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Federal law enforcement opened a new ballistics lab in central Maryland this week — the sixth so far established within the state.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Baltimore to bring the new site for the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network online.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said the facility will help law enforcement track and apprehend dangerous, repeat offenders in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.
“It’s an evidence processing resource that will provide fast and accurate results in linking shooting incidents not only locally but regionally or across the country,” he said. “This NIBIN network, located at the Law Enforcement Center, will not only support law enforcement agencies in Frederick County, but will support law enforcement throughout western Maryland.”
ATF Baltimore Field Division Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada said the new facility helps realize the agency’s joint commitment to stifling gun-related crimes with state and local law enforcement.
“NIBIN is a crucial resource for law enforcement, one that grows more effective every day as more and more law enforcement agencies gain access to it,” he said. “Officers and deputies from all over western Maryland will have timely, important information about related firearm cases to expand their criminal investigations.”
Since opening the first lab in 1999, federal agents have processed more than 99,000 leads and cataloged more than 3.3 million pieces of evidence. The NIBIN network focuses solely on crime guns and fired ammunition, never storing information about individual gun owners, manufacturers or retailers.
Spent casings recovered at the shooting death of a Cincinnati soap factory worker in June 2016 helped police connect the crime to a stolen gun discovered during a traffic stop a week later. The two men apprehended that day now remain in prison on robbery and murder convictions.
In another case, investigators in Philadelphia connected a former judicial aide to four armed robberies after matching his unlicensed 9mm handgun to casings found at each of the crime scenes.
Stamping out gun-related violent crime became a top Department of Justice priority last year when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the request of President Donald Trump — ordered agencies to target the nation’s most dangerous criminals with renewed vigor.
Weapons prosecutions peaked at 11,000 in 2004 and dropped to less than 7,000 a decade later. Since 2014, however, TRAC data shows a gradual uptick in prosecutions, punctuated by a steep increase this year as the DOJ cracks down on gun-related crimes.
Through the DOJ’s crime-fighting task force, prosecutions for drug crimes, gang violence and gun violations hit historic highs, increasing 8 percent over 2016. Prosecutions for unlawful possession of a firearm — mostly by convicted felons — spiked 23 percent in the second quarter of 2017 alone.
“That sends a clear message to criminals all over this country that if you carry a gun illegally, you will be held accountable,” Sessions said last year. “I am grateful to the many federal prosecutors and agents who are working hard every day to make America safe again.”
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The Springfield Armory XD(M) OSP 9mm has all of the features that shooters have come to love and expect from an XD but with some extra special options.
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"The groups and individuals behind this scheme are not friends of private gun ownership. They want to open a new front in the attack on Second Amendment rights," he added.
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All packed up the Viper can fit in a small bag, sling, purse or even a glovebox. The Viper is interesting whether it's for fun at the range or real work.
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Hi-Lux looks to aid junior CMP/NRA High Power competitive shooters with the creation of its Junior High Power Program. The Junior High Power Program delivers a deep discount on Hi-Lux’s XTC 1-4×34 Competition Rifle Scope to junior high powers teams across the U.S. Designed specifically for CMP and NRA High Power Competitions, the Hi-Lux XTC 1-4×34 scope delivers a 34mm objective lens with front objective parallax adjustment from 15 yards to infinity. The scope offers 1/4 MOA click elevation as well as windage turrets, granting shooters fine adjustments. The XTC 1-4×34 usually retails for $475.
“As part the ongoing commitment to help the next generation of CMP/NRA High Power competitors achieve their match goals, Hi-Lux has created a discount program for junior high powers teams on the scope specifically designed for CMP and NRA High Power ‘Across the Course’ Competition,” Hi-Lux said in a news release. “The XTC 1-4×34 is the next generation of the Hi-Lux Close-to-Medium Range (CMR) tactical scope and is loaded with advanced design features that truly put it in a class all of its own.”
