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Rest In Peace: Jeff Quinn, of GunBlast, Dies

Tue, 07/28/2020 - 10:06

Jeff Quinn of GunBlast photographed in 2014 at his home in Dover, Tennessee. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

It is with much sorrow that we say goodbye to Jeff Quinn of GunBlast, who passed away on July 27, 2020. He leaves behind a wonderful family who loved him dearly, as well as many friends. 

Quinn was a “salt of the earth” kind of guy, a “gentle-soul” as his brother Boge put it. He loved God, family, and life. I think it’s safe to say that he lived his life the way he wanted, and enjoyed himself much of the time.

When he decided to pursue gun writing in 1999 as a hobby, few expected him to revolutionize the firearms industry — but that’s exactly what he did.

Tired of reading contrived gun reviews in his favorite gun mags, Quinn asked his more tech-savvy brother Boge, “If I could write about the gun, can you put it on the internet thing?” Boge agreed and Quinn got to work.

He started photographing and writing about guns in a comprehensive manner. “At first, we just reviewed guns that we already had,” said Boge who took Quinn’s data and entered it into his computer. They put it online on a website they called GunBlast. At the time, no one else was doing it, and the internet was still very young.

With their site up and running, they attended their first SHOT Show as GunBlast in the early 2000s. They visited manufacturers and asked if they could review their guns. “A couple of the gun companies would look at me like there was something wrong with me,” recalled Quinn.

Fortunately, a few companies saw the potential and started sending guns for review. Quinn’s personality and look resonated with the gun crowd. You knew right away that he absolutely loved guns and wanted to pass on this passion to the reader. As a result, GunBlast took off. The success called for another addition, by way of another Quinn brother, Greg, who joined the team to help with advertising sales. After nearly two decades, the GunBlast channel garnered more than 64 million views. What started as a hobby, became a full-time job.

On a personal note, Quinn was responsible for getting me even more hooked on guns in 2005 when I read his review of a big stainless steel Ruger revolver. I’m so grateful that I had the chance to visit with him a few times at his home in Dover, Tennessee, and to film a short documentary about the GunBlast brothers in 2018. 

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Categories: Gun News

American Tactical Imports Adds FDE to FXH-45 Pistol

Tue, 07/28/2020 - 04:00

The FXH-45 now comes in a sleek FDE aesthetic. (Photo: American Tactical Imports)

American Tactical Imports expands the color options on its FXH-45 pistol, adding Flat Dark Earth to the list of available styles.

The FDE model sports a black 416 stainless steel slide paired with black polymer grips for a stylish look. The FXH-45 pistol features a single-action, 1911 design built on a Commander-sized frame, chambered in .45 ACP. Boasting an 8+1 capacity, the FXH-45 opts for a 4.25-inch match-grade barrel made of 416 stainless steel with an overall length of 8.7-inches. Weight comes in at just over 27-ounces unloaded.

Additional features include built-in finger grooves for better ergonomics and an overtravel adjustable, skeletonized trigger. It’s worth noting that the 1911 also accepts Glock front and rear sights, as well as aftermarket night sights. It also offers compatibility with most standard 1911 parts and grips.

The American Tactical FXH-45 is priced around $599.


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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer to Offer Stand-Alone P320 Fire Control Units

Tue, 07/28/2020 - 03:22

New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer is doubling down on the modularity of its popular P320 series pistols by offering standalone Fire Control Units as a base for custom work.

The P320 Custom Works Fire Control Unit would consist of the serialized portion of the system, with no barrel, grip module, slide, or magazine. Available through licensed firearms dealers starting in October, individuals could pick up the ATF-controlled FCU, then elect to finish out any way they want. The units are complete with a gold titanium nitride finish and the company’s Legion series trigger.

The Fire Control Unit is the serialized heart of a P320 and can be swapped among various grip modules and top halves to form a complete firearm. Likewise, the FCU is the ATF-regulated item, akin to the lower receiver of an AR-15. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

“With its unprecedented modularity and unmatched capability, the P320 platform has become one of the most exciting pistols available to firearms enthusiasts today,” says Sig Sauer. “The soul of the P320 and the driving force behind its modularity lies in the unique, patented design of its Fire Control Unit (FCU).

“Now, Sig Sauer is offering the FCU as a standalone product, enabling an entirely new level of customization and personalization, giving users the ability to create virtually millions of combinations to suit any need and any level of personal style.”

MSRP on the P320 Custom Works Fire Control Unit is not available at this time. Buyers will be able to register their product on Sig’s upcoming Custom Works P320 Studio which will allow them to “test drive” builds.


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Categories: Gun News

NY Senate Votes to Ban ‘Ghost Gun’ Possession, Gun Assembly

Tue, 07/28/2020 - 02:50

A 1700s engraving showing a room of people being scared by a faux ghost. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Lawmakers in the Empire State last week approved what they call the toughest ban on so-called “Ghost Guns” in the country.

The Democrat-controlled New York State Senate on July 23 approved S.7763-A/A9903 on a 43-17 vote. The measure aims to create tough new statewide laws on firearms without serial numbers such as those commonly built by hobbyists in the comfort of their homes. Further, it would make the simple act of fitting together the component parts of a firearm a crime for anyone who is not a licensed gunsmith.

The bill has been floating around Albany for almost a decade in one form or another but was consistently foiled while Republicans held narrow control of the Senate. Today, New York’s state government has one-party rule, with Dems in the driver’s seat.

“Ghost guns have been a scourge for years, and that is why I first introduced legislation to regulate them back in 2013,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat.

The measure would define a “ghost gun” under state law as any firearm that isn’t serialized and registered, with no provision for grandfathering of guns already in circulation. Currently, federal law allows anyone legally able to possess a firearm to build one for their personal use.

Under S.7763-A, the manufacture or otherwise assembly of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun would be banned by anyone other than a licensed gunsmith. With that, it would also be a crime for anyone except a gunsmith to possess a firearm without a serial number. In the case of “unfinished frames or receivers” in the possession of such a smith, they would have to be serialized and registered with the State Police.

