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Julie Golob Raises Awareness with Aim to Cure JDM Challenge

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 04:00

The Aim to Cure JDM Challenge looks to raise awareness of juvenile dermatomyositis. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

In an effort to raise awareness for juvenile dermatomyositis, renowned competition shooter and World Champion Julie Golob challenges the shooting community to participate in the Aim to Cure JDM Challenge.

Golob’s 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed in 2019 with the rare autoimmune disease which causes the immune system to target and attack muscles. Golob said her daughter has been through extensive testing and is now undergoing treatment, a daunting task for a child and family.

“Friday night she had her 25th injection of chemotherapy drugs. This combined infusions of steroids, immunoglobin (sic), hundreds of pills in orange bottles and so many medical tests later, I confess I’m still a terrified parent, maybe even more so,” Golob said in an emotional post on her website. “I’m a trooper, a fighter, champion… but this? This has been my greatest challenge.”

As a tribute to her daughter and others suffering from the disease, Golob is raising both awareness and money to help spread the word through the Aim to Cure JDM Challenge. She created a special shooting target for this challenge that can be downloaded and printed at home, ready to take to the range.

To complete the challenge, shooters take 23 shots at various areas on the target, starting from the holster or low ready at 3-, 5- or 7-yards. Shooters may also opt to use a bolt-action rifle in lieu of a handgun.

Strings of fire include:

String 1: Send 5 rounds into the pentagon.

String 2: Send 3 rounds into the circle and 2 rounds into the square.

String 3: Send 2 rounds into the square, 2 rounds into the circle and 1 round into the triangle.

String 4: Send 1 round into each shape in the target.

String 5: Finish it up with 3 rounds into the star.

After completing the challenge, spread the word by snapping a picture of your target or making a video then upload it to social media with #Aim2CureJM and link to For those unable to shoot the challenge, donations can be made to fund research of juvenile dermatomyositis.

“We have a long road ahead of us, but with your support, we hope to find a cure for JM,” Golob said.

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Categories: Gun News

National Anti-Gun Groups Agree: They Want Biden in the White House

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 01:48

Screenshot of various gun control group webpages endorsing Joe Biden for president

Three national gun control organizations this week went all-in to support Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in 2020.

The Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign, New York-based Everytown, and the Newtown Action Alliance all came forward with ringing endorsements for Biden, the long-time Delaware U.S. Senator who served as President Obama’s Vice President for eight years.

The accolades:

“From helping pass the bill that established the modern-day background check system, to crafting the Violence Against Women Act, to opposing immunity for the gun industry, Vice President Biden’s long-term commitment to reducing gun violence is crystal clear,” said John Feinblatt, head of Everytown, a group founded originally in 2006 as Mayors Against Illegal Guns by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who largely funds the organization. Everytown has promised to spend at least $60 million during this year’s election cycle to help put anti-gunner politicians in office.

“When every candidate is running on the issue of gun safety, deciding who to endorse becomes a question of who will prioritize gun safety as president, and Joe Biden has a track record that proves that he will,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a group that merged with MAIG to help form Everytown in 2013.

“As a senator, Joe Biden worked with Jim and Sarah Brady to pass the landmark Brady Bill, which established our nation’s Brady Background Check system,” said Brady President Kris Brown, going on to say, “He championed and helped pass the federal assault weapons ban, a policy that saved lives and that he has pledged to reinstate as President.”

Notably, Brady formed in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns, then morphed into Handgun Control, Inc, before settling on its Brady monicker in 2001.

“It’s not by accident that, in 2020, every Democratic presidential nominee has adopted a bold and comprehensive platform on gun violence prevention—including background checks, an assault weapons ban, and limits on high capacity magazines,” said Po Murray, Chair of the Newtown Action Alliance, formed in 2013.

The Biden Gun Control Vision

As for Biden, his official campaign website has a 3,700-word “vision” for gun control that includes all of the above, as well as rebooting the old Obama gun campaign, but also pledges to repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which insulates the gun industry from frivolous lawsuits.

Further, his promised ban on “assault weapons” would require that guns and magazines already in circulation be regulated by the National Firearms Act, which would involve mountains of red tape and additional taxes to register formerly common semi-automatic firearms with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Biden also supports gun rationing to one firearm purchase per person per month, reinstate the Obama-Biden era policy that strips gun rights from millions who receive disability through the Social Security Administration– a ban that even the ACLU had issues with— and enact legislation to prohibit all online sales of firearms, ammunition, kits, and gun parts.

Yup, sites like, Gunbroker, Lucky Gunner, GunsAmerica, and all the rest would go “poof” under the Biden vision.

There are also promises on Biden’s platform to help provide federal tax dollars to states to encourage them to set up gun licensing programs and so-called “red flag” seizure orders. Then would come a national Task Force to explore new routes for gun control.

Finally, his platform promises to, “put America on the path to ensuring that 100% of firearms sold in America are smart guns,” a measure that has been called a slow-motion gun ban as no such firearms are commercially made.

Reaction from pro-gun groups

“All gun owners need to know about the man who wants to be their next president,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, warned, “Biden supported the Brady Bill in 1993, he opposed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, and he’s backed every gun control measure to ever come along.

“On top of that,” Gottlieb continued, “embracing gun ban extremist Beto O’Rourke recently in Texas was clearly a warning that if he’s elected president, Biden will make good on his threats to make radical gun control a top priority.”

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Categories: Gun News

Cleaning the 1911: Tips for the Care & Feeding of John Browning’s Icon

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 05:24

The 1940’s USGI M1911A1 variant in all of its glory. (Graphic: Springfield Armory National Historic Site)

John Browning’s Model 1911 pistol and its offspring have been around for over a century and the secrets to maintaining them are pretty easy to master.

First– starting with a cleared and unloaded pistol, with no brass, ammunition or loaded magazines in the room– you need to field strip the gun. Almost all M1911 variants takedown in virtually the same way, ranging from Great War-era guns through today’s Commander and Officer carry variants.

Below is Team Colt shooter Mark Redl’s simple tutorial on how to field strip one of these venerable handguns. Pay close attention to avoid an unsightly “idiot’s mark” on the slide. Also, be careful with that recoil spring, as it has a nasty habit of trying to launch itself across the room.

One thing to keep in mind, however, on M1911 models is that some with a one-piece guide rod, such as the gun to the right, instead of the more traditional guide rod assembly, such as in the gun on the left, may need a tool, above, to help take them down. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Once stripped, clean the carbon, fouling and grime away with products made specifically for maintaining firearms.

Then be sure to lightly lubricate the pistol. When we say “lightly” just a few drops of lubricant in the right places can work wonders. Justin Baldini, Product Director for Colt, covers where and how much in greater detail, below. Tip: do not over-lubricate and shy away from heavy grease.

After you have the M1911 variant stripped, cleaned and lubed, reassembly is easy. Be sure to function check the pistol without ammunition immediately after to make sure all is according to plan.

Should you find that you have earned an aforementioned “idiot mark” or have a scratch on your stainless slide, in many cases they can be fixed at home with the aid of a green pad and some elbow grease.

What about 1911s not made by Colt?

The good news is, as the basic layout of a Model 1911-style pistol is the same, cleaning and maintenance of a dirty pistol is largely the same no matter if it is a $300 Rock Island Arms or a $2,000 Wilson Combat series gun.


What about the mags?

Finally, be sure to keep your magazines cleaned and maintained. With any semi-auto pistol and the M1911 platform, in particular, jams and feeding issues encountered are often attributed to bad, worn or poor magazines.

Some of the best 1911-style magazines on the market are from Chip McCormick and Wilson Combat.

Want to know more?

