Chip McCormick, Legendary Gunsmith and Innovator

A true industry legend, Michael “Chip” McCormick, has passed away.

I can think of no other man who has changed the industry in more ways than McCormick. Most people know him for his industry-leading 1911 magazines, but few are aware McCormick was responsible for many other innovations that transformed the gun world. An intensely private man, he quietly invented many things we take for granted today. He took the drive that pushed him to two World Speed Championships and focused it on inventing and manufacturing.

Before CMC (Chip McCormick Custom), there was no such thing as the now ubiquitous drop-in AR-15 trigger. Gunsmiths would put together a trigger with parts, often from a kit. McCormick created a single-unit trigger that installs in minutes; literally a “drop in.” Of course easy installation was not good enough for McCormick, he made it crisp, clean, with no creep….Match grade. Now dozens of imitators crowd the market, the market created by Chip McCormick.

Before Kimber, the 1911 had to be fitted from oversize parts. If you saw one in the gun store, it was usually a basic government model that the owner would have to customize. McCormick conceived of the “spec” 1911 with all parts being within specific tolerances so the gun could be assembled, instead of fitted. McCormick approached several companies, but they turned him away. Kimber’s Leslie Edelman saw the potential and quickly struck a deal for Chip to create a production gun. Unlike anything else on the market, it was fully accessorized with beavertail grip safety, extended slide release and ambidextrous thumb safeties. Not only was the Kimber handgun line born, but so was a new way of building the 1911. Now the production 1911 is the industry standard, as are fully accessorized guns.

When we think of the 2011, the first company that comes to mind is STI, which has since become Staccato. Few know the true origins of the company. It was Chip McCormick who conceived of the modular gun based on the 1911. Even with his vast experience, he lacked sufficient knowledge in plastic molding. McCormick had several other companies, so he also lacked the bandwidth to take on such a project. A team was assembled, including Sandy Strayer and Virgil Tripp. McCormick invested money and made agreements to buy parts to help fund the fledgling company. Strayer and Tripp took McCormick’s concept, developed and patented it, creating what we know as the 2011.

While he never said it, I believe the innovation that McCormick was most proud of was his RPM magazine. McCormick’s mind was always going and he often didn’t sleep. On one particular sleepless night he put his mind to thinking about the problem that vexed him and all 1911 enthusiasts. Of course, that of which I speak is out-of-spec feed lips. John Browning just didn’t leave enough room. Though McCormick didn’t get any sleep that night, he did get inspiration. Staring at his ceiling he figured out how to turn them back on themselves, making smooth, amazingly strong lips. That was revolutionary enough for most…but McCormick wanted to create something truly different. The RPM follower is unique as it is a two axis leaf spring, pushing up and sideways. This innovation is important because when the magazine is emptied, the follower sticks out of the top of the magazine tube and twists counter clockwise. The results are that the slide always locks back when empty. I can still remember the satisfied smile when he explained how it worked. It was a simple, elegant solution and that was McCormick’s way.

While it is inarguable that McCormick left an indelible mark on the world of guns, let us also remember the manner in which he conducted himself. When he was rolling out the RPM magazine at SHOT Show, I worked in his booth and had the opportunity to observe him. Whether it was an industry titan, a fan of his products, or a competitor from his shooting days, they were all greeted like royalty. His warmth and welcoming nature was beautiful to watch.

The legacy that Chip McCormick leaves behind is truly enormous. It is hard to imagine anyone who has accomplished as much as he did. All of this done with honor, honesty and class.

Chip, you will never be forgotten.

The Unser family is legendary in Indy racing. Brother Al Unser Jr. won the Indy 500 twice and patriarch Al Unser Sr. won it 4 times.


Bobby Unser passes away

Three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser dies at 87

Racing champion Bobby Unser died in his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico of natural causes at the age of 87. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway made the announcement on Monday.

Unser was a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, taking victory at the iconic race in 1968, 1975 and 1981 and is part of the only pair of brothers to ever win that race. Just ten drivers have won the Indianapolis 500 three times and only two have won in three decades, Unser and Rick Mears.

