to grow old, I changed jobs and tried my hand at political persuasion.  I worked with the National Rifle Association in South Carolina to talk politics, freedom and religion to a nice guy in SC legislature that was also a pastor but had the wrong information of self defense, the right to carry and his history.   I preached in his office, converted his staff and then made him listen to me on one of the best elevator pitches I have ever managed in Columbia.  By the time I testified, he was giving us an AMEN for the RKBA. I was just starting to realize my calling into the gospel ministry but you gotta use what you got to get what you need.

MGC: Well thank you very much for getting the great state of South Carolina in order before I moved here! You saved me a lot of trouble! So let’s talk about your move into the ministry. Maybe I should describe that as your move into “official” ministry as it sounds like you might have been doing the amateur version for a while. Have you ever shared the gospel at the shooting range? If so, does the gospel work better with 9mm or .45ACP?

Kenn: I have actually preached in the store part of a range, and folks wondered how a preacher got in.  They wanted to see my ID to prove I was clergy.  It wasn’t planned but happened.  The Good News was someone actually gave his life to Christ afterwards.  I know I am a bit different.  I didn’t start out a choir boy.

MGC: You put a lot of energy and passion into educating people about the real roots of gun control – racism. It’s pretty ironic that many of those promoting gun control measures today shout their status as non-racists from the rooftops. Am I taking crazy pills? This seems astoundingly hypocritical. Your thoughts?

Kenn: I can’t call it.  All I wanted to do when I started was help people.  I never intended on being a modern day abolitionist, trying to abolish the residue of slavery but it happens.  Most folks don’t even realize what they say and think is not original but just adopted till they are called out for it.  Some are hypocritical but most just never gave it much thought and talk without thinking.   And of course some people are just the backside of a northbound mule.

MGC: Tell us about your first gun…

Kenn: My first gun was a Daisy BB gun, but first firearm was a .357 single action Ruger revolver with a eight inch barrel I got from another Marine.

MGC: We ask all of our interview victims, umm I mean guests, to weigh in on our ongoing debate of whether the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher is appropriate for home defense. What say you?

Kenn: I wouldn’t be a fan of a grenade launcher for my home.  The clean up would be expensive.

MGC: Thanks for your time today Kenn. One more question for you. I can’t help but notice that there aren’t a whole lot of black men with guns walking around the big shooting events like SHOT Show, etc. I want to see a whole lot more people in general get involved in shooting. How do we fix that?

Kenn: I hear you brother.  We have to be patient.  It took over four hundred years, a lot of fear and misinformation to get things they way they are.  It won’t take that long to fix but it won’t be when we want it.  You will see a few more every year, and every event, I promise.  You and I will just be gainfully employed making it happen for awhile that is all. Shalom Baby!

I’d like to thank Kenn for his patience and good humor! Be sure to check out Kenn’s podcast here.

Stay tuned – next on the My Gun Culture interview hot seat are in depth discussions with Huntress and Professional Outfitter Mia Anstine, Bart and Lisa Looper from Looper Brand Holsters, makers of belts, holsters, law enforcement gear and the world famous FlashBang holster.

Corn Guns, Dentures, and Parrots: A Chat with Brownells Tech Team Leader Dave Bennetts

Today’s featured “interesting gun person” is Dave Bennetts, who leads the world-famous Brownells Gun Tech Team. In between helping us regular folks reassemble guns that we’ve, umm, fixed, helping customers find the right accessories and parts, and providing generally helpful advice, they produce an extensive library of videos. No, not that kind! We’re talking about videos that feature new products, demonstrations, and how-to videos for do-it-yourself projects. In between calls, we caught up with Dave to answer a few of our more pressing questions.

My Gun Culture: Tell us about the primary mission of Brownells Gun Tech team. I mean besides the obvious one of being the top-secret Q Branch supporting our special forces community. Ummm, should I not have mentioned that?

Dave: Wow! The primary mission of the Gun Tech Team, good question! Sometimes we’re not to sure what it actually is. On Monday, it’s to keep people from shooting themselves in the foot. They think of ways all weekend to do that! By Wednesday it’s changed to “how do I fit night vision onto my 2 1/2 inch barrel Taurus, without drilling and tapping?” Got to keep it original you know. But by Friday we are in development mode for stuff that your imagination can’t comprehend, so we won’t discuss it.