Illegal possession of a ghost gun, under the proposal, would be a Class D felony– a class of crime in New York that includes robbery and some types of manslaughter– that carries a penalty of as much as 5 years in prison. Unlawful production of a ghost gun would be a Class C felony, the same as assault and drug distribution, and carries up to 10 years in prison.

National anti-gun groups approve of the measure.

“New York is a nationwide leader on gun safety and we applaud Senators Hoylman and Kaplan for their leadership on this critical public safety issue in the NY Senate and urge the NY Assembly to swiftly pass these life-saving pieces of legislation,” said David Pucino, Staff Attorney at the Giffords Law Center.

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Categories: Gun News

Strategies for Non-Escalation and De-Escalation

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 04:00

Knowing when to pull your gun in self-defense, and more importantly, when not to, is critical in a de-escalation strategy. De-escalation and non-escalation are often overlooked aspects of training, but they are important exercises. Becoming well-versed in de-escalation, or better yet learning how to avoid bad situations altogether, means you’re more likely to keep your gun holstered. In short, mentally working through de-escalation and non-escalation techniques could prevent you from having the worst day of your life.

To learn more, we caught up with Dave Young, Co-Founder of Vistelar Training. Vistelar Training offers a wide variety of instruction focused on human conflict. One of the most sought-after training courses revolves around the principles of non-escalation and de-escalation. As a former Marine and law enforcement officer, Young has seen plenty of encounters and witnessed the value of de-escalation.

Non-Escalation vs. De-Escalation

Dave Young teaches a class of students in non-escalation techniques. (Photo: Vistelar/

Before we dive into specific strategies for de-escalation, let’s take a moment to understand non-escalation versus de-escalation. “Non-escalation strategies avoid the negative dance [while] de-escalation strategies help you manage the negative dance,” Young told us.

Simply put, non-escalation avoids a situation that could become elevated in stress, adrenaline, and the need for self-defense. Non-escalation is where, ideally, the majority of gun owners and non-gun owners alike should live.

Young laid out five strategies for non-escalation to keep gun owners safe.

Non-Escalation Tip #1: Treat EVERYONE with Dignity and Respect

Tip #1 harkens back to the Golden Rule — “Treat everyone how you would like to be treated.” This seems like a no-brainer, but dignity and respect often fly out the window when there is a disagreement between two parties. Young suggests focusing on empathy and understanding the perspectives of the other person.

“We seem to think that we can just talk belligerently, rudely, we can voice our prejudice, we can avoid what we like and what we don’t like, and it’s not going to offend others. That’s not treating people with dignity by showing them respect,” Young said. “We start by seeing the world through their eyes; this way, we can have empathy for the person that’s coming into contact with us.”

If you’re treating everyone who comes into contact with you with dignity and respect, it’s hard for a situation to escalate. This is not to say you can’t disagree, but when done with empathy and respect, disagreements will likely remain civil and non-violent.

Non-Escalation Tip #2: Be Alert and Decisive

This is what many instructors term “living in condition yellow.” Simply put, be aware of your surroundings. Put down the tech in your hands and actively engage in your environment. To do this effectively, Young gave a series of questions we should ask ourselves whenever we’re in public.

“Is it safe to approach that environment? Is that environment approaching me? What are my escape routes when I’m making contact with this person or this person’s making contact with me? What are my positions or cover? If things go bad, can I get to a place safely? What are my weapons of opportunity?” Young posited.

Whether you’re in New York City or hiking the Rocky Mountains, evaluating these questions and knowing these answers keeps you safer.

Non-Escalation Tip #3: Respond, Don’t React

Following tip #2, resist knee jerk reactions to a situation. If you’re working through the above questions, you should already have a well-formulated response. Responding, not reacting, to a situation is ideal.

“Safe is action that you’re ready to take when your life depends on it the most. That means you’re safe. If you’re not ready to take that action, then you’re the opposite of safe. You’re very, very unsafe. As we go through non-escalation strategies, we have to manage our communication alignment because that is really how we gauge people.” Young said.

Non-Escalation Tip #4: Managing Paraverbals and Proxemics

Keeping communication lines open and understanding that a majority of communication is non-verbal is just another way to avoid the negative dance. The old saying “it’s not what you said, it’s how you said it,” rings true and, thus, paraverbal communication skills become even more necessary.

“The tone of your voice is the music your words dance to. Your tone of voice will be registered by another person that you’re confident, or you’re the opposite of confident, that you’re fearful or fearless. Tone of voice is often how we gauge a person’s emotional wellbeing,” Young told us. “Most people that aren’t trained stand too close, talk too loud, talk too fast, and then they want to touch.”

The goal of managing paraverbals is to keep a calm, even tone to your voice. If your voice becomes elevated, then you need to start thinking about exiting. Paraverbals refer to tone of voice, while proxemics relates to body language and distance.

“Proxemics is the measurement of distance, how far you stand from somebody. Positioning, where you center yourself from somebody, off shoulder somebody, and then hand placement, where are your hands?”

Hand placement is important because it can often indicate to the other person whether or not you have a gun. Similarly, how you position your body in relation to the contact and environment will either give you an easy exit or box you in.

How to De-Escalate

If you find yourself needing to de-escalate, that means things may have started to head south; but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Effectively navigating your way out of a situation can be the difference between going home to your family or going to jail.

There are some universal signs we can give when coming into contact with someone in a tense moment. A single hand or two hands extended out from your body, palms forward, is recognized as a signal to stop. Similarly, two hands held up in the letter “T” is widely recognized as “let’s take a timeout.” Small non-verbal communications often go a long way toward calming a setting.

An extended hand palm out is a universally recognized sign to stop. (Photo:

A common tactic Young points to is redirection, but he points out that it’s often misused. He gives the hypothetical situation of someone getting called a name, “Hey, you’re an idiot!” The incorrect redirection would be to reply, “Your mom’s an idiot.”

