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General Gun News
The MantisX system aims to elevate shooters’ skills on the range, offering users a glimpse into how they shoot and what they can do to improve.
The system consists of a smart sensor that attaches to a firearm’s accessory rail. The sensor works whether shooters are conducting live fire or dry fire drills or shooting airsoft or CO2. Once the sensor is installed, users download the corresponding app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store and pair the device via Bluetooth. Once the MantisX is paired with the smartphone, shooters can fire away while the sensor collects, evaluates and stores data relating to performance.
In addition to collecting data, the MantisX setup offers feedback to help shooters improve their skills. As shots are fired, each one is scored depending on how far the shooter moved away from the sighted position during the trigger pull. For each shot, the setup detects the direction of the barrel’s movement, providing information via a displayed wheel that illustrates where the shooter tends to drift. MantisX then analyzes individual shots or groups and offer suggestions on how the user can improve shooting mechanics.
The training bundle ships with one smart sensor and a micro-USB charging cable. The system comes with a 45 day money back guarantee as well as a one year limited warranty.
The MantisX can be purchase online and carries a price of $149.99.
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A video showing the Sig Sauer P320 — the pistol design selected as the standard sidearm for the U.S. Army — discharging as it hit the ground divided the gun industry last week as many either hurled accusations at or tirelessly defended the gun maker. For its part, Sig reaffirmed its adherence to all industry safety standards in addition to offering a “voluntary upgrade” for the civilian P320.
With all the talk surrounding safety standards and whether or not the P320 fell through the cracks, it begs the question: what are the industry’s standards? To answer, we turn to the Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute.
Founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government, SAAMI creates and promotes technical, performance and safety standards for firearms, ammo and their components. The organization is accredited as a standards developer by the American National Standards Institute, the U.S. representative for the International Standardization Organization. SAAMI and ANSI together establish standards the gun industry uses as a baseline tool.
While manufacturers must volunteer to join SAAMI, which Sig has, membership requires following the organization’s regulations. The gun maker notably stated that the P320 design met SAAMI standards for drop testing, which requires the handgun — loaded with a primed case and magazine full of dummy rounds — fall 4 feet onto a 1-inch thick rubber mat backed by concrete at six specific, 90-degree angles to determine if the gun will discharge.While the design meets those standards, the video shows that the gun will discharge if it impacts the ground on the rear of the slide and frame when dropped at a 30-degree angle.
Andrew Tuohy, who introduced the Omaha Outdoors video, said his results proved why adherence to checklist style tests may not serve the industry’s best interests. “I do believe the P320 will pass the full SAAMI/ANSI test, but this simply indicates the inadequacy of that test,” he told Guns.com in an email.
“As for the various drop test standards, the pistol simply isn’t susceptible to drop fires when dropped at those perfect (0/90 degree) angles because they either don’t induce trigger movement or the slide comes out of battery too far to fire immediately upon impact,” Tuohy said. “This is the problem with mindlessly following a standard protocol without understanding why the protocol exists.”
It’s unclear if the industry has plans to expand the drop safety test to include more requirements. The trade association for the gun industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which both Sig and Guns.com are members, declined to comment, saying SAAMI would be a better source.
SAAMI executive director Richard Patterson explained that SAAMI must follow strict protocols enforced by ANSI and ISO to develop standards. “Part of that process includes a mandatory regular reaffirmation of each standard. This requirement ensures the existing ANSI/SAAMI standards continue to evolve to meet the needs of the marketplace,” he said, adding, “ANSI/SAAMI does not create unique tests for each individual product design in the marketplace.”
Whether or not the dilemma the Sig P320 drop safety issue reveals will influence change is also unclear, but Tuohy has his own take on what the gun industry could do to improve safety standards.
“Ideally the various organizations (Cal DOJ, SAAMI, US Army) which set drop test standards — and other test standards as well — would talk to each other to study how more modern pistols might fail this test and come up with a more comprehensive protocol which addresses additional angles,” Tuohy told Guns.com. “The organizations could then come out of this discussion with a single unified drop test so that there would be far less ambiguity as to whether or not a pistol could be considered ‘drop safe.’”
Tuohy went on to explain that he feels modern testing should also require the use of common duty holsters as well as unsecured pistols and that tests should ignore the presence of manual safeties.
“Essentially, they should come at this from a ‘worst case scenario’ mindset rather than the current mindset which seems to have set extremely minimal standards. Furthermore, the organizations should reconvene every X number of years (to be determined by them) to evaluate new pistol designs and whether or not their standards need to be updated,” he said.
Regardless of whether the industry changes the way in which it tests products, Sig has determined that the P320 needs an upgrade. Stopping short of calling it a recall, the company issued a press release Tuesday stating that commercial P320 pistols will be eligible for an “enhancement” to solve the drop issue.
Sig publicly stated that the quick fix, issued just a few days after being alerted by Omaha Outdoors to the drop problem, was the result of input from law enforcement, government and military customers that pushed “a number of enhancements in function, reliability and overall safety including drop performance.” Those enhancements are what the company is now offering as the voluntary upgrade to its customers.
While Sig attempts to correct the current batch of P320s, Tuohy said he’s not completely convinced the gun maker didn’t already know the drop issue existed. “I don’t think it slipped past Sig. If I could figure it out in about half an hour with a $600 consumer grade high speed camera, there is no way their advanced testing laboratory missed this over however many years of R&D and over three years of production,” he said. “The fact that they had a fix for the M17 pistol which was, literally overnight, announced as a fix for the P320 is further proof that this was a known issue to them.”
