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Jesse Pinkman is Back: The Curious Guns of El Camino

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 23:30

After a six-year hiatus, Jesse Pinkman, the flawed moral compass of Breaking Bad, has a new film, El Camino, and it has some peculiar firearm choices.

The fictional former cooking partner and student of Walter White picks up where he left off in the franchise, centered in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico, in an epilogue to the series that so far has seen good reviews.

Coming on the heels of a crime drama that had so many iconic firearms– and left everyone wanting a push-button surprise M60 in the trunk– you know there had to be some interesting hardware in writer/director Vince Gilligan’s follow up installment. Warning, there be spoilers ahead.

Ruger P-series

Ruger’s P-series pistols were extremely popular and common throughout the 1980s and 1990s. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

Coming away with the just clothes on his back, a lot of bad memories, and a sweet Chevy coupé utility vehicle, Jesse also manages to beat feet from the compound where he was held prisoner with a little insurance in the form of a Ruger P-series double-action pistol. A 1980s/90s classic, Bill Ruger introduced the Ruger P-85 in a bid to replace the U.S. Army’s M1911 only to lose out to the Beretta 92/M9. Although the Army didn’t adopt the new pistol, Ruger saw a lot of commercial success with the series in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45ACP, only replacing them with the SR9/SR40/SR45 line after 2007.

Jesse’s Ruger P-series pistol in El Camino looks to be a later model stainless P-89 with a decocker.

Which even spends some time as a shower gun, not recommended.

Kimber Ultra

This Kimber Ultra CDP (Custom Defense Package) II is one sweet carry gun, to include a carry melt treatment for snag-free edges.

Soon into his evasion around ABQ in an effort to find some dough to skip town through the helpful offices of the local vacuum cleaner repairman (rest in peace, Robert Forster, who did his part to help keep the Colt Detective perma-cool), Jesse comes into contact with a bad guy who is ably equipped with a Kimber Ultra series .45ACP 

The El Camino gun, which has Kimber Custom Shop roll marks, looks to be an Ultra Raptor II, with factory standard zebra wood scale pattern grips. (Photo: Netflix)

Colt Woodsman

One thing leads to another and Jesse eventually loses the Ruger, which causes him to borrow a pair of family heirloom guns without permission (which is bad, don’t do that in real life). The handguns, which had been handed down from his grandfather, are a bit dated.

Add poor trigger d to the list of Jesse Pinkman’s bad life choices. (Photo: Netflix)

The rimfire semi-auto, while it could possibly be a High Standard .22LR, looks more like a Colt Woodsman.

One of the most pined-after plinkers in the country, the Woodsman is found on the long list of John Browning’s inventions and was first released as the unimaginably titled “Colt .22 Automatic Pistol” starting in 1915. Remaining in production until the late 1970s, they are highly collectible.

This circa 1942 Colt Woodsman is of the Match Target variety, the guns more commonly came with a pencil barrel. These high-quality pistols made their way into the work of mystery writer Raymond Chandler and were highly praised by Ernest Hemingway.

Lemon Squeezer

The Pinkman family’s lemon squeezer-style revolver looks at first glance looks like an old Smith & Wesson Safety Hammerless, a top-break model which was first introduced in 1887 and included an option for factory pearl grips, which the gun has. Offered in black powder .38 S&W and .32 S&W, the Safety Hammerless was well-liked, remaining in production for over 50 years until it was finally retired by the more modern Centennial series J-frames.

It was so popular that it was copied by any number of companies as soon as the patents started to expire. These included Iver Johnson, who made a veritable clone with a few tweaks dubbed the Safety Automatic which despite its name, was a revolver.

The final scene with the Pinkman family heirloom shows a distinctive Iver Johnson bolt pattern on the left-hand side of the gun.

Those grips, tho. (Photo: Netflix)

While most of the older lemon squeezers were made for black powder cartridges, later models were beefed up to take smokeless rounds. Still, Jesse uses the Owl Head pocket gun in a decidedly Wild West-style face-off/shoot out with one despicable hombre, coming out on top through a familiar movie trope, although he may have wished for a Nomex jacket.

Anyway, welcome back, Jesse, or should we say, Mr. Driscoll of Haines, Alaska.

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Categories: Gun News

Turkey Ammo that will Dominate Fall Gobbler Season

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 11:00

Fall turkey hunting tactics can be a tricky lot. The late season is never as straightforward as spring’s routine of setting a few decoys, yelping, and in they come charging. Fall involves more technical calling, stalking, or even flock-busting. More often than not, the shots are a bit quicker, longer, or trickier. Here are some knockdown rounds for wily fall-time birds.

1. Federal Premium TSS

Federal Premium is, without a doubt, the leader in the tungsten shot premium turkey ammunition market, and for good reason. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Federal Premium is, without a doubt, the leader in the tungsten shot premium turkey ammunition market, and for good reason. One of the best things about TSS—annihilating knockdown power and wicked patterns aside—is the fact it’s available in .410, 20-, and 12-gauge. Federal’s tungsten-alloy is advertised as 22-percent denser than standard tungsten and 56-percent greater than lead. They also put an incredible number of pellets downrange by using tiny shot like #9, #7, or better yet, blends of 7/9 or 8/10.

Five round boxes sell online from $20.99 to $38.99 or a whopping $4.20-$7.80 per round. For hardcore turkey hunters who put a premium on grand slam, destination hunts, or simply want to make the absolute most of every opportunity the field, TSS is hard to keep in stock. Federal Premium also donates a portion of each box sold to the NWTF.

2. Kent TK-7 Penetrator

Kent Cartridge’s TK-7 Penetrator is one of the most underrated of all specialty turkey rounds on the market, which is unfortunate because they perform. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Kent Cartridge’s TK-7 Penetrator is the most underrated of all specialty tungsten turkey rounds on the market, which is unfortunate because they perform. Where Federal’s TSS uses tungsten alloy, Kent loads with straight tungsten shot, which the company advertises as 38-percent denser than lead with “superior retained energy and knockdown power.” Unlike TSS, however, and per the name, Kent’s Penetrators are loaded solely with #7 shot.

Both the 12- and 20-gauge offerings come in 3-inch shells with an 11,00 FPS velocity. The rounds are considered “managed recoil” so although it’s a dense load, it’s not the most wicked to shoot. Five-round boxes are selling for $22.99 online which equates to $4.60 per round.

Winchester Long Beard XR

Winchester Long Beard XR was one of our go-to rounds before the introduction of tungsten loads, but still, Long Beard is more than capable of putting gobblers on the ground with much more authority than standard lead loads. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Winchester’s black-boxed Long Beard XR was one of the first premium turkey ammunitions to make claims of turkey-taking at extended ranges up to 60-yards. While we can’t always get behind the clean lethality of these ultra-long shots, the fact of the matter is that Long Beard XR patterns very well and is more affordable than the newer—albeit perhaps harder-hitting—tungsten rounds. Copper-plated lead shot in encased in a Shot-Lok cocoon that theoretically holds the shot together longer.

Winchester’s offering is available in both 12- and 20-gauge, with the 20-gauge coming in 3-inch. The 12-gauge, meanwhile, is available in everything from 2.75 on up to 3.5 wallopers. Muzzle velocities range from 1,050 to 1,300 depending on the load. These babies are listed online from $19.99 to $21.99 per 10-round box, putting them about $2.00 per shot, a great bang for the buck.

