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VOLUMES 151 & 152 -------- JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015

February 28, 2015

Hello Everyone.

Yes, I know I'm late again.  No excuses, just lazy I guess.

Still marveling at my first trip to the SHOT SHOW!  What an experience!  The sheer magnitude of the the thing is still mind boggling.

I have discovered one consequence of obtaining media credentials for the show.  Media representatives' contact information is provided to exhibitors just as exhibitor information is provided to the media.  This has resulted in a number of emails and phone calls from some of the vendors that I spoke with as well as some I never heard of before.  Still, a small price to pay for the neat experience.

I have in the works, a story about one of the vendors that I talked with and pictured on the SHOT SHOW PAGE.  I am still intrigued by the concept of a readily accessible firearm that remains
safely secured from unauthorized use.  I mentioned and pictured representatives of a vendor of such an item on the SHOT SHOW page a few weeks ago.  JOTTO DESK, (www.jottodesk.com) has been one of the vendors who has reached out to encourage further exploration of their products.  Keith Noble and Kymberly Graves have both emailed and Kymberly phoned.  I plan a more detailed examination of their secure handgun storage device in a future newsletter.

As also reported on the SHOT SHOW page, I attended a press conference introducing a new for 2016 Nissan Titan truck which I'm going to amplify on here.  I should make clear that I have always made sure to 'Buy American' when purchasing vehicles throughout my 50 some years of owning a bunch of them.

So, this will be a bit of a departure for me, writing about a vehicle with a foreign moniker.  Although, I guess in today's world marketplace those lines are getting more and more blurred.  For example, we just bought a new Cadillac XTS, whose engine was made in Mexico with final assembly in Canada!  (We bought the car in Idaho, which some consider to be a foreign country in itself!)

Having said all that, the new Titan is being touted in Company news releases as, "Made in America, designed in California, engineered in Michigan, tested in Arizona, and assembled in Canton, Mississippi."

For now, the Titan and Dodge Ram are the only half ton trucks of which I'm aware, to offer a diesel engine, although GM is reportedly bringing forth a 2.8 liter Duramax in their 2016 Colorado and Canyon midsize pickups.  Here is some more information about the Nissan from their 'Press Kit.'  (read propaganda)

  • Nissan challenges full-size pickup segment with bold new design
  • Flagship TITAN XD model combines the capability of a heavy-duty hauler with the drivability and affordability of a light-duty pickup
  • TITAN’s legendary innovation leadership continues with cutting-edge towing, utility and driving aids
  • New TITAN positioned as a “powerful precision tool” for hard-working, hard-playing buyers
The 2016 Nissan TITAN XD, which made its world debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is set to shake up the highly competitive full-size pickup segment when it goes on sale in the United States and Canada beginning in late 2015 – with a bold all-new design that stakes out a unique position in the segment between traditional heavy-duty and light-duty entries.

Called the “XD,” it offers the effortless towing and hauling of the larger, more expensive heavy-duty trucks – including an available maximum towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds and maximum payload capacity of 2,000 pounds (when properly equipped) – yet has the fuel-efficiency and affordability of a half-ton pickup.

The new TITAN XD Crew Cab, which was shown in Detroit with its powerful Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, is the first of three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three powertrain offerings and five grade levels to be available in the full TITAN lineup.

“The full-size truck market is the toughest market to crack in the entire industry, with so many outstanding products available,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. “This new Nissan TITAN XD is designed to offer buyers something the others don’t – combining outstanding towing and hauling capabilities and exceptional towing and hauling fuel economy. It also offers excellent ride comfort and handling, and the features and amenities that real working truck owners want.”

The all-new TITAN XD, like the first-generation Titan, was developed with core Nissan planning, design, engineering and manufacturing teams contributing from Tennessee, California, Michigan, Arizona and Mississippi. The TITAN XD’s engine will be sourced from Cummins Inc. in Indiana. And, the lead designer and nearly four-dozen engineers also worked on the original 2004 TITAN development.

2016 Nissan TITAN XD

TITAN XD Interior Platinum Edition

TITAN XD  Interior Platinum Edition

For our friends of the 'gotta see the numbers' bent, again from the press releases, here they are:


Vehicle: Full-size pickup with a powerful presence, commercial strength components, user-focused interior features and advanced towing and driving aids / technologies

Seating capacity: 5-passenger (6-passenger with front bench seat)

Maximum payload: More than 2,000 pounds (when properly equipped)**

Maximum towing: More than 12,000 pounds (when properly equipped)**

Drive Configuration: Rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive

Engine: Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel V8 with Holset M2 two-stage turbo system

Horsepower: 310 horsepower @ 3,200 rpm

Torque: 555 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Exhaust: Diesel Particulate Filter and Selective Catalytic Reduction