In addition to discounting the scope for junior competitors, Hi-Lux also intends to donate to each junior’s team for every XTC 1-4×34 Competition Rifle purchased. Interested teams and members can sign up for the Junior High Power Program via Hi-Lux’s website.
“I do believe, because in this Congress…there is bipartisan legislation to have common sense background checks to prevent guns going into the wrong hands. It doesn’t cover everything, but it will save many lives,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) last week in an interview with CNN.
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Tactical eyewear connoisseurs Revision Military creates a new outdoor brand dedicated to hunters, anglers and outdoorsy types, announcing Revision Outdoor.
Revision Outdoor brings its parent company’s style and technology to outdoor eyewear enthusiasts with three new styles — the Revision Pursuer, Revision Caller and Revision Seeker. Kicking off the new series is the Revision Pursuer created for high elevation hunts. Following the Pursuer is the Revision Caller dedicated for those on the “water’s edge.” Rounding out the series is the Revision Seeker offering an everyday approach to eyewear.
The eyewear offers four polarized lens tint options with each featuring Revision’s OcuMax AF lens coating that is anti-fog, anti-scratch and smudge resistant. The glasses also meet military ballistic impact requirements. Revision lenses partner with ultra-light frames weighing just over an ounce to bring hunters a comfortable approach to eyewear.
“As we talked to members of the hunting community we discovered a need for technical eyewear built for the modern hunter,” Jonathan Blanshay, CEO of Revision, said in a press release. “We set out to fill that need using our military experience and insight from expert hunters and anglers to build the most protective and high-performance eyewear available for use in the extreme outdoors.”
The series delivers three frame colors and three lens options in addition to offering custom prescription lenses. Retailing for $279, the Revision Pursuer, Caller and Seeker ship with a custom retention strap, eyewear pouch with microfiber cloth and protective pro bag in addition to a limited lifetime warranty.
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Pitched as a high country rifle, the new Mountain Ascent series uses a Gore Optifade SubAlpine pattern and comes in five caliber offerings.
The newest chapter in New York-based Kimber’s 84M bolt-action rifle story is a 5 to 6-pound mountain rifle with a stainless steel barrel complete with a muzzle brake. Offered in .280 Ackley Improved, .308 Win, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, and the venerable .30-06, barrel length varies from 22 to 26-inches depending on caliber.
Besides the reinforced carbon-fiber stock, the rifle keeps the ounces off through use of a spirally fluted bolt body, partially fluted barrel, and skeletonized bolt knob. The muzzle break attaches with a 7/16x28TPI thread pitch for swapping out other muzzle accessories or suppressors.
MSRP across the line is $2,082.
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If you’ve been in the firearms community for more than a few minutes, you’ve heard people argue about what caliber is best, worst or just plain silly. And that’s fine in and of itself, until it ends up distracting people from the realities of caliber selection as it applies to pistols for defensive shooting. If, to quote John Chapman, retired federal law enforcement officer and lead instructor of LMS Defense, “gun fights are won in millimeters and milliseconds” than it would seem like people’s time and energy would be better spent focusing on the perfection of their skills than making noise about which caliber is the best.
Handgun stopping power is simply a myth. There we said it and the FBI agrees. Not coincidentally, so do the laws of physics. Newton’s Third Law deals with equal and opposite reactions and applies directly to this discussion because, simply put, the amount of recoil energy you feel when firing a gun is roughly the same amount of energy the person getting shot feels when being struck by the bullet. So forget about knocking someone off their feet, they might not even know they’ve been shot or slow down unless you hit something vital.
If we really want to talk about “stopping power,” we need to look at the things that actually stop humans. And according to research done by Greg Ellifritz, a full time police officer and owner of Active Response Training, handgun calibers don’t really affect people that drastically or differently. In essence we are relying on a “physical” or “psychological” stop to end someone’s violent behavior.
Hitting someone in the central nervous system or causing enough damage to internal organs to cause them to lose consciousness though blood loss are examples of a physical stop. And all things being equal bigger bullets do make bigger holes, but the added recoil and reduced magazine capacity of large caliber handguns quickly reach a point of diminishing returns.