“You want to bring them back to professional language. You acknowledge what they say and redirect them back to professional language,” Young said. While bringing people back to professional language is a great first step, understand that to continue the conversation is to continue escalation. Instead, you should be thinking of an exit strategy.

“Part of de-escalation strategies is developing an exit strategy. Know when it’s time to be quiet and bow out gracefully,” Young said, “An exit means, right when this contact happens, I want to avoid it altogether. I always tell people to remember this short phrase — If you have to repeat yourself more than twice at a higher level of voice, you need to exit the area.”


Every disagreement doesn’t need to escalate into a fight, and understanding how to prevent this from happening is even more necessary when carrying a gun.
“If you look at taking a win by the gunfights you win, you’re way off base on even carrying a firearm,” Young said.

When you carry for self-defense, keep non-escalation and de-escalation techniques ever-present in your mind. Ultimately, you’ll be a safer and more responsible gun owner.

Putting the cart before the horse and don’t have a gun yet? Check out our selection of concealed carry handguns that are sure to please. 

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Categories: Gun News

Pulsar Unveils Axion XM30S Thermal Monocular

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 04:00

Pulsar unveiled the new Axion XM30S. (Photo: Pulsar)

Pulsar adds a new thermal monocular to its Axion lineup, introducing the Axion XM30S.

The Axion XM30S offers a 1024×768 AMOLED display paired with a 4.5x to 18x magnification. Utilizing a 320×240 sensor, the monocular provides a 1,400-yard detection range. The device is capable of both photo and video recording with 16GB of memory. It also offers compatibility with the Stream Vision app allowing users to easily view images and videos. Weighing 8.8-ounces, Pulsar said the compact design is lightweight yet powerful.

“With a lightweight and rugged magnesium alloy housing, the Axion XM30S is one of the most advanced thermal monoculars on the market,” Pulsar said in a news release.

The thermal monocular boasts a rugged design perfect for taking out into the field. (Photo: Pulsar)

The Axion XM30S pairs with the Stream Vision app allowing users to access recorded photos and videos. (Photo: Pulsar)

The Axion XM30S is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery offering four hours of battery life. The thermal monocular comes with multiple color viewing modes and is IPX7 waterproof rated. It ships with a battery pack, USB cable, hand strap, lens cleaning cloth, carrying case, and battery pack charging kit.

MSRP on the Pulsar Axion XM30S sits at $2,199, though street prices come in slightly lower.


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Categories: Gun News

Super Rare Early Semmerling LM-4 .45ACP Pistol Surfaces

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 02:14

This amazingly rare Semmerling LM-4, serial number 31, is up for grabs in the Vault for the decerning collector. It looks like a small semi-automatic. But it only looks that way. (Photo:

An unusual micro-compact .45ACP designed in the 1970s with something of a cloak-and-dagger history behind them, the Semmerling LM-4 is among the most sought after of collectible handguns.

Mr. Lichtman, I presume

One could not talk about the LM-4 without covering its father, Philip Lichtman. Harvard educated and the holder of more than 30 patents, mostly for innovative surgical instruments, Lichtman was described in his 2017 obituary as having “seven avocational passions in the course of his life: fishing, model airplanes, butterflies and entomology, telescopes and astronomy, cars, guns, and collecting and restoring oriental rugs.”

Across the course of three patents filed between 1973 and 1980, Lichtman laid out a curious manually-operated handgun design that became the LM-4 in a series of no less than eight claims detailed in 46 drawings.

Smallest 5+1 .45ACP

Originally billed as a “vest pocket .45” built for maximum concealment in mind, the 4+1 shot pistol was only 5.2-inches long, 3.7-inches high, and a svelte 1-inch wide. For reference, this puts it in the same neighborhood as common .32ACP and .25ACP pocket pistols, but in a much larger caliber. Today it still holds the title as perhaps the smallest .45ACP that isn’t a derringer and, for comparison, it is about the same size as a Ruger LCP.

Note the massive extractor hook which grabs spent cartridges as the “slide” is manually pushed forward to work the action. The right side of the slide is marked “Cal .45 ACP”, and “Std. Mil. Spec. Ctg. Only” with serial  “031”.

With the first round in the chamber ready for immediate use, reloading was accomplished by manually racking the slide forward about 1.5-inches and then pulling it back into battery. This sounds awkward, but with practice, the slide could be pushed forward with the thumb of the off-hand and five shots could be fired in 3-4 seconds. A one-handed “snap” can also be used in theory and is detailed in the manual.

To help mitigate recoil, as there is no spring to eat it up, the pistol weighs a hefty 24-ounces.

The Lichtman LM-4 was teased on the market as early as 1975 and in the May 1977 issue of American Handgunner an early pistol (serial number 14) was tested by George Nonte who described the unusual gun as having manageable felt recoil for what it was, saying, “I’ve not found its recoil or jump noticeably worse than a .45 Colt LW Commander weighing over a third of a pound more.” And this penned by a gun writer back in the age where you could buy .45 Auto Mags new.

Price at the time was $645, which works about to about $3,100 in today’s dollars, to which Nonte noted, “But, if it can save your life, who can say that’s too much? You pay more for life insurance, and it only pays off after you’re dead!!”

By 1978, the gun was being marketed as the Semmerling LM-4, manufactured in Boston, where less than 600 pistols were produced– using S7 tool steel and much hand-fitting– by 1982. The smallest 5-shot .45ACP on the market, the LM-4 was pitched for use as a backup gun for law enforcement, a deep concealment piece for those in need of one, or clandestine use by overseas intelligence officers. In short, something of an even smaller answer to Paris Theodore’s ASP 9mm of the same era. There was at least one small contract with the U.S. Army for the LM-4 according to Fjestad. All of this lent greatly to the Semmerling’s enduring collector’s status.

The “LM” in the model numbers stands for the “Lichtman Model” of which the first three were non-production prototypes. The left side of the slide is marked “Mod. LM-4 Patents Pending” and “Semmerling Corp. Boston, Mass.”

The front sight is a fixed serrated ramped blade with the rear being a simple square notch. The top of the slide is serrated to allow the operator to use the thumb of their off hand to push the slide back and forth, working the action. With a little practice, the LM-4 could be fired about one shot per second.