Team Penske released a statement, offering condolences to his family and reflecting on his career.

 

This was my youngest Aunt on my mother’s side of the family.
She was known by her middle name Jeane instead of her first name Delia

No services are planned at this time for Jeane Skyles age 82 of Hollister, Missouri.

Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Greenlawn Funeral Home in Branson.

She passed away on March 7, 2021 at Shepherd of The Hills Living Center in Branson, Missouri.

Jeane was born on November 4, 1938 in Sheldon, Missouri the daughter of William and Mary Waters Fullerton. She and her husband moved to the area in 1979 and were the owners and operators of the Paradise Donut Shop from 1979 until 1988. She was a Registered Nurse and retired in 2000 from Cox Home Health Care. She was a member of the Branson United Methodist Church. She enjoyed playing bridge.

She is survived by a son; Michael Skyles (Sandy) of Memphis, Tennessee, two grandsons, Jack Michael Skyles and Samuel Nicholas Skyles and a great grandson Rhys Michael Skyles. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Larry Skyles, two brothers, Tom Barbato and Clarence Fullerton and two sisters, Dorothy Rookstool and Doris Ware.

Memorial contributions in her memory are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Children’s Miracle Network.

Today we laid to rest my eldest Uncle.
Ninety and Nine he was.
He shall be missed.

Arthur Hyde Barner
July 12, 1921 – February 24, 2021
Arthur H. Barner passed away peacefully at his home on February 24, 2021. He was born on July 12, 1921 in Pontiac, Missouri to Sam and Ida (Wilbanks) Barner.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years Retha (Jones), brothers Elza, Gene, Jim, sister Elsie (Alcorn) and son Richard and daughter-in-law Donna (McCracken).

Arthur is survived by son Wendell (Ellen) of Steubenville, OH; daughter Joyce Allen (Mike) of Joplin, MO; granddaughters Nichole Harvey, Brandi (Nick) Frisbee, Stephanie (Josh) Howard, and grandson Chris (Lisa) Allen; and eight greatgrandchildren; brothers Bill, Gerald, and Fred and sisters Laverne Dutcher, Mary Ruth (Si) Larsen, Danny Kaye Barner, and Carolyn McCorkle.

 

Rush Limbaugh – and the Importance of Being Hated

James O’Keefe——-

It is with great sadness that I learned my dear friend, inspirational figure, and American radio icon Rush Limbaugh has passed away.

I will never forget what Rush said when someone once asked him about how he handled being hated:

There’s a good reason for the media hating me.  And once I came to grips with that fact, that there’s a reason they should hate me, then it makes sense.  One of the toughest things I had to do was learn to psychologically accept the fact that being hated was a sign of success. 

Most people aren’t raised to be hated.  We’re all raised to be loved.  We want to be loved.  We’re told to do things to be loved and appreciated and liked.  We’re raised, don’t offend anybody, be nice.  Everybody wants total acceptance. Everybody wants respect. Everybody wants to be loved, and so when you learn that what you do is going to engender hatred you have to learn to accept that as a sign of success.  That was a tough psychological thing for me.

Continue reading “”

BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70

Conservative radio giant Rush Limbaugh passed away on Wednesday. Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, Limbaugh’s wife of eleven years, announced his death on his iconic radio show.

Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ Dies at 82

Dawn Wells, the girl-next-door actress and former beauty queen who played the sweet Mary Ann Summers on the iconic CBS sitcom Gilligan’s Island, died Wednesday morning. She was 82.

Wells died in Los Angeles of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist announced.

Other than Tina Louise, Wells was the last surviving member of the regular cast of the Sherwood Schwartz-created show, which featured three women and four men marooned on a desert island after their three-hour boat tour off the coast of Honolulu went inexplicably awry.

Continue reading “”

Charley Pride, Country Music’s First Black Superstar, Dies of COVID-19 at 86.

Vocalist Charley Pride, the first modern Black superstar of country music, has died. He was 86.

