Friday, 17 January


Friday Night Lights: PTS MTEK FLUX Bump Helmet [The Firearm Blog]

PTS MTEK FLUX BumpHelmets are the standard for holding night vision goggles on your head. There are a number of manufacturers that make them. OPS-Core and Team Wendy are some of the more popular ones. For shooters on a budget, they often go with a simple bump helmet. They do not offer any ballistic protection and are sort […]

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POTD: Israel Defense Forces UZI SMG [The Firearm Blog]

POTD, short for Photo Of The Day, is TFB’s recurring articles where we go to great length trying to find the best pictures on the Gunternet. Today we take a look at an UZI SMG, a firearm as iconic as Heckler & Koch’s MP5.  According to Wikipedia, there are more than 10 million Uzis built […]

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Featured Deals of the Week – 1/17/20 [The Firearm Blog]

Deals-of-the-Week-Header-1Would you believe I wrote 1/17/19, corrected it to 1/1/7/20, and only after typing up most of this article I realized it was wrong? Well, it doesn’t really matter. Here’s some deals to drain your wallet. Colt M16A1 Parts Kit w/ Triangle Handguard – $479 What the deal is: If you’ve ever wanted to run […]

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“Update FWD: They’ve recruited armed militias to intimidate us” []

That is the actual headline of a fundraising email I received this afternoon at 4:41pm EST from Brady United Against Gun Violence (sic).

Nothing like some hyperbolic lies to get that old money flowing in when you don’t have Mike Bloomberg funding you. At least that is the impression they are giving.

BREAKING: The Washington Post reports that thousands of armed militias and pro-gun extremists plan to descend on the Virginia State Capitol on Monday, threatening “violent insurrection and civil war” over the state’s proposed gun safety laws. The FBI has already arrested six Neo-Nazis. The pro-gun group organizing the event has now raised more than $55,000 to bus extremists to Virginia and stop lifesaving gun safety bills.

This is a trend across the country. Our democratic process is under threat and we need to stand up to these extremists.

The pro-gun group is the Virginia Citizens Defense League which has been holding Lobby Days since 2002. I may be wrong on the first year but it goes back quite a ways.

Lobby Day is not a threat to “our democratic process”. It is, in fact, nothing less than real democracy in action as people are petitioning their elected representatives for a “redress of grievances” as enshrined in the First Amendment. Moreover, VCDL has never threatened civil war or violent insurrection. This is a libel.

Just like the screed from the Demanding Mommies this is an othering. Brady United is saying that those of us standing up for our God-given, Constitutionally-guaranteed rights are inferior and alien. When you characterize any group as an “other”, then you are saying it doesn’t matter if they ostracized, belittled, or even killed. It is what Adolph Hitler did to the Jews before setting the Brown Shirts lose on Kristallnacht. Later it was the box cars headed east to Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Sobibor.

As Michael Bane as recently as his last podcast, they are our blood enemies and they want us dead. I think he is right.

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I Don’t Have A Good Feeling About These Guys []

The left-wing website Vice had a story yesterday about a group planning to show up for the 2020 VCDL Lobby Day. It is a local Richmond-based Antifa group which supports the Second Amendment and gun rights.

When gun lovers rally in front of the Virginia Capitol in Richmond next week, the local chapter of antifa will be there too. But their members won’t be wearing all black, and they don’t plan to douse right-wingers in milkshakes or Silly String.

Instead, local antifa will join thousands of conservatives who are expected to descend on Richmond that day in protesting pending gun-control legislation introduced by Democratic lawmakers.

Antifa Seven Hills, based in Richmond, are opposing the slew of gun bills introduced by the newly Democratic Legislature since November, because they say those types of laws are used primarily to criminalize poor people, minorities, and leftists — and to bolster law enforcement’s power.

“I think it’s been pretty important for us to focus on the fact that gun control in America has a legacy of racist enforcement,” said Antifa Seven Hills spokesperson James (who asked that his name be withheld to avoid getting doxxed online). “Like taking guns away from black people, because black people were perceived as a threat to property and the sanctity of the state.”

I tend to agree with “James” about the racist roots of gun control and how gun control has been used to keep African-Americans disarmed.

That said, I’m leery of any group of people affiliated with Antifa. As someone commented to me on Facebook yesterday, “the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.”

My fear is what are called “Fifth Columnists” causing incalculable harm. They say they support gun rights and the Second Amendment but their goal is actually to subvert it through their actions. With media-driven reports of “white supremacists” and “militia groups” planning on attending the Richmond rally, the mainstream media will go wild if there is any sort of a disturbance. You just know that they along with every member of the gun control industry is just praying to Gaia that it is another Charlottesville.

My anxiety rises when I read “James'” last comments.

If authorities’ fears are confirmed and white supremacist groups join the fray, Antifa Seven Hills could be left in an awkward position. Asked whether there was a plan to switch from conservative outreach into a more combative role, James declined to comment. “We’re not going to discuss our plans at this point,” he said.

J.KB at Gun Free Zone has the best advice if you are going – be NORMAL. Wearing your casual Friday clothes, look respectable, leave the Gadsden flag at home, and don’t go looking for trouble.

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North Carolina: Your Input Needed On Sunday Hunting [NRA-ILA News]

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) has announced a survey to gather information from the public relating to Sunday hunting on public lands.


Rhode Island: Join Fellow Gun Owners at a Pro-Gun Rally on January 23 [NRA-ILA News]

On Thursday, January 23, NRA’s State Association, The Rhode Island 2nd Amendment Coalition, will be hosting a pro-gun rally at the State House in the Rotunda.


CYPHER Virgin SCAR Receivers By Imperial Arms [The Firearm Blog]

Found this on Facebook. Imperial Arms announced their CYPHER virgin receiver. Looking at the photo up top, you can guess what it is. It’s a virgin SCAR receiver!!! Now you can build a SCAR however you want. Pistol SCAR? Sure go right ahead. After years of quiet and painstaking development, we are very excited to […]

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Lyman Products Mark 7 Evolution 10-Stage Manual Reloading Machine & Autodrive [The Firearm Blog]

Mark 7 EvolutionLyman® Products Mark 7 division is set to transform the reloading experience for sport shooters and competitors ready to expand their capabilities. The Mark 7 Evolution is a 10-stage manual loading press that includes many features not normally found with traditional presses and can incorporate options from additional sensors, accessories and an autodrive. As one of the premier […]

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Winchester 350 Legend: Low Recoil, Straight Walls, and Deadly []

In some states in the USA, deer hunting is limited to shotguns and muzzleloaders — and sometimes, those states also allow rifle hunting, as long as the cartridge case has straight walls. The belief apparently being that necked-down cartridges like the 308, 30-06, and dozens of others are somehow more dangerous than cartridges that are not necked down.

I know — it doesn’t make sense to me, either. But laws are laws, and such laws have led to a rise in the popularity of cartridges that would otherwise have probably faded away, including the 450 Bushmaster.

Winchester looked at this in 2017 and set about developing a hunting cartridge that would better fill that need — and along the way, they may have created the perfect low-recoil deer hunting cartridge.

The 350 Legend was introduced about a year ago, and has been turning heads ever since. It produces clean, consistent kills on whitetail deer and is quite accurate by all accounts — all while producing less recoil than a 223 Rem and using a larger, heavier bullet that will be much more effective than any 223 for big game.

Imagine a 223 Rem / 5.56 NATO round with a straight case instead of one that’s necked down, and you have a pretty good mental picture of the 350 Legend.

7.62x39 (L), 350 Legend (C), and 5.56 NATO (R) (Image: Wideners)

7.62×39 (L), 350 Legend (C), and 5.56 NATO (R)
(Image: Wideners)

Caliber is .357″ and typical bullet weight is 180 grains.

In addition to appealing to folks in states that don’t allow the use of necked-down cartridges, the 350 Legend is likely to be favored by folks who prefer the MSM (modern sporting rifle) format, popularly known as AR style. It is certainly the best big game cartridge you can use in an MSM with the standard-size bolt face — and it can do a fine job at home defense as well.

For deer hunting, it is likely to excel out to 200-250 yards… but I wouldn’t expect too much beyond that.

As with any new cartridge, the jury is still out on its overall staying power… but the 350 Legend offers wide appeal to today’s hunters and shooters, and that certainly helps.

For more info on this interesting new round, check out this recent Shooting Illustrated review.


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Underground Arms Watch – January Pt.1 [The Firearm Blog]

A new year brings about the first of January’s Underground Arms Watch installment – a look into criminally made and modified firearms seized by police and security services worldwide. Below are three Locally made pistols seized by Bengaluru City Police in December. On the top right appears to be a Zoraki blank firing revolver missing […]

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Lapua 6.5 Creedmoor Large Rifle Primer Case [The Firearm Blog]

For spring 2020 availability, Lapua is releasing a large rifle primer 6.5 Creedmoor case. In 2016 Lapua released their first 6.5 Creedmoor case, but only with a small primer. Then it was said to be for “accuracy reasons“. This time, the key selling point is to “provide a reliable ignition with a large primer in […]

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The Propper HLX: Not Your Dad’s Cargo Pants []

Most of my adult life has been pent in uniform, and those uniforms have always included cargo pants. Without a doubt, they are quite roomy and in the work I did (and do) they make a lot of sense. However, they aren’t very stylish.

Cargo pants, in general, are best used in the field and on the job if you wish to remain even a little stylish. As I mentioned before, those pockets sure are handy though. Propper seems to have recognized a genuine desire for professional and stylish pants that can still carry a little extra cargo, and have released the Propper HLX line of clothing. While this line includes polo shirts and button-downs, I’m talking all about the pants.

Do you see the cargo pocket?

The HLX pants come in grey, black, earth tone, khaki, and LAPD Navy blue. They also come in men’s and women’s cuts. They feature 8 total pockets. This includes your normal front and back pants pockets as well as 2 small front pockets big enough for a cell phone, tourniquet, or handgun magazine. The pocket ‘creme de la creme’ are the two concealed side-access cargo pockets.

What About Now?

These secretive pockets are smaller than most cargo pockets but still large enough to be quite useful. They also zip up which ensures whatever is in the pockets is well-secured. From the outside they don’t look much different than normal khakis, enough so that they could blend into an urban environment and even a somewhat formal event.

Speaking of Casual

I actually wore these to a wedding, which may sound tacky but the wedding was rather simple and small. Not a lot of tuxes and suits and such. My HLX khakis with a shirt and tie blended in without issue. That’s the main appeal to the HLX pants: their ability to blend into the everyday world, but still be useful as pants at work and in the field.

These pants are an excellent choice for hiking, camping, fishing, and all those fun outdoor activities. At the same time, I can wear them to work and look professional, or out to dinner and not look like a bum. Best of all, they offer 8 pockets as well as a reinforced design to accommodate my sometimes rough-and-ready lifestyle.

That includes extra material around the pockets to reinforce the area where a tool or pocket knife would clip on. You have thick belt loops to support the thick belt you need to carry a gun. There is also some stretch in the waist that makes it more comfortable to move as well as easing IWB carry of a handgun.

The HLX Pants in Action

I’ve been wearing these pants quite a while, engaging in tasks as mundane as going to the mall and as dynamic as running the Marine Table 5 CQB shoot. Regardless of what I toss at them, they seem to be up for the task. They move easily, stretch in all the right places, and are perfectly suited for the range or the trail.

The pants are coated with a DWR treatment that resists moisture; it just beads on them. They are also dirt-resistant and seemingly impossible to stain. After nothing more than a machine wash they look as good as new.

The pockets, even the zipper concealed pockets, are all easy to reach. Feel free to pack the cargo pockets with emergency medical gear, dad stuff, or Skittles. The HLX pants can take it and you can wear them to town and not feel out of place.

Check them out, and the rest of the HLX line here.

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New Proof Research Glacier Hunting Rifle in Steel and Carbon [The Firearm Blog]

The Proof Research Glacier TI (Lightweight Mountain Hunter) is an amazing rifle with a carbon fiber-wrapped, match-grade barrel and an action made of Titanium. In 2020, the Proof Glacier line is expanding and the rifle is now available in a traditional steel action. The Glacier (Mountain Hunter) comes standard with a TriggerTech Trigger, PROOF Sendero contour […]

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Star Z45: Spain’s Improved MP40 Submachine Gun [Forgotten Weapons]

The Z45 was a submachine gun designed during World War Two by the Start firm in Eibar, Spain for export sale to Germany as well as domestic Spanish use. It was heavily based on the MP40, including the same stock, telescoping mainspring guide/cover, and disassembly method as the MP40. To this, however, Star engineers added a progressive type trigger mechanism, a detachable barrel, and a moving firing pin to improve safety. No sales were actually made to Germany, but the gun was adopted by a variety of Spanish military and security organizations in 9mm Largo and also sold for export in 9mm Parabellum, .38 ACP, and .45 ACP. It remained in production into the early 1960s, when it was replaced by Star’s new Z62 submachine gun.

Many thanks to Movie Armaments Group in Toronto for the opportunity to showcase this Star SMG for you! Check them out on Instagram to see many of the guns in their extensive collection.


New Suppressors: YHM R9 – YHM Nitro N20 – YHM Turbo Integral [The Firearm Blog]

Hot off the heels of their latest suppressor announcement – the Resonator K, Yankee Hill Machine has rolled out three additional releases that we hope to get our hands on at the 2020 SHOT Show. The YHM R9, the YHM Nitro N20 and the YHM Turbo Integral 5.56mm AR-15 upper Receiver all fit in to […]

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Thursday, 16 January


*NEW* Mossberg MC2 Compact Pistol! [The Firearm Blog]

Something that is often lost on people, is the fact that the first firearm Mossberg ever made was actually a pistol.  And after their well received MC1 subcompact pistol, they are back at it with the MC2c. The MC2c is a compact double-stack 9mm pistol.  Streamlined for concealed carry with a thin profile of just […]

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Virginia: Senate Passes Three Anti-Gun Bills [NRA-ILA News]

On Thursday, January 16th, the Virginia Senate voted to pass three of the anti-gun bills that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved on Monday. The fight is far from over! Dozens of other gun control bills from Michael Bloomberg’s wish-list have still not been taken up by a committee. Second Amendment supporters have demonstrated an unprecedented showing in support for our rights. It is critical that law-abiding citizens not back down and remain ready to oppose this agenda at every turn.


BINARY RUGER: Franklin Armory Pulls (And Releases) A 10/22 Trigger [The Firearm Blog]

Bless our friends at Franklin Armory. Every year in the days leading up to SHOT Show they attempt to smash the gun internet with another epic release. As it appears, 2020 is no different. Franklin has just announced a binary trigger for the Ruger 10/22 platform. Like their eight other triggers, this rimfire version has […]

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California: Self-Defense Bill Fails to Pass Committee [NRA-ILA News]

This week, Assembly Bill 503 failed to pass out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee on a party line vote.   AB 503, sponsored by Assembly Member Heath Flora (R-12) would have allowed an individual with a valid concealed carry weapons license to carry to, from, or in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship on the grounds of a public or private K-12 school when the individual has the written permission of the school authority.


TFB Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield EZ Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

Shield 9 EZ ReviewJust a bit over a month ago I had the opportunity to visit Smith & Wesson headquarters for their release of the M&P9 Sheild EZ 9mm pistol. This is Smith & Wesson’s follow up to the highly successful 380 EZ which is marketed towards those with less hand strength. For the M&P9 Shield EZ review, I’ve had […]

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POTD: Pennsylvania State Sniper Match [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – We have photos from the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Marksmanship Training Unit (MTU) as they held their annual Pennsylvania State Sniper Match at Fort Indiantown Gap in December last year. The winning team consisted of Sgt. Chavez and Spc. Schneider, with the Maryland National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, which […]

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Concealed Carry Corner: Cost vs Reward of Carry Guns [The Firearm Blog]

Probably, one of my favorite things about the gun community is the amount of experiences and knowledge circling among us. While talking with a friend last week, I started thinking about the cost vs reward of carry guns we have day in and day out. What we don’t think about is what happens after we […]

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Second Amendment sanctuaries now beginning in NC [Of Arms and the Law]

Captain's Quarters has the report. Six counties so far, by his count, with more readying.


Lawsuit filed over Virginia governor's ban [Of Arms and the Law]

GoA and Virginia Civil Defense League as plaintiffs, governor and chief of capitol police as defendants. Yes, as predicted in comments, the governor's power is limited to emergency "shelters," and he's claim the entire 44 acre, wide-open, capitol grounds are somehow an emergency shelter.


Washington: Additional Hearing Scheduled on Gun Ban Bills [NRA-ILA News]

On Tuesday, January 21st, at 10AM, the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee will consider several anti-gun bills that would severely restrict the Constitutional Rights of law-abiding Washingtonian citizens. This hearing comes just one day after the Senate Law & Justice Committee will hear testimony on numerous other gun bills. Testimony will be limited to 90 seconds per person and House Bills 2240 and 2241 will be heard together.


New Mexico: Anti-Gun Lawmakers Gearing up for Session by Pre-Filing Gun Control Bills [NRA-ILA News]

While the New Mexico Legislature won’t convene until next week, anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed multiple gun control bills, including “Red Flag” gun confiscation laws and bans on popular firearm accessories.


870 Overhaul – Is It Worth Rebuilding A Remington 870? [The Firearm Blog]

A few months back, I wrote an article on finding a Remington 870 police trade-in shotgun for right around $50. What I didn’t tell you was that I went back and bought a second 870 for the same price once the article was released. Both shotguns had some degree of surface rust and had seen […]

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5 Big Mature Bucks Taken on Small Hunting Parcels []

In this video, Jeff Sturgis talks about 5 big mature bucks that were taken on 2 small deer hunting parcels. One buck was taken on a 25-acre piece of land he owns, while the other 4 were taken on some land with 30 acres of cover, a couple acres of food plots, and 12 acres of open fields.

In other words, small hunks of land which provided him with some really great buck hunting.

This is one of his longer videos; he takes his time to talk about each of the bucks while offering advice on the overall strategy that can lead to harvesting great bucks like these on such small properties.

The first buck was arrowed by Jeff, but recovered from the shot and was taken by his son Dante. This one spent the summer on another property about a mile and a half away, but moved into Jeff’s place and stayed there all fall.

The second buck was taken on their small 25-acre parcel by Jeff’s son Sam.

The common thread in all of these bucks is the low-impact type of hunting they do. They only hunt the stands when conditions are right for those stands, and they plan their stand sites and travel routes in such a way that it allows covert approach to the stands.

While most of us hunters (myself included) are taking the easy way into our stands and hoping to get lucky, hunters like Jeff and his family are slaying the big bucks because they manage the land — and their USE of the land — in ways that encourage mature bucks to use their property. Most of us simply don’t go to the trouble to do that… and in my case, I have 9 other owners using my hunting land in whatever way they see fit, and for the most part they do so in ways that discourage mature bucks from frequenting the property.

The video is a bit more than 23 minutes long, but it contains a lot of buck hunting wisdom, and if you are a deer hunter who cares about taking mature bucks, it’s well worth the watch.

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New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing [NRA-ILA News]

On January 23rd, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D – District 9), at 10:00 AM in Room 100 of the State House.


Scavenging For Free Targets: “When You’re A Hammer, Everything’s A Nail” [The Firearm Blog]

Scavenging For Free TargetsWith the exception of the guys that seem content doing mag dumps into the dirt, shooters typically want to shoot at something. The targets that people choose are almost as varied as the firearms they choose to shoot with; anything from professionally made targets bought online or at a sports store, to a piece of […]

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Restoring a Hatchet With a Cashmere Scarf []

This guy got an old rusty Estwing hatchet with a leather handle, and overhauled it. And I readily admit that at first I had some pretty healthy doubts.

I hated to see him cutting off the leather handle, which looked to be in pretty good shape. Sacrilege! And this is coming from a guy (me) who once rebuilt a leather Buck Bros. claw hammer handle which had rotted away completely. But, I decided to ride it out and see where he was taking this.

After removing the handle and end cap, he cleans up the old rusty rascal and then polishes it to a mirror finish! In spite of myself, I had to admit it looked pretty good.

Then he reveals the cashmere wool scarf he bought for three bucks at a thrift store, and turns it into micarta to use as handle scales. Hmmm… I hadn’t seen that coming.

The handle he creates really does look great, and I would love to get my hands on it and get to chopping. But without any pins to hold it in place, I have to wonder about its long-term durability. After all, haven’t we all seen non-pinned handles fail more than once on the Forged in Fire TV show?

He even makes a half-sheath for it and shows that too… and he does a fine job of it.

Hmmm… this just might inspire me to get back to my old handle-less Estwing “rip” claw hammer…

Enjoy the video.

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Mom Uses ‘Red Flag Law’ Against Cop Who Killed Her Son []

No matter what you call them, “red flag laws” or “ERPO laws” or whatever, they are terrible and oppressive things which can be easily abused. A recent case in Colorado is a prime example of this.

In 2017, a police officer shot and killed a 19-year-old man with a large knife who approached the officer and ignored repeated warnings — even pleadings — to drop the knife. Now the knife guy’s mother has reportedly filed an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) petition against that officer.

The Colorado State University police officer responded to a call about a man wielding a large knife. Bodycam video shows him directing and even begging the guy, calling him by his first name many times, often saying “please,” to drop the knife he’s holding. Instead, Jeremy walks towards the officer with the knife held high in his right hand.

As the knife guy continued to approach, the officer backs away, pleading with the young man to drop the knife so he doesn’t have to be hurt. This goes on for two minutes — which no doubt felt like an eternity to the officer.

Reports say Jeremy can be heard heard asking the officer to shoot him.

When the officer finally decides to attempt to use a taser on the knife-wielder and lowers his handgun, Jeremy charges him with the knife, forcing him to fire his pistol in self-defense. This can all be seen in the video below.

Jeremy’s mother filed the ERPO against the officer and in doing so lost all credibility she may have ever had. Not only did she attempt to use a bad law to harass a peace officer, she lied on the form by claiming that she and the officer she loathes are related and have a child together!

That said, the ERPO cannot simply be ignored under the law. A judge must rule on each ERPO, and anyone falsely accused faces lost wages and damage to reputation and (according to one legislator who opposed it) has no recourse other than “hoping a DA files charges.”

The mother can be charged with a misdemeanor for filing a falsified ERPO petition.

Red flag laws are not good things. At best, they cause people to be penalized by government authorities without probable cause. At worst, they are abused and cause waste of taxpayers’ money and untold damage to falsely-accused individuals.

Let’s repeal them all.

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New: Proof Research MPA Chassis Rifle ($5,000) [The Firearm Blog]

Proof Research MPA Chassis RifleToday you get to meet the all-new Proof MPA Chassis Rifle for the first time. According to Proof, this rifle is built to take your precision shooting to the next level, and it certainly has both the looks and the specifications to do that. Proof calls it the Ultimate Precision Chassis, so we’re going to […]

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Shooting On The Move In Drills – Why It’s Important [The Firearm Blog]

Finding time to go to the range isn’t always the easiest thing to do for everyone. We all have busy lives and even though range time is basically the male equivalent of a spa day, it’s not always easy to set aside a specific time to train. Often times when we get to the range, […]

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Brass Knuckles: A Misunderstood Self Defense Tool? []

September 1st, 2019 marked the first time that Brass Knuckles would be legal in Texas since 1918. It’s an exciting development due to the near-prosecution of a young 21-year-old woman who was facing $4,000 in fines and a year in jail for a keychain. Brass knuckles are a lot like automatic knives: misunderstood and villianized. In truth, they are like any other weapon — a tool, and the person wielding them decides what they do.

Like auto knives, they are banned in many states or at least have some form of law regarding them. In my home state of Florida, they can be owned but not manufactured, sold, nor carried. I own a massive, kind of heavy bottle opener that resembles brass knuckles and its basically a cool prop I keep to show people — and yes, to open bottles.

Empire Tactical makes mine, and they aren’t even brass. Most ‘brass’ knuckles aren’t brass. My knuckles are aluminum, and that seems to be the prevalent material. Brass knuckles are just a term used to refer to all forms of weapons that go over the hand to increase punching power.

Our hands and feet are our original weapons, and the idea that we can make them more-effective weapons seems to be a natural one. The Greeks and Romans had the ‘caestus’ gloves designed to increase punching power. Knuckle dusters became incredibly common in the United States during the Civil War, and President Lincoln’s bodyguards famously carried them. Let’s not forget the US Trench knife with its built-in knuckles.

It was after WW1 we began to see the rise of brass knuckle bans, followed by switchblade bans, and so on.

Why Are They Illegal

It seems silly that brass knuckles are still illegal when all 50 states have some manner of legally carrying a handgun. The main reason they are likely still banned is that no one cares. We have gun rights organizations and knife rights organizations, but no one cares about knuckles. Especially when I can carry a SIG P365 or even build my own Polymer 80 handgun and carry it.

Knives Are Quiet legal

Without a doubt, brass knuckles can be deadly weapons but are not especially dangerous when you consider the alternatives. A skilled pugilist can most certainly kill another when armed with brass knuckles. With that in mind getting shot or stabbed is much more likely to result in your death.

I imagine most of the legislation was due to their rise in popularity during WW1 and that they became more prevalent in civilian hands. I imagine some ruffians got their hands on some and a few isolated events spurred legislators to ‘do something.’

Are Brass Knuckles Effective?

I want to give you a solid answer, but I’ve never punched someone or been punched by someone wearing knuckles. However, they’ve been around for quite some time, and it seems that if they weren’t adequate, we wouldn’t see them used throughout history. It looks like men involved in heavy hand-to-hand fighting,  from bodyguards to soldiers in the trenches, appreciated them.

They would undoubtedly protect your knuckles from the pain of smashing someone’s face. The use of metal means they’ll cut and break the skin easily. The added weight will equal more kinetic energy and cause more pain. You’ll undoubtedly rattle someone hit with a set of them.

My brass knuckles from Empire Tactical certainly seem to strike with some real force when tossed against a punching bag. They also protect my bare hands from the sting of the punching bag.

Different Kinds of Brass Knuckles

Most people are used to the traditional brass knuckles. They look like my Empire Tactical Bottle Opener. That’s one style, but numerous different types exist. The keychain style models that are shaped like dog or cat heads are common at gun shows and flea markets and certainly fall under brass knuckle laws. Other, more discreet models like this single knuckle by Bastion are more popular and handier due to the additional carbide tip designed for breaking glass.

There are even knuckle dusters made from plastic and hard polymers. While not as effective, they can bypass metal detectors and still add some stick to your punch.

Companies like Nicknuk make very discreet impact weapons that slide between your knuckles and work and have the same function as any other brass knuckles. Suarez International also produces a few different weapons that sit in the hand and increase punching power.

The Catch

While brass knuckles are effective at punching someone and causing pain, if I’m going to draw a weapon, it’s going to be a gun. The smaller, more discreet knuckles are a better option and can be carried a little easier. However, as many know, they are still illegal to carry in many places.

If it is legal in your states to carry a knuckle-based weapon, I’d choose a small and discreet type. Something easy to carry, and preferably hard to identify as a weapon.

Some can be quite discrete

Brass Knuckles have an undeniable charm. They shouldn’t be treated as they are by the law. They do increase the damage of a punch but they aren’t a great self-defense option. I can think of a few weapons that are more effective and just as easy to carry, but the cool factor is why I ordered my rather heavy and large bottle opener.

Related: Noogie “Brass Knuckles” Tactical Bottle Opener


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Passing of the Torch: Boyds Gunstocks now under New Ownership [The Firearm Blog]

boyds gunstocksBoyds Gunstocks Industries Inc, as of January 2nd this year, is under the new ownership of Dustin Knutson and Rob Carstensen who have been with Boyds for a combined 24 years. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2020 – Boyds Gunstocks Industries in Mitchell, South Dakota, is proud to announce that as of January 2, 2020, ownership […]

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SdKfz 2 Kettenkrad: Germany’s Halftrack Motorcycle [Forgotten Weapons]

The Sd.Kfz. 2 Kettenkraftrad (aka Kettenrad) is a deliciously German sort of vehicle, a small utility tractor made with a pair of treads and motorcycle front wheel. It was powered by a 4 cylinder Opel automotive engine generating 36 horsepower, and had a 3-speed gearbox with high and low range transfer case. Top speed was 44 mph, and it could tow about 1,000 pounds of ammunition or other supplies in a small 2-wheeled trailer, or directly tow light artillery pieces.

The vehicle was developed in 1939, and in mass production in time to see substantial use in Operation Barbarossa; the German invasion of Russia. Although complex to maintain and expensive to produce, the Kettenkrad was quite well suited to the terrain and distances of the Eastern Front. As the war progressed and supplies became scarcer and artillery became heavier it was less universally useful, but remained in service until the very end of the war, tasked with jobs as mundane as towing aircraft at airfields. After the war, they were put into civilian agricultural service (much like the Jeep in the US).

This example is in the rental fleet at, available for instruction and driving to anyone. It is one of my very favorite vehicles form World War Two, and I really appreciate DriveTanks giving me the opportunity to do some driving on it and show it to you!


MUST HAVE: New TacSol Owyhee .22LR Takedown Bolt Action Rifle [The Firearm Blog]

MUST HAVE: New TacSol Owyhee .22LR Takedown RifleI’ll save you all my standard rant about how awesome rimfire cartridges are and jump right into Tactical Solutions’ latest release. The TacSol Owyhee is a bolt action .22LR rifle built on a takedown platform that utilizes a custom Magpul X-22 Backpacker furniture setup. The rifle looks nearly identical to the company’s X-Ring takedown rifles […]

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Wednesday, 15 January


Virginia: Senate Voting On Anti-Gun Bills Tomorrow! [NRA-ILA News]

The anti-gun majority continues to fast track their agenda. On January 16th, the full Virginia Senate will be holding floor votes on the gun control bills that only left committee on Monday.


West Virginia: Committee to Hear Important Preemption Bill Tomorrow [NRA-ILA News]

On January 16th, the West Virginia Senate Government Organization Committee will hear Senate Bill 96, which would strengthen West Virginia’s preemption law.


Debney Out at AOBC/Smith & Wesson On Eve Of SHOT Show []

James Debney, CEO and President of American Outdoor Brands, was dismissed by the Board of Directors today. He had been slated to be the CEO of the American Outdoor Brands sporting goods segment when the company splits later this year.

From The Guardian

From the news release:

American Outdoor Brands Corporation, today announced that its Board of Directors has named Mark P. Smith and Brian D. Murphy as co-Presidents and co-Chief Executive Officers of American Outdoor Brands Corp., effective immediately.   Smith was most recently President of the Manufacturing Services Division of the company, while Murphy was most recently President of the Outdoor Products & Accessories Division.  In their co-leadership roles, Smith and Murphy succeed James Debney, who has separated as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of the company, following the determination by the Board of Directors that he engaged in conduct inconsistent with a non-financial company policy.

The “inconsistent” conduct was not specified in the release.

Mark Smith was already slated to head the new Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. after the spin-off.

Brian Murphy is now going to become the CEO and President of American Outdoor Brands, Inc. after the company is split into a sporting goods segment and a firearms segment.

Coming just before SHOT Show starts in less than a week, this is an interesting development.

The new release goes on to quote the Chairman of the Board Barry Monheit as saying:

We appreciate James’ contributions toward the growth and development of our company and its infrastructure.  The Board believes the company is fortunate to have two highly capable and experienced leaders in Mark Smith and Brian Murphy.  Each has played a critical role in the development of our strategic plans, including our intention to establish each business as an independent, publicly traded company.  In addition, Mark and Brian have each demonstrated, through years of leadership and service, their extensive knowledge of and passion for our company, our customers, and our industries.  Their capabilities and objectives position them well to share the combined CEO role as the team completes the separation of our two businesses later in 2020.  The Board has every confidence that they will provide the vision and determination to lead each independent company and its highly respected brand portfolio toward a successful future.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the spokesperson for the company did not provide any details on why Debney was fired beyond what is contained in the news release. Their article also takes note that the firing occurred just days before the SHOT Show was to begin.

Debney earned $3.76 million in compensation for the last year. Most of that compensation was due to bonuses and stock awards on top of his $750,000 salary.

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Best AR Pistol Caliber For Home Defense [The Firearm Blog]

Often times, I get questions from people about what would be the best caliber for ARs in the home. Typically, a handgun with some sort of flashlight or light/laser combo will be a better option since it’s easier to move with a handgun than with a large rifle. Handguns also give you a free hand […]

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POTD: Long Range Marksmanship with the .50 BMG [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – Looking at the Barrett M107A1 (above) and the Remington M2010 sniper rifles, as used by snipers conducting long-range marksmanship drills. This happened at the Orchard Combat Training Center. The life of a spotter can sometimes be to function as a bipod. The signature from this rifle is “a little” less than from […]

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The 6 Hottest Guns of SHOT Show EVER (Well…Since 2015) [The Firearm Blog]

Please subscribe to TFBTV Show Time with this link! So do you want to know what the SIX HOTTEST GUNS OF SHOT SHOW EVER are? Well, James Reeves of TFBTV talks about that in this video. That “that” is the 6 most popular TFBTV SHOT Show videos from 2015-2019. What were the 6 most […]

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Wheelgun Wednesday: Colt King Cobra Target .357 Magnum Review [The Firearm Blog]

cobra targetFor those of us on the double-action bandwagon that have been waiting for Colt to produce something in a large-frame like the wheelguns of old, this is it. Colt has been taking their sweet time starting with the smaller, snubby Cobra offerings and have finally built their way to the King Cobra Target. This intermediate size […]

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Anti-Gun Bill Pre-Filed in the Oregon Legislature [NRA-ILA News]

Today, the Joint Interim Committee on Judiciary held a work session on LC 38, a firearm storage mandate bill that was pre-filed for the 2020 Legislative Session. This bill contains some of the same egregious provisions from SB 978 that failed to pass last year. These same provisions are also found in Initiative Petition 40 that has been filed for the 2020 Election.


BREAKING: SOCOM Testing SIG Beltfed – MG 338 [The Firearm Blog]

SOCOM MG 338SIG Sauer have announced that their light weight medium machine gun, the MG 338, has been purchased by US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM). The guns weigh under 20lbs and are chambered in .338 Norma Magnum giving the gun an effective range out to 2000 metres. The gun uses a short-stroke gas piston system and SIG […]

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ITAR For FFLs – End Of USML Control For Certain Firearms, Guns, Ammo [The Firearm Blog]

Itar for FFLsAbout a year ago we reported on the possibility of easing the burden on Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders in terms of the International Trafficking of Arms (ITAR) regulatory requirements. ITAR for FFLs is inherently confusing: while dealers usually aren’t required to obtain an ITAR license, manufacturers can be subject to the regulations, even if […]

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Reassemble a Ruger 22 Pistol in 16 Seconds []

If you have ever torn down a Ruger Mark series 22 pistol for cleaning, you know it can be tricky to get it back together correctly. This video by someone calling himself “Hammer Striker” shows what he calls “the best way” to do it. I’ve fought one or two of these in the past, so I figured I’d check it out.

A few decades ago, my father gave me a Ruger Mark I pistol, and I had a heck of a time getting it back together after I cleaned it thoroughly. The manual was no help, and in those pre-Internet days (the horror!), I had to figure it out for myself. Somewhere in my old gun paperwork is a sheet of paper with some handwritten text describing how to do this — because even in my early 20s I couldn’t trust myself to remember the tricks!

Written in the sloppy cursive of my youth. Can young folks today even read it? (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Written in the sloppy cursive of my youth. Can young folks today even read it?
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Now in these YouTube days, such knowledge can be accessed much more easily.

If you are not a fan of long intros, skip the first 30 seconds.

From the video description:

This process works on all Mark series guns, even the current Mark III and 22/45 Lite (note that magazine disconnect, if present, will slow you down but procedure still works).

These pistols are often ignored due to their infamously difficult reassembly. In this video we will demonstrate a step-by-step process to disassemble and reassemble this pistol without the nightmares. (I will show reassembling the action in just 16 seconds!)

It’s a thorough video which does a good job of showing what you do — and equally importantly, telling you why you’re doing it.

Enjoy… and maybe now you will use that nice old Ruger pistol more often.

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Bucks With Locked Antlers Separated by Gunshot []

In this video, we first see & hear an intro, describing what you are about to see — which is a pair of whitetail bucks two guys stumbled upon, with their antlers locked together. The deer were lying still on the shore of a creek and they thought the deer were dead — but one of them was still alive.

After the intro, we see video of the living buck struggling in the creek bed, trying to wrest itself free of the dead one. We hear some talk, which includes the one fellow suggesting that he go back to their vehicle to retrieve his handgun and try to shoot off one of the dead buck’s antlers.

Shoot it off!

After they agree to that, we watch the bucks struggle for some time. At some points, I started to wonder how long the live one could hold up his head, weighted as it is with his dead and sodden former foe.

Around the 4-minute mark, the deputy comes back with his shootin’ iron. The two guys talk, which riles the buck and sparks renewed struggle on his part.

Then we cut to a scene where the buck has calmed down and presented a shot. He fires, and bits of antler fly as water splashes! But the deer remain tangled. Another shot frees the deer, which runs away shaking its head.

The big buck pauses on the opposite bank of the creek, and I wanted to see what it was going to do next… but our camera man decides to swing around and show his buddy instead.

All in all, it’s about as good a bit of antler-shooting as I’ve seen.


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TFB Review: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision 9mm [The Firearm Blog]

xd-m eliteLeading into SHOT Show 2020, Springfield Armory has announced their New XD-M Elite series of handguns all chambered in the world’s favorite cartridge of 9mm. When Springfield Armory reached out to TheFirearmBlog asking if we would like to check out one of their XD-M Elite pistols ahead of their announcement date we absolutely seized the […]

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Alert! Florida REPUBLICAN Senators Vote for Massive Gun Control Bill [NRA-ILA News]

On Monday, 1/13/20, it happened again.  Senate President Bill Galvano picked a fight with Floridians who believe in the constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is well known -- even by the media -- that in 2018 Bill Galvano orchestrated the creation and passage of the "Parkland Gun Control Bill."  And, of course, it didn't stop gun crime or criminals.  It only took away rights of law-abiding people.


Last-Minute 14-Point Georgia Buck May Set a Record []

Georgia’s deer hunting season is long, with modern gun season spanning roughly three months. Lots of deer are taken during this time, and where I hunt the deer are already shifting towards a nocturnal pattern before the middle of the season. But the end of the season, most mature deer lie low most of the time, especially during daylight hours… but I was out there on the last day, nonetheless. Sadly for me, I saw zero deer from the stand — unlike Justin Peterson of Heard County, who bagged a massive 14-point monster buck in the final minutes of the season.

According to the GON article, he first saw game cam photos of the huge buck on Christmas Eve. He relocated his stand and hunted the elusive beast for a few weeks, which kept showing up on camera JUST after dark. On the last day of the season, forecast rain threatened to spoil his last hunt, so he took a walk through the woods around noon.

‘I looked at the forecast and told my wife that I probably wouldn’t be able to sit in the stand, but I decided to take a walk through the area I had been hunting him at about noon before the rains moved in,’ said Justin. ‘As I was walking near my stand, I jumped him. I managed to get my scope on him, but I just couldn’t get a clear shot.’

He hastily returned home to gather his gear for a sit and made his way back to his tree stand shortly after 3 p.m., hoping he hadn’t spooked the buck too far away.

Justin settled into his stand just a few hours before dark, looking to finally get a shot at the buck. The huge deer made an appearance as the final minutes of daylight were fading.

‘I looked down at my phone to see what time it was, and when I looked back up, I saw a deer standing about 85 yards in front of me, but its front quarters were blocked by a pine tree. I realized that it was larger than the does I had been seeing, and then he stepped out from behind the tree and I saw his antlers.’

Justin wasted no time in shouldering his rifle and placing a perfect shot on the buck, dropping him where he stood.

‘It was just an adrenaline rush, and I started calling people that I had been telling about this buck for the past few weeks,’ said Justin. ‘It’s incredible. I’m really thankful to God that I was able to get him.’

No weight was given for the big buck, but the 14-point rack — with double brow tines! — rough-scored 190 inches gross. Official scores include deductions, so when the dust settles after the official drying time this one might add up to “only” 160-170 B&C points.

The current record for the west Georgia county of Heard was taken in 1977, which scored 176 4/8.

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Strike Industries Introduces the Colby Duty Belt [The Firearm Blog]

Strike Industries Colby Duty BeltStrike Industries has just introduced the Colby Duty Belt. The Colby duty belt is designed to be worn all day without discomfort. The belt is put together in such a way that it allows the user to symmetrically adjust the length of the belt on both sides so that the loop back areas do not […]

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New Scope Mount from PGM Precision France [The Firearm Blog]

The French company PGM Precision in the French Alps was created back in 1993. In 1995 they won the tender for the .50 BMG / 12.7 mm caliber Hecate II rifles for the French army, which has been used by all infantry regiments and the French Special Forces. Since then they have created rifles like […]

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Oh! The Horror! []

Magpul donated 1,000 30-round PMags for the NRA to give out to those who attended the January 13th NRA rally at the Virginia State Capitol. Duane Liptak, Magpul’s Executive VP, is a member of the NRA Board of Directors. Bear in mind that a magazine ban is one of the agenda items for anti-gun Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly. A magazine ban, I should add, that has no grandfathering.

Giving out 30-round PMags was reminiscent of what Magpul did for rallies in Vermont in 2018 and in Colorado in 2013. In other words it was nothing new. Nonetheless, the gun prohibitionists at the Cult of Personality known as Giffords have their panties in a wad over this.

Gun rights advocates from around the country are urging armed protesters to descend on Virginia’s capital before the General Assembly’s first legislative session of 2020 to stop Democrats from passing gun-control bills.

The NRA is even getting involved by offering to hand out 30 round magazines to protesters for free if they show up.

Tweet from the NRA: EMERGENCY AIRLIFT: @Magpul_HQ sent us 1,000 30 Round PMAGs to hand out tomorrow in Richmond to NRA members who show up to fight Northam's extreme gun ban! We'll see everyone TOMORROW at the General Assembly Building in Senate Sub-Committee Room1 on the 5th Floor at 8am!

A 30 round magazine was used to shoot this organization’s co-founder, Gabby Giffords, kill six people and injure 12 others in Tucson.

First off no magazine of any size can be used “to shoot” anyone. A magazine is merely a container. It, more importantly, just like a firearm is an inanimate object that cannot do anything unless it is used by human being.

In Ms. Giffords’ case, the murderer in Tucson had a Glock pistol as his weapon of choice. He did have a Glock 18 knock-off magazine that jammed when he was reloading allowing heroic bystanders to end his rampage.

The killer bought it legally after passing a FBI NICS check. That he was able to pass such a check despite evidence of mental issues was due to the failure of school authorities to report his behavior and due to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department ignoring his actions. The latter was due to a friendly relationship between the killer’s mother and Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.

Giffords and other such organizations who send out these pleas for money rely on shock value and the decay of memory with regard to past events. That it is dishonest has never stopped them in the past and won’t stop them in the future. Fortunately, there are both the Internet and those of us with long memories to set the record straight.

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VA governor to ban guns at 2A rally [Of Arms and the Law]

Governor Northam has plans, yes, plans. An armed society is a polite society, so I'd expect this to be the most orderly and polite assembly in ages. I'd certainly be researching just what are a governor's powers to declare an emergency and outlaw otherwise legal behavior during it.


SIG Sauer Introduce .277 SIG Fury Cartridge [The Firearm Blog]

SIG Sauer have released their 2020 catalog and there’s lots of new products to get excited about but one thing that jumped out at me was the introduction of a new cartridge – 277 SIG Fury. Developed by SIG Sauer the new round is the result of their work on the US Army’s 6.8mm Next Generation […]

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Who IS Really Pulling The Strings []

Chris Muir’s Day by Day Cartoon for Monday nails it as to who is really calling the shots in Virginia.

I guess that is what Northam will be doing this afternoon – shuffling out there like a good boy for the media.

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AR-15 Gun Lock Defeated With A LEGO Astronaut [The Firearm Blog]

LockPickingLawyer LegoIn the world of Gun Locks, there is no shortage of products out there that fall into the “bad” category. Although none of them seem to be quite as bad as the one that YouTube personality LockPickingLawyer defeated with nothing more than a LEGO Astronaut figure. LockPickingLawyer is true to his namesake, being both a lawyer […]

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Washington: “Gun-Free Zone” Bill on Senate Floor [NRA-ILA News]

On January 13th, the Washington Senate pulled Senate Bill 5434 from the Senate Rules Committee back to the floor, where it can receive a vote at any time. SB 5434 was retained as a carry-over bill from 2019 that would expand “gun-free zones.”


Northam Issues Temporary Ban On Firearms On VA Capitol Grounds []

One of the first acts of the new Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly was to ban firearms in the State Capitol and the adjacent office building. The new rule went into effect as of 11:59pm Friday, January 10th. This was done on a straight party line vote.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) has gone the General Assembly one better – or worse.

AP File Photo

From the Associated Press:

Fearing a repeat of the deadly violence that engulfed Charlottesville more than two years ago, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam plans to declare a temporary emergency Wednesday banning all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square ahead of a massive rally planned next week over gun rights.

That’s according to two state officials who were briefed on the plans but not authorized to speak publicly about them. The governor, a Democrat, plans to announce the plans at a news conference Wednesday afternoon because of credible threats of potential violence and extremism, one official said.

Supposedly, there were “inflammatory” postings by out-of-state pro-gun groups. I don’t suppose they are talking about the NC House Republican Caucus who will be sending representatives to Lobby Day.

They also managed to throw the words “militia” and “Charlottesville” into the conversation. Unless there is an Antifa-wing of the Demanding Mommies that I don’t know about, this is just so much hyperbole.

Northam’s declaration will also ban helmets and shields. I guess any Viking Norsemen will have to leave them at home.

Northam and his backers attempts to portray honest gun owners seeking to petition their own legislature for redress is nothing short of an attempt to delegitimize them. It is an “othering”. It is straight out of Rule 13 of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

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The Tactician’s Tool – NEW Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 9mm Series [The Firearm Blog]

xd-m eliteLeading into SHOT Show 2020, Springfield Armory would like to introduce you to a NEW tier of factory quality out of one of their polymer series of handguns with the XD-M Elite! It is supremely popular for people to take their favorite high capacity guns and trick them out to their liking. The reasoning can […]

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Pre-SHOT Show Releases, Part 2 []

The FN Mk20 SSR and the civilian variant FN SCAR 20S have been out since 2016. They are the long range precision version of the SCAR-17 aka SCAR Heavy. They traditionally have been chambered in 7.62×51 NATO.

FN America has now released the FN SCAR 20S in 6.5 Creedmoor.

For 2020, FN announces new advancements in the legendary FN SCAR® 20S – now chambered in the superb long range cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor. Perfectly calibrated for long-range precision fire, the FN SCAR® 20S in 6.5 Creedmoor gives you the ability to engage targets exceeding 1,000 yards with ease. The chrome lined barrel of new FN SCAR® 20S  will deliver precision accuracy with improved barrel life. The gas-operated piston design and Surefire ProComp 762 muzzle device manage recoil efficiently to improve follow-up shots and maintain target acquisition. Lending further aid is the match-grade, two-stage trigger that breaks crisply at 3.5-4.5 pounds, full-length MIL-STD 1913 rail at 12 o’clock position, and fixed buttstock providing adaptability to fit to each user’s needs through adjustable length of pull and cheek rest height.

The rifle will be available in both flat dark earth (FDE) and black.

The trigger is a Geissele 2-stage match trigger (Geissele Super SCAR). The 20 inch barrel is cold hammer-forged and chrome lined. The weight of the 6.5 CM SCAR 20S will come in at 11.6 pounds.

The price? MSRP is $4,499.

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No Strings Attached: The New Umarex AirSaber Arrow Rifle [The Firearm Blog]

Umarex AirSaber Arrow RifleThe New Umarex AirSaber Umarex USA is a popular manufacturer of airsoft pistols, rifles as well as air guns and paintball guns. Just released, the new Umarex AirSaber Arrow Rifle is the company’s latest offering to the airgun market. Hunters will love this lethal archery option that gives the arrow more speed and power than […]

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Geissele Automatics Acquire 240LW & 240LWS Design from Barrett Firearms Mfg. [The Firearm Blog]

Geissele & BarrettGeissele Automatics have announced the acquisition of the technical data packages and intellectual property for the 240LW and 240LWS lightweight general purpose machine guns developed by Barrett Firearms Mfg. Geissele announced the news on their social media earlier today, saying they look forward to “adding our forged long life barrels and Nanoweapon coating to provide the U.S. warfighter […]

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The Regulator By Matador Arms — Adjust it []

Matador Arms is a little Canadian company that makes some excellent products. They are a small company, but their products are outstanding and often very innovative. The Regulator is a new muzzle device that’s designed to be adjustable. Adjustable muzzle devices aren’t exactly new, but the Regulators take on the design is. Most adjustable muzzle devices require a tool and small screws that block specific ports. The Regulator requires no tools to adjust and can be adjusted to over 60 different positions. The Regulator comes in 9mm, 5.56, 308, and 6.5.

It’s a four-piece system. It is compromised of the brake, a small spring, a cover, and a locking nut. Installation is quick and straightforward, but I won’t bore you with that. The instructions are easy to follow.

The locknut is the key to adjusting the brake. If you start with it tightened all the way down the brake will be fully closed. As you turn the locknut the spring will push the cover forward and reveal the ports. It’s simple and easy to adjust.

The Regulator and 60+ Settings?

60+ settings seem to be a bit much right? It’s not a lie, but most of us don’t need 60+ different settings. The settings are each a turn of the locknut that will slowly grow the ports as you adjust it. Technically you can count each turn a setting, but it’s a bit generous.

That’s not to take away from the Regulator, and it just ensures you understand what the settings are considered. I installed the Regulator on my Kel-Tec SUB 2k. It was one of the few guns I had lacking a muzzle device, and I wanted to see if the device could make a difference on something as light as a 9mm rifle.

The brake is made up of 9 different ports. There are three on the right and left side of the brake and three on top of the device. The Regulator acts as both a compensator and a muzzle brake. These hybrid designs will reduce both muzzle rise and recoil. Once Installed, and properly shimmed, I hit the range to see what the benefits of the Regulator.

Playing with Adjustment

I hit the gun range early in the morning, right after the sun had risen. The light was mild, and I chose this time for a reason. One of the downsides of these devices is that they tend to create a bit of flash, making it uncomfortable for the shooter in low light situations. On top of that, I chose some hotter Winchester 9mm NATO loads to see some flash.

Fully Closed

Fully closed, there is no flash, and of course no recoil or muzzle rise reduction. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a handy setting. Having it fully closed also prevents the famously loud nature of brakes. A closed Regulator would work great in an indoor range by cutting noise. It’s neighborly to your fellow range mates. Also in low light, there is no flash visible to the shooter.

Opened Halfway

Carefully opening the break to the halfways position gives you moderate recoil and muzzle reduction. There is very clearly a noticeable difference. Muzzle rise is very mild, and the sights move a hair off target before instantly resettling back on target. Also, no noticeable muzzle flash in the half-opened position. It was admittedly brake-like in its noise level. Even with my Peltor 500s on, I noticed the difference between port positions.


