Woo-hoo!  My blog is a decade old today.  The first entry is here, from 4/8/08.

It’s been a fun ride for the most part, the rare, occasional troll notwithstanding. The few crackpots I’ve had to ban (commentary here is moderated) I can still count on my fingers. The 26,898 comments posted by readers have overwhelmingly proven useful to other readers, and of course, to me.

Thanks to all who read this, and particularly, all who contribute their thoughts.  It’s you who make this an interesting, educational place.

It would be cool if I can keep it going another decade, though I’m told there is dirt younger than me and the actuarial tables aren’t favorable for that.

Gonna try, though.  Thanks for being here, folks.  I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it, and learned from it so far.  Keep those comments coming!


  1. Congratulations, here’s to ten more! Don’t forget the trite saying “you’re only as old as you feel”, sometimes I feel like i’m In my early hundreds (I’m 71). I have been reading your columns in magazines etc for three decades and have always enjoyed them and learned something from them. Thank you.

  2. I had spent 35 years as a ‘part-time LEO’. Myself and others were ‘appointed’ to the position. When I started, you furnished your own equipment and uniform. Training was next to non-existent (“Do you have
    a uniform, a gun? Good, you’re working over there, just keep the peace”.). It was obvious as to what kind of respect we received from the ‘Regulars’. Through training and continuing education, both Dept. wise and ‘outside’ (taken and paid for by ourselves), we slowly gained that respect as ‘semi-equals’. Several of us were the first in the Dept. to wear body armor, carry mini-mags, extra cuffs, etc. Thanks to the numerous articles that you wrote, our knowledge and skills were vastly improved. I (we) owe you a lot. Please keep up the good work.

  3. Well done Mas… your many contributions in writing for publication, the Internet and elsewhere are clearly prodigious in output and value. Like you I am giving “the age of dirt” a run for its money but have elected to take my every ten year concealed carry pistol NRA course this Tuesday so I’ll be good with that requirement until and if I too reach eighty. Good luck to both of us and best to Gail helping keep you “vertical” for the next decade.

  4. Thanks for all the insightful blog posts. You are and have been an important part of my firearms education. Keep up the outstanding work on behalf of all law abiding gun owners.

  5. Congratulations Mas! Your opinion and the facts you and others here have presented, have been insightful and very educational. Tipping a beer to you and another insightful TEN years.

    Personally, I am looking forward to your follow-up on “knives in your eyes” as I am nine years behind you age-wise, as some others here, and are curious on the outcome and progress you make. Cheers, stay safe and I’ll see you in August.

  6. Having been the recipient of similar cracks prior to retirement, I can sympathize. There is, however, a suitable comeback: outlive the wretches. Or at least outlast them in whatever environment you share.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Same age here too. There are several things folks can not have too
      much of. Among them are Life, Freedom, Ammo and Love.
      Please Blog us Mas, when you get your eyes overhauled.
      My Wife and I had ours done over the last 6 years.
      I’d do more but we only had 4 eyes.
      BTW Capt. Ayoob, 20 years from now only brings me to 89 years old.
      I skydive with a Graybeard that old in Elsinore, Ca.
      and I don’t mean tandem.
      We are counting on you !

  7. Thank you Brother Massad for all of your hard work and efforts I’ve certainly been following you a lot longer than 10 years outside of this format.
    As a gun enthusiast, hunter, firearms instructor and now retired law enforcement officer you most certainly have contributed so much valuable information and I’ve soaked it all in. I’ve passed your valuable information on so that others may have the benefit of your talents.

    Happy 10 years on this venue!!!!

  8. Ajax – “Stronger than dirt.” Be like Ajax.
    Looking forward to 10 more years. Thanks always Mas.

  9. As a member of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, ACLDN, I have become to greatly appreciate your education on self defense. I am in the process of teaching a class on active shooter, home invasion and awareness at my church each week. I am using some of the education ACLDN has given me. I am not showing the videos I am teaching what I have learned. The class was very surprised with perception alteration. Thank you for your service please do not stop we need this even more today.

  10. Thanks for all you do for our community Mas. Your contribution is unique, and greatly appreciated. Congratulations on 10 years!

  11. HELLO FROM SEATTLE,WA. I love everthing that is here I even pass it on to outher “OLDER FRIENDS” YES I DO HAVE A WA.STATE CCP had It now over 30 years ! and when I am OUT in the field THE 45 is there with me ! IT better to be “SAFE” than sorry

  12. Keep on keeping on Uncle Mas, I’ve been reading and learning from you since 1984 and you only get better. My first book from you was The Truth About Self Protection, which I got during my time as a victim services advocate at age 22; I have done work in that field ever since and never forgot the chapter on the aftermath of violence. Please stay with us!