In 1982,  the company’s trademarks and patents were bought by Texas-based American Derringer, who made a variant of the pistol until 1998 and continues to do so on special order– for $4,250. Arguably, you could go with something like the slightly larger Glock 30 today for practical carry purposes, which offers an easier manual of operation but falls far short of the 1970s covert cool factor.

Still, early Boston-marked Semmerlings are more often seen in museums than in circulation. Or in F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack novels, anyway.


Like rare, uncommon, and historic guns? Check out our Military Classics and Collector’s Corner sections where firearms like the LM-4 are just a click away.

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Categories: Gun News

Bloomberg Group Aims to Take $15 Million Gun Control Sweep to 8 States

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 04:26

After a multi-million dollar campaign delivered one-party control to Virginia, which within months saw five controversial gun control laws enacted, Everytown is looking to repeat the model in at least eight states. (Photo:

A national anti-gun group this week announced they intend to spend $15 million in battleground states to support politicians who back tougher regulations on firearms.

Everytown, formed originally as Mayors Against Illegal Guns by Micheal Bloomberg and still largely funded by the billionaire media mogul, said the campaign is their largest digital ad program to date. The push includes $5 million in ad buys in Florida, $3.5 million in Texas, $1.5 million in North Carolina, $1.25 million each in both Arizona and Iowa, $1 million each in Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and $500,000 in Georgia.

The group says the ads, to air on non-traditional platforms like Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, Roku, and Univision, will “largely target suburban parents, young voters, and people of color, and will include Spanish-language creative.”

While $15 million sounds like a big outlay, Everytown plans on spending upwards of $60 million in this election cycle, which means the digital campaign is only about a quarter of its investment in future gun control.

The Virginia Model

While the Everytown ad focus in Florida–a state where President Donald Trump won in 2016– is heavy on the upcoming Presidental race, others aim to increase the number of Democrats on Capitol Hill. In every one of the targeted states a drive is being made to turn the state legislature blue.

The breakdown of Everytown’s planned digital buy in the next few months (Graphic: Everytown)

This comes in the wake of the group’s long-running and ultimately successful effort in Virginia to flip the polarity of the state’s legislature. In 2011, Bloomberg gave $25,000 to each of the six pro-gun control Democrats running for the Virginia State Senate. By 2015, the effort to shift control of the body saw an additional $1.5 million in Bloomberg dollars.

Hedging bets, Bloomberg groups at the same time ponied up $1.1 million in donations to help elect first Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and then an even larger amount to back Gov. Ralph Northam, both Dems that went on to repeatedly push an anti-gun agenda in the state legislature only to see it tank in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Finally, after sinking $2.5 million into the Commonwealth’s 2019 statewide elections, Bloomberg-backed Dems were able to pull off a narrow hattrick, securing slim single-party control of both chambers in the state legislature and the Governor’s mansion. Before the smoke cleared on the 2020 session, Northam signed no less than five gun control bills into law, shot to his desk through party-line votes over the howls of gun rights advocates.

“Everytown and Moms Demand Action will be deploying our grassroots power and substantial financial investments to deliver a gun sense majority legislature in Minnesota – the same way we did in Virginia in 2019,” said Charlie Kelly, senior political advisor for Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund.

America heads to the polls on November 3.

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Categories: Gun News

DOD Picks Hornady .300 Blackout for CQB Use

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 03:19

Hornady is now supplying an unspecified military unit with a subsonic 190-grain .300 AAC Blackout load for CQB use. (Photos: Hornady/Department of Defense)

Nebraska-based ammo maker Hornady  announced this week that they will supply an undisclosed amount of 300 Blackout to a “specialized unit” inside the Department of Defense.

The load selected, Hornady’s 190-grain Subsonic Expanding Tactical Application Police, was reportedly chosen for use in close-quarter battle or CQB situations. The Sub-X TAP round uses Hornady’s Flex Tip tech, which is designed to both meet FBI protocol and expand at subsonic velocities.

“This cartridge is loaded with a powder that is optimized to provide flash suppression, clean-burning yet function in short-barrel to carbine length-rifles,” notes Hornady.

Video of how the Sub-X TAP handles in gel tests are captivating.

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Categories: Gun News

Is LWRCI’s IC DI Worth the Price?

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 05:00

Using the CTK P3 Ultimate Gun Rest is one of the easiest ways to help dial in your optics. (Photo: Sean Curtis/

LWRC International, based in Cambridge, Maryland, makes fine rifles. I’ve have owned an IC DI model for several years now, and it is a shining example of what a top tier AR-15 maker does at the height of its craft. By the end of this review, I hope you’ll see why.

Nuts and Bolts

The IC DI is a direct impingement model. This is an important distinction because LWRCI is also known for its quality piston model AR-15s. The DI is an AR-15 chambered in 5.56 NATO that weighs 6.6-pounds. The fluted barrel contributes greatly to this dainty weight. The 16.1-inch cold hammer-forged barrel has a twist of 1:7 and is capped with an A2 birdcage flash hider. The rail is fully free-floated and features M-LOK, 3 QD mounts, and a Picatinny rail on top.

The parts come together to produce a solid rifle that is reliable and accurate. (Photo: Sean Curtis/

LWRCI has a proprietary DI bolt carrier group behind the barrel, and this is housed in a Monoforge upper. The NiCorr-coated gas system is mid-length. If you are into ambidextrous capability, you’re in luck with this rifle. That’s right, from the twin-sided charging handle to the mag release, fire selector, and bolt release, they are equally represented on the left or right side.

The trigger is solid and averaged 4-pounds, 15-ounces on my Lyman Digital Gauge. Being a single-stage, there is barely any travel as you begin pressing back, then it snaps. The reset comes on after about a millimeter release and is both audible and tactile.