My Gun Culture: I don’t know Dave, I can comprehend a lot… For instance, and just hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to build a 2,000 foot per second potato gun, would the Brownells Gun Tech team be able to help me? Have you developed any supersonic spud lab data to share with your customers? I always thought that a sturdier vegetable like a radish might do better at super sonic speeds. Thoughts?

Dave: Come on Tom! Spud guns are so “like old”!! As you know, we are an Iowa company, so all of our R&D revolves around corn. We are developing a new cartridge made entirely of corn. Everything! The projectile, the propellant, the primer, and the case. One of the problems we have run into, is finding the proper thickness corn husk required for rolling the case. We always have the reloader in mind, and I’m sure you all remember rolling your own with a corn husk, right?

My Gun Culture: Wow! The ultimate in renewable green ballistics. I see a mini-Green Giant gun on the horizon – maybe 2,500 kernels per minute? I’m guessing the trick is avoiding a creamed-corn result. I bet there are some home gunsmiths out there who might be, let’s just say a little light when it comes to caution and safety. Have you ever heard any explosions on the other end of the phone line?

Dave: No explosions, just toilets flushing, showers running, dogs barking, and this damn parrot that screeched into the phone every 5 seconds. My favorite is the guy who has his wife call, and he’s in the background telling her what to say!

My Gun Culture: Hey I only did that once, and it was because, well, umm, I had laryngitis. Yep, laryngitis. Moving on… I see that Brownells carries some Zombie specific AR rifle custom parts including uppers, receivers, stocks, etc. What if you’re wrong and the world is overrun by some other type of undead – like vampires for instance. Will Brownells still stand behind the effectiveness of these products?

Dave: No guarantees on anything except zombies. We feel that if the customer is worried about vampires, werewolves, or any other un-dead, they better do a Google search, and do their own research. We can’t do everything.

My Gun Culture: Tell us more about the basic training program for prospective Brownells Gun Tech team members. After they complete the rigorous warehouse obstacle course, 200 hours of ‘Gears of War’ simulation, and blindfolded M249 SAW assembly and disassembly, what else must they do to become certified and join Brownells Team Six?

Dave: This is a pretty simple answer actually. If you don’t know everything, about everything. you just won’t cut it.

My Gun Culture: Recently we had an editorial examining whether the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher was appropriate for home defense. Would the experts of the Brownells Gun Tech team like to weigh in on this?

Dave: I don’t know about you, Tom, but my home is my castle. If all I had was a MK 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, sitting in the corner, to defend myself with? You bet! Look out, it’s coming at ya! Kinda feel sorry for the neighbors, though.

My Gun Culture: Can you tell us about a couple of your more ‘interesting’ tech support calls? I can’t even begin to imagine some of the questions you get…

Dave: There was one phone call in mind, that really stands out. I was pretty new at Brownells, and took a call from a gentleman somewhere in the southern US, who proceeded to explain to me, that he had attempted to re-line his dentures with one of our premier rifle bedding products. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, as I think the pictures are starting to form in your head!

We would like to thank Dave and the great team over at Brownells for humoring us and telling us a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. If you haven’t worked with Brownells before, check them out. When it comes to accessories, parts, gunsmithing supplies, and ammunition, if they don’t have it you probably don’t need it!

Iain Harrison Talks About Caliber, Kilts, and Kegerators – A My Gun Culture Interview

It’s our pleasure to welcome Top Shot Champion, Crimson Trace Pitch Guy, and all-around class clown Iain Harrison to the My Gun Culture interview hot seat. We first met Iain at the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA earlier this year. Our initial encounter was at a kilt-heavy  bar, so most records of the meeting remain sealed. Let’s just say that certain bald members of the gun writer community are now scarred for life. At great personal risk to reputation and career, Iain has graciously agreed to answer some of our more pressing questions…

My Gun Culture: Rumor has it that in addition to handling Media Relations for Crimson Trace and hitting the competitive circuit, that you’re a gunsmith and do scary stuff like milling and lathe. Are you personally making the new Crimson Trace Lightguard in your garage?

