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Visit’s Booth at SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 10:15

We’ve got our bags packed and are making the annual pilgrimage to SHOT Show. (Photo: Jacki BIllings/, the easiest site to buy and sell guns online, is excited to be headed to Las Vegas for the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show.

Representatives from will be on the floor at SHOT Show at booth #14280 ready to talk everything from gun news and culture to market trends. The new way to successfully market guns, ammo and shooting accessories online, we’ve listened to dealers and know the other guys are slow, complicated, and not there when you need them. We put dealers first, and have created the easiest online system backed by unparalleled customer service.

“SHOT Show is a great opportunity for us to meet with firearms industry professionals from around the globe,” said Greg Minkler,’s Chief Marketing Officer. “While we’ve covered the news side of it for nearly a decade, by also attending as exhibitors, we’re able to connect face-to-face with professionals we might not otherwise have reached. In the end, it’s a win-win for not only consumers with a passion for firearms and the Second Amendment but also local FFLs and manufacturers.”

Organized by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade group for the firearms industry, this month’s SHOT Show will be the 42nd consecutive once-a-year event and will see more than 60,000 gather from across the shooting, hunting, outdoors and law enforcement community. The exhibit floor at the Sands Expo Center opens each day from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

FFLs looking to reserve their time to talk to us are welcome to reach out or simply come by the booth, located on Level II.

See you in Las Vegas!

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Categories: Gun News

New Mossberg MC2c 13+1 9mm Pistols for 2020 ::

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 05:32

Mossberg is growing their handgun line with the introduction at SHOT Show of the new MC2c 13+1 9mm pistol platform.

An upgrade to the company’s MC1sc sub-compact launched in 2019, the new MC2c is still a 9mm with a slim profile but brings a double-stack magazine and slightly larger size to the game. Offered in five models that vary in finish and sight options, all come standard with a flush-fit 13-round magazine as well as an extended 15-round mag.

“Combining superior ergonomics, performance-driven features and an increased capacity with its double-stack magazines, makes the MC2c a great size for concealed carry or home protection,” says Mossberg in a press release on the new handgun line.

When it comes to specs, the MC2c features a 3.9-inch barrel with an overall length of 7.1 inches. Width is a trim 1.10-inches while height is 4.90-inches. With a 21-ounce unloaded weight, the MC2c roughly approximates the Glock G19 but comes in just slighly smaller.

The MC2c comes in several models with a choice of dovetailed night or 3-dot white sights, black or stainless slides, and with or without cross-bolt manual safeties. (Photo: Mossberg)

The newest Mossberg pistol (sounds weird doesn’t it?) is on point with the ergos, having multi-angle serrations on the slide and a reversible magazine release. For those who crave a cross-bolt safety, it is an option and is also reversible for right or left-handed shooters. There is also an oversized trigger guard with a flat-profile trigger. Like the MC1sc, the guns use Mossberg’s Safe Takedown System which allows the striker-fired pistol to be field stripped without pulling the trigger.

Other features include dovetail-mounted, low-profile white 3-dot sights that are drift adjustable, a front accessory rail and options for either a black DLC-finished or bead-blasted stainless steel slide. Likewise, there is a variant with TRUGLO Tritium Pro night sights.

MSRP on the Mossberg MC2c ranges from $490 to $595 depending on the model.


For first impressions on the new MC2c, check out the below from TFB TV and Gun Stock Reviews

To check out other interesting new guns released at SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas this month, check out our detailed and on-going coverage. 

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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer Debuts Red Dot Ready P320 RXP Series

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 04:30

The P320 RXP comes range, competition or carry ready with a Romeo1Pro optic. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Sig Sauer jumps on the red dot pistol bandwagon, unveiling a new series of P320 pistols topped with its Romeo1Pro optic.

The P320 RXP series features four models — Full Size, Compact, XFull, and XCompact —chambered in 9mm. All models come with Sig’s Romeo1Pro Optic — a 6 MOA open reflex sight. The Romeo1Pro sports 12 brightness settings and TruHold Lockless Zeroing designed to handle recoil and return to zero. Boasting a 20,000-hour battery life, the optic is IPX-7 waterproof rated and is houses in aircraft-grade aluminum to prevent corrosion.

The lineup includes four models in total. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

The P320 RXP Full Size and Compact Pistols include:

  • Suppressor heigh backup sights
  • Ambidextrous slide catch lever
  • Reversible magazine catch
  • Modular polymer grip module in small, medium and large
  • Ships with two magazines — the Full-Size comes with 17-round mags and the Compact comes with 15-round mags

The P320 XFull and XCompact RXP offer:

  • X-Ray 3 Day/Night suppressor height sights
  • XSeries grip module
  • Flat face trigger
  • Nitron XSeries Slide
  • Extended ambidextrous slide catch lever
  • Ships with two magazines — the Full-Size comes with 17-round mags and the Compact comes with 15-round mags. Consumers can also opt for 10 round mags to adhere to state restrictions

The P320 RXP series deliver a 3-point takedown which Sig calls “intuitive,” requiring no trigger pull to disassemble. The guns are also equipped with a striker safety and disconnect safety.

The pistols offer upgraded features like a flat-face trigger, improved ergonomics, and an ambi slide catch lever. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

The popularity of red dots on full size and carry guns has increased with many manufacturers now providing optics ready models for consumers. Sig Sauer says the hesitation for most gun owners in owning a red dot system is installation and proper zeroing; but the new P320 RXP eliminates this fear with its ready to go setup, according to the company.

“Sig Sauer is the only manufacturer in the firearms industry that can truly integrate a firearm and an optic into a single system right from the factory to completely eliminate the installation hesitation of the red dot,” Tom Tayler of Sig Sauer said in a news release. “With the introduction of the Sig Sauer P320 RXP series of pistols we are leading the Red Dot Revolution so end users can easily achieve greater performance and increased accuracy with one simple purchase.”

The P320 RXP series will be on display at SHOT Show in Las Vegas Jan. 21 through Jan. 24. Keep it locked to as we head to Sin City and bring you more news and coverage from Sig Sauer’s booth.


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Categories: Gun News

First Look: Three New Hunting Rifles on Our Wish List

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 04:00

The banner headlines that always accompany SHOT Show in glamorous Las Vegas, NV have not even hit, yet we’re in the know about several sweet new firearms for 2020. For hunters stashing their Christmas money for the new year’s latest and greatest, here are three serious rifles for the new decade.

Henry Side Gate 45-70

Henry debuts its H024 Side Gate with a tubular, side loading gate.  (Photo: Henry)


Henry’s introduction of the H024 Side Gate rifles marked the greatest innovation in lever-action rifles for ages. Not only does the company maintain its tubular loading gate but also engineered the design to include a much-anticipated side loading gate. Shooters can now load the magazine tube via either option, trumping other lever gun companies loaded solely through the receiver port.

It’s especially helpful–and safer–to unload via the tube without having to cycle live rounds one-by-one through the action. Likewise, topping off a few rounds can be done much more quickly through the side gate. The new design also puts Henry rifles into legit cowboy shooting competition where speed reloads are key.

While the three original calibers — .30-30 Win, .38-55 and .35 Rem — hit home for many nostalgic shooters, many folks clamored for the hard-hitting .45-70, and Henry answered with guns that are beginning to ship in early 2020. If the .45-70 Side Gate announcement isn’t enough, Henry also concurrently debuted the first dual-loading gate shotgun with a .410 bore. All the Side Gate Henry rifles are currently built on the company’s recognizable hardened brass frames with fancy checkered American Walnut stocks. The initial MSRP is set at $1,077.

Browning X-Bolt Hunter Long Range

The X-Bolt Hunter Long Range delivers a classically styled rifle to hunters. (Photo: Browning)


There are several new additions to Browning’s long-range rifle lineup, but the most interesting to us is the Black Walnut-stocked X-Bolt Hunter Long Range. While more and more companies seem to head the way of synthetic furniture for practical and cost-saving purposes, the romance and feel of hardwood just cannot be replaced for hunting purists. To that end, Browning seems to have hit a winner by offering the hardwood hunter but with modern features like the adjustable cheekpiece buttstock.

There’s also a detachable rotary magazine, adjustable trigger, short-throw bolt and threaded barrel topped with a muzzle brake. The heavy sporter weight barrels range from 22- to 26-inches, depending on caliber. The rifle weights, dependent upon caliber, hover both right above and below the 8-pound mark. The Browning X-Bolt Hunter Long Range is sure to attract fans of more classically styled rifles who still desire those longer-range hunting features and pinpoint accuracy.