  13. Mas, I came late into the handgun and personal defense side of the gun world, it started back about the time the impossible happened.. the kinyun was crowned and we all knew he’d soon be after our guns. SOmeone told me to get your book on personal defense…I fund an older used copy at a thrift store and devoured it. Your approach radically changed my thinking and launched me onto a good path. I remember you talking about one of your most preferred smaller carry guns, the venerable Kahr K 40. Mine is on my hip now and, though I own many others, that is my EDC ahd has been for years.

    Your thorough and retional approach to the carry and use of handguns in daily life has largely shaped my decisions.. not that I do things becuase “Mas sez so”, but because you explain the underlying issues and consequences so throughly it all becomesobvious. I had never considered what might begin to unfold in the last resort circumstance where I might be forced to draw and fire. Your experience as an “expert witness” and the things you have researched, documented, and presented in court cases has been invaluable. (yu DO know what an “expert” is, don’t you? My Dad used to say “an EX is a has-been, and a “spurt” is a drip under pressure”) I was very pleased to have met you a few years back, and spent some time doing what we both so live to do (Appleseed, BHM organised, cow pasture a ways up the coast range from Gold Beach)

    If I might “return the favour” with a small piece of advice…. I am just a touch older than you are, but so what. My piece of advice: go find a printed copy of those actuarial tables. Get a nice big target backer board, set it at about a hundred yards from your line, arrange the pages of those tables on the backer board. Now, step bck to the firing line, select your handgun of choice (better yet, trade off, using a variety of them) and properly address those tables. Now, take down the well-ventilated sheets, assure they really ARE “full of holes”, then use them for firestarter on some cold morning at home…. you have now made the best possible use of those actuarial tables.

    I look forward to the net 25 years or more of your crazy adventures. Perhaps our paths will cross at some point in the future. I’ll be ready, and pleased, to make you another cup of good coffee.

  14. Mas,

    I love reading this column and look forward to it.

    Now, would you please release a few more podcast episodes? It’s been a while and I’m suffering severe withdrawals.

    Your student in Anchorage,


  15. Mas, It is from blogs like yours that I have learned a lot of the legal parts of concealed carry. Of course, I also have some training now, but when I was first getting my CCW, I had little knowledge of handguns. I had grown up in west Michigan, hunting and fishing, and so my knowledge of long guns was pretty solid. But handguns simply didn’t apply to me, as my family didn’t have them. So when I decided that the need was there, and I began to explore more about the legal and moral aspects of carrying a gun, yours was the first name that everyone talked about, and I found out with good reason. So thank you and congratulations on 10 years here. Wishing you many more.

  16. Okay, you called yourself an “aging Luddite” in the very first sentence of your first blog entry here ten years ago. You were not, and you are still not that old. Forget what you read about the “average mortality rates”. Mortality rates are skewed downward significantly due to the higher rates of infant and young child mortality. Basically, if you make it past 4 years of age you are probably going to live significantly past the age of “average mortality”. You’ve probably got a long way to go. Now write. Or shoot. Or do something else constructive. 🙂

  17. Thank you for your dedication to training. Your quick wit and passion to self defense are appreciated by many. Thank you Mas

  18. Mas – I started reading your blog just 3 or 4 years ago. I have not been a reader from the beginning (sad to say) but (once I discovered it) I became a big fan. There is so much silliness on the internet that your blog represents a rock of stability. I always find things of interest while reading it. Very often, I am motivated to add comments of my own.

    If anything, I worry about my own comments. I often feel that I am starting to sound like a “Broken Record” since my comments are often on the same topic. I know that I tend to “harp” on left-wing ideology and its foundational role in Firearm Prohibition.

    My only excuse is that I truly believe that left-wing ideology represents the greatest threat to human life on this planet. That is right! On the list of greatest threats to humanity, I would place left-wing extremism as #1. Followed, in the #2 spot, by right-wing extremism.

    The other threats to the planet, such as (a) human over-population, (b) the loss of bio-diversity, (c) nuclear weapon proliferation, (d) the development of hazardous new technologies, (e) global economic collapse, etc. are all further down the list.

    As for the threat of “global warming”, it is not even among the top ten. In my view, if life on this planet survived the impact of a giant meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs, then it won’t be unduly disturbed by a minor variation in global temperature of 3 or 4 degrees.