Hornady Heavy Magnum Turkey

Hornady Heavy Magnums have been around for a few years and they get the job done without all the cost and expensive shot of other specialty rounds. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Hornady Heavy Magnums have been on the market for many years, and they’re still around for good reason. They work. Available in 3-inch 12-gauge or 20-gauge rounds, as well as 3.5-inch 12-gauge, the Heavy magnum is stuffed with simple nickel-plated shot. While there’s no ultra-dense tungsten or specialty metals here, there is a very fair price tag, at least as far as specialty rounds go. Heavy Magnums sell online at $13.99/box of 10, or $1.40 a round, making them the most cost-effective gobbler hitter, by far.

Depending on gauge and options, shot sizes include numbers four, five, or six. The cool thing about Hornady’s Heavy Magnum is they offer not only the turkey specific load but a Heavy Magnum Coyote as well. At 1,300 FPS using the Versatite wad, these loads put out awfully dense patterns for us out to forty yards and advertise “lethal penetration” out to 50-yards.


Specialty turkey rounds capable of hitting harder and patterning farther are all the rage. Boxes of only five or ten rounds are the norm, but you get what you pay for. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Specialty ammunition is great. It is forever changing the face of turkey hunting to include smaller bores and longer ranges. To that end, any of the aforementioned rounds will do everything any gobbler hunter needs, and then some. It’s important to remember, though, that just because a box claims it can kill a turkey at 50 or 60-yards does not mean it can or even should. As always, ethical hunters should spend time at the patterning board as well as understand lethal velocities and shot placement to ensure clean shots for the full joy of a memorable hunt.

Before you snag ammo, you need a turkey gun to go with it. Check out’s inventory of new and used guns to find your next gobbler gun. 

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Categories: Gun News

High Velocity Meets Low Recoil: The Story of the 5.7x28mm

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 04:00

The 5.7x28mm pairs with FN’s Five-Seven pistol. (Photo: Jacki Billings/


Developed nearly 30 years ago, the 5.7x28mm round is synonymous with its creator and parent company FN. Though not the most popular kid on the block, the 5.7x28mm holds some charm for gun owners looking for a unique round to pair with their favorite Five-Seven; but why exactly was this chambering created and why is it worth the often hefty price tag? Let’s take a dive into the history of FN’s 5.7 load and see why some law enforcement and civilians can’t get enough of this round.

Once Upon A Time

The development of the 5.7x28mm is a tale of the cart coming before the horse. In the early 1980s, NATO put out a call to its ammo friends. Disturbed by images coming from Afghanistan of Soviet military forces wearing body armor and advanced helmets, the military alliance wanted a cartridge that offered a little more oomph than the standard 9×19 Parabellum, then common in Western European sub guns such as the HK MP5, Beretta M12, and British Sterling. The new cartridge would be used in a new class of what was termed Personal Defense Weapons. FN heeded the call and sprang into action, developing a new cartridge completely from scratch. After much R&D, that project, which became the 5.7x28mm, was formally introduced in 1990 as the SS90. The 23-grain plastic cored projectile brought with it a muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet-per-second and was described in patent documents of the time as a “Low-recoil projectile with high stopping power.”

The only problem FN faced was delivering a platform that could fire the new load; but that wasn’t a problem for long as the company launched the FN P90 and FN Five-Seven specifically designed to chamber the hot, new load.

(Photo: Jacki Billings/

Three years after its introduction, SS90 was discontinued in favor of an upgrade — the SS190 — and order to accommodate the revamp, FN modified its P90 magazines. Nearly a decade later, after a battery of tests conducted by NATO, FN officially received the thumbs up from the organization recommending it as an effective round. This nod by NATO eventually led 40 nations to employ the 5.7x28mm in law enforcement and military operations by 2006, including the United States’ own Secret Service.

The Specs

When it comes to the 5.7x28mm, what is the secret sauce that makes it so unique? It really comes down to that impressive velocity paired with reduced recoil. Using a rebated rim design and smokeless powder cartridge, the 5.7 offers a .224-inch bullet in several varieties. Similar in length to the .22 WMR and despite being lumped into the small caliber category, the 5.7x28mm packs a punch. In fact, law enforcement and military 5.7 loads are capable of penetrating body armor, though the same can’t be said for commercially available rounds. Packed into the Five-Seven, the sporting version of the 5.7x28mm round offers an effective range of 56-yards and a max range of 1,651-yards.

The high velocity alone is a sweet deal but partnered with less felt recoil, the 5.7x28mm excels. The 5.7x28mm weighs less than the 9×19 Parabellum offering up a recoil reduction of roughly 30-percent. Reduced recoil delivers faster follow-up shots and helps improve accuracy — a bonus of law enforcement and military marksmen.

The Modern Civilian Cartridge

(Photo: Jacki Billings/

Locked down and confined to military and law enforcement for years, a civilian equivalent was eventually launched to consumers. Olin-Winchester briefly manufactured the round before FN, Fiocchi, and Federal became the primary sources of 5.7x28mm rounds. Though FN still only offers the P90 to military and law enforcement, the Five-Seven migrated to consumers wanting some 5.7 firepower. Additionally, those looking to chamber it in a carbine format can look to CMMG’s Banshee 5.7 variant to scratch that itch.

The civilian sporting round is considerably underpowered compared to its duty variants but still makes for a fun plinker for FN 5.7 fans. Despite its expense — both in terms of actual ammo cost and firearms that chamber it — some gun owners are still enamored with the niche load and all the fun it offers.

Want a piece of that 5.7 action? SHOP FN Five-Seven HERE

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Categories: Gun News

Beretta APX Wins Major European Police Contract

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 02:44

New APX models released just this year include the gray-framed APX Target, (center), as well as APX Centurion-length RDO and Combat models (top right), Compact/Centurion FDE models (bottom) and the APX Carry slimline (top left.) (Photo: Chris Eger/


Beretta reportedly got a major nod from the Polish national police this month to supply new APX pistols to the agency, beating some tough competition.

The 100,000-strong Polish Policji, as reported by both local media and European gun publications, picked a Beretta vendor over six other companies for a tender to purchase over 4,600 new 9mm pistols. The Beretta contract was considered the most advantageous, garnering 91 points in an assessment by the agency that weighed price, lifespan, reliability, warranty period and compatibility.

The Beretta vendor, Warsaw-based UMO, beat out tenders by suppliers offering Arex Rex Deltas, Canik TP9SF Elites, CZ P10Cs, and Glock G17 Gen 3s. Domestic gunmaker Fabryka Broni (Radom) submitted a bid for their locally-built version of the Walther P99AS— which the Policji already fields in quantity– and was the next closest in the assessment conducted by police headquarters, earning a score of 85.97 points.

While the Policji still has some supplies of older Cold War-era pistol models, such as the 9x18mm Radom-produced P-83 and P-64, in recent years they have been purchasing more modern handguns. The latest contract, for at least PLN 5.3 million ($1.3 million U.S.), will see new APX pistols issued to uniformed Policji officers starting as soon as this year.

Beretta introduced the full-sized APX in 2017, equipped with a polymer frame and a host of competitive features putting it on par with other duty guns. The APX features a passive trigger safety, Picatinny rail, three-dot sights, reversible mag release, and interchangeable backstraps, but what stands out most is the slide serrations spaced finger-width apart that run the entirety of the slide and the fully flat trigger. Since then, the company has expanded the line with their Carry, Target, RDO, Combat and Compact/Centurion models.


