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Feds propose to expand hunting, fishing in 30 national wildlife refuges

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:30

In all some 248,000 acres of federal land could be see expanded opportunities to sportsmen (Photo: USFWS)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing at national wildlife refuges in 22 states.

Among the changes, which would increase access to 248,000 acres of federal lands for sportsmen, would be to open Montana’s Swan River National Wildlife Refuge to big game hunting for the first time and Pennsylvania’s John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to white-tailed deer hunting for the first time. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke made the announcement this week, stressing the country’s hunting and fishing heritage.

“As stewards of our public lands, Interior is committed to opening access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down this American heritage,” said Zinke. “These 30 refuges will provide incredible opportunities for American sportsmen and women across the country to access the land and connect with wildlife.”

Refuge systems that may be opened for the first time for hunters besides Heinz and Swan River would include Florida’s Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge which could see wild turkey hunts as could New Jersey’s Edwin B. Forsythe refuge. The Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, which straddles Maine and New Hampshire, would be opened to turkey hunters as well.

Michigan’s Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota’s Glacial Ridge and Wisconsin’s Trempealeau refuge would be opened to certain gamebird and small game species for the first time. Those seeking Eurasian-collared dove and Gambel’s quail could find both in New Mexico’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge if the proposal is accepted. Likewise, moose hunters could expand their operations to two facilities in North Dakota — the J. Clark Salyer and Lostwood NWRs. Ohio’s Cedar Point and Ottawa refuges may be opened for the first time for some game including deer.

Among the proposed changes would see expanded hunting opportunities in Arkansas’ Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge, and California’s San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Illinois would see NWRs at Cypress Creek, Great River, and Hackmatack increase hunting options. Indiana’s Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, as well as Maine’s Moosehorn and Rachel Carson refuges, would also see expansions.

In Maryland, the Blackwater NWR and Patuxent River facility could see expansions while Montana’s Charles M. Russell refuge could see more big game hunting. Oregon sportsmen may see more hunting options at the Cold Springs, Upper Klamath and William L. Finley NWRs. In the Beehive State, Utah’s Bear River refuge could see more migratory game bird and upland game hunting as would Pennsylvania’s Cherry Valley NWR.

The National Rifle Association welcomed the news, seeing the expansion as helping to grow the number of hunters.

“Sec. Zinke and I both grew up hunting and fishing and want to ensure that our children and grandchildren have those same outdoor opportunities,” said Chris Cox, chief of the group’s lobbying arm. “Our young people need to get out in nature more and unplug from the digital world. Sec. Zinke’s effort to open up more of our public lands for outdoor recreation will benefit not only our youth but all Americans for generations to come.”

According to USFWS surveys and data, some 103 million Americans, or 41 percent of the United States’ population, pursued wildlife-related recreation to the tune of some $156 billion in 2016. These included an estimated 32 million target shooters and 11.5 million hunters.

Founded in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, there are some 560 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System – a network of lands set aside and managed by USFWS specifically for wildlife. Hunting within guidelines under Zinke’s plan would expand to 377 of those units.

USFWS will accept public comments on the proposed rule for 30 days, beginning with publication in the Federal Register in coming days.

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Categories: Gun News

Firefield adds AR Multi-Tool to arsenal of accessories

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:00

The AR Multi Tool from Firefield offers 15 tools in one package. (Photo: Firefield)

Firefield expands its series of firearm accessories, adding the new AR Multi Tool to its inventory.

The AR Multi Tool combines commonly used tools into an all-in-one package for easy carrying and maintenance on the AR-15 platform. The 15-in-1 multitool offers pliers, wire cutters and hammer surface in addition to tools allowing users to mount scopes and parts and make adjustments for windage and elevation.

The tool also comes with a bolt scraper for quick and easy maintenance of basic bolts as well as a bit driver with four bits, large flat head, hex wrench, bottle opener, flat knife, small knife, cotter pin puller and metal pick.

The multi tool offers spring-loaded locking tools. (Photo: Firefield)

Crafted from a durable metal, the AR Multi Tool features spring-loaded locking tools that can be opened with a single hand and remain in the open position during use. The tool tips scales at just over 14 ounces and ships in a carrying pouch for easy toting in a range bag.

“You don’t need an entire box of tools to perform simple maintenance on your AR15, just one AR Multi-Tool from Firefield will do the trick,” Firefield said in a statement. “This versatile, 15-in-1 multi-tool is able to help perform gun cleaning, gun maintenance and optic/accessory mounting tasks on any AR platform firearm.”

The AR Multi Tool is available from Firefield with a retail price of $39.

The multi tool comes with a carrying pouch. (Photo: Firefield)

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Categories: Gun News

The curiosity that is the French MAS-36 military rifle (VIDEO)

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:30

Chambered in 7.5x54mm, France built over a million of these semi-successful bolt-action “second line” rifles and they saw lots of service.

Designed before WWII, the MAS Modele 36 was supposed to replace The Republic’s Great War-era stockpiles of Berthier and even older 8mm Lebel bolt guns. They went into full production in 1937.