On the left side of the receiver, the ambi controls get more interesting. (Photo: Sean Curtis/


The rifle is well balanced, not clearly tipping one way or the other when I hold it. I also love the light weight! Without a bunch of peripherals like lights, bipods, and other “essentials” bolted on, the DI is easily maneuvered. I have even previously used it in structure clearing training. A few hundred draw strokes during a class, and you appreciate the lightweight package.

This Magpul MOE grip has a nice rubber texture that hangs on to your palm. (Photo: Sean Curtis/

The grip is a Magpul MOE that offers a rubbery outer surface for extra tackiness. It’s at a good angle and is hollow, with a storage cap on the bottom for added utility. The rail is thin enough in diameter that it can easily be handled by most hand sizes. I’d have liked the rail to be longer, but most people wouldn’t have a problem finding a good position for their support hand.

The buttstock is minimalist, fitting in with the weight-saving theme, though it’s got surface area where it counts — on top, so you can establish a good cheek weld. The stock collapses or expands out, having a total of six positions to accommodate shooter preference.


There are a couple of metrics I consider when evaluating AR-15s. One of them is accuracy at given distances, and the other is reliability. To be clear, I don’t shoot much past 100 yards, so the standard MOA works great for me as a known measurement of accuracy.

I’ve had a Vortex Spitfire AR 1x prism optic mounted on the DI for a few years, and it’s a great fit. The etched reticle is always there, whether you remembered to change the batteries out or not. Remember to regularly swap out batteries, and you can enjoy a pretty cool lit reticle in either red or green colors. The reticle itself has an outer ring, inner ring, and dot in the very center. It’s great for up-close work.

I see a lot of guns over the normal course of a year. Many of them come and go, and I enjoy each experience as I test, photo, and then write about them. However, the Mrs. saw this burnt bronze, RSR exclusive, DI, and it was love at first sight. (Photo: Sean Curtis/

Starting out at the range, I zeroed at 25 yards on a CTK Precision Ultimate Shooting Rest. Less than 1-inch groups are pretty easy at this distance. Eventually, we pushed out to 100 yards. My eyes aren’t what they used to be and seeing the small dot on my target with a 1x magnification was a challenge. However, we were able to hit consistently at this distance, creating groups just under 4-inches.

The rest of the testing consisted of running drills and the normal mag changes that ensued. As far as reliability goes, I’m looking not only for failures to fire or eject but other issues that can cause you to take some action other than shooting to address them. I had no serious malfunctions, like a stovepipe or double feed, to speak of. All in, the rifle has seen around 2,000 rounds of various brands of ammo, with the last 500 consisting of 50-grain Federal. There were no hiccups.

Notice anything different? Look at the diagram on the mat; there are no screws to be staked. (Photo: Sean Curtis/

I had two suspect magazines where the bolt did not remain open on the last shot. Rotating these mags out solved the issue, though. Other than that, the rifle performed flawlessly. The rifle ran hot after a while, but this is common on smaller diameter handguards with repetitive shooting. Recoil is the standard, negligible 5.56 I am used to, and follow up shots were easy to direct and control.

High-End American

While I love black guns, this burnt bronze is a very nice Cerakote option. (Photo: Sean Curtis/

The LWRCI IC DI is an impressive AR-15 with a lot of proprietary features that contribute to the overall performance. The fluted barrel is beautiful and really helps cut overall weight. The internals, such as the Advanced Bolt Carrier Group, are designed to run smoothly for a long time. This all comes at a price, of course.

The MSRP for the IC DI sits around $1,747, though I have seen them for sale online at less depending on model and color. Regardless, the weapon is outstanding, and you won’t regret your purchase. The LWRC IC DI is a quality rifle that will provide you with solid accuracy and dependable service for years to come.


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Categories: Gun News

Illinois Sued as Wait for Mandatory Gun Owner Cards Stretches Months

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 04:02

Applicants who meet the qualifications for a FOID card in Illinois are supposed to receive it in 30 days. A federal lawsuit contends that just isn’t happening. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Officials in the Land of Lincoln are named in a federal lawsuit filed this week by individuals who have been waiting months for mandated Firearm Owners Identification cards, which are supposed to be issued within 30 days of application.

The cards, required by the state since 1968, hail from an era that predated NICS checks and have been derided over the years as being flawed, redundant, and unnecessary. Nonetheless, they are still a requirement to legally possess a firearm in Illinois. While state law requires the state police to issue cards to applicants that meet all requirements within a month, that isn’t happening, which is the underlying factor of the legal action.

“The law requires that the Illinois State Police either approve or deny a FOID card application within 30 days,” said Second Amendment founder Alan Gottlieb in a statement to “But ISP has been dragging its feet, leaving applicants in limbo for months. Sometimes the agency doesn’t act for as long as 60 or even 90 days. You can bet that if a private citizen had to comply with a legal requirement within 30 days, he or she would be in big trouble for not meeting that deadline.”

As noted by local reports, some firearms instructors in the state are familiar with current FOID wait times stretching as long as eight months.

While ISP says their current backlog is due to a mixture of underfunding by Republican Gov. Bruce Radner’s administration and a glut of 62,832 FOID applications in the past month– up almost 150 percent from the same time in 2019– Gottlieb says the problem has been around for decades.

“This has been going on for years,” he said, “and it has to stop. It is especially important now, with the surge in FOID applications as a response to recent civil unrest that has included looting and violence. Illinois residents expect efficiency, not excuses, and they haven’t been getting it.”

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by four plaintiffs who have all been waiting longer than 30 days for their FOID cards and is supported by both SAF and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

National Model?

Anti-gun groups and supporting Democrats on Capitol Hill have long pitched models similar to the Illinois FOID card as a proposed new national standard for legal firearms possession.

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate this session by Cory Booker would require individuals who want to buy or receive a firearm to first get vetted by and be issued a license from the U.S. Department of Justice. In addition to an extensive background check, applicants would have to complete firearms training “which must include a written test and hands-on training to ensure safe use and accuracy,” and submit fingerprints. Further, the licensee would have to report to DOJ the make, model, and serial number of the gun being transferred.

The license would have to be renewed every five years, to include refresher training and a subsequent background check. No license, no guns.