For its part, Sig maintains that the safety of its products and its customers is top priority. “Sig Sauer is committed to our approach on innovation, optimization, and performance, ensuring we produce the finest possible products,” said Ron Cohen, Sig president and CEO, in statement. “Durability, reliability and safety, as well as end-user confidence in the Sig Sauer brand are the priorities for our team.”
The gun maker is set to announce specific details on the P320 voluntary upgrade program Monday.
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Some of the re-branded Gander Outdoors stores will open come November, according to the company’s top executive.
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis — who bought out Gander Mountain’s intellectual property and store leases in an April bankruptcy auction — told investors last week he remains committed to “only open stores with a historical level of profitability.”
“In line with that, we believe to have a unique opportunity to expand into the broader outdoor lifestyle market and leverage our existing array of products and services,” he said during a conference call with investors Thursday. “We’re focused on locations that can offer all of our Gander, Overton’s, Camping World and Good Sam products and services for the RV, boating and outdoor lifestyle. With the first of these locations targeted to open in November and our continued acquisition efforts and our new store opening strategy, we intend to increase our borrowings in the coming weeks.”
Gander Mountain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in Minnesota court on March 10.
Less than a month after Lemonis bought out the company, he changed its name to Gander Outdoors and announced he would likely close half of the chain’s 162 locations as he attempts to fix years of “undisciplined inventory buying,” including $100 million wasted on a “bad assortment of guns.”
“I’d rather have 50 stores heavily curated for that local market than 150 stores that look like everything is the same, which is essentially what it was,” he said. “Just a really shitty inventory system is what they have … never seen something so stupid.”
Estimated gun sales plunged 26 percent in July compared to last year, following a 12 percent decline in June. The summer slowdown tailed an unanticipated busy spring for federal background checks — and by proxy, gun sales — though retailers and gun makers have suggested the “promotion-heavy sales environment” artificially propped up National Instant Criminal Background Check System data in the second quarter.
Camping World reported “record” earnings last week, raking in $1.3 billion in the second quarter — a 20 percent increase over 2016.
Lemonis said a separate liquidation company bought all of Gander Mountain’s existing inventory on sale across the country.
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American Tactical expands its ammo offerings to now include shotgun ammunition chambered in 12-gauge, 20-gauge and .410-gauge.
The US manufacturer and importer of firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment announced that the new shotgun ammunition aims to give shooters quality rounds at an affordable price. In addition, each shotgun offered through American Tactical pairs with its ammunition counterpart resulting in the “perfect shooting package for hunters and hobby shooters alike,” according to a company press release.
For home defense, American Tactical serves up the AMTAC line of shotguns available in both pump-action and semi-automatic variations. These guns pair well with the company’s 12-gauge shotgun ammo to offer a complete home defense package. The ammo comes 25 rounds to a box and is priced at $6.99.
Competition shooters firing the engraved Calvary line with wood stock have the choice of three calibers of ammo to include the 12-gauge or 20-gauge for $6.99 per 25 round box or .410-gauge ammunition priced at $11.99 for 25 rounds.
Rounding out the offerings is 12-gauge ammunition designed to coincide with American Tactical’s Road Agent 12-gauge shotgun. Built for hunting enthusiasts, the ammunition is priced at $6.99.
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A White House statement issued Sunday said President Trump does condemn the bigotry and racism espoused by white nationalists, adding clarity to a clumsy speech blaming “many sides” for ratcheting up racial tensions before the Charlottesville violence.
“The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups,” the White House said in a statement issued to the press.
Trump’s comments Saturday after a car barreled through a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist gathering was widely panned for failing to single-out the hate group at the center of it all.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time,” Trump said during a bill signing and then ignored requests by reporters to specifically denounce white hate groups.
Still, the greater clarity did not come from Trump himself, who had also resisted requests last year to denounce white supremacists that publicly supported his campaign. His silence was cheered by the white supremacist website Daily Stormer: “When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”
When pressed, a White House spokesman Saturday quickly expanded Trump’s comment, saying he was “condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protestors and counterprotestors today.” Then throughout the weekend, Trump Administration spokesmen evolved the response by saying Trump’s comment did cover white nationalists.
White nationalists groups organized Saturday’s march to protest the city’s plans to remove a Confederate monument of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Leading up to the gathering, organizers touted they would “unify the right-wing” to influence American policies regarding immigration and advance their racist agenda.
The governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency as violent clashes erupted between protestors and counter-protestors Saturday and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19 injured.
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Camping World, the nation’s largest recreational vehicle dealer and the new holding company for Gander Outdoors, reported “record” second quarter earnings last week.
CEO Marcus Lemonis said the company’s total revenue increased 20 percent to $1.3 billion over last year as it looks to expand its product offerings beyond RVs.
“We delivered exceptional record-breaking results in the second quarter,” he said in a press release Thursday. “We believe these results clearly demonstrate the power and leverage of our unique operating model, which sells a comprehensive portfolio of products and services across a growing database of consumers being driven by our national network of retail locations that cater to RV, boating and outdoor enthusiasts. While our business model has traditionally been focused on the RV owner, we see a much broader opportunity to leverage our products and services across the larger base of outdoor lifestyle consumers.”