Chamberings tailored to big game hunting include: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, .270 Win, .30-06 Spfld, 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag. Initial MSRP range from $1,299.99 to $1,329.99.

Savage 110 Ultralight

Savage partners with Proof Research to bring the new Ultralight 110 to life. (Photo: Savage)


As Savage debuted what seemed like dozens of 110 bolt-action rifle models over the last few years there was one thing seemingly missing – a true ultralight model for serious backcountry hunters. At the dawning of a new decade, the company delivers in a big way with the 110 Ultralight. Savage has teamed up with Proof Research to create a carbon fiber wrapped stainless-steel barrel and Melonite skeletonized receiver all intended to greatly shave weight from the platform. The new Savage Ultralight rifles weighs in at a scant 5.8 to 5.85-pounds, making them a dream to carry at elevation on mountain hunts or through rugged backcountry terrain where every pound counts.

The new 110 Ultralight maintains the incredibly popular AccuFit adjustable stock system and user-adjustable AccuTrigger. There’s also a spiral fluted bolt and 5/8-24 threaded muzzle with a flush fit end cap. The detachable box magazine will hold either two or four rounds, depending on caliber. Chamberings include: .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .280 Ackley, .270 Win, .30-06 Spfld, .300 WSM, 6.5 PRC and 28 Nosler. MSRP at the time of launch, regardless of caliber, will be $1,499.


Whether you dig lever actions or bolts, long-range flat calibers or heavy knockdown power, three of 2020’s hottest new additions are sure to please. It’s all about modern innovation on existing platforms and we’re loving it.

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Categories: Gun News

Dirty Harry & Mack Bolan’s Big Thunder: The Auto Mag Pistol in .44 AMP

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 03:55

The “aristocrat of big-bore semi-auto pistols,” the .44 Auto Mag was ahead of its time, and squarely behind the 8-ball when it came to luck.

Designed by unsung firearms genius Harry Sanford, the .44 AMP cartridge was born in the late 1950s. Devised with hunting in mind, the round has almost the exact performance envelope of a .44 Rem Magnum except that the Auto Mag is rimless so that it could be fed and extracted through a very specially designed semi-auto pistol.

Speaking of which, Sanford and Max Gera worked on the semi-auto pistol built around the cartridge for a decade, and the forward-thinking gun was perfected enough by 1969 to move into low-rate production.

The gun was a large-framed semi-auto that operated on a long-bolt short recoil system. To keep the beast of a round safely locked down, it used an eight-lug rotating bolt that resembles the kind found on M16/AR15 rifles. A single-stack detachable magazine about the size of a pack of cigarettes gave the pistol a 7+1 capability.

The grip and ergonomics were based on the High Standard HD target pistol while the takedown method and control surfaces were similar to those of the Walther P38.

Over-engineered and complex, the Auto Mag required methodical attention to detail and craftsmanship at all stages of the manufacturing process. Extensive use of machining and stainless steel created a solid gun that tipped the scales at almost four pounds.

The Auto Mag’s 6.5-inch barrel gave it a length from muzzle crown to hammer spur of just a tad under one-foot. This had the effect of making it about the same size as the six-shot S&W Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver while offering better handling, a longer sight radius, two extra shots with a quicker reload if needed and improved recoil.

One of the original rare Auto Mag pistols produced in Pasadena, California in the early 1970s, this amazing example of the .44AMP-chambered hand cannon up for grabs in the Vault is about as good as they come.

Its serial number, A01194, puts it in the early range of guns produced by the original manufacturer of the coveted classic made famous by Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry in the 1983 film Sudden Impact.

Hand-made at considerable cost using milled Carpenter 455 stainless steel stock, these massive guns were over-engineered to accommodate the rarely-seen .44 Auto Mag Pistol cartridge.

This model, complete with a 6.5-inch vented rib barrel is complete with the factory box, manual and paperwork.


However, all the craftsmanship needed to pull off the Auto Mag made the pistol a losing proposition when it came to producing them at a price the market would support. Based in Pasadena, Sandford’s original Auto Mag Corporation was only in business for about two years before bankruptcy shut the line down.

While Sanford eventually went on to start Arcadia Machine & Tool (AMT) and for years sold a line of handguns billed as Auto-Mags, these were not the same hogleg of yore.

For much of the past decade, a rebooted Auto Mag company has been trying to reboot the design with little market success.

Nonetheless, the Auto Mag grew into one of the most popular of unobtainable guns in history. Clint Eastwood slung the big .44AMP in one of the Dirty Harry films as did Burt Reynolds while fictional problem solver Mack Boland trusted the gun he dubbed “Big Thunder” in hundreds of pulp fiction novels. This ensured the platform has never fallen out of favor whenever people of the gun gather to talk hand cannons.

Today the .44 Auto Mag concept has largely been eclipsed by such production rounds as the 10mm and .38 Super which provide similar firepower in semi-autos as well as the Desert Eagle which loads actual 44 Magnums (with rims).

Still, there is just something old school cool about an Auto-Mag, tactical turtleneck and sneer not included.

If you like interesting and often rare guns like the Auto Mag, be sure to check out our Collector’s Corner or look through our entire catalog of more than 3,000 new and used guns of all sorts.


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Categories: Gun News

Hand Cannon: The Massive Wildey Gas-Operated Pistol

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 03:10

Firearms designer Wildey J. Moore chased a dream to perfect the world’s first gas-operated semi-automatic pistol.

Moore, a prolific inventor with dozens of patents, first cooked up the idea of the beefy handgun that went on to carry his name while working for Swedish military contractor Carl Gustav in the early 1970s. While the Swedes took a pass on the idea, Moore would patent his concept in 1976.

Boom. The Wildey used a barrel extension with an adjustable gas regulator and piston as well as two recoil springs and a rotary bolt to operate.

The pistol bled off powder gases from the barrel via a series of ports, which drove an operating piston to cycle the slide. If you tuned the gas regulator all the way closed, the Wildey would revert to being a manually-operated pistol that the user had to rack manually. The benefit of the design was that the action helped tame the recoil of the .45 Win Mag to reportedly less than that of a .357 Magnum-chambered revolver.

With prototype piston guns in hand, Moore, who went on to work for Winchester at the same time the powerful .45 Win Mag and 9mm Win Mag handgun rounds debuted, struggled through the early 1980s to get his gun to the market.

Finally, under the banner of the Wildey Firearms Company of Cheshire, Connecticut, Moore promised the new gas-operated pistol, chambered for Winchester’s magnum rimless cartridges, in 1980 for $389, which adjusts to about $1,200 today. However, one thing led to another and the price of the production Wildey pistol in 1984, once it actually neared the market, was closer to $1,200 in Reagan -era dollars, or about $3K today.

Needless to say, the gun, pitched for use in IHMSA silhouette shooting and as a tool for serious big game handgun hunters, was not wildly popular (see what we did there?).

Then, a Hollywood miracle happened.

In November 1985, the Wildey was featured in the Charles Bronson retribution film Death Wish 3. A Cannon Film production that was pretty over the top even for its day, the big .45 Win Mag stole the show. The theatrical trailer for the action flick even showed a detail of adjusting the gas regulator on-screen.

The film, in an era long before social media influencers, sparked a serious interest in the gun outside of the small pool of long-range silhouette shooters and the Wildey surged in popularity.

For the next 25 years, the company continued under Moore, morphing through a series of minor name changes, and produced the now-iconic blaster in a host of Wildey Magnum calibers (.41WM, .44WM, 45WM and .475WM) in addition to 9mm Win Mag, .44 Auto Mag and .45 Win Mag. Likewise, the barrel lengths ranged from super shorty 5-inch models to as long as 18-inches.

Celebrating the world’s first production gas-operated pistol, to a 1976 patent by firearms designer Wildey J. Moore, this rare presentation grade Wildey Auto Pistol is chambered in .45 Winchester Magnum.


A favorite with IHMSA competitors, serious big-game hunters, and Charles Bronson fans, this pristine factory engraved example is one of fewer than 2,500 guns made by Wildey Firearms in Cheshire, Connecticut and carries the serial number 45-794.

The gun has a rarely-seen 5-inch barrel, which was only offered on .45 Win Mag models and comes complete with a fitted wood presentation box with velvet lining and tools as well as a factory test card that dates to 2005. It includes an extra magazine.

However, the complexity of the giant gas gun meant that it was never produced in great quantities, with less than a few thousand ever made. The likelihood of a Wildey owner running into another such member of the same tribe in the wild is rare.

Finally, in 2011, USA Firearms in Winsted, Connecticut purchased Wildey and still produce the Wildey Survivor pistol today in .475 WM and .45 Win Mag in 8-, 10-, and 12- barrels.

