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From the Vault: Smith & Wesson 642 Snubbies

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 05:04

The Model 642 is a classic design that has been in Smith & Wesson’s stable for nearly 30 years, and is still going strong. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

In honor of Wheel Gun Wednesday, here is a popular S&W snub, the Model 642, right from the collection inside the Vault.

The original S&W 642 was introduced in 1990 as an update to the company’s 1950’s era aluminum-framed Model 42 Centennial. A double-action-only 5-shot .38 Special with a fully concealed hammer, the 642 sports a 1 7/8-inch stainless steel barrel and cylinder along with a matte-finished alloy frame. Weight, unloaded, is 15-ounces flat while overall length is 6.3-inches and ties with its matte black/carbon steel brother, the S&W 442, as the company’s smallest .38.

When stacked up to competitors, Ruger’s LCR— which was introduced in 2009 with the same cylinder capacity as the Smith but with a polymer frame– weighs 13.5-ounces while going a tad longer, showing just how svelte the all-metal 642 is. Also, of note, the 642 is the same overall length as the Glock G43 while running a few ounces lighter, but that is a more apple to oranges comparison.

The 642 has a five-shot cylinder. Note that his particular gun is a “no hole” model without the factory lock— which are still in production. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

While early 642 (no dash) guns were not rated for +P loads, more current models are and there is something of a renaissance of superb .38SPL self-defense loadings on the market right now, which goes a long way to countering past arguments that the round was underpowered.

Where the 642 and other similar snubs excel at, is as a gun to carry in what is often referred to as a “non-permissive environment” in which the user absolutely doesn’t want the firearm to print. Carried in a close-body holster, a small J-frame is the closest thing you can get to invisible. Also small enough for pocket carry– there are tons of holster makers such as DeSantis and Mika that specialize in just such holsters for these models– the smooth profile of their frame, with its shrouded hammer, is snag free. This puts the 642 as a gun that can be carried while wearing running or basketball shorts, warm-ups, or the like.

(Photo: Richard Taylor/

They also make a good gun for those hot summer months that mean flip flops and t-shirt weather, as I can attest.

Best yet, we have several of them, in both new and Certified used condition, up for grabs in the Vault, with prices starting at $275 smackers.

(Photo: Richard Taylor/

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Categories: Gun News

Summer Carry: 22 Years Toting the Same S&W .38 Snub

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 04:42

After several thousand rounds or so pushed through it over the years and two decades of carry, this early S&W 642-1 is still kicking. For that time when the clock stops, Smith has a lifetime service policy. (Photos: Chris Eger/

For those situations where a more full-sized gun isn’t on the schedule, this Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight has often tagged along, especially in hot summer months.

The original S&W 642 was introduced in 1990 as an update to the company’s 1950’s era aluminum-framed Model 42. A double-action-only 5-shot .38 Special with a snag-free fully concealed hammer, the 642 in most cases sports a 1 7/8-inch (some 2-, 2.5- and 3- inch models are floating around) stainless steel barrel and cylinder along with a matte-finished alloy frame.

Weight, unloaded, is 15-ounces flat while overall length is 6.3-inches and ties with its matte black brother, the S&W 442, as the company’s smallest .38. By comparison, Ruger’s LCR— which was introduced in 2009 with the same cylinder capacity as the Smith but with a polymer frame– weighs 13.5-ounces while going a tad longer, showing just how svelte the 642 is. Also, of note, the 642 is the same overall length as the Glock G43 while running a few ounces lighter, but that is a more apple to oranges comparison.

This 642-1 is a “no hole” gun, without the later trigger safety lock that Smith installed. Rather than the original rubber boot, it now sports Altamont Combat Super rosewood grips for a little extra purchase in my mitts.

My personal 642-1 was born on Feb. 7, 1997 (Smith can help you with the born-on date of your own gun) and I picked it up very soon afterward. As I was in law enforcement at the time, I often carried it as a back-up weapon both on and off duty. While these days I have long ago hung up a badge and typically EDC a compact 9mm double stack, the 642 still occasionally hangs out as a BUG but is more often used in terms of a quick “take along” during the hot summer months.

The 642 compared to a G19X. Sure, accuracy past 15 yards with the snub is not as tight as with a more full-sized handgun with a nice long sight radius, but I can still keep it center mass out to 25– and with a little practice so can anyone. Plus, keep in mind the more likely envelope for a snub encounter is in the 3 to 7-yard range.

I live in the Gulf South, where 90 percent humidity and 90-degree temperatures are as common as Ford F-150s and fried shrimp for about seven months a year. This means T-shirts, shorts and flip flops as the uniform of the common man– and that’s when people get dressy. Beach towns are even worse. This means either wearing more clothes than the common man and being both uncomfortable and out of place or decreasing the EDC to match the wardrobe at the crawfish boil, fireworks show or fishing tournament. That’s where the 642 is gold and gets to come out of the safe. Tucked in a slim IWB holster, printing is not an issue and you aren’t going to find it without either a magnetometer or an inappropriately intimate pat-down. Light enough to carry all day, it is there if you need it without bugging you when you don’t.

The 642 is palm sized, in most palms, and conceals exceptionally well.

Another thing the 642 excels at is in activities that aren’t just summer-related, such as going to the gym, taking a rural walk in bayou territory that has its share of alligators, coyotes and water moccasins; working in the yard, or just heading to the store while wearing your running shorts. Due to its size, it makes a good pocket gun and a variety of holsters can help with the presentation of that. For such carry, a Mika Pocket Holster has been there for me for years without complaint. I’m just not a real big fan of pocket carry.

With my typical summer including cutting grass, working a respectable home garden, and taking care of two horses, the 642 also has the bonus of being an easy gun to tote around the homestead.

I prefer IWB using an old school and inexpensive Bianchi No. 6. I’ve used Galco’s Speed Paddle and other designs in the past and usually go Kydex for my semi-autos, but the “suede six” is super thin, which reduces bulk, and it rides high within the body which for me helps to produce a very quick draw stroke. Like by the time you can say, “alligator,” I am out and ready. On the downside, the thin body construction makes quick reholstering unlikely, but I have never been to a training class that ran a penalty clock on your reholster.

Speaking of training, if you get a snub, consider attending a specialized course in their use. There are several floating around. These stumpy wheel guns are not just for the grey-haired and cigar-chomping crowd, and they have never gone out of style. For those interested in snub sub-culture, check out the I’m with Roscoe club and take a dive.

While the exposed backstrap helps provide a slim grip profile it also offers a wear spot when carried extensively. This finish wear on the alloy frame came from some 20 years of hard service but the gun still functions fine.

Of course, the 642– and any snub for that matter– is not perfect. These guns are not forgiving if you fail to learn how to use them. They are often a difficult gun for beginning shooters due to their harsh perceived recoil, especially with +P loads. Their DAO trigger has a heavy pull– — those who carry DA/SA snubs are likely never going to be in a real situation where they use them in any way other than double action– which can work against the user if they slap rather than press the trigger. Home practice with a cleared weapon, snap caps and your carry holster can help with this immensely. For those with a recoil sensitivity, loads like Hornady’s Critical Defense Lite Ammunition dials it down to a more manageable level. Finally, hit the range regularly with your snubby and get that three-second draw to target down to two seconds or even one. Every shot counts no matter what you carry, but this is even more critical with a five-shot handgun that is slow to reload.