Fully Opened

Dialing this bad boy to 11 is where we saw a massive difference. With the device fully opened, there is almost no muzzle rise. The front sight shakes a little, and that’s it. It was impressive. I dialed back to fully closed fired three shots rapidly and then opened it fully and fire three rapid shots. The difference between the two is significant. Another difference is most certainly the noise. It’s much louder and more abrasive. There was also no noticeable flash, but in actual low light scenarios, there may be a difference. There is a noticeable difference in the gas released. The gas can come back and hit you in the face, causing discomfort.


The device is quite long and a little hefty. It weighs 6.8 ounces and is 3.6 inches long. It’s also 1.08 inches in diameter. These dimensions take the Regulator out of most competition circuits. Also, as you imagine rotating and adjusting the Regulator can be dangerous if it’s hot from a day at the range, so be cautious. Also, as you’d imagine, you have to be careful not to flag yourself with the muzzle. You should also clear the weapon before operating the Regulator.

Final Thoughts

A 9mm muzzle brake is a bit much, but it did make a noticeable difference. Delivering a half dozen rounds on target with minimal muzzle movement is helpful. The Regulator would be better suited on more powerful weapons, but I shoot 9mm way more than I shoot 308. The Regulator is well made, and the design is somewhat ingenious. Being able to change how your break functions on the fly. It allows you to compromise between muzzle rise and recoil reduction and the presence of flash, noise, and gas. The Regulator is unique as far as muzzle devices go, and I do tend to appreciate innovative ideas.

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Got Wood? NEW Boyds SPIKE CAMP: The Essentials-Only Gunstock [The Firearm Blog]

spike campLeading into SHOT Show 2020, Boyds Gunstocks, the South Dakota-based hardwood gunstock manufacturer, has unveiled a new, more-affordable replacement thumbhole stock dubbed the Spike Camp! This new thumbhole gunstock shape is designed with simplicity in mind, and looks to cut into the gunstock market at a value price that competitors simply cannot reach. This stock […]

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Is the Zastava M70 Z-PAP the Best New AK For the Money? [The Firearm Blog]

In this episode of TFBTV, James Reeves Reviews the NEW Zastava M70 Z-PAP AK-type rifle. The Z-PAP is the newest iteration of Zastava’s legendary M70 PAP series of AK rifles. However, unlike in the past, Zastava has taken importation of these AKs into their own hands. Zastava not only manufactures the M70 Z-PAP, but they […]

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Post-War Paris Police MAS 38 Variation [Forgotten Weapons]

At the end of World War Two, the Paris Police decided that they needed a few different features on a police submachine gun than the then-standard MAS 38 offered. A few hundred were converted to the new police requirements, interestingly mirroring the characteristics that would be used a few years later when the military adopted the MAT 49 to replace the MAS 38. These changes include a barrel shroud, collapsing wire stock, and a folding magazine well. In addition, a selector lever was added to allow semiautomatic fire (the original MAS 38 was full auto only).

Thanks to the French Ministry of the Interior for providing me access to this MAS 38 to bring to you!

Tuesday, 14 January


Gen. Flynn moves to withdraw guilty plea [Of Arms and the Law]

Story here. The story (and most others) says that he withdraws his plea. Actually, he moves to withdraw it. The court can agree, or reject it. But I am sure he has a powerful argument. And a powerful advocate!


Davidson County Becomes 10th NC County To Adopt 2A Resolution []

The Davidson County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 tonight to adopt a resolution declaring the county a “Second Amendment Protected County”. Davidson thus become the tenth county in the state to adopt a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution or the equivalent.

Resolution – Second Amendment Protection 1-14-20 v3 by jpr9954 on Scribd

In similar news, the North Carolina House Republican Caucus have adopted a letter stating that they support the cities and counties in Virginia that have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries. By extension, that would also include these NC counties that have done likewise.

From Freshman Majority Leader Steve Jarvis (R-Davidson) on Facebook:

The signers of the letter include Speaker Tim Moore and Majority Leader John Bell Freshman Majority Leader Steve Jarvis as well as 47 other members. Representative Kidwell will attend a rally on January 20th where he and several other members of the North Carolina House of Representatives including Rep Michael Speciale (Craven) and Rep Bobby Hanig (Currituck) will present the letter to the members of the Virginia legislature. “It is our hope that we can impress upon the Virginia legislature the importance of protecting the rights of the people they represent”. Said Rep. Kidwell. As stated in the letter, North Carolina and Virginia have stood together beginning with the revolution, and it is the hope of the signers of this letter of support that we will continue to stand with the citizens as their rights are being attacked in much the same way they were under colonial rule.

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TFB Review: Colorado Tripod – Series 2 Centennial Carbon Fiber Tripod [The Firearm Blog]

Shooters have been utilizing camera tripods as shooting rests for a while now. The camera industry, as well as the firearm industry, has made the jump to carbon fiber to make lighter and stronger components. We will take a look at a relatively new-comer to the firearm tripod market. Colorado Tripod and their Series 2 […]

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POTD: B&T APC9 Pro with Aimpoint ACRO [The Firearm Blog]

Today’s Photo Of The Day is very Swiss: Swiss firearm and Swiss photographer. The best part of this photo is that I’ve got a very similar setup myself, and I highly recommend the Magpul K2+ grip as well. If you have the B&T Pro lower you can change the pistol grip, on the original version […]

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California: Fresno City Council to Discuss CCWs in City Hall [NRA-ILA News]

On Thursday, January 16, at 9:00 am in the City Council Chamber of City Hall, the Fresno City Council is meeting to discuss and vote on ordinance 20-005.


HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? Even the Joker Can’t Tell If This is Serious or Not [The Firearm Blog]

hot gat or fudd crapWelcome everyone to the 38th edition of ‘Hot Gat or Fudd Crap?’, one of our many series here on TFB. If you’re new to the series, this is where we look at the most obscure firearms that are actually for sale and ask the question – is this Gat a sweet deal or does it […]

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A Homemade Belt-Fed Full-Auto Shotgun? Yes, Please! []

In this pair of short-but-sweet videos, we see the delightful product of an inventive mind: A fully-automatic belt-fed 12 gauge shotgun! Oh my.

We have seen homemade guns before. You have probably even seen homemade machineguns before. But have you ever seen a homemade machinegun which fires 12 gauge shotgun shells — and which is belt-fed, thus not requiring a magazine?

Well, now’s your chance.

It’s pretty wonderful to me, but it jams a number of times in the video — which is only 32 seconds long. So I’d say it is in need of refinement… but it sure does look like fun.

Here’s another video of what appears to be the same belt-fed shotgun machinegun (I really enjoy saying that) — if not, it’s very similar — and again, it jams pretty often. But oh, the BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM when it does run is well worth the watch!

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CMMG Introduces 5.7 AR Kits & Guns [The Firearm Blog]

Pistol, Banshee™ 300, Mk4, 5.7 x 28mmCMMG have launched their new 5.7 AR conversion kit, individual parts and pistols. The CMMG MK4 5.7 Upper and a 40 round conversion mag will allow any AR-15 to be converted to chamber 5.7x28mm in seconds. The new conversion kits and pistols follow on from the Banshee Mk57 5.7×28 pistol released in 2018, which used the […]

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Gallup poll [Of Arms and the Law]

Gun policy second most important issue. Of course, there may be plenty who consider it important because they oppose gun control... 46% of Demos and 26% of Repubs rank it as important, and the latter number likely reflects this (and likely some of the former one, too).


‘Good Guy With Gun’ Receives Texas’ Highest Honor []

Remember Jack Wilson, the armed citizen who ended a mass killing inside a Texas church, proving that a good guy with a gun is the best defense about bad guys with guns? If not, you can read about him by clicking here. In short, when a man fatally shot two churchgoers with a shotgun on December 29, 2019, Jack Wilson — head of church security as well as a deacon — drew his pistol and fired on the murderer as soon as he could safely do so. He hit the bad guy in the head, immediately ending the crime seconds after it began.

Turns out, the governor of Texas Greg Abbott thinks Mr. Wilson did a great thing, so on January 13, 2020 he awarded Jack the Governor’s Medal of Courage, “the state’s highest civilian honor.”

During the ceremony, Wilson reportedly said this:

When events arise, you’re going to do one of two things. You’re either going to step up and do what’s right or walk away. And I’m not one to walk away.

The reason he got the medal? It is Texas’s way of recognizing and honoring when someone performs “great acts of heroism by risking their own safety to save another’s life.”

Gov. Abbott was quoted as saying he “thanks God” for Wilson, adding “You are a hero to the people of Texas.”

I agree with the governor on that. Mr. Wilson, however, reportedly said. “I feel more as a protector than I do as a hero.”

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U.S. Army goes for SIG SAUER 300 Win Mag Sniper Ammunition [The Firearm Blog]

For whenever you want to reach out a little bit further, and strike a little bit harder the caliber .300 Win Mag is a good choice. Just ask TFB’s Austin R who recently reviewed the Barret MRAD in 300 Win Mag. In fact, he used SIG Sauer’s new Elite Hunter 300 Win Mag with very […]

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Maryland: Gun Control Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearings in Both Chambers [NRA-ILA News]

Multiple General Assembly committees are scheduled to consider anti-gun bills tomorrow, January 15.


Auto-Ordnance Introduces Custom Liberty 1911 [The Firearm Blog]

Hot on the heals of their commemorative Iwo Jima Series Thompson Auto-Ordnance have announced a custom Liberty 1911. Featuring their customary eye-catching style, the new 1911 has ‘Don’t Tread’ motif courtesy of Auto-Ordnance’s custom partner, Outlaw Ordnance. Auto-Ordnance’s previous custom WWII-themed 1911, the Victory Girls, appeared back in April 2018. Here’s what Auto-Ordnance have to […]

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Minnesota: Hearing on Pro- and Anti-Gun Bills Scheduled [NRA-ILA News]

On Tuesday, January 21, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing on both anti-gun and pro-gun legislation.


Three More North Carolina Counties Adopt 2A Resolutions (Updated) []

County Commissioners in three more North Carolina counties have adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions. Adding Beaufort, McDowell, and Stokes counties to the list now makes nine counties that have adopted some form of a Second Amendment resolution.

My friend Andy Stevens who resides in Stokes County reports that it was standing room only there with over 200 people attending the commissioners’ meeting. It was a 5-0 vote in favor of the resolution. As you can see below, the resolution declares Stokes to be a “Constitutional Rights Protection County for Second Amendment Rights”.

2nd Amendment PDF by jpr9954 on Scribd

McDowell County called their resolution a “Second Amendment Endorsement”. Also on their agenda was an agreement to open a public shooting range. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of their “endorsement” as it isn’t on their website. I have requested a copy of it from the McDowell County Clerk’s Office.

Beaufort County became the first eastern North Carolina county to adopt a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution. The Beaufort County Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution passed 5-2. As a historical aside, Beaufort County is the sixth oldest existing county in North Carolina and was founded in 1705.

Old Beaufort County Courthouse, Built 1786

In addition to adopting this resolution, they also considered a resolution allowing county employees with concealed handgun permits to carry in most county buildings. The resolution stated they wanted their county employees to be able to protect themselves from “the wrongful, purposeful evil intent of the deranged individual.” The author of this resolution, Commissioner Stan Deatherage, pulled his resolution and will resubmit it after some tweaks.

2020 01 13 Regular Meeting Agenda by jpr9954 on Scribd

UPDATE: Thanks to the very quick response from McDowell County County Clerk Cheryl Mitchell, I now have the resolutions adopted by the Board of Commissioners yesterday. It actually goes beyond merely “endorsing” the Second Amendment to actually declaring that McDowell County is a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

McDowell 2nd Amendment by jpr9954 on Scribd

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Prepper Sharecropping []

Back in the day when I was a kid it was common for farm “help” families to share with the farm owner in the work and the profit yields. That was known as sharecropping. It gave the workers an extra incentive to put in an additional level of effort since they would benefit from producing a good crop. This is something that preppers can consider for sharing a garden or other food producing investment.

In some urban areas it is possible to find co-operative sites that allow people to plant gardens for personal use. If you can find a willing partner to share in the cost and work the produce coming from such a garden could be shared to help each family. There are issues here of course in working out a truly shared yield, but also in protecting your own investment from outside pilfering. Choose your sharecrop location carefully.

Such situations can work for those planning a bug in or a bug out. All you need is to isolate a piece of ground that can be tilled for planting a host of vegetables. It is amazing that small areas of vacant land can be found for planting a garden. Right up from my house now in a residential area is a vacant lot that could be used for such as purpose. Look around and be creative as to what you can find.

If you go this route, lay out a planting plan and document the cost of the effort. You’ll need basic tools, which you may already have, seeds, plants, fertilizer, and maybe insect sprays or powders and other supplies to install a garden to keep it viable. The labor is your contribution to the effort hopefully shared by a partner. Proceed cautiously so that all parties involved are satisfied with the arrangements.

In many areas, there are also truck farms or commercial farms that allow individuals to pick their own vegetables or fruits for a reasonable cost. Get a friend or partner family to share in the harvest of veggies, apples, peaches, berries, melons, whatever crop is available. Share in the work to clean and shell peas, beans, snap beans, and such. Maybe you can also try canning and bottling various produce for later use. Sharing the work and the cost is the idea.

Sharecropping is just another alternative for a prepper family or team to combine efforts to benefit everyone. Co-Op ventures can be a good way to divide the efforts and enjoy the results.

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Jimenez Arms Sued by Kansas City, MO Over Alleged Trafficking [The Firearm Blog]

In a press conference held on January 7th, 2020, Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri announced that the city government was suing Jimenez Arms, Inc. Several co-defendants were named in the lawsuit along with Jimenez, including some local Kansas City-area firearms retailers. The suit alleges that either intentionally or negligently, Jimenez aided and abetted […]

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CREEDMOOR SCAR – FN Announces New Calibers And Colors [The Firearm Blog]

Creedmoor scarThe steady roll to 6.5 Creedmoor long range domination continues as FN announces the release of the SCAR 20S in a new caliber. Banking on the SOCOM support of 6.5CM in the MK20 SSR, FN decided to release the Creedmoor SCAR In the 20S long range platform as match-grade ammo becomes more available and accomplished […]

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350 Legend – Now available in Franklin Armory’s M4-HTF XTD, XO-26 R3 and CA12 [The Firearm Blog]

You may remember the recent CA11 and CA12 from Franklin Armory? It is now time for more Franklin firearms in the caliber 350 Legend. The target market is, of course, restrictive jurisdictions and States. Prices will range from $1,059 to $1,439 depending on which model that interests you. 350 Legend – Now available in our M4-HTF™ XTD, XO-26™ […]

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One Can To Rule Them All? The Griffin Armament BUSHWACKER 46 [The Firearm Blog]

One can To Rule Them All? The Griffin Armament BUSHWACKER 46In general, I am not a big fan of “do it all” suppressors – the features that make them so adaptable can lead to just average decibel reduction performance. But Griffin Armament may have nailed the “one can to rule them all” premise with their latest release. The Griffin Armament BUSHWACKER 46 can handle everything […]

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SIG’s New P365 SAS Model – Coming Soon []

The SIG P365 is a revolutionary concealed carry pistol that SIG is tossing a lot of weight behind. SIG quietly announced the release of a SAS model of the P365. The P365 SAS model is quite different than the original P365 and is designed to be even easier to conceal.

The SIG P365 has changed the game when it comes to concealed carry pistols. This pocket-sized pistol holds ten rounds in a gun roughly the same size as a single stack 9mm. The gun has become immensely popular and SIG Sauer has been supporting the pistol with various magazine sizes, a small parts shopper and two new models. Earlier this year the SIG P365 XL premiered showing off a slightly longer slide, bigger grip, and optic’s compatibility. The P365 SAS Model retains the capacity and size of the original P365 in a SAS configuration.

SAS has nothing to do with the elite British Commandos but stands for SIG Anti-Snag. SAS models of the P229, the P238, and the original P239 also exist. The goal of the SAS pistols is to reduce the profile of the gun and to trim the fat where necessary to reduce the chance of a snag when the gun is drawn. This configuration isn’t as well known as other SIG configurations, but it’s absolutely perfect for the P365.

Inside The P365 SAS

The first thing you are likely to notice is that the weapon does not have a front sight. Also, it doesn’t have a traditional rear sight. The P365 SAS model is fitted with a flush-fitting set of Meprolight FT Bullseye sights. This unique set of sights is tough to explain, but the aiming point is placed all the way to the rear and incorporates both a tritium and fiber optic sight.

Meprolight FT bullseye sights (Courtesy SIG)

It’s similar to the trench sights used on older concealed carry pistol designs. The slide is milled to allow this set of sights to fit flush with the slide. This creates a very snag-free design.

(Courtesy SIG)

The gun is also ported, which may be an odd choice for a CCW. The porting could create more muzzle flash and create discomfort when shooting at night. In my experience, 9mm rounds rarely create much flash. The porting seems to be facing away from the focus point of the FT Bullseye sight as well to help reduce the perception of flash. According to SIG they have a 30 percent decrease in muzzle rise thanks to this porting.

Flush fitting controls (Courtesy SIG)

On the frame, we see cuts to accommodate a flush takedown level and slide lock. SIG has seemingly trimmed and reduced nearly everything they could to produce a truly sang free designed with the P365 SAS model. The biggest benefit will be for those who carry in a deep concealment manner and need to be able to safely and efficiently retrieve their weapon.

(Courtesy SIG)

When and How Much?

There is not an MSRP or release date for the P365 SAS currently, but SIG has advised it’s coming soon. What models of the SIG P365 would you like to see next? Personally, I’d love to see what they could do with a Legion model, but what do you think?

(Cover Image Courtesy of SIG Sauer)

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Virginia: Bill Filed to Eliminate Right-to-Carry Permit Reciprocity! [NRA-ILA News]

In an unhinged effort to attack Virginians’ Second Amendment rights, one member of the Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly is willing to undermine a bipartisan policy advanced by the previous Democratic governor and target one of the state’s most law-abiding constituencies. H.B. 569, introduced by New Jersey native Dan Helmer (HD-40), targets Right-to-Carry permit holders by curtailing Virginia’s reciprocity regime.


Petty Politics [NRA-ILA News]

Freshman Virginia Delegate and New Jersey native Dan Helmer (D-40) pretends he is an advocate for “gun safety,” but his election last year merely sent another petty politician to Richmond whose true agenda is to attack law-abiding gun owners and undermine our right to keep and bear arms.


Matador Arms Mag-X AR-15 Magwell Adapter Now Takes GLOCK Mags [The Firearm Blog]

Matador Arms Mag-X line of adapters is designed to allow converting AR-15 lower receivers to take pistol magazines for pistol caliber carbine builds. Back in April of 2019, when Matador Arms announced the Mag-X adapter, it was available only for SIG Sauer P320 magazines. Later on, at the end of 2019, the company added CZ-75 […]

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Book Review: Browning Auto-5 Shotguns [Forgotten Weapons]

I am normally more interested in military small arms than sporting ones, but the Browning Auto-5 is such an important firearm that it deserves the recognition of and proper small arms enthusiast. It was not only the first long recoil firearm, but also the first viable semiautomatic shotgun – and it remained very popular for many decades. H.M. Shirley, Jr and Anthony Vanderlinden teamed up to write the definitive reference work on the gun, covering everything from prototypes and Browning’s patents as he designed it to the Japanese production almost a century later. The book begins with an excellent extended overview of the history of FN, John Browning, and their collaborations – a section which will be excellent reading for anyone not familiar with that history (and with lots of detail that many folks probably don’t know). It then explains really every aspect of the gun’s production and variation – proofing, barrel marks, different grades and options, mechanics, serial numbers and date codes, special models, engraving, and more. This really is a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in the FN production of the Auto-5!

Available direct from the publisher, or on Amazon:

Monday, 13 January


Treasure Trove Of Firearms: Iowa Gold Star Military Museum [The Firearm Blog]

Iowa Gold Star Military MuseumMy family and I were recently in Des Moines, Iowa and we wanted to check out the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge since it had been on my radar for some time.  I expected to see a few old guns and perhaps some warbirds, but I was completely taken aback by the […]

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POTD: Finnish Veteran Shoots Maxim Gun Again [The Firearm Blog]

At the beginning of January Ruotuvaki, Finland’s armed forces magazine published a story about Hannes Tuovinen, a veteran of the Continuation War, who was reunited with the Finish Maxim M/32-33. As an 18 year old Tuovinen had been trained to use the Maxim M/32-33 and fought during the Continuation War – a conflict separate from but fought concurrently to World War […]

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The Rimfire Report: Testing 22 LR Rimfire Ammunition for Trends [The Firearm Blog]

Rimfire Ammunition TrendsWelcome back to The Rimfire Report where we discuss the various guns, ammunition, and sports surrounding rimfire firearms. I recently came across a post on Reddit by user Bovaloe. In the post, he decided he was going to take 12 different types of rimfire ammo to see if there were any trends associated with each ammunition. […]

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Kentucky: Join NRA for a Pro-Gun Rally on January 31 [NRA-ILA News]

On Friday, January 31, NRA will be teaming up with other pro-gun groups from across Kentucky for a rally supporting your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.


Governor Abbott Presents White Settlement Hero Jack Wilson With Texas’ Medal of Courage [NRA-ILA News]

On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott presented the Governor's Medal of Courage to West Freeway Church of Christ hero Jack Wilson at the Governor's Mansion in Austin.


Virginia: Senate Judiciary Committee* Passes Anti-Gun Bills [NRA-ILA News]

The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee met today and wasted no time in passing gun control bills as their first order of business.


What is an AR-15 receiver? [Of Arms and the Law]

Some interesting thoughts on an emerging legal problem. Bottom line: the upper does a better job of meeting the regulations' very general definition, and there is no specific regulation that says the lower is the receiver.

The obvious solution is a regulation that says the lower is the receiver, but I suspect the agency will be worrying about opening a can of worms, and so won't promulgate such a reg unless forced by circumstances to do so.


TFB Round Table: Is 5.7x28mm an Effective Self-Defense Round? [The Firearm Blog]

Round-TableIt might be premature to say that FN Herstal’s 5.7x28mm cartridge (“5.7”) is experiencing a renaissance, but the cartridge has done something that most proprietary-ish, specialized calibers don’t do: Bask in increased popularity decades after its introduction. Now, in addition to the Five-seveN pistol and the P90, a number of manufacturers have already committed to […]

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West Virginia: Bill Introduced to Strengthen Statewide Preemption [NRA-ILA News]

On Wednesday, January 8, West Virginia state Senator Charles Trump (R-15) introduced Senate Bill 96, which would further expand statewide preemption to include more tools for self-defense, not just firearms.


Gun Control Hearings Planned as Washington Legislature Convenes for the 2020 Legislative Session [NRA-ILA News]

The Washington State Legislature convened for its 2020 Legislative Session today, and anti-gun lawmakers have already scheduled a tentative public hearing on numerous gun control bills.


Coming Soon: The Senior Citizen Defender Pistol Attachment [The Firearm Blog]

Senior Citizen DefenderTo be released this February, the Senior Citizen Defender pistol attachment seeks to make home defense with a handgun more accessible and fun to Second Amendment loving Seniors. This barrel, trigger guard or rail-mounted attachment allows the user to bring his or her non-shooting hand forward of the trigger guard. The Attachment features an integrated […]

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Conqueror Off-Road Campers []

With prepping and survival planning a hot activity these days, a number of new products have been developed to fill certain voids in the supply line. Many preppers have not selected an alternative bug out site, but wish to remain mobile in their SHTF escape. They also desire something more substantial than throwing up a camping tent. This is where Conqueror Campers come in.

Apart from the ordinary by a long shot, Conqueror Off-Road Campers were originally created for sustainability in the harshest of conditions in South Africa. Built for military use, they have now come to America to offer the finest in a self-contained trailer to be towed to any spot desired. The features and components of these trailers are top notch.

Though several models are being manufactured offering an array of features, options, and amenities, the model picked for further detailing here is the UEV 390. It is one of their best-sellers and it is easy to see why.

The base trailer is two-wheeled trailer unit, 50mm ALKO coupler with a standard axle. The 3×16 inch allow wheels come with R245x70x16 all terrain type tires. There are LED tail lights with two heavy duty support legs fitted at the rear. Mud flaps help reduce materials from slinging off the roadway or off-road trails.

The camper when unfolded and set up includes a pop up type tent on top featuring a king sized bed with a large living area below. There is a mini-bar, and a full slide out kitchen. The living area is big enough for an inflatable double bed or two single camping cots.

The kitchen is remarkable. It has multiple storage compartments to compliment the “L” shaped cooking and prep area that slides out of the unit. Features include a frig, freezer, a slide out stainless steel stove, two 4.5kg gas bottles and two 75 liter water tanks. It includes a pressurized water pump and filter, a crockery slide out shelf with crockery set and cutlery.

The trailer has storage galore with two jerry can holders with two military type jerry cans, slide out storage shelves, a bathroom cupboard, and utility bags fitted in the doors. Lighting provided are six LED lights inside the trailer, six LED lights with 5m extensions and plugs. Other accessories are tie down straps, 8 tie down eyelets, a galvanized BBQ grill fitted to the spare wheel, an axe and shovel in mountings, an Oztrail toilet and shower cubicle plus a fire extinguisher. This is the ultimate prepper bug out camping trailer.

Check out all the Conqueror trailer models and complete specifications at If you’re into deluxe camping during trying times, this is the way to go.

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Winter Fishing []

The outdoors season for sportsmen really never ends. There is always some season for something. You just have to plan ahead and be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. So get outside and go fishing.

I have never ice fished, but I would imagine that in the northern climes of America it is in full swing right now. I’ve seen many shows about it and talked to a number of contacts up north about the adventures of ice fishing. It has its own strategies and equipment and can be quite productive in yielding quality catches of fish under the most trying conditions.

In the south, anglers here will jump at the chance to drop a bait if the outside temperatures pop up to the 70s on any given day. That happens a lot more than one might imagine. This past fall and current winter season we have been in a more or less 7 on, 7 off kind of weather trend. Every seven days we get a rain front followed by a cold spell, then a warm up and then more rain again. During that 3-4 day warm up diehard fishermen find a way to catch some fish.

In Mississippi for example we are blessed with a half dozen big Corps of Engineer’s Reservoirs with varying fish structure for bass, crappie, panfish, and catfish. Even on windy days a savvy angler can find a secluded cove to drop a bait or work the cover around the edges of the lake. The fishing will be deeper where the catches are hiding out way under the colder surface waters.

Other than that, the fishing tactics are pretty much the same as spring and summer. Don’t expect the bite to be quite as active, but it certainly can be there on warmer days. Work the usual lake or pond structure from submerged logs, fallen tree tops, stumps, snags, and lily pad cover.

Crappie anglers here especially like to use live minnows if you can find them available this time of year. Silver shiners seem to work best. Without being able to find minnows at local bait dealers, then you’ll have to resort to jigs. Ask around at the docks or fishing supply outlets what sizes and colors work best. The rule of thumb is bright colors for dingy water and subdued colors for clear water. The thing is you have to switch often to find what works.

Sure it may be cold outside or just a cool day, but winter fishing can be fun and productive as well as a break from a long hunting season. Break it up and try some fishing this time of year. You might find you enjoy the change of pace.

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S&W Performance Center Introduces New M&P M2.0 Pistols [The Firearm Blog]

Smith & Wesson have announced the introduction of a series of new M&P M2.0 pistols to their Performance Center line. The new pistols include guns chambered in 9×19 and 40 S&W with ported barrels and slides cut ready for optics. The new C.O.R.E. pistols are described as having “slides cut for optics straight from the […]

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Demanding Moms Channel CSGV In Comments About Lobby Day []

When Ladd Everitt was the communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic), it was a favorite tactic to characterize Second Amendment supporters as “gun extremists”. CSGV’s Executive Director Josh Horwitz took it a step further by calling those who opposed the Obama Administration‘s efforts “insurrectionists“. I was one of those called a “gun extremist” when I challenged the sainted Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) over some of her comments.

In a news release about the VCDL’s Lobby Day next Monday, Moms Demand Action channels CSGV and calls it a “gun extremist rally”.

On January 20th, gun extremists – including out-of-state militia groups – will descend on the Virginia General Assembly, hoping to intimidate lawmakers into rejecting the democratic will of the people who, by wide margins, want (and voted for champions of) common-sense gun safety laws.

The Democrats won control due to court-ordered redistricting. The plan was devised by California-based special master Bernard Grofman of U. California – Irvine and intended to be most favorable to Democrats. It was approved in a 2-1 decision with Obama-appointed Judges Barbara Keenan and Arenda Allen in the majority. Republicans who opposed the new districts called it “legal indefensible” because it was so slanted towards the Democrats.

They portray Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions as “lawless county resolutions”.

Lawless County resolutions, or as gun extremists call them, ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ resolutions, which threaten that officials will  disregard their duty to enforce duly enacted and constitutional laws, have no legal force. The resolutions also threaten the safety of communities nationwide by fostering distrust in law enforcement and may deter people from reporting individuals that may hurt themselves or others.

Since when did promoting respect for God-given, Constitutionally-protected rights become a threat to the safety of communities? That is the kind of argument one would have expected from racial segregationists who opposed school integration in the face of Brown v. Board of Education.

Overflow crowd at the Amelia County hearing

The news release continues and throws in “militia”, “white supremacist”, “Charlottesville”, and “Civil War” for good measure. I’m surprised they didn’t include “Boogaloo” as well. Remembering that Everytown and Moms Demand have the best PR flacks that money can buy, it is obvious that they want to scare both African-Americans and suburban “soccer moms” with this rhetoric. This is the sort of thing that Matt Bracken warned about in his comments on Lobby Day characterizing it as a Charlottesville-style setup.

They end this screed with a few words about their ultimate boogeyman – the NRA.

The NRA has yet to make any public statement disavowing the January 20th event or the various militia groups planning on attending. However, the NRA’s people and rhetoric are intertwined with the January 20th rally. The NRA put out a formal statement supporting the Lawless County resolutions, and former NRA TV personalities like Cam Edwards and Antonia Okafor are listed as speakers at the rally. The NRA has taken out billboards throughout Virginia ominously and baselessly warning of coming “confiscation” of firearms.

While the NRA hasn’t “disavowed” the VCDL’s Lobby Day, they haven’t supported it either. Instead, they came up with their own rally being held today. As to “baselessly warning” about confiscation, a magazine ban without grandfathering certainly meets the standard for confiscation.

We know the Demanding Moms don’t respect the Second Amendment. It is increasingly clear that they don’t support the First Amendment rights of their opponents. The First Amendment ends ” the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That is exactly what the many thousands of Virginians and their supporters from other states will be doing on January 20th.

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MarColMar to make a Limited Edition of the CETME LV/S with SUSAT Sight [The Firearm Blog]

It has been a while since we wrote anything about MalColMar Firearms (Indiana, USA), but anyone who likes historical firearms, optics and the CETME rifles specifically should continue reading. CETME is Spanish for Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales. Their CETME Model L is the last roller-delayed blowback rifle to be adopted by any […]

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NEW AK: KR-103 – 100% Russian 100% American [The Firearm Blog]

Kalashnikov KR103 Made in USAIt is ironic that what might be one of the hottest releases on all of SHOT Show 2020 is 100% Russsian. But – the good news is that it is also 100% American at the same time. This year Kalashnikov USA is launching their new 7.62x39mm KR-103. A Kalashnikov AK rifle that is 100% US made, […]

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Krink, Krinkov, Kalashnikov: The Story of an Icon [The Firearm Blog]

The AKS74U is perhaps one of the more interesting Kalashnikov variants that has spawned a following all over the world due to its compact size and effects as a status symbol in the United States, Middle East, and Central Asia. The name itself is one such example of that following that continues today. Coming from […]

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Overview of Danish Schouboe .45 & .32 Caliber Pistols [Forgotten Weapons]

In 1903, Danish engineer Jens Schouboe began developing an automatic pistol for the Dansk Rekylriffel Syndikat in Copenhagen (later to become the Madsen company). He made the guns in both .32ACP and also in a proprietary Danish .45 caliber based (I believe) on the centerfire conversion of Denmark’s 1867 pinfire revolver. The .45 cartridge used a wood-cored bullet of only about 55 grains weight, traveling at some 1600 fps. Schouboe’s pistol was a simple blowback design with a shrouded hammer and 6-round magazine (10 round in the .32 caliber models).

About 400 or 500 Schouboe pistols were made between 1903 and 1917, but never in a true mass production series. Every known example differs in small details, in addition to the existence of three major patterns (1903, 1907, and 1910, plus potentially a 1916 model). Today we’re going to look at an assortment of Schouboes across this developmental timeline, including two presentation models and one with a holster stock.

For more information, check out Ed Buffaloe’s article on the Schouboe pistols.

Sunday, 12 January


POTD: Russian Sniper Training in Moldavia [The Firearm Blog]

Today we’re going to take a look at what might be hiding in the high grass, so beware. The pictures are from Russian Troops in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Translated from Russian: Snipers of the Task Force of the Russian troops in Transnistria passed the final check Military personnel fired at emerging and moving targets […]

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This Is My Kind Of Sheriff []

Greg Seabolt is the Sheriff of Randolph County, North Carolina. His recent statements regarding Second Amendment Sanctuaries make me proud to say I was born in Randolph County though I haven’t lived there for over 53 years.

From Sheriff Greg Seabolt’s Facebook Page

The Asheboro Courier-Tribune reports that Sheriff Seabolt will be bringing a Second Amendment resolution to the County Commissioners at their meeting on February 3rd.

Seabolt announced his intentions on his Facebook page saying:

My job as the Sheriff of Randolph County is to protect and serve the nearly 145,000 citizens. The laws of this great state are very important and must be enforced to insure the safety of our citizens. The rights of each individual in this country are also very important and must never be modified, misinterpreted or overlooked. These are the rights of our constitution that applies to all citizens of this great nation. We have many people attempting to intrude on those rights and that will not be tolerated. That is the reason I stand firm alongside other Sheriffs across this state to draft a proclamation which will be presented to the county commissioners. This resolution will indicate our intentions of preserving our 2nd amendment right so that all citizens can defend themselves against enemies foreign and domestic and never question their authority to bear arms.

My staff and I have been working diligently to prepare this resolution and our hope is deliver it to the commissioners next month. While the subject of the 2nd Amendment can often divide, we must stand firm and hold true that once our rights are infringed upon, we lose the ability to govern ourselves as our founding fathers imagined.

North Carolina needs more sheriffs like Sheriff Seabolt and fewer like some of the sheriffs in the larger counties.

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Saturday, 11 January


POTD: GSG MP40 in caliber 9×19 – Walther PP in 7.65×17 [The Firearm Blog]

Today’s Photo Of The Day is an MP40 in 9×19 mm together with some other German “parts”. The picture used with permission thanks to Schrombo – check his Instagram out in the link provided. Schrombo wrote: I‘m channeling my inner (and outer) German today This is sadly no original MP40 but rather the semiauto version […]

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When You Have No Grass Roots, This Is How You See It []

When your organization has no real grass roots, you tend to see all real grass roots activities as being directed from above. That’s how you do it so you assume that is how the opposition does it.

This is how Brady United (aka the Brady Campaign) is choosing to portray the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement.

Disturbing so-called “Second Amendment sanctuaries” are a coordinated effort supported by politically motivated, national groups. Since 2018, more than 270 counties have passed resolutions declaring themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” and this number continues to rise. 

Christian Heyne, the Brady VP for Policy, said, ” We are not talking about a grassroots movement. We are talking about a dangerous push from the gun lobby to remain relevant.”

This, of course, is pure, unadulterated bullshit.

What you are seeing in Virginia as in North Carolina is not being directed from Fairfax. If anything, the NRA is late to the game here.

What you are seeing is an organic effort by state and local groups to assert their God-given, Constitutionally-protected rights. This would include state-level groups like the Virginia Citizens Defense League and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

From VCDL in Prince William County, VA

You see Facebook groups springing up like with Rowan County pushing the movement. You see local citizens like in Kenton County, Kentucky recognizing that what is happening in the Virginia General Assembly could happen to them and taking action.

Unlike Brady United who is telling people how to fight Second Amendment Sanctuaries using FOIA requests, no one told my friend and fellow blogger Dave Cole to speak up in Kentucky. And no one has told the thousands and thousands of people who have shown up across Virgina to show up. They were asked and they responded.

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Rowan County Makes The 6th NC Sanctuary County []

Rowan County, North Carolina became the sixth Second Amendment Sanctuary in the state on Friday. The Board of Commissioners adopted their sanctuary resolution unanimously. They join Cherokee, Rutherford, Lincoln, Surry, and Wilkes Counties.

From the Salisbury Post:

In a unanimous vote on Friday, Rowan became the latest North Carolina county to pass a measure referred to as a “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolution. Already, county commissioners in Lincoln, Surry and Wilkes counties have passed similar resolutions. Nearby Davidson, Iredell, Randolph and Alexander counties are considering doing the same, according to media reports.

Rowan’s resolution was brought up for consideration just before commissioners adjourned a planning retreat. It stated, in part, the right of individuals “to keep and bear arms is under attack” in the United States, that the illegal misuse of firearms is not a reason to infringe upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and that Rowan County commissioners are opposed to any law, regulation or other act that would unconstitutionally infringe on Second Amendment rights. It also contained language from the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 30 of the N.C. Constitution.

Commission Chairman Greg Edds said it wasn’t a hard decision.

“We are for the lawful use of firearms and do not in any way defend unlawful use,” Edds said before the vote. “This is an easy thing for us. Rowan County wants to be a community that values our right to self-defense.”

According to news reports, this is the second time the Rowan County Board of Commissiorers had adopted a resolution in support of the Second Amendment. They had passed one in 2013 in response to then-President Obama’s push for gun control after the Newtown murders.

A Facebook page called “Make Rowan County A 2nd Amendment Sanctuary” was started on this past Wednesday and already has 5,700 members.

WBTV posted a photo of the resolution that passed to Facebook.

Given that all the counties that have passed a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution are either in western North Carolina or the western part of the Piedmont, I’d say it is time for eastern North Carolina to get in gear!

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SILENCER SATURDAY #107: Joe Rogan, Virginia, SHOT 2020 Preview [The Firearm Blog]

SILENCER SATURDAY #107: Joe Rogan, Virginia, SHOT 2020 PreviewGood afternoon everyone and welcome back to another episode of TFB’s Silencer Saturday, brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine – home of the new Resonator K. Last week we talked about suppressing the 5.7 cartridge, a topic I myself am unfamiliar with. However, I’m looking forward to getting in the game with either the […]

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The Most 80s Gun Ever: COP 357 at the Backup Gun Match [Forgotten Weapons]

The C.O.P. (Compact Offduty Police) .357 was designed by Robert Hillberg, patented in 1983, and manufactured by COP Inc in California. It’s a stainless steel, 4-barrel, .357 Magnum derringer. It’s also an awful pistol to shoot. The trigger is one of the worst I’ve ever felt, recoil is sharp (although much more pleasant with .38 Special ammunition), and the barrels don’t really shoot to the same point of aim…which is a bit tricky to find with the sights anyway.

Naturally, this struck me as a perfect pistol to take to our local Backup Gun Match…and a perfect excuse to break out the headband and righteous sleeveless hoodie!

Friday, 10 January


Lithia, FL [Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog]

11/1/19 Bay News 9:

“I’ve got a fractured eye socket, a fractured sinus cavity, a concussion, 20 stitches and three staples in my head,” said King, outside his home on Old Welcome Road in Lithia. “I took a severe beating.”
King said he was inside his home Wednesday when two masked men armed with guns barged in around 9 p.m. He said he doesn't know who they are, never met them and has no idea why he was targeted.  Both men pointed guns at King while demanding money.
“They came in heavily hooded and masked. As soon as they had got the back door opened, they had a pistol on me and was grabbing my 11-year-old daughter,” he said.
“I’m telling them, ‘I have nothing for you,’" King explained. "(A)nd they’re like, ‘Give me everything you got.’ It became real violent, real fast.”
King said one of the men started pistol-whipping him while another kicked him repeatedly in the head. His wife, who is eight months pregnant, was in the back bedroom and peeked out to see what was going on.
King said one of the men shot at her. She retreated, grabbed an AR-15 and returned fire.
“When he came toward the back door in her line of sight, she clipped him,” King said. “He made it from my back door to roughly 200 feet out in the front ditch before the AR did its thing.”
Deputies later found a man dead in a nearby ditch. The other gunman ran off after that fatal shot was fired.
"Them guys came in with two normal pistols and my AR stopped it,” King said. “(My wife) evened the playing field and kept them from killing me."
Investigators are still looking for the second gunman.


California: Self-Defense Bill to Be Heard in Committee on Tuesday, January 14 [NRA-ILA News]

On Tuesday, January 14, at 9:00 a.m. in State Capitol room 126, the Assembly Public Safety Committee will hear Assembly Bill 503, a pro-gun measure sponsored by Assembly Member Health Flora (R- 12).  AB 503 would allow an individual with a valid concealed carry weapons license to carry to, from, or in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship on the grounds of a public or private K-12 school when the individual has the written permission of the school authority.


Friday Night Lights: OPS-Core AMP Arm Upgrades And Modifications [The Firearm Blog]

Earpro upgradesWhen night vision is worn on the head, the helmet is the best option. Sure there are other options like skull crushers and night caps, but for the most part, night vision shooters use a helmet. The night vision helmet is a platform to carry accessories. Check out my helmet safety accessory article. Aside from […]

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POTD: USS Gridley Fires its 5-Inch Gun over the Norwegian Sea [The Firearm Blog]

POTD, short for Photo Of The Day, is TFB’s recurring articles where we do our best to find the best pictures out there. Today we’re looking at a great picture as the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) fires its Mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise. You can see the 5.0 […]

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Join the Hunt: Leupold Performance Eyewear Treasure Hunt [The Firearm Blog]

Join the HuntLeupold is hosting a pretty unique product release event. The popular Optics company encourages you to Join the Hunt to give you the chance to find a pair of Leupold Performance Eyewear before they hit stores. Leupold has distributed a bunch of their new Performance Eyewear across the country to specific GPS coordinates. Now, it’s […]

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French Government Unit orders the FN SCAR-SC [The Firearm Blog]

FN SCAR-SC for FranceThere’s a lot of things going on in France at the moment. Apart from the French Army ordering 75,000 Glock 17 Gen 5s (some suppressed) and 2,600 FN SCAR-H PR DMR rifles (again suppressed, by B&T) with high-end accessories like Schmidt & Bender scoper thermals and other Night Vision. In 2017, at Milipol in Paris, […]

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Trijicon Ventus X – World’s First Handheld Device with Advanced Wind Mapping and Range Detection [The Firearm Blog]

Trijicon VentusTrijicon has announced what is likely going to be one of the most interesting optic solutions of the year. The device is called Trijicon Ventus (or Ventus X) and according to the maker it is the World’s first handheld device with advanced wind mapping and range detection. The Ventus is designed with a Doppler LIDAR […]

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How Will Tough Tariff Talk Impact Sportsmen? []

The Trump Administration is waging another type of war trying to get America back on equal footing with other trade countries around the world. Some believe for far too long the United States and our consumers have been paying a premium by us not getting the same trade cost equity for our products, while we take in way too many foreign goods competing against our own products and jobs.

Putting higher tariffs on foreign-made goods will cause us to pay more for these products. For the outdoors people in this country, how is this trade war and tariff battles going to affect what we pay for the goods we want and need? That is the big question.

Most consumers do not spend a lot of time looking at labels on the products they buy. If they want it, they buy it if it fits their budgets. Do you ever look at the country of origin of manufacture for the hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or prepping products you buy? Start looking at the label, you might be shocked at what you see.

So, if for example these tariff wars contribute to rising prices for Chinese goods sold in the USA, what products might we expect to be paying more for? That list is incredibly long and complicated because tariffs don’t just apply to manufactured goods; some are raw products, parts, or components made offshore and imported to complete “American made” products here.

Just off the top of my head I came up with this list. It includes hunting, fishing, and outdoor clothing, boots and shoes (ever buy Rocky boots?), camping gear of every description such as tents, sleeping bags, packs, coolers, and so much more. What about electronics such as trail cameras, GPSs, rangefinders, fishing depth finders, and fishing sonar, plus communications gear? Optics including red dot scopes, traditional optics, binoculars, or spotting scopes.

Fishing equipment would include baits, rods, and reels. It might be the PFDs on board, cushions, fire extinguishers, and more. What about flashlights, lanterns, and other lighting equipment. Treestands. Then there are guns. Those made in China or elsewhere such as Europe may increase in price, too. Steel tariffs may also cause domestically-built firearms to become more expensive, too.

I do not fault Trump for trying to get things back on a level playing field. Past American presidents have played the game far too long. How much more are we willing to pay to take this stand? Time will tell, but expect one thing: Prices are going to go up.

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Virginia: General Assembly Passes Capitol Gun Ban [NRA-ILA News]

Days before law-abiding citizens are set to go to Richmond to urge lawmakers to defend their rights, the new anti-gun majority of the Virginia General Assembly has passed an immediate gun ban for the Pocahontas Building, the Capitol, and Capitol Grounds through the duration of the 2020 General Assembly Legislative Session. Citizens will not be permitted to carry firearms into these locations, even if they have a Concealed Handgun Permit.


Grassroots Ramp Up Continues in the Old Dominion [NRA-ILA News]

Virginia’s General Assembly officially kicked off on January 8th, and the newly-controlled anti-gun legislative body is wasting no time in pushing its crusade against our gun rights.  Facing a barrage of bills anathema to our Second Amendment rights, NRA’s Grassroots team has been ramping up its activities in opposition to Governor Northam’s latest gun grab.  Here is a brief summary of our efforts to date.  More information can be found by visiting: and by texting “NRAVA” to 25017.


The Winchester 1886: Character of a Classic []

Some long gun enthusiasts point to the Winchester Model 70 as the true “rifleman’s rifle,” but I beg to differ. When it comes to true classics with the ability to take care of business, few rifles across history fill the bill like the 1886. In my mind’s eye, the 1886 is a real man’s rifle.

Pick one up. It is hefty and fills your hands well. The weight feels just right; not overly burdensome, just steel and wood molded into a form that spells serious results. When cocked, the hammer clicks like a smooth Colt SAA with sweet sounds to soothe the soul.

Shoulder it, look down that long barrel. Balance it with your off hand open palm for support under that walnut forearm. Satisfies like a sip of smooth bourbon and a good hand-rolled stogie. Oh sure, it’s only a rifle, but it’s an 1886. It’s not just another rifle.

When Winchester’s VP, T. G. Bennett took the idea, some sketches, and models of the rifle that would become the 1886 to the Browning Brothers in Ogden, Utah, history was set to be made. Riflemen on the prairies and woods of the expanding American West needed more horsepower. With big game abounding and herds of bison running the grasslands, hunters and meat suppliers wanted to shoot bigger bullets and lots of them. The day would soon come when the lever action could finally overshadow the big Sharps single shot rifles for production results.

Previous lever action designs incorporated a toggle and link configuration. The 1886 would introduce a whole new action. This new model would handle the bigger cartridges of the day like the 45-70, 45-90, 40-82, 40-65, 38-56, and the 50-110. Others were added later including the 40-70, 38-70, and the 50-100-450 Express and then the 33 WCF in 1903. Cartridges came and went during the years.

Many models and variations of the 1886 can be found. Get a good reference book and make a study of it. Barrels ran from carbine length of 22-inches to a super long 34-inch model. The standard rifle barrel length settled at 26-inches. Many were round, some octagonal. Sights varied from open buckhorn sights to tang mounted target sights.

Production of the Winchester 1886 ended in 1922 with 159,337 manufactured. Years later, Browning brought out an 1886 made by their Japanese connections, then others were produced bearing the Winchester name. Prudent shoppers can still find these.

The Winchester 1886 rifle in 45-70 became a quintessential hunter’s heavy duty lever action. It was later replaced by the Model 71 which was made by minor changes in the original 1886 action.

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Lucid Optics Unveils New Version Of Their M7 Micro Red Dot Sight [The Firearm Blog]

Lucid Optics announced a revised version of their M7 Micro Red Dot sight, which will replace its predecessor on Lucid’s red dot lineup.  They’ve made a few major changes to the M7 Micro Red Dot sight, to include a modular mounting system and a different battery to power the M7.  The previous version had been […]

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NEW PEW PEW: YHM Resonator K Lands In Time For SHOT 2020 [The Firearm Blog]

YHM resonator kOur friends at Yankee Hill Machine have just announced the arrival of a new suppressor to their rifle model lineup. The YHM Resonator K has been anticipated ever since the Turbo K made its debut. As a typical American silencer owner myself, I can understand the “ this is awesome, but what about that other […]

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avantlink_confirmation.txt []

Application-Confirmation 1.0 Verify-File ca7d3eeced08ab012759ec94867de93894952ac8

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ZEV Introduce O.Z-9 Combat Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

The New OZ9 CombatZev Technologies have introduced the latest in their O.Z-9 range of pistols – the O.Z-9 Combat Pistol. Zev describe the new gun as being ‘optimized for durability without compromising on performance.’ Back in January 2019, Zev Technologies introduced their first pistol, the O.Z-9. Then in July, Zev announced their O.Z-9 Modular Build Kit to allow customers to […]

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Mauser-Norris Prototype: Origins of the Mauser Legacy [Forgotten Weapons]

Today we are looking at one of the rarest and earliest rifles built by Paul and Wilhelm Mauser, a design which would set in motion all the events that led to the Mauser company becoming one of the great world leaders in small arms. The Mauser brothers were born in Oberndorf am Necker in the Kingdom of Württemberg, sons of a gunsmith. They would take up their father’s trade and were creative and intelligent boys, but opportunities were limited in the small, rural town of Oberndorf. In 1865 they presented a rifle to the Austrian Army in Vienna for trials, where it was rejected. However, it was noticed by an American sales rep for the Remington Company, a man named Samuel Norris. Norris saw the potential in the Mauser brothers’ design to convert needlefire rifles to metallic cartridges, and he signed a deal with the brothers to further develop the system.

The Mauser’s moved to Liege Belgium to do their work, and within just a few years they were making rifles for Norris. This example is based on a Chassepot, as Norris hoped to sell the conversion system to the French Army. That deal was rejected, however (the French were happy sticking with paper cartridges as of 1868), and Norris’ plans began to unravel when the Remington company discovered that he was making dealings in his own name instead of for them. The Mauser brothers ended up walking away from the deal with ownership of the patents they had filed with Norris, and when they submitted the design to the Prussians a process began which would result in the Mauser Model 1871 being adopted. From there, their talents would lead to the whole line of Mauser repeating rifles culminating in the Model 1898, arguably the pinnacle of the bolt action military rifle.

Thanks to the Liege Arms Museum for access to film this for you! If you are in Belgium, definitely plan to stop into the museum, part of the Grand Curtius. They have a very good selection of interesting and unusual arms on display. Further thanks to the Paul Mauser Archive for helping to arrange this filming!