Colt has downloadable manuals for their standard M1911A1s including their WWI and WWII reproduction runs as well as their newer Series 80 and 90 pistols available online for free.

For those wanting to go more old-school, there are the vintage U.S. Army technical manuals (TM 9-1005-211-35) and field manuals (FM 23-35) on the subject out there as well.

Have fun and happy shooting!


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Categories: Gun News

44 Firearms Recovered After Deadly Tornado Rips Through Middle Tennessee

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 04:15

Old Glory flies as a symbol of hope among the debris outside a home in Echo Valley Estates in Putnam County, Tennessee. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

A slew of firearms has been recovered from debris left over after a violent tornado ripped through Putnam County, Tennessee on March 3.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office told that 44 total firearms have been turned over and they expect to see more as cleanup efforts continue. Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said the department will do everything in its power to reunite gun owners with their lost property.

“The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is making every effort to return everyone’s firearms as soon as we can. We do have to follow state and federal guidelines regarding the return of firearms, so please continue to be patient with us,” Farris told “We will make sure to get everyone’s recovered property returned as soon as we safely and legally can.”

Thus far, the office has seen a mix of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Though no hard totals on the number of gun owners in Putnam County were available, the Tennessee Instant Check System, which runs background checks on potential gun buyers, reported over 547,000 firearms processed in 2019 — including 325,968 handguns and 192,302 long guns.

Volunteers sifting through debris left by an EF-4 tornado. Cleanup crews should report any firearms or ammo to law enforcement. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

As efforts continue to remove rubble and debris from where houses once stood, the Sheriff’s Office warned cleanup crews and volunteers to be on the lookout for firearms and ammo among the debris, cautioning them to report any sightings to law enforcement. Officials emphasized that volunteers should not touch or pick up guns as they could be loaded or have suffered damage during the storms.

Putnam County gun owners affected by the tornado may contact the office to retrieve their guns. Gun owners will need to provide a detailed list of missing firearms with descriptions and/or photographs of the owner with their firearms. The office also stressed the importance of gun owners keeping track of serial numbers and storing them in a safe place for easier recovery in the event of a disaster such as this.

“Photos can prove difficult as people may own the same type of guns, so serial numbers are very important,” the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said.

The tornado struck in the early morning hours giving homeowners little time to seek cover. In all, over 500 structures were damaged with over 200 totally destroyed or with major damage. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The National Weather Service concluded that a total of seven tornados ravished Tennessee in the early morning hours of Election Tuesday. Areas in Nashville, Mount Juliet, and Lebanon were severely impacted but some of the worst damage centered on Baxter and Cookeville in Putnam County. The weather service classified that tornado as an EF-4, reporting wind speeds of 175 miles-per-hour which left 88 people injured, 18 dead and over 500 structures damaged.

President Trump was on hand Friday, March 6 to tour the damaged areas and also pledge federal government support. Funds are also currently being raised to help tornado victims across Middle Tennessee.

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Categories: Gun News

Vermont State Police Adopts Sig Sauer M400 Pro Rifles for Patrol Use

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 02:30

State troopers in Vermont have recently transitioned to new Sig Sauer M400 Pro rifles (Photo: Sig Sauer)

New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer announced last week that the Vermont State Police have chosen the semi-auto M400 Pro as the agency’s standard patrol rifle.

The 5.56 NATO-chambered AR-platform rifle uses a direct impingement gas operating system and features a full-length free-float M-LOK handguard. Other standard features are Sig’s enhanced trigger and a 6-position telescoping stock.

“We chose the Sig Sauer M400 Pro rifle because of the superior quality, reliability, and accuracy of the rifle. This was an ideal choice for our department because the firearm has been extensively tested for reliability in extreme conditions, and the service and support from Sig Sauer has been outstanding,” said Sergeant Eugene Duplissis, VSP’s Head Firearm Instructor and Armorer. “Our Troopers transition to the M400 Pro has been flawless and motivating because of their familiarity with the platform, performance, reliability, accuracy, and capabilities of the rifle.”

According to local media reports, the VSP moved to acquire 221 M400 rifles last summer, according to state police spokesperson Adam Silverman. The total cost of the acquisition was $167,655, paid for through operational funds. The agency, which dates back to 1947, has 332 sworn troopers.

The Green Mountain State has an exceptionally low crime rate when compared to the rest of the country and the VSP historically did not issue rifles, although about 85 troopers chose to carry their own while on duty. An incident last January, where a man undergoing what was described as a “mental health crisis,” saw two troopers reportedly take fire rifle fire while trying to intervene, sparking the move to adopt an issued rifle.

The M400 has also been picked for use by the Detriot and Philadelphia police departments, among others.


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Categories: Gun News

Leupold Mark 5HD Gets Army Approval as Precision Sniper Rifle Glass

Mon, 03/09/2020 - 01:34

Leupold’s Mark 5HD 5-25×56 will be provided in a flat dark earth coating and utilize the Army’s Mil-Grid reticle. When mounted on the Barrett MRAD, it will be the standard day optic for the new MK22 PSR. (Photo: Leupold)

Oregon-based Leupold announced they have been selected to provide the day optic for the U.S. Army’s Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) program.

The PSR, dubbed the MK22 Mod 0 in Army service, is based on the Barrett MRAD bolt-action multi-caliber system chambered in 7.62 NATO, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum. The glass of choice on the new platform, used by SOCOM, will be Leupold’s Mark 5HD 5-25×56, complete with a flat dark earth coating and the Army’s patented Mil-Grid reticle.

“The Mark 5HD has been built from the ground up to deliver the unparalleled performance that the men and women serving our country overseas require,” said Sam Horstman, Director of Military Sales for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “And, like all of our optics, the Mark 5HD has been strenuously tested for durability and fully meets the extremely high standards that the military demands. Our Soldiers need their optics to perform, and we’re glad to be able to offer a solution that’s built to deliver on those expectations.”

Waterproof, fog proof, and guaranteed to perform, the Mark 5HD series is backed by the Leupold’s Lifetime Guarantee. Designed to max out the performance of long-range rifles and ammo, the models incorporate tactile, audible click adjustments, larger numbers, and a high-speed throw lever. (Photo: Leupold)

Leupold says the Mark 5HD has been “crafted to redefine accuracy, precision, and optical performance for long-range shooters.” Available in three models – a 7-35×56, 5-25×56, and 3.6-18×44 – with both millirad and MOA configurations, the series are billed as being up to 20 ounces lighter than other scopes in its class while bringing superior edge-to-edge clarity and extreme low-light performance to the table.

Like all of Leupold’s riflescopes, the Mark 5HD is designed, machined, and assembled at their Beaverton, Oregon, facility.


More on the MRAD

When it comes to the MRAD, Tennesee-based Barrett last year pulled down a $49.9 million five-year contract for a modular advanced sniper rifle platform. The program itself was identified in SOCOM’s FY19 budget justification book as part of an effort to continue “development of enhanced capabilities to improve performance” of “individual sniper weapons to engage out to 1500 meters.”

A bolt-action rifle with a monolithic upper receiver that is available in a range of calibers including all those mentioned in the military’s solicitation, the MRAD has caliber conversion kits for the MRAD use a separate barrel assembly and bolt. The Barrett bolt gun has been spotted in the hands of several international sniper units to include the Israeli Defense Forces and Norwegian Army.

SOCOM, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, counts some 70,000 servicemembers in its subordinate commands including elite Navy SEAL, Marine Raider, Army Special Forces, and Ranger units.


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Categories: Gun News

Handguns for New Competitive Shooters

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 07:00

When I entered the gun industry as a new shooter and competitor, I felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of handgun options available. I wasn’t sure which models would fit my hand best or if there any that could tackle multiple shooting disciplines. After extensive research and hands-on experience, I have narrowed that list down to models I think make great beginner handguns, especially for women.