Transmission: Heavy-duty 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission

Wheels/Tires: 17-inch styled steel / LT245/75R17 tires,18-inch aluminum-alloy / LT 275/65R18 tires,
or 20-inch aluminum alloy / LT265/60R20 tires

Suspension: Double-wishbone with stabilizer bar front suspension, rigid axle/leaf spring rear suspension, twin-tube shock absorbers

Brakes: 4-wheel ventilated discs, 14.2 x 1.5-inch front/14.4 x 1.2-inch rear, hydraulic power assist

Steering: Recirculating ball-type high-capacity steering system

Wheelbase: 151.6 inches

Length: 242.9 inches

Width: 79.4/80.6 inches

Height: 78.7 inches

Min. ground clearance: 9.3 inches (rear axle)

Angle of Approach: 21.4 degrees

Angle of Departure: 22.8 degrees

Headroom: front/rear 43.5/40.4 inches

Hip room: front/rear: 60.8/60.3 inches

Shoulder room: front/rear: 63.3/63.6 inches

Exterior Features: Available LED headlights and signature Daytime Running Lights, LED taillight bulbs, puddle lamps, step rails, improved access for cabin and bed entry/exit, 120V access in bed, tailgate dampener, cargo and tailgate lamps, laminated side glass

Interior Features: Available Zero Gravity front and rear seats, Automatic Dual Zone Climate Control, supplemental cabin heater (diesel only), interior cabin filter, remote start HVAC Auto Temp Control, 12-volt and 120-volt power outlets (150 and 400 watt), Rockford Fosgate 12-speaker premium audio system, column shifter with manual shift control, tilt and telescoping steering column, NissanConnectSM with Navigation, Mobile Apps and Services

Smart Cabin/Bed Utility: Available Fold-out Flat Floor, LED Bed Rail Lighting, lockable in-bed storage, tailgate illumination, spray-on bedliner, two-way tailgate assist

Towing Aids: Available Trailer Light Check, Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, Trailer Sway Control, Integrated Gooseneck Hitch, Tow/Haul Mode with Downhill Speed Control, Electronic Locking Rear Differential

Driving Aids: Available Around View® Monitor (AVM), Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Front and Rear Sonar system

It appears that about all the bells, whistles, and electronic gadgetry is available for a price, so for some folks this could take the place of a nice passenger car with little difficulty.

My 'Buy American' friends who are of the diehard variety may disown me, but this looks like a viable option for folks like Little Heifer and me who are trailer tow people and not of the motorhome set.  This is a vehicle that is small enough for everyday driving and parking, yet with plenty of oomph to tow our 30 foot trailer, weighing in loaded at under 10,000 pounds.

Not to say that such a switch is in the offing for us!  For now our 1999 Ford F-250 with the 7.3 Liter diesel engine works very well, thank you!

Here at the beginning of March, we are still blessed with the continuation of a mild winter with little or no show.  While not appreciated by the ski areas in the vicinity, the lack of snow and mild temperatures have us thinking of breaking out the golf clubs!  Several of the courses in the area have opened and are using their permanent greens!  Some folks who have lived here for years can't remember this number of courses opening this early.

Another item on our agenda, is to get out and do some shooting!  I still have the head to head accuracy tests to do with the Cooper and Browning rifles and we need to tune up some of our Hunter Education firearms as well.  Our shooting range here at the ranch is pretty much bare and dry, which has not been the case well into the month of May in some years.

It is also time to get organized for our upcoming Hunter Education classes at the Elks Lodge.  I did start making copies of the handout materials last week, but there is still plenty to do.

Speaking of Hunter Education, here is a little quiz developed by and courtesy of, the National Shooting Sports Foundation that emphasizes some of the things we teach in our classes.  Test your knowledge and then scroll down to the back side of the page for the answers.

Whoa Now!  Don't Cheat and look further until you have chosen Myth or Fact!

How did you do?

We here in Washington have not had a statewide Hunter Education Instructor in-service training session since 2012.  Budgetary considerations have reduced us to an 'every third year' schedule.  2015 is that third year, so Rick and I, as well as some of our other instructors, will be making the trek to the convention center in Wenatchee, WA for our March 27, 28, and 29 sessions.

We haven't seen a detailed agenda yet, but the IST's usually consist of workshops and seminars that are designed to provide Instructors with additional tools to improve the student experience in our classes.  There are those who may argue that the most beneficial aspect of the IST's is to socialize and share experiences with other Instructors that we don't see often.

This month's hillbilly wisdom is a Mark Twain quote that is a repeat of one in a newsletter years ago, but is particularly appropriate if you have watched the news reports about our Senators' and Congress Persons' struggles over the past few weeks:

"Suppose you were an idiot.  And suppose you were a member of Congress.  But I repeat myself."

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .

'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

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