While some 250,000 had been produced prior to the start of the next war with Germany, occupation meant that the bulk of the MAS-36 rifles made were produced post-war, and they went on to serve the French in their ill-fated struggle to retain colonial possessions in Indochina and North Africa before they were ultimately replaced by the downright funky semi-auto MAS-49 in the 1950s. Ironically, the MAS-36 was only supposed to equip rear echelon troops while the front line guys got sweeter autoloaders, though in practice that didn’t happen.

In the above review by Bloke on the Range, they have a post-war ’36 that was refurbished in arsenal in 1962 — right after the French withdrew from Algeria. As such, the rifle has all the oddball features that make it special to include the nearly hidden cruciform bayonet and the tamper-proof fittings that prevent full disassembly in the field.

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Categories: Gun News

Review:10mm pistol hunting peaks with Springfield TRP Operator (VIDEO)

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:00

Big bore hunting pistols are all the rage — just consider the myriad offerings debuted to the market over the previous three years, including Glock, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Remington, and now Springfield.  With introduction of the TRP Operator, it would seem Springfield Armory has sat back and taken its time to perfect the longslide 10mm.  Is that so, or is the TRP just another 10mm lost in the growing seas of dollars and calibers?

Meet the Springfield 1911 TRP Operator 10mm

The TRP, which is also available in a five-inch model, is shown here in the longslide six-inch, a boon for hunters and tacticans alike. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Though the Operator TRP name suggests its tactical roots and intent, features point to the TRP being a serious contender with the other longslide hunting pistols.  Here’s what defines the gun.  The six-inch stainless steel match-grade bull barrel is housed in the forged steel slide.  Measuring a full 9.6” long and 5.5” in height and weighing 45-ounces empty, the TRP is a solid handful of power.  The fully-supported ramped barrel offers an extra measure of support for the higher-pressures of the 10mm.

Springfield also offers a 5 inch barreled model TRP, our focus here is the 6 inch longslide.  Where the 5 inch version wears a lightweight barrel and a forward bushing standard found on 1911-style arms. The 6 inch version goes off the charts with both a heavy bull barrel and a bushing-less build.  That extra inch of barrel grants significantly greater velocities from the round, with a potential for fifty or more feet-per-second. If that’s not enough, the 6 inch Operator has far superior sights with fully adjustable three-dot tritium.

The full lower rail on the six-inch TRP 10mm offers more than adequate mounting points for accessories like flashlights or lasers. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

A GI-style, 16-pound recoil spring drives the action while balancing the 10mm’s stout recoil.  Accuracy is greatly aided by the SA Gen 2 Speed trigger with an advertised 4.5-5 pound trigger pull.  The integral accessory rail is a welcome addition, as is the ambidextrous thumb safety. What the company calls an “Octo-Grip” front strap is actually front and mainspring housing external texturing for added purchase in inclement conditions.  The outfit is dressed in quite a mouthful– VZ Alien Dirty Olive G10 grips with metalwork finished in corrosion-resistant Black-T.  The whole thing ships in a large SA cardboard box with two 8-round stainless magazines and a roomy embroidered zippered case with ideal for hauling the pistol, multiple mags, and range extras.  The kicker to this almost too-good-to-be-true sounding setup?  The price is mountain-high, with an MSRP of $1,842.

Range Time

After over 100 rounds down range, the Springfield TRP Operator ran flawlessly through a variety of ammunition and distanced itself from the similarly-built Remington R1 Hunter. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The TRP, Tactical Response Pistol, we have here in our hands today is based on the custom professional model that won the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) 1911 pistol contract. Until the 10mm was introduced at SHOT Show 2018, Springfield’s TRP Operator line was only available in .45 ACP, and solely considered a defensive protectorate.  Not so any longer.

Right out of the box, the TRP balances well and feels over-built to pack the wallop of the potent 10mm round.  The TRP shares much in common with Remington’s R1911 10mm introduced last year, but ups the ante with superior features.

For our purposes, we’re looking at the TRP 6 inch longslide as a hunting pistol.  As such, the factory fully adjustable sights are on point, though an optics-ready top mount would be a big plus, sans gunsmithing.  The forged steel integral lower rail with five full slots offers plenty of room for lower light or laser mounting. Between the texturing and aggressive VZ grips, there’s plenty of purchase for shooting in the adverse conditions often put forth in hunting environments.  The Black-T matte finish is dull and durable enough to excel in the field.

The sights really set the longslide version of TRP Operator apart not only from the shorter version, but from its competition as well. The Trijicon front shown here is a great aid to accuracy in less than ideal conditions. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

True to its 1911 style, the TRP Operator features the standard grip safety in addition to an ambidextrous thumb safety. VZ G10 grips and both front and rear strap texturing ensure exceptional purchase. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Down to the nitty-gritty, we hit the range with a nice array of ammunition.  Sig Sauer Elite Performance, Barnes VorTx, Hornady Custom, Speer Gold Dot, and Remington UMC.   Unlike an unfortunate experience with the similar R1 Hunter struggling with reliability, the TRP Operator ran through over a hundred rounds without a hiccup.  The slide is smooth and ergonomics on both grips and controls are on point. Our test model’s trigger broke repeatedly around four-and-a-half pounds, much better than we’ve come to expect from a 1911-style sidearm, also a great aid to accuracy.  The long sight radius aids in overall accuracy. From a rest, I feel confident putting shot after shot in the key vitals of big game. At 25 yards, three shot groups were repeatedly under 2 inches, with more seasoned handgunners sure to do even better.  The TRP is the most controllable, softest shooting 10mm I have had the pleasure to plink with, and certainly one of the finest non-custom production models.  This is one pistol that’s as much fun to shoot from the bench as it is to shoot off hand.