Camping World led the investor group that bought over $390 million worth of assets from a bankrupt Gander Mountain, including store leases, intellectual property and its Overtons boating business in April. Lemonis changed the company’s name to Gander Outdoors in May and unveiled a new logo in June. He also announced more than half of the chain’s 162 locations would close as he finalizes leases with the landlords of the remaining 57 stores — some slated to re-open in November.
Gander Mountain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in Minnesota court March 10. A separate liquidation company bought the inventory currently on sale across the country.
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Whether you call them black guns, AR-style, or modern sporting rifles, these semi-auto rifles perform best when cleaned, maintained, and fed a certain diet of ammunition. While reliability is one major factor in selecting ammunition, Hornady BLACK brings the potential for greater accuracy for longer range shooters and hunters. Is the ammo worth the price increase over all the other surplus-budget rounds on the shelf? Guns.com finds out.What is BLACK?
New for 2017, Hornady’s BLACK ammunition features a wide variety of versatile loads optimized for what they call “America’s favorite guns.” Regardless of the caliber, each box of BLACK is loaded with variations of premium Hornady bullets, each tailored to a specific platform, like AR’s, AK’s, pistols, rifles, or even tactical shotguns. Though the rounds seem naturally inclined to excel with fit, feed, and function in semi-autos of direct impingement, gas piston, or inertia drive, it’s important to note that BLACK is equally as friendly with bolt or pump guns, suppressed, sub-, or supersonic jobs.
As with other Hornady products, BLACK is made in the USA and available in multiple bullet types, including A-Max, V-Max, FTX, and Match. All loads are touted by the company to use a cleaner burning powder (though that secret is of course proprietary). BLACK is instantly recognizable on the store shelf, as it ships in stark black matte boxes of 20 with glossy lettering and silver reflective labeling, save the 12-gauge which comes in boxes of 10.
I’m not going to lie — the packaging is attractive. But it’s about the contents.Offerings
While one certainly expects the obvious calibers — .223, 5.56, and .308 — in any ammunition touting itself for black guns, Hornady went whole-hog for the initial release, showing a total of 14 caliber and bullet-weight combinations:
- 5.45×39 V-Max 60grn MSRP $15.00
- 223 Remington FMJ 62grn MSRP $16.67
- 223 Remington 75grn BTHP Match $20.00
- 5.56 NATO FMJ 62grn $18.33
- 5.56 NATO 75grn Interlock HD SBR $25.00
- 6.5 Grendel 123grn ELD Match $28.33
- 6.8 SPC 110grn V-Max $28.33
- 300 Blackout 110grn V-Max $28.33
- 300 Blackout 208grn A-Max Subsonic $28.33
- 308 Win 155grn A-Max $35.00
- 308 Win 168grn A-Max $35.00
- 7.62×39 SST 123grn $30.00
- 450 Bushmaster 250grn FTX $38.33
- 12-gauge 00 Buckshot $16.33/10-round box
Because BLACK is marketed as a higher end product with performance bullets, it’s interesting to see calibers like the 5.45×39 and 7.62×39 included. Guns once used primarily for volume shooting with “good enough” accuracy at practical ranges can now be truly shot with accuracy and tighter groups in mind.
Shooters of the .300 Blackout will be pleased to see both standard and subsonic versions available, loaded with A-Max and V-Max bullets, ideal for both target and hunting use. The 6.5 Grendel is the sole BLACK loaded with ELD-Match bullets and, while we’d like to see greater use of this premium long-range tip, Grendel owners should gravitate to this offering unless they already reload the same.
Regardless of caliber, a quick look at the entire BLACK catalog of products shows premium bullets in weights intended for serious — and accurate — purposes. The only ones that do not pique particular interest are the 5.56 FMJ and 12-gauge Buck, neither of which shout “premium offering” on paper as do the rest. Of interest, several of the new choices were available in either identical or very similar versions under the Hornady Custom label, though it’s nice to see the BLACK now tagged at slightly lower prices. The majority of the bullets — A-Max, V-Max, FTX, and BTHP — are all capable hunting bullets as well, making the line a boon for the growing segment of black-rifle hunters of quarry from coyotes to deer and feral hogs.Range time
Regardless of the furniture color of the gun, Hornady BLACK performed for use on the range. We fired the BLACK in .223 75 grain BTHP from both a Rock River sporting rifle and a Ruger 77 bolt gun and found the ammunition very capable in both. Accuracy was better than any other bulk factory rounds we had on the shelf, which are no doubt geared more toward reliability than accuracy. In fact, it was a quite comparable to some preferred handloads. Additionally, the Hornady BTHP makes a formidable hunting bullet for small-mid sized game. While most black rifles and a majority of bolt guns will stabilize the heavier 75 grain bullets, be sure your rifling is suited to the task.
