LaserMax laser sight for AMT .380 Backup

Matt, an alert reader who is a fellow owner/fan of the AMT Backup pistol felt the same way I did about the lack of actual sights on these little guns, and he found a solution!

This LaserMax sight, actually intended for a Colt Mustang .380, fits the AMT .380 Backup perfectly.

This LaserMax sight, actually intended for a Colt Mustang .380, fits the AMT .380 Backup perfectly.

This Laser Max model laser sight intended for the Colt Mustang .380 “pocket pistol” actually fits the AMT (SAO) as though it were made for it. The attachment is by snapping the sight housing around the tripper guard, then tightening two screws to hold it in place. Very simple – very effective. Adjusting the laser to highlight correct POI for the bAMT was pretty simple, and now the gun may be shot much more effectively (accurately). I followed his advice and ordered one for myself from Native Outdoors ( of Royce City, Texas – ordered on a Friday night, received it Monday! The laser came with one battery, but I ordered 3 more for future use. The fit is so good, the pistol/sight combo works well in my current pocket holster.

Got a chance to shoot it a bit yesterday, and the AMT is definitely more accurate with the laser than without. I was shooting at about 10 yards in bright sunlight filtered through the tree cover, and the red dot was fairly easy to see. I have done no elevation adjustments, but the shots went pretty much where the dot went.

Makes the AMT Backup a more effective pistol, as I’m sure it would for the Colt Mustang it was intended for!

As an update to this post, LaserMax tells me the future of the sight for the Colt Mustang which also fits the AMT Backup almost perfectly is “up in the air”. If I wanted one now, I would contact them directly or check with Pioneer Outdoors to see if they have any more in stock. I will update this situation when I can.

Posted in Product Evaluations | 4 Comments

COWS Holster For Scoped Ruger .22 Semi-Auto Pistol

Before I received the Kydex holster for my scoped Ruger Standard .22 LR pistol, I had placed an order for a very nice looking leather holster for the same pistol from Classic Old West Styles ( There was a long wait for this holster, because it had to actually be made, and for some reason the company was only making left hand models. I pondered long and hard before placing my order, because I normally prefer to wear a right handed holster on my left side, in cross-draw mode. The final decision was that I would likely be carrying the Ruger .22 in the field when also carrying one of my heavier revolvers (for hogs) either in cross draw on the left side or in a low hanging shoulder holster on that side, meaning the best place for the .22 would be on the right, and carrying it butt-forward would not really be a problem- or just beside me on the seat of my Mule. In either case, I doubt a fast draw would be helpful, so I just need something to carry the pistol in and provide it some protection. If only needing the .22, my Kydex holster will probably get the nod for that day. The COWS holster also has a magazine pouch on the outside which is nice for carrying an extra magazine – or for carrying the pistol unloaded, with the magazine nice and handy.

This nice leather holster for the Ruger .22 semi-auto has a hold down strap and a pouch for an extra magazine!

This nice leather holster for the Ruger .22 semi-auto has a hold down strap and a pouch for an extra magazine!

When the holster finally arrived, it was beautifully made, although the leather will need to be oiled to darken the color a bit. The “slot” on the top to accommodate the scope and mount is actually longer than I need for the mount I am using now, but I have experimented with several different mounts, and some would fit much better. It seems, however, that I overlooked that the holster is made for the Ruger MK series .22 pistols, which have a slightly different receiver and barrel profile than my old Standard model. It just doesn’t hold my gun the way I want it to. As a testament of how much I do like this item, it is the wrong model (left-hand versus right-hand) and doesn’t fit like I want it to, but instead of trying to send it back, I have decided to keep it. Actually, when I emailed COWS about trying to send it back I got no answer, so maybe that would not be an option, anyway.

My M.O. is usually to modify things to suit my needs, and I have some ideas about how to improve the fit of this holster. Besides, my ultimate hope is to put an after-market “upper” receiver with a threaded bull barrel on the gun for eventual mounting of a suppressor. When these next steps are done, I anticipate the fit to be a lot better.

UPDATE: I found a piece if the-wall plastic pipe that fits inside the barrel section of the holster and effectively makes the “scope slot” shorter. My pistol now fits a whole lot better, and I am very happy with this holster purchase!

Posted in Product Evaluations | 2 Comments


On a trip to visit my wife’s family in the Wichita Falls area, Saturday, 1/16/2016, Had a morning snowfall! Nice, large fluffy flakes gently floating down. Enough to cover the ground and automobiles for a while, then the sun came out and it all went away – with little effect on road conditions. Picture perfect snowfall!

January 16, 2016, snow just outside Wichita Falls.

January 16, 2016, snow just outside Wichita Falls.

Posted in Picture Of The Week | Comments Off on SNOW IN NORTH TEXAS!