Larger caliber rounds also tend to move more slowly and penetrate a bit less than small faster rounds and to get that physical stop, bullets must be able to penetrate deeply enough to cause major damage.
In the report “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness,” the FBI concluded: “The critical element is penetration any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable.”
Psychological stops are a bit more uncertain and depend largely on an individuals willingness to keep fighting regardless of injury. Some people will stop or give up after being shot once, but some people won’t stop even after being hit several times. So it would be unwise to rely on the psychological effects of being shot to stop an attacker.
There are no magic bullets. If stopping power is a myth and caliber (when discussing handguns) is pretty much irrelevant, than what is important? Shot placement and training. It doesn’t matter how big the bullet is if you can’t hit anything with it. Pick a pistol that is reliable and train with it until you can get fast accurate hits. Then go train some more. It may be entertaining to argue about your favorite caliber, but at the end it really doesn’t matter. Stop talking and get to training.
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Billed by the Michigan-based company as the “most minimal, and reliable speedloader on the market,” the Ripcord is looking to give revolver owners more options.
CK Tactical went live with their Ripcord series five and six-round revolver speedloaders in September and they have been generating some buzz in the gun industry and earning newfound fans. Their signature product is designed, like other speedloaders, to hold a full load of spare rounds for a wheel gun until needed, then dump them into the cylinder.
Unlike existing Safariland and HKS loaders that use a central knob or button, the Ripcord, as its name implies, is designed to be deployed by pulling by a loading tab, leaving the cartridges behind.
At a cost of $10 for a two-pack, CKT currently offers the loader in two different models with a range of compatibility with various Chiappa, Rossi, Ruger, S&W, and Taurus revolvers.
Keep in mind that they caution both that the loader works best with jacket bullets of pointed or round nose design and requires a “5 to 10 pull” break-in period.
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A 30mm and 34mm Bubble Level Ring join Sightmark’s rifle accessories, allowing users to ensure riflescopes are mounted properly.
Sightmark’s Bubble Level Rings use an aircraft aluminum construction, allowing for a lightweight yet durable design. The Bubble Level Ring attaches to riflescopes using a single bolt attachment. This mounting style ensures an even distribution of pressure after tightening, according to Sightmark.
The Bubble Level Ring boasts an easy to see center line so shooters can easily visualize whether the bubble is centered. This high visibility eliminates an offset riflescope, which can throw shots.
“Sightmark introduces its newest products, the 30mm Bubble Level Ring (SM19044) and 34mm Bubble Level Ring (SM19045),” Sightmark said in a news release. “Bubble rings are designed to indicate whether a riflescope is mounted properly and level on the firearm.”
Both models of Bubble Level Rings are available through Sightmark, though no pricing information has been revealed as of yet.
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For a brand that has only been available in the U.S. for about four years, Canik has made quite a name for itself. Imported by the Florida-based Century Arms, Canik handguns are offered at a low price and in seven variations, including the Canik TP9DA.
Probably the most notable feature on Canik handguns are the triggers. They are some of the best out-of-the-box triggers available for polymer-framed striker-fired pistols. They have smooth take up and without the grit or sloppy feeling that people associate with other pistol brands. They break crisply and reset cleanly with a solid easy-to-feel click.
But the trigger is where the Canik TP9DA separates from the rest of the series. As implied by the name, the handgun is equipped with a Double Action/Single Action trigger. In double-action mode the initial trigger pull is longer and the pull weight is much heavier. Whereas, the single-action mode has a shorter take up and a much lighter pull weight. Traditionally, the double-action trigger has been used as a precaution against accidental discharges, but passive trigger safeties have since replaced it.
Performance is another thing that’s helping Canik’s reputation. When you combine a versatile trigger, great ergonomics and quick acquisition sights, you get a pistol that is fun to shoot and can take on just about any role you put it in. I just never get tired of shooting Canik TP9DA (or any of the Caniks for that matter).