The 642 in a leather Bianchi #6 waistband holster loaded with five rounds of 130-grain Federal HST weighs 19.6-ounces walking out the door with deep concealment a reality. Optionally, you can add a pair of Bianchi Speed Strips with another 10 rounds loaded inside a repurposed Altoids tin along with a Streamlight Microstream and a pointy thing like the Leatherman Skeletool KBx multi-tool and you still come in at 29-ounces. That’s a well under 2-pound summer carry, all day.

Speaking of which, snubs, due to their low cylinder capacity, shouldn’t be your first choice for going into high-risk situations. While a variety of reload options are out there, such as speed loaders and strips, they are still relatively slow even with practice. These revolvers are more of a “get off me” kind of gun when presented with an unexpected physical attack. In that situation, the 642 and similar concealed-hammer small frame have a nice rear profile coming out of the pocket or from a deep concealment holster– something that semi-autos typically don’t. Plus, you aren’t going to accidentally eject a magazine.

In short, the 642 is a great little gun that can be there for you when others aren’t, which is super important some times. While mine isn’t for sale, we do have others, both new and Certified used, in the Vault starting at $275.

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Categories: Gun News

Buying 101: How to Buy a Handgun

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 07:30

Buying a handgun, like the Glock 19, doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. (Photo:

With so many gun models available, selecting the right pistol to add to your growing collection or buying a handgun for the first time can feel like a daunting task. With the right know-how, though, the buying process can be a little less intimidating and, dare we say, fun!

Here at, we’re all about setting our readers up for success so we sat down with Mark Sims, Senior Buyer at, to get some tips on how to buy a handgun.

1. Do Your Research

Handguns span a wide array of uses these days, so knowing what you want out of your handgun narrows the options down, ultimately making the buying list a little more manageable. From plinking to hunting to competitive shooting and even self-defense, handguns bring versatility.

“Pistol shooting is an absolutely fantastic sport to get into. There’s a lot of enjoyment. It requires multiple levels of skill depending on how serious you want to go with it,” Sims explained. “You can just go out plinking with your friends and family or you could actually get into any level of competition — be it at your local gun range, on a national level, or all the way through the Olympics. It’s not any more expensive than any other sport.”

The Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter is a revolver that can be used to hunt larger game.

Sims added that handguns can also be used for hunting, with the success dependent on caliber. “Handgun hunters hunt vermin with a .22 all the way up to bears with a .500 S&W but of course choice of caliber plays an important role in hunting.”

Another element to the pistol game is that of self-defense. Many first-time gun buyers opt for handguns as their means of personal protection on the go and in the home. Understanding how your handgun plays into your plan also helps narrow down gun makes and models.

“If you’re in a life-threatening situation — yourself, family or your friends — then a handgun can add that extra blanket of security,” Sims said.

Finally, it’s imperative to check local and state laws regarding gun ownership. Some states place restrictions on what kind of pistols residents can own. Knowing your local ordinances will keep you out of trouble and will make the buying process easier.

2. Head to the Range

Browsing online is a great way to develop a list of potential guns, but there’s nothing quite like holding the gun and testing it out. Much like a test drive on a new car, potential gun owners should head down to their local range and take a few gun models for a test run. Renting various guns, test firing, and getting a feel for the gun’s controls will let buyers get a grasp on whether the guns they’re interested in are right for them.

“You never know until you actually are able to use the gun whether you’re going to enjoy it or not and it needs to be enjoyable. The best way to get that information is by contacting your local gun range and trying before you buy,” Sims said. “So many guns look great and feel great until you actually use them and then you’re surprised by how they operate.”

Friends are also a great resource so link up with some buddies and head to the range to try out some of their favorite models and suggestions. If you’re new to guns and a little nervous to try your hand at a buddy’s bigger caliber like 9mm or .45 ACP, Sims suggests stepping down to .22 LR. The smaller caliber helps new shooters become accustomed to recoil and the gun’s fundamentals.

Landing shots on target at the range will help you decide whether the guns you’re interested in are right for you.  (Photo: Chris Eger/

3. Compare Value: Used vs New

When buying a gun the question always arises, should I buy new or used? Though both have its merits, used guns often come with a few more perks to include a better price and sometimes more accessories. Often times, the term “used” conjures up images of broken-in, dirty guns but Sims says that’s often not the case.

“There are a phenomenal numbers of high quality used firearms out there that people went down that path of buying a pistol they thought they would enjoy and now they don’t. They’re trading it in the hopes someone out there will enjoy it more,” said Sims. “There are like new condition used handguns out there that you could save an average of 20-percent on buying preowned from somewhere like”

Additionally, used handguns also frequently come with the added benefit of accessories. Sims says he’s seen his fair share of used guns come into the vault with accessories like extra magazines, holsters, upgraded triggers and sights, stippled grips and even optics. Opting for a high-quality used model handgun often times is a better choice for budget-minded buyers or those looking for more bang for their buck.

4. Avoid Common Pitfalls

First-time buyers should be wary to avoid common pitfalls when purchasing a first handgun. Namely, stay away from teeny-tiny pocket pistols and handguns. These often don’t offer as much comfort when shooting and they tend to come with significantly more recoil than their mid-size and larger pistol siblings.

“Those pocket pistols are designed to be exactly that — a concealed carry gun that you test fire every once in a while and use if you need to in a face-to-face situation,” Sims said. “The smaller the gun the more difficult it is to shoot in both accuracy and control. For first time buyers, I would recommend a plinking category gun that is a midsize handgun, low recoil, easy to shoot and operate.”

Make sure to test out various guns to see if they feel comfortable and shoot the way you want. (Photo:

After selecting a pistol, especially if it is used, make sure to get it evaluated by a gunsmith or professional. Going to someone with expertise will ensure the gun is in good working condition and you don’t end up with a lemon.

“At, we do a full inspection and certification on all preowned guns that come in, so you can feel confident that you are getting a firearm that’s operating properly,” Sims offered. “You need to have someone with gunsmithing skills like that available to look at the handgun, much like you would have a mechanic look at a used car before buying it. So if you’re not buying it from somebody like, you need to find someone who really knows what they’re looking at.”

5. Make the Purchase

After you’ve put in the research both on and off the range, narrowed down your selections and circled that one model on your list that fits your needs and budget it’s time to buy. Whether purchasing new or used, do your homework and check prices. Make sure you know what all comes with the pistol package and what you might need to invest it to get the gun set-up the way you want it. Once that’s complete, fill out that paperwork and bring that gun home.

Remember, that responsible gun ownership doesn’t stop with just buying a handgun. It’s worth it to invest in training to become proficient with the new pistol.

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Categories: Gun News

How to Prepare for the Tactical Games (VIDEO)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 06:00

Do you want to be a tactical athlete? You can be if you enter into the Tactical Games. This event is new to the shooting sports genre and is a mixture of shooting and physically demanding activities. It spans two days and comprises of six or more stages. The Tactical Games draws a lot of the former/current law enforcement officials and military, but anyone can sign up. But please be advised, this is an event you will definitely want to prepare for.

Best Prep Exercises

To get an idea on how you should prepare for the Tactical Games, we should start with some of the tasks you may run into there. All the movements and exercises are inspired from the Special Operations community. This means rope climbs, long distance runs, sand bags, and generally uncomfortable body movements.

At the end of a stage you will be doubled over, panting, and praying for more oxygen to enter your body so working on your cardio is really important. Building your endurance will not only help with the physical portion of the stages but with your shooting as well. Holding your rifle or pistol steady is extremely challenging while your body is absolutely smoked. Any type of cardio that is intense enough will help improve your chances at the games.