It’s no secret that the 10mm comes not only with more potent power than its counterparts, but also increased recoil. Some designs manage that better than others, and the TRP is one of the best.  By incorporating a heavier-built slide and bull barrel combination with an optimized recoil spring, the Springfield is ultimately as soft-shooting a pistol in a 10mm as you’ll find anywhere.  That all keeps you back on target quickly, and for hunters, ready for a quick follow up shot as needed.  Price is all that will hold the Springfield back, as its retailed out at the top of its factory class.  When compared with true custom options like the Nighthawk or STI with prices upward of three-grand, Springfield’s TRP Operator suddenly sounds like a bargain.  Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is the price-feature-desire balance.


The Springfield TRP Operator has been more than worth the wait.  Though marketed as a tacticians pistol, the longslide version has legitimate use as a hunting pistol for those so inclined–hogs, deer, and other game.  The price is steep, but if you’re in the market for a 10mm, you’d be remiss to dismiss the new Springfield TRP Operator based solely on MSRP, as this comes as close to custom in a production gun as you’ll ever find.  For a gun never truly intended to be a hunter, the company has knocked out of the park what it never set out to achieve.

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Categories: Gun News

Alien Gear Holsters adds new car holster mount to ShapeShift lineup (EMBARGO until 5/22)

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 09:00

Alien Gear adds the Driver Defense Holster to its series of ShapeShift accessories. (Photo: Alien Gear)

Alien Gear Holsters rolls out a new holster, this time designed for use in the car, debuting the ShapeShift Driver Defense Holster.

The holster comes standalone or in the Driver Defense Expansion Pack, delivering a non-invasive means to secure a firearm in the car without rendering it inaccessible in a pinch, according to Alien Gear. Compatible with the company’s ShapeShift Modular Holster System, the idea for the Driver Defense Holster came as way to help gun owners who need to secure their gun but don’t want a permanent solution.

“The Driver Defense Holster was developed as a solution for those who want less cosmetic changes to their car’s interior, but the same stability you would achieve with other mounts,” Alien Gear Holsters’ mechanical engineer Jacob Shearer said today in a news release. “With the holster positioned in the center of the seat, you can sit comfortably in your car for hours on end while ensuring fast and easy access to your weapon.”

The holster allows users to transport their firearms in the car without taking the gun out of the holster. (Photo: Alien Gear)

To operate, users can press a quick release button on the current ShapeShift holster and transfer the gun, with trigger full covered, to the Driver Defense Holster in one fail swoop. The car holster also works alongside the company’s Cloak Mod OWB Holster.

Backed by Alien Gear’s Forever Warranty and 30-Day Test Drive, the Driver Defense Holster is available through Alien Gear with a MSRP of $59 for the holster and $33 for the Expansion Pack.

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Categories: Gun News

Smoking through ballistic gel with the help of tracer rounds (VIDEO)

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 08:30

If you have ever been curious to see what tracers will do when fired into ballistic gel, we have you covered.

The above video comes from the gang at GY6 vids who tested the concept using .22LR, 9mm, and .45ACP rounds at various distances. A couple of take aways: the .22 Tommy gun looks like a lot of fun and a KRISS Vector in .45ACP seems like it eats gel like a monster.

Plus, there is the whole neat-o angle of how the tracer burns into the wound channel left by the projectile in the block.

With that being said, they have promised to bring on the rifle rounds in the next installment, so watch this space.

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Categories: Gun News

Vanguard adds Pioneer 2100RT in Realtree Xtra to hunting pack lineup

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 08:00

The Pioneer 2100 RT is water repellent and features an attachment system for bows and rifles. (Photo: Vanguard)

Vanguard introduces a new variant on its hunting backpack line, launching the Pioneer 2100RT in Realtree Xtra.

In what the company says is the ideal setup for any hunting expedition, the Pioneer 2100 RT in Realtree Xtra is a 34-liter pack that allows users to safely carry a rifle or bow along with various other hunting gear. The pack comes with a butterfly attachment system that not only secures rifles or bows but also ensures balance.

Pioneer 2100RT ships with an orange rain cover. (Photo: Vanguard)

Using Tricot fabric, the Pioneer 2100RT is both silent and water repellent in addition to delivering both a soft yet durable build. The backpack features an air system trampoline net structure suspended from two aluminum staves alongside an adjustable, padded honeycomb mesh harness. Top and side Hypalon reinforced handles as well as XXL orange silicone zipper pullers and a waist belt with quick access zip pockets round out the design.

Shipping with an orange rain cover for protection and personal safety, the Pioneer 2100RT in Realtree Xtra is priced at $159.