Presumptive Democratic Presidental candidate, Vice President Joe Biden, has endorsed mandatory gun owner licensing as a part of his platform.

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Categories: Gun News

Why Do Texans Love Their Guns So Much?

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 04:00

It’s a question that’s been around as long as Texas has been around, why do Texans love guns so much?

To figure out the answer to this, we surveyed the state capitol of Austin and the surrounding Hill Country to see what folks had to say. Texas is a fiercely independent state, and while many of the responses revolved around freedom, the answers were as unique as Texas culture itself. Watch the video to learn more about why Texans love their guns so much.

Check out the selection of guns from dealers all across the state of Texas by clicking the button below!


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Categories: Gun News

Great American Outdoors Act Sent to President Trump

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 01:13

The Great American Outdoors Act aims to support access to public lands for purposes to include hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. (Photo: Ruger)

Conservation, sportsmen, and pro-hunting groups cheered the passing of the Great American Outdoors Act by Congress on Wednesday.

The bill was a rare act of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill. Introduced by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., in March, it passed the Republican-controlled Senate 73-25  last month then was greenlighted 310–107 this week by the Democrat-controlled U.S. House, sending it to President Donald Trump for signature.

The measure establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address a growing backlog of deferred maintenance projects on federal lands. The funds allocated under the bill would help maintain access to public lands, specifically those in line with “hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, or other outdoor recreational purposes.”

The bill is paid for through fees from federal offshore oil and gas leases over a five-year period, not taxpayer dollars, and stands to amount to upwards of $9.5 billion. The bulk of the money would go to the National Park Service with smaller amounts to the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service. It is estimated by the measure’s sponsors that the funding will help create over 100,000 jobs.

The Great American Outdoors Act also provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since 1965, the LWCF has funded 40,000 projects from coast to coast, preserving nearly 3 million acres of land.

The GAOA was strongly supported by dozens of conservation and pro-hunting groups including Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Boone & Crockett Club, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, the Mule Deer Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Foundation, Safari Club International, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

“This will be a great example of a promise kept by the Trump Administration for America’s sportsmen and women,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs and General Counsel. “Secretary David Bernhardt and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith recognize that our nation’s public lands belong to all Americans and the Trump Administration delivered on the guarantee that those lands and waters are accessible to America’s conservation-minded hunters and recreational target shooters. Those men and women are the greatest stewards of our natural resources and this initiative to expand and open new opportunities will nurture the next generation to enjoy and preserve our national outdoor heritage.”

America’s hunters, anglers, and target shooters chip in a whopping $119 billion annually to the U.S. economy, directly supporting over 1.6 million jobs, according to data from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. The CSF notes that 99 percent of BLM, USFWS, and USFS lands are open for hunting, fishing, or shooting, providing 25 million hunting days to sportsmen.

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Categories: Gun News

A Look Back at the Classic Colt Diamondback Revolver

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 03:51

With a distinctive full-lug vent-rib barrel that gave the gun much of the same look and feel of their vaunted Python, the Colt Diamondback was popular with a host of buyers. (Photos:

Colt produced the Diamondback revolver in multiple calibers across three decades, but a lot of people hardly remember this classic wheel gun.

In 1966, Colt decided to come up with what was essentially a mid-shelf revolver that was more modern than their staple six-shooter offerings but cost less than their top-of-the-line Python .357 Magnum. Without reinventing the wheel (gun), the company tapped their old-school (at the time) D-frame revolver, the same one introduced originally with the 1900s-era Police Positive, then greatly upgraded the features.

The Diamondback used a familiar frame to Colt, as the D-frame started with the Police Positive and Police Positive Special, then also extended to the Detective Special, Commando, Cobra, Agent, and Courier.

Using the same style of full-lug high-vent ribbed barrel as the Python, the Diamondback was a handsome, modern revolver that set itself apart from legacy pencil barrel offerings that looked like they came from the Roaring 20s– because, in many cases, they did.

The Diamondback was also offered in several variants right off the bat, being chambered in .38 Special, .22S/L/LR, and .22WMR in both 2.5- and 4-inch barrel lengths with a 6-inch model later added. Other standard features included an all-steel frame, adjustable sights, blued finish, and walnut Colt medallion target grips on full-sized models, the latter being another feature borrowed from the Python. This scratched a lot of itches.

As with most 20th Century Colt wheel guns, the Diamondback had a six-shot swing-out cylinder with a clockwise or right-hand rotation, as opposed to Smith & Wesson which used counterclockwise or left hand rotating cylinders, allowing Colt fans the eternal cry of “Colt got it right!”

When introduced, the Diamondback retailed for a flat and easy $100 across all three caliber options. Compare that to the top-shelf .357 Magnum Python which ran $154. However, the new Diamondback was far from the least expensive Colt wheelgun, as the Offical Police, Police Positive, TrooperDetective Special, and Cobra all ran between $76 and $92. Can you tell the 1960s were the heydey of Colt wheel guns?

The smaller 2.5-inch “Roscoe” used Colt service grips, giving the shorty Diamondback the appearance of a bulked-up Colt Detective and for good reason– the Dick Special used the same D-style frame, albeit with a smaller barrel and fixed sights. This model, up for grabs in the Vault, dates from 1968 and is in superb condition.

This beautiful circa 1976 Colt Diamondback has been dressed up with aftermarket grips

Another circa 1976 Diamondback. Colt used branded Pachymar “Gripper” rubber grips on some later models and it was also a common aftermarket upgrade.

This 1985-production Diamondback is a 6-inch .22LR model that runs just short of being a foot long overall and is likely an easy-recoiling tack driver.

How did the Diamondback go over? Apparently pretty good as Colt kept them in series production through 1991, a 27-year run. Best yet, as collectors have gone hot and heavy on magnum “snake guns” like the Python, Anaconda, and King Cobra, the Diamondback often gets overlooked, making it more of a sleeper. It falls through the cracks to a degree as it doesn’t have the noir appeal of Sam Spade-era guns like the Police Positive and Detective, but doesn’t hit the .357 club like the bigger snakes.