Still, if you are looking for a handgun that out Deagled the Desert Eagle, it is hard to go wrong with a Wildey of any breed.


If you like interesting and often rare guns like the Wildey, be sure to check out our Collector’s Corner or look through our entire catalog of more than 3,000 new and used guns of all sorts.


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Categories: Gun News

LimCat Razorcat: Built for Open Class Competition

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:00

Skulking about the Vault, I happened upon a unique gun chambered in a unique round – the Limcat RazorCat. Shipping in .38 Super Comp, the Limcat brings an open class gun to those interested in hopping into USPSA style shooting.

Limcat comes courtesy of Johnny Limcat and his two sons who handcraft each and every gun. Parts are custom fitted to perfection with the RazorCat model no exception. Introduced a few years ago, the RazorCat model by Limcat offers an open class gun for competitive shooters stocked with upgrades.



The pistol comes chambered in .38 Super Comp – a popular round in competitive circles for its ability to accept a variety of powders for reloading. The model I tested was an older version of the RazorCat, and I could see that it hadn’t undergone heavy use.

The pistol sports SV Infinity Signature Series grips, a tactical micro pocket texture with reversible magazine button, Phoenix Trinity frame and a short and narrow dust cover. The pistol also opts for a sight mount, though it was bulky and a little odd. It does, however, get the job done and compliments the gun’s aesthetics. Included in the box, the Limcat RazorCat came with five STI Gen 1 magazines with Taran Tactical Innovation baseplates and a Limcat Stealth holster to get you on the range as soon as possible.

Range Time

Speaking of heading to the range, I took the RazorCat out for a test run finding it to be a bit “punchy” in its shooting. In my experience on the competitive circuit, some open class guns feel more violent in their recoil and handling but that’s not the case with the RazorCat. This pistol offers a flatter shooting feel, keeping the dot on target. Its heftier weight also helps when transitioning from target to target. Trigger pull comes in at around 1.5-pounds.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the Limcat RazorCat proves addictive to shoot! If you’ve been on the hunt for a used open gun, the RazorCat offers a full setup to get you out on the range for some USPSA fun. Priced around $4,000, the RazorCat is on the pricey side but it’s worth it for peace of mind.

Check out the LimCat and other great competition guns at


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Categories: Gun News

Springfield Armory Announces New Ronin, XD-M Elite Pistol Series

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 06:16

Illinois-based Springfield Armory this week announced a host of new pistols for 2020 including the Ronin M1911 and the XD-M Elite line.

The XD-M Elite series, a group of four new striker-fired pistols, takes the long-running XD line to a new level. Each comes standard with the company’s new Match Enhanced Trigger Assembly (META), a flat face trigger that SA contends “delivers the finest trigger pull available on a production polymer-framed pistol.”

Other features across the 9mm XD-M Elite offerings are match grade barrels as well as enhanced ergonomics such as an ambidextrous slide stop and redesigned slide serrations.

The variants include an Elite Precision, Elite Tactical, Elite 4.5, and Elite 3.8. The first two models have 22-round magazines and a removable extended and flared magwell while the latter two use a slightly shorter magwell for 20-round mags. (Photos: Springfield Armory)

The XD-M Elite Precision sports a 5.25-inch hammer-forged barrel and extended slide with an adjustable target rear/fiber optic front sight system. The overall length is 8.3-inches while weight is 30-ounces. MSRP is $653.

The XD-M Elite Tactical OSP, with a Desert FDE finish, uses a hammer-forged 5.34-inch threaded barrel with thread protector, a red-dot cut slide, and suppressor-height iron sights. The overall length is 8.6-inches while weight is 30-ounces, MSRP is $709.

The XD-M Elite 4.5, as the name would imply, has a standard-length slide and 4.5-inch hammer-forged barrel. Both this model and the smaller Elite 3.8 have Tactical Rack U-Dot rear sights combined with fiber optic fronts. The overall length is 7.6-inches while weight is 29-ounces. MSRP is $559

The XD-M Elite 3.8 has a top half that includes a shortened 3.8- hammer-forged barrel and matching compact, aimed at being a more carry-ready pistol. The overall length is 6.75-inches while weight is 28-ounces. MSRP is $559.

All four variants ship with two magazines.


Ronin Operator

The Ronin Operator, in both .45ACP and 9mm, is a new two-tone M1911A1 from Springfield that includes a 5-inch match-grade stainless barrel with a fully supported ramp. (Photo: Springfield Armory)

Springfield Armory’s new Ronin Operator, a full-sized M1911A1, will be available in 9mm and .45 ACP variants. The two-toned pistol has a stainless steel forged frame and a forged slide of carbon steel with hot salt bluing. The company stresses their forged frames are much better than cast framed M1911s.

While the gun evokes memories of custom M1911 rigs of the 1980s, SA says it blends old school looks with modern manufacturing to produce something different from the rest of the pack.

“Everything you would want on a modern 1911 is present on the Ronin Operator,” says Springfield Armory in the press release for the Ronin Operator. “From its beavertail grip safety with memory bump for solid engagement to its fiber-optic front/tactical rack white-dot rear sight system to its extended safety lever, this is a pistol designed to deliver performance.”

Forged stainless frame and hot blued slide with lots of modern features= SA Ronin Operator.

Other features on the newest M1911 headed to SHOT Show this month are laminate wood grips, a stainless steel checkered flat mainspring housing, SA’s 2nd Gen Speed Trigger, and forward slide serrations. The pistol ships with a single basepad-equipped magazine with an 8+1 capacity for .45ACP models and 9+1 for 9mm.

MSRP on the Ronin Operator is $849.


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Categories: Gun News

Riton Mod 7 Brings Long Range Features to Hunters

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 04:00

The Riton Mod 7 offers some updated features to the previous series. (Photo: Jeff Wood)

My first encounter with Riton Optics came a year or so ago when I put the RT-S MOD 5 6-24X50 scope on one of a Tikka rifle. I wasn’t sure what to expect as Riton was relatively new to me, but in a short time, the scope’s performance earned my praise. That same scope has been hauled all over the Rocky Mountains atop my rifle. It’s suffered tumbles, snow, rain and has even been used as a crutch but it still maintains a perfect zero. It’s no stranger to distance work, taking five mule deer and two cow elk from 200  to 1,100- yards the past two seasons.

My positive experience with the Mod 5 left me wanting to try my hand at its sibling, the Mod 7, to see how it stacked up. At a slightly higher price, the RT-S Mod 7 4-32X56, looked like a promising addition to my hunting arsenal; but can it compete with the more affordable Mod 5?



The Mod 7 is a step up in both price and performance from the Mod 5, at more than twice the price, the Mod 7 delivers quite a few more features to the optics aficionado.

Both scopes are front focal plane, which means the reticle is magnified with the power adjustment. This feature allows shooters to use the reticle for accurate holdovers and corrections regardless of the magnification setting. The 8X zoom of the Mod 7 grants a substantial power range from 4X up to 32X; but, like many scopes, I found the very top end of the magnification to be too dark and aberrated for field use. For shooting paper targets up close though, it did just fine.

(Photo: Jeff Wood)

The PSR reticle featured in the Mod 7 was also a significant step up from the Mod 5 and a bit busier than some. It is a “Christmas Tree” style reticle, with a broadening grid of wind and drop values. Subtensions are clearly marked on the evens so you can keep track of your hold. Additionally, the marks are thin so as not to bother the view of potential targets. A hollow center and .2 MRAD hash marks come in handy when doing long-range work while illumination rheostat allows shooters to adjust reticle illumination to fit their surroundings. Speaking of MRAD, the Mod 5 only comes in the MOA option, so it’s to the Mod 7’s benefit to deliver more options to consumers.

The Mod 7 features a 34mm tube and, this again, is a boost in design over the Mod 5’s 30mm tube. The bigger tube allows for more internal travel, giving the Mod 7 a total of 30 MRAD of elevation adjustment. That’s more than enough for your average long-range shooter.

Another feature I appreciated on the Mod 7 was the integrated throw lever on the magnification ring. This “cattail” gives shooters more purchase when trying to adjust the power ring. It’s not a big deal, but definitely a  nice touch.

The Mod 7 opts for a zero stop in the elevation turret, another feature missing on the Mod 5. This is handy as you can return your elevation turret to zero without looking at it. This saves shooters from missing shots due to a rotation or more off.

While Riton packs its scopes with loads of great features, it’s not quite perfect. Namely, the scope, like its Mod 5 sibling, doesn’t offer graduation marks on the turret housing. This prevents shooters from being able to see which rotation they are on. With the Mod 7, there are only two turns so it’s less problematic; but with the Mod 5 providing more turns it makes it harder to keep track of.