While the small rifle ammunition performed well, Hornady BLACK really excelled when firing the .308 155 grain A-Max through both Savage’s new MSR Hunter and a Ruger Precision bolt action. At 100 yards, five-shot groups of BLACK A-Max holes were nearly touching, and groups held tight out to the 300-yard mark where we concluded testing. The .308 A-Max would be very capable varmint and medium-game medicine. There is no reason to limit BLACK ammo to semi-autos either, as it ran cleanly and with the expected accuracy given a premium bullet in a Hornady factory round. (Though it goes without saying, function and reliability was perfect throughout the guns and options tested. )
Though there’s no good way to quantify the amount of dirt left behind by a particular ammo — it is simple enough to see that some are dirtier than others, especially in AR-platforms. To that end, there was no unburned powder, excess fouling, or the like when firing box after box of Hornady BLACK. What the line essentially offers is immediately recognizable, black rifle friendly packaging on store shelves with bullet weights and types not available in most factory of the same calibers. What’s more, we anticipate additions to the lineup as time progresses, with even more calibers and bullet options.A not-so-dark-conclusion
Though Hornady BLACK is too spendy of ammunition for mag dumps and bulk blasting away with ARs, today’s modern MSR shooters have come to both appreciate and expect accuracy and that’s where BLACK excels on the market. Whether you target shoot, appreciate long-range groups, run competitions, or even hunt, BLACK has the bases covered for the majority of typically black gun configurations. With its premium bullets like A-Max, V-Max, and ELD-Match in weights geared toward accuracy potential, there’s little doubt it will appeal to shooters of all platforms. If you seek more than the previously-accepted reliable feeding and minute-of-pie-plate accuracy, hit the bench with some BLACK and show us your groups.
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Gun control advocates laid the blame for the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend on the nation’s largest gun rights group, citing the National Rifle Association’s provocative rhetoric against liberal demonstrators and support for open carry.
The violence, including a vehicular assault that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others, came as part of a standoff between protesters and counter-protesters gathered at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park in anticipation of a rally by far-right groups over the removal of Confederate monuments from the park. Though the suspect in the ramming was taken into custody and charged with murder among a host of other crimes, gun control groups placed the blame on the NRA and the White House.
“The violence we saw today in Charlottesville is the result of the dangerous rhetoric and hate speech that the NRA and Trump have promoted,” said Lori Haas, a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, in a statement. “The symbiotic relationship between the NRA, Trump, and America’s far right hate groups cannot be ignored.”
While there was no gun violence reported, the group noted that the white nationalists protesting were legally carrying rifles. “This alone indicates their willingness to use intimidation and deadly force to advance their hateful agenda,” Haas said.
The condemnation was echoed by Moms Demand Action with founder Shannon Watts posting on Twitter, “You built this, America, by allowing @NRA lobbyists to write our nation’s gun laws. Open carry is legal in 45 states with little regulation.”
Virginia Gov. McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency to aid state response to the violence in Charlottesville, which included the deployment of state troopers, as well as the Virginia National Guard.
“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe said. “The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety.”
In a statement after news of the incident broke, Trump stressed the importance of “swift restoration of law and order,” but it was his blame of “many sides” that was widely panned on both sides of the political aisle as he failed to condemn, specifically, the white nationalists at the center of the incident.
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A $30 pair of camera glasses helped convict a South Carolina man who was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years behind bars for shooting a police officer four times.
Malcolm Antwan Orr, 29, was found guilty of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime after a two day trial, according to the Jasper County Sun Times.
The conviction stems from a New Year’s Day incident last year in which Estill Police Officer Quincy Smith responded to a suspicious persons call. When he arrived, he turned on the camera glasses he bought on Amazon and confronted Orr, who ignored the officer.
“Come here,” Smith can be heard saying in the video to Orr, who turned around and walked away, still talking on his cell phone.
Smith follows Orr, who continues to walk away. The officer tells him several times to take his hand out of his pocket, and then threatens to use his Taser. About 40 seconds after stopping to confront him, Orr can be seen pulling a 9 mm handgun from his pocket, pointing it at Smith, and firing.
Several rounds go off, and Smith frantically yells “shots fired” into his radio. Several more rounds are fired and Smith runs back to his squad car. His hands are covered in blood as he pushes buttons on his radio and calls for help.
“Dispatch…I’m hit. I am hit. I am hit in my neck someplace,” he says. “My arms are broken. Help me please.”
Smith sits in his squad and looks around frantically for a while before getting out. A bystander who identifies himself as J. Tompkins can be heard walking up asking if Smith needs anything, telling him he’ll stay there with him. Smith thanked the man and clicked the button on his radio.
“Dispatch, please tell my family I love them,” he said.
“Where are you shot at? Oh my god,” says Tompkins, as Smith appears to be lying on the ground looking up.
Tompkins takes the radio and starts talking with the dispatcher as Smith says it’s getting harder for him to breathe.
“He said he can barely breathe. Y’all please hurry, please hurry with the ambulance,” Tompkins tells dispatch, before reassuring Smith. “Just hold tight man. I am right here with you. I am not going anywhere.”
Emergency responders arrived and Smith survived. Prosecutors said Orr fired eight rounds at Smith, four of which hit the officer.
“If but not for the grace of God and some very good doctors, this would not only have been a murder case, but a death-penalty case,” said 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone, the prosecutor in the case.
Dr. James Dunne, the emergency room doctor who treated Smith, testified that a bullet severed a vein in Smith’s neck. Another bullet hit him in the torso, and had to be extracted from his back. He was also hit in the arm.
The jury took less than 45 minutes to return a guilty verdict. Circuit Court Judge Roger Young handed down Orr’s sentence, the maximum for the charges against him.
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If you have ever fired a blackpowder muzzleloader, you’ve experiences the mini-fireworks show that results when the powder ignites and you instantly become shrouded in a cloud of smoke. Now imagine that multiplied by a factor of seven. As strange as this may sound, you have just visualized a Nock Volley gun.Why would you do this?
Naval warfare in the 1700s revolved around sailing ships that would close and board enemy vessels so that their huge crews, sometimes over 800 sailors, could fight it out at close-quarters. Besides minimizing overall casualties, this strategy had strong financial incentives for the attacking party since sinking an enemy battle ship usually meant losing the spoils of war — guns, gold and other trade goods — to the ocean floor. Accordingly battles at sea were decided by musket, blunderbuss, and cutlass at bad breath range more often than by cannons. And this type of warfare, characterized by close combat with a limited ability to retreat, spawned the need for a different type of firearm…The design of the Volley Gun
Though the volley gun design — itself just a simple arrangement of multiple barrels fired all at once by a single mechanism — goes back as far as the 14th century, an English engineer named James Wilson, Esq, developed a multi-barreled firearm in the mid-1770s that was a vast improvement on these devices usability in the field. The single weapon had seven .60-caliber barrels, one in the centerline with the other six clustered and brazed around it like a handful of flowers. Muskets of the day often had very long 30 and even 40-inch long barrels, but the Volley gun used relatively short 20-inch long tubes. Originally rifled, after the first few were made the Tudor period Board of Ordnance tweaked the design to use smoothbore tubes without rifling as the gun would no-doubt be used at close range.
A single stock, forearm, trigger, and hammer were married up to this bundle of barrels to make the final weapon. With a squeeze of the trigger, the flintlock dropped down and fired the centerline “number one” barrel. It was the ignition of this first round that set off barrels two to seven at roughly the same time. This phenomenon, known as chain-fire, is every shooter that has ever used a black powder revolver’s nightmare. Nevertheless, with a dedicated barrel for each charge, the volley gun has a slightly higher margin of safety. Recoil was stout on the 37-inch long 11.5- pound weapon but not impossibly so. Even with a trained crew, it took several minutes to load and created tremendous muzzle flash.Production life
The gun was placed into production with the well-known firm of Henry Nock of London in 1780, and by 1787 a total of 608 were manufactured in at least two different series. Part flame-thrower, part sawed-off shotgun, all crazy, the Nock never gained widespread acceptance. The weapon was in the Royal Navy’s arsenal throughout the US Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars but did not seem to play a notable factor in either. Interestingly enough they formed part of the armament of the HMS Pandora on its 1791 manhunt for the munitieers of the famous HMS Bounty. By the 1850s, they were withdrawn from service entirely.
Upon his death, Nock passed on the family business to his apprentice and son-in-law, James Wilkinson and today it survives as Wilkinson Swords.Collectability today
Since only an estimated 608 original Nocks were produced and all are over two centuries old, vintage guns are rare in any condition. The last one to pop up for public auction was in England in 2011 and went for over $25,000 with several replacement pieces.
Now be advised that good old Mr.Nock made several other volley guns for fowl hunters for another 20 years and these go for significantly less. The best way to tell a real military Nock from a cheaper civvy is the military one will have the “Tower’ acceptance stamp and “GR” cipher for mad King George (remember him from the Boston Tea Party days?) as they were made during his rule for his Navy.
Reproductions have become popular, as the Nock has appeared in several films and series. These reproductions, mainly due to the cost of producing seven barrels, run much less than an original but are still pricey.
Nonetheless, if you want a giant pepperbox shotgun, you can’t knock the Nock.
When you get a great rifle, the shopping isn’t over. A bag is a near-necessary accessory to transport the firearm and related gear, or to keep it clean, or to make the presence of a long gun a bit discreet. I recently tested two just such rifle bags, one for AR-platform rifles and another best suited for longer-barreled models. Here’s the scoop:It’s rifle bag time
Defcon Gear makes an AR/M4 bag that’s both compact and urban-friendly. The Compact Assault Bag (CAB) is made to carry the upper and lower in separate compartments, making the whole works fit into a package that’s 26.5 inches long and 9.5 inches wide.
It can be carried three ways: horizontally using the padded handle, over the shoulder with the padded, ventilated strap that has optional connection points at each of the four corners, or vertically with a web handle attached to one end. The D-rings of the shoulder strap double as a place to attach a carabiner as it hangs in my closet, keeping it compact even in storage.
The bag unzips and can be laid flat to expose two padded pockets inside. Slide the upper into one pocket, the lower into another, even leaving a sling attached if you like, and zip it all around. On the outside, two more zippered pockets occupy the exterior surface. They’re subdivided inside, custom made for carrying a bevy of extra mags.
Construction is similar to that of office luggage; a medium-weight nylon with black, mid-weight zippers. It’s not built for rough duty; it’s built to blend into an urban environment, and it does that well.
What a great accessory for environments unfriendly to guns. The CAB lets you tote a small or disassembled rifle anywhere, looking like shouldered sports equipment or office presentation gear. It’s sold only in black, which adds to the office-y look. A wide, padded shoulder strap is included for easy carry.
For those with little space in the car or truck, the CAB makes hauling an AR much easier, and less inviting to thieves than a full-length case. Retail is only direct from Defcon Gear at a reasonable $39.99.Propper serves up one for the long guns
Tactical gear manufacturer Propper makes two similar rifle cases, 36 and 42 inches in length, and 12.5 inches wide. We tested the shorter one, in coyote with contrasting orange trim. It’s also offered in black and olive.
Guns are well protected in this polyester case, which is heavily padded on all sides including a padded rail around the edges. The main compartment zippers have nifty grab tabs that are gross-motor operated, and unlike plain paracord toggles, won’t come off with normal use. Slash corners and wide Velcro straps on the interior serve keep the rifle relatively centered and optimally protected.
Across the exterior front are three large pockets. Matching ones on each end there are slotted openings with hook and loop closures that are the perfect height for keeping 30-round magazines organized. These pockets are covered in MOLLE, increasing storage options on this simple bag.