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Categories: Gun News

Santa Fe High School to stay closed this week amid shooting investigation

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 07:30

Emergency crews gather in the parking lot of Santa Fe High School where 10 people were killed and 13 wounded on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas.  (Photo: Daniel Kramer/AFP/Getty Images)

Officials in Texas said Santa Fe High School will remain closed this week as the investigation into a mass shooting that claimed 10 lives Friday continues.

Classes will resume May 29, the district announced at a press conference Monday afternoon. The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Santa Fe Independent School District Police Department will provide beefed-up security for returning students.

In the meantime, authorities will continue gathering evidence at the suburban Houston school while local officials dispel rumors about the investigation.

“Objective criminal investigations of this magnitude are complex, arduous, and time consuming,” Santa Fe ISD Police Chief Walter Braun said during Monday’s press conference. “Considerable time must be taken to painstakingly separate fact from fiction and the truth from rumors.”

According to a police affidavit, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Jr. killed eight students and two teachers with his father’s shotgun and .38-caliber revolver during a 30-minute shooting spree Friday morning. He surrendered to police just after 8 a.m. in a hallway, unable to commit suicide as he’d planned.

Thirteen others, including School Resource Officer John Barnes, suffered injuries during the attack. Barnes underwent emergency surgery for a shotgun blast to the arm and remains hospitalized.

Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady confirmed the names of the victims over the weekend: Kimberly Vaughan, Shana Fisher, Angelique Ramirez, Christian Riley Garcia, Jared Black, Sabika Sheikh, Christopher Jake Stone, Aaron Kyle McLeod and teachers Glenda Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale. “Please keep the families in your thoughts as they mourn this tragic loss,” Roady said.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset told reporters Monday he doesn’t think any of the victims were killed by police fire, though autopsies are pending.

“There were minimal shots fired, at least from us, from law enforcement,” he said. “But the individual was still trying to shoot us.”

Police charged Pagourtzis with capital murder and aggravated assault against a public servant. He’s in solitary confinement on suicide watch at the Galveston County Jail. Few other details surrounding why Pagourtzis snapped have emerged in the days since, though his family and other students have alleged bullying may have played a role. The police affidavit even indicates Pagourtzis spared students he liked “so they could tell his story.”

The district denied the bullying claims in a Facebook statement over the weekend and requested “mindful” dissemination of information out of respect for the bereaving families.

Gov. Greg Abbott — who will host a roundtable discussion this week on school security measures — ordered flags lowered to half-staff and issued a statewide call for a moment of silence Monday morning.

“The act of evil that occurred in Santa Fe has deeply touched the core of who we are as Texans,” he said. “In the midst of such tragedy, we pray for the victims and those mourning in Santa Fe, while we work to ensure swift and meaningful action to protect our students in schools across our state.”

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Categories: Gun News

Smith & Wesson expands Flat Dark Earth M2.0 line with M&P .45 pistol (PHOTOS)

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 07:00

The M&P45 M2.0 in FDE completes the hat-trick started by the M&P9 and M&P40 (Photos: S&W)

Featuring Truglo TFX night sights and an FDE finish, Smith & Wesson’s newest .45ACP M2.0 pistol has a lot to offer right out of the box.

Announced Monday, the newest variant of the M&P45 joins the company’s previous 9mm and .40-caliber offerings in the FDE stable of second generation Military & Police series semi-auto handguns. Besides the obvious finish characteristics, the factory-standard Truglos offer encapsulated tritium and fiber optics for use in either day or nighttime conditions.

The striker-fired 10+1 capacity handgun is 7.9-inches long with a 4.6-inch barrel. Weight is 29.9-ounces. The stainless barrel and slide are Cerekoted with an Armornite finish. Standard M2.0 series features carried over to the pistol include an updated trigger with a tactile reset, low bore axis, molded polymer frame, a quartet of interchangeable palm swell grips, and an 18-degree grip angle.

Retail is $699 and the gun — Smith & Wesson’s only M2.0 pistol in a FDE finish that is chambered in .45 — ships with two magazines.

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Categories: Gun News

Nebraska professor fined for vandalizing NRA leader’s home

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 06:30

Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, has seen his home and family targeted by anti-gun groups. (Photo: NRA)

Patricia Hill, a researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was hit with a $500 fine on Monday for vandalizing Chris Cox’s Virginia home.

Cox, head of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, had fake blood sprayed on the stairs of his home in Alexandria. Hill, arrested by Alexandria Police in January for the incident, was seen by a security guard spraying a “red, gel-like substance,” on the steps, The Washington Post reported.

“The motive here is that Mr. Cox works for the NRA; she doesn’t like that. That’s fine. She can exercise her First Amendment right,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Maana Parcham, going on to say Hill crossed the line by committing vandalism.

Hill is a research assistant professor in UNL’s sociology department and a member of the gun control group Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, The Omaha World-Herald reported. The protest group stood by her in a statement released Monday calling Cox the “architect of America’s gun proliferation.”