On the Range

The author after using the Riton on a hunt. (Photo: Jeff Wood)

I mounted the Mod 7 on my Desert Tech SRS A2 rifle, which seemed like a good fit for the scope. With the new hunting weight 6.5 Creedmoor barrel in the rifle, I figured it would make a good companion for this year’s elk hunts.

Before heading into the field, I took the rifle to the range to grab a solid zero and familiarize myself with the Mod 7’s functions. My first impression was that eye relief seemed just a bit touchy. Not so much as to be a problem, just more so than I was used to. I quickly zeroed the rifle and adjusted the zero stop, per the instructions — easy enough and functional. I then took the rifle up into the mountains to do testing at further ranges. I was happy with the optical clarity of the Mod 7, even when looking at animals and trees at a mile or more away. It was a very clean and bright image. The glass clarity of the Mod 7 is a great improvement over the Mod 5, as it should be at this price point.

As I mentioned earlier, the quality does degrade some at the very upper end of the scope’s magnification. This is a phenomenon I have noticed on almost all riflescopes, but it is significantly less of an issue as the price tag goes up. On the Mod 7, it didn’t bother me much since I rarely use a scope at its maximum power setting.

The turrets on the Mod 5 have a push-pull locking system, whereas the Mod 7 does not. Honestly, I am torn a bit as to which I prefer. Sometimes I like having my turrets locked to avoid involuntary elevation changes and other times I like the freedom of turning the turret without having to unlock it. For hunting, the locking system seems to work best; but for range or competition use, I would forgo it. As it turned out, I really enjoyed the throw lever on the magnification ring. To be honest, I couldn’t describe the tension on the magnification ring, because with the throw lever it doesn’t even register.

It didn’t take long for me to gain proficiency with the Riton Mod 7, so when the time came to put this rifle into action, I was quite comfortable. The late-season elk hunt had arrived, and I took my Riton topped SRS up into the snow-covered mountains. The first shot I took was 475-yards away from a young cow.

I dialed the 2.0 MIL on the Mod 7’s elevation turret and pressed the trigger. The cold and clean mountain air was visibly disturbed by my shot. I watched the trace cut through the bright image before me as I followed the shot in. I watched the cow drop, kick and slide down the snowy slope.


The Riton makes for a solid choice for hunters. (Photo: Jeff Wood)


The Riton Mod 7 turned out to be a strong, clear, accurate and repeatable riflescope and I look forward to using it more in the future. Both the Mod 5 and Mod 7 give a good performance for their price point and one could argue they punch above their weight. Either one would be a good choice depending on your needs and application.

The RT-S Mod 5 Gen 2 6-24X50 is priced at $569.99 while the RT-S Mod 7 4-32X56 comes in at $1,469.99.

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Categories: Gun News

Laugo Alien Competition Pistol Headed to US

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 03:31

Czech gun company Laugo Arms has announced they will have their flagship Alien competition pistol in the U.S. in 2020.

The innovative-looking handgun, with a mug much like the Xenomorph extraterrestrial in Ridley Scott’s Alien series, has been popping up on social media for the past couple of years. The Prague-based company announced its first run of 500 production guns at the 2019 IWA Outdoor Classics trade show in Nuremberg, Germany and just let the cat out of the bag they will be at SHOT Show this month with a big announcement.

The Laugo Alien has an unmistakable profile along with a super-low bore axis and at least one of these traits is sure to make it popular with some shooters. (Photo: Laugo Arms)

The 9mm semi-auto has what is billed as the lowest bore axis available on a handgun, with the positioning of its fixed barrel some 1.7mm below the line of the grip axis. With an overall length of 8.2-inches, the Alien yields a 7.3-inch sight radius and 4.8-inch barrel length. With a standard 17+1 round capacity, the gun weighs in at 39.6-ounces with an empty magazine.

(Photo: Laugo Arms)

In March 2019, the International Practical Shooting Confederation entered the gun on their list of approved models in Production Divison events, proving it is not just a vaporware passion project from Central Europe.

Either way, we’ll bring you what we find out from SHOT Show, so watch this space.

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Categories: Gun News

USSOCOM Takes Delivery of new Sig Sauer MG 338 Machine Gun

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 02:29

Sig Sauer announced this week that the U.S. Special Operation Command has certified and taken delivery of the company’s new MG 338 machine gun system.

Chambered in .338 Norma Magnum, the MG 338 is billed on being able to deliver effective fire at ranges out to 2,000 meters, closing the gap between 7.62 NATO weapons like the M240 and .50 cal BMG platforms such as the M2 heavy machine gun. Weighing only 20-pounds, the MG 338 uses Sig-produced ammunition as well as the company’s suppressor design to create an all-Sig product.

“The safety certification of the complete Sig Sauer MG 338 system and delivery of the system to USSOCOM is historically very significant,” said Ron Cohen, the New Hampshire-based company’s President and CEO, in a statement. “For the first time in decades, the U.S. Military certified a new machine gun, ammunition, and suppressor at the same time, bringing innovation, portability, and increased lethality to our ground forces, with all components coming from one company.”

A suppressed 20-pound .338 Norma Magnum belt-fed Sig Sauer machine gun? OK! (Photo: Sig Sauer)

The MG 338 uses a short-stroke gas piston system blended with what Sig describes as a “proprietary recoil mitigation system.” Using a free-floating, quick-change barrel, the svelte machine gun has ambidextrous controls, a switchable feed tray, and a charging handle that can be swapped to either side.

Note the folding buttstock, as well as Sig’s optics and suppressor (Photo: Sig)

Should users prefer to run good old 7.62 NATO for whatever reason, the new Sig belt-fed is easily swappable to that caliber.

The gun is the answer to a 2017 solicitation by USSOCOM for 5,000 Lightweight Medium Machineguns chambered in .338NM. The 300-grain belted magnum round is touted as having a recoil similar to a 7.62mm NATO round while still being lethal out past 1,700 meters. At 1,000 meters, the round is still capable of defeating Level III body armor and penetrating soft-skinned vehicles, thus considered a bridge between the current 7.62mm offerings and .50 BMG.

Sig Sauer has exhibited what they billed at the time as the SLMAG machine gun at several trade shows in the past year. (Photo: Chris Eger/

The LWMMG specs in 2017 included that it should be belt-fed, use .338 NM, weigh less than 24-pounds unloaded with a 24-inch barrel and have a 500-600 round per minute rate of fire. The system, capable of using the standard mounts and M192 tripods designed for the M240 series general-purpose machine gun, would include both a suppressed and unsuppressed barrel, capable of rapid changes between the two, as well as all accessories.

The expansion into the .338NM caliber came at the same time that the country’s special operations command began a search for a convertible Advanced Sniper Rifle system adaptable to fire the 7.62mm NATO, .300NM, and .338NM cartridges. Notably, Tennessee-based Barrett last year got the nod for a version of their MRAD rifle as the new ASR, to be designated the Mk21 in U.S. military service.

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Categories: Gun News

Gun Review: Going 2,200 Rounds with the New Glock G44 in 22LR

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 05:07

The Glock G44 is a lightweight but reliable .22LR that does not scoff at bulk pack ammo, all while proving a dress rehearsal for a G19. (All Photos: Chris Eger/

Pitched by Glock as a pistol designed for “new shooters, sport shooters and everyone in between,” the G44 has a lot going for it.

Debuted last month after a cryptic build-up, the G44 features an innovative hybrid steel-polymer slide and the ability to adapt to any user’s hands via backstraps supplied with the pistol. Glock’s first rimfire handgun, it is designed to emulate the crowd-pleasing G19, using a 4.02-inch barrel which produces an overall length of 7.28-inches– the same as the popular 9mm mid-size. Likewise, they have the same 5.04-inch height, a factor which means most G19 holsters will work for the G44, should you want to carry the 22LR on the trail or around the ponderosa.

The G44 and the G19 are doppelgangers in profile, although not in weight, magazine capacity or caliber.

Where it departs the G19, which has a 15+1 capacity and 30-ounce weight, is that the G44 runs a smaller 10-shot rimfire magazine and only weighs about half as much.

Why a 10-round mag when other companies have 22LR plinkers with up to a 33-round capacity?

Glock explained that, if they had their name on a rimfire, they wanted it to be as reliable as possible. To some extent, this resulted in a 10-shot mag that is crafted where it is almost impossible for a cartridge to not feed correctly.