Thursday, 09 January


TFB Step By Step: How To Shoot Long Range – The Accessories [The Firearm Blog]

How To Shoot Long Range: The Accessories In my previous How To Shoot Long Range articles I have discussed an overview of precision long-range shooting, the types of rifles used, and the types of optics most people use to impact steel and animals at “long range.”  In this installment, I will throw out a few […]

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POTD: France’s New Sniper Rifle [The Firearm Blog]

Florence Parly, France’s Ministre des Armées / Minister for the Armed Forces has shared a photo of France’s newly adopted sniper rifle via twitter. The new rifle is a 7.62x51mm SCAR-H PR and in French service will be known as the Fusil de précision semi-automatique (FPSA) is seen with a PGM bipod and a Schmidt & Bender 1-8x optic. Nos […]

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Concealed Carry Corner: Is An EDC Knife A Secondary Weapon? [The Firearm Blog]

When looking at concealed carrying, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest in terms of guns, gear, and everything in between. Knives can be an extremely valuable tool either in self-defense or everyday life but get overlooked oftentimes. There are a number of different styles of knives and configuration depending on […]

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BREAKING: IWI Introducing the ZION-15 Rifle (and Possibly More) [The Firearm Blog]

With SHOT Show around the corner, news, hints, and clues concerning new products are already starting to trickle out. Today’s development relates to IWI-USA, who looks to be introducing a new product – but the big news isn’t the product itself. It’s the implication of the product. Cutting to the chase, IWI is releasing an […]

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TriStar Arms Trinity Over/Under Shotguns Now Available [The Firearm Blog]

TriStar Arms Trinity Over/Under ShotgunsTriStar Arms has just announced the arrival of their new Trinity line of over/under shotguns. The TriStar Arms Trinity shotguns boast many options for the end-user looking for a simple and beautiful shotgun. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, TriStar Arms is a primary importer of quality shotguns and handguns. The company is driven by the […]

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CZ Scorpion Carbine Bullpup Kit Now Available [The Firearm Blog]

The CZ Scorpion Carbine Bullpup Kit is now (finally) available on the CZ Website and shop. With an MSRP of $399, you get a kit that transforms your CZ Scorpion into a bullpup firearm that can compete with the IWI Tavor or the Steyr AUG in 9×19 mm. Description – CZ Scorpion Carbine Bullpup Kit Relying […]

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The Netherlands looking for a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) [The Firearm Blog]

The Dutch Ministry of Defense is looking for a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) via their Defence Materiel Organisation. They are requesting a supplier to supply semi-automatic Designated Marksman Rifles including ammunition and additional items such as spare parts, training and documentation. So far so good, but what is worth noting that the DMR should be […]

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7-YO Hunter: “I Don’t Want a Wife Because What if She Says You Can’t go Hunting?” []

Sometimes, we guys figure things out while we are still young… this is one of those times.

In the video below, we see a 7-year-old hunter (clearly a confirmed bachelor) who has figured out that one should not be unequally yoked, as it were. Here’s what he says during the fun campfire talk in hunt camp:

I don’t want… a wife, because what if they say, “You can’t go hunting?”

I’d just go like, “No — I’m goin’ hunting right now, you ain’t telling me what to do!”

He’s right… this stuff has to be worked out before the engagement. Hunting time is one of those critical things that has to be secured ahead of time for continued mental health and peace of mind.

Anyhow… enjoy the video. Happy hunting!

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UPDATE: France’s New Glock [The Firearm Blog]

New French Glock 17Earlier this week TFB reported that France had selected the Glock 17 as their new service pistol. The French government confirmed that an order for just under 75,000 pistols had been made. We now have some more details on the pistol and its features from Glock and the French military. You can find the French […]

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New Modular Lunar® 9 Suppressor from GEMTECH [The Firearm Blog]

Gemtech Lunar 9GEMTECH Suppressors has announced their newest silencer — the Modular Lunar 9.  The modular Lunar 9 allows end users to convert it from a full size 7″ configuration to a shorter 4.7″ configuration while remaining hearing safe. GEMTECH Modular Lunar 9 Lane Tobiassen, President, had this to say following the launch: There are a growing number of […]

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Why Drum Magazines are a Bad Idea [Forgotten Weapons]

I often see questions form people asking why drum magazines are not more widely used – the BAR and the MP40/I in particular. People often view the box vs drum magazine question simply in terms of capacity – where the drum is obviously superior. However, there are several other elements to the question, and drums don’t fare so well with most of them. Drum magazines are heavier, more expensive to make, and much more complicated to carry than simple box magazines. Drum magazines are a tempting idea, and they periodically pop up in military usage around the world. However, what I find telling is that virtually no military adopted two drums in a row. The US dropped the Thompson drums, the Finns went form a drum to a box magazine for the Suomi, the Soviets dropped the PPSh-41 drum in favor of a box mag on the PPS-43, and neither the Lewis nor DP was followed by another gun using their pan magazines.

Wednesday, 08 January


2A Sanctuary Movement Comes To NC []

Cherokee and Rutherford Counties were the first to become Second Amendment Sanctuary counties in North Carolina. They had their votes back in 2019.

You can add three more to that list as of this week.

Surry, Lincoln, and Wilkes Counties have all joined the list. Surry and Wilkes Counties voted unanimously while there is some controversy regarding the Lincoln County vote.

From the Charlotte Observer:

Near Charlotte, all but one of the Lincoln County commissioners were in favor of a resolution that said it would refuse to “enforce any new restrictions on gun ownership,” according to WSOC.

A report from WCNC says the decision was unanimous.

In Surry County, northwest of Winston-Salem, officials voted 5-0 to refuse to use government resources to take guns away from people who follow the law, its resolution shows.

And to the west, another unanimous vote means the Wilkes County government is “opposing any efforts” to restrict gun rights, according to leaders.

Iredell County may become the sixth county. Sheriff Darren Campbell said on Facebook yesterday that he would be preparing a resolution to present to the Board of Commissioners to make that county a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

When I set out to become your sheriff, I promised that I would do my best to protect the citizens of Iredell County. In addition to protecting tangible items, I also swore to protect intangible ones as well. Mainly, the rights guaranteed to each of us under the constitution that we all hold so dear.

In light of those few who wish to impinge upon our rights, I am proud to join with other sheriffs across our state and country to draft a resolution which I will present to our board of commissioners, asking that they protect our most basic right….the ability to defend ourselves against enemies foreign and domestic, our right to bear arms.

My staff and I have been diligently working to prepare this resolution and our hope is deliver it to the commissioners this week. While the subject of the 2nd Amendment can often divide, we must stand firm and hold true that once our rights are infringed upon, we lose the ability to govern ourselves as our founding fathers imagined.

Five down, 95 to go!

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Kansas City sued gun dealers and a manufacturer [Of Arms and the Law]

The Wall Street Journal has the story. More detail here. I wonder at some aspects of it. (1) How does a city have standing to sue? Does it expect to be awarded damages which belong, if to anyone, to the persons who were damaged? (2) The manufacturer is brought in on the theory that it knew the local seller was not a licensed dealer. As I recall, to ship to a dealer you have to have a copy of his FFL on file, so I doubt that. And if their whole case is based on a false claim that they knew or had reason to know was false, there'd be some risk of Rule 11 sanctions. (3) If they're talking events that go back to 2013, a lot of them are going to be outside the statute of limitations (which in most places is two years). Of course, (4) if the object was to get publicity, win or lose, the above may be unimportant.


Centrifugal Machine Guns [The Firearm Blog]

What the hell is a centrifugal machine gun? In the plainest of terms, it’s a gun that requires no propellant powder and a system which has sparked the imaginations of inventors and gun designers for over 200 years. A couple of months ago I was browsing through the US National Archives’ online catalogue, as you […]

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POTD: F-35A Combat Power Exercise [The Firearm Blog]

Just before the turn of the decade, TFB did a very popular article with Norwegian soldiers protecting the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. You asked for more and as there is a lot of activity at the Hill Air Force Base, Utah, at the moment we see it as an excellent opportunity to show […]

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Wheelgun Wednesday: Double Action Revolver From The US Civil War? [The Firearm Blog]

Adams-Kerr Double Action Revolver of 1858Yes, it’s true, there was actually a double action revolver in service during the United States’ Civil War, though 600 of only 1000 made were actually purchased by the military.  The particular firearm in question is an Adams & Kerr .36 caliber percussion revolver of 1858, produced by Massachusetts Arms, which has five chambers and […]

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Cam & Stephen Gutowski On VA Bills []

First off, let me say I’m sorry for the slow blogging the last few days. We always joke about the SHOT Show crud. However, there is a new thing – the pre-SHOT Show crud and I’ve got it. I’m guessing the vectors were my granddaughters who passed me the stuff going around their day care and pre-school. If there is a good thing about it, I’ll probably be immune to any bugs out of SHOT!

Now on to the important stuff. Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms and Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon discuss the gun control bills that have been introduced into the Virginia General Assembly by anti-gun Democrats.

It ain’t pretty. The so-called compromise bills are just a prelude to future confiscation. The other bills include outlawing suppressors and a standard capacity mag ban without any grandfathering. Another bill would ban all non-lead ammunition and make it a felony to possess even a single round of a non-lead based ammo. I wonder if they got permission from the environmentalists for that one.

I’ll let Cam and Stephen tell the rest of the story.

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TFB Has a New YouTube Channel! Introducing: TFB Show Time [The Firearm Blog]

The Firearm Blog is launching a new video channel on the 5th anniversary of TFBTV. The Firearm Blog’s YouTube channel started on January 20, 2015, at SHOT Show.  Since that day, show content like SHOT, NRAAM, Triggrcon, and etc. have been cornerstone content for the channel, making up a large chunk of TFBTV’s video library. […]

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SCCY Firearms Introduce New Striker Fired DVG-1 Lineup [The Firearm Blog]

Florida-based SCCY Firearms have announced the launch of their first striker-fired pistol, the DVG-1. SCCY herald the new 9x19mm sub-compact pistol as a CCW challenger, available with either fixed iron sights (the DVG-1) or factory-installed CTS-1500 Red Dot sight (the DVG-1RD). Maintaining the familiar SCCY shape the pistol weighs 15.5oz and has a straight trigger, which SCCY […]

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Walther CCP M2 in .380 ACP Now Shipping [The Firearm Blog]

walther ccp m2First seen at the beginning of last year the .380 CCP M2 is now coming to market. Bringing with it Walther’s Softcoil gas technology and combining it with the softer shooting .380 round preferred by some. Walther describe the CCP as the “most ergonomic and comfortable handgun in Walther’s dynamic concealed carry lineup.” Walther have put […]

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G.R.A.D. Bayonet-Revolver Lets Your AR Keep Shooting []

This is a really interesting knife/gun or gun/knife or bayonet which was sold at auction last year for $1920.

It looks like just another deadly bayonet. (Image © Morphy Auctions)

It looks like just another deadly bayonet.
(Image © Morphy Auctions)

It’s a bayonet with a 6.5-inch blade, made to fit an M16/AR15 rifle with standard military style 21.5-inch barrel with bayonet lug. It also has a 6-shot rimfire revolver built into the handle

It's a GRAD Model MB16F. (Image © Morphy Auctions)

It’s a GRAD Model MB16F.
(Image © Morphy Auctions)

You can’t get new ones anymore; they were only built in the early 2000s. It was made by G.R.A.D. (Global Research And Development).

That thing is the folding trigger. (Image © Morphy Auctions)

That thing is the folding trigger.
(Image © Morphy Auctions)

The trigger folds out to fire the 22 LR rounds. The bullets travel over the spine of the bayonet blade.

I really don't want to get stabbed (or shot) by this thing. (Image © Morphy Auctions)

I really don’t want to get stabbed (or shot) by this thing.
(Image © Morphy Auctions)

It was in “mint unfired” condition in the original box, with the “original preservative oil still in mechanism. Mechanics are mint as left factory.”

Let's hope it doesn't open by accident. (Image © Morphy Auctions)

Let’s hope it doesn’t open by accident.
(Image © Morphy Auctions)

To open, you press a button at the rear (hilt) of the bayonet.

Bayonet works om mil-spec 12.5-inch AR barrels. (Image © Morphy Auctions)

Bayonet works om mil-spec 12.5-inch AR barrels.
(Image © Morphy Auctions)

The Federal government calls this an AOW (“any other weapon”) and thus requires tax-stamp bribery to legally transfer ownership.

The quality appears exceptional. (Image © Morphy Auctions)

The quality appears exceptional.
(Image © Morphy Auctions)

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The fictional basis of March for Our Lives and Moms Demand Action [Of Arms and the Law]

Truth About Guns has an excellent story on it. Supposedly, the groups were spontaneous, popular, movements. Actually, the "mom" was a high-ranking PR executive, and both groups are bankrolled by big donors, contributing hundreds of thousands or millions apiece.


Working the Altama Assault Boot []

One never knows where a story will start, or where it will lead you. Discovering new products for outdoors people, hunters, anglers, preppers, and survivalists is that way. Usually it all just happens by sheer accident, as in this case.

During a recent trip to Nashville, we drove by an old-school military surplus store. You just don’t see those much anymore. I was amazed at all the stuff they had, war surplus, new gear, camping equipment, prepper supplies, all of it.

Then I noticed in the school department a pair of canvas “sneakers” but they weren’t. After an inquiry with a store clerk I learned the shoes were made by ALTAMA. The shoes were soft sided mid-height boots that were actually designed for wearing inside swim fins worn by military frogmen. The clerk said they were used by U.S. Navy Seals. That piqued my interest.

Unfortunately, they were out of my size. So, the search ensued. After a curious ordeal of finding the shoes on Amazon, ordering them, receiving the wrong size via some glitch in barcodes, and getting great help from the customer service ladies at The Original Footwear Company in two different countries, I finally got the right size.

This Altama shoe is officially called the Maritime Assault Boot. They have a low top and high top versions. These boots come in tan trim in black, coyote, or multi-cam which is a camo mix of green, brown, tan, and black. The other version has black trim in black. Altama terms these boots as their Elite Division, designed for special ops, worn by the elite. They have been in business since 1969.

This boot has multiple features that not only make them combat ready for water operations, but also for civilian wear. It has an air mesh lining that wicks away moisture. The full length ABS shank provides extra support. The soles have an aggressive non-slip tread. The lace hardware is no-shine and rustproof. The Ultron insole does not absorb water. The boots only weigh 13 ounces.

The exterior boot panels are made of 1000D Cordura for high abrasion resistance. Special to the design are non-metallic drain ports to drain water as the boot is flexed. There is a grab loop on the back of the boot. Sizes run from 5-14 in D and EEE width. Retail prices go $85-95.

So far these boots have several miles on them. The fit is snug, but fine. Wear thin walking socks. I like these boots for ATV riding as the Cordura panels repel low growth brush protecting the ankles. If you wear them in over ankle-deep water, it just runs out the ports. I can tell already, the wear of these boots is going to be excellent. Check them out at

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Looking for a Handy Short Rifle? Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine Fits the Bill []

In 2015 Henry Repeating Arms introduced the Big Boy Steel Carbine and although this is not exactly new news the Big Boy Steel continues to be a favorite among fans of Henry firearms. The fact that Henry offers a carbine model in the Big Boy Steel immediately spikes my interest as a short rifle enthusiast. Interestingly enough this newest version is 1.2 pounds lighter than its cousin the brass-framed Big Boy Carbine, also an awesome and beautiful little rifle in its own right.

The over sized lever is great for gloved hands

This wonderful carbine weighs in at just a bit over six and a half pounds and sports a 16.5-inch round barrel with walnut checkered furniture and matt-blued steel frame that is drilled and tapped if you prefer to add a scope. A nice set of semi buck horn rear sights with a white diamond insert accompanied by a brass bead front sight make target acquisition a breeze. The stock also comes standard with sling swivel studs that makes for easy carrying your carbine in the field. Weight is saved due to the steel frame instead of brass and a round barrel instead of octagonal.

Semi Buckhorn rear sight with Diamond Insert

If you are worried about recoil, don’t be. The Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine come in five caliber choices of .327 Federal Magnum, .357 Magnum/.38 Special, .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum/.44 Special and .45 Colt. Additionally, this carbine offers a solid rubber recoil pad making any felt recoil a non-issue especially in these classic pistol calibers.

Brass Bead Front Sight

Specific features of the Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine include:

  • 5-inch round blue steel barrel
  • 1:16 rate of twist
  • Weight of 6.59 pounds
  • 14-inch length of pull
  • 34-inch overall length
  • Seven round magazine capacity
  • Fully adjustable Semi-Buckhorn rear sight with white diamond insert
  • Brass Bead front sight
  • Receiver, blue steel and drilled/tapped for scope mounting
  • Stock is American Walnut with added sling swivel studs
  • Transfer Bar safety
  • Over-sized lever

A Nice 5 shot from the Henry Big Boy Carbine group using Sig V Crown in 357 Magnum

On the range I found this Henry Carbine easy to use and operate especially with the over-sized loop lever that makes operation with a gloved hand simple. The carbine is fast to get into operation with exceptional accuracy, I easily made off hand hits on medium size game steel targets at 100 yards using Sig Sauer .357 Magnum ammunition. MSRP on the Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine is $893

The Henry Big Boy Carbine in .357mag-.38spl

I can see a future hunt for Javelina here in the desert southwest using the Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine, but that is a story for a different time!

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Pregnant Woman Uses AR to Shoot, Kill Home Invader []

Nobody needs an AR-style rifle, right? They’re no good for home defense… right?


A Florida man was reportedly severely beaten by two armed and masked thugs who invaded his home. They threatened the family with pistols, grabbed his 11-year-old daughter, and beat him badly.

Until his 8-month-pregnant wife ended the crime by grabbing an AR-style rifle and shooting one of them.

The bruises and swelling on Jeremy King’s face tell the story of a man on the receiving end of a brutal attack. But his actual account is far more harrowing than his injuries suggest.

‘I’ve got a fractured eye socket, a fractured sinus cavity, a concussion, 20 stitches, and three staples in my head,’ said King, outside his home on Old Welcome Road in Lithia. ‘I took a severe beating.’

King said he was inside his home Wednesday when two masked men armed with guns barged in around 9 p.m. He said he doesn’t know who they are, never met them and has no idea why he was targeted. Both men pointed guns at King while demanding money.

‘They came in heavily hooded and masked. As soon as they had got the back door opened, they had a pistol on me and was grabbing my 11-year-old daughter,’ he said.

‘I’m telling them, “I have nothing for you,”‘ King explained. ‘(A)nd they’re like, “Give me everything you got.” It became real violent, real fast.’

King said one of the men started pistol-whipping him while another kicked him repeatedly in the head. His wife, who is eight months pregnant, was in the back bedroom and peeked out to see what was going on.

His wife gained the unwanted attention of one of the crooks, who shot at her and then went after her. She retreated, got hold of an AR15, and when he approached, she shot him.

The wounded criminal ran out the back door and died “roughly 200 feet out in the front ditch.”

After finding someone willing to shoot back, the other home invader also ran away, apparently unscathed.

‘Them guys came in with two normal pistols and my AR stopped it,’ King said. ‘(My wife) evened the playing field and kept them from killing me.’

Thank goodness for ARs.

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Fight Germs at SHOT with the OCD: On-Demand Cleanliness Dispenser [The Firearm Blog]

Henry Holsters' OCD, or On-demand Cleanliness Dispenser.SHOT Show is massive. Last year roughly 2,400 exhibitors showed up to cover 700,000 square feet of space (that equals about 12 football fields) at Las Vegas’ Sands Expo and Convention Center. They set up shop over approximately 12 miles of booth aisles and hauled in more than 7 million pounds of goods, including 15,000 […]

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A Bigger and Better Alcohol Penny Can Stove []

In the video below, a guy demonstrates making a “penny can stove” using a larger-than-normal aluminum beverage can.

(Skip the first 30 seconds, unless you enjoy obnoxious music and random images.)

He likes using cans from Arizona Iced Tea, because they are larger and made of thicker aluminum. That’s okay I guess, but personally I have a little more experience with the Foster’s beer “oil can.” Hey, different strokes for different folks.

The premise of a penny can stove is to create an alcohol-fueled flame, with the can as the burner and the penny as a fuel regulator.

You pierce the can by punching a series of holes around its perimeter and place a series of 5 holes in the center. The penny will sit atop those holes.

Use another can bottom as the stove’s base, cramming in something absorbent and fire resistant (such as fiberglass insulation) to retain the fuel.

These little “stoves” burn pretty well, and can be fueled by most any relatively pure alcohol. Household rubbing alcohol might be too diluted; you want 90% alcohol or better.

Of all the nifty homemade stoves I’ve seen, I think I like this style the best. What about you?

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Will The B-1 Bomber Become The Next Gunship For Close Air Support? [The Firearm Blog]

Gunship modification of B-1B Lancer BomberWhile the possibility of the B-1 Lancer being transformed into the next gunship isn’t breaking news, the concept is at least being considered, since Boeing was granted a patent in 2018.  The potential gunship modification for the B-1B, if executed, would make the Lancer similar to the AC-130 Spectre gunship with its 20, 25, or […]

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Sharps Rifle Company Files For Bankruptcy [The Firearm Blog]

Sharps Rifle Company Files For BankruptcySharps Bankruptcy It seems that the Sharps Rifle Company has filed for bankruptcy. According to documents filed with the Wyoming District U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Sharps filed for bankruptcy on December 31st of 2019. The Sharps bankruptcy filings show that Sharps has been struggling for quite a while now. Back in 2017, the rifle company brought […]

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H&K’s Hydrocephalic P7M10 in .40 S&W [Forgotten Weapons]

Everyone has an off day eventually, and for H&K one of those off days took the form of the P7M10. Introduced in 1991, the M10 was based on the frame and magazine body of the double-stack P7M13, with a .40 caliber barrel and a substantially increased slide mass. This extra mass was deemed necessary by Oberndorf engineers to safely handle the .40 S&W cartridge, although this was not a universally shared determination. In addition to slowing the opening of the slide, this extra mass substantially handicapped the pistol’s handling, making it top-heavy and bulky.

The effort had been aimed at law enforcement sales, for whom the .40 was a very popular cartridge at the time. The poor handling and looks of the gun prevented any major agency sales, and the gun was taken out of production in 1994 when the AWB passed. The ban prohibited importation of the P7M13, and while the M10 had legally-acceptable 10-round magazines, it was clearly a poor seller and was based not he M13 production infrastructure. With the M13 removed from manufacture, the M10 no longer made sense to build. Enough remained in inventory to list in H&K’s 1995 catalog, but they were gone by 1996. The P7M10 is a scarce and collectible gun among a niche group today, simply because of its small production numbers.

Thanks to H&K for letting me film in the Grey Room for you!

Tuesday, 07 January


French Army Selects SCAR-H PR, S&B Scope and Night/Thermal Vision for Sniper Rifle [The Firearm Blog]

The French Army has selected the SCAR-H PR as their new Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle. In French that becomes: Fusil de précision semi-automatique (FPSA). In 2018, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) – which is the French Government Defence procurement agency responsible for purchasing – launched the tender for more than 2,600 semi-automatic sniper rifles. For […]

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POTD: Trident Juncture – Cleaning My Gun [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – Do you like cleaning your gun? I don’t so I try to avoid it at almost all cost, apart from stop shooting. Today we take a look at German Mountain Rangers, and what life looks after a long day at the exercise Trident Juncture. Below: Cleaning the Heckler & Koch G36. […]

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Overwatch Precision to Release New TAC Trigger Kits for Additional Pistols [The Firearm Blog]

Precision Overwatch has TAC Trigger Kits coming soon for these four popular pistols.Overwatch Precision‘s primary offering has been Glock parts, most notably their “TAC” trigger kits. Last fall they even released a tongue-in-cheek seasonal “Pumpkin Spice” edition. Now Overwatch is expanding their offerings by bringing some of that TAC trigger goodness to several additional pistols. The lucky recipients will be the M&P Shield 2.0, the CZ P10C/S/F […]

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Vortex Announces Razor HD Gen III 1-10×24 Scope [The Firearm Blog]

In any discussion of today’s top brands in the optics game, Vortex Optics almost invariably gets a mention. Their glass is tremendously popular with competitive shooters, hunters, and the tactical community alike. Vortex’s high-end product line, in particular, the Razor series models, commonly find themselves on best-of lists. It appears that Vortex is seeking to […]

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Zermatt Arms Announces RimX Precision Rimfire Bolt Action [The Firearm Blog]

The new RimX precision rimfire bolt action from Zermatt Arms.Rimfire fans, this one is for you. Zermatt Arms Inc., Nebraska-based manufacturer of precision rifle actions based on the Remington Model 700 footprint, is bringing a new precision rimfire bolt action to the table in Spring 2020. Dubbed the RimX, Zermatt’s newest action seeks to provide caliber flexibility and some high-end features to small-caliber shooters. […]

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New 2020 Products of Federal Premium Ammunition, Speer, and CCI/Blazer [The Firearm Blog]

New 2020 Products of Federal, CCI, and Speer 660As you know, this year Vista Outdoor ammunition brands came up with a large number of new products. Some of the most interesting ones we covered in separate dedicated articles and today we’ll take a brief look at the rest of the new products released by Federal Premium Ammunition, CCI, Blazer and Speer. Federal Premium […]

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Jerry Miculek Reviews the ‘New’ S&W Model 19 357 Magnum Revolver []

You gotta love a “complete review” video that’s only 8 minutes long. Professional shooter Jerry Miculek knows his guns — especially revolvers. In the video below, he takes a look at the new version of the Smith & Wesson Model 19.

The Model 19 is one of the best revolvers S&W ever built, and several have passed through my hands at various times. This includes the stainless steel version known as the Model 66. It’s a nice light comfortable smooth wheel gun that’s easy to use. But as Jerry tells us, the original Model 19’s “K frame” was not as strong as it could have been. In the new Model 19, he says that’s all been changed.

Not only have they changed the way the cylinder locks up, the barrel is now a two-piece assembly which has more steel on the rear of the barrel.

When he starts talking about “MIM parts,” he’s referring to metal injection molding. It’s a method that simplifies manufacture while also maintaining close tolerances.

MIM and the new barrel design should actually make these guns more affordable to manufacture… but MSRP is a rather hefty $843.

He heads to the range and fires a small concealed-carry version with a compensator and a “classic” version with 4″ barrel. Man, he’s fast!

Enjoy the video.

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Beka Garris’ 2020 Intro []

Beka Garris is the bowfishing and bowhunting gal who recently shot a whitetail doe on public land — with traditional archery gear — while carrying her baby daughter on her back. She’s something else.

She recently posted “a little intro,” which I thought was worth sharing with you.

It’s been over a year since I posted a little intro so here’s a little about me if you’re new to my page 🙂

I grew up in Northern NJ, if you know the area you’ll know it’s rural country! I grew up barefoot running public land and hunting and fishing with my siblings. My dad was the one who taught me how to hunt/fish and I feel lucky for it. I did two years at a community college (photography) and moved away. I still don’t know how folks can afford to live there 😬 I floated around for a few years, did some guiding, farming, archery tech, gun sales and I met my husband here in Ohio (my home). We currently have our own small farm and a few acres to hunt, but public land is right down the road (and often produces better). We have a one year old daughter Isabella who is the center of our world, and you’ll see her quite often on my hunts with me 😆 my husband works nights and sleeps days so I generally just pack Isabella along. I love to bowhunt and bowfish with traditional archery equipment but pretty much get into anything outdoors…I’m not picky 😂 I try to share stuff that others can relate to or might find interesting and thank you to those who have followed along over the years! (P.S. it’s a woodsman broadhead!)
#AboutMe #SorryForTheNovel

She posts lots of cool stuff; check out her Facebook page to like & follow her.

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Amazing Public Land Alabama Buck — 27-1/8″ Wide 11-Point []

A WMA in northern Alabama has produced a whopper of a buck. It was taken on December 28, 2019 by Derrick Allen of Moulton, AL in Black Warrior WMA in the Bankhead National Forest.

The big whitetail buck has 11 points and an incredible inside spread of 27-1/8 inches, which is reportedly one of the largest in Alabama state history. Both main beams are 28 inches long, and one base circumference taped 7-2/8 inches.

The hunter had no expectation he was going to get a chance at such a whopper when he halfheartedly headed to the woods.

‘I was on vacation for 13 days, and it was the last day of my vacation,’ Allen said. ‘I saw where there was a management hunt on Black Warrior WMA, and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t that excited. I went half-hearted.’

Allen said he decided to hunt on a ridge where he had hunted five years before, but before his walk in, he said a little prayer.

‘I knew there would be a lot of people in the woods, so I prayed for safety and to kill a buck bigger than I killed last year,’ he said with a laugh.

‘It was already 2:30 in the afternoon when I got there, and I started walking,’ he said. ‘I was walking pretty slow because I was really trying to be quiet and to stalk a little. After about 45 minutes of walking, I got to almost where I was going and jumped a buck out of his bed. I couldn’t see antlers because it was thick there, but I could tell from his size and how he ran it was a buck.

‘I just hunkered down right there. I had a bleat can and hit it about 15 times trying to get him to stop, but I didn’t see anything, so I figured he was gone.’

Allen said he walked about 30 yards and saw a deer in the distance about 100 yards away.

‘I got the scope on him and I could see antlers, but he was behind two trees and I couldn’t tell how big he was. When he turned to the left, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I got the scope on him and shot. I either just plain missed or the bullet hit a branch. He just stood there. I racked another one in the chamber and shot again and he disappeared, but I could hear him kicking.’

Allen had taken a 14-point buck last season, but this buck was significantly larger. He began the long ordeal of the dragging the big buck about 3:45 and immediately… he knew he had to leave the buck and go get help in dragging it out of the woods.

‘I’ve heard those stories of people shooting big bucks that they thought was dead and when they went back to get it, it was gone,’ he said. ‘I was sure he was dead, but I wasn’t taking any chances on this one. I dragged him down a hill and took off my shirt and hog-tied him to a tree.’

Once he finally got help and got the buck out the woods, hunters were amazed when they saw the spread on Allen’s buck.

What an awesome creation — and what a great set of handles for dragging! And those gnarly brow tines are something else.

The monster buck weighed in at 217 pounds and was rough scored at about 180 B&C points.

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Limited Edition CZ 75 To Commemorate Pistol’s 45th Anniversary [The Firearm Blog]

CZ USA have announced they will be offering a limited run of 1,000 CZ 75 Bs to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the iconic and venerable pistol’s introduction. The Czechoslovakian 9mm was developed by Josef and František Koucký at Česká Zbrojovka in the early 1970s. Of course with the Soviet Makarov in Czechoslovakian service, the CZ-75 didn’t gain […]

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Angstadt Arms Unveils MDP-9 [The Firearm Blog]

At the very end of last year, Angstadt teased their newest firearm with a cryptic video and a product launch countdown page. Well, the wait is over and the new MDP-9 has been unveiled. The MDP-9 is a new roller-delayed blowback subgun. Just as Heckler & Koch reintroduced the original king of the roller-delayed blowback submachine […]

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Federal TERMINAL ASCENT Hunting Rifle Ammunition and Bullets [The Firearm Blog]

Federal TERMINAL ASCENT Hunting Rifle Ammunition and Bullets (1)Among the dozens of ammunition related new products released by Vista Outdoor brands for 2020, there is a new Federal Premium hunting rifle bullet and ammunition line called Terminal Ascent. Being hunting bullets, these projectiles are designed to expand dumping all their energy into the game animal yet keep their integrity providing good penetration and […]

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Short: Inspecting an RSC 1917 Gas System [Forgotten Weapons]

The French Model 1917 RSC rifle has a rather unusual gas system, and without some experience it can be difficult to know what one is looking at in one. So today, we’re taking a quick look at how to be sure all the essential parts are in place in an RSC.

Monday, 06 January


TFB Review: Kahles Helia RD Red Dot Sight [The Firearm Blog]

Kahles-8Kahles has been expanding their line of optics and recently came out with a red dot optic. Kahles is known to make extremely high-quality variable power optics and tends to be the competition and tactical division of Swarovski Optics. With Kahles being known for really well built long-range optics, it was a bit of a […]

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POTD: Sniper in Position with Barrett M82A1 [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – The Norwegian Sniper is in position with his Barrett M82A1, which is a recoil-operated, semi-automatic anti-materiel sniper system chambered in .50 BMG (12.7×99 mm). The Barrett is standardized by the U.S. military as the M107, and made by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. Below: Sniper posing for the camera, as shooting without […]

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HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? NATO Friendly AK or Over-Painted Throwaway? [The Firearm Blog]

Hot Gat or Fudd CrapWelcome everyone to the 37th edition of ‘Hot Gat or Fudd Crap?’, one of our many excellent series here on TFB. If you’re new to the series, this is where we look at the most obscure firearms that are actually for sale and ask the question – is this Gat a sweet deal or does […]

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California Legislature Convenes for 2020 Session [NRA-ILA News]

Today, January 6th, the California Legislature convened for the 2020 legislative session.  As in 2019, the Legislature can expect to see anti-gun agendas being pushed in Sacramento.


BREAKING NEWS: The French Army Orders 75,000 Glock Pistols [The Firearm Blog]

Glock 17 (Glock)It is finally official. The French Ministry of Armed Forces have ordered 74,596 Glock pistols in a contract worth over 44 Million Euros (about $49 Million USD). The first Glock 17s have already been delivered and deliveries will continue until 2022. The new Glocks will replace the current Mac 50 and Pamas G1 (Beretta 92) pistols. It […]

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Henry’s New ‘Axe’ 410 Compact Non-NFA Shotgun []

You can count on Henry to come up with good-looking firearms, and sometimes they are unusual as well. This time they’ve conjured up a 410 lever gun with a stumpy rear stock that appears sawed off and is shaped more or less like the butt of an axe handle (hence the name).

Practical? Not so much… but as they say in their press release, that’s not always something to worry about.

Not all firearms need to fit neatly into categories like hunting, home protection, or good ol’ backyard plinking. We feel that simply being fun to pull out of the scabbard and shoot again and again should be a category all its own. For those that join us in considering this an important category, the Lever Action Axe 410 delivers in spades.

The tubular magazine has their standard front-loading feature and can hold five 2.5-inch 410 shotgun shells. The addition of a side loading gate means you can load or top off the mag much more easily than dealing with the front magazine plunger. When it’s time to empty the gun without firing all the shells, remove the plunger and let the shells slide on out.

Henry Axe Model H018AH-410 (Image © Henry Repeating Arms)

Henry Axe Model H018AH-410
(Image © Henry Repeating Arms)

There’s a brass bead at the muzzle — just in case you decide to aim a little.

That last part might be awkward, because without a butt stock you’ll have to hold the gun hovering somewhere out in front of your face in order to fire it with any degree of accuracy. Otherwise, it might be more fun to run it “from the hip.”

Running it may or may not get a little weird… working the lever on a gun without a shoulder stock can feel kinda funky.

Do I want to try it? Heck yes!

Henry logo engraved on the Axe butt. (Image © Henry Repeating Arms)

Henry logo engraved on the Axe butt.
(Image © Henry Repeating Arms)

The barrel is threaded for Invector-style choke tubes and comes with a full choke tube installed.

The barrel length is a smidge less than 16 inches and the overall length is a tad more than 26 inches — so storage should be easy. And it complies with the terms of the Gun Control Act of 1968 as a non-Class 3/NFA firearm, so you don’t need to bribe the Federal government to own one.

Henry advises you to check with local government to find out if you are a free man or not:

Per the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosive’s Gun Control Act of 1968, the H018AH-410 Lever Action Axe 410 is classified as a non-Class 3/NFA “firearm.” Please consult local/state laws that may prohibit the sale of this gun in your state despite its federal classification.

The MSRP is a healthy $970.

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Review: Bushnell Nitro Scope 4x-16x 44mm 30mm Tube []

During my “hunt with a Henry” last month, when I used a lever-action rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor (you heard me) to take a whitetail and a coyote, I used a nice Bushnell scope… and now it’s time to review that scope. It’s a Nitro 4x-16x cope with 30mm tube and 44mm objective lens.

Bushnell Nitro scope box. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Bushnell Nitro scope box.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Let’s get the details out of the way:

  • Focal Plane: Second (Current models are apparently First)
  • Waterpfoof: IPX7
  • Reticle: Multi-X SFP (Deploy MOA FFP and Deploy Mil FFP available)
  • Color: Matte black (gunmetal gray available)
  • Magnification: 4x-16x variable
  • Objective: 44mm
  • Parallax Adjustment: Yes, side-mounted, 10 yards to infinity
  • Eye Relief: 3.6 inches
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Length: 13.9 inches (mine is almost 14.5″ with the scope caps intalled)
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Turrets: Capped target type, O-ring, Non-locking, Zero-resettable, No zero stop
  • Adjustment Range: 50 MOA/14.5 MIL for windage and elevation
  • Clicks: 1/4 minute
  • Field of View: 4x = 23 feet at 100 yards; 16x = 6 feet at 100 yards
  • Lens Coatings: Multi-Coated; EXO Barrier; Ultrawide band anti-reflective coating
  • Accessories: 2.5″ screw-on metal sun shade for objective; flip-up scope caps; Spudz lens cloth
  • Country of Origin: South Korea


The Henry Long Ranger 6.5 Creedmoor rifle has no iron sights, and it comes with a pair of Skinner scope bases of the Weaver style.

Henry Long Ranger 6.5 came with Skinner scope bases. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Henry Long Ranger 6.5 came with Skinner scope bases.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I used a pair of high Weaver QD rings of the “top strap” variety. These are not my preferred rings, but they came with the scope for review, so I felt obliged to use them. My dislikes for this type of ring include a tendency to mar the scope during installation and a tendency to rotate the scope as the top straps are tightened. What I like about them are the quick-detach (QD) feature; it’s super easy to remove the scope (with rings still attached) and put it back on with reasonable expectation of maintaining zero.

I mounted the scope using these Weaver rings. (Photo © Russ Chastain

I mounted the scope using these Weaver rings.
(Photo © Russ Chastain

I would have preferred medium or even low rings, but these did okay. I just prefer to keep my scopes as low as possible.

Mounting went smoothly; just remember to start with the crosshair/reticle rotated slightly out of plumb before you tighten the rings, because they will pull the scope clockwise as they are tightened. A quick boresight, and it was off to the range.

On the Range

I had a tough time finding the right ammo for this rifle, so I got a lot of range time with it. It was always easy to see my targets at 100 and 200 yards, and all controls work well.

This insert was in the box with my scope. I was unable to find any SFP models currently for sale online. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

This insert was in the box with my scope. I was unable to find any SFP models currently for sale online.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I ordered my scope with my favorite type of reticle for hunting, which is a “plex” type crosshair. Bushnell calls this “Multi-X SFP,” but when I look on their website I no longer see this type available.

In the Field

In the field, I was happy with the Bushnell Nitro scope, and it delivered accurate shots when I needed them. Most of the time, it gave me nice clear views of the game I was checking out so I could quickly determine gender and age of deer. In low light conditions, I did find its light-gathering insufficient to make positive ID on deer 100+ yards at full magnification.

I enjoyed hunting with this scope. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

I enjoyed hunting with this scope.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

This is typical of high-powered variable scopes, and I’ve experienced the same from much more costly scopes. The sad fact is that the higher the magnification, the darker the image appears. So if you want to get nice bright 16x views at dawn and dusk, you’ll be disappointed — and you will probably have to spend a LOT more to get that. As it was, I found myself with less eye strain than I’ve experienced with more expensive scopes.

At all other times this scope provided clear, crisp images at all magnifications and distances — as long as I remembered to use the side-mounted focus knob. This helps a lot when you are viewing 300+ yards, and a small adjustment of the knob is all it takes to crisp up your sight picture. I like how you don’t have to turn the focus very much; in less than a quarter-turn you can adjust from 50 yards to infinity.

Rain or shine, the Bushnell Nitro did the job. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Rain or shine, the Bushnell Nitro did the job.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I carried this rifle & scope in cold and mild conditions, sunshine and rain. It served me well and never left me with a scope I couldn’t see through when I needed to. The flip-up Bushnell scope caps helped a lot with that — especially when I spent all afternoon in the rain with the wind blowing it right at me.

The Nitro helped me smoke this big fawn-killer. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The Nitro helped me smoke this big fawn-killer.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Changing magnification was smooth and was not a problem. Some scopes make this awkward, but on the cold, foggy morning when a big male coyote crossed paths with me, I managed to get the rifle cocked, both scope caps popped, and the magnification cranked up in short order. Haste is often required when it comes to coyotes, and I was not delayed by the Nitro scope’s controls. The magnification adjustment ring is easy to grab and twist, even while wearing gloves.

Magnification adjustment is fast and easy on the Bushnell Nitro 4x-16x (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Magnification adjustment is fast and easy on the Bushnell Nitro 4x-16x
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

At more than 14 inches long without the sun shade and with the flip-up caps installed, this is not a small scope — but high magnification and good clarity require a good-sized scope. It’s no baby, but it’s no more bulky than other scopes in its class.


The flip-up scope caps already mentioned are much more useful than the old-fashioned scope covers with elastic cords, and aside from keeping rain and fog off my lens they also kept dust off the glass when the rifle was in an overhead rack in my UTV.

My only gripe with this type of cover is its tendency to pop open when you don’t want it to (walking to your stand, for example) and that it’s pretty easy to break one if you don’t realize it’s popped open while you are working your way through the woods.

The box also included a nice matte black aluminum sun shade, which is threaded to screw into the front of the scope.

Aluminum sun shade (included) adds 2.5 inches to the front of the scope. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Aluminum sun shade (included) adds 2.5 inches to the front of the scope.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The final nice touch was a Spudz lens cloth. It’s self-stowing in a neoprene holder with a plastic clip, and the lens cloth is of generous size (roughly 5.75×6 inches). This is great to keep close at hand to clear the scope when you fog it up with your breath or get some dew on the lens.

Lens cleaning cloth that came with the Nitro scope. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Lens cleaning cloth that came with the Nitro scope.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Because it stows away in the protective neoprene, it’s much more useful than the usual “plain jane” lens cloth that comes with most scopes.

Turret Adjustment

Adjusting windage and elevation to zero the scope is super-easy — no coin required. Remove turret caps, adjust as needed with your fingertips (1 click = 1/4″ at 100 yards), and put the caps back on. But after zeroing the rifle, you may wish to reset each turret to zero. This is easy to do — without tools.

After removing the cap, this is what the elevation turret looks like. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

After removing the cap, this is what the elevation turret looks like.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

To reset it to zero, you first remove the top screw by holding the knob with two fingers and spinning off the screw. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

To reset it to zero, you first remove the top screw by holding the knob with two fingers and spinning off the screw.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Lift the turret knob straight off. Then put it back on with the zero mark aligned. Reinstall the screw, and you're done. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Lift the turret knob straight off. Then put it back on with the zero mark aligned. Reinstall the screw, and you’re done.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Now you can easily return the rifle to zero after adjusting up or down, left or right. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Now you can easily return the rifle to zero after adjusting up or down, left or right.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The windage turret works the same way, so it’s easy to set your turrets to zero without any tools, even in the field.


I have been through a number of high-powered rifle scopes in recent years in my quest for an affordable, clear, durable, high magnification scope that will allow me to rapidly and accurately identify deer and other targets, and place accurate shots on them. Currently priced at less than $300, the Bushnell Nitro 4x-16x 44mm is a bargain-priced scope which performs comparably with much more costly models I’ve used.

Is mine super-bright at full magnification? Nope. But neither are the 30mm Leupold and Zeiss models I’ve owned — and they cost a lot more.

Elevation and windage adjustments are easy, as is resetting the turrets to zero. Adjustment turrets are target-style but are also securely covered, so you won’t accidentally change POI by bumping one in the field — but the covers are large and easy to grip when you need to spin one off to tweak things.

To top it off, this is a good-looking scope; I like the red accents.

Pick up a Bushnell Nitro 4x-16x 44mm riflescope; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


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Black Aces Tactical Lever 12 Gauge Now Available [The Firearm Blog]

Black Aces Tactical Lever 12 Image Credit: Black Aces TacticalPro Series L Lever 12 shotguns now available If Lever 12 gauges seem like your kind of action, Black Aces Tactical has you covered.  Now available in silver or black finishes with gloss walnut or black finished walnut furniture.  The Black Aces Tactical “Pro Series Lever 12” is fairly affordable, with MSRPs of $399 for […]

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Pitchfork Systems Release B&T Switzerland Dedicated Gun Mats [The Firearm Blog]

Pitchfork Systems from Austria have just released new, fully authorized B&T Switzerland gun mats. I use a standard green gun mat from Brownells, but I fully understand that branded gun mats have a place among connoisseurs. If you’re new to the firearm the schematics can be of great help once you start to disassemble or […]

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Arizona: Draft Forest Plan for the Tonto National Forest Addresses both Recreational Shooting and Hunting [NRA-ILA News]

The US Forest Service has released a plan for the Tonto National Forest that will guide its management for the next 10 to 15 years.  The nearly three million-acre national forest is located north of Phoenix and is the 5th largest national forest in the US.  Since its establishment in 1905, the Tonto has become of the most visited “urban” forests with over 5 million visitors annually.


Deer Hunting Ahead of the Front []

Moving into the fall white-tailed deer hunting seasons and deer behavior phases is also the time of year when weather changes can be quick and volatile. One day it is a nice balmy 60 degrees and often virtually overnight, it all changes. How do you prepare and react?

You wake up the next morning and it’s 26 degrees outside with a stiff wind. There is a thick frost on the ground with a slight mist in the air. You check the weather reports and in a few days a new front is moving in. When do you go hunting to maximize your efforts?

There are many theories and research studies offering advice with details on the impacts of fluctuating atmospheric pressures on game populations. We are pretty sure that the white-tailed deer definitely react to changing air pressure as weather fronts approach. This is the time all hunters should monitor weather constantly to know when to head to the woods.

Lowering atmospheric pressure indicates that rainy and stormy weather is developing. As the pressure goes down from moderate pressures of 30 to 30.5 or fair weather to a 29 that indicates storms, deer will start to be on the move. Movement seems to indicate that deer will be up on their feet trying to feed before rain or storms hit.

Similar to farm livestock, when cows are seen browsing around in the pasture, then deer will act accordingly as well. As the pressure is going down is the time to be in the tree stand, ground blind, or shooting house. It would be a good time to do some slow and deliberate still hunting. This would mean moving slowly down deer trails, woods lanes and plot edges watching closely for deer moving. Always work into the wind.

Once the air pressure bottoms out it will either be pouring rain or in full scale storm conditions. During this phase deer tend to lock down hiding out in cedar thickets, deep woods, or below ridge tops out of the wind and rain. As far as hunting is concerned, this is the time to be sitting by a raging fireplace with a good cup of coffee. Relax while the weather plays out.

As the nasty weather winds down, and storm clouds clear out, this is again the time to start gearing up to get back into stands. Having hunkered down for a spell deer will be anxious to be up and moving again. Be there ready for them.

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Thompson Auto-Ordnance Announces Commemorative Iwo Jima Series [The Firearm Blog]

Thompson Auto-Ordnance released a commemorative Iwo Jima set of three signature firearms.Last May, TFB reported that Thompson Auto-Ordnance released a commemorative D-Day series. This collection featured intricately-appointed special-edition versions of their 1911, M1 Carbine, and Thompson models. The artistic images emblazoned onto the bodies of each of these firearms paid homage to the valorous warriors who stormed the beaches of Normandy and Point du Hoc during […]

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Wait, Is Dr. Phil…One of Us? [The Firearm Blog]

If you gave me 6 million dollars to build a house, said house would absolutely contain: Guns on walls; A Star Wars room; Batman; Mounds of cocaine. And apparently, photos of Dr. Phil’s house – now for sale – show that he and I have the same taste in everything. (There are no pictures of […]

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NRA-Defended Lawsuit Preserves Predator Hunting in Alaska [NRA-ILA News]

Great news for hunters in Alaska: Predator hunting, in accordance with Alaska law, can continue on the nearly 77 million acres of National Wildlife Refuge land in Alaska. And the National Rifle Association (NRA) helped make this happen.


Crime in Virginia is Falling – Governor Focuses on Making You a Felon [NRA-ILA News]

Disgraced Governor Ralph Northam and his anti-gun allies in the newly elected legislature have made it clear they are hell-bent on enacting gun control. They want to take your guns and they want taxpayers to fund it. They’ve seen the same research that has shown that gun control doesn’t work.


New Hampshire: 2020 Legislative Session to Convene with Firearm Seizure Bill [NRA-ILA News]

On January 8th, the New Hampshire General Court will begin the 2020 legislative session. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on several retained bills, including HB 687, which would take away the constitutional rights of individuals without due process.


Virginia Gov. Northam Wants Millions in Tax Money to Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners! [NRA-ILA News]

In recent weeks NRA-ILA informed Virginia gun owners about gun control funding included in the state budget bill. The budget legislation, HB30, included a $250,000 appropriation to the Corrections Special Reserve Fund in order to provide for the “increase in the operating cost of adult correctional facilities resulting from the enactment” of Governor Ralph Northam and the Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly’s gun control measures. In other words, $250,000 of taxpayer money that will be used to lock up gun owners who don’t comply with Northam and Bloomberg’s unconstitutional gun laws.


Recover Tactical’s 20/20 Glock Stabilizer Kit and Brace [The Firearm Blog]

Recover Tactical BraceRecover Tactical just debuted their new Stabilizer Kit and Arm Brace they’re calling the 20/20. They originally were going to drop the new kit at SHOT Show 2020 in just a few weeks, but they just couldn’t wait. That’s probably a good move as there’s a bunch of new guns and accessories debuting there and […]

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The Kyrgyz Way of the Gun: Small Arms in Kyrgyzstan [The Firearm Blog]

Kyrgyzstan is one of the former Soviet Republics that is not on the firearms media radar too much today, but there is certainly a civilian firearm following in the capital of Bishkek where we went to talk to shop owners, shooters, and instructors about some of the trends and interests in Kyrgyzstan. Similar to other […]

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Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot [NRA-ILA News]

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow worshippers during a service at the church on Dec. 30, Wilson took swift action. He exposed himself to danger to deliver a single shot from his lawfully carried handgun that instantly ended what undoubtedly would have been even more terrible carnage among the hundreds present.


Forget Gun Free Zones, Virginia Gun Controllers Want Ammunition Free Zones [NRA-ILA News]

There is no such thing as a gun free zone. A person intent on criminal violence will not be deterred from bringing a gun to a location because of a “no guns” sign or an anti-gun statute. The only consequence of such measures is to ensure law-abiding citizens are disarmed and vulnerable. As demonstrated by Texas churchgoer Jack Wilson and the other armed congregants of West Freeway Church of Christ, allowing law-abiding citizens to carry for the defense of themselves and others can prevent harm.


SS-Contract Walther PP and PPK Pistols [Forgotten Weapons]

Today, courtesy of Tom from Legacy Collectibles, we are taking a look at Walther PP and PPK pistols made specifically for the SS and RSHA. These guns comprised several special contracts, distinct from general military and commercial production. They were not the only such special contracts, as such arrangements were also made for organizations like railway security and bank guards. Tracing back these specific guns has been done by a group of researchers using the archives preserved by the American and German armed forces.

