Friday, April 30, 2010

From the vault - Smith & Wesson Model 4566

From deep within my gun safe comes another treasure...I've always had a soft spot for third generation Smith & Wesson auto pistols, especially in .45 caliber. A model 4506 (fixed sight) was the very first S&W I ever owned. Over the years I would buy one and then after a while sell it, but it wouldn't be too long before I would regret it and buy another. I have owned several of the big .45s over the years, a couple each of the 4506 and 4516 models, a 4567 and my only current one, the 4566 in the photo above. I've never had a problem with any of mine; all have been very solid, dependable pistols. If there has been any issue at all it would be with the heavy double action trigger pull that I always thought was one of the series' only flaws. I bought this one at a low price in '06 and after shooting it a while decided that it was a "keeper". For once I decided to send a gun off for a little custom work, this one got sent to Novak for a trigger and reliability job (was plenty reliable already) and I have been quite happy with it ever since. The DA trigger is as smooth as silk and the modifications made on the gun turned it from an excellent pistol to an exceptional pistol. Every once in a while I'll think about selling it. It's a one of a kind in my collection and requires special mags, holsters etc. that won't work with any other gun that I own. But every time I do consider getting rid of it I quickly change my mind, it's just too good a gun to ever let go...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

N Frame Carry (Post Script)

I've had a few email questions about my How I carry my "N" Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers post from last week. So I thought I would answer them here all at once.

First, the models for the little photo essay were:
1964 27-2 - Blue - 3 ½ Inch (Stag grips)
1962 27-2 - Blue - 3 ½ Inch (Oversized target grips)
1956 .357 Magnum - Blue - 3 ½ Inch (Diamond Magna grips)

The '56 is actually the revolver that I usually carry when I do carry an N Frame, and no it's not nearly as nice as it looks in the photos. It has a lot of finish wear already so I'm not very concerned about a little more. In fact all of the Smith & Wesson's shown are "shooters" and have been carried in the past.

The large target grips on the '62 were made by a gentleman in Thailand, wish I could remember his name but I know he used to sell on Gunbroker and you might still be able to find him there. The grips completely cover the frame of the gun (front and back) filling my hand quite well. I find them great for range work although they are a bit much for concealed carry (except maybe with a very heavy cover garment). The grips are well made but did require some minor fitting to make them right. In size and feel they remind me of Herrett's Jordan Trooper grips but at nearly half the price. Also, personally I like the checkering more than those I have seen on Herrett's grips.

The Hunter holster was made for a 4-Inch gun while the rest were made for 3 ½ Inch guns. Obviously the Don Hume belt slide will fit any barrel length. The DeSantis, while molded for a 3 ½ Inch barrel gun has a little extra leather on the end so you can carry a 4-Inch too. Actually I can put my 5-Inch in it and only the last ¼ inch of the barrel protrudes.

The Hunter is left over from when I carried 4-Inch N frame guns. My first N Frame carry gun was a NYSP marked Model 28. I've also owned a couple 4-Inch Model 27s. Unfortunately in a fit of stupidity I sold those guns years ago and have regretted it ever since. I did keep the holster, knowing I would probably have use for it again, someday.

And finally I had one emailer that was very concerned for me because some of my older holsters have exposed triggers. The thought being that the trigger might get caught on something and/or I might have my finger on the trigger causing an accidental discharge. First, I have absolutely zero concern about something catching the trigger and causing an AD. All my carry revolvers have between a 9-10 pound DA triggers and that's not counting the resistance on the cylinder by the holster and belt. I'm not sure I could even intentionally cause a discharge, let alone an accidental one. Second, my weak-willed trigger finger won't be having an AD because I (like hopefully every other gun owner) practice proper trigger discipline by keeping my FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL I AM ON TARGET AND READY TO FIRE.

Till next time!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Keep on buying...