The single-stack 10-shot G44 factory magazine is distinctive, with a waffle back and easy to load hold down on the left-hand side of the mag body. It stacks the rounds properly and is comparable in capacity to the 10-round mags seen on the Ruger Mark IV series, Browning Buckmark and the S&W SW22 Victory.

The break down on the G44 is much like any other Glock, although the hybrid polymer/steel slide and diminutive barrel– which has a fluted chamber– are a departure from the rest of the family tree.

Manipulation and takedown on the G44 are the same as the G19 or any Glock for that matter.

The sights on the G44 have the traditional polymer front post and U-notch rear, although the rear sight is slightly different from standard Glock factory sights due to the need to attach it to the rimfire pistol’s hybrid slide. Nonetheless, Glock says both the rear and front are compatible with standard sights.

The G44 has much the same features as a Glock Gen5 pistol including a beveled mag well and groove-less grip. Unlike every other Glock, it is a basic blowback action. Unlike many of the competitors’ pistols, it does not have a fixed barrel.

Unlike several manufacturers who license their name to German pistol maker Umarex to produce their scaled-down 22LR handguns, the G44 is made in the U.S. by Glock, as noted by the numerous Georgia proof marks on its frame, slide, and barrel.

The G44 ships in a regular Glock box with a stack of backstraps and two magazines.

And, of course, the G44 in 22LR should not be confused with the G22 in .40S&W. Just saying.

Does it work?

The fundamental problem is that 22LR is a funky cartridge. First marketed in 1884 as a black powder round, the little lead-nosed pipsqueak was intended for use in rifles and revolvers, with its rimmed case proving notoriously difficult for pistols to cycle. Compounding this, there is a myriad of loads in circulation, all with slightly different specs and performance. When you magnify those problems with the fact that the rounds are often produced by the millions as economically as possible, especially in the case of bulk-pack budget ammo, and you get a cartridge that tends to be finicky in a lot of semi-auto handguns.

To get it right, Glock spent nearly three years testing and developing the G44– which is why models like the G45, G46, G47, and G48 passed it up in reaching the market while the rimfire chewer was still in R&D. During that time, they used no less than 141 different rimfire loads in testing, popping over 1.2 million rounds in the process. Federal, which supported the effort, used everything in test guns from 42-grain subsonic to CCI Stingers with no problem. In short, while many 22LR pistols come with the caveat that they are picky about their diet, the Glock is billed as being omnivorous.

For reference, when was at the unveiling event for the G44 last month, we were on hand to see a collection of 10 production model G44s cycle more than 12,000 rounds of CCI Blazer bricks in two hours with no jams. No jams.


Going the distance

On our test gun, we ran 2,200 rounds of ammo from across the rimfire world. This included Winchester’s new Wildcat bulk, CCI AR Tactical, Blazer bulk, Remington Golden Bullet, Aquila Standard Super Extra (both lead and copper-plated), a couple of very old yellow boxes of CCI Mini Mags, Remington Thunderbolt bulk and 60-grain Aquila Sniper Subsonic. We even dug up an old pack of 31-grain pest control shotshells.

That’s a lot of lead, gratefully 22LR prices have come down since 2013, with prices as low as $1.99 for 50 rounds.

Across 2,200 rounds of rimfire smoking and plinking dreams, based on experience with other semi-auto pistols, you could expect a jam-up or failure about every other magazine or so.

In our test with the Glock, we had three failures: two failures to eject with Aquila Standard lead Super Extra (in the same mag!) and one Remington Golden Bullet that failed to fire, although it had a strong strike mark on the rim. The gun was cleaned at the halfway mark to bust out the heavy crud of lead and powder residue.

The G44 was super reliable in testing, seeing two failures to eject and one failure to fire, all with ammo that ran on the cheap side. In short, it goes bang when you want it to and with little frustration.

Gotta love that 22LR staining.

Accuracy and handling

With the same trigger pull of the G19 and a workable sight radius, the G44 is easy to shoot. Steady, even at a one-pound weight, it has almost no recoil, is very consistent, and hangs on target.

Although no Volquartsen match pistol, the handgun still performed well when it came to punching paper. The new Glock rimfire consistently ate the center out of a target at 25 yards much akin to carnival gallery shooting. It should be noted the G44 uses Glock’s new and very accurate Marksman barrel, the same as the rest of the Gen5 models.

That target looks tiny at 25 yards, but even with semi rapid-fire and alternating left and right-hand only shots, center mass hits were not a challenge. At the Glock unveiling event in December, there were steel targets set out to 108 yards and contact was being made.

When slowing it down, we tried several unsupported strings at 25 yards and ran about 2-ish inches on average. Keep in mind that none of the ammo we used could be considered match-quality.

If you ran the G44 from a bench and used some nice Eley Match Slow Pistol or something, I would imagine you could probably dial it in closer than that.


Besides just being a fun gun to shoot– which is crucial to introducing new and budding shooters to the sport– the G44 is an obvious understudy for those who could transition to a more carry-sized G19. Further, those who already have a G19 or similar could benefit from the low-cost live-fire training on the G44, with bulk .22LR running only about a quarter the price of even cheap 9mm ammo.

For those who want a rimfire pistol for use in pest control, or to carry around the campsite or hunting for sheds in the Spring when the nope ropes are active, the fact that the G44 fits standard G19 holsters, and even has an accessory rail, makes it an easy choice. In a pinch and with the right ammo, it could even be used as a defensive handgun, especially for someone shy to recoil.

The G44 uses regular G19 holsters and carries the same accessory rail.

On the downside, if you want to run a can on the G44 and enjoy some quiet time, then you must buy a threaded barrel separately and it uses European metric threads with a 1x28TPI adapter even if you do spring for the extra pipe. Further, magazine capacity is not as high as, say the Taurus TX22 (16+1) or Kel-Tec CP33 (33+1), but neither of those are Glocks.

MSRP on the Glock G44 is $430— a price that will likely be lower at retailers– and will be available after Jan. 20. By comparison, aftermarket sub-caliber kits to convert a standard Glock to fire .22LR start at about $300. With that being said, the top half of the G44 cannot simply be added to a G19 frame due to the guns having different internals, so don’t get your hopes up on that happening.

In the end, if you are looking for a reliable .22LR semi-auto pistol that mimics just about everything about the Glock G19, the G44 is the way.

The G44 in .22LR.


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Categories: Gun News

New Hunting Shotguns Already on Our 2020 Wish List

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 04:30

Though we haven’t even hit the booths of SHOT Show yet — the firearm industry’s major trade show — there are plenty of announcements rolling in ahead of the Jan. 21 through Jan. 24 show. As always, there are plenty of hunting inspired guns to get pumped about, so with that in mind, here are three scatterguns we’re excited to hunt within the new decade.

Savage Renegauge


Savage dives headlong into the scattergun waters with not one but six models of semi-automatic shotguns. Not since the company produced a brief run of Auto-5 spin-offs has Savage built semi-auto scatterguns in-house. That might just be one of the most interesting aspects of the Renegauge—it’s one of the few truly American-made hunting semi-automatic shotguns.

The Renegauge’s self-regulating dual valve gas system allows the gun to cycle both light and heavy loads, from the lightest target loads up to the magnum threes, limited only by the three-inch chamber. A one-piece bolt carrier assembly includes the bolt, pusher sleeve and carrier. Drawing from the incredibly successful AccuFit stock systems on 110 rifles, Savage modifies the design to include three interchangeable gel-feel recoil pads for customizing both LOP and comb height.

The initial launch is all 12-gauge synthetic with a pair of Field models in black synthetic, featuring either 26- or 28-inch barrels. The rest of the lineup comes covered in some variation of Mossy Oak camouflage. There’s a pair of Turkey takers, both with 24-inch barrels, one Bottomland and the other Obsession. Lastly, the pair of Waterfowl variants, both dressed in Shadow Grass Blades, come with either 26- or 28-inch barrels.

Regardless of appearance, each comes with three Beretta/Benelli-style choke tubes and will initially retail from $1,449 to $1,549.

Remington VersaMax Sportsman

The Remington VersaMax Sportsman is an anticipated release. (Photo: Remington)


Remington’s VersaMax line of semi-automatic shotguns has been busting clays and birds since its introduction 10 years ago in 2010. Flash forward to 2020 and now big green is offering more options in their more affordable Sportsman version of the VersaMax.

The Sportsman still retains the same self-regulating VersaPort gas port system, which allows it to cycle everything from the lightest 2-3/4-inch loads on up to the heaviest 3-1/2-inch magnum shells. Some sacrifices were made with the newer VersaMax Sportsman, namely fewer chokes, no overmolded grips and also the lack of the nickel Teflon coating on inner workings. In addition to earlier offerings in black synthetic, Remington will now be offering additional camouflaged iterations for 2020, which include 26-inch barreled hunters in both Mossy Oak Bottomland and Realtree Edge.