The middle front pocket has both a hook and loop and handsome buckle flap. A panel of loop material on the flap allows room for patches.
Like the Defcon CAB, this bag has a convertible, padded, adjustable shoulder strap, plus web handles for vertical or horizontal carry.
While bright orange may seem a bit out of the ordinary for range gear, Propper keeps it classy, placing a narrow accent strip of orange on the front middle pocket flap only. Inside, the orange lining enhances visibility and makes it easy to find little parts that inevitably wind up floating around inside the bag. It’s a modern, understated look, suitable for hunters or tactical types.
This is a simple design for single-rifle carry, and looks great for professional or recreational use. At $69.99 for the 36-inch model, it’s priced a bit below more feature-laden or two-rifle bags. Propper rifle cases would make a handsome gift or award as well as a good choice to protect your own rifle in transit.
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Most firearm enthusiasts — especially those with a particular interest in historical guns of 20th century warfare — are aware of the simplicity and reliability of the former Soviet Union’s weapons issued to its Red Army and other branches of service. The PPS-43 submachine gun is perhaps the finest example, designed and built during the Great Patriotic War, or, as we refer to it in the West, World War Two.
At first glance the weapon is quite hideous, its appearance somewhat similar to the firearms of stick figures drawn by children: a horizontal line with two angled extensions beneath representing the handle and magazine — pure, absolute simplicity.
It is important to note that the firearm in review is in fact the PPS-43C, which is a modern production of the PPS-43, built at the Pioneer Arms factory in Radom, Poland (Often referred to as the Radom Plant). Like the original, the modern production is designed to chamber the 7.62x25mm, or 7.62 Tokarev pistol cartridge.
Overall, the one major difference between the two — excluding, of course, that one is fully automatic and the other is not — is the permanently fixed folding metal stock on the PPS-43C, done so, of course, for legal purposes (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives approved pistol). This feature, unfortunately, greatly affects the accuracy of the firearm, due to the user having to hold the weapon out in order to aim with the use of both eyes, just as one commonly does with a pistol, rather than use the stock to press firmly into the shoulder. For the enthusiast with a common cartridge preference (normally available at equal price) Pioneer Arms produces a variant that chambers 9x19mm or 9mm Luger.
As a collector of firearms from the Second World War and Cold War era (the PPS-43C being the one exception as a modern production) I personally own, and often shoot a PPS-43C, despite the somewhat rarity of the ammunition. In my experience with handguns, 10 to 15 yards is the ideal distance at the range. When aligning the front and rear sights at this distance the round’s impact is a few inches high, hitting directly above the aiming point. For example: at an indoor range, with a standard silhouette target no more than 30 feet in distance, if one were to align both sights with the throat, the impact would be just above, if not right between the eyes — the windage accurate, the elevation just a bit off.
This PPS-43C, like the original, is cut from — that is stamped out from — a solid piece of steel. In fact, the only non-metal parts of the firearm are the pistol grip coverings; the original were made of wood and the modern are made from plastic. The result is a solid, heavy gun. Because the weight is so great, especially with a fully loaded curved box magazine of 35 rounds (just over 8 pounds), the recoil is borderline non-existent. Although some will surely disagree, firing the 7.62 Tokarev cartridge through this particular firearm results in a “kick” similar to a run-of-the-mill .22 firearm. To cite another example, many have made similar claims with the Thompson submachine gun. The .45 caliber cartridge is extremely powerful with a lot of stopping power, but, because the Thompson is so heavy, the user doesn’t experience intense recoil.
At present (Summer 2017), the PPS-43C, in either 7.62 Tokarev or 9mm Luger, doesn’t appear to be readily available through trustworthy vendors, such as ClassicFirearms.com, but used models can be found in the $300-$600 range.
In my experience at the range, the PPS-43C does cause a few heads to turn, mostly due to its bizarre, unorthodox look. In my opinion, the firearm is so hideous that it is in fact beautiful though I admit that, because I am quite fond of Soviet guns, I am biased. With military firearms, intimidation, reliability and simplicity are the crucial ingredients, and the PPS-43 (as well as the modern PPS-43C descendent) is one of the finest examples, right alongside the famous/infamous Kalashnikov assault rifle.
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Rise Armament debuted the RA-434 High Performance Trigger Group designed to combine smoothness and speed to upgrade AR-15 platforms.
The RA-434 is a smooth breaking trigger that offers a crisp, clean release offering rifle shooters better accuracy with less effort. Boasting a quick reset and low overtravel for enhanced speed, the RA-434 HPT features a straight trigger blade available in black or silver. The straight trigger blade is built for enhanced control matched with a lighter-feeling pull weight.
The single-stage trigger boasts a 3.5 pound pull and a skeletonized hammer. Equipped with a drop safety feature, the RA-434 fits most .223/5.56 and .308 AR platforms.
Rise Armament says the RA-434 is the first of its kind, offering a premium trigger group at a mid-range price.
“Customers have been drawn to the extreme value of our triggers, so when designing the RA-434, we set out to continue to deliver quality and performance for a great price,” said Matt Torres, president of Rise Armament, in a statement. “We’ve had numerous requests for a straight trigger, so we’re excited to offer this option.”
The RA-434 is available now, carrying a price tag of $169.
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Hogue Inc. announced the expansion of the HandAll Grip Sleeve series, adding models designed to fit Smith & Wesson’s Bodyguard 380 and Taurus’ TCP or Spectrum.