If you would like more information or authentication of a Walther PP or PPK, Tom is happy to help (free of charge), and can be reached at

The specific variations are:

  • PP Var 1
    • Externally numbered slide
    • No P suffix
    • Magazines serialized on rear spine
    • 997985 – 981212
  • PP Var 2
    • Externally numbered slide
    • P under serial
    • Magazines serialized on rear spine
    • 124774P – 125168P
  • PP Var 3
    • Externally numbered slide
    • High polish finish
    • Magazines serialized on rear spine
    • Crown-N proofs: 114343P – 157923P
    • Eagle-N proofs: 161757P – 162691P, 193484P – 194201P, 202786P – 204905P
  • PP Var 4
    • Externally numbered slide
    • Military finish
    • Magazines serialized on baseplate
    • 331xxxP – 333xxxP


  • PPK Var 1
    • Externally numbered slide – under muzzle
    • Magazines serialized on rear spine
    • Muzzle numbered.
    • RZM-marked: 838769 – 841397
    • Non-RZM: 844936 – 990787, 1001262 – 1002477, 192083K – 192925K
  • PPK Var 2
    • Externally numbered slide
    • K under serial number
    • Magazines serialized on rear spine
    • 206019K – 234852K
  • PPK Var 3
    • Externally numbered slide
    • High polish finish
    • Magazines serialized on rear spine
    • Crown/N proofs: 242844K – 330358K
    • Eagle/N proofs: 266007K – 330358K
  • PPK Var 4: External numbered slide, military finish
    • Externally numbered slide
    • Military finish
    • Magazines serialized on baseplate
    • 382985K – 426712K


The Virginia Effect? []

I worked the Grass Roots North Carolina booth at the Land O’ Sky Gun Show in Asheville this weekend. This was the first gun show held there since July. The October gun show had been canceled due to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease at the WNC Ag Center.

The crowds on both days were much higher than they have been in past years. I would put them at an equivalent level to what I saw in 2014 during the Obama years. In other words, crowded but not as crowded as just after the Sandy Hook school murders when talk of gun control and gun bans was all you heard.

I’m sure the attendance was up because the last show had been canceled. However, I’m wondering if it was up even more due to what I’ll call the Virginia Effect. North Carolina does adjoin Virginia and Asheville is due south of Bristol. People stopping by the booth did want to talk about Virginia, the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement, and open resistance.

When you hear “Come and Take It” mixed with a hint of “Boogaloo” from not just good ol’ boys but buttoned-down, white collar managerial sorts, you know the anger is real and palpable.

A nice, country club-type Republican precinct chairwoman I spoke with said with all sincerity that Buncombe County needs to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary. I know that a call has gone out to attend the February 4th Buncombe County Commissioners meeting to demand it. You have to realize that Buncombe County is much more akin to Berkeley, California than it is to Berkeley, West Virginia. When the county commissioners think sanctuary, they are thinking about ICE and illegal aliens.

I will say that people seem more willing to become active. We picked up more memberships at this show than the last couple combined. Let’s hope that the example of the people of Virginia standing up and saying “no” is the beginning of a “Great Awakening” among gun owners.

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Sunday, 05 January


POTD: NAVY 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Guns [The Firearm Blog]

More than 3,000 soldiers participated in the Navy Flotex-17 exercise. In Today’s Photo Of The Day we’re going to take a look at some of the 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Guns used by the Norwegian Navy. Above you can see one of the (lucky) gunners onboard KNM Thor Heyerdahl, as he engages the Gulf of Cádiz […]

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Joy Behar: if you're going to take their guns, just lie about until elected [Of Arms and the Law]

She's forthright about lying on The View.

In related news, Pope Francis announces that time spent watching The View will substitute for time in purgatory. "The show's ratings saw a small bump after the announcement but ticked back down when Catholics realized they'd rather just spend time in purgatory."


California robber agrees to return after 10 day waiting period expires [Of Arms and the Law]

It'll take that long for his victim to be able to buy a gun, and he wants to make it a fair fight.

From the Babylon Bee, which Instapundit notes has become America's newspaper of record.

Saturday, 04 January


POTD: Aurora Borealis – Firearms Under The Northern Lights [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – Have you ever witnessed the Aurora Borealis? Seen in its full glory, it is almost a religious experience. The Aurora is an incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. […]

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SILENCER SATURDAY #106: 5.7mm Suppressor And Host Options [The Firearm Blog]

SILENCER SATURDAY #106: 5.7mm Suppressor And Host OptionsWelcome back to the latest edition of TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by my friends at Yankee Hill Machine – home of the Turbo and Resonator line of rifle caliber suppressors. Last week we compared the new H&K SP5 with the TPM MP5SD, a showdown we’ll revisit in coming months. This past week we […]

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Soviet 122mm D30 Cannon [Forgotten Weapons]

The D30 is a Soviet 122mm multi-role gun introduced in the 1960s and still in use around the world today. It has a somewhat unusual 3-leg mount that is slower to set up than a standard trail, but allows for complete 360-degree rotation of the gun. The piece was designed for both indirect fire (maximum range 15.4km; more with rocket-assisted munitions) or direct anti-tank fire. Note that it came with an armor shield for the crew, which was left off the gun for this trip to the range.

Thanks to Battlefield Vegas for the chance to film this awesome cannon firing! It belongs to them, and will be set up at their facility for a pretty awesome rental firing experience if you are into that…

Friday, 03 January


Friday Night Lights: Pulsar Core RXQ30V Thermal Scope Review [The Firearm Blog]

For those of you just joining us here at Friday Night Lights for the first time, welcome. This is a weekly column that focuses on shooting in the dark. Lights, lasers, night vision and thermal vision is our domain. Starting off this new year and new decade let us take a look at an entry-level […]

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POTD: Hatsan Escort AutoDefend TFS 12 Gauge Semi-Auto Shotgun [The Firearm Blog]

In today’s Photo, we’re looking at a Hatsan Escort AutoDefend TFS 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun I never really understood the phrase “going mediaeval on someone” – not until I put these two monsters in one room together: The Hatsan Escort AutoDefend TFS 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun with its 14” barrel including a heatshield and a […]

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Featured Deals of the Week – 1/3/20 [The Firearm Blog]

Deals-of-the-Week-HeaderHappy New Year! Here are some gun deals. Sig P210 Standard 9mm 5″ Black – $998.99 with free s/h What the deal is: While the description on the vendor website is for a P210 Target, the SKU and title are for the P210 Standard. With that confusion out of the way, god these are nice […]

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NEW: Mossberg 940 Autoloading Competition Shotgun Platform [The Firearm Blog]

NEW: Mossberg 940 Autoloading Competition Shotgun PlatformMossberg has just announced a new shotgun platform designed with the competition shooter in mind. The Mossberg 940 Autoloading Competition Shotgun is based on the 930 line with added aftermarket accessories installed at the factory as well as gas system upgrades, new sights and new chokes. The loading port has also been redesigned to more […]

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Savage Arms RENEGAUGE – Rifle Maker’s First Semiautomatic Shotgun [The Firearm Blog]

Savage Arms RENEGAUGE - Rifle Maker’s First Semiautomatic ShotgunBreaking from traditions, one iconic rifle maker has done something different for 2020 – meet the Savage Arms RENEGAUGE. Initially available in three versions – Field, Turkey and Waterfowl – the RENEGAUGE takes square aim at the hunting firearms market. Sporting a gas valve system known as a Dual Regulating In-line Valve (D.R.I.V.) – the […]

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Good Guys With Guns Are the Best Defense []

I often wonder what goes on inside the heads of people who actually think we would be safer with fewer guns. I surmise the answer to be, “Not much.”

Even as the state of Virginia reportedly gears up to steal guns from its citizens (VA patriot Robert E Lee must be spinning in his grave) and “red flag” gun thefts are being pushed and passed by Republicans and approved by Donald Trump, we have seen a perfect proof that more guns = more safety for law-abiding citizens.

I am referring to recent events in Texas, where a murderer entered the West Freeway Church of Christ in a town called White Settlement. Seconds after the killer began shooting a shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot, he was shot in the face by a parishioner who also heads the church’s security team.

As videos show, multiple other churchgoers were armed and drew their guns as the violence erupted… but no other shots were necessary. If the threat had continued, those armed citizens were ready to defend themselves and others, even at the risk of their own lives.

Imagine for a moment what would have happened if no one other than the murderer had been armed. We would be seeing a lot more dead innocents and endless “news” discussion about guns and why they should be banned.

Reality, however, proves time and time again that armed citizens are the best line of defense against any threat to their lives, liberty, and security.

If no one in that church had been armed other than the bad guy, many more people would have died. As it is, he managed to kill two people in the six seconds before he was fatally wounded by a good guy with a gun.

Do you think calling 911 could have ever been that effective? Me neither.

Jack Wilson, a 71-year-old former reserve deputy sheriff, took out the shotgun-wielding suspect with a single shot to the head during services at the West Freeway Church of Christ in the Fort Worth suburb of White Settlement, police and witnesses said.

”I don’t see myself as a hero,’ Wilson told reporters on Monday. ‘I see myself as doing what needed to be done to take out the evil threat.’

Not only is Wilson a former law enforcement officer, he also provides firearms training to members of the church who volunteer to help with security of the sanctuary, he said. He also has his own gun range.

Wilson was standing at the rear of the church during communion when the suspect, who witnesses said was wearing a fake beard and sunglasses, stood up just before 11 a.m. and confronted a church official. A livestream of the service showed the gunman suddenly pull out a short-barreled shotgun from under a long coat and shoot two churchgoers before Wilson killed him.

Wilson said that in the chaos that broke out when the shooting started, he drew his handgun and paused to prevent shooting people standing in his line of fire.

‘There were people in front of me, between the shooter and myself,’ Wilson said. ‘I had to wait for just a second because the whole thing was less than six seconds from start to finish and I had to make sure I didn’t hit a member as they were right in front of me.’

‘I only fired one round. It was the only shot I had, which was a head shot,’ Wilson said. ‘In my classes, I teach not to take head shots, but that was the only shot I had that was a clear shot and I was comfortable with taking the shot because of my training and my practice.’

Thank you, Mr. Wilson. (Source of quote: ABC News article)

Be like Jack. Get a gun. Get some training. Practice. And make our world safer.

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KRISS USA To Release .22LR Vector Rifle And Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

The time has come. A .22LR trainer for the KRISS Vector is finally upon us. This is a project that KRISS USA had been working on for some time now. It may be due in part to their Defiance DMK22 rimfire rifle and pistol. Whatever the reason is, you can now get a KRISS .22LR […]

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Win in Alaska [Of Arms and the Law]

NRA and SCI win against Center for Biological Diversity, in suit to stop predatory hunting on the 77 million acre National Wildlife Refuge. More remarkably, the win came in the Ninth Circuit.


Deer Hunting Solutions []

This is not about deer hunting problem solving. Or maybe in some ways, it is. More precisely, this is about deer hunting “solutions” or spray-on applications to address two specific aspects of deer hunting: scent reduction and scent attractants.

First off, scent control is of paramount importance for deer hunters to be able to defeat the superior smelling capabilities of a white-tailed deer. The senses of a deer are super keen including eyesight to movement, hearing of even the slightest off key noise, and especially scent detection. They can detect even the slightest unusual smell wafting through the woods. This primarily includes human scent, but also other human-associated smells like gasoline, breakfast scents such as bacon, and so many other odors not naturally found in nature.

Scent-dampening sprays are an easy way to help eliminate some of these deer spooking scents. There are many brands and types on the market, so shop carefully and read reviews about their effectiveness. One product line I have been using for a number of seasons is Buck Warrior out of Mississippi. Ron Eller has formulated a number of bottle spray solutions to help kill human scent for hunting.

Buck Warrior cover scent sprays includes Dust to Dust earth scent, Cover It with Pine, and Cover It with Cedar. Simply shake the bottle and liberally spray on clothes, boots and equipment to eliminate human scents. Their Covert spray is odorless, but kills off human scent to keep deer from smelling the hunter in the woods.

Besides cover scent products to reduce human scents, the other classification of deer hunting solutions are attractant scents. These solutions are intended to pique a deer’s olfactory system to entice them to come within shooting range with either archery gear or hunting firearms. Buck Warrior ( has two attractant scents that are so real, you’d think you were eating the actual item. These include Forbidden apple scent and Harvester corn scent. These can be applied to scent drags or sprayed on vegetation as you walk to your stand.

Deer hunting solutions are just one more tool in a deer hunter’s trick bag to help fool a deer. Deer are naturally curious about scents in their habitat. While they will come to check out sources of attractant scents, they are repelled by human related scents. Use these products as directed to help ante up your deer hunting game plan.

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Best and Worst Plants for Deer Screening []

For hunters concerned about improving habitat, there’s a little thing called “screening.” It consists of planting things that will grow up to form a sort of a brushy barrier for deer to hide behind. This helps the deer — especially the mature ones — feel more comfortable. And when they’re comfortable, they are much more likely to stay on your property.

In this video, Jeff Sturgis talks about screening and how you can use it to draw deer onto (or closer to) your property.

There are some bad ideas when it comes to screening… one he says is “a fad” which started in Michigan is the use of ornamental grasses for screening, specifically Miscanthus giganteus, described as “a perennial grass with bamboo-like stems that can grow to heights of more than 13 feet in one season.”

Jeff says that while it does sometimes work to provide a screen, he also says “it is not appropriate at all.” For one thing, it’s a lot more work (and a lot more expensive) than planting something like switchgrass.

Other suggestions include staggered rows of pine trees, which last for decades and will probably be hardier than the Miscanthus giganteus.

What else should you avoid? Any sort of screening that uses food plants such as sorghum, sunflowers, or corn. Why? Because the purpose of screening is to make the deer feel comfortable by creating a barrier that will prevent them from seeing you; if you make the screen an attractant, you’ve just invited deer to spend a lot of time at the supposed barrier between you and them.

Enjoy the video.

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Noveske and Dead Air Announce “Heat”-Inspired Collaboration [The Firearm Blog]

Dead Air + Noveske's 733-style collab.Chances are, if you’re a firearms fan and have ever discussed “top movie shootouts” or “best gun films“, the classic 1995 heist action/thriller “Heat” has entered into the conversation. The infamous rolling shootout scene, which takes place on the streets of Los Angeles following a botched smash-and-grab bank robbery, is often hailed as one of […]

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2020 Resolutions for Preppers []

As another new year unfolds, it is time again to reflect on things accomplished last year and what we should be planning forward. Whatever the “do” list was for last year not all of it was finished. It is a good time to review to see if any of those goals or tasks need to be bumped up into the New Year. It is also time to reflect on what new tasks and missions to focus on in the coming months.

Preppers, survivalists, and general outdoors folks are always in a status of flux when it comes to preparations, stocking up, learning new skills, and continuing to make efforts to be ready for whatever fate might befall us ahead. Just being ready takes enough effort, but at times maybe we fall short in checking off all the stuff we need to take care of. Now is the time for that.

Each year I try to take an inventory of everything gear and supply wise that would be not only helpful but essential during any SHTF or otherwise natural disaster. First of all I recognize that my first aid kit and supplies need to be refreshed. When you take out some Band-Aids and they don’t stick, you know they are too old to be of much use. Time to replace them. What else?

Check dates on common OTC meds and remedies that might be getting dated. Review all the use dates on tubes of medications, ointments, and such to see just how “fresh” they are. You may need to restock or take a stroll down the pharmacy aisle to shop for replacement items or new products to help with a variety of minor injuries or ailments.

Check over stocks of hardware and related items. Glue, tape, screws, bolts, lubricants, paint, light bulbs, fuses, and everything else that you might be out of or running low on. I hate going into the garage to get something I need for a project only to find out I am out or have half what I need for the job. Assess your arsenal, guns, ammo, and gear.

What about new building or remodeling projects? Maybe adding an electric generator or a water collection system? Could be the garage needs more shelving units to store stuff or a good cleaning out of junk you have deemed useless. We all have those items wasting space.

Of course, these few suggestions only scratches the surface. The point is that the New Year is the perfect time to reassess all aspects of your prepper plan and to start to work on it now.

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New Hiperfire PHANTOM Triggers for AR15, PCC and MPX [The Firearm Blog]

Just in time for a SHOT Show 2020 premiere HIgh PERformance FIREarms LLC (Hiperfire) release a new line of triggers. The new line is called PHANTOM and is planned to be available in March of this year. I have tried one of the Hiperfire triggers in one of my previous builds, but it was a while […]

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Savage Arms Introduces Its First Semi-Automatic Shotgun: RENEGAUGE []

We are just a couple of weeks away from SHOT Show 2020 and the new product releases are starting to trickle out. Today, Savage arms has introduced their newest shotgun, which is their first foray into the world of semi-automatic bird guns. As with most new guns from Savage, this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Here is more from Savage:

WESTFIELD, Massachusetts – January 3, 2020 – Savage Arms, makers of the most trusted hunting and target rifles in the United States, is proud to introduce RENEGAUGE. The new American-made semiautomatic 12 gauge shotguns are built for field use, offer hunters and competitors a new standard for both fit and function, and include several patented parts and designs—including the Dual Regulating Inline Valve (D.R.I.V.) gas system.

“RENEGAUGE is unlike any other semi-automatic shotgun, and demonstrates our commitment to innovate as an independent company,” said Al Kasper, President and CEO. “This project has been in the works for years because we wanted to enter a new category in a big way. The team in place now did an amazing job getting this to the finish line. Hunters and shooters are going to be amazed with the fit, feel, function and versatility of this shotgun. And it’s a platform we can and will build on—so look for more in the very near future.”

RENEGAUGE has been tested to the extreme—both in the field and in the lab. Everything in the design is intentional and has a purpose. RENEGAUGE looks different because it is—and it brings American-made performance to a new level. The shotgun functions and cycles light loads and magnum field loads with unbelievable consistency and reliability. Avid wing shooters will love the way it swings, competitors will find it at home on the range, and hunters will trust it in the nastiest of conditions.

The D.R.I.V. system provides RENEGAGUE with the unparalleled ability to regulate the gas that cycles the shotgun’s action. Both low-brass target shells and Magnum hunting shells will cycle the action with the same reliability and without any adjustment from the shooter.

This functionality is complimented by how easy RENEGAUGE is to fit to the shooter. From comb height to length of pull, RENEGAUGE can be adjusted to ensure every aspect of its ergonomics matches its user’s needs.


  • D.R.I.V. gas system
  • Adjustable stock for length of pull, comb height, drop and cast
  • One-piece, chrome plated action bar assembly
  • Chrome plated reciprocating components
  • Stock rod buffer to reduce felt recoil
  • Fluted barrel with melonite finish
  • Carbon steel ventilated rib with 
red fiberoptic sight
  • Competition-ready easy loading magazine port
  • Oversized controls
  • 3 interchangeable flush mount choke tubes (Beretta/Benelli) – IC, M, F
  • Hard-sided carrying case

Part No. / Description / MSRP

57602 / RENEGAUGE, 12 Gauge Black Synthetic 28-inch barrel / $1,449

57603 / RENEGAUGE, 12 Gauge Black Synthetic 26-inch barrel / $1,449

57604 / RENEGAUGE Waterfowl, 12 Gauge Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades 28-inch barrel / $1,549

57605 / RENEGAUGE Waterfowl, 12 Gauge Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades 26-inch barrel / $1,549

57606 / RENEGAUGE TURKEY, 12 Gauge Mossy Oak Bottomland 24-inch barrel / $1,549

57607 / RENEGAUGE TURKEY, 12 Gauge Mossy Oak Obsession 24-inch barrel / $1,549

About Savage

Headquartered in Westfield, Massachusetts, Savage has been producing firearms for more than 125 years. Savage is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hunting, competition and targeting shooting centerfire and rimfire rifles, and shotguns. Their firearms are best known for accuracy, performance and innovation. The entrepreneurial spirit that originally defined the company is still evident in its ongoing focus on continuous innovation, craftsmanship, quality and service. Learn more at

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Savage Renegauge Shotgun – FAST! [The Firearm Blog]

Check out the new shotgun from Savage called the Renegauge! The gas system is what makes it different. It’s called the D.R.I.V. system and it stands for Dual Regulating Inline Valve gas system. In simple terms, it regulates just the right amount of gas to cycle the bolt, meaning that the shotgun can operate efficiently […]

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T/C Arms Unveils NEW Compass Utility, Compass II & Venture II Rifles [The Firearm Blog]

compass utilityThompson Center unveiled 4 NEW rifles to usher in the New Year of 2020 with the introduction of the Compass Utility, Compass Compact II, Compass II, and Venture II bolt-action rifles. Lane Tobiassen, President of Smith & Wesson, had these words to share about all of the new rifles they are unveiling for 2020 which […]

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New Poly/Metal .308 Magazine from MDT [The Firearm Blog]

MDT from Canada have released a new magazine which should interest a lot of manual action shooters who are using magwells with the AICS pattern. The body is made from high strength polymer and features a clear window in the sides of the body to easily view loaded rounds. The Poly/Metal design features steel feed […]

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H&K’s Experimental SMG and SMG II for the US Navy [Forgotten Weapons]

In the 1980s, the US Navy requested a new submachine gun to replace the MP5 then in use. In particular, the Navy wanted a gun that was optimized for use with a suppressor. H&K built two models of experimental guns in the 1980s to meet this request, creatively named the SMG and SMG II.

Both guns were hammer fired, closed bolt designs that used simple blowback actions. They had collapsing stocks similar to what would later be used on the MP7, and vertical front grips. The early pattern had a remarkably complex rear sight offering two different sets of range calibrations for subsonic and supersonic ammunition (out to 150m). The SMG II reverted to a more standard HK drum rear sight, but added a very interesting velocity-reduction system. A pressure vessel under the barrel was connected to the barrel via a set of holes just in front of the chamber, and when opened it would reduce chamber pressure and thus velocity. It could reportedly reduce muzzle velocity from 350 m/s (1150 fps) to 305 m/s (1000 fps), thus bringing it below the speed of sound.

The Navy tested both models, and decided that neither warranted replacement of the MP5. No other sales were made of the designs, but much of the developmental work would be put into the UMP program that came afterward.

Thursday, 02 January


*NEW* Mossberg 940 JM PRO Shotgun! [The Firearm Blog]

Join me as I take a first look at the Brand New Mossberg 940 JM PRO Shotgun. A truly turnkey competition 12 gauge shotgun that has significant improvements over the older Mossberg 930 models. First and foremost, the gas system was re-engineered. This lets the new 940 go well beyond 1000 rounds before it requires […]

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TFB Review: The Firearms Guide – Online Edition [The Firearm Blog]

A few weeks ago we reported that Impressum Media just released the 10th edition of their Firearms Guide. Intrigued by the potential of the database we availed of the opportunity of a press account to offer TFB readers an overview of the service. TFB Review: The Firearms Guide – Online Edition – Table of Contents: […]

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POTD: M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank at Iron Spear [The Firearm Blog]

POTD is TFB’s Photo Of The Day. This is TFB’s first POTD in 2020, and therefore our first daily photo of this decade. We start with a look-back at Battle Group Latvia‘s Iron Spear – World’s Largest Tank Concentration and Shooting Competition. Today we have some amazing pictures to kick-off the 2020 and a New Decade of […]

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Concealed Carry Corner: The Importance of Dry Firing [The Firearm Blog]

When the topic of dry firing comes up, there will often be a number of debates on how beneficial it is to the shooter. A number of things that can be improved from dry firing but often times people argue against dry firing for a few different reasons. I figured it would be helpful to […]

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MagLULA v. Amazon – Alleged Counterfeit MagLULA And IPR Violations [The Firearm Blog]

MagLULA v. Amazon - Counterfeit MagLULA And IPR ViolationsMagazine and accessory manufacturer MagLULA has filed a lawsuit against for alleged Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations stemming from the advertising and sale of counterfeit MagLULA, UpLULA and other products covered by registered trademark and copyright protections. The suit, dated December 12, 2019, alleges the unauthorized use of trademarks and copyrights by Amazon in […]

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Ruger Introduces Lite Rack LCP II Chambered in .22 LR []

Ruger recently introduced one of the newest iterations of their LCP II pistol chambered in .22 Long Rifle featuring a proprietary Lite Rack system. This is a pistol that nobody saw coming because while there is an urgent rush in the concealed carry pistol market to make smaller 9mm pistols with conversely more capacity, the Ruger LCP II with Lite Rack technology goes an entirely different direction.

As alluded earlier, many CCW advocates are in hot pursuit of 9mm pistols that are tiny with huge capacity. What many of us overlook though (except Ruger) is that not all people trying to carry a handgun can manipulate a semi-auto slide assembly or tolerate the recoil of larger centerfire cartridges. So while many people might be asking the question of “Why” a better question is actually “Why not?” Ruger goes on to provide us with the laundry list of specifications for the Lite Rack LCP II in .22 Long Rifle:

  • Lite Rack™ system includes refined slide serrations, pronounced cocking ears and a lighter recoil spring, allowing for easy slide manipulation.
  • Low recoil for comfortable training. Optimized to function with high-velocity ammunition.
  • With a patent-pending floorplate assembly, the magazine offers a very compact 10+1 capacity, extends the grip for improved control and retains the LCP® IIs popular last-round hold open function.
  • Manual safety is oriented in a push-forward-to-fire configuration that is instinctive and unobtrusive.

lite rack

  • Compact and lightweight, the LCP® II is designed to fit a variety of holsters.
  • Textured grip frame provides a secure and comfortable grip. Larger grip frame surface provides better distribution of recoil forces.
  • Fixed front and rear sights are integral to the slide, while the hammer is recessed within the slide.
  • Rugged construction with through-hardened steel slide and one-piece, high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame.

lite rack

  • Secure Action™ fire control that combines the smooth pull of the LCP® with the short crisp feel and positive reset of a single-action.
  • Additional safety features include a magazine disconnect; neutrally balanced sear with significant engagement and strong spring tension; and hammer catch to help prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.
  • Satin, stainless steel barrel.
  • Accepts all existing LCP®II accessories with the exception of magazines chambered in .380 Auto.
  • Also includes: one magazine and magazine loader.

lite rack

At the moment, the Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 Long Rifle is offered in just a simple black coloration at an MSRP price-point of $349. Knowing Ruger though, this pistol will likely be offered in a multitude of colors in the future with potentially other accessories as well like lasers and/or flashlights. The complete Press Release for this pistol can be read below from Ruger:

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) proudly introduces the LCP® II chambered in .22 LR. This new, low-recoiling Lite Rack™ pistol features an easy-to-manipulate slide that shoots comfortably regardless of hand size or strength.

Since its introduction in 2008, the LCP has set the industry standard for a lightweight, compact and reliable carry pistol. In 2016, the product line evolved with the release of the LCP II, boasting enhanced features like taller sights, a larger grip surface, crisp new trigger and last-round hold open. The all new LCP II chambered in .22 LR represents the latest innovation in compact carry pistols from Ruger.

The .22 LR LCP II incorporates Ruger’s new Lite Rack system, which allows for easy slide manipulation. The Lite Rack system includes refined slide serrations, pronounced cocking ears and a lighter recoil spring. Combined, these features ease the burden of cycling a pistol slide by hand. Pistols equipped with the Lite Rack system are ideally suited for new shooters, those who struggle with racking traditional slides and anyone looking to enjoy a day at the range. Whether used as a training tool for an existing LCP or LCP II, or as a concealed carry option, the low-recoiling Lite Rack LCP II in .22 LR allows shooters to train with and operate their pistol with confidence.

lite rack

Optimized to function with high-velocity ammunition, this new pistol features a tilt-barrel, blowback semi-automatic action, which aids in feeding for reliable function. With a patent-pending floorplate assembly, the magazine offers a very compact 10+1 capacity, extends the grip for improved control and retains the LCP II’s popular last-round hold open function.

The LCP II in .22 LR features a first-ever manual safety, making this a great training option for new shooters or those who prefer a manual safety option. Positioned on the left side of the frame, the safety is oriented in a push-forward-to-fire configuration that is instinctive and unobtrusive. A magazine disconnect ensures that the gun cannot fire with the magazine removed, yet still allows the magazine to drop free.

Like the rest of the LCP II family, this American-made pistol features a short, crisp, Secure Action™ trigger with inner trigger safety; improved sights for superior accuracy; and highly-textured grip surfaces. In addition to one, 10-round magazine, this pistol also ships with a magazine loader.

At this time, Ruger does not have a video for us to watch on their YouTube channel, but our friends over at our sister-blog of TheFirearmBlog have already received a copy of the Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 Long Rifle to test and review. Check out the experience and thoughts from Hop of TFBTV to see if this is a pistol you may want to add to your collection.

Once again, the Ruger Lite Rack LCP II .22 Long Rifle is punching in at a price-point of $349 and is currently shipping to firearm retailers at the time of this writing. The biggest question that is yet to be answered is what does the general public think? Is this something that you would be willing to spend $350 on either for concealed carry or for use at the range? Do you think this pistol will find its niche in the firearm industry? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

lite rack

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Blaser USA Transitions to Blaser Group [The Firearm Blog]

Blaser USA, the official U.S. importer for the products of brands such as Blaser, Mauser, J. P. Sauer & Sohn, Rigby and Minox, will now begin operating under a new name – Blaser Group. Here’s Blaser Group’s announcement in full: San Antonio, Texas (January 2, 2020) – Blaser USA, the official U.S. importer for Blaser, […]

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Patriot Ordnance Factory Announces New REBEL .22 LR Sub-Gun []

Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF) recently debuted their New Rebel .22 Long Rifle sub-gun leading into SHOT Show this 3rd week of January. They actually made the announcement 22 days before the start of SHOT Show (get it… 22 days… chambered in .22 Long Rifle). At least someone at POF has a sense of humor along with a genius mind to bring us this AR-style sub-gun that accepts Ruger 10/22 patterned magazines. POF goes on to further explain their most recent work of art in this Press Release below:

PHOENIX, AZ: The new POF-USA Rebel was designed to defy what the world believes a .22 LR can be. Our engineers rebelled and created something revolutionary. Designed from the ground up around the 10/22® magazine by our Award-Winning engineering team at Patriot Ordnance Factory. The new Rebel provides an affordable package for customers never before seen in the firearms industry.

The new POF-USA Rebel was designed to defy what the world believes a .22 LR can be. Our engineers rebelled and created something revolutionary. Designed from the ground up around the 10/22® magazine by our Award-Winning engineering team at Patriot Ordnance Factory. The new Rebel provides an affordable package for customers never before seen in the firearms industry.

From its inception, the Rebel was designed to provide customers with a .22 LR sub-gun from the future that lives up to POF-USA’s design standards of excellence and innovation. All while allowing shooters of all skill levels, age and size to enjoy the best possible .22 LR shooting experience.


While there might be a lot of nay-sayers believing this is just another AR style .22 Long Rifle, those people are frankly quite wrong in their interpretation of the Rebel. Little to no modern AR-style .22 Long Rifle firearms are accepting of Ruger 10/22 patterned magazines which is a huge plus. Also, the monolithic aluminum M-LOK handguard is a very forward-thinking upper to top off a traditional lightweight lower. A further deep-dive into the anatomy can be watched through POF’s YouTube video on the firearm.

If you are starting to be intrigued by this firearm or are waiting out for more valuable information, your next question might be when will these actually become available? POF is stating that they will be available to the public beginning on March 1st with an MSRP of $649. The rest of the specifications can be read below as presented by POF:

  • Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
  • Barrel: 8″ Threaded w/ 1/2″ x 28 T.P.I.
  • Weight: 3.25 Lbs
  • Overall Length: 21.5″
  • Semi-Auto, Blowback Operating System
  • Anodized Aluminum Monolithic M-LOK Upper & Handguard
  • MSR Style Controls & Components
  • Mission First Tactical (MFT) Engage V2 Pistol Grip
  • Mission First Tactical (MFT) Battlelink Minimalist Pistol Stabilization Brace

For all of our .22 Long Rifle junkies in the reading audience, what do you think of the New POF Rebel .22 Long Rifle sub-gun? Is this something that you would be willing to throw $649 at for some serious range fun? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.



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New Year, New Gear! MDT Poly Metal 308 Magazine 10 Round Capacity []

MDT, or Modular Driven Technologies, has rung in the New Year by bringing all of us a new hybrid poly metal .308 Win pattern magazine for AICS shooters at a more affordable price-point. The MSRP of $49.95 for a simple 10 Round black magazine punches in at a much more attainable price for most shooters. The simple specifications for the magazine can be read below as presented by MDT:

  • 10 Rounds of 308 Family Cartridges
  • COAL: 2.870″
  • Weight: 5.5 Ounces
  • Compatible w/ all AICS-Pattern Short-Action Chassis that MDT offers (including Howa inlets)

In the arena of long-range shooting, AICS Pattern magazines tend to reign supreme in quality and are very common for various action types and chassis systems. So this announcement of a poly metal hybrid magazine should come as welcomed news to many shooters. A short Press Release statement from MDT elaborating more on their newest magazine can be read below as well:

The MDT Poly/Metal Magazines are a new advancement of the tried and true AICS pattern magazine. The combined polymer and steel magazine make for a unique, lightweight, slick feeding magazine. The body is made from high strength polymer and features a clear window in the sides of the body to easily view loaded rounds. The Polymetal design features steel feed lips that are mated to the polymer body to ensure smooth, reliable feeding in your rifle.

The metal feedlip assembly contains the latching boss, significantly increasing the durability compared to a polymer equivalent. The metal feedlips can also be easily adjusted or tuned to improve performance with other cartridges.

For all of our long-range shooters in the reading audience, what do you think of this new offering from MDT? Is this a magazine you would be willing to try out this coming year in competitions, for recreation, or even hunting? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

poly metal

poly metal

poly metal

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TFBTV’s Top 10 Guns of the Decade [The Firearm Blog]

In this episode of TFBTV, James reviews the best guns of the past decade, from 2010-2019. Writers and editors from The Firearm Blog made the nominations, and the viewers picked the winners. Here’s the list. ««« GUN AND GEAR GIVEAWAYS »»» PLEASE check out our Patreon and Subscribe Star pages if you enjoy our program, […]

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Unique Homemade Decorative Gun Cabinet For An AR-15 [The Firearm Blog]

Homemade decorative gun cabinetRedditor Flatout93 recently built his own homemade decorative gun cabinet, which he said was his first attempt at building anything with wood and nails for himself.  The rugged look of the wood and paint gives it a cool look on the wall, although Flatout93 recognized that the external hinges and no lock don’t exactly make […]

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Federal FORCE X2 Shotgun Ammo – 00 Buckshot That Splits In Half [The Firearm Blog]

Federal Force X2 Shotgun Ammo - 00 Buckshot That Splits In Half (1)One of the mad scientists at Federal Premium has probably thought once “what if to load split-shot sinkers into a shotgun shell?” and that’s probably how the Force X2 shotgun ammo was born. Joking aside, this is a really interesting buckshot design. These copper-plated double ought buckshot pellets are slotted and split in half upon impact! So […]

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Chatting About Cannons & Tanks with Glenn Fleming [Forgotten Weapons]

When I arrived at down in Texas, I was happily surprised to find my old acquaintance Glenn Fleming working there as lead gunsmith. Glenn and I first met on the set of a certain TV show many years back, and he is a great guy – in marked distinction from the rest of the show’s cast. Anyway, Glenn left the show shortly after my appearance (coincidence?) and has been working as a gunsmith since. For a while he ran a Youtube channel call the Gunner’s Vault. Anyway, Glenn is now the head gunsmith for DriveTanks, doing fun and interesting things with machine guns and artillery, like rebuilding a 14.5mm KPV from a parts kit. He took a few minutes to chat with me about some aspects of shooting and working with tanks and artillery…


Pre-SHOT Show Releases, Part 1 []

The Colt “snake” revolvers are back. First, they released the Cobra a few years ago followed by the Black Cobra. Last year, Colt released the King Cobra. Yesterday, they announced the re-released of what for many was always a Holy Grail – the Colt Python .357 Magnum Revolver.

The Python 2020 will be available in both 6 inch and 4.25 inch versions. Both will have a MSRP of $1,499.00.

  • Barrel Description: 1:14 LH, 6 Groove
  • Barrel Length: 6 in.
  • Capacity: 6 rds.
  • Finish: Semi-Bright
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Grips: Walnut Target Stocks
  • Height: 5.5 in.
  • Width: 1.55 in.
  • Overall Length: 11.5 in.
  • Weight: 46 oz.

The 4.25 inch version will be 4 oz. lighter and have an overall length of 9.75 inches.

The new Python is not the old Python. Changes have been made especially to the fire control parts.

From Ed Head who had the opportunity to fire the new Python 2020 at Gunsite back in November:

Back in November we had the pleasure of hosting Colt at Gunsite for a writer event, followed by a training class for Colt executives. They introduced the new Python, a stainless steel model available in 4″ and 6″ barrel lengths. The action has the smoothest DA trigger I have experienced in a factory revolver. They accomplished this by eliminating 12 parts from the old action and re-designing the internals. Dimensionally these revolvers are the same size as the previous models so grips, speed loaders and holsters are interchangeable.

As to why a blued version is not being released (yet), he wrote on Facebook:

The internals are CNC machined billet steel. Pretty much the rest of the revolver as well. Billet steel barrel. Whether you accept it or not, the reason they explained the blued model would be considerably more expensive is in order to meet the standards expected of a Colt Royal Blue revolver it would require a great deal of hand polishing and labor. BTW, as of mid-November they had a Python on a fixture running it double action and it was somewhere past 50,000 cycles without failing.

Colt released this video about the Python 2020 on YouTube yesterday.

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Wednesday, 01 January


TFB Review: XS Sights’ RAM Night Sights For Pistols [The Firearm Blog]

XS Sights RAM Night SightsXS Sights recently released their RadioActive Material (RAM) 3-dot pistol sights that are designed to work both day and night. They are sold as a set with a front and rear sight, with red thread locker and a front sight screw, in the case of the Glock compatible version that I tested for the review. […]

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Marine Leaders Get It []

And some US Air Force leaders don’t.

The Marine Corps just issued a new policy yesterday stating active Marine Corps law enforcement professionals will be allowed to carry concealed while off-duty “on board” all USMC facilities located in the United States or US territories. This applies to both USMC military and civilian law enforcement personal. While not perfect, it is a start.

R 311847Z DEC 19




GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  This MARADMIN authorizes qualified active Marine Corps Law Enforcement (LE) professionals who possess valid Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) 18 U.S.C. §926B credentials to carry concealed privately owned firearms (POF) aboard Marine Corps property in the United States and U.S. territories for personal protection not in the performance of official duties.

2.  In December 2019, the Department of the Navy (DON) suffered two fatal active shooter incidents aboard Naval Base Hawaii and Naval Air Station Pensacola.  These tragic events prompted Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) to accelerate existing efforts to develop concealed carry policies aligned with SECNAVINST 5500.37, “Arming and the Use of Force.”

3.  SECNAVINST 5500.37 authorizes the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) to grant permission to Marine Corps uniformed and civilian personnel to carry a POF aboard Marine Corps property for personal protection not in the performance of official duties or status.  Through this MARADMIN, the CMC authorizes only Marine Corps LE professionals who possess valid LEOSA 18 U.S.C. §926B credentials to carry a concealed POF aboard Marine Corps property.  Marine Corps property are Marine Corps installations, bases, and stations in which the Marine Corps exercises primacy for LE functions.

4.  MCO 5580.4, “Implementation of the Amended LEOSA,” with changes captured in MARADMIN 470/18 and AMHS message DTG 231907Z Aug 18, codifies requirements for the concealed carry of a POF by Marine Corps LE professionals for personal protection not in the performance of official duties.  Per MCO 5580.4, Marine Corps LE professionals are defined as Military Police, Criminal Investigators, and Marine Corps Law Enforcement Program Police Officers who meet credentialing requirements for concealed carry of a POF for personal protection. 

5.  This MARADMIN authorizes Marine Corps LE professionals, who maintain LEOSA 926B credentials, to carry a concealed POF aboard Marine Corps property while off-duty.  The authority of this MARADMIN does not extend to Marine Corps LE professionals on joint bases, on other Department of Defense (DOD) property under the cognizance of another DOD service, or on other federal facilities.  This MARADMIN does not authorize other DOD LE professionals to carry a concealed POF on Marine Corps property.

6.  Marine Corps LE professionals must comply with concealed carry requirements as set forth in DODD 5210.56, “Arming and the Use of Force.”  Restrictions and special considerations, including POF registration, POF storage and transportation, and adherence to POF concealed carry policy, as prescribed in MCO 5580.4, remain in effect.  Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §930(d) and DODD 5210.56, Marine Corps LE professionals are authorized to carry a concealed POF for personal protection not related to the performance of official duties within buildings and facilities located on Marine Corps property except for DOD schools in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §922(q), “Federal Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995,” courtrooms unless previously authorized by the military judge, or where otherwise prohibited by law. 

7.  HQMC will continue to develop policy to address the total force  requirements for the carry, transport, and storage of concealed POFs aboard Marine Corps property aligned with SECNAVINST 5500.37.  Installation commanders and arming authorities charged with implementing the provisions of this MARADMIN should consult their servicing Staff Judge Advocate to ensure local policies comply with law, regulations, and policies.

8.  Release authorized by Lieutenant General G. W. Smith Jr., Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policies, and Operations.//

While the Marines get it, Col. Gavin Marks, the commander of the Air Force’s 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, does not. He just rescinded the policy allowing those with a carry permit to have personally owned firearms in their vehicles.

POLICY CHANGE: Beginning Jan. 2, 2020, the 55th Wing commander has directed that the transportation of privately owned firearms (POF) on Offutt Air Force Base, with few exceptions, will be prohibited.

The current policy, which authorizes registered Department of Defense ID card holders with a Nebraska Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and holders of reciprocating state concealed carry license (CCL), to transport and secure privately-owned handguns in privately-owned vehicles within the base, will no longer be valid. This policy change comes as a result of the commander’s initial review of the Offutt AFB Integrated Defense and Antiterrorism Plan, a requirement to be completed within 120 days of assuming command.

The commander’s intent for this change is that firearms will be effectively controlled and safely handled on Offutt AFB and is reflective of the full confidence in the 55th Security Forces Squadron’s ability to defend the installation and its personnel. By making this change Offutt will exceed requirements outlined in DoD Instruction 5210.56 and Air Force Instruction 31-101.

So when seconds count at Offutt, the 55th Security Forces Squadron will be only minutes away.

Col. Marks needs to read Andy Brown’s Warnings Unheeded. Then Senior Airman Andy Brown, a USAF security policeman, was able to stop the mass casualty event at Fairfield AFB in 1994 by killing the murderer. However, four people were killed and 22 wounded before Brown’s incredible marksmanship stopped the killer.

How many more people have to die before military leaders finally get it?

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Federal SOLID CORE Handgun Ammo with Polymer-Coated Hard Cast Lead Bullets [The Firearm Blog]

Federal SOLID CORE Handgun Ammo (1)Lead used in bullets is different depending on the type of the projectile and the job you are expecting it to do. If you want it to deform and mushroom, you need softer alloy or pure lead and if you want the lead bullet to stay intact and penetrate as much as possible, you need […]

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NEW Federal Premium PUNCH Defensive Handgun Ammunition Line [The Firearm Blog]

Federal PUNCH Defensive Handgun Ammunition Line (1)Vista Outdoor has announced a huge amount of new products for 2020. The most significant ones we’ll cover separately and tomorrow we’ll also publish an article telling about the rest of the new products by Federal Premium Ammunition, CCI, Speer and Alliant Powder. In this article, we’ll take a look at the new Federal defensive handgun […]

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Speer Gold Dot 5.7x28mm Self-Defense Ammunition [The Firearm Blog]

Speer Gold Dot 5.7x28mmUp until recently, this author was thinking that no matter how cool the 5.7x28mm FN cartridge is, its fate is quite concerning. But things have changed. As you know, yesterday Ruger announced a 5.7x28mm pistol, the Ruger-57, and what we’ll talk about today is Speer’s newly released Gold Dot 5.7x28mm defensive ammunition. Well, looks like Ruger and […]

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Wheelgun Wednesday: The Return Of The New Colt Python 2020 [The Firearm Blog]

Wheelgun Wednesday: The Return Of The New Colt PythonIt’s finally back – the new Colt Python will make its debut in 2020. The return of one of the ultimate American wheelguns has been eagerly anticipated since the re-release of the Colt snake series began a few years ago. With production spanning nearly half a century and ending in 1999, the original Python is […]

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State of the Channel 2020 [Forgotten Weapons]

Time to begin another year of Forgotten Weapons!  It’s going to be another good one, with a great variety of guns from an assortment of collections, museums, and auction houses. I am stepping back slightly on the video schedule, from 7/week to 6/week; taking Sunday off from video posting. Not to relax, naturally, but to be able to dedicate some time to other projects. I am eager to expand my archival work, which has been basically stalled for want to time. I will also be starting my next reference book, which is very exciting. Thanks to everyone who supports my work, and here’s to a great 2020!


Tuesday, 31 December


Streamlight TLR-2G Laser/Light Combo Review [The Firearm Blog]

Admit it. You want a laser-light combo. We all do, I mean they’re right in that sweet spot of cool and practical. Anyone who’s gone shooting at the range with a laser knows how useful of a training tool it is, and anyone who’s LARPed around their house at night knows how practical a weapon […]

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POTD: Green Beret Fires a Carl Gustaf Recoilless Rifle [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – This is TFB’s last POTD in 2019, and the last POTD of this decade. We are looking at a Green Beret as he fires an M3 MAAWS Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle during training in the Nevada Desert. Below: Beware of the blast. Always check behind you before using the Carl […]

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HOT GAT or FUDD CRAP? Top Five Hottest Gats of 2019 [The Firearm Blog]

Welcome everyone to ‘Hot Gat or Fudd Crap?‘, one of our many series here on TFB. If you’re new to the series, then this is as good a place as any to start! This is where we usually look at the most obscure firearms that are actually for sale and ask the question – is […]

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Teaching Someone About Guns []

I firmly believe everyone should know how to safely operate a firearm. This includes loading, firing, and unloading — and of course, being able to hit one’s intended target and nothing else. This is ideally taught while a person is young, and there’s really no set rule for the age when a person is ready to learn. Everyone is different.

When it’s time for a kid to learn about guns — and the sooner the better — a responsible, knowledgeable adult should teach him or her the basics. No pressure, no judgement, just education and guidance with safety and fun as priorities one and two.

Make it Enjoyable

Some people tiptoe around the subject, but I’ll just say it: Shooting is fun! Yes, it requires serious devotion to safety and must always be done with great care… but if we do our shooting grimly in a regimented way, soberly poking holes in paper targets from afar, that’s actually pretty lame.

Everyone should learn the basics of safe gun handling and accurate shooting. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Everyone should learn the basics of safe gun handling and accurate shooting.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I was recently surprised to learn that my 13-year-old niece had never fired a gun. Alas! But there was something I could do about that; I fetched a couple old 22 rifles and some Federal BYOB ammo, set up a series of soda cans on a safe private backstop, and began her firearms education.

We began with the old Winchester 69A bolt action rifle my late father bought in his teens at Art’s Swap Shop in Tampa. The rifle cost him a whopping $15 — and he had to make payments on it. Years later, he used that rifle to teach my sister and me how to shoot. It was great to start my niece off with that very same Winchester.

After running through a few magazines — which she loaded herself — we changed over to a Winchester 62A pump-action rifle. This is another oldie but goodie, made in 1954. In this way, my niece could quickly gain experience shooting with both a peep sight and open sights, learn to load two entirely different types of magazines, and learn to operate two completely different types of actions.

We probably spent no more than 30 minutes at it; light rain began to fall and it was time to skedaddle… but even without the rain, I intended to keep it pretty short. We want shooting to be interesting to newcomers, not boring or tiresome.

In the end, she was hitting more often than missing — especially with the 69A’s factory peep sight, which is easier to use than open sights.

Education Leads to Safety

Not everyone who learns about guns and shooting becomes a marksman, and not everyone will shoot on a regular basis… but everyone should know how to use a firearm safely and effectively. And when it comes to kids, it’s especially important to remove the aura of mystery placed upon guns by popular media. Remove the mystery, teach them how to use firearms, and make it clear they can do so anytime as long as you are there to supervise and help.

Let’s make a 2020 New Years resolution to teach more people how to safely use firearms. Together, we can make this world a better place.

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TFB FIELD STRIP: Phoenix Arms HP Series Of Pistols [The Firearm Blog]

Phoenix Arms Field StripThe semi-automatic, HP series of pistols from Phoenix Arms, is one of the better received firearms from the so-called “ring of fire” manufacturers.  Despite the reputation of the Californian companies, the double safetied, single-action HP22 pistols seen in today’s TFB Field Strip, have high marks and reviews from online retailers that offer the Phoenix Arms […]

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Japan’s Defense Force Selects Howa 5.56 and HK SFP9 For New Rifle & Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

For some time now the Japanese Defense Forces have been moving towards a replacement for some of their key small arms. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is currently equipped with the indigenously developed Howa Type 89 5.56x45mm rifle and the Minebea 9mm Pistol, a licensed copy of the venerable SIG Sauer P220. As recently as 2018, the JG […]

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Lies, damned lies, and statistics [Of Arms and the Law]

Over at The Federalist: Gun Control Activist Promotes False Data To Uphold Anti-Gun Propaganda.

Hat tip to Instapundit, who notes, "weird how they can't seem to sell gun control without lies."


Watch: Paint Can Stove Tent Heater for Less Than $10 []

Things can get pretty chilly this time of year, and if you decide to go camping you might want to heat your tent up… and if DIY is what you like, you can build yourself a handy-dandy little stove using a paint can and a few other hardware items.

This guy bought a paint can & cut a rectangular door hole in the lid and riveted on a hinged door, built some legs & feet using bolts and steel straps, and added a chimney hole up top.

The cost? Less than $10.

Omitted from his instructions is that he put some folded-up hardware cloth (steel wire mesh sheeting) inside the stove to support the burning material.

Once he stokes it up, it burns like a champ — as long as the door is not closed all the way.


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You Didn’t Know you Needed a Rubber Band Minigun… Until Now []

So you want to shoot rubber bands in a fully-automatic — even motorized! — manner? You are in luck, my friend. All you have to do is stroll over to Indiegogo and pledge some dough.

It’s made mostly of wood, and it’s being offered assembled and ready to run in black or woodgrain finishes — or if you’re a DIYer you can get the kit version for a few bucks less.

This is a fully automatic Minigun, constructed according to the Gatling Machine Gun Principle. The body is made from wood cut out on the CNC machine. Its ammo consists of 144 shots of rubber bands. With this Rubber Band Minigun anyone can feel like Rambo, launching a rubber storm, and throwing over a pound of rubber bands at the opponent!

(Image: Weaponized T-Rex)

(Image: Weaponized T-Rex)

Interestingly, the assembled version is only $5 more than buying a kit! For five bucks, I think I’d just let them do the putting-together. You do get 500 rubber bands when you buy a kit though, so there’s that.

(Image: Weaponized T-Rex)

(Image: Weaponized T-Rex)

The painted version is painted in several layers with black water-based acrylic paint which has no smell, is not harmful in any way and is used to paint toys. All parts are painted with spray guns by professional painters.

You can spin the “barrels” without firing rubber bands, so that’s pretty cool.

The design of the Rubber Band Minigun allows you to rotate the drum (even without loaded rubber bands) which allows you to impress others. Press the trigger to rotate the drum, and then press pusher to release rubber bands in flight. You can shoot single shots, saving ammunition and conduct aimed fire, or release an entire flurry of rubber bands at your opponent.

The company is calling itself “Weaponized T-Rex” and here’s a video demonstrating the minigun.


  • 144-shot capacity
  • 200 rounds per minute
  • Loading time: less than 5 minutes
  • Powered by electric motor

Oddly enough, I can’t find any info on what batteries this thing requires to run.