The Nebraska group is separate from another organization, The Gun Melt, which has picketed Cox’s wife’s place of business and NRA headquarters with flyers and signs featuring photos of child shooting victims. However, one of the latter’s founder’s is Amanda Gailey, who is also a UNL professor. The Betsy Riot, an anti-gun shock group that has in the past garnered headlines for their grisly tactics, has also singled Cox in their efforts.

“Mr. and Mrs. Cox have been targeted over the past few months by repeated acts of criminal and unlawful conduct, including having their home vandalized on two occasions,” Cox’s attorney, Elizabeth Locke, said. “These coordinated tactics have crossed the line of civility and human decency.”

Hill intends to appeal.

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Categories: Gun News

TacStar adds Carbon Fiber Mag Extensions for Mossberg and Benelli shotguns

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 06:00

The Carbon Fiber Mag Extensions add extra rounds to both Benelli and Mossberg shotguns. (Photo: TacStar)

TacStar recently debuted new shotgun accessories, adding Carbon Fiber Magazine Extensions for both Benelli and Mossberg shotguns.

The Carbon Fiber Mag Extensions deliver a “unbeatable strength to weight ratio,” according to TacStar. Averaging four times lighter than comparable steel extension tubes, the Carbon Fiber set up delivers durability in addition to weight saving.

The mag extensions are lighter than traditional extensions. (Photo: TacStar)

“These extensions are about four times lighter than traditional steel tubes; however, they are much stronger,” TacStar said in a news release. “The carbon fiber offers durability and toughness to go along with lightweight, making it the perfect material for extension tubes.”

The mag extensions boast a high visibility follower, machined from solid aluminum, to improve overall feeding in addition to a barrel magazine clamp. Extensions are available in seven-, eight- and 10-shot capacities with the seven-shot adding two rounds, the eight-shot adding rounds and the 10-shot adding five rounds to overall capacity on Benelli and Mossberg shotguns.

TacStar says the extensions, which are easy to install, are in stock through Lyman and retail for $79.

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Categories: Gun News

Guns used in Texas school shooting leave ‘assault weapon’ argument flat-footed

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:30

Students are checked before entering Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP)

Although the weapons used to kill 10 at Santa Fe High School last week were not of the type regulated by proposed gun restrictions, some are undeterred in continued calls for a ban on assault weapons.

Reports from the Texas high school have the 17-year-old gunman armed with a pump-action shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver that were legally owned by his father. Nonetheless, advocates for a sweeping ban on semi-autos, such as the AR-15 and others, have increased their demands for gun control measures that include a ban on “black rifles” and the like.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer forecast that school shootings would endure without such a federal prohibition, saying, “Until Republicans in Congress stop blocking meaningful action on gun violence and instead work together to enact commonsense background check laws and ban the most deadly assault weapons, none of us can truly expect this carnage to lessen.”

Hoyer’s words were echoed in the Senate where Dianne Feinstein, author of the initial federal assault weapon ban, stated plainly that, “The time for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks,’red-flag’ laws & a ban on bump stocks is NOW!”

While state and federal assault weapon bans focus primarily on rifles while pistols and shotguns only regulated in part, data from the FBI shows that year over year for the past half-decade more homicides are attributed to handguns by far than any other weapon. In fact, rifles account for fewer murders on average than blunt objects or “personal weapons” such as hands and fists. It should be noted that the assailants in at least two high-profile mass shootings — the 1991 Luby’s shooting and the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting — exclusively used a pair of handguns each to kill 23 and 31 people, respectively.

Shotguns, typically seen as among the most pedestrian of firearms found in the country’s home gun racks and in the hands of hunters and sportsmen alike, are rarely targeted in bans, with exceptions made for those with “military features” that have gotten negative publicity. Even avowedly pro-gun control Vice President Joe Biden championed the use of a shotgun as the staple home defense article while slamming AR-15s in the same breath.

Still, media giant USA Today piqued their ongoing coverage of the Santa Fe shooting over the weekend with a headline that described the killer’s weapons as “less lethal,” a term associated with pepper spray and tasers.

Po Murray, chair of Newtown Action Alliance, released a statement Monday that acknowledged the Sante Fe High School shooter “used his father’s shotgun and a .38 revolver to kill 10 students and educators and injure others,” then proceeded to demand that Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan hold a vote on 56 gun control bills, with a pending assault weapon ban on the top of the list. The ban would regulate neither of the weapons used in Texas.

As for gun rights groups, their take on the argument over bans and more regulation on firearms in the aftermath of a horrific mass shooting that it is just a blame game that never loops back around those who actually pulled the trigger.

“They are so preoccupied with demonizing gun owners and eroding the Second Amendment that they have either lost sight of the goal of taking dangerous or deranged criminals off the street, or that was never their intention in the first place,” said Alan Gottlieb, with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “If all they can do is blame innocent citizens while diverting attention from murderous monsters, then it is time to ask these people just whose side they are on.”

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Categories: Gun News

Texas governor will hold first roundtable discussion on school security today

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 05:00

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will host roundtable discussions on school safety May 22-24, 2018 at the state capitol. (Photo: Texas Governor’s office)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a schedule of roundtable discussions on school security this week in response to the state’s deadliest school shooting in nearly 50 years.