Most of my hunting and woods-walking handguns wear either Red Dot type optics or conventional scope sights, and getting a holster to fit with these sights can be difficult. For my Ruger Standard semi-auto .22 LR, I had been using a leather holster for this gun without optics that I modified by cutting a “slot” down the back and adding an extra retention strap, and I have on order a fairly pricey leather holster designed for the gun w/scope. For Christmas, my son gave me this molded Kydex holster from Tactical Solutions that was made for the Ruger line of semi-auto .22’s with optics mounted. I have seen holsters of this type used with semi-auto “Race Guns” in competition shooting, and considered one for a 1911, but they were hard to find and expensive. From reading other reviews on the Tac Sol version, it will fit Ruger 22/45 models as well as the MK series and my old Ruger Standard – also the Browning Buckmark and AMT Automag .22 magnum pistols – and even accepts some suppressors! This is actually a 2-piece system held together with adjustable tensioning screws to let it “fit” the specific gun being used. The matching belt mount is made by TD Labs, and can be had in a high or low mount to your tastes.

This holster gives an audible “click” when the pistol is in position, although it does not have any retention mechanism than must be released, and it does cover the complete trigger guard of my pistol. It is obviously meant to “hug” the Ruger pistol “upper”, and my B-Square scope mount does not allow a perfect fit, but it is very acceptable, and the Tasco 2x scope I am currently using rides well when the pistol is holstered.

I like this holster VERY much, and would like to have one configured for a full size 1911, even without an optic! It protects the pistol, is easy to draw from and re-holster, should not mar the finish of the gun, and also should not have the adverse effect on the finish a leather holster can create if the pistol is left in the holster a lot. Unless I find out differently after extensive use, this seems like the very best holster option for my Ruger .22LR pistol I have found – and if I can continue to use it with the suppressor I hope/plan to add to this pistol, so much the better!

This well designed Kydex holster fits the Ruger .22 auto pistols with scope or Red Dot optics mounted.

This well designed Kydex holster fits the Ruger .22 auto pistols with scope or Red Dot optics mounted.

Posted in Product Evaluations | Comments Off on TAC SOL HOLSTER FOR “SCOPED” RUGER MK SERIES .22 LR PISTOLS ( AND OTHERS)


Gulf States to be allowed more control over red snapper harvest

Press Release

January 5, 2016

Contact: Chris Blankenship, 251-861-2882

Alabama State Waters Extended to 9 Miles for Reef Fish Management

The Congressional Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015, includes a provision to extend Alabama’s state waters from 3 miles to 9 miles. The bill includes additional provisions that attempt to address the ongoing Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery mismanagement that has resulted in abbreviated nine and 10-day seasons for private sector recreational anglers the last two years. The red snapper provisions in the bill were authored by Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

Through its Marine Resources Division, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has worked diligently over the last several years with the Alabama congressional delegation and the Alabama State Legislature to enact legislation to improve red snapper management and increase angler access to this valuable fishery resource.

“Red snapper is the most economically important fishery for coastal Alabama. The extension of our state waters from 3 to 9 miles and the third-party stock assessment for red snapper that includes information from artificial reefs should go a long way in changing the dynamic of red snapper management and should lead to more days of fishing opportunities for Alabama anglers,” said Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy, Jr. “Alabama has the best artificial reef system and the best red snapper fishery in the country. I appreciate Senator Shelby’s stalwart efforts on this, and I appreciate the continued work of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Division in keeping this vital issue in the forefront both in Alabama and in Washington.”

Orange Beach is known as the “Red Snapper Capital of the World” due to the importance of that one fishery to the charter fleet and tourism industry. Every additional day that that fishery is open for harvest means millions of dollars to the economies of Mobile and Baldwin counties. The need for improved red snapper management dominates the fishery discussions in Alabama because a vibrant and accessible red snapper fishery means so much to its coast.

“I would like to thank Senator Shelby for his leadership on this issue and his support of the Department of Conservation’s efforts to provide Alabama anglers with additional days to fish for red snapper and other reef fish in Gulf waters off our coast through state management of these fisheries. The provisions in this bill are a good first step toward fixing the broken red snapper management,” said Marine Resources Division Director Chris Blankenship. “We will continue to work with Senator Shelby and Congressman Bradley Byrne to make further reforms that would give the Gulf States more control of the management of the reef fish fishery.

The State of Alabama continues to work with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries to improve the data collection for the landings of red snapper. Implemented in 2014, Alabama’s Snapper Check program is providing timely information on the red snapper landed in Alabama. In mid-December 2015, representatives of the Marine Resources Division met with NOAA Fisheries scientists and their consultants in Mobile to compare and calibrate the landings of red snapper from Alabama’s system and the federal Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) landings system. Future MRIP transitions were also addressed in the bill.