To save our readers a little time and effort as well as inspire them to hit the range, here are my top picks for beginner-friendly handguns chambered in 9mm.

Glock G17

The Glock 17 is a staple on the competitive circuit (Photo: Taylor Thorne/

Glocks not only come with reliability but a large group of users that act as a support group. The ability to ask other Glock guys and girls questions about upgrades and accessories make ownership easier. Who knows, you might even find a squadmate for competitions.

Glock pistols all feature a similar basic design with a varying barrel and overall lengths. In the world of competition, most handguns will use longer barrels — on average 5-inches – to increase sight radius and accuracy. While the G19 is perfect for carry, it might not work as well in a competition. For those looking to dive into the competition ranks, the G17 is a great place to start. A real middle-of-the-road option, it offers a 4.47-inch barrel.

If you purchase a Glock you’ll have room to upgrade with lots of aftermarket support (Photo: Taylor Thorne/

One of the best things about the G17 is the availability of parts. As you compete, you’ll learn what accessories can up your game. The plethora of options for the G17 means plenty to choose from and at affordable prices. The only downside to the Glock build is the grip angle. Some shooters will find the grip angle uncomfortable. Though the Glock ships with interchangeable backstraps, the overall build is blocky and may not be as comfortable.

The G17 is a bit snappy but my impressions are overall good for this pistol. Out of the box, you will want to consider some upgrades to make it more competitive. Namely, you’ll want to consider swapping out the magazine and slide releases. Stock, these are small and hard to manipulate.

Overall the Glock 17 is a solid choice, but if you want a little less snap, consider the G34.


Walther PPQ Q5 Match and PPQ Steel Frame

The Walther PPQ is a great gun for competition (Photo: Taylor Thorne/

On the other end of the spectrum, the Walther PPQ stands out as ergonomically superior. This handgun delivers a smaller grip shaped in a way that allows for a very natural feel in the hand. Unlike Glock, Walther’s following is smaller but still willing to talk shop. At an event, you might see one or two people shooting a PPQ.

When determining which PPQ model is best for you — the Q5 or SF – consider optics and weight. For those wanting a lighter gun with an optics ready build, the Q5 is the best option; however, if you seek a little extra weight with that red dot design then head for the SF.

The Q5 sports an upgraded barrel, trigger, and a few other features shooters might enjoy. While there are varying barrel lengths, stick with the 5-inch. The SF, or Steel Frame, was introduced as a true competition gun with the weight of a steel frame to help with transitions and recoil. It’s worth noting, the grip of the SF is different from the other PPQs, coming in a bit larger.

The Walther PPQ has fewer aftermarket upgrades than Glock but shines right out of the box (Photo: Taylor Thorne/

A drawback of the Walther is the lack of available upgrades; but, out of the box, this is a much more competitive gun than the Glock. The controls are very easy to reach and felt recoil is a bit softer – though the PPQ does come with some muzzle flip. The trigger in the PPQ series is amazing! Hands-down best factory striker-fired trigger you will find. Through years of competing and 50,000+ rounds, I had one issue with the firing pin breaking which Walther quickly replaced.

If you seek a handgun that provides a smaller grip and ergonomics, the Walther PPQ Q5 is a fantastic option. If you want to be competitive and can handle a larger grip, opt for the SF model.


Sig Sauer P320 X5 and X5 Legion

Sig Sauer changed the game in the competitive shooting world with the P320 X5 series. This pistol is worth checking out. The standard full-size X5 features a flared magwell and weighs around 35.5-ounces. Meanwhile, the X5 Legion comes tungsten infused with a weight of 43.5-ounces.

Sig X5 Legion is a new star on the competition circuit (Photo: Taylor Thorne/

The P320 allows users to change the entire grip module and though the X5 is offered in medium, you can grab a standard P320 grip in sizes small or large. Another benefit to the P320’s modularity is the serial number. The number is not located on the grip module itself, so should you damage the grip you don’t have to buy a new gun. Even better, if you drop the pistol in the sand or mud you can take out the internals, hose it out and put it back in.

The X5 feels a bit blocky but not nearly as much as the Glock and the controls are easier to reach. I opted for a grip reduction as the medium X5 Legion module is too big for my taste. The main benefit of Sig’s X5 series is how flat the pistols shoot. The felt recoil is soft and the muzzle stays vertical.


Final Thoughts

The handguns I selected are good for most any shooting discipline. Handgun choices are extremely personal, so pick one that fits your hand and feels the best. Having a handgun that fits will undoubtedly help with maintaining proper grip, mitigating recoil and comfortably manipulating controls.
Get your hands on some guns, practice and join a local shooting competition to get a feel for the sport. Be it a Glock, Walther or Sig Sauer you can’t go wrong.

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Categories: Gun News

Women of April Robinson, Ecommerce Photographer

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 04:00

April Robinson, sporting a sweet sweatshirt, is the company’s E-commerce Photographer. (Photo: April Robinson/

March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at

In my final edition of this series, I hung out with Ecommerce Photographer April Robinson. Robinson, a recent hire to, captures the beautiful images found in our Certified Used Guns section in addition to providing product imagery for content and social media. We nerded out over photography and talked about her experience as an MA in the U.S. Navy Reserves. So let me kick this off by asking how long you have been a member of the team and how’d you end up here?

Robinson: I was hired on in October but I couldn’t start until November because I am a military policeman in the United States Navy. I was activated in October to go over and assist Romania’s new base.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Second Amendment — Freedom is cool — and I saw the job posting and thought it was a joke. I was like, is not hiring in Minnesota. That’s not a real thing but I really wanted it to be true. Lo and Behold, it was! I applied, Melissa Kropelnicki called me in for an interview the next day and it’s been a smooth relationship ever since. So kind of take me through an average day. What does that look like for you? I realize that, if it’s like mine, it probably shifts based on the needs of the site; but give me a bird’s eye view.

Robinson: The meat and potatoes of my position is essentially going through our inventory, our Certified Used Guns, cleaning them and then taking pictures of them for our site. I try to show customers why they should buy that gun. If it’s in great condition, I’m going to make it look as sexy as I can. If it’s been loved, I’m going to show why it’s priced that way.

Obviously, I get to do crazy photoshoots with like Sweet Tart hearts and the most random objects. Those photo shoots make my day! I love it. They are so fun! I’m a creative weirdo at heart so I need to have those fun photoshoots.

Sweet Tarts and an FMK 9C1. (Photo: April Robinson/ I feel you. I’m a creative weirdo too! On that creative note, I find that there’s a common misconception that photographers just raise a camera, point-and-shoot; but there’s a ton more that goes into getting a good shot, right? So what are some challenges of photography that people who don’t do it for a living might be surprised to learn?

Robinson: Oh my God, so many! Not every firearm is created equally. I’m not going to utilize the same (photography) techniques on a Baby Browning as I am a Remington 700. They’re different sizes, different finishes…they’re just different. I bring different lighting techniques to balance the shine and accent the features. With the nice lights we have, we can do a super low ISO, a nice shutter speed and get those crispy images which I really appreciate.

Another thing is you need to have a good eye for editing because not every silver finish looks silver. Agreed. Finishes can often turn interesting shades. There’s a lot that goes into the post-processing of images to color correct and ensure whatever you’re capturing looks the same in the picture as it did when you took the photo.

Robinson: Yeah, if a listing says a gun is silver but the images look gold, that’s not cool. We don’t want you to buy something that’s not true. A lot of our inventory is used so I want the customer to see what they’re getting. Let’s nerd out for a second. What’s your camera setup?