Beginning Tuesday, advocates on both sides of the gun debate will join students, parents, teachers and legislators in three days of dialogue regarding hardening schools, improving mental health services, arming teachers and enacting stricter firearm regulations after a teenage gunman killed 10 and wounded 13 others at Santa Fe High School on Friday.

“I am seeking the best solutions to make our schools more secure and to keep our communities safe,” Abbott said. “I look forward to hearing from all sides of the debate, and from expert perspectives on these issues. Working together, we can ensure a safe learning environment for students and safer communities for all Texans.”

Texas Gun Sense said Monday Abbott invited the gun control group to participate in the discussions. Executive Director Gyl Switzer called the opportunity “an honor” and said the group will prioritize discussions on universal background checks, safe storage education, extreme risk protection orders and suicide prevention.

“We hope that this will be the first of many productive meetings and discussions that will lead to meaningful improvements in Texas law and reduce gun violence in the state,” he said. “We believe that the time has come for this meeting and we are pleased to participate.”

Friday’s shooting at the suburban Houston high school so far hasn’t inspired the same level of activism witnessed after the Parkland massacre in February. Instead, some Texas officials, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, think the problem lies in flawed school design.

“There aren’t enough people to put a guard at every entrance and exit. You would be talking twenty-five-, thirty-, forty thousand people,” Patrick said during a press conference Friday. “But if we can protect a large office building or a courthouse or any major facility, maybe we need to look at limiting the entrance and the exits into our schools so that we can have law enforcement looking at the people who come in one or two entrances.”

Patrick said the solution might be costly, but its necessary. “We need to do the work and do the money to protect the children the best we can,” he said. “In other words, we may need to harden our schools and make them safer.”

Fewer entrances may have prevented 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Jr. from concealing his father’s Remington 870 shotgun and .38-caliber revolver under a long coat on a hot day unnoticed, Patrick alleged. Instead, the teen murdered eight students and two teachers during a 30-minute shooting spree Friday morning before surrendering to police in a hallway.

Thirteen others, including School Resource Officer John Barnes, suffered injuries during the attack. Barnes underwent emergency surgery for a shotgun blast to the arm and remains hospitalized.

Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady confirmed the names of the victims over the weekend: Kimberly Vaughan, Shana Fisher, Angelique Ramirez, Christian Riley Garcia, Jared Black, Sabika Sheikh, Christopher Jake Stone, Aaron Kyle McLeod and teachers Glenda Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale. “Please keep the families in your thoughts as they mourn this tragic loss,” Roady said.

Police charged Pagourtzis with capital murder and aggravated assault against a public servant. He’s in solitary confinement on suicide watch at the Galveston County Jail. Few other details surrounding why Pagourtzis snapped have emerged in the days since, though his family and other students have alleged bullying may have played a role. The police affidavit even indicates Pagourtzis spared students he liked “so they could tell his story.”

The district denied the bullying claims in a Facebook statement over the weekend and requested “mindful” dissemination of information out of respect for the bereaving families.

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NRA stays Florida case, appeals court’s pseudonym order

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 14:00

A serious NRA bumper sticker slapped onto the side of a jeep at SHOT Show 2018 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Daniel Terrill/

The National Rifle Association opted to stay a lawsuit challenging age restrictions for gun buying in Florida instead of revealing the identities of the plaintiffs in the case. With the case in limbo, the NRA appealed the court’s ruling denying the organization from using pseudonyms for the two 19-year-old NRA members serving as plaintiffs in the case.

“NRA is unwilling to sacrifice these young adults to the perverted filth, hatred and threats of violence from gun ban supporters,” said Marion Hammer, head of the NRA’s Florida affiliate and former NRA president, in a statement. “We must stand up for the First Amendment right to protect the Second Amendment in court without being exposed to hate and violence from gun ban supporters.”

Although the judge overseeing the case expressed sympathy for the NRA’s reasoning — plaintiffs facing ridicule on the Internet for their political beliefs — he explained the NRA’s request to use fictitious names lacked precedent. Federal law permits using pseudonyms in cases deemed sensitive and the plaintiff faces reputational or economic risk.

Florida lawmakers set restrictions for gun buyers under the age of 21 in response to a 19-year-old gunman with an AR-15 rifle entering a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February and murdering 17 people and injuring 15 others. The measure applies the same age restrictions for buying a handgun to buying a long gun.

A student-led movement pressured lawmakers to pass gun control measures, but the activism also spurred resistance. Some political opponents — including conservative public figures and politicians — pushed back against student leaders by propagating a series of falsehoods, name calling and character attacks.

However, gun rights advocates raised concerns of their own, saying students taking a pro-gun stance received less attention in the media and faced consequences for doing it. Parkland student Kyle Kashuv, who has been hailed by the NRA for his vocal support for the Second Amendment, was criticized and even interviewed by police in April after posting a picture of himself with an AR-15 at a gun range.

The NRA had until May 21 to refile the complaint without the pseudonyms. But, with the case stayed in a Tallahassee federal court, the NRA’s appeal is pending in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in the Eleventh Circuit.