Like all Versa Max’s before, the new Sportsmans are made in the USA. MSRP on the full Versa Max Sportsman line runs from $1,042 to $1,246 depending on finish.

CZ All-Terrain


CZ’s new All-Terrain shotgun announcement is one of the most inclusive of the year with Over/Unders, Side by Sides, and semi-autos debuting in 2020. Each offers features that practical hunters will appreciate. The OD Green Cerakoted receivers and barrels are mated with upgraded Walnut stocks for a unique and workmanlike appearance.

The most innovative feature on the All-Terrain is the inclusion of a set of rare earth magnets installed in the gun’s extractors or ejectors. The company says that these magnets help retain shells even when the gun is upside down. “This makes loading them easy in a pit blind or boat, and never will a dog-handler accidentally dump shells out of their gun while bending over to work with their dog,” CZ said in a press release.

The guns are equipped with sling swivels and each ship with five extended chokes. There will be 11 models in the All-Terrain series, dressed on existing Bobwhite, Upland Ultralight, Redhead Premier, Drake and 1012 lines of shotguns, in both 12- and 20-gauge. MSRP will range depending on the base model of the gun itself, from $690 to $1,123.

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Categories: Gun News

Winchester Wildcat Brings Polymer Rimfires into the Modern Era

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 04:00

There’s not much that hasn’t been done in the rimfire world, but somehow, Winchester has managed to put out an innovative new rifle. Here’s what you need to know about the Wildcat design and whether it stands a chance against the test of time.

Meet the Wildcat

MSRP on this 4-pound semi-automatic rimfire rifle is a sleek $249.99. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The newest Long Rifle rimfire on the block is a new-age looking semi-automatic rifle named after the old brand of rimfire ammunition made by the company—and that ammo returns in conjunction with the rifle. That’s where the nostalgia ends, however.

This repeater uses a striker-fired, blowback action. The button-rifled chrome-moly 18-inch sporter weight barrel wears a recessed target crown and is fed by a rotary magazine. A skeletonized black polymer stock is simple and modern with plastic buttplate, Picatinny rail and trigger guard. Polymer is undoubtedly the name of the game, right down to the polymer “iron sights” and molded sling swivel mounts.

Undressing the Wildcat

Depressing the red button at the rear of the upper mechanism releases the rifles’ internals for cleaning or maintenance.

New features aside, the Wildcat just might be the easiest semi-automatic rifle to disassemble and clean. With the magazine removed and rifle unloaded, depressing the bright red slimline button at the rear of the upper mechanism releases the rifles’ internals for cleaning or maintenance. The lower receiver drops completely free of the upper.

Winchester even includes a set of Allen wrenches in a molded section of what we’ll call this lower receiver. This pair of tools allows shooters to not only adjust the polymer molded rear aperture sight but also remove the upper barreled action from the stock.

Internals are easy to clean. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The cool thing about separating the two halves of the action means that with that single push of the release button, not only can the internals be cleaned, but the path is clear from the rear for a thorough breech-to-muzzle barrel cleaning.

Comparisons to the Ruger 10/22

The ten-round rotary magazine is not only reminiscent of the 10/22s but in fact, is advertised to interchange. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/


It’s almost impossible not to compare any new rimfire rifle to the old standby Ruger 10/22. The 10-round rotary magazine is not only reminiscent of the 10/22 but, in fact, is advertised to interchange. Winchester seems to one-up Ruger on the magazine release design, opting for not one, but two ways to drop the feeder.

Shooters can either actuate the lever at the front of the mag housing or grip the red serrated sections on either side of the receiver to drop the magazine free. Controls are pretty much all done in red, so it’s easy to find the bolt release at the left side of the receiver and slide lock at the front of the trigger guard.

Controls are done in red, so it’s easy to find the bolt release at the left side of the receiver and slide lock at the front of the trigger guard.

Range Time


Our T&E rifle’s trigger broke quite cleanly at just a hair under 5-pounds. The fully adjustable ghost ring/aperture rear sight and ramped post front, though molded and feeling a bit on the chintzy side, actually moved well and kept us on target. Shooters and hunters who like to accessorize will appreciate the molded rail at the front of the forend. That particular feature is so well hidden with its included cover that only close inspection reveals the thoughtful addition. The oversized cross-bolt safety, also polymer, was easy to actuate throughout our range time.

The Wildcat includes a molded rail at the front of the forend. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

We fired a nice mix of ammunition, from premium to utilitarian, including Federal Premium Hunter Match 40-grain HP, Aguila Super Extra 40-grain Copper and Lead, Browning BPR 40-grain and of course, Winchester’s reboot of Wildcat rimfire white-box ammo in 40-grain lead RN. Though we didn’t have the highest expectations in terms of accuracy with this lightweight rimfire plinker, the Wildcat performed. It ran with 100% reliability through all brands of ammunition.

The iron sights are not built for pinpoint shot placement, so we added a Bushnell Advance micro reflex optic to the molded-in Picatinny top rail. The Wildcat easily shoots minute-of-squirrel at 50 yards. Slowing down the shot strings certainly added to overall accuracy, but even with more rapid-fire and the optic, a prairie-dog target at that distance was easily handled. Best of all, the gun never had an issue with feeding, firing, or ejecting, and by the end of two days of shooting, it was far from clean.

The Misses

Will the polymer features last in the long run? Only time will tell. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

From someone still living in the older age of heavy steel and wood, the feel of a 4-pound rifle, even in a rimfire, does not build confidence. For all the positives of the design—and they are many—there’s no good way to test the durability of a near completely polymer rifle. Still, all those moving parts, while working great now, can only prove or disprove themselves over time.

The molded sights are a nice addition and serve their purpose, but black on black can be difficult to pick-up in conditions other than full sun or bright light. The slimline pistol grip and shorter length of pull at 13.5-inches work great but might not have the desired ergonomics for larger-framed shooters. Still, the gun’s weight and dimensions make it incredibly wieldy and enjoyable.


Though the new Winchester Wildcat may feel like a toy with its near-full lightweight, polymer construction, that roaring cat logo reminds shooters the gun is legit. Partnered with a host of innovative design elements, this rifle piques interest. We’re intrigued enough to go out and get one for more enjoyment on the range and in the field.

MSRP on this 4-pound rifle is a sleek $249.99.

Make sure to shop Winchester and other great new and used firearms on

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Categories: Gun News

.38 SPL Showdown: Ammo Testing Buffalo Bore vs. Black Hills

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 04:30

The Smith & Wesson Model 327 served as the test gun for this review. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

The .38 Special is one of the most common revolver cartridges available today. When most people think of a snub-nose pocket revolver, they think of a good ole .38. The most common in widespread use today are in the 2-inch range as far as barrel length goes. Most people carrying a .38 SPL these days don’t do so with a 4-inch or 6-inch barrel.

A major complaint about the short barrels is that they don’t offer great penetration or velocity. While this may ring true for some types of ammo, it does not for all of them. Today we are going to be taking a look at two types of .38 designed for close ranges — the Black Hills HoneyBadger 100-grain +P and the Buffalo Bore 158-grain Outdoorsman Hardcast +P.


The Black Hills load features a very modern solid copper bullet with an X shaped tip profile. It is part of the company’s “HoneyBadger” line. It maintains effectiveness through tissue displacement, functioning like both a JHP in terms of tissue damage and an FMJ in penetration.

Buffalo Bore’s deep-diving load here is meant for the woods and is a traditional Keith profile meaning it blasts right through tissue and bone while driving as deep as possible. The company has an extended line of products in the Outdoorsman line.

Black Hills, left, battled it out against Buffalo Bore. (Photo: Josh Wayner/



The gun used for testing was a very interesting eight-shot Smith & Wesson Model 327 chambered for .357 Magnum. Fortunately, .38 SPL can be fired in a gun chambered for .357 Mag, and it oftentimes makes much more sense given the size of most guns chambered in this caliber.

The Model 327 is a very accurate revolver despite its essentially non-adjustable sights. The author’s gun shoots point of aim at 25-yards with most ammunition. Even though it is quite accurate, accuracy testing was conducted at 15-yards from a bench rest. Five, five-shot groups of each type of ammo were tested.

The accuracy portion here came out as a tie. Both loads surprised the author and produced identical average group sizes. What’s more, is that the accuracy generated was quite good. Both loads averaged 1.75-inches at 15-yards.