“The federal government’s continued mismanagement of the red snapper fishery has placed unnecessary barriers in the way of Alabama’s fishermen,” said Senator Shelby. “As we all know, the best conservationists are oftentimes the ones who depend on this fishery the most – charter and recreational anglers.

“That is why I have pushed for commonsense reforms in this year’s omnibus to ensure that the red snapper stocks are properly counted, that there is more local involvement in the process, and that Alabama’s state boundary lines are equitable with other states by expanding them from 3 to 9 miles,” added Senator Shelby. “I believe that these reforms are big wins for fishermen across the Gulf, and I am hopeful that it will lead to a longer, more robust red snapper season.”

Senator Shelby’s provisions affecting Red Snapper:

Fishery Boundaries: Includes bill language that extends Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana state seaward fishery boundaries from 3 miles out to 9 miles for these states to regulate red snapper and other reef fish. Currently, just Texas and Florida have boundaries out to 9 miles, and this provision makes the state fishery lines in the Gulf equitable.

Red Snapper Tagging Study: Provides up to $5 million for NOAA’s National Sea Grant College program to support external research and development through its network of academic institutions for a red snapper tagging study in the Gulf of Mexico.

Red Snapper Stock Assessment: Provides $5 million for independent, non-NOAA stock assessments for Gulf reef fish including red snapper. Directs NOAA to count fish on artificial reefs and offshore energy exploration infrastructure, incorporate those counts into future stock assessments and management decisions for reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Red Snapper Allowable Catch: Urges NOAA to provide an increased allocation of Gulf red snapper to private recreational anglers should the total allowable catch of red snapper increase above a certain threshold. This would help provide relief for recreational anglers who have been especially impacted by NOAA’s misguided regulations.

Red Snapper and the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP): Provides no funding for the full transition to the new MRIP implementation plan until NOAA fixes the stock assessment process as directed under the bill’s red snapper section. MRIP is a controversial program for estimating recreational fishery catches.

Posted in Regulations & Rules - Saltwater Fishing | Comments Off on CHANGES IN RED SNAPPER REGS FOR ALABAMA, THE ENTIRE GULF OF MEXICO!


Louisiana state fishing waters extended to nine miles from shore!

LDWF sets 2016 recreational red snapper season; Louisiana waters officially extended from three to nine miles offshore for reef fish management

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced that the 2016 red snapper fishing season in state waters will begin at 6:00 a.m. on January 8, 2016 and remain open until further notice. The season will run seven days a week in state waters with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.

“LDWF will do everything we can to provide our anglers the opportunity to harvest their share of this healthy and thriving resource,” said Barham.

Assistant Secretary, Randy Pausina said, “Through LA Creel, our recreational landings data collection program, we’re able to monitor how much red snapper our anglers harvest in real time. With this data, we can ensure our recreational fishery is fully accountable—we’re able to set a fishing season that allows our anglers to harvest their entire share of the catch but also close the season in time to prevent over harvest.”

Louisiana waters officially extended from three to nine miles offshore for reef fish management

Recently signed into law, the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act includes a provision to temporarily extend Louisiana state waters to nine nautical miles for fishery management purposes, an effort championed by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham during his tenure at the agency.

Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, added the provision to the Act to push state waters for reef fish management in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama (currently three miles) to nine miles to match the current state water boundaries of Florida and Texas. “We are grateful for the additional provision by Senator Shelby and the recognition by Congress of the nine-mile boundary the State of Louisiana has claimed since 2012,” said Secretary Barham. “Because the 2016 Omnibus Appropriation Act applies to the current federal fiscal year, the nine-mile extension is only temporary. However, Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) has proposed a more permanent solution through H.R. 3094; he and his bill have our agency’s full support.”

Secretary Barham worked hand in hand with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and Louisiana state legislators for years to ensure Louisiana’s fishing boundaries are equal with those of Texas and Florida. In 2011, Louisiana state legislators passed Act 336, recognizing that the Gulfward boundary of Louisiana’s state waters historically consisted of three marine leagues (9 nautical miles) and designating that boundary to be enforced by state law for the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources, and regulation of activities affecting them.

Following the direction of our state legislators and at the request of Secretary Barham, the Commission officially extended state waters from three miles offshore to nine miles offshore for fisheries management purposes and for the benefit of Louisiana fishermen. Secretary Barham said, “I was simply correcting an injustice. If our Florida and Texas neighbors fish a nine-mile state boundary, so should Louisiana fishermen. Unfortunately, it has taken over three years for action on this issue and that action is only temporary. I look forward to the day that all fishermen are treated equally across the Gulf of Mexico.”