Robinson: My cameras are different depending on if I’m shooting products or lifestyles. For products, I use the camera we have here which is a Canon 6D. For lifestyles, I rock a Nikon D810 with a beautiful Tamron lens on it. Where did your interest in photography start?

Robinson: Pretty young, I would say. This is a cheesy answer, but my dad took me hunting. I was too young to do the classes and hunt so he gave me a camera. We would walk the fields and I’d shoot with the camera. I haven’t been able to set it down since. This is just in my DNA. I have to be creative.

Robinson’s military background has made being a firearms photographer a little easier. (Photo: April Robinson/ So you mentioned the Navy and I understand you’re in the Reserves. Does your military life ever cross into your photography world?

Robinson: When I was deployed, I was my unit’s photographer and I acted as the public affairs officer; but I am a military policeman and I don’t do photography with that. I’m okay with that. I get to pick and choose my adventures, you could say, and sometimes it’s good to take a break and do different stuff. For sure. Is it helpful coming from that military background? I mean does it make it easier to step into the Vault and know what to grab, what to photograph because you have a history with firearms?

Robinson: Yeah. I don’t know everything but it’s rare for someone to have to par it down for me. The environment here is if you don’t know something they are happy to teach you. There’s so much teamwork. Finally, have there been any guns in the Vault that you have just drooled over?

Robinson: Yeah, there was a Ruger LC9 we gave away for a holiday party that was a raspberry color. I actually bought it off someone. It’s not too girly but it’s perfectly shaped for my hand. It’s fun to shoot.

I feel like almost any competitive handgun, the body style on them is so neat and cool in a way. I would never own one because I don’t competitively shoot but I appreciate the aesthetics and the unique look.

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Categories: Gun News

Constitutional Carry Bills Tracking in 3 States

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 02:55

Constitutional or otherwise permitless concealed carry bills are currently being considered in at least three states. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Proposals to recognize that the Second Amendment is all that’s needed to legally carry a concealed handgun are on the move. In recent weeks, bills in Alabama, Tennessee, and Utah have been spooled up to codify permitless concealed carry.

The concept, law of the land in 16 states, retain statewide concealed carry permitting schemes for those looking to take advantage of their reciprocity benefits while traveling. The change is that said permits and licenses are not needed for lawful adult gun owners looking to carry in public within the state.


On Thursday, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a permitless carry bill 6-4, moving it to the full Senate for further consideration. Sponsored by state Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, who has backed such measures in the past, the bill is opposed by county sheriffs who fear a drop in permit fees they currently use as a source of revenue.

Notably, the Yellowhammer State’s neighbor to the West, Mississippi, has recognized permitless carry of holstered or bagged handguns for the past several years. Likewise, Alabama already has open carry without a license.


Just days after Republican Gov. Bill Lee, flanked by legislative leaders, signaled support of a constitutional carry measure, the state Senate Judiciary Committee passed such a measure on a party-line, 7-2 vote. Senate Bill 2671 is set for further hearings this month and has the support of national pro-gun groups.

The NRA says the bill “ensures that no honest, hard-working Tennessean is left defenseless while waiting for government permission to carry a firearm. This legislation fully recognizes the right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a firearm for self-defense, giving Tennesseans the freedom to choose the best method of carrying for themselves.”

Joining ranks with urban Democrats and anti-gun groups, the bill is opposed by some firearm instructors in the Volunteer State as it waives requirements for state-approved training before carrying, which is sometimes expensive.


In the Beehive State, Utah state Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, this week introduced H.B. 472 which provides that an individual who is 21 years or older and may lawfully possess a firearm, may carry concealed in a public area without a permit. However, it may not get far.

“Being this late in the session, the bill is not going to make it through. My purpose is to get the bill language together for next year’s session,” Brooks told the Deseret News.

Although the state legislature approved a permitless carry bill in 2013, Republican Gov. Gary Hebert scuttled the proposal when it reached his desk and has been reluctant to embrace one since. Critically, Herbert announced last year that he will not seek re-election in 2020, which means a rebooted constitutional carry measure has more luck with his successor, something Brooks seems to be banking on.

States with permitless carry laws include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

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Categories: Gun News

Ruger-licenced Samson A-TM Mini-14 Folding Stocks Now Shipping

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 02:46

After a 31-year hiatus: The new Samson Manufacturing A-TM Folding Stock for the Ruger Mini-14 rifle. (Photo: Ben Philipi/

Keene, New Hampshire’s Samson Manufacturing had two great pieces of news this week when it comes to their A-TM Mini-14 stocks.

First, the A-TM, which is crafted from the original molds and walnut supplied from Ruger, is not a copy or reproduction of the gun company’s old-school “A-Team-era” folding stock. This means that Ruger has recently given it a nod as an Officially Licensed Ruger® Product.

Secondly, the Samson A-TM has gone from trade show teasing to factory production and started shipping to excited Mini-14 and Mini-30 owners on March 3.

As previously reported by, Ruger stopped making the stocks in 1989, cutting off the supply for the past three decades. Now, with the public’s continued love for the classic Mini-14/30 platform, it’s not uncommon to see O.E. side-folding stocks in good condition selling for upwards of $1,000 on the secondary market. That makes Samson’s new and improved model a comparative bargain at $279.

Wait, improved?

The A-TM stock for the Ruger Mini-14 looks, feels and operates exactly like the original, except for two small differences. Instead of a bakelite grip found on the original, Samson opted for a molded plastic grip. They also used Ruger’s current walnut wood instead of the gunmaker’s original 1980s-era birch, which was softer. According to Bryan Kay, a representative for Samson at SHOT Show in January, both materials are more durable than the original, and thus are improvements.

More on that conversation– and the fact they are coming for Ruger 10/22s– in the video below.


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Categories: Gun News

Women of Melissa Kropelnicki, Accounting Manager

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 06:00

Melissa Kropelnicki,’s Accounting Manager, at the range. (Photo: April Robinson/

March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at’s Accounting Manager Melissa Kropelnicki is the powerhouse at the helm of all things numbers. Kropelnicki chatted with me from Burnsville, Minnesota where’s headquarters reside. So, Melissa, when did you sign on to and what brought you here?

Kropelnicki: I joined two and a half years ago and it was because of the great business plan. It was something out there that nobody else was doing. It was so innovative. I had the opportunity to start at the very bottom at the beginning and help work and create our process. I’ve been able to watch the company grow and develop. That was a really exciting opportunity for me…And guns. Haha! Of course! Guns are a perk to any job. So elaborate a little on what you do day-to-day for the company.

Kropelnicki: To put it simply, if there’s money coming in or money going out, it goes through me. I’m in charge of all accounting processes and month-end reporting as well as financial reporting to the executive team. We record all sales and do other data tracking.

I also help out around the office, boosting morale and ordering supplies and snacks for everyone. We jokingly say my title is Mom because I take care of everyone. Every office needs a mom! I think what is really cool about what you do is that you get to interact with everyone — from the marketing team in Richmond, Virginia to the editors and writers spread out across the States.

Kropelnicki: Not everyone at gets to do that but I get to work with every department. I work with customer service, marketing, operations, business development, content — it’s great! I’m never stuck just doing accounting by myself in my own little world. I get to interact with everybody all the time to keep things running smoothly.

The whole team — from Virginia to the remote workers — is so great and I seriously enjoy working with everyone here. The people are pretty fantastic and all willing to work together which, I think, has helped with the success of the site so far.

Kropelnicki: I’ve worked at companies before where it’s a challenge to get everybody on the same page or working towards the same goal. I think we do that really well here. We’re growing so quickly and our sales have been getting to the point where it’s hard to keep up. It’s a great problem to have. So let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about you outside of work. Where did your relationship with guns begin?