    In my view, Left-wing ideologies (such as communism) sparked numerous wars in the 20th Century. I believe that conflicts started by left-wing ideas caused the deaths of tens of millions of people over the last Century alone. I also believe that, if it remains unchecked, left-wing ideology has the potential to cause the deaths of hundreds of millions of people before the end of the 21st Century. It is already well on its way to destabilizing democracy in America and, possibly, sparking a second American Civil War. Note that I believe that the first American Civil War was (itself) caused by a clash of extreme left-wing and right-wing ideologies. If a second one occurs, it will make the death toll from the first one look small in comparison.

    So, if I do tend to “harp” on this topic, I apologize. I tend to hammer this topic because I am truly worried about it and the threat that left-wing ideology represents to the American People and to humanity as a whole.

    • TN_MAN: I am very thankful for your contributions to the maintenance of stability and peace. The extremist must be reminded continually that we harvest what we plant, and that a full, 360-degree revolution gets you right back where you started. Live long and prosper.

    • TN_MAN,

      You are right, left-wing ideology is our greatest threat. It works slowly to weaken us, like a parasite. I can’t defeat a 20-year-old MMA fighter, but if I had one month to restrict his intake of food and water, and weaken him with germs and disease, then I could beat him.

    • TN_MAN:

      Behold, The oh so ever trendy People’s Republic of China has commenced to put in place a crushingly oppressive citizen monitoring system that will cause leftist progressives in the USA to jump with joy. See below the current, relevant article from Business Insider.

      “China has started ranking citizens with a creepy ‘social credit’ system — here’s what you can do wrong, and the embarrassing, demeaning ways they can punish you”


      George Orwell’s 1984 world will no doubt have been 100% perfected by the People’s Republic of China in 2020.

      Consider how many leftist progressives in the USA would be absolutely thrilled to be able to formerly add “social credits” to or to subtract “social credits” from every American citizen’s government electronic profile.

      BTW, TN_MAN, your very own government electronic profile is being beta tested in Beijing, right now. It is being reported by reliable sources that highly skilled Chinese Communist data entry clerks are unable to subtract “social credits” quickly enough from your government electronic profile and that they all are suffering from acute cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. You must be some kind of serious trouble maker! Ha ha ha!

      Congrats, Mas, on the 10th anniversary of your information packed backwoodshome blog. If you eat enough yogurt and keep on the move, there’s no tangible reason that you should not be still running this blog at age 100. Go for it!

      • Curtis – Yes, China continues to travel down the left-wing path of oppression. They will start out by restricting access to travel, credit cards and the best hotels for people with low “Social Credit”. They will end up restricting access to food, medical care and reproductive rights for those who do not “Conform”.

        The ultimate goal, as it always is with left-wing ideology, is to turn the population into a herd of helpless sheep who are totally dependent upon the “All Powerful” Central Government for the means of life itself. With total dependency comes total control and total control represents the crowning success for the Left. It is the “Holy Grail” for left-wing ideology.

        The American Left will take the USA to this same place if they can achieve it.

        Left-wing ideology represents the inverse of the American Ideas of Liberty and Freedom. Left-wing ideology is “Anti-Freedom”. Just like mixing Anti-matter with matter results in destruction, so Left-wing ideology undermines and destroys Liberty. If anyone doubts this, look at China. Look at North Korea.

        No doubt, if I was a Subject under the Chinese System (Thank God I am not!), then my political views would net me an extremely low “social Credit” score. It is likely that I would have already been sent to one of their prisons (AKA concentration camps) for “Re-education” by now.

  19. Had a great time at MAG40 after reading all the books.

    Enjoy reading your articles, hoping for many more decades.

  20. Thank you Mas for your investment in us sharing, educating, and entertaining us. I shot my first gun in May of 2013 and appreciate all that you have taught me in your courses. Keep up the wonderful work! Look forward to seeing you in June at MAG80 at ISRA. I’ll say too from the training you gave me it helped me with the international adoption of my second child and in many other areas as well. I look forward to the next 10 years and beyond for your blogs.

  21. Congrats on the Tin Anniversary!! (No, really, I looked it up. 10th is Tin. Bummer. Go figure).

    But as Groucho Marx said, “You’re only as old as the women you feel.” So keep these amazingly informative, career preserving and, potentially, live saving articles coming, both here and in pring. You’re solid gold to a lot of folks, man. And screw the tables, getting old is for suckers; ignore the bastard. As the great American explorer Commander Peter Quincy Taggart once proclaimed, “Never Give Up Never Surrender!”

    And there’s your daily dose of mixed metaphors and reality confused inspirators (not the kind that injects forced water via steam but..ah, forget it). Anyway, I really have no idea what you’re supposed to do with all the above. Nevertheless, congrats!