Iain Harrison: Ha, I wish! I thought my shop was pretty trick until I visited the Director of Engineering at CTC. His inspired an instant case of machine envy and besides, he’s got a kegerator next to his welder. I can’t compete with that!

My Gun Culture: We’ve heard rumors that you’re been secretly working on a creating a new Shooting Sport – Kilted Action Kombat Skirt Society (KAKSS) or something? Care to comment?

Iain: There are a few avant-garde members of the shooting community who’ve discovered secret inside knowledge that women have been keeping to themselves for centuries. Once you go kilt, you never go back – it’s like air conditioning for your boys and the first time you experience a fresh mountain breeze ruffling your ahem, feathers, you realize what you’ve been missing all these years. The only downside is going prone, but that’s the spectator’s problem, not mine.

My Gun Culture: So if I’m hearing you right, you’re saying that the more traditional form of, umm, let’s say ‘concealed carry’ is not all its cracked up to be. What Crimson Trace product do you recommend for under-the-kilt use? Can lasers burn, ahh, sensitive areas?

Iain: Unfortunately, the killjoys at the FDA limit the power output of consumer lasers, so even if you managed to somehow turn it on while in the holster, there’s no chance of singeing the family jewels. On a side note, I find a Laserguard-equipped Glock 36 fits perfectly in a sporran, which provides the user with a novel concealed carry option.

My Gun Culture: Our editorial staff has had a raging debate over whether the MK-19 Automatic Grenade Launcher is appropriate for home defense. As a former Military guy and multi-gun competitor, can you please weigh in on this and settle the issue once and for all?

Iain: Look, if you’re going trust your family’s safety to a weapons system, at least pick a decent caliber. Experts the world over agree that a  105mm Light Gun parked at the top of the stairs is the bare minimum…

My Gun Culture: So you’ve done Top Shot, Construction, amateur gun-smithing, and Media Relations for Crimson Trace. What’s next? When are you going to enter Top Chef? Can you even cook?

Iain: Do they have an MRE heating stage in that competition? If not, I’m probably going to struggle.

My Gun Culture: Just hypothetically speaking, if we took the first three Top Shot Champions – you, Chris Reed, and Dustin Ellerman – and set up a cage match stocked with assorted medieval weapons, what weapon would you choose? And who would emerge victorious?

Iain: Easy. I’d pick a trebuchet, that way there wouldn’t be any room in the cage for anyone else & I’d win by default. Seriously though, I think Dustin would emerge victorious as he’s just so damned nice – there’s no way Chris and I would be able to overcome his aw-shucks grin.

My Gun Culture: What can you tell our readers about the Crimson Trace Skunkworks? What kinds of things can we expect to see next?

Iain: You remember the Death Star in Return of the Jedi? Yeah, like that. More mainstream products that aren’t capable of destroying an entire planet include a mini rail-mounted laser, new sights for the Gen 4 Glocks and a Lightguard, weapon mounted light for the 1911.

My Gun Culture: When can our staff expect to receive invitations to the ultra-exclusive Crimson Trace SHOT Show party?

Iain: You mean we’re having one? How come I wasn’t told? (insert sound of furious phone conversation with agent).

Again, we’d like to thank Iain for sharing his time and wisdom. We’re also working with Iain to bring you the latest scoop and our field tests on new Crimson Trace Lasergrip and Lightguard products. Stay tuned!

Coffee Talk with Julie Golob, and Her Julie-Double

Today we continue our quest to speak with fun and interesting people in the shooting industry. We’d like to thank Julie Golob, coffee aficionado, for sharing some time with us. In case you don’t know, in addition to roasting her own Major Power Factor coffee, she also shoots at a lot of things. So we hear…

My Gun Culture: Congratulations on completion of your first book: SHOOT – Your Guide to Shooting and Competition! How on earth did you find time to do that? We’re guessing you had the laptop out between stages at Bianchi. Or did you have a Julie-double competing at some of the matches?