However, as it is increasingly on the radar with the higher-profile serpents getting snapped up, and the prices on a nice Diamondback are rising.


Like rare, uncommon, and historic guns? Check out our Military Classics and Collector’s Corner sections where firearms like the Colt Diamondback are just a click away.

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Categories: Gun News

New: Sig Gives P938 the SAS Treatment w/ FT Bullseye Sight

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 01:48

Following in the path of the head-turning P365 SAS, Sig Sauer has now applied the same treatment to another of their micro-compact 9mm pistols, the P938.

Announced on Tuesday, the new P938 SIG Anti-Snag model dehorns the squared edges from the pistol for what the New Hampshire-based company bills as a seamless draw. This process includes ditching the standard sight posts for a flush-mounted FT Bullseye fiber-tritium night sight mounted directly into the slide.

The FT Bullseye is set into the top of the Nitron-finished stainless steel slide, in place of more traditional sights. Sig says the sight is “intuitive and easy for the untrained eye to pick-up for fast target acquisition.” (Photo: Sig Sauer)

“When we introduced the SAS technology with the P365 it was immensely popular, and the demand for this new technology in the concealed carry market was immediate,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales. “The Sig P938 is a very popular micro-compact pistol, so the addition of the SAS technology was a natural fit for this platform”

The P938 SAS is a single-action-only hammer-fired pistol with an allow frame and Nitron finish. Dimensionally, it is only a little larger than the .380ACP P238, a Mustang-style pocket pistol, which is technically its older brother. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

With a 3-inch barrel, the overall length is 5.9-inches while height is a pocket-friendly 3.8-inches. A 7+1 single stack, overall width is 1.1-inches. Weight is 16-ounces. The pistol’s surface controls include an ambidextrous thumb safety– for fans of cocked-and-locked carry– and the handgun uses a black Houge rubber grip.

The new Sig Sauer P938 SAS ships with a single magazine and the company has not released an MSRP on the gun at this time.


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Categories: Gun News

Speer Lands $112 Million DHS Contract for 9mm Service Ammo

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 06:05

Speer’s Gold Dot ammo achieves reliable ignition and cycling in part due to its sealed primers and distinctive nickel-plated brass. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Idaho-based Speer announced Monday they have been selected for the largest duty ammo contract in the company’s history.

The five-year contract, worth up to $112 million, is for unspecified 9mm service ammunition for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s components and agencies to include U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“We are proud to provide the highest quality duty ammunition to CBP officers charged with the monumental task of border security,” said Speer Ammunition President Jason Vanderbrink in a statement. “We know they require the best ammunition in their mission to protect our borders and keep the homeland safe. The use of Gold Dot technology in this contract ammunition ensures the highest performance threshold and absolute confidence in on-duty performance.”

Speer explained that CBP chose a load that used the company’s famed Gold Dot technology, which includes a bullet that features a pressure-formed lead core bonded to a uniform jacket that “virtually eliminates separation on impact for more retained weight and consistent penetration depths” across a full range of barriers.

Speer will begin delivering ammo to DHS in August.

CBP in 2019 announced an $85 million contract to Glock for a series of 9mm pistols to include the agency-specific G47, a crossover design that incorporates a full-sized G17 MOS-style slide with a G45 frame and other features. The Secret Service, also part of DHS, also reportedly moved to the G47 last year.


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Categories: Gun News

Green Mountain Boys Machine Gun Shoot Took Place Last Weekend

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 06:00

Steve Newlan of Windsor Arms Co. photographed in 2018 firing his select-fire M16 with an Adam Arms piston upper receiver chambered in Russian 5.45x39mm. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

The 15th annual Green Mountain Boys machine gun shoot took place last weekend in Eden, Vermont. It reported an approximate 60 percent attendance rate compared to years before the COVID-19 outbreak.


David Bord photographed in 2018 firing his M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle chambered in .30-06. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

The event has taken place without fail every July since 2003 at Camp David, a shooting range deep in the woods near Eden, Vermont. It is organized by David Villeneuve, his family, and a group of dedicated volunteers. They invite like-minded people to come together, get some serious trigger time, and celebrate the Second Amendment.

Shooters from as far away as California rent spaces along the firing line. They bring an assortment of guns including rare models and lots of ammo. Some even bring tanks, military vehicles with mounted weapons, and artillery guns. The range reaches out to approximately 300 yards.

Douglas Wood dumps a 30-mag on his AK-47 sending brass high in the air. Photographed in 2018. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Spectators from across the Northeast US and Canada also attend, staying outside the firing line area to witness the impressive firepower. At one end of the firing line, they can rent rare guns such as an M45C Quadmount .50 cal ‘Meat Chopper’.


A bullet-riddled target car smolders during a lull in the gunfire. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Fridays and Saturdays are spent burning through thousands of rounds of ammo as shooters engage targets. These include cars, boats, and appliances that are refreshed between volleys. Shooters can also bring their custom targets and turn them into Swiss cheese.

A custom Sponge Bob target that was put on the firing line in 2014. It was reduced to little more than wood splinters. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Between volleys, shooters and spectators alike can socialize, check out guns. and purchase food from a catering truck. A large tent serves as a communal gathering place for people to eat and escape the occasional downpour. It’s possible to camp at the event, although there is no electricity or running water. However, the view of the stars at night is spectacular.


A shooter unleashes his select-fire FN SCAR-L during the night shoot in 2018. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

The highlight of the event is undoubtedly the Friday night shoot that takes place as soon as it gets dark. Shooters switch over to tracers and fire their select-fire weapons. When the siren sounds, the night erupts into a thundering light show of tracer fire, fireworks, and explosions. It’s a spectacular sight to behold.

After a heavy weekend of shooting in 2018, Mike Garcia shows off his bruised shoulder. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

If you live in the Northeast or happen to be visiting there in mid-July, be sure to attend this fantastic event. You will not be disappointed. Information is available on their site.