Went to wallyworld® again this morning to pick up a few items. Bought some more 9x19mm while I was there (couldn't hurt). My local store has it at $11.99/50rds, which is about the cheapest centerfire cartridge you can get around my neck of the woods. They also have a good supply of it too; they've had in stock every time I have visited this year. Can't say the same for .45ACP or .357 Magnum, both of which are more expensive and harder to find. Talking with others on gun forums I find that different regions have their own specific problems. One I talked with hasn't been able to find any 9mm for months while another had all that they could buy at the much better price of $9.99. A year ago my local store had nothing most of the time except a few very over priced items (how about $45.99 for 50 rounds of .44 Mag). Now, a year later the situation is much improved. I can't say that I expect the prices to come down much more (they might go back up) but supply is definitely better and I have been able to find every caliber that I've been looking for if I look hard enough, even if I wasn't completely happy with the price when I found it. Current plans are to continue buying, if only a box or two at a time. I have no intention of a repeat of last year where I had a gun that I had no ammo for and didn't know when I would get any. That won't happen again, ever.

Books - How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It

After reading How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It by author and founder of survivalblog.com James Wesley, Rawles I must say that this book is very informative and scary. Scary when you realize just how under prepared you are if something really bad does happen...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Retro Pop (Culture) - You Light Up My Life

In the fall of 1977 Debby Boone would have the first and what would ultimately be the biggest hit of her singing career when the now universally known You Light Up My Life went to the number one position on the Billboard® Hot 100 charts. Debby, the third daughter of 1950's pop music superstar Pat Boone and no stranger to the stage herself, having toured with the Boone family since the age of 14, found overnight celebrity with this hugely popular single. You Light Up My Life was originally recorded by Kasey Cisyk for the movie of the same name. Contrary to what many people believe Debby's recording was never used in that film. Her version was released as a single in August 1977 and would spend a record breaking ten consecutive weeks at the number one position. The song would also go to the number one position on the Hot Adult Contemporary as well as number four on the Hot Country Singles charts. Although originally written as a more conventional love song Debby professed her version to be about her love for God rather than any kind of romantic love. Even though follow up success in pop music would elude her Debby would go on to have a highly regarded singing career with numerous hits and awards in Christian and Country music. But it was her recording of You Light Up My Life that made history, not only was it wildly popular with the buying public, but broke records, was nominated for (and won) numerous awards and would eventually sell nearly five million copies. The single would earn Boone a Grammy® Award for Best New Artist (as well as two other nominations) and an American Music Award® for Favorite Pop Single of 1977. The Academy Of Country Music would also award Debby with the Top New Female Vocalist for 1977. You Light Up My Life would end up being the biggest selling single for the entire decade and in 2008 Billboard would name the song # 7 on its All Time Hot 100 list. Today, over 30 years later, it can still be heard on the radio, and at wedding receptions and anniversary parties around this nation and the world. A fitting tribute to one young woman's love for her creator.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

N Frame Carry

Well I've been meaning to write this for a while now and here it is - How I carry my "N" Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers. I will limit my discussion here to holster brands and types that I have actually used myself, not what someone else told me or something I heard from a "friend of a friend", or read on a gun forum somewhere. Everything that I write here is from my own personal experiences using and carrying these great guns. Be aware that some of these holsters I have owned for many years now and may no longer be available from the holster makers that I have linked to. You may be able to find something similar. Also, all of my experiences have involved carrying and concealing 3 ½ and 4 inch N frame guns and I will confine my comments to those. The longer barreled revolvers have their own special problems that I don't feel qualified to discuss since I have never done it myself. You would think however that my comments, at least to a small degree, apply to those longer barrel guns as well.

Let me also say that without a great gun belt the holsters below are useless. A quality made gun belt is required anytime carrying, even more so when carrying a large, heavy revolver like a Smith & Wesson N frame. Without a good belt concealed carry will be difficult if nearly impossible. Under the best circumstances a cheap belt would certainly be uncomfortable and under the worst circumstances could be downright dangerous. Personally I use a Galco belt that is 1 ½ inches wide and I would consider that to be the absolute minimum width to use with any gun as large and heavy as a S&W N frame.