Building your endurance will not only help with the physical portion of the stages but with your shooting as well. Holding your rifle or pistol steady is extremely challenging while your body is absolutely smoked. (Photo: PTR Media Group)

Next let’s cover grip strength. Stages will have all kinds of objects that need carried or pulled over varying distances. Most commonly seen are 45 pound jerry cans, barbells, sand bags, and your own body weight. Building your grip strength will allow you to hold on to those heavy objects longer in addition to pulling yourself up ropes or over walls. In regards to shooting, your grip is the foundation of a good shot. If your hands are fatigued then your pistol shots will surely suffer. Farmers carries, bar hangs, and rope climbs/pulls are some exercises that I do to strengthen my hands.

Last, but not least, is mental toughness. The best exercise to improve your mental toughness is daily physical activity. “Get comfortable with being un-comfortable,” as they say. You need to be aware of what you’re currently capable of and push past those limits now, so you can endure the rigorous stages of tactical games later. You need to find out that when you dig deep, that there is always a little more left in the tank.

Get Started

Do not hesitate in starting to prepare for the Tactical Games. The more time you have to get ready the better. The event is advertised as a two day event but preparation starts months in advance. Start off by finding a good gym and range with a good trainer that is going to hold you accountable and push your limits. Be honest with what areas of your fitness  need improvement and make the changes.

This coming June will my third time attending the games and I most definitely plan to do more in 2019. I initially signed up to get a metric of my own person physical abilities. Competing in these matches has been a great motivator to not just improve my fitness but also my overall health. The fact that I get to include shooting with my overall self improvement is a win win in my book

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Categories: Gun News

Texas Bill to Allow More Armed Teachers Signed into Law

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 05:30

Gov. Abbott removed limits on the number of armed teachers and staff allowed on school campuses in Texas. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott gave his approval last week to a measure that would allow public and private schools to use more armed teachers and staff.

The proposal, HB 1387, passed the state House 97-46 and the Senate by a 24-6 vote. Abbott, who had previously approved campus carry legislation into law for the state’s universities, signed the bill on June 6 along with others enhancing school safety and expanding access to mental health resources.

“Today, I am proud to sign legislation to make Texas schools safer for students and teachers,” said Abbott. “I thank members from both chambers, as well as the many stakeholders, who worked tirelessly to get these bills through the Legislature and to my desk today.”

Since 2013, Texas law allows public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to appoint what are termed School Marshals from school employees. Candidates must hold a state concealed carry license, pass a psych exam and complete a mandated 80-hour course covering physical security, use of force, active shooter response, and weapon proficiency. In 2018, it was estimated there were at least 165 school marshals on the job in the state.

Previous law capped marshals at one per 200 students or one per building on campus. The new law will remove the cap and replace it with a stipulation that allows each public or private school district or governing body to appoint one or more marshals to each campus. The new law takes effect Sept. 1, just in time for the upcoming school year.

The bill was opposed by national anti-gun groups such as Everytown and Moms Demand Action.

Beyond the marshal program, schools can employ security officers and school resource officers. Schools also have the power under current law to grant written permission for anyone, including designated employees, to carry firearms on campus under what is termed a Guardian Plan. According to the Texas Association of School Boards, in most cases school districts limit such authorization to commissioned law enforcement officers.

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Categories: Gun News

Vermont Governor Scraps Handgun Waiting Period Bill

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 05:00

A bill backed by Democrats and gun control groups would have added a 24-hour waiting period on handgun sales in Vermont. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Monday refused to sign a bill backed by anti-gun groups to add a mandatory 24-hour waiting period to handgun sales in Vermont.

The legislation, S.169, was sent to Scott’s office earlier this month after it passed the state House 82-58 and the Senate 20-10. Scott, who signed controversial gun control proposals last year, said the bill on his desk this week did address the “underlying causes of violence and suicide” in the community and returned it to lawmakers.

“Moving forward, I ask the Legislature to work with me to strengthen our mental health system, reduce adverse childhood experiences, combat addiction and provide every Vermonter with hope and economic opportunity,” he said.

The measure in its original format called for a 48-hour waiting period on all firearms but, after that couldn’t pass the state legislature, was modified to the proposed 24-hour period on handguns only.

The move was backed by national gun control organizations, such as Giffords, who wanted to see Vermont join with nine other states that have some form of mandatory waiting period for gun sales following completion of a background check. California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, and Rhode Island have waiting periods ranging from 24 hours to 14 days for all firearm transfers. In addition, Washington has a newly enacted 10-day waiting period for semi-auto rifles while Maryland and Iowa have waiting periods for handguns only. Minnesota has a weeklong waiting period on handguns and “assault weapons.”

Second Amendment groups argued the waiting period was not needed to curb violent crime in Vermont. The Green Mountain State enjoys a low rate of murder and negligent manslaughter, at less than half the most recent two-year national average. Further, of the 14 homicides in the state carried on FBI statistics for 2017, just one was attributed to a handgun. Worse, they argued the bill could stymie legitimate efforts at self-defense.

“If a woman is being stalked by an abusive husband, or any stalker, a waiting period could be the difference between life and death,” Ed Cutler, with Gun Owners of Vermont, said in February.

While S.169 passed the state Senate with a two-thirds majority on its trip through the chamber, margins were less in the House, where the bill would have to retain all its original support pick up 18 additional backers to override Scott’s veto.

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Categories: Gun News

Rifle 101: The Difference Between Bolt, Semi-auto, Lever, and Pump Actions

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 06:30

For those inquiring minds who want to know the nuts and bolts differences between various rifle actions, pull up a chair and get the 411. The first muzzleloading rifles date back to at least the 17th Century. These simple single-shot black powder guns were “front stuffers,” being loaded with patch, powder, and bullet through the muzzle or front end of the gun. The name “rifle” is due to the rifling inside the barrel which imparts spin on the bullet, upping its velocity and thus increasing its accuracy and range. Rifles were far more capable when compared to smoothbore muskets and, by the 1850s, had largely replaced these older guns.

Then things started getting really interesting.

Bolt Action Rifles

Bolt-action rifles, such as this Remington 700 BDL, have been popular for well over 150 years, largely for their accuracy and ruggedness.

As breechloaders — which were loaded in the open rear of a rifle’s action rather than via the muzzle — became more common, the bolt-action rifle was not far behind. A German firearms engineer, Johann Nikolaus von Dreyse, began work on his “Needle Gun” in 1824 and the turn-bolt mechanism ushered in an era that has yet to go out of style. Bolt-action rifles, when later coupled with magazines that held extra cartridges, became king in the late 19th Century due to their accuracy and high rate of aimed fire when compared to single-shot breechloaders. Today, bolt-actions are still very popular for sport shooting, precision rifle and hunting applications for the same reasons.

Lever Action Rifles

The Marlin 336 has been in continuous production since 1948 although its basic design dates to the 19th Century. These guns, especially when chambered in .30-30, are icons when it comes to deer hunters.

Connecticut inventor Christopher Spencer in the 1860s created the basis for what today are known as lever action rifles. This downward-oriented hinged action manually works the rifle’s loading and unloading mechanism to eject spent rounds and replace them in the chamber with a fresh cartridge. Often called “Cowboy Guns” these rifles peaked in the 1890s with numerous designs from Henry, Marlin, and Winchester, many of which persist today in modernized variants. Still loved by outdoorsmen and Old West enthusiasts, the lever action is both fun to shoot and a traditional classic when it comes to rifle design.

Pump Action Rifles

The Remington 7600, chambered in a variety of popular centerfire hunting calibers, is the staple pump-action rifle and is well-liked with those used to operating shotguns with a similar action.