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São Paulo police pick Glock in international competition

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 11:00

A São Paulo Military Police officer testing a Glock 22 pistol. (Photo: Glock)

Glock secured a contract to supply São Paulo Military Police with the Glock 22 handgun, the company said in an announcement Friday.

The Georgia-based gun maker said it beat out competitors Beretta and Sig Sauer to mark the first time a Brazilian law enforcement unit solicited through an international competition.

“All tests were implemented in a very transparent and public manner as any interested party could participate in these tests as observers,” Patrick Voller, Glock’s America’s managing director, said in the statement.

According to the announcement, the competition included a 10,000-round endurance test without cleaning and a 2-meter drop test from six different angles for a total of 64 drops.

Glock said the international contract will provide 5,000 Glock 22 pistols — handguns chambered in .40 S&W — for the department’s special forces division.

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Sightmark launches new generation of Ultra Shot sights with RAM Series

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:30

The Ultra Shot series gets an update with the new RAM Series. (Photo: Sightmark)

Sightmark revamps its Ultra Shot reflex sight inventory, introducing the RAM Series as the newest generation to grace the Ultra Shot lineup.

The RAM Series offers three models in total — R, A and M-Spec. The newest sights were designed for close-range use by both civilians as well as law enforcement and military operations. Created for use on the AR platform and shotguns, the RAM series are powered by a CR123A battery providing between 200 and 2,000 hours of battery life. The sights deliver a wide lens for quicker target acquisition that also aids in sustaining a wide field of view.

The Ultra Shot R-Spec, created for target shooters and hunters, offers four reticle options with red or green illumination. Equipped with a new low battery indicator, the reticle now blinks when the battery is low. Featuring 10 brightness levels and slotted for windage and elevation adjustments, the sight retails for $155.

The Ultra Shot A-Spec is constructed from aluminum and shockproof up to 8-feet. The A-Spec supplies the same updates as the R-Spec, but expands its features to include six night vision settings. This addition allows the A-Spec to work alongside night vision devices. The A-Spec comes in at $179.

Rounding out the series is the M-Spec LQD and M-Spec FMS models. Created for law enforcement, hunting and competition settings, the M-Spec series is waterproof up to 40-feet and can handle up to .50 BMC caliber recoil. The fixed mount M-Spec offers motion sensing activation with five minute shutoff with motion activation and 12-hour auto-off to conserve battery life.

The reflex sight also features an integrated retractable sunshade that reduces lens glare. The shade also works to protect the optic from the elements. The quick detach model provides an improved QD lever, maintaining a low profile that prevents the sights from snagging on gear or unlatching during fire. The M-Spec FMS retails for $ $239 while the LQD is priced at $299.

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Investigation launched after 40mm grenades, M240 machine gun go missing from base

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 10:00

Minot is home to a wing of B-52 bombers as well as one-third of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman ICBMs. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

An Air Force base in North Dakota is looking for some lost ordnance that has gone missing in the past few weeks.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is on the case of a box of 40mm ammunition for a Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher as well as an M240 general purpose machine gun discovered missing from Minot Air Force Base. The 32 grenades reportedly fell off a Humvee in a training area west of Parshall on May 1 and could not be found while the 7.62x51mm machine gun was discovered missing during a standard weapons inventory on May 16.

AFOSI is offering a $5,000 reward for information regarding the return of the grenades, which are “stable if unaltered” but could be dangerous if tampered with, as reported by Lt. Col. Jamie Humphries, chief of Public Affairs for the base.

Those with information are asked to contact the Air Force at (701) 723-7909.

Minot is part of the Air Force Global Strike Command and houses two main units: the 5th Bomber Wing which flies the famous B-52H Stratofortress, and the 91st Missile Wing which maintains 150 Minuteman III ICBMs in underground silos dispersed across the northwest part of the state.

News of the vanished weapons triggered a broadside from military satire site The Duffleblog, who mused that one of the giant 37-ton nuclear-tipped missiles had also somehow disappeared.

“It was just here,” said Lt. Jenna Singleton, a fictional missileer quoted in the parody. “Where the hell could this thing go?”

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Manticore Arms wraps function, aesthetics in affordable package

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:30

Founder Sven Jonsson, center, stands with Manticore employees on the last day of the NRA’s Annual Meeting held in Dallas in May 2018. (Photo: Manticore Arms via Facebook)

Manticore Arms, currently based out of Illinois, brings a flare to the aftermarket accessory arena with aesthetically pleasing parts designed for a bevy of atypical guns that won’t leave consumers penniless in the buying process.

Formed in early 2010, Manticore Arms first developed an improved charging handle for the Steyr Aug. Launched later that year, Manticore’s Sven Jonsson said the majority of time in the early days of Manticore was spent learning the process.

“We saw a niche in the market where smaller run guns, i.e. things like the Steyr AUG, were not receiving aftermarket support and upgrades unlike the mass market guns like the AR-15,” Jonsson told “Most of the time (during the early days) was spent learning the specific 3D software that we now use for everything, building the initial molds and getting our webstore set up.”