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Categories: Gun News

How to Install a Red Dot on the FN 509

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 01:00

FN rolled out its latest iteration in the FN 509 series, introducing consumers to the MRD Midsize model capable of supporting a red dot. FN does all the heavy lifting in terms of providing what you need to get started – shipping a handy package of mounts, screws and washers ready to pair with some of the most popular pistol red dots on the market. stopped by FN to get the deets from Pistol Product Manager Tom Victa on the best way to install an optic on the FN 509.

Steps to Install an Optic on the FN 509 1. Field Strip the FN

To kick off the mounting process, the FN is field stripped. As always, when disassembling any gun, the very first step is to make sure the gun is free and clear of any ammunition. From there, flip the take-down lever switch down, pull the trigger and rock the slide from the frame of the pistol.

2. Use Torx Wrench to Remove Screws on Cover Plate

Once the slide is free from the frame, grab the Torx Wrench from the tools package. Turning counterclockwise, remove both screws from the cover plate on top of the slide and set aside.

3. Use the Mounting Plate to Seat Optic in Place

FN’s instruction manual clearly labels which mounting plates work with which optics. Using that as a guide, grab the appropriate mounting plate from the tools package. Place the mount onto the slide, then seat the red dot on top of the mounting plate. Use the appropriate thread-locking screws to secure the red dot in place. FN’s mounting screws are thread-locking, therefore, no additional thread-locking materials are needed.

4. Reassemble the FN 509

Now that the optic is in place, it’s time to reassemble. Line the slide back up with the frame’s rail, rocking it back onto the frame. Once it’s seated, flip the take down lever up to secure the slide onto the frame and viola! You’re FN 509 is now ready to roll.


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Categories: Gun News

Select-Fire: FN Factory Tour to see how M240s, SCARs and 509s are Born

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 23:39


In this episode of Select-Fire, we packed our bags for FN’s factory in Columbia, South Carolina to see how they craft the “world’s most battle-proven firearms.”

FN, or Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre, was originally formed in 1889 in Belgium, where they have a rich history and are still active today. After initially producing more than 150,000 Mauser bolt-action rifles for the Belgian government and others, they soon entered into a long collaboration with American firearms genius John Moses Browning. This relationship led to the Auto 5, the world’s first successful mass-produced semi-auto shotgun– a design that proved so popular it remained in production for almost a full century.

Browning and FN also produced some of the most iconic semi-auto pistols of the early 20th Century including the Model 1900, 1910, 1922 and the revolutionary Hi-Power, which set the bar for a double-stack combat handgun for generations. For the hattrick, FN also produced variants of the Browning Automatic Rifle, which saw military service around the world, and collaborated with the inventor’s sons and grandsons on commercial designs even as the gun maker introduced its wildly successful FAL series of battle rifles. Today, they still produce the M2 Browning heavy machine gun, the vaunted “Ma Deuce,” which is the Western standard for rock and roll support weapons.

Over the past 130 years, the more things change, the more they stay the same at FN

Speaking of going cyclic, FN came to South Carolina in 1981 to produce the M240 medium machine gun for the U.S. military. A variant of the company’s extremely popular FN MAG 58, the company still makes over 300 M240s in the Palmetto State every month.

The current M240 series, in use by every branch of the U.S. military for the past three decades, is born in South Carolina, often in the hands of workers who are Veterans

Besides the M240, the Columbia plant also cranks out 500 M4 rifles for military contracts every single day.

FN makes roughly 500 M4s every day. After they’re test fired, they’re disassembled, cleaned, then reassembled and given a 101-point inspection. Then, they’re literally dipped in preservation oil and packaged 50 rifles to a large wooden crate.

FN’s M4 series is made in Columbia at a rate of 500 per day for military contracts in addition to production for LE and the consumer market.

Other current FN staples include the Minimi–short for the French “Mini Mitrailleuse” or mini machine gun– which was adopted in the U.S. as the M249 SAW along with specialized variants like the Mk 46 and Mk 48; the MK19 40mm grenade machine gun, and the M3 .50 cal.

The ghost of John Browning is very much alive with FN, as his M2 BMG, which debuted in 1921, is still in production. Further, his design innovations are commonly encountered across many of the company’s current offerings.

The company’s past success and the desire to constantly innovate led to the development of modern firearm platforms that have seen adoption across not only military and law enforcement users but on the commercial market as well. These include the FN Five-SeveN, the FN-15, the FNS/FNX, and 509 series handguns, as well as the crowd-pleasing SCAR.

According to ATF statistics, FN produced no less than 45,384 at the Columbia factory in 2017 alone.

The SCAR is an excellent example of a weapon system developed by FN for the military, that went on to be very successful in the consumer market.

The FN SCAR family: SCAR SC, SCAR 16 (SCAR-L) in 5.56 NATO, SCAR 17 (SCAR-H) in 7.62 NATO and SCAR 20 (SSR)

And to see how they are all born, check out the latest Select Fire installment, above.


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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer Shows off New ROMEO1PRO Red Dot Sights

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:27

The latest evolution of the ROMEO1 Reflex Sight has arrived and is compatible with all Sig Sauer PRO-cut slides (Photos: Sig)


A new miniature open-reflex red dot sight capable of mounting on any pistol with a PRO cut, the Sig Sauer ROMEO1PRO just hit the market.

Available in either a 3MOA or 6MOA red dot with a dozen (10 day/two night vision) brightness settings across a range of lighting conditions, the new sight has a TruHold lockless zeroing system, an IPX-7 waterproof rating, and an impressive 20,000-hour battery life. Housed in aircraft-grade aluminum with a steel protective shroud, the 1-ounce sight is available in black or FDE.

FDE or black, 3MOA or 6, the new Sig Sauer ROMEO1PRO has you covered (Photos: Sig)

“The ROMEO1PRO is the latest evolution of the ROMEO1 sights and brings a new level of durability and performance to the open-reflex red dot sight,” said Andy York, president, Sig Sauer, Electro-Optics.

“The adoption of a red dot sight on pistols is becoming the standard in the commercial, law enforcement, and military markets, and the ROMEO1PRO is the ultimate solution for fast, responsive target acquisition and accuracy combined with the easy mounting option of the PRO footprint,” said York.

Current Sig Sauer handguns with a PRO slide cut (rev2) include the P320 XFIVE Legion, P320-M17, P320 XFULL, P320 XCARRY, P320 XCOMPACT, and P320 XVTAC.

MSRP on the ROMEO1PRO is $519.99 for the standard black model, $549.99 for FDE.


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Categories: Gun News

Deep Diving Into FN’s Optics Ready FN 509 Midsize MRD

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:24


Introduced in 2019, the FN 509 MRD blends FN’s midsize platform with an optics ready design so FN fans can hit the range with their favorite red dot. FN sent me the brand spanking new 509 MRD to try out while Trijicon sent over an RMR Type 2 to go with it. So let’s explore this FN and get into the nuts and bolts of this design.

The Basics

The FN Ships in a fabric case with interchangeable backstraps as well as mounts and screws for various optics. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The FN 509 MRD is a 9mm chambered striker-fired handgun sporting a 4-inch barrel on a 7.4-inch length. Weighing 26.5-ounces, the FN 509 Midsize is comparable to the Glock 19 in size and brings a nice weight to those interested in concealed carry. The gun has enough heft that it manages recoil nicely without weighing gun owners down when carrying.

Shipping alongside a fabric case and two 15-round magazines, the handgun opts for a stippled grip area that feels good in the hand. It’s not overly aggressive so as to shred your palms while shooting but it also provides a nice contact area while gripping the gun. Speaking of nice features, FN brings an extended mag release to the 509 MRD. Protruding a little further from the frame, the mag release is easily engaged with the thumb and offers a nice tactile feel that you can easily find along the frame.