A concept borrowed from shotguns, the slide action or pump action rifle dates to Colt‘s circa 1885 Lightning series carbines. Described at the time as a “trombone” action, the manual sliding of the foregrip cycles the rifle’s mechanism, ejecting spent brass from the chamber and replacing it with a fresh cartridge from a fixed tubular magazine under the barrel or a box magazine under the receiver. Each backward pump kicks out a spent case, each push forward loads a new round. While rare on rifles, there are several pumps still in circulation, such as Remington’s 7600 series.

Semi-auto Rifles

The Ruger 10/22 Carbine uses a 10-shot flush-fitting magazine and produces one shot with each pull of the trigger until the magazine is empty.

The first semi-automatic rifles, which uses the energy generated through a gas or blowback mechanism to load a new cartridge from a magazine into a chamber with each round fired, popped up in the 1880s. By the early 1900s, these early “autoloaders” hit the market in the form of the Winchester Model 1903. Today, popular semi-autos, which still produce one shot with each pull of the trigger, are popular for hunting, self-defense, 3-gun competition, and target practice. While often called repeaters when first introduced, these should not be confused with full-auto or select-fire rifles which fire repeatedly with just one pull of the trigger.

Check out for these rifle models and others, in both Certified pre-owned and new condition.

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Categories: Gun News

Kahr PM9: An Excellent Single Stack for Concealed Carry

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 06:00

The Kahr PM9 brings a concealable 9mm design to the single stacks market. (Photo: Dan Abraham)

One of Kahr Arms most popular models, the PM9 is among the smallest and lightest single-stack 9mm handguns in today’s market and one of the better choices for deep concealment. The Kahr PM9 is a great concealed carry pistol — carries easily, shoots reliably and uses quality materials in its construction.

The Basics

Anyone who carries a gun every day and all day understands that weight matters. The Kahr PM9 is a little powerhouse packing a punch while only weighing 20-ounces loaded with seven rounds. It sports a 3-inch barrel, yet the slide length is much shorter than similar sub-compact 9mm handguns. When compared to other popular single stacks, the Kahr PM9’s slide is approximately a half-inch shorter. The grip length is also shorter giving the pistol’s dimensions a concealed carry advantage.

The PM9 offers a slim width, perfect for concealed carry. (Photo: Dan Abraham)

When handling a Kahr PM9, it is hard to ignore how thin it is — the width on the slide is 0.9-inches. For concealed carry purposes, this is priceless. Bulky guns can be difficult to concealed carry, but thin, lightweight pistols are a breeze.

A part of the high-end “premium series” of Kahr handguns, the pistol brings parts milled from bar-stock steel with engraving and slide cuts precisely detailed, and the barrel offering polygonal rifling. The other advantage to the premium series is the lifetime warranty that accompanies it along with three magazines in the case. For this review, I tested the Kahr PM9 with blackened slide and upgraded Tru-Glo night sights.

On the Range

The PM9 offers a heavy recoil spring that helps mitigate recoil. (Photo: Dan Abraham)

The Kahr PM9, like all Kahr handguns, has a smooth double-action trigger that breaks between 6.5 and 7-pounds. The benefit of this is consistency shared across the entire Kahr platform. Whether shooting larger .45 ACP pistols or micro .380s, Kahr triggers share the same DAO build and weight. The trigger also resets just slightly short of full position. For many concealed carriers, the DAO trigger introduces an extra safety feature.

A quality that I enjoyed when firing the Kahr handgun involved recoil management. I find the PM0, like other Kahr pistols, handles felt recoil better than similar sub-compact handguns on the market. Shooting lightweight micro-sized handguns can be a daunting task with increased felt recoil and higher muzzle rise. This is not the case with Kahr handguns. Kahr’s strong build quality coupled with a heavy recoil spring tames recoil and muzzle rise significantly. This improves accuracy by allowing the shooter to remain on target with follow up shots.

The Kahr Arms PM9 works well for pocket carriers. (Photo: Dan Abraham)

Despite mitigating recoil, a common complaint about Kahr pistols is that recoil spring and its weight. Some shooters feel that the slide takes additional effort to manipulate. The deep cut slide serrations on the slide aid in this process by giving shooters something to grip as they move the slide. I found it easiest to grip with my left hand at the top of the slide to force it back and then release. Without this heavy recoil spring, the Kahr wouldn’t reduce recoil as well as it does. Most new Kahr pistols come machined extremely tight but the PM9 proved different. The brand-new Kahr PM9 functioned perfectly out of the case. After a year of use, the Kahr PM9 loosened up even more and continues to perform reliably.

Final Thoughts

The Kahr Arms PM9 retails for $762 but can be found for less in used circles. (Photo: Dan Abraham)

Many shooters enjoy the concealability of the Kahr PM9 pocket carrying or holstering it on the hip. Personally, I feel the Kahr PM9 is the perfect concealed carry pistol. Thin, lightweight and constructed extremely well, the PM9, priced at $762, proves why it is Kahr Arms most popular model. I am confident this pistol will work exactly as intended in a defensive situation.

Interested in buying the Kahr PM9? Check out it and other great pistols inside the Vault.

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Categories: Gun News

Bullet Control: California Ammo Rush Underway as New Regs Loom

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 05:30

New rules going into effect next month ban all lead ammo for hunting and requires background checks on each ammo sale. (Photo: Chris Eger/

With the one-two punch of a ban on traditional hunting cartridges and new regulations on buying ammo, California gun owners are in the crosshairs.

Effective with the opening of the general rabbit season on July 1, non-lead ammunition will be required when taking wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California. Adopted in 2013, the California Fish and Game Commission has been progressively phasing in regulations to ban lead ammo for taking game in the past several years. The shooting sports industry has responded with alternative non-lead ammunition, which is invariably more expensive and harder to find.

The trade industry for the firearms industry has said the move could force some hunters out of the sport while California conservation officials warn sportsmen to shop carefully and sight in their guns with the alternative ammo to understand how their firearms perform with the new loads.

Prop. 63

Meanwhile, a voter-approved ballot initiative, Prop. 63, will also come fully into effect on July 1. With the move, all ammunition buyers in the state will have to undergo a background check before they can receive their cartridges. For gun owners already registered in California’s state database to their current valid driver’s license, this means a $1 processing fee and a computerized instant check.

For those who don’t currently have a gun registered, this means a $19 DROS fee and a wait that can stretch as much as two weeks before the check can be approved. Ammo vendors must collect information from buyers such as name, date of birth and current address, which in turn they must submit to state officials to be used for law enforcement purposes.

This has gun owners reportedly clogging local shops to stock up before the new rules and fees kick in.

Mike Hein of Ade’s Gun Shop in Orange told the LA Times that sales in recent months have jumped and many customers are buying in bulk. “People are starting to stock up. We stocked up on ammunition,” he said. “Most people know about the deadline. They are running scared. They are pissed off.”

Further, the rules are foggy, with state officials still mulling some of the finer details of the implementation. Meanwhile, seven-time Olympic medal winner Kim Rhode, a California resident, has joined with gun rights groups and others to challenge Prop. 63. Filed last year, the lawsuit argues the measure is a “burdensome registration scheme” that imposes costly fees and price increases on bullet sales and mires would-be vendors in piles of red tape.

Rhode responded to a notice that big box retailer Wal-Mart will suspend California ammo sales for the first week of July due to Prop. 63 with “hopefully we can stop this non-sense with my court case!”