Here’s the quirky video:

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The New Ruger-57: Better Than the Five-seveN? [The Firearm Blog]

It’s taken over 20 years for a viable competitor to the Five-seveN to emerge, but it finally happened. In this episode of TFBTV, Hop shoots the new Ruger-57, to find out if it makes the FN Five-seveN obsolete. Ruger-57 Specs: Capacity: 20 Weight: 24.5oz Barrel Length: 4.94″ Height: 5.6″ Length: 8.65″ MSRP: $799.00 ««« GUN […]

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TFB Review: Meet the New Ruger-57 5.7x28mm Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

Ruger-57I never thought in my day that I’d ever see another pistol chambered in 5.7x28mm. Starting its life early in the 90s as the caliber used in both the FN P90 and its close companion the FN Five-seveN, the caliber has since gone almost nowhere only being used in a handful of firearms over the […]

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Vickers Guide: Kalashnikov (Volume 2) Dedicated to AK Variants in 5.45 – Now Shipping [The Firearm Blog]

“PAPER BOOKS ARE DYING” – I keep hearing that over and over again. In a way it makes sense, but in the last few years, when I started doing more serious research about small arms (serious meaning just one level above articles like “The Deadliest Nerf Gun On The Planet”), I realized that books still […]

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Mikhail Kalashnikov’s Experimental Avtomat-Karabin [The Firearm Blog]

Kalashnikov Media continues their series of videos telling about some of the rarest experimental and prototype firearms created by Mikhail Kalashnikov and we at TFB make sure to deliver the most interesting stories to our readers. Today we are taking a look at one of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s experimental firearms called Avtomat-Karabin. As Ruslan Chumak, the […]

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SIG 550-1 Sniper: Answering a Question Nobody Asked [Forgotten Weapons]

Today at the Kessler auction house in Kreuzlingen Switzerland, we are taking a look at a SIG 550-1 Sniper model. This is mechanically a SIG 550, aka Sturmgewehr 90, but made to a very high level of quality control and fitted with a number of elements suitable for a marksman’s rifle. It has a long (25.6 inch / 650mm) and heavy barrel, a thoroughly;y adjustable folding stock, a nice bipod, a Hensoldt scope, and a redesigned match trigger.

The rifle was originally designed at the request of the Swiss police, not the military. It met their requirements quite well, but only got one other significant order (the Jordanian Royal Guard). The problem was that it was chambered for the 5.56 x 45mm cartridge, and was extremely expensive. Most police and security potential purchasers preferred a rifle in a heavier caliber, typically 7.62mm NATO. Well, for the same weight and price as the 550-1 Sniper you could get a rifle like an H&K PSG-1, which offered all the qualities of the SIG but with a larger cartridge.

Monday, 30 December


TFB Review: Zastava Arms ZPAP M92 Pistols [The Firearm Blog]

Zastava M92 PistolNew to the United States AK market are Zastava Arms two new ZPAP M92 pistol variants.  With both fixed and side-folding SB Tactical braces, I was curious how these two Krinkov style pistols would preform.  Lucky for me, Zastava was kind enough to send both new variants of the ZPAPM92 over for review. New Brace Options […]

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POTD: Sniper Training In the Dark [The Firearm Blog]

Our theme for Today’s Photo Of The Day goes in Green, White and Black. The firearm above is possibly a SCAR-H, suppressed and equipped with Night Vision. Due to the limited visibility, it’s a bit difficult to make out what is going on, and with what, but it’s interesting to take a look at Night […]

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The Rimfire Report: Which 22 LR Rimfire Target Pistol is the Best? [The Firearm Blog]

The Rimfire Report - Best Rimfire Target PistolThere’s really nothing like being able to take $25 worth of ammo to the range and have hours of playtime behind a rimfire target pistol. Whether you’re just plinking interesting targets or practicing for some sort of competition, shooting 22 LR rimfire is almost therapeutic when you know you’re not burning a hole through your […]

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Florida Alert! You Are Paying for Nikki Fried's Inappropriate Actions [NRA-ILA News]

Facts you are not finding in the mainstream media:  The Florida Agriculture Commissioner was a named defendant in the lawsuit filed by 30 Florida cities and counties who argued that local government officials should be allowed to intentionally violate state law with no accountability or punishment.


Voted Most Likely []

Courtesy of Patrick Henry HS

Most senior class superlatives are voted on before you actually graduate from high school. The young man above, a graduate of Patrick Henry High School, Class of 1967, was given a superlative long after graduation.

According to Dan Casey, a pundit with the Roanoke Times, he was awarded the Best Pay Raise for a Patrick Henry High School Graduate.

If the young man looks somewhat familiar, picture him at age 70 wearing frameless glasses and a very expensive navy blue suit.

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Arrow Magazine for English Longbow: Instant Robin Hood []

Here’s another video from JoergSprave of The Slingshot Channel. We haven’t touched base with him in a while, but now that he’s decided to add a magazine to an English longbow to turn it into a repeating weapon, we can’t resist sharing that with our readers.

After some intro stuff and footage of him shooting arrows nocked incorrectly, he unveils the 6-shooter arrow magazine at about the 5-minute mark. It’s pretty dang sweet if you ask me… allowing super-easy operation of the longbow and use of short crossbow arrows (or bolts if you prefer).

After some shooting, things get cheesy when he merges the King Arthur and Robin Hood legends to unveil a laser sight encased in wood, which he dubs “Merlin’s Eye” and uses to fire 6 accurate shots in just 14 seconds. Not bad at all.

In the end, I’ve seen better vids from this fellow, but his arrow magazine rig is still impressive and worth checking out.


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More on the Texas church shooting [Of Arms and the Law]

The defender who killed the gunman is a firearms instructor.

Here's the footage. The gunfight starts at 0:20 and lasts for three seconds. He got the gunman with one shot from about twenty yards, reportedly a headshot.


Nikki Goeser on Tucker Carlson [Of Arms and the Law]

Right here. She's promoting her book, and developing into one hell of a spokesman!


DIY Double-Wall Rocket Stove []

Here’s a video showing a different way to make a tin can rocket stove. He starts out by discussing the most common method, and its drawbacks — mainly, its tendency to set other stuff on fire.

I’ll be honest here: So what if it gets hot on the bottom? Remove burnable stuff from where you set the stove, and no worries. But if you want to safely set the stove on top of a table, stump, flat-sided log, or some other flammable surface, it could be an issue.

In the spirit of keeping things simple, he ditches the drill and uses nothing other than a can opener and a knife to make a double-wall stove.

Start with a 48-ounce can for the exterior and a 24-ounce can for the inside. Open one end of each can — making sure to leave the rim on the can.

Next, use the “poky” can opener to put 8 to 12 triangular holes in the sides of the larger can’s base. He makes extra work for himself by prying the steel tabs back up after he pushes them down with the can opener… seems more sensible to just not push the tabs down so far in the first place.

Either way, the point is to leave them up a little so the smaller can can sit on top of the tabs.

You may want to skip portions of this video… he talks way more than necessary.

Next, he punches similar holes around the bottom side of the smaller can, then makes another series of holes around the top of the can, pushing the steel tabs out instead of inward.

He follows up by using a knife (after he said he was only going to use a can opener. Scandalous!) to cut some slots in the sides of the smaller can.

After that, he says you have a choice… you can punch triangular holes around the top of the larger can, pushing the metal inward to act as a pot support for small cans or pots, OR you can leave the top of the can unpierced and use a pot standoff to support pots. This latter option allows you to feed twigs into the fire while your pot is resting atop the stove.

He follows this by firing up both versions of his double wall stove, and after a while he shows that although they do place a slight char on the table surface, they’re not likely to set it afire.

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TFB Round Table: The Complete Cartridge Carnival Wrap-Up from 2019 [The Firearm Blog]

TFB round tableWelcome back to another edition of the TFB Round Table sponsored by Ammunition To Go! For those who are first joining us, this is a multi-part series where TFB will discuss the characteristics of great ammunition for specific applications. This could vary from big game hunting, plinking, precision rifle matches, small game hunting, or even pistol competitions. Chances are there is someone here at TFB who can offer […]

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Proposed ATF 4473 Change Includes Three Gender Choices [The Firearm Blog]

Proposed ATF 4473 Change Includes Three Gender ChoicesOur friends at Orchid Advisors have just posted some proposed changes to the ATF 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record. The ATF 4473 is the form most commonly seen by consumers when purchasing and transferring firearms at a Federal Firearms License (FFL) Dealer and includes biographical information, criminal background questions and other information to determine if the […]

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Virginia: First Weeks of January are Critical [NRA-ILA News]

Law-abiding gun owners throughout the Commonwealth must continue to join together to fight against gun bans, gun rationing, and confiscation this January in Richmond. Your NRA has events planned for the early, critical days of the 2020 legislative session.


These Alaska High Schoolers Butchered a Moose in Class []

Alaska. I’ve never been there… but I love the place.

The reasons are myriad, with the latest being this article about a high school teacher who brought a dead moose to Chugiak High School (CHS) and set his students about the work of turning the carcass into edible cuts of meat packaged and ready for the freezer.

What’s that you said? I couldn’t hear you above the sound of angels singing in my head…

Students in Brian Mason’s class at Chugiak High didn’t ace their big test Tuesday. They butchered it.

Mason brought a cow moose carcass to class in the back of his pickup truck that morning, and for the rest of the day his students went to work de-boning, separating, grinding, and packaging the animal. The bloody business served as a way to immerse the World Discovery Seminar (WDS) program students in Alaska cultural traditions, give them a basic understanding of anatomy, and teach them practical life skills.

‘What I try to emphasize — and the World Discovery Seminar program as a whole — is to emphasize experiential learning,’ he said as nearly 30 of his students used thin knives to slice up the carcass. ‘You can learn about anatomy from diagrams and textbooks and videos but getting your hands on an animal is a big part of the science aspect of it.’

WDS is described an “alternative course of high school study” and “a school within a school” and its stated goal “is to establish a smaller learning community that creates a sense of identity, belonging, and teamwork within the WDS program, while maintaining strong ties to the CHS families of departments and programs.”

(Image: Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

Students get to learn from doing rather than just reading or listening to lectures. This better reflects real life, in many ways.

Ryley Edwards said the hands-on nature of the program gives [her] and her WDS classmates a better insight into what they’re studying.

‘We do a lot of things that are more interactive than other classes,’ she said. ‘It’s more fun for learning stuff instead of just on paper.’

The moose itself was obtained via a special Cultural Educational Harvest Permit issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which allows for the harvest of game animals for educational reasons.

There go the angels again…

[This permitting] program is a way of allowing educators and elders to use Alaska’s game populations to pass on cultural traditions and practices related to hunting and gathering in the state.

‘Those aspects are huge for Alaska,’ he said.

Although the teacher hoped to teach his students the entire process of skinning and cutting up a whole moose, he was unable to get the big animal out of the woods without skinning and quartering it. But the high schoolers did get to learn about removing unwanted parts such as the lower legs, deboning the meat, trimming it, packaging it, and even grinding up the tougher bits.

(Image: Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

Concerned about how the teens might react to a seemingly grisly task using sharp knives? So was the teacher.

Mason said he was initially worried about how his students would react to the lesson, which required them to both deal with graphic subject matter and be responsible with dangerous tools. But once the cutting started, the class became silent, focused, and extremely occupied with the task at hand.

‘They’re all being super safe and responsible and frankly they’re really engaged,’ he said. ‘I wasn’t sure how some students would really deal with the process of getting their hands on a dead animal, that can be an off-putting experience for some students but I’ve been really impressed with them.’

Student Reuben Dobson said students understood the trust Mason was putting in them by allowing them to use the sharp knives in class.

‘I think our teacher knew we’re here to learn and we weren’t going to be stupid,’ he said.

There were some squeamish moments early in the lesson. While showing the students how to separate the moose’s hoof from the rest of its leg, Mason warned there would be a somewhat sickening sound — then demonstrated that sound by snapping the hoof off with a loud crack. Some students squirmed in their seats.

‘Talk about a wake-up call,’ quipped student Jasmine McLean.

McLean said the moment gave her pause.

‘You think it’s going to be okay and then you do that and it’s like, “It’s not going to be that easy,”‘ she said.

However, once McLean started cutting she proved a fast learner, probing through cartilage and meat as she expertly cut meat from bone.

‘It’s easier to process once you get more into it,’ she said.

Some of the meat will be cooked and eaten by the class, and the rest will be donated to charity.

(Image: Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

God bless Alaska.

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Rimfire for CCW? The Ruger LCPII .22LR [The Firearm Blog]

In this episode of TFBTV, Hop shoots the new .22 LR variant of the Ruger LCPII, and tries to figure out who it’s for. Somebody probably wants one of these, right? Ruger LCPII .22 Specs: Capacity: 10 Weight: 11.2oz Barrel Length: 2.75″ Height: 4″ Length: 5.2″ MSRP: $349.00 ««« GUN AND GEAR GIVEAWAYS »»» PLEASE […]

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TFB Review: The New Ruger LCP II 22 LR [The Firearm Blog]

Ruger LCP II 22 LRJust a bit over three years after the introduction of the LCP II, Ruger has decided to release the firearm in the widely available and easy to shoot .22 LR caliber. TFB was lucky enough to get an exclusive look at the LCP II 22 LR for testing and evaluation purposes so today we’ll go over […]

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Underground Arms Watch – December Pt.2 [The Firearm Blog]

Continuing from Part 1 of December’s Underground Arms Watch edition, below are some of the good and not so good criminally manufactured and modified weapons recently seized off the streets. ‘Numerous weapons found by OPP, border services during search’ Pictured are several improvised zip guns, one a modified paintball marker and what appears to be […]

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Sexy Action by Defiance Machine – The Ruckus [The Firearm Blog]

Earlier this year we proved that an action on its own can be sexy. It is now time again, as Defiance Machine release their Ruckus action in a Remington 700 footprint. The new Ruckus bolt guarantees a headspace tolerance of +/- .001” action to action, and I don’t think I’m alone in appreciating when things […]

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Patriot Ordnance Factory Announces New REBEL .22LR Sub Gun with 10/22 Magazines [The Firearm Blog]

Is 2020 going to be the year of the Rimfire? Glock just released their .22LR pistol, and as this decade comes to an end it is time for POF USA to release a firearm in the same caliber. Does it take Glock mags? No, but the new Rebel .22LR Sub Gun takes Ruger 10/22 magazines which is […]

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USMC Stinger Machine Gun: Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima [Forgotten Weapons]

Corporal Tony Stein
United States Marine Corps Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company A, First Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Island, 19 February 1945. The first man of his unit to be on station after hitting the beach in the initial assault, Corporal Stein, armed with a personally improvised aircraft-type weapon, provided rapid covering fire as the remainder of his platoon attempted to move into position and, when his comrades were stalled by a concentrated machine-gun and mortar barrage, gallantly stood upright and exposed himself to the enemy’s view, thereby drawing the hostile fire to his own person and enabling him to observe the location of the furiously blazing hostile guns. Determined to neutralize the strategically placed weapons, he boldly charged the enemy pillboxes one by one and succeeded in killing twenty of the enemy during the furious single-handed assault. Cool and courageous under the merciless hail of exploding shells and bullets which fell on all sides, he continued to deliver the fire of his skillfully improvised weapon at a tremendous rate of speed which rapidly exhausted his ammunition. Undaunted, he removed his helmet and shoes to expedite his movements an ran back to the beach for additional ammunition, making a total of eight trips under intense fire and carrying or assisting a wounded man back each time. Despite the unrelenting savagery and confusion of battle, he rendered prompt assistance to his platoon whenever the unit was in position, directing the fire of a half-track against a stubborn pillbox until he had effected the ultimate destruction of the Japanese fortification. Later in the day, although his weapon was twice shot from his hands, he personally covered the withdrawal of his platoon to the company position. Stouthearted and indomitable, Corporal Stein, by his aggressive initiative, sound judgment and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of terrific odds, contributed materially to the fulfillment of his mission, and his outstanding valor throughout the bitter hours of conflict sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Harry S. Truman
President of the United States

The Stinger was a Browning aircraft machine gun adapted to use an M1 Garand buttstock and BAR bipod, used as a light machine gun by the US Marine Corps during the invasion of Iwo Jima in 1945. The gun was the creation of Sergeant Mel J Grevich oof the 5th Marine Division. Six were built and used on the attack on Iwo, including one by Corporal Tony Stein, whose outstanding bravery is documented in the Medal of Honor citation above. None of the original guns survive today, but I have the privilege of showing you this reproduction created by the Canadian Historical Arms Museum with the assistance of O’Dell Engineering.


John Correia’s Analysis Of The Church Shooting In Texas []

John Correia of Active Self Protection is both a trainer and a former church pastor. His analysis of Sunday’s active shooter event in the church in White Settlement, Texas should be mandatory viewing for every church security team.

Key takeaways include having a plan, knowing who is in charge of the team, muzzle discipline, marksmanship practice, and the ability to draw quickly from a holster and make the shot. There is a lot more in this 10 minute video and I’d encourage you to watch it multiple times.

One other thing – Shannon Watts is an imbecile if she thinks any law banning firearms in a church would have stopped a murderer intent on killing churchgoers.

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Sunday, 29 December


Texas church shooting: good guys with guns stop bad guy with a gun [Of Arms and the Law]

Story here. Trained members of the congregation were already on the scene, so the fight was over in six seconds.


Know The Enemy – Letitia James []

Letitia James is the Attorney General of New York. She recently published her 2019 Year in Review. Reading through this 62 page report gives you some indication of her attitudes and intentions towards gun owners and gun rights groups.

Michael Bane often says on his podcast that if someone says they plan to do you harm, take them at their word. James said in her campaign platform she intended to investigate the charitable status of the NRA. Indeed, that was the number one item on her bullet list dealing with “gun violence” (sic).

As we know, her office has followed through on that threat. The letter that prefaces her 2019 Year in Review noted that she had “opened an investigation into the NRA’s charitable practices “.

Pages 43 and 44 deal with her plans regarding firearms.

Gun violence is a public health epidemic in New York and across the nation. Every loss of life and injury from gun violence is a devastating reminder of our shared responsibility to face this crisis head on and to support the communities that have suffered from its effects. Attorney General James is committed to catching criminals who traffic illegal weapons onto our streets, and holding them accountable. She has taken legal action to protect states’ rights to enact common sense gun safety regulations, including leading a multistate coalition to protect New York’s right to implement these critical measures, which is currently being heard by the United States Supreme Court. She has also partnered with law enforcement agencies across the state to host gun buyback programs and get illegal guns out of our communities. She will continue to pursue every avenue available to reduce gun violence in New York.

By stating that the criminal misuse of a firearm is a “public health epidemic”, James conveniently sidesteps criminal justice steps targeted at the violent criminal actors. Criminal justice is actually not high on her radar if you read the highlights of her annual report. It appears she is more interested in abortion rights, climate change, and protecting New Yorkers “regressive Federal policies” of the Trump Administration than even “gun violence” (sic).

I find it interesting that she resorts to “states’ rights” to defend the repressive gun control laws in her state which leave the poorest at the mercy of criminals. John C. Calhoun would be proud of her use of states’ right to defend the indefensible. He used it to defend slavery and she uses it to defend the denigration of the right to keep and bear arms.

With regard to so-called “ghost guns”, she devotes a whole paragraph to them

The New York Attorney General’s Office was the first law enforcement agency in the nation to charge people for selling so-called ghost guns, or guns that are manufactured from parts sold over the Internet. These guns do not have serial numbers, so they are untraceable by law enforcement. Continuing on these enforcement efforts, in September 2019, Attorney General James directed 16 websites to cease and desist selling nearly complete assault weapons to consumers in New York. Attorney General James will continue to go after those that skirt the law to manufacture illegal and deadly assault weapons.

She then goes on to tout her support for gun buybacks.

Our neighborhoods are safer when unwanted firearms are off our streets and out of our homes. Attorney General James’ Gun Buyback Program provides a safe option for New Yorkers to get rid of guns they do not want, on a “no questions asked” basis. In 2019, Attorney General James partnered with local law enforcement agencies to host 24 gun buyback events at houses of worship and community centers all across the state. As a result of these events, the office recovered over 2,700 guns.

So in one paragraph she opines that “ghost guns” are unserialized making them untraceable by law enforcement. Then she proudly states she provided a safe option to get rid of guns people didn’t want on a no questions asked basis. I can’t be the only one to see the contradiction here. She is against guns being untraceable but is OK with guns actually used in violent crimes not being able to be traced to the violent criminal.

Finally, for some reason, she lumps police body cameras in with her section of “gun violence” (sic).

I guess when New Yorkers elected James they felt they were electing someone who wouldn’t engage in domestic violence like her predecessor nor hire prostitutes like her penultimate predecessor. That was kind of a low bar that even Tish James could hurdle.

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POTD: The Proper Way to Shoot an M4 Carbine [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – A Green Beret assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) demonstrates the proper way to shoot an M4 carbine. That’s a pretty nice rifle in fact, with a lot of nice toys mounted. This happened at a range during the Red Flag training event in Flagstaff, A.Z., earlier in 2019. […]

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First Blood for the “SpringMaus” Custom Hunting Rifle []

During my recent hunt with a Henry Long Ranger in 6.5 Creedmoor (which you can read about here), I’d managed to use that rifle to bag a nice doe and a big fawn-killing coyote. I’d brought along my father’s old custom bolt-action 30-06 rifle, and figured I’d try hunting with it.

It’s a beautiful and interesting old rifle, and you can learn a lot more about it by clicking here. In short, it’s a custom rifle based on a German Mauser K98 action which was reconditioned in Yugoslavia after WW2 — and utilizing the barrel from a 1903 Springfield rifle. Because of the interesting combination of Springfield and Mauser parts, Dad dubbed it “the SpringMaus.”

I headed off to the range to see how the SpringMaus would do with the ammo I had on hand; namely Winchester Deer Season XP with 150-grain bullets. Groups weren’t great, but they were good enough to hunt deer inside about 150 yards or so.

My 200-yard group wasn't great, but it put me within "minute of whitetail" at 100-150 yards. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

My 200-yard group wasn’t great, but it put me within “minute of whitetail” at 100-150 yards.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I cradled the old popper in my arms — it’s in need of sling studs — and headed off to a stand in the woods where I’d be hard-pressed to get a 100-yard shot. I didn’t want the temptation of hunting a long-range stand with a rifle-ammo combo that wouldn’t do the job at distance.

To be clear, I’m not faulting the Winchester ammo; this rifle has a chamber that’s on the large side of tolerance, and it’s usually not accurate with any factory ammunition. It needs handloads using fire-formed cases to perform its best.

On the stand, I spent some time researching the interesting markings on the old rifle. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

On the stand, I spent some time researching the interesting markings on the old rifle.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

As I sat there on a ladder stand in the woods with a creek bottom to my left, I pondered the rifle lying across my legs. Not for the first time, I wished I’d asked my father more questions before he died. Things like, “Who made the rifle? Where did you get the receiver and barrel? Did you ever take any game with it?”

I don’t believe he ever did take anything with it, although I watched him fire at a running coyote with it in the 1990s on one of the rare occasions when he carried it to the woods. The rifle did make a trip out west with my uncle (Dad’s brother-in-law), and while there it slayed a coyote and two pronghorns and who knows what else. But as for hunting in its native southeastern USA, it hadn’t done much over the decades.

It's a unique and attractive custom sporterized military piece. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

It’s a unique and attractive custom sporterized military piece.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

There on the stand, I gazed at the “Preduzece 44” stamped into the left side of the receiver ring. What did that mean? It hardly appeared to be a German word… so I did some internet research. I learned this rifle was built by Germany and used during WW2, after which it was owned by Yugoslavia, which reconditioned it at a facility called Preduzece 44 (current home of Zastava Arms in present-day Serbia).

As I continued to learn about and admire the old shootin’ iron, I heard a little something. I figured it was probably yet another squirrel, but I glanced at the time — 3:41 — and thought, “This would be the perfect time to get one.” I knew it would take me some time to get an deer up out of the steep-sided creek bottom, and that sort of work always goes better in daylight.

I swiveled my head to the left and down there in the creek bottom, just where I’d been expecting to see a deer all along, stood a deer. Nice!

I eased the rifle up and peered through the scope. I was looking at an adult deer without antlers, which was good; I wanted to take a doe. It stopped with its front end in clear view, standing broadside, and looked in my direction. I saw a narrow skull without a trace of antlers and a body of good size. I laid the crosshairs at the rear of the shoulder and gently squeezed the SpringMaus’s crisp Timney trigger.

The rifle barked and the deer lunged forward, did some brief gymnastics, and lay still perhaps 40 feet from where it had been standing. I chambered a new round and waited for it to get up.

It didn’t.

With the roar of adrenaline-laced blood in my head, I stayed in the stand and typed up some notes, allowing myself to ride the wave. Then I gathered my gear and began walking over to my doe.

When I got there, I learned that it was no doe.

When I got to my "doe," I discovered it was actually a buck! (Photo © Russ Chastain)

When I got to my “doe,” I discovered it was actually a buck!
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I’d shot a buck that had already shed its antlers! This is highly unusual at this time, which was mid-December in mid-Georgia. The usual shedding time is February. The photo above shows the deer just as it was lying when I got there, and one of the pedicels is clearly visible.

Well… heck. But it was certainly a legal deer and there was no time to mope. I had work to do.

SpringMaus made a fine shot and her first whitetail fell after she was already decades-old. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

SpringMaus made a fine shot and her first whitetail fell after she was already decades-old.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I climbed the hill west of the kill site and left my pack and a few other items, hiked back to my Ranger, and drove to camp to fetch my Crawler game cart. There was no way I would be dragging that critter up that hill alone without some sort of wheels, and this was the perfect time to put the Crawler to use.

I needed my Crawler cart to get the deer out of the bottom by myself. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

I needed my Crawler cart to get the deer out of the bottom by myself.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Although it felt longer, according to my notes I only spent 11 minutes taking the cart down to the deer, loading it up, and hauling it up the steep hillside. I stood panting at my Ranger 40 minutes after the shot, and for the fourth time that season I was glad to have a winch and a ladder rack to use in loading the deer into my UTV’s bed.

Taking a breather on the way up the hill, which is steeper than it appears. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Taking a breather on the way up the hill, which is steeper than it appears.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Back at the skinning shack, I learned some more things. My b’doe weighed in at just 100 pounds (which sure seemed like a lot more on my way up that hill) — and according to its jawbone it was at least 2.5 years old.

This last bit was particularly interesting because we expect any 2.5-year-old buck on our property to weigh a good bit more. I can only reckon that the summer-long drought had made things tough on this guy.

I'm pretty sure this pic makes Dad happy. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

I’m pretty sure this pic makes Dad happy.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Regrets? Nah. I didn’t deprive the herd of any superior genes, I’d made a good clean shot, and SpringMaus had her first whitetail. What’s not to like?

The buck's pedicels (where the antlers used to be) had already scabbed over, so he'd been shed for a while. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The buck’s pedicels (where the antlers used to be) had already scabbed over, so he’d been shed for a while.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

At 60 yards, the Deer Season XP bullet had pureed both lungs and incapacitated both front legs. I’m a fan of these bullets, and hope I can get some to handload for this old rifle… because now that I tried hunting with SpringMaus, I might just be addicted.

The 150-grain Winchester Deer Season XP bullet did a fine job, as always. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The 150-grain Winchester Deer Season XP bullet did a fine job, as always.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Yes, I do believe SpringMaus and I have a bright hunting future ahead of us. Here’s hoping!

Dad's old 30-06 "SpringMaus" is essentially a '98 Mauser action with a barrel from an '03 Springfield. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Dad’s old 30-06 “SpringMaus” is essentially a ’98 Mauser action with a barrel from an ’03 Springfield.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The post First Blood for the “SpringMaus” Custom Hunting Rifle appeared first on


White Settlement, TX [Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog]

12/29/19 CBS Dallas:

Two people are dead and another person is critically injured after a shooting at a church in the Tarrant County city of White Settlement, officials said.
Authorities responded to the shooting Sunday morning just before 10 a.m. at the West Freeway Church of Christ on Las Vegas Trail.
A witness told CBS 11 News the gunman walked up to a server during communion with a shotgun and then opened fire. According to the witness, another church member shot the suspect.
12/29/19 WFAA:
A live stream of the worship service shows a person wearing a large coat stand up and then pull out what appears to be a rifle or a shotgun as communion was finishing. The shooter appears to fire twice before another person appears to shoot back.

Many people in the congregation ducked under church pews while others rushed toward the shooter, holding up handguns, the video shows.

A church leader starts telling people to quiet down and be seated.


Book Review: Weapons Mounts for Secondary Armament [Forgotten Weapons]

Weapon Mounts for Secondary Armament is a nearly 1200-page reference on all manner of machine gun mounting systems for tanks, aircraft,t light vehicles, and ground mounts. The book was commissioned in 1957 by the Detroit Arsenal as a reference for engineers tasked with designing the secondary weapon mounts for new vehicles, and only a few dozen copies were printed. The original manuscript film was located by Dan Shea of Long Mountain Outfitters (now Phoenix Defense) and reprinted in 2007, because it is a massively valuable source of information on a subject that is not normally given close attention.

For any machine gun researcher or collector, this book is clearly a must-have. It focuses on American equipment, but covers everything that was available to the US military form World War One until 1957, which includes a lot of foreign material. Not just standard material, but lots of experimental guns, tanks, vehicles, and mounts as well. I expect it is fully worth the cover price just as a pictorial reference to inter-war experimental US tanks, entirely aside form the machine guns.

As of this filming, copies of the 2007 reprint are still available, for a remarkably low price of $70.

Saturday, 28 December


POTD: Naval Special Warfare – Military Diving Operations [The Firearm Blog]

Time for Photo Of The Day again, and we get wet as we admire the work of the U.S Navy SEALS. These warriors are assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Group 2 and their location (in the pictures) is of the East Coast of the United States. NSW’s (Naval Special Warfare) ability to understand the […]

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AllOutdoor Review: Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack []

Many of us have either wrapped up our fall hunting seasons or are hoping to finally punch our tags in mere days. As the end of the year and hunting comes to a close, we at AllOutdoor have been hunting as well. In fact, I have spent the last 5 months hiking, fishing, shooting archery, and hunting with the Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack in order to bring you this comprehensive review. You might not be able to put many miles on a hunting pack like this anymore this year, but it could still be a fantastic Christmas gift for someone in your hunting circle. So without further ado, let’s dive in and take a closer look at the Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack!

Specifications: Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack

The Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack might be proudly dubbed for whitetail deer, but it can effectively be used for any type of outdoor endeavors you might have in mind. As I mentioned earlier, I got 5 months of hard use out of this hunting pack and it essentially looks brand new and unscathed. It was brought into the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area of Minnesota while trout and salmon fishing. I used it while on an archery lottery hunt in Camp Ripley in Minnesota. It also saw a lot of field time while checking trail cameras for firearm season and tending cattle on my family’s ranch. Anything that I had ever asked of it, it handled. The specifications for the Whitetail Caddy Pack can be read below as presented by Nexgen Outfitters:

  • Weight: 3 Lbs. 15 Oz.
  • Capacity: 1,950 Cubic Inches
  • 18 Pockets/Pouches (7 External – 11 Internal)
  • TriCot Polyester Outer w/ Water-Resistant Polyurethane Laminate
  • Double-Stitched Seams for Superior Strength & Durability
  • Adjustable Padded Shoulder Straps equipped w/ MOLLE Loops
  • Fully Adjustable 1.5″ Nylon Webbing Waist Belt which can be hidden in the Back Panel when not in Use
  • Adjustable Sternum Cross Straps

  • Reversible, Adjustable & Removable External Compression Straps to Carry Additional Gear
  • Adjustable Top Loop Handle
  • Side Pockets can Carry a Quiver, Bipod or Spotting Scope
  • Largest Main Compartment Pocket can accommodate most Hydration Bladders
  • Top Pocket Fleece-Lined making it ideal for items to not be Scratched
  • Sturdy YKK® Zippers
  • Structured Base & Back Panel allow Pack to Stand Freely on its own to keep your Gear where it needs to be when you need it while still being able to access all your Pockets
  • Zippered Lid easily transforms into an External “Shelf” to keep your most accessible Gear always at the ready


We know. It’s called the Whitetail Caddy. But don’t let the name fool you! This pack is ideal for predator, varmint and turkey hunters too…

When you consider all these features are found in a pack weighing less than 4 lbs. and priced less than $100, you’ll recognize this Nexgen Outfitters exclusive is an outstanding value.

first look: Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack

I was fortunate enough to receive this hunting pack as a sample to test this fall back in early August. While I personally was not extremely familiar with Nexgen Outfitters as a company I was excited to see what their hunting pack would have to offer. The explicit hunting pack we are looking at is the “Whitetail Caddy Pack” in a Realtree Timber camouflage. You can order this pack in your choice of 2 different camouflage patterns:

  • Realtree Timber – MSRP $74.99
  • Realtree Edge – MSRP $74.99

One of the first things I noticed while handling the hunting pack is how crisp the seams and stitching are. Nexgen Outfitters advertises that the entire hunting pack is double-stitched for superior durability and it absolutely shows. There are no rough or ragged surfaces to the zippers, stitching, or edges anywhere along the hunting pack. It handles and feels like a product that costs a lot more than $75.


The next most noticeable thing about this hunting pack is the number of storage pockets. A lot of the hunting packs that I have run in the past were very simplistic; too simple, in fact. Sometimes there would be only 2 huge compartments where all of your gear is loosely rambling around inside. With the Whitetail Caddy Pack, there are actually 18 different pockets or specific storage areas to methodically separate out your gear as needed. I really appreciated this because you do not want spare batteries for a trail camera jostling around with your cellphone, wallet, and a bottle of doe urine. It is a hunter’s perfect cocktail for a disaster.


The mouth to the main storage compartment was plenty wide to easily cram an entire coat inside if a morning hunt quickly changed into a hot afternoon (and I did exactly that during archery season a couple times). Even the stitching and seam work internally was very well done. It was not one of those scenarios where things that cannot be easily seen are skimped on. Both the inside of the Whitetail Caddy Pack and the outside were well crafted.

out in the field: Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack

While I was out in the field, I put this hunting pack to work in a lot of different capacities. For when I was fishing close to the Canadian border in Minnesota in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area for salmon and trout, I treated the Whitetail Caddy as a pack mule. I would stuff it with all of my fishing gear, food for the day, and other essentials that I would need before I hiked into a location. I essentially loaded down the pack, cinched it tight with the waist belt and sternum cross strap, and marched off to my secret honey holes.


Once I was on location, I would park it next to a tree or somewhere nearby me, and dive into it as needed. Similarly, I spent some “pack mule” days helping my father get ready for whitetail firearm season in Minnesota. On one day, I squashed 5 trail cameras, a couple pounds of “D” cell batteries, food, water, memory cards, and brush cutting equipment into this bag to take inventory of the deer on our land. After about 6 hours of brush clearing and deciding on the best locations for trail cameras, the hunting pack was nearly emptied of its contents. While carrying it nearly full of gear and also practically empty, the hunting pack always ‘carried’ well. The waist belt and sternum cross strap ensured the pack was never bouncing around on my body and the weight was primarily distributed on my hips and waist line. This made for a long day to not be so draining from carrying the pack everywhere.


My favorite compartment in the Whitetail Caddy Pack that day was in the lid where I hid a secret ration of Snickers which can be invaluable when you are sweating, breathing heavy, and thinking you never got this tired when you were younger. A pretty spacious compartment to conceal valuables like a hunting license, wallet, cellphone, or emergency Snickers.

When I was actively hunting with this pack I really appreciated how I was able to neatly tuck it under the seat of a tree stand when it was full of gear. It was not bloated and bulging over from poor storage options so I could easily have it underneath me while archery hunting making it out of sight yet still easily accessible. Normally, I would have to hang a hunting pack on a tree limb or screw-in peg in order to bring it with me into a treestand, but the Whitetail Caddy Pack was pleasantly different.


I typically use pretty small treestands for all of my hunting adventures because it is just less to carry into the woods so a backpack with robust storage yet a small footprint can be invaluable. Another thing I noticed while on stand were the details of the zippers. Some days when you are not seeing a lot of deer I can get to be a bit fidgety. I will dig into my hunting pack for food to eat, a rangefinder to range every shrub I can see, and binoculars (that bush 100 yards away totally looks like a deer). All of the zippers opened and closed very quietly which is fantastic. The last thing you want is to pull on a zipper and have it sound like you are trying to start a chainsaw.

conclusion: Nexgen Outfitters Whitetail Caddy Pack

While none of us outdoor enthusiasts are likely without a hunting pack of some sort it is also very likely we are not satisfied with our current ones. I most definitely fall into the latter category and have paid significantly more than $75 for some of my backpacks I trek into nature with. For that reason, I was very pleased with all of the features the Whitetail Caddy Pack offers at such an affordable price-point.

With 18 varying pockets and compartments to store all of your gear you definitely will not run out of ways to compartmentalize and squirrel away your tools. The quiet zippers can be really beneficial if you are actively hunting as well and do not wish to give away your location to every animal in the woods.

While some people might see it as a downfall that it is only offered in 2 different camouflage patterns, I found it to blend in really well in Minnesota. The clean stitching and edges gave it a strong appearance of quality and helped it hold up to my repeated excursions out into the woods. The only thing I cannot say with certainty is how it will hold up over possibly 3 – 5 years of hunting. All signs point towards it performing very well based on my experiences this fall.

All in all, I was very pleased with the Whitetail Caddy Pack from Nexgen Outfitters and would have no reservations recommending this to anyone. At a very affordable MSRP of $74.99 you really cannot go wrong. After hearing all of my experiences, what do you think though? Is there something you would have liked to see additionally from this hunting pack? Let us know all of your thought in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.






Nexgen Outfitters – About Us

First and foremost, we are outdoors men and women. We spend countless hours in the field every year demanding the very best from our gear, season after season. We don’t believe in throw-away gear. We believe in gear that solves problems in the field, and gear that builds tradition.

We – all of us, our spouses and our children – instinctively treat the land and wildlife with utmost respect. That is a cornerstone of all we do and why we do it. And that respect influences what we do at Nexgen Outfitters– provide quality products that equip others to maximize their enjoyment of the Great Outdoors. With that, we hope you’ll join us on this journey!

Our goal is more than just outfitting you for your next adventure. It’s about ensuring that future generations can experience the outdoors the way we did growing up.

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Serving Those Who Serve Us []

The Holidays Season traditionally is a time for families and friends to come together.  It is also a time to reflect on the past twelve months and express hopes for the coming year.  Thankfully there are several organizations that remember those that are unable to join their family over the holidays because they are serving our country and protecting our families while away from their own.

Of course, most of these organizations can only operate with the assistance of volunteers and donations.  Below is a short list of some of the more active groups that support our active servicemen and servicewomen when they are away from home during the holidays.

Military Missions

A non profit that operates in cooperation with private businesses to send care packages all year.  During the Holiday season they magnify their efforts through Operation S.E.N.D. Christmas because serving far from home during this traditionally home centered home is that much more difficult for those in uniform.  This is done through volunteers accessing a list of care package suggestions and getting them into the field in time for Christmas.  An important point is that the Operation also focuses on veterans as well.

Full Circle Home

Recognizes not only the sacrifices of our service members away from home but also those left at home.  For Christmas and Mother’s Day, Full Circle helps service members send gifts home, maintaining and strengthening the bonds to those for which they serve.


Also enlists the aid of volunteers to get gifts or stocking out in time for the holidays.  Volunteers may also “adopt” an eligible service family, or family member, in the name of a service member to help make sure their holiday season is complete by providing children gifts or gift cards to ensure a proper holiday meal.

Help a Hero’s Operation Christmas Spirit

Similarly helps “adopt” family members of active service members helping them endure the challenges of deployment.  Wish list fulfillment, gift cards, crafts and holiday parties are some of the ways Help a Hero link volunteers with those who have volunteered to enlist, along with their families, through this season.

Military Families Ministry

Coordinates the support of businesses, community groups, schools, churches and individuals to prepare packages for the troops for every holiday, but of course especially during the year-end holidays when separation from home is that much more poignant.

Project Rudolph

Through their social media, PR has declared the goal of not only providing a decorated lunch bag, candy, ornaments and hand written notes of appreciation to military members travelling through airports during this season (as well as other holidays), but also to those Air Force personnel who keep the troops moving and to injured service members who are recovering in transition barracks all over the world.

Operation Shoe Box 

For those who have a penchant for crafts, OS offers patterns and a means to transport homemade items such as socks and quilts, and of course stockings for Christmas to our servicemen around the world.

Trees for Troops

The current hotspots for our active duty service members offer precious little in the way of Christmas trees, that is where Trees for Troops comes in.  TFT makes it possible for these units to gather around a real Christmas tree, fresh and express shipped from the US to the other side of the Earth. TFT also offers free trees to family members at home.

Operation Holiday Joy 

Offers a link for volunteers to donate directly to a service member’s family where 100% of the donation is sent directly to the recipient.

Red Cross

Since 2014 the Red Cross has taken on the mantle to get holiday letters to the troops since the national post office box for Holiday Mail for Heroes was discontinued.  This is an important connection between our troops and those back home.

Email Our Military, or eMoM

A general year round service where a service member can have a “penpal”. The one-on-one experience helps maintain that home front connection, and obviously becomes a n increasingly important connection during the holidays.

While several of the organizations allows the taking of initiative from the comfort of home, individuals can go ahead and directly correspond with service members over seas.  There are different ways to do this.  Details on how to address letters and packages, as well as dates to post to ensure timely delivery for the holidays can be found here.

The Military Postal Service Agency also posts deadlines for getting the packages out on time.  When taking the initiative individually, it is important to keep in mind some details that may not otherwise be obvious when sending within the US. Some countries (Saudi Arabia most notably) have laws prohibiting the display of Christian symbols. This must be considered for both the cards and the envelopes themselves as they may be stopped upon entering the country.  When attempting to make contact with a service member overseas, the most important point is to actually make contact, rather than run the risk of one of our heroes missing out on a little touch of home.

Whether organized or an individual effort, each of us has a patriotic obligation to support a service member who protects us. The Holidays are an important time to reconnect (or even just connect).  Fortunately, there are organizations and technology to make that happen, even with our men and women in uniform on the other side of the world. In a a sense, every one of us can be a Santa to our troops and their families at home.

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Harris Co., TX [Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog]

12/27/19 KPRC:

Officials say at about 4 p.m. Friday, a robber went to a Valero gas station near the intersection of Farm-to-Market 1960 and Cypresswood Drive, near the northeastern edge of George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The suspect tried to rob a customer at the gas station who was armed, deputies say.
“I had two males exchange gunfire. I have one male that is deceased on scene and then I have another male that has been transported to the hospital," Harris County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David Klozik said.
The customer and the suspect exchanged gunfire which resulted in the robber being shot and killed, officials say.


SILENCER SATURDAY #105: H&K SP5 Vs MP5SD And NFA News [The Firearm Blog]

H&K SP5 VS MP5SDGood afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday proudly brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine – home of the Turbo and Resonator suppressors. Last week we brought you a writeup on suppressing the new GLOCK 44 rimfire pistol – a setup I believe will be in every rimfire aficionados rotation.  This week […]

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Erquiaga EM-62: Castro’s Ex-Armorer Makes an M14 [Forgotten Weapons]

Juan Erquiaga was a Peruvian Army officer who was introduced to Gordon Ingram and the Police Ordnance Company, probably during Ingram’s time working on sales of the Model 6 submachine gun to Peru. Erquiaga first moved to the United States in 1951, and was hired by Police Ordnance. During his time working there, he began working secretly on behalf of Fidel Castro’s Cuban rebels working to overthrow the Batista regime. The would lead to his hasty departure to Mexico just ahead of law enforcement, where he continued working on arms design and supporting the Cuban rebels. When they successfully overthrew Batista, Erquiaga moved to the island to work as an armorer for Castro. This was a short-lived situation, though, as Castro ultimately opted to use Soviet military aid instead of building a domestic arms industry, and Erquiaga defected back to the United States in 1961.

He set up a gunsmithing shop in California, and one of his first products was the EM-62, a conversion of the M1 Garand to fire 7.62mm NATO from M14 or FAL box magazines. These were sold on the US civilian market in both semiauto and full auto variations (although thanks to the NFA tax, very few EMFA-62 automatic types were sold), but the real goal was a military contract. Not one with the United States, but rather with a country like Peru or Taiwan that had substantial numbers of surplus Garand that they might prefer to update than replace. These hopes never bore fruit, though, and Erquiaga moved on to making a sketchy Sten knockoff submachine gun for Costa Rica, designated the MR-64. He came back into contact with Gordon Ingram, and Ingram was working for him at the Erquiaga Arms Co when the MR-64 project came to the attention of Federal law enforcement, and all of the guns were confiscated. These included Ingram’s prototype M10 and M11 guns.

Erquiaga fled back to Peru in 1965, and Ingram moved on to work with Sionics and finish development of the guns that would be most closely associated with his legacy, the MAC M10 and M11.

Friday, 27 December


Friday Night Lights: Focus On Your NVGs – Refocus Accessories For Night Vision [The Firearm Blog]

For our last Friday Night Lights of the year let’s “Focus On Your NVGs.” Pun intended. Most night vision devices have an adjustable front focus. However, for those of you who have looked through helmet-mounted or handheld night vision devices, you will know that they have a very shallow depth of field (DOF). DOF is […]

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POTD: Green Beret with a MK17 SCAR-H rifle [The Firearm Blog]

TFB’s Photo Of The Day and we are looking (above) at a Green Beret assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), as he fires an MK17 SCAR-H rifle. SCAR is short for “Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle” and the “H” stands for Heavy, which means it fires the 7,62×51 mm NATO round. You […]

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Featured Deals of the Week – 12/27/19 [The Firearm Blog]

Deals-of-the-Week-Header-1Hey folks. I know it’s been a while since I published one of these. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, but it’s okay! You can bring your wallets out once again, and enjoy these post-Christmas deals. Police Trade-In Shotguns What the deal is: Used shotguns! Oh come on, these are really a great deal. Most […]

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Atlanta Arms Introduces the New Elite 9mm 124 gr JHP [The Firearm Blog]

Atlanta Arms Elite 9mm 124 grAtlanta Arms has released their new 124-grain Jacketed Hollow Point Elite 9mm ammunition. Under development for two years to give the shooter the greatest accuracy possible, the Atlanta Arms Elite 9mm 124 gr JHP is capable of shooting a 1.5-inch group from 50 yards. This ammunition is geared specifically towards competitive shooters. Atlanta Arms Atlanta […]

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Saddle Hunting: Toss Out Your Treestand []

When I was 13 years old, I used a climbing tree stand for the first time… and I was soon in love. Even though that first experience left me dangling from the top section when the bottom one slipped off my feet, I recognized it as a great way to hunt portably and unobtrusively on public land. And using a climbing stand is the method I used for decades to do just that.

Along the way, my inventive uncle dreamed up a method of hunting and patented a tree stand to go with it. His method never caught on, probably largely because it requires boring into the tree… but it’s quite similar to the “saddle hunting” method shown in the video below. The main difference is that his stand gives you a seat in which to sit.

The main attraction of saddle hunting is a great reduction in weight; you are using a lineman-style climbing rig to get up the tree and then to suspend yourself when you reach your desired height. This gear is much lighter than the lightest climbing stand, or even a hang-on stand.

The fellow who made this video does a great job of explaining how he came to try this method and its benefits — as well as its shortcomings. He uses it when he hunts remote areas of public land, so he can avoid competition from other hunters and hopefully hunt deer which have been undisturbed. The reduced weight of this system helps him do a better job of that.

Once you get up to height, you can strap a small foot platform to the tree, or lash a series of “squirrel steps” around the tree so you can support your weight on your feet. Our instructor prefers the platform because it enables you to better distribute your weight to the soles of your feet.

One plus that I would have to employ if I used this method would be the use of a back rest, which is actually a thing — he uses one in the video. Nice!

He demonstrates two different saddles; one lightweight “Tethrd Mantis” model and a larger one called the Aero Hunter Kestrel by New Tribe

It is certainly interesting. Do you think you would try it? I am tempted, although my knees and other various bits o’ body are getting creaky these days.

Watch the video and let us know what you think.

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Ruger Custom Shop SUPER GP100 Revolver Now Available in 9mm [The Firearm Blog]

Ruger SUPER GP100 Custom Shop Competition Revolver Now Available in 9mm Luger (1)Sturm, Ruger & Company has published a press release announcing the second revolver in their newest Super GP100 custom shop revolver line. Earlier, in April of 2019, Ruger released the first model of Super GP100 which was chambered in .357 Magnum. The main difference of the new wheelgun is the caliber it is chambered in […]

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Huge Velvet Buck Had 17 Points, 200+ Inches []

A few weeks ago, a huge whitetail buck was taken in southwest Georgia — and it’s one of those bucks for which the term “non-typical” was invented.

Almost always, antlers (as opposed to horns) are grown and shed annually. Each year, these amazing bonelike growths emerge from the skull, growing into branched artwork while covered with a blood-rich material called “velvet.” When the time is right, they harden… then after a few months, they fall off or “shed.”

In rare cases, a buck’s antlers simply continue to grow, remaining in velvet perpetually, never fully hardening nor shedding. And in this case the result was a fairly amazing freak of nature.

It was taken in early December 2019 in southwest Georgia by Clay Crawford, who had first seen the buck on trail cam photos two years earlier. And even though, in his words, he is “picky about what deer [he] kill[s],” he would have taken the buck if he’d gotten the opportunity. But he did not.

The 2018 season saw Clay and most others in his area rebuilding in the wake of hurricane Michael, and he didn’t hunt at all. This year, though, was another story according to GON’s article.

He put out a camera on a farm where he hunts, and soon captured photos of the buck, which had become a giant.

A game cam photo that would cause any hunter's heart to skip a beat.

A game cam photo that would cause any hunter’s heart to skip a beat.

‘He was just giant. He had grown tremendously in two years.

I'm most impressed by the "face tine" growing from the side of its skull.

I’m most impressed by the “face tine” growing from the side of its skull.

Clay set up a ground blind and waited for the wind to be right. This took longer than he wished, but on the day of a Christmas party it was finally right. Telling his wife they might be late to the party, he grabbed a rifle and headed to the woods. The weather was overcast with light rain.

‘I was running late and got in the blind at 4:45 p.m. About 5:25, a spike walked out and fed for 15 minutes and left out the back of the shooting lane. It was getting hard to see because of the weather conditions. Not long after the spike left, I saw some deer movement about 100 yards away. I looked through my scope, and my heart stopped!’

It was the giant velvet buck, but he was coming straight down the shooting lane toward Clay, and taking his time about it.

‘I was not going to take a straight-on shot, I just wasn’t,’ Clay said. ‘Meanwhile I’m watching this buck for like 10 minutes.’

Another deer walked out at the back of the shooting lane, and the big buck turned to look back. Clay had his shot, and he squeezed the trigger on his 243. He stayed in the blind for about 10 minutes, but the rain was picking up. He walked down the lane to where the buck had been standing and found some brown hair, but no blood.

‘By then it was flooding rain. I just had my cell phone light, and I looked off the edge of the shooting lane a little bit, but I didn’t want to jump him. I just decided I’d play it safe and come back and find him in the morning. We went to the Christmas party, and I’m doubting myself all night. I didn’t tell anyone about the buck except for my wife.’

It rained more than 2 inches overnight. The next morning Clay spent about 20 minutes searching the woods to the side of the lane the buck was facing when he shot.