Listed below is an inventory of the various holsters that I have used in my efforts to carry a large N frame Smith & Wesson revolver over the years...Hunter belt scabbard - This was the very first holster I bought for an N frame revolver and is a typical thumb break type offered by many different holster makers. Many companies sell this or similar types of holsters that have a strap or tension screw to secure the gun instead of the thumb break. This is a suede lined model that I don't believe is in production any longer. This holster (and a S&W Model 28) is actually what I used in the shooting portion of my CDW license test. The holster secures the gun very well and is comfortable enough to use for long periods of time. It is a field type holster and was never intended for concealed carry, but it can be used in that capacity and I have done so on rare occasion. But as a concealment holster it would definitely be limited to the colder months of the year as a heavy outer garment is required to cover it. If concealment is not really an issue for you (but comfort is) then this is the type of holster you should be shopping for.
Saguaro belt scabbard - This is a fancier dress up belt type holster, similar to the basic design above, that has an adjustable tension screw (cleverly disguised as a Mercury dime) instead of a thumb break. It is also a beautiful example of leather artistry. But besides being great looking this holster also secures the gun well and is actually a little better for concealed carry than the Hunter because it holds the gun a little closer to the body. Like the Hunter though it still requires a heavier outer garment for concealment.Brauer Brothers Manufacturing belt scabbard - I picked this 1960's belt holster up at a gun show many years back and at a bargain price. It's a good utility type holster best suited for field/range work. The gun is held by means of both a metal reinforced opening and a tension screw and is very secure. The holster has a neutral cant and can be used on your strong side or as a cross draw. Like the other belt holsters above this can be used for concealment but only if using a heavy cover garment.Smith & Wesson brand shoulder holster - I must confess that I have only used this vertical shoulder holster a few times since owning it. This is an older type with all leather construction. The muzzle end of the holster attaches to your belt to secure it on your left side. For the right side there is a strap that goes across to hold the holster down and there is no provision for anything (speed loaders, handcuffs etc.) on that side. Admittedly this design is very "old school" and that there are much newer (and better) shoulder holsters available but I have never got around to buying one. Fairly or unfairly, this holster has probably prejudiced me against all other should holster designs. Having a 44.5 ounce (loaded) large frame Smith & Wesson revolver hanging from under your left arm for prolonged periods is not my cup of tea and this lopsided rig left me feeling like Quasimodo after very short periods of use.DeSantis IWB - This is a very well designed inside the waistband holster that not only secures the revolver well but also conceals it well too. The Holster has a shield on the back side that keeps the hammer and frame from digging into your body. This is a well thought out and practical holster design which will allow you to carry your N frame anytime of the year you want as this IWB holster only needs a shirt to cover it completely. However like all IWB holsters for a large gun, because the largest portions of the revolver (the cylinder especially) are under your belt you will have to take your belt and pant sizes into consideration. At least one size larger should be assumed and possibly more. The only flaw in this design is the single belt attachment point that sits right over the gun's cylinder, increasing the overall width of the set-up and making concealment just a little more difficult. Still, all things considered a great concealment holster for the large frame S&W.Don Hume JIT slide - I must admit I am not the biggest fan of belt slide type holsters and probably would have never bought this one myself. I received it, along with other accessories, after buying a N frame .357 last year. I don't like belt slide holsters because personally I want as much of a gun to be covered as can be. It is my preference that as little as possible of a carry gun actually be in contact with your clothes or skin. As a general rule, the less gun you are in contact with the more comfortable you will be and the less wear and tear you will have on your clothes. Having said that I must admit that this Hume design secures the gun very well and holds the gun close to the body, making concealment somewhat easy as long as you have a coat or shirt tail long enough to cover.Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 - In my opinion one of the best holsters made for carrying the N frame Smith & Wesson - if concealment is your highest priority. A light shirt will easily conceal the gun and with this holster you can carry all year long with all types of clothes. The belt loops, being spread out, help secure the gun better and distributes the weight more evenly while also making the gun (slightly) more comfortable to carry and easier to conceal than the DeSantis above. With the Milt Sparks VM2, like with all other inside the waistband holsters, you are sacrificing comfort for the ability to conceal the weapon. The cylinder of a S&W N frame revolver is just over 1 5/8-inches wide and having that (and the majority of the gun) under your belt and pants does make concealing the weapon easier but you do have to give up something for that feature, and that "something" is your personal comfort, especially if you are going to be seated for long periods of time. But as stated at the beginning, if concealment is your main concern the VM2 is the holster to buy.Milt Sparks PMK - MY BEST holster for carrying an N frame revolver concealed, period. This holster is secure and holds the gun very close to the body. Being that it is on the outside of the belt it is much more comfortable than trying to carry IWB while only being slightly more difficult to conceal with it. Concealment itself is easy with a light coat or even a long shirt will not be a problem. Because the PMK pulls the gun up close to your body the result is a very secure and stable platform that will allow you to carry discreetly for many hours without problems or discomfort.