This was on #Walmart’s counter top #Prop63 is going into effect July 1st hopefully we can stop this non-sense with my court case! #NoAgainstProp63 #2ndAmendment @CRPAnews @NRA @NRATV @Beretta_USA @winchester @USAShooting @redlandsshootng @TeamUSA @ISSF_Shooting @NSSF

— Kim Rhode (@KimRhode) June 4, 2019

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Categories: Gun News

Connecticut-based Stag Arms Announces They Are Relocating

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 05:00

Stag has been a fixture in Connecticut since 2003, producing more than 10,000 rifles in 2017 alone. (Photo: Stag Arms)

After more than 15 years in New Britain Connecticut, AR maker Stag Arms said they are pulling stumps for somewhere with “significant support for the firearms industry.”

The announcement, posted last Friday, said the move is part of the company’s “strategic initiative to significantly improve the overall customer experience.” While the new location has not been selected, Stag says their Board of Directors has “narrowed down the options to a short list of vibrant communities where there is significant support for the firearms industry.”

Local media in Connecticut described the pending move, to be accomplished in coming months, as being out of state.

Stag was founded in May 2003 and has carved out a niche in the gun market with 556/.223-caliber AR-15 and .308/6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 style rifles, parts, builder’s sets, and accessories. More recently, the company has moved into producing AR9 type pistol caliber carbines in the form of the Stag PXC-9, which was announced earlier this year.

According to the latest data from federal regulators, the company manufactured 10,932 rifles in 2017, exporting 324 of them out of the country. This figure makes them the second largest rifle maker in Connecticut, just after West Hartford-based Colt. Of note, Stag produced more rifles than Mossberg’s North Haven, Connecticut facility in the same year.

The shift from Connecticut by Stag is not the only time that a gun industry vendor has shifted states for more friendly digs. In recent years, magazine and accessory maker Magpul has left Colorado for Wyoming and Texas, citing strict new gun control laws as the impetus for their relocation. They were joined in the Cowboy State this year by Weatherby, who left California for similar reasons.

Although Olin-Winchester is still headquartered in Illinois, for the past several years they have been rapidly shifting manufacturing jobs to their plant in deep red Mississippi, a key ammo maker for the military that produces everything but shotgun shells. Similarly, rifle maker LMT moved from their Illinois home of 40 years to more accommodating Indiana.

Long based in Babylon, New York, Check-Mate produces a wide range of products including both surgical tools and well-received firearms magazines. Now, they are shifting a lot of production to a new location in Thomasville, Georgia in a move that will bring a $16 million investment and create 230 jobs in the Peachtree State. Other New York-based gun companies, such as Kimber and Remington, have likewise moved jobs out of the Empire State as well.

Stag Arms said once they finalize the location of the headquarters in the next few months the company then will begin the process of relocating to the new facility. “The pieces are in place and we are ready to transition production and fulfillment operations immediately from a narrow facility-based approach in New Britain to a distributed eco-system,” said Stag Arms President, Anthony Ash.

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Categories: Gun News

Feds Move to Open 1.4 Million Acres of Public Land to Hunting, Fishing

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:11

The 26,400 acres of Wyoming’s Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, where these mule deer are poking around, along with dozens of other federal refuges and hatcheries from coast to coast, will see more opportunities for sportsmen under a new plan announced this week. (Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS)

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt this week announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing at nearly 90 wildlife refuges and hatcheries nationwide.

The proposed rule would include big changes such opening Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin to hunting and fishing for the first time and opening of Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming to deer and elk hunting for the first time. Other facilities would see smaller expansions with the net result of some 1.4 million new acres of public land opened for access to sportsmen.

“Hunting and fishing are more than just traditional pastimes as they are also vital to the conservation of our lands and waters, our outdoor recreation economy, and our American way of life,” said Bernhardt, an outdoorsman endorsed by pro-gun and pro-hunting groups during his confirmation process this year. “These refuges and hatcheries provide incredible opportunities for sportsmen and women and their families across the country to pass on a fishing and hunting heritage to future generations and connect with wildlife.”

Besides the Green Bay and Seedskadee refuges, the proposal would also formally open lands on 15 hatcheries of the National Fish Hatchery System to sport fishing while two of the hatcheries, Leadville NFH in Colorado and Iron River NFH in Wisconsin, would also allow migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting for the first time. Additionally, some 67 NWRs would see their current hunting and sport fishing opportunities expanded. In all, an estimated 14,508 new days of hunting on public land will be added nationwide by the plan.

The change would also standardize and clarify the language of existing rules across a number of refuges. This means removing approximately 2,100 local regulations and simplify over 2,900 refuge-specific regulations “to reduce the regulatory burden on the public.” Many of the current regs on the books are long obsolete, points out USFWS, such as a mandate for medical access waiver permits on a refuge in Virginia although local officials have not issued any such waivers for more than 30 years, and have no plans to issue any in the future.

According to USFWS surveys and data, some 101 million Americans, or 40 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 as habitat for wildlife. This week’s proposal would up the number of units open for hunting in the system from 377 to 382.

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

Illinois: Bill to Allow More Apprentice Hunting Heads to Governor

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:10

A bill headed to Gov. Pritzker could up the numbers of youth and apprentice sportsmen in the state. Of the more than 500,000 deer licenses sold in Illinois in the last season, only 11,000 were to youth. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Illinois lawmakers have approved a measure to make it easier for aspiring hunters to learn the ropes of the sport while offering more opportunities to harvest deer.

The bill, HB 3623, passed the legislature unanimously last week and now heads to Gov. J.B Pritzker for consideration. The move makes it easier for those interested in hunting to try the sport on lower-cost apprentice licenses and expands the current 3-day, youth-only hunting season statewide.

“Youth and apprentice hunting programs have proven to increase participation and help grow the next generation of hunters,” said state Sen.Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, a sponsor of the measure. “A strong field of hunters is essential for maintaining the state deer herd at appropriate levels and is a major economic engine for Illinois.”

Current law in the Land of Lincoln allows for potential hunters to obtain a one-time apprentice hunting license for a token fee. HB 3623 would remove the one-time limitation, allowing apprentices to hit the field across several seasons before getting a full-cost license. Apprentices have to be supervised by a licensed hunter who is 21 years of age or older and has a valid state Firearm Owners Identification card.

The current Youth Firearm Deer Season is open only to hunters under age 18. Set to run in October, it does not apply to Cook, DuPage, and Lake Counties, among others. Last season, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources issued 551,673 deer permits, of which just 11,305 were for the youth season. Just 2,378 deer were harvested during the 2017 youth season, a five-year low. A pilot program authorized by HB 3623 would expand the hunt.

A wide range of groups such as the Sportsmen’s Alliance and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, allied in the national Families Afield effort, supported the bill during its legislative process. Since 2005, the coalition has successfully championed similar apprentice hunting laws in 41 states that have seen more than 2.23 million apprentice licenses sold nationwide.

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Categories: Gun News

Savage Debuts New 110 Apex Predator XP Rifle

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:10

Savage’s newest 110 is a predator package rifle that is loaded with features (Photos: Savage)

Billed as the ticket for pesky carnivores, Savage‘s new 110 Apex Predator XP bolt-action rifle comes standard with Vortex glass and Mossy Oak camo.

With chamberings in a number of popular calibers to include .204 Ruger, .223 Rem .22-250, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308, the Apex Predator XP is a redesigned Model 110 rifle that sports a carbon steel heavy threaded barrel. The 4-12x44mm Vortex Crossfire II scope is factory installed and bore-sighted on Vortex Hunter medium rings atop a one-piece EGW 0 MOA rail. The synthetic Mossy Oak camo stock can be adjusted for length-of-pull while the detachable box magazine offers a 4+1 capacity across the line.