Kropelnicki: I grew up in a hunting family. My dad hunts everything. My brothers and sister hunt but I never did. I never did hunter’s safety and never went hunting. My husband kind of talked me into going shooting at my sister’s farm. The first time I ever shot was with a 12-gauge shotgun. I was like, “This is really fun” and I caught the bug. I started shooting with my husband. We’d do range dates together. Eventually, I went shopping for my very first handgun. That was about six years ago.

After I bought my gun, I took a women’s only class with my sister. They taught me everything about the gun and having that knowledge behind me made me more comfortable. Now our family is part of a gun club. We take our kids shooting. The kids have learned gun safety and how to properly handle guns. My husband and both my daughters now hunt. I still don’t but they go out turkey and deer hunting.

Kropelnicki’s interest in firearms has grown over the years and she is an avid gun owner. (Photo: April Robinson/ That’s really awesome that it went from you learning to shoot to now it’s a whole family activity.

Kropelnicki: Yeah, we’ve been buying our guns through and we just got our daughters a little Ruger 22 pistol. Ruger has some nice little plinkers! That is the trouble with working for a gun company is the temptation to buy is always there, just dangling in front of your face. So kind of piggybacking off of working for a gun company, do you ever get people who are surprised or confused by the fact that you work for

Kropelnicki: Yes. So when I first started here, we really struggled to find a bank and credit card company that would take our business. When we moved into our current building, the business next door wanted us to move. They didn’t want us here.

Most recently, I was buying some flowers and candies for our photographer to do Valentine’s Day themed photos. The florist greeted me and asked what I was looking for. I told her I need a couple of dozen roses and she asked what the occasion was. I said a photoshoot and handed her my credit card which has our logo and “” on it. She looked at it and asked, “What kind of photoshoot is this?” I told her, “It’s going to sound strange but guns.” She said, “Yeah, that is strange.”

But I think occasions like that are a great way to educate people. That’s one of my favorite things about the job and why I frequently sport our merch. I love talking to people about what we do and why guns are cool.

Kropelnicki: I feel the same way. We, of course, have that grey logo shirt with “Guns” across the front and my kids and I wear that out and about. Some people might have a problem with that, but I welcome the opportunity to have a conversation about guns. merch is a great conversation piece, says Kropelnicki. (Photo: Absolutely! We’ve come to the end of this interview but is there anything you want our readers to know about you or that we haven’t covered?

Kropelnicki: I think one of the most important things about, and what really attracted me to this place, is the culture. It seems like every day we are changing our technology and making improvements to make the site better, to make gun purchasing easier for everyone and to make selling easier. I think that is something we do best — updating and making things easier and more affordable for people.

Our We Buy Guns program is through the roof right now! I just signed 49 checks this morning. I signed so many my hand hurt. When we first started it, we were getting maybe one gun a week from customers. Now we’re getting hundreds of guns a week. That is awesome — both for the people wanting to offload guns without the hassle and also for those of us shopping on the site looking for cool or rare items as well as affordable used models.

Kropelnicki: Yeah, it is so awesome. I love it!

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Categories: Gun News

CZ Introduces New Single-Action Shadow 2 SA 9mm Pistol

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 05:23

The new single-action steel-framed Shadow 2 SA has the same shooter-friendly ergonomics of the Shadow 2, and can be used for serious plinking, or 3 Gun competitions. (Photos: CZ-USA)

Kansas-based CZ USA this week announced their latest entry to their Shadow 2 line of competition-ready pistols, a single-action model.

On the outside, the CZ Shadow 2 SA looks like a standard Shadow 2, finished in black nitride with a set of striking blue aluminum grips and a blue trigger. However, it is a single-action billed as having one of the best factory pistol triggers on the market.

“While not legal for USPSA Production Division like the standard Shadow version, the CZ Shadow 2 SA and its lighter, crisper SA trigger gives the target-shooting enthusiast the ability to punch paper with precision!” says CZ in a statement.

Like the original Shadow 2, the CZ Shadow 2 SA has aggressive checking on the aluminum grips for a solid hold, “even when the shooter’s hands are dirty and sweaty from running stages.” Also, note the ambi manual safety lever.

With checkered front and back straps, and a 17+1 capacity, the Shadow 2 SA has a steel frame and comes standard with a fiber optic front sight and HAJO rear. Barrel length is 4.89-inches, which produces an overall length of 8.53-inches. Weight is 46.5-ounces. Other features include front and rear slide serrations and an extended beavertail.

MSRP on the CZ Shadow 2 SA $1,349


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Categories: Gun News

Second Amendment Gun Grannies Need Your Help

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 04:30

Julie Hereford and Mary Rooney photographed at Battlefield Vegas. (Photo: Tracy Lee)

In 2017, Julie Hereford and Mary Rooney started a group called NevadansCan. It’s a non-profit grassroots “citizen action network” that has been on the front lines fighting for conservative rights in the legislative process in Nevada.

The most pressing issue currently on their plate is AB291. It forfeits the rights of Nevada gun owners to due process, the presumption of innocence, trial by jury, and allows for unreasonable search and seizure of their property with no probable cause under the guise of a “red flag” law.

The measure, backed by national anti-gun groups, was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020, but NevadansCan successfully filed for an injunction. “Our injunction bought us some time,” said Rooney. “It’s currently in the Nevada court system. The basis of the lawsuit is that AB291 is unconstitutional. It violates essential rights guaranteed under the U.S. and Nevada Constitutions,” she said.

After filing the injunction, Hereford and Rooney met Las Vegas gun shop owner Greg Wohler. He’s appeared numerous times on and is a vocal gun rights advocate. Like many Nevadans, Wohler was unaware of the injunction. He thought AB291 was a done deal. When he learned there was still a chance to beat it, he immediately got involved.

In January 2020, he sponsored a rally to raise awareness and money for NevadansCan. The event was a success. “Hundreds of people showed up and we got in contact with lots of businesses and people who wanted to help,” Wohler said.

The injunction is gaining momentum. One rural county sheriff has joined and three more are in the process of doing so.  The ladies are grateful for all of the support they’ve received but need more.

Wohler is now sponsoring another event for March 22, 2020. This time, he enlisted the help of social media guru Tracy Lee. She’s taking the event to a whole new level. She organized a photo shoot for the ladies at Battlefield Vegas with Wohler providing patriotic props and attire. The resulting images are fantastic. They inspired a new nickname for the ladies: The Second Amendment Gun Grannies.

The March 22 event is gathering a ton of momentum. Eric Blandford of Iraqveteran8888 has agreed to attend as a special guest. If you live in or near Las Vegas, check it out. If you can’t make it and want to donate, you can do so here.

“We’ll take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary,” said Rooney.

The flyer for the event on March 22, 2020. (Photo: Tracy Lee)

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Categories: Gun News

5 Famous Sharpshooting Ladies of Years Past

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 04:15

History is littered with the contributions women have made to the shooting sports and guns in general. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re going to take a look at five impressive ladies and their shooting skills.

1. Mary Fields

Often misidentified as an image of Harriet Tubman, this is Mary Fields, better known as “Stagecoach Mary.” Nice TD on that Winchester musket. (Photo: Public Domain)

Dubbed “Stagecoach Mary,” Mary Fields was a star route mail carrier and the first African-American woman to earn that position. Born into slavery in 1832, she was freed after the Civil War. Migrating to the midwest, she was well-known for her drinking, smoking and gun-toting ways.

She eventually went to work delivering the mail as a star route mail carrier and earned her nickname due to her speedy delivery of parcel and mail. She was a tough, fierce woman rumored to have bravely faced off against stagecoach thieves and even a pack of wolves with her trusty rifle in hand. Fields passed away in 1914.