Carrying an N Frame Smith & Wesson does require more effort but it is certainly not an impossible task as some might think. To me it is worth the extra effort involved to actually use and carry these great guns as intended. Maybe this short article will help convince a few others that the big S&W revolvers they love so much are not a lost cause after all...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Buy a gun day

Today is Buy A Gun Day so go out there and get one! I can't myself, wish I could but I am short moolah. I do have one on layaway but don't have the funds to get it out today. I guess I'll just have to wait and suffer for a few more weeks.I am quite sure you will be reading all about my "new" gun next month but until then I will give you a few clues. It's a .38. They were only made for four years. And of course it is made by Smith & Wesson (regular readers could have easily guessed that part). Here is a portion of a photo I found on the net. This isn't my gun but it is identical. I am counting the days till I get mine!

Pay Your Taxes!

Yes another income tax day is upon us friends! In these times of want, with federal, state and local governments all seeing drastic declines in incoming revenue, it is important that all of us (that actually pay taxes) pay our fair share. As for me I got back a little at the federal level but was shocked! SHOCKED! SHOCKED! to discover that I had under paid my state taxes last year and actually owed them $5! Well, I immediately got a check off (yesterday) with the hope that my contribution might keep my state running a little while longer. I guess a five spot is probably just enough to cover the cost of a couple sheets of copier paper, or maybe a paper clip...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Watch U Carry?

I have had several readers send in questions about my personal choices concerning the guns, ammunition and holsters that I use when carrying concealed in public. So without further ado...

First, let me start off by saying that I don't pretend to be some great gun expert. I'm just an average guy that has had a concealed carry license since 1996. For the first few years I only carried sporadically, since May of 2000 though I have had a gun with me every time that I went out in public (as the law allows). No I am not a "gun expert" but having carried a gun for many years now I have learned a few things and like everyone else that carries a concealed weapon I do have my opinions and prejudices on the subject.

When I Carry

I should also note when I carry. I am just an average citizen, I am not in law enforcement or in any type of work where I would have to carry a gun around with me all of the time. Some people do have to carry a gun with them for a full work shift, or maybe even longer. I am not one of those people. I only carry when I am out in public places (can't carry at work) and for me that means typically I might only have a gun on for a few hours before I can return home and take it off. Although I have done it, only occasionally will I have a gun on me for a full day. Because of this I have a little more freedom in gun selection. For instance I can (and do) choose a full size, all steel handgun because I usually don't have to wear it to the point of becoming very uncomfortable, or even painful, during a long day. Not having to contend with comfort issues as much allows me to choose guns that might be larger or heavier than I might otherwise. I can make my concealed carry choices with an eye more towards effectiveness as opposed to what I might be able to live with when carrying for prolonged periods.

How I Carry

Over the years I have tried them all. I have carried a handgun just about anywhere you can imagine. For the most part though I prefer to carry on my waist, dominant side, behind the hip (about the 4 o'clock position). I do get some use from pocket holsters as well and mostly use them dominant side, front pocket. Ankle hosters, shoulder holsters, cross draw holsters, small of back, used them all since I've been carrying, but I always come back to what works best for me, strong side and pocket carry.