Public relations firm 2911 Media confirmed that Pride died on Dec. 12 in Dallas, Texas from complications related to COVID-19.

Pride had just been seen by millions on live TV in November as he received a lifetime achievement award from the Country Music Association on its annual telecast. It was on that Nov. 11 telecast that he did his final performance, a duet of his classic “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’,” with Jimmie Allen, a rising Black star in country who expressed his indebtedness to his predecessor. Pride followed that with a lengthy and heartfelt speech as the small audience of nominees and their guests stood in rapt attention.

Continue reading “”

Legendary airman Chuck Yeager dead at 97

Chuck Yeager — the legendary airman who was the first person in history confirmed to break the sound barrier — died on Monday night at age 97, according to a post on his verified Twitter account.

The famed test pilot’s death was announced in a heartfelt statement by his wife of 17 years, Victoria Yeager.

“It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET,” she wrote on his account.

“An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.”

A World War II fighter pilot, Yeager rocketed into history by breaking the sound barrier in the experimental Bell X-1 research aircraft in 1947, helping to pave the way for the US space program.

Yeager reached a then astounding 40,000 feet and notched a speed of over 662 miles per hour in his historic Southern California flight.

Yeager’s life was famously portrayed in Tom Wolfe’s 1979 tome “The Right Stuff,” — which was later adapted into an Oscar-winning film — chronicling the postwar research in high-speed aircraft that led to NASA’s Project Mercury.

Yeager was born in West Virginia in 1923. Soon after graduating high school in 1941 he enlisted in the US Army Air Forces, later known as the US Air Force.

Walter E. Williams 1936-2020

Walter Williams loved teaching. Unlike too many other teachers today, he made it a point never to impose his opinions on his students. Those who read his syndicated newspaper columns know that he expressed his opinions boldly and unequivocally there. But not in the classroom.

Walter once said he hoped that, on the day he died, he would have taught a class that day. And that is just the way it was, when he died on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

He was my best friend for half a century. There was no one I trusted more or whose integrity I respected more. Since he was younger than me, I chose him to be my literary executor, to take control of my books after I was gone.

But his death is a reminder that no one really has anything to say about such things.

As an economist, Walter Williams never got the credit he deserved. His book “Race and Economics” is a must-read introduction to the subject. Amazon has it ranked 5th in sales among civil rights books, 9 years after it was published.

Another book of his, on the effects of economics under the white supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa, was titled “South Africa’s War Against Capitalism.” He went to South Africa to study the situation directly. Many of the things he brought out have implications for racial discrimination in other places around the world.

I have had many occasions to cite Walter Williams’ research in my own books. Most of what others say about higher prices in low income neighborhoods today has not yet caught up to what Walter said in his doctoral dissertation decades ago.

Despite his opposition to the welfare state, as something doing more harm than good, Walter was privately very generous with both his money and his time in helping others.

He figured he had a right to do whatever he wanted to with his own money, but that politicians had no right to take his money to give away, in order to get votes.

In a letter dated March 3, 1975, Walter said: “Sometimes it is a very lonely struggle trying to help our people, particularly the ones who do not realize that help is needed.”

In the same letter, he mentioned a certain hospital which “has an all but written policy of prohibiting the flunking of black medical students.”

Not long after this, a professor at a prestigious medical school revealed that black students there were given passing grades without having met the standards applied to other students. He warned that trusting patients would pay — some with their lives — for such irresponsible double standards. That has in fact happened.

As a person, Walter Williams was unique. I have heard of no one else being described as being “like Walter Williams.”

Holding a black belt in karate, Walter was a tough customer. One night three men jumped him — and two of those men ended up in a hospital.

The other side of Walter came out in relation to his wife, Connie. She helped put him through graduate school — and after he received his Ph.D., she never had to work again, not even to fix his breakfast.

Walter liked to go to his job at 4:30 AM. He was the only person who had no problem finding a parking space on the street in downtown Washington. Around 9 o’clock or so, Connie — now awake — would phone Walter and they would greet each other tenderly for the day.