2.Martha “Calamity Jane” Canary

Calamity Jane was known for her adventurous side and her tall tales, carrying the legend of being one of Gen. Crook’s scouts for most of her life. The above cabinet photo, complete with Winchester lever gun, was taken in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1895, an infamous Old West waystation Jane haunted off and on for more than 20 years. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Born as Martha Jane Canary in 1852, “Calamity Jane” proved to be an adventurous woman in the Old West. A frontierswoman and scout, she was a friend of Wild Bill Hickok and toured around the globe with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.

Earning her name fighting against Native Americans, she was known as one of the most daring riders and best shots in the West. She was long-rumored to have been a uniformed army scout for Gen. George Crook and others, though no official records exist to support the claim. Often pictured with a rifle by her side and a six-shooter on her hip, she was a notorious story-teller and performer entrancing audiences with her tales. Canary died in 1903 as a result of alcoholism.

3. Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley was named “Little Sure Shot” by Chief Sitting Bull, and the above 1898 portrait has her showing off the medals to back that up. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Known as “The Little Sure Shot of the Wild West,” Phoebe Ann Moses, or Annie Oakley as she’s most commonly known, was one of the best sharpshooters of her time. Born in 1860, Oakley rose to prominence around the age of 15 competing and winning a shooting contest against Irish trap shooter Frank Butler. She eventually married Butler and the two joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Touring the country, and even performing for Queen Victoria, Oakley impressed crowds with her trick shots and sharpshooting well into her 60s despite being partially paralyzed due to an accident. Oakley died in 1926.

Oakley shot everything from rifles to shotguns. According to the NRA Museum, one of her favorite shotguns was a Parker Brothers double barrel while her go-to trick shot rifle was a Stevens Tip-Up.

4. Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Lyudmila Pavlichenko in a trench. Pavlichenko was nicknamed “Lady Death” due to her 309 confirmed kills during WWII. (Photo: Public Domain)

Born in 1916, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was known simply as “Lady Death.” Credited with 309 confirmed kills as a Soviet sniper in World War II, she earned the title of the most successful female sniper in history. Pavlichenko ’s rifle of choice was a Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm rifle with a PE 4x scope– although she was often photographed for propaganda purposes with a seemingly more modern SVT rifle.

Serving in the Red Army she fought during the early stages of the Axis invasion but was injured by a mortar shell during battle. After recovering, she began training other Red Army snipers.

A well-known spokesperson for the Red Army, she traveled to the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain, with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor taking her on a tour of the States. Pavlichenko died in 1974 due to a stroke.

5. Margaret Murdock

Margaret Thompson Murdock was the first woman to compete on Team USA’s Olympic Shooting Team. (Photo: USA Shooting)

Margaret Murdock, born in 1942, was a former U.S. Army officer and renowned for her shooting success in the competition field. Murdock was the first woman to be included on the U.S. Olympic shooting team for the 1976 Summer Olympics. There, she earned a silver medal — tying with U.S. Team Captain Lanny Bassham. Olympic rules would not allow a shoot-off, though Bassham requested it.

Aside from her Olympic achievements, she also became the first woman to win an individual open World Shooting Championship. A four-time World Champion, she was an expert at prone rifle and three-position rifle. She was inducted into five halls of fame including the USA Shooting Hall of Fame and Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.

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Categories: Gun News

Heckler & Koch Grabs $33 Million Army Sniper, Marksman Rifle Award

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 23:37

HK stands to bank up to $33.5 million on precision rifles, such as these new M110A1 CSASS platforms, for the U.S. Army over the next couple of years. (Photo: U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army Contracting Command on Wednesday announced a contract award to Hecker & Koch worth over $33 million.

The Ashburn, Virginia-based company was awarded a $33.5 modification to contracts for the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System and the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle.

The CSASS, classified by the Army as the M110A1 rifle, is a variant of the company’s G28 (HK241) platform chambered in 7.62 NATO. The rifle, which itself is a development of the HK417 series, was first green-lighted by Uncle in 2016.

As its name program name would imply, the rifle is light, weighing in at 8.48-pounds sans optics and accessories. Its primary day optic is the Schmidt & Bender 3-20 power scope on a Geissele mount with accessories to include a suppressor and bipod.

The HK G28 variant used as the Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or M110A1. (Photo: Chris Eger/

The M110A1 is set to augment existing supplies of the legacy M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, which is produced by the Florida-based Knights Armament Company. KAC introduced its system in 2007 complete with a 20-inch Chromoly 5R barrel and it has gone on to see extensive not only with the Army but also the Marines and Coast Guard. KAC has a contract through 2024 for its M110 SASS variant.

The SDMR in all its glory, complete with translucent mags, HK Oberndorf roll marks, offset backup sights, a Geissele mount, suppressor and Sig Tango6 optic. (Photo: U.S. Army)

The SDMR is a variant of the HK-produced M110A1 with a slightly different stock and Sig Sauer’s 1-6x24mm Tango6 optic. The Army is moving to adopt between 5,000 and 6,000 SDMRs to replace modified M14 rifles used as designated marksman rifles over the past decade.

The SDMR was evaluated at Fort Bliss by the Army’s PEO Soldier program in 2019.


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Categories: Gun News

NICS Gun Sales Climb for February, Up 63% Just in Virginia

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 05:05
    For the 10th month in a row, gun sales data has climbed nationwide as politicians and anti-gun advocates press for more restrictions on legal firearms. (Photo: Chris Eger/

If February 2020’s figures are an indicator of what the coming year has to offer, the firearms industry is in for a booming year. The second month of the year saw a significant increase in firearm background checks when compared to the data from February 2019.

The unadjusted number of 2,776,380 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System in the first month of the year is a 36.9% jump from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,028,667 in February 2019.

When the figures are adjusted — removing data for gun permit checks and rechecks by states which use NICS for that purpose — the latest total stands at 1,294,123, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade organization for the U.S. gun industry. This number is a 16.9% increase when compared against the February 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,109,087.

Where the increase was all out of portion was in Virginia, where licensed gun dealers saw a 63.4 % increase over the February 2019 adjusted NICS figures.

The Commonwealth is currently amidst a campaign by the Democrat-controlled state legislature for increased gun regulations. In recent days, at least five new measures ranging from allowing cities and counties to establish their own local gun restrictions to a controversial “red flag” seizure bill have been forwarded to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk for signature.

When it comes to the national figures, February 2020 is the 10th month in a row that the number of adjusted checks was higher than the previous year’s data.

It should also be noted that the true number of guns sold across the country is likely higher than what NICS figures suggest. The data does not include private gun sales in most states or cases where a 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.

Over 20 states accept personal concealed carry permits or licenses as Brady exemptions.

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Categories: Gun News

Women of Kristin Alberts, Reviewer

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 04:00

Kristin Alberts is’s resident hunting expert. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at

After previously chatting with Abbey Clary and Leah Roberts on the marketing and e-commerce teams, I made my way over to the content side of to talk shop with Kristin Alberts. Alberts has worked for for over seven years as a reviewer. If you’ve read a hunting article from, it likely came from her.

Alberts took some time to chat with me about the intricacies of reviewing, misconceptions about hunting and why Chuck Norris should be everyone’s zombie battle buddy. Being an outdoor writer is not an everyday, traditional job, so to speak, so tell me how you came to be the resident hunting writer at

Alberts: I always wanted to be an outdoor writer and to do something that I loved that wasn’t an office job. I went to college for four years, got my degree in English, with a bunch of minors that were not all that relevant.

Went it work at several different jobs — all in cubicles and offices and hated it. I decided I wanted to be out in the field doing something different, so I got my EMT and paramedic license and spent some time as a director of an ambulance service.