Winner: TIE


Velocity also came in remarkably close. Due to the limited barrel length that we were working with, just 2-inches, the author expected there to be a much greater deviation. Velocity was tested over an Oehler 35P chronograph at a distance of 5-feet from the muzzle for the average of 10 shots.

The Black Hills load generated 1,109 feet-per-second. This is quite fast considering that the load is rated at 1,200 ft./s, which we could assume is the expected velocity for a much longer barrel.
The Buffalo Bore load impressed with a muzzle velocity of 1,025 ft./s. This is a very powerful .38 load rivaling many .357 Magnum offerings. As such, the author felt that this was as good of a tie as there could be between two bullets of such wildly different designs.

Winner: TIE

Competition between Black Hills, left, and Buffalo Bore was fierce with both designs working as intended. (Photo: Josh Wayner/


In the recoil department, Black Hills offers a clear advantage from shot to shot. The lightweight, solid bullets offered low felt recoil which, of course, would help reduce training time. Felt recoil in the hand was less than almost any other .38 special load the author regularly tests.

The Buffalo Bore load was much more traditional in terms of handgun recoil. There was a noticeably greater amount of muzzle rise from shot to shot. That said, it was not difficult to manage in a gun the size of the S&W 327. It was not at all unpleasant to fire and would be a clear choice for backpackers and those looking for defense against animals.


Handling Characteristics

Due to the fact the S&W 327 is an eight-shot revolver, it has the same onboard capacity as a gun like a 1911. When loaded with .357 Mag, it is a serious handful and is generally unpleasant. The gun has an alloy frame and titanium cylinder, which make it light enough to carry all day, but hard on the hand in terms of recoil. The gun featured in this article is fitted with an excellent set of VZ grips which are not only an aesthetic upgrade but a very functional one for carry.

Follow-up shots were fast and accurate with the Black Hills ammunition. The low muzzle rise and low recoil made it an excellent round in this capacity. Shooting one-handed at close range to simulate self-defense also displayed a bias towards this ammunition.

Buffalo Bore was not far behind, but it did offer slower follow-up shots and greater muzzle rise between shots. If this ammunition was used in a smaller gun, recoil may be uncomfortable but bearable. Overall, the Black Hills offering was superior in terms of general handling characteristics- but with one small exception. The sharper points do not lend themselves to quicker loading with the full moon clips that came with the model 327. This is a minor complaint, but it should be noted.


Black Hills .38 SPL ready to be tested. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

Gel Performance

Gel performance is one of those things that is hard to fully categorize due to the number of technical variances present in many bullets. When looking at these two loads, they do fill different purposes but occupy a similar degree of end-use. Many people would prefer the merits of either of these.

The main difference between them is the Buffalo Bore load is meant to drive deep and straight without a tremendous amount of tissue damage. Gel penetration was quite impressive. The three-shot average was a staggering 35-inches in bare Clear Ballistics gel! It passed completely through two blocks and stopped in the third one. This performance is incredible considering the short barrel length and modest muzzle velocity. It did not offer a single degree of expansion and the wound channel was quite narrow.

The Black Hills ammunition offered a dramatic wound channel and excellent penetration to boot. This load shredded tissue for the first foot of penetration and then tumbled base forward another 8-inches. Total penetration depth exceeded the first block. The average three-shot penetration depth was 18-inches.

Both of these ammunition types offer significant advantages. The concealed carrier of a small .38 SPL would be well suited with either of these.

Winner: TIE


Both ammunition performed well during testing. (Photo: Josh Wayner/


The technical victory here belongs to Black Hills as far as handling and recoil, but for all intents and purposes, this head-to-head ended in a tie. The fact was these loads did more to complement each other than compete. They both offer a small .38 much-needed penetration power, but with no type of mechanical expansion.

Ready to grab some .38 SPL? Check out our extensive inventory of handgun ammunition on

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Categories: Gun News

Texas Governor Presents Medal of Courage to Jack Wilson

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 04:07

West Freeway Church Of Christ hero Jack Wilson, standing, receives the Governor’s Medal Of Courage on Monday from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the Lone Star State’s Governor’s Mansion. How about that jacket print? (Photo: Abbott’s office.)

Jack Wilson, a 71-year-old volunteer who jumped into action at the West Freeway Church of Christ last month, was presented with a medal by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott this week

The Texas Governor’s Medal Of Courage, established to recognize “civilians who display great acts of heroism by risking their own safety to save another’s life,” is the highest award given to civilians by the Governor, according to Abbott’s office.

“When faced with an evil that few of us will ever comprehend, Jack Wilson responded with strength, bravery, and with love for those in the church that day,” said Gov. Abbott. “The courage in his actions cannot be understated, and Jack is not only a hero to West Freeway Church of Christ — he is a hero to the entire state of Texas.”

Wilson, head of his church’s volunteer security team in White Settlement, Texas, responded to an active shooter who had what the AP describes as “extensive criminal record and psychological history” and felled him with a single shot from his Sig Sauer P229 in .357 SIG.

Besides the honor from Abbott, Sons Of Liberty GunWorks in San Antonio presented Wilson with one of their rifles.

“Thank you, Jack Wilson! You saved a lot of lives, sir. And, you proved again a good guy with a gun can make all the difference,” said SOLGW on social media.

“Governor Abbott presented him the Medal. SOLGW presented him the Metal,” said SOLGW. “It was an honor to give a Texas Hero a Texas fightin’ gun.” (Photo: SOLGW)

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Categories: Gun News

Sightmark Unveils New Solar Reflex Sight

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 04:00

Sightmark adds the Volta to its red dot lineup. (Photo: Sightmark)

Sightmark debuted a new reflex sight, the Volta, bringing a solar-powered 2-MOA red dot to its optics lineup.

Powered by solar cells located on the top of the optic’s housing, the Volta offers uninterrupted operation. Equipped with two AAA batteries, the solar setup is set to automatically kick in when the batteries run out.

“Volta red dots provide users the choice of which power source works best for their situation,” the company said in a news release. “In fact, the Volta can be run off pure solar power without any batteries at all – literally infinite daylight use!”

The Volta is solar-powered and offers a 2 MOA reticle. (Photo: Sightmark)

The Volta sports the Eclipse Light Management System which automatically adjusts reticle brightness based on ambient light. The red dot offers 1/2 MOA adjustments and easily tackles an array of shooting situations and varying distances, according to Sightmark. The Volta offers single-side access to windage and elevation, unlimited eye relief, Digital switch brightness, and an adjustable mount height.

Additionally, the red dot sports a covered design that brings more durability to the table as well as introducing a shock-proof design. The lens itself is scratch-resistant and delivers an anti-reflective coating. Operating temperatures, according to Sightmark, measure between -22 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

The red dot ships with a low Picatinny rail mount. (Photo: Sightmark)

A rubber cover and low Picatinny mount accompany the Volta as does Sightmark’s Lifetime Warranty. No word yet on pricing or availability.


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Categories: Gun News

A 6.5 Creedmoor SCAR: FN Debuts New Caliber, Colors for SCAR 20S Rifle

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 03:32

For those who always wanted a 6.5CM SCAR 20S, FN has you covered in 2020, in both black and flat dark earth (FDE). (Photos: FN)

South Carolina-based FN America on Tuesday announced they were expanding caliber and color options for the popular SCAR 20S series.

Based on the FN MK 20 SSR (sniper support rifle) first developed for USSOCOM, the SCAR 20S was first released two years ago on the consumer market in an FDE version chambered in 7.62 NATO. Moving forward, the FDE will still be an option, as will a new matte black finish. Further, 6.5 Creedmoor has joined the lineup.

While the standard 20S in 7.62 uses the SCAR’s distinctive muzzle device, the new 6.5CM version will sport a Surefire ProComp 762 muzzle brake/compensator, which is billed by SureFire as greatly reducing recoil impulse. The cold hammer-forged and chrome-plated 20-inch barrel uses a 1-in-8 right-hand twist and is crafted from FN’s legendary machine gun steel.

The FN SCAR 20S, in both 7.62 NATO and 6.5 Creedmoor, sports M1913 rails at 3, 6, 9 o’clock positions for optics and accessories. (Photos: FN)


“The 6.5mm Creedmoor has taken the long-range shooting market by storm with its increased efficiency, reduced recoil, availability and price of high-quality match-grade ammunition coupled with a cartridge design that is inherently accurate,” said FN in a statement, noting that the company first prototyped the 6.5CM in the MK 20 SSR in 2019 “when USSOCOM announced plans last year to explore the cartridge for future adoption.”

As with the standard FN SCAR 20S, the new versions have an extended monolithic receiver, two-stage Geissele Super SCAR trigger, and the FN MK 20 SSR precision stock which is adjustable for length of pull and comb height. When it comes to specs, the rifle, sans optics and mag, tips the scales at 11.5-pounds. The overall length is 43-inches with the stock fully extended.

