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Posts Tagged ‘Sandi Ault’

Heroes & Guns: Jamaica Wild

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on March 27, 2009

I’m having fun in this on-going series as I have the opportunity to get out and try or revisit some guns, including the holsters, saddle slings & other equipment; I get to reread work from my favorite authors and I get to discuss what I am reading with others. Wasn’t it someone from TV’s old series, “A-Team”, that said, “I love it when a plan falls together”?

So for my latest installment, I am pulling from two separate books of Sandi Ault’s Wild series. You must go visit her website at www.sandiault.com and see the gorgeous pictures of her wolves and read about all her extensive research. Meanwhile, enjoy:

Jamaica’s Pistol

In Wild Indigo, Jamaica is called upon to use her handgun to protect herself from a desperate Pueblo man and to  rescue a little boy. In the ensuing struggle, the Pueblo man, Hunter, throws a rock and knocks the gun from Jamaica’s grasp. As she scrabbles to the corner to get the gun, he grasps her legs and a hand to hand battle is on. ‘He moved toward the edge [a cliff] as I kicked and wriggled. He swung backward, ready to hurl me over the side, and I threw my arms behind his head and grabbed on tightly. Hunter roared again, and then suddenly released me onto the floor of the ruin. I dashed to the fire pit and grabbed the gun. I turned it on him and he raised his palm as if to stop the bullet, the other hand clutching his chest. We stood gasping, both of us, staring at each other, gulping air, the rain and hail pounding us.’ [Wild Indigo by Sandi Ault, published January 2007 by Berkley Prime Crime]smwildindfcoveronly


Again, in Wild Sorrow, the gun comes out as Jamaica, her wolf Mountain and her horse Rooster are caught out in a blizzard and need to find shelter with a murder victim they had discovered in an abandoned Indian school building. Not knowing if the murderer is still around, ‘I led Rooster through a blinding whiteout to the door. Once I had tied the reins to the door handle, I opened my saddlebag and grabbed a flashlight and my LED headlamp. I drew my handgun out of my pocket, then slid through the narrow opening and looked around…’ [Wild Sorrow by Sandi Ault, published March 2009 by Berkley Prime Crime]wildsorrowcoverwebsize_jpg_w180h269


What is this gun that Jamaica has to pull several times from her under coat or belt holster? Her gun of choice on and off duty is a SigSauer P229. The day of the six shooter is becoming a fast retreating memory as American law enforcement agencies are readily accepting the semi-auto pistol. This particular gun combines high round capacity together with a serious big bore cartridge that is readily and commonly available, and it does it in a package that is both light to carry and reliable to shoot.


There are good and bad sides to the equation, “Is this gun for me?” or more importantly, “Is this a gun that Jamaica should carry?” I think, absolutely. Let’s take the bad first: The only true slight downsides I’ve found with this gun are when taking it out on the range for a couple hours of practice, the recoil when using the .40 SIG can be fatiguing and the P229 is a bit larger and heavier than what I would consider for recommending as a conceal carry gun for a person of smaller build. For Jamaica, a woman in great shape, this would not be a problem. On the heavily weighted GOOD side of the scale, it has a double action trigger pull with a decocking lever that is simple and easy to teach to those shooters who formerly carried revolvers. Once you have your own particular gun sighted in and your chosen stance, you cannot blame this gun for bad accuracy – that would be what I call, ‘user error’. The gun impressed me with its accuracy, even in a quick moving tactical course. The grip is well designed, comfortable and serves a double purpose of making the rearward recoil push more straight back than can be felt in some competing models. The P229 comes in models for 9mm Luger, .357 SIG and .40 S&W, all of which ammo is common to purchase and easy to reload. The patented automatic firing-pin lock gives an added safety advantage and there are no complicated firing sequences with the double action/single action semi-automatic. This is a seriously good self-defense and law enforcement pistol and a gun I would want to carry in any of the action packed scenarios experienced by BLM Agent Jamaica Wild.


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Heros & Guns – Jamaica’s Shotgun

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on March 16, 2009

With special thanks to author Sandi Ault and her book Wild Inferno. Visit her site at www.sandiault.com

In Wild Inferno, the Hotshot crews are getting a briefing before they go out to fight a wild fire that is blazing through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. While on patrol, Jamaica herself often carries a Remington 870 Super Magnum Pump-Action Shotgun. Here is a brief excerpt from Wild Inferno showing one of the uses of this gun:



The wildlife agent took over the briefing: “This she-bear may be reluctant to take her baby near the highway or down through the black where it’s already burned. And they’re starving. We’re going to try to get up there and bait some traps so we can capture them and transport them to someplace safe. But in the meantime” – he held up a double-barrel pump—“we need to talk about these shotguns—a couple of these have already been issued to the crews in that area”.

            Some of the firefighters laughed and joked about bear hunting season being open, but the wildlife agent held up his hand to stop them.

“These shotguns will only be used to fire a beanbag round. That’s a strong nylon pouch with about forty grams of lead shot inside. The beanbag is inserted into a standard twelve-gauge shotgun shell. When that shell is fired, the bag is expelled at around two hundred ninety feet per second. In flight, it spread out and distributes the impact over about six centimeters of the target. It is meant to deliver a blow that will minimize long-term trauma with no penetration, but will briefly render the animal prone and immobile. Now, this beanbag round has a maximum range of around sixty-five feet, but it’s inaccurate over about eighteen or nineteen feet. The idea here is to stun the bear and give you time to get away, not to harm the bear.

“This is just for your safety….” [Wild Inferno by Sandi Ault, Publ. by Berkley Prime Crime, Feb 2008]


As a defensive tool, the Remington 870 is a fantastic choice for Jamaica and, often, may be found in use by BLM agents, Forest Rangers, military and even your local police department. The beanbag round mentioned is a common device used for putting down wild life, or even persons, when you wish to stun or impair them, but not necessarily to do permanent, penetrating harm. The gun has versatility, reliability and a very dependable action that make this one of the most sold and highly praised shotguns in today’s market.


My personal experience with this gun can be summed up in one cliché, to borrow an advertising term> ‘it takes a lickin but keeps on tickin’. First of all, my shotgun of choice for hunting and for personal protection is a pump action. They are easy to learn and easy to use. The 870 uses a bottom-loading, side ejecting receiver which, after 1000’s of rounds, does not seem to jam easy unless there is ‘user error’. Yes, it is a very rugged gun that functions reliably under the very worst of conditions and is durable enough that after a hard life with you, it will still function well for the person you pass it on to – with an almost guaranteed bang for every trigger pull. It’s heavy enough to absorb the shock but not too heavy that it puts an undue strain on you. There are many variations of the Remington 870 with availability in 10, 12, 16, 20 gauge [also a 410 bore], barrel lengths from 18 to 30 inches and weight from 7 to 8 pounds. A handy tool or a sportsman’s friend, this pump action shotgun has a 4 to 8 round internal tube magazine that can chamber up to the 3 ½ inch shell. Because its components are produced on high-speed production machinery, the gun has far out paced the earlier guns that required precision machined parts and hand tooling that made earlier guns much more expensive and time costly to produce. Parts are readily available and interchangeable should something break. It’s affordable, simple to maintain, easy to learn use of and just plain fun to shoot. Jamaica has my stamp of approval on her personal choice of shotguns.

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