The FN 509 Midsize MRD offers an extended mag release and a nice texture to its stippling. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Rounding out its basic features the FN 509 MRD also offers an accessory rail for those that want to trick out this gun with all the bells and whistles like lasers and lights, but the accessory rail isn’t what we’re here for. It’s that optics ready design that really takes the cake.

Red Dot Compatible

The FN 509 MRD ships with all the tools to mount the most popular red dot models. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Anyone who regularly prefers a red dot atop their pistol knows the frustration of having to swap out parts in order to achieve that aesthetic on a regular gun. FN takes out that middle man by bringing a slide already cut for optics and all the parts required to fit the most popular red dots on the market — including Trijicon which is what I paired with this pistol.

The Trijicon mounts easily to the FN 509. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Adding the Trijicon RMR was easy as all screws were included in the FN’s package. It was a matter of just following the instructions and getting it properly mounted via the included plates. The bonus to this design is that no thread lock is needed to ensure the optic is secure. As for performance, the mounting plate seats the RMR just right so that it co-witnesses with the FN’s iron sights. This is handy in the event of depleted batteries or if you’re like me and sometimes just don’t want that optic. Of course, if the red dot isn’t your thing, you can simply opt to forgo it with a plate cover that is pretty inconspicuous.

Range Performance

FN brings an optics ready midsize pistol out to play with the new FN 509 Midsize MRD. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

On the range, the FN 509 MRD performed flawlessly with no hiccups or issues. Feeding it a variety of ammunition, the MRD did just fine gobbling up and spitting out rounds downrange. Its midsized design worked well in mitigating the recoil from the 9mm chambering. Even better, that Trijicon optic stayed nicely in place. Over the course of several days at the range, I fired a volley of rounds and didn’t have to mess with the optic at all. It sat right where I placed it.

The Trijicon RMR Type 2 co-witnesses with the iron sights. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

My only quibble with the design is a trivial one and really comes down to the fact that I don’t prefer red dots. Suffering from astigmatism, red dots cause more problems than they help solve so having an optic to contend with was a nuisance. Again, it’s easily remedied by removing the optic, but without a resealable parts pouch, I had to worry about losing screws and plates. At the end of the day, I recommend those with astigmatism or those averse to red dots on pistols forgo the MRD model and step down to the regular, old 509 Midsize.

Final Thoughts

The FN 509 Midsize MRD is a solid pistol perfect for home defense or concealed carry. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

A great alternative to other popular midsize carry guns, the FN 509 Midsize MRD ultimately offers concealed carriers and gun owners the opportunity to don that red dot for those that prefer a little extra oomph out of their carry guns. The FN 509 MRD Midsize is available with an MSRP of $799. Of course, that optic is sold separately.


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Categories: Gun News

New Ruger PC Carbine Chassis Models Allow AR Stocks, Grips

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:23

The new PC Carbine’s glass-filled polymer chassis system, with integrated rear 7075-T6 aluminum Picatinny rail, allows for standard AR grips and rail-mountable stocks or extensions. (Photo: Ruger)


Ruger this week delivered on a new Chassis Model version of their 9mm pistol caliber PC Carbine that allows the use of standard AR pistol grips and collapsible buttstocks.

In addition to the new glass-filled polymer chassis system, which ships with a six-position, telescoping, Magpul MOE buttstock installed, other additional features include a flared magwell, ergonomic pistol grip with extended trigger reach, and a factory-installed Picatinny top rail.

As with standard PC Carbine variants, the new Chassis Model comes standard with an interchangeable magazine well system to accept common Ruger and Glock magazines, and a reversible magazine release and charging handle to accommodate right- or left-handed shooters.

The little carbine, which has an overall length of between 32.25 and 35.5-inches due to the adjustable stock, also includes a simple takedown mechanism. The 16.12-inch cold hammer-forged chrome-moly steel barrel, in most models, carries 1/2x28TPI threads.

The model’s CNC-milled handguard is Type III hard-coat anodized aluminum with Magpul M-LOK accessory attachment slots on all four sides. (Photo: Ruger)

Speaking of “most models,” the new PC is also available in a pair of 10-round state compliant models for those behind the lines– one with an adjustable stock and threaded barrel, and the other with a fixed stock and non-threaded barrel.

MSRP is $799, which is about $150 higher than the standard PC Carbine with synthetic furniture and a fixed stock.

Jeff Quinn over at Gun Blast has a take on the new PC PCC:


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Categories: Gun News

Taurus Now Shipping New Raging Hunter .454 Casull Models

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:22

The .454 Casull Raging Hunter is now headed to retailers. (Photo: Taurus)


Brazilian handgun maker Taurus announced this week that their newest Raging Hunter installment, chambered in .454 Casull, is headed to retailers.

The 5-shot Raging Hunter series follows on the heels of the company’s popular Raging Bull line but is lighter due to an aluminum barrel shroud and includes an integrated Picatinny rail. The big wheel gun comes in three barrel lengths– 8.375-, 6.75-, and 5.125-inches inches– for an overall length that runs between 15- and 10.9-inches. Weight varies from 50 to 57 ounces depending on barrel length.

The Raging Hunter line uses an angular barrel design to cut down on overall weight, while its factory-tuned porting and gas expansion chamber reportedly reduces muzzle lift for quicker target acquisition. Cushioned insert grips help provide a more comfortable shooting experience (Photo: Chris Eger/

Another big difference between the Raging Bull and Raging Hunter series is the latter’s top-mounted Picatinny rail which, in addition to the standard adjustable iron sights, gives the user lots of options in the field. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Other features of the .454 Casull Raging Hunter include a spurred hammer, DA/SA action, transfer bar safety, ported barrel and cushioned grips. In addition to the various barrel lengths, the revolver is also available in two frame colors—matte black or stainless—with matte black barrels and cylinders, producing a myriad of possible configurations for the consumer.

MSRP ranges from $910 to $919.


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Categories: Gun News

Gumshoe Roscoes: Classic Film Noir Revolvers & Pistols

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 03:58

One thing that remains constant in the noir films and fiction is the gun selection. (Photo: Chris Eger/

For a big chunk of the 20th Century, handy, often pocket-sized revolvers and pistols accompanied the hardboiled gumshoes of the period’s entertainment.

Film Noir, the cinematic term for the legion of black & white movies from the late 1920s through the 1950s based on popular crime and detective fiction of the era, followed the likes of tough-talking private investigators such as Lew Archer, Mike Hammer, Philip Marlowe, and Sam Spade. In a reflection of their fictional life and times, they carried an array of now-classic heaters, hog legs, mohashkas and roscoes that likewise accompanied that day’s real police while being popular in the consumer market for self-defense as well.

Colt Detective

When going into harm’s way on a case for a questionable dame, the Colt Detective was mandatory. (Photo: Chris Eger/


Perhaps no other wheel gun is as popular in noir fiction than Colt’s Detective Special models. First introduced in 1927 as a chopped down take on Colt Police series, the reliable all-steel six-shot snub predated Smith & Wesson’s J-frames by a generation and were soon in service from coast to coast during the Prohibition era and Great Depression.

Besides regular life in the pages of the day’s pulps, Hollywood tough guys like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Charlton Heston, and Sterling Hayden used the classic Colt on-screen. Heck, even future President Ronald Reagan carried one during his acting days. The guns proved so popular that Colt kept the “Dick Special” in production into the 1990s and today’s more modern Cobras are in many ways a return to the line.