Julie: Thanks so much! You know… the Julie-double was a great idea at first until I realized she didn’t write so well and she didn’t win matches! I had to let her go in Colby Donaldson style and tell her she “fired her last shot.” In all seriousness though, writing a book turned out to be much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. I had to tackle it like I would a checklist to stay on track. There were definitely a lot of late nights and I am so glad to be done reading all the different sports’ rulebooks!

My Gun Culture: We’ve had similar troubles. Fembot Julie-doubles are great at shooting but kind of lousy at office work. If you had to pick one piece of advice from your new book “Shoot” that you’re most passionate about, what would that be?

Julie: What I want people to take away from the book is that safety is first and foremost whenever dealing with firearms and to go ahead, get out there and try your hand at shooting. There are so many shooting sports and I believe there’s one suited for everyone. Go for it, be safe and have fun!

My Gun Culture: While flying over Montana recently, I could have sworn I smelled coffee beans roasting. Any ideas why?

Julie: You did??? Well it wasn’t from my house! Book writing and training kept me from that hobby this year but now that you mention it that’s on my winter to do list. I LOVE it! I even roasted batches for Christmas gifts one year with signature roasts – double tap roast, powder burn, etc. in major and minor power factor, of course! If you love coffee and you’ve never had fresh roasted beans, I highly recommend it!

My Gun Culture: Just hypothetically speaking, if your daughter follows in your footsteps, but winds up shooting for, oh, say Team Glock or Team Sig, will you still attend her wedding?

Julie: Absolutely! You just won’t see any of those plastic gun key chains as wedding favors, the reception won’t be at the Sig academy and the mother of the bride will be in Smith & Wesson blue with a splash of Benelli red, of course.

My Gun Culture: Speaking of weddings, we couldn’t help but notice that your maiden and married names both start with a “G.” Call us skeptical, but doesn’t this mean you didn’t have to change the monograms on your towels? This wasn’t a marriage of convenience was it?

Julie: Too funny! It’s actually more than just the ‘G’ part. I only had to drop the “ski” and add a “b.”  I remember when I first met him, I thought, “wow… our names are so similar!” I prefer to think that it means that we are meant for each other though. :)

My Gun Culture: Recently you won the USPSA Ladies Revolver Championship, making you the only competitor in history to win National Championships in all six USPSA divisions.  Some people are saying this is a result of you possessing all five Sankara Stones from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. As these stones are known to help fight the forces of evil, that seems to be a plausible explanation. While there are no current USPSA rulings related to use of Sankara Stones, many are concerned about the precedent. How do you respond to these accusations?

Julie: Yes, I admit to having connections in the government, but when I put in the request to acquire the five Sankara stones to commemorate my wins in five divisions of USPSA it just made sense. After all, they were just sitting there in that big warehouse next to the Ark collecting dust. Even with the shipping, excise tax and dangerous goods fees it was well worth it and come to find out, tax deductible! I admit to having an edge over the other person in consideration, to house the stones. Some guy named, Robert Leatham had also applied. Who’s that guy? But, being former AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit) I had the edge. To anyone who has a beef with it, you carry those things around in your shooting bag at a Nationals. They may “glow” and all, but they easily weigh fifteen pounds each. Add to it the ammo, water, snacks, etc. I had to train for months just to carry my bag! Truth be told, I am sending them back.  I’m all into the number six now.

My Gun Culture: We’ve noticed that you’ve been competing in 3 Gun Competitions recently. If there were a 5 Gun match, what would your other two choices be?

Julie: That’s easy! Machine gun, preferably the gatling gun and then a cannon shoot. I SO want to shoot a cannon.

My Gun Culture: I have a great lead for you on that. Last spring, the folks at LuckyGunner.com hosted a mega-shoot event and I was able to shoot a Napoleonic Field Artillery cannon. Shoots a 12 pound cannonball you know, and does a heckuva job on old cars. I think it would work great for you, but you’d have to talk the folks at Smith & Wesson into springing for a pretty hefty 4 wheeler to lug it around the matches…

We’d like to thank Julie Golob for taking time out of her busy schedule shooting the heck out of various things to do this interview. We hope you enjoyed learning a few new and interesting things about the only woman, man, or child to win National Titles in all six USPSA divisions.

Don’t forget to check out Julie’s new book, available now!

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