The 110 Apex Predator XP is loaded with features to include the factory-installed Vortex optics, a precision button-rifled heavy barrel that is suppressor-ready right out of the box, a detachable mag and a camo stock with length-of-pull inserts.

Other features include a user-adjustable AccuTrigger that offers two stages from 2.5- to 4-pounds. Barrel length on most models is 20-inches with the .243 and 6.5CM running 24-inches. Weight runs around 9-pounds. The series has an MSRP of $739 across the board, which isn’t bad when you consider the Crossfire II retails for about $220 by itself without rings.

Savage advises the 110 Apex Predator XP is currently shipping.

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Categories: Gun News

Competitive Shooters Face Off Against Zombies in Nebraska (VIDEO + PICS)

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 09:02

3-Gun shooters took to the range to destroy hordes of zombies at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska as part of the annual Zombies in the Heartland match.

Hosted by Hornady, the Zombies in the Heartland match kicked off May 31 spanning the weekend and ending on June 2, 2019. The match brought together 3-Gun competitors and zombie fans alike to try their hand at unique and innovative stages. Shooters progressed through each stage which offered a different task or challenge and of course some zombies in need of headshots.

Clays helped track which zombies were properly eliminated. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Match Director Jeremy Millard said that part of the draw of the event is its fresh and exciting course design.

“I’ve shot a few matches across the country I’ve never seen anything like this. So that’s what we want to bring to this match — stuff you don’t see in standard pistol matches and 3-Gun matches that is new and exciting stuff built around movies that you’re familiar with,” Millard explained to “Every year we sit down and have a planning committee that talks through the stages. People watch a few zombie movies and we’ve got some references to the Walking Dead and Zombieland. People take some inspiration from that.”

In its 8th year, the annual event arose from Hornady CEO Steve Hornady’s affinity for all things zombie. An avid fan of the genre, Hornady was approached and asked if his company would be willing to sponsor the event.

“There are numerous reasons we decided to do this but ultimately it came down to Steve. He is a fan of zombies — the whole thing, the history, the movies, shows, books,” Emery said. “We’ve debated changing themes over the years but the people still want this. They like it. It’s something different. It’s a fun match, great for beginners or pros.”

Shooters must engage targets through the trees in this stage.(Photo: Jacki Billings/

From there, the event took off. Competition shooters from all over the world, including professional shooters like Jerry Miculek, Dianna Muller, Ryan Muller, Lance Dingler and David Smith, rallied beside hobby shooters to work through the courses of fire.

In one stage, shooters tackled zombies on the simulated open seas being careful not to accidentally hit neighboring good guys in a rescue boat. In another event, competitors were out of fuel and must engage zombie targets before grabbing a gas can, running to a new shooting bay and engaging multiple targets there. All in all, the event was a major success with over 175,000 rounds fired during the three days and 406 total shooters participating in the zombie fun.

Jon Wiedell took top honors in the general match with Miculek coming in second. Miculek earned High Senior with his Mossberg JM Pro Series Shotgun, Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle and M&P9 pistol.

Jerry Miculek took second place in the competition and High Senior. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Competition shooter Ryan Muller runs a gas can to another bay to refuel before the horde takes him. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

3-Gun celebrity Dianna Muller takes on zombies in the sea with her pistol. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

David Smith, aka Shakey Dave, gets in some headshots. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Competitors were on a race against zombie-infested waters. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

A sweet zombie inspired ride. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Zombies lurked at the lake in this stage. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

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Categories: Gun News

Top 4 Picks for Single Stack Pistols (VIDEO)

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 12:00

The single stack pistol genre brings subcompact, concealable styles to gun owners looking to easily stash their weapon on the go. With a stockpile full of great concealed carry options, we pulled four solid single stack options out of the Vault to take a closer look at what these models offer concealed carriers.

1. Springfield XD-S — $499

The Springfield Armory XD-S builds on the XD platform, bringing a sense of familiarity to Springfield fans already accustomed to shooting the larger framed XD series. For this look, we dove into the 3.3-inch model. The 6.3-inch long XD-S features that Grip Zone texture Springfield is best known for. However, the XD-S forgoes the Grip Zone lettering along the grip. The most notable feature on the 9mm XD-S is its grip safety. Springfield’s take on a manual safety, the grip’s safety prevents the gun from firing if the shooters does not depress the button on the grip.

While it encourages a proper grip, the downside to this design is that it relies on the shooter have a proper grip. In the heat of battle or if you’re stuck in an unusual defensive position this might be overlooked, thus resulting in a gun that doesn’t go bang. As with any platform, concealed carriers should dedicate range time and dry firing to train and hopefully overcome this safety protocol to ensure that in time of need, a proper grip is achieved and the gun fires without issue.

The Springfield Armory XD-S offers a familiar XD design in a small package. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The XD-S biggest strength lies in its sights. Traditionally, one of the first accessories gun owners swap on a pistol is its sights; but this isn’t the case with the XD-S. Equipped with a fiber optic front sight, the XD-S comes ready to take to the range with no need to purchase aftermarket sights to make the shooting experience more tolerable. The fiber optic pops against any target it meets and even does well in low-light shooting scenarios. Fitted with a seven-round flush fit mag, owners can opt to step up to an eight-round extended mag pushing that round count up.

2. Walther PPS — $349

Created specifically as a self-defense model, the Walther PPS brings a compact build to the Walther line-up. The model I tested for was the original PPS which delivers a 3.2-inch barrel on an overall 6.2-inch frame. Though it’s slightly heavier than the Springfield Armory XD-S, weighing 21.5-ounces, the Walther PPS somehow feels lighter in the hand which is a plus for petite shooters looking for a manageable pistol.

Chambered in 9mm, the Walther PPS opts for a textured grip with interchangeable backstraps. The texture on the PPS is a nice balance adding a means to better control the pistol’s recoil without shredding hands due to being too aggressive. While the PPS feels great in the hand, it’s trigger left a lot to be desired being both long and very heavy. Some gun owners will prefer this heavier pull as it adds an extra layer of safety, lessening the chances of an accidental discharge; however, others might find this model’s trigger a little too beastly.

The Walther PPS is a solid single stack chambered in 9mm. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The Walther redeems itself with 3-dot metal sights that are low profile and don’t snag clothes on the draw. Additionally, the rear sight is adjustable for windage, bringing more control to shooters. The PPS brings a 7+1 standard magazine capacity to the table, with the option for 8+1 rounds with an extended magazine. The Walther PPS fills that niche for single stack carriers who want the safety of a long trigger pull in a striker-fired package.

3. Smith & Wesson Shield — $367

The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield always seems to make the list of top single stacks and with good reason. A popular choice, the 9mm Shield introduces a slim form paired with reliability to the concealed carry arena. The M&P9 Shield offers a standard capacity of 7+1 rounds with the option to step up to 8+1 with the extended magazine. Measuring 6.1-inches in overall length, the Shield’s polymer frame and striker fired design makes it one of the lightest models on the list tipping scales at just over 20-ounces.

The Shield is a snappy model, with noticeable recoil. You can thank that compact design and 9mm chambering. Though manageable, the recoil is something you’ll want to train to, ensuring that you’re putting in the necessary time at the range to procure follow-up shots that land on target.

The Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield is a popular concealed carry option. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The Shield’s greatest strength is in its ease of use and concealability. The polymer pistol practically melts into the wearer’s body with a good belt and holster combo. If you’re interested in concealment with a no muss, no fuss platform, the Shield makes a perfect companion.

4. Kahr CW9 — $449

The Kahr CW9’s black and stainless-steel look introduces a bit of style into this list. The CW9 touts a 3.6-inch barrel on a 5.-9inch frame with a weight of 15.8-ounces making it the lightest single stack to grace this list. The CW9 benefits from a slick look, with a black polymer frame partnered with a matte stainless-steel slide while its drift adjustable white bar dot combat rear sight allows for minor adjustments for better shooting.

The Kahr CW9, like the Walther PPS, suffers from a long, heavy trigger. A bit on the smushy side, the CW9’s trigger features a long uptake that may have shooters wondering will it ever break? Again, if you are gun owner who likes that added layer of security that a long trigger pull brings, the CW9 will make a great concealed carry partner; however, if you’re a fan of crisp, short triggers the CW9 may cause some frustrations.

The Kahr CW9 delivers a little more style with a black and stainless-steel aesthetic. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The Kahr CW9 enjoys a textured grip that isn’t overly aggressive but also allow for positive control over the firearm. The CW9 can be brought along for a long day of training and the shooter will end the session with no visible scratches or blisters from its grip. The Kahr CW9 proves a solid option for shooters who want to break out of the Glock, Smith & Wesson or Sig Sauer box and step into something a little different.

Attack of the Single Stacks

The Springfield Armory XD-S, Walther PPS, Smith & Wesson Shield and Kahr CW9 offer an array of features for semi-auto, subcompact fans. Regardless of which model you choose, these single stacks open the door to gun owners in search of concealability. Check out for these models and others.

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Categories: Gun News

D-Day Trophy: Captured Mauser Select-Fire Blaster (PHOTOS)

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 11:00

Chambered in 7.63x25mm, or .30-caliber Mauser, this R-713 Schnellfeuer was brought back from Omaha Beach after D-Day. (Photos: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command)

While combing through an abandoned German bunker in Normandy on D-Day 75 years ago, a Navy officer found a rare Mauser machine pistol worthy of a space smuggler. The officer was Lt. John Millard Weeks of the destroyer USS Ellyson, a warship that had spent the morning of June 6, 1944, pounding German positions ashore in support of U.S. Army Rangers tasked with seizing the key strategic cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, overlooking Omaha Beach. The gun he came across, now in the collection of the Naval History and Heritage Command, is a Mauser R-713.

The captured Mauser sports a 10-round detachable magazine, tiny when you consider they had a rate of fire of 900 rounds per minute.

The gun, which looks outwardly like the more common semi-auto Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” pistol, was the German company’s answer to unlicenced Spanish clones that were being made in the 1920s that had a select-fire capability. Dubbed the Schnellfeuer (rapid fire) the value-added Mauser had a detachable 20-round box magazine and a rip-roaring rate of fire that would empty it before you could say gesundheit.

Note the distinctive oval-shaped selector switch with the “R” standing for Reihenfeuer (series fire) in German.

Popular with Chinese warlords and feuding government entities in Beijing, almost 100,000 of these guns were made in the 1930s and the majority ended up being shipped there.

After the Nazis became friendly with Japan, which invaded China in 1937, exports of the Schnellfeuer dropped to nil but during World War II the German military came calling and bought up all of the spare room brooms Mauser could make, dubbing the gun the Reihenfeuer (series fire) 713. The gun went on to be used in small quantities by the German navy and as a weapon to equip specialists such as motorcycle messengers who had limited spare room.

The sights were graduated out to 1,000 meters, which is optimistic, to say the least.

German-issued R-713s are rare in the States, as most of their breed that are floating around are former Chinese guns. However, should you have a hankering for a sweet semi-auto interwar vintage Broomhandle, we happen to have a nice one in the Vault that is up for grabs— and you don’t have to clear a bunker with a destroyer to get it.

Of course, Broomhandles and their descendants like the Schnellfeuer later proved the basis for the fictional BlasTech DL-44 used in the Star Wars movies by Han Solo and others, but that is a story for a Galaxy Far, Far, Away.

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Categories: Gun News

SOB Announces New Movement Free QD B-Sling

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 05:00

The MFQD system swivel is made of billet aluminum with stainless steel bearings while its triangular shape follows the profile of the weapon. (Photos: SOB Tactical)

Sheriff of Baghdad Tactical this week debuted a new addition to the B-Sling line in the form of the MFQD— Movement Free Quick Detach– swivel system. What sets the MFQD apart from the rest of the quick detach tactical sling crowd is that it does away with the standard failure-prone swivel in favor of a single solid-body attachment made of 7075 T6 aluminum. Inside are tempered stainless steel bearings and release spring. The result, as noted by SOB, is a more durable system that suffers from fewer weapon shifts and sags when the firearm is released. As a bonus, the low-profile triangular shape of the swivel is less prone to snags.

“Our new MFQD is specially designed for combat arms of all types,” says John “Shrek” Mcphee, a retired U.S. Army sergeant major who spent much of his military career in Special Operations. “We developed the smartest solution to the movement challenge of every other QD swivel on the market.”

The MFQD builds on SOB’s standard B-Sling series, which McPhee has been developing for over 20 years.

Currently available in Black, Coyote, Ranger Green, Multicam, and Multicam Black, each sling comes with a color-matched combat band for stowage. All slings are made with Berry Amendment-compliant materials, by Americans who are blind.

MSRP on the MFQD is $60.

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Categories: Gun News

Hi-Point Wants the You to Name Their New Pistol (VIDEO)

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 04:30

Hi-Point’s new 9mm pistol, with a planned MSRP still coming in at the sub-$200 level, is a lot more feature rich than their previous offerings. One thing they don’t have for it, however, is a name. (Photos: Chris Eger/

Ohio-based budget gun maker Hi-Point has put the bragging rights to name their next generation of 9mm pistol on the table.

Still lacking an official name to their pending 2nd Gen blowback-action semi-auto, Hi-Point is inviting the public to do just that via their “Name The Nine” contest. The first phase, to start Wednesday afternoon and run through June 13, will be to garner name suggestions through the company’s homepage. The second phase, running through June 24th, will be public polling to vote on a winning moniker.

While still a blowback action, the new 9mm will have front slide serrations, an accessory rail, larger mag capacity and be suppressor-ready with a threaded barrel.

As a bonus, the sage that coughs up the victorious pistol handle will get one of the early production guns, free of charge.

Hi-Point’s new, more contemporary offering has been teased for the past several months and a 3D rendering was on display at SHOT Show earlier this year. While the gun is still in flux, standard planned features include a threaded barrel and a standard magazine capacity of larger than 10-rounds, both of which are a departure from their normal fare. Also new to the gun will be front slide serrations, a grip safety, and an accessory rail. Release date on the gun is tentatively set for late 2019.

For a closer look at what Hi-Point has been showing off, check out the below where we caught up with company reps in Las Vegas in January.

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Categories: Gun News

D-Day at 75: The Guns of the Allies at Normandy (PHOTOS)

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 04:00

About half of the Allies that hit the beaches and landing zones in Normandy on D-Day were American, while the British and Canadians made up the other half. (Photo: British National Army Museum)

Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944, along the French coast of Normandy during World War II was very much an Allied operation, and the guns they carried were varied and interesting.

While the Americans were detailed to hit two of the five invasion beachheads– Omaha and Utah— their British and Canadian allies were tasked with taking out three beaches of their own– Gold, Juno, and Sword. For both Commonwealth allies, the primary infantry rifle was the Lee-Enfield .303.

