Revisited: Website Review of

Sarah Palin was in the news again the other day when it was announced she’d be speaking at the National Rifle Association’s annual banquet later this month, and would be receiving a very special gift. A small firm called Templar Consulting has “crafted” a customized weapon that Palin will be able to take back to Alaska to encourage that pesky would-be son-in-law to do right by her daughter.

They don’t have shotgun weddings in the Great Wild North. They have AR-15 military-style assault rifles chambered in ought-fifty Beowulf weddings. And they have them now.

On May 14, the NRA Foundation will give Palin the “Alaskan Hunter,” a civilian version of the M-4 rifle carried by U.S. troops overseas. It’s engraved with Palin’s name and a map of her state on its collapsible stock, which was made legal only after the assault weapons ban expired in 2004 (the stock was made legal; not Palin, not Alaska, and certainly not her daughter). The Big Dipper from the state flag is etched onto the magazine. The gun – if that word does it justice – is the same caliber used by heavy machine guns which can take down big game or, in war zones, can disable both assailants with body armor and motor vehicles.

The rifle was assembled using custom components by Templar owner Bob Reynolds, and will come with 50 rounds of custom “solids,” which I guess are something like bullets but perhaps with a nougat center. “Gov. Palin stood up and announced that she was a supporter of the Second Amendment, and I was really excited about that,” said Reynolds. “I just wanted to do something to give back. And since the governor lives in Alaska, I thought .50 Beowulf was appropriate.”

Never mind that Alaska is the forty-ninth state, not the fiftieth. You don’t want to be arguing with this guy. I’m a little nervous joking about him, even from the safety of the blogosphere. I don’t want to go out to my driveway some morning and find out that he’s shot my car.

I was curious about this Templar Consulting firm though. I’ve dealt with some bad consultants in my day but none so awful that they could cut you in half with a one-second barrage of high-caliber ammo. So I thought I’d choose for my Website Review this week.

As you might imagine, it’s a fairly simple, all-business kind of website. Templar only offers a select variety of products, which include custom firearms, custom DuraCoat patterning and “personal defence training” (I’m pretty sure “defence” is a typo rather than the British spelling, considering they’re located in Apex, N.C.).

The home page features pictures of two very attractive armaments. There’s the Designated Marksman Rifle, a 28-inch barrel model that starts at $3100. It has a forged upper receiver, a billet lower with integrated trigger guard, a Magpul stock and a 9/16×24 flash hider. And there’s the Special Purpose Rifle, starting at $2100, which comes with a Danial defense rail, the ErgoAmbi soft grip, a tactical sling and a phosphate M16 bolt carrier. I can only assume that all these are features you’d want in high-quality killing machines, just like I assume that what they mean by “special purpose rifle” is “will blow your freaking head off.”

There’s also a pulldown for what are called precision rifle components. I think these might be the cute little tripods you see rifles propped up on, much like those used by the prone green army men I played with in my youth. Pictured is the 6.5 Grendel model, above the caption “if you can see it, you can hit it!” It comes with some very impressive ballistic coefficients, including the almost unbelievable 7.62mm M118LR 175gr:BC=0.496. No, I didn’t just whack the keyboard with my bagel; these are the actual specs.

The training section of the site doesn’t give many details, as I imagine classroom instruction pales in comparison to the prospect of buying these magnificent weapons. “We conduct training in armed and unarmed personal defense. We teach North Carolina concealed handgun carry classes,” it says without much enthusiasm. “Call for details.”

Probably the coolest thing I found was the section on custom gun coatings. The certified DuraCoat finish that Templar offers is a two-part coating that was created specifically for firearms. There are over 130 colors to choose from, and you can combine your color choice with a stencil pattern and finish that “will protect your firearm while it protects you.” What makes this part so interesting is the two photos: there’s an all-pink pistol engraved with a peace sign and the phrase “give my piece a chance,” and there’s a gun pointing straight at the viewer with a cheery sunburst design radiating out from the muzzle. If this fanciful graphic is the last thing you see in this life, it doesn’t seem like such a bad way to go.

There’s not much more to the website than a few predictable links. Of course, there’s a connection to Through this, you can fill out a form to join the group for as little as $35 a year, or you can pay $1,000 for a lifetime membership, which doesn’t seem like such a great bargain for people who spend their days playing with rifles. You can also sign up to become a recruiter, but the web filter at my work that keeps us safe from YouTube, eBay and Facebook gave me the big red “halt” hand and the message “access denied!” I suppose it does make sense to keep people on the constant brink of layoffs from such an obvious temptation to gun violence.

So if you’re interested in obtaining some high-powered weaponry, or perhaps already have a pretty good collection but want to spruce it up with splashes of color other than blood red, I would urge you to check out the offerings at The all-white piece going to Governor Sarah – described by the New York Daily News as “fashionable until Labor Day” – is only available when a second version will be auctioned during the NRA banquet.

To hear the NRA site tell it, you better act now before President Obama starts revoking the Constitution.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: