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Astra, Llama & Star: Spending Time with Some Spanish Pistols

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 02:38

An unexpected firearms powerhouse throughout the 20th Century, Spain exported quality firearms around the globe that are increasingly collectible.

While Spanish Mausers and various CETME rifles have always had a high profile here in the States, these desirable long arms were by far eclipsed in import numbers by handguns hailing from the Iberian country. Principal among these was a trio of pistol and revolver makers that operated primarily from the Eibar area in northern Spain’s Basque region– Astra, Llama, and Star.


S&W K-frame 4-inch .38 Special? Nope, Llama Martial. This example in the Vault is in excellent condition.


The oldest of the three by a year, Llama-Gabilondo y Cia SA, best known as Llama, dated back to 1904 when the company ran under the banner of its two principal gunsmiths, Gabilondo y Urresti. Specializing in clones of FN pistols and various S&W revolvers, they catapulted into fame, of a sort, with their Ruby pistol in 1914. The simple blowback .32ACP handgun won a large contract with the French Army, then embroiled in World War I. The contract was so large that the company had to subcontract with as many as 50 other small cottage gunmakers in the Eibar area to fill the demand.

After WWI, Gabilondo y Urresti changed the company name to Llama and updated their catalog with several updates to the Colt M1911 design, which remained in production as the Llama Max series into the 2000s, as well as revolvers such as the Comanche and Martial series, which were cloned S&Ws in many respects.


Dubbed a Starlite by importers, this Star 9mm was a more compact BKS style version of their 1911-style handguns. This version was imported long ago by Garcia in Washington D.C. and is in mint condition.


Founded by two brothers– Julian and Bonifacio Echeverria– in 1905, Star is perhaps the best-known of the three big Spanish handgun makers. Besides coughing up clones of various FN and Mannlicher pistols, Star got in on the Ruby making enterprise in the Great War and in the 1920s began producing a series of innovative handguns such as the curious JO-LO-AR, and their take on John Browning’s M1911. The latter would include the Star Model A and B, the Modelo Super, compact Star BKS/BM, Star M-series, and even the Mustang-sized Star DK. These ranged in caliber from .45ACP down to .380 and were imported under a variety of monickers with 9mm Luger variants being the most popular.

As these guns took readily-available blanks and looked very similar to the classic M1911, the Star 9mm appeared in literally hundreds of movies and TV shows in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

In the company’s later years, they produced guns geared towards the concealed carry market like the Firestar and Ultrastar.


Astra’s most successful design was the 300/400/600 series of pistols, which were very distinctive in their layout, one which was dubbed the “Spanish Pipewrench.” This Astra 600 in the Vault is chambered in 9mm Luger.


Formed as Astra Unceta y Cía in 1908 by Juan Esperanza and Pedro Unceta, Astra would cut find success with their in-house developed Campo-Giro pistol only a few years later when it was adopted by the Spanish Army. The company expanded during WWI with getting in on the Ruby pistol racket and emerged the better for it and by 1921 engineer Pedro Careaga had developed the Astra 400, which would replace the Campo-Giro in the Spanish military.

Odd-looking due to its nearly straight grip orientation and narrow slide, the blowback-action 9mm Largo gun was successful enough to remain in production for more than 30 years, spinning off the 9mm Luger-chambered Astra 600 and .32ACP or .380 ACP-chambered Astra 300 variants. Besides Spain, the guns were used by Germany, Finland, and Portugal, among others.

Sadly, due to a variety of market reasons and competition from Latin American gun makers such as Bersa, Rossi, and Taurus who managed to crowd the Spanish gunmakers out of the import line to North America, Astra and Star closed their doors in the late 1990s, leaving Llama to endure with their Max and Micro Max series guns today.

However, their guns remain as a testament to the company’s legacy and are a hit with collectors today.

If you like interesting and often rare guns like these Spanish classics, be sure to check out our Collector’s Corner or look through our entire catalog of more than 3,000 new and used guns of all sorts.


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Categories: Gun News

Gun Range Review: U.S. Made Auto-Ordnance M1911A1

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 01:55

The 1911 BKO, by Auto-Ordnance, is an 80-series GI 45 that looks good on the outside and still clocks in for work at the range. (All Photos: Chris Eger/

When it comes to American-made “GI .45″s in the $500 range, the Auto-Ordnance M1911A1 delivered at the range.

Since 1999, the Kahr Firearms Group has included the AO brand in its portfolio, with production at the company’s current Worcester, Mass facility. Their 1911 BKO longslide is an ode to the famous M1911A1 line used by the U.S. military from 1926 to the last days of the Cold War.

The Auto-Ordnance incorporates GI specs, with a standard 5-inch barrel and an 8.5-inch overall length.

The “BKO” means a black oxide finish on the frame, barrel, and slide.

{Related: See How the AO 1911 BKO Compares Directly to Vintage M1911A1s}

The company machines the slide, sear, and disconnector from solid carbon bar stock, then heat treats them “to assure durability and long life over many thousands of rounds.” As with the old-school GI guns, the Auto-Ordnance pistol has a low-profile blade front sight and a rear sight, with the latter being drift adjustable for windage.

The grip is brown checkered plastic on the review gun, a clone of the WWII-era 1911 grips that were adopted after the earlier double-diamond walnut grips were discontinued before WWII.

Internally, you have much as you would expect on a modern M1911. Of note, the gun is an 80-series and uses a firing pin block.


But Does it Shoot?

We hit the range with a fresh 1911 BKO right out of the box from Auto-Ordnance with no extra lube or treatment. After a brief field strip and function check to make sure everything was there, we fed the test gun a steady diet drawn from across a field of factory .45ACP ammo suppliers including CCI, Federal, PMC and Winchester.

In all, we shot some 600 rounds of Winchester white box, PMC Bronze, Blazer Brass, and Federal American Eagle in 185 and 230-grain flavors.

To see how the gun performed with a wide range of magazines– and because the gun only ships with a single CheckMate 1911 single-stack– we threw in some Sarco specials, a few GI surplus mags, and a couple of Novak and CMC mags to liven things up. Other than the CheckMate that came from AO, none of the mags were new.

{Related: What are the Best 1911 Magazines? }

To further beg for problems, we alternated loads in the magazines, using typically four or more different loadings in each mag. Because we all know that guy who keeps loose assorted rounds of mixed ancestry in a coffee can for his “Fuddy-Five.”

Who wants a jam recipe?

The result: two jams on a rusty ASSY-marked GI mag of Vietnam issue, both on the last round in the magazine. Both malfunctions were a failure to feed the 7th round fully into the chamber, a textbook case of a weakened magazine spring– in other words, not a gun issue. There were no other problems across the magazines or ammo in the course of 600 rounds fired, and no jam experiences with the factory-included mag.

Afterward, the downright filthy 1911 BKO was cleaned and inspected, showing normal wear on the metal-on-metal surfaces but no cracks or breakages.

When it comes to accuracy, the gun was more than adequate for a classicly-styled Government Issue. While no one’s idea of a National Match gun, it delivered on target out to 25 yards even with the poor, although period correct, sights.

Close enough for Government work, they say

Weight is 39-ounces, unloaded, on par for other clones of John Moses Browning’s “Two World War Winner.” This translates into a gun that is easily held on target if using a proper grip with minimal recoil for follow-up shots.

No one has ever said an M1911 wasn’t fun to shoot

The single-action trigger was vintage 1911 in the respect that it was kinda gritty and broke at about 7.25-pounds. Did we mention that it was an 80-series gun? Of course, you could change this out but it wouldn’t be correct for a GI .45. Naturally, there is not a mag disconnect, an often detested feature found on many of today’s 1911-22s.

So what would you use the 1911 BKO for? Well, for those wanting a retro .45 that doesn’t break the bank or say “Made in the Philippines” or “Made in Turkey” on it, the Auto-Ordnance is a no-brainer. The gun looks right out of a vintage 1940s photo and clocked in briefly at a local Veteran’s Day event with a local group of WWII reenactors.

Speaking of which:

Pipe and typewriter not included…

It also proves fun at the range, where our T&E trips sparked interest from several curious members of the gun tribe, as 1911s always tend to do. There is a certain old-school cool attached to a longslide.

Ivan, did you see the sunrise this morning?

Finally, the frame-mounted lanyard ring proves useful in a sense.

*Away from the range with an unloaded gun, of course, and watch that muzzle. If you still want to comment on this photo, lighten up.*

Home or personal defense tool? Better than a pointy stick, for sure. However, we have a final round of testing underway right now, this time with hollow-points and holsters.

So stay tuned.


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Categories: Gun News

Pennsylvania Officials Declare Incomplete Gun Parts are Guns, Too

Tue, 12/17/2019 - 00:25

Gun rights advocates say Pennsylvania is using a “make-believe bridge” to dangerously morph the state’s law when it comes to firearm definitions. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Pennsylvania officials made a startling announcement Monday to up gun control restrictions by changing just what a “gun” is under state law.

State Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, both Democrats, unveiled a legal opinion by the latter this week that classifies incomplete gun frames and parts such as “80 percent receivers” as firearms.

“My Office is taking the initial step of clarifying – through my official, legal opinion – that under Pennsylvania law, 80 percent receivers are firearms and can be treated, regulated, and enforced as such,” Shapiro said at a news conference with Wolf and State Police officials.

The six-page opinion, issued to Col. Robert Evanchick, the State Police Commissioner, concludes that a partially-manufactured receiver is a firearm if it is designed in a way that it “may be readily converted” to a completed receiver. This would result in such items being treated under the law as factory-produced firearms, with serial numbers, federal background checks and the like.

“Under the statute, it doesn’t matter that these are not fully finished products,” Shapiro said. “They are receivers and, therefore, they are firearms. Pure and simple.”

The National Rifle Association quickly issued a statement that slammed the move by Shapiro, saying the AG used case law to craft a “make-believe bridge” to change the state’s law far from what is recognized by federal law when it comes to firearm definitions.

“Shapiro’s ‘theory’ of treating non-functioning blocks of polymer, steel, or aluminum as ‘firearms’ is the equivalent of calling a pile of aluminum tubes a bicycle or even considering a hickory or ash tree a baseball bat,” said the NRA. “Using the extremely vague description provided by AG Shapiro, almost any chunk of material (metal, polymer, etc.) could be considered a firearm and he and his anti-gun cronies can use this precedent to destroy our freedoms one step at a time.”

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Categories: Gun News

That Time Husqvarna Made Pistols: The Swedish M40

Mon, 12/16/2019 - 03:29

The Swedish firm of Husqvarna is best known today for logging and ag equipment but for almost 300 years they specialized in firearms. Established in 1689, Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag, or HVA, produced muskets until the 19th Century when they switched to rifles and shotguns, later diversifying into household goods like bicycles and stoves.

Along with Carl Gustav, the country’s official arsenal, Husky was the primary maker of firearms for the country’s military and police, as well as for commercial sale. This included licensed copies of the Remington Rolling Block and Mauser bolt-action rifles, among others.

This fine Husqvara 310A is a side-by-side break-action 12-gauge shotgun. Currently, in the Vault, it is looking for a forever home.

This Husqvarna H-5000 is a bolt-action rifle chambered in 7mm Rem Mag. that uses an improved Mauser-style action.

In 1917, HVA began making the John Browning-designed FN Model 1903 under license for the Swedish military as the M/07 pistol. Chambered in 9×20 Browning Long, Husky kept the pistol in production until 1942, even exporting the gun for military sales to Latin America and for the consumer market.

Enter the Lahti

With World War II underway and needing a more modern handgun to replace the dated Browning, Sweden adopted the only slightly modified L-35 pistol of Scandavanain neighbor Finland in 1940. A design of Finnish gun maverick Arno Lahti, the L-35 was chambered in 9mm Luger and, while it looks a lot like a P08 Luger on the outside, on the inside it is very different, using a locked breech, single-action system rather than the curious toggle-action of its more famous doppelganger.

The Swedes tapped the L-35 for local production by Husqvarna, dubbed the M40 or Automatpistol M/1940 in Swedish service. By 1946, the company had produced some 80,000 of the guns both for the Swedish military and, later, for the Danish police.

The Husqvarna M40 was an 8-shot 9mm engineered to perform well in Sweden’s harsh arctic environment. This example is currently in our Vault and ready to go home with a collector today.

Although Sweden was able to remain warily neutral during WWII, their military went on to remain on the cautious sidelines of the Cold War as well as be very active in UN peacekeeping operations that sometimes got rather warlike. Through that, the M40 remained in service, only being fully replaced by the Glock 17 in 1988– at which time the HVA-made 9mm was sold as surplus.

A Swedish marksman with a Husqvarna M40, 1959. The 9mm pistol was standard issue for the Swedish military from 1940 through 1988 (Photo: Swedish Army Museum)

Produced by Husqvarna Vapenfabrinks A.B. (HVA) this M40 has a standard fixed blade front and notch rear sights, a serrated cocking piece, stock mount on the heel, and checkered black plastic Husqvarna monogram grips. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

The pistol is marked “S.S.”, the stamp of Swedish military inspector Capt. Sten Stenmo, just over the lanyard ring on the grip.

Its serial number range puts it in the standard Swedish Army contract and the gun has unit markings on the right side plate. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

The M40 in the Vault includes a brown leather military holster with slots for an extra magazine, loading tool, and cleaning rod.


Husqvarna stopped making guns in the early 1970s, but their reputation for making fine firearms endures, and HVA-marked Swedish hardware has never been more collectible.

History is often just a click away here at

If you like interesting and often rare guns like the Husqvarna M40, be sure to check out our Collector’s Corner or look through our entire catalog of more than 3,000 new and used guns of all sorts.


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Categories: Gun News

The Battle of the Bulge at 75: The Guns They Carried

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 23:06

American engineers emerge from the woods and move out of defensive positions after fighting in the vicinity of Bastogne, Belgium, in December 1944. Note the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine and M9 Bazookas, along with a liberal sprinkling of grenades and spare ammo. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Some 75 years ago this week, Hitler launched the last great German offensive through the densely forested Ardennes region near the intersection of the eastern borders of Belgium, France, and Luxembourg.

Codenamed “Operation Watch on the Rhine” over 200,000 Germans, including some of the most crack troops still available to Berlin at the time, crashed upon 80,000 American troops, including many units such as the 101st Airborne, who were under strength following heavy losses and looking forward to some time in a “quiet area” to regroup.

While the German offensive gained ground at first, eventually reinforcements– including Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr.’s Third Army–were rushed to the scene and counterattacked.

However, for the men trapped inside the 75-mile “bulged” salient from St. Vith to the week-long Siege of Bastogne, it was a white hell of exploding trees and an onslaught from 1,000 German panzers that those who survived never forgot.

Three M1 Garand-armed members of an American patrol, Sgt. James Storey, of Newman, Ga., Pvt. Frank A. Fox, of Wilmington, Del., and Cpl. Dennis Lavanoha, of Harrisville, N.Y., cross a snow-covered Luxembourg field on a scouting mission in Lellig, Luxembourg, Dec. 30, 1944. White bedsheets camouflage them in the snow. (Photo: U.S. Army)

The primary U.S. Army rifle of World War II was the M1 Garand. Designed by Canadian-born Springfield Armory engineer Jean Cantius Garand, the .30-06 caliber semi-automatic was fed with an eight-round en-bloc clip through the top of the receiver. Adopted in 1937, about 5.4 million of the rifles were produced during the conflict by Springfield and Winchester.

The 9.5-pound Garand, officially ” U.S. rifle, caliber .30, M1″ had a 24-inch barrel and wooden furniture. They cost the Army about $85 to produce during WWII and remained the standard American military rifle until the select-fire M14 came along in 1957. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Also there, in the hands of support troops such as engineers — or when equipped with a Weaver scope given to infantry snipers — was the M1903 Springfield. A bolt-action Mauser-style rifle, the M1903 had been adopted by the U.S. military back during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, had officially been replaced by the Garand but was modified and put back into production in 1941 by Remington and the Smith-Corona Typewriter Company.

This M1903 in the Vault has a 1918 RIA receiver but with a Springfield 1927 marked barrel, meaning it was likely a transitional model rebuilt in arsenal between the wars.

A more pint-sized weapon, the M1 Carbine, was a “war baby” of sorts, as it only started production in 1942 as a compact rifle for use by support troops such as mortar crews, radiomen and truck drivers. Tipping the scales at just 5-pounds, the semi-auto used a detachable 15-round magazine and fired the 7.62x33mm .30 Carbine cartridge.

Bastogne Belgium-Weary infantrymen of the 110th Regt., 28th Div., US 1st Army following the German breakthrough in that area. The enemy overran their battalion. (L-R) Pvt. Adam H. Davis and T/S Milford A. Sillars. Dec. 19, 1944. Note the M1 Carbine over the shoulder of the soldier on the left (Photo: National Archives)

In all, over 5 million M1 Carbines were produced by companies as varied as Winchester, General Motor’s Inland Division, National Postal Meter (guess what they made), jukebox maker Rock-Ola, and typewriter companies IBM and Underwood.

The M1 Carbine cost Uncle Sam $45 a pop to make during WWII, meaning about two of these compact light rifles could be bought for the price of each Garand. This Winchester-made example in the Vault is a wartime-era carbine.

Generally reserved for use by sergeants, field-grade officers and specialist troops, the simplified wartime variant of the Auto-Ordnance Thompson– confusingly designated the M1, a label shared by both the Garand and Carbine– was heavy at 10-pounds but delivered .45ACP rounds at 700 rounds-per-minute. Although the original Colt-produced M1921 “Tommy Gun” of Prohibition bootlegger fame retailed at around $225 at the time, its WWII descendant, with a more basic layout, came in at $70.

The Thompson, in both M1928 and M1/M1A1 variants, was common in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944-45. However, they were already headed out of production in favor of the smaller, and much cheaper, M3 Grease Gun, especially with Patton’s tank crews.

U.S. Army infantrymen of the 290th Regiment, 75th Infantry Division, fight in fresh snowfall near Amonines, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge, Jan. 4, 1945. Note the M3 Grease Gun to the right and M1 Carbine to the left. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Filling the gap between rifles and crew-served machine guns such as the M1919 was John Browning’s M1918 BAR. Capable of chewing through .30-06 rounds at 500-600 rounds-per-minute, the BAR could drain a 20-round detachable box magazine in just two seconds when wide open. Invented to help end the stalemate in the trenches in World War I, the hefty 23-pound automatic rifle was employed by a single man rather than a crew– a facet that made it hated by those on both sides of the muzzle, although for different reasons.

Speaking of Mr. Browning, while a few revolvers such as the M1917 and Victory-series .38s were carried, the standard handgun of the U.S. Army in Europe in 1944 and for decades both before and after was the M1911. Designed by Browning for Colt on the eve of WWI, the classic 7+1 .45ACP Government Issue longslide is iconic.

Wreckage in St. Vith, Belgium, after units of the 7th Armored Division, took the town, Jan 1945. Note the M1911 in the holster of the tank crewman (Photo: National Archives)

Almost 2 million of these handguns were produced during WWII by not only Colt but also Ithaca, Remington Rand, Union Switch & Signal, and Singer at an average cost of $15. They were only replaced by the M9, a modified Beretta 92, in 1986.

This 1911 in the Vault is a WWI-production military handgun from 1917. Ordnance markings of H and P show this handgun came through the Hartford Arsenal, and a Type 2 second iteration Colt logo confirms its 1915 manufacture date. Additional final inspection GHS markings also prove that this handgun was the property of the U.S. Army when it was made.

The U.S. Army suffered over 89,000 casualties in the six-week-long Battle of the Bulge, making it one of the largest and bloodiest battles fought by the nation’s servicemen.

For a more detailed look at the men, firepower, and background of the battle, check out the (free) 685-page U.S. Army Center of Military History reference, “The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge” by Hugh M. Cole, as well as the vast records available through the National Archives. For more information about commemorating the battle Bastogne and other events, visit Bastogne 75 and Belgium Remembers 44-45.

If you like interesting and often rare guns like these, be sure to check out our Collector’s Corner or look through our entire catalog of more than 3,000 new and used guns of all sorts.

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Categories: Gun News

10 Pocket Pistols at a Price Everyone Will Love

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 05:00

There’s a pocket pistol for everyone in the GDC Vault

For those still on the hunt for that perfect stocking stuffer, we posit to you a possible solution – a pocket pistol. A great way to ensure your loved one is safe (not to mention fitting in a stocking), pocket pistols boast an ultra-concealable style perfect for concealed or backup carry.

Check out the list below for the best pocket pistols the Vault has to offer holiday shoppers.

The Beretta Bobcat 21a

This pocket pistol has a distinctive tip-up barrel

The Beretta 21A is widely recognized for a distinctive tip-up barrel which allows for loading a round with the slide closed. With original production beginning in 1984, the Beretta delivered an updated version by way of the stainless steel Inox variant in 2000.

Using a manual safety, half-cock safety and an inertia type firing pin, the Beretta Bobcat 21a adds that extra layer of safety some users prefer in a carry gun. happens to have many different models available both new and used so you can select one tailored to your gun lover.


Bond Arms Cowboy

This Bond Arms derringer is made for Cowboys

“Proudly made in Texas, by Texans,” Bond Arms brings us the first derringer on our list – the Bond Arms Cowboy. Founded in 1995, the company is renowned for quality derringers and is the preferred derringer of many Single Action Shooting Society members.

The Cowboy model listed on would make a perfect addition to a SASS shooter’s arsenal as it shoots both .45 LC and .410 shells.



A great pocket carry gun comes with a built-in holster

Known for its small-framed firearms, North American Arms takes the cake with its mini-revolver series. Chambered in .22 Mag this little revolver is the ultimate concealed carry backup gun due to its innovative build, folding into its holster which also doubles as its grip.


FN 1906 V.P. 25

The iconic FN M1905/1906 paved the way for the design of the Baby Browning

The FN M1905/1906 is a design credited to the late, great John Moses Browning. This gun was initially created as a vest-pocket carry gun, fitting into the period’s coat and vest everyday business look.

These firearms saw extensive action throughout Europe, even serving in World War II with the Belgian resistance. Production halted in 1959, most likely due to the success of the Baby Browning, the pocket pistol design which would follow the M1906.


Colt 1908 Vest Pocket

The Colt M1908 had only very minor cosmetic changes from the FN M1906

If the Colt 1908 Vest Pocket looks eerily similar to the FN1906, there’s a good reason for that. Browning’s patents were used by both FN and Colt and resulted in a rare case of two companies successfully producing the same design.

Colt produced these little pocket pistols until 1948. With over 420,000 produced in a swath of finishes, you can find these in blued, color case hardened, and even a nickel finish with grips ranging from standard black Colt designs to more elaborate ivory and pearl styles.


Baby Browning

The always desirable Baby Browning

Perhaps the most iconic pocket pistol ever produced, the Baby Browning was designed by famed Belgian firearms designer Dieudonné Saive and produced by FN. The Baby Browning stems from earlier designs that John Browning made after he released the revolutionary Model 1905.

The label “Baby” first made an appearance in 1931 with FN continuing production through the 1980s. These guns were a sensational success in the US until 1968 when importation ceased due to the Gun Control Act. Since then, these little guys have become quite the collectors’ item with value rising steadily each year.


Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless

The John Browning design is as iconic today as it was in 1903

Seeing a pattern with John Moses Browning? Well, buckle up for another one of Browning’s babies — the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless. The model preferred by the likes of John Dillinger, Al Capone, and Bonnie Parker, these guns are small and concealable.

From WWII through the early 70s the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless was issued to U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force general officers. Some of the most notable recipients include General Eisenhower, Bradley, Marshall, and Patton.


CZ Vz. 70

The Vz 70 resembles the Walther PPK in many ways

In 1970 CZ released an update to their Vz. 50 which included minor cosmetic changes that could appeal to today’s concealed carrier. With a larger tang and a floor plate for the magazine, the CZ allows for a better grip on the gun.

CZ also revamped its magazine release, making it smaller. The grip pattern sports a more aggressive stippling with dimples instead of grooves. Get this Vz. 70 while the price is still good.


S&W Model 61 Escort

The faux wood grips are straight out of the 1970s

Smith & Wesson began production of the Model 61 after the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968 to fill a perceived void in the pocket pistol market. This .22 LR chambered semi-automatic pistol was designed to be carried in deep concealment or as a backup gun.

The pistol was only manufactured for three years from 1970 to 1973 with just over 60,000 produced. The faux wood grips scream the 1970s and with the limited-run, these little guys have become quite collectible. This model comes with the original case and box along with a 5-round magazine.


Bauer Automatic

The Bauer Automatic keeps is affordable and classy with its plastic pearl grips

The Bauer Automatic may look familiar to you and that’s because this is an American made, nearly identical replica of the Baby Browning. Chambered in .25 ACP this little gun is considerably more affordable than a Baby Browning while packing the same punch.

This model includes the “plastic pearl” factory grips to give it that classy touch. This all American made gun was produced in Michigan during the late 70s and early 80s.


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Categories: Gun News

Anti-Gun Group Petitions ATF to Restrict 80 Percent Receivers

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 04:27

A lump of aluminum partially machined into a receiver-ish shape could be termed a firearm under a suggested rulemaking petition sent to ATF by a multi-million dollar gun control group– a move that would require it to be serialized and transferred with a 4473 through an FFL.  (Photo: Chris Eger/

Everytown, a Bloomberg-funded gun control group, petitioned federal regulators this week to change how so-called “80 percent” receivers are handled.

The move goes after what has been described as “ghost guns” made from unserialized receivers. An increasingly popular way for hobbyist firearm builders to legally make their own guns for personal use, unfinished frames and receivers kits for Glock-style handguns and AR-style rifles and pistols are widespread.

As part of their 23-page petition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the group argues that ATF can “immediately start the process to correct course and has the authority to do so on its own” without the direction of the White House, the court system or Congress, pointing to the agency’s recent rulemaking change reclassifying bump stocks as illegal machine guns.

Everytown even supplied suggested language for a proposed rulemaking change to ATF, one that would treat unfinished receivers and frames as regular firearms, with all the red-tape and inevitable FFL transfer fees that come along with it:

Everytown’s suggested change

What would it mean?

The legal suggestion from Everytown, if pushed through to ATF enforcement, could have a broader impact than just on “ghost guns.”

Besides wrapping 80 percent lowers and frames in paperwork, the proposal would also likely crimp sales of aftermarket slides, barrels, internal parts and uppers as many are used by home-build hobbyists to complete such kits, a move that would directly impact the bottom line of a wide range of firearm industry players and not just “80 percent” companies.

Further, since many large AR-makers use unregulated lower receiver forgings as raw materials in their manufacturing process, the rulemaking suggested by Everytown would add additional cost and regulation to the production of just about every such rifle made in the U.S.

Most AR makers use raw forgings from outside vendors in their manufacturing process– one that could be thrown for a loop under the new proposal, which would see such items regulated and serialized (Photo: Chris Eger/

In the right light, the proposed definition could even classify spare grip modules such as those used by the Beretta APX or Sig P320 as receivers, a move that would put a serious cramp in those popular modular designs as well.

While the ATF is not required to move forward with the suggested rule, Everytown said they “expect that ATF will explain its grounds for denial, as the Administrative Procedures Act Requires, allowing further legal action to be taken.”

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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer Releases .300 BLK FMJ Ammo for Rifle Shooters

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 04:15

Sig Sauer expands its Elite Performance line to include a .300 BLK offering. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Sig Sauer introduces a new training round into its Elite Performance series, launching a .300 BLK full metal jacket.

Offering a 125-grain load, the new FMJ round boasts a muzzle velocity of 2,145 feet-per-second. The company says it wanted to build on its rifle training selection, bringing a “cost-efficient, high quality” training round to rifle shooters.

“There is a huge demand for .223 Rem and .308 Win FMJ training ammunition, and we’ve had many requests for .300 BLK as well,” Brad Criner with Sig Sauer Ammunition said in a news release. “These premium training loads are designed to offer high-level performance at affordable prices.”

The ammo is manufactured at Sig Sauer’s manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Arkansas. The new load is available now, shipping 20 rounds to a box and priced at $25.95.


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Categories: Gun News

Give the Gift of Ammo: Rifle Rounds

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 04:00

Gearing up for the holidays doesn’t mean that you have to drop a lot of coin on that perfect rifle for your loved one. Often, ammo makes the perfect gift for gun lovers and, even better, it’s affordable and easy to come by.

Take a look at some of our top recommendations for ammo designed for the rifle lover in your life.

1. Federal American Eagle

American Eagle offers a wide swath of rifle calibers.


Putting in time at the range requires ammunition that is both affordable and reliable. For this, we turn to Federal’s American Eagle brand. With so many calibers available it will surely make your head spin, American Eagle offers Federal primers and brass in addition to clean-burning powders.

Available in value sizing or standard 50 round counts, Federal American Eagles is priced around $15.

2. Barnes Precision Match

Barnes Precision Match is perfect for precision shooters.


When long-range shots are on the line and precision is everything, Barnes Precision Match ammo delivers power-packed performance at extreme distances. Precision Match is dedicated to maintaining a high level of consistency – a must-have for precision shooters. Loaded with match grade Open Tip Match BT projectiles, the load provides a long boat tail and high ballistic coefficient.

If long-range shots are on the agenda, grab a box of Precision Match ammo from Barnes starting at $25.

3. Hornady Match

Hornady Match brings consistency and reliability to rifle rounds.


Hornady is synonymous with reliable quality and its Match series brings both to the table. Using either Hornady’s A-MAX bullets, boattail hollow points, or the new ELD Match bullets, the Match series offers consistency and accuracy. Served up in three separate models – Steel Match, Vintage Match, and Superformance Match, you’re sure to find a load that works for your preferred rifle platform.

The Match series is available in all the popular calibers and retails, on the low end, at around $20 per box.

4. Winchester White Box

Winchester White Box is a go-to for gun owners on a budget.


We in the gun community affectionately recognize this Winchester brand as simply White Box. Available in boxes of 50 or 100, Winchester’s affordable ammo series boasts a bevy of calibers – so you’re sure to find something to pair with that rifle in your gun cabinet.

Perfect for plinking and retailing for around $10, Winchester’s White Box certainly won’t break the bank.

5. Nosler Ballistic Tip

Nosler’s Ballistic Tip ammunition is designed for performance.


Nosler brings 30 years of research and experience to its Ballistic Tip lineup. Loaded with the company’s signature green-tipped Ballistic Tip bullet, each bullet weight, and velocity are specifically calibrated for performance. In short, Ballistic Tip Ammo is sure to down deer, antelope, and hogs.

Sporting 15 rifle calibers in the series, Ballistic Tip by Nosler retails for around $35.

Check out’s full selection of ammunition and stock up today!

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Categories: Gun News

Most New Zealand Gun Owners So Far Decline to Hand in Anything

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 01:15

Even seemingly non-controversial guns, such as some types of lever-action rifles and pump-action shotguns, are subject to New Zealand’s pending gun ban, with a compensation scheme offering as little as one-quarter of the firearm’s base value. (Photo: Chris Eger/

With only a week before time is up to sell the government their newly-outlawed guns, many in New Zealand haven’t.

The Pacific country has a nationwide ban on several types of common firearms with a deadline of December 20. Police Minister Stuart Nash earlier this year had estimated that as many as 300,000 guns of various manufacture– out of the 1.5 million in circulation– were targeted by the move. However, the latest figures from government sources are that only about 36,000 guns have been sold at police-arranged events by November 11, at a cost of NZ$70 million ($45 million) in public funds.

“The clock is ticking on the last opportunity to receive payment for prohibited firearms and parts, or to hand over unwanted or unlawful guns without fear of prosecution under the amnesty,” said Nash in a statement. “If people don’t hand in the other prohibited firearms and parts by 20 December they will get no money and will face up to five years in prison and the loss of their firearms license.”

While hundreds of gun owners have applied for special permits to keep their banned firearms, and others have modified their collection to meet new mandates, pundits feel that many are simply staying away.

“[Nash] has failed to engage with the firearms community and they’re responding by not engaging with the buyback,” said Brett Hudson with the New Zealand National Party, a group that holds just under half of the seats in the country’s House of Representatives. Worse Hudson pointed out that criminals aren’t turning in their guns either.

“Gangs are not complying with the buyback and we are seeing no action from the Government to tackle the problems of illegal firearm use, with the focus seemingly on the law-abiding firearms community,” said Hudson.

Compounding the issue, gun owner groups argue the government is not offering any compensation for accessories, ammunition, and safes that are now redundant. Further, unease by those who have registered to sell their firearms to the government was increased after the likelihood that their personal information may have been compromised last week in a data breach.

Wide Net

Besides all centerfire semi-auto rifles, the prohibition covers even lever-action, bolt-action, and pump-action rifles if they have a capacity of more than 10 cartridges– regardless if they are chambered in centerfire or rimfire calibers.

When it comes to shotguns, pumps, and semi-autos capable of holding more than five shells are now banned. A 15-page price list covering about 300 guns has been released by police which sets a base value by model, of which the government may offer between 25 and 95 percent, depending on the gun’s condition.

For example, a Browning BAR Mk. II, a semi-auto hunting rifle typically with a four-round magazine, has a base price of NZ$1500 ($985) on the list, which would mean the owner of the classic game-getter could get as little as NZ$375 ($246) for the gun– or risk a hefty prison sentence should they decide not to hand it in.

Several vintage rifles from yesteryear — some out of production for nearly a century– are on the list including the Remington Model 8, Winchester 1907, the M1 Garand, and various examples of the French MAS series. Rare Heckler & Koch wooden-stocked sporting rifles, like the HK 630 and HK 770, have likewise been targeted for destruction.

Have a  Mossberg 500 with a 6-shell tube? It’s on the list alongside the Beretta A300 and Benelli SuperNova.

Meanwhile, anti-gun politicians on this side of the Pacific are enamored with the disarming of Kiwi gun collectors. Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calf,  applauded New Zealand lawmakers on “a job well done,” following the statement up with “the U.S. should follow suit.”

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Categories: Gun News

Gifts for Gun Lovin’ Moms of Every Variety

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:30

Every mom deserves love, attention and great gun gifts this holiday season. After all, she did a lot of work to get you here (just don’t remind her of that). Choosing a gift tailored to your type of mom may seem difficult, but that’s why is here to help.

We’ve narrowed some solid gun and gear choices based on our favorite mom archetypes.

Concealed Carry Karen

(Graphic: Jacki Billings)

Concealed Carry Karen is all about the mama bear life. Ready to protect her cubs from any threat, CC Karen meets danger head-on. With threat level always set to condition yellow, she’s the mom with her back to the wall scanning for threats.

Though CC Karen has awareness in abundance, she often lacks training. A great gift to offset her killer concealed carry collection, is a class a two focused on prepping for the unexpected. We recommend Citizens Defense Research’s Contextual Handgun Course to help groom skills while also learning how to manage bystanders, like kids, in the process. While you’re at, throw in a basic CPR/First Aid course or really impress her with a Civilian Medical Trauma Class. Taught by We Like Shooting’s Shawn Herrin and Skinny Medic Dietrich Easter, this class covers all you need to know to patch up holes when SHTF.

When all else fails, CC Karen can always use more ammo. Whether you opt to grab a few boxes of concealed carry specific rounds like Speer Gold Dot, Federal HST or Hornady Critical Defense or you prefer to nab some FMJ like American Eagle, Blazer Brass or Winchester White Box for training you can’t go wrong with the gift of ammo.


Basic Becky

(Graphic: Jacki Billings)

Basic Becky wears the standard uniform of her kind – Uggs, leggings and an infinity scarf casually swinging from her neck. Sporting a designer bag, Becky loves Taylor Swift and Beyoncé and she definitely “woke up like this.” When shopping for Becky, remember that looks are everything. Nothing pleases her more than having the most stylish gear on the block and that extends to her gun style.

Basic Becky would be tickled pink with a Kimber Micro .380 in Rose Gold, of course. That Kimber would look equally as cute in an Asfaleia Concealed Carry Tote. Nothing but the best for Becky.

If a Kimber and $300 bag is a little too pricey, Basic Becky would also make good use of a Pelican Travel Mug. Mug in hand, she can sip her boxed wine and silently judge the other moms on social media for their lack of flair.


Hunting Heather

(Graphic: Jacki Billings)

Hunting Heather is most comfortable nestled in the woods and fields, happily stalking game. With the intention of filling every family meal with food lovingly harvested from the wild, Hunting Heather is her happiest with a shotgun or rifle in hand.

For this lady, a new long gun is a perfect way to say you care this holiday season. Whether you’re upgrading her to a Benelli or Weatherby shotgun or a Tikka T3X or Daniel Defense Delta 5 rifle, she’ll no doubt love the thoughtfulness.

If she already has a favorite shotgun or rifle, upgrade it with a brand-new optic. A quality scope like the Bushnell Forge, Sig Sauer Tango series or Burris FullField will improve her shots and guarantee success on the hunt. While you’re at it, throw in a box or two of hunting rounds – we like Federal’s Black Cloud TSS for birds, Hornady Precision Hunter for Whitetail and Winchester Varmint X for varmints.


When all else fails, hook her up with some new camo duds by way of Sitka Gear or Under Armour. Staying warm in a blind or tree can be a difficult task and what better way to say you care than to ensure mom’s dressed to stave off the cold air, snow or rain while she’s waiting for that perfect deer.

Sporty Susan

(Graphic: Jacki Billings)

Screaming at the ref and doling out Capri Suns after the game, Sporty Susan is at the forefront of every ballgame. Hair in a no-nonsense ponytail with a ballcap resting on her head and an Apple Watch keeping that heart rate in check, Sporty Susan will cheer you on to victory. When she’s not grooming the next LeBron James or Peyton Manning, she’s often keeping fit herself in her home gym or at the local Crossfit.

Sporty Susan has no time for shenanigans as she shuttles kids from one activity to the other so having clothes that keep up with her lifestyle is a must. For this woman, a stylish yet functional pair of Alexo Athletica pants allows her to carry all her must-haves on the go – chapstick, keys and of course her CCW.

For the lady that prefers a molded design under her favorite workout gear or yoga pants, the Crossbreed Modular Belly Band will no doubt impress. Specifically shaped to her preferred gun, the Crossbreed Modular Belly Band will make sure Sporty Susan is ready to take on any would-be attacker lurking on the running trail or hiding in the ballfield’s bathroom.

Since she’s a fan of the minimalist ponytail, why not gift her a hat from to shield her face from the harsh sun while she cheers the team on. Perfect for on-the-go moms who want to hide that messy hair, don’t care lifestyle, a hat from not only shows her support for the 2A lifestyle but is also functional.


Competition Courtney

(Graphic: Jacki Billings)

She’s running, she’s gunning, she’s kicking butt and taking names on any course of fire – she’s Competition Courtney. Ready to ping targets with her competitive spirit, Competition Courtney revels in the dynamic challenge competition shooting brings. Wearing her sponsors with pride, she’s decked out in cool sunglasses, ear pro, and sunscreen for those long days on the range.

Competition Courtney has the skills but what she can always use is gear. Wrap up a Blue Alpha Gear Double Belt Rig to give her a sturdy belt on which to carry her spare mags and other shooting must-haves. Even better, grab some spare mags from to give her plenty of rounds on hand during training and in matches.

Competition Courtney’s fashion mainstays are, of course, her sponsored jersey but also the ever-familiar 5.11 Tactical shorts and pants. With plenty of functioning pockets to stow accessories, a pair of Stryke Pants or Taclite Shorts offer a breathable yet durable design perfect for even the toughest of matches.

Unlike Concealed Carry Karen, Competition Courtney spends a ton of time at the range and that comes with a significant ammo investment. Help her out with a case or two of her preferred brand of rounds. She’ll definitely thank you.


PTO Patty

(Graphic: Jacki Billings)

For this mom who devotes every moment to her kid’s education, a mobile gun storage option like the Gunbox Echo or SnapSafe Treklite means that she’s never too far away from her weapon should she need it. Easily tethering and neatly tucking under the passenger seat of her Cadillac or Lexus, mom’s gun is safe from would-be burglars.

PTO Patty spends so much time at school, there’s not much room for anything else – including range time. Make sure she gets in those needed reps, by grabbing a SIRT pistol from Next Level Training, SureStrike laser cartridges from Laser Ammo or a laser trainer and fun targets from LaserLyte. She can tackle the needs of the PTO while she works on that trigger control. Since she loves to stay organized, throw in a nice notebook for her to keep a log or journal of her dry fire goals.

Since PTO Patty is always busy, a range pass is also a great option for this busy mom. A range pass allowing her to drop in and practice when she has that most coveted free time will no doubt have her singing your praises. Also, win some bonus points with a couple of boxes of ammo so she can skip the retail line and go straight to target practice.


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Categories: Gun News

Give the Gift of Ammo: Shotgun Edition

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:00

When shopping for the shotgunner in your life, nothing says happy holidays quite like a box of ammo; but with plenty of loads available it’s a bit overwhelming narrowing down the best options. Don’t worry, though, has you covered with some of our top picks for shotgun ammo.

1. Federal Black Cloud TSS

Federal’s Black Cloud TSS opts for a Tungsten Super Shot, hence the TSS moniker.

Federal Black Cloud TSS is generating quite the buzz among shotgun shooters for its Tungsten Super Shot flavor of the popular Black Cloud variant. Loaded with 60-percent TSS and 40-percent FliteStopper Steel, Black Cloud TSS makes use of FliteControl Flex wad for efficient patterns beyond 50-yards.

Grab a box of Black Cloud TSS for around $30.

2. Winchester Super X

Winchester Super X has been in production since the early 1990s.


Churning out Super X since 1922, Winchester has infused quality and performance into its shotgun ammo line. Available in a variety of gauges to include 10-, 12-, 16, 20- and 28-gauge as well as .410, Super X introduces variants into the lineup to account for deer and bird hunters.

Priced around $10 per box, Winchester Super X is a great stocking stuffer that won’t break the bank.

3. Hornady Critical Defense – 12-gauge

Critical Defense has been a preferred ammo for many home defender.


Hornady Critical Defense is renowned in the home defense sector for its reliability and consistency and the company brings those features to its 12-gauge buckshot model. Critical Defense uses eight pellets in a 2.75-inch shell, producing a velocity of 1,600 feet-per-second. Hornady’s Critical Defense is an easy gift for home defense gurus with a shotgun propped by the bed.

Hornady Critical Defense retails around $10.

4. Remington Slugger

Remington’s Slugger is perfect for the deer hunter.


Remington’s Slugger Rifled Slugs deliver a power packing load capable of tackling Whitetail Deer. Available in 12-, 16- and 20-gauge as well as .410 bore, Slugger offers a velocity of 1,760 feet-per-second with flatter shooting. According to Remington, the 12-gauge has been redesigned to provide better accuracy while in the field – a plus for serious hunters.

Remington’s Slugger starts at $5 for five rounds.

5. Aguila Competition

Aguila brings competitive ammo to the table with its Competition series loads.


For the gun owner diving into the competitive circuit, Aguila Competition brings a design uniquely tailored for the course of fire. With product lines offered for skeet, trap, and clays, Aguila delivers No. 7 ½, 8 and 9 shot in both standard and high-velocity 12-gauge loads.

Aguila Competition is priced around $7 for a box of 25.

Of course, you need a gun to go with that ammo so make sure to shop’s inventory of new and used shotguns.

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Categories: Gun News

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ Gets 9mm Treatment

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 04:00

The S&W Shield EZ now sports a 9mm style. (Photo: Smith & Wesson)

Smith & Wesson’s M&P EZ Shield is going 9mm with the company announcing a new model in the series centered around the popular handgun cartridge.

The M&P EZ Shield 9mm version joins the .380 ACP variant, offering an easy to load and easy to rack design. Featuring a capacity of 8+1 rounds, the 9mm model boasts a 3.675-inch barrel, Picatinny-style rail, reversible magazine, tactile loaded chamber indicator, and one-piece, single-action trigger.

The 9mm Shield EZ, like its .380 sibling, will see elevated models including a version with ambidextrous thumb safety and Crimson Trace Red Laserguard tie-in. The original Shield EZ was launched in 2018 as a concealed carry and personal defense firearm dedicated to gun owners lacking hand strength traditionally required to operate semi-auto style CCWs. Smith & Wesson President Lane Tobiassen said in a statement that the .380 Shield EZ’s success naturally led to a 9mm evolution.

The Shield EZ’s design facilitates easier handling. (Photos: Smith & Wesson)

“When the M&P380 Shield EZ was released in 2018, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the easy-to-use features of the innovative pistol platform. From that point on, we knew we would expand the M&P Shield EZ line with a pistol that incorporated the same features, chambered in the powerful and popular 9mm caliber,” Tobiassen explained.

He continued, “The new M&P9 Shield EZ is easy-to-rack, easy-to-load, easy-to-shoot and easy-to-clean, appealing to a wide range of consumers seeking out these popular features in 9mm.”

S&W’s highlight reel when it comes to the features:

Pro-shooter Julie Golob on the Smith & Wesson M&P SHIELD 9EZ, below:

For a second take, Mr. Guns N Gear opines on the new 9EZ for a half-hour in the below

The Smith &Wesson M&P Shield EZ in 9mm is available now with an MSRP of $479.


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Categories: Gun News

Virginia Swept with Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 03:23

In response to promised anti-gun bills muscled through by an all-Democrat state government next year, Virginia is center stage for grassroots 2A activism.

Although the Commonwealth is on its second Democrat governor who has pushed an agenda of gun control legislation, such moves have been repeatedly stymied in the past by Republicans in the state Senate. However, a push that included millions from gun control godfather Michael Bloomberg last month shifted polarity and Dems gained a slight majority in the General Assembly. This led to immediate promises of gun control when the 2020 session begins next month with over a dozen such bills– to include bans on popular semi-autos, gun rationing, and increased red tape– already pre-filed.

As a result, state pro-gun groups such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League have spearheaded efforts to establish Second Amendment Sanctuaries in counties and cities across the Commonwealth. The VCDL reports that more than 80 communities have adopted such resolutions in the past several weeks, many by unanimous votes. The resolutions would bar local resources to enforce gun control measures seen as a violation of the right to keep and bear arms. One sheriff even promised to “deputize thousands” of otherwise law-abiding citizens to preserve their gun rights if need be.

The successful effort has already apparently caused some lawmakers to water down their anti-gun proposals for next year.

Nonetheless, Gov. Ralph Northam is shrugging off the bloom of sanctuaries across the state, even going so far as telling reporters that, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.”

Meanwhile, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has promised the sanctuary efforts will have “absolutely no legal effect whatsoever” on new gun control laws should they be passed by the all-blue state government.

U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Republican Congressman for Virginia’s 5th District, applauded those in his home state for considering and passing Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions.

He has also addressed the House on the matter saying, “I represent the same district that James Madison represented in the First Congress. He understood Americans’ rights to bear arms when he wrote it into our Constitution. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and I am proud to stand with the people that are speaking up for their Constitutional rights and for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The 2020 Virginia General Assembly session begins on Jan. 8, 2020.

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Categories: Gun News

Select Fire: What is a Certified Used Gun?

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 00:34

We turned our cameras inwards on Select Fire and visited’s Vault of Certified Used Guns that are looking for a forever home.

Located in Minnesota, on our visit the Vault contained over 3,000 amazing firearms waiting for the “buy now” button to be clicked to meet their next owner.’s Senior Buyer Mark Sims discussed the advantages of the company’s initiative to sell not just good used guns, but great ones.

“There is more value in the Certified Used Guns and that’s because they are fully inspected by the professional staff at,” he said, explaining that when used guns arrive into inventory they go through a full checklist to confirm that they are operational, not in need of repair, and fully functional. Then they are put through a condition certification to grade them.

Where do the guns come from?

The true hidden gem of the Certified Used Guns program rests in the nature of the way’s buyers work. In addition to scouting estate sales and auction houses around the country, they also review daily submission to’s “We Buy Guns” portal. This simple process, which includes a pre-paid custom fitted box for firearms sent in for evaluation, can be accomplished in minutes from the comfort of your home.


Eschewing poorly maintained guns, Sims explained, very few guns are brought in to the Vault that isn’t in excellent condition to start with. Think: guns that were bought new, brought home and stored for years with care and hardly ever used condition.

Sims said the average difference between new and used models runs often anywhere from 20 to 30 percent, which can mean huge savings for smart consumers. Best of all, since GDC picks from thousands of submissions from across the country, the Vault included lots of rare gems that you are unlikely to bump into at your neighborhood dealer or local gun show.

In our time there, we ran into a Gyrojet rocket gun, an immaculate HK VP70Z 19-shot polymer wonder in its original box, stacks of Winchester 94 Commemoratives, tables of Japanese Nambus, Browning Hi-Powers and Walther P-38s, and more.

Service after the sale

Not just a buzzword, has a full staff of range masters working in the same building as the Vault– not contracted to a third party or overseas– who are ready to help. They do everything from helping gun buyers with their local FFLs, answering questions about listings, and standing by the company’s guarantee.

This includes a 3-day inspection period and a 14-day mechanical warranty, something that is hard to find in the industry. If on the rare occasion you have an issue,’s customer support staff is available seven days a week ready to take ownership of an issue. Further, that support is only a click or call away.

If you like interesting and often rare guns be sure to take a look through our entire catalog of more than 3,000 new and used guns of all sorts.


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Categories: Gun News

Gun Gifts for Every Freedom Loving Dad

Wed, 12/11/2019 - 07:00

George and Mike, a couple dads just trying to legalize freedom at the range (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Every dad who bleeds red, white and blue appreciates the gift of a gun, box of ammo or optic. It doesn’t matter if your dad heads into the fields a couple of times a year or prefers the operator life, hitting the range every weekend – we have a gift he’ll want.

If you have a freedom-loving dad, then you’re going to want to peep the list below for last-minute Christmas ideas.

The Dad’s Dad

You’ll find the Dad’s Dad sporting a sweet pair of white New Balances and some stylin’ jorts on the range. This dad is a handy guy, who can fix anything given enough duct tape and some elbow grease.

Everything a Dad’s Dad needs (Photo:

Odds are the Dad’s Dad would love a new, or gently used GDC Certified, 1911. The Vault has many different styles at various price points. For a closer look at our inventory of 1911’s, check out our feature right here.

Whether your dad is a lover of all things WWII or he strikes a sense of nostalgia with a classic dad joke, a 1911 is a gift he’ll love. If you have the dough check out our nice selection of Wilson Combat or Colt models, if you’re on a budget then we have a nice selection of Rock Island models available as well.


If the Dad’s Dad in your life already has his favorite 1911 plastered to his hip, hand him some .45 ACP ammo to see him light up like a Christmas tree.


The Hunting Dad

The Hunting Dad always has a freezer stocked with tasty game meat ready to be whipped into his favorite recipe. He may only fire a handful of shots each year, but he makes them count.

Father Chris and Son James enjoyed some friendly competition shooting using the Savage A17 in .17HMR. Despite the age difference, they were very well matched and will certainly go head-to-head again soon. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Sipping High Life out of the bottle and watching the campfire, the Hunting Dad reminisces about all the ones that got away – wildlife that is. Tradition matters to him so he’s unlikely to trade that vintage rifle by his side in for a newer model, but what he will need is a trusty optic to bring it into the modern era.

It just so happens, has plenty of great scopes available in the Vault ready to make dad smile. Check out our wide selection below.


The Tac Daddy

Tac Daddy is at the range all day, every day. Slinging lead like Wu-Tang spits rhymes, this dad goes hardcore. You might think to yourself “What can I possibly get Tac Daddy, he is the most prepared individual I know?”

Training and CCW specific ammo make great gifts for the gun owner. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

There is one thing Tac Daddy will always need, it’s his lifeblood — training ammunition. Gifting several hundred rounds of 9mm or .223 Rem, you’re sure to make Tac Daddy’s Christmas with ammo to send downrange or trade.

Tac Daddy will be filled with pride when he sees what he always craves, more delicious ammunition. Stock up on ammunition with below.


Concealed Carry Charlie

CC Charlie may not rep 5.11 Tactical like Tac Daddy, but he is serious about protecting his family with a firearm. Although he has a coffee mug that tells him he’s #1, his range targets tell him he needs help.

Training isn’t synonymous with slouchy. Step up range day attire for a classier approach to drills. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

For ultimate success, CC Charlie needs some training. Invest in a certified instructor who challenges and pushes students to become better concealed carry practitioners. While you’re searching for classes, also remember that every good class requires reloads so a spare mag or two will help him excel in the classroom.

Check out’s extensive array of magazines below.


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Categories: Gun News

4 Budget Home Defense Guns Under $200

Wed, 12/11/2019 - 06:00

For those on a budget protecting the castle doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. If you have a couple of hundred bucks has you covered with an affordable gun.

The more you save on a firearm the more you get to spend on ammo, resulting in more time at the range. Check out these steals below for some reliable home defense guns that won’t cost big bucks.

Stevens 320 Security

This Security 320 is priced to move (Photo:

The Stevens 320 Security by Savage is a great entry-level shotgun for those looking to protect their home. This pump-action shotgun features an 18.5-inch barrel with a front bead sight, making it wieldy enough for close quarters.

The end-user will enjoy the pistol grip which gives greater control and a more tactical feel, while its magazine holds 5+1 rounds.

Don’t sleep on this Stevens 320 Security, at this incredible clearance price it won’t last long.


Taurus PT111 Millennium G2

This PT111 has been well-loved and is ready for a new home

For those looking for a budget home defense pistol under $200 look no further than the Taurus 9mm. This lightweight pistol features a 12+1 capacity and utility rail for a light or laser upgrade.

The Taurus also doubles nicely as a concealed carry gun if you’re looking for a pistol to immediately fill both roles. The enhanced grip and large capacity of the G2 model have concealed carry holders sold on the Millennium G2 as a proven budget defensive handgun.

GET THE PT111 FOR $199.99!

American Tactical Imports MB3-R

ATI provides a budget option right out of the box

ATI is a reliable brand and a proven winner for those shopping on a budget. The MB3-R opts for a 12-gauge pump-action design with an 18.5-inch barrel and bladed front sight.

The addition of two different sets of Picatinny rails, both on top and at the end of the foregrip, ensures that the end-user can add all the shotgun accessories they need. In addition, offering a space for a red dot or light, ATI delivers a number of upgrades — everything from a folding stock to a pistol grip to a shell carrier can be added to trick out this shotgun.

GET A NEW MB3-R FOR $120.95!

Mossberg 500

The Mossberg 500 is a reliable and proven shotgun that needs no introduction. The company makes a tactical version of this gun, which is probably better suited for home defense, but the one featured here is your pistol grip model.

This gun was designed with close-quarters combat in mind with its 18.5-inch barrel and five-round capacity. Get now while it’s still around.

SEE THAT 500 FOR $199.99!

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Categories: Gun News

5 Gifts to Give That Aren’t Guns

Wed, 12/11/2019 - 04:00

Wondering what to get your loved one this holiday season? How about some awesome accessories that are easy and affordable! Check out our gift-giving guide for presents that aren’t exactly guns but will definitely make your gun lover happy.

1. Spare Mags

Spare mags are always a welcomed gift.


Spare magazines make an excellent gift for gun owners. These small yet mighty accessories simplify training on the range while also opening the door for reloading drills. Whether you’re picking up an AR-15 mag, quality 1911 magazine or extended magazine for a concealed carry pistol, the gift of extra rounds is always a welcomed one.

Pick up spare mags as low as $10.

2. Binoculars

Binoculars, like the Burris Signature, make hunting easier.


Have a hunter in your life? Binos are the perfect gift for those traipsing into the woods in search of prey. With simple models offering basic magnification all the way up to high-end variants sporting high definition fully multi-coated lenses and rubber armor protection, binoculars offer various price points for consumers.

Grab a pair of binos for as little as $15 for base models up into the hundreds for tricked out versions.

3. Rangefinders

Sig Sauer’s Kilo 1000 is a decent rangefinder at an affordable price.


Utilizing lasers to determine distance from a target, rangefinders help precision shooters and hunters accurately hit their target time and time again. If your loved one is constantly complaining about missed long-range targets, a solid rangefinder might be the best gift under the tree.

Prices start around $150 for standard models topping out over $1,000 for fully loaded deluxe versions.

4. Rifle and Pistol Optics

Riflescopes, like the Bushnell Engage, range in price but are accessories most long-range shooters and hunters pine for.


For the gun owner who likes to trick out their rifle or pistol, scopes and red dots are an easy means to increase the functionality of favorite firearms. While scopes can help magnify targets, they also pull double duty providing markings that allow shooters to predict where shots will land once the trigger is pulled.

The Trijicon RMR is a red dot perfect for pistols.

On the other hand, red dots – which can fit onto rifles or pistols – are a non-magnifying means to accurately place shots on target. Red Dot optics display an aim point by way of an illuminated dot that, for some shooters, is easier to use than traditional iron sights.

Optics run the gamut in terms of price, but a good rule of thumb is to opt for the highest-end model you can afford.

5. Gear

Grab a shirt!


When all else fails and you need a reasonably priced gift that screams “guns” you can always nab some merch. From patches to hats to coffee mugs and even some sweet shirts, we have everything a gun owner would need to show their love and affection for guns.

Of course, if your loved one can’t get enough guns, check out’s new and used firearms!

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Categories: Gun News

Japanese Nambu Type 14 Pistol: Still Seen in the Most Curious Places

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 23:30

Arguably the most successful of Japanese firearm wonk Kijirō Nambu’s pistols, the Type 14 saw lots of use in World War II and is seriously collectible today. Nambu is associated with at least a half-dozen different machine guns, the Arisaka rifle series, a submachine gun and four pistols that reached service.

Nambu, a general in the Imperial Army who died just a year shy of becoming at octogenarian in 1924, is often described as the “John Browning of Japan” due to his prolific gun designs. The Type 14, itself a simplified update to Nambu’s own Type A pistol, was designed in the general’s last days and was first produced by the Chigusa Arsenal for service with the Imperial Army in 1926.

The Nambu was a simple striker-fired semi-auto with a fixed barrel and single-stack magazine (Photo: Richard Taylor/

Striker fired with a very light trigger pull, the Nambu Type 14 resembled the German Luger but used an entirely different action with a cocking handle at the rear of the pistol. Chambered in 8x22mm Nambu, a round that is on the pipsqueak end of ballistic performance when stacked against 9mm Luger, the Type 14 carried eight rounds in a single stack magazine. Its name comes from the fact that it was adopted in the 14th year of the reign of Emperor Taishō.

While NCOs were issued a sidearm, officers had to buy their own through the Kaikosha association. As such, many opted to go with European-made pistols from FN, Germany or Spain, as they had to open their wallet anyway.

While exact factory data is not available, an estimated 400,000 Type 14s were produced by Chigusa, Tokyo Arsenal, Nagoya Arsenal, Kokura Arsenal, and by Kokubunji until the last days of WWII.


This early Kokura-made Nambu Type 14 has a 6.2 date mark on the frame is for the 2nd month of the 6th year of the reign of Emperor Showa (Hirohito) which ran from 1926 until 1989. This translates to February 1931– the first year of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. Note the early-style cocking handle, small trigger guard and 25-line grips made of beech. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

This Nagoya (Toriimatsu) Second Series pistol made Type 14 has a 19.5 Showa date mark which translates to May 1944 on a Western calendar. To put that in perspective, this gun was made the same month the Allies landed at Biak, Dutch New Guinea, a key Japanese airbase. Note the larger, oblong trigger guard, made for better use with gloves and later grips made of Philippine mahogany. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

The 20.2 date mark on the frame of this Nagoya Type 14 translates to February 1945 on a Western calendar. To put that into historical perspective, this is the same month that the Japanese began their month-long fight to hold Manila in the Philippines. A very late war production Nambu, this gun comes from the company’s Toriimatsu factory who switched to ungrooved wooden grips in November 1944 to help speed up production as the Allies closed in on the Japanese Home Islands. These grips are referred to as “slab” grips by collectors. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

Post-War Travels

Although VJ Day was something of a death sentence for Japanese arms– many were destroyed or simply thrown in the ocean during the disarmament in late 1945– uncounted thousands of Nambus came back to the U.S. with GIs, Marines, and Sailors taking the “Magic Carpet Ride” back home. A great souvenir that took up little space in a duffle bag, it made the ideal war trophy.

SGT George Chamberlain, Co.K 172nd Infantry Rgt, 43rd Inf Div. on New Georgia in 1943 with a captured Japanese battle flag– and a Type 14 Nambu pistol with its distinctive clamshell holster. (Photo: U.S. Army Center for Military History)

The Nambu proved a popular souvenir, not only with U.S. troops but also with Allies, such as these Australians. P.S. How about that Owen SMG? (Photo: Australian War Memorial)

One such war bring-back was used by Bill Ruger as something of an inspiration for the gun that ultimately became his Ruger Standard or Mark I .22LR pistol. You can see much the influence of the Nambu series in that very American plinker.

One of these things is not like the others…we give you, the Ruger Standard (Mark I)

The guns also proved popular in film and TV series, with dozens of war movies set during the Pacific campaigns having the Nambu as a guest star. Today, you can see the Type 14 regularly in the Amazon Prime show Man in the High Castle, used by the 1960s Japanese occupation forces in the fictionalized Japanese Pacific States.

Screenshot: Man in High Castle

The Type 14 is also seen in a Galaxy Far, Far Away in Disney’s The Mandalorian, with Cara Dune’s (Gina Carano) blaster pistol based on the gun. It makes sense as the Star Wars franchise has long used classic firearms as the basis for sci-fi blasters (C96 Broomhandle ala Solo, anyone?).

Cara and the Mandalorian draw their pistols after a brief scuffle in “Chapter 4: Sanctuary” (Photo: IMFDB)

As production ended in 1945 and no source of new parts exist, Nambus floating around in the U.S. are often in pretty poor condition. That, coupled with the fact that ammo is hard to find, has given these guns a reputation in recent years as being unreliable.

When compared to military surplus handguns like the Luger and P-38– which take readily available ammunition, were made in the millions and continued commercial production in addition to those made for wartime service– the Type 14 Nambu is generally not considered a “shooter” these days.

However, they are a solid collectible with rock-solid history to boot. And that never goes out of style.

If you like interesting and often rare guns like the Nambu T-14, be sure to check out our Collector’s Corner or look through our entire catalog of more than 3,000 new and used guns of all sorts.


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Categories: Gun News

Glock 44: Meet the New Trail-ready Glock 22LR Handgun

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 09:13

The new Glock 44 is the company’s first 22LR pistol (Photo: Chris Eger/

On Tuesday morning Glock broke the gunwebs by announcing the new Glock 44 pistol, a .22 LR styled after the renowned Glock 19.

Featuring an innovative hybrid steel-polymer slide and the ability to adapt to any user’s hands via backstraps supplied with the pistol, the G44 is the company’s first rimfire handgun. Using a 4.02-inch barrel, the overall length is 7.28-inches– almost the exact size as the G19, making it a decent training gun.

The Glock G44, left, is a dead ringer for the G19, right, but in 22LR (Photo: Chris Eger/

Weight, loaded, is right at a pound which makes it ideal for a trail or camping companion.

“The way the G44 mirrors the iconic G19 is great and all levels of shooters will benefit from owning and practicing with the G44,” said Retired Marine Gunner Christian Wade. “I subjected the G44 to a variety of adverse conditions and it holds its own with every other Glock ever produced.”

The G44 uses a hybrid steel-polymer slide (Photo: Chris Eger/

Best yet, the gun is billed as extremely reliable, as one would expect from Glock– something that is hard to pull off with the wide variations between .22 LR ammo. The G44 was tested with a wide range of ammo types and Glock said it went through thousands of rounds during testing.

“While many .22 LR firearms exhibit tendencies to function differently with particular ammunition types, the G44 pistol functioned to near perfection,” said Bryan Peterson, Manager of Product Concept Development at Federal Ammunition.


Featuring adjustable rear sights and ghost hole loaded chamber indicator, the G44 will ship with a pair of load-assist 10-round magazines. With an MSRP of $430, the Glock G44 is set to launch on Jan. 20, 2020 and will be available in a threaded barrel option as well.

Novritsch had the opportunity to test out the G44 prior to launch

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Categories: Gun News