We may not see his like again. And that is our loss.

David Prowse, Man Behind the Darth Vader Mask, Dies at 85

The Englishman worked on the first three ‘Star Wars’ films, but it was James Earl Jones’ voice, not his, that was heard. He could have played Chewbacca instead.

David Prowse, the champion English weightlifter and bodybuilder who supplied his 6-foot-7 frame — but not the voice or the deep breathing — to portray Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, died early in the morning on Saturday following a short illness. He was 85.

Prowse’s death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by his agent Thomas Bowington on Saturday night. Bowington Management also shared the news on Twitter, announcing his passing with “great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world.” Continue reading “”

The Notorious RBG has passed away to her reward. I expect reports of the outbreak of Thermonuclear war in the Senate momentarily.

Over a year ago, it was noted by several people in the medical profession that they were of the firm opinion that she was in the terminal phase of pancreatic cancer. Her selfish devotion to maintaining her place on the court kept her from retiring earlier, when the replacement process, while still being a partisan clown show, would have been much less politically dangerous, this close to a presidential election.


Associate Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.

The Supreme Court says Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87.

Her death just over six weeks before Election Day is likely to set off a heated battle over whether President Donald Trump should nominate, and the Republican-led Senate should confirm, her replacement, or if the seat should remain vacant until the outcome of his race against Democrat Joe Biden is known.

Dame Diana Rigg had died at 82

Diana Rigg, a British actress who became a 1960s style icon as secret agent Emma Peel in TV series “The Avengers” and later starred in “Game of Thrones,” has died. She was 82.

Rigg’s agent Simon Beresford said she died Thursday morning at home with her family. Rigg’s daughter, Rachael Stirling, said she died of cancer that was diagnosed in March.

 

 

Cardinals legend Lou Brock dies Sunday afternoon at 81

St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Famer Lou Brock, who had fought through a number of medical conditions in recent years, died Sunday afternoon. He was 81.

Brock will be remembered for many accomplishments. He was the National League’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 938. He had 3,023 hits. He was a first-ballot electee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Continue reading “”

Decorated Veteran Who Saved Lives at Pearl Harbor Dies at 99

Decorated World War II veteran Floyd Welch of East Lyme, Connecticut, died peacefully in his home on Monday.

Floyd Welch was born in February of 1921. Twenty years later, he was serving aboard the USS Maryland. On December 7, Welch was stepping out of the shower when he heard alarms followed by a series of deafening explosions. Welch emerged on deck to see the USS Oklahoma overturned and sinking into the Pacific Ocean.

After he and the rest of the USS Maryland crew pulled survivors from the waves, Welch and his fellow soldiers boarded the USS Oklahoma where they heard tapping coming from inside the ship. They took immediate, and intelligent, action.

“By using blueprints of the Oklahoma, so as not to burn into a fuel void, we began the long and extremely difficult process of cutting holes through the bottom steel plates,” Welch wrote of his experience. “When we could see the planes coming, we would try to find cover. We would cut near where we heard the trapped crewmen tapping. In all, I believe 33 men from the Oklahoma were rescued through these holes.”

Welch continued his service aboard the USS Maryland until World War II ended. Continue reading “”

Fair Skies. NSDQ

Soldiers killed in Black Hawk helicopter crash identified.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Staff Sgt. Vincent P. Marketta, 33, of Brick, New Jersey, and Sgt. Tyler M. Shelton, 22, of San Bernardino, California, died August 27, from injuries sustained during an aircraft mishap while conducting aviation training on San Clemente Island, California.

“The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton has left a scar in this Regiment that will never completely heal,” said Col. Andrew R. Graham, commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). “Their level of dedication to the 160th SOAR (A) and their exemplary service in the Army is the embodiment of what it means to be a Night Stalker and a Soldier. Our priority now is to ensure the Families of our fallen warriors receive our complete support as we work through this tragedy together. We ask that you keep Staff Sgt. Marketta, Sgt. Shelton, their Families and fellow Night Stalkers in your thoughts and prayers.” Continue reading “”

Floyd Welch, one of the last Pearl Harbor survivors, hero, dead at 99

Floyd Welch, who served as a U.S. Navy sailor during World War II and was one of the last living survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died on Monday at age 99.