Colt 1903/1908

The Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless is a single-action semi-automatic pistol chambered in 32 ACP with a 7+1 round capacity. One of the most common concealed carry guns of the 20th Century, we also have several in the Vault, ready for the discerning collector, fedora not included.


Carried by Bogey in no less than five movies including as Rick in Casablanca and as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep, Colt’s Pocket Hammerless (which actually does have a hammer!) was a go-to semi-auto pistol of the time offered in .32ACP and .380. A design of John Browning’s, it remained in production for more than 40 years.

Remarkably snag-free for its era, especially when compared to many contemporary autoloaders, you can see why they were so enduring. Speaking of which, the model even made an appearance in this year’s  John Wick installment, proving its aesthetics never really went out of style.

S&W I-frames

This Smith & Wesson pre-32 Terrier is a five-shot revolver chambered in 38 S&W, not Special.


Even before the great J-frames such as the Model 36, Smith & Wesson produced the small framed Terrier, Model 30 and Model 32 round-butt wheel guns. Dubbed I-frames, these models were made in several barrel lengths, with snubby 2-inchers proving among the more concealable. Actor Ray Milland carried one in the Fritz Lang WWII-era noir spy film Ministry of Fear— complete with pearl grips. Notably, that film also includes a Mauser M1934, because, Fritz Lang.

FN 1910/1922

These FN 1922s up for grabs in the Vault were used by the German military in WWII and have the funny little eagles to prove it.


Speaking of Fritz Lang, besides the standard fare of odd German pistols, the noted director’s bizarre proto-noir thrillers M and Testament of Dr. Mabuse featured several of Browning’s FN-produced pistols such as the Model 1900 and 1910. The guns and later models like the FN 1922, due to their international use and adoption, remained popular on the big screen in moody spy films and crime movies from Paris and Moscow to Tokyo and everywhere in between. Heck, even Sean Connery used one in Dr. No, although it was just past the noir period.

Walther PP

This German late WWII-era Walther PP up for grabs includes a 6-digit number with “P” right on slide and “ac” code. Does it get any more noir than that?


We couldn’t obliquely mention Bond without covering Carl Walther’s Polizei Pistole. First produced in the 1930s, these German-made .32s and later .380s may not have faced popped up directly in period films but they were out in circulation and very much carved a notch in gun culture through later spy movies– starting as far back as the 1950s version of The 39 Steps— as well as neo-noir action films. Sure, it’s not a Luger, but what is?

Of course, there were other guns of the era, such as Vest Pockets, M1911s,  pre-Model 10 Smiths, Baby Brownings and the like, but we only have so much time. If you can think of a favorite we missed, drop it in the comments below and if you mugs want to check out our complete collection of great Certified Used Guns, do that after the jump, sweetheart.

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Categories: Gun News

Supreme Court Gun Control Challenge will get its Day in Court

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 01:33

Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued New York could have changed their law at any time in the past half-decade and only chose to do so in order to avoid defending the statute before the Supreme Court– which could lead to a win for gun rights. (Photo: Chris Eger/

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed continued efforts by New York officials to hold off on a challenge to the City’s restrictive gun laws.

New York had asked the nation’s high court to turn away the case brought by three local gun owners who argue the City’s “premises permit” scheme — which drastically restricts the ability to leave one’s premises with a firearm — is unconstitutional. City officials, once the court agreed earlier this year to review the challenge, changed the local law rather than risk the court ruling that could be applied to other potentially unconstitutional gun control schemes nationwide. This, New York argued, made the case moot.

This week the Supreme Court issued orders that the case will proceed.

“The Respondents’ Suggestion of Mootness is denied,” read the orders of the court. “The question of mootness will be subject to further consideration at oral argument, and the parties should be prepared to discuss it.”

While the law was previously upheld by lower and appellate courts, the Supreme Court agreed in January to hear a further challenge to the City’s restriction — the first such move by the court on a major gun case since 2010. This triggered repeated attempts by the City to short circuit the case, all of which have been turned away.

The gun owners who first took the City to court six years ago are backed in their effort by the National Rifle Association and their state affiliate, the New York Rifle and Pistol Association. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued New York could have changed their law at any time in the past half-decade and only chose to do so in order to avoid defending the statute in Washington– which could lead to a win for gun rights with nationwide reverberations.

“It’s outrageous that the city has furiously tried to derail this case by changing the law,” Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan M. Gottlieb told on Monday. “That says volumes not only about the city’s fear of having to defend their restrictive gun control law before the court, but it also suggests to us that the city knew all along their law would not pass the constitutional smell test under any level of scrutiny, and they panicked.”

Since the case has been on the high court’s docket, 120 Republican members of Congress have filed a brief in support of the gun owners, followed by another brief submitted by the allied attorneys general or governors of 24 red states.

Add to this are separate briefs from dozens of gun rights groups ranging from SAF and the Firearms Policy Coalition to Black Guns Matter, the Liberal Gun Club, and the Pink Pistols. Importantly, the U.S. Justice Department has also gone on record as being against New York’s gun restriction with the office of Noel Francisco, the U.S. Solicitor General, saying, “The ban all but negates the textually protected right to bear arms, and interferes with the right to keep arms as well.”

Supporting the gun control position are five Senate Democrats — Sheldon Whitehouse, Mazie Hirono, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, and Kirsten Gillibrand as well as 139 Dems in the House, with the lawmakers taking New York’s side. Similar filings came from the states of New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia as well as anti-gun groups such as Everytown and March for Our Lives, all angling to insulate the city from a ruling which could prove to be a huge victory for Second Amendment advocates.

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Categories: Gun News

Pocket-Sized Powerhouse: The Diamondback DB9 Gen 4

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 23:30

The Diamondback DB9 Gen 4 brings 6+1 rounds of 9mm parabellum to the party in a pint-sized package. (Photos: Chris Eger/


We looked at Diamondback Firearms’ newest version of their micro-compact DB9 9mm pistol, the Gen 4, and compared it side-by-side with some of its contemporaries.

Recently introduced by the Cocoa, Florida-based gunmaker, the DB9 Gen 4, with a weight of just 13.4-ounces while maintaining a 3.1-inch stainless steel barrel that gives an overall length of 5.73-inches, Diamondback describes their gun as the “smallest and lightest” 9mm on the market. With a flush-fit magazine shoe installed, its height is 4-inches flat. The maximum width is 0.89-inches. We’ll take a comparative look at what that means in a minute.

The original DB9 was first introduced in 2009 and the new and much-updated Gen 4 version has a lot of improvements over the initial gun that go way past style. These include a slide lock lever, and improved trigger pull with a shorter reset, and updated grip with better ergonomics, and a rating for +P ammo. Standard features include front and rear slide serrations, a 6+1 magazine capacity, steel (not plastic) sights that are compatible with Glock aftermarket replacements, and a captive recoil spring that helps with field stripping.

The replaceable sights include a red front post with green rear dots while night sights are readily available. Note the front and rear slide serrations and fenced slide stop lever

Field stripping for cleaning is simple, with anyone familiar with breaking down a striker-fired pistol able to pull it off without tools. The captive recoil spring helps with field stripping in the respect that you won’t have to chase it down after it shot across the room.

You can say a lot about the DB9, but Diamondback doesn’t believe in nice boxes. The gun ships in cardboard but includes a zipper bag for storage. It ships with a single mag, but extras are cheap ($20) and the box includes both a finger extension floor pad and a flush example to allow the user a choice.

While popping spicy 9mm +P out of a 13-ounce gun doesn’t sound fun, the DB9 Gen 4 is rated for the task.