Main Carry

Colt Government Model (1911A1) .45 ACP - Despite all my talk and my admiration for the Smith & Wesson hand ejector, I must admit that my first pick when I leave the house is an semi-automatic pistol, specifically a full size Colt .45 Government Model pistol. I would say about 75% of the time that I carry it is the Colt that is under my belt. It is in my opinion an excellent combination of power, controllability and concealability (if that is a word). Yes, I do carry the Colt "cocked and locked", what other way would you want to carry it? For ease of concealment I much prefer an inside the waistband holster (IWB) and that applies to most of my other carry guns as well. Despite the size and weight involved a good holster can make carrying the big Colt a manageable chore. My Brommeland Max-Con V makes that chore quite a bit easier, it locks the gun solidly in place and distributes the weight well. With this setup I can comfortably carry the Colt for many hours. I have numerous other holsters for this pistol but the Brommeland is by far the best and the one that gets used the most. On occasion I have also been known to carry the Colt "Mexican" when on a short trip such as to the gas station. Using a good gun belt (I have a 1 ½ inch Galco) the gun is secured and moderately comfortable when carried this way for brief outings.

As for what type of ammunition I prefer when I carry (this also applies to ALL my carry guns) I must say that I am not a devoted fan of any one particular brand or another. All of the major manufactures make great self-defense ammo. While I might favor a specific bullet weight I have no brand loyalty for any particular "name" as long as it's accurate and reliable. As for .45 Auto a standard pressure hollow point of the 230 grain weight is my usual preference.

Smith & Wesson Model 649 .38 S&W Special - There are times when I just don't want to carry the Colt, particularly if it's a hot and humid summer day and I have on light clothing, or sometimes there might be other special circumstances. Those are times when the little J Frame Smith is an acceptable substitute. In the summer months my stainless Bodyguard .38 and a Kramer pocket holster (with a light shirt for coverage) is all that I need. That setup is great for shorter trips but for longer ones another Brommeland IWB suits the bill to a "T". I can carry the revolver all day and actually forget that it is there because it's so comfortable. Just like the Colt I have purchased numerous holsters for my little Smith & Wesson over the years but most of them look new, as these are the two that always seem to get used.

Defense ammunition preferred is 125 grain +P hollow points. The +P ammunition has a little more snap in them (compared to standard pressure) but the heavier steel frame makes for faster recovery and more tolerable recoil.

Occasional Carry

On occasion I just want to be different, at those times other guns see the light of day. A Smith & Wesson 4566 customized by Novak is one of those. Believe it or not this big block of steel gets carried IWB in a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 and is more comfortable than it has any right to be. I am a big fan of the Sparks VM2 and have bought some for my more used carry guns. I recently added one for my Sig Sauer P228 but haven't used it much yet. So far the alloy framed Sig seems a real pleasure to carry in my Sparks rig. You almost forget it's there.

But my main "other" carry gun is a S&W .357 Magnum ("Pre" Model 27) with a 3 ½ inch barrel. This big revolver weighs in about the same as my Colt Government Model but because of the huge size of the frame and cylinder it takes more effort to conceal it and tote it around. Believe it or not the big Smith & Wesson isn't that hard to carry or to conceal if you use the right gear. I am writing a much more extensive article on carrying the N Frame Smith & Wesson which will be appearing in this blog in coming weeks.

Reloads

I must admit that I am not very judicious about carrying reloads for my carry guns. Sometimes I take them with me and other times not. This is one area that I will concede that I need to make more of an effort. When I carry the Colt I have a Galco single magazine pouch that I sometimes use, it can also work with my S&W 4566. When I have one of my Smith & Wesson revolvers on me I usually bring along a Bianchi speed strip in another pocket. Sometimes, mostly depending on the weather and how I am dressed, I will carry speed loaders. I prefer Safariland brand carried loose in a pocket or on my belt in a pouch.