A new Canik TP9DA comes with an impressive amount of accessories. It ships with two 18-round MecGar magazines, a polymer holster with a paddle and belt loop attachment, two interchangeable backstraps, a cleaning rod, bore brush, magazine loader and operators guide. MSRP is $399.95.
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A Wisconsin-based novelty glassware company with a gun culture tie-in is giving back to their employees this holiday season.
BenShot, which specializes in crafting glasses that look as if they have taken a slug — complete with the bullet still in the side of the glass — has presented each of their staff with the gift of a gun this year. Ben Wolfgram, who co-owns the Hortonville-based company, told WISN that to both comply with state law and allow employees to get the gun of their choice, they handed out $8,000 in gift cards.
“For him to stand for something and for the company to stand for keeping us safe is really awesome for them to do that,” said employee Chelsea Priest of Wolfgram.
The Appleton Post-Crescent reported that two employees declined the gift but are reconsidering after taking a gun safety course provided by the company to employees before getting their guns.
As a side, Wolfgram holds the gesture promotes safety and team building.
“For us, now, we have an entire armed staff,” Wolfgram said. “I think that’s pretty good.”
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Morphy Auctions considers itself a powerhouse of firearm and militaria collectibles, curating “fresh to market” consignments unseen in decades from across the globe. Naturally, Guns.com had to check it out.
Nestled in Amish country less than a half mile from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Morphy’s sprawling facility showcases an extensive catalog of rare guns and edged weapons, dating as far back as the 13th century. Its gun division doubled in size last year after merging with the legendary James D. Julia auction house in central Maine, bringing together a 10-person team of firearms experts and enthusiasts bent on unearthing some of the finest examples of antique guns available.
“We focus on fresh to market collections, which means some of these guns haven’t been seen by the public in 50 years or more,” said Sarah Stoltzfus, director of marketing. “We get a lot of consignments by word-of-mouth.”
Founder Dan Morphy, an avid mechanical and still bank collector, kickstarted operations in 1997 with just one other employee, steadily growing sales in excess of $38 million over the next two decades. Stoltzfus said the company began selling lower-end antique long guns just a decade ago, eventually building a reputation as “the best place in the world” to find early American Kentucky rifles and weapons used up through the Civil War. In recent years, the market for Class III and NFA weapons has turned red hot, she said.
Perhaps its the first thing anyone might notice upon stepping into Morphy’s showroom: rows of pristine machine guns, gathing guns and gatling guns flanked by colorful militaria garb and medieval edged weapons and armor.
“We’ve had some pretty exciting, stellar stuff,” said Craig Womeldorf, Morphy’s Chief Executive Officer. “The number of Class III, World War I and World War II items that we’ve sold since the beginning of the year is just amazing. The prices realized on all of those.”
More than half of Morhpy’s facility is dedicated to its growing firearms collection, Stoltzfus said. A “gun room” features rows upon rows of rifles stacked 12-feet high, bordered by a warehouse buzzing with photographers, researchers and handlers preparing sold weapons for shipment. Morphy’s auctions off its firearm lots four times a year — sometimes at its satellite facility in Las Vegas — attracting buyers from across the world.
One of its top grossing lots — a Colt Whitneyville-Walker Pistol — sold for $920,000 in 2008, nearly 10 times its anticipated price. The gun and its original flask belonged to Private Sam Wilson, a Texas Ranger, in 1874. Brevet Major General John Reese Kenly later obtained the gun, believed “the finest example of a Martial Walker in existence.”
“Some things do unusually well because of how rare they are,” Womeldorf said. “We love those type of items.”
Other profitable lots included a Colt Single Action Army SN 5773 — used in the Battle of Little Bighorn by one of Gen. George Custer’s men — that sold for $460,000 last year and a Colt Model 1883 U.S. Navy Gathing Gun on a tripod that fetched $230,000 in March.
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