The redesigned grip has front and rear stippling with a smooth midsection. Those with the free time and an unhealthy proclivity to disfigure plastic with a soldering iron can change that to suit their own needs.

The Gen 4 DB9, as with all Diamondback firearms, are made wholly in the U.S. Of note, the slide barrel, and internal parts are coated to resist corrosion and the gun utilizes steel sights and a steel mag catch.

When compared to a compact 9mm, such as the Glock G19, the DB9 Gen 4 is a much-reduced envelope, though granted, it only has half the magazine capacity of this double stack. However, even when compared with the 18-ounce/6.26-inch Glock G43, it is still notably smaller.

The same can be said for the S&W M&P M2.0 Compact.

Here is a stack of the DB9 against the iconic pocket roscoe: The S&W J-Frame. As witnessed by this S&W M642, the DB9 is still smaller and a tad lighter. Plus, it can carry seven rounds of 9mm as opposed to five of .38.

Further, the DB9 is downright skinny when the width is brought up and the Smith falls in alongside. Also, the DB9s barrel length and sight picture in both cases is an improvement, along with the faster reload.

A more apples-to-apples comparison is between the DB9 and the Ruger LCP I. While the Ruger is smaller, you can also argue the Diamondback is chambered in 9mm, which has far more self-defense loads available than the LCP’s .380 caliber. Both guns have the same magazine capacity.

However, they are near identical in width, while the DB9 brings better sights and a longer barrel. When stepping up to Ruger’s LC9/EC9 series, which has a 3.12-inch barrel, that gun weighs in at 17-ounces, going larger than the DB9.

Even when compared to other “mouse guns” such as the AMT Backup and Beretta Bobcat .22LR, the DB9 is at least in the same ballpark while showing up to the ball with a larger 9mm chambering, better sights, and a longer sight radius. Moreover, height is nearly the same, an all-important issue when it comes to concealability.

Even more dated comparisons with noir-period pocket guns, like this Mauser 1914 .32ACP, are enlightening.

The DB9 Gen 4 is a pocket-sized 9mm single stack that has evolved from a decade of Diamondback’s experience with the platform and makes a good EDC choice for those counting grams and ounces, in need of a deep-cover gun in a non-permissive environment without switching to a .380 or smaller, or a back-up gun that won’t break your back– or budget.

Some would even call it palm-sized, depending on the size of the palm

Slim and with a lightweight profile, the DB9 Gen 4 has a lot going for it, especially for deep or carry in a nonpermissive environment or as a backup gun. How does it shoot and carry? We are currently working on that and will have a follow-up in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.


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Categories: Gun News

The FN Five-Seven: A Phenomenally Fun Plinking Gun

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 08:23


What happens when you pair the FN brand with a fun plinking round? The FN Five-Seven, of course! The Five-Seven brings a unique chambering in the way of the 5.7x28mm round. The round itself was created in response to NATO’s need for a replacement to the 9×19 Parabellum cartridge. Offering a lighter weight than the 9×19, the 5.7 brings with it a flatter trajectory and less recoil. FN initially developed two firearms that could chamber the cartridge, launching the FN P90 PDW and the FN Five-SeveN pistol —which brings us here.

The Nitty Gritty

The FN Five-SeveN shipped with two 10-round mags and a 20-round mag. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Introduced in the early 1990s, the Five-Seven brings a full-size design to the table measuring 8.2-inches in length with a barrel length of 4.8-inches. Weighing 21-ounces, the pistol offers a capacity of either 10 or 20-rounds, depending on which magazine you opt for. Featuring adjustable 3-dot sights paired with a polymer frame, the pistol itself is a manageable size — not that you need something hefty for that 5.7x28mm round but more on that later.

FN’s Five-Seven pistol sports a forward manual safety that can be engaged or disengaged with the left thumb or right index finger depending on preference. While I’m not particularly fond of safeties, myself, the forward position on the gun was something I did like. It felt natural to manipulate the safety and didn’t require a significant change in my grip.

The FN Five-Seven is also equipped with an accessory rail to mount lights or lasers if that’s something you’re after on your plinker. The gun ships in a really nice hard case and this particular model from came with three magazines — two 10 rounders and one 20 round mag.

On the Range

The handgun offers a forward manual safety. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Let’s talk about range performance. I’ve shot a lot of pistols in my life and I have to say the FN Five-Seven is, by far, one of my favorites. That 5.7x28mm round really does the job in terms of reaching the target but also bringing with it little to no recoil. While some guns beat me up at the range, the Five-Seven is one that I can easily plink with and suffer no consequences.

The construction of the Five-Seven is very intuitive. Though I am a Glock girl, I had no significant qualms when switching over to the FN. The platform makes sense and, most importantly, it just works. All in all, the FN Five-Seven proves fun to shoot, easy to operate and that’s really the secret sauce to this design.

The downside to such an enjoyable pistol is its price — both ammo and the pistol itself. While I loved plinking with the Five-Seven, my wallet didn’t. In comparison to .22LR, another fun plinking round, the 5.7x28mm is expensive. I can easily nab a 50 round box of .22LR around $5. The 5.7, well, I spent over $20 for a 50 round box. That adds up quickly. Not to mention, at least where I’m located, 5.7x28mm ammunition isn’t easy to come by, which means I often have to head online to purchase ammo incurring shipping costs depending on where I shop. The price of ammo alone might be a deterrent for some in need of cost-effective plinking and let’s not forget the Five-Seven itself costs a pretty penny.

The handgun brings a fun plinking design to 5.7 fans. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Retailing for over $1,400, the Five-Seven isn’t a budget gun by any stretch of the imagination. Coupled with the high price of ammo it’s not one I would recommend for those watching their bank accounts. If you’re looking to strike a deal, used Five-Seven models are floating around working that price down closer to the $1,000 mark.

Final Thoughts

Price aside, the FN Five-Seven proves why it’s stuck around since the 90s. It’s pure fun in a polymer platform! If the Five-Seven floats your boat or you’re on the hunt for another FN firearm, check out’s new and used FN guns!


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Categories: Gun News

The Best Shotguns for Bird Hunting

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 08:00

Different types of hunting call for varying styles of shotguns. Whether hunters chase geese, ducks, upland birds, or even turkeys, there are plenty of scatterguns on the market both new and used. These favorites are guaranteed to make your next bird hunt a success.

Mossberg 500 Pump Actions

Take home a nice Mossberg 500 today

Few firearms are as reliable as the old pump-action and fewer still define that action as well as the venerable Mossberg Model 500. While the Remington 870 could be interchanged with the Model 500 here, we like what Mossberg is doing with quality and options in the newer models. Whether shopping new or used, and anything from 12-gauge on down to the baby .410 bore, there is a shotgun for any type of hunting at bargain prices. Most of the newer models make use of interchangeable chokes, meaning the scatterguns will work well for a variety of different game at varying ranges.


Winchester SX3 and SX4 Semi-Autos

This SX4 is sure to stay hidden in the field

There are many quality semi-autos on the market for hardcore waterfowlers, but few have proven as durable and user-friendly as Winchester’s SX3 and SX4 shotguns. These do-all scatterguns accept all sizes of shells without adjustment. For instance, the 12-gauge shoots lighter 2-3/4-inch shells, 3-inch, and even the heaviest 3.5-inch hunting loads with no adjustment to the gas system. While we prefer the earlier SX3 made in Belgium, the newer SX4’s wear some very hunter-friendly control upgrades. With models available in compact size for smaller-frame shooters, finishes in all sorts of camouflage or wood, and many other options, the Winchester SX is a hunter’s shotgun.


Browning Auto 5 Semi-Auto

The A5 makes a classic and classy statement in the field

For over a hundred years, John Browning’s Auto-5 semi-automatic platform of shotguns has taken down every kind of game and bird imaginable. The trademarked humpback design is immediately recognizable while the recoil driven action sees both the barrel and bolt recoil together. While older round-knob Belgian versions of the Auto-5 are most collectible, Browning still produces the gun to this day. Newer models include many modern finishes and iterations to bring the gun into the modern era of bird hunting. Plus, the 100,000-round guarantee on a new gun is hard to beat in the industry. Look for the Auto-5 in 12, 16, and 20-gauges.


Ruger Red Label


The Red Label could just as easily hang in an art gallery as it could be in the field

There are so many worthy over/under shotguns that could hold this space. For instance, the older Browning Superposed or more modern Browning Citori are difficult to best in any era. Those who ever shot the Ruger Red Label O/U’s, however, will quickly recognize the guns capability in the field. Available at one time in 12, 20, and 28-gauge, Red Labels came in both blued or stainless variants. They also feature several barrel lengths and both pistol grip or straight English-style stocks. Though now out of production, many used models still hit the market today.



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Categories: Gun News

Modular AR-alternatives: The World of the SCAR, ACR, ARX, etc

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 01:54

Futuristic and versatile, the 21st Century has seen a broad field of lightweight, modular rifles and carbines that have gone on to success and give the AR some still competition.

Speaking of the AR platform, many of these guns came about as part of a pair of Pentagon programs. This included the 2004-era Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifles program and the later 2011-era U.S. Army Individual Carbine competition, the latter intended to find a successor to the M4 carbine. These guns, which have seen varying levels of adoption, typically feature more ambi controls than the AR, low recoil, are easy to maintain, increased reliability, and are modular in the sense that that the user can typically swap barrels and/or calibers.


The SCAR has been a hit on the international military and law enforcement market, seeing adoption by more than 20 countries. Meanwhile, semi-auto variants have proved popular in the consumer market.


The people’s champ when it comes to modern tactical rifles is FN’s SCAR series. First selected and adopted in limited numbers by U.S. Army Rangers in 2007, several SCAR variants soon filtered out through elite U.S. SOCOM units such as SEAL teams and Army Special Forces, seeing combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. These select-fire versions included the 5.56mm NATO Mk 16 (SCAR-L), 7.62mm NATO Mk 17 (SCAR-H), and Mk 20 (Sniper Support Rifle). Using a short-stroke gas system that did not rely on the same buffer-tube required by the AR-pattern rifle, the SCAR can use folding buttstocks.

A Green Beret assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) fires the MK17 SCAR-H rifle at a 550-meter target during a training event near Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 23, 2019 (Photo: U.S. Army)

On the consumer market, semi-auto SCAR 16S (5.56), SCAR 17S (7.62) and SCAR 20S precision rifles are now available.

Check out our own deep dive on the SCAR 17S, below.

Remington (Bushmaster) ACR

Today, the Bushmaster ACR is marketed in a few different models to consumers, including this DMR version with an 18.5-inch stainless Melonite treated barrel, Magpul PRS stock and MIAD grip, Geissele trigger, and AAC 51T Blackout flash hider.

Back when Magpul was still in their first generation of PMAGs and located in a state that rhymes with avocado, they came up with a concept rifle dubbed the Masada.


This design, using a short-stroke gas piston and rotating bolt, soon traveled over to Remington in 2008 who later began marketing it as a contender for the Army’s next new gee-whiz rifle. These days, variants of the Adaptive Combat Rifle (ACR) are marketed by both Remington Defense (select-fire) and Bushmaster (semi-auto) chambered in 6.8 Remington SPC, 5.56 NATO and .450 Bushmaster. Also, they tend to run a good deal less than a comparable SCAR.


Beretta ARX

The Beretta ARX series has seen adoption by the Italian military and others.


The Italian solution to replace legacy rifles such as the BM59, Beretta has supplied AR70/90s to the Italian Army since 1992 and started deliveries of the more advanced ARX versions in 2007. Both are in 5.56mm while the ARX200 is chambered in 7.62 NATO. On this side of the pond, the semi-auto ARX-100 is available in 5.56 on the consumer market while the ARX-160 runs .22LR. Like other systems noted in this article, the ARX was a contender in the U.S. Army’s ill-fated Individual Carbine program.


The CZ BREN 2 is offered in several calibers and is seeing increased use with European military customers. It is specifically built to switch between calibers and even magazine systems easily. (Photo: CZ)

In the Czech Republic, the very SCAR-ish BREN 2 multicaliber rifle was developed to replace the Czech Army’s Cold War-era Vz. 58 rifles and has also gone on to replace neighboring Hungary’s FEG AMD-63 Kalash pattern guns. The BREN is offered in both 5.56 and 7.62 NATO. Here in the states, CZ USA sells a ton of different rifles but sadly, not a semi-auto version of the BREN at this time, although the blowback-action Scorpion EVO 3 S1 pistol caliber carbine is available.

HK G36

A U.S. Marine hefts a German-made Heckler and Koch G36 automatic rifle overseas, June 10, 2019. The HK G36 and semi-auto SL8 are constructed almost entirely of a reinforced carbon-fiber polymer. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

Using a short-stroke piston and rotating bolt, not roller-locked like the company’s previous designs, Heckler & Koch designed their 5.56mm NATO G36 carbine to replace the German Army’s legacy 7.62 NATO G3 battle rifle in 1995. Although a futuristic design, it still had less “space magic” than the company’s largely unsuccessful G11 or XM8 designs, which bookended the G36 program. HK has tried selling semi-auto versions of the G36 in the U.S., such as the SL8, while the more standard G36 continues to be pitched to military and LE users.

Radom GROT

In Poland, the Radom FB company has been developing the Modulowego Systemu Broni Strzeleckiej GROT. While the Polish military has ordered something like 50,000 of these, and FB hinted at U.S. production for the consumer market in America as far back as 2015, these are currently unobtanium here in the States.

Finally, in China, a new modular combat rifle has been making the rounds in state parades. You know what they say about imitation…

Here’s the latest on a new Chinese assault rifle seen during the recent military parade; ‘This gun is deployed wide…

Posted by Larry Vickers on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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Categories: Gun News

Ruger Announces New Mini-14 Tactical Models

Sun, 10/06/2019 - 23:13

Ruger’s latest Mini-14s are Tactical series rifles that vary in their furniture. (Photos: Ruger)


Sturm, Ruger this month unveiled two new Tactical series installments to their rugged .223-caliber Mini-14 line of semi-auto rifles.

Both models run a compact 16.12-inch hammer-forged barrel with a factory-installed flash suppressor and feature integral scope mounts, machined directly on the solid steel receiver. What separates the two new rifles are furniture options, with the first sporting a Strikeforce ATI 6-position stock that is both collapsible and folding while the second Mini has a more traditional brown hardwood stock that is speckled black.

Overall length on the Strikeforce ATI model, which has a 6-position collapsible/folding stock, is 34.5- to 38-inches while weight is 7.5-pounds.

The speckled wooden stock model Mini-14 Tactical is 37-inches long overall and weighs 7.2-pounds. You can almost hear the A-Team in the distance…

Each also has a blade front with an adjustable ghost ring rear sight. Like other Ruger Ranch Rifles and Mini-14 pattern carbines, they have the company’s typical Garand-style action with a breech bolt locking system and fixed-piston gas system.

Both rifles have barrels with a 6-groove 1-in-9 RH thread pattern and 1/2X28TPI thread pitch on the muzzle device. Shipping with two 20-round magazines, a Picatinny rail, and scope rings, MSRP is $1,069 regardless of the model.


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Categories: Gun News

What Is Barrel Rifling and How Does It Relate to Twist Rate?

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 04:30

The rifling in a Glock 19 S3f barrel. (Photo Credit: Christopher Orth)

When selecting a firearm, the term “rifling” often comes into play and sometimes gets caught up in a blanket statement about twist rate. Though twist rates are created by rifling, it’s important to understand the process behind rifling to grasp its importance in the world of shooting.

Rifling History

What makes up rifling — in short, lands and grooves. Lands are the raised, uncut areas of metal while grooves are the lower, depressed portion of rifling. Groove depth varies between .005-inches and .010-inches and is chosen based on what best suits the type of bullet the gun will use. For instance, muzzleloaders require deeper grooves than a bolt-action 6.5 Creedmoor.

Rifling of an AR (Photo Credit: David Werner)

The first instance of well-done rifling can be traced back to 1498 and is credited to the Germans. At that point in history, cutting rifling grooves was far more difficult than it is today; grooves were cut by hand, one by one, slowly and skillfully by gunsmiths to ensure even, smooth results. It took nearly half a century for rifling to transform from a rare art form to today’s where it can be easily mass-produced – though, hand-made barrels still remain superior. The advent of modern technology and mass production has benefited shooters who now can pick up barrels for their firearms at more reasonable prices.

Types of Rifling

The method used to create rifling matters too. Different methodology creates either more consistent or less consistent tolerances which in turn means more or less stability for the bullet. If you want a precision rifle you need a precisely made barrel.

There are a few means to cut these grooves into a barrel to create rifling. The first method is called broached Rifling. A broach is a hardened steel rod with blades staged in a spiral around it. The rod is made so each blade cuts a little bit deeper than the one ahead of it.

A mandrel, responsible for the chamber and rifling, is inserted into the bore during the Hammer Forging process creating lands and grooves. The above is shown in the center in a cutaway factory process from Daniel Defense, which performs Cold Hammer Forging on 4150 CMV steel blanks. (Photo: Chris Eger/

This gives barrel makers the ability to cut grooves in a cold barrel in one pass; though sometimes broaches are used in progressively larger sizes to cut a barrel until the groove depth is where the maker wants it. Broaching is fantastic for mass-production, does not put undue stress on the barrel and can be made to decent tolerances.

Another means of rifling is through button rifling. This type of rifling is achieved by using a somewhat bullet-shaped piece of tungsten carbide – a “button” or “plug” — to cut grooves. The button can be either pushed or pulled through the barrel depending on the maker’s preference. This is another solid method for mass-produced barrels and results in a beautiful finish. Tolerances of these rifles tend to be quite good.

The rifling of a 30mm cannon being made by Proof Research for the US Army. Photo Credit: Proof Research)

The oldest method in the gun world for cutting grooves, cut rifling involves the use of a single-bladed cutter. The cutter is usually pulled through a cold barrel with a single groove being created with each pass. Using this method doesn’t put much stress on the barrel and allows for tight tolerances. It is, of course, not well-suited to mass-production due to the lengthy process.

A newer technology, Electrolytic Cationic Machining, uses a wet-etching method that uses reverse-electroplating to remove from inside the barrel rather than add to it. These machines utilize electrodes shaped as plastic cylinders with reverse-imaged metal strips encircling them. To create the desired twist rate, the cylinder is pushed through the barrel while the barrel is immersed in chemicals like sodium nitrate and methodically rotated. Although this is an expensive method of rifling, it results in precise rifling.

What is Twist Rate and How Does It Relate

Rifling culminates to twist rate — a term seen most often when checking out the specs of guns. Twist rate is a figure that explains how many times a bullet spins as it travels through the barrel. For example, 1:7 twist rate means the bullet will rotate once every 7-inches. Twist rate is created by rifling and, yes, your twist rate does have an impact on precision. You shouldn’t expect amazing precision from an AR-15 with a 1:12 twist rate; however, an AR-15 with a 1:7 twist rate is another story. A slower twist rate tends to give the bullet more opportunities to yaw, which leads to tumbling and ultimately, larger and less reliable groups.

Bottom Line

There is a difference between twist rates of rifle and handgun barrels. The standard AR-15 might have a 1:7 twist rate but an M1911 chambered in .45 ACP could have a 1:16 twist rate. That doesn’t mean there’s a problem with the .45 ACP barrel, they are two varying cartridges and bullets with different requirements. Twist rate matters but there’s also a wide variety out there and for good reason, as there’s a variety of firearms, calibers, and purposes for shooting.

At the end of the day, if you’re after precision rifle shooting and beautifully tight groups a precisely-made barrel with a certain rifling is a necessity; however, if you’re looking for a plinking or duty gun a high-end or hand-cut rifled barrel isn’t needed.

To check out our inventory of plinking guns and precision firearms, head over to to see more.

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Categories: Gun News

All Time High: Now Over 18.6 Million Concealed Carry Permit Holders

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 01:43

Gunmakers have been eager to cater to the country’s growing population of concealed carriers with offerings such as the Sig Sauer P365 (Photo: Chris Eger/

A new report into the number of concealed carry permit holders announced this week found the numbers at an all-time high even as 16 states recognize permitless or constitutional carry.

The 62-page report, compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center, shows that 1.4 million more permits and carry licenses were issued in the last year, bringing the number of active holders to some 18.66 million. This represents an 8 percent growth from 2018’s figures and a serious 304 percent increase since 2007.

Percent of adults with concealed handgun permits by states. (Photo: Crime Prevention Research Center)

Fully 7.3 percent of American adults have permits at this point. The report details that 13 states have more than 10 percent of their adult population with permits with Alabama and Indiana taking the lead in that category. Florida alone has more than 2 million permits in circulation while Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas have over a million each. In each case, the gun owners in these states enjoy a fairly relaxed “shall-issue” permitting process.

On the other side of the spectrum, at least nine states– California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island– have restrictive “may-issue” permitting practices when it comes to concealed carry licensing.

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Categories: Gun News

NICS Background Checks on Guns Jump 10 Percent in September

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 01:15

September 2019 saw a 10 percent bump in the number of firearm background checks performed in September 2018. (Photo: Chris Eger/

September 2019 saw a significant increase in the number of firearm background checks performed over the same month during the previous year.

The unadjusted figures of 2,189,028 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month is a nearly 15.5 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 1,895,841 in September 2018.

When adjusted — subtracting out gun permit checks and rechecks by numerous states who use NICS for that purpose — the latest figure remains a stout 1,011,636, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry trade organization. This number is a significant 10 percent higher when compared to the September 2018 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 919,979.

The figure is the third-highest for the month of September in the past 20 years, only narrowly bested by the numbers from 2016 and 2017. When compared to the data from 15 years before, last month’s figure was a mouth-dropping 51 percent higher.

September 2019 is also the fifth month in a row that the number of adjusted checks was higher than the previous year’s data. As such, the third quarter 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 2,955,750 reflects an increase of 9.1 percent compared to the 2,708,048 figure for the third quarter of 2018.

The NICS numbers do not include private gun sales in most states or cases where a concealed carry permit is used as alternatives to the background check requirements of the 1994 Brady law which allows the transfer of a firearm over the counter by a federal firearms license holder without first performing a NICS check. Some 24 states accept personal concealed carry permits or licenses as Brady exemptions.

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Categories: Gun News