Starting from a one man shop, Manticore has grown into a full design and manufacturing company today. Jonsson said watching the company grow and having the freedom to bring interesting products to market has been the most rewarding part of the journey.

“We get to do things the way we want and set the course, even if it is very different from how other companies in the industry operate,” Jonsson said. “We wrap function, aesthetics and value for the price into every product. We are ‘eggheads with a love for guns’ that put that engineering and design experience to work when developing a product.”

What started with a Steyr Aug charging handle has now morphed into a variety of products for multiple platforms. Manticore now boasts parts and accessories for the AK-47 and AK-74 as well as Bren 805, Scorpion Evo, IWI Tavor X95 and SAR as well as AR-15 variants and, of course, the Steyr Aug. The shop serves up products from rail systems, stocks and braces, charging handles, safety levers and muzzle devices.

Jonsson said the company is ever evolving, not satisfied with just producing what’s already on deck.

“(The future is) continued growth and being better well known in the firearms industry, including launching some firearms we are developing,” commented Jonsson.

For now, Manticore is content introducing field gear in 2018 in the form of chest rigs, mag pouches and sling options in addition to a series of shotgun specific products.

With a focus on function and aesthetics wrapped in a value driven package, Manticore continues to push forward engineering and developing an array of designs for consumers who appreciate a little outside the box thinking that doesn’t entirely break the bank.

“If you want accessories or upgrades with good looks and a well thought out designs for a great price we are your people!” Jonsson said.

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Categories: Gun News

A beautiful water-cooled Swedish machine gun in the hands of The Gunny and Co. (VIDEO)

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 09:00

Exhibition shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss joins the iconic R. Lee Ermey to talk about and fire the rarely-seen Swedish Kulspruta m/36.

A variant of the water-cooled Browning M1917, the 57-pound Ksp m/36 was adopted by the Swedish military just before WWII and was — as evidenced by its Great War trench-combat origin — one of the most reliable sustained-fire machine guns invented.

Originally chambered in the same 6.5x55mm cartridges that Swedish Mausers fired, most were chambered for the spicier 8x63mm m/32 machine gun round– although the one that KJW and The Gunny have has been converted to an easier to find .30-06.

While some 7,600 were produced for Sweden by 1944, just five are here in the States.

It’s great to see Ermey again, and Weiss told last month she had several projects planned with the venerable drill instructor that were cut short by his untimely passing.

If you are looking for more info on the m/36, check out Forgotten Weapons where Ian McCollum has everything to include a manual on the Scandavavian Browning as well as O. Janson’s Gotavapen site on Swedish weapons. You’ll be glad you did.

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Categories: Gun News

Outdoor writers’ group responds to gun control op-ed from some senior members

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 08:30

A Huffington Post opinion piece led by the President Obama’s former wildlife boss sparked clarification from the Outdoor Writer’s Association of America.

Headquartered in Missoula, Montana, the OWAA is composed of some 800 individual members and about 200 supporting groups “from the broad, modern spectrum of outdoor beats, from shooting to camping, backpacking to kayaking, wildlife watching to mountain climbing.”

However, Dr. Brandon Shuler, the group’s executive director, wanted to make clear that the recent HuffPost op-ed penned by former U.S. Fish & Wildlife Director Dan Ashe and co-signed by at least nine prominent OWAA members — including three former presidents of the group — was not endorsed by the organization itself.

“OWAA respects the rights of all individuals to express their opinions, but as an organization of professional communicators, we avoid advocacy on issues not related to journalism,” said Shuler in a release. “Some OWAA members may agree with points made in the letter. Some may not. But the letter’s content does not represent OWAA policy.”

The letter by Ashe advanced an agenda to curb gun violence through regulations that included outlawing the sale of all semi-auto rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 cartridges, a ban on gun sales to those under age 21, and a “no-fly/no-buy” law that would bar those on terror watch lists or with a mental illness recognized by the Social Security Administration from buying guns. Other suggested measures included a ban on bump stocks, mandatory and universal background checks, the institution of gun violence restraining orders and increased federal gun research.

“(I)n comparison to the 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who have been stripped of all of their rights, and of life and liberty, it is a small price to pay,” said Ashe in the piece, saying, “There are simple, responsible solutions. No one should use hunters and hunting as an excuse to avoid pursuing them.”

The op-ed received condemnation in gun media circles with Lee Williams, a Sarasota Herald-Tribune editor who heads his regular The Gun Writer column, blasting the missive as perhaps “the worst piece of Fuddish propaganda I’ve seen in decades,” going on to describe the gun culture term at length. Similarly, Dan Zimmerman at The Truth About Guns described the Ashe open letter as “The Fudd Manifesto” while The Gun Mag’s Dave Workman branded it as “Fudd Fury,” a sentiment echoed by James Shepherd, editor of The Outdoor Wire.

In many cases, those critical of both the op-ed and OWAA’s tepid rebuke pointed to the 2005 schism in the organization over its lack of perceived support of the Second Amendment which triggered a number of members exit the organization and form the Professional Outdoor Media Association.

“It’s a pretty safe assumption that the war of words that had inflamed passions, fractured friendships, and split partnerships a decade ago has heated up again,” said Shepherd.

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