I always wanted to write and I wrote poetry in my spare time. When I saw an ad for, looking for people to write gun reviews, I thought this is absolutely what I want to do. And here you are. So break down what an average day looks like for you while you’re working on a piece for

Alberts: Obviously, hunting is my passion so I am thinking about things as hunting season comes along. I’m looking at the calendar, planning different hunts, seeing which companies I’d like to work with, mapping out content and taking notes.

I live in the Midwest so weather is a factor, cold weather especially. I plan my range days so I can get out there and do some accuracy testing and check different loads. I just kind of work with whatever happens to be in season. So it’s writing, it’s videography, it’s doing what I love.

Alberts testing guns and gear for (Photo: Kristin Alberts/ That’s the best part, getting to do what you love. As a writer, I know that I hear all kinds of misconceptions about reviewers in the industry, namely that we get free stuff all the time. So what are some of the common misconceptions you face as a writer in the industry and also, I’m sure, as a hunter?

Alberts: I think the one big one that you’ve hit on already is that we get free things in return for writing good reviews. I think that is a big misconception because that’s not what happens. If I’m reading reviews from writers that I respect, I want their honest opinion on what they think about that gun. People are spending their hard-earned money on guns and gear that we are recommending or giving them information on and I take that seriously.

I think misconceptions as a hunter, in general, is that we’re just out there for a sport or trophy killing. We have great respect for the animals. We put so much money and time into conservation and also the end of wanting to harvest our own wild organic meat. I love to cook. I love to do field to table. Well while we’re on the topic of hunting, what sparked your interest?

Alberts: I’ve been a hunter for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, you had to be 12-years-old before you could get your hunting license. I grew up on a farm and I remember standing at the farmhouse when I was probably 8-years-old, waiting for the hunters to come back from the fields so I could see if they had gotten something. I’d hear their stories and take part in cleaning the animals. As soon as I was old enough, I would tag along. I’d go sit out in the blinds and walk with my grandpa and my dad.

Hunting brings people together and encourages camaraderie, says Alberts.  (Photo: Kristin Alberts/ That’s really sweet and something I think resonates with a lot of hunters. For many, at least that I know, the love for hunting started at a young age, heading out to the woods with pop or grandpa and spending time together. That’s something really unique about hunting.

Alberts: Absolutely! I hope that the family hunting tradition continues and that for other people who didn’t grow up in a hunting family, those of us who do hunt make them feel welcome and help them. Well that kind of hits on my next question. There are plenty of men and women who are interested in hunting but just don’t know where to start. I’m kind of in that pool myself, having never really hunted much as an adult. I have no idea where to start and it seems intimidating. So where do people like me begin?

Alberts: There are a lot of resources out there. There are all kinds of hunting skills camps and hunter’s safety is probably the number one place to start. Learn the basics of safety and then from there, go to a skills camp. Check classes out online. I know Wisconsin just started a Learn to Hunt Program geared towards people who aren’t hunters but want to learn to harvest their own meat. They teach you how to do that, where to do it, how to take care of the game. More states are doing that as well.

My biggest advice would be don’t be afraid to approach hunters. Ask questions. Hunters are very willing to share their passion.

Alberts waterfowl hunting adventures always make for great content. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/ Solid advice. Let’s do some rapid-fire questions. First gun you remember shooting?

Alberts: The first gun I remember shooting was a single shot .410 I got from my grandpa. We took it out on a squirrel hunt and I still have it. What is your favorite gun that you currently own?

Alberts: That’s a really hard question. Can I choose a couple? I know. I know. It’s a tough one. Sure, give me your top two.

Alberts: The one that means the most to be is an old Belgian Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen I got from my grandpa. He bought it as a younger man and passed it on to me. We hunted with it together. If I sold every other gun, that would be the one gun I’d keep because of the sentimental value.

Hunting wise, I really like the new Savage High Country Rifle. As far as new rifles go, it shoots well. I love it. I took it to Africa, different places and it seems like once a gun goes on adventures with you, it becomes part of your story. Then you don’t want to part with it. Pink guns — yes or no?

Alberts: Negative, that’s a definite no. I mean, if that’s what floats your boat go for it, but I think you and I believe the same thing that putting pink on everything is a no. Agreed. Not a fan of pink it and shrink it. Final question. Zombie apocalypse breaks out. You have to choose three people. Who are you surviving with?

Alberts: Chuck Norris would be my first. He can pretty much do anything. I’m kind of into preparedness so I probably would take a couple of local people whose skill sets I know and trust. They are confident with firearms and hunting and also all kinds of mechanical skills. That’s a good squad, but honestly with Chuck Norris at the helm you probably don’t need anyone else.

Alberts poses with Chuck Norris at NRAAM 2019. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Kristin and I had a hilarious time trying to meet Chuck Norris at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Member’s Meeting. If you missed out the first time, definitely catch up on our adventure.

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Categories: Gun News

Select Fire: Getting an Adrenaline Rush at Gunship Helicopters

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 03:34

On this episode of Select Fire, we trekked out to Gunship Helicopters in the Mojave Desert to hang out, shoot some cool stuff, and bask in some rotor wash.

Established in 2015, Gunship Helicopters is based at their own helipad on a 71-acre private shooting range about a half-hour drive from Las Vegas. While in town for SHOT Show, we met up with the crew there to see what it is all about.

The helicopter of choice for the operation, an Airbus AS350– popularly known as an A-Star– is nimble and can reach speeds of 120 miles per hour. Among the most popular commercial aircraft around the world, the A-Star is used in everything from medical and law enforcement services– they are popular with Border Patrol– to military use.

For use at Gunship Helicopters, the doors are open so the person shooting can sit inside and be belted in while aiming at steel targets and aircraft wreckage on the mountainside hundreds of yards away.

The A-Star is the “helicopter” part of Gunship Helicopters. (Photos: Chris Eger/

The A-Star is perhaps best known for having excellent high-altitude performance, which coupled with limited noise interference, makes it a no-brainer for use at Gunship Helicopters.

The pintel mounting on the port side of the modified A-Star can fit a variety of weapons. The go-to for Gunship Helicopters is an FN M249 SAW, the same popular 5.56 NATO belt-fed light machine gun used by the U.S. Army and Marines for a generation.

The most common weapon fit for the A-Star at Gunship Helicopters is the M249 SAW.

With a rate of fire approaching 800 rounds-per-minute, the SAW can chew through a 200-round belt with ease.

Running 100-rounds through the SAW from the A-Star while zipping around the desert is an introductory package for Gunship Helicopters, starting at $550. While more than a steak dinner for two, it is still a great deal when you consider you get to hang out of a helicopter and squeeze off a belt of 5.56 NATO.

Other guns include an “M4 out the door” experience, where the client in the gunner’s seat gets an M4A1 with three mags. There are also options for running an HK MP5 9mm sub-gun or a booming M82A1 Barrett. We cheated and arranged to run an FN SCAR 17 for a flight.

There is also an M-134 Minigun option as well. The electrically powered six-barrel Gatling-style rotary machine gun has a high sustained rate of fire– some 4,000 rounds per minute. The price to make it rain with 400 rounds of 7.62 NATO through the M-134 while airborne is a little pricier, like $2,200.

When it comes to safety, Gunship Helicopters is on-point. Guests must complete an orientation, mission briefing and simulation on the ground before getting on the aircraft.

The A-Star ground simulator, where it is still OK to make mistakes while safely on the ground.

Additionally, there is an air range safety officer on the flight, who loads the gun, directs the passengers in its firing and is responsible for its operation.