The beavertail grip sleeve installs by slipping over the gun’s grip frame until it’s seated in the perfect position. Once installed, the HandALL sleeve offers a single finger groove which leads into a gentle palm swell. The design has been constructed to fit naturally in the hand giving shooters better handling and control over the handgun. The beavertail built into the grip sleeve raises along the backstrap of the frame and provides full rubber contact with the hand for better hand-placement high on the grip. Additionally, the beavertail cushions the hands during recoil, offering less distraction while shooting and better distribution of force.
Built from a durable thermoplastic elastomer compound, the rubber ages well and keeps a firm yet tacky feel throughout its life. Hogue Inc. says the grip will not harden, split or crack with age or usage. Boasting Hogue’s Cobblestone texture, a series of small circular bumps, the grip aims to provide an efficient non-slip, non-irritating grip surface.
Hogue says the new HandALL, designed for smaller guns, was in response to consumer demand.
“We are continuing to expand our line of sleeves for compact pistols because of high customer demand,” said grip designer Matt Hogue in a press release. “Creating Beavertail Grip Sleeves that seamlessly work with smaller frames while adding comfort and a precision fit has proven to be a very popular solution.”
The Bodyguard, TCP and Spectrum model grip sleeves are available in black, OD green, flat dark earth, aqua, pink and purple with prices set at $9.95 for black and $10.95 for all other colors.
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Smith & Wesson expands its accessory offerings, launching the Delta Force RM-20 and RM-10 weapon-mountable lights for hands-free use.
The lights come with pic rail mounts and are built with a remote on/off button that offers high, low and strobe settings in addition to a momentary on function. The lights boast memory retention which allows users to resume their last light setting. Both models are made from anodized aerospace aluminum, boasting water and impact resistance. In addition, the crenulated flashlight head provides a durable design that also lends itself to self-defense.
The Delta Force RM-10 measures 4-inches, tipping scales at just under 4-ounces with batteries. Powered by one CR123 battery, which is included, the light serves up 1 hour and 10 minutes of runtime on high and 3 hours and 55 minutes on low. With a 500 lumen light output, the RM-10 offers a beam distance of 204 meters.
The Delta Force RM-20 is 5.31-inches long, weighing just under 5-ounces with batteries. Using two CR123 batteries, the RM-20 boasts a runtime of 1 hour and 15 minutes on high and 11 hours and 25 minutes on low. Featuring a 900 lumen output, the light provides a beam distance of up to 272 meters.
The RM-10 and RM-20 are available from Smith & Wesson, with the RM-10 touting a price of $74.99 and the RM-20 coming in at $94.99.
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The folks at Swagger bipods asked me, typically a defensive/tactical shooter, to review their bipod. I soon found out, the Swagger isn’t like other bipods — it’s a breed all its own.
The Swagger has been a hit with hunters as it not only replaces traditional shooting sticks, which have to be carried separately or fashioned from whatever’s around, it takes the concept of shooting sticks to a new level. The field model, which I tested, has legs that extend anywhere between 6.75 to 29 inches. The treestand/blind model’s legs can be set from 9.75 to 41.75 inches.
Out of the box, the Swagger attaches to the sling stud of a traditional forend. Optional Picatinny rail adapters, which I used, make the bipod capable of attachment to a rail. The screw-in studs were, conveniently, sling swivel screws, giving users the option of keeping a front sling attachment at a somewhat customizable distance. Since my own sling is already attached to a side rail, I left it as is.
Inside the forend-mounted case are two legs which pull out from the front. They’re attached to elastic cord and are deployed by pulling straight forward, then down to tuck the base of the now vertical leg back into the frame.
Once the legs are in place, two collars on them can be loosened or tightened to add length. They’re independently adjusted and can thus be different lengths for non-level locations.
With the legs on the ground, a shooter can lean into or away from the rifle to obtain an optimal position and field of view in practically any setting, no matter how remote or treacherous the footing. Prone, sitting, kneeling, and even some unorthodox standing positions are made more stable by this bipod.
The Swagger is quick, but not instantaneous to set up. Sliding the rail adapters onto my rifle and choosing a point on the forend to tighten them took one studied try, then was rapid after that. I chose to place the Swagger frame as far forward as possible without having it right under the muzzle. The bipod stayed tight with simple finger tightening, though on a long hunt or mission I’d prefer to Loctite the screws.
After installation, using the bipod is quick, but not instantaneous. Extend the legs, forget to tighten the collars, put sights on target, and the forend takes a dive. A few seconds spent tightening leg collars is necessary.
Not as necessary, in my estimation, is the push-button lock that’s integral to the Swagger case. It allows the gun-side base of the legs to sink fully into the case, making them more stable. In this trial, the top of each leg tended to come out anyway, without any detriment to function.
The bipod adds some bulk and 23.6 ounces of weight to a rifle. Compared to having to carry shooting sticks separately, the bit of weight outweighs the likelihood that sticks will be lost or broken, and it helps keep the load in one place, making it safer and easier to walk afield.
For hunting, I’d paint the metal ferrules at the top of the legs matte black. The aluminum-colored finish currently on them makes it possible to give away one’s position due to reflection. On the other hand, the device is very quiet to deploy or retract, a necessary factor for stalking game.