‘I decided to make a loop on the left side of the lane. I walked about 20 yards and saw something unusual. It was the deer. It had been covered up with leaves by a bobcat. The only thing exposed was his rack. The bobcat had eaten the back ham of the deer before covering him up.The deer had obviously run the opposite direction he was facing. He only ran about 40 yards. The flash from the gun must have blinded me.’

Hmmm. Not sure I buy the bobcat bit (I’ve never seen a bobcat that could eat that much), but either way this is a very fortunate hunter — especially hunting large bucks with a dinky cartridge like the 243 Win (in my opinion).

The rack is pretty amazing — especially the 10-inch tine that protrudes from the buck’s face right behind its eye!

When a buck never sheds its antlers, the mass can be incredible.

When a buck never sheds its antlers, the mass can be incredible.

The most probable reason for the ever-growing 17-point rack was a lack of testosterone. As the article states, “the buck had male parts, but there wasn’t anything going on in the sack.”

This huge rack is certainly one of a kind.

This huge rack is certainly one of a kind.

It’s truly a buck of a lifetime, and Crawford can look back on Dec 12, 2019 with a smile whenever he thinks about connecting with the most amazing velvet buck he’s likely to ever lay eyes on.

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Pre-Hunt 4-Wheeler Checklist []

Hunters use their ATVs and UTVs heavily during the season, and should take time beforehand to do needed maintenance. The lull between deer and turkey seasons is rapidly approaching, so get ready now to prep your machinery for the next season.

Right now is the time for a comprehensive checklist of ATV inspections and maintenance checks. Don’t delay on this or you may find yourself stranded far from camp. Be sure to check over everything on your machine or just take it in to a local reliable dealer or repair shop for a complete checkup.

Friend Gary retrieved his ATV from storage under a shed at camp. One tire was already flat and from last year there was a terrible grinding noise somewhere in the rear end. I helped him take the unit to my 4-wheeler mechanic. Within a day, Steve called to say the tire was beyond repair and the rear brakes were shot. He got the brakes fixed to stop the noise, but Gary is still trying to get the tire fixed or replaced.

Last season my own 2000 Honda 450ES was barely running. It was hard to crank and hard to keep running. After the season was over I left it at my mechanic. He rebuilt the carburetor which was way past due. He said the longtime use of ethanol fuel had finally degraded the seals and rubber parts in the carb. I have now switched exclusively to non-ethanol gas and regularly put in a gas additive to take out moisture and gummy grime. Now it runs like a top.

Before the season, change the oil and oil filter. Clean or replace the air breather filter. Charge the battery and tighten its connections. Make sure brakes work. Check headlights and tail lights. Inspect tires for wear, cracks, or worn valves. Air them up to proper inflation. If you have an ATV rack gear box, add a can of tire repair for emergency field use.

If you haul your ATV on a towed trailer, inspect it, too. Same for loading ramps and security straps. Use extra safety and care in driving an ATV up a loading ramp. Secure the machine to hold down points in the bed with quality straps front and rear.

Going through an ATV checklist now just could very well save you a breakdown in the field. When you’re trying to hunt is no time to have to worry about ATV maintenance.

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Texas Man Converts Christmas Trees Into Canes for Veterans []

When it comes to getting the most out of the great outdoors, sometimes that means non-consumptive use, such as hiking or camping. Sometimes it means making use of a renewable resource such as the wildlife we hunt… and sometimes, it means the creation of useful tools out of tree limbs — or the trunks of trees harvested as decorative Christmas trees.

Jamie Willis operates a service called “Canes For Veterans Central Texas,” which is all about making wooden canes for USA’s military veterans — for free. And he’s reportedly asking local residents who live close enough to Copperas Cove, Texas to bring their Christmas trees to him rather than throwing them away. Jamie will, in turn, use the trees to make even more free canes to help out his fellow humans.

John Rose is a cane recipient and volunteer Christmas tree collector.

John Rose is a cane recipient and volunteer Christmas tree collector.

Jamie never charges for his canes, which he makes himself using donated wood. Not only is he ready and willing to make canes for veterans, he often thanks them for the privilege of allowing him to express his love and gratitude through the works of his hands.

A cane begins to emerge from a tree.

A cane begins to emerge from a tree.

One post on his Facebook page was written by a woman whose veteran father needed help to walk, but resisted the use of a cane or other walking aid, thinking it would be a sign of weakness. But he proudly accepted the cane — number 217 — hand-crafted by Jamie Willis to match her father’s stature.

Cane 217 was one of many special custom canes constructed for free.

Cane 217 was one of many special custom canes constructed for free.

Need a cane, but aren’t a vet? Jamie will make a special walking stick for anyone who needs one.

Tree donations can be dropped off at the following address:

Canes For Veterans Central Texas
2001 Jesse Dr
Copperas Cove, Texas 76522

Phone calls can be directed to (254) 394-3150. You can also visit their Facebook page.

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Time on Task for Big Bucks []

I have many deer hunters ask me the best strategy for hunting big whitetail bucks. There are a myriad of strategies and tactics and some of them work — some all the time, and some only sometimes. The single most critical deer hunting tactic though is simple: It’s time on task.

You’ve all heard the old saying about “butts in the seat.” That’s the clue. If you want to kill a big buck, any buck, or any deer for that matter, you have to be hunting. That means sitting in a tree stand overlooking a draw, relaxing in a reclining office chair up in an enclosed shooting house, or slipping along a meandering creek following a well-used deer trail or a rub line.

What sounds on the surface to be entirely way too simple, actually isn’t. For many hunters these days, just getting a couple weekends off to prowl the whitetail woods is tough enough. Those lucky enough to hunt a week or a month, are likely in the hunting business. I just saw a deer hunting television program where one hunter spent eight days in one state, ten in another, and then he headed out to Texas for two weeks. I mean who has that kind of hunting time?

The trick though is to carve out as many hunting days as you can manage. Check life and work calendar and schedules to see where you can squeeze out time to hunt. Naturally you need as many days as possible and ideally as many in a row you can get them. Two or three or more days in a row is better than parts of random weekends.

When to hunt? Well, the best times are just before and during the rut. You know why that is. The deal is to get as much consistent time in the stand seat as possible. The more you hunt, the more you are exposed to the hunting habitat, the better are your chances of seeing more deer and that means more bucks. It is a law of averages pure and simple.

When you do get to hunt, maximize your time. That means prepare to go early, and stay late. Plan your hunts out in advance. Know where, which stands you want to hunt so there is as little confusion as possible once you get to your hunting area. Concentrate on the task and lock down your time and attitude about it. At least time on task increases your chances. After the hunt, treat your significant other to dinner and roses.

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Top 5 Conservation Organizations for Hunters []

In an effort to combat the pop culture of hunters being a threat to the environment, here are five organizations that exist to preserve the heritage of hunters who respect and defend the environment.  Outdoor enthusiasts and hunters especially believe in being custodians of the natural world and recognize the importance in preserving it for future generations.

Boone & Crockett Club

Few American frontiersmen are more recognized than Daniel Boone or David (Davy) Crockett, so it is small wonder that when Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell founded the oldest continually operating wildlife conservation organization in 1887 they named it the Boone and Crockett Club.  This was obviously before Roosevelt became president, but the Boone & Crockett became the primary proponent of the earliest legislation to protect wildlife that was to come out of the Progressive Era.  These included the Yellowstone Protection Act, Lacey Act, the Timberland Reserve Bill, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Alaskan Game Laws.

The B&C Club provided fertile ground for the earliest efforts at science-based wildlife management through federal legislation which included the National Wildlife Refuge System Act, and the creation of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units.  All this would be short lived if not also for the laws designed to fund wildlife conservation, including the Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson), and the Federal Duck Stamp Act.  The Boone & Crockett Club was the first to map out, identify and maintain principles of responsible, ethical, and sustainable use hunting known as Fair Chase: requiring that hunted big game animals be wild and free-ranging.  Perhaps the most famous example of this is Teddy Roosevelt’s famous refusal to shoot a bear that was staked for a publicity stunt.  The B&C Club encourages its member hunters maintain a respect for their game as well as doing everything in their power to ensure the “wild” to be available for future generations.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Founded in 1984 by four hunters from Troy Montana the RMEF has four main missions: the conservation, restoration and enhancement of natural habitats for game animals as well as wildlife in general; promoting sound management of wild and free ranging elk herds for the purposes of hunting as well as general enjoyment by the public; fostering cooperation among federal, state, tribal and private organizations and/or individuals in both wildlife management and habitat conservation; and finally educating both members as well as the public about habitat conservation, the value of hunting, hunting ethics (responsibilities) and wildlife management.

Today the RMEF maintains over 500 chapters across the US and has managed to open 911,000 acres of protected elk habitat to hunters, hikers, fishers as well as other outdoor enthusiasts.  The Foundation remains at the forefront of hunters’ concerns, recently supporting the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 in an effort to exempt lead ammunition from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act.  The latter was seen by many hunting enthusiasts as a sideways effort to undermine their hunting rights as well as their heritage.  Instead the RMEF believes that it is every responsible citizen’s right to hunt and fish; that conservation and wildlife management is maintained through science-based, state-regulated hunting drives that preserves both nature and that uniquely American heritage of elk hunting.

Safari Club International

SCI has been around since 1972, and today boasts more than 55,000 members spread among 190 chapters in 106 countries around the world.  The Club’s notably proactive leadership delivers a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs in cooperation with other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies.  It has prominently empowered sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in what is presented as sound wildlife conservation. The Safari Club International has two primary missions: encourage appreciation for nature and its wildlife and save wildlife habitat with the aim of protecting the rich hunting heritage of sportsmen worldwide. SCI has a strong presence in Washington, D.C., and since 2000 has spent more than $140 million protecting the freedom to hunt through policy advocacy, litigation and the education of state and federal legislators. It conducts worldwide conservation and education programs through the Safari Club International Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education, and humanitarian services.

SCI has found itself the center of several controversies involving trophy hunting by both executive officers and several members (ref: Cecil the Lion, which resulted in the SCI membership of that individual being suspended).  Whether the disagreements over such hunts (legitimate or animals shot in error) are a result of changing attitudes of public opinions on trophy hunting or an excess of some members is subject to debate.  What cannot be dismissed is the power of the Safari Club International to bring political and financial power to issues over game hunting around the world, and it has done so through responsible conservation drives.

Sportsman’s Alliance

Born from the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America joining with the Wildlife Conservation Fund of America, the US Sportsman’s Alliance (USSA) was formed in 1977 in response to Ohio Ballot Issue 2 which threatened to all but ban Ohio’s trappers and hunters. After successfully defeating the bill the Alliance was officially incorporated in 1978. In 2015, USSA’s name changed to the Sportsmen’s Alliance (SA) to shorten the name and increase brand recognition.

SA has little reservation about boldly challenging anti-hunters and anti-trappers, and never shies away from direct legal challenges. The group achieved a monumental victory in 2010 after an eight-year battle to ensure hunting access on 100 million acres of the National Wildlife Refuge system against the Humane Society of The United States.  In a decision that may have rankled many anti-hunters the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted SA’s request to delist wolves in the Western Great Lakes Region from the endangered species list in 2011, making way for wolf hunting seasons to reopen.  Responsible and measured hunting was presented as a means to keep the populations manageable and safe: for themselves and others.

After this success, SA pushed for federal legislation in 2012 designed to protect hunting, fishing and trapping on public lands, otherwise known as the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act. What helps set the Alliance apart is their pro-active support for the use of dogs in hunting with their Dog Wars campaign.  It remains one of the most politically active organizations opposing anti-hunters who fail to understand conservation nationwide.

National Rifle Association

The NRA’s political and legislative branches largely eclipse the Association’s conservation and firearms safety achievements.  While it has even been targeted as a “terrorist organization” by gun control extremists, the NRA can point to a long history of responsible firearms safety education both in and out of doors.  In short, it has long been and continues to be the strongest lobbying and litigating organization in the defense of hunters as well as gun owners in general.

The fact that it is almost always presented as a target by anti-gunners is proof of its involvement in providing assistance not only to its individual membership but also affiliated clubs and ranges all over the country, providing legal and insurance options to protect hunting rights and access.  For conservation the NRA provides courses and certified instructors for hunting safety that benefits not only the individual hunter but also other outdoorsmen and even the game itself.

Simply put, the NRA is made the bogeyman by antagonists who are beholden to a growing militant ignorance towards responsible gun ownership and wilderness conservation.  While the Association may find itself in too many quarrels to be truly effective at times, it continues to stand for the rights of outdoor enthusiasts as well as those who know that even in their own habitats they are responsible for their own conservation.

American outdoor enthusiasts embody a tradition of rugged individualism, but to maintain that tradition it is becoming more and more necessary to band together in organizations that will protect and promote that lifestyle.  Society does not only threaten the wilderness but those who have an intimate relationship with it.  The good news is that there are many organizations out there that may more accurately reflect an individual’s outlook, but that all of them share a common goal: to protect both their rights and the animals that make that life a cornerstone of the American experience for the next generation.

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Advanced Combat Rifle Coloring Book From The Armourer’s Bench [The Firearm Blog]

Advance Combat Rifle Coloring bookThe Armourer’s Bench recently launched a coloring book designed around the Advanced Combat Rifle trials conducted by the United States Army in the 1980s. The coloring book is in a format that is both informative, as well as interactive should the reader wish to color each picture as they so desire. The Armourer’s Bench’s informative […]

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Illegal Weapons Cache Seized in Rivne, Ukraine [The Firearm Blog]

In a recent news release, the National Police of Ukraine published some photos of a weapons cache seized in the city of Rivne located in western Ukraine. The discovered cache consisted of quite a diverse selection of firearm including 16 pistols, 5 revolvers, 4 SMGs, one SVD rifle, 8 AKs, 5 other rifles, 70 grenades, 10,000 cartridges […]

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Florida Alert! The Most Anti-Gun Agriculture Commissioner in over 40 years -- Maybe Ever [NRA-ILA News]

Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only anti-Second Amendment, anti-gun official on the Florida Cabinet, thinks it's OK to deliberately violate State law and not be punished.  Joining anti-gun cities and counties, Florida's Agriculture Commissioner is asking the 1st DCA to allow local government officials to have immunity from punishment when they intentionally break the law.


TFBTV: Top 5 Guns of 2019 [The Firearm Blog]

In this episode of TFBTV,  @James Reeves discusses the top 5 guns of 2019. These were all of the new guns reviewed by TFBTV this year, and our Patreon and SubscribeStar supporters voted on what they thought the top five guns were from the list of guns reviewed. We’ve got rifles, pistols, and shotguns from big […]

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Sylvan Arms Gen3 Hinged AR-15 Folding Stock Adapter [The Firearm Blog]

Sylvan Arms Gen 3 AR Hinge Folding Stock 1Adapter (2)Sylvan Arms has announced the release of the third generation of their AR-15 hinged folding stock adapters. As stated by the company, the main differences of Gen3 adapter from the previous generation are the lowered hinge and stronger, more durable design. Let’s take a closer look. Sylvan Arms hinged folding stock adapter allows you to […]

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EOKA Cut-Down Beretta 38 SMG [Forgotten Weapons]

This cut-down Beretta Model 38/44 submachine gun was made by the EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston) terrorist group, which fought in the late 1950s for Cyprus to be reunified with Greece, instead of being a British colony. It shows a clever use of a Bren gun barrel handle as a front grip, usable in the vertical position of locked back to be more concealable.

Many thanks to the Royal Armouries for allowing me to film this unique artifact! The NFC collection there – perhaps the best military small arms collection in Western Europe – is available by appointment to researchers. However, you can browse the various Armouries collections online.

Thursday, 26 December


TFB Review: Scalarworks Leap/07 30mm Mount [The Firearm Blog]

In the world of scope mounts, there is a sea of choices from two-piece mounts to one-piece QD mounts. Previously I have gone with something from American Defense MFG for my Schmidt and Bender 3×20 and had great luck but the QD levers have snagged on clothing and gear in the past when competing. I […]

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POTD: MK19 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – Above you can see U.S. Marines with Delta Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry West, as they fire a Mk19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher during a live-fire range. This happened on Range 204B on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, at the beginning of December 2019, just a […]

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Concealed Carry Corner: Concealed Carrying In A Vehicle [The Firearm Blog]

When carrying a concealed firearm in public, there are a ton of small obstacles to overcome when figuring out what’s best for everyday life. It can sometimes be challenging to figure out the best carry style when variables are always changing. Things like lifestyle, clothing, events, and traveling can all create unique challenges for the […]

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SHOT Show Is Coming []

The SHOT Show will start on January 21st in Las Vegas. It is the firearms industry’s annual trade show where they exhibit their wares to gun dealers, interested government purchasers, and the media.

Preceding the SHOT Show is Industry Day at the Range. Yehuda Remer (the PewPewJew), Shane Thurston, and I will be attending as a team.

If there is something you want us to try out at Range Day, let us know in the comments. With three people covering it, we should be able to get to most of the exhibitors.

Here is a list of SHOT Show exhibitors. If there is something from the main show that you would like us to check out, we’ll do our best.

With it being an election year and with the industry trying to come out of the “Trump Slump”, I anticipate there will be quite a number of new introductions. We have already seen Glock release their G-44 in .22 LR and Ruger release a number of new firearms including the Custom Shop Super GP100 Competition Revolver and a Custom Shop SR1911 Officer-style.

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Girl With Brittle Bone Disease Bags First Buck []

In today’s world in which so many in the “news” arena seem to be anti-everything, it’s nice to see a story from a female reporter who hunts — and who is reporting on a wonderful hunting experience she was able to share with a little girl: hunting with her during two hunts — one of which brought the young lady her first deer.

Any first deer is special, but this one is even moreso because Courtney White is only 9 years old but has already broken more than 40 bones! She has a rare form of Brittle Bone disease, so she can’t safely fire a rifle or shotgun… it might break her little shoulder.

But she can use a crossbow just fine, and that’s exactly what she used on this hunt.

Courtney has spent months practicing for her first season to deer hunt, something she thought she might never get to do.

She’s hunted hard this season with her family near their home in Terlton but hadn’t had any luck. Then taxidermist Jerad Langley and ranch owner George Lippe heard her story and wanted to help make her dream come true.

Courtney, her dad, her sister, and News On 6’s Tess Maune loaded into Langley’s old blue Suburban and headed toward Lippe’s ranch in Northeastern Oklahoma. On the ride there, Courtney went over the different places on a deer she’d need to aim to make an ethical shot.

She was ready.

Out on the ranch, with an unsteady walk, Courtney headed for the deer blind, with Langley scooping her up to carry her the most of the way.

A cushion and a sweatshirt helped prop up Courtney high enough to see out the blind’s opening, then the wait began.

Within 20 minutes of getting settled, Courtney spotted deer in the food plot, but [they were] out of range. That would be the case for about two hours, until a little after 5 p.m. when an 8-point buck came running straight toward the stand.

The deer stopped broadside and Courtney dialed in, patiently focused on the shoulder. She took a perfect shot and watched the buck drop about 60 yards out.

Courtney’s summation of the hunt was pretty great:

My heart is beating faster than a mouse — a mouse’s heart beats really fast. I’m just so psyched out. I can’t believe I just shot a deer. My whole life we were just thinking I’m never gonna be able to shoot anything; I’m never gonna be able to have that experience. Here I am, and he’s right here in front of me.

This kind of gives everybody a lesson, just because you think you can’t do something, you can.

Courtney’s sister Grace, age 13, also got to participate in the hunt and she also got a nice buck.

Her father expressed thanks to those who were able to give his children this great hunt.

I had begun to pray that God would open up an opportunity for her to successfully harvest a deer, because I was not providing that opportunity on my own. Just a couple days later, Tess calls and asks if the girls would be interested in a doe hunt. We were thrilled, and it just kept getting better from there. I’m so proud of both of my girls, and so thankful for all of the great people who have invested in them.

Powderhorn Taxidermy will be mounting both bucks for free and Tagged Out Processing butchered the bucks, free of charge.

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Dillon RL1100, is now officially AVAILABLE and SHIPPING [The Firearm Blog]

Dillon RL1100The RL1100 is finally here. With all the hype, you’re probably wondering what sets the Dillon RL1100 apart from other offerings. First, the Dillon RL1100 can accommodate common cartridges, pistol, and rifle, from 32 ACP all the way up through 308 Winchester. With up to 2.75″ overall length of capacity, this rig can handle almost […]

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Hornady Brass-Cased Boxer-Primed 5.45x39mm Ammunition [The Firearm Blog]

Hornady Brass-Cased 5.45x39mm Ammunition (1)The much anticipated brass-cased Boxer-primed 5.45x39mm ammunition that the AK community has been waiting for for a long time is now available. Hornady now offers such cartridges in their BLACK ammunition line as well as sells the brass cases separately for reloaders. The Hornady BLACK brass-cased 5.45x39mm ammunition is loaded with the company’s 60gr V-MAX projectiles. […]

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Watch: How to Tie a Trucker’s Hitch Knot []

Here’s a fast & easy lesson in knots to help you secure a load securely but easily. It includes a “trucker’s hitch” knot, which can be used with a rope to tighten up a rope to secure your load to truck or trailer. And the best thing about this video is that it gets right down to business without a bunch of patter and yakking.

My usual method is to begin with a bowline at the rope’s end, which isn’t bad and has worked fine for decades — but his starting knot (which he calls a “G.E.”) certainly comes loose more easily than my bowline.

The trucker’s hitch places a loop in the rope on the other side of the load, which can be used to really tighten up your rope to hold down the load. It’s pretty dang easy to tie, as it mainly involves a loop and a few twists.

When you get to where you’re going, the knots come loose even more easily than they went in. Nice!

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Deer Smelling – The Scent of Popcorn []

Ever notice how the smell of just-popped popcorn wafts all over the house? The smell permeates the entire house. How? It is transferred everywhere by invisible air currents. The ceiling fan blows it around as does the furnace or air conditioner when it cycles on.

Now, just imagine then how all kinds of scents are carried around the woods, or wide open spaces out in the environment. Every so often we get the distinct smell of a paper pulp mill at our house which is more than fifty miles from the mill. If the winds are right, we get the scent from that far away. It is the very same phenomenon in the deer woods.

Of all the senses of the white-tailed deer, their ability to detect smells is their strongest trait. You’ve seen it in the woods. The deer sticks its nose in the air and you can usually see his or her nostrils flare out. They catch even the slightest whiff of something foreign on their nose. If they don’t like it, then a quick exit is usually the net reaction.

Note too that when a deer, doe or buck smells something in the woods it doesn’t like, it may snort, pound the turf, and snort again. This is an alarm system to all the other deer in the area. It alerts all the deer nearby that something is not right. Again, this usually results in a hasty exit from the area. Often such reactions spells the end to hunting that immediate area at least for several hours or maybe the entire day.

How can hunters fight back against this keenest of all senses? First of all, when you leave the hunting camp or your pickup truck to enter the woods, do not smell like fried bacon, gasoline, or cigarette smoke. Killer smells alert every deer in the woods that the mean old human being is about to enter their domain.

Be virtually scentless, and I qualify this by saying virtually because there is no way you can be 100 percent scent free. But you certainly can greatly reduce your offensive smells. And despite what some scent control hunting clothing makers might say, they cannot make you entirely scent free. If any part of your body or skin is exposed, it will emit some scent.

So, take a good bath with scentless soap, wear fresh camo clothing washed in scentless washing soaps, and liberally spray down with scent killing products. This will help greatly to reduce human scent, but don’t be shocked if you still hear a snort once in a while.

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Winchester Responds to “A Tale of Three Bullets” []

A few weeks ago, I posted the story of a friend’s 2019 hunting season and the trio of public-land whitetails he’d taken — all with Winchester Power Point bullets. You can read about that here.

He experienced some unusual bullet performance, which he and I both questioned; I explored that in some depth in another post titled, “A Tale of Three Bullets.” I will briefly summarize each scenario below, but you may wish to read the full details by clicking here.

Each bullet was used to take a whitetail ranging in weight from 112 to 127 pounds.

We have since received some input from Nathan Robinson, who works for Winchester. Here’s what he has to say about our three bullet experiences:

Bullet One: The Non-Expander

The first bullet hit no bone on the entry side of the whitetail and apparently tumbled around inside, failed to expand, and became flattened and even bent.

Winchester Power Point 150-grain 270 WSM (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Winchester Power Point 150-grain 270 WSM
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Robinson’s comments:

I believe the hard quartering target angle, and likely a glancing impact with a rib, either caused the nose to become pinched (preventing proper expansion) or more likely it caused the bullet to tumble through the vitals. Either that initial impact, or subsequent tumbling through the ribs on the off side, would explain the funny bend.

This is not common, and the first time I’ve seen it. It’s reassuring to know the bullet carried enough energy to still cleanly kill the animal.

He’s mighty right — it was an exceptionally fast kill, and there are no complaints about the result.

Bullet One: The Expanded Non-Penetrator

This bullet was fired into a running buck quartering towards the hunter; hit about six inches behind the shoulder, took out a lung, and lodged in hide just forward of the offside ham (rear leg). While expansion and wound channel were both textbook perfect, the lack of complete pass-through at just 30 yards was surprising.

This deer did not fall to this shot, but did stop, and the hunter took a follow-up shot (to the neck) to finish the buck.

Winchester Power Point 150-grain 30-06 Sprg (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Winchester Power Point 150-grain 30-06 Sprg
(Photo © Russ Chastain)


This actually looks perfect. Due to the short distance the bullet was still moving VERY fast which causes massive expansion and a rapid energy dump on target. This is an optimal scenario for a quick kill. Typically it should pass through, though.

I know it sounds odd or counter-intuitive but as the distance grows the bullet slows and expands less, so longer shots usually result in deeper penetration and are thus more likely to pass through.

If pass-throughs are important to the hunter I would recommend using a bonded, controlled-expansion bullet.

Bullet Three: Possibly Perfect

This buck was shot broadside at 200 yards and was a perfect pass-through, dropping the animal in its tracks. Again there are no complaints about the result, but the internal results seemed odd to the hunter, mainly because the exit wound in the hide was not large — although he said the offside ribcage and shoulder “were destroyed.”

Robinson states:

Also doesn’t appear to be a problem. The damage at entrance and to vitals clearly shows it expanded, while probably not as much as bullet two due to the longer distance I mentioned above. The size of the exit is typically more related to what it passed through just prior to the skin, and how restrictive it was. Bone for example will burst out violently while stretchy muscle and skin may result in a smaller hole.


Mr. Robinson makes good points, and we are happy to provide a platform for him to do so. After all, if we raised questions about these bullets, it’s the least we can do to allow him to answer them. To that end, here are some parting comments he added:

I think your friend should feel confident continuing to use these calibers and bullets. This bullet design [Winchester Power Point] has been used for many decades on countless animals and every major brand has a similar version that is likely their top seller (or close to it) because of the value price.

There’s also nothing wrong with trying out some of our newer innovations though as well. Our Deer Season XP is designed for even more rapid expansion and energy transfer. It’s known for killing deer faster than anything due to its oversize hollow point for more shock and shorter blood trails.

Due to the interest in pass-throughs, I would recommend the Deer Season XP Copper Impact version because it is a solid copper projectile that will retain its weight and punch deeper. Power Max Bonded would also be a great option. It uses a bonding process to increase weight retention.

I can attest to the performance of Deer Season XP; I have taken numerous deer with it in 308 Win and my most recent kill was with my father’s old Springfield-Mauser 30-06 hunting rifle using Deer Season XP ammo. I have recovered every one, and most have not gone far.

Happy hunting.

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Florida Alert! 30 Florida Cities and Counties Think They are ABOVE THE LAW [NRA-ILA News]

How does it feel knowing that in at least 30 Cities and Counties, elected Commissioners and local government officials think they have a right to knowingly and willfully violate State law and not be punished?  In 30 local governments they are spending tax dollars to fight the State for passing a law to punish them for intentionally violating state law.


Fall Goose Hunting is Hot Action []

Time to take a break from deer hunting and climb into a waterfowl pit or hide in some cattails along the edges of a water source or farm field. Goose hunting is a ton of fun if you enjoy shooting a lot. Most goose populations are holding steady or increasing, which provides plenty of flapping targets to unload on.

All we need in the Deep South is for nasty weather up north to send the goose flocks south into our rice, corn, and soybean fields. All it takes is some good food sources, some standing water and willing participants. So, watch the weather and state wildlife reports on goose numbers and have all the gear ready.

Gear? Make it easy on yourself. If you have some water on your deer property, take a machete or weed hook and hack out some small places to hunker down in the weeds. Some hunters pop up a screen or camouflage blind material for hiding behind. For goose hunting you do need to remain hidden below the horizon line until a flock circles overhead. Then be ready.

If your goose spot is especially wet and boggy, you will want some waders, either chest types or hip waders to get around in the bog. Dress for the weather, too, whether it is cold, or rainy, or both. Goose seasons can be nasty weather wise which is what makes the birds active.

You don’t have to be an expert goose caller, but knowing some calls and sequences certainly helps. Check into some You-Tube instructional videos to give you some tips on your calling. Most basic goose calls are fairly inexpensive, so you won’t need a collector call to get some action going. Just plan on lying low and blasting some calls when you see geese coming around your area.

Open feeding fields also make good places to take down geese. A combined soybean field is ideal with some deep rows to lay in or along the edges of fields. Geese can be taken as they come into feed. Again, deploying a decoy spread is always helpful, but not always required depending on the flights in the area.

What geese to expect? Often goose species mix into together, sometimes not. Expect to see Canada geese, Snow geese, Blue geese, Ross’, White-fronted, and Brant. Be sure you know the bag limits in your hunting areas and have the right state and federal licenses to waterfowl hunt.

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5 Hunters Who Shaped Modern Conservation []

It is unfathomable to too many that hunting and conservation are inextricably linked.  In fact, hunters, and to be sure it must be said *responsible* hunters, are primary beneficiaries of conservation, after the animals themselves. It is natural for them to take a responsible interest in the wild.

To that end, a brief look at a few hunters helped shaped the modern conservation is not out of order.  Because pop culture is certainly familiar with the likes of PETA and Steve Irwin and even Jane Goodall (who supported sustenance hunting for herself when she was in the field), the subject of hunting – whether it be “trophy hunting” or even culling hunts – have become a sort of political hot button subject.  The idea that hunting for food AND sport can be responsibly used to help population controls has become abhorrent in main stream, even though it was hunters who first promoted and continue to this day to utilize responsibility in conserving wildlife and natural habitats for future generations’ enjoyment.

John James Audobon (1785-1851)

While it is difficult to pinpoint any one individual who could be the “first” conservationist hunter, the Audobon name is strongly linked to the practice.  Following in the tradition of Daniel Boone and perhaps setting a standard for later Charles Darwin, the naturalist and painter that was to become Audobon was born Jean Rabin on April 26, 1785 in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti), the result of an extramarital arrangement between a French naval captain turned sugarcane plantation owner and one of his servants.  Within a few years, Jean was brought back to France and formally adopted into his father’s family, exchanging Rabin for Audobon and after a short dalliance in the French Navy’s officer program was permitted to pursue his interest in nature before he was sent to look after his father’s business ventures in the US where he anglicized his name to John.

Over the course of the next two decades John mixed import/export goods to the frontier along with becoming acquainted with American wildlife and Native American customs of several tribes for which he developed a lasting respect and admiration.  It was during this period that he both gathered knowledge as well as furthered his artistic and taxidermy skills that he ultimately compiled into a collection of pictorial and text studies.  There were actually multiple incarnations of these studies that were in turn either discarded or otherwise destroyed before forming into the first portfolio The Birds of America.  His collection of color plates became popular in the US, UK, France and beyond.

Many are now familiar with the Audobon name and its associations with ornithology and bird sanctuaries, John brought awareness of the many fascinating bird species by hunting them: this was the 19th century equivalent of bringing them out of their habitats for viewing on nature channels today, without the possibility of release.   Nevertheless, without his efforts, much of what was still the untapped West would have been left in mystery leaving more than a few species to slip into extinction without earlier references to them.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

Perhaps the most obvious of conservator hunters would be none less than “Teddy” Roosevelt.  This is no doubt largely due to his progressive (contemporary) reforms that became codified into federal laws during his presidency.  Rossevelt had developed an early fascination with nature as a child but more famously developed a strong respect and appreciation for nature while working as a cowboy after the same day deaths of his first wife Alice and his mother in 1880.  Actually, he had not begun his dalliances in “cowboy life” until 1884 when he took a hiatus from New York politics. He was himself a product of a growing movement that exalted the natural world that had been taking form during the 19th century, nudged along by writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

As an acolyte of the belief that man had a custodial responsibility to the natural world, Roosevelt was motivated by the reckless waste of industry and agriculture that was stripping away Americans’ heritage.  The conservativism that Theodore ultimately adopted often fell short of what other preservationists – contemporary as well as succeeding – wanted but he recognized the strength of market forces that included drilling, mining and logging.  Rather than prohibit such practices, he sought to redirect them away from preservations and protected areas.  As president he developed a reputation for monopoly breaking, but his policies still recognized that the environment would be looked to for industry and economic growth: something as a national leader he had to remain conscientious of.  There was no escaping it from his point of view, and this was where he fell short in the opinion of other preservationists.  Regardless, he took the momentous step of limiting the excesses that property owners could do with their own property when it came to irrevocable harm to the natural world.   To that point, the federal government had taken a hands off sort of approach which he essentially upended: as president Roosevelt established the United State Forest Service, created five national parks, 150 national forests, 51 bird reserves, four game reserves and placed under public protection a total of approximately 230,000,000 acres.

He also helped cofound the Boone & Crockett Club which is still at the forefront of sportsmen conservationism.  Perhaps most endearing is the club’s furthering the sentiment that game animals are to be treated with respect and dignity: most famously related in the story of Roosevelt’s refusal to shoot a trapped bear.

William Temple Hornaday (1854-1937)

Hornaday (not Hornady) began his professional life as a taxidermist for the Natural Science Establishment in Rochester NY where he endeavored to expand the institution’s specimens, first by travelling to southeast Asia (relayed in Two Years in the Jungle 1885).  He more became famously noted for his work with what would become the Bronx Zoo: first attempting to document the American Buffalo before its considered inevitable extinction and finally in the preservation of the species.  Similar to Audobon’s cataloging, the collection of samples required their being hunted.  However, Hornaday also worked to collect live samples of American bison ultimately delivering over three dozen of the animals to reside in the Bronx Zoo’s open range.

Together with his contemporary Theodore Roosevelt, Hornaday is credited with the survival of the buffalo through the American Bison Society.  Through his endeavors with the zoo he established a strong sentiment for the preservation of wildlife.  To be sure, not all of his efforts were what would be deemed politically correct, and even his contemporaries who were avid hunters may have raised an eyebrow to his objection to the threats of modern conveniences (the automobile and modern firearms) posed to nature.  Rather than being antagonistic, however, his views were a legitimate warning.  Our Vanishing Wildlife, published in 1913, could easily be read as a call for caution and restraint in a growing penchant for excess in an age of the great leaps the Industrial Revolution allowed to more and more people: hunters were no longer hunting for sustenance or made up into a minority of rich or aristocratic elites, but as more people found opportunity for leisure and recreation, their ignorance and excess posed a very real threat that Hornaday saw first hand in the near extinction of the Buffalo.

His writings on conservation and ecology nevertheless became, and even remain, a strong influence on the teachings within the Boy Scouts of America, with his name attached to the coveted Wildlife Protection medal after his death.  While his earlier career as a hunter was something he shied away from in later life, it was these experiences that encouraged later hunters to have respect for the natural world.

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)

Born in Iowa Leopold, like many conservationists before and since, was an avid outdoorsman from an early age.  These talents and skills ultimately found him contracted by local ranchers to kill bears wolves and mountain lions.  On one occasion he experienced a sort of awakening after taking down a wolf that led him upon a path reconsidering natural predators and their important role in the environment.  This new “ecocentric” outlook deviated from the previous school of thought that promoted humanity as a dominant authority in nature in favor of a new policy in which humanity must play a supporting role, especially in light of mechanical advancements: specifically the automobile and its primary (access to the wilderness), secondary (collisions with animals of the wilderness) and even tertiary (pollution in the wilderness) effects upon the natural world.

Leopold’s conservation philosophies were most famously set forth in his work A Sand County Almanac (published the year after his death 1949).  Among his assertions was that mankind had an ethical responsibility to maintaining the wilderness (which included predators) that went beyond the utilitarian approach to conservation that was promoted by Teddy Roosevelt.

Instead he promoted developing a scientific management of habitats by both private and public landholders in lieu of relying on game refuges and laws to protect desired game animals.  His earlier book Game Management (1933) defined the goal of his developing process of conservation to provide sustainable annual crops of wild game for recreational use, but he also promoted it to facilitate a return to the wilderness a desperately needed environmental diversity.

In 1935 he helped found the Wilderness Society which was founded with the intent to expand and maintain wilderness areas.  It was a manifestation of what he deemed a reasoned humbleness on the part of mankind and society toward humanity’s place in nature.  In some ways he can be compared to an earlier time where he and Thoreau could share quiet walks of contemplation; he certainly receives recognition of a more modern perspective of spirituality in nature from a mutual respect for all its vast assortment of life: even those who were once deemed a menace.

William Holden (1918-1981)

Thanks to his starring rolls in Stalag 17, The Bridge on the River Kwai and of course The Wild Bunch (among others) Holden’s (born William Franklin Beedle Jr.) acting career is well known, but his work in conservation is somewhat less so.  In 1959 Holden founded the Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, Kenya which became a popular destination for the international jet set of the early 1960s.  Initially a game hunter himself, Holden witnessed firsthand and became concerned with the decreasing animal populations from loss of habitat and poaching.

With help from partners in the Club grew into the Mount Kenya Game Ranch and ultimately into the William Holden Wildlife Foundation.  Within the Game Ranch is the Mount Kenya Conservancy that partners with the Kenya Wildlife Service running a wildlife orphanage and the Bongo Rehabilitation Program.  The aim of the orphanage is to restore to health injured and or neglected animals so that they may be released back into the wild whenever possible.  The primary focus of the conservancy is protecting the endangered East African mountain bongo.

In 1972 Holden began a relationship with actress Stephanie Powers, inspiring her interest in wildlife conservation.  It was Powers who, after Holden’s sudden death in 1981, began the William Holden Wildlife Foundation (WHWF) within the Game Ranch.  In the years since, the WHWF has built libraries, water purification facilities, natural history displays and partnered with local and international schools to promote a stronger understanding of the important role of natural wildlife in to the environment and the world at large.

The popularly assumed irony of hunters becoming the primary defenders of wildlife is not lost on outdoorsmen themselves.  We are the first to notice the decline in the environment after the animals themselves.  While the aim of conservation may spread over the goals of husbandry or for recreational to subsistence hunting, the far reaching goal is the same: to maintain a stable and thriving natural world for future generations to enjoy.  This requires a calculated and responsible custodianship that hunters are uniquely suited to appreciate and implement.

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The New Nighthawk Custom Colt Series 70 1911 Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

Colt Series 70New this week in the custom handgun world, the Nighthawk Custom Colt Series 70 1911 Pistol has just been announced as available for purchase. Featuring several upgrades to the classic handgun, Nighthawk boasts improved functionality and aesthetic features with the Series 70. Nighthawk Custom is famous for bringing custom built 1911’s to competition shooters and collectors […]

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Nikon Corporation to Withdraw from Riflescope Business [The Firearm Blog]

Nikon WithdrawalLast Month, many rumors began to surface regarding the Nikon withdrawal from the riflescope business. Claims state that once the current inventory of Nikon riflescope stock is gone, they will not manufacture replacement inventory. According to numerous reports from retailers and vendors in the American firearms industry, Nikon will be withdrawing from the riflescope business. […]

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Philippine National Police to buy more than 17 000 Rifles from Israel Weapons Industries [The Firearm Blog]

According to the Philippine News Agency, which is a news service of the Philippine government, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is going to buy over 17,000 new “Basic Assault Rifles” from Israel Weapons Industries. The order is worth around $14 million, with each rifle costing about $825. As far as TFB can understand the “Basic […]

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Q&A 36: All About Tanks, with Nicolas Moran (the Chieftain) [Forgotten Weapons]

I recently had the chance to do some collaborative filming with Nicolas Moran, and figured it would be a good chance to do a Q&A specifically on issues related to tanks. Nicolas is a Major in the US Army Reserve, who deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan in Abrams tanks and Bradley APCs, and is a wealth of information of armored vehicles both past and present. I learned a ton speaking with him, and I think many of you will also in today’s Q&A (which, I will note, is my longest such one to date!).

The questions provided by Patrons are:

0:01:10 – The M85 machine gun and M231 port-firing weapon
0:05:44 – Which machine gun position is best, coaxial, hull mount, or top mount?
0:18:02 – Is the 25mm gun on the Bradley still viable, and do its TOW missiles need to be replaced?
0:23:28 – Do modern tanks have bird’s-eye type camera systems?
0:26:49 – Given the headspace problems on HMMWV M2s, how bad were your secondary weapons in the Abrams and Bradley?
0:30:57 – What happens to spent casings in tanks?
0:33:58 – Given the effectiveness of AT rifles in the 1930s, was the “cult of the machine gun” really a bad thing?
0:37:25 – Thoughts on the Swedish S-Tank?
0:42:00 – Will the current Army competition for a light vehicle lead to anything?
0:45:08 – Differences between the Sherman 75mm and 76mm in AP and HE
0:47:12 – What about a 20mm-30mm auto cannon as secondary tank armament?
0:52:48 – Will man-portable anti-armor weapons remain viable in the future with unmanned vehicles?
0:56:50 – What are tank crew small arms like?
1:03:16 – What is the oldest tank that is still “not obsolete”, given a good crew and modern updates?
1:06:48 – Did AFV coaxial guns get special ammunition?
1:09:48 – How effective were antitank rifles in WWII on armor?
1:14:00 – How significant were optics and fire control systems in WWII tanks?
1:21:48 – Do other countries have the same bureaucratic procurement issues as the US?
1:29:31 – In WWI, was the machine gun or light cannon more practical on tanks?
1:33:24 – Thoughts on the XM913 50mm chain gun?
1:37:23 – Modern application of the tank destroyer concept?
1:39:06 – What is the strangest way someone has defeated a tank?
1:43:30 – What is the “Forgotten Weapon” of tanks?

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions! I am sorry that we couldn’t cover all of them. If you are interested in this sort of subject matter, I would highly recommend checking out The Chieftain channel on YouTube, and supporting Nicolas on Patreon as well.

Wednesday, 25 December


The Top 6 Gun Personalities Around Today [The Firearm Blog]

Over the past few weeks, I was at various indoor and outdoor ranges with friends as well as coworkers of mine. On every occasion we saw a number of different people who all were equally unique in their own ways. We saw all kinds of people from the new guy who we thought were going […]

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Wheelgun Wednesday: The .44 Magnum Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan [The Firearm Blog]

TFB Review: The .44 Magnum Ruger Super Redhawk AlaskanUnfortunately, I have never been to Alaska. But someday, I will go. In preparation for the adventure of a lifetime, like any red blooded American man, I started perusing a list of backcountry sidearms suitable for an encounter with a grizzly. I didn’t look at maps, read travel blogs, pick out activities or even price […]

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Channelview, TX [Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog]

12/23/19 ABC News:

 Texas resident grabbed his shotgun and shot and killed three men when they allegedly broke into his home, authorities said.
Early Monday morning, one of the two residents of a trailer home in Channelview -- about 20 miles east of Houston -- heard a "commotion" outside, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. He then saw several men in dark clothing -- possibly one armed -- force their way inside, the sheriff said at a news conference.
That resident ran to hide, while his roommate, armed with a shotgun, exchanged gunfire with the suspects, Gonzalez said.


TFBTV Reads Crappy YouTube Comments: Christmas 2019 Special [The Firearm Blog]

You guys know the drill by now. We read your crappy YouTube comments today on TFBTV for Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. ««« TFB CHAT ROOM »»» Want to join the TFBTV chat room? Use our Discord Invite:

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Meet the “SpringMaus” — Dad’s Unique Custom Hunting Rifle []

Back in the day when I was a mere young ‘un instead of a grizzled and gray-bearded curmudgeon, there was a certain rifle my father had. He was proud of the gun, which he’d had custom-made by a local Tampa gunsmith. He affectionately called it “The SpringMaus,” but by the time I was old enough to know anything about shootin’ irons he rarely dug it out of the safe and fired it even less frequently.

Dad's old 30-06 "SpringMaus" is essentially a '98 Mauser action with a barrel from an '03 Springfield. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Dad’s old 30-06 “SpringMaus” is essentially a ’98 Mauser action with a barrel from an ’03 Springfield.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The SpringMaus was so named because it’d been formed by marrying a barrel from a 1903 Springfield rifle with a Mauser Model 98 receiver, retaining the ’03’s 30-06 chambering. The result was a good quality bolt-action hunting rifle… which Dad almost never used.

Custom Mauser hunting rifle. German, Yugoslavian, American. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Custom Mauser hunting rifle. German, Yugoslavian, American.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I guess you could say the reason for this is multi-faceted. After all, Dad was a southpaw, and although he had learned in high school to run a standard right-handed bolt-action rifle efficiently, he preferred something more ambidextrous such as his old Winchester 94 30-30 lever action or the Ruger 44 Magnum semi-auto carbine he came to love in later years.

And those guns were short, light, and handy, considerably lighter and easier to hunt with than the ol’ SpringMaus, which weighs in at 9.25 pounds unloaded sans sling — and has a two-foot barrel.

Then there’s the scope. Dad never could make himself love a scope, but a reacher-outer like a 30-06 belongs to have a scope of reasonably high magnification — and he hated any scope rated above 2x-7x.

"Preduzece 44" = post-WW2 Yugoslav rehab; "Mod.98" = pre-1950 (Photo © Russ Chastain)

“Preduzece 44” = post-WW2 Yugoslav rehab; “Mod.98” = pre-1950
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The rifle itself is pretty interesting. The left side of the receiver ring is marked “Preduzece 44,” which I’d wondered idly about off and on… after all, it’s hardly a German word. A bit of tree-stand research during my one and only deer hunt with this rifle enlightened me: It’s Yugoslavian!

The receiver itself was originally a German K98 Mauser, which came into the possession of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II. They obtained many rifles in this fashion, and reputedly decided to refurbish them rather than attempting to manufacture or purchase new arms for their military.

Springfield-Mauser hybrid rifle. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Springfield-Mauser hybrid rifle.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

If everything you read on the internet is true, the “Preduzece 44” marking refers to the main Yugoslavian arms factory at Kragujevac in present-day Serbia. This place is still in operation today as Zastava Arms.

They routinely removed all Nazi markings and replaced them with their own, so there’s no way to know where this receiver was originally made. The “Mod.98” marking apparently means the Yugos did their thing before 1950.

The Springfield barrel bears some original markings up front. Curiously enough, the cutout for the front sight (and therefore these markings) ended up on the left side of the barrel, rather than the top. The marking of 6-43 indicates a manufacture date of June, 1943.

Barrel markings indicate WW2 manufacture (L); odd array of punch marks on top suggest an attempt to mount a front sight. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Barrel markings indicate WW2 manufacture (L); odd array of punch marks on top suggest an attempt to mount a front sight.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Close inspection of the barrel shows why it was set up like this: Someone once attempted to drill the barrel to add a front sight. A close examination reveals a horror of tiny punch marks scattered like buckshot around a larger central mark, where the punch apparently slipped while being struck. Oops!

The stock inletting must have been rough (they often are). Reddish bedding compound visible around rear of receiver. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The stock inletting must have been rough (they often are). Reddish bedding compound visible around rear of receiver.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The stock is a custom Bishop number, with a raised comb for scope work but without a “Monte Carlo” cheek rest hanging off the left side. Again, Dad was a lefty… and heck, I don’t much like those cheek rests myself.

I've always liked the two-tone appearance of the bolt release on this rifle. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

I’ve always liked the two-tone appearance of the bolt release on this rifle.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I’m relatively certain that Dad fitted and bedded the stock, although I discovered after his passing that the cutout for the bolt handle was not deep enough to allow the bolt to fully close. I cured that with a Dremel tool and a sanding drum, sealing the wood with the same finish used on the rest of the stock: Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. This oversight is unusual for him, as he was generally thorough with his gun work.

Original bolt handle was cut off and welded back on for scope clearance; stock was inletted for it. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Original bolt handle was cut off and welded back on for scope clearance; stock was inletted for it.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

At any rate, the stock is custom walnut and the barrel is fully bedded.

Dad usually preferred smooth curves on a stock, but this style forend tip is attractive and fairly uncommon. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Dad usually preferred smooth curves on a stock, but this style forend tip is attractive and fairly uncommon.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The left side of the barrel bears a simple “30 06” stamp to indicate its chambering.

This is apparently the only identifying mark made by the rifle's builder. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

This is apparently the only identifying mark made by the rifle’s builder.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

This is a beautiful gun and altogether practical… perhaps a tad too much so, in fact. Dad purposely had the gunsmith leave the chamber slightly oversized, specifically so he could fire any and all military surplus ammunition. This means the SpringMaus is utterly reliable. It also means it’s usually not terribly accurate with factory-loaded hunting ammo due to the slightly sloppy headspacing.

Two-tone bolt release stands out. Location of knot on stock seems perfect. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Two-tone bolt release stands out. Location of knot on stock seems perfect.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The solution, of course, is to handload ammunition in cases that have been fired in this rifle and then neck-resized rather than full-length resized. In this way I’m confident this old hybrid crossbreed rifle could become a true tack-driver. With most ammo, though, it’s a bit on the loosey-goosey side. When I recently took it hunting, the best I could get out of the SpringMaus was a 4.5-inch group at 200 yards. This is “minute of whitetail” out to 150 yards or so, but on that one (and so far only) hunt, I purposefully headed to a stand that provided few if any shots longer than 100 yards.

Trigger guard was polished but not contoured. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Trigger guard was polished but not contoured.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The bluing is of good quality and I like the gun’s finish. Although the pattern of polishing marks is easily detectable, it was done in a spiral fashion that’s kind of cool-looking. It’s a good blue job that’s more rust-resistant than many factory bluings these days.

Springfield + Mauser = SpringMaus. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Springfield + Mauser = SpringMaus.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The trigger is a Timney adjustable model, and I can’t think of anything better for the job. When I built my own custom Mauser decades later, I turned to Timney for that trigger as well.

Variation in stock grain due to knot is perfectly placed. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Variation in stock grain due to knot is perfectly placed.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

When Dad got re-interested in using the rifle after I gave him a 2x-7x scope, I was unable to zero the scope because the tapped holes for the Weaver-style scope bases were misaligned so badly. I bought a one-piece Millet base and we drilled & tapped the rear receiver ring to mount it.

Due to his preference for low magnification, Dad would likely not approve of the SpringMaus’s current scope, which is a Nikon 4.5x-14x… but for me, it’ll do just fine.

SpringMaus has gone hunting with me exactly once, and this was the result. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

SpringMaus has gone hunting with me exactly once, and this was the result.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The SpringMaus is a true one-of-a-kind rifle, and something tells me I’m not done hunting with it yet.

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Merry Christmas 2019! []

Merry Christmas, everyone! From all of us at AllOutdoor.

Looking forward to sharing a great 2020 with y’all.

Happy hunting!