Having carried a gun for many years now, and thru a lot of trial and error, I have come to know very well what will work and not work for me. It should be the goal of every person that carries a gun to test themselves to find out what combinations of guns and carry styles that will work best for them too.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Classic TV Collection

From my own personal archives!"Barnaby Jones (Buddy Ebsen) wants some straight answers from Dawn Carlson (Bonnie Ebsen, the star's daughter) whose boyfriend he suspects of having faked his death to avoid capture by the Coast Guard, in 'Barnaby Jones', Thursday, March 2 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET) on the CBS Television Network." 2/3/78

Lasting for 8 seasons (1973-1980) CBS Television's Barnaby Jones brought viewers something that we had never seen before, a milk drinking, sexagenarian, TV detective that always solved the case and got his man. Jones (Buddy Ebsen) originally came out of retirement to solve the murder of his own son and was aided by his daughter-in-law (Lee Meriwether), in later seasons his cousin "J.R." (Mark Shera) would also get into the act. Barnaby Jones with his laidback manner would lull suspects, while his keen eye and scientific mind would close the noose on any that thought they could outwit the law or escape justice. Produced by Quinn Martin Productions, who was no stranger to TV success in the 1960's and 70's, this memorable, popular and highly entertaining series would prove you didn't need to be a hard drinking, hard living, tough guy TV detective to get the job done. With the help of a huge assortment of special guest stars over the years and a great television opening sequence and theme song, Barnaby Jones would become one of the iconic TV detective shows for an entire decade.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Gun Movies - Bill's Gun Shop

When I saw the Bill's Gun Shop DVD at a pawnshop for $2 I wasn't really expecting much from this direct to video production and after watching it I must say it was about what I expected. The movie stars John Ashton (a favorite character actor) and since it was cheap enough I decided to give it a chance. Ashton is Bill, the gun shop owner and Scott Cooper co-stars as a young man that has been a "gun nut" all his life and finally gets his dream job at Bill's shop as a salesman. Intertwined with this is also a subplot about Bill being a bounty hunter and how one of their jobs goes wrong and they have to cover up a murder. Did I forget to mention the part where the young man is a loser with girls but his preoccupation with guns, and what he learns about himself working at the shop makes him a more self-confident. Mostly though I guess this little production is a commentary on how a gun can change a person's personality and how it (the gun) can give you a sense of power or fearlessness, or self-assurance, or something. I don't know. I must admit I was bored a lot of time during this so maybe I missed the point the director was trying to make. I'm just glad there wasn't a test afterward. What I did notice most in the film though was the supposedly adult people acting like kids when they had a gun in their hand, and that included a lot of dangerous gun play and generally stupid behavior. And then, as could be expected, every cliché about people that own guns had to be thrown into the mix too - gun owning white separatist - gun toting gang members - guns and suicide, etc. I guess the only one they missed was the gun owner/spree killer. There are a few interesting scenes but as a whole this movie really isn't worth the trouble. I doubt that I ever watch it again and there's nothing here to make me recommend it to anyone else, but if you must you must. Just remember, you have been warned.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

From the vault - Smith & Wesson Model 27-7

From deep within my gun safe comes another treasure...Produced in limited quantities in 2000 the Smith & Wesson Model 27-7 has several features that distinguish it from other Model 27 revolvers made before or since. The 27-7 was special ordered from S&W by the sporting goods distributor Bangers. Each revolver was custom built by the S&W Performance Center (PC) and wears their emblem instead of the normal Smith & Wesson logo. Each revolver was hand assembled and tuned, and delivered in a PC aluminum carry case. The 27-7 was limited to only 200 copies ever made, 100 with a 4-inch barrel and 100 with a 6-½ inch barrel. Produced in a special serial number range, all had a high polish blue finish, a round butt grip frame and had square butt conversion target stocks. The Model 27-7 was the first 27 produced as an 8-shot capacity revolver and could be loaded conventionally or with special moon clips that were also supplied. The 27-7 also has the distinction of being the only 8-shot Model 27 ever made without "The Lock".