Any hunter who goes afield with a rifle should consider adding a Swagger bipod to his or her setup. It’s safer and easier to carry than a set of sticks, and infinitely more adaptable to terrain. At $199.99 for the field model, plus more for the rail and sling swivel screw add-ons, it’s not an inexpensive accessory. It’ll be interesting to watch consumer feedback in a few years after the device has been tested over time and in rough weather. I expect that durability or warranty service should be outstanding in view of the price.
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A deputy with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state allegedly shot his wife by accident Wednesday night while handling his firearm.
According to a Moses Lake Police Department news release, 28-year-old Jose Rivera called 911 on Wednesday evening and said he had accidentally shot his wife while handling a firearm in their home.
Upon arriving at the scene, Moses Lake police officers found 25-year-old Sydney A. Rivera suffering from a single gunshot wound. She remained conscious while being transported to the hospital and is listed in stable condition. Able to speak with officers in the hospital, she confirmed the shooting was not a result of domestic violence.
An investigation conducted by the Central Basin Investigative Team, a group formed to investigate officer-related shootings in the area, has so far indicated that Rivera was handling the firearm when it discharged and struck his wife. The gun, of which no further details have been released, was recovered at the scene, along with a spent case.
Rivera’s 4-month-old child was the only other person in the home at the time of the shooting, and no drugs or alcohol are suspected to have been involved.
Since January 2016, Rivera has worked as a patrol deputy for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. He is also a member of member of the US Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force and the Moses Lake Regional Tactical Response Team. Previously, he was an officer with the Royal City Police Department for three years.
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Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said “enough is enough” when it comes to the spike in gun violence Wisconsin’s capital has experienced in 2017, announcing a short-term plan to round of the cities worst offenders.
Koval shared his thoughts on the rise in violent crime in a Wednesday blog post, relaying that the city had seen a 75 percent increase in “shots fired” calls (124) and a record number of homicides (10) so far this year.
“The rhyme or reasons for this rash of incidents defy logic, are citywide, and occurring at all times of the day,” Koval said. “Our sensibilities have been shocked, our anxiety level elevated, our disdain is overwhelming, and our worst fears have been realized.”
In response to the problem, Koval promised to continue positive community engagement and said there will be a more visible police presence throughout the city, not meant to intimidate but instead to let citizens know they are trying to make their communities a safer place, capture those committing violent acts, and seize any guns that have been illegally obtained.
The spike in violence stems from a few dozen egregious offenders, Koval argued, and so his officers will be focused on nabbing these individuals. Even if there is not enough evidence to charge them with crimes related to specific homicides or “shots fired” calls, he said there is enough probable cause to charge them with other offenses.
“Whenever we have an incident command post following a serious shooting or homicide, I am always amazed that the same names keep coming up on every board!” Koval said. “Sometimes they are friends of currently affected parties to the crime, sometimes they are family members, or have children in common, or have gang ties . . .but the overlapping spheres of connectedness are uncanny.”
Koval vowed that his officers would not profile or otherwise abuse their power during the operation. He hopes to reclaim the city for those who have asked the department to do more and promised to continue to be transparent in regards to MPD’s ongoing mission.
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The city of Boston announced the launch of a new online guide to gun ownership in the city, meant to engage lawful gun owners in the public safety conversation.
The announcement came at Thursday’s New England Regional Gun Summit in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans met with representatives from more than 20 New England cities to discuss slowing the flow of illegal guns as a means to reduce violent crime.
The gun ownership guide, announced by Mayor Walsh and Executive Director of Arms with Ethics Casey Woods, is meant to give law-abiding gun owners easy access to information regarding how to apply or renew Massachusetts firearms identification cards and licenses to carry and how first time applicants can fulfill the necessary training requirements.
The guide also has details on carry restrictions in Boston, best practices for safe gun storage, and reminders to inform authorities when you change addresses as a gun owner.
The Boston plan was announced in conjunction with three other pilot initiatives in Burlington, Vermont; Hartford, Connecticut; and Worcester, Massachusetts.
Burlington’s focus will be aimed at bringing law enforcement departments together to form a data-sharing program for crime gun trace data in the region. Hartford hopes to address gun thefts by working with pistol permit holders in the area and will conduct further research on gun-theft prevention, while Worcester will ask law enforcement, gun dealers, and medical community members to work together to support gun owners with mental health or addiction issues.
“We know that in Boston and throughout New England, one illegal gun is too many. Together, we will continue to make progress on taking illegal guns off our streets, making each and every city and town safer,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. “This summit reflected our shared determination to turn regional dialogues into action, and we will keep working with our partners to end gun violence in our neighborhoods.”
According to data from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Massachusetts had the lowest 2015 gun death rate, with 213 deaths or 3.13 per 100,000 residents, the Boston Globe reported.
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A Florida lawmaker has revived a bill that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry guns into Florida courthouses and store the firearms with court security.
The proposal passed in the Florida Senate and was nearly approved in the House of Representatives the last week of the 2017 session, as House Republicans rushed the bill to the floor without first considering a companion bill.
However, Republican leadership ended up killing the bill the bill in exchange for Democratic support of a measure to create a water storage reservoir in the Everglades, a proposal championed by Republican Senate President Joe Negron.
Steube, a staunch supporter of gun rights, has argued allowing law-abiding gun owners to carry to and from courthouses would help people defend themselves, especially attorneys who sometimes receive threats. The proposal was one of Steube’s less polarizing gun bills in the 2017 session and did not receive much opposition.
It remains unclear if a companion bill will be filed in the House. While the 2018 session starts in January, committee meetings begin in September.
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