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Add Alaska Fishing to your Bucket List []

While you’re sitting in your deer stand waiting for that big buck to step out, why not work on a little daydreaming about fishing in Alaska? You have to dream and you have to believe that such a trip us possible for you — and you should start planning now.

In my opinion the most basic, easiest, and least-expensive way to make a trip to Alaska for halibut fishing is the strategy I worked out on five trips there so far. First, get on the Alaska tourism web site and sign up to receive their brochures and information on traveling to Alaska. Especially request information on Seward, Alaska and fishing trips from there. This will provide tons of information on every aspect of the trip.

The best time to fish in Alaska is usually May, June, and July, but it can go on into September. When you start getting fishing outfitter and guide brochures, these will confirm the best dates. It is best to plan early and book early. This goes with shopping for the best flights to Anchorage, which is the main “jump-off” location. Plan to get a rental car as well.

On each trip I have made, my brother and I stayed overnight a couple of nights at a small motel by the airport. The Long House Hotel is a converted Navy housing unit right across from Hood Lake. You can catch a city bus right on the curb to downtown for restaurants and shopping. When you get ready to leave for Seward, plan a stop at Mt. View Sports Center, a comprehensive Alaskan outdoor store.

The drive to Seward is a straight shot to the coast at Resurrection Bay. In Seward there are motels, hotels, and bed & breakfast options. Once settled in, make the rounds downtown and stop in at The Fish House across from the boat docks. You can book all types of fishing charters there for halibut, and salmon including river trips if you plan for that.

Halibut charters are typically one-day fishing trips out of Seward. Charter boats cruise out as far as 60 miles to prime fishing waters. Charters will have all the gear and bait for fishing. You’ll only have to take along some food, rain gear, and warm clothes. Back at the dock the deckhands will clean and bag your catch. Most motels have freezer units to store your fish.

There is nothing like a trip to Alaska. Plan well in advance for all the things you’d like to do. Be sure to take in some sightseeing and other activities. Alaska is a very special place.

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Wild Hogs Root to Destruction []

Each year in the USA wild hogs destroy tens of thousands of acres of croplands and tillable fields by literally rooting up every plant into rutted raw dirt. It takes farmers, ranchers, and livestock growers days to plow up such fields to have them back in shape for planting crops or seeding for pasturelands once again.

Wild hogs are a plain and simple nuisance — and most state wildlife departments classify them as such. Hog hunting seasons are liberal often with no set season all year long. Usually there is no bag limit on them either. This makes for great hunting sport for those willing to get into the pork killing game.

Hunting and killing hogs is not easy. They are primarily nocturnal, only foraging and feeding at night. Those seen during daylight hours are far and few between, but it does happen. Many highly dedicated hog hunters use night vision equipment to pursue the hogs at night. This equipment is expensive, so few can afford to do it.

Also taking down a hog is tough business. They have a thick tissue plate that shields them from shots in vital areas. Only the most powerful cartridges can take them down with impunity. Among some of the favorite rounds currently in hog killing service are the 450 Bushmaster, the 460 Smith and Wesson, and the 45-70. Big, heavy, bonded bullets inflict the most damage, but then range can be limited with the big bullets weighing 300 or more grains.

A good number of hog hunters do use the same rifles they use for deer or elk hunting. The 30-06, 300 Winchester Short Magnum, 300 Winchester Magnum and even the 6.5 Creedmoor are not too much to knock down a big pig. Practically any deer or elk rifle can harvest hogs, if the well-made hunting bullets are targeted to the proper kill zones. Some of these hunters mount a night vision scope on these rifles and carry on at night.

A good number of hogs are killed with lesser guns, even AR-15s in 223/5.56, 300 Blackout, and 6.8 SPC among others. These shots should be made with a higher degree of precision in the neck and brain areas. Careful aiming and time taken for a good shot are the secret if there is the opportunity for this.

Hog hunting remains very popular and necessary in states with huge populations of hogs. Anytime you are hunting deer or other game, if a hog happens on the scene, then take them out. Even then, I’m not sure hunters can get ahead of the curve.

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Colt 601: The AR-15 Becomes a Military Rifle [Forgotten Weapons]

The AR-15 rifle was originally developed by Armalite as an offshoot of the AR-10 rifle designed by Eugene Stoner. How that second-thought rifle became the US standard military rifle – and the longest-serving infantry rifle in US military history – is a winding story. From Armalite’s sale fo the design to Colt to sales trips to India and the Philippines to an Air Force general’s birthday party, we will follow that story today. We will focus on the Colt Model 601; that company’s first export-model AR rifle, and how it changed as it was adopted by the US Air Force and then the US Army.

Many thanks to Movie Armaments Group in Toronto for the opportunity to showcase these early AR15s for you! Check them out on Instagram to see many of the guns in their extensive collection.

Tuesday, 24 December


Tweet Of The Day []

I know this is in response to the satirical website BabylonBee but it is wonderful.

Jayne Cobb approves!

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Arming The Space Force: Choosing The Official Space Gun, PART 1 [The Firearm Blog]

Arming the Space Force, Official Space GunEver since President Trump announced that a Space Force should be established, firearms enthusiasts have envisioned space suited door gunners, shooting any variety of futuristic-looking “space guns”.  The hope for a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range has been renewed once more.  As we move closer to the proposed, four year buildup of the […]

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Rabbits Give a Run for the Money []

I bet a lot of hunters today got their start in the sport by walking down a few cottontail rabbits along the edges of farm fields. I know I did. I got my start with a Crossman CO2 pellet gun, graduating to a Stevens 410 bolt action shotgun, then finally a 20-gauge Mossberg bolt action (I hated that gun). Finally my mom got me a Beretta 301 12-gauge auto and I was set.

Rabbit hunting opportunity can be found just about anywhere there are high weeds and brushy habitat. Both public and private lands can offer good rabbit hunting. It can be done alone or with a partner. Even larger groups can work well if there is somebody to take charge as the official Hunt Master.

The primary tactic for chasing up some rabbits if you don’t have a brace of beagles is simply to walk along the brushy edges of harvested fields, the border habitats in timber land, along grown up fence rows and field corners. Old wood piles are also classic rabbit hiding spots.

Walking down running rabbits is an art as is shooting them on the run. Talk about dodging and darting targets. Rabbits will certainly challenge even the best smoothbore shotgun shot. Sometimes they might sit for an easy shot, but not usually. Once kicked up out of a thicket into running action, they make for a tough shot. The funny thing about rabbits, too, is that they often circle back on the hunter(s) and come back for a second run as though it was a game to them.

If you are lucky enough to get invited on a rabbit hunt where dogs are used, then you are in for the best time of your life. Hunters working a good pack of hounds would often rather just listen to the dogs run and howl than actually shoot rabbits. I have to admit even those hunts are a great time. Usually these groups of dog handlers will allow guests along to shoot for the bag limit. A lot of hunters believe that rabbit meat is some of the best wild game eating there is.

Many hunters like the challenge of a good 20-gauge double-barrel or pump action gun. Others prefer a 12-gauge being able to let loose with more shot with a better chance of nailing the darting targets. Either way rabbit hunting is great fun as well as a great way to get young people involved in the outdoor action of hunting.

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Congratulations To Ian On 2,000 Videos []

Congratulations to Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons on his 2,000th video.

I know how long it took me to write 2,000 blog posts. I can’t imagine all the work that went into creating 2,000 YouTube/Full 30 videos.

I feature a lot of Ian’s Forgotten Weapons videos on this blog because a) they are interesting, b) they are educational, and c) he does a damn good job in putting them together.

You may have noticed in many of Ian’s videos filmed outside that he has quite a collection of historic-looking headgear. He goes through a large box of them in his 2,000th video below.

As for me, I have a few boonies and a ton of giveaway ball caps gathered from the SHOT Show and NRA Annual Meetings with a few fly fishing companies thrown into the mix.

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Take a Deer Hunt Hike []

Still hunting is almost a lost art among deer hunting strategies. Fifty years ago you could hardly pick up a leading outdoor deer hunting magazine without still hunting being listed as one of the top tactics. These days it is hardly ever mentioned anymore.

That is too bad, because still hunting can be a very effective way to slip around your hunting property with the goal of virtually walking up on a deer. The idea behind still hunting is a bit confusing to some hunters because of the “still” part. In reality you are not still at all, but the movement is calculated, planned, and executed in a very slow and deliberate manner. You are trying to move through the woods noiseless to catch a deer off guard.

Some effective still-hunters pick out a section of deep woods where deer are known to frequent. After getting a reading on the wind, the hunter walks into the wind and always keeps the breeze blowing in the face. This way as little human scent is blown into the woods as possible. The movement is more like creeping than walking.

To say these still hunters walk slowly is a complete understatement. Some may not cover 20 yards in an hour. That is the concept. Take a step, quietly pressing your foot into the forest floor. Slowly you scan all around you while remaining nearly motionless. The hunting rifle is kept at port arms, ready for a quick shot.

As you scan, you are primarily watching for deer movement. Maybe a deer just stands up and remains there, or it could dash off in a second. Look for parts of deer standing or lying in the woods. Watch the movement of antler or the twitch of an ear. Learn to look for the body profile standing in brush or high grass. If a shot presents itself, you have to be prepared to make a fast, snap shot.

Still hunting is best with a short, light, easy-to-handle rifle such as a lever action carbine. The shorter the barrel the better so you can maneuver around tree limbs and high brush. Open sights usually get the job done, but a low-power scope can work, too. Just move and watch, move and watch. At times you may want to sit at the base of a big tree watching for what moves in the woods.

Still hunting can not only be effective, but very satisfying as well.

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Riding Shotgun With Charlie []

You know you’ve made it when you get invited to do a Riding Shotgun With Charlie!

For those that don’t know, in addition to his GunGrams, Charlie Cook has done a series of YouTube videos where he and a guest from the 2A community drive around and discuss things gun and 2A related.

Charlie and I filmed this episode in Phoenix after the end of the 2019 Gun Rights Policy Conference. Also joining us was Andrew Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation who we gave a ride to the airport.

The Complementary Spouse and I watched the entire video last night. After a few awkward moments when we begin, it was good.

I hope you enjoy it. Many thanks to Charlie for having me on.

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Franklin Armory Responds To ATF Open Letter On The Reformation [The Firearm Blog]

Franklin Armory RespondsA few days ago the ATF issued an open letter regarding the Franklin Armory Reformation and its reclassification as a non-NFA short barreled shotgun, requiring transfers and interstate transportation to receive Attorney General approval. In a press release issued yesterday, Franklin Armory responds to the open letter by detailing lengthy discussions with the ATF about […]

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20 Minutes of Ian’s Hats [Forgotten Weapons]

This is my 2,000th published video (although there are a lot more if you count the behind-the-scenes Apocrypha videos that are only available to Patrons), and I wanted to do something a bit different. So, since lots of you have been asking to see my hat collection, here it is! No helmets, just soft headgear and the stories behind them. Thanks for watching, and thanks for making it all possible! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all this season!

WW1 Reproduction Trench Cap

Varusteleka’s headgear

IMA headgear

Monday, 23 December


The Rimfire Report: The Summer Olympic Rimfire Sports [The Firearm Blog]

Previously on The Rimfire Report, we briefly went over a shooting sport conducted during the winter Olympics – The Biathlon. However, the summer Olympics has its own set of shooting sports which include both rimfire rifles and pistols. Today we’ll briefly go over some of the rules, equipment, and disciplines involved in the Shooting Sports […]

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Not a good month for the legal profession.... [Of Arms and the Law]

As a general rule, it's not good to have a manic meltdown during settlement negotiations and in a courtroom. Or to have a client charge that you used thousands of their dollars for vacations. But then, last year wasn't good, either.

90% of lawyers give the rest of us a bad reputation. Actually, in small towns and cities, you guard your reputation very carefully. But in big places, where no one knows a reputation, and where hundreds of thousands are small sums, it gets to be different.


TFB’s Top 10 Gun Guy Movies from the 1980s [The Firearm Blog]

TFB’s Top 10 Gun Guy Movies from the 1980s Welcome back to the TFB Cinema room!  The ’80s were a time of Big Hair, Short Shorts, Glam Rock and of course Big Guns. With the Cold War winding down following the close of the Vietnam War, movie audiences still thirsted for fast-paced action and big […]

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POTD: Protecting the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter [The Firearm Blog]

I admit it, these Norwegian Heckler & Koch 416 carrying soldiers is just an excuse to show a lof of excellent pictures of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter). We hope you like them! Below you can see soldiers from Force Protection as they keep guard around a Norwegian F-35A from the Norwegian Air […]

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Owning Firearms And Navigating Social Media – Open Source Defense [The Firearm Blog]

Owning Firearms And Navigating Social Media - Open Source DefenseHere’s an ironic twist for you: as someone who publishes content for the largest firearms news blog in the world, there are many days that I wish all social media would simply die in a fiery car crash.The endless bickering, the obsession with minutiae, rampant tribalism and all those selfie/foodie pics are like a bad […]

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Straight Wall Face Off – 450 Bushmaster vs 350 Legend [The Firearm Blog]

Over the last few years, there have been a number of straight-walled cartridges to hit the market. The 450 Bushmaster was one of the first mainstream straight-walled cartridges to become popular for bolt actions and AR-style rifles. It opened up possibilities for hunters where shotguns and straight-walled cartridges are allowed for hunting. At SHOT Show […]

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Wow your Friends and Family With Colorado’s “Exotic” Meats []

My brother-in-law asks “what is this tasty morsel? “as he pops a tasty appetizer in his mouth. I respond, “elk meatball.” “Where did you buy it?” , he queries. “I shot it at twelve thousand feet – five miles in the backcountry of Colorado, with a bow.” “No kidding” he replies, I’m sure he is wondering how incredible that experience must have been. I smile and continue to flip elk loins over the grill. I peek in the sliding door of my house and can see my co workers marveling at the horns and antlers that adorn “The Trophy Wall” in my house. The walls tells my story of over 30 years in the field, hunting big game around the country and bad guys and terrorists around the globe. It’s a little pretentious but I’m not ashamed to take pride in all my accomplishments.

Exotic Meats

The author shows off an Arapahoe County Rio Grande Turkey

The Dove

I have been harvesting two types of doves in Colorado for decades, the mourning and the eurasian collared. The eurasian is easy to identify as it’s noticeably larger and longer than the mourning dove and has a distinct black collar around its neck. The meat, primarily the breasts, is considered a delicacy around the country. The dark, lean and very tender breasts will melt in your mouth when prepared properly. Depending on what they have been eating you may get a berry taste, which is mild and pleasant. Check out their crop to see what they have been eating, good chances that they have been pecking at a berry bush. The birds are not very big and the most popular method is to “breast them out”.

Dove season starts on September 1st. Dove hunting is Colorado is tricky. Doves are a migratory bird that will usually head south at the first sign of frost. The most success that I’ve had is hunting corn and sorghum fields near river beds just east of Denver. Problem is, you need to know a farmer or rancher that will give you trespass permission. If you do get permission, remember wing-shooters, lead them good. They’re fast and I’ve had many dodge and duck my shot.

Dove poppers are the way to go if you want to “wow” your guests right off the bat. These appetizers wont last long. In fact, I’ve seen a plate of twenty wrapped dove breasts disappear in under 2 minutes at a Christmas party I hosted a few years ago that featured exotic Colorado meats. The recipe is crazy simple. Thaw out breasts overnight then marinate in Italian dressing for 24 hours. Once you are ready to serve, wrap the breasts in bacon and poke a toothpick through to hold the delicacy together. Throw them on the grill. It depends how thawed they are, but I wouldn’t grill them more than a couple of minutes per side. Usually, once the bacon is cooked, the breasts are medium rage.

To purchase game meat like the dove from local stores, you may be paying up to $80 for just a couple of birds. If you’re a better shot than me you can harvest dozens of doves for the cost of a small game license and a couple of boxes of shells.

The Turkey

Colorado is home to both the Merriam and Rio Grande turkeys. The former can be found in the foothills of the Front Range, while the latter can be spotted in the creek beds and drainages of eastern Colorado, especially along rivers like the South Platte. All Americans are familiar with the popularity of this lean and tasty bird, especially during the holidays. But there is nothing quite like, baking a bird you bagged in the fall with shotgun or bow.

Farm and wild Turkeys are the same species, that’s where the similarity ends. Wild Turkeys have a flavorful, rich and dark meat that surpassed that of the traditional farm fed and raised turkeys you are familiar with.

Harvesting a turkey in the wild can be a fascinating, exhilarating and rewarding experience, especially for the bow hunter. Calling in a tom with a slate call then setting up for a shot with a guillotine broad-head is more of an art form that a sport. But bringing that fall gobbler home for Thanksgiving dinner will make you the hero of the family, whether you are going to fry, roast or brine it, you’ll be guaranteed a great tasting bird with great flavors, especially if the birds have been feeding on acorns.

The Grouse

The Dusky Grouse can be found just about everywhere in the mountains of Colorado. I’ve shot them above timberline and as far down the mountain as 7,000 feet. In fall and winter, the best place to look is at timberline. These birds behave in such a domesticated fashion, that I call them mountain chickens. Dusky Grouse season overlaps with elk season in Colorado, so I always keep an arrow in my quiver with a bludgeon tip on the business end.

These grouse can weigh up to three pounds and can give you several options for cooking and presentation. Many cook the whole grouse, the bird is actually big enough where you can eat the legs and thighs. I prefer to prepare the breasts ands legs on the grill which can be quite simple and provide a tasty meal. I’ll remove the meat from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. I’ll let them soak for a few hours in a brine. I’ll roll up the grouse parts in aluminum foil, after joining it with white wine, worcestershire sauce, onions, butter and vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Cook on a covered grill for about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size and age of the bird. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn on the cob.

Exotic Meats 3

A Dusky grouse taken with stick and string

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Hunting With Henry’s Long Ranger in 6.5 Creedmoor []

Some hunts take a long time to come together… and this is one of those hunts. The main factor in this particular hunt was not the site, the license, nor even the time off — it was the rifle.

The rifle happened to be a Henry ‘Long Ranger’ lever action — in 6.5 Creedmoor!

Yeah, that’s right.

I’d had a tough time matching ammo to rifle and getting a good tight group out of it, and had even ended up trying two different rifles. In the end, I took the Long Ranger on the hunt — but I was not at all sure I was going to hunt with it.

I’d topped the gun with good glass: a Bushnell Nitro 4x-16x 44mm scope with 30mm tube. I’d opted for my favorite reticle for hunting, the “plex” variety, which Bushnell calls “Multi-X SFP.”

You may be thinking this is a lot of scope for a lever gun, and you’d be right — but I have learned to love high-power scopes on rifles capable of long reach, as the 6.5 Creedmoor most certainly is. And the Long Ranger is not your typical lever gun… this is a heavy, serious rifle.

The rifle itself weighs 6.5 pounds with no sights or scope bases and an empty (removable box) magazine. The Nitro scope adds 1.4 pounds all by itself (without rings). So once the scope gets mounted and you add a sling and some groceries, you’re toting about ten pounds of deer-getter.

After arriving at the hunting property and getting camp squared away, I grabbed the Henry and some ammo and headed for the range. Out of the variety of ammo generously provided by Norma and Federal, I’d gotten the best accuracy from Norma’s 130-grain load and Federal Premium Nosler Accubond 140-grain (load P65CRDA1). I prefer heavier bullets and the 140s seemed to do a smidge better the last time I’d fired the rifle, so I decided to try the Federals.

I hunted with this Federal Premium ammo loaded with 140-grain Nosler Accubond bullets. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

I hunted with this Federal Premium ammo loaded with 140-grain Nosler Accubond bullets.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I fired at 100 and 200 yards, and in short, I was amazed. Gone were any accuracy woes; after firing two about 1-1/4″ apart at 100, I fired a pair at 200… and although I felt I’d pulled the second shot to the right, the two bullet holes were overlapping on the target! I adjusted the scope and fired another pair, which hit one inch apart at 200 yards. Wellsir, I’ll take half-MOA groups from a hunting rifle all day every day.

The 200-yard target. Oblong hole at right indicates the first group. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The 200-yard target. Oblong hole at right indicates the first group.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I can’t say why the rifle decided to behave after giving me so much grief, but I’m sure glad it did.

I was hunting for does on this trip. If a mature buck crossed my path, that was all well and good — but I have hungry friends and plenty of does, and it was time to reap some venison. The season was a couple of months old by now, though, and adult deer had largely become cagey. It was going to take some time to connect with a good meaty doe… and that was fine with me, because I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than deer hunting.

Nothing like a sunset sit during deer season. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Nothing like a sunset sit during deer season.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

That Wednesday afternoon I saw a number of young bucks and fawns, but nothing I could positively identify as a shooter.

The Long Ranger is a handsome rifle. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The Long Ranger is a handsome rifle.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

On Thursday I saw nothing in the morning and five fawns in the afternoon. Friday was filled with rain — about six inches’ worth — but I managed to spend some time in a deer stand with the Henry. We both got a bit moist, but the flip-up scope caps on the Bushnell scope did a great job of keeping the blowing rain from sullying the glass in between deer sightings.

The rifle and scope survived the rain just fine. Flip-up caps sure are handy for keeping the glass dry. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The rifle and scope survived the rain just fine. Flip-up caps sure are handy for keeping the glass dry.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The soggy sit showed me 4 fawns, 4 bucks, and a doe… with the doe being the only shooter of the bunch. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t hold still long enough for a shot once I decided she was a shooter and cocked the rifle.

On Saturday morning, I sat for about 4.5 hours before something happened… something good.

I’d been watching a couple of doe fawns feeding for more than an hour when a nervous deer emerged, not far away. It was a young doe, and by golly she was edgy.

The Henry Long Ranger. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The Henry Long Ranger.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

She was bobbing her head and stomping her hooves, just looking for something to be wrong. She moved slowly west about halfway through the plot, still going through those odd motions, and more deer emerged behind her. They were partially obscured by brush, but I managed to ID 3 more deer — two fawns and a nice big mature doe. Bingo!

All the deer were nervous, and when the first doe walked back to that group at the left edge of the clearing, I thought they were about to jump right back into the thick brush. She paused to lick a fawn, though, and the bigger doe stepped into the open and stood almost broadside, quartering slightly away, showing me her right side.

I laid the Bushnell’s crosshairs on the sweet spot and began to squeeze that Henry’s trigger. When it roared, the doe leapt left, sending dark clods of dirt into the air, and was gone. It had most certainly reacted to the shot as if hit — but it had not fallen. The rest of the deer followed and I was soon left trembling in the tree stand, shakily typing notes into my phone as I tried to catch my breath and recover from the adrenaline surge.

The range was 64 yards — hardly a long reach for the 6.5 Creedmoor. I felt good about the shot — but anytime a deer leaves my sight after the shot, I remain tense.

As I dutifully recorded my notes, I watched another large doe and two fawns cross 330 yards away, and was glad I’d already made my shot — because this stand didn’t offer a good enough rest to reach out that far.

The Long Ranger has nice lines. That round button on the side is the mag release. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The Long Ranger has nice lines. That round button on the side is the mag release.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

At the site of the hit I found quite a lot of light-colored hair, but no blood. I knew where she’d been standing and her tracks were clearly visible, but she’d entered thick brush immediately; tracking would not be easy without a blood trail. I began wishing I had a good dog handy.

I eased into the woods, taking the most obvious route. Although more than one deer had run this way, I could only assume the biggest tracks were from the biggest of them — the one I’d shot.

Seven minutes after finding the hair, I spotted some dark red blood!  (continued)

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How to Throw a Wild Game Dinner, Colorado Style []

There is no family tradition more revered than “Eating Colorado”, which takes place annually at my modest mountain home, tucked between the pines and aspens in the Laramie Mountain Range of Northern Colorado. The festive event takes place the Saturday before Christmas and involves weeks of preparation, from stuffing sausages, hanging Christmas lights and penning out invitations. Family and friends arrive not to just celebrate the season but also the bountiful harvest brought to them from the fields and mountains by my trusty bow.

Wild Game Dinner 1

The author atop Montgomery Pass, Medicine Bow Mountains

The Setting

An elegant Colorado blue spruce stands majestically in the corner by the wood burning stove and tickles the ceiling with its crown. Its blue-green needles are pleasant to the senses. Its smell is pungent but aromatic.  This year  I’ll have to take a little off the top of the evergreen to get that star on top. The natural 8’’ lodgepole logs that are stacked up to create my cabin’s walls are adorned with mule deer antlers, antelope horns, stuffed head mounts, and different big game hides – both hair-on and hair-off.  The rustic look and feel is calming and old fashioned.

Other walls are adorned with fantastic landscape art showing the rugged West and her majestic mountains. The works of Ansel Adams, captured in black and white, reveal grandiose peaks and snow-capped granite batholiths. These photographs are replicas of course.  I’m just a poor, somewhat famous writer.  John Denver croons in the background, telling stories of Christmases past, putting an exclamation point on the seasonal moment. Through the pane of my front window stands the majestic, wind blown and snowy Mummy Range that forms the northern border of Rocky Mountain National Park.

No harsh lighting here, only the glow from the crackling fire, red and green strands of Christmas lights, and a dozen scented candles. It’s really the perfect illumination for this festive get-together.

The Smells

There is no better fragrance than the one attached to a pot of homemade potpourri.  I’ll have a pot on the stove simmering during the whole festive event. It’s easy to make and can provide a wonderful, yet cheap gift for your guests when they part and head back down the mountain. You start by dehydrating apples and oranges in the oven at 250 degrees. As the fruit dries, combine cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks in a pot, then add the dried oranges and apples. I always make my potpourri with small and large ponderosa and spruce cones, that fall from the conifers that surround my cozy cabin. All you need to do is dry them out in the oven then add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Your aromatic concoction will not only smell great put will have an authentic mountain look look to it.

For Starters

Nothing will welcome your guests more than a generous selection of elk, venison and pronghorn (mistakenly called antelope) summer sausage. Finally, all the post hunt grinding, mixing and stuffing of my favorite wild game pays off. Sometimes ground sausage is the best way to enjoy pronghorn, nicknamed the “speed goat” by Westerners.  Many connoisseurs of wild game claim that pronghorn meat is too gamey – in our neck of the woods they primarily graze on sagebrush. I love the sagey flavor and enjoy experimenting with other spices. My sausage explodes with the distinct flavors of chopped jalapeno and sharp cheddar which I blend in with the ground speed goat. Pronghorns are speedy and athletic animals and the meat is lean, so I’ll add a little hog back to the mix to improve flavor, texture and tone.

The grouse and dove breasts have been in the freezer since early October and are awaiting a thaw and a day long bath in Italian dressing. Once wrapped in bacon and held together with a toothpick, the bite-sized morsels are ready for the fire. It’s simple – you grill two minutes up and two minutes down. Any longer than that, and you’re going to ruin your petite appetizer.

My guests, mostly family and co-workers have been waiting all year to make the drive up to the windy and curvy county road and the last few miles of dirt and rocks just to sample this years amazing harvest which I have provided with my bow and a few arrows (and a couple of shotgun shells). I love kicking off their culinary experience with these delectable appetizers.

Wild Game Dinner 2

The author’s pronghorn summer sausage


From the Fire

Your guests mouths will water when they catch a drift of the aroma of bacon wrapped back straps wafting in from the fire. I’m obsessed with backstraps, those tender strips of meat that run along the length of the spine of a big game animal. It’s really difficult for me to share such a prized cut of meat with others but I love to see the looks on my guests’ faces as they savor the medium-rare loin that melts in their mouths.  They’ll be plenty of backstrap for my holiday revelers – each elk backstrap weighs about 16 pounds. I’ll marinate those bad boys in some of Colorado’s finest ales, mixed with horseradish and soy sauce and let them sit in the fridge overnight. All that’s left to do is wrap the loins in bacon and put them to the fire. No need to overcook, remove them and serve after the bacon begins to turn black.


Wild Game Dinner 3

The author’s bacon wrapped backstraps at elk camp

From the Kitchen, Slow Cooking

After the archery elk season has come and gone, I find myself returning to the same mountains to hunt for snowshoe hares, who have begun their color change for the winter. Their fur is absolutely beautiful and makes for stunning pelts that I give to my family and friends as gifts, along with a jar of homemade potpourri. Under that fur is some tasty meat. The best way I’ve found to make the most memorable rabbit stew is in the crockpot. I’ve already quartered the hares in the field so they’re ready for the pot.  A cup of water, chopped celery and carrots, a sprig of rosemary, a can of cream of mushroom soup, worcestershire sauce, a cup of sour cream, and toss in a brace of coneys. Add a cup of your favorite IPA, a few parsnips  and some potatoes. Let this brew simmer on low for about 6 to 8 hours. The meat from the Rocky Mountain critter is pretty lean and can get pretty tough if overcooked so keep an eye on it.

You can round off your all wild game festival with a pot of venison chili. Mines a three bean, black, pinto and chile bean recipe that is to die for.  Sliced Jalapeños and both ground and cubed venison make the dish tasty and unique. Your guests will empty the pot in no time.



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S&W M&P 2.0 Subcompact Review and Glock 26 Comparison [The Firearm Blog]

In this episode of TFBTV,  @James Reeves takes a look at the new S&W M&P 2.0 Subcompact, which is the smallest doublestack of the M&P line of pistols, and it now features the full suite of S&W M&P 2.0 upgrades including the upgraded trigger, grip texture, and slide work. James compares it to the Glock 26 […]

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Support Young Americans through YAL, Win an AR-15! God Bless America! [The Firearm Blog]

yalThe pro 2nd Amendment organization of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is looking to give away an AR-15 to keep their mission going strong. Right now they have a contest running where you could be entered into a drawing to win a Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II 5.56mm NATO rifle! That is something we […]

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New Year’s Sausage and Jerky Tradition []

January 1st of each year can be tough on a guy like me. The previous season’s hunting is done. The bugle, bow and quiver are hung up over the fireplace. And, it’ll be another three months before I can put in for this year’s draw. But I keep busy. Out comes the sausage grinder and smoker. The goal? The finest tasting, looking, and textured big game jerky and sausage. I rarely jerk elk. For me, it would be a sin. I’m a bowhunter and only harvest every 3rd year. If I draw two deer tags, muley and whitetail, I may save some neck meat to fill my smoker. I usually pick through last year’s pronghorn harvest, especially the loose meat.  I have no problem grinding loose and subprime elk and deer meat into both breakfast sausages and ready-to-eat summer sausages.

Jerky – It’s All in the Brine or Rub 

A dry jerk rub and cure can be purchased at your local outdoor outfitters. There are so many flavors out there, it’ll be up to your personal choice or you may just want to experiment a little. I’ll start out by thawing out the loose and neck meat from last seasons pronghorn. A day in the fridge should let the meat thaw out enough so that it’s optimal for slicing into strips.  Do not let the meat thaw out all the way. It’ll be a pain to slice. A good, sharp filet knife is essential to making the right cuts to ensure the right level of toughness and flavor. You can slice you jerky either with or against the grain of the meat. If you slice with the grain, you get that tough and chewy jerky (the kind that I love). Against the grain, you get  a softer, easier piece of meat to chew.

I’m not pushing a product here, but I’ve been smoking meats for over 30 years in my trusty Little Chief electric smoker. The five tray rack loads in from the top and the smoking pan is loaded in through a small door in the front.  I’ve been able to smoke up to 20 pounds of jerky at one time without having to take up too much space in my garage when I’m not smoking. The smoker will need some tending every few hours to ensure that wood burns evenly and gets replaced as it runs out.

For a dry cure, place your sliced meat on cookie sheets. You’ll mix some part cure with some part flavoring salt, so read the instructions that came with your rub to ensure that the meat is cured properly and is seasoned with the right amount of spices and herbs. Sprinkle your concoction liberally and cover all exposed meat, then flip the slices over and repeat. This is one point where I experiment a little with mixtures of different flavoring and spices. It may take a few batches for you to get your jerky the way you like it. Bag your cured and flavored slices together in ziplock bags. Let them spend at least 24 hours in the fridge. Cured meat will have almost a rubbery texture once it has soaked up the cure. Now, you’re ready to smoke.

Sausage 1

The author infuses honey from his own hives into his jerky recipes

For a wet cure, you’re going to mix together a brine with water and coarse sea salt. Humans have been using this method for thousands of years to preserve food – think of the Native Americans and how they preserved bison meat for winter rations! For my recipe, I build a brine or bath with the key ingredient, honey from my hives. The bees have been loaded up last fall with dutch clover which makes for a light, sweet honey. I complement the honey with soy sauce and to give it a little kick, red pepper flakes – the hotter the better.  The marinade, along with the cure can be poured directly into ziplock bags with the sliced meat. 24 hours of marination is the rule of thumb. Now, you’re ready to smoke.

Smoking your jerky is easy. Using my Little Chief and my preferred smoking wood, cherry, I can expect to spend at least 8 hours smoking a full complement of jerky. I’ll shave off wood from the cherry branches into the smoking  pan, just making sure there is one layer at the bottom of the pan, and will perhaps have to do that 3 to 4 times in the 8 hours of smoking time.  Sometimes I’ll go a little longer. It’s pretty simple, when the jerky is ready it’ll bend back and forth and it cracks a little. If it breaks in half – its overdone.

Sausage is King

Making your own breakfast sausage can be a rewarding experience. Especially the first time you make a great sausage gravy at elk or deer camp. At home, you’ll need a meat grinder, electric or hand crank, a sausage stuffer and casings to get started. I usually grind the incidental and neck meat of the elk or deer, leaving the prime cuts for special occasions. A great pronghorn sausage recipe can be accomplished with a couple pounds of ground pronghorn neck meat, meat tenderizer, red, black and cayenne pepper, and any pork trim or bacon to improve flavor, texture and color. Mix ingredients and ground meat in a bowl then press a bag full with the stuffer. You should get two one pound bags of breakfast sausage ready to freeze for later use.

Making my beloved Wyoming Antelope breakfast gravy is easy and it eats great. Brown some biscuits in your conventional oven, or if you’re in the field, a dutch oven. In a skillet, brown one pound of antelope sausage, add a splash of your favorite IPA to give it a little kick. Mix in flour or cornstarch. For a little thicker gravy, saturate the meat with flour. Pour in two or three cups of milk and bring to a boil. Once roiling, turn heat to low, stir and let the gravy thicken. Add a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Plate the gravy over biscuits or toast, and add a couple of sunny side eggs to the top. Now you have a meal fit for any hungry hunter who is about to head out into the field.

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Deer Hunting Intercept Points []

The hunting season is in full gear now around most of the country. For the past few seasons deer hunters have been reporting seeing fewer and fewer deer during the times they spend afield. There are a wide variety of reasons for that.

So, where exactly should deer hunters be looking to see deer and maximize their opportunities for collecting a doe for the freezer or a big bragging buck for the wall mount? The strategy first is to know your property figuratively like the back of your hand. Where are all the habitat features located and how are deer using them? Categorize them on a good aerial map so you can post the information as observational data is collected by trail camera or eyesight.

Locate prime natural feeding areas where high quality browse grows where you hunt. Pinpoint the wild berries, honeysuckle bushes, and any native fruit trees like persimmon, fallow orchards with apple or pear trees still producing fruit. Know where the big oaks are growing dropping a ton of acorns for the deer to munch on. These hot spots should be cataloged all across the entire hunting property.

Locate and record all the primary and secondary deer travel trails. These may be camp property roads or manmade trails, but know also heavily-used trails coming out of thickets, food plots, trails along water courses, and especially crossings. If you have flowing creeks, scout for muddy well-used pathways going up the sides of the banks into bedding or feeding areas. Note anywhere that looks like deer have traveled there leaving behind tracks going both ways.

Investigate active funnels that lead from one habitat structure to another like ones coming out of heavy timber passing into CRP, grassy overgrown fields or timber harvest cutovers. Deer will move along and browse on these land features, so they are excellent spots to post a stand, a stand-alone tripod, or a well-hidden ground blind.

Observation skills have to be finely honed. Deer will pop out of these intercept points as though evolving from a mist. Look once, nothing, again, there he stands. Can’t nap when hunting these movement junctures. Too, the confirmation time going for a shot is often minimal. Just be ready, on your constant guard. This is what makes intercept points such good vantage spots to hunt.

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Deer Hunting’s Ticking Clock Tactics []

By the time this post reaches readers, the deer hunting seasons in the USA will be running down toward the closing day pretty fast. But there is still time in some states such as Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia. Double check your state’s deer hunting seasons to see when they close.

Either way, time is running out. So, what tactics should you deploy to try to bag a good buck before the whistle blows? In most parts of deer hunting country, it has been winter for a month or more. Food plots are virtually dead from cold weather, freezing rains, or even snow. There’s not much left for deer to eat except native browses and maybe some lingering acorns here and there.

Toward the end of the season, food sources are prime spots to hide out scanning for hungry deer. As per usual, where two or more does gather to browse, so too will a buck or bucks wander in to scent-check for any final leftover does still in need of a late breeding. With buck-doe ratios out of whack in some areas, there may be a few does that still have not been bred, so watch for that.

This opportunity still presents the chance to take a nice doe for some added meat for the freezer. Humans get hungry about this time of year, too. A good whitetail tenderloin marinated and on the grill is a top dining choice. If you have doe tags, now is the prime time to fill them.

Sneak in quiet remaining hidden around food plots or doe yards where deer gather. Make sure the prevailing winds are in your favor. Bucks may be weary after all the chasing, but post-rut they are no longer stupid. You have to approach such areas with extreme caution being sure to wear scent cover. Maybe add some last ditch attractant such as Buck Warrior ME2 to the area or share some buck feed to seal the deal.

I have seen many hunters collect a nice buck on the very last day of the season. As they say, “It isn’t over until it’s over” and this was never truer than at the end of the hunting season. Collect your wits and get out in the woods as much as you can now.

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New Henry Axe Chops Down Length of Their .410 [The Firearm Blog]

Henry Axe Image Credit: Henry USA…And cuts through NFA nonsense as well Henry has released a new firearm, both in the general and specific sense.  The new Henry Axe is a smoothbore lever action chambered in .410, with a barrel length of “just under 16 inches” and an OAL of 26.5″.  It is also equipped with a King’s gate (receiver […]

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International Hunting Guide []

Traveling to a different state to hunt poses its own set of problems but layer in an international aspect to your hunt and it can considerably increase the complexity.  Not to be alarmed though because all it takes is a little bit of research to put your mind at ease.  Most documentation can easily be accessed via the internet and you can even download most forms and have them pre-filled in, so you are not struggling with them when trying to clear customs. Below are a couple tips that will come in handy on any international hunting trip.

  1. Make sure your passport is valid– it sounds silly, but it can take several weeks to renew an expired passport so waiting until the last minute to check in not an option. There are some expedited services but that will end up costing you an arm, and a leg when a little bit of pre-planning could have prevented everything.
  2. Check on Visa requirements for destination countries– Most places do not require US citizens to have a Visa for international hunting trips unless you are planning on hunting for a REALLY long time, but it is always good to check.
  3. Download and fill out Gun Importation Forms– If you are planning on rifle hunting in a different country make sure you download all the proper importation forms and have them filled out ahead of time. This will ensure that you are not having to search around for makes, model serial numbers etc. while standing in a crowded customs area in the airport.
  4. Know the legality of meat and trophy Importation-You are allowed to bring meat back from a lot of countries but there are certain rules you need to follow. Most of the time only deboned meat is allowed to be imported and there can be no trace of skeletal or brain matter.  Importing meat from some countries is prohibited so you need to do your research beforehand.
  5. Know airline Rules for traveling with Firearms and Ammunition– This applies to both domestic and international flights. Ammunition and firearms must be in checked luggage sedately.  Also, ammunition has to be in original packaging or in a hard-sided case.  Rifle cartridges cannot be thrown in to the pocket of your hunting jacket or in a shell belt on the butt stock of you rifle.
  6. Allow more time than you think in making flight connections and shuttle services– Inevitably, you are going to run in to a snag or a delay along the way. With traveling that far with so many documents needed there always seems to be a hiccup.  Remain calm and make sure that you have double the amount of time you initially anticipated.  Worst case scenario you will be there early and have time to sit and relax about the up-coming hunt or reminisce about the amazing trip you just had.  Nothing will ruin a trip faster than running through an airport or rapidly filling out forms while your plane is boarding.

There are specific nuances to any and all international trips, but these few pointers can put you in a better spot to have a successful and enjoyable trip right from the start.  The more boxes you can check off before you leave the less you have to worry about while in transit.  International trips can be reasonably affordable and should not be overlooked because of the fear of traveling out of country to hunt.

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The Barnett HyperGhost 425 Fills Your Need for Speed []

Crossbows have come a long way. They have been the fastest growing segment of the outdoors for a few years because they give hunters more opportunity to hunt with more seasons. Technologically speaking, every year they take a big jump, too. Barnett has been in the crossbow game for a long, long time. When they first introduced the Ghost series several years ago, it started a speed war. Every company tried to lay claim to the fastest crossbow. With that speed came advancements in the rest of the bow, to keep up with the speed and maintain accuracy. This season, I’ve been using the Barnett HyperGhost 425 and it has proven to be everything I thought it could be and more.

Barnett HyperGhost 425

How Fast is it Really?

I am lucky enough to know a guy with a chronograph so we tested some real-world speed. Using Barnett’s HyperFlite micro-diameter bolts, and shooting on a calm day with 63-degree temps, I averaged 422.6 fps with 100gr field tips over 6 shots and 421.4 fps with expandable 100gr BloodSport Deadline broadheads. I tried the same test the next day and got 423.7 fps and 422.3 fps. I had a Swagger bipod to steady the bow and was shooting at a Rinehart Jimmy Big Tine target at 25 yards. Here’s the more impressive takeaway for me as a hunter – my groups were stupid tight. As in, I had to re-fletch bolts after every test. More so than speed, I care about shot placement.


On a side note about that speed though. I had to save out a couple bolts from being shot at the target because I wanted at least one for pictures. The bow is so fast that upon impact with the Rinehart target’s foam, the graphics on the shaft of each bolt basically melted.

How Fun is the Bow to Shoot?

When I first got into gun writing years ago, one of the “old timers” I worked with hammered home the notion that a good trigger can make up for a lot of user error. A week of shooting along side of him during some serious testing proved how right he was. There are lots of little things we do when pulling the trigger that can mess with our accuracy. That’s why a lot of firearm companies came out with advanced triggers. My early experiences with crossbows lead me to think not so highly of the trigger systems, but Barnett went to work on that.

Barnett’s TriggerTech system uses what they call Frictionless Release Technology. Much like a high-dollar custom trigger system, there is a free-floating roller between the sear and the trigger itself. It makes it smooth and has zero creep, something I have noticed when shooting other crossbows. It has a nice, three-pound pull weight and a crisp release that give you a nice, predictable and repeatable shot.

The only drawback that makes it harder to shoot is the draw weight. You don’t get to these speeds with a light draw. At 206lbs, you have to be ready when you pull back on the rope. There’s a crank kit available, and I might have to opt for one for next season. I’m getting old.

Barnett HyperGhost 425

How Big Is the HyperGhost 425 Crossbow?

It’s a longer bow at over 36 inches, and compact for its size and power at around 17.6 inches axle-to-axle. The weight is pretty good at 7.7lbs and it’s balanced, something that I was concerned with. I shot an older Ghost 400 crossbow a few years ago at a hunting show and didn’t like how front-heavy it felt. This one is MUCH better, and they have an armpit stabilizer to boot, which makes it even more balanced feeling.

A picatinny rail lets you move the fore grip around to fit your style. The rail lets you play around some with how you mount the quiver. I haven’t found a combination yet that is comfortable for shooting with the quiver on, but I usually take it off anyway.

Hunting with the HyperGhost 425 has been fun. No bucks have come in yet, but a mature doe at 35 yards fell to the bow and Bloodsport Deadline broadhead combo. She ran about 10 yards, stood for 30 seconds and fell.

The Barnett HyperGhost 425 carries an MSRP of $1,299. I found them online for less than $850, which is a sweet deal on a sweet bow.

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Brownells Exclusive “Classic” Vz. 58 Rifle by Czech Small Arms [The Firearm Blog]

Czech Small Arms Brownells-Exclusive Classic Vz. 58 RifleCzech Small Arms (CSA), a Czech company specialized in the manufacturing of new Vz. 58 and Vz. 61 rifles and pistols, made a special edition Classic Vz. 58 rifle that will be exclusively available through Brownells. The features that set apart this model from other CSA Vz. 58s are the semi-gloss gray finish of the […]

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Defend Freedom – Join Us January 13th [NRA-ILA News]

Gun bans, gun rationing, confiscation – it’s all on the table when the new bought and paid for majority of the Virginia General Assembly fast tracks their anti-gun agenda in January.


Virginia Gov. Northam Wants to Ban Your Guns AND Make You Pay for It! [NRA-ILA News]

As if Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s wholesale attack on law-abiding gun owners wasn’t enough, the disgraced public official and his Michael Bloomberg-bought allies in the General Assembly now want the state’s hard-working taxpayers to foot the bill for their unconstitutional schemes. The budget bill (HB30) includes an appropriation of a quarter million dollars to carry out a host of gun control measures that Northam and his anti-gun allies hope to enact.


Pennsylvania AG Targets Partially-Manufactured Receivers, Gun Owners [NRA-ILA News]

On December 16, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a convoluted interpretation of state gun law that will have broad implications for Keystone State gun owners. The attorney general’s letter expanded the state’s statutory definition of “firearm” to include almost any material that has the potential to be fashioned into a firearm frame or receiver. The strained interpretation has the potential to effectively eliminate Pennsylvanians’ long-standing tradition of making their own firearms for personal use.


Puerto Rico Enacts Pro-gun Overhaul of Firearms Laws [NRA-ILA News]

The 3.5 million residents of the Unites States’ largest territory will soon be able to better exercise their Second Amendment rights. On December 11, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez Garced signed the Puerto Rico Weapons Act of 2020. The legislation overhauled the territory’s gun laws in a manner that will make it easier for the island’s residents and visitors to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.


OuterImpact Modular Red Dot Adapter (M.R.A.) Now available for Steyr A1 and Ruger American Pistols [The Firearm Blog]

Outerimpact Modular Red Dot AdapterOuterImpact is proud to announce the newest additions to the Modular Red Dot Adapter (M.R.A.) line of products. The OuterImpact M.R.A. line of adapter plates gives shooters an easy to install option for mounting mini red dot sights onto their Ruger American pistols and Steyr A1 (S-A1, C-A1, M-A1, L-A1, M9-A1) pistols without the need […]

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Italian Sci-Fi Blaster: The Franchi LF-57 [Forgotten Weapons]

Introduced in 1957, Franchi’s LF-57 submachine gun has a very distinctive sci-fi look to it, but was never able to become a major player in the Cold War arms market. It is in all ways a fully satisfactory design, including a grip safety, bolt lock to prevent accidental discharge, reasonably stable folding stock, and compact size. It has a crossbolt style of selector switch for semi and full automatic modes, and simple fixed notch sights. It uses standard Beretta 38 family magazines, which are of excellent design and are available in 20-, 30-, and 40-round capacity. However, between its pricing and feature set, the Franchi was unable to provide a significant advantage over competitors like the H&K MP5 and Uzi. It did remain in production until the 1980s, sold mostly in small batches to security forces, including many in Africa.


Understanding Cant []

I knew that if you didn’t have your rifle perfectly level, it would affect where the bullet would actually impact. That said, I didn’t know much else about it.

This recently released video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation featuring Todd Hodnett of Accuracy 1st does a good job of explaining both the impact of cant and how to account for it when aiming.

As to shooting with the rifle 90 degrees off of center, I had never seen that before. I believe he is correct that it does have tactical applications.

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Sunday, 22 December


Trump appointments remaking the 9th Circuit [Of Arms and the Law]

Article here. That would be a great relief to those of us who are in it. Though it would make the traditional petition for cert on gun issues (cite the 5th Circuit - 9th Circuit split) moot.


Sometimes You Have to Take the Shot []

My 2019 deer hunting was interesting, to say the least… and the season isn’t over yet. My first hunt was with muzzleloaders (both old and new), and you can read about that with all its highs and lows (the coyotes ate my first kill, but I ended up with a most unique buck) by following this link. After a short break, I headed back to the property to hunt the rut with modern guns.

After getting unpacked and setting up camp, I slipped on out to the woods for a quick hunt. I sat for an hour and a half and saw 3 bucks, 2 does, and a fawn. Not a bad start!

I took this photo on my first evening hunt; there are five deer feeding in the plot.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Unfortunately, the action didn’t last. The following day was pretty slow, and the day after that the only deer I saw all day was a little spike buck. By the following afternoon, I was plumb ready to see some action. I decided to hunt a large food plot in hopes the rut would kick in and a mature buck would come sniffing around after a doe. It had worked before; that’s where I took the big buck pictured at the top of my review of Deer Season XP 308 ammo when he followed a doe out onto the field.

I was settled into the stand early at 12:41 PM, and was soon glad I had chosen that particular stand — because it has a roof! When the rain set in, it was surely nice to stay reasonably dry as I waited. And it was a good two hours before a deer arrived; a small (and hungry) doe fawn.

This doe fawn was my only company for quite some time. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

This doe fawn was my only company for quite some time.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Although I was primarily buck hunting, I also wanted to take a nice doe — not only for management purposes but to help feed my local gun shop owner. Hey, it never hurts to keep on the good side of the person who handles all my FFL transfers!

I wanted a doe, but I didn’t want just any doe. A summer-long drought had left many of our does in poor condition, so skinny their ribs and other bones showed clearly as they moved. I was not interested in taking one of those — and besides, it seemed that all the bony deer were still nursing fawns.

When I bought this old secondhand Savage Sierra 308, I didn't realize it would soon become my number one deer-getter. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

When I bought this old secondhand Savage Sierra 308, I didn’t realize it would soon become my number one deer-getter.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The doe I wanted was the fifth one to arrive. And I’m pretty sure it was meant to be.

After spending so much time in that stand with deer feeding all around me, I’d become careless… and when I raised the rifle to scope the larger-bodied deer that had just stepped out into the open 115 yards south of me, one of the does much closer blew and ran north along with two other deer.

Three other deer — two does and a fawn — had entered the field at the same spot from which this large doe had just emerged. At the sound of the alarm blow, all of those deer skedaddled. I expected the large doe to do the same.

Instead, she turned around 180 degrees. I was now looking at her left side. She stood stock-still, broadside, and waited.

I did not rush. I scooched the rifle around to avoid a small limb between the stand and the deer. After watching young and small deer for so long, the sight of a mature deer is unmistakable. This doe looked as long as a boxcar as it continued to look my way steadily without twitching an ear or blinking an eye.

She seemed to know what was coming, and was ready. I could almost hear the deer saying, “Make this fast and clean, mister. My teeth hurt, and I’m done here.”

I did.

With one bark of the little Savage 308, she dropped like a rock and barely moved. Like many others, this deer was taken with Winchester Deer Season XP 150-grain bullets. It always does the job.

The doe fell just where she stood. This is the exit wound. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The doe fell just where she stood. This is the exit wound.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I aged the old gal at 6.5 and she would’ve been heavier than 115 pounds if not for the aforementioned drought.

Any day you take a mature deer is a good day… and as I said, this was meant to be. Sometimes, you just have to take the shot.

I kept hunting for more than a week without ever laying eyes on a shooter buck. I had some good days and some better days, but it’s tough to have a bad day when you’re hunting.