Canadians boarding a troopship for Normandy, June 5, 1944. Note their No. 4 Enfields, complete with breech covers to aid in keeping sand and mud out. Of note to sci-fi nerds, among the Canadians on Juno that day was James Doohan, who later went on to portray “Scotty” in Star Trek. On D-Day he caught a six bullets from a machine gun and lived to tell the tale. (Photo: Library and Archives Canada)

First introduced in 1907, the original version of this bolt-action classic was the Short Magazine Lee–Enfield Mk III, or just plain old SMLE MK III. When mounting a giant 22-inch Pattern 1907 sword bayonet, this was the rifle that the British Army first took to France in the Great War to fight the Kaiser. Using a 10-round detachable box magazine that typically was never detached, British military doctrine of “Ten Rounds Rapid” delivered by a trained body of infantry could lay down an often deceptively large and effective volume of fire when arrayed against Mauser 98-armed opponents.

This beautiful BSA-produced SMLE MKIII (in the 1920s reclassified as Rifle No. 1 Mk III) up for grabs in our Vault dates to 1911. This rifle design, in slightly modified format, was still carried by the British and Canadians in WWII. These rifles originally cost around £3 or about $15 to make in 1907.

While many British Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, continued using the SMLE Mk III pattern rifles through the 1950s when they were replaced by the inch-pattern semi-auto FN FAL, Canada, and Great Britain in 1943 moved to an updated version of the Lee Enfield, the Number 4 Mk I. This rifle ditched the “hog nose” front cap of the older rifle, switched out the sights and used a stronger action that had the side benefit of being faster to make.

This Canadian-made Long Branch arsenal No. 4 Mk. I in our Vault has had its rear sight replaced in later years by an aftermarket Weaver scope mount, however, the rest of the rifle is largely correct for WWII– including rack marks on the stock. The Canadians still use this series Enfield in their Army’s Ranger program in the country’s remote polar regions, although it is finally being phased out by new Sako C-19s in .308.

Besides the Enfields of various makes, both the British and Canadians were seriously augmented with submachine guns in assorted flavors. The M1928 Auto-Ordnance Thompson SMG in .45ACP had been provided as Lend-Lease from the States early in the war.

British Royal Marine Commandos move inland from Sword Beach on D-Day. Note the Enfields as well as the M1928 Thompson in the hands of the fourth man in the column. (Photo: Imperial War Museum)

In addition, the much simpler STEN sub gun, which fired at 500-600 rounds per minute from an open bolt, was more commonly issued to sergeants, paratroopers, and specialists.

Easy to mass produce, over 4 million STENs were cranked out during WWII. The 9mm burp gun was a simple blow-back design that used a 32-round box magazine that inserted horizontally. the STEN Mk V, seen in the above image of British 6th Airborne Division paratroopers in Normandy on June 7, 1944, was the more refined version of the gun that included wooden furniture. British and Canadian paras jumped with a STEN and seven magazines. (Photo: Imperial War Museum)

Another sub gun used by both the British and Canadians at Juno, Gold and Sword was the Lanchester Mk. I, an unlicensed copy of the German MP28/II. These were issued to naval personnel working the beaches themselves. Chambered in 9mm, these 10-pound SMGs were made by Sterling and accepted the Enfield sword bayonet. (Photo: Canadian War Memorial)

In the rare color footage from the Imperial War Museum, below, you can see British troops coming ashore in a second wave at Normandy equipped with No. 4 Enfields, early pattern STEN guns and BREN light machine guns.

When it came to handguns, the British and Canadians had a difference of opinion. The Brits went for a pair of break-top 6-shot revolvers, chambered in .38/200, which is comparable to .38 S&W.

The Enfield No. 2 was easy shooting due to its heavy weight and anemic round. This example, an Mk2 “Tanker” variant shown with a Pattern 37 holster, 1943 British Army clasp knife and BREN gun accessory tin, was DAO while the standard Mk1 was DA/SA and included a hammer spur. (Photo: Chris Eger/

The other British revolver used at D-Day and throughout WWII was the Webley Mk IV .38/200. With more than 500,000 of these produced by Birmingham-based Webley & Scott, they were the most common British wheel gun of the conflict.

This Webley Mk IV from the Vault is ready to add to the collector’s armory.

As for the Canadians, while they went along with the Brits on rifle and SMG choices, they broke with London and looked to America for their revolvers. Having purchased Colt 1911 .45ACPs and Smith & Wesson 2nd Model Hand Ejector wheel guns in .455 during WWI, in 1939 Ottawa selected the Smith & Wesson Military & Police series in .38S&W as their primary handgun, eventually buying nearly 120,000 of them.

The Canadians bought Victory series Smiths, which were later known as M&Ps, chambered in .38S&W, which allowed them to use the British .38/200 cartridges as well. Smith later updated the M&P after the war as their Model 10, like this iconic six-shooter we have in the Vault.

One thing the Brits and Canucks could agree on when it came to handguns was the Browning Hi-Power. Made during the war by the John Inglis Company of Toronto with a little help from Belgian exiles, the so-called Browning-Inglis was produced in quantity, with over 150,000 made. The Canadians and British each took about a third while others went to Allies such as China. As a D-Day legacy, Canada still issues these WWII-era guns to their military today.

In all, across the British and Canadian sector, some 83,000 troops landed on Gold, Juno, and Sword while another 8,000 went in with the airborne troops, making up about half the Allies in Normandy on June 6. Allied casualties on the first day of Operation Overlord numbered over 10,000.

For more information on the British and Canadian efforts on D-Day, visit Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian War Museum, Imperial War Museum, and National Army Museum.

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Categories: Gun News

Molon Labe: Sig Sauer Debuts Spartan II Pistol Series

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 08:30

Sig’s new Spartan II line of single-action pistols complements their original Spartan-themed set, released previously. The original Spartan series used a flashier oil-rubbed bronze PVD finish with black grips. (Photo: Sig)

Each marked with the classical expression of defiance attributed to King Leonidas, Sig Sauer’s new Spartan II series pistols make a statement.

The four models– a 1911 Full-Size and 1911 Carry, along with corresponding P238 and P938 guns– are all hammer-fired, single-action-only, all-metal pistols. Each has been given what Sig describes as a distressed coyote finish and engraved aluminum grips featuring a Spartan helmet. The same branding is included on the slide along with the Greek phrase “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ” (Molon Labe), which roughly transliterates to “Come and Take It.”

Sig’s original Spartan line carries a more bronzed look. Each of the new models, all single stacks, come standard with SIGLITE night sights.

The .45ACP-caliber 1911 Full-Size and Carry rail guns ship with two 8-round magazines and include a skeletonized hammer and trigger and black surface controls. The Full-Size uses a GI-length 5-inch barrel while the Carry model runs a shorter 4.2-inch barrel.

The .380ACP-chambered P238 and 9mm P938 each come with a 7-round magazine and utilize 2.7- and 3-inch barrels, respectively.

MSRP information is not currently available.

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The P238 and P938 Spartan II Micro-Compact Pistols are now shipping! The new Spartan pistols have been completely redesigned with a distressed coyote finish. The slide is engraved with the historic Spartan phrase "MOLON LABE" ("Come and take them"). Custom grips are inlaid with the Spartan helmet to provide a bold statement finish. #SIG #NeverSettle #P238 #P938 #SpartanII

A post shared by SIG SAUER (@sigsauerinc) on Jun 4, 2019 at 7:33am PDT

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Categories: Gun News