Although this congressional action is only temporary, it is a step forward for Louisiana fishermen and is a direct result of Secretary Barham’s continued vigilance on this issue. “Louisiana fishermen will benefit from improved access and more flexible management of the reef fish fishery in the waters off Louisiana,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary of Fisheries Randy Pausina. “And without Secretary Barham’s initial leadership claiming a nine-mile state water boundary for our fishermen, this would not have gained the

Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

LDWF reminds anglers and charter captains that they must have a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess certain species, including red snapper. They may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at Anglers and charter captains may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. They must have a valid Louisiana fishing license number to obtain a permit; they may use their confirmation number for a temporary (trip) permit.

Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need this permit.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at or To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at

Posted in Regulations & Rules - Saltwater Fishing | Comments Off on NEW ERA BEGINS FOR LOUISIANA SALTWATER FISHERMEN

Changes to be Proposed For Gulf of Mexico Commercial/Recreational Fishing Quotas – Public Comments Sought

(Gulf of Mexico)

Peter Hood

December 24, 2015

NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on a
Notice of Availability for a Proposal to Reallocate
Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper

Comment Period Ends February 22, 2016

NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico.

Purpose of the Amendment 28
Amendment 28 would reallocate the red snapper harvest consistent with the 2014 red snapper update population assessment to ensure the allowable catch and recovery benefits from a rebuilding population are fairly and equitably allocated between commercial and recreational fishermen.

Proposed Management Measures
Amendment 28 proposes to reallocate the Gulf of Mexico 2016 and 2017 red snapper stock annual catch limit between the commercial and recreational sectors from 51:49 percent to 48.5:51.5 percent, respectively. As a result, the proposed reallocation would result in revising the 2016 and 2017:
Commercial quotas,
Recreational quotas and annual catch targets,
Sub-quotas and annual catch targets for the private angling and federal for-hire components within the recreational sector.
This bulletin only summarizes the proposed action and its effects. For more information, NOAA Fisheries encourages constituents to access Amendment 28 and its associated Final Environmental Impact Statement at

Request for Comments
The Notice of Availability for public comment on this amendment published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2015. NOAA Fisheries must receive comments on this notice no later than February 22, 2016. We will address all comments specifically directed to Amendment 28 or the subsequent proposed rule in the final rule. You may obtain electronic copies of Amendment 28 from the NOAA Fisheries Web site: or the e-Rulemaking Portal:

How to Submit Comments
You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146, by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505.

Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

Posted in Regulations & Rules - Saltwater Fishing | Comments Off on Changes to be Proposed For Gulf of Mexico Commercial/Recreational Fishing Quotas – Public Comments Sought

“FISHING THE TEXAS GULF COAST” Now Available In Kindle Format

The Publishers of my book, “Fishing The Texas Gulf Coast” – Rowman & Littlefield – are now offering it in a Kindle format edition. The Amazon link below should allow Kindle ordering, if not a potential buyer can order directly from the Amazon website. The Kindle edition, of course, is less expensive than the print book.

Posted in Book Shelf | Comments Off on “FISHING THE TEXAS GULF COAST” Now Available In Kindle Format


My old Ruger Standard semi-auto .22 LR pistol now wears a Tasco 2X scope on a B-Square mount and new Claro Walnut grips by Zane Thompson of Lone Star Custom Grips in Johnson City, Texas.

My old Ruger Standard semi-auto .22 LR pistol now wears a Tasco 2X scope on a B-Square mount and new Claro Walnut grips by Zane Thompson of Lone Star Custom Grips in Johnson City, Texas.

Another project gun progresses! The 2X Tasco handgun scope is easier for me to “pick up” a target with than the Weaver Red dot it replaces – at least for now. I did have to change mounts, and this one is also by B-Square, but is now out of production. I found mine in the Classifieds on the Ruger Forum.

The other thing new is the set of grips made by Zane Thompson of Lone Star Custom Grips in Johnson City, Texas. These are nice Claro Walnut, and will really “shine” when the other plans I have for this project are completed.

Posted in Product Evaluations | Comments Off on NEW LOOK FOR AN OLD FRIEND!

Another Camera Box Critter

Found this little critter in a game camera box before deer season opened.

Found this little critter in a game camera box before deer season opened.

I dodged a bullet when I found the large wasp nest attached to the bottom of one of my game camera boxes awhile back, hoping my luck isn’t running out now that I found this small serpent in another box! No idea what “brand” of snake he is, or was. I don’t usually mind snakes so much, but don’t like them hiding in wait to ambush me when I am innocently checking cameras!

Here’s what he looked like after he was evicted from the box.

Not sure of the species, haven't taken the time to research it. Was not welcome in my camera box, regardless!

Not sure of the species, haven’t taken the time to research it. Was not welcome in my camera box, regardless!

Posted in Picture Of The Week | Comments Off on Another Camera Box Critter