I took a couple more deer and a big ol’ coyote on my next trip… but I’ll tell those stories another time.

Here’s hoping you’ve had a great deer season, too.

Happy hunting!

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POTD: Heckler & Koch G11 in the Gray Room [The Firearm Blog]

The Heckler & Koch G11 is probably the most famous and recognized non-production rifle ever. Even today, over 50 years since its development began, the G11 still looks like a firearm of the future. These fantastic photos are from Heckler & Koch’s Gray Room, and taken by Jeremy Tremp (Offensive Marketing Group). The HK G11 used […]

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Oswego, IL [Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog]

3/1/18 Chicago Tribune:

Some time on Feb. 26, Dave Thomas heard screams in his Oswego apartment building, grabbed his AR-15 rifle and ran down the hall. He confronted a man who was stabbing another man and scared him off. Thomas is a gun instructor with a CCL.


Some People Will Believe Anything! []

March for Our Lives, the children’s crusade against firearms, has just shown their gullibility and ignorance. If it involves guns, they will believe anything an anti-gun politician spews out.

They have retweeted an absolute lie told by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA). He wants people to have the impression that it was the National Rifle Association that sued him after his autocratic redefinition of what constitutes a firearm. Shapiro knew that throwing the name “NRA”, the term “ghost guns”, and tying it into crime was red meat for your average ignorant anti-gunner.

Look at the first page of the application for an emergency preliminary injunction. That action is being brought by a Pennsylvania FFL, a New Hampshire FFL, a manufacturer and dealer in what are called 80% lowers, and the Firearms Policy Coalition. No where do you see that the NRA is involved in this case. Indeed, if you had attended the Meeting of Members at the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting, you know that that old guard had nothing but disdain for attorneys Josh Prince and Adam Kraut. Don’t forget that Marion Hammer has called Adam “the enemy within”.

Shapiro sent out his original tweet the day after the application was filed. He knew or should have known that the NRA had nothing to do with this case.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has consistently held that unfinished forgings or castings that are “completely solid and un-machined in the fire-control recess area” are not firearms and not subject to the Gun Control Act of 1968. See the attached determinations beginning on page 67 of the application for an injunction. Moreover, BATFE doesn’t even use the term “80% lower” or “80% frame” which is more of a marketing term than anything else.

As Josh Prince notes in his law firm blog, only the Pennsylvania General Assembly has the power to write law and it cannot be delegated. In other words, Shapiro’s “legal opinion” is making law and therefore invalid.

With regard to Shapiro’s claim that he is being sued by “companies that fund the @NRA”, only Polymer 80 exhibited at the most recent NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Having a booth at a national show which attracts thousands of gun owners is smart business for Polymer 80. While the NRA does gain some marginal revenue, “funding the NRA” is not Polymer 80’s purpose in being there. Just like we are all the “gun lobby”, so, too, we are all “funding the NRA” through our memberships.

Politicians and their PR flacks will say anything to push their position. Sometimes it is true. More often it is either the shading of the truth or an outright lie. I’ll let you decide what Shapiro was trying to do with his tweet.

March for Our Lives’ tweet, on the other hand, is a demonstrable lie. Like naughty children, they should be sent to their room with no TV, no phone, and no Internet to think about the consequences of their lie.

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Comparison: French 1935A vs 1935S Pistols [Forgotten Weapons]

I finally have a source for top quality reliable 7.65mm French Long, thanks to Steinel! I can’t link to them, but I’m sure anyone who wants some themselves can find them online. Anyway, with ammo now available, I decided to test out the French 1935A and 1935S pistols side by side. First slow fire at 10 yards for groups, then 30 yards at a steel plate, and then rapid fire at 5 yards.

Both of these pistols were formally adopted for French military use. The 1935A was first, designed by Charles Petter and made by SACM. When production was not sufficient to meet Army demand, the St Etienne design from the trials was also adopted and put into production. Both guns use the same cartridge, and both are Browning-type tilting barrel actions, but the mechanical similarities end there. Handling-wise they are quite similar, both using magazine release buttons and similar safety levers on the back of the slides.

The verdict for me from shooting both was that I prefer the 1935A. Its trigger was more predictable for me (although that may not be representative of all 35A and 35S examples), and I like the handling of the grip better.


Saturday, 21 December


POTD: Fire from Above [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – We go airborne with the U.S. Marines and the Marine Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) as they conduct a live-fire training exercise with the AH-1Z Cobra and F-35B Lightning II. Unfortunately, I can’t spot any F-35 Lightnings in these pictures, so I suspect they moved too fast. Airborne over […]

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Florida Alert! Ballot Petition Fraudulent Activities Being Investigated [NRA-ILA News]

Both in-state and out-of-state anti-gun millionaires and billionaires are engaged in trying to take control of our Constitution by putting constitutional amendments on the ballot that the public doesn't understand and falsely believe are good.


SILENCER SATURDAY #104: The GLOCK 44 Suppressed [The Firearm Blog]

GLOCK 44 SuppressedMerry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone and thank you for joining us for another addition of TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by our friends at Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of quality affordable suppressors, firearms and accessories. Last week we discussed suppressing the IWI Galil ACE using the KNS adjustable piston. My conclusion is that […]

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Top Truck Features For Hunting Road Trips []

For hunters, the most crucial piece of equipment is a durable and reliable vehicle to haul your equipment deep into the woods and carry your game back home. That’s why pickup trucks are so commonly used for hunting: you can place your game directly in the bed of the vehicle, and that same bed also offers you plenty of room to carry all of your equipment.

Of course, new trucks like the 2020 Ford F-150 Lariat feature impressive capability and state-of-the-art driver-assist technology, but there are a few “must-have” features you’ll want if you’re even thinking about heading out on a hunting expedition. Especially if you’re heading way out on a lengthy road trip.

Here are the top truck features to have for road trips and out-of-state hunting:

4WD or AWD Drive Terrain

Most trucks already come with this feature but it’s worth mentioning: a hunting pickup truck simply needs to have AWD or 4WD in order to drive off road effectively. It’s also a bonus if the truck offers you both low range and high range 4WD modes. Low range mode means that the 4WD delivers more torque, while high range means that is offers better traction. The low range 4WD mode in particular is good for towing over smooth surfaces or for driving over steep grades and uneven rocks.

Locking Toolbox

A locking toolbox is a place to keep your valuable possessions for when you leave camp. You many not want to haul your car keys, wallet, money, jewelry, and important documents out into the woods, but with a locking toolbox, you can feel more comfortable leaving them in your truck.

Locking Differential 

A locking differential is designed to lock both of wheels on an axle as if they’re attached using the same shaft. In layman’s terms, this means that the locking differential forces both of the wheels to turn together, no matter how much traction is applied to either wheel. If you need to drive on a straight line on mud or ice, a locking differential is essential. And great peace-of-mind if weather or road conditions are a concern.

All-Weather Floor Mats

Floor mats simply help to keep the carpeting in your vehicle clean. Since hunting often involves trampling through mud and snow, all-weather floor mats will help keep your ride looking good, season after season.


Think of a bedliner as a giant floor mat for the bed of your truck. And awesome protection against whatever you throw at it, including claws, horns and antlers and the wear and tear of daily cargo like tools, machinery and all manner of other gear. Furthermore, it will help to stabilize your cargo while you drive.


If you happen to get a flat tire while on your road trip (which can happen even if you’re riding on the highest quality tires available), then a good jack will be an absolutely necessary item. Of course, you can always use the standard jack that comes with your vehicle, but consider purchasing a higher-quality jack for a faster and easier tire-change.

Fender Well Toolbox  

A fender well toolbox is designed to fit over the wheel wells within the bd of your truck. This is a great place to store your rifles, shotguns, bows, and ammunition.

Vehicle Scent Killer

Your vehicle can emit all sorts of smells and scents that may scare away wild animals in the general vicinity of your hunting site. A plug-in scent killer is designed to fit into a 12V socket in your truck and help minimize those odors.


The above features are essential for the truck that takes you on your hunting adventures, especially those that take you far from home.

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The Ideal Deer Farming Rig []

In order to grow deer on a piece of land, you don’t actually have to be a full time agricultural farmer. It only takes a minimum of equipment to maintain a deer hunting property, trails, food plots, and other common areas. So, what is the best rig to consider purchasing for keeping up a deer hunting camp?

Recently I attended a huge outdoor show as a pre-season showcase for hunters, specifically deer hunters, landowners, game managers, habitat conservationists and the like. On display were numerous farm implement dealerships offering the various tractors, farming attachments, and other equipment for “gentleman farmers,” deer hunters, and deer clubs.

Surprisingly, the overall cost is not all that exorbitant if you consider the expense of a new showroom car or pickup truck. Heck there are UTVs, custom hunting golf carts, and other 4x4s that cost nearly as much as these deer farming combos.

So, what basic equipment would you need to start maintaining your own deer land? Naturally you would need a good, solid, reliable tractor of a minimum of 25 horse power to be able to do most tasks. Of course, more HP is better, and some of these smaller rigs have HP up to 50 or more.

The tractor is used for bush hogging roads, trails, and food plots. This tractor may or may not have a front boom or even a bucket. Booms are great for lifting things and buckets for scooping things like gravel, lime, or even fertilizer.

The main implements/attachments needed will be the mower or bush hog, a disk for breaking food plot ground, and a spreader for slinging fertilizer and seed. First you mow down a food plot, then disk the soil up, then comes the seeding. Some food plot experts say to apply fertilizer after the seed germinates. Others mix and spread both at the same time to save time and fuel.

After the seed and fertilizer is on the ground, then a harrow, chain drag or other attachment is used to cover the seed. Some buy cultipacker or firminator equipment for these tasks.

Then pray for rain.

Cost? I saw several combinations that included a quality tractor, disk, bush hog, front loader and a trailer for $20,000 with attractive finance rates. Be sure the dealer has a good reputation for warranty work, parts, and service. This basic equipment will get you into the deer farming business.

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NEW: FN Introduces FN 509 Compact MRD Optics-Ready Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

FN 509 CompactSince the introduction of the 509, FN America have steadily expanded the line with midsize and optics ready options. The 509 line has no expanded to include a Compact MRD Optics-Ready variant, the pistol has a 3.7-inch barrel and a compact slide. The 509 Compact will be available in black and FDE at an MSRP of $799.00. Details […]

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More ATF Reclassification: Fostech Origin SBV Now NFA Regulated [The Firearm Blog]

More ATF Reclassification: Fostech Origin SBV Now NFA RegulatedPursuant to an ATF determination earlier this summer, the FosTech Origin SBV firearm now falls under the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA). The Origin SBV is equipped with a smooth bore barrel that is less than 18” in length, but utilizes a pistol stabilizing brace instead of a shoulder stock. The setup, once […]

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Factoid Of The Day []

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. He was born in Nassawadox which is in Northampton County and was raised on a farm outside of Onancock which is in Accomack County.

According to the most current list provided by the Virginia Citizens Defense League of 2A sanctuary counties and cities, both Northampton and Accomack Counties are now 2A sanctuaries.

Northampton County’s Board of Supervisors adopted their resolution on December 10th. It referred to the protections afforded the right to keep and bear arms in both the US and Virginia Constitutions.

Northampton Co. 2A meeting

Accomack County’s Board of Supervisors adopted their resolution at their regular meeting on December 18th. It included this whereas:

WHEREAS, the Accomack County Board of Supervisors believes in the rule of law and supports the US Constitution including the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. Each member of the Accomack County Board of Supervisors has taken an oath to “support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia”. The Accomack County Board of Supervisors takes their oath of office seriously and actively works to protect all rights guaranteed by both constitutions, including the Second Amendment

From ShoreDailyNews.Com

According to the local paper, there is a bit of a quibble about whether both Northampton and Accomack are “sanctuaries”. Both their resolutions stated their strong support for the Second Amendment and both urge state legislators not to infringe on the Second Amendment. However, they don’t come out and say they are sanctuaries.

If the sentiments of Northam’s hometown folks are any indication, Thomas Wolf was correct. You can’t go home again.

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French Mle 1892 Revolver in Competition [Forgotten Weapons]

Today at the Backup Gun Match, I’m shooting a French Modèle 1892 service revolver. It’s a 6-shot revolver with a swing-out cylinder, chambered for the 8x27mm cartridge (often called 8mm Lebel, although it really shouldn’t be). I’ll be shooting in a mix of single action and double action as seems best on each stage. This particular 1892 was made in 1922 and is really rough on the outside but very nice on the inside.

All things considered, it’s not a bad gun. Definitely underpowered by modern standards, but that does make it a very pleasant gun to shoot, with minimal recoil. The sights are pretty decent for 1892, but the trigger is not great. Still, I think I was able to put up a pretty respectable performance.

General Rules for the B.U.G. Match:
Score is points minus time. Time is recorded as the number of full seconds only (ie, 5.75 seconds is scored as 5). All targets are worth up to 7 points. Steel that falls is full score, and 3 points per hit that does not cause it to fall. Paper targets are worth 7 in the head, 5 in the A zone, 3 in the C zone, and 1 in the D zone. Shoot as much or as little as you like; no penalties for missing or not engaging.

Friday, 20 December


Friday Night Lights: Hollywood Night Vision Myths – Part 2 [The Firearm Blog]

Last month I covered two movies that grossly exaggerated night vision. Hollywood has perpetuated certain myths about night vision. To some, this is as bad as guns making an actual foley noise every time the firearm is handled. We will take a look at some more movies and TV shows and rip apart the scenes […]

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POTD: Portuguese Special Forces and some of their Firearms [The Firearm Blog]

Photo Of The Day – it is time for Portugal and having a look at what their Special Forces have in their armoury. We’re looking at photos from their recruiting campaign, and as you can see, there is a nice variety of old and modern Heckler & Koch rifles as well as Galils. Auto-translated from […]

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TFB FIELD STRIP: Ruger 10/22 Rifles, Carbines and Pistol [The Firearm Blog]

TFB Field Strip: Ruger 10/22The Ruger 10/22 rifle (and pistol) has become the quintessential firearm when it comes to shooting .22 LR and has become one of the most common rimfire guns in North America. There are other semi-automatic .22 LR rifles, but it’s clear that the gun owners and the aftermarket have heavily favored the 10/22. First released […]

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GoatGuns Licensed Miniature Barrett Model 82A1 [The Firearm Blog]

Barrett and GoatGuns have entered into a licensing agreement which will see GoatGuns add a 1:3 scale Barrett Model 82A1 to product their line up. The miniatures can be picked up in assembled or unassembled packs.   GoatGuns describe the new toy: All Metal parts on this Big & Bad miniature .50 cal sniper. This will […]

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Large Order: ORSIS T-5000 Sniper Rifles to be exported outside Russia [The Firearm Blog]

About two years ago TFB covered the Russian Sniper Rifle Orsis T-5000 in an article written by Hrachya H called Description, News and Rumors. It’s now time for an update as the company has managed to get a contract valued over $1.5 million, where an undisclosed number of sniper rifles are going to be supplied to […]

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Hunting in Africa, What You Need to Know []

Africa is a truly magical place and I would recommend every hunter put it on their bucket list.  It can seem a bit daunting though, the thought of traveling half way around the world to hunt in a land you have never seen and mostly for animals you have only viewed on TV or in a book.  Despite what you may think it is not that far of a stretch and is far more attainable than moist would think.

Africa 2

Granted a lot of the quarry over there are certainly high dollar hunts, reserved for those with deep pockets, however, there are still quite a few “affordable” options available.  I like to budget in 3 different buckets when planning for Africa.

The first bucket is getting there and back and this is going to be a good chunk of your expenses.  The flights are usually not cheap, but you can buy your ticket well in advance and have yourself “paid back” before you set foot on African soil.  Paying for your hunt also occurs before you even leave, but on the bright side you will get to Africa knowing that you will be pursuing several animals over the course of a week.

The cost of a typical plains game package varies by area and outfitter, but it is safe to say that you will have the ability to hunt 4 or 5 different animals over the course of you trip versus usually one in North America on a weeklong trip.  The surprising part is that the plains game package is usually comparable or less than a big game hunt out west in the United States for Elk or Deer.

Africa 3


Africa 4

The second bucket is what you want to have readily available while you are in country.  You will want some cash in hand for souvenirs, tips, taxidermy, trophy preparation and additional tags.  Yup, I said that, additional tags!  Inevitably, you are going to see an animal over there that gets you absolutely fired up but is not part of your package.  You want to be able to have the conversation with yourself on whether you want that trophy to come home with you!  Odds are you do and if feasible you should take advantage of the opportunity.

africa 5

The last pot of money is the post trip expenses.  Unfortunately, once the trip is over the bills continue to roll in, but how much depends on what want to preserve in the form of taxidermy.  You will have to pay to have your trophies prepped for shipment back to the US and will likely have to use an importer to help you get all of your permits (if applicable) squared away.

Typically, European skulls can be fit in to one crate and shipped back and imported at a relatively reasonable price.  When you start to think shoulder mounts is when the price start to climb.  Also, you have to then decide if you want them done there and shipped back completed or it you want to have the hides and skulls prepped and shipped for you to have done by “your guys” at a later date.  My personal preference is to have them dipped and shipped and any shoulder mounts done by my shop back here at home.  This is for 2 reasons,  it spreads the cost out over a longer period of time giving you the chance to build up budget, but also you can easily communicate with your taxidermist and even see progress as he works on your mounts.

The 2nd reason, and I am very guilty of this, is that in the heat of the moment your brain tells you “EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE SHOULDER MOUNTED!”  Trust me, it does not, and the extra time waiting until you get home gives you a chance to cool off and determine what truly is a shoulder mount trophy and what is just as good as a European mount.  Unless you have very deep pockets and a GIANT man cave, then by all means, get a shoulder mount of everything!

Africa 6

I have truly enjoyed all of the outfits I have hunted with in South Africa and I think you will find that most are VERY helpful in walking you through all of the hidden costs and procedures to make sure that even after your trip is over everything goes smoothly.  The process of talking your own rifles and traveling with them is an article in and of itself, but hopefully this helps you wrap your head around a little bit of what you might encounter on your 1st trip to Africa.  The first time I was there I was taking it in as a once in a lifetime trip, but once it gets in your blood you will always be trying to figure out, “when am I going back!”

Africa 7

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Deer Husbandry []

If you are fortune enough to own or lease your own deer hunting property, you are in the business of raising white-tailed deer. It is a resource for you to manage, care for, enhance, grow, and indeed covet. Native wildlife existing on private lands is a great blessing. Even if you don’t hunt, management of that resource is your responsibility.

It matters not if you have rights to 100 acres or 10,000, the deer on that land deserve the best management for herd health, nutrition, and age. Though genetics is a huge component of some aspects such as antler size, this element is virtually impossible to control. Other elements, though, can be actively managed to benefit all species.

Enhancing and maintaining a good deer herd is not unlike raising livestock for commercial meat production. Many of the aspects of keeping cattle on a piece of land are quite similar to raising deer, though whitetails are free ranging and subject to moving on and off the property. There are ways to keep them home on the range.

Deer need ample food, water, cover, and space to maintain themselves and expand their numbers provided the habitat can support them. You need to assess your hunting land to be certain these elements are supplied. Dry? You may need to dig some ponds or install some water tanks. This is common in Texas, Oklahoma and out west.

Have a state deer biologist or private wildlife land developer inspect your land for ample native browse to feed your deer. Supplemental food plots in both spring and fall are important and are far more than just killing fields. Plant high-protein foods such as clovers, wheat, oats, and green leafy varieties. Forget the rye grass. Do the fertilizer thing, test the soil and add recommended lime.

Cover and space are both needed to benefit wildlife. If your place is mostly forested, consider opening up the canopy with small clearings. This will generate new growth for grasses and forbs as deer food. If you have pine woods, think about mowing between the tree rows to open up the terrain. This gives deer space to roam and to establish trails.

Growing deer is a full time job. It should be fun and a source of great pride. But remember this old adage from a friend of mine, “If you want to hunt deer, you have to have deer to hunt.”

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Buck 658 Pursuit Small Fixed-Blade Hunting Knife Review []

Regular AO readers may recall my post from a few months ago which introduced the new line of Pursuit hunting knives from Buck knives. Fortunately, I was blessed with the opportunity to test & review a Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife, which I’m happy to do — right here, right now.


First, some specs:

  • Model: 0658GRS-B
  • Blade material: 420HC steel
  • Blade thickness: 0.110″ thick
  • Blade length: 3.75″
  • Blade shape: drop point
  • Overall length: 8″
  • Weight: 3.4 ounces (mine actually weighs 3.2 ounces)
  • Weight with sheath: 4.5 ounces
  • Handle: Glass-filled nylon & Versaflex
  • Sheath included (embroidered polyester with large belt loop and molded internal plastic portion for the blade)
  • Made in USA
  • MSRP: $55

The Knife

The Buck 658 Pursuit Small is a nice little fixed-blade hunting knife that’s well-made, compact, light, and easy to wield. My first impression was that there’s a lot of blade for the handle — or not much handle for the blade, if you want to look at it that way — but picking it up quelled my doubts. I have large hands, but the diminutive dimensions do not deter much from the 658’s maneuverability in my meaty paws.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The 658 came out of the box shaving-sharp, and like the 684 BuckLite I reviewed last year, it retained that edge after dealing with two whitetail deer, still able to shave hair from my arm with the forward portion near the point — that is, the part of the blade which receives the most use.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

This is a full-tang knife, as evidenced by the fact that the tang is exposed in three points of the handle. The non-aggressive jimping on the blade’s spine is mimicked where the tang is exposed as a thumb rest as well as a similar spot for your pinky. A lanyard hole through the handle also pierces the tang, which means the lanyard will fail before the lanyard hole does.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small is made in the USA. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small is made in the USA.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Speaking of that, the green portion of this handle is Versaflex, which I would describe as a tough, resilient rubbery material offering a small amount of flex and just the right amount of “grabbiness.” The black portion is glass-filled nylon, a tough and rigid material that’s textured to enhance your grip.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small right after I used it on a whitetail deer. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small right after I used it on a whitetail deer.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The grooves in the handle, which are most pronounced where the nylon and Versaflex meet, did become filled with deer fat. This was easily removed with a toothbrush when I washed the knife with hot water and dish soap.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small is made in the USA. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small is made in the USA.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The knife pretty much balances at the finger groove/thumb jimping area, which works well and provides a nice feel for good handling.

If I had to ding the 658 Pursuit Small, it would be that the handle tapers a bit too much for my liking at the rear, and is thus a touch more likely to slip forward out of my hand than if it had some sort of rear quillion or swell to “fatten up” the handle at the rear.

Buck 658 Pursuit has a narrow blade with a nice grind. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit has a narrow blade with a nice grind.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The shape of the stainless steel blade leans more towards “skinner” and has a nice grind that should be easy to sharpen — once it finally needs it. The blade is nice and narrow, which should make it fine for camp kitchen chores as well.

The Sheath

The sheath is a well-made number, and in my opinion is improved over the sheath of my 684 — mainly because of its generously-sized belt loop which is formed from the sheath material rather than simply being stitched onto the sheath.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

At the core, the molded plastic blade insert will prevent the knife’s sharp edge from cutting itself free from its sheath. A drain hole is provided at bottom rear in both the insert and the polyester shell.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Speaking of the shell, it’s the main part of the sheath and while it’s simply a stitched polyester number, the two-tone green & black theme from the knife is echoed here and makes for a nice touch. The embroidered decoration, including the Buck anvil logo, is well-done and attractive.

The Buck 658 comes with this two-tone embroidered sheath. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The Buck 658 comes with this two-tone embroidered sheath.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

In the Field

I used the 658 to gut, skin, and quarter a whitetail deer and to gut another. Even though the deer were quite fatty as you can see in the photos, I was able to control the knife pretty well, with my only desire being the aforementioned yen for a rear quillion of some sort.

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Although the blade is described as a drop point and it has a false edge up top, this knife has a nice belly that makes it a great skinner. For that reason, I did turn to my Buck boning knife from time to time when I needed a “pointier point.”

Buck 658 Pursuit below a Buck 580 boning knife. This makes an excellent combo for working on deer. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit below a Buck 580 boning knife. This makes an excellent combo for working on deer.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

As mentioned earlier, this knife was plenty sharp right out of the box, and hasn’t seen a sharpener yet — but it will shave my arm right now (I just tried it).

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife with sheath
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Final Thoughts

The Buck 658 Pursuit Small fixed-blade hunting knife is well-made and durable, plenty sharp, and made in the USA. The knife is durable and tough and the two-tone sheath is good-looking and should hold up well. If you’re big-handed like me, you might desire a fuller handle — and a rear quillion would help with retention when hands are wet.

The large belly does make the 658 more of a skinner than an all-around hunting knife, so keep that in mind as you make your decision — although in capable hands, just about any blade can do just about any job.

Do I like it? Yes.

Buck’s MSRP is $55, but MidwayUSA says their regular price is $44.99 and currently has it for $38.11.


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The Wait Time Felt Like This []

I stumbled across this picture today. I know it sure felt like this while waiting for my Form 4 and especially my Form 1s to be approved.

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Picking the Best Waders for Cold Weather []

When picking the best waders for cold weather, there is a definitive style to choose from, and one to avoid. Overall, there are three main factors for picking out a new pair of waders: the style of the waders, the material of the waders and the height of the waders. Here we’ll go over each factor and let you know which will work best for cold weather.

Style of Waders

Arguably the most important factor to consider when picking the best waders for cold weather is the style you choose. There are two main styles of waders: Bootfoot and Stockingfoot. The other smaller distinction made with waders are whether they’re primarily for hunting, or for fishing. For this article, we’re going to focus on fishing, and will finish with a recommendation for the best waders for cold weather.

Bootfoot Waders

Bootfoot waders are an all-in-one solution, with the boot already attached to the waders. This is the simplest option as they’re quick and easy to throw on for a day of fishing, but the style is lacking in a few areas. Bootfoot waders don’t work as well if you’re camping or need to hike a long way out to the water. But for cold weather, bootfoot waders are the perfect solution because they hold in your body heat.

Stockingfoot Waders

Stockingfoot waders have neoprene socks at the bottom for your feet. You then pair your waders up with boots of your own choosing. Stockingfoot waders can be more comfortable than bootfoot waders if you’re wearing them for an extended period.

Best for Cold Weather: Bootfoot

Even if you pair your stockingfoot waders with cold weather boots, the warmth of your body heat fully sealed is unmatched in bootfoot waders. The circulation in your ankles stays unrestricted, and warm air can flow from your legs to your feet.

Height of Waders

When it comes to height, the higher the better for cold weather. The reason for this is both the extra layer of warmth that will cover your body, but more importantly, the prevention of water from spilling over the top of your waders. On a cold day, any water coming over the top and onto your clothes and bare skin can be a chilling end to your fishing enjoyment.

Waders come in three heights:

  • Hip-high
  • Waist-high
  • Chest-high

Hip-high waders are strapped to your belt and are used on smaller streams and creeks when you won’t be much more than ankle deep in the water. While these can work in cold weather on small creeks and streams, you’re bound to get water splashing off your pants by the end of the day, so I would not recommend these on a cold day.

Waist-high waders come right up to your abdomen and will work if your focus is on shallower water. But again, waist-high waders are not recommended if your goal is solely on the warmest possible gear. Waist-high waders will be attached either with a belt, or with suspenders.

Chest-high waders are the definitive choice for cold weather because they’re the most versatile and provide the best coverage. Chest-high waders have built in suspenders, and comfortably fit just below your arm pit, with overall-like coverage over your chest. With chest waders, you will not have to worry about water spilling onto your under garments—unless you happen to fall in the water. The better chest-high waiters also come with multiple pockets on your chest, which isn’t possible on the other two sizes.

Material of Waders

There are three main types of materials for waders:

  • Neoprene
  • Nylon/Polyester
  • Rubber

Rubber Waders

The primary advantage to rubber waders is the fact that they’re the least expensive. Rubber waders are the originals, they get the job done, but they’ve been surpassed in effectiveness by the other two materials. While rubber waders are extremely waterproof and resilient, they fall short when it comes to the best cold-water waders. They also make for a sweaty, smelly funk when you take them off.

Nylon/Polyester Waders

A blend of nylon and polyester combined with a waterproof layer is an ideal wader material but is best suited for warm weather. This is because of an extreme advantage in breathability and time to dry, keeping you comfortable and cool on a warm day. You can still use this material on a colder day if you have the proper clothes on underneath, but they are not the ideal option.

Neoprene Waders

Neoprene is a great choice for cold weather. Neoprene is thicker than the other materials, giving you better insulation than rubber, and still dries quickly enough to compare with nylon/polyester options. Neoprene waders will typically be 3mm thick, but for cold weather look for a 5mm option.

The only problem with neoprene waders is that they are not breathable, as the polyester/neoprene blend will be. So, for warmer weather, neoprene may overheat you with too much insulation. But for cold weather, there is no comparison to the other materials.

Picking out the Best Cold Weather Waders: What to Look For

When looking for the best cold weather waders, you should be dialing in on bootfoot waders, first and foremost. When looking at your selection, try to identify the boots with the highest amount of insulation for your feet. Many options offer 3M™ Thinsulate™ but the amount of insulation can range from as low as 200-grams to as high as 1200-grams. So, make sure to pay extra attention to the quality of the boots.

For example, you can buy this pair of Caddis bootfoot waders with 600-gram 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation for under $200. Contrast that with a $250 pair of 200-gram insulated boots with the Reddington Palix River bootfoot waders. The advantage of the Redington is a fleece-lined hand warmer pocket and a three-layer nylon construction. The Orvis Encouter, meanwhile, offers the hand warmer pocket, and four-layer nylon construction for under $220, but again with only 200-gram insulation in the boots.

If you end up choosing waders without a fleece-lined pocket, something that will be sure to keep you warm are these half finger fleece gloves from Simms. For under $25, they’re worth your hard-earned dollar if you’re going out in the cold.

Best Cold Weather Waders: Frogg Toggs Steelheader

There is no doubt about this selection, as Frogg Toggs goes above and beyond the competition with the Steelheader. That’s because not only do the boots feature 1200-gram Thinsulate™ Insulation, the waders also include a 120-gram removable insulated liner. So, whether it’s warm or cold outside, the Frogg Toggs Steelheader is more than capable of keeping you comfortable. On top of those clear-cut benefits, the Steelheader features two storage pockets in addition to a fleece-lined hand warmer pocket. The best part is that you can get these waders for under $225.

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Sneak Peek at the Angstadt Arms MDP-9 [The Firearm Blog]

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Angstadt Arms have teased the unveiling of their new ‘subgun’, with a video featuring their previous pistol calibre carbine, the UDP-9. Angstadt have released a teaser trailer for the new MDP-9 but we don’t get a look at the new weapon, only hints. You’ll remember that Angstadt entered into the US Army’s Sub-Compact […]

Read More …

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Spin Cast vs. Fly Fishing on the River []

When heading out for a day of fishing on the river, you’ll come across a variety of techniques and gear being used. Baitcasters are a rare sight if trout are the target, but both fly fishermen and spin cast enthusiasts will be out in droves on certain days. If you’re using a spin cast reel, you may look over at the fly fisherman and wonder, does he know something that I don’t? The answer in many cases, is yes, but that is not always the case.

Spin Cast vs. Fly Fishing is an age-old debate. Fly fisherman will swear by the fly, while spinning enthusiasts will scoff at the fly-fishing technique. The key distinction being made here, though, is which technique works best on the river.

Fly Fishing Fundamentals

Fly fishing is a vastly different way of fishing than any kind of spin or baitcasting. The rod is longer, and lighter, and the reel functions as a line holder that contains no inner mechanisms to help you bring in your fish. Fly fishing uses its own unique line, rod, and reel, and requires a slightly different skillset than angling with any other kind of modern rig.

There are a wide variety of flies that can be used to both imitate and attract fish. There are also two forms of flies: dry flies which sit on top of the water, and nymphs which go below the surface. Oftentimes you’ll tie as many as two nymphs from the hook of your dry fly to cover a wide range of water. This is one area where fly fishing has a clear advantage over spinning.

Casting in fly fishing involves an entirely new technique when compared to any other form of casting. It takes practice but can be mastered to a beginner level in an afternoon. The idea is to use the fly line to propel your fly forward.

Some will try to tell you that fly fishing is about challenging yourself, and not about catching more fish. Do not listen to these people, because they clearly haven’t spent much time fly fishing. While spin fishing can outshine fly fishing in certain areas, there are many other times when fly fishing will be your ultimate weapon on the river.

Spin Cast Fundamentals

Spinning rigs are one of two different reel designs: a spincast reel, or a spinning reel. Spinning reels are your popular, open face reels with the spool hanging vertically down from your hand. Spincast reels, conversely, sit on top of the rod, and are operated with a simple press of your thumb on a button that releases the line. Spincast reels are also completely covered other than the front eyelet where your line is released out through the rod guides.

Spin Cast vs. Fly Fishing

As a passionate fly fisherman myself, I would have to say that fly fishing will give you a distinct advantage when fishing on a river. There is no doubt that fly fishing can be more effective than using a spin cast reel on a river when a hatch is alive and buzzing. Being able to target fish topwater that are already rising to the surface is an easy button for an experienced fly fisherman. Even lacking a fresh hatch, though, fly fishing can still be more effective at pulling fish out of the river.

But with that said, a spinning rig can be used to your advantage when frequency of casts and efficiency in catching and releasing are the top priority. When it comes to spin cast vs. fly fishing on the river, both methods can be effective. Your choice will ultimately be determined by what bait you’re using, and how experienced of an angler you are.

Spinning Advantages vs. Fly Fishing

The main advantage of a spin setup is being able to cast a further distance. While you may be able to cast just as far with a fly rod, it will take a much longer amount of time given the number of back casts you’ll have to make.

To cast further with a fly rod, you must pull line out of the spool simultaneously while pivoting your arm during the back cast. Each successive back cast gives you an opportunity to pull out more line with your other hand. This is a technique on its own that is difficult for a beginner to master. So, if you’re just starting out with fly fishing, your casting distance will be limited.

However, on a river casting distance may not be a priority. Depending on how wide the river is, it may be just as easy to cast as far as you need with a fly rod.

Another distinct advantage spin fishing has over fly fishing is the ability to cast heavy lures. The bait used on a fly rod is typically a weightless fly, and the fly is powered by an attached leader, with the heavy weight of the fly line propelling the fly forward. The lightweight fly has it’s time to shine in certain situations, but if you want to target bigger fish, a weighted spoon will give you an advantage.

Lastly, in saltwater there is no question that spin fishing is the clear winner over fly fishing. While some fly anglers can land impressive fish on saltwater, there is no question that it’s much more difficult than using a spinning rig.

Spin Cast vs. Fly Fishing on the River – The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, there is no reason to not learn both spinning and fly fishing techniques and bring a fly rod and a spin rod whenever you fish.

If the trout simply aren’t going after your flies no matter which setup you chose, try tossing some spoons with your spin rod to change it up.

If you see fish rising to the surface, check for what bug is hatching and try to match the hatch with a fly. You will undoubtedly catch many more fish on a fly when they are actively feeding on the surface, because a spinning lure cannot match their food of choice.

Many other days you’ll find that spin casting helps you to cover more ground and catch many more fish than when using a fly. So, the bottom line is that if you’re well-versed in both fly fishing and spin casting, you’ll be prepared to catch the most possible fish.

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How To Hire The ‘Right’ Fishing Guide []

Hiring a fishing guide is about much more than doing some googling and selecting someone with favorable reviews in the area you want to be in. You might be thinking to yourself that you don’t even need a guide, but maybe one of your friends is insisting. Or, perhaps you’d like some extra help with getting your family set up and situated on the water.

No matter how experienced of an angler you are, or the people you’re fishing with claim to be, everyone can benefit a great deal from hiring a fishing guide.  Fishing guides do so much more than just bait your hook and take care of your caught fish. Even if you have no need for an extra hand, a good fishing guide is invaluable for the wealth of information they have inside their head. While guides are perfect for a boat full of inexperienced anglers, the true value in hiring a guide is unlocking the secrets of an unfamiliar body of water.

Now the only question is, what is the best way of going about the hiring process? Below are five characteristics to use in your search for the “right” fishing guide, along with a red flag to watch out for, and what you should expect from your experience.

#1. Experience

Age isn’t everything in the guiding world, but experience should never be discounted as a primary factor to consider when hiring a fishing guide. Don’t let age fool you into thinking it equates to experience either. There are many younger guides that have been putting in their work for many years and younger guides can be just as good as some of the older guides.

#2. Personality

The personality of a guide is an essential factor when separating the good from the great. You will be spending the better part of a day with this person, so having a guide with a personality you enjoy and mesh with will be vital to your enjoyment. Try to have a conversation over the phone with any potential guide to get an idea of how their personality will work with yours.

#3. Ability to Teach

For many, a guide is a teacher first and foremost. For example, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to fly fish, hiring a guide would be the perfect place to start. So, in this case, look for references from past clients that praise the guide’s ability to teach fly fishing to beginners.

#4. Knowledge of the Water

If you’re already an experienced angler and are not looking for a teacher, don’t be fooled, you can always learn new techniques. But also, discovering new knowledge of a body of water can pay dividends down the road if you plan to fish the area in the future. A guide’s understanding of the water is also essential for finding the fish on a slow day.

#5. Jack of All Trades

A great fishing guide will be well-versed in all aspects of the outdoors, in addition to being a master of the sport. If one technique isn’t working, your guide should know which new technique to equip. Many guides will also provide a shore lunch and come prepared with a skillet or grill for a well-earned lunchbreak. Look for a guide that can do it all.

Red Flag to Watch For

Any guide that guarantees fish should be looked at with a raised eyebrow. Overselling yourself is the sign of a guide that may be desperate for clients and is willing to stretch the truth.

If one guide is selling their services for a much lower rate than another guide, there may be a reason for that. Guiding is a competitive business in certain areas of the country, and cut-rate offerings may come with cut rate results. Any guide that promises certain results is not being honest with themselves or their customers.

What to Expect from a Fishing Guide?

Your guide should first communicate with you the day before your trip to ensure that you’re bringing the essential gear and know where and when to meet up. Your guide should be on time, packed and ready to hit the water to maximize fishing time. The full day should be planned out in advance by your guide, including where to begin, where to stop for lunch and where to end the day.

When you’re on the water, you can expect your guide to help you in all areas. If you need help baiting your line, your guide should provide you with leaders, weights, bait, and tie it all up for you. When you catch a fish, you can expect your guide to use a net, and if necessary, to remove the hook from the fishes’ mouth.

Also remember to let your guide know exactly what you’re looking for in your outing. While guides are generally great at plotting out the day’s events for you, if you’d like to visit a certain body of water, or try a specific technique, let your guide know.

Bottom Line on How to Hire a Fishing Guide

Before you hire a fishing guide, you should identify what you’re hoping to accomplish from your day on the water. Do you want a guide that will be great at teaching some beginners you’ve brought along? Or, do you want a guide that knows the water like the back of his hand and can teach you new tricks for your return visit? The best guides can do both, in addition to having a fun personality that you can enjoy all day long.

Talk to your guide before you hire. Getting to know the guide up front and letting them know your expectations will ensure an enjoyable and hopefully productive day. Also, if you do have a great time, or simply appreciate the guide’s hard work, make sure to tip your guide at the end of the day. The best guides will earn your repeat business and may eventually become a lifelong friend that you look forward to seeing on annual trips.

Tight lines!

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These are the Top Mobile Camping Solutions []

When it comes to mobile camping, one of your best investments is a rooftop tent, or a tent that is designed to fit directly over your vehicle.

Rooftop tents are one of the handiest options for mobile camping. They’re super-convenient, they’re usually quality-made and they’re easy to set up: Simply prop them up, then extend a ladder. You can use them at traditional campsites, deep in the woods, or even off the side of the road or at a parking lot.

With rooftop tents, mobile camping is a breeze. They’ll drastically reduce the amount of time spent setting up camp.

Here are the top mobile camping solutions:

Baja Series Kukenam 3 

The Baja Series Kukenam 3 is a highly customizable rooftop tent that makes it easy for you to switch between either a lightweight or a mesh nylon canopy, depending on the weather conditions. One canopy and rainfly are included as part of the set, but you can buy and install alternative ones as you see fit.

This tent also utilizes an A-frame inner structure system, which is very easy to deploy and gives you plenty of interior space to sit up and look outside of the windows. In total, there is enough room in the inside of the tent to fit up to three average sized people for sleeping, assuming that you use 2.5 inch foam mattresses.

Front Runner Roof Top Tent

The Front Runner Roof Top Tent weighs less than one hundred pounds, making it a superb option if you want a truly lightweight mobile camping solution that will also help with fuel economy. And along with being very lightweight, the Front Runner Roof Top Tent is also waterproof, durable, and fully-breathable to help reduce condensation.

It comes with an array of impressive features, including Velcro light loops, interior pockets, and a mesh window. It also utilizes a quick release mechanism, which makes it incredibly easy to attach and detach.

iKamper SkyCamp 2.0 

The iKamper SkyCamp 2.0 mobile vehicle tent works like an expandable hard shell, with a clam that forms one side of the tent and a platform that holds up the other side. The weatherproof and durable polyester canvas material also covers the tent to help keep out rain, moisture and wind. The iKamper ships with an ultra-comfortable mattress that’s large enough to fit three full grown adults. Also, the bottom component of the tent is insulated to help keep you warm.

Tepui Hybox

The coolest thing about the Tepui Hybox? You don’t just have to use it like a tent. When you unzip the mesh walls and take away the mattress, the Hybox essentially serves as a cargo box that offers you twenty three cubic feet of storage, which you can use to carry tools, snowboards, or anything else that you want to bring with you. Few other camping tents offer this kind of feature.When you actually the Hybox as a tent, it has two mesh windows and two doors, with a comfortable three-inch foam mattress. It has enough space on the interior to accommodate up to two average-sized adults.

Yakima Skyrise Tent

Even though Yakima is most famous for making roof racks, they also make rooftop tents. This tent is specifically designed by Yakima to help keep you cool on warm nights, and warm on cold nights. It offers plenty of ventilation, and the mesh sunroof enables you to literally sleep under the stars at night. Plus, the walls of the tent and the windows are both double layered in order to be fully waterproof.

As an added bonus, the Skyrise Tent is 100% compatible with other Yakima accessories, such as their kayak racks and annex rooms. Both three-person and two-person models are available, although both can accommodate more people when it comes to families with smaller children. 


All in all, these five rooftop tents are among the best mobile camping solutions out there. Whichever one you choose, you can count on high quality, an impressive array of features, plus a convenient and easy set-up.

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Six Deer Hunting Gear Essentials []

Beyond the deer hunting necessities like a hunting rifle or other firearm, ammunition, deer calls, and whatnot, there are six items that are essentials. These are not accessories to make the hunt more fun, but gotta-have gear that helps a deer hunter produce results. If you have all these essential items, you will be good to go.

There are no particular priorities here; I feel they are equally important. Can you do without them? Sure you can — but why would you? You may be spending big bucks on trail cameras, deer feeders, and other equipment, but these will make you a better and more effective hunter.

1) Clothing

Sure, you can hunt in blue jeans or Bermuda shorts if you want to, but these are not optimal. Camo is important to help you hide in the habitat and remain blurry to a deer so long as you don’t get caught moving. But more important is that the camo clothing has a pattern similar to the habitat where you hunt. It is also critical that the clothing is wear hardy, durable, and withstands tough use.

Have rain gear, too.

2) Boots

Similarly, you will not hunt your best with wet and cold feet. Buy good boots designed for hunting, waterproof, and insulated. Match the boots to where you hunt based on the water you might have to wade. If your feet are often cold, insert some chemical foot warmers.

3) Backpack

This does not have to be a cross-country hiking pack, but a compact bag to carry numerous items like extra ammo, pocket knife, deer scents, calls, compass, cell phone, meds, first aid, matches, nabs, water bottle and whatever else you choose to carry.

4) Binoculars

Don’t use your rifle scope to observe deer. Binoculars are designed for inspecting bucks at a distance. Only good observation optics can let you count points, estimate the spread, and other deer details. Buy the best glass you can afford.

5) Knife

A good blade will have endless uses in the field. From dressing a deer, clearing a few branches, cutting rope, shortening a tie down strap or whatever. Have a good solid blade and a pocketknife.

6) Flashlight

If you ever get caught without a light in the woods after the sun is gone, you won’t do it again. Buy a high quality flashlight to get you to and from a stand or to help find a downed deer after the shot. Stay with standard sized batteries and have some extras in the backpack.

Your list of essential gear items may be different… but after 48 years of deer hunting, I am never without these six pieces of gear.

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The Best Truck Storage For Outdoorsmen []

In the age of early hours and late nights at work, finding time to fit in a hunt can be difficult. We all know the guys who keep their golf clubs in their truck all summer in the off chance they can fit 9 holes in before or after work. Well, there are plenty of hunters out there that do the same thing with their bow and camo.

I was recently in a remote town of Oregon and saw something that is not common anymore. An old timer had his rifle rack in the back window, ready at a moment’s notice to hop out and go on a quick hunt. For those of us living in a larger city or suburb, it’s far less common to broadcast that you have your hunting gear with you.

To keep your gear safe when you are on the move, there are a number of great options to stow your valuables. Some options are built right into your truck and some are aftermarket accessories that can be a great addition to your truck. Adding a bit of personalization to your ride can make it that much more functional for your daily needs.

We’ve put together our list of the top storage solutions for your hunting gear:

DECKED Truck Bed Storage System

The DECKED Truck Bed Storage System is one of the most versatile aftermarket storage solutions available. The system fits in to your truck bed and affixes to the existing tie downs on the sides of your bed. This is the ideal install because you don’t have to make any permanent modifications to your truck.

Once installed, the DECKED system shines. It comes with two full-length drawers that can be configured to the owner’s needs. Easy “in and out” dividers make it perfect for small items like boots, tackle boxes, and other small odds and ends for your trip into the woods. When the dividers are removed, large cases for your compound bow or even fishing poles fit with ease.

Beyond the internal storage, the solution touts the ability to accommodate weights as heavy as 2,000 pounds up top. This is ideal for ATV’s and 4 wheelers. Overall, the DECKED system is a must for the truck owner who wants storage versatility without compromising use of the truck bed.

F-150 Super Crew Integrated Storage

The 2020 F-150 Super Crew comes with a perfect storage system directly off the production line. When you have higher end small gear, such as a thermal monocular, binoculars, or spotting scopes, you don’t want to leave them outside of the cab. Items such as this should be kept in an area of the vehicle where the temperature and moisture are more stable.

In the super Crew models, there is a compartment underneath the back seats that becomes accessible when the seats are folded up. The storage box gives you plenty of room to stow various items, which remain out of site when the seats are folded back down. Add to that the extra protection of locking your vehicle and you have a solid option for storage on-the-go.

Truck Vault

For the outdoorsmen who are truly committed to their truck and gear, the TruckVault line of bed storage solutions are the absolute top-of-the-line. The term “they thought of everything” gets thrown around a lot, however, in TruckVault’s case, they truly have thought of everything.

This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you make the decision to buy this beast, you will be shocked by the level of customization you are able to incorporate. You can pick from 3 heights, including a version that sits flush like a tonneau cover. You are also able to choose the types of drawers, internal dividers, locks, drawer padding, and more. Our favorite feature is the drawer faces. You have the option of 6 looks, including Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades and Mossy Oak Original Bottom land When you consider the fact that any of their solutions can be purchased in a weatherproof configuration, you will find yourself seriously reconsidering the need for a tonneau cover.

Yakima TopWater Rooftop Fishing Rod Box

Anglers have more opportunity than hunters to hit a lake, stream or river and get a few casts in when some extra time presents itself. The only issue with keeping your rods on hand is where to keep them. Over the years, many have come up with home-brew options such as PVC pipes that will keep their rods safe on the go, but with products like the TopWater on the market, why take a risk?

The TopWater is Yakima’s solution for safe and secure storage of your rods and reels. It’s compatible with any of the Yakima line of racks, such as the LockNLoad or HD system, and has one of the easiest installs of any of the items on our list. It sits directly on the top of your rack or bars and uses 4 large nuts that are hand-tighten only. You can have the TopWater on or off of your truck within 5 minutes.

Final Thoughts

With any of these solutions, the most important item you will need is a dependable truck! The 2020 Ford F-150 is an absolute workhorse capable of towing your fishing boat or hitting some tough terrain on the way to your hunt camp. When you use your truck for more than a daily driver, the cargo hauling capability and tow ratings are crucial, and the 2020 F-150 is a high performer in both categories. If you are looking for a new truck, the 2020 Ford F-150 should be at the top of your list.

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US Optics Announces the Foundation Series of Rifle Scopes [The Firearm Blog]

US Optics is releasing a The Foundations Series, which is a domestically manufactured line of rifle scopes. According to the company, the scopes establish a new standard for reliability, durability, and performance. The scopes are machined from aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum and come with a low profile ER3K elevation knob with 11 Mils of correction […]

Read More …

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Taurus Delivers T4 Rifles to Local Georgia Agencies [The Firearm Blog]

Earlier this month Taurus opened their new headquarters and factory facility in Bainbridge Georgia. To celebrate and assist their new community Taurus have gifted nearly 40 of their T4 mil-spec rifles to the Bainbridge Public Safety Department and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department. The T4, an M4 clone, isn’t currently available from Taurus USA, although semi-auto versions […]

Read More …

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Prototype Mauser 1917 Trench Carbine [Forgotten Weapons]

In the latter stages of World War One, the German military was looking for new arms for its Sturmtruppen. Without a reliable self-loading rifle design to use, they instead focused on pistil caliber arms. The first to be used was the existing lP08 artillery Luger, fitted with a drum magazine. At the very end of the war, these were being replaced by Bergmann MP-18,I submachine guns. But there was another gun that was tested but not adopted – the 1917 trench carbine variation of Mauser’s C96 “Broomhandle” pistol. Only about 40 of these guns were made as prototypes and trials models, and they were not adopted for reasons that are not entirely clear (but cost is probably a significant element). Only a few examples survive, and they vary substantially in their details. In addition, they are substantially different from both standard C96 pistols and also the sporting carbines made before the war.

All the 1917 trench carbines used a magazine developed from the 1906/08 pistol; an excellent double-stack, double-feed type. Magazines of 10, 20, and 40-round capacity were made, although all known examples were only semiautomatic (the full-auto Schnellfeuer Mauser’s would not come until the early 1930s).


A reCAPTCHA For Virginia []

We have all been on websites with pictures asking you to select the boxes with buses or stoplights or cars in order to prove you are not a bot. It is a system called reCAPTCHA. It was meant as an improvement over an earlier system that presented you with fuzzy numbers and letters which you had to type in.

Someone decided to create a new picture just for Virginia politicians and gun control advocates.

Flatlanders like Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) just don’t get it.

As someone who has lived in the Appalachians for the majority of my life, I can tell him that folks from Tazewell or Grundy or Wytheville are different from the rest of Virginians. They didn’t descend from the planter class and their families won’t be found in a list of the First Families of Virginia. Instead they are descended from the heavily Scots-Irish migrants who ended up there because they just wanted to be left the hell alone. They didn’t take kindly to being told what to do and they still don’t.

People in the mountains are a tolerant people until they are not. This is something the Virginia Democrats bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg should keep in mind. I hope and pray that they do. Because if they don’t, all hell is going to break loose. And it won’t be pretty.

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Thursday, 19 December