Uh Oh, What’s Sons of Guns Up To?

‘Tis Friday the 19th and that means that Sons of Guns is back with season four. And today’s episode brought a WWII PIAT, a Russian cannon and a M36 tank:

The show — which centers on Red Jacket Firearms, a custom gun-making company in Louisiana — is set to return at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, April 19.

Stephanie Ford, Will Hayden, Charlie, Kris, and Flem from Sons of Guns
Stephanie Ford, Will Hayden, Charlie, Kris, and Flem from Sons of Guns.

Will Hayden, his daughter Stephanie, Joe, Kris,Charlie, Flem and the rest of Red Jacket staff are returning for season four, which will see the crew handling major firepower, including a rare handheld WWII PIAT, a Russian cannon and a M36 tank.

Meanwhile, Vince, a former employee, resurfaces, and his reappearance as a possible competitor could spell trouble for Red Jacket. The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive look at the premiere.

Sons of Guns and other shows including History’s Top Shot and National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers came under scrutiny in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December.

A similarly themed series on Discovery, American Guns, was canceled months earlier, mostly because of its ratings performance.

Do we really have to talk about Newtown? Can we not have a day go by without mentioning this tragedy? Tens of thousands of people die each year in car accidents, why not exploit this?

Sons of Guns Harbors a Grudge

Grudge matches, do they settle anything? In the military, my experience has been a resounding no. On Sons of Guns this week, we got us a grudge match between  Brownells and Hornady:

Brownells-Hornady Grudge Match, Kris Ford, Will Hayden, and Joe Meaux, Sons of Guns

The “Sons of Guns” TV show features a grudge match between Brownells and Hornady.

On tonight’s episode of the popular Discovery Channel TV series, the sons (and fathers) of two legendary, firearms-industry families square off in a 3-gun match, with “bragging rights” at stake for Brownells and Hornady. The “Corporate Shootout” episode airs. . .

Yikes, I hear Kris Ford jacks up the gun build for Will Hayden. . .

José Maria Miguel Santa Perry on Sons of Guns

This week, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry dropped by Sons of Guns. Or as they noted in all the major Spanish newspapers: José Maria Miguel Santa Perry de Aerosmith trajo a su mal-culo para Hijos de Armas. And the guitar-slinging Toxic Twin brought up gun control:

“It seems ridiculous that you can be in one state with your driver’s license and buy a firearm, and then in the next state it is totally illegal,” he continued.

Will Hayden’s arm and Joe Perry on Sons of Guns

“There are real problems to that, but as soon as you bring up the subject and say ‘gun control’ it sets a red flag. It is definitely a difficult issue, and the bottom line is the Constitution is what it is, and I stand by everything that is in it. Right now, some of the statistics show that some of the safest places in the country are places where law-abiding citizens are allowed to have firearms, and the crime rates are low.”

Sons of Guns has some silly drama that I could do without, but the gun builds are the highlight. Please do note that the above cannon has the word naval written on it. As in, snarky comments will not be tolerated. Carry on. . .

Chris Kyle on Sons of Guns

The Sons of Guns crew built a custom H&K 416 for SEAL Chris Kyle (author of American Sniper) to test prior to the weapon going to a charity. And it sure looked like they had a good time:

Stephanie Ford (Hayden), Chris Kyle, Kris Ford, Joe Meaux, Flem Fleming, and Will Hayden

Chris Kyle is a great American who does not mince words about the enemy we face:

‘It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job,’ Chris Kyle told Texas Monthly.

After leaving the Navy to save his marriage, Chris now runs Craft International, which provides military training to law enforcement, the military, and civilians alike. . .

Kris and Steph Get Married, Vince Stays Gone

So yer Sons of Guns rundown: just like the title sez. Kris and the Steph-meister went and got all legal on us. And the Vince-ster is still done and gone. And even though he called Flem on this week’s show, I doubt Vincent Buckles is coming back. He has his own company now, after all, called Mesa Kinetic Research.

The details of this week’s show:

Officer David Liang of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) wants to transform a Ferret armored scout vehicle into a crowd control/riot control vehicle and turns to Will Hayden and the Red Jacket crew for help.

Sons of Guns: Will Hayden, Kris Ford, Joe, Charlie

The team travels to New Orleans so Will can do a ride along with Officer Liang while the rest of the crew goes into the French Quarter to have some fun. They never expected that one of their own would witness a murder in the streets only 40 yards away. This project just got personal.

Here is a photo for all you romantics out there. Kris and Steph. In Vegas. Gettin’ legal:

Kris Ford and Stehpanie Hayden of Sons of Guns get married at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Facebook.

Gotta love a dude who gets married in a t-shirt while his bride is all geared up in finery.

Vince Buckles Leaves Sons of Guns?

It is Tuesday and I am watching Sons of Guns. For the last three days, I have gotten handfuls of queries to this blog asking about Vince Buckles leaving the show.

Sons of Guns: Vince Buckles, Will Hayden, Steph Hayden, Kris Ford

So I google “Vince Buckles leaving Sons of Guns.” And I see on the Miki-mouse-a-pedia page that Vince has indeed left the show:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms settlement

Stephanie Hayden

During a routine inspection in 2009, Red Jacket could not account for ten registered guns. In a settlement, William Hayden and Stephanie Hayden surrendered their gun-making licenses and were allowed to choose a licensed individual to control Red Jacket.

Initially, that person was Vincent Buckles, but Buckles has left the company and now two others individuals control the company.