If you’re in the market for a new or used gun as well as ammo or accessories, please visit And if you’ve got a gun that’s collecting dust, let us make you an offer! 

Below are a few of the videos has filmed at the Green Mountain Boys machine gun shoot over the years. Enjoy!

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Categories: Gun News

Federal Rolls Out New Hydra-Shok Deep .380 Auto

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 04:00

Federal’s Hydra-Shok Deep gains the addition of .380 Auto. (Photo: Federal)

Federal began rolling out its new Hydra-Shok Deep .380 Auto cartridge earlier this month, with shipments arriving at dealers.

The new handgun ammunition boasts impressive penetration with Federal reporting penetration beyond the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s recommended 12-inch minimum. The company said testing conducted at the Anoka, Minnesota facilities by Federal ammunition engineers displayed a typical penetration depth of 13 to 13 1/2-inches in bare gel and 13 1/4 to 14-inches through heavy clothing.

“FBI protocol for handgun ammunition testing includes a series of rigorous scenarios. Bullets are shot through materials such as 10-percent ordnance gelatin, laminated automotive safety glass, plywood, wallboard, and heavy clothing specified by the FBI,” Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack said in a news release. “While our larger caliber ammunition is designed to meet and exceed these requirements, the smaller 380 Auto is designed to offer the best possible blend of performance in a compact handgun platform.”

The .380 Auto round in bare gel. (Photo: Federal)

The .380 Auto loads offer a velocity of 1,000 feet-per-second at the muzzle with full expansion in both the bare gel and heavy clothing tests. Federal said the rounds performed well from a variety of compact handguns commonly found among gun owners. The company said the success of the .380 Auto Hydra-Shok Deep comes from the commitment to unique engineering.

“It’s a completely new bullet design. We didn’t just take a 45 ACP, 40 S&W or 9mm Hydra-Shok Deep bullet and make it smaller,” Laack commented. “During development, engineers looked at several design elements such as bullet weight, jacket, skiving, profile, and hollow point design elements to determine what modifications were necessary for the 380 Auto.”

The Hydra-Shok Deep for .380 Auto is shipping now with an MSRP of $26.

Related: Diving into .380 Backup Guns from 

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Categories: Gun News

Gun Culture Groovy: Vintage Time Capsule Firearm Videos

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 03:01

Ever seen a stack of old gun magazines and wondered what they would sound like if they came to life and started talking? Well, we have the next best thing.

Through the miracle of the interwebs, we found several vintage firearm manufacturer commercials from the 16mm and videotape era that capture the gun culture aesthetic of their time while teaching us something about ours.

The Brand New AR-10!

The crown jewel, especially for fans of Eugene Stoner’s works, is a circa 1955 Fairchild ArmaLite product film of the new, space-age, AR-10 rifle. In its 14-minutes of pure gold, you get to see how the gun works as told by its creator– and from where the AR-15 of today descended. As a bonus, there are tons of live-fire cutaways where Stoner himself uses the AR-10 in a variety of settings, including in a belt-fed role and a one-man charge from the beach complete with OD uniform and wobbly M1 helmet.

Helical Mag Amazingness

“It’s already begun, Calico Light Weapon Systems has begun a revolution in firepower,” starts the 5-minute short on the helical-fed CLWS guns that first debuted in 1982. Founded in Bakersfield, California, Calico offered several funky-looking pistols, subguns (before the Hughes Act of 1986 dropped the hammer on such things), and pistol-caliber carbines in .22LR and 9mm with the main selling point being the 50- and 100-round top-mounted cylindrical magazine. They never address the frustration of trying to load one of those mags, though.

Bonus for the opening water scene ala Chuck Norris in Missing in Action. 

Heckler & Koch Coolness

If the extensive use of 8×10-sized aviators in the above Calico video didn’t fully scratch your itch for 1980s gun candy, check out this video from then-West Germany’s own H&K. They include such “pre-ban” beauties as the HK91, HK93, HK94, and the P7M8/M13. The soundtrack is pure period synth and the SWAT jumpsuit/mustache vibe is strong.

Want more? Double down with this longer, 30-minute piece covering HK’s military and LE offerings circa 1997.

But what of the young at heart?

And for the kiddies, check out the swell Mattel Thunderburp with its Vibratronic sound chamber, Topper’s Johnny Seven’s One Man Army (OMA) gun that includes seven guns in one, and the Mark Sound-O-Power guns that “look like real, sound like real.”

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Categories: Gun News

New Survey: Gun Ownership is for Protection, Most Opposed to Bans

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 01:37

A recent survey among likely voters found strong support for gun ownership (Photo: Chris Eger/

A new survey among likely voters in 18 key battleground states found the number one reason for firearm ownership is for protection and that most are opposed to arbitrary gun bans.

The survey results, released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation on Monday, found that more than half believe self-defense is the primary motivation for firearm ownership. Moreover, almost 60 percent said that a ban on semi-automatic rifles would have little effect on crime, with 51 percent opposing a ban on such firearms. Just under half said a restriction on magazine capacity would have no effect on crime.

The key takeaway, says NSSF, is that most of the voters surveyed though law-abiding citizens should be able to choose the type of firearm and amount of ammunition available to them.

“The results tell us Americans want their right to purchase the firearm of their choice, especially when it comes to their personal safety,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “These results also tell us that enforcing existing laws is a better use of public resources than efforts to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens. Those likely voters are telling us they want to be able to purchase what they believe will meet their needs without onerous government interference.”

The NSSF says they wanted to gauge the public’s feeling on common semiautomatic rifles that are popular for recreational shooting and hunting, and are increasingly used for self-defense. The trade group estimates that upwards of 18 million such guns, such as the AR-15, are in circulation, making them potentially the most popular centerfire rifle on the modern firearms market.

The survey found reasons for gun ownership did not skew towards plinking (Graphic: NSSF)

Most opposed a ban on semi-automatic rifles

Most supported gun safety and education programs

The survey was conducted among 800 likely voters by Harper Polling. Pollsters noted that 94 percent of those who responded intend to vote this November.

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Categories: Gun News