    • Nothing wrong with tin! It’s an important component of cast bullets! If memory serves, Mas wrote a magazine article on tin bullets (pewter, actually, but modern pewter is mostly tin) around 1980, give or take. As I recall, he was getting velocities around 2600 fps from a stock .357 magnum.

  22. “Older than dirt…” Maybe but at least you are on the right side of the grass. When those who are really older than dirt pass on, where will the knowledge they had come from? NOT the current generation. Keep the flame alive-when you can no longer reach the keyboard, then you can think about retiring.

  23. I’ve been reading your stuff for at least 40 years. I’ve still got another 40 or 50 to go, so keep on writing so I’ll have something to read that’s worth reading. Your readers are not giving you permission to quit.

  24. Congratulations Mas. It’s been good. Okay, I haven’t always agreed with you, and I certainly haven’t always agreed with the comments. But, it’s always been interesting and informative. Thank you.

    Take care, keep up the good work and here’s to the next ten years.

    And try to avoid helicopters too.

  25. Mas, I’ll raise a cold glass of RR to you and another 10 years of blogging. Best to you and the not-so-Evil Princess!

  26. Wow, a decade! This is a great site indeed. Very friendly and helpful.

    I too feel there’s such a wealth of great stories and information to be had around here due to the efforts of fine folks contributing and responding. Thank You all!

  27. Mas, congratulations on your 10 year blog!
    I am looking forward to the pin shoot in June and seeing you and Gail. Are you still thinking of using the 10mm on the pins? I think the cross sectional difference and bullet weight is in the .45 favor.

  28. Mas,

    Thanks for all you do! The fact that you reflect on our mortality shows that you are a wise man, not a fool. You should read a short book by a wise man called “The Book of Ecclesiastes.” It’s my favorite.

    Well, the good thing is that we got to spend our days in America. There is so much wealth here, even our pets are fat!

  29. Sadly, there are forces working in America to put firearm ownership, and consequently firearms blogs, out-of-business. In fact, they want to put Conservatives and the Republican Party out-of-business at the same time. Think I am overstating it? Then just read this article which is a true representation of the beliefs of the American Left:


    The message in this article is clear as crystal. The American Left wants to move America to a “One Party” system whereby a hardcore, left-wing party assumes total power and keeps it. Any opposing politic party or viewpoint is to be “shut-down” permanently.

    They foresee California as being their model for America. Just as the leftists totally dominate politics in California, they want left-wing ideology to be supreme across the entire United States.

    One thing I guarantee you. If the Leftists do succeed in seizing total political power, you can kiss your Firearms goodbye along with the firearms industry, the NRA and the firearms media. This is because the very first thing the leftists will do is to overturn the 2nd Amendment and then confiscate every single firearm that they can lay their hand on.

    They fully know that, with the American People disarmed, there will be no one standing, either politically or by force of arms, that can oppose them. Their “One-Party” rule will have no viable opposition. They will have truly won their Civil War. Victory will be theirs. Forever!

    I urge everyone reading this comment to get out and vote. Vote in every election not just the presidential ones. Vote for liberty but, above all, vote these leftist tyrants out-of-office. Put the Leftists out-of-business because, as long as they are active, your Freedoms and your liberty are under extreme threat!

  30. Congratulations on 10 years with the blog. I still have my copy of “In the Gravest Extreme” I bought in the late 1980s which was an eye-opener. It is always a treat to read your articles and books.

  31. Mas

    Congrats on the anniversary. Your writing, teaching and training have accomplished an incredible amount of good, and has schooled an entire generation of trainers and firearms educators, including me. I still read “In Gravest Extreme” about once a year.
    Thank you and keep it up
    Greg Taggart

  32. Mas, I join with many others here in appreciating your columns and wishing you another decade of continued writing and shooting.

    I would like to say that most of my few posts have been about a subject we disagree on, (“mala prohibita” rules of government control) but you always allowed my opinion to be expressed, even while disagreeing. That takes a strong belief in the Freedom of expression, which I deeply appreciate and truly honor. Thank You!

    Just as I perceive that your position on Constitutional carry and personal responsibility has evolved, I have hope that your views on personal responsibility concerning “The War On Drugs” and the evil the “Drug War” has brought to our land, will evolve also.

    Regardless, Thanks Mas, for allowing different and opposing opinions to be posted.

  33. Always enjoy reading Your blog. I like the kinda old school design which frequently reminds me how internet looked like when I was starting to learn firearms and shooting. No pop ups, no annoying flashing banners. Keep up the good work Mr. Firearms Encyclopedia! Best wishes to You and Your family.

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