Welch, died peacefully at his home in East Lyme, Connecticut on Monday, his family said in a statement provided to the Associated Press.

Welch was born on February 1921 in Burlington, Connecticut. He was 20 years-old when he was serving aboard the USS Maryland on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii took place.

On the Sunday morning of the attack, Welch said he was coming out of the shower when he heard the alarms and then the explosions of Japanese bombs and torpedoes. He reportedly saw the burning and overturned USS Oklahoma right next to the USS Maryland when he arrived to his station on the ship’s deck.

Floyd joined efforts to help those aboard the USS Oklahoma during the attack.

“By using blueprints of the Oklahoma, so as not to burn into a fuel void, we began the long and extremely difficult process of cutting holes through the bottom steel plates of the Oklahoma,” Floyd a remembrance of the battle, reported by the AP. “When we could see the planes coming, we would try to find cover. We would cut near where we heard the trapped crewmen tapping. In all, I believe 33 men from the Oklahoma were rescued through these holes.”

In total, more than 2,400 U.S. personnel were killed during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Floyd continued to serve through World War II. He reportedly served on the USS Maryland for the entirety of the war, and earned numerous honors, including American Defense Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the United States Navy Constitution Medal.

After leaving the Navy in 1946, Floyd went on to work in various jobs, including as an alarm installer, a farmer and a milkman. He would later go on to form his own construction company Welch & Son, which built road infrastructures, foundations, and drainage systems throughout the northeastern United States.

Trini Lopez, singer and Dirty Dozen actor, dead at 83.

Trini Lopez, who was known for his hit “If I Had a Hammer,” is dead. He was 83.

Lopez’s close friend and collaborator Joe Chavira confirmed the death to Fox News on Tuesday and explained that he died due to coronavirus complications.

According to Chavira, Lopez had been “in and out” of the hospital for about two months and was working on a local 30-minute television special to raise funds for food banks, which have been stressed because of the pandemic’s economic fallout.

Wilford Brimley, star of ‘The Natural,’ ‘Cocoon’ and Quaker Oats ads, dead at age 85

LOS ANGELES — Wilford Brimley, who worked his way up from stunt performer to star of film such as “Cocoon” and “The Natural,” has died. He was 85.

Brimley’s manager Lynda Bensky said the actor died Saturday morning in a Utah hospital. He was on dialysis and had several medical ailments, she said.

The mustached Brimley was a familiar face for a number of roles, often playing gruff characters like his grizzled baseball manager in “The Natural.”

Brimley’s best-known work was in “Cocoon,” in which he was part of a group of seniors who discover an alien pod that rejuvenates them. The 1985 Ron Howard film won two Oscars, including a supporting actor honor for Don Ameche.

Jeffrey Wayne Quinn
Friday, January 16th, 1959 – Monday, July 27th, 2020

Jeffrey Quinn

Mr. Jeffrey Wayne Quinn, age 61 of Dover, TN passed away, Monday, July 27, 2020 at St. Thomas Hospital West. He was born January 16, 1959 in Erin, TN, son of James P. and Lorene Kent Quinn. Jeff was the editor of Gun Blast website.

Jeff is preceded in death by his father James P. Quinn. He is survived by his beloved wife, Souette Lee Jerles Quinn, his daughter, Rebecca Quinn-Giles, Clarksville, TN, mother, Lorene Quinn, Dover, TN, grandchildren, Abby and Ethan Giles, son-in-law, Sebastian Giles, brothers, James Lee Quinn, Erin, TN, Anthony Quinn, Four Oaks, NC, and Greg Quinn, Nashville, TN.

A graveside service will be held at 8:30 am on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at Stewart County Memorial Gardens and a celebration of life will follow at the Carlisle Missionary Baptist Church.

Arrangements are entrusted to Anglin Funeral Home, Dover, TN.