To keep it all in the family, both the FN SCAR 20S in 7.62 and 6.5 will accept the 10- or 20-round FN SCAR 17S magazines. The rifle ships with a single 10-round mag.

MSRP on the FN SCAR 20S is $4,499. This price will likely be closer to $3,999 at retail, which is what currently lists the 7.62 SCAR 20S in FDE. will have more complete information from SHOT Show, both on the updated SCARs and the rest of the new hardware, so watch this space.

For more on how FN makes their guns, including the SCAR series, check out our Select Fire factory tour of the company’s Columbia, South Carolina plant last summer.


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Categories: Gun News

Top 10 Most Drool-Worthy Certified Used Guns In Our Vault ::

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 01:03

Here are the top ten most drool-worthy certified used guns in the vault available for you to buy on our site.

Bob Marvel Custom from Nighthawk Custom

#1 Bob Marvel Custom from Nighthawk Custom – $3,990

Legendary gunsmith Bob Marvel worked months with Nighthawk Custom to design this beauty. Chambered in 9×19mm, it comes with two 9-round magazines. The 4.3-inch barrel is topped with adjustable three-dot Tritium sights. VZ G10 grips make it feel great in the hand, and Nighthawk’s Everlast Recoil System reduces recoil and improves durability.


Krieghoff K-80 Trap Special Combo

#2 Krieghoff K-80 Trap Special Combo – $14,000

A competition-grade 12-gauge shotgun designed with the aid of Olympians, the Krieghoff K-80 Trap Special Combo is a proven winner. The Krieghoff family is in its fifth-generation of providing unparalleled quality to world champions. This handsome fine-tuned weapon comes with eight choke tubes and tools for adjustment, ensuring it is set up just right for the aspiring gold medalist. A felt-lined aluminum hard case with a combination lock is included to protect what is essentially a functional piece of art.


Saginaw M1 Carbine

#3 Saginaw M1 Carbine – $5,999

A very scarce WW2 Saginaw manufacture U.S. M1 Carbine. Manufacture date shows 9-43, with a barrel date of 9-43. It comes with a WWII-era M1 sling. All matching, even the trigger group. Features include an 18-inch 4-groove barrel with an excellent Saginaw 15-round magazine. Stock is excellent condition with AA (82nd Airborne) cartouche and checkered butt plate. This rifle is a must-have for any WWII or vintage collector.


Colt Anaconda

#4 Colt Anaconda – $2,599

This 4-inch barreled Colt Anaconda chambered in .44 magnum can be accurately described as a concealable hand cannon. The Colt Anaconda was introduced in 1990. It’s a large frame double-action revolver featuring a full-length under-barrel ejection-rod lug and six-round cylinder. Colt stopped making them in 2003.


Larry Bird Commemorative Winchester Model 94

#5 Larry Bird Commemorative Winchester Model 94 – $2,000

The Larry Bird Commemorative Winchester Model 94 is a tribute to the great basketball player. There were only 100 made, and this is number 78. This lever-action rifle is chambered in 38-55 Winchester, sports a 24-inch barrel and holds six rounds in the tube. It comes with a wooden case with a burgundy velour fitted interior and a matching bowie knife.


Knights Armament Mark 11 Mod 0

#6 Knights Armament Mark 11 Mod 0 – $12,500

The Knights Armament Mark 11 Mod 0 is currently issued to US Army snipers as the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System. It is a modified version of the SR-25 rifle. The Knight’s Armament SR-25, (Stoner Rifle-25) is a 7.62×51mm NATO chambered semi-automatic rifle. It was designed by Eugene Stoner and manufactured by Knight’s Armament. It entered production in 1990 and is still in production. The rifle uses a rotating bolt and a direct impingement gas system and features a heavy 20-inch free-floating barrel.


Kimber Centennial Edition 1911

#7 Kimber Centennial Edition 1911 – $4,500

To celebrate the 100th birthday of the 1911 design, Kimber made the Centennial Edition. Only 250 were produced. This one is number 141. Chambered in .45 ACP, it features a five-inch barrel and has a seven-round magazine capacity. It comes with a beautiful Centennial display case.


Steyr AUG A3 M1

8. Steyr AUG A3 M1 – $2,200

The Steyr AUG A3 M1 is an Austrian .223 Rem/5.56 NATO chambered bullpup semi-automatic rifle. It was released in 1973 and is still used by military and law-enforcement agencies around the world. Users can use the included scope or remove it and attach an optic of their choice. The barrel is 16-inches long but the bullpup design makes it very compact.


Heckler & Koch P7 M13

9. Heckler & Koch P7 M13 – $3,609

The Heckler & Koch P7 M13 is a German 9×19mm semi-automatic pistol. It was produced from 1979 until 2008. It has attained an almost cult-like following due to its rarity and high collectability factor. Many people think it should be the James Bond/007 gun, instead of the Walther PPK. This one is in excellent condition and comes with the original box and three 13-round magazines.


Colt 1911 Government Anniversary 4 Gun Set

10. Colt 1911 Government Anniversary 4 Gun Set – $34,995

A 2012 Limited Production Colt 1911 Government Anniversary 4 Gun Set. These handguns commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Colt Model 1911. These particular pieces show a high luster blued finish with intricate scrollwork done on both the receivers and the slides. The amount of engraving increases from the first gun to the last. These ponies are accented with pearl grip panels that contain the 100th anniversary Colt emblem within them. This commemorative package ships in its matching limited edition glass walnut showcase.


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Categories: Gun News

Virginia Lawmakers Quickly Advance 4 Anti-Gun Bills

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 00:39

Democrats squeaked into control of the Virginia state Senate last Fall and with the start of the 2020 session have lost no time in moving forward on anti-gun bills. (Photo: Chris Eger/

A partisan vote Monday in the Virginia State Senate gave a green light for at least four controversial gun control bills to move forward.

In a party-line vote by the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee this week, measures to mandate background checks for private gun transfers, make it easier for police to seize guns, ration handgun purchases to one per month, and allow cities and towns to pass their own local gun restrictions.

“The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee met today and wasted no time in passing gun control bills as their first order of business,” noted the NRA in a statement.

The measures, as outlined by the pro-gun group:

Senate Bill 35 will destroy Virginia’s firearm preemption laws by allowing localities to create new “gun-free zones” in and around public buildings and parks. Criminals will ignore these restrictions, leaving law-abiding citizens unable to defend themselves and their loved ones.

Senate Bill 69, commonly referred to as “one-gun-a-month,” would impose an arbitrary one gun limit on an individual’s right to lawfully purchase a handgun within 30 days.

Senate Bill 70 would ban many sales and transfers between private individuals without first paying fees and obtaining government permission. Firearm sales between friends, neighbors, or fellow hunters, would not be exempted. Transfers between family members are also likely to be banned based on the vague wording of the proposed legislation. This proposal would have no impact on crime and is completely unenforceable.

Senate Bill 240 looks to create so-called “Red Flag” gun confiscation orders. This bill will take your constitutionally-guaranteed rights and throw them out the window with insufficient due process in place.


The legislation, approved to the applause of national gun control organs such as the Brady Campaign and Giffords– the latter of which seems to have already prepared their victory statement last Friday– has been championed by Gov. Ralph Northam and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

In one bright spot for pro-gun advocates, SB 16, a sweeping ban on most semi-auto firearms coupled with regulation of their magazines, was withdrawn by its sponsor. However, a similar bill still exists in the state House of Delegates.

Importantly, the same Senate committee in past sessions, when controlled by Republicans, scuttled gun control proposals from both the Northam and fellow Democrat, Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Now, with the polarity of the state legislature tilted to single-party control with the help of $2.5 million from gun control groups, such roadblocks are removed.

In the intervening three months since last fall’s election results, Virginia has been swept with a wave of Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions with local governments pledging not to support potential new gun laws. Regional groups, such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League, have been influential in the grassroots process and plan a rally at the Statehouse on Jan. 20.

“The gun-control bills that passed out of committee will now head to the Senate Floor to be voted on in a few days,” noted VCDL, who stressed that “several thousand gun owners turned out” this week to protest the legislation. “Elections have consequences and we are in a real fight to protect our rights.”

In a show of industry support for gun rights, Magpul airlifted 1,000 PMAG magazines to the Commonwealth to be given away on Monday in conjunction with the Second Amendment groups.

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 Room #1 on the 5th Floor at 8am! #valeg

— NRA (@NRA) January 13, 2020

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Categories: Gun News