Wow, is that possible? I follow the footnote at the bottom of the page to (who else other than the gun experts themselves) TMZ:

Vince Buckles Leaves Sons of Guns

TMZ has learned Vincent Buckles has since left the company — and two other licensed people are currently in charge of the business.

Essentially nothing.

I have learned no new facts, other than that Will and Steph are no longer the gun-making license holders.

Is Kris Ford holding the license? Remember, he was supposed to be kicked out of the shop if he dated Steph. Well, he and the Steph-meister are hooking up and he still works there. (Yikes, this is rapidly turning into a junior high-schoolish blogpost.)

TMZ has a slide-show, right below the above post, of “strapped stars.” Does that mean movie stars who are strapped for cash? Is Nick Cage going to pop his eagley hairdo up in there? Nope, apparently it refers to movie stars with guns. One of them seems like quite a stretch:

Kristen Stewart with a gun, Twilight

Is that even a gun? I can’t tell. Okay, maybe a revolver. Stick to gossip there TMZ and I’ll stick to, um, er, whatever it is I do ’round here!

Update: Welcome curious readers. I am an active-duty naval officer. When enlisted, I was a linguist and this is the story of me serving as a test subject for the SEALs. Look around, make yourself at home!

Update II: Vince has a new business called Mesa Kinetic Research.

Guns and More Guns

Steph Hayden, Kris Ford

I am on leave this week from the Navy, minding my own business, over-blogging. Even though I am officially on leave, I can’t flee the area because I have supervisory watch duties that might call me back to base.

As I write this, the television blares the Discovery show Sons of Guns. The usual story: some client brings in a challenging weapon, in this case the Maxim. No, not Maxim Magazine, but the historical Maxim Machine Gun.

Although I suppose the Maxim Machine Gun uses a Maxim Magazine? Hmmmm. On second thought, it is belt-fed. Nevah-mind.

Some elegant monstrosity, huh:

The Maxim Machine Gun, that does not use the Maxim Magazine

A girl comes on, from the blog Girl’s Guide to Guns. Wait, I stop typing. That name sounds familiar! I have a friend who used to blog and she knows (or knew) the ladies over at Girl’s Guide to Guns. I zip over to their website. The site is run by Natalie Foster and Katie Shackelford. Okay. And Jenn Strand also blogs there.

Natalie Foster, from Girl’s Guide to Guns, and Stephanie Hayden of Sons of Guns

So I email my friend, who I would have linked to, but her blog is dead. As in, she has not blogged in almost 7 weeks! And I write her that her blog buddies are on television. I wonder which of the girls from that blog she knows. (Knows is a relative term in the blogoshphere.) No response yet.

The episode continues. Vincent Buckles, Kris Ford, Flem, and the guys finish up the Maxim and mount it to a plane propeller. And then Vince and Steph modify a Glock with special Israeli charging handles to help a customer with multiple sclerosis.

Stephanie Hayden and Kris Ford from Sons of Guns

And later, towards the end of the show we finally learn what Red Jacket means. It is the English translation for Will Hayden’s Choctaw name, Osguma.

I know folks advised me to watch American Guns in my first Sons of Guns post. The former show is about Gunsmoke Guns in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. And I have. I like Rich Wyatt and his wife Renee. And the kids are amusing too, Paige Wyatt and her brother Kurt. As readers mentioned, they are highly professional. More so than Will and the boys. But I like the down-home vibe on Sons of Guns. I can’t help it. I’m a ‘burb-turned-city boy and that backwoods guitar twang, alligator thang gets me every time. The Earth can shake, the sky come down. . .

Kurt, Renee, Paige, and Rich Wyatt

Sons of Guns, the Best TV Show on Weapons

Guess who’s back? If you are thinking Santa Claus, you are right, although only partially. Think similar body type, with a love for guns. Will Hayden? You got it! He is a prior Marine who works as a master armorer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Will Hayden, Sons of Guns, Prior Marine, Master Armorer

Back for a third season, Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns,” seems ready to explode. The first episode finds:

Will and the Red Jacket crew restore a 20 mm Oerlikon cannon and twin 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns aboard the World War II destroyer USS Kidd (DD-661) for an explosive Fourth of July air show. Meanwhile, Steph designs a line of ladies Saiga 5.45 rifles — with fashionable custom paint jobs — much to Will’s chagrin.

There exists simmering tension between Will and his 25 year-old daughter Stephanie‘s new boyfriend, Kris. Will had given Kris Ford the ultimatum, either work at Red Jacket and don’t date Stephanie. Or find another job. We find out in the first episode that he is still working at Red Jacket and dating Stephanie. Perhaps I misunderstood how the last season ended? Or is Kris craftier than he appears?

Stephanie Hayden, Sons of Guns, Discovery Channel 

If you have never watched the show, check it out. Be prepared to hum the theme song, Shelter Me by Buddy Miller, though. It is catchy. (Hmmm, the Yahoo link says: The song is “Shelter me” by Tab Benoit, written by Julie and Buddy Miller, performed by Tab Benoit.)

The crack staff at Navy Times asked Will as to his favorite gun movies. Here is his list:

Last of the Mohicans: “Beautiful work with a musket, a long rifle and a war club.”

Predator: “For a purely fun gun movie, it’s just badass.”

Red Dawn: Remains to be seen if the remake will be any good, but the original is timeless gun-lovin’ glory.

True Grit: “There’s a new one? Sorry, any movie called ‘True Grit’ has got John Wayne in it.”

All Quiet on the Western Front:“I’m looking at a Springfield and an early Enfield here in my office right now.”

Full Metal Jacket and Platoon:“Every war or gun collection has to have those two.”

What no Dirty Harry? Still, good choices. . .