I had a chance to purchase one of these when they originally came out but stupidly passed on the opportunity. Later on I realized just how dumb I was and started looking for another. Unfortunately they rarely come up for sale so it has been a long wait. I finally got my chance to get this one in a trade. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet but the action is smooth as glass, easily the equal of my Colt Python. And holding two more rounds of .357 Magnum gives the edge to the big S&W. Not to worry, a shooting report will be forthcoming.

More buying...

Went to wallyworld® early this Easter morning and continued my ammunition buying program. Beginning last year I started purchasing ammo every time I was down there, if only a box or two. Since the first of this year I have been tapering off though, but still have tried to buy some at least every other visit. Today I bought some more .22lr, which leads me to another dilemma. I am running out of room to properly store it. You know that you really start to look like a "gun nut", even to your gun nut friends, when you have boxes and boxes of ammo just lying around, on top of your gun safe, book cases, on the floor, etc. I need to get myself down to the Army surplus store and buy some more .50 Cal ammo cans. At least then the ammunition would be better protected...

HAPPY EASTER EVERYBODY!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Forgotten Films - Every Man is My Enemy - 1967

Qualcuno Ha Tradito, the memorable but little known 1967 Italian crime drama directed by Frank Shannon (Franco Prosperi) and released to English speaking audiences as Every Man Is My Enemy stars Robert Webber, Elsa Martinelli and Jean Servais. Webber plays Tony Costa a professional criminal who holds honor above all else. As the film begins Tony witnesses his partner being gunned down by the police as they try to capture him. He risks jail and his own life to make sure that the man who informed on his friend is paid back in full, that is the code that Tony lives by.Afterwards he leaves for Marseilles to meet up with old friend Jean (Servais) who wants him to take part in a high dollar diamond robbery he is planning. As he arrives tensions are already high as everyone prepares for the job. But further complicating the situation is the fact the mastermind of the criminal plan (Ennio Balbo) is a heroin addict and that a fellow team member, Coco Hermann (Franco Giornelli), is also secretly having a affair with Jean's wife (Marina Berti). As they make their preparations waiting for the big day Tony finds a new lady friend in Laureen (Elsa Martinelli), she knows nothing of his criminal life. At about the same time Tony runs into an old friend from the war. Gabriel (Pierre Zimmer) saved his life and Tony still holds him in high regard. Even though it has been many years since they saw one another he still admires him.The night of the robbery finally arrives and it doesn't take long before things begin falling apart. The police unexpectedly show up before the gang can break the safe and everyone must flee. During the ensuing gun battle the group all split up except for Tony who stays with Jean because he was wounded. Tony knows without help his friend will otherwise be captured. It is obvious that the police have an informant among them, Tony is sure that it was Coco that alerted the police and caused his friend to get shot. Tony must find his girl and get out of town fast, but before he does he will make sure that he finds the one that betrayed them, no matter what.If you like crime dramas this is a movie you must see. Robert Webber does quite a job in the lead part. Webber adds a coolness to the character of Tony Costa and really makes him believable as a dangerous criminal with his own code of honor. The supporting parts are also well done, especially Elsa Martinelli and Jean Servais who are always great to watch. A good portion of the film concerns itself with the planning of the crime while it's not until the last quarter of the movie that the consequences are shown. The resulting tension, continually escalating, leads us to a conclusion that the audience knows will not end well for anyone involved, even if the characters never see it coming. If there is any real flaw it would be the 1960s Jazz soundtrack which now seems somewhat dated and can be annoying at times. While not perfect, Every Man Is My Enemy is a worthy addition to any collection of crime films.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Books - Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse

It's Tennessee, nine years after the world imploded. Mortimer Tate, an insurance salesman, finally comes down out of his mountain hideaway only to find himself lost in the hollow remainder of a world he once knew. A world now filled with indentured servants, crazed killers, cannibals, rival warring armies and the last remaining vestige of civilization, Joey Armageddon's Sassy A-Go-Go. But Mortimer does have a chance to redeem himself in this strange new world, and to find his long missing wife. All he has to do is make the precarious journey to the lost city of Atlanta, find the mysterious leader of the Red Stripe Army, and kill him... Victor Gischler's Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse - Read it - Love it.