No loose items are allowed in the cabin for safety, with rifles like the SCAR we used attached to the user by a sling with redundant retention. The minimum age to fly is 15– accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

In addition to the gunship experience, the company has a plethora of other offerings for gun enthusiasts including a range with the Barrett M82A1 .50 cal and targets at 800-plus yards, access to armored vehicles like the M113 APC, a Minigun-equipped Hummer, and more.

While we were there, an M60 main battle tank was making laps of the facility.

With the property containing an old circa 1905 copper mine– the Oro Amigo– there is lots of open space and safe targets dot the mountainside, some over 4,000 feet above ground level.

Besides the standard fare which caters to Vegas tourists, the folks at Gunship Helicopters also are available for film work, LE and security training utilizing UTM rounds if needed, skydiving lifts, industry events, defense contractor testing and other things you may want an armed helicopter for. Just give them a call at (702) 467-4613 or shoot them an email at

You can almost hear CCR in the background…or maybe Wheatus.

Love shooting but don’t plan to get airborne any time soon? Relax, we still have plenty of both guns and ammo in stock to keep you happy.

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Categories: Gun News

Women of Leah Roberts, Ecommerce Manager

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 09:40

Leah Roberts,’s E-commerce Manager, taking aim on the range. (Photo: Leah Roberts/

March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at

My second stop of the week was to sit down with Ecommerce Manager, Leah Roberts. Joining the company around two years ago, she ensures that has the latest and greatest gun inventory. Roberts chatted with me about her decision to join, her job duties and who would make the best zombie apocalypse buddies. So let’s kick this off with what led you to join

Roberts: I had actually been a firearm user for several years before joining I worked in other industries in marketing for a while beforehand. I saw the listing (for the job at and couldn’t walk away from the opportunity. The idea of getting to do something in an industry with a hobby that I love was definitely very appealing. I immediately applied for that opening and have been ecstatic to have the job ever since. It’s definitely a real pleasure to get to mesh what you love with what you do. I know that some people outside the industry look at and assume that we just play with guns all day — which some days we do — but by and large, we have other responsibilities that don’t necessarily center on just heading to the range. Can you give our readers an idea of what you do day-to-day and some of the challenges of being the E-Commerce Manager?

Roberts: It’s researching products, but not just that. It’s deciding what we’re going to put on sale and allocating stock so visitors have access to the newest and greatest thing they’re looking for. I also get our used inventory on the site and decide what goes where on — what imagery to use, who to work with, who to feature, etc. My main focus is really on the products.

The challenge is trying to read the audience and figure out what they like and what’s appealing. From there it comes down to finding a way to put that in front of people in a way that is different from everybody else in the industry.

Roberts manages what you see online when you shop at (Photo: I would say that it is really tough trying to predict what the community wants to see, especially because the industry has so many lifestyles and directions.

Roberts: It can be overwhelming at times but the plus side is you get to learn about a lot of different lifestyles. You know, I probably would have never looked much into cowboy action shooting but through this job, I’ve been able to learn about it and all its details. It’s been neat to venture outside of what I am interested in and learn about what other people like too. I think that is the most fun part of working at a place like, learning about all sorts of gun culture and history. Not to mention, is just loads of fun to work at from a cultural standpoint. Historically, we started as a news site and moved into e-commerce but something that has always struck a chord with me is our commitment to representing women, What kind of impact does having a company like that so readily supports women in the industry have on the community?

Roberts: Ultimately, it’s good for the Second Amendment and the community. It’s great to see female shooters and getting inspired by that and then seeing other people getting involved. It makes a difference to have a platform and a voice.

It’s been great to work at! Parts of our marketing team are made up entirely of women, which you don’t see at other companies. I think it’s important to not just feature women’s ideas but also to welcome us as part of the community. We’re here, you know, doing what we love and it’s great to invite us. So switching gears from the business side of things, let’s get to know you a little more. What is your background with guns? You said you owned guns before joining so what led you to gun ownership?

Roberts: I did not grow up in a family that had a lot of firearms and I’d never been shooting or hunting or any of those things. A lot of my fascination actually came from pop culture — video games, movies, history, all those different things. As soon as I was old enough, I went and got a rifle and then not long after, I picked up my first handgun. Initially, I just wanted to have it. Then I became more serious about self-defense and concealed carrying. So it started with a fascination with weapons overall and it kind of blossomed into more serious training.

Guns: I think it tends to evolve like that. At first, it’s about getting that first gun, then, before you know it, you’re immersed in the lifestyle. So now that you have a few guns, what’s your favorite?

Roberts: Ohh, can I name a handgun and a rifle?

Guns: Sure, that sounds fair. This is a tough question and I realize it.

Roberts: Right now my favorite handgun, and I’ve been carrying it for a few months now, is the Archon Type B with night sights. My first rifle, and my favorite, is the Daniel Defense M4V11. Since I bought it, I have changed out some things and done some upgrades.

Roberts heads out to events and shows to meet with manufacturers and take cool pictures. (Photo: Leah Roberts/

Guns: Good choices. So one of the pitfalls of working for a gun company is access to guns. I know all of us that work at have a running wishlist of guns we want, so what’s on your shortlist right now?

Roberts: Definitely an FN PS90 but the dream would be an FN P90, right? Also, for some reason, I really want a Marlin Camp 9. For a handgun, I am really liking the CZ P-10. I’ve been seeing people compete with those recently and they seem awesome. We’re down to the final two questions. First, pink guns — yes or no?

Roberts: Not for me. Maybe because, for a while there, they chose this hideous shade of pink — like, you’re a girl so you must want this terrible shade of pink.

I am digging the Rose Gold that’s popping up everywhere though. So maybe not pro-pink but pro-Rose Gold. I think, for the record, we need to be clear that Rose Gold and pink are not the same color.

Roberts: Exactly. Ok, last question. Zombie apocalypse breaks out. You can choose any three people in the world to help you survive. Who do you pick?

Roberts: Definitely someone with medical training. I don’t know who, but we need a doctor. The next person would be my dad. He’s been a ride or die for forever and I know he won’t leave me to the zombies. The last person would be John Wick. He could be a really great help.

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Categories: Gun News

New Diamondback DBX 5.7mm Pistol Shipping Soon

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 05:19

Introduced earlier this year at SHOT Show, Diamondback has made clear the new DBX 5.7mm pistol is not vaporware, with shipping on the horizon. (Photos: Chris Eger/

Florida-based Diamondback Firearms has announced they will begin shipping their new DBX 5.7x28mm pistol in May.

Teased at SHOT Show earlier this year when the gun was in pre-production, the compact braced pistol uses a dual gas piston action with an 8-inch threaded barrel that ends in a muzzle device.

Overall length, with the rear Picatinny-mounted, side-folding brace extended is 25.4-inches. Folded length is 16.9-inches. Alternatively, the brace can be dismounted to provide a more compact pistol that is 16.1-inches flat.

The Diamondback DBX will be offered in both FN Five-seveN and Ruger 57 magazine formats.

Other features include a Magpul MOE-K grip and a 6061 aluminum hard-coat anodized handguard with M-LOK slots to the left, right, and bottom along with a Magpul handstop kit. The DBX uses AR-15 mil-spec triggers and production models will be offered in either FN Five-seveN or Ruger 57 magazine-compatibility, shipping with a 20-round mag in either case.

The frame is made from 7075 aluminum and is hard coat anodized. Height is 7.3-inches without sights while the width is 1.75-inches over the charging handle.

Weight, sans brace, is 3-pounds. Running the brace brings the gun up to 3.7-pounds plus optics, ammo and the user’s choice of accessories. Should a DBX owner want to swap out the muzzle device or add a can, the barrel is threaded with a standard 1/2x28TPI pitch.

MSRP on the Diamondback DBX is expected to